October 17, 2005
Enhanced Hybrids in Austin
Jerry passes along the following:
On August 22, the City of Austin launched its "Plug-In Austin" campaign, a community-wide push to promote mass production of plug-in hybrid vehicles that combine the gas-electric hybrid technology with a larger battery that can be recharged through a standard wall socket. Alliance Associate Austin Energy has donated $1 million to help purchase the first round of plug-ins. The vehicles could reduce annual gasoline consumption by up to 70 percent, and be more cost-effective than hybrid or conventional vehicles. More information or to sign petition in support: http://www.pluginaustin.org
October 18, 2005 1:46 PM
Peter W Says:
Thats great, but I hope people down there realize that instead of plugging the gas hose into their car, they are instead going to plug their car into the electricity grid which is itself powered by natural gas, coal, and nuclear power plants .
I hope the people plugging their new cars in choose to use Austin's green energy program, getting electricity from wind turbines in west texas .
About 'green energy' though - does it follow the normal rules of supply and demand? I mean, if I use a bunch of green energy isn't that just driving the cost of it up so it is even less affordable? Or does more and more use of it drive the price down eventually because they can with the money they make afford to create more sources of it?
October 18, 2005 2:17 PM
Jerry Schneider Says:
The Austin Energy website says they will use electricity from windmills at night as that is when the wind blows most vigorously. I'm sure the normal laws of supply/demand will apply. I don't know how easy or hard it might be to increase the supply but I'm sure the price will reflect the relationship between supply and demand, unless there is a subsidy program that influences it. One must also consider the many benefits of having lots of vehicles getting high gas mileage, and the costs as well.
October 18, 2005 8:58 PM
Ron Swaren Says:
Recently I was in Brookings and the management of a local RV park had a GEM vehicle at its disposal. The Oregon Coast is both windy in the summer and the winter so electrical generation should not be a great problem. BTW, why could there not be small windturbines on the top of utility poles? Already windcharging for 12 and 24 volt systems is practical for marine use and the designs are becoming greater in wattage output. A ubiquitous design should become much less costly to manufacture.
Perhaps with readily available charging electric vehicles could catch on at the Coast.