Filed under: Economy, Energy, Science/Technology | Tags: Electric Cars, Misunderstanding Climate Change, The Problem of the Battery
This is the Roberts electric car, built in 1896. According to the Daily Caller, it gets exactly the same mileage Chevrolet advertises for the Volt: a solid 40 miles to a charge. Robert Bryce, in an earlier article about electric cars dug up a clip from the Los Angeles Times, dated May 19, 1901.
The electric automobile will quickly and easily take precedence over all other kinds of motor carriages so soon as an effective battery of light weight is discovered. The very great weight of the storage battery as at present constructed militates against its use for automobile propulsion except within limited areas.
So this is progress over the last 100 years. The idea has been constant that there was a looming breakthrough of electric cars, just as soon as battery technology improved. This is not really fair, because battery technology has improved tremendously, but internal combustion engine technology has improved even more. Thousands of man hours of engineering talent have gone into improving the internal combustion engine and its associated systems. Every time the electric car was reintroduced to compete with an internal combustion automobile, it was less competitive than the time before.
Engineers have said that as far as battery technology goes, we have reached the end of the periodic table of elements, and we need some unknown breakthrough to have a significant change. We are, as I understand, not far from brownouts and blackouts, as the Obama administration tries to “bankrupt coal,” as Obama promised. We certainly aren’t going to get enough power from wind and solar to transport a society on electricity. Millions and millions of vehicles plugged in to recharge on the current grid? I don’t think so.
The impetus behind killing the coal industry, behind subsidizing electric cars, behind wind farms and solar arrays, behind the protests over a Canadian pipeline, behind banning drilling, behind banning the use of our own abundant supplies of fossil fuels is a mistaken belief that emissions of carbon dioxide are a cause of climate change, and that we can do anything about them in any case. We can’t.
Europeans are waking up to the fact that all their wind farms and all their solar arrays have had no effect whatsoever on the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and there aren’t any green jobs. And then there’s the fact that the planet stopped warming over ten years ago, and has been cooling a little ever since. The IPCC has been discredited, and the public is growing cooler towards the whole global warming enterprise. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who leads a coalition with Australia’s Greens, has just passed a carbon tax to the fury of a majority of Australians, so we will have a clear demonstration of how well that works.
This is a Detroit Electric, produced by the Anderson Electric Car Company in Detroit, Michigan. Production ot this automobile powered by a rechargeable lead acid battery began in 1907. Photo Courtesy of the Library of Congress. They really are cute.