New electric car–the ‘JATO’

Apparently, the marketing arm of this company has never heard of the Darwin awards myth about JATO units and automobiles.

Guest essay by John Hardy

The best-selling EV worldwide has been the Nissan Leaf. In Q1 2018 it was overtaken by a model made in China by BAIC, a domestic Chinese company. There were three other domestic Chinese manufacturers in the top 10. Forget CO2 and all that greenwash: the Chinese mean to eat the Western auto industry for breakfast.

image

Image copyright JATO Dynamics. Used by permission.

https://www.carscoops.com/2018/05/baic-ec-now-worlds-best-selling-electric-car/

Yes the BAIC EC is small, range is limited, at $22k it could be cheaper (although if you figure in lifetime fuel costs it is competitive with the cheapest cars on the US market). It won’t haul a ton of logs up a muddy track or take 6 people from LA to NY without recharging or whatever is today’s excuse for dismissing EVs.

EVs are getting better all the time and if the Western auto industry waits until the competition are shipping big volumes of cheap 300 mile range cars the game will already be over. As a start they need to put serious money into battery gigafactories (The Chinese are running off with that football too).

Oh and for our US friends, BAIC have parked their tanks on your lawn. They are setting up a plant in Mexico. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201802/22/WS5a8e8636a3106e7dcc13d696.html

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336 thoughts on “New electric car–the ‘JATO’

  1. “…the Chinese mean to eat the Western auto industry for breakfast.” Oooh, I’m shaking in my boots! Kip, where’s that graphic you post on ALL EV sales relative to the Ford F-150? And as far as I can tell, even though EV sales are climbing, they’re only falling behind less rapidly. i.e., the growth in annual sales of all vehicles, in absolute numbers, is greater than total EV sales. If I’m wrong on either of those counts, I’m sure someone will let me know.

    • “Yes the BAIC EC is small, range is limited, at $22k it[‘s damned expensive if you compute how much you pay per hour of available driving time]. It won’t haul a ton of logs up a muddy track or take 6 people from LA to NY without recharging [for hours on end]…” Why does this even rate a press release? Sort of like advertising, out pile of cow manure stinks slightly less than our competitor’s pile of cow manure, buy all you can now and avoid the rush! when I have absolutely no use for cow manure, no garden to get started, don’t even want to grow grass!

      • “EVs are getting better all the time and if the Western auto industry waits until the competition are shipping big volumes of cheap 300 mile range cars the game will already be over.” So the watermelons are going all-in with the philosophy, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Who needs to hire a “Minister for … Propaganda” when our Lame Stream Media is already carrying water for them for free?

      • The BAIC EC is available as the EC180 with 30kW/140Nm electric motor, and an NEDC range of 156km, or as the EC200 with a 36kW/140Nm motor, and a range of 162km. Those are ranges of 96 and 100 miles respectively so to travel any distance you would be driving for 1.5 hours then charging for 8 to drive for another 1.5 hours then recharging overnight … lather, rinse, repeat.

      • Anthony: you should require authors to do some fact checking. There were more than 20,000 Chevrolet Bolts sold in 2017.

    • Not all the Western auto industry is based in North America. And the North American auto industry only survived because of government bailouts without which there would not now be an F150.
      Not many F150s are sold in Europe where governments [wisely or foolishly ?] have decided to get rid of small diesels.

      Polluted Asian cities will welcome EVs [though electric motorcycles would make more sense].
      Perhaps it is just a case of shifting evil emissions from the centres of cities to somewhere else but in the meantime manufacturers of EVs will be rolling in cash [maybe subsidy cash but cash just the same].

    • This is the perfect car to give to anyone who lives just outside of driving range from whom you do not want a visit.

    • The Japanese were supposed to have already done that yet look at the cars the west produces today, and they are damn fine cars too, much better than japanese ones. Alfa, Ford, BMW, VW. All much better.

  2. They are setting up a plant in Mexico.

    Aw. Just in time for President Trump’s 25% duty on imported automobiles. link

  3. LOL An electric car in the largest captive market in the world takes “leadership”. There’s more to selling a car than price. They’ll have all the same problems of selling into the US market as current EVs. Dismissing the shortcomings of currently available EVs shows the author of this article doesn’t understand the issues.

  4. I’ll bet you that little car would just suck trying to make a 3% grade uphill in the Minnesota winter…

    • IS there a 3 percent grade in Minnesota? Maybe up around Duluth. The more serious problem is -40 (more or less) winter temperatures. Battery no like.

    • but it’s got 30 killerwatts! that’s 40.230663 horsepowers!
      for comparison, a 2018 golf has 292 horsepower

  5. If the electric car industry plans to “eat the Western auto industry for breakfast” they’re gonna need a much bigger spoon. Here are last year’s sales:

    w.

    • Willis

      Isn’t there a middle ground here?

      If urbanites wan’t to run around their little cities in their electric city cars, then let them. They don’t work beyond city boundaries, so let the rural folk run what they brung.

      My beef is much the same as Forrests’ comment below, I just don’t want to pay for virtue signalling urbanites imposing their values on the rest of the country, and making the rest of the country pay for their luxuries.

      So city air is shitty. If they don’t like it, move to the country and spread the wealth. But they are too greedy and want everyone else to pay for their clean air.

      There is not one meaningful operational power station located within the London area (generally considered within the M25 motorway that encircles it. All the power needs for London are met by facilities in rural areas. Yet air quality standards across the country are generally measured relative to our cities, principally, London, and everyone pays for London’s problem in so many ways.

      • Here’s a middle ground story.
        In San Diego, around the beach area it is very crowded to park much less to move around in a car. So entrepreneurial types put electric scooters all over the beach area. Just swipe a card and go … no need need to drop off, just leave them where your at when you are done.
        That lasted until people started to use them. Then somebody gave someone a boo boo while operating one so the City put an emergency moratorium on them.
        Ideas are great … until they get implemented.

      • If you lived in a European city you are probably better getting around on public transport most of the time. Some American cities are the same, although Eurpopean public transport is probably better. If I lived in a city, I would want a car that can get me out of it from time to time, not an electric car!

      • James, if you are as ancient as myself you can remember that the US auto industry bought up most of the smaller urban mass transportation systems in America during the 50’s and 60’s with the intent of shutting them down and making personal transportation a necessity. The automobile industry then considered convenient mass transportation in something other than a vehicle they produced to be an impediment to their growth.

      • Pop Piasa May 27, 2018 at 7:15 pm
        James, if you are as ancient as myself you can remember that the US auto industry bought up most of the smaller urban mass transportation systems in America during the 50’s and 60’s with the intent of shutting them down and making personal transportation a necessity. The automobile industry then considered convenient mass transportation in something other than a vehicle they produced to be an impediment to their growth.

        Urban mass transportation died because no one likes waiting for a bus in the snow with shopping bag full of groceries. This “…the US auto industry bought up most of the smaller urban mass transportation systems in America blah … blah … blah … blah” is a myth pushed by leftist propaganda artists.

        Beware of carefully worded non-sense.

      • Pop, if you spent 10 seconds thinking about that so called myth, you would realize how utterly impossible it would be.
        First off, why would they be able to buy them up? If they were as successful as modern propagandists want to believe, the cities would have no interest in selling the.
        Secondly, How exactly did a large number of car companies decide exactly which one of them would buy these transit agencies just to shut them down? Or did individual companies decide that they would fall on their swords in selfless devotion to the industry as a whole?

      • James, you hit the nail on the head. EVs are strictly a commuter car. If you can plug in at work, you can even do a long commute, but want to drive to grandma’s house? No way. So now you need an extra car. My extra car is a used 2003 ($1200); hard to compare that price to an EV.

      • Pop Piasa, just because you are old doesn’t mean you can’t be fooled by conspiracy theories.

        https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-gm-trolley-conspiracy-what-really-happened/

        “While the general public, at least those who’ve been exposed to the story, is likely to buy the GM-as-evil-conspirator tale, transportation historians and economic researchers do not”

        “The main point of “General Motors and the Demise of Streetcars” and other critics of the conspiracy theory is that trolley systems were replaced by bus systems for economic reasons, not because of a plot. Bus lines were less expensive to operate than trolleys, and far less costly to build because there were no rails. Extending service to rapidly growing suburbs could be accomplished quickly, by simply building a few bus stops, rather than taking years to construct rail lines. So, buses replaced streetcars.”

      • Jeff in Calgary: “James, you hit the nail on the head. EVs are strictly a commuter car. If you can plug in at work, you can even do a long commute, but want to drive to grandma’s house? No way. So now you need an extra car. My extra car is a used 2003 ($1200); hard to compare that price to an EV.”

        I suppose the question is really: How often does one need / want the product to travel beyond its daily commuting range? [ Capital expense = $1200 + Monthly Insurance (I am in Ohio) = $80+ + Additional Maintenance costs per year + Licensing costs per year + Parking (very subjective value) ]. If the cost of owning an additional vehicle for the purpose(s) you describe is lower than renting a vehicle, then sure, that makes sense. For me, as rarely as I drive more than 50 miles in a day, I could rent a fairly new, pretty well furnished SUV from a local car rental shop to aide in my long distance travels. Even with rental insurance, it has made sense for us to rent a car for long trips, if only because I do not feel the need to put large quantities of mileage on the gasoline vehicles that we do own. Your mileage may vary, good luck!

    • Great chart. I doubt EVs are doing much better in Oz. “April 2017 new vehicle sales figures have been released, showing an increasing dominance in ute sales, and a list of pretty clear winners and losers. It’s interesting to note here that although overall sales of new vehicles in Australia have slowed 2.8% for the year and 5.1% for the month, SUV and 4X4 sales are bucking the trend with growth. 4X4 ute sales have jumped 5.2% so far this year, and SUV sales are up 1.7%.“.
      https://mr4x4.com.au/best-worst-selling-4wds-2017/

      • Mike…In 2017, a record 1,189,116 new cars were sold in Australia, with just 1123 electric cars accounting for a tiny 0.09 percent of the market share.
        That was a slight improvement over 2016, when electrically chargeable vehicles accounted for just 0.06 percent of the market, or just 765 electric vehicles out of a then-record 1,178,133 new car sales.
        However, finding the exact number of electric vehicles sold in Australia is difficult, with Tesla’s policy of not reporting sales leaving a large void in any ledger….Tesla’s recall notice showed a fix needed to be applied to 469 Model X SUVs, and 324 Model S sedans….The 793 cars were all built between February and October 2016. Averaged out across a full 12 months and it can be estimated Tesla sells around 1060 cars a year…The 793 cars were all built between February and October 2016. Averaged out across a full 12 months and it can be estimated Tesla sells around 1060 cars a year. …If you include the estimated Tesla sales in calculations, the market share of electric vehicles sold in Australia increases to 0.18 percent….According to EV-volumes.com, a data collation site that tracks global EV and PHEV sales, plug-in electric vehicles account for 1.28 percent of global new car sales….China and Norway provide significant incentives for consumers to purchase a new electric vehicle, which has helped guide buyer demand….
        From WhichCar. 20 Mar 2018.
        No Subsidy…No Sale…It is as simple as that.

      • Great chart. I doubt EVs are doing much better in Oz.

        With the recent “electrical grid” problems being suffered by parts of Oz, ….. it would surely cause some people to question the “sanity” of purchasing an EV.

      • Mike Jonas

        My best friend was the biggest importer of electric bikes in Australia several years ago. But they were banned. So he converted his entire business to importing tiny IC engined bikes to satisfy new Australian government regulations. They were shortly thereafter banned as well, and electric bikes once again preferred.

        The last 20 years has cost him a personal fortune and he’s now looking for a job to make ends meet. As a highly qualified, and vastly experienced electrical engineer in his early 60’s, his options are limited.

        Australian governments have a lot of blood on their boots.

    • A battery breakthrough would change things dramatically. Folks are working hard on that. link link

      On the other hand … Don Lancaster made the observation (for which I cannot find the link) that, if people have been working hard on something for a long time, we should not expect a breakthrough. For sure we have been making incremental progress in battery technology but I think we need a breakthrough. There’s a difference.

      • Yes, what is required is a fresh paradigm on a higher level. If only Nikola Tesla had not been stifled, batteries would be unnecessary.

      • There will be a banner year come along sometime. That is the year in which a truly practical high capacity battery is developed, and the fusion power plants to charge them. Any time now!

        I wonder if my local bookie will take a bet for my (not yet existing) great-great-grandchildren…

      • Commieob:
        in 1977 I chaired an international symposium on lithium, because the US Government had told us that by 1999 all the cars on US highways would be electric, and would be using lithium batteries. Naturally, we in the industry were worried that there would be enough lithium to go around. Result? There still is no battery available for sale or in the lab which will do the job. I am afraid it is a matter of basic physics.

      • Pop Piasa: It’s not that Tesla was “stiffled”. Wireless transmission of large amounts of energy just isnt’ possible. Large amounts of energy are dangerous no matter what the form. To wirelessly transmit enough energy to power everything we use would require living in a soup of energy powerful enough to kill us all or possibly require everything to carry around huge collectors to have enough power from low power transmission. Another alternative might be directed energy beams (aka “death rays”). Tesla’s wireless transmission failed because of fundamental physics, not because he was “stiffled”.

      • People keep going on about better batteries. Trouble is, EVs don’t run on batteries, they run on electricity. The battery is just storage for the “fuel”. So yes – if you put in a bigger “fuel tank” you’ll get increased range. But you’ll have to put more “fuel” in it which will either take longer, or require a massive upgrade to domestic wiring (and supply) in order to charge faster.

      • Jim Whelan: “Pop Piasa: It’s not that Tesla was “stiffled”. Wireless transmission of large amounts of energy just isnt’ possible.”

        Wireless transmission of large amounts of energy absolutely is possible, it is called Directed Energy. The U.S. Air Force has an entire directorate dedicated to studying it in New Mexico. Their phrase, “Speed of light to the fight by 2020” may be hopeful, but they are serious about it. While you may be referring to consumer-useable energy for large vehicles, that is largely a problem to be solved by engineering, not necessarily a limitation of physics. Wireless transmission of small amounts of energy, say, for small electronics… now that is not only possible and practical, but has been done many times. Decades ago, I had a small AM radio that only had a capacitor and a longgg antenna; just unspool the long antenna on the old chain-link fence, and you got AM radio 24/7 without any batteries or plugs. For more modern examples, I have read numerous white papers on swarms of small drones (in a lab, of course) all being powered by several wireless power transmitters around a small room — each had internal batteries, capacitors, and regulators that would charge as they flew through the various beams of energy, with enough onboard to make it to the next beam.

      • Lurking meggie: “But you’ll have to … require a massive upgrade to domestic wiring (and supply) in order to charge faster.”

        I do not believe a massive upgrade to domestic wiring or supply are needed. IIRC, the current Tesla chargers draw 48-72 Amps, depending on model. My home is wired for 200 Amp service for a heat pump (now a geothermal), with the furnace unit sitting on (again, IIRC) two 15 kW circuits (240 V, 60 A), plus additional, smaller circuits (5 or 10 kW each) for emergency heat (the big toaster). There is no reason for me to believe that the current setup could not be modified fairly simply to handle a 72 Amp draw; granted, a smarter breaker box might be a good idea to switch off the car charger while emergency heat was running, or something along those lines.

        Now if you are talking about ubiquitous adoption of electric vehicles and the draw on the electric grid (supply) for that, well, that is a more complicated discussion. Many current (pun intended) adopters are city dwellers that do not charge at home anyway, and centralized high-current charging stations are managed by those initial capital installation costs. If everyone were a homeowner charging in their garage as I purported as a possibility for myself, then yes, some changes may be necessary to the grid as a whole. As I alluded to, my entire neighborhood (~100 homes) is 200 Amp service, as are several nearby neighborhoods, so maybe our supply could handle it? That is a question for someone in that field, but I would love to have that discussion with someone in the know.

      • “A battery breakthrough would change things dramatically.”

        There won’t be one. When all is said and done batteries are limited to reversible low-temperature redox reactions. There is only so much electricity available by juggling the odd valence electrons.

        Something entirely different is needed. What might that be? I haven’t the faintest idea, and probably nobody else either.

      • RM, there is a very large difference between 1-10 W of power needed for a radio or larger amounts needed for a drone in close proximity and the amount needed for cars over kilometers. The infrastructure and transmission losses alone become insane.

      • Ben of Houston, agreed.
        My response specifically questioned the use of the word “possible”.
        Wireless power transfer _is_ possible, though our current limited understanding of and methodology of the necessary phenomenology renders it impracticable.

    • Current sales tells you nothing about trends and strategies.

      If you want to take on market leaders (US automakers) you almost have no choice except to change the playing field. And that means going electric. Ask Musk. you cant lead by following.

      Next, you present US autosales. Guess you have never met with Chinese automakers to assess their
      forward going plans.? You should it is illuminating.

      One big difference is annual miles driven. USA is the leader. This means of course that the US will probably be the last to transition to Electric, but transition it will.

      https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1091470_u-s-to-stay-global-first-in-vehicle-miles-driven-says-futurist

      A nice play will happen in spare parts for old gas cars.

      • My Mom: “If your friends all jump off of a cliff, are you going to follow them?”

        Me (at about 12 years of age): “Why not?”

        My Mom: Gibbs slap. She had the patent on that long before the TV show. Also drove an International Harvester…

        Me (at my current age, feeling the lump on the back of the head that is still there): “No, I don’t think I’ll follow that idiot Musk over the cliff.”

      • Steven, a major problem with EVs is that you cannot put a couple of spare jerry cans of electricity in the back, or stored in your garage. Anyone who has lived through severe weather or a natural disaster will tell you that the first thing to go down is electricity. Now what do you do when you need to evacuate – or, from a government point of view need an entire population to evacuate. This is normally a drive of more than 300 miles and the power has gone out: the interstates will be littered with bricked EVs and they cannot be moved by sharing a jerry can of fuel, they’ll need to be recovered to somewhere that has power, and if the battery protection worked they might recover in 8 hour’s time. EVs are toys, possibly OK as a second car in urban areas. But when the chips are down they are not to be relied upon.

      • America has pretty much always been a “mobile society” ever since the first “mobile” European immigrants came ashore on the East coast. Said immigrants could travel by walking, by horseback, by wagon, by canoe or by boat, …… when and where they wanted to, but at their own risk. They were not forced to live in close contact with each other in cities, towns and villages like the Europeans had been living for hundreds of years. The land was “free-for-the-taking” but one had to “move” there to take it, and oftentimes to “fight-for-it” to keep it.

        Thus, IMLO, America officially became a “mobile society” when the1st Conestoga (covered) wagons headed westward with the hopes and dreams of Manifest Destiny on the minds of their occupants. And “the-deal-was-sealed” with the completion of the 1st Continental Railroad.

        And 21st Century America is now a far, far greater “mobile society” than it has ever been during the past 300+ years …….. and it is now far, far too late to even be thinking about forcing a drastic change in/on/to the “means of mobility” that the American populace has become accustomed to. They prefer living where they want to, working where they want to and coming n’ going when they want to ……. and EVs will never be able to provide them with the aforesaid “lifestyle” choices.

      • Steven Mosher

        “If you want to take on market leaders (US automakers) you almost have no choice except to change the playing field.”

        The Japanese in the 1960’s and 70’s didn’t lead anything other than they used cheap labour and efficient means to produce cars.

        Then they got fat and lazy, like all other wealthy countries. Some of the most expensive cars on the road are Japanese now.

        They didn’t change the playing field so much as expose it’s weaknesses. Their cars were simple, lightweight and came as standard with radio’s and functioning windscreen wipers with two speeds. They still rusted like hell though.

        Musk is doing much the same, resurrecting old technology to answer a 21st Century question. The problem is, his technology was exposed as inadequate over 100 years ago, and nothing since has changed much other than the US government has chucked enormous sums of taxpayers money at him to solve an insolvable problem.

        The IC engine will not go away anytime soon. The best attempt at a solution is the hybrid IC/electric engine which is an evolution, not a revolution.

        And the question must be asked, if EV’s were truly the holy grail of personal transport, why are car makers still developing the IC engine? Mazda for the petrol petrol compression engine and Bosch (although not a car maker) with it’s uber clean diesel technology.

      • Steven Mosher – May 27, 2018 at 8:08 pm

        This means of course that the US will probably be the last to transition to Electric, but transition it will.

        Only people who have devious, disingenuous or ulterior motives would make such silly claims.

        Solar panels and EVs are often a great investment for US residents living south of the 35th latitude.

        But only the learning disabled and delusional US residents living north of the 38th latitude would be silly enough to purchase Solar panels or an EV.

        Cloudy skies, below 32F temperatures and snow storms are things to be avoided by owners of Solar panels and/or an EV.

    • Willis, everyone – the issue isn’t last year, this year or next year. Head out of sand time . Nuts to CO2 – does the western auto industry want to survive or not?

      • Without the mantra that CO2 emissions are bad, nobody would be considering EVs. As 80% of the base load power to charge EV’s will come from fossil fueled power stations, EVs are remotely polluting vehicles and should not be considered as saving any emissions; but then the market is for virtue signalling customers and not intended to actually reduce emissions or environmental impact.

      • The issue is how much faith to put in projections made by acolytes?
        The acolytes have been predicting that electric sales are about to take off for 30 years. Do you present any evidence that the latest “predictions” are any better than past ones? No.
        Instead you tell half the story and ignore the fact that to acheive even these pathetically low levels of sales requires massive subsidies.
        Purchase prices, subsidized.
        Energy costs, subsidized. Electrics don’t pay road taxes which can be as much as half the cost of gasoline.
        Use preferences: In many locals EVs get to use high occupancy lanes even when only one person is in the car. In other locations they pay reduced or even no tolls.

        Reduce this use of other people’s money, and see how quickly EV sales drop back to their previous nearly non-existent levels.

      • At some point, subsidies will be removed for EV’s and they will have to start paying their share of road tax. Then people will awaken to the fact that their governments have lied to them once again. People North of approximately the 40th parallel will realize this sooner, as heating your vehicle will reduce range dramatically.

    • The guest essay is an example of why the Eastern Bloc has lost its competition with the West. Also in the GDR, the USSR, other Eastern Bloc countries and also in China (there until today) was talked of annual dizzying growth rates of the production, the living standard and the loyalty of the population to its own regime. Until the acid test came with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Eastern Bloc regimes collapsed like card houses (with the exception of China, which acted with military force against its own people, delaying but not abolishing the end of the regime for decades). These numbers are all faked because they do not reflect the real world again. Of course, the global sales of EVs in the first quarter of 2018 again fell against the total sales of ICE cars. In the meantime, many producers of EVs are losing faith in a better future. Not for nothing Elon Musk does not increase the production and does not even start with some models. A small bankruptcy is better than a big one. Even though China now wants to increase the production and sales of EVs with deadlines, this sale will quickly reach its limits, of course: lack of energy and lack of acceptance among buyers. China continues to do so and produces electricity from coal. That is then super environmentally friendly. Instead of ICE Cars Coal Power Plants pollutes the air of Beijing. So the mouthguard will be a big hit in China for a long time. Which reminds me a bit of homemade British gas masks in the First World War.

      • John Endicott: “You do realize what plastic is made from?”

        Yes. Not copper.
        Plastics / synthetics have many sources, often oil. I do not understand what point you are trying to make. The question at hand (the scope of which I intentionally limited by the partial quote), was the implied limited resource availability and heavy weight associated with copper. I proposed an alternative to copper. Plastic is not made from copper. Do… you… realize which resources are used to make plastic?

      • Yes, RM25483, mainly those “evil” fossil fuels that are driving the push for EVs by the greenies. Plastics won’t fly in the greenie world. EVs don’t fly outside the greenie world. See the dilemma?

      • EVs require far more copper than internal combustion power. Motors and batteries, 15% of Li ion weight is copper.

        Then there is the cobalt ceiling. Even harder to break. These demands cannot be met even if one rapes the third world production areas for these strategic metals.
        All due to virtue signaling from emissions of plant fertilizer. Plants don’t grow in open pit mines. Especially not when those mines are in third world countries.

      • Jan,
        Fascinating.
        Do look at the growth rates shown in your graph [I am trusting your figures as accurate for whatever you intend them to show].
        I am not a Statistician First Class – I can barely understand horse-racing odds; but the growth is – apparently – declining.
        Projecting that for – Perhaps – ten years, will give no growth and then decline. I guess.

        Auto

      • Please give reason why this exponential curve will continue into the future?
        Especially give evidence that this exponential growth will continue once subsidies are removed.

      • Did you check with Michael Mann on that graph’s copyright? I think he uses it in his fiction writing.

      • Jan Kjetil Andersen New technologies and industries always follow an S curve, exponential, then linear, and then fall off. We are on the beginning of the curve here. Don’t know when it will fall off but an exponential curve at this point is meaningless.

      • And what is the driver of that impressive looking curve Jan Kjetil?

        If you hail from the same part of Scandinavia I’m in right now, I know you actually know the answer.

        Right now, virtue signallers who read cleantech or EV world occassionally like to hold Norway as an example of how EVs can ‘succeed’, there is a Tesla S or X on every corner here. But even dung burning roller skates would succeed if you gave them a big enough leg-up.
        EVs only make imaginary sense here because government policy waives the exorbitant road tolls, lets them use bus lanes, charges them no new vehicle sales tax and lets other tax payers cover the cost of the electricity and parking they use.
        There is the future cost of paying someone to take the battery for ‘sustainable disposal’ when it inevitably dies in the arse, but once you’re out the door, your battery is no doubt being trucked over the border to a Swedish land fill like all the other crap that squeaky clean Norway can show isn’t polluting Norway.

        Even in the ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’ spirit, EVs are not a buying option for me since for reasons best known to herself, my significant other likes on winter weekends to drive two hours into the mountains to ride a slab of fibreglass downhill all day and then drive home and tend to her bruises. That’s in the frigid air you kind of expect in a ski region that batteries are frightened of.
        Even the lowest snake oil salesmen won’t suggest you can do that in a Leaf or an i3 (since I haven’t paid for public charging posts up there yet) and you wouldn’t buy a BMW i3 with a REx in Norway in a fit because the miniature ICE charging the duracel in an EV so equipped will excude it from all the artificial benefits of putting up with a poxy EV.
        One could help stump up for Elon’s next batshit crazy boondoggle, but even uten-skatt, the Tesla S is still a lot of money for not much of a car, and while I’ve shown elsewhere on this comments section that I’m apparently blase about the risk of death by road accident, I’m not too keen on stacking those odds with Tesla’s world renowned quality.

        For readers in the civilised world, a quick’over view’ of how mental the Robin Hood highway robbery is in Norway might be in order to s’plain why so many apparently intelligent people drive EVs here.
        The Mazda 3 I drive cost about 35,130 USD to buy new, which is about a third more than an equivalent model in the USA thanks to the skatt mann. Petrol costs the equivalent of about 7USD/gallon here. Even though Robin Hood takes half my income before I get it and then 15-25% of what’s left when I buy most things (except for the neccessities like petrol and alcohol which attract even more taxes supposedly to disuade me from using them) and in effect charges me 50% to import (mail order) anything other than books, the merry men still expect me to cough up about two and a half bucks every time I cross a council line.
        Despite the exorbitant expense I still think driving is worth it and still drive to work rather than catch a crowded, late running scum-shovel or push a deadly-treadly.
        It will be the extra proliferation of automated highway robbery machines coming this october, which will be ripping me off in both directions instead of just one, over about twice as many zones as today and the tripled tolls they’ll charge at peak hours that will finally deter me from driving and send me back to the scum shovel twice a day.
        After the extra highway robbery machines come to town, our still quite new wee 35,000 dollar car will probaby only turn a wheel to get us to the airport on those occassions when we can afford to catch the freedom bird for short doses of civilisation elsewhere; because the cost of petrol, road tolls and long term parking charges don’t even come close to the eye watering extortion involved in catching a taxi driven by apparently suicidal lunatics being integrated back into society.
        Once the revenue stream from motorists dries up though, EV owners are in for the end of their ‘happy time’ and we’ll see how that exponential curve fares. My money (what’s left of it) is bet on ‘badly’.

        P.S. As far as I can tell the ‘benefit’ of paying all this tax, in addition to funding a lot of EV virtue signalling, is also to keep the biggest work for the dole scheme – which ’employs’ about one fifth of the country’s population, afloat. In fairness socialist governments have to cook the unemployment books somehow otherwise they might not win the United Numpties annual gold star for ‘development’.

        P.S.S. And now to proove we’ve really doubled down on stupid, the government here are planning to sequester a bunch of tax down a CCS hole.

        you really can’t fix stupid.

      • Not exponential growth by a longshot, just a funky scale. 1.34 to 1.95 over the course of a year (forecasted) is not exponential. As someone else pointed out the growth is actually falling and will most likely continue to fall.

      • Please give reason why this exponential curve will continue into the future?

        Because electric vehicles are better than fossil fueled vehicles and they continue improving faster than fossil fueled ones.

        The acceleration is better, the smoothness of diving is better, they are noiseless, they can be more aerodynamic because they do not need a huge front grill for cooling the engine, no need for oil, you can charge it at home.

        Furthermore, they can potentially be 100% sustainable. All materials can be recycled infinitely, and all fuel can be based on sustainable sources.

        There are now 7.6 billion people and 1.2 billion cars in the world. The population will hopefully stabilize on about 11 billion, and if all of those eventually get a living standard similar to what we have in the most developed nations today, the number of cars will reach about 9 billion.

        A world with 9 billion fossil fueled cars will soon run out of fuel. A world with 9 billion sustainable electric vehicles fueled on sustainable energy can exist for ever.

        /Jan

      • potentially be 100% sustainable” Not really “All materials can be recycled infinitely” Same can be said about IC power cars. “A world with 9 billion fossil fueled cars will soon run out of fuel.” Define “soon”. Maybe by then we will have something like personal nuclear units.

      • “Because electric vehicles are better than fossil fueled vehicles and they continue improving faster than fossil fueled ones”

        Better at getting you stranded when you are on a long distance drive and exceed your cars very limited range.

        Wait until a major storm knocks out power in your area for days and you can’t charge up your EV and then tell everyone how much better it is.

      • EVs are better than ICs? Not if you hope to drive it more than a couple hundred miles. (In good weather, in bad weather you get less)
        When you are prepared to talk science instead of the religion of sustainability, I’ll listen.

      • Keith J: “EVs require far more copper than internal combustion power. Motors and batteries, 15% of Li ion weight is copper.”

        It may be worth reading a few papers regarding the ongoing research and successes with synthetic conductors. Just as glass, made thin enough, is flexible in fiber optics, so too can plastics be made to carry electricity.

      • ” Just as glass, made thin enough, is flexible in fiber optics, so too can plastics be made to carry electricity.”

        You do realize what plastic is made from?

      • John Endicott: “You do realize what plastic is made from?”

        Yes. Not copper.
        Plastics / synthetics have many sources, often oil. I do not understand what point you are trying to make. The question at hand (the scope of which I intentionally limited by the partial quote), was the implied limited resource availability and heavy weight associated with copper. I proposed an alternative to copper. Plastic is not made from copper. Do… you… realize which resources are used to make plastic?

        [ MOD: Sorry, I clicked the wrong Reply link previously. ]

      • Deja vue.

        Yes, RM25483, mainly those “evil” fossil fuels that are driving the push for EVs by the greenies. Plastics won’t fly in the greenie world. EVs don’t fly outside the greenie world. See the dilemma?

      • John Endicott: “See the dilemma?”

        No, I do not see the dilemna. There was a concern over the availability and weight associated with the use of copper in EVs. I suggested conductive synthetic materials as a replacement.

        I think perhaps the idea that you are not grasping is that not all purchases of EVs (or any electric tools) are directly attributable to a globalization / warmist / leftist / whatever agenda. I have not given my opinion of EVs, rather I have only discussed resource management, engineering solutions, and phenomenology. Yet you seem to tie all of these ideas together in some sort of us-vs-them all-or-nothing zero-sum argument.

      • Look at why EVs were proposed and are being pushed and subsidized: last centuries failed technology resurrected for the greens agenda. Try as you might you can’t separate EVs from those who are pushing them.

    • Willis, and that’s with subsidies to purchase, subsidies in electricity costs and many preferences while driving.
      Eliminate those, and electric sales go back to single digits.

  6. As a start they need to put serious money into battery gigafactories (The Chinese are running off with that football too).

    Is there an unlimited supply of the raw materials necessary to build these electric car batteries? If not, isn’t the extraction of these limited earth materials flying in the face of the sustainability credo to meet “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs?”

    And how many future generations (or how far into the future) have the elites calculated as to what our allocated (rationed) amount of natural resources should use should be?

    • kramer….you’ve given a very reasonable ‘sciency’ answer; however, the entire Global Warming issue is not about science or CO2 or especially the environment.

      • kokoda, I 100% agree with you that the AGW issue isn’t really about preventing global warming.

        IMO, in a nutshell, I view it (AGW prevention) as a tool to implement political policies that left-wingers and mega-rich families like.

  7. Quote: It won’t haul a ton of logs up a muddy track or take 6 people from LA to NY without recharging or whatever is today’s excuse for dismissing EVs.

    Oh really? People need an excuse for dismissing EVs? I’m more than happy for EVs to dominate the market. I just don’t want my tax money paying for virtue signalling from others.

    • That’s a fair point Forrest. I’m not interested in virtue signalling either. I’d just like the Western auto industry to wake up and smell the coffee in time to prevent them following Kodak, Hasselblad and the mass market Swiss mechanical watch industry in either extinction or marginalisation

      • Perhaps if you could provide some actual, factual, and complete information you might be able to convince someone.
        Half assed propaganda doesn’t convince anyone.

    • Maybe some of you should look at something small that may take over Asian and African countries that could lead to these regions becoming dominated by electric vehicles.
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/wadeshepard/2016/05/18/as-china-chokes-on-smog-the-biggest-adoption-of-green-transportation-in-history-is-being-banned/#4955a288141b
      I own an ebike and from personal experience, it is much much cheaper to operate and maintain than a motorcycle or a car (no oil, not much gears, no gasoline tanks). My weekly cost in electricity is around 30 PhP (0.70 USD). I charge every other day. It has a range of 50 Km and runs at 36 Kph. No, I don’t use it to run to the city but it’s perfect for driving to our local grocery and errands around town.
      Pedicab drivers in our area have converted from using bicycle to e-bikes.

      • Freezing temperature + howling wind + ice on road = e-bike.

        What’s not to like about this equation?
        Earth is a big and varied place.

        A good choice for where we live is a Subaru (or similar) — enclosed, heated, 4 wheel drive, and room for extra gear, food, drinks, and 500 mi. (800 km.) on a tank of gas.
        Big trucks do the major transport of goods stuff.
        Many other smaller trucks are used by workers of various types, example electric contractors.

      • Double those costs once government gets around to adding road use taxes to electrics.
        Also, you are ignoring the cost of replacing the battery in cost of ownership calculations.

    • Forrest: True. I would love an electric car if it actually met my needs. Seems they have a lot less parts to break down, and being able to ‘fill up’ at home is really attractive. But the short range makes it a non-starter for anything other than commuting. And I can’t justify the cost for a commuter vehicle.

      • Over the last twenty years, with the exception of replacing one spark plug, everything I have replaced on my cars also exists on electrics.

  8. Hey guys

    I hate to remind you that the Japanese were scorned when they imported their cheap, reliable, simple, well equipped, fuel efficient cars into US and European markets in the 60’s and 70’s.

    Junk evidently, until compared to our home grown competition. And in the UK that was British Leyland junk, which was junk.

    However, what we must remember is that German, Japanese, American, and even British car manufacturers have two huge markets in China and India.

    This isn’t a one sided game. Indeed, this is the motivation for companies, and countries to engage in free trade and commercial competition. It’s the very thing Americans relish and you guys are very good at it.

    Frankly, bring it on. It can only improve the game, and the support for free trade.

    And this is what Trump is telling the world. Compete or die.

    • Dont ever think that any western company has any chance to effectively compete in a totalitarian system like China? Some are; in the beginning but eventually the Chinese government will find a 1000 excuses to crowd to out of their market. Since there is no real legal system( as we like to think that a legal system should be) in China western companies in the long run have no chance to compete in the Chinese market. They have enough trouble trying to compete in the Japanese market.

      • Alan

        Great comment. What you seem to be saying is that there’s no hope, so we shouldn’t bother competing.

        Let’s just roll over now.

        Personally, I think this is the greatest peacetime opportunity the planet has had to shake us from our stagnating western economies and get a move on to creating growth once more.

        What you also forget is that China has converted from a totalitarian system to a hybrid totalitarian/Capitalist system to generate wealth for their country. Indeed, perceptibly, other than in name alone, they have almost abandoned communism altogether.

        Russia is the same, they just can’t make cars.

      • china is gearing up to go all electric….
        ..that’s harder to do where there’s a gas station on every corner already

      • You underestimate the drive and ultimate plan of the Chinese Communist Party(CCP). It realizes that ultimately it cant survive if there are western democracies always held up as an example of freedom. Thus the CCP has as its goal the ultimate destruction and takeover of the rest of the world. The CCP still owns 2/3 of the Chinese economy and that ratio will probably remain the same for the foreseeable future. Along with that every Chinese CEO of any company with any strategic importance has to follow any directive of the CCP and I mean ANY directive. On top of that at any time any company official (not to mention any private citizen ) can be arbitrarily and summarily arrested and charged with any crime with the conviction rate of 99.98% . Estimates of human organ availability in China compared to the West gives an indication that there are 25 forced organ surgeries every day on political prisoners in China with many of those being carried out on corpses who were executed by the CCP. This is another type of holocaust like in Hitler’s regime. The Chinese are investing in over a 100 countries in the world including building coal plants everywhere. They are now No.5 in filing patents with the European Union. This article shows they are the leading electric car seller in the world. You cannot invest in China without a partner who then steals all your technology. China has claimed the complete South China Sea as its backyard, enforceable by force. It asserts the right to invade Taiwan at any time. It refuses to recognize the World Court and always breaks the rules of any organization it joins. China leads the world in counterfeit goods and the CCP does nothing to stop this. Using the court system in China to address legal or financial concerns is an exercize in futility. The CCP is a direct threat to your freedom. To think that we actually trade with that regime boggles the mind.

      • Yes, the playing field is not level, but there are plenty of U.S. companies doing well in China.

      • Good comments Alan T.

        Despite their plans, they have their issues as well. Air and water pollution are immediate problems; however, their demographics are so far out of whack that they’re considering elimination of the 2 child limit, perhaps as soon as the end of this year. India doesn’t have that problem at the moment.

        About two thirds of China is still basically in the third world. Their legal system is as you say not real and neither is trust. Planned economies don’t work well.

      • Alan T: I rember when the greatest threat was CCCP and my father was in charge of signals in the British sector in case the Russians decided to fuel up and come across the Hanoverian Plain. USSR contained the seeds of its own collapse. A system run by one man (emperor for life) by cronyism and terror has inherent issues, RS has outlined some of them. Massive debt (for a developing country) is another.

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-08/sizing-up-china-s-debt-bubble-bloomberg-economics

      • Alan Tomalty,
        I am reassured by your informed and concise comments. You are helping more people to recognize the clear and present danger evidenced by the economically and militarily aggressive China of today. Keep up the good work!

    • There is a huge difference.
      The Japanese cars were cheap, but they did what everybody needed.
      Also remember at the time, while American cars were expensive, they weren’t that much better built than the Japanese cars. Detroit had huge quality control problems at the time. Something everyone except the unions was willing to acknowledge.

      • MarkW

        Quality control is a concept. It doesn’t exist until someone builds something better than you, then consumers recognise the concept, not manufacturers.

        That’s the beauty of the Capitalist free market economy. It responds to consumer demand, not government diktat. The Russians still can’t build and market a decent car, or much else for that matter because they are still operating under their old regime, just disguised a bit.

        The Chinese, however, as inscrutable as ever, have learned the lessons of the free market and applied them vigorously, just as the Japanese did following WW2.

        It’s not their fault, they just learned the lessons of Capitalism, and are applying them wherever they can. We set the example, but if we can’t exploit the concept because of the socialism in our midst, that’s tough on us, and good for Capitalism, as the Chinese and Indians exploit it.

        The free market economy isn’t a western right. It’s a natural human dynamic everyone is free to grasp, or lose.

      • HotScot: “or much else for that matter”
        ..
        They sure do a good job of marketing their oil and natural gas.

        They do a decent job with the S-300 and the Su-57 also.

      • Mike Borgelt

        That makes them a two trick pony.

        Some oil and gas and a few fighter jets isn’t going to provide for an entire society. The west has proven that conclusively.

        Russia and Putin are only a threat to themselves.

        China, on the other hand, has given it’s people a large slice of Capitalism. There’s no going back for them now.

  9. If they can make them cheaper, the sales in crowded Asian cities could soar.
    Maybe exploding a fuel, that wastes a lot of energy as heat is not the most efficient way power a car.

    • So where is your electricity going to come from? Right now, it’s coal exploding in a boiler the size of a small aparment building, or methane exploding in a gas turbine, or water flowing down a penstock and through a turbine, or atoms fissioning. The difference is that it isn’t in your back yard. Electric cars are only slightly more efficient than gasoline-powered cars when you look at the entire cycle of energy production.

    • “Maybe exploding a fuel, that wastes a lot of energy as heat is not the most efficient way power a car.”

      From mine to MPG, there’s waste in EVs too. When the new ICEs from Mazda, GM, Bosch, and others hit the street in a year, the waste gap will be trivial.

      • “From mine to MPG”
        True, however gasoline is an expensive, high quality fuel which costs much more per unit energy than natural gas, coal, nuclear power etc for a power station.
        Which is why an electric car is cheaper to run as far as fuel goes.
        I am not picking a winner, but the competition will be fun to watch.

      • Sales statistics show the vehicles that fulfill the drivers needs best, Jeff. The data speak for themselves.

      • Jeff May 27, 2018 at 7:24 pm
        “From mine to MPG”
        True, however gasoline is an expensive, high quality fuel which costs much more per unit energy than natural gas, coal, nuclear power etc for a power station.

        True.

        Which is why an electric car is cheaper to run as far as fuel goes.

        Until tt battery conks out, ard 8000–12,000 miles. Its depreciation shd be accounted for in the “fuel cost” figure.

      • Its depreciation shd be accounted for in the “fuel cost” figure.

        Good point, that alters the equation in a big way.

      • Jeff, what country do you live in.
        In Europe the cost of Petrol/Deisel is mostly Tax.
        How do you think the various Governments are going to replace that tax if everyone goes EV?
        EVs are not just subsidised by direct subsidies, they also pay very little in the way of fuel taxes of any kind other than “Green ones”.
        Let’s see how cheap they are to run when they are paying 400% tax.

      • Batteries can also be recycled into building materials. Literally Bricked.

        Trump can ‘Build the Wall’ out of Bricked Tesla’s.

        <¿<

        (now I have Pink Floyd going through my head)

      • “batteries can be repurposed as cheap grid storage.”

        That’s good—it avoids filling up a landfill—answer possibly contaminating the environs. But the amount a car-owner would get from a recycler would be tiny in comparison to the amount a new battery would cost: over $12,000 for a Tesla’s.

        BTW, I messed up my comment above, which should have read:

        “Until the battery conks out, after around 8–12 years. Its depreciation should be accounted for in the “fuel cost” figure.”

      • A C Osborn May 28, 2018 at 2:26 am
        Regarding: EVs and road taxes

        Depts. Of Transportation are studying and experimenting with fees (tax like) for miles driven. Washington State (think Seattle area) is doing so, I think with 5 different manners for replacing fuel tax with a usage tax.
        There is time to study this, but as EV use increases something will be implement.

      • Jeff May 27, 2018 at 7:24 pm
        blockquote>“ True, however gasoline is an expensive, high quality fuel which costs much more per unit energy than natural gas, coal, nuclear power etc for a power station.

        Which is why an electric car is cheaper to run as far as fuel goes.

        Is it cheaper to BURN natural gas to generate the required electricity for operating an electric powered vehicle, ………. or is it cheaper just to BURN the natural gas as the fuel for operating the vehicle?

      • Jeff, electrics are cheaper to run for two reasons.
        Electrics don’t pay road usage taxes and nobody factors in the cost of replacing the battery when calculating lifetime costs.
        Depending how far away from the power plant your EV is, you could lose 25 to 50% of the energy generated in transmission and charging/discharging losses.

      • Steve: “batteries can be repurposed as cheap grid storage.”

        How does that work? EV batteries are always either being used for propulsion, or desperately charging so the owner hopefully can make his next trip. The only time a battery could be used as grid storage is when fully charged and sitting. That is likely only in the early hours of the morning when the grid doesn’t need power. Maybe for a short period just before the end of the work day it would be useful (after drawing a heavy load most of the day, it could finally provide a bit of a buffer incase the wind dies down right then?). Then it wouldn’t be fully charged for home time? I fail to see your logic.

        But your assertion that it would be cheap is incorrect. Every charge/discharge brings the battery closer to the end of its life. I don’t know too many people who would be willing to do that for cheap.

      • Samuel
        You are right, natural or LPG gas are great alternatives to gasoline.
        For some reason gas cars are becoming less common here in Australia.

      • A C Osborn: “How do you think the various Governments are going to replace that tax if everyone goes EV?”

        Excellent question. This one is still in debate the worldwide.
        I have read many ideas, but the one that sticks out as an actual possibility is replacing the current system of vehicle classes and tax-per-gallon with a sliding scale for ( vehicle curb weight ) * ( miles driven ). Report to your insurance company or taxation office the odometer reading (to be verified at some stage, maybe title change, insurance renewal, etc.), then the make & model curb weights will be known, and the usage tax can be applied a little more fairly than in the current system.

  10. RE: “It won’t haul a ton of logs up a muddy track or take 6 people from LA to NY without recharging or whatever is today’s excuse for dismissing EVs.”

    If it won’t do these things, it does not serve my various driving, hauling, and towing demands. Similarly, EV products don’t serve the physical and economic needs of many citizens of the USA. Don’t make excuses for niche products that do not serve most customers needs. You only succeed in insulting the intelligence and common sense of a large potential market. However, if your intent is to ‘virtue signal’ to the niche ‘environmentalist’ market, then by all means ‘keep it up’.

    • J Mac: I have a Ford F250 V-10 4×4 with factory tow package. It is adequate for my needs ;o)

      (Up until not too many years ago, all that Rolls Royce would say about the horsepower of their cars was that it was ‘adequate.’)

      • I recently hauled a dozen railroad ties in my Ford pickup. It was ‘adequate.’
        At home, I unloaded them by myself. I was barely adequate.

    • agree, outside of suburbia theyre more bloody danger on the rd!
      dont reckon theyd handle a roo or emu hit either;-)
      i need to fit 5 large dogs 200+kg as well as myself and shopping, a drive to the big shops is 2hrs 200+k over rough roads.
      cant see a p*ssant little leccy tincan in my life now or ever.
      and at least if SHTF a diesel can run on some fish shop fat

  11. I have no problem with the Western auto industry putting big money into electric vehicle development, what I object to is the Western auto industry putting MY MONEY into electric vehicle development.

    Private funds invested without passing the risk to me as a taxpayer, all good.

    • There’s over 1 billion cars in the world….they sold 25,000……snort
      Honda sells more golf carts………..

      • Wouldn’t golf carts be roughly equivalent to the ev discussed above? Small, limited use, short driving distance before needing a battery charge. I don’t see a big difference. I wonder what a sales comparison would look like.
        And then we produce even smaller EVs. WalMart will provide one for you to make shopping easier.

  12. It’s too bad the list of electric vehicles doesn’t include all of them. The total number sold in China is huge. I am not impressed with the murmurs about range and capacity. The model is above is designed for a market segment. So what if it doesn’t do ‘everything’?

    I will not be buying a Tesla. It is not aimed at my cohort. The Jeep plug-in hybrid, maybe. 103 mpg. Impressive.

    • Crispin

      perceptive comment.

      EV’s aren’t for everyone, so market segmentation from a manufacturers perspective is natural. It’s distorted by government intervention though.

      Bring on the EV’s, I say, Just don’t expect me to pay for someone else’s.

      • You think you have a choice whether or not your tax money is used to fund the purchase of EVs? LOL.

      • Roy Frybarger

        Errrrr…….actually I do, it’s called voting in a democratic system.

        As the tax burden becomes too onerous, as it is, people become more disgruntled and do sensible things like voting for Brexit and Trump.

    • As a matter of interest, how does a hybrid increase fuel efficiency (assuming that you don’t plug it in to an external power supply)? Is it regenerative braking? Does it use the electric motor to accelerate from rest (which is where petrol cars use most juice)?

      Where does the efficiency come from (in 5 lines or less)?

      • Depends on the design. Just off the top of my head: Both regenerative braking and acceleration for some. Others also use electric for short range and ICE for longer range so the first part of a trip is on the electric. Stop and go driving also can have better fuel efficiency with a hybrid. The ICE can run at an optimum speed and be smaller than that required for acceleration.

        Government stupidity in the Washington D.C. area allowed hybrids on the HOV lanes to encourage their use. Of course the hybrids were running at full speed on their ICE and avoiding stop and go driving so they weren’t doing a d*mn thing to reduce pollution which was the intent of promoting hybrids.

      • Thanks Bear. To me that means that part of the petrol engine’s output has to be used to charge up the batteries for when the electric engine needs the power.

        I just can’t get my head around how hybrids improve fuel consumption.

      • 5 words or less “Carnot cycle”. There is a theoretical limit to the efficiency when turning heat into a turning shaft. Carnot cycle losses for an EV happen at the power station at vastly closer to that theoretical limit, and arein any case of the same order of magnitude as the losses in extracting, refining and distributing petrol/gas

      • Thanks Ragnaar. Interesting article. I guess it all comes out in the calculations but I am impressed that the engineers managed to get a net positive result considering that charging the batteries must be a drag on the petrol engine.

        I mean it’s not like regenerative braking is a perpetual motion machine. My golf cart has it and it still needs quite a bit of charging.

      • ristvan had a post at Judith Curry’s site which gives a good overview. Three ways hybrids improve fuel economy:

        1) Regenerative braking. Rather than turn kinetic energy into waste heat, some of it can be recaptured as stored electrical energy. Also saves wear on pads and rotors.

        2) Idle shut-off. When the car is not moving or only moving slowly the ICE is shut off. Stop-and-go traffic is a notorious gas waster for normal cars.

        3) Uses Atkinson cycle engine instead of Otto cycle (look them up). Atkinson cycle has a longer power stroke than compression stroke, so it gets more mechanical energy out of combusting the same fuel charge. Trade-off is lower power density, which the electric motor compensates for.

        The first two apply to urban driving while the last one dominates on the highway.

        I have a 2013 Toyota Avalon hybrid which delivers just under 40mpg quite consistently. The V6 version of the same vehicle achieves about 26mpg, with a marked preference for the highway. Except for about 2 cubic feet less of trunk space, I don’t think I give up anything. In exchange I get more than a 600 mile range on a full tank. When the Prius first came out I scoffed at the notion of hybrids; not any more. But I don’t tow anything and when I need to transport a bunch of stuff I use my wife’s SUV.

        Newer hybrid drives from Honda and Toyota have improved a bit.

      • Thanks Alan. I find it interesting that the Jaguar XE I recently drove in the USA routinely returned 35-38mpg.

        The one thing I really hated was the idle shutoff. Most annoying invention EVAH. Perhaps I should have done what some of the locals did and not stopped at stop signs. I see that the current model Mazda 3 in Australia lets you temporarily turn it off.

      • City driving is where regenerative breaking is the least useful. In stop and go driving, cars rarely go fast enough for the regenerative breaks to come into use.

      • John, the advantage of the stationary power plant is not as big as you claim.
        Beyond that, those so called gains are lost due to transmission and charge/discharge losses.

      • @Forrest Gardner:

        I had the same experience with a rented Volvo (non-hybrid); it lost power steering when the engine shut off. I had pulled over to let an emergency vehicle pass and ended up close behind a parked car. With no power steering it was a chore to get the wheels pointed the other way to clear the car in front before I started the car forward. The hybrid Avalon doesn’t have this problem; with the engine shut down everything still works, including power steering and A/C. The transition between engine running and stopped is smooth enough you barely notice it.

        During Hurricane last year, a neighbor’s tree came down and blocked the only road out, taking the power line with it. That was 2PM on Monday and I was supposed to be in all-day meetings Tuesday through Thursday about 35 miles away. No power at home and no way to leave. I just backed the Avalon out of the garage and left in “on” while I jumped on a Webex session on my cellphone, plugged into the charger. I left the A/C on “auto” and spent about 8 hours a day that way. Fell asleep several times though. I put that down to the extremely comfortable reclining seats — it certainly couldn’t have been the content of the presentations …

        The idle shutoff feature on non-hybrid cars probably doesn’t save enough fuel to make up for the inconvenience. With a hybrid you can go quite a while in stop-and-go traffic without the engine having to fire up again, and as I said the transition is barely noticeable.

      • Indeed Alan. That thought occurred to me that the cut out is a far more sensible feature on a hybrid car. It doesn’t matter if the petrol engine cuts out while the electric motor is available.

        The Jag was a bit better than your Volvo experience sounds. Even a slight turn of the steering wheel restarted the engine. It seemed like the air con kicking in did as well.

      • The slower the wheel is turning, the less power the generator is able to produce. Simple physics.
        Something few EV advocates have any knowledge of.

      • On a hybrid, the motor is already designed to “cut out” whenever it isn’t needed.

    • Think of the average Darwin Award recipient as a demonstration of ‘evolution in action’….
      AKA – “Hang on to my beer and watch this!”

  13. When do electric cars start paying their fair share of the taxes generated by the sale of gasoline and diesel fuel?

    • Good point, it’s far from a level playing field.
      Governments may be reluctant to lose all that revenue.

      • Governments are already talking about ways to tax electrics. If they ever get beyond a trivial number of the total fleet, governments will be forced to act in order to replace the revenue they are losing.

    • Obviously black boxes need to be installed to track road use so that these vehicles pay the appropriate amount of tax for road upkeep. And Big Brother gets a little closer to keeping tabs on you.

      • Already been done.
        Several states even have per-mile road taxes in the planning stages. One idea that has been floated is that the tax will be assessed during you vehicle’s annual safety inspection when the data is downloaded.
        Politicians will not be able to resist a whole new revenue stream to spend. Government will not be able to resist the opportunity to spy on, and control the population.

      • What about tamper proof odometers in the car that is read once a year.?
        Tax = milage x vehicle weight.

      • TonyL May 27, 2018 at 8:36 pm

        Some states do not have annual inspections, Florida being one. But in any event, you vill report to your local Commisar every 6 months to be questioned as to the accuracy of the mileage log you are supposed to keep. Fines and jail time for all.

      • The problem I have with mileage based taxes is how do you account for those people who spend a lot of time driving out of state?

    • All EVs and hybrids should be paying per-mile road use taxes, to pay their ‘fair share’ of road maintenance and construction costs. Further, they should have no subsidy support associated with the initial purchase costs. Similarly, city and urban bicyclists should pay substantial license fees for ‘fair share’ road use and to cover the costs of dedicated bicycle lanes in city and urban environs.

      C’mon socialists! Pay your fair share! If you want the same rights as motor vehicles, pay for the privilege, just like everyone else!

      • J Mac – May 27, 2018 at 11:15 pm

        Similarly, city and urban bicyclists should pay substantial license fees for ‘fair share’ road use and to cover the costs of dedicated bicycle lanes in city and urban environs.

        Wishful thinking there, J Mac. …… simply wishful thinking, because, to wit:

        $12 million per mile for a bike lane? That should trigger a civic heart attack

        ………… said the interim director of the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). Bike lanes that voters were told would cost about $860,000 per mile were actually clocking in at an eye-watering $12 million per mile.
        https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/12-million-per-mile-for-a-bike-lane-that-should-trigger-a-civic-heart-attack/

  14. Americans love their big cars, always have. Today SUVs and pickups are the big thing. What happens when you introduce a diminutive car which is little more than a glorified golf cart into this market?
    Crash and burn.
    These tiny little electrics probably make sense in some of the super congested Asian cities, but that market is completely different from the US and other western markets. Indeed, if they can replace all those 2-cycle engine powered scooters, motorcycles and 3-wheelers, they could be ahead. The 2-cycle engine may be many things, but they are *not* clean, and they are *not* efficient.

    As far as the larger EVs on offer in the US, the only reason they exist at all is due to the Obama era proposed CAFE standards. Some careful observers have noted that the new CAFE standards were designed so that EVs would have to be part of any company’s mix for that company to have any hope of meeting the new requirements. This is why the auto companies can sell the EVs at a loss. They gain the CAFE points which are then applied across the rest of the fleet.

    Do away with the onerous CAFE standards, and the EV market in the US goes *POOF*.
    Of course, the Trump administration has held up, and is reviewing the new CAFE standards.
    Popcorn time.

    (CAFE = Corporate Average Fuel Economy)

    • “What happens when you introduce a diminutive car which is little more than a glorified golf cart into this market?”

      What happens when SF and LA say no gasoline cars or trucks in our cites?

      • What happens when SF and LA say no gasoline cars or trucks in our cites?

        What happens is that you have crossed a line. You are no longer in America.
        Unfortunately, government picking winners and losers is getting altogether too common these days. It always ends badly, both for the consumer and the taxpayer.
        Banning ICE vehicles would be a huge exercise in picking losers and winners.
        A government which could or would do something like this is one with unlimited power and no restraints whatsoever on it’s actions. That kind of government exists but it is *not* America.

      • What happens when SF and LA say no gasoline cars or trucks in our cites?

        No groceries, no maintenance trucks such as no power maintence trucks, no water supply maintence trucks, no sewerage maintenance trucks , no cranes for construction, no supermarket supply trucks, no road construction and maintence trucks or machinery.
        Fire trucks that run for few minutes on batteries when operating their pumps at full power, Ambulances and emergency vehicles in a mass tragedy situation that run out of battery power whilst doing their care of the injured but take half a dozen hours to recharge.
        No heavy diesel powered vehicles so the city stops as does everything that moves in that city including all electric vehicles that use ALL of those facilities maintained and powered by using diesel engined heavy vehicles as the main maintenance transport vehicles .
        ——————————-
        In the early part of the 20th century entrepenuers refined oil products into a useable vehicle fuel [ basically kerosene ]. Then they built the continent wide service station network out of the profits they made from selling fuel to their customer vehicle owners. They built the vehicle maintenance network from the profits made from servicing those vehicle
        The governments of the day, the british in particular did anything but assist the new industry with the example of having a man with a red flagwalk in front of those banging, popping ,noisy, smelly vehicles so any horse riders would be warned in case their horses bolted.
        Governments ffinally come to the party and began to build roads after private toll roads were first built by private companies so as to faclitate the movement of those new fangled vehicles.
        The era of mass transport by fossil fueled vehicles which has done so much for the whole world over the past cwsentury was created DESPITE the forces of governmment rying to hold the new industry back.
        ……………………
        Today, electric vehicle owners get huge tax payer funded subsidies when they buy their EV’s.
        EV owners get special reductions in their vehicle license fees.
        EV owners get the right to use normally restricted to emergency and public transport traffic lanes.
        Charging points are being put up at the ordinary fossil fuel vehicle owners tax payed and license fee expense
        ……….
        Who is going to be expected to pay for the new power generators that will be needed to produce the electricity to charge up millions of EV’s.?
        Who will be expected to pay to rebuild many parts of the national grids to take the load of millions of EV’s being charged around the same time each day?
        In the increasing chances of power restrictions due to poor or completely non existent government planning and preplanning, [ Australia in particular ] who will get priority for power, EV owners or the citizens in their homes and businesses?
        Who will have to pay to dispose of the few million tonnes of out of life batteries beginning in less than a decade, as with the solar panels right now, with their toxic and dangerous chemicals.?
        ………………..
        The politicians who never seem to bother about running through the often tragic and disastrous unintended consequences of their latest ; “it sounded like a good idea at the time ” or arent’ mentally capable of doing so, are all about picking winners once again.
        And that, as sure as night follows day, will lead to economic and possible social disastersona grand scale considering the size of the global vehicle industry.

        And as usual the people NOT responsible for the utter politically created disaster, the tax payers and non EV owners will be expected to pay for all of the above.
        Meanwhuile a whole gamut of politicly well connected corporations and individuals will trouser billions of the publics funds and then slink off into the night .

        Before anything more is done by politicians to throw bucket loads of money in the direction of EV and EV pushers and pimps, politicians shoild sit down and think through what will be required in an overall system built for EV’s and what at will cost?
        Who will pay and how?
        And most fundamentally, the reasoning behind having mass EV transport as there are already papers and studies out there that indicate that EV’s, after taking into account the building and operation of the rquired increase in base load generators tocharge the EV fleet , the building of transmission lines and an EV charging network, the losses in power between the generators and the EV’s individual charging points, the losses in the actual EV’s operation, when ALL of these factors plus others are taken into account, the emmissions of the total EV supporting network on a mass scale pass the ordinary fossil fueled vehicle and its supporting network by quite a large margin.

        So what exactly is the reasoning for going to EV’s in the first place?

      • “What happens when SF and LA say no gasoline cars or trucks in our cites?”

        Traffic congestion problem solved.

      • reallyskeptical,
        What happens when commercial enterprises charge exorbitantly high prices to cover the costs of eV delivering goods and services to your command and control socialist economy?

        Reallystupid!

      • “The governments of the day, the british in particular did anything but assist the new industry with the example of having a man with a red flagwalk in front of those banging, popping ,noisy, smelly vehicles so any horse riders would be warned in case their horses bolted.”

        100 years later we realized how completely stupid this was, and we got the enormous benefits of individually driven, fast personal transport. The price paid was small, it turned out to be only about 1 million deaths a year globally. Well, and some serious injuries too.

        Well worth it. Those idiots with their red flags!

      • michel: Suicides are higher than vehicle fatalities in USA and UK. Perhaps we should start serious work on that too.

        USA: 12.6/100k suicide, 10.6 vehicle; UK 7.4 suicide, 2.9 vehicle

        Homicides are lower in both cases (USA 4.9; UK 0.9).

      • “What happens when SF and LA say no gasoline cars or trucks in our cites?”

        Not a single luxury
        Like Robinson Crusoe
        It’s primitive as can be.

      • Nigel,

        Yes, suicide is a major killer and a tragic one. As are heart disease and deaths from obesity and lifestyle issues.

        But it is quite different from accidental deaths and injuries which come from having chosen a transportation system which is intrinsically dangerous.

        One which, were it proposed today, with the known parameters of the system and its effects today, would never even get seriously considered. No matter how convenient and beneficial, no system with that death rate would ever get started. We would simply refuse to consider the tradeoff.

        Our transport system today, at least the parts involving the car, are a bit like the combined water and sewage systems in London before the introduction of modern sewage cleaned up the source of fresh water.

        The question you have to answer is: do you think close on one million deaths per year worldwide (not to mention the air pollution) are an acceptable price to pay for the benefits that the car brings?

        If so, why? Make the case, if you can. Don’t try to evade it.

      • michel:

        But it is quite different from accidental deaths and injuries which come from having chosen a transportation system which is intrinsically dangerous.

        One which, were it proposed today, with the known parameters of the system and its effects today, would never even get seriously considered. No matter how convenient and beneficial, no system with that death rate would ever get started. We would simply refuse to consider the tradeoff.

        You ignore history and assume that instead of the automobile there was a better choice at the time; there wasn’t. There were steam cars and very early electrics (at a time when most houses didn’t have electricity) and then there were horses. And bicycles of course. At the time the average person probably travelled less distance in a week than the we do daily. Ask people living in urban areas what they thought of horse-drawn transportation and the attendant problems of manure management and IC cars looked good by comparison.

        Years ago I talked to an older man who grew up in very rural Tennessee or Kentucky and he remembered when people first began to get cars and the enormous improvement it made in their lives. They could look for jobs two or three towns away instead of being stuck working only as far as they could walk.

        The early cars were actually safer than horses; the increased death rate is due to the much higher speed we travel today. Force everyone down to 10 mph or so and traffic fatalities would essentially cease.

        And to keep this from getting too far off-thread, an electric vehicle moving a 60 mph is every bit as likely to kill people in a collision as an IC vehicle.

        So what transportation system can you propose to replace the personal automobile?

      • michel, it’s a tiny fraction of the amount of people who were killed by horses.

        Like most acolytes, you actually seem to believe that a perfect world is possible if only government had enough power to force everyone to live according to your fantasy du jour.

      • MIchel, I drive to work and back every day. When my family travel we usually fly to our destination and hire a car; we’d drive there, but as we live in Norgrey we take what ever holiday we can somewhere else (the lengthy tirade on why that is can come separately). Through a combination of bogus ecotard justified taxes on flight and the decision that international connections should be routed via the cluster fcuk that is Oslo airport our biennial trip to see ‘the outlaws’ in Southern Russia will involve a (rather long) road trip this year.
        Perhaps I’m just blase about driving but having survived 30 years of it in several countries, some full of driving nutters, on both sides of the road, I would say it’s obvious that I am not deterred from driving by scary sounding statistics like driving incurring a butcher’s bill of 1 million people worldwide each year.
        So I believe at least drving is not an intolerably high risk to take. If that means I think it’s worth 1million road fatalities, and if that in turn means I’m a cold blooded killer, then you be the judge and by all means go ahead and paraphrase me if it score you points round the latte dispenser.
        …I would ask though,do you abstain from this frightful driving bloodbath or are you a hypocrite?

      • The very obvious question!
        Where is and what is the original source for the claim that cars / vehicles kill one million people per year?

      • Michel: do you drive or ride in a motorized vehicle at any time? If you do, then you have already done the risk/benefit assessment, and determined it was acceptable. If you don’t, then you simply have not experienced enough of the world to question it.

      • “What happens when SF and LA say no gasoline cars or trucks in our cites?”

        What happens is the citizens of those cities (that didn’t flee in advance) starve as the food (which is trucked by fossil fuel powered trucks) can no longer get to the markets in those cities.

  15. A business model that is based on America’s past. Since the biggest drawback to EVs is limited range buy a bunch of EVs and place them around the country, ala the Pony Express. Every 200 miles you swap your EV for one juiced up and continue on your way. You are welcome, Elon.

  16. The Nissan Leaf has just lost its sales crown to the BAIC EV, as the Chinese car has become the best-selling EV in the first two months of the year.
    According to data from Jato Dynamics, the BAIC EC was chosen by 15,132 people…

    15,132 worldwide in January and February 2018.

    Ford F-Series pickup trucks, US only sales:
    January 2018 58,937
    February 201 68,243

    • Top 10 BEV’s global, Jan-Feb 2018= 60,450

      Ford F-Series, US only, Jan-Feb 2018 = 127,180

      • Dave – it isn’t about today tomorrow or even next year. Your reaction is that of Hassleblad to digital photography. Hasslebald was ubiquitous on the Apollo but lost their crown to the likes of Nikon

      • Tesla, a US company, has been at the “bleeding” edge of EV fantasy land since the beginning. Combined Models S, X and 3 sales top the CHICOM EC. Tesla is supposedly building the mother-of-all gigafactories and Tony Stark Elon Musk even has a beachhead in Red China… yet the Telsa Ponzi scheme is always just one infusion of OPM ahead of insolvency.

        Why? Because there is a 97% consensus among US carbuyers that EV’s are undesirable.

      • John, for some reason, you seem to be convinced that just because a trend has continued for a year or two, that it is inevitable that it will continue forever.
        Or perhaps it’s just your paycheck making you say such silly things.

  17. Vancouver’s gas prices are the highest in North America, currently appx. C$1.59 /Lt (US$5.98/gal) for ethanol diluted “regular”. Our electric utility suggested saving money by going electric, (“under $40,000 now!”) Realizing the impact of tax avoidance (40-50C/Lt, the powers that be are now considering per/mile “road pricing” which would vaporize much of the cost savings.

  18. “the Chinese mean to eat the Western auto industry for breakfast.”

    I’ve read in a comment on Seeking Alpha that domestic-market Chinese EVs wouldn’t pass Western crashworthiness tests.

    • No Gunny actually electric cars are things of the past. The first cars were electric.The same reasons EV’s didn’t work in 1917 still apply to today’s EV’s

      • Upon reflection I think gunsmithkat was being sarcastic meaning EVs will always be “in the future”, much like the “free beer tomorrow” signs.

      • People of small stature and fine clothes liked them because the EVs did not need a crank to start them.
        Then the “electric starter” was invented and EVs lost their best selling point.
        Times change.

  19. Damn! I’m sorry to hear that the JATO car Darwin Award story isn’t true. It’s a great story.

  20. I bought a 3 year old Leaf for $9k, and have driven it for 4 years with zero maintenance costs (so far…) Costs me about $0.04 per mile to drive. I use it for all my in town driving. I still have my Suburban for hauling the Scouts and ‘stuff’ around. The Suburban costs over $0.50 per mile to drive.

    • Personal choice in transportation needs is always good, as long as the government doesn’t decree what we all must do and then take our money to make it happen.

      • Agree! As long as I don’t have to pay for subsidies that support the poor choices that others make.

    • I bought a 1992 ford F150 for $200 and I have also driven it for four years. It has 300,000 miles on it. I expect to be driving it for quite a few more years. Most likely long after the Nissan has gone to it’s grave. The money I saved by not buying an EV allows me to drive for many years for free by using it to buy gas. Since I only use about $1500 worth of gas each year it should be easy to drive for over 20 years for free. I love my little truck. :-)

    • 0x55, when can I expect a thank you card for the taxes I’ve paid so that you can enjoy your Leaf?

  21. Of course, when the EVs dominate the market and all the commuters plug in for a recharge at 7pm when the sun is down and the wind is calm there might be a problem.

    • No problem!
      When a power shortage is detected, your smart electric company contacts your home’s smart meter and cuts off power to your home. Then you can disconnect your car from it’s smart charger. The smart charger will then relay information to the smart meter that it is no longer in use, so the smart meter will then restore power to your home.

      Perfect, it is Smart Technology!

      • Of course when storms hit and power is interrupted for days on end ………………..

      • Not so perfect when you wake up in the morning expecting to drive to work, and find out your car failed to charge overnight.

  22. I want an EV, while it’s completely impractical for my lifestyle, just to put a powered by coal sticker on it.

    • jean,
      I’d like to help you! I’ll sell you new turn signal lenses that illuminate the word “Virtue” every time you turn a corner, so you can also virtue signal at every turn. I’d suggest an illuminated and center mounted “Powered By Coal” brake light lense also, just to keep things honest.

      • yeah but then some virtue signalers would insist on keeping their turn signals on even when not turning.

  23. Up here in northern Canada some officials at the local uni and city hall wanted an electric toy. So under the guise of research using taxpayer money they bought a Leaf. Now in the winter when it gets really cold, cold battery, heater, wipers, lights, pushing snow it is next to useless.
    They get around the useless part when it gets very cold by only publishing an average performance drop off over the winter, sneaky.

  24. When I first saw the headline to this story I thought to myself, wow, they got it to work. An urban legend has been blessed with flesh and blood reality. The urban legend held that some nitwit strapped rockets to his old Buick which was later discovered as large, paper thin remnants of smashed, shattered, flattened, steel and glass spread across a hillside at the end of a very gentle bend on an otherwise straight rural highway. 300 mph in an old Buick and he never considered that he’d have no way to turn off those rockets.

    Where’d he get the rockets? From an old Air Force base. They were Jet Assisted Take Off rockets normally strapped to aircraft to reduce runway length.

    So a Chinese automaker perfected an urban legend involving JATO bottles.

  25. A staggering number of comments on such a small story. I’m wondering if Elon Musk’s propaganda is starting to work.

  26. Re your headline “New electric car–the ‘JATO’ “, JATO is the company presenting the market intelligence (the car sales statistics), the car is the BAIC-EC. Or is there something ironic in the title that I am completely missing (wouldn’t be the first time!).

  27. Well, two thoughts.

    The first is that the death and injury rate from cars, globally, is totally unacceptable. No proposal to introduce a transportation with these human costs would get serious consideration today.

    The conclusion is that anything which limits car use and ownership is going to be a good thing. This includes raising the price of cars by compelling everyone to move to electric.

    The second is that exhaust pollutants from ICE cars are one main thing impairing quality of life in cities. Electric cars would still crash, because that’s inherent in the system of swarms of un-networked vehicles under independent human control, they would still be making it unsafe and unpleasant to walk and cycle when they monopolize roadways, but at least they would not be polluting the air we all breathe.

      • Not in the least totalitarian. Just a rational person struck by the total insanity of our present transportation system and its human cost.

        Just as a rational person cannot fail to be struck by the irrationality of people in some developing countries defaecating everywhere including into their fresh water sources. Yes, that is how bad and stupid it is, our present transport system.

        People wrecking neighborhoods by driving through them on the way to their own, which is also wrecked by other people driving through them to get to theirs. Killing and polluting as they go, and getting obese from lack of exercise with it.

      • Roy,
        michael knows whats good for you…. and everyone else! He would ‘compel’ (aka ‘force’) everyone to comply with his diktats. Nothing totalitarian or jack-booted-thug-like about that…. no siree!

      • You aren’t a totalitarian, you just want to use government to force everyone to live as you want them to.
        I’m trying to decide if your more hypocrite or idiot.

      • “I’m trying to decide if your more hypocrite or idiot”

        option 3: both in equal measure.

    • The “things” that impair city life is crime, corruption, greed, socialism/marxism, drugs, violence, crowding, taxes, cost-of-living, apathy, poor education, trash, etc, etc, etc.

    • How will deaths from car accidents going to be reduced by replacing ICE cars with EV cars?
      Is it safer to wreck a Tesla or a BAIC EC than a real car?

      • He didn’t say that EVs were safer than ICE cars. His point is that since EVs are a lot more expensive fewer people would be able to buy them. Thus reducing total car ownership. His goal is a society in which everyone walks.

    • . . . the death and injury rate from cars, globally, is totally unacceptable.

      Apparently not. Some USA states are raising speed limits outside congested urban zones. It is easy to reduce deaths and injuries. Slow everyone down.
      Example: Many U. S. interstate highways have posted speeds of 70 mph for autos and 60 mph for big trucks. Trucks mostly travel at 68-69 mph. Why? Why not slow everyone down to 50 mph? Seems the death and injury rates are acceptable.

      • John (With respects), I live in Ohio. Ohio used to have different speed limits for cars and trucks on the same stretch of road.
        Accidents waiting to happen. (Along with “road rage”)
        I think it was Carter that made the max speed 55 mph, to save gas. That idea scrapped. (My car gets better mpg above 55.)
        I don’t have the stats but I’d be surprised if lowering the speed limit below what the road was designed for lowered accidents during Carter’s 55 mph limit compared to when it was later scrapped. (As long as it was raised to the same for both cars and trucks.)

      • The biggest killer is not speed, but differential speed. Maneuvering to avoid slower traffic is what causes a lot of accidents.

      • John, respectfully, the ‘speed kills’ mantra is wrong. First: It may shock people to recognize that fatal accidents begin at only 12 mph (9 mph with airbag deployment). Second: Speeds of over 30-35mph (dependent upon vehicle) into a fixed, immoveable barrier are simply not survivable (airbags may increase that speed slightly). Third: The safest roads are our highest speed roads; the Interstate highways. Why: Because there’s no immovable, fixed barriers to directly hit.

        Any long distance driver knows that highway fatigue is one of the most dangerous factors on the Interstate hwy and a long drive. This is reflected in the fact that over 1/2 of Insterstate fatalities are single vehicle accidents. Slow those vehicles down and fatigue increases.

        Just like global warming the ‘simple’ physics of ‘speed kills’ is not scientific either. It’s a money generating political industry.

    • Michel

      You stated earlier that the current vehicle regime would never been put in place if the death rate were known were known. 1) This could not have been known a priori and 2) would entail a government imposing a condition when the populace is able to decide on its own. Everyday there is a world wide referendum on auto ownership and use by people who know or easily have the ability to know of the risk. The result is obvious.

      Even if it would save only one life, wouldn’t it be worth it? No. Life is trade-offs. While these deaths are regrettable (and have fallen by about 80% in the past 50 years on a miles-driven basis) the benefits clearly offset the cost in the opinion of the populace. We could mandate that cars could not travel over 20 mph, or 10 for that matter, and save most of these lives, but there is no agitation for such action and I would guess, no toleration if it was proposed.

      What would you propose that, for a similar expenditure, would provide the convenience, flexibility and even enjoyment of private auto ownership?

      • “What would you propose that, for a similar expenditure, would provide the convenience, flexibility and even enjoyment of private auto ownership?”

        There is nothing. But there are lots of alternatives that provide less of these and do not kill 1 million plus people a year.

        The point is, killing 1 million plus people a year is wrong, regardless of the convenience and fun you get as a result.

      • For someone who keeps claiming that there are lots of alternatives, you never actually get around to mentioning any of these alternatives.
        Please, list all of the ways that people can keep the same mobility, yet be safer.

        We both know that there are no such alternatives. Your goal is to impose your morality on everyone by eliminating mobility.

      • “There is nothing. But there are lots of alternatives that provide less of these and do not kill 1 million plus people a year”

        Name some.

    • I love the way you totalitarians think.
      You have decided that cars are too dangerous, so your solution is to ban personal transportation.
      You achieve this by making cars so expensive that nobody can afford them.

      Despite what your professors have told you, a perfect world is not possible. There are always trade offs.

      As to your belief that cars are a major source of air pollution, like ;the rest of your thinking, that is also 40 years out of date.
      In most major cities, cars on net, eliminate pollution, they don’t create it.

      • “I love the way you totalitarians think.
        You have decided that cars are too dangerous, so your solution is to ban personal transportation.”

        No. I am saying that personal transportation is just fine. As much of it as you like. We need to find a form of it that does not kill 1 million people a year. If we cannot or will not do that, we need to close it down.

        I am sure people who wanted to stop having Londoners drink contaminated water that caused cholera epidemics were asked whether they did not think lots of water at low cost was great. Yes, it was, as long as we could find a way of delivering it that did not cause cholera epidemics.

      • “If we can’t do that, we need to close it down”

        Like I said, you are a totalitarian at heart.

      • You admit that you “drive because it is necessary to daily living” and yet you want to shut that necessity down with nothing to replace it. and you fail to see how totalitarian you are being. amazing.

  28. EVs are getting better all the time , and yet the rang of this car is little better than the rang of the first EV cars from 100 years ago ! And it was this shortfall with price and charging that meet this idea was overtaken by ICE cars in the first place .
    Seems like the more somethings change the more the stay the same , still there will be free beer tomorrow as there always is when it comes to EV.

    • EVs are reaching their limits and that already today. You do not need 100 years of our future for this.
      Actually, the electric motor has been around since 1820. Nevertheless, it has not prevailed in these 200 years. That must have a reason. Or was great big oil hiding the perpetuum mobile in the drawer for 200 years. Years of dizziness, so to speak.

    • As soon as mechanisms and necessities such as profitability and profit come into play, the house of cards collapses. Green politics works only with two pillars: government support and propaganda. That is not enough.

  29. What’s that thing on the left side of the pic? Looks like a nose-view of a Zeppelin lying on the ground….

  30. Nobody knows the future. The e-mobility seems to conquer the world within the next decade. The reasons put forward by its supporters are:

    * more efficient / lower cost per mileage
    * less noise
    * less emissions
    * simpler technology
    * every carmaker around the world is investing billions in new e-models

    While every single reason might be true there are the same arguments on the other side. The efficiency is very much depending on the grid. In Germany for example, with one of the highest contents of renewables in the grid, emissions, efficiency and costs (without taxes) are the same for a diesel car and an e-car. Only if you add taxes the e-car will have lower costs per mileage. But if one thing is for sure, it will be the future rise of taxes on electricity as soon as e-cars would dominate the market and the tax revenue of fossil fuels would collapse. There are already discussions in the EU to force e-cars to produce artificial noise in order to avoid accidents with pedestrians. So, even the noise argument is not 100% true.

    On the other hand there is plenty of unresolved problems like available ressources (lithium, cobalt, rare earth) the recycling of batteries or the capacity of the grid. Even if the whole grid was capable of supplying enough energy for the e-mobility, many local grid cells won’t. In order to prepare for e-mobility all (!) cells with a too low capacity would have to be upgraded upfront because you never know where the next e-car buyer is located. That will again increase costs. The same with a complete new loading infrastructure all over the country. This produces costs and they will one way or the other be handed over to consumers / tax payers.

    At the end of the day there is no real advantage of battery driven e-cars except moving emissions from urban areas to places where the energy is produced. But even the relocation of the emissions has no real benefit for the driver himself in his car and in case of CO2 (if you really want to believe in its danger) it doesn’t make any difference at all, where the emission takes place.

    So why should anyone sacrifice cheap and everywhere available energy, flexibility and driving range, when he doesn’t get anything in return? In my eyes, the proclaimed success of e-mobility still has a long way to go, probably with never ending subsidies (see the sharp drop of e-sales in china in the first quarter of 2018 due to subsidy changes). Also, it will be interesting to see how subsidies will do in the near future with (sharply) rising interst rates. Although the success of e-mobility might seem certain the e-road is paved with many, many question marks after looking into the details.

    Maybe someday in the distant future fuel cells will make it, but battery e-cars simply aren’t smart enough to guarantee a fast, global success.

    • more efficient: only if you ignore transmission and charge/discharge losses.

      less expensive: only due to massive subsidies

      less noise: true but not overly relevant. On most modern cars, the two loudest sound are tire and wind noise. Those cars that are really loud are loud because their owners have bought after market parts to make them that way.

      less emission: see answer one

      simpler technology: True, but so what. A pencil is simpler than a computer. Simpler doesn’t always mean cheaper, not when you factor in the ENTIRE lifecycle.

      Investing billions: Because governments are mandating that they build these things. In the US it’s impossible to meet the latest CAFE mandates without selling these things, usually at a loss.

      • “Those cars that are really loud are loud because their owners have bought after market parts to make them that way”

        That and people whose cars are in bad need of repair/maintenance.

    • In most cities, cars are not a major source of air pollution and haven’t been for over 40 years.
      If you were to make all cars electric tomorrow, there would be no noticeable change in pollution levels.

      • Remy, he’s talking about most Western cities where pollution controls on modern cars sold have pretty much eliminated much of the pollution of cars (other than plant food).

        And Beijing’s pollution problems are more due to coal than cars.

      • In China, most air pollution comes from coal used for cooking.
        You need to realize, you aren’t half as smart as your mother’s been telling you.

        The only one here being ignorant, is you.

      • Absolutely right, Mark. The modern car emissions are neglible. It is just another green fairy tale. PM pollution in the subway in Paris is three times as high as next to the Peripherique, one of the european city highways with the highest traffic density.

  31. EV – drove one for 2 years, loved the performance, hated the recharge time after I’d used the performance.

    Rumors persist that a BMW i3 will reach in excess of 95 mph, after which, one would need 22 hr to recharge it using the “free” charger that comes with the vehicle. The recharge time sure would cut down on the effective range.

    Without a long-life, easily rechargeable power source an EV is just a local vehicle, fast, quiet, but local. That means that real logistically effective EV is still quite a ways off.

    • And it is also questionable how long EVs are still quiet. There are also protectable interests of other road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, who do not participate in a coat of sheet metal in traffic. There are already considerations to artificially make EVs artificially louder. Gone are the advantages of the quiet engine.

  32. In 20 years,,most people will be driving around in cars motivated by Mr Rossi new power plant.
    He now can get 100kW from something the size of a tin biscuit box.
    Steam cars may be back?

    • I hate to be a doubter, but Mr. Rossi’s powerplant is a few years late.

      Consistent results are found by people using the pre-assembled M-Nanor(tm) products. See JCMNS Vol25 for details. I think that a 1.25 gain factor puts LENR at the same level as early experiments on steam power, it’s not ready for prime time by a long shot.

  33. The sales chart posted by Willis Eschenbach near the top of this thread reminded me of the old story about shoe sales in Africa a century or so ago.

    At the end of the nineteenth century, just as colonial Africa was opening up as a market, all the manufacturers of shoes in Victorian England sent their representatives to Africa to see if there might be an opportunity there for their wares. All duly came back in time with the same answer. ‘Nobody in Africa wears shoes. So, there is no market for our products there.’

    The exception was the Bata rep. He came back saying, ‘Nobody in Africa wears shoes. So, there’s a huge market for our products in Africa!’

    • Your story would be relevant if the Africans in question already were wearing shoes that they found to be perfectly adequate.
      Then the Bata rep. would come back and say that “nobody is wearing our shoes” so that there is a huge market.

      We consumers already have products that we are satisfied. It’s not sufficient to come up with an alternative, you need to come up with a BETTER alternative.

  34. BEV “to eat the Western auto industry for breakfast.”

    Let’s see if BEV takes the whole auto industry. 2017 global car sales is 96 million. Weight of Li-ion car battery is 540 kg. That’s 51.84 tonnes of lithium per year. Global lithium reserve is 16 million tonnes. Well that’s good for 4 months of car sales. It looks like the auto industry will eat the lithium mining industry for snack

    A spoonful of Li-ion snack

  35. People laughed at the first Japanese car exports to Europe and the US too.
    This is why the auto industry apparently sided with the global warmers the other day; they want some regulations that will hinder the Chinese exporters before they become problem for Western/Japanese manufacturers.

  36. I’m a bit ignorant about these EVs but does the quoted mileage include power steering, headlights, air conditioning /heater?

  37. EV’s are useless in the winter and hills of Virginia, Pennsylvania, North/South Carolina welllll pretty much anywhere where its either hilly or gets cold, so lets just say they’re a rich mans hobby toy or for someone who thinks they should buy an indulgence for their perceived CO2 sins.

  38. Has anybody crash tested it yet? if it is like most Chinese cars it will disintegrate if it crashes into a sparrow.

  39. I would suggest that the initial surge of purchasers of EV autos in China is due to the governmental perks given to those who purchase one. Namely, preferred parking locations at charging stations. The vast majority of city dwellers in the PRC live in multi story apartment/condo buildings. The vast majority of these buildings have minimal allowance for personal automobile parking. If you own a government-preferred EV, you have may have access to these preferred parking/charging facilities.

    What will be the key factor in future expansion of EV sales in the PRC will be whether the government can sustain the huge numbers of parking and charging stations which would be necessary for this expansion.

    For now, the wealthy Chinese citizen can buy an EV and tromp on his neighbor with special privilege perks of EV ownership as well as compliance with Big Brother’s currently preferred product.

  40. I’m not afraid of the Chinese, economically. They suffer from the same handicap that the Soviet Union suffered—a government determined to do central planning. In the long run, this makes an economy inflexible.

    From the perspective of electric cars, I do see an advantage (energy-wise) to use an electric motor, but I don’t see the logic in using a battery as the primary energy storage device. The energy density is simply too low. I see the investment in battery cars as a waste of money. If you aren’t going to see a 10-times improvement in performance it isn’t really much of a development.

  41. We need more rolling toxic waste dumps.

    I have a 2012 Mitsubishi Miev, paid $4000 for it at an auction, like new condition with 12k miles. Factory warranty 10 years.

    I drive it to work to save miles on my truck, and it’s cheaper to drive.

    We also own two hybrids.

    The trick is to sell your EV/hybrid shortly before the warranty runs out. Any long term savings is purely imaginary unless you get them used. Whether or not the public buys into the scam doesn’t change the facts.

    Only a leap in battery technology will change my mind.

  42. In the end, an electric motor is more efficient than an internal combustion engine.
    I have no problem with electric automobiles as long as they are not subsidized.
    Stil, it will be a long time before electric autos will be better for most people than a fossil fuel powered vehicle.
    Charging time, range, battery lifetime, electricity supply, form factors, etc. need to be improved. We can’t see how long that will be, 20 years, 50 years, 100 years, never?

    • While the electric engine is more efficient than an ICE, you have to consider the entire lifecycle, from well to wheel.
      When you examine it that way, the efficiency improvement pretty much disappears.

  43. Electric car is not quite here yet. It lacks one little thing – the power source. Battery development came to a halt. Beryllium or boron, maybe? Or, more realistically, an alcohol fuel cell?

  44. “, the marketing arm of this company has never heard of the Darwin awards myth about JATO units and automobiles.”

    That was the first thing I thought of— a car that brings on remembering Darwin awards. Kind of like the No-va of the past.

  45. The BAIC Jato the new ‘peoples car’.
    I wonder what Kraft durch Freude – “Strength through Joy” is in Chinese?

  46. Fuel costs are only low because they are being subsidized.
    Once that subsidy ends, and politicians are already trying to figure out ways how to do it.
    Electric cars will become even more expensive to own.

    BTW, I notice that John totally neglects (once again) to factor in replacing the battery pack.

  47. As a start they need to put serious money into battery gigafactories (The Chinese are running off with that football too).”

    60 years ago, the US owned almost every major industry on the planet.
    Obviously, this proves that the US still owns all of these industries.

    Trends continue, until they don’t.

  48. There’s a big difference between ridiculing the belief that EVs are the car of the future and soon everyone will be driving them, and being anti-EV in general.
    I have no trouble with people purchasing the kind of car they want, so long as they are not picking my pocket to do so.
    BTW, John Hardy frequently says that he is also against EV subsidies, but I’ve never seen his name among those trying to get rid of them.

  49. Forget any thoughts about “Whose EVs outsells whose EV” at this point. The world’s automakers are developing 120+ electric models , to roll out over the next several years. Honda has announced an electric Honda FIt, range 180 miles, price $18,000 before $7500 US tax credit.

      • “Federal Tax Credit Up To $7,500! All-electric and plug-in hybrid cars purchased in or after 2010 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. The credit amount will vary based on the capacity of the battery used to power the vehicle. State and/or local incentives may also apply.”

        http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml.

        Obviously, that only applied to the US. Other countries may have their own equivilant subsidies, be sure to check with your own countries authorities for more information.

      • I thought the subsidy dried up after a company sells a certain number of EVs. There were stories earlier in the year about Tesla reaching the end of this subsidy.

      • Yes, at 200,000 sold the credit begins to phase out. Telsa is expected to reach that limit this year

    • Honda is selling at a loss so that it can continue to sell the type of cars that actually make money.
      Eliminate CAFE and government subsidies, and electric car sales dry up.

      • Will be interesting to watch as the tax credit on Teslas phases out in the near future (assuming of course that the swamp creatures in DC don’t manage to extend the limit for the phase out before then).

  50. The danger of Chinese electric cars is that China has a natural advantage in the electric market. Their infrastructure is not built around petroleum to the same degree as in the west and their society is not yet structured around long commutes. it is possible that these cars are being sold as something that never goes far from home, sort of like a home appliance. When the new graphene or sulfur or whatever chemistry ever gets there (where ever there might be) China will have the same sort of domestic advantage that the car makers of Europe and Japan had and still have when making small cars.

    • Because individuals have decided that the productivity and convenience of automobiles is worth the very, very tiny risk of injury or death.

      Regardless, cars are 100s of times safer than the horses they replaced.

  51. Every time I see one of these breathless pieces about the looming Chinese takeover of the world, our trade deficits, and how we are in general done, as a going concern, I am reminded of this old post from Mark J Perry,s invaluable “Carpe Diem” website

    http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/07/iphone-designed-by-apple-in-us.html

    “Turn over your iPhone and you’ll see that it’s “assembled in China.” But that doesn’t mean that most of the profits or revenue go there. In fact, only about $6.54 (a little more than than 1%) of the full $600 retail price of an iPhone goes to China and more than 60% goes directly to Apple and other American companies and then indirectly to American workers (see chart above), according to a recent “teardown report” by iSuppli that was featured in a New York Times article yesterday.” …

    ““China makes very little money on these things,” said Jason Dedrick, a professor at Syracuse University and an author of several studies of Apple’s supply chain. Much of the value in high-end products is captured at the beginning and end of the process, by the brand and the distributors and retailers. “…

    ” Assuming the U.S. government counts an iPhone as a $600 import from China (or some lower wholesale value) and increases the trade deficit with China by $600 – even though China contributes only about 1% to the final value – our $227 billion trade deficit with China could be significantly overstated.”

    Admittedly this post is seriously out of date, but the central notions are still operative. China has definitely, if totally unintentionally, demonstrated the overwhelming effectiveness of Capitalism, when the introduction of fairly limited aspects of market economics into its totally comand and control economy allowed hundreds of millions of chinese people to escape from dollar a day levels of poverty to a point where more than half their population is middle class, at least by the broad economist’s definition, which defines it as having enough income so that when all the necessities are covered enough money remains for dicrectionary spending.

  52. I was asked, do I drive?

    Yes. As little as possible, taking public transportation on all long trips.

    However this is not the issue. With our current transport we are faced with the well known paradox of choice. The rational choices for us all as individuals do not add up to something we would all regard as the optimal solution to the problem.

    I drive because it is necessary to daily living. Were I not to, that would make no difference to the problem, which is national or global. I can and do limit my personal exposure, but without any expectation that so doing will contribute to solving our transportation mess.

    But, like many other people, I consider the result of all of our choices to be completely dysfunctional, and wish for collective action to change it to something justifiable.

    • You make the same mistake many other people do, michel.

      To illustrate let’s do some simple math, albeit with big numbers. There’s about 330 million people in the USA. Stats indicate there’s 1.3 people per vehicle, but let’s simplify and say there’s ‘only’ 150 million vehicles in the US. Everybody I know, including myself, uses their vehicle almost daily. So, I think it’s quite conservative to say that in the US 200 million trips are taken daily in a vehicle (to a destination and returning from it). So, that’s 1.4 billion vehicular trips ‘a week’.

      Still with me? The yearly fatality rate in the US is about 40,000 or about 800 per week. Now, divide 1.4 billion by 800 and you will recognize that every time someone leaves their home and sets foot in their vehicle their likelihood of not returning home is just a little less than one in a million.

      You don’t think that’s safe. Do you think our forebears traveled safer than this? Everybody in those wagon trains leaving St. Louis for California in the 1800s got there alive? All the peasants who walked from town to town got to them alive? Nobody died of exposure, thirst, or broken bones when traveling?

      Grow up and recognize that the opinions you carry, like for us all, may very well be based on prejudices and not ‘fact’ as we all assume.

    • “I was asked, do I drive?

      Yes. As little as possible, taking public transportation on all long trips.

      However this is not the issue.”

      It’s very much the issue. You asked “is it worth it?” since you do drive (no matter how little) you have determined that it is otherwise your answer would be “not at all”. Therefore you are being a big old hypocrite on the issue.

      • No, I am not being a hypocrite. I am, like everyone else, choosing to behave in a way which is rational given the way society is structured today.

        I am also arguing that the costs of structuring society in this way are unacceptable, and that it should be changed, so that the incentives and compulsions to which I and the other citizens are subject on transportation are completely different.

        Right now, zoning and road use law and legislation basically compel one to use a car outside the cities with subway systems.

        i want to see this changed.

        What could take its place? How could we get along without the car in its present form? Ask someone who grew up in the UK in the forties or fifties of the last century. Life was perfectly possible and pleasant. People shopped locally, they travelled long distance by rail, they biked on roads that were relatively car free and so safe and pleasant. They walked. When they needed to, they took taxis.

        It was a perfectly decent transportation system, a lot better than what we have today. of course, business and shopping and leisure were structured and situated very differently from now, so it was possible. To go back, you would have to change the way and the places in which we live and work.

        But, for 1.3 million lives a year, it would pay back very quickly.

      • Ask someone who grew up in the UK in the forties or fifties of the last century. Life was perfectly possible and pleasant

        Michel, I have sympathy for your viewpoint, it is not acceptable that more than a million people get killed on roads each year.

        However, you are wrong about the safety in the past. Traffic security has been improving in all highly developed nations.

        See for example:

        /Jan

      • Let me explain more clearly.

        I asked, is it worth it. I was asking whether the transport system that kills 1.3 million a year according to the WHO is worth it. And my answer is no. And we should change it.

        When I am asked whether, living under this state sponsored transport system, I choose the only way open to me of getting about, I reply yes, of course I do. But it is perfectly consistent to want the system to change, but to behave as it mandates as long as its in place.

        Do I think we should move to proportional representation? Yes. Do I vote in the present system? Yes.

        Do I think there should be bikeways in our cities? Yes. Do I ride a bike in the cities or on main roads before we have them? No. It would be risking my life to no purpose.

        How you behave in a mad system which you want to change has no bearing on the merits of your argument for the necessity of change.

        The problem everyone is having is that they know that the costs in human life of the car are unjustifiable in terms of the benefits it brings. But they cannot bring themselves either to admit this or to make the argument that its fine to kill 1.3 million people a year in traffic accidents because cars are so very useful and freeing.

      • “I asked, is it worth it. I was asking whether the transport system that kills 1.3 million a year according to the WHO is worth it. And my answer is no. And we should change it.”

        Fine, let’s here your alternatives. You’ve yet to present any. And I suspect, given what you’ve posted so far, any alternative you do give will invariably be of the totalitarian variety.

        What you seem to forget is “is it worth it?” is a question that needs to consider the alternatives, is it worth giving up our freedoms to live in your totalitarian utopia? you may say yes, but the rest of [us] say hell no.

    • I find it fascinating how totalitarians such as yourself can’t understand how anyone could have a value system that differs from theirs.
      Like all totalitarians, you desire to have government force everyone to be as much like you as possible.

      • No, I do not want people to be like me. People can be how they want. But what I want is for them to stop supporting organizational aspects of society which lead to mass killings.

        You have to accept that the road and transport systems we have are not policy free. They have been, and had to be, enabled by government interventions of all sorts, from the Highway Code to the construction of roads and legislation regarding their use, the installation of traffic lights and road use regulations….

        My view is that when a system ends up killing, as this one does according to the WHO, 1.3 million people a year, it should be changed. Think about it. You are justifying a system which amounts to one Holocaust ever 4 years. Traffic accidents this century alone have killed over 20 million people. And that is not reckoning the serious injury rate.

        This is a global public health disaster, and cannot be justified, and must be changed.

      • “No, I do not want people to be like me”

        No, you just want them to behave the way you think is best for them. Not totalitarian at all.

  53. ‘EVs are getting better all the time and…’

    Maybe so, but batteries, grid infrastructure to provide convenient, plentiful charging points, and non-fossil fuel power stations are not.

    • My current car is a lot better than the car I owned previously. Which in turn was a lot better than the car before that.
      Everything is getting better technologically, not just EVs.

  54. Anthony, There may be a bit more to the JATO ‘myth’ than you realize. I’ll leave some of the details of this story out, even though the statute of limitations is likely expired. In the early ’60s, the Navy practiced winter exercises on a lake in northern Minnesota including landing and takeoffs on the frozen lake. One year they inadvertently left several unused JATO rockets in an unlocked shed in a remote area of the local airport. Students from the local university discovered them, and made plans to do what is described in the ‘myth’: strap one on the back of an automobile. A Ford Falcon was the intended vehicle.

    Fortunately, the navy did not include igniters with the stash. The igniter screws into one end of the JATO bottle, and the jet exhausts from the other. Without the igniter, the jet exhaust emits from both ends. The students, lacking the igniter decided to ignite the cordite with gasoline. They chose a gravel pit on the edge of town to experiment with this. They simply poured gasoline around and over the unattached rocket, lit it, and ran. At some point, the cordite ignited and make noise – a LOT of noise.

    The rocket bumped, and spun, blew exhaust from both ends, and made noise – a LOT of noise. The police were the first to arrive very shortly after the students left. The next day, the local paper had a picture of the burned out rocket on the front page with the headline “Kids play with dangerous toy”. The now contrite students returned the two remaining JATO rockets to the shed. I much later calculated that neglecting air resistance (a bad assumption) the car would have been going over 1100 mph before the rocket burned out. That, of course, also assumed the rocket stayed connected to the car, and the car continued in a straight line. Each of these assumptions were likely as bad as the air resistance assumption.

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