According to Henry’s newsletter just sent out, they will no longer be building internal combustion engined speedsters or roadsters.  IM is going all electric in future builds.

So glad I have the car I have...

Original Post

I see from the link Stan shared that it has a 50 kwh battery pack. That should be very comfortable in terms of range. We have a 24 kwh Leaf that has a 100 mile range and is a much bigger car than Henry's. If you've ever floored an electric car you know how nice the torque is. Should be fun. That being said, I'm glad mine has a manual transmission and a gas engine. For me that's more fun and we'll still have the Leaf.

You need a "manual transmission" with an electric motor?

Oh.....for the gas engine, I guess....

A good Biking friend of mine has a Chevy "Volt", which he loved.  Right up until the time GM decided to discontinue them.

Well we are living in interesting times, here's hoping that we can get some support for items related to our builds.  @Bob: IM S6 @Stan Galat  

P.S.  I wonder if more details are available as to what parts were used any ideas?

So do the used IM cars with IC engines go up or down in price? These cars were built for nostalgia so not sure going all electric is the way. 

...interesting times ... Indeed.  Henry seems a man with a mission.  That said, i'm thinking Iconic Speedsters/Spyders emitting unburned hydrocarbons and audacious exhaust notes are going to be in demand for a while.

hbkmat posted:

So do the used IM cars with IC engines go up or down in price? These cars were built for nostalgia so not sure going all electric is the way. 

Well the good ones should go up.  After delivery, most of these cars are serviced and maintained away from the manufacturer anyway (unless you live near Vancouver).   I think the fact that he still building 356’s is the most important thing here.  Getting parts will be the crapshoot.  Time will tell.

It might be disappointing if you own an IM, but IM will do whatever it needs to do in the E world to survive.  IM is betting the full house and barn on E tech.  I wish them luck.  

There is no question that any IM should appreciate as the Italia did and continues to increase with age and none of these cars will simply rust away unless majorly neglected after all they are glass.  

As to replacement parts it might be fun in the future to get some of the rarer items but then classic cars do have that problem as well.  

wrt "Iconic Speedsters/Spyders emitting unburned hydrocarbons and audacious exhaust notes are going to be in demand for a while."

perhaps the other quality builders will see this as a boon -- an opportunity to do more scratching of the old-school itch, where Henry is bowing out.  As mentioned: time will tell.

In terms of a business plan, I'm guessing that Henry's shooting for a high-end niche market that will grow over the next 10 years. IM is already high-end, but may be seeing more competition. Perhaps this is a way to step ahead/away from that competition, although I'd be afraid that there will be a few lean years before the market develops.

hbkmat posted:

Sounds like Henry is taking that China money

The misconception here is that Meccanica, the parent company of Intermeccanica and Electrameccanica is Chinese owned. It is not. It is a Canadian company.

The company is publicly traded (SOLO on the Nasdaq) and Henry Reisner is not the CEO (a man named Jerry Kroll is). The IPO was in Sept., 2017. SOLO's share price has been as high as $14.90 (shortly after the IPO) and had dropped as low as $1.06, just before the first of this year. As of yesterday's close, Meccanica closed at $2.61 and the company has a market cap of about $96M. Intermecccanica was/is a subsidiary of Meccanica, and was rolled under the umbrella some time during the past couple of years. All of the eggs are in the Meccanica basket, and have been for some time.

The China connection is that Electrameccanica's 3-wheeled, single seat electric commuter (the Solo) will be mass produced at the Zongshen production facility in Chongqing, China. Electrameccanica has received 64,000 pre-orders for future product (Solos and Tofinos), and took delivery of 20 Solos currently being used as demos at it's LA dealership on April 1, 2019. Intermeccanica has built just about 600 cars out of it's Vancouver shop in 25 years. China is a factory, Vancouver is a shop.

I've made my feelings regarding electric cars well known, and I'm not interested in rehashing them here. What's important is that Intermeccanica as a builder of IC engined replicas is the piece of this whole puzzle that didn't fit. Henry and his company are full-bore into an electric future, and have been since the IPO. Henry said in his newsletter that, "I also realize that this process has taken its toll on current Intermeccanica customers whose projects were delayed by my heavy travel schedule."

So this is the brave new world. I don't have to like it or agree with it, but it's very consistent with the trajectory of Meccanica, and I understand that if one is in for the penny, one is in for the pound. I wish the Reisner family nothing but success as they cater to the kind of folks who are laying out $125K for a Tesla S. Those are not my kind of people. It is entirely possible that I am the past, and they are the future-- I have my doubts about that, but my company is not worth $96M.

Regardless, and as I see it-- this latest development leaves Special Edition/Beck with a great opportunity as they move their product upscale and bring new and better cars to market. Filling Intermeccanica's enormous shoes in this space will be a huge challenge, but also a huge opportunity. The IC engine has long legs, and more than a few tricks left in the bag.

I believe that Carey and his team are up to the task.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Henry’s production of cars, both speedsters and roadsters, is not very large on a yearly basis.  These days, he may turn out 12 to 14 cars a year, if all goes well.  So we are not talking a massive shift here.  Each car is completely bespoke, tailred to the individual owner’s likes, desires, whims.

So, his going electric for the 356 cars won’t make much difference, in terms of volume, in the automotive world.  It will make a large difference to those car lovers who know of Intermeccanica, and who are not looking to the future of gas powered vehicles, but it is mainly a symbolic difference in this case.  It is nothing - in terms of news - in comparison to when Porsche abandoned air and went to water cooled cars.  

But, it is still another indication - for some of us older car nuts - that our world is changing more than we may want it to.

Marty, I will join you in that group session...

Last edited by Bob: IM S6
hbkmat posted:

Sounds like Henry is taking that China money

As Stan says above, this is an all Canadian company, with production of the Solos being in China.  Henry will be taking money from all over the globe when the Solo production ramps up.  

That’s today’s global business model.

 

I think Henry is on point with his vision investing in electric vehicle production.  My concern is China scooping up the IM concept and running with it as China's estimate on future electric vehicle ownership is staggering. I also see a nitch in large metro areas here is the US  The good is, used IC IM's will climb rapidly in value 

Found this to be of interest:      

Chinese consumers are on track to buy more than 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) this year after sales grew 53% in 2017.  And China’s leadership is charting a course to an all-electric future, targeting 2 million annual EV sales by 2020 and a complete ban on internal-combustion engines, which officials predicts will happen before 2040.

Last edited by Alan Merklin

In for a penny .... funny that quote rang through my brain yesterday....

Stan is right the koolaid is Green and the mass will do what it will do and we will all look back and see the chips fall where they will .

 There are already a few who are doing electric conversions, I think mostly on Special Edition cars, and I think it's one of their dealers located in Colorado. It would be interesting to compare price points on the SE's vs. what Intermeccanica will charge for theirs. I have no idea how much success there has been selling our cars as plug ins.

Assuming that the buyers of the estimated 12-14 current gas burners that IM puts out per year want to remain with the dinosaurs like us, that would seem to be a nice little piece of business. If that business gets mostly redirected to SE, I wonder what that means to the wait time for cars in Kevin's queue, or, over time, does it represent an opportunity to expand a bit? Time will tell. 

I also wonder how long the allure of these cars will hold up. Most of the guys on this site seem to be like me, taking some meds to ward off the aches, pains and chronic symptoms of age related diseases and problems. We can't hold out forever. Dead end sometime in the future.

These are the cars that we coveted in our youth and our offspring and their offspring mostly coveted, and I imagine will acquire, the popular cars of their youth.

There isn't much of a market for model T's and A's cause the folks who grew up with them and bought them later in life have mostly gone to the used car lot in the sky.

Make hay while the sun shines, boys and girls!

 

Here in Elkins WV there are 180 to 200 Model A cars ( National Tour) on display last night and tonight...All owners are well into their golden years. What becomes of these cars and their value and the interest has diminished is anyone's guess. I do know that if you attend the AACA annual event in Hershey PA those owners are there with their children that are in their late 50's and a few grandchildren that are no spring chicken's either. Take a look at the Cruise In's around various towns ...Those owner are seniors too. As for our Tupper Ware cars, some of the owners are somewhat younger in their 40's so there is still interest down the road for Speedster, Roadsters and Spyders.

IM electric 125$ USA 

Panhandle my uncle at 78 would say the train is getting near the station but so far has not arrived yet... he arrived at the station at 80y.o. He was a GM top exec in his work life.

I'm not sold on the idea that Cold War era cars are destined to become less popular as we all die out.

The cars I lusted after in my youth were not Porsches, and if they had been, they certainly would not have been sub-100 hp bathtubs. Sometimes, a taste for good things is acquired by choking down on some less good things.

We live in the golden age of horsepower, but the cars themselves are increasingly computerized. This will not age any better than the 20 year old desktop computer sitting in your garage did. I suspect young people will treat analog cars much the same way they treat early electric guitars and classic rock music. I've yet to meet anybody under 30 who doesn't love my car. I can assure you that I never felt that way about a Model T.

It may be true that younger people are not after carburetors and distributors, but as more replicas get to be more like cars at the turn of the millennium (one very robust ECU, doing stuff way better than analog ever could), I think the market for loud, proud, and reliable IC-engined retro-mods will flourish as people under 40 tire of a touch-screen for everything.

Rolex and Breitling don't seem to lack for customers for their decades old purely analog watches. I think good cars will stand the test of time.

 For those that did go to the Carlisle show field on Friday and Saturday, saw a complete turn around from just a few years ago where there was dozens of replica Cobras , Lambo's,  T Birds and other one off kit cars ...A large percentage of the manufactures are gone too and Jim Youngs of Kit Car Builder magazine saw a decline in the membership subscriptions and decided to fold the that venture. Antiques as well as 50's and 60's are all owned by seniors,  with very few new remakes coming into the scene.  Low suspension fart box cars are what is the in thing for many of the young people.

Last edited by Alan Merklin

I have lots of friends that are in love with the 70-80's American cars, and while I appreciate them I find the 70's and 80's cars IMHO, are not as desirable unless you really are an American Muscle guy.   They are simply more raw and have a lot of plastic.

I liked that quote on the Ferrari race driver where he called a spade a spade... that made me chuckle, yet I look at the Carlisle show, some old cars are just that, OLD....

IF you decide to get one, a full restore will be the same price point as any car when you do a full restore.  Especially, for the man hours to do it not counting the parts needed.

I personally find that you need to really like the car before you jump in as if it has 60hp your still going to be going 60hp fast.  

As to an electric IM I have no desire for one and the price point has enough margin to start an elite exclusive club.   

Last edited by IaM-Ray

A number of years ago I recall a few fart box car owners that decided to park in the NJ replica tent overnight ...In the AM, Tom asked the nicely to move the cars, one young ass clown decided to get cocky and Tom put his lit fat cigar out on the top of the kids head ...that was priceless~

End of an era IMO. May sound negativo but I say to Henry why bother with going all electric just get out of the business or sell it. Recommend to just keep electric as an option because naturally aspirated is at the core of these cars - the core Henry!

Stan Galat posted:

Called it.

Carey Hines- the world is your oyster.

Maybe the impetus for SE to start making Roadster Ds?

Greg Leach's oyster as well, no?

Last edited by DannyP

I'm not a fan of electric cars at all. I need the smells and noises. But that's just me.

I want to wish the Reisner family much prosperity and happiness in their venture.

Todd M posted:

What is a fart box?

It's a box you put your cat in when you were a kid and everyone took their turn with farting into the air hole. Cruel I know but hey... kids.

PaulEnvemo posted:

Anyone watching Tesla’s stock this week or Morgan Stanley’s report on it? Not looking so good. 

I am

... and I’m shocked SHOCKED I tell you. Who knew? If you don’t make money, your share price falls. VW, et al are getting in the EV game, and we’re all about to see how the big boys play. Tesla will become a novelty masquerading as a car company.

Eventually, the world will recognize Mr. Musk as the PT Barnum of our time. 

No doubt that EV technology is part of the future. I say part of the future because I believe coupled with an IC engine, (how the old Volt was) makes the most practical sense. Tesla and musk have been a dog and pony show for so long now and finally “the street” is waking up...bloated pig is down 12 points today. Ford makes more cars in a week than Tesla does in a year and they trade at 10 bucks and pay a dividend.   As for electric 356 replicas,  I suppose there is a small niche there....just not us guys here. Jaguars e type zero is priced at 400k plus....what price point is Henry shooting for?  

It will be interesting to see how VW's commitment to EV changes things. Our Nissan Leaf has been our only vehicle for 5 years, but we live on a small island. All of our electricity, including charging the car comes from rooftop solar and the savings paid off the investment 18 months ago. That said, we live on the dry side of the island and are only 1500 miles north of the equator. There are fast chargers available on most parts of Maui (except the remote Hana side) so it works for us. Until that kind of economic and infrastructure advantage comes to more locations, EV uptake will be limited. But, even though EV makes the best sense for my daily driver, I want my fun car to be IC.

mppickett posted:

It will be interesting to see how VW's commitment to EV changes things. Our Nissan Leaf has been our only vehicle for 5 years, but we live on a small island. All of our electricity, including charging the car comes from rooftop solar and the savings paid off the investment 18 months ago. That said, we live on the dry side of the island and are only 1500 miles north of the equator. There are fast chargers available on most parts of Maui (except the remote Hana side) so it works for us. Until that kind of economic and infrastructure advantage comes to more locations, EV uptake will be limited. But, even though EV makes the best sense for my daily driver, I want my fun car to be IC.

The key is EQUATOR  

My speculations:

Tax payers will eventually get tired of subsidizing their neighbors transportation.

Unless the US builds a bunch of nuclear power plants, electric cars will be realized as the expensive, inefficient, polluting vehicles they really are.

Tesla bonds will be become worth 25% of their bought price, and the stock will continue it's downward trend until it hits a price that a major auto manufacturer finds it profitable to buy Tesla's plants and equipment, probably about $30 per share.

Last edited by Todd M

There's way too much capacity in the car building business as it is. Unless I miss my guess, nobody is going to want Tesla's hard assets. Neither GM nor Toyota wanted to be located in the most expensive labor market in the US before Telsa came to save the day by locating in a plant that neither of them wanted any more (Fremont, CA).

The brand itself may be a different story. I'd suspect we'll see a Chinese or Indian conglomerate buying the name and engineering, once the share price gets close to book value (right around $30, as Todd pointed out).

Todd M posted:

My speculations:

Tax payers will eventually get tired of subsidizing their neighbors transportation.

Oh, I don't know. They haven't gotten tired of decades of subsidies and sweetheart leases to oil companies paid for the by tax dollars of the few who pay their share of taxes.

What on earth would make them take offense to one and not the other?

Umm. Not sure that when we old farts say 'fart box' that it means what we think it means (to paraphrase the Princess Bride). Google 'fart box' and look at the images that come up. 

Perhaps a better descriptor is 'ricer.' Here is a picture that Google serves up when you do a search: Ricer

Attachments

Images (1)

"Intermeccanica is no longer accepting commissions for I.C. products so that we can direct all our energies to this new and exciting endeavour.  As for all of you traditional Intermeccanica owners, my staff and I are committed to continue to support your Intermeccanica products with the parts and service you expect and deserve. I am expecting the last Intermeccanica I.C. product to ship by fall of this year this will be just about the 600th Intermeccanica built in Canada."

IaM-Ray posted:

IM electric 125$ USA 

Panhandle my uncle at 78 would say the train is getting near the station but so far has not arrived yet... he arrived at the station at 80y.o. He was a GM top exec in his work life.

So an electric IM is going to be $125 large. That's $25 large less than an entry level IC Starke.

Of course Starke has to produce and sell one. Anybody know if they have done that yet?

Things I can buy for $125K:

  • Porsche 911 GTS
  • Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS
  • Jaguar F-Type SVR
  • His and Hers (2) Alfa Romeo 4C, with a spare MX5 Miata for when one is in the shop
  • Corvette ZR1
  • His and hers Ford Shelby GT350s and the several 55 gal drums of oil you'll need to keep them full
  • BMW M5, with $20K +/- left over for lawyers, guns, and money
  • Mercedes AMG E63, again-- same amount left over for lawyers, guns, and money
  • Cadillac CTS-V, with a spare ATS for the Mrs.
  • 2 Beck Super-Coupes
  • 3 Vintage Spyders
  • A rental house in a decent neighborhood in my hometown. Rent would be about $1200/mo.
  • 4 years of college at most Big 10 schools

 

 

I'm going to uncharacteristically be the voice of optimism and the young people here. Let's look at the positives.

First, if Meccanica is successful in China selling small electric vehicles, they will have money to fund their Intermeccanica operation (which will be a small side business). They may even start up a manufacturing line in China making 356 replicas. This means cheaper vehicles, faster turnaround, and the car they sell can be retrofitted with your favorite gasoline-burning engine. Maybe they will make steel bodies. Maybe they will put more money into R&D for components. Maybe they will develop parts that you can use in your car, but cheaper and better than what you've got now. Maybe they will even qualify the car for modern safety standards. That's optimistic, but who knows.

Second, young people are bored with cars. Remember that most people under 30 have grown up riding in and driving front-wheel drive automatic cars. Cars today are massively overpowered, large, smooth, and dull. I've got a car that reaches 100 mph before I can blink and the experience feels like sitting on a couch and watching it on TV. That's why I'm here, looking at getting a car that ended production before I was born, and I'm not that young. Now, these young people don't have an affinity for carbureted, air-cooled engines, they just want a cool car that is fun to drive. For them, an electric car is ideal. For some of you that doesn't feel like a real speedster, but it is a continuation of the car so that it doesn't die with those that grew up with it.

I really wouldn't mind the power and feel of an electric drivetrain, although I would miss the auditory pleasures that go with a nice IC engine.  My problems with electric cars are related to the batteries:

  1. The manufacturing process is extremely dirty.
  2. The power production for charging can also be extremely dirty.  You're simply moving the pollution away from you.
  3. Range is limited unless you have room for a large battery pack.  I can't see that being the case in a Speedster.  Having a large battery pack quickly increases weight, to the detriment of handling and performance.
  4. Charging time is extremely long - hours versus minutes for a gas fill-up.  This may be my biggest gripe.
  5. The currently predominant lithium battery technology seems prone to devastating fires.
  6. Batteries require replacement after a few years, at considerable cost.  This reduces resale value considerably.

A lot of progress has been made in recent years, and the momentum toward electric dominance will ensure that it continues, but for now I'll stick with suck/squeeze/bang/blow.

Speck posted:

Cars today are massively overpowered, large, smooth, and dull. I've got a car that reaches 100 mph before I can blink and the experience feels like sitting on a couch and watching it on TV

Now your talking... my exact words to my son... click click click and 100mph... no fun in that... might as well be jumping to light speed on the millenium falcon. 

Before buying my DD (Audi RS5) I test drove a Tesla. It had the largest battery pack i.e. ludicrous speed. It goes 0-60 in under 3 seconds and is an exhilarating experience. However for the 120k it makes zero sense to me. As Stan states for that kind of money there are many other options that are built so much better. My take on all full electrics they are nothing more than a glorified golf cart. 

Last week I drove my Speedster over 1500 miles for a total of $150 in gas. Each stop for was maybe 15 minutes which included a pitstop for bathroom and a coffee or soda. The entire trip was on a tollway cruising between 70-80mph and not one worry about range! I wish Henry the best of luck, but as someone in the "target market"  I just cannot see cruising the cornfields of IL in a noiseless droptop worrying if I can make it home so I can plug it in. 

What no ZOOM-ZOOM?  Add to Lane's list -

7.  Current electrical system won't support mass move to electric vehicles without a tremendous infrastructure investment (and more coal fired power plants).

8.  Recycling of spent Lithium batteries isn't in place and will be costly.

"Once a battery reaches the end of its life, there is recycling and disposal to be considered. Currently, over 90% of lead-acid batteries used in typical gasoline-powered vehicles are recycled. Compare that to less than 5% of lithium-ion batteries. Experts project 11m tonnes of lithium-ion batteries will be discarded between 2017 and 2030 . These batteries will need to be transported to recycling facilities around the world to be processed, further contributing to their negative environmental impact. Transporting batteries from Australia to Europe resulted in an increase of global warming potential of ~45%."

9. Federal and states offer tax advantages for electric cars - which we all pay for.

10.  Gasoline taxes pay for our roads and bridges - electrical vehicles use those roads for free.

11.  EMS/Rescue services will require training and equipement to respond to EV crashes.

12.  Cold deeply affects battery duration then there is use of heater and AC which further reduced miles covered.

13.  Affluent people can afford EVs - most people can't afford them --- furthering the divide between rich and poor. Heck, Tesla owners have learned to expect free charging.

So, to play the other side:

There are many segments of the transportation system presently being considered as candidates for an EV revolution. Most of them are just pipe dreams. Right up the road is a company occupying an abandoned Mitsubishi plant (Rivien), who plans to make electric pick-up trucks. I'm not sure who's going to use an electric pick-up, but it won't be the guys who work out of them for a living, or the guys who pull their boats to the lake, or fifth wheels to Florida. In other words, "people who buy trucks".

This didn't stop Ford and Amazon from investing almost a billion dollars in the plant, which will be good for the local economy (at least in the short term), so that's nice.

Probably the stupidest idea I've seen floated is long-haul semis. I'm not sure where the market is for a rig that runs out of juice after 200 miles, and then takes 12-24 hrs to recharge. You wanna talk about a supercharger? Recharging something that would pull a load of pig-iron would take a SUPERCHARGER.

There was some publication (Automobile? sounds right) recently breathlessly predicting personal aerial drones-- electric and autonomous. Right. Those will come just after the FAA certifies pigs for flight.

But of all the possible vehicles out there which might make a good candidate to be purely EV, a very limited use speedster might be at the top of the list.

Face it-- we're the weirdest of the weird. Not only do we want to own an open, unsafe, antiquated, and expensive conveyance-- we want to actually drive them. The vast majority (of the extreme minority) of people who want a replica, just want to pop down to the coffee shop or over to the bistro to meet friends for an alfresco lunch. They want to keep 'em for a couple of years, then sell them because they never drive them anywhere. This is WITH the capability to go anywhere for pennies at the pump. Most folks want a fashion accessory, and this one is pretty cool.

I'd bet 90% of the current replica market would never ever have range anxiety with an EV with a 200 mi range, precisely because they never drive their replicas far enough or long enough for range and recharge time to matter.

The fact that this is a deal-breaker for me, and Joe, Jack Crosby, and all of the rest of us here makes us outliers. Welcome to being on the outside of your own hobby, gentlemen. Outcasts and rebels we are, untethered by the literal cords that would keep us down on the (wind) farm.

Outlaws

Last edited by Stan Galat

A big truck that remains idle does not produce revenue and actually costs a company big bucks.... that's why many companies now have " Slip Seating" and " Team Drivers" i.e. two drivers operate the same truck in a 24 hour period. Charging batteries in a big truck for more than half a day is money lost.  The only use I can see working to some degree is UPS, Walmart, USPS etc. that have short haul " Drop and Hook" dedicated runs .  Those driverless trucks are a torpedo on wheels. I drove big truck for 46 years,  there's no computer in the world that can make multi decisions in an emergency situation. It takes years of experience , skill and some God given luck not to kill someone as well as survive.

Last edited by Alan Merklin

As I noted in the thread on self driving cars/trucks - follow the money. DARPA and the US military is very motivated and the manufacturers who get there first will be rewarded. Regardless of whether the tech is the best fit for the consumer market. There will be collateral benefits for consumers, as  usual, but it will take time. 

 

I think my anxiety about driving an electric Speedster isn't range anxiety. The thing makes me anxious in other ways.

It's more about what you lose when you add batteries.

Electricity is just fine for running appliances. There's a job to be done and, when you run all the numbers, electricity is often the most efficient way to do that job. You wouldn't want a gasoline-powered washing machine or coffee grinder.

And if you think of a car as an appliance, you might be able to juggle the equations to make a case for electric power. One of our cars is our 'utility' car. We use it for Costco runs and local freeway slogs. An engineer might be able to prove that we'd be better served by an electric car for that kind of stuff.

But other things are different. You wouldn't want, say, an electric baseball glove. Oh sure, some smart engineers could probably construct a device that would race around the outfield, compute speed and trajectory, and snag a falling baseball every single time. You could probably even get the thing to go a full nine innings on a single charge.

But I don't see much of a market for an electric baseball glove.

The thing about using a baseball glove is knowing how to catch the ball. And no matter how many times you've done it, you want to do it again. Maybe just to prove to yourself that you still can. Maybe because it just feels good to do it. There's some satisfaction in the doing.

I don't think an electric Speedster is going to do it for me.

 

Well we might have to have a Special Edition North associate dealership to address the IC guys who want cars north of the USA .... 

I've always wondered why small issolated states/countries with no natural gas/oil haven't adopted electric vehicles.  Say to start: Hawaii and Puerto Rico.  Seems golf carts (or small Tata cars) would be perfect.  These islands have plenty of sun and wind (and ocean current) to generate electricity.  Plus cold isn't issue in battery life - nor is heat (AC need) really.  Throw in all the Caribean islands for volume of EVs.  Only stumbling issue might be that these countries are often poor.

I retired working on Army Future Combat Systems - FCS (a $38 B Project that got cut by Congress in 2009).  (I was on the software networking side). It was looking at as part of the system, new vehicles that were hybrid/electric or the favored hydrogen powered.  Goal was to be able to deploy forces quickly (w/in 48 hrs) and be self sustaining for 5 days --- vs current long logistics tail of fuel/supplies that takes 30 days to put in place.  The actual drive trains were to be able to be quickley pulled out and replaced. It was a long term project with big $ so it ultimately got cut.  Military seems to be a real driver for items we all currently take for granted and use every day.

Image result for Army future combat systems vehicles

 

Last edited by WOLFGANG
mppickett posted:

As I noted in the thread on self driving cars/trucks - follow the money. DARPA and the US military is very motivated and the manufacturers who get there first will be rewarded. Regardless of whether the tech is the best fit for the consumer market. There will be collateral benefits for consumers, as  usual, but it will take time. 

I would agree on the military wanting driverless technology, but driverless technology does not require an electric powered vehicle.

The following is a real question and not rhetorical.  Is there any car manufacturer what makes a profit on an all electric car, not hybrid, but all electric?  And second, is there any car manufacturer that makes a profit on an all electric car without federal and state electric car rebates and ZEV credits?

http://gmauthority.com/blog/20...making-money-on-evs/

Todd I think the credits mostly go to the car owner and not the manufacturer. Nearly a half of a trillion federal dollars has been given to subsidize the gas and oil industry since 1918 so in comparison, any solar, wind geothermal incentives to date are de minimis. EV subsidies are part of the federal subsidy program in the efficiency section of the budget (same part that subsidizes efficient refrigerators). 

I'm not arguing that it is the best process, but it makes sense for the future. Gas and oil are just going to get more scarce, dirty and expensive. We need alternatives and EVs are one. They truly aren't perfect but are getting better. I would welcome a hydrogen powered alternative, but because of the energy density complications, I suspect that is further away.

“Gas and oil are just going to get more scarce, dirty and expensive.”

Yeah, about that, and to take that statement point by point:

Obviously, when you use a finite resource, it becomes more scarce— but the world continues to find more and more sources of hydrocarbons, enough so that scarcity is a complete non-issue for the foreseeable future. The same cannot be said for the minerals required to make Lithium Ion batteries.

Burning hydrocarbons has never been cleaner. It might be argued that the process still isn’t clean enough, but it is most certainly not getting “dirtier”. The same argument could be made for the mining of the minerals required to make Lithium Ion batteries or the production of the electricity it takes to recharge them (coal being the predominant means of electric generation).

As for expense— gas has rarely been less expensive (in inflation adjusted dollars) than right now. For my entire life, I’ve been hearing how we are in an energy crisis, etc., and it has just not proven to be true. Gas guzzling SUVs are sold to willing customers at a profit without subsidies. Yes, oil and gas are subsidized for some perverse and political reason, but then the refined fuel is taxed at the pump, which just robs Peter to pay Paul (Paul being poor and destitute Exxon Mobil in this case). 

When I was a kid, LA used be be nearly uninhabitable during an inversion. The Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland. Those days are long past. The US has not been this pristine since before white people lived here. The mining of minerals to make batteries is an ecological disaster, and China has the market cornered. The vast majority of electricity generated in the US is done so by burning something less cleanly than a modern IC does.

Electric is fantastic for some stuff. Batteries are the Devil’s own revenge, a necessary evil for lots of stuff, and completely unsuited for others. I would contend that cars and trucks (as most people have come to use them) fall in the latter camp. The only way any of it makes even a little sense is if the electricity generated comes from a clean source, which is presently a pipe dream given the extremely variable nature of wind and sun. The grid depends on being constant and consistent, and would be required to be more so as millions of people recharge their transportation batteries every night.

I’m not afraid of new things. This just doesn’t make sense on a large scale. 

Last edited by Stan Galat

I agree with much of what Stan says above, but we're all whistling through the graveyard in some respects.  The electric vehicle market share will increase during our lifetime, but not without attendant problems of waste streams, recapture of harmful components, etc.

When ADM scientists figure out a way to grow corn to make batteries, Armageddon will truly have arrived, and ADM may switch over their currently-for-sale ethanol plants to EV-related battery production.

China will remain the big dog in the energy business, both short and long term, regarding both ethanol and EV's, with their pollution problems, current trade war build-up, and willingness to spearhead ecologically disastrous industrial practices.

99% of the corn grown in the US is not for human consumption.  It's not just Chuck Grassley or the family farm owner who's worried about market-based macroeconomics.  Where do we sell the corn and beans we can no longer use with current Chinese tariffs?  We should all be glancing at the pundits because we all have a dog in the fight.

Last edited by Jim Kelly

I probably should have explained more about what I was thinking. Sure we have the cheapest gas than we've had in a while. That being said, we pay $4.00/gallon for regular. Our electric utility burns oil to power the generators and our average monthly electricity bill was $500 before we installed rooftop solar. 

Fracking and offshore drilling are the reason current rates are cheap and that's largely related to our Middle Eastern and Russian buddies helping to keep the supply lines full. 

I won't bore you with tales of flames coming out of water faucets, but fracking is different than the old pump drills we grew up with. Offshore has a decent record considering how much oil we get, but screwups have extremely broad impacts. So one mistake hurts for many years. House of cards in the log run.

The current amount of batteries used in EVs are dwarfed by the amount we use in our phones, laptops, watches, DeWalt drills and other tools and flashlights. Our current lithium battery formulas are not sustainable in the long run for our current consumer use, not to mention if there's an up tick in EV use. Fortunately, there's tons of research going on in coming up with the next generation of batteries. Follow the money - venture capitalists are circling.

I totally agree about the improvements in air quality since we were kids, but it only happened with the help of Federal and state regulation. Water quality has improved, too but places like Flint, Michigan let us know we can't let our guard down. 

All energy production and storage has downsides. Ultimately fusion power is the answer (whether it comes from your Mr. Fusion reactor in the back of your Delorean or from that big ball of heat 93 million miles away). For my daily driver EV is nearly perfect. It wouldn't be for most folks today. 

Like I said in one of my earlier posts, Henry will probably see a downtick for a while, but there's a niche for high-end EV 356s.

The only reason it takes government intervention at times, is that the marketplace is so competitive that we need a level playing field in an otherwise sometimes wild west economy.  

Small business needs protection from the Walton's who used predatory pricing and below cost selling to eliminate the competition.  

Good ole Al of Chicago used different methods  

@Michael Pickett

Mike,

I'm back at my desk now, and as such can give you the response your posts on this thread deserve.

Again I say, "you sir, are the man".

We probably don't fill in many of the same circles on our ballots, but your evenhanded approach to something you are personally invested in is not the kind of scorched earth "with us or against us" rhetoric these kinds of discussions usually engender, and I (for one) really appreciate it. I also try to see both sides of an argument before I come down on one side or the other, and I'm aware that we all see through a dark glass darkly. Not everything is subjective (everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts), but generally our perspectives and experiences are. It's good for everybody to look at policy issues like this from as many angles as possible.

It's clear that you do. You've freely admitted that your embrace of an electric daily driver makes sense in Maui, and probably not in Saskatoon. If I lived on an island, had 300+ days of sunshine, $4 gas, super-expensive electricity, and the means to generate my own power-- I'd look hard at an electric car as well. It's a great solution in a situation very different from my own.

My only objection is that this has become a religion to a lot of people, and was progressing towards becoming a one-size-fits-all solution, before we elected Mussolini-Lite. The issue is that the only tool most people posses is a hammer, and that in that situation everything begins to look like a nail (whether one roots for the "D"-team or the "R"). You certainly aren't hammering down those of us in flyover states without good air or rail connections, and with kids 1000 mi away by insisting that we all walk the one true path of the EV. It's not lost on you that an electric car is a very poor option in a lot of situations.

I'm the weird conservative that actually thinks we ought to start conserving stuff. What I don't like is when either camp makes stuff up to make their point. I don't feel like you have or are doing that at all, and I think you clarified your thoughts even further-- but I hear from a lot of places how the earth is running out of energy, or food, or some such thing to make a point... when the truth is that we've never had food or fuel in such abundance in all of human history.  Far from being over-crowded, the western world is actually in danger of economic decline, unless we continue to welcome immigrants, etc., or decide that children are a blessing and not an encumbrance.

You get this, and I appreciate your approach. Thanks for being a solid dude, advocating from a different perspective.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Stan, you are the one who gets to say who's "the man" on any particular day so that makes you the man man (I'd add another ", man" to this sentence but it would make me sound like Maynard G. Krebbs).

In terms of even handedness, there are few ideologies that don't trigger my skepticism lights. When I can, I try to look at what I'm saying from the other point of view. When I was younger, I was often a total ass and have a lot of ground to make up. It's amazing how much more mature I am at 67 than when I was, like 66...

Truth be told, I worked for 35 years in information technology and would start most of my pitches for support with "In 5 years this will look like a dumb decision, but we need to do blah blah blah."

Principles endure. My favorite example is the US Constitution. Still not perfect, but it gives me goosebumps whenever I read it or hear it quoted. The founders could be asses, too but I still can't believe they came up with principles and structures that are so enduring.

Woof, sorry for rambling, thanks again

Mike

Men, or gentlemen ... the difficulty is getting unbiased facts when this discussion is so charged with a type of religious zealotry.  

Even the schools have been a seeding and breeding ground for an ideology where our kids have been indoctrinated rather than thought to think critically about this issue.  It has been 30 years in the making. 

Today, those in government who are committed to the ideology are numerous enough and are ready to take taxpayers money for an idealogy that continues to prove itself inconclusive but whenever one questions the idealogy, those in power believe the inquiry to be coming from a person who has a two decimal place IQ.   

Critical thinking is like common sense, not too common according to Voltaire.

mppickett posted:

http://gmauthority.com/blog/20...making-money-on-evs/

Todd I think the credits mostly go to the car owner and not the manufacturer. Nearly a half of a trillion federal dollars has been given to subsidize the gas and oil industry since 1918 so in comparison, any solar, wind geothermal incentives to date are de minimis. EV subsidies are part of the federal subsidy program in the efficiency section of the budget (same part that subsidizes efficient refrigerators). 

I'm not arguing that it is the best process, but it makes sense for the future. Gas and oil are just going to get more scarce, dirty and expensive. We need alternatives and EVs are one. They truly aren't perfect but are getting better. I would welcome a hydrogen powered alternative, but because of the energy density complications, I suspect that is further away.

ZEV credits, or Zero Emission Vehicle credits are given to the manufacturer by the federal government, at a rate of about 4 or 5 ZEVs per zero emission vehicle.  Tesla and/or other electric car manufacturers then sell those ZEV credits to car manufacturers who need to buy them to satisfy manufacturer emission requirements. They are an indirect subsidy to electric car buyers from ICE car buyers.

I am all for REAL zero emission vehicle credits, but current electric cars, such as Tesla are an environmental nightmare.  There may not be any emissions coming from the car, but the environmental cost to manufacturer the car and batteries and recycle huge batteries is 4 times the environmental cost to manufacturer, maintain, and recycle an ICE car.

Last edited by Todd M
Stan Galat posted:

 

When I was a kid, LA used be be nearly uninhabitable during an inversion.  

I hated the SCAQMD when I was a teenager and had to get my car smogged.  The process in those days was a bureaucratic mess.  But, now I see the wisdom of the laws, even if imperfect at the time.  My children do not have to deal with the smog like I did, and I am grateful.  I don't think folks really understand what the smog was like for kids.  We would get home from surfing, and have to stay as still as we could so that we would breathe as little as possible because it hurt and felt so awful.  Any activity which required deep breaths came with a penalty later on.

The US has not been this pristine since before white people lived here.

Depending upon who you read, it appears that the Southern Sierra Miwok, who inhabited Yosemite Valley, used large fire for crop management which resulted in smog.  Not just haze, dust and moisture, but chemical laden smog.

 

Jim Kelly posted:

I agree with much of what Stan says above, but we're all whistling through the graveyard in some respects.  The electric vehicle market share will increase during our lifetime, but not without attendant problems of waste streams, recapture of harmful components, etc.

When ADM scientists figure out a way to grow corn to make batteries, Armageddon will truly have arrived, and ADM may switch over their currently-for-sale ethanol plants to EV-related battery production.

China will remain the big dog in the energy business, both short and long term, regarding both ethanol and EV's, with their pollution problems, current trade war build-up, and willingness to spearhead ecologically disastrous industrial practices.

99% of the corn grown in the US is not for human consumption.  It's not just Chuck Grassley or the family farm owner who's worried about market-based macroeconomics.  Where do we sell the corn and beans we can no longer use with current Chinese tariffs?  We should all be glancing at the pundits because we all have a dog in the fight.

I think the electric vehicle market share may increase a bit more, but then it will decrease to it's true supply and demand curve.  It all comes down to money.  Musk thought he could start a revolution, but he is fast finding out that competition and supply and demand will always win in the end.

China's ability to increase it's electric vehicle proportions are completely different than the US's.  China has 45 nuclear power plants with more under construction.

mppickett posted:

Offshore has a decent record considering how much oil we get, but screwups have extremely broad impacts. So one mistake hurts for many years. House of cards in the log run.

"In the Gulf of Mexico, there are more than 600 natural oil seeps that leak between one and five million barrels of oil per year, equivalent to roughly 80,000 to 200,000 tonnes." - Wikipedia

And that is just in the Gulf of Mexico.

"The infamous 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, one of the largest in U.S. history, dumped more than 10 million gallons of crude into Prince William Sound." ... "Microbes consume most, but not all, of the compounds in the oil."  - LiveScience

Growing up at a California beach, I knew that the ocean contained naturally occurring oil, because the beach ALWAYS had tar on it, even when there were no oil spills.  And the tar did not increase or decrease when there was a spill.

 

Fortunately, there's tons of research going on in coming up with the next generation of batteries. Follow the money - venture capitalists are circling.

 

That may have been true a few years ago, but now, not so much.  The big money is no longer investing in battery research.  Hundreds of millions of dollars were speculated with a big goose egg in returns.  If money does not find a return, it goes elsewhere.  You want media evidence, Google Panasonic and the gigafactory. 

Fusion is a dream.  Thorium is real.

Last edited by Todd M
IaM-Ray posted:

The only reason it takes government intervention at times, is that the marketplace is so competitive that we need a level playing field in an otherwise sometimes wild west economy.  

 

A competitive marketplace is the level playing field.  Equal opportunity does not mean equal results.

As an old research scientist, I like the motto of the Oregon Research Institute: " In Data We Trust." Well conducted studies peer reviewed by experts in the field can lend weight arguments. In science, there is no "proof" but when the preponderance of reliable data supports an idea, it is usually the best we can use at that time. 

I was taught that I better have data to support my arguments. For example, here's a chart from a study by Ricardo (2011) showing that indeed, EV production has a higher environmental impact than ICs. But, it also shows that over the lifetime of the car, EVs have a lower environmental impact than IC cars.

Screenshot_20190524-181030

These results are replicated in findings from studies in Sweden, a study by the Automotive Science Group that followed 1300 US cars through their lives and other studies. The links to the original studies are available at:  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik..._of_the_electric_car

If any of my university librarian colleagues discover this post, please forgive me for citing Wikipedia, but it's really not a bad article and the sources are reasonable!!!

Also, I m sorry to whine but it puts my teeth on edge when statements are made saying that IC owners are paying for EV owners to do blah blah blah.

That kind of argument creates an emotional dichotomy that is false. Money is spent from budgets. You can argue that anything that is funded takes money from something that isn't funded. For example, a fallacious dichotomy might be "Vietnam vets aren't getting the health care and respect that they deserve because we're spending federal funds on fly-byes by fighter jets at sporting events."

Ridiculous, huh. We have the budgets we have because our representatives and executive leaders choose it. Not because the guy 4 parking spaces down bought an electric Intermeccanica. If you don't like the budget, use the Constitution to vote in some different rascals.

This finger pointing to justify what you don't like feels like a dishonest approach to convincing people that your idea has merit. Show me the data, and the link to the study so I can evaluate the quality of the science.

 So, I just put down my 15 year old Belgian Malinois. She was one the most serious and loyal dogs I've ever encountered. A true force with which to be reckoned (Seal Team 6 took a Belgian with them to get Bin Laden). I miss her terribly and it probably made me be a little bit more cranky than usual. For that I apologize.

Stan, I think I probably need to offer my resignation for being "the man" today. Time for me to sign off.

 

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Sorry to read about the loss of your dog, Mike.  My condolences.  We have had bush dogs for decades now, most of them gone but not forgotten.  We buried them on the property and I say HI and chat with them when I'm mowing near their graves. 

We allow them to share our lives, and we are the better for it.  Our lives are immensely richer due to living with our canine companions.  Every time we lose one, I swear off getting another dog.  Then, I'm driving somewhere and I see this gorgeous, abandoned, emaciated puppy on the side of the road.  You know how it goes . . .

https://www.pnas.org/content/e...aa-9738-b9ef2760f22e

https://www.manhattan-institut...subsidies-11241.html

If you want, you can Google and find whichever study you choose.  Right now, the number of EV beats the ICE on lowering environmental impact studies outnumbers the reverse by about 20 to 1.  And in my world, as strange as that may be, the mob is usually wrong.  People believe what they want to believe.  My experience is that I could show someone studies all day long, and they would not change their beliefs, and electric vehicle superiority is a belief not a fact.

"Also, I m sorry to whine but it puts my teeth on edge when statements are made saying that IC owners are paying for EV owners to do blah blah blah."

Why take it personally?  It isn't.

"That kind of argument creates an emotional dichotomy that is false. Money is spent from budgets. You can argue that anything that is funded takes money from something that isn't funded. For example, a fallacious dichotomy might be "Vietnam vets aren't getting the health care and respect that they deserve because we're spending federal funds on fly-byes by fighter jets at sporting events."

It is not fallacious, nor is it emotional.  Buyers of government subsidized EVs pay less than market price for their vehicle via ZEVs to manufacturers.  Buyers of ICEs pay for those ZEVS by transfer of ZEV cost to the consumer from the manufacturers.  A more accurate analogy of the ZEV budget is, "I will take Zoe's cookies and give them to Chloe, because Chloe is more popular and I want her to like me."

Disclosure: I am short Tesla.

 

Last edited by Todd M

The created advantage of no gas tax for EVs yet they use road/bridge infrastructure is one that gets me.  Apparently FL has one of highest gas taxes at $.55/gallon.  (So for a car covering 15k miles that is a tax of near $400 per year). That used to support 50% of road infrastructure work.

So how do you level that playing field? $.55/gallon is 20% the cost of a gallon of gas.  Do you charge more to register an EV car?  Of build more toll booths to collect road fees equally?  Florida is indeed rethinking that (not sure why they throw in ride sharing - which you'd think was good):

The changing landscape of alternative fuels and ride-sharing practices is spurring some policymakers to consider raising and reforming the gas tax, or even drafting an entirely new way to fund the country’s infrastructure.

If we were serious about conservation/environment/pollution, small, lite weight, fuel efficient cars would get a tax benefit and be selling like hot-cakes.  Instead hugh PU trucks and SUVs are driving car production to extinction.  Used to be only construction guys had PUs - now they replace Cadilacs as high end conveyances.  I can't figure it out.  I just assume gas isn't costly enough yet  in US yet to discourage folks from buying them.  Europe has some really attractive "station wagens" that aren't even exported to US.  They get car like gas mileage and handling plus can carry extra junk and folks.  Maybe calling them SW (sport wagens) or shooting brakes would increase their appeal?

2020 MB CLA250 Shooting Brake - NA in USA!

Image result for 2020 mercedes cla250 shooting brake

@WOLFGANG @Michael Pickett

Sorry about your dog, Mike.

I don't have a great answer.  I do think that a modified ZEV credit is part of the solution.  The problem, as I see it, is that environmental cost is not included in the price of many goods and services.  If environmental cost was included in everything we buy, I have a suspicion that there would be little to no pollution or environmental destruction.  But then, I'm an optimist.

Wanna' know why huge SUVs and giant “1/2 ton” trucks that are as big as 1 ton trucks of yore are winning and cars are losing?

Check out the condition of most surface streets and highways. Big wheel/tire combos with long travel suspension makes roads befitting a 3rd world nation more navigable. Factor in that the higher vehicle is seen to be more likely to win the full-contact driving battle, and you can better understand why every 90 lb soccermom in the nation is climbing up into a giant pickup.

Also see the decline of the male population of this nation actually doing anything very manly. A fashion accessory is needed to pump up the Y-chromosome, and what better way to do that than with a $75K 4-door pickup truck with camel-colored fine grain leather, deep pile carpet, and heated and cooled full massage seats.

It’s stupid, but that’s how we roll in this country. 

Last edited by Stan Galat

If we were serious about reducing the environmental impact of cars, we'd change the one thing that damages the environment the most-- the process of manufacturing stuff to replace perfectly adequate older stuff that has simply gone out of fashion.

The average buyer keeps a new car for 71.4 months (according to AutoTrader), or just under the 6 years the loan takes to pay off. Then Mr. New Buyer trades it in, and starts the cycle over again. Lather, rinse, repeat from the time a buyer can afford his first new car (30?) until he dies. 

I've got no data to back this up (sorry Mike), but I'd bet good money that the driving my stinky old hopped up VW until I die has significantly less environmental impact than buying a new EV every 6 years. I don't care if the EV plant has a sod roof and an army of contented robots welding on the spotless epoxied floor-- the steel, aluminum, plastic, motors, and batteries to build the green machine all came from all over the globe and didn't just teleport themselves to the shiny factory. Those same raw materials and sub-assemblies likely came from places where the environmental impact of mining and manufacturing was not a prime consideration. Building stuff new stuff is not environmentally friendly, no matter how pretty it looks on the showroom floor, or how good it makes us feel.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Mike sorry to hear about your partner  .  Dogs Are so faithful I find myself all messed up when I have to see one go. The vet visit is a bit of an agony.

Lost two last two year who were real gems now we have 3 poodles ... great dogs

get another one and call her “second “

It helps 

Ray

Todd M posted:
IaM-Ray posted:

The only reason it takes government intervention at times, is that the marketplace is so competitive that we need a level playing field in an otherwise sometimes wild west economy.  

 

A competitive marketplace is the level playing field.  Equal opportunity does not mean equal results.

I agree, the game is always played where everyone starts at the starting line.. the outcomes are due to giftings (not earned) and hard work.

The issue in the end is your perception of how much total control you will allow if the monopoly of service no matter how good it is does not allow the common man to make a living and feed his family.

Hence the moral, dare I say it, responsibility to give others a leg up and prevent predatory behaviour....

Having said that, life isn’t fair and I really am a capitalist and I am always disturbed by those wanting equal outcomes without working but I am also frustratedly those who would vulture the weak.

 

 

All of this is drivel......   Really.  People are gonna buy what they want for all of their own reasons, even if/when it is regulated by Gum'Ment.  I used to drive a more-polluting diesel simply because it had more power (although the Urea-injection to lessen emissions I could have lived without).  It also ate me out of house and home.  Now I drive an IC car getting about 30mpg.  Meh.

I am truly sorry for the loss of your pup, @Michael Pickett.  I had to look that breed up and they are magnificent animals - Wicked smart, too.  We had full-size Collies for decades (we used them to herd the kids and their friends around the yard when they were small) and then a pair of the mellow-est, loving-est Jack Russells ever, anywhere.  

Every time I lost a dog to old age it was like tearing out my heart and trampling on it - We were losing a devoted family member and it hurt.  The hurt subsides after a while and you have some nice memories - old photos help - but it's not the same.  I can't do that anymore, so I'm dog-less for the first time in my whole life.   Sometimes I would like another, but then I remember the vet bills and boarding fees and the cost of special dog food because of Cushings disease in both of the Jacks and think it is OK to offer to be a dog-sitter for the neighbors and then see them go home.   

Still, we always carry dog treats with us when we walk the neighborhood in hopes of seeing any of the dozen or so being walked daily here.  Big or small, they all get treats from the Nichols' and they are all our special friends.

God Bless, Mike.  

Be strong.  gn

I have a golden retriever named Barney. He just turned 1 year old and he is a handful!!! I have had dogs my entire life and only have gone a few months without one.  Denise and I love every one of the dogs we have had but, this is the first one that she has said, "NO MORE PUPPIES!"  He has been the toughest to train, tame! He is still very love\able and he makes us laugh every day with his antics.

Barney Feb 2019 004

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I have a golden retriever named Barney. He just turned 1 year old and he is a handful!!! I have had dogs my entire life and only have gone a few months without one.  Denise and I love every one of the dogs we have had but, this is the first one that she has said, "NO MORE PUPPIES!"  He has been the toughest to train, tame! He is still very love\able and he makes us laugh every day with his antics.

Barney Feb 2019 004

To add to the dog thread drift, Our 5 y/o English Bulldog, Bentley. The term “stubborn” seems like an understatement. My wife sometimes will tell me that she thinks he’s going deaf, to which I just need to open the refrigerator. Within seconds, he’ll awake from a deep sleep and be right at my feet waiting. 

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When I was a 8 y/o kid I had a beagle / basset hound...strong dog that would take ME for a walk. My father set up a cable run for the dog from a tree 50' from the house to a heavy screw eye on the kitchen window frame. A rabbit runs across the yard, the dog takes notice and goes into a full pursuit mode turning 90 degrees from the cable and that move instantly pulled the kitchen window right out of the house ! 

Fast forward 6 decades I am seriously considering getting a "Pocket Beagle" these dogs remain the size of a puppy at about 4 - 5 lbs. 

Last edited by Alan Merklin
Stan Galat posted:
Todd M posted:

Fusion is a dream.  Thorium is real.

I missed this sentence yesterday, but read it and did a little "YouTube Research" after church this morning. 

All I can say is wow. LFTR is the real deal.

Before I speculate, I research.  My research shows me that there will not be much money to made in this realm.  The technology will probably easy with no barrier to entry.  The great news is that the resulting electricity will be cheap and available enough that poorer countries and areas will have access.  The picture that keeps going through my mind is of people not having to use wood, charcoal, and dung for cooking and heating.  Maybe an inexpensive byproduct would be desalination?  How amazing would that be for those without access to clean water?  How much ill health could be brought to bay with clean energy and clean water? 

"When I was a 8 y/o kid I had a beagle / basset hound...strong dog that would take ME for a walk."

Ain't that the truth .... I still see grown ups being taken for a walk everyday  

One of my kids trains dogs and her Australian cattle dogs are just so well trained it is amazing to watch how attentive they are to her and how they actually seem to love having a job...something to do... 

The "You Tube Research" comment was meant to poke fun at myself, as I had never even heard of Thorium before your comment.

The thing is-- the fact that we're pursuing really imperfect and variable pie-in-the-sky semi-solutions (wind and solar), rather than look for something that offers constant and scaleable power reveals that we really aren't very serious about weaning off fossil fuels for electricity. Since we're not serious about a realistic solution to greatly increase the capacity of the grid, it makes me wonder why there is so much emphasis on electric cars, which simply moves the source of the pollution several steps upstream, with an attendant efficiency loss at every step.

If we really could generate all the power we might ever need, and do it without burning anything at all, and do it safely-- this might be the game-changer every pragmatic environmentalist should be looking for.

True Story, I was involved with an inventor who had created a dual fuel burner and incinerator that government scientist really thought were genius ideas but he got no traction.  Even when there was only two things produced by the incinerator output, CO2 and H2O.  How much more do you want...

Then he invented a generation system that could realistic double the output of a generator and another that would be able to use a 5mph stream to power up a village, again no traction.  The engineers were amazed at the logic and the simplistic but profound steps forward he had in his designs.  

He had a whole bunch of patents .... passed away sometime ago... many of his ideas in the patent office. 

We had lots of fun. 

 

I just showed my 10 year old neighbor how a solar panel works, from scratch. I gave him a radiometer and a gyroscope for his birthday. His radiometer sits on a window sill in his house where it takes light energy and spins away....  He comes over to my house to play in my workshop, mostly crushing stuff in vises ;-0..... but, every time he is here, we do or make something creative!   Power is all around us.. Harnessing it efficiently & safely is the key... The next generation can figure out how to make money from the sun, wind, geothermic, ocean waves and on and on and on.... there are lots of energy units in our world just waiting to be used....

   I have a daughter who is now a successful Phd in physics.  I like to think that she learned some stuff in my basement workshop too!  Colleen Speedster throw back;-) 

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Hahaha, she would agree that we both have mischievous smiles! She is heading back through Buffalo today from a California trip where she gave talks at schools regarding STEM, science Technology, Engineering and Math for female students.  So, we can have a meal and catch up tonight! 

  Oh, and to minimize the thread drift, she has a Blue Tick Coon Dog named Nero! Her dog is a true gentleman.... and he benefits from the existence of electricity..... ;-) 

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