Jul 18

Chevy Volt leads ‘Energy Independence Road Trip’ in Pittsburgh

 

What do the city of Pittsburgh, Pa., and the Chevy Volt have in common?

According to the Pittsburgh Technology Council (PTC), several local companies played a role in the car’s development, and yesterday PTC along with CONSOL Energy Inc. held an “Energy Independence Road Trip” with the Volt.

The purpose in part was to raise awareness for “how some of the top companies in southwestern Pennsylvania are helping to lead the United States to energy independence.”

Energy technologies centered in the region include advanced materials, energy production, and advanced IT.

CONSOL_Volt

 

Specific local companies that played a role in the Volt becoming a reality include ANSYS, Bayer MaterialScience, ALCOA and Kennametal.

The Volt reportedly made stops around the town, including at the Homestead Pump House, Oakland “Innovation Zone” with Dippy the Dinosaur, the fountain at Point State Park and random gas stations for snacks. People were offered the opportunity to tweet a photo and win prizes.

Locations were tweeted along the way from #ConsolVolt, and the promoters said “anyone who tweets a photo of the Volt or re-tweets any of the #ConsolVolt tweets will be in the running for free Pirates tickets and free Lynyrd Skynyrd concert tickets, courtesy of CONSOL Energy.”

Photos and videos of the journey were asked to be posted on Facebook, Twitter and another Twitter page for the CONSOLVolt.

“The Tech Council is honored to partner with CONSOL Energy in this effort,” said Audrey Russo, president and CEO of the PTC. “The region is an epicenter of energy awareness and we’re pleased to highlight the local companies that are helping the United States become more energy independent. Nothing is more American than energy independence and a road trip in a Chevy.”

The Tech Council’s Jonathan Kersting as “Johnny Volt” drove one of CONSOL Energy’s Volts to visit five companies around Pittsburgh that stand out as energy and environmentally conscious, “and are developing technologies, products and services that are helping the region move toward energy independence.”

The tour began at CONSOL Energy Headquarters and proceeded as follows:

• 7:30 AM Depart CONSOL Energy HQ
• 8:15 AM ANSYS
• 9:15 AM U.S. Steel Corporation R&D Lab (Waterfront)
• 10:45 AM PPG Industries
• 11:30 AM-1:45 PM Lunch at Sonic in Bridgeville
• 1:45 p.m. LANXESS
• 2:30 p.m. Bayer MaterialScience
• 3:30 p.m. Back at CONSOL Energy HQ

“Alternative fuel vehicles, including both electric and natural gas vehicles, showcase the innovative spirit and commitment that built this country and sustains our high standard of living,” commented Steve Winberg, vice president Research & Development, CONSOL Energy. “We are excited to be taking the show on the road and sharing with our southwestern Pennsylvania communities.”

We (at GM-Volt.com) were e-mailed about the event yesterday by Brian Kennedy, vice president of Strategic Services and Government Relations for the PTC.

“Our purpose is two-fold: First, we want to demonstrate the role that Rustbelt innovators are playing in bringing new technologies and energy saving materials to the automotive sector,” said Kennedy. “Our second objective is to showcase the role that domestic energy can play in the electrification of the U.S. automobile fleet.”

Kennedy added that “the Appalachian region is home to one of the world’s largest reserves of natural gas (serving as a growing a fuel sources for U.S. electricity production), which has come into play as part of the Marcellus Shale.”

“In short,” he continued, “the Rust Belt is helping us to transition to lighter, safer and more fuel efficient automobiles, and away from volatile sources of foreign oil as the fuel of choice for transportation.”

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2013 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 67


  1. 1
    Eco_Turbo

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (6:40 am)

    The US needs the equivalent of a $.60 to $.80 per gallon fuel source for transportation just as soon as it can get it. The fuel is there, we just need hardware that can use it, and a way to distribute it. The hardware is tantalizingly close to being capable.


  2. 2
    James McQuaid

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (7:29 am)

    This is a great way to raise awareness. “Energy Independence Road Trips” should be staged across the country, engaging local media outlets. The United States will not remain a wealthy nation if it continues to import oil for transportation.


  3. 3
    James

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (7:29 am)

    Makes me wonder if the irony was lost when Volt visited the Oakland Innovation Zone: ” For 40
    Miles, We Don’t Need You – Dippy The Dinosaur! ” :)

    Go Johnny Volt! ,

    James


  4. 4
    nasaman

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (7:48 am)

    Terrific topic today, Jeff!!! (…beautiful idea & that “Black Lightning Volt” is a beauty, too!)


  5. 5
    Bonaire

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (7:50 am)

    I was watching CNBC this morning. The CEO of Autonation was on. The big talking point was that they feel and the commentators shared the idea that gasoline was going down in price due to the higher mpg cars on the road. I say “BS”. At the same time, Yahoo had a story on the business page which said “why gasoline prices will continue to go up”. What is the consumer to do or who will they believe? What these guys who are guessing the gasoline price based on “oil is gushing out all over in the USA” is ridiculous. The goal of oil production in the USA is one thing – offset imports by approximately 9%. That’s about all they can do. There is no way the USA can become energy independent without 40% of the transportation fleet converted over to electricity – or through conservation and cut-back. The Autonation CEO said another thing. He said that “Americans won’t take a step back and start using slower or smaller cars to save oil.” (which is another reason I want to see EREV CUVs)

    That being said – the more education through real facts and examples, the better. These tours are good and teach groups of 5-10 or more at a time about what it is really like to own and drive an EV and participate in lowering our energy usage.

    Speaking of heat – I’m in NYC this week. If you want to experience 110*F, just go into the subway stations. No need for a health club for a sauna room. Cars idling on the sidewalk (many limo guys and other drivers idle to keep the cabin cool) are also a minor problem. A good light-hybridization could fix that along with full electric running an AC without burning fuel and causing local heat.


  6. 6
    Dave G

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (7:59 am)

    James McQuaid: The United States will not remain a wealthy nation if it continues to import oil for transportation.

    Well said, +1

    I’ll go one further. Not only our wealth, but our security is at stake.

    The money that financed the Sept. 11 attacks came from oil.

    Iran remains one of the world’s top oil exporters (despite our best efforts), as they sponsor terrorism against us and pursue nuclear weapons.

    The list goes on.

    The money we pay for gasoline empowers our enemies.


  7. 7
    Dave G

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (8:04 am)

    Bonaire: The Autonation CEO said another thing. He said that “Americans won’t take a step back and start using slower or smaller cars to save oil.”

    Electric drive is generally faster than a gas engine, not slower.


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    Dave G

     

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (8:10 am)

    James: For 40 Miles, We Don’t Need You – Dippy The Dinosaur!

    Why do people associate oil with dinosaurs? 98% of petroleum came from ancient algae.


  9. 9
    Tim Hart

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (8:19 am)

    “Nothing is more American than energy independence and a road trip in a Chevy” (Volt). Amen to that!


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    kdawg

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (8:19 am)

    Dave G: Bonaire: The Autonation CEO said another thing. He said that “Americans won’t take a step back and start using slower or smaller cars to save oil.”
    Electric drive is generally faster than a gas engine, not slower.

    Also the Focus EV is the same size as the regular Focus. The C-Max and Fusion Energi’s are the same size as the regular C-Max and Fusion. The Spark EV is the same size as the Spark ICE. The plug in Accord is the same size at the ICE version. The Mitsubishi Outander PHEV is the same size as its ICE verson. And a Tesla Model S holds 7 people with an Model X CUV on the way.


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    Nelson

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (8:44 am)

    I can’t wait for Tesla to do a cross country road trip with the Model S using their future expanded fast charging network. That will be a truly monumental “Energy Independence Road Trip”.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671


  12. 12
    James

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (8:52 am)

    Dave G: Why do people associate oil with dinosaurs?98% of petroleum came from ancient algae.

    Did somebody get up on the wrong side of bed this morning?

    Dippy probably more represents folks who spend $40,000+ on “luxury” autos
    that still rely on your billion-year compressed and heated single cell organisms.
    But hey – We need to be accurate here – so let’s park a Volt in front of —-

    Barry The Bacteria?

    Ollie The Organic Material?

    Pluto The Plankton?

    Artie The Algae?

    I dunno, you decide. LOL

    Dave – I think “people” associate gasoline with “dino juice” sometimes because it’s
    a lot easier to identify with than compressed antique organic materials.

    Anyway, NO BIG DEAL – I was attempting to make a funny. Apparently your analytic
    mind was not amused.

    ” SOME PEOPLE! HUH? ” Maybe you’ll be in a better mood after your cup o’ mornin’ Joe! :)

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (9:23 am)

    Dave G: Electric drive is generally faster than a gas engine, not slower.

    True – but the guy didn’t make that link. He was probably implying the way Europe saves on gas is to drive tiny, econoboxes or small diesels which are meant to go 50-60mpg and America isn’t doing that. Or are they? Smart cars, Chevy Sparks and other small units are hitting the road now. Even the Cruze would be considered small by 10-years ago sizes. But we have a huge appetite for CUVs and SUVs for our family vehicles. We don’t car-pool very well. So, electrics really are a great way to lower oil consumption.


  14. 14
    George S. Bower

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (9:39 am)

    Dave G: Why do people associate oil with dinosaurs?98% of petroleum came from ancient algae.

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if most of the algae was formed during the Permian extinction…..a period in the earths history where nearly all forms of life died for millions of years due to an overheated planet!! also called the great dying

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event


  15. 15
    Truman

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (9:40 am)

    Bonaire: The goal of oil production in the USA is one thing – offset imports by approximately 9%. That’s about all they can do. There is no way the USA can become energy independent

    Well, I don’t know about “offset imports by approximately 9%”, but it does look like there is no way the USA can become energy independent, before a largescale conversion to electric vehicles:

    The United States consumed 18.6 million barrels per day (MMbd) of petroleum products during 2012, making us the world’s largest petroleum consumer. The United States was third in crude oil production at 6.5 MMbd. Crude oil alone, however, does not constitute all U.S. petroleum supplies. Significant gains occur because crude oil expands in the refining process, liquid fuel is captured in the processing of natural gas, and we have other sources of liquid fuel, including biofuels. These additional supplies totaled 4.8 MMbd in 2012.

    The United States imported 11.0 MMbd of crude oil and refined petroleum products in 2012. We also exported 3.2 MMbd of crude oil and petroleum products, so our net imports (imports minus exports) equaled 7.4 MMbd.

    http://www.eia.gov/energy_in_brief/article/foreign_oil_dependence.cfm
    Last Updated: May 10, 2013

    Importing 7.4 million barrels/day of crude oil and petroleum products (net) is a pretty big hurdle to get over – the US has been trying to become “energy dependent” since at least President Carter. So far, no luck. But every plug-in electric vehicle replaces imported petroleum products with electricity, first.


  16. 16
    George S. Bower

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (9:41 am)

    Bonaire:

    Speaking of heat – I’m in NYC this week.If you want to experience 110*F, just go into the subway stations.No need for a health club for a sauna room.Cars idling on the sidewalk (many limo guys and other drivers idle to keep the cabin cool) are also a minor problem.A good light-hybridization could fix that along with full electric running an AC without burning fuel and causing local heat.

    Sounds like they need an all electric taxi fleet!!


  17. 17
    James

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (9:48 am)

    ” The Tech Council’s Jonathan Kersting as “Johnny Volt” ” …..

    Go Johnny Volt, Go, Go Johnny Volt!

    James McQuaid:
    This is a great way to raise awareness. “Energy Independence Road Trips” should be staged across the country, engaging local media outlets. The United States will not remain a wealthy nation if it continues to import oil for transportation.

    Agreed. Like John Chapman ( aka: Johnny Appleseed ) spread apple orchards throughout
    several states, preaching his Swedenborgian form of Christianity, perhaps we should be
    “Johnny Volts” – setting up road rallys and educational displays at festivals, state fairs
    and sporting events.

    Each and every one of us is an EV evangelist. I’m sure every Volt owner here has answered
    questions or had some form of interaction with curious folks out in public. In the forums
    section here I came across a guy who had been hit by some form of drive-by – either
    a BB gun or small caliber gunshot while driving on the freeway. There’s a lot of misconceptions
    out there still to be countered. Fox News has many still in an Volt=Obamamobile mode.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


  18. 18
    Mark

     

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (10:03 am)

    Truman,

    Try tax incentives, some real incentives for alternate energy, like $100 per tax payer per year, for 15 years, that’s what it took to get the oilsands ramped up in Canada. Energy independence is an achievable goal in the US, all you have to do is break out of the cant do it rut you are now in, and do it!

    Disruptive innovation like GMs volt is a good start!


  19. 19
    James

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (10:10 am)

    On my “To Do” list is an email to Stacey David whose Gearz TV show has aired
    on Speed Channel for 6 years now.

    I was flipping the channels and caught Stacey posting a photo of a Chevy Volt
    and saying, ” — and NOBODY wants one of THESE!” – in typical gearhead redneck
    fashion.

    These are people who have never thought about the true impact being addicted to
    foreign oil has on our nation’s security. These same people consider themselves
    patriots and big fans of our military.

    Maybe Stacey should experience the raw acceleration of a Tesla Roadster or Model S.
    Maybe Stacey should get his head out from under some 500hp V-8 and wake up.
    And perhaps if folks like Stacey became educated, they’d stop being haters of a
    new kind of transportation. So many people I talk to seem to believe there is tons
    of unfound oil all over the United States, and the big answer is just to search for
    and drill more.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James

    Here’s Stacey’s website if you wish to add your 2 cents. http://www.speedtv.com/programs/gearz/


  20. 20
    kdawg

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (10:12 am)

    Truman: the US has been trying to become “energy dependent” since at least President Carter.

    It goes back to Nixon (last 8 presidents).

    http://lockerz.com/u/20689008/decalz/7676568/daily_show_addicted_to_oil

    energypolicy.jpg


  21. 21
    Mark Z

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (11:09 am)

    GM is now worried about Musk. The following article also discusses the Chevrolet Volt future.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-18/akerson-demands-gm-innovation-to-guard-against-musk-effect-cars.html

    Before giving the 2004 XLR to my niece for her birthday, I tried accelerating it several times to compare it with Tesla Model S. No contest. The XLR performed poorly in comparison. A general lack of power was a surprise to me. No wonder GM is concerned. Anyone who actually sits behind the wheel of a P85 (Performance Model S with 85 kW battery) is in for a surprise if they push the pedal to the metal. Other P85 drivers report the same and many are selling their high performance cars after they revisit their ICE vehicles to compare.

    I don’t care if you buy a Tesla, but if you are near one of their stores, be informed of the threat to GM by trying one. If you are an serious customer, they will give you a test drive.


  22. 22
    kdawg

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (11:28 am)

    Mark Z,

    I would love for them to build a Tesla-fighter

    Girsky talking about the Model S:
    “That’s what they used,” Girsky said. “It’s fascinating. I don’t know if it’s going to work or not work. All I know is if we ignore it and say it’s a bunch of laptop batteries, then shame on us.”

    Um.. apparently it does work. WTH?!


  23. 23
    Mark Z

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (11:51 am)

    kdawg:
    Mark Z,
    I would love for them to build a Tesla-fighter…

    The surprise during Teslive a week ago is that Musk mentioned he would like some competition. He gave the audience a mini history of GM and Toyota making EVs and how he never considered entering the business until after GM crushed the EV-1s.


  24. 24
    Jackson

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (11:55 am)

    Dave G: Why do people associate oil with dinosaurs? 98% of petroleum came from ancient algae.

    The public’s association of gasoline with dinosaurs can probably be traced back to Sinclair:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAA7wVYr704

    Sorry about the countdown, this was probably the film delivered to TV stations.


  25. 25
    pjkPA

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (12:02 pm)

    I work in the same Industrial park as Consol… wish I would have been aware of this…
    I heard they have installed charging stations…

    I wonder why CMU was not included? My dealer said that CMU professors have bought Volts from them saying that they worked on the electronics for the VOLT.

    Still have not been to a gas station since I bought my Volt 7 months ago!!
    Still many things unbelievable about the Volt…


  26. 26
    George S. Bower

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (12:03 pm)

    Mark Z:
    GM is now worried about Musk. The following article also discusses the Chevrolet Volt future.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-18/akerson-demands-gm-innovation-to-guard-against-musk-effect-cars.html

    Good article but almost laughable.

    Akerson quote:
    Since becoming CEO, Akerson has complained publicly about GM’s “committee culture”

    So what does he do?

    “The former telecommunication executive has assigned a committee to study billionaire industrialist Elon Musk’s upstart electric-car maker and how it might threaten the 104-year-old automaker’s business,”

    Don’t study it too much Dan just get moving.


  27. 27
    Bonaire

     

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (12:17 pm)

    George S. Bower: Wouldn’t it be ironic if most of the algae was formed during the Permian extinction…..a period in the earths history where nearly all forms of life died for millions of years due to an overheated planet!! also called the great dyinghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian%E2%80%93Triassic_extinction_event

    For that much stored energy in terms of biological sourcing, it wouldn’t really be a great dying. In fact, it would take a lot of thriving to create so much stored energy. If everything died on the planet right now, then that would create maybe a 1mm thick layer of something. But a million years of thriving could cause a whole lot of dying during those years and thus lead to more sourcing for oil. I believe that our oil pockets are the result of huge thriving millenia. Bacteria and plankton standing “shoulder to shoulder” in an effort, over millions of years, so we could enjoy cheap energy “for a little while”.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (12:20 pm)

    Bonaire: I was watching CNBC this morning. The CEO of Autonation was on. The big talking point was that they feel and the commentators shared the idea that gasoline was going down in price due to the higher mpg cars on the road. I say “BS”.

    #5

    Yeah, nobody told the gas stations here, LOL. $4/gallon. +1


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (12:23 pm)

    George S. Bower: a period in the earths history where nearly all forms of life died for millions of years due to an overheated planet!! also called the great dying

    #14

    Oh, oh, did somebody just walk over my grave? +1


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (12:25 pm)

    Bonaire: The Autonation CEO said another thing. He said that “Americans won’t take a step back and start using slower or smaller cars to save oil.”

    #5

    I wonder if he ever heard of CAFE? If the CEO of Autonation doesn’t have any more sense of the future than that, they are headed for big trouble.


  31. 31
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    Jul 18th, 2013 (12:36 pm)

    James: in typical gearhead redneck
    fashion.

    #19

    I would modestly claim to be as big of a “gearhead” as just about anybody and I drive a Volt. I think that the word you were searching for is something more like “jerk”. Or maybe “a__hole”.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (1:18 pm)

    Slightly OT, but there is an interesting video up on MSN right now of a group touring the ghost town of Futaba in the Fukushima “exclusion zone”. Pretty eerie.

    Plus some interesting revelations about increasing levels of radiation in the ocean offshore of the plant. TEPCO now admits that there is a leak, but claims not to know where it is coming from.

    And that there are 300,000 TONS of radioactive cooling water store on the site, a number which is increasing every day. No one has figured out how to get rid of it.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (1:53 pm)

    Jackson: The public’s association of gasoline with dinosaurs can probably be traced back to Sinclair:

    What’s surprising is how widespread it is. It seems most of the people I talk with actually believe oil came from dinosaurs.

    And it’s not just me. Here’s an except of a NOVA program transcript:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/algae-fuel.html
    On Screen Text: Where does oil come from?
    WOMAN #1: Dinosaur fossils.
    WOMAN #2: Rock.
    MAN ON BIKE: Dinosaurs.
    MAN IN TRUCK: From Venezuela.
    On Screen Text: No.
    WOMAN #3: From decaying things in the earth.
    On Screen Text: Yes! It’s mostly…algae!

    The problem is that if most people believe oil came from something that no longer exists, then they’ll naturally expect there is no alternative. But if people know oil came from algae, and algae obviously exists now, then the next obvious question is: Why can’t we make oil from algae today? And the answer is: We can.


  34. 34
    Jackson

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (2:01 pm)

    Dave G: if people know oil came from algae, and algae obviously exists now, then the next obvious question is: Why can’t we make oil from algae today? And the answer is: We can.

    Commercial application only awaits development of an efficient enough process to make costs more competitive, and some investmental fortitude.

    Making oil from algae would require:
    * Sunlight (there’s plenty in the desert but less extreme climates would do),
    * Water (it can be recycled and used again),
    * Organic material (you probably made some this morning — ewww),
    * CO2 (from the atmosphere or from fossil fuel plants),
    * The exactly
    right sort of algae (still TBD?),
    … and a cost efficient means of extracting oil from the algae.
    There is no shortage of the other ingredients.*

    * especially the organic material. Perhaps a plant should be located near D.C. ;-)


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    Streetlight

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (2:01 pm)

    Mark Z: GM is now worried about Musk. The following article also discusses the Chevrolet Volt future.

    GM is all about selling quality in everything it makes; and it can make quality in copious volume. On the other hand, while its backlogged several quarters TESLA right now is volume restrained by its supply line limits, not just batteries. What GM needs to study is how did its marketing miss identifying the MODEL S market-segment which has caused TESLA’s stock to skyrocket. The obvious corollary what does the MODEL S phenom mean for GM — how can it cash in… And as the Akerson Doctrine lays out, if pushing the envelope means risk taking let’s do it. But certainly not to imply GM wants its customers to be risk takers.

    Exhibit A is VOLT. GM did groundbreaking engineering to make VOLT transparent to ICE power with durability and relevance over the long haul. SPARK EV looks to be a great addition. With ELR I’m concerned. Is the 1.4 ER ICE “just enough” as Jay Leno heard from ELR’s Chief Engineer; or, if we applied the Akerson Doctrine wouldn’t there be that world class 2.0 turbo…


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (2:04 pm)

    Truman: but it does look like there is no way the USA can become energy independent, before a largescale conversion to electric vehicles:

    Even if all passenger vehicles were electric, we would still not be energy independent.

    The United States imports around 2/3 of the oil we consume. Oil consumption breaks down roughly as follows:
    • 43% Gasoline (mostly for passenger vehicles)
    • 21% Diesel (mostly for heavy duty long distance travel)
    • 9% Jet Fuel
    • 4% Heating Oil
    • 4% Heavy Fuel Oils (Residuals)
    • 4% L.P.G.
    • 16% Misc. Other Products

    Replacing diesel and jet fuel with electricity isn’t viable. You can’t power a plane or ship with batteries, and there is no battery technology on the horizon that can power an 18-wheel truck across the country.

    So to me, it’s obvious that any real solution for energy independence must include bio-fuels to replace diesel and jet fuel.

    And if bio-fuels are required anyway, why not also use them for the relatively small amount of gasoline consumption that isn’t covered by EREVs and commuter BEVs?

    To be clear, I believe that in the future:
    1) The vast majority of gasoline will be replaced with electricity
    2) Long distance travel via air, land, and sea will be powered mostly with biofuels


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (2:07 pm)

    Dave G: Why do people associate oil with dinosaurs? 98% of petroleum came from ancient algae.

    Because petroleum is a fossil, and people associate fossils with dinosaurs, even though there are fossils of plants, etc., as well. That doesn’t make it right, of course, but I think that is why they do it.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (2:11 pm)

    Streetlight: With ELR I’m concerned. Is the 1.4 ER ICE “just enough” as Jay Leno heard from ELR’s Chief Engineer; or, if we applied the Akerson Doctrine wouldn’t there be that world class 2.0 turbo…

    A larger engine would probably make it slower, not faster. All of the acceleration comes from the electric motor. A larger gas engine would just add weight.

    By the way, the ELR uses a more powerful electric motor than the Volt.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (2:12 pm)

    Dave G: 2) Long distance travel via air, land, and sea will be powered mostly with biofuels

    But what about the Hyperloop :)


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (2:20 pm)

    Noel Park: #19

    I would modestly claim to be as big of a “gearhead” as just about anybody and I drive a Volt.I think that the word you were searching for is something more like “jerk”.Or maybe “a__hole”.

    so true Noel. There’s lots of gear heads on this site. I include myself as one.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (2:32 pm)

    Dave G: Why do people associate oil with dinosaurs? 98% of petroleum came from ancient algae.

    I think the reason is that everyone knows the dinosaurs became extinct because they didn’t keep up with changes in technology (i.e. mammals).
    Like dinosaurs, current ICE/oil/coal technologies will become extinct in the face of EV/solar/wind renewable technologies.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (2:36 pm)

    kdawg: But what about the Hyperloop

    Primarily for passengers. Could replace some jet fuel consumption, maybe from 9% down to 5%. Wouldn’t affect diesel consumption appreciably. Little affect on gasoline consumption.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (3:07 pm)

    Dave G,

    I thought your #2 was talking about passenger travel?

    Anyway, we’ll get the details in August. With such few details, there’s nothing to say it can’t be used for freight. I would love to see less semi-trucks on the roads. They’re loud, smelly, slow/annoying, hard to see around, and do tons of road damage.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (3:14 pm)

    I didn’t check the locations, but I wonder if the Volt charged up at each of the stops, or if they used gas at some point. It looks like the greater Pittsburgh area has 30 public chargers and 1 DC fast charger.

    PittsChargers_zps34a2d75a.jpg


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (3:33 pm)

    Dave G: A larger engine would probably make it slower, not faster. All of the acceleration comes from the electric motor. A larger gas engine would just add weight.

    Powertrain is more or less 90% VOLT. The ICE rating makes a diff as it does kick in at higher speeds. Nonetheless, …

    http://chevroletautostore.com/build-it-your-way-2014-chevrolet-volt-1-4l-turbo-2-0l-turbo-or-2-0l-diesel-with-poll/

    “Though the 2.0-liter turbo I-4 is capable of over 250 hp, we think a detuned unit would not only provide a major boost over the Volt’s current 1.4-liter I-4, but also be better suited to the upcoming Cadillac ELR, which can sacrifice a little efficiency for added performance.” [Posted] Sharon Guidry July 12, 2013


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (3:49 pm)

    kdawg: I didn’t check the locations, but I wonder if the Volt charged up at each of the stops, or if they used gas at some point. It looks like the greater Pittsburgh area has 30 public chargers and 1 DC fast charger.

    #44

    Neat map. I love some of the place names. “Mars”, “Moon”, “Economy”. VERY cool. +1

    I think that they have more public chargers in Pittsburgh than we do in “car culture” L.A. Good for them.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (4:03 pm)

    Dave G: Even if all passenger vehicles were electric, we would still not be energy independent.

    The United States imports around 2/3 of the oil we consume.

    I’m all in favor of energy independence, but aren’t we importing much of our oil from Canada now? It doesn’t bother me as much sending my money to our friends up north, it’s the wackos in the middle east that bothers me.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (4:13 pm)

    Kent: I’m all in favor of energy independence, but aren’t we importing much of our oil from Canada now? It doesn’t bother me as much sending my money to our friends up north, it’s the wackos in the middle east that bothers me.

    OPEC is our #1 supplier, Canada is the largest single country source.

    exhibit4-21.png

    Here’s data from 2011:

    us-petro-imports_oct4.jpg


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (4:22 pm)

    Noel Park: Neat map. I love some of the place names. “Mars”, “Moon”, “Economy”. VERY cool. +1
    I think that they have more public chargers in Pittsburgh than we do in “car culture” L.A. Good for them.

    Not quite :) There are 37 chargers (2 DC fast) in the downtown LA area alone. Much more in the greater area, and in California in general.

    LAchargers_zps4e86782d.jpg

    What’s funny is you get a lot of this when you search for chargers in LA

    LA-Chargers-logo.jpg


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (4:37 pm)

    kdawg: Not quite There are 37 chargers (2 DC fast) in the downtown LA area alone.Much more in the greater area, and in California in general.

    What’s funny is you get a lot of this when you search for chargers in LA

    LA and the NFL – They wish? Huh? Chargers? Nope.

    The Raiders didn’t do well in the Coliseum – but with Oakland needing a new
    stadium, and revenues low, who knows, we may see the LA Raiders Part Deux?
    Seems LA has no shortage of money to build a new stadium, just not enough
    loyal football fans. Baseball does alright, though.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James

    GO SEAHAWKS – Caw Cawww!!!


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (5:02 pm)

    Dave G,

    #36,

    • 43% Gasoline (mostly for passenger vehicles) – 80% could be replaced with electricity based EREV and BEV and the rest with synthetic or biofuel.
    • 21% Diesel (mostly for heavy duty long distance travel) – 100 % could be replaced by CNG,DME,LNG and some EREV and railway electrification and electric LRT and PRT.
    • 9% Jet Fuel – no real options except synthetic fuels and hyperloop.
    • 4% Heating Oil – ASAP biomass, wood palets and natural gas where available. Should be done long ago because it is much more economic.
    • 4% Heavy Fuel Oils (Residuals) – if above replaced not much available. Some could be replaced by LNG (ships). Nuclear reactors for sequre maritime trade ships and Navy was considerd long before as well. May be wind sales could be brought back to the ships.
    • 4% L.P.G. – DME and other.
    • 16% Misc. Other Products – biomass, algae, coal.

    Oil could not be avoided completely but there are many economic options on the market.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (5:43 pm)

    Dave G: Even if all passenger vehicles were electric, we would still not be energy independent.

    The United States imports around 2/3 of the oil we consume.

    No, I think that’s wrong – it’s not 66.6%.

    The EIA figures I gave for 2012 show that the US consumed 18.6 million barrels/day of petroleum products, and the net imports of petroleum products was 7.4 million barrels/day.

    http://www.eia.gov/energy_in_brief/article/foreign_oil_dependence.cfm

    Look at that citation closely – it shows imported petroleum products is only 39.8% of consumption for 2012 – it has been declining as a percentage since 2005. Yes, this figure includes biofuels as “petroleum products” produced in the USA, and the natural-gas-to-liquids production is considered “petroleum products” – so the imported percentage is smaller – but for a starting figure, that 7.4 million barrels/day of imported “petroleum products” is what we need to replace to achieve energy independence (since we don’t import much LNG or coal or electricity from Mexico…)

    If 43% of our “petroleum products” consumption is for gasoline, that’s a good target for eliminating 39.8% of our petroleum products usage (which is imported). As for diesel, I hear some companies are working on hybrid big-trucks, and more aerodynamic 18-wheelers – that should help, too. As auto batteries get better and cheaper, these hybrid trucks can use the same battery technology.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (5:53 pm)

    kdawg: OPEC is our #1 supplier, Canada is the largest single country source.

    Here’s data from 2011:

    I think the daily/monthly importing of crude oil to the U.S. is a moving target. It seems
    one can never really find accurate information online, as each source seems to
    vary quite considerably, not just year-to-year, but month-to-month.

    To me, “foreign oil” means foreign oil. Also – we’re truly so addicted to oil we’re
    willing to spoil our oceans, our sources of seafood, our beautiful ocean vistas,
    national park land, and send tons of wasted natural gas up into the atmosphere
    because it’s a waste product from N. Dakota oilfields and just to spendy to
    save and process. There are SO MANY ways the exploration and transportation
    of oil, then the refining process spoils our lands and air and wastes resources.
    We all talk about how much energy it takes just to transport this drug to our land
    from abroad, even if it’s our next door neighbors. Lots of data is available re: Mexico,
    and how it reached peak oil in 2009. Iraq was up to #3 or #4 as
    oil importers up to Gulf War II. We basically milk Kuwaiti or Iraqi, Nigerian or
    anywhere else for the stuff we crave. Then we gladly
    breath the emissions from burning the stuff and
    call it all good.

    Top this off with domestic oil EXPORTS. Some of the stuff – ( more each year )
    we do get we refine then EXPORT to S. and Central America. Oil companies are very dodgy about
    how many refineries they shutter or shut down for “maintenance” each year. This is
    about price control. When we educate people about oil addiction. Tell folks how much
    refined oil we export to other countries. Frontline PBS aired a show in 2008 exposing
    how Chevron lied to the U.S. Dept. of Transportation when a whistleblower caught
    them loading up a tanker with U.S. crude bound for S. America. You see, Chevron
    and other oil companies explained that 2008 prices soared because of a lack of
    supply! Chevron was fined about half of the profits they’d receive from this one unlisted
    shipment. Do you think this still happens? You
    bet!

    You and I are being played. Plain and simple. When you and I start driving cars that
    don’t need the bubbling crude, there will be severe pushback. You’ll see falsified
    fires, and erroneous stories of EVs exploding. You’ll see pushback from board members
    of companies like General Motors who have large shares in oil and gas industry. You see auto dealer associations reminding politicians who butters their bread – and forcing legislation against EV sales.

    It’s an uphill battle folks. We need to do all we can to educate, educate, educate.

    No matter where oil from outside sources comes from – it’s not helping our economy.
    No matter where it comes from it harms our natural world. Whether it’s steamed from
    the sands of the earth or shipped across the world, it’s a huge sucking sound
    draining our resources seen and unseen.

    Brazil was tired of getting shafted by Hugo Chavez for his Venezuelan crude. They just
    went cold turkey and went biofuels nationwide. I know America is far larger, with
    huge distances for commercial trains and trucks – I realize our military sucks oil like
    a drunken sailor. I know China spends billions building new pipelines to Siberia to
    drain Russia of more black gold. We now sell
    Brazil drilling equipment so they can deep ocean drill ( something we ban ) so they can sell the oil
    back to us! Brazil doesn’t use the crude it extracts, it makes large profit selling it to the world. Who is smarter, the U.S. or Brazil?

    Bottom line: Inact campaign finance reform.

    Tired of this same ole story? Elect people that will absolutely not take money from
    Big Oil lobbyists to fund their multi-million dollar campaigns ( Billion dollar campaigns
    for president ). Bipartisan campaign finance controls were abolished of late by our
    federal courts. Let’s stand up as Americans and force change. As long as anyone and
    any company can buy politicians who have nicer homes than you do, work less than
    you do, have fancy vacation homes worldwide and better healthcare than any of you
    will ever have – This oil situation will not change. People who fantasize re: 25% gas-free
    cars on roads by 2025 or whatever are just dreaming – truly – unless this bold simple step
    is taken to clean up our free nation.

    FREEDOM ISN’T FREE WHEN OUR GOVERNMENT IS BOUGHT BY SPECIAL INTERESTS!

    James


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (6:16 pm)

    Let’s find a graph re: Who in the world profits MOST from oil. Be it refining and reselling,
    Exploration and drilling, selling the equipment for such – or just plain payouts and
    military protection for access to it.

    Sure, Canada will be near the top of the list. Mexico not far behind. While these neighbors
    are not our enemies, they surely don’t put America first. Then slice the pie more and find
    Russia has rattled sabers with the U.S. re: Azerbaijan oilfields, and also threatened Canada
    over northern oilfield rights. Some areas of dispute could result in outright wars. Now
    lump together all OPEC nations. They certainly don’t make up a list of folks that honor
    our human rights ideologies. In fact, many plain hate us and feel we should all be dead
    unless we worship their religious prophet. Now, of the friendly OPEC nations, mark the
    ones most infamous for housing or birthing known terrorists who literally want to blow
    up our innocent people.

    I think if we could graphically illustrate these facts – it may open a lot more eyes. There’ll
    always be a need for oil. These needs can easily be met by domestic production if we
    stop the oil importation insanity now.

    SERENITY NOW! ( Seinfeld Show ) ,

    James


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (6:24 pm)

    Truman: No, I think that’s wrong – it’s not 66.6%.

    The EIA figures I gave for 2012 show that the US consumed 18.6 million barrels/day of petroleum products, and the net imports of petroleum products was 7.4 million barrels/day.

    http://www.eia.gov/energy_in_brief/article/foreign_oil_dependence.cfm

    Look at that citation closely – it shows imported petroleum products is only 39.8% of consumption for 2012 – it has been declining as a percentage since 2005.Yes, this figure includes biofuels as “petroleum products” produced in the USA, and the natural-gas-to-liquids production is considered “petroleum products” – so the imported percentage is smaller – but for a starting figure, that 7.4 million barrels/day of imported “petroleum products” is what we need to replace to achieve energy independence (since we don’t import much LNG or coal or electricity from Mexico…)

    If 43% of our “petroleum products” consumption is for gasoline, that’s a good target for eliminating 39.8% of our petroleum products usage (which is imported).As for diesel, I hear some companies are working on hybrid big-trucks, and more aerodynamic 18-wheelers – that should help, too.As auto batteries get better and cheaper, these hybrid trucks can use the same battery technology.

    You make a lot of sense. If you extract the biofuels and natural gas figures, I believe the
    more accurate number is 40% of our refined gasoline and diesel comes from oil sourced outside of the U.S.. This is from 2012 EIA numbers.

    U.S. Energy Information Admin. – 2012 U.S. Imports of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products:
    = 4.8 billion barrels*.
    “Petroleum” includes crude oil and refined petroleum products like gasoline, and biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel. 80% of gross petroleum imports were crude oil.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James

    *That’s a friggin’ lot of barrels, OK?


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (7:05 pm)

    And speaking of cities with an automotive connection, there is sad news today from “the cradle of America’s automobile industry”:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/19/us/detroit-files-for-bankruptcy.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Detroit Seeks Bankruptcy, Facing Debts of $18 Billion

    “Detroit, [ ... ] once the nation’s fourth-most-populous city, has filed for bankruptcy, an official said Thursday afternoon, the largest American city ever to take such a course. “


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (7:09 pm)

    kdawg: But what about the Hyperloop

    Could Hyperloop be just Hyperbole?

    Seriously – the much heralded ( by Democrats running for office, including Obama
    and Biden ) “high speed rail” projects pushed through Congress resulted in
    billions in wasted money – trains with no riders and escalating costs of construction.
    This is government busywork to “lift” the economy. Would Hyperloop be any different?
    How would it be funded? Let me guess – tax increases? Federal stimulus?

    Amtrak is a joke. A bad joke we pay for.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (7:16 pm)

    Jackson: And speaking of cities with an automotive connection, there is sad news today from “the cradle of America’s automobile industry”:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/19/us/detroit-files-for-bankruptcy.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    Detroit Seeks Bankruptcy, Facing Debts of $18 Billion

    “Detroit, the cradle of America’s automobile industry and once the nation’s fourth-most-populous city, has filed for bankruptcy, an official said Thursday afternoon, the largest American city ever to take such a course. “

    They better do more to have labor unions relinquish their grip on the auto industry there.

    And how about showing Tesla how it’s done? Detroit can innovate and mass-produce like
    Henry Ford did with Model T, or just get left behind by the left coast.

    GM’s Akerson is paying a crew to study Tesla’s “threat” to them!!!!

    http://www.streetinsider.com/Insiders+Blog/Tesla+%28TSLA%29+Scaring+the+Big+Boys+in+Detroit+%28GM%29/8511268.html

    Seriously, GM?, Seriously?! ,

    James


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (7:33 pm)

    Melvin: Could Hyperloop be just Hyperbole?

    Like many things which pre-date the Internet, there is very little to be Googled concerning what I believe to be the true source of this idea:

    http://www.mv.com/ipusers/cb/magneplane/www/history.html

    “A radically new type of transportation, the magneplane, was invented which uses small 45, 100 or 140 passenger vehicles, operating along a guideway, which combines the features of an airplane, a train, and a car. It is really a bus that goes 300 mph, is fully automated, goes where you want to go, and when you want, with dynamic scheduling. Due to it’s relatively low speed compared to a jet airplane, and relatively high air friction compared to a jet airplane, the magneplane is not expected to compete with air travel for trips of 300 miles or more.

    “The magneplane was invented in 1969 by Henry Kolm and Richard Thornton of MIT, and developed by Magneplane International, Inc. with support from MIT, Raytheon, United Engineers, Avco, Alcoa and 3M. Additional funding was supplied later by the National Science Foundation. “

    Put this “300 mph bus” in a vacuum tube to eliminate the air friction (as some proposed at the time), and you have a faster-than-jets version. Consider the cost of a transcontinental, magnetically guided train running through a 3000-mile-long vacuum tunnel and you might see why Elon is speaking of his “hyperloop” in only the most general terms (and not very loud).

    Nor did the idea die in the ’60s:

    Taking the Magneplane as a starting point, Princeton Physicist Gerard K. O’Neil proposed the Mass Driver, a sequentially operated array of co-axial electromagnets, for launching lunar material into space (or, used as a reaction motor, steering small asteroids into new orbits), in the mid ’70s.

    In the 1980′s, SDI considered the “Coil Gun” (essentially a short Mass Driver), for launching hypersonic projectiles. Today there is active work into electromagnetic launchers to replace steam catapults on future aircraft carriers.

    And now, here comes Elon Musk.

    It’s so hard to come up with an original idea, these days. :-P


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (8:14 pm)

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (8:28 pm)

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    This is by far the most exciting article of the year!

    Way to go USA!

    We need more EV’S, EREV’S, PHEV’S, and I know this is a fossil fuel but if we use it in EREV’S and PHEV’S that would be a smart idea and that would be natural gas.

    Still in my own opinion we need to get off both of oil and gas but if there’s a way to use natural gas in Plug-In-Hybrids and EREV’S without using oil that would be good.

    But on the negative we still need to get away from natural gas as electric transportation becomes more advance and cheaper in the future so that the majority can finally get a chance to try this tech out!

    Speaking of that I’m glad that I read this article.

    Glad there are people that are trying to give rides and by educating the general public as much as possible!

    The Future Is Electric!


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (8:29 pm)

    Noel Park:
    Slightly OT, but there is an interesting video up on MSN right now of a group touring the ghost town of Futaba in the Fukushima “exclusion zone”.Pretty eerie.

    Plus some interesting revelations about increasing levels of radiation in the ocean offshore of the plant.TEPCO now admits that there is a leak, but claims not to know where it is coming from.

    And that there are 300,000 TONS of radioactive cooling water store on the site, a number which is increasing every day.No one has figured out how to get rid of it.

    YAY NUCLEAR!
    :o !!!

    Just look at the horrors extant at the Hanford dump site in my state of Washington!
    I think nuclear power appeals to folks in states far distant from the sh*tpile of nuclear
    waste once those rods’ power has been exhausted.

    It so happens after the Fukushima debacle the DOE studied nuke plants like the one
    a mile or so from the Columbia river in my state. When giving them the green light
    to continue, they forgot to consider the ramifications of the impending 9.0-9.2 megaquake
    we’re expecting in the Pacific Northwestern United States. The USGS states we are in
    a 40 year window of said quake and ensuing tsunami – and many experts agree the
    quake – a MEGA event not seen before in modern times is due much sooner. We are
    on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and other locations have been popping around this ring
    for several years – Indonesian mega event in 2004, Haiti, Chile and the latest being
    Tokyo. We’re totally not ready for such an event in the Northwest. The Columbia
    River’s mouth will fill and overflow – the quake itself will surely cause extensive damage
    to the 1970′s era nuke plant. The DOE said the plant is safe to 7.0 earthquakes -
    ARE THEY BLIND? Answer: Yes.

    The media has not picked up on this. The end results near major population centers
    may be immense. Another large nuclear plant was being built in the 1970s on
    Washington’s coast. The reason for the project being cancelled was financial, not
    the threat of the impending mega quake and tsunami. Many of us in the Seattle-
    Tacoma, Vancouver, B.C., Vancouver, WA and Portland areas wonder if we’ll survive
    such an event. The events around this plant and Hanford can be of enormous
    proportions making Fukushima look miniscule.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James

    The “subduction zone” 20 miles off of the Pacific shores of southern British Columbia, Washington State, Oregon and N. California is called the “Cascadia Subduction Zone”. It is over 600 miles long compared to N. Japan’s 200 mile zone.
    A quake starts at one end of the subduction and ends at the other. Tokyo’s mega-event lasted 2 minutes. Ours will be 9.0-9.2 for 6 minutes! Imagine the results.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (8:38 pm)

    James Melvin: Many of us in the Seattle-Tacoma, Vancouver, B.C., Vancouver, WA and Portland areas wonder if we’ll survive such an event. The events around this plant and Hanford can be of enormous
    proportions making Fukushima look miniscule.

    … and yet, increased reliance on some form of nuclear energy is inevitable in a post fossil-fuel world. We urgently need to develop safer systems, both fission and fusion, to truly achieve complete energy independence. In the near term, Thorium seems like the clear choice; but to make such an improvement we would need a healthy dose of that most rare of substances:

    Political will.


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    Jul 18th, 2013 (8:42 pm)

    Noel Park: #19

    I would modestly claim to be as big of a “gearhead” as just about anybody and I drive a Volt.I think that the word you were searching for is something more like “jerk”.Or maybe “a__hole”.

    I used to think that I was a gearhead. I own a 1957 Chevy truck, and have owned
    sports cars and muscle cars. Today – due to enlightening times after watching
    “Who Killed The Electric Car”, I was transformed. I own an ICE Toyota truck, and
    when I drive it I feel guilty. I no longer consider Lambos, Porsches or Ferraris
    ” high tech”. They’re perfecting 19th century technology.

    I can’t call myself a “gearhead” any longer. I do dust off the ’57 and drive it on
    sunny weekend days. I look at car shows with interest, but with a steadily-declining
    interest as I’d rather look forward to what the future bestows. I just don’t
    get all warm, fuzzy and nostalgic when I look at a Duesenberg, as I used to a few
    years back.

    Every time I see a muscle car or hot rod, I wonder what an EV version could do or
    look like. I’m not sure if that can be classified as “gearhead” or maybe it could be
    “Electron-head”!

    One reason for my conversion is reading and watching all the old gearhead shows
    and publications I used to. They seem locked into the past. They seem intent on
    illegal speeds and sophomoric behavior on legal roads that would kill and maim
    and/or track time I could not afford on a regular basis.

    I appreciate classics – just not as much as before.

    RECHARGE! ,

    James


  65. 65
    James McQuaid

     

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (10:15 pm)

    Akerson Demands GM Innovation to Blunt Tesla Threat

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-18/akerson-demands-gm-innovation-to-guard-against-musk-effect-cars.html

    Thanks for the link Mark Z!


  66. 66
    America1st

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    Jul 18th, 2013 (11:13 pm)

    Foreign, Middle-East terrorist funding heroin is the addiction costing us our future. Nothing else on our economic front compares to this horrid addiction. Serve in the Middle East and see the extent these people hate America, freedom, religious tolerance, women’s rights, the works. I’m driving electric the rest of my life. Americans are working when my fuel is electricity.


  67. 67
    Sean

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    Jul 19th, 2013 (12:15 am)

    Hey guys it not just us.

    But it seems that the video game nerds have been reading stuff about the Tesla Model S on IGN.com

    http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/07/18/tesla-model-s-review

    Well I hope this non based car site talks about EV’s and other alternative vehicles like being mentioned on GM-Volt.com

    The more the news gets spread around maybe these vehicles will become even more popular in the future.

    The Future Is Electric!