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Dave K.
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Great that it's a completely different approach than other systems, the second clutch makes it able to run in electric mode without draging the motor along like Honda. Compare this to the discontinued Accord hybrid and it looks pretty good.
I'm getting a Leaf next April, my math says electricity will cost about $25/month here in Georgia. even without off peak rates. For my 15-20,000 miles per year I will save the net cost of the car back in 10 years. (We have both federal and state tax credits) I think it's a no brainer!
First, don't bet on the $30/barrel price, CWT talked about a similar number before they built their turkey waste plant next to Butterball and in the end it was $90/barrel! Second, I don't think OPEC can pull the price collapse trick again, they don't have the spare capacity. My hope is this kind of thing can keep the planes flying and the combines running but there's no doubt in my mind we're going to mostly drive EVs, the efficiency numbers are just too good. Still great news!
I get my Leaf in April, YEAH! Seriously Goracle why is this not great news? I almost never drive more than 60 miles in a day and when I do I will take my PHEV Prius. My family fuel consumption will be ~1/8th my pre electric number and here in Ga. most of our nighttime power will soon be 0 carbon nuclear.
Not only is this true now but rail has been unfairly penalised in the US since the 50s, the interstate highway system was an indirect subsidy of the trucking industry and (Duh!) that was when the railroads started declining. Yes they were poorly managed and carried a lot of union overhead but before that they had been doing fine. Any real peak oil/climate change/foreign oil solution MUST include bringing back railroads or it is doomed, steel wheels on steel track and long trains are just more efficient, also easier to electrify.
Don't think any PHEV owner will chose to use gasoline if electric energy is available, the cost difference is too great. The first study makes some sense but it's been done before.
The PSD was invented in the 70s, old technology. The deal with Ford was probably software but Ford claims it was just to prevent a lawsuit. Nissan bought the whole system but is now set to produce a new parallel system of their own design. In my opinion the Toyota/Ford series/parallel PSD is the system to beat, best technology on the market.
Fissionable minerals are the fossil remains of dead stars, hence a "fossil fuel". while there is considerable supply to be had (especially with Thorium) it will still be exhausted some day, though we're talking thousands-10s or 100s of thousands of years, I take the long view.
I think we need to pursue all available low carbon electric power generation technologies, as well as efficiency and population control. This is not an either/or proposition. Even though advanced nuclear is probably the most cost effective solution short term it is STILL a fossil fuel, I'm also not willing to put all our eggs in one basket again, the risks are too great. That said nuclear looks very attractive once you get past the emotion and fear attached to it. The mere fact that it has ~1 million times the energy density of combustion makes any "problems" much smaller, as someone pointed out the "waste" is really unreprocessed fuel for more advanced reactors, and France has even done a long term experiment for us (with old technology) that shows you can use it safely to generate most of your needs, we have enough fissionables to las thousands of years(longer with Thorium). Renewables on the other hand are specific to a particular area, here in the south where we have large demand (AC) on sunny days we could use an awful lot of solar before any storage would be needed, same with the southwest, British Isles, not so much. Other areas are windy, northern California has good geothermal, seems like Nova Scotia would be a good place for tidal. None of these promising technologies are mutually exclusive and many work well together. But here in the south it's pretty much nuclear if you want the lights to work at night.
This is good news, he's right that any serious effort to reduce AGW must include nuclear power, I'm also for renewables but the cost of storage will make it difficult for them to excede 30% of the mix any time soon. Hope he's talking about Thorium as well, a much more plentiful fuel.
This is essentially what Andy Frank @ UC Davis has been doing for 20 years, a small efficient engine in a series hybrid dirvetrain with a modest battery. Makes great economic sense.
This is what Honda should have done, by not adding the second clutch they limited their fuel economy potential and lost market share to Toyota. Nissan needs to put this in a small efficient car and show us what it can do, most hybrid buyers don't want a V6 and don't care that much about performance.
I bought a Prius in 04, not because it was different (unlike the Civic H.) but because it was better! I think some will buy a Leaf because it's different but for most it's a complicated mix of personal preferences, if the Focus and Golf are good cars they will find buyers. I personally will probably buy a Leaf because it's coming first.
Dave K. is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 3, 2010