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Transportation Earth Power

Bay Area To Install Electric Vehicle Grid 388

Posted by kdawson
from the recharge-it dept.
Mike writes "Recently San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland unveiled a massive concerted effort to become the electric vehicle capitol of the United States. The Bay Area will be partnering with Better Place to create an essential electric vehicle infrastructure, marking a huge step towards the acceptance of electric vehicles as a viable alternative to those that run on fossil fuels." Inhabitat.com has some conceptual illustrations and a map showing EV infrastructure, such as battery exchange stations, stretching from Sacramento to San Diego — though this is far more extensive than the Bay Area program actually announced, which alone is estimated to cost $1 billion.
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Bay Area To Install Electric Vehicle Grid

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  • by TheMeuge (645043) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @06:59PM (#25893017)

    The problem isn't that SF wants to be electric-friendly, or even environmentally friendly. The problem is that they are doing it simply to cash in on a trendy idea. The union bosses responsible for building this grid will charge SF taxpayers billions to produce a sub-par grid, that will need constant repair, and that is unlikely to be utilized.

    Why? Because the same people who promote electric cars, are also the people that recoil from even the word "nuclear"... and thus ensure that while the rest of the world forges ahead in power generation technology, we are stuck with 30+ year old inefficient uranium-guzzlers.

    Perhaps people should consider that it's better to do things because they are the right thing, not because they are the "in thing".

    • by Gat0r30y (957941) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @07:16PM (#25893177) Homepage Journal

      Because the same people who promote electric cars, are also the people that recoil from even the word "nuclear"... and thus ensure that while the rest of the world forges ahead in power generation technology, we are stuck with 30+ year old inefficient uranium-guzzlers.

      That's not true. Some of us promote electric cars, along with a renewable energy infrastructure which would include nuclear power, in a safe and responsible way.

      • by Nadaka (224565) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @08:36PM (#25894057)

        Indeed. Modern Feeder-Breeder reactors are safe, environmentally friendly and efficient.

        They can not only produce 10 times more energy for a given supply of uranium, but they could cure the worlds problem of disposing of long term nuclear waste by using it as recycled fuel. Not only this, but what little waste is produced has a short enough half-life to be a threat for a manageable few hundreds of years instead of thousands. They do not have the land use ecological impact that solar does.

        Combined with balanced use of solar thermal and tapping Americas northern and offshore oil and natural gas reserves, it presents us the option of becoming completely independent of both foreign energy and dirty coal that we currently burn (fun fact: the average US coal plant releases more radioactive waste into the environment than a conventional nuclear power plant).

        The infrastructure SF is implementing is admirable. The vision I have for a good future also includes electrified railways and highways with charging rails that allow drivers to run off of grid power on longer trips, allowing us to remove the use of oil as a significant factor in transportation cost throughout the continental US even with the current generation of relatively low power density batteries.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:07PM (#25894317)

          They can not only produce 10 times more energy for a given supply of uranium

          It's between 60-100 times and that is without taking into they can use the depleted uranium that is left over from the enrichment ( if you enrich the uranium from 0.7% to 2.5% you're left with a bunch of depleted uranium so the total quantity of natural uranium used is 3.5 times the content of teh fuel rods ).

          Thus if you compare it with a PWR running at 2.5% enrichment and consuming 1% of the enriched fuel rod, then a breeder will be able to extract about 100 times the energy from the same fuel rod, but if you consider the consumption of natural uranium it's even more than that by up to a factor of 3.5. Now you could of course recycle the plutonium as MOX in traditional reactors, which would not be as efficient, but this is where the figure of 60 times comes from.

          However, that only considers the heat generated, most breeder designs also operate at higher temperatures than present reactors so they get a better electric conversion efficiency ( 40%-45% as compared to 30%-35% for PWRs ) so you gain another 28% or so there.

          Additionally most designs of breeders seem to be able to use thorium which is about 4 times as abundant as uranium. (thou some thermal designs, like CANDU , might have this ability as well ).

          Thus depending on if you are interested in heat or electricity, and depending on which of the many designs used today you compare with, and depending on if you want to consider the possibility of using Thorium, breeders could produce between 60 and 1600 times as much energy from available fissile material as could traditional designs.

          Of course in practice this is somewhat irrelevant since even the low estimate would easily cower present energy demand for thousands of years. Even the existing nuclear waste contains enough uranium to last a century or more.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Combined with balanced use of solar thermal and tapping Americas northern and offshore oil and natural gas reserves, it presents us the option of becoming completely independent of both foreign energy and dirty coal

          Have a look at Geodynamics in Queensland, Australia. They're new, and they generate lots of energy from hot rocks. You could tap the hot rocks near Yellowstone and make Montana and Wyoming the energy centres for your country.

      • by sdturf (968920) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @12:16AM (#25895697)
        Please don't forget those of us who promote nuclear power in an unsafe and irresponsible way.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @11:10PM (#25895237)

      You do realize that California's completely unique zero-emissions standards were instrumental in getting electric cars created in the first place, right? That California has been investing heavily in alternative car reasearch including pure electric, hybrid, and hydrogen technology?

      SF is not doing this simply to cash in on a trendy idea. As far back as I can remember, alternative fuel stations have been a priority. While most states have 1 or 2 Hydrogen fueling stations planned for some point in the future, according to the National Hydrogen Association [hydrogenassociation.org] California has 28 currently active.

      San Francisco has been pushing alternative vehicle technologies for years. Just because one aspect is now coming to fruition doesn't mean it is a cynically shortsighted cash grab. It may still be an underutilized overpaid attempt to slay a windmill, but it is completely in line with the bay area's ongoing and slightly quixotic idiom.

    • by mcrbids (148650) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @03:06AM (#25896669) Journal

      I don't think you understand what this new electrical grid is all about. This project is about a dynamic grid, one that uses constant-update price changes and continuous feedback systems to self-stabilize.

      Let's say that you plug your car in when you get home, at about 6:00 PM. You know, when everybody and their uncle is busy burning power for home heating, TVs, and getting ready for dinner. The price of electricity is high, and your car, in constant communication with the grid, doesn't begin charging until the price of electricity drops around 10 PM.

      This continuous feedback loop can tie in through your home heating, your refrigerator, etc. so that they shut off during periods when the electricity is in peak demand, and work extra when juice is cheap.

      This reduces strain on the power grid, and makes better use of existing resources which are today massively overbuilt simply to handle the 10 minutes during the year when load is at its highest.

      This solves a number of very real problems. For example, Wind power is very bad for power grids when it supplies more than about 10% of the total power fed into the grid - wind gusts cause voltage surges and low-grade brownouts that destabilize the power grid.

      However, if you had a large number of distributed, high-amperage charge/discharge power storage units (such as a bunch of electric cars!) you could use them to act as electrical inertia to absorb sudden spikes in power.

      The net effect will be a cheaper, more reliable power grid, one that could even stay running for short periods of time even if the mains to the power plants are cut, simply because the affected area would see a dramatic spike in the price of electricity, causing everything non-essential to shut off, while the electric vehicles would start backfeeding electricity, earning a profit for their owners.

      This is for real!

  • by fm6 (162816) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @07:00PM (#25893021) Homepage Journal

    "You're just substituting one energy source for another. You're not doing anything about the energy shortage."

    Yes you are. It's a lot more efficient to have convert all your chemical energy into electricity at one central spot than to have millions of engines that the vehicles have to carry around with them. I believe the efficiency factor is something like 60%. Besides, there are non-chemical ways to generate electricity.

    • by pimpimpim (811140) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @07:38PM (#25893429)
      A calculation of the german version of the AAA, the ADAC, showed that the electric smart that is currently on the road, would actually create more CO2 per km than the combustion engine version, IF the power plant was solely coal based (which is a popular power plant in germany at the moment). I also find if fascinating that the hydrogen for hydrogen production is currently produced by transforming oil into hydrogen and ... CO2. It is the most efficient and economic process to do it like that. Sure, at one point in time you could do create hydrogen by electrolysis of water. But in the mean time, because money is an inevitable driving force, it will be made the CO2-producing way. Or, how biofuels will end up competing the farming of food and might lead to difficult hunger problems. All in all, these are exciting times, and for every alternative the effects of the complete life circle on environment and society should be considered....
    • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @07:41PM (#25893457)

      You lose efficiency when you transfer the power into the batteries and back out again. If you do all the math, using a coal fired plant to power an electric car uses almost the same amount of chemical energy (it's about 26% efficient, 40% for the coal plant and 72% for the battery/motor, and 90% for the power inverter, while a conventional engine is around 20%) but generates more CO2. The 60% you cite is for a combined cycle natural gas plant, but that's not where we get most of our power.

  • funding (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @07:00PM (#25893023) Homepage

    State governments, especially California, just can't afford $1B projects. But the Feds sure can. Because they are trying to counter a deflationary spiral, they are printing money as fast as they can and giving it to banks.

    Compared to what they've been giving away, $1B is nothing. They really should consider throwing some of that over to CA. [It will create JOBS and reduce foreign oil dependency, Mr. Obama!]

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You can be sure that that is exactly what this initiative, and others soon to follow, are counting on. That's all well and good, but hopefully the Fed is smart enough to consolidate all such proposals so that the money is spent in a coordinated fashion that benefits the national economy, not just local interests.

    • Re:funding (Score:5, Informative)

      by h2_plus_O (976551) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @08:15PM (#25893855)

      State governments, especially California, just can't afford $1B projects. But the Feds sure can.

      Actually, the difference between states and the Feds is that the states require themselves to balance their budgets. The Feds are actually in worse overall financial shape debt-wise, but are much more liquid by virtue of the size of their credit cards.

    • Re:funding (Score:5, Informative)

      by immcintosh (1089551) <slashdot.ianmcintosh@org> on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @08:23PM (#25893939) Homepage

      California has an economy so large that if it were an independent nation, it would still have one of the top ten economies in the entire world. California actually has a larger economy than the entire nations of Canada or Russia. In other words, there's a lot of money in California, which means a lot of taxes being collected.

      I'm not sure why you would say, "especially California," considering its economy is substantially larger than any other state in the union. Are you indicating that the state should spend its funds elsewhere? That we are suffering so much disproportionately more than anywhere else? I'm not sure.

      • Re:funding (Score:4, Informative)

        by sideshow (99249) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @08:54PM (#25894219)

        I'm not sure why you would say, "especially California," considering its economy is substantially larger than any other state in the union.

        California's current budget is something like $15 billion dollars in the red, so we really don't have an extra $1 billion laying around at the moment.

  • by clampolo (1159617) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @07:01PM (#25893029)
    At least spending a billion for this will produce something useful and will provide some jobs. It sounds like a bargain compared to $700+ billion to keep the bankers from having to move to smaller mansions.
  • The Gold Coast (Score:3, Interesting)

    by localroger (258128) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @07:04PM (#25893057) Homepage
    OK it was set in LA instead of SF, but the implication in Kim Stanley Robinson's novel was that the slotcar grid was at least statewide.
  • Wrong again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by earlymon (1116185) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @07:05PM (#25893065) Homepage Journal

    I've lived and worked in the Bay Area. Pollution from cars is a problem. Cars are a problem.

    Electric cars are not the answer. (I don't even want to imagine sitting in deadlocked traffic, heater or AC on, tunes playing, battery draining...)

    Mass transit is the answer - not just BART - REAL mass transit. I cannot stress enough that if one travels to Japan and sees for oneself how fucking cool and efficient the Japanese mass rail system is - billion dollar proposals like this would die at conception.

    Mass transit first - electric cars (if they're still needed, really) second.

    Fuck me, America - can we try fixing problems instead of fixing symptoms - just once?!?!

    • by QuantumG (50515) *

      Next you'll be suggesting that people should just start enjoying each other's company.. or going to the same places.

      People like private transport.

      • Re:Wrong again (Score:5, Insightful)

        by earlymon (1116185) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @07:35PM (#25893397) Homepage Journal

        People like private transport.

        Because they don't know any other way?

        I like private transport - a lot. I just think that it has its place, and that place is no where near 100%. From my time in Japan, I'd say it's less than 10%.

        Because people do like going to the same places quite often - the music/bar district ('bout every town I've been in has had one), the university, the business district, the industrial areas, the shopping malls, the grocery stores. And with enough mass transit outlets, you can even get to Aunt Tillie's house pretty easily.

        I rode the Metro in the DC area - and freaking hated it. It was like riding with all of the grey people of Trantor - everyone's personal space invaded because of the cattle-car approach to it all.

        Mass transit doesn't have to be that way.

        We might not like each other at first face-to-face. I'd rather ignore you sitting or standing next to you on a train than have you driving next to me in murderous traffic. (The you in that sentence is strictly rhetorical.)

        • by QuantumG (50515) *

          Uh huh. If Americans were packed into trains like the Japanese are, people would be knifed daily.

          • by earlymon (1116185)

            I won't stick my head in the sand and say that's wrong - I believe NYC proves that out. I would suggest that more rails might solve some of that packing, however.

            The worst I had it was in Yokohama. I hung on to the top strap and the crowd surge had me horizontal at one point - I kid you not.

            I'd risk it. I'm so sick of the automobile-me-first society we have, I'd fucking risk it. OK - that's just me.

        • Because they don't know any other way?

          No, because the American car companies paid to destroy commuter rail in the early part of the 20th century and, consequently, even most cities in America, where mass transit would generally be most effective, are designed around the car, and built for the car as a dominant form of transportation. People find that the car works best because most of America is designed expressly for that to be the case.

          Reversing that is going to take several trillion of dollars of infrast

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cmowire (254489)

          See, if you are content to only go to destinations that CalTrain services, things are better than BART. Especially the old-but-slightly-bumpy gallery cars where those of us who wanted to engage in quiet intellectual pursuits like reading or sketching can do so upstairs without a person to rub shoulders with, life is good.

          After losing 20 lbs and actually reaching a fairly good level of physical fitness for the first time in my nerdly life, I'm fairly convinced that it's not just about mass transit. It's ab

    • by srothroc (733160)
      Japan isn't Tokyo. Tokyo may have an awesomely efficient and convenient rail system that gets you pretty much anywhere you want on-time, but if you go to regular places, you're lucky if they have one, let alone two or three stations. Even a fair-sized city usually won't have a great subway or train infrastructure, just a few stations on the main line that happens to pass through down. A lot of people just get around by bike, foot, bus, or car.

      Some towns just have stations that are shacks by the track --
      • by earlymon (1116185)

        Some towns just have stations that are shacks by the track -- no people at the gate, just ticket machines and a platform. They trust you to drop your ticket stubs in the box before you leave.

        I bow to your experience - the smallest station I was at still had the magnetic ticket reader at the gate. And you're right - I brought a lot of this criticism on myself by saying Japan instead of Tokyo. I erred.

        I still say that while I was focusing on the Bay Area, in a broader sense, you've made my point - if the city is too small for a good rail infrastructure, buses will also do. I live in a moderately populous area that has neither decent rail nor bus service - but they think that they do.

      • Even a fair-sized city usually won't have a great subway or train infrastructure, just a few stations on the main line that happens to pass through down.

        Many fair-sized US cities are lucky to have a passenger rail station. Comparatively, even with your description, I think Japan is ahead.

    • Mass transit is the answer - not just BART - REAL mass transit. I cannot stress enough that if one travels to Japan and sees for oneself how fucking cool and efficient the Japanese mass rail system is - billion dollar proposals like this would die at conception.

      Mass transit first - electric cars (if they're still needed, really) second.

      Real mass transit infrastructure is going to take decades longer and many times as much money as the kind of electric vehicle infrastructure being discussed here (for Califor

      • by earlymon (1116185)

        Look - I hear you. I have a hybrid, will one day have an electric.

        I'll simply insist that - it seems to me - that I've heard for years why light rail is a bad idea because of the great time and cost to build it.

        To make it most topical to most /. discussions - how is this not like the current crop complaining about Vista when they argued against Linux back at Win95, Win2k....?

        I don't think that all CA traffic is simply a case of shorter trips. I've driven to Oakland - the hard way, cross town. I've driven

    • by Bagheera (71311) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @08:49PM (#25894161) Homepage Journal

      Mass transit is the answer - not just BART - REAL mass transit. I cannot stress enough that if one travels to Japan and sees for oneself how fucking cool and efficient the Japanese mass rail system is - billion dollar proposals like this would die at conception.

      No. Sorry. Mass transit is part of the solution, but it is not the solution.

      The problem lies in the inherent difference between mass transit and public transit and most people don't recognize the difference.

      Mass transit focuses on getting mass number of people between various high density locations. These are your medium to heavy rail systems. For the Bay Area that's BART and CalTrain.

      In places like Japan, where they have high population densities, it works great. There's a reason places like Tokyo, Moscow, New York, London, etc., can have fantastically efficient mass transit systems: they have the population density to deal with it.

      Public transit on the other hand focuses on being a 'vehicle replacement' so people in lower density areas can actually give up their cars. This is taxies up through light rail. Fewer passengers, but more convenient and more versatile.

      Bay Area geography doesn't really favor Mass Transit. It's why BART basically sucks for commuting. With the exception of MUNI linking well to BART, most of the Public to Mass links suck.

      The whole electric car infrastructure is an expensive idea, and it talks to the whole "chicken and the egg" problem. Without infrastructure, electric cars are useless. Without electric cars, no one will build the infrastructure. This is actively solving the infrastructure problem ahead of the cars.

      Is it a good idea? Ultimately, yes. Is it the right idea? That's a lot harder to say. A massive bay area wide fleet of on-demand bio-diesel fueled hybrid shuttle buses might be better. But who's to say? Cars are a part of US culture partially because of our geography. We live in suburbia, which is inherently tied in with car culture.

      Unless your mass transit plan includes re-arranging US cities and how people live in this country, it will never be the solution.

      Cheers,
      Bagheera

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by trawg (308495)

        Bay Area geography doesn't really favor Mass Transit. It's why BART basically sucks for commuting. With the exception of MUNI linking well to BART, most of the Public to Mass links suck.

        I'm an Australian, and I've traveled a bit and spent a lot of time in San Fran, using the BART and MUNI to get from my relatives place in Pacifica to various places around.

        I agree it sucks for commuting, unless the place you want to go happens to be on a connected line on the BART/MUNI lines. Fortunately most of the places I've been going to have been (well, not Pacifica - it's a fucking $40 cab fare from there to Daly City which I discovered last time).

        I almost totally agree with the GP. I agree with some

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by porpnorber (851345)

        So why not rearrange the cities? The Bay area is still growing rapidly, it would seem, and the newer bits (I'm at the north edge of San Jose, for example) absolutely suck as places to live, because the population density is so low that there are no services. Nada. It's a thirty minute walk to buy groceries, a 50 minute walk to eat supper (with the possible exception of a Spanish language sports bar that sells quasi-pizza), there's nominally s Starbucks here, but it closes at, what, 8PM or something. The cit

  • Editor Fail (Score:5, Informative)

    by CaptainCarrot (84625) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @07:10PM (#25893117)

    Recently San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland unveiled a massive concerted effort to become the electric vehicle capitol of the United States.

    Capitol [reference.com] is a proper name, originally of a temple and the hill it sat on, but now often of a building that serves as the seat of a legislature. Capital [reference.com] means the city that serves as the seat of government. It also means the chief city of a region, and is the metaphorical sense intended here.

    Even if submitter didn't know the difference, a professional editor should have. Good thing we don't have any of those around here, huh?

  • Doesn't San Francisco already have trolleybuses on several of its local routes? They've already had a major electric vehicle system from that for quite some time.

    I happen to live near Seattle, so I do know the problems associated with being on a paved road while receiving power overhead.

  • Anyone remember that California energy crisis from a few years ago? What exactly has been done (besides firing some politicians and energy execs) to help produce more power?

    I'm not sure its a great idea to be building HUGE structural draws like this into (what will eventually become) every major city worth a damn, without a plan for how to power all of it. The "not in my backyard" problem must be solved first.

  • battery exchange stations, i didn't think of that

    when mentally strategizing electric powered vehicles you are struck by the onerous amount of time it would take to recharge

    but this scheme skips that problem entirely, by having service stations stocked with fresh batteries

    of course, you'd then need some sort of airtight battery integrity system, so someone doesn't get stuck with a tampered or faulty one

    but battery exchange is a fabulous conceptual leap, for me at least (what, has everyone else in the room al

    • by JSBiff (87824)

      Personally, I would like to see more R&D into synthesizing chemical fuels, efficiently, from electricity. I just think that, for convenience and power, it's hard to beat chemical fuels. The trick is, can we efficiently produce any type of relatively safe chemical fuel using electricity. The 'obvious' solution is creating hydrogen from water (gas or liquid), but hydrogen has it's own problems, such as difficulty in containing it safely.

      Again, any electric solution does depend on cheap electricity, but I

  • I took a look at the proposed California infrastructure plan. I suspect that part was drawn up by someone unfamiliar with the state.

    • Interstate 10 (east from Los Angeles through suburbia and on to Florida) is missing. That's a major commute corridor for 100 miles or so east of LA. Much more than I-80 between San Francisco and Sacramento.
    • Their layout for battery exchange stations looks to have been created by saying something like "every 40 miles on the few freeways we identify" instead of looking at popu
    • by Rayeth (1335201)
      Apparently if you don't live in SF, LA, or San Diego you're some kind of HUMMER driving, environmentalist hating suburbanite.
  • by nategoose (1004564) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @07:29PM (#25893343)
    That's why I installed an electric vehicle grid in my driveway 2 years ago. Get on the ball, Bay Area!
  • by Smurf (7981)

    [...] unveiled a massive concerted effort to become the electric vehicle capitol of the United States.

    Sorry to be the spelling Nazi, but (from the New Oxford American Dictionary):

    Capitol
    1 the seat of the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC.
    â ( capitol) a building housing a legislative assembly : 50,000 people marched on New Jersey's state capitol.
    2 the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill in ancient Rome.

    ORIGIN from Old French capitolie, capitoile, later assimilated to Latin Capitolium (from caput, capit- âheadâ(TM) ).

    On the other hand:

    capital
    noun
    1 (also capital city or town) the most import

  • by YrWrstNtmr (564987) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @07:34PM (#25893391)
    Either battery replacement, or plug-ins. We don't yet have a standard as to how to recharge these cars.

    110v...220v...different plugs...different acceptable recharge times.
    Replacement batteries will require some sort of mechanical/robotic system to do it. Your grandmother is not going to wrestle a 100lb battery pack out of the car. And none of the elec cars I've seen have easily (no more than 5 mins) replaceable packs.

    Finally, we have the apartment problem. If I live on the 4th floor, how do I ensure my car won't be unplugged overnight by some miscreant on the street.

    All of these can be overcome. But spending billions to build out a grid for this without the standardization in place will fail.

    I really, REALLY want this to succeed. But this effort may be premature.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ChrisA90278 (905188)

      "But spending billions to build out a grid for this without the standardization in place will fail."

      What has to be standardized is the last 10 foot of cable. They are building the grid, that part that feeds that last ten feet.

    • by zippthorne (748122) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:51PM (#25894691) Journal

      put a rectenna in the base of the car, and charge by induction from underneath the pavement (pick a frequency that meat doesn't absorb very well). As an added bonus, if your electricity is cheap enough, you can design highways to deliver wireless power so the cars only need batteries with 30 miles or so of capacity.

      Billing and activation based on transponder identification, of course.

  • It's great to see people getting out there and trying to get things done about making alternative energy-powered cars available, but it seems like it's happening sporadically.

    Arnie is building hydrogen fueling stations around California, the Bay Area's getting electric, who knows what other places will do? And that's just in California!

    It seems like a waste to use government money to implement conflicting standards when one of them is going to lose... and the conflict itself can slow down adoption; af
  • While it would seem they are "on the ropes" so to speak, Big-3 Auto often has a lot to say when it comes to getting their will. They had a lot to do with the failure of competing technologies including passenger rail. The next argument may be "now we REALLY can't compete because we don't have an electric car! give us more money and time to sell off the rest of our SUVs and we will consider making an electric car provided it has a high enough profit margin and a controlled 3rd party parts market."

  • The scheme involves a number of ground-breaking proposals to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles, including speeding up the installation of electric vehicle charging outlets on streets and in homes, and offering incentives for companies to install charging stations in the workplace.
    On streets?!? Gee, what could possible go wrong with that... nobody would be tempted to, say, unplug that cable from your car and steal the power you are paying for, now would they? How many companies (other than govern
  • by fugue (4373) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @08:22PM (#25893929) Homepage

    The Bay Area would be perfect for bikes. They are far more energy-efficient than EVs (by like 2 orders of magnitude), the Bay Area is largely flat, it suffers from massive congestion (EVs don't even begin to address that), it doesn't get too warm, it doesn't rain much all summer long, the societal cost of maintaining the facilities to park a few million cars are devastating, a few of the people who live there could use some exercise...

    I like bikes even in hilly, rainy country, but there they have some disadvantages. It's utterly absurd that somewhere as perfect as the Bay Area doesn't encourage cycling.

  • Bad Idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wealthychef (584778) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:21PM (#25894435)
    What makes the government think it knows which technology is good for reducing carbon emissions? Just put a cap on pollution, punish polluters, fix the market failure by capturing external costs associated with pollution, and let the market fix the problem efficiently and cheaply.
  • by Money for Nothin' (754763) on Tuesday November 25, 2008 @09:44PM (#25894627)

    Just because your car is powered by electricity doesn't mean the electricity was generated without the use of fossil fuels. Might I remind the greens that most electricity in the U.S. is (unfortunately) still produced by burning coal? The same coal combustion which causes acid rain?

    There ain't no such thing as a free lunch (but solar and tidal energy are as close as we'll get).

There's no such thing as a free lunch. -- Milton Friendman

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