Saturday, January 10, 2015

What a week!!

First I need to take a moment of silence to pay tribute to the French and their police and army.  Today we are all French.

Inside EVs dot com reported the yearly sales of plug in cars.  119,710 such cars were sold in the USA in 2014.  Many new brands came to market with 22 vehicles to choose from.   In 2013 there were 16 vehicles to choose from and 97,507 vehicles were sold.

It looks like a “growth” market on the surface but when one looks at the three market leaders (Leaf, Volt and Tesla) the growth was anemic at only 4.5% year on year growth (68,339 vehicles versus 65,387) and two of the three (Tesla and Volt) each selling fewer vehicles in 2014.

When the battery size is added to the equation for the three market leaders the growth in kilowatt hours of battery packs was only 3.3% year on year.  Mr. Obama promised a million plug in vehicles on the road by the end of the year and we all know that was wishful thinking.

OK we all know that Dr. Chu was a run a way Chu Chu and wasted billions of dollars so let’s get back to the EVs and the market leader The Nissan Leaf.   Nissan received $1.4 billion in DOE loan guarantees on the promise they would produce 150,000 Leaves per year.   The Leaf has been on market for four years and 1 month.  In that entire time they sold 72,303 or about half of what they promised for one year.    This is a fulfillment of one eighth of a promise!  Kind of like getting one year of work out of Mr. Obama in two terms.

At least the leaf got 72,303 cars on the road.   AC Transit got 12 fuel cell busses on the road powered by hydrogen.  The cost to taxpayers and ratepayers for the program so far is $87.6 million.  Now the zinger the busses have only traveled 526,000 miles (AC Transit Report 14-013 of March 2014).   I wrote the following to Denise Standridge the General Counsel of AC Transit:

“The real cost per mile is $87.6 million divided by 526,000 miles which equals $166.54 per mile.  The CO2 saved per mile is probably no more than 5 pounds even if all the hydrogen is made from renewable resources and the diesel busses attain 5.5 MPG.  Therefore, the cost of the program per short ton of CO2 saved is at a minimum $66,616.   Wow a short ton of CO2 offsets in Europe can be purchased for $7.42 per short ton (Euro 6.86 per metric ton).  This program has cost taxpayers and ratepayers 8,976 times the real value of the CO2 saved.

This project has to be the biggest boondoggle and greenwashing in the world and of course the Governor of CA gave the project his highest environmental award

I cannot even think of a Hollywood screenwriter who could dream up this nonsense!!”

Folks, the $87.6 million could have been used more wisely.  The $1.4 billion loan to Nissan could have been used more wisely.  I am convinced that the US needs an Engineering General just like an Attorney General and a Surgeon General to bring Real Energy Policy to the country.  Else, we will continue to have Presidents making outrageous statements about electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles. 

Talking of vehicles I filled up with midgrade in Marin County California for $2.43 a gallon.  It took me 4 minutes and I did not have to have Elon Super Charge me, I already was super charged by Governor Moonbeam who gave AC Transit an environmental award of the highest level for their BLOOMDOGGLE.  If Moonbeam had his way AC Transit would switch to DC Transit and go all electric.  Welcome to California where solar cells will generate power at night using Moonbeams.  I will be writing quite a bit on AC Transit in future blogs.