Still, experts have unanimously told Design News that plug-in hybrids have a bright future. They employ smaller batteries than pure EVs, cost less, offer more range, and could serve as a key means of meeting the federal government's corporate average fuel economy requirements.
What's more, early evaluations have been generally positive. Engineers at Consumer Reports, for example, were impressed with the quality of the Chevy Volt, and their expectations of the new Toyota Prius PHV are equally high. "The Toyota Prius plug-in is going to be just as bullet-proof as the regular Prius," David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports Auto Test Division, told Design News in March. "Toyota has the resources and they'll do it right."
To be sure, analysts predict the wait for widespread acceptance will be longer for pure electric cars. Higher battery costs and limited range will take a greater toll on those vehicles, making it more likely that their early success will be limited to niche markets and early adopters.
"The most significant application for the pure electrics is probably in urban delivery vehicles, rather than passenger cars," Cole said.
Industry analysts said that predictions of $360/kWh battery packs and one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 are optimistic. A recent Lux Research study, "Material Innovation and Cost-Cutting Strategies for Lithium-Ion Batteries," set the battery figure at $397/kWh by 2020. Similarly, Pike Research has forecast a one-third reduction in battery costs over the next five years. For bigger cuts, breakthrough technologies would have to emerge.
Cole contends that GM needs to make dramatic price cuts on the Volt before widespread success occurs. He said that GM engineers have already knocked $4,000 out of the cost, but need to take off another $15,000 to make it competitive on a large scale. As a result, it could take several more years before sales rise dramatically.
"This is a good technology, but it's premature to expect big numbers," Cole noted. "We've got a lot of work to do before this can be high volume."
For a close-up look at GM's Chevy Volt, go to the Drive for Innovation site and follow the cross-country journey of EE Life editorial director, Brian Fuller.
I am "still wrong" about what? I looked back through my posts, and I don't see that I have made any claims (other than maybe "you have a bad case of it"). You are making all the claims, I have simply challenged your assertion that some of your claims are "well known facts". I don't even see where I have said that your claims are wrong. I just don't think that characterizing your claims as "facts" is accurate.
If you said "most geologists believe that it takes 100 million years for oil to form", I wouldn't have a problem with it. You might even say that "all geologists accept as fact that...". I wouldn't believe that "all" geologists agree on it, but you could say it. To say that "all geologists know as fact" is a overreaching in two ways. One, I doubt if "all" geologists believe it, and two, they can't "know" it.
Nobody knows with certainty what happened 100 million years ago, or what takes 100 million years to happen. We can make intelligent guesses based upon what appears to have happened, but that doesn't make our best guesses facts. It is still just our best guess based upon the evidence.
I'm sorry that you either don't understand, or won't acknowledge the distinction between facts and theories.
ttemple : Your post is nonesense and does not belong in a technical society. There is no question oil requires over 100 million years to occur naturally. It is what all geologist know as a fact. I am aware there are crackpots who claim the Earth is only 6,000 years old, and that oil spontaneously oozes up from the center of the Earth, but no one here should take that seriously.
Yes, carbon 14 dating is limited, but there are lots of other proven dating techniques, so you are still wrong. Such as potassium-40 decays to argon-40; uranium-238 decays to lead-206 via other elements like radium; uranium-235 decays to lead-207; rubidium-87 decays to strontium-87, etc. Dating is fairly well understood, reliable, and has been cross referenced for validation.
And no, there is not sufficient solar energy hitting the Earth for us to power cars as we do now. Not only is it impossible to capture solar energy over water, fields, etc., but to even consider trying to capture a fraction would cause massive death and destruction. Sunlight is the source of all food chains, which we must not disrupt. Solar collectors can only put in totally barren locations, and our yields and transmission losses make that totally impractical. Solar is worth pursuing, but not for transportation. It can never produce sufficient yield.
Have you looked up how much solar energy hits the earth? You finally hit on a topic where some facts can be ascertained, and conclude that there is not enough sunlight hitting the earth. (and you are probably a "climate change" proponent???)
Here is what one site says about the amount of solar energy hitting the earth:
"With these assumptions, figuring out how much solar energy hits the entire planet is relatively simple. 12.2 trillion watt-hours converts to 12,211 gigawatt-hours, and based on 8,760 hours per year, and 197 million square miles of earth's surface (including the oceans), the earth receives about 274 million gigawatt-years of solar energy, which translates to an astonishing 8.2 million "quads" of Btu energy per year.
In case you haven't heard, a "quad Btu" refers to one quadrillion British Thermal Units of energy, a common term used by energy economists. The entire human race currently uses about 400 quads of energy (in all forms) per year. Put another way, the solar energy hitting the earth exceeds the total energy consumed by humanity by a factor of over 20,000 times."
That is from http://www.ecoworld.com/energy-fuels/how-much-solar-energy-hits-earth.html, so you would probably agree with it completely. (I don't agree with it completely, because I can spot some obvious flaws in their logic and assumptions) Nonetheless, there is thousands of times more energy hitting the earth than we could possibly use, if we figured out how to use it.
It bothers me very much that you regurgitate beliefs, speculations, and theories as fact. As for backing your dating with carbon dating, Wikipedia's article on carbon dating states that carbon dating is "good" for 58,000 to 62,000 years back. It also admits that the dating is off by 1000 years in the first 6000 years, and they extrapolate a correction factor. So, it is off by as much as 1/6 in the first 6000, and only good to 60,000. I presume they are attempting to extrapolate the same compensation out to 60,000 years, which in my estimation is potentially completely bogus. Anybody that has done much actual data collection and analysis knows what kind of trouble you get into when you attempt to extrapolate past actual data.
So, lets say carbon dating is good for 60kyears. It is apparently known to be off by at least 15% in the first 6 or 7 thousand years, and corrected by some assumptions. Then that correction is extrapolated out, etc. etc. etc. What are you doing for the next 99,940,000 years to get you to 100,000,000 years? How can you observe a process that you say takes hundreds of millions of years? You could at best watch the process for maybe 10's of years by now, if you started several decades ago. Then you would have to make a measurement and extrapolate it out for a hundred million years. Sorry, I don't buy it as "fact".
It is easy to shoot holes in many of the over 100 dating methods that have been used over the years. Naturally, there is great disagreement between many of the dating systems. There is simply no way to prove events that are stated to be 100's of millions of years old, to the point of calling them factual.
If you would frame your arguments as based upon your beliefs or assumptions I would be much more tolerant of your sermons, but you don't. If I came on this forum and tried to evangelize everyone, I would probably be thrown off. In essence, that is what you are doing. You are spewing a bunch of speculative information that you believe, and presenting it as authoritative fact, when it is not.
I am not saying that your information is for certain wrong. I am saying that the information you present can't be proven as fact, and it can't be proven to not be fact. Thus, it shouldn't be presented as fact. It is probably more accurately described as dogma.
If I had your belief system, and wanted to sound credible, I would preface my statements with some background, such as "I believe that ....,", or "Some scientists theorize....". Then I wouldn't have a problem with anything you are saying.
It is important to consider the actual source of energy when discussing "alternative fuels". With oil, that is not really the source but the concentrated carrier media. It is really hundreds of millions of year of condensed solar fusion energy. Bio fuels are the same source, only not as concentrated or from such a long period of time, so therefore we know there is just not enough sunlight hitting the earth for us to be able to achieve sufficient quantity. Coal and nuclear are also actually ancient fusion artifacts, but could give us many centuries more, if only we have the right tranportable media. Batteries seem the best way to do that, since only compressed hydrogen seems even close.
Yes, I do think it comes down to the cost of oil. The cost will make usage prohibitive long before supplies run out. There will be a lot of dollars to be made from alternative fuels in coming years, so we can probably expect some serious developments of alternatives that are more than just efforts from those on the environmental side.
ttemple : I don't understand your post. The science of how oil formed, how to find it, when the plants grew, how long the process takes, is all well proven and established fact. There is no room for doubt. Not only can we carbon date, but we find fossil evidence as well, that establishes exactly when the plants were alive. That is the whole point. The oil was living plants at one time. It is very easy to date.
We know there will not be more really large unexpected discoveries, because we know the ancient swamps we are looking for. We know most of the world can not possibly have any. And the untapped ones are anticipated, but just were not economically accessible in the past, such as the deep water well. I is not like looking for gold, that could be just about anywhere. We can tell where the swamps used to be.
There is nothing about the carbon cycle that will help use with energy. The only thing the knowing more about the carbon cycle will do is allow us to better understand why global warming seems to have slowed down.
I have a problem calling something so likely to be inaccurate (100 million years to make oil) "a well established fact".
I don't care how much evidence points to some theory about what happened to seaweed 300 million years ago, there will always be plenty of room for doubt, just by the nature of the timespan.
I respect that you believe the theoriesyou are presenting, but that doesn't make them factual. I think that allowing "well established theories" to migrate to "facts" is becoming a real problem with "science", especially when legislation results from it.
The past history of oil discovery should not be considered an absolute predictor of future discoveries either. Look at the past rises and falls in the chart you referenced. I acknowledge an apparent downward trend in new discoveries, but it is not possible to state with certainty that there will not be major discoveries in the future.
I will also posit that there could be a lot about the carbon cycle that we don't yet understand, that could change the eventual outcome of of man's battle with "fossil" fuels.
Tesla Motors plans to roll out a “compelling, affordable electric car” that will sell for about half the price of its high-profile Model S by the end of 2016, company chairman Elon Musk said last week.
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 radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.