Former Ford worker, Lee Iococca, says Plug in hybrids next big thing

Lee Iacocca, who used to work for Ford, talked about the American auto makers.
Mr. Iacocca, who was asked to run Chrysler when Chrysler was acquired by
DimalerBenz (oopsie, it was a merger of equals), as well as ran Chrysler during its recovery from near bankruptcy, talked about about the auto industry on NPR's Morning Edition this morning. You can hear the audio at about 10:00 am over the internet (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId 39029).
He talked about how the US automakers did not keep up with the needs of the consumer, like making smaller cars, like the ones sold by Toyota and Honda.
He said that plug-in hybrids will be the next big thing. It makes sense. To me, this makes sense. We already have the infrastructure, charging the batteries in the middle of the night, when electrical use is lowest, would help decrease our dependence on foreign oil, and could improve overall efficiency. Most trips many people make are short trips. This means that you can go around from home to the store, pick up the kids at school, and take them to soccer practice. If you need to pick up your wife after her business trip, you can pick her up, and if the batteries run low, the engine and generator will step in. This will help reduce pollution, although coal and oil power plants produce pollution, and coal, oil and natural gas plants all produce CO2.
I think it will take more than five years to really get going, though.
Anyway, it was an interesting interview.
Jeff
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Really? 52% of the electrical power in the US is generated by burning bituminous coal, 21% in generated with nuclear power. Around 12%, by means other than fuel oil. The vast majority of the carbon base products, produce us in the US, comes from crude oil.
It would appear using less electricity would be a greater benefit to the environment, but of course you are free to believe whatever you choose ;)
mike

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Ya' producing more electricity buy burning more bituminous coal, sound like a great idea. If one even mentions nuclear power the environuts go well......NUTS. You however are free to believe whatever you choose. ;)
mike

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We may even save the world from the evil deeds of man in the process. ;)
mike

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Can you cite any backup for this claim? I don't know if it is true or not and I'd love to see the numbers either way. Here goes some rough numbers pulled from the internet:
For an electric car: Coal to electricity conversion efficiency - 36% to 38% Transmission line losses - 5%-10% (Or 90% to 95% efficient) Efficiency of battery charging / recovery - 66% Efficiency of electric motor - 90% Drivetrain Efficiency - 97% Overall efficiency ~ 18% to 21%
For an IC car Typical efficiency of low compression IC engine - 26% Driveline efficiency -95% Overall efficiency ~ 25%
Of course for the electric car, you can actually use braking energy to recharge the batteries, so this improves the overall efficiency compared to a traditional IC car where all the braking energy is thrown away. I suspect this puts the electric car ahead of the traditional IC powered car in terms of efficiency, but not in front of a IC/electric hybrid, which can also recover braking energy.
Ed
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There is another advantage to using an all electric car (with backup generator, which is what a plug-in hybrid is): The electric motors don't work when the car is stopped, like at a stop light.
I, too, would be curious to see the numbers.
Jeff

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