I did an extra credit presentation about electric vehicles today in Transportation Engineering class. No, that's not really what you're supposed to be studying in TE, but my professor really likes them, and who is to say that he can't offer me extra credit for letting me do a presentation on a subject I love anyway? It was 26 PowerPoint slides, about 12 minutes it ended up being, alot of information about electric cars, mostly pros, a few cons, and a bunch of pictures of the best and brightest in the EV world. I wish I had a bit more time, but we still had a test to do and only 50 minutes in the class period. I hope I did some good, we are in Arkansas after all, and not all CE's are as environmentally conscious as I am, though most of them are, even in Arkansas.
Also this week, I had my catalytic converter re-installed on my truck. I have been thinking about this for a while, and as a matter of conscience it bugged me somewhat. You see, I care very little about CO2 emissions because I don't think they are really all that substantial. On the other hand, emissions such as CO, NOx, SOx, and hydrocarbons are a much more dangerous simply because they are directly poisonous or cause measurable and visible damage to the environment. A cat does nothing for CO2 but helps with the others, though it may decrease performance and fuel economy slightly. It also makes the truck a bit quieter which the jury is still out on. The doofs at Midas welded it on, they must have had the new guy do it because it wasn't that good of a job. I know because I am a decently accomplished welder. There's still a hole in it which I'll have to take back and have redone. The good news is that the tail pipe definitely has a different smell than it did before, and now that the engine no longer burns oil, the cat should live a long life.
Car nooz. GM is death rattling. This is a problem for me. What if we never see the Chevy Volt hit the road? This is a problem. There is nothing like it on the market, especially in America. If any important people read this, Obama especially, we need higher import tariffs, our local producers, especially car manufacturers are suffering. Japanese car companies are what they are today due in large part to the tariffs and production laws that benefit Japanese car manufacturers. We must raise tariffs so that American cars can compete with foreign cars. It's not that they can't compete now, so much as Japanese cars have broad advantage. Plus American cars generally suck, so that will have to be remedied too. The only American car I'd think about buying is the Volt, and it doesn't exist yet. Hopefully if GM does fail, it will get sold to some other company and will still see the road, it is a very important stepping stone toward the full electric highway capable car. Hopefully things will get bad enough with trade to be able to get someone who will fix it.