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Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

Posted December 20, 2008 8:22 AM

With government help, Tesla wants to build a lithium ion electric $109,000 sports car, which seems an excessive waste of capital. But do critics appreciate a cardinal rule of high technology: early generations of any breakthrough product are always expensive. The first cell phones cost $2,000. Those early adopters who are willing to pay more for the newest items are really subsidizing later buyers — and helping the industry. So what's your call: Should public funds be allocated to develop a luxury electric vehicle in the name of energy efficiency?

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#1

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/20/2008 11:12 AM

it all has to start somewhere, why not on the luxury end?

Another good place to invest would be the electrical grid, which in it's current state cannot provide enough capacity to charge all those new electric automobiles proposed. I also find it rather interesting that all the patents to Nicad batteries, that have been argued are a better option for electric automobiles, are owned by an oil company.

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#2

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/20/2008 8:29 PM

Electric cars do not necessarily solve anything. It takes so much energy to move a given mass over a distance. If one generates that energy remotely, then one must compensate for transmission losses. Generating that energy is going to have an environmental impact, whether one does it with coal, oil, gas, solar, wind or whatever. Spending government money in pursuit of any technological advance is of questionable value, since it tends to distort the market forces, which must ultimately be relied on to determine what is really competitive and viable. Cut government spending, reduce taxes, putting more resources in the hands of the consumer, and let the public decide what is best for the environment...

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/20/2008 11:33 PM

hello owarner7 11

i tend to see it the other way. as an example.

your words " It takes so much energy to move a given mass over a distance."

yes, and the truth behind those words belies what you were saying. grid power is so much more effiicient than other forms. as an example. on my ridge the difference in cost to pump 1000 gallons of water up 200 feet to the top of the ridge. 1 kw. in electricity, that is 14 cents. with a generator it is one gallon of gas. now down to $1.80 but recently as high as $5 where i live.

electrical grid for power is just so much more efficient, that i can not understand why people still object to it.

there was a really good forum here recently that talked about an electric car produced for a few years in Romania. the man sending us the info, showed that his yearly operating costs were about 6 cents per mile. that was for everything. licensing, charging, replacing batteries, everything.

joe

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#4

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/21/2008 12:25 AM

Let me see. It is not complicated. This is today' status:

You pay $100,000 for an otherwise $30,000 car because your convictions. Then you replace the battery set every 100,000 miles for $10,000. Then you dispose of the batteries (cadmium or lithium is a hazardous waste).

It is getting worse. A rich man with guilt complex in Beverly Hills buys it. A coal fired power plant in Idaho produces the juice, but twice the amount, because of inefficiencies. And the rest of us smucks east of it enjoy twice the smog from it.

It is getting worse. You need to massively upgrade the service entrance power rating to your home or apartment to charge your vehicle overnight. Oh, you can stretch that out, but how you get to work the next day otherwise?

It is getting worse. Our power distribution network is somewhere at the breaking point now as it is. Who will provide the extra juice on a hot brownout summer night??

Other than that it is a wonderful idea. As soon as somebody(es) solve these trifling problems, I will get one too. Until then, feel free to be the pioneer.

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#5

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/21/2008 1:54 AM

the Chinese will be exporting low cost EV cars and hybrids to the US soon. price range $19,000 to $23,000. should be here long before the volt ever gets finalized at $33,000.

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#6
In reply to #2

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/21/2008 3:12 AM

Dear Friend

Night time power generation by power plants is lot lower than the average day time figure. If additional consumption is done during the night then the plant load factor improves. Since the plant is already running therefore there is only an incremental loading on the generators resulting in marginal increase in fuel consumption. Hence at quite a few places, dual tariff is introduced to promote power consumption during night, resulting in reduction of day time consumption. This is also called load equalisation or balancing.

Electric cars are generally charged during the night time and this therefore does not add to the fuel consumption and transmission & distribution losses ( which are also lower during night due to reduced generation ). Hence choice is appropriate.

The financial health of generating companies also improves.

Disclaimer - I am not associated with any T&D or generating company.

Thanks and regards

Ashok Toshniwal, Bangalore - India

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#7

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/21/2008 6:21 AM

First of all this Tesla-car is desecrating Tesla's name who used to have high-ideas and the US government used to suppress him for thinking outside the box in order to praise fools' who couldn't get outside the box with their ideas, just like this car is.

This is more of Edison's and the likes ideas.

A few years later when the battery goes this car becomes worthless due to the battery will cost more than what the car's worth, just like a mobile phone with no resale value.

This car is a same ancient concept like all its predecessors and they suffer from the same old problem - the battery - as well as adequate heating in cold climate.

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#8

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/21/2008 6:34 AM

Technology in use has admitted cost increases to Carbon reduction.

Is technology so locked in time not to develop less cost inovation.

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#9
In reply to #6

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/21/2008 11:01 AM

Ashok

Good point, however, in North America we do not have enough generation to cover what we now are using. The general public is also very lazy and tend to only pay lip service to how the grid is loaded. What will happen if electric cars become the norm will be people arrive home, plug in the car, go in the house and turn on the air conditioning.

load factor is huge around the late commute, many areas have daily brown outs and current generation facilities are old and in need of upgrade.

Unfortunately the tree huggers have managed to have so many environmental impact rules put in place that new generation facilities are unlikly to be built any time soon. then there is the 'not in my back yard' factor, everyone wants more power, but they don't want the facility any where near them. Case in point, a local electrical utility wanted to build a sub station, the local Luxury Golf Club had the plan dumped because it would be a unsightly view from one of the fairways. Result; a company who does research on 'Green technology' had to add a graveyard shift so they could power up a compressor when the rest of the city was dark. Totally foolish situation.

Such is life in North America, we almost deserve what we get.

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#10

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/21/2008 11:16 AM

the Electric hybrid vehicle is a viable alternative, just not the way that is being held up as the way to solve all our problems. Typically the Automotive Engineer, and the term engineer should be outlawed when connected with automotive, has absolutely no idea how to solve this problem and has taken the easy way out AGAIN. Some FOOL simply copied what a kids toy does, as in plug in the battery charger, play with the toy, when it stops plug it in again, etc, etc.

The Solution is, and that is capitalized for a reason, is actually sitting right under their nose, and is obvious if they took the time to actually look. The rail industry has been using a hybrid system for decades and has it refined to a point of very high efficiency. The diesel/electric hybrid is best solution to solve the efficiency concerns, eliminates hundreds of pound of batteries, and with modern diesel technology relatively clean. Simple stupid solution, the only problem is that those who claim to design automobiles will never clue in. makes me almost ashamed to be a member of SAE.

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#11
In reply to #8

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/21/2008 11:25 AM

Wrong-o.

Sometimes the wrong question is asked, or a question is asked wrogly. Like in this case. When the question is asked: what is the lowest cost transportation, that is decent, comfortable and personal?

Then the answer is different from being locked into the electric concept. Now, why is it that the now about to fail GM builds and sells well a 60mpg very high gas mileage diesel in Europe, but it is not allowed to be imported to the USA. (the average car does some 25miles per gallon, for you English Standard impaired people). Why? There is no earthly reason not to put a few on a ship, and sell it here! Well, you simple people blessed with some reason and a wish for good will, figured this without the US Congress. They, in their infinite wisdom, declared that cars produced outside do not count to a car maker's average mpg prescription. So, they would be killing themselves by importing cars they make themselves by the rules of the Congress. So, instead being the part of the solution, the Congresscritters are babbling about mandating electric cars, that nobody can afford or want. Heck, it is "only" affecting the jobs of some 2,3 million workers, so why not play russian roulette with them too.?!?

The other example is the Tata Nano, an ugly little car produced in India. It is ugly, it is cramped, not woth a damn in a crash, but gives excellent high mileage and meets exhaust standards. Best of all, it supposed to sell in India at around $2,500. Now we are talking! As a second car as a runabout the town, it might be something to look at. I am willing to bet, that both the US and European leaders will find ample excuses to prevent importation or local production of it on some pretext.

Going back to the electric car on a personal level. That nifty little sportscar runs the price of a small home in a small town. Or the price of higher education of 1 or 2 children. Most people with their priorities straight spend their monies on those, much before an electric car is more than just a wishful thinking.

But, if you are so insistent and persistent, solve the little problems I posted just before, build those damned atomic power plants to supply the juice, and enjoy an 2,5cents/kilowattHour rate ever after.

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#12

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/21/2008 2:36 PM

Good afternoon Bolg Provider, Toomuchfun here.

The biased response from TMF is "NO"! Public funds should not be allocated to develop a luxury electric vehicle in the name of efficiency.

Way back in the 1940's & 50's when electric bills were minimal and power was abundant except for rural areas of this nation, the power generation companies and the manufacturers of all types of electrical equipment possible for residential consumption were touting the all electric home and its modern comforts.

As it is nearing January 2009, I decided that quoting from my January 08, invoice would be more appropriate, for the power bill provided by Progress Energy Corp. Of Florida, An approved/regulated Monopoly, with out any competition from any other Electrical power source.

The Billing Period is 33 days customer charge $ 8.03 energy charge first 1000 kwh 1000 kwh @ $0.0546 54.60 above 1000kwh 1161 kwh @ .0646 75.00 ................................................................................................ subtotal 137.63 . "Fuel Surcharge" first 1000 kwh 1000 kwh @ .04.278 42.78 above 1000 kwh 1161 kwh @ .05278 61.28 ................................................................................................ tax 6.91 ................................................................................................ 2Nd subtotal 248.60 and it does not stop here as I must pay an additional 27.94 for the cost of P.E.Corp assuming ownership of a locally owned municipal power provider that was going bankrupt, and those of us who lived in that energy provided area had to pay off the local wealthy investors that were the former owners.==== Grand total .................................................................$276.54

My home is 2500 sq. ft. All Electric, includes a 3.5 ton heat pump for heating and cooling, has two freezers in an insulated garage.

Only Two people live here. Toomuchfun and lovely Wife Carol.

I can't even guess what my electric bill would be if I had to add the costs of keeping two cars charged up at all times except when being used. Just how much electrical energy would be wasted for the maintenance charge between uses. Already the local grid is nearly maxed out with users. How much would the bill increase as another surcharge is added for the increase in the grid power source equipment to increase every homes usage of this energy.

Presently, most of us are at the mercy of the petroleum producers for gasoline and diesel fuel. Converting to EV's is just going to shift the identity of those who hold us hostage for the petroleum fuels to those who hold us hostage for electricity. For those who may not have figured out where I am going with this, "Consider"

From the frying pan into the fire----- From Private Industry, (note how much the prices have fallen) "to a Monopoly". Where the controllers have you by your proverbial "little jewels"!

I invite your response!

Where are you now friends, "Milo" ,Et.al. those of you who admonished my thoughts regarding the Govt. Nationalizing the Electrical Energy Production. How would we handle matters when our transportation is added to our home energy expenses. How would we get around when Ice and snow tear down the grid, or even worse hurricanes, tornadoes and floods and anything else that could go wrong, "Does"? Like having a financial difficulty and or a health emergency and having the electricity turned off temporarily due to a late payment.

TMF

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/21/2008 3:35 PM

It is never a waste of a nations wealth for it to invest in ideas and technology. Strong nations invest in new ideas and technology either by fiat or general initiative. One strength of the United States has been its Aviation or Aerospace Industry. There have been times when Research and Development was institutionalized as government policy to support this. United States based companies like Boeing have made fine heavy aircraft that serve the needs of many national or private airlines. In many cases aviation operations are advanced, mature, and practical. Civil Aeronautics Administration gave way to the FAA and NASA. Take away the adjective "luxury" and see how the question is answered.

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#14
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Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/21/2008 3:55 PM

Matters not really, be it luxury or basic transport, the concept is full of erroneous assumptions, the biggest being the grid can handle the extra load, second the grid never goes down, both assumptions are foolish. then of course there is the required infrastructural modifications required at places of work to recharge the vehicle, who pays for that, and once it is installed at what rate is it billed to the user?

Plug in electric hybred vehicles just will not work, the answer is just not along this particulat tract.

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/21/2008 4:20 PM

Ok! I remove the word "luxury" and what do we have?

We still have an inadequate system for providing enough electricity to charge all of these batteries that would need charging and need to remain on a standby charge even when not in use. If we are to convert to EV's we must first solve the energy requirement issue for recharge. I recognize the need for Govt. support, but put the money where it is most likely pay off with a performer. We are not talking about junk bonds here. I have a neighbor who purchased one of those cute EV's for running around the area. I'm not talking about a golf cart, this little vehicle cost about $8,000. After just a couple of years, the battery will not hold enough of a charge to go more than just a few miles. He now has a small diesel powered generator sitting on the rear seat to provide the needed constant recharge, just to get around town. He stated that a replacement battery pkg would cost more than $1,000. The diesel generator will likely out live several battery exchanges.

If we are going to evolve to the EV's for general transportation, we must first solve the on the go resupply need. That of course means developing small but powerful engines with a long life span that can keep us going, and going and going, and do it more economically than current equipment is able to do. Developing the Telsa Sports car, doesn't seem to fill that need.

If we are going to institutionalize the effort to progress into the future, we should consider keeping the horse where it belongs. In that regard, it seems that you missed the point. Trading private enterprise, petroleum producers whose prices fluctuate with demand for local monopoly's whose prices only increase and do not reflect adjustment for demand isn't going to get it.

Regarding much of what you identified in your response, it was accomplished as a part of our defense needs.

TMF

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/21/2008 6:09 PM

Sounds like your neighbour turned his EV into a hybrid. May be he should start market it like that!

Like I said, when the battery looses its capacity these vehicles can easily become worthless.

I wonder how much your neighbour's EV became worth as the battery went down? (Remember, $1000.00 is less affordable for the average consumer than risk buying another battery for a mobile phone when it fails!)

Two years is also a time when people start normally thinking to replace their car for a new model and having an old battery in it just ain't gonna make it easy to pass it on.

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#17
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Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/21/2008 11:54 PM

I went out and was drinking and have come home. I am aware of infrastructure flaws. Engineers solve problems. Not all problems are solved as soon as everybody wants, but all problems can be solved. So what if your friend has to spend a thousand bucks to keep his machine going? What did he think? I have to put primary batteries or rechargable batteries in my radio for Gods sake. I work and get money to pay for the rent and gas. There you have it. Nothing for it. Nothing is free. I still maintain that investments in inventions by a nation either institutionilized or individually desperate are sensible. But I admit I have been drinking.

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#18

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 12:14 AM

Let us check power prices and power availability.

Just a decade ago my electricity came to me for 4,5+ cents/kWh.

Now I get it for almost exactly 20 cents/kWh.

All this comes - depending where you live - 25-50% from coal fired plants, the rest from oil, gas, nuclear, and hydro stands at a quite steady 20%+ in most places.

Nuclear power gets to you for 4,5 - 6 cents/kWh, but with french style cookiecutter reactors (all the same) it drops to 2 cents/kWh. Available 24/7/356.

As far as the charging etc. concerns: Last year I calculated, that you have to triple your service entrance to your home just to charge one vehicle overnight. (A second one would have to be charged at other times). It means, if you have now an 110V and 100A main breaker, you have to triple it. And somebody, somehow ought to provide the juice. The estimation arrives at this result is straightforward. I assume 1kW = 1 hp, close enough. Your EV car has a 200kW motor, but the average use is figured 25% = 50kW during your commute to work, which supposed to be 1 hour one way, 2 hours total every workday.

Then you used up 50x2=100kWh.

Inefficiencies: Your battery returns 65% of the charge pumped in. Your drivetrain 85%. Charger 90%. Transmission 90%. Power plant generation 95%. All that on the electrical side.

Total (in)efficiency: .65x.85x.90x.90x 95 = 42.5% total, generously 50% for our discussion.

So, SOMEBODY OUT THERE HAVE TO GENERATE TWICE THE AMOUNT OF POWER FOR YOUR ELECTRICAL VEHICLE, COMPARED TO YOU USING THAT FUEL YOURSELF STRAIGHT IN YOUR VEHICLE. What kind of insanity is that?!?

Returning to our charging from AC. By next morning 100kWh available power has to be available in the batteries. So you charge: 100:.65:.85:.9 = 201kWh into that same battery, in 10 hours. That is 20kW/hours. When 1kW at 110V is about 10 Amps, 20kW is 200Amps. That excess demand, my friend, triples your usual 100Amps main breakers. Price: 200x.2 = $40 every single day. Now, you may substitute your own numbers. It will not change the lay of the land at all.

It also triples your internal and external cabling, your transmission lines, your generating capacity. The last one is mitigated somewhat, because the industrial load drops by night. But, as recent experiences confirms, there is no excess capacity as is now.

So where should that power delivery come from to run those lovely EV vehicles?!?

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#19

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 5:05 AM

Two choices...

1. Let the rest of the world develop the next gereation of vehicles, then take advantage of their work thus saving a lot of R&D.

2. Be at the forefront of development and hopefully reap the benefits.

(BTW. whichever route you take, don't whinge when other countries take the other route...)

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#20
In reply to #5

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 5:33 AM

Sounds like it's a worse option than the hybrid ranges from Toyota and Honda; both price and quality wise.

You know, I frankly do not believe in the long term survival of the three big car manufacturers because they will embrace the current hybrid concept, which is in place already, and everybody knows it is just a bridging / temporary solution to the current energy problem (mind you so far it is still the best one and I doubt it if anyone can come up with a better one in a hurry).

This tesla-car concept is just as feeble as the rest so far. What makes it even worse they turned it into a Ferrari design which is not the average user's type.

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#21

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 7:51 AM

is the context of the discussion a) what is the most affordable solution or b) what is the most sustainable solution?

if it's (a), then most of the replies are very relevant (and i have nothing to add)

if it's (b), then the engine technology is not really important (the hybrid solution is of course very good, much more preferable than what we have now and clearly much more plausible curently than rechargeable electric cars). if you want sustainability (i know i want it) reduce the weight of the vehicles. one can laugh as much as one wants at the tata nano, but it is this kind of thinking that will eventually give the best answer.

besides, the idea of an eco-friendly sports car is self-contradicting: 1) wasting energy (anything, actually) for recreation cannot be justified; let 'sportsmen' go buy a racing videogame- or better yet go play a real sport with other people 2) long distance or high-speed commuting (beyond the abilities of mini cars) is best handled by mass transport, i.e. trains. at least in europe.

actually, here is a (very) radical proposal:

step 1: build a serious mass-transit infrastructre

step 2: decommission the road network, except for bicycles, supply and emergency vehicles and areas not served by mass-transit

step 3: let the people curse all they want (private cars, especially in urban settings, are a lifestyle issue, not a primary need)

step 4: watch the smog clear.

i'm done. got this out of my chest. now, dear colleagues, fire away!

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#22
In reply to #17

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 9:10 AM

Yes You Have!

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#23
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Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 9:33 AM

You cracked me up.

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#24
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Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 10:41 AM

And now that you have had time to sleep it off, and I hope you were with a designated driver that was not drinking, as you stated that you were out-----.

The gentleman who paid $8,000 plus for his cute little EV determined that this thing was ultimately just another fad that was rushed to market way too soon. However his Robin powered, diesel fueled, generator was able to produce enough power to make the EV go. However he did not appreciate the smell of diesel fuel coming from his rear seat, nor his wife constantly griping about it.

About you comment about the solving of problems, unfortunately we have this eternal restraining order that states that the laws of thermodynamics may not be violated. If you even mention that you think you have found a way around this law, almost every scientist and engineer who participates on this forum will attack you as if you were bait for a pack of hungry hyenas.

As for the cute little EV's. There was a Company located in an Industrial Park near the Airport in Sebring Fl. around 1988. They produced a cute little EV. A two seat model. Went out of business long ago. Had the same problems then that are inherent in todays' EV's. I still see one now and then, in junk yards and backyards occasionally. I once had a Golf Cart that I was going to modify for use as an around town EV. I sold it! I determined that it wasn't going to be worth the investment of my time.

However I am looking for a donation of a similar Golf Cart that is gasoline powered by a two cylinder engine. I have some ideas about converting it to us a combination of fuels, one a little gasohol, and the other a little "unmentionable" stuff.

TMF

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#25
In reply to #9

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 10:53 AM

I gave you a GA. You made several good points!

In exchange I'll give you a little good heads up. Almost every animal on the planet likes to "PEE" on trees. So be careful which ones and "when" you are dancing with, and wash your hands regularly, and "please" just before you offer to shake mine.

TMF

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#26
In reply to #21

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 11:23 AM

I do wish people would register and let us know who they are, provides so much more credibility to what they have to say.

I agree with the mass transit part, in a city that is the answer, and to take it one step further; mass transit for shipping goods.

What is he on about this time? Replacing the vast number of transport trucks with an efficient rail system to move goods about the continent. There is a fine example of this in the Southwest, containers are loaded on trains in California and they are shipped to Texas for further distribution. This example can, and should be implemented to EVERY distribution point across the continent.

When I saw these trains I really should have counted the number of cars, but I must admit I was more interested in getting a photo of the Coyote pups, lets assume for a moment 100 rail cars, two containers each. That would be 200 less transport trucks moving goods on that one route. Impressive numbers.

Next! Sorry you will have to peel back my cold dead fingers to get my car keys, I am one of those people who take vast enjoyment from recreational vehicles. I have several off-road type trucks, and I am building a couple of very nasty street machines, as in 800 Hp snap your neck fast cars, because I can, and I want to.

The number of people like me, if we were all not allowed to do what we do, would result in a ZERO change, but the US economy would take a 40 Billion hit, yes the aftermarket is that big. Ever attend the SEMA show?

Allow me to get back on my oil drum, the solution is a hybrid diesel/electric, just like the trains.

Nothing personal, I even have a stable of bicycles, can't use them to commute because they will get stolen, and no I will not paint my titanium frames black, and no my employer will not provide secure storage. total bummer that.

have a great week.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 11:41 AM

Is 'stable' the correct collective noun for bicycles... ???
maybe an 'unstable' or a 'wobble of bicycles'...yup that sounds good

Del

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#28
In reply to #27

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 11:53 AM

OOPS...

Well I am an automotive journalist afterall, getting the grammer correct is not one of my strong points, and you are correct 'unstable' is closer to the truth, sort of like an 'unstable element' I could blink out of existance at any time. I might even be dark matter, I do drive a diesel Land Rover, and everyone knows how well those work. Lucas anyone

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 12:06 PM

Lucas...the original 'dark side'

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 12:24 PM

Yes the inventor of that amazing switch with the OFF, FLICKER and DIM settings, funny thing though, they were totally rebuildable, the porous electrical insulation was another issue.

K

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#31
In reply to #21

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 12:27 PM

Hallo Guest, thank you for your enlightening commentary. There are plenty of people thinking that way, so I endeavour to reply in general terms.

For starters, your note displays a flaming display of lack of understanding in economics 101. Crude basics, Africa: if you have nothing, can build nothing, can achieve nothing. Is it deplorabe? Absolutely! Does it need remedy? Absolutely! Does it change the judgement on the situation? Not at all!. Now, You should feel free to elect such a lifestyle, but not at my expense. I prefer to house me and mine first, educate mine second, and so on. Building and/or destructing infrastructure at will is an expensive undertaking. Once you propose - as you did - you, yourself should be charged to pay for it (or organize people for that purpose).

For starters, you display a high handed attitude and a level of arrogance to the rest of us. Are the member of the House of Lords able to spout anything into their dotage? I, for one do not need your pat on the head from you or anybody else for that matter. I do not need your approval at all. Be a leader in DOING, or get out of the way of the doers themselves.

I think I understand your (very radical) proposal of dealing with people like cattle, never mind their objections and concerns. I have a counterproposal. Pick a state - any state - like arizona or nevada, the sunniest and windiest states to give you a head start. Then I will support to go there by supporting a Congressional decision to that effect. GO THERE, AND SHOW IT TO ME! SHOVE YOUR PRAISES, SHOW IT TO ME. I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR PRATTLE, SHOW IT TO ME. Until you show me in any cockamamie way, what you can and are willing to do from your own pocket my hearing toward you is badly dimmed.

And I do not like you highhanded way of your 4 point proposal. "Let people curse all they want?!?" Hell, let YOU curse all you want, buddy! My family's needs come first, and your lovely pipedreams are waay down.

Best regards

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#32
In reply to #21

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 12:45 PM

hello guest #21 mass transit. we used to have mass transit in almost everey community in the US. then the automobile manufacturers bought up every one of them and closed them. scrapped the cars and rails. they were found guilty, at their trial, of colusion and monopolistic practices. they were fined $5,000. of course, by that time there was no longer any mass transit in the united states. whats good for GM is good for the united states.

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 2:09 PM

T'was trucks that won the race from the East to the West. That is the Great Railroad vs Truck Race of the early 1900's. After that event, small communities with dirty freight trains passing through day and night were often happy to see them go. The mass transit you refer to was passenger service on the same rails. You are correct. Not a lot of that scattered about any more, as it is not nice to have to leave you car parked in some pay as you go parking lot and hope to arrive at your destination in time to catch the next bus across town so as to arrive at work on time. Or worse, have to rent a car to continue your trip to some place where railroads don't exist, and "have it break down like happened to "Milo" a little while back."

A carefull designed, well planned rail system that is constructed to suit the nations needs today and for the for seeable future would be a good thing. But have you ever taken a look at what a monsterous thing a modern huge rail road switching yard looks like, and listened to the noise produced by the conecting and disconecting and movment of the cars. It is an amasingly beautiful dance of huge heavy equipment. "BUT: not in my back yard"!

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 2:57 PM

These fellows reminded me of another government meddling, with again predictable results.

When the Big War finished, the rail system was healthy. So, your Congress of infinite wisdom decided to support the trucking and bus industries. How did they do it? I am glad you asked, because they did it in a charasteristic Congressional hamhanded fashion. They simply forbade railroads to come back loaded after a successfull delivery. Guess what? They profitability fall by 50%. Wonderful.

Now another lunkhead "Guest" want to do the same treatment to our road system. At the same time when Obama want to build more. No wonder, we are not getting anywhere, when wiseguys are wasting our money (effort, capability, ability, future expansion capability.....) want to lash out to another meaningless, wasteful ways. Just to feel good they "did something", even if it meant nothing.

Any blooming fool can attempt to waste our monies. Spending stuff wisely? Nah, that requires meaningful debate: effort, getting an agreement on the best of the ways:effort, crafting meaningful legislation:effort...... Nah. let's just propose something highanded from the House of Lords, where every single one knows better, than you and I peasants, what is the good and righ way!!

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#35
In reply to #17

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 4:38 PM

The USSA has a very bad habbit of developing technology and then dropping the ball when it comes to turning them into viable consumer products.

Off the top of my head the VCR comes to mind as does the cell phone, the transistor, a myriad of other electronic components.

I for one will not be purchasing a battery car or hybrid any time soon. As stated, once the batteries need to be replaced you are faced with a costly decision - cough up for a battery or sell your wheels at a deep discount.

One mentioned earlier the diesel electrics used by trains. I don't think the system will work as well for a passenger car. Diesel electrics are also used on cruise ships and other large vessels. I don't think the reasons why they work well for heavy applications exist in small passenger cars.

Once again, congress has placed it's self in the position to "fix" a problem which it had a large role in creating. (Many of the policies and corruption created by congress (Washington politics as a whole) has created the "housing mess" which has led to the larger economic mess we find ourselves in which has panned out to be one of the last nails in the coffin of the automotive industry (the auto industry has had one foot in the grave for over a decade, they are just now coming to terms with it).) It is true, the US auto makers build some fantastic, fuel efficient cars IN OTHER COUNTRIES and sell them IN OTHER COUNTRIES which they CAN'T SELL IN THE USSA because of legislation, only part of which has to do with excluding them from the domestic CAFE standards. Why the US auto makers are not demanding the right to sell these cars domestically is beyond me. In reality the domestic car companies are doing very well, ABROAD... it's just here in the US that they are circling the drain.

Travis
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#36
In reply to #21

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 5:08 PM

You serve as a warning to us all.

If you will only have road access available in areas not served by mass transit, how will we get to those non served areas (assuming you won't allow vehicles other than approved electric go carts in the areas "served" by mass transit. Once you get to an area not "served" by mass transit, how will you get around? Ricshaw? Bicycle? A-pied?

Also, telling people who enjoy motor sports to go pound sand is very socialistic. Where's the freedom to choose? Who are you or a government to decide which forms of recreation are to be blessed and which are not? Who's to say it will end with blessing your mode of transportation and recreation? Why not pass judgment on what you eat, what job you do and where you live?

Oh, wait a minute, this is NOW the USSA and we now have Lord Barac Oboma, the Most Merciful, praise be to the government, ACORN and the ACLU.

Sorry, I lost my head there for a minute and forgot, we're not in America any more.

Travis
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#37
In reply to #35

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 5:14 PM

Are you suggesting by returning to the good old train system is a better option?

The electric train is lot more efficient than any EV on the road.

The diesel train was also a better answer than a hybrid car.

May be we should learn to compromise and willing to adjust for the shake of the environment because it is us who must do it after all and not the other way around.

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#38
In reply to #37

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 5:37 PM

hello Isti80,

i would like to see cities once again criss crossed with small lightweight electric trollies, that share the road with ICE. i would like to see single car trollies. i would like to see a line within easy walking distance of every home. if you could easily get around without an ice, people would. i don't mean mutli million dollar systems like in San Jose, Ca (the only one i am familiar with). it is very limited in that it goes long distance, but not everywhere. in fact, it is dependent on bus feeders. altogether a poor way to do things and very expensive. it is just a glorified bus route that costs millions to build and operate. i am wanting the kind they had back in the 20, small, light weight, mostly open, with a single conductor standing in front, real retro. these were replaced by buses. buses should be replaced by them.

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#39
In reply to #24

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/22/2008 6:29 PM

In the past when such vehicles have come up I have asked what the best electric motor actually is for them. My thinking was that a great electric motor would require less power. Has the Electric Motor come to be as perfect as possible? On other occasions I've wondered if it would be possible and practical to replicate the subway third rail, or overhead trolley power grid so all a vehicle had to run from battery was to get to the powered road. Maybe if Tesla was still alive he could figure it out. (He was the basis for one of the characters in Atlas Shrugged, by the way.) It is not out of the question for a nation to build major, very expensive infrastructures for vital needs. Rome built roads and Aquaducts that are still around. We take the Interstates for granted. In some cases on some routes the trains are making comebacks. The Airlines have benefited from lower fuel costs, and steps made in relation to them. If the real basic problem is that in the US we don't have enough generating capacity, and grid for the needs of both lights and computers and cars and trucks, is not there at least a problem that could be solved? Wave and Wind and Solar and Hydro and Geothermal technologies are apparently hamstrung by the deficiencies of the US Grid. High voltage DC transmissions are apparently understood and useful in between Mexico and the US. How can this tech be applied to the internal grid needs which call for surplus? My hero the pilot James Boy once said, "We're not here to figure out how not to do it!" -A lot of people hear that as: "We're here to figure out how not to do it!" Burning oil and coal without a doubt has its limitations and negative environmental impacts. Nuclear Energy requires a bit more human perfection of habits and systems and weapons creation dangers than I am fond of. From what I read about the Volt, it seemed to represent a practical and desirable vehicle. It is interesting that I heard in passing on the radio it is to be delayed or scrapped. There is a nascent electric system somewhere in the world I read of where they just give you a charged battery at the gas station, taking yours that is depleted. Maybe part of the solution is simply like that, renting the batteries instead of owning them? There are transformational inventions and transitional inventions, mature and immature technologies. (Motion Picture Cameras were mature, Video cameras were transitional, and now Digital Cameras are mature, for instance.) If I was a Technocrat I would be doing all I could to decide on what mature transformational transportation infrastructure was, and then pushing for that no matter what it cost today. P.S. any help making that sort of decision would be appreciated. _And further I am all for people doing things, and buying things that are fun. I wonder if 21 has ever wasted some time at a Strip Joint? It makes more sense than you think sometimes.

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/23/2008 12:51 AM

There is almost never a blog response to this kind of subject that does not eventually get around to several responders bringing up electricity produced by wave action, huge wind generating farms and hundreds of thousands of square miles of solar panels along with geo thermal energy production. Each and every one of these comes with huge risks of failure at times when they are needed most. And; no one seems to have a viable answer for solving said problems. We are not living in the Australian Out Back, or the African Serengetti. We live in a Nation where the majority of the population lives within 100 miles of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans or the Gulf of Mexico or the Great lakes. Our Natural Gas reserves seem to be unlimited for at least the next one hundred or more generations. We have hardly begun to tap into this source of energy. Getting this fuel source to where it is needed is as easy as constructing enough pipe lines to satisfy the need. Air conditioning systems that are of the absorption type, "heat pumps" can provide for both heating and cooling with a minimal need for electricity for the fans to move the conditioned air. But this can only happen if the pipelines are placed where they are needed. This same fuel source can be piped to the power generating stations, and is about as clean as any energy source could be expected to be. Before we demand that the auto manufacturers flood the known world with EV's we need to prepare the known world with the ability for providing the electrical energy needed to charge these little gizmos. In the time between then and now, however, I see absolutely no reason that small, efficient generators could not be installed in such little EV's for recharging the batteries as needed. We may never achieve the development of the 600 miles per day goal that some of us desire, but 400 miles per day at interstate highway speeds may be possible. My 4500 watt generator, 5500 serge watts, will run for about 6 hours on about 3.5 gallons of gasoline. I see no reason that further development in the oxy-hydrogen technology should not double this performance.

For those of you who are considering jumping all over this idea as it violates the laws of thermodynamics, I have herd all of your ugly remarks, so don't condem this idea unless you have a better one to offer. If you cannot offer a reasonable solution to this problem then "you are" the problem!

Time to move on to the next Blog!

TMF

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#41
In reply to #18

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/23/2008 1:44 AM

Dear Friend

(a) 1 hp = 0.745 kW, so 1 kW= 1.34 hp. Your assumption of 1 kW=1 hp is therefore out by 34%, quite large. Your calculations therefore changes significantly.

(2) 200 kW is lot of power =268 hp. Really really large. Try doing your calculations with 100 kW motor. You will see large difference. EVs of such high power will certainly not survive in the present circumstances. Though people/companies MIGHT have made it.

Thanks and regards

Ashok Toshniwal, Bangalore, India

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: Are We

12/23/2008 5:22 AM

He just used it as a rough estimate and even that made things look bad let alone if he made his calculations more accurate then the figures become even worse.

So, are you for wasting Money on Electric Cars or aren't ya?

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#43

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/23/2008 6:45 AM

Why not steam vehicles with flash boilers there was one the Stanley and it had a fair turn of speed

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#44

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/23/2008 7:55 AM

cheers to all, this is guest #21

(well, this is as good as any internet nickname on CR4...)

cheer up, people! this is a forum for discussion, not an election panel... i personally am not taking anyone's car away by force, not even my own. discussing is about agreeing and disagreeing. listening helps too.

i really don't have to add anything, other than a note of caution: many seem to think only in local USA terms... looking around (the world) will reveal many many more ideas. (CR4 is, after all, an international community) what seems locally 'impossible' for some of the US colleagues who responded less than enthusiastically IS being done already in many european cities, towns etc. it's not so wide-spread globally, but it's viable. as i said, where good mass-transit exists, cars are no more than non-sustainable life-style items.

bikes+ trains: look at Holland. look at Finland. Germany. etc (and, mind you, the fact that it rains a lot there doesn't seem to deter people too much. i guess it's compatible with THEIR lifestyle. funny eh?)

The fact remains that, where there are enough commuters to warrant the investment, you simply can't beat good mass-transit.

by the way, being personally offensive against guest #21 (or xyz...) does not help raise anyone's esteem for the offenders. by all means, go ahead though, it's Xmas!

all the best

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#45
In reply to #9

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/23/2008 3:47 PM

Unfortunately the tree huggers have managed to have so many environmental impact rules put in place that new generation facilities are unlikly to be built any time soon.

Actually a new nuclear station will be built in Bowmanville, Ontario ... the site is selected and a new two unit station is approved ... the type of technology will be selected next spring ... it may be finished way after the electrical cars could be developed but when running it will provide a lot of electricity ... two reactors will be built initially, the other two could be built later on as the land is available and the environmental study completed.

Jaan

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#46
In reply to #21

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/24/2008 12:43 AM

Dear Guest

I too agree on your suggestion to build a serious mass-transit infrastructure. In recent times also, it has been noticed that wherever mass-transit infrastructure has been built, the road transport has been de-congested. Singapore is a classic example of this. One can only imagine the environment if there are mini Singapores all over the world. All we need is Lee Kuan Yews, all over, who had the willingness to implement.

After the oil price rise, I understand that traffic in BART ( Bay area rapid transport in Bay area, US ) has gone up ( at least my sister & brother-in-law staying in San Jose told me so ) & there is an increase in sale of even Electric scooters, in California ( I read it on one of the forums ).

Can I have the opinion of the enlightened group?

Thanks and regards

Ashok Toshniwal, Bangalore, India

Dear Guest, There is enough of juice still left in this discussion, one of the longest running discussion I have seen on this forum, which will not let your chest de-congest!!!!, stay fired up & keep emplying your chest!!

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#47

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/24/2008 6:58 AM

I think the majority of you guys should have become some kind of a politician because you like to talk but no real ideas and on top of that you're still deliberately missing the real fundamental issues.

Like I said, this is a sick project that is desecrating Tesla's character who used to think well outside the frame, if you like.

Tesla as a manufacturer is targeting the wrong group of people with their feeble designs (like Motorola used to do with their Iridium project). The group of people who will never yield Tesla enough profit to make their designs worthwhile for further research that could avoid the battery hassle that's likely to stay.

I also said, what about the heating issue in cold climate where even modern trucks have to be prepared for it, like in Canada and not to mention places like Siberia where temps can drop below -55C? Have you ever thought about that too?

At the moment as it looks batteries should be made to standards so they could easily be swapped in cars, like a household gas bottle, and let the supplier take the responsibility for their failure under normal wear and tear while the user being charged a deposit for each battery.

These would still be just temporary solutions and definitely not deserving Tesla's name to bear as this is just an in side the frame idea to resolve this seemingly never ending dilemma.

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#48

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/24/2008 8:09 AM

What about steam cars with flash boilers every stroke a power stroke with 90% efficiency

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#49
In reply to #47

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/24/2008 9:25 AM

hello Istri80,

actually i have no problem with the tesla. the reason is because the industry needs many, many designs so that evolution will let the best ones rise. same thing happened in the early days of auto design. there was just a link here on cr4, asking what state these cars were manufactured. there was a list of 50 or so cars. they all were built in Minnesota. does any one here on cr4 know how many different auto manufacturers there ever have been in the United States? it will probably be a very large number. every one. as each inventor had his own ideas, he had to build his own car to implement them. they didn't like giving them away to the competition. and the competition didn't like paying for some other guys ideas. so this made many different ways of doing anything. one great inovation would come from one guy, another from another. because the auto industry is parasitic, the best ideas, were picked up by all of the survivors. these early cars were not cheap. they were all hand built. almost one of a kind's. same with coach manufacturer's. most early automobile manufacturers, did not make their own bodies.

therefore, i am all for multiple manufacturers bringing out their own ev's, and let evolution and buyer satisfaction weed them out. we will be better off from the effort.

joe

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#50
In reply to #47

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/24/2008 9:43 AM

The use of Tesla's name is all about marketing and recognition, and I agree wholeheartedly about the cold climate problem, I live in the Great White North, and we have already had more very cold weather in December than I can remember. You have to love -35c with 65% humidity, I really have to find a warmer place to live, but I digress. I must also agree, an Uber Luxury electric sports car seems like a silly approach, but it does have an interesting marketing approach. The automotive press would love such a thing, and it would get a LOT of media attention, whereas a bland electric econobox might get noticed, but coverage would be more along the line of a side bar than a feature. You want funding, make a very big splash, get lots of press attention, and the private equity money will roll in the front door. There is always private equity available for those who know how to do the marketing and write a good business plan. something also to keep in mind, the two major automotive markets in the US are California and New Jersey, NJ who knew, but that is the way it is, that is where the money is and where most of the advertising money is aimed. To be fair new jersey is only big because of New Your city being very close.

Fair to Tesla's name, maybe not, but it is a good name to abuse, and there probably isn't a copyright like there is on Edison, which sounds too much like Edsel in ant case, and that is a totally different story.

Merry Merry everyone, happy whatever you celebrate this time of year.

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#51
In reply to #50

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

12/24/2008 12:52 PM

Hello artbyjoe & Dances with Trees first of all have a very merry also to you both!

I think I'll be drinking like a horse since I don't have a well heated electric car yet to keep me warm while I'm driving around town.

I sincerely hope this manufacturer will fail sooner than they even know it for ab-using Tesla's name for their B...marketing strategy because they do not deserve it.

To abuse Tesla's name unfairly who was grossly mistreated by many as an immigrant, but by none more than the US government, yet lot of people were cashing in on his ideas including Mr Marconi himself (who probably barely new enough about the concept of the radio).

Just because there's a guy behind this electric car who does have contracts with NASA does not automatically make him a man who knows what to do when it comes to this very project or does he? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRd7ER7u-KU&feature=related

I deliberately did not include this link which I could have, right from the beginning when this discussion started, some of you can now see what I mean.

Merry X-mas!

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#52

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/02/2009 11:01 PM

Let's look at the numbers, assuming a 250,000 mile life for the vehicle and similar maintenance expense except for oil changes and other engine/transmission service:

25 mpg gas-hog, priced at $32,000, plus 10,000 gallons of gasoline at $5/gallon , plus 83 oil changes at $40 each plus other service at $5000 = $90,320.

Electric car, priced at $109,000, plus WHAT!? - THAT MUCH? for a battery pack every 10,000-15,000 miles, oh never mind, I can still buy a lot of gasoline for the difference in original purchase price, and I haven't even got to the cost of the electricity yet. Oh, and I can invest the $77,000 purchase price difference in something else until I need to buy gas or oil ...

The all-electric car faces a formidable hurdle given that the competition still has better economics. Unlike true breakthrough technologies, it has few significant price/performance advantages over the alternatives and a number of disadvantages. It may never be generally competitive, so using public money to try to force the market could be a real boondoggle. The one place it might make immediate sense is Hawaii, where refined petroleum products must be shipped in at great expense, but range requirements are not as significant as in the rest of the nation. I would not be averse to the federal government buying a number for agency use there if the quantity needed would provide the economics of scale necessary to bring the per unit build price down to a competitive level. The Government Services Administration could even solicit purchase commitments from Hawaiian residents to get a better package deal from the manufacturer. "We only need X cars, but if we can find buyers for Y more cars to fill up the freighter, we all get a better price. Want to get in on the deal?"

The plug-in hybrid looks more promising at this time. For short runs, electricity is much cheaper than liquid fuel, but if necessary, the combustion engine could be run to drive a heat pump for passenger and battery comfort - something not available to the all-electric vehicle as others have pointed out. The key will be to find the best balance between battery performance and price versus combustion engine fuel cost, load requirements, and engine and generator prices. It might even be worth examining Stirling cycle engines for this application.

But that is all stuff for inventors, engineers and venture capitalists to investigate. Except for product purchase for its own needs iff it is a frugal use of the taxpayers' money, none of it is within the legal prerogative of the Federal government (see the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution), and state governments shouldn't mess with it either except in the context of university research projects.

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/03/2009 12:37 AM

Dear MNIce

Is the 25 mpg gas hog priced at $32,000 equivalent in performance, including engine power, to the $109,000 electric car? If not then it is not an apple to apple comparision.

Thanks and regards

Ashok Toshniwal, Bangalore, India

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#54
In reply to #52

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/03/2009 7:20 AM

most likely the first mass produced electric car will be chinese, coming in at $19,000 to $23,000. those numbers will most likely be far more competitive in your side by side comparison.

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#55

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/03/2009 10:11 PM

Why bother with electricity?

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#56

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/03/2009 11:24 PM

Got note of new post. Reread original question. I waver. Public Funds? Tesla? Edison? Who paid Tesla? Who paid Edison? Both were dependent on protections of intellectual property rights from what I know. In NC Howard Coble in Congress was or maybe still is was Chairman of the Committee supposed to protect intellectual property rights. One late post in this thread said China would come in producing electric cars with good performance at low cost. China is a company. They are autocratic. They do not like even Confucious. Us "americans" and Russians are desperate, but the Russians and Chinese at least know how to steal. (or what) -lately Americans only steal money. My last call on this particular thread is that if you independently make a fine competitive machine, that does what its buyers need it to do, you ought to be protected from the theft of your work, at the least. The aspects of Democracy that are part of the culture, that is actually delicate, and sometimes taken for granted or misunderstood, do depend on fair play and the social contract, which is right hard diminished by the corporations and countries that are really armed companies. Labor is in a bad situation. They do not have enough private funds to give to hobbyist. So then No. But all inventors and innovators rich or poor ought to be protected from rip offs in the whole world of a mixed economy which is nation states that are armed companies, or companies that hire mercenaries. Too Bad about he UN. Last call or post on this thread about wasting money on electric lawyers of the international sort. What? Last Call.

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#57
In reply to #55

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/04/2009 4:52 AM

Once I had a car like that my grandpa bought it for me, it was cheap to operate.

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#58

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/04/2009 10:02 AM

HELLO,GIANFRANCO FRONZI HERE,I'M NOT A PROFFESIONAL AT THE TOPIC BUT WAS A HANDS ON MECHANIC FOR MANY YEARS.WELL WHEN YOU OBSERVE THE FORCES OF MECHANICS ON A DAYLY BASIS YOU GET AN ABILITY TO MAKE MESURMENTS EVEN ON A LARGE SCALE ALMOST SPIRITUALY ,MY NEXT WORDS ARE GOING TO INCLUDE ACTUALLY WORKING AS MAINT. IN A NUCLEAR PLANT,AND POWER GENERATION FACILITY.MY OBSERVATIONS,NUCLEAR IS THE BIGGEST JOKE WE CAN BE WILLING TO BELIEVE,ALL THAT BULL CRAP JUST TO MAKE STEAM?

AND FOR SOME REASON WE ARE HOLDING BACK ON NATURAL POWER PRODUCTION,IF IT'S BECAUSE OF THE GREEN PEOPLE,WELL WE SHOULD INSTRUCT OUR GOVERMENTS TO POSSIBLY WORK FOR THE INTERESTS OF SOCIETY INSTEAD OF SOME TREES,THIS IS LIFE ,SOMETHING USUALLY DIES WHEN ANOTHER PROSPERS,BUT LIFE DOESN'T GIVE UP, THE TREES OR FISH ,ADAPT AN SPRING UP IN ANOTHER PLACE IN ANOTHER STYLE,RELAX MY FRIENDS, FOR WHAT WE DO WRONG OR RIGHT IT'S STILL JUST EVOLUTION,I SAY BIGHT A CHUNCK OUT OF OUR CONTINUOSE MOVEMENT FORCES,WATER ,AIR ETC. THANK YOU. GIANFRANCO FRONZI,SAULT CANADA.

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#59
In reply to #58

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/04/2009 7:41 PM

The trees and fish arent adapting and "springing up" elsewhere. Their evolutionary cycle is rather longer than that of a car. That's what this is all about. For the society you appear to place before everything, survival, amongst other things, is going to depend on trees.

As to the question on electric cars, whether or not its worth the expenditure of time and money, there is surely no answer to that at present. We'll have to develop the car(s), and the infrastructure, and the mass transport, and the restriction on our lifestyles, etc, to collectively produce an integrated solution - if possible. Hence in the meantime the electric car is a possibility that needs further work. I guess that development, whether at the elite or common level, is necessary and this the way "society" does it whether by entrepreneurs or government fiat. The short answer is we dont know yet, keep trying.

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#60
In reply to #58

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/05/2009 4:31 AM

Do you realise this is the most absurd statement anyone could make?

I think with comments like this you should try to path the way for the next republican candidate.

I just read that senior Bush is hoping that his son #2 (he's a governor now) will also make it to the white-house one day and in that case they'll need advisors like you.

Do you really believe nature can survive anything you throw at it?

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#61
In reply to #54

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/05/2009 8:20 AM

Perhaps, but until the quality and reliability standards of the products coming out of China rise I won't consider buying one of their cars. I'll just stick with riding my motorcycle in the warmer months.

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#62
In reply to #52

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/05/2009 5:36 PM

Very well reasoned but maybe we should view it from the longer perspective - which ultimately will be forced on us anyway. What do we replace the ICE with given that its fuelling in the end becomes an unacceptable environmental toxin and cost ? Can the battery-powered electric car replace it ? Doubtful, as you point out, there could possibly be even greater environmental problems and draw on resources. Seems to me the hybrid is the principal intermediate solution on the way to the fuel cell powered vehicle. The battery-powered vehicle is a relative side show with certain specialist applications - the whole picture is "horses for courses" - hybrid with some battery and on to fuel cell - reduce demand for individual transportation with greater mass transportation. To concentrate on the battery-powered vehicle requires an infrastructure build-up which must in a relatively short time be altered to the needs of the hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle. Hence at this stage perhaps the development of the battery-powered vehicle should be left to entrepreneurs, and government support/funding directed to hybrid and fuel cell vehicles ?

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#63
In reply to #58

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/05/2009 8:48 PM

THE TREES OR FISH ,ADAPT AN SPRING UP IN ANOTHER PLACE IN ANOTHER STYLE

Perhaps they would. But what do we eat while waiting for them to adapt. What if they adapt by making themselves poisonous for us to eat them? That's evolution.

What you're implying is that we can continue with deforestation, with over-fishing, with dumping poisons into our atmosphere/water/land, because "it will all go back to normal eventually".

Sorry, chief. I don't agree.

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#64

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/05/2009 9:54 PM

By the way, what is off book, and on book is often different, and it is best to add the numbers together to get the real numbers. NYTimes of Sat. had pictures of robot cars doing right, acting like traincars. We like cars because they aren't trains. That's the point of cars.

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#65
In reply to #63

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/06/2009 7:50 PM

Sorry, the previous note is the sign of utter, fundamental confusion.

The history of earth is the history of 99.9% extinction of species. I do not like it, but that how it is. Just because I do not like it, it does not have to change a bit. Get used to it, adapt to it or get out of the way (evolutionary speaking, but oh that is the same thing).

Chicken Little has no vote.

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#66
In reply to #65

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/06/2009 8:21 PM

The history of earth is the history of 99.9% extinction of species

True but are you saying that it's okay for the humans let the non-human species die out through over-fishing, deforestation or the like? You agree that government should not care about the environment?

And what's with the "Chicken Little has no vote"? I'm not looking for GA votes here.

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#67
In reply to #65

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/07/2009 4:49 AM

I think you are the one confused in this. The history of earth until the later development of "civilized" man - something like 0.001% of Earth's total history - is one of evolution during which species do become extinct, but by the process of natural selection, which results in more adaptive species - until we get man. The process man (the super-adaptive by environmental modification, not natural selection) has introduced, extinguishes other species, which then have no opportunity to develop by natural selection. They just vanish when otherwise they could have adapted. By unnaturally foreshortening the process we are removing species which are beneficial to us - quite apart from the ethical questions - and thereby reducing our own ability to adapt because we'll lose the resources we use for our adaptation. Evolutionarily speaking, we'll run out of the total environmental resources our species requires and vanish just like preceeding species that also became extinct because their resources also disappeared. Hey presto - we vanish too - and bloody well deserve it.

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#68
In reply to #67

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/07/2009 8:10 AM

Comparing moral imperatives (good stewardship) to facts of life (extinction being the standard way) is a fallacy. Let's not go there.

If you live on this Earth, and you are an intelligent being (a questionable proposition for many of us), you have some added burden by your conscience (if you have one, that is). That complicates life. We now have the power to do entirely "unnatural" things.

At this point the subject ties back in to the electric cars, as a perfectly suitable example. An energy rich society does as it pleases, including indulgences, like preserving species etc. A poor society can wish, but can do squat. A society is composed of individuals. So, the same is applicable to individuals too. So what that means to the subject at hand: energy.

Guess what, the price of energy matters:

solar or wind around $1 - 2 per kWh, Times Magazine nonwithstanding

standard supply I pay $ 0.2 per kWh right now

few years ago I paid $ 0.05 - 0.07

cookie cutter atomic approx. $ 0.01 - 0.02

fusion (if ever) unmeasurably low = given away free

I am not being flippant. The last two cases of low energy costs forces a reevaluation of the model, and in all likelihood changes it into something like the highway system. Think about it.

Present day battery technology is wholly and fundamentally inadequate. Do not even talk to me about it. It simply WILL NOT DO. Do your own math or measurement, or whatever.

Solve this two problems. The rest is just so much hot air.

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#69
In reply to #68

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/07/2009 4:47 PM

"Comparing moral imperatives (good stewardship) to facts of life (extinction being the standard way) is a fallacy. Let's not go there."

Agreed, lets stick to facts of life, one being that extinction is not the standard way - adaptation is - extinction is the consequence of non-adaptation. This is our(or should be)concern

"We now have the power to do entirely "unnatural" things."

We already have done and keep doing, it but given the power we have, should use it to adapt and thereby avoid extinction - which we are not doing !

"At this point the subject ties back in to the electric cars, as a perfectly suitable example. An energy rich society does as it pleases, including indulgences, like preserving species etc."

You appear to be saying that attempts to preserve the environment for the purposes of our adaptation are indulgences i.e. trivial pursuits. I infer then that you also mean we are entitled to that indulgence just because we can, and we may indulge ourselves in any other (including environment-damaging) way we choose, also because we can

So you want your cake and to eat it too! In the longer run it ain't tenable. And the longer run is going to be determined by which "indulgences" we curb now

"A poor society can wish, but can do squat. A society is composed of individuals. So, the same is applicable to individuals too. So what that means to the subject at hand: energy."

Too simple. Societal analogy - Roman Empire - ultimately collapsed because among other factors it outstripped its resources without adapting to an evolving environmental situation it had created itself, and ran out of synergy - too individualist-oriented societies do. The poorer societies then stripped it of its remaining resources - they had better synergy. Not an impossibility here but given the global scope of today's problems any analogy has distinct limits

"Guess what, the price of energy matters:"

You bet - OK I'll buy your figures

"I am not being flippant. The last two cases of low energy costs forces a reevaluation of the model,"

Hell yes

"and in all likelihood changes it into something like the highway system. Think about it."

I am, presumably you mean shambolic

"Present day battery technology is wholly and fundamentally inadequate. Do not even talk to me about it. It simply WILL NOT DO. Do your own math or measurement, or whatever."

Agreed but it has to be developed because we're going to need better battery technology - to support the other energy developments. So let money be put into the electric car but - because its a side-show comparative to the fuel-celled vehicle - let it be private money not public money.

"Solve the last two problems"

Wait a while - quite a while

"The rest is just so much hot air."

Could we use that in some way ?

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#70

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/24/2009 10:54 AM

"Tesla wants to build a lithium ion electric $109,000 sports car, which seems an excessive waste of capital."

First, it's not a waste of capital if they make a profit!

Right now they are selling every single car before they make it. Can GM, Ford, or Chrysler claim that?

Second, Tesla, to my knowledge, is not using public funds. It is a private enterprise funded by private investors.

Even so, the government has been pouring billions and billions of dollars of tax payer's money into unprofitable automakers of undesirable cars primarily to keep the unions afloat. Does anyone see that as outrageous?

Any tax payer's money going into EVs is like pissing into the ocean (and expecting to see the sea levels to rise) compared to the trillion plus tax payer's dollars about to spent on a "bailout", which, by the way, includes funds for contraceptives!

Can someone please explain to me how funding contraceptives is going to turn around this economy?

Where were the contraceptives when some of these politicians were conceived?

God help us because we are totally unable to do the task ourselves.

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#71
In reply to #58

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/26/2009 11:40 AM

YOU HAVE GONE TO THE EXTREME,AS PEOPLE USEUALY DO ENERGY IS THE TOPIC NOT EVOLUTION.GIANFRANCO FRONZI

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#72
In reply to #70

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/26/2009 5:35 PM

Where were the contraceptives when some of these politicians were conceived?

Nowhere!!!

By looking at their ages they must have come about when contraceptives were concepts. Otherwise I would understand their birth defects caused by the side effects.

B...hell, when somebody in a country like yours is crying out as loud as this it makes one wonder what's going on?

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#73
In reply to #70

Re: Are We Wasting Money on Electric Cars?

01/26/2009 6:07 PM

Apparently the contraceptive part of the stimulus fund, and I am trying so hard not to exploit the funny side of that, came from a Democrat from the Peoples Republic of California, same person backing the idea of a special fuel efficiency level for cars sold in the same state. I did a posting in the automotive section about the fuel efficiency thing, glad I had my nomex suite on

Considering how the middle class, if any are left are in many cases not able to buy food and pay for prescriptions, offering free birth control is a not so bad idea. Last thing this continent needs is a population explosion when people are loosing jobs, can't pay their mortgages and can't afford health care. I wonder how they are supposed to buy environmentaly friendly cars when they will have to keep the mini van to live in?

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