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bmw i3 zero emissions Q&A Review

Do you think the BMW i3 was purposely designed to be ugly as a way for those driving it to virtue-signal that they are environmental?

no I do not think it was designed for the reason you ask .bmw is a profitable auto manufacture there is no profits to be made by following a very specific movement and manufacturing a product that ruins the atmosphere ! use your common sense here ?! yes a tree hugging group of people are going to buy an automobile because of its looks ? NO they would buy it if it was zero emissions had no way of polluting the environment if crashed no fluids possibly leak causing contamination if it were to be recycled no emissions or toxins released in any stage of manufacture,owner operating it ,and the process of recycling it the same as the race car enthusiast will buy a hotrod or performance automobile if you design a purpose ugly car then naturally your nog going to sell that many if them and you wont be in business for to long ,,, car manufacturers are in business for profit not to make a message for an already tightass spend no money complain about everything and expect everything be free group of haters? my father used to say the only dumb question is the ones never asked.i think I could argue him on that these days kajeebers some of the questions here can be answered with the I.Q. of a dog turd plopped on a sidewalk ……

Why hasn't there been a car with combustion-electric transmission? This would reduce emissions as the combustion engine would only need to be optimized to perform in a narrow rpm range.

I think what you are describing does exist and is usually called a range extender hybrid. The Chevy Volt (Vauxhall Ampera) and the BMW i3 both offered this. Battery electric cars have really eclipsed these systems and regulations promoting electric cars push for zero emissions vehicles which excludes them.

Does the electric car have a future in its current form?

When you say current form, what do you mean? Internal combustion cars that depend on electricity for computerization, timing, emissions control, fuel injection, engine management, lights, starting, entertainment and safety features? Examples: every gas car built in the past 100 years. Parallel hybrid gas-electric cars that depend on batteries to give them more oomph off of the line, regenerative braking and significant range extension on a tank of gas, often plug-in overnight, and that have one drive train fully electric and another fully gas? Examples: Honda Civic Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, Lexus RX400H, BMW X5 eDrive, etc, etc, etc. Series hybrid gas-electric cars that depend on batteries to give them more oomph, regenerative braking and significant range extension on a tank of gas and typically plug-in at night, but whose gas motor is really only there to charge the batteries or provide electricity directly to the electric motors? Examples: BMW i3 with Range Extender, Fisker Karma? Hybrid sports cars that have both electric and gas motors so that they go amazingly fast, having better performance than anything else on the road? Examples: 2015 Porsche 981 Spyder with 2.2 seconds 0-60, Ferrari LaFerrari with 2.4 seconds 0.60, BMW i8. Fully electric cars that have zero emissions at all, no gas components, go like stink off of the line and have much lower complexity and maintenance than any of the above? Examples: Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model X (September 2015)? So the answer is that the first type of electrified car, the one that gets all of it's motive power solely from burning millions of year old plants doesn't have a future. Too stinky, too slow, too noisy, too inefficient, too polluting. It's going to die off. Parallel hybrids will last a few more years, but they don't make a lot of sense either. The gas engine has to have all this gearing and complexity and is always running too fast or too slow for it to be really efficient. And typically the battery range sucks. They are too heavy, complex and inefficient to last a long time. Plug in series hybrids are going to be around for quite a while. They only call on the gas motor when unusual range requirements exist, they are always full in the morning like proper electric cars, they are much quieter much more of the time, and they are less complex because you aren't trying to inefficiently match engine RPMs to wheel RPMs. They are still kind of dumb, because you could take that extra space, weight and complexity and simplify it by adding batteries and Supercharger compatibility, but there's an argument for them. Hybrid sports cars will be around for likely a shorter time than plug-in series hybrids simply because pure electric cars will surpass them soon. Already the two very fast examples aren't that much faster than a five person luxury sedan that's fully electric. When the new Tesla Roadster comes out in 2019, I suspect it will be the fastest production car to 60 ever, and likely lap the Nurburgring at exotic speeds. Pure electric cars are the current idealized form of automotive transport. They will be in use until magic happens and cars are powered by unicorn farts and rainbows. They will merely improve from the fastest luxury sedan in the world to include the fastest of every form of car. They will keep getting cheaper and cheaper and better and better, but they will still recognizably be cars with batteries and motors. Like my content? Help it spread via ,Patreon,. Get confidential consulting via ,OnFrontiers,. ,Email me, if you’d like me to write for you.

What is it like to own and drive a Tesla?

I have owned a Tesla Roadster Sport for four years, and it is my only car. Many people just garage their Tesla Roadsters and treat them as collectibles (which they are, since Tesla is no longer making them), but I drive mine every day. I have also driven the Model S extensively, though I do not own one. So I thought I would answer the question from more of an "early adopter" viewpoint, with some specifics about the Roadster. The car is a head-turner. People are always taking pictures of it; I once walked back to where it was parked and there were three middle-school boys taking selfies using it as a backdrop. Almost every day, people give me a "thumbs up" or shout "I love your car!" And I hear the same questions repeatedly, and predictably. A sample conversation: "How many miles can you go on a charge?" I tell them 240, but that Tesla is now offering an upgrade that will raise that to 400 miles and that they plan to demonstrate that by driving a Roadster from San Francisco to Los Angeles without recharging. "How long does it take to recharge?" I tell them it recharges a mile a minute, and they have to digest that. "Think of it this way: If I drive thirty miles and come home, I plug it in and in half an hour it's fully charged again. It's just like charging a cell phone." "So you have a special charging station?" "Uh, it's called a ,wall outlet,. You can use a regular 120 volt wall outlet, but the 220 volt outlet in my garage charges it faster." "Is it… ,all, electric??" This is the one that always makes me smile. People simply cannot believe that there isn't a gasoline engine in there somewhere; with many car companies building serial hybrids like the Chevy Volt and the BMW i3 and calling them "electric vehicles," I can see why there is confusion. So I point out that there is no exhaust pipe on my car. And then add, "No tune-ups. No oil changes. No smog inspections. No fuel pump or transmission to wear out." "No transmission! What do you mean, ,no transmission,?" "The motor is connected to the drive axle, and the torque curve is flat. That's why it can go from zero to sixty in 3.7 seconds. But the fun part is zero to thirty in 1.8 seconds, which looks like something out of a Road Runner cartoon, and feels like an amusement park ride." "Wait… if there's no transmission, how do you go in reverse?" "You run the motor backwards." "Oh." A few seconds pass as the questioner struggles to find a fatal flaw in the car. "But how long does the battery ,last,?" "Well, after four years I still have 90% of the original capacity. I suppose at that rate, in twenty years it will have the same range as a Nissan Leaf, but by then, replacement batteries will be much cheaper and much better than this one so I'll be glad to get a new battery." "If you charge the car off the power grid, aren't you just pushing carbon emissions upstream, back to the power plant?" "I have solar panels on my roof that are enough to power my house and recharge my car, with kilowatts to spare. And even if I didn't, the CO2 from even the dirtiest coal-powered electric generator would be far less than the amount of CO2 I would produce to go a given distance using a gasoline engine." "How fast can it go?" "It's limited by software to 150 mph, but I don't think I've ever exceeded 85 mph. Lots of cars have higher peak speeds, but you never get to use those anyway. It's the acceleration that matters, in everyday driving." It is thrilling to ride even when the speed limit is only 30 mph; I enjoy the game of ramping up to exactly the speed limit in the shortest possible time, without exceeding the limit. There is no numerical legal limit on acceleration, only on speed! And unlike a gasoline car or a hybrid, there is really no penalty for jack-rabbit starts, other than wearing out the tires more quickly. And a very funny thing often happens after I accelerate like that in city traffic when the light turns green: after a few seconds, some car like an Audi or BMW goes ,roaring, ,past me, exceeding the speed limit by at least 20 mph, as if to say, "Oh yeah? I can go fast ,too,!" And at least once, they were then pulled over by a cop. I couldn't stop laughing. If you want to go over the speed limit, you can do that in a Yugo, so I'm not impressed that they managed to catch up. A lot of what I have written applies equally to a Tesla Roadster and a Tesla Model S P85D. The difference with the Roadster is • It's very low; you ride with your butt about six inches away from the pavement, which makes it feel even faster, like riding a go-kart. • It's not sound-insulated like the Model S, so you hear more wind at high speeds (but the motor is barely audible, just a whine like that of a distant jet engine starting up). The Model S is a very refined ride, but in the Roadster, I can't really have a hands-free cell phone conversation if I'm driving. • You really feel the road, very directly. The steering is manual, not power! I have never loved a car as much as I love my Tesla Roadster.

What three cars would you buy if you have unlimited money and these would be the only cars you would ever own?

I was born to answer this question. The answer having evolved over the years into what you are about to read. So here goes… The first would be my childhood dream car. No, no! Not a Lamborghini Countach, but the svelte Porsche 959. This car was the quickest production car of its day in 1986 (albeit only for a year,thank you very much Mr F40!), gave birth to the modern hypercar and boasts statistics that still can cut it today. 2.985li Air & water cooled, flat 6cyl with twin-turbochargers and a tricky 4wd system. 331kw (444hp) 0–100km/h (0–62mph): 3.7 seconds 11.9 down the quarter mile And a top speed of 319km/h (198mph) The beauty of this car is you can park nearly anywhere and not have to worry about it being covered in lick-marks when you get back. Try that with a Lambo! My second car would be for going off the beaten track. I can tell you from experience that nothing in standard form can go where this vehicle goes so before all you Humvee / Land Rover fruit-loops start sending me Anthrax in the comments, read the the last line of this section. Presenting, the Toyota Mega Cruiser 3.0li 4cyl turbocharged diesel with independent suspension, in-board disc brakes, 4wd, 4ws and three electro-magnetic locking-differentials. No silly electronics to go wrong, just over-engineering with function over form in its execution. However, unlike its newer competitors the Toyotas reliability is second to none. Lastly, my city car. This is the vehicle which changes most often on my top-three list, sometimes from fire-breathing yet practical über-sedans (read: Merc AMG E63 or similar) to classic American or Australian Muscle. However with the advent of electric vehicles into the mainstream motoring world and the restrictions/levies on internal combustion ever tightening, my choice is based upon the above factors along with the delight of finding that number three in my list is actually a fun car to drive. I give you the BMW i3 (94ah) Made from recycled material and genuinely fresh in its design, the i3 might not be the car that embarrasses Supercars like Tesla does but it also doesn't weigh the same as an A380 either, so less wear and tear on things like the tyres, brakes or suspension components over time. If you live in an urban environment and can cough up enough coin for the initial setup required for an electric vehicle, then look no further. A 125kw electric motor with zero emissions allows the i3 to reach 100km/h in 7.3 seconds. The batteries give a range of just over 300km (186mi) and if you live in a temperate environment like I do, the sun, solar panels, a battery and a wall-charger will set you free of fuel bills. I won't get be getting any range-anxiety, because if I have to travel anywhere further, I’ll take one of the other two. So there you have it. Three vastly different cars from three different eras. If money was no object and I could never own another car, I think that with these three I’d be very content.

Electric vehicles are hideous. Why?

They used to be, this is changing. Early EVs were for early adopters. They wanted their cars to look, sound and be very different to everyone else's. They paid a lot of money for them. It was also an advert, a statement that electric vehicles can work and do work, they were plastered in Zero Emission graphics etc - “look there’s one now”. The 2011 Leaf, the BMW i3 etc. People seeing EVs driving around is one of the ways EVs become established. Another is EV chargers being very prominent. Chargers should have some sort of standardised sign they display high up, They are much less visible than petrol stations, which leads people who have not yet driven an EV to believe there aren’t many chargers about. Then EVs moved more into the mainstream. Kia, Hyundai and VW making cars that don’t look quite so radical. The more mainstream buyer wants an electric car but doesn’t necessarily want to make a big statement to everyone else. Then there are the cutting edge vehicles, the Telsa’s and even more so the Aptera’s. These are somewhat unlike cars that have gone before, they’ve done away with some of the standard features. This either catches on or it doesn’t. If what sells is the cutting edge type then that's what we are going to get more of.

How are hydrogen cell cars performing in comparison to the electric cars in Norway?

Norway has had a very successful policy of promoting zero emissions vehicles since the turn of the century. It started as a desperate attempt from the politicians to keep the struggling manufacturer of the Think City EV alive: The Think nicely wrapped everything wrong with EVs into one, tiny, plastic bodied package (oh! the panel gaps!), and obviously it failed. It was a long, drawn out failure however, and because of EU rules against favoring a single company, the policy had to apply to all zero emission cars: No 25% sales tax No registration fee (,very ,substantial in Norway) No road tax No road tolls Free public parking and EV-charging Free use of the bus lanes Despite these wonderful benefits, the tiny plastic golf cart didn’t take off. Go figure! However, in 2010 Mitsubishi introduced the iMiev. With four seats, reasonable creature comforts and a 16kW battery providing 150km of real world range in summer, it was a game changer: Initially it became popular among the well to do in Oslo’s western suburbs, who could afford to get a car specifically for the purpose of zipping past the rush hour traffic in the bus lane. For the first time EVs grabbed a measurable percentage of the car market as several thousand were sold in 2010 and 2011. Those same people soon discovered that they actually ,preferred, driving the tiny iMiev over their BMW X5 or Range Rover for most of their local driving. I live in one of those western suburbs, and the little buggers were ,everywhere,. You still needed a second car for long distance driving, however. Then, in the second half of 2011 Nissan introduced the Leaf for sale in Norway. Finally a good sized family EV with decent range. Still not enough to get to “hytta” (the traditional Norwegian mountain cabin) on weekends, but ,almost,, and certainly enough for all everyday needs. In more and more families the EV began replacing the ICE as the primary car as people realized that the EV was actually better than the old gas guzzler. Year on year the EV sales doubled. The Leaf quickly became the third most sold model in the Norwegian market. It was about this time I started thinking about an EV as a realistic option. I couldn’t afford two cars, however, and with small kids, stopping to charge on the way to our cabin was out of the question. Finally, in 2013 the launch in Europe of the Tesla Model S, combined with an extremely favorable US dollar exchange rate, brought on a perfect storm. I’d been vaguely aware of Tesla, and had read some wild claims of luxury, range and performance a few years prior, but with a government job I’d largely ignored them. I had no clue who Elon Musk was. Then I visited ,Tesla,.com and was shocked to find the cars starting at NOK 460.000. I could easily afford that, even with the options I wanted! Within a few days of a test drive I had the financing in place, and ordered one. As did ,thousands, of others. At the time it took nearly six months from order to delivery, so the big wave of Teslas didn’t hit our coasts until early 2014. In March of 2014 the Model S became the model to sell the most units of any car ,ever ,in a single month as almost 2000 were delivered (it’s since been surpassed by another EV - the VW eGolf). Now the parking lot in front of my local groceries store looks like this: Then came cars like the BMW i3, and the VW eGolf as even more affordable cars with decent range. EVs took off in a big way. The eGolf has consistently been the top selling model of any car for most of the time since its launch. After a slight dip in sales in 2016, as the market waited for new and improved models, the EV sales shot up again in 2017 to 20.9% of all cars. Estimates for 2018 show that EVs could get more than a 30% share of the market, and that if there were no supply constraints the share would be 45%. Graph showing the market share of gasoline, diesel, EV, hybrid and PHEV over the years. So where are the hydrogen cars in this story? Nowhere. In 2016 only 23 hydrogen fueled cars were sold in Norway. In 2017 the number “leaped” to 57 with the introduction of the Toyota Mirai, but so far this year only 28 have been sold. Just last week the “largest” of the two chains of hydrogen stations announced that they’re shutting down all of their five(!) filling stations. That leaves only two stations in the entire country. Hydrogen has a huge chicken and egg problem, which battery EVs simply don’t have. Hydrogen can’t be found anywhere, while electricity is everywhere. The supposed advantage of being able to fill up in a few minutes turns into a disadvantage once you realize how convenient charging at home is, and how rarely you need to charge on the road. Edit: new stats published today (Sept. 4 2018) show that pure electric now has a bigger market share than both diesel and gas! 28.6% EV vs. 21% diesel and 25.4% gas. (,Bilsalget i august,) ,One, new hydrogen car was sold in August. One.

Why are electric vehicles not built with onboard power generation sufficient to keep batteries topped up?

There are actually some electric vehicles that do so. Range extender (vehicle) - Wikipedia 2 relatively popular examples are the BMW i3 (with range extender), and the latest version of the Chevrolet Volt. In these 2 cases, there is a small engine in the vehicle that powers a small generator to keep the battery topped up. Now why aren’t all electric vehicles this way? 2 reasons: Politics. The battery electric vehicle was designed in direct opposition to the ICE vehicle market. The marketed slogan was zero emissions vehicle, and putting an ICE engine inside, no matter how small, would “betray” that principle. As a result, range extended EVs, or PHEVs have only been built and sold by ICE car companies, as a compromise between electric vehicles and the range anxiety that most faced before Tesla introduced the first long range BEV. Serial hybrids are useful in only 1 circumstance: where the vast majority of travel does not require the use of the generator. Instead of running the generator to top up the batteries, the batteries are topped up by charging points between travel, and the generator is only used in the rare cases where distances far beyond what is normally expected have to be travelled. As an illustration, suppose we compare 2 hypothetical cars used in my context. I travel approximately 50–60km a day, normally broken into 2 stretches of 20–30km per trip. On the rare occasions (maybe once a quarter), I take my family up north to Melacca or Kuala Lumpur for a weekend trip. Car A has a 100km battery range and a small engine (50hp) to extend the range to about 400–500km. Car B has a 500km battery range. The best estimation we have for a battery pack plus its associated systems is approximately ,$250/kWh, (though Elon Musk’s later estimate puts it at closer to ,$500/kWh,). Using 0.2kWh/km estimate based on Tesla’s 500km range for the 100D, 100km range battery costs $5k, while the 500km ranged battery costs $25k. Even if we simply slap the 20kWh battery on a civic, the total cost would still be lower than just the battery on a 100D. On the other hand, the use case that I mentioned is rather specific to urban city dwellers. 80% of urban city dwellers live in apartments whose carpark do not belong to them. The chance of their carpark lot having a charging point is rather low, and there would not be much chance to charge from an outlet. So why not have an electric vehicle that is only charged by its onboard generator? Electric transmission is actually rather lossy compared to a mechanical transmission. While the main losses from a mechanical transmission is sound and heat from small amounts of ,hysteresis,. Electric transmission losses come from the alternator, the rectifier, the battery storage, the invertor, and finally the motor. This can lead to as much as 10–15% losses, compared to the 2–3% in a mechanical transmission. The advantages of electrical transmission is then applied to its ability to store electricity at slower speeds, when the gearing ratio is less efficient. At highway speeds, however, an overdrive geared mechanical transmission is significantly more efficient. To account for this, Honda’s hybrid ,i-MMD, runs largely as a serial hybrid, but then clutches in the engine at highway speeds. In fact, most hybrid cars that expect to use its engine relatively frequently allow for the engine to directly drive the wheels at highway speeds.

Why have some major car manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz taken much longer to adopt hybrid and electrical vehicles compared to Toyota or BMW?

Toyota developed the Prius in the mid1990’s when the whole industry was expecting limitations in regards of the carbon footprint of cars. In 1996, Mercedes did two things: They launched the A class with its sandwich body. The car hit the market in 1997 and was Mercedes’ first passenger car with front wheel drive and their first compact minivan. The sandwich body as meant to store energy cells fro alternative drivetrains such as batteries or hydrogen tanks. In 1997, Mercedes presented an electric prototype, powered by the so called ZEBRA battery: And they introduced the Smart The Smart was the result of a joint venture between Nicolas Hayek (Inventor of the Swatch wristwatch) and Mercedes. Here you can see an early prototype of the so called MCC (Microcar concept): And this is how the Smart looked like which hit the market in 1998 (one year after the first Prius was released): It is important to know that both car concepts were developed with the idea to build them with sveral drivetrain options. However, the US law which would have forced the manufacturers to launch zero emission vehicles was waived. Mercedes initially exported neither the A class nor the Smart to the U.S., and they decided that it would be too expensive to offer them with electric powertrains. In Europe the environmental focus during that time was different than in the U.S.. Most European manufacturers put great efforts on making their cars more and more fuel efficient. By the end of the 1990’s in Germany car buyers got a tax return when they bought a car with a nominal fuel consumption of less than 3 liter per 100 km (78.4 MPG). There were only three cars which qualified for that, the VW Lupo 1.4 TDI 3L and the Audi A2 1.4 TDI 3L (they both basically had the same drivetrain) - and the Smart CDI. Toyota Hybrids suffered from a big deal of prejudices. Besides that, German car makers put great efforts on making even more efficient Turbodiesel engines. Outsides Europe, Toyota has never put much efforts on Diesel engines, but as a matter of fact, a Prius isn’t more fule efficient than an optimized Turbodiesel. Volkswagen launched the Golf Ecomatic in 1995, it was a Golf with Turbodiesel engine and semi-automatic gearbox, which would disengange and switch off the engine as often as possible. This car was awkward to drive, but it would burn considerable less fuel than a Prius. However: The Ecomatic Stuff made the car some 15% more expensive, and most clients did not want to buy it. In fact, all German car manufacturers made an abundant number of prototypes of all kinds. powered by batteries, by natural gas or by nitrogen. Audi launched its first Hybrid prototype in 1989(!), but it remained a prototype, based on an Audi 100 Avant. In 1996, Audi introduced the third generation of its Diesel Hybrid cars, the Audi A4 Duo: It was the first Hybrid car you could buy, but it was excessively expensive, so only 90 units were made. It was a Plugin Hybrid with Diesel engine and regenerative breaking. So, as a matter of fact: Toyota wasn’t the first company to sell Hybrids;-) The Idea of fully electric cars was drawn back by the absence of a suitable battery. It took us until the first years of the new millennium until lithium batteries seemed to be the way to go. Tesla presented its first lithium cell powered car in 2008. Its first car which they made in significant numbers was presented in 2012 and went into production in early 2013. During that time, both Toyota and Mercedes had a share of 10% each of Tesla. In 2015 (two years after the Tesla S), Mercedes launched the B250e, a minivan powered by a Tesla motor and Tesla batteries: Toyota also made some tests with Tesla batteries and made some RAV4 SUVs with electric drive. Meanwhile, BMW had started to develop electric drivetrains. They built a series of about 1,200 units of the so called BMW Active E: These cars were built between 2011 and 2012, never sold but mostly given into carsharing pools. The research which was done during this project lead to the development of the BMW i3, which was introduced to the public in late 2013 and hit the market in 2014. In 2015, Mercedes started to sell its first Hybrid cars, the C 350 e (also available as E-Class), not later than BMW, which began shipping their first X5 plugin Hybrids in late 2015. These cars were Plugin Hybrids, and it took Toyota until 2016, until they introduced a Plugin Hybrid version of the Prius. The perception that “this or that company” did not adopt some technology, while others did, is mainly wrong. All major car makers invested massive amounts of money in order to develop everything you can imagine. Mercedes introcuced its first fuel cell powered vehicle in 1991 (!) and made several thousand fuel cell cars o the A- and B class. However, they only used them for field tests. Officially they never sold one single car.

Will Euro 6 be the last emission norm or will it keep moving like Euro 7, Euro 8, Euro 9, etc.?

Euro 6 will not be the last. I think that symbolically Euro 10 (or maybe it will be called Euro 0 to represent ultimate success) will be the last one. I'm pretty sure that Euro 7 will not be reachable without any brake energy recuperation (aka oldschool hybrid vehicle) and that Euro 8 will not be reachable without plugging in the vehicle to recharge. And Euro 10 (or 0) will only work with Zero Emission vehicles (like any EV today excluding EV-s with range extenders like BMW i3 REx).

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