“The i3 will tilt our image more toward innovation and sustainability.”
– Ludwig Willisch, CEO of BMW of North America
We petition the Obama administration to:
Create Fast Charging Network for Wide Scale Adoption of Electric Vehicles
Fast charging stations should be installed every 50 miles across the United States Interstate Highway System. These chargers will allow electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Spark, Nissan Leaf and other vehicles to be recharged to 80% capacity in 20 to 30 minutes. This will allow drivers of electric vehicles the freedom to travel throughout the entire US without fear that they may run out of power.
There are huge societal benefits from switching to electric vehicles including reduced pollution, noise and dependence on foreign oil.
Created: Jul 23, 2013
Love the mention of specific corporate products right there in this oh-so-authentic expression of spontaneous popular democracy! And those “huge” benefits? You mean like a forest of new coal-burning plants to make the electricity for this suicidal (and probably physically impossible) proposed network of “fast” — attention plebeians: “20 to 30 minutes” to partially refuel a car is now fast! — chargers?
Orwell couldn’t make this stuff up. Super-boondoggles as “solutions.”
Luckily, this “petition” seems to be harvesting only about 10 signatures a day. People aren’t as stupid as the overclass (and a great many would-be greens) presume.
Readers of DbC know that cars exist to sell people far more transportation equipment than they need, and that adding mark-uppable geegaws to cars has always been a core part of this indispensable corporate capitalist endeavor. DbC has also been reporting on how onboard electronics is the next great frontier in this push, and how it is making cars-first transportation even more unsafe for its supposed primary beneficiaries.
Last week in Novi, Michigan, the relevant powers that be assembled for the Telematics Detroit 2013 conference.
According to Automotive News, the show included a panel discussion in which four experts admitted that the ballyhooed arrival of the “driverless” car is exceeding unlikely, due to the inherent expense and complexity of this Rube Goldberg-squared idea.
Noteworthy in Automotive News‘ report are two quotations from the experts on this panel.
The first is a piece of unintended comedy from Andreas Mai, director for Cisco System’s automotive unit in North America:
“I would actually pay for being able to drive to Chicago in the middle of the night at 200 mph,” Mai joked.
Gosh, Herr Mai, wouldn’t that be routine, if we’d built railroads, rather than letting our capitalists dictate cars-first transportation?
The second remark is simply back-room Mafia-talk from Heri Rakouth, director of technology exploration at Delphi Corporation:
“For me, safety is the business of the government,” Rakouth said.
That’s from the mouth of somebody whose occupation is pushing “Internet connectivity and infotainment aspects” into cars. That, of course, is the practical equivalent of shoving open whiskey bottles into drivers’ laps.
Along with bogus history, the overclass pushers of cars-first transportation constantly insist that cars are freedom machines and that we all love them, end of story, without qualification.
In reality, researchers are finding that routine driving is highly stressful, and brings frequent exposure to spikes of stress comparable to those generated in extreme sports (and presumably the onset of major life crises):
MIT designed a series of experiments that measure stress and frustration during real-world driving tasks, which saw volunteers put behind the wheel and wired up to computers with psychological sensors plus face- and body-tracking technologies. GPS was used to track the vehicle’s location and speed while in-cabin cameras monitored the driver’s facial expressions and his or her view through the windshield.
To put the collected data into perspective, it was compared with other routine and not-so-routine tasks. “In addition to daily driving conditions, we are measuring stress levels under a variety of daily activities: at home, in the office, while having breakfast or attending a lecture at MIT. We found that certain driving situations can be one of the most stressful activities in our lives,” said Kael Greco, project leader, MIT SENSEable City Laboratory.
One of the biggest surprises came when the stress levels of driving were compared to those generated from partaking in extreme sports. “The data we received is fascinating. One study showed that getting side swiped by an oncoming car can be almost as stressful as jumping out of a plane,” said Filip Brabec, director of product management, Audi of America.
Surprisingly, this research is actually being publicized by Volkwagen’s Audi subsidiary, no doubt in the hope of making itself look like the bleeding edge. Of course, no amount of engineering is going to take the inherent stress out of operating an independently steered metal box at high speeds across the paths of thousands of other such operators.
In any event, this useful video shows the elevated baseline stress level of driving a car in America. Watch for the graph:
Cars-first transportation has brought with it a veil of bogus, sponsored claims about its pristine popularity, past and present.
In reality, transportation history is much more interesting and conflictual than the powers-that-be would have you believe.
According to historian Norman Pollack’s classic book, in the 1890s, populists and labor leaders were calling for public ownership of all transportation infrastructure, including the Robber Barons’ railroads, which had, of course, originally been built by means of public giveaways of land and crucial technical assistance.
In the pivotal year of 1900, there was also this lost marvel in Los Angeles, about which DbC has just learned:
A few weeks ago, the publicly maintained scam artist Elon Musk promised that, on June 20, he’d announce a way his rolling boondoggles could be refueled in the same time frame as a gasoline-burning automobile. At the time, DbC felt it should post a prediction that Musk was once again weaseling with facts. Alas, DbC chickened out. (This may speak to the power of the culture’s sponsored insistence on cars-first transportation’s underlying mythologies, among which the cornucopian assumption that Earth’s resources are unlimited and infinitely malleable is not the least.)
In any event, yesterday was June 20, and, as always, Musk was indeed lying. Physics continues to dictate that charging batteries will always be far slower than spraying liquids into a holding tank.
What Musk announced was not some breakthrough charging solution. It was robotic battery-swapping for “$60-$80″!
One cheerleading “tech” blogger describes the process:
Once a Model S owner parks the car on a designated spot, a platform raises from the ground to disconnect and grab hold of the depleted battery. The platform then descends back into the ground, dumps the battery, retrieves a fresh one, and rises once more to connect it to the car.
Yeah, nothing could go wrong there, could it?
Frenzied drivers will still have to do some work though — they’ll have to drop off the battery on the return leg of their journey and pay an unspecified “transport fee”, though they can also choose to keep the battery and pony up the difference between the price between of the old and new batteries.
Outfitting each of those stations with the ability to quickly replace batteries and get motorists back on the road presents quite a logistics problem. There’s the cost to consider — Tesla expects each battery swap station to cost about $500,000 to build, to say nothing of the maintenance and infrastructure costs that will come now that someone presumably has stop by each station and replace worn-down batteries.
Rube Goldberg was an amateur.
The research was led by David Strayer, a neuroscientist at the University of Utah who for two decades has applied the principles of attention science to driver behavior. His research has showed, for example, that talking on a phone while driving creates the same level of crash risk as someone with a 0.08 blood-alcohol level, the legal level for intoxication across the country.
In this latest study, he and a team of researchers compared the impact on drivers of different activities, including listening to a book on tape or the radio, and talking on a hand-held phone or hands-free phone.
The researchers compared how the subjects performed when they were not driving with two other conditions: when using a driver simulator and in a car equipped with tools aimed at measuring how well they drove. The researchers used eye-scanning technology to see where driver attention was focused and also measured the electrical activity in the brain.
Mr. Strayer said the results were consistent across all the tests in finding that speech-to-text technology caused a higher level of cognitive distraction than any of the other activities. The research showed, for instance, that the person interacting with speech to text was less likely than in other activities to scan a crosswalk for pedestrians. And that driver showed lowered activity in networks of the brain associated with driving, indicating that those networks were impaired by the interaction with the technology.
In a string of claims straight out of the old tobacco corporation playbook, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers lies about being “concerned,” obfuscates the issue, and, of course, finally excuses its members:
“We are concerned about any study that suggests that hand-held phones are comparably risky to the hands-free systems we are putting in our vehicles,” said Gloria Bergquist, the vice president for public affairs at the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers in Washington, adding that carmakers are trying to keep consumers connected without them having to use their hand-held phones while driving.
“It is a connected society, and people want to be connected in their car just as they are in their home or wherever they may be,” she said.
What the AAM spokeswhore doesn’t mention is that built-in hands-free devices are just so many more parts to a car, each of which is a profit center. The overclass, you see, wants to sell these parts. And it will.
It’s mass murder for money, plain and simple. The corporate veil makes it all normal and natural.
The automakers aren’t likely to slow down development of the technology unless the law forbids it [cue sound of cats laughing], said Ronald Montoya, consumer advice editor for Edmunds.com, a research firm.
“They’re not going to pause based on this research,” he said.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) — Coda Holdings, the U.S. assembler of Chinese-made electric vehicles, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today after selling just 100 of its all-electric sedans, another example of battery-powered vehicles’ failure to break into the mass market.
Of course, “battery-powered” means coal, nukes, and natural gas.
Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!