Are Cars Electric?
It was among the fastest, most efficient production cars ever built. It ran on electricity, produced no emissions and catapulted American automotive technology to the forefront of 'green transport'.
It was designed and built by General Motors and they killed it
How about the oil companies which are grinning smugly at their record profits
?High oil prices are to big oil company profits what steroids are to home run records - number inflators. It costs oil companies less than $10 per barrel to extract and ship a barrel of oil. The “finding” costs to explore and develop an oil field range from $5 per barrel in the Middle East to $67 per barrel off of the U.S. coast. These are production costs. So when the market price jumps due to speculators, political unrest, supply disruption, or other similar events, it is a windfall for the oil company.
In 2007, ExxonMobil smashed the record for highest profits ever made by a public U.S. company by posting a net profit of $40.6 billion.
(To put these figures in perspective, Exxon’s $40.6 billion profit in 2007 is roughly equal to receiving $30 for every person in China and Rp.17 million for every Indonesian resident.)Shell also had a record breaking year with $31.3 billion, 23% higher than in 2006.
Chevron matched its prediction of positive gains with $18.7 billion profit.
ConocoPhillips made $11.9 billion.
is a Malaysian driller/blogger in Indonesia waters.To be frightfully honest, there’s no better time to be in the oil patch. For eight years I never saw a salary increase. This year (
2007) alone we had two salary adjustments. This is to ensure loyalty. In my line of work I could easily don some competitor’s coveralls at a moments notice. I see myself no different than being a hooker; we sell our bodies and soul to the highest bidder.
A non-oilfield friend once suggested that drilling professionals are like football players. Although flattering, I’m not about to kid myself. To be a football star you need skills. As drilling guys, we just know how to make holes. Even you can do it. I mean, come on - how much skill do you need to wield a cangkol
(back hoe) to dig a hole in your backyard? The mechanics are the same only the scale differs.
With the cost of motoring rising inexorably, car bound communities are facing critical choices: commute by public transport, car pool, change jobs to one closer to home (or move closer to the city), bike or buy a 'greener' car.
Inevitably car manufacturers such as General Motors in the States, land of gas guzzlers, are seeing a massive drop in sales
. I have absolutely no sympathy for their woes
.The company is implementing sweeping cuts from the factory floor to the boardroom as it scrambles to bolster its cash position by $15bn to cope with plummeting sales of vehicles.
The Detroit-based manufacturer today announced that it is reducing its white-collar payroll costs by 20% through a two-year pay freeze and voluntary redundancies.
In a radical move which risks the wrath of unions, GM is scrapping healthcare cover for all its retired workers and for their families from the beginning of next year.
It is no consolation to their pensioners that shareholders and directors won't be receiving their usual 'compensation' next year.
When the electric car was killed off, it was suggested that so-called hybrid cars were the future. These could be dual powered, say hydrogen-gasoline. The oil companies having killed off purely electric cars plumped for hydrogen, ignoring the fact that the electricity used to produce hydrogen to be turned into a power source could in fact be the direct power source in itself.
What's more, they are not keen on investing tens of billions of dollars building a hydrogen fueling infrastructure, which at best will take away business from their tremendously profitable gasoline sales, and at worst will be a complete business loss, assuming, as now seems likely, that hydrogen cars never catch on.
Although the automotive industry continues to cling to old values, whilst flaunting their environmental consciousness
, the electric car industry is growing. This page suggests that under pressure from rising fuel prices, towns across the United States are passing bylaws to permit the use of golf carts on their streets as an alternative to cars.
It also gives details of a number of other models already available, such as the Electric Lightning GT with a top speed of 130mph (208kph), a range of 200 miles (320 kilometres) and a price of £120,000 (c.$240,000). Or there's the G-Wiz with a top speed of 50mph (80kph), a range of 48 miles (77 kilometres) and a price of £7,500 (c.$15,000).
Then there's the VentureOne All-electric Vehicle
whose propulsion system has two in-wheel 20 kW electric motors, and a 17 kWh Li-Ion battery pack. The system is able to return energy lost due to braking to the battery and can go over 100mph (180kph).
Given that the majority of car journeys are only about 30 miles, the latter looks suitable for most needs. If not most people.
Here in Indonesia, I'm surprised, but pleased, that Industry Minister Fahmi Idris has indicated
that electric cars have a future here, although the use of compressed natural gas (CNG) is the immediate priority in order to reduce emissions."Developing cars with CNG fuel is faster as we have plenty of fuel while technically it is easier."
"Ideally, public transportation should also use CNG as is done in many countries like India," Fahmi said. "We can also use electric cars, however, the technology is more complicated." he said.
"It also needs a stable electric supply."
Until then, there is this alternative spotted by Son No.1 in Sumbawa.