In April of 2012, Nissan sold 370 Leaf electric cars. Toyota sold nearly 37,000 Camry’s. My cousin and a good friend of mine, both of them motorheads, each have a Leaf. They are terrific cars; the only maintenance is to rotate the tires every six months. If we are going anywhere more than 25 miles away however, we take my Prius just to be on the safe side. For awhile, everyone was worried that China, the gatekeeper for many of the world’s critical EV raw materials, was going to leave the U.S. far behind in this futuristic technology. Sales in China have also been unimpressive. Moore’s Law has deceived us, creating an expectation of 2X advances every 18 months. For cars, the mojo starts with energy density (e.g., kilowatt-hours per kilogram). Anti-matter is the leader at 50,000,000,000, but it’s only theoretical. In more practical terms, gasoline is 13, a 6” sub sandwich is 1.5, and a lithium EV battery is around 0.3. Perhaps we should devote more effort to battery technology, and less to commercializing EV’s.
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