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Old 01-30-2012, 02:54 PM   #4
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Member#: 692
Join Date: Dec 1999
Chapter/Region: SCIC
2011 Grand Cherokee
Ducati Multistrada PP


Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
I disagree with JC's assertion that electric is the future... because lithium batteries are not clean, and not cheap, and not energy dense per pound or cubic meter of space they take. And electricity has to be generated somewhere else, by some sort of fuel anyway, and inefficiently transported to your car, which takes HOURS, not minutes.
There are a couple reasons that I feel strongly that electricity is the future, and I should point out most car companies concur.

1) The infrastructure exists. If we move to hydrogen or to a less extent CNG it will require a large shift in how energy is transferred in this country. Electricity requires an upgrade of an existing infrastructure. Granted a large upgrade but that one that would be required regardless of whether cars were electric or not.

2) Electricity generation is centralized and flexible. It can made from coal, oil, solar, wind, nuclear and more. More importantly we switch between them based on locality and do it seemlessly to the customer. If you want make a feel of electric cars more green simply generate the electricity from solar instead of oil. If you want to make a fleet of diesel cars more green they need to be replaced. It also means there are a ton of large industries with vested interests in electric cars which means lobbying $$$.

3) Consumer electronics drive the battery industry anyway. You are right that LiIon batteries are pretty nasty but you are wrong in assuming that we have to build electric cars using them. Battery technology is advancing daily and will continue to do so. The world is electronic now and nothing foreseeable is going to change that. Building electric cars is simply piggy backing on an industry that is already highly profitable and self-sustaining.

Originally Posted by HipToBeSquare View Post
Gasoline is fine, but LP/LNG is an option.

Diesel is getting cleaner. CX5 SkyActiv Diesel is reported to not require Urea, or any other third-party diesel emissions cleanup technology. Diesel used to be a lot less controlled by being a lesser-refined fuel, before... but new diesel fuels are more homogenous hydrocarbons and less contaminated by other things suspended in the fuel that remain unburned, such as sulfur, and other things. And engines are getting more efficient at completely burning the fuel, as well.

Most of that stuff is getting expensive, not due to the commodity itself, but due to government interference in an economic process of distributing energy.
Diesel is an OK short-term solution. But a car company has limited resources and they obviously feel that putting those in American diesels isn't the best use of them. I agree. That doesn't mean they won't sell at all, it simply means the money is best spent elsewhere.
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