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An idea to reduce oil dependence and pollution!

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posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 04:09 PM
Part 1:

Why Can’t We…

Use today’s technology to mitigate the carbon fuel problem? Why would the following proposal NOT work?

All cities would have “electric highway lanes” for commuters. Here is how it would work…

Each major arterial would have “commuter lanes” with embedded electrical rails energized with enough current to trickle charge the batteries of electrically powered cars. The drain or charging duration for each car’s batteries would be intermittent or at short cycles as determined by a sensor in each individual car. This can be done NOW! It does not require years of research into longer duration batteries.

The commuter would leave home using battery power from batteries charged overnight at home and would typically not need to travel more than 10 to 15 miles or less to a major arterial. Once on the arterial and in the electrified lane, the commuter’s car would recharge intermittently at speed from the low voltage electrical power grid built into the highway lane. This ensures that the car will not discharge its batteries completely during the commute.

The electrification of highways may be even easier than is presently considered if research is done in earnest into wireless transmission of electricity as was proposed and demonstrated by Tesla in the first half of the 20th century. Small Tesla transmission coils could be placed at intervals of 5 miles along major highways from which electric cars could draw energy. This would save the expense of tearing up pavement to implant an electric grid, thereby reducing not only cost of highway construction but interruption in existing traffic flow.

The electric car should be a very cheap form of automobile, designed for commuting and other very short trip scenarios and would not require the expensive high speed crash technology or long trip creature comforts of current gasoline and hybrid cars.

The car can be digitally identified to its owner/driver by a computer chip in the “ignition/start” key. This will identify the person or “customer” for electric company billing purposes so the power company gets its fair income generated by billing each digitally identified customer for the amount of electrical energy required to operate the car and re-charge it’s batteries on the electrified arterial. This is different than running an electric street car or commuter train in that the amount of power needed to drive the car would be billed directly to the consumer and would not require high voltage as needed by trains. The cars on this arterial can be spaced and speed regulated by the road and traffic conditions through existing computer technology which will eliminate traffic jams at peak hours, increase safety and would eventually eliminate 9virtually all of the commuter generated pollution in urban and suburban areas.

The above would not require waiting ten years to develop the 100 mile battery for cars that will cost many tens of thousands of dollars. The commuter car would be a very low powered inexpensive vehicle using state-of-the-current-art batteries.

Because the car would be recharging as it drives on the electric commuter lane, it should not require many hours of recharging (if any) once it reaches it’s destination.

The initial program would be one electrified lane in each direction with a goal to transform all automobile lanes within a five to ten year period.

This commuter car would be small, light weight and capable of speeds no greater than 45 miles per hour. A commute during rush hour today is usually stop and go with speeds ranging from 0 to 55 miles per hour. Big city rush hour is the most polluting and most oil wasteful use of the American automobile and should be the first problem to be solved. A steady 40 miles per hour with computer controlled spacing of electric cars will make the same trip in less time.
Next replay is Part 2:

posted on Jul, 15 2008 @ 04:11 PM
Part 2:
Overland trucking would be the slowest conversion factor but the major source of urban/suburban auto related pollution could be completely curtailed in 10 years.

Allowing the consumer to save money by purchasing a low cost electric automobile that will further save the consumer the high cost of operating a gas or gas/hybrid vehicle would be a good incentive, providing a tax credit for this vehicle will further encourage people to make the change. Furthermore, it would negate the need for methane or ethanol as a substitute for gasoline in commuting. Ethanol and methane do not answer the pollution problem and is dependent upon agriculture, which is needed as food and is climate and weather dependant and endangered.

These things are possible today with much less scientific research and dollars than the quest for a 100 mile battery or risky hydrogen extraction systems.

I propose that the government should establish a competitive design program open to all American vehicle manufacturers (not just automobiles) to design an electric commuter vehicle capable of meeting the specification described above as well as safety. That the competition be subsidized by the government to aid domestic vehicle manufacturers currently facing downsizing due to the losses they have incurred by consumer in the high cost of operating current vehicles.
This should be done with the same urgency, vigor and cooperation that existed during WWII because this is war! The government needs to put serious money into this kind of program, not a couple of hundred thousand dollars for the development of a 100 mile battery but hundreds of millions of dollars. This program will not only save our economy from the stranglehold of mid-east oil, but significantly improve the pollution problem. We can set the example for the rest of the world.

Electric generating and distribution companies must also be included as a development partner with the same subsidy program afforded to the vehicle industry.

This program will speed up the development of electric commuter vehicles, allow existing and struggling US vehicle manufacturers an opportunity to retain it’s workforce (thereby reducing the burden on unemployment and the housing market in cities where job losses will result in mortgage defaults) thereby reducing some of the mortgage problems of today.

Hydrogen power and hybrid designs can continue for the larger vehicles like cross country automobiles and short and long haul trucks. Government subsidies and tax incentives should be increased for this research but the first and primary focus should be the commuter automobile.

So, there it is! Now everyone can tell me why it won’t work, and tell me how it can work. And who should be given the idea to run with (if it is feasible like I think it is).

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