Car Companies making more Electric Cars that people will not Buy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - March 9th, 2014

Week in Review

Auto makers are caving in to green paranoia.  Fooling themselves that electric cars are worth the investment (see Geneva Motor Show: Electric cars no longer the exception? by Theo Leggett posted 3/6/2014 on BBC News Business).

The Porsche Panamera S is quite a car. Sleek, powerful and aerodynamic, it’s capable of 167mph.

But that’s not all. The version on display here in Geneva is also able to travel for about 20 miles on nothing but battery power.

It is, of course, a hybrid. It has an electric motor sitting alongside a 3-litre petrol engine. It is fast, powerful and remarkably economical. Porsche claims it can drive for 91 miles on a single gallon of petrol.

Wow.  A whole 20 miles on battery.  A Ford Taurus with a full tank of gas will take you 522 miles on the expressway.  With heat or air conditioning.  In snow or rain.  Night or day.  That’s what the internal combustion engine gives you.  The ability to get into your car and drive.  Whenever.  Without worrying if you have enough charge in the battery.  Or whether you can risk running the heat or use the headlights when you’re running low on charge.   All you need is gasoline.  And when you’re low on gasoline you just have to spend about 10 minutes or so at a convenient gas station to refill your tank.  Something no battery can do.  For the fastest chargers (i.e., the highest voltage chargers) still require more than a half hour for a useful charge.

Now, under pressure from regulators around the world, carmakers have been working hard to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. So hybrids have become decidedly mainstream…

“There’s no doubt in our mind that it’s coming and it’s coming quickly and there is legislation supporting this in many cities.

“You can drive into London and pay zero congestion charge, for example. There are taxation incentives in the UK, but also in the US and Asia as well…

“We know our customers now,” he says, “and we remain totally convinced that electric cars have a strong, strong place in the market…”

Yet although sales of electric vehicles are growing rapidly, they remain a tiny fraction of the global total. For the moment, the internal combustion engine remains king.

The only thing causing electric cars to become mainstream is the coercion of government.  Legislation.  The only way you can make an electric car more attractive than a gasoline-powered car.  Also, just to get people to buy electric cars requires massive government subsidies.  No.  Hamburgers, fries and Coke are mainstream.  Because you don’t have to subsidize them or coerce people to buy them.  In fact they are so mainstream that some in government use legislation to try and stop people from buying them.

The internal combustion engine is king and will remain king until you can drive an electric car as carefree as a gasoline-powered car.  Until the electric car makers can give us the range and the ability to use our heaters and lights without sweating profusely as we sit in gridlock during a blizzard worrying whether we’ll ever make it home people just aren’t going to buy an electric car.  Because people want to know they will make it home safely.  And right now nothing does that better than the internal combustion engine.

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Girl sits on Phone in Back Pocket and starts Fire just as Damaged Batteries start Fires in Electric Cars

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 2nd, 2014

Week in Review

Lithium-ion batteries are a wonder.  But they can be temperamental.  Which you can expect when you put highly reactive chemicals together.  Which is the price of higher energy storage densities.  Danger.  To make that charge last longer in the batteries powering our electronic devices.  And they can only do that by a chemical reaction that produces heat.  Boeing had a problem with their lithium-ion batteries that nearly caught a couple of their new Dreamliners on fire.  Resulting in an FAA grounding of the entire fleet until they found a way to make their batteries safer.  But it’s not just big lithium-ion batteries that can burst into flames (see iPhone catches fire, teen girl burned by Chris Matyszczyk posted 2/1/2014 on CNET).

An eighth-grader in Maine is sitting in class when she hears a pop. Then she notices smoke coming from her back pocket…

The culprit is said to have been her iPhone. Images suggest it had caught fire…

The division chief of the local emergency medical services, Andrew Palmeri, told Seacoast Online that the phone’s battery had “shorted out.” He suggested that the phone had been crushed in the teen’s back pocket. Local fire services are investigating…

Cell phones of whatever brand do catch fire. iPhones have caught fire on planes, just as Droids have exploded in ears.

So lithium-ion batteries can be dangerous.  Despite being the wonders they are.  For these chemical reactions are powerful.  And need to be confined perfectly.  But if you sit on a cell phone you can damage the confinement of those chemicals.  Causing a fire.  Just as accidents in electric cars have resulted in battery fires that have totaled these cars.  Or a faulty charging circuit started a fire overnight while charging in an attached garage.  Starting the house on fire.  Or nearly started a plane on fire.

The greatest hindrance to electric car sales is a thing called range anxiety.  Will I have enough charge to get home?  The answer to this problem is, of course, increasing the charge available in these cars.  Typically with bigger and more powerful batteries.  Which can burn the car to a crisp after an accident damages the battery.  Or debris on the roadway is thrown up by a tire into the battery.  Things that won’t total a gasoline-powered car if they happen.  Because gas is a high-density energy source.  Like these lithium-ion batters.  But it takes a lot more abuse to the gas tank to get it to start a fire.  Which is why electric cars will not replace the gasoline-powered car.  As they provide a far greater range and are safer.  And until the electric car can out do the gasoline-powered car on these two points the electric car will remain a novelty.

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A 2013 Tesla Model S turns a 9.5 Hour Trip into a 12.5 Hour Trip

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 14th, 2013

Week in Review

There are times when we like to take to the open road and just drive.  And if we have the time there are few things more enjoyable than taking the road less traveled.  Seeking out and exploring things we’ve never seen before.  But there are also times when the journey is so long that we want to make it in the shortest time possible.  For if we’re traveling to the favorite family fun park we’d much rather arrive by 7 PM in the daylight.  Instead of 10 PM in the dark.  So we can easily find our room.  Freshen up.  Have a nice dinner.  Shower.  And get to bed by 10 PM so we can get a good night’s sleep for a long day of fun in the morrow.  Something that a gasoline-powered car can help us do a lot better than an electric car (see We Took The Tesla Model S On A Road Trip — Here’s How It Did by George Parrott posted 12/12/2013 on Business Insider).

Once Tesla Motors built out its Supercharger network of quick-charging stations along Interstate 5, my wife and I decided to drive from our home in Sacramento to Portland in our new 2013 Tesla Model S…

It was almost 600 miles from our home in West Sacramento to our hotel room in Portland…

Our West Sacramento to Downtown Portland driving time was about 9 hours and 35 minutes of actual driving, with another 2 hours in short Supercharger stops–plus a longer stop for a full recharge (for the car) and for us (breakfast) that took a full hour.

That’s another 3 hours added to the trip.  Three hours is a lot of time.  A 30-minute charge time may seem like a short stop but if you’ve ever gone on a long trip (say, driving in excess of 8 hours) a 30-minute stop is excruciating.  Because the sun doesn’t stop with you.  It’s still racing across the sky.  And there is nothing worse than having a 9 hour trip turn into a 12 hour trip.  Where you find yourself driving dead-tired in the black of night.  Drinking coffee to try and stay awake.  Slapping your face.  Talking to yourself.  Anything to stay awake as you drive on and on into the black of night.  Praying you don’t see any moose in your headlights.  And then when you finally get to your room for the night you can’t sleep because of all that coffee you drank.  Which just ruins the first day of your vacation.

Now imagine all of this and you arrive at a charging station and you have to wait in line as other cars get their 30 minute charge.  Or you arrive at the charging station only to find it out of order.  Leaving you to find a 120V outlet to ‘steal’ electricity for 6 hours or so to give you enough charge to get to the next charging station.  Or that your car runs out of charge in the middle of nowhere in the black of night.  Before you ever made it to the charging station.  What then?  I can’t say for sure but I’ll bet it’ll involve an expletive, a reference to your electric car and a yearning for a gasoline-powered car.  As you could be surrounded by lit up gas stations full of gasoline that just won’t do a thing for you and your electric car.

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FT168: “Gasoline and guns empower women, not birth control and abortion.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 3rd, 2013

Fundamental Truth

Gasoline let’s a Woman work a Job she Likes that Pays Well instead of Settling for a Nearby Job she Hates

In the old days men worked and women stayed home and raised the kids.  And on the weekend the man got the lawnmower out and cut the lawn.  At first he muscled a push-mower across the lawn.  Then he got a gasoline-powered mower.  Even our senior citizens can keep cutting their lawn in their advanced years.  By getting a self-propelled gasoline-powered mower.  We may not think a lot about it but cutting our lawn is a big part of home ownership.  And today’s lawnmowers allow anyone do this task themselves.  Including the fairer sex.

A widow living on her own in the home she shared with her late husband can cut her lawn with a self-propelled gasoline-lawnmower.  Allowing her to stay in her home without paying someone else to cut her lawn.  Who may try to take advantage of a senior citizen.  It will also allow a younger woman to own a home without having to pay some stranger to get familiar with her and her home as they cut her lawn.  While having a power mower may keep some overly interested neighbors from coming over to help ‘the little lady’ as she struggles behind a push-mower.  And a loud gasoline-powered lawnmower lets her get the job done quickly.  Without inviting unwanted conversation over the noise.  Or something else unwanted.

Yes, gasoline has empowered women like nothing else.  It gives her the freedom to work where she wants to work.  Because a gasoline-powered car allows her to work a job she likes and pays well.  Instead of settling for a job within walking distance from her home.  Or a short walk from some public transportation line.  A gasoline-powered car empowers the single mother.  She can use it to take her kids to school in the morning.  Then drive to her job.  After work she can drive to pick her kids up from school.  Or daycare.  And then home.  Things she couldn’t do if she had to rely on public transportation.

Gasoline let’s a Woman get Home Safely no matter the Weather or Time of Day without Molestation

Yes, gasoline is a blessing for women.  It gives them freedom.  And independence.  As well as security and safety.  With a car she doesn’t have to wait at night at a desolate bus stop.  Or enter a deserted subway platform.  And while driving her car no one can ‘feel her up’ like they can in a crowded subway car.  Or worse.  It’s gasoline that protects women.  An electric car won’t.  A gasoline car with a full tank will let her sit in the biggest traffic jam on her way home at night in a blizzard.  Gasoline will keep that engine running.  And that engine will heat her car, defrost her windows and keep her headlights on so she can see.  But if she was in an electric car she would be shutting off the heat, defrosters and headlights as she begins to worry whether she has enough charge to make it home.

On the weekend she can run to the grocery store.  And fill up her gasoline tank in broad daylight.  When it’s safe.  Which will let her commute about an hour and a half roundtrip each day during her workweek.  But if she finds she’s running low on fuel she can stop at a brightly lit gas station.  Swipe her credit card.  Fill her tank.  And be back on her way home in 10-15 minutes.  You can’t do that with an electric car.  Only gasoline will do this for you.  If an electric car runs out of charge it could strand a young lady in a bad neighborhood.  Where she’ll have to call and wait for a tow home.  Alone.  And vulnerable.

Gasoline will get a woman safely home better than anything else.  On the weekend she can get the gasoline-powered mower out and cut her lawn quickly.  Leaving her time for other yard work or gardening she may want to do.  Something else gasoline let’s her do.  She can hop in her car and drive to however many nurseries she wants to find the plants she wants to grow.  And she can load up potting soil and mulch in her car.  And drive it home.  Without relying on a man helping her.  She can have and do whatever she wants to do because of gasoline.  For gasoline empowers a woman like nothing else.

A Handgun with a High-Capacity Magazine will allow a Woman to Stop a Man—or Group of Men—from Harming Her

But a woman living on her own can attract some unwanted attention.  Some may be interested in her charms.  Some may be interested in what she has in her home.  Or both.  Thinking a woman living alone is an easy mark they may break in at night.  Now it would be difficult for a woman to fight off a couple of intruders.  Or even one strong man.  For women are the fairer sex.  They are not as large as men.  Giving men the clear advantage in any physical confrontation.  Especially if a woman is asleep in her bed.  Vulnerable.  And if men are in her home she probably won’t be able to run into the kitchen to get a knife for protection.  But even if she hid one in her bedroom she would have to put herself in great danger to use it.  Because to stab someone you have to be close to them.

But there is another way.  She can protect herself against an intruder.  Even if they have a knife.  All she needs is a handgun.  And a high-capacity magazine.  So even if three men tried to assault her in her bedroom she could keep shooting until they cannot attack her anymore.  And she can do this from a distance.  She can kneel on the far side of her bed.  Across from her bedroom door.  And start shooting them as they rush through the bedroom door.  With the distance they have to close to get to her and a high-capacity magazine she will be able to shoot them down before they can reach her.  In fact, having a handgun with a high-capacity magazine gives her the advantage.  Even if she is far out-muscled by her assailants she can shoot as if she is as large and as threatening as they are.  Only a handgun with a high-capacity magazine can do this.  Not a knife.  Or a revolver.  Or a shotgun.  A revolver will give her six shots.  But if she’s scared her first six shots could miss.  And then she will have to reload bullets into the cylinder in the dark.  Difficult even for the best law enforcement officers.  And a double barrel shotgun will have only two shots.  If she unloads both barrels into bad guy #1 then she will have to reload to protect herself from bad guys #2 and #3.  In the dark.  Plus, a shotgun has a long barrel and is not easy to use in tight areas.  Finally, if a woman is being stalked or a prison released someone who assaulted her she can get a permit to carry a concealed weapon to protect herself.  A handgun with a high-capacity clip will fit into any purse.  A shotgun won’t.

Give a woman gasoline and a handgun with a high-capacity magazine and she is free to live however she wants to.  They will empower her.  Leveling the balance of power in her life.  Allowing her to do whatever a man can do.  And to protect herself from any man.  Or group of men.  While the left says birth control and abortion empower a woman they won’t let her do much but have a lot of sex.  They won’t help her get to her job and safely back home.  They won’t take her kids to school.  They won’t get her to the grocery store.  They won’t cut her lawn.  And they sure won’t protect her from an assailant.  No, if the left truly wants to empower women they should stop attacking gasoline and the internal combustion engine.  And they should stop trying to make it harder for law-abiding people to own a gun.  For a handgun with a high-capacity magazine will allow a woman to stop a man—or group of men—from harming her.  No matter how strong and powerful they are.  Something birth control and abortion just can’t do.

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