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Scarier Than Your Worst Nightmare! Time to Wake Up America – Electric Vehicles or Not, We Are losing the Race

September 28, 2010

After reading Thomas L. Friedman’s recent Op-Ed in the New York Times, September 25, 2010, “Their (China) Moon Shot and Ours,”  a frightening feeling went through my body. I thought to myself, T. Boone Pickens, Thomas Friedman, to a small degree myself and many others, have tried in vain to get the message across on the energy direction and future of our country. We have been screaming this tune for a long time. Then why have our leaders on Capitol Hill ignored our pleas and not responded with the insight, foresight, courage and meaningful initiatives  that we entrusted upon them to keep America economically strong and technologically superior to the rest of the world

Mr. Pickens has spend over $82 million to get the message out and stimulate action. He is on the front lines in Washington, what more can one do. Thomas L. Friedman’s words have been streaming through major media channels for some time and still no action. Has the unscientific and unworldly ruled over basic science and economic?  I don’t know about you but I would be extremely concerned and frightened to know that the pilot flying the plane was randomly selected and given little or no training. That’s where we are now, spinning out of control with no true pilot’s hands on the controls.

In the editorial, Thomas premises the rise of the electric vehicle industry as a balancing point between security and prosperity. It remains to be seen whether electrical vehicles will be the magic cure-all cure for all our fuel evils. But what is true, China and other developed and developing nations, are rushing forward with a vision and tenacity to substantially change the nature of the petroleum game. In this respect, America should forget winning. We are not taking the race seriously to even take a place on the starting line.

Sure GM has the Volt, Ford the Focus and Transit Connect, and Tesla the Roadster and Model S. Yes, there is some ongoing domestic research into new battery technologies. What we lack is a national drive to condense consumers needs into purchases. As long as America provides inexpensive vehicles that run on cheap oil, I would lay claim that the growth of the American electric vehicle industry will be slow and erratic at best. But then again we may be able to purchase affordable foreign electric vehicles that solve some of the range issues and recharging concerns.

Many developed and developing nations are rushing ahead to bring beneficial technologies to market that will shape their future. On the other hand, America stands in wake and debates “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”  America’s unwavering resolve and “Win Win” attitude to put a man on the moon, pales by comparison to the urgency needed today to halt our fall into a technological and economic abyss. Shame on us.

Back to Thomas’s editorial, four notable quotes should be enough to enrage any American. Time to  wake up and take action.  What sort of action, the type of action that gets things done. A revolution in-kind.

First and foremost, let’s make the upcoming election work for Americans and not Politicians. Democrats, Republicans and Independent should all be thrown out for dereliction of duty and failure to “Promote the General Welfare, and Secure the Blessings of Liberty To Ourselves and Our Posterity.” Secondly, maybe standing on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Capitol Hill to show our collective disgust of our leadership, our direction and their insubordinance to our country by allowing America become a second rate nation. Maybe then our so called leaders will take the cotton out of their ears, standup, put on the boxing gloves and, no matter how hard, do something meaningful to keep America on par with the rest of the world. Forget writing, sending email and texting, most of our leaders seem to be incapable of reading. If they could, the message would be loud and clear by reading the headlines of any major newspaper around the world.

Sorry to get on the soapbox again , back to the quotes:

” ……. China has at least four (game-changing investments) going now: one is building a network of ultramodern airports; another is building a web of high-speed trains connecting major cities; a third is in bioscience, ……… and fourthly creating a dream team of 16-state-owned enterprises to move China off oil and into the next industrial growth engine: electric cars.”

“…….. America today also has its own multibillion-dollar, 25-year-horizon, game-changing moon shot: fixing Afghanistan.”

“The backbone of the modern U.S. economy was locally made cars powered by locally produced oil. It started us on a huge growth spurt. In recent decades, though, that industry was supplanted by foreign-made cars run on foreign oil, so “now every time we buy a car we’re exporting $15,000 of capital, paying for it with borrowed money and running it on foreign energy sources,”…….. “We’ve gone from autos being a middle-class-making-machine to a middle-class-destroying-machine.”

” Europe is using $7-a-gallon gasoline to stimulate the market for electric cars; China is using $5-a-gallon and naming electric cars as one of the industrial pillars for its five-year growth plan. And America? President Obama has directed stimulus money at electric cars, but he is unwilling to do the one thing that would create the sustained consumer pull required to grow an electric car industry here: raise taxes on gasoline.”

Thank you Mr. Friedman. Now it’s up to us.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2010 2:47 PM

    I hear all this talk about electric cars being the savory of the energy problem and pollution. I have yet to see anyone compare the pollution from electric cars to compared to a gasoline engine. Everyone seems to forget that most of our electricity comes from coal fired plants in this country.
    According to environmentalists coal is the most horrible form of energy because of pollution.
    It is OK if it is recharging your electric car. So does an electric car actually pollute more than a gasoline engine?
    We have huge oil shale fields that can power the country for 300-400 years. That would raise the cost of fuel since it is more expensive to process. Stop the imported oil and let the middle east sell t China. That would promote new ways to conserve if the prices were higher. But taxing and giving the government the money is not the answer. Cap and trade is just another potential government boondoggle of the highest order.
    In the mean time hydrogen power and natural gas should be given top priority. Clean and the most abundant fuel on earth.
    Thank you,
    Terry Riney

  2. Mehul Kamdar permalink
    September 28, 2010 3:25 PM

    Barry,

    Vehicles apart, the tax incentives on energy saving systems offered over here are not comparable even to third world countries. For example, a geothermal heat pump attracts a 30% tax credit over here. In India, a vastly poorer country, any kind of solar system (PV or solar thermal) used in industry, is eligible for 80% depreciation in one year of use. For homes, a subsidy of In Rs 120 (approximately US $ 2.25) per watt of output per home up to a ceiling of 25000 watts is offered by the Indian Ministry for renewable Energy. States in India offer additional subsidies in some cases, and some states mandate the use of solar water heaters for all new condominium constructions. I understand that all of the solutions used over there and in other countries may not be practical over here, but couldn’t the world’s most technologically advanced nation find appropriate technologies to offer incentives for stateside?

    Using currently available technology, it is possible to reduce the energy consumption of the average home by 30%. As a complete non expert, I would posit that it would be a lot easier to reach reduced home energy consumption goals than to mandate better fuel efficiency for automobiles. Yes, DC need to pull their heads out of the sand and look at solutions that could be easily implemented and which would work very fast using currently available tech instead of gambling on risky tech for cars that may or may not work and may or may not sell, even if the tech is proven to work.

    Incidentally, I am not convinced by T Boone Pickens’s initiative at all – after spending some very enthusiastic time on his forums, I came to the conclusion that all that he wants is to get more and more people to send e-mails to DC to help him in lobbying for his wind energy and natural gas projects. He does not seem to have any concern for doing anything beyond that.

  3. October 10, 2010 11:10 PM

    Barry,

    Nothing anywhere on the entire globe can even come close to making this next statement:

    We have a new E2E based design for a new larger all electric SUV that is SELF RE-CHARGING as you drive it down the highway ! 25 MPHs and up. Yes it’s designed to travel 55 MPH or more. Zero emmisions.

    We can prove this claim via our stationary prove of concept prototype.

    To download our DOC on our Armadillo SUV please go to http://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahangelinadelagostti DeLagostti Open Offer DOC rtf

    Thank You,

    Sarah Angelina DeLagostti
    http://www.DeLagostti-Industries.com
    CEO Extreme Engineer
    Manhattan NY City & TN
    United State Territories
    Skype: SaraAngelina007
    TN 713 593-0076
    NY 646 620-0881
    DeLagostti@aol.com

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