Time to buy that electric car?
Have we reached the tipping point where an electric car will be cheaper? Watch this video.
Earlier this week, the Chicago Tribune ran a discussion about electric cars. If you recall the last time gas was this expensive a couple of years back, electric cars were on the drawing board, but that was about it. Now they’re available, at least sort of. (You may still have to wait to get an electric Rolls Royce.)
The article was considering whether that technology is now economically viable and practical, and the answer is: sort of. As for the economic side, here’s a point it made:
“At $5 a gallon, consumers who drive 12,000 miles a year could save on average $2,257 at Commonwealth Edison's off-peak electric rates by switching to a pure electric vehicle, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the Environmental Law and Policy Center.”
That’s great, but when you factor in the price of the car, the article goes on to suggest that it would take about 10 years to break even at current price levels.
The practicality question is another matter. If you buy a Volt, with its ability to recharge itself if necessary, you’re probably OK. If you buy a Leaf, you have to know where you’re going to charge it. You can do that at home, but let’s say you want to go on a road trip that will take you farther than a single charge. Where do you juice up?
The video clip helps answer that question. Among the things displayed at ABB’s Automation & Power World last week was an electric car charging station and a Nissan Leaf. ABB is keen on deploying this infrastructure, and hopes you will be interested in buying an electric car. In the video, Murray Jones explains what the company is doing, and where the first “electric highways” are being built. If car prices come down a little, this kind of thing could be here sooner than you think.
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey