Saturday, April 23, 2011

World Car Of The Year

The world car of the year award has been announced and the winner is the Nissan Leaf. This award was announced this week at the international car show in New York. The jurors announced that the “leaf is the gateway to a brave new electric world”. Perhaps these jurors were also the jurors for the OJ murder trial. While the leaf is kind of cool and is pretty, it is expensive for how it performs and it is no gateway to a brave new electric world. It is has limited range and will have limited appeal and will likely make Nissan no money. The latest casualty in the stock market is a company called Advanced Batteries (ABAT on the NASDAQ). ABAT is a Chinese based company that had its stock listed in the USA about a year ago. There is quite a bit of concern that ABAT hyped their reported earnings in China prior to the US listing and that they actually lost money just like A 123, Valence, and Ener1 who all play in the same lithium ion battery space for plug in vehicles. All of these four listed lithium battery companies are hemorrhaging cash and eventually the US government and the State of California will end subsidies on purchases of plug in vehicles and lithium ion batteries will be used for power tools, electric bikes, and traditional hybrid cars.

Yesterday while driving, I listened to a science hour titled Science Friday on national public radio that touted the brilliance of the Bright Source Energy project for concentrated solar in the Mojave Dessert. The project makes no sense now that PV cells cost less than concentrated solar but the NPR announcer interviewed a group of experts who made wonderful claims that this project will bring green energy to Los Vegas and Los Angeles. They forgot to mention that it will bring losses to the Los Tax Payers. I wondered why NPR was so high on this project. I then heard the tribute to the foundation that supports Science Friday on NPR. The foundation is the S D Bechtel Junior foundation. Well who is the general contractor for the multi-billion concentrated solar project that Bright Source will bring to the Mojave? It is the Bechtel Corporation. Who helped Bright Source secure $1.6 billion of US government loan guarantees? I doubt it was the couple of really smart Israeli guys who run the company.

Talking about US government money, President Obama was in the Bay Area to speak to folks at Facebook and of course raise some money for the 2012 campaign. He did a town hall style meeting at Facebook and his spokesperson had this to say. "The president is looking forward to visiting Facebook and speaking directly to the American people about his plan for responsibly bringing down the deficit and continuing on the path to economic recovery," White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement before the event. "This is a part of our effort to hear from the American people." Well Mr. President if you really want to bring down the deficit, let’s impose a gasoline tax of $1.00 per gallon and let’s not give Bright Source a bunch of money for an idea that makes no sense.

On the other side of isle, the king of bridge Mr. No Trump is the candidate of the day with his nonsense of how rich he is and how he can negotiate with the Chinese. Well he is rich and he can sure negotiate with the Chinese, but can he understand thermodynamics? Maybe he has some knowledge of thermo as he always shouts you are fired. Perhaps Mr. No Trump should exclaim you are about to undergo an exothermic reaction when he boots his secretary of energy.


  1. I have a Nissian Leaf reserved for $99, and am on the prestigious "research panel" but I have not yet even been called by a dealer's secretary offering an opportunity to purchase one (I live in Albuquerque, NM, USA). I do not know if I will actually buy one, as I already have a 2009 ZENN medium speed electric vehicle with new lead-acid AGM batteries ($1500) which easily gives me the 20-40 miles per day I drive in town; a $12,000 90% replacement for my enhanced and beloved 1984 Land Cruiser wagon (14 mpg, premium only), which sits in the garage waiting for for backcountry expeditions. -- Paul J. Watson

  2. Paul thanks for your comment. As you have a ZENN why would you turn over a new leaf? You have the best of both worlds. The ZENN for your daily travel and the Land Crusier for vacation exploring. As long as you can buy replacement batteries for the ZENN nyou should be OK. ZENN is out of business as they had costs of $80,000 for each $15,000 vehicle (like yours) they sold. You are a lucky guy to have a vehicle that cost $80,000. I can only imagine how much Nissan is losing on each Leaf but the US Government and other thermo impaired governments around the world will give them some Rrlief

  3. Wow, nice car. I want to have one! Thanks for a great post!

    Energy efficiency