Thanks for a good overview of what Jockusch talked about. The points he made are good but more can/needs to happen for the automotive industry to stay ahead of cultural changes.
Finding new ways to keep people in their cars and generating more energy to power up devices that we seem to require isn't innovation. That's just keeping the staus quo. Open source design is part of any good design process today. True creativity and uniqueness takes time. Time is the one thing designers don't have access to today.
Lou, that's interesting to hear how trucking companies are moving to natural gas as fuel. I've been watching that trend in local county bus systems for a few years now. It's both cheaper and cleaner than diesel, so it makes sense to use it for commercial operations.
Rob, another trend along those lines is the move by trucking companies to natural gas. A large, local concrete company here in the Chicago area, Ozinga, has announced that they have begun to replace their concrete mixers and support vehicles with ones that run on CNG. They will have their whole fleet of about 500 vehicles replaced by 2020. This gives them a lower cost alternative to diesel. Other companies are moving the same way. If the trucking industry can go that way, then the use of oil as a transportation fuel will begin to decline rapidly. That coupled with greater efficiency and increased domestic oil production (up dramatically in the past year and rising) will make it very hard to compete. Imagine if we also converted a number of cars to CNG. Those are used around the world.
I agree, Chuck. I think Siemens got something there. Add to it the face that seniors will welcome changes that help them sustain drive-ability. The ability to drive (or the disability that might keep them from driving) often means the difference between independence or dependence.
We still have a long way to go to prove out the model for EVs and hybrids. Two things that could hamper development is the apparance of a highly efficient internal combustion engine and a dive in oil prices due to the volume coming onto the market from North America fracking.
Yes, the vehicle-to-grid idea has been out there for few years, Rob, but it has had some trouble getting traction. I think there needs to be a critical mass of vehicles out there for it to make sense, and that hasn't happened yet.
Wow, Chuck, you wrote about vehicle to grid about a zillion years ago in the speed of EV and hybrid changw -- 2009. I think it's a bit of a dream, but it's a dream worth backing when it comes from a company like Seimens.
Although plastics make up only about 11% of all US municipal solid waste, many are actually more energy-dense than coal. Converting these non-recycled plastics into energy with existing technologies could reduce US coal consumption, as well as boost domestic energy reserves, says a new study.
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