We'll run out of oil, but we won't run out of energy.
Suburbia will not die. Commuting will continue, but hybrid
cars are not the answer. They are Rube Goldberg
contraptions. The diesel-electric locomotive, with no
mechanical coupling between the power plant and the wheels,
is a much better-thought-out design concept.
The advanced battery technology now used in hybrids will be
more advantageous in all-electric vehicles. They can run on
the battery for local driving, recharging at home
overnight. Parking garages can provide recharge outlets for
commuters who fear they won't make it back home on their
own overnight charge. For longer trips, an on-board power
plant can keep the battery charged.
It will be smaller than the engine required to propel a
hybrid vehicle through a transmission, drive shaft,
differential gears, belts, and pulleys. For power transfer,
electric is more efficient than mechanical or hydraulic.
Those who do mostly local driving will get most of their
energy from the power grid. They will be fueled by coal and
uranium, of which we have plenty.
Nevertheless, it will be handy to keep the tank full. In a
power outage, disconnect the house from the grid, connect
it to an inverter, connect the inverter to the car battery,
and run the house from the car's power plant.
PS I'm not smart enough to think all that up by myself.
It's in Chapter 5 of The Bottomless Well: the Twilight of
Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of
Energy, by Peter W. Huber and Mark P. Mills, Basic Books,
© Copyright; Foundation for Economic Growth and various authors. Individual authors retain their own copyright.
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