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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Electric Autos Haven't Improved in a Hundred Years

The “EV Everywhere Grand Challenge” was announced by President Obama in March and the Department of Energy is holding a series of workshops across the country to brainstorm and inspire the dramatic advances needed in batteries, power electronics, motors, lightweight materials and fast-charging infrastructure technology to make it a reality. One would think if a solution could be hatched from a series of brainstorming sessions by the fanatical greens or whomever goes to the damned workshops the engineers at GM would have thought of it. After all GM is being forced by its creditor, the US government, to produce the Volt at the break even point and if they could produce it cheaper and better they would have a leg up on some hippy green with a phd in bovine flatulence one is apt encounter at a DOE workshop.
Obama and Chu must believe there own talking points and campaign rhetoric. According to Chu the DOE would like to see an EV (that's green wonk talk for electric vehicle) that sells for $23,000 and gets gets three times the present range on a charge in ten years. I, one the other hand, would like the both of them doing hard labor in Leavenworth for the Solyndra bankruptcy and their wanton waste of tax dollars. Seriously, thinking, wishing and hoping that science can triple the mileage range of a battery at two thirds the price in a period of ten years is the sort of reasoning the inspired the housing crash and many municipal bankruptcies.
To quote Kris De Decker of Low Tech Magazine;
“If today’s supporters of EVs would dig into the specifications and the sales brochures of early 20th century electric ‘horseless carriages,’ their enthusiasm would quickly disappear,” he wrote in May 2010. “Fast-charged batteries (to 80 percent capacity in 10 minutes), automated battery swapping stations, public charging poles, load balancing,… in-wheel motors, regenerative braking: it was all there in the late 1800s or the early 1900s. It did not help (prevent the demise of EVs). Most surprisingly, however, is the seemingly non-existent progress of battery technology (today).”
"The 2010 Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i-MiEV have exactly the same range as the 1908 Fritchle Model A Victoria: 100 miles (160 kilometres) on a single charge"
That's progress? Well up until now we have had a Department of Energy run by Obama and company. Jay Leno shows off the 1909 Baker Electric which is probably the equivalent of the Nissan Leaf a hundred years ago.

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