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Engineers can argue the merits all they want. Until investors step up with money no NPPs will be built. And investors will not put up that kind of money until the Government guarantees the investment, and all risks. I don't see it any time soon.
Heavy loads can travel by train. Speed is rarely an issue for them, except in time of war. The key is a network. Autonomous Uber type cars for the "last mile" and first mile. Skytrain type automated taxies for local travel networks, and higher-speed (100 MPH) Skytran type transport for closer inter-city, like up to 300 miles. That would get you LA to Las Vegas in less than 3 hours will little or no wait on either end whereas Hyperloop, like Air would take 1 hr to the port, 2 hrs wait/security, 20 minutes travel, and another 1/2 hour to the final destination. Air, or perhaps Hyperloop for transcontinental travel. Both, as far as I can tell still require the amassing of a large group of people who want to travel from one point to another.
@ Sirkulat You might want to share your opinion with the Japanese. They are testing dirverless cars now.
@ NP The beauty is that not all areas have to have chargers at once. Silicon Valley now, but other areas can be added incrementally. We don't require a nationwide network to make EV's attractive locally.
With well positioned charging stations, we can solve both the range and inital cost issues (smaller batteries). I would buy an EV tomorrow if the cost was low enough and I could get to work everyday then charge at work. We have two cars, so one can be available for longer trips, at least for a couple of more years. I believe others would make the same type of decision if they could.
Subsidize charging stations, not batteries. If every employer and parking lot had a number of charging stations, few people would worry about 150 miles. <100 would be fine for most local trips, if you can charge while parked on one end. Maybe
The US in the dust, while the Presidential candidates argue about who has the prettiest face, or lacks email security. China will catch up.
I meant pollution not solution.
Not to worry about 10 Billion people on the planet. Nature will take care of that. She is already pissed about all the solution and global warming, but has barely begun to show it.
DaveD: "VW group certainly didn't mean to, but they just fired the starting gun to the age of EVs." You got that right. Diesels didn't sell well in the US before, now, they are dead in the water. And if they don't pass emissions tests elsewhere, they are dead, period. The race is on.
Driverless Uber type cars, whether electrified or not, could solve the last mile problem for many drivers and encourage the use of mass transit for most trips. I suspect most drivers like me would take a bus, but I need a car on either end of the line to get where I am going in a reasonable amount of time (less than three times that of driving). Such solutions could easily be piloted in limited geographic areas prior to full rollout. We just need the driverless cars. However, even a frequent, short route bus during rush hours to and from mass transit terminals might do the trick.
These figures may also reflect the high cost of living in a city. Around Denver, the only housing most households can qualify for is a long commute -- drive until you qualify. I think Mahonj is correct, congestion may be the only thing to stop the increase. Governments don't seem to be serious about increasing public transit -- too communist, I guess, or it may look like a tax.
“5-5-5. We will develop batteries that are five times more powerful and five times cheaper within 5 years." People use 5-5-5 as shorthand, but really they should refer to it as 5-5-? since we are already 3 years into the goal. Personally I would be very happy with a 3-3-4 at this point. It would take care of most people's needs, for most uses. Even a 2-2-2 would satisfy my needs and range anxiety.
One word: WATER. That will be the real challenge for land crop-based biofuels. As a Californian.
Build them and they will come -- or not. Why argue reality when the market will decide?
When there is limited supply, OPEC could control the market. When there is abundant supply of a commodity, you maneuver for market share. That is what the Saudis are doing. And that means more supply and lower prices.
Thank you for the clarification, Henrik and Davemart. I can now get on board more enthusiastically.
So no CO2. Great. But are we going to stop heating the planet by brining 1000 tiny suns to the surface? I don't get it. Now will will have to use our meager water supplies to cool the liquid salts. I am no scientist so maybe I am missing something, but this approach raises questions for which I have not seen answers.
Yes, leave it in the ground and fill the mines with dead trees from beetle kill or other vegetation waste, for added sequestration.
Obama is finally learning from Bush 43. Find out what is already going to happen along the lines of what you want to promote, and then make policy that is certain to succeed. That is okay. Maybe it will accelerate the process a little. That is better than nothing.
Davemart: I think the reference to biofuels may address your concern. I know some will argue that crops should be used for food, but bio can help us transition.
The time is right as really clean alternatives are coming available. Five years ago, not so much.
DaveD: Only the kind of people who read this blog will pay attention. As you say, the rest will deny the facts or remain ignorant.
It is already too late. We need to find ways to take CO2 out of the atmosphere.
Change in behavior may depend on overall system capability. If I can take an autonomous taxi, BEV or not, from home to the light rail, then from light rail to work, and back, I might pay the $.16 per mile. But I don't think I will be quick to change to an autonomous taxi for the full trip. My personal vehicle, expensive as it is, seems more convenient. Also, I don't see the direct costs of my vehicle every day, where I do for the taxi. I think this "visible" charge is one reason many people do not change to public transportation. They just are not aware of the cost of driving.