Dutch venture plans cheap, powerful electric cars


Praxius
#1


http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNew...2?s_name=Autos

Quote:

SHAH ALAM, Malaysia -- A Dutch-based company announced plans Tuesday to produce affordable electric cars by the end of 2009, promising they will be much more powerful than existing models and have zero emissions.


Detroit Electric is in negotiations with Malaysia's national auto maker, Proton, to produce the car in this Southeast Asian nation and is also talking to a German and a U.S. carmaker, said the company's chief executive, Albert Lam. He declined to name the companies.


"We believe in affordable electric vehicles for the public. That is our dream ... to find innovative ways to counter global warming," Lam told a news conference before journalists test drove a sports car, a sedan and a subcompact car fitted with Detroit Electric's technology.


Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi drove the sedan Sunday when he arrived at a National Day parade - which officials called a testament of the government's commitment to finding green alternatives to tackle rising fuel prices.


Lam said the car will use lithium ion batteries and a motor developed in-house.


"When people tell you it (an electric car) is not practical, that it runs at a slow speed and you can't charge it, that is not true," Lam said at Proton's test track in central Shah Alam city.


An Associated Press journalist who drove the sports car felt it zoom from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in less than five seconds, comparable to gasoline-powered sports cars.


Most electric cars developed so far are quite a bit heavier than regular cars, weighed down by their battery and motor, which limits their acceleration.


Existing models were used for the demonstration - the sports car was a modified Lotus - but will create their own designs and market the vehicles under the Detroit Electric brand - named after a now-defunct U.S. company that produced electric cars in 1907. Lam bought the rights to the name to restore its historical legacy.


Detroit Electric's chief scientist, Frits van Breemen-Schneider, who invented the motor, said it is four to 12 times lighter than existing motors and has a much higher power-to-weight ratio. It can produce 5 kilowatts of power per kilogram, whereas the best electric car in existence can only produce 0.25 kilowatts per kilogram, he said.


The $24,000 price tag of the car will be more expensive than conventional vehicles in Malaysia, though the additional expense would be offset by fuel savings. The car battery will have a life span of 200,000 kilometers.


The company is majority owned by Lam, a British citizen, and has entered into a partnership with several Dutch, American and Malaysian investors with an investment of about $300 million over the next five years.


They are targeting about 30,000 vehicles worldwide within the first year, ramping up to 270,000 vehicles in the third year.


The cars will have a range of about 200 miles on a full charge after keeping them plugged to an ordinary electric power outlet for seven to eight hours.


Lam acknowledged a major challenge would be to set up battery charging stations throughout the country for long distance travel, but expressed confidence it can be done at least in Malaysia because of the government's backing.


"It is about conviction. If you're an early adapter, there will be some inconveniences, but I'm sure that in two to three years, there will a comprehensive infrastructure for fast charging," Lam said.


The Dutch government has given incentives to electric cars, including free parking.


"It is great news that Detroit Electric is practically ready to produce a car that has zero emission," said Jan Soer, the Netherlands' deputy ambassador in Malaysia. "All the technology came from the Netherlands. We are very proud of our tulips, our windmills and our wooden shoes, but we are more than that."

Man, i'd love to have an electric Lotus that goes from 0 - 100kph in 5 seconds..... Wooo weee.... *slaps cowboy hat on knee*

But seriously, I'd buy one. I guess it might not be a Lotus in the final design, but if they had an electric Lotus for sale, I'd snag one.
 
#juan
#2
I'll believe in these cars when I see them. Somebody has been in the news with a world-beating electric car at least four times in as many years but so far.........no car.
 
lone wolf
#3
How much is a new battery? 200 k isn't a lot of mileage in Canadian driving....

A little less promise and a whole lot more car would make a world of difference.
 
#juan
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by lone wolf View Post

How much is a new battery? 200 k isn't a lot of mileage in Canadian driving....

A little less promise and a whole lot more car would make a world of difference.

That would be a commuter's car. Not a "sport's Car" With electric cars, the faster you go, the shorter your range..
 
Lester
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan View Post

I'll believe in these cars when I see them. Somebody has been in the news with a world-beating electric car at least four times in as many years but so far.........no car.

Hi Juan, It seems Tesla Motors is doing quite well having sold out 2008 models and now taking reservations into 2009- here's their link http://www.teslamotors.com/learn_more/faqs.php
 
L Gilbert
#6
Jeeez. In the rural areas of BC you can't really go all that fast anyway. I like the idea of electric cars as long as you don't recharge them from the grid (solar panels are cool). It's so nice around here, we rarely want to go far anyway.
I like a couple of Tesla's cars.
This:


over this:

anyday.
Last edited by L Gilbert; Sep 2nd, 2008 at 11:21 AM..
 
#juan
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Lester View Post

Hi Juan, It seems Tesla Motors is doing quite well having sold out 2008 models and now taking reservations into 2009- here's their link http://www.teslamotors.com/learn_more/faqs.php

Lester these cars are a hundred and ten thousand dollars each. They are rich men's toys.
 
Praxius
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan View Post

That would be a commuter's car. Not a "sport's Car" With electric cars, the faster you go, the shorter your range..

That's not really any different then combustion cars, as the faster you go, the more gas you burn.

And the development of electrical cars has been pretty crappy, mostly because the interest in the market just hasn't been there and everybody is used to having combustion vehicles.... it's not suprising that most feel that electric cars will never cut it, or not in our near distant lifetimes.

Don't forget that electric cars were the most popular prior to Ford putting out the gas powered car, which cost much less due to many factors, such as production, etc..... then the technology died for decades. If Electric had the time to develop as much as the gas powered vehicles, then we'd probably be seeing a different story today in regards to electric.

For years now, we've been told that electric cars could never match the power and speeds that fossil driven cars can make..... but I beg to differ.

All in all, if electic cars become available in the mainstream, charging stations are more available for them, they can get good speeds on the highways and their price is reasonable, I'll be getting one.
 
L Gilbert
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan View Post

Lester these cars are a hundred and ten thousand dollars each. They are rich men's toys.

Seems to me that when dvd burners came out they were like $400 or something. Now, you can get them for something like $30.
 
Praxius
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

Seems to me that when dvd burners came out they were like $400 or something. Now, you can get them for something like $30.

Exactly.... through demand, comes better development and lower costs. I remember when I first went to college, having burners in the classroom was a cool thing.... even though they were $350 external 1x burners that took just about all day to get one disc and all your files actually put on without errors..... and for the love of God, you had to make sure you didn't tap the damn thing.

Actually you can get a pretty good CD/DVD RW Burner for about $30 these days, as I don't remember the last time I seen just a CD Burner for sale. And with Blueray coming out on the newer systems, I imagine those are gonna drop even more or phased out altogether. (Re-read, saw you mentioned DVD not CD.... I stand corrected, but message remains the same)

BTW: (Genral question to anybody) what's the average price of a Blueray drive these days? Check it in 5 years and tell me again.
Last edited by Praxius; Sep 2nd, 2008 at 12:01 PM..
 
#juan
#11
The cost of a DVD burner is not relevant. This is a hundred and ten thousand dollar electric car. At this point I don't know how many of these cars are being built but I have loads of questions. I read somewhere that the battery is good for a hundred thousand miles and a new battery will cost $17,000.00. It just doesn't seem like common sense to pour this kind of money into a car that probably won't go 200 km on a charge. The car is pollution free but the battery charge, and the building of the car could be anything.. I would rather have a hybrid and see a lot more research into electric cars.
 
L Gilbert
#12
And I would rather have a nuclear generating steam-propelled car.
BTW, apparently you missed the point of the dvd burner comment if you think it's irrelevant.
 
TenPenny
#13
It would be no problem to build a cheap electric vehicle.

It just might be a problem to build one that would work in our climate, and would meet our safety standards. Considering that every time a tire blows out, or grandma gets run over by a drunk, people line up to sue the car manufacturers, I don't know why anybody thinks we can get a cheap car.
 
#juan
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by L Gilbert View Post

And I would rather have a nuclear generating steam-propelled car.
BTW, apparently you missed the point of the dvd burner comment if you think it's irrelevant.

I don't think I missed the point. DVD burners became much more economical as more of them were built. In the case of the electric car, they don't get all that much cheaper. I would guess that with improved manufacturing techniques the cost might come down to maybe 80 percent of the cost of the prototype run but that is still $88,000.00 plus tax.........Don't get me wrong. I want there to be electric cars. I just think that for the next while, hybrids are the way to go.
 
Unforgiven
#15
So how the hell do you pump Dre Dre and Snoop out the 4500 watt subs and street race all night when you have to plug it in every twenty minutes?
 
#juan
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Unforgiven View Post

So how the hell do you pump Dre Dre and Snoop out the 4500 watt subs and street race all night when you have to plug it in every twenty minutes?

That is a good question Alistair, but I don't know the answer....

The Toyota Camry hybrid will get you close to sixty mpg on the highway or in town and so will just about all other hybrids, and you don't have to plug them in. My son is a physicist and he assures me that battery powered cars will come but they are not here yet *. In the meantime we can cut our gas consumption just about in half with few penalties.......Why not?..

* Actually, my son says that if humans were smarter, we could drive electric cars now, but, unfortunately, there are those who still want fast cars and slow women.....We need to reverse that... .
 
Praxius
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan View Post

I don't think I missed the point. DVD burners became much more economical as more of them were built. In the case of the electric car, they don't get all that much cheaper. I would guess that with improved manufacturing techniques the cost might come down to maybe 80 percent of the cost of the prototype run but that is still $88,000.00 plus tax.........Don't get me wrong. I want there to be electric cars. I just think that for the next while, hybrids are the way to go.

Well you gotta start somewhere, and chances are, Hybrids will be the main focal point for the next little while until Electric cars do become mainstream.

It was only a few decades ago when a family could barely afford just one gas-powered vehicle due to their cost.... then they dropped in price due to various development reasons..... put the same development into Electric cars, and they will drop in cost as well.

How expensive were computers way back in the day? How much was a Commadore 64?

Heck I just bought a new computer, the last one I had was top of the line and cost me over $1000..... this one I have now has 4 CPU's in the bloddy thing, out does the old system I had, and it was only 2/3's the price of what I paid for my old one.... and that was just in the span of 6-7 years.
 
L Gilbert
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan View Post

I don't think I missed the point. DVD burners became much more economical as more of them were built. In the case of the electric car, they don't get all that much cheaper. I would guess that with improved manufacturing techniques the cost might come down to maybe 80 percent of the cost of the prototype run but that is still $88,000.00 plus tax.........Don't get me wrong. I want there to be electric cars. I just think that for the next while, hybrids are the way to go.

Well, that's your opinion and I can respect that, but for our needs, spending $5000 or $6000 to convert one of our vehicles to strictly electric is better than spending 10s of thousands on a hybrid. As I said we rarely travel more than 1 or 200 km. The huge majority of our travel is between here and town which is about 35 km.
 
Tonington
#19
Well, you can't get around expensive new cars like electrics and plug-in-hybrids when they're brand new on the production lines. You need years of selling these things before economies of scale can make them an affordable option for many people.

As it stands now, Honda is pretty much the only major manufacturer that is not in the process of producing plug-ins. Then there are many manufacturers investing in straight electric vehicles.
 
B00Mer
#20
I like the Air Car... http://www.theaircar.com

That's right, a car that runs on compressed air, and works!!
 
sirlorenzo
#21
As soon as they solve the cold climate problem with the batteries, I would love to buy an electric car. Not to mention living in the city would be much more bearable. Less noise and less pollution.
 
AnnaG
#22
Solar panel on roof with a solar-powered blanket wrap. Toss the thing on your roof when you park and plug it into the thing for the aircompressor, car vacuum, etc. They can insulate the battery compartments, too.
 
darkbeaver
#23
Cheap, reliable, long lasting consumer products.Where do you live? These are alien words to the capitalists. Kill them first and we might have good transportation.
 

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