Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Clean Transport

ACT Expo 2014 Day 1: Bob Lutz Tells Us To Ride Motorcycles

Bob Lutz at ACT Expo

ACT Expo 2014, aka the Alternative Clean Transportation Expo and Natural Gas Vehicles Conference, promised to be slightly less exciting than the motorcycle races I usually cover. But I wanted to be sure not to miss any important nuggets of information about fleet vehicles. The Expo hall takes up the entire conference floor, so look forward to plenty of photographs of the latest technologies present. The event leans heavily toward natural gas-powered heavy duty vehicles, so I’ve already heard many speakers talk about the benefits of fracking. What’s cool about this conference is that it’s all about trying to get off petroleum, particularly for trucks, which use about 25 billion gallons of gasoline a year in the US. Although fracking certainly could stand to be more regulated, it has made natural gas cheap enough to compete with coal and petroleum, opening up the possibilities for cleaner power.

Toward the end of his talk, after my video cut off, Bob Lutz implored anyone under 40 to hang on to their motorcycle if they like controlling their own vehicles. He expressed gratitude that he won’t be alive when nearly all surface transit is automated, and that anyone under age 40 has that to look forward to. He said it couldn’t be done to motorcycles, so they’ll be the last vestige of autonomy for humans in the future, aka The Singularity. Well, ok, there will also be bicycles, rollerblades, etc. but this is engine-powered transport we’re talking about, not leg-powered.

Lutz also talked about the future of battery technology, pointing out that next-gen, lithium-sulfur batteries have 5x as much energy density as lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-air, he continued, has 10x, but can’t be recharged. He said that’s within the realm of possibility, though. He also extolled the virtues of the electric motor, and gave us a wonderfully animated demonstration of how impossible it would be to invent the gasoline motor overnight, to bring it to the same level of development it’s at now, after over 100 years of tuning.

This also being the Natural Gas Vehicles conference, he began by telling us about a time when the focus of his speech was on the scarcity of natural gas. And then he sat in on a morning panel full of oil folks talking about this new “fracking” technology that was enabling them to extract much more gas than ever before. He said he’d never re-written a speech so quickly in his life. Here’s most of his talk:

Lutz said Volvo’s video showing Platooning was spot-on, and that their video of the trucks using electrified roadways reminded him of the Scalectrix slot cars he’d played with as a child. It does look pretty cool, although the cost of building that infrastructure is probably not in the realm of possibility for most cities.

Volvo Platooning:

Volvo Slot Trucks:

A nifty teaser from the documentary the National Biodiesel Board put together:

Image Credit: Susanna Schick / CleanTechnica

 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Advertisement
 
Written By

Susanna is passionate about anything fast and electric. As long as it's only got two wheels. Which is why she's now based in Barcelona, Spain and happy to live in a city moving rapidly toward complete freedom from cars. She covers electric motorcycle racing events, urban mobility, test rides electric motorcycles, and interviews industry leaders.

Comments

You May Also Like

Fossil Fuels

The Freeport LNG export facility will be fully out of commission until September and will not be fully up and running until late this...

Climate Change

Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that French energy company Engie signed a 15-year supply deal for liquified natural gas (LNG) from NextDecade’s proposed Rio Grande...

Climate Change

Infrared images show unburned methane – a potent greenhouse gas – being released from supposedly ‘green’ LNG ships, a damning new investigation by Transport...

Clean Transport

EU policies to clean up shipping will lead to replacement of conventional marine fuels with fossil liquid natural gas (LNG), with little benefit to...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.