Over on linked-in someone asked: Cars should really run on solar, it is free to tap and unlimited.
Started an interesting discussion thread. Basically many have this idealistic vision of clean cars being powered by cleanly generated energy and we'll all live in a nirvana of clean technology. You often see wind turbines and solar panels in the background when electric cars are pictured.
Here's some things from the thread:
"The fact that virtually no production electric car comes with a solar panel is outrageous."
"There is no point in lugging a PV panel around. "
"If we look at the three biggest detriments to electric vehicles today its: Range, Battery Cost & Weight. All three are improved substantially with solar. " (written by a guy claiming to have run the first solar car race in the U.S. who said later in the discussion he's an entrepeneur who will shortly be launching Eco Urban Vehicles)
"I am surprised that you don't know that there is no range problem anymore. The quick-charge batteries charge to 100% in 4-6 minutes, so you can almost charge on the fly. "
"Quick change batteries are great but not currently available in 99.9% of the world and won't be for a long time. Unfortunately, the vast majority of power charging those quick change batteries is still going to come from fossil fuels and nuclear."
"there is no doubt that an infrastructure will appear to quickly juice batteries. But this will come from existing utilities, generally speaking major polluters and will cost.
A far cry from energy independence."
"So if this amazing clean, cheap technology exists, what keeps the car companies from adopting it?"
"Existing car companies are wedded to the existing system. From extracting oil beneath the ocean floor to catalytic converter exhaust systems, they're committed to transportation as it is."
"Before looking for a conspiracy you all should understand that there are only about 100 Watts per square foot per HOUR in full sunshine. With a footprint of 6'x15' a small car can only collect 9,000-10,000 Watts per hour. That is not enough power to go 60-80 MPH even while the sun shines. We will need good batteries to make solar cars work."
"Electric cars are cheaper to build, run and dispose of than gas by a factor of 2 or better. Solar is cheaper than natural gas or nuclear electric even though they do not pay for their cleanup. Solar is cheaper than any non-renewable energy. Coal kills people 20 per 100,000 per year in the East, 5 per 100,000 per year in the West."
"Thanks in large part to GM, in this country at least, solar vehicles are deemed impractical. Smart, well meaning, educated people will repeat that. But how many people in this country, or engineers or people in this group know that the MPG record is 12000+ MPG? Ask your mechanic, Engineering Professors, Environmentalists and see how many know this. I'll venture to say none.I have never come across anyone outside of a SMALL circle of professionals that come anywhere close. The question is, "Why is that"? Makes a great cocktail party question."