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Put this on a track, instead of existing highway and along with self or semi-self driving cars, you have a dual mode PRT system. It would be cheaper and faster than building new highways, allocate space above current right of way, provide high density non-stop travel and last mile driver controlled capability. Ford was looking at a similar concept a few years back. I don't know what every happened to that concept.
In line with the rest of the American Last policies. China has more wind and solar, and will have many more, and better BEV's. Europe and Africa will have a higher percentage of renewable energy. Hopefully, this will allow Tesla to establish itself as a true competitor in the auto industry.
@Havey: It is pretty clear to me that the future market for automobiles is going to be differentiated in ways not seen before. There will be city cars, such as this, that serve most people's day-to-day needs, supplemented by rental/shared cars or public transit. There will be longer-range for those who drive more distances regularly (or who don't have plugs, or live in cold climates), probably HEV's. And there will be heavy duty all purpose vehicles which may include pickups and SUV's of some type. As public charging facilities become available, the mix may change. For now, I could use a city BEV, and keep my gasser for longer distances. Buyers will sort themselves out depending on the situation. The consumers will adjust their mindset according to circumstance.
@Otto: I believe it rained before industrial pollution. Rain is not a good excuse to kill people.
Most of this discussion is irrelevant. At the rate of growth in clean energy, proportion of coal will decline significantly over the next 5-10 years, with or without Trump. Waiting until then to put EVs on the road makes no sense. As for developing countries, do you think they are more likely to build refineries and infrastructure to distribute gasoline, or install local wind and solar? I can take my guess, you make yours.
SJC: I agree, but it looks like US consumers are still buying 20 mpg vehicles. The market is not as efficient as economists and engineers might like us to believe. If it were, we would all be driving HEVs or PHEVs by now if not BEVs.
One more: Oil prices will be more volatile than in the past.
There's a rosy scenario if ever I heard one. Without making assumptions about Iran, I would guess that oil prices have been low long enough that everyone has committed to autos and other uses that will push demand up. Meanwhile Oilcos have cut exploration spending (not that they were finding enough, anyway) so oil prices will rise. That will encourage US production from shale, for which the US under Trump will build pipelines. However, that will also make alternative energy, wind and solar, more attractive and encourage people to move in to BEVs and PHEVs.
I have seen news stories on people living in their vans/SUVs, some of necessity and some after making reasoned financial decisions. So, maybe downtown parking lots can double as modular hotels. Not great for families, but for some.
If the OilCos believed this they would be spending "bigly" on exploration. But they are not. So, who are they trying to convince, investors?
Conserve them for other applications? What, are we in a resource constrained world? Just make more, if the demand is there. It may take a little time to build the supply line, but it can be done.
The corporate model is designed (and legalized) by government to be selfish. It is what it is. That is why Government funding of research is needed, and productive. Yes, some, maybe much, is wasted, but what comes our of our research labs makes advances happen that no single corporation could justify paying for.
One positive note from the change in administration. Lots of people will likely install solar at home before the subsidies are withdrawn. Look for big growth there.
gor seems to lack any understanding of how government funded research greases the skids for the "free" market. He needs to ask himself why the Chinese make T-shirts of cotton grown in West Texas. It isn't just capitalist investment in research and technology.
Post Office, UPS, FedEx! Seems like a live market opportunity for someone.
A lot of people in the 1400's believed the world was flat, and it did not make a bit of difference for them. But the reality following Columbus's voyage changed the world for their descendants. Same here. People my age can hold to the belief there is no global warming, and it won't make a bit of difference. But my children will view the reality, whatever that is. They better the deniers are right, but be prepared if they are not.
"NRC has targeted completing the certification process within 40 months" I get the need for time to review 12,000 pages thoroughly. But, it is frustrating to know how long the lead time is. Solar, Wind, and Wave/Tide may obviate the need for nuclear before it goes into place. I know those are all produce very small proportions of our electricity now, but who knows what will develop in 4.5 years.
Tesla may be hugely successful as a company, or they may be a footnote in history 30 years from now. But either way, they have already had a huge impact on the auto industry. Look at the competitors entering the market, and the battery developments since Tesla introduced its first vehicle.
Rest stops and restaurants on the Interstate highways.
Lurking Jerk, Your main point is correct, except you attribute the loss of jobs to regulation (a clear political bias with no foundation). The reality is that jobs will be los, or at least displaced to technology regardless of whether it is forced by regulation or bubbles up from entrepreneurs. Coal miners are not losing their jobs due to regulation. They are losing them due to competition, much of it from natural gas which is abundant due to technology developed by entrepreneurs (or maybe big oil?).
Trump's appointment to the EPA thinks environmental issues should be at the state level. I am looking forward to seeing the Cuyahoga river burning again. Bring back the good old days.
So, as long as people are staking out predictions, here is mine. Due to lack of oil exploration, the price of oil will spike in the next few years. When it does buyers will either buy BEVs and Plugin Hybrids or quit driving and use Self-driving vehicles (Henrik's paradigm). However, as cars are made up of commodity electronics with maybe 3D printed bodies, there will be lots of producers, including small startups with no deep pockets.
I met a fellow recently who was driving a Tesla. He said his only complaint is that the software is updated every two or three days, so every time he drives the experience is just a little different -- better maybe, but different.
Colorado Department of Transportation this winter is starting some testing using volunteers with cell phones to monitor traffic to the mountains. This in anticipation of driverless cars. And of course it was in Colorado that Anheuser Busch tested a self-driving truck. I think Colorado and maybe other states may be working toward autonomous vehicles faster than you think.
Use all the money to retrofit school buses with Lightning Hybrid or Artemis Hybrid systems.