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JimD

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Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« on: July 14, 2013, 11:20:11 PM »
The below post is one I made on another blog awhile back.  It seemed worth bringing over here as it helps keep one's focus on what is happening out there in the real world that is a strong driver of AGW.  The scale of human infrastructure and activities are often obscured by our limited individual view of the world.  Seeing numbers put on issues that we all know are problems allows us to gain an understanding of how difficult it can be to alter what the current norm is.  Consider the below numbers in light of the attempt to convert the vehicle fleet to electric. Note:  I have edited the old post a bit so that it fits in better on the ASI Forum.

I was recently reading a series of blog posts where one poster was extolling electric vehicles and believed that before the end of this decade that production would be as high as 50% of the car market. So I decided to look into vehicle production data a bit. Some interesting points below. BTW I think he is very wrong and that we are perhaps a generation from that point. But a VAST fleet of ICE vehicles will be around for a long long time given the numbers below.  This has a follow on effect on carbon emissions and complicates any changeover to an all electric fleet as one has to maintain the old infrastructure as well as build a new one.  Resources will be getting scarce.

Global vehicle production data:
Numbers include cars, light commercial (SUV's, PU's, Vans and the like), heavy trucks, busses. Not included are off road vehicles, vehicles with less than 4 wheels, farm equipment and construction equipment, nor 4-wheel electric vehicles which are not capable of highway speeds (golf carts and such).

Global Production (millions) and Rate of increase

2013   ~90        7.0% (forecast)
2012     84.1     5.3%
2011     80.0     3.1%
2010     77.7    25.9%
2009     61.8   -12.4%
2008     70.5     -3.7%
2007     73.3      5.8%
2006     69.2      4.1%

China Production (millions) and Rate of increase

2012   19.3       4.6%
2011   18.4       0.4%
2010   18.3     32.4%
2009   13.8     48.3%
2008     9.3      4.7%
2007     8.9     22.0%
2006     7.2     25.9%

India Production (millions) Rate of increase

2012    4.1     5.5%
2011    3.9    10.4%
2010    3.6    34.7%
2009    2.6    13.3%
2008    2.3      3.5%
2007    2.3    11.6%
2006    2.0    24.2%


Global Fleet Total (cars, light commercial and SUV's) is estimated at approximately 1-1.1 billion.  Does not include heavy trucks, off road vehicles, farm equip, construction equip and the like.

It is very difficult to find non-paywalled stats on global heavy and medium truck sales/production but a good estimate is at least 2 million per year.


Electric/hybrid global total production ever built (all years included):
as of 2013 (March)

hybrids 6.3 million

electric (plus plug-in hybrids) 180 thousand

Toyota has built 5.124 million hybrids since their introduction in 1997.


Hybrid vehicle global production data (hybrids and plugin hybrids):

2013 2.0 million (forecast)
2012 1.55 million



Electric vehicle production (includes plug-in hybrids)

2013 +100 thousand (forecast) (US about 80K sales)
2012 65 thousand


IMS forecast in 2011 that electric vehicles production would reach 16 million/yr in 2021 and would account for 16% of sales of 100 million total vehicles. I have found other forecasts for electric vehicle production ranging from 3 to 20 million/yr for 2020. There is no consensus and some forecasts include electric vehicles which are not highway speed capable that other forecasts do not include.

It is worth noting that sales of electric vehicles in the US are struggling somewhat this year and likely to be below forecasts. Research indicates that all manufacturers are losing money on electric car sales and that for vehicles like the Volt it is as much as $20K each.

It is worth noting that GM has electric cars on the test track which have triple the battery capacity of the Volt (believe Bob Wallace had a post on this). This development, if suitable for full production, would change the forecast figures a lot going forward. Hinted at for production around 2018. Time will tell.

Recent news on June US auto sales indicates that the years total will be approximately 16 million on strongly rising sales.  Especially of large pickups and SUV's.  GM's top 2 selling vehicles are the Silverado pickup and the Chevy Cruz (I own one of them - get near 50mpg on the highway), Ford's top seller is the F-150 pickup, and Chrysler's top 2 are the Ram pickup and the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV.  Medium and heavy truck sales in the US were projected in June at 300,000/year.

Considering that the average age of the current US fleet is 11.1 years there is a strong implication that the ICE vehicles being built now are going to be around for some time and the demand for replacement vehicles will be strong for many years.  Most of those replacements are going to be other ICE vehicles for a lot longer than the 5 years the other poster mentioned.  It is just really hard to cut that carbon tail.


http://www.hybridcars.com/gm-rd-boss-hi ... batteries/

http://www.gnesg.com/index.php?option=c ... &Itemid=53

http://imsresearch.com/press-release/IM ... _2010_2135

http://oica.net/category/production-statistics/

http://www.cleanenergyministerial.org/N ... tlook.aspx

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/02/us-autos-usasales-idUSBRE9610IM20130702
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Zythryn

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2013, 03:48:50 AM »
Cost of gasoline and batteries will have a large affect on when sales accelerate.

There have been a number of slanted articles on Volt cost per unit, but I don't believe any went so far as $20k loss per unit unless R&D costs are included.  For purposes of per unit sales I would suggest not including R&D or spreading out the costs over the full production build over many years.

Tesla is making a profit on each unit.  Very small amount when you take out ZEV credits, but still positive.  Frankly, I find this phenomenal for a small company's first 'designed from the ground up' car.  I am hoping they will convince other companies what can be done with EVs as they did with the Roadster, prompting GM to bring out the Volt.

The advantage EVs have over hybrids and why I think they will be adopted more quickly than hybrids were, is a wider audience.

Hybrids appealed to people that were concerned about the environment, or cutting oil imports.  In addition, those factors had to outweigh performance, size (although the Prius was deceptively large inside) and for many people, style.

EVs can have incredible performance, incredibly smooth, quiet and instant responsiveness and basically a drive quality that can't be matched.  The amount of room available in a well designed EV is phenomenal.  S when you add the above markets to the hybrid markets, the subtract those that have to drive beyond an EVs range each day, IMO you have a much larger market.

In my mind, what is critical is that we speed up the cleaning of the electric grid.  While about half of the USA's population lives in an area where an EV drawing electricity from the grid generates less GHGs than a Prius, that is still a lot of area for improvement.  Although, virtually all of the population of the USA lives in an area where an EV will generate less GHGs than the average light vehicle fleet.

http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/clean_vehicles/electric-car-global-warming-emissions-report.pdf
« Last Edit: July 15, 2013, 04:00:59 AM by Zythryn »

JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2013, 05:44:06 PM »
Here is a recent article that discusses EV costs.  Production costs have not come down any appreciable amount this year but MSRP's have dropped as much as 6 to7K.  So they are losing that much more than at the beginning of the year.  So 20K loss for a Volt is a reasonable number.

http://business.time.com/2013/07/13/falling-electric-car-prices-are-saving-or-destroying-the-ev-market/

Here is another link which quotes a Reuters article based upon interviews with industry expert that Volt production costs are $75 to 89K per vehicle (yes it does count development costs in some way).  The number is disputed by GM.  However, with prices south of $40K right now that exceeds the figure in my first post by more than 2 times.  This strongly implies that the $20K loss per vehicle is a pretty good number.  Note this quote:
The GM executives who conceived the Volt as a leap-frog over the Prius -- well before the Obama administration even took office -- always thought of it as a marketing tool as much as a regular car, and justified the additional costs as a way to burnish GM's image.


http://theweek.com/article/index/233140/the-chevy-volts-89000-production-cost-a-waste-of-money

But the real point I was making above is not whether EV's are profitable (they are clearly not) or whether they become profitable (some will and many probably will not..it is always like that with cars).  The real point I was making is sales volumes are very small yet and that it will be some time (as in many years) before EV's have a substantial impact on total sales and thus impact carbon emissions.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Zythryn

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2013, 10:01:09 PM »
You will find no argument from me that it will take years before EVs make a dent in the overall market.
And I do agree that many, but not all, of the EVs are selling at a per unit loss, just not all.

Most first generation cars don't turn a profit for years.  The Prius took 7-9 years before it started making a profit.  Such is the way with new technology.

My point is the adoption of EVs will be much faster than the adoption of hybrids.  And while it is slow to start, it is already faster than hybrids.  As more people get a chance to experience electric driving, more people want it:)

ghoti

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2013, 10:36:13 PM »
Quoting Reuters articles about EVs is as meaningful as quoting Wall Street journal articles about EVs and climate change. They have developed a strong bias in the last few years and their choice of "experts" to interview generally reflects this. Also see

http://climatecrocks.com/2013/07/16/climate-of-denial-at-reuters-mirrors-mainstream-media-climate-dithering/

I think it is more about manufacturing doubt than about news reporting.

Zythryn

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2013, 04:27:56 PM »
Here is an interesting report on the EV/PHEV market so far.
http://energypolicyinfo.com/2013/07/4527/

Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2013, 05:00:26 PM »
I agree that without incentives, the EV market will see only modest increases.  It would likely require a heavy monetary penalty (i.e., vehicle tax, gas tax) on ICE vehicles to “encourage” the switch to EV’s.  So the question becomes:  how likely are such incentives to happen? 

In the US, I could see it happening in California, and the Maryland governor is also taking climate change seriously.  But nationally?  The coasts will probably be drowning in sea level rise first -- so you’d be swapping your car for a boat, anyway.    ;)
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2013, 05:09:14 PM »
Z

Pretty much what my other data reported.  What we are seeing is the slow adaptation to a new technology.  Don't let the sales percentages fool you as they are always huge when starting from nothing.  We are talking about a hundred thousand in a 90 million market.  But progress is being made.  My point is that we have a generation of time to go on this replacement curve.  Unfortunately we don't have that kind of time left.

A big negative in the sales numbers is the lease factor.  In the 1st quarter of 2012 over 90% of the electric cars "sold" in the US were actually leased.  This is not good.  Current lease to sale numbers are also very bad and I have seen numbers near 75% leased.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Sigmetnow

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« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2013, 03:57:05 PM »
A big negative in the sales numbers is the lease factor.  In the 1st quarter of 2012 over 90% of the electric cars "sold" in the US were actually leased.  This is not good.  Current lease to sale numbers are also very bad and I have seen numbers near 75% leased.

Why is leasing bad?  It makes sense that early-adopters know the products will be improving and will likely want to upgrade to a newer model in short order.  (Or, they aren’t sure an EV is right for them, so it’s a good way for those “on the fence” to test it out.)  Another reason for the larger leasing numbers in the US could be because it can include the current $7,500 tax rebate in the cost even when the owner can’t take it themselves.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

JimD

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« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2013, 06:16:33 PM »
In the industry having a high percentage of leases to sales is considered to be a sub-optimal situation.  They would always prefer to just move the car and not be getting it back some time in the future.  But they take what they can get.

In the case of electric vehicle the current lease prices were lowered dramatically recently (by as much as 1/3) due to low sales volumes.  Production had been based upon a higher projected sales number than actual sales turned out to be.  By lowering lease rates dramatically it allowed manufacturers to move vehicles off the lots which were just sitting there.  It also allows them to trumpet a surge in 'sales' which are actually more leases than sales.  This is a common marketing tactic and nothing really underhanded or crooked.  Car manufacturers play these games all the time.  Push good media stories to help ramp up 'sales'.

One of the downsides to this tactic is that the amount the manufacturers are losing per car has gone up with pushing the lease methodology.

Your points are quite valid.  There are pluses and minuses in every direction.  This is just a normal part of the process of trying to create a new technology.  They are going to lose money on electric vehicle sales for quite some time yet.  Eventually they will get sales volumes high enough to turn a profit.  I think we are way past the point where there is any chance that this technology will fail in the marketplace. 

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

John Batteen

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2013, 08:07:36 PM »
I wish I still had the piece of paper around.  I was waiting on an oil change when I went to the Chevy Volt and did the math on the power/fuel consumption to get pounds of CO2 per mile emitted on gasoline, natural gas power, and coal power.  Gasoline and natural gas power were pretty close although gasoline was slightly less carbon.  Coal power was double the carbon of the natural gas and gasoline.  Cost-wise, it was cheaper to drive electric than gasoline though, because electricity is cheap in our region.  Natural gas is cheaper than oil.

Until the power comes from renewables, electric vehicles just shift demand from oil to natural gas or coal.  The carbon might not come out of the tailpipe but it comes from somewhere.

Researchers have recently discovered a catalyst that enables chemical photosynthesis of hydrocarbons from atmospheric carbon dioxide and water.  I think this, not electric vehicles, is the future of our transportation infrastructure.  We will just photosynthesize carbon-neutral liquid fuels.  This will enable us to keep and use all of our previous infrastructure.

Zythryn

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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2013, 03:59:52 AM »
John, try Googling "state of charge Union of concerned scientists".
Their State of Charge paper is nicely done and makes a lot of similar comparisons.
However, I do believe gas and coal are about the same (coal is a bit worse) and natural gas is about half of both of those.

The power can came from renewables now.  All depends upon where your power comes from.  It really depends on where you live, or if your power is partially, or entirely self generated.

The thing I really like about them is an EV is a better driving experience, and can have much better performance than an ICE vehicle.  This, in addition to the convenience and efficiency will win over a lot of people as long as the range limits match their driving patterns.

JimD

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« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2013, 08:23:49 PM »
Chevy has slashed prices on the Volt by $5000 for 2014 models.  they are having trouble keeping pace with Toyota and Nissan.


http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/08/06/2418241/chevy-slashes-volt-price/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ghoti

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2013, 05:14:40 PM »
Whenever I hear or read the claim that electric cars use as much carbon as internal combustion vehicles I get angry. So I held my breath and bit my fingers for a while after reading that above until I cooled off.

I recommend informing yourselves with correct calculations before falling for the misinformation which inflates EV carbon use and understates gas car carbon use.

Start with something like http://goo.gl/cf793n

Then perhaps get the numbers for your area and choice of EV at
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=bt2

John Batteen

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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2013, 01:33:45 AM »
According to that website, in my zip code of 55018 with a 2014 Chevy Volt, it will emit 280g of carbon dioxide per mile traveled.  A gallon of gas emits 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, or 9080g.  So 280g of carbon per mile is equivalent to 32.4 miles per gallon of gas.

ghoti

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2013, 05:19:27 AM »
Well the EPA gas rating for the 2014 Volt is 35 mpg city so I'd guess they aren't including many electric miles in their calculation.

GeoffBeacon

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2013, 10:29:25 AM »
Anyone know the amount of CO2e created in the production of cars?

As a rule of thumb I've been using 4 tonnes of CO2e per car but I remember my original sources were a bit vague.

The UK government (pretends?) that it wants to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 (from 1991 levels?). It also claimed (pretended?) that the emissions at the start were about 11 tonnes CO2e per person. That's a budget of just over 2 tonnes per person.

Allowing 25% of your budget for transport gives 0.5 tonnes for transport.

If you put your whole transport ration into the embodied CO2, that's about 8 years - with no carbon budget for fuel, flying, trains, buses &etc.

I don't think we will have much movement on carbon emissions reduction until we have a decent carbon price.

$1000 per tonne of CO2e anyone?
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JayW

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2013, 12:12:56 PM »
I just found this forum, and what a breath of fresh air to see so much information on the state of the arctic.  Thanks Neven, and all of you posters who are much more knowledgeable than I on these issues.

I have decided my next car will be a Tesla.  The current Model S is a marvel of engineering and vision, but starts at about $70,000 US.  It has received major awards, including "Consumer Reports" declaring it the, "best car they ever tested".   CEO Elon Musk has said that a mass market EV, with a price around 35,000 US and a 200 mile range around 2016-2017, is it's goal following the release off the Model X SUV, which it's due in 12-18 months.

Tesla is installing supercharging stations, powered by solar panels nationwide, which are also free to use for Model S owners forever.  Many have said this company will fail, however I believe it will dramatically increase the adoption of EVs.  I actual put my only retire contribution ever, into the company, basically betting my retirement that EVs are the future.

I'm just a carpenter, but I have been crunching the numbers.  Solar City, is a company run by the cousins of Elon Musk, that will put solar panels on your house which are leased to bring costs down for the consumer.  A friend had a consultation and was extremely impressed with them.  Would cut their electric bill in half apparently. By switching from gas in the car, and oil for hot water (I already heat almost exclusively with wood), to solar and an EV.  I can almost afford a Tesla now, but it's just out of reach for the near future.

Looking forward to learning from this forum!
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JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2013, 04:44:58 PM »
JayW

Welcome.

Re your electric car purchase.  I found this today on Climate Progress and thought I would pass it on to you.  I had not seen such an analysis before and figured it would be very relevant to many considering buying hybrids or all electric's.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/08/08/2436471/report-most-states-rely-too-heavily-on-fossil-fuels-for-electric-cars-to-be-climate-friendly/

A new report from Climate Central has found that in 39 states, an electric car actually produces more emissions from its manufacture to its 50,000th mile than a gas and electric-powered hybrid.


Note that the overall state numbers would vary internally depending on where one lived as your specific location might be more or less carbon intensive due to the local power companies source of energy for generating electricity. 
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ghoti

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« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2013, 11:53:50 PM »
That article appears to be a repeat of what the WSJ published earlier this year. The entire argument is based around the assumption of the carbon cost of the battery. Clearly they used the largest possible carbon cost of 40,000 lbs in their accounting. If you look at other attempts to account for battery carbon costs like
http://www.environment.ucla.edu/media_IOE/files/BatteryElectricVehicleLCA2012-rh-ptd.pdf

You'll see they use 8,000lbs. You'll also see that lifecycle carbon costs of the BEV are half of the equivalent conventional vehicle (figure 2 page 8).

There has been a concerted effort to inflate the carbon costs of EVs similar to the effort to claim it was going to be too expensive to deal with CFCs, deal with acid rain, deny climate change. We eventually learned the truth about all the false claims of the WSJ. I suspect we'll eventually understand battery costs better too.

GeoffBeacon

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2013, 12:26:20 AM »
ghoti

Perhaps I should investigate your comment (I suspect I would agree) but the source of the CP article that JimD noted was:

A Roadmap to Climate-Friendly Cars: 2013.  from climate central
http://assets.climatecentral.org/pdfs/ClimateFriendlyCarsReport_Final.pdf

This gives the embodied CO2e as 16.4 tonnes for a gasoline car , 15.6 for a hybrid and 27 tonnes for the all electric car.

In line with my previous post this makes the embodied CO2e in any of these cars more than 30 years of your carbon ration for transport.

And remember that leaves no carbon budget for fuel, flying, trains, buses &etc.

Here's a small beginning for better transport: http://www.andbike.cc/cycling-and-bike-gear/a-week-with-a-bamboo-bike/
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Zythryn

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2013, 01:48:08 AM »
Geoff, that paper is not bad, but has some serious considerations.
They focus on a 50,000 mile lifespan for cars, with less focus on 100,000 mile lifespans.
The longer the lifespan the greater the advantage of the EV.
I think focusing on 100,000 mile lifespans and giving data for the 150,000 mile rides pans would give a better picture.

Second, they often mention how few states an EV is better than a hybrid.  Not once do they mention what the population percentage is. 

In addition, their EV manufacturing is questionable.  They reference two papers by Hawkins.  In an early paper by Hawkins his calculations included a static electric motor which weighed 1000kgs.  Hawkins cleared this up later, but still ended up with a 110kg motor where the Leafs motor is actually half that.

The paper does not take into consideration that the batteries are still useful even after they have reached the end of their useful automotive life.

I agree EVs are not the friendliest form of transportation.  Biking and hiking are definitely better.  And the source of your electricity determines a lot about how clean an EV is.

But EVs are getting cleaner and cleaner, and gas cars are getting dirtier.  As manufacturing improves, that will also help on the other end.

GeoffBeacon

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2013, 02:48:53 AM »
Zythryn

But EVs are getting cleaner and cleaner, and gas cars are getting dirtier.  As manufacturing improves, that will also help on the other end.

Yes, EVs are worth supporting but we should find ways of living that doesn't need so many cars. I have written on in the past (starting in the 1970s). Here's one that I'm not particularly proud of but it makes some of the theoretical points: http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/a-parable-of-four-villages/
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OldLeatherneck

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« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2013, 10:58:21 PM »
One other thing to consider about transitioning to EVs is what is going to happen to the ICE vehicles that are traded in.  Being the good capitalists that we are, I can imagine that many of them will be sold to third world countries where they will be poorly maintained.  That would be very similar to moving much of the US heavy manufacturing to China.  IT has little or no effect on the global emission scenario.

For many year, when I lived in a rural area of Arizona, my second vehicle was a large 4WD pick-up truck.  When I came to my senses and realized that I could no longer justify owning that vehicle, I put it up for sale.  It was purchased my a rancher in Mexico.  I would imagine that it is being currently driven 3-4 times as many miles per year than I drove it, over much rougher terrain.
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ghoti

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« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2013, 04:44:37 AM »
Sorry for being so repetitive but I guess I'm really really bothered by inflated claims of EV carbon footprints. So one more link:

http://theenergycollective.com/maxbaumhefner/259066/electric-cars-are-cleaner-today-and-will-only-get-cleaner-tomorrow


John Batteen

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2013, 04:18:04 PM »
Ghoti, I ran the same EPA calculator again with a 2014 Chevy Spark EV in my region 55018, so the results will be unambigiously from electric miles rather than gas miles.   250g CO2 per mile.  Again a gallon of gasoline releases 9080g CO2, so dividing that out, running a 2014 Chevy Spark EV on all electric power is the equivalent of driving a 36.32 mpg vehicle in my region.  Even if we take the national average of 190g CO2 per mile, that's 47.79 mpg.

At least in my region, there are gasoline-burning cars that emit less carbon than electric vehicles.  To my south in Iowa where they have loads of wind power, it might make sense to drive an EV, but not here.  If we had sensible small European cars that get 40-60mpg, burning gasoline would be the clear winner across wide swaths of the nation.  Only areas with significant sources of renewable energy would do better to drive EVs.  To be fair to ghoti, at the national average of 190g CO2 per mile, EVs are on average better than our current fleet of gasoline vehicles, but this varies widely from region to region and if Americans didn't love to drive SUVs it would probably only be a break-even.

I just rolled over 251,000 miles on my 1996 Saturn SL1 and I average 45-48 mpg in the summer and 30-35 mpg in the winter.  I'll be watching with interest over the next decade to see if any of these EVs can make it to 250k.  I'm shooting to make 300k before I buy a replacement car (which is gonna be another Saturn.  :) ).  I paid $850 for this car because it was a project, but all told I still only spent about $2000.  If you can't afford a new vehicle, I would totally recommend a Saturn.  I've seen em make 350k miles.  98-02 SW1/SC1/SL1 get the best fuel economy out of all of them because they have the highest geared transmissions.  Put on a $60 ram air intake like I did and you will save tons of gas.  Mine paid for itself in 3 tanks.  I saw an article maybe 5 years ago that it was more environmentally friendly to drive an old inefficient beater into the ground than it was to buy a new car, due to all the emissions and pollution from manufacturing a new one.  I don't know if this is still true but it wouldn't surprise me.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2013, 05:26:53 PM »
Companies are starting to see they have situations where electric trucks work well: "daily routes are often exactly the same, meaning range needs are fixed and predictable, and the vehicles always return to the same spot for the night, making re-charging easier."

A project in Texas is bringing electric trucks there for a two-year test.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/08/29/2546831/pilot-project-bringing-electric-delivery-trucks-texas/
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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2013, 06:22:47 PM »
Along a similar line one can do that kind of thing with propane as well.  Forty years ago I was working on oil rigs (I know, but I knew nothing about all this stuff then and jobs were hard to find) in the desert in Wyoming.  A lot of us had our pickups and suburban's converted ($300/ea) to run on propane.  A lot of the rig equipment used propane and we had a huge tank and we would fill the trucks up every day and run back and forth to town where we lived (100 mi round trip or so).  Worked pretty well.  Same idea is used with city busses in many locations.  Boone Pickens idea to switch the vehicle fleet to natural gas is a version of this same idea.

Note that I must confess the rig owners did not know we were using their propane to fill up our vehicles.  Fuel costs for a time were very low  ;D
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #28 on: September 24, 2013, 05:28:16 PM »
The below link is to a very interesting map - click on it for a big version (did I mention I like maps) that shows graphically the best low-carbon charging locations for electric car charging.

The orginal purpose of the map is to show where electric car charging ends up using the most low-carbon electricity, and the data reflect that. Each country has a number attached to it, which is the number of grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilometer. This means how much CO2 is emitted per kilometer traveled. It takes into account vehicle manufacturing carbon emissions as well, though that number is held constant in each country.


The US unsurprisingly is not all that high on the list.

According to this map, the winners with the lowest numbers are Iceland, Paraguay, Uruguay, Norway, Sweden, France, and Switzerland. Some countries are slightly better, classified as “fossil light” — Canada, New Zealand, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Belgium, Russia, Spain, and much of Eastern Europe.

The worst countries with the most carbon-intensive fuel mixes are, unfortunately, a lot of high-population countries with high coal and oil consumption. India leads this pack, with 370 grams CO2 equivalent per kilometer. South Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, China, Greece, and Estonia.

The middle of the pack includes the United States, Mexico, Pakistan, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines, and most of the rest of Europe.


http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/09/23/2662931/map-carbon-intensity/

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2013, 05:07:01 PM »
A bit of good news.  Not entirely new, but the trend which showed up a few years ago seems to be holding.

Has America hit peak cars?

In what could be a bellwether for the US economy and its struggling car industry, Americans appear to be losing their luster for cars, driving less, obtaining fewer licenses, and using less gasoline....


http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2013/11/has-america-hit-peak-cars/
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

ggelsrinc

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2013, 06:17:30 PM »
I reached my peak car times back in the '70s, when I bought my second VW, because my wife started working. Since I gave up on cars and gasoline more than 30 years ago and started using my feet, I might be in the auto market in the near future, if automakers can accommodate my needs. I'm looking for something like this:



"yabba dabba doo"


 

JackTaylor

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #31 on: November 20, 2013, 10:41:45 PM »
What happened to traffic?
http://transportationist.org/2013/11/07/what-happened-to-traffic/

Some 2030 ramblings.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2013, 04:28:00 AM »
    Zen Car .Here is a Canadian electric plug in car. Cheap and strangely enough only available in B.C., illegal in the rest of Canada. The market is the U.S.  Now what can Australia do for our electric fleet?   

http://www.youtube.com/embed/Ri2BG2qOvCg?feature=player_detailpage

wili

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #33 on: November 28, 2013, 04:35:50 PM »
Hi Bruce. I actually bought one of those a few years ago (but note that it's spelled with two n's). It was fun, but wasn't great in the winter as it didn't hold a charge very well. As I understand it, they stopped producing a couple years ago. But maybe they just aren't selling them in the US?
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."


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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2013, 08:28:57 PM »
The U.S. Is A Gas-Guzzling Horror Show, In 1 Chart

Ugly numbers. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/16/us-gas-consumption_n_4454472.html
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JackTaylor

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #36 on: December 24, 2013, 05:29:47 PM »
US Department of Energy Prediction
http://www.autoblog.com/2013/12/22/us-predicts-gas-still-dominant-in-2040
AND ( unfortunately not much shift to other fuel - power )
"by 2040, the number of gas-powered vehicles on the road will fall from today's 82 percent to 78 percent."
Only a Four Percent Decrease in 26 Years. bah humbug.

Has anyone seen a prediction of when gasoline - petrol will be less than 50% of vehicle travel ?
Includes hybrids.


JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #37 on: December 24, 2013, 08:49:30 PM »
US Department of Energy Prediction
http://www.autoblog.com/2013/12/22/us-predicts-gas-still-dominant-in-2040
AND ( unfortunately not much shift to other fuel - power )
"by 2040, the number of gas-powered vehicles on the road will fall from today's 82 percent to 78 percent."
Only a Four Percent Decrease in 26 Years. bah humbug.

Has anyone seen a prediction of when gasoline - petrol will be less than 50% of vehicle travel ?
Includes hybrids.


Jack,

I don't have a link at hand right now though it may be earlier in this thread, but I have seen guestimates of hitting 50% non gas/diesel vehicles earlier than 2040 so I am a little leery of only being down to 78% by then.  But it will most likely take a generation to get to 50% electric at the current pace of acceptance of the new technology.  Of course, a change in public policy could impact the pace of change.  Of early climate disaster changes motivations.  But with the drilling boom which is going on in the US holding down fuel prices it will take a lot of effort to really boost the rate of electric car sales.  And there is the possibility they might stagnate a bit too I guess.

There are a lot of questionable numbers in that report in comparison to many other analysis out there so I would hazard that their assumptions will be questioned quite a bit.  Did the fossil fuel industry have undue influence in the writing of the report or in setting the assumptions used to generate the numbers?  We clearly cannot afford to have the fleet average at only 37.5 mpg and having the average American drive 30% MORE miles than they are now in 2040.  Events may overtake their numbers in-between now and then.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #38 on: December 25, 2013, 03:49:15 AM »
Not sure of the source of this data, but it says 1 of 25 new car sales in the US in 2013 was an electric or hybrid vehicle:

http://blog.opower.com/2013/12/10-energy-numbers-to-remember-from-2013/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #39 on: December 25, 2013, 02:07:38 PM »
It's time for radical ideas, so here's one:

The government decrees the new car fleet must be 90% pure-electric by 2020.  Companies can trade points, so GM can pay all-electric Tesla  (which can then ramp up its sales) during the time GM lags behind the curve.  Eliminate dealer contracts that keep out small car makers like Tesla, but keep safety standards.  (NHTSA just reaffirmed the Tesla Model S to be the safest car ever!)

Gas stations must provide charging outlets.  By the end of 2014, there must be at least two 110V plugs for each gas pump (in parking area away from the pumps).  High-use stations must provide quick-chargers.  Charging cost will be regulated much like gas prices are today.  Charging networks will not require their own card to access a charger.  Businesses must provide (shareable) charging outlets for their employees.

Most people drive less than 40 miles/day, which today's electric vehicles (EV's) can easily handle.  More EV sales will mean more higher-mileage cars come on the market, for less cost.

Will long trips by car take longer to accomplish with EV's?  You bet.  Travelers can spend the charge time eating and playing with their smart phones -- we've gotten really good at that.  Maybe we'll even start to exercise while we charge the car.  Maybe we'll decide we'd rather communicate by Skype, instead of making the trip -- also a winner.  Or (gasp) take the bus, or the train.  It's time to embrace the laziness, or change your life!
Air travel will add an increasing carbon fee.  (The EU suggested start price was only $2/person*trip, for heaven's sake.)

Existing gasoline vehicles will pay a carbon fee with annual registration, which will increase each year.  Commercial vehicles (including vans) will have (tax?) incentives applied to help increase EV usage and further development of large electric vehicles.  Businesses have to figure out how they can work around the limitations of EV's, too.

What have I missed?  Tractor-trailers and farm machinery will take a bit longer to change over.  But hey, we could make this happen!
« Last Edit: December 25, 2013, 02:27:58 PM by Sigmetnow »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #40 on: December 25, 2013, 04:11:42 PM »
ExxonMobile recently tweeted this:

"GHG emissions related to energy use are projected to plateau by 2030"
and:
"The US is likely to use slightly less energy in total & about 20% less energy per person by 2040"

They have a "quiz" on their website ( exxonmobil.com/quiz ) with questions like:
"The energy concentrated in one gallon of gasoline is also enough to keep your smartphone running for how many days?"

 ::)
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JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #41 on: December 25, 2013, 04:34:11 PM »
I think your car idea is within the realm of physical possibility but politically it would be hard to imagine working it out.  But it sure would help a lot.

Retooling the vehicle industry that much within 7 years would be very hard but I think we could make it happen.  Supplies of raw materials for the electrics; i.e. elements needed for batteries and a much greater amount of carbon fiber and such might be hard to obtain in such masses.  But then who says we need as many cars as we have. 

Here in the US we have a huge problem with our culture of driving such massive vehicles.  There are probably 100 million big SUV's and 1/2 to 1 ton pickups/vans on the road.  Now about 80% of them are not needed by their owners as these are really work vehicles, but that is what folks drive.  You should see the looks on the faces of the men here in AZ when I tell them I do not own a pickup and just rent one when I need it (Home Depot rents 1 tons for $20/75 minutes or Uhaul one for a day for like $50).  They just commute in them and never get them dirty mostly.  Saves thousands a year not owning one.  Another big problem with so many driving huge vehicles is that automakers are forced to armor up the small cars (safety standards) to keep people alive when they impact the big vehicles.  80% less big vehicles and peal the armor out of the cars and fuel mileage goes way up.  I had a 1984 Honda Civic which got 63 mpg before they started armoring the cars and now even a Prius only gets about 50mpg.  It is mostly about how much weight the engine has to pull around.

So may solutions so little accomplished.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #42 on: December 25, 2013, 07:55:35 PM »
There should be big legal & tax incentives for car-sharing.  And for turning in an old gas-powered car, or down-sizing -- I am reminded of the "cash for clunkers" program that happened a while back.
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JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #43 on: December 26, 2013, 04:34:31 PM »
Re cash for clunkers.  One  has to keep the car industry lobbyists out of the regulations on how to take old car off the streets however.  The cash for clunkers program was designed to boost car sales and ended up hurting the poor as it ran the price of used cars way up.  We would need to design it the right way.

We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #44 on: December 27, 2013, 07:17:10 PM »
Because EVs are still evolving, it would be good to encourage rental of new cars.  This would make more people likely to switch to newer/better cars as they are developed, and provide a good supply of used EVs for that market.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #45 on: January 07, 2014, 01:21:00 AM »
I just found some data on electric car sales for 2013 in an article on Climate Progress.

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/01/06/3121711/plug-electric-vehicle-sales/

In the first post in this thread the sales projections for plug-ins for this year in the US were put at 80K and global at 100K+.  The article indicates actual US sales were 96K.  So actual turned out on the positive side (discounted prices mid-year turned sales around).  Naturally lower fuel prices in the US and higher mpg vehicles on sale impact electric sales so one has to be a little impressed with the results.  But, all in all, it was a good year for electrics and pace of growth was in line with expectations or a little better.  It will be interesting to see the global numbers.

Sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles soared by 84 percent from 2012 to 2013 for a total of more than 96,000, according to data from Ward’s Automotive. 16 different plug-in models are currently available, and with more on the way, those numbers could jump again in 2014.

In 2013, Americans bought nearly 49,000 plug-in hybrids — vehicles that can run on traditional fuels but have batteries that can be charged by plugging into various types of electric outlets. This was a 27 percent jump from the year before.
...
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

JackTaylor

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #46 on: January 07, 2014, 08:38:09 PM »
JimD: Reply #45;
I just found some data on electric car sales for 2013 in an article on Climate Progress.

Good find - thanks for reply.

We get One Percent ( 1%) of automobiles to alternate "fuel" (non ff) and if the exponential growth rate continues keep an eye and ear out for when 50% of automobile miles are by other than ff and we will have done something great.
 
Let's hope alternate electricity generation keeps pace.

For those interested in USA data,

US Census Bureau has "The 2012 Statistical Abstract" onLine
http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/transportation/motor_vehicle_registrations_alternative_fueled_vehicles.html

Also, there is "Highway Statistics Series"
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics.cfm

ritter

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2014, 12:04:38 AM »
The problem with electric cars is they do nothing to change consumeristic habits or unsustainable modes of living. In fact, quite the opposite. I don't think that the emissions reduction from switching from an existing, say Honda Civic, to a new plug in outweighs the energy/resources/emissions from creating the new plug in and shifts the emissions associated with combustion to power generation elsewhere. I could be wrong. Regardless, it facilitates our unsustainable motering ways.

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #48 on: January 08, 2014, 01:31:10 AM »
Regardless, it facilitates our unsustainable motering ways.


Quite.

When it is possible to move a person around at a fuel efficiency of thousands of miles per gallon (refer to the Shell mileage challenge) or at 100mph using only a few horsepower (check out the stats on the high speed solar powered cars that race in Australia) or at 85mph using only muscle power (www.speed101.com) - why get excited about a few electric powered cars that are massively resource intensive and still insist on shunting around a tonne or more of useless mass around to continue to meet the expectations people have in response to a fossil fuel powered infrastructure where trains somehow stopped being the sensible way to move significant masses around?

It would be possible to have such radically different transportation system for both mass and warm bodies, but we continue to be blind to it as a civilisation - instead seeking to simply switch out the power plant in the existing flawed vehicles.

Ignorance, not progress.

JackTaylor

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #49 on: January 08, 2014, 07:00:30 PM »
ritter and ccgwebmaster,

I do not believe this conversation (thread) is about defending electric vehicles.

I'll promote - campaign - vote for as President of the USA anyone who reduces
automobile transportation by 25% - shucks maybe 10%.

Would be nice if our forefathers and ancestors had developed a mass transport infrastructure (rail & bus) as the continued dominant mode.

How about the 2015 marketing of Hydrogen Fueled Vehicles (non-ff) to be in showrooms?
Will there be an exponential growth rate there in a few years?