Thursday, July 17, 2008

CNN's Miles O'Brien on Electric Cars (updated)

Occasionally, we need to look at some related content here and in this case it is a CNN piece on Electric Cars.  In the story, they interview Marc Geller who has created his own electric car that he charges each night.  Geller's interesting quote in response to a question of why Detroit hasn't embraced a plugin technology yet:  "I would say because they are fearful of how disruptive plugin cars will be and how unattractive their old product line will appear. "   Geller generates some of his energy himself with solar panels on his roof.  Says Miles, "There isn't a new, practical electric car on the market."

I like O'Brien stories.  It seems to me like he is keen on getting news of alternative energies out into the mainstream. 

I've located a bit more web info on Marc Geller.  First, he's a photographer and here's his website:  Second, here is his blog about plugin cars
Third, he links to Plug In America  which will tell you all about plugin vehicles along with a bit of grass roots political action you can take to support them. There is a petition addressed to Automakers to tell them you want plugin technology.   See also, the Electric Auto Association

It looks like there is alot of activity on the website and alot of big names being drawn in. It will be great to see if some of that crowd is following the EEStor story and I would really hope they leave a comment here on this post with any additional information they have for this readership. 


nomlas said...

I don't see there being a problem with older vehicles, in fact there is a fantastic opportunity to create a whole new industry, RETROFITTING! We have billions in energy and resources invested in older products and the only way to preserve that investment is to retrofit the older vehicles.


nomlas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
richterm said...

The biggest problem I see with retrofiting is the economics of oil. If Eestor comes out with a solid product and it's greeted by the world with cheers and initiative to build out automobile electric infrastructure, it will seriously drop the price of oil and gas. That's the oil powers's only bullet in fighting the movement (though IMO it will be too late to stop the momentum totally). But if you have an SUV that will cost $10K to retrofit and the price of gas goes back down to $2, will you do it? A lot of people won't.

richterm said...

BTW - short oil and battery stocks if Eestor produces.

Spaceman said...

Miles seems like a logical realist. If you can afford the infrastructure cost to establish independent solar generation at home then why wouldn't you consider this a great option. Sure it may not make economical sense if oil prices drop to $2 (I'm not confident that is going to happen soon), but when you consider the ongoing operating costs of an ICE vs EV (oil changes etc.), the money you would spend on a gas vehicle could have been invested in more solar generation - over time the EV solution wins... not to mention the value of being free from oil - how do you put a price on that?

Converting high mileage young vehicles to EV can also be financially viable... in most cases the ICE is beginning to fail anyway... so swap it out with an EV system using lead acid (lower cost/high weight/low range); Lithium Ion (high cost/lower weight/higher range) or if it ever materializes a ZENNergy Powertrain using EESTORE solution (low cost/low weight/highest range) and you have 1-recycled an oily ICE, 2. Avoided the high depreciation cost of a new vehicle, 3. reduced your carbon footprint and saved yourself some money in the long run.

Seems realistic to me.

Domenick said...

Marc also does some posts for AutoblogGreen.

Boomer said...

Retrofitting will definitely be a way to go. Some outfit called A123 has just rolled out a complete plug-hybrid retrofit product for the Prius, $10K installed at one of their dealers. A battery-pack of long-life lithium batteries goes in the wheel well and lets the Prius get 100 MPG or so for the first 30 miles. 15-year battery life claimed.

So if such a product is available now, what might be available for cars in general with a product like Eestor's? I could see certain models of gas-powered cars becoming in demand as gliders because they were easy conversions.

Richard said...

Just to be clear, that is not a conversion or retrofit EV that Marc is driving. It is a stock Toyota production RAV4-EV with NiMH batteries.

ankur said...

I think having electric cars is a good idea for protecting environment and saving fuel.

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