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September 2008 Posts
This show is more about the AltCarExpo, it is really about the future of our transportation. Join Bo and Ryan as they analyze the conference, the debate that took place at the conference, and the industry.
Don't just listen to the EVcast -- experience and be a part of it! Join us at 1:00pm Eastern, M-F, in our live video broadcast and chat along with us!
A Little of Topic
Phoenix motors is an interesting company with their plan to build a custom SUV from the ground-up that is a pure EV. However, it seems like they cannot get the car out of the starting gate.
Some of the problems might be with the Alternano batteries that they are relying on to power their vehicles. I suspect Alternano is not producing batteries that meet all the product requirements.
However, I came across this more than 1 year old article about Alternano that I found interesting.
It seems that a third party (AeroVironment) successfully completed a ten minute charge of a 35 KWH battery pack using a grid-tied charger. After the charge, the car was driven for 2 hours at 60 MPH. The demo was performed in front of members of CARB.
This is a big battery pack at 35 KWH (Tesla is bigger at 53 KWH, but still this is not a toy battery). Also it took 250KW to do the charging. Since I only have 44KW to power my home, I know I can't do the charging here.
However, this seems to be an impressive demonstration of a 10 minute charge by a third party. So good for Alternano.
Unfortunately, I suspect there are other problems at Alternano that are keeping them from shipping.
LaterJohn C. Briggs
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You don't need fancy math or calculators for Dr Franks illustration of how long it will take to convert all the cars in the US to EV's. The math he used is pretty straight forward. If cars last an average of 10 years, then you will replace 10% every year. And, as Ryan pointed out, if you replace 10% of the new cars with EV's every year, or 10% of 10%, you will be left with 1 % of the total cars being converted to EV's every year. And, actually, if it stayed stagnant at that 10 percent per year, you would never exceed 10% of the total cars in the US being EV's- after ten years you will be replacing ICE vehicles and EV's. The only way to completely make it 100% is to manufacture 100% as EV's. The way to simply calculate how long it could take is if you increase the production of EV's by 10% of the new cars being produced each year- then it would take 10 years to completely turn around all of the cars in the US to EV's.
1. Peak oil. In 1982, my high school drafting teacher gave a speech that we were at peak oil. We were in an oil crisis at the time similar to today.
2. Drill Baby Drill. The oil on federal and even private land belongs to the people of the United States. It costs about $5-$20 a barrel to install the rigs, drill, and transport the oil. It makes no sense not to tax the oil out of the ground at a 50% market rate of oil. Do so would pay for the the national debt over time $15 trillion. Or in the short-term could eliminate most income taxes. Most of the oil leases are sealed-bid wired contracts to large firms.
3. It is hoped no new coal plants are installed and that nuclear, wind, and solar supply all new capacity.
4. We need electric cars on the road. All this future smart grid really depresses me. Makes me want to go off-grid. Put 1 million electric cars then start worrying about the grid.
5. Electric cars will create winners and losers. Poor people will become more wealthy at the expense of energy executives.
6. GM knows the market so well they need a 25 billion bailout. What interest rate did they get that loan for. They need money to build electric cars they already perfected, winning motor trends car of the year. Thank you but BYD loooks promising.
Electric cars will make be WEALTHY
I wonder which of the following will make me the wealthiest
1) A $14,000 Toyota Corolla running on gasoline2) A $24,000 Toyota Prius running on gasoline3) A $35,000 Chevy Volt running on electricity (and a little gasoline)4) A $108,000 Tesla Roadster running on electricity
My guess is that my $14,000 Toyota Corolla makes me the wealthiest (or less poor)
I think the point behind GM "exploring other technologies" is in relation to the E-flex (Volt) platform generator. The electric drive stays the same but it is the generator technology that changes. Hydrogen, bio-diesel, ethanol, LP, CNG, etc. can all power the generator for the E-flex. They seem committed to the electric drive and will adapt the generator to future options and technology.
I still think their approach is the best one although the generator in the Volt does not seem to be a plug-n-play component. You couldn't exactly rip out the engine and drop in a CNG generator filled from your home.
Bill is correct. The right public policy for eliminating our dependence on oil is taxing oil and giving the proceeds of the tax to alt energy sources and technology.
You cannot invest in oil extraction/drilling (the oil based economy) without being at cross purposes to the goal of oil independence. Making oil cheaper by increasing extraction is a short term policy that is in confilict with our need ween ourselves from oil.
This is simple market economics. The straight talkers don't have the balls to point this economics out. Al Gore called for taxing oil and he was laughted at. A war and $100 plus a barrel later who is laughing now.
The idea that free markets always produce the right results for society is stupid. An adapted free market will serve us for the long term sustainably.
Did you really mean "goal oil independence"?
being at cross purposes to the goal oil independence.
Because drilling our own oil would seem to be a good way to oil independence.
John C. Briggs
"Because drilling our own oil would seem to be a good way to oil independence."
If you had a law that said oil extracted from the US had to be sold to the US market. We don't have that kind of law. Such a law would probably be in conflict with WTO rules. It is a world market for oil. US extracted oil depresses the world price for oil. US extracted oil could be sold to japan and china.
A couple of points here.
1) Agreed, the oil drilled in the USA could be sold on the world market.
2) If we find a lot of oil in the USA, it could lower the global price of oil. However, OPEC rigs the world market for oil (illegal company behavior in the USA), and OPEC can raise the price back up again by restricting supply. It is clearly helpful to have more non-OPEC countries (like the USA and Canada) supplying oil in a free market.
3) The idea that USA oil would be shipped to other parts of the world seems a little ridiculous and doesn't make economic sense. The USA imports about half its oil. It make no sense to import a barrel of crude all the way from the middle east to the USA, but ship USA crude to China. So I don't see this as even a remotely reasonable argument. The economics say that USA oil will stay in the USA. On the other hand, USA oil does impact the world price of oil.
4) I still have trouble with the original linkage Investing in USA oil/drill ---> conflicts with --> USA oil independence. By that logic we should stop all USA oil production and then we will be oil independent. Except we will be even more dependent. Sorry I am sure I am missing something here.
Perhaps your point is that we should "stop using oil" and then be "oil independent." That is certainly one way to do that. But also producing more oil can make us "oil independent".
LaterJohn C. Briggs