• Jul 28, 2010
Bill Nye, "The Science Guy," Jessie Deeter, the producer of Who Killed The Electric Car? and Revenge of the Electric Car, and our own Chelsea Sexton took to the stage at the close of public night at the Plug-in 2010 Conference. With this line-up, it was more than 66 percent the same as last year, when Nye, Sexton and Electric Car director Chris Paine answered audience questions. Given the "preaching to the choir," audience-led nature of the event, we thought there would probably be a lot of readers who would want to "attend," digitally, so we're posting an audio recording of the entire two-hour event after the jump. What does it contain?

How about a short preview (verbal, not video) of Revenge of the Electric Car? Deeter said that the film will focus on three main stories: General Motors and the Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Motors, Nissan and the Leaf and electric car mechanic Gadget. How about the panelists' predictions of the percentage of new cars that are plug-ins by 2020? Nye said he doesn't think it'll be 10 percent, Sexton said it'll totally be determined by how many the OEMs are willing to build. How about lots of disparaging comments about adding sound to silent electric cars? How about Nye calling lithium supply worries the "reddest of herrings"? How about one member of the audience proudly saying he's been driving an EV1 since 1998, and Nye replying, "You must be exhausted"? Zing! All these classics and more await you after the jump.




Or download the MP3 here (40MB, 2 hours).


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bill Nye is all down on nuke power. By that I mean he does not like it.

      Hmm, I am suppose to not advocate one vehicle over the other but at the same time let it be known what I want. I want that Poswalt should stop challenging Nissan and say nothing.

      Toyota not bringing much to the game, good gas mileage but keeps us hooked on oil. 80% drive less than 40 miles per day.

      Chelsey likes to drive fast, wind resistance goes up exponentially once you exceed 40 mph equals waisted energy. Rapid acceleration equals waisted energy, I like to rapidly accelerate also. We have a choice of EV's, not so sure this is a choice of EV's? That's right, baby steps, we do have a choice of Ev's, Think is out but like the Smart e it will have a tough time looking good against the Leaf in occupant capacity, price, range and accoutrements.

      GM was probably the car corp who wanted to go to schools and educate the kids that is was possible to have a pollution juice machine and a EV in one, ergo the Volt.

      I use my brain to avoid range anxiety. Oh yea, and I like a challenge!

      Reverse population growth in a orderly manner, good. LFTRS, Bill Nye, ever heard of them, you should not be against Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors they could help us and are self regulating, with little of the toxic radiation waste at much less years of lethal radiation.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Not to get off topic, but it looks like with solar generating costs coming down and Nuclear going up, Solar PV has become less expensive than Nuclear:

        NYT
        Nuclear Energy Loses Cost Advantage
        http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/business/global/27iht-renuke.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq=solar nuclear&st=cse&scp=1

        • 4 Years Ago
        @lne937s

        Modular nukes are a good way to alleviate some of the problems you raise.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, here is another write-up on the same paper:
        http://thephoenixsun.com/archives/10688

        'While the study includes subsidies for both solar and nuclear power, it estimates that if subsidies were removed from solar power, the crossover point would be delayed by a maximum of nine years.'

        So if you squint hard enough at the figures, exaggerate nuclear costs, ignore that the supposed 'costs' you are talking about are in fact free money from the Government, then it is supposed to be cheaper now?

        With their powers of arithmetic and logic, I would not place much faith in their projected 9 year costs, doubtless arrived at by making universally favourable assumptions for solar and equally unfavourable ones for nuclear.

        France gets most of it's electricity from nuclear, has some of the cheapest rates in Europe, and far less CO2 emissions than windy Germany.

        And that's a fact, not someone's dodgy distortion of the figures.
        • 4 Years Ago
        David,

        It may have worked out that way up untill now with government-run utilities in European countries, but US privately-run electricity generation is showing rapid cost increases for new nuclear. Our US heavily-subsidized, privately-run nuclear generation is raising in cost year over year. Solar works much better in subsidized private system as it can be deployed faster on a much smaller level, allowing for competition and choice in the marketplace. It is much easier to import a solar panel than it is to import an nuclear plant. Solar panel lifecycles are shorter than installation times for a single nuclear power plant, and each new generation is becomming cheaper and better. Costs are going down quickly for solar (especially if you install your own, cutting out the cost installation- most people can't install their own personal nuclear power plant), while they are going up for nuclear. Thin-film panels can be bought now for less than a dollar per watt in bulk and are available to consumers for slightly more:
        http://www.atensolar.com/m5_view_item.html?m5:item=150-143

        The trend is clear, even if the question of when exactly it becomes less expensive to do solar is less so. It will also depend a bit on location, as the US Southwest would be much better than the UK or Seattle. Nuclear still has its place for base load generation, but solar can easily displace 15-25% of power generation (produces electricity, by nature, at periods of typically higher demand) with no need for energy storage. Right now solar makes up less than 1% of electricity generation in the US. By reducing peak demand, it also reduces the need to increase base load generation to fulfill peak demand while and wasting off-peak capacity at night.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Thanks for recording and posting the whole thing! Gonna load it in to my mp3 player now =D
      • 4 Years Ago
      Chelsea Sexton is a real cutie.... :o)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Unfortunately she still thinks that the volt will run on e85. She must have missed the story:
        http://green.autoblog.com/2010/07/28/2011-chevrolet-volt-requires-premium-gas-yup/

        GM said the volt would run on e85, now it requires premium. Even though GM says that the 2nd gen volt will run on e85 I think it is time to stop taking their word for it.

        GM wants HOV access in california, but they wont release the mileage in range extender mode but 9gal tank, 300mile range = 33mpg.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually, I do know that the Volt won't be E85 at launch, though I had just confirmed that it was still in their plans, and meant it as a general statement. Didn't mean to mislead anyone...
      • 4 Years Ago
      someone provide Chelsea Sexton with an EV. Mel Gibson could buy a Tesla for her :) or split it with Tom Hanks
      • 4 Years Ago
      That is a cool way to listen to something this long, that's right you can do that, mmm, makes me want to get a Ipod knock off, better go to that big electronic store online, forgot the name of it, starts with a F maybe.
      • 4 Years Ago
      just to clarify:

      "Solar panel lifecycles are shorter than installation times for a single nuclear power plant, and each new generation is becomming cheaper and better."

      I am referreing to product development lifecycles, which tend to be a few years. The panels themselves last a few decades.
      • 4 Years Ago
      10% of all cars electric by 2020?
      Here are Chinese plans:
      'At the end of 2009, Beijing announced a target of increasing the share of electric cars in overall domestic production to 10% in 2015. The government has also created a subsidy program to boost sales of electric vehicles by providing up to 60,000 yuan (770,000 yen) [US$8,800] per unit.'

      http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/07/nikkei-editorial-urges-japan-to-match-us-china-ev-moves-.html

      Of course, they may miss their target, probably will, but with the largest car market in the world, and by 2015 let alone 2020 by far the largest, going for electric on this scale, folk had better revise their expectations.

      The Chinese cars right now are rubbish, but I am old enough to remember when the same could and was said about Japanese cars.
    • Load More Comments