Got upset watching a motor journal on TV today. Of course, 99% of all cars tested in these types of programs are gasoline guzzlers with roaring V8s – they apparently think people would watch reviews of cars they will never afford to buy, rather than affordable, sensible, smaller cars. Not that there is a single gasoline or diesel driven car that is a sensible buy with regards to the environment.
Or, put so succinctly with this quote, infamous by now because of its source:
You know, we don’t have a problem with global warming, it’s just getting hotter.
The motor journal promoted LPG, which stands for Liquidized Petroleum Gas. That means it’s the same old oil product, only in gas form, which has been liquidized in order to not blow your car up if you crash, and converted back into gas when injected into the same old inefficient petrol engine. Sound complicated? Nooo, it’s the technology of the future! (scornful laugh)
Right now LPG is just above half of the gasoline price, but the engine consumes 30% more fuel. ‘A lot of money to be saved’, you say. Don’t be fooled. I remember just 10-15 years ago when diesel was 25% of gasoline. Now it’s about the same.
‘Government grants’, you say. Yes, it’s insane. The UK government gives a 60% grant to people that can show that their car is more environment friendly with this product. This rules out most people’s cars: LPG only works on gas guzzlers like jeeps, high-end BMWs, and the like; the gains are not sufficient for cars with already more efficient motors. Those cars then run on the equivalent of 60-70% of gasoline.
It costs £2,000 to convert your car to LPG. The UK, at the time the program was shot, had 1,100 gas stations that had LPG. 100 garages qualified to work on LPG converted cars.
There’s only a couple problems with LPG:
1. Keep the oil dependency
2. Keep spewing CO2 into our atmosphere
3. Keep noisy engines that are marginally more inefficient at turning gasoline into energy than those made in the 19th century.
I simply don’t understand why people want to live in the stone age. General Motors has already proven the viability of commercial electric cars with the EV1:
1. Go for hundreds of miles in a stylish luxury car without recharging.
2. Go 70 mph if you want to.
3. Experience the feeling of NO TAILPIPE.
4. Show me a gas station that needs to be “converted” to electricity.
But GM recalled every single EV1 and ground them into chips. Their agenda is obvious. The EV1 lasted forever, so they would sell no parts. With no stone-age engine that deteriorates and breaks down, there would be no need to buy a new car every ten years.
‘Electricity is just a longer tailpipe’, you say. (Meaning that the energy comes from a power plant which might use fossil fuels.) That argument is stupid to anyone with an ounce of engineering knowledge, or half a brain:
1. A big chunk of the power plants don’t use fossil fuels – if 40% of them don’t use oil, that’s 40% less oil burned = 40% less CO2.
2. For every step in the chain from crude to burnt petrol, there’s an efficiency loss. Compare this to buying a product. From the child workers in China (sorry, being cynical now) to your local sportswear store selling that Nike shoe, every middleman turns a profit. From the oil fields (or oil platforms, which are like miniature cities!), on tankers, to refineries, to gas stations, machinery and huge vehicles process and transport the crap, consuming power, and … you guessed it … gasoline. For every 100,000 car engines inefficiently converting gasoline to power, there’s a single power plant efficiently generating electric power.
‘Rolling blackouts’, you cry. Is it really that hard to build more power plants? But that’s not happening, because the governments apparently don’t have the people’s best interest or the future of mankind at heart. They give grants to people who continue to burn fossil fuels instead.
The big issue here is that governments are not in control. Their job is to govern industry, but they’re not doing that. It would be the easiest thing in the world for a government to give a grant to a new company intent on producing electric cars. Once started, that company would compete on equal terms with any other car manufacturer.
Instead, they support… petroleum interests. Get your head around that one…
There will always be a need for high-torque, gas-guzzling diesel engines. But allowing an electric car company to be born gives the people a choice. Consumers can only buy what is available.
If you like the smell of exhausts in your city, keep sniffing your brains out. If you’d like a city where you can catch the fragrance of the flowers in the park half a block down, rise a level above the primitives who are impressed with the growl of a gasoline engine, and do what you can for a step in the right direction. You could be part of The New Elite.
It’s a no-brainer, really.