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AFKA ZealYouthGuy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, does anyone have a comprehensive list of things that big oil/energy have done to interrupt/buyout/down right interfere with our countries ability to not depend on Oil.

I have someone asking me, and I sent them links to the recent call by the WV rep to not let people generate their own windpower.

Anyone have some good resources?
 

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Master Of My Domain
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since big oil is/was deeply involved with detroit, one could say that GM ending it's electric car projects in the 1990's was a factor.
 

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AFKA ZealYouthGuy
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
MELOC said:
since big oil is/was deeply involved with detroit, one could say that GM ending it's electric car projects in the 1990's was a factor.
I would agree with that, but I need something a bit more decisive than that.

Hard evidence, if you will.
 

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zone 5 - riverfrontage
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We recently watched a documentary about the history of the electric car. I think it was called: "Who killed the electric car".

They interviewed a lot of people: folks who had leased electric cars, folks who had petitioned to buy electric cars, dealership managers, industry corporate big-wigs, etc.

They made a very clear case, that the oil industry mandated that electric cars would end, and they did end.
 

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Why did GM pull in and crush all of their hybrids. . .?
Good - bad - or indifferent, it was a decent starting point.

With their cadre of high priced lawyers keeping track of things, your going to have one hard time proving anything.
Ain't no *links* to the goings on, behind those closed doors.

Fun to speculate.
Hard to prove.
 

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zone 5 - riverfrontage
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Then you must watch "Who killed the electric car"

After interveiwing a very long list of people the last half hour of the movie is organized around the following hypothesized culprits in the downfall of the electric car:

Consumers
Lots of ambivalence to new technology, unwillingness to compromise on decreased range and increased cost for improvements to air quality and reduction of dependence on foreign oil. Although these allegations are made about consumers by industry reps in the film, perhaps explaining the film's "guilty" verdict, the actual consumers interviewed in the film were either unaware an electric car was available, or dismayed that they could no longer obtain one.

Batteries
Limited range (60-70 miles) and reliability in the first EV-1s to ship, but better (110 - 160 miles) later. Towards the end of the film, an engineer explains that, as of the interview, the same technology available in laptop batteries would have allowed the EV-1 to be upgraded to a range of 300 miles per charge.

Oil companies
Fearful of losing business to a competing technology, they supported efforts to kill the ZEV mandate. They also bought patents to prevent modern batteries from being used in US electric cars.

Car companies
Negative marketing, sabotaging their own product program, failure to produce cars to meet existing demand, unusual business practices with regards to leasing versus sales. The film only explains this behavior once, saying that electric cars needed fewer expensive repairs and would hence not make the car companies as much money over the long term as gasoline-powered cars. The film also describes the history of automaker efforts to destroy competing technologies, such as their destruction through front companies of public transit systems in the United States in the early 20th century. It also, in one interview, mentions that automakers introduced important safety and emissions innovations including seat belts, airbags and catalytic converters only when forced by government legislation.

Government
The federal government joined in the auto industry suit against California, has failed to act in the public interest to limit pollution and require increased fuel economy, has promoted the purchase of vehicles with poor fuel efficiency through preferential tax breaks, and has redirected alternative fuel research from electric towards hydrogen.

California Air Resources Board
The CARB, headed by Alan Lloyd, caved to industry pressure and repealed the ZEV mandate. Lloyd was given the directorship of the new fuel cell institute, creating an inherent conflict of interest. Footage shot in the meetings showed how he shut down the ZEV proponents while giving the car makers all the time they wanted to make their points.

Hydrogen fuel cell
The hydrogen fuel cell was presented by the film as an alternative that distracts attention from the real and immediate potential of electric vehicles to an unlikely future possibility embraced by automakers, oil companies and a pro-business administration in order to buy time and profits for the status quo.

The verdicts the movie concludes:
Consumers — Guilty
Batteries — Not Guilty
Oil companies — Guilty
Car companies — Guilty
Government — Guilty
California Air Resources Board — Guilty
Hydrogen fuel cell — Guilty
 

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de oppresso liber
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I have read in a couple of places the reason the first electric cars were not allowed to be sold, instead of leased, was the fact that if the cars were sold the company would be required by law to provide service and support for a set number of years. Because the cars were a very limited production run it would have cost a lot (and that is a lot for a muilt million dollar company) of money to do that.

As for H2 power. Do a little research and you will find H2 is a loser because you have make H2 from something and it takes more energy to make it than you get back from using in. You'll also find that storage and transport of it runs into problems.
 

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zone 5 - riverfrontage
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Except of course for the fact that there are electric cars on the roads. Generally very small manufacturers or people who convert older gasoline autos over to electric.

The world's largest manufacturer of alcohol-fueled and electric autos has been trying to get our congress to allow import, for the past five years.
 

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Rockin In The Free World
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I'm all for technology, hybrids, electric, whatever - but it is somewhat ironic that there is so much emphasis placed on "new technology", hybrids, electric, etc. curing our oil dependence when so little emphasis is placed on efficient gasoline powered vehicles using more current/tested technology.

In the early 90s there were gas powered Hondas and Geos hitting 60mpg - but fuel powered efficient vehicles are just not "techno geeky" enough to be cool.

Canada has the "Smart Car", which is apparantly being made available in the U.S. in the near future - perhaps we're waking up a bit - but as I understand it, they're not selling like "hotcakes" either - at least not in Canada.

Blame the oil companies? Maybe - but they're not forcing us to purchase SUVs and gas guzzlers. If we want to place blame, the attitudes of the majority of folks in North Amerca is certainly at the top of the list.
 

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The company that manufactured the batteries for GM was called ECD Ovonics. They formed a partnership to develop 90 amp/hr batteries for the EV1. When GM shut down the program Chevron bought ECD Ovonics. The company is now a joint venture called Cobasys. They make batteries for laptops but not for cars. When Toyota built a battery for cars Cobasys sued them.
 
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