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For those interested, one person's writeup of the alt car expo in
Santa Monica, CA, USA, held over the last couple of days.

On Sun, 21 Oct 2007 17:24:12 -0000, "doug korthof"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Out of the 30 million or so cars in California, out of the 16 million
>or so vehicles sold each year in America, almost all are oil-burners.
>The supposed efforts to move away from petroleum are pathos beyond
>puerile. The most imaginative plan is to raise mpg standards to 35
>mpg by 2020 or so . . . or boldly reduce CO2 by 2050. Politically,
>that's the far side of the moon. No such long-range plan has much
>reality; it's just another way of pushing the problem off on the next
>generation, of "back-ending" it with delay until the deadline passes.
>Even a decade delay before action means inaction, as we saw with
>CARB's "bold" 1990 ZEV mandate, which the Auto Alliance bought off
>with real release of 300 ZEV each for 3 years, then crushing them. If
>not for Toyota's breaking ranks, there would not be one surviving ZEV.
>Forsooth, it's better to take immediate action, even if grossly
>inadequate, than to postpone any until a perfect solution can be
>studied. On a sinking ship, you look for a life jacket, you don't
>plan building a space ship.
>Glancing through Al Gore's earnest but facile "Inconvenient Truth",
>it's to be noted that Gore seems ignorant of ZEV cars and the need for
>oil-free transport. Gore drones on about "renewables" like biofuel
>and Hydrogen . . . which is not an energy source at all. Gore doesn't
>even mention Battery cars, and submerges solar power to a minor role.
> While Gore points up the problem, that oil-burning is restoring the
>CO2 content to primordial levels, the pitiful range of feel-good
>"solutions" he proposes are little more than band-aid and banana oil.
>The top banana of CARB, Mary Nichols, was a keynote speaker at the
>somewhat sketchy Alt Car Expo, showing perhaps that this effort is the
>best we have. That's the top, the supreme, answer to oil pollution,
>oil wars, oil politics. Here it is.
>Smart-cars imported from Europe, gasoline-powered "hybrids",
>grease-burning trucks, one on-order CNG car from Honda, a lot of
>people with dreams and looking for financing, and that's it.
>No actual oil-free vehicle choice for the individual. Like Gore's
>idea of turning off the lights when you leave a room, it can't hurt,
>but it sure doesn't help much.
>We find CARB itself attacking distractions like off-road diesel, port
>pollution, back-yard BBQ, etc., but refusing to deal with auto and
>refinery pollution. In fact, you'd think there wasn't such a thing as
>auto or oil company pollution, if you attended a CARB meeting.
>Everything is fine, according to them, just take a deep, rancid
>breath, and enjoy it. And pine for Fuel Cells, hop on the Hydrogen
>Ironically, the only plug-in Prius driver there, Kim Adelman, became
>an instant exhibitor, as he was directed to display his vehicle in
>front of the joint.
>Inside and outside the hall, the only real ZEV car was the
>ACPropulsion EBOX. This is a real EV, it's also capable of becoming a
>serial plug-in hybrid, just by adding a genset. But that's about it,
>the EBOX giving ride-alongs, you can order one and get on the waiting
>list. Heck, you can order a Tesla, too.
>Alongside the reality of the one EV, the EBOX, was the HOAX, two
>fuel-cell cars. The HOAX, I learned, is provided by Honda, they
>replace it every so often, presumably when the Fuel Cell stack fails.
> It goes about the same distance as a CNG car on a fillup, about 200
>miles. So why pay $1.4 million for a HOAX when you could get a CNG
>car that you could buy, and for which you could actually get the fuel?
>None of the Fuel Cell Folk were able to explain that.
>But the most disturbing thing was not the HOAX, it was the total lack
>of social resources devoted to this problem -- arguably the most
>important problem of the 21st Century.
>Visionary self-financed individuals, government inaction, paralyzed
>leaders, big companies financing lies and flim-flam, and CARB stuck on
>the Fuel Cell Empty switch.
>One CARB employee complained about the ZEV driver who attended the
>CARB meetings, she said it was a joke amongst CARB Hydrogen-powered
>employees that we were just stuck on "the RAV4-EV".
>She didn't mention that there are, still, more than 3 times the number
>of RAV4-EV on the road, 4 years after EVs were killed, than there are
>fuel cell HOAXES nurtured by Honda or GM.
>I hope others will attend CARB, and bring this issue up again and
>again, and show even the lower ranks at CARB that they can't get away
>with shucking the public.
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