• Aug 14th 2010 at 1:13PM
  • 9
Jianghuai Auto (aka JAC Motors) is a relatively unknown – at least in the U.S. – Chinese truck and SUV manufacturer that has come forth with huge plans to invest billions to produce a million hybrid and electric vehicles in the near future. JAC Motors announced plans to invest 30 billion yuan ($4.43 billion U.S. at the current exchange rate) to set up a joint venture (JV) with Tianjin Zhengdao Stock Investment & Management Co. The JV plans to build at least one million electric and hybrid cars within eight years of opening a new production facility in China.

To date, the JV has registered capital of 700 million yuan ($103.4 million U.S.) and, although it's a start, a lot more funding will be needed to reach its multi-billion dollar goal. JAC Motors is determined to jump on the chance to collect a significant amount of government funding as it tries to be one of the three to five Chinese automakers selected by the government to bring advanced technology vehicles to the masses. Other Chinese automakers have struggled to gain a foothold in both the hybrid and EV markets, making us a bit doubtful about JAC's chances as well.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes to nuclear power, but not to existing designs. Creating more radio-active waste that has to be stored 10,000 years is insane. Especially when there has been a solution in the offering for 50 years.

      Liquid Flouride Thorium Reactors were invented in the 1960s at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. They ran one for almost 5 years. LFTRs use cheap thorium, are inherently safe, do not produce long term radio-active waste and were abandoned because they are not suitable for making bombs. See:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWUeBSoEnRk
      and
      http://energyfromthorium.com/
      Although the principles are proven, there is still some research required for the best materials to have long 50 year plus life. This should be our highest priority to solve our energy and pollution problems.

      There are a few countries looking into this or variants. France, Norway and China. No news yet on any major commitment to finish research. Although I think it is stupid that we continue to ignore this fantastic system, I hope that some country will take up the gauntlet and bring this to reality. Once one country does it, they can start selling them to other countries.Once running and proven, the oil and coal companies will no longer be able to suppress LFTRs. Even our nuclear establishment is against it because it is too cheap and they would not be able to justify their high costs and proportionally high profits. Established energy players are glad to support wind and solar as they have proven to be very expensive and are used to justify higher prices to consumers and higher profits for themselves. The last thing they would want is somebody bringing a system to market that would under cut them and force lower prices.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Roy,
        The critique is that the waste, or some parts of it, will hang around for hundreds of thousands of years.
        On the energy from thorium forum there are critiques of the great exaggeration of risks from this that are bandied about:
        http://www.energyfromthorium.com/forum/index.php

        These critiques are from nuclear physicists, industrial chemists, risk assessors etc.
        Basically, the really nasty stuff is nasty precisely because it is very energetic, and so decays quickly.
        You put it in water, to move the heat, for around 40 years.
        After that dry cask storage is fine.

        The wastes from nuclear are not a wholly different risk from the arsenic and mercury from coal, which is basically just dumped into the environment, together with uranium from the smokestack emitting many, many times as much radioactivity as the nuclear industry does.

        Modern reactors produce much less waste than previous generations, and in particular the waste from weapons systems.

        Since the remaining waste is a long term issue, solving it does not have to happen overnight.
        LFTR could burn the waste, and would transform some of the most problematic actinides, so that in 300 years the remaining waste would have decayed to no more than the level of the ores from which it came.
        This is well within normal industrial chemical storage practice.

        LFTR is not the only design which can deal with the waste. There are many.
        One which is unlikely to suffer from shortage of funds is the one Bill Gates backs, the Travelling wave reactor.

        Here is Bill talking about the energy future, it is a long video but worth it:
        http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates.html

        If you find my inexpert explanations unconvincing, do have a browse on the thorium forum, as there is a vast amount of expertise there.

        The 'waste' stockpile is reckoned to be enough to power the whole world at present rates for around 800 years! :-)
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree on LFTR.
        However the existing waste can be used as fuel for several designs, including LFTR.
        The value of the fuel in the 'waste' in US stockpiles is around $100 trillion.
        The only way this becomes a problem is if no more development is undertaken in reactors.
        A nuclear reactor using present designs produces around 30 tons of high level waste a year, a coal plant 300,000 tons, including mercury, arsenic, etc which have a half life of forever.
        If is was treated to the same standard as coal waste, you could likely simply add 10,000 tons as much soil to the waste and dump it like coal waste!
        Tens of thousands of people die every year from air pollution, and the use of 'renewables' means that due to intermittency vast quantities of fossil fuels need to be burnt to support them.
        We should not make the best the enemy of the good.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "The 'waste' stockpile is reckoned to be enough to power the whole world at present rates for around 800 years! :-) "

        Holy crap! 800 years! I assume that is if it was burned in LFTRs.
        Thanks for the info.
        • 5 Years Ago
        David "However the existing waste can be used as fuel for several designs, including LFTR."

        First although this is possible, how many operational reactors are there that consume waste?

        The only one I know of is in France and it does not make a profit, on the contrary it is dedicated to consuming the waste at a very high expense, So high that nobody else has decided to copy it.

        As you said there are several designs, most of which require building prototypes and require regulation approval. The same hurdles that the LFTR has to go through. I feel sure that the LFTR represents the best of these, lowest cost, safest etc. The only thing that might be argued against the LFTRs on this point is that because they are so efficient, it will take a long time (or thousands of LFTRs, more preferable) to burn this excess waste.

        So I take exception to your statement "We should not make the best the enemy of the good." unless you can show me designs in progress or already built that turn waste uranium into useful electricity. Even at low efficiency.
      • 5 Years Ago
      One truck company investing 4.4 Billion.

      Exxon, Able to invest 22.5 Billion a Year?
      Nothing.
      Priceless Failure.

      Is the business community lead by the stupid?

      • 5 Years Ago
      Hmmm.
      Look how Chinese "Government Motors", Invests in it's product to take over a market. While US Auto Industry is rebuked as "Government Motors" and makes No Investment the Oil Industry Doesn't Want them the Make.

      Interesting.

      China puts itself into a position to Survive an Oil Price Spike, the US stays in a position to be Destroyed by a Price Spike.


        • 5 Years Ago
        yep, that's what I was thinking.

        China is trying to better their country. I don't know economic history but it seems to me that the country that leads the energy technology will move closer to becoming a super power.
        Am I wrong. Anyone have insight on that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Here is a discussion, if not of a superpower, but clearly demonstrating why Italy's chances in the WW2 were crippled from the start by lack of coal, the driving energy source of the time:
        http://www.energybulletin.net/node/52406

        In my view the US has made a mistake of historic proportions by crippling the development of nuclear power, and renewables are only capable of performing a supporting role, not powering a modern economy.
        The big Mo is now with China, and by 2020 they will have around the same size nuclear park as the US, with the potential to develop it at the same massively fast rate as they have their coal industry, but with a resource base hundreds of times greater.

        This will provide the power for the electric economy, including BEV cars but also high speed rail, and maglev possibly in partially vacuum evacuated tunnels:
        http://nextbigfuture.com/2010/08/china-working-towards-600-mph-maglev.html#more
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