Americans think they drive further in a day than they actually do, and that fuels fears that limited-range EVs will end up on the side of the road with their hoods up. They're not wrong to worry (I experienced range anxiety myself), but actual behind-the-wheel time will increase driver confidence.
No president can deliver cheap gas, and most analysts see higher prices ahead. Even if the Alaska reserve drilling and oil shale development that Bachmann supports went ahead full tilt, the results would be outside her term in office.
Here’s a scenario: An electric storm knocks out power to your house just as the Super Bowl is starting. Do you knock on the neighbor’s door with a six-pack, or do you try plugging your television into your Nissan Leaf’s 24-kilowatt-hour battery pack?
Networks of EV chargers 40 to 60 miles apart will turn electric cars into long-distance travelers. The west coast is going to get hooked up first, but the pace is accelerating all over the country.
Big delivery companies have central garages that are perfect for charging EVs. They want to be green. But so far it's happened only in small volumes, largely because of price premiums that can total $30,000. FedEx has a novel solution: Smaller batteries, shorter ranges, and cheaper trucks.
Corn ethanol never made any sense, either economically or environmentally. Congress is finally killing corn ethanol subsidies, but it shouldn't abandon ethanol entirely. Made from the fiber of plants and with a really good energy balance, cellulosic ethanol is the better alternative.
The Think electric car has been through four bankruptcies, but this one looks terminal. There's a lesson in this--start-up EVs priced higher than volume leaders like the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf are going to have a tough time in the marketplace.
Automakers and environmentalists are in a battle royal over not just a federal fuel economy standard (greens want 62 mpg, the industry will settle for 47) but over how it will affect future sales. Lions don't lie down with lambs, so don't expect a happy resolution with everybody singing "Kumbaya."
From a perch in the cloud, Watson-like supercomputers could offer solutions for clueless drivers, including finding that sushi restaurant whose name you forgot, or that song by the guy who sounds kind of like Bob Dylan.
The new fuel economy window stickers are out, minus the big, fat letter grades that would have made it especially easy for consumers. But at least the replacements have plenty of other information.
I prove that it's not hard to drive like a complete moron this holiday weekend. But you can also drive smart and actually save bundles of money at the pumps.