Category Archives: Transportation

97% of vehicles and trains run on oil which peaked in world-wide production in 2005 — the tractors to plant and harvest, the trucks to deliver food all depend on combustion engines that burn oil

MIT: Why the electric-car revolution may take a lot longer than expected

Preface. This study from MIT explains why price parity of electric and gasoline vehicles is likely to take a lot longer than 5 years, and perhaps never if cars continue to depend on lithium-ion batteries. Deeper cost declines beyond 2030 … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles, Lithium-ion | Tagged | 5 Comments

Why self-driving cars may not be in your future

Preface. Below are excerpts from several articles about why a completely automated vehicle is unlikely.  Heaven forbid they are invented. Researchers have found that people will drive 76% more miles, stop using bicycles and mass transit, waste a considerable amount … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oil Shocks. Airplanes are energy gluttons. Shut down the airports. Refine crude for ships, trains, and trucks.

Preface. As oil declines and the energy crisis worsens, airplanes ought to be the first to go since they are 600 times less energy efficient than large cargo ships (30,000 / 50), 50 to 120 times less efficient than trains, … Continue reading

Posted in Airplanes, Transportation | 4 Comments

Tesla pickup truck claims defy the laws of physics by John Engle

In 2017 scientists questioned whether the Tesla Semi could meet Musk’s claims (see post “Given the laws of physics, can the Tesla Semi really go 500 miles, and what will the price be?”). I suspect this is why Tesla has … Continue reading

Posted in Electric Trucks, Electric trucks impossible, Electrification | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

How Much Oil is in an Electric Vehicle? by Nicholas LePan

LePan shows how plastics, made from fossil fuels, make up so much of a car, plus lighten the weight so the car can go further on gasoline. Since fossil fuels are finite, many assume we’ll just make them out of … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Why technology can’t solve all of our problems

I have many posts about energy contraptions that have had hundreds of thousands of breakthrough stories in the media, yet here we are, without powerful enough batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, and so on to replace fossil fuels despite the exciting … Continue reading

Posted in Critical Thinking, Transportation | 5 Comments

Automated vehicles: more driving, energy wasted, & congestion

Preface. There’s no need to actually worry about how automated vehicles will be used and their potential congestion, energy use, and whether there are enough rare earth minerals to make them possible, because they simply can never be fully automated, … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles, Energy Efficiency | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

EV cars only go half as far in freezing weather

Preface.    Below freezing, li-ion batteries don’t perform as well.  Consumer reports found that about half the driving range was lost.  Perhaps this is why nearly half of PHEV/BEV vehicles are sold in balmy California, while the half of the states … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles, Lithium-ion | Tagged | 5 Comments

Quartermaster Meigs was essential to winning the Civil War

Preface. This is a book review of Robert O’Harrow’s 2016 book “The Quartermaster.Montgomery C. Meigs. Lincolns general, master builder of the Union army”. I can’t believe I never heard of him, but he is as much responsible for the North … Continue reading

Posted in Railroads, Ships and Barges, War | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Threats to America’s oil pipeline grid

Preface. At some point of energy decline there will be Americans who tap into pipelines to get scarce oil for themselves and to sell it on black markets. Just look at the massive amount of oil being stolen in Nigeria … Continue reading

Posted in Fuel Distribution, Oil & Gas, Terrorism | Tagged | 1 Comment