Saturday, February 21, 2015

The iCar and Mosquitoes

Large questions swirl whether Apple will enter the automobile business?   There are many reports Apple has poached workers at Tesla and even the defunct A123 battery company.    I have no inside information or idea if Apple will produce a car by 2020 but if they do it will not be cheap.  Apple is an amazing company and has established a luxury brand around commonplace items.  They like Starbucks sell an experience and make people feel good that they own their product.  This might be the magic ingredient in car ownership and Apple sees the opportunity to expand their brand.

In 2000 just before the dot com bust Intel, Microsoft, and Cisco were the darlings of Wall Street.  They each had a market capitalization of over half a trillion dollars.  Intel now is worth $163 billion, Cisco is $152 billion, and Microsoft is $360 billion.  Their combined worth is now $675 billion.  Apple alone is worth $754 billion.   Fifteen years ago Apple was a bit player and was worth less than $10 billion.  In fifteen years’ time Apple could well be the leading Auto Company.  Right now Apple is the best run and most admired company.

The global oil markets are going sidewise and refinery workers in the USA are on strike.  What is concerning to me is that the EIA is showing data that gasoline and diesel consumption are on the rise in the USA and the country will again for the third year in a row increase carbon emissions.    Gasoline usage for the first six weeks of 2015 is up 5.7% compared to a year ago and diesel is up 8.9%.  These are not small numbers.  I do not think that motorists and truckers give a hoot about Carbon emissions they simply drive more when fuel is less expensive.   I worry about Carbon emissions as I am the Green Machine.

The poor folks in Boston have not driven much in the first six weeks on 2015 as they have had to deal with record amounts of snow.  Therefore it must be folks in the warmer states that are driving much more and firing up their heavy SUVs.  Much of the US will experience bitter cold this week but here in Sunny California the weather is great.   Weather like stock prices is hard to predict.  Spring will come to Boston and the ice in the Charles River will melt.  The marathon will be run and Kenyan or Ethiopian athlete will again win the race.   The summer will come to the Bay State and folks will be bitten by mosquitoes all in the cycle of life.

Mosquitoes are attracted to humans due the warm CO2 we emit from breathing.  I cannot fathom why mosquitoes don’t all swarm to the stack of a coal powered power station.  Perhaps someone will go on Shark Tank with an improved device for catching mosquitoes.  A few years back a company sold a device called Mosquito Magnet that catalytically oxidized a trickle of propane from a tank to warm CO2 to attract mosquitoes. 

Yeah even killing mosquitoes has a carbon footprint and now uses fossil fuels.  I simply stay indoors or carry a swatter if I have to deal with outdoor insects.  Perhaps Apple will come up with an App on their IPhone that makes the noise of female mosquitoes so the mosquitoes bite the phone and not the human holding the phone.  Apple hopefully will not make a Lemon of a car.  Maybe Apple is actually working on the iPlane the car that can fly????