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Old 07-26-2013, 12:30 AM   #31
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I bought a street legal Gemcar in 2005. I was really into making it a workable vehicle and with a lot of R&D and modifications made it into a semi-reasonable family transport vehicle. Additional power, batteries, cooling and extensive reprogramming gave it a max speed of 58mph and about an honest 20 mile range. I put about 5k miles on it in that config BUT went through a LOT of teething pains. I avidly read up on the new battery technologies that were just a couple of years down the road. Unfortunately, few, if any, have materialized. Even subsidized, the current batch of electrics are way overpriced for what they offer. The enthusiasm in some of these posts is admirable and reflects where I was 8 years ago but a real battery breakthrough is needed to make these REALLY viable. Also, when you do gas vs elec cost analysis, battery costs need to be taken into account as they can be substantial. When you look at it from a green standpoint, large amounts of lead, acid and coal need to be considered as part of the equation (Lithium is not environmentally friendly either). I find the Chevy Volt to be the most viable car to date from a value standpoint (Tesla prices are astronomical). Leaf owners have consistently complained about range and many of the so-called hybrids are nothing but marketing. Even with that, the Volt is simply not worth 40+K (and it shows in poor sales), estimates to replace a battery pack are up around 15K. I'll agree there is a future for this with the right technology and hope that it happens in my lifetime. I still own the Gem but have converted it back to stock config and deregistered it. If the Volt were 20K I would gladly own one.

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Old 07-26-2013, 02:24 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flybuddy
I bought a street legal Gemcar in 2005. I was really into making it a workable vehicle and with a lot of R&D and modifications made it into a semi-reasonable family transport vehicle. Additional power, batteries, cooling and extensive reprogramming gave it a max speed of 58mph and about an honest 20 mile range. I put about 5k miles on it in that config BUT went through a LOT of teething pains. I avidly read up on the new battery technologies that were just a couple of years down the road. Unfortunately, few, if any, have materialized. Even subsidized, the current batch of electrics are way overpriced for what they offer. The enthusiasm in some of these posts is admirable and reflects where I was 8 years ago but a real battery breakthrough is needed to make these REALLY viable. Also, when you do gas vs elec cost analysis, battery costs need to be taken into account as they can be substantial. When you look at it from a green standpoint, large amounts of lead, acid and coal need to be considered as part of the equation (Lithium is not environmentally friendly either). I find the Chevy Volt to be the most viable car to date from a value standpoint (Tesla prices are astronomical). Leaf owners have consistently complained about range and many of the so-called hybrids are nothing but marketing. Even with that, the Volt is simply not worth 40+K (and it shows in poor sales), estimates to replace a battery pack are up around 15K. I'll agree there is a future for this with the right technology and hope that it happens in my lifetime. I still own the Gem but have converted it back to stock config and deregistered it. If the Volt were 20K I would gladly own one.
My parents have a Volt....They like it, but would drive a shopping cart if Barry said it was best...
anyway, they leased at $300/month....figure there is at least $20k in subsidy there somewhere.
They won't be bothered with the batteries when it's time!
It's all about the motions.....what's the matter with you people!
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:04 AM   #33
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Truly, we have never realized the savings that insulating homes and replacing windows and such can give. Still lots that we can do there. As far as saving fuel in our auto's, weve actually saved lots but in the end, that savings comes with a cost of increased taxes and higher prices if less is actually sold. Cali was trying to raise its taxes less than a year ago because decreased consumption had also decreased tax collection. In they end, they get more for doing less and we spend more for using less, that wasnt supposed to be the end game in conservation but we should have seen it coming!

Heres the big rub, because NRG production and availability are generally a regional association, we really need to start thinking about how we deal with high density populations in NRG starved locations. There are things that can be fixed regionally to make them more viable but for the most part, thats via expensive transportation and transporting NRG long distances is both wasteful and potentially damaging to those in the corridor that its being transported in. I had to laugh a few yeas ago when I was in Alb NM, Rich folks had put multimillion dollar homes up on giant boulders on the mountain, I found that to be bizarre and uber wasteful, why would you?

While Upstate NY may be void of rights and freedoms at this moment, were flush with everything else needed including NRG to sustain a large population without risking the futures of other regions to do it. This isnt just an NRG issue, food and fresh water are also quantifiable assets needed to sustain life and way too many places expect that even if they dont have these things, they have a right to them from others at a reasonable price (they dont). We have every form of NRG production en mass that a place could want and could be 100% NRG independent without risking the futures of others doing it. Population epicenters really need to consider sustainability when they attempt to revitalize their areas and encourage growth. Places like Albuquerque, NY city and LA would begin dying overnight if the arteries that feed them were severed.

So you want to live in Hana-lulu or San Fran, isnt that special (and expensive), citiscapes in resource rich areas are very expensive, in resource poor regions, they are downright unaffordable at any cost! Its time to make those who consume pay the real price for the products they want and need and stop subsidizing them for asinine choices. That would cause a natural population shift that would do more for our environment than anything we have done to date. Sadly, it would also cause me to have more neighbors but considering we have less people in a square mile than most places have in a single 6 story building, I think we could handle it and we would be better off all the way around.

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Old 07-26-2013, 05:07 PM   #34
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Good points Webley. One must not have a myopic view of conservation. For it to be effective one must consider it in all aspects of their life. For example recycling. 20 years ago it was virtually unheard of in most of the country, but today it is known all over even if people don't participate in it. Here in CA recycling has become the norm, so much so that recycled products are commonly used more frequently than non-recycled or non-recyclable products. I find it distressing when I travel and I can't find a recycle bin when emptying my trash. I actually will take the recyclables with me and dispose of them where they can be recycled. You can even make money at it.

On insulating our homes, etc., you are also absolutely correct. One day I hope to build myself a home that is highly insulated using rammed earth methods combined with radiant heating/cooling which would use both solar and geothermal as a heating/cooling media. Now that would be awesome!

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Old 08-12-2013, 11:02 PM   #35
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Just cam across this article in Autoweek. Seems the Saudis are getting nervous about one of their largest customers. Bastards let the genie out of the bottle with their control over the rising costs per barrel and now they are finding they can't stuff it back in!

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130812/CARNEWS/130819973

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Old 08-12-2013, 11:12 PM   #36
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This earth will run out of fossil fuels in a few short generations. It is a long, long time before we run out of daylight. The quicker we work out the bugs, the better.

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Old 08-12-2013, 11:23 PM   #37
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This earth will run out of fossil fuels in a few short generations. It is a long, long time before we run out of daylight. The quicker we work out the bugs, the better.
While I appreciate what you are saying, the availability of fossil fuels and how long they will last is immaterial, even if we had an infinite supply I would still advocate for alternatives. It is similar to my reasoning for having many different calibers and types of firearms. If one breaks I have alternatives. If I run out of .40S&W I can use the .357, .38, .44 and on and on. The more alternatives the better in my mind.

It also serves as to lower the costs of fossil fuels. Or it should. So my driving a Volt will lower demand on gas, which should lower the cost of gas. Or at least that is how it is supposed to work.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:43 PM   #38
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Quote:
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This earth will run out of fossil fuels in a few short generations. It is a long, long time before we run out of daylight. The quicker we work out the bugs, the better.
I agree, Chain.....,but.....

It's just not a priority now...not for the last administration or the current one!

I live in a very windy place, but most HOAs have rules against turbines...they could be trumped.....

For those that have no restriction, there is little to no incentive, as the ROI exceeds the component service life!
Aren't we subsidizing the Volt???? Assisting with electric vehicle start ups????

I bet, with my regular 10-25 mph winds, I could sell back/reduce my dependance on coal (Texas is mostly coal) by 40-50%!

With a little vision and FOCUS, we could change the residential consumption footprint....

Others have similar challenges with solar, but hail prevents this from being a smart move in my area....

Just not important yet.....
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:56 AM   #39
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I agree, Chain.....,but.....

It's just not a priority now...not for the last administration or the current one!

I live in a very windy place, but most HOAs have rules against turbines...they could be trumped.....

For those that have no restriction, there is little to no incentive, as the ROI exceeds the component service life!
Aren't we subsidizing the Volt???? Assisting with electric vehicle start ups????

I bet, with my regular 10-25 mph winds, I could sell back/reduce my dependance on coal (Texas is mostly coal) by 40-50%!

With a little vision and FOCUS, we could change the residential consumption footprint....

Others have similar challenges with solar, but hail prevents this from being a smart move in my area....

Just not important yet.....
So what has to happen for it to becomes a priority? A catastrophic energy event of some sort?

What I am saying is that if we wait until it becomes a priority then it may very well be too late.

Ten years ago here locally there was a similar situation. It involved a solar energy company that had opened a small office (coincidentally just two doors down from the Templar Sports store that is currently in the news). Here is one of the news stories to get you started: http://www.altenergymag.com/news/2003/11/25/akeena-solar-sues-los-gatos-over-solar-installation-restrictions/257

The case was resolved two years later, at great cost to both the company and to the town. Below is a link to an article on the resolution, but the article misses some very important points. In the article they have two photos, the top photo is of the original solar installation that the Town objected to- there are three panels that are visible from the street, they are at the back of the roof, you can see them just above the tow truck that is parked on the curb, just to the left of the HVAC unit. The other picture shows the roof edge lined with readily visible solar panels. These were installed without connecting them to an inverter, so they were not producing electricity, they were installed singularly as a screen to hide the functional system components from street view and to thumb their nose at the Town Council. Eventually the town realized the stupidity of their actions and permitted all of the panels to be connected to the system, increasing the energy production to exceed the operational needs of the business. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2005/03/test-case-for-solar-rights-act-resolved-23825

Then, just about a year and a half later, the Town was giving the company a commendation for all of its contributions to the town. WTF? Not even 4 years prior to this they were doing all they could to prevent them from operating their business! http://www.csrwire.com/press_releases/17741-Los-Gatos-Awards-Akeena-Solar-a-Business-Commendation

Now, over ten years after the original conflict with Akeena, Los Gatos is one of the leading solar power towns in the Bay Area. Solar panels are on every single town owned facility that uses electricity. More than half of the homes here have solar PV systems up and running.

As a side note, Akeena was absorbed by Westinghouse in 2010 to better take advantage of the brand recognition. Their panels are currently being sold at Lowes.

This is how change comes about.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:22 AM   #40
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We will never run out of crude. So many keep buying into the Muslims and big oil saying on there is a finite supply. Pure bs told to the masses to keep the fear up. Fear is the easiest way to control the masses.

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