Survival of the Fittest PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nathaniel Persky   
Tuesday, 15 July 2008 00:00

 

Abstract

The price of oil has been a constant defining factor to many major industries of the world. The global dependency on gasoline is appalling. Without gasoline it could be arguable stated that the western industrialized countries of the world would fully collapse without any recourse. This essay will start with an introduction and definition of the major problems that the oil industry poses to the world. From the very beginning it will be apparent that we need to distance ourselves from the oil industry. The benchmark this papers sets as our target is zero gasoline usage in vehicular travel, a zero emissions standard. We will study many alternatives being used today to combat this gasoline dependency, both the positive and negative aspects of each. Unfortunately, we will not be able to study every option in development, but we will cover the major alternatives. The last section of this paper is dedicated exclusively to electric possibilities, and we will prove through systematic analysis of the different options how electric vehicles are the best option for a clean oil free future. Not only can electric technology be honed to nearly zero emissions, but the technology is already in use, just not on the mass scale yet. This essay will systematically prove that when considering the complications of today’s oil climate, the cleanest and most attainable solution for the future is electric vehicles over the many alternative fuel options on the market.

 

 

 

 

Survival of the Fittest:

An Automotive Industry

Shackled by Oil?

 

 

Nathaniel J. Persky

 

Seminar Paper

 

Oil and Energy Issues in the Middle East

 

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Section 1: The Problems

1.1 Oil Usage

1.2 Importance of Car Ownership

1.3 OPEC and Geopolitics

1.4 Greenhouse Gases

C. Section 2: The Alternatives

2.1 Bio-Fuels

2.2 Bentley Motors Limited

2.3 Hybrids

2.4 Hydrogen

2.5 California Plan to Tackle Light Diesel Trucks

2.6 Regional Comparison of Fuel Economy

2.7 Problems with Alternative Fuels

D. Section 3: Our Proposed Solution

3.1 Electric Car History

3.2 2007 Top Headlines

3.3 Electric Car Battery

3.4 Electricity Production

E. Section 4: The Reality

4.1 A Future of Change

4.2 Findings

4.3 Conclusion

F. Bibliography

 

Introduction

“A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”[1] This quote embodies the process of life, every aspect, every move we make, brings us one step closer to our intended goal, our mission. As the years streak by the usage of oil on our earth tends to take its toll. We have even come to a point were the toll on our environment plus the lack and instability of the oil industry creates a synergy conducive of alternative power sources for our vehicular needs. In this essay we will discuss the current problems gasoline dependency creates and several alternatives that are being experimented with today as future answers to this quagmire. Unfortunately we will not have enough time to discuss all the alternatives, so we will chooses several of the market leaders and discuss them with many examples involved. The outcome we want to accomplish is zero emissions from our day to day vehicular usage. The benchmark we wish to reach is zero emissions on the well to wheel factor[2]. Many of the alternatives on the market today offer zero, or near to zero tailpipe emissions, but we will show how only electric vehicles offer the potential for zero emissions on the entire well to wheel factor.

 

Section 1: The Problems

Oil Usage in Automobiles

We have choice in every aspect of our lives; except when it comes to vehicular fuel. Why does vehicular fuel matter? In the United Sates two-thirds of the consumption of oil comes from the transportation sector, equally, the bulk of the growth in oil consumption in China, India and overseas, is coming from this same sector. Additionally, two-thirds of that is coming from automobiles. So we need to focus at how we can switch from petroleum-based fuels to non-petroleum-based fuels in the automobiles we use today.[3] The importance of vehicular usage to our society is priceless; all aspects of modern day life in the Western hemisphere incorporate vehicular use. But as the next paragraph will highlight, automobile ownership holds so much more for the human psyche than just a convenience of travel, it can additionally be an inherent motivational crutch.

 

Importance of Car Ownership

Car ownership has much greater replications than just a material position. It confers psychological incentive and motivation to accomplish. Additionally, it provides the individual with freedom of movement which increases their potential to work.

While conducting a study at Harvard results were garnered directly pointing out the importance of car ownership in the work force. Individual ownership was significant in predicting average weekly wages, and weeks worked for women and men respectively. The effect on wages was undeniable, approximately $120 per week for women, and $300 per week for men.[4] Keeping the weekly wage increase in mind women with a car worked about seven more weeks per year than those without. Respectively men with cars worked eleven more weeks a year than men without. In the studies results, car ownership appears to have stronger effects for men than it does for women. This does not highlight a negative factor in the work force; rather this may suggest that women are more likely to use transportation alternatives such as public transportation and carpooling.[5] This idea implies a question much deeper than we initially thought; it asks whether we can continue our current production levels with the threat of lack of oil looming over us? If the ownership of a car has such a strong effect on our work ethic, then the threat is that much greater to our societies.

The problems of gas dependency are several-fold more than just the threat of lack of continuum. The idea that we will expire our resources may be the needed thrust for research into alternative means of energy production, mainly for our needs in vehicular propulsion, but the only reason this threat is the defining factor in this discussion is because there is no recourse. When viewing the umbrella problem of fossil fuel this essay feels two additional threats that have been ignored for two long are the real threats involved. Firstly the monopoly OPEC holds, because of OPECs instability manifested through its lack of democratized countries. And secondly the environmental threat fossil fuel usage holds for our planet. Once we have discussed these two threats it will become clear that they are the real threats to our lives, the existence of oil could be extended with the proper alliterative energy steps made that would conserve the oil we do still have for the plethora of products it comprises and holds a part of. 

 

OPEC and Geopolitics

OPEC can be a dangerous organization to depend on. We will discuss this strong accusation we have posed on two levels. Firstly the point that OPEC manipulates its oil supply to the market on economic and political desires. And secondly that the organization itself is quite unstable, often a manifestation of unstable political arenas. Delving into our first discussion:

 

“Heads of Delegation noted with concern, however, that crude oil supplies are well in excess of actual demand, as the above-average level of crude stocks in OECD countries demonstrates, and that the over-supply situation and imbalance in supply/demand fundamentals have destabilized the market.”[6]

 

Because of the above findings, the OPEC Conference decided to insure market stability through reduction of oil production by an amount of 1.2 mb/d (million barrels a day), changing production numbers from approximately 27.5 mb/d, to 26.3 mb/d, effective 1st November 2006. the conference stated: “This interim arrangement will be reviewed at the Extraordinary Meeting of the Conference scheduled to convene in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, on 14th December 2006,”[7] in doing so creating a window to study the economic and political replications this decision made. It is questionable what the actual root for the cause for the production change is, but we do know it caused a direct and noticeable rise in the price of consumer oil that did affect us in our transportation needs.[8]

This manipulation of the oil industry by OPEC is not a new phenomenon; let us look back at possibly the largest ploy OPEC has made in history through supply manipulation on the political stage. The 1973 Oil Crisis still affects policy makers today with its morbid memory. On October 17, 1973 OPEC announced that it's member states would cut oil production by 5 percent immediately, and continue to increase this cut by 5 percent per month until which time that Israel would withdraw from the West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem.[9] In truth the initial 5 percent cut may not seem like a large number statistically speaking, even with the addition of one of several months. But the effects were magnificent, whether based on false pretence of panic or not. In England the speed limits on many major road ways were reduced, restrictions were proposed on heating usage, as well as the use of electricity on outdoor display and advertising.[10] In Canada the government put a freeze on the domestic price of oil and high export taxes on the market. This infuriated the local oil companies and several MNCs as there soaring profit margins were suddenly clipped.[11] Actions like this were taken all around the world as countries felt or envisioned the noose of oil shortage tighten around there economies, to the point as we mentioned above that policy makers still take into account several variables from a situation that took place over 30 years ago for current day decisions. OPEC holds a very real grip on global economy and has proved there disregard of global stability to wield it on personal political platforms.

The second issue in this section is the concept that many of the countries that comprise OPEC are highly unstable. This lack of political stability has continually been a threat to production in several OPEC nations, including Nigeria, Iran, Venezuela, and Iraq. We have brought examples from each of these four countries to give a better idea of the extreme threats that may stand: [12]

Iraq’s oil industry has been ravaged by decades of war, sanctions and underinvestment. Moves to revitalize the industry have been few and ineptly executed.[13] The northern pipeline that traditionally exported the Kirkuk crude oil has come to sporadic use at best; technical problems and sabotage by terrorist groups have mounted since the beginning of the US war on Iraq in 2003, preventing pre-war export levels being reached. Additionally, the possible threat of Turkish incursions against Kurdish rebels in Iraq has added to supply worries.[14]

Since February 2006, in Nigeria, the world’s eighth-largest oil exporter, military attacks and kidnapping have halted crude production fully. The kidnappings have become almost a daily occurrence including boat and car hijackings by heavily armed groups. In one instance gunmen walked into a popular Western oriented bar in the main city of Port Harcourt, checked ID, and simply walked out with six hostages.[15] Additionally Nigerian officials have anonymously stated as much as 10 percent of oil revenues are lost to corruption.[16]

Venezuela on the other hand owes it problems to political woes instead of military attack and sabotage. Oil production never fully recovered from the extreme political strife it experienced in December 2002. Venezuela's actions to fully nationalize the oil industry along with several other aspects of the local economy has lead to increased fears towards dropping revenues.[17] The government’s actions of dealing with the problems with non-democratic means have only exacerbated the issues, compounded with the national strikes the country is being brought to its knees in economic stagnation.[18]

In recent times Iran’s production and supply have been relatively consistent and reliable, but increased US sanctions are causing thought towards disruption. Some critics feel sanctions may not be effective because the Iranian people will endure extreme conditions to secure there share in the nuclear weapons arena, which would effectively cripple the oil industry.[19] Arab leaders have been considering finding paths to isolate Iran in order to secure oil market stability, they feel Iran may have to much influence over Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq and the oil market considering its tendencies towards extreme actions.[20]

This section has showed us that OPEC can be a double sided sword we are forced to deal with. A strong mix of political and military instability coupled with a drive to increase revenues can make for a very dangerous business partner. As we watch the usage of oil increase, coupled with the price, we also must remember oil is not an unlimited commodity. “In early 2008, the price of crude oil climbed above $100 per barrel amid increasing demand from developing markets, continued growth in global mobility and slowing rates of new oil discoveries.”[21] This brings forth the concept of peak oil, the point at which we have reached the maximum production possible of crude oil, from that point on there can only be decreased volume.[22] Though the concept peak oil is used by all studies on the subject, there is little if any agreement as to the actual date that we would reach such a time, hence drawing concrete conclusions across many or even just several studies can become an impossibility. Examples of this disagreement can be seen here between two very reputable sources: Research by the Uppsala Hydrocarbon Depletion Group, in Sweden, “suggests that oil production may have already reached its peak in 2007”[23]. But studies by Shell, “the oil ‘major’, argue the date could be as far out as the 2050 mark”[24]. “The discrepancies in these figures are largely due to the complexity involved in predicting sizes of undiscovered oil deposits, estimating how many of these deposits actually exist, and if it is economically viable to exploit them.”[25] The exact date of peak oil is not the issue this essay wishes to focus on, rather that whether we continue using fossil fuel into the future, or if we need to start on alternatives, the global demand for energy is increasing. This increase with our current technologies is not a positive move considering as we have just discussed the instability inherent with OPEC, as well as the degradation to the environment we are about to discuss. 

Greenhouse Gases

The next area we wish to study is the concept of greenhouse gases. The greenhouse effect is the effect of the Earth warming because greenhouse gases are trapped inside the atmosphere, as if trapped in a greenhouse.[26] Because of the overlaps involved with the wavelength of infrared light being absorbed by various gases, “it is estimated that CO2 contributes between 9% and 26% of the greenhouse effect”, second only to water, which is “estimated to cause between 30% and 68% of the overall warming effect”.[27] Academics have inferred that if the levels of CO2 at its current concentration and ratio of increase continually rise, the percentage of infrared radiation held within the Earths atmosphere will equally rise. This will cause a steady and direct rise in global temperatures.

Scientist are able to measure the ancient CO2 levels in Arctic ice samples making it possible to create a historic profile of atmospheric CO2 levels. Using samples from the Vostok ice core scientists suggest that during the last 400,000 years CO2 levels have cyclically fluctuated between 175 and 280 parts per million.[28] Then suddenly in 2005 the levels jumped to 375 parts of CO2 per million. Scientists argued this extreme increase is due to the 600 percentage rise in global fossil fuel emissions between 1950 and 2000.[29] There is a continued debate as to whether CO2 increases cause temperature fluctuations or vise versa, but academics do feel there is a connection between the two, and undeniably there is a fear that global temperatures will start to mimic the rise in CO2 levels.

Even if the linkage between CO2 levels and temperature change is proved non-existent, “Bentley believes that the potential consequences of global climate change are too great to avoid action”[30]. In October 2007, a Japanese Government conference on climate security expressed concern about fluctuations in global climate, stating that if unchecked, climate change may threaten humanity and the ecosystems that support our very existence.[31] Moreover, experts widely believe that if CO2 emissions patterns continue to rise at current rates, the frequency of extreme weather patterns will increase. These extreme weather patterns would have direct and most probably irreversible impacts on ecosystems, possible causing large-scale ecological and economic repercussions.[32]

We have discussed the two main threats to today’s vehicular lifestyle according to the author, OPEC instability and environmental degradation. Now that we have a well rounded understanding of the threats posed, we shall move into discussions on several different possibilities to improve our futures outlook, ranging from alternative fuel, renewable fuels, and electrical possibilities.

 

Section 2: The Alternatives

Bio-Fuel

Second generation bio-ethanol is produced using lignocellulose, a material found in crop waste, with an effective system agriculturally usable farmland can be double utilized to provide both there current crops and the needed biomass required to produce bio-ethanol fuels.[33] Using this technology the destruction of wetlands and rainforest is negated considering no additional farmland is required to produce this fuel, hence no increased need on crop production. Further belief from Bentley states this industry needs regulation to ensure costumer trust and guarantee that CO2 savings are real and not having a detrimental impact elsewhere on the planet.[34] Bentley for example would welcome the “expansion of schemes, such as those in Brazil[35], to standardize bio-ethanol production…also believing governments should offer incentives to companies investing in Second Generation bio-fuel research and production.”[36]

The current debates around the theories of land usage and ethical production of bio-fuels are used as an excuse by many companies not to act, yet consumers and many leaders in the automotive industry feel this is not a valid excuse to turn a blind eye to the foreseeable future and impending problem it presents. Bentley feels that by introducing bio-ethanol fuelled vehicles, they are increasing the capabilities in there market segment, for long term use of renewable fuels, helping lead the market as the greater environmental and ethical issues are being addressed and resolved.[37] Many including Bentley feel that the actual test of clean emissions for CO2 vehicle use must be based on the well to wheel factor, and not off only tailpipe emissions alone. Moving consumers’ focus onto this system would increase the demand for cleaner renewable fuel sources, possibly requiring the restructuring of governmental regulations. Companies like Bentley believe “that the potential consequence of climate change are great enough to more than compensate for this”[38]. This technology does create emissions, though on a lessoned scale than fossil fuels adroitly creating a useful niche for itself in the current market. This is a positive aspect, but we wish to make zero emissions on the well to wheel cycle the benchmark for a clean future and hence this technology does meet our level of standards. The standard we strive for is zero emissions through the entire lifecycle; hence there must be the potential for the production process to also be zero emissions.

 

Bentley Motors Limited

Private car companies have also taken steps to improve there fuel consumption. A good example is Bentley Motors, a market leader in high-end luxury sedans. Bentley has pledged by 2012 to have implemented a three step process that will help improve there vehicles performance in reference to fuel consumption:

  1. Bentley will use new technologies in there vehicle construction that will reduce CO2 emissions by a minimum of 15 percent across there entire fleet. This goal will be reached by using innovative power trains, transmission systems and drivelines coupled with the reduction of the weight of the vehicle.
  2. The next step will be the introduction of a brand new power train that will offer a 40 percent improvement in fuel economy available by 2012.
  3. And finally by 2012 Bentley pledges that there entire fleet will be compatible with renewable fuels, assuring the consumer significant decreases in CO2 emissions.[39]

By taking such actions Bentley is redefining there place in the car industry, they are no longer a regular competitor, but now a market leader. When car companies step forth on there own initiative it gives confidence to the movement, and shows the consumer public that there is a reason to care if companies are willing in invest and research these new technologies.

We have covered several ideas for alternative fuels and plans to cut back on our gasoline uses, but later we will highlight how many of these aforementioned options have flaws in there clean emissions capabilities and hence do not measure to the level we are looking for. Next we move onto hybrids, which according to our current predicament perform very well, but will fall short for out benchmark standard.

 

Hybrids

After extensive testing in 2006, data has been gathered comparing otherwise identical models of hybrid and non-hybrid cars and SUVs, the hybrid vehicles results showed an increased combined mileage ranging from 20-47 percent than the corresponding non-hybrid models.[40] The Toyota Prius lead the market with 47 percent increase in its mileage, but other manufacturers are quickly proving to be comparative competitors. The data used for the study incorporated vehicles whose mpg (miles per gallon) ranged from 21-31. Looking to 2007 the data for SUV and a limited range of cars with identical non-hybrid models showed an improvement between 16-40 percent. Again in the later study in 2007 the vehicles shared the same mileage range as the previous year holding the spread from 21 to 31 mpg.[41] The usage of conventional hybrids could cut fuel bills 15 to 50 percent compared to there non-hybrid equivalents, moreover giving consumers the potential to cut there gasoline usage up to 50 percent according to some estimates.[42]

The actual savings of a hybrid owner can exceed beyond just vehicular energy savings, there is potential to reduce the total energy expenditure of the owner. Additionally, having a vehicle dependant of electrical means will decrease the susceptibility of the national consumer to loss of vehicular use if a disruption in the gasoline supply system were to occur. For arguments sake assuming there is no future progress in batteries technology past the current models China has created to date, the added cost of hybrid technology in conventional cars could be brought as low as $3500 per vehicle to its comparative model on the market, which rivals the current prices of today’s hybrids.[43] Finally, there is the possibility that with the right technology and direction the integration of hybrid use into the electric grid could eventually improve the operability and security of the grid itself, but this would take much study of detail and procedure and is rather a longer term goal than the impact of the vehicles on the consumer respectively.[44] Other academics feel the additional power needs of the nation will tax the system possibly beyond the limit of today’s planning, understandable expectations would be set for improvements on the power grid system if the consumers actively moved over the hybrid electric vehicles.[45] The advantages of hybrid technology are clear; it bypasses a major need for fossil fuel though we must keep in mind it still does use a negligible amount. It is an improvement from today, but questionable if we could envision it as the answer to our future needs. 

 

Hydrogen

Where as electric hybrids have very positive standings for the future hydrogen fuel cells do not. The many statements claiming hydrogen to be the future of vehicular power, the best solution for a clean future, certainly need further validation. With respect to atmospheric pollution the two alternative options presented above are as benign as hydrogen fuel cells to our proposed benchmark of a clean future. However, both promise to have a much higher overall efficiency and economy. This is one of the mandates for the outgoing fossil fuel era and for a future renewable energy economy. The problem begins with the need to create the usable hydrogen fuel through electrolysis:

 

“Steam reforming of natural gas provides no lasting solution, because in comparison with natural gas vehicles the overall efficiency cannot be improved, nor can the emission of greenhouse gases be reduced by the conversion of natural gas into synthetic gaseous hydrogen.”[46]

 

The use of hydrogen fuel lowers the tailpipe emissions of a car considerable. But when we look at the entire process, the well to wheel factor, we see that the production of hydrogen fuel creates a lot of CO2, enough to offset the emissions factor as an improvement to our current system. Hydrogen does not hold a place in our clean future; the technology is just not malleable enough to reach usable standards. 

 

California’s Plan to Tackle Light Diesel Trucks

California has been extensively researching there options in different processes to find a pliable course for reduction of petroleum consumption over the next several decades. One of the options that has been considered is the concept of promoting use of diesel fuel light duty trucks. This category of vehicle uses on average 38 percent less fuel per mile than its gasoline equivalent respectively.[47] This is not a fully tested option as of yet considering that currently these vehicles have not been able to meet the current California emissions standards, and hence do not represent a significant share of the local passenger vehicle market. The issue though is not explicitly CO2 emissions, rather the specific set of pollutants measured. These vehicles on the other hand do comply with European standards of emissions and compose up to 40 percent of the current market in Western Europe. In the near future the introduction of ultra low-sulfur fuel in the US market and new evaluations of emissions control technologies may make these vehicles a competitive option to reduce fuel in California.[48] Obviously the success of this plan weights heavily on the potential of the future emissions standards, policy choices, compliance options, and the states support of such a plan.[49] This idea will resurface later in the paper as well, much of the technological development in this sphere of vehicular evolution will be dependant on the governments policies, and whether they promote or ignore certain advances in the market, as the major car companies will cater to there best opportunities, and the smaller firms will follow suit. 

 

Regional Comparison of Fuel Economy

An expected determinate of the market leaders in vehicular sales would expectedly be fuel consumption. Hence fuel prices would directly affect the market as vehicles with better conservation would rise to the leading positions of sales. Johansson and Schipper’s findings do highlight this point.[50] But these findings have not been clear across the market, reaction to fuel prince increases has been strong in the EU and Japan, but much less reaction has been noticed in the US.[51] This creates an anomaly in the relative price change in the US versus the EU and Japan, considering the share of refinement represents a much larger share of crude to the consumer market. Japan and Europe share a much higher taxation bracket on crude instead of direct price fluctuation effect.[52] There is an obvious conclusion from these findings that there is a voluntary consumer agreement in both regions that affects new vehicle economy. This brings forth the question; what will move the American consumer to change there car buying preference? The number of SUV and light duty vehicles in the US being sold fell slightly in 2005/6. Unfortunately when viewing the entire automotive market the average weight, engine size, and horse power still increased while the stalemate of technology and car power remained.[53] Contritely the EU showed factors of improved efficiency instead of power and weight increases making a direct positive impact of fuel consumption. Japan followed suit with Europe and showed signs fuel economy improvements through a stop to vehicular enlargement both in weight and power.[54] Clearly greater moves are being made towards energy conservation in Europe and Japan than in the US. Whether this is an effect of environmental cares of financial equivalents, it is a digression from topic for our purposes.

 

Problems with Alternative Fuels

An important issue that needs to be recognized is that the production of all the alternative fuels we have discussed, including diesel, are not independent whether directly or indirectly of gasoline. The main difference arising here is that most of the alternative fuels need a production process that uses gasoline; diesel on the other hand is a direct co-product of gasoline. The percentage varies depending on the source, but traditionally between 20-40 percent of the hydrocarbons[55] become gasoline, and between 25-33 percent becomes diesel. “Whilst it is possible to alter the yields of various fuels from crude oil, it requires a significant amount of energy to ‘crack’ the heavier hydrocarbons to yield a greater proportion of diesel.”[56] It can be costly in high levels of CO2 to produce diesel.

Though hybrids are only partially gasoline powered, they still incorporate gasoline usage into there systems. The gasoline is used once the hybrid engine has accelerated above the combined potential of its battery and electric motor.[57] Though the usage of gasoline is decreased the need of it still exists in order for the vehicle to function. Again we see Bentley in the forefront of luxury car innovation with the consideration of integrating hybrid technology into there future fleet, possibly in renewable fuel combinations.[58]

The root of this issue is that vast amounts of energy are often required to produce electricity and hydrogen. If measured on tailpipe emissions alone these alternative power sources seem much cleaner for vehicular use, but the reality is that we must measure the entire process, the well to wheel factor. Hence the real level of cleanliness these alternative power sources provide must also be juxtaposed with the amount of fossil fuel used in production.

When discussing today’s levels of production it must be understood that the majority of global primary electricity supply is produced from power stations using fossil fuels to power production.[59] This again reiterating the well to wheel factor that the CO2 emissions level of hydrogen and electricity technologies tend to become more comparable to emissions levels of gasoline powered vehicles rather then being “zero”.[60]

Another variable to consider is that bio-ethanol fuel has a lower energy content than gasoline, meaning more volume is needed to travel the same distance. On the other hand bio-ethanol fuel has a higher octane rating[61], giving the vehicle a higher performance rating while arguably being environmentally friendly. Many institutions including Bentley Motors Limited believe that using greater fuel volume does not signify a negative quality considering the vehicle will have improved efficiency and a lighter packaging through innovative technology.[62]

Several leading professors from MIT after carrying out extensive studies between hydrogen powered vehicles, hybrid vehicles and there fossil fuel equivalents, feel the priority for development should be placed on hybrid technology.[63] The premise of this paper is to find the best alternative energy source for the future and we feel it will be electric cars as we will iterate in the next section.

Section 3: Our Proposed Solution

Electric Car History

Electric cars have recently become very popular, but the reality stands that this is a taste of history. In the late 1800s electric vehicles (EVs) outsold gasoline vehicles on a ratio of ten to one, as well as EV domination of the roads and showrooms.[64] Several automobile companies we know today as gasoline powered vehicle producers actually originated as successful EV companies that only later transitioned over to gasoline powered fleets. Additionally, the first car dealerships were exclusively EV oriented. In the early 1900s the EV rave weakened, diluted and eventually overthrown by the gasoline powered movement of vehicular transportation.

The EV world experienced a rebirth in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The fuel for this rebirth being the two major concerns of this essay, OPEC and the degradation of our environment. With this movement in the publics concern a few major automakers either resumed or started EV projects in the early 1990s, some of these automakers partially prompted by California’s landmark Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate.[65] These original EVs were produced in small numbers, usually hand built like there ancestors from the earlier era. Unfortunately, the ZEV mandate has weekend over the years, causing automotive makers to disband there EV programs withToyota being the last major auto producer to discontinue there EV program of the time in 2003.[66]

EVs really have a full bodied history in the US. This essay will just delve into a short taste in order to understand the real strength the EV industry had ranging from the mid 1800s until the early 1900s. In 1834 Thomas Davenport invents the electric battery, unfortunately at the time batteries were not reachable.[67] The rechargeable battery was actually invented by a French physicist in 1859, an improved version of which is used in modern day automobiles.[68] In 1897 Pope Manufacturing Company of Connecticut becomes the first mass production American electric car company.[69] EVs were also the first in many categories of automotive history in the US ranging from the first dealership to winning the first American auto race to being the first vehicles with power steering.[70] By the year of 1900, 33 percent of all cars being produced in the US were electric, the second third was comprised of steam powered vehicles, and the last third consisted of gasoline powered vehicles. And in 1903 the first speeding ticket was earned by an EV.[71]

We see from this short list that EVs have played a very important part in modern automotive history. Now we move forward to the turn of the millennia where we have many more important EV dates in recent history. In 2002 Toyota shocked the automotive world by selling there entire two year supply of RAV4-EV supply in a mere eight months. Then in 2003 the ZEV mandate weakens to the point that non-ZEV vehicles can be credited, leading to the low requirement of only 250 fuel-cell vehicles by 2009. Additionally, in this same year many major auto producers ended there EV programs including Toyota, Honda and GM.[72] But even as these companies were fazing there EV programs out, the private sector was buzzing with the news of the tZero built by AC Propulsion. With 300 miles per charge, 100 mph top speed and 0-60 in a miniscule 3.6 seconds, the tZero earned the highest grade in the 2003 Michelin Challenge Bibendum.[73] Recent EV history seems like a trial by fire process, companies will design and build new models in different areas of the market and test “the waters”. Many of these initial projects may not succeed, but we see active curiosity in the market. Large automotive firms are willing to invest and experiment because they understand that consumers are looking for new technologies, cleaner technologies. Additionally, we see huge activity with EV experimentation; companies understanding this to be a sector with huge potential versus many other alternative vehicular energies.

 

2007 Top Headlines

Newspapers today carry headlines ranging across all the alternative energy options, but more and more EV breakthroughs are topping the charts. Here is a small taste of the headlines from several stories that dominated the headlines last year. Reimagining the Automobile Industry by Selling the Electricity, [74]outlining Shai Agassi’s plan for EV success in Israel. Tesla Passes 500 Reservations for 2008 Model Year Roadster.[75] Tesla nears production time of the first high-end production sports car that runs entirely on battery power. While the Tesla retails at nearly $100,000, Miles Automotive Group is building a competitively priced electric sedan: At $30,000 and 80-mph, an Electric Car for the Common Man.[76] The popularity of this movement is mind boggling as companies are appearing all around the world looking to produce the best electric cars possible: So, You Want to Start an Electric Car Company?[77] Our last headline denotes the possible near future in store for us: 30 Electric Cars Companies Ready to Take Over the Road.[78] In short we see an EV revolution.

 

Electric Car Battery

We have discussed the history and many details of EVs; now let us gain a general understanding of the platform it runs on, the battery. Currently probably the most publicized electric car company project is the blooming Tesla Roadster, for that reason while discussing the specifics of the battery composition and details, we will focus on there design. Tesla uses a high density Li-ion battery[79] comparable to the same technology used in laptops and cell phones, just on a much greater scale, these batteries claiming there popularity from there ability to store huge amounts of energy in such a small area.[80] After many years in the making Tesla Roadster electric vehicles boast containing one of the largest and most technologically advanced Li-ion battery packs in existence. The battery pack used in the Tesla Roadster is powerful enough to give the car an acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in a short four seconds.[81] Additionally, this car packs a massive range of over 200 miles per charge, a distance unchallenged by any of its competitors, and possibly the farthest ever offered in history by a production EV.[82] Now that we have a basic understanding of the battery we will discuss the dangers of battery use, as with all products there are always disadvantages, they key is to minimize the negative aspects while maximizing the positive benefits as EV technology has done.

Li-ion battery technology is currently leading the market in the electric car revolution, with its extended operation time, quickened recharge factor, and compact size. Unfortunately, this technology is not flawless, there have been several instances of Li-ion batteries “going into thermal runaway”[83] in laptop computers leading to recalls by Apple[84], Dell[85], and IBM[86] to mention the market leaders. The battery unit is comprised of many materials, including several standard industrial products like metals, plastics, and carbon variants. These standard materials can easily be dealt with during decomposition considering we have established mass volume depots for such processes. However, some of the products used in battery structure are not easily disposable, notably the polymer membrane. The use of many materials in each cell causes special concern when discussing recycling and decommission, especially on a mass produced item open to the general public.[87] Because of the intense sensitivity of these materials and the limited processes that can be used to recycle them, often recycling is discouraged and incineration is preferred. Even with incineration extra steps must be taken to guarantee total separation of different components in order to lessen the environmental degradation during incineration.[88] Incineration must be considered in a full lifecycle study of the vehicles emissions, but even with this process in the equation, if the electricity is produced via renewable energies then the emissions total stills comes at an acceptable standard ahead of the other technologies we have discussed.

 

Electricity Production

Alternative energy fuels we found had to be measured using the well to wheel factor to fully understand there impact of the environment, the same system must be applied to EVs. Already EVs have an advantage being that by default they have zero tailpipe emissions. Now we must focus on the power plants, how do they generate electricity? We have electrical power plants today that are generated by solar and hydropower, this making energy production negligible and EVs technology an answer to our vehicular future. Unfortunately, in the US for example, more than half of the electricity generated today comes from power plants run on conventional fuels like coal, creating decretory emissions including carbon monoxide and sulfurous oxides.[89] Additionally, these same many byproducts of negative emissions create carbon dioxide, “a combustion product of all fossil fuels”[90], and a leading factor in global warming.

As we see, EVs are not a perfectly clean science because of the processes used to create electricity itself. However there are multiple factors that make this a preferred production of energy versus others discussed earlier in this essay. Power plants are often located outside of major urban areas lessening the chance of there emissions being a heavy contributor to urban air pollution. The emissions these power plants do create is limited to there location, instead of the multitudes of vehicles they will power that would be roving uncontrollably, making it easier to deal with. And lastly though the vast majority of power plants do not run on renewable energy, we do have the technology to create such plants and with time a movement could be made to reorient our power production plants to renewable sources.[91]

Again we must remember battery use is not a flawless science yet, we still need to see long term results of EV usage, and equally we do need to dispose of the batteries and some of there components at the end of the day.

Section 4: The Reality

A Future of Change

Throughout this essay we have seen statements about specific car companies or specific countries legislation that made subtle changes towards a green future, but these changes have ranged through the many alternatives we have discussed. Unfortunately, we have found only EVs hold the benchmark of a green future that we are looking to give our children and grandchildren. The future for many countries can be defined in this quote:

 

“They (Americans) are installing HEV systems in large, high performance, fully featured, cars and in grossly inefficient SUVs, under perceived consumer demand. The Japanese and European manufacturers are adopting a more progressive outlook, so any significant developments will probably come from them. As usual in such matters, New Zealand motorists will have to accept whatever the international auto makers deign to offer.”[92]

 

So the question stands what will sway the future for the world leaders like the American and European markets? Discussed earlier in this essay we say that European and Japanese markets showed trends of decreased gasoline consumption while the US did not.

Critics state that the legislation in the US is not strong enough to encourage Americans from cutting back, stating that the CAFÉ[93] laws only encourage research and development into hybrid technology in order to incorporate it into large SUVs and trucks to continue the same size and power while decreasing the gasoline consumption to a negligible level.[94] This process followed instead of using the new hybrid technology to decrease the normal sized vehicles gasoline consumption down to a below average number. Looking back in history we see that it took the OPEC Oil Embargo of 1973 to initially move the American people towards oil efficiency.[95] With this in mind it may be necessary for us to pass peak oil and have the American people feel the decrease in oil reserves highlighted through gasoline prices. Today’s oil prices are pushing trends in the automotive industry focused on American consumers, with heavy research and development into electric and plug in hybrids.[96] This is positive towards finding a solution for the future, especial as it’s heavily involved with electric alternatives. 

Lastly it’s important that the government legislation is indecisive of this movement. An example of mismanaged legislation for a green future is a recently passed law in Israel stating that from the date of import of new cars into the country, the dealerships have one year to sell the car or the price must be reduced to the equivalent of a used car.[97] The Modiin dealership has sold 150 percent more Prius than other Toyota dealerships in the country causing a backlog of other Toyota models on the lots. Because of the new legislation the importer has put restraints on Prius sales in order to clear the lots of the other models. The current restraint being that two Avensis, or two upper model Corrolas must be sold in order to be aloud to sell one Prius the following month.[98] Legislation like this can have very negative effects on the industry.

 

Findings

This essay has been a journey through the generals and specifics of the automotive industry and has hoped to give the reader an incite into the future trends of the vehicular consumer. The essay started by outlining the main threats to automotive stability. First we detailed the level of crude consumption into the transportation industry and then outlined the strong importance of car ownership in the corporate world. Next we discussed the major impending problems of the future felt by the author that are environmental degradation and OPEC instability. These two problems compounded with the threat of peak oil have caused the search for alternative energy sources to be a strong manifestation of the day. We saw that many of the countries in OPEC were unstable because of political and/or military reasons, often times both. Additionally, we found that OPEC tends to manipulate the oil prices for political and economic reasons causing unjust prices for the general public. Environmentally we found from scientific research that there seems strong evidence of a connection between CO2 emissions and global warming which is a threat to our planets future.

The next section tackled a range of alternative options spanning from alternative fuels to private car company initiatives to government programs. There are many options this essay was not able to cover but the author tried to incorporate the subject leaders as well as examples to give the reader a rounded view of the operational plane we are discussing.

Firstly we discussed the idea of Bio-fuels, though useful because land for food crops can be doubly used to also cover the bio-fuel needs, the production process of the bio-fuel creates heavy emissions and does not meet our benchmark. From this section we brought an example of Bentley Motors, an independent car company striving to create a cleaner future through making there cars bio-fuel compatible.

Then we discussed hybrid technology, this section highlighted the point that hybrid technology has showed great improvements in fuel consumption peaking at 47 percent improvement with the Toyota Prius. Unfortunately we found that much of the hybrid market consisted of high horse power vehicles and SUV which means the hybrid technology is being used to make larger than average vehicles perform at normal standards versus its intended mission of reducing the consumption of normal vehicles to below average.

In short we discussed hydrogen fuel but did not go into detail because though the fuel its self has very low tail pipe emissions, the production process to make this fuel was highly fossil fuel conducive and hence made the usage of hydrogen ineffective.

Lastly we discussed the usage of diesel instead of gasoline, the inherent problem is that gasoline and diesel are produced together, the only advantage of diesel being the need for less during usage. The initial problem is that the standards for cleaner tailpipe emissions in the US make diesel a bad option because of specific gases involved, while these same gases aren’t a problem in Europe and Japan. Additionally, there was little movement in the US towards diesel usage whether through lack of advertisement or little public interest.

Some of these options we discussed have potential for the future and some do not, but most of them do make positive interim options. The problem is that interim options do are only the first step, hence this paper finds electric the best option.

The third section was exclusively for electric technology. We initially did a short study on the history of electric vehicles, and found it to be a corner stone of the car industry from its earliest days. Additionally, it seems to be the most popular alternative technology being developed both through private and public channels. In 2007 headlines swept our periodicals in all aspects of the electric industry with improvements and developments making the reality of mass produced electric vehicles larger than life. But most importantly electric vehicles have been the only option offered on the market, that with the proper initiatives, can be nearly zero emissions on the well to wheel factor which is the benchmark we have been striving to meet. 

Lastly we held a short discussion on the effects of government legislation and how it can have both positive and negative effects on creating a green future for our children and grand children.

 

Conclusion

After extensive discussions and research we have found only one option that will carry us forward to a clean future. The premise of this paper was to find an alternative to gasoline powered vehicles that would have as close to zero emissions on the well to wheel factor as possible, and electric vehicles are the closest match. The vehicle itself has zero tailpipe emissions and equally the production process holds the attainable potential of zero emissions too. Meanwhile, while majority of power plants do still run on fossil fuel, they are located far from the general public, hence do not effect urban pollution on the same level as other alternative options with comparative emissions. With the release of the Tesla roadster we see the extreme of the auto market being filled, a high performance sports car, which shows that the potential for a normal production car is within reach. After a systematic study of the alternatives to fossil fuel on the market, it seems clear that electric vehicles are the answer to a clean future for our children and grand children.

 

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[1] Lao Tzu (604BC-531BC) Chinese Philosopher, Ancient Chinese Proverb

[2] Peter Ahlvik and Ake Brandberg (2001) Vagverket (Swedish National Road Administration), Vehicle Standards Division, Report 85, October, ISSN 1401-9612, Well to Wheel Efficiency, For Alternative Fuels from Natural Gas or Bio-Mass, Pg. 9-12 Well to wheel measurement incorporates the CO2 emissions created during the production of the bio-fuel as well as the emissions from the vehicles tailpipe. It is a much more in depth and accurate measurement of the actual impact the fuel has on the environment.

[3] Anne Korin (2004) Hudson Institute, Center for Middle East Policy, July 9, Transcript: Can Alternative Energy Replace the Saudi Share? Pg. 3 (available at: http://mes.hudson.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=publication_details&id=3389&pubType=mes_speeches)

[4] Kerry Sullivan (2003) Harvard Graduate School of Education, NCSALL Occasional Paper, Award Number R309B60002, June, Transportation and Work: Exploring Car Usage and Employment Outcomes in the LSAL Data, Pg. 19

[5] Ibid

[6] OPEC (2006) Monthly Oil Market Report, Issue 15, November, OPEC Conference, Pg. 5

[7] Ibid

[8] Erik Kreil (2007) EIA, November, Short-Term Energy Outlook Supplement, Why Are Oil Prices So High?, Pg. 5-6

[9] Peter Van Doren and Jerry Taylor (2003) CATO Institute, Washington, October 17, Time to Lay the 1973 Oil Embargo to Rest (available at: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=3272)

[10] BBC (1974) BBC News, News Archive WWII and 1950-2005, December 15, 1974: New Speed Limit to Curb Fuel Use (available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/15/newsid_2559000/2559807.stm)

[11] Canadian Economy Online (2007) Government of Canada, Key Economic Events, Autumn 1973, The OPEC Oil Crisis: Forcing up World Oil Prices (available at: http://www.canadianeconomy.gc.ca/English/economy/1973opec.html)

[12] Op. cit. Kreil

[13] Joe Stork (1975) Middle East Oil and Energy Crisis, New York: Monthly Reviews Press, ISBN-10: 085345390X, Nationalization in Iraq, Pg. 189-194

[14] John C. K. Daly (2004) The Jamestown Foundation, Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 2, Issue 12, June 17, The Threat to Iraqi Oil, Pg. 10-12

[15] Alex Last (2006) BBC News, Nigeria, International Version, August 30, Tempting Riches of Nigeria Oil Crime (available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/5299296.stm)

[16] John C. K. Daly (2006) The Jamestown Foundation, Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 4, Issue 24, December 14, Nigeria Continues to Slide Toward Instability, Pg. 10

[17] Simon Romero (2008) The New York Times, Americas, August 2, Bank Tries to Allay Fears of Instability in Venezuela (available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/02/world/americas/02venez.html?ref=world)

[18] Alexander Downer (2002) Commonwealth of Australia, Media Release by MP, December 12, Archive FA183, Political Instability in Venezuela (available at: http://www.foreignminister.gov.au/releases/2002/fa183_02.html) 

[19] Efraim Inbar (2008) ETH Zurich, ISN, FPRI Seminar Talk February 13, 2008, An Israeli View of the Iranian Nuclear Challenge (available at: http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?ID=18852)

[20] Tariq Khaitous (2008) Bulletin of the Atomic Sciences, Web Edition, May 23, Why Arab Leaders Worry About Iran’s Nuclear Program (available at: http://www.thebulletin.org/web-edition/features/why-arab-leaders-worry-about-irans-nuclear-program)

[21] Bentley Motors Limited (2008) Strategy Report, Version 1.1, March, Bentley and CO2, Pg. 3

[22] Kenneth S. Deffeyes (2003) Princeton University Press, August 11, ISBN-10: 0691116253, Hubbert’s Peak: The Impending World Oil Shortage, Pg. 1

[23] Colin Campbell (2004) Uppsala Hydrocarbon Depletion Study Group, May, Scenario Update (available at: www.peakoil.net)

[24] Shell International (2001) Exploring the Future, Energy Needs, Choices and Possibilities-Scenarios to 2050, Pg. 18 (available at: http://www.cleanenergystates.org/CaseStudies/Shell_2050.pdf)

[25] Op. cit. Bentley motors Limited

[26] Nick Hopwood and Jordan Cohen (2008) EIA, Official Energy Statistics from the US Government, Brochure No. DOE/EIA-X012, May, Greenhouse Gases and Society

[27] V. Ramanathan and J. R. Coakley Jr. (1978) National Center for Atmospheric Pressure Boulder Colorado, Paper No. 8R0533, Review of Geophysics and Space Physics Vol. 16 No. 4, November, Climate Modeling Through Radioactive-Convective Models, Pg. 481-482

[28] J.-M. Barnola, D. Raynaud, C. Lorius, and N.I. Barkov (2003) DOE/ORNL/ESD/CDIAC, Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change, Historical CO2 record from the Vostok ice core (available at: http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/co2/vostok.htm)

[29] Op. cit. Bentley Motors Limited

[30] Ibid Pg. 5

[31] Takashi Hattori (2007) APEC Secretariat, Conference on Climate Change and Security in Asia, October 11-12, Japan and Post-2012 Climate Change Framework(available at: http://www.rsis-ntsasia.org/activities/network-activities/environment/climate-change-and-security2007/presentations/takashi%20hattori.ppt#256,1,Japan and Post-2012 Climate Change Framework)

[32] E. Ahlonsou, Y. Ding, and D. Schimel (2001) IPCC, Geneva, Assessment Reports: Climate Change 2001: Working Group I: The Scientific Basis, Chapter 1.3.1, Human Influence on the Climate System, Pg. 92-94

[33] R.L. Howard, E. Abotsi, E.L. Jansen Van Rensburg, and S. Howard (2003) African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 2, December, ISSN 1684-5315, Lignocellulose Biotechnology: Issues of Bioconversion and Enzyme Production, Pg. 602-603

[34] Op. cit. Bentley Motors Limited Pg. 15

[35] Saab BioPower (2008) Saab, About Bioethanol, Sweet Success: Bioethanol in Brazil (available at: http://www.saabbiopower.co.uk/default.asp?docId=12455) “Brazil stands out as a pioneer in the use of bioethanol as a road transport fuel: its experience of bioethanol-powered cars began before the Second World War. Indeed, an important ingredient in bioethanol production - sugar - has been the backbone of the Brazilian economy since the 1500s. Today, Brazil's huge supply of surplus sugar cane crops is the basis for its robust bioethanol industry.”

[36] Op. cit. Bentley Motors Limited

[37] Ibid

[38] Op. cit. Bentley Motors Limited

[39] Op. cit. Bentley Motors Limited Pg. 2

[40] IEEE-USA (2007) Board of Directors Position Statement, June 15, Plus in Electric Hybrid Vehicles, Pg. 2

[41] Ibid

[42] James Kleisch and Theresa Langer (2006) ACEEE, Report No. T061, September, Plug-In Hybrids: An Environmental and Economic Performance Outlook, Pg. 4-5

[43] Op. cit. IEEE-USA

[44] Ibid

[45] Michael Kintner-Meyer, Kevin Schneider and Robert Pratt (2007) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Operated for the US Department of Energy by Battelle under Contract DE-AC05-76RL01830, November, Impact Assessment of Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles on electrical Utilities and Regional US Power Grids: Part 1: Technical Analysis, Pg. 4-7

[46] Ulf Bossel (2003) European Fuel Cell Forum, Morgenacherstrasse 2F CH-5452, Oberrohrdorf,

October 20, Efficiency of Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Diesel-SOFC-Hybrid and Battery Electric Vehicles, Pg. 2-4

[47] Richard McCann (2002) M. Cubed Policy Analysis For the Public and Private Sectors, The Diesel Technology Forum Final Report, August, Reducing California Petroleum Use with Clean Diesel Technology, Pg. 1

[48] Ibid

[49] Ibid

[50] O. Johansson and L. Schipper (1997) Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, September, Measuring the Long-Run Fuel Demand of Cars

[51] K. Small and K. van Dender (2007) The Energy Journal, Vol. 28, No. 1, The Declining Rebound Effect, Fuel Efficiency and Motor Vehicle Travel, Pg. 25-51

[52] Lee Schipper (2007) EMBARQ Cities on the Move, Fuel Economy and Car Use Trends, Automobile Fuel; Economy and CO2 Emissions in Industrialized Countries: Troubling Trends through 2005/6, Pg. 14

[53] Ibid

[54] Ibid

[55] Schlumberger (2008) Resources, Oil Field Glossary, Hydrocarbon, ID 273 (available at: http://www.glossary.oilfield.slb.com/Display.cfm?Term=hydrocarbon) “A naturally occurring organic compound comprising hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons can be as simple as methane [CH4], but many are highly complex molecules, and can occur as gases, liquids or solids. The molecules can have the shape of chains, branching chains, rings or other structures. Petroleum is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons. The most common hydrocarbons are natural gas, oil and coal.”

[56] Op. cit. Bentley Motors Limited Pg.10

[57] Toyota Motor Corporation (2007) Japan, Paper PR-E-07BC02, March, A Guide to Hybrid Synergy Drive, Is It Really Feasible to Produce a Car That Offers Advanced Performance Features While Preserving the Environment? Pg. 3-5

[58] Op. cit. Bentley Motors Limited Pg. 11

[59] Sven Teske, Arthouros Zervos and Oliver Schafer (2007) Greenepeace International, EREC, Report: Global Energy Scenario, Ref. GPI-REF-JN-035, January,Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable World Energy Outlook, Pg. 17

[60] Op. cit. Bentley Motors Limited

[61] Oregon Department of Agriculture (2004) Measurement Standards division, August, Know The Facts…, Get to Know the Facts About Gasoline Octane, Pg. 1 (available at:www.oregon.gov/ODA/MSD) “Octane is a measure of a gasoline’s antiknock performance – it’s ability to resist knocking, which is a metallic rattling or pinging sound that results from uncontrolled combustion in the engine’s cylinders. It may prevent engine damage. If a gasoline is used with too low of an octane rating than is required by an engine, then engine knock may result. Heavy and prolonged knocking or pinging may cause power loss and may damage the engine.”

[62]Op. cit. Bentley Motors Limited Pg. 13

[63] Nurettin Demirdoven and John Deutch (2004) AAAS, Science Magazine, Vol. 305, No. 5686, August 13, Hybrid Cars Now, Fuel Cell Cars Later, Pg. 976

[64] EAA (2005) Electric Auto Association, May, Rev: 20050516, Electric Vehicle History, Pg. 1-2

[65] Andrew Burke, Ken Kurani and E.J. Kenny (2000) University of California, Davis, Institute of Transport Studies, Paper UDC-ITS-RR-00-07, August 1, Study of the Secondary Benefits of the ZEV Mandate, Pg. 13 “The California Air Resources Board put in place in September 1990 the LEV-I vehicle emission standards which included the requirement that 2% of new vehicle sales in California in 1998 be zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), 5% in 2001, and 10% in 2003. These requirements for sales of electric vehicles are often referred to as the ZEV Program. In 1990, ZEVs meant electric vehicles (EVs) as that was the only technology available that had zero exhaust and fuel related emissions.”

[66] Op. cit. EEEA

[67] The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2003) Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Updated May 17, Thomas Davenport (available at: http://chem.ch.huji.ac.il/history/davenport.html)

[68] Encyclopedia Britannica (2008) Encyclopedia Britannica Online, August 22, Gaston Plante (available at: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/463437/Gaston-Plante)

[69] NOW on PBS (2006) PBS, Week of June 9, Timeline: Life and Death of the Electric Car (available at: http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/223/electric-car-timeline.html)

[70] Op. cit. EEEA

[71] Ibid

[72] Ibid

[73] AC Propulsion Inc. (2003) AC Propulsion Incorporated, San Francisco, Press Release September 29, tZero Earns Highest Grade at 2003 Michelin Challenge Bibendum (available at: http://www.acpropulsion.com/ACP%20Bib%20results.pdf)

[74] John Markoff (2007) The New York Times, Technology, October 29, Reimagining the Automotive Industry by Selling the Electricity (available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/29/technology/29agassi.html)

[75] Tesla Motors (2007) Tesla Motors Inc., Press Releases, July 23, Tesla Motors Surpasses 500th 2008 Roadster Reservation (available at: http://www.teslamotors.com/media/press_room.php?id=573)

[76] Steve Hargreaves (2007) CNN, August 13, An Electric Car for the Common Man (available at: http://money.cnn.com/2007/08/13/autos/electric_car/index.htm)

[77] Lascelles Linton (2008) AOL, Weblogs Inc. Network, Autobloggreen, January 8, So, You Want to Start an Electric Car Company (available at: http://www.autobloggreen.com/2008/01/08/so-you-want-to-start-an-electric-car-company-read-this-top-10/)

[78] Chris Morrison (2008) Matt Marshall, Venture Beat, CleanTech, January 10, 30 Electric Cars Companies Ready to Take Over the Road (available at: http://venturebeat.com/2008/01/10/27-electric-cars-companies-ready-to-take-over-the-road/)

[79] Triplex Power Control Ltd. (2002) Triplex Power Control, Electrical Glossary, Lithium-ion Batteries (available at: http://www.triplexpower.com/glossary.htm) “A number of battery chemistries are based on the element lithium, a highly-reactive metallic element. Lithium-based batteries are common in two applications: Power for portable equipment such as cell phones, laptops, and MP3 players; and low-power, long-life applications such as powering memory elements and clocks.”

[80] Gene Berdichevsky (2006) Tesla Motors, August 16, Updated December 19, 2007, The Tesla Roadster Battery System, Pg. 1 “The Li-ion batteries in the Tesla Roadster only store the energy equivalent of about 8 liters of gasoline; a very small amount of energy for a typical vehicle. The pack operates at a nominal 375 volts, stores about 53 kilowatt hours of electric energy, and delivers up to 200 kilowatts of electric power. The power and energy capabilities of the pack make it essential that safety be considered a primary criterion in the pack’s design and architecture.”

[81] Kim Reynolds (2008) Motor Trend Magazine, First Drive: 2008 Tesla Roadster, Pg. 2 (available at: http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/112_0803_2008_tesla_roadster/transmission.html)

[82] Op. cit. Berdichevsky

[83] John Hockenberry (2006) Wired Magazine, Issue 14.11, November, Building a Better Battery, Pg. 1 (available at: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.11/battery.html) This occurs when the touchy elements inside a Li-ion battery heat up to the point where the internal reaction accelerates, creating even more heat. A sort of mini China Syndrome of increasing temperature builds until something must give. In the case of a laptop flameout, the chemicals break out of their metal casing. Because lithium ignites when it makes contact with the moisture in the air, the battery bursts into flame.

[84] Apple Inc. (2006) Apple Support, August 25, Battery Exchange Program iBook G4 and Powerbook G4 (available at: https://support.apple.com/ibook_powerbook/batteryexchange/main?id=qp)

[85] Dell (2006) Dell Battery Program, August 14, Battery Recall (available at: http://www.dellbatteryprogram.com/)

[86] Lenevo and IBM (2006) Lenevo Support and Downloads, March 1st and September 28thBattery Recall (available at: http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=BATT-LENOVO)

[87] C. Handley, N. P. Brandon and R. van der Vorst (2002) Journal of Power Sources, Vol. 106, Issue 1-2, April 1, Impact of the European Vehicle Waste Directive on End-of-Life Options for Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells, Pg. 344-352

[88] Bent Sorensen (2005) Roskilde University, Energy and Environment Group, Academic Paper, Total Life-Cycle of PEM Fuel Cell Car, Pg. 2, 4

[89] US EPA (2004) Office of Mobile Sources, Fact Sheet OMS-10, August, EPA 400-F-92-012, Electric Vehicles, Pg. 1

[90] Ibid

[91] Ibid

[92] N. F. Curtis (2006) The Royal Society of New Zealand, The Gamma Series, November, Battery electric Vehicles: Mirage or Prospect, Pg. 3

[93] NHTSA (2008) United States Department of Transportation, Laws/Regulations/Guidance, Automotive Fuel Economy: Title 49 U.S. Code, Chapter 329, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) (available at: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/portal/site/nhtsa/menuitem.43ac99aefa80569eea57529cdba046a0/) “First enacted by Congress in 1975, the purpose of CAFE is to reduce energy consumption by increasing the fuel economy of cars and light trucks. NHTSA sets fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks sold in the U.S.; EPA calculates the average fuel economy for each manufacturer.”

[94] Daniel J. Weiss and Nat Gryll (2007) Center for American Progress, Issues: Energy and Environment, June 18, Flex-Fuel Bait and Switch (available at: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/06/flexfuel.html)

[95] Hybrid Cars (2006) HybridCars.com, Research: Incentives and Laws, March 31, Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) (available at: http://www.hybridcars.com/cafe.html)

[96] Jerry Flint (2008) Forbes.com, Business Commentary, August 12, Backseat Driver: Nanny State Mileage Rules (available at: http://www.forbes.com/2008/08/12/vehicles-fuel-driver-oped-cx_jf_0812flint.html)

[97] Reouven Zarashinski (2008) Toyota, Modiin, Manager of Client Communications, Personal Interview, August 31, Details of the Prius

[98] Ibid

 

 


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