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Old 05-01-2007, 02:10 AM
Uberwagon Uberwagon is offline
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Default Re: (DoMiNo)

Sorry Domino, but that post was not "well said" at all. I'm the Sr. VP and chief platform engineer of a manufacturer working on this issue and it absolutely p*sses me off to hear such patently false misinformation about these issues spread like that.

JB's post (sorry JB) shows, at best, a fundamental ignorance of basic science, electrical industry logistics, the technical basis for battery production and a host of environmental issues that are now well beyond reproach by every single scientist not beholden to the American federal government or an oil company (don't worry, I'm a republican). While that may not go over well with JB (or the moderators), even a tacit level of research would show that what he postured is a laughable level of misinformation about hybrids and, as the thread title says, the Toyota Prius (which incidentally I don't work on).

First, the future plug-ins like the next-gen Prius coming to market in the next few years would not necessarily use an ounce more coal fired energy than is already produced. Did you know that electrical plants operate to make enough energy to accomodate the peak demand of the day, 24/7, yet pump all the excess at other parts of the day into the ground? That means if your car intelligently decides to charge during off peak hours (ie when the lights are off, when you're asleep) it will use no more energy than is already produced and is needlessly pumped into the ground during that time. And with networked packet switching (like the internet), a whole city could charge without adding any additional load to the system. That otherwise wasted energy furthers the mileage of your car, provides more carbon-free miles, saves the consumer gas & money, and - yes - makes guys living in both Dubai AND Detroit tremble (hence, JB's post).

Second, the science is beyond reproach. If you question if climate change is "not that bad" then you are practicing willfull ignorance -- deciding not to see what has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. I understand because I did it for years but if you are willing to take the time to actually LEARN the facts of both the methodologies AND the data (unlike your media pundits who aren't) then it's awfully and painfully obvious where it's heading. Any more on this would require another thread so I'll stop there.

Third, as I said, hydrogen is a stop-gap and one that, I believe, may never fully come to fruition. It's the most expensive vaporware ever. At this point, most of scientists and engineers I've been working with say it'll best be a fuel delivered to your home, not stored in the car. Simply put, a battery is becoming a more efficient means of storing vehicular energy (hydrogen is a means of storing latent electrical energy) than a bulky, questionably viable hydrogen tank. You'll hear this solution promoted most by those with a vested interest in a) perpetuating the commodity/supplier/filling station model (usually oil companies and politicians in their debt), or b) those who want to continue the same model we're in for long while more (see also "a"). Yes, that's a cynical view but you're welcome to research it yourself.

Finally, the batteries: No, they aren't "friendly" to produce and they do involve long-term toxic storage problems. But are they better than the current model of burning hydrocarbons without restraint? By any measure of metric we have so far been able to devise, the answer is an unequivocal "YES." The Toyota Prius, by nature of its batteries, contributes to peripheral problems of mining, producing and disposing of batteries. Those aren't easy to deal with, granted. But if you prioritize problems (as in which one will viably kill the human species and how do we best offset that in a pragmatic, economical and marketable fashion as soon as possible?) then the reduction of carbon emissions afforded by lithium ion and other battery technologies is an easy -- and I mean WAY EASY BY A LONGSHOT -- winner.

Please, please, please do some real research before spreading the misinformation about these issues. The Prius and hybrids like it coming to market are not silver bullets by any means. But if you believe the talk show hosts over the scientists and buy into the argument of the oil industry PR exec's (they write the talking points) then you'll never be able to see the facts clearly or think for yourself. Sorry to be harsh folks but that's the real deal.


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