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  1. #1
    Ben totoroben's Avatar
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    I loathe the coming of the electric car.

    While looking at the pages of ecogeek.com I noticed alot of buzz was surrounding electric vehicles. I know electric vehicles are theoretically more efficient than internal combustion vehicles, but I fear it will curb interest in bicycling as a mode of transport. We are at a crossroads now. We can either keep building for the car, or we can look towards mixed use transportation. I have been a commited bicycle commuter for almost three years now and have been exposed to our automobile-dominated society long enough to want change. I notice with rising fuel prices there is more of an understanding between car drivers and commuting cyclists. Many people at work will comment about how much money I'm saving, and while this may be the initial spark that it takes to get people interested, I hope it is the hidden benefits that keep people on the saddle. These hidden benifits include solving our nations obesity problem and relieving congestion on arterial roads, as well as stopping sprawl. I hope that new cyclists will keep on cycling, even when some pie in the sky electric vehicle rolls off the production line.

  2. #2
    Fred E Fenders fthomas's Avatar
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    Well stated! What is the point of pain for the United States today? Higher gas prices do not seem to be keeping people out of their cars here in S. California on weekends yet.
    F Thomas

    "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving."
    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

  3. #3
    Loco Motive Member Steve Hamlin's Avatar
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    It does raise a lot of questions and issues. I wouldn't loathe it, though. It still means (most likely) smaller cars that put less cr*p in the air on the roads we ride. Getting people out of their cars, though. . .? I'm not very optimistic.

    Among other questions, though:
    1. They are REALLY quiet, pose some bit o' danger.
    2. Gas taxes are what build roads, mostly. How will roads be kept in repair?
    3. Can their point-source pollution be dealt with?

    Personally, I'm looking forward to buying a plug-in hybrid when such is available. And, not incidentally, having rented a Prius, I can assure you that the acceleration puts virtually all gas powered cars to shame!
    Roll away the dew!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Argus's Avatar
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    I love this quote i heard on the radio, " All electric power cars are going to do is switching your gas power car to a coal powered car". But you can switch in the main source of electricity in you area but you will probably find that it isn't all that clean or the cost isn't going to be stable.

    I know in my area that there begging people to conserve energy in the summertime, well if people started to buy electric cars in record numbers then we'll have a electricity crisis as the the prices rise so the grid can meet demand.

  5. #5
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus View Post
    I love this quote i heard on the radio, " All electric power cars are going to do is switching your gas power car to a coal powered car". But you can switch in the main source of electricity in you area but you will probably find that it isn't all that clean or the cost isn't going to be stable.

    I know in my area that there begging people to conserve energy in the summertime, well if people started to buy electric cars in record numbers then we'll have a electricity crisis as the the prices rise so the grid can meet demand.
    While this is true, it is still far more efficient to make electric power for the masses then it is to use a gas engine to power a single vehicle. Further if enough electric vehicles are "hooked to the grid," power generation can actually be more even by charging all these cars at night vice simply running cool at night as they do now.

  6. #6
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    IMO, this issue was settled in the minds of the general public...and hence the policy makers and corporations a long time ago. Vehicles in the form of the current automobile, but powered by alternative energy sources are where the money and effort will go, cycling will continue to be considered mainly as recreational and as a fringe method of transportation. The key factor being the fact that Americans as a whole are too lazy and too afraid of being exposed to the elements to consider a mode of regular transportation that requires physical effort and exposes them to the elements.

    I know it's not what a lot of you want to hear, but that's my perception, for what it's worth.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  7. #7
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    IMO, this issue was settled in the minds of the general public...and hence the policy makers and corporations a long time ago. Vehicles in the form of the current automobile, but powered by alternative energy sources are where the money and effort will go, cycling will continue to be considered mainly as recreational and as a fringe method of transportation. The key factor being the fact that Americans as a whole are too lazy and too afraid of being exposed to the elements to consider a mode of regular transportation that requires physical effort and exposes them to the elements.

    I know it's not what a lot of you want to hear, but that's my perception, for what it's worth.
    Tend to agree with you on this... just too many folks that can't walk a mile, much less pedal three... heaven forbid.

    On the flip side however perhaps younger folks will ride bikes longer past college age and there might be some renaissance of cycling. We can hope.

  8. #8
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Tend to agree with you on this... just too many folks that can't walk a mile, much less pedal three... heaven forbid.

    On the flip side however perhaps younger folks will ride bikes longer past college age and there might be some renaissance of cycling. We can hope.
    Ha, I remember when our kid was 15 and still rode his bike everywhere, even doing centuries with us...now he's 17 and can't think of anything but finally getting his driver's license in a few weeks. He finds every excuse in the book for us to give him a ride to and from work/school rather than taking his bike and even when I make him take his bike he complains about how hard the 5 mile ride is and how he's too tired to do anything else for the rest of the day. I don't have a lot of hope.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  9. #9
    Senior Member StrangeWill's Avatar
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    For a lot of people, you need to completely redesign cities to replace the car.

    Frankly it's just one more step towards having them computer controlled, so meh.

  10. #10
    Part-time epistemologist invisiblehand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    Ha, I remember when our kid was 15 and still rode his bike everywhere, even doing centuries with us...now he's 17 and can't think of anything but finally getting his driver's license in a few weeks. He finds every excuse in the book for us to give him a ride to and from work/school rather than taking his bike and even when I make him take his bike he complains about how hard the 5 mile ride is and how he's too tired to do anything else for the rest of the day. I don't have a lot of hope.
    If you wore that wig when driving your kid would happily bike to work/school.

  11. #11
    Senior Member blankgen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    Ha, I remember when our kid was 15 and still rode his bike everywhere, even doing centuries with us...now he's 17 and can't think of anything but finally getting his driver's license in a few weeks. He finds every excuse in the book for us to give him a ride to and from work/school rather than taking his bike and even when I make him take his bike he complains about how hard the 5 mile ride is and how he's too tired to do anything else for the rest of the day. I don't have a lot of hope.
    Don't lose hope
    Your son sounds a lot like me when I first got my license. At 16- 17 driving was very much a status symbol and a bicycle was the antithesis of cool. Now I'm a 19 year old college student and I pretty much ride my bike everywhere. The only time I drive anymore is when I need to lug my guitar/amp around. 150 pounds of equipment is a bit much for me

  12. #12
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    On Earth Day, I saw a television spot for GM that showed their hybrid, electric and upcoming hydrogen-powered cars. Personally, I like the French car that runs on compressed air and can be filled within 3 minutes and, in emergencies, can even self-refuel.

    But I share the same sentiments as the OP. No matter what powers the car, the fact that there will still be a million cars on the street is not a pleasing prospect. Motorists will still speed, pass recklessly and dangerously and crowd cyclists unnecessarily. Only now, they'll be environmentally less damaging.

  13. #13
    Avoid trauma Lake_Tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argus View Post

    I know ... well if people started to buy electric cars in record numbers then we'll have a electricity crisis as the the prices rise so the grid can meet demand.
    No, you don't know. They charge at night, off peak.
    I smell the spring in the smoky wind.

  14. #14
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lake_Tom View Post
    No, you don't know. They charge at night, off peak.
    Yeah, nobody drives at night....

    That would be cool though...if everybody charged their cars at night, riding at night would be even better!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  15. #15
    Getting older and slower
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    Electric cars don't really solve the problem of fossil fuel dependence until the utilities switch away from fossil fuels. They help the electric utilities flatten out the demand curve if they're charged at night. That's all. They still need tires, upholstery, dashboards, etc. that are made from petrochemicals. Even today's best batteries don't store very much energy per unit mass, so battery vehicles are heavier than the equivalent internal combustion vehicles, and hybrids are heavier still. More mass means less efficiency.

    IMHO the greener-than-thous amongst the electric car fans are deluding themselves. They don't solve any ecological problems that I can see. And they sure don't reduce traffic congestion.

  16. #16
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    Ha, I remember when our kid was 15 and still rode his bike everywhere, even doing centuries with us...now he's 17 and can't think of anything but finally getting his driver's license in a few weeks. He finds every excuse in the book for us to give him a ride to and from work/school rather than taking his bike and even when I make him take his bike he complains about how hard the 5 mile ride is and how he's too tired to do anything else for the rest of the day. I don't have a lot of hope.
    I was the same at 16... and dropped my bike like a hot potato as soon as I could drive... then a couple years later after the newness wore off (and aided by a girlfriend that was a cyclist) I took up cycling again and have not looked back...

    So there is still hope.

  17. #17
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucko58 View Post
    Electric cars don't really solve the problem of fossil fuel dependence until the utilities switch away from fossil fuels. They help the electric utilities flatten out the demand curve if they're charged at night. That's all. They still need tires, upholstery, dashboards, etc. that are made from petrochemicals. Even today's best batteries don't store very much energy per unit mass, so battery vehicles are heavier than the equivalent internal combustion vehicles, and hybrids are heavier still. More mass means less efficiency.

    IMHO the greener-than-thous amongst the electric car fans are deluding themselves. They don't solve any ecological problems that I can see. And they sure don't reduce traffic congestion.
    Solar and wind power do not require fossil fuel... it is only a short while before we realize that we need more electric generation and it has to be green.

  18. #18
    Domestic Domestique UnsafeAlpine's Avatar
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    Is there anything you all won't whine and complain about? Sure electric cars are not the solution, but they do help reduce our energy consumption, and that is a major step. It sounds like the only solution is to force people to ride bikes, and that is ridiculous.

    FWIW, bikes still need tires, upholstery, plastics, unless you plan on riding a completly metal bike, but then how do we get the metal out of the ground? Wake up, people. Whining and complaining isn't doing squat. Support the interim fixes while the long term solutions are being developed.

  19. #19
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    Yeah, nobody drives at night....

    That would be cool though...if everybody charged their cars at night, riding at night would be even better!
    Well fewer people drive at night. Heck the reality is that most driving is done during two peak times a day... Most of the time cars sit idle... yet we design them all for the ultimate cross country drive. Most cars carry one person, yet are designed for the average 2.2 kids and adults. Most cars expend most of their energy carrying around the car itself... a person takes no more then a couple HP to move, even at 60MPH. Starting to see the real problem yet?

  20. #20
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnsafeAlpine View Post
    Is there anything you all won't whine and complain about?
    I think I'll whine about your whining about their whining...
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  21. #21
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    For reasons already stated here, I see considerable promise in electric vehicles.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  22. #22
    SSP
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    [QUOTE=UnsafeAlpine;6599944]Is there anything you all won't whine and complain about? Sure electric cars are not the solution, but they do help reduce our energy consumption, and that is a major step./QUOTE]

    Ummmmm...not really.

    It takes just as much energy to drive a 2000 lb gas vehicle 100 miles as it does to drive a 2000 lb electric vehicle 100 miles. Only the fuel source is changing...it may, or may not, be better for the environment, depending on the source of the electricity (and how much gets lost in transmission).
    CycliStats.com - Software for Cyclists
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  23. #23
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Hamlin View Post
    It does raise a lot of questions and issues. I wouldn't loathe it, though. It still means (most likely) smaller cars that put less cr*p in the air on the roads we ride. Getting people out of their cars, though. . .? I'm not very optimistic.

    Among other questions, though:
    1. They are REALLY quiet, pose some bit o' danger.
    2. Gas taxes are what build roads, mostly. How will roads be kept in repair?
    3. Can their point-source pollution be dealt with?

    Personally, I'm looking forward to buying a plug-in hybrid when such is available. And, not incidentally, having rented a Prius, I can assure you that the acceleration puts virtually all gas powered cars to shame!

    -You can always add the ability of making noise
    -Gas taxes? That's counter to the typical AnS argument. Gas taxes just go in the general coffers.
    -It's a lot easier to control pollution from a single point then from multiples (poorly maintained autos)

  24. #24
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    I think I'll whine about your whining about their whining...
    I'm gonna whine until you all quit whining.

  25. #25
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chucko58 View Post
    More mass means less efficiency.
    Stupidest statement of the thread. Shows a complete lack of understanding.

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