Gnosis

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This blog post refers to a previous post I wrote about a week ago regarding the Chevy Volt and the inefficiency of driving around with an electric battery and a gasoline engine. If you would like to you can read that post here:

Chevy Volt: An exercise in the obliviousness of the American Public

After writing that blog entry I made a phone call to a Podcast Financial Show called Financial Sense Online. I am a regular listener to the program and felt that they may be interested in voicing their opinion on this particular hybrid. You can listen to the question below, regrettably I have not moved my blog to my tripod location and thus, can not offer you a built in podcast plugin as of yet. Just right click the link below and save it to your desktop to listen to it.

http://cid-ff7d36fe623e53d5.office.live.com/embedicon.aspx/.Public/Q%20Call%20FSN.mp3

 

The file is about 5 minutes in length, the first minute is the standard liability clause, the next minute is my question and the final three minutes are their answer to what I asked. Sadly I don’t think they understood what I was trying to get across (all the more reason why I hold firm in my belief of the American Public being oblivious to the reality they occupy.

If you want to listen to their Broadcasts (I recommend them) you can view their site here:

Financial Sense Newshour

tesla_roadster1_440 Some things they did mention which struck me as odd: First they state that the added weight, besides being batteries is probably an increase in safety features. This is understandable except that the batteries weigh 800 pounds (out of the 1200 pounds of total extra weight), the electric motor weighs an additional 100 pounds or more. This leaves about 300 pounds of excess which could be attributed to things like airbags. One problem that I see is that airbags do not weigh 300 pounds, and the newer cars are made of lighter weight alloys which in total weigh much less then the steel made for my vehicle. So somewhere that added weight just isn’t adding up.

54139 They mention their belief that the electric car is the only future we could have as the US is entering a liquid fuels crisis period. I agree with this statement but still this does not explain why a more fuel efficient and lighter car wouldn’t be the ideal auto for GM to market if they expect that people will want a cheaper car to drive. They mention the Tesla electric car, which is all well and a great thing to promote and drive, EXCEPT that the machine itself costs over $100,000. This price is 10x what the American Public could afford or want to afford. The average income earned by a US citizen is about $40,000. So what they want you to believe is that someone with a large amount of college debt, house debt, and credit card debt would be willing to shell out another $40-100k for a car that will need it’s’ batteries replaced within 5 years! I am sorry but that doesn’t make any sense to me, especially in a world where people are losing their jobs and earning less money as the economy contracts.

coal_fired_power_plant images Finally, they mention the ability of the electric grid to have the capacity to charge these cars up on an overnight basis, pending we increase the amount of power plants generating electricity. I am saddened by this idea as most people come Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights will not be spending time at home with their cars in the garage. They will want to go out, have fun and drive around. A car that doesn’t have the range to drive around from 7am Friday until 3am Saturday morning and be full charged by 6am will not be the electric car of the future! The reason is simple: the mornings are when electricity demand will naturally increase as people wake up. Add in the extra demand from everyone drunk driving the night before, or more likely, forgetting to charge their cars the next day (around noon) and you have a recipe for disaster (as in brown outs and black outs). Finally, imagine what would happen if our already strained electric grid that is failing to make enough power for our Air Conditioners (that many people have on at night all night), will have also charge an electric car!

I am disappointed to say that they don’t quite understand the cost/benefits of this method of thinking. Especially if one considers that we could cut our gasoline use in half by upping the MPG standards of our autos (regular cars, not hybrids) to 50-75MPG! Think about that: no needed electrical plants, no charging stations, no added car weight, no pollution to make batteries and recycle them, and no change in human behavior needed!

Once again, the American Public just does not understand the realities of their situation.

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Written by Josecito

January 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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