I doubt if there will every be any kind of electrical storage unit that comes close to the engergy per pound contained in fossile fuels. That will always translate into short range, weak vehicles which will put the beautiful mountains and forests of the West out of reach. I think electricity is fine for powering golf carts, wheelchairs and indoor vehiles but that is about all. I think the next good thing is fission power.
ChasChas, the customer has always wanted an EV. It is not at all the customer that is holding back the EV. It is entirely the car makers. No one has ever made a decent and practical EV since 1912, with the Baker, Columbia, Anderson, Edison, Studebaker, Riker.
It is obvious that electric cars have to be lighter, but also need quick swap of generic battery packs. If we were serious, we would also consider things like overhead power cables, genrator trailers, etc., that could extend range when needed, like for highway driving.
EV is great as a short range commuter, and it is the car makers who are at fault for not even considering alternative solutions to the obvious differences between electric and internal combustion. Buyers know the difference and want solutions that the makers have totally and deliberately ignored.
I disagree. It would be easy to build electronic vehicles that people would want to buy. It is the car makers who are the problem. For example, no maker has introduced a battery standard that could make batteries easily exchangeable. And until that happens, no practical person will buy an EV. It makes no sense. The recharge time is too long and the cost/risk of a bad battery is too high.
If car makers were serious about EV, then they not only would design a common battery that was easily exchanged, but develope the network of battery exchanges necessary. In fact, they would have also recognized the need for an external generator trailer for long trip, infinite range extention.
This is not rocket science. It is simple marketing, that is obviously being deliberately sabotaged by the car makers. EV are way too easy for this to have anything to do with eduction, talent, students, etc.
Rigby5 you are so correct. We already have high school kids that have built better EV's and higher mileage hybrids than GM, etc has.
The problem is political and corporate, not technical. GM built the vehicles needed in the UltraLite and Impact showcars. Both were lightweight, eff and made a generation ago!!!
What is needed is as he said someone like SpaceX, notice he didn't mention SpaceX founder also owns Tesla, as big auto isn't going to do what is nessasary as clearly been shown or they wouldn't be building overweight, overpriced and oveteched EV's, hybrids.
But as gas prices rise fleets are going to demand EV's, plug in and NG hybrids as they have no choice to lower costs from ever rising oil costs.
Big business is about to go down the tubes as their advantage is being overcome by new tech allowing small companies to directly compete with and beat them with their bloated overhead and lack of ability to change fast enough.
And education too is about to be rocked as MIT, Yale and others put free classes online, etc. Knowledge is getting close to free is going to make many schools of all types obsolete. These trends along with higher energy costs and a likely world depression if Romney wins means little is afe in the near future.
I read with amazement the comments on this board regarding the electric cars future and the status of US education.
GM speech is right on - we have an abysmal illiterate general populationj with the lowest standarsds in curiculum amongst the leading nations.
If we had not been propped up by immigrants who have the drive and desire to learn - we would have to make fire by rubbing sticks together (in not too distant future)
This situation is driven by teachers who push against ceritfication process and the substandard subject knowledge base amongst them.
US MUST wake up and start making some standards that may not be "tasty" to teachers unions - but must be implemented to save our nations future.
In math, physics, Chemistry - our curriculum in schools (exept some very expensive private schools and some very exclusive neighborhoods public schools) is laughable.
Now to the electric cars - it is shocking that majority of contributors on this board are so musch against EVs and further are so uninformed about the subject.
Electric cars ARE the future - burning carbons for energy on our day and age is barbaric - like cavemen.
True that EVs are using electricity that is produced in power plants that also burn fuel - but if you consider the emissions to produce equivalent KW or HP or BTU by burning fuel in the cars vs burning fuel in Power plants - the cars will produce 1000 more emissions.
If you consider Nuclear power - and solar/wind power there is no comparison.
Oil companies are very good in forming public opinion via disinformation - they have plenty of our money to do so. We cannot cut dependency on Middle East oil - because they would stop buying or planes and weapons and bulldozer and such using our money. Therefore they spread all kinds of negativity towards EVs.
Some years ago, there were studies that showed that we have about 100 years worth of oil reserves left in the world - so we started making more efficient cars 30-40MPG and up - BUT what this did is that oil companies keep raising prices and make same amount of money selling way less oil and now they are guaranteed that there is 300 years of reserves left.
The world must stop being stupid - we need to invest in technologies that will completely eliminate (not reduce) dependence on carbons energy and take the power away from oil producing nations completely. These new tecnolgies canno be expected to just jump to be less expeensive and more efficient - as any new technology we need to invest and suppot these.
and we need more smart students and more smart engineers and scientists to get there we must make sure that we shake up our schools system to get to the front and get rid of the weeds And we need to provide our engineers with an elevated status and not be second or third to lawyers and stock borkers in their earnings
@Jammags: I don't like being negative, but a creative person without math skills is not an engineer. The difference between an engineer and others is that the engineer can analyze a problem and give you a quantitative result. An engineer can ensure a feedback circuit will be stable under all conditions, not just the few that have been tried. An engineer can tell you how thick the cables need to be on a suspension bridge, or how long the road bed will be when those cables have stretched into position.
I don't care how creative you are. If you can't do the analysis, you aren't an engineer and it doesn't matter who slaps the title on you, it doesn't fit.
I don't want to minimize the importance of creative people. There are an awful lot of engineers that do a wonderful job of solving problems, but couldn't come up with a new product idea if their lives depended on it. Both are needed. The creative people set the direction, the engineers work out how to actually get there. The best startups are started by people that are both (and there are quite a few that are). Or by partners in which one is creative and the other is the engineer.
It is really scary to me the number of times that I see people with no analysis capability designing products. I have seen some really dangerous or unreliable things on the market, and it is all because some creative person thought he could do an engineer's work.
I have an EV and a CNG car. For both to be viable, we need *significant* infrastructure upgrade. More so for the CNG car. At least an EV can be charged overnight with a 120V AC system. No such option for a CNG, unless you are willing to spring for a subsidized $2,000 natural gas charging station at home. There are very few high pressure CNG charging stations and they typically only charge one vehicle at a time even when there are multiple pumps. No one wants to fund these and Republicans who are so gung-ho about CNG will not talk about the massive infrastructure upgrades or subsidies needed. That requires government money and tax increases. Private industry is not capable of this. Once this done, hydrogen could also be part of the solution, although it requires even high pressures (10,000 psi). It's cool to throw CNG option out as if it is a panacea, but it is not that easy and painless.
@Dave Palmer: I agree with what you said, I want to take it to the next level. I have been shocked as my kids grew up by the contrast between their education and mine. I was also horrendously disappointed when I took my oldest son to college and was given a tour by a college junior in engineering that couldn't put together a coherent sentence and couldn't stay on topic for more than three sentences. I also would pit the best US students against the best in the world, but based on what I have seen, the gap between our best and our average is HUGE. It is the average education that will determine our prosperity, not the top 5%. I don't care how good our top 5% are, if the rest of the country doesn't get it, they will drag us all down and the top 5% will leave.
The first thing that we need to do is set world class standards for education. We need as a country to say 90% of our kids will have aquired this skill, knowledge, or understanding by this age. That target needs to compete with the best countries out there (like Finland), and be realistic. We need to measure both kids and schools performance against that metric, and we need to do something about the ones that don't meet it. Before you say, "this sounds like no child left behind", No Child Left Behind was terribly implemented and did more harm than good. But, it did get one thing right, we have to measure if we are going to improve.
Second, we need to make teaching a respected and valuable profession. We need to end the days of "Those who can do, those who can't teach." We need a few of our best and brightest to pitch in and lead the way and we need to make it worth their while to do so. Having math taught by someone who has never used it for more than their checkbook is not acceptable. A teacher should be an example of someone who is GOOD at their subject. Someone who the students will never outshine while they remain students. Someone that they can look up to.
Third, we must show kids the VALUE of education early. Even in Kindergarden kids can understand the idea that learning is about being able to do things that you otherwise couldn't do. If they believe that our lives are ruled by the rich, and we will never get our due, there is simply no reason for them to do better than retail clerk. If union labor makes more than an engineer, why get your degree? If they see amazing opportunities out there that they must climb the educational ladder to reach, but if they do so they are guaranteed to have them, they will make that climb. But they have to see them, and they have to see the need for education to get there. Media plays a role in this. Unfortunately, most screenwriters are very nearly technically illiterate and couldn't portray a technical hero accurately if they tried. That needs to change, too.
We looked at a number of sources to determine this year's greenest cars, from KBB to automotive trade magazines to environmental organizations. These 14 cars emerged as being great at either stretching fuel or reducing carbon footprint.
Healthcare might seem to be an unlikely target application for the Internet of Things technology, but recent developments show small ways that big-data is going to make an impact on patient care moving into the future.
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