02006-07-05 | Environment, Technology | 6 comments

Wired Blog-Autopia
The Europeans just enacted a carbon tax on air travel. The auto carbon tax won’t be far behind if we are to have any chance of preventing the melting of polar ice caps. Try selling Expeditions, Yukons and Hummers when you’re paying $5.00/gallon plus a carbon tax. It’s coming, folks. The writing is on the wall.


EDrive FAQ
Plug-in hybrids offer the best chance of transitioning away from fossil fuels towards a renewably powered transportation future. Full sized electric vehicles suffer from limited range and may require up to 3 times the battery capacity of an EDrive equipped plug-in hybrid and still not be capable of satisfying 100% of a person’s driving needs. At present, hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles suffer from astronomical cost (over $500,000), limited range (80-180 miles), low efficiency (compared to batteries) and most notably a lack of economically priced and widely available fuel. Plug-in hybrids however can be built today and provide a no-compromises solution that moves us away from fossil fuels.

Excellent! I believe I shall sign up for this! Thanks for the info regarding EDrive Michael! Also see comments to this post.


  1. Susana

    Ottmar, more and more people are publicly sharing your concerns for the environment. Although the following news story involves a “venture capitalist” it may be one answer to outrageous prices at the pump. “A simple solution to pain at the pump? Greener and cheaper, ethanol could fuel rural America — and won’t feed Mideast terrorism. The answer to sky-high prices? How’d you like to pay less than a dollar a gallon! Meet a man who says he knows how it can be done… and we’ll take you to a place where they’re making cheaper, cleaner fuel. Stone Phillips reports, Dateline NBC: Fuel of the future?
    Stone Phillips interviewed Vinod Khosla, a highly successful venture capitalist with an eye for innovative technology, on investing in ethanol and new E85 technology.”
    By Stone Phillips, Anchor, Dateline NBC, This report aired Dateline Sunday, May 7
    What impressed me about this news story is that in Brazil, they are using ethanol and it is working. An added bonus is less pollution.

    “Brazil’s been committed to ethanol for 30 years, but if you want to know how it became such a hot commodity lately, start by looking for this label: “flex”. It means cars can run on gas or ethanol. The key to ethanol’s popularity here in Brazil is choice. If you drive a flex-fuel car, you get to choose every time you pull up to the pump,” said Phillips.

  2. ottmar

    I do not believe ethanol is the answer. Quite the opposite. I want quiet non-poluting cars, meaning either fully electric or hybrid cars. This new ethanol campaign was probably started and paid for by the car manufacturers. Since they don’t want to compete with Toyota and others who are designing great hybrids, American car manufacturers are pushing ethanol because it means they only have to change the old engine a bit to re-sell it as an ethanol engine. You really should look elsewhere for info… NBC Dateline???

  3. michael

    Ottmar, I am looking forward to something like this story happening soon.
    ” Toyota Prius Hybrid car gives 250 mpg”

    Toyota Prius Hybrid car gives 250 mpg. Surprised! Yes, it is true, thanks to the efforts of green-minded enthusiasts at California. These people have turned popular hybrid cars into plug in cars, which could be recharged using off peak electricity from the mains. Lets see how..

    Hybrid cars such as Prius, Escape and Honda Civic have petrol and battery power source which is computer integrated. With these configurations, hybrid cars are able to have a fuel mileage of 60-70 mpg as compared to 20-40 in conventional cars.

    You could call them inventors or Hackers but these people are reprogramming computer and getting extra batteries that in turn guzzles less fuel and gives higher electric kick to the cars. One such person in San Francisco customized his hybrid car by fitting 18 electric bicycle batteries to store extra power. These batteries get charged from solar panels or domestic sockets at night. He successfully achieved 96 mpg for his hybrid car. Now that is quiet impressive.

    The electronic tweaks he executed trick the hybrid arrangement into thinking that the battery is completely charged so it uses battery power at all speeds, rather than just through deceleration.

    One other innovator at Californian outfit, Energy CS, in Monrovia has converted 2 Prius models to get nearly 276 mpg with the help of extra lithium ion batteries. Now lets see how these hybrid car manufacturers respond to this.

  4. ottmar

    Thanks Michael. Yes, I am aware of the contributions by the green-minded enthusiasts as you call them and applaud them heartily. I wish to have my Prius converted as well! I heard that Toyota is aware of this movement also and that they will deliver a new Prius hyrbid (2008) that will have the plug-in option and will do 100mpg. I believe that is the difference between Ford or GM and Toyota – Toyota responds!

  5. Carlos

    I agree ethanol is not the answer as it will increase nitrogen runoff from fields into the Gulf of Mexico, decrease aquifer levels and possibly raise food prices.

    Plug in electric cars are a great, but you have to follow the power line back to the coal burning plant. Texas leads the nation in wind turbines but we still get 90% of our electricty from natural gas and coal powered plants.

    Imagine what the $600 billion spent on the Iraq war could have done to subsidize the solar power industry through R&D and home installation tax credits. That is the complete cycle: to plug your car into your solar powered home and also have panels on your car roof.


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