30 Sep The Electric Automobile
With 34 years as a deep sea mariner (tugboat work is usually, though not always, considered near coastal deployements) I have become familir with battery powered forklifts that are similiar to battery powered automobiles. – The United States Navy has, on the, “wet side,” of 32nd Street, San Diego, large solar panels that recharge electric powered automobiles. The pros and cons of the electric vehicle is to be explained here.
The electric automobile does not contribute to Global warming when its batteries are recharge by solar panels such as the automobiles on the, “wet side,” of 32nd street, San Diego.
The most economical electrical power is provided by hydro-power such as electricity produced by the Grand Coolee and Hoover dams. I am in disfavor, as is the mechanical/nuclear engineer who advises me, of nuclear powered electrical plants because of the radioactive waste; be that as it may, nuclear power is the second economical method to produce electricity followed by coal. – There are only two coal mines in California, the depleted lignite mine near Mount Diablo and another lignite mine located 100 miles east of San Francisco. To contemplate the use of lignite coal anywhere in California is dead upon arrival. – Wind and Solar generated electricity rounds out the cost effectiveness of electrical power. – The utilization of tidal electrical generators in the San Francisco Bay areas is in the experimental stage.
An electrical automobile that is recharged by a hydro-powered, solar and wind powered generators does not contribute to Global Warming though there is the electrical/energy transfer loss. When an energy source is transferred, such as from a generator to a battery, there is a standard 20 per cent loss of power, as dictated by the law of thermodynamics. – Now it must be known, where does the Fifth Congressional District derive its electrical power? This is the question that I asked a veteran employee of the Pacific Gas and Electrical Company (PG&E) and was surprised to learn that the Benicia-Vallejo area receives much of its electrical energy that originates from, of all places, far away Texas. Some electricity could come from the nuclear power plant located at Danville which is scheduled to be closed down within six years.- Hence an electric automobile that is recharged from a residential house, is counter-productive as it loses 20 per cent of energy and burdens the local grid that derives its energy from a petroleum fueled electrical plant. – There is also an impasse with the energy stored in a battery compared to gasoline. Lithium batteries – very expensive – has about 50 per cent of the energy of an gasoline powered automobile. Then there is the time factor, to recharge a lithium automobile battery, which is about six hours. A forced fast recharge is not as effective as a slow recharge and could impair the battery. Experience has demonstrated that after a 1,000 recharges, a lithium battery no longer retains a charge and has to be replaced which is expensive. – When the heater and/or the air condition is used, the endurance of a battery powered automobile is diminished. – Then there is the dilemma of what to do with burnt out lithium batteries. – About twenty years ago, it was hypothesized that the future automobile fuel would be ethanol, that was until the Canadian tar pits in Alberta and the oil fields in North Dakota were discovered and utilized Now shale rock is fractured in Texas, North Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming has made a dramatic difference in the energy choice of North America. – The electric automobile (and perhaps medium size trucks) are here and have to compete with the disfavored petroleum fueled automobiles and trucks. – It should be made cognizant that the tax revenue from gasoline and diesel sales pays for road and bridge repair. The electric vehicle does not contribute to that fund.