Electric Cars

technofix that cannot replace existing systems
sharing cars would reduce oil better
relocalization is the real answer

It is actually a form of using oil, since manufacturing a hundred million electric vehicles and transporting them would use a LOT of oil.

We aren't going to see any time soon electric 747s, electric food delivery trucks, electric war planes, electric freight rail, electric cargo ships.

Oil is used for more things than personal transportation with gasoline, although that is the only use of it that most people think about.

Growing, transporting, processing, cooling food is going to be a bigger problem in the near term than personal mobility.

It is likely that electric cars will be for the wealthy, only.

And while wind power is nice - and could be massively scaled up - most of the power for electric cars is going to come from depleting energy sources - coal, natural gas and uranium.

Again, renewable energy systems require a lot of metallurgy, which is hard to do without fossil fuels. It would be nice to use the remaining fossil fuels wisely for efficient systems instead of for military domination.

The British governments promotion of electric cars needs to be seen in the broader context that Britain is still pushing for more road construction, expansion of aviation and genocidal wars for control of the oil.

The "British" oil in the North Sea would be mostly Scottish oil if Scotland was an independent republic.





GM Pines for Electric Car

Submitted by Richard Heinberg on August 26, 2008 - 7:14am.
In just two years we’ve gone from a film documentary called Who Killed the Electric Car? to an article in Canada’s Globe and Mail titled Who Revived the Electric Car?. This is a deliciously ironic turn of events. ....

one can’t help but wonder whether the Volt will be GM’s breath of fresh air or its last gasp.

Cars are inherently inefficient. Yes, we can make them smaller and lighter; we can power them with renewable electrons instead of nasty old hydrocarbons. But in the final analysis, pushing a ton or three of steel down the highway just to move a two-hundred pound person to and from a shopping mall is both wasteful and plain stupid in a multitude of ways.

Consider just two: tires and asphalt.

The prosthetic hooves on that high-tech chariot are made largely of non-renewable petroleum, and after 40,000 miles or so they tend to wear out (Americans discard them at a rate of one tire per person per year).

Then there’s the stuff that roads are made of. We build roads compulsively so as to give our precious cars more places to roam, but those roads also soon wear out, so we have to constantly repair them; this requires enormous amounts of asphalt (25 million tons annually in the US). But asphalt is, once again, a petroleum product, and as oil gets scarce the building and maintenance of roads becomes unmanageable.

Electric cars are a sparky idea if you consider only what they are designed to replace. But we really need to be thinking about how to reduce our need for motorized transport altogether by redesigning our cities and shortening our supply chains. And where something more than a scooter is necessary, we should move people and freight by rail or water rather than by highway.