Wouldn’t it be great if we could just twitch our noses and make that pesky internal combustion engine disappear? You, know, the root of all evil? The invention that has us deeply tied to the very countries that want to see us wiped off the face of the planet? The invention that pollutes our environment, makes us all fat, and causes us to watch “Dancing With The Stars”?
If only things were as simple as Plug In America would have you believe. I’m sure none of the “clean” electric energy promoted in the video comes from coal-fired or oil fired powerplants, and I’m sure they wouldn’t try to trick us into thinking that nuclear power plants don’t produce hazardous waste that will be a problem for thousands of years. I’m sure all the electricity they use comes from solar and wind power, because they just reject those dirty electrons and send ‘em back to the manufacturer.
Here’s the deal: until battery technology has an exponential leap forward, or until we devise another practical energy source, fossil fuel is the best we’ve got. I just spent two days driving a Chevy Volt extended range EV from New York to Detroit, and you know what got me there? Gasoline, to power the generator that provides electricity to the Volt’s batteries. How far could I have gone on battery power alone? The first day, about six miles, since charging the Volt tripped a hotel circuit breaker in the middle of the night, and the battery didn’t recharge. On the second day, an improper extension cord limited power to the Volt, so we again got only a partial charge. If I had to rely on pure electric-grid-supplied power alone, I’d still be somewhere in New Jersey instead of home from Detroit.
Mike and I will tell you more about the Volt in the coming days, but I’ll leave you with this: the Volt was damn impressive, and it’s the best compromise between practical and environmentally friendly that we’re likely to see in the near future. Maybe battery power and gasoline power can co-exist after all.
Source: Inside Line