We interrupt our regular programming to bring you
another Youngian arrival in today’s
in-box. Go HERE to read his previous op-ed from last week.
So You Want A Big
By Neil Young
President-elect Obama¹s plan to put a million electric
vehicles on the road in 10 years is do-able and should be surpassed by its own
momentum. As people discover the many advantages of electric vehicles (EVs),
this momentum will build. Not only are these cars green and responsible, they
also enhance National Security. From all we¹ve been told about EVs we know a
little. They are cleaner. We¹ve heard about plugging them into our homes to
recharge overnight. But most of us don¹t know much about electric cars yet.
The momentum of the Electric Vehicle Age will stem from
enhanced performance, smoothness of acceleration, quietness, and superior
The way an electric car can be tuned to behave a certain way
for a certain driver allows for a whole new feeling in the driving experience.
People just don¹t know how cool these cars are.
Existing designs can be manufactured as electric cars with
no change to the tooling of the existing designs. Adapting kits are possible.
Build electric versions on these existing tools to keep people working and get
people interested in buying again. The technology to make these new electric
vehicles exists today right here in this country.
Kansas we get this report: A 1959
Lincoln Continental repowered to be a self charging electric vehicle by a small
group of engineers and local services, is now achieving up to 65 mpg in
informal tests. Work there continues. The goal of the project is to attain up
to and beyond 100mpg for the biggest and heaviest car made in 1959. The car has
been driven in California and Kansas and shown to over
15,000 people. In an audience of 12,000, one tenth of the people raised their
hands when asked if they would like to have a car like that. That Lincoln
represents a future for Detroit.
It is the possibility of Big Clean cars that do not promote Global warming.
Let¹s build them now, as well as economical small clean and
green electric cars and let¹s put people to work. We already have the existing tooling
and the facilities and manpower.
we get this report: We have devoted significant resources to this project: Over
200 engineers and 50 designers are working on the Volt alone, and another 400
are working on related subsystems and electric components. That’s how important
we think this is, and that’s how much stock we place in the future of
extended-range electric vehicles like the Chevy Volt. Tony Posawatz, Vehicle
Line Director E-Flex Systems and the Chevy Volt, GeneralMotors Corp. The GM, FORD and Chrysler CEOs then each
boarded private personal business jets to be paid for by taxpayers money, and
flew to Washington
to ask tax-payers to give them a 25 Billion dollar infusion to save hard
working American¹s jobs. Have they changed direction but it¹s just too early
for our senators and congress representatives to see it yet? I don¹t think
so. Maybe introducing a new
high-performance fossil fueled Shelby Mustang and jumping into a private jet to
go to Washington
for a bailout was not such a good idea.
Efficient technology can power the existing designs we have
We don¹t need a car that looks different with a new sunroof
over the back seat creating an air conditioning challenge as a feature.
We don¹t need new tooling to start building electric cars
We need kits to adapt what we are currently making to
We need new thinking from new leaders and we need new
perspectives from unions.
Today the news is Hybrids. Everyone is making them. Some of
these hybrids offer very poor mileage in the 20-30 mpg range. They may be
already on their way out because of the inherent inefficiency of their
design. An electric motor and an
internal combustion engine both driving the wheels in one car may not be the
most efficient approach.
Forward thinkers are wondering about that inefficiency and
working on ways to solve it. Plug in Kits are now available for Prius and Ford
Escape, allowing these vehicles to plug in for a re-charge, increasing their
efficiency and reducing their negative impact on the environment. Plug-in
hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) look like the future, but are they the future?
There are huge limitations. The battery is the biggest. An
average EV is only good for a short trip before it needs a charge. Maybe 40
miles or so is a good estimate. Some electric cars get a long range like 100
miles before they lose power and have to recharge. The Tesla (a super light
sports car) goes over 150 miles on a charge. Two things that all basic EVs have
in common is they are small in size and they have to stop and re-charge. If you
run out of power you are down. Just like gas. To re-charge, you need a power
source. It may be your home, or it may be your parking garage at work. It might
be a charging system that is privately owned and is a business enterprise (Better Place), or
it may be a public utility service (PG&E). You may have a cable to plug in
that identifies you so your account can be automatically charged. One thing is
for sure. You need to re-charge. So you
are going to be more conscious of your energy use.
Not every EV has to plug in. For some, it¹s optional. Cars
like the Chevy Volt have an onboard generator to re-charge batteries or power
These cars are Self-Charging EVs (SCEVs). That means on long
trips you use gasoline. A long trip is over about forty miles in a Volt, on
When the battery starts to die, an onboard generator rescues
it and powers the electric motor, while slowly recharging the battery. This
sequence cycles on and off while you take a long trip. Mostly the generator is
on Š using gasoline, a fuel widely seen as a National Security disadvantage.
The Volt generator will charge the batteries faster if the car is not moving,
by using gasoline. On short trips, you
won¹t even use the generator. You will go the first 40 miles on plug-in power.
An average commute in the USA
is about 35 miles.
Efficiency in the self-charging electric car is the big
decider. If the efficiency of your
charging system allows you to make electricity with less financial cost than
buying it from the grid, then your car can power your house and turn the meter
backwards to reduce or eliminate your electric bill. Potentially, you may even
be able to sell electricity to the grid someday. That would be a good reason to
buy a SCEV with a highly efficient self-charging system. These cars are mobile
Big electric cars are left out of the story so far by major
They have made some very poor hybrid SUVS. SUVs, big sedans,
pick-up trucks are all by the wayside. They have been relegated to dinosaur
status. But don¹t count them out. A big Self-Charging SUV with a super
efficient self-charging system would create enough power to support 6 homes.
You could be part of a distributed power system by using the grid backwards,
selling power back to your Utility Company.
In this approach, power enters the grid from plugged-in vehicles,
avoiding the loss found in the lines when power comes to you from a central
Power Plant located miles away. Imagine
a big electric car that earns you income.
But you just wanted a big electric car. You may be surprised
to know why size is important. Big SCEVs, while taking big power to run, and
requiring large battery banks and big electric motors, will undoubtedly be
getting up to 100 mpg or more in the near future. A big developmental car, Lincvolt, seen at
Lincvolt.com , is proving this technology. Big SCEVs may well be earning you
money while you are charging the grid. They may be re-charging with super
efficient self-charging systems, and even using Domestic Green bio-diesel fuel,
a fuel that does not contribute significantly to Global Warming. Big may be an
unexpected Green alternative.