Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive is an evolution of the hybrid powertrain that powered the game-changing Toyota Prius. The Synergy Drive replaces a traditional geared transmission with a drive unit that includes an electronic continuously variable transmission. The system allows power to be split between the wheels and an electric generator. (Photo courtesy of Toyota)
MMorgan; So you re-wrote my 'have no love for the opil companies' to 'hate the oil companies'. You misrepresent me.
I do agree with you that these are complex issues. I disagree with your statement that the administration 'vilifies the oil companies'. The Social Security Trust Fund was squandered by the George W Bush tax cuts and unjustified war with Iraq. Social Security is not an entitlement, and is being mis-represented by the Republicans and Conservatives who spent the trust and don't want to be held responsible. The purpose of taxes is supposed to be for the common good. You may not have children in public education, but you may 'use' more of the roads. You benefit from the Police, Emergency Servies et al. even if it is only once in a couple of years that you actually use them. We both agree that the tax system is broken, but for opposite reasons = I say that if you want the services, you must pay the taxes. From your statements I think you would decline to pay an optional Emergency Services Fee, and then complain when you called 9-1-1 and were told they couldn't respond because you were not a subscriber. The original personal exemption for income taxes was supposed to allow enough money before taxes to live. I think the basic exemption should be increased. Again, from your statements I think you would want to distribute the Federal Budget of $3,800,000,000,000.00 among the 313,000,000 Americans = 12,000.00 each. How do you propose a 5-year-old child would pay their share ?
These are difficult and complex issues, and the politicians don't want to deal with them for fear of offending their voting block.
I don't know why you think it is amazing. I believe I said that it is a complex issue and a "hate the oil companies" reaction, while easy is not genuine. I notice that you discount the fact that the administration that vilifies the oil companies is pandering to an enviornmetal radical constitutancy further exacerbating and limiting the free market in favor of "green energy" which is not yet proven.
The basis of all this arguing is not what appears on the surface. Everyone is frustrated by the bad economy, by the unfairness of a tax system that favors those that do not contribute and vilify those that do. The basic fact that is that the system has been corrupted by politicians that have decreed themselves an aristocracy to the detriment of the rest of the country. The govenrment has gorged itself on our taxes, has spent your and my money to get themselves re-elected and has decided that IT can decide what is better for us than we can for ourselves. It is not the oil companies, it is not the green energy companies, it is not the poor, it is the politicians.
Look at your paycheck, look at your property taxes, look at your sales tax, look at your gasoline tax and ask yourself if these geniuses have spent these taxes to benefit us or themselves. Look at the sad condition of the "Social Security" system you have been contributing to all of your life that was, ostensibly, to be invested for your benefit. Where is it? It's been spent to purchase votes by politicians to get themselves re-elected...and it continues. Now, the monies that we have been sending to Washington for our retirement has, conveniently, been re-defined as an "entitlement" in the true Marxist tradition.
I say, that 95% of the cost of everything is a tax. We are being taxed into oblivian and those taxes are being squandered to keep a group of ploiticians in power.
If you don't recognize that and you don't react to it, you are part of the problem.
MMorgan; It is amazing that you discount the facts that I think are important, and emphasize those I discount. I don't deny a company the requirement to make a profit. I do think the oil companies have benefitted from their influence on the political system to an unfair advantage. Remember, taxes on gasoline are supposed to be road taxes - to build roads. Remember your Economics 101 about the way a Monopoly Market behaves. The Free Market and Competition is supposed to be about free markets and competition. Do your critical thinking: remember that 'facts' are often chosen and presented in the manner that is most favorable to the author's opinion. You need to look at both sides and remember whose dog is in which fight. The 'truth' usually lies somewhere between the two extremes = the closer you are to either extreme usually means you are farther from the truth.
Employees are regularly asked to take pay cuts and reduced beneifits to help the company. Then when the company recovers the executives get a BIG bonus while the employees get nothing. Remember Chrysler ? US Airways ?
Is it wealth envy to disagree with an executive who says the Union Workers must lose their pensions and benefits, but the Executives deserve theirs ? And Executive pay has increased grossly proportionately more than Worker pay has.
I think that like all business, it IS the responsibility of the CEO to act in the best interest of his stockholders,( who are in fact, the "owners" often You and I) it is s fiduciary requirement imposed upon him by the same "country" that some want him to favor to the detriment of his company. It is the same for a sole propriership or small corporation. Do you sacrifice your company for the benefit of a country lead by politicans that impose conficatory taxes on you or do you operate your company for the benefit of yourself AND the employees that work for you. You don't often have the luxury to sacrifice your profit margin to the "common good". This whole issue is complex but if a company is not viable and profitable, the there is no money to pay the employees, no money to pay the employees...no employees no help to the economy. Do we ask the employees to sacrifice and accept lower wages for the "common good" as you are asking the Oil company executive? What do you think a fair return is on the investement of the oil company, what margin should they have and what return would you accept if your 401K held Exon stock and said, oh, we'll cut our profit margin to "help' the economy...and your 401K ends up in the tank?
Remember these oil companies that the administration chooses to villify provides an enormous stream of tax revenue, the government makes more money on a gallon of gasoline that the oil company. Otherwise the government wouldn't ban the importation of the European Fords and Volkswagons that get between 60 and 78 MPG.......would they?
I think it was the CEO of Exxon, when asked what he was doing about high oil prices hurting the economy, said his duty was to maximize profits for the company, and for the stock holders - he had NO duty to his country.
Also, during the 1970's, a friend was on a tanker in International Waters off New York, anxious to get home for Christmas. The ship was being held out of port, waiting for prices to rise. When the shortage was severe enough - profit maximization - the ship was finally brought in.
And there have been numerous 'expose's' of how oil companies contest owed duties and royalties, and manipulate records. While I don't like the idea of taxation to artificially inflate gasoline prices, I do believe the oil companies artificially inflate prices = 'charge what the market will bear'. As a vertically integrated industry, with only a few companies, with the same motives, supply, costs and profits can be manipulated.
A couple of years ago gasoline prices peaked, and there was a demand for fuel efficient and hybrid vehicles. What a coincidence that prices then dropped - the oil companies had found out the prices the market would bear. The oil companies balance supply and pricing to maximize profits, but also maintain market share, and that balancing has to consider whether the alternative - EV's etc, - become a viable option.
The oil companies may not be actively slowing progress on EV's, but it is in their best interest.
One must understand that all nueclear reactions DON'T need an atomic plant to generate "Green" power or have NO carbon foot print. Indeed there are various proven, tested, and buildable ways to accomplish this today as in the past. The first consideration truly is, when will most world governments change patent regulations to allow inventors to exit the dark ages and patent what they allready can prove works? Until this comes to pass we will all suffer the preventable missuse of our planets resources and the genius of its surpressed inventors!
Ivan makes a good point, and I would almost hope that his argument gets people started on a serious discussion of nuclear plants, and why we need them. I fear Japan's problems may have permanently ended the argument to build more nuclear plants, yet there were serious issues with location and backup systems there. France hasn't had these problems, and if it's good enough for the French, it should be good enough for us, right? :)
One more advantage of the EV over the ICE vehicles is going to be maintenance. An EV will not require quite so much in the way of auxillary systems, heating, cooling exhaust and water pumps, fuel injection and so on. That means less in the way of the Oil companies investements in filling stations and repair shops.
The oil companies do have a big investment in the infrastructure. That is one reason the battery technologies have not been spread around. I think it was GM or a subsidary that held patents to technologies the Japanese manufacturers wanted but could not get.
Fuel cells are interesting but the H2 has to come from someplace.
Right now, a modern nuke plant is the cleanest and only economical way to generate Megawatt scale electricity unless you have a new river suitable for a dam project. If the charging source for your EV is a from a nuke plant that is about as good as we can get right now.
And keep in mind, much of the daily commutes is well under 100 miles. EV's are on the way to widespread usage. Not for everything or every application but it will certainly find a place. It already has and it will continue to expand market share.
By what right do you assume that "Battery technology is almost ready to give us the same range, etc."? After 100+ years, the solution is right around the corner. Where has this been demonstrated? What we have are glorified golf carts suitable for running around on little trips. Dress it however you want, it is still lipstick on a pig.
All this EV junk is so much diversion from finding a real solution. What happened to all of the hubbub about Hydrogen fuel cells? At least they had some range.
It also amazes me how many people really think the lack of progress is all because of oil companies. Oil is not only used to produce gasoline. During the Arab oil embargo of the 70s, there were many industries that suffered and prices on many consumer items shot up because of the petroleum shortage. Oil companies are just the same as any other conglomerate in that they want to make money for their stock holders. Do you really think they would turn their collective backs on the battery industry if there was a nickel to be made there? It is so much like the myth of the 300 mpg carburetor that Standard Oil held off the market in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Now both Standard and carburetors have disappeared from our automotive minds. Coincidence? I think not. No matter how ridiculous it sounds there is a conspiracy theory to fit any occurance and people gullible enough to subscribe to it.
Lantronix Inc. has expanded its line of controllers for sensor networks with the release of a rugged controller that improves management of automation systems used in a number of industries, including manufacturing, oil and gas, and chemicals.
Inspired by the hooks a parasitic worm uses to penetrate its host's intestines, the Karp Lab has invented a flexible adhesive patch covered with microneedles that adheres well to wet, soft tissues, but doesn't cause damage when removed.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is