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

Robert Rapier: Oil demand is growing, not shrinking. There is no peak oil demand in sight.

[ Yes, this article was published 10 months ago, but with all the attention to fake news today, I thought it would be worthwhile pointing out that peak demand is propaganda, not based on facts. Since the goal of fake … Continue reading

Posted in Dependence on Oil, Electric Cars, Other Experts, Peak Oil, Transportation | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

What can California do about sea level rise?

Projected sea level rise from one meter (dark red) to six meters (light orange) in California’s Bay Area. (Weiss and Overpeck 2011) Preface. Nearly all, if not all, possible solutions to rising sea levels along all the coasts in the … Continue reading

Posted in Energy, Infrastructure, Railroads, Roads, Sea Level Rise, Sewage treatment, Transportation | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on What can California do about sea level rise?

Automated vehicles will lead to more driving and 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 | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

U.S. Senate 2014 Freight rail service: improving the performance of America’s rail system

Preface. This Senate hearing is mainly full of oil and grain industry leaders bashing the rail industry and asking Senators to do something about it. But the railroad industry is four times more energy efficient than trucks, and not guilty … Continue reading

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If we really cared about CO2, we’d reduce car size and weight, not make electric cars

Preface. Since my book “When trucks stop running: Energy and the future of transportation makes the case that it’s trucks that need to be electrified to keep civilization going, since biofuels don’t scale up, natural gas and liquefied coal are … Continue reading

Posted in Automobiles, Electrification | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Given the laws of physics, can the Tesla Semi really go 500 miles, and what will the price be?

Preface: Most people think that electric truck makers need to tell us the specs — the battery kWh, price, performance, and so on — before we can possibly know anything about their truck. But that’s simply not true.  We know … Continue reading

Posted in Electric Trucks, Electric trucks impossible, Fuel Efficiency, Lithium-ion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

What would happen if trucks stopped running?

Preface. In “Why You Should Love Trucks” I showed that essential supply chains depend on trucks nearly completely. Because of little inventory and dependence on just-in-time deliveries, our civilization would almost immediately feel the repercussions of trucks stopping.  That sounds … Continue reading

Posted in Cascading Failure, Dependence on Oil, Electric trucks impossible, Infrastructure, Oil Shocks, Transportation, Transportation, Trucks | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on What would happen if trucks stopped running?

Transportation: How long can we adapt before we fall off the Net Energy Cliff?

[ I first published this in 2014. After re-reading it when damnthematrix republished it recently, I saw corrections and updates that needed to be made, so here is the improved version. Keep in mind that  I am wildly speculating, there … Continue reading

Posted in Cascading Failure, Electric Grid, Energy, Exponential Growth, Exports decline to ZERO, Infrastructure, Infrastructure, Net Energy Cliff, Transportation, Transportation | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Anyone who whines about airplanes should have to take the Oregon Trail

Source: Book cover of “Oregon Or Bust: True Short Stories from the Descendants of Oregon Trail Pioneers, Prospectors, Trappers, and Settlers in the Great Northwest Hardcover” by Gentry Ward Cutsforth (2012), XLibris. [ In addition, I recommend the Louis CK … Continue reading

Posted in Airplanes, Lithium-ion, Transportation | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Off Road vehicles and equipment need diesel fueled engines for power, mobility, and efficiency

[ I’ve written many articles on why trucks are not likely to ever run on batteries or overhead catenary wires (and why a 100% renewable electric grid is probably not possible). Nor can trucks run on biofuels, liquefied coal, natural … Continue reading

Posted in Fuel Efficiency, Infrastructure, Transportation, Trucks | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments