Sparks Fly over Electric Car Funding

Jul 30, 2010 By Eric Betz
Credit: Pam & Frank

As the Senate struggles with energy legislation this week, one of the few fixes with bipartisan support is a bill that would invest billions in putting electric-powered cars and trucks on the road. But it’s not clear whether it would be environmentally beneficial to do so. That debate has played out in an open conflict between electric vehicle proponents whose proposals would be implemented in the bill and auto industry executives pushing for funding of alternative technologies.

The measure, as approved by the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, would provide an additional $3.6 billion for electric vehicles if passed by the full Senate and put into effect several proposals in the Electrification Coalition's roadmap, including $1.5 billion to lower battery costs and help link the vehicles to the . Also in the bill is $2 billion in funds to put 400,000 on the road in the next three years and funds to develop specific communities that will rely on electric cars in a few regions throughout the country. It also creates a $10 million prize for the first commercially-viable battery with at least a 500 mile range.

"Republicans and Democrats agree that electrifying our cars and trucks is the single best way to reduce our dependence on oil," said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) in a recent statement. “Our goal should be to electrify half our cars and trucks within 20 years, which would reduce our dependence on by about a third.”

While nearly every major auto manufacturer in the world plans to debut an electric vehicle in the next two years, scientists are divided on their estimates of the electric car's impact on the environment. Industry scientists have argued that an electric car is only as clean as the power plant it's plugged into, while proponents of electrics -- including Electrification Coalition member and FedEx CEO Fred Smith -- argue they produce less greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional hybrid even when the source is a dirty coal-fired plant.

Conflicting Studies

"Until we significantly alter how we produce electricity in our nation," Kathryn Clay, director of research at the industry group Auto Alliance said in Senate hearings on the bill, "including upstream emissions in the vehicle greenhouse gas standards will mean that electric vehicles will rate only marginally better than conventional internal combustion engines and comparatively worse than the conventional hybrids we have on the road today."

A study by the Sloan Automotive Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, funded by Ford, found that electric vehicles plugged into nuclear or renewable sources would result in drastic reductions in emissions; however, vehicles powered by electricity from coal plants would have larger carbon footprints than conventional automobiles. In June hearings on vehicle electrification legislation, the Auto Alliance stated it did not support the bill because it believed the government was unfairly favoring one technology over others. The Alliance represents most major car companies in the world with the exception of Nissan, Honda and Hyundai. Of the group's member companies, only GM received relatively substantial electric vehicle funds from the Recovery Act.

Auto Alliance members are also worried that emission standards on electric cars will leave auto makers uniquely responsible for upstream emissions from power plants -- a source which they have no control over.

"Including upstream emissions creates a huge disincentive for producing electric vehicles versus less costly and less game changing technology," said Clay.

Many non-industry researchers claim that there is a net drop in greenhouse gas emissions no matter what the power source is. Studies done the National Resources Defense Council and the Electric Power Research Institute found that plug-in hybrid electric vehicles -- even those plugged into a dirty coal-fired plant -- would offer dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. And a Tesla Motors analysis found that even when considering the average sources of electricity in the United States, its fully electric Roadster is significantly more efficient than the Toyota Prius or other hybrids.

"Our studies would indicate that plug-in electric vehicles, even if powered by coal power plants that have not been modified to clean up the emissions … produce significantly less CO2 emissions than conventionally powered vehicles," said Smith.

As an additional benefit, the Electrification Coalition says it would be easier to regulate emissions from a few power plants than the hundreds of millions of cars on the road. And the cars will only become more efficient with time as the grid shifts towards renewable sources of electricity.

EPRI's report, which the Electric Coalition relies on in its claims, says that previous studies have relied on limited information from the electricity and transportation industries. "We stand by our study with the NRDC, … that was the bellwether study," said the group's media relations manager Clay Perry. "We examined all the power sources throughout the country and those went into the study. We had access to a lot of data."

The administration and many politicians on both sides of the aisle also see the electrification of vehicles as a step toward reducing and as a path to recovery for a nation addicted to foreign oil. The United States currently spends $380 billion a year on imported oil - 70-percent of which is used for transportation -- and President Obama hopes to reduce that number by increasing the number of electric cars from essentially none, to one million in the next few years. The Recovery Act has already invested more than $5 billion in electric vehicles, with half of that going in loans to Nissan, Tesla and Fisker motor companies.

"This is an enormous national security problem," said Smith, "we have two shooting wars going on and there's no question at least in part they were precipitated by our dependence on imported foreign petroleum."

China, Denmark and Israel are among the countries that have also chosen to focus on , and that has many concerned China will gain an edge on the U.S. in the market.

A study released in May showed that 60-percent of Chinese citizens would be willing to buy an electric car, five-times the amount of Americans who said they were ready to convert in the same study, and the Chinese have already made significant investments in electric vehicle technology and infrastructure. The country produces 20 million electric scooters a year and plans to shift that infrastructure to cars in coming years in part due to the success of its own trial electric car communities program, which has already nearly doubled in size, growing from 13 to 22 cities.

The Alternative: Fuel Cells

While the United States has shifted its focus from fuel cell vehicles to electrics under the leadership of the current administration, other countries like Japan, Germany and South Korea have ramped up their efforts to produce fuel cell technology.

Fuel cells - which use hydrogen to produce electricity and then release water and heat as by-products - are not widely considered ready for prime-time and a production model car would cost around $1 million. Fuel cell vehicles would also require a non-existent hydrogen fuel infrastructure; whereas the electric infrastructure is already present and needs only work out certain accessibility problems. The Senate believes it has addressed those problems in the current bill and legislators have been quick to point out that most people will charge their vehicles at night during off-peak hours, making it much cheaper.

However, many engineers and policy makers in the United States still argue that fuel cell vehicles provide a better solution to reducing greenhouse gases without being limited by the short range of battery power and say the U.S. will be left behind in the long-term by focusing on electrics. The administration went as far as to cut funding for the technology in its last two annual budgets. These funds were eventually restored in the Senate last year, but the Auto Alliance would like to see the proposed electric vehicles bill include funding for fuel cell research.

"Trying to prejudge the market brings tremendous risks, and the problem is compounded if we make just a few large bets," said Clay.

For the time being, the Senate is showing some agreement with the Obama administration by focusing on battery-electric vehicles in the short term, though it continues to fund fuel cell research as well. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D - N.D.), who co-sponsored the bill, believes fuel cells will be important in the future, but thinks electrification is the solution in the near term.

"Last year the admin cut out $190-million of hydrogen fuel cell research that's going on, I put it all back in," said Dorgan. "Hydrogen and fuel cells are important, but that is not the rapid deployment, the near term deployment is electric vehicles."

Explore further: Scientists invent award winning 2-in-1 motor for electric cars

Provided by Inside Science News Service

4.3 /5 (12 votes)

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John_balls
3.5 / 5 (11) Jul 30, 2010
Trust me if they ever start to mass produce electric cars at a reasonable price that get 300 miles to a charge then we will have a solar revolution

Everyone that owns a house will want to use their solar cells as a free gas station. So the point about coal fired plants is really mute and void.
zevkirsh
4.6 / 5 (11) Jul 30, 2010
electric cars are not ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT per se, they are about ending perpetual oil war and guaranteeing american ---and global energy security ---in an era of terminally rising oil scarcity. in the medium of the next 100 years this will have a far greater impact on humanity than global warming.
ricarguy
3.5 / 5 (11) Jul 30, 2010
Everyone that owns a house will want to use their solar cells as a free gas station.


John,
You've added a second, very big "if" to the equation. Affordable batteries with much higher energy density is the issue with electric cars. The new issue you bring up is the solar voltaic panels, which are about equally inadequate in terms of economic viability, much less "free". Both have been researched for decades and consumed tens of billions, with much more to spend. Doubling the "bang for the buck" ratio for each puts us on the cusp. Doubling a second time and "solar upstream powered cars" will be a serious player.

Right now the distance from here to there is pretty big, but it's fun to dream.
ricarguy
3.4 / 5 (10) Jul 30, 2010
Energy security and not funding hostiles & potential terrorists is also a laudable goal. A mix of some renewables, and more nukes, coal and natural gas are are not that big a jump to displace lots of oil. There's lots more oil we could be getting ourselves too instead of paying someone else.

Our problem is not so much how to do that, but coming to a consensus on how far to go in which directions.
stanfrax
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 30, 2010
the globalist banks are still reaping revenue from oil - held back tech - leaving it and still playing games - this could go into production today made with old robots - there draging it out - fat profits priority - there claming as many wells as possable for the future and speeded up drilling they know when solars out - there will be no turning back - weather patterns are changing all around the planet - were not prepared for anything - it doesnt matter who did what when who why - these people in power listern to to scientist and proffessors - your good with big words - please talk to our leaders - we have past a barrier - stop co2
marjon
1.6 / 5 (7) Jul 30, 2010
How will the government levy the taxes to pay for roads? Now a gas tax is used.
ormondotvos
3.3 / 5 (4) Jul 30, 2010
You're not keeping up with storage density and charge speed research. Google SCiB and ultracapacitor.

The real roadblock here is the Entitlement to Energy Usage as Status attitude of the First World, specifically the US consumer of McMansions, SUV and RV vacations, long commutes, fatty foods, and mindless entertainment.

Without a change in those attitudes, which is certainly possible with the collaboration of the mass media and the POTUS bully pulpit, perceived energy starvation elsewhere will cause endless waste through wars.
stanfrax
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 30, 2010
our meadia and papers are controled by banks - who own the corporations - feeding the masses and showing them how to live - unaware of reality because they have been educated to fit this system
John_balls
2.2 / 5 (6) Jul 30, 2010
Everyone that owns a house will want to use their solar cells as a free gas station.


John,
You've added a second, very big "if" to the equation. Affordable batteries with much higher energy density is the issue with electric cars. The new issue you bring up is the solar voltaic panels, which are about equally inadequate in terms of economic viability, much less "free". Both have been researched for decades and consumed tens of billions, with much more to spend. Doubling the "bang for the buck" ratio for each puts us on the cusp. Doubling a second time and "solar upstream powered cars" will be a serious player.

Right now the distance from here to there is pretty big, but it's fun to dream.

How are solar panel not economically viable?? Have yo u been paying attention to the drop in prices over the last 2 years alone?? T
If this trend picks up over the next 5 years you will be buying cheap solar panels from homedepot.
gopher65
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 30, 2010
John_balls: Because right now roof-top solar panels will need to be replaced in half the time it takes to pay them off with the energy you'll be saving. They don't last forever (especially when they're outdoors, which they often are. And of course any attempt to add protection to the panels decreases their efficiency...).

Also keep in mind that solar panels use various rare and semi-rare resources. Which rare resources they use depends on the particulars of the panel in question. Regardless of which rare resources are used, the more panels you make, the more the cost increases as those resources become scarce.

Panels that use platinum are of particular worry, because 90% of the world's platinum supply is in one poor, politically unstable country (South Africa) that is bordered by large numbers of fanatics of not one, but two different religions. We do *not* want platinum to become the new oil.
Lord_jag
1 / 5 (1) Jul 30, 2010
gopher: what about all the research for carbon nanotube solar panels? All they need is carbon and copper/aluminum/steel wires.

Sure they need more research but they are more efficient in catching solar energy that silicon panels and carbon is.... abundant to say the least.
DaveGee
not rated yet Jul 30, 2010
Electric is the way to go and the auto and oil industries are going to do everything in their power to slow the adoption... Let's leave the environment out of the picture and just look at the auto as a device.. Today it's filled to the brim with a never ending list of components that are going to fail... The gas engine, the fuel pump, fuel injection systems, carburetors, ignition systems, engine cooling systems, catalytic converters, exhaust, transmission, a boatload of sensors for monitoring the exhaust and tuning the car as necessary, oil filters, engine gaskets, timing belts and, while I could go on you get my point... Between the mandatory 3k mile oil changes and inevitable component failures it's amazing we actually get to drive the cars built today. Go electric and ALL of those parts and a lot more go by by. The auto makers and repair shops are going to loose big time.

Now, electric cars will still fail but rip all that stuff out and repairs will be less often and less complex.
Roj
1 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2010
You're not keeping up with storage density and charge speed research. Google SCiB and ultracapacitor.
I'm having visions of that solid-state, power-density graph between capacitors and batteries.

That graph ignores several other energy-storage methods, including liquid-fuel cells, hydrogen auto-reformers using bio-fuels & LNG, much less nuclear battery prototypes, flywheel systems, and grid-storage projects.

ARPA-E is managing grant applications for Grid-energy storage development in the US. This arena is very active. MIT is one such applicant with a Grid-storage prototype easily transported by freight.

Transforming these grid-energy storage units into freight powerplants for rail roads, or scaling them down for truck power plants may already be an intellectual-property consideration.
mrlewish
1 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2010
Why all the negativism on solar panels? Tell me what magical energy technology does not need maintenance or precious or semi precious metal and materials to operate optimally? What generator does not have a half life or require a large prebuilt maintenance (cost)intensive infrastructure to operate? It is news to me that power companies coal/gas/oil/nuclear generators don't have a fixed life cycle.
oldman2
not rated yet Jul 31, 2010
A lot of times toys point the way to the future, remember Dick Tracey's wrist radio. At our RC flying field we have a solar panel (high teck) charging two deep cycle lead acid batteries (low teck) that are used to charge the lithium ion (high teck) batteries that power our model planes. The arrangement is so successful that we have never been short of power to charge the batteries and many members are switching their choice of planes to electric. The performance of the new planes is spectacular and flight times can be equal to the gas.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Jul 31, 2010
Has anyone considered how much hydrogen you need to drive a car?

Sure, hydrogen is dense in energy, but not in volume. A gallon of liquid hydrogen at -253 C gives you less than ten miles, and that's about as volumetrically dense as you can get it without binding it to other substances like metal hydrides, which then causes the same problem as with batteries: the container becomes too heavy.

The only advantage of hydrogen then is the ability to quickly "re-charge", but it's more than offset by the comparatively poor efficiency of the fuel cell, and the huge energy loss in producing and delivering the hydrogen to the customers.
marjon
1.3 / 5 (3) Jul 31, 2010
the auto and oil industries are going to do everything in their power to slow the adoption.

So will all governments that obtain much of their revenue from gas and oil taxes.
Don't be so quick to indict businesses. They can't write and enforce regulations.
holoman
1 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2010
Gasoline, Natural gas, etc. all hydrocarbons, in other
words we have been using hydrogen energy for centuries we just haven't figured out a way to make hydrocarbons clean by removing the carbon.
marjon
1.7 / 5 (3) Jul 31, 2010
Gasoline, Natural gas, etc. all hydrocarbons, in other
words we have been using hydrogen energy for centuries we just haven't figured out a way to make hydrocarbons clean by removing the carbon.

Many ways have been 'figured out'. They cost more.
John_balls
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 31, 2010
the auto and oil industries are going to do everything in their power to slow the adoption.

So will all governments that obtain much of their revenue from gas and oil taxes.
Don't be so quick to indict businesses. They can't write and enforce regulations.

Of course they can don't be naive. Did you ever hear of thing called lobbyist.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2010
the auto and oil industries are going to do everything in their power to slow the adoption.

So will all governments that obtain much of their revenue from gas and oil taxes.
Don't be so quick to indict businesses. They can't write and enforce regulations.

Of course they can don't be naive. Did you ever hear of thing called lobbyist.

Lobbyists cannot vote on a law nor can they sign a bill into law.
Place blame where it belongs, the government. They have the power.
newscience
2 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2010
Electric cars and solar panels will drop in price with economy of scale. First Solar got the price down to one dollar a watt. Other companies are not far behind. The rest of the world is going in that direction. The US might get left in the dust if it does not act now.
CarolinaScotsman
1 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2010
John,
You've added a second, very big "if" to the equation. The new issue you bring up is the solar voltaic panels, which are about equally inadequate in terms of economic viability, much less "free". Both have been researched for decades and consumed tens of billions, with much more to spend. Doubling the "bang for the buck" ratio for each puts us on the cusp. Doubling a second time and "solar upstream powered cars" will be a serious player.

Right now the distance from here to there is pretty big, but it's fun to dream.

The distance is a lot closer than you think. Solar charging stations are already coming on line.Examples are below. Maybe not fullscale yet, but it's a start.

http://news.cnet....-54.html
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2010
This concept seems more efficient:
"One of the world’s longest hydrogen highways has just opened in Norway, spanning nearly 600 kms (375miles) between Oslo and Stavanger. It officially opened May 11th, 2009 when StatoilHydro's new hydrogen station opened in Oslo. The opening was celebrated with a hydrogen car rally. "
"The significance of hydrogen as a fuel is that it can be produced from a variety of sources, from hydrocarbons such as natural gas, bio-gas or from water via electrolysis. It takes energy to create the fuel but the original energy source could be renewable, such as wind, hydro or solar. The hydrogen then acts as a storage medium for the renewable energy and the by-product of combustion is water so it really is a zero pollution device."
http://www.greenm...way.html
CarolinaScotsman
1 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2010
acjames
not rated yet Jul 31, 2010
I love electric cars. I'd love to have an Aptera if only they were available outside of Cali.
We need something to replace all these gross gas-spewing antiquated vehicles.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2010
"The revolutionary Switchblade™ three-wheeled Flying Motorcycle leads the field as the first of this new vehicle line to meet the growing demand for flying cars and roadable aircraft."
http://www.samson...ex.shtml
One challenge faced by a company like Samson is government regulations. If they wanted to make a flying 'car', it would have to meet all sorts of safety requirements not conducive to flying.
But if they reclassify their vehicle as a motorcycle, design freedom opens.
How willing is the US government to get out of the way of innovation?
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2010
Another area where government can get out of the way of innovation is housing.
Concrete monolithic domes are strong, safe and very energy efficient, but restricted by many governments. http://www.monolithic.com/
I suspect many of those restrictions are based upon the influence of the stick housing industry and the misguided concept of housing as an investment.
H2Wins
not rated yet Jul 31, 2010
Take a short range EV, add a hydrogen fuel cell to generate electricity while you are driving and all of a sudden no more range anxiety! Lawrence Weisdorn
ereneon
5 / 5 (1) Jul 31, 2010
Lots of good discussion here with lots of good points, though one thing people seem to be overlooking is bio-oil. There were a few promising articles on here not too long ago about genetically engineering bacteria to basically produce oil. Instead of expensive solar panels made of rare materials, or heavy expensive slowly charging batteries, all you need are greenhouse enclosed water tanks, and we can borrow most of that tech from big agriculture. Net 0 carbon, no foreign oil, no big infrastructure changes. Though I also agree putting all our eggs in one basket is a bad idea. I want to see billion dollar rewards for the first companies to develop the necessary tech! Can't beat dollars to motivate people to get things done ;-)
jerryd
1 / 5 (1) Aug 01, 2010

The Auto Alliance is made up of car companies that want no regulation and oil companies. They are up to their old lying tricks. Rent the 'Who Killed the Electric Car', to find out the facts.

Like Chevron bought the NiMH patents then forced Toyota, other from using them or anyone making EV size batteries, only under 10 amphr allowed.

The only people who want fuel cells are big oil as they know they are ineff, problematic and just another head fake to keep EV's from mass production.
marjon
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 01, 2010
These folks say NiMH are not even in the game:
http://www.bcg.co...6615.pdf
"JB Straubel, chief technical officer at Tesla Motors, feels that NiMH batteries are nearly obsolete “given the increasing performance and falling price of Li-Ion.” "
"It is also important to note that there are large-format NiMH batteries available which are not subject to control by the Cobasys patents. "
"It would seem that most technical people tend to look beyond the patent controversy surrounding NiMH batteries. Whether they look to Li-Ion, bipolar NiMH or any other battery design, their emphasis is on working with the batteries that best suit the requirements for an electric vehicle. While most “techies” admit that standard NiMH batteries covered by the Cobasys patents work acceptably well in PHEVs, their creative energy tends to be focused on Li-Ion batteries and other chemistries which can store more energy in much smaller packages. "
http://evworld.co...rst=4374
chrisp
not rated yet Aug 01, 2010
The technology to change the game is already here, so with careful but progressive short and long-term planning, the countries switching to renewables can gradually implement it to eventually phase out most carbon-based fuels used today. There's going to be losers in this new game, but people can be retrained, and new jobs can be created from the explosion of the renewables industry. There will also be a greater sense of purpose and incentive in helping to make the earth cleaner. It's time to think about these wonderfully new directions in energy, as a great opportunity. It's exciting, and things that are exciting are contagious. A conventional and stodgy mind that thinks about future of energy with renewables will be indecisive, running into dead ends, and tripping itself up while others are cruising toward a sustainable future.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Aug 01, 2010
There's going to be losers in this new game, but people can be retrained,

This is called creative destruction. Kerosene put the whaling industry mostly out of business and the electric light bulb encouraged the oil industry to develop other markets.
HeloMenelo
1 / 5 (4) Aug 01, 2010
When oil runs dry, so would the jobs supporting it.

However,
The electric revolution can help those workers dependend on oil to prepare for it and adjust.

Be it not a pleasant change for some, they have a choice. The sooner they embrace it the better for them for the road to electrics has been laid.

Oil companies can start now with all they have, and they have a lot, to fund and embrace electrics, that's what it gets down to anyway.

Wether they want to stall it for as long as they can or not, the game has already changed. And will not be changed.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Aug 01, 2010
When oil runs dry, so would the jobs supporting it.

When will that be?
robbor
5 / 5 (1) Aug 01, 2010
Immediately the post office should convert all their gas vehicles to electric since, on average, the vehicles are driven less than 20 miles a day.
DaveMart
1 / 5 (1) Aug 02, 2010
Anyone who imagines that a fuel cell car still costs $1 million should not be writing an article or getting it published.
Hyundai aim to produce a 1,000 a year in 2012, and are not paying $1 billion to do so.
The cost at the moment is around $100k, and the aim is to reduce it to $50k by 2015 when SUV production on a slightly larger scale will start.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Aug 02, 2010
Immediately the post office should convert all their gas vehicles to electric since, on average, the vehicles are driven less than 20 miles a day.

The Post Office should immediately close and turn its service over to FedEx, UPS, etc.
HeloMenelo
1 / 5 (4) Aug 02, 2010
"When will that be?"

Let's not ponder on that now, rather focus on how we can get electrics generalised and accepted by everyone.

The oil companies know that electric is the future. They can be one of the biggest game players if not the biggest! But yes Marjon my bet is is they are going to try slow it down regardless for oil for now is easy money.

Anyway, Our Fedex friends are all for electric so A 4 away!
HeloMenelo
1 / 5 (4) Aug 02, 2010
It's going to take time, but electrics will establish themselves well and eventually take over.
blaire
not rated yet Aug 02, 2010
Anyone who imagines that a fuel cell car still costs $1 million should not be writing an article or getting it published.
Hyundai aim to produce a 1,000 a year in 2012, and are not paying $1 billion to do so.
The cost at the moment is around $100k, and the aim is to reduce it to $50k by 2015 when SUV production on a slightly larger scale will start.


Fuel cells are still way too expensive to consider a viable option. Honda's Clarity costs $900,000 - Ford and GM refuse to make them because they're so expensive

Anyone who thinks an automaker can make $100,000 H-cars (let alone sell them at a profit) is dreaming.
marjon
1 / 5 (1) Aug 02, 2010
Let's not ponder on that now, rather focus on how we can get electrics generalised and accepted by everyone.

How much money will you invest if you have no idea when to expect a return on investment?
ForFreeMinds
1.6 / 5 (7) Aug 02, 2010
I find government intervention in the marketplace horrid. It amounts to taking money from some to benefit others, and in this case taking money from productive taxpayers and giving it Chrysler and the auto unions.

If a technology is better, it will win in the marketplace. No government intervention is needed.

For those pushing for solar panels, bio-diesel, electric cars, etc., go support them yourself. But don't ask government to take money from me and give it to you for your vision. Earn it in the free market.
HeloMenelo
1 / 5 (4) Aug 03, 2010
"How much money will you invest if you have no idea when to expect a return on investment?"

It's going to be a gradual change, so invest gradually.

More and more people will gradually start to realise the benefits of electrics, in China it's nothing new and they are already succesfully integrating electrics, to the rest of the world it is still new (they know very little about it) That is going to change gradually but definately.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Aug 03, 2010
"How much money will you invest if you have no idea when to expect a return on investment?"

It's going to be a gradual change, so invest gradually.

More and more people will gradually start to realise the benefits of electrics, in China it's nothing new and they are already succesfully integrating electrics, to the rest of the world it is still new (they know very little about it) That is going to change gradually but definately.

How much will YOU invest? Not how much you want to force others to 'invest' via govt coercion.
HeloMenelo
1 / 5 (4) Aug 03, 2010
"How much will YOU invest? Not how much you want to force others to 'invest' via govt coercion."

I'm not forcing anyone, i'm pointing the way the future is headed. How smoothly and pleasantly that change is going to take place is out of my control.

As for the question:
As much as is needed to be succesful in the short term with a goal of increasing my investment as the change gradually takes on, you want numbers?
I don't have the funds to fund Anything as revolutionary as this but knows who has.

How much do you think the oil industry can invest?

What did they spend on getting the oil infrastructure in place? And how did they do it?

They can try the same approach when converting to the electric industry.

If i had the wealth of the Oil industry i'd look
at what is going to be succesful in the short term, fund the short term goal and expand from there. Eventually working towards putting most, then all of my eggs in the electric basket. So there you have it.
sender
not rated yet Aug 07, 2010
Give the world a pneumatic thermoelectric miniaturized plasma sterling engine for transport, it turns another revolution
DaveGee
not rated yet Aug 09, 2010
Lobbyists cannot vote on a law nor can they sign a bill into law. Place blame where it belongs, the government. They have the power.


Let's not pretend lobbyists have no say in how laws are written... Those corporation funded lobbyists have a MAJOR impact many/most/all the laws that have been created over the past many years.

In 1998 10,404 registered lobbyists spent 1.4 billion dollars on our government law makers by 2009 13,660 lobbyists spent almost THREE TIMES that amount 3.49B to be exact...

Let's look at it this way.. Those companies are using a portion of money received from its customers to influence legislators to push certain advantages in any number of laws they vote on in a given year. Given the marked increase in lobbyist spending IT WORKS and they (a collective they) profit by AT LEAST the amount they spend ... Otherwise they wouldn't bother doing it.
VOR
not rated yet Aug 12, 2010
Batteries seem like the best bet on the table. One thing vs fuel cell: batteries skip the energy wasteful step of creating the fuel (like hydrogen).
Even if that is done by solar, watts cost $. Future evolutionary improvements in battery energy density and charge times seem more likely that some revolutionary improvement in fuel chemistry that would be required to make it clearly superior. In other words, though batteries arn't the clear winner now, they seem the best candidate to eventually be the winner.