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War over oil? $5 pump prices?: Looking again at electric vehicles

February 25, 2012 by Bob Difley · 97 Comments  
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By Bob Difley

gasoline_prices_2012The passing of the $4 a  gallon gas price this week didn’t seem like so much of a threshold as a speed bump on its way to $5. The Iran controversy is driving Wall Street speculation on the price of oil–which already has pushed prices well over $100 a barrel that will probably stay there for some time to come–resulting in exponential rises at the pump.

It doesn’t help to rationally point out that the rise in the price of oil does not warrant such extreme escalation of pump prices, everyone is going to get what they can get out of it before the closing of the strait of Hormuz, the next war in the Middle East, OPEC raises oil prices,  and Wall Street speculators drive oil futures prices sky high and we all park our rigs.

Whew. As if we didn’t have enough to worry about. But whenever the price of oil jumps, the news ratchets up the hope that the political cavalry will ride in with more drilling for domestic oil, escalating natural gas to the fast track to get it to the market sooner, and pushing development of alternative energy such as solar, wind, geothermal, etc.

So I found this one little tidbit in the world of electric vehicles (EV) that sounded like it might have possibilities.  The problems with EV are multiple, including battery output limiting the vehicles’ range, cost of batteries, lack of charging infrastructure, dynamics limiting vehicle size, weight, and power, etc., and the desire of car owners to have the same or better features and passenger comforts that today’s gasoline vehicles offer.

An engineering challenge affecting range, weight, and power has been how to include air conditioning and heating in EV and how to cool the main battery. In an internal combustion engine (ICE) the compressor that runs the A/C is driven by a belt off the engine–which EV do not have. On hybrids, which do have an ICE, the current designs of belt driven A/C reduce the amount of charging that goes back into the main battery, create a drag on the engine (which are smaller than in regular vehicles), reducing efficiency and range.

A Japanese company called Denso has developed a new inline electric compressor, which will make its global debut on the Ford Focus Electric that goes into full production the first part of this year, as well as Fusion and C-Max Hybrids and Energi Plug-in Hybrids, also due in 2012.

“Denso’s new e-compressor is smaller, lighter and quieter than previous generations, maintaining the same cooling capacity while consuming less power,” reports Autonet.ca. “This means it pulls less juice from the battery and helps extend the lithium ion battery range when the air-conditioning (A/C) is running. For hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), the e-compressor helps make the car less reliant on the internal combustion engine.”

The company states that the e-compressor will also cool the lithium-ion battery, enabling it to maintain optimnal temperature that in turn will improve EV range and battery life. This could be one of those parts of the whole EV development that helps it overcome its inherent problems and gain acceptance in the broader market–and make it more practical for us RVers that are hugely affected by both rising fuel prices and the need for range. Anyway, this looks like another development to keep our eyes on–unless the end of the world comes first.

Happy travels!

Check out my website for RVing tips and destinations and for my ebooks, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands (or for Kindle version), Snowbird Guide to Boondocking in the Southwestern Deserts (Kindle version), and 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang out of your RV Lifestyle Dollar (Kindle version).

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Comments

97 Responses to “War over oil? $5 pump prices?: Looking again at electric vehicles”

  1. Steve on February 25th, 2012 5:25 pm

    With Natural Gas getting more and more available and cheaper … I’m giving serious consideration to making my truck bi fuel. I’m surprised we don’t have more of these available from the factory, especially for parts of the nation where it is more available. See http://www.cngprices.com/

  2. Journey39n on February 25th, 2012 5:34 pm

    We need all the advances in electric vehicle technology that we can get. But isn’t it interesting that these big spikes only seem to occur when the middle east is heating up.

    Back in 73, late 80’s, and after 2001, especially in 08 and now. All during the 90’s the average price of gasoline only rose 15 cents a gallon to about $2. But since 2001, the price skyrocketed. And in 08 (an election year) the price in real dollars finally passed the oil crisis prices from the 70’s.

    And now in 2012, another election year, the prices will surpass those high ones from 08. Not saying conspiracy or anything, lots of factors, but you can’t get away from the world’s dependence on mid-east oil.

    And remember, what a disaster it was in 2008 for the RV industry.

    Just thinking . . .

  3. Kurt Hammerschmidt on February 25th, 2012 5:37 pm

    Instead of blaming the Iranian problem and speculators, I think the cause of high fuel prices should be laid at the feet of those that have caused the prices to soar. Our government. They created an Energy Department that was supposed to come up with policies that would make us energy independant. That was back in Carter’s administration. What have they accomplished? NOTHING. It is a know fact that we have more oil here at home than Saudi Arabia. What have we done to make that oil available to the American People? Cancelled leases for offshore drilling, cancelled the pipeline fromCanada’s oil sands to the Gulf Coast refineries, not allowed drilling in ANWAR and multitudes of other obstructions put in the way to make us completely independant of what those maniacs in the Mid East do to each other.
    Our present administration has accomplished exactly what it set out to do which is to make oil and gas so expensive that we are scrambling to find alternatives that are completely unneccessary and inefficient. And all in an effort to pay back political supporters.

  4. Jim on February 25th, 2012 6:14 pm

    I think Kurt is right on target with his response. All we have to do is look at history to find our answer to this situation. This country was built around the availability of domestic oil and gas. When Big Brother got involved is when thing started to go down hill.

  5. Don and Jan Stenberg on February 25th, 2012 6:16 pm

    This is all great, but electricity isn’t free. It doesn’t magically appear out of the air. What will it cost to keep electric cars charged?
    Gasoline usage is lower now than it has ever been, and that does not seem to make a difference. We need to stop the speculation. Senator Bill Nelson of Florida has a bill to change the oil speculation. Let’s hope Congress can get it together and make some changes.

  6. Tony Grande on February 25th, 2012 6:26 pm

    I guess we won’t be using our RV anytime soon :( Was planning a 10 day trip to Washington state in May but with the price of diesel fuel soring 5 to 10 cents per gallon a day here in good old California, really put the brakes on our trip. As Sarah Palin said when she was governor of Alaska, Alaska ALONE has enough oil and natural gas to supply this country for the next 100 years. But when the environmentalist get in the way of the drilling we just have to keep depending on foreign oil. Plus what oil we are producing here, most of it is being sold to China. So until we get the right person in Washington to listen to the American people our economy will continue to suffer. As for EV’s I can’t pull my 5th wheel with one….

    Happy RVing if you can afford the fuel…

  7. Brian and Betty Mc Gowan on February 25th, 2012 6:35 pm

    Ever wonder why the government chooses to block more oil coming from the USA’s largest energy supplier. China will get Canada’s oil while it could get 10% of all its energy for the next 300 years from a friendly country instead of being hostage to the middle east.

  8. Evan on February 25th, 2012 6:39 pm

    Oil is sold on a global market. The “oil we produce here” gets sent to China because they’re willing to pay more for it than we are here. Drill more here and we’ll just send more overseas; solves nothing.

    It’s a shame we can’t have a discussion about EVs/oil without it turning into a pile-on session about our government and politics. Not everything is the fault of scheming and/or inept politicians.

  9. hoppe on February 25th, 2012 6:58 pm

    Don’t any of the Drill Baby Drill crowd know how to read? Or do they just not bother to. I guess Fox NOISE is their only source of info?

    FYI Petroleum Products were the NUMBER ONE EXPORT last year.

    Don’t you folks understand that they’ve already Drilled a plenty? Silverado XL is a pipeline to EXPORT more oil. It’s not for us. If it were why does the planned pipeline go to the Gulf of Mexico. Oh and for you folks that care TEXAS is allowing Right of Imminent Domain to take peoples land to build it on. Ya LIKING it yet?

    Everybody seems to be looking at the wrong culprits AGAIN. It’s the Commodities Speculators that are driving up the oil prices.

    You want to make them drink the oil? Cut WAY back on usage, it’ll go down within 30 days.

    If you want to control the price of oil. We will have to Nationalize the resource. That’s the only way we can Control it…. We currently don’t own the oil, it belongs to the OIL Companies. Yes the ones Still reporting the record profits.

    IS it dark in there? PULL YOUR COLLECTIVE HEADS OUT. It’s not the government. Hell the Baggers in the HOUSE can’t/won’t do anything except cut Soc Sec and Medicare. Oh Sorry, I forgot one… they want to give even more income tax breaks to the rich. Yeah, did good when you put them in office?

  10. Dave M. on February 25th, 2012 6:59 pm

    Get the politicians and the greenpeople out of the way and we will get on with solving our oil and gas problems. Great job Bob. You do have a way of hitting the nail on the head!!!!
    Dave M.

  11. Traveling Light 2 on February 25th, 2012 7:01 pm

    Has anyone looked at the suggestion coming out of Texas about using Natural Gas in place of diesel. I have read the PR but admit I don’t have any real knowledge. I know Natural Gas is frequently used in commercial buses. Is it actually feasable to convert a diesel motor to use natural gas.If so what are the up and down sides of this? I would appreciate anyone with actual experience giving me some insite or where to find actual realistic information, not just PR.

    As for the Gas prices, it is what it is. Politicians will argue this adnausium as they have done for more than 20 years and through 5 presidential terms representing both parties. Meanwhile several oil companies are still posting record profits. We can sit around and complain all about it, but for me and mine, I am a fulltimer and must still work for a living so I will figure out how to get er done. Lookin for alternatives.

  12. joe on February 25th, 2012 7:05 pm

    Not everything, Evan, but this one likely is.

    Oil prices actually aren’t up as much as the US dollar is down. The effect at the pump is the same, but the reason (and the cure) is different.

    Monetary policy that involves near 0% interest rates is designed to prop up house prices, stocks, and municipal budgets. The side effect is that increasing the money supply (printing money, easing, QE2, whatever you want to call it) increase the prices of commodities like food and fuel.

    Government has chosen a fiscal policy that rewards spenders and punishes savers. There are no 2 ways about it.

    Retired RVers take a double hit as current policy kills them at the fuel pump, and with near-0 returns on their savings. In inflation adjusted dollars, their savings are being plundered to pay for a spending binge. It should be criminal, and both major parties are complicit.

  13. RockinFX on February 25th, 2012 7:07 pm

    “It is a know fact that we have more oil here at home than Saudi Arabia.”

    Really??? Cite your source! Perhaps you should let the Saudi’s and the rest of the oil-producing world know because they would be a whole lot more compliant on price if they thought that was even close to true!

    At current consumption, the US uses about 8 billion barrels of oil per year; conventionally recoverable oil from offshore drilling is thought to be 18 billion barrels total, not per year. What’s more, offshore oil drilling will not guarantee lower fuel prices — oil is a global commodity, and US production is not big enough to influence global prices.

    Then there’s the Bakken Formation Myth which was proven years ago to be a false bunch of FUD initiated from a speculative review based on faulty data. If you take even the most optimistic current estimates, there are probably 4.5 billion barrels technically recoverable. Not a tiny amount until you note that the US imports *10 million* (or more) barrels of oil per *day*!

    So, optimistically, there are 22.5 billion barrels in the ground recoverable without the use of outrageously new/expensive/risk-prone technologies and we use 8 BILLION BARRELS per YEAR. I know the US is horribly behind the other westernized countries in science and math, but surely …

    Like the tar sands? NONE, zero, zilch, nada is slated for domestic use. It will all be exported. Maybe you’d like to talk the Canadians into lightening up, but they are currently using eminent domain to condemn the property of *US citizens* who don’t want to roll over for their big, spill-prone pipeline.

    Unlimited oil is gone, done, vanished. The Magic Oil Fairy will NOT be there a hundred years from now blessing everyone with endless fonts of crude and candy kisses. What oil remains in the ground is going to get much, much more expensive to extract and process long before then.

    Continuing to employ riskier and riskier drilling technologies to obtain filthy fossil fuels to feed our doomed oil addiction is a fool’s errand. If the oil disappears in 30 years or 50 or even 150 – what is the ultimate difference to those generations of our children and theirs? We need to focus our efforts on alternatives and we need to do it yesterday!

  14. hoppe on February 25th, 2012 7:08 pm

    Respondant STEVE

    CNG, we been there done that. Talk about no Range? That’s the problem.

    Of course the nest thing that’ll be in short supply will be Drinking WATER. Last I read on the subject of fracking, 50% of well casings fail during fracking. When the ground water is polluted, What are you going to do for drinking water? Will crops grow on water that’s got those chemicals in it? If they do, will the produce be fit to eat?

    Yes, CNG is the answer all right. To more, and higher profits for the oil companies.

  15. Jim on February 25th, 2012 7:18 pm

    Can’t do much more than agree with hoppe and Joe. To the extent that the government is to blame it is in the failure of the congress and regulators to rein in speculation just as they have failed to rein in the big banks despite their having caused the greatest financial disaster since the depression.

    As someone else said here there is currently a house and senate bill pending to curb speculation.

    Here is a link to a summary of the Senate bill.

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:SN01598:@@@D&summ2=m&

    It also has a link to the House version as well. If you really care about all this I would urge you to contact your Senator and Congressional representatives and urge them to support these bills. I suspect that since it would hurt the big money they will fail or be watered down to nothing if enough people fail to support it.

  16. hoppe on February 25th, 2012 7:18 pm

    Electric cars would be a start. I am still hoping for Hydrogen myself.

    Hydro generated Electricity would be lovely. Except that the power companies don’t want to fix the Dams. And mysteriously there is a growing movement to knock down the dams instead of fixing them? Don’t we need to hold that water for flood control, irrigation, and drinking anymore? Or did nobody think of that?

    Instead we have commercials on TV espousing the wonders of CNG and Clean Coal. Say What? CLEAN coal? That’s a new word for ‘Black Lung’ ?

    Wake up folks. This crap isn’t what we NEED. Unless you want to live mud huts and cardboard shanties?

  17. hoppe on February 25th, 2012 7:29 pm

    Good Grief, now we’ve got somebody quoting the HALF Governor of Alaska.

  18. Glen Jones on February 25th, 2012 7:51 pm

    The gas Price hike is all about the Speculators on Wall street that the republicans
    refuse to regulate, these are the same people that bankrupted America and the Oil companies do not need there multi millions in subsidies and the CEO’S there
    multi millions in salaries, and why are we subsidizing foriegn oil companies.
    I would not be suprised to see the refinery fire in Washington was set

  19. Glen Jones on February 25th, 2012 7:59 pm

    On electric RV’s are we going to build charge stations every 100 miles all over North American even in National Parks and on every road national forest, BLM,
    Interstate and State and more Nucular Plants and dams to provied the electricity

  20. catchesthewind on February 25th, 2012 9:37 pm

    We are the greatest nation on earth. Barring government interference our farmers can produce enough to feed the world. We have the best factory workers in the world. Our tools of war are built here and not in china. It is time we reassert our national sovereignty and show the world what the American can do if allowed to freely compete in the marketplace. Government bailouts need to stop. Pan Am went under and life went on. How many car makers went out of business and we still drive the best cars in the world. If GM had gone under-so what-we still have auto makers. Government needs to back off and the American workforce will solve what ails this country. Nuff said.

  21. Craig on February 25th, 2012 9:56 pm

    I haven’t read all the comments, so I have to assume I’m repeating something already noted. But I’ll charge right on, anyhow. Let’s assume the Greenies’ dream comes true and we have a few million EVs on the road in the foreseeable future, say five years. Let’s also assume every gas statton, parking lot and parking meter is equipped with recharging stations. Where is the electricity going to come from? Will the environmentalists suddenly roll over and allow the erection of Lord knows how many additional generation stations to be built without the usual ten or fifteen years in court battles? Please. Get real.

    And, Glen Jones, in the last century how often have the Republicans controlled the House and Senate, not to mention the presidency? You embarrass yourself.

  22. Jim G on February 25th, 2012 10:14 pm

    While I certainly wish I possessed some ability to predict, sadly I do not. But when I read the subject matter of Bobs blog somehow I knew that the overwhelming majority of comments would center around politicians, our government and laying blame, not about electric fuel alternatives. Oh well, now let me try to forecast Powerball. 1,2,3……………..

  23. Jim on February 25th, 2012 10:37 pm

    Jim G, your comment appears to be about how off-topic many of the comments are. In your case it would seem that the pot is just a bit black as well.

    So, while those posts my actually have something to do with our energy situation what does yours address?

  24. War over oil? $5 pump prices?: Looking again at electric vehicles | Electric Vehicles on February 26th, 2012 12:35 am

    [...] of a threshold as a speed bump on its way to $5. The Iran. … Go here to see the original: War over oil? $5 pump prices?: Looking again at electric vehicles ← Electrical Cars: Are They in Ones Future [...]

  25. Jim G on February 26th, 2012 12:48 am

    TO My Namesake Jim:
    POWERBALL!!!!

    Gee I thought that was obvious

  26. G Shea on February 26th, 2012 2:05 am

    Every time gas prices spike there is a rush to look at other fuels. Each time I hear a bunch of liberals citing falsehoods regarding EVERY type of fuel as if the only solution is horse and buggy. We have allot of oil that is not being drilled due to our current administration trying to keep environmentalists happy for November. Why are we one of the only countries to inhibit our own energy developments?

    CNG facts are that diesel engines can be converted to burn it and have been for a long time. I have been driving CNG powered buses for years and the outfits that use it are doing it for cost savings as well as less emissions. The anti fracking arguments don’t cut it since the wells can and are made to stand up to the pressures of the process. Citing well failure rates without sources demonstrates my argument that some do not want ANY solution except horse and buggy.

    EV vehicles like the nissan leaf are not for driving the family to Disneyland, but as commuter cars and grocery store runners. I know folks who drive them, 15 cents a mile, 1.50 to go close to 100 miles. The charger draws less than a clothes dryer and our current electric supply can handle them just fine.

    Our do nothing administration says there is “no silver bullet”. Bull- increasing drilling, further developing CNG, promoting EV charging stations at malls and such could have a HUGE impact on prices. Our Energy guy has been quoted as suggesting that gas should cost 6.00 a gallon to drive folks away from it. They want it expensive so we will all “go green”. Wake up America, green is a lie, we have only one goal that needs to be addressed and that is WHERE the fuels we use come from. If we massively reduce mid east imports by using CNG, EV, and bio fuels the reduced costs of all will be worth it. Every energy source has some drawbacks that will be trumpeted by all the nay sayers. Rather than let them inhibit these alternatives, it is time to attack our oil addiction head on with the currently available solutions that can be used today. Drill here, drill now, Buy a EV car now. Buy a CNG car now. Switch to bio diesel now. Vote in November for whomever attacks this issue with real solutions. Then and only then will costs go down… .

  27. Fritz on February 26th, 2012 6:58 am

    I dont think electric vehicles are up to snuff . Has anyone looked up what it cost to buy the vehicle, charge batteries and then to replace them. They don’t even know what to do with the old batteries. I’ve heard that replacement for batteries in a electric vehicle is around $5,000.00……
    Will CNG in motorhomes be able to pull the weight with a toad? Haven’t heard anyone address this.

  28. hoppe on February 26th, 2012 7:22 am

    G. Shea….

    That sure must be some Kool Aid you drink.

    Fracking? Catch a clue, Buy one if necessary. You don’t need to know what the oil companies don’t have to report. Just look at the ground water problems already showing up.

    CNG: Really? How many miles do get per tank on that? The PO had Delivery Vehicles converted to CNG. Couldn’t keep CNG in them. Went back to gasoline.

    Do nothing Administration? Don’t know what’s in your water, but you obviously aren’t looking at the facts. Or do you not realize that the President doesn’t legislate, that he only signs or vetoes what the Congress sends up. DUH!

    Is there any possibility that you haven’t been awake even an hour a day for the last 6 years? In spite of the nightmare of the Gulf BP fiasco they are still in the US. Should have run them out, That should have been Strike 3. What utter ignorance!

    Silver Bullet? Yeah, pseudo Cowboy Bush had one, or was that Two. He gave lovely tax breaks to the rich, with NO thought to the consequences. Took away all the regulation he could. Now we are suffering the consequences. Or do you NOT own any real estate?

    What makes more sense?
    Tax and spend Democrats. OR
    Spend and don’t pay for it Republicans?

    Oh I forgot you weren’t awake when Bush took over Clinton’s Balanced Budget Gov…….. And left a total disaster for Obama. Now tell me again about do nothtings. I think we’d prefer what Obama is doing over the Bushy ‘Give it to my Buddies’ policy.

  29. Jim G on February 26th, 2012 8:42 am

    Just some more food for thought; According to a published report (see excerpt below), a principal reason is not centered around the Oval Office or Capitol Hill but with the refineries themselves.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/angry-about-high-gas-prices–blame-shuttered-oil-refineries.html

    ” The more likely reason behind the price increase, though certainly less compelling as a political argument, is the recent spate of refinery closures in the U.S. Over the past year, refineries have faced a classic margin squeeze. Prices for Brent crude have gone up, but demand for gasoline in the U.S. is at a 15-year low. That means refineries haven’t been able to pass on the higher prices to their customers.

    As a result, companies have chosen to shut down a handful of large refineries rather than continue to lose money on them. Since December, the U.S. has lost about 4 percent of its refining capacity, says Fadel Gheit, a senior oil and gas analyst for Oppenheimer. That month, two large refineries outside Philadelphia shut down: Sunoco’s plant in Marcus Hook, Pa., and a ConocoPhillips plant in nearby Trainer, Pa. Together they accounted for about 20 percent of all gasoline produced in the Northeast.”

    So my point (if there is one) is that while it is easy to blame the pols in D.C., the real blame needs to be spread out and the oil industry (those making profits when we pump) are very culpable in this mess.

  30. larry on February 26th, 2012 9:46 am

    Nothing but government manipulation and control of the citizens! Why do we tolerate this abuse?

  31. randy on February 26th, 2012 11:26 am

    use less and shop for the best price often across the street gas is $.20 to $.40 less and even greater price discrepansies further away gas buddy is useful.

  32. Geoffrey Pruett on February 26th, 2012 12:16 pm

    There are several “old wives tales” in the responses not the least of which is that government can manage a resource efficiently. Any one remember odd and even day fill ups?
    Converting to propane/natural gas is a stop gap but is limited to short hop driving and is short on usable fill up points.
    Electric makes some sense but only helps the clean air side when charging is done with hydro power.
    Right at the top of the list of patches is stop exporting our own product. Expecting any changes from current officials is like expecting global warming to go away because it is unpleasant to think about.
    In the sixties I worked in third world countries where fuel was 8 to 10 times USA pricing. It did not stop me from taking trips just made planning them part of taking the trip. Like it of not we are there now!
    My fleet includes an SUV, a work van, and a Class A motor home. We do not stay home because of fuel prices just include them in trip planning.
    The reality based price of fuel is still a work in progress and probably not fun to contemplate but we have the freedom in this country to say no to increases that do not make sense. We also have the freedom to stay home until better options are available.

  33. Jim G on February 26th, 2012 1:56 pm

    Geoff,
    Aptly put. As disconcerting as it is to pay $4 plus per gallon the only viable short-term solution for any RVer and those driving automobiles on vacations is to plan accordingly, perhaps some trips of shorter distances, taking the most economical routes, etc. But for those of us who enjoy the freedom of RVing, the thought of staying put vs. not will hopefully never be the best option.

  34. Rock on February 26th, 2012 5:24 pm

    The only solution for now, for us RV’ers, is to go wherever we want but stay there longer. Instead of a week or 2, stay for the entire month. We can’t change big brother or big oil so we have to adapt. As far as electric toads go, I need one that tows 4 wheels down. Good luck with that.

  35. Tom S on February 27th, 2012 12:39 pm

    OK.. My input

    Boy that George Bush-Dick Cheney Cabal are all powerful. Remember they got the blame for high gas prices because they wanted their oil buddies to make tons of money. They’ve manipulated the economy behind the Obama administrations back and done it again. Or was that a stupid position for some of you to take during the Bush years.

    The current administration loves the gas prices to be high. It makes electric vehicles more attractive.

    Mr Diffey, Stop writing these articles…The two sides are diametrically opposed and all we do is “Flame” at each other.

  36. Nick Ryan on February 27th, 2012 5:13 pm

    Within the next few years we’ll be seeing Hybrid’s and Electric’s falling into greater disfavor. As the earliest of these vehicles have reached the battery replacement stage. Since a replacement battery cost $6000-$8000 there is no savings. And it will be worthless trading it in. Hybrids already do poorly on the used car market because of this concern. Of course there are a couple of places that will rebuild your old battery for about $2000 before shipping both ways, but who knows how good that can turn out.
    Buy the gasoline version of a car, and leave the hybrids to the greens.

  37. Bill on February 28th, 2012 6:36 am

    We need to build the Keystone pipline. The other alternative is to use natural gas as our fuel.

  38. Geoffrey Pruett on February 28th, 2012 9:14 am

    A “flat towed” electic was mentioned. This is not on the market because of the asking price for one. Recharging the batteries while coasting was a feature of some of the early electric cars and is no less possible now but it is not a free ride as the power used would come from your towing unit. The electronics used in the newer units is very complex, and very dangerous to the unskilled, and with as many attorneys “practicing” as we are cursed with do not expect the best engineering on the market in any hurry.

  39. Dave on February 28th, 2012 10:22 pm

    The Tessla is a Lotus Elise powered by 7000+ LiIon laptop batteries. It is a good little sports car for about 45 miles, which is the real world limit of the range no matter what they claim. Also, LiIon batteries have a nasty tendency to cut their lives in half with consecutive high drain/recharge cycles to 10% of capacity. Owners will spend $7K every other year replacing battery packs … and it takes over 6 hours to recharge the bloody things.

    But the worst thing about any electric car is that they are a blatant lie, a complete and utter laughable lie to the “greenies” of the world who think just because it doesn’t have an exhaust pipe, it is pollution free.

    where does the power come from to charge the 7000+ laptop batteries?, from dirty, stinky, conventional power plants.
    due to battery inefficiencies and line losses, battery powered cars use 10-15% more energy than internal combustion powered cars.
    LiIon batteries are nasty to produce and cause enormous environmental damage.
    No one has an environmentally safe way of disposing of LiIon batteries yet.
    Most car battery packs will have to be completely replaced every 4 years, at a minimum.
    one car battery pack costs more than a new replacement 4L DOHC BMW sedan’s engine.

    That’s just the high points, want more?

  40. G Shea on March 2nd, 2012 1:41 am

    My reply to the liberal mush that was posted on my input to this forum bu “Hoope”

    Hoope-That sure must be some Kool Aid YOUdrink. I can never seem to find any, all the liberals have drank it up worrying about global warming and how to sell it when the temps won;t cooperate.

    Fracking? Catch your own clue, Buy one if necessary, If you can afford it after paying for 5 trillion in new spending. Ground water problems are rare and the process has been improved from the earlier processes. Part of having a clue is knowing what you are talking about. I see figures quoted on well failures and such with no sources to back them. Without Proof, it is mere propaganda (must be copying from the global warming crowd, if the facts are not there, just make them up..)

    How many miles do get per tank on CNG that you ask. Since you do not know, it varies with the size of the tank, but Taxis, hotel shuttles, garbage trucks and even buses drive all day on CNG without refueling. A typical CNG taxi can travel 300 miles on a tank. Honda has just released a CNG accord, check out it’s range. The PO had Delivery Vehicles converted to CNG and had problems? No evidence that any bus or other companies are switching back. The taxi drivers I talk to couldn’t afford to switch back since the mileage of CNG and cost per gallon simply blow away gasoline. The Post Office is not going to last mis- managed the way they are much longer so get documentation while you can, another big government failure, I can see why they are the only outfit to be unable to make CNG work. The agency I drive for is 15 years into CNG and it has saved them every time gasoline and diesel spike.

    The Do nothing Administration is exactly that. Don’t know what’s in your water (besides fluoride? rat poison), but you obviously are blind to the facts. The President doesn’t legislate? No he leads (very poorly), getting Obama care and other crap while, he only vetoes or stops helpful stuff like the keystone Pipeline. Through his puppets at the EPA drilling permits are way down, more progressive leadership in the WRONG direction. He is trying to get gas to 6 or higher per gallon to “encourage” the use of other fuels. His own words so double DUH on you. He wants higher energy costs, which is why cap and tax was created. Thankfully it has not gone nowhere like allot of his programs.

    The Gulf BP fiasco. They screwed up big time, (airlines crash planes, oil companies spill oil)but does that justify ending permits and loosing jobs? They are still in the US. Good! We need drilling, like the rest of the world does until better options are found and used. All forms of endeavor have risks. Why do other countries understand this but not the US? What utter ignorance? Name calling doesn’t help an argument, it diminishes the user.

    Do I own real estate? Yes, but it wasn’t tax breaks that devalued it, it was Barney Frank and company forcing fannie and freddie to give loans to high risk lenders that has caused the troubles in housing prices. Bailouts further have damaged the whole mess and now we are in 16 trillion for the grand kids to pay back. If 100% of the incomes of the “rich” were taken to pay this off, it wouldn’t even dent the spending of the last 3 years.

    What makes more sense?
    Tax and spend Democrats. OR
    Spend and don’t pay for it Republicans? REALLY???? the Republicans have to try to get the Democrats to pay for their pay roll tax reductions, unemployment extensions and the like and since they are a minority, they cannot get them to do so. The Democrats have had TOTAL power for three years and gas has nearly doubled, real unemployment numbers are way higher and the debt is out of sight. November is coming, and if the liberal media doesn’t spin and save there will be big changes and if not, 4 more years without a looming election, the leftists will run us into the ground like Greece.

    You said I wasn’t awake when Bush took over Clinton’s Balanced Budget Gov…….. (which came from Reagan’s economic times) And left a total disaster (really?) for Obama (who ran on fixing it). You think we’d prefer what Obama is doing over the Bushy ‘Give it to my Buddies’ policy (Obama’s buddies, SEIU, ACORN, Solendra, GE. Who is helping their buddies??) With a little luck, Some of the scandals of this inept, inexperienced liberal will be recalled when levers are pulled in November. Note- blaming Bush, like Milk, that has a pull date and we are WAY past it. Jimmy Carter revisited. Time for real Change. Time for the US to get off mid east oil and get a real energy policy that will encourage the use of the resources available in the US Today.

    G. Shea

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