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Donít Believe the Hype About the Plug-In Car
Minyanville ^ | 12/15/09 | Scott Reeves

Posted on 12/17/2009 5:09:38 AM PST by FlyVet

Hybrid gasoline-electric and all-electric cars will continue to cost more than vehicles with a conventional internal combustion engine for the foreseeable future, putting the new technology beyond the reach of many car buyers.

Sales of hybrid and all-electric cars therefore may be limited to affluent buyers who can afford to make an environmental statement and the vast majority of vehicles will continue to be powered by gasoline or diesel engines. While promising, the new lithium-ion battery technology won’t significantly reduce pollution or dependence on foreign oil by 2030.

(Excerpt) Read more at minyanville.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: automotive; environment; hybrid
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Further excerpts:

Projections of future battery pack costs are uncertain, as they depend on the rate of improvement in battery technology and manufacturing techniques, potential breakthroughs in new technology, possible relaxation of battery protection parameters as experience is gained, and the level of production.”

Based on the current state of the technology, the cost of a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle , known as a PHEV in the trade, will be about $18,000 higher than a conventional vehicle, including a $14,000 battery pack. That means it will take years, and perhaps longer than the vehicle’s useful life, to recover the upfront costs of plug-in hybrid vehicles despite the lower per-mile cost of operation.

It will take about eight hours to recharge a hybrid car’s battery using 110-volt current commonly used in homes. In a recent report, the Electric Power Institute, an independent nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, California, says the US now has enough capacity to charge 1 million electric vehicles at night. This suggests you shouldn’t get charged up about the electric car -- at least not yet.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will produce less carbon dioxide than similar cars powered by conventional internal combustion engines, but the dollar and environmental cost of generating electricity is often overlooked. Coal fires many generating plants, a source of constant ire for environmental groups such as the Sierra Club, a powerful lobbying group. The cost of reducing or capturing carbon dioxide emissions must be factored into the overall cost of battery-powered electric vehicles.

Caution is needed to prevent the promise of electric vehicles from becoming another over-hyped alternative like corn-based ethanol. There’s just one problem with that bright idea: It takes 29% more fossil energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than the ethanol releases when burned as fuel, making the disparity between energy input and output the triumph of politics over logic.

There’s always the hope that a genius at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or another top school will invent the gizmo that changes everything. But this isn’t Hollywood and technological advances are likely to be incremental. That means no immediate miracles and oil will continue to be a vital part of the economy for the foreseeable future.

1 posted on 12/17/2009 5:09:39 AM PST by FlyVet
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To: FlyVet

The inconvenient truth about electric cars is that they need electricity. The car itself may not pollute, but the coal burning electricity plant sure will.


2 posted on 12/17/2009 5:15:53 AM PST by tips up
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To: FlyVet

That other gizmo is a hybrid car that runs on natural gas instead of gasoline.

Plug in your car to your nat gas pipe at your house every night and let the car compress the gas into its tank while also running the engine to charge the battery up.


3 posted on 12/17/2009 5:18:34 AM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: FlyVet

As always, it’s all about thermodynamics. And most people don’t have a clue.


4 posted on 12/17/2009 5:21:18 AM PST by far sider
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To: FlyVet

But.. but... but...

The Chevy Volt is going to get 230 MPG!

I saw it on TV!


5 posted on 12/17/2009 5:21:23 AM PST by Haiku Guy ("I don't give them Hell / I tell the truth about them / And they think it's Hell" -- Harry Truman)
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To: tips up

considering virtually every single attempt to build new generating plants is blocked by every communist organization as well as every Democrat. There will be No electricity to plug into.
typical Monkey *%cking a Jug, doesn’t know why he’s doing it, but it sure feels good.


6 posted on 12/17/2009 5:21:24 AM PST by eyeamok
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To: FlyVet
I like the fact that incandescent light bulbs are being outlawed because they use too much electricity. Meanwhile, we hope to run the nation's automobile fleet off of household juice.

I think there may be a problem with that.

7 posted on 12/17/2009 5:21:44 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Macbeth is ripe for shaking, and the powers above put on their instruments.)
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To: FlyVet
Not mentioned is when you have to replace that $14,000 battery, and you will have to if you keep the car for a few years, you will have to not only have to buy a new battery, but someones going to have to pick up the cost of the disposal of that hazarous waste.
8 posted on 12/17/2009 5:24:03 AM PST by NavyCanDo
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To: ClearCase_guy
No, no. Electricity comes from the wall socket. It's magic. Ask any Obama supporter.

Another thing I can't figure out. They pitch a hissy fit whenever a power company wants a new high-tension line, because it's an eyesore. But it's okay to obliterate the pristine countryside with big, ugly, noisy, bird-killing windmills.

9 posted on 12/17/2009 5:25:43 AM PST by FlyVet
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To: FlyVet

The best vehicle to have is one that will run on quite literally moonshine or ethanol. Its legal to make your own and not difficult to do, having the right type of engine is the requirement and living in a rural area where you have available grasses to use helps.


10 posted on 12/17/2009 5:33:06 AM PST by Eye of Unk (Would spring please arrive early, My new motorcycle awaits to run free and wild.)
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To: FlyVet

Well, they gotta start somewhere and this technology is very promising. Ignore the naysayers, I say.


11 posted on 12/17/2009 5:35:38 AM PST by rawhide
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To: FlyVet
Based on the average cost of residential electricity was 12¢/kWh (DOE) in the U.S. in April 2009. The average household used 936 kWh/mo. in 2007 (DOE) and would pay about $108 for it based on the April 2009 average rate. DOE also has historical rates.

If it takes 12 kwhs for one recharge of the vehicle, we're looking adding about $55 to $60 to your electric bill each month.

Does this sound right?

12 posted on 12/17/2009 5:36:38 AM PST by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: far sider
it’s all about thermodynamics.

Nonsense. Thermodynamics was invented by the oil companies and Republicans to keep us from implementing a true socialist utopia.

I would put a /sarc tag, but you know . . . What really kills me, sickens me at heart, is that there ARE people out there who believe what I just put up there.

13 posted on 12/17/2009 5:36:53 AM PST by Hardastarboard (Maureen Dowd is right. I DON'T like our President's color. He's a Red.)
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To: Eye of Unk

I have a vision now of all the hillbillies in Appalachia becoming wealthy entrepreneurs with the revenue earned from their moonshine stills.


14 posted on 12/17/2009 5:39:01 AM PST by 3catsanadog (If healthcare reform is passed, 41 years old will be the new 65 YO.)
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To: Haiku Guy

Don’t listen to the TV. Your dog knows better.


15 posted on 12/17/2009 5:40:20 AM PST by bmwcyle (Free the Navy Seals)
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To: tips up
The car itself may not pollute, but the coal burning electricity plant sure will.

Then of course people will get those nice, sky-high electric bills as a result. But as for not polluting, I have to take somewhat of an issue with that. The process of making a large battery, especially on a mass production scale, is very nasty for the planet. You have to mine and mix up very toxic chemicals to make batteries work. It is even more fun when you have to dispose of the battery.

Couple this with the fact that every battery loses the ability to hold a charge over time. A car that gets 100 miles of range on one charge when it is new might only get 50 or 10 miles on a single charge in a few years.

16 posted on 12/17/2009 5:47:08 AM PST by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: NavyCanDo
“Not mentioned is when you have to replace that $14,000 battery, and you will have to if you keep the car for a few years, you will have to not only have to buy a new battery, but someones going to have to pick up the cost of the disposal of that hazarous waste.”

Yep, total cost of ownership on one of these is very high - and is never detailed out by the media for the public to see. Additionally, those few who actually pay taxes are picking up a significant amount of the cost of this car. Examples; there's a $7,500 tax credit provided and there's no income criteria associated with this credit. Secondly, and this is an issue with all hybrids and electric autos at this time, these autos are not paying their fair share of road/use taxes. This is a problem that will have to be addressed eventually, probably by taxing autos by their miles driven would be my guess.

17 posted on 12/17/2009 5:47:09 AM PST by snoringbear (Government is the Pimp,)
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To: FlyVet
From your post:

"Caution is needed to prevent the promise of electric vehicles from becoming another over-hyped alternative like corn-based ethanol. There’s just one problem with that bright idea: It takes 29% more fossil energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than the ethanol releases when burned as fuel, making the disparity between energy input and output the triumph of politics over logic."

ArabLaughing

18 posted on 12/17/2009 5:48:44 AM PST by preacher (A government which robs from Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of Paul.)
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To: 3catsanadog

I did some minimal research into this last year and it still may be legal to make as much as 10,000 gallons of ethanol per year for your private use tax free.

My first project would be to run some in my high compression motorcycle engine, that one of the engine requirements being high compression, fuel injected helps too.

The engine will burn more in quantity but if you can make it really cheap who cares? And btw moonshiners did indeed mix the ‘shine into their fuels, thats how NASCAR started.


19 posted on 12/17/2009 5:48:49 AM PST by Eye of Unk (Would spring please arrive early, My new motorcycle awaits to run free and wild.)
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To: FlyVet

I can’t even buy a regular new car...always have to buy used...and keep them for 10 years...


20 posted on 12/17/2009 5:51:47 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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