Electric Cars

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

More electric cars are on their way to New York metro area, which means the city is going to have to make some major infrastructure changes. We’ll examine the advantages and disadvantages of more electric autos in the city, with Neal Parikh, Senior Policy Advisor to the Mayor’s office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. We’ll also be joined by Tom Turrentine, an anthropologist and Director of the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Research Center at UC Davis, and Joseph P. Oates is vice president of energy management at Con Edison.

Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation Janette Sadik-Khan was on the Brian Lehrer Show this morning talking about her agenda for Mayor Bloomberg's third term. Listen to that interview here.


Joseph P. Oates, Neal Parikh,, Janette Sadik-Khan and Tom Turrentine,

Comments [24]

Jamison from Ft Green

JT from Long Island

Take a look at some of the facts out there about Algae fuel.
some highlights being; 15,000 square miles could produce enough algae to meet all of the USA's ground transportation needs

Algae feed off CO2 and releases O making growing it at coal plaint opt

ATA’s goal is for its members to be using 10% alternative fuels by 2017

Mar. 03 2010 02:11 PM

Thx. Leonard,
Yes Israel at cutting edge of alternative energies.Sinia II agreements Henry Kissinger generously tied US commitment to Guarantee oil supplies to Israel no matter what Strategic oil reserves had to be built up at the cost of hundreds of millions to US TAXPAYER.
At 15 million per day in US aid Israel is truly a good example of investment into electric vehicles????

According to the Christian Science Monitor,the cost of Israel to the American TAXpayer has been over $1.6 TRILLION since 1973.

Mar. 03 2010 01:58 PM
jawbone from Parsippany

I had to take a phone call -- Did Leonard get into solar collectors as way to produce electricity for NYC and beyond? Indeed, everywhere, but particulary to clear the air while producing electricity?

Somehow I don't see Bloomberg as being terribly enthusiastic about a solution which would be more communitarian than profit-model.

Mar. 03 2010 01:56 PM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

All the people arguing against electric cars sound like the horse $ buggy people arguing against automobiles back in the late 19th century. The foot dragging by the conserve-the-status quo crowd are keeping this country back, and then wondering why the US is losing its lead in the world in so many ways.

Mar. 03 2010 01:52 PM
Barb from Montclair

boy... you sure let them off the hook for the whole coal plant question... we ARE a coal-generated area. I was really looking forward to learning the real "green-ness" of electric cars...

Mar. 03 2010 01:51 PM
JT from Long Island

@Jamison from Ft Green

All algae liquid fuel would do is get us off of foreign oil. The fuel will still be burned.

I have to disagree with those that say electricity relies on coal plants and therefore is not a solution. Clean the air in busy urban areas is a good thing. Also, there's a lot of research going into other ways of generating electricity (i.e. solar.) When those come online one solution can solve both problems. It seems foolish to ignore electric cars because they don't provide an instant complete solution. Sometimes progress takes time.

Mar. 03 2010 01:49 PM
jawbone from Parsippany

Sounds like it's going to be the Magic Hand of the Market in terms of hoping for enough electricity.

Of course, we're in a climate change situation which is probably more dangerous than any war -- and we don't seem to be able to get our leaders to lead on moving into non-emission, non-damaging to the environment forms of energy production.

Yikes. We are so _______ (fill in the blank)

Sometimes I'm glad I'm only 334 days away from Medicare -- not that I want to be my age, but I'm glad to be near decent affordable health care coverage and old enough I may miss the bitter chaos of climate change and energy problems.

Ah, discussion of lithium sources. High altitude salt deposits, interesting.

Mar. 03 2010 01:48 PM

do these batteries have "memory" problems? if you don't charge it fully, does that affect it's effeciency or its capacity in the future?

Mar. 03 2010 01:46 PM
Julie from Brewster NY

I was part of the NYS Power Authority's THINK electric car program... 100 electric cars leased to commuters with chargers at RR stations... and installed at our homes
I went 10 thousand miles without gas... and loved the 2-seat hatchback.
Problem? The main one was Ford... which had bought the Norwegian Think company, and sold it mid-program and we had to battle Detroit to get repairs, maintenance, etc.
We had one member of this group who wanted to open an LI dealership for the Think cars... way back in 2005.
It's time for this option!

Mar. 03 2010 01:39 PM
jawbone from Parsippany

Re: suggestion to use rooftops in NYC for solar collectors --

Obviously, there are rooftops all over which could add to to overall collection of solar energy.

But, continuing w/ battery technology, I undertand huge batteries are being developed to stoey electricity made during the day for use at night and to keep supplies even during cloudy weather. Do today's guests know anything about this?

Mar. 03 2010 01:31 PM
jawbone from Parsippany

Thanks, #8 -- that was my next question.

Mar. 03 2010 01:27 PM
Jamison from Ft Green

how much money is the Gov getting from big coal and electric comps for this push?
What BS

Mar. 03 2010 01:26 PM
bob from huntington


please ask your guests about the potential for
increased RF interference from electric cars.


Mar. 03 2010 01:25 PM
Marcelo from Park Slope

What happens to ConEd's capacity if thousands of cars are getting charged at night during the summer where everyone has their AC units on in their houses. Wouldn't this overcharge the city electrical grid?

Mar. 03 2010 01:22 PM
Barb from Montclair

how "green" ARE electric cars? Isn't this moving from OIL to COAL (which is still the predominant fuel for electricity. Coal is the dirtiest energy source.

Mar. 03 2010 01:19 PM
Vinay from Washington Heights

Switching to electric cars is laudable, and certainly much better than burning fossil fuels. However, what is being done to decrease congestion? travel times are horrendous in traffic and that is not going to decrease unless the number of vehicles on the road goes down. Should we not be thinking also in terms of improving mass transit at the same time as moving to renewable resources?

Mar. 03 2010 01:19 PM

Is it true that electric car batteries are made from very rare metals that are found in places with unstable governments?

Mar. 03 2010 01:18 PM
Yan from Upper West Side

Leonard, please ask them about the real sustainability of electric cars as long as most of our electricity is generated in dirty coal plants.

Mar. 03 2010 01:17 PM
Tommy Chong

"the whole bay area is pretty high..."


Mar. 03 2010 01:10 PM
antonio from park slope

Although it isn't a magic bullet, can bloombox help?

Mar. 03 2010 01:09 PM
jawbone from Parsippany

I vaguely recall a program, I think on Leonard's show, with a guest who said that if all the available roof space in NYC were used for solar collectors that it would mean electricity for the entire city and surrounding suburbs -- all this based on the low efficiency technology of that year (a year or so ago?).

Of course, I've never heard anyone in position of power to implement such as thing as even talking about it.

Which brings to mind Jared Diamond's main point in his book, Collapse: When the elites are so far removed from the effects of looming catastrophes, nothing is done bcz the leaders will not lead. They do not feel the need to make changes. And the society collapses.

Mar. 03 2010 01:06 PM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

Shai Agassi's "Better Place" corporation has worked out an entire network solution for the management of an electric car fleet. Just as we today have parking meters, we will have electric charging spots wherever we park. IT will become as ubiquitous as using a parking meter or a public phone. The cost will be borne by the investors in the infrastructure just as the telephone companies bore the cost of installing the telephone system, and the electic companies for the electric grid system. Electric cars are MUCH more efficient than gasoline powered motors, and eventually, the equivalent of 80 to 100 miles per gallon will become commonplace. And electric cars require much less maintenance costs. It's a revolution that is already in progress and best to be embraced than to resist in trying to keep the old, pollution, wasteful oil-burning dinosaurs in place.

Mar. 03 2010 12:39 PM
Jamison from Ft Green

Electric cars solve nothing so why are we spending the $$$ for them. Please people look in the facts of cultivating Algae for Liquid Fuel Production and tell me that is not the way to go!!
I also would just like to say "shame on you WNYC on not more (if any) about Algae Fuel!"

The Lopate Show responds:
Check out our segment on algae as biofuel -

Mar. 03 2010 11:30 AM
George from Bay Ridge

How will individuals in high-rise apartments without garages be able to charge electric cars?

How would electric cars affect utility rates for all New Yorkers?

Mar. 03 2010 03:09 AM

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