Category Archives: Personal Automobiles

Why Did ExxonMobil Lobby To Stay In The Paris Agreement?

ExxonMobil lobbied President Trump to stay in the Paris Agreement. Can you figure out why that company would wish to do so?

Here are some pickings from the most recent ExxonMobil global energy forecast:

·         Total energy demand by 2040 will be 25% higher than in 2015.

·         Global energy supply in 2040 will be 55% from oil and natural gas. Wind, solar and biofuels will supply only 4% in 2040.

·         Coal use will decline but will still be the third largest supplier of global energy.

·         Global electrical energy demand for transportation will only be 2% of the total global energy demand in 2040.

·         Wind and solar electricity supplies will approach 15% of total electrical energy supply by 2040

·         Although utilization improves over time, intermittency limits worldwide wind and solar capacity utilization to 30% and 20% respectively.

·         By 2040 US and Europe combined CO2 emissions will be about 8 billion tonnes.  The total global emissions in 2040 will be about 36 billion tonnes,

·         Electric cars are a very high-cost option, at about $700/tonne of CO2 avoided.

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Some EV Sales Improvement, But Still Way Below Obama Forecast

ev-for-postingHave you been keeping up with the car buying public’s interest in electric vehicles (EV)? The many models of EVs that are on the market are quite astonishing.  Nearly all the manufacturers have a model or two.  The sales are still well below the Obama Administrations projections.  But 2016 brought some joy to the makers of plug-in EVs.

Probably most of you that are reading this know about the different versions on the market, but for those that have not been following EVs closely, let me give you some guidance.

The Toyota Prius has been the sales leader. Later on, the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf came on the scene but they have not equaled the Prius sales volume.  Those three vehicles represent the three major categories of EVs.

The Hybrid (HEV) is a vehicle that has both batteries and an internal combustion (IC) or diesel, fossil fuel powered motor to propel the vehicle. The batteries are not charged by an external plug-in arrangement but are charged by the onboard motor. The Prius is a HEV

The PHEV has both a IC or diesel motor and batteries, but in this category the batteries are charged by plugging into an external power supply.     The Chevy Volt is a PHEV.

The BEV vehicle has only batteries for motive power and those batteries are charged from an external power supply.  The Nissan Leaf is a representative of this category as are the Tesla and the GM Bolt.

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Want-To-Be Warmers Are Only Getting Part Of The Story


This posting uses an article from the Cosmopolitan magazine. Not a place where you would expect to find something about global warming. The title of the piece is “8 Signs You’re Not the Environmentalist You Think You Are” by Yvette d’Entremont. It is not too profound but it has a lot of honest values that most would be environmentalist never are exposed to. I have extracted just pieces of the author’s reasons why they have been misled. If you read all of her article, she makes some more good points


The following are the eight signs:

1. You buy only organic.

Organic is definitely not better for you, and it uses older, dirtier farming techniques that are, across the board, not as environmentally friendly. Contrary to rumors, organic farming uses pesticides, in some cases equally toxic pesticides that need to be applied more frequently.

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Sales Of EV’s Are Not Impressive.

cartoonevforseptblogSales of electric vehicles (EV) jumped in the second quarter of this year. This was enough to convince Real Clear Energy to post “Surge in EV Sales Bucks Cheap Gasoline, Broader Auto Industry Trends”. The posting says that while President Obama’s goal of 1 million EV’s on US roads by 2015 was not met, it was only about half that number in 2015, the surge “gives reason for fresh optimism about the future…..” EV Sales in the first half of 2015 were 70,296 versus 2016 first half sales of 99,634—a 42% change. That looks pretty impressive in the abstract.

However,  EV sales need to be evaluated versus all US automobile sales

Detailed Data for sales in August are readily available but June 2016 detailed data are behind a pay wall.  In reality the exact numbers are not significantly going to change the fact that EV sales were about 1..2% of total sales.  YCharts forecast annual sales based upon  auto sales by using the current month’s actual sales.  In June , half of the year, the Y chart number for total sales was 17.09 million automobiles.  This number counts cars and light truck and it includes EV sales in this number.  The 2016 auto sales  for the year based upon August July sales was18.15 million. Because the biggest sales months are in the fall of the year,  the official forecast for 2016 sales is 18.75 million.

Anyway,  if the annual forecast at the end of June was 17.09  roughly the year to date sales for the first six months sales would have been about 8.5 million.

The math:        0.1 million EVsales /8.5 million total sales = 1.2% of the total sales were EVs.

Real Clear Energy really has to be reaching to say that this gives them “fresh optimism.”

A hat tip to David Middleton for this story line based upon his posting in WUWT titled “Green math must be a Common Core product“.  I have modified it because I believe his calculation was erroneous. He arrived at number of 0.6% rather than what I believe is the correct number. Middleton’s conclusion however  is unchanged by my calculation of 1.2%.






“California Dreamin’” Or Perhaps Hallucinatin’.

California, always trying to be an environmental leader, has recently enacted SB 350 which will require that, by 2030, electrical utilities must get 50% of their power from renewable resources. The bill also requires greenhouse gases emissions (GHGE) be reduced by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050 versus the carsonhighwayimages1990 GHGE baseline. Dropped from the bill were measures to compel a 50% reduction in petroleum use by 2030.

These reductions are more stringent than those that failed to get accepted by the nations of the World at the COP21 meeting in Paris. California against the world. Further, even if these SB350 mandated changes are met, they will be too small to even be measureable. That is the definition of futility.

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Electric Vehicles And Hybrid Sales At Lowest Level Since 2011

These are troubling times for the electric vehicle (EV) and the hybrid (EHV) sales. The first 3 months of 2015 experienced lower sales than in the year 2011 which was the first full year of sales for the Chevy Volt (EVH) and the Nissan Leaf (EV).   Even though the buyer of a new EV or new EVH is still geting a $7500 tax credit, manufacturers are having to cut China Electric Car Bluesprices because the dealer’s inventories are building up. The low price of gasoline and the questions about electric vehicles durability are major reasons for this situation.  But there is another reason that is playing a big part in this problem.   A posting on titled “Electric vehicles lose buzz” talks about the issue of leasing:

“ reports that leases comprised nearly seven of every 10 plug-in cars that drove off dealer lots from January through March.

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Jay Leno Wants To Ban Ethanol In Gasoline

Jay Leno says that putting ethanol in gasoline results in fires in older model automobiles.   As many of you know, Leno is a collector of classic jaylenoaw_20150302p10 Leno-Ethanol-1cars, most of which are old cars. In a posting in Autoweek, March 4,2015 titled “Jay Leno hates ethanol” he says:

“There have been a lot of old-car fires lately. I went through the ’70s, the ’80s and most of the ’90s without ever having read much about car fires. Suddenly, they are happening all over the place. Here’s one reason: The ethanol in modern gasoline—about 10 percent in many states—is so corrosive, it eats through either the fuel-pump diaphragm, old rubber fuel lines or a pot metal part, then leaks out on a hot engine … and ka-bloooooie!!!”

 Once in my business career, I was the manager of our methanol-in-gasoline program. The company spent in the high six figures on laboratory work to determine the safety of methanol (not to be confused with ethanol) as a gasoline additive.  The program tested fuel lines, gaskets, fuel tanks, etc. Basically everything that this blend would encounter. The concentration of the methanol in the mix was an important factor. The work was completed and we got EPA approval to use. We knew that some of the older vehicles  owners might need to be alerted about the properties of the mix. At that time there was no Renewable Fuels Standard so people were not going to be forced to use the blend. Not too long after getting the EPA approval, the company decided to go out of the methanol business. End of story.

Jay has several more complaints about ethanol blended in gasoline at 10%:

“There’s more. I find that gasoline, which used to last about a year and a half or two years, is pretty much done after a month or so these days. If I run a car from the teens or ’20s and fill it up with modern fuel, then it sits for more than two months, I often can’t get it to start.     Ethanol will absorb water from ambient air. In a modern vehicle, with a sealed fuel system, ethanol fuel has a harder time picking up water from the air. But in a vintage car, the water content of fuel can rise, causing corrosion and inhibiting combustion.

Leno believes the Renewable Fuel Standard has done more harm than just that of damaging his and other people’s cars.   He says:

“Blame the Renewable Fuel Standard. This government-mandated rule requires certain amounts of ethanol and other biofuels be blended with gasoline and diesel fuel. “I just don’t see the need for ethanol. I understand the theory—these giant agri-business companies can process corn, add the resulting blend to gasoline and we’ll be using and importing less gasoline***. But they say this diversion of the corn supply is negatively affecting food prices, and the ethanol-spiked gas we’re forced to buy is really awful.

The big growers of corn have sold us a bill of goods. Some people are making a lot of money because of ethanol. But as they divert production from food to fuel, food prices inevitably will rise. Now, if you don’t mind paying $10 for a tortilla…”

He would like some action here:

“It’s time for us as automobile enthusiasts to dig in our heels and start writing to our congressmen and senators about the Renewable Fuel Standard, or we’ll be forced to use even more ethanol. Most people assume, “Oh, that’ll never happen. They’ll never do that.” Remember prohibition? In 1920, all the saloons were closed. It took until 1933 before legal liquor came back.”

At most marinas, gasoline containing no ethanol is supplied as small craft engines can be destroyed by the ethanol-gasoline mix. So boaters might want to join Leno and the automobile enthusiasts.

Leno has more to say about this issue and you can read it by clicking here on this website:

***Actually I believe he means “importing less crude oil” rather than “gasoline” but it doesn’t alter his point of view. These days we have plenty of domestic crude oil so we don’t really need the ethanol to stretch our gasoline supplies.