Advancements in Technology Being Controlled

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krogoth's picture
krogoth
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Advancements in Technology Being Controlled

One of the things I detest about working overseas (in Taiwan and China) is the pollution. I mean, you literally need to wash everything like cars or patios off every week. In Florida and Texas, where I am from and most of my blood relatives are, we wash the cars and patios off like once a month. It's one of the dirtiest places I have ever lived, and the big cities in China are unbelievably bad. If you visit big cities in China, you will actually feel the grit on your skin, and when you are done walking around all day, take a bath and see how dirty the water is when your done. That is all pollution all over you.

I think about the causes of pollution here in Taiwan, and the biggest reasons are gas scooters and religion. Yes religion causes pollution here. The Taoist and Buddhist religion burns artificial paper money as a tribute to the gods, to ward off ghosts and for other reasons in small to medium outside kettles.I thought they were some sort of a grill when I first started working here a few years ago. Sometimes almost every house has a fire outside it burning paper, usually at holidays. Also fireworks and firecrackers go off almost daily here. For weddings, funerals, new business openings and to ward off ghosts.  They also have temples everywhere and extremely large tubular kettles so everyone can make more pollution. And they burn an extremely large amount of incense, which is super bad for the air. Some reports have said incense burning is worse than cigarette smoke. The scooters on the other hand are just horrible pollution creating machines, and everyone has them here. If you ride a scooter here, its like being on a large gas go-cart track. The smell from all the exhaust is the exact same feeling. Cars are a luxury here, so not as many cars contribute, but trucks shipping stuff are everywhere as well. My place is near a huge sea port.

I was discussing this with some of my American, English and Australian friends here in a pub we like to go to, and I said it would be great if at least people here could move to electric scooters. That would probably in my estimation reduce pollution here by 50%. You will NEVER get the Taiwanese to stop the Taoist paper burning or the incense burning. That would cause riots here.

The problem is electric scooters are very expensive compared to gas ones, and they pale in comparison to the speed and distance you can get from a gas scooter. I studied some of the models here, and the fastest speed they can achieve is 20 mph, and the distance is like 30 miles tops. That's great for local quick commuting, but people here use scooters to travel pretty long distances, so it's just not practical. Plus electricity here is going up, so it's still much more economical to operate the gas one. It's also very common here to see a scooter hauling a whole family, or like 4 people, so they need pretty good torque or power.

Why do these scooters only go 30 miles and have a top speed of 20 mph? It almost makes it impossible to sell them. The gas scooter will easily do 55mph or more, depending on the cc. I feel the same way about hybrid vehicles. Why would they be so much more expensive? Demand? Or the control of technology.

I would like to get some of the things the users here think that could be controlled technologies and by who, such as solar panels, or anything that provides us a way to get off the basic necessity of oil. Everything alternative seems very far from meeting realistic needs and not even close to being good enough yet.

It just seems to me a lot of Green technologies to be too expensive or too underpowered. I know it may be a supply and demand issue, but it seems to be happening across the board with alternative sources of transportation or power. The hybrids have sold in record amounts over the past couple of years. Should that not make them cheaper to produce and the prices should fall? Or is it just the hybrid manufacturers taking advantage of the oil situation?

A lot of people in Florida put existing solar power technology on roofs to heat pools in the Winter, but it's like 10k and up to do this, and that's just to heat a pool for 2 months. Not cost effective at all. So what do you all think? Are these technologies being controlled, bought or minipulated in any way?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lundsta's picture
lundsta
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Joined: Oct 13 2008
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Re: Advancements in Technology Being Controlled
I agree with you. I would not put it past our government lobbyists, officials and monopolies in business to control advancements. That would mean they would have to think "outside-the-box"!!! Oh no what a scary idea haha! I find ironic that people that get to use the solar tax benefits are the people who have to use electricity as well. You cannot get the tax benefit if you are planning an off-grid residence.
Gado's picture
Gado
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Re: Advancements in Technology Being Controlled

A mate of mine has one of these Not Cheap but the technology's out there

 

http://www.solarshop.com.au/main/category28_1.htm#Vectrix_Price

krogoth's picture
krogoth
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Joined: Aug 18 2008
Posts: 576
Re: Advancements in Technology Being Controlled

The Vectix looks awesome, and it will be even more awesome if they can get the price down to like $2500 US, because I can buy like 8 really nice gas scooters for that price, or 13 so-so ones. Once again, if the technology is out, it's too cost prohibitive for the masses, hence controlled in some fashion. Be it supply or demand, technology or cost, we always have a downside currently.

The government wont even subsidise something at this price, and if the typical Taiwanese or Chinese had this kind of money to put out on a single scooter, they would prefer a car and air conditioning I think.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

mjgarcia77's picture
mjgarcia77
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Re: Advancements in Technology Being Controlled

I think you're comparing apples and oranges with scooters and "electric bikes", which in most places are limited by law to 20 mph as the top speed. I have one, made in China, running on sealed lead acid batteries, that cost $350 earlier this year. 

True, I can only go about 30 miles total on it with a max speed for me so far of around 18 mph.  But I've also driven it over 500 miles so far in a little over 5 months, mostly commuting to and from work and on errands around town.  My weekly cost for electricity to operate the bike, according to my Kill-A-Watt plug-in power monitor, was less than $0.10 (before I hooked it up to a couple of solar panels to recharge). 

When gas prices were more in-line with where they should be over the summer ( > $4/gal), the place where I bought mine completely sold out.  They were very easy to sell.  My regular car (a modified VW Vanagon) that I only use for real trips, greater than 20 or so miles ones way, had one gas fill-up for all of October.  I find that I don't use it for any of the day-to-day stuff that I used to.  I have a small cart that I can pull behind my electric bike for groceries, and it works great here in Phoenix for 90% of the places I want to go.  Not too good for a date though, but neither is the VW for that matter, trust me.

As far as green technology competing with gasoline, good luck.  A gallon of gas contains around 30,000 or so Calories.  That's roughly 2 weeks of food intake for a normal person.  Simply stated, no other form of energy contains the bang-for-the-buck of petroleum products.  Nothing even comes close...which feeds back to Christopher's chapters on Peak Oil.  The reason Peak Oil is so important is that there is nothing that is a plug and play replacement for the equivalent amount of energy in such a small and inexpensive package.

I doubt that the technology is being controlled. If there were an easy, profitable means to supplant the petroleum-based, virtually free energy that we've enjoyed over the past century, some entrepeneuring maverick would be gracing the cover of Forbes Magazine with his brilliant idea and a really, really big grin. 

Try this website for details on the electric bikes.  Its the Chinese manufacturer's website, but they have a variety of different versions, including electric scooters:

www.cctq.com

 Cheers,

 Michael

 

gyrogearloose's picture
gyrogearloose
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Posts: 538
Re: Advancements in Technology Being Controlled
[quote=krogoth]

I would like to get some of the things the users here think that could be controlled technologies and by who, such as solar panels, or anything that provides us a way to get off the basic necessity of oil. Everything alternative seems very far from meeting realistic needs and not even close to being good enough yet.

[/quote]

Solar pannels..... well there is often a high ERoEI  claimed for solar electric panels,however if they have such a good ERoEI why is it that you realy only see them go in if there are generous government subsidies ? ( remote off grid uses excepted )

The best article at explaining this is

http://www.jeffvail.net/2006/11/energy-payback-from-photovoltaics.html

His claim of an ERoEI of 1 says it all. If it realy had a high ERoEI you could make money doing it ( without needing govt grants ), it would be happening.Then there is the issue of FINITE REOSURCES see the Crash course ;-)

or for it more specificly explained

http://www.asimovs.com/_issue_0806/ref.shtml

Essentially I believe any renewable energy sources will have to be LOW tech made from very commonly available materials.I have not looked closely at it yet ( compared to silicon cells ) but solar thermal looks good from this viewpoint. 

[quote=krogoth]

It just seems to me a lot of Green technologies to be too expensive or too underpowered. I know it may be a supply and demand issue, but it seems to be happening across the board with alternative sources of transportation or power. The hybrids have sold in record amounts over the past couple of years. Should that not make them cheaper to produce and the prices should fall? Or is it just the hybrid manufacturers taking advantage of the oil situation?

[/quote]

Given the CC's outlook for energy, we NEED to go low powered. We need to forget having 1 vehicle that does pretty much everything. Having a small light low powered vehicle with limited range will have to become the norm. Sure you can buy really high performance high range electric cars, but shit they COST!!!!

Engineering is my game, and it is engineering limitations, not big business conspiracies at play here. Oil is a miracle energy source, very hard to compete against. 

Until peoples expectations shift, we are stuck with close on what we have. 

Then there is the overall lifetime "cost" ( I am not to be construed as endorsing accuracy of the below bit, just introducing it to make a point )

To compare, the Toyota Prius involves $3.25 per mile in energy costs over its lifetime, according to CNW, while several full-size SUVs scored lower. A Dodge Viper involves only $2.18 in energy per mile over its lifetime. The Range Rover Sport costs $2.42, and the Cadillac Escalade costs $2.75. 

from http://www.thecarconnection.com/article/1010861_prius-versus-hummer-exploding-the-myth

The answer is never as simple as the greens would have you believe.

 

[quote=krogoth]

So what do you all think? Are these technologies being controlled, bought or manipulated in any way?

[/quote]

Essentially no. Engineering limitations are the constraining factor.

Peoples expectations have to change.

Hamish

 

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