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See The Usa In Your Electric Chevorlet


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This is, unfortunately, the logic disconnect the whole electric car movement falls prey to.

Where do you suppose the electricity is going to come from, for the most part, to recharge them?

 

Aaaah hah hah!  Saw this coming :)

Power generation, of course, which isn't going to go away, anyway. 

Yep, coal can be cleaned up.  I was drafting/modeling up scrubber installations for coal plants back in the '80s.  I guess the fines for not being in full compliance aren't high enough, though.  Cheaper to pollute.  Nuclear is the most efficient power source, and very clean until you have waste product; we were working on all kinds of whacky solutions for the DOE (and, more nefariously, for the DoD) back in the day.  And, the public is afraid of nukes (thank 3-Mile-Island, Chernobyl and the Japanese tsunami), although there are very advanced redundant cooling systems such as those that we were designing for, ahem, production reactors, before the end of the Cold War put the kibosh on those programs.  Don't forget hydro power.  Totally renewable and very clean.  Not cheap to build, though, which has always been a problem.  But, you don't have to dam up rivers, create reservoirs and displace communities.  We dug a channel into an elbow of the Mississippi 30 years ago and floated in a huge (it was almost as large as an aircraft carrier) power house (I think it had 10 or 12 turbines) and plugged it in.  The river runs through it.  It did cost a fortune, but not as much as a dam/reservoir and huge real estate acquisition and relocation.  

And then you have all the new renewables coming along.  Not all are totally clean though.  Solar and wind rely on storage, so the whole battery thing enters the equation (Yes, like electric cars.  More engineering to do).

I think the biggest challenge to powering up for a paradigm switch over to electric cars is distribution.  The power grid is way over-taxed and has been for a long time, like the rest of our infrastructure.  Lets's see:  Obama wanted $500B for infrastructure (laughably naive low estimate for what was needed even "back then") and was shot down.  Trump more realistically wants a trillion (still way too low - we need 2 trillion just for starters) and the republicans don't want to hear about it.  Oh, well.  So much for that job-creating idea.

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Aaaah hah hah!  Saw this coming :)...

... Oh, well.  So much for that job-creating idea.

Agreed on every point you make, and all of it part of the big picture that folks who seem to think buying an electric car will save the world have no awareness of.

There is still, to the best of my knowledge, no overall energy policy with rational, necessarily-interlocking short and long-term plans to implement it.

Nobody driving the bus. Lotsa headless chickens.

 

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One big thing driving the change is the auto market outside the US, mainly China. There are millions of affluent Chinese that want clean air to breathe. They will obviously be shifting the pollution from the big cities to the rural parts of the country, but the smog problems in cities may be reduced. If GM wants a part of the largest car market in the world, they better have something to offer. 

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Just thought of something,  if the electric revolution ends up crossing over to the other brands, wonder if Buick would bring back the Electra nameplate for an electric/hybrid model?!

That's brilliant :lol:

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That's brilliant :lol:

Thanks, my thouht there is to make it a big, Impala sized car that can be had either way, electric, called the Electra or the hybrid with a small V-6 or a large 4 Cylinder, possibly turboed around 2.25 liters as a generator called the Electra 225 that would have extended range capability like a Volt does.

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One big thing driving the change is the auto market outside the US, mainly China. There are millions of affluent Chinese that want clean air to breathe. They will obviously be shifting the pollution from the big cities to the rural parts of the country, but the smog problems in cities may be reduced. If GM wants a part of the largest car market in the world, they better have something to offer. 

Do you really think China will be a significant market for US-made cars? Think again.

1) Many of the components in electric vehicles are going to come from China in the first place. They can build their own electric vehicles with the tech disclosed to them, and parts they're making for the rest of the world.

2) China has a history of not respecting intellectual property rights (little things like patents) and can easily build clones of vehicles built anywhere else, for lots less money.

3) Any market in China for US-made cars will be as status symbols, much as old US cars are in Japan.

Anybody familiar with the Kawei K1? Why buy a Ford when you can build a copy?

kawai-k1-001-1.jpg

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China’s markets are notoriously, uh, bent to favor China - from large tariffs to forced 50/50 joint ventures. However, GM currently sells more cars in China than in the US (3.9 million vs 3 million). I think they are around 10% of the market, but with numbers like almost 4 million sales, hard to not want to continue in the market. 

 

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... However, GM currently sells more cars in China than in the US (3.9 million vs 3 million). I think they are around 10% of the market, but with numbers like almost 4 million sales, hard to not want to continue in the market. 

 

Most of the GM cars sold in China are made in China. Most of the money stays in China. The US-made GM cars sold in China are mostly a relative few Buicks, I believe.

As China gets more of a handle on mass-producing decent contemporary vehicles, I'm willing to bet that outside players will take serious hits in the marketplace.

I could be wrong, but new American cars have only a minuscule market share in Japan. I see China going the same way, once they have the car biz figured out.

 

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Most of the GM cars sold in China are made in China. Most of the money stays in China. The US-made GM cars sold in China are mostly a relative few Buicks, I believe.

As China gets more of a handle on mass-producing decent contemporary vehicles, I'm willing to bet that outside players will take serious hits in the marketplace.

I could be wrong, but new American cars have only a minuscule market share in Japan. I see China going the same way, once they have the car biz figured out.

 

The possibility of GM gearing up for a Chinese market that is known to steal ideas, have 50/50 ventures where young Chinese engineers work alongside US engineers (kind of stealing knowledge again)  is kind of scary...will we have to bail them out again?

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In my opinion there are two things that will make or break the shift to battery powered cars.  How long the batteries last and how quickly a car can be recharged.  I am told that battery packs last only 7 - 10 years and then there is about a $5,000.00 outlay for a new battery pack.  That will destroy the used car market.  Secondly, while most driving is done to commute relatively shorter distances, people are not going to put up with cars that they are unable to charge in the same amount of time it takes to gas up a car.

The government and the car companies can try to dictate what people will buy, but ultimately the consumers will accept or reject this technology.

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Do you really think China will be a significant market for US-made cars? Think again.

1) Many of the components in electric vehicles are going to come from China in the first place. They can build their own electric vehicles with the tech disclosed to them, and parts they're making for the rest of the world.

2) China has a history of not respecting intellectual property rights (little things like patents) and can easily build clones of vehicles built anywhere else, for lots less money.

3) Any market in China for US-made cars will be as status symbols, much as old US cars are in Japan.

Anybody familiar with the Kawei K1? Why buy a Ford when you can build a copy?

kawai-k1-001-1.jpg

You're right on target on this one. In addition to what you've stated, China is also notorious for not letting impoted vehicles to be sold in China. Subaru tries to break into the Chinese market a while back with cars that were built in their US plant, none of them were sold because the Chinese wouldn't allow them in. Last I heard, the cars that got shipped are still sitting on the docks, and the ones that are still here are being used as a windbreak fence behind the plant. 

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Back in the 1990s, I went to South Korea, Japan and Taiwan several times for work.  Some South Koreans bragged that they had "stolen" the steel and shipbuilding industries from Japan, and were now #1 in those areas.  When I mentioned that to Japanese, they LTAO.  Said their govt. and manufacturers decided to greatly reduce oil-dependent heavy industry after the first OPEC embargo in 1973.  So what the Koreans saw as a Japanese surrender was really part of a long-term rational plan.

One place I visited in Japan was the Mitsubishi aircraft plant in Gifu Prefecture.  Walked in the front door and saw a huge, wall-sized display case full of scale-model aircraft - models of every aircraft Mitsubishi ever built or subcontracted on. 

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