Saturday, February 23, 2013

Chu Goes To Stanford America Goes Back To Gasoline

Dr Chu will return to the Bay Area and will take a post at Stanford where he will hold a joint appointment in the Physics department and the Medical school.  No doubt Dr. Chu is a bright guy, and as long as Stanford does not let Chu invest their endowment money, his appointment is going to serve the university well.  Bye bye Dr. Chu and not a moment too soon from the department of entropy of these ignited states.

Yeah the United States continues to burn gasoline.  The energy information agency (EIA) reports that  for the first 46 days of 2013 gasoline usage was up 2.8% compared with the same period last year.  This equals an additional 231,000 barrels of gasoline being used each day.   This also corresponds with increased exports of refined petroleum from the US to other countries that have increased by 153,000 barrels a day over last year’s figures.

This increased gasoline usage and the increased export of refined petroleum explains the increased price of gasoline in the USA.    The average national price of regular gasoline reported by the AAA is $3.78 per gallon.  This is up 48 cents a gallon since the start of the year.  The President may want to ask Chu before he resigns at month’s end to flood the market with Codas, Fiskers, Teslas, Volts, and Leafs to reverse the gasoline tide.

But wait, if the increase in gasoline usage is because citizens actually have jobs to drive to and that the US earns a margin on refining crude oil and exporting petroleum products there may well be a silver lining in the high gasoline price.   My personal usage of gasoline has not increased over last year and given that mid-grade costs me $4.35 a gallon I still drive my car as little as possible.  I checked the odometer on the old 1999 C 280 and it stands at 114,399 miles.  On June 29, 2012 I reported the odometer hit 111,111 miles.  In almost 8 months I have driven the car 3,288 miles.  Don’t blame me for the price of gasoline.  You can just blame me for the state of the world.

Boeing claims they can fix the fiery battery problem by increasing the space between the lithium ion cells and using a fire proof housing for the battery pack.  I am not sure the FAA will go for this solution.  The Airbus has given up on lithium batteries and will use alternate safer chemistry.   Elon Musk needs some lithium pills after the dreadful fortnight at Tesla.  The Chinese reported that sales of pure electric vehicles in that country reached 11,375 units for all of 2012.  But Elon is opening up a Tesla store in China soon using the money the DOE, his suppliers, and his future customers gave him.
Sorry this blog goes all over the place but these statistics tell us a few things. 
Gasoline remains king as a transportation fuel. 
Pure EV vehicles are not selling like hot cakes anywhere

I drive sparingly in an old car to save money for healthcare

Dr Chu will prove that those that can’t do, teach


The oil companies are making money while the whole EV supply chain is painted red.  Elon should change his name to Chev-Ron and he may pull off the save of the century in preventing his Teslacle from dropping.