Nissan hopes zero-emission Leaf will electrify drivers

Dec 02, 2010 by Hiroshi Hiyama
The Nissan Leaf electric car during a press preview at the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles, California in November 2010. Billed as the world's first mass-production electric car, the Nissan Leaf due to be launched this month is expected to send a jolt through an auto industry racing to build greener vehicles.

Billed as the world's first mass-produced electric car, this month's launch of the Nissan Leaf is expected to send a jolt through an auto industry racing to build greener vehicles.

The Leaf -- short for Leading Environmentally-friendly Affordable Family car -- has enjoyed a crescendo of industry buzz, last month becoming the first electric vehicle to win European Car of the Year.

The fulcrum of Nissan's green ambitions, the mid-sized five-seat hatchback is already a sell-out in Japan and the United States on pre-orders and is set to launch in Europe early next year.

Nissan is expected to announce the date of its Japan launch on Friday, with all eyes on whether the automaker's big bet will herald the readiness of electric vehicles to hog the middle of the road.

"The Leaf will serve as a standard, a benchmark, for other manufacturers when they build new electric vehicles," said Mamoru Kato, auto analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center.

Emitting none of the tailpipe pollutants that have covered skies over cities from Los Angeles to Mumbai in smog, the all-electric Leaf is touted as an evolutionary step from petrol-electric hybrids made by the likes of Toyota.

It and other electric vehicles' is instead determined by the way its battery is charged -- meaning it can effectively be powered by anything from fossil fuel or nuclear plants to hydro, wind or solar energy.

Despite the development of being constrained by issues over whether sufficiently large networks of re-charging stations exist worldwide, the Leaf has caught the imagination.

The first US shipment has sold out, Nissan said, with the company having received 20,000 orders and separately at least 6,000 more orders in Japan.

Nissan, controlled by French partner Renault, started of the Leaf in October in Japan and plans to expand production in North America in 2012 and in Europe in 2013.

"This is a significant milestone, not only for Nissan and the Renault-Nissan alliance, but also for the entire automotive industry," Nissan President Carlos Ghosn said at an October ceremony marking the start of production.

The Leaf can top 145 kilometres (90 miles) per hour and can manage 175 kilometres on a single eight-hours charge. For those in a hurry, it can be rapid-charged to 80 percent of capacity in 30 minutes.

By 2020, Nissan predicts, electric cars will account for 10 percent of the global auto market.

American research firm J.D. Power and Associates estimates combined global sales of hybrid and electric vehicles to total 5.2 million units in 2020, 7.3 percent of the global auto market.

But it also warns the current demand for hybrid and is "over-hyped", adding that the firm did not expect "a mass migration to green vehicles in the coming decade".

The Nissan Leaf electric vehicle during a press day at the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles, California in November 2010. Nissan is expected to announce the date of its Japan launch on Friday, with all eyes on whether the automaker's big bet will herald the readiness of electric vehicles to hog the middle of the road.

But the concept of a car that can be charged like a cellphone by plugging it into a wall socket, preferably during overnight off-peak hours, is appealing in the face of volatile petrol prices.

Nissan estimates the cost of a battery charge for the Leaf to be only 13 percent of gasoline cost for conventional autos.

Despite a price tag of 3.76 million yen (44,700 dollars) in Japan, likely tax breaks and other incentives for green vehicles are expected to reduce that price, analysts say.

The Leaf is not the first electric vehicle to hit Japanese streets, and will face challenges from rivals such as Mitsubishi Motors' "i-MiEV" minicar.

Toyota, which has for more than a decade sold petrol-electric hybrids such as the Prius, aims to launch its own electric car by 2012 but has put its immediate focus on new hybrid models.

Honda's hybrid Fit went on sale in Japan in October as the cheapest petrol-electric car available in the nation at 1.59 million yen.

Last month US giant GM unveiled the battery-powered Chevrolet Volt combining electric power with a gasoline-powered engine/generator.

But the Leaf's advantage, say analysts, lies in its roomy comfort in addition to the silent and powerful performance that has won it rave reviews.

Last month it became the first electric vehicle to receive the 2011 European Car of the Year award, speeding ahead of rival nominees Alfa Romeo Giulietta and Opel/Vauxhall Meriva.

"In spite of the lack of a large recharging network and the limited range, the Leaf represents a technical and commercial bet that might otherwise satisfy many potential consumers, especially where public incentives will come to reduce the paying price," the award jury said in a statement.

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Eikka
2.7 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2010
can manage 175 kilometres on a single eight-hours charge


No, it won't.

The Leaf's battery is only 24 kWh of which only 80% is usable to account for the fact that the battery ages faster if your Depth of Discharge is 100%.

With 19.2 kWh on the tap, you are lucky to reach 100 kilometers, and if your car is as aerodynamically efficient as a Lotus Elise (or Tesla Roadster), it will go 76.8 miles or 123 kilometers at 250 Wh/mi. That's a far cry from 175 km.

Even with the full 24 kWh available to use, which would rapidly ruin the battery if done repeatedly, it would reach 154 km on average.

Stop lying to the public.
Eikka
2.7 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2010
I put my criticism of infrastructure not on today's electric cars with their tiny batteries, but on the future electric car that should have 50 kWh or more in the battery so you can actually go somewhere.

24 kWh is barely enough to visit the next small town and come back, and you might have to recharge half way if the weather is bad. In larger cities, you might not even be able to get out of the city before you have to turn back.

So then, taking these bigger batteries of 50+ kWh, you see that quick charging them starts to consume ridiculous amounts of power. To do it in 30 minutes you need more than 100 kW of power from the station. How are you going to wire that up safely? Every time you halve the charging time, you double the power. Pretty soon you need a dedicated power plant next to the charging station if there's more than 1-2 customers at a time.

And you can't fill your battery at home in a single night anymore. A 16 Amp 230 volt outlet gives you about 24 kWh in 8 hours.
Eikka
2.7 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2010
Although one might argue that we could simply install bigger circuit breakers and draw 32 amps, or 62 amps or whatever, it creates another huge problem.

People tend to use their cars at the same time, and plug their cars in at the same time. At 6-8 in the morning, they unplug and drive to work, and at 15-17 they drive home and plug in.

And that means a massive surge in demand given that each car is allowed to draw several kilowatts of power, and there's hundreds of thousands of cars, even millions at some point. Even on a regular 16 Amp circuit, it's the same as putting three kettles to boil.

So you have to regulate when people are Allowed to charge their cars and how much, so you don't bring the local grid down every day after work. I don't think that's a very good selling point for a car - charge when your government gives you the permission.
Bob_Kob
4.2 / 5 (6) Dec 02, 2010
How many times do you honestly drive 100 Kms in a single trip? Seriously. You guys are totally ignoring the market for these cars. City driving. Small trips.

When you park your car, you charge it up. Theres no need to give it a huge battery if you can just charge it along the way.
Eikka
2.7 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2010
And battery swap schemes are in my opinion even more ludicurous.

Take the fact that batteries can't be recharged instantly. That means the swapping station has to have as many batteries in stock as they expect customers arriving in whatever time it takes to recharge an empty battery.

So, 1 hour to charge, 20 customers per peak hour, 20 batteries required. Multiply that by the number of swapping stations required, and you got much more batteries than you have cars on the roads, and one battery in each car, and every single one of those batteries is going to cost ten grand or more.

Having more batteries per car means that it is no longer economical to drive electric, even if the electricity itself cost nothing, because the batteries themselves don't last forever and they have to be scrapped much earlier due to liability issues. Batteries are not like propane bottles that hold the same amount of gas regardless of age.
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2010
How many times do you honestly drive 100 Kms in a single trip? Seriously.


Frequently. It's only half an hour drive to go 50 km one way.

And seeing how you can't get much more than 15 km worth of charge per hour from an ordinary socket, I would have to stop for at least an hour for every 8 kilometers beyond 50km that I travel in one go to still be able to get back, even if I'm just dropping a friend to the airport or saying hello to granny.
Eikka
2.3 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2010
And the fourth complaint that I have is that electric cars are a big flip of the finger for the poor people, and turn cars into disposable toys for the rich.

Take a 8-9 year old Japanese car, costs you about €2000, doesn't consume much fuel and doesn't require much maintenance. Cheap to drive, cheap to own, and you can save money by not driving very much.

Take a 5-6 year old electric car. The battery is bust, the car is practically worthless and extremely cheap, but you have to buy a €9000 battery for it, and that's already half the current market price, and it doesn't get cheaper than that for decades to come.

Second hand sales of electric cars will not exist because of that, and as a consequence, the cars will not be made to last beyond the first owner. Why use rust proof paint, when the car will be squeezed into a cube by the time rust would become a problem?
AkiBola
2 / 5 (2) Dec 02, 2010
Until they can recharge elecric cars in 5 minutes, like filling a gas car, they will not capture significant market share. Now they are new and trendy and superficially green (electricity from burning coal LOL) but once the honeymoon is over, they don't fit the needs of most drivers. The Volt is a much better compromise, at too high a cost for now but it's normal for early adopters to pay a premium. The plug in Prius will validate the Volt and competition will drive down costs. The plug in hybrids should dominate the market until super fast recharge high capacity batteries come along. Even then, unless we get fusion power or more efficient solar energy capture, there is still the problem of how to produce the electricity in a clean and renewable way. Burning coal or oil to generate electricity is for now a necessary evil but long term foolish.
david_42
4.8 / 5 (5) Dec 02, 2010
This technology is fine for the average metroburb dweller. My wife rarely puts more than 20 km on her car in a day. My diesel van can handle long trips. Most of the comments I see on electric technology display an enormous ignorance of the actual day-to-day usage of cars for a large percentage of people. If one of you can do better, please do so.
Joseph0218
2 / 5 (2) Dec 02, 2010
I agree with Eikka on most points (except flipping the finger to the poor), but that in now way decreases my enthusiam at the electric cars coming out. It is definitely a step in the right direction. The shortcomings will be resolved in time.
John_balls
1.7 / 5 (3) Dec 02, 2010
I agree with Eikka on most points (except flipping the finger to the poor), but that in now way decreases my enthusiam at the electric cars coming out. It is definitely a step in the right direction. The shortcomings will be resolved in time.

That speaks volumes about your intellect. Most of his points are actually mute.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Dec 02, 2010
That speaks volumes about your intellect. Most of his points are actually mute.


You mean moot? Fine, let's discuss about it then: how do you propose pushing 50 kWh into a battery safely and reliably, in 10-15 minutes?

My wife rarely puts more than 20 km on her car in a day. My diesel van can handle long trips


That's right, electric cars are great for the middle class who can afford to have a daddy's car, a mommy's car and a third car for the junior so he wouldn't drain the batteries on mommy's car by blasting the stereos. Daddy drives diesel, mommy goes to work on a G-Wiz.

For everybody else except the well-off, a single car often has to do both the long and the short distance service.
ontheinternets
3 / 5 (2) Dec 02, 2010
Battery swapping stations would work. There have been many times in life and work when people (often very bright) suggest that something isn't possible.. but ultimately, it turns out that the details and possibilities just haven't yet been imagined -- but a few have somewhat imagined it and haven't nailed the details yet, and it will become apparent once you start to try. For a start, they can immediately start recharging empty batteries when they come in. Or, consider that FedEx was considered a pipedream before it existed. If the station can't cope with the necessary charging for some reason, who says that shipments of charged batteries can't arrive each day? Hundreds of thousands of businesses around the world rely on this sort of constant resupply, and it hasn't stopped them.
ontheinternets
2.5 / 5 (2) Dec 02, 2010
If there does turn out to be a problem with battery swapping, I predict that it will be due to corporate warfare (and not technical issues). Perhaps they will waste time failing to come up with a standard, and the big players will try to promote their own proprietary batteries. It may appear to some that it's a technical problem.
Eikka
3.5 / 5 (2) Dec 02, 2010
who says that shipments of charged batteries can't arrive each day?


Are you insane?

You might as well run your car on AA cells for that matter. Have you any idea how much that number of batteries would cost, and how it would be reflected in the price of driving?

The whole problem is that the stockpiles of batteries grows too huge to be economical. Let's take the UK for example. There's 11000 filling statios, and each of them would need as many batteries as they can expect to serve in a single day. Undoubtedly there would have to be even more of them, since the electric car would need service more often than the regular car.

That's millions of batteries on top of the existing millions of batteries already in the cars, and on top of the millions of batteries that are being charged in the mean while, and each costs thousands of pounds.

Who's gonna pay that?
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2010
Or even in the small scale, if you have one car with one battery, another one waiting you at the charging station, and a third one being slowly charged, that's three batteries per one electric car, and each of those batteries will only last you a few years because lithium batteries are chemically unstable.

Which means that you're paying the price of three batteries to drive the kilometers of one battery, when the price of even one battery is a huge problem because they're way too expensive.
Roj
1 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2010
The greatest threat from Nissan / Renault & earlier Tesla is factory direct sales without dealerships. Plug-in orders sold out globally, without a single dealership ad cluttering up my newspaper, TV or radio waves.

Dealers and advertising media have good reason to be threatened by factory-direct sales, since their blood is in the water, and the constant drone of this middle man was eliminated by Nissan.

Further, electrical utilities generate revenue from increased demand, and are more than willing to increase infrastructure before their competitors can.
Roj
not rated yet Dec 02, 2010
Further, electrical utilities generate revenue from increased demand, and are more than willing to increase infrastructure before their competitors can.

When larger batteries need to be engineered, chargers can use any combination of boost transformer & parallel-charging cells. 38.4kWh with #2/0cu feeders to garage sub panels are common in North America, under NFPA 70, 310.15(B)(6).

These 200A residential upgrades are bidding near U$D1200 in the Los Angeles basin, and that was subsidized by anyone who purchased a plug-in this year. Toss in car pool access for single drivers and buyers commute time is halved.
Roj
not rated yet Dec 02, 2010
The question is, how are gas utilities competing for this projected energy market. In Europe natural gas runs Sterling engines for cogeneration & HVAC in dwelling and marine applications, while in North American Sempra is subsidizing fuel-cell stacks for buildings as small as 5kWh. Natural-gas charging stations for hybrids running micro turbines, or fuel-cell power plants are also available.

No dealership lobby or gas-guzzling, big-oil campaign has stopped innovation from shifting the transportation sector away from petrol, and every energy company is scrambling for a piece of the action.
Skepticus
1 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2010
I have an idea that eliminates the complain about the electrical load on the grid once everyone goes home and plug in to recharge their plug-in electric car: Sell the plugin electric cars with a home charger using the same efficient engine-generator setup of the best hybrid car on the market-running on gas instead of electric grid. The emission overall will not be much different to the amount of the generators-chargers on board hybrid vehicles emitted running on the road. Just make sure your garages are well ventilated!
Oldave
not rated yet Dec 03, 2010
@Eikka

----------------------------------------------------
Take a 5-6 year old electric car. The battery is bust, the car is practically worthless and extremely cheap, but you have to buy a €9000 battery for it, and that's already half the current market price, and it doesn't get cheaper than that for decades to come.
----------------------------------------------------

In a word, no. My 8 year old Prius has never had a battery replacement, still reaches a full charge and I run it over mountainous roads in New England through harsh winters. Your assumptions re: battery life are based on old data. New technology has allowed greater battery life as well as extended travel distance. I've experienced it, both in a hybrid (my own) as well as in all-electric conversions. Be wary of your source material, there are many in the petroleum industry who do not relish the success of the electric vehicle.
Oldave
not rated yet Dec 03, 2010
----------------------------------------------------
Take a 5-6 year old electric car. The battery is bust, the car is practically worthless and extremely cheap, but you have to buy a €9000 battery for it, and that's already half the current market price, and it doesn't get cheaper than that for decades to come.
----------------------------------------------------

In a word, no. My 8 year old Prius has never had a battery replacement, still reaches a full charge and I run it over mountainous roads in New England through harsh winters. Your assumptions re: battery life are based on old data. New technology has allowed greater battery life as well as extended travel distance. I've experienced it, both in a hybrid (my own) as well as in all-electric conversions. Be wary of your source material, there are many in the petroleum industry who do not relish the success of the electric vehicle.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Dec 04, 2010
My 8 year old Prius has never had a battery replacement, still reaches a full charge


That's because your Prius has a NiMH battery instead of a lithium battery. It's nice for a hybrid, but the energy density isn't nearly enough for a full electric vehicle.

NiMH or NiCD, or NiFE are pretty bombproof as battery chemistries go, but they simply weigh too much.

The Chevrolet Volt has a 16 kWh lithium battery, and the only reason they can assure that it lasts 10 years is because they're actually using only 8 kWh before the gasoline engine turns on. That puts very little wear on the battery, and even though it does lose capacity steadily, it won't show up.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Dec 04, 2010
Further, electrical utilities generate revenue from increased demand, and are more than willing to increase infrastructure before their competitors can.


Electric utilities like increased demand, but only if it is steady demand. Ramping power up and down costs them money and decreases the production efficiency, and wears down the machinery.

Giving a large amount of ordinary households 200 Amp outlets is a guarantee that when the people do plug in at the same time, the resulting demand peak will be absolutely devastating. The system doesn't scale up as far as the infrastructure goes.

If each charger can draw 20 kW, then you only need 50 cars at the same time and you have to turn on an entire power station, and that's going to be a diesel or gas powered peaking plant because nobody else can do it quick enough. 50 000 cars charging together would equal an entire nuclear power plant's output, and there's more than 25 million cars on the roads in the UK.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Dec 04, 2010
Another way of looking at the problem is, that if you pour a (US) gallon of gasoline into your car in 30 seconds, what you are actually doing is transferring energy at a rate of 4 Megawatts.

An ordinary wall socket with a 10 Amp fuse will give you about 2 Kilowatts to be on the safe side, or 2000 times less energy per second.

That's the scale of the problem we're dealing with here. The grid systems around the world simply aren't built to deal with the sort of surges in demand that the electric car will make if we even try to approach the same level of usability as with the internal combustion engine.

Any attempt to solve the power problem will lead us to intermediate accumulators for energy, which will in turn blow up the cost of the whole thing and lead to more inefficiencies due to various back and forth conversions of energy.

The other solution is heavy regulation and iron fist control over where and when you are allowed to charge and how much.
Newbeak
not rated yet Dec 05, 2010
"Any attempt to solve the power problem will lead us to intermediate accumulators for energy, which will in turn blow up the cost of the whole thing and lead to more inefficiencies due to various back and forth conversions of energy".

Okay,granted that the utilities would be swamped by millions of electrics charging at once.
However,you have to factor in the fact that adoption of electrics will be a gradual process.As they become more common,I predict there would be a movement towards decentralized power generation.Individual homes would have,in place of the current furnace in the cellar,a natural gas powered co-generation unit providing power and heat.These systems are only a year or two away from availability.See:
http://www.cogenm...lect=162
http://www.whispe...in/HOME/
http://www.engadg...e-video/

Eikka
not rated yet Dec 05, 2010
Individual homes would have,in place of the current furnace in the cellar,a natural gas powered co-generation unit providing power and heat.


If you're going to run the car on natural gas anyways, why on earth would you want the expensive and wasteful battery system in between? Just build a cheap hybrid car that runs on the same gas that is piped to your house. You'll solve the range and recharge time problem at the same time.

Cogeneration of heat is a red herring, because to produce 25 kWh of electricity for driving, you will produce 50 kWh of heat, which is the same as running a 2 kW space heater all day long non-stop. Pretty soon your house will be too hot and you'll have to waste the extra heat by venting it out.

And in the meanwhile, your electric car will need a small diesel burner to keep the windows clear in the winter, because using battery power for heating cuts 20% off of your already limited range.
Eikka
not rated yet Dec 05, 2010
And moreso, if you expect to generate 25 kWh of electricity in an hour, there's simply no place in a home where you could put the 50 kW heating power except outside through a chimney.

E.g. Heating your hot water tank from 55C to 95C, assuming you have a 200 litre tank, would take about 9.3 kWh or less than 1/5 of the waste heat you're putting out. And that's assuming you start at minimum regulation temperature in the boiler and end just before it boils. Better take extra long showers or you'll have no place to put your cogenerated heat.

It also kinda clashes with the idea of low energy housing that are supposed to be so well insulated that they can be kept warm by the inhabitants body heat and the waste heat from electronics alone.
Newbeak
not rated yet Dec 05, 2010
The co-generator will not be running constantly,as most setups include deep discharge lead acid batteries to supply power when the co-generator is not running.While it is running,surplus power would be returned for credit to the grid,and the heat produced would be used for hot water heating,and space heating in winter.The cheap hybrid car you describe would not be as efficient as the co-generation scheme,which can be as much as 90% efficient-it is,after all,meant ultimately as a replacement for centralized power generation.
Personally,I would prefer a car like the Volt,which would have an all electric range sufficient for my daily driving,and an extended range for cross country trips.For those interested in a pure electric vehicle,home generated power via co-generation,or natural gas/biogas powered fuel cells (see my link to the Bloom Box) would relieve the utilities of the burden of charging millions of electric cars,and eventually make them obsolete.
Newbeak
not rated yet Dec 05, 2010
Additionally,if you don't like co-generation,fuel cells answer your observation that excess heat generated would be wasted.I still like the prospects for decentralized power production,as the efficiency is still there,and problems with brown-outs are solved.Don't forget transmission losses with CPG are a significant factor to consider.Finally,CPG nodes are a tempting target for terrorists,as taking out one node would cause long lasting grief for large parts of the country.
Eikka
not rated yet Dec 05, 2010
You forget that the generator is already producing power to run your home, and as a side effect, all the heat that it needs to stay warm.

So, to get your car to travel 100 km you still have to produce somewhere around 40 kWh of extra heat that you have no need for, and can only waste.

That means your co-generation plant would not be 90% efficient while charging your car, but just about 33%, and your charger converters eat up another 15% of that, which means your total efficiency is about 28%. That figure is only lowered still if you include a second set of intermediate batteries for a quick charge buffer.

28% is on par with ordinary non-hybrid cars. A fuel cell hybrid car can reach 50% efficiency.

There's no problem per se in decentralized power production. It just doesn't solve the issues of electric cars.
Eikka
not rated yet Dec 05, 2010
The catch 22 is that whatever the technology you use to generate the power in your home, the same technology can be adapted into the car.

That means, the car that runs directly on the natural gas fuel will be more efficient than the electric car that runs indirectly off of the same energy source.

So if you already have a gas pipe to your home, it makes absolutely no sense to have an electric car instead of a car that runs on the gas. Especially when any alternative to batteries will have superior qualities such as quicker re-fueling, more range, cheaper price, less weight, heat in winter etc.

Eikka
not rated yet Dec 05, 2010
Additionally,if you don't like co-generation,fuel cells answer your observation that excess heat generated would be wasted.


Fuel cells still make waste heat. Only the proporton changes to 50/50 instead of 33/66, and you still don't need the waste heat that they generate because you already have more than enough left over from just running your lights, TV and your washing machine.

Additionally, the in-house generator would need to be much bigger to cater for an electric car, which would make it more expensive than a smaller unit designed to generate the average 3.3 kW of electricity + heat that the average household needs.

Summa summarum: while decentralized power could solve the problem of the grid not handling the number of electric cars, it would also make the electric car obsolete and pointless because everybody would have some form of usable fuel other than electricity at their disposal.
Newbeak
not rated yet Dec 05, 2010
I am not an engineer,but I am aware of a waste heat recovery engine that is about to come on the market.See: http://www.cyclon...whe.html
This device operates on any heat source,including heat from engine exhaust.Coupled with the basic co-generator we have been discussing,the result should be the recovery of a significant amount of the waste heat generated.Oh course,one is probably looking at a much more expensive system!
Eikka
not rated yet Dec 06, 2010
An ideal heat engine would recover 43% of the remaining energy in the engine exhaust if it was at 500 F, so for an engine that is already 35% efficient, that would mean doubling the overall efficiency to 66%. This is actually almost attainable in real life in heat recovery from large scale gas turbines with a steam turbine down the line, approaching 60% in total efficiency in the best cases.

Less so for small scale engines. BMW's experiments in heat recovery from a car engine yielded about 14% reduction in fuel consumption, if I remember correctly. That amounts to going from 28% to 33% in absolute efficiency.

Solid oxide fuel cells would benefit greatly from heat recovery, since they operate at high temperatures which makes the recovery mechanism small and economical, but they also need some of the heat for reforming fuels other than hydrogen, and the exhaust is cooled by that process.
Ratfish
not rated yet Dec 06, 2010
Eikka - Thank you for your insight on this issue; I appreciate your detailed analysis.
billvb
not rated yet Dec 08, 2010
Unfortunately the biggest barrier for implementation of this type of technology is consumer financing...if people can't get access to low interest loans for electric vehicles they will go nowhere!