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Old 03-01-2014, 09:36 AM   #21
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I burn wood pellets for heat.
(I wish I had a pellet-fueled pickup truck for haulin' the trailer. )

Still need a conventional oil-furnace as a "primary", but it isn't used much.
Its going to need to be replaced in the not too distant future (20yrs old)...thinking about going geo-thermal. Like other "green" stuff, that's typically cost-prohibitive, but I recently found out that I might already have the most expensive part of the system in place--a deep well (drinking water supply). I've seen case-studies on houses similar to mine where the cost to convert wasn't much more than any other replacement would be. (more research is needed, on my part--a little nervous about the idea of fiddling with my drinking water).
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:51 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
Will Electric Vehicles Really Reduce Pollution?

Conclusion

At present, for the vast majority of the country, neither electric vehicles or comparable gasoline-powered vehicles holds a solid advantage over the other in cleanliness. This balance will probably not change any time in the near future as the problem with electric vehicles is not inherent to them, but rather to the means by which we generate our electricity. Although electric vehicles offer some compelling advantages over internal combustion engine vehicles in terms of pollution management, the real advantage of electric vehicles lies in the future when more electricity is produced from cleaner sources. For those living in California, or in other regions with a high percentage of energy production coming from clean sources, the future is already here.
Indeed, we will never solve air pollution until/when we get away from burning fossil fuels for our energy needs across the board. It should be clear by now that none of the "alternative energy sources" being experimented with are capable of meeting our energy needs of today let alone the future. This leaves nuclear as the only viable energy source right now, which BTW, is why I have some long-term investments in uranium producers.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:56 AM   #23
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We love our 2013 Volt. 7 months 6,500 miles and only 3 eight gallon fill ups. My wife drives it about 28 miles round trip each day to work and we try to drive it everywhere else we can within the total electric range. Even on an occasional highway cruise you just set the cruise control and put it in hold mode which is good for 40mpg. Put it in sport mode and it is just a blast to drive. More people should give it a try.


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I just said to my wife the other day - maybe our next commuter car will be electric (probably 7 or 8 years away). Even the electric vehicles available now have plenty of range for that drive; we have a gas-powered car (and by then, probably a second one), plus the diesel truck, for longer drives. In the meantime, our commute, which is the bulk of our miles accumulated, will be cheaper.

As for the emissions issue: It's much easier to trim emissions at a single source, the power plant, than at millions of vehicles. Electric cars that are powered by clean sources are clean.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:04 AM   #24
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The only reason I would drive a battery powered car is if the cost per mile went down. Until we find a way to generate power from fuels that don't produce CO2 and other pollutants then electric won't be green. It is just like putting insecticide in a recycled bag. It does not make it a green product. Here in the TN valley where we have hydro and nuke power, it might actually better than a gas powered vehicle.

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Old 03-01-2014, 12:17 PM   #25
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Also a Volt driver here. Recharging via a time-of-use plan, where car gets charged between midnight and 4 AM, fueling costs average $0.02 per mile. PG&E states that approximately 30% of power delivered is from renewable sources such as hydroelectric, solar, and geothermal. Another 27% from natural gas. Taking into account energy production, CO2 emissions per mile is about 1/6 that of gasoline engines.

Running electric might not make sense in some locations based on the source of the electricity consumed, but here, at least, it does, in my opinion.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:51 PM   #26
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I never thought I'd be talking about sustainable living with folks on a forum dedicated to a lifestyle that includes hauling your living room, bedroom and galley up and down the highways to the tune of 9 MPG, but here we are. I am guilty as charged, but it seems that many of us are making up for our excessive preoccupation with AS trailers in other ways.

Then it occurred to me that there just might be some wisdom to doing this, and in particular, for those that are full timers, an advantage over owning a suburban house with all of the burden that goes with that... maintaining a lawn, heating and cooling and other uses of resources. I'll have to look into this as an alternative lifestyle.

In any event, the discussion about electric motive power is a good one. The real advantage of having electric hybrids is urban stop and go driving, and I think we can include those who frequent the interstates on the more busy weekends (have you seen the snowbirds on I-95 on select spring and fall weekends making the annual migrations?). Having an electric backup to move your TV and trailer ten feet at a time makes a lot of sense. I'd be interested in hearing how others might perceive this usage model.

And I'd also love to hear about other techniques we employ for sustainable living beyond the obvious Solar Electric and Water conservation techniques we already apply so well.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:55 PM   #27
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Just curious, how many of you have the Eco-Stop/Start capability on your TV's. My car does it, but not terribly consistently. Its pretty good at saving fuel in stop and go I must say.
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:25 PM   #28
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We replaced a couple of ATV's with electric golf carts. However, we charge them with electricity from what some say is the dirtiest coal fired power plant in the country! Go figure.
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:59 PM   #29
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Couldn't read the study as it's behind a pay wall. Most of these studies are flawed in some way. The most common is that they don't take into account the electricity needed to produce gasoline from crude oil. This one also lumps traditional hybrids in with pure EVs and PHEVs.

In addition, it misses the point of the future potential of electric propulsion vs the future of internal combustion. ICEs will always burn stuff and contribute to pollution where as EV's can be made cleaner as we make the grid cleaner.

While I enjoy Aitstreaming with my 3/4 ton Suburban, my daily driver is a Tesla Model S. I live in Oregon so a lot of the power I draw is hydro.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:55 PM   #30
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In a previous life I worked for Mercedes and one the guys there said that the electric cars really would not save much of anything. Electricity and pollutants would remain the same.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:43 AM   #31
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Quote: "...so a lot of the power I draw is hydro."

Electricity from hydro isn't necessarily a net benefit to the environment. Man-made facilities such as dams and reservoirs to produce hydroelectricity have a price on the environment too. The Great Dam being built in China is a current example.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:59 AM   #32
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The big difference is that there will be less and less oil as time goes by, whereas solar and other renewable energy will always be there.

And while today we can't replace oil with solar, or other renewable sources of energy, If we want our children's children to not live in a new dark age, we better get moving and start exploring for the future.

The oil industry today reminds me of the Polish horsebreeding lobby in the 1920's and 30's, insisting there would always be a need for mounted soldiers. When the Germans invaded with tanks, all the Poles had in their arsenal was a brave but useless cavalry.

If I had the cash, I'd buy a Tesla tomorrow and keep a separate vehicle for towing.
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:21 AM   #33
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We need to be ready for when this comes along:


Seriously, it could happen.
(an unexpected "breakthrough").

Back in the late 1800's, in the earlier days of the oil industry, most of the sale of oil was for lighting. When they discovered oil in the south-central us, they weren't very pleased with what they found, because the crude oil had a high gasoline content. This was a waste product...a problem with which they had to deal, somehow. (other crude sources had much higher kerosene content, which is what they really wanted).
"What are we going to do with all this gasoline?" they thought.
That problem disappeared very quickly.
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