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Old 04-06-2016, 08:02 PM   #181
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..........However, can I fit a 10' long pipe in a Leaf?
Roof rack.
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:34 PM   #182
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Regarding LiFePO4 battery life, here's a typical curve on the Web. This particular manufacturer claims the battery is discharged at 1C in the tests (depleted in 1hr), which represents very heavy usage.

Seems to be a lot of numbers out there. Unless we find some specifics on the exact chemistry and parameters of the specific 18650 cells that Tesla uses, I think we are just guessing?

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Old 04-06-2016, 08:52 PM   #183
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As I mentioned in an earlier post, because Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries have been out for a few years, I assumed that they would be common now. But that could be wrong as they may be still too expensive.

A 1.3kWh LiFePO4 battery I was contemplating buying for my RV costs $620. That's still $500/kWh, compared to the sub-$200/kWh some car makers are claiming. Perhaps we are not talking about the same battery type at all.
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:09 PM   #184
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There are many competing battery compositions, although they all use lithium. Here's what GM uses in the Volt: lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4).

Tesla uses batteries from Panasonic, and the latter uses lithium cobalt oxide (LiCOO2) in its consumer batteries, so perhaps that is in the Tesla EV.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:46 PM   #185
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Roof rack.
I found the following experience by a Leaf owner very interesting.

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Driving to the store in a 2011 Nissan Leaf with Thule roof rack fitted, we noticed the roof rack’s dramatic effect on the car’s range after a few minutes on the freeway.

Instead of predicting a range of between 50 and 60 miles for a three-quarter full charge, our car predicted nearer to 35.

We arrived at the store after 10 miles, with the Leaf using around a quarter of its charge to drive that short distance.

After fitting the 95 pound shelving unit to the Leaf, the 10-mile trip home burned through almost all of the remaining charge.

Interestingly, neither handling nor performance seemed that badly affected by our load, with our test car happy to match other cars on the freeway in terms of acceleration and speed.

However, range did suffer, arriving home with enough charge for an estimated 5 more miles of travel.
So, instead of the expected 50 to 60 mile range starting with the battery 3/4 full, the driver gets about 10 miles with the empty roof rack, plus another 15 miles with an Ikea shelf on the rack.

Aerodynamic drag effect is huge. Driving my class C RV has been likened to pushing two 4'x8' plywood sheets broadside against a 60-mph wind.
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:11 AM   #186
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Overnight charging when there is less demand on the grid sounds nice on paper, but the reality is that most people would plug the vehicle in as soon as they get home from work, then cook dinner and either turn up the AC or heat. What will happen on a hot day at 5:00 PM when an entire city has the AC running and 10's of thousands of EV cars re-charging?
Every EV out there has a built in timer you can set to control when the charge starts, or ends in some cases.
Many utilities offer time of use charges, so electricity is cheaper at night, giving people incentives to charge during off peak hours.

This is not nearly as difficult as setting up a "smart" grid and can be done very quickly.
The Smart grid is also needed, with or without EVs. That will take some time to implement though.
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Old 04-07-2016, 08:46 AM   #187
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Every EV out there has a built in timer you can set to control when the charge starts, or ends in some cases.
Many utilities offer time of use charges, so electricity is cheaper at night, giving people incentives to charge during off peak hours.

This is not nearly as difficult as setting up a "smart" grid and can be done very quickly.
The Smart grid is also needed, with or without EVs. That will take some time to implement though.
And this could actually get pretty sophisticated with just an 'app' for your car (and a wi-fi or other data connection), from your utility. Picture an app with a calendar, and you pre-program the % of charge you need for each day of the week, and the time of day you need it by (with easy to make exceptions). And some option to over ride to charge to 100% if rates drop below $0.XX (or some dynamic threshold based on averages).

For example, say you have a short commute M-Th each week, but an extended drive each Friday, and you want a full charge on w/e, just in case. So you say 60% is fine M- Th by 7AM, but Friday you need 100% by 6AM, and w/e 100% by 9AM.

Your utility could broadcast current and expected rates for each hour that night (variability based on wind predictions mostly), and your car could decide when it needs to charge to meet your schedule, and/or take advantage of very low rates to 'stock up' for the next day's driving.Your programmed demand would be fed back to the utility so they could re-iterate for other customers, if needed (but lock in the rates you were promised).

The utility does not need to know about your cars charge times - the app determines that locally for your car/charger profile, and just informs the utility of how many kW you plan to draw each hour, based on the price info the utility predicted.

That's not really all that complicated, and the utility and drivers would benefit, and it really doesn't take any changes to the grid, just the usual predictions the utility makes, and broadcast to the EV drivers, and info fed back to the utility.

That could make the best use of wind, but I still think we would need a LOT of excess wind to get a large fleet of EVS from requiring fossil fuel for the majority of their charging.

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Old 04-07-2016, 09:34 AM   #188
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For example, say you have a short commute M-Th each week, but an extended drive each Friday, and you want a full charge on w/e, just in case. So you say 60% is fine M- Th by 7AM, but Friday you need 100% by 6AM, and w/e 100% by 9AM.
I'd think something along the lines of how the Nest thermostat works would be better since few people want to futz with such things (I know there is a small group of tinkers out there...). Let the system observe your behavior and if you have patterns it can key into them.

Of course, if it's wrong, oh well.
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Old 04-07-2016, 09:50 AM   #189
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I'd think something along the lines of how the Nest thermostat works would be better since few people want to futz with such things (I know there is a small group of tinkers out there...). Let the system observe your behavior and if you have patterns it can key into them.

Of course, if it's wrong, oh well.
It could certainly be 'learned' as well. And if it worked right, the result would be something similar to what I outlined, just a different way to get there. And though I used % of charge in the example, it could certainly be based off entering miles per day, or clicking on destinations on a map for each day of the week, and let the software figure the more nitty-gritty numbers.

For any of these learning devices, a simple over-ride method is key, in my book. My schedule is so variable, I don't think there is enough pattern to learn to be a benefit, and would probably be worse than nothing, or my manual system (talking of thermostats here, but applies to driving as well I guess).

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Old 04-07-2016, 10:15 AM   #190
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This just in . . .

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Tesla Motors Inc. said it has received more than 325,000 reservations for the Model 3, far exceeding its expectations as customers line up for the $35,000 small electric car more than a year ahead of when its more-affordable model is slated to hit the streets.
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:36 AM   #191
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This just in . . .

Tesla Motors Inc. said it has received more than 325,000 reservations for the Model 3, far exceeding its expectations as customers line up for the $35,000 small electric car more than a year ahead of when its more-affordable model is slated to hit the streets..
That is impressive. But I wonder what the numbers would be if it wasn't fully refundable?

Tesla is smart. They get to report lots of interest, and potential buyers stand to lose nothing. Win-win...
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:37 AM   #192
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This just in . . .
Since this is a refundable deposit how many have plunked a $1,000 deposit down in order to try and see what the market is for their deposit and/or Tesla when the time comes? If this becomes high in demand the deposit might sell for 5-10 grand in order to get a Tesla, if it doesn’t pan out you always can get your $1,000 back. Just another ZIRP investment
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:48 AM   #193
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This idea there is this huge demand for electric cars is certainly dispelled by the resale value of Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf cars. You can buy a 2013 Nissan Leaf with 15,000 miles for less than $11,000. Which drops the cost to operate that car to absurdly low levels. A 2013 Chevy Volt with 28,000 miles can be had for 15K.

That somehow really what people want is to pay 40 grand for an electric car seems unlikely, but the ability to say “yea I put a deposit down on a new Tesla” in today’s environmentally friendly social media the ability to join that crowd is very cheap, with a possible upside to sell your ticket when the time comes.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:58 AM   #194
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This idea there is this huge demand for electric cars is certainly dispelled by the resale value of Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf cars. You can buy a 2013 Nissan Leaf with 15,000 miles for less than $11,000.
Cars aren't fungible. And nobody is saying that there's huge demand for generic EVs. There does seem to be huge demand for Teslas, though.

And we know that is true at the top end of the market because more folks plunked down $100K for the Model S last year than any other luxury model.

The pre-orders at least indicate that that very real demand at the top extends pretty far down the price scale.

We'll see what happens when Tesla actually delivers a vehicle. It could very easily disappoint. Right now people are just buying a dream.
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Old 04-07-2016, 12:11 PM   #195
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There are many competing battery compositions, although they all use lithium. Here's what GM uses in the Volt: lithium manganese oxide (LiMn2O4).

Tesla uses batteries from Panasonic, and the latter uses lithium cobalt oxide (LiCOO2) in its consumer batteries, so perhaps that is in the Tesla EV.
It is lithium nickel (80%) cobalt (15%) aluminium (5%) according to here:
Tesla will use different batteries for its grid products. Here's why - Fortune

Checks out with other articles, such as this one:
Tesla Model 3 Battery Materials Supplier Ramping Up | CleanTechnica

They are also playing with anode/cathode, replacing graphite with silicon.
Why The Tesla 90D Battery Is So Much Better

Supposedly LiFePO4 batteries have worse density (per the wiki page).

[Edit] Percentages are quoted as 'typical', not specifically what Tesla uses.
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Old 04-07-2016, 01:31 PM   #196
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And getting back to the 'oil crisis' theme of the OP for a moment (not that there's anything wrong with the related side topics, I'm enjoying those as well)...

Since it looks like the 'more affordable' 200 mile range EVs won't be shipping in much volume for maybe 3 years, I have to also think about where hybrids will be going in that time. And though they still use oil, let's look at some weighted average numbers:

If we get to the point of 33% of cars being hybrids, and assume 33% better mpg than the cars they replace, we have reduced oil demand (for passenger cars) by ~ 10%. Plus, without range limits, those cars will likely be driven more miles than an EV. Plus, hybrid technology helps trucks, buses, and delivery vehicles as well (which use a lot of fuel, so even small mpg savings weigh strong in the mix), where EVs will still have trouble competing. So that 10% number is probably understated.

Due to range and charger availability, I do think that getting to 33% hybrids will happen before 10% EVs (which would reduce oil demand by 10%, or less if miles are less than average).

Or would EVs reduce oil demand as a 1:1 ratio? We will probably be using a high % of Natural Gas to power the generators to charge those EVs, and NG is often produced hand-in-hand with... oil ( I know it's a complex relationship), but I'd still say less than 10% affect on oil.

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Old 04-07-2016, 01:45 PM   #197
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Or would EVs reduce oil demand as a 1:1 ratio? We will probably be using a high % of Natural Gas to power the generators to charge those EVs, and NG is often produced hand-in-hand with... oil ( I know it's a complex relationship), but I'd still say less than 10% affect on oil.

-ERD50
It used to be that Natural Gas was a by-product of oil production. It wasn't uncommon for that gas to be "flared" at the well head because it was considered a waste product . . . or at least a product where building the infrastructure to take it to market made less sense than just burning it on site.

So if we have a situation where oil isn't in high demand but is lifted anyway as a by-product of natural gas production, that means very bad things for the price of oil.

I'd also say that a 10% reduction in demand has a larger than 10% reduction in price for most commodities. How much more? I have no idea. But I don't think the relationship is linear.
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Old 04-07-2016, 02:06 PM   #198
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...

I'd also say that a 10% reduction in demand has a larger than 10% reduction in price for most commodities. How much more? I have no idea. But I don't think the relationship is linear.
Agree with that, and I also have no idea how that works. On the demand side, I guess it has a lot to do with available substitutes? If bird flu cuts the supply of chicken by 10%, we can eat pork, beef, fish, etc for 1 out of 10 of our normal 'chicken meals'. But if it takes 10 gallons a week for someone to get back-forth to work, 9 gallons won't do (options are a bit tougher, public trans, car-pool, move, etc).

On the supply side, I guess it plays into the marginal versus fixed costs per production unit. And even the marginal costs aren't that easy to 'dispose' of - you really don't want to layoff a trained workforce, and there is unemployment to pay, etc.

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Old 04-08-2016, 07:18 AM   #199
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...

Since it looks like the 'more affordable' 200 mile range EVs won't be shipping in much volume for maybe 3 years, I have to also think about where hybrids will be going in that time. And though they still use oil, let's look at some weighted average numbers:

If we get to the point of 33% of cars being hybrids, and assume 33% better mpg than the cars they replace, we have reduced oil demand (for passenger cars) by ~ 10%. Plus, without range limits, those cars will likely be driven more miles than an EV. Plus, hybrid technology helps trucks, buses, and delivery vehicles as well (which use a lot of fuel, so even small mpg savings weigh strong in the mix), where EVs will still have trouble competing. So that 10% number is probably understated.

Due to range and charger availability, I do think that getting to 33% hybrids will happen before 10% EVs (which would reduce oil demand by 10%, or less if miles are less than average).
...

-ERD50
Unless hybrid cost overhead comes down, I don't see a path to a 33% adoption rate in the light vehicle market.
I am not sure how the numbers shake out with heavy vehicles, so hybrids may make more gains there.

Hybrid market share peaked between 3-4% before 2010 (if I recall correctly).
Although hybrid market share is about three times the plugin market share, I expect plugins to grow faster than hybrids.

If GM supports their new Bolt and Nissan comes up with a competitor, I expect plugin vehicles to reach 33% market share before hybrids reach 10%.
I also expect plugins to pass hybrids in terms of market share by 2020.
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:24 AM   #200
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There are several obstacles to pure EVs, but it seems like Tesla is overcoming them one at a time. Obstacle #1 is the cruising range, but if you can get 200+ miles on a charge instead of the 30-50 in the past, that's huge. And it looks like the price point is being solved as well; at $35K it's borderline affordable, and with economies of scale and mass production that cost should continue to fall.

At least two big problems remain: The need to eventually replace batteries (very expensive) and the time it takes to recharge the vehicle -- not to mention the availability of "fast" charging stations.
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