July 18, 2006
At the Movies: Who Killed the Electric Car?
Update 18 July 2006:
This morning's Tribune has an interview with the filmmaker and word that the film's regular run starts on Friday at the Fox theater.
Update 07 July 2006:
Perhaps it's too early to declare the death of the electric car. Here are a whole range of indicators that it may be coming back:
- Metro is about to join an organization called the Plug-In Partners that promotes plugging your hybrid car into the grid (or non-grid electric sources) to recharge overnight, trying to avoid gasoline use entirely on short daily trips.
- A reader passes along a link to a new startup working on electric vehicles.
- At the City Hall art show last night, I met a gentleman working on builidng electric-assist bikes. We already know electric bikes are huge in China and I think they could be here too (think about a zero-emissions Vespa).
Original Post 03 July 2006:
WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR? chronicles the life and mysterious death of the GM EV1, examining its cultural and economic ripple effects, and how they reverberated through the halls of government and big business. It explains why America can’t break it’s addiction to gasoline. It’s a story everyone who owns an automobile should see.
There will be a benefit preview screening of WHO KILLED THE ELECTRIC CAR? with Director, Chris Paine on Wednesday, July 12 at 7:00 at the Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd. Admission is $10 and advance tickets are available on-line at www.hollywoodtheatre.org/calendar/, or at the door. Proceeds benefit Livable Place.
July 7, 2006 9:52 AM
Bob R. Says:
The local Prius owners meetup group is organizing an outing to this event... so far 7 have RSVP'd "yes", 3 "maybe".
If you're a Prius owner are are very interested in the Prius, the Meetup web site is:
- Bob R.
July 7, 2006 7:25 PM
Ron Swaren Says:
It seems that in areas that have high wind generation capability electric cars could be an answer. The Oregon Coast has tremendous potential--for both wind and wave energy. OSU's electrical engineering department is plugging away on the Reedsport wave generation project: http://www.portofumpqua.org/port_projects.html Windpower farms, such as on the on the capes, would at least balance out one of the annoyances of the Oregon Coast--wind.
The real prize would be windpower generation in the Great Lakes region, with scores of millions of power consumers who could be a big enough market to really bring the cost of that technology down. Considering that this area is already paying more than the NW for their electricity, this shouldn't be so difficult.
In many parts of the country where electric power depends upon fossil fuels or uranium I would question the environmental savings of electric vehicles. But who knows..maybe some revolutionary technologies will surface. Just reducing the weight of vehicles would be one way to increase fuel economy.. How about light weight vehicles with diesel-electric hybrid power? 80 mpg on bio diesel?
July 8, 2006 5:19 PM
I like that idea Ron.
It seems though the Government doesn't have regulations and rules that would be benificial to light weight vehicles because of so called safety regulations.
Blame Ralph Nader for that one.
July 20, 2006 11:06 AM
Bob R. Says:
Tesla Motors made a media splash today by unveiling their all-electric high performance sports car. As with past startups, the announced vehicle will be shipping to customers sometime "next year", but in this case the company appears to have the backing, partners and capital to make it happen, and they already supposedly have 10 working prototypes.
Rather than tyring first to come to market with a mass-appeal commuter car, they are taking the approach of having a high-end product and continuing to refine the concept over time as costs decrease. Some have used the analogy of the VCR - originally debuted as a high-end $1000+ toy, you can now find them for $50 or their modern DVD-recorder replacements at well under $150. Thus, their first car sells in the $100,000 range.
They claim the "well to wheel" energy efficiency of their car is over twice as good as a Toyota Prius, and that the EPA highway range of their vehicle is up to 250mi per charge.
They are also working on an all-electric luxury sedan targeted for the $50,000 range.
Link: Tesla Motors
- Bob R.