Category Archives: Automobiles

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

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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

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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

Not enough lithium to electrify transportation

Preface. Breaking news: The New York times just reported that there are only 25 years of zinc reserves left and goes on to say that lithium reserves are even smaller — just 5% of zinc reserves (Penn 2018).  The authors of … 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

Notes from “The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World” by Steve LeVine

[ My notes from 2015 “The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World” by Steve LeVine follow this introduction. I read this book because I’ve done extensive research on batteries and was surprised by all the … Continue reading

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A billion new autos by 2030 will kill climate change

[ By 2030 we’ll be 25 years past peak conventional oil production, as well as the tiny amount unconventional oil kicked the numbers slightly up from the conventional oil plateau, and there will be a lot fewer autos on the … Continue reading

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Natural gas is a stupid transportation fuel

[ My comment: The only reason natural gas has come up as a transportation fuel at all is the false belief that there is 100 years of natural gas (even this article does, but natural gas may last far less … Continue reading

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What is most energy efficient mass transit mode: bus, rail, or auto?

Before I get started on which of these transportation modes is better, consider how much lightweighting buses, locomotives, (and trucks) would save on energy.  I can’t find similar figures for trucks and locomotives, but the next 2 slides about autos … Continue reading

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Who Killed the Electric Car and more importantly, the Electric Truck?

Preface. Who cares about electric cars?  Civilization ends when trucks stop running, and trucks can’t run on batteries because they’re too heavy (93% of the cargo weight, 25% of the cargo space), and an all-electric truck fleet would require thousands … Continue reading

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