Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Plug-In Vehicles: The First Great Fraud of the New Millennium
Seeking Alpha ^ | 16 Mar 10 | John Petersen

Posted on 03/16/2010 6:16:02 AM PDT by shove_it

[...]

PT Barnum would have been proud.

While hype-masters loudly proclaim that plug in cars will save the planet by slashing oil consumption and CO2 emissions, the numbers tell a different story; that plug-ins are all sizzle and no steak. The result is the industrial equivalent of a snipe hunt, a wild goose chase based on flawed assumptions.

Let me explain how I reached this conclusion. On December 31, 2009 Forbes published an opinion piece titled System Overload that questioned whether the battery industry was overbuilding global manufacturing capacity. The third paragraph noted:

“By 2015 the new factories will have the global capacity to produce 36 million kilowatt-hours of battery capacity, enough to supply 15 million hybrid vehicles, or 1.5 million fully electric cars, says Deutsche Bank.”

While the article went on to question whether there would be buyers for all those batteries, the capacity estimate got me thinking: “In a world that wants to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions, but can only make 36 million kWh of batteries per year, what is the highest and best use for the batteries?”

[...]

The calculations were simple but the answers were amazing — at least to me. The sweet and simple summary is that the venerable Prius-class hybrid is five to six times more effective at reducing global gasoline consumption than its plug-in cousins and, in the US, it's seven to 10 times more effective at reducing CO2 emissions.

In other words, plug-in vehicles are not the effective albeit expensive saviours of the planet that have been sold to credulous reporters and intellectually lazy regulators. They're unconscionable waste masquerading as conservation.

[...]

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


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: batteries; energy; environment; liberalism; power

1 posted on 03/16/2010 6:16:03 AM PDT by shove_it
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: shove_it

If there’s one thing this idiocy will beget, it will spur people to install locks on their outside electrical outlets.


2 posted on 03/16/2010 6:17:50 AM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shove_it
The whole Green thing is just a massive con. Neither the plug-in cars nor the Prius make a whole lot of sense. We're expending a lot of effort to reduce CO2 and there is no reason to make that effort. But some folks sure are getting rich off the fraud.
3 posted on 03/16/2010 6:19:10 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (We're all heading toward red revolution - we just disagree on which type of Red we want.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shove_it

Gasoline comes from dirty oil wells and right wing companies. And...and the redneck drillers are social recidivists. The oil engineers and geologists are kind of conservative too.

Electricity on the other hand comes from ...um..er...a wall socket in one’s ‘home’. And windmills.

So there!

/sarc


4 posted on 03/16/2010 6:21:15 AM PDT by Leisler (What 'free market', where is it?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shove_it
The result is the industrial equivalent of a snipe hunt, a wild goose chase based on flawed assumptions.

This even a blind man can see.

5 posted on 03/16/2010 6:23:53 AM PDT by grobdriver (Proud Member, Party Of No! No Socialism - No Fascism - Nobama - No Way!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shove_it

What about plug-in hybrids? There are aftermarket plug-in kits for Priuses.


6 posted on 03/16/2010 6:24:11 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shove_it

Anyone who looked at this beyond the salivating media hype could see the flaws:

- Battery capacity.
- Battery disposal.
- Pollution generated by battery manufacture.
- Shifting energy use from relatively clean gasoline engines to electricity generating plants, many of which are coal fired.
- Additional load on the electrical grid, which is already taxed.

It’s a crying shame that critical thinking skills are discouraged in public schools.


7 posted on 03/16/2010 6:25:06 AM PDT by brownsfan (The average American: Uninformed, and unconcerned.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shove_it

Electric vehicles are really remote emission vehicles as they may not pollute when they go down the road, but a lot of the electricity in CA comes from coal fired generators in Wyoming.


8 posted on 03/16/2010 6:26:35 AM PDT by Leo Farnsworth (I'm really not Leo Farnsworth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: brownsfan

You forgot to mention the wasted resources to make the batteries. That lead has to be mined! This whole thing is a massive fraud and dilusion.


9 posted on 03/16/2010 6:29:56 AM PDT by grumpa (VP)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Leo Farnsworth
I believe the push will come from the natural gas industry. I worked for a visionary in the 80's who believed there would come a day when we pulled our vehicles into the garage and hooked up to a compressed natural gas (CNG) dispenser. We would get the monthly bill sort of like we do with our regular natural gas bill for heating, etc.

CH4 . . it's abundant and burns clean.
10 posted on 03/16/2010 6:34:50 AM PDT by mentor2k
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: shove_it
Please don’t kill the electric car. There are a lot of
politicians that want to give you a huge tax credit for
buying one. With that money I plan to purchase a diesel
generator and run it on free waste oil to charge my car,
thus driving for free. And I'll still pass for a non
polluter! I love this country.
11 posted on 03/16/2010 6:38:35 AM PDT by CrazyIvan (What's "My Struggle" in Kenyan?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: shove_it

I would like to know what the life of those batteries are and how much they will actually cost to replace.

I read a few years ago that the batteries are made in Canada and they use more carbon to manufacture than they save the driving public. Also, could it really be true that the replacement battery is purported to be about $25,000? And then how are the old batteries disposed of and who pays for that and if it falls on the consumer again, what is the cost?

And finally, is there anywhere in the United States where the batteries will be manufactured, or will those jobs be outsourced like the little matter of re-supplying American embassies around the world with fine crystal made in Sweden!!

Just asking.

— Jane Reinheimer


12 posted on 03/16/2010 6:40:20 AM PDT by quintr
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: grumpa

“That lead has to be mined!”

They don’t use lead. They use lithium which almost exclusively comes from China...


13 posted on 03/16/2010 6:42:26 AM PDT by babygene (Figures don't lie, but liars can figure...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: shove_it
Wow!

Cars that run on batteries!

Pssst. Know what runs on batteries?

Toys!

14 posted on 03/16/2010 6:43:48 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Kennedys: Can't fly, can't ski, can't drive, can't skipper a boat, but they know what's best.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ClearCase_guy
Neither the plug-in cars nor the Prius make a whole lot of sense.

Depends on your situation. I rarely drive daily more than the range of the average electric car, so one would work for me. This is especially good with me since engines put out more pollutants cold, and my car barely has time to warm up during the short commute.

If that were my only car I'd take a pluggable hybrid that can be set for short city-only driving, telling it not to use the engine for that trip unless the battery is drained. Electricity here is cheaper than gas, and it's mostly NG and nuke. I cut down on pollution (real pollution not CO2) and am more energy efficient. NG is about 60% efficient and electric motors are over 90% giving me somewhere in the 50s vs around 30% even for a diesel. Less energy = less reliance on terror supporting nations.

15 posted on 03/16/2010 7:06:31 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: shove_it
Well, the one thing having a larger number of plug-in vehicles might do is put some impetus behind the push for new nuclear power plants. Frankly, if that happens, I believe they would have served a great purpose.

I'd love to have an electric car for doing around town errands; it would put less pollution into the surrounding air. And I'd also like to have a house with a big enough land area to put in a big solar array to power the house, so when I plugged the car into it, it's essentially free energy for me. Yeah, I know about the costs associated with the collectors, but hubby will be assembling and connecting those, so we wouldn't be paying 'retail' for them, anyway.

I guess you'd call us 'crunchy conservatives', but I don't care what anyone else drives, I'm just looking at what we drive. Of course, hubby will still have his Ford F250 Turbo Diesel, which he calls his F1250 Global Warmer, with the Middle Finger Option, so we DO have a sense of humor about the environment. ;o)

16 posted on 03/16/2010 7:54:35 AM PDT by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SuziQ
“...Ford F250 Turbo Diesel, which he calls his F1250 Global Warmer, with the Middle Finger Option...”

Awesome!!

:0)

17 posted on 03/16/2010 7:59:34 AM PDT by shove_it (and have a nice day)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: shove_it

HA, I’m the only one with the real solution; I’m converting a golf cart to run on a steam engine powered by charcoal briquets!


18 posted on 03/16/2010 9:56:51 AM PDT by glide625 (50+% of American Voters Elected Obama: Never Forget; Never Forgive.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: N. Theknow
I'll take this toy.


19 posted on 03/16/2010 10:12:07 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: SuziQ
Yeah, I know about the costs associated with the collectors, but hubby will be assembling and connecting those, so we wouldn't be paying 'retail' for them, anyway.

Right now solar is often more expensive over its expected lifetime than your outlet. The only way you save is through subsidies and tax breaks. Not long ago companies started producing solar cells at a cost of 1 cent per watt. Add to that the packaging, etc., for a solar system you might be able to find them in a few years for maybe $2,000 per kilowatt rather than the current $8,000+. Then that'll be cheap electricity.

20 posted on 03/16/2010 10:22:19 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: shove_it

If there is any future in electric vehicles at all, it will involve super capacitors and not batteries.


21 posted on 03/16/2010 10:36:02 AM PDT by wendy1946
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: wendy1946

MIT has been working on capacitors using nanotube technology. I know that some Australian company was working on super-capacitors.


22 posted on 03/16/2010 10:53:33 PM PDT by SuziQ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: SuziQ

There’s a Dallas firm called EESTOR which was supposed to be marketing one such by now and all I can find is conspiracy theories as to why we haven’t seen it.


23 posted on 03/17/2010 4:39:23 AM PDT by wendy1946
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson