You told all the problems with BATTERY TECH. yOU WANT national energy policy. Could you please specify it with solutions rather than magnifying the problesm?
Need solutions for the problem, not problem to the problem.
Hi Brian -- Max here -- I certainly hope you are going to stop by my stomping ground here in Huntsville when you are on the Alabama part of your trek.
First of all Huntsville is an oasis of high technology ("more rocket scientists per square foot than anywhere else in the world," or so I've been told). But more importantly I'm here and I'm sure that you owe me a beer :-)
The Pacific Northwest would likely be a better fit for electric or plug-in hybrid cars. We have mild weather so heater and AC won't get over worked. Most commutes are on the order of 25 miles or less each way.
We also have too much electricity because of all of the wind farms being built in central Oregon. The turbines are government subsidized and proliferating like wildfire. There isn't enough transmission capacity to get the power down to California where it's needed more, so when the rivers are up, the wind turbines often have to shut down to allow the hydro generating capacity to regulate the rivers.
Too much green electricity... Go figure.
Let's see... we burn coal or natural gas, or deal with nuclear waste, in order to boil water to make steam, to turn a turbine, to produce electricity, which is distributed through lossy conductors, and stored in a battery, with some efficiency. To make the battery, we mine lithium and nickel, and other heavy metals, using fuel to extract them. And we transport them using fuel to a site where they are fabricated using fuel into the form of a battery. From whence they are further transported using fuel, to the place where cars are assembled. THEN they are further transported using fuel, to the place where cars are sold, in order that we might enjoy being able to move about the planet ... efficiently? At $.20/kwh, given all of the inefficiencies in this system... which is less expensive, electricity or gasoline?
OH...I forgot the cost of extracting and transporting that coal, too. Which is why natural gas is the favored fuel for 'peaking plants' in the electric industry.
And PV solar electric is not the answer. It costs 4-5 times as much as fossil generated electric, and that's WITH government subsidies. Without, it's much higher.
We need a national energy policy based on life cycle environmental impact and costing, and not on political polls.