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  1. #21  
    Senior Member TVDOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m00 View Post
    I'm astounded that was your takeaway. Please show me where I said "the only reason that we can't get this to work is we haven't spent enough taxpayer money on it........." since you're quoting me as saying something I clearly haven't.
    Exhibit A:

    I think the real problem with the electric car is simply that our road infrastructure isn't built to handle it, and our energy distribution system isn't built to handle it. They have wireless chargers, for example. You could in theory build a city where buried underneath intersections there were inductive chargers. Only the free market will ever tell us whether in time something like this is a good idea (cost effective, demand). But I'm sure there's enough smart people in the world to make electric cars work if there was enough money there.
    Query:

    WHO builds road infrastructure?

    WHO builds energy distribution systems?

    WHO builds "cities"?

    Answer.......Obama does (with union labor)......and our money.....

    Hence the takeaway.....perhaps I missed the "nuance"......

    doc
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  2. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by m00 View Post
    I think the real problem with the electric car is simply that our road infrastructure isn't built to handle it, and our energy distribution system isn't built to handle it. They have wireless chargers, for example. You could in theory build a city where buried underneath intersections there were inductive chargers. Only the free market will ever tell us whether in time something like this is a good idea (cost effective, demand). But I'm sure there's enough smart people in the world to make electric cars work if there was enough money there.

    The problem is when the government gets involved, they can subsidize technology to get it to market, but it won't create demand for a product. If the government really wanted the electric car to work, it should have just said "we're looking to use electric cars for government employees in X agency as a pilot program. The car specs have Y requirements, and the contract is worth Z"... and obviously, it couldn't cost more than the existing gasoline fleet. Either a company would be able to fulfil the contract, or not. If the contract couldn't be fulfilled, then the electric car isn't ready to be made. But at least in this case, you're starting with the demand and not the supply.
    The problem is still the fundamentals and not the infrastructure. The simple fact is that a whole lot of people in this country drive more than 40 miles each day. If I drive to work (as opposed to taking the train), then I'm at about 28 miles already, and I have a pretty short commute! If I throw in a stop at the grocery store on my way home, I would risk running out my battery and getting stuck, just because I popped off to pick up a couple of things to eat on the way. That's simply impractical and no amount of charging stations is going to change that. I'm not going to plug in my car at work and I'm not going to plug in my car when I'm stopping at the store to get a loaf of bread.

    Now, the fleet model makes some sense, but I would be rather surprised that any fleet vehicle would only be used 40 miles in a given day, either. Police cars in most cities go well over 100 miles a single shift. I suppose there are a few government operations that need to have fleet cars but somehow don't have to cover more than 40 miles a day, but I can't think of any off the top of my head.

    At the end of the day, the simple reality is that the electric car just isn't practical except as a very specialized vehicle. For example, there is a blueprint firm in downtown Nashville that has, for all intents and purposes, a glorified golf cart that they use to make deliveries around the downtown area. They don't have to drive very far at any one stretch, and whatever this little dude is, he's apparently got enough juice to go for a day because I see it running all the time throughout the day. But it has absolutely nothing else in it that one would expect from a passenger car: no A/C, no heat, no radio, no anything other than lights, a horn, a little bit of cargo capacity and seating for 1-1/2 adults. That certainly makes sense, but I wouldn't want to drive the thing home every night.
    Olde-style, states' rights conservative. Ask if this concept confuses you.
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  3. #23  
    Senior Member TVDOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarasotaRepub View Post
    Who on this planet wouldn't be in favor of a reasonably priced, clean, powered car???

    Electric, hydrogen, solar, I don't care. The problem is, right now in time, it doesn't exist.

    Someone invent a room temp super conductor and we'd be in Bidness...
    Me.......

    I'm perfectly happy with my 5,000 lb, 400 HP, V8 powered 4x4 SUV.......I can carry 5 people, 2 dogs, 400 pounds of luggage at 80 MPH all day long, and get nearly 20 mpg doing it. Or, if I want, take fire trails to the top of Colorado mountains just to enjoy the view......It's emissions system is so effective that I can virtually breath the exhaust.......

    The air quality hasn't been better in the US since the beginning of the industrial revolution......

    F**k "green".....all I expect the government to do is leave me alone, and so long as I can afford it, keep their mouths shut about what I drive......and don't spend my tax money on s**t that will never work......

    doc
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  4. #24  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVDOC View Post
    Exhibit A:



    Query:

    WHO builds road infrastructure?

    WHO builds energy distribution systems?

    WHO builds "cities"?

    Answer.......Obama does (with union labor)......and our money.....

    Hence the takeaway.....perhaps I missed the "nuance"......

    doc
    I think you are either projecting, or reading what you want to read.


    WHO builds road infrastructure? -- Depends on if it's federal, state, local, community roads, or private roads. If it's a subdivision, I think the developer pays for it. Highways are obviously federal (although I think the state does it with reimbursal), and state roads are obviously state. The ICC in Maryland that was recently built I think was private development. I know in my parents community which is pretty rural, the community association pays for them not to be dirt. In some places, Chamber of Commerce will do "facelifts" to existing areas. When I was in Atlanta, I think the city must have paid for all the roads.

    WHO builds energy distribution systems? -- Depends. Usually it's a private company watched by a federal agency.

    WHO builds "cities"? -- Depends. Can be a corporation (Flint, MI), or a small group of individuals (Las Vegas), or the government (Washington DC). Usually they just kind of spring up, if there happens to be good conditions for commerce.

    Answer.......Obama does (with union labor)......and our money.....
    So... basically, you applied the word "Obama" to everything I wrote in your mind, to "prove" that I somehow must think that the only reason the electric car hasn't worked is that Obama hasn't spent enough money on it? I just want to get this straight before we continue.
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  5. #25  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Wood View Post
    The problem is still the fundamentals and not the infrastructure. The simple fact is that a whole lot of people in this country drive more than 40 miles each day. If I drive to work (as opposed to taking the train), then I'm at about 28 miles already, and I have a pretty short commute! If I throw in a stop at the grocery store on my way home, I would risk running out my battery and getting stuck, just because I popped off to pick up a couple of things to eat on the way. That's simply impractical and no amount of charging stations is going to change that. I'm not going to plug in my car at work and I'm not going to plug in my car when I'm stopping at the store to get a loaf of bread.
    I see what you're saying. My point was just that cities aren't really designed to accommodate the electric car. It's everywhere... from how we designate land as "commercial/residential/industrial" to how we are used to refueling our vehicle (stop at a gas station, buy fuel).

    Consider this. I work downtown, and I live about a 10 minute drive away. I take the metro to work, because that "10 minute drive" is 30 in traffic, and downtown Montreal is not really designed to handle either the driving or parking of cars. But here is another quesiton. Why do I work downtown? I work in an office building at a technical job, where the location could be anywhere. It just so happens that downtown is where all the office space is. But why is that?

    Because we are still living in cities designed with a suburb/downtown model, and the core is more designed to be defended from Indian and British attacks than anything else, or in the case of Montreal to ship goods by mule from the port to the interior. The streets are all one-way and narrow. On top of this we slapped an infrastructure where you live in a suburb anywhere from 10-50 miles from where you work. Basically its like urban planners said "f-it... aren't going to fix downtowns, so lets create these new car-oriented mini-cities far from the interior."

    The idea that we even by default think about "charging stations" means we're already locked into the gasoline-engine mental model.

    My argument is just that electric cars are never going to work until we're committed to them as a society, and I don't mean the government throwing money at it. I mean we have to design cities from the ground-up, and even how we think about what's "near" and what's "far," etc. Let me give you an example. When I lived in Oslo, I did not need a car. It was a city where you got around fine by walking and excellent public transportation that took you everywhere. And it's a small city, and very friendly to pedestrians. For the first year I was there, it felt wrong not having a car... but then you get used to it once you adjust. In Montreal, you can't use a car anywhere inside the city, but you need a car to get anywhere outside the city (public transportation only works to-and-from downtown... it is AWFUL anywhere else). So I have a car here. Sometimes I take a day trip to Quebec city, which is a few hours. Now if I could conveniently hop on a bullet train and get there in less time, would probably do that... but that would involve infrastructure (the train would have to connect to both metros, and so forth... would probably one a single unified metro pass instead of constantly buying tickets).

    The electric car will only come when it makes economic sense for individuals, and we're ready to commit to building and designing cities around them. And then you probably need a high-speed light rail system to connect the cities, so you don't take your electric car cross country. I imagine it will probably be 50 years at least before this becomes remotely viable. But the world is rapidly changing, and how people live and spend their time is changing.

    You know, just to talk about technology... the google self-driving car stuff looks really interesting. Imagine a world where just like there are wi-fi hotspots, there are induction hotspots and the google self-drives your car around and picks route that keeps it charged. Stimulus money isn't going to get us there, and you don't want to stimulate technology like this. But I just object to the notion that just because something doesn't make sense now that it will never, ever make sense. Will never, ever be a good idea. Technology is an amazing thing. And really, the most interesting thing about this thread to me is asking in what sort of conditions would an electric car be viable, and how would it work (because clearly, it isn't viable now)

    (I'm waiting for some other poster to reply to this blindly with "WHY DO YOU LOVE OBAMA" )
    Last edited by m00; 09-10-2012 at 05:43 PM.
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  6. #26  
    eeeevil Sith Admin SarasotaRepub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVDOC View Post
    Me.......

    I'm perfectly happy with my 5,000 lb, 400 HP, V8 powered 4x4 SUV.......I can carry 5 people, 2 dogs, 400 pounds of luggage at 80 MPH all day long, and get nearly 20 mpg doing it. Or, if I want, take fire trails to the top of Colorado mountains just to enjoy the view......It's emissions system is so effective that I can virtually breath the exhaust.......

    The air quality hasn't been better in the US since the beginning of the industrial revolution......

    F**k "green".....all I expect the government to do is leave me alone, and so long as I can afford it, keep their mouths shut about what I drive......and don't spend my tax money on s**t that will never work......

    doc

    That is my point, I want to look at things and options that will work today. Not some pie in the sky engine or tech that only someone working in Hollywood can afford.
    Make it affordable or STFU...
    May the FORCE be with you!
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  7. #27  
    Senior Member TVDOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m00 View Post
    I think you are either projecting, or reading what you want to read.
    Perhaps.....however, I didn't realize that you are a Canadian......which makes a difference. Decidedly different mindsets. I too, have lived all over the world at times, and perhaps best analogous to the conditions you describe is my tour in the UK, we lived within walking distance to almost everything, and really didn't need a vehicle except for trips to London or our family home in Scotland.

    WHO builds road infrastructure? -- Depends on if it's federal, state, local, community roads, or private roads. If it's a subdivision, I think the developer pays for it. Highways are obviously federal (although I think the state does it with reimbursal), and state roads are obviously state. The ICC in Maryland that was recently built I think was private development. I know in my parents community which is pretty rural, the community association pays for them not to be dirt. In some places, Chamber of Commerce will do "facelifts" to existing areas. When I was in Atlanta, I think the city must have paid for all the roads.

    WHO builds energy distribution systems? -- Depends. Usually it's a private company watched by a federal agency.

    WHO builds "cities"? -- Depends. Can be a corporation (Flint, MI), or a small group of individuals (Las Vegas), or the government (Washington DC). Usually they just kind of spring up, if there happens to be good conditions for commerce.
    Perhaps I should have used a broader term......government builds the infrastructure......and since "government" is an unproductive entity, and generates absolutely no funds by itself, all of that proposed "infrastructure" that you suggest has to be financed by.....the taxpayer.....

    As an aside, the taxpayers built Flint, MI......GM provided the employment base, and certainly paid their share of the taxes.....government built it. Alfred Sloan never spent a dime on building Flint.......

    It just seems to me that you are suggesting that all of this "pie in the sky" liberal claptrap like electric vehicles and high-speed rail (name ONE system that makes a profit) needs to be put in place, when you miss the "elegant solution" of just using what resources that we have efficiently. Power plants that generate the electricity that will run your utopia have to be fueled by something.......there is no "magic bullet".


    So... basically, you applied the word "Obama" to everything I wrote in your mind, to "prove" that I somehow must think that the only reason the electric car hasn't worked is that Obama hasn't spent enough money on it? I just want to get this straight before we continue.
    Not at all.....I just spent the past two pages of this thread attempting to explain (in a nice manner) why the electric car will never be practical here in the US, except for very limited applications. From an engineering and physics perspective........America is not Europe (or even Canada), we have a mixture of social, cultural and historic reasons why we won't live all crammed in dense urban areas. Won't happen, if for no other reason than the core of virtually all of our cities are ghettos, in which no sane person would live without armed guards and an arsenal. Those of us who are older and have been a part of the flight to safer areas understand the mechanics of this.

    Debating the electric car is a waste of time.....I used Obama for the simple reason that he is the champion of all of this "green" insanity, none of which will work without restructuring our entire society (which, I'm convinced is really his ultimate goal)........there are hundreds of millions of us that won't tolerate this philosophy. The "push-back" has already started. Anyone that REALLY believes that in even 50 years we will all be tooling around in plug-in cars is not only dumb, but also an ideologue......I have a very limited tolerance for either......

    doc
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  8. #28  
    Senior Member DumbAss Tanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarasotaRepub View Post
    Who on this planet wouldn't be in favor of a reasonably priced, clean, powered car???

    Electric, hydrogen, solar, I don't care. The problem is, right now in time, it doesn't exist.

    Someone invent a room temp super conductor and we'd be in Bidness...
    That's not what's actually limiting it, though it would help some...electric motors and power transmission over short-to-middlin' distances are already pretty efficient, just not as close to theoretical maximums as superconductivity would make them. The real missing link is a good energy storage technology, the only system that is remotely efficient now requires many, many square miles of land, two sizable bodies of water at different levels, and pumping/generation station in between them. Our battery technology is literally "Shockingly" inefficient. Given at least a two orders of magnitude improvement in battery technology and a survivable price point for the final product, electric care would be practical, but with existing power storage technology, they're strictly for tinkerers and hobbyists (And, of course, Leftist idiots). Paradoxically, the lead-acid battery remains the king in terms of output vs. life-cycle cost, since lead-acid batts are very easy and cheap to completely recycle, while exotic materials that can produce much greater energy density are fraught with issues of their own including cost of materials, high manufacturing costs, and difficult recycling.
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  9. #29  
    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m00 View Post
    I think the real problem with the electric car is simply that our road infrastructure isn't built to handle it, and our energy distribution system isn't built to handle it. They have wireless chargers, for example. You could in theory build a city where buried underneath intersections there were inductive chargers. Only the free market will ever tell us whether in time something like this is a good idea (cost effective, demand). But I'm sure there's enough smart people in the world to make electric cars work if there was enough money there.

    The problem is when the government gets involved, they can subsidize technology to get it to market, but it won't create demand for a product. If the government really wanted the electric car to work, it should have just said "we're looking to use electric cars for government employees in X agency as a pilot program. The car specs have Y requirements, and the contract is worth Z"... and obviously, it couldn't cost more than the existing gasoline fleet. Either a company would be able to fulfil the contract, or not. If the contract couldn't be fulfilled, then the electric car isn't ready to be made. But at least in this case, you're starting with the demand and not the supply.


    One of the Chevy dealerships around here has a deal in which they pay DTE to set up the charging mechanism in your garage, free to the customer (both parts and service).
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  10. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVDOC View Post
    Perhaps.....
    Did you miss the sentence where I said "The problem is when the government gets involved..."? I just really didn't understand how you can interpret this as me saying "The only reason that we can't get this to work is we haven't spent enough taxpayer money on it........."

    Didn't seem very nuanced. Just sayin' :)
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