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"Log in required."

Ummm, no thanks. Not for "The Times." No longer relevant for me as a news source.

But I will say something about misleading MPG estimates. To say that plugging in a hybrid will give you 200 MPG, 500 MPG, or 1,000 MPG might be factually true if you never drive it long enough to have to burn any gas.

But it would be COMPLETELY AND ENTIRELY MISLEADING as a reference to how much total energy it uses. After all, you're plugging it in, right? So where's the electricity coming from? Probably coal, natgas, oil, or nuclear power. None of those are "free."

I wonder which is cheaper, a KWH of electricity generated by your car, or a KWH of electricity generated by your local power plant? Well, somebody will know the answer, for sure.

There's also another misleading standard that some groups are wanting to implement. 90-10 Ethanol/Gasoline vehicles. I have no idea how well such a vehicle might run, or how long it might last. But what concerns me is that they want to report fuel economy in terms of Miles Per Gallon of Gasoline. This completely ignores the 9-parts of Ethanol for each 1-part of gasoline.

And Ethanol isn't free, either. We still expend energy to farm the corn (or strawberries or cherries or whatever else we can "manufacture" Ethanol from). It also costs to distribute it. And we pay for that when we put it into our tanks.

Certainly, we will eventually need a new standard of measuring energy efficiency for travel. But in the meantime, beware, folks. There are people and groups out there willing to mislead us.
 

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BIF: there is a point

I enjoyed reading the story in the NYTimes and suggest to BIF that putting down an argument after admitting that you haven't heard it makes you sound very closed-minded. Registration is free.

The people trying to build these plug-in Priuses are eco-friendly geeks who have put a lot more thought into this than BIF gives them credit for. Electricity can be certainly be polluting and expensive, as when generated from coal, but perhaps you have heard of such things as wind and water? Nucular power? I won't touch that subject with a ten foot rod. Solar technology, though, has in fact become cheap and efficient enough that it is now cost-effective to install home panels, especially here in CA where sun is abundant and electricity shortages (and price gouging) are a fact of life. How great would it be to also be able to power your vehicles this way!?

Besides, as the article and many recent essayists point out, some of us are as interested in these technologies for their promise of energy independence. Our foreign policy might be very different if the middle east were not so strategic. Anything that has the potential to bring neoconservatives and environmentalists together can't be all bad.
 

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Do you know personally of any solar or wind projects outside of California in use? We've been trying to get wind power established here on the Northeast coast for years. All the studies have been completed, the viability super and the liberal population all for it and very supportive until it gets to location. Not in my backyard! has been the acknowleged term for the past ten years. We have a company with all the permits completed, all the studies done and the approval of everyone concerned for a wind power farm which could supply all the electrical power used on Cape Cod except for the Massachusetts legislature. The fight against the project is being led by Senator Ted Kennedy. The farm is proposed for a shallow water area in Nantucket sound, (Kennedy's backyard.)
I expect to see all these methods used very shortly after the last drop of oil and the last shovel full of coal are expended.
 

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hyperion said:
Do you know personally of any solar or wind projects outside of California in use? ...
There is a "farm" of wind generators just off the turnpike in central PA.
 

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BIF said:
"Log in required."

Ummm, no thanks. Not for "The Times." No longer relevant for me as a news source.
That's what I thought too...

I wonder which is cheaper, a KWH of electricity generated by your car, or a KWH of electricity generated by your local power plant? Well, somebody will know the answer, for sure.
Well, it's simple to calculate....
Say I need one US gallon of gas to go to work and get back home each day, Ok? That is the equivalent of 36KWh, so you need to replenish the battery of that abount every night.
I, in Italy, pay 1 Kw 0.01 €, so battery charge would cost me 36 cents to rechange.
Pity to that, in Italy, to have such a cheap rate, are limited to 3 KWh, so "filling her up" would take me 12 hours of charge at least (without using electricity in the house). If I want more KWh, it's cost would be much more expensive.
 

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BIF is dead right, those "registration required" sites are idiotic.
Fortunately, there's http://www.bugmenot.com, whose PRIME front-page example of sites they help you
get around *is* nytimes.com. Don't become a statistic in someone else's meaningless marketing demographics.
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And that's "nuclear", not "nucular", lest thou sound as illiterate as certain high-profile figureheads that routinely make the same mistake.
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Now, gasoline provides an *ideal* 36 kwh/gal, right? Maybe 10 or 15 usable? Lessee, at about us $0.12
per kwh or thereabouts and taking losses into account, it might not be all that different from
the [current] price of gas. But I haven't really sat down and done the math; has
anyone else done this for ballpark u.s. pricing?
_
_H*
 

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Actually, the article was interesting. We happen to get the Times. The crosswords are still the best. The one thing that might turn you off to the plug-ins, is the photo of what appears to be 24 twelve volt acid batteries stacked on the floor of the trunk space. (Rube Goldberg)
That along with "the desire" of American owners wanting to fill up the switch blank on their dash when they find that the European models have an EV switch there which will allow them to drive their cars "ONE MILE" on battery power alone. "We just got to have one of those," even though there is a "caution note" in the European Owners Manual about using it. And that the switch was left off the American models account it could be construed to be in conflict with some of our States emission laws. My guess would be that the Cat converter would not be kept at the desired temp by computer starts of the "ICE" when the EV button is used.
 

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hyperion said:
Do you know personally of any solar or wind projects outside of California in use?

There's a large windfarm (around 30 machines) on the Colorado/Wyoming border just 2 miles east of I-25 that's been in use for at least 6 years.

I would LOVE to have a plug-in hybrid that could do these two things: Go at least 50 miles on a single overnight charge and at least 60 MPH. My commute has brief interstate speeds and is about 16 miles round-trip. It'd be great to have that be all-electric, with the gas engine able to get me lots farther for out-of-town trips longer than the 50 mile electric range. And more than one co-worker has said that's EXACTLY what they'd be willing to buy!
 
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