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Saturday, February 17, 2007

RH: Petrol stations to become Multi-Fuel Stations?

From: Robert Ho (ho3@pacific.net.sg)
Subject: RH: Petrol stations to become Multi-Fuel Stations?
View: Complete Thread (2 articles)

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Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore
Date: 2003-08-02 00:35:20 PST


1. Electric cars or LPG cars will never take off as long as the
problem of electrical charging and LPG fuel stops are not solved. It's a chicken and egg problem. Until there are plentiful fuel stops and conveniently located stops, alternative fuel cars cannot take off.

2. So why not add electrical charging or LPG refuelling functions to
current petrol stations, by law requirement and/or profit incentives?

3. Adding LPG is easy. Just a matter of legal requirement first,
until profit becomes the main incentive when LPG cars come en masse.

4. As for electrical charging, there need to be some unconventional

5. First, standardise battery sizes and electrical output voltages
and amperages.

6. This will allow Multi Fuel Stations to store and charge large
numbers of electrical batteries so that an electric car owner can
simply drive up when power is low and exchange his almost discharged
battery for a fully charged one from the MFS, paying a price for the
charged battery he exchanges.

7. This will instantly create a whole infrastructure of electrical
battery exchange outlets in all MFS. With the same convenient
locations and ease of exchange of battery as topping up with petrol,
electric cars can take off.

8. This will avoid the problem of charging an electric car battery at the car park lot overnight, since charging a battery takes hours.

9. With the world's car makers standardising the battery and its
voltages and amperages, into say, less than half a dozen models,
electric cars can then take off.

10. Currently, every car maker is designing its own battery type,
size, voltages, amperages, etc, and this is the main problem
preventing the electric car from taking off. When it is quick and easy to swop batteries at a MFS, electric cars can take off.

11. Initially, batteries will be big and bulky, take long to recharge, and run low very quickly but once electric cars take off, all these will improve. Battery V 2.0, 3.0, etc, will last longer, charge faster and be smaller and lighter. Just like current car batteries in conventional petrol cars are pretty standardised, so it will not be difficult for an Electric Car Standards Body to define certain agreed sizes and voltages and amperages, etc.

12. At every MFS, there will need to be a rack of batteries constantly charging. Simple LED or light indicators will indicate when each charging is full and completed and simple light bars will tell how much of the charging has been done and how much more remaining. This is simple.

13. A hand pallet trolley needs to be designed to remove a used
battery from an electric car, put it to the rack for charging and
taking a charged battery from the rack to install it back into the
car. This simple hand pallet trolley will save labour of having to lug heavy batteries around.

14. Electric cars will need to be designed to have a standard-sized
battery compartment covered with a lid [just like petrol tank lid]
that can be opened to remove and install batteries. If having one big
battery is not practical, then two batteries may be hooked up in
series or parallel, depending on the car's design requirements.

15. Thus, when you own one of these new electric cars, you simply
drive up to a Multi Fuel Station [previously a petrol station], open
your battery lid, remove your discharged battery using a handy and
convenient hand pallet trolley, put it into the charging rack for
charging, and take a fully charged battery to install in your car and
drive off, paying for the charged battery rental or swop.

16. Electric cars are unfeasible now because there is no charging
infrastructure on the roads or even at the home carpark lot. With this idea, electric cars can take off. The chicken and egg problem will be solved. All that needs to be done is for car designers to design cars to be powered by a standardised battery or set of two batteries, in several models to cater for different car design needs.

Hoping to drive an electric car one day soon,

Robert Ho
2 Aug 03
UK 0835 Singapore 1535