The following text in taken from a paper I write in 2008 when it looked like Gasoline might hit $5.00 a gallon by the end of the year and it looked like we could be running out of oil. Obviously, that did not happen because a couple of months latter the Market crashed and a project I was about to finish — was finished as well as all capital dried up and I lost close to $500,000 of investment of which this paper was only a part. The logic and engineer is still sound today although the financial numbers would need to be adjusted. Attached at the end are a copy of the paper and the related power point presentation.
There are almost 250 million vehicles (cars, pickup trucks and SUV’s) on U. S. roads used for personal transportation. They all use some form of ICE as the power source. They also all use some derivative of petroleum as the fuel i.e. gasoline, E85 or diesel fuel and thereby emit million of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere (about 20 lbs of CO2 per gallon of gasoline burned).
When this transportation system was started emissions and the supply of fuels were hardly on anyone’s mind and so what we have today is a system built with millions of hours of hard work and billions of dollars of capital investment. Today, in hind sight, we might have chosen a different path had we known better. However, this system has served us well for over 100 years and has contributed to the reasons we have the best place in the world to live.
But now we have rising CO2 emissions creating global warming and petroleum supplies running out and both creating issues that threaten our very way of life. So we find ourselves searching for a way out of these serious predicaments that many of us see. One group focused on the environment sees CO2 emissions which are leading to Climate Change as the most important issue. The other side focused on Economic Growth sees the supply of cheap petroleum “Energy” as the most important issue since without that supply the world economy could collapse.
Both sides have valid points but for some reason they can’t seem to see, how by working together, they could come up with alternatives that satisfy completely both points of view. That would not seem possible, but it is and it will be shown to be so in the body of this White Paper.
The solution is right before our eyes and we just need to focus on the results we want. Doing that shows us that by switching Personal Transportation from gas/diesel fuel to electric power both issues can be solved in one project. From an all-electric vehicle production point of view this process could be started today with existing technology and, in fact, several automakers are planning on introducing limited capacity electric or electric hybrid cars by 2010.
Therefore, why write this paper if these alternative vehicles will soon be for sale. The answer is that although building the vehicles is now possible albeit with limited driving range to start, there is no infrastructure in place to deliver the electric power to them in the quantities required to convert even a small percentage of today’s almost 250 million vehicles to electric vehicles let alone those yet to be produced.
The bottleneck here is finding a way to deliver the electric power equivalent, of the gasoline that those ICE’s now use, to the electric cars in the form of electric power. That delivery system has three parts; first the electric power generation, next is the transmission of that power to the user and lastly is the charging of the vehicles battery. All three elements are required before the production of the electric vehicles can begin in earnest or it would be the equivalent of building ICE vehicles and having no gas stations. Unfortunately the first two “The Grid” is already close to capacity and has its own problems, so we seem to be at an impasse.
A classic chicken or egg quandary … No electric cars, no reason to expand the Grid … No Grid capacity, no reason to build electric cars.