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  • Murder by GM and Big Oil?

    I realize this documentary is a couple years old, but it is very interesting to see what GM and Big Oil did to the electric car. There were viable electric cars ready for the assembly line in the 1990s, but the whole program was quashed.
    KARMA!
    Fast-forward to 2008 and GM is on the verge of bankruptcy, the oil-dependent U.S. economy is listing badly to port and many working-class Americans can't afford to fuel up their cars.

    http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1809353030/details

    If we go back a 100~150 years, the thing that set the U.S. economy on its way to becoming a global economic superpower was Yankee Ingenuity (i.e., staying ahead of the curve, building better mousetraps, willingness to develop innovative technology that no other country had). Now the U.S. has a situation where the greedy, visionless old farts of the Big 3 and Big Oil are desperately trying to hang on to the status quo and are killing Yankee Ingenuity, thus turning the U.S. into an economic basketcase.

  • #2
    Hey, maybe in Bali you guys have $50k for a two-seat car that goes 100 miles before it dies, but not in these parts.

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    • #3
      Nice editorial from the NY Times, via last week's Denver Post:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/10/opini ... edman.html

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      • #4
        Aside from Big Oil and the Big Three, you forgot to include the Wall Street debacle. It should be fairly obvious that the extremes of unfettered capitalism would eventually lead to this. After all, by definition, the greed and wealth of a few individuals is more important than the overall health of the Society within which those individuals flourish, and take, and then take some more, and then go home to their gated compounds at night. Hopefully, the winds of change are blowing...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DrJay
          Nice editorial from the NY Times, via last week's Denver Post:

          http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/10/opini ... edman.html
          Friedman and I are on the same page on this issue:
          http://internationalbs.wordpress.com/20 ... mbination/

          (Note: Gratuitous self promotion of my blog )

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          • #6
            Blah blah blah blah. These people make it sound like it's as easy as baking cookies.

            The technology is unproven and overpriced. Let Denmark and Israel and Lilliput figure it out, work out the kinks, then try and apply it to a nation where people drive thousands of miles a year. For the rest of my lifetime, gas stations aren't going anywhere.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by gm
              Blah blah blah blah. These people make it sound like it's as easy as baking cookies.
              I like snickerdoodles, myself.

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              • #8
                Not remotely GM's most heinous act:

                http://www.lovearth.net/gmdeliberatelydestroyed.htm

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gm
                  Hey, maybe in Bali you guys have $50k for a two-seat car that goes 100 miles before it dies, but not in these parts.
                  Most people I know here harness Mother Nature's hydropower to get around. Actually wave power, just riding a surfboard from beach bar to beach restaurant to mini-mart to get whatever we need. If we ever need to go inland (gawd forbid) we hop on a 49cc scooter, pay 40 cents for government-subsidized gas and get it done.

                  But back on topic, there's really no reason for American Big Oil to fear the electric car. Even if 90% of Americans were driving them, oil/gasoline would still be needed for a thousand other things, specifically jet fuel, military vehicles, factories etc. What would not be needed would be foreign oil (i.e., Mideast Oil).

                  There would still be plenty of demand for domestic oil, but the money squandered on imported oil could be pumped back into the economy for R&D to build even better mousetraps in every industry, OR... use that money for school districts like the one in East San Jose (CA), which this week cut ALL sports programs at 11 high schools, including the ones that star tracksters such as Jeneba Tarmoh and Vashti Thomas went to.

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                  • #10
                    http://www.afstrinity.com/

                    150 MPG gas/electric hybrid engine. 40 miles per charge (infinity MPG if you drive less than 40 miles per day). 150K mile warranty. $8K cost that is recouped in 2 years (or less depending on gas prices). $1 per day cost to charge.

                    The company took it to all 3 US automakers, whose engineers loved it, but each board rejected it since it ruins their own hybrid engine plans. They are so freaked out by the technology that they didn't allow AFS Trinity to have display space at the LA Auto Show on the technicality that the claim of 150 MPG hasn't been officially certified by the feds yet.

                    They are currently petitioning Congress to let them retrofit an existing car plant to produce their hybrids as part of the bailout.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gm
                      The technology is unproven and overpriced. Let Denmark and Israel and Lilliput figure it out, work out the kinks, then try and apply it to a nation where people drive thousands of miles a year.
                      A perfect example of the kinds of backwards short-sighted thinking that has run the US the last eight years and has helped the auto makers get where they are . . .

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bad hammy
                        Originally posted by gm
                        The technology is unproven and overpriced. Let Denmark and Israel and Lilliput figure it out, work out the kinks, then try and apply it to a nation where people drive thousands of miles a year.
                        A perfect example of the kinds of backwards short-sighted thinking that has run the US the last eight years and has helped the auto makers get where they are . . .
                        Alrighty then, bh, big guy, you send me $50k, build me all the electric stations I need, and I'll go for it. You're the forward thinker, chunk in some cash and make it happen cap'n!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gm
                          Originally posted by bad hammy
                          Originally posted by gm
                          The technology is unproven and overpriced. Let Denmark and Israel and Lilliput figure it out, work out the kinks, then try and apply it to a nation where people drive thousands of miles a year.
                          A perfect example of the kinds of backwards short-sighted thinking that has run the US the last eight years and has helped the auto makers get where they are . . .
                          Alrighty then, bh, big guy, you send me $50k, build me all the electric stations I need, and I'll go for it. You're the forward thinker, chunk in some cash and make it happen cap'n!
                          Short-sighted, dude. Why wait around for other countries to develop this technology and then pay them for it until the patents run out as you suggest? Put our own big brains and research money on the job, and keep the profits here in the US . . .

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gm
                            The technology is unproven and overpriced. Let Denmark and Israel and Lilliput figure it out, work out the kinks, then try and apply it to a nation where people drive thousands of miles a year.
                            There are 250,851,833 registered passenger vehicles in the USA as of 2006 (according to the DOT) and they're not all driven the same amount. A significant if small portion of the driving population could and would use short-trip electric cars. But that's not the problem. The problem is that there are so few auto manufacturers in the US that it's not profitable enough for any of them to fill a niche, even one that could rapidly expand.

                            I used to live in a college town that was served by a small municipal electric company. They built wind turbines, roofed schools and an ice arena with solar panels, put a generator on canal locks and harnessed the methane emissions from the county landfill. All of these were good investments for a small company but aren't big enough for First Energy, the people who brought us the Great Northeast Blackout. I saw all the blackout coverage on the TV news because our lights didn't even flicker, while our town was surrounded by darkness. Small operations are big drivers of innovation and we all suffer when they get squeezed out of existence.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mighty Favog
                              Originally posted by gm
                              The technology is unproven and overpriced. Let Denmark and Israel and Lilliput figure it out, work out the kinks, then try and apply it to a nation where people drive thousands of miles a year.
                              There are 250,851,833 registered passenger vehicles in the USA as of 2006 (according to the DOT) and they're not all driven the same amount. A significant if small portion of the driving population could and would use short-trip electric cars. But that's not the problem. The problem is that there are so few auto manufacturers in the US that it's not profitable enough for any of them to fill a niche, even one that could rapidly expand.

                              I used to live in a college town that was served by a small municipal electric company. They built wind turbines, roofed schools and an ice arena with solar panels, put a generator on canal locks and harnessed the methane emissions from the county landfill. All of these were good investments for a small company but aren't big enough for First Energy, the people who brought us the Great Northeast Blackout. I saw all the blackout coverage on the TV news because our lights didn't even flicker, while our town was surrounded by darkness. Small operations are big drivers of innovation and we all suffer when they get squeezed out of existence.
                              Great post, very enlightening! Pun intended.
                              phsstt!

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