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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #1
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The future of cars

Where do you think the future of cars will going?

Do you see electric or self driving cars taking off anytime soon?

How much longer do you think petrol and diesel cars will be here for?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #2
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Re: The future of cars

Petrol cars for a long time, direct injection engines will make them as economical as diesels, with far fewer pollutants. Diesel cars will gradually go and probably sooner rather than later, but heavy diesel vehicles will be around a for while yet.

Electric cars are coming and many of us would buy one, if they were just a bit cheaper. Hydrogen is intersting.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #3
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Re: The future of cars

Hydrogen I beleive will surpass electric, unless you can charge a battery in around 1 minute its not going to be practical. Filling up a hydrogen car take just as long as petrol/diesel. The range of Hydrogen is also far superior to electric, the Honda Clarity claims to do over 350 miles and the Toyota Mirai claims to do just over 300 miles. I just dont get why a lot of people are getting hung up on electric..
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Re: The future of cars

No, hydrogen has issues. They might be overcome within the car but the investment in refueling infrastructure relative to pure electric or hybrid with conventional liquids or gas will kill it off. Should, in my opinion.
Battery technology will continue to improve and electric will be the way for all but heavy-duty vehicles.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #5
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Re: The future of cars

Quote Originally Posted by andydiver View Post
No, hydrogen has issues. They might be overcome within the car but the investment in refueling infrastructure relative to pure electric or hybrid with conventional liquids or gas will kill it off. Should, in my opinion.
Battery technology will continue to improve and electric will be the way for all but heavy-duty vehicles.
I understand there is issues with procuring hydrogen but battery technology really needs to accelerate at an insane level rather soon otherwise itll be pointless.

The range of electric cars is really holding them back, if they could do 4/500+ miles on a full charge itd make them better but the charge time is still appauling (for real world use). A Tesla supercharger takes 75 minutes to charge a car to full. This just isnt fully viable in our 'we need it now' society. If/when electric can overcome this then I can see it fully taking over but at the moment I see it as a passing fad.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #6
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Re: The future of cars

The problem with hydrogen, apart from it being highly flammable, is that it takes so much energy to extract into its elemental product. It's always attached to something else. So whilst it is clean at the point of use, it's actually pretty poor when the production chain is considered.

Battery technology is coming along. Who remembers the days when it would take 3 hours to charge their Nokia 3310? It was a 900mAH battery. Now we have phones that charge in less than an hour and have 4 or 5 times the battery capacity. But the problem that plagues hydrogen also affects batteries. They're very dirty to produce. And coal makes them very dirty to charge!

So the above two, whilst they make towns and cities nicer, also kill the planet just fine too.

Diesel's days are numbered. I suspect that large goods vehicles will keep diesel for now but will eventually use batteries, once capacity issues are resolved. Torque is available in bucket loads on electric vehicles so they are perfect for haulage.

My gut feeling is that petrol power will be the predominant car based option for a while - larger engines minus turbos though. Drilling out oil is generally cleaner than the production line for batteries and hydrogen. But I think technology to capture emissions will progress. I can imagine a day where we fill up with petrol and have interchangeable filters that we drop off at petrol stations.

This leads me onto my next thought. If battery technology progresses enough to make them small but still slow charging, can we imagine having battery stations where we get fully charged battery packs and swap them over in a minute or two? All it'd need is a standardised battery. And clean production line and charging!

The major obstacle to electric cars in their plug in form though is modern city life. Electric vehicles are good for getting pollution out of cities, although this is actually just displacing it. However more people in cities are living in flats than houses now. This means communal car parking or street parking. I'm certain that my freeholder will not be cooperative if I were to ask them to install charging points in the car park! The cost of doing this would be staggering. Especially for all 28 flats where I live. Same with streets and councils.

Self driving will probably become mandatory for new cars. I suspect within the next 20-30 years once the new European form of GPS is in full use. Current GPS provided by America is good for sat nav but it's not able to pin point down to the foot or so necessary for more difficult navigation tasks. The potential road safety argument (and the one government will want - control) make self drive inevitable though. It also theoretically will help with congestion.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #7
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Re: The future of cars

Don't forget that it was Clive Sinclair who pioneered electric cars in the 1980 s,a truly remarkable man who saw the future but never managed to pull it off.
Regarding the demise of petrol cars given that ,90% of the cost at the pump goes to the government in tax where are they going to get this money from when there are no petrol powered cars ? I can't see battery cars replacing petrol.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #8
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Re: The future of cars

Quote Originally Posted by Garree001 View Post
This leads me onto my next thought. If battery technology progresses enough to make them small but still slow charging, can we imagine having battery stations where we get fully charged battery packs and swap them over in a minute or two? All it'd need is a standardised battery. And clean production line and charging!
Im sure it was Tesla that tried something like this already with their existing batterys. A station where you would drive onto it and it would swap out the battery from below your car in a matter of minutes. The only downfall is youd need to ensure a good system in order to keep the batterys good. Last think you want is to get a duff battery and your car fails 20 miles down the road!.

Though if they were small enough (coke can size maybe) you could always hook several up to your car or have them on charge at home etc. That would be interesting but would require the technology to advance very far indeed.

The other way is perhaps wireless charging? Have wireless charging pads in parking spaces so you dont need to hook up a cable or even design them to be in the roads? perhaps start with around high traffic areas where there is lots of stop/start traffic?
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #9
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Quote Originally Posted by Michael Dranfield View Post
Don't forget that it was Clive Sinclair who pioneered electric cars in the 1980 s,a truly remarkable man who saw the future but never managed to pull it off.
Absolute nonsense!

Clive Sinclair as no pioneer of electric cars, there were plenty of electric cars long before he was even born back in the early days of cars there were quite a few electric cars, including those from the early days of Mercedes Benz and even Ferdinand Porsche designed and build a electric car.

All Sinclair did was sink all his earnings into an electric motor attached to a awkward and heavy recumbent push bike and managed to go bust in less than a year from inception. It wasn't because he was ahead of his time or because he was misunderstood, it was because the product was bloody awful!
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Re: The future of cars

Young'uns might not remember milkfloats. They were these electric vehicles that went around quietly running on electric. They were first used in the 1950s. This was more pioneering that the Transit vans you see clogging/smoking/stinking up our roads these days.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #11
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Re: The future of cars

Quote Originally Posted by Freebo View Post
Im sure it was Tesla that tried something like this already with their existing batterys. A station where you would drive onto it and it would swap out the battery from below your car in a matter of minutes. The only downfall is youd need to ensure a good system in order to keep the batterys good. Last think you want is to get a duff battery and your car fails 20 miles down the road!.

Though if they were small enough (coke can size maybe) you could always hook several up to your car or have them on charge at home etc. That would be interesting but would require the technology to advance very far indeed.

The other way is perhaps wireless charging? Have wireless charging pads in parking spaces so you dont need to hook up a cable or even design them to be in the roads? perhaps start with around high traffic areas where there is lots of stop/start traffic?
Batteries aren't what they used to be. As long as there's no long term discharge, the battery should remain good for ages. Overcharging is no longer a problem. The biggest challenge will be getting the manufacturers to agree a standardised system. A bit like what the TV/technology companies had to do when agreeing the digital standard and subsequently the HD standard. It took ages!

I think even if batteries were the size of a couple of car batteries, that'd still be workable as something you swapped at a station. Perhaps lift up the rear seat, slide out a couple of batters, slot in the new ones and off you go. I don't believe portable, super high capacity batteries are all that far away now.

They tried inductive charging for buses in Milton Keynes, Or at least they were planning to - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25621426. Not sure whether this worked out. I can't imagine them rolling this out for cars nationwide. The infrastructure required is huge.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #12
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Re: The future of cars

Quote Originally Posted by Garree001 View Post
Young'uns might not remember milkfloats. They were these electric vehicles that went around quietly running on electric. They were first used in the 1950s. This was more pioneering that the Transit vans you see clogging/smoking/stinking up our roads these days.
.... memories of the old Smiths Cabac milk floats come flooding back.

(Along with the only recycling system I can think of that's actually worked properly so far... milk bottles.)
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Re: The future of cars

Quote Originally Posted by irc View Post
.... memories of the old Smiths Cabac milk floats come flooding back.

(Along with the only recycling system I can think of that's actually worked properly so far... milk bottles.)
Now I am impressed! Should I ask where this knowledge comes from?!

I always liked the 4E as I was (legally) able to drive it as it didn't tip the 3.5t weight limit. That being said, the Cabac was versatile even if the deck did rip my trousers far too often. The Elizabethan that was related to it, whilst OK, was always a pig to repair because of the fibreglass cab. At least with a Cabac, you could replace most of the panels with a set of spanners.

And the 'contacts' that would usually get stuck and let your speed be really slow, slow or top speed. That could be fun in traffic. So they replaced them with a pulse type thing that made the weirdest noise ever. But then that had a habit of exploding with a massive flash and a bang. And starting a milkround with one vehicle and finishing it with the arms of a body builder because the steering was so heavy. Or perhaps trying to keep the windows free of mist whilst also simultaneously trying to keep yourself warm on a January morning. Maybe the time I wrote off a Porsche by reversing into it. And yet the bumper on the milkfloat didn't even have a scuff.

I have many many memories of milkfloats flooding back too
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Re: The future of cars

no one seems to realise the manufactures are not doing any of this for the environment, its all for profit and keep the dealer network happy as the more complex they get the harder it is to home fix or independent garage to fix and people with have no choice but to return to main dealer only and pay high labour and high new parts prices.
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Quote Originally Posted by dave View Post
no one seems to realise the manufactures are not doing any of this for the environment, its all for profit and keep the dealer network happy as the more complex they get the harder it is to home fix or independent garage to fix and people with have no choice but to return to main dealer only and pay high labour and high new parts prices.
True..... if it weren't for the fact that electric cars need a lot less maintenance than an internal combustion engine, no filters or fluids that need to be changed. Very few moving parts. They don't have a gearbox as such and there are no serviceable parts to a battery.

A service on a Nissan Leaf is very cheap and doesn't need doing very often 130-150 every 18,000 miles. It's twice that amount for a diesel with shorter intervals.

To justify the costs they include things like a brake fluid change usually charged separately on non ev cars. Tesla cost a lot more to service but they change wiper blades and keyfob batteries at every service a long with other things they wouldn't normally do like rotating the tyres.

So no it really is of little benefit to the dealer networks if everyone bought an EV
I suspect out of warranty many EVs will no longer get a service as they don't really need it.
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