Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Should we Subsidize? (EV's, Solar, Wind, etc.)

The big question these days is - How much will it cost me? - and - Can I get a Tax Break on that? - or - Will the government (you & me, ultimately, at reduced efficiency) help you buy that shiny new electric car, or Solar roof, or Wind Turbine, etc.!

To put this in perspective - it might be wise to first ask - just how much Government involvement is there in the Oil Industry - in terms of Guaranteed loans, direct fuel purchases for Military activity, Specific Oil Discovery Funding, Research Grants, Infrastructure (Pipelines, Ports, Refineries, Roads) investment to deliver Oil and Refined Petroleum Products to market, Refundable Loans, and more.

While I have not spend the last two months or more digging to get specific quotes on this - I am sure - with newspapers ability to get access to FOI information (Freedom of Information Act), others also could. And that - combined with some historical reading, and the Internet as a search tool, could likely net a large collection of data showing just how much the Oil Industry takes from your pocket each day - including those of you who ride a bike!

If you drive a ICE Vehicle - you will no doubt notice Taxes included in the fuel pump price, plus taxes on the pumped price, from both federal and State or Provincial sources! These are direct removal of money from your pocket - and no doubt go to funding some - if not all - of the subsidies that go to Oil Companies, and more - coming from other sources - besides fuel taxes - are likely siphoned off to Oil Companies.

So the question might be - should we continue to give the lion's share of such funding to these companies - or should we now start to re-direct it to more energy sustainable programs? After All - it's been over a 100 years for Petroleum, I think it is time to give RE (Renewable Energy) some of the money!

Besides - the famous statement - 'Supporting Terrorists is easy - just go fill up your fuel tank again and you have done your part!'- pretty much sums up where the money ends up going!

Live Closer to where you work: walk, drive a bike, drive an electric assist bike or Scooter, etc. are even more beneficial to avoiding continued dependence on Oil for our daily requirements. Even if you started with walking or biking just 1 day a week at first - that would be about a 20% reduction in your fuel consuption for going to work. then bump it up to switching to walking or biking for two days a week - and you have a 40% reduction in fuel use for your normal drive! Imagine that much of a change - if companies themselves started to support such changes in their ISO 14001 Environmental Policies! Think like more and better bike stands at work, with included re-charging access for electric assist bikes. More 14001 Info - take some time to lead your company.

If you need to commute - keep it short, drive an Electric Vehicle - even if you convert it yourself - and so long as it can take you to a local car rental agency - you then have all the range you need for longer trips!

Home made EV Conversions today - might not be a pretty as the Tesla or the Leaf - but they can cost less, and are good uses for a car with a blown engine! Also - the days of the home built conversion with deep cycle Lead-Acid Batteries is numbered, with the declining cost of Lithium Iron Phosphate Cells, and more suppliers providing such cells and other battery EV Components like motors and controllers.

More and more places support EV Conversions - and more and more people are looking for them. Based on the member interest in my local EV Society - there is a large percentage of EV Conversion Interest - and even larger Solar Power Interest! Both Topics of High Expense for most people, but there are also new products coming that promise to drop the price - in both areas.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Unite for Global Climate Change - (Not) - According to the 'New Shell'

Jasmeet Sidhu is the founder of the Peel Environmental Youth Alliance (PEYA), a network of students in the Peel Region working to implement environmental programs in all 220 Peel Region schools, and she writes -

"I almost spit out my coffee this morning as I was reading my copy of Toronto Star over breakfast.

Neatly inserted behind all the usual sections was one called "New Energy Future - The Energy Challenge and Environmental Responsibility". The first headline claimed to provide us with a 'reality check' on climate change, and scattered throughout the section are smiling feel good stories of employees of the tar sands with little myth buster boxes on tar sands production.

The entire section? Sponsored by Shell Canada."

To Read the whole story she wrote - continue to The Star Blog here

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Electricfly adds an open Google Group!

Hi! As the owner of the websites - www.myelectricfly.com and
http://www.electricfly.info/, and this blog - nogas96volts,
I have decided to also offer a more open forum - a Google Group - electricfly1 - for others who want to discus issues and ideas around Electric Vehicles, Electric Vehicle Conversions, and EV Conversion of the Suzuki Swift and it's family of derivatives - the Pontiac Firefly
(Which was used in my electricfly), the Chevy Sprint (My First 3-
Cylinder Vehicle - even fewer than my old Honda Motorcycle!), Geo
Metro, and Suzuki Forsa!

Feel Free to apply to join, and add your thoughts on these subjects,
asking for help, and sharing your insights as well!

I wish you all the best in your Electric Vehicle Interests, and also
invite you to Join the Electric Vehicle Society of Canada, of which I am a member - and also editor of their newsletter and website webmaster.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

(Detroit) Autoshow Goes Electric!

The Detroit (North America International Auto Show, or NAIAS) for 2010 went very big on Electric!

They set out an area - Electric Avenue - just for Electric Vehicles, and most major OEM's also had a growth of Hybrids, and/or Electrics and PHEV's, or Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles.

Take Mercedes, for Instance - They were showcasing two new hybrids to come, and focusing on the fact that they use the new Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries, and don't take up space in the Trunk area for Batteries!

Toyota was showing previews and cutaway of their pending PHEV Prius, but were not strong on when it would be released yet, sharing concerns about battery reliability, and pack size. Inspite of that - they also showed a small all electric concept that was cute, but a bit strange - definitely concept - not near production, from my guess!

However - all these concerns have not stopped China's BYD from showing both Hybrids, and Full Electric Vehicles at the show!

The Show was occupied by almost 1/3rd of it's space with Electric Vehicles, and maybe about 4 OEM's showing new Hybrids. It also offered opportunities for Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Makers to take passengers for rides downstairs and show off their wares. I took the opportunity to ride shotgun in the Tango, myself!

I had the opportunity to look at some new Lithium Polymer choices, and Dow Kokam is now the owner of Kokam America, which had a booth downstairs near the ride zone.

My current thought is to consider the possability of using Lithium Batteries in the very same pace as would have been accupied by the original 40 Litre, or 10.6 Gallon Gas Tank on the 1989 Pontiac firefly! (More on this soon!)

If you never got to see the show - one of the best areas was the Electric Avenue - dominated by the Progressive Automotive X-Prize for Automotive Performance - the search for a (group of) 100 mpg Vehicles that can be produced in volume - creating a winner of the $10 Million Dollar Prize, and the number of displayed contenstants on the wall mural, along with some of them in person at the show!

Let's See How Toronto's Feb. 12 - 21st: "2010 Canadian International AutoShow" does in comparison!