Originally Posted by mkoesel
At the rate things are progressing, a good deal of the CFRP savings will be offset by batteries and other equipment associated with the slow but sure transition from combustion engines to electric motors. i3 and i8 will bear this out.
I was talking with an electrical engineer here at my work. He brought up a good point when it comes to this electric craze. Now I'm no engineer so take this at a loose translation. He basically said that the problem with electric drivetrains is the amount of BTUs of energy used to move an object with drag and weight. That is a constant. More weight and drag, more BTU's etc. In his argument, gasoline is by far the most efficient fuel source. It takes far less material (gasoline) to produce a BTU of energy than it does for electric drivetrains. It's a physics problem. Electricity has to be stored, more BTU's means more storage. More storage is more weight, thus requiring more BTU's. The sweet spot is tied to the weight and that won't change.
His point was that an electric vehicle will never be as efficient as a gasoline vehicle in true terms of efficiency. He said efficiency is the wrong word to use. It is material savings meaning, saving gas. Electric cars save gasoline, but they are not more efficient. In fact they are far less efficient and far less flexible to be efficient.
Hybrids on the other hand are a better option for real efficiency. Storage (and weight) can be limited because regneration of electric BTU's can be siphoned from the BTUs produced by the gas engine. Funny though he comments that the gas engine in a hybrid can not only propel the car, but also recharge the electric drive. Jokingly saying you need a gas engine for an electric car to make an electric powertrain efficient.