proposed by Senator McCain for the development of a better battery for electric cars would be a waste of tax dollars, because the battery is not the limiting factor for electric cars.
What do I mean? Suppose there were a battery that was the size of a pack of cigarettes, held enough power for a family of four to travel 500 miles, was non-flammable, non-toxic, biodegradable, and cost $0.29 to manufacture- it still wouldn’t make the electric car viable. Why? Because the battery has to be recharged- and we simply don’t have the electrical capacity to do it.
Look- a gallon of gas is equal to 36.6 kw/hrs. We go through 400 million gallons of gas a day. That equals 14.6 gigawatt/hrs/day. We generate 4 million gigawatt/hrs per year... divided by 365, that makes 11 gigawatt/hrs/day. If we did nothing but recharge our cars every day, we’d still have only 2/3 the electrical capacity needed. Even if you assume vast improvements in efficiency for the electric car, we still can’t generate even a fraction of the electricity needed for electric cars. Heck, we can’t even generate enough electricity to avoid rolling brownouts on really hot days as is.
McCain was on a better track when he proposed building 45 nuclear power plants by 2030- the only thing wrong with that was its timidity. We need 400 more nuclear power plants, not 45. France gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear- we only get 20%. If we got 80% of our power from nuclear, we’d cut our carbon footprint far, far below Kyoto standards... if we doubled that we could then have our electric cars as well, and not only be independent of foreign oil, but take our carbon emissions back to 1890 levels, not 1990.
If anyone can tell me why it wouldn’t work, I’d love to hear it.