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DocLightning
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The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:43 am

http://news.yahoo.com/first-big-piec...-highway-gets-juice-170557062.html

Quote:
CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Following a trail blazed by Indians and pioneers in covered wagons, electric car drivers hit the road Friday to inaugurate the first major section of a West Coast "Electric Highway" dotted with stations where they can charge up in 20 minutes.

The stretch of 160 miles of Interstate 5 served by eight stations marks the next big step in developing an infrastructure that until now has been limited primarily to chargers in homes and workplaces.

This is an interesting example of how a little government investment can drive a big change in the free market.

There are three major barriers to the mass adoption of electric vehicles.

1) Lack of charging infrastructure
2) Charge-to-drive time ratio
3) Short range

This gets around issues (1) and (2). The frequency of the stations will reduce "stranding anxiety." Even if you miss one, you can hit the next one (usually). Also, the charge time is decreased at the higher voltage. 20 minutes per hour or so of freeway driving time.

That's still not even remotely competitive with my '10 Prius, which takes about ten minutes of fueling for every 8-10 hours of freeway driving time. But issues (2) and (3) will change with better technology (which is inevitable). Eventually, it will be more like ten minutes of charge per 2-3 hours of driving, and that is not so bad for most people who only rarely drive more than 90 minutes at a stretch.

When the price of fuel is so high and the price of electricity is so low, I think a large portion --even the majority of the driving public-- will start to embrace electric cars.

What do you think?

[Edited 2012-03-18 18:43:45]
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:01 am

http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2011/May/13051102.asp

Quote:
13 May 2011

A new carbon based material for supercapacitor electrodes could allow them to store the same amount of energy as a lead-acid battery but with much faster charge times. The porous material shows power densities an order of magnitude better than current carbon supercapacitors and can be made in a simple method that could be easily scaled to industrial quantities.

That is also going to change things a lot. The article mentions that the scientist who made this discovery thinks that it can be improved upon. With these EDLC's, it's possible that energy densities 3-10 times those of a lead acid battery could be achieved with charge times of a couple of minutes. That's pretty cool stuff. Imagine an EV that could drive 300 miles on a 2 minute charge. Not to mention what it's going to do to cell phones!
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StarAC17
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:46 am

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
That's still not even remotely competitive with my '10 Prius, which takes about ten minutes of fueling for every 8-10 hours of freeway driving time. But issues (2) and (3) will change with better technology (which is inevitable). Eventually, it will be more like ten minutes of charge per 2-3 hours of driving, and that is not so bad for most people who only rarely drive more than 90 minutes at a stretch.

Very true and exciting if this really gets going as it has to.

Oil in the long term isn't going down so we only have this way to go and the US is more than capable on supplying its electricity needs and will be for years to come.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:22 am

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 2):
Oil in the long term isn't going down so we only have this way to go and the US is more than capable on supplying its electricity needs and will be for years to come.

And even if we stick with coal, the carbon footprint from powering the US auto fleet by electricity will be much smaller than by using gasoline or diesel. And imagine the political implications.

I bet this technology will improve very rapidly. I'd bet that the next car I buy (5-7 years) will be electric.
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PPVRA
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:59 am

It's gonna depend on where the technology goes, as usual. Brazil has the infrastructure for ethanol, but for a long time, until more recently, it was a total failure. Lately it's still of questionable benefit, with ethanol only being able to compete with gas depending on how high gas prices go, and that's on top of the huge amount of taxes we already pay at the pump.

Once the technology is here, and assuming it is competitive with gasoline, there won't be a need for subsidies to build up the infrastructure. Just like there was never any subsidies to build up gas stations. This is only an issue with electric cars because the technology is obviously not ready for prime time, and as such, they need this type of thing to promote it.

It's a waste of money, and could well turn into a Concorde-type failure (an example of what not to do) if the technology doesn't pan out soon enough.
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mt99
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:33 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 4):
Just like there was never any subsidies to build up gas stations.

So - are you saying that not a single company that participates in the process of getting a gallon of gas dispensed in the gas tank of you car has NEVER gotten as subsidy?
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StarAC17
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:57 pm

Quoting mt99 (Reply 5):
So - are you saying that not a single company that participates in the process of getting a gallon of gas dispensed in the gas tank of you car has NEVER gotten as subsidy?

I think the point was that the money invested on building gas stations themselves where you go to get it didn't require a subsidy in construction.

The process of turning oil into gas most likely has.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 4):
This is only an issue with electric cars because the technology is obviously not ready for prime time, and as such, they need this type of thing to promote it.

It's a step in the right direction, we can't rely on gas forever so this is one of several logical steps in ways to take things.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 4):
It's a waste of money, and could well turn into a Concorde-type failure (an example of what not to do) if the technology doesn't pan out soon enough.

The Concorde failed not because it was technically deficient. It was loud and pissed off NIMBY's for good reason and it was a gas guzzler and not feasible for the airline industry post de-regulation.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:03 pm

Still waiting for a standardized exchangeable battery pack - fueling would mean to drive up to a station and exchange the empty pack for a full one.
 
mt99
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:08 pm

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 6):
I think the point was that the money invested on building gas stations themselves where you go to get it didn't require a subsidy in construction.

The process of turning oil into gas most likely has.

All the same companies.. no? Exxon, BP et al? -

It doesn't change the fact that the gas on you tank has subsides in it. Why not give same treatment to other fuel sources?

OR - take away the subsides for ALL fuel sources.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:42 pm

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 6):
The Concorde failed not because it was technically deficient. It was loud and pissed off NIMBY's for good reason and it was a gas guzzler and not feasible for the airline industry post de-regulation.

It was uneconomical. It could have been a huge success for transatlantic and transpacific flights where there are few if any NIMBYs.

[Edited 2012-03-19 07:45:29]
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:47 pm

I have my doubts whether the range of all-electric cars will ever be significantly improved. I think the automobile industry is going down the wrong route. By trying to design electric vehicles to be as close to traditional cars as possible, they will continue to raise false expectations and their products will continue to disappoint.

I think we should regard electric cars as another and a new way of transportation, and shouldn't measure it by the capabilities of fuel-driven cars. Electric vehicles will probably complement cars more than replacing them. For instance, why shouldn't we have electric cars for short distances in the city, and regular cars for cross-country driving.

Anyone who has been to a large Chinese city and seen the thousands of electric mopeds that wizz past without making a sound will know that the age of electric vehicles has already arrived. We just shouldn't expect it to be like fossil fuel cars just without the fossil fuels.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:48 pm

Quoting mt99 (Reply 8):
It doesn't change the fact that the gas on you tank has subsides in it.

Don't forget to mention the anti-subsidy royalties, taxes, bureaucratic licensing process/lack of access to new fields, etc. After all, you don't want to come across as biased in a discussion forum!
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:50 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 10):

I think you are closer to the right idea than anyone else.
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mt99
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:00 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 11):
Don't forget to mention the anti-subsidy royalties, taxes, bureaucratic licensing process/lack of access to new fields, etc. After all, you don't want to come across as biased in a discussion forum!

Aww poor babies... No wonder they businesses run in the red ALL the time..a

I am glad you accept that gas companies get subsidies, after all you don't want to come across as biased in a discussion forum by making it sound that alternative fuel sources are the only ones getting tax payer money.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:31 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):

When the price of fuel is so high and the price of electricity is so low, I think a large portion --even the majority of the driving public-- will start to embrace electric cars.

I think you can expect the price of electricity to skyrocket if electric cars begin to make serious inroads in the market, I read somewhere recently that if 10-15% of the US carpark were electric the US wouldn't have enough generating capacity to charge them up and continue supply to all other users at the current rates.
 
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:35 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 4):
This is only an issue with electric cars because the technology is obviously not ready for prime time, and as such, they need this type of thing to promote it.

At one time the automobile was not ready for prime time. The electric car is bringing with it lower emissions, access to wind and solar power, less dependence on energy that comes from unstable regimes. Lots of reasons to promote it.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 6):
The Concorde failed not because it was technically deficient. It was loud and pissed off NIMBY's for good reason and it was a gas guzzler and not feasible for the airline industry post de-regulation.

Actually those things are technical deficiencies. Add to that it's low range and low payload, and you have a pretty impractical product, despite the fact that BA finally found a way to make money with it near the end.

Quoting Rara (Reply 10):

Anyone who has been to a large Chinese city and seen the thousands of electric mopeds that wizz past without making a sound will know that the age of electric vehicles has already arrived. We just shouldn't expect it to be like fossil fuel cars just without the fossil fuels.

It should be interesting to see how things turn out. There are lots more things that can and should be done to promote electric cars.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:45 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 10):
For instance, why shouldn't we have electric cars for short distances in the city, and regular cars for cross-country driving.

Because I would have to fork out 15k for the everyday-to-work car, and then another 15k for the visit-parents-and-go-to-ski-vacations car. The plug-in hybrid approach makes more sense. Use the e-motor for the short distances, and if you have a longer distance switch on the gas engine - same effect as your two-car approach but less investment needed into the hardware  .

However, for the time being electric cars are more a shift of the CO2 generation from the road to the power plant...


BTW, back to the article: what the heck is a 45 kW battery? POWER is not the same as ENERGY. Annoys me all the time in papers. 1 GW of PV cannot replace 1 GW of nuclear, for instance. You'd need 9-10 GW to get the same 9 TWh per year. These mistakes take all credibility out of the news articles.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:59 pm

Quoting mt99 (Reply 13):
Aww poor babies... No wonder they businesses run in the red ALL the time..a

You should repeat this in the face of those hurting to pay for gas.

Quoting mt99 (Reply 13):
I am glad you accept that gas companies get subsidies, after all you don't want to come across as biased in a discussion forum by making it sound that alternative fuel sources are the only ones getting tax payer money.

All those "foreign interventions" are probably worse for the price of oil than whatever the government thinks it can "secure supplies".

Quoting Revelation (Reply 15):
At one time the automobile was not ready for prime time. The electric car is bringing with it lower emissions, access to wind and solar power, less dependence on energy that comes from unstable regimes. Lots of reasons to promote it.

Any new technology brings great promises. None of them needs subsidies, especially since subsidies means you have to take money away from another use (possibly funding of another technology) to subsidize electric cars, which may or may not pan out in the next 50 years without or even with subsidies. Worse, you may end up subsidizing an entirely wrong approach to electric cars that actually hurts widespread adoption and development of this technology.

[Edited 2012-03-19 09:00:26]
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:37 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 17):
Any new technology brings great promises. None of them needs subsidies, especially since subsidies means you have to take money away from another use (possibly funding of another technology) to subsidize electric cars, which may or may not pan out in the next 50 years with or even without subsidies.

Sorry, but subsidies have helped pretty much every new technology.

Aviation: greatly subsidized by government air mail, military R&D, etc. Money taken away from railroads.

Computers: first funded by government for calculating artillery tables and early atomic simulation, further funded for ICBMs and Apollo. Money taken away from human computers.

Electricity: public right-of-ways, huge hydroelectric projects, atomic energy. Loser: coal miners.

And yes, some things never pan out, but does that mean we should do nothing?
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mt99
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:52 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 17):
Quoting mt99 (Reply 13):
Aww poor babies... No wonder they businesses run in the red ALL the time..a

You should repeat this in the face of those hurting to pay for gas.

I do, actually.. i do it all the time as part of my job  
Quoting PPVRA (Reply 17):
All those "foreign interventions" are probably worse for the price of oil than whatever the government thinks it can "secure supplies".

SO,. you agree with stopping subsidies for oil companies?
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:12 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 16):
Because I would have to fork out 15k for the everyday-to-work car, and then another 15k for the visit-parents-and-go-to-ski-vacations car.

True, but if I understand it correctly, electric engines will have an amazing lifespan, because there is next to no wear and tear on the engine. The battery will age, however.

The first step would be to cut taxes for the second car. At least in Germany, if you have a second car you pay full taxes on it (considerable expense). I'm not pro-auto, don't even have one, but I'd love to see that done away with. People owning several cars for several purposes would help the automobile industry, and cut energy consumption in the long run.

Right now, if you're a family of four, and go on holidays once or twice a year, you almost have to get a car that is oversized for almost every time you use it.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:20 pm

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 7):
Still waiting for a standardized exchangeable battery pack - fueling would mean to drive up to a station and exchange the empty pack for a full one.

If you have a capacitor with 3-10x the energy density of a lead acid battery and a 120 second charging time, why do you need that?

Quoting Rara (Reply 10):

I have my doubts whether the range of all-electric cars will ever be significantly improved.

Much like people probably once doubted that computers could ever made practical because they filled up a room? We haven't even scratched the surface of the sort of electrical energy we can store in a given mass of storage medium.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 14):
I think you can expect the price of electricity to skyrocket if electric cars begin to make serious inroads in the market, I read somewhere recently that if 10-15% of the US carpark were electric the US wouldn't have enough generating capacity to charge them up and continue supply to all other users at the current rates.

It is a serious issue and we are going to have to build more power plants. I hope that they will be nuclear, but I doubt it will happen. My guess is that they will be mostly coal. That said, even the most obsolete, creaking, leaky coal-fired plant is far more efficient in terms of CO2 output per unit energy than a gasoline engine in a car. And electricity itself is a very low-loss medium. IIRC, typically, you can get >90% of the energy stored out of a battery. Conversion to mechanical power by motors is also very efficient with less than 20% loss in most cases.
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PPVRA
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:28 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 18):
Sorry, but subsidies have helped pretty much every new technology.

Nope.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 18):
Aviation: greatly subsidized by government air mail, military R&D, etc. Money taken away from railroads.

Aviation was invented in the private sector. Further development of it has benefited from subsidies, but my point is that it isn't needed, just like cars never got the same benefit and have come a long way on their own.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 18):
Computers: first funded by government for calculating artillery tables and early atomic simulation, further funded for ICBMs and Apollo. Money taken away from human computers.

The history of computing goes much further back than the 1900s.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 18):
Electricity: public right-of-ways, huge hydroelectric projects, atomic energy. Loser: coal miners.

Electricity: another private sector invention, just like the telephone.

Public rights of way: unnecessary.

Huge hydroelectric projects: unnecessary and environmentally harmful.

Atomic energy: used to kill people, and as far as electricity generation, apparently uses technology heavily influenced by the first murderous purpose due to the R&D subsidies used in that field while there are other nuclear technologies that are less troublesome alternatives that didn't get subsidized.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 18):
And yes, some things never pan out, but does that mean we should do nothing?

Who wants to do nothing? Not me!

Technology serves one purpose: to make our lives better. Subsidies serve to hide the true cost of technologies, and hiding true costs only serves to fool us into making wrong choices.

[Edited 2012-03-19 10:46:49]
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:00 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 22):
The history of computing goes much further back than the 1900s.

Yes, and Babbidge was subsidised by the government too.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 22):
Aviation was invented in the private sector.

Guess who the Wright Brothers first customer was? You got it, the US Army!

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 22):
Further development of it has benefited from subsidies, but my point is that it isn't needed

Who knows? Many many technologies would not exist without subsidies. Some may have come to fruition on their own, other might not have.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 22):
Subsidies serve to hide the true cost of technologies, and hiding true costs only serves to fool us into making wrong choices.

When you are emperor of the world, feel free to start banning subsidies.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 21):
My guess is that they will be mostly coal.

Natural gas is making a big comeback with recent finds.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 21):
That said, even the most obsolete, creaking, leaky coal-fired plant is far more efficient in terms of CO2 output per unit energy than a gasoline engine in a car.

  
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:21 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):
Yes, and Babbidge was subsidised by the government too.

And that project never went anywhere.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):
Guess who the Wright Brothers first customer was? You got it, the US Army!

Did they use US Army funds to research and build the Wright Flyer? Nope, while others did indeed and failed.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):
When you are emperor of the world, feel free to start banning subsidies.

I don't like manipulating people or demanding they do things against their will, so clearly you are a much better fit for the job.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:25 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 22):
Public rights of way: unnecessary.

Wait, you think the Interstate system is unnecessary? It should have been built completely free-market?

Wow... imagine if we'd done it your way. We'd have nothing but surface streets all over the country.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 24):
Did they use US Army funds to research and build the Wright Flyer? Nope, while others did indeed and failed.

They most certainly did. They just did so retroactively.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:38 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 25):
Wait, you think the Interstate system is unnecessary? It should have been built completely free-market?

Wow... imagine if we'd done it your way. We'd have nothing but surface streets all over the country.

"The Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike, first used in 1795, is the first long-distance paved road built in the United States

. . .

because the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania could not afford to pay for its construction, it was privately built by the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike Road Company."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_and_Lancaster_Turnpike


I guess the private sector started before the public sector.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:46 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 22):
just like cars never got the same benefit and have come a long way on their own.

Wrong. The automobile struggled in its early days because the infrastructure (mostly dirt roads) could not support it. The automobile became popular as the government subsidized and built roads that would support autos.
 
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:51 pm

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 27):
Wrong. The automobile struggled in its early days because the infrastructure (mostly dirt roads) could not support it. The automobile became popular as the government subsidized and built roads that would support autos.

Struggled, but did not stop it. And road subsidies at best influence which technologies automakers are going to invest in, not whether they will build cars or not.

Sorry, but wrong again.

[Edited 2012-03-19 11:52:16]
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
mt99
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:55 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 22):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 18):
Sorry, but subsidies have helped pretty much every new technology.

Nope.

This is an intersting govermnet agency

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 26):

because the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania could not afford to pay for its construction, it was privately built by the Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike Road Company."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_and_Lancaster_Turnpike

I guess the private sector started before the public sector.

But only the government could make it viable.. Using tax dollars..

See, i don't understand, you say that successful idea do not need subsidies. But Gasoline production in subsidized.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:03 pm

Quoting mt99 (Reply 29):
This is an intersting govermnet agency

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA

An agency that takes private funds from the market, and diverts it to military use. Highly inefficient and expensive.

Quoting mt99 (Reply 29):
But only the government could make it viable.. Using tax dollars..

Wrong.

Quoting mt99 (Reply 29):
See, i don't understand, you say that successful idea do not need subsidies. But Gasoline production in subsidized.

But it certainly doesn't need it.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:05 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 30):
But it certainly doesn't need it.

Oh yes it does. If the oil companies had to fund all the wars we've had to fight on their behalf, gasoline would be well over $10/gallon.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:06 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 31):
Oh yes it does. If the oil companies had to fund all the wars we've had to fight on their behalf, gasoline would be well over $10/gallon.

That I agree, but we don't need those wars.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
mt99
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:12 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 30):
Quoting mt99 (Reply 29):
This is an intersting govermnet agency

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA

An agency that takes private funds from the market, and diverts it to military use. Highly inefficient and expensive.

It doesn't have a budget from the Department of Defense?

http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Budget.aspx

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 30):


Quoting mt99 (Reply 29):
But only the government could make it viable.. Using tax dollars..

Wrong.

.

Then why didn't the private companies build it?

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 30):
But it certainly doesn't need it.

Good - So you agree with Obama''s plan to stop their subsidies.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 22):
Huge hydroelectric projects: unnecessary and environmentally harmful.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:25 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 24):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):
Yes, and Babbidge was subsidised by the government too.

And that project never went anywhere.

The fact that I could mention his name and you knew it is substantial. Sure, his computers never ended up being used during his lifetime, but it has been proven recently using the technology of his era that his designs worked.

So, show me where the computer business took off without lots of government help. Konrad Zuse? Hitler ended up funding him. US efforts? Huge government sponsorship.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 24):
Did they use US Army funds to research and build the Wright Flyer? Nope, while others did indeed and failed.

No, and they didn't use corporate funds either, and indeed the military was their first customer.

Quoting mt99 (Reply 29):

This is an intersting govermnet agency

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DARPA

Yes, the actual inventors of the Internet, and indeed government funded.
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MD-90
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:29 pm

Yawn. Somebody wake me up when a hybrid or electric is built that isn't either dreadfully expensive (Fisker and Karma), woefully impractical (Leaf) or unbelievably boring to drive (Prius).
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:37 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 28):
Struggled, but did not stop it. And road subsidies at best influence which technologies automakers are going to invest in, not whether they will build cars or not.

No one would have bought the cars, if they didn't have roads to drive them on. The auto survived and thrived because there were roads already in existence...albeit not great ones. The automotive industry grew and technologically innovated as the road network grew and improved.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 24):
I don't like manipulating people or demanding they do things against their will

Manipulating people is a hallmark of the free market. Lots of people are manipulated into buying all kinds of technology they don't really need.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 22):
Subsidies serve to hide the true cost of technologies, and hiding true costs only serves to fool us into making wrong choices.

So I guess building roads was the wrong choice and we should all still just use horses on dirt paths!
 
Rara
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:29 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 21):
Much like people probably once doubted that computers could ever made practical because they filled up a room? We haven't even scratched the surface of the sort of electrical energy we can store in a given mass of storage medium.

Yeah, but specialists never really doubted the potentials of computing, did they? They even formulated Murphy's Law and almost institutionalized technological progress..

In the case of electric mobility: I'm not an engineer, but I've been part of a research project about it, and I've spoken to a number of engineers who said that they expect evolutionary progress, not revolutionary progress. Meaning that according to them, we've got a pretty clear idea what energy storage can and can't do, and that will likely not be overturned in the medium term. Of course nobody knows that for sure, but we shouldn't steam ahead, ignore the somewhat limited capabilities of batteries and say, oh, it'll all be perfect tomorrow, the future is totally electric.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:02 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 37):
In the case of electric mobility: I'm not an engineer, but I've been part of a research project about it, and I've spoken to a number of engineers who said that they expect evolutionary progress, not revolutionary progress. Meaning that according to them, we've got a pretty clear idea what energy storage can and can't do, and that will likely not be overturned in the medium term.

Did you see the article I just posted in post #2? 10x improvement in capacitance... and that's without the sorts of refinements we will almost certainly see as the technology comes to market. I'd bet that EDLC's based on graphene will come next.

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 35):
unbelievably boring to drive (Prius).

It's no more boring than any other four-door sedan in its general class.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:03 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 37):

Yeah, but specialists never really doubted the potentials of computing, did they? They even formulated Murphy's Law and almost institutionalized technological progress..

Are you meaning Moore's law? Murphy's law has been around a lot longer than Moore's and applies to pretty much everything in existence, and pretty much speaks against "progress".  

Also Moore's Law is more of a "rule of thumb" than a true "law" of science and nature. And a big part of the reason it works is that it has become the computing industry's guide by which they plan their research and resources. But it is otherwise also uncannily accurate!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_law

Quoting Rara (Reply 37):
In the case of electric mobility: I'm not an engineer, but I've been part of a research project about it, and I've spoken to a number of engineers who said that they expect evolutionary progress, not revolutionary progress. Meaning that according to them, we've got a pretty clear idea what energy storage can and can't do, and that will likely not be overturned in the medium term. Of course nobody knows that for sure, but we shouldn't steam ahead, ignore the somewhat limited capabilities of batteries and say, oh, it'll all be perfect tomorrow, the future is totally electric.

However that ignores parallel technologies such as fuel cells and constant speed generators which can be essentially "dropped in" in place of batteries. Basically as electric drive systems come into their own and improve (which the limitations of batteries demand so as to maximize any usefulness of batteries), these other technologies will also develop and become better. This is actually terrific becasue then you have competition in the development of powerplants. Right now batteries are the most established but the others are progressing.

Tugg
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:20 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 10):

I have my doubts whether the range of all-electric cars will ever be significantly improved.

But it is incrementally every year. Beyond that, there are the ever-present big breakthrough announced and coming down the pike. We shall see.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 17):
All those "foreign interventions" are probably worse for the price of oil than whatever the government thinks it can "secure supplies".

That's right. We should have let Sadaam keep Kuwait. The let him move right on down through Saudi Arabia and into the the Gulf States. If not for our pesky intervention, the entire region would be a peaceful, prosperous area for sure.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 21):
My guess is that they will be mostly coal.

No. Coal use is declining every year. Natuarl gas is where its at.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 22):
just like cars never got the same benefit and have come a long way on their own.

That's just ignorant. Even today, gas engines are receiving substantial subsidies in the way of National Laboratory Research. If you'd like a clue, look at the energy budgets for the last years.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 28):
Struggled, but did not stop it.

OK, by your argument, the government has not invented the airplane, the car, nor most everything else so helping them after invention is ok. So the electric car which was at one time quite popular was first built by private enterprise - in 1829. Among other things, subsidies and legislation to the oil and gas industry helped oil significantly in eliminating all forms of electric transportation, including buses. Big oil has always had good lobbyists.

 
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:39 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 37):
Yeah, but specialists never really doubted the potentials of computing, did they?

There are various quotes around saying that in the 50s, IBM was afraid to enter the computer business because it thought the country would only ever need five computers, and in the 80s, the CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation (#2 largest comp maker back then) saying he didn't understand why anyone would want a computer in their house.

I don't know where you want to draw the line in the sand, but clearly early computers were power-hungry, space-hungry, enormously expensive and by today's standards, quite unreliable. It would not surprise me one bit if experts of this era would have had a hard time predicting the PC, never mind the smartphone.

There were a whole series of improvements that changed the picture dramatically. The biggest leaps were the silicon transistor, the integrated circuit, DRAM memory, the CMOS transistor, the microprocessor, and many others I'm forgetting. Also there were countless tiny leaps that improved the reliability, density, energy efficiency, and cost to the point were people routinely carry computers in their pockets.
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signol
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:45 pm

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 7):
Still waiting for a standardized exchangeable battery pack - fueling would mean to drive up to a station and exchange the empty pack for a full one.

I thought of that about 20 years ago, shame the concept has yet to take off.

Or how about for the major highways, an electrified overhead mesh (like at fairground dodgems) to elimiate the need to charge, at least on long distance travel? Then only the shorter part would need it.

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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:27 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 41):
There are various quotes around saying that in the 50s, IBM was afraid to enter the computer business because it thought the country would only ever need five computers, and in the 80s, the CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation (#2 largest comp maker back then) saying he didn't understand why anyone would want a computer in their house.

And Bill Gates:
"I laid out memory so the bottom 640K was general purpose RAM and the upper 384 I reserved for video and ROM, and things like that. That is why they talk about the 640K limit. It is actually a limit, not of the software, in any way, shape, or form, it is the limit of the microprocessor. That thing generates addresses, 20-bits addresses, that only can address a megabyte of memory. And, therefore, all the applications are tied to that limit. It was ten times what we had before. But to my surprise, we ran out of that address base for applications within—oh five or six years people were complaining."

Quoting signol (Reply 42):
Or how about for the major highways, an electrified overhead mesh (like at fairground dodgems) to elimiate the need to charge, at least on long distance travel? Then only the shorter part would need it.

It would make more sense to imbed an induction loop in the roadbed. But that would be a lot more costly than charging stations spaced every several miles.
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Rara
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:58 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 39):

Are you meaning Moore's law? Murphy's law has been around a lot longer than Moore's and applies to pretty much everything in existence, and pretty much speaks against "progress".

Ah bugger   kinda confirmed old Murphy there. Thanks for pointing it out.
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mham001
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:25 am

Quoting signol (Reply 42):
Or how about for the major highways, an electrified overhead mesh (like at fairground dodgems) to elimiate the need to charge, at least on long distance travel?

Already being heavily researched, albeit it will be wireless embedded in the road.
 
StarAC17
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:25 am

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 7):

Still waiting for a standardized exchangeable battery pack - fueling would mean to drive up to a station and exchange the empty pack for a full one.

That seems to be a logical step the problem is that would have to be stadardised so it could be made to fit all cars or a select few for different sizes.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 15):

Actually those things are technical deficiencies. Add to that it's low range and low payload, and you have a pretty impractical product, despite the fact that BA finally found a way to make money with it near the end.

Fair point.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 17):
You should repeat this in the face of those hurting to pay for gas.

In theory it should be a wash because the hike in gas prices would be balanced by a theoretical tax cut and those of us whom don't have a car don't have to subsidize drivers. However the same case can be used by driver's whom don't want to subsidize transit.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 21):
t is a serious issue and we are going to have to build more power plants. I hope that they will be nuclear, but I doubt it will happen.

It should be all of the above including nuclear, natural gas, clean coal, solar and wind. In fact as solar technology improves why can't it be placed on areas of a car to power certain things.
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:57 am

Quoting mt99 (Reply 33):
Then why didn't the private companies build it?

They did. Read the article.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 34):
So, show me where the computer business took off without lots of government help. Konrad Zuse? Hitler ended up funding him. US efforts? Huge government sponsorship.

Thanks to this stuff popping up exactly during the years it did, it should't be surprising that the first major costumers were military and that they funded a lot of the early development.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 36):
No one would have bought the cars, if they didn't have roads to drive them on. The auto survived and thrived because there were roads already in existence...albeit not great ones. The automotive industry grew and technologically innovated as the road network grew and improved.

And that road network could have been grown through the private sector, instead of the public sector, just like the turnpike I mentioned above.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 36):
Manipulating people is a hallmark of the free market. Lots of people are manipulated into buying all kinds of technology they don't really need.

Manipulation is literally what subsidies and social engineering are about. This is what you believe in, not me - and most certainly not what free markets are about.


Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 36):
So I guess building roads was the wrong choice and we should all still just use horses on dirt paths!

You build an excessive amount of roads and without any regards as to when they should be built and whether they are even sustainable.

Quoting mham001 (Reply 40):
That's right. We should have let Sadaam keep Kuwait. The let him move right on down through Saudi Arabia and into the the Gulf States. If not for our pesky intervention, the entire region would be a peaceful, prosperous area for sure.

Do you read the news?

        

Quoting mham001 (Reply 40):
That's just ignorant. Even today, gas engines are receiving substantial subsidies in the way of National Laboratory Research. If you'd like a clue, look at the energy budgets for the last years.

Car technology have had just about zero subsides from government since they have come about, ignoring the minimal involvement lately with fuel efficiency. Massive road subsidies provide a boost for economies of scale and profits, that's 99% of it's impact. The other 1% is a distortion of car design, not necessarily more technologically advanced, just in a different way.

Quoting mham001 (Reply 40):
OK, by your argument, the government has not invented the airplane, the car, nor most everything else so helping them after invention is ok. So the electric car which was at one time quite popular was first built by private enterprise - in 1829. Among other things, subsidies and legislation to the oil and gas industry helped oil significantly in eliminating all forms of electric transportation, including buses. Big oil has always had good lobbyists.

Subsidies to ROADS eliminated electric street cars.
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mham001
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:57 am

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 47):
Car technology have had just about zero subsides from government since they have come about, ignoring the minimal involvement lately with fuel efficiency.

It sometimes astounds me the things people write with apparent straight faces. I'd be curious about your expertise regarding National Lab research, but in short, what is your source for that comment? http://www.cfo.doe.gov/budget/12budget/Content/volume3.pdf

The idea that oil and gas are not getting subsidies, and have not since the early 1900's is ludicrous. Here is a snippet of recent history.....

That chart is part of a very interesting report produced by the State of Texas. They would probably know a thing or two about oil... http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/energy/subsidies/

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 47):
Subsidies to ROADS eliminated electric street cars.

I see. You've been reading Wikipedia.

Now, go research National City Lines. It's an interesting story about a few small companies getting together and systematically destroying electric bus and trolley service in at least 44 cities across the US. In fact, they were convicted of conspiring to monopolize in 1948. Their names? General Motors, Standard Oil of California (Chevron), Phillips Petroleum, Mack Trucks and Firestone.
 
mt99
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RE: The Rise Of The Electric Highway

Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:52 am

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 47):
Quoting mt99 (Reply 33):
Then why didn't the private companies build it?

They did. Read the article.

Ok got it - i misread it the first time. I apologize.

But in any case - the Private company did not built it until PA determined it could not afford to do built it itself... So the concept was a Government Concept- funded with Government Dollars.

http://explorepahistory.com/hmarker.php?markerId=1-A-28D

[Edited 2012-03-19 19:58:06]
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