tluxon wrote: "Yeah, I get that - but who's already decided that consumers wouldn't pay another $10k to double their range? Nobody asked me, and I know a lot of people who think the way I do on this subject and none of them have been asked, either."
But Tesla already does do that:
40 KWh --> ^49,900
60 KWh --> ^59,900
85 KWh --> ^69,900
Not exactly double, but they got the $10K part right.
New generations of solar batteries do not need sunshine, just light. I assume that you know how much it costs to build a nuclear reactor, how many years it takes and whet kind of pollution we are talking about. Every coin has too sides. One side is greed and the other innovation and engenuity. Yes, it is up to us what we choose.I have friends in Florida who installed Heathkit solar (monocrystaline at that time)batteries on their roof more than 20 years ago.Panels paid for themselves tenfold , especially running 1kW pool motor for all these years.Now they will be replacing them with the new panels and they have not bought ANY power from a power company EVER. There is a fault in many solar calculations.I have seen not only homes, but villages ran by solar energy.There is also a point of view. You heard probably about some Arabic countries installing solar on a dessert. Whet else can you put there? Reactor?
On a top of it all nuclear energy is VERY expensive until it amortizes a cost of a plant and WE pay for all that.
However we see it....we need to look into a future for our kids and installing a whole bunch of nuclear super-bombs as power plants may not be a preferred source for THEM.
Comming back to cars , it is time to change that 100 year old combustion stinky and oil covered monster with something that refers better to 21st century.It's time!
Just a thought on the space borne items. What real alternatives to solar are there in space? No gas stations, no wind, a nuke plant is big and heavy. Keep in mind the lack of atmosphere should result in greater efficiency for solar.
One problem with solar is that there is a strict limit to the power potential, the sun only radiates a certain maximum energy over a given square area-even at 100% efficiency the farms with have to be enormous to do the job.
On earth the source of energy has to be competitive financially or it will fail. Solar makes sense financially in space, so far on earth it does not.
The europeans are finding in energy, as with many of their financial decisions, they can't afford to keep going the direction they have been. Nor can we.
"But right now, we have a rather strange situation in which the general population is subsidizing car purchases for the wealthy."-Ah, the irony. Well noted Charles.
I am increasingly of the opinion that if a "commercial" enterprise "needs" govt help then it is ipso facto a bad idea. Private captital will take a risk on some amazingly long shots, if nobody will touch it there is probably a very good reason.
@Chuck: I guess it's next to impossible to not make that comparison hence a likely source of on-going frustration. Casting a critical eye is always good for ensuring innovation stays on track and of course, for spurring more R&D activity and manpower to solve a problem. But too much frustration and too much nay-saying can cause real damage to a market-making technology, especially one that appears to struggling to get to the next level.
Thanks, Kevin. Unfortunately, you're exactly right about the incomes of those who are are getting the subsidies right now. GM has admitted that the average Volt buyer has an annual income of $170,000+ and Deloitte Consulting has said that EV buyers in general have annual incomes of $200,000+. I understand the logic -- they will bring the price down for the rest of us through economies of scale. But right now, we have a rather strange situation in which the general population is subsidizing car purchases for the wealthy.
Really good point, jhess169. Over the past century, engineers have made it seem that anything can be accomplished with sufficient money and desire. The computer industry is the best example of all -- it makes us think that all technology improves at a torrid pace. Unfortunately, that's not always true. In the 1970s, President Nixon thought the same thing regarding the battle against cancer, but we're still fighting that one.
Beth, you've hit the nail on the head. The conspiracy theories are an extension of frustration. And, yes, I'm optimistic that better batteries will be developed. The question is, how much better? If we're waiting for a battery that's on an energy par with gasoline, it's going to be a long, long wait. As long as we keep comparing our electric vehicles to gas-burning cars, that sense of frustration will always be there.
The company that appears to be farthest along with the "quick change battery pack" is BETTER PLACE. They have a large contract to install "Switch Stations" in Israel for a fleet of EV's. see: www.betterplace.com/the-solution-switch-stations
Regarding the source of USA Govt. "conspiracy" promoting EV's...there are several very influential lobbies that are pushing to promote EV's: The COAL industry, the ELECTRIC POWER industry, the LITHIUM consortium, etc. For the oil companies, it is a more complex situation - while EV's will reduce petroleum usage, they increase Natural Gas use (in power plants) and that is a new wave of plentiful resource from the "oil" companies (due to FRACKING).
However, if one takes the longer view...it is important to get off of ALL FOSSIL FUELS, not just shift from OIL to COAL + NG.
As energy efficiency becomes more and more a concern for makers of electronics devices, researchers are coming up with new ways to harvest energy from sound vibration, footsteps, and even electromagnetic fields in the air.
The government wants to study your brain, and DARPA wants to use similar information to give robots true autonomy beyond any artificial intelligence developed to date. Sound like science fiction? It's not.
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