Conspiracy to delay the Electric Car?

By TonyGuitar · 91 replies
Jun 18, 2006
  1. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Did any of you see something on TV recently about some inventor that has made himself an electric motorcycle?? Seems like it was some kind of hybrid engine, I cant remember exactly.
  2. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    I don't have TV, couldn't say. Just seems to me because a basic motorcycle or even scooter which is worthy of the hiway, can be small and light and only carry one person, that it shouldn't be to hard to get enough power to drive it electrically.

    [off topic]
    It's funny, I just saw a guy who attached some kind of simple motor, maybe a weed wacker or something, onto an "arm" on the back of a regular bicycle. So he can ride the bike as normal, but if he starts the motor, he just reaches back and lowers the motor (because it's on an arm with a handle), and the motor simply touches the rear tire, turning it for him. No chain or belt drive or whatever, just touches the spinning part of the motor down onto the tire itself, and makes it turn. It was kinda cool, and funny.
    [end off topic]
  3. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    You are right, it seems like the power to weight ratio would be lower on some type of scooter or small motorcycle. Looks like it would be easier to make some type...if nothing else some type of hybrid. The cops at the Atlanta airport ride the little 2 wheel jobs with the centrifugal wheels....I cant for the life of me remember the name of them. But I heard they will go around 35 MPH. And run for several hours. But even with their batter technology, they are still way out of the price range for the average person to utilize as a practical means of transportation.
  4. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster TS Rookie Posts: 327

    Ethanol is a joke. The pollution made to produce it is as great if not greater than burning the same volume of gasoline in your car.

    Last thing,
    In my HP LaserJet IIP's(1989) manual, they tell you to do this in the troubleshooting section on the manual.

    Not with batteries.

    Well, a lot of prototype of electric cars were actually more powerful and efficient than gas cars.

    One was developed in Quebec in the '90s but the project stopped because of money problems. <- The guy describes the report here.
    Other info :

    They seem to come up with other cars with different technology tho.

    I'll try to get some videos of it.
  5. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Very good read. The motor wheel sounds like the bomb.

    I SO wish I could adapt a basic motor wheel to the rear of my bicycle! It obviously would need very very little horsepower and a low top-end speed. I would think a fairly small battery and relatively little addition to the rear wheel would be suficient. Then then the motion of the turning wheel could, in turn, generate power to recharge the battery again, thus self-sustaining itself and requiring very little "recharge" time at home. Theoretically, if you were continually riding, it would continually charge and never run out of juice!

    Dude, I so wish I was an engineer. lol
  6. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster TS Rookie Posts: 327

    Actually, it seems like they re-started working on it, but instead modified the motor-wheel into a single motor for all 4 wheels instead of one per wheel. The only thing is that the car demo that is using this is pretty SMART-like. (Small)

    The actual report I saw isn't available online, but other reports using some small parts of it are. If you want to watch two 12 minutes 160x120 clips in French I can give you the links (To see the 10 years old car for a few seconds) I think I might as well record them and just give the interesting parts)

    In fact, Hydro-Quebec / TM4 didn't invent the motor wheel but modified it to make it efficient at low power (Because the original motor-wheel apparently was only efficient using high-power)

    Any electrical motor can do this. The only problem is that it can only be used for breaking. (You will need to go very fast to be able to still go forward while plugging the motor backwards)

    In the video you see the wheel switching from forward to reverse about 5 times in 2-3 seconds.
  7. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Would you really need the SAME motor for this? What if you just added a secondary system? A small alternator-type device to use the motion of the wheel. So the motor wouldn't have to turn backwards, it just does its thing independant of this other system used for recharging.

    Or is that no good?
  8. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster TS Rookie Posts: 327

    Well, an alternator IS actually a motor running backwards. When you turn a motor the other way than the one it's running with no load, instead of using power, it's making some. In fact, alternators work because I forgot that you could just use a pair of diodes(Allows current to go one side, but not the other) to prevent the motor to run backwards. (But the load you put on it will make it harder to run. The more power you use, the harder it will be to turn.)
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Yes with batteries. Thats how they can even go at all when it gets cloudy. If you search the forums for Solar Challenge you will see some discussion we had here when UMR (where I went to school and now work) was competing last summer.
    Here is the link:

    Tonyguitar - We can agree to disagree all you want. But you are wrong about that 1/3, either your misunderstood your expert, or he's not an expert.
    The LHV for Ethanol is 75,700Btu/gal the HHV for Ethanol is 84,000Btu/gal.
    The LHV for Gasoline is 115,000Btu/gal the HHV for Gasoline is 125,000Btu/gal.
    The numbers are going to vary a little bit from those depending on the source and the standard used to calculate the values, but its not going to change much.
    So by my calculations that makes ethanol have 65.8-67.2% as much energy as gasoline. (maybe you got that 1/3 by doing something like 100- my number, which would come out to 33%, but I'm not sure what logic you'd use to do that).

    As for why biodiesel is superior compared to ethanol is that it runs in diesel engines which inherently are more efficient than gasoline engines, the biodiesel can come from all sorts of sources from plant oils to animal oils to re-cracked plastics (cracking refering to breaking the hydrocarbon chains into shorter chains). It is also arguably easier, and definately safer to produce at your own house than ethanol, and the byproducts are safe.

    For more information check out this link: some of the claims they make may not be vaiid in all conditions, studies are still being done at universities across the world and sometimes the results conflict. I don't have any sources on this right now and probably won't bother to look, but I've seen this stated in reports before.

    Vigalante - You likely wouldn't see any improvement using a 2 motor system as opposed to single. It takes energy to create it, so if you run 1 motor in reverse to charge and the other running off battery power to drive the vechile foward, in reality all you are doing is taking power from the battery and taking it from electrical to mechanical and back to electrical, and the motors aren't 100% efficient in the changes. So you'd still have a net loss of energy. So it makes more sense to just turn the motor into a generator when breaking like they currently do in hybrid vechiles.
  10. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Who said anything about breaking? lol

    I don't have much knowledge of electro-mechanical systems, but it doesn't make sense to me yet. I understand, going from electro to mech back to electro. But it seems like the process of charging the battery wouldn't "use" much energy. A little, but not much.
    You remember flashlights where you pump the handle to charge it up? Or shortwave radios with a turn handle? Or kids toy guns where you pump the handle and it lights up and makes noise?
    Seems to me, that same kinetic energy can be used from a spinning wheel, without hurting it's normal use. In other words, it isn't like, one motor pushing the wheel, and another equal motor running backwards with equal force. I'm not talking about two central shafts running in opposite directions on the same wheel.

    Maybe my logic is screwey, probably is. But seems to me, you've got the primary drive motor connected to the shaft of the wheel, the axle, say. And the battery supplies the power. Now lets say, somewhere else against the wheel, like just inside the rims for example, where the breaks are on a bicycle, there is a small gear which turns when the wheel turns. The faster the wheel spins, the faster this little wheel spins. The small wheel is not putting enough pressure against the main wheel to make a significant hurt of performance. But anyhoo, the small wheel is connected to some kind of system which generates current which flows back to the battery.

    Make sense? Of course not, I don't know what I'm talking about. But I think you know what I mean. Is that possible? Or is the power generated by such a small thing not enough to charge such a battery? Would the energy used to move the wheel, HAVE to be equal to the energy needed to recharge? So it would take just as much torque for the "charging" unit to charge, as it does torque to move it?

    I guess what it boils down to is, is there any self-sustaining system by which it can use its generated power both to do work, AND regenerate itself wholly? Where, once the process is started, it can run indefinitely?
    Kinda like those little silver ball things you see on desks, when you start the outter ball swinging, which transfers energy between the balls to the other side, then that other side ball swings out and comes back, hitting the others and reversing direction. It just keeps going without running out of energy.

    Ok I'll shutup now.
  11. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    In short no.

    I understand what you are saying, but its not possible to do that and gain energy, or even self sustaining.

    Also those silver balls you are talking about do stop - the energy transfer is pretty efficient there, perhaps it would even go forever if you could cut out air resistance and the resistance of the strings they are on pivoting the bars they are connected to.
  12. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster TS Rookie Posts: 327

    Forget about diodes, I told anything.

    Well, you understand somewhat, it's just that the most power you pull out of the motor, the harder it's going to be to turn. Say you take a wind generator : If you put no load(infinite resistance), it could run too fast and break. If you put a small load(high resistance), it's going to be harder to turn, because current is returning just a bit in the motor (Putting a bit of force the other way than the one it's turning). If you put a big load(low resistance), it's even harder to turn because a lot of current returns in the motor. If you short both leads of the motor(no resistance), it will just stop turning because the current that is sent out it is going in again. The magnetic fields are cancelling each others. The more current you pull out, the slower it will turn (lower resistance).

    So, batteries are a "negative" load, but have a current limit they can deliver and that's why you can pull the motor the other way than the batteries are trying to do. When you do this, the current won't come out of the batteries but goes in instead.

    If a car alternator would be connected directly to a couple of full batteries without a regulator, I think the engine would have an hard time. (Why powering defrost is slowing down an engine : Pulls more current, alternator harder to turn, engine goes slower) But the alternator works because it has a regulator and then it's output is limited. Small cranking radios and the like use much less power than the motor can deliver and that's why they're so easy to work with.

    Noticed how much strength you need to turn a crank generator? There's a resistance in there. It would slow down your bike to recharge the batteries. That's why chargers are there. They limit the current. Going down an hill with your bike or breaking could be used to recharge batteries.(They would slow you down)

    The faster you charge something with a generator, the more mechanical energy you need.
  13. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    I figured that would be the case.

    Then we can leave it up to the future. Think big! A self-sustaining energy source. wow.

    Harvard? Berkeley? NASA?
  14. TonyGuitar

    TonyGuitar TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    Looks like this is right up our topic alley. Got an invite so am inviting you as well. Did the publisher or Tom Standage learn of our need for the Electric car? invites you to attend an editorial event on
    Tuesday, June 27th at 9 a.m. PST/12:00 p.m. EST,
    Economist Technology Quarterly Editor, Tom Standage, as he discusses
    critical developments in the field of automobile hybridisation.

    By attending this webcast, you can learn how hybrid "hackers" are
    accessing the control software of hybrid petrol-electric cars such as
    the Toyota Prius, effectively converting these hybrid cars to plug-in
    cars capable of traveling longer distances in all-electric mode
    post-conversion, improving the car's fuel economy, and reducing
    greenhouse gas production in the process.

    To learn more about how these hacked hybrids are influencing
    everything from lithium-ion battery technology, to big car
    manufacturers and America's power utilities, click here:

    Never had much knowledge about the elecric car, but in this discussion I have learned more than I bargained for and it*s very inspiring. We are really closer to silent clean wheeles than first imagined. TechSpot is da SPOT. TG
  15. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    I thought I'd post a collection of links on the evolution of water/hydrogen/browns engines. One in particular is posted by a conspiracy theorist (noted by the statement "free energy") but the video itself looks fine...... - earliest known patent for water fuelled motor vehicle)

    ...onwards to more modern "back yard science"... ( - Was slow on my computer to load. Maybe just my ISP?) ( - Still watching this video. The movie is interesting but the distribution sucks.)
  16. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    what the ratio for power transfer
    in locamotive trains
    diesel to AC high freq veri drives or standard PWM Dc sync drives
    who needs speed
    I would be happy to see gas cut by 80%
    if you can get hyd from space I would use that , oops cost to much again to get and deliver
    I wonder how much untapped power there is in the solar winds
    maybe we can build a device to capture
    of course thats outside the mag field of earth
    so for now I'll stick to pedal power and shoe leather
    maybe we should go back to the horse we may have to in a n'other 100 yrs or so

    and knitting and knitting and knitting
  17. TonyGuitar

    TonyGuitar TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    CBC Radio One 8:30 am Friday July 14th/06 on **The Current**

    Who Killed the Electric Car ?– Film Director
    No gas, no oil, no tune-ups, no problems. It's the story of the EV-1, General Motor's ill-fated electric car.The EV-1 cruised the California roads in 1990, when 800 of the cars were leased to customers eager to drive a zero-emission automobile.
    But despite rave reviews from the few who drove it, GM shut down the production line in 2003 and recalled every single one of them. Most of the fleet was shredded, crushing consumers' hopes that the electric car was here to stay.

    ========= TG
    You could only lease the car, never buy it.. Every last car was re-claimed by GM.. Drivers loved it, yet GM claimed only 800 were in use and demand was too low to warrant production. I think they saw it would eclipse all other auto products and snuffed it out before it could be discovered by the public
    ========= TG.

    One of its fans was filmmaker Chris Paine, who was once a proud driver of an EV-1. And now, the story of why General Motors decided to short-circuit the production of the electric car is what powers his documentary, appropriately titled, Who Killed the Electric Car? We reached Chris Paine by telephone in Los Angeles, California.

    GM Response
    While there may be plenty of blame to go around in Chris Paine's documentary, in the end, it was General Motors's decision to discontinue production of the EV-1 electric car.
    To find out why, we contacted Dave Barthmuss. He's the manager for public policy, environment and energy for General Motors North America, and he was also in California.

    ============ TG

    EDIT: Here's the direct link to the stream if anybody want's to listen... - Spike

    Who killed the electric car?

    You could only lease the car, never buy it.. Every last car was re-claimed by GM.. Drivers loved it, yet GM claimed only 800 were in use and demand was too low to warrant production.

    I think they saw it would eclipse all other auto products and snuffed it out before it could be discovered by the public.

    Excellent coverage , well beyond my humble ability can be enjoyed at;
    The Huffington Post

    == TG

    Just google **The HuffingtonPost** and scroll down some.

    The HTML href= does not function as I am still a greenhorn so far.

    = TG

    Edit: Just use the vB tag. as in the example below (i... here and I want an EV-1 now! =TG
  18. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    :eek: omg... there is more spam in this thread than there is in a grocery store! :eek:

    i do agree tony, whatever makes them less money in the end.. will not prevail :(
  19. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    No, they'll just make crumy, plastic parts that fail after 20,001 miles, just after your 20,000 mile warranty. So you'll continue to buy thousands in parts every year.

    That's the way to do it. Just make an awesome car, with crumy parts. Create the virus and infect people so they will come back and buy your cure.
  20. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    that's the "corporate american" way :haha:
  21. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,168

    I thought that was just the corporate pharmaceutical way. :p (or am I thinking of the FDA?)
  22. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    you're right spike, it is... but it works the same way ;)

    [OFF-TOPIC] the FDA doesn't create the viruses, they just make it illegal to patent (and in some cases even sell) a potential cure for one. it would seem that they only allow you to call it a drug if it causes more health problems than it treats :haha: [/OFF-TOPIC]
  23. TonyGuitar

    TonyGuitar TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    Finally found the photo of the Elegant GM EV-1 electric car on my site now:

    and a link to the movie and more shots. = TG
  24. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Tony, if you are so fired up about this alternative vechile being canned.

    What are your opinions on nuclear energy then? If US regulations had not prevented the constructoin of nuke power plants then 2 things would happened. 1 is that there would be an asston less pollution because they were running nuke instead of coal for power. and 2, because of the less demand for oil, there might be somewhat less of a ****storm over in the middle east over oil.
  25. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

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