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CalCars Weighs In on GM Series/Toyota Parallel PHEV Debate

Guest piece by Ron Gremban, CalCars

GM and Toyota have been taking public shots at each other, each claiming that their plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technology—not yet brought to market—is the best, and implying that the other's plans are poorly thought out, to say the least.

We at CalCars, if anything, are thrilled to see the two biggest automakers in the world touting their upcoming PHEV wares and paying significant attention to each other's. But what is the science behind the dispute? What follows is a discussion that is aimed at engineers, but we think will be quite informative also to non-technical audiences. Thanks to Dr. Andy Frank of UC Davis and Efficient Drivetrains Inc. for his helpful review and comments.

A preview of my conclusion: It turns out that different battery sizes have different optimum PHEV architectures, and each company’s claims are basically accurate, but only for its vehicle’s battery size. Since each type of PHEV has its own advantages, disadvantages, costs, and optimum driving regimes, our expectation is that during the first few years—maybe a decade—of PHEV production, all types of PHEVs will compete well in the marketplace.

Then, eventually—as batteries become a cheaper, longer-life, commodity item, liquid fuels become more dear, renewable electricity generation proliferates, and CO2 emissions are increasingly targeted—the PHEVs with the most EV power and range will come to dominate.

First, let’s establish what, in our opinion, are the most important characteristics of a PHEV. Though PHEV technology can improve overall powertrain efficiency, decrease criteria emissions, provide full zero-emissions capabilities part of the time, etc.—and other technologies can and ought to be used to significantly reduce vehicle mass and drag—the most profound capability of any PHEV is its ability to displace some of the vehicle’s consumption of liquid fuel (usually gasoline) with stored electricity from the grid, and to do so without introducing new overall vehicle limitations (e.g. the high cost, extra weight, and range limitations of pure EVs).

It is this fuel displacement from which all the most important advantages of PHEVs arise: dramatically reduced oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, low enough liquid fuel consumption that biofuels may someday fully substitute for fossil fuels, and energy storage that can eventually enable increased deployment of intermittent renewable electric generation from sources such as wind. Therefore, the very most important measure of a PHEV is the extent of its ability to displace liquid fuels, to do so during normal US driving cycles, and to do so cost effectively. All else is frosting on the cake.

When we look at “normal US driving cycles”, there are several areas of general agreement. The average mileage driven per day is around 30 miles. There is a curve available showing percentage of daily driving vs. distance. Though there is a continuum, driving is broken down into city and highway driving; standard drive cycles, UDDS (a city driving cycle) and HWY, have been designed to emulate each. These standard cycles are obsolete and grossly underestimate required vehicle energy and capabilities, but are used as the basis of all EPA and CARB testing anyway. The US06 combined drive cycle is a much more realistic standard cycle.

Since the first standards for testing and measurement of PHEV performance are still being written, general references to these three standard cycles that the upcoming SAE J1711 standards will reference are our best bet for measuring and comparing PHEV performance. Dr. Andy Frank suggests that a new “Annual Driving Cycle” be designed to model annual electricity and gasoline usage, but for now that doesn’t exist.

There are series hybrids, where the internal combustion engine (ICE) drives only a generator; parallel hybrids, where both the ICE and electric motor are always connected to the wheels; and power-split or series/parallel hybrids, where either the motor or the ICE or both drive the wheels at various times.

Though the Chevy Volt is presented as a series PHEV, and the Toyota Prius (as well as the 2-mode Saturn Vue, too!) is power-split, the specific architecture is actually fairly irrelevant to the main issue that GM and Toyota are addressing. Incidentally, my calculations lead me to believe that the inherent efficiencies of each of the architectures are close enough to each other that the quality of engineering that goes into each vehicle is more likely than the architecture chosen to determine overall vehicle efficiency.

Though the details can vary and/or the mode distinctions blur, all plug-in hybrids basically have a charge-depletion mode and a charge-sustaining mode. After a grid charge, the charge-depletion mode is activated first, during which time as much of the vehicle’s propulsion energy as possible is pulled from the battery, while as little liquid fuel as possible is used. If this charge-depletion mode is 100% electric, the vehicle is considered a “pure-EV PHEV”, otherwise, it is a “blended-mode PHEV”. Once the battery is discharged to its target depth-of-discharge (DOD), the battery’s state-of-charge (SOC) is maintained at this level and the vehicle functions in charge-sustaining mode, just as an ordinary hybrid.

A PHEV can either have some pure EV range, be “blended mode”, or, of course, employ some combination of the two. For example, a PHEV may start out with some pure EV range. Near the end of that range, the ICE may be started more and more often, providing some blended-mode driving before full DOD, at which time the vehicle shifts to charge-sustaining mode. Or charge-sustaining mode may consist of alternating periods of pure EV driving and significant ICE power, causing the SOC to vary rather than stay steady at maximum DOD.

Also, there are various kinds and degrees of power blending. A PHEV may be able to drive purely electrically only up to a specific speed, such as the 34 mph/55 kph limit imposed by the hybrid system on converted Prii. Also, only limited electric propulsion power may be available, like the 21 kW limit also imposed on converted Prii by the hybrid system.

The extent of a blended-mode PHEV’s blending is expressed as a “Utility Factor” that is a percentage of the wheel energy that is not supplied by the ICE. A vehicle’s Utility Factor can be quantified over each of the standard drive cycles talked about above. Its “Effective EV Range” is its depletion-mode range multiplied by its Utility Factor, which is conceptually the EV range it would have if its depletion mode were pure EV.

A PHEV with pure EV range has a Utility Factor of 100% and an Effective EV Range equal to its real EV range. Of course, this is also complicated by the fact that Utility Factor and Effective EV Range can each be very different when measured using each of the three standard driving cycles. In general, both parameters will be highest on the UDDS cycle and lowest on US06.

Another measure of a PHEV’s capability&madsh;in some ways even more useful than Effective EV Range—is the usable capacity of its battery pack in kilowatt-hours or kWh, as this indicates how much energy is available after each charge to displace liquid fuel. A 12.5 kWh battery pack, allowed to charge fully but discharge only to 80% DOD, will have 10 kWh usable capacity.

Since a gallon of gasoline holds about 33 kWh of heat energy and the most efficient hybrid drivetrains approach 30% efficiency, 10 kWh of usable battery capacity can potentially displace a gallon of gasoline after each (often <$1.00) grid charge, or up to 365 gallons/year when the vehicle is charged every night and driven to the end of depletion mode every day. However, a PHEV whose battery is regularly not fully depleted between charges is leaving money on the table (the battery could have been smaller and less expensive), and a PHEV that is regularly driven significantly beyond charge depletion mode into charge sustaining mode could potentially gain from having a larger battery.

What we want, of course, is, on the average, the most displacement of liquid fuels for the least incremental cost over that of a standard ICE propulsion system. Motor, power electronics, and ICE costs are all fairly proportional to maximum power output. Battery cost, which for now dominates PHEV costs, is set by energy storage capacity, maximum input/output power, and cycle life, which is itself dependent on maximum DOD and other factors.

As everyone else does (but without acknowledging it), we will ignore the fact that until PHEVs become ubiquitous, people who buy and drive PHEVs will in general be those whose driving regimes are most suited to them, meaning that generalizations based on average US driving patterns will, possibly greatly, underestimate the amounts of liquid fuels likely to actually be displaced by a particular model of PHEV.

Now we can finally get to the meat of the matter. GM’s Volt is reportedly capable of driving all three standard cycles, including the US06, purely electrically. GM states, accurately no doubt, that a PHEV that cannot do that is really a blended-mode PHEV, with one or more engine starts during most people’s normal driving. The company goes on to say that only a PHEV with 40 miles of pure EV range (which it calls an Extended Range EV or ER-EV) can obtain maximum PHEV benefits. Toyota, who admits that its prototype Prius PHEVs are blended-mode, does not disagree but says that pure EV PHEVs are too expensive and not cost-effective.

Let’s look at two PHEVs, as much like a Volt and a possible Prius PHEV as I can estimate based on public data (but both, for ease of calculation, with a 250 Wh/mile US06 power requirement at the wheels) and estimate US06 performance. Note, as we explain below, that this is not an apples-to-apples comparison, since the battery capacity is different:








ParameterVolt-likePrius-like(%Volt)4 kWh Volt(%Prius)8 kWh Prius(%Volt)
Maximum EV speed (mph) 100 62 (62%) 100 (161%) 62 (62%)
Maximum EV/battery power (kW) 100 50 (50%) 100 (200%) 50 50%
Battery size (kWh) 16 5.2 A 5.2 16
Max. DOD (%) 50 77 77 50
Usable capacity (kWh) 8 4 (50%) 4 (100%) 8 (100%)
Max power/Usable capacity (C) 6.25 6.25 (100%) 12.5 (200%) 3.13 (50%)
Effective EV range (mi) 32 B 16 (50%) 16 (100%) 32 (100%)
Utility factor (%) 100 67 (67%) 100 (149%) 67 (67%)
Est. cold start/warmup fuel (gal) 0.05 C 0.05 C 0.05 C 0.05 C
Max. liq. fuel saved/charge (gal) 0.80 0.35 D (44%) 0.4 (114%) 0.75 D (94%)
12 mi: liq. fuel displaced (kWh/gal) 3/0.3 2/0.15 (50%) 2/0.2 (133%) 2/0.15 (50%)
12 mi: displaced/useful-kWh 0.038 0.38 (100%) 0.05 (133%) 0.019 (50%)
12 mi: % power from ICE (%) 0 33 D 0 (0%) 33 D
24 mi: liq. fuel displaced (kWh/gal) 6/0.6 4/0.35 (58%) 4/0.35 (100%) 4/0.35 (58%)
24 mi: displaced/useful-kWh 0.075 0.088 (117%) 0.088 (100%) 0.044 (58%)
24 mi: % power from ICE (%) 0 33 E 33 E (100%) 33 D
32 mi: liq. fuel displaced (kWh/gal) 8/0.8 4/0.35 (44%) 4/0.35 (100%) 5.4/0.49 (61%)
32 mi: displaced/useful-kWh 0.1 0.088 (88%) 0.088 (100%) 0.062 (61%)
32 mi: % power from ICE (%) 0 E 47 D 47 D (100%) 33
48 mi: liq. fuel displaced (kWh/gal) 8/0.75 4/0.35 (47%) 4/0.35 (100%) 8/0.75 (100%)
48 mi: displaced/useful-kWh 0.094 0.088 (94%) 0.088 (100%) 0.094 (100%)
48 mi: % power from ICE (%) 33 D 67 D 67 D (100%) 33 E
A 2x Toyota’s NiMH PHEV prototypes
B The Volt’s advertised 40 mi range is on the UDDS, not the US06, cycle!
C Much more in cold weather, though not indicated in rest of chart
D Always a cold start
E Max depletion-mode range

Note that, just as GM claims, the Volt-like PHEV’s ICE remains unused for average daily driving, making the PHEV’s benefits very often perfect: no cold ICE starts, no liquid fuel use, and no ICE emissions when daily use does not exceed 32 mi. On the other hand, though it never displaces liquid fuel 100%, the Prius-like PHEV provides approximately as much fuel displacement per usable battery capacity (88-117%) as the Volt-like PHEV.

A Volt-like PHEV with a Prius-sized battery could do a better on daily driving distances up to 16 miles, but at a high cost of double the relative battery power requirements: 12.5C vs. 6.25C. And Prius-like PHEV with a Volt-sized battery would make poor use of the battery capacity below a daily driving range of 48 miles, 160% of the 30 mile US average. This means that different battery sizes have different optimum PHEV architectures, and each company’s claims are basically accurate, but only for its vehicle’s battery size.

Toyota claims that blended PHEVs like its 2.5 kWh-capacity prototype Prius PHEVs provide more liquid fuel displacement per battery capacity and power than those like the Volt that have pure EV range, that a blended-mode PHEV’s motor and electronics can cost less, and that the battery pack may see an easier and therefore a longer life. What the chart above shows is that Toyota’s claim of more displacement per battery capacity is true only for PHEVs with EV range less than the US daily average driving distance of 30 miles. What a blended-mode system can do, with only proportional disadvantage, is allow the proportional scaling down of battery and electronics power requirements for vehicles, like Toyota’s Prius PHEV prototypes, with Effective EV Range of less than 30 miles.

Dr. Andy Frank states that the GM and Toyota cost arguments are not very meaningful at this stage because of unsteady costs due to low volume production of all parts, especially the batteries.

In conclusion, it is clear that PHEVs with pure EV range of at least the average US daily driving range of 30 miles can displace the most liquid fuel, as well as have other advantages like zero tailpipe emissions in normal daily driving. However, these examples do bear out Toyota’s claims that the relative power requirements of blended-mode PHEV batteries can be much less than for pure EV PHEVs—but only for PHEVs with very short Effective EV Range. On the other hand, Toyota’s claim of better utilization of expensive battery resources can be true, too.

What neither company has stated is that it is following its quickest and least expensive way to build its first PHEVs by taking advantage of its own existing hybrid and/or EV technologies and tooling. For each to do this is highly desirable for all of us. Since each type of PHEV has its own advantages, disadvantages, costs, and optimum driving regimes, our expectation is that during the first few years—maybe a decade—of PHEV production, all types of PHEVs will compete well in the marketplace. Then, eventually—as batteries become a cheaper, longer-life, commodity item, liquid fuels become more dear, renewable electricity generation proliferates, and CO2 emissions are increasingly targeted—the PHEVs with the most EV power and range will come to dominate.

There is no doubt that it will be completely dominated by the cost of oil. Remember that the cost of oil doubled in the last five years and it will double again in less than five years and double again in even less time! So we can reach $20/gallon in the time frame that these guys are arguing over. At that time (6 to 8 years from now) it means an SUV 30 gallon tank will cost $600! This costs will make all this nit-picking costs argument seem insignificant! I agree that at this time, let the big guys argue about who is better or more cost effective, we need to focus on what is good for the people on earth as the cost of fossil fuel rises.

That is the main reason for the PHEV! To displace fossil fuel with electricity that can be generated from a plethora of sources including renewables at a very high efficiency with low to zero emissions!

The Oil companies will eventually throw their wishes into the pot as well soon. And I think they will be much more vocal because they have the money! This may be where we should be bracing ourselves! The [recent] USA today article [inaccurately claiming PHEVs cause higher emissions] is an example!

—Dr. Andy Frank


Dan A

During "live green day" at my school (SUNY geneseo), there was an engineer from GM that was talking mostly about fuel cells, but also provided incredible insight on other subjects, including the two-mode hybrid and the volt. It wasn't until I talked to him that I really understood the genious of the volt.

One of the reasons why ICEs are so innefficent is because they rarely run at their peak efficency. With the volt, because the wheels are completely run by electricty through the batteries, the engine is free to run at whatever efficency is optimal for it. Not only that, but what kind of engine you put on it doesn't matter, so you can for example put a gasoline engine for the US, a diesel for europe, an ethanol engine for Brazil, or even a fuel cell without needing to change anything with the drive train, which makes it an enormously flexible platform.


Go with the BYD EV/series/parallel design and do not worry about it.


This is all a waste of time and $. There is NO definitive proof behind global warming - no pure science. The climate change "science" is based on taking a slice of data, extrapolating it, analyzing it with statistics and drawing conclusions - the scientific method can't be used as it can for instance, to prove the freezing point of water. And, people who know statistics know that anyone can lie with statistics - which casts even more of a doubt on global warming. We don't need spin, we don't need guilt or a feel good populist movement that slanders the opposition - we need 100% energy independence for our national security.


You may not believe that GW is real, but tight oil markets are real. If you do not think so, just go down to your local gas station and look at the prices.


I first thought of a series hybrid 36 years ago. I'm sure others conceived of various forms of them before then.

5 or 6 years ago I started publishing on the web a concept of a PHEV with a constant speed auxiliary generator. It amazes me that no auto builder has produced such a vehicle. Mitsubishi showed a concept a few years back but didn't market it.

Mike Z.

I wonder if Ron Gremban has a spreadsheet or model that would help evaluate the pro/cons of each approach while varying the cost of petroleum, batteries, electricity, and distribution of miles driven per re-charge.

Tom Street


Clearly, you did not understand a word of this article. You don't get energy independence by continuing to depend on oil.


technical superiority is a fairly unimportant aspect of either of these cars.

99% of buyers will just want to feel good about what they drive. for this reason alone, the Volt is the superior concept:

it is easier to explain to Hollywood stars and retiring hippies. it runs on batteries until the batteries are low, then the generator turns on and you can drive as far as you want.

try explaining how the Prius works in one sentence.

Rafael Seidl

While it's true that oil prices have doubled recently, a fair amount of that is due to the slide in the dollar. This slide has significant impact on other aspects of economic activity, foreign trade in particular. US consumers are increasingly less able to afford imports, especially from Europe. At the same time, the US is now considered a low-wage location for manufacturing. Increased productivity in the real economy will strengthen the US dollar again, though it will take years for the effect to show.

Add to that efforts to replace dependence on expensive imported oil with domestic energy sources - both fossil and renewable - and you end up with a rather complex dynamic. And if all else fails, there's always the option of replacing recalcitrant governments in oil-producing countries with pliable dictators in the name of "global security", neocon fantasies of "bringing democracy" be damned. Been there, done that.

Extrapolating the recent rise in oil prices such that gasoline in the US will cost $20/gallon in 8 years' time strikes my as overly simplistic. Building a business case for PHEVs and E-REVs based on such an extrapolation may be downright reckeless.

Dr. Frank's engineering analysis sounds very plausible, but perhaps he should steer clear of the dismal science.

Ed Danzer

The US does not manufacture much battery making ingredients. So is it better to import battery materials or fuel?
Auto emissions are not the major problem. The February issue of Diesel Progress has an article about the Port of Los Angles and Port of Long Beach. “The POLA and the POLB are considered the busiest cargo seaports in the US., handling 40% of the country’s container cargo.” It also states the 25% of the basins air pollution in from the port drayage trucks.


A bit off topic, but does anyone know what AC Propulsion is up to with their EBox? I can't help but think that if they can sell them at a profit for $70K, with their low volumes, then if they paired with a big manufacturer they could produce them much more cheaply.

The debate seems to be around GM's and Toyota's PHEV's but one of these other companies could produce a comparably priced BEV and surprise them all.


Hi Ed...Agree with you about the pollution from ships. What diseases we allowed to take place inside the lungs & hearts of citizens near port facilities, while the money makers put away lots of cash gained from plying the seas on bunker oil is despicable.

However, that fact does not decrease our vile disregard for lung & heart disease rates of children who play, live & school near freeways. Surely, we decreased muchly pollution from autos. The less known recent health statistics show auto pollution hasn't been decreased enough.


I think the smog in Long Beach just settles there overnight from all over LA, when the winds die down after dark. I remember often seeing it just hanging there in the low areas after dawn. And everything near Long Beach gets covered in a layer of black dust that other areas of LA don't get - I presumed coal dust.


It's unfortunate that this excellent analysis was spoiled at the end by such an extreme and unsupportable projection on oil/gas prices. Is it heading up; sure. But I refuse to believe that his projections are sustainable; demand will be too dented to support that price level so soon.


It seems to me that PHEV manufacturers should be targeting Europe where gasoline is already $10 per gallon, and where average daily driving distances are less than in the USA.

Also, why are GM and Toyota both going for a completely new car. Wouldn't it make sense to offer a Series Hybrid drive option on existing models.

If GM / Opel / Vauxhall offered the Corsa say, with 4 x 20 KW hub motors, a 6KWhr battery pack, and a 500cc range extender, this would make a great second car for town drives.

Harvey D

Excellent article and comparison table. Of course, the table could have been extended for many more pages but would the results have changed.

Displacing maximum liquid fuel at minimum cost is the real objective but a tall order. It may require much more than the selection of the best suited PHEV architecture.

Vehicle size, weight, aerodynamic, tire rolling resitance, accessories efficiency, ESSU type and size, hood and rooftop solar cells, driver's ability, road condition, traffic load etc should also be considered.

Basically, series PHEVs, maximized overall design with a super-cap/battery pack combo (or an ESStor unit) tuned to your daily driving range should be simpler and cheaper in most cases. Toyota may have difficulties justifying it's more complex approach when ESSUs price go down.

Those of us with more resources (or with longer commuting distances) should have the choice to select a larger ESSU thereby extending their EV range, but at an extra cost. That's what one has to pay to live in the country.

Of course, those of us with larger families will have to invest more for a larger vehicle and larger ESSU. Family allowances and tax credits are designed to help with those extras.


"The PHEVs with the most EV power and range will come to dominate"

Hmm, maybe Ron. I perceive that part of the resistance that advocates like CalCars and other Plug-in Partners face is the possibility that BEVs will proliferate, which would be fine for EPRI, but not for Big Oil or automobile executives with considerable amounts of oil stock.

I say part of the resistance because thoughtful, honest representations from Dr. Frank or you also are obviously threats to the buggy whip makers, a.k.a., the SAE.

So let's have some optimistic puffery, e.g., paper Hummers for the kids, rather than more dismal science.

Bill Young


Regardless of whether you believe an observational science to be true science, it is indisputable that humankind is pumping CO2 into the atmosphere and atmospheric CO2 is increasing. There is laboratory science which shows that CO2 is essentially opaque to infrared radiation. Global warming can be reasonably hypothesized merely based on these two factors. (This hypothesis was first presented over 100 years ago by August Arrhenius.)

Those who model the atmosphere, whom you claim are not doing 'real' science, use a multitude of factors and interactions in their attempt to do so rather than just these two.

Humanity is faced with a decision based on the increasing atmospheric CO2. The choices:

1) Do a variety of actions to try and reduce the rate of increase of atmospheric CO2 or possibly to reverse it. For society to do these actions will cost money and be disruptive. If global warming is real and environmentally disadvantageous, this choice will minimize the adverse effect. If GW is not real the money will have been wasted.

2) Do not restrain CO2 emissions. Obviously, if global warming is not true, this is the wiser choice. If GW is real and disadvantageous, this choice maximizes the adverse environmental and social impact of GW.

Economists with the UN have projected that atmospheric CO2 can be stabilized at the current level for about 1% of world economic output. This gives an order of magnitude cost for option 1.

What are the costs of being wrong when you say CO2 does not cause GW? Some of the possible consequences of option 2 being incorrect:

Acidification of the oceans and collapse of fisheries.
Desertification of the US midwest, currently the national breadbasket.
Elimination of spring and summer snowmelt in the Rocky Mountains with resulting dramatic reduction of surface water for communities both east and west of the Rockies. Possible collapse of agriculture in irrigated California.
Loss of land to sea level rising, particularly in low lying places such as Florida and Banglidesh.
Possible disruption of the Gulf Stream with resulting collapse of agriculture in northern Europe and western Aisa.
Shifting the timing and severity of the Indian monsoons with adverse effects on agriculture in that country.
Melting of the tundra permafrost in Alaska, northern Canada and Siberia with defrosting of methane hydrate and massive releases of methane.

I believe even for a GW skeptic, a serious investment in CO2 reduction is a good bet.



A very thorough and thoughtful article. I'll be sure and put links to it when the BS (like the USA today) starts to fly.



THANK YOU for one of the best, to the point, explanations of why action should occur! Even conceding that nothing is known to 100.0%, a risk analysis warrents action.

A second, unrelated, point I would make is that oil WILL run short some day. We can argue when that date is - but we cannot reasonably argue that it will never come. And, again, the sooner we start to change the less painful it will be (overall).

Thanks again,


I do think the next-generation Toyota Prius due about a year from now will have a lithium-ion battery (that's because Japanese manufacturers have finally figured out how to build Li-On batteries that are completely safe for automotive use), which will allow for plug-in hybrid operation with a range of about 75 km (circa 46 miles) on battery operation alone before it reverts back to normal hybrid drivetrain operation. A few years later, Toyota may offer supercapacitor battery packs using capacitors built from carbon nanotubes, which could extend the battery-only range to (my guess!) 100 km (62 miles) before switching back to normal hybrid mode.

Can you say real-world mileage in the 80+ miles per US gallon range? :-)


The possible disasters caused by man made CO2 are just as serious and dangerous as an asteroid strike on earth.. it is a science FACT that there are a bunch of large asteroids and comets out there just waiting to hit us.. and it has happened in the past and will happen again. We should spend as much (maybe more) on asteroid deflection as on CO2 mitigation.

Yes I am pulling your chain.. but think of the consequences of a 6 mile asteroid hitting us!!!, we cant take the chance!

Changing the subject slightly, both Toyota and Ford have proven hybrid powerplants.. it would be trivial for them to stick those in regular larger cars such as a Taurus with great mileage increases.. if needed upgrade the motors and batteries but dont increase the size of the engine. This stuff works and it is proven..



If you search "AC Propulsion"+eBox you find out that Tom Hanks bought one and has a video on YouTube about it. That is pretty good free advertising.


"a serious investment in CO2 reduction is a good bet."

Sorry, Bill. You have just restated Pascal's wager which is generally acknowledged to be a bad bet.

I have looked at others who are betting on GW. At the end of one laundry list of schemes the author stated, "These are things we should be doing anyway." Reading back through the list with that perspective, I found a standard socialist/totalitarian manifesto.

The classic statement was the doofus who said the planet was too important to let democracy get in the way. Uh, OK.


How can PHEV's ever provide "full zero-emissions capabilities part of the time"?

Wind and solar add CO2 to the atmosphere over their lifecycle - some 30 tons COeq/GWh for wind and 100 tons CO2eq/GWh for solar. Both sources also need baseloads, which means more coal and natural gas.

A massive switch to electric cars could be pretty catastrophic if we don't first establish a viable renewable electricity production infrastructure, which should at least be based on biomass as the corner stone for the baseload.

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