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Old 11-21-2010, 09:45 PM
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Default [EVDL] Reaction to the US News article

Well, this is better - at least specific arguments are made.

Unfortunately, they don't address the point of the article. US News - a
business-oriented magazine - is saying that consumers, who are in
general not motivated by a desire to save the world or to deprive the
House of Saud of some of its revenue, will compare the costs and
benefits of the old way with the costs and benefits of the new, and (the
author believes) will mostly opt for the old. Having the option of
buying the old technology, or even just keeping their checkbooks in
their pockets, they will - or so US News believes. You are free to
differ, but just because they disagree with you doesn't make them enemy
agents. Treating them as such damages your credibility, not theirs.

The simple fact is that the price of petroleum fuel is not as high, in
real terms, as it was in the days of the Model A. Reading the automotive
literature of the turn of the 20th century is instructive, because they
were saying the same things then as you are now: petroleum will run out
soon; petroleum prices are already too high; electric is the only viable
option. Such statements require proof, not passion, to sustain them.

Another fact: if the House of Saud and all our other foreign petroleum
suppliers were to disappear, US oil companies could still find enough
crude at home to supply demand. At present, with foreign supplies
abundant and cheap, they are making bigger profits refining foreign oil,
so that is what they do. Fuel prices would rise, of course, if we had to
rely only on domestic production - heck, we might even have to pay as
much as Europeans have been paying for generations.

EV advocates are making the same mistake they made in the 1970's. With
stricter emissions restrictions looming, they assumed that the
internal-combustion engine was dead and told everybody who would listen
that, in a few years, everybody would be driving an electric or taking
the (electric) bus. (The steam freaks were saying more or less the same
thing about their hobby horse, but that is another story.) The IC engine
makers didn't get the memo. Instead, they cranked up their research labs
and easily met the new standards, whereupon all the real merits of the
alternatives were forgotten, because their advocates had pinned all
their expectations on what they thought was a sure thing.

Five years from now I'm afraid we'll hear echos of the early 1980's.
"The gas pumps are still open - I guess we don't really need electrics."

We need to face facts - not scream at the people who point them out to us.

Best,
Marc
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