Via EV World News Wire, we learn that David Morris, vice president of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, contends that the Energy Independence and Security Act, passed by Congress in December 2007, contains a mandate essentially forcing car companies to hybridize most of their new vehicles.
The Woolsey Prius “was upgraded by Watertown, MA-based A123Systems using an advanced Lithium-Ion battery developed at MIT. The conversion allows the Prius to achieve 100+ mpg and travel up to 40 miles on predominantly electric drive from one overnight charge. Each charge takes about 4 hours and costs about 65 cents in suburban Maryland.”
After Gutenberg readers will recall that Plug-in Partners not only advocates plug-in hybrids, but also endorses the use of flex-fuel, internal combustion engines. Morris, the author of Driving Our Way to Energy Independence, believes that the biofuels mandate in the Energy Independence and Security Act, will result in the production of sufficient biofuels to meet nearly 100 percent of the fuel needed, when the vehicle is an effective, plug-in hybrid that makes use of electricity as the primary fuel and the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) as the backup propulsion.
Recently, to describe this concept, some observers have taken up use of a new acronym — REEV (Range Extended Electric Vehicle). In “Driving Our Way to Energy Independence”, the author envisions a 75-25 split between electric miles driven on electricity and biofueled miles.
“Once drivers have the ability to fill up with electricity, they will, because an electric powered mile costs only 3 cents, while a gasoline powered mile costs over 15 cents.”
“An electric-biofuel transportation system is nearly oil free,” says Morris, “since only 2 percent of the nation’s electricity is generated with oil, and oil only a fraction of the energy needed to grow crops and covert them into biofuels.”
“Even drawing from our existing power plants, plug-in vehicles have the potential to cut a vehicle’s petroleum consumption by three-fourths or more, can operate at as little as one-fourth the fuel cost, and reduce greenhouse gases by two-thirds. As we increasingly turn to alternative technologies to improve the fuel economy of our vehicles, we will see increasing benefits to our economy, our environment, and our national security.” — Kateri Callahan, President of the Alliance to Save Energy
The author also envisions electricity generated by solar arrays and wind turbines stored in the batteries for later use. He perceives that a combination of clean power, local distributed, plus widely available traction batteries not only helping with energy and environmental goals, but economic and social goals as well. “Energy consumers can become energy producers,” Morris observes.
However, with the double jeopardy of climate change and peak oil, a further challenge, as this blog previously has noted, is to find clean, efficient means of producing biofuel and ensuring that policy takes into consideration not only emissions from operation, but also emissions from production, which for biofuels would encompass cultivation and harvesting, and distribution.