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Looking forward to the future June 10, 2009

Posted by truthspew in Uncategorized.

So I spoke to my father this past weekend and we got on the topic of what it’s going to take for us to mover forward with regard to transportation, more specifically personal transportation.

He seems to believe that there are $1,000 hydrogen conversion kits for cars. I explained that I don’t think hydrogen is the solution and here is why.

There are only two known ways of getting hydrogen today, both energy intensive which means more energy in than we get out. If you look at ethanol you’ll see the same problem, it takes a lot of energy just to get it into a form that can be burned.

Anyhow the two ways of obtaining hydrogen are in the oil cracking process, and by hydrolyzing water. They both suffer the same flaws as ethanol.

Instead I think electric vehicles are the way to go. My father seems to put up barriers when it comes to electric vehicles. On the other hand I’m a true believer.

Think about it for a moment, an electric motor is up in the 90%+ efficiency range at converting electricity to mechanical energy and they do so with constant torque. And as the White Zombie conversion shows, an electric vehicle will leave any internal combustion powered vehicle in the dust. I can see the drag racing world heading in that direction now. Imagine coupling an engine to a generator instead of mechanically linking it to the drive wheels. Then put the electric motors out at the drive wheels. You’d never catch it.

My fathers other argument is where do you charge electric cars? Tesla has already proven you can build a passenger vehicle that has insane top end speeds, with ranges of 300+ miles and recharge times of about 30 minutes at 4.5kWh.

My father seems to think building infrastructure would be expensive. I say he’s wrong. What’s the one place that everyone goes to on a fairly regular basis? The supermarket. And what do supermarket parking lots already have? Light poles with underground conduits. So work a system where you install charging outlets in the ground and on the poles you’d have a little bar code scanner that scans your card and charges you for the electricity used.

Remember what I said earlier, 4.5kWh to fully charge. At $0.16 per kWh (What we pay National Grid, oh how I want serious regulation on energy again!) it’d cost $0.72 to charge your vehicle. With a range of 300 miles you’re talking 2.5 thousandths of a cent per mile. So lets say they nicked you $10 to charge your car, even then it comes to $0.033 cents per mile.

Now lets assume a car that gets 37MPG and has a 10 gallon gas tank. Right now gasoline is $2.55 a gallon. So it’s $25.50 to fill up and you’ll get 370 miles per tank in ideal conditions. That works out to about $0.07 cents per mile. About 2 and a quarter times more expensive than the hiked up electric rates.



1. Onanite - June 10, 2009

I think electric is the way to go also. Your idea of the supermarkets is outstanding.

2. Mark in DE - June 11, 2009

I agree with you 100%. Everywhere we go already has electricity, so recharging at those locations shouldn’t be hard to get set up.

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