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Last updated on July 2nd, 2017 at 08:46 am
Much of the content in the early part of the book seemed to bear little relevance to its title, like the page devoted to a discussion of shawls made from the hair of an endangered Tibetan antelope. Truly …
But mild annoyance turned to head-shaking disbelief when I finally reached the chapter titled Buying a New Car. After a lame description of hydrogen’s potential and problems, and why you can’t buy a car fuelled with the stuff right now, Ha moves on to hybrids.
What follows, and there’s no polite way to put this, is utter gibberish.
Ha writes: “One solution is the electric hybrid, which combines a fuel cell with the traditional petrol engine.” No, Tanya, it doesn’t. A hybrid drivetrain is an internal combustion engine teamed with an electric motor/generator unit and battery. There ain’t no fuel cell.
Next sentence: “While the car is running on unleaded petrol, hydrogen is produced as a byproduct.” Pardon? Burn a hydrocarbon fuel like petrol and the products of combustion are almost entirely carbon dioxide and water vapour.
Then: “This hydrogen becomes the fuel for the fuel cell, so the battery recharges while the car is running on petrol.” So, hydrogen that isn’t produced by the petrol engine is used by a fuel cell that isn’t there?
Naturally, this is another quality publication from the geniuses at Melbourne University Press. Incidentally, Ha has a Bachelor in Science degree from that university; keep your children away. More from Carey:
Remember Honda’s quite awful Insight Hybrid? … All of 45 of the tiny, slow, skittish, noisy, ill-handling dungers were sold [in Australia] over a four-year period from 2001, the very last in January 2004. Yet almost four years later, Green Travel and Transport includes the Insight among a list of the hybrids you could buy today.
Melbourne University Press is among publishers seeking the rights to David Hicks’ life story. He should sign with them. They won’t check anything.