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

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 , , , | 13 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 , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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

Why railroads are against running locomotives on natural gas

Since oil is finite, natural gas was seen as a fuel that could extend how long oil lasted by being a “bridge” fuel.  Since natural gas is finite also, and would lead to dependence on unstable foreign nations, the plan … Continue reading

Posted in LNG Liquified Natural Gas, Natural Gas Vehicles, Railroads | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Coal power plants depend on railroads to deliver coal

[ The extract of a Senate hearing below is mostly spent on testimony by utilities bashing the railroads for not delivering enough coal due to a disaster in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming area, where coal dust infiltrated the stone … Continue reading

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Matchmaking for trucks so fewer run empty after deliveries

[ These apps have the potential to prevent some trucks from returning empty after their delivery, which wastes finite diesel fuel.  See the full article here. Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com  author of “When Trucks Stop Running: Energy and the Future of … Continue reading

Posted in Fuel Efficiency | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Agricultural Transportation and Energy Issues. Senate hearing 2005.

[ After reading this hearing, I can’t help but wonder if the main reason for ethanol is to subsidize farmers.  It certainly does nothing for the energy crisis since the net energy is probably negative and at best break-even.    Since … Continue reading

Posted in Energy Dependence, Transportation, Transportation, Trucks | Comments Off on Agricultural Transportation and Energy Issues. Senate hearing 2005.