June 21, 2015

This Time for Real: The Electric Car Becomes a Consumer Reality

Think about how complex modern life is. Most of us are so busy keeping up with it we have a hard time getting perspective on it. The world is 7 Billion people strong, all whizzing around on something, and eating a complex diet and fulfilling so many needs, and in more luxurious places wants, for themselves and others. Global trade is massive as well, just look at how many tons of shipping, or TEU's, the measurement of volume in shipping, about one 20 foot long shipping container, go whizzing to every corner where man is. Plus the way we make life comfortable in every corner with heating, air conditioning, and even humidity control in places. It's all fueled by Fossil Fuels, something like 90% of our mechanical energy demands, transportation and electricity generation, product production and even the food we eat, fertilized by nitrogen cracked from oil... mmmmm, tasty.  If 90% of our current societal needs are met with fossil fuels, it's going to take a death by a thousand cuts to take them out of our lives. It's like removing metastasized lymphoma. It's in everything we do, more insidious than High Fructose Corn Syrup, bygum!
So forgetting Natural Gas and Coal for now, huge contributors to global pollution and CO2, but they currently don't power too much of our transportation, which is our eventual topic, which I promise I will get to after some context ( the percentage of natural gas transportation is likely growing right now, from minuscule to negligible, which isn't a horrible thing because it's clean-er (not clean!), but Coal for movement went the way of the steam engine, replaced by more efficient gas around the turn of the century with the creation of oil wells. Coal is bad for the planet, but good for the whales, who were the previous source of energy for many of our needs!)  the world uses about 93.6 million barrels of crude oil per day as projected for 2015.
How much oil do we use as a nation, the USA?