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May 01, 2006


Jeff Becker

One way for government entities to encourage the development of plug-in hybrids would be to commit to purchasing fleets of such vehicles, providing an immediate guaranteed demand. This may be obvious to many, but sometimes our leaders need things spelled out rather specifically.


I really think it is too late to do a corporate fleet centered rule like CAFE. CAFE should be scrapped and replaced with a credit/debit system on each individual new auto sold (across corporate "fleets"). The credit/debit, on the window sticker, gives the consumer the clearest possible signal, and works immediately.

(If thing get even more dire, I'd suggest penalizing old guzzlers at each lisense renewal.)


Yep Jeff that coaltion of cities called for just that. When auto companies have multi year contracts to provide these vehicles they can cut costs with mass production.

And cut their risk. Everytime a groundbreaking vehicle like the GM EV-1 fails it costs the auto companies a lot of desperately needed capital.

My idea is to take corporate welfare subsidies from fossil, agribizz biofuel, and nuclear and devote part of the savings for contracts for millions of plugin vehicles to replace aging government vehicle fleets.

The gas savings will serve the taxpayers' investment wisely.

I agree odograph, these present standards only encourage non-solutions, more lip service.

G Eddy

If, instead of invading Iraq, our government had used that money fund research on more efficient solar cells, lighter weight and better battery systems and more efficient technology to produce hydrogen, we might be well on the way to reducing our dependence of mideast oil.

Efficient alternate energy sources may ultimately make oi, and oil producers, obsolete.


Good ideas.

Immediate expansion of nuclear energy capability. Electricity will bear an ever increasing burden of powering transportation. I don't know the exact breakdown, but I think the current grid is about 40% coal, 40% natural gas, 18% nuclear and 2% renewable. Natural gas is finished in NA and the cost of bringing it in on tankers is ridiculous and is geopolitically insecure. It would be great if renewables could fill the gap, but they won't. Nuclear needs to be expanded as a stop gap until the renewable technology catches up.


Wind is cheaper and much, much cleaner Daryl.

The recent revelations about tritium in the groundwater leaking apparently undetected from multiple nuclear plants for decades and the failure of Yucca Mountain to solve the nuclear waste issue make nukes intenable as an energy solution.

The uninsurable risk posed by nuclear power renders it unbuildable in the face of NIMBY objections. The lawsuits are going to be endless to build even one plant.

For instance,the radioactive groundwater contamination from Hanford of the Columbia River Basin is progressing unabated despite the multi-billion dollar Bechtel contract for remediation, it has gotten even worse thanks to this politically connected contractor's inaction and coverup.

How could home and business owners ever be reimbursed should that whole region become contaminated. That constitutes uninsurable risk, and is why congress gave a pass on liability to all nuclear power plants and facilities. No institutional investor would ever fund nuclear power with out that get out of liability free card for nukes.

100s of nuke plants would be needed to even dent global climate disaster and the problem of oil wars and the inevitable economic decline from imported energy.

Michael Cain

Encourage the production of plug-in vehicles, using advanced batteries, as soon as possible

I'm in favor of this, and regard large-scale electrification of the transportation system as the logical end-state, but we do need to plan for the increased electrical demand it creates. According to the EIA, electricity consumption in the US in 2004 was 38.9 quadrillion BTUs (quads) and transportation consumption was 27.7 quads (total national consumption was 99.7 quads). If all the transportation consumption were converted, it represents demand equal to 70% of our current consumption (ignoring differences in efficiency, which may be significant). If only half of it were converted, it would still require additions to the electrical grid equal to 35% of current consumption. I argue that you don't do that casually, you have to plan carefully for it.

Again from the EIA, the primary energy sources used for generating electricity in 2004 were 49.6% coal, 19.9% nuclear, 17.9% natural gas, 6.5% hydro, 3.0% petroleum and 3.1% other. 70% fossil fuels, if you add those up. IIRC, the petroleum used to generate electricity is mostly residues that are not really useful for anything else.


I suggest we tax energy at a rate sufficient to completely recover federal and state subsidies to energy and agriculture (perhaps adding a risk premium for global climate change.) Then energy consumers in their millions can decide how much energy, in what form, using what devices, they wish to consume. And we baby-boomers can retire without huge budget deficits threatening Social Security and Medicare. If others can dream of technological solutions, then I can dream of policy and market ones.


Watch the units there.  The 38.9 quads of "electricity" are heat input, not output; the output is around 4 trillion kWh, or 13.7 quads.

The "output" of petroleum is even worse.  I've seen one reference claim that the average tank-to-wheels efficiency of gasoline-powered vehicles is a pathetic 14.9%.  The ~17.6 quads of gasoline we use every year delivers more like 2.6 quads to the wheels, meaning that we could replace all gasoline with electricity by increasing total generation by less than 20%.

SanJose Dude

Interesting points w.r.t. cars. However, I think it's time to take a step back and look at the big picture. Is it effective to try to improve the effeciency of cars/trucks or is it time to replacement them?

Replace them with Mass Transportation - laughable. Mass transportation doesn't work very well in SJ CA simply because of two things: 1) it doesn't get me where I want to go quickly and effectively - would you rather take 2.5 hours to get to work or a 15 minute drive by car 2) lack of freedom - you're restricted to a set time table whereas in a car your free to choose when to leave.

Our current transportations systems were created with a different set of constraints that those that exisit today. Given these new constraints it still the right solution to our problems or are we trying to put a bandaid on something that can't be fixed?


What I'd like to see:

--A sliding scale tax on new vehicles. Tax calculated on mileage and each of the most common pollutants. Each calculated seperately on its own scale. Maximum aggregate tax would be 20%. Minimum tax would be zero ( a BEV would receive zero tax based on this). The tax breakdown would be included on all price stickers on new cars.

--no price or tax incentives for any particular technology. Governments are lousy at picking winners.

--Mileage and pollution tests that are more real-world and difficult for car companies to game with specific engine tuning.

--petro-fuel taxes based on a percentage of sale price. Non-petro portions of fuel would not be taxed. So E85 would receive much lower taxes than straight gasoline for instance.

--the programs for aerodynamics, light-weight materials etc. is great.

--tax incentives to encourage plug in facilities if HEV/BEVs take off.

--If renewable energy facilities produce three years of profitable generation give them a 10 year tax holiday. The three years keeps out the tax-shelter scams and encourages successful companies to continue with the renewables.


This bozo 'Craig' spammed ten copies of that same thing across The Ergosphere; goodness knows how many times that same junk is posted here, I haven't looked. I suggest you terminate him with extreme prejudice.


I'm sorry

I will never do it again



You know what, Jim, you're proposals look an aweful lot like . Have you been having luch with a bunch of senators lately, or do great minds just think alike?


Here is a proposal that I believe can lower our consumption of oil and create jobs.

Pay people to use renewable energy.


Robert Berger

Re: Mass transportation. Personal Rapid Transit has many of the qualities you seek in a transport system. The first applications are finally being funded. Heathrow Airport is expected to have a system operational in 2008 or 2009. It is grid powered (battery powered in the Heathrow Application), will take you non-stop to any point in the system, and is available on demand. We'll see how well it works in practice soon. Rob

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