One hundred years of oil is just ONE lifetime. Your child born today will likely see the end of available oil.
Then with the exponential growth of population along with more countries entering that growth curve, that hundred years of oil won't lat that long.
It's time to panic and work hard on renewable energy sources now.
Heh heh, he says as he looks out on a cold and cloudy day.
I'm all in favor of workable ideas. For example, gasification of coal, which is then reformed into H2 on board and runs a fuel cell car. Even better, natural gas, reformed into H2 on board and running a fuel cell.
Storing H2 is not very practical. It has a way of depleting itself from high pressure tanks at least as fast as a battery runs low, and in ANY EVENT, making H2 in practice is also not a "carbon free" process. Not unless you use only hydroelectric, solar, or wind power and electrolysis. But to get the volume production, H2 in practice is extracted from reformers.
I'm amazed at how many people think that in order to stop using foreign oil, we must go to battery electrics. There are far better ways.
No-one has mentioned Solar power - use solar to charge EVs while they're sitting in your work's parking lot all day. As Solar PV gets more efficient this will become more of a possibility, though at the moment it can only partly contribute to gas saving.
We have enough oil and gas in this country to last over a hundred years, provided we have the political will to use it. Obsessing over the air quality of today is ridiculous - it has never been cleaner - look at the 1940s, 50s and 60s for comparison. Trying to force using electric cars long before they are ready is a waste of effort and money. The current solutions are simply not worth it. This freakish concern about hydrocarbons is scary - the hydrogen-carbon molecular bond is the marker of life. Check inside your own body - we are full of the stuff.
I, too, am for natural gas cars. I would prefer hydrogen fuel cell car (hopefully long-term that's where we are going). I'll even take the hydrogen from natural gas since there is an infrastructure in place (even though the carbon footprint is not 0). However, the all-electric platform still needs perfecting and the Volt/Leaf for example, are starting places. Get my H2 fuel cell, toss the 500kg of batteries and now we're getting somewhere. Until then, I have my Volt.
jmsthurber, in response to your point:
1.Regen braking uses the electric motor to capture the breaking energy and stores it in the battery. It doesn't offer much to a non-hybrid car.
2. Start/stop was first introduced by VW with the Rabbit decades ago. It wasn't popular because starting was sometimes rough, which makes stop and go driving painful. With a hybrid, the car can run off electricity while the engine is starting up, so the roughneess is hidden.
4. The whole point of this article is that hybrids can pay for themselves in some situations. It doesn't even bring up the ecological aspect.
5. In California, I think coal is down to a few% of electricity sources (less than wind!) and dropping. In any case, I'm all for natural gas cars. Where are they?!!
In response to your points:
1) Regen braking is not unique to plugin vehicles such as your Volt.
2) Idle energy saving is also available with start/stop technology on an ICE vehicle at far lower cost.
3) Congratulations on getting a kick out of your car. I personally get a kick out of white water kayaking. I just don't expect anybody to subsidize it for me because it uses less energy than water skiing.
4) You are correct on this point.
5) The reason that we use less coal to generate electricity now is because of the emergence of cheap natural gas. It would be less expensive, simpler, and at least as environmentally benign to run your vehicle on natural gas directly than to use the natural gas to generate electrity, transmit the electricity to a charging point, and then store the electricity on heavy and expensive batteries that must be lugged around with the vehicle.
Sorry dude.... You are stretching the truth to its breaking point...
You're totally ignoring the fact that EV's are 1/3 more efficient than ICE's and that electricity from the power plant is made "in bulk", and that most charging is after hours, when less coal is burned to make electricity and that in many states (especially out west), very little of the electricity actually comes from coal. In California, where the bulk of EV's are purchased, less than 10% of the electricity comes from coal.
Plus... EV's will only get cleaner over time..... As we continue to replace coal power plants with CNG (and alternatives like wind solar geothermal, nuclear etc.) , and as we continue to develop clean coal production methods, the pollution for all EV's continues to go down. A cleanup effort at one power plant can reduce the pollution of thousands of EV's that are already on the road.
But. Like I said. Pollution is only one issue..... Foreign oil dependency is also a big issue, and its not even a discussion as to whether EV's use less foreign oil. EV's use 0.0% foreign oil as all the electricity is made from domestic energy sources....
I own a Chevy Volt. Many issues to address. 1)regen braking saves much energy.
2) idle energy saving.
3) my performance is very good with a 140HP electric motor. A kick to drive!
4) the vehicle will -never- pay for itself in saved gasoline/maintenance. Period.
5) 50% percent coal is also 50% other things. and the us is now down to 35% coal...
Very true. This article is specifically discussing the financial payback aspect only and the types of alt vehicles and driving applications that might have financial payback. The article does note that there are several other attributes affecting choice and benefits.