Friday, November 9, 2012

Lamenting Motorsports – Part 4

In my third and final (Hurrah!) No Fenders four part symphonic expose upon the unintended(?) consequences of emerging trends in Motorsports, I’d like to examine the unrelenting tidal surge towards the “George Retson” AstroCar era...

Fall, 2012
‘Whale a whole lot has changed since I first began scribbling this ‘Wayback in February of Twenty-eleven, yet I still feel basically the same towards the future of E ‘lectrified motorcars...


As this topic sprang to mind once again as we sat at the Eugene, Oregon train station awaiting our passenger right next to some building called The Electric Station - which made  me ponder if it was thee electric station I’d read about awhile ago that provides free recharging for electric vehicles. Nah, I’m pretty sure that ‘Juan’s in Portland instead, as this electric station was apparently the original Eugene train station that’s been converted into a restaurant now.

And I’m not against the technologies of hybrids or plug-in vehicles; HELL! I even found the ‘Chebbie Volt to be a whole lot better looking then I’d mentally painted it inside my cranium; BUTT! I’m just simply run down and extremely tired over what I now believe is nothing more than “Greenwashing!”

As I suppose if I try hard enough I can find some sort of environmental problems towards any of today’s technology, its just that I’m really torqued off that one of the main aspects of automotive Ee-lectrification is NEVER mentioned or discussed... Which is how is Lithium obtained and what are the side effects of mining for it?

As how come NOBODY ever discusses how the process of obtaining Lithium from faraway nations has a diverse effect upon their cultures & civilization, not to mention irrevocably ruining their natural resources...


As currently there’s a court case going on to decide if a Canadian mining company should indeed be responsible for poisoning the Columbia River for a Century by dumping its tailings, etc from their side of the border.


Whilst another mining company has finally agreed to a momentous settlement of its lawsuit in regards to reeking environmental havoc upon Idaho.


Thus, with the announcement of the FIA’s brand new E-racing series; Formula E, you have to wonder just exactly what is the real purpose of said series? Is it simply to push the Green agenda further forward in hopes of selling us new cars? As how come nobody is talking about the inherent danger of Formula One’s current vaunted KERS system, which is supposedly going to become even more robust in 2014 with the switch to 1.6-liter turbo engines  and more emphasis upon energy recovery systems...

I mean, gosh, gee Wally? There’s even talk about the cars going into hush mode in the Pitlane, which I personally find to be something dangerous for blind and visually impaired persons in general... As we totally rely upon NOISE in order to avoid being struck by vehicles!

But back to KERS, does everybody remember the Iceman’s Kinetic Energy Recovery System failure at Korea this year? When thee ‘Kimster was forced to jump out of the Lotus chassis in one fell swoop without touching the car  before landing on the ground because they didn’t know if the car was safe or not? As Professor Matchett noted how they’re currently producing between 400-600 volts; YIKES! As ‘Hobbo noted your house is only running on 110V,  while I think heavy duty usage runs at 240-volts, while our cars currently utilize a 12V battery.

And that’s not to mention Bruno Senna’s back receiving burns in his Williams when the KERS allegedly caused wiring to melt and mold itself to the backside of the gas tank/bulkhead - causing the burns; CRIKEYS! Not to mention the various instances of “Hot Bods” (bottoms) over the years from the extreme packaging confines of today’s modern F1 chassis.

As I notice there’s NO word on how the Grand Prix teams dispose of said batteries and their associated liquids which were apparently oozing out when the cameras zoomed in on the mechanics walking around with thick rubber gloves upon there hands in order to protect themselves from potentially ‘Mega voltage shockwaves when working upon Raikkonen’s stricken Lotus...

And speaking of disposal, this subject never seems to be brought up either... As yeah, I’ve heard all the  “Greeniness” or is that Greediness? Of disposing properly and recycling, yet how much of this really is happening? As it appears many top consumer businesses - most notably WallMart, that All American company; YUK! Simply ship their batteries to Mexico in order to let them deal with the toxic disposal of lead and whatever else corrosive, hazardous chemicals are included...


And that’s before we even get to how is the electricity for charging such vaunted vehicles such as the Tessla Roadster being produced? Is it Nuclear, Coal, Natural Gas, a combination of all of the above or Hydroelectric instead, which dams have their own set of inherent environmental setbacks to deal with...

And that’s not even considering the current major drawback of what is a very real emotion called range anxiety!

So, while I applaud the pursuit of alternative technology and a “Greener” environment, let’s just QUIT the BULLSHIT over how GURR-REAT!!! These George Retson  AstroCars are! And do NOT even get me started upon Autonomous cars, which I’ll save for a discussion in the future...

“The RICH stay Healthy; the sick stay POOR,
I, I, believe in love...”
(U2: God II; Rattle and Hum, 1988)

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