What a Surprise! Some say Obama’s Volt doesn’t make a lot of sense.


But, there are people who will buy it thinking others will be green with envy! No doubt there will be one in Airhead Huffington’s Drive way soon. 

Who Killed the Electric Car? Answer: A lack of buyers, and that’s been the case since the Bell Electric.  $50,000 is a bit much for a car that doesn’t make sense. But I need remember… the car was basically designed for people that don’t make a lot of sense. 

DIYers to the rescue??  I’m sure most readers are familiar with Cogen powerplants, and we know that it’s mighty handy to use things like waste heat when it’s available and needed.  There’s a good percentage of Greenies that will attempt to lecture us about why we should all be driving ‘plug in’ cars that have no idea just how many BTUs we need to keep the windows from fogging outside of Southern California. When it’s -10F, most of us are thankful for that COGEN power plant we have under the hood, it keeps us from having to chip ice off the inside windows as we drive to work.  If we attempt to pull  energy off the Volt battery for cabin heat and defrosting, we certainly limit our range.  Really bad weather and traffic backups seem to happen at the same time, so as you sit in traffic breathing, you will most likely watch your windows grow ice crystals, and you’ll watch the outside view disappear.     

For the DIyer, there’s a solution, and I can see the bolt on kits flying off the shelf!  Just tell your greenie friends to order their Volt with the ‘tow package’, this will give them a sturdy receiver for a ball hitch, and it can be used to mount desirable accessories!

Our Gasifier Friends in Michigan have the right skill set to produce Mini Gasifiers  AND they happen to live in an area where global warming just hasn’t done enough to shelter them from the bitter cold. Before you attempt to lecture me, sure I know bitter cold and record snow is caused by global warming sure thing, and the Huffington Post is a science Journal too right?

Mike A., Andy S. you listening? Here’s my reccomendation for an EPA approved appliance for the Volt!  The Mini Gasifier! Many of us know the EPA has halted their attack on biofuels (for the moment), so this is a go!

Here how it works.. Normally a guy might take the trash out on his way to work, you normally drop it in the garbage can. Well, just one simple change, you lift the lid on the min gasifier mounted on the back of your Volt, and pour in the same garbage. Newspaper, egg cartons, all that fast food packaging, and more. there’s an auto igniter on the dash, and you’ll have near instant cabin heat. These gasifiers have come a long ways, and of course they burn clean. If you get in a stand still traffic pile up, there’s generally all kinds of garbage along side the road, some of the gasifier people tell me plastic bottles burn clean with no visible emissions. A side benefit of gasifiers might be the removal of all the liter alongside roadways where it gets cold?

Next step is to drive the Volt Air Conditioning with the gasifier, people down south are going to need that!        


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7 Responses to What a Surprise! Some say Obama’s Volt doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  1. Bill knighton says:

    Its strange, but the sweet spot in electric cars seems to be the $110,000 tesla. To me it looks like a $110,000 Ferrari or something and it performs like one and has a 200+ mile range. If I had unlimited wealth doing nothing I think I’d get a couple and upgrade my pv to about 50 kwhrs/ day so one could always be on the charger. I’m looking forward to better batteries and pvs continue to impress me with their declining costs. Maybe someday this will be affordable for regular people. As an alliterative to having two cars it would be nice to see battery trays that swap easily. Like rails with bearings and latches and contacts that secure and connect the trays instantly. If as much attention were paid to things like that as is paid to in- car DVD entertainment systems we might be further along.

  2. George B. says:

    All an EV needs to do is find customers willing to pay the price. To do it with subsidies is theft, but legal of course because it’s the Government stealing from peopel who know it’s impractical as of yet. A Chevy Volt at about half the price >might< find an audiance. I'm waiting for a Tesla owner to report from upstate New York.

  3. Marcus says:

    Hey George,

    Mike and Andy have many of the skills you refer to. I met Mike just about a year ago in Berkeley at APL and he’s a good guy. Haven’t met Andy (yet) but he fabricated the ‘carburetor’ we used for that Listeroid running on 100% woodgas.

    Yeah, eventually we should be able to figure out how to turn junk/trash carbohydrates into hydrocarbon fuel. Just a matter of time. Several folks are working on it. One of the guys is Wayne Kieth. In case you haven’t seen him here’s a youtube:

    Since that vid Wayne has reported he has got the start up procedure refined to where he uses no gasoline. Pretty darn good for a farm boy. Yeah, it’s not a ‘Volt’ and yer average soccer mom is going to have trouble with the sequence. But remember when early autos had a spark advance etc? (Well, I’m not that old either but you get the drift ).

    Lots of claims on woodgas efficiencies and so on. As you know I’d like to get some accurate measurements of that. However, in the long run, if people like Wayne can run a pickup on scrap wood (and maybe trash eventually) I’m not going to quibble. I’d still like to know the numbers (just how I am) but the main thing is results in the field.


    • George B. says:

      Marcus, it’s a great video Wayne did But…(there’s always a but). If you watch some of the utube videos I’ve shared here on the blog, there’s others out there driving all over on free lectricity,and motors that make more than they consume 🙂 All too many Americans believe you can have the free lunch, this makes them ask… ‘why are those clowns messing wiht the gasifiers when they could be driving around on moon beams? This doesn’t mean I don’t believe, but it is hard to measure investment vs benefit ‘rolling along’. The videos that will circulate forever are the ones the small local TV stations did of water powerd cars, etc. I’m still waiting to see a Gasifier powered generator run steady state on wood gas with a known power output level measured with decent equipment. If you see that video coverage, I’d sure like to share it here. A 20 minute run with a good load on the generator, and KWHs produced over a period of time would be helpful in developing further interest in the GEK product. As for the Chevy Volt, that trash burning gasifier we imagine has a future up around the great lakes where it gets really cold! Who wants to use $6 a gallon gasoline to defrost the windows and heat the cabin when we could do it with the trash we threw out with last night’s meal? We best do something, because half of America would rather see their kids starve as to drill for our own oil, we need cost effective energy to plant and harvest crops even if we plan to walk to work.
      Some think we are better off if we buy the same oil from Dictators and make a lot of enemies doing so. I hope you can encourage GEK and friends to start up that 10KW power pallet, and let use see what kind of generator it will run, and how many KW it will produce. Dual fueled setups would be welcome, and it’s so easy to rig up a postage scale and ‘measure’ that other fuel VS the KWHs produced during the Run. GEK could really help generate some interest in their efforts by sharing a well done video with some electrical energy production facts included. When it’s out there, I hope you will share it with me.

      • Mike Anthony says:

        Several of us have cracked plastics with NO problems into H and CO…. If you have a good bed of char at the right temp the only things we know for sure that won’t crack are rocks (dirt), glass and metals. I cannot give you definite answers on the GEK/Lister combo for fuel density/Electric and BTU’s out. They now tell me the chips we used were pine. We used about a 5 gallon bucket per hour getting roughly 3KW @ 590 RPM’s .. I’ve been told the numbers were skewered so I’ll be replicating it here as soon as I get all moved and settled in to the new place. I have about 10 more truckloads. With gasoline $3.79 here now, this summer will be interesting.
        Mike A.

    • Mike Anthony says:

      good to hear from you… I’ll be back in the saddle soon and sharing notes with Ken B.,You, George and Andy. I have got a LOT of catching up to do with you and Ken.
      Mike A.

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