Hybrid cars becoming ever more political

Hybrid cars becoming ever more political

Summary: It's not just in California where hybrid and plug-in cars are a political issue. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is working to take the issue global.

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TOPICS: Government
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It's not just in California where hybrid and plug-in cars are a political issue. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is working to take the issue global. They have launched a campaign to get General Motors, still the latrgest car manufacturer based in America, to speed up its hybrid offerings.

Right now GM is promising its hybrid, plug-in Chevy Volt for sale by 2010, which means they will all be on pre-order next year.

Says UCS, "Hybrid technology has the potential to provide us with cleaner, more fuel-efficient options in every vehicle class, as exemplified by the Ford Escape Hybrid, Honda Civic Hybrid, and Toyota Prius."

Pluginamerica was founded specifically to lobby on behalf of the plug-in electric car. They have slogans to promote their cause, meant for bumper stickers, just like traditional issue politics. There are numerous tech companies on the plugin partner list: American Solar Electric, Blue Skies BioFuels, Gigawatt Solar, Liquid Sun, New Belgium Brewing (I know, old tech, but tasty nonetheless), Oceanlink Energy Solutions, Phoenix Motorcars, Silicon Valley Biodiesel. Those are just a few, also many publicly-owned utilities are supporters along with local governments. Thus the plug-in and electric cars have long ago become a political issue. But not one major political candidates will discuss often because they run the risk of infuriating the entrneched interests in Detroit which could lose any national candidate the state of Michigan. Thus are environmental issues influenced by the nearly random effect of the electoral college. If all our cars were made in Mexico or Morocco, it might be a very different political scenario for hybrid and alternative fuel cars in gthe U.S. Dream on.

Topic: Government

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  • They have printable solar cells now

    Should be easy to cover cars with solar cells.
    johnb9990
    • Yeah, but it would be futile

      A 150 hp car requires about 25 kw to drive normally and
      100 kw peak power. Sunlight is 1 kw per square meter.

      Printed solar cells are actually about 10% efficient. So you
      need 1000 square meters of solar cells to run the car.

      The average surface area of a typical car is about 6 square
      meters.

      This is why solar power always fades away as an alternate
      energy source over time. Once the snake oil salesmen have
      bilked the investors.
      frgough
    • cars are not the right application for cells

      You can use the solar cells for a pocket calculator or some small toy, but you might need months of charging to move a car only a few yards.
      So far only the hybrids are feasible for day to day transportation.
      Linux Geek
      • ...

        Normally I ignore you, but this time I have to point out that electric vehicles are more than feasible means of commuting to and from work. Now I do agree thin film is no where near close to being capable of providing enough of a charge while the vehicle is sitting for 8+ hours (that being the average length of time someone is at the office.) But that is where solar parking lots come in.

        Also wind powered parking lots for places that get lots of wind and little sun. (Chicago comes to mind). ]:)
        Linux User 147560
  • RE: Hybrid cars becoming ever more political

    The power the corps have over the government should be disconcerting to all of you. As for the alternatives, of course Detroit is hemming and hawing. Let them, the Japanese and Europeans will continue to move ahead and eventually when Detroit starts losing sales because Americans FINALLY wake up and realize that gas is too expensive to waste on that SUV (which if you look at insurance reports, are NOT safer than smaller more efficient cars! Amazing what you can find out when you talk to the insurance companies.) the demand for foreign hybrids will increase.

    As it is, we ordered a Toyota Prius for work... 9 months ago. We just got it 3 weeks ago. Dealers are having a hard time keeping these things on the lot. And I am seeing more and more hybrid vehicles on the roads now and less and less of the big @ss SUV's that once dominated and caused more issues than excess consumption of a diminishing commodity and so on...

    Wake up Detroit, you almost got your @ss smacked because you ignored the smaller more efficient Japanese cars. What you have to repeat history? Oh, in case you people forget the government had to step in and bail several of these auto monsters out with subsidies and tax breaks. (this is a reference to a post in the "Green tech cars will not get any federal help until November") ]:)
    Linux User 147560
    • ...

      [url=http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/campaign-2008/2008/01/15/auto-industry-woes-drive-michigan-primary.html]This link pretty[/url] much sums up what I just posted. ]:)
      Linux User 147560
    • bwahaha

      You spent $10,000 to save $5,000 in gasoline over the life of
      the vehicle.
      frgough
      • ...

        More than gas numbnuts. Try reduced maintenance which equates to more $$$ saved over long term. Try reduced emissions also try it's will add up to more than $5,000.00 over the life of the car. Especially with gas prices on the rise. So it's a long term wise investment.

        But you can't see that since your masters won't allow you to think for yourself.
        Linux User 147560
  • RE: Hybrid cars becoming ever more political

    When you take into account all of the extra energy and environmental impact of the extra parts required for a hybrid, not to mention the added disposal costs, the hybrids don't look like a very good deal at all. Even worse, the hybrids are often targeted to boost power rather than to save gas. Not for me.

    And I don't think much of Detroit automakers either. I wanted a small comfortable car with decent mileage. I ended up with Scion as Detroit made nothing in that arena.
    John73
  • RE: Hybrid cars becoming ever more political

    You have no idea of what a Hybrid really is don't you.
    wackoae
  • RE: Hybrid cars becoming ever more political

    1. The electoral college is brilliant. Not random.
    2. I guess you don't want this to be a free country. In a
    free country, people purchase what they feel they need or
    want. To augment this concept we embraced the free
    market system. Environmentalists are always trying to
    pervert the system. Remember, one of the reasons the
    free market system works better than any other one, is
    that no one person or group knows enough to make
    decisions for a whole economy. Education is OK. Trying to
    force us to buy what you want us to by is not.

    What makes you think you know more than me about what
    I need anyway?
    Hameiri
    • You have stumbled on the truth

      Environmentalism is nothing more than home for all the
      socialists who were cut adrift when the USSR died.
      frgough
    • ...

      It's the environmentalists that are to thank for the emission standards we have which have reduced the pollution caused by the free market that was negatively impacting our health.

      You can have what you need, without negatively impacting my health or the health of millions of other AND without wasting a resource that is diminishing daily.

      As for forcing you to buy what, that is what advertising is all about. It's subversive force. By playing on your ego they (the advertiser) convince you of a need, a need that really isn't a need but a want. Problem is most people have lost sight of what needs are and what wants are.

      This is to be blamed on advertising and the gross manipulation of ego to coerce people into buying what they don't really need at a price they really can't afford. Hence the high level of personal debt in this nation.

      Also if you look at the statistics from the insurance company (no, you won't find them on the internet you actually have to go to the insurance company for these...) you will find that the safety that is perceived in SUV's and large trucks is just that... a perception, that based on factual data collected by insurance companies you are no safer in a large inefficient vehicle than you are in a smaller more efficient vehicle.

      Hence marketing and advertisement has told you what you think you need... so you buy it with the thought you need it, when in reality your insecurity has been addressed by the advertisement so therefore you believe you "need" whatever it is being sold.

      [url=http://www.parallaxpictures.org/AdEgo_bin/AE002.01.html]Check it out[/url]

      The bottom line, I am sick of having to smell the exhaust fumes of wasteful vehicles. I am tired of traffic jams because cumbersome large vehicles can't seem to navigate corners without slowing down thereby forcing everyone behind them to slow down. And parking spaces... what a PITA it is to try to find a parking space when SUV's driven by morons that don't understand what between the lines mean and they take up 2 spots instead of one, or the moron that parks his Excursion in the compact spot... because it's too far for them to walk an additional 30 feet.

      The bottom line... someone is already telling you how to live and what you need. You watch TV, listen to radio, read magazines... surf the web. I don't watch TV, listen to radio, I use ad and flash blocking technology and where I live billboards are illegal. It's amazing how free you can be when you aren't being bombarded with lies about what you need.
      Linux User 147560
  • Why dont they pus the compressed air car?

    This car is wayyy better than the battery power cars, they also sell hybrid models that can use gas to power an internal compressor thus quadrupling the mileage.

    Battery powered cars require materials that have to be disposed of and recycled every five years... why not use compressed air then?
    Been_Done_Before
    • Define "wayyy"?

      The main issue with the compressed air car is the multi-thousand psi tank of air. (Ever seen the Mythbusters, where they pop the valve off a K-Bottle and have it rocket through a cinderblock wall?) So, would you rather a battery that could potentially catch fire, or a compressed-air bomb that is either horribly dangerous or so armored as to be incredibly heavy.

      Also, sure, I will agree that it's neat that the energy is stored in the form of air compression (basically a giant spring), but I remain dubious that you can run a compressor (turning your house electricity or onboard gas into air compression) and an air-motor (basically running a compressor in reverse) at the efficiency of a battery and electric motor system. The air system adds additional middlemen and moving parts (energy wasting friction).
      JJMach
  • Now you have stumbled on the truth

    I could care less what happens to our children so why do I need to care about the environment? Nothing we do to the environment now will effect my life so I'm gonna be an ignorant greedy capitalist pig consuming and wasting any resource in my path and then squeeze one out because I'm full of myself. HA!
    doesmatter
  • RE: Hybrid cars becoming ever more political

    >But not one major political candidates will discuss often because they run the risk of infuriating the entrneched interests in Detroit which could lose any national candidate the state of Michigan

    I don't know what 'entrneched' means, but moving on (yeah, I rant, but I at least try to keep grammar and spelling in the ballpark).

    The fact is, plug-in cars are stupid. They're a feel-good solution that's undoable in the short term and pointless in the long run. How do all you treehuggers think the power is going to get to the plug -- perhaps it'll be carried there by magical elves? I think not. Plugs require power plants and power line right of ways and 60 Hz EMI and all the other stuff you treehuggers are normally so violently opposed to. Heck, the plugs themselves will be plastic, and that means oil, and that rhymes with... er, excuse me. Gorebot says oil is bad, so we must believe.

    Fuel cells or solar panels or cold fusion or trans-dimensional taps or demons on elliptical machines -- any of those make more sense than plug-in cars, and that's why *rational* people don't see any reason to talk about them.
    Vesicant
    • ...

      Well this treehugger is looking at NASA [url=http://www.spacedaily.com/news/ssp-01b.html]and science to[/url] resolve that question.

      [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_power_satellite]And of course the[/url] inevitable wiki! Bottom line there are several solutions as to how to get the power and where to get the power.

      None of them rely on long term use of carbon based fuels to obtain. California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada to name 5 states, are excellent sources of solar power generation for electrical needs.

      [url=http://news.mongabay.com/2006/0209-solar.html]Original article.[/url]

      [url=http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/03/nevada_solar_on.php]And from the treehugger[/url] web site!

      [url=http://www.news.com/8301-11128_3-9907089-54.html]And this gem here![/url]

      So that's how we will get the power to the cars. Much of the infrastructure is in place for transmission. And now that oil is $104.25 at 1649 EST and subject to increases in the near future... the alternatives are starting to look pretty good.

      Damn! Them hippies were right all along! ]:)
      Linux User 147560
  • RE: Hybrid cars becoming ever more political

    "Entrneched"? The foam and spittle really seem to be getting in your way today. Checking my Rigoberta Menchu handbook, though, I see that grammar and spelling, along with mere facts, don't matter if you're PC enough.

    The fact is, plug-in cars are stupid. They're a feel-good solution that's undoable in the short term and pointless in the long run. How do all you treehuggers think the power is going to get to the plug -- perhaps it'll be carried there by magical elves? I think not. Plugs require big bad utility companies and power plants and power line right of ways and 60 Hz EMI and all the other stuff you treehuggers are normally so violently opposed to. Not to mention storage batteries and all the big bad 'chemicals' they involve: freight trains transporting sulfuric acid through your backyard! Heck, the plugs themselves will be plastic, and that means oil, and that rhymes with... er, excuse me. Gorebot says oil is bad, so we must believe.

    Fuel cells or solar panels or cold fusion or trans-dimensional taps or demons on elliptical machines -- any of those make more sense than plug-in cars, and that's why *rational* people don't see any reason to talk about them.
    Vesicant
  • Good ole Socialists

    So, you Central Planners think you know more than me? That I don't care about my daughter and the children she will one day have and the environment they will live in?

    Unless you believe that all capitalists collude with each other in limiting choice then you have to conclude that someone, somewhere, will produce a car I want to buy. Stop forcing carmakers to make a certain kind of car. If the public wants it, manufacturers will make it.

    BTW if society wants an electric car, then nukes are the only viable large-scale electricity-generating solution. An immediate nuke-building program is also one of the few things we can quickly do to lessen our dependence on foreign oil producers.
    riredale