Car In My Dreams

Last week I watched a series of Youtube videos on enterprises begun by Elon Musk. In one particular business he showed Tesla making lithium batteries. They looked like a standard D cell. I thought to my self “is the Tesla car running on a shitload of D cells?” It would be interesting to break open a Tesla battery to see what was inside the case. Many times my curiosity has gotten the best of me when disposing of a large rectangular battery. Instead of tossing it I would take it apart. Inside the boxlike case was a series of standard batteries soldered together in series to produce the stated voltage.

This particular video came to mind and I thought why not? Why couldn’t we make a battery powered car by stringing a bunch of standard batteries together and hiding them under the hood and in the trunk?

Never Before Now

This morning after taking my wife to her doctor appointment I stopped to fill up the Death Star with fuel. I remember when gas was 18 cents per gallon, and I could drive, and drive, and drive on a buck’s worth of gas. That won’t happen again, my bill for a fill-up came to $51.64. Even when I drove a motorhome across country I never spent fifty dollars for a tank of gas not even in California where they are noted for high gasoline prices. Match that to my current grocery bills and the old pocket book is getting pretty thin. I don’t spend much money on anything except food and gas. Fuel for the car and fuel for the body. All of this is because the government wants to dictate what we do and how we do it. Instead of allowing natural capitalistic market forces drive prices according to supply and demand they insist we need electric cars and we need to become vegetarians like in Neanderthal days.

I almost see the electric car thing becoming a reality, but I don’t believe it would get very far if it weren’t for Uncle pressing his Green New Deal on us. I watched a lecture by Jeff Brown, a financial guru, who is predicting that two very significant technologies are about to explode in what he termed TechShock. His claim is that artificial intelligence by itself is a very strong tech sector, and the electric car is the second. Putting the two together will produce a synergetic new technology of the self driving car. This concept will make so many new things happen it will make our heads spin. So, his advice was to invest in companies that will produce things for the self driving cars. Lithium batteries will be key in this new industry, and all things lithium will become hot.

I have written about the electric car before citing that history repeats itself. In the very early days of automobiles electrics were being made to compete with Henry Ford’s Model T. It failed because of the problems with batteries. At the time I wrote it was my opinion that battery technology was not advanced enough to provide reliable power for cars. Granted it is getting better, but the infrastructure needed to support a world of electric cars will be the stopping block. Jeff Brown cited that Volkswagen is broadcasting that their electric car will have a range of 310 miles and promises to have ten minute recharge. It sounds great until one realizes that these super charging stations will have to replace gas pumps or at least work along side of them. Three hundred and ten miles is a decent range on a fill up, but finding a charge may be near impossible, and will be for many years to come. Remember when cell phones first came out and all was well as long as one stood within the range of the local cell tower? It has taken over twenty years for the phone services to provide the towers needed to cover the population and then only if you stay along interstate highways and cities. Try finding a signal in the boonies away from the highways.

Let’s say that the fuel companies overcome the charging station shortage, will we have enough power coming through the lines to give us what we need when we need it? My prediction is that the need for power will reveal the Herbie that dictates the progress of electric vehicles. Finally when all of these impediments have been addressed and overcome, then I believe we can safely junk our gas hogs for an electric.

In the mean time, I am driving my sixteen year old Death Star with 172,000 miles until I can order up a self driver to take me where I want to go.

Trust Me!

The latest news from GM has given me an outstanding business idea. This is so good that I can’t keep it to myself and will let you get in on the action too. General Motors announced their plan to close a number of plants in Michigan and Ohio with a minimal layoff of fifteen thousand workers.  It seems they can’t sell cars anymore like the Japanese, and Koreans so they want to concentrate on designing and building electric cars in China. The sales on the Chevy Volt were so spectacular they couldn’t satisfy demand. Rather than disappoint buyers by not selling them a car, they shut down Volt operations.

A few short years ago Obama deemed General Motors too big to fail. Actually, Obama didn’t give a hoot about the company, what he meant was the United Auto Workers union was too big to fail.  He generously donated fifty billion of our tax dollars to the company in a bailout to save all those voters, er . . . I mean UAW workers. You and I paid five hundred dollars each to that cause through our taxes. Smart asses protecting the great one will argue that GM paid forty billion back. Okay, so GM only owes us $100 each. Had the government kept out of the deal in 2008 GM would have filed for bankruptcy and reorganized. The problem is that the reorganization would have eliminated the UAW.

My experience with GM runs hot and cold. I worked for GM in the nineteen sixties when they were the largest car maker in the world. Their profits were around four billion dollars. They could do no wrong, except to bow to the demands of the UAW. The union had some valid requests like “we want some of that profit because you made it with the sweat of the UAW brow.” If GM didn’t respond the UAW went on strike. The strike wouldn’t last very long because GM didn’t want to upset their shareholders with higher operating costs and lower dividends.  Eventually, the UAW added a huge burden to the cost of an automobile, they still do. Rumor has it that the unions drove up the cost of a car by $1500. what that means is that if you were to put a Toyota Camry next to a Chevy Malibu and the price tags were equal, GM was making $1500 less on the Malibu than Toyota did on the Camry. The GM answer to this dilemma was to cost-reduce their cars. What that did was reduce the reliability and quality of their cars. Add that to the stigma of buying an Obam-mobile and GM loses. Ford and Chrysler have their own stories which I won’t get into right now.

Instead of reviewing the sad history of the former largest car maker in the world let’s look forward. They really believe that electric cars are the wave of the future. Since they are too big to fail I want to take advantage of GM’s plan to make electric cars and trucks. I am starting up a franchise operation to provide energy for millions of electric cars. Right now a Tesla electric gets as much as 280 miles on a charge. I want those people to be able to drive into one of my stations. Think about the possibilities this business has. Even if we shift the paradigm and change from using a gas station to a charging station in our garage we will still need to recharge on the road. A trip across country from Chicago to Flagstaff will require a full-charge five times. Full charges using a super charger take ninety minutes. Using a lower grade charger like the one in your home can take up to ten hours. My stations will be equipped with 10 to 50 superchargers to take advantage of volume. Adjacent to my stations and connected will be a fabulous restaurant, casino, motel for your convenience. After all, a ninety minute charge will only be possible if I am charging ten cars as opposed to fifty. At fifty car capacity it may take three to five hours to charge. During those trapped minutes my casino will be raking in tons of nickels and dimes in the slots. 

The cost of a charge will be about five times the cost of a tank of gas at 2018 prices. Why so high? The demand for electricity will be so great that the electric power plants will be operating at max capacity. It’s that old supply-demand thing again.

Now comes the real lucrative aspect of this business. Behind all the charging stations we will build a high speed electric train using the center median on the interstate system. All those car owners sitting around waiting to get charged will look sadly at the hundreds of people flying past on the high speed rail. Imagine all those dollars pouring into the coffers from all those car owners switching to trains while the cars are at home charging.

The next phase after the high speed rail is a network of power plants. The world doesn’t have enough power generating stations to fuel all the electric vehicles GM is making therefore we’ll need super output generators. They will need energy as well so we’ll tap into wind, sun, and fossil fuels. Right now, coal mines are cheap because everyone is so down on coal. Buying coal is our secret weapon. While we continue to use coal we will also spend billions on harnessing the energy from the sun. All these puny solar collectors cluttering up the landscape are an eyesore and can’t produce spit, but the roof of every house will collect enough solar power to give individual households enough energy to be independent of the grid. Our research will concentrate on collecting sun in large spherical mirrors which transfer solar into heat to run the turbines in the super generators. Since the sun doesn’t shine on some days we will need to tap into the core of the earth to get heat.

Now that we have come full circle on energy, let’s talk about how much you want to invest in my company.  

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