See the picture? I think this is a nice looking car, don't you ?
Great design, but sadly, the battery technology it uses is already a dinosaur. It only goes 100 miles (160km) between time-consuming battery charges in slow city driving.
As compensation for new owners with huge expectations, it does, however, have Satellite radio as standard equipment.
Wow. That’s just what every car owner needs, fluff and techy-toys on a fancy vehicle that lacks basic substance and performance ability!
It is nice and shiny, though, it's made by Nissan. It even has a “green” name. The Nissan Leaf. The first one has just been sold in California. It is inevitable the “Leaf” will be touted as being “zero emissions”-- being an “electric car” having a battery and an electric motor instead of a gasoline engine. It’s green, but make no mistake about it, it is a pretty green dinosaur. Why?
In case you were headed out the door to buy one, slam on the brakes for a minute. At Incoming BYTES not long ago, ( see Dec.16/10 North America, rent this idea !) you will have already discovered there is FAR better electric vehicle battery technology available.
Since we at Incoming BYTES seem to be apprised of this new technology, millions of other people must be similarly aware. Does “Corporate-Automotive” North America access the internet? Of course they do, and they are fully aware of DBM battery technology, but it looks like they hope nobody has noticed.
If that is the case, what are the dinosaurs in the boardrooms really doing? Does the North American Automotive power structure believe North American consumers are totally gullible?
It is, once again, time to ask pointed questions.
Is the “existing dinosaur battery technology” -however inefficient it IS, to be “used up and paid for” by the unsuspecting public before any “new and better technology" is allowed into automotive production?
As an aside, there is precedent for that possibility. Consider the case of high-tech “LED” lighting which is available, but has conveniently been outrageously overpriced and put aside for less efficient CFLs, compact florescent light bulbs-- that contain poisonous mercury. Why? CFLs replaced “inefficient, wasteful incandescent lighting.” Maybe it just was the fact that CFL’s are made in China, made where environmental controls are lax and labour is cheap. Profitable.
Regardless, LED technology uses no polluting mercury as compact florescent bulbs do, do not wear out, and are far more efficient lighting than CFLs. Sadly, once again, we wait for the “conversion of the industry” to a new high-tech LED standard, the COST being, that now North America is forced to deal with millions upon millions of polluting CFL bulbs in landfills, or recycle them.
Is the unsuspecting public, actually being forced to “use up” and pay for the “ dirty technology” of CFL’s before we shall be “allowed” to buy clean, highly efficient LED lighting?
Okay, I digress, but you get the point. Is a similar scenario taking place with the Leaf and electric car technology? Logic suggests it, too, is being manipulated. Far better battery technology already exists. The fact that DBM battery technology in Europe has already proven an electric vehicle can go 375 miles (600km) at highway speed on a six-minute charge without being tweaked seems to have been conveniently overlooked in the auto sector of North America. What are they smoking in automotive board rooms? Shall we laugh insanely now, or later?
What are the other possibilities with electric vehicles?
Has the long arm of the petroleum industry decided to make the “Leaf” look as inefficient as possible to prolong the life of the dirty, gasoline-guzzling internal combustion motor?
Are lobbyists involved, and bribery? Is the industry holding out to use fuel cells and natural gas instead of gasoline, nothing less than a similarly foolish, interim waste of technology and time? How about hydrogen technology -which has been stifled?
Going straight to electric vehicles, at what cost to the environment will the automotive industry manufacture and install millions of inefficient, old-technology automotive batteries when high-performance, high-efficiency lithium metal polymer batteries can be used, offering an astoundingly huge clear-cut advantage both to the consumer and the environment?
Is the government really part of the problem here? The Leaf “only” costs $33,000 USD retail, but the happy “Go Green” US government will reportedly subsidize Leaf buyers a flashy $7500.00 when they purchase the green dinosaur.
That $7500.00 is about 21% of the cost of the new car ! Quite an “incentive” isn’t it?
Let us interpret what is really happening . The net result of this subsidy could be merely another automotive bailout.
That US subsidy will translate to an estimated 7 or 8 Billion dollar taxpayer subsidy , -- and you, the lucky taxpayers of the United States of America, will pay for it.
You are, logically, seemingly, subsidizing the Auto industry yet again –to pay for old technology, old design and old infrastructure. “Let’s use it up, regardless of cost, shall we?”
It makes no difference if the government gives YOU the big cheque for $7500.00 or if they hand it directly to the automotive giants. By direct subsidy to the buyer or not, the money clearly ends up in automotive coffers, and you end up with a dinosaur parked in your driveway.
With planned obsolescence, when “new technology batteries” become available, you can rest assured they will not “fit” the Leaf....for the same prescribed reason. We do not have to guess why.
Will the Canadian government be far behind to give Canadian taxpayer dollars away in similar subsidies to bribe consumers into buying equally inefficient, low-tech-battery electric vehicles ? I hope Canadians are smarter than that.
The fact is, regardless of location or country, electricity costs, whether it be from hydro electric, coal-burning generation, nuclear or solar energy- so let us use it wisely in the most efficient automotive electric vehicles possible.
A nice-looking car with “free” Satellite radio or not, this strategy is unacceptable use of limited resources in our already-strained world. North America needs to get off of petroleum, develop a solar strategy for production of electricity, and use mineral resources with restraint.
Let us cut to the chase and use the best possible electrical battery technology at the lowest environmental cost possible. We encourage the reader to be informed, decide which path is better, and spend your automotive dollars accordingly–and wisely.