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Electric Cars: A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come

September 28, 2011 by  

Electric Cars: A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come

Editor’s note: This is part 1 in a two-part series on the dangers of going green.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. I have little doubt that the road President Barack Obama envisions is built around renewable energy; the only vehicles that traverse it are electric. It is the world of science fiction. America’s problem is that this world will hasten our downfall.

Case in point is Solyndra Inc.’s slide into bankruptcy earlier this month. The Fremont, Calif., solar-panel maker was magically awarded a $535 million Federal loan guarantee in September 2009. It is all part of the President’s dream to remake America green. It began with a loan from the Energy Department from funds derived from the 2009 Obama stimulus package.

Bad news for the White House and Obama Democrats came on Sept. 6 when the company filed for bankruptcy protection. Two days later, the FBI raided the company’s offices.

There was more bad news last week. Solyndra said it needs more than the initially expected four weeks to find a buyer to take over its idled solar panel-making operations.

Solyndra said it had a plan to try to find a buyer by early October, a company that could restart its recently shuttered factory and rehire some of its 1,000 staff. Maybe Solyndra can find some magic beans. It could grow something green that would stretch to the sky, something both the environmentalists and the Obama Administration need.

Recently, an opinion piece of the WNYC website summed up the failure of Solyndra:

That the government invested in a non-viable company because it wanted a “Green” photo-op and that this investment was part of a sweetheart deal to reward an Obama donor is disgusting but typical. The fact is, when the government pours money into a business or a program or an initiative, no one cares too much whether it succeeds or fails.

After all, are any of the people who made the decision to fund Solyndra going to see a pay cut to their own paycheck? Of course not. That remains the number one argument as to why the government should not have the power to use OUR money to fund their pet projects.

It’s also the most reasonable argument for why private businesses always do better than public ones. For example, Fed Ex and UPS have to balance their budgets, make cuts when necessary and care about meeting their bottom line. The US Postal Service? Less.

At least the U.S. Postal Service uses proven technology. The Obama Adminstration wants to reinvent the world with things that, frankly, don’t work — at least not yet. Solar panels are just one failed scheme. Another is the Adminstration’s support for the electric car.

A Lemon That Runs On Electricity

If you listen closely enough to Obama, you might think the Electric Age has just begun when in fact it dates back more than a century. The President has announced his goal of having 1 million electric cars on American roads by 2015. His Administration has even allocated $2.4 billion in “stimulus” money to subsidize production of them, along with the batteries and other components that they use.

Earlier this month, Forbes contributor Louis Woodhill weighed in on what he thought of Obama’s seed money for the electric car:

Unfortunately, electric cars are about to do a barrier crash into economic reality, and all the airbags in the world won’t be able to save them.  The taxpayers’ $2.4 billion is destined to join Obama’s $535 million investment in solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra at the bottom of the crony-capitalism “stimulus” rat hole.

Woodhill was specific in his criticism of Obama’s plan, especially when it comes to mass-produced battery electric vehicles. He points to Nissan, which is engineering state-of-the-art lithium batteries into its new car, the Leaf. “It costs more than twice as much ($35,430 vs. $17,250) as a comparable Nissan Versa,” Woodhill wrote.  And before you rush to save the Earth and sacrifice your pocketbook, keep this in mind: The battery-powered car provides far less convenience and performance than the car that burns gasoline.

The Leaf has terrible acceleration and has only 25 percent the range of a comparable gasoline car.

Given the cost of using batteries for the Leaf versus an economy car you can fill at $4 per gallon with gasoline, you would have to drive your new electric car 164,000 miles just to recover the additional purchase cost.

Factor in interest on your money, and you would have to drive your electric car almost 200,000 miles before you break even. It’s too bad about not being able to merge on to the freeway because of the car’s terrible performance. And it is impossible to drive a Leaf more than 60 miles per day.

That the electric car is a poor substitute for a gasoline car is nothing new. In 1896 Thomas Edison panned the electric car: “Electric cars must keep near to power stations. The storage battery is too heavy.”

More than a century later and with new lithium technology, the fortunes of the electric car still have not changed. In 2009, when speaking of the Chevrolet Volt (a big name among enthusiasts), the president of Audi America, Johan de Nysschen said: “There are not enough idiots who will buy it.”

With the exception of Forbes, the popular press has never given up on trying to find idiots to buy the electric car.

In Power Hungry: The Myths of “Green” Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future, author Robert Bryce wrote:

  • 1911: The New York Times declares that the electric car “has long been recognized as the ideal solution” because it “is cleaner and quieter” and “much more economical.”
  • 1915: The Washington Post writes that “prices on electric cars will continue to drop until they are within reach of the average family.”
  • 1959: The New York Times reports that the “Old electric may be the car of tomorrow.” The story said that electric cars were making a comeback because “gasoline is expensive today, principally because it is so heavily taxed, while electricity is far cheaper” than it was back in the 1920s.
  • 1967: The Los Angeles Times says that American Motors Corporation is on the verge of producing an electric car, the Amitron, to be powered by lithium batteries capable of holding 330 watt-hours per kilogram. (That’s more than two times as much as the energy density of modern lithium-ion batteries.) Backers of the Amitron said, “We don’t see a major obstacle in technology. It’s just a matter of time.”
  • 1979: The Washington Post reports that General Motors has found ”a breakthrough in batteries” that “now makes electric cars commercially practical.” The new zinc-nickel oxide batteries will provide the “100-mile range that General Motors executives believe is necessary to successfully sell electric vehicles to the public.”
  • 1980: In an opinion piece, The Washington Post avers that “practical electric cars can be built in the near future.” By 2000, the average family would own cars, predicted the Post, “tailored for the purpose for which they are most often used.” It went on to say that “in this new kind of car fleet, the electric vehicle could pay (sic) a big role—especially as delivery trucks and two-passenger urban commuter cars. With an aggressive production effort, they might save 1 million barrels of oil a day by the turn of the century.”

The sacrifice is all worth it, argues Obama, if only to get the nation off of its addiction to Middle East oil. There’s just one hiccup. While America is hooked on Arab oil and all the problems that come with that, green technology depends on rare earth elements. And the nation holding the bulwark of those materials — perhaps as much as 90 percent — is China.

That means that America is trading away its energy dependence on one region of the world to a single Communist country, China, a nation that has grand ambitions for the 21st century. It is China’s monopoly on these elements that is the real threat America faces if we choose to go green.

Next week, in part 2 of this report, I will tell you about China’s dominant control of critical rare earth elements that the United States could soon depend on.

Until then… yours in good times and bad,

–John Myers
Editor, Myers Energy & Gold Report

John Myers

is editor of Myers’ Energy and Gold Report. The son of C.V. Myers, the original publisher of Oilweek Magazine, John has worked with two of the world’s largest investment publishers, Phillips and Agora. He was the original editor for Outstanding Investments and has more than 20 years experience as an investment writer. John is a graduate of the University of Calgary. He has worked for Prudential Securities in Spokane, Wash., as a registered investment advisor. His office location in Calgary, Alberta, is just minutes away from the headquarters of some of the biggest players in today’s energy markets. This gives him personal access to everyone from oil CEOs to roughnecks, where he learns secrets from oil insiders he passes on to his subscribers. Plus, during his years in Spokane he cultivated a network of relationships with mining insiders in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

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  • s c

    So there aren’t enough idiots to buy the damned thing, eh? Does that mean that the W H genius hasn’t dreamed up another bailout so America can locate enough certified idiots to buy them? Even if supply could keep up demand, it won’t work.
    Maybe the FBI should raid the W H and confiscate those half-assed magic beans. Most people learn – sooner or later – that it’s a good idea to grow up and put all childish things behind us. At least one W H yahoo has yet to learn that. Odds are good that neither W H boob has learned that valuable lesson. Why should America have to pay and pay and pay for the blatant stupidity of either?

    • BigBadJohn

      So you haven’t heard of Tesla?

      http://www.teslamotors.com/

      • denniso

        So,according to the oil junkies/pushers like Meyers,it’s perfectly OK to give billions/yr of taxpayer money to the archaic oil/gas industry,but not OK to give 2 billion to a new transportation technology to try and wean us off oil? The only ‘good’ thing about oil is that we have all the infrastructure for it,not surprising because it’s been around so long. The oil/gas industry has fought all attempts in the past to move toward more electric transportation soley based on retaining their market and huge profits.

        • Christine

          Where do you think most of the electricity for your electric car comes from? The majority of power plants are powered by oil, coal, or natural gas. Also, anytime you convert energy from one type to another, you waste some of the energy. With a gasoline powered car you convert gasoline to mechanical energy wasting energy one time. With an electric car, you convert oil/coal/natgas to electrical energy (waste one), you send it over long electric wires (waste two), you save it to a battery (waste three), you convert it to mechanical energy (waste four). Physics will never make this system as efficient as a gasoline car.

          • Robert Smith

            Actually generating electricity from dams is certainly efficient and accounts for about 20% in America.

            Geothermal isn’t exploited much in the US but other countries are making great strides in that.

            Wind power is quite excellent and in the long haul cheap.

            Rob

          • Old Henry

            Well then Christine, Little Barry needs to amend the Laws of Physics with an EO…

          • Christine

            Wind Power doesn’t work because it can’t be counted on. Because people expect power instatntly all power generation needs to be one of two kinds. Hydropower and Nuclear are always generating constant full power. Coal/oil/natgas are brought up/down as needed. The more fluxuation there is, the more wasted power bringing generation up and down. They also don’t go up instantly. The coal/oil/natgas power has to stay at temp to be able to respond to the fact that wind power suddenly goes away when the wind stops blowing. If you add a significant amount of wind power to the grid, it actually requires more energy than if you had no wind power. This also ignores the fact that wind power is ridiculously expensive.

          • Old Henry

            I don’t know Rob. Dams kill snail darters and other aquatic life. Not to mention the fact that the dams disturb “nature’s balance” by plugging up rivers.

            Wind turbines kill tens of thousands of birds with the blades.

            Until Little Barry amends the Laws of Physics with an EO, we’re screwed.

          • Kirk Ellsworth

            The vast amount of our electrical power we get is generated from power plants that use fossil fuels.
            Hydro-electric dams damage the environment. Solar power would entail thousand of acres of land, wind power is only practical in places like Oregon or Illinois, where there is almost always wind. Nuclear power plants produce waste that is dangerous for thousands of years.
            The only alternate fuel vehicle I’ve seen that seems to show promise is the hydrogen car. It’s waste product is simple water vapor. And hydrogen is abundant, and not all that difficult to remove from water.

          • Al Sieber

            I have wind power and there hasn’t been any for days. guess I’d have to miss work. I have solar also which isn’t that efficient.

          • JonKemp

            Many dams are systematically being removed by “environmentalists”.

          • Robert Smith

            Old Henry says: “Dams kill snail darters and other aquatic life…”

            I’ve got some excellent recipes for Snail Darter Soup, Komodo Dragon Tail, Spotted Owl Flambay, Braised Pygmy Rabbit…

            Rob

          • denniso

            Christine…first, do you know what the efficiency of the internal combustion engine is? About 30%! An electric motor is about 3 times as efficient.

            Secondly,the idea is that we can use wind,solar,geothermal,to generate the electricity to power the electric vehicles,if not totally then at least to a high degree. Thirdly,if cars are electric and get there power from fossil fuel power plants,the pollution can be better managed and cleaned up at the single source point…the power plant smokestack.

            Electric vehicles are not a magic bullet for our transportation problems,but they are a cleaner step in the right direction and a small step in getting away from our foreign oil addiction. We also need more and better mass transportation like most of the rest of the ‘civilized’ world has.

        • http://donthaveone Beberoni

          Denniso, you said something that made me laugh. Wean us off oil. Do you you know, I mean seriously, do you know, that one of your democrat buddies, Jimmy Carter, created the Department of Energy for the sole purpose, of weaning us off of FOREIGN Oil. Now, all these years later, we use more foreign oil than we ever did, and we are paying a couple billion dollars a year to pay the almost 300,000 full time employee’s of this same Department of Energy. This is what happens when government makes up their mind to do something. See how it works? Government balloons and grows and grows, and we, the working man taxpayers, get taxed more and more to pay for them. Meanwhile, as it was when I was a kid 50 years ago, and still is today, still untouched, we are sitting on more oil than the Arabs, but because we let the environmentalist left dictate to us what we can and cannot do, we have over these same years, participated in the largest transfer of wealth in the history of man, because we are afraid to drill our own because we might disturb a wooly worm. Un-Stinking-Believable. Its insane, and yet it still goes on and on. The left is killing us. Literally killing us.

          • Robert Smith

            Posted: “Now, all these years later, we use more foreign oil than we ever did, and we are paying a couple billion dollars a year to pay the almost 300,000 full time employee’s of this same Department of Energy.”

            If it’s soooooooo bad and evil why didn’t Reagan, Bush, or Bush remove it?

            Rob

          • denniso

            Where does the lie that the Dept of energy has 300,000 employees come from? Thin air? It actually has about 16,000,which is just a few less than your 300,000 number.

            If gov’t has ballooned so much in relation to the size of the country,then why are our taxes lower than they were 60 yrs ago? The working person as well as the wealthy are paying less in Federal taxes,especially true for the wealthy. The rightwing keeps harping on the fact that 1/2 of workers don’t pay any federal income tax,yet in another breath syas we are paying higher taxes. 1/2 pay no federal income tax because rates have been lowered and deductions have gone up,while working wages have also stayed flat or gone down in real dollars.

        • km

          Our electric power grid needs base load power, which can only be supplied from large coal or nuke plants, and in some cases, like the Pacific Northwest, hydro. Only about 2% comes from wind, and that has to be subsidized to make it viable. When power companies need to supply peak power, they rely mostly on natural gas driven turbines, which are reliable and can come on quickly. Wind is unreliable and the wind turbines have to be shutdown if the wind velocity get too high. 48% of power generation comes from coal; more natural gas plants are coming online; nuclear is still a good option. America is the Saudi Arabia of coal. Because of new drilling technology, the US can become an exporter of natural gas in the form of LNG. I hold a bachelors in chemical engineering and a masters in electrical engineering and I work for an oil company on Alaska’s north slope. There is still more oil up here than the average person hears about. Look at what’s happening in North Dakota. We have the technology, we have the resources, we have the people. The government needs get out of the way, turn us loose and we can become independent. The government and it’s alphabet soup of agencies are literally killing America. The “green” movement is a farce. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!

        • Dale on the left coast

          Electric cars FAILED 100 years ago for the same reason they will FAIL TODAY!!! You can’t go anywhere in them . . . 60 miles a day just doesn’t do it for most people. And the price . . . double that of a conventional car. Nothing to do with the oil industry . . . the Technology just SUCKS!!!

          • David

            How about a smart totally electric car that can drive from LA to Vegas? The Chevy Volt is a car that had the smarts to carry its own gas generator to keep the batteries charged.

            The car is will get you between 140 and 230 MPG depending on how much you drive around town. At its worst, we are still talking about 3 times the gas mileage of gas/electric drive Prius.

      • Lawrence

        Yes, have heard of Tesla. What percentage of the population can use a 2 seat high performance sports car as their primary vehicle and pay $120,000 for the privilege? Then there is that little issue of, go 200 miles, spend the next 8 hours recharging the batteries. True, most people don’t go 200 miles in a day, but there is that limitation. Also, batteries weigh a lot, so put the Tesla on a road course with a Lotus Exige (the car the Tesla was based on, but half the price) and see who makes it around the track quicker.

        • denniso

          And put the Lotus in a race against an F-16 fighter jet and see what happens…You decry the impracticality of the 2 seat Tesla and then use a racing Lotus to show how ‘slow’ it is. How many people drive a Lotus,or need a car that can out race one? The Tesla is essentially experimental,and an attempt to show what an electric vehicle can do. You should look at the Nissan Leaf,or plug in Prius for a better comparison to standard gasoline autos. The standard Prius hybrid can get 50mpg around town,and costs $25,000, seats 5 and never needs charging.

          • independant thinker

            None of the electric vehicles being touted today can do what I need done namely pull a 16 foot trailor with a 5,000-8,000 load on it for 25+ miles. In fact I doubt they could even pull the load from my house to the highway without burning out the motor, batteries, and every relay in the vehicle. They are also not cheap enough for me to purchase one to use just for running to the grocery store and back. Until they overcome one or both of those problems you can take your electric vehicle and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

          • http://donthaveone Beberoni

            No thanks. Now you have left something very important out, that everyone that buys one of these needs to know. For one, the life of these cars is rated at 150,00 to 200,000 miles, so your not going to get a half million miles or more like my Honda CRV. Then, if your lucky to get it to last to 150,000 miles, its going to cost you 2500.00 to 4000.00 for new batteries, and as the years pass, of course this number goes up. Then there is a matter of disposing of the old one. Most people will have this done at a dealer, who will charge you to do this, plus will charge you a disposal fee. So keep that in mind.

          • Libertarian58

            Back in the 80′s I had a VW Rabbit diesel that got 50 mpg. What’s the big deal? I now have a ’93 Escort that gets 38 mpg and I only paid $900 for it (used). A good running Geo Metro gets 45. There’s simply no reason to have a Prius. If you never have to charge it, that means that it is “really” getting ALL its energy from gasoline. I could continue with dozens of more reasons the electric car will never be practical, but others have already done so.

          • Lewis Munn

            Denniso,

            I would have to spend ALL my social security for a year and a half to buy this one car you feel is soooooo good. And what does it do in 10″ of wet snowfall? Or at -40F?

            I do not hear if it practical under those real-life conditions, where my old gasoline-powered truck gets along well, and even keeps me warm while doing it.

            How much is the mileage reduced by weather and lights at night? Can I make it from home in the country to the city and back on one charge at night in January?

            And if I am in a crash, what will those lithium ions do to my metabolism?? How about the fire hazard of hot lithium in air and in water!

            I know what even cool sodium does when set loose on ice; lithium is much much more reactive. How much weight and cost to make these cars safe in crashes in wet weather?

            Lithium, etc. salts are quite caustic and very poisonous…will every crash with a lithium battery result in a HazMat truck and a long-term road closure while the HazMat folks clean up?? Like dropping one of the new lamps??

            Cara, and trucks, are here to be useful and practical.

            Oh, and how many new power lines are needed, and new power plants, to keep all the batteries on all these cars charged. Will parking lots at stores and in tows have to be re-wired so the cars can be plugged in to keep charged up? That would require a LOT of wire, and other equipment wherever parking is permitted. Right?

            How about fires in crashes? Water would make them worse, smothering foams might kill those trapped inside in accidents. Require special fire trucks when an electric car is involved? Who pays for them? The Environmentalists?

            Just a few practical questions I can see with going all electric!! How much will our taxes go up for the new support infrastructure?

          • denniso

            Why don’t you ask the same questions about air travel? Ever seen a video or photo of an airline crash? Have you imagined all the cost,private and gov’t,that has gone into airports,air traffic controllers,security,on site fire depts,gov’t provided safety/regulation efforts?? Why did we embark on all the expense involved in air travel 70 or 80 yrs ago? Do you complain about your tax money going to subsidize it still? Do you even know how much of our tax money is used?

          • Opal the Gem

            Once again dennis the menace ignores two of the more important questions power and affordability. As Independent Thinker said above they are way underpowered for heavy hauling/towing and way too expensive to use as a second vehicle just to run to the grocery store or department store.

          • Buster the Anatolian

            Hey denniso you still have not ansewered the power and availability problems. I guess since they do not affect you personaly they are not a problem huh. Well I hate to tell you this but for millions and millions of Americans these are legitimate problems.

          • Dale on the left coast

            Somehow Denniso . . . just can’t comprehend an F-16 on a road course . . . LOL Bet it would not make it through the FIRST TURN!!!

          • denniso

            The point is,as any adult can imagine,that an F-16 is way faster and more powerful than a Lotus,just as a Lotus is facter than a Prius….and no one needs to fly an F-16 to work,just as no one needs to drive a Lotus to the grocery store.

            I asked above,none of you complainers respomded…why don’t you and the rest of the rightwing bitch about billions of your tax dollars that go into subsidizing airlines and air travel? Too complex a question?

      • Texas_GunDealer

        The cars are nice and get better milage than the average electric car per charge (I also like that they are privately funded). The downside is who has $60k laying around for a Model S or $109k (base model no options) for the roadster, Obama may have that money in his “secret stash” (Michael Berry fan) but the typical consumer cannot afford a car that price, they are better off buying a used Accord or Corolla and wait for the prices to go down on electric vehicles (in 20 years).

        • professor

          If obama were really serious, he would just mandate that we all drive “golf carts!” They are already on the market, no need for the government to invest large sums of money. It takes very little time to recharge these carts, they are cheap to buy, and easy to repair! Since more and more people are without jobs, they have plenty of free time so it doesn’t matter how fast they go or how far… And, it wouldn’t cost the tax payers $20,000, for incentives, per vehicle purchased. The golf cart would be a great replacement for the obama’s “beast,” that weighs 8,000 pounds! Just think how his supporters could brag about the fact that they are actually “riding together” in one vehicle and saving energy! Lets all hear it for the obamas making the golf cart their new mode of transportation and “leading by example!”

          • Old Henry

            And…. golf carts come with a cooler…

            How do you heat them in the winter professor?

          • Jay

            Ha ha ha, that was funny professor, thanks for the laugh! Cheers….

        • Old Henry

          I hust happened to think, there’s a lot of idiots in Hollywood and Sacramento… And rich idiots at that.

      • Michael J.

        Big BJ,
        Do you mean the Tesla Motors company that received a $465,000,000.00 loan from the taxpayers to produce an estimated 2,000 vehicles to date at $95K a pop? I wonder how many taxpayers can afford a $95,000.00 automobile in todays economy.

        OOPS! Newsflash, Tesla Motors has just asked the federal government for another taxpayer bailout of an unspecified amount. I guess sales are falling short of expectations, heh?

        • JeffH

          Michael J., you mean this one…?

          Tesla Promotes DOE Loans, Asks For More Money

          Tesla’s Ricardo Reyes contacted us over the paragraph below, to point out that the company has said it has enough cash on hand to finish development of both the upcoming 2012 Model S and the subsequent Model X crossover.

          The requested loan, Reyes said, is to help the company “build increasingly affordable electric vehicles,” but he gave no other details.

          http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1066495_tesla-promotes-doe-loans-asks-for-more-money

          • Dan az
          • JeffH

            Brother Dan, a lot of the information conveyed in the article is pretty well known and well verified…through the years I’ve run across most of it…always seems to be one or two common denominators though… the Rothschilds and Rockefeller most often are linked somewhere in all of it.

          • Jay

            Interesting Dan, but i would venture to say that our Government is, the secret cabal. Or the the cabal is, our Government! Where one ends, and the other begins, has become virtually imperceptible!

        • Old Henry

          Wouldn’t have to afford it MichaelJ. We just stop in for our “company car”.

    • gorrie

      The only certified idiot is obama.

    • SMSgt Z retired Nam 68

      Solar panels and Marines in Afghanistan

      U.S. Marines may be on the verge of turning a long-time enemy into an ally. In this case, that enemy is the desert sun. Thanks to flexible solar panels, the sun can help run military equipment — and it may even cut down on casualties.

      By using solar power and placing an emphasis on energy conservation, Marines and sailors of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment say they cut diesel consumption in their generators from 20 gallons a day to 2.5 gallons a day, according to a Marine report.

      The regiment tested the equipment in Afghanistan at the end of last year, in what may be the first large-scale military test of solar power there.

      Marines who used the technology say it helps in three main ways:

      Fewer Supply Convoys — With less need for fuel and batteries, fewer trucks are exposed to possible attacks on the road.
      Quieter Is Safer — Units that rely on diesel generators to keep equipment running at night could go quiet while running on batteries, making them harder for the enemy to find.
      Efficiency — The foldable solar blankets are light and don’t take up much space. That should help patrols’ mobility, and save space for other supplies — like ammunition, as one sergeant says.
      That all sounds great — but another report, from a Marine training exercise here in the U.S., adds a different perspective. To work properly, the solar panels needed bright sun — something that was less abundant in the test areas of Virginia than in Afghanistan.

      But for the Marines in that test, the biggest stumbling block was time:

      An eight-hour charge for a single AN/PRC-119F SINCGARS radio battery took between three to four hours, which makes this an unrealistic option for Marines on the move, said Sgt. Taylor Clark, a communications instructor with The Basic School in Quantico.

      “If you’re on a patrol, you are not able to stop and set up for four hours; it’s not very ‘recon friendly,’” explained the Metairie, La., native.

      Clark mentioned that in order to keep the SPACES charging at optimal levels, it had to be continually rotated to keep it in direct contact with the sun as the day progressed. It also had to be kept completely free and clear of sand, which can be time consuming and tedious when in a desert, he said.

      Still, the recent tests showed that using alternative energy on military missions has both tactical and environmental benefits. And in both the Virginia and the Afghanistan tests, Marines praised the panels for being durable, light and simple — kind of the trifecta for field gear.

      Just in case your appetite for Clancy-esque military-speak hasn’t been sated, here’s a last soupcon: The so-called Solar Portable Alternative Communications Energy System (SPACES) was deployed in a new program called ExFOB — that’s Experimental Forward Operating Base to you.

      Want that used in a sentence? Just ask a man known as Gunny:

      ExFOB has provided immediate energy to my boys,” said Gunnery Sgt. Willy Carrion, ‘I’ Company, company gunnery sergeant. “Logistics and resupply to my men is essential to our mission accomplishment. Marines can sustain themselves on little food and water, but the time we have saved on convoys for fuel and batteries, has been crucial.

      Thanks to Kevin Bullis at Technology Review for first spotting this story

      • eddie47d

        Good post SGT

    • Old Henry

      Well s c, there must be enough idots out ther to buy these cars or Little Barry would not be in the WH.

      I thing the FBI should raid the WH and remove the illegal commie conducting an occupation of it.

  • DaveH

    And where will all the depleted batteries and their poisonous metals go?
    That will be the next future calamity for the Greens to anguish over.

    • Sam I am

      The green movement is about power and control and has nothing to do with saving the Earth. First off, why only be concerned with CO2 emissions? The green movement at the higher levels doesn’t give a crap about genetic engineering in our food crops, poisoning the skies with chem trails, poisoning out water, and they most certainly don’t give a real hoot about radiation spewing from the occasional melting nuclear reactor. Even if you accept the argument that we need to reduce CO2 emissions as an absolute have to do, how the hell does closing down all of our factories and moving them to China make a net difference on CO2 emissions? If anything, we need to shut down all the factories in China and move them hear where they are forced to comply with higher CO2 emission standards. Make no mistake, the reason millions are unemployed in this country is because the elites want it that way. Don’t think for a minute that this is all an “accident” or the “woes of capitalism or any such nonsense. True capitalism hasn’t been the case in our country since the 1800s maybe.

      • Al Sieber

        The green movement is the new Nazi party.

        • denniso

          You guys are so clueless about the issue that you are blindly aiding the largest and most profitable corporations in history in squashing most or all competition so they can continue their near monopoly on energy and transportation. That is the real conspiracy going on,and you dolts are the willing pawns used in resisting newer and better technology,all for the benefit of the oil/gac industry. Sad to see adults fall so easily for such obvious propoganda from your handlers.

          I often wonder,and do so again…how many of the most rightwing spewers here have no college education?

          • DaveH

            I see Denniso is up to his usual commenting tactics this morning.
            Instead of telling us how the electric car scam is “newer and better technology” he chooses the usual Liberal tactic of personal attacks and ridicule.
            From Denniso’s comment — “clueless”, “blindly aiding”, “dolts”, “willing pawns”, “obvious propoganda”, “have no college education”.
            Could that be because his implied “college education” has done him no good? I think so.

          • http://gmail no party loyalty

            Leftwing, rightwing, no wing-I suppose your piece of paper intitles you to be arrogant as well. Should ask though, are you using that higher education degree you have? Or are like the majority who don’t or faulting on those student loans???

          • http://donthaveone Beberoni

            denniso, you seem to be nearly the only one in here that is oblivious to the truth. These enviro wacko’s that tell us they are so green, are ruining the environment faster that anyone. I mean they burn down Hummer dealerships and real estate developments they dont want in certain places, and have released into the atmosphere more carbon than 1000 of us could contribute in 10 lifetimes each. They pound nails in trees and cause HUMAN BEINGS to have their arms cut off, but thats ok to them, because they dont want some owl to have to move to the next set of woods. They are content to keep watching all our money move to Saudi Arabia, Canada, Venezuela and other places, while we sit on top of the largest oil deposits in the world. So sad. And our dumb politicians dont have the balls to kick them in gonads and tell them too bad.

          • professor

            Some of the most ignorant people are highly educated!

          • Lewis Munn

            I often wonder if any of the left wing spewers have much of any education of any sort that stuck.

          • http://ahalbert@smart-technology.net Allan

            You are one arrogant sob dude.

          • Dale on the left coast

            News Flash!!! There is NOTHING to replace OIL and GAS . . . tomorrow!!! Anyone that thinks Windmills and Solar Panels will is on the “Crack Pipe” . . . when the technology is invented to replace oil/gas . . . it will dominate, but, that day is far off in the future. Right now in order to be prosperous . . . we need to Drill Baby Drill!!!

        • Dave

          Where do you get this stuff? Turn off Rush Limbaugh and Fox News and join the real world. This article isn’t even news and has no facts. It’s all flawed opinion. He is actually referencing people 100 years about their views on electric cars. Really? Ask those same people about the viability of nuclear power. Shoot, ask them about the viability of a solar panel, ask them about computers or drone planes, ask them about a lot of things we take for granted in the modern age.

          • DaveH

            It may or may not be flawed opinion, Dave, but the difference is that John Myers isn’t trying to force you to do things his way through Big Government, unlike you controlling Liberals.

          • http://donthaveone Beberoni

            You go ahead and get your so called news from ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and the rest of the left wing liberal news channels, that obviously have a democratic left wing agenda to push, since they are all owned by rich democrats. I myself prefer the truth, as I know the truth and embrace the truth, so I will turn on Fox News and listen to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and the rest, and I even turn on Chris Matthews on his station once in awhile, to make sure he is still lying and not telling the truth, because he might make it into the light someday. But I know the truth when I hear it. And Im not a Rush Limbaugh fan, as I find him to be an opiniated big mouth. But having said that, I do my homework and check out a lot of stuff these guys say, and I must say, I havent caught any of them that I mentioned, except Chris Matthews telling lies. I respect the truth, and I dont care who it is that speaks it, as the truth, is the truth, is the truth. You need to get you some of it son.

        • SMSgt Z retired Nam 68

          Nazi Party Ideology more like Conservative Republicans to me except for capitalism; especially after the boos and cheers at the Republican
          Nazi ideology denounced many political and economic ideologies and systems as being associated with parasitical Jewry, such as: capitalism, democracy, the Enlightenment, industrialisation, liberalism, Marxism, parliamentary politics, and trade unionism. To maintain the purity and strength of the Aryan race, the Nazis sought to exterminate or impose exclusionary segregation upon “degenerate” and “asocial” groups that included: Jews, homosexuals, Romani, blacks, the physically and mentally handicapped, Jehovah’s Witnesses and political opponents

          • Dale on the left coast

            ALL the great mass-murders of the 20th century were the product of Leftism (Liberals).

            The Nazis (National Socialist Party) are well remembered for murdering well over 11 million people in the implementation of their slogan, ‘The public good before the private good’.

            The Chinese Communists for murdering 62 million people in the implementation of their slogan, ‘Serve the people’.

            The Soviet Communists for murdering more than 60 million people in the implementation of Karl Marx’s slogan, ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs’.

            As Winston Churchill put it so well, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

            “Socialism,” he went on,” is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

            The failures of socialism have been proven over and over. But liberals never learn. Facts don’t count, only emotions. Get ready for some miserable times.

          • R. Favro

            All mass murderers are left-wing!!! Alright you consider fascists to be left-wing even though Italian Fascists called themselves right-wing in their political program book The Doctrine of Fascism – but let’s leave fascists aside and focus on completely undisputable right-wing mass murderers. Some right-wing mass murderers include reactionaries such as in the French Revolution and the 1905 Russian Revolution – that I know more about – that was started by peaceful demonstrations by a Russian Orthodox priest who was killed by the reactionary Tsar and the far-right reactionary Black Hundreds militia in 1905 massacred anyone considered progressive or left-wing. There was Ferdinand and Isaballa of Spain who supported the far-right conservative monarchist ideology of absolutism and committed genocide against Jews and Muslims in Spain. Ayatollah Khomeini created an extremely conservative Islamic fundamentalist regime that turned back the clock in Iran from the comparatively progressive social policy of the Shahs to Middle Ages-like policy of reducing women’s rights based on the precedent of ancient tradition, persecuting non-Muslims, and persecuting those who disagree with the Ayatollah’s extremely conservative Islamic fundamentalist policies. You are a fool to associate left-wing with “evil” and right-wing with “good” just as it is foolish to associate them in a reversed order. There have been evil left-wing people like Stalin of the Soviet Union and evil right-wing people like Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain.

      • eddie47d

        Your confused Al and Sam or forgot to wake up before writing. You don’t think that corporations want power and control? That’s a no brainer gentlemen. The green movement has been fighting GMO crops,foods and fish allot longer than you Johnny come latelies. Please remember that “your side” defends corporate interest which allowed Monsanto to grow into the monster it is today. The left or greenies have no allegiance to Monsanto so I believe you have that company in the bag. Sam fibbed on everything he mentioned yet Al jumped onto that nazi crap that all good right wingers do. It’s your side poisoning our waterways with corporate chemical dumps. You keep giving corporate polluters a free reign that gave our air a sick quality years ago and now you want to do it again. Saying the greens don’t care about nuclear meltdowns?? Where have you been the last 60 years with that Pinocchio. Also remember that it was the corporates looking for cheap labor that sent jobs to China,Mexico and India. Giving jobs to foreigners was more important than the tragedies that they have befallen on the American workers.

        • denniso

          Good comment,and it is amazing isn’t it? The same people who repeatedly make up or fall for supposedly leftwing conspiracies,are the dupes of giant corporations like Exxon in their fight against better,safer,cleaner,energy sources… aiding in the polluting and ruination of the planet. Some of the rightwing know exactly what they are doing,and they do it for their own self interest…investments in oil/gas/coal. Most of the right are befuddled and confused in their blind support of our ancient oil industry,and are so brainwashed as to be hopeless in ever seeing the truth in front of them.

        • DaveH

          Eddie has himself a new groupie. Neither one of them has any credibility though.
          Eddie says that the Green movement has been fighting against GMO companies such as Monsanto, but Monsanto donated over half a million almost equally to the Democrats and the Republicans (48%, 52%) in 2010. So why has the Party of the Greens (Democrat) been tolerating such obvious political tampering?

        • eddie47d

          I have as much control over the Democrat Party as an individual Republicans has over their Party. I do support groups and local political leaders who are willing to take on Monsanto. So my credibility is intact no matter how shallow Dave thinks he has to be with the insults. Since the Libertarian Party supports free Capitalism Monsanto would be doing exactly the same thing and probably more so. So who is Dave fooling?

          • JeffH

            Obviously DaveH, you can’t fool a fool.

            eddie says, “So my credibility is intact no matter how shallow Dave thinks he has to be with the insults. Since the Libertarian Party supports free Capitalism Monsanto would be doing exactly the same thing and probably more so. So who is Dave fooling?”

            As for eddie accusing someone of insulting him, I’d have to say it’s an insult to PLD participants that eddie even claims to have any credibility at all… it is proven daily that he has none, zero, nada.

            Here’s a prime example of a eddie’s lack of credibility…go back and read his post…

            eddie47d says:
            September 28, 2011 at 9:00 am

          • DaveH

            Once again Eddie proves his ignorance.
            Free Markets, Eddie, you know the ones where there is no Government involvement. Why would companies spend millions of dollars lobbying a Government that could not assist them with subsidies, targeted regulations, tariffs, quotas, or other such protections?

          • eddie47d

            Excellent post at 9:00 Jeff so apparently you still feel you have to be the incorrigible lowlife. You’re the one with the credibility problem and questionable character with your insecent slurs. Yes Dave you would allow Monsanto to have even more power and control over our food crops.I doubt if you can prove me wrong using your past philosophies.

          • denniso

            Is this working?

          • denniso

            DaveH can’t get past his ‘free markets’ mantra. If we slash the size and role of State and Fed govt’s to the point where they have no involvement in the economy,then they would also have no power to exert some control and policing of giant corporations that have only profits and shareholders in mind,and will usually do anything at all to acheive those profits,regardless of the health and safety of people and the environment.

            There is no such thing as free markets…never was and never will be! There is always control or influence brought by either the largest businesses,or by gov’t trying to control such abuses. ‘Free markets’ are a bit like virgin births,the garden of Eden,Santa Claus…a nice sounding myth w/ no reality.

          • Jay

            Denniso, i suggest you watch this video which will confirm that the government is, a corporation, that fights tooth and nail to prevent the natural process of “free market”!

            http://www.newworldorderwar.com/corporation-nation/

          • Jay

            The Most Powerful Company on Earth controls 99% of the worlds money

            There is a busy little private company you probably never have heard about, but which you should. Its name is the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation. See their website. Looks pretty boring. Some kind of financial service thing, with a positive slogan and out there to make a little business. You can even get a job there. It turns out that this company holds 23 trillion dollars in assets, and had 917 trillion dollars worth of transactions in 2002 alone. That’s trillions, as in thousands of thousands of millions. 23,000,000,000,000 dollars in assets. Since this story was first published it appears the huge numbers have been changed to make the company look smaller in the public eyes. The vast amout of financial transactions they are controlling is mind boggling.

            As it so turns out, it is not because DTCC has a nice website and says good things about saving their customers money that they are trusted with that kind of resources. Rather it is because they seem to have a monopoly on what they do. In brief, they process the vast majority of all stock transactions in the United States as well as for many other countries. And – and that’s the real interesting part – 99% of all stocks in the U.S. appear to be legally owned by them.

            How did this happen?

            And why is this mega-monopolizer so hidden from public scrutiny? It turns out it’s part of the Federal Reserve Bank. Big surprise. These same owners and players mandated that all transactions have to go through their subsidiary. And not just go through it for all the profits and asset holding interest the transaction will bring, but they are given ownership of everyone’s assets in the process!

            In the old days, when you owned stocks you would have the stock certificates lying in your safe. And if you needed to trade them, you needed to get them shipped off to a broker. Nowadays that would be considered very cumbersome, and it would be impractical to invest via computer or over the phone. So the shortcut was invented that the broker would hold your stocks instead of you. And in order for him to legally be able to trade them for you, the stocks were placed under their “street name”. I.e. they’re in the name of the brokerage, but they’re just holding them in trust and trading them for you. And you’re in reality the beneficiary rather than the owner.

            Which is all fine and dandy if everything goes right. Now, it appears the rules were then changed so the brokers are not allowed any longer to put the stocks in their own name. Instead, what they typically do is to put the stocks into the name of “Cede and Company” or “Cede & Co” or some such variation. And the broker might tell you that it is just a fictitious name, and will explain why it is really more practical to do that than to put it in your name.

            The problem with that is that it appears that Cede isn’t just some dummy name, but an actual corporation that DTCC controls. And, well, if you ask anybody about this, who actually knows about it, they will naturally tell you that it is all a formality. To serve you better, of course. And, well, maybe it is. DTCC seems like a nice and friendly company. It is a private company, owned by the same people (major U.S. banks) who own the Federal Reserve Bank. And if they all stick to their job, and just keep the money and your stocks flowing smoothly, I’m sure that is all well and good. But if somebody at some point should decide otherwise, and there’s a national U.S. emergency and/or the U.S. government becomes unable to pay its debts, well, they might just not give you your stocks back. Because legally they own them. Something to think about. (source)

            Sound impossible?

            Here’s an explanation from another researcher:

            The reason the public doesn’t know about DTC is that they’re a privately owned depository bank for institutional and brokerage firms only. They process all of their book entry settlement transactions. Jim McNeff (Director of Training for the DTC at the time) said “There’s no need for the public to know about us… it’s required by the Federal Reserve that DTC handle all transactions”.

            The Federal Reserve Corporation, a/k/a The Federal Reserve System, is also a private company and is not an agency or department of our federal government. The Federal Reserve Board of Governors is listed, but they are not the owners. The Federal Reserve Board, headed by Mr. Alan Greenspan [now Bernanke], is nothing more than a liaison advisory panel between the owners and the Federal Government. The FED, as they are more commonly called, mandates that the DTC process every securities transaction in the US.

            How convenient. Talk about inside job.

            It’s no wonder that the DTC (including the Participants Trust Company, now the Mortgage-Backed Securities Division of the DTC) is owned by the same stockholders as the Federal Reserve System. In other words, the Depository Trust Company is really just a ‘front’ or a division of the Federal Reserve System.

            “DTC is 35.1% owned by the New York Stock Exchange on behalf of the Exchange’s members. It is operated by a separate management and has an independent board of directors. It is a limited purpose trust company and is a unit of the Federal Reserve.” -New York Stock Exchange, Inc.

            http://www.newworldorderwar.com/the-most-powerful-company-on-earth-controls-99-of-the-worlds-money/

        • Al Sieber

          Hey eddie and denniso, I’m not against conversation, I’m against the EPA and Sierra Club, World Wild Life fund ( who was started by a Nazi) condemning people’s land and kicking them off and keeping it for themselves. you wanna screw with me on this subject give it your best shot, you too Sarge. I lease a lot of land from the Govt. and know whats going on, do your research. if you can’t grow it you have to mine it.

      • gorrie

        Sam you are correct, the elites want it this way. The French had the same problem in the late 1700, they solved it the only way it can be solved so shall “we the people”.

    • wandamurline

      You are sooo correct…that has been my question all along…the car may be green but what do you do with all the left over batteries when you have to replace them? And they are very, very expensive to replace. Not only that…they still have to be plugged into electricity….where are we going to get electricity when we can’t drill and he continues to tromp on the coal industry? Okay, you say, nuclear power….that’s great….where are we going to dump the radioactive waste that comes off the nuclear power plant? Are any of these good for the earth? Hell no, they are far worse than what automobiles emit. Electric cars are not the answer, nor is nuclear power. We have enough oil found in the Balkinsand Alaska in the midwest that overshadows all of the middle east put together, but the liberal socialists in power, especially the ineligible POTUS, will not allow us to produce these resources….yet, Obama can loan Brazil 8 billion dollars to drill offshore….off the shores of the US, so the US can purchase their own oil from Brazil….Whaaat?

      • eddie47d

        Obama did not approve that TWO billion dollar loan to Brazil. The approval came from the Import/Export Bank and Obama was not on it’s board.

      • Rodney

        “where are we going to dump the radioactive waste that comes off the nuclear power plant?”

        That is a good question and major problem with a lot of toxic wast.

        I was thinking we should deposit the toxic wast along some of the geologic fault lines. Plates which are moving under the upper plate, at a rate of an inch or half an inch per year would return the material back to the earths mantel.

        Far fetched but doable. There are solutions or alternative solutions to every problem, some are cost effective and some are not.

    • Robert Smith

      DaveH asks: “And where will all the depleted batteries and their poisonous metals go?
      That will be the next future calamity for the Greens to anguish over.”

      They will easily be recycled as the demand grows.

      For more information see: http://www.ehow.com/about_7240698_electric-car-batteries-recycled_.html

      Just as the recyclin of lead acid car batteries, used oil, and even the metal and other materials has grown as opportunities have presented themselves.

      Rob

  • Tony

    As an EV driver myself, I couldn’t disagree more with what you’ve written. Please wake up and please research the subject before publishing such a load of nonsense. Attend to car shows, talk to people and read more articles and studies (other than the few critical from ev nay-sayers like yourself) about the subject. Maybe they’re not the perfect solution for everyone, but they could great for MOST of the people. I have to say, that this must have been the most ignorant article about the electric cars I have read in a while.

    Just to point out a couple of facts:
    - Yes, most of the production is at the moment in China, but lithium as a resource can be found also elsewhere than just China (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium). For example there’s a HUGE pile of it in South America.
    - There are also Nickel-based batteries very well suited for electric vehicles, for example the newly developed Nickel Cobalt Manganese batteries, or the older NiMh-batteries already used in EV-1 (but currently patents owned by Chevron). Lithium is not the only option for the future. We’re just beginning to learn more about battery technologies. But at the moment there’s plenty of Lithium to begin with. And it’s recycleable(!).
    - Nissan Leaf performs actually rather well and 100 mile range isn’t any fantasy. You just can’t “floor it” all the time if you’re trying to achieve long range.
    - A range of 100 miles would be enough for 95% of people, as studies have proven many times over and over.
    - Leaf’s batteries (as well as many other lithium batteries) can be fast-charged to almost full under 30 minutes, if you need to go further. So to take a 400 mile day trip you need to recharge at least three times during the day. Fast chargers are becoming a common sight very rapidly. And it’s not bad for the batteries if used only once a while.
    - In Europe even without incentives the electric cars have sold rather well, actually. And there are already cheaper models arriving as we speak. Competition is only starting and prices are dropping.
    - Battery prices are estimated to get halved before 2018. And even now you can get a 24kWh battery set for about $7000. Just google up Thundersky or Winston LiFeYPo4-batteries.
    - LiFePo4 (and LiFeYPo4)-batteries will last at least 10 years in use and around 100-150 thousand miles before they have only 80% of their capacity left. After that they are 97% RECYCLED, not dumped to junkyards. During that time you would have wasted some 4000-7000 gallons of gas. (Estimated cost in US, around $16000-$28000?). Not to mention all the additional maintenance costs related to gasoline engines (having more than 400 moving parts).
    - You seem to forget the hundreds of billions of dollars of subsidies given to oil industry.

    About emissions:
    - Production itself of a gasoline car causes 5.6 tons of emissions and electric cars 8.8 tons, of which 43% is from the battery manufacturing. Although these figures are getting lower every day, as manufacturers are switching to solar etc. renewables at their factories
    - In 100000 miles a gasoline car produces 25 tons of emissions. Electric car less then 10 if recharged from national grid with 500g/kWh emissions. ZERO if you buy renewable energy or produce it yourself with solar panels.
    - Let me see… 8.8 tons versus more than 30 tons. Which is better?
    - And these figures do not even take into account all the emissions from extracting, refining and shipping of the oil, which could at least double the real emissions of the gasoline.

    Yours truly,
    - An idiot with an electric car

    • John

      Good for you! Great comments.

    • Capitalist at Birth

      It is very refreshing to see that you admit thatyou are an idiot. Electricity can only be produced by solar panels where there is enough sunlight. It is not practical and cost prohibitive in the mid west, north west and north east. There are only four solar panel companies (for residential and commercial) in the St. Louis region. Two of them are near bankruptcy, and one of them operates out of their home. You are not only and idiot, you are a fool as well.

      • Lastmanstanding

        or from mining coal and BURNING IT.

      • Paul

        We have 44 solar panels on our house in New Jersey, part of that supposedly silly place for solar. And let me tell you, our monthly electric bill has dropped from ca. $300 to $2.80. You have painted with an awfully broad stroke to make a point which is actually invalid. In fact, New Jersey places second in the nation after California in solar installations. States like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Maryland have very active solar programs.

        Those who use electric vehicles are not fools, but pioneers taking their chances. Real Americans taking a chance on the future.

        • Les

          I have got to know what 44 solar panels cost you?

          • Michael J.

            Les,
            Locally, one solar panel with a 45 watt output can be purchased for $179.00, when on sale. Does not include installation or materials required to integrate it into a home power grid.

          • ValDM

            Les,
            What I want to know is how much house does this person have in order to prop up that many solar panels. Sound to me like this person needs to pare down their living space before amping up the solar consumption.

          • Karolyn

            Val – Where did that come from? What right do you have to tell someone else they need a smaller house?

        • eddie47d

          The technology behind solar is there and it can and does work.The world is starting to adapt to the practicality of sun power and a simple system doesn’t have to be expensive. ( Some are very high priced just like some gasoline autos) What Meyers isn’t telling you is that China is the number one solar panel manufacturer now. The USA was number one just a couple years ago. Mr Meyers should have asked all of you why did we allow this product to get away? Why didn’t we fight to keep theses companies in America? Solyndra was knocked out because of foreign competition not because it wasn’t a good product.(It had a great product). That is the tragedy.

        • daniel

          Paul, I was wondering if you could subsidize solar panels on my house? It is a small one so it was only $30.000 USD to install. It would take about twenty years to pay for the panels initially installed. That does not cover the cost of replacing them as they did not have that long of a life. So you go ahead and be the brave pioneer and brag about how low your electric bill is. I for one can’t afford it unless you will subsidize it for me.
          If there is truth in advertising why aren’t Volts considered coal powered? Just wondering.

          • Karolyn

            For the life of my I cannot remember the name of the website – one of those scientific sites – but I read an article about companies who install the panels, and you either pay them off monthly or you lease them. All I can remember about the article is that it works out very economically. The cost per month was less than the average cost of electric.

          • Al Sieber

            Karolyn, I’ve been living off the grid for 14 years and have solar and wind, if the sun don’t shine or there’s no wind you use a back up generator which runs on gas, alternative energy is not that efficient.

    • Lastmanstanding

      You pretty much said it with your closing statement…Have you thought about where electricity comes from and how its made? I guess that’s OK…

    • Mike

      Very good comment Tony, And as the saying goes ” Don’t leave the planet to the Stupid”

    • DHK

      Keep drinking the whacko liberal Kool-Aide. You have every right to be an idiot, but I should not have to pay taxes that are squandered on outfits like Solyndra in order to subsidize your lunacy. Electric cars will never be sold in large numbers in this country. Few people are dumb enough to buy them. Enough of the crony capitalism at the expense of the American public who will never finish paying off the debt these phonies are running up in order to siphon money from the public pocketbook to pay off their political contributors. Nothing but smoke and mirrors. Jimmy Carter all over again. Drill for oil and natural gas, for crying out loud. Drill for oil and gas in the US. That is the only solution that works technologically.

      • eddie47d

        We subsidize oil and gas companies with far more of our tax money. So why do you insist on being so insulting.

      • professor

        “The Green movement” is involved in nothing but political warfare. The regime uses tax dollars to “pay off,” political supporters, and garner “kickbacks for themselves.” Why do you think politicians, including presidents, are so anxious to give away your money, to big businesses, big banks, and foreign countries.

        If Americans want to drive glorified, electrical powered “golf carts,” lets just buy the ones we already have on the market! They are cheap and the batteries are cheap! They can be enclosed against the elements, and the body styles could be made to look more like small cars. No need for a big price tag and government subsidies.
        Anyone can work on golf carts, so the repairs and maintenance would be cheap. Another upside, is that we could actually use the police for something other than writing speeding tickets! They could throw away their radar guns and start using their real guns against criminals!

    • Don

      Living North of the Mason-Dixon Line those batteries loose efficiency October/November to April, and the need to defrost and heat the interior will lower the expected distance the electric car can go!!

      • Michael J.

        Don,
        Speaking of defrost, I hear that these electric cars are all equiped with rear window defrosters. I guess that’s to keep your hands warm while you’re pushing it.

    • BigBadJohn

      “- You seem to forget the hundreds of billions of dollars of subsidies given to oil industry.”

      Yup they make a huge deal about the 500 million in loans to Solyndra, yet they forget all about the 12 BILLION in cash that Bush air lifted and simply gave away to to his supporters in Iraq.

      Looks to me like we are between a rock and a hard place…..

    • Patriot

      If these technologies were not subsidized would they even be in business to sell anything? We will only survive if free market and economic principles prevail, the government needs to get out of these industries. If they are truly viable the American people will be industrious to figure out how to make it work and then demand with rule the day.

    • wandamurline

      How does lithium affect the earth onces you have to dump it?

      • MNIce

        A number of people have wondered about the environmental effects of lithium battery disposal. Lithium does have effects on human metabolism, most famously its dampening of manic-depressive cycles, so there is some validity to the question.

        The quick answer is only an ignoramus or an idiot would dump a used lithium automotive battery. The “huge piles” of lithium in South America are only large relative to known reserves. There probably is not enough lithium for large scale conversion to electric cars.

        There is money to be made in recycling used-up non-rechargeable lithium batteries, such as those used for clocks in computers, some smoke alarms, and digital cameras. Today most of those go to the landfill. Tomorrow we may be mining the landfills at great expense to get those small amounts of the element.

    • S.C. Murf

      Tony some quick info for you.You said there are other deposits of lithium like in S. Africa, China has already bought up the mineral rights to these areas. China is not sitting on their hands they are mining and buying up the rights world wide. While the U.S. fights the “war” in Afganistan China is mining copper in the same area’s, with our protection. The electric car’s may well be a help but not the magic potion, they will be only a small part. And the poisonous batteries will become a problem, just like the new energy saving light bulbs,that contain the mercury, our Govt. is telling us we have to use. You really think everyone will recycle these. Not. How would you like to see a billion of these bulbs end up in the ground around your house. How long you think will it take to contaminate your ground water? In the long run it going to take many silver bullets, Solar, Wind, Hydro, Electrical etc.

      up the hill
      airborne

    • Rodney

      Very well said.

      We can also imagine that interstate highway systems could have overhead wires which provide electrical connectivity to all the vehicles. There would not be a need for long range battery powered vehicles.

      • Vetter

        What highways? All seem to forget that there is a tax on every gallon of gas. That money goes to highway repair, etc. There is no such tax on electricity. So the electric cars are putting wear and tear on our infrastructure, but aren’t contributing to the upkeep.

    • DaveH

      Tony says “Yes, most of the production is at the moment in China, but lithium as a resource can be found also elsewhere than just China. For example there’s a HUGE pile of it in South America”.
      We won’t just be dependent on China, we will be dependent on South America also, so that makes it okay?
      And all of the rechargeable batteries currently on the market contain hazardous waste which must be disposed of properly. Sure we can recycle them, but at what cost, and how much still ends up in the dump? Currently recycling of most materials is not cost-effective unless the Government steps in and subsidizes the cost using the deep-pockets of the American taxpayer.
      Tony says “A range of 100 miles would be enough for 95% of people, as studies have proven many times over and over”, and those people will like it or lump it, if the Greens have their way.
      Tony says “So to take a 400 mile day trip you need to recharge at least three times during the day”. No, Tony, it would be at least 4 times unless you want to risk being stranded.
      If prices drop and people would buy them voluntarily, Great! But that is rarely the case when Government is in charge.
      Tony says “Battery prices are estimated to get halved before 2018. And even now you can get a 24kWh battery set for about $7000. Just google up Thundersky or Winston LiFeYPo4-batteries”.
      Gee, only $7000, Chump Change.
      And, no Tony, we didn’t forget that oil companies are subsidized. But they are subsidized to a much lesser extent than the Alternative Energy companies. For sure, none should be subsidized with taxpayer money. See here:
      http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/energy/subsidies

      • DaveH

        Emissions, as a result of electric cars, analyzed comprehensively (rather than superficially):
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1360062/Watchdog-says-electric-cars-dirty-diesel.html

      • DaveH

        A 132-year Payback?
        http://mises.org/daily/4714

        So, who is right, Tony and his fellow Greens or their detractors? Only Free Markets can address that question fairly and efficiently. As long as we allow Government and their politics to be involved, the process is going to be muddied. Let the People vote with their pocketbooks!

        • S.C. Murf

          That’s right, free markets will make the winner’s and loser’s. Thanks DaveH

          up the hill
          airborne

      • DaveH

        If indeed Electric Cars are the answers to our problems, then wouldn’t consumers accept them voluntarily? Why must the so-called Environmentalists use the force of Government to achieve their goals? It’s been my experience that the people with the least amount of knowledge are the ones who work the hardest to compel others to accept their agenda.

      • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

        DaveH

        Electric Cars – The Wave of the Future? … Electricity is generally a much cleaner power source than gasoline, which makes speculation on electric cars worthwhile,but they like a long ways before they can replace gasolene powered cars.They will have to come up with something better what we got now.I don’t have much faith in electric car technology,maybe in the future.Who knows? We will have to wait and see.

        http://www.flottille11f.org/electric-cars-the-wave-of-the-future.html

    • Don

      Where i live is a 40 mile ( one way ) trip for a gallon of milk, not to mention the -20 to -40 deg. temp we can get in winter time, also extreme cold sucks the life out of batteries, so the way i see it, is an over night trip for a gallon of milk.

      • Karolyn

        Like you’d really drive 40 miles just for a gallon of milk!

        • JeffH

          Karolyn, why the negative vibes today? What happened to fields of daisies, soft clouds, rainbows and all of the good positive thoughts…you dissappoint me sometimes…just sayin’…

      • Al Sieber

        Don, I hear you, I have to drive 32 miles to the store, but, it’s worth living and working in the middle of nowhere.

    • jackinthe box

      Hey “idiot” with the electric car, good for you just dont expect me to pay for it because that makes all of us idiots.

  • CanCan

    If electric cars are such a great idea, all members of Congress, the president, and vice-president should be forced to give up their gas guzzing SUV’s, stop flying, and “go green” by using electric cars. Politicians should put their money where their mouth is, I say, but of course, realize that will never happen.

    • Lastmanstanding

      For us it’s, “do as I say, not as I do.”

      Socialism is for us, not the socialist/communist.

      A day is coming where all of this crap will be sorted out…hopefully forever.

      • eddie47d

        In the long run alternative energy will supplement all of our energy needs and help us remain independent in the future. This issue is about more than 2011 and the time to get moving is now. Gas and oil and even coal usage will be around for a hundred years or more. As alternatives come on line we will truly become dependent on our own energy resources not some foreign kingdom.

        • daniel

          Does this mean you are going to start your own company and innovate? Do me a favor if you do. Don’t be like that wannabe king Gore. He promotes green but has a huge carbon footprint. I am all in favor of better ideas but not louder mouths.

    • JohnK.

      No Obama has his two Motor Coaches flown around with him in it so he can go to a location, unload one of them, drive around to make his appearance, reload and do it again. Oh yes, our ECO FRIENDLY PREZ!!

      • Don

        They should make an electric airforce 1 for obam bam, with a 100 mile range look at all the money the tax payers would save!!

  • Kerry

    Remember too, the electric car actually runs on COAL, or whatever fossil fuel your local electric company uses to produce the needed electricity. And remember Coal is an industry Obama has said he wants to put out of business!!

  • moby49

    Sounds like the carriage makers of old ridiculing “horseless carriages” or airplanes or space travel.

    BTW they have discovered nearly infinite supplies of rare earths in the sea bed making China irrelevant.

  • Alex Frazier

    @ “Idiot with an electric car” …

    Experiments have also been done to power buildings with green energy, and it was shown, after the company went bankrupt, that solar panels don’t produce enough electricity at their current level of developement to sufficiently power anything within reason.

    It is also worth noting that when “Green” people want to save the planet, they suggest things like having everyone in the country turn off all their lights and other electrical appliances and devices for one hour. You know why? Because electricity requires the burning of fossil fuels. In particular in America, we use coal, which produces significantly higher levels of pollution than oil. And cleaner alternatives are prohibited (i.e. current legislation prevents us from building new nuclear plants, which produces the cleanest and cheapest energy of all currently known methods), while these methods would produce almost no emissions at all, and are only actually dangerous if you build the f*cking things on a fault line or a known earthquake prone area.

    I think it’s also fair to say that none of the current battery technology right now has a lifespan of more than about five years. I use lithium batteries in my camera equipment, and I can assure you that it is not a permanent power source.
    When you consider a five year lifespan on a $7000 battery, not yet adjusted for its inflationary price five, ten, and fifteen years from now … and then consider the labor, which on the current hybrids is $1200 to replace the battery … you are effectively looking at an additional expense of roughly $8000-$10,000 every five years.
    Presently, I have a Mitsubishi. I paid $16,000 for it. It’s paid for. Repair costs to keep it operational are minimal. Many of the repairs I can do myself.

    And let’s not forget the added expense to your electric bill. Here in South Carolina, the power company is lobbying to raise their rates by 17%, and this is on top of the significant increases they’ve already added almost every year. My bill from the month of August in 2003 was $122. My bill from the month of August in 2011 was $278. The amount of electricity used was virtually the same.
    So you’ll be powering up this car using your electricity at home (because Americans in particular are a lazy bunch, and we like our conveniences).

    Oh, and have you ever gone out in the morning and found your battery dead in your traditional gasoline car? It’s a real bitch isn’t it? Now imagine your wholly electric car having that problem. There won’t be any calling AAA to come change your battery. You won’t be able to walk down to the local parts store and buy one to put in yourself. You’ll be without transportation for up to a week (that’s the current wait time to have a battery replaced in a hybrid, and I don’t see any reason to believe it will be different with a fully electric car).

    So all in all, we’ll still have emissions. While we reduce emissions in the reduction of burned oil, we’ll increase emissions in the burning of coal to produce enough electricity to power millions of automobiles nationwide.
    Where we used to be able to buy and pay for a vehicle and maintain it for a minimal cost, now we’ll be put in a position where we have to invest upwards of $10,000 every five years to preplace a battery.
    While we might save on gasoline costs, our electric bills will go up.

    Until they come up with a low cost battery solution and technology built into the vehicle that recharges the battery without having to resort to external sources, the electric car isn’t doing anything at all but increasing the consumer burden.

    I appreciate your stand on green technology. It’s commendable. But be realistic. Some of us HAVE done our homework, and the electric car is not viable as a national solution at the current level of technology.

    • Robert Smith

      From Alex: “And let’s not forget the added expense to your electric bill. Here in South Carolina, the power company is lobbying to raise their rates by 17%, and this is on top of the significant increases they’ve already added almost every year. My bill from the month of August in 2003 was $122. My bill from the month of August in 2011 was $278. The amount of electricity used was virtually the same.”

      Remember when utilities were carefuly regulated and they were among the most solid investments you could put your nest egg in?

      In the name of “free enterprise” we now get to choose who bills us for the electricity and the door was opened wide for ciminals like Enron. Further, the speculators are now driving the price of electricity up.

      The electric grid, and a few other utilities, DO need heavy government control. Sometimes it ain’t bad.

      Rob

  • Parsons

    Myers is a freaking idiot and a liar.
    Truely trying to boast big oil.

    • DaveH

      Wow, I learned a lot from that comment.

  • Alex Frazier

    Oh, and let’s not forget the auto parts industry that will take a massive hit, since most people are not qualified to work on an electric vehicle. So self repair will severely diminish. That means lost jobs and reduced economy in that area.

    It also means the end of mom and pop shops who do auto repair. Unless they have the equipment and personnel to handle electric vehicles, they’ll go out of business. That means tens of thousands of lower end mechanics being put out of a job, tire stores closing down, etc., which will lead to a virtual monopoly in auto repair for the dealer service stations. Monopolies lead to higher retail prices, and the dealers are high already, which is why a demand exists for the smaller independent shops.

    • BigBadJohn

      WRONG!

      Car technology has changed radically from the 1960′s.
      Do you think a mechanic from 1965 would be able to work on the current OBD computer controlled cars? Of course not – but there is something called TRAINING.

      • eddie47d

        “Tire stores would go out of business”? I do believe cars will still need tires Mr Frazier!

        • Alex Frazier

          Are you so ignorant that you think it requires a tire shop for people to buy tires? Dealerships already sell tires to their customers.

          Independent shops only make a 12-15% margin on most tires. The majority of their revenue comes from service.

          Since I’ve been working in automotive for over twenty years, both in the shop and at the counter, I can tell you that the training available isn’t as comprehensive as one might like. Firestone didn’t even want their people doing oil changes on hybrids, and Tire Kingdom, Firestone, and many others won’t touch a hybrid where repairs are concerned.

          So you are mistaken. Independent shops will go under rapidly if there is a push to replace current combustion technology.

          If it’s a long and gradual change, then there might be time for growth. But the implication is that it’s a push. A million of them in the America alone by 2015. That’s not terribly gradual.

      • Alex Frazier

        Making the advance from drum brakes to disk brakes is not that big of a deal. They still function in the same general way. It’s all pressure and pistons.

        Making the advance from points to a rotor button and cap isn’t that big of a deal either.

        When the distributor went away on many vehicles, I had no problem adapting to coil packs.

        OBDII technology … nothing a plug in scanner can’t help you with. In fact, without the scanner, you wouldn’t be reading the codes, and most idiots in the shops don’t even know how to interpret them all anyway.

        But those are simple changes. Going from a combustion engine to a fully electric automobile requires more than just a little training. We’re talking about the difference between lighting a room with a candle versus making a light bulb.

        So don’t condescend to me. I know what I’m talking about. Most of the guys in the shops today couldn’t even fix an ABS problem, and that’s been out for nearly twenty years, and happens to be a simple system. Instead, independent shops send ABS problems out to the dealership. Don’t think a few training classes will overcome the need for an entire relearning process.

      • 45caliber

        It will depend upon the computer info they require. My mechanic tells me that he has to pay about $10,000 a year for each manufacturer to get the needed info to handle their new cars each year. I suspect the electric cars will require the same.

    • Robert Smith

      Alex says: “Oh, and let’s not forget the auto parts industry that will take a massive hit, since most people are not qualified to work on an electric vehicle. So self repair will severely diminish. That means lost jobs and reduced economy in that area.

      It also means the end of mom and pop shops who do auto repair. Unless they have the equipment and personnel to handle electric vehicles, they’ll go out of business. That means tens of thousands of lower end mechanics being put out of a job, tire stores closing down, etc., which will lead to a virtual monopoly in auto repair for the dealer service stations. Monopolies lead to higher retail prices, and the dealers are high already, which is why a demand exists for the smaller independent shops.”

      I say it also means the end of mom and pot shops who do buggy repair. They won’t be selling any whips either. That means tens of thousands of lower end stable keepers and oat farmers being put out of a job. Harnis shops will be closing down, etc., which will leadto a virtual monopoly on the butty repair for the car mechanics.

      Get the idea Alex? Things evolve. Even in business, not just in nature.

      Rob

      • DaveH

        Apparently, Robert, the Evolutionary process doesn’t affect Liberals. If it did they would have learned by now that the Bigger Government gets, the worse a country’s economy gets:
        http://heritage.org/index/ranking

        Or is that your intent, Robert, to push us into becoming a third world country?

    • Karolyn

      That’s what they said when cars started to become computerized. People learn and adjust if they want to keep up.

  • Chitown

    What most of the American people are unaware is the fact the Obama Administration is HALTING Coal production in America. A New England state which produces coal was shut down due to EPA regulation and the state must now purchase coal from foreign sources. This is insane!

    We surpass Saudi Arabia in coal resources yet this WH and their cronies want to give the business to their foreign buddies. We need coal for electricity, for our homes, businesses, just about everything.

    How many miles per gallon does Obama’s vehicles get? His 8 ton Limos, his 3 “made in Canada” Black tour buses which he only rides for 2 miles at a stretch, his campaigning Air Force One, and all his entourages? This guy burns more gas than majority of Americans put together.

    • Robert Smith

      Can you cite any articles about the coal? I live in NE and I’m not aware of ANY coal mines. I know of some in PA, but that’s a ways down the road.

      BTW, America has lots of low sulfer coal.

      Wyoming is particularly good for America with this: http://www.wsgs.uwyo.edu/coalweb/WyomingCoal/sulfur.aspx

      Rob

      • DaveH

        It’s not about Sulfur, Robert. Recently the EPA has
        “issued extraordinarily costly new rules requiring US coal-fired power plants to further reduce their emissions of mercury and other air pollutants, finding the costs justified in lives saved and medical benefits. But the benefit claims were bogus.
        Power plants contribute less than 0.5 percent of the mercury in America’s air, and their emissions have long been falling. Eliminating such a minuscule source of mercury will not save many thousand lives, as the EPA asserts. But it will dramatically raise the cost of coal-powered electricity, which is about half of all domestic electricity production (and far more in some states).”
        From:
        http://mises.org/daily/5436

    • Robert Smith

      From Chitown: ” His 8 ton Limos…”

      Really? I have an idea!

      Why don’t you stand in front of Obama’s care and catch any bullets headed his way from the hateful creeps who think they can get away with a few pot shots like anti-abortion nuts?

      Really? You don’t want to. Then please join with me to opt for the best in protective technology so we don’t have to worry about those nuts quite as much.

      Rob

    • Karolyn

      I’m sure you would love to live in West Virginia, where the tops of the mountains are being destroyed, and the people have a high lung disease rate!

  • Les

    If cars got 50+ miles per gallon (mpg), there would be no electric car. I drive in Maryland where every other car is an SUV or pickup truck. I drive an 1995 eagle talon that I have gotten to 38 mpg on the highway. This means that I can drive from Maryland to South Carolina on one tank of gas. Stopping every 100 miles to recharge is ridiculous. Can you imagine the lines at charging stations if it takes at least a 1/2 hour per car. It’s going to make the lines during the gas “shortages” in the 70s look silly. just a thought that no one has addressed. Sure you can plug into the grid at home, along with all of your neighbors. Can you say brown out?

    There are a lot of “things” left out of these discussions. Volume is the biggest concern that I believe has never been addressed. You can’t just switch from all gas to all electric vehicles without a huge increase in electrical production. Watch the cost of electricity skyrocket when this happens.

    This has always been the Edsel of the ages. But all things are possible if the Fed pours enough of my money on it. Sucks that they can’t be put in prison for grand theft.

    • Robert Smith

      Hi Les… Let’s connect up with some reality. Is that OK with you?

      First, let’s visit: http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/37982/

      From there: “Better Place will sell a new electric sedan made by Renault that has a range of just over 100 miles on a charge—enough for most daily commutes. For longer trips, Better Place provides battery swap stations, where an automated system switches out a depleted battery for a fully-charged one in less than five minutes.”

      Five minutes! That works for me on a trip. For around town and commuting I’m OK with charging overnight with electricity for half a buck.

      Tests are already going on in Israel. In America with closed situations like Hawaii it is a perfect solution for moving folks around.

      BTW, why does anyone need a huge pick-up or SUV for commuting?

      Rob

      • DaveH

        My money would be on the fact that if such a system were fully implemented it would prove to be unwieldy and undesirable. But if you freely choose to take that path, have a ball, Robert. Meanwhile, butt out of our choices. Respect your fellow man. Quit being a pushy controlling Liberal.

  • Alex Frazier

    By the way “Idiot with an electric car”, I also meant to point out that not everyone can afford a $60,000 vehicle right now. I’m presently trying to figure out how I can afford a $20,000 gasoline car.

    There are entire segments of the population who can’t even afford a new car period. They buy used cars because it’s all they can afford. And many who might be able to afford payments may not have the credit.

    Shall we institute a new subsidy program to help the less fortunate buy brand new cars? I know just how it should work. If you make less than a normal person who actually has a job, then you get your payments made for you for free through tax dollars. The rest of us get to pay for it with tax hikes, and the corporations can chip in a little extra on top of their 38% corporate tax so that they can lay off a bunch of people as their bottom line diminishes.
    After all, that’s how Obama is doing everything else. Tax the rich. It’s the universal solution.

    • Robert Smith

      Alex claims: ” Tax the rich. It’s the universal solution.”

      If we could just return to the rates under Reagan it would solve our problems.

      Of course, ending the Bush wars and the Bush tax cuts (that I saw nothing of) would help too.

      Rob

  • Doc Sarvis

    Hybrid and electric technology would be MUCH further along, and perhaps we would already have made the shift to using those technologies by now, IF we have not been subsidising the oil industry for decades.

    Oil companies get huge tax breaks, our planning and road building has been centered around the use of the internal combustion engine by the public and for commerce, and our environmental regulations have allowed the high (even unhealthy) levels of pollution (largely from cars and trucks) in cities. Probably the largest subsidy is in the wars we have fought over the years to protect our oil addiction. It is hard to count the millions of lives that have been ruined or ended (on both sides) and the trillions of dollars spent (again-on both sides) fighting over this resource. Until we stop proping up the oil industry with unfair business practices we don’t give other technoligies a chance.

    A few more points:
    Why is accelleration a measure of the car we need? For years we have been told to avoid jackrabbit starts. If more cars on the road accellerated at a similar rate it would be much safer on the roads.

    The range of a car is very much tied into efficiency. We need to increase our efficiencies in our lives and communities. Better planning and mass transit will greatly increase our efficiency and make long range vehicles far less important. Besides, hybrid technology can eliminate that concern and it is in current (successful) use.

    In my understanding – rare eath elements are the best in green energy utilization but NOT essential.

    • DelS

      All of you greenies are to be commended for your desire to improve our world. But enough already with this garbage about “big oil subsidies”. The Tax breaks you talk about for “big” oil do not exist. The oil industry is the most heavily taxed and regulated industry in the world. They are taxed at every turn they make. The industry is taxed from the permitting process to explore, to preparation to drill, to pipelines and trucks to move the crude, to extraction at the wellhead. Then you turn around and talk about the huge profits they make. Not one time have I ever seen or heard a realistic discussion about how much of the profit is domestic and how much is offshore. What we always see is how big the combined number is. Because of the ridiculous tax policy in this country corporations in the U.S. with offshore operations do not bring their profit back into this country for reinvestment. They invest in offshore opportunities. If they bring their profits back to the U.S. to invest in America, good ole Uncle Sam will tax them a second time at rates up to 38.5% for earnings they have already paid taxes on to the country of origin. In the industrialized world today there are only 2 countries that tax in this manner. The good on USA and Japan, ever stop and think about why the Japanese started building assembly plants in the USA? Makes perfect sense if you are going to be required to pay tax a second time at home doesn’t it. U.S. tax policy is more at fault for the export of jobs and displacement of industry than any other single factor. There is a time proven axiom that says (you get more of what is taxed the least, and less of what you tax the most). It has been around forever and has never been wrong.

      • 45caliber

        I agree with all you said, except for one thing. One of the main reasons the Japanese build plants in the US is to get US engineering.

        In Japan, if you make a mistake working for a plant you can get fired AND blacklisted. (Blacklisting is officially illegal in the US). So without a family to take you in, you starve there. It used to be the samuri could actually kill you and your family for the mistake.

        So Japanese, regardless of profession, ONLY FOLLOW WRITTEN PROCEDURES GIVEN BY THEIR EMPLOYERS. That includes engineers. So new procedures, etc. come from outside their system.

        Since American engineers normally won’t work in Japan (they require 60 hour work weeks for the same pay there), the Japanese build plants here and hire Americans to solve their problems in Japan and keep them abreast of American technology.

      • Doc Sarvis

        You conveniently ignore the largest subsidy I listed – the wars we have fought over the years to protect our oil addiction.

        • eddie47d

          Japan was and is building better cars than America and that is why they are so popular. I doubt if they would be building here if they already have excellent engineers in Japan. It may be for tax reasons or to save on shipping but hardly for better technology.

          • 45caliber

            eddie:

            The Japanese build better cars than we do for several reasons. One is that the American automobile industry has not improved anything on the drive train except where forced by foreign competition since about 1965.

            Second, most Japanese and Korean car manufactorers tend to mimic or copy American engineering. Third, they can do engineering IF there is a good procedure to follow. They just can’t come up with new ideas for the fear of a failure.

            KIA (Korean) was actually a failure until an American bought out the firm and used American engineers to redesign their cars.

    • DaveH

      Actually, most of the tax breaks given to oil companies were a result of Greenies prodding them to look for more efficient drilling, refining, and other processing techniques.
      And those subsidies are dwarfed by the amount of subsidies given to Alternative Energy companies.
      But you’re on to something, Doc. Let’s end all Government subsidies. If something is good for the consumers they will buy it and those desirable industries will thrive. The undesirable industries which are unsupported by unwilling taxpayers? Well, they’ll perish, as it should be.

  • http://yahoo Skyraider6

    7000.00 batteries what a bargain

    • DaveH

      Tony probably works for the Government and has plenty of our money to burn.

  • Richard

    How about the clean diesels, the vw ones get in the mid 40 mpg range and an equivalent gas model gets in the mid 20′s. So if we have that as a real option then we can reduce oil dependence too and have better torque cars. People here are pretty ignorant about the new diesels. Diesel cars are used all over the world. Diesel fuel it self has about 140,000 btu’s per gallon the new alcohol gas mixtures have less than 105,000 btu’s per gallon, probably about 100,000. Why do you think commercial trucking companies use diesel and not gas?
    I usually keep my cars for over 10 years and replacing 7000 worth of batteries every 8 years is not economical or environmentally responsible, especially when the car is worth much less than that at that time. So, now we would be forced to throw away the car, that makes worst environmental and economical sense. I like a car that gets 45+mpg and still tows 2000 pounds and can pass on 5th gear. I want a car to last at least 12 years before one gets tired of it. Yes it’s possible but they are hard to find in our land of the free. You can buy a big diesel truck all day but the cars are pretty scarce.

    • 45caliber

      Richard.

      In Europe, the diesel gets a lot better milage. But the government doesnt’ want them on the road here so insist they are polluters and won’t allow them here. However, their pollution is less than ours is. I think the real reason is that most people would change to them if they could – and GM and Ford couldn’t compete without government intervention.

  • Gary

    Yeah, Barry O and the greater number of liberal ninnies that are so enamored of ‘green energy’ would honestly like to see the total destruction of the American way of life, and have the rest of the world living in caves and eating raw everything. Of course, that also means that they would like to see us all become cattle just like them.

    They are more in the business of spreading misery than ensuring that everyone is raised up. Look at the number of exceedingly wealthy liberals that demand we pay more in taxes, buy electric cars, give up the things we like because ‘it’s unhealthy’… all on their say so.

    They point to studies that are more consensus driven politics than actual science, and then poo poo when a real scientist shows them solid proof contrary to their claims. These people hate historical fact with a passion, that’s why they spend so much time disagreeing with what can be proven and saying what “REALLY” happened. when they haven’t investigated as thoroughly as they demand the rest of us do.

    Electric cars are a FAILURE, they have always been a FAILURE commercially. They are cost prohibitive and incapable of surmounting certain limits that would make them viable. Energy independence isn’t relying on batteries in any case.

    Innovative progress in technology cannot be mandated by any government, it has never happened to work out. A good example is the Carter plan to make our Navy more ‘efficient’ by replacing nuclear powered ships with diesel powered one. All that happened was a severe increase in the number of tender vessels and more injuries at sea due to too many ships too close together at one time.

    Carter was a fool, and Obama is a bigger one.

    Gimme a 1968 Mustang or Corvette any day to these foolish Volts and other battery powered hot wheels. At least I’d be able to get on the highway and get somewhere in a reasonable amount of time. and NOT get run over by oncoming traffic.

    • Patriot

      In Obamaland those cars would be “Cash for Clunkers” another stupid government program that worked well!

  • Michael J.

    OK,I’ll blurt it out, GREEN SOCIALISM! I mean that’s what we’re talking about here.

    If electric vehicles were a winning, money-making idea, someone would have perfected the technology and sold millions of them by now. That’s how capitalism works.

    Instead, General Motors Corp spit out the Chevy Volt. This wind-up toy gets 40 miles to a charge and sells for $42K. And just like the Green Vehicles debacle, taxpayers get to foot the bill for the incentives used to entice buyers. That’s how socialism works, picking winners and losers don’t come cheap, but Joe taxpayers pockets are deep.

    First they regulate to death the access to our own natural resources, then they try to saddle us with these hardtop golf carts that have only a 40 mile range.

    • Doc Sarvis

      As I said in my post above; Hybrid and electric technology would be MUCH further along, and perhaps we would already have made the shift to using those technologies by now, IF we have not been subsidising the oil industry for decades.

      Oil companies get huge tax breaks, our planning and road building has been centered around the use of the internal combustion engine by the public and for commerce, and our environmental regulations have allowed the high (even unhealthy) levels of pollution (largely from cars and trucks) in cities. Probably the largest subsidy is in the wars we have fought over the years to protect our oil addiction. It is hard to count the millions of lives that have been ruined or ended (on both sides) and the trillions of dollars spent (again-on both sides) fighting over this resource. Until we stop proping up the oil industry with unfair business practices we don’t give other technoligies a chance.

      • Patriot

        Hey Doc, what don’t you get? No subsidizing anything, period!

        • eddie47d

          Don’t worry Doc, Patriot is now marching into Washington as we speak to demand that oil subsidies be taken away! Well… we can hope.

    • 45caliber

      Michael J.

      They can compete – but are not allowed to do so by the government since they cannot add fuel taxes to the electricity. The same for natural gas which can be used in a standard engine with minor adaptions. You used to be able to buy the kit to convert it for about $1200. It would also work with propane. You would get about 10% less mpg but the cost was and – for ng – a lot less.

    • Robert Smith

      Michael says: “If electric vehicles were a winning, money-making idea, someone would have perfected the technology and sold millions of them by now. That’s how capitalism works.”

      Yup, you are exactly right.

      From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Prius: “The Prius is sold in more than 70 countries and regions, with its largest markets being those of Japan and North America.[2] In May 2008, global cumulative Prius sales reached the milestone 1 million vehicle mark,[3] and in September 2010, the Prius reached worldwide cumulative sales of 2.0 million units.[2] The U.S. is the largest market, with 1 million Prii sold by early April 2011,[4] and Japan reached the 1 million mark in August 2011.[5]”

      Granted it is a hybred. It’s part way there. Turning into a plug-in hybred which will increase sales hugely and for the person commuting less than 30 miles no gasoline will be needed.

      It’s a start in the right direction.

      Rob

      Rob

      • DaveH

        If a technology is viable and desirable, it will succeed without Government meddling.
        Someday, we may see hydrogen-powered cars commonly on our roadways. But right now, they still aren’t viable.
        Who knows what wonderful things industry might provide someday to Voluntary buyers. You know, Robert, Voluntary buyers, something you Liberals abhor.

  • http://na Jim

    Tony, good rebuttle. Very informative if all of this information is true which I have no reason to believe it isn’t. These electric cars are growing in popularity in my small town. Great short distance travel and commute to work sites. Definetely not good enough to pull a trailer but a few groceries yes. You answered questions I have often had about power production from the grid opposed to gasoline production.

    Capt at Birth: I grew up in the Midwest and I see many farmers who can’t get a decent income from there crops get wind generators up on there unused land and simply go on vacation with there monthly checks. Just because you can’t get sun all of the time you can use both wind and sun for this.

    This bail out the WH did was good intentioned but obviously not screened very well. I hope this country can get it together and lead from the front instead of being surpassed by third world countries.

    There are large lithium deposits in Nevada, North Carolina and Canada. Chile has the largest known deposit so far. Going green is not a one point solution but many different solutions. Like Tony said you can recycle these batteries before they get too discharged. Why do you think the Computer companies have been taking them off of your hands for free.

    A site to see would be something I grew up as a common site. A small town in the midwest had a single main street and a few sides that each one of the parking places had parking meters to put in coins. What if you had something like that for your EV with the option for quick charge or normal charge??? You get temp or long term parking and a charge perfect for a commuter.

  • 45caliber

    There is one really big reason that electric cars are not better than they are: Taxes.

    The electricity used to charge them cannot be taxed as the gasoline is. If it was, then the electric bill for houses would be much greater and people would object … loudly. Since the cars could be charged anywhere, the government can’t mandate charging at “charge stations” where it could be taxed. So the government really doesn’t want them on the road.

    They are working on it, though. They are trying to bring in the “road use tax”. They want the car GPS to have a built-in radio (short range) that would broadcast your milage and possibly other things to posts the government would install along the highway. You would then get a milage tax monthly on the amount of driving you do. And they plan to keep the gasoline fuel tax as well to “encourage people to switch to something else”.

  • Henry Ledbetter

    It is my opinion that some of the technology can work but will never be feasible by a corrupt government calling the shots. The FEDS GREATEST NEED IS TO SECURE OUR BORDERS and yet this is the last thing they are inclined to do.

  • Insurgent

    The price America is paying for the race card issue is astronomical and growing every day. Too bad Buckwheat is not legal because the US is being lead down the toilet drain by a Kenyan who should never have been allowed to start with by the DNC.
    So how is this hopey, changey thingy working for you?
    John Wayne said, “Life is tough, but it is tougher when you are stupid.”

  • 45caliber

    All the talk of bad electric cars, poor battery values, high battery prices, etc. really annoy me. Supposedly electric cars can get barely 45 mph and have a 50 mile range – max.

    Actually I’ve ridden in an electric car back about 1970 that got 65 mph with over a 300 mile range. It took 30 minutes to recharge on any 110v outlet and had it’s own built-in cord and charger. It was a test car a woman I knew was asked to test for the company since she drove a 55 mile paper route seven days a week. She drove it for two years. It used six standard car batteries set in a tray that rolled out from under the car to the side. She had to replace them once a year at a cost of about $300 – total. Her monthly electic bill increase to keep the car charged was about $12.50 a month (they put a special recorder on the recepticle to check that). There was NO other maintenance involved that wasn’t also required on a standard car such as air in tires and grease.

    When they came to pick up the car, she wanted to buy it or a new one just like it. They told her they couldn’t do that; they had been bought out by GM.

    So the car plans are already there and the test has been done. They could start making the car as soon as they tooled up for it. But … the car would put most gasoline models out of service quickly and the government couldn’t collect their fuel tax!!!

    • DaveH

      If you believe that, 45, then there is only one solution — get Government out of the Marketplace. Without the Force of Government, no company could stifle an innovative technology for long.

  • 45caliber

    There is also other ways to save fuel. One man built an electric car with a 10-20 hp gasoline lawmower engine that drove four alternators to keep the battery charged. It got over 150 mpg on fuel and could match the speed limit and distances without a problem. Another took out the back seat of a VW Bug and installed a large fly-wheel that would speed up when the car slowed down. It was also all-electric. When he took off the fly wheel would power the acceleration. He could spin his tires! (GM also bought him out.) The “Stars and Stripes” military newspaper in 1967 had an article about a foundry/machine shop owner who built his own car by taking apart a new car and re-engineering it. He used anti-friction bearings, etc. and got about 87 mpg without meaning to do it. He intended to just make a car he would guarantee for 200,000 miles. (GM also bought that one out.)

    Incidently, did you know that the only anti-friction bearings in the modern car are the wheel bearings and those on the universal joint on a rear wheel powered vehicle? Both are listed as “ultra-light duty” in a bearing catalog.

  • http://www,pappymart.com John Hanna

    Yes I agree with the report but don’t consider the situation so dire
    Yes electric cars suck and they won’t improve much as you have to consider how much voltage can be packed in small spaces in case of a short – boomie!
    But we only get nine percent of our oil from the Persian Gulf and what ? twice that from OPEC ? Even a sudden cutoff of those quantities won’t cripple the US just inconvenience to be replaced with natural gas in a month or two
    I thought Solyndra was just Chicago politics and let’s see who ends up with a completely viable cell manufacturing facility for peanuts but it turns out to be the worst case scenario
    They don’t make solar cells they just place them in casings. Although it is a nice design anybody can do that – solar cell manufacture is another matter! Half a billion for packaging and administration and sales – what a crock

  • Polski

    Some interesting comments and some BS comments. I like to read blogs/forums because it’s a form of people watching. A lot of people are really ignorant, but want to say something anyway. Some technology will take a long time to develop unless we get lucky and someone finds something really good by accident. The problem with using all the resources in the US is the greedy corporations with their greedy CEOs and senior executives who will just leave the equivalent of a garbage dump when they have raped the land and sea for the resources. That problem is compounded by the fact that all the politicians have been bought, that is, they are crooks too.

    • DaveH

      “A lot of people are really ignorant, but want to say something anyway”.
      I would say that fits your comment pretty well, Polski.

  • northbrook

    Electric cars may be for the future generations where the populations are in central urban areas. Unless some radical means of recharging the battery systems for these vehicles they are for dreamers and would never replace the fossil fueled vehicles of today. Better than electric vehicles we should go to an existing technology using natural gas as the fuel. Gas will burn cleaner andoffer some appeasement to the enviromentalists. This would offer the US a means of weaning off foreign oil and using natural gas supplies within the borders of the US. It would also help create work here converting cars, establishing fueling stations. Lets get inovative and think about what can be done that is best for the country.

  • Average Joe

    I say to he11 with electric cars, these two guys have the right idea.

    http://www.brasschecktv.com/videos/suppressed-technologies/air-cars.html

    What a novel approach!

    • eddie47d

      Well worth watching Joe. Thanks! There are alternatives out there like that air pressured system that will be very feasible,inexpensive and practical.

    • DaveH

      Here’s an interesting discussion on the Air Car subject:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3ACompressed_air_car

  • JohnB

    I’m no fan of government providing largesse to companies to push their pet idea. Nor am I going to say that the existing system (which provides all sorts of largesse and tax breaks to petroleum and gas companies) is good either. What would be better is to allow for a free market in energy as well as for personal transportation. Note that at the beginning of the 20th century cars ran on both alcohol (which you could buy very easily at most farms) as well as petrol. It was when Rockefeller funded lobbying for prohibition that things changed. We need to get back to allowing for the market to decide whether electric cars are feasible.

  • Downs1

    Electric cars must be plugged in and recharged. Where does the electricity come from? Wind power? Hardly. Nuclear energy? Perhaps. But by far at this point in time, electricity comes from generating plants that use good old fashioned coal! Also, power sources on the highways must be set up and standardized. Money! Big money! The answer is to get the government out of our lives and let the people do what they do best. The government still can’t run a decent railroad after all these years! They still can’t take care of the Native Americans they subjugated back in the 1800′s. That should tell you something right there! The Solyndra fiasco should tell you more. The failed bailouts and the consistently divisive policies and ripoffs from our esteemed leaders should clinch the argument! Send them all home and start over using the Constitution as it was designed!

  • Monte

    On a subject that I have absolutely no knowledge, I believe economics will prove out. Government intervention – at my expense – is not free market. It is crony capitalism. It is stealing from one group to support politically connected buddies. If green works, put it on the open market and let’s see. Just leave my hard earned money out of it. Otherwise, it is only socialism and corruption.

  • Patriot1

    We all talk of technology to go green. Well consider this…the auto industry has bought off pattents for the last 50 years that would improve gas mileage. Carburation and engine designs!
    Where are they in saving this nation?
    Recently heard of a group that invented a filtration system that extended the life of large truck motor oil 500% and suddenly they dissappeared after they announced they would be doing the same for the auto industry.
    The technology is in play that can cut electric usage by 15% or more. Lighting by as much as 70%.
    Why doesn’t this administration take a look into saving fossil fuels and not reinventing the wheel.
    Open the oil fields and let this country become self sufficient.
    Tax corporations on foreign manufacturing and level the playing field to re-industrialize THIS NATION!!!

    • 45caliber

      The patents are not used because the Federal government would lose fuel tax income if they were.

      About 25 years ago now, an inventor came up with a carborator that would double the amount of gasoline used for power. (At present it is about 15%. The rest is burned in the exhaust system.) He could use 35%. The feds refused to allow him to build a factory to make it because “if he doubled the gasoline milage he would cut the fuel tax collected in half. And they couldn’t stand that much of a cut.”

      • eddie47d

        Some fine entrepreneur needs to retool that product which is more efficient and re-patent it. There are enough of us out there willing to tell the government to encourage fuel savings and to market such products.

      • Vetter

        OMG!! I thought that urban legend died years ago!! The “200 mpg carburetor” myth was just that, a myth. Plus, there hasn’t been a car buitl with a carburetor in decades. Everything has electronic fuel injection now.

  • Jimbo

    check out tata motors air powered car

    • 45caliber

      The last I heard, it had a quarter mile range. Further, air is explosive when compressed. Any damage to the air tank could result in a deadly explosion. I’ll stay away from it.

  • speedle

    If this pipe dream were to become reality, imagine the impact on the power grids and all the havoc that would entail. If we follow the bouncing liberal ball, we would then have giant windmills on every acre of land in the country trying to generate enough power to rid ourselves of that nasty old fossil fuel addiction.

    There won’t be a bird left in the sky.

    • eddie47d

      As if tall glass buildings and air pollution don’t kill millions of birds. There are traditional flight paths for several species and windmills can be built elsewhere. One bird free flight zone runs all the way from Texas up to Canada. Wise planning can solve that problem.

  • Bob McCormick

    First off let me state that I am the last person that you would accuse of defending the moron in chief, but I see no other way to solve the energy and pollution problems we are faced with than to encourage development through government incentives. Dependence on Mideast oil is a fact of life, global warming is real, and the problems with oil have nothing to do with the well running dry, the problem is that we use too much of it, and alternatives are few. Oil is a commodity, and it’s price is a reflection of supply and demand, we are not only at the mercy of OPEC, we are also at the mercy of the world market. An aspect of the issue that is often overlooked is the chain of supply, remember Katrina and the spike in prices at the pump. Our refineries are running at full capacity, and anything that disrupts the supply chain anywhere between the well and the pump causes serious problems. The logistics of maintaining the flow of gasoline is such a huge problem it is almost impossible to keep under control on a good day, anything that disrupts the flow, be it war, natural disaster or a breakdown at a refinery creates serious shortages at the pump.
    . We obsess over gasoline, however diesel fuel is what allows commerce in this country to take place. What would happen if the supply of diesel was disrupted? Within days our national transportation fleet would grind to a halt, no trucks, no trains, no buses, no planes, without trucks, how do we get all that Chinese crap to your local Walmart. Farming is almost exclusively dependent on diesel as well, so without the use of their machinery, the crops don’t get planted on time, no food.
    We are dangerously dependent on a single energy source, and we as a nation need to address the issue. The reality is that the only way to stimulate innovation in today’s world is with government funding. Wise investment, by knowledgeable government officials who have the peoples interest at heart, ain’t gonna happen with the crooks and idiots in power today, that’s the real problem.

    The logical solution, at least as I see it, is diversification. Not a cold turkey withdrawal from oil, but the addition of diverse options, natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells, and electric. The drawbacks to electric vehicles can be overcome. There is a company developing a super capacitor for use in Evs, capacitors are light weight, relatively green, they can be charged almost instantaneously, and could eventually be much cheaper and more reliable than batteries. Hydrogen is also a possibility. There are serious drawbacks to renewable energy, you have to generate it at the source when it is available, the wind blows in the central plains, the sun shines in the southwest and it is only available when mother nature supplies it. So how can we take advantage of this free and green energy? I have given the problem some thought, on a large scale, storage batteries are out of the question, so why not convert the excess power into hydrogen. Wind turbines and solar, could be connected to the local grid as well as a hydrogen generation plant, that way we can take full advantage of the system. Renewable energy producing hydrogen from water through electrolysis generates oxygen as a by product, use the hydrogen in a fuel cell, it combines with oxygen and emits water, the system is a closed loop with virtually zero net emissions. If only I was connected enough to get government funding for my half baked ideas I could save the planet, or possibly blow through a ton of money, can you say Solyndra!
    Like I used to tell my employees “ do something,,,, even if it’s wrong” the point, we will have false starts, we will make mistakes but if we are afraid to try, we won’t make progress we need to invest but we need to do it wisely, it’s the peoples money.

    • eddie47d

      Thanks for some refreshing information. This “crises” is not about Obama but using new and old resources wisely and politics should come second in solving our future needs.

  • Bob McCormick

    First off let me state that I am the last person that you would accuse of defending the moron in chief, but I see no other way to solve the energy and pollution problems we are faced with than to encourage development through government incentives. Dependence on Mideast oil is a fact of life, global warming is real, and the real problems with oil have nothing to do with the well running dry, the problem is that we use too much of it, and alternatives are few. Oil is a commodity, and it’s price is a reflection of supply and demand, we are not only at the mercy of OPEC, we are also at the mercy of the world market. An aspect of the issue that is often overlooked is the refinery, remember Katrina and the spike in prices at the pump. Our refineries are running at full capacity, and anything that disrupts the supply chain anywhere between the well and the pump causes serious problems. The logistics of maintaining the flow of gasoline is such a huge problem it is almost impossible to keep under control on a good day, anything that disrupts the flow, be it war, natural disaster or a breakdown at a refinery creates serious shortages at the pump.
    . We obsess over gasoline, however diesel fuel is what allows commerce in this country to take place. What would happen if the supply of diesel was disrupted? Within days our national transportation fleet would grind to a halt, no trucks, no trains, no buses, no planes, without trucks, how do we get all that Chinese crap to your local Walmart. Farming is almost exclusively dependent on diesel as well, so without the use of the machinery, crops don’t get planted on time, no food.
    We are dangerously dependent on a single energy source, and we as a nation need to address the issue. The reality is that the only way to stimulate innovation in today’s world is with government funding. Wise investment, by knowledgeable government officials who have the peoples interest at heart, ain’t gonna happen with the crooks and idiots in power today, that’s the real problem, .

    The logical solution, at least as I see it, is diversification. Not a cold turkey withdrawal from oil, but the addition of diverse options, natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells, and electric The drawbacks to electric vehicles can be overcome. There is a company developing a super capacitor for use in Evs, capacitors are light weight, relatively green, they can be charged almost instantaneously, and could eventually be much cheaper and more reliable than batteries. Hydrogen is also a possibility but it is costly to produce. There are serious drawbacks to renewable energy, you have to generate it at the source when it is available, the wind blows in the central plains, the sun shines in the southwest and it is only available when mother nature supplies it. So how can we take advantage of this free and green energy? I have given the problem some thought, on a large scale, storage batteries are out of the question, so why not convert the excess power into hydrogen. Wind turbines and solar, could be connected to the local grid as well as a hydrogen generation plant, that way we can take full advantage of the system. Renewable energy producing hydrogen from water through electrolysis generates oxygen as a by product, use the hydrogen in a fuel cell, it combines with oxygen and emits water, the system is a closed loop with virtually zero net emissions. If only I was connected enough to get government funding for my half baked idea I could save the planet, or possibly blow through a ton of money, can you say Solyndra!
    Like I used to tell my employees “ do something,,,, even if it’s wrong” the point, we will have false starts, we will make mistakes but if we are afraid to try, we won’t make progress we need to invest but we need to do it wisely, it’s the peoples money.

    • Monte

      “we need to invest but we need to do it wisely, it’s the peoples money” I believe that is a dream world goal. Reality and history prove it so. Look at the goals of social security and look at the result. Without stretching out the welfare clause or some other such nonsense, the Constitution does not give the central government the authority to steal my money to invest in the latest ‘scare’. Overreach and usurpation has bankrupted the country. Downsizing is our only hope of survival – and remain free. I don’t believe the Federal government is the solution to any of our probleims. I believe it is the SOURCE of ALL our problems. The less trust we put in it the better off we will be.

    • JohnK.

      It’s called drilling more in and around our own Continent, that’s part of what we need to do!! And “cutoff” the oppressive government regulations that are strangling this country’s economy!!

    • djdrew103

      Thank God for some common sense analysis!

      With the entire norm for “Browbeat Obama!” campaigns, it’s nice to see someone that uses wisdom instead of hype. It’s impossible to tell what the elections will turn out like, but it’s going to be interesting to listen to all the dogs growling and gnashing their teeth if he gets re-elected because people are so tired of the party of NO, and they vote in retrospect of their wish for change, any change, that we can work with towards improvement.

      They fail to grasp the idea that even if its a hard road to change, if it looks like there are lots of hurdles, the only wait to implement change is to START with SOMETHING!

      I bet when the country started stringing basic simple electrical cables across the nation for power, the supporters of NO! complaints were all about the same as they are now. “It will cost too much to supply the energy!”, “It will never work!”, “If God wanted us to have power, He would have made….”.

      Fact is that, we supply power now by different processes, Hydroelectric, nuclear, coal. Those producers work within geographical areas where producing that power is cost acceptable, hydroelectric dams built where there are rivers, coal operated plants where supply is acceptable, nuclear where it is permissible to build plants, and the likes. New nuclear plants are being built every year as we live through time, so building more wind generated power fields where there is constant wind, or solar plants where there is more sunshine is not out of the question. Controversy for new plant sites is nothing out of the norm either, as protests against building sites in certain areas “in my own backyard” is also a norm. Complainers stating that winds are never constant, nor sunshine, present no viable argument in that if we made wind turbine power generator fields and made solar panel fields, it would do nothing other than create a more diversified form of power to assist in the current system of power production. Costs of materials and parts will lessen as they do with any product, as the demand increases.

      Thing is, if we don’t start somewhere, if someone doesn’t have the wisdom to implement change during their administration, fearless of reprisals just because it hampers their political image from all the rabble rousers and protesters, we will never see change, we will never make the move to better sources of energy.

      If we listen to fools that claim the answer is merely drilling more oil wells and supplying our nation from US based resources, then yes someday we will find ourselves dripping dry, and having NO fields to suck oil out of, and we will be totally dependent on outside sources. So what if China tends to be the supplier for most of the precious metals. If we build a market for more, other countries will jump into the production of those metals, and the supply and demand engine will start up wildly producing those metals for market. Do you expect that companies will produce the products necessary beforehand? Foolhardily people think of all ways to complain, but miss the wiser versions of foresight.

      Sure, sure…oil companies claim that we have 200 years worth of oil supply possible in the US. Well, those oil companies aren’t totally based in the US either, and companies like BP that aren’t based in the US want the government to open oil drilling permits all over, at their leisure. They aren’t worried about the US running out; they can drill anywhere and still make profits.

      We DO need to become less dependent on foreign oil, that’s a truth about the subject. Yet, we need to do so wisely. Open up more permits for drilling, regulate those fields. Sucking oil out of sand? Sounds good, but at what risks? What are those sites going to look like once the supply is depleted? Are we to have more areas like coal mining geographical travesties where water supplies are ruined and left toxic from run off? Oh yeah, the answer is to pipe in water from other areas instead of relying on pure sources you once had before the demand for oil ruined your own natural water supply, as is the case in many areas in the east.

      The criers and whiners insist on what sounds like sensible demands, and they want less regulation and eradication of the current EPA. That’s sounds like smart wisdom in an era where companies today can’t or won’t regulate themselves. The EPA was made because companies had polluted our lands already in the early years, in that we had to create regulatory commissions to protect ourselves from their greed versus safe and clean operation. So no, companies can’t and won’t regulate themselves. They already operate under an engine where they weigh profits versus penalties or fines, and opt out for profits.

      So we DO need alternative sources of power, and we can’t listen to all the complainers or we will never even START in that direction. We are already behind other countries that used wisdom as a modulator, and are already producing energy in a cost effective manner, and have started the market for those products necessary to make greener power, or use products that require other energy sources other than petroleum products. We have fast fallen behind on our pursuit to greener power, and look like a weak country to other nations because we tend to listen to whiners that vie to the directions of opposing political parties.

      Sinking money into green power projects in a time when our country is under so many burdens from economic strain? Well, you can make an argument there, but not using wisdom and foresight. We need green power, and if we wait till we can afford it, well we will never have it, simple. Brow-beaters don’t have the answer, they merely abuse their freedom of speech to heckle a particular political party to stall the process of our growth towards oil free (or less dependent on) power.

  • Tony Cheatham

    These poeple are completly lost in space! Where do they think our electric energy comes from. Most is produced from fossil fuels so there would be no difference to the environment. If we’re worried about dependence on forgin oil talk to the ‘Greenies’. We have oil of our own to last for hundreds of years! Of course if we used our own oil we would have no business in the Middle East and that’s where the rub comes. Politiclly we do not want out of the Middle East!! It’s all about CONTROL.. The problem with this control is that while our so called ‘leaders’ think they are controlling what happens in other parts of the world, they are loosing a grip on America.. So sad!!

  • Larry Pierson

    Let’s also run the energy equations.

    The most efficient fossil fuel plants will put approximately 60% of the energy of their fuel into electricity.

    The power grid is 90% efficient at carrying power to a house after going through one step up and one step down transformer for a loss of 2.5% each, or 5%, plus a smaller step-down transformer at the house for a loss of 4%, and the loss of power due to the resistance of the wires in the national grid (1%).

    The AC to DC power converter is 90% efficient.

    Batteries will at best deliver 75% of the power put into them.

    A brushless DC to DC motor is 90% efficient.

    60% X 90% X 90% X 75% X 90% = 32.8% at the output of the motor. This is not that far from the output of the fossil fuel engine in a typical car.

    Bottom line is: Electric cars are mostly hype. Case closed.

    • Bob McCormick

      Where do you get your numbers? The electrical grid is nowhere 90% efficient, without researching it’s safe to say it’s less than 50% overall. There are mechanical and thermal losses at the generator I R losses in the grid and transformer losses. From energy in to energy out the losses are huge, look it up.

    • djdrew103

      Your right Bob, his calculations SOUND brainy, but aren’t. Its too easy to do research on the subject. Form generating power to the actual home, 35% is lost due to heat loss and other problems. It is one of the most inefficient power production systems available, its just more abundant and easier to produce is all. That “easier to produce” clause is merely because other viable forms are not in more use today.

  • Angel Wannabe

    For a White House that ever squawking about saving energy, I never got the idea that electric cars would save money. Your simply swapping one source of energy, gas, for another, electric. Either way we’re paying out the azz for it! Bunch of elitest idiots!

    • Monte

      Funny, you never hear about all the fuel the funny-farm-first lady uses flying all over the globe eating and partying on our dime. The hypocricy of the left is too great to ever take them serious. Seriously disturbed!

      • djdrew103

        So now you resort to casting blame on how the first lady (or for that fact, ANY first lady) travels the US for her appointments. Every first lady on record traveled to do her part as a first lady. Like all the other complainers, you gripe but offer no viable solution. How do you expect for her to keep her appointments with whats offered as transportation today. Carpool? LOL

  • George Peck

    Electric cars? Add some George Jetson cars to them & you’ve got the formula: Moronic! Beyond the novelty stage, electric cars ain’t gonna fly, folks, but the wasted taxpayer money is really flying!

  • Grover

    IGNORANCE IS BLISS RIGHT JOHN.HAHAHA
    The problem is WHO IS THE IGNORANT ONE HERE JOHN?

    Wke upamerica

    or soon th

  • James Corbin

    Let me start by saying a few things about going green—–I grew up in a small town everybody used coal for heat, the smoke would be coming out of all the chimneys and soot would be on the snow——There wasn’t anyone died from lung problems. Now—about the electric cars, Dave H
    has a good point—-where would the depleted batteries go? How far could you go on a battery before you had to have it charged,where are the places going to be located to get them charged and how much would a battery cost? America needs to live off her own resources and drill for our oil—–This would hurt Iran. We need to think about US! Other countries are raping us. Oh, about the windmill energy–they would never, never supply enough energy. Look at the cost with these windmills Made in China. WE need to get rid of the EPA so companies wouldn’t have so many restrictions they can’t afford to hire or stay in business. They go too far on regulations.

    • Karolyn

      Are you sure NOBODY died of lung disease? That sounds like a stretch to me.

  • OldMan

    Bob McCormicks comment seems to incorporate what will be needed. There will be no “One Size Fits All” solution. “Do something even if it’s wrong”. Good thought/don’t sit on your hands while someone else(a foreign competitor) solves the problems !! After all, “life is one damn thing after another” which is a negative thing if you are a “glass is half empty” kind of person or positive if you are a “glass is half full” type. Solving of problems is what, to a large extent keeps life going, followed by more problems which further keeps life going njot to mention people busy and occupied, There may be a role for government in all this but probably a small one. By it’s very nature and make-up it is in most cases slow, cumbersome and in-efficient, growing more so daily. The Fed has a role to play but not the bloated, progressive/European style this administration seems to be pursuing.
    There are many constructive comments above but allude more to talking points than solutions which is o.k., everyone in America is entitled to their opinion and “Idiotic” or “Stupid” are personal judgement calls. This blog just scratches the surface and points to the complexity of the problem. Oil and coal will be with us for the forseeable future and beyond and the statement of a politician that he would like to destroy one industry or another and energy prices under his plan will have to skyrocket for his plan to transform America are beyond the pale and do not serve the U.S. in any way, shape , or form !!!!
    I feel the begining of rambling coming on so will close for now.

    One comment above stated the Chinese are buying rights to natural resources around the globe which I have become aware of through friends in the financial world. This should be of great concern to all for the future of our country.

    Fair winds to all………Old Man

  • bob wire

    I’m experiencing problems posting today, ~ the connection is being dropped?

    I will try one more time and then get on with this beautiful day and let you all to it.

    One gallon of gasoline has the energy of 1 stick of DuPont dynamite and this “fact” makes it most desirable on a multitude of levels and most difficult to compete with on an “apples to apples” comparison as an energy source.

    Green Energy is not and cannot attempt too compare the two but pundits of mineral extraction and refining are attempting to “frame” the debate is such a manner.

    So, listen to whom ever you wish. If “Get a horse” sounds reasonable to you? Fine! but lets not fight over “market shares” and ignore the future in the process.

    • Robert Smith

      bob wire says: “One gallon of gasoline has the energy of 1 stick of DuPont dynamite and this “fact”…”

      Unless there is something unusual about DuPont dynamite your information is a bit off.

      From http://www.nasdonline.org/document/919/d000760/storing-gasoline-and-other-flammables.html: “When mixed with air in the right proportions, the vapor of one cup of gasoline has the explosive power of about five pounds of dynamite, enough destructive force to destroy any house or car.”

      A stick of dynamite is just under 3/4 of a pound.

      Rob

      • bob wire

        Thank you Robert! Allow me to not be found “overstating” the thrust of my argument. I prefer to stay within margins of reality as I understand them to be. Many years ago, I believe dynamite was seen less powerful then today?

      • bob wire

        WoW! That is powerful stuff! how can electrical current possible compare?

        Only by CONTROL, Storage and innovative generation.

        You know, even steam powered locomotives of the 1890′s had greater power then modern diesel over electric engines.

        Stored potential capable of being unleashed at a single moment,~ something is going to move where it likes it or not. But slipping bull wheels and bending connecting arms is not productive work.

  • bob wire

    WoW ! it when through!

    There is many different way to generate electrical current, gravity, tide currents, wind, sun, dissimilar temperatures, kinetic energy, heat byproduct, biomass to name just a few.

    It can be stored, it can be transferred, it can be controlled in detail and lends it’s self to the digital age well.

    While we have came a long way from living in cave and rubbing sticks together to extract stored energy. We are at the edge of a new frontier.

    Gravity Force will someday be harnessed but until then, there will be many side roads and detours to explore.

    • 45caliber

      The real problem with generation of electricity is how to do it economically. And most of the different ways you list are very expensive.

      It is like aluminum. The present method is costly in electricity but produces metal that isn’t too expensive. It is also possible to extract it chemically and save the power – but it makes it more expensive than gold to do it. Which way would you prefer to buy it?

  • http://JRCArchitect@comcast.net James

    Now add a “Highway Fuel Tax” to the equation and you’ll see why electric cars are a true set up. The Obama administration does not know much, but they do know how to tax… and they will quickly figure this one out. When you add a hefty fuel tax to your plug-in bill, things get testy very quickly. Remember, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”

    • 45caliber

      They are certainly working on it and call it a “road use tax”. Check my comments above.

    • djdrew103

      Yes, of course there will be a highway usage tax. So what, we pay one on petroleum fueled cars. What’s the big deal. Actually, I would not be surprised if there are savings in that area too since its using greener power with less emissions. Just complaining? That’s a norm here. Just like the people that compliant about the batteries piling up and creating a pollution problem. But they ignorantly refuse to research it before opening their viewpoints on the matter. The batteries are 90% reusable and as a comment showed above, European countries have retailers who “lease” the batteries to the end user so that we can understand that the batteries are more likely to be recycled, just as our own batteries now are recycled more by retailers more so than an end user taking one in to be recycled. So yes, electric cars will most likely be taxed, but most likely less than regular cars. You pay your tax at the pump, they will pay their tax in one form or another, at recharging stations or in another form for re chargers at their homes, possibly by a tax implemented on your utility bill. It not unusual to hear people complain about taxes in one way or another, but tax you shall pay even if you have an electric car. But it will be less, so that’s a positive actually. Yet you shouldn’t think you will use the roads for free, that would be ignorant.

  • http://JRCArchitect@comcast.net James

    It does not matter how you “get” your electricity. There will be a tax rendered on it… that is guaranteed!

  • http://JRCArchitect@comcast.net James

    AC electricity is very, very difficult to store. Fossil fuels are not. This will always be true. DC electricity is nearly impossible to transmit. That will always be true also.

    • bob wire

      Right! , storage is a problem, for now it much be transferred to another medium and then transferred back or used as the stored medium.

      I enjoyed my seafaring days because of such matters as these.

      Ships are much like cities unto themselves, each with a host of redundancy, systems and voltages, both AC and DC. Sometimes it seemed insane. 6, 12, 32volt dc, 120, 208, 240, 277 ac single phase, ,220,240,440 3 phase and then there was the European voltage on occasions just to make thing more exciting.

      But bottom line, the mains started only by air motors and the bilge pumps and air compressors run only by electricity. The port and starboard diesel generators started one by air and the other by 24 v. battery. I liked to carry along a small gas air compressor just in case.

      I found it very hard to push start a MV (motorized vessel) Dead in the water is no place to be.

      Have a great day.

  • http://n/a John Beach

    Unfortunately, we have at least 16 more months of this fiasco of an administration, unless God Almighty intervenes. Pray that God Almighty will intervene!

  • hitthedeck

    Obama’s Green Dream has become America’s nightmare! His energy program matches his Health Care platform that forces Americans to have the heel of the government on their throats. Americans do not like a stand in line society! We want something that works and proof that it works. Gasoline supplied automobiles work because we have gas stations. Obama says we are hooked on foreign oil and must have Green energy. I would like to be hooked on American oil and know that every dollar I spend on gas is producing jobs for millions of Americans. We have more oil under our feet than is in the Arab countries. Producing oil here in America will bring down the price of energy and reduce prices on products which will give us a boost to compete against foreign products. Leave the environmental problems to the private sector. They are the only ones that have developed clean energy and they know how to solve the environmental problems. The private sector will solve the energy problem if the government would stay out of their business. We are not ready for thousands of extension cords coming out of apartment windows. We are not ready for solar panels in a hail storm. We are not ready for windmills taking up valuable space. Free enterprise and American ingenuity will develop an energy that the American people will buy. The Government does not know what works, but we do.

    • djdrew103

      No one can predict the future with total accuracy so I am not attempting to do so here. Yet I am pretty sure that although our menial comments here will be long forgotten, I am sure in one way or another the general consensus will show that your type of thinking will be remembered. The history books our children will be learning from will most likely mention people who hold your general attitude about power in America. It will read something like,

      “..and due to a general ignorance about America’s fossil fuel production industry problems and finding other resources or usable energy in the early 21st century, actions were not taken early enough to prevent the stalemate that led the afflicted countries into world war, over a simple thing such as oil. As fuel reserves ran out, America was cast into a depression as manufacturers and industry shut down due to outrageous prices for the lessening supply of what oil products were available and prices soared for other alternative fuel sources since their availability was never viewed as an important sub-standard for power sources. Increased costs due to transportation shortages and a crippling blow to the nation’s production infrastructure led to nation wide shortages or complete unavailability of thousands of products. Due to the ignorant viewpoints pressed upon the then current governmental administrations, action were not taken near early enough to intervene in in what led to nation wide shortages later and led to the interruption of other more reasonable pursuits for sources of power.”

      That’s the future you offer your children? That’s the legacy you intend to leave behind just because of negative attitudes? Those will be somewhat like what the pages of history books will “possibly” read like. That is what we face as our nation’s population expands every day, as the demand for oil increases every year, as we ignore supply and demand. Drill more wells? That’s like borrowing money to get you through the month when you don’t have enough money coming in for the next ten years. That’s a viable answer and attitude?

  • 45caliber

    Something Different:

    The SC “D” governor has proposed that the 2012 elections for Congress be stopped. His argument is that with the economy bad, we need to retain the existing Congress to give them two more years to fix the problem.

    I suspect his biggest reason is that it seems possible for the “R” to take control of the Senate as well as the House. And they don’t want that.

    • hitthedeck

      45- The Republicans have to take the Senate and I believe they will. Everything will hinge on the Republican elected President. I hope than a new administration will purge our government and kick out all the left leaning people that have been appointed by the Obama administration. There can be no opposition to undo all the damage that this administration has caused. Obama did the opposite when he and his cronies took power. They eliminated all conservative opposition and sidestepped the Constitution with Obama appointed Czars that were put on government payroll. I hope that these people will be black listed and never enter into any government position again. This might sound like McCarthyism but if it saving democracy it’s worth it.

  • Old Henry

    John:

    Little Barry harps about Americans needing to ride around in Smart Car death-traps all the while he rides around in an 8 ton gas-guzzling behemoth lead and followed around by a heard of gas-guzzling behemoths.

    He harps about “the rich” flying around in corporate carbon-foot printing jets while he flies around the country and world in his taxpayer-funded corporate jet. He even uses the corporate jet for dates with Moochelle.

    He harps about us riding around in Smart Car death-traps while he uses two diesel-guzzling buses to “tour and meet and greet” those who he thinks should be in death-trap Smart Cars. On top of that he uses jet fuel-guzzling, carbon foot print leaving Air Force cargo jets to leap frog the jets around his “meet and greet tour” route.

    In addition nothing is said about WHERE the source of power comes from for these battery cars and the fact that Little Barry and his fellow commies are busy shutting down the sources of power for these pie-in-the-sky cars.

    Gotta love those commie do as I say, not as I do dirt-bags.

    I guess since Communist China has 90% of rare earth metals we will be invading them in the near term.

    Or, it could just be part of Little Barry’s plan to bring down the U.S. by hobbling us to China and their dominance in rear earth metals.

    • MNIce

      I thought about suggesting Congress pass a bill requiring the President to use only electric-powered transportation – that would greatly limit the range and environmental cost of his multitudinous junkets. On the other hand, while he’s sitting in a limousine or mega-sized executive jet, he’s limited in the mischief he can do. but then, on the first hand, that gives him more time to cook up mischief. Sigh… Let’s just pray the American people can give him the pink slip him next November.

    • Al Sieber

      Old Henry, one of the largest rare earth mines in the world is about 2 hours from where I live in Mountain Pass on I-15 S.W. of Las Vegas just over the border in Calif., I heard they sold out to China. I bought some rare earth magnets for my mining equipment for magnetic sand separation, $4000 (ouch), if I need any more they’re now $8000. I’ll make do with what I have. where I live in Ariz. there are deposits of rare earth but they are small and need exploration work done on them. we have thousands of wild Burros where I live around the mountains and a few wild horses, I’ll always have a ride, and food when things get tough.

      • Al Sieber

        Also, Henry, China has plans to invade us and it isn’t through Walmart. they need living space ( sound familiar?) keep ‘em locked and loaded.

    • 45caliber

      Old Henry:

      He and Michelle considers themselves king and queen. How can you expect them to act the same as their subjects??

    • John Myers

      Dear Old Henry,

      You hit the nail square on the head regarding China. That is exactly what I am writing about in next Wednesday’s column; that how — because of the Greens — we are trading our dependence away from the Middle East and towards China.

      Thanks you Old Henry for reading.

      I always enjoy your comments. In fact I enjoy all the comments I get and often learn something from those of you that don’t agree with what I write.

      Warmly,
      John Myers

  • http://gmail.com David J. Sanchez

    In the above article about the practical use of electric automobiles in America, there is never even a mention of the fact that if the majority of people would switch over to the electric motors, where would the necessary power originate. There would have to be a tremendous number of power generation plants built just to keep up with the power necessary to accommodate this change. Coal, natural gas,wind, solar, geothermal, etc., plants would need to be established everywhere in order to keep up with the normal demands plus this additional strain on the power grid network. The “not in my backyard” mentality would delay any quick build solutions that would be necessary to power this idea. These articles are decent but need to cover all the major hurdles of such an “environmental” solution to petroleum dependence.

    • 45caliber

      You are correct. But I don’t believe that any quick change will be made to electric cars either. Most people can’t afford to buy an electric car (at $40k!!) as well as a gasoline engine car for long distances.

      The best bets would be for natural gas or coal fired plants. Despite what some say, coal would be best since we have plenty of it. We also have the necessary pollution equipment to run them safely. The reason the present plants do not have it is because the feds “grandfathered” them. I wouldn’t mind either being in my “back yard”.

      • Al Sieber

        I agree, the Obama administration is getting ready to close down quite a few coal fired plants in the US. we have one of the largest deposits of clean coal in the world and Clinton closed that land to mining before he left office.

  • BigBadJohn

    I agree with all of the negatives about electric cars, but it is new technology so don’t write it off just yet. Someone may come up with a car that is affordable and batteries last forever – but it not there now.

    Like a couple of other folks have said what about diesel cars? They are very efficient and last forever. We had a Volkswagen diesel in the early 90′s, 48 mpg and drove it for 250 k miles with only maintenance items (tires, battery, belts). The only problem with the car was that it was VERY under powered. The new TDI’s have three times the horsepower and only a 5 mpg penalty.

    They can also be run on biodiesel but only so much vegetable oil. However there is a company that using algae can produce biodiesel and it uses the sun 10 time more efficient than solar cells. Sounds like a decent start to me…

  • Jay

    EU to ban cars from cities by 2050
    Cars will be banned from London and all other cities across Europe under a draconian EU masterplan to cut CO2 emissions by 60 per cent over the next 40 years.

    The European Commission on Monday unveiled a “single European transport area” aimed at enforcing “a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers” by 2050.

    The plan also envisages an end to cheap holiday flights from Britain to southern Europe with a target that over 50 per cent of all journeys above 186 miles should be by rail.

    Top of the EU’s list to cut climate change emissions is a target of “zero” for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU’s future cities.

    Siim Kallas, the EU transport commission, insisted that Brussels directives and new taxation of fuel would be used to force people out of their cars and onto “alternative” means of transport.
    “That means no more conventionally fuelled cars in our city centres,” he said. “Action will follow, legislation, real action to change behaviour.”

    RELATED ARTICLES

    The Association of British Drivers rejected the proposal to ban cars as economically disastrous and as a “crazy” restriction on mobility.

    “I suggest that he goes and finds himself a space in the local mental asylum,” said Hugh Bladon, a spokesman for the BDA.

    “If he wants to bring everywhere to a grinding halt and to plunge us into a new dark age, he is on the right track. We have to keep things moving. The man is off his rocker.”

    Mr Kallas has denied that the EU plan to cut car use by half over the next 20 years, before a total ban in 2050, will limit personal mobility or reduce Europe’s economic competitiveness.
    “Curbing mobility is not an option, neither is business as usual. We can break the transport system’s dependence on oil without sacrificing its efficiency and compromising mobility. It can be win-win,” he claimed.

    Christopher Monckton, Ukip’s transport spokesman said: “The EU must be living in an alternate reality, where they can spend trillions and ban people from their cars.
    “This sort of greenwashing grandstanding adds nothing and merely highlights their grandiose ambitions.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8411336/EU-to-ban-cars-from-cities-by-2050.html

  • Tony

    Nice to see my post got some healthy debate going on. That’s exactly what this world needs. Especially in your country, where average carbon footprint is double of ours in Europe. (As an apology, I just want to say I’m not trying to be a smug.) First, I need to say that no, I’m not an American. I just happened to stumble onto this writing as I was looking for articles about electric cars in Google+. I live in Scandinavia, in a country where electric grid has only average of 200g/kWh emissions. We have coal, hydro, nuclear, wind etc. But I personally buy only wind power for my car. It’s as clean as you can get. Here the electric company promises to produce the (average) amount of energy as a type you order. This kind of system makes it easier to support renewables. And yes, solar panels here would be pretty expensive, comparing what they produce. But even here they can pay themselves during their long 30 years or so lifespan.

    Alex Frazier said, “By the way ‘Idiot with an electric car’, I also meant to point out that not everyone can afford a $60,000 vehicle right now. I’m presently trying to figure out how I can afford a $20,000 gasoline car.”

    My car happens to be a (old but good condition) large Volkswagen sedan, converted into an electric car with lithium batteries. Less than half the price of Leaf over here. It’s faster and has about the same range. And it works well even in our ridiculously cold winters (sometimes -20 to -30 Celsius), as it’s battery compartment is insulated properly. You wouldn’t go outside naked in the winter, would you? Same thing applies to batteries. And charging alone provides enough heat to keep them warm, when insulated properly. It would not have been cheaper to buy a new Toyota Corolla. Even Prius would have cost 50% more over here. I only wish I could afford Leaf. Not a chance. Although I’m not sure if Leaf has proper insulation in battery packs, as I’ve heard distressing reports of it’s reduced range in cold. And the current prices ARE ridiculous, I admit that. But they WILL get lower as time goes on and more models are mass produced and the competition between car companies really get to a full speed.

    As a sidenote, I think converting is the cheapest and most ecological way to drive electric. You get to remove one gasoline car from the traffic, adding an electric in place. And no added emissions from manufacturing the car frame. It’s like giving a new life to an almost dead car.

    We need to discuss about these things, find ways to improve all the aspects of transportation and our society. Even the electric cars are not the “perfect” solution or a “magic bullet”, I admit that. But they are only a PART of the solution. We cannot think everything just in black and white. And the original article was indeed very black, considering electric vehicles. The original article was SO biased that I just HAD TO say something. And I have never argued that electric vehicles should be the one and only solution. There never is just one solution. No one is forcing you to buy an electric car that you cannot afford. I’m a great supporter of ANY means that we cut down our ridiculous amounts of emissions, including improving the consumption of diesel and gasoline engines. But for those who CAN use an electric car as a daily means of travel, it should be allowed. And it just works. And if people can afford it, how can that be a bad thing? As I’ve explained, emissions from manufacturing the car and it’s emissions even if it’s powered by coal, are way lower in total than with gasoline car or any other alternative. The studies support this. The only studies arguing about this fact are assuming all electric cars are charged with electricity generated by coal (like the one someone pointed out). In the future this will not be the case. Also the electric grid HAS TO get cleaner. And it will.

    Alex Frazier also said: “I think it’s also fair to say that none of the current battery technology right now has a lifespan of more than about five years. I use lithium batteries in my camera equipment, and I can assure you that it is not a permanent power source.”

    Modern Lithium-Ion batteries used in small digital devices are completely different breed of batteries than Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LiFePo) batteries. I know, they usually won’t last more than two years. But these large scale car batteries are PROVEN to last more than 10 years. Even here in the cold Scandinavia with rough winters. Finally as they’ve been around this long to be able prove it, people are starting to accept that they really are a good choice for the job.

    Michael J. said, “If electric vehicles were a winning, money-making idea, someone would have perfected the technology and sold millions of them by now. That’s how capitalism works.”

    But that’s not the way capitalism works. It’s the one who has the most money who gets to create the rules. The car companies and oil industry have fought against electric vehicles from the start. As someone noted, a lot of maintenance shops and aftermarket industry will take a huge hit, as their services will no longer be needed in the same scale as now. This aftermarket business is one of the biggest revenues for car industry. With electric cars, they hate to see it diminishing. It’s like someone invented a razor blade you don’t need to buy a new one after every couple shavings. But new jobs will be created along renewables and all the new business models. World will change, no doubt about that. And it will not be painless.

    DaveH said, “Tony probably works for the Government and has plenty of our money to burn.”

    No, I actually work in gaming industry, with a very moderate salary. It was actually the long term affordability what got me interested of electric vehicles. Could you believe that? If you compare electric vehicles and gasoline cars side by side, what can you see? The car frameworks can be identical, so no difference there in costs. The motor? Electric motor and it’s controlling electronics should be cheaper(!) than a gasoline engine with more than 400 moving parts and all the exhaust systems with catalytic converters which also require lots and lots of maintenance. So the car without the batteries should cost much less than a gasoline car. And that’s just a fact. Components alone are already cheaper. The current high costs are only due to economies of scale. And they are changing. And by the way, gasoline costs just under $8 per gallon here. And I drive some 600 miles a month. Price for the gasoline was more than $150 a month with our gasoline car, when I had to still buy gas.

    I think the batteries and the electricity should be compared to gasoline costs. Renault for example has realized this. And I think it’s a marvelous idea. They sell you the car and lease the batteries. Of course the battery leasing price has to realistic for this kind of system to work. But even with Renault, the leasing price is promised to be cheaper (79 euros a month) than the price of gasoline I would have to buy instead.

    S.C. Murf said: “And the poisonous batteries will become a problem, just like the new energy saving light bulbs,that contain the mercury, our Govt. is telling us we have to use. You really think everyone will recycle these.”

    Yes, I really think almost 100% of the batteries will be recycled. Unlike the energy saving lamps, there’s a lot of precious materials to recycle. Just as an example the Nissan Leaf batteries are 97% “refurbished” after about 10 years or 100000 miles. You don’t have to buy a completely new battery set, only pay for the refurbishing (which should be a LOT less than the new batteries). And in the case batteries are leased, the recycling will be integrated into their business as well.

    Yours truly
    - “A European idiot(?) with an electric car”

    • eddie47d

      Good reply Tony. We need positive news on the world’s energy needs and you provided some insight.Don’t worry about the negative comments they are common from those who are scared for the future BUT don’t want to change or don’t realize other energy systems work.

  • Tony

    Also about the Lithium reserves: It is still a loooooong way until they are depleted in the world. As I said, there are some just as good alternatives, with even cheaper and more common materials like Nickel. I really doubt all the 800 million cars in the world will be converted as electric cars in one night? Do you?

    It will take decades. And we have enough of lithium to last our need for decades, especially when recycling is taken into account. It’s just an excuse to assume the reserves will be depleted tomorrow.

    Same we could argue about oil. It will only get more and more expensive each day. And it will get harder and harder to extract as the easiest deposits will run out first. And it will eventually run out completely.

  • George Peck

    “Giant Corporations” got that way by providing good, workable, reasonably priced products. I really am sorry for those libs that have been FORCED to buy their products.

  • CHESTER L MCWHORTER SR

    My next door neighbor staers her car with gasoline. she then instantly swithes over to hydrogen gas for fuel. when she shuts her car engine off, she switches back to gasoline, then shuts off the ignition. she fuels her gasoline tank up about once every three months. she has a small hydrogen gas generator in her engine compartment. It generates hydrogen gas by passing current from a +/- terminal to A +/- terminal on t’other side of small water tank. Engine does not miss a beat. Has all the power she needs. Can easily peal rubber every time she goes anywhere, just for kicks she tells us. The complete installation only costs $800.00 FOR MY CAR BUT I DON;T have it. Some Day…Her engine produces water every time she uses Hydrogen gas. water ib—water out, sounds good to me!!! .Chet

    • Dale on the left coast

      I have seen this system on several vehicles . . . but . . . the vehicle never runs 100% on hydrogen, it meerly adds hydrogen to the fuel mix, resulting in better mileage. Some claim up to 25%.
      Have never seen a system where the motor runs only on the onboard created hydrogen.

      • Bobby Hawk

        There are several hydrogen systems in use which are full hydrogen. The problem occurs with the control and dispensing of hydrogen as a fuel. The huge gasoline corporations of course what complete control over the selling and dispensing of hydrogen (enter the fuel cell), the environmentalists don’t want Americans to have the freedom to move about as they desire (enter environmental control). The beef between these two is what has kept hydrogen out of the lime light. Look up Daniel Dongle if you want to see a toyota run on pure hydrogen. Is the same are running a vehicle on Nat or Propane, it simply requires a gas control device in which to deliver the fuel to the engine. This has been know for not years but decades. The UK is using hydrogen reactors on some of his ships as we speak. Imagine a ship with an unending supply of fuel from the water it resides in. If the USA does not get off its kester concerning Hydrogen, then we will find ourselves once again in the back of the pack and playing catchup. Hydrogen is the fuel of the future, and it won’t be long until that message becomes completely apparent to everyone. Its just sad we have to sit back and watch its development come from another nation.

  • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

    Primafuel of California has been developing a gasoline alternative from fast-growing green algae, which could offer many environmental benefits.

    http://www.thedailygreen.com/…/blogs/cars-transportation/primafuel-algae-green-gasoline-460209

  • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

    May 28, 2008 · Start-up backed by $50 million to create new … Green Gold Turning Algae Into Gasoline Kerry A. Dolan , 05.28.08, 01:35 PM EDT

    http://www.forbes.com/2008/05/28/alternative-fuels-biofuels-tech_sciences_cz_kad_0528fuels.html

  • http://ahalbert@smart-technology.net Allan

    Useless arguing with Progressives. I say encourage environmentalists to get some productive skills, and lets start using all our oil and other natural resources. Progressives WANT US as dependent on foreign oil as possible, so they can curry sympathy, force energy prices up, and fund green ventures. Those ventures don’t need to be profitable folks and few ever will! The prize is up front money — from public funds that are subordinated to crony private investors. It’s the new crony capitalism. But then there’s nothing new under the sun.

  • Bobby Hawk

    The point missed about electric cars is they are still energy consumers. Even a horse consumes some fuel for energy. The point is you simply can not travel without consuming energy in some form.

    Its only logical to understand that the potential for a storage battery becomes less as the battery capacity diminishes. In other words a fully charged battery can supply full amperage for all the consuming devices on the vehicle where a 3/4 charged or 1/2 charged battery can not provide full amperage for all those devices. Therefore as battery charge diminishes so does performance and operation. This is an unchangeable fact of storage batteries. In a comparable gasoline or diesel fueled vehicle a 1/4 tank of fuel provides the same exact performance to the energy consuming devices as a full tank does. The electric car which relies on a storage battery can therefore never become a viable solution for commuting. The government would be better off to spend its resources on a common rail system which vehicles can travel upon that is electrically charged (the idea of a slot track which provides energy for vehicles on the track). This is the only viable alternative for the use of electric vehicles.

    The only reason Mr Obama supports battery operated electric vehicles is their limited range and reliance on government sources to obtain energy. Anyone who would use a battery operated electric vehicle would be limited to a range within a 30 to 50 mile maximum radius or a total distance of 60 to 100 miles. After that point the vehicle would require a complete recharge, which takes about 6 to 8 hours. This type of vehicle allows complete control by the government over the travels of each citizen who operates one of these vehicles. One must have permission to charge their battery and one is limited to a radius of 30 to 50 miles maximum. Throw hills into the mix and that figure for distance gets cut in half (15 to 25 miles providing for a return trip). The roadside of a nation who considers battery operated electric cars would be littered with vehicles who’s batteries have died. The tow drivers would be the most wealthy people in all America if we all turned to electric cars.

    An the bit about reliance on Middle East oil is simply hogwash, we get less than 10% of our oil from the Middle East, Our most important reason for staying in the Middle East is oil transactions which take place in US dollars. Those oil transactions are the value behind our US dollar (commodity driven fiat currency). The viable alternative for America is stripped hydrogen or HHO. That can completely replace gasoline within 10 years, is adaptable to any year model of gasoline burning car, and burns clean. The real question is why isn’t or president or our movement backing the use of hydrogen fuel? Hydrogen does not have to be stored, it can be generated upon use. The only byproduct is spent charging plates which are made from metal and are recyclable. The only foreseeable reason for not supporting hydrogen is that its cheep and will not generate the vast control government wants to place on the citizens of this United States

  • jopa

    Some day we should talk about the US embassy in Iraq that Bush had built for 700 million dollars.That only provided one job for an ambassador and they can boot him out any time.The place is bigger than the Vatican with swimming pools and tennis courts.

  • R. Favro

    It is a disgusting example of denial and black and white thinking to claim that all mass murderers were left-wing while all right-wing people are innocent. That is an insult to all the victims of far-right-led mass murders and genodides that I mentioned that include those committed by reactionaries in the French Revolution, those committed by the reactionary Black Hundreds in the 1905 Russian Revolution against anyone associated with the left-even moderate left, and the Spanish Inquisition led by a far-right religious conservative monarchy of Ferdinand and Isabella that committed genocide against Spanish Jews and Muslims because of their religious affiliation. People, think before you post a stupid comment like no right-wing mass murderers have existed, because that is disgracefully denying the murders of many many people in history.

  • D Bixler

    I invite all to download the book (free) “The Oil End Game” written by some really smart guys with lots of references. Thanks all, Bix

  • http://www.paltwitter.com/index.php?do=/profile-7030/info/ http://www.paltwitter.com/

    Currently it looks like Expression Engine is the top
    blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

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