The primary environmentalist war of choice, today at least, is against the car. Environmentalists want to drive us out of our cars, in spite of the fact that cars are green and smart, and they are getting greener and smarter all the time.
The most liberating personal transportation innovation since the discovery of horseback riding must be systematically eliminated, or so one would think. What would the streets of our cities be like if bikes had to slow to pedestrian speed? Is this next? In the real world, goods and people have got to move fast and independently, and just like bikes, cars are the way to do it.
The GM “Flextreme” – a diesel series hybrid.
Green cars will proliferate. If every one of California’s 33 million registered vehicles used about 10kWh per day, it would only take about 50 gigawatts of output for eight hours to recharge them all each night. And that’s on the high side, overall electrical consumption if half the transportation miles in California were electric powered would probably only require a 15-20 gigawatt increase to off-peak output, since solo commuters drive lighter vehicles than average. So break out the solar thermal plants and store the steam, or build a few nuclear power stations – they are awesome generators. There are plenty of fuel options, and the superior energy density of gasoline and diesel will ensure heavy-lift and long haul transportation duty cycles remain mostly reliant on internal combustion – at least with today’s technology.
Cars are green. You can charge a car in the sun with today’s technology, a car with photovoltaic skin would store about 2.5 miles of range per hour in full sun – not bad supplemental fuel, and great in a pinch. The greatest breakthrough in automotive technology of the 21st century, the series hybrid, has now had its second iteration announced – General Motors announced last week the “Flextreme” concept car, another of what they term their “flexfuel” vehicles. The Flextreme runs on batteries only for up to 34 miles, using 16 kWh. But the Flextreme’s seven gallon diesel tank will propel it another 410 miles by turning an onboard generator to continue providing power to the all-electric drive train. The Flextreme’s diesel-only mileage is 59 miles per gallon!
Cars are green. You can charge a car using your roof with today’s technology, with 1,000 square feet of photovoltaics you’ll get about 25 miles of range per hour of full sun. You can recycle virtually every shred and scrap from a green car today, and build another car, or fire a furnace with the waste. Cars have zero emissions using today’s technology. Electric cars can run on abundant decentralized solar and wind generated energy and nothing more. Cars can use roadways with smart lanes. Smart green buses can extend transportation options to far more transit-dependent people. Cars are green.
The Series Hybrid:
Onboard diesel powers generator powers electric motor.
Thanks to green cars, sprawling suburbs with green homes, no sidewalks, and giant new trees, watered by new rains brought by tree canopy, will moisturize and cleanse California’s Central Valley. New towns will arise spontaneously, instead of as walled-off square mile blocks of ultra high-density eco-concentration infill compounds.
Thanks to green cars, across the foothills along new aquaducts and ponds, and pretty much everywhere a free landowner and a free developer (in this free country) want to build something, new roads, wide and sweeping, blasted through the hillsides, will traverse ranchettes and gentleman farms with trees of all types planted and thriving, trees of all the world. What blasphemy! But cars are green. Whatever else some environmentalists may say about why they want to cram us all into infill, instead of letting cities grow naturally, don’t say it’s because of the cars.
Cars are green.