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.

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