Monday, March 30, 2009

An Energy Thought That Occurred to Me Today

As it was announced that the CEO of GM has tendered his resignation at the bequest of Congress, and the story went on to talk about the GM Volt -- the electric car that they are finalizing, a thought occurred to me....

The strength of the Volt is that you can go 40 miles on an electrical charge from your house. Okay, sounds great. A good to and from work car. And it will use gasoline and recharge its battery from that as I understand, so it CAN go farther. The story touted it as the first car that makes electricity a viable, cheap fuel.

Only is it? How can we count on that?

My concern is the Cap and Trade taxes that are being brought about to discourage most current methods of electrical production. Obama has PROMISED our electrical bills will go up, a lot. He promised it even in his campaign. There is even talk that the new power grid could have the ability to charge extra if we use too much electricity or keep our thermostat too high.

Where does that put using electricity to fuel these new generation electric cars? We might get a tax credit for it, but the cost of electricity soon enough may more than make up for that little reward for thinking "green."

4 comments:

Barb the Evil Genius said...

I don't get how electricity is green anyway. It is mostly produced by coal-fired plants. Perhaps if the electricity was made by a nuclear plant, or some other source?

Evan said...

The huge efficiencies of scale you get by burning fuel in one giant powerplant as opposed a small one for each vehicle means even if all electricity were produced from coal (though you're right, nuclear would be the truly green option), it'd still be a more fuel-efficient means to move our cars than combustion engines.

Electric cars are inevitable. We would get them someday when the technology and the economics align. Instead, the government will mandate efficiency, pick "winning" technologies with the expertise of lobbyists and bureaucrats, and supersede the markets by using cap-and-trade to just make everything more expensive.

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

Evan,

Exactly.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

On the other hand, currently electric cars are not environmentally friendly when they reach the end of their lives.