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  #21  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2007, 1:17 PM
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^^^

Let's see how this works. I'll be anxious to try it out. Like you SLC, I think Bangerter would be much better served by an interchange situation on several of it's busier intersections. A full interchange is more expensive, but how many millions are wasted each year in time,energy,etc. on the boondoggle intersections in that area.
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  #22  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2007, 3:56 PM
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They've put in skywalks at almost all of the Bangerter intersections, so I could see one being put in at this site potentially. It's good they haven't put one in yet because they'd now be tearing it down.

They also have school boundaries in the area set up so kids don't have to cross Bangerter, which helps. And frankly, West Valley isn't that walkable, so I doubt there will be too many pedestrians. The UDOT site says that they will have the islands set up in case a pedestrian can't make it all the way across.

The other advantage of building the CFI is that it acquires extra land that can be used for a future interchange. Right now it only will give enough on the NE and SW corners, but then all you'd have to do is acquire the NW and SE corners and keep the exits tights and you could build the interchange once the CFI fails.

I think UDOT is hoping to buy a decade or two before they have to fund a bridge.
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  #23  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2007, 9:53 PM
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I guess we'll have to wait and see how it works, but I don't see how this design improves flow at all. Seems to me to be more confusing and I don't see how it moves any more cars through the intersection.
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  #24  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2007, 12:17 PM
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Is ethanol the answer?


MATT CRENSON - The Associated Press
America is drunk on ethanol.

Farmers in the Midwest are sending billions of bushels of corn to refineries that turn it into billions of gallons of fuel. Automakers in Detroit have already built millions of cars, trucks and SUVs that can run on it, and are committed to making millions more. In Washington, politicians have approved generous subsidies for companies that make ethanol.

And just this week, President Bush arranged with Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for their countries to share ethanol production technology.

Even alternative fuel aficionados are surprised at the nation's sudden enthusiasm for grain alcohol.

"It's coming on dramatically; more rapidly than anyone had expected," said Nathanael Greene, a senior policy analyst at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

You'd think that would be good news, but it actually worries a lot of people.

The problem is, ethanol really isn't ready for prime time. The only economical way to make ethanol right now is with corn, which means the burgeoning industry is literally eating America's lunch, not to mention its breakfast and dinner. And though ethanol from corn may have some minor benefits with regard to energy independence, most analysts conclude its environmental benefits are questionable at best.

Proponents acknowledge the drawbacks of corn-based ethanol, but they believe it can help wean America off imported oil the way methadone helps a junkie kick heroin. It may not be ideal, but ethanol could help the country make the necessary and difficult transition to an environmentally and economically sustainable future.

There are many questions about ethanol's place in America's energy future. Some are easily answered; others, not so much.

What is ethanol?

Ethanol is moonshine. Hooch. Rotgut. White lightning. That explains why the last time Americans produced it in any appreciable amount was during Prohibition. Today, just like back then, virtually all the ethanol produced in the United States comes from corn that is fermented and then distilled to produce pure grain alcohol.

Will my car run on it?

Any car will burn gasoline mixed with a small amount of ethanol. But cars must be equipped with special equipment to burn fuel that is more than about 10 percent ethanol. All three of the major American automakers are already producing flex-fuel cars that can run on either gasoline or E85, a mix of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Thanks to incentives from the federal government, they have committed to having half the cars they produce run on either E85 or biodiesel by 2012.

How fast is ethanol production growing?

About as fast as farmers can grow the corn to make it. According to the Renewable Fuels Association, a trade group, ethanol production has doubled in the past three years, reaching nearly 5 billion gallons in 2006. With 113 ethanol plants currently operating and 78 more under construction, the country's ethanol output is expected to double again in less than two years.

Is ethanol better than gasoline?

For all the environmental and economic troubles it causes, gasoline turns out to be a remarkably efficient automobile fuel. The energy required to pump crude out of the ground, refine it and transport it from oil well to gas tank is about 6 percent of the energy in the gasoline itself.

Ethanol is much less efficient, especially when it is made from corn. Just growing corn requires expending energy -- plowing, planting, fertilizing and harvesting all require machinery that burns fossil fuel. Modern agriculture relies on large amounts of fertilizer and pesticides, both of which are produced by methods that consume fossil fuels. Then there's the cost of transporting the corn to an ethanol plant, where the fermentation and distillation processes consume yet more energy. Finally, there's the cost of transporting the fuel to filling stations. And because ethanol is more corrosive than gasoline, it can't be pumped through relatively efficient pipelines, but must be transported by rail or tanker truck.

In the end, even the most generous analysts estimate that it takes the energy equivalent of three gallons of ethanol to make four gallons of the stuff. Some even argue that it takes more energy to produce ethanol from corn than you get out of it, but most agricultural economists think that's a stretch.

But aren't there environmental benefits to ethanol?

If you make ethanol from corn, the environmental benefits are limited. When you consider the greenhouse gases that are released in the growing and refining process, corn-based ethanol is only slightly better with regard to global warming than gasoline. Growing corn also requires the use of pesticides and fertilizers that cause soil and water pollution.

The environmental benefit of corn-based ethanol is felt mostly around the tailpipe. When blended into gasoline in small amounts, ethanol causes the fuel to burn more cleanly, reducing the production of nitrogen oxides and other pollutants. That has made it popular in smoggy cities like Los Angeles.

What about ethanol's economic benefits?

Making ethanol is so profitable, thanks to government subsidies and continued high oil prices, that plants are proliferating throughout the Corn Belt. Iowa, the nation's top corn-producing state, is projected to have so many ethanol plants by 2008 it could easily find itself importing corn in order to feed them.

But that depends on the Invisible Hand. Making ethanol is profitable when oil is costly and corn is cheap. And the 51 cent-a-gallon federal subsidy doesn't hurt. But oil prices are off from last year's peaks and corn has doubled in price over the past year, from about $2 to $4 a bushel, thanks mostly to demand from ethanol producers.

High corn prices are causing social unrest in Mexico, where the government has tried to mollify angry consumers by slapping price controls on tortillas. Lester R. Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, predicts food riots in other major corn-importing countries if something isn't done.

U.S. consumers will soon feel the effects of high corn prices as well, if they haven't already, because virtually everything Americans put in their mouths starts as corn. There's corn flakes, corn chips, corn nuts and hundreds of other processed foods that don't even have the word corn in them. There's corn in the occasional pint of beer and shot of whisky. And don't forget high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener that is added to soft drinks, baked goods, candy and a lot of things that aren't even sweet.

Some freaks even eat it off the cob.

It's true that animals eat more than half of the corn produced in America; guess who eats them? On Friday the Agriculture Department announced that beef, pork and chicken will soon cost consumers more thanks to the demand of ethanol for corn.

It's also true that there's a difference between edible sweet corn and the feed corn that's used for ethanol production. But because farmers try to grow the most profitable crop they can, higher prices for feed corn tend to discourage the production of sweet corn. That decreases its supply, driving the price of sweet corn up, too.

In fact, many agricultural economists believe rising demand for feed corn has squeezed the supply -- and boosted the price -- of not just sweet corn but also wheat, soybeans and several other crops.

America's appetite for corn is enormous. But Americans consume so much gasoline that all the corn in the world couldn't make enough ethanol to slake the nation's lust for transportation fuels. Last year ethanol production used 12 percent of the U.S. corn harvest, but it replaced only 2.8 percent of the nation's gasoline consumption.

"If we were to adopt automobile fuel efficiency standards to increase efficiency by 20 percent, that would contribute as much as converting the entire U.S. grain harvest into ethanol," Brown said.

Isn't there a better renewable fuel substitute for gasoline?

Most experts think it will take an array of renewable energy technologies to replace fossil fuels. Ethanol's main drawbacks come not from the nature of the fuel itself, but from the fact that it is made using a critical component of the world's food supply. Ethanol would be more beneficial both environmentally and economically if scientists could figure out how to make it from a nonfood plant that could be grown without the need for fertilizers, pesticides and other inputs. Researchers are currently working on methods to do just that, making ethanol from the cellulose in a wide variety of plants, including poplar trees, switchgrass and cornstalks.

But plant cellulose is more difficult to break down than the starch in corn kernels. That's why people eat corn instead of grass. Plus it tastes better.

There are also technical hurdles related to separating, digesting and fermenting the cellulose fiber. Though it can be done, making ethanol from cellulose-rich material costs at least twice as much as making it from corn.

How long will it take before cellulosic ethanol is competitive with corn ethanol and gasoline?

Some experts estimate that it will take 10 to 15 years before cellulosic ethanol becomes competitive. But Mitch Mandich, CEO of Range Fuels, thinks it will be a lot sooner than that. The Colorado-based company has started building a cellulosic ethanol plant in Georgia that converts wood chips and other waste left behind by the forest products industry. Another company, Iogen Corp., has been producing cellulosic ethanol from wheat, oat and barley straw for several years at a demonstration plant in Ottawa, Canada.

How much more efficient would cellulosic ethanol be compared to corn ethanol?

Studies suggest that cellulosic ethanol could yield at least four to six times the energy expended to produce it. It would also produce less greenhouse gas emissions than corn-based ethanol because much of the energy needed to refine it could come not from fossil fuels, but from burning other chemical components of the very same plants that contained the cellulose.

How much gasoline could cellulosic ethanol replace?

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the United States could produce more than a billion tons of cellulosic material annually for ethanol production, from switchgrass grown on marginal agricultural lands to wood chips and other waste produced by the timber industry. In theory, that material could produce enough ethanol to substitute for about 30 percent of the country's oil consumption.

A University of Tennessee study released in November reached similar conclusions. As much as 100 million acres of land would have to be dedicated to energy crops in order to reach the goal of substituting renewable biofuels for 25 percent of the nation's fuel consumption by 2025, the report estimated. That would be a significant fraction of the nation's 800 million acres of cultivable land, the study's authors said, but not enough to cause disruptions in agricultural markets.

"There really aren't any losers," said University of Tennessee agricultural economist Burton English.

Really? No losers at all?

There might be losers. Simple economics dictates that if farmers find it more profitable to grow switchgrass rather than corn, soy or cotton, the price of those commodities is bound to rise in response to falling supply.

"You can produce a lot of ethanol from cellulose without competing with food," said Wallace Tyner, an agricultural economist at Purdue University. "But if you want to get half your fuel supply from it you will compete with food agriculture."

There may also be ecological impacts. The government currently pays farmers not to farm about 35 million acres of conservation land, mostly in the Midwest. Those fallow tracts provide valuable habitat for wildlife, especially birds. Though switchgrass is a good home for most birds, if it became profitable to grow it or another energy crop on conservation land some species could decline.

Will ethanol solve all of our problems?

Ethanol is certainly a valuable tool in our efforts to address the economic and environmental problems associated with fossil fuels. But even the most optimistic projections suggest it can only replace a fraction of the 140 billion gallons of gasoline that Americans consume every year. It will take a mix of technologies to achieve energy independence and reduce the country's production of greenhouse gases.

"I think we're in a very interesting era. We are recognizing a problem and we are finding lots of potential solutions," said David Tilman, an ecologist at the University of Minnesota.

But if we're serious about achieving energy independence and mitigating global warming, Tilman and other experts said, one of those solutions must be energy conservation.

That means doubling the fuel economy of our automobiles, expanding mass transit and decreasing the amount of energy it takes to light, heat and cool our buildings. Without such measures, ethanol and other innovations will make little more than a dent in the nation's fossil fuel consumption.

This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page A1.
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  #25  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2007, 12:38 PM
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Now this is something I can get very excited about!!!!!

TESLA MOTORS: Affordable Electric Cars are Coming by Michael Graham Richard, Gatineau, Canada/Cars and Transportation




In a post on Tesla Motors' blog, Elon Musk, the chairman of the company, writes: "Almost any new technology initially has high unit cost before it can be optimized and this is no less true for electric cars. The strategy of Tesla is to enter at the high end of the market [with the roadster], where customers are prepared to pay a premium, and then drive down market as fast as possible [...] Without giving away too much, I can say that the second model [code name: White Star, scheduled for 2008] will be a sporty four door family car at roughly half the $89k price point of the Tesla Roadster and the third model will be even more affordable [...] all free cash flow is plowed back into R&D to drive down the costs and bring the follow on products to market as fast as possible. When someone buys the Tesla Roadster sports car, they are actually helping pay for development of the low cost family car." That's what we like to hear! There's nothing revolutionary in saying: "Prices go down as technology matures and with economies of scale", but we're happy to learn that Tesla is proactively aiming at coming out of the exotic sports car niche and into the mainstream where it can make a bigger difference and force big automakers to react. Mr. Musk also addresses two frequent arguments against electric cars: What to do with the batteries, and "the long tailpipe" (displacing emissions from tailpipe to power plant). Check it out: ::The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me). See also: ::The Tesla Roadster: Electric Sports Car

Another interesting part of the post:

Becoming Energy Positive
I should mention that Tesla Motors will be co-marketing sustainable energy products from other companies along with the car. For example, among other choices, we will be offering a modestly sized and priced solar panel from SolarCity, a photovoltaics company (where I am also the principal financier). This system can be installed on your roof in an out of the way location, because of its small size, or set up as a carport and will generate about 50 miles per day of electricity.

If you travel less than 350 miles per week, you will therefore be “energy positive” with respect to your personal transportation. This is a step beyond conserving or even nullifying your use of energy for transport – you will actually be putting more energy back into the system than you consume in transportation!
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  #26  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2007, 12:45 PM
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The Tesla Roadster: Electric Sports Car by Sean Fisher, Cincinnati,Ohio/Cars and Transportation



130mph. 13,500 RPM. 0-60mph in about four seconds. H-O-T! Meet the Tesla Roadster, the car that hopes to elevate plug-in electrics to lustworthy status. Judging from car-guru Jalopnik's first impressions, we feel it should have no difficulty in doing so. Not only does it have a design pedigree from famed UK sports car company Lotus, the engine, though quiet, promises to push you back into your seat. Even better, the battery technology seems to be relatively painless, something that will go a long way in pushing electric mainstream. In a measely 3.5 hour charge (into a standard outlet), the Roadster will take you 250 miles...more than long enough for most of us and farther than you could go on a tank of gas in your typical gas-guzzling sports car.

Of course, when you want to compete with Porsche and Lamborgini, there is certainly going to be $$$ involved. However, the damage isn't as bad as some might expect. Depending on who you listen to, the Roadster should be going for $80-100,000. Looks like most of us might need to wait at least a couple years - that is when Telsa plans to come out with a plug-in electric sedan for about half the price of the Roadster. However, if you have the cash, the Roadster could turn into a relative sports car bargain once you take it on the road. According to the company, it should only cost approximately $.01/mile in energy costs. Compare that to conventional gasoline engines...well, let's just say gas is a bit more expensive (not to mention the obvious environmental costs). Look for the Tesla Roadster to hit the US sometime "early" next year. ::via Hugg


Related Story:

Engine trouble? Forgot to change the oil and air filter--again? Or did the transmission give out? Need any other major repair job? Someday you may never have these headaches again. Enter Tesla's Roadster. It's electric and its features eclectic. This new uber sports car–launched in July, 2006—will never require a call to Car Talk. The two popular Boston radio hosts might be scratching their heads between calls.

We've profiled the car at TreeHugger already, but given its paradigm-shifting design, we feel its technical side merits a review in itself; here we’ll demonstrate what actually makes it tick.

We're looking at an electric car that is fundamentally different in probably almost every conceivable way from any other vehicle you've heard of or driven. Taking a closer look inside, we examine the mechanical specifications of the car as discussed in the whitepaper co-authored by founder and CEO Martin Eberhard; it is available at Tesla's website.



Tesla's flagship Roadster sports a very unique design—in more ways than one. The power system comes most immediately to mind. Historically battery capacity was limited by its unweildly mass as well as of the inconvenience of finding recharging stations and then waiting to get the juice refreshed. In this marque, those employed are based on essentially the same Lithium-ion variety found in the typical laptop PC. Chosen due to their superior charge capacity as well as longevity, the batteries themselves are far superior to the lead-acid variety (well over 100,000 miles—a four to one advantage).

The power supply is partitioned into 11 sectors of 621 cells, each of which is linked to its own processor, serving to monitor both the rates of charge and discharge for each cell. This structure makes for “intelligent,” dynamic charging throughout to coordinate optimal performance of the system as a whole.

The inverter relies upon 72 insulated transistors to convert DC energy into AC power. Since transistors generate little heat, the air cooling system is simple and not heavy. As for heating inside, electric-generated heat can be delivered “immediately” on demand—no more waiting for the engine to warm up on a sub-freezing winter morning!



The regenerative braking system (popularized by cars such as the Prius but discussed in scientific journals for decades) captures some of the vast amount of energy typically lost in automotive systems. As a by-product of this integrated system, it places virtually no wear on the brakes themselves since gears in the generators capture much of energy normally wasted when the typical car brakes.



More importantly still, there are far fewer moving parts to repair or maintain, since it has no internal combustion engine. According to the whitepaper, “The only work that a well designed electric car will need for its first 100,000 miles is tire service and inspection.” The battery longevity is rated for the same distance.

Owing to enhanced technology, the Roadster gives its driver nearly 80% greater power than the now-defunct EV1, GM's famous flagship electric car. The rotor at the center of the AC motor is made of brazed copper, which is more efficient than the conventional construction made of aluminum. A revolutionary design, it represents a new “plateau” of sorts in the electric car world. The start-up derives its name from the famous engineer Nicholas Tesla who invented the AC induction motor, a breakthrough in his time.

To ensure optimal safety, a host of sophisticated features are always on the watch for signs of trouble. A computer works in conjunction with the drive train and sensors to deliver optimal road traction and reduced wear on the tires. Some other devices include a smoke detector, voltage meter, temperature gage, water sensor, and accelerometer to detect rapid changes in car velocity typical of accidents. Upon impact in such an event, the batteries’ built-in “intelligence” enables them to shut themselves off to avoid an explosion or fire.


See also: ::Official Tesla Motors Website, ::Tesla Motors Blog, ::The Tesla Roadster: Electric Sports Car, ::Tesla Motors: Affordable Electric Cars are Coming

Last edited by delts145; Mar 11, 2007 at 12:58 PM.
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  #27  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2007, 1:03 PM
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Brought over from previous page.

Please excuse my exuberance, I brought this over from the bottom of the previous page to make sure no one missed it. Can you all imagine what this could mean if the more affordable sedans come on line as quickly as scheduled and people put their money where their mouth and hopes are. Ethanol is okay,but would be a very imperfect substitute compared to this mode of transport. As we think of this past January and the number of days we were socked in by that nasty inversion and now once again the soaring prices of gas, "an affordable Tesla would definately have my enthusiastic vote!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by delts145 View Post
Now this is something I can get very excited about!!!!!

TESLA MOTORS: Affordable Electric Cars are Coming by Michael Graham Richard, Gatineau, Canada/Cars and Transportation




In a post on Tesla Motors' blog, Elon Musk, the chairman of the company, writes: "Almost any new technology initially has high unit cost before it can be optimized and this is no less true for electric cars. The strategy of Tesla is to enter at the high end of the market [with the roadster], where customers are prepared to pay a premium, and then drive down market as fast as possible [...] Without giving away too much, I can say that the second model [code name: White Star, scheduled for 2008] will be a sporty four door family car at roughly half the $89k price point of the Tesla Roadster and the third model will be even more affordable [...] all free cash flow is plowed back into R&D to drive down the costs and bring the follow on products to market as fast as possible. When someone buys the Tesla Roadster sports car, they are actually helping pay for development of the low cost family car." That's what we like to hear! There's nothing revolutionary in saying: "Prices go down as technology matures and with economies of scale", but we're happy to learn that Tesla is proactively aiming at coming out of the exotic sports car niche and into the mainstream where it can make a bigger difference and force big automakers to react. Mr. Musk also addresses two frequent arguments against electric cars: What to do with the batteries, and "the long tailpipe" (displacing emissions from tailpipe to power plant). Check it out: ::The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me). See also: ::The Tesla Roadster: Electric Sports Car

Another interesting part of the post:

Becoming Energy Positive
I should mention that Tesla Motors will be co-marketing sustainable energy products from other companies along with the car. For example, among other choices, we will be offering a modestly sized and priced solar panel from SolarCity, a photovoltaics company (where I am also the principal financier). This system can be installed on your roof in an out of the way location, because of its small size, or set up as a carport and will generate about 50 miles per day of electricity.

If you travel less than 350 miles per week, you will therefore be “energy positive” with respect to your personal transportation. This is a step beyond conserving or even nullifying your use of energy for transport – you will actually be putting more energy back into the system than you consume in transportation!

Last edited by delts145; Mar 11, 2007 at 1:29 PM.
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  #28  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2007, 1:10 PM
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The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me)
by Elon Musk
Chairman of the Board



Backgrounder: My day job is running a space transportation company called SpaceX, but on the side I am the chairman of Tesla Motors and help formulate the business and product strategy with Martin and the rest of the team. I have also been Tesla Motor’s primary funding source from when the company was just three people and a business plan.

As you know, the initial product of Tesla Motors is a high performance electric sports car called the Tesla Roadster. However, some readers may not be aware of the fact that our long term plan is to build a wide range of models, including affordably priced family cars. This is because the overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy, which I believe to be the primary, but not exclusive, sustainable solution.

Critical to making that happen is an electric car without compromises, which is why the Tesla Roadster is designed to beat a gasoline sports car like a Porsche or Ferrari in a head to head showdown. Then, over and above that fact, it has twice the energy efficiency of a Prius. Even so, some may question whether this actually does any good for the world. Are we really in need of another high performance sports car? Will it actually make a difference to global carbon emissions?

Well, the answers are no and not much. However, that misses the point, unless you understand the secret master plan alluded to above. Almost any new technology initially has high unit cost before it can be optimized and this is no less true for electric cars. The strategy of Tesla is to enter at the high end of the market, where customers are prepared to pay a premium, and then drive down market as fast as possible to higher unit volume and lower prices with each successive model.

Without giving away too much, I can say that the second model will be a sporty four door family car at roughly half the $89k price point of the Tesla Roadster and the third model will be even more affordable. In keeping with a fast growing technology company, all free cash flow is plowed back into R&D to drive down the costs and bring the follow on products to market as fast as possible. When someone buys the Tesla Roadster sports car, they are actually helping pay for development of the low cost family car.

Now I’d like to address two repeated arguments against electric vehicles — battery disposal and power plant emissions. The answer to the first is short and simple, the second requires a bit of math:

Batteries that are not toxic to the environment!
I wouldn’t recommend them as a dessert topping, but the Tesla Motors Lithium-Ion cells are not classified as hazardous and are landfill safe. However, dumping them in the trash would be throwing money away, since the battery pack can be sold to recycling companies (unsubsidized) at the end of its greater than 100,000-mile design life. Moreover, the battery isn’t dead at that point, it just has less range.

Power Plant Emissions aka “The Long Tailpipe”
(For a more detailed version of this argument, please see the white paper written by Martin and Marc.)

A common rebuttal to electric vehicles as a solution to carbon emissions is that they simply transfer the CO2 emissions to the power plant. The obvious counter is that one can develop grid electric power from a variety of means, many of which, like hydro, wind, geothermal, nuclear, solar, etc. involve no CO2 emissions. However, let’s assume for the moment that the electricity is generated from a hydrocarbon source like natural gas, the most popular fuel for new US power plants in recent years.

The H-System Combined Cycle Generator from General Electric is 60% efficient in turning natural gas into electricity. “Combined Cycle” is where the natural gas is burned to generate electricity and then the waste heat is used to create steam that powers a second generator. Natural gas recovery is 97.5% efficient, processing is also 97.5% efficient and then transmission efficiency over the electric grid is 92% on average. This gives us a well-to-electric-outlet efficiency of 97.5% x 97.5% x 60% x 92% = 52.5%.

Despite a body shape, tires and gearing aimed at high performance rather than peak efficiency, the Tesla Roadster requires 0.4 MJ per kilometer or, stated another way, will travel 2.53 km per mega-joule of electricity. The full cycle charge and discharge efficiency of the Tesla Roadster is 86%, which means that for every 100 MJ of electricity used to charge the battery, about 86 MJ reaches the motor.

Bringing the math together, we get the final figure of merit of 2.53 km/MJ x 86% x 52.5% = 1.14 km/MJ. Let’s compare that to the Prius and a few other options normally considered energy efficient.

The fully considered well-to-wheel efficiency of a gasoline powered car is equal to the energy content of gasoline (34.3 MJ/liter) minus the refinement & transportation losses (18.3%), multiplied by the miles per gallon or km per liter. The Prius at an EPA rated 55 mpg therefore has an energy efficiency of 0.56 km/MJ. This is actually an excellent number compared with a “normal” car like the Toyota Camry at 0.28 km/MJ.

Note the term hybrid as applied to cars currently on the road is a misnomer. They are really just gasoline powered cars with a little battery assistance and, unless you are one of the handful who have an aftermarket hack, the little battery has to be charged from the gasoline engine. Therefore, they can be considered simply as slightly more efficient gasoline powered cars. If the EPA certified mileage is 55 mpg, then it is indistinguishable from a non-hybrid that achieves 55 mpg. As a friend of mine says, a world 100% full of Prius drivers is still 100% addicted to oil.

The CO2 content of any given source fuel is well understood. Natural gas is 14.4 grams of carbon per mega-joule and oil is 19.9 grams of carbon per mega-joule. Applying those carbon content levels to the vehicle efficiencies, including as a reference the Honda combusted natural gas and Honda fuel cell natural gas vehicles, the hands down winner is pure electric:

Car Energy Source CO2 Content Efficiency CO2 Emissions
Honda CNG Natural Gas 14.4 g/MJ 0.32 km/MJ 45.0 g/km
Honda FCX Nat Gas-Fuel Cell 14.4 g/MJ 0.35 km/MJ 41.1 g/km
Toyota Prius Oil 19.9 g/MJ 0.56 km/MJ 35.8 g/km
Tesla Roadster Nat Gas-Electric 14.4 g/MJ 1.14 km/MJ 12.6 g/km


The Tesla Roadster still wins by a hefty margin if you assume the average CO2 per joule of US power production. The higher CO2 content of coal compared to natural gas is offset by the negligible CO2 content of hydro, nuclear, geothermal, wind, solar, etc. The exact power production mixture varies from one part of the country to another and is changing over time, so natural gas is used here as a fixed yardstick.

Becoming Energy Positive
I should mention that Tesla Motors will be co-marketing sustainable energy products from other companies along with the car. For example, among other choices, we will be offering a modestly sized and priced solar panel from SolarCity, a photovoltaics company (where I am also the principal financier). This system can be installed on your roof in an out of the way location, because of its small size, or set up as a carport and will generate about 50 miles per day of electricity.

If you travel less than 350 miles per week, you will therefore be “energy positive” with respect to your personal transportation. This is a step beyond conserving or even nullifying your use of energy for transport – you will actually be putting more energy back into the system than you consume in transportation!

So, in short, the master plan is:

Build sports car
Use that money to build an affordable car
Use that money to build an even more affordable car
While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options
Don’t tell anyone.
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  #29  
Old Posted Mar 11, 2007, 4:23 PM
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Please excuse my exuberance, I brought this over from the bottom of the previous page to make sure no one missed it.
Just cgange your settings in User CP to view 50 posts per page and then you won't have to worry about that as much. They're on the same page for me.

As for the Tesla Roadster, I saw a show on TV about a year ago where they tested this car. It seems really cool, but extremely unreliable. It broke down while they were filming the test and they had to sit on the side of the road for quite a while until they could get it fixed. It's an awesome idea if they can make an electric car that doesn't have to compromise on performance, but I think it will be years before the technology is to the point (from a price, performance and reliability standpoint) where the average buyer can even begin to consider it.
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2007, 12:29 PM
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Road work is a nuisance for shops

By Doug Smeath
Deseret Morning News
In January, Limelight Tanning Salon on the corner of 200 South and 400 West was doing great business. Now, owner Cory Clough says he might have to close up shop and move to a new location after being hit hard by road construction.


Laura Seitz, Deseret Morning News
Some store owners say light-rail construction at 200 South and 400 West, near The Gateway, has hurt business.

He said his business, which has operated in the Dakota Lofts building just east of The Gateway for three years, has felt the impact as the Utah Transit Authority has torn up 400 West to extend its light-rail line to the newly opened intermodal transportation hub.
"There's a major decrease in business due to the fact that there's no parking for the clients," Clough said.
This past week has been especially tough. Crews working to replace an underground 1920s-era gas line discovered that an old electrical conduit lay in a spot different from where they thought it would be. The result was an unexpected closure of 400 West for much of the week, although crews opened the road a few times for Jazz games and a concert.
Businesses in The Gateway area are hunkering down for what is expected to be about another year of road work while UTA extends its TRAX line, which currently ends at 400 West on South Temple. The extension will run down 400 West to 200 South, then down 200 South to 600 West, where it will run to the intermodal hub.
While some businesses, including Limelight and others that front 400 West and 200 South, have reported varying degrees of trouble, stores inside The Gateway mall itself say business doesn't seem to have been affected.
"If someone's going to drive all the way to this mall, they're not going to turn around because they see construction," said Tiffany Nelson, manager of the Pears boutique.
She and employees at other stores in The Gateway said some mall workers have had trouble finding places to park on the street because of the construction, and the mall lots fill up faster. It's also harder for customers to make quick in-and-out trips because of the traffic.
Bill Knowles, whose position as construction ombudsman is the result of a partnership between Salt Lake City and the Salt Lake Chamber, said traffic counts at The Gateway are actually up, and most businesses he meets with report they are surviving.
On Friday afternoon, there was no shortage of shoppers, and they seemed only mildly put out by the construction.
"I love The Gateway, so it's worth it," said Midvale resident Shanda Adams, who had some trouble finding parking in the crowded underground lot. "If I had known how busy it would be — how hard to get around — I might have come a different time."
Even among stores that front the impacted roads, much of the impact has been relatively minor, Knowles said. Among those he expected to be harder hit are restaurants, especially the ones on 400 West like Biaggi's and the Dodo.
"A couple of restaurants right there were reporting some declines, but given their location at kind of ground zero of situations going on last week, they were off 10 percent," he said. "That's not a good thing, but it's a lot less than I had expected to hear."
Knowles and Chad Saley, who oversees public involvement on the TRAX extension project, said there have been a number of outreach efforts to keep area businesses in the loop, to solicit advice and keep abreast of problems and to steer business to the area.
"It's going really pretty well," Saley said. "Obviously, with construction there are impacts. That's something we obviously can't avoid."
For businesses that have been most affected, it's not just a matter of losing business. Clough said light bulbs in some of his tanning beds have been broken, and he believes it is the result of the vibrations of heavy equipment operating outside his door.
Saley said Clough has filed a claim and it is pending. "If it truly was due to the construction, we will absolutely reimburse him and compensate him for anything that was damaged," Saley said.
He said he hopes Limelight and other struggling businesses will hang on through construction and continue to work with UTA and Knowles, because once the TRAX line is completed, it will help bring in customers.
Saley said UTA is in the process of trying to work out a way to provide non-Gateway businesses that are most hard-hit with Gateway parking validations so customers will have somewhere to park during the worst of the construction.
He expects the bulk of the destructive work — digging up roads to deal with utilities and infrastructure — to be finished in the next few weeks.
Crews will then start restoring the street, and by May or June, much of the road that's been torn up will be fixed. Work will then shift to the middle of the street as crews begin the work of laying track.
The extension is expected to be done in February or March 2008, with the line up and running in April 2008 to coincide with the opening of the FrontRunner commuter-rail line, which will also run to the intermodal hub.
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2007, 1:56 PM
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Speaking of Tesela, EV One, or any of the past electic cars.

The batteries do okay to power the car, but the lifespan of the battery is (at best) 50,000 miles and then they need to be replaced. The cost is equivilant to having your engine throw a rod and need to be replaced. The market doesn't seem to like cars that throw rods at 50,000, and so it hasn't been very responsive to the EV one (when it was in production).

The GM EV 1's that weren't destroyed at the end of their leases were given to universities to study battery technology. The problem is the power required to heft the heavy battery is often more than what they get out of the battery itself. So until batteries can be made cheaper, lighter, and last longer, the electric car is going nowhere.

They haven't really found a better way to make a car battery in 100 years, so some sort of breakthrough has got to happen soon. It's been long enough.
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Old Posted Mar 13, 2007, 1:03 AM
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Thought i'd post this here since it includes SLC

Riders crowd public transit systems

By Barbara Hagenbaugh, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Ridership on public transportation jumped to the highest level in nearly five decades in 2006 as high gas prices and expanded bus and train service enticed people to park their cars.
More than 10 billion trips were taken on buses and rail lines last year, the American Public Transportation Association says in a report to be released Monday.

That's up 2.9% from 2005 and the highest level since 1957. Ridership rose three consecutive years through 2006 and increased 28% in the 10 years since 1996.

The rise in 2006 came as gasoline prices increased, coming within pennies of the all-time record, not adjusted for inflation, reached following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. "Certainly, a lot of the growth last year was with the high gas prices," APTA President William Millar says.

But Millar says a number of other factors, such as increased road congestion and improved transit service, were also likely in play. Ridership was up 4% in the fourth quarter from the same period a year earlier, even though gas prices had fallen from their earlier peaks, APTA says.

Kim Little, 51, of Tulsa started taking the bus to work in May. While she expected it to be a temporary solution to higher gas prices, she has stuck with the bus.

"I just love it, I absolutely love it," says Little, who works in human resources for the city of Tulsa.

Not only is she saving gas money, but taking the bus for her 13-mile trip to work has cut commuting stress. Plus, she's made some new friends: "I've met some great people on the bus. That's been a fun, unexpected benefit."

The increase in ridership has put some strains on local transit systems. Around the USA, systems say they are trying to find ways to reduce crowding:

•Salt Lake City. The number of trips taken on Salt Lake City's light rail rose 14% in 2006 to a record. The rising demand led the Utah Transit Authority to buy 29 used rail cars from San Jose, Calif. Officials haven't had time even to paint the new cars that have gone into service. Instead, they plastered stickers over the old labeling to get the cars on the rails as soon as possible.

"They're not pretty," spokesman Justin Jones says. But "it's a ride and people don't mind."

•Washington. Ridership on Metrorail in the nation's capital rose 5.3% to a record in the 2006 fiscal year, which ended June 30. The transit system is buying new cars to meet passenger demand.

•San Francisco. The number of trips on the Bay Area Rapid Transit train system also rose to a record last year. BART also has been increasing the number of cars, lengthening trains in the system.

•Tulsa. Ridership rose 17% on local buses and 43% on park-and-ride bus service last year. Tulsa Transit has added a bus on one route and is considering adding a commuter rail line, spokeswoman Cynthia Staab says.

Posted 18h 25m ago
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  #33  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2007, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by i-215 View Post
Speaking of Tesela, EV One, or any of the past electic cars.

The batteries do okay to power the car, but the lifespan of the battery is (at best) 50,000 miles and then they need to be replaced. The cost is equivilant to having your engine throw a rod and need to be replaced. The market doesn't seem to like cars that throw rods at 50,000, and so it hasn't been very responsive to the EV one (when it was in production).

The GM EV 1's that weren't destroyed at the end of their leases were given to universities to study battery technology. The problem is the power required to heft the heavy battery is often more than what they get out of the battery itself. So until batteries can be made cheaper, lighter, and last longer, the electric car is going nowhere.

They haven't really found a better way to make a car battery in 100 years, so some sort of breakthrough has got to happen soon. It's been long enough.
Introducing the 3rd International Symposium on
Large Lithium Ion Battery Technology and Application (LLIBTA)
May 15-16, 2007, Long Beach, California


At the 3rd International Symposium on Large Lithium-Ion Battery Technology and Applications, we will review recent advances in materials and cell design and analyze cell and pack performance, life, and safety, as well as market prospects in key applications.

SESSION 1 – Tuesday May 15, 2007 – AM
Recent Advances in Lithium-Ion Battery Materials
The key materials utilized in Li Ion batteries have mostly remained unchanged during the small-cell production ramp-up period between 1994 and 2002. The materials scene is now changing, as some new cathode and anode materials as well as composites and blends are being introduced commercially and others are at various stages of development. This new trend is driven to a large degree by the increased requirements of the large battery market, which include increased life expectancy, more complex abuse tolerance circumstances, and intensified cost pressures. This session will review the recent developments in cathode, anode, electrolyte, and separator materials that will support the emerging market for large Li Ion batteries.
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  #34  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2007, 12:21 AM
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Last edited by i-215; Mar 14, 2007 at 12:22 AM. Reason: wrong thread
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  #35  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2007, 6:55 PM
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I'm no traffic engineer, but this seems like a miserable solution to the left turn problem at lights. I watched the animation linked in the article and couldn't figure out what the hell was going on. If I came up to a light and the turn arrow was flashing yellow, I'd probably think it was broken and just sit there until it turned green again. What do the rest of you think?

Salt Lake City motorists to test new left-turn traffic signal
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 03/14/2007 12:34:58 PM MDT


Posted: 12:37 PM- Salt Lake City and the Utah Department of Transportation are trying out a new left-turn signal.
This one will give motorists a flashing yellow arrow allowing them to turn if there's no oncoming traffic.
The new traffic signals have four arrows in the left-turn lane, red, green, yellow and flashing yellow. They will be installed at 800 South and 1300 East; Sunnyside Avenue (800 South) and Guardsman Way (1580 East); and Sunnyside Avenue and Arapeen Way (2210 East) .
The signals are part of a pilot project for the Federal Highway Administration, which is looking at amending standards for left-turn signals. The agency hopes the new turn arrows eliminate motorist confusion about whether current signals that feature a round green light gives them a safe turn against oncoming traffic and about a simultaneous round red light and a green arrow. The new configuration also gives drivers more opportunities for a left-hand turn.
For an animated view of how the yellow lights work, go to: http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/flash...l_solution.swf
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  #36  
Old Posted Mar 14, 2007, 6:56 PM
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Delts, Can you clear up some confusion I'm having with this thread? Is it to discuss anything transportation? or mass transit, highways, roads, alternative transportation?
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Old Posted Mar 14, 2007, 6:59 PM
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Enormous Construction Schedule Ahead
By LaVarr Webb
Utah’s hot economy is being fed, in part, by an enormous construction binge, with big projects planned and underway all across the Wasatch Front. But the construction boom is going to get even bigger over the next several months and years as the biggest transportation construction program in the state’s history gets rolling.
The Utah Transit Authority will build 70 miles of rail in 7 years, including four new TRAX light rail lines and 40 miles of FrontRunner commuter rail, at a cost of more than $2 billion. That program alone has engineering and contracting/construction companies salivating. A recent UTA contracting conference outlining the program drew firms from all over the country.
Meanwhile, the Utah Department of Transportation has a $1.5 billion ongoing construction program going, with more than 200 projects. The Legislature essentially doubled UDOT’s program in the last session. And with massive projects like the I-15 rebuild in Utah County, Mountain View Corridor, Southern Corridor in St. George, and others on the near horizon, the highway program is just going to get bigger.
The big challenge for both UDOT and UTA will be finding construction companies that have enough workers to get the jobs done. Extreme competition already exists for skilled labor. Good jobs will be plentiful.
These massive transportation construction programs are crucial to sustaining mobility and keeping Utah’s economy humming. With the state’s rapid population growth, homes and businesses are sprouting up overnight along the Wasatch Front, especially in the western portions of Utah and Salt Lake counties. Congestion continues to increase.
The Legislature was wise in funding highways at the highest level possible this year. But it’s important to keep in mind that a long-term solution to the highway funding gap has still not been found. Through 2030, a $16.5 billion deficit yet exists, and funding still must be identified for the biggest projects like I-15 in Utah County, Mountain View Corridor, Legacy north, Davis I-15, Highway 6, and the Southern Corridor in St. George.
The state can’t count on enormous budget surpluses every year, so paying for those big projects will require dedicating more on-going existing revenue to highways, or raising the gasoline tax or other taxes. Tolling remains a possibility to help finance highways, but little political appetite for tolling seems apparent.
While Utah’s lawmakers made some excellent progress in highway funding this year, much remains to be done.
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Old Posted Mar 14, 2007, 7:36 PM
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Originally Posted by SmilingBob View Post
Delts, Can you clear up some confusion I'm having with this thread? Is it to discuss anything transportation? or mass transit, highways, roads, alternative transportation?
I guess it's everything related to transpostation. I hope you didn't mind the little diddy on the electric tesla. I was quite excited about that as an option for transportation. I'm a little confused now myself about the thread being soley Salt Lake,(at least by title)hence the posting of Utah Valley Transport- centric articles over on the Utah Valley thread. I would prefer to have a Wasatch Transport Thread for the entire metro area. I don't know, what do you think?
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Old Posted Mar 15, 2007, 11:06 AM
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Open house tonight on airport TRAX line

Fairpark gathering will target possible changes

By Nicole Warburton
Deseret Morning News
The Utah Transit Authority is holding an open house tonight to discuss possible changes to its airport TRAX line, including a new route and station locations.


Deseret Morning News Graphic

The open house will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the conference center at the Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West. UTA will also be answering any general questions about the airport line, such as its construction time frame and $290 million cost.
The meeting will "give the general public a chance to come out and give feedback and express their concerns," said Chad Saley, a UTA spokesman on the airport line.
Current plans for the line call for it to begin at the former Delta Center Station, travel north on 400 West until North Temple, and then travel west on North Temple to the airport. But UTA is looking to possibly adjust the route and have it begin at the Salt Lake City Intermodal Hub, located between 200 and 300 South and 600 West. The route would go north down 600 West and then head west on North Temple to the airport.
Other changes proposed to the route include an adjustment at the airport to bring the line closer to terminals and then a slight adjustment along North Temple to remove a tight turn the trains will navigate.
Saley said Wednesday that UTA was studying the route adjustment because of the recent construction of the intermodal hub. Owners of The Gateway also are concerned that running the line down 400 West would block access to the shopping center, he said.
The original route for the airport TRAX line was designed in 1999. It was supposed to be an extension of the TRAX line to the University of Utah, but problems with financing delayed construction.
With the addition of the intermodal hub to its transit system, UTA is hoping to create a central location where people can catch a UTA bus, TRAX, or commuter rail — including a TRAX ride to the airport, Saley said.
In addition to the route change, possible adjustments to stations are being considered. Current plans call for four stations along North Temple, and one at the airport.
UTA gave no details about the possible adjustments. But if changes are made, either to the route or stations, UTA officials said it would not likely impact the construction time frame for the TRAX line. Work on the line could begin as early as 2009, and may be finished in 2012 or 2013.
Funding for the TRAX line is coming as result of a quarter-cent sales-tax hike approved by Salt Lake County voters last November.
If you go. . .
What: UTA open house about airport TRAX line.
When: Today, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: Conference Center at the Utah State Fairpark, 155 N. 1000 West, Salt Lake City
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  #40  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2007, 2:55 PM
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^^^^^

They're gonna run it down NORTH TEMPLE?? Ugh! There goes my downtown access. Right now I take 201 to 215, get off at Redwood and bip down North Temple. It's fantastic. I can get from Magna to downtown in 13 minutes!

If they run light rail down it, they'll probably lower the speed limit to something like 30, and that ruins it for me.

Are there any east-west rail lines in the area they could run it on instead? It seems like there should be.
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