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Automotive/Trensportation Page 01 Copyright 1996-2003 by Batteries Digest
 

Solar and Lithium 

When all else fails...

Hello Subscribers,
I suppose none of us succeeds all the time. I dont want to bother you with my problem which currently relates to passing the lab part of my class in refrigerator door opening. Its not going as hoped.

Fortunately for my ego, others are having problems, too, and their solutions are more interesting. Take for instance the ZEV mandate in California. Automakers must sell 2 per cent of all offerings in California as ZEVs. (Ed note: An electric car is anything but a ZEV or Zero Emission Vehicle because the electricity comes from a variety of sources including coal generating plants, some of the worst polluters on the planet. Others cite nuclear not as an air polluting source but as a long term environmental polluter. Driving an EV requires polluting emissions in the preparation of the fuel whether in electricity or hydrogen form, unless obtained from a true pollution free source such as photovoltaic or wind. Even these will have to be manufactured with green power to achieve total cleanliness.)

Now, put yourself in the place of an automaker. GM spent a ton developing the EV1 and nobody wants them as replacements for their IC autos. GM could either design another loss leader EV or put another 5 tons in advertising to make people want to plug in. This comment is offered on the basis that you can sell anything if you advertise it enough and get enough movie stars to have one: -case in point divorces, the SUV and the PDA.

GM cant make a buck in pouring an ounce into either developing a new EV or paying for Supergreen Superbowl ads. Hybrid vehicles dont qualify in the ZEV category, so they have come up with possibly the lowest cost method to meet the mandate: give EVs away!

At this time, GM will give away 10,000 Club Cars Pathway NEVs (Neighborhood Electric Vehicles), surely not zero emission vehicles, but aptly named as feature laden golf cars.) The company follow with studies on the vehicle useage and performance in California and the Northeast U.S. over the next several months. GM needs to place nearly 5,000 in California to meet their obligation.

Ford and DaimlerChrysler have also seen the light. Ford is donating 500 Th!nk NEVs to the national parks in California, and DaimlerChryser is negotiating to place 300 Global Electric Motorcars in the state parks of California. As the Lead-acid batteries wear out in a few years, there is either going to be a nice battery replacement market or soap box derbies will get a new platform.

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