EPA fines Tesla Electric Motors $275,000 for non-compliance

In bureaucracy, truth is often stranger than fiction. A non polluting electric car company gets slammed with fine for “non compliance” for a car that can’t produce any emissions.

That’s weird enough by itself, but even weirder is what else is in the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission report under what they cite as “risks”.

Here’s the relevant page of the report where they talk about risks, including the $275,000 fine from the EPA. Note what is highlighted under that.

click to enlarge

They headline that with:

We are subject to substantial regulation, which is evolving, and unfavorable changes or failure by us to comply with these regulations could substantially harm our business and operating results.

That’s right, a zero emissions “green” electric car company cites this as a risk to the company’s business future:

the imposition of a carbon tax or the introduction of a cap-and-trade system on electric utilities could increase the cost of electricity;

You can see the Telsa SEC 10Q report for yourself at:
http://www.faqs.org/sec-filings/100813/TESLA-MOTORS-INC_10-Q/#ixzz0yDhK9ON3

Tesla’s crime? Failing to file for a 2009 emissions “Certificate of Conformity” from the EPA to comply with the “Clean Air Act.” until late in the year. Wait, I thought electric cars were supposed to help clean the air?

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. It is a wonder that anybody would bother even trying to do business anymore where the minefield of bureaucracy looms even for popular and politically correct green companies in California.

h/t to autoblog.com


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117 thoughts on “EPA fines Tesla Electric Motors $275,000 for non-compliance

  1. where i live, the water is so clean that we have to add crap to the water and then filter it back out to meet the minimum state requirements.

  2. Just because the car itself doesn’t produce any pollutants, the power plants that generate the electricity for the car probably do. I find it counterintuitive that people would ever consider electric cars as a viable solution to a greener environment considering how much they cost to build, the low utilization efficiency of the primary power supply, the minimal driving range, and lack of infrastructure to support such vehicles. Only when the majority of our electricity is generated from a combination of solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and nuclear can the argument be made that an electric car is a good choice for the environment.

  3. So, for the sake of a couple of reminder letters from the EPA (it’s their regulations after all), a small start-up company gets a huge fine. It’s almost like the government is at war with its own people.
    If it’s any consolation, it’s no different over here in Euroland, so at least we’ll go down together. Can’t wait to hear what E.M. has to say about this.

  4. Can’t say I’m surprised. After all, one part of the government wants cars to get better gas mileage. One easy way is to make the cars lighter. But then another part of the government wants cars to be safer. One easy way is to make them heavier.

  5. What needs to be regulated is the totally out of control EPA! That bunch of power mad bureaucrats needs to be reined in before they completely destroy the country. And stand by for E15 rules this coming Jan.

    http://www.dtnprogressivefarmer.com/dtnag/common/link.do;jsessionid=625BB00D381EDF99F03BA1ADAD487D7E.agfreejvm1?symbolicName=/ag/blogs/template1&blogHandle=policy&blogEntryId=8a82c0bc2a8c8730012ac88b1b4302ed&showCommentsOverride=false

    Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, told reporters in a conference call Tuesday he doesn’t think Congress would appease environmental groups by holding more hearings on an expected rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that would allow E-15 blends of ethanol to be sold. Grassley agreed such hearings would only be a delaying tactic, but added that once a rule is released that there will likely be court challenges trying to delay implementation as well.

    Grassley said he has recently met with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and staff from the U.S. Department of Energy and was told E-15 would be available by January.

  6. If the EPA had existed a century ago, when automobiles first made their appearance, the world would be a different place today. Only the rich could afford such a luxury item and the rest of us peons would be famliar with the real meaning of horsepower.

    Reading this piece I thought, “You can’t make this stuff up!”

  7. An unremarkable screw-up by Tesla’s management, but at least it makes for a funny story.

    Speaking of funny stories, have you heard the one about how mercury is now good for us when safely enclosed in glass and excited with electricity…

  8. This is why we need to eliminate about 2/3rds of the Federal payroll, and any agency that was created post WWI.

  9. RockyRoad says:
    “I find it counterintuitive that people would ever consider electric cars as a viable solution to a greener environment considering how much they cost to build, the low utilization efficiency of the primary power supply, the minimal driving range, and lack of infrastructure to support such vehicles.”

    That’s only for the cars made for the masses, the rich peoples cars are much better. Read below:

    “Battery
    Custom microprocessor-controlled lithium-ion battery with 6,831 individual cells. 3.5 hour charge time from empty to full using the Tesla Home Connector at 240 Volts and 70 Amps.

    Range 245 miles
    Expected Battery Life Seven-years or 100,000 miles
    Battery heater for cold weather charging to -20 degrees Celsius”

  10. We know that “green” energy is much more expensive than “black” energy from coal fired power stations.

    Why do people assume that “green” energy uses less resources than coal ? Why is it “better” to generate pollution by mining copper, aluminium, iron and other ore resources to build solar and wind plants than it is to mine coal resources ?

    I also believe that the cost of energy from a device reflects the total cost of energy used in the components used in generation. That is, the total energy including food to feed workers, transportation for management, the energy in smelting aluminium etc etc is greater for devices like windmills than it is for coal fired power stations. I wonder if there’s ever been a study on this ?

  11. @ RockyRoad says August 31, 2010 at 2:36 pm:
    Just because the car itself doesn’t produce any pollutants, the power plants that generate the electricity for the car probably do. I find it counterintuitive that people would ever consider electric cars as a viable solution to a greener environment considering how much they cost to build, the low utilization efficiency of the primary power supply, the minimal driving range, and lack of infrastructure to support such vehicles. Only when the majority of our electricity is generated from a combination of solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and nuclear can the argument be made that an electric car is a good choice for the environment.

    Good points about the power generation. The electricity doesn’t get generated currently (no pun intended) without SOME form of “fossil fuels” being burned.

    (semi-OT…)
    As to the “solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and nuclear” you can pretty much write off the first two. They will never be more than a pimple on an elephant’s bum – not until some breakthrough happens. And we’ve been waiting since the 1970s for that breakthrough. Like the promise of hot fusion, solar and wind are going to be like the Edsel – ugly and extinct. And living in some tree huggers’ utopian dreams.

    Like everyone here, I’D LOVE IT if solar and wind would take the place of fossil fuels. But it just isn’t going to happen. Defeatism? Or facing reality?

    So many tree huggers are out there, thinking that someone next week or next year will be coming up with THE solution.

    When the oil and natural gas DO run out, we are going to be in a world of hurt.

    Nuclear – BAD solution, unless we go to breeder reactors (as I last read about them). Waste IS a problem.

    Hydro? In the U.S. we are pretty well maxed out on hydro.

  12. paulhan says August 31, 2010 at 2:42 pm:
    “It’s almost like the government is at war with its own people.”

    Almost?

  13. The marketers within Tesla Motors want the government to make their vehicle marketably viable (without the heavy hand of Uncle Sam their vehicle makes no sense) so they should take the good with the bad. Screw ‘em.

    Heck, even gasoline powered 2 seat roadsters have a very slim niche of the automobile market, and those vehicles out perform the Tesla in myriad ways.

  14. http://www.epa.gov/otaq/imports/factmna.htm

    “The vehicle is driven through a specific driving cycle representing a typical urban drive of 10.5 miles, takes 14 to 36 hours, and includes fuel filling, starting, stopping, accelerating, decelerating, cruising, idling, and sitting while parked*. The emissions measured include hydrocarbons (H C), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Nitrous Oxides (NOx), Evaporative emissions, and particulate emissions”

    I’m wondering how long the EPA would scratch their heads for while they try to work out where to insert the gas, and measure such emissions from, in this car?

  15. Rocky Road says:
    Only when the majority of our electricity is generated from a combination of solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and nuclear can the argument be made that an electric car is a good choice for the environment.

    I must admit, I hate environmentalists, as a group–because they are so hard on the environment. None of the energy sources cited are SUPERRENEWABLE by becoming CO2 and water vapor which can make new fuels forever by plants turning them into biofuels. Worse, none enhance the carrying capacity of the Earth. Fossil fuels and only fossils qualify.

    Windmills have the special disadvantage of killing birds, though an extensive literature search failed to convince me either that the numbers killed are high enough to be a serious concern–or low enough not to cause extinctions. Worse is the reference to nuclear energy. That industry tells lies beyond easy description. They remind me of climate alarmists in their “truth-challenged” characteristics. The most devasting effect–in my opinion–is to the IQs of the highly intelligent, which you can find, if you are sharp, in a free download: http://www.ratical.org/radiation/SecretFallout/
    Besides, nuclear fuel is our starship fuel and should not be wasted here on Earth. It is the only truly nonrenewable fuel.

  16. Is the EPA authorized to regulate emissions from non-emitting “motor” vehicles? It has no motor, as in combustion engine. Why should the EPA be authorized to regulate it? I went looking for the text of the clean air act, but, this probably requires LEXIS-NEXIS to figure out. The USC ss 18 definition seems to support the EPA, but, that sort of thing is probably up to a judge.

    Do electric wheel-chair manufacturers need EPA approval? They have “motors” and provide conveyance. I’m betting nobody thought this law through. It may require a judge.

  17. It’s worse than that in California. The state has its own Cal/EPA, who have their own set of rules and regulations. A California company must follow both US and Cal/EPA regulations. This is how California keeps diesel cars out of the US (about 30% better mileage all other things being equal). Cal/EPA’s auto emissions requirements are tougher than federal numbers, especially for diesels, so the manufacturers don’t bother to qualify many of their highest mileage models for the US market.

    In a related story, a UCLA professor has just been sacked because he called “baloney” on Cal/EPA diesel carcinogenic regulations. See

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/08/31/pc-professors-firing-fueling-exhaustive-debate/

  18. The EPA’s poorly designed over regulation is killing opportunities and jobs.

    For instance, the conversion cost (due to EPA regulations) of gasoline to natural gas powered cars is so excessive that there simply isn’t any ROI for the consumer. It seems fair to say, the EPA has a huge regulation based carbon footprint and is actually the problem instead of the solution.

    Sadly, they also seem hell bent on regulating everything into obscurity before it ever gets off the ground with all their red tape.

    There’s another interesting aspect to the electric car story few are aware of — electric cars can actually cause Brown-outs. This article is worth the read and the link was found on the Tesla Motors website.

    Electric cars coming, but can California take charge?

    http://www.thestar.com/article/834056–electric-cars-coming-but-can-california-take-charge

    “Regen, a company I profiled here nearly two years ago, has a big interest in all of this. As a refresher, the company has developed a wireless device that applies the concept of “swarm logic” to manage when major electrical appliances draw electricity from the grid.”

    Apparently, power companies are concerned that a sufficient cluster of electric cars in a neighborhood, all charging at the same time, will overwhelm supply and cause Brown-outs.

    So, Regen stepped up and devised a method for appliances including electric cars to chat with each other and schedule their own recharging schedule. Pretty cleaver but I wonder how the device knows when you want to use the car next?

    Sadly, the EPA will find some way to be involved with “swarm logic” so its probably doomed.

  19. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who regularly deals with government regulation. The amount of money spent on showing compliance to regulations would stun most folks. I deal with the FAA on a regular basis so I’m assuming the FDA, DOT, and the other alphabet soup regulators operate basically the same way. The original goal of the regulation, which was to keep people safe or clean or whatever, completely loses out to filling out the correct forms, in the correct numbers, to the correct people, with the correct signatures. Again, and again, and again.

    The federal bureaucracy is Dr. Kevorkian to the US economy.

  20. Sean Peake:

    Quite. It’s not up to the car manufacturer or owner to ensure the power is supplied by non-CO2 producing means.

    I wonder whose responsibility that falls to, and what steps they might take if a substantial number of car owners decided to purchase all-electric vehicles?

  21. Per the California Low Carbon Fuels Standard fuel production pathways available at http://www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/lcfs.htm, Electricity for electric vehicles only reduces carbon emissions by 30% compared to gasoline. Not the 100% NGO’s want you to believe. And this value is due primarily to the low grid average CO2 emissions for California electricity. At 0.75 lbs CO2/kW-h, California has very low carbon electric power. If an electric vehicle is recharged in a state with a more common emissions rate of 1.8 lbs CO2/kW-h, the emissions associated with electric vehilce operations would more than double and be “Worse than Gasoline”!
    It is funny that the NGO’s claim that coal-to-liquids is worse than gasoline when they don’t even know what the technology entails, yet the propose solutions to “problems” that are worse than the original problem itself.

  22. Well I can’t say that Tesla Motors, is at the head of my list of either green ventures, or good investments; either the Company or its car. For a start even its selection of a Corporate name seems the height of effete snobbery.

    That said; this is clearly an example of a rogue Government agency without a shred of Constitutional legitimacy gone mad with the absolute power of corruption.

    And this current administration is full of not very smart children trying to play at being adults. Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod for a start, are two of the most inept people to ever hold major offices in what is described as The White House.
    Well they are about at the same competence level as the holder of the big office in that place.

    So Tesla Motors is just seeing their tax dollars at work.

  23. My standard question about electric cars: How many miles to the pound of coal? There has been a sucessful project by the anti-nuclear forces to hide the fact that if a substance is highly radio-active, it has a short half life and if a substance has a long half life it emits ionizing radiation at a low level. Radioactive waste isn’t the problem, anti-nuclear forces are the problem. They have tied the process in knots like getting a requirement that signs warning of rad-waste must be effective for 10K years.

  24. You must wonder if the phrase, ” Rise up and kill them all”, was invented for this idiocy.

    I can’t be bothered, frankly, to find out if this company is, ( Native ), American or some poor sucker who is putting money into your economy, and supplying jobs, presumably.

    That’ll teach ‘em. If it is any consolation, we Europeans are leading the way to economic oblivion, scouting for my cave as of now.

  25. Also what do these cars use to generate heat in the winter. If we are eventually going to be forced to buy these things not all of us live in Florida or California.

  26. Goldman Sachs are planning to make a market in ‘EPA interference swaps’, and in fact this is the mainstay of the administration’s current economic plan.

    The basic idea is that business in the US moves all activity to China and India.

  27. we cannot even go back in time and use a horse and cart as the horse belches out methene gas, are well back to the drawing board

  28. to WTF we will not be needing heaters as it,s going to be too hot we will be maid to use a hand operated fan with EPA aproval

  29. Whatever is not approved is forbidden.

    No bureaucrat ever got fired or a bad review by following the rule book no matter how stupidly it’s enforced, nor how many people are harmed because of it.

  30. If the electric car companies had to list out all the toxic materials their cars are made from (between the batteries, magnets, electronics, electric motor components) the greenies would have heart attacks….

  31. Sean Peake says:
    August 31, 2010 at 3:19 pm
    The problem is that the car will not be a source of taxes–no CO2, no revenue

    The more taxing problem is if there is no need for gasoline, then no gasoline tax. I remember hearing that CHIPS pulled over a car that ran on cooking oil and ticketed him for having non-taxed fuel in a vehicle that is not tax exempt.

  32. I wish I knew the inside story on what this severe administrative penalty was really about. Don’t ever discount the possibility that a thin-skinned government bureaucrat hunted high and low for an excuse to slam this company because someone felt dissed. Governments are filled with low self-esteem people don’t know how to create but they sure know how to destroy.

  33. RockyRoad August 31, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    the low utilization efficiency of the primary power supply,

    Is this concerning the battery/energy storage in the Tesla car? (Considering the recharge losses, since battery charging is always less than 100 percent efficient for instance …)

    (If it’s about ‘the grid’, I thought we beat the horse senseless regarding the efficiency of wholesale generation, transmission and distribution …)

    .

  34. I thought Tesla motors was a bad company to start but was backed by -I think Nancy Pelosi. I’m surprised that the EPA would do this if the Nancy is backing this company. I guess I may have confused the company with another.
    A breakthrough in fusion energy is what we need. It will happen.

  35. Green Energy – the amount of power required to smash a startup company into a brick wall of regulations, which includes the power & resources necessary to construct the brick wall with taxpayer money. If this keeps up, Tesla will be sprouting flowers & weeds at it’s abandoned factory in the next 5 years. The $$ and effort required to slog through the swamp of beaurocracy is greater than any profit margin to be realized.
    The Tesla is doomed to be the new Edsel.

  36. Does anyone have any idea how polluting it is to (a) manufacture an electric car with its batteries that have to be periodically replaced/reycled, and (b) keep those batteries charged using coal fired power plants?

    Where’s the EROEI analysis for the Tesla?

  37. I had the good fortune to be given a demo in one of the two Tesla Roadsters in Australia by Rudi Tuisk who was just back from a rally in Europe. I was impressed with both the performance and the engineering. The machine accelerates like a motorcycle and the position of the batteries mean it is balanced like a mid engine sports car. The force of the regenerative braking was surprisingly powerful pumping 90 amps back into the batteries even without the use of accumulators. The key to it’s performance seems to be the thermal management system for the batteries. A liquid loop runs from the batteries to large fan forced radiators at the front of the car. Battery temperature is computer controlled for best charge/discharge without cell damage. One of the fun things about driving electric is the sound, it feels like being in a science fiction movie.

    Robert of Ottawa says: August 31, 2010 at 3:46 pm
    “Tesla, the car that runs on coal!”

    But in France that could read “Tesla, the car powered by the Atom” :)

  38. This is confusing.

    “How may I obtain the Certificate of Conformity for a vehicle?”

    http://publicaccess.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/publicaccess.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=2637&p_created=1151090143

    “The first is to determine if the vehicle is excluded by the Act from meeting Federal emission requirements. If it is excluded, you should follow the instructions given in the section “Excluded Vehicles.”

    http://www.epa.gov/otaq/imports/factmna.htm

    “For 2004 and later model years, only fuel cell and electric vehicles are unregulated.”
    “Importer must file with U.S. Customs, upon entry, an EPA Form 3520-1 declaring code “Y”.”

    http://www.epa.gov/otaq/imports/factmnb.htm

    “THESE VEHICLES MAY BE IMPORTED BY ANYONE
    WITHOUT EPA APPROVAL OR BOND.”

    http://www.epa.gov/otaq/imports/impflow.htm

  39. ” tarpon says:
    August 31, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    And here I thought electricity came out of the magic wall plug.”

    It doesn’t??? But that’s where I stick the thingy with the 2 or 3 prongs.

  40. Robert of Ottawa says:
    August 31, 2010 at 3:47 pm
    “JDN In the future, everything will require EPA approval.”

    Even dying? Probably…

  41. A bureacracy recognizes neither friend nor foe. They just enforce the regulations. This latest action by the EPA illustrates that perfectly.

    We need to recruit willing congressional representatives to document all such cases of EPA run amuck and provide the information open source for all citizens to review. With such a resource, congressional supporters of EPA actions relating to ‘Climate Change’ and Carbon Tax’ can be directly upbraided by their constituents for the resulting stupidity of related EPA actions.

    November is just 2 months away. One third of all Senators and all Representatives are up for election and exceedingly vulnerable. We have 2 months to wring out the Carbon Tax supporters and elect new legislators that can and will bring this EPA driven Obamanation to an end.

  42. I wonder how the EPA will manage to mess this one up?

    Comparing this to a Tesla is a bit of a stretch but here’s a look at the the Air Car. Runs on air that is both cooled to minus 100 degrees Centigrade and compressed to 4,500 pounds per square inch.

    The “urban public transport concept in the form of a train on wheels” is pretty cleaver and the manufacturing approach is very cleaver.

    http://www.mdi.lu/english/concept.php

    http://www.mdi.lu/english/cityflowair.php

    “Charging the car with air is fairly easy-it takes four hours using a household electric outlet or three minutes using special compressed air stations that MDI sells for about $100,000. Obviously, the vehicle also drastically reduces pollution-it takes in polluted outside air, filters it, and expels cleaner air as exhaust. All that for a price tag of between $10,000 and $14,000.”

    http://www.technologyreview.com/Infotech/12948/?a=f#afteradbody

  43. We need to change the quote from “Richard III”:
    “First, let’s kill all the regulators.” Or better yet: “First let’s kill all the bureaucrats.”

    Dan in California is so right. Why any sane person would start a business in California is beyond my understanding. Also beyond me: why the US is not building nuclear power plants as fast as possible, instead of dicking around with wind and solar. Nice to have but if the greenies want less carbon nothing can deliver like a nuke.

    Or am I expecting too much, asking a greenie to think?

  44. pat says:
    August 31, 2010 at 4:04 pm
    “It was never about the environment. It is about control and redistribution of wealth.”

    I think in this case, true, it was never about the environment. It’s about the abolition of consumption. It’s about “de-developing” the country, or, if you will, it’s about weakening the country for takeover.

  45. Lady Life Grows,

    I do not know where you get your info about nuclear but it is unfounded. I have worked at a nuclear plant most of my adult life. I was a licensed operator for about 15 years and radiation can be both measured and quantified easily. If low level radiation was an issue then life could not exist on earth, or anywhere else in the universe. All life, including humans, has evolved in a radiation field that has existed since the beginning of time. My occupational dose is a small fraction of what I, and you, have received from natural sources. The dose you have likely received from man made sources, other than medical, is too small to be measured and could only be estimated by your proximity to those sources. There is a good chance that most of your man made dose is from medical treatments probably many orders of magnitude greater than your exposure from either nuclear plants or nuclear weapons.

    The only tragedy is “we” have become scared and paranoid about the word nuclear.

  46. Curiousgeorge says:
    August 31, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    What needs to be regulated is the totally out of control EPA! That bunch of power mad bureaucrats needs to be reined in before they completely destroy the country….
    __________________________________________________________________________

    You do not understand. The EPA and the rest of the alphabet soup is not there to provide cleaner air, less pollution, safer food, safer products and whatever. No, the government bureaucracies have two real reasons for existing.

    First to waste lots of taxpayer dollars. 100 percent of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal debt and by Federal Government contributions to transfer payments. In other words, all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services which taxpayers expect from their Government. The bankers get ALL your tax dollars so the more the government spends the more money the bankers make – what a deal!

    Second the bureaucracies and red tape are used to prevent new business start-ups and to get rid of the competition through the use of the government/industry revolving door. In July, the Washington Post reported that “[t]hree of every four oil and gas lobbyists worked for[the] federal government.” So who is really surprised about the lax enforcement of regulations that led to the BP Blowout?

    A friend’s brother, who works for the EPA , said that he was told to go after the Mom&Pop companies and leave the big guys like Exxon and BP alone.

  47. Mac the Knife August 31, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    A bureacracy recognizes neither friend nor foe. They just enforce the regulations.

    Merit reviews, I’m sure, are still part of the ‘job review’ process … and not to mention expected ‘quotas’ for any enforcement division. Although bureaucracies may look like gray monoliths from the outside, there are still ‘office politics’ played inside at a human-on-human level, with some boss looking to come out ‘on top’ …

    .

  48. Gail Combs August 31, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    A friend’s brother, who works for the EPA , said that he was told to go after the Mom&Pop companies and leave the big guys like Exxon and BP alone.

    That *may* be the position for which he was hired … naw, on second thought, that’s too simple; I’m sure that there’s some dark, deep c o n s p i r a c y to it, like you say …

    BTW, did see I ‘bankers” mentioned anywhere in your post? By gosh there is … bankers “living in the old noggin rent-free” as they say huh …

    .

  49. Shoot — looks like the plants in the US that were going to build the AirCar have been replaced with manufacture in India.

    I’m sorry but I’m not buying a car made in India.

    To bad, it would have created a lot of jobs and the version that uses gasoline to compress the air as you drive can go from LA to NYC on a single tank of gas.

    An average of 27 tons of waste is produced during the manufacturing of one car?

    http://www.greenspeed.us/electric_bicycle_manufacture.htm

  50. Glenn says:
    August 31, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    There is nothing confusing about that. The present government is all about wiping US business off the map.
    “Outsoucing is good for America” is what they were chanting, and they used our tax dollars to subsidize transplants to foreign countries. Remember that when you vote.

  51. The EPA lost my respect a long time ago however. Scrap it completely for all I care. Maybe then we can have those nice high mileage diesels as well as manual transmissions, black paint (no joke!), and other things the organization wants banned. If EVs can compete, I say let them. If not, let them fail and move on – simple economics.

    (in the interest of full disclosure, I drive my own home converted electric car and love it)

  52. Brilliant in a way only government can manage.
    Let’s let these people run health care for everyone.

    Heck, let the run EVERYTHING.
    They want to.

  53. I think this has more to say about management or lack of it then anything else. Obviously these people did not do their regulatory homework and were rather slow off the mark. This fine is just a slap on the wrist for questionable competence.

  54. The electric company that supplies me offers “green” energy for a premium price.

    Thus at least some of us can recharge our Tesla Roadsters with wind, solar, nuclear, and/or hydro generated electricity if we so choose. Wind and solar are in very limited supply but we have quite a bit of nuclear and hydroelectric in the mix.

    Presumably the electric company can’t sell more “green” energy than they acquire otherwise it would be a scam. I’m not sure if anyone other than a few certifiable tree huggers with more money than brains actually buys the green stuff in any case. It’s not like if you don’t buy green they cut you off when they run out of electricity generated by coal and natural gas.

  55. How do we band together and take all of this proper aggression I am sensing here… directly to these taxpayer-funded “public servants?”

    What will it take to remove bureaucrats from power??

    Definition of “bureaucrat”: unwitting worker bee for the machine.

    What can be done to band together and take the fight to them???

    After all they are, public servants.

    They work for US…..and not vice versa!!!

    I repeat: My ******** , hard-earned, tax money is paying for their salary, as is yours.

    They work for us….and not vice versa.

    Grrrrrrrrr. They make me shoot lightning bolts from my eyes they make me so bloody angry.

    Lisa Jackson. You criminal! You and your ilk.

    Stand down!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  56. 1400 new industries come under the EPA regulations, fees and permit requirements, including hospitals.

    So the cost of the permits and fines gets passed on to you and I, whenever we purchase the goods and services of these industries. I think that is part of the plan.

  57. “…did not receive a Certificate of Conformity…”

    This wording suggests that the car maker applied for the certificate in good time, did not receive it (perhaps because of delay at the EPA), and then went ahead with the sale of the new model before the certificate was received (either by mistake, or as a deliberate decision).

    In any case, it looks like the company is (indirectly) blaming the EPA for the delay in the issue of the certificate.

  58. “the imposition of a carbon tax or the introduction of a cap-and-trade system on electric utilities could increase the cost of electricity;”

    This is what has happened in New Zealand when our Emmissions Trading Scheme legislation came into effect a few months ago. The cost of all energy has gone up by design, including the cost of electricity from the grid (which is approximately 70% hydroelectric). So it would seem Tesla are correct to view “green” energy legislation as a threat to the viability of electric-powered vehicles.

  59. I would guess that rules like this are part of the reason that we still have not enough jobs for people.

  60. ScottyM says:
    August 31, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Sounds like a normal business transaction ~6% commission put into an unaudited “fine slush fund?” Just try to follow that cash flow?

  61. “Myron Mesecke says:
    August 31, 2010 at 2:48 pm
    Can’t say I’m surprised. After all, one part of the government wants cars to get better gas mileage. One easy way is to make the cars lighter. But then another part of the government wants cars to be safer. One easy way is to make them heavier.”

    Lighter = better gas mileage, yes, but not necessarilly less safe. Safer = heavier, certainly not. Old style mfg of cars, sometimes called “coach built” are terribly heavy and un-safe. Occupants typically behave like tomatoes in a can in a crash. Monocoque construction is much lighter and much much safer with crumple zones built-in. Mfgs did try to make cars lighter by reducing the thickness of the steel in the bodies. This resulted in lighter mass, but slightly weaker bodies, hense the installation of “intrusion protection bars” etc. This was overcome to some extent by “forming” the thiner steel parts differently making them stiffer than the “un-formed” part.

    Honda did this back in 1994 when I worked for them in the old Spitfire factory site in Swindon, UK. They shaved 0.1mm off the formerly 1.0mm steel body parts and save, I think, ~30Kgs off the finished car, Civic/Accord.

    “Wiglaf says:
    August 31, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I remember hearing that CHIPS pulled over a car that ran on cooking oil and ticketed him for having non-taxed fuel in a vehicle that is not tax exempt.”

    Well, in the UK, if you are found to be running a vehicle, on a public road, on fuel that had no duty/tax paid on it you certainly would be fined. People running older diesel engines found this out at their expense when running on used cooking oil/chip shop fat. These cars were immediately noticed because they smelled like a chip shop. Also, agricultural diesel in the UK is taxed differently and is called red diesel because of it’s colour. If you are fund to be running a car on red diesel on a public road, you are definitely fined.

    Personally, I would like to see duty on fuel that covers (Like in NEw Zealand, an ACC duty) which covers road users insurance costs. That immediately resolves the issue of uninsured drivers. If you motion lotion in your tank, you are covered.

    The Tesla is based on a Lotus Elise chassis. Unfortunately, due the central mass of the batteries, it handles like a plate of jelly. For around town type driving, I would get one if I was rich. Personally, I think hydrogen fuel cell is the future. There’s plenty of that stuff on this planet.

  62. Nikola Tesla had a monumental long struggle with Edison and eventually was victorious, now a century later, its namesake has to do the same with the bureaucracy, I hope it is victorious too.
    It is a great product of engineering, but further more it takes name of Tesla’s genius to media and into the wider world’s population, where the name Tesla was ignored for far too long.

  63. “Paul Deacon, Christchurch, New Zealand says:
    August 31, 2010 at 9:44 pm”

    I feel for you! 70% hydro, and yet some of the most expensive power in the world. I used to live in the Wairarapa, 60 odd Kms north of Wellinton, which had the most expensive power in the country (At that time). But, you guys have been hit with a double whammy. Not only did you get an ETS, you’re GST went up from 12.5% to 15% just before. Of course, power bills, and everything else in NZ, attacts GST.

    I remember the NZ$0.04c/l “Auckland tax” that was applied to fuel across the whole country in about 2000 that was supposed to be temporary to raise $NZ90mil in funds to pay for public transport projects in Auckland. It’s still applied today.

  64. Um, I dont see what the big deal is… Tesla failed to obtain a Certificate of Compliance for the cars they sold, and they were fined for it. The text is clear: “Every class of motor vehicles introduced into the commerce of the U.S. must have a certificate of conformity, and they are valid for only one model year of production.”

    Its like a building permit. Even if you’re making your house 100% green with solar panels, geothermal heating, wind power, etc, if you don’t have a building permit for all that stuff, you’re going to get fined. Thats how it works. Dont like the rules? Move to Africa.

  65. rbateman says:
    August 31, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    “….The Tesla is doomed to be the new Edsel.”

    True.

    “Tesla Motors, a much hyped company which doesn’t so much produce cars as magazine articles about itself, got nearly half a billion in federal funding. This for a company that makes six figure sports cars assembled in the UK and powered by shopping carts full of laptop batteries that virtually no one has actually driven. Not to mention a company with an embattled leadership, embroiled in numerous lawsuits, which prior to the 465 million in Federal funds was firing its employees through text messages, because it was down to 9 million dollars in the bank.” Source: The Cost of Global Warming Greed, By Daniel Greenfield Wednesday, July 8, 2009; Canada Free Press, http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/12705

    Still, to progress with electric cars from a novelty to all-pervasive application and replacement of gasoline burners, far more serious problems need to be solved. Not the least of which is that tests in a neighbourhood in Amsterdam showed that if more than one out of every seven households in a neighbourhood in Amsterdam charge the batteries for an electric car, the distribution network needs to be upgraded. I will try to find the link for the study in which that was determined if anyone needs it. However, there are more serious problems than that. For that it would be necessary to do a study. I have so far not found one which addresses those problems.

    Many major transmission lines are already loaded to the maximum. The more they are loaded, the more transmission losses occur. During peak-load-hours in Alberta, Canada, some of the main provincial transmission lines already cause as much as 30 percent of transmitted energy to become lost in transmission. Therefore a substantial increase in electric car sales would most definitely overload the transmission lines. There is yet another problem.

    Even once the distribution networks and the transmission lines are upgraded to the tune of many billions of dollars in a province the size of Texas, there is still the problem of constructing the extra generating capacity that will be required to satisfy the demand for “clean” energy. For that there is absolutely no other affordable alternative than to build coal-fired thermal generation — and that will generate far more CO2 than we are presently producing.

    It would be possible to estimate how much “clean” CO2 will be generated, but that will take a bit of work. Just roughly, it will be a bit more CO2 than is being generated by the internal combustion engines in the cars that will be replaced with electric cars.

    None of the gory greenies will tell anyone that it is far more efficient to get gasoline into a fuel tank and then to burn it in an internal combustion engine than it is to get the required energy into a battery that enables an electric motor to move an equivalent vehicle equally-loaded and move it at the same speed over the same distance.

    Far less energy is lost through the distribution of chemical energy from the source to the point of consumption than is lost through doing the same thing by means of electric energy. The infrastructure capacity to achieve the latter does not exist and would have to be constructed. Moreover, drilling for and refining the oil would have to be replaced with coal mining and coal-fired generation.

    It seems to me that the cost of the infrastructure changeover would be so massively large that it would probably be far cheaper to generate synthetic gasoline from coal and to burn that in the cars we drive. The break-even costs for that are estimated to be in the order of $45 per equivalent barrel of oil. The cost of a barrel of syncrude produced from oil-sands is about $16.

    It will be a long time before we run out of oil-sands, and at the current rate of mining coal, we will have enough of that to last 1,500 years, including the exports to Japan and China.

    The Tesla is not only doomed like the Edsel, it will never make it as far as the Edsel did.

  66. This tesla – higher cost of energy all eminates from the below scenario. Please correct me if you think I made a mistake:

    We are going to lose (some of) the standard of living because the net productivity of the globe is not increasing as much as the standard of living in china, india and the rest of ‘em. hence, we will get less for our £,$ or €. Taxing us up zi nose for energy is a sure bullet to reduce the spending, effetively reducing the western standard of living.

    Is this a bad thing? That is pretty much indifferent as it WILL happen. We don’t have the comparable wealth we used to. The difference is made in taxes, currency value (in effect, tax) and inflation (again, in effect a tax).

    The kicker:
    The Climate was supposed to be the way to do it while keeping ppl positive about making the sacrifice.

    Voltaire out.

  67. Stalin would have been proud of such obfuscatory and punishing bureaucracy. Shame it’s the creation of the leader of the “free” world.

  68. I have always thought that to lug around over a ton of batteries around was using a lot of energy when a tank of gasoline weighed about 50lbs. Hybrid cars are worse, they have a petrol engine and a ton of batteries and heavy electric motor all using energy to move. The best electric car in the UK will travel about 200 miles, on a good day with the wind behind it, and take 12 hours to recharge from the coal powered grid!!! so to travel to Spain for me, 1200 miles would take 6 days travel and 60 hours to recharge. I do it in two days in my diesel car. The other problem so often overlooked is that the batteries use nickel, mined in Sudbury, Canada, and this raw nickel is transported to China to make the batteries which are transported to the car’s manufacturing base to be fitted into the car. The batteries last about two years and cost, in the UK, about £1500. The system to scrap these batteries is not a non polluting system. In fact it is probably the most polluting recycling system available.
    ALL BACAUSE SOME FOOLS ARE SCARED OF CO2. Please get real and return to real motoring with gasoline.

  69. RockyRoad says:
    “Just because the car itself doesn’t produce any pollutants, the power plants that generate the electricity for the car probably do.”

    So it’s ok for the petroleum industry to use enough electricity to power an electric car about 30 miles to produce 1 gallon of gas?

  70. Anthony Watts: “That’s right, a zero emissions “green” electric car company cites this as a risk to the company’s business future:”

    That is the fallacy that many get duped into believing. Electric cars are NOT “green” . Electricity is not the primary energy source so it is absolute nonsense to talk of “zero emissions”. A Tesla in the USA will primarily be coal powered. In France it will a source of unmanageable nuclear waste.

    Zero tail-pipe emissions may be more accurate. Since the regs in question probably are concerned with tail-pipe emissions, they still need to make an official declaration.

    It’s no good saying “I did not work last year , so why to I need to file a tax return” and then say its lunacy if you get prosecuted to not filing your return.

    Tesla screwed up , it’s that simple. Unless they figured that all free publicity and discussion about their car would make it worth the fine.

    I’m sure they love the coverage.

    Even if I don’t like EPA’s position on CO2 this just looks like a cheap attempt at EPA bashing. They acted correctly.

    I’d prefer to see them criticised for what they get wrong.

  71. PeteB:

    To charge that battery for 3.5 hours @ 240 V x 70 A. would 58.8 KWs. In Virginia that would be just under $6 (0.10 per KW).

    That would get me 4 days commuting on a single charge. However, I don’t think I could afford to buy the thing to start with since I’m not one of those ‘rich’ people. Just one of the masses or minions.

  72. Dave Springer says:
    August 31, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    “The electric company that supplies me offers “green” energy for a premium price.

    Thus at least some of us can recharge our Tesla Roadsters with wind, solar, nuclear, and/or hydro generated electricity if we so choose. Wind and solar are in very limited supply but we have quite a bit of nuclear and hydroelectric in the mix….”

    Yes. ‘some of us’ is the key. The question is, how many of us?

    It’s a good thing that you have the option of buying “green” power. Most electricity consumers do not have that option. Nevertheless, ‘some of us’, even where the ‘green option’ is not available, will still be charging batteries for electric cars. Not only that, but where all consumers of electric energy pay for subsidizing “green” power, the charging of batteries for electric cars becomes quite a bit more attractive (but not cheaper for society) for quite a few more people who choose to charge batteries.

    The extra energy must be generated, transmitted and distributed to make certain it will be available where required. The extra generating capacity will only be a portion of the total costs required. The extra transmission and distribution costs for the required capacity increases in transmission and distribution networks will be close to the extra costs for transmission- and distribution-networks capacity increases.

    You mentioned that, “we have quite a bit of nuclear and hydroelectric in the mix.” That is true, but that is only sufficient for existing power demands. It is not true for the extra power required for large-scale charging of batteries in electric cars. The licensing process and the time required to bring new nuclear generating plants on-line takes at least ten years and takes much longer when the greenies come into play with opposing public-relations- and lobbying-campaigns. New large-scale hydro-electric power generation is not likely to be created because the greenies will object more strenuously to that than they do to nuclear generating plants. That leaves natural gas and coal.

    For that reason, and for as long as CO2 is seen as a pollutant, the charging of batteries in electric cars will in the long run cause massive increases in objectionable CO2 emissions. Of course, CO2 emissions are not all we have to worry about. Coal-fired power plants create massive SO2 emission as well as substantial heavy-metal- (e.g. mercury) and radio-active-emissions (more radio-active emissions than nuclear generating capacity causes per unit of generation). Much of that pollution can be scrubbed out of the emissions, but the scrubbing requires an increase of about 30 percent or more in construction costs for coal-fired power generation. There is no possible way we can feasibly capture and sequester all of the CO2 that the extra generating capacity will cause to be produced.

    John from CA says:
    August 31, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    that air cars are a viable alternative and that “Charging the car with air is fairly easy-it takes four hours using a household electric outlet or three minutes using special compressed air stations that MDI sells for about $100,000.”

    The energy that must be pumped into air-cars is pretty much as much energy as must be put into batteries for equivalent numbers of electric cars. The energy for compressing air and for charging batteries comes from a power generating station, via the transmission network and the local distribution networks. That requires capacity increases for generation, transmission and distribution that are similar to those required for massive market penetration with electric cars.

    Unless someone can invent a pollution-free, sufficiently cheap, efficient and safe method of mobile power generation for installation into mobile units for consumption of energy, production and distribution of chemical energy by means of gasoline (or diesel) is the only viable alternative for getting energy into vehicles.

    Just in case anyone should wonder, I have absolutely no conflict of interest and own not even a single share of stock in Big Oil. However, I have had close to four decades of involvement in the business of the Rural Electrification Associations and *know* that governments see taxes on energy as a very desirable source of revenues. In Alberta, the provincial government even toys with the idea of using energy taxes as a replacement for provincial income-taxes. I have had a government official tell me that the idea can be made palatable to the public by promoting the idea that increased energy taxes can be used, amongst other things, to provide “free” health care for all.

    The Soviet Union had “free” health care for all. There is no doubt in my mind that one of the consequences of that was that average life expectancies in the Russian Federation, for example, were 59 years for men and 72 years for women.

    None of those energy-tax-revenues go into sinking funds for upgrading the capacity of generation, transmission and distribution. All of the costs for required capacity increases are being amortized by adding them to consumer rates. The more energy costs increase, the more revenues government collects, because revenues from energy taxes increase accordingly — without the government having to spend a cent on capital investment.

  73. I’m a retired geology professor and several years ago I was invited to attend a groundwater hydrology conference. The main thrust of the conference was how to comply with massive new EPA groundwater regulations. What this mainly consisted of was how to fill out the EPA paperwork. And the volume of paperwork was stupid beyond belief. Toward the end of the conference I asked what I thought was a good and innocent question, “With the new regs will the groundwater be less polluted?’. Everyone looked at me as if I was freakin insane. No one cared if the water quality was better, only that the paperwork was filled out properly. Yep, go after the regulators and bureaucrats first. And as soon as possible to save this country.

  74. Slightly off topic. What is the opinion on the Fisker car? I hope the
    Fisker people learn the EPA/Tesla lesson. The EPA is bureaucracy, and
    mainly interested in self-perpetuation.

    Fisker is located near me and is considering offering me a job. The car is a
    series hybrid — like a Tesla but with a GM 4 cylinder engine to keep the car
    moving after the batteries drain down in the first 50 miles. It is very nice
    to look at and very nice to drive, but is nowhere near inexpensive.

  75. Tesla has other problems too.

    I was in Palo Alto Feb. 24th of this year. This was “all the buzz”…

    http://www.topspeed.com/cars/car-news/three-tesla-executives-die-in-plane-crash-in-palo-alto-ar85180.html

    Sadly, the cause of the crash was probably “pilot error”. It was a “zero/zero” day. I.e., zero ceiling and virtually zero forward visibility.

    A simple wait of 2 to 3 hours for the “fog to lift” and these people would still be alive.

    “Get there itus”…the most fatal of all private pilot diseases.

  76. The next thing the new Congress needs to do after they repeal Obamacare, is to scrap the EPA and start over. They alone have done more to ship jobs overseas than any other government agency. Perhaps their paychecks should be pegged on GDP? Then I think we’d see a different EPA.

  77. I read an article last year or year before (darn if I can remember). Anyway a balance was done between a Prius and a Hummer. When factoring in the total environmental impact from mining ore to disposal of the car when scrapped, the total fuel use over life of the vehicle and life of the vehicle, transportation cost etc. The Hummer is more green then a Prius. Major factors are the environmental waste land nickel mining costs, disposal of batteries vs. steel, life of a Hummer is ~20yrs with a Prius 10-15 (we still really don’t know this one but a hummer might go 40yrs).

    As for regulators like the EPA, the CEO was just quoted in an article. He said everywhere but in the US a new fab cost 4 billion to build, that same fab cost 5 billion in the US. The extra billion is due to complying with regulations and taxes, any wonder manufacturing doesn’t want to stay in the US.

  78. This might be a good place for this topic. Everyone’s (alarmists anyway) concern is for CO2. How about removing the catalytic converters on cars. Let’s go back to CO. Since CO2 is so dangerous why not a little more carbon monoxide instead. On a serious note, how about changing the catalytic converters to change the emissons to something other than CO2?

  79. Electric vehicles are not necessarily “emission free”. They may emit chlorine gas from batteries (historically a major risk in electric submarines) or produce ozone and nitrogen oxides from sparking (sniff around a few electric locomotives or tube trains). So it is actually quite reasonable that they should be required to obtain certificates of conformity (if other cars have to).

  80. “Zero tail-pipe emissions may be more accurate. Since the regs in question probably are concerned with tail-pipe emissions, they still need to make an official declaration.”

    Does the Tesla HAVE a tailpipe ?
    There are many angles to this story, but it seems a waste of test and declaration when the real question is the thing’s draw on the “grid”.

  81. Electric cars don’t eliminate carbon emissions, they just move the carbon footprint to another area ie. Electric power plants. In addition if electric cars are the answer what are we going to do when we can generate enough electricity to support our demand? We already have rolling blackouts, and conservation efforts in place. What happens when 50% of the state is trying to charge up their cars? Did any of the greenies ever think of that? You know what the largest source of poultion in the world is…. human beings. 6 billion and counting. You want to help the world people start with population control. The more people, the more food needed the more housing, water, electricity ect, and the more poultion that is generated as a result. Think about it………

  82. _Jim says:
    August 31, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Gail Combs August 31, 2010 at 5:37 pm
    …BTW, did see I ‘bankers” mentioned anywhere in your post? By gosh there is … bankers “living in the old noggin rent-free” as they say huh …
    ______________________________________________________________
    Jim, don’t you get ill defending the bankers all the time? They are ripping off most people for over 50% of their wealth, yet you always ding me without ANY data or references to back you up! Oh, excuse me I forgot you also believe in CAGW, do you believe in a totalitarian world government run by an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in the past centuries? too???

    I suggest you read the above article by Richard C. Cook a former U.S. federal government analyst, whose career included service with the U.S. Civil Service Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Carter White House, NASA, and the U.S. Treasury Department. He has independently come to the same conclusions I have and certainly even meets you “high criteria” as an authority.

    So what has the Fed done to the USA and the money supply?

    In 1976, a typical American CEO earned 36 times as much as the average worker. By 2008 the average CEO pay increased to 369 times that of the average worker. – http://timelines.ws/subjects/Labor.HTML

    Inflation from fiat currency has stolen much of American working classes wealth.
    In 1959 gold was $ 35.25/oz , Money supply was 50.1 billion, minimum wage $1.00
    In 2009 gold was $1,020.28/oz, Money supply $1663 billion, minimum wage $5.85

    In 1959 an hour of minimum wage labor was worth 0.0284 oz of gold. In 2009 an hour of minimum wage labor was worth 0.00573 oz of gold or 20% of what the 1959 minimum wage dollar was worth, the rest of the wealth went into the pockets of the bankers who printed the extra $1613 billion fiat dollars out of thin air and traded for the products and labor of the American worker.

    The Grace Commission report to an American president states point blank states:
    “90 percent of all personal taxable income is generated below the taxable income level of $35,000″

    “100 percent of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal debt and by Federal Government contributions to transfer payments….

    Mr. President, you have been so correct in resisting attempts to balance the budget by increasing taxes. The tax load on the average American family is already at counterproductive levels with the underground economy having now grown to an estimated $500 billion per year, costing about $100 billion in lost Federal tax revenues per year.

    The size of the underground economy is understandable when one considers that median family income taxes have increased from $9 in 1948 to $2,218 in 1983, or by 246 times. This is runaway taxation at its worst…..”

    January 12, 1984 – PRESIDENT’S PRIVATE SECTOR SURVEY ON COST CONTROL

  83. Henry chance says:
    August 31, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    alGore said electric cars are the key to a carbonfree America.

    Henry, I would have to ask you (I know alGore would never answer), what produces more carbon dioxide – burning oil (gasoline) or coal? The electricty for these cars has to come from somewhere, and with the moratorium on Nuclear, that leaves only coal.

  84. Garry says:
    August 31, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    paulhan says August 31, 2010 at 2:42 pm:
    “It’s almost like the government is at war with its own people.”

    Almost?

    What he said…but then these are Progressives, they do know better after all. :-\

  85. There’s no such thing as a zero-emission car, electric or otherwise. Indeed, electric cars are major “emitters” of CO2 (unless all of their charge comes solely from “green” energy). The high losses associated with the transfer of electrical energy down the main distribution lines, coupled with losses in converting AC to DC make such vehicles highly inefficient. Batteries are also major polluters, both to produce and dispose of, and have much shorter lives than fueled engines, especially deisels. Much more development is required before electrically powered vehicles become practical, realistic alternatives to petrol/deisel engines.

  86. They failed to follow the regulations. I know the regulations are stupid in this case, but they still had to follow the regulations. Where’s the story?

  87. @Darrin: that was from a flawed CNW Marketing Research study from 2005. It has since been corrected; the corrected version shows that the Prius has less overall impact than a Hummer H3.

  88. Quote:
    That’s right, a zero emissions “green” electric car company cites this as a risk to the company’s business future:
    Endquote.

    How often do I have to tell everyone that electric cars are NOT ‘zero emissions’.

    They merely take the emissions from the city center (exhausts), and place them in the countryside (power station chimney). So instead of breathing the emissions, you eat them instead.

    If you look at the consumption figures, the average European diesel has less emissions than any electric car. Unless all your electricity is renewable, which is certainly isn’t in the US.

  89. Look, even if the electricity has to be produced from coal, a battery-powered, flywheel or compressed-air car still produces less CO2 (and uses less energy) than a conventional petrol-engined car. Why? Because power station efficiencies are approximately twice that of automobile engines. Electrically recharged cars can also benefit from regenerative braking, which for city use can roughly halve their net consumption. So they are worth developing, irrespective of any green ideology. A competing alternative would be to develop small turbine engines that can achieve much higher efficiencies. Or if you have both you can combine them.

  90. >>even if the electricity has to be produced from coal, a battery-powered
    >>still produces less CO2 (and uses less energy) than a conventional
    >>petrol-engined car. Why?

    Only ıf you lıve ın the USA, where cars to 5mpg.

    In Europe, my large 5-seat dıesel saloon does over 55 mpg on the motorway, whıch ıs much better than any electrıc car.

    You forget that electrıc vehıcles have an extra storge and conversıon process, to get motıve power from the fuel. Plus there are huge draws on the battery for heatıng an electrıc car ın wınter, whıch the dıesel uses waste heat for.

    My calculatıons show that the Dıesel wıll gıve about 45 mpg ın out of town drıvıng, and the electrıc car just 35 mpg equıvalent.

    Electrıc vehıcles are only cheaper to run because they pay lıttle or no tax on theır fuel. In Europe the tax represents about 65% of the fuel costs.

  91. Ed says:
    September 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm
    Tesla Electric Motors is the competition for government owned GM

    Humm????

  92. Ralph says:
    September 2, 2010 at 5:21 am
    >>even if the electricity has to be produced from coal, a battery-powered
    >>still produces less CO2 (and uses less energy) than a conventional
    >>petrol-engined car. Why?

    “Only ıf you lıve ın the USA, where cars to 5mpg. In Europe, my large 5-seat dıesel saloon does over 55 mpg on the motorway, whıch ıs much better than any electrıc car.”

    No, wherever you live. This is a question of the basic thermodynamic cycle efficiencies. Diesel engines are better than petrol engines, but for the compression ratios used in road vehicles the improvement is not great. Much of the difference in mpg (~15-20%) is down to diesel’s greater density (12%). There are additional inefficiencies arising from the use of internal combustion engines on cars, in the transmission, gearing, cooling systems and so forth, which electric cars can more easily avoid. The physical distribution of fuel by road tanker also tends to be less efficient (uses a greater fraction of the energy) than electricity distribution. Even in Europe, conventional cars do not use energy efficiently. Compared to the humble milk float they’re positively atrocious. From consideration of rolling resistance and aerodynamic drag, improvements of at least an order of magnitude are possible.

  93. “”” Paul Birch says:
    September 2, 2010 at 3:18 am
    Look, even if the electricity has to be produced from coal, a battery-powered, flywheel or compressed-air car still produces less CO2 (and uses less energy) than a conventional petrol-engined car. Why? Because power station efficiencies are approximately twice that of automobile engines. Electrically recharged cars can also benefit from regenerative braking, which for city use can roughly halve their net consumption. “””

    Well Paul, realistically; without the regenerative braking; electric cars would be even further behind the eight ball, as far as battery capacity goes. Better batteries; as far as energy pre unit weight or per unit volume come at the expense of being more chemically obnoxious as well as downright dangerous. Gasoline is about as safe as any equivalent density energy storage mechanism. Well your Diesel would seem to be even better.

    Rather impressive performance there Paul; Europeans seem to be ahead of the wave in clean diesel.

  94. George E. Smith says:
    September 2, 2010 at 9:36 am
    “Well Paul, realistically; without the regenerative braking; electric cars would be even further behind the eight ball, as far as battery capacity goes. ”

    This is a question of performance rather than efficiency. I’d agree that this (and cost) is why electric vehicles haven’t taken off yet (so to speak). It’s also, in part, why I favour the compressed air route (the energy density is much lower than petrol, but there are ways around this).

    Btw, if you get further behind the eight ball, doesn’t that make things easier not harder? If I’m understanding the metaphor right, the worst position is directly behind it.

    “Europeans seem to be ahead of the wave in clean diesel.”

    European and Japanese cars are better than American ones generally (at least, to our taste). American cars seem excessively large, clunky and heavy (but not safer – US road casualties are a lot worse than in the UK, even though we drive faster and have narrower roads). However, you should remember that American gallons are smaller than Imperial gallons, so the American mpg figures look worse than they really are.

  95. ” Also beyond me: why the US is not building nuclear power plants as fast as possible, instead of dicking around with wind and solar. Nice to have but if the greenies want less carbon nothing can deliver like a nuke. ”

    My son is a mechanical/nuclear engineering student at Penn State. This summer he was an intern working on the design of a nuclear plant in the South. There are 26 reactors now in development in the US. Most of them, including his project are the Westinghouse AP 1000. Go to their site. It is very interesting reading especially since the Chinese have four plants of these plants under construction.

  96. Here are the pathetic numbers for the USA and nuclear plants, as of August 1, 2010, from:

    http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/reactors.html

    Operating: 104
    Under construction: 1
    On order/planned: 9
    Proposed: 22

    And China:

    Operating: 12
    Under construction: 24
    On order/planned: 33
    Proposed: 120

    And India:

    Operating: 19
    Under construction: 4
    On order/planned: 20
    Proposed: 40

    France is in decent shape, and Japan seems to have ambitious yet sensible plans. But the remaining developed world – England and the USA in particular – seem to have embarked on a course of societal suicide.

    Personally I despise politics and all politicians, but at some point the West’s political leadership will have to emerge from their collective coma and vastly increase the number of nuclear plants actually being built – and I mean not just “proposed”, but ordered and underway. The current course is a very dangerous one for the next generation.

  97. Garry says:
    September 3, 2010 at 6:27 am
    “Personally I despise politics and all politicians, but at some point the West’s political leadership will have to emerge from their collective coma and vastly increase the number of nuclear plants actually being built – and I mean not just “proposed”, but ordered and underway. ”

    I agree that they ought to do this, but it’s not clear why you think they “will have to”. However they decide, it will not have any positive real effect until after the next election (or perhaps several after that), so the current government will not benefit by it. The same will be true for every subsequent government. Even if the lights are going out and people are rioting in the streets, promising to build power plants is as good as actually doing it! Of course, that’s stupid, but I’m not sure how or whether we can expect to break out of this dynamic; politicians have foolishly brought their societies to utter disaster before now, so there’s no law that says they have to come to their sense some day.

  98. Paul Birch says September 3, 2010 at 8:32 am
    “but it’s not clear why you think they “will have to”.”

    Really I’m just referring to increasing global demand for petroleum, and that it would make sense to have other energy sources available (NOT the misnamed “renewables”).

    But I’m being an alarmist, of course! ;-)

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