Car Company Backed By Al Gore gets Half Billion Gov. Loan

Car Company Backed By Al Gore gets Half Billion Gov. Loan

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:57 am

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1 ... 0812639013

WASHINGTON -- A tiny car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore has just gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000.

The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc. follows a $465 million government loan to Tesla Motors Inc., purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster. Tesla is a California startup focusing on all-electric vehicles, with a number of celebrity endorsements that is backed by investors that have contributed to Democratic campaigns.


Won't even be built in the US. :mad:
Richard S.
 
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Re: Car Company Backed By Al Gore gets Half Billion Gov. Loan

PostBy: ErikLaurence On: Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:35 pm

The DOE loan is for project Nina which is a $39K sedan they will be building in the US. Al Gore may be a small investor but most of the money up until now has been from Kleiner Perkins (the big VC firm in SiliValley). They've put in about $150M of private money.

If we're going to invest in car companies (and I don't really think we should) we should at least try to invest in the ones that try to innovate.

Here's an article from a VC website (not a political website).


http://www.thealarmclock.com/mt/archives/2009/09/fisker_auto_lan.html
This link is broken, either the page no longer exists or there is some other issue like a typo.
ErikLaurence
 
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Re: Car Company Backed By Al Gore gets Half Billion Gov. Loan

PostBy: franco b On: Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:30 pm

I really don't see the sense in an electric car. Why burn a fuel that is much more expensive than gas and if it is from a coal burning plant will create more pollution than gasoline? Also you need to carry along many hundreds of pounds of excess weight in the form of batteries which also consume space plus the expense of replacement and the pollution created in the manufacture and disposal of those batteries.

The electric grid is overburdened now. Where will the extra electric power come from if these become popular?

Richard
franco b
 
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Re: Car Company Backed By Al Gore gets Half Billion Gov. Loan

PostBy: coalkirk On: Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:08 pm

franco b wrote:The electric grid is overburdened now. Where will the extra electric power come from if these become popular?

Richard


Well Richard, if you believe the "greenies", it will come from wind (except we have to be careful that no stupid birds fly into the wind generators) and solar, (unless its cloudy). They apparently want us to live in caves and give up electricity. They don't want coal because it's sooo dirty. Nuclear is tooo dangerous. The truth is of course that for the forseeable future, coal is our best source of cheap electrical energy. I'm all for nuclear but good luck getting one built. This is the newest design from Gore and company.
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coalkirk
 
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Re: Car Company Backed By Al Gore gets Half Billion Gov. Loan

PostBy: franco b On: Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:32 pm

Nuclear is tooo dangerous.

Nuclear is far safer than oil. More lives have been lost in the struggle to control oil than even the total killed by atomic bombs. Witness the two Persian Gulf wars and oil is still financing the determination to acquire atomic weapons by fanatics bent on destruction. How many more lives will oil cost as it becomes scarcer and more expensive?

Richard
franco b
 
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Re: Car Company Backed By Al Gore gets Half Billion Gov. Loan

PostBy: Richard S. On: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:02 pm

franco b wrote:I really don't see the sense in an electric car. Why burn a fuel that is much more expensive than gas and if it is from a coal burning plant will create more pollution than gasoline? Also you need to carry along many hundreds of pounds of excess weight in the form of batteries which also consume space plus the expense of replacement and the pollution created in the manufacture and disposal of those batteries.


Well there is couple advantages to electric, firstly the coal supply and other forms of electric are firmly within the US borders. The combustion gas engine is not that efficient where as the process for burning coal and delivering electric is improving and has a lot of room for improvement, you're getting much more energy with less fuel being burned.

I read a study on gas powered lawn mowers Vs. Electric and the conclusion was the electric ones were much more environmentally sound. The only issue that the study raised was that overall the battery powered were probably the worse since they almost all used lead based batteries. One thing to keep in mind is that the gas powered lawn mowers had no pollution control. I haven't really researched it but I'll bet the same holds true for gas powered car vs electric car. Not only that but if it's from coal plant it's one single source of emissions to deal with instead hundreds of millions of them.

Personally I think all this technology is inevitable, there nothing wrong with it but I think they are jumping the gun with all these mandates. The one major issue I have is by adding all this stuff you're adding whole lot more stuff to break especially with the hybrids. The cost to repair these cars is going to be significant and the day of the neighborhood gas station where you can get reasonable rates is going the way of the dodo bird.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
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Re: Car Company Backed By Al Gore gets Half Billion Gov. Loan

PostBy: franco b On: Tue Sep 29, 2009 12:03 am

Richard S. wrote:
franco b wrote:I really don't see the sense in an electric car. Why burn a fuel that is much more expensive than gas and if it is from a coal burning plant will create more pollution than gasoline? Also you need to carry along many hundreds of pounds of excess weight in the form of batteries which also consume space plus the expense of replacement and the pollution created in the manufacture and disposal of those batteries.


Well there is couple advantages to electric, firstly the coal supply and other forms of electric are firmly within the US borders. The combustion gas engine is not that efficient where as the process for burning coal and delivering electric is improving and has a lot of room for improvement, you're getting much more energy with less fuel being burned.

I read a study on gas powered lawn mowers Vs. Electric and the conclusion was the electric ones were much more environmentally sound. The only issue that the study raised was that overall the battery powered were probably the worse since they almost all used lead based batteries. One thing to keep in mind is that the gas powered lawn mowers had no pollution control. I haven't really researched it but I'll bet the same holds true for gas powered car vs electric car. Not only that but if it's from coal plant it's one single source of emissions to deal with instead hundreds of millions of them.

Personally I think all this technology is inevitable, there nothing wrong with it but I think they are jumping the gun with all these mandates. The one major issue I have is by adding all this stuff you're adding whole lot more stuff to break especially with the hybrids. The cost to repair these cars is going to be significant and the day of the neighborhood gas station where you can get reasonable rates is going the way of the dodo bird.


Two really good points you made are, emissions from a single source, and using domestic fuel. In time these may be overwhelming as oil becomes scarcer.

Electric heat is 100% efficient and is still many times higher to heat with than other fuels. A gasoline motor is only 20 to 25% efficient versus the 80% of a good stove, well run; so if electric could be delivered for about 3 times the price of gas on a BTU basis then it might be feasible, figuring an electric motor as 90% efficient. As for the higher efficiency of power plants don't forget that about half is lost in transmission.

Richard
franco b
 
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Re: Car Company Backed By Al Gore gets Half Billion Gov. Loan

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:02 am

Well there is certainly other alternatives and coal to liquid fuels looks promising too. This article here describes a great process whereby they convert the coal to fuel and utilize the heat generated in the process for power generation.

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba656
Richard S.
 
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Re: Car Company Backed By Al Gore gets Half Billion Gov. Loan

PostBy: samhill On: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:26 am

I still don`t see why someone isn`t considering steam powered cars once again, true they still use a small amout of kero but far less than an elrctric charged from the grid. With modern tech it might even be able to put diesel powered generators in 18 wheelers to power electric motors, again still useing diesel but far less. Just like train motors. I don`t think you can totally get off oil use in the near future but can greatly reduce it, the biggest problem with neclear is containing the waste, a use for the waste has to be found & then you would have nothing else.
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Re: Car Company Backed By Al Gore gets Half Billion Gov. Loan

PostBy: ErikLaurence On: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:31 am

samhill wrote:I still don`t see why someone isn`t considering steam powered cars once again, true they still use a small amout of kero but far less than an elrctric charged from the grid.


Because no one wants to wait 10 minutes to build up a head of steam before they drive.
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Re: Car Company Backed By Al Gore gets Half Billion Gov. Loan

PostBy: samhill On: Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:36 am

Just put on a remote start just like warming up your car in the winter, thats one of the main problems with everything nobody wants to change. People would be forgetting to plug in their electrics or hy-breds also.
samhill
 
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