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post #81 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 09:15 AM
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here is an example of solar power station with 24 hour generation capability, worth the 3 minutes - honestly YouTube - PS 10 Solar thermal power station
(posted in response to ChrisB)

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post #82 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 10:39 AM
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CNG burns much cleaner and more efficient then gasoline. There also aren't not that many CNG cars on the road, so I'm not sure why they used that as an example... keep in mind that interest in developing hybrid,battery,solar and other green technologies have only started the last 5-10 years, so to dismiss it before it even started or to compare it to a well established technology is a little premature
Where did I dismiss it? If anything, I was questioning viability vs the internal-combustion engine; the picture is not as rosy as many would have you believe. However, I don't see how a comparison is not warranted since that is helpful in determining whether a technology is viable from a practicality and economical standpoint.

Apparently, my questioning the viability of these technologies and/or comparing them to current technology is contrary to what you either want to hear or what you believe; hence, I am dismissing them in your eyes. Truth is, they're not commercially viable now and probably won't be for some time to come whether you like it or not.

Case in point: I've attached a spreadsheet showing the break-even point between an Elise Purist Edition and a Tesla; you'll find that the car will probably be dust before you recoup your investment in the Tesla despite the fact that they are basically the same (or at least extremely similar) cars - and that doesn't take into account the usable life of the battery or the cost to replace it. In other words, it is not now commercially viable.

Honestly, I'd love it if we could meet our energy needs using rainbows, but that would be dreaming; I'm a realist.

BTW, I wouldn't necessarily say that CNG is much cleaner or efficient. Take a gander at these and you might revise your statement:
AskPablo: Clean Natural Gas? ( CNG, Compressed+Natural+Gas, CO2, GHG, Emissions,)
California study suggests CNG emissions more toxic than diesel systems
That last one also underscores the law of unintended consequences and the cost associated with pulling the trigger while the jury's still out.
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File Type: xls Tesla operational cost v Elise.xls (21.0 KB, 164 views)
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post #83 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 11:33 AM
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Electro Automotive: FAQ on Electric Car Efficiency & Pollution
also in the GridWorks link you posted, the 33% efficiency refers to large plants. later on in the next paragraph it mentions distributed energy facilities having the efficiency of 65-90% (as of 2001). you are also assuming all of the power generated by power plants use fossil fuels, there was a chart posted earlier that shows a large percentage of CA electricity is generated with renewable resources.
It would be nice if they showed where they got their figures as they don't jive with what I've seen and Aedo confirmed as much. According to this, Physics In an Automotive Engine, average efficiency is 21% and the most efficient engines are 25% (again, echoing what Aedo said). Looks like a case of twisting the facts to make a more palatable case for the EV.

With respect to the GridWorks link, you fail to mention that the 5600 distributed energy sites accounted for a mere 6% of US power generation, which is negligible. And I didn't assume the power plants used solely fossil fuels (it wasn't even my stat; it was the DoE's). They state:

Quote:
Originally Posted by US DoE
An electric utility power station uses either a turbine, engine, water wheel, or other similar machine to drive an electric generator or a device that converts mechanical or chemical energy to generate electricity. Steam turbines, internal-combustion engines, gas combustion turbines, water turbines, and wind turbines are the most common methods to generate electricity. Most power plants are about 35 percent efficient. That means that for every 100 units of energy that go into a plant, only 35 units are converted to usable electrical energy.

What is Electricity?
Now what I would assume that they would have taken the various methods of generating power when coming up with that figure. BTW, nice crib from the ElectroAuto.com website. BTW, BTW, the majority of CA's electricity doesn't come from renewable energy even according to them.



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old school wind turbines make a lot of noise, and is actually dangerous in the colder areas because they throw ice as they spin. Then new generation of helical windmills don't have the noise issue, it maxes out at a moderate RPM, doesn't care which direction the wind blows, and looks pretty cool.
Helix Wind
YouTube - Helix Wind Turbine
Did you read the spec sheet on that turbine? I almost fell out of my chair when I did. Here it is: http://www.helixwind.com/download/fa...faqs041009.pdf It produces less than 1000 kWh/year with an average wind speed of 11 mph! Oh, and the kicker, it can be ALL YOURS for $11659+ depending on the height of the tower you need (HiWindPower Product 1).

Hint: It will take at least 100 years to break even on that unless you live in a hurricane. And you won't be charging your Tesla with that bad-boy, either.

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as far as efficiency, both solar and wind power is ready now. As I mentioned earlier, if a guy in foggy SF can make his old panel work, then it should work in a majority of the places. All it takes is to get the cost down and incentive for adoption.
Based on your turbine illustration, I beg to differ. I apparently missed your soggy SF solar anecdote somewhere; but, I'm sure there's more to the story (ie, cost, amount of electricity actually produced and realized, area of solar panels, etc.). These are simply not ready for prime-time - that's the realist in me talking again.
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post #84 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 11:33 AM
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Where did I dismiss it? If anything, I was questioning viability vs the internal-combustion engine; the picture is not as rosy as many would have you believe. However, I don't see how a comparison is not warranted since that is helpful in determining whether a technology is viable from a practicality and economical standpoint.

Apparently, my questioning the viability of these technologies and/or comparing them to current technology is contrary to what you either want to hear or what you believe; hence, I am dismissing them in your eyes. Truth is, they're not commercially viable now and probably won't be for some time to come whether you like it or not.

Case in point: I've attached a spreadsheet showing the break-even point between an Elise Purist Edition and a Tesla; you'll find that the car will probably be dust before you recoup your investment in the Tesla despite the fact that they are basically the same (or at least extremely similar) cars - and that doesn't take into account the usable life of the battery or the cost to replace it. In other words, it is not now commercially viable.

Honestly, I'd love it if we could meet our energy needs using rainbows, but that would be dreaming; I'm a realist.

BTW, I wouldn't necessarily say that CNG is much cleaner or efficient. Take a gander at these and you might revise your statement:
AskPablo: Clean Natural Gas? ( CNG, Compressed+Natural+Gas, CO2, GHG, Emissions,)
California study suggests CNG emissions more toxic than diesel systems
That last one also underscores the law of unintended consequences and the cost associated with pulling the trigger while the jury's still out.
now now, no need to get all emotional here. We're here to discuss facts.
nice links, but emissions does not equal to efficiency. Try again.

on your excel spreadsheet. I don't care how good your math is, your initial assumption is flawed. Are you comparing the development cost of a novel low volume powertrain (and 2 generations of transmissions) to a purchased mass market powertrain? seriously?
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post #85 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 11:51 AM
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now now, no need to get all emotional here. We're here to discuss facts.
nice links, but emissions does not equal to efficiency. Try again.

on your excel spreadsheet. I don't care how good your math is, your initial assumption is flawed. Are you comparing the development cost of a novel low volume powertrain (and 2 generations of transmissions) to a purchased mass market powertrain? seriously?
Your argument keeps changing. You said 'much cleaner' and I showed you it necessarily wasn't. You didn't show how it was more efficient for that matter. Where are the 'facts' you mention? I am not going to find them for you. I've cited

Seriously seriously. The initial assumption is what is the current reality - period. And you do realize that you just admitted that the technology is not commerically/economically viable at this time, don't you? (You also said it's 'novel'.) You can't equalize the playing field by denying what is the reality. If you'd like, I can show you how long the break-even is on a Prius vs, say, a Honda Fit. At this juncture, I'd doubt it's worth it, though.
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post #86 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 11:59 AM
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With respect to the GridWorks link, you fail to mention that the 5600 distributed energy sites accounted for a mere 6% of US power generation, which is negligible. And I didn't assume the power plants used solely fossil fuels (it wasn't even my stat; it was the DoE's).:
that 6% distributed figure is way back in 2001. also at 66-90 efficency, it bumps up the overall efficiency significantly. Also, they are talking about "thermal efficency" and not comparing the source of the power source. A geothermal plant can have horrible thermal efficiency but still be more desirable compared to imported oil at say 50% efficiency in overall impact. You are also comparing cost of new technology that will get cheaper as its adopted to long established tech.

Quote:
Did you read the spec sheet on that turbine? I almost fell out of my chair when I did. Here it is: http://www.helixwind.com/download/fa...faqs041009.pdf It produces less than 1000 kWh/year with an average wind speed of 11 mph! Oh, and the kicker, it can be ALL YOURS for $11659+ depending on the height of the tower you need (HiWindPower Product 1).
again, this is brand new product that hasn't reach high volume production.
Its not using exotic materials or exotic technology, all it takes is high volume to get the cost down. once this is deployed, the reoccurring costs are minimal, while conventional power plants are subject to fluctuations in supply and prices. I posted the link to show that not all wind turbines are noisy and dangerous. thats it.

Seriously, what do you have against renewable technology? is there any of them you like? you seem to focus only on short term costs and your cost comparisons between mass market developed tech and low volume leading edge technology makes me wonder about your motivation. is the status quo your only answer? do we keep buying fuel from the Arabs and the crazy guy Hugo? what do you propose we do?

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post #87 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 12:07 PM
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Your argument keeps changing. You said 'much cleaner' and I showed you it necessarily wasn't. You didn't show how it was more efficient for that matter. Where are the 'facts' you mention? I am not going to find them for you. I've cited

Seriously seriously. The initial assumption is what is the current reality - period. And you do realize that you just admitted that the technology is not commerically/economically viable at this time, don't you? (You also said it's 'novel'.) You can't equalize the playing field by denying what is the reality. If you'd like, I can show you how long the break-even is on a Prius vs, say, a Honda Fit. At this juncture, I'd doubt it's worth it, though.
why did they use CNG, not gasoline in there study? how many CNG cars are out there? The argument didnt' chage, the original argument was comparing efficiency of internal combustion engine to electric. CNG doen't equal gasoline.

show me the break even point of a Ford Hybrid Escape to a regular Escape.
please. humor me.

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post #88 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 01:08 PM
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so the last 3 pages just confirm what i have been saying....

stop wasting time trying to eek out a minimal percent of energy impact from cars.... and increase that 10x by focusing current technology and best practices in buildings instead - there is NO substainal argument for "more efficent cars", its a waste of policy and production resources in the big picture. argueing about it just goes to show how duped and misplaced our awareness of energy is.

get a honda civic and call it a day - nearly zero pollution and fine economy, now focus on how we get to our buildings, and get your average building to near net zero and we can all have hummers and not worry about it

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post #89 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 08:18 PM
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If the government wanted to improve the emissions from ALL vehicles, they could start by putting sensors on the traffic lights to make traffic flow more smoothly rather than to issue tickets. I don't care what you drive, when you have to slow it to a screeching halt and then sit at a light for 2 minutes why not another car goes by, then get rolling from a standstill to speed again- you are killing efficiency and emitting at your cars peak.

I've said it a bunch of times before. They could do as much to reduce emissions by putting sensors on traffic lights as they ever will by claiming they are going to require a stricter standard on new cars however many years in the future.

I'm not saying cars don't pollute- but agree with the fact that more pollution comes from buildings. Gary Indiana don't smell that way and have an orange sky because of cars.
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post #90 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-16-2009, 08:26 PM
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If the government wanted to improve the emissions from ALL vehicles, they could start by putting sensors on the traffic lights to make traffic flow more smoothly rather than to issue tickets. I don't care what you drive, when you have to slow it to a screeching halt and then sit at a light for 2 minutes why not another car goes by, then get rolling from a standstill to speed again- you are killing efficiency and emitting at your cars peak.
Hmm, very good points. I have never considered those facts.

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post #91 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 03:18 AM
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on your excel spreadsheet. I don't care how good your math is, your initial assumption is flawed. Are you comparing the development cost of a novel low volume powertrain (and 2 generations of transmissions) to a purchased mass market powertrain? seriously?
yes.. thats the valid comparison.. you dont compare to a future high volume and low cost electric powertrain because it does not exist. Furthermore, tesla has not proven in the least that they have the ability, knowledge, capitol, personell, and tooling needed to build one and based on their track record so far (as noted they have failed to meet *any* of their stated goals) its not looking good.

Nobody is saying that in the future a mass produced electric car cant be viable and competitive with current tech/alternative fuels. What is being said is that the tesla roadster is *absolutely* not viable in its current form. Also that for any future tesla vehicle they have not shown that they can build a viable vehicle.

Perhaps you are missing the point: Most everyone here thinks the roadster is a cool car.. I certainly do. I think it looks good and offers up some performance characteristics that are desirable. But its too expensive for what it is and its reliability is questionable and most importantly when you work out the numbers it is not helping reduce pollution and it is not a less expensive vehicle to operate when you take into account the overall costs.
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post #92 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 03:20 AM
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Honestly, I'd love it if we could meet our energy needs using rainbows, but that would be dreaming; I'm a realist..
Thats awesome... well said!
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post #93 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 03:33 AM
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Musk doesn't have what it takes to run a car company. hell, he doesn't have what it takes to run ANY company. He doesn't know how to build cars.
IMHO, Tesla has a very small window of opportunity to stay relevant and they have a perfect track record of NOT meeting ANY one of their engineering goals (dates, performance, range, cost target, etc).
in all fairness.. musk has done a pretty good job with spacex: they have met their goals and done so in a cost-effective manner using new engine tech that they developed... The disparity in the performance of the two companies is almost mind-boggling.

One key reason is that for spacex, musk put together a team with actual aerospace experience. With tesla this is not the case.
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post #94 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 04:12 AM
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Meh. Mention electric cars these days and a huge global warming, energy source debate ensues.

Electric powered cars will take off because of the technology's ever increasing performance. As the decades tick by batteries and motors will double, and double, and double again. In 40 years the idea of human caused global warming will probably be forgotten, and people will run out to buy electric cars not because some eco freak told them to ... but because the average EV sports saloon will get a 2000 mile range, 3 second 0-60 times, be lightweight, handle like a 2040 Lotus, and have all the comforts. Plus you'd power it from the solar power producing paint on your roof. (or a Mr Fusion or something like that). The gas powered car will be barred from the streets not because it can hurt owls or the air ... but because it's just too dangerously slow compared to the rest of traffic. Technology marches onward.

As for the use of foriegn oil and sending money overseas ... not a big deal in the big picture of things. Let's just continue to use up their oil first. We'll buy it all. And burn it all. And eventually (in 50 years say) it will be gone. Then the dessert will move back in and reclaim that area and they'll go back to wandering tribes and cutting eachother's heads off.

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post #95 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 04:17 AM
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Seriously, what do you have against renewable technology? is there any of them you like? you seem to focus only on short term costs and your cost comparisons between mass market developed tech and low volume leading edge technology makes me wonder about your motivation. is the status quo your only answer? do we keep buying fuel from the Arabs and the crazy guy Hugo? what do you propose we do?
Renewable is definately the way to go... The problem is that it keeps getting *sold* to the general public in the form of ideas that are generally not feasible...

Remember 10 years ago when hydrogen was going to be the future: we were all going to be driving fuel cell cars with hydrogen tanks... That is until people started looking at the availability of fuel cell catalysts like platinum and palladium and they realized that even with mass production those materials were going to be insanely expensive and moreover realized that there isnt enough of those precious metals in the ground to build all the cars that we would need. Also every car would have needed a high pressure tank to store the hydrogen and high pressure piping, all made out of stainless steel (because elemental hydogen is highly reactive) and that welding stainless is very difficult, time consuming and expensive. Back then the defense was the same moore law type argument that we would make advances and use mass production to bring down the cost in just a few years. Now ten years later we are right where we left off in terms of practicality.


Tesla promised the same thing, with vehicles that would be better and faster and also cheaper (eventually) and would have no emissions and no long tailpipe because you would charge your vehicle from your own solar array that would not only be cheap but also subsidized by the government. Of course what they didnt mention is that you really need about an acre of solar panels to regularly charge just the vehicle for the next day and that the most recent costs of such a setup is about $75000. Or that to build a vehicle like the model S with the performance they promise that the vehicle would need all carbon composite body work and that there is noone in the world that can mass produce carbon body work for even a run of a few thousand cars much less the 20000-50000 cars/year that would be needed from *each* manufacturer to meet consumer demands. Or that china can barely keep up with world demand for batteries as it is and is basically rendering large areas uninhabitable with pollution to keep those factories running. We done even know if enough metals can be mined practically to build as many batteries as would be needed to make a real go at electric vehicles.


So what so we do? I agree that staying the course and just buying oil is not a good idea but I also believe that there are other options that have not been given the consideration they deserve. One such option is to use methane. The idea is to leverage the technologies that are progressing in terms of practicality and cost-effectivenedd and use them with a method that keeps much of the existing infrastructure. SO the idea is to build solar and build it big, taking advantage of the fact that solar is now price competitive. Use the electricity generated from solar to generate methane: pull CO2 from the atmosphere and the crack the CO2 and H20 and make methane. Its a well known process and it sales well. existing IC engines can be converted to run methane and these engines run very efficiently with less wear and methane is much easier to store which means it can supplant batteries in the meantime.
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post #96 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 04:48 AM
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Honestly, I'd love it if we could meet our energy needs using rainbows, but that would be dreaming; I'm a realist.
+1

It's nice to think that technology will solve all the problems of electric cars in the next few years... but technology cannot always do whatever we want it to at a reasonable cost (or sometimes at any cost).

Think about it... why go to electric cars at all? Why don't we just figure out how to make gasoline synthetically, as well as figure out how to burn it absolutely cleanly (no significant greenhouse gases or pollutants)?

The same thinking can be used to justify nuclear energy (although I think it's already more than justified)... we'll definitely figure out the storage problem in the future, right?

Why do people have infinite faith in technology for some things, but not others?

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post #97 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 06:30 AM
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+1

It's nice to think that technology will solve all the problems of electric cars in the next few years... but technology cannot always do whatever we want it to at a reasonable cost (or sometimes at any cost).

Think about it... why go to electric cars at all? Why don't we just figure out how to make gasoline synthetically, as well as figure out how to burn it absolutely cleanly (no significant greenhouse gases or pollutants)?

The same thinking can be used to justify nuclear energy (although I think it's already more than justified)... we'll definitely figure out the storage problem in the future, right?

Why do people have infinite faith in technology for some things, but not others?
Because we're closer to an electric solution than a synthetic, clean-burning gasoline solution. The electric solution is simpler and more versatile. You can't burn anything in a machine that has under 20 moving components. Every technology has its ups and downs. Nobody has infinite faith in EV technology, but there are a variety of reasons why it makes more sense to focus on it.
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post #98 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 06:51 AM
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Because we're closer to an electric solution than a synthetic, clean-burning gasoline solution.
Nope. Not even close to having a vehicle that takes <5 minutes to fully fuel/charge at a convenient, nearby location, then drive 300 miles to the next fuel/charge.

Any EVs that can compete with a Lotus on a track day? Nope, not even close. The Tesla is essentially the same chassis, but you can't even get from my house to any racetrack on a single charge, not to mention driving 4-5 1/2 hour track sessions. Even if you could, the Lotus would smoke the Tesla in lap times.

Under limited circumstances, pure EVs can compete. But right now that's very limited.

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The electric solution is simpler and more versatile. You can't burn anything in a machine that has under 20 moving components.
You've obviously never seen a model airplane engine.

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Every technology has its ups and downs. Nobody has infinite faith in EV technology, but there are a variety of reasons why it makes more sense to focus on it.
Sure, let some people focus on it. Let other people focus on other solutions. Let's see who wins in a fair competition...
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post #99 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 07:04 AM
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Nope. Not even close to having a vehicle that takes <5 minutes to fully fuel/charge at a convenient, nearby location, then drive 300 miles to the next fuel/charge.

Any EVs that can compete with a Lotus on a track day? Nope, not even close. The Tesla is essentially the same chassis, but you can't even get from my house to any racetrack on a single charge, not to mention driving 4-5 1/2 hour track sessions. Even if you could, the Lotus would smoke the Tesla in lap times.

Under limited circumstances, pure EVs can compete. But right now that's very limited.
I would offer that you'd have a much harder time competing in a nonexistent synthetic, clean-burning gasoline powered vehicle, because that vehicle is nonexistent.


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You've obviously never seen a model airplane engine.
Show me how to power my Elise with a model airplane engine and we'll be in business. Granted, my statement may have been too broad.


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Sure, let some people focus on it. Let other people focus on other solutions. Let's see who wins in a fair competition...
That's what capitalism is all about, and right now capitalism is working on EVs.
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post #100 of 108 (permalink) Old 06-17-2009, 07:44 AM
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I would offer that you'd have a much harder time competing in a nonexistent synthetic, clean-burning gasoline powered vehicle, because that vehicle is nonexistent.
Also non-existent is the EV car that recharges in 5 minutes, and has a 300 mile range. So if we're talking about partial solutions, I'll take my Exige...

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Show me how to power my Elise with a model airplane engine and we'll be in business. Granted, my statement may have been too broad.
Any battery/fuel cell/energy storage solution that competes with gasoline is likely to be every bit as complex, from generation, distribution, point of sale, and implementation to the current technology. Otherwise it would already have been implemented.

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That's what capitalism is all about, and right now capitalism is working on EVs.
Let's hope that capitalism determines the winner. With the US gov't now essentially in control of >1/2 of the US car manufacturers, I'm not convinced capitalism (and by way of extension, consumer choice) will determine the future of the automobile.
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