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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:46 am
 


<strong>Written By:</strong> no1important
<strong>Date:</strong> 2006-08-09 09:46:22
<a href="/article/4622838-a-environmentally-friendly-vehicle-solutions">Article Link</a>

Right now we have the technology to have 50%+ of all new vehicles to be sold in Canada to be electric by 2010 but there is no political will to do that until we get a political party in office that is not Conservative or Liberal.

All the Feds would have to do is a pass some legislation, give people or companies that want to produce electric vehicles some start-up cash and tax breaks to start producing electric vehicles [b]or[/b] Pass some legislation that makes all auto makers who wish to sell their vehicles in Canada to produce 50% (and increase it yearly so that by 2020 all vehicles sold in Canada are environmentally friendly) environmentally friendly vehicles. If necessary give them a few tax breaks and cash if needed to set up proper manufacturing plants to produce these vehicles. Provincial governments could also offer incentives so some of those plants can be built in their province and add a few more jobs.

Sure, auto makers would bitch and whine at first, but they would eventually comply; and if they did not, well, they can't sell their internal combustible vehicles in Canada.

Yes the Internal combustible engine may be the very short term vehicle they need to sell but the Internal Combustible motor is starting to become a "Dodo" as more people start demanding more environmentally friendly vehicles and the technology becomes available to mass produce these vehicles.

Electric, Hybrid, solar power etc are the vehicles of the future and Auto Companies should start planning for this. The future is coming quicker than the Auto Makers and Politicians Realise.

<a href="http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/motoring/2003175527_tesla04.html">http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/motoring/2003175527_tesla04.html</a>

<a href="http://blog.wired.com/teslacar/">http://blog.wired.com/teslacar/</a>

<a href="http://www.teslamotors.com/index.php?js_enabled=1">http://www.teslamotors.com/index.php?js_enabled=1</a>







[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on August 10, 2006]


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:26 pm
 


At present BC Hydro has announced a multi million dollar investment to accomodate BCs demand for electricity. They will be creating several powerplants that will run off everything from Hydro to Coal. Not long ago the same company was selling excess power to the south. How much further will they have to go to accomodate even a bigger demand. Vancouver Island alone, cannot meet the demand and electrical power is being sent from Washington State.

The batteries alone will impose a burden on the ecosystem. Not only the fact they have to be made but recycled as well. The cost of running an EV will depend on the price of those batteries and also the cost of recharging them. There are many EVs on the market now but few sales. The distance traveled on a charge will not accomodate most. The demand for Micro-cars will end as soon as people adjust to the price of gasoline. History verifys that.
PROPANE sells for 64¢ a liter in my neck of the woods. Should more vehicles convert to that, the price would rise remarkably. Few convert to this less polluting fuel because of the initial cost of conversion and again, the limited range. Supply & demand will always cost more pending on the popularity.

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Expect little from life and get more from it.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:45 pm
 


While the Tesla car may be “shockingly fun” it has nothing to do with Tesla and is basically a large battery powered dinky toy. Unfortunately I can’t help but think; Who Cares! While this car would reduce emissions and running costs, it certainly is no real source of power and will do nothing to alleviate energy demands.

If we had pursued Tesla’s research, we would almost certainly not be using the internal combustion engine today. Tesla was an unparalleled genius who was so far ahead of his time that his ideas are being used today in projects like HARP,unfortunately.

All these people have done is make an extremely large lithium ion battery. Yawn ….


Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 8:53 am
 


The problem with a good paradym is, it must co-exist with current ideas. For an electric car to have any chance at success, it must be able to use existing infrastructure as much as possible. Roads, power systems, etc. So, any electric vehicle has to be a battery on wheels. But they don't have to be plain-jane wheels, they can be designed by a former Lotus body stylist.

Charging several thousand LiIon batteries is not an easy feat. I'd like to see the charging system. Besides, don't blame us because Tesla was a genius, blame Edison for being a credit hogging bastard ;)

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"I think it's important to always carry enough technology to restart civilization, should it be necessary." Mark Tilden



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:11 am
 


“So, any electric vehicle has to be a battery on wheels.”

While I don’t take issue with most of your points, I think that it is misleading to suggest that existing technologies can sustain our increasing power requirements. At best they will cover increases over and above what we are using now, without really making a dent in core energy use. The technologies I’m referring to are, wind, solar and bio-fuels.

The next breakthrough will no doubt be something that is not on the radar right now. One example in the past was the transistor. Transistors or solid state technology changed everything, creating for example the computer revolution. Transistors hadn’t been thought of and had massive initial failure rates before they were perfected.

Cold fusion, orgone energy, zero point energy, radionics, to name a few, have all been verified by researchers all over the world. Cold fusion’s most well known supporter may be Arthur C. Clark. But the late Eugene Mallove, Tom Bearden and our own Dr.Paulo Correa and Alexandra Correa represent some of the front line research in this area. If we took the tax breaks we give to the fossil fuel industry and placed it into developing these devices, energy shortages would be history forever. (The US Navy is very interested in cold fusion.) These power sources can be adapted to run a vehicle or just about anything.

From a 1998 essay by Arthur C. Clark at Infinite-Energy.com”

“In this wide-ranging composition, Clarke makes his position very clear. He politely calls the treatment of cold fusion "perhaps one of the greatest scandals in the history of science." By implication, he criticizes the well-known negative position of Science magazine on this topic. It will be interesting to see whether even the mighty Sir Arthur can cause a re-assessment of cold fusion at Science.”


One of my first questions about the electric car concerned the charging system as well. I’d like to see the specs on that system. If it could be charged with solar power that would be great, although the size of the solar array to charge something like that might be a little scary. Maybe those new solar cells developed in S. Africa will help in areas like this in the future.

Ah, the Tesla vs Edison debate. I would have loved to have seen some of Tesla’s public demonstrations.

Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:54 pm
 


I agree with your points too, but . .

"The technologies I’m referring to are, wind, solar and bio-fuels."

I'm a big fan of 'Safer' Nuclear Reactors (I know, I know!)- Pebble Bed, Candu and Breeder. There's a thread in the forumns on it, as well as other green technologies such as Bio-fuel/Alcohol from a special annual sweet grass, and direct Corn Alcohol -> Hydrogen fuell cells. Again, any change in paradyme must fit current infrastructure. We have the electrical tranmission capabilities already, we just need new ways to generate safer power, without waiting for the 'next big thing'. It will come, but I tend to think 'what technology do we have now that we aren't exploiting enough'.

"I’d like to see the specs on that system. If it could be charged with solar power that would be great,"

It wasn't the source of the power I was intrested in. It was the complexity of charging a few thousand cells. Lithium Ion and Lithium Polymer cells are difficult to charge. The require a steady current/temperature environment and have to be monitored closely or they tend to explode violently. There are microprocessors designed to do this very thing (every cell phone or laptop has one), but to ramp up to several thousand, as a computer engineer, interests me greatly.

---
"I think it's important to always carry enough technology to restart civilization, should it be necessary." Mark Tilden



Take the Kama Sutra. How many people died from the Kama Sutra as opposed to the Bible? - Frank Zappa


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:43 pm
 


We’ll have to agree to differ Dr. Caleb. Nuclear energy can hardly be regarded as clean. While it’s running it may be regarded as clean, but waste is a huge problem. Its efficiency isn’t that great when all costs are factored into the whole process. As well, there is a limited amount of uranium on the planet, if uranium is used. I’m sorry but bio-fuels cannot be regarded as any kind of serious energy source, especially corn alcohol. Cultivating corn is an energy intensive process requiring fossil fuels at every stage. Refining corn into alcohol requires even more fossil fuel injection. Surely you can’t seriously believe that corn alcohol will solve anything for an energy giant like the US, maybe Brazil, but not the energy hogs of the world.<br />
<br />
We don’t have to wait for the next big thing. This is a common misconception. The research has been done in many areas. Development is what is required. A nuclear reactor takes years and billions of dollars to bring on line. In that time technologies like the MEG (Motionless Electromagnetic Generator) could power my house. (See Tom Bearden’s website <a href="http://www.cheniere.org">http://www.cheniere.org</a>) Eugene Mallove has a great essay explaining that all it would take is ten million dollars to get this off a running. Unfortunately I can’t find it right now. This area of research is huge and totally ignored.<br />
<br />
Anything that generates electricity will work in our current infrastructure, so that is a non issue since these technologies produce electricity. <br />
<br />
“It wasn't the source of the power I was intrested in. It was the complexity of charging a few thousand cells.” <br />
<br />
I’m curious as to how much power is required per charge.<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
Mike<br />
Winnipeg<br />


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 4:37 pm
 


"Nuclear energy can hardly be regarded as clean. While it’s running it may be regarded as clean, but waste is a huge problem. Its efficiency isn’t that great when all costs are factored into the whole process."<br />
<br />
You should search Vive for 'Breeder Reactor'. I've posted on it before.<br />
<br />
"As well, there is a limited amount of uranium on the planet, if uranium is used." <br />
<br />
Almost every part of the planet contains some trace of uranium. But, hopefully, emerging technologies would supercede fission long before then.<br />
<br />
"I’m sorry but bio-fuels cannot be regarded as any kind of serious energy source, especially corn alcohol."<br />
<br />
No, seriously, look here:<br />
<br />
<a href="http://www.vivelecanada.ca/forum/index.php?forum=22">http://www.vivelecanada.ca/forum/index.php?forum=22</a><br />
<br />
Excluding stuff by 'Rabblewatch', you'll find some great stuff. <br />
<br />
"Cultivating corn is an energy intensive process requiring fossil fuels at every stage."<br />
<br />
Yes, but it's still a net energy gain. And if the corn is harvested by machinery converted to bio-fuel . . .<br />
<br />
"Refining corn into alcohol requires even more fossil fuel injection. Surely you can’t seriously believe that corn alcohol will solve anything for an energy giant like the US, maybe Brazil, but not the energy hogs of the world."<br />
<br />
Again, search Vive. I have posted links that show unrefined corn alcohol can be catalyzed and produces hydrogen usable in fuel cells. And, no, I'm not really concerned with the energy needs of the US. Just ours. <p>---<br>"I think it's important to always carry enough technology to restart civilization, should it be necessary." Mark Tilden<br />



Take the Kama Sutra. How many people died from the Kama Sutra as opposed to the Bible? - Frank Zappa


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:29 am
 


Dr. Caleb
I have to admit the waste issue with Breeder Reactors certainly sounds impressive compared to other nuclear reactors. Considering the half life alone, these should be the only reactors considered if we are forced to use nuclear energy.

As for ethanol production from corn I remain an opponent. This portion of an article from the “From the Wilderness” website sums up my opinion.

“A Few Brief Words about Ethanol (by Dale Allen Pfeiffer)
There has been a lot of talk about ethanol recently. Many are touting ethanol as a clean energy alternative, others hold it up as a way to augment and extend oil supplies. Congress is debating laws requiring ethanol to be mixed with gasoline for automobile consumption. Those who extol ethanol fail to look at the energy costs of production, what certain energy analysts call the EROEI (Energy Return on Energy Invested).
Simply put, it takes more energy to produce ethanol than is produced by the combustion of ethanol. According to Cornell professor David Pimentel, an acre of corn ultimately yields 328 gallons of ethanol. This quantity of corn requires 1,000 gallons of fossil fuels to plant, grow and harvest, and costs $347 per acre. This means the corn feedstock costs $1.05 per gallon of ethanol before it is even converted into ethanol. Additional energy costs accrue in distilling the ethanol. Adding it all up, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make 1 gallon of ethanol, with an energy value of only 77,000 BTUs. This results in an EROEI of roughly 59 percent. That is a 41 percent loss of energy, according the UniSci science daily news website.
If all of the automobiles in the U.S. ran on 100 percent ethanol, 97 percent of continental U.S. land would be required to grow the feedstock. Forget about feeding people, let alone housing them.
Increased ethanol production can only be maintained through increased tax dollar subsidies. And the competition for ethanol feedstock will inflate the price of corn. Any possible benefits in air quality will be more than offset by the petroleum required to grow and process the corn. Likewise, the added petroleum demand for producing ethanol will contribute to rising oil imports and further diminish world oil supplies. Finally, as the price of oil goes up, the subsidy for ethanol must go up as a multiple.
Ultimately, the only ones who benefit from ethanol production are the agribusiness industries. This is foolishness in the extreme.”

One of my interests is the history of science. The number of lost opportunities over the course of the twentieth century in the power generation field is pretty sad and almost completely overlooked.

We seem to agree that time is of the essence. A combination of all the options may be the best approach while a truly efficient and elegant source of energy is developed.

I’m not all that concerned with US energy needs either but when the elephant sneezes ......


Mike
Winnipeg


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:02 am
 


"As for ethanol production from corn I remain an opponent. This portion of an article from the “From the Wilderness” website sums up my opinion."<br />
<br />
I know, many go by this article as the source of their opinion. No problem. But I consider things like "Simply put, it takes more energy to produce ethanol than is produced by the combustion of ethanol." and "This quantity of corn requires 1,000 gallons of fossil fuels to plant. . . costs $347 per acre. . . corn feedstock costs $1.05 per gallon . . . Adding it all up, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make 1 gallon of ethanol. . results in an EROEI of roughly 59 percent. That is a 41 percent loss of energy, according the UniSci science daily news website." as simply bad math. Figures like this always assume the Earth is a closed system, when in fact, we have a really big ball of hydrogen in the sky providing all sorts of energy - it's just up to us to store it. Plants are one method of storage. And that article has been debunked on other sites.<br />
<br />
I've read other articles that show that the total land needed would be less than 100 square miles for corn. Slightly more for switchgrass. <br />
<br />
"Happily, in addition to starch-based feedstocks, ethanol can be produced from "cellulosic" feedstocks, including biomass wastes, fast-growing hays like switchgrass, and short-rotation woody crops like poplar. While not cost-competitive today, already observed advances in technology lead us to believe that in the next few years, ethanol made from these crops will become cost-competitive, won't compete with food for cropland, and will have a sizeable positive energy balance. Indeed, because these crops are expected to have big biomass yields (~10-15 dry tons/acre, up from the current ~5 dry tons/acre), much less land will be required than conventionally thought. Further, cellulosic ethanol will typically have twice the ethanol yield of corn-based ethanol, at lower capital cost, with far better net energy yield."<br />
<br />
<a href="http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=38601">http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=38601</a><br />
<br />
<p>---<br>"I think it's important to always carry enough technology to restart civilization, should it be necessary." Mark Tilden<br />



Take the Kama Sutra. How many people died from the Kama Sutra as opposed to the Bible? - Frank Zappa


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:15 pm
 


Again we’ll have to agree to differ on this one. (Where corn is concerned. Agricultural waste products are another story.)

That was one of many articles I’ve read concerning ethanol from corn. Not all studies I’ve read state that more energy goes in than comes out, but the main point is that too much energy is required. From my point of view it is self defeating. (Unless you are Brazil) Other studies state figures like 3 BTUs of energy input for 4 BTUs out. Nothing in the article you linked to debunks anything from the Dale Allen Pfeiffer article concerning corn. The closest they come is the following:

“So, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, for every one unit of energy available at the fuel pump, 1.23 units of fossil energy are used to produce gasoline, 0.74 of fossil energy are used to produce corn-based ethanol, and only 0.2 units of fossil energy are used to produce cellulosic ethanol.”

I suppose someone has to sit down and compare all the studies.


While I have great respect for the work of the Rocky Mountain Institute I find the following statement from the article to be so speculative as to border on wishful thinking. (Their efficient buildings and land use scenarios, etc should be government policy. The book Natural Capitalism by the Lovins’s and Harkin is chalk full of ideas, although I think they are a little too optimistic about hydrogen)

“Using biofuels instead of gasoline to power our cars has the potential to displace 3.7 million barrels per day of crude oil-that's a fifth of our forecasted consumption in 2025, after more efficient use. In fact, an 85/15 percent blend of ethanol/gasoline in the tank of RMI's designed 66-mpg SUV would result in the vehicle getting ~320 mpg per gallon of fossil fuel burned (because the majority of fuel burned is ethanol).”

They are really going out on a limb here. I know they are assuming more efficient use but they are also assuming that there will be 14.8 million barrels a day available for the US. I think we will be living in a different world by 2025.

As to land use, on my last car trip to Minneapolis corn was being grown everywhere on the way down, not on marginal land at all.

The main point is that these solutions require a high energy input. As the cost of fossil fuels increase then this picture gets worse. We have to do better. Again a combination of several technologies is the most likely scenario for the future.

As for the battery powered car, I have no problem with the car itself, it would be great to have a battery powered vehicle, but it is no panacea to our energy needs.

Mike
Winnipeg


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