Where have you been in the universe? Far less than 1% of the population are calling the shots in our society! GM bought the trolly companies in LA and shut them down so people would have to buy cars forever, a small number of unelected corporate executives with enough money can make the rest of us do what they want. It's not a technical issue, it's a business decision based on the easiest path to wealth for a small number of people.
The reason Advertising is a multibillion dollar industry is because it works. An army of scientists and psycologists are working together every day to study human behavior and develop better ways to manipulate those 97% and make sure they buy the same old thing all the while pulling the green wool over our eyes with hydrogen fuel cells that never get produced (because they are not practical as nobody will ever want liguid hydrogen in any quantity trucked all over the country anyway or allwed at self serve stations). If you think you are making a choice in your best interest next time you buy a car, it is highly unlikely as that choice has been made for you by someone in the advertising industry who knopws exactly who you are!
A new car cost about one billion dollars to bring to production, and that's making the same car that we have had since the model "T". (gasoline, gearbox, piston engine). The cheapest way to get customers to pay more for the same old thing has been to sell them on the candy of more power(even though cars have had more than adequate power to legally function since the 1940's) and gadgets. The paradigm of efficency and smaller environmental foot print has never appeared on the radar of the auto execs, and thats why the 97% buy what they do.
The best thing that has happened to transportation in the last 20 years (and should have happened 20 years ago) is the new mandate for 50mpg average mileage. This might bring about the electric car at last!
I've seen this movie, and fully agree with this review. Although I am involved with converting existing cars to electric, and designing new electric cars, I was disappointed in the movie's lack of reality concerning technical difficulties. It was interesting to watch the drama of car executives, and I could relate somewhat via my own business experience. But I believe that the approach that many pro-EV people take - that the technology is ready for prime time and the only thing holding it back is a conspiracy - is hurting the industry's credibility. I do not want to win business by promising what I cannot deliver, or by shaming people. So when asked about this movie I do not recommend it as a true snapshot of the EV industry, but only as documentation of the trials and tribulations of a few high profile industry executives.
One of the problems with all these "single use" vehicles is that they cannot "cross the chasm" as the product development types like to say. You can sell a few of almost anything. These will be bought by the early adopters. These are people who have disposable wealth who will decide to try something new. Nothjing wrong with that. To make money, though, you have to cross the chasm to appeal to the general public. To do this, you need to meet a need and do it better than the current available product.
A good, relevant example of another vehicle that is not making it is the Smart Car. You would not want to drive one on the highway. On the other hand, a very small car can be great in an urban environment. Sales of these cars are down. The early adopters have them, and there is no real reason for anyone else to buy them. Frankly, in the city it is better not to have a car at all.
I saw the movie a few weeks ago (BTW, a good review of it). It was an entertaining movie. I was most impressed with Greg Abbott's business of converting classic cars to electric (at the time, he was the only one with a real product to sell). I was also impressed with the Tesla customers that were getting fleeced and still not giving up. Now that's TRUE LOVE.
It was interesting that Toyota and/or hybrids were not featured at all. I guess hybrids are not pure enough for the anti-gas crowd (even though they are the driving force behind the enabling technology for electric cars).
We want electric cars SO BAD, we want to believe they are possible, that the only reason we don't have them is some evil conspiricy. Ultimately, it becomes a religious or semantic rather than an engineering topic.
The movie I'd like to see would cover the abysmal failure of the hydrogen fuel cell nonsense and how it was sold. After a decade, hydrogen fuel cells remain a vast money pit. Sad to say, the budget that would have funded the Precept, GM's Volt predecessor, in 2001 was spent proving hydrogen fuel cells are not even close to being a transportation option.
There is an old saying, perfect is the enemy of good enough, and this pretty well sums up my view of EV technology today. IMHO, Toyota's conservative hybrid approach and expanding family puts them in the 'cat bird seat' when (or if) battery technology makes a breakthrough.
In the meanwhile, the 'Prius c' looks to be a game changer. A vehicle with a similar performance profile as the first 2001-03 Prius, it is lighter and more efficient. What is remarkable is the MSRP is about the same as the first Prius . . . a significant price-performance gain.
I have seen the movie twice and it is already "outdated"
Is #3 in the works ? It should be !!!
TESLA Roadster is no more and the would be replacement probably a vaporware.
Think!, AZD, Aptera, Bright, and more already Bankrupt
FORD Transit EV, Mistsubishi i, Wheego, SMART ED, and even Leaf and Volt sales are nowhere near the "already reserved" prior production numbers that were claimed by all just 2 years ago.
No stampede to EV retailers.
And in Europe where Fuel Cost of $9.00 per US Gallon is already a reality the EV sales are minimal.
So just like a "monster" in some cheap horror flicks the EV comes back to haunt us again and again, how many more times will it come "back" to life, before it finally turns to dust in bright sunshine ?
Due to their lack of ability to go long distance, or "there great ability to only travel short distances" I am wondering if this technology won't be used by the portion of the public that doesn't need to drive long distances. It's kind of like pick-up trucks or SUVs. Most people that have them really don't need them. Will rising gas prices drive them to buy something different? Will gas prices as some point drive a change in the market place?
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
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.