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Bob Lutz
Bob Lutz and his pals tout the benefits of domestic oil production, electric vehicles

The last time we visited commentary from former General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, he was firing back against the "Right-Wing Media" for its assault on the Chevrolet Volt. Lutz was a huge proponent of the Volt while at GM, and he helped spearhead the development of the gasoline/plug-in electric vehicle.
 
Now, in another column for Forbes magazine (written in conjunction with FedEx CEO Fredrick Smith, and U.S. Marines commandants General P.X. Kelley and General James Conway), Lutz is switching gears slightly to tout the positive benefits of oil independence and electric vehicles instead of attacking the "attackers".
 
Lutz and his posse argue that moving to vehicles that are more efficient or rely solely on electricity for power will boost the United States' national security. In addition, U.S. military manpower and financial resources are being strained to protect vital oil distribution points around the globe.
 
From a national security perspective, the U.S. military is forced to protect the world’s vital oil infrastructure… Protection of the sea lanes of commerce has become an American burden and will remain so, costing the United States Treasury an estimated $80 billion per year while taxing our military, which is already engaged on multiple fronts.
 
“Lutz and Friends” go on to say that the U.S. needs to produce more oil domestically (to isolate the country from global oil price spikes) while at the same time moving the U.S. transportation sector away from oil dependency. "The only way to fundamentally solve this problem is to break oil’s stranglehold on the transportation sector, which accounts for 70 percent of the total oil consumed by the United States and relies on oil for 94 percent of its fuel," states the quartet.
 
As we reported nearly a year ago, Frederick Smith is definitely onboard with reducing our “addition” to foreign oil in an effort to boost the domestic economy. And like Lutz, Smith is hip to the idea of electrifying America’s transportation sector.


Chevrolet Volt enjoying a dip in the pool with the ladies. [Source: TECHVEHI]
 
Not surprisingly, the column throws a shout-out to the two primary players in the electric car market: the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf:
 
Regarding electrification, the beauty of plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf is that they are powered by electricity, which can be generated from many sources: nuclear, coal, natural gas, and renewables. Best yet, these are all domestic energy sources, meaning OPEC won’t be able to corner the market. And the retail price of electricity is far less volatile that the price of oil.
 
It seems inevitable that electrification will by the end game for vehicles in the future, but the question is should the government be footing the bill to jumpstart the process?

Source: Forbes



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CNG
By DigitalFreak on 4/17/2012 7:52:02 PM , Rating: 1
If he's really concerned about foreign oil independence, he should be pushing CNG. Much cheaper to design a car for it than electric (including batteries), plus the US has an abundance of natural gas.




RE: CNG
By Jedi2155 on 4/18/2012 1:19:40 AM , Rating: 2
CNG is less efficient than burning that NG in a power plant and using it in an electric vehicle. It can cost just as much as an electric vehicle to build.

There are significant pumping losses to compress the gas into your tank.

Keep in mind that you'll have to replace the CNG tank 8-15 years into service and that is not cheap.

The CNG infrastructure for consumers is not yet widespread yet, so there is some cost here as well.

A 240 mile range (most reporting under 200 mile real world) Honda Civic NG cost nearly $10,000 more than the base model Civic, and offer worse value in every other parameter (power, performance, range) etc.

It might have its uses in large fleet vehicles where the primary cost is operation, and a typical vehicle lifetime is between 5-10 years but some of those operators are really feeling the pinch of those CNG tank replacement costs.

Overall though, I don't think CNG consumer vehicles make sense at all for a standard residential customer.


RE: CNG
By fteoath64 on 4/20/2012 12:40:23 AM , Rating: 1
It is the same as :

"From a national security perspective, the U.S. military is forced to protect the world’s vital oil infrastructure… Protection of the sea lanes of commerce has become an American burden and will remain so, costing the United States Treasury an estimated $80 billion per year while taxing our military, which is already engaged on multiple fronts."

Protect from who ???. Themselves ?!!!.


RE: CNG
By topkill on 4/23/2012 10:45:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Protect from who ???. Themselves ?!!!.


Are you serious? Have you ever watched a news cast? The Iranians have been threatening to shut down the Straight of Hormuz and caused the entire world oil market (ie speculators) to drive the price of oil up.

Historically, every country near the middle east has threatened to attack or disable pipelines or oil wells after they start getting their ass kicked.

I ask again: Have you ever watched a news cast?

Ok, have you ever read a newspaper? ANYTHING? If not, why not let the big boys and girls carry the conversation.


RE: CNG
By Mint on 4/20/2012 12:42:45 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is infrastructure.

Besides, natural gas is needed for electricity generation and home heating. It becomes even more necessary as renewables come online (I'd prefer nuclear, but the reality is that it'll take a while to ramp that up and get public acceptance, and the intermittency of wind/solar can't be backed up with coal/nuclear as they don't ramp well).

It's a bad idea to throw all our eggs in that basket, which we'd have to do if we were to build CNG stations everywhere.


Plug In cars
By jatkinsaut on 4/18/2012 10:31:13 AM , Rating: 2
One advantage not mentioned is that cars can charge at home overnight. This is off peak power, so no new powerplants or infrastructure is needed.




RE: Plug In cars
By Solandri on 4/18/2012 1:50:34 PM , Rating: 1
That worries me for two reasons.

First, a lot of people are calculating the cost of operating a plug-in EV using the price of off-peak electricity during night. In many cases this is 1/2 to 1/3 then price during the day. If EVs become widely adopted, power use overnight will increase, meaning it will no longer be off-peak, and the price of electricity will match the price during peak electrical demand. It'll cost 2-3 times more to charge your EV.

Second, most businesses use electricity during peak hours. Most homes use electricity during off-peak. If off-peak prices go up, so will everyone's home electric bill. Also by almost 2-3 times (less for the South where air conditioners are run during the day).

So really, to properly estimate the opportunity cost to switch the country over to EVs, you have to price the electricity used by the car at peak rates and add the increased cost of electricity for your home when off-peak prices disappear.


RE: Plug In cars
By Mint on 4/20/2012 12:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
EVs aren't going to be charging during the evening when people are watching TV and cranking up the A/C, they'll be charging when everyone is sleeping. There's very little home electricity use at that time aside from the fridge.

It'll take a long time before EVs get to the level of increasing night price. I found this on google:
http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/3/1/014003/ful...
In the California region alone, and based on 1999 generation capacity, you could have 7 million EVs charging before you get major price increases prices.

And no, most people don't use night-time price in calculating the cost, probably because smart meters aren't in wide use. Almost everyone in the media uses the national average.


RE: Plug In cars
By lennylim on 4/18/2012 7:01:05 PM , Rating: 2
One advantage I didn't expect is not having to make a detour, then wait up to 1/2 hour in a long line at Costco to fill gas once a week.

Yes, I can arrange to go during a less busy time, but it would mean a special trip only to gas up - less time in line, but I waste time driving to the pump and back. Even a more expensive pump closer to home still means a detour, possibly waiting for a free spot, and time spent actually filling the tank.

In contrast, I drive into my garage every day, so it takes an extra 30 seconds every day plugging / unplugging. If that's too tedious, inductive charging mats are coming in a couple of years.

Disadvantage is that my windows are no longer as clean...


By Dorkyman on 4/18/2012 12:31:51 PM , Rating: 2
I do find these discussion fora fascinating in part because they make me think and also because they tend to verify the old adage that you can't argue with a religious zealot. By definition such a person relies partly on faith and thus is beyond the reach of logic.

The religious zealots today are not so much into traditional religions but rather the religions of "Evil Oil" or "Global Warming." Others down the block go to the church of "Evil Capitalism."

In any event, you can mention that an electric car is for the most part really a coal-powered car, and that fact just goes--whoosh!--over their heads, and they get back to the point they are trying to make. Entertaining to watch, but basically a waste of effort.




By zdzisiekm on 4/19/2012 12:56:38 PM , Rating: 2
I would begin by electrifying and upgrading our railways to double track or better everywhere. It's easily done and does not require new technology. Freight could then be moved off the roads and onto the trains. This would go a long way towards reducing our dependence on oil, as a huge fraction of the imported oil is being burnt by trucks, not personal transportation. Also think of savings derived from reduced road maintenance costs. But trains should be viewed first and foremost as efficient cargo carriers, not human transportation. The focus on the very expensive bullet trains is unfortunate. There are no gains there, while the expense is horrendous.

Regarding personal transportation, I'd be the first to buy a hybrid or something, if I could get one like my current minivan for the same or similar price of $21k (yes, that's how much I paid for it only a few years back, brand new). But $40k for a car that's hardly better than Chevy Cruze is way too much. The technology isn't there yet and you guys have little to offer.




pathetic
By DockScience on 4/17/12, Rating: -1
RE: pathetic
By Keeir on 4/17/2012 7:13:17 PM , Rating: 3
The Volt gets 35 miles Combined Cycle on Batteries before requiring a ~10 kWh charge. Depending on the charging methods available, this can between a 3-10 hour charge.

The Cruze Eco MANUAL (You know the transmission type than more than 90% of US shopper pay to avoid) get 33 MPG combined cycle. The Automatic version gets 31 MPG combined cycle.

The Volt saves on average ~2-3 dollars a day if you charge once a day and drive more than 30 miles.

The feature set (including nearly silent operation in EV mode) is different between the Cruze and the Volt. The feature set probably doesn't justify the increase in MSRP to most people... but to pretend it doesn't exist is equally as strange as insisting it must appeal to all.


RE: pathetic
By sigmatau on 4/17/2012 8:24:25 PM , Rating: 1
The Volt is definetly not a Cruze. Its closest non-electric non-hybrid relative is the new smaller Cadillac that isn't out yet. I just wish it had a more potent battery.


RE: pathetic
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/17/2012 8:28:31 PM , Rating: 2
The Volt is built on a modified Cruze platform to save costs. The wheelbase of the two is also identical.


RE: pathetic
By Keeir on 4/17/2012 8:46:54 PM , Rating: 1
While true, thats a little like saying the Honda Accord is the "same" car as the Acura TSX. There are lots of differences inside and out that makes the Volt a "different" car than a Cruze. Comparing the Volt to the price of a base Eco Cruze is just a stupid comparison point.

Lets see... a partial List Bold means not an option, Italics means an option (Eco --> Volt)
4 Wheel Disk
Heated Mirrors
Fog Lamps
Automatic Climate Control
Autodimming rearview mirror
Illuminated Vanity mirror
Key Less Start
Remote Start
...

Now, maybe you value these features at nearly zero, but there are 10s if not 100s of these features.

The Volt is much more similiar to a ~25,000 Cruze LTZ than the 20,000 Cruze Eco. Quite frankly the "market" price of Volt's features as a Cruze would place is in the 24,000-27,000 MSRP category.


RE: pathetic
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/17/2012 9:01:16 PM , Rating: 4
I wasn't talking about features, I was talking about the actual structure basis of the vehicle and nothing more.

I didn't even mention price comparisons...


RE: pathetic
By Jedi2155 on 4/18/2012 1:39:03 AM , Rating: 2
Ride quality/vehicle dynamics is a pretty important metric for a vehicle that is not usually considered a feature.

In that regard, the two vehicles are in a different class entirely.


RE: pathetic
By JediJeb on 4/19/2012 6:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
But how much can they lower the price of the Volt if they offer it in the same option configuration as the Cruze Eco?

It is just priced too high to become a main stream vehicle, and main stream vehicles of this type are what is needed to begin to get us off foreign oil. Once the 50% of the population that don't pay much in taxes who would not even benefit from the current tax breaks on EVs can afford them then we will be on the right track.


RE: pathetic
By Keeir on 4/19/2012 8:57:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But how much can they lower the price of the Volt if they offer it in the same option configuration as the Cruze Eco?


By ~4,000-6,000 I'd think. Especially if they switched out the interior and exterior changes.

You realize that the average car sold over 100,000 miles is going to cost 48,000 dollars right?

I'd define a mass market price as a fuel+capital cost under 45,000 then... which is right about where the Volt cost... BEFORE government rebate.

The Volt's affordable to a very large percentage of the new car market as it stands today. People are on average paying more for thier transporation.

Now, many people have difficutly percieving the true cost of the Volt versus the true cost of the car they are currently tooling around in or choosing to buy. I will be curious if the persistant gasoline prices above 4 dollars lead to another large month of Volt sales...


RE: pathetic
By rich876 on 4/17/2012 10:53:43 PM , Rating: 2
The Cruze Econ gets better MPG then what you stated. Get your facts straight.


RE: pathetic
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/17/2012 11:01:36 PM , Rating: 2
Uhh, he is absolutely correct. The manual version gets 33 mpg combined and the automatic version gets 31 mpg combined

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/31315.shtm...
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/31377.shtm...

Only going by the 40-ish mpg highway figure is misleading unless you spend 100% of the time driving at 55-65 mph. Most people will get closer to the combined rating in everyday driving.


RE: pathetic
By jfish222 on 4/17/2012 7:37:22 PM , Rating: 1
Wow, I've never jumped in on the these threads re. the electrification concept (to much trolling) but I can't let ignorance go unaddressed . . .

Up Front:
I don't own a volt (or hybrid) and until they reach the performance of my Sonata Turbo while providing a reasonable efficiency margin (based on my mood and gas prices) I will not be buying one (ie: They may have finally finished that Space elevator).

Reality Check:
The 35 mile range is marketed to the average US commuter of 16* miles each way or less.

Of course, survey respondents gave an avg, so lets say you fall close to 16 miles on the bell curve. Your cutting it damn close, so in a pinch you have the gas engine to fall back on. For the Volt to be worth the investment you should ideally fall a little further to the left of the curve (I, for one, don't always head straight home!).
Given that many Volt respondents report filling up once a month, this does work for some.** (Stat. provided from GM so take it for what its worth.)

Is there a market for this vehicle?
Yes

Is it a large market?
Based on sales projections of 10k/yr, no. But that was always expected***. The high price partly relates to its low volume (yes, yes, and the batteries, R&D, etc.)

Is the Volt a success?
No but there is potential. It was a multi-year development project where gas prices were projected to be over $4. The debut came during a down turn (slower global economy = less fuel demand)where prices were around <$3.50. Notice that sales increased in December when prices hit some psychologically relevant $4.00 mark.***

Argue all you want about whether or not the US should be funding alternative fuel initiatives or the auto-industry bailout.

But when you twist reality to meet your views you're just being . . . pathetic.

Sources:
*http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Traffic/story?id=...

**http://green.autoblog.com/2011/04/24/chevy-volt-ow...

***http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-57352046-54/chev...


RE: pathetic
By toffty on 4/17/2012 7:38:33 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that the Volt can go far past 35 miles between charges correct? It can run on gas like all other ICE cars; the Volt just has the option of using only electricity if you drive less than 35 miles in the day.


RE: pathetic
By RDO CA on 4/17/2012 7:45:43 PM , Rating: 1
Lets see here --last year I put on 5000miles on my Volt and used 2.4 gal of gas. I regularly got 40-42 miles per charge and up to 51. I don't use enough gas to know but reports are about 40mpg on gas after the charge is depleated.
If you don't get it that new hi tec products cost early adoptors some extra cash than you have not been paying attention. My Fuel cost last year was 4.9 cents per mile.
I'm doing my small part to keep our country from importing as much oil.
This car is good looking and has alot of torque and goes over 100mph as I can testify.
We all want it to be the price of a Curze but thats not in the cards quite yet.
Have you driven one yet --I think you will be impressed. But why be down on the Volt as many can afford it and they either buy a Volt or another lux car.


RE: pathetic
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/17/2012 8:01:41 PM , Rating: 1
For comparison, I drive a 2011 Sonata SE 2.0t that's rated at 22/33/26 (city/highway/combined). My breakdown after 21,449 miles:

25.82 mpg average
$2,782.99 in fuel
$0.13/mile


RE: pathetic
By Jeffk464 on 4/18/2012 12:51:47 PM , Rating: 2
I drive a toyota tacoma, so no breakdown. :)


RE: pathetic
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/12, Rating: -1
RE: pathetic
By Spuke on 4/17/12, Rating: 0
RE: pathetic
By Masospaghetti on 4/18/2012 9:11:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
One persons drastic reduction of gasoline usage (you still use oil you know) doesn't do a damn thing to reduce national oil usage.


You're acknowledging that the Volt drastically reduces oil consumption...and then you say that he's only making himself feel good and not doing a damn, because he's only one person.

Your logic is mind boggling.


RE: pathetic
By Spuke on 4/18/2012 1:17:18 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Your logic is mind boggling.
Explain how ONE persons reduction in fuel makes any difference to the NATIONAL reduction in fuel other than making ONESELF feel good.


RE: pathetic
By Spuke on 4/18/2012 1:20:22 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and I didn't say the Volt drastically reduced fuel consumption, I said HE is. Not everyone's usage will be like his and even if it was, it STILL does not make a nick in the NATIONAL (there's that word again) fuel usage.


RE: pathetic
By Qapa on 4/22/2012 11:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
That is the same argument most people use not to vote: "why should I vote, my vote will only weight 1 in millions, and so it is irrelevant".

While true, it also points that the solution to any group problem, if you're not making decisions for the group, is to make your part and possibly try to influence the individuals around you.

So he actually did the most important part, specially because, there is no better way to convince people around you than showing them 1st hand that you're committed, happy with the solution and even have them try it out.

Maybe it is not a bad idea that you guys stop saying what other people's reasoning and reasons are. Post your opinion, but leave others to state theirs.


RE: pathetic
By yomamafor1 on 4/19/12, Rating: 0
RE: pathetic
By Dr of crap on 4/18/2012 8:32:38 AM , Rating: 2
MANY do not, and have not boughten the Volt.
The sales to not prove out YOUR comment.

Yes this car will appeal to a very small population. The problem is that the Volt gets billed as the saviour of our high gas usage. You alone will not save us very much in oil importing. Neither will the other Volt owners. It would take hundreds of thousands of Volts sold to have ANY impact.

Hey thanks for taking the tax break and using some of my tax dollars in your purchase. Me, I'll be buying a 3 year old car when I'm in the market for a car to replace my 2005 Malibu that gets 30-33 mpg combined in my daily driving habits, and it WONLDN'T cost me over $15,000, and there WON'T be any tax breaks with my purchase either!

AND for the record it will take many years of you NOT BUYING gas for the break even point on your over priced car, did you know that?


RE: pathetic
By Masospaghetti on 4/18/2012 9:22:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes this car will appeal to a very small population. The problem is that the Volt gets billed as the saviour of our high gas usage. You alone will not save us very much in oil importing. Neither will the other Volt owners. It would take hundreds of thousands of Volts sold to have ANY impact.


The Volt reduces fuel usage by a factor of 2x-3x with essentially no compromises. What other technology can do that? CNG is probably the closest, but even it has severe infrastructure limitations and generally poor performance.

While it's great your Malibu gets 30-33 mpg combined, your combined cycle rating is still 25 mpg (if you have the four cylinder) and even less with the V6. A lot worse than the Volt, even on pure gasoline power.

You're trying to compare buying a new Volt with buying a used economy car. If people bought cars for economic reasons only, everyone would be driving 10 year old Honda Civics. Obviously there's more to a car purchase than that, and if you've driven a Volt, I think you'd realize it's a far nicer car than the $15k econoboxes its often compared against.

Even for the EV haters...think of it this way...I'd rather those who use cars as transportation only to have EVs and hybrids because that reduces oil demand and lowers prices for the rest of us, who love to drive with our American pushrod V8 engines.


RE: pathetic
By Dr of crap on 4/18/2012 10:20:52 AM , Rating: 2
I said I get 30-33 mpg COMBINED in my comute, don't tell me what I'm getting.

I'm saying the Volt is not for me, I can't afford it. As a lot cannot afford it. I am not a hater, I'm a realist. The Volt, as I said, will appeal to a small population.

IF YOU ONLY use battery power you will save gas, but it's the fact that it only goes a few miles on battery power, then the mpg is comperable to what I get with my old car. And for me, I drive over 60 miles per day, so the VOLT really does no good for me, and a lot others that have a long commute. And the fact that it's a high price. Like I said I can get a car like I have now for les than $15,000. Meaning for the $40,000 plus you've paid for the Volt I can get 2 cars and have cash in my pocket for gas.

While I do not dispute the fact that the Volt is a good car, I don't want it. What good would it do for me to drive it, when I couldn't buy it? Why can't Volt lovers see that side of it? Same as a Lexus or BMW that are priced at $40,000 plus, I can't buy one.


RE: pathetic
By Masospaghetti on 4/18/2012 10:43:38 AM , Rating: 3
The only thing I'm disputing is that the Volt won't save you a lot of fuel, because it will.

quote:
I said I get 30-33 mpg COMBINED in my comute(sic), don't tell me what I'm getting.


Why does this always need to be explained? If you beat the EPA numbers in your Malibu, you should beat the EPA numbers by the same amount in a Volt. The Volt's EPA numbers, even without batteries, are a lot better than your Malibu's.

quote:
What good would it do for me to drive it, when I couldn't buy it?

Because the Volt is compared against cars that are far inferior in performance, NVH, and ride quality and then blasted because its too expensive. It's like comparing a Lexus to a Toyota and saying the Lexus costs too much.


RE: pathetic
By Dr of crap on 4/18/2012 12:38:52 PM , Rating: 1
You don't get it.
I do not dispute that the Volt is set up to be in the luxury catagory. And so it is high priced.
The mpg of the Volt WHEN the battery is used up and running on gas is AROUND 35mpg if I remember correctly, so it ABOUT the same as my "old" car. I don't care what the EPA numbers are at and will not get into fight over a few mpgs.

The problem I have is the statements that this car will SAVE US THE AGONY OF IMPORTED OIL. It will not by it's own. It can go on many days of battery power if used only a small bit each day, I agree. AND IF you can AFFORD it you can save gas. The big thing is IF YOU CAN AFFORD it. The same as if you can afford a Luxus, BMW, Mercedes, ect...

As I stated it will have a small population that can and will benefit from it. But for the typical mass commute person, it will not help and is out of reach.

If GM just came out and said they have this hybrid and left it at that, I'd have, and most other haters would, not have problem with the car. That fact that it's billed as the revolutionary car that will save the planet is the problem!


RE: pathetic
By Keeir on 4/18/2012 8:40:09 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The mpg of the Volt WHEN the battery is used up and running on gas is AROUND 35mpg if I remember correctly, so it ABOUT the same as my "old" car. I don't care what the EPA numbers are at and will not get into fight over a few mpgs.


So.... you don't care about the EPA numbers... except when it comes to the Volt? The Volt gets 25-40% better MPG than your old car. That's fairly significant. But the Volt is not a Malibu sized car either.

quote:
The problem I have is the statements that this car will SAVE US THE AGONY OF IMPORTED OIL.


And that's the problem of your reading comprehension. The TECHNOLOGY could do alot to save us from "Agony" of Imported Oil. If Volt technology suddenly appears in every car and pickup truck tomorrow, the US would from importing ~100 Billion Gallons of Gasoline/Oil yearly to having the ability to export ~50+ Billion Gallons of Gasoline/Oil yearly. All without giving up car size, performance characteristics, flexiblity in fueling, etc, etc, etc. In the long run, people would even be spending -less- on thier transportation. (The short run costs would be very very high granted).

Again, this car is essentially a 30 MPG typical gasoline car. Typically driver would use ~450 gallons of gas a year (at ~30 MPG). A diesel driver would use ~384 gallons of diesel a year. A Prius driver would use 270 gallons of gas a year. A Volt driver? Most drivers would use -90- gallons of gas a year.

So in recap if we switched to 100% Diesel, we'd reduce Oil usage by ~15% and cut imports ~33%. If we used Hybrids we'd cut usage by ~40% and cut imports 90%. If we used PHEV 35 we'd cut usage by 80% and cut imports to -60% (I am using 2010 data from the EIA).

In comparison to the Alternatives place on the market before the PHEV-35 technology promises (if widely adopted) a level of reduction of oil importation surpassed only by pure EV, Natural Gas Combustion, or Hydrogen Fuel cell. The PHEV-35 technology also addressed the principles weaknesses of these technologies such as Limited Range and non-existant infrastructure.

If the goal is to reduce oil importation without sacrificing size and usage habits, PHEV is almost magnitudes better than a existing Hybrids. (The goal of reducing total pollution, energy usage, and C02 emissions are slightly different and more complex, but PHEV is generally winning there are well)


RE: pathetic
By Dr of crap on 4/19/2012 9:56:41 AM , Rating: 1
Missed the point AGAIN!


RE: pathetic
By skeansmith on 4/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: pathetic
By Spuke on 4/18/2012 1:31:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thanks for doing your part. Not sure why people want to flame you for telling it like it is.
I don't think he's a scab BUT he's not doing anything to affect overall fuel reduction in the US. If WE want to REALLY make a difference, WE need to convince everyone we know to reduce fuel. IMO, gas prices would do it BUT we'll have to see if that really will do it.


RE: pathetic
By skeansmith on 4/18/2012 1:45:08 PM , Rating: 2
I have looked at your replies on this tread and I do not think there is any way for me to convince you that if one person does their part it has an impact on the whole. Baffling to me. With that logic nobody should do their part until it is agreed that all will do their part. From a practical point of view, with that in mind, nothing would ever move forward!


RE: pathetic
By topkill on 4/23/2012 10:55:44 PM , Rating: 1
"DockScience"??? Is that like calling a really big guy "tiny" as a joke nickname? Because you're to F'ing stupid to be using that science moniker.

You don't even know how the Volt works so learn something or first or STFU.


Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Beenthere on 4/17/12, Rating: -1
RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By FaaR on 4/17/12, Rating: 0
RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Spuke on 4/17/2012 11:04:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Cheap gas just means lazy, complacent and irresponsible americans like you will piss away any oil reserves you may have by driving around inefficient, heavy, gas-guzzling V8 clunkers like you have been doing for decades already.
Provide proof that the US has been "driving around inefficient, heavy, gas-guzzling V8 clunkers". I want to see sales numbers organized by year and vehicle.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/17/2012 11:16:58 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed Spuke, he's wrong. With the exception of pickups which are always big sellers for contractors and fleets, the best selling vehicles for 2011 are mostly efficient midsize and compact sedans:

http://wot.motortrend.com/top-of-the-charts-the-be...


By ncalipari on 4/18/2012 7:36:47 AM , Rating: 2
So one year makes up for 60 years of inefficiency.

Us Car has been traditionally big and fuel inefficient.

http://www.marketingcharts.com/topics/asia-pacific...


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Paj on 4/18/2012 7:44:53 AM , Rating: 1
Lol, nice foot shooting

No 1. Ford F-Series
No 2. Chevrolet Silverado
No 5. Ford Escape
No 7. Ram 1500/2500/3500

Not a hatchback among them.

Compare with the top selling UK cars, where you hardly see anything bigger than a hatchback, and no 4WDs at all.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/gallery/2012/ja...


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/18/2012 9:19:39 AM , Rating: 2
Americans buy sedans, not hatchbacks for the most part. It's a cultural difference.

And there were six cars on the list versus 4 trucks... some where exactly is the foot shooting? Also, the Escape is relatively fuel efficient for an SUV and is available as a hybrid.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Paj on 4/18/2012 11:24:38 AM , Rating: 1
Which, out of an F150, a sedan and a hatchback do you think is more fuel efficient?

The original point was:

quote:
Cheap gas just means lazy, complacent and irresponsible americans like you will piss away any oil reserves you may have by driving around inefficient, heavy, gas-guzzling V8 clunkers like you have been doing for decades already.


I think the sales statistics from the US vs the UK back that up pretty conclusively.

Part of the issues US automakers have meeting the new emission standards is due to the inertia behind these so called 'cultural differences'. European cars have little difficulties meeting the targets, even with Imperial/US conversion taken into account.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/18/2012 11:33:44 AM , Rating: 1
The point is, you make it seem like we're all driving around in gas guzzling pickup trucks when in fact, 7 of the top-selling vehicles aren't even pickups. And six of those are compact or midsize sedans that get good fuel economy.

While many Americans DO buy pickup trucks, a large portion of the ones sold in America go to fleets and businesses and not consumers.

So again, I still don't see your point.


By heffeque on 4/18/2012 1:09:24 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever traveled to Europe? You'd see right away the difference there is in size compared to the States.

The point is:
- FOUR out of the top 10 selling vehicles are big ass oil guzzlers in the US, three of them in top 5.
- ONE out of the top 10 selling vehicles are big ass oil guzzlers in the UK, and it's not even in the top 5.

What point don't you get? Are you blind?

Also American cars tend to have bigger motors, bigger chassis, larger wieght and less modern diesel engines.

Saying otherwise is just living in denial.


By quiksilvr on 4/18/2012 1:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that within the past few years we have become more efficient, but that doesn't excuse the fact that numbers 1 and 2 are pick up trucks. Granted a "large portion" goes to businesses, but none of us can deny the fact that virtually at every intersection, we see way too many SUVs and trucks with no load on them and one person in them.

We are transitioning out of that ($4 a gallon is a good incentive to do so), but that doesn't excuse the fact that there are too many of these gas guzzlers for our own good.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Paj on 4/20/2012 7:47:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Agreed Spuke, he's wrong. With the exception of pickups which are always big sellers for contractors and fleets, the best selling vehicles for 2011 are mostly efficient midsize and compact sedans


What your really saying is akin to the following:

Despite the fact that 4 of the top 10 best selling cars are indeed massive oil guzzling SUVs, I'm just going to completely ignore this salient fact and instead focus on the sedans, which consume more fuel than hatchbacks anyway.

Americans have a cultural aversion to any vehicle that is smaller than a sedan. This is reflected in the sales. Do you deny this?


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Spuke on 4/18/2012 1:08:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Part of the issues US automakers have meeting the new emission standards is due to the inertia behind these so called 'cultural differences'.
Provide PROOF of which emissions standards we aren't meeting?


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By heffeque on 4/18/2012 1:12:20 PM , Rating: 2
Here's one.

A list of CO2 per capita:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CO2_per_capita_p...

You're welcome.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Kurz on 4/18/2012 1:20:29 PM , Rating: 2
CO2 is not a pollutant


By Jeffk464 on 4/18/2012 8:31:14 PM , Rating: 2
pollutant (p-ltnt)
A substance or condition that contaminates air, water, or soil. Pollutants can be artificial substances, such as pesticides and PCBs, or naturally occurring substances, such as oil or carbon dioxide, that occur in harmful concentrations in a given environment. Heat transmitted to natural waterways through warm-water discharge from power plants and uncontained radioactivity from nuclear wastes are also considered pollutants.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Spuke on 4/18/2012 1:35:28 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, CO2 per capita is not an "emissions standard". AGAIN, which "emissions standard" are we not meeting?


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Paj on 4/20/2012 7:42:55 AM , Rating: 2
Your own CAFE standards?

http://www.dailytech.com/UPDATED+Feds+Proposed+545...

http://www.dailytech.com/Republicans+Try+to+Block+...

Cars will be legislated out of existence! They will simply vanish!


By Keeir on 4/18/2012 2:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
I think this is as good as a Place as any

A. Car Selection
http://www.epa.gov/otaq/cert/mpg/fetrends/2012/420...

According to the US EPA, Between 15-20% of the US car market is "pickup" trucks.

-50%- are car models.

And of the car models, -50%- are "small" cars. That means there are more C-segment cars sold each year than Pickup Trucks.

The distortion you see on the top models sales list has to do with the limited selection of models. The F-150 series has nearly 40% of the market.

http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2011/01/the-ultimate-...

You add up the top 3 namplates and they accord for 70%!!!!! of the pickup market alone.

In constrast, the Corrola, Yaris, Civic, Fit, Cruze, Sonic, Focus, Fiesta, Mazda3, Mazda2, Impreza, 200C, Sentra, Forte, Rio, Elantra, Golf, Jetta, TSX, A3, 1 series, Gallant, etc split the market up a little more fairly


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By robertisaar on 4/17/2012 11:06:53 PM , Rating: 5
why is it always "inbred, fat, stupid 'mericans with 4MPG tractor-trailers to go to the store half a block away"?

the majority of the US isn't like that, but i'll leave that for someone else to get statistics for, since your ignorant self won't listen anyways.

but, here's a kicker: your fuel prices are taxed the hell out of by your governments to provide for things like actual universal healthcare. we're slowly creeping toward european fuel prices, but without the benefits that come with it.

i think we're allowed to be angry.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By borismkv on 4/17/2012 11:45:10 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
your fuel prices are taxed the hell out of by your governments so they can spend themselves into bankruptcy anyway


FTFY


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By WalksTheWalk on 4/18/2012 10:56:57 AM , Rating: 2
Compared to the rest of the developed world, the US does have many more people with larger houses in the suburbs, larger vehicles and subsequently lower than average MPG. I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm just saying it exists.

The US also have a large contingency that take this standard of living for granted, whose biggest problems are that they cannot afford an iPhone and have to settle for something else, their Facebook isn't fast enough, etc. IMO, people in the US at least should look and see what's happening in other areas of the world to really see that we have it EXTREMELY good here, despite our own internal issues.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Jeffk464 on 4/18/2012 12:38:06 PM , Rating: 2
Things are quickly changing though, the US standard of living is going down and the rest of the world's (except europe) is coming up. I guess eventually we will meet somewhere in the middle.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Spuke on 4/18/2012 1:10:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Things are quickly changing though, the US standard of living is going down and the rest of the world's (except europe) is coming up.
Wow! Provide proof of this. LOL!


By Jeffk464 on 4/18/2012 8:35:07 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/10/17/disturbing-...

Do any search combining declining american middle class. The combination of union busting and outsourcing labor has absolutely shrunk the middle class. Sorry, but its a fact.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Keeir on 4/18/2012 2:03:15 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
It should cost much more than that.


Why?

Gasoline should cost the amount require to pump oil from the ground, refine the gasoline and ship it to the pump, plus a reasonable profit defined by markets willingness to pay for it.

In the US, we have decided gasoline should also include a significant share (75%+) the cost of maintaining Federal and State roads.

Potentially, gasoline should also include the costs of cleaning the pollution, etc. I'd support that if someone could do a good estimate of these costs.

quote:
NO, you're not paying too much. You only pay about 50% of what we pay, and you think that's too expensive? Lol... Get real.


What does that have to do with anything?!? You're nation choices about how to tax gasoline are clearly responsible. Heck, the US exports to Europe refined Diesel/Gasoline. I am fairly sure European government just pocket the tax money and its not earmarked typically for a specific service. How strange.

quote:
No oil business in their right mind would greatly overproduce to artificially drive down the price. That'd be financial suicide from a commercial standpoint, and just not how a capitalist system works.


And this is where you show your true ignorance. If I wanted to fetch the highest price for my good... I would produce one and only one of it. Or maybe 10, just to get some positive reviews. Businesses all the time produce far more than required AND have low prices. It depends on the marginal production price and marginal change in price. The idea for most businesses is to MAXIMIZE revenue per capital invested. Not to Maximize revenue per unit.

quote:
You bawww about oil cartels and whatnot, but what you sound like is a bloody communist. You want price-fixed gas, move to Soviet Russia a quarter century ago... That's the only way you'll succeed.


What? Oil cartels are against capitalism. That's a socialist/communist ideal. Oil cartels want price-fixed gasoline... high price fixed.

Just because the original post was off base and crazy, doesn't give you license to be as off base.

quote:
Oil is a precious resource, and have much better uses than simply being burned in extremely inefficient internal combustion engines.


Oil is so precious, its leaking onto the Ocean Floor and onto Beachs in dozens of places... and no one will spend the money to fix it.

But overall, your really have this backwards.

Oil is a precious resource, because we burn it in internal combustion engines. The only other wide scale use of Oil was in oil-lamps. So... if we suddenly stopped using Oil in cars where would it all go? Would air travel become super cheap then? Is that the thinking? Or do you mean other uses than transporation? What is the super valuable use you would put it to?


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By RubberJohnny on 4/18/2012 5:10:41 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Oil is a precious resource, because we burn it in internal combustion engines. The only other wide scale use of Oil was in oil-lamps. So... if we suddenly stopped using Oil in cars where would it all go? Would air travel become super cheap then? Is that the thinking? Or do you mean other uses than transporation? What is the super valuable use you would put it to?


Are you farking serious? probably half the items in your house and office are made from oil!

http://www.ranken-energy.com/Products%20from%20Pet...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/11/9-shockin...
http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/la...


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Keeir on 4/18/2012 11:32:05 AM , Rating: 2
Yes.

While many items are made from Oil in my household,

What percentage of Oil consumed in the US is in the transporatation section? The EIA claims .66! Now, since there are millions of other uses for oil, each of these uses just uses a tiny slice of oil production.


By Solandri on 4/18/2012 1:10:42 PM , Rating: 2
The vast majority of oil is burned as fuel. About 3% is used for asphalt and lubricants. About 2% ends up in other products like plastics and waxes.
http://abcnews.go.com/Business/PainAtThePump/story...


By ncalipari on 4/18/2012 7:38:56 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What? Oil cartels are against capitalism. That's a socialist/communist ideal.


Why some people are so naive?

Next time will be the nazi that drive the price up.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Paj on 4/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By bah12 on 4/18/2012 9:56:55 AM , Rating: 2
Those items you listed are all from oil BY-PRODUCTS. In other words without the cars' need for the base product, it would not be worth the effort to pump it out of the ground for plastics. In other words in a world with no cars, everything on your list would be REALLY expensive as everything on your list were inventions to use the non-fuel parts of oil.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Paj on 4/20/2012 8:00:36 AM , Rating: 2
Really? So no-one was trying to create plastics before the invention of the combustion engine?

Far more effort is expended in refining oil to a usable fuel than it is obtaining other useful materials from it. Crude oil is useless as a fule on its own - it goes through many, many stages of refining and distillation before it becomes usable in cars.

Most synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, polyester and others, are also made from plastic precursors derived from oil.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By FITCamaro on 4/18/2012 7:50:01 AM , Rating: 2
You have no one to blame but your governments for that.

Don't like it? Vote them out and replace them with people who won't charge several dollars worth of taxes on a gallon of gas.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Jeffk464 on 4/18/2012 12:42:06 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, I like them jacking up gas prices.


By FITCamaro on 4/19/2012 11:02:31 AM , Rating: 1
Then stop bitching about it.

If you support high gas prices, you have no one to blame but yourselves. Don't get pissed at us because we don't want to artificially jack up the price of energy here in the US because it kills an economy.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Natch on 4/18/2012 8:17:48 AM , Rating: 2
Except, we're not really pissing away OUR reserves, are we? We're pissing away the Middle East reserves, as well as the North Sea and Venezuelan reserves, but very little of the US reserves.

Maybe we're not as think as you dumb we are, eh?

So far as the whole question of electric vehicles and national security, I would ask Mr. Lutz where he's getting the rare earth minerals to make his electric motors? China, more than likely? And where does that fit into the national security picture, especially when China decides to finally cut off the rest of the world by stopping exports of rare earth minerals??

Sorry, but both you and Mr Lutz are WRONG.


By bah12 on 4/18/2012 10:13:57 AM , Rating: 2
Ding ding we have a winner. You don't pillage your own reserves first. Honestly gas is expensive, but it isn't really there yet for us to tap our own.

This is if you even believe there is a supply constraint. Most experts agree there really isn't one. If anything the biggest constraint is refinery capacity at the moment.


By mikeyD95125 on 4/18/2012 2:41:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
They are a pet project of the Messiah who can't even speak without a teleprompter...


Cliche BS like this instantly takes credibility out of anything you wanted to say.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By euroscot on 4/18/2012 7:34:16 AM , Rating: 2
Electric vehicles are expensive in Europe. Socialist-minded governments have had to provide taxpayer-funded subsidies in order to support the manufacturers selling efforts. I guess American EV manufacturers are supported by taxpayers also.
Car production in the UK is booming; but the majority of the vehicles are high-efficiency petrol or diesel fueled. (Petrol is "gas")
Fuel has always been expensive here, so the manufacturers have had to develop efficient engines and transmissions. For example, my 2003 Vauxhall Vectra 1.8 litre does 44 British mpg ( about 37 mpg US). The engine was developed by Lotus Engineering for Vauxhall's owner, GM.
I am now paying £1.42 per litre, about $US2.27, about 66% of which is tax. The more polluting diesel is £1.46 per litre.
Other than that, the actual price of crude oil is set by the "market". The market comprises OPEC, and non-OPEC producers such as Norway and the UK. It's traded internationally, and the traders sell for as much as they can get.
We'll find that electric-cars will see a "retreating market". Conventional technology will get better making electric cars less attractive than hoped. For example, the Mini D: does 80mpg (British); the Astra "gas" turbo 1.4: does 57 mpg or better.
Finally, CNG public transport and LPG taxis are in widespread use in Seoul, which has a smog-prone climate a bit like LA/ SF.


RE: Lutz a good guy but wrong about EVs
By Solandri on 4/18/2012 1:37:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Conventional technology will get better making electric cars less attractive than hoped. For example, the Mini D: does 80mpg (British); the Astra "gas" turbo 1.4: does 57 mpg or better.

1. The EU uses a different mileage rating test than the U.S., which results in much better mpg ratings. Their tests use a lower top highway speed, and don't have as many stop and gos. It's not uncommon for vehicles with >50 mpg EU ratings to get EPA ratings in the low 30s.

2. The U.K. gallon is 20% bigger than a U.S. gallon.

3. Mileages over 50 mpg are mostly meaningless. Fuel consumption is actually the inverse of mpg. So when you start getting really big mpg, you're actually saving very little fuel. e.g. Going from 15 mpg to 25 mpg is "only" a 10 mpg difference. But it saves more fuel than going from 25 mpg to 50 mpg, which is a 25 mpg difference.

quote:
Finally, CNG public transport and LPG taxis are in widespread use in Seoul, which has a smog-prone climate a bit like LA/ SF.

CNG and LPG are better fuels than gasoline from an emissions standpoint. Their problem is their volumetric energy density is much lower than gasoline or diesel. If you've ever peeked in the trunk of a CNG car, there's not much room left over for luggage. You can stick maybe 3-4 grocery bags inside. A thin suitcase standing on its side.

That makes CNG/LPG good fuels for vehicles where cargo capacity doesn't matter as much, or which have lots of extra room. Buses, taxis (especially vans), utility trucks. It's not so good for a general purpose vehicle like a personal car, or for taxis which go to the airport.


By euroscot on 4/19/2012 6:02:17 AM , Rating: 2
Solandri
Please read my actual post.
Yes, the British gallon is bigger than the US gallon. I said that! The British gallon is 4.536 litres; US is 3.785.
My Vectra does 44 mpg British in actual use! That includes 75 mph on the Motorway and 50 or 60 on rural roads.
Around town, it's 34 or so, depending on congestion.
And that's for an engine designed by Lotus in 1999!
EU fuel consumption figures include three outputs: highway, urban, and average. We are allowed to drive at up to 70mph UK, lot more in Germany.
My point was, Toyota claim low fuel consumption for the Prius. A similarly-sized petrol or diesel-fueled car is cheaper to buy and almost as good on fuel.
Now, back to electric:
In Europe, how long do people think it will take for Government to place a tax on "automotive electricity"? That's why many European countries are installing "smart meters".
Governments cannot afford to lose the automotive fuel tax. Full stop.
Then we'll see how great these electric cars are.

Fuel tax is wonderful. We get motorway bridges that aren't in danger of falling down (c.f much US infrastructure).
We get a health service which is often free or cheap at point of need (cf the dreadful state of poor people's health/ dental state in the US).
We get subsidised accomodation for poor people (c.f trailer parks in the US which are really like African shanty towns)
So don't decry fuel tax.
In case you wonder I've worked in the US in many places. Seen the good - it's wonderful!
Seen the bad - it's amazingly awful and sad for the people concerned.
You Americans need to pay more for automotive fuel.


By rich876 on 4/18/2012 9:53:08 AM , Rating: 2
Your logic is out of whack.


By kattanna on 4/18/2012 10:26:36 AM , Rating: 2
is it just me.. or is the pic of bob there showing us exactly how it is with our current EVs.. we are getting fisted


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