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  • Electric Vehicle Air Pollution: Can Report Force Some Soul-Searching Before It's Too Late? [View article]
    Perhaps it is preferable to pollute the Gulf of Mexico and the like so we can continue to burn oil in our transportation vehicles so we can “save” the “valuable” lithium ion batteries for better uses than EV’s??? The only answer is stop our insane burning of fossil fuels, and EVs and PHEVs are attendant steps in that direction…
    Jun 3, 2010. 10:21 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Plug-In Vehicles Be Obsolete Before They Are Profitable? [View article]
    If the world stood still, I couldn’t agree more with your analysis. But all your assumptions on “gallons saved by HEV’s” over PHEV’s and/or EV’s assume that gasoline will always be available—at least for the near term. I am not as optimistic as you are in that assumption, given the rising instability of the world’s political/military stance. Whether we run out of oil from military intervention, terrorism, sabotage, environmental restraints, lack of refining capacity, prohibitively high prices, or simple depletion, trouble is looming on the horizon. The solution is eliminate the cause, however “painful” that course may be, because not to do so will be even worse with a huge negative impact of society as we know it today. The time to act is now, while we still appear to have time.

    While I agree that the particular chemistry of a battery defines its operating voltage, the actual performance is limited by the choice and morphology of the cathode and anode materials and their interactions with the electrolyte, confounded with charge-discharge rates, cycles, operating temperature, and etc. These are subjects for material science and engineering to solve, not immovably cast into the stone of creation. As an example of what may indeed be possible for batteries, you may find the following interesting:
    Combine something along this line with ultracapacitors charged by regenerative breaking, and the EV might just be something to make you smile while lowering your anxiety level…
    Mar 31, 2010. 09:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Plug-In Vehicles Be Obsolete Before They Are Profitable? [View article]

    I believe that PHEV’s and EV’s are indeed “baby steps” toward evolving from the fossil age. But let’s imagine what would happen to “the law of diminishing returns” when oil prices hit $200 - $300/barrel—how would you then choose to allocate scarce resources? In a world running out of oil at some unknown but certain future date, why would you arbitrarily choose to stop or limit the electric evolution of the automobile at the Prius Stage? Simply because the current $/kWh gets too expensive as you approach 100% electric drive; or because right now, with the batteries we have, we can make more cars that do part of the job rather than fewer cars that do the whole job?

    The first Canon digital camera, the EOS/DCS3, was introduced some 20 years ago. It had a resolution of 1.3MP and a cost of only $16,000! At the time you could have purchased the top-of the-line film model, the EOS 1N, for only $1,200. Imagine if the world had followed your logic and decided that the cost per pixel was too high compared to roughly $12 for a developed 36 exposure roll of film with roughly 6MP equivalent resolution per frame and no one bought digital cameras? An entire industry would never have evolved and the $2,500, 21MP Canon 5D MKII of today wouldn’t exist.

    In 1997 the first wide screen plasma TV was introduced. It was 42” wide, has a resolution 852 x 480 and had a price of merely $14,999. Some 13 years later that same technology has evolved so that you can now have that same 42” plasma with 1920 x 1080 resolution for about $700. Thankfully some people were willing and could afford to purchase that nascent technology. Did either Canon of Fujitsu make money when they ventured into new territory;
    probably not. But consumer demand, company vision, ever improving technology, and the determination to succeed are why we have these widely affordable, vastly improved products today. And I submit that the story with the EV will follow a similar path…
    Mar 31, 2010. 02:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Plug-In Vehicles: The First Great Fraud of the New Millennium [View article]
    If your number are correct, and technological advance stood still, and "Peak Oil" is a farce, then you may have a point.
    Mar 17, 2010. 12:40 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Rail Transport: Why Can't We Learn from Europeans? [View article]
    Oct 1, 2009. 10:43 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment