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Video: 2011 Chevy Volt Test Drive


Here’s a video we’ve been expecting for so long: a real image of a real car, expected by so many electric vehicle enthusiasts. Enjoy…

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  1. The simple answer is if photovoltaics are such a wonderful source of free energy why dosen’t the whole world run on solar power. To outfit a house with all the equiptment needed batteries, inverters, and so on would cost about $36,000. Add it all up vs. the lifetime return (remember the batteries will need replacing) and you get a net energy loss. A solar cell by itself is useless all it can do is charge a battery, poorly at that.

  2. Your right what oil is left must be used wisely, but my point is lets not be stuck on stupid and waste time and energy on pie in the sky ideas. Did you know it takes more energy to make a solar panel then it will ever give back? We could be chasing our tails forever. The mandated transistion away from carbon based energy is going to happen the question is will it happen peacefully and logically, OR will we simply exploit everything trying? With 6 billion of us the worlds resorses are finite. Your doing a great job by gathering thoughts, maybe by distilling them we can have an optomistic future.

  3. You didn’t answer the question of where we get the hydrogen. Its made by electrolysis. Hydrogen gas is emitted as we drive our cars from the battery as it’s being charged. You need electrisity two anoids and a medium. Not energy efficient on a large scale. As I stated we already have the clean diesel. Why not utilize it untill we make electrisity without fire so we can concentrate on that. There is no magic bullet. Your right about solar though. Since all energy comes from the sun we should utilize it as much as we can. But to utilize its energy directly is tough. Solar pannels are not efficent. In areas where there is constant sunshine we can boil water and make steam. Science and physics don’t lie, reality is what it is lets hope we can all make the transistion peacefully by making the right choices now while we have time. Remember we lived 100 years ago realitivly decent lives without oil, enectrisity, or hydrogen. We can do it again. At least we can have electrisity to heat our homes, run mass transet, and our laptops.

    • What do you mean “where we get the hydrogen”? From water, of course! I know today the hydrogen is extracted from natural gas reforming, but it’s not a clean option, as it emits CO2. Solar power can split water into H2 and O – that’s it. The efficiency rate at what that happens doesn’t matter all that much, since we can wait for a hydrogen tank to fill by using decently-proportioned solar arrays. Clean diesel is ok, I didn’t say it’s not, but it still emits CO2 and it will finish one day if we keep using it. Added to that, if we finish fossil fuel, a lot of other connected industries will have to suffer (i.e. pharmaceutical industry). Solar panels are themselves getting better and better each day, and in 5-6 years we’ll find them everywhere, as they get cheap, too. Why not use solar to create hydrogen to run a fuel cell electric car, and turn it back to water, again? Why complicate so much with complicated engines and oils?

  4. Hydrogen wont work. Dangerous and how do you get it? Very poor choice. When I say magnets what I mean is all that happens in a coal fired power plant is we burn coal to boil water to make steam to rub magnets near each other GENERATING ELECTRISITY. If we turn the generator with air or geo-thermal its a win win. Eventually oil, coal, even nuclear will run out. If we want to live in a world that has warm homes, mass transit and some comforts we have to rub the magnets without fire. Electrisity will be one of the few energy choices we will have in time to come.

    • Hydrogen is closely linked with solar power, but it can be obtained via other methods. It isn’t more dangerous than CNG is, in fact, if a methane tank explodes, it would do much more harm than hydrogen. You’d die anyway. Research towards hydrogen storage has improved and now there are no-explosion tanks, made from materials that absorb the hydrogen at a molecular level, so its sudden release and explosion are impossible. Wind and geothermal are good choices, but for the moment very expensive. Solar, on the other hand, is beginning to gain momentum by being more efficient and cheap. Still, you need a storage method, being that hydrogen or battery. It’s important what you make that of…

  5. Two problems with your argument. 1. Clean air isn’t found comming from coal powerd power plants. What they burn is our mountain tops. 2.We will loose energy and pollute more if we choose the electric car route. I do however believe electrisity is are only hope for the future. We just need to figure out how to rub magnets together without fire. Then we will have utopia, clean air and energy. So far wind and geo-thermal, seem most logically suited but the transistion can’t be by pie in the sky technonogy. Clean diesels right now are the most efficent and do pollute less then gas. Lets not wipe out the already inept auto industry experimenting with things that can’t possiably help. In Europe diesels are the most popular vehicles because of their efficency. A production Clean Diesel VW won the LA Auto show with 70 MPG.

    • I agree with you that current Li-Ion and lead acid battery technologies pollute the environment badly enough to destroy it in a hundred years, let’s say (if there is so much lithium to produce such a number of batteries). What’s your opinion on hydrogen? It’s the most clean-burning gas! There were recently discovered some interesting hydrogen storage materials that are safer and more efficient than ever.

    • …as for the magnets… I totally agree with you. There are hidden forces in them and, whether some admit it or not, there are people knowing how to use them, but I don’t see and free energy device running our consumption-based world in the next 100 years, because for the moment money, profit, immorality and selfishness run our world. Magnet motors are an alternative few talk about. I will reopen this subject, because I see more and more interest on it every day.

  6. I feel like the Grinch that stole Christmas. Energy is most efficent when used directly. When we use gas or diesel directly to power our vehicles the efficency is about 28% and 35% respectivly. When we use gas to charge batteries we need a heavier car and and loose efficency. When we plug it in we loose more then 80% of the energy. Even worse the greenhouse gas emitted from a coal fired power plant to charge batteries for six hours just to move a vehicle 40 or 50 miles is amny times worse then if the vehicle were propled by its own gas engine directly. We all want a clean, plentyfull energy future but if we keep barking up the wrong tree we will loose valuable time in making the transistion. Electric cars are a falacy. The battery in the average car over its entire lifetime produces as much energy as 1/2 cup of gas. We would be awash in oceans of batteries if we go that route.

    • Frank, I partially agree with you, but how are we going to use energy directly, if not by first storing it? And I think your affirmation that “The battery in the average car over its entire lifetime produces as much energy as 1/2 cup of gas” is a little bit exaggerated… Let’s not be optimistic, let’s be real: we have to start from somewhere, even if it’s a low efficiency system, even if it’s powered by coal for the moment. The overall efficiency of electric motors has already been proven since decades and there’s no doubt this is the next step not towards Santa Clause, but to a cleaner air to breathe.


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