""What long-term problem have we fixed with the miracle of a hybrid? If you woke up tomorrow and all 220 million cars and trucks in the United States had been hybridized to the degree that the Prius has - all getting 25 percent better fuel economy - in six years we would be consuming the same amount of petroleum that we are right now.""
What a stupid thing to say!
In the first place he isn't allowing for continued improvement in Hybrids.
The first Hybrids wouldn't allow a driver to travel at all in electric mode only. Then came the Prius which allows speeds up to 20 MPH in electric. Then the Ford Escape which allows speeds up to 25 MPH. Now the Lexus 400H and Highlander which allow speeds up to 45 MPH in the electric mode only. What's next,,55 MPH?
His basic premise is all wrong. He is saying that if all cars were Hybrids we would be back to using the same amount of gas in 6 years. Well, that isn't the case, it's less than 1% Hybrids and that percentage of the total will change only slighty in the next 6 years. So,,,, if we don't have that savings in fuel,,, how much more fuel will we be using per year, 6 years from now? Up 25% using his numbers. 25% more gas, where will that put the price of gas?,,,$5.00 a gallon in 6 years?
We are in a Hybrid revolution by default, we have no choice.
I see a heavy annual Gas Hog tax starting soon.
it posted an unexpected quarterly loss on Wednesday as stubbornly high costs for everything from materials to worker health care outweighed surprisingly strong car sales and good results from its finance arm.
The news capped a nightmarish second quarter for GM, which is struggling to regain market share from Asian rivals and saw its debt cut to "junk" status by the Standard & Poor's rating agency in May.
GM shares fell nearly 5 percent in pre-market trade.
The world's largest automaker, which triggered alarm bells on Wall Street when it reported a $1.1 billion loss in the first quarter, said its second-quarter net loss was $286 million, or 51 cents per share.
The results, which included several one-time items, compared with a profit of $1.38 billion, or $2.42 per share, in the year-earlier quarter.
Excluding one-time items, GM lost $318 million, or 56 cents per share, in the quarter. Wall Street analysts' average forecast was a profit of 3 cents a share before special items, according to Reuters Estimates.
Earnings forecasts for GM have varied widely since the company withdrew its earnings and cash flow forecast for the 2005 calendar year in April, citing uncertainty about its efforts to resolve a mounting "health-care cost crisis." Several of GMs suppliers do not have the deep pockets and continue to show strain as well hampering price and availability predictions and are struggling with health care costs as well with insurrers cutting back on less lucrative and smaller contracts.
GM said its automotive operations lost $948 million in the second quarter. A loss in North America of $1.19 billion offset profitable results in Europe, Asia and the Latin Anmerican/Mideast region. Like cross-town rival Ford Motor Co. , GM has been hit hard by this year's dramatic slowdown in sales of mid- and full-sized sport utility vehicles, its most profitable models.
GM said second-quarter revenue slipped to $48.5 billion from $49.3 billion a year earlier.
General Motors Acceptance Corp., the company's finance unit, had net income of $816 million in the quarter, down from $846 million a year earlier.
"AN EXTREME BURDEN"
GM, which expects its health-care costs to total nearly $6 billion this year, has been in talks with the United Auto Workers union since April to try to slash some of the health-care benefits that Chief Executive Rick Wagoner blames for hurting the company's ability to compete.
That stress is likely to force his salary up over $5M plus a $3M offset to the options that are now worthless.
>> Then we're all screwed, unless a massive effort is made to build nothing but full hybrids, including plug-ins. Also, we will have no choice but to turn to hydrogen, and maybe synthetic fuels from turkey guts. <<
If you look at what GM said from that point of view you might get closer to his meaning, and, after all, GM is pushing Fuel Cell Cars over hybrids anyway.
If then Hybrids get good enough, Fuel Cells will be pushed further out. If you consider that the NiMH battery IS a Rechargeable Fuel Cell, a NiMH-powered EV with a 200 or 300 mile range is a Fuel Cell car that recharges off the grid.
If you have a fuel cell that recharges off the grid and can relate that cost to the equivalent cost of gasoline to go the same distance, it is easy to see that electrolysis of water into hydrogen fuel is not High Wall of conversion cost it has been represented. It becomes very practical. It's cheaper to recharge a Hydrogen Battery than to Refine a Gallon of Gas, with no Military Pesence required in hot beds of terrorism and insurgency.
The comparison is less favorable when you satrt talking about Full In Line Hybrids, which can squeeze up to 500 miles out of a gallon of gas, but the Hydrogen Battery is still in there.
So maybe Totally Clean Coal or GTL power plants to recharge Hydrogen battery Systems in either super efficient HEV's or EVs in a smooth transition to an all Hydrogen/Alternative Energy Economy.
>> He said it because they don't have any HEVs. <<
He said it because GM's long term strategy is Fuel Cells and they got creamed with a practical shorter term solution to conservation.
If you want a good example from the "inside the box" GM point of view: Compact Flourescents if promoted and funded nationwide would save a hundred power plants (or something like that).
A lot of people now make and sell those bulbs for a profit.
GM has been focused on and promoting LED Lighting, missed a good part of the Flourescent Lighting Business, and now sees itself in a position where it must retool and start selling into the Compact Flouresent Market because it's taking away so much share of its incandescent bulb business.
It needs to do this to maintain market share and project a popular image that it now sees heavily influences CURRENT buying, even though it still sees LED lighting starting to take over within the next 5 or ten years.
If their smart, the same lines they use to put together the hybrids can be easily converted to handle Fuel Cell Autos. A lot of the electrical will be the same or very similar, and they only install engines on the line now, they don't make them in the same building.
< ""What long-term problem have we fixed with the miracle of a hybrid? If you woke up tomorrow and all 220 million cars and trucks in the United States had been hybridized to the degree that the Prius has - all getting 25 percent better fuel economy - in six years we would be consuming the same amount of petroleum that we are right now.""
What a stupid thing to say! >
Of course it's stupid. That is the kind of thinking that came as a result of the self-serving, circle jerk, secret energy conference hosted by Cheney. Also, the Prius, as good as it is, STILL is only a mild hybrid. Cutting fuel consumption in half, and IMPROVING car performance is doable right now with current technology. All that is needed is to remove the boneheads like Cheney, Bush, the Neocon Congress, GM and Exxon's CEOs, and Faux news from their current positions of steering our currently flawed energy policy, and we we would be on the road to SUSTAINED energy independence, with the side benefit of cleaner air, increased security and reduced global warming. But no, because of criminal opinion manipulators like Rove, Hannity, Rush and Coulter, these
>> "What long-term problem have we fixed with the miracle of a hybrid? If you woke up tomorrow and all 220 million cars and trucks in the United States had been hybridized to the degree that the Prius has - all getting 25 percent better fuel economy - in six years we would be consuming the same amount of petroleum that we are right now." <<
Taking into consideration the current growth of automotive markets in just China and India, practically speaking what GM said is not far from the truth.
If you halve the mileage but now have twice as many cars on the road, the same fuel demands are in place. Just like the housing boom. Furnaces may be more efficient, along with A/C and Refrigeration and Washing Machines, but look how many more the system has to support.
The real solution is to go to a Hydrogen Economy, with focus on optimizing the production of hydrogen from Alternative Means, such as solar, wind, tidal, hydro, thermal, and, yes, even refined, clean nuclear.
That should at the least stabilize the cost of Air Transportation, as that will probably take the longest time to make the switch.