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April 03, 2006



If we get all the battery improvements promised, and all the solar cell improvements promised, we are home free.

My cautious optimism (or is it cautious pesimissim?) is moderated by the expectation that we'll only get some fraction of that which is promised.

Harvey D.

If the roof was equipped with directed PV solar units producing about 4 KW during dailight hours it could multiply the EV range of the Sprinter by 2 or 3 times.


As it happens, I saw a new Sprinter (Heiniken delivery) van today. Those are actually pretty good sized. Given that, 20 miles isn't bad.


Great for Dodge! If it is not just a scam to get around fleet mileage standards, like the GM greenwashing flex fuel vehicle scam.

This sounds like it might be another failure in the making so auto execs can say they are trying,but I hope not.

The real question on plugin hybrids? Why is the plugin Prius not in production by Toyota already?

"Darth" Cheney and his minions are blocking it? That's my guess.



1. Why is it that when an automobile corporation (but only those within the US) responds to market demand by introducing a more environmentally friendly vehicle it gets ascribed to nefareous motives?

2. How can Vice President Cheney dictate what a foreign company does or does build on a production line?

3. Will an American corporation ever win your praise when it does what you want?

4. Are you that blinded by hatred that you can't see that they're doing what you want them to do and call it a good thing?

5. Is the sky in your world the color of hempseed oil?

Stan Peterson

Why is it that know nothings of the super educated, basket weaving type, never fail to denigrate anyone who is making a difference?

I was a charter member of the Union of Concerned Scientists complaining about the lax standards and insufficienbt testing of Nuclear plants long before the professional legal hacks like Ralph Nader or any of the professional environmental scumbags stole the environmental movement and turned it into their pet piggy bank.

Charity fund raisers are under some obligation to at least spend a nickle or a dime on each buck on charity for the charities they raise funds for. Not the environmental asses.

They keep every penny and plow some back into more fundraising to line their pockets and call that "consciousness raising" to excuse their thoroughly corrupt do nothingness.

Who are you going to blame for why the USA dropped out of the international consortium to build the last fusion physics experiment and the first prototype fusion powerplant in 1997 ? It certainly wasn't Bush and Cheney. It was the wind greenies, and the solar greenies, and the "do without" greenies, and the get back to nature assholes who didn't want to divert money from their phoney rackets.

Its taken the world and Bush & company eight long years to resurrect the international co-operation to build that experiment, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, ITER, that those Democrat assholes, and thier phoney greenies so casually flushed down the toilet. But its done and ground is finally broken but it will take another eight years or so before we get to where we should be today building the first clean true solar fusion power plant that runs on hydrogen, at a rate of i cup per city like Los Angeles per year.

Nader or most of the hacks like the IPCC wouldn't know a true environemntal problem if it rose up and bit them in the ass. The Society for the Prevention of Albedo REduction in the US which I helped found has been warning for years about the effect of changing the reflectance of the Earth by widescale indiscriminate solar power use in the form of Heat absorption, Photo voltaic conversion, or wind energy absorption.

All will exacerbate local microclimate changes altering the climate and making changes more severe.

Fusion Power for electricity to power PHEV transport which is here now, has the potential to make the US independent of oil, by 2020, truly environmentally clean, as it almost is now in the developed world, and yet providing enough Energy for everyone to live at the scale of the worlds billionaires of today by 2050. All 9 billion of us.

Meanwhile the scam artist will be telling you to send your nickels, dimes and dollars to them, to supposedly prevent the world from getting a degree or two warmer in 500 years or so. They stroke you with the 'ice is melting the glaciers are receding" in htose portionso fth eartic seeing the natural effect of the current clounter clockwise arctic drift. They don't tell you about the ice is growinfg and the glaciers are advancing in the portions of the arctic that are getting naturally colder now. When the arctic swirl changes back, clockwise cycle will reverse naturally and the ice will grow and glaciers will advance where they arte now receding and vice versa.

There's a sucker born every minute and you are HIM!


What color "Is the sky in your world.."?

Green fo' the money, and gold fo' the honeys.



"According to Alister Scott, research fellow at the Sussex Energy Group, "the one thing you can say about nuclear fusion is that it is not financially viable".

Despite massive spending, there is "no remote possibility that fusion will produce commercial power in the next 25 years", he said.

These high costs invite the criticism that funding could be more effectively chaneled into other projects. Scott highlighted Britain's pre-eminence in wind power development during the 1980s as a missed opportunity. This contention is given greater weight by the British Wind Energy Association's recent announcement that wind power capability is exceeding predictions, and will provide 5 percent of Britain's electricity by 2010."

Who is the real "sucker"?


Stan Peterson,
Wow, you seem to be even more one-sided than amazingdrx...

"... the get back to nature assholes" Nice...

I am very much in favor of fusion energy, but "the greens" have a point that the multi-billion dollars that have been spent on the fusion project might have caused more real benefit, had they been used for wind, solar and other renewable.

Try not to confuse the energy content in fusion fuel with the actual (not yet known) energy output from a fusion power plant. Anyway, fusion fuel is ample in supply and most likely the only fuel that it might actually be worth while to mine outside the Earth in the future.

The Society for the Prevention of Albedo REduction in the US? That sounds an awful lot to me like phony "scientific concern" as a cover for the fact that you don't like renewable, or prefer something else. But please, enlighten me about the serious climate consequences of extracting energy (and heat) from wind, only to emit it as waste from electrical resistance further down-wind...

About solar pv albedo change. Are you aware of the minuscule area occupied by solar panels compared to total global surface area, even if solar power were to supply the bulk of our energy? Then try and compare this to natural changes in albedo effects.

I'll take my chances and see how hard this "problem" bites my ass...

Inifinitesimal albedo changes will exacerbate local microclimate changes, but IPCC (and the whole global warming caused by CO2, I presume) are a bunch of hacks?! LOL!

For the record; I have never weaved a basket, smoked hemp or built a grass hutt, and don't intend to!

I will, however, work for a sustainable energy supply for my own and future generations, and that includes wind and solar. I have yet to see any shred of real evidence that any solution is environmentally superior (perhaps fusion, 40 years from now)


Harvey D.

Thomas - amazingdrx and Stan: Don't you thing that today's energy + pollution problems, specially in USA and Canada, have been brought upon us by our own cheap energy overconsumption for the last 100 years. We voluntarily gulped inefficient polluting machines, houses and fast food as long as they are big and cheap-cheap. We consistantly refused to purchase better, smaller, cleaner and more efficient units because the inital price may be 10% or 20% more. We are the main problem, NOT GM, Ford, Dodge etc. Granted, we were and still are being influenced with their propaganda, but shouldn't we know better? Aren't we individually capable of making the right choices when we buy or rent energy consumming objectsor commodities?



1. Is that the number "1" or the number "i" cups per city? Because while it would be cool to run a city on "1" cup of water it wouldn't be so cool to run a city on "i" cups of water.

2. What's wrong with grass huts? Cheap, environmentally friendly, open air design, nothing not to like there. While I'm not a dirty hippie I wouldn't mind living in one once it warms up a bit.


"Aren't we individually capable of making the right choices..."

We could be. If technology was not held off the market by the power of monopoly corporations and their shills in government.

The hopeful sign is that renwable technolgy like solar,wind, and electric cars are becoming so much more cost effective that the monopolists are becoming overwhelmed by market forces.

Fossil and nuclear power as usual are just too costly in terms of immediate cost and the costs down the road.

As with the case of Katrina (1 trillion?) and Iraq (2 trillion?), both related directly to fossil fuelishness, those long term costs are coming right up tothis moment in time. Right at the gas pump, the home heating bill, and interest rates. As the debt grows beyond control interst rates will rise and hit consumers just as hard as soaring energy prices.

The nut wing keeps prattling on about us eco hippies being wild eyed idealists, but we in fact are facing up to reality.

They have that faith filled, "clean" coal, pie-in-the-sky hydrogen fueled, fusion powered 1000 yard stare. And then denying global climate disasater?

These fellers need a rubber room to match their straightjacketed minds.

Compromise with suicidal, armageddon beckoning lunatics that want to take the whole planet with them when they go (with only us sinners "Left Behind")?

That is what got US into this fine mess in the first place. Decades of kowtowing to talking points like "more study" on global climate disaster, renewable energy, and nuclear waste.


"While I'm not a dirty hippie..."

A clean mind in a clean body eyyh brownskirt (sic), (very sick)? hehehey.


Harvey D,
I guess the current system and car fleet is an expression of democracy - we've got exactly what we want (we want something slightly different in Europe and USA, though). While I personally hope the near future will bring clean(er) cars, I must confess I enjoy putting the pedal to the metal as much as the next guy. Therefore, I have some sympathy for people who prefer comfortable cars over their more ascetic counterparts.

I have a M.Sc. in energy technology with emphasis on thermal energy conversion, so it's natural for me to know much about this stuff and be interested in it. But I have come to realize that this is not the case for most people, and I accept that now.

Ideally, we would have conscious, capable specialists and politicians working out the energy question, so ordinary people don't have to bother about it. But even such people can't seem to agree. Personally, I have a strong belief that we could supply 80+ % of our energy with clean renewable energy in 25 years (which is a short time), without our energy bill being higher. But just take a look at the comments on this blog and see for yourself how many people seem to resent wind and solar and prefer nuclear and, well, pretty much anything but renewable. I don't really get why, but my best guess is that it has something to do with political standpoint and the traditional trench war between "treehuggers" and conservatives.

I don’t believe in conservation as in turning the heat down to the point where you’re cold. I do, however, believe in raising our energy efficiency and get even more bang for the buck. I prefer clean, sustainable energy production methods, because I don’t want to feel guilty about using energy to raise my level of comfort. There’s no reason to feel guilty about energy use, per se. Our sun burns two million tonnes of hydrogen per second, and there are a billion, billion, billion more stars like it in the universe. So we don’t have to feel guilty about using a microscopic fraction of the sun’s radiation to do some good before it radiates back into the universe as waste heat! As long as we don’t choke ourselves in the process (by burning solar energy stored in fossil fuels)…

Compared to the comfort our energy use provides, we pay very little for it in monetary terms. I for one wouldn’t mind paying, say 20-30%, extra if only it were non-polluting.

As for the topic of this post; I think oil prices need to get even higher before there will be a genuine economic driver for the more efficient, but expensive drive trains of plug-in hybrids. And it will probably take a decade or two before they are ubiquitous. That may seem like a long time for someone with sense of urgency, maybe eyeballing crude prices everyday (like I do), but in the general scheme of this it's pretty fast and really only reflects the normal pace of replacement of the car fleet.

Politics plays a great influence here. Although I don’t think fuel tax is a silver bullet, it does shift the economic optimum in favour of less gas guzzling cars. And it sends a signal that fuel prices are not just temporaryly high. Auto manufacturers are quite capable of developing more economic cars (in fact many inventions are ready on their shelves, but cost more to implement), but it costs money. And the resulting cars will be more expensive, as you hinted to. If fuel prices go down again, they risk loosing a billion+ dollars. A strong signal from politicians would lower that risk considerably. Maybe you could remember that next time you place your vote..?

I hope this helped answer your question. If not, at least I got it of my chest ;-)


Thom Willi

May i know the efficiency of Dodge Sprinter PHEV...?

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