Monday, July 28, 2008

Batteries and Methanol for Cars

The Saving Grace in McCain’s Energy Policy - Pajamas Media - Robert Zubrin seems to favor prizes, but thinks that McCain's car battery prize is perhaps not the best application of the prize approach when there's already a big market for, and active investment in, better batteries. He's also skeptical about focusing just on batteries because moving the car fleet to batteries is not going to happen quickly, and he's looking for quick results in energy independence.

My question is "Why not both?", but I have the same question for Mars ...

It should be no surprise by now that Zubrin's solution is a mandate for FFVs - specifically a mandate that all gas cars sold in the U.S. also support methanol and ethanol. He's happy that McCain is advocating such a mandate. I'm sure he's happy to see the following, which actually includes methanol in the mandate:

Open Fuel Standard Act Introduced in US Congress; 50% FFVs by 2012, 80% by 2015 - Green Car Congress:

A tri-partisan bill principally sponsored by Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS), Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) (S.3303) and Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY-17), Jack Kingston (R-GA-1), Steve Israel (D-NY-2), and Bob Inglis (R-SC-4) (H.R.6559) would require that starting in 2012, 50% of new automobiles; and starting in 2015, 80% of new automobiles, be flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) that can operate with gasoline blends up to E85 (85%) ethanol or M85 (85% methanol), or be warranted to operate on biodiesel.

Zubrin's Energy Victory site has a summary of the bill.