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ritter

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #50 on: January 08, 2014, 07:40:45 PM »
ritter and ccgwebmaster,

I do not believe this conversation (thread) is about defending electric vehicles.
Agreed. However, the masses get excited by the "green" "progressive" environmentally conscious" purchase of said vehicles. It needs to be pointed out that they solve nothing about our current conundrum and are by no means the panacea they are marketed to be. I know many hear understand that.

SATire

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #51 on: January 08, 2014, 08:02:18 PM »
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?

It is to early for that, yet. Power to gas (hydrogen or also methane) is still in prototype state (largest here is only 6MW e.g. by Audi: http://www.dvgw-innovation.de/fileadmin/Innovationsdateien/greenfacts_powertogas_landkarte.pdf ).
Secondly that will be needed after power from renewables exeeds demand of electricity and heat - that still may take 10 years to happen frequently enough (in US probably even some more years).

But after that time non-fossil-fuels could be much more weigth & cost effective than to buy a battery for 1000 times more than the value of the energy stored...

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #52 on: January 08, 2014, 08:22:30 PM »
ritter and ccgwebmaster,

I do not believe this conversation (thread) is about defending electric vehicles.
Agreed. However, the masses get excited by the "green" "progressive" environmentally conscious" purchase of said vehicles. It needs to be pointed out that they solve nothing about our current conundrum and are by no means the panacea they are marketed to be. I know many hear understand that.

My real point was that it's already possible to move people at highway speeds in personal transportation solutions at an absolutely tiny fraction of the power being used today (under 1 hp or under 1kw depending which measure you prefer).

So why aren't we? Why are all the "new" hydrogen cars or electric cars trying to perpetuate the gross inefficiencies of the existing cumbersome fleet (the result of an arms race between colliding bodies plus the amount of freight moving long distance on the same road infrastructure)?

Except for the fringe activities - the fully faired recumbent bicycles, the solar powered challenge cars and the shell mileage challenge - I'm not really aware of serious efforts to investigate the potential of high speed low energy input personal transportation.

Just more of the same with a different power plant. That's hardly creative.

JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #53 on: January 09, 2014, 05:23:05 AM »
Several of the last handful of comments hit exactly on why I started this thread. 

Many people just do not have a good understanding of the scope and scale of the global vehicle fleet.  The idea that we can switch to electric vehicles and solve our fossil fuel consumption problem (especially in any meaningful time frame) is mistaken.  Just like the idea of hydrogen cars won't fix it either. 

The infrastructure change over time is far too long and, as pointed out, where you get your electricity matters as if it is from a coal plant you are better off driving a gas vehicle. 

BAU with our current fleet will not work.  Green-BAU with an electric fleet will not happen in time and would not have much chance of making a difference to the end result.

There also lies out there a discussion about the idea of going back to trains and other forms of public transport.  A much better solution in terms of emissions, but is there time to execute that option either??  Could it be done in 20 years??  If not, would doing it be worth the resources?  What about that?  Is it just another Green-BAU solution?
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

Laurent

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #54 on: January 09, 2014, 02:34:18 PM »
This seems to be a good idea ! The video is subtitled in English !
http://velocar.fr/index-en.html

ralphw

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #55 on: January 09, 2014, 03:39:09 PM »
The future use and production of cars will be entirely constrained by the fuel (oil, biofuels, electricity etc.) available to power them.  Conventional crude oil production is just about at its global all time peak,  so it is only through alternative energy sources and more efficient vehicles that car usage can increase in the future.  My car is diesel powered and European diesel is 5% biofuel.  The car returns 70 mpg (imperial) with careful driving.  (One one long journey I got 97.4 mpg on the trip computer).  This is probably close to the limit for conventional vehicles. (meeting practical requirements for safety, production costs and general utility). 

The future growth of alternative energy sources is also constrained, partly by price (what price can the global economy support?) and partly by physical limits (land and water to grow biofuels, etc.).   At European retail rates ($7-$8 / US gallon) even gas to liquid and coal to liquid conversion is economic,  but that is before the high tax rates are accounted for.  Most vehicles can be converted to run on LPG or CNG with moderate cost and utility implications.  But again,  the limit will be the economic supply of the fuel.  It has many other uses.

Oil consumption for transport in OECD countries has been falling since 2005.  This, I suspect, was the economic constraint that popped the financial bubble in 2008.   From now on,  the global economy is constrained by the supply of oil,  not the other way round.  The countries that did worst in the 2008 crisis (Portugal, Ireland,  Italy, Greece,  Spain etc. ) were precisely the ones with the highest per capita oil import bills.  Italy saw a 30% decline in oil consumption.

Electric cars as yet fail on the capital cost and utility scores.  1 year old electric Nissan leafs can be bought for less than half price,  no shortage of vehicles on the market.  Clearly early adopters are underwhelmed.   Until price falls and utility rises they will not compete on an open market.

Globally car production will follow the global economy, and that is a rapidly diverging one,  with rising poverty and exploding wealth gaps.  Luxury and prestige car markets are booming,  the most fuel efficient mass market manufactures are facing bankruptcy.  The Chinese market is booming,  but it is only a matter of a few years before they hit their own financial collapse.
 



JackTaylor

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2014, 04:29:27 PM »
Several of the last handful of comments hit exactly on why I started this thread. 
JimD,
I think it is excellent there are some extra comments and I hope I made it controversial
"I do not believe this conversation (thread) is about defending electric vehicles"

Another comment I would like to have considered is
"I appreciate and admire people who will try to solve problems with less than a perfect solution"

Now these questions I keep asking you about 'letting me know' when 50% or less of automobile transportation is emphasis: non-fossil-fuel "powered" (not saying prefer electric nor hydrogen nor wood-burning steamers).  You know, I never expect an answer.  If I live to 2050 I'll be 107.  2075 = 132. LOL


JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #57 on: January 09, 2014, 05:11:59 PM »
Jack

I like discussions with some competing view points.  It is the best way to learn.

As to your desire for projections of when 50% electric will happen I think it is going to be hard to find them yet.  It is too far out still.  But I found one that predicts 35% by 2025.

..•By 2025, 35% of all cars sold will be electric, 25% of which will be hybrids and 10% pure EVs...


http://www.triplepundit.com/2012/02/electric-vehicle-market-forecast-10-year-horizon-looking-strong/

But that is a pretty bullish prediction.  At todays manufacturing rate for cars that would mean 45 million a year by 2025.  I doubt we can get to that number that quick.

Here is another one with more realistic projections.

...Combined worldwide sales of hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles will reach 6.6 million annual units by 2020 and become almost 7% of the total light-duty vehicle market, according to Navigant Research’s 2013-2020 Electric Vehicle Market Forecast.


http://cleantechnica.com/2013/09/30/electric-vehicles-speeding-toward-7-global-sales-2020/

One from a thesis paper at MIT in 2009 is pretty interesting and now has historical data to back up its projections.  The low number above is more in line with this paper.

... Even if CO 2 emission
reduction becomes an increased priority at the federal, state and local levels and oil prices
return to $150 per barrel levels, the automotive industry will have to change its product
portfolio from gasoline and hybrid powertrains to BEVs at a very quick rate....


Now of course oil is at $100 per bb l and conversion to electric is not a govt priority and we are 5 years from when that paper was written.

web.mit.edu/sloan-auto-lab/research/.../Cunningham_BS_thesis_2009.pd...

We probably will hit 50% before you and I die but I expect that vehicle production will have fallen off the table to make that happen.  Which of course implies that BAU is in the disintegration process by then and car production will not be a major item of interest any longer.
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

Shared Humanity

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #58 on: January 09, 2014, 05:22:56 PM »
We need to completely rethink personal transportation in the U.S. The average round trip distance for a motorist in the U.S. is 5.95 miles. The automobile industry spends hundreds of millions trying to design an electric car that looks and feels like today's automobile with a range in the 100's of miles between charges. It would make far more sense  to design a vehicle that  would satisfy 90% of all typical rides. These would be most coveted in urban areas where average trip lengths are even shorter than 5.95 miles.


The really crazy thing is that large corporations are already making these vehicles in huge numbers and with minor modifications could create an entirely new category of vehicle which would overwhelm the automobile products currently available. The prices of  these vehicles would match or beat the lowest priced cars on the market.

http://www.cushman.com/

http://www.cushman.com/commercial/comm_personnel_transport/comm_shuttle6.html

http://www.cushman.com/golf_turf/gt_personnel_transport/gt_shuttle4.html
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 05:29:38 PM by Shared Humanity »

JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #59 on: January 09, 2014, 06:13:50 PM »
The problem for the car companies is how many of their customers will buy a vehicle which can only satisfy 90% of their ride requirements.  You many not drive more than 20 miles at a time for 6 months and then you want to go to Phoenix and need to drive one way a 100 miles.  Even if you only do this 2 times a year and it makes sense to rent those 2 times will you take that option or will you buy a vehicle which can do it all.  I note that most Americans buy vehicles which have capabilities there is almost no chance the people who own them will ever use already.  It requires a sea change in mind set.

Here in AZ it is legal to drive 4 wheelers and ATVs on the road so in Prescott on any given day you have to watch out for them all over the place.  No golf carts yet.
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 #60 on: January 09, 2014, 06:17:56 PM »
JimD on Reply #57

Yea - if the conversation is getting stale - liven it up!
( issue a challenge - keep it modest/discrete )

If USA non-ff vehicles hit 50% before we die something extraordinary is going on?

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fears of losing personal "automobile afforded freedom of movement" is something that has us in a bind. 
It's worse than Obama coming to take away guns - just not expressed as such.

Mention of increased fossil-fuel taxes seems most often to result in complaints about raising the price of gasoline.

In some places it's un-American for a family to own less than two vehicles, car/pick-up,,, etc ....
And that is not limited to AGW deniers !


Buddy

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #61 on: January 09, 2014, 06:38:22 PM »
Keep in mind a couple of things:  (1) cars that run on fossil fuels....at some point in the NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE will be cars that lose their value QUICKLY compared to hybrid or all electric vehicles, (2) cost of oil and nat gas is heading much higher, which will push buyers of cars into electric and hybrid cars.

I think that within 5 years that 50% of all car sales will be either hybrid or electric.  Things are going to change much more quickly after people understand the real pickle we are in.


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JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #62 on: January 09, 2014, 08:40:54 PM »
Keep in mind a couple of things:  (1) cars that run on fossil fuels....at some point in the NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE will be cars that lose their value QUICKLY compared to hybrid or all electric vehicles, (2) cost of oil and nat gas is heading much higher, which will push buyers of cars into electric and hybrid cars.

I think that within 5 years that 50% of all car sales will be either hybrid or electric.  Things are going to change much more quickly after people understand the real pickle we are in.

Buddy,

Yet in todays world the price of fuel has been going down or maintaining stability, and the resale value of pure electrics is terrible.  Given the state of oil/gas production and the world's economy it is hard to see the huge change that would be required.  For some time it will make more economic sense for a buyer to buy a high mileage gas or diesel vehicle than an electric for most circumstances here in the US.  Europe will change sooner of course.  In much of the rest of the world it will be slower. 

As to 50% production of hybrid and electric within 5 years in the US that is impossible, unless we switch to a command economy and force it to happen.  And it would be difficult to do even then.  Politics will not allow the command economy here in the US or likely anywhere else.  Do not forget to take into account the massive infrastructure changes required when converting to a different technology.  Globally we are talking about many hundreds of billions or more.  Someone has to pay for it and it just takes a lot of work and time to make the conversion.  And someone's with a LOT of money will lose hugely when that happens and they are not going to be cooperative.   
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

Buddy

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #63 on: January 09, 2014, 09:29:14 PM »
"As to 50% production of hybrid and electric within 5 years in the US that is impossible."[/b]

Under NORMAL circumstances....I would agree with your assessment.  What I believe (from looking at real data sets, trends, "likely" outcomes, etc.....for temps, ice sheets, weather "events", etc.) is that it will become clear to most (expect for those still receiving stipends from the oil and gas industry)......is that change is needed, and needed "quickly".

There are SEVERAL key items that could happen over the next few years.....that would trigger "quick" action.  (1)  additional melting of the Arctic ice sheet in the next 1 - 3 years, (2)  additional findings that fracking is destroying water supplies (surprise....surprise....poison actually DOES poison water), (3) rising prices of both oil and natural gas over the next 3 years, (4) additional warming of the atmosphere and the accompanying heat waves...especially in prone areas like the western US and Australia, (5) additional record "fire events" especially in Australia and the western US (the western US is a disaster waiting to happen), (6) additional melting of the tundra and increases in methane.

I'm a "numbers guy"....not a "science trained" guy....., but I have certainly done my own substantial reviews of the science research involved, and then paired that with what the actual "numbers" are telling us (ice sheets, snow cover, temperatures, trends, ocean temps, etc), as well as looking at the "temperature" of the public view (public psychology).

I maintain that "most" of the Arctic ice sheet will be melted by the September minimum of 2016 (except for a several hundred mile wide band north of the Canadian Archipelago and Greenland).  As the Arctic CONTINUES to decline.....the drumbeat of "demanding action" will grow extremely loud.....even for the deaf ears of most of the idiots in the US Congress.

I think people are going to be surprised.......   

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ritter

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #64 on: January 09, 2014, 11:42:50 PM »
  As the Arctic CONTINUES to decline.....the drumbeat of "demanding action" will grow extremely loud.....even for the deaf ears of most of the idiots in the US Congress.

I admire your spirit but I think you are wrong on this. As long as there is cheap HDTV, beer and McDonalds, the western world won't even notice that the ice is gone. Once we've gotten to where those three things are no longer available, we will be well over the cliff and electronic vehicles will be nothing to the masses as we struggle for survival. I sure hope I'm wrong.

Shared Humanity

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #65 on: January 09, 2014, 11:49:36 PM »
  As the Arctic CONTINUES to decline.....the drumbeat of "demanding action" will grow extremely loud.....even for the deaf ears of most of the idiots in the US Congress.

I admire your spirit but I think you are wrong on this. As long as there is cheap HDTV, beer and McDonalds, the western world won't even notice that the ice is gone. Once we've gotten to where those three things are no longer available, we will be well over the cliff and electronic vehicles will be nothing to the masses as we struggle for survival. I sure hope I'm wrong.

I think you are right and pray that you're not.

JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #66 on: January 10, 2014, 03:18:53 AM »
But Buddy,

...There are SEVERAL key items that could happen over the next few years.....that would trigger "quick" action....

Your key items are supposed to happen in the next few years then will cause the societal change required to make that push which would "trigger" quick action.

At that point (given the few years of events to cause the "trigger" you mention) you will have already used up 3 of your 5 years.  Right?

So now you have 2 years left to get to your 50%.

Historically technology changeovers have taken at least a generation.   





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

Buddy

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #67 on: January 10, 2014, 11:24:13 AM »
Right?...yes

So now you have 2 years left to get to your 50%.....yes

Historically technology changeovers have taken at least a generation. ....yes
=================================================================

Historically.....society has NEVER had to deal with the magnitude of the problem we face today.

It is clear to almost all climate scientists now.  And now....there is no mechanism (such as a carbon dividend).

Also...keep in mind that I am saying 50% of NEW CAR SALES IN THE US (which is FAR.....FAR.....different from 50% of all cars on the road in the US).  It is STILL a HUGE INCREASE from the very small % now sold in the US.  BUT....we haven't see the triggers YET.....

The "key" to ANY "trigger".....will have to be the "obviousness" of warming.  For instance, when I was in Tampa Bay recently.....there was a news report on TV talking about the huge rate increases in property insurance in Florida.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-24/flood-insurance-price-increases-prompt-owners-to-plan-home-sales.html

Once people HAVE TO FACE THE MUSIC (which I believe will happen WITHIN 1 - 3 years)....then EVERYTHING CHANGES.  EVERYTHING.


 
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Buddy

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #68 on: January 10, 2014, 11:58:03 AM »
One last thing on this subject:

We haven't yet reached the "tipping point".....or more appropriately the "oh s**t moment" in the US.  That moment when a large chunk of the people who don't WANT to believe that global warming is "real".

Things like flood insurance are NOT GOING TO GET BETTER for folks in Florida.  They are going to get worse.  Same for other areas of the east coast and gulf coast.

And it doesn't need to be just a single "ah ha moment".....it is more likely to be the continuing battering of MANY "ah ha moments":

1) more flooding in Florida and elsewhere
2) more wild fires in the western US (which is DRY...DRY...DRY)
3) more record melting of the Arctic ice sheet
4) more melting of the Greenland ice sheet
5) more heat waves.

The issue of global warming is not going to go away.  That is the nice thing about truth:  It NEVER LEAVES.  It just stays in wait for people to discover it.  "He" is a very persistent little fellow that "truth". 
FOX News....."The Trump Channel.....where truth and journalism are dead."

ccgwebmaster

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #69 on: January 10, 2014, 06:33:01 PM »
We haven't yet reached the "tipping point".....or more appropriately the "oh s**t moment" in the US.  That moment when a large chunk of the people who don't WANT to believe that global warming is "real".

Many people make the mistake of somehow thinking that "as soon as people get it we can solve the problem". That isn't the case - there are decades of committed further warming (and changes in the system) even if we stopped adding more carbon dioxide immediately - and there is the major delays associated with trying to change our behaviour and infrastructure for more practical attempts at solutions.

If people get that there are no answers by the time the people who need to change have that fact forced into their faces, I can't see why you expect productive activity to be the result of people finally waking up to reality. It's just as likely to be chaos and the start of major social disruption as panic and fear and anger set in. If you find you have advanced lung cancer - it's a little late to expect to avoid it by stopping smoking?

Buddy

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #70 on: January 10, 2014, 07:22:04 PM »
<<Many people make the mistake of somehow thinking that "as soon as people get it we can solve the problem". That isn't the case - there are decades of committed further warming (and changes in the system) even if we stopped adding more carbon dioxide immediately - and there is the major delays associated with trying to change our behaviour and infrastructure for more practical attempts at solutions.>>

I understand that CLEARLY.  And I know you understand that....and most of the people on this blog understand that.  BUT.....we can't BEGIN to solve the problem....until enough of the GENERAL PUBLIC AND ENOUGH POLITICIANS believe we HAVE to make a change ASAP.  Have you seen some of the idiots that we have in the US Congress? 

Humans have a tough time with dealing with "future events" if they don't see the problem RIGHT NOW.  In the US...you only have to look at the housing bubble in the US.  It was OBVIOUS to anyone who looked at a NUMBER of various statistics, charts, information, etc.  But people didn't WANT to believe it until "S" hit the fan.

The same thing happened with the banking crisis.  The problems in the banking crisis were baked in several years BEFORE the crisis hit the "oh s**t" level.

 

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #71 on: January 10, 2014, 08:03:02 PM »
Buddy,

<<Many people make the mistake of somehow thinking that "as soon as people get it we can solve the problem". That isn't the case - there are decades of committed further warming (and changes in the system) even if we stopped adding more carbon dioxide immediately - and there is the major delays associated with trying to change our behaviour and infrastructure for more practical attempts at solutions.>>

I understand that CLEARLY.  And I know you understand that....and most of the people on this blog understand that. ....

The reason we are struggling with your posts here is that your idea, that once this change in public perception you speak of above occurs, is that solving the problem directly follows that gain in public understanding.   This is not the case.  Thus the 3 years to get understanding cannot lead 2 years later to 50% production of electric vehicles in the US as you indicted above would happen.  It is physically impossible.  Once the decision to change is reached then the clock starts on making the change.  When you are talking about massive industrial changovers taking place you must work within the limits of physics and resources.  It just takes a lot of time and a lot of resources and a lot of money.  It is not just retooling 50% of the car factories, it is also building the new power plants required to produce the electricity for the cars, it is building the millions of charging locations needed by the cars, and so on.  That is not to say the percentage of electric cars cannot reach 50% in the US but when that happens is based upon practical considerations. 

Let us not forget if the number one goal relating to cars was to reduce emissions we would not be talking at this time about switching to electric cars.  The current configuration of the US power sector would mean that most electric cars would be using power derived from burning coal and that would result in higher emissions than reworking the ICE vehicles.  The fastest way to reduce car emissions would be to ban all SUV's and pickups from public ownership and institute rigid controls on business ownership and use.  Second would be to toss all the ridiculous car safety regulations and strip a 1000 to 1500 lbs from all the vehicles.  Fuel usage would plummet.

To give you an example on what the safety regulations have done to fuel consumption and raising emissions it is worth noting that a 1984 Honda Civic DX with a standard transmission got up to 63 mpg at 55mph on the Interstate (my carefully calculated figures over thousands of miles).  A technology 30 years old beats a Prius hands down.  Additionally these kinds of changes actually can be implemented very rapidly and would approximately double US fuel mileage.   
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

Buddy

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #72 on: January 10, 2014, 10:17:55 PM »
My "forecast" (on a napkin) is premised on a couple things:

1) First...."weather events" will continue to happen....and become more and more "obvious"
2) Price of BOTH oil and natural gas will rise over coming years (I believe part of that rise will be to a "carbon dividend fee" within a few years).  But even if there ISN'T a carbon fee, I expect natural gas to rise above $6 by the end of this year...and continue rising. Oil continues to rise as well.
3) Just under 100,000 electric and hybrid cars were sold in the US in 2013 which was almost double the number sold in 2012 (84% increase from 2012)
4)  I expect a "doubling" to continue for the next 6 years (I actually expect it to increase towards the back couple of years of that 6 year time period).
5)  Solar growth will continue and INCREASE ITS RATE OF ADOPTION.  Solar as a percentage of the power produced in the US tripled over the last 6 years.........I expect that to continue or increase.  Solar growth of course makes even more sense for people to buy an electric or hybrid vehicle.

Ok...I stretched it to 6 years from 5.  And could this scenario be too "agressive"?  Sure it could.  BUT....humans are REALLY BAD at looking back and extrapolating what HAS BEEN....into the future.  We are NOT very good at LOOKING FORWARD AND UNDERSTANDING HOW DIFFERENT THINGS WILL BE.....

I think most people are underestimating the move towards electric and hybrid vehicles over the coming 5 - 6 years (and the move towards solar and wind power as well).  And as the move towards electric continues....who is going to want to buy a gasoline powered car 5 years from now?  Now....OBVIOUSLY there will be gasoline powered cars sold 5 - 6 years from now......BUT.....as it becomes clear that global warming is becoming more entrenched......the push for solar power, and electric/hybrid vehicles will RAMP AGGRESSIVELY.

If things REALLY start to head south on the environmental front:  (1)  continued record lows in Arctic sea ice, (2) continued record forest fires in the western US, (3) etc.......then you can BET that the US will support incentives to move even more quickly towards solar/wind.

Going to be some VERY INTERESTING TIMES not only from a scientific standpoint over the next 5 years....but also from a societal and governmental standpoint as well.

Things can cut both ways.  There are a LOT of good things that can come from the problems we face.....if we face them quickly enough. 








 
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JackTaylor

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #73 on: January 10, 2014, 11:22:03 PM »
Buddy:  Reply #72;
If things REALLY start to head south on the environmental front:  (1)  continued record lows in Arctic sea ice, (2) continued record forest fires in the western US, (3) etc.......then you can BET that the US will support incentives to move even more quickly towards solar/wind.
`
I hate to sound like I'm piling on -

unless you have a (1) profit motive (2) with high rate of return,
disappearance of Arctic Sea Ice in the summer will only be a "Newsworthy Event" and not significant enough to get a substantial majority willing to make the necessary changes to slow warming (profit for shippers through the Arctic though)
and
unless the drought in the Western US ends soon forest fires will soon probably be out of fuel or decisions made to let "Nature Take Its Course" (can't burn dirt & rocks): Have to raise taxes a considerable amount to continue as usual - not going to happen.

Drought causing a significant increase in food prices could help more to change the game.

I truly believe production and use of "Non-Fossil-Fuel" powered vehicles will likely increase at an ever increasing rate. 

A substantial majority of population NOT needed to purchase.

25% to 50% of a reasonable minority could make for high numbers and a profitable market.



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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #74 on: January 11, 2014, 05:50:41 AM »
<<I hate to sound like I'm piling on - >>

Personally....I don't think ANYONE should worry about "piling on".  Discussion is a healthy thing....and disagreements are a healthy thing as well.  And at the end of the day (well.....5 or 6 years:).....we'll know who is right.  That is not such a terrible thing is it?



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JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #75 on: January 17, 2014, 06:18:05 PM »
Trouble is coming in Auto Land.

The Next Tire To Drop On The US Economy

Auto sales in the US have been hopping for the last few years, and production has soared, and exuberance along with it, and there were even hopes that sales would soon be where they’d been before the crisis, before the bankruptcies, the plant closures, the job destruction, the bailouts. Through August, it looked like it could happen. August sales hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 16.09 million new vehicles (Motor Intelligence), which is close to where sales had been before the crisis.

The auto industry plays an outsized role in the US economy, in manufacturing, services, and retail (accounting for nearly 20% of total retail sales). Booming production and sales have been pushing economic growth when hardly anything else was.
...


...Then AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson poured cold water on it all. He should know. He runs the largest chain of dealerships in the country, an empire of 225 stores that sold 296,419 new retail units in 2013, about 2.24% of total US retail sales. He warned about the out-of-whack inventories.

Dealers were sitting on $100 billion in new vehicles – which automakers had already recognized as sales on their books. Channel stuffing. There were 3.45 million units waiting to be sold....

...Once fleet sales are taken out of the equation so that only retail sales count, inventories suddenly look enormously bloated, with 90 to 120 days’ supply, Jackson pointed out....

...Automakers and dealers are already reacting, Jackson said. Discounts are rising, and automakers have started paying dealers for hitting monthly sales targets. But that won’t be enough. Rebates and other incentives will be next. The chances of an all-out discount war, the kind that tore up automakers before the crisis, are fifty-fifty, he said.

“What I’m saying is you’re on the edge of a slippery slope and even sliding down it a bit,” he said. “It’s a risk.”

Unperturbed, automakers are producing cars like hotcakes. Exuberance leaves no room for a slowdown. And over the next few years, they’re even boosting annual production capacity in North America by over one million vehicles!
...


This situation could lead to big layoffs in the auto industry in 6 months or so and then that ripples through the rest of the economy.  But even if it does not lead to layoffs it will be a negative on the economy.  The vast inventories and all the sales incentives will also have a big impact on sale of hybrids and electric vehicles... and not in a good way.  Discounts and buyers incentives on small fuel efficient ICE vehicles will give them a further advantage in cost per mile over the hybrids and electrics and should depress their sales.  Time will tell of course.

http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2014/1/16/the-next-tire-to-drop-on-the-us-economy.html
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JimD

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #76 on: January 27, 2014, 04:27:04 PM »
Here is an interesting piece of data on miles driven by US drivers.  It turns out that there was a systemic mistake in how that has been calculated for many years and that the government figures on total miles driven has been way high. 

Governments at local, state and federal levels have been overestimating the number of miles driven by Americans for years, with very real consequences.

 The estimates have been off by a wide margin for the past seven years, the Washington Post reported. For instance, the U.S. Department of Transportation forecasted Americans would drive 3.3 trillion miles in 2012, which was almost 11 percent higher than what they actually drove.


The article is mostly concerned with revenue allocations but what struck me is that many assumptions about how much slack there was in US miles driven and that we could easily cut a lot of miles re likely overestimating what could be accomplished.  If US drivers are already driving 11% less than we thought it might be more difficult to keep reducing.  A lot of the easy cuts seem to already been made.

http://autos.aol.com/article/u-s-government-overestimates-miles-driven-seven-years/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl28%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D435014
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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 #77 on: February 02, 2014, 02:54:26 PM »
The article is mostly concerned with revenue allocations but what struck me is that many assumptions about how much slack there was in US miles driven and that we could easily cut a lot of miles re likely overestimating what could be accomplished.  If US drivers are already driving 11% less than we thought it might be more difficult to keep reducing.  A lot of the easy cuts seem to already been made.

But from another perspective:  Americans often dismiss electric cars because they think the car's range won't get them where they need to go.  However, when they actually record how many miles they drive a day, it is often much less than they think it is.  That's one less barrier to switching from a gasoline-powered car to an EV!
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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #78 on: February 02, 2014, 03:54:47 PM »
Sig

True, another facet of the problem is also that people are programmed to purchase based, among many other things, on the 5 or 10% or 1% use.  An example I have pointed out before is the huge numbers of pickup in the hands of American men.  They are almost a badge of manhood (especially outside of the big cities) but few of these vehicles are needed by their owners.  Some people need them a few times a year and some not at all.  On the occasion you need such a vehicle they can be rented pretty cheaply.  But it is inconceivable to not own one for many.

For many people if they need to drive even 1/20th of the time beyond the electrics range they will not consider one.  To them it is too inconvenient.

And then there is the "coolness" factor.  For most they are geek cars and they would not be caught dead in one.  If a huge number of men are embarrassed to drive a car instead of a pickup or jeep they are not going to buy an electric. 
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 #79 on: February 02, 2014, 05:05:05 PM »
Interesting calculation, via @PluginCarsNews:
Car buying choices: 2 acres supports 212 Tesla Model Ss from solar panels or 1 60 mpg car from biodiesel #GoElectric

http://www.abb-conversations.com/2013/11/what-abb-has-taught-me-about-genetic-modification/
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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #80 on: February 02, 2014, 08:41:08 PM »
For many people if they need to drive even 1/20th of the time beyond the electrics range they will not consider one.  To them it is too inconvenient.

Laziness plays a very big role, even though EV cars can be plugged in while you lie on the couch or in your bed.
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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #81 on: February 02, 2014, 09:31:18 PM »
In my experience, a major downside of electric vehicles is that they don't hold a charge very well when it is very cold, even if you don't turn on the heat in the car. This limits their usefulness in climates that get cold.
"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 #82 on: February 02, 2014, 09:36:21 PM »
It's not always the men that want the big cars. I was facinated by the TD Smart car when I first returned to Canada in 2004. The wife wouldn't have anything to do with it even though she had loved my tiny X19 only a few years earlier.
Now we cruise about in a Dodge Caravan that gets rather poor mileage - but she's happy & I'm content.[size=78%]
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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #83 on: February 03, 2014, 04:58:19 AM »
Terry

As you know from living down here the biggest drivers of the SUV's are women.

But the real problem with cars and trucks is not whether they are ICE or electric.  But just the fact that they exist at all.  There is nothing sustainable about any kind of car and there never will be.  The future world cannot be based upon everyone having personal transportation.  Unless it is a bicycle or a horse I guess.  But cars of any kind have to go.  Electrics are just an attempt to extend BAU a little further.
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

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #84 on: February 03, 2014, 02:34:34 PM »
In my experience, a major downside of electric vehicles is that they don't hold a charge very well when it is very cold, even if you don't turn on the heat in the car. This limits their usefulness in climates that get cold.

Yet, they are still quite popular in Norway.  "Three of the top ten best-selling vehicles in Norway are electric."
http://www.plugincars.com/norways-abundance-evs-puts-strain-public-charging-and-congestion-perks-129161.html
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wili

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #85 on: February 03, 2014, 03:44:12 PM »
I have to assume that the designs have improved a bit since I was driving my Zenn around. I've heard that they figured out that they have to insulate the battery pack much more carefully.

Does anyone have any more recent experience than mine in driving EVs in the cold (below 0 C)?
"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."

Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #86 on: February 04, 2014, 01:39:59 AM »
Elon Musk interview on his "historic" trip: two Tesla electric cars drove from Los Angeles to New York in 76 hours -- through the Midwest snow.  The gas-powered support vehicle was the one that broke down... :)

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/elon-musk-calls-electric-car-cross-country-journey-important-historical-milestone/
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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #87 on: February 04, 2014, 01:48:30 AM »
I have to assume that the designs have improved a bit since I was driving my Zenn around. I've heard that they figured out that they have to insulate the battery pack much more carefully.

Does anyone have any more recent experience than mine in driving EVs in the cold (below 0 C)?


wili, here's a blog entry by a Wisconsin LEAF owner on winter driving:
http://sam-koblenski.blogspot.com/2013/08/a-year-and-half-with-nissan-leaf-part-3.html
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wili

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #88 on: February 04, 2014, 03:31:20 AM »
Thanks, that was interesting. I'm thinking performance may dip a bit lower here in MN where we've recently had lows in the high negative teens. Of course, many ICE cars have troubles at those temps, too. It does sound like the Leaf is a far superior product that the Zenn.
"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."

Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #89 on: February 05, 2014, 02:35:45 PM »
And then there is the "coolness" factor.  For most they are geek cars and they would not be caught dead in one.  If a huge number of men are embarrassed to drive a car instead of a pickup or jeep they are not going to buy an electric.

For the 'real men drive trucks' crowd:  Elon Musk says in the video that his Tesla electric version of a Ford F150 pickup truck is about 4 or 5 years off.
http://money.cnn.com/2014/02/05/autos/tesla-consumer-reports/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
Nice to see an electric car company developing a good public perception, as shown by the survey.
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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #90 on: February 05, 2014, 05:02:25 PM »
Sig,

But how would an electric F150 help with solving the problem of AGW?  MUsk is very competent at working the angles of competing with GM and Ford but he is not doing anything that will fix AGW.

Elon Musk's primary goal in life seems to be becoming the worlds richest man.   He is a full member of the religion of Technical Progress.  While he fully recognizes that AGW is real he fails to follow the dots.  He somehow comes to the conclusion that electric vehicles can lead to a sustainable civilization.  Civilization is just not sustainable and any form of industrial civilization even less.  Alternative energy technologies are only going to be valuable to the survivors of the collapse but in a very non-complex form.  Until there are massive population declines we will be consuming resources so far above the Earth's carrying Capacity that there is no technology that can do anything but maybe extend the collapse date.
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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 #91 on: February 05, 2014, 06:20:04 PM »
JimD @90,
An electric truck helps to get a bigger percent of the population involved in decreasing carbon emissions.  Decreasing carbon emissions helps decrease the worsening of AGW.  Once you get an electric vehicle, you are highly highly inclined to install solar panels... and likely try to get off the grid entirely, thus becoming more sustainable. 

Of course I don't believe that the US will perpetually have multiple cars per household. But an increased infrastructure for electric vehicles encourages development in other, less-dirty alternatives, too.  (Tesla's "free for life" fast chargers are in many cases powered by solar panels.)  Industrial production could shrink significantly when people start changing their habits -- or when personal vehicles simply become too expensive for most to acquire.

As to the population problem, well, Musk is developing the capability to send people to Mars. ;-)   Who's to say that some breakthrough for keeping us alive in space, or on another planet, doesn't result in a technology that could help solve the AGW crisis. I don't believe we should just give up and say there's NO way out.
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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #92 on: February 05, 2014, 08:26:25 PM »
Sig

But that is my point.  There is a way out.  We ignore it and either depend on God or a technical miracle to save us.  Waiting for a miracle is totally irrational and utterly foolish.

It is patently clear that green technologies will not save us.  They might not even extend the timeframe much it at all.  Electric car technology is anything but carbon neutral and in many cases is worse in terms of carbon emissions than burning gasoline.  The problems range from the "real" fuel being coal that generates the electricity to mining expansion due to the need for rare earths for the batteries.

We always need to keep in mind that even if we all lived with the carbon emissions  per capita that is the norm for Africa the 7 going on 9 billion of us would toast the earth.  Cars of any kind are not part of our future unless we have reduced the population to a small fraction of its current number.  Until population reduction becomes the #1 item on the global agenda all we are doing is playing around at what interests us most or makes us feel comfortable.  Divorced from reality we are just rushing towards catastrophe.

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

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #93 on: February 06, 2014, 12:13:01 AM »
Cars are not going away any time soon. They are a big part of the problem; therefore they will be a big part of the solution, at least in the short term.
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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #94 on: February 06, 2014, 03:27:28 AM »
"they will be a big part of the solution"

Hmmmm, only to the extent that there use is mostly reduced.
"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 #95 on: February 18, 2014, 08:16:02 PM »
New study evaluates factors including raw materials, assembly, transportation, consumer use, end-of-life recovery, and other issues including the carmaker's human-rights record to determine which new vehicle sold today has the lowest overall carbon footprint over its lifetime.

(Winner: the Nissan LEAF battery-electric car.)

http://autos.yahoo.com/news/2014-nissan-leaf-lowest-lifetime-carbon-footprint-report-124009536.html

Until we can (eliminate?) cars, knowing their carbon footprint can help consumers choose more responsibly.  Perhaps it will encourage some people to do without.
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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #96 on: February 18, 2014, 08:21:49 PM »
And on trucks:
"President Obama is announcing plans on Tuesday for improved fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, which comprise four percent of registered vehicles but are responsible for nearly a quarter of fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. In 2011, the transportation sector accounted for around 28 percent of the countries’ greenhouse gases (GHGs) — only the electricity sector produces more."

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/18/3300031/obama-fuel-standards-trucks/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #97 on: February 18, 2014, 08:31:17 PM »
Couldn't resist.   Why there will always be a need for cars....   :P

http://www.carscoops.com/2014/02/nasa-puts-together-gif-of-curiosity.html
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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #98 on: February 18, 2014, 08:51:54 PM »
And on trucks:
"President Obama is announcing plans on Tuesday for improved fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, which comprise four percent of registered vehicles but are responsible for nearly a quarter of fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. In 2011, the transportation sector accounted for around 28 percent of the countries’ greenhouse gases (GHGs) — only the electricity sector produces more."

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/02/18/3300031/obama-fuel-standards-trucks/


Sig

As it happens my bro runs a small over the road trucking company (I'm one of only a few neighborhood boys who left the blue collar world behind - not counting the years I owned and ran the farm).  I will ask him what he thinks and knows about that program.

I know from conversations with him that we could save a huge amount of fuel by outlawing the big trucks from exceeding 60mph.  That's what he drives and he makes a lot more mpg than other trucks just like his.  Common sense.  Governed engines and cruise control and computer monitoring.

Another thing one sees talked about are the aerodynamic skirts attached to the side of the trailers.  In optimum conditions they were said to increase fuel efficiency by 9% but he says in actual road use it is more like 4%.  But it still helps of course.
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

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Re: Cars, cars and more cars. And trucks, and....
« Reply #99 on: February 19, 2014, 01:37:40 AM »
Another thing one sees talked about are the aerodynamic skirts attached to the side of the trailers.  In optimum conditions they were said to increase fuel efficiency by 9% but he says in actual road use it is more like 4%.  But it still helps of course.

More use of rail transport for freight would help even more though...