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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.
Yes, the Republicans don't want the government investing, but they are happy to let industry profit from basic research that government paid for. Democrats, on the other hand, want government to pay for it all and then give it away.
And the cost of protecting the oil shipping lanes, not to mention oil wars.
I always assumed that ocean currents were impacted by climate, not the other way around. Observations seem a little weak without at least a hypothetical cause for the change.
BW: And much track near wind and solar installations could benefit from nearby electric generation. That would simply add stretches of electified line. And/or, the railroads could install renewable generation along rural right-of-way.
HarveyD, Why penalize small car purchasers. They can probably use the incentives more than large car buyers. And that speed adoption. I do agree with your concept, though.
Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Migrating Monarch butterfly populations have dropped 90%, honeybees are dying like flies (pun intended), seas are rising and fish are dying. FUBAR
@mahonj I was probably not very clear. Not only will many elderly need the lower cost, but some of them will fear getting in a taxi driven by a stranger, particularly an Uber type operation. But they may be fine with riding a car that drives itself, after they try it once or twice.
And I hope Hendrik is correct. Not only do the economics of self-driving vehicles look good, but the societal benefits for an aging population argue for self-driving taxi's -- safe, secure, and they won't drive through the front of the building.
From what I am reading about India in both solar and wind, they may be less dependent on oil than the US in the near future. China's leaders may be doing everything they can to grow the economy, but they are not foolish enough to build that economy on dependence on the Middle East for the long-term.
That will only happen if the crop of current politicians who want the US to control the world will let go when we no longer need middle east oil. I think South America will free itself of energy dependence before we do.