Looks like Nissan Leaf owners don't like the range they're getting from these expensive battery-powered cars. Not only does this make no economic sense, little environmental sense (given the trade-offs), but it's becoming clearer that it makes no practical sense to drive an electric car.
Natural gas is a very good choice, since not only is the technology fairly mature and the hardware quite available, but also because there is a lot of natural gas available. We export natural gas, in fact.
The logistics of refueling would be a bit more complex, since those folks who can't work a gas pump properly would never be able to figure out the CNG connection, but gas fueled cars would be a good way to go. Couple them with a good start-stop engine control system and fuel consumption would drop a lot. Plus, the emissions would be reduced.
Of course, pumping up your tank at home could also be possible, with the right compressor, but those do cost a bit. Some folks might get upset about having a tank of pressurized gas in the car, but it should not be much of a hazard. It would probably be safer than the gasoline tanks because they would b smaller and much stronger. The challenge would be collecting our huge road taxes on gas pumped at home, since it is also used for heating.
Public tranportation makes a lot of sense in some large urban areas, William K, but certainly not all. And probably not in a lot of suburban and rural areas. There's nothing worse than standing on a corner in January, waiting for a bus to show up. As in your case, it doesn't work for everyone.
Yes, it will be interesting to see what happens with the development a natural gas, Bobjengr. We have a number of busses where I love that are powered by natural gas. I understand it burns cleaner than oil, not sure by how much on a mile-by-mile comparison.
Yes, things are changing, Chuck. However things change, there will still be increasing pressure for efficiency and alternative sources of energy. It seems these pressures are spurring a good deal of technological development.
Good thoughts. For those of us that typically travel less than 25 miles a day to and from work - a bicycle or a motorcycle would be a first response to high gas prices. Heck I might even carpool which automatically halves the passenger mile per gallon cost. Save the gas guzzler for long weekend trips.
Rob--I certainly agree. I feel that natural gas will be the fuel of the future relative to automobiles. I know there are issues, maybe huge issues, with infrastructure but I think those can be and will be worked out when the buying public realizes that petroleum-based products reach a certain cost level. Natural gas is one of the most abundant resources we have and it's only a matter of time before its sustained application becomes a fact. The changes needed to hardware when using natural gas are minimal compared to the initial cost of EVs and even hybrids. Right now, the cost to replace an EV battery is a small fortune. The buying public knows this and it's one reason their popularity has become stagnant.
That's interesting Chuck. Domestic oil production covers 58% of our oil now, and that is expected to increase. Add the vast amounts of domestic natural gas coming onto the market, and we're actually headed for energy independence. That was unimaginable just five years ago.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.