Sunday, October 8, 2017
There is no secret, there is no argument, it really isn't a change at all. Electric vehicles will not replace our usual means of transportation anytime soon. And when they do, it will be a gradual takeover and it will be voluntary. It will take a lot of time. Many pundits and process junkies are running around caterwauling about the necessity to change the infrastructure and make other accommodations for a change to electricity immediately.
The same is true for electric vehicles becoming a necessity as it is for climate change to occur. Both issues are being approached with a hysterical outlook pushed by the immediate need to fleece the public.
Like an accommodation to a changing climate, the change to all-electric locomotion, divorcing ourselves from our dependence on fossil fuel sources, is not an emergency measure.
We have years – decades – to affect that change-over. Nothing cataclysmic will transpire if we don't change immmediately. Nothing cataclysmic will transpire if we don't change for years. In fact one of the nation's largest financiers is putting his money on tradition. Not tradition as in sculpting stone or raising horses, but traditional as in petroleum fuels.
Warren Buffett, for all his support for Democrats, is a conservative person, especially when money is at stake. Big money is definitely at stake when it comes to future fuels. Instead of being a hedge bet on his part, this writer thinks it is his prime investment philosophy.
We can be certain that at some point, electric cars, etc. will become a viable means of transportation. That will happen. It may not happen until we run out of fossil fuel a quarter millennium from now, but it will happen. The Chinese government is placing their bets, but as was stated in the commentary on Tuesday, October 3, their fascist system can make these decisions without regard to convenient (for the populace) results.
What this writer thinks we will be seeing first for our benefit is vehicle fuel efficiency, as typified by the Toyota Prius (Pious – the name in 'South Park'). That car is a hybrid with electric motors for locomotion powered by electricity generated from a relatively small gasoline engine and stored in enormous batteries. These vehicles will help us drive battery technology to maturation.
It will be a long time before truck engines and other long-haul vehicle engines become all electric (at that time they will be called motors). And there will always be a market for 'muscle cars' that go racing. Actually, electric cars – with their amazing torque – may find a home there also.
Yesterday, there was an article that the long suppressed information about the length of time that it takes for a battery to charge has become a subject of concern. Surprise, Surprise!
And the only type of battery that can accept a deep charge – which is the kind of charge needed for heavy-duty use – is the heavy, traditional lead-acid type. That is the kind of battery that has been used in submarines, for instance, since before World War II. All of that is subject to change with new technology, but the new technology that is being developed is not directly transferable from cell phone size to large-scale battery power. That will happen, of course, but it will take time.
And then there's the creation of the power. The kinds of batteries we use for large power needs do not create power; those batteries merely store power. Power creation requires fossil fuel or another form of energy. The green bullshit energy sources will slowly gain in capability, but slowly. With all the silly bans on nuclear power – it is used routinely in Europe – this country will probably not use that phenomenal source until it becomes necessary. We will probably use fossil fuels for a very long time.
This will require power plants. These are large buildings with tall smokestacks for exhausting the invisible (theoretically) products of combustion away from the nostrils of our politically correct kindred. There are transmission lines and power poles; there are transformers and distribution centers; there are all the components of the electric grid. Until we can power a high-rise building, or a hospital, or a shopping mall, or a grocery store on solar energy (HA!), we will be using the electric grid that we have now.
Warren Buffett is right. His purchase of Pilot Flying J is an astute one. His purchase of that company is anchored in his long-held conservatism.
It's all about time: time for charging, time for development, time for adaptation to new systems.
There was a TV sitcom entitled "It's About Time," starring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. They were the 1960s version of cave-men. We really haven't come very far from that.