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BEST-L  January 2007

BEST-L January 2007

Subject:

Who Killed the Electric Car? iis Not Entirely Honest

From:

bruderly <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

bruderly <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 15 Jan 2007 16:23:01 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (241 lines)

Matt
I love battery electric vehicles, including plug in hybrids. Even when the
electricity is derived from coal EVs are a lot cleaner and cheaper to
operate than any conventional fuel vehicle. I simply do not approve of
bashing competing alternative fuels and technologies, like hydrogen, just to
push my favorite product or idea to the front of the line. We need to make a
rapid shift to every non-petroleum fuel and more efficient technology
possible as quickly as possible.

The movie "Who Killed the Electric Car" accurately portrays how General
Motors senior executives followed a business strategy that completely
undermined the fantastic engineering, manufacturing and marketing work done
by the folks who designed and built the Impact. Unfortunately the movie
unfairly attacks Dr. Allan Lloyd, Chair of the California Air Resource
Board, and attempts to blame him for conspiring with GM to kill the EV
program simply to promote the California Hydrogen Initiative. That aspect of
the movie was flat out wrong, was unfair and amounted to character
assassination. Dr. Lloyd has been a champion of zero-emission vehicles for
more than 20 years.

The Bad Guys are the guys with the Big Money ---- the very same GM
executives who killed the EV are the same guys who decided to build highly
profitable gas-guzzling mega-trucks, SUVs and Hummers made of iron rather
than light weight, highly efficient vehicles made of advanced composite
materials. The same guys executives who created market programs for these
idiotic vehicles that touted the macho-men and women image to baby boomers
who have been conditioned to think driving back and forth to soccer games
and Publix demands a tough truck. 

There is no one magic solution to the problems created by our addiction to
cheap fossil fuels and dirty, inefficient ways of using them.

I believe that an entrepreneur could create a very viable business selling /
leasing battery electric vehicles to folks who live and work entirely within
the urban area we call Gainesville. The business would need to offer a
family of specialty vehicles, some of which are now manufactured and
commercially available at a reasonable price.

I sold a few battery electric and hybrid electric cars and light-duty
pickups in Florida in the early 90's -- I was the Florida sales rep for
Solectria (Massachusetts) and also represented Solar Car Corporation
(Melbourne FL). I worked hard at selling the concept and at creating local
market demand for these vehicles on the premise that local demand would
stimulate investment in local businesses that could do final assembly as
well as component manufacturing. Unfortunately both Solectria and Solar Car
Corporation learned the hard way, as I did, that they could NOT compete
against gasoline and diesel powered vehicles without serious changes in
government energy and environmental policies. I also helped talk RTS into
buying a couple AVS hybrid-electric buses for use on campus, but that
company also went out of business.

GM placed a few of their Impacts with Florida Power & Light in South
Florida, but GRU and I did not have the clout or the cash to lure GM to
Gainesville. I was 15 years too early.

Battery technology has improved. The hybrids are doing well. Perhaps with UF
pushing station car program and biofuels it is time to try the EV again;
anybody interested?

dave
 

David E. Bruderly, PE
Bruderly Engineering Associates, Inc.
920 SW 57th Drive
Gainesville, Florida 32607-3838
352-377-0932
www.cleanpowerengineering.com
www.bruderly.com
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Langholtz,Matthew H [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Monday, January 15, 2007 10:11 AM
To: bruderly; [log in to unmask]
Subject: RE: Why a hydrogen economy doesn't make sense

David and others,
http://www.sonyclassics.com/whokilledtheelectriccar/ makes a strong case
for electric cars and/or hybrid electric plug-ins.  Comments?
Matt

Matthew Langholtz
Postdoctoral Research Associate
School of Forest Resources and Conservation, UF
P.O. Box 110410
Gainesville, FL 32611-0410
e-mail: [log in to unmask]
Office: (352)846-0892
Pager and Cell: (352)246-7091
Fax: (352)846-1277
Home page: http://plaza.ufl.edu/mateo/

-----Original Message-----
From: Bioenergy and Sustainable Technology Society
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of bruderly
Sent: Monday, January 15, 2007 1:44 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Why a hydrogen economy doesn't make sense

Ulf Bossel's paper is based on biased assumptions, inappropriate
comparisons, half-truths and significant errors and omissions. The
headlines
in the article are misleading and his arguments are neither accurate nor
credible.

Nobody disputes the fact that a battery electric vehicle using
electricity
generated by photovoltaics or wind would be the ideal transportation
energy
system. No prime mover is more cost-efficient, easier to operate nor
safer
than an electric motor controlled with modern power electronics.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for electric storage batteries.
Existing battery technology simply cannot provide both the power density
(i.e. acceleration) and energy density (i.e. range) required for most
vehicle applications. Bossel also conveniently ignores the fact that
storing
electrons produced by intermittent renewable energy sources in batteries
is
not cost-effective nor practical at the utility scale. Perhaps with
major
breakthroughs in electro-chemistry sometime in the future, safe
batteries
and other ways of storing electrons may be developed that will do the
job.
But these batteries are not available today nor will they be available
in
the near future.

Until then, clean, carbon neutral chemical energy carriers are needed to
store and / or distribute renewable energy and to store the energy
required
by vehicles. Hydrogen is the ideal chemical energy carrier because it is
cleaner, safer and more efficient than comparable fossil fuels,
including
diesel. Through electro-chemistry hydrogen also complements electricity.
Furthermore hydrogen production, storage and distribution technology is
readily available. If zero-emission energy systems were required by
policy,
widespread use of hydrogen fuels and energy systems would become
commercially viable.

It is intellectually dishonest for Bossel to discount the benefits of
eliminating pollution from the combustion of carbon based energy sources
and
energy carriers. Until geologic or mineral carbon sequestration is
deployed
when coal, oil and natural gas is refined into finished fuels, there
will be
no "clean" fossil fuels in commercial use. Bossel also ignores the
energy
cost of carbon sequestration associated with continued use of carbon
based
fuels.

It is an inconvenient truth that the life-cycle efficiency of
fossil-fuels
will go down significantly when carbon capture and sequestration is
required. It is also highly likely the cost of photovoltaic cells will
someday be so low that system efficiency will not be the major
consideration
in cost analysis. The cost of energy from fossil fuels will only go up
while
the cost of energy from the sun and wind will continue to go down.

Given the horrible consequences of pending climate chaos, why not start
building the perfect energy system now? While quibble?

Finally, Bossel's comparison of the efficiency of hydrogen fuels to
battery
electric vehicles is inappropriate. To be credible he should have
compared
fuels and technologies that provide similar performance, i.e. apples to
apples; For example, the life cycle efficiency and emissions of hydrogen
fuels and engines should be compared to ultra-low sulfur diesel burned
in
advanced technology diesel engines. The National Renewable Energy
Laboratory
has done this analysis and hydrogen engine powered hybrids and hydrogen
fuel
cell electric powered vehicles are very competitive with advanced
gasoline
and diesel technologies.

But only hydrogen fueled engines and electric drive motors have the
potential to achieve zero life-cycle emissions from renewable fuels.

So why do people like Bossel attack hydrogen with half-truths and
inaccurate
analysis? Politics.


David E. Bruderly, PE
Bruderly Engineering Associates, Inc.
920 SW 57th Drive
Gainesville, Florida 32607-3838
352-377-0932
www.cleanpowerengineering.com
www.bruderly.com
 
 

-----Original Message-----
From: Bioenergy and Sustainable Technology Society
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dr. Ann C. Wilkie
Sent: Sunday, January 14, 2007 3:05 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Why a hydrogen economy doesn't make sense

Why a hydrogen economy doesn't make sense.
Physorg.com, December 11, 2006.

"In a recent study, fuel cell expert Ulf Bossel explains that a hydrogen
economy is a wasteful economy. The large amount of energy required to
isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas, biomass),
package the light gas by compression or liquefaction, transfer the
energy carrier to the user, plus the energy lost when it is converted to
useful electricity with fuel cells, leaves around 25% for practical use
- an unacceptable value to run an economy in a sustainable future. Only
niche applications like submarines and spacecraft might use hydrogen."

http://www.physorg.com/news85074285.html

-- 
**********************************************************************
Dr. Ann C. Wilkie                          Tel: (352)392-8699
Soil and Water Science Department          Fax: (352)392-7008
University of Florida-IFAS
P.O. Box 110960                         E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Gainesville, FL 32611-0960
______________________________________________________________________
Campus location: Environmental Microbiology Laboratory (Bldg. 246).
http://campusmap.ufl.edu/
______________________________________________________________________
BioEnergy and Sustainable Technology Society
http://grove.ufl.edu/~bests/

**********************************************************************

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