[Oeva-list] subsidies.

Steve's Account stevel at fern.com
Sun Apr 24 21:05:51 PDT 2011


Thank you, Don, for your thoughtful reply.

> Hello Steve
>
> I have spent a considerable amount of time reviewing your reply.
>
> For the vast majority of drivers 100 miles of EV range is a game changer.
> So the Leaf makes what was wishful thinking now a reality.

It seems that in practice, the Leaf can not provide a 100 mile, un-recharged
range at suburban road speeds and with a modicum of climate control, ie heat.


> Some of your beliefs may be a bit skewed as Alan pointed out  your
> misconception of the current charging time. It takes about 25  minutes to 
> charge for 80 miles of additional range.

Provided you can find a charger at your intended destination that meets your
needs for the faster charge.

(My employer, who, in other areas touts their "green" record, has declined
to provide any form of on-site chargeing facilities, citing liability as 
their concern.)

> Just as you seem to try and point out about electric. The true cost of oil
> if far greater then at the pump. I would rather see us subsidize electric
> then  subsidize imported oil.

I'd rather see us subsidize neither one.. and allow domestic oil production
where it is econnomically feasable. (This includes removal of any subsidy
currently in  place for oil..) Remember that the royalties for US drilled
offshort oil come back to the US Treasury.


> Right now we are spending a lot of money to
> keep our  military in many parts of the world to maintain the flow of oil.

Really? Where? Neither Iraq or Afghanistan have significant quantities of
oil.

We don't have a significant presence in any of the other oil producing
regions... (Libia, you might argue has some US presence.. and that would
be true.)

> If
> oil was not  a critical resource for the United States we would not be
> spending untold  billions of dollars to do this. The sad part is this money being
> spent produces  nothing but a temporary supply line. On the other hand if we
> took an equal  amount of funds and invested it here in the United States we
> will have spent our  money far more wisely.

Which is why I'm advocating for US based drilling. You are definately right
we should be spending it here!

[snip]

> I would not be surprised if there is more oil that can be tapped. The
> problem is there will never be an unlimited supply so it will continue 
> to  be a costly resource.

Every time they have predicted the "end of oil", so far, they were wrong.
The first such prediction started in 1919.

But.. your point is valid.. it has gotten more difficult.

> The least expensive oil has already been  found so new oil is only going 
> to cost more.

Agreed.. which gives us the oppertunity to fund other technologies, by
creating a demand.

No energy source is free.

> I cringed when BP TV  ads said they were going
> to cover the 20 billion dollar clean up of the  Gulf. Yes they will pay for
> it but that just means higher oil prices. Businesses  pass cost on so what I
> heard BP saying is your going to be paying for the  clean up but BP will
> take the credit.


Thus is it ever.. When the banks mismanaged resources.. it wasn't the 
banks that paid.. it was us.

And our litigious society hasn't learned that cleaning up from a disaster
is only made more expensive when you involve the courts.

Is is just because no one could be found to blame that FEMA covers some
disasters and not others?

I find it interesting that the government will endemnify certain industries
for "accidents", (nuclear power) and pillory others.

>
> I don't really see your point in the following sentence?
>
> "In addition, many of the generation facilities and transmission  facilities
> have been paid for either by the government or by rate  payers."

In looking at the types of "subsidies" various industries get, electric power
has received neumerous subsidies over it's history, including the examples
above. None of the major hydro projects could have been completed without
the government bankrolling them, even if it was eventually paid back.

Using electric power as a "fuel source" is, as such subsidized by the
existance of a distrubution network, at least partially funded by
others.
>
> Yes we have a good start for the infrastructure of electric as a fuel. Just
> another reason to make full use of that investment. There is nothing paid
> for by  the government it is all taken from the tax payer. Just like tobacco
> in  Oregon is charged taxes that is then used to fund roads. I am not sure
> about the logic of taxing tobacco for roads but it does not have any
> bearing what type of fuel should be on the roads.

My guess is that "Sombody has to police up all the cigarette butts!" and
your car is about the only public place you might smoke without being
arrested! :-)
>
> More oil is not the answer and more oil would only delay the inevitable. We
> should conserve what we have as there are many uses that would cost far
> more or  there really is not a good alternative. That is why it is such a
> waste to use a  limited resource for local driving.

On this we largly agree.

>
> The other reason additional oil is not the answer is at some point we  are
> going to be forced to find an alternative. It would be a very unwise
> decision to delay lowering our independence of oil. By procrastinating 
> this will
> only serve to increase the cost of oil and drain our country of even  more
> money.

Which is why I say "domestic drilling"..

> You idea to control prices with more oil has merit if we could
> produce an excess of oil at a lower cost. This would not be a permanent fix more
> like putting a band aid on when you need major surgery. If we actually start
> replacing our dependence on oil that would help reduce oil prices. Unlike
> trying  to find more oil finding an alternative energy would be a long term
> answer.

And I think that hybrids are the near term answer.. At least until purely
electric vechcles can come closer to meeting the typical need.
>
> There must be a lot of people in Oregon who agree that we can have  cleaner
> electric. PGE?s renewable power program is the most successful  program of
> its kind in the country. My businesses buy 100 percent  wind. So not only is
> our business powered by wind so are the EVs.

Well.. as I understand PGE's program.. it's not that they ACTUALLY BUY
wind produced power to meet every killowatt hour of the subscribers to the
program.. but that they invest in schemes that may evenutally generate
wind power. And that, currently, there are not enough wind generation plants
actually in use to come anywhere NEAR meeting the use by their subscribers.


> In our case your claim of a dirty grid is less valid. We are willingly
> paying more and everyone will benefit. Not only will it help make electric a
> cleaner fuel it will keep more of our money here and provide long term  local
> jobs. I would like to see more done but this is a  good start.

What I've never understood is... the power companies don't pay a dime for
"wind" fuel.. So why is it that they charge a premium price for power that,
were it generated that way, would be cheaper?

Since a given electron can't be traced to it's source, your only hope of
keeping the power companies honest is to demand that they show that they
have a source for each kwh they are selling.
>
> You make a point that electric is a dirty fuel. You have a choice you can
> pay less and make it so or you can pay more and clean the grid up  faster if
> this is a concern to you. This again is where I agree with Lan. If  were
> going to be using coal then it would be much easier to make it cleaner in 
> one location then in millions of vehicles.

Except that they don't hold power plants to the same standards they do
cars.. and since cars are replaced more quicly than power plants, it's
easier to modify the car fleet than the power company plants.

>
> Really there are other options for clean electric. As an example go a
> little over half way down the page at this link

Oh.. I'd love to see us use geothermal power... It makes a lot more sense
than many of the other alternatives.

And I'd like to see us REQUIRE that any new building built in an area
that requires over a certain number of heating degree days or cooling
degree days per year use ground source heating and cooling systems.

We could significantly cut the "fixed point" utilzation of fuel if we
did this. (As opposed to mobile uses of power such as cars, trains, ships,
aircraft etc.)

It is interesting that you bring up Kenedy's speech about the Apollo
program. It occured during one of the most productive times in US
history.. and was largely conducted by US companies, using US workers.
(I know this, first hand.. I was one of them for 13 years.)

>
> The United States is going broke and oil is a big part of the  problem.

It's only a small part of the problem..

A larger part of the problem is that US companies are content to send
productive work overseas. And that US consumers are willing to buy
stuff built overseas, to the detriment of their own economy. And that
no one sees this as "unpatriotic".

> Were all either part of the problem or part of the solution. I  really 
> feel EVs
> can be a huge part of the solution.

So you are going to subsidize production of this new technology.. in Japan?

> EVs also have a very long  list of
> other positives. However you don't need to be a fan or fanatic to drive 
> an EV anymore. Nissan with the Leaf has now made it possible  to go about 
> your daily driving more convenient and in  the long run less costly.

It's not quite that effective.. but it's getting closer.

> No more going out of your way to find and  wait at a gas station.

Nope.. now you hike MILES to the nearest charging station.. only to find
that it's not compatible with your vehicle or not otherwise available.


> No more 
> engine oil changes, transmission or axle oil  changes. No more air filters,
>  belts or major engine services.  Even your brakes  will last longer 
> because your motor turns into a generator which helps stop the  vehicle.

This is largly true.. although you still need lubricants of various types.

> Also since it is very doubtful
> gas will go down in the future you  having an alternative fuel vehicle that
> is free from future oil price hikes. New  vehicles are usually always a
> poor investment. However with an EV with such a  long warranty back by a 
> major manufacturer is about as good as it gets.

At least until you have to replace the battery pack. The current fleet of
Preius are beginning to come to the end of their useful battery life.. and
I understand that the "warranty" is often being fulfilled by replacing the
now dead pack with packs salveged from wrecked vehicles.


> But wait  there's more with the
> 7500 dollar federal tax credit taken off the top its  almost a steal while
> these funds last.

I'm glad the subsidy is in effect, for now.. but I'd like to see them
compete on a one to one basis, especially for vehicles produced overseas.
>
> Although the electric supply has a lot to do with EVs. I am afraid  much of
> this post is getting away from what the OEVA is here for. I also don't
> want to bore anyone with my point of views. Sometimes that is easier said 
> then done for a fanatic.
>
> Don
>
Don, I'm glad you are an early adopter.. I've done the same with some other
technologies.. and it's important to get some EV's out in the real world
to see if they can replace ICE's.

I think, for some, the current product will do just fine.

And I think hybrids will help fill in the gap. (And it looks like we will
have a small flood of hybrids, soon.. Lexus, Lincoln and others have
already begun advertizing them.)

We may soon see "battery replacement" versions of EV's, where you stop in
and swap batteries, instead of re-charging, leaving the heavy, expensive,
fast charging systems at "gas stations".

Just as we have "propane exchange" racks at grocery stores now, battery
exchanges might work as well.

The existing crop of EV's will start to prove that, one way or the other.

I'm looing forward to the general availability of the EV Transit. If they
can do that, with reasonable range and purchase price.. I'd seriously take a
look at it.

Steve



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