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There Will Never Be Non-Petro/Non-Biofuel Automobiles

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posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:15 AM
Something has been on my mind for a while and I thought I'd post about it.

Consider this information for a moment:

- The first electric car was built sometime in the late 1830s. (link, link). Mind you, these were very primitive compared to what we see today, but they did run using only power produced by non-rechargeable batteries.
- Batteries were conceptualized and made for the first time in the decades leading up to the 1830s, but this was very early in their development. (link)
- The first gasoline powered combustion engines were not built until the tail end of the 1800s. (link)
- The first reliable electronic, programmable computers were made in the early 1940s. (link)
- The first televisions that are compatible with today's fully electronic sets were first put together in the mid-1930s. (link)

Okay, I realize that I've listed a few things that are like comparing apples to oranges, but bear with me for a sec.

The first electronic car was made nearly 200 hundred years ago. The other stuff I listed was either in it's infancy or not even around at all at that point! So how the heck have we gone 150 to 200 years and it seems as though electric vehicles have come up short in terms of technological progression?

Think about how much computers have changed in 60 years. They have gone from behemoths that took up entire rooms in exchange for minimal computing power, to a device you can hold comfortably in one hand or stuff into your your pocket.

When considering the alternatives to petroleum, it is obvious why that has remained, and will remain, the dominant fuel source: Money. People are forced to purchase gasoline in order to drive. If cars were powered by solar energy, batteries, water, air, or some other freely accessible fuel, billions of dollars would no longer exchange hands.

With all of the hubbub about needing to get away from petroleum, reduce CO2 emissions, curb warming, and be greener, wouldn't it make more sense to stop using automobiles as we see them today? Wouldn't it be more logical to use something that doesn't rely on a powering process that has harmful byproducts? Al Gore and others have proposed a carbon tax in order to help stem carbon-based emissions. What good is that going to do? It's not going to keep Gore and other wealthy people from traveling around the world. All it will do is make it even more difficult for the average person to live a decent lifestyle. Meanwhile a select few people will be the beneficiaries of this tax. The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer.

I'm convinced that if a person were to hold a press conference today and prove to the world that they'd built a car that ran on garbage (yes, like the car from Back to the Future), we'd still never see the vehicle made available to the public in any form. The inventor would wind up as a footnote on wikipedia and perhaps in a news piece regarding his/her untimely death. Until someone in a position of power decides that, for the good of humanity and our planet, we need to do something regardless of the cost, regardless of the loss involved in terms of money, and regardless of the difficulty, automobiles will only use the fuel(s) that make require payment.

Well that's my little rant on that subject. I know the money topic has been pointed out on many occasions. But when I started looking at how quickly some technologies and devices have come along in short periods of time, I found it very surprising that the electric vehicle has made such little progress.

posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:41 AM
Japan has quite a few alternatives to fuel:

Environmentally, hybrids emit only half the carbon dioxide of gasoline engines. Toyota was the first automaker in the world to mass-produce and sell hybrid cars, introducing the Prius in 1997. The model has sold 130,000 cars a year worldwide, including two other models that are only sold in Japan. In early January, 2004, Toyota's Prius sedan was voted North American Car of the Year.

So far, Toyota and Honda are the only companies selling "mass-market" hybrids in the world. Honda had sold 37,000 hybrids worldwide by April of 2003. According to Reuters' Chang-Ran Kin: "Honda plans to start selling a hybrid version of its flagship Accord this autumn, while Toyota's Lexus brand will launch the world's first luxury hybrid, the RX400h, this year." Reportedly, the Lexus RX400h will have 20% more power than the gasoline powered RX330. Additionally, it will have a range of 600 miles on a tank of gasoline. Meanwhile. Japan's Corporate News Network announced that Mazda is adding an electric 4WD model in its Demio Series. The company plans to sell 7,000 units per month.

[edit on 21-8-2008 by mystiq]

posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:45 AM
And this one shows some of the modern electric can reach top speeds:

While Japan continues to work on mass market models of EVs, engineer and designers there are also working on ever more impressive line of sporty and luxury models. The Eliica electric car, still only a prototype, can climb up to a speed of about 100mph in 7 seconds and reach a top speed of 400kmph. A brain child of Prof. Hiroshi Shimizu, Keio University, the car was produced with the help of a team of students.

Japanese cars are really going to take the world market by storm one day. If I could afford a new car (I always drive second hand
), thats the only kind I would buy. If the electric model that makes those kind of speeds goes into mass production, I'd chose that over a hybrid.

posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:47 AM
There are many misconceptions in the OP. Selling electric power and related services to car owners can, in the long run, be just as profitable as selling oil. The reason electric cars took so long to come into everyday life is simple, and it's the difficulty of energy storage. It's one thing to have a concept car, be it 200 or 100 years ago, and having a sleek and safe vehicle of today.

Look at this analogy -- rockets were invented and used in China hundreds of years ago, and yet we only went to space some 40 years ago. Would you also claim there was some sort of conspiracy? Nah...

posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:51 AM
Go rent "Who Killed the Electric Car?" if you can. And I assure you, you will be as mad and frustrated as I.

The GM EV1 was awesome. But pressure from those who are connected to big oil helped kill it. Even at a BMW prices, it would, especially now, sell like mad!

We will use oil for many years to come.

[edit on 8/21/08 by Cyprex]

posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:53 AM
But Japan already produces and sells these cars, and the market share is getting better all the time. As for the newer type of electric, one that goes at highway speeds, that will be the crowning jewel as far as I'm concerned. When they put that one into production its going to be sold worldwide.

[edit on 21-8-2008 by mystiq]

posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:53 AM

Originally posted by Cyprex
The GM EV1 was awesome. But pressure from those who are connected to big oil helped kill it. Even at a BMW prices, it would, especially now, sell like mad!

Well, it paved the way for the electric craze... My point remains that in a few years it WILL come into its own. Sheer ecomonics of it.

posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:14 PM
Thanks for the responses. Yes, I may have some misconceptions. But I still feel strongly that if, as the governments and MSM would have us believe, global warming is such a huge threat to the welfare of mankind, the transition to emission-free transportation would be less of a consumer option and more of a mandate coming down in the form of laws and requirements. At this point there is nothing that says that a person MUST buy a hybrid in order to do their part in the fight against CO2 buildup and/or the a departure from petroleum consumption. But that is the kind of mandate that is going to be required. Otherwise people will take the easy road and keep buying cars as we do today.

A few months ago I read an article that talked about the manufacturing process involved in creating the batteries for hybrid cars. I wish I could find the URL for it. Basically it discussed just how toxic and cost ineffective the batteries are to assemble. Unfortunately I don't know if the information it provided applies to all such batteries, or only those used by one automotive company. But I was still surprised by how much it seemed like these things are not really an advancement in environmental friendliness.

buddhasystem, do you have any more information about electric car sales and service is just as profitable as selling oil? I'd like to read about that. It seems hard to believe that is true, especially in the long run over the lifetime of a vehicle. It would be interesting to see how much oil and gas the average driver consumes over the lifetime of a car compared to that of an electric (including the fuel required to produce the electricity used to recharge the batteries during downtime).

posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:33 PM
Here's the problem with electric cars, and other non-gasoline/diesel motored vehicles. At times, it takes more fuel to charge the system that runs the vehicle than it would for as comparable fueled vehicle, just to burn a fuel.

It's great to have an electric car, but what if it takes 5 tons of coal to charge the thing. Absolutely no savings in anything, just an offset from here to there.

I can only speak for some areas of the USA, but cities are very large and jobs are not always a block or two away. The US economy and social structure are built upon railroads and highways connecting vast distances. Restructuring to something else may never occur. It will change to what, no one can say. I would expect a combination of many different forms of transportation, both known and some not even thought of yet, to become prime movers within 10 years.

I live in a metro area that cover over 400 square miles. My city is about half the size of the country of Luxembourg. I can drive 5 miles today and several hundred tomorrow, with my job.

I can see mass transit picking up business and altering how they operate throughout the US. This is just another symptom of the root problem.

I don't know the answer... it's above my pay grade.

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