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And even besides that, a fleet of personal vehicles has horrid energy efficiency under every conceivable fuel infrastructure. Personal vehicles are useful for certain specialised transportation tasks, but they are atrociously inefficient for anything resembling bulk transportation of anything (commuters, cargo, anything).
Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
I certainly agree about (electric) buses, trams and trains being the rational solution. I think a society based on individual ownership of a car is definitely unsustainable. Actually, I chose not to own a car and I use public transports instead.
"Ce qui vient au monde pour ne rien troubler ne mérite ni égards ni patience." René Char
Off the top of my head, I can think of three good reasons to regularly drive a personal vehicle:
After all, it is not impossible to imagine that the reason carpooling works at the moment is that our present automobile fleet provides ridiculously excessive capacity. If the only people who had cars were the ones who actually needed them, there might not be enough slack in terms of cargo capacity and passenger space to enable carpooling, unless you deliberately designed your city planning and business practises around it. Which may or may not be worth the bother.
Now, I do think that carpooling will be worthwhile, even in a low-car infrastructure. But unlike cornucopians, like Julian "copper can be made from other metals" Simon, I like to accompany my policy recommendations with some back-of-the-envelope arithmetic showing that I'm at least in the right ballpark. And I just don't have the information to do that on carpooling.
Of course, we could make it a matter of policy to organise and incentivise carpooling during the transition. Which is an excellent idea, but not required for the transition to work.
Volvo Plans Hydrogen Generators for Boats Kiss Diesel and Gas | FuelCellsWorks
Powercell has developed a Fuel Processor, protected by patents, which converts, ethanol, biogas, DME, methanol, propane standard grade diesel or gasoline into hydrogen used to fuel the fuel cell system.... The generator from Powercell is superior to existing automotive and marine APU (auxiliary power unit) based generators with respect to emission, noise, cycle efficiency, size and weight. Main characteristics are: - Emission levels - generates electricity with zero emissions of CO, NOx and particulates. - High fuel efficiency and reliability, with a lighter and smaller system. - Fuel flexibility - diesel, ethanol, biogas, DME, methanol, propane, gasoline and others - Increased customer comfort level - reduced noise, smell and emission levels.
... and the majority of transport tasks where it is not suited are not efficiently done by private transport vehicles anyway ...
... would the most effective private transport vehicle be a local range battery electric, with range augmentation in the form of a hydrogen, ammonia or direct carbon fuel cell?
I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
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