Sunday, January 27, 2008

35 mph for 30 miles. Is this really fuel efficency?

KFYR has this:
In a world looking for "greener" options for everything from cars to flooring, a local energy company has some answers. Basin Electric Power Cooperative has created an all electric car. It is a Ford Escape but different from the cars for sale at car dealerships today. Basic researchers took a stock battery pack and converted it to a lithium battery pack. This means the car can drive on all electric power under 35 miles per hours for 30 miles." Basic is always looking into new technologies and as a regional electric provider it just makes sense for us to use and or conserve energy," says Michael Riedman of Basin Electric Power Cooperative. The conversion cost Basic about $20,000 but car manufacturers could make the transition for about $10,000.
This is a real intelligent alternative to fossil fuels, considering there are states that rely on coal to produce electricity. It's even more worthless in North Dakota. It is One Hundred Miles Bismarck to Minot, 90 miles Bismarck to Dickenson, Five hours Bismarck to Williston, 90 Bismarck to Jamestown and another 90 mile to Fargo then another 90 miles to Grand Forks.
Even if a person did get one your paying $40,000 for an in-town car that your not going to be able to do all you're errands in one battery charge. That's pretty bad considering I can get Elly all the way down to Sturgis, SD six hours away on a tank of 87 (fuel consumption is worse if I use the 10% ethanol and the E85 would wreck the engine, but that's another story).
The current technology with the lithium batteries aren't sufficient for me to want one during a blizzard either, because the engine will still have to be run to keep the heater running (something that's kinda important in -40 F weather).
While I understand the search for alternative energy sources, the lack of desire to actually get what we can now because of some bizarre notion that we are wrecking the planet ignores how the Alaskan pipeline has caused the Caribou to flourish and that hydrocarbons are all natural...but I guess those that eat granola for sustenance can't be bothered with facts.
There maybe a time where electric cars are feasible, but it may mean building nuclear facilities and wind farms...something Easterners do not want in their backyard, this means we will be using hydrocarbons for generations whether we use it to power our vehicles directly or through plugging them in. All this news piece is-is shilling for the local electric company, they didn't mention the shortcomings of the vehicle, I would imagine these two reporters should be getting a call from the New York Times in about a month.