Quote Of The Day: Who Killed The Electric Car, Part 2

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

After Fukushima, I am not sure how any politician in any modestly democratic republic is going to sell a new nuclear power plant to any general population.”

“Would you like the job of trying to sell a new nuclear plant to your electorate?”

“There is one terrible casualty in all of this: The electric car. When they make part 2 of Who Killed the Electric Car? the answer is going to be plain and clear: Fukushima killed the electric car.”

From the LogicalOptimizer blog, just one of many that currently say the same.

Let’s face it: What is happening in Japan will set back nuclear power by at least 20 years. Haunted by the “Ghost of Fukushima,” Germany shut off seven plants. Nuclear expansion plans the world over are on ice. Even China pauses to rethink nuclear power.

What will produce the electricity needed to make and charge the millions of EVs that were promised to be on our roads real soon now? A lack of readily available, greenhouse-neutral power could be the death-knell to the electric car.


Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • VanillaDude VanillaDude on Mar 21, 2011

    Where is my windmill powered Volt? Isn't that the next silly demand to come from "experts" who consider the average person too stupid to know what is best for them or their families, and lives in a dream world untouched by reality? Disrespecting your neighbors cannot be the foundation from which you begin debating your views, because your neighbors know more than you collectively. For each "banjo-playing 'tard", there are a hundred with college degrees in some useless social science claiming they hear banjo music whenever they begin discussing a social issue and claiming you are the one playing a banjo in order to make themelves sound informed on the issue.

  • Chitbox dodge Chitbox dodge on Mar 21, 2011

    I work in the nuclear power industry, so I will be biased in my opinions obviously, but with good reason. I can tell you that anyone who seeks to use wind power as an alternative for power has to be nuts. You would have to clear many miles of land just to begin to put the windmills. Something along four square miles of wind generators will give you as much power as one emergency back-up diesel at anyone of the nuclear plants would. One diesel gen-set gives you enough power to safely shut down one nuclear plant such as the PWR I work at. We have four to handle safe shutdowns at my plant, two per unit. How enviromentally friendly is clear-cutting thousands of miles of land just for effectively the return of one nuclear plant? Daiichi had similar gensets, but lost them by two feet of water intrusion from the tsunami, or so I have been informed. The costliness of solar in both terms of its fragility and its manufacture of the panels to actually create pwer in the size we need is much similar to wind, infeasible in large markets. The only true alternative would be gas turbine, but there again, you it the fossil fuels isssue in the face. Wether you like it or not, nuclear is going to be the answer. I will say though that most of these antiquated Boiling Water Reator plants will be heavily scrutinized at this point. This very well could also be the end for GE BWRs (and possibly GE altogether). The cooperative I work for has three plants just like the Daiichi GE BWRs. There are already groups being put together on how to defend their continued operation, just in case of such backlash. Nothing is going to stop the electric/semi-electric car. So long as people think it is a viable alternative it will proceed.

  • MrBostn MrBostn on Mar 21, 2011

    The US probably won't build any new nuclear plants due to what's happening in Japan, but it's somewhat moot if we are surrounded by countries to the east, west and north building them. Similar to the US forcing US industies to adopt green technology and the rest of the world polluting it as they see fit.

  • Herb Herb on Mar 21, 2011

    @GS650G: No, they "haven't turned off their nukes". Just the 7 oldest ones (of 17) were temporarily shut down by the government, in order to win the next elections. So, this decision was in no way "baseless". Then we will see... Regarding the question "what is the plan to replace the lost energy?": solar panels will have a tough time to find an empty barn roof. From what I can see here in the south of Germany, almost every barn is already fitted with solar panels now, thanks to subsidies. Dams on the Rhine are no option. There is a whole lot of traffic on the Rhine. Of course, neither Germany, nor France, nor Japan (not to forget the US, China, India, Russia) currently have an option to forget about nuclear energy. Besides, even if all nuclear power plants could be shut down immediately, we and the following generations will still have one problem to solve: what to do with the nuclear waste to keep it safe for next several thousand years. Still no cure...