Skip to comments.Electrify the Roads
Posted on 06/22/2010 5:18:29 PM PDT by upchuck
My magic wand is on the fritz, otherwise we'd have a big, new federal program to free America from its dependence on oil. Like other environmentalists, I'm sad that the calamity in the Gulf of Mexico hasn't spurred Washington to more vigorously promote America's exit from thiscurse.
The fault may lie with President Obama's timidity, a public scared by major new government programs or fossil-fuel interests flashing their campaign dough. Probably it's all three, but the bottom line is this: An all-out effort to unchain America from hydrocarbons is essential to national security, a healthy environment and economic prosperity in the 21st century. But it's not politically possible.
And so we must look at what's passable. Fortunately, there's one piece to the escape strategy that business leaders, military brass and the buying public all like -- and would create jobs. Most importantly, it has bipartisan support in Congress.
We speak of electric cars, specifically the "Electric Vehicle Deployment Act of 2010." Sponsored by Sens. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., the bill's goal is to electrify half of America's cars and trucks within 20 years. That, its backers say, would cut America's dependence on petroleum by a third. Similar legislation is before the House.
The Senate bill would name at least five communities to be modelsfor electric-vehicle transportation. They would build stations wheremotorists could recharge their cars' batteries. Residents would be offered a $10,000 tax credit to buy electric cars. And the federal government would put $1.5 billion into research for improving electric-car technology.
Electric cars don't appear to be a very hard sell to those who would buy them. The first all-electric model, the Nissan Leaf, will hit the U.S. market at the end of the year. (The batteries will be made in Smyrna, Tenn.) But you won't be able to just pick one up, because the year's production is already sold out. More than two-thirds of the 19,000 preorders are from the United States.
The Chevy Volt will reach showrooms around that time. Its battery range of 40 miles is considerably smaller than the Nissan Leaf's 100 miles, but the Volt has a small gasoline engine to keep the car going if a recharging station is not handy.
In any case, more than 75 percent of Americans commute 40 miles or less a day. That means most of them could plug in their Volts at the end of the day and drive off fully charged in the morning.
Being both an environmentalist and a fan of high automotive performance can be awkward. But car makers are learning to put zoom into their fuel-efficient models. The Ford Fusion Hybrid, for example, gets 41 miles-a-gallon in the city, but can pull away from a stoplight at a respectable pace. "Sustainable mobility solutions" need not be as boring as they sound.
What about the source of the electric power? Although an all-electric vehicle puts out zero emissions, that is probably not true of the plant that provides the electricity. While California has moved its mix of electricity sources toward clean, renewable energy, other parts of America are still highly dependent on dirty, coal-powered plants.
However, electric cars cut global warming pollution even where coal supplies the power, according to a study by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. That's because cars plugged in overnight employ unused capacity in the current electric system.
So let the brawl over cap-and-trade proceed. Outside of the oil business, most everyone seems enthusiastic about accelerating a move toward electric cars. Nothing should stop Congress from revving up the process.
I'm gonna duck outta the way and let y'all have at it :)
The stupid is strong in this one. LOL
She’s a well known ditz.
Q: Why'd the chicken cross the road?
A: It was fried-day.
I'd guess the writer is the one person who never stuck a 9-volt battery on their tongue when they were little...or never heard of rain.
Just patch the patched pot holes will ya!
Yeah..the target is large and it is us.
We send tens of billions a month to OPEC and lots of that comes back and kills our treasure through weapons, madrassas, mosques, etc.
We have a choice: Either become energy independent by drilling more OR electrify the nation - electric cars—sounds real good.
What are you talking about?
Everyone knows that when you turn on a switch, electricity just happens. What could the downside be? (And it could even be used to melt the snow in the winter!)
Sheesh - you don't have to read any farther than this, do you?
It ain’t just the 40 mile a day commute, it’s the occasional 300 mile trip to another city to visit the relatives or do some business.
Recharge time is a _key_ parameter.
They always make it sound like the Elektricity somehow
comes out of the thin air absolutely free.
Forty mile daily commute?
Where some kind of gated community?
Might as well have a golf cart or bicycle.
Socialistenviros, a plague on them.
I’m with you. I read that first sentence and thought, this has got to be on FR.
Keep shooting y’all.
I would buy one if they got over 100 miles a charge and if the charging for a week was less then the 50 buck I spend each week now for driving over 50 miles a day to work and shoping.
FRee ammo? Oh man .. I better close my bunker hatch.
Albeit with High Pressure Stratified Charge Fuel Injection w/exhaust so clean you can drink the distilled water it produces.
Which means that you won't really have to burn coal to produce the electricity to power the car. (Do I really need the sarc tag?)
There’s no logical reason to use anything other than petroleum products for transportation of goods and people. Nothing else is as efficient, plentiful, and cheap. The oil is there, and we have more than we could possibly ever use.
We should use it....anything else is just fanciful nonsense.
Hmmmm......then why is California abandoning so many of its electric producing reservoirs........?
Oh great, lets all go to electric vehicles and crash the grid and force more coal power on America.
The buyers of electric cars don’t need incentives. They just need available cars.
But the problem with electric cars, are many. Heavy expensive batteries that discharge rather quickly and charge quite slowly. The life of the batteries is also a problem posing a $5000 + investment every 6 or 7 years, and of course the recycling of them. The limited range is probably not a big problem for most users. Those who have longer commutes will not buy them.
Additional problem; Quick charge solutions will add to risk and potential explosions of the batteries. And will also reduce battery life.
Are any battery technology breakthroughs on the horizon. I don’t see any. The batteries convert electrical energy into a chemical reaction, and then convert it back to power the vehicle. Regardless the actual power which comes from the batteries must first be delivered from the power grid.
Free ammo for all. Kinda like free beer for all :)
OK—but not OPEC’s.
It isn't "green", it's a death warrant.
Your reasoning is good. In addition, consider what might happen to that "chemical reaction" in a bad accident.
And don't forget, kiddies, the coal won't be mied here, but in one of the three fine deposits from the Clinton era--in Kosovo, under the Escalante Staircase National Monument (oops, out of play!), or in Indonesia (Low-ash, low sulfur lignite).
Of course, the hardworking folks at the UMW won't be allowed to produce enough.
But, but, but - doesn’t the wall make electricity? That’s why it’s got that little pluggie thingie...
I've been driving the same Ford F150/300cui/6 cly truck for 15 years. 6 or 7 years $5000 reinvestment.....NOT!!!!
I could see where families would have cheapo electric cars....Second cars, for hops around town. Burn coal to run electric cars....This would fill in some gaps. Get fleets burning CNG.
& I have a 24 year old Toyota, pennies on the dollar to any golf cart in this century or the next!
Let me add,,, I HATE OBAMA and everything he represents!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do you drive it 50 miles everyday like I do on my F150? Just curious.
Long term, the socialist goal is to make new cars too expensive (via regulated complexity) and force old cars out (via emissions and safety inspections).
Mass transit is a huge priority with leftists because it allows govt to control movement.
Do they have an electric vehicle that will survive the winter in a northern-tier state and pull a 35’ 5th wheel?
From my cold dead hands do they take my Ford!
I once heard some liberal schmuck advocate for electric cars. And there were others who heard him who thought it was a pretty good idea. (This was ten or more years ago.) So I asked one of them where he thought the energy for the electricity came from. I asked him if he would like to burn more coal. The guy was Harvard educated and pretty smart, but he told me he never thought about that.
I drive 50,000 miles a year. That’s 1,000 miles a week.
I’m going to need a very long extension cord.
I've also seen liberals who want electric cars standing four square against nuclear power plants. Is that rich or what?
Where or where do they think electricity comes from? My guess? They really do believe it comes from "the wall"... no smoke stacks coming from the wall - no coal mining - or drilling or any of those ugly conservative realities... sticking out of their wall. Just a plug and an outlet... soooooo clean. So simple. So stupid.
Which isn't hard at all, the Toy's of that era were built uber-tough, the quality dial at the factory was really dialed up high.
Better still, lets make giant electric conveyor belts for people to drive on, ha ha! They’d shut off their cars while on the belt. I’d have to go slow enough for people to enter and exit, or have entrance and exit ramps of succeeding speeds. The cost to build it would be horrendous, though. I don’t know how much electricity it would use.
Electric cars have unique safety issues:
Loads of fancy good sounding words and NOTHING to back them up. Magic Wand my.... What does she think sits in the White House.
No more glittering words and nice ideas - just the facts and nothing but the facts.
***Which means that you won’t really have to burn coal to produce the electricity to power the car. ***
Your sarc tag has meaning. Some turbine dirven gas fired plants can shut down after the peak load drops. Coal plants are so complicated to start that they NEVER shut down in the evenings.
Also, there is no “unused’ power being produced. If you plug in electric autos after the peak load the plants must still produce more electricity to charge those batteries.
No, silly: it's not yet economically possible for us to maintain our lifestyles on batteries.
I am not going to address the rest: the author's argumentation is at a sophomore level.