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Faerie, The Magical Universe

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Going Electric: charge up v.s. fillling up

The price of gas has been increasing dramatically during the past 5 years. Drving a gasoline powered vehicle is costy and we are looking for alternatives. Manufactories such as Ford, Toyota,chevrolet present battery electric, hybrid electric, extended range electric , plug-in hybrid electric and feul cell electric vehichles to the public as THE choices compare to tranditional gasoline powered vehichles.

Driving one of these fancy cars with new(or not?) technologies brings many issues like if fire departments are well equiped to perform rescue when electric cars are involved, if it is convenient to have them repared especially when you are on a road trip cross countries, if it is enviromentally friendly as they promised, and if they actually save the use of fuel (hint: what generate electricity. yes, they say we can use solar, and/or hydro powered electricity; however the question is how practical it is and is it enviromentally friendly? hint again, the Three Gorges Dam project is criticised as enviromentally non-friendly.)

So, my friends, where do you think electric cars are bringing us and how far? Are they ture savor of our car-depended nature, or they are just a fancy toys which distracte our attation from questioning the necessarity of keeping gas expensive.

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    Jun 17 2011: we should all start walking....
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    Jun 17 2011: If people keep basing arguments and merits of promising technology on prevailing yet changeable circumstances including any existing mode or method or technology that already exists which it may replace, then nothing moves forward.

    We cannot approach progress solely on utility, viability, and measurability.

    A sense of wonder and a passionate experimentation needs to be considered and done.

    Asking whether we should consider new fuels or energy sources in replacement of existing ones is subtly different from simply considering new fuels and energy sources and hope that in the process, we discover something great.

    Electirc vehicles is great. Can it viably replace fossil fuel based vehicles? No; not at the moment. But some should pursue doing electric, and some should consider using electric and hope that a feedback loop is created to make things better or even perhaps discover something new through mistakes which will happen through the process of experimentation.

    Never discard the importance of the human element.

    The real issue with electric/battery/chargeable vehicles is not materials or cost or etc. Even when all these are solved, the real issue is interaction. Fueling up in minutes and charging for hours is the real problem. There are solutions present already but the infrastructure needed to pursue these are perhaps at par with infrastructure costs in pursuing other fuel/energy sources like hydrogen fuels and etc.

    Never a simple answer to these types of discussions.
  • Jun 17 2011: Electric vehicles do not make economical sense right now. Electric vehicles are too expensive for the amount of miles that can be traveled. In addition to not being cost effective, the these vehicles are also NOT green.

    Ask yourself where the electricity is generated. In the United States, I believe about 57 percent of the electricity is generated via coal.

    Also ask where the components come from to create just the battery systems alone for these cars. Lithium has to be mined and that creates a lot of destruction and pollution.

    I believe electric cars represent an important step in developing the technologies but these technologies are not ready to carry people about in a cost-effective eco-friendly manner.
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      Jun 17 2011: node for " [they] are not ready to carry people about in a cost-effective eco-friendly manner".

      Bob and everyone is reading this, Is it worth the effort to make the techologies work in the furture?
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        Jun 18 2011: we been ready for years. It's not like we are not use to technology changing on us.
      • Jun 20 2011: It is worthwhile to continually develop most technologies. Developing a cleaner process of generating electricity from coal and nuclear fuels for example.

        We should not just focus on one technology and I'm sure the world will not.
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    Jun 17 2011: designers and manufacturers of hybrids and or complete electrically driven vehicles need to understand that aesthetics play a far greater importance to the average man than the amount of Co2 it produces. lets cloak the Green advantages with bravado and gimmicks. its a win win situation
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      Jun 17 2011: haha, Preyen, I agree with you that "aesthetics play a far greater importance to the average man than the amount of Co2 it produces". There are many so-called GREEN things and actions out there are not as green as they appear. If one is so green, why not stop travelling, and stop watching TED so that gasoline and electric power can be saved. Thanks for your comment.
  • Jun 19 2011: Politics. Fossil Fuels make the West dependent on the middle East. Hence War.

    It's in the Government's interests to promote electricity as fear-mongering whole nations into believing there's a cause for war is expensive and tricky.

    Some figures estimate 60 - 75 years of petroleum resources left in the world. and 250 - 300 of coal. So we have time to come up with a suitable alternative, as "fossil" fuels, by very definition aren't easy to make!

    Hope that brings to light a political aspect of the discussion?
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      Jun 20 2011: Yes, Jack, politics is everywhere. Even the framing of electric cars as green and the degree of the needs of being green are politically intervened.
      • Jun 20 2011: There's even politics around the year of the pig and stereotyping... :P
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          Jun 21 2011: haha...Indeed....:-). I may start a discussion on the politics of stereotyping...
          Hey, we suppose to talk about cars and the furture of human race here. :-P
      • Jun 22 2011: distracted.
    • Jun 20 2011: After the giant mess in Japan, nuclear energy is bound to take a hit which is unfortunate since it is arguably a much more cost-effective solution to providing the electricity that these electric cars would consume.

      From what I have read, the reactors survived the earthquake as designed but were not prepared for the giant wall of water that hit them.
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    Jun 18 2011: Time to ditch cars, full-stop. What a wonderful world that would be..
    • Jun 20 2011: What is your solution to a "full-stop"?

      I do not imagine that world would be very nice. Horribly congested public transportation and energy grids pushed to the brink of destruction. Actually that has already happened within the United States.
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        Jun 21 2011: I have to agree with Bob here. On one hand, I'd like to see a society where the public transportation system(PTS) is so sophistic that the majority of the population has no need to own cars, and fairies are everywhere (just kidding). On the other hand, the logical side of my brain knows that it is not realistic in both short-term and long-term prospects.

        Besides what Bob mentioned, here are some reasons in point form (b/c I don't wanna write a grad thesis here):
        1. no fund to have more and better cars now.
        2. social ideology promote individualism
        3. PTS is not efficient now => cars are needed => dependency on cars
        4. PTS = low marketing outcome than cars => Market new technologies as for cars => more capital to refine and improve the technologies
        5. Live examples: South East Asia countries: public tran. = heavily depend on in the past , owning a car is one of the ultimate pursues today.
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    Jun 17 2011: Personally, I can't wait until photovoltaic cell technology will become so efficient and affordable that I can power my own transportation unit from my home that will require no energy source (once installed) other than what Ra provides.