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(Chron)   Warren Buffett: All cars will be electric in 20 years   (chron.com) divider line 229
    More: Unlikely, Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway, business schools, Jan Goetgeluk, rice, graduate schools, Omaha, Heather Mattingly  
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1217 clicks; posted to Business » on 01 Dec 2009 at 7:37 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-11-30 11:30:47 PM
All of them except the good ones.

Of course this begs the question....

Can nanotechnology synthesize gasoline?

And how far off is Nanotech?

I am just asking because when they outlaw Gasoline I am going to go out and buy an Aston Martin DB9 for pennies on the dollar and mothball it.

And it would be nice to know when I could get it running again....
 
2009-12-01 12:07:10 AM
archichris: I am just asking because when they outlaw Gasoline...

Dude, it's puff, puff, PASS.
 
2009-12-01 12:13:17 AM
The Stonecutters are losing their influence. Just look at Steve Guttenberg's career lately.
 
2009-12-01 12:47:48 AM
"Sorry Warren, no...not yours. We're cutting off neodymium and lithium exports in three years as they're a strategic metals and we're keeping them just for us.

love,

China"
 
2009-12-01 12:53:04 AM
Meh. Wake me up when Uncle Albert opens his Auto Stop & Gunnery Shop.
 
2009-12-01 02:35:52 AM
Forget it, Warren, you're out of your element.
 
2009-12-01 02:38:13 AM
PacManDreaming: Meh. Wake me up when Uncle Albert opens his Auto Stop & Gunnery Shop.

We have one of those 20 mins from my house. Plus the guy has a charter fishing boat. I worship him like a god.
 
2009-12-01 03:33:22 AM
Is this a repeat from 1989?
 
2009-12-01 04:30:38 AM
I want to know what Jimmy Buffet thinks about electric cars.
 
2009-12-01 07:40:41 AM
So we really do get to rock on through to electric avenue?
 
2009-12-01 07:57:59 AM
war. war never changes.
 
2009-12-01 08:12:02 AM
Way way off on that one warren, but thanks for playing.
 
2009-12-01 08:13:12 AM
Sorry Warren, barring any quantum leap in batty technology electrics are just going nowhere. I don't care what a company says in their press release, I'll believe it when I see it.

While the current 80-100 mile range might be good for quite a bit of day-to-day driving, people want and need the flexibility to easily drive longer distances. Meaning that people would have to maintain two cars instead of one, the increased cost of doing so wiping out any benefit.

The problem is that gasoline and diesel have such high energy densities, in part to them being rather chemically unstable. Even with the relatively low efficiency of internal combustion engines, 15 gallons of gasoline or diesel can outperform several hundred pounds of batteries. Building a battery with the energy density of gasoline would likely result in something incredibly unstable and dangerous.

The future is probably going to be in developing biological methods for producing gasoline and diesel.
 
2009-12-01 08:17:22 AM
Maybe he's talking about the alternator.
 
2009-12-01 08:31:04 AM
Can our ancient electrical grid even support wide spread electric vehicle adoption?

I think in 20 years all cars will be hybrid and run off of bio-fuels.
 
2009-12-01 08:32:21 AM
Crosshair: The future is probably going to be in developing biological methods for producing gasoline and diesel.

There was an article yesterday on some dudes who discovered a fungus that can produce biodiesel output, skipping the current methanol step. Given that the diesel engine was demoed running off of peanut oil, anyone who writes off diesel is an idiot.
 
2009-12-01 08:39:17 AM
and just *how* are we going to power all these electric vehicles?
 
2009-12-01 08:47:30 AM
Jimmy Buffett: Wishes he had a pencil-thin moustache.
 
2009-12-01 08:47:58 AM
I will never, repeat, never convert my '67 GTA to run on anything but gas (and I still add the lead, too). So as long as I am still around in 20 years, all cars will not be electric.
 
2009-12-01 08:52:24 AM
Hagbardr: The Stonecutters are losing their influence. Just look at Steve Guttenberg's career lately.

No, Warren is one of the chief Stonecutters. He alone is responsible for the electric car.

Steve Guttenberg's problem is that Allan Alda was his project manager.
 
2009-12-01 08:58:32 AM
Crosshair:
While the current 80-100 mile range might be good for quite a bit of day-to-day driving


That's not current technology. No one makes an electric sedan that goes even 80 to 100 miles on a full charge, and certainly not at highway speeds. Cars that do are either 2 seaters, which have limited utility, or they can't go 80 to 100 miles at highway speeds and hold 4 adults, or they aren't available for purchase yet.

Certainly, no one can do it at a reasonable price yet. Plus, batteries are notoriously bad when they get too hot or too cold. That 100 mile range in the summer is going to be like 50 miles when it's like 0o Fahrenheit out.
 
2009-12-01 09:00:01 AM
20 years ago, how likely did it seem that an all electric car could be created with a 100 mile range?

I'm pretty sure 90% or more of 2029-2030 model year cars will be all electric, once the battery tech is there there's not really any reason to go back to gas... unless you hate peakless on demand torque...
 
2009-12-01 09:00:15 AM
so essentially all cars will be run on coal in 20 years...the electricity has to come from somewhere, and it doesn't magically come out of holes in the wall
 
2009-12-01 09:02:12 AM
When the current F-150 is larger than the F-350 of 20 years ago?

Very appropriate use of "Unlikely" tag. A sizeable minority of idiots will quite happily compromise their food supply in order to keep driving a vehicle far larger and heavier than they need.
 
2009-12-01 09:03:28 AM
he is right.
 
2009-12-01 09:05:12 AM
dittybopper: Plus, batteries are notoriously bad when they get too hot or too cold. That 100 mile range in the summer is going to be like 50 miles when it's like 0o Fahrenheit out.

Overall your points are accurate but I have to clarify this. Yes, batteries suck in cold weather.

So do gasoline engines.

I haven't driven my new car very long, but the fuel economy of my old Civic plummeted from about 38mpg in the summer to 20mpg when it's like 0o Fahrenheit out.
 
2009-12-01 09:07:19 AM
Why does it have to to all or nothing? Can't we diversify our automobiles and have diesel for work trucks and semis, electric for commuter cars, hybrids for mixed use like minivans/suvs, and then keep looking into fuel cells and hydrogen or whatever next generation idea there is? I thought maybe we had learned not put all our eggs in one basket like we did with fossil fuel autos.
 
2009-12-01 09:07:36 AM
Postal Penguin: I think in 20 years all cars will be hybrid and run off of bio-fuels.

Given 20 years we could build an all-new electrical grid to go along with it.

I could see a majority prediction, but not 'all', even redefining 'all' to be 90%.
 
2009-12-01 09:09:05 AM
Crosshair: Sorry Warren, barring any quantum leap in batty technology electrics are just going nowhere. I don't care what a company says in their press release, I'll believe it when I see it.


Charging capacity is probably a lot more of a problem than batteries themselves. (the cost per kW-hr stored needs to come done, but it's by a factor of three or four or five to make a 200+ mile battery back economical for a family car).

The amount of energy required to move the car is not going to decrease, and neither home nor commercial electrical is designed to deliver the 60-100 kWatt-hours required to charge a battery pack in a reasonable amount of time.
Even if you have a 30A, 220V outlet that can plug into the car, that's still a 5 to 9 hour charge time, and unless the vehicle supports some hypothetical high voltage commercial recharging standard you can forget charging it on the go.
Homes aren't wired for more than 220V (or 240V if you happen to live in a place where the grid isn't already dangerously overloaded) so it's difficult to ramp up the power delivered without special charging stations not on the existing house wiring system.

The Chevy Volt and similar battery-first hybrids may be the car of 20 years from now, but pure electric still has major hurdles both in technology and infrastructure.
 
2009-12-01 09:20:56 AM
dittybopper: Certainly, no one can do it at a reasonable price yet. Plus, batteries are notoriously bad when they get too hot or too cold. That 100 mile range in the summer is going to be like 50 miles when it's like 0o Fahrenheit out.

Probably the other way around. Heat is a battery and electric motor killer. Over geared my TC3 for an RC race a few years back, 98 degree day and cooked the magnets $90 bucks down the crapper.

/Snark off :o)

Peak oil will probably drives us back into cities in droves where public transportation and high speed internet will be more available for telecommuting. Long distance travel will be handled by Bus, Train and except for the most time sensitive must be there situations the Airplane. We a literally headed back to the 1920 and 1930's in some ways. A 100 mile range won't be necessary.



And before folks start bashing peak oil theory. Peak oil does not equal zero oil, it simply means oil will be too expensive too burn as production (supply) drops. No matter how beneficial diesel and hybrids are just putting off the inevitable
 
2009-12-01 09:24:24 AM
I know some guys at my school were able to convert Chick Fil A peanut oil into fuel. They were in the news.


/got nothin
//spend only 5 bucks a week on gas
///Yaris FTW
 
2009-12-01 09:26:30 AM
dragonchild: dittybopper: Plus, batteries are notoriously bad when they get too hot or too cold. That 100 mile range in the summer is going to be like 50 miles when it's like 0o Fahrenheit out.

Overall your points are accurate but I have to clarify this. Yes, batteries suck in cold weather.

So do gasoline engines.

I haven't driven my new car very long, but the fuel economy of my old Civic plummeted from about 38mpg in the summer to 20mpg when it's like 0o Fahrenheit out.


That's funny: My Hyundai Accent doesn't do that. I measure my fuel economy regularly, in all seasons, and it is consistently between 37 and 40 MPG (depending on variables like tire pressure and how much ethanol is in the gas, and how fast I decide to drive). The only time it's significantly lower in the winter is when there is a snow storm, and I have to drive the 100+ miles back and forth to work at 30 MPH in order to stay on the road.

Maybe there was something not quite right with your Civic. You shouldn't see a drop in mileage like that just from a temperature drop.
 
2009-12-01 09:29:35 AM
dittybopper: Maybe there was something not quite right with your Civic. You shouldn't see a drop in mileage like that just from a temperature drop.

Well, said temperature drop usually goes hand-in-hand with 6 inches of snow, screaming winds and slow traffic.

Winter is a package deal in the Midwest.
 
2009-12-01 09:38:14 AM
Rumors are Tesla motors is coming out with their IPO in 2010. That would be the first Car IPO since Ford in 1950's.
 
2009-12-01 09:43:47 AM
Ah, neh sayers. These arguements sound similar to the "hybrid cars will never be common" arguements of just a few years back.

Should I listen to the internet know it alls or the billionare who seems to know business trends? Hmmmmmm....
 
2009-12-01 09:46:59 AM
dittybopper: Crosshair:
While the current 80-100 mile range might be good for quite a bit of day-to-day driving

That's not current technology. No one makes an electric sedan that goes even 80 to 100 miles on a full charge, and certainly not at highway speeds. Cars that do are either 2 seaters, which have limited utility, or they can't go 80 to 100 miles at highway speeds and hold 4 adults, or they aren't available for purchase yet.

Certainly, no one can do it at a reasonable price yet. Plus, batteries are notoriously bad when they get too hot or too cold. That 100 mile range in the summer is going to be like 50 miles when it's like 0o Fahrenheit out.


You're arguement is like the guys in the fifties who said "you know the laser is a neat trick, but will never have any uses". Just 20 years ago, cell phones came with backpacks because the batteries and electronics were so large. Now, their handheld. I imagine people like you would have argued cells phones will never be hand held.
 
2009-12-01 09:54:47 AM
Buffett should put his money where his mouth is and invest some of his billions in electric car start-ups IMO.
 
2009-12-01 10:00:59 AM
Buffet should know better than make dubious predictions like that.....again.
 
2009-12-01 10:01:34 AM
syrynxx: There was an article yesterday on some dudes who discovered a fungus that can produce biodiesel output, skipping the current methanol step. Given that the diesel engine was demoed running off of peanut oil, anyone who writes off diesel is an idiot.

Sweet, I hadn't heard that. I'd really like to see algae-based biodisel take off so we can turn the southwest into the next Persian Gulf in terms of fuel production. Fungal-based biofuel would be more open for distributed production though, and it would be sweet to grow your own fuel at home.

There's certainly a niche for all-electric cars for people in urban areas, but as long as we have suburbs, I imagine we'll need hydrocarbon fuels for a while. Doesn't mean they have to be made from petroleum; if we can make our own, we can finally give the middle east the finger and start wiping our asses with piles of biodisel money.
 
2009-12-01 10:04:59 AM
StrikitRich: Buffett should put his money where his mouth is and invest some of his billions in electric car start-ups IMO.

RTFA

Downside is the one he chose is in China.
 
2009-12-01 10:10:30 AM
dittybopper: That's not current technology. No one makes an electric sedan that goes even 80 to 100 miles on a full charge, and certainly not at highway speeds. Cars that do are either 2 seaters, which have limited utility, or they can't go 80 to 100 miles at highway speeds and hold 4 adults, or they aren't available for purchase yet.

Certainly, no one can do it at a reasonable price yet. Plus, batteries are notoriously bad when they get too hot or too cold. That 100 mile range in the summer is going to be like 50 miles when it's like 0o Fahrenheit out.


Yea, I was being a little overoptimistic I guess as to the state of the technology.

stuhayes2010: Ah, neh sayers. These arguements sound similar to the "hybrid cars will never be common" arguements of just a few years back.

Should I listen to the internet know it alls or the billionare who seems to know business trends? Hmmmmmm....


I think the criticism was more along the lines of them not being that economically viable, which is still holding true. There are quite a few reasonably sized cars in Europe that gets far better mileage than a hybrid.

Not to mention Buffet is a bit of a hypocrite. Complains about not paying enough taxes, yet buys tax losses to reduce his tax bill and he has yet to write the treasury a check for those taxes he thinks he should be paying.

syrynxx: Given that the diesel engine was demoed running off of peanut oil, anyone who writes off diesel is an idiot.

Agreed, you can run a diesel on damn near anything that burns.
 
2009-12-01 10:13:48 AM
stuhayes2010: Ah, neh sayers. These arguements sound similar to the "hybrid cars will never be common" arguements of just a few years back.

Should I listen to the internet know it alls or the billionare who seems to know business trends? Hmmmmmm....


The smart play will be to get out of automobiles long term
 
2009-12-01 10:18:02 AM
I am not going to saw Warren is right, but I got rich betting on him. Everyone that told me I was a fool didn't do so well, so I think I am going to at least hedge my bets toward him.
 
2009-12-01 10:22:07 AM
In the US next year (w/o decal):
-220V charging system. Nissan will outfit your home.
-80% Charge in 26 minutes.
-100 miles per charge.
-90mph
-Est $25k
-Battery may be leased "to relieve the customer of responsibility for the battery and to make it easier to replace old batteries with improved batteries as the technology advances"

ridingonsunshine.com
 
2009-12-01 10:22:36 AM
Crosshair: While the current 80-100 mile range might be good for quite a bit of day-to-day driving, people want and need the flexibility to easily drive longer distances. Meaning that people would have to maintain two cars instead of one, the increased cost of doing so wiping out any benefit.

If only there was some sorta business that you could go to that would allow you to pay money and borrow one their cars for a certain length of time when ever you needed to.
 
jgi
2009-12-01 10:23:03 AM
A lot of negativity in this thread. Maybe the world's richest man knows something you don't? Just a guess.
 
2009-12-01 10:23:36 AM
Jubeebee: Sweet, I hadn't heard that. I'd really like to see algae-based biodisel take off so we can turn the southwest into the next Persian Gulf in terms of fuel production. Fungal-based biofuel would be more open for distributed production though, and it would be sweet to grow your own fuel at home.

God I hope so, maybe I can get some economic benefits from the leaves I've raked this year.

/Grumbles mightily about leaves
 
2009-12-01 10:28:58 AM
Great - now you have 20 years to get a few hundred nuke plants on line.
 
2009-12-01 10:32:03 AM
mcreadyblue: If only there was some sorta business that you could go to that would allow you to pay money and borrow one their cars for a certain length of time when ever you needed to.

Renting is not going to work. Can you imagine people trying to rent cars for Thanksgiving and Christmas driving? The last time I took a trip my friend and I had trouble enough renting a decent car during non-peak times. Not to mention that renting is often quite expensive. The extra hassle, cost, and reliability of renting will again wipe out any savings of an electric.

I could probably get by without owning a wet/dry vac as I rarely need it, but I own one anyway because the extra hassle, cost and convenience or owning one makes owning the better deal. Same with cars and social engineering tax schemes are not going to work.
 
2009-12-01 10:32:47 AM
dragonchild: When the current F-150 is larger than the F-350 of 20 years ago?

Very appropriate use of "Unlikely" tag. A sizeable minority of idiots will quite happily compromise their food supply in order to keep driving a vehicle far larger and heavier than they need.


Right, it's the sizable minority of pickup truck owners that are using all the fuel. I love how buy a smaller car is the only option.

Do you have any idea how much of our fuel is used on transporting all that plastic crap from China to all the big box stores? It takes a lot of fuel just haul that crap across the ocean and once it gets here it has to be shipped by truck to every wal-mart in America. You probably buy farking produce shipped from South America. Last time I checked 60% of our oil consumption went to transportation. Most of that(~9 billion barrels a day) is used for diesel and I doubt that the F-350 drivers are using very much of that. That leaves about 7 billion barrels used for gas production. Even if trucks and SUVs used half of that it's 3.5 billion barrels out of 20.

What's the average commute now compared to 20 years ago. I get sick of only hearing one side of the fuel usage argument. You act as if getting better mileage is the only solution. There are 2 parts to that equation. You could drive less too. We are driving far more than ever before. Our commuting distance had increased and most families now have dual incomes so both parents are driving.

Why are we still commuting to work when most of these office jobs can be done at home? Why haven't we tried a 4 day work week? Why don't more people carpool? Where is our public transportation?

We all use way more fuel than we should. The only idiots are the ones pointing fingers and acting like they aren't part of the problem. So yeah, get better gas mileage but also move closer to work, car pool, BUY LOCAL, and stop pointing fingers.
 
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