I posted EPA projections of a class 2 truck, gross weight 7400 pounds, with a city mileage of 66 MPG and highway of 50 MPG (not a misprint).
If a truck with a frontal area of 3.7 square meters and a CD of .34 can get 66MPG city and 50 MPG highway, imagine what at Corolla sized sedan could get for mileage.
The whole power generation and consumption infrastructure is obsolete.
Why solve the problem with more of the same crap. Its only a short term solution. Sure any sane person should realize that the US needs to get rid of imported oil, so use any simpleton short term solution you want.
If you really want to solve the core issue, focus your financial resources on the efficiency of every wheeled vehicle on the planet. Then you have the additional benefit of saving the environment for the same investment.
That is what I have been working on for the better part of the last decade and I know it is the solution.
Domestic production of energy keeps money in the US. Every dollar kept here means 10 dollars after the banking system does its magic. Thats trillions of wealth in the US each year.
But it takes a much more brave leadership to understand the legacy of our stupid waste of energy in every respect. 200 years ago people were much more conscientious of energy usage becasue they had to be. Today we use it like there is no tomorrow, and we may end up insuring that there is no tomorrow in the end.
The only way any sane person could rationally justify such complete ignorance, and the fact that we are trading in our childrens future, is to rationalize some rediculous short term necessity with fear and ignorance.
Gary, a lot of your post I agree with.
But I have yet to see these alternatives.
In my personal "short term", I have moved through vehicles that do the work I need. They are bigger than economy cars, but their mileage has gotten better over the years.
I think their is leadership in all of this. I believe there is also money and intuition. But there is more litigation and regulation that stands in the way. Even quite simply using the example of how my old piece of garbage Datsun Sentra actually got 42MPG on high speed trips vs the mileage that cars get today. Often, the leadership is only in the form of restriction. And that restriction is paid for by the consumers that are supposed to be the ultimate users and beneficiaries of useful production.
Outside the United States, there are other companies complaining. Yeah, we're not even buying everyone's oil. Again, we should get our own, but restriction and regulation has been so much of the "leadership". US auto manufacturers make cars of markets outside of ours that are more efficient and even cool looking. But the leadership of regulation deems them unfit.
Nuclear...what's the new administration's stance?
"New" only points to opportunities for litigation. That goes from fuels to helmets. Until that starts to change, I don't see thing changing for us or our children.
excellent post! it frustates me that fundamental ideas are overlooked by individuals and govt. and new tech/ideas are suppressed.
spend less than you make; pay off credit; buy only what you need; conserve energy, water, food, etc.
new(or old ones reinvented) ideas like yours are often not accepted. what of preventative measures? the past year has had a lot of talk of change, so let's do it.
take cancer and disease: billions are spent on treatment. what about preventing it? we know how, but we fail to follow thru. we want that quick fix afterwards.
there's a fairly new technique for treating cancer that is not covered by health insurance. it is very safe at removing only the cancer, saving limbs and flesh. it is not even a known procedure by most, let alone considered for coverage.
how is this related to future gas prices? no idea, except to say that the world economy is influenced by fuel prices and our ability to practice basic intelligent spending and accept(execute) new tech in all areas.
80% of the energy your pay dearly for, to pour in your tank, is wasted.
Pale Melanasian has proven that you can double the EPA rating of a fairly effieient vehicle, with effective hypermiling.
Basjoos has proven that you can do the same with aerodynamics, and little or no hypermiling.
Combine the two separate approaches and you would be at 80 MPG, average.
Now add software that incorporates both of these gentlemens knowledge into an automated computer controlled system.
That is the potential without addressing the basic design of the vehicle. Fix the vehicle and increase that 80 MPG to 100 and beyond. Don't tell me its not possible, 180 MPG at 36 MPH average is fact!
Engines produce their lowest emissions at their highest efficiencies, so never run the engine at any other range of speed and load except at their peak BSFC. Modern integrated starter alternators can eliminate idling. Throttle losses can be eliminated by simply eliminating the throttle altogether. Engines should never be directly connected to the drive wheels. Thats is just stupid.
Energy storage density and CVTs and IVTs allow engine operation independent of any vehicle speed. The technology is already here.
I got to drive a new Nissan Rouge AWD CVT yesterday - the gal who owns it had 1340 miles and had averaged 26.1mpg according to the onboard computer. I took it for a drive and got 32.9mpg - the thing is amazing taking off slowly the engine holds 1200 RPM up to 40mph while accelerating. Hills were really interesting too. Shifting into drive from neutral was very interesting and smooth also but the engine does a rev to 2000-2500 rpm all by itself before it settles back down to 1200rpm while shifting into drive at any speed from 20-35 mph. Putting your foot into the gas for a few seconds results in a delayed rev to 4k and some really brisk acceleration and the engine then settles back down to the 1200 or so RPM. Using Low to go down a steep hill was also interesting as the engine reves up and down for some reason maybe working the CVT to prevent wear? Engine Braking in Drive at 40mph result in the revs climbing to 2000 rpm from the 1200 normal rpm - really screwy but it seems to work well and likes to coast in Drive as well.
The funny thing was she was thinking she was getting great mileage because of the smaller tank (13 gal) and the lower prices (1.89) compared to the 6 year old Grand Voyager with its 20+ gallon tank and $4 a gallon gas that she remembers. IT probably gets the exact same mileage because I got 29mpg on a trip to Logan air port one time with it.
$1.70 in my town in Kansas, some other towns are below that by a few cents. I think it will stay low for at least a few months more just because of the recession.
If Obama wants to cut off oil imports yet not drill in new places in the US, he'll learn quickly that we don't have enough to sustain ourselves. At least not in traditional methods. We have a ton of oil shale, but at $55 a barrel, it's not even close to being economical to produce. If that's the case and he goes after the shale, I'd expect July-August 2008 all over again, but for good. Oil won't be below $140 a barrel in that scenario. But if he doesn't want to disturb the environment for offshore and Alaskan drilling, I can't imagine he'd want to undertake strip mining for the oil shale. He'll learn at some point.