Your Questions About The Stock Market Is A Ponzi Scheme

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Steven asks…

Powering Electric Cars On The-Go?

I think it’s great that there are electric cars coming out lately with traveling packs that allow you to charge the car through any standard outlet! But wouldn’t it be pretty difficult to do this outside of the home?
Tesla Motors has their new car that’s 100% electric. You can’t fill it up with gas or anything if you can’t get your hands on an outlet… then you’re done! I feel like I’m missing something, because I don’t think they’d pass over something like that (Chevy Volt certainly didn’t)
I know some go hundreds of miles before the battery completely dies, but I’m thinking of this situation:
You’re on a week long road trip, and you go from hotel to hotel. Eventually you’ll have to charge. Do hotels nowadays have outlets in the parking lots?

Justin answers:

I would suspect that the concierge at the more respectable hotels can arrange for an extension cable albeit at a price. It’s certainly a chicken or the egg problem. Most outdoor outlets in public parking lots are for block heaters hence they only expect 50w to be drawn by any one car, ie.: 20 to 30 parking spots would be on one circuit breaker. There’s talk about communication protocols so that the cars plugged in can take turns charging in order not to blow the breakers.

IMHO, the introduction of new technology like electric cars are just like the introductions of flex fuel, hybrids, hemi, SUV’s, minivans, and tail fins. It’s just designed obsolescence. They’re encouraging people to replace working vehicles with new ones in order to sustain a higher growth rate in automobile production than what’s actually necessary given the population size and travel requirements.

If they were concerned about the environment impact of hydrocarbon fuels, they would just make the fuel from biomass or from CO2 and H2O. Gasoline is just carbon and hydrogen in a specific form and can be easily synthesized from CO and H2 in exothermic Fischer Tropsch reactions and both CO and H2 can be made by gasification of biomass (even from waste) or as Sandia Labs has shown, directly from CO2 and H2 with solar power. Entire countries have run on synthetic fuels (WWII Germany and embargoed South Africa) and we already know that gasoline from biomass becomes economical when oil hits $86 a barrel, and the process can be used with feed-stock like coal or natural gas where the point where it becomes economical is at $30 per barrel oil prices (of course, there’s less environmental advantages to synthesizing from coal or natural gas). Investors haven’t invested in the infrastructure because they know that oil can plummet down to $10 a barrel at the mere whim of a foreign government hence it’ll take some guarantees from government before investment in FT reactors are made. This could be the thrust of the “clean coal” campaign because that would create the infrastructure needed to switch to coal at the $30 per barrel point and lay the foundation required for biomass as it would be the same FT reactor technology.

The gasoline is just a form of energy storage, a battery if you will, the negative impact of gasoline is because it’s being made from fossil reserves that has been sequestered from our environment for millions of years. If we just change how we make gasoline, the environmental impact would be addressed.

Ultimately, if the concern was really for the environment and for our safety, cars would be more like PRT’s, shared, automated, on demand transportation available publicly.

The promotion of vehicle production does produce jobs and add to the national GDP but it’s another example of an economic bubble or Ponzi scheme. Eventually, the promotion of new vehicle purchases will reach the limits of the consumers finances and then the expected growth cannot be maintained regardless of marketing. We need to change how we think about business, and investment if we want to achieve a sustainable economy and a sustainable ecosystem.

I like electric cars in that I think they’re neat but a mass transition to electric vehicles represents a tremendous cost to the environment as the impact of building any new car is huge never mind one that depends on limited global lithium supplies like electric cars. I don’t think it’s great that they’re coming out, not just yet, there’s plenty of technologies that make more sense but it’s a matter of who makes the money and how much.

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