While I agree with the rest of you post, I have to jump in here and rebut this. You are only looking at current EVs. We are only in the early stages of EV development, most manufacturers don't even have a single model on the market, yet.
Actually, this is the second
time around for electric cars. In the very early 20th Century there were a number of electric cars, just as there were steam cars. They lost out to gasoline and diesel engines. The problem with electric cars has ALWAYS been range and recharge times. Battery exchanges are nothing new - there was one such provided by Hartford Electric Light Company in Connecticut for a line of electric trucks from the early turn of the 20th Century up until the early 1920's. Chicago had a similar service for electric car owners during the same time period.
In other words these are NOT new!
It's been done before. Gasoline/diesel won. The only
thing making electric cars even close to viable again today are improved batteries and right now lithium-ion is the peak of that technology. Maybe
we'll have better in a year or two. Or ten. Or 20. Or 50. It was 70 years between the first heyday of the electric car and a revival of interest. A gap like that in technological advance could occur again.
Sure, right now electrics are a viable choice for short distance
driving, such as in a heavily urban area. They suck at long distance travel. Depending on where you live that may or may not matter. As someone who completes a 1600 km round trip several times a year (including this very week - hence my delay in replying to you) I'm sorry, an electric car does not serve my needs. A hybrid that runs on electric the first, oh, 300-400 km of that trip then gets inferior gas mileage the remainder due to having to haul around discharged batteries as deadweight until I can locate a charger and take the time to do the recharge sort of sucks, too.
VW has just recently announced a car they plan to produce from 2013 on that is a hybrid and makes 235 mpg.
And how is that number determined, hm?
Is that an average with both engines running, or mainly using electric, or what? How's the mileage when the battery is drained, such as might happen on a long-distance trip? Is it mainly electric driven with gas-assist, or mainly gas-driven with electric assist? Are you even aware there is a difference?
There are even (rough) plans/ideas to put electromagnetic coils into roads to power cars through induction while they are driving.
What a fucking stupid idea - do you have ANY idea how much that would add to the cost of road building? How does that hold up to actual weather conditions? My area regularly has an annual temperature swing from -25 C to +35 C, and some years the extremes run from -28 C to +38 C. We already
have a problem with pavement cracking/buckling/deteriorating due to just the temperatures
, much less the ice, ground heaving, etc. What the hell will that do to your in-pavement induction coils?
That idea is not suitable to vast swathes of the temperate zones. Forget it, outside of a very few limited areas with extraordinarily stable climate.
The VW car I mentioned will be rechargable in halve an hour.
Nowhere near good enough. I can refuel my gas-powered car in 5 minutes. If I'm covering 800+ km in a day (which I've done) I do not want to fucking wait around for a half an hour for the goddamn car to recharge, especially when there are two drivers to switch off so we really don't need to pause longer than it takes to piss, swap seats, and refuel.
Flywheels are used in busses, the new Prosche GT3, and winning with Audi at LeMans.
Flywheels are not without drawbacks as well.
Another idea would be an exchangable battery pack.
That has only ever been successful in a small urban area, not in cross-country travel. Granted, cross country travel has changed considerably since way back then (such as the building of the US Interstate System, which greatly facilitated the whole process in the US) but the logistics and technicalities of an interstate battery exchange are just... nightmarish.
And once someone solves the hydrogen storage (and esp. refuelling) problem, we won't even have any of these problems anymore.
Then it wouldn't be an electric car anymore if it runs on hydrogen, right?
Hydrogen storage comes with its own headaches that I doubt will be solved any sooner than the electric car issues, and probably much later if at all.
Of course, if the petroleum is ever truly all gone, or gone to the point of being hellish expensive (at least an order of magnitude more cost per unit than now), we might not have a choice and will settle for second-best propulsion in automobiles. That doesn't erase the fact that the gasoline/diesel powered internal combustion engine is still superior on quite a few points. I fully applaud the attempt to give us viable alternatives but let's not kid ourselves, or pretend that hypothetical technologies actually exist at this point in time.