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Fossil

by Ron Holdraker
September 19, 2020

Unless you claim genetics from another planet (and there are some in the current administration I believe are from Mars), climate change is...real. Floods, increased severe hurricanes/tornadoes, fires from droughts and crop destruction is a worldwide reality. This, in turn, creates problems in migration, economics and political upheaval.

Over the past decade or more, large corporations and governments were at first too slow to respond to upcoming changes. The Paris Climate Accord signed in 2016 began dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, by recognizing that the human touch had a part to play in the climate change.

Finally, the world realized that fossil fuels, although still convenient and cost effective in energy supply, would have to go through a major overhaul.

Actually, smart corporations were ahead of the curve, as well as many European countries. Research into battery powered electric and hydrogen vehicles, wind power,  solar advancements were all the rage. The race was on to develop fossil fuel alternatives.

On top of that, realization that water, soil and air pollutants were all adding to a world gone mad.

Unfortunately, we Americans are usually the last and most stubborn to accept change. Proof positive, when the rest of the world went all metric, at the very last minute, we decided to stay in the old “English” system of inches, feet, miles, degrees, etc.

The American scientific community was only too willing to go metric, along with many business institutions, but we were hell bent on the foot.

Today, over 95% of the world is metric and all we have to show for it on the shelves is the 2 liter soda bottle and even that has Americans in a tizzy.

Likewise, Asian and European countries are far ahead of the curve in replacing a fossil fuel based economy. While nations boast a 20-30% move to plug-in car sales, we Americans are dubious of the 3-4% electric vehicle operators. We simply do not trust cars that don’t produce the good old smell of burning gas and diesel. Almost 400,000 plug-ins were sold in Europe during the first six months. The most in Germany and France.

Even with slight moves in the right  (left actually) direction, Americans would only consider a hybrid car that would give a small secondary boost to electric, but still be ready to run on gas once the electric portion is exhausted. 

The basic reason any Americans even consider electric vehicles can be laid down to the altar and push of Elon Musk and his world-changing Tesla revolution. The company started in 2003 and after years in the market, Tesla is ranked as the world’s best-selling plug-in and battery electric passenger car manufacturer in 2019, with a market share of 17% of the plug-in segment and 23% of the battery electric segment. Tesla cars accounted for 81% of the battery electric vehicles sold in the United States in the first half of 2020.

There was hesitation by Americans to go all-electric. I was no different. Years ago I simply felt an all-electric vehicle would  leave me stranded out on a dark, stormy night in the middle of nowhere and no way of ‘gassing’ up my vehicle.

The first car I had was the Lincoln MKZ. a feeble attempt at a gas/electric vehicle. It saved some gas, but was only a dabble into electric world.

Good old GM decided the future was in electric, but along with other major car makers, were not ready to take the full plunge. My next vehicle was the Checy Volt, a vehicle that would go 50 miles on all electric before switching over to the secondary gas power.

What Americans (and myself) began realizing is that most trips with a family car are 50 miles or less. Still several years ago I was not ready for the full plunge into all-electric.

Several months ago I decided to put my big boy pants on and go all in on the Chevy Bolt. This total electric (quasi-cross over) car provides plenty of room and an all-electric range of 250 miles.

The other factor that pushed me over the edge was the expansion of charging ports throughout the county and country. Even with my old Volt, Ron and Patti Holdraker easily traveled to a Canadian hotel where free charging stations were available to power up  the hybrid. The Tesla range of 300+ miles per charge and the fact that newer longer lasting batteries are in the works, should be an incentive for new car buyers.

The price point on all-electric vehicles is dropping and with current government subsidies (tax breaks), the cost is almost comparable to gas guzzlers. The real savings is in the fact that  there is no need to fuel with fossil fuel gas, a considerable savings. Also, with fewer moving parts, reliability easily champions combustion engines with service calls are minimal at best.

How significant will the end of combustion engines be in the future?

Remember a company called Exxon? The once behemoth of corporations is sliding into the loss column. All the major car makers are planning major all-electric vehicles for the near future and combustion models will slide into history. In addition, newer, better power sources are the future money makers.

The current federal administration is cancelling tight regulations on polluters in a short-term attempt at making a last ditch to profit antique coal mines and production. This is basically in Republican senate seat states to bolster reelection campaigns. The installations of short-term, long ass gas lines running from Canada and Alaska are another attempt to stifle the move to bury fossil fuels. With new modes of transportation and solar, wind and thermal power on the rise for homes and industry, the sun (pun intended) is setting on fossil fuels.

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