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Gas vs electric cars: evidence for which is better?  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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Location: Southern Illinois
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Kenneth,

The newer battery powered tools are truly amazing.  I have looked enviously at the Milwaukee line from time to time I just love how they keep coming out with new innovative tools and increasingly powerful batteries.

I am personally in the Ridgid line and while Ridgid does not have the breadth of tools like Milwaukee, they cover the basics very well and this line is working perfectly well for me.  For my purposes, all I need is the 18v, 4AH battery which I have used all day for hammer drilling and can’t even break the halfway point.

I do have a separate line of tools by Kobalt (40v) and while the tools themselves are very good, their batteries tend to give out easier.  Had I known Milwaukee was going to field a battery chainsaw, I may have opted for that, but then I would still pay triple the purchase price.

Long way of getting to my point is that yes, battery technology is making many previously exclusively gas operated tools into legitimate battery operated machines.  I personally really like the idea of having an electric only vehicle just for going back and forth to work (a 5 minute commute for me on a good day).  I am not certain how well an electric minivan would work, but I could see an ICE/electric version being quite practical.  I even wonder about a pickup truck that used electric as a sort of boost just when starting.  I don’t really think these are around-the-corner ideas but I can see their utility.

Eric
 
pollinator
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Location: Boston, Massachusetts
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Eric Hanson wrote: I personally really like the idea of having an electric only vehicle just for going back and forth to work (a 5 minute commute for me on a good day).  I am not certain how well an electric minivan would work, but I could see an ICE/electric version being quite practical.  I even wonder about a pickup truck that used electric as a sort of boost just when starting.  I don’t really think these are around-the-corner ideas but I can see their utility.

Eric



As a pickup truck driver, I am champing at the bit for an EV option! I was impressed by the torque of the Tesla Model S, when my boss asked for a parking curb in his garage to gage where to stop/park without hitting the car in front (2 car deep garage). We tried a 2x4 laid flat..."Did you put it there? I didn't feel it!?" he says... So we go as thick as the front spoiler will clear, about 2-1/2" and still, the Tesla climbs over it like nothing... The main reason, we think, is the lack of feedback one has in an ICE car, where the engine bogs down and you would need to give it gas to climb over a curb.

I'd love that sort of torque getting off the line! And NO shifting! I'm already looking for third gear at the far side of an intersection! I like your idea of an electric assist, or something like the locomotive diesel generator/electric traction motor combo paired with a battery for startups and regenerative braking...
 
Posts: 139
Location: Ontario, Canada
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[quote=Kenneth Elwell
As a pickup truck driver, I am champing at the bit for an EV option! I was impressed by the torque of the Tesla Model S, when my boss asked for a parking curb in his garage to gage where to stop/park without hitting the car in front (2 car deep garage). We tried a 2x4 laid flat..."Did you put it there? I didn't feel it!?" he says... So we go as thick as the front spoiler will clear, about 2-1/2" and still, the Tesla climbs over it like nothing... The main reason, we think, is the lack of feedback one has in an ICE car, where the engine bogs down and you would need to give it gas to climb over a curb.

One of the EVs I worked on/with was an electric tractor.  It looked like a riding lawn mower, but it had 4 independently driven wheels and had a huge towing capacity.  If you nosed it up to a wall and then gave 'er, the front wheels would climb the wall.  The owner made one of his first prototypes remote control.  He had a blower attachment for it and would clear the snow off the driveway from in the house.  That was fine until someone not from the neighbourhood drove off the road to avoid the riderless tractor.  They put up signs after that.

The guy bought the first EV from Ford.  They put well over a million into it, apparently, and he bought it for a song years later.
 
gardener
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I am also a huge fan of Milwaukee cordless tools. During a typical day at work, I run through five or six of the five amp hour batteries. But I have been known to go through a dozen of those and four 9 amp hour batteries. I recently salvaged about $7,000 worth of lumber from a large duplex. I took out all of the full dimension 2 x 6 and 2x8 in the ceiling and the 2x10 from the floors and also the 6x8 beams. This house had electricity but I don't piss around with cords anymore. I only use a corded tool if I have to do a very large roof cut through several layers of shingles or if I have to cut concrete.

I have cut several buildings completely in half for a house moving company, using only lithium-ion powered tools. Whenever there are loose insulating materials, I use a cordless blower to send the insulation into big heaps against the farthest wall from my cut. When one portion of the building is being thrown out and the other is being kept, I typically blow the fiberglass or cellulose insulation from the discarded portion into the part being kept, before making the cut. Every house I work on gets a top-to-bottom cleaning using my cordless blower.

I have a Lithium-Ion powered bicycle and I have driven a car and a motorcycle powered by lithium-ion. There was plenty of power in all of these machines.

I'm waiting for the day when I can jump in my battery powered pickup truck that has many small removable batteries to power the tools which are optional. The technology exists. Gas and Diesel powered Toyota Tundras are set up to charge tools. So I would hope that one day a portion of an electric vehicle power pack, could be removable so that carpenters and landscapers and tree fallers, could have a nearly unlimited amount of battery at their disposal. On a typical day of heavy tool use, I still use under 5% of the amount of energy stored in my brother's Nissan Leaf.

The technology doesn't have to improve to make these vehicles extremely competitive. It already made sense 5 years ago when my brother bought that car. Today's cars go a little further on a charge. Some people worry about range or about running out of battery power in An Inconvenient spot. The guy whose electric car goes dead while he's driving, is going to be the same guy that we see walking down the side of the highway carrying a gas can. Those people will always be with us and there's not much we can do about that. :-)
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