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  1. #11
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    IMO, it's the storage. Gasoline packs a ridiculous amount of energy in a very compact, lightweight, portable medium. Also ridiculously easy to "recharge" a gasoline powered vehicle--just pump fuel into the tank.

    Batteries can't quite compete with the energy storage density (hopefully modern tech bridges that gap), and the charging problem just sucks. Pumping gasoline into your fuel tank is akin to charging a battery at a rate of several megawatts (did the math for this a while back, would have to dig it up again). Try doing that with a lead-acid battery. I guarantee it will explode in short order.

  2. #12
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Tariffs reduce competition from foreign sources. Regulations reduce competition from domestic sources. The combination allows the Big Three to stay on top, squashing competition. The UAW is in on it, too. You know, to protect jobs and all that.

    It's not economically viable to start up a new automobile manufacturer (due to labor unions and regulations that benefit the Big Three), otherwise one would have been created in the last few decades to challenge the Big Three. And the Big Three aren't competing on an even playing field with foreign automakers because tariffs drive up the cost of those Hondas.

    If consumers demand electric cars and the Big Three don't provide them, they shouldn't be fined or mandated by the government. That penalty is far too weak. They should go out of business. And the way to do that is to increase competition. Unfortunately, neither the Big Three or the UAW will ever allow that to happen. And yes, the UAW is equally culpable. They're partners in crime.
    Oh, I know. The situation is brutal. The Big Three made so much money post-WWII through the late-1960s that they made outlandish contracts with their union labor. When the gas crisis hit and the economy was bad in the 1970s (and foreign cars got way, way better), they were hit badly, but still had insane wages to pay. Of course, instead of major restructuring, they went for the government bailouts. They are still amongst the biggest and most inefficient companies in the nation. They are, however, getting seriously into the electric car market, so perhaps they won't be made irrelevant just yet.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  3. #13
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    The situation is bigger than the US though. How do we explain the whole world?

  4. #14
    Senior Membrane spirilis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    The situation is bigger than the US though. How do we explain the whole world?
    I think my post above gives the hint. It's just more economically feasible to do mass transportation using hydrocarbon fuels, regardless of the infrastructure and corporations behind it, than to manage it using electricity-bound methods.

  5. #15
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    Oh, I quite agree. Hydrogen isn't there at the moment - it needs money thrown at it. You know, all those billions thrown at Iraq and other oil related messes would do it.
    Hydrogen is an energy storage method in the same way that batteries, compressed air, etc., are, so any problems with "electricity comes from coal" will still be there if any other of these methods are used.

  6. #16
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    Hydrogen is an energy storage method in the same way that batteries, compressed air, etc., are, so any problems with "electricity comes from coal" will still be there if any other of these methods are used.
    Oh, bugger. I hadn't realised. I thought they were working on some sort of reactor plant that produced it, but I must be wrong. If so, I apologise.

    Still, I suppose it has the capability to be more deliverable than batteries.. faster to refuel and doesnt need a network of electrical cabling upgrades..?

    So, maybe the solution is either :

    1. Huge scale renewables. Water and wind power seem tops to me to generate something that can be delivered, like hydrogen cell, or electric cars with vastly improved battery technology.

    2. Some super clean new nuclear style technology - I hear there are some test plants in France that will go live soon that might be a huge improvement on the existing. They then produce raw energy to feed number 1.

    3. The unknown-we dont know what we dont know-solution. Through $100billion at 10-20 of the world's most innovative companies and ask them to solve the problem...?

  7. #17
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Why do the big three and the UWA not want to get into this technology and dominate the market? It has a very good chance of being the direction things are going to have to go.

    They are killing themselves by not jumping on board making the cheapest, most fuel-efficient vehicles they can make. I don't understand why they are fighting it instead of doing their darndest to be on the cutting edge of this thing.

    Are they stupid or does this somehow work to their advantage in some way I'm not seeing?
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    They are killing themselves by not jumping on board making the cheapest, most fuel-efficient vehicles they can make. I don't understand why they are fighting it instead of doing their darndest to be on the cutting edge of this thing.
    They will only build the cars that people will buy. Until this year, that was big, fast cars. It takes a while for their Marketing departments to get clued in.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    The situation is bigger than the US though. How do we explain the whole world?
    The US isn't the only nation with those circumstances.

  10. #20
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Yep, I'm sure the UAW make a big difference to workers in Romania, for example

    Cafe - amazing how people change their buying focus when the gas price is higher, isn't it. We are paying $10 a gallon here in the UK, now

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