Sounds great, but in reality what does it foretell? Last weekend I filled my combustion engine (4 cylinder) car with fuel (gasoline) for less that $20, mileage indicator informed me that my next fill up would be at 342 miles. So I set the cruise at 70 mph and drove 120 miles on the interstate, ate supper, drove around town took in the sites, got a milkshake and set the cruise drove back home (in the evening) at 70 mph spending about 7-8 hours all told, and still have a tank of almost a 1/2 tank of gasoline. Can you do that in a solar car, I doubt it.
Solar cars, clean and efficient? First lets understand that the solar (sun) power is not a direct power, meaning it has to be stored in a battery, just like every thing else (mobile phones, laptops etc..). What are the life expectances of electric car batteries? When would they need to be replaced, what is the cost of recharging, what is the duration between recharging? Questions that I never hear the politicians address. Why? Because it would destroy their pro-green stance.
While on my weekend journey I encountered a vast number of large semi-trailer trucks (18 wheelers), each of these were not on a pleasure trip as I was, but working to deliver consumer goods over vast distances, so that you and I can enjoy the marvels of the 21st century, the same principles of a solar car apply to them as well. Consider the cost involved and the effects of added time from shipping to delivery point, I doubt that they could transverse the country in a few days, adding in the fact of recharging downtime, and speed reduction (they weigh over 80,000 lbs. in freight). Their retention of a maximum speed of my 70 mph, could not be sustained, as batteries lose charge they reduce their power out put.
Batteries, not really a green idea, as they are an acid filled storage, prone to leakage which could cause a health hazard in it’s self. Just how large a battery would be needed to power those semi-trucks? To pull that the huge loads (80,000 lbs.) would I suppose have to be huge in its self. Instead of pulling in and pumping a tank of gasoline in about 2-3 minutes, how long would it take to charge one of those batteries, 30 minutes an hour? Downtime causing a price hike to compensate the price of transporting. Now, what about the replacement price of the battery? We all know they don’t last forever, and before they are totally useless they lose their ability to hold a prolonged charge (check your laptop see how much time of use it has lost). Replacement cost, I really don’t want to envision this price, the car price includes the battery price, but when it has grown old (6 months-one year), what is the replacement value, $10,000.00 / $20,000.00, who knows, no one wants to point this out. As for buying a used electric car, forget it, I now what I’d do, when it needed a battery replacement, I’d trade it in (pushing to dealership), let some other sucker buy it.
Many more questions on solar/electric power to be answered, but in 12 years the world ends AGAIN.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.