[Oeva-list] Are you a fan or a fanatic?

Steve's Account stevel at fern.com
Sat Apr 23 12:03:54 PDT 2011


Don,

On many of your points we are at least in partial agreement.

> Hello Steve
>
> I agree on many points in your post until you  say
>
> "but for now, it's a "fanatics" car."

You will notice that I said "for now"..

There are only a few things that would be needed to change the picture
significantly, in my thinking.

Increased range. Better ability predict whether the range remaining
will do the job asked of it, and faster/more convienent recharge capability.

I also was not using "fanatic" in a derogatory way. What I was trying to
illustrate is that you have to make signicant compromises to use the
existing technology.
>
> You are entitled to your point of view but you might consider the
> following.

[snip]
>
> Lan brought up a good point that electric is a far less expensive fuel. It
> is also an energy supply we can one way or another manufacture here.  The
> more money a family has to pay for transportation the less funds  it has for
> other needs. Demand causes prices to increase so if  everyone uses oil we
> all have to pay more. There is no free lunch so that  quick fill up with 300
> miles of range is costing a far more then the price  at the pump.

Electricity is cheap compared to gas per mile.. Some of that is due
to the fact that you don't pay the true cost per KWh. Were there a
carbon tax, and road tax, it would be a bit less economical.

In addition, many of the generation facilities and transmission facilities
have been paid for either by the government or by rate payers.
>
> My father who was an adult during the  great depression felt if you cannot
> afford to pay for something  in full you should not be buying it. As a
> nation we cannot afford our oil  imports. Our current solution of 
> printing money that is worth less and less is  not sustainable. If we 
> continue to pay for imported oil like this  it is only a matter of time 
> until our economy collapses. It's not that gold  is going up in value 
> the dollar is falling and falling hard. In the last 5  years the value 
> of gold has increased 300 percent.
[snip]

I agree with many of these points.

I do beleive that we have sufficient oil in the US to control the world
price by modulating demand for foreign oil. But in order to do this, we
have to drill.. here... With all the risks that that entails.

I find it interesting that everyone protests drilling, anyplace in the
US.. but not a word is spoken when another well is drilled in other parts
of the world. If we want the energy, we must, in my opinion, be willing to
shoulder the risk involved in getting it. And in doing so, we create enough
domestic production to control the cost of a barrel of oil.

The OPEC nations are as addicted to the flow of money from the US as we
are to consuming oil. And, as the oil producers well know, you can't drink
oil.. It's of no use to them, unless they sell it to a consumer.

We have recently seen the news reports about coal mines collapsing, trapping
or killing miners. We have seen "wastelands" created when coal tailings
lagoons fail. We watch as fly ash ponds flood areas with highly contaminated,
radioactive, fly ash.

All of these are part of the cost of electric power.
>
> Everyone knows the term freedom is not free. Freedom has a price  and in
> this case it might be our general population misconceptions and  fears
> enslaving our nation to a single fuel supply. If the majority of  people 
> believe an EV is an inconvenient fanatic's vehicle our freedom  is linked 
> to a gas station. A fuel we should not be buying because we are  not 
> self sufficient and we cannot afford it.

I think there are other, untapped resources, for transportation. Compressed
natural gas is one of them. We have significant reserves of gas available.

Hybrids currently address the limitation of existing plug in EV's, while
cutting significantly the fuel required. A significant cut in US demand
for oil will lower the price charged for oil and will lengthen the time
during which "relatively cheap" oil can still be found.

I also believe that the Leaf (and others) are first generation EV's and
that subsequent development will make them more attractive.

In one of the recent posts, someone suggested that there be a network
of charging stations at 40 mile intervals, along major roads.. and while
this will definately improve the liklyhood of success in any given 
transportation attempt, spending 2 hours every 40 miles, is a labor of
love, not a transportation alternative.

Hence my choice of the word "fanatic".. Possibly, the shorter version "fan"
might have conveyed a "softer" version of the same thing.

The average "non fanatic" isn't going to park their car at one of the few
available charing stations and hike 20 blocks to their workplace, on a 
daily basis.

There are many people who use transportation modes, because they are a fan of
that mode.. Sailboats, sailplanes, bicycles, horses, and yes, even walking
are all examples.

When was the last time you saw a sailing ship delivering freight to the
port of Portland?

For those people with a 40 mile total driving requiremnt in a given day, a
Leaf with a home charger is probably a perfect solution. I'd like to see 
as many people with that transportation profile, switch to them.

For many of us. it's just not enough.. Yet.. but I think they will get there
in the not to distant future. I encourage them to keep working on it.

For me, one of the EV Transits would be a better solution.. provided I can
get a 100 mile range, and a resonable purchase price.

And yes... I applaud the "fanatics" who successfully complete long distance
trips by Leaf.. Their stamina is to be appriciated. Along with feats such
as circling the globe in a balloon. All the domain of the fanatic.

Steve



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