The comment I made, perhaps too off-handedly, was if gasoline goes to $7 a gallon in the US what would the electricity costs be? It still stands. You may get a reasonable return on your EV currently, but if we are pushed into a situation where the price of gas goes to $7 a gallon fuel for powerplants will likely increase as well. At the least it is going to go up. The other hidden cost is do we need to make infrastructure improvements if many more people turn to electrics? That cost is controlled by the government now, and if they decide that there is a need for road use taxes on electrics all cost savings will go right out the window.
If you want a car that gets 55 mpg then find one but to have the government mandate that car manufacturers have to sell cars that have a combined average of 55 mpg is insane. They can't do it with any technology we now have unless we ride mopeds. Plus that will mean if they sell a 20 mpg pickup they will have to sell either one 90mpg car or a whole bunch of 60 mpg cars to compensate. Its impossible and pickup trucks will be outlawed. 55 mpg requirements would cause car manufacturers to go out of business or the price of cars doubling or tripling. In the 70's we had cars that got 40 mpg but they weighed a lot less than the current crop of cars which get heavier and have more horsepower added all the time. Opinion polls only indicate what people think is a "good idea" not what is reality.
To create electrical energy with a generator, store it in a battery, and then use that energy to drive electric motors is inherently stupid. You just add efficiency losses at each conversion step. The only thing that a hybrid car does to increase the "mileage" of a car is recapture some of the energy that is usually wasted in braking.
Further to my earlier reply, I also would look into a conversion to compressed natural gas, which we have in abundance. The limitations include availability of CNG (we have 23 stations in Utah), cost/benefit ratio, and the capability to refuel at home.
Mr. Spiegel, Thank you for your observation. I am quite aware of the slow growth of the American PV industry. As a country, we have not supported it the way the civilized world has. And even that support has come and gone depending on the politics of the moment. Some of my PV consulting clients have gone bust (and I took a beating). The cheap price of fossil fuels like natural gas ignores what economists call the Externalities--the environmental and social costs. The reductio ad absurdum of such reasoning would lead one to conclude that the cheapest way to obtain, say, a wristwatch is to mug soneone and steal it.
Until we realize that there is a public value in renewable energy along with conservation, and invest public resources to develop and deploy it (as we did railroads, aviation, highways, and conventional electric generation) we will continue to fall behind the rest of the world and do ourselves great harm in the long run.
Hey Dave, I thought Hoover came from the business world. Maybe he was an engineer before he went into business. I think the office of president is a leadership and political position that requires communication abilities over analytical abilities.
Yes, Carter was an engineer. And while Carter had his troubles, he was the first and only president who had an energy policy. That was engineering thinking, and it was smart. Unfortunately, he didn't have the political skills to sell it.
At 500Watts maximum and with pedals installed and governed to 32 kph the electric scooters are regarded as power assisted bicycles in Ontario, Canada so the only legal requirement is to wear a DOT approved helmet. It gets better. They are allowed on bike trails and since most of these in Ontario are built on disused railway corridors getting from A to B is a straight line with no traffic signals.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
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