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Electric vehicles

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rov1100 | 19:32 Tue 11th Jan 2011 | Science
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If it is the governments intentions to get us all eventually to use electric cars how can they recoup the enormous taxes we pay on petrol and diesel engines?

eg. I suppose they can always recoup some taxes from HGVs and vans.


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Jake - do not be so closed in your thinking please - that is the whole thing about searching for 'wild cards' that are gamechangers.....

there is research work afoot in potential new storage systems. For example Adjunct Prof Paggi @ U of Alabama is doing work in this area plus MIT folk, U of Texas etc - the solution may well lie in new technology such as in nano-silicon to provide the necessary mesh to carry H2 without penalising the weight
No you don't understand.

That may work for cars but it doesn't work for tankers.

The problem isn't in cars it's getting Hydrogen to filling station.

1 tanker will fuel 100 cars
A lot of people say that hydrogen will be produced on site at the pump.

That is a lot of people who've not done the maths the electricity required even at 100% efficiency is prohibitive - I don't care what technology you are hoping for in the future it can't get better than 100% !

The other option is chemical systems like this:

That may help you short term but all you've done is shift the problem - now you're no longer dependant on oil - you're dependant on aluminium or magnesium.

You have to mine it, transport it and deal with the residue.

So as I say hydrogen's got some answers - like how you run a plane without aircraft fuel but the big challenge is how you get any fuel system to scale to mass transportation
I am talking about cars - I will agree with you on H2 faces a lot of challenges.

However, I am not so dismissive of new technology developing. My point if you go back was that 'wild cards' are needed though - and that makes forecasting of 'when' extremely difficult.
As an aside H2 is a brilliant deNox agent for diesel vehicles......and there is technology patented for catalysing H2O in the exhaust manifold to achieve need for urea traps.....
I hope you'd agree that whatever wild card you may hope you find it cannot be more than 100% efficient.

That is to say you can't get more energy out of the Hydrogen than it takes you to electrolyse water.

You might want to check the following numbers because it's late and there are a lot of Zeros:

energy from burning 1 litre hydrogen 1,208 joules
energy from burning 1 litre petrol 34,000,000 joules

UK fuel sales 50 Billion litres

Equivilent H2 required 141,200,000,000,000,000 litres

17,110,000,000,000,000,000 joules

or 543,000 MW

UK peak electricity demand 60,000 MW

Electrolysing water at 100% efficiency will require an increase in electricity generation capability of 9 times our current peak.

If you want to get better than that you are suggesting that future technology is going to create energy.

Incidently because something is patented does not mean it works, A patent is a legal claim to an idea not a validation that something works - there are some Beauts out there!

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