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Random thought on the BMW i3

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Why do they make electric cars so ugly purposefully? It's like these is an agreement among the auto manufacturers. Of course there are exceptions, Tesla being one
post #2 of 14

maybe to make the i8 look more awesome?  

post #3 of 14

I was thinking the same this morning when I saw my neighbor drive by in his i3.

post #4 of 14

It is beyond ugly.

post #5 of 14
I think they are pushing for a unique look. It is ugly though, maybe even uniquely ugly. lol
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post
 

maybe to make the i8 look more awesome?  


^^^THIS X10

 

Saw an i8 on El Camino on the Bay Area peninsula last week - truly stunning, most definitely NOT ugly (well, maybe the price is  -  $130k+).

Those grooved cutouts over the rear lights made my jaw drop :eek 

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by nochaser View Post

Why do they make electric cars so ugly purposefully? It's like these is an agreement among the auto manufacturers. Of course there are exceptions, Tesla being one

 

I don't know about ugly.  

Of course, there is absolutely no reason for electric car designers to keep the styling cues developed for petro cars.   

 

Grilles?  Out.   Scoops and intakes?  Out.   Faired-in exhausts or lifted rear skirt to clear/highlight exhausts?  Out.

 

Considering the level of change going on here, we might do well to remember the first days of shaped skis.    I'm sure there was at least one person who thought the new skis were ugly.     

  I hope the day when we see a petrocar and think 'Oh, how quaint!  This needs to be in the retrocar thread'  comes soon.

post #8 of 14

Top Gear had an interesting comparison of the i8 and the M5, Clarkson was shocked how much be liked the i8. 

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Yeah I saw that episode where he picked the i8 over the M3/4. I'd personally have picked the M3/4.
post #10 of 14

I don't think governments should be subsidizing electric cars.

 

Just think, if everyone drove electric the demand on electricity production would be huge and so how would we produce that extra electricity?  Solar and wind can't be relied on to provide electricity when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. So I guess it is burn more fossil fuels or flood more valleys for hydro-electric.

post #11 of 14

Actually, the I3 is the 1st E-car, I kind of liked!

 

But then again there is this, and the best of both worlds,   Electric only , Gas only or hybrid all in one!

 

 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanoT View Post
 

I don't think governments should be subsidizing electric cars.

 

Just think, if everyone drove electric the demand on electricity production would be huge and so how would we produce that extra electricity?  Solar and wind can't be relied on to provide electricity when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. So I guess it is burn more fossil fuels or flood more valleys for hydro-electric.

 

No it wouldn't, or is your post satire?  (Sorry, honestly can't tell.)

 

Fossil fuel power plants are far more efficient (often 2x or more) than internal combustion engines, so even replacing the latter with the former is an immediate win for sustainability and reducing emissions.  Powering cars from the grid also has the benefit of decoupling the car from the power source, so that over time as the grid transitions to cleaner power the benefits will be realized immediately and not depend on phasing out vehicles on the road.  As well, countries that already have an abundance of clean power will reduce emissions immediately.  And furthermore, the transition to EVs immediately reduces emissions in cities, improving air quality and reducing smog where it matters most.

 

EVs also increase overall efficiency through economies of scale: instead of oil having to be refined into a form that everyone car's little personal power plant can handle, then transported to 150,000 gas stations in the US, using trucks which burn a bunch of fuel themselves, and everyone having to maintain their personal power plant and all its associated mechanical parts, you now only have to transport fuel to the ~7,500 power plants.  And instead of 250,000,000 mini power plants having to be maintained, only 7,500 large ones do.

 

And then secondly let's do some arithmetic.  Average car mileage in US = 15,000 miles per year, which a Tesla can get with 5700 kWh of energy.  The average home in the US uses 11,000 kWh per year, so it's basically adding 50% to residential consumption, which is currently 21% of total consumption in the US.  So if every single car was replaced by an electric one, total demand for grid energy would increase by 10.5%.  That's a lot to be sure, but still very manageable, and it's simply a matter of re-directing resources.  Overall energy consumption is lower due to the aforementioned efficiencies, just more of it would be happening in the grid.

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToastedPopsicle View Post
 

 

No it wouldn't, or is your post satire?  (Sorry, honestly can't tell.)

 

Fossil fuel power plants are far more efficient (often 2x or more) than internal combustion engines, so even replacing the latter with the former is an immediate win for sustainability and reducing emissions.  Powering cars from the grid also has the benefit of decoupling the car from the power source, so that over time as the grid transitions to cleaner power the benefits will be realized immediately and not depend on phasing out vehicles on the road.  As well, countries that already have an abundance of clean power will reduce emissions immediately.  And furthermore, the transition to EVs immediately reduces emissions in cities, improving air quality and reducing smog where it matters most.

 

EVs also increase overall efficiency through economies of scale: instead of oil having to be refined into a form that everyone car's little personal power plant can handle, then transported to 150,000 gas stations in the US, using trucks which burn a bunch of fuel themselves, and everyone having to maintain their personal power plant and all its associated mechanical parts, you now only have to transport fuel to the ~7,500 power plants.  And instead of 250,000,000 mini power plants having to be maintained, only 7,500 large ones do.

 

And then secondly let's do some arithmetic.  Average car mileage in US = 15,000 miles per year, which a Tesla can get with 5700 kWh of energy.  The average home in the US uses 11,000 kWh per year, so it's basically adding 50% to residential consumption, which is currently 21% of total consumption in the US.  So if every single car was replaced by an electric one, total demand for grid energy would increase by 10.5%.  That's a lot to be sure, but still very manageable, and it's simply a matter of re-directing resources.  Overall energy consumption is lower due to the aforementioned efficiencies, just more of it would be happening in the grid.

Gasoline engines are quite efficient these days and produce far less pollutants than say burning coal. Can you imagine how brown the air would be in Bejing if they had to burn even more coal to power electric cars?

 

I don't understand why big enviro groups spend so much time promoting part-time power solutions like wind and solar but seem to ignore more low tech stuff like geo-thermal heating. Then again they are the same folks that oppose gas and oil pipelines and then ignore the resultant increase in more dangerous less efficient rail transport for oil.

 

IMO electric cars are the next big thing... and always will be.

post #14 of 14

15,000 miles in ICE terms is 12170 lbs of CO2.   http://www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer/420f08024.pdf   That does *not* include refining emissions (and it should).

 

Taking TP's numbers for granted (15000 miles for 5700kWh, I think some Renaults can do better, as in 2880kWh for 15K US miles) then that is 12370 lbs of CO2 if we're burning the most polluting coal available (lignite).   http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=74&t=11  

 

But the argument is no longer valid if we charge cars with natural gas.    5700kWh is therefore only 6897 lbs of CO2.   

 

Where electric cars come in is in saving power utilities from the financial impact of all those part-time energy sources you mention.    Households simply won't be able to net-meter down to zero even with solar installations, and that will allow money for grid building and grid maintenance.   

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