[Oeva-list] Mr. Zehner's article

Steve's Account stevel at fern.com
Tue Jul 30 10:17:01 PDT 2013

> I hope someone is fashioning a response to the anti-EV interview with Ozzie
> Zehner on "Here & Now" this morning.  He can no longer call himself a
> conservationist.  http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/07/29/electric-cars-green
> Nick Galaday

Unfortunately, I believe that Mr. Zehner might just be the "conservationist"
in this case. I'm afraid that it's the EV drivers who are the "wastrels" in
this case.

It's a position I've held after looking at the issues over a long period
of time.

As attractive as EV's appeared to be, the reality is, they just arn't
THAT MUCH BETTER than the existing alternatives.

I know it's hard to accept that the technology that you have spent
your hard earned money on, hoping that you are doing the right
thing, isn't panning out.. And I know that my "position" isn't
a popular one in this group.

I do think that all the subsidies that have been spent on EV's
to date, were probably a good idea.. because we needed to see,
at scale, what EV's can do.

We can't, and won't be able to, in the forseeable future,
produce enough clean power to shift the transportation energy
expenditures from the existing oil based fuel to the electricity

Photovoltaics aren't living up to their hype. Their cost has been
artificially driven down.. but at the same time the pannel reliability
and output is actually getting worse!

Environmentally responsible panel manufacture doesn't seem to
be possible. And many of the US based panel manufacturers are
going out of business.

And photovoltaics generate power when the sun shines, which is
exactly out of phase with the transportation power demand.

The power companies have admitted that "clean power" sold to the
public is a fraud. They can't get enough clean power to meet the
existing demand. (and yes, they claim to be spending the extra
money you send them to try to "develop" clean power... so it
might help, some time in the future.. but it's not looking
good.) But.. until they ACTUALLY can produce the power, when
it's needed, the "green-ness" of EV's is seriously in question.

I realize that, now that commercial EV's are availble, that OEVA's
mission has morphed from being a "support group for EV hobbiests"
into a "marketing organization" for EV manufacturers and 
ancilliary services.. This seems to be a normal progression of
things. Most people won't "make" something they can buy.

Many of the EV support businesses have gone bust. This includes
the parts suppliers, and the US based battery manufacturers etc.`

(I just recycled a number of lead acid batteries. The price of
scrap batteries has dropped by 1/2 in the last year.)

This is not the trajectory you'd expect to see in a "successful"
market segment.

Unless some things change dramatically, and soon, I'm afraid
Mr. Zehner might be right on target. We need cleaner batteries,
lighter batteries, more efficient motors, more efficient charging
systems, faster charging systems. And we need some breakthrus on the
generation side.. like really clean, cheap power. Solar (photovoltaic)
and wind arn't working well, yet.

It's still interesting to watch and see how it develops. I don't
think it's 100% clear whether EVs are the "way of the future" or
as Mr. Zehner suggests, a detour.


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