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SUMMARY
At what point do electric cars become competitive with ICE-age models? Actually, by at least one measure, we're there already, and we're not far from surpassing gasoline on all fronts. Also, 2015 could be year of the fuel cell car. Two teams complete around the world race and Toyota plays it cool when it comes to battery electric cars.
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INSIDER ILLUSTRATED EDITION 12.39

FUTURE BLOWING IN THE WIND

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to drive to Walnut -- the “antique capital” of Iowa. My wife was rendezvousing with a girl friend for a much deserved weekend relaxing on Lake Panorama and shopping in Des Moines. Walnut’s other claim to fame is that it is surrounded by dozens of giant wind turbines stretching in all directions, but mainly south of the town, which sits just off I-80 some 40 miles east of the Missouri River. On both trips to Walnut, convoys of trucks hauling wind turbine blades passed us on the opposite lane. Each convoy consisted of three tractor-trailers, each hauling a single blade, and one hauling the central hub, to which they attach. This got me to doing a bit of mental math. How many similar convoys were rolling through western Iowa, either heading west or north during the week? I assumed one set of trucks with all three blades and the hub every couple hours, during daylight, that’s maybe 5 complete blade sets a day, five days a week. That’s 25 wind turbines a week, times 52... that’s 1,300 turbines annually passing just through my little corner of the world. While some people may find them distracting, I view them as beautiful, kinetic art along the highway. They are amazing to watch as they spin slowly, majestically in the wind, of which we have our share, as well as vast open spaces. Now once we can store that energy -- EVs being one option -- we’ll be well on our way to a greener world.

BREAK + EVEN

Electric cars will become competitive when their performance and cost compare favorably to the gasoline/diesel competition. Right? By performance we usually mean range and ‘refueling’ time. In terms of acceleration and top speeds, most OEM-offered electric cars are pretty much as good, if not better than their more complicated ICE-age cousins.

CONTINUED.....

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