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David Morris, Inst Local Self-Reliance, promotes plug-in hybrid

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  • Felix Kramer
    It s so rare to see a mention in the consumer press http://www.startribune.com/stories/1519/4308754.html (I go back a long way with David and talked about them
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 9, 2004
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      It's so rare to see a mention in the consumer press
      http://www.startribune.com/stories/1519/4308754.html

      (I go back a long way with David and talked about them with him a few
      months ago.)

      Try hybrids, biofuels to wean us from oil
      David Morris

      Published January 9, 2004 Minnneapolis Star Tribune


      Caught up in the euphoria that swept the nation after President Bush
      announced a $1.3 billion hydrogen initiative in his State of the Union
      Address, the Minnesota Legislature declared last June, "It is a goal of
      this state that Minnesota move to hydrogen as an increasing source of
      energy for its electrical power, heating and transportation needs."

      The Legislature gave $10 million to the University of Minnesota primarily
      to investigate hydrogen and ordered state agencies to recommend further
      initiatives to encourage hydrogen-related businesses.

      Why this infatuation with hydrogen? Because at first glance it seems an
      ideal fuel. Hydrogen is the planet's most abundant element. It can be
      extracted from water (H²O). Fuel cells in homes and cars can use hydrogen
      to generate pollution-free electricity.

      A closer look, however, reveals that a hydrogen economy suffers from three
      potentially fatal flaws.

      • Hydrogen exists only in combination with other elements. To uncouple
      hydrogen from hydrogen-carrying substances like water or natural gas or
      coal requires a great deal of energy. In many cases, the energy needed to
      produce, deliver and store hydrogen exceeds the energy contained in the
      hydrogen itself.

      • A hydrogen economy will be a nonrenewable economy at least for the
      foreseeable future. Hydrogen made from fossil fuels is half to two-thirds
      cheaper than hydrogen made from renewable energy. Now almost 100 percent of
      worldwide industrial hydrogen is made from natural gas, coal or oil.

      • A hydrogen economy is frightfully expensive. Before we can displace even
      a modest amount of oil we will need to invest hundreds of billions of
      dollars to build a hydrogen production, delivery and storage infrastructure
      and tens of billions of dollars more to put vehicles on our roads capable
      of using hydrogen.

      I commend Minnesota policymakers for being willing to embrace a bold and
      far-reaching transportation fuel strategy. I'm hopeful that this boldness
      can be reapplied to another alternative that can eliminate our reliance on
      imported oil at a fraction of the cost, far more rapidly and with far
      greater economic benefits than can a hydrogen economy.

      This strategy is based on a new automotive technology that dramatically
      changes the context for the conversation about transportation futures: the
      hybrid electric vehicle (HEV).

      Hybrids like Toyota's Prius or Honda's Insight can use electric motors as
      well as an engine to drive the car. The motor is used for acceleration,
      which avoids the significant energy losses (and pollution) that result when
      the car idles or in stop-and-go urban driving. Hybrids achieve fuel
      efficiencies today that are as high as those anticipated by fuel cell cars
      in the distant future.

      When Toyota introduces its 40-mile-per-gallon hybrid SUV this fall, the
      nation will realize that high-efficiency cars do not require compromising
      performance or size.

      The first step in a self-reliant transportation fuel strategy is to make
      hybrids the cars of choice. The second step is to expand the electric-only
      driving range of these vehicles by enlarging the battery capacity. The
      electricity for these batteries could come from the existing electricity
      grid. Such vehicles are now described as Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles
      (PHEVs). The average car travels only 20 miles a day. A hybrid car that can
      travel 60 miles on its batteries can displace almost all of the fuel needed
      for the engine.

      The widespread use of HEVs and PHEVs enables the third step, running cars
      on biofuels. To contrast this with the hydrogen economy we can call this a
      sugar economy. Ethanol is made from sugars. In the United States, corn is
      the primary source of the sugars. In Brazil sugar comes from sugar cane, in
      Europe from wheat. Soon the sugars will be extracted from astonishingly
      abundant cellulosic materials like corn stalks, wheat straw, grasses and
      urban organic wastes.

      Thanks to previous public policy, Minnesota boasts some 14 biorefineries.
      The majority are owned by farmers. To displace 85 percent of our imported
      petroleum we would need to triple or quadruple this number, in the process
      creating hundreds of new jobs and injecting hundreds of millions of dollars
      into rural economies.

      Sugar-derived fuels compare favorably with hydrogen fuels. Ethanol is half
      the cost of hydrogen, without subsidies. Converting a gas station to an
      ethanol station costs 1 to 10 percent the cost of converting it to
      hydrogen. Minnesota already boasts 90 of the E85 (85 percent ethanol) pumps.

      To modify a car to run on either ethanol or gasoline costs only $150. More
      than 3 million flexible-fueled cars already are on the road. To substitute
      a fuel cell for an internal combustion engine costs tens of thousands of
      dollars.

      The hydrogen economy is an alluring vision. But we would be better served
      by looking in our backyards and to our own resources to wean ourselves off
      of imported oil.

      David Morris is vice president of the Minneapolis-based Institute for Local
      Self-Reliance.
      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
      Felix Kramer fkramer@...
      Founder California Cars Initiative
      http://www.calcars.org
      cell 650.520.5555 voice 650.599.9992
      -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
    • murdoch
      Thanks for passing this on. It s particularly good to see it in a farm state, where the issues and advantages are so obvious. In my view, there seems to be a
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 9, 2004
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        Thanks for passing this on. It's particularly good to see it in a
        farm state, where the issues and advantages are so obvious.

        In my view, there seems to be a policy of (wrongly-presumed-benign)
        neglect of some of these issues from the Federal Level (never mind
        from which party), and so in my view it's also nice to see a state
        doing more to stem and check this neglect by some real thought, and
        some attempt at action.

        We'll hear even more about ethanol in the coming election-year
        debates, but it's nice to see what I think is some intelligent
        discussion of it, and of the critical topic of PIHEVs.

        >It's so rare to see a mention in the consumer press
        >http://www.startribune.com/stories/1519/4308754.html
        >
        >(I go back a long way with David and talked about them with him a few
        >months ago.)
        >
        >Try hybrids, biofuels to wean us from oil
        >David Morris
        >
        >Published January 9, 2004 Minnneapolis Star Tribune
        >
        >
        >Caught up in the euphoria that swept the nation after President Bush
        >announced a $1.3 billion hydrogen initiative in his State of the Union
        >Address, the Minnesota Legislature declared last June, "It is a goal of
        >this state that Minnesota move to hydrogen as an increasing source of
        >energy for its electrical power, heating and transportation needs."
        >
        >The Legislature gave $10 million to the University of Minnesota primarily
        >to investigate hydrogen and ordered state agencies to recommend further
        >initiatives to encourage hydrogen-related businesses.
        >
        >Why this infatuation with hydrogen? Because at first glance it seems an
        >ideal fuel. Hydrogen is the planet's most abundant element. It can be
        >extracted from water (H²O). Fuel cells in homes and cars can use hydrogen
        >to generate pollution-free electricity.
        >
        >A closer look, however, reveals that a hydrogen economy suffers from three
        >potentially fatal flaws.
        >
        >• Hydrogen exists only in combination with other elements. To uncouple
        >hydrogen from hydrogen-carrying substances like water or natural gas or
        >coal requires a great deal of energy. In many cases, the energy needed to
        >produce, deliver and store hydrogen exceeds the energy contained in the
        >hydrogen itself.
        >
        >• A hydrogen economy will be a nonrenewable economy at least for the
        >foreseeable future. Hydrogen made from fossil fuels is half to two-thirds
        >cheaper than hydrogen made from renewable energy. Now almost 100 percent of
        >worldwide industrial hydrogen is made from natural gas, coal or oil.
        >
        >• A hydrogen economy is frightfully expensive. Before we can displace even
        >a modest amount of oil we will need to invest hundreds of billions of
        >dollars to build a hydrogen production, delivery and storage infrastructure
        >and tens of billions of dollars more to put vehicles on our roads capable
        >of using hydrogen.
        >
        >I commend Minnesota policymakers for being willing to embrace a bold and
        >far-reaching transportation fuel strategy. I'm hopeful that this boldness
        >can be reapplied to another alternative that can eliminate our reliance on
        >imported oil at a fraction of the cost, far more rapidly and with far
        >greater economic benefits than can a hydrogen economy.
        >
        >This strategy is based on a new automotive technology that dramatically
        >changes the context for the conversation about transportation futures: the
        >hybrid electric vehicle (HEV).
        >
        >Hybrids like Toyota's Prius or Honda's Insight can use electric motors as
        >well as an engine to drive the car. The motor is used for acceleration,
        >which avoids the significant energy losses (and pollution) that result when
        >the car idles or in stop-and-go urban driving. Hybrids achieve fuel
        >efficiencies today that are as high as those anticipated by fuel cell cars
        >in the distant future.
        >
        >When Toyota introduces its 40-mile-per-gallon hybrid SUV this fall, the
        >nation will realize that high-efficiency cars do not require compromising
        >performance or size.
        >
        >The first step in a self-reliant transportation fuel strategy is to make
        >hybrids the cars of choice. The second step is to expand the electric-only
        >driving range of these vehicles by enlarging the battery capacity. The
        >electricity for these batteries could come from the existing electricity
        >grid. Such vehicles are now described as Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles
        >(PHEVs). The average car travels only 20 miles a day. A hybrid car that can
        >travel 60 miles on its batteries can displace almost all of the fuel needed
        >for the engine.
        >
        >The widespread use of HEVs and PHEVs enables the third step, running cars
        >on biofuels. To contrast this with the hydrogen economy we can call this a
        >sugar economy. Ethanol is made from sugars. In the United States, corn is
        >the primary source of the sugars. In Brazil sugar comes from sugar cane, in
        >Europe from wheat. Soon the sugars will be extracted from astonishingly
        >abundant cellulosic materials like corn stalks, wheat straw, grasses and
        >urban organic wastes.
        >
        >Thanks to previous public policy, Minnesota boasts some 14 biorefineries.
        >The majority are owned by farmers. To displace 85 percent of our imported
        >petroleum we would need to triple or quadruple this number, in the process
        >creating hundreds of new jobs and injecting hundreds of millions of dollars
        >into rural economies.
        >
        >Sugar-derived fuels compare favorably with hydrogen fuels. Ethanol is half
        >the cost of hydrogen, without subsidies. Converting a gas station to an
        >ethanol station costs 1 to 10 percent the cost of converting it to
        >hydrogen. Minnesota already boasts 90 of the E85 (85 percent ethanol) pumps.
        >
        >To modify a car to run on either ethanol or gasoline costs only $150. More
        >than 3 million flexible-fueled cars already are on the road. To substitute
        >a fuel cell for an internal combustion engine costs tens of thousands of
        >dollars.
        >
        >The hydrogen economy is an alluring vision. But we would be better served
        >by looking in our backyards and to our own resources to wean ourselves off
        >of imported oil.
        >
        >David Morris is vice president of the Minneapolis-based Institute for Local
        >Self-Reliance.
        >-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
        > Felix Kramer fkramer@...
        > Founder California Cars Initiative
        > http://www.calcars.org
        > cell 650.520.5555 voice 650.599.9992
        >-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >To visit your group on the web, go to:
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/evworld/
        >
        >To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > evworld-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
        > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
      • Brendan
        While I agree with most of the sentiments of this article (especially those relating to the inefficiency of the fuel cell vehicle), I find the last few
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 20, 2004
        • 0 Attachment
          While I agree with most of the sentiments of this article (especially
          those relating to the inefficiency of the fuel cell vehicle), I find
          the last few paragraphs a bit hypocritical. In my research on the
          subjects of multiple alternative fuel options, I've found the EROEI
          (Energy Returned on Energy Invested) to be quite low for Ethanol.
          Estimates most commonly center around 1.1, meaning that, based on
          energy (BTUs) stored, only 1.1 equivalent gallons are produced for
          every gallon of fuel used (for diesel farm equipment, fertilizers,
          pesticides, distribution of heavy fuels). A better suggestion would
          be plug in hybrid diesel-electrics. These could be run on biodiesel,
          which has an EROEI of about 3-4, depending on whom you ask. This
          could be further increased by running biodiesel in the farm equipment.
          While I still don't believe this is the perfect solution, it is one
          that can be implemented as immediately as ethanol, and offers a great
          deal more benefit to the environment. Soil depletion, petrochemical
          use, and other environmental issues still linger with this fuel, but I
          feel these are a small price to pay compared to today's method of
          fueling transportation. I would expand what is mentioned in the
          article to state that even further increases in driving range should
          be pursued as battery technology continues to increase, potentially
          eliminating the need for they hybrid aspect of the car.

          It is not uncommon to see these reports toting Ethanol from Midwestern
          states, and they should be taken with a grain of salt.


          --- In evworld@yahoogroups.com, Felix Kramer <fkramer@c...> wrote:
          > It's so rare to see a mention in the consumer press
          > http://www.startribune.com/stories/1519/4308754.html
          >
          > (I go back a long way with David and talked about them with him a few
          > months ago.)
          >
          > Try hybrids, biofuels to wean us from oil
          > David Morris
          >
          > Published January 9, 2004 Minnneapolis Star Tribune
          >
          >
          > Caught up in the euphoria that swept the nation after President Bush
          > announced a $1.3 billion hydrogen initiative in his State of the Union
          > Address, the Minnesota Legislature declared last June, "It is a goal of
          > this state that Minnesota move to hydrogen as an increasing source of
          > energy for its electrical power, heating and transportation needs."
          >
          > The Legislature gave $10 million to the University of Minnesota
          primarily
          > to investigate hydrogen and ordered state agencies to recommend further
          > initiatives to encourage hydrogen-related businesses.
          >
          > Why this infatuation with hydrogen? Because at first glance it seems an
          > ideal fuel. Hydrogen is the planet's most abundant element. It can be
          > extracted from water (H²O). Fuel cells in homes and cars can use
          hydrogen
          > to generate pollution-free electricity.
          >
          > A closer look, however, reveals that a hydrogen economy suffers from
          three
          > potentially fatal flaws.
          >
          > • Hydrogen exists only in combination with other elements. To uncouple
          > hydrogen from hydrogen-carrying substances like water or natural gas or
          > coal requires a great deal of energy. In many cases, the energy
          needed to
          > produce, deliver and store hydrogen exceeds the energy contained in the
          > hydrogen itself.
          >
          > • A hydrogen economy will be a nonrenewable economy at least for the
          > foreseeable future. Hydrogen made from fossil fuels is half to
          two-thirds
          > cheaper than hydrogen made from renewable energy. Now almost 100
          percent of
          > worldwide industrial hydrogen is made from natural gas, coal or oil.
          >
          > • A hydrogen economy is frightfully expensive. Before we can
          displace even
          > a modest amount of oil we will need to invest hundreds of billions of
          > dollars to build a hydrogen production, delivery and storage
          infrastructure
          > and tens of billions of dollars more to put vehicles on our roads
          capable
          > of using hydrogen.
          >
          > I commend Minnesota policymakers for being willing to embrace a bold
          and
          > far-reaching transportation fuel strategy. I'm hopeful that this
          boldness
          > can be reapplied to another alternative that can eliminate our
          reliance on
          > imported oil at a fraction of the cost, far more rapidly and with far
          > greater economic benefits than can a hydrogen economy.
          >
          > This strategy is based on a new automotive technology that dramatically
          > changes the context for the conversation about transportation
          futures: the
          > hybrid electric vehicle (HEV).
          >
          > Hybrids like Toyota's Prius or Honda's Insight can use electric
          motors as
          > well as an engine to drive the car. The motor is used for acceleration,
          > which avoids the significant energy losses (and pollution) that
          result when
          > the car idles or in stop-and-go urban driving. Hybrids achieve fuel
          > efficiencies today that are as high as those anticipated by fuel
          cell cars
          > in the distant future.
          >
          > When Toyota introduces its 40-mile-per-gallon hybrid SUV this fall, the
          > nation will realize that high-efficiency cars do not require
          compromising
          > performance or size.
          >
          > The first step in a self-reliant transportation fuel strategy is to
          make
          > hybrids the cars of choice. The second step is to expand the
          electric-only
          > driving range of these vehicles by enlarging the battery capacity. The
          > electricity for these batteries could come from the existing
          electricity
          > grid. Such vehicles are now described as Plug-In Hybrid Electric
          Vehicles
          > (PHEVs). The average car travels only 20 miles a day. A hybrid car
          that can
          > travel 60 miles on its batteries can displace almost all of the fuel
          needed
          > for the engine.
          >
          > The widespread use of HEVs and PHEVs enables the third step, running
          cars
          > on biofuels. To contrast this with the hydrogen economy we can call
          this a
          > sugar economy. Ethanol is made from sugars. In the United States,
          corn is
          > the primary source of the sugars. In Brazil sugar comes from sugar
          cane, in
          > Europe from wheat. Soon the sugars will be extracted from astonishingly
          > abundant cellulosic materials like corn stalks, wheat straw, grasses
          and
          > urban organic wastes.
          >
          > Thanks to previous public policy, Minnesota boasts some 14
          biorefineries.
          > The majority are owned by farmers. To displace 85 percent of our
          imported
          > petroleum we would need to triple or quadruple this number, in the
          process
          > creating hundreds of new jobs and injecting hundreds of millions of
          dollars
          > into rural economies.
          >
          > Sugar-derived fuels compare favorably with hydrogen fuels. Ethanol
          is half
          > the cost of hydrogen, without subsidies. Converting a gas station to an
          > ethanol station costs 1 to 10 percent the cost of converting it to
          > hydrogen. Minnesota already boasts 90 of the E85 (85 percent
          ethanol) pumps.
          >
          > To modify a car to run on either ethanol or gasoline costs only
          $150. More
          > than 3 million flexible-fueled cars already are on the road. To
          substitute
          > a fuel cell for an internal combustion engine costs tens of
          thousands of
          > dollars.
          >
          > The hydrogen economy is an alluring vision. But we would be better
          served
          > by looking in our backyards and to our own resources to wean
          ourselves off
          > of imported oil.
          >
          > David Morris is vice president of the Minneapolis-based Institute
          for Local
          > Self-Reliance.
          > -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          > Felix Kramer fkramer@c...
          > Founder California Cars Initiative
          > http://www.calcars.org
          > cell 650.520.5555 voice 650.599.9992
          > -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
        • ntsl532
          I am really not sure of all the details, but I have heard that it takes more energy in oil to produce ethanol, than energy benefit received from the ethanol.
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 21, 2004
          • 0 Attachment
            I am really not sure of all the details, but I have heard that it
            takes more energy in oil to produce ethanol, than energy benefit
            received from the ethanol. If this is the case then ethanol would
            seem to be a poor choice to help with our energy problems. Also, I
            would say that the pollution would be almost double too, because the
            farmers creating the pollution from the oil they use to run
            machinery, plus the pollution from the cars that burn the ethanol
            they create can only increase the pollution levels overall.


            evworld@yahoogroups.com, "Brendan" <malevole1@y...> wrote:
            > While I agree with most of the sentiments of this article
            (especially
            > those relating to the inefficiency of the fuel cell vehicle), I find
            > the last few paragraphs a bit hypocritical. In my research on the
            > subjects of multiple alternative fuel options, I've found the EROEI
            > (Energy Returned on Energy Invested) to be quite low for Ethanol.
            > Estimates most commonly center around 1.1, meaning that, based on
            > energy (BTUs) stored, only 1.1 equivalent gallons are produced for
            > every gallon of fuel used (for diesel farm equipment, fertilizers,
            > pesticides, distribution of heavy fuels). A better suggestion would
            > be plug in hybrid diesel-electrics. These could be run on
            biodiesel,
            > which has an EROEI of about 3-4, depending on whom you ask. This
            > could be further increased by running biodiesel in the farm
            equipment.
            > While I still don't believe this is the perfect solution, it is one
            > that can be implemented as immediately as ethanol, and offers a
            great
            > deal more benefit to the environment. Soil depletion, petrochemical
            > use, and other environmental issues still linger with this fuel,
            but I
            > feel these are a small price to pay compared to today's method of
            > fueling transportation. I would expand what is mentioned in the
            > article to state that even further increases in driving range should
            > be pursued as battery technology continues to increase, potentially
            > eliminating the need for they hybrid aspect of the car.
            >
            > It is not uncommon to see these reports toting Ethanol from
            Midwestern
            > states, and they should be taken with a grain of salt.
            >
            >
            > --- In evworld@yahoogroups.com, Felix Kramer <fkramer@c...> wrote:
            > > It's so rare to see a mention in the consumer press
            > > http://www.startribune.com/stories/1519/4308754.html
            > >
            > > (I go back a long way with David and talked about them with him a
            few
            > > months ago.)
            > >
            > > Try hybrids, biofuels to wean us from oil
            > > David Morris
            > >
            > > Published January 9, 2004 Minnneapolis Star Tribune
            > >
            > >
            > > Caught up in the euphoria that swept the nation after President
            Bush
            > > announced a $1.3 billion hydrogen initiative in his State of the
            Union
            > > Address, the Minnesota Legislature declared last June, "It is a
            goal of
            > > this state that Minnesota move to hydrogen as an increasing
            source of
            > > energy for its electrical power, heating and transportation
            needs."
            > >
            > > The Legislature gave $10 million to the University of Minnesota
            > primarily
            > > to investigate hydrogen and ordered state agencies to recommend
            further
            > > initiatives to encourage hydrogen-related businesses.
            > >
            > > Why this infatuation with hydrogen? Because at first glance it
            seems an
            > > ideal fuel. Hydrogen is the planet's most abundant element. It
            can be
            > > extracted from water (H²O). Fuel cells in homes and cars can use
            > hydrogen
            > > to generate pollution-free electricity.
            > >
            > > A closer look, however, reveals that a hydrogen economy suffers
            from
            > three
            > > potentially fatal flaws.
            > >
            > > • Hydrogen exists only in combination with other elements. To
            uncouple
            > > hydrogen from hydrogen-carrying substances like water or natural
            gas or
            > > coal requires a great deal of energy. In many cases, the energy
            > needed to
            > > produce, deliver and store hydrogen exceeds the energy contained
            in the
            > > hydrogen itself.
            > >
            > > • A hydrogen economy will be a nonrenewable economy at least for
            the
            > > foreseeable future. Hydrogen made from fossil fuels is half to
            > two-thirds
            > > cheaper than hydrogen made from renewable energy. Now almost 100
            > percent of
            > > worldwide industrial hydrogen is made from natural gas, coal or
            oil.
            > >
            > > • A hydrogen economy is frightfully expensive. Before we can
            > displace even
            > > a modest amount of oil we will need to invest hundreds of
            billions of
            > > dollars to build a hydrogen production, delivery and storage
            > infrastructure
            > > and tens of billions of dollars more to put vehicles on our roads
            > capable
            > > of using hydrogen.
            > >
            > > I commend Minnesota policymakers for being willing to embrace a
            bold
            > and
            > > far-reaching transportation fuel strategy. I'm hopeful that this
            > boldness
            > > can be reapplied to another alternative that can eliminate our
            > reliance on
            > > imported oil at a fraction of the cost, far more rapidly and with
            far
            > > greater economic benefits than can a hydrogen economy.
            > >
            > > This strategy is based on a new automotive technology that
            dramatically
            > > changes the context for the conversation about transportation
            > futures: the
            > > hybrid electric vehicle (HEV).
            > >
            > > Hybrids like Toyota's Prius or Honda's Insight can use electric
            > motors as
            > > well as an engine to drive the car. The motor is used for
            acceleration,
            > > which avoids the significant energy losses (and pollution) that
            > result when
            > > the car idles or in stop-and-go urban driving. Hybrids achieve
            fuel
            > > efficiencies today that are as high as those anticipated by fuel
            > cell cars
            > > in the distant future.
            > >
            > > When Toyota introduces its 40-mile-per-gallon hybrid SUV this
            fall, the
            > > nation will realize that high-efficiency cars do not require
            > compromising
            > > performance or size.
            > >
            > > The first step in a self-reliant transportation fuel strategy is
            to
            > make
            > > hybrids the cars of choice. The second step is to expand the
            > electric-only
            > > driving range of these vehicles by enlarging the battery
            capacity. The
            > > electricity for these batteries could come from the existing
            > electricity
            > > grid. Such vehicles are now described as Plug-In Hybrid Electric
            > Vehicles
            > > (PHEVs). The average car travels only 20 miles a day. A hybrid car
            > that can
            > > travel 60 miles on its batteries can displace almost all of the
            fuel
            > needed
            > > for the engine.
            > >
            > > The widespread use of HEVs and PHEVs enables the third step,
            running
            > cars
            > > on biofuels. To contrast this with the hydrogen economy we can
            call
            > this a
            > > sugar economy. Ethanol is made from sugars. In the United States,
            > corn is
            > > the primary source of the sugars. In Brazil sugar comes from sugar
            > cane, in
            > > Europe from wheat. Soon the sugars will be extracted from
            astonishingly
            > > abundant cellulosic materials like corn stalks, wheat straw,
            grasses
            > and
            > > urban organic wastes.
            > >
            > > Thanks to previous public policy, Minnesota boasts some 14
            > biorefineries.
            > > The majority are owned by farmers. To displace 85 percent of our
            > imported
            > > petroleum we would need to triple or quadruple this number, in the
            > process
            > > creating hundreds of new jobs and injecting hundreds of millions
            of
            > dollars
            > > into rural economies.
            > >
            > > Sugar-derived fuels compare favorably with hydrogen fuels. Ethanol
            > is half
            > > the cost of hydrogen, without subsidies. Converting a gas station
            to an
            > > ethanol station costs 1 to 10 percent the cost of converting it
            to
            > > hydrogen. Minnesota already boasts 90 of the E85 (85 percent
            > ethanol) pumps.
            > >
            > > To modify a car to run on either ethanol or gasoline costs only
            > $150. More
            > > than 3 million flexible-fueled cars already are on the road. To
            > substitute
            > > a fuel cell for an internal combustion engine costs tens of
            > thousands of
            > > dollars.
            > >
            > > The hydrogen economy is an alluring vision. But we would be better
            > served
            > > by looking in our backyards and to our own resources to wean
            > ourselves off
            > > of imported oil.
            > >
            > > David Morris is vice president of the Minneapolis-based Institute
            > for Local
            > > Self-Reliance.
            > > -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
            > > Felix Kramer fkramer@c...
            > > Founder California Cars Initiative
            > > http://www.calcars.org
            > > cell 650.520.5555 voice 650.599.9992
            > > -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
          • Felix Kramer
            ... [Here s the URL for the complete 25-page report:] http://www.newrules.org/electricity/betterway.html ... -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
            Message 5 of 5 , Jan 21, 2004
            • 0 Attachment
              David Morris has asked me to reply to comments:

              >I don't know if the list has seen the report or is commenting on an article.

              [Here's the URL for the complete 25-page report:]
              http://www.newrules.org/electricity/betterway.html

              >By the way, I agree with the comment about biodiesel and hybrids being a
              >better energy bet than ethanol hybrids. My only concern is that there is a
              >modest amount of vegetable oil available and no potentially huge future
              >source, unlike sugars from cellulose.
              >David
              >
              >
              >David Morris
              >Institute for Local Self-Reliance
              >1313 5th St. SE
              >Minneapolis, MN 55414
              >phone 612 379 3815
              >fax 612 379 3920
              >http://www.ilsr.org

              -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
              Felix Kramer fkramer@...
              Founder California Cars Initiative
              http://www.calcars.org
              -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
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