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Old 06-15-2013, 10:38 PM   #201
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OK, finally getting back to this as promised (threatened? )...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
Once again, I highly recommend the research called State of Charge by the Union of Concerned Scientists. I think you will find a very high quality level of data in there.
I did download and read the State of Charge (I skipped/skimmed the cost areas, and focused on environmental). Unless I missed something, I think the points you quoted in this thread pretty well covered it. They focus on GHG emissions - I'll repeat your quote of them, and my equivalent expression, viewing it from another angle:

Quote from 'State of Charge':
Quote:
45% of the population in 2009 lived in an area of the country where the GHG emissions of the typical EV is better than that of the Prius.
And ERD50 says: So for 55% of the population, the EV is worse than a Prius.

Beyond that, I think the self-proclaimed "Union of Concerned Scientists" should show more concern for the environment. They play up these numbers for EVs & GHG (in a biased way, with moving goal-posts, IMO), and barely make a passing comment on the other pollutants I mentioned, SOx (acid rain, irritant), NOx (smog, irritant), and mercury (bad stuff!). Since the numbers for SOx and NOx are far worse for EVs even in the cleaner grid areas, isn't it suspicious that these numbers are not even mentioned, while many pages, numbers, charts and graphs are dedicated to a positive view of GHG for EVs? Cherry picking? All we get, in the Intro is:

Quote:
... power plants also emit other air pollutants and toxics, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury. As with carbon dioxide, electricity generated from renewable resources will produce substantial reductions in these pollutants.
OK, so they will be reduced if/when we switch to cleaner power, that's obvious. Why not tell us the numbers that they are now, and what they might be projected to be in 2025 or some future year? Maybe because the numbers still look bad? Yes, there is some offsetting factor for local versus urban pollution for some of these (not all), but let's have some numbers.

And no mention of particulates (I saw numbers elsewhere, need to dig them up, but also not a pretty picture for EVs).

I dug around more on the site, and found this (after trying to follow a bunch of dead links):

The UCS Model E: Electric Car Frequently Asked Questions | Union of Concerned Scientists


Quote:
If an electric-drive vehicle is recharged primarily using electricity generated from coal, its global warming pollution footprint is only a little better than the average gasoline vehicle today and is significantly worse than a good hybridóbased on emissions from generating, transporting, and using electricity or gasoline.

And while pollution controls on powerplants should keep the problem in check, there are risks that some pollutants, such as sulfur or toxic particulates, could be increased, at least in the areas around the powerplants.

At the end of the day, consumers living in areas with a lot of coal should either focus on buying a good hybrid or should look for ways to support increased use of renewables, both directly through their purchases and by advocating for increases renewable generating capacity.
But in 'State of Charge', all they do is promote EVs - why not promote a hybrid in areas with average to dirty grids? It really does not come across as very scientific to me, it looks like they have a pro-EV agenda. Phrases like 'could be increased' - no mention of SOx being hundreds of times higher for an EV on average. A lot of comparisons are to the 'average fleet mpg' instead of to the better environmental choices, like the Prius V. If we are making decisions based on environment, we should be comparing the best in class of each, no? A Prius is going to meet the needs of many more people than an EV (no range anxiety, no need for access to a charger, lower up-front cost, etc).

I've also been reading that a significant % of Tesla's income ($40M) is from State carbon offset credits. These are payments from other car manufacturers who do not have 'Zero (tailpipe) Emission' vehicles. But several of these mfg will have EVs for sale in the next year, and from what I've read (like the EV1), they only plan to sell/lease enough of them to cover the need to buy credits. It sounds like they need to sell/lease them at a loss to meet the requirements, not as some grand plan to increase volumes and drive down prices (because we aren't there yet, and regulations don't change that). Is $40M of tax money a good investment when a hybrid is roughly equivalent in GHG to an EV, and much better in other ways?

Bottom line again - I just don't see where EVs are providing enough enviro-benefit to get excited about, and certainly not enough to earn any special funding from taxpayers. If people want to buy them for other reasons, that's fine, but I see no reason for taxpayer support for that. But more important than the subsidy issues - is there a clear enviro-benefit, that says environmentalists should be behind EVs? I just don't see it.

-ERD50
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:43 AM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
OK, finally getting back to this as promised (threatened? )...



I did download and read the State of Charge (I skipped/skimmed the cost areas, and focused on environmental). Unless I missed something, I think the points you quoted in this thread pretty well covered it. They focus on GHG emissions - I'll repeat your quote of them, and my equivalent expression, viewing it from another angle:

Quote from 'State of Charge':

And ERD50 says: So for 55% of the population, the EV is worse than a Prius.

Beyond that, I think the self-proclaimed "Union of Concerned Scientists" should show more concern for the environment.
Thank you for taking the time to do so ERD, I do appreciate it.

I guess you and I will just have to agree to disagree.
The title of the paper, and the focus is on green house gases and the electric car. With the focus on EVs and GHGs I have no issue with them not going into greater depth with particulates and hybrids since they do make mention of both.

I do agree we need to clean up our grid.
Oil is getting dirtier as we expend more energy to find it/recover it and electricity is getting cleaner as we clean up the grid.
If I can find more info on particulate pollution I will look into and post that

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I've also been reading that a significant % of Tesla's income ($40M) is from State carbon offset credits.
Depends what you call significant. Your numbers may be from last year when Tesla only started making the Model S and had not ramped up production to full speed.
In the first quarter they made $68 million from CA ZEV credits. These were not paid by the taxpayer, but by other auto makers (you mentioned both, so I just wanted to clarify).
That $68 million was 12% of their revenue for the first quarter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
These are payments from other car manufacturers who do not have 'Zero (tailpipe) Emission' vehicles. But several of these mfg will have EVs for sale in the next year, and from what I've read (like the EV1), they only plan to sell/lease enough of them to cover the need to buy credits. It sounds like they need to sell/lease them at a loss to meet the requirements, not as some grand plan to increase volumes and drive down prices (because we aren't there yet, and regulations don't change that).
Shame, seems Tesla is able to make them at a profit. If the other manufacturers don't see a roadmap to making a profit on them perhaps they should license Tesla technology?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Is $40M of tax money a good investment when a hybrid is roughly equivalent in GHG to an EV, and much better in other ways?
As noted above by both you and I, the $40/68 Million was paid by other manufacturers.
And in the state in which the ZEV credits are required, the EVs are vastly cleaner than a hybrid in terms of GHG.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:22 AM   #203
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Zathras, I won't have time today to take a deep dive into any of these numbers, but let me respond to some of this in a more casual way, and correct some of my mis-statements (thanks for pointing them out, I am trying to be accurate).

Correction first - you are right, it is the other car manufacturers that are paying those state carbon credits. However, those costs will be passed to the customers of those car companies, so in the end it is still the consumer paying those credits to Tesla. And since they are only paying it due to state mandates, I think it can (arguably) still be seen as a 'tax'.

Second - if not for those carbon credits, Tesla would not have turned a profit at this point. So I don't think it is fair to compare other mfg's profitability on EVs to Tesla. Yes, you could argue that if they were there first, they could have received the credits from other mfgs, but it all seems like a bit of a shell game. If EVs are going to make any significant difference going forward, car companies are going to have to be able to sell big numbers, and that means hitting a lower price point at a profit, w/o carbon credits, and after their $7,500 tax credit runs out. Now, Tesla may turn a profit in the future w/o those credits but, that will need to be seen.

Quote:
And in the state in which the ZEV credits are required, the EVs are vastly cleaner than a hybrid in terms of GHG.
I'll need to look into the specifics, but I'd like to see a number put to 'vastly cleaner'. To another point, I'm not sure we need to 'agree to disagree' on anything at this point, numbers are numbers. I'll agree that neither of us know enough at this point to really put all these numbers in perspective, and it's complicated enough that we probably won't reach that. But I think this discussion is helping us both at least get a better understanding of those numbers. And yes, that particular paper addressed GHG, but when I searched their entire site, there were no numbers anywhere that I could find on the other pollutants, just vague comments that they 'could be higher' in some cases, and how they will decrease as the grid becomes cleaner (duh!) - but what are they now, and what will they be? Scientists should supply numbers.

One more comment and I'll go for today. Another little 'bias point' that I see from those concerned scientists - they seem to really talk up how the grid is getting cleaner, but (unless I missed it) seem to largely ignore that hybrid technology, and mpg in general is improving. They can't use a moving target for one side of the equation, and a static target for the other, and call it 'science'.

Thanks for the discussion, it is helping me to become more educated on the topic.

-ERD50
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:02 PM   #204
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I read the Unions paper. I've been reading Union of Concern Scientist stuff since the cold war days. While they definitely have a green/liberal bias, I generally given them pretty high marks for being factually accurate and fairly presented. On scale of 1-10 with a Micheal Moore documentaries being a 1 and David McKay Sustainable Energy book and blog being a 10, I rate UCS as 7 or 8.

I do mostly agree with ERD50 from a GHG prospective EV seem to only marginally better than Hybrids and not even that much than the best gasoline car for someone like myself who lives in the 3rd dirtest grid in the country.

I am adding a solar array, which I probably wouldn't have done with the EV, so I'm being much greener.

Still I do thing it is important to point out that all of the reports we are looking at are a year or two old, which rely on grid data from reports which are also 1-5 years old. We have had dramatic increase in Natural Gas production (I think we've seen record increase in production of NG and oil) and a 70% drop in NG prices since June 08. This really changes the economics of electricity production in this country. I don't think it is at all far fetched to see natural gas and coal production swap (i.e. Natural Gas at 4x% and Coal 2x% with renewables and nuclear adding a point or two.) by the end of the decade and possible sooner. The will make the grid 20+% cleaner. It is true that hybrids are getting better as our gas cars. But so are EVs. How much ERD would you care to bet that the Ford Focus EV, the most energy efficient real car, will be as efficient as the Tesla's $40K 3rd generation car?. I bet very little

But to me the much more interesting comparison is just pure energy efficiency. All of the EVs are getting 100 MPG on energy equivalency and that to me is a big deal, in world with a finite supply of fossil fuels.

On the other hand Zathras, I do think we have to concede that Tesla owners aren't really driving our cars in the most eco friendly manner.

As this fun series of videos from that favorite activity of tree huggers, DRAG RACING shows. I am not sure which is my favorite video the Model S beatting the Dodge Viper, embarrassing the Chevy Volt, or watching the impressive regenerative braking.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:09 PM   #205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I'd suggest you take a critical look at any study like that first. There were/are some real hack jobs going around that try to pass as 'information'. It happens on both sides, that's why I'm trying to dig deep enough to separate some of the wheat from the noise level (to mix metaphors).

-ERD50
The Chevy Tahoe buyer does not receive a subsidy from you and me (the government) as does the Prius buyer. I don't think even with the subsidy anyone has or can show it is a good economic decision or somehow uses less resources in total to produce, transport, etc. As far as the gasoline, you pay up front much more for the Prius and receive a little of that back each month at the pumps. No problem with that if that is what you want. It is just not better, 'greener', or in anyway means you are a better custodian of the environment than the comparable typical vehicle driver.

If you like the Prius, Tesla, or Tahoe, buy it. You will not have an impact on the environment either way, but you will on the economy - and that is a good thing.
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:43 AM   #206
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Originally Posted by clifp View Post
I read the Unions paper. I've been reading Union of Concern Scientist stuff since the cold war days. While they definitely have a green/liberal bias, I generally given them pretty high marks for being factually accurate and fairly presented. On scale of 1-10 with a Micheal Moore documentaries being a 1 and David McKay Sustainable Energy book and blog being a 10, I rate UCS as 7 or 8.

I like your scale, and I'll go along with your ratings, though I think Mr Moore probably deserves a -10 And I'd take at least a point away from UCS for not addressing the other pollutants, and providing that overall perspective.

Quote:
I don't think it is at all far fetched to see natural gas and coal production swap (i.e. Natural Gas at 4x% and Coal 2x% with renewables and nuclear adding a point or two.) by the end of the decade and possible sooner. The will make the grid 20+% cleaner. It is true that hybrids are getting better as our gas cars. But so are EVs.
And we should absolutely re-evaluate this as the grid changes. I'd be surprised to see a 20% change on a decade, these are big capital investments and areas like that tend to move slowly, but I'm open to any data on this (there might be some in that USC paper, I focused on the current situation not the future, so I'll read that section in more detail later). And if the grid is cleaner in 10 years, batteries will hopefully be cheaper and lighter also - why push marginal technology now, when maybe we really should wait 10 years? Cell phones and portable music players didn't become ubiquitous because they would be cheap and useful in the future, they became popular when they served a present need.



Quote:
But to me the much more interesting comparison is just pure energy efficiency. All of the EVs are getting 100 MPG on energy equivalency and that to me is a big deal, in world with a finite supply of fossil fuels.
Unless I'm making a mistake in my math and/or the application, that 100 mpge number is bogus in your context (how much fossil fuel we use). That's what the UoCS is using in table 1.2 in that 'State of Charge' paper, and it appears to be based on only part of the equation - draw from the battery, not the generation of the electricity. Take a look:

In table 1.2, they show ~ 340 watts per mile energy consumption for a Leaf EV. We both know that is what is drawn from the battery. To check that - at 60 mph that would be 60*340 = 20.4 kWh. So that says a Leaf with its 24 kWh pack could travel about (24/20.4)*6~ 71 miles - in the ballpark, right?

A gallon of gasoline has ~ 33 kWh of energy content. So when the UoCS says a Leaf has a 99 mpge, it's clear they are comparing energy draw from the battery to energy consumption of the gasoline:

33 kWh / .34 kWh per mile gives us 97 'mpg', close to their 99 mpge. So clearly, they are totally ignoring the amount of fossil fuel required to generate that .34 kWh, deliver it to your house (~ 8% average grid loss), and the amount lost in charging the battery ( ~ 5-10%? ).


But in your context, you are concerned with the consumption of fossil fuel to move that EV a mile. I've got some numbers I'm working on, but I want to proof that before publishing, but after you throw in generation eff%, grid loss and charging loss, the real comparison of fossil fuel consumption for a Prius versus fossil fuel consumption for an EV isn't going to look so striking, even with your proposed big swings from coal to NG.

BTW, in my research I learned that coal plants have become slightly less efficient on average in the past ten years, I'm assuming this is the effect of cleaning them up. IIRC, the proposed 'clean coal' plants use ~ 20% more fuel.


Quote:
As this fun series of videos from that favorite activity of tree huggers, DRAG RACING shows. I am not sure which is my favorite video the Model S beatting the Dodge Viper, embarrassing the Chevy Volt, or watching the impressive regenerative braking.
Cool - thanks for posting, we need some fun to break up all this serious talk Ahhh, the Chevy Volt shouldn't be embarrassed, it probably did pretty good on a 1/4-mile-time/$ metric! It was pretty cool to see just how much the Tesla regen captured from the burst of acceleration. I'd be curious what it is like to drive with the regen set to 'aggressive mode' (or whatever they called it), and how much would be recaptured at a more typical regen setting.


Quote:
I am adding a solar array, which I probably wouldn't have done with the EV, so I'm being much greener.
I'll save that for later


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Old 06-17-2013, 03:06 PM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post





Unless I'm making a mistake in my math and/or the application, that 100 mpge number is bogus in your context (how much fossil fuel we use). That's what the UoCS is using in table 1.2 in that 'State of Charge' paper, and it appears to be based on only part of the equation - draw from the battery, not the generation of the electricity. Take a look:

In table 1.2, they show ~ 340 watts per mile energy consumption for a Leaf EV. We both know that is what is drawn from the battery. To check that - at 60 mph that would be 60*340 = 20.4 kWh. So that says a Leaf with its 24 kWh pack could travel about (24/20.4)*6~ 71 miles - in the ballpark, right?

A gallon of gasoline has ~ 33 kWh of energy content. So when the UoCS says a Leaf has a 99 mpge, it's clear they are comparing energy draw from the battery to energy consumption of the gasoline:

33 kWh / .34 kWh per mile gives us 97 'mpg', close to their 99 mpge. So clearly, they are totally ignoring the amount of fossil fuel required to generate that .34 kWh, deliver it to your house (~ 8% average grid loss), and the amount lost in charging the battery ( ~ 5-10%? ).


But in your context, you are concerned with the consumption of fossil fuel to move that EV a mile. I've got some numbers I'm working on, but I want to proof that before publishing, but after you throw in generation eff%, grid loss and charging loss, the real comparison of fossil fuel consumption for a Prius versus fossil fuel consumption for an EV isn't going to look so striking, even with your proposed big swings from coal to NG.

BTW, in my research I learned that coal plants have become slightly less efficient on average in the past ten years, I'm assuming this is the effect of cleaning them up. IIRC, the proposed 'clean coal' plants use ~ 20% more fuel.
Nope you are right I didn't catch that the efficiency was from the gasoline energy and not the power plant generating the electricity. That will certainly make a significant difference in the MPG/KWH and the report should have been more clear .

Hawaii is an interesting test case for the energy efficiency. About 88% of electricity in the state is from burning fossil fuels (the goal is 30% by 2030 we will see.) Almost all of that is oil which sounds horrible, and does result in ~$.35/KWH electricity cost. But it isn't quite as dumb as it sounds.

The state imports crude, from a variety of places. The two (probably soon to be one) refineries make Jet fuel which there is obviously a need for and auto gas. The heavy oil is burned for electricity. In most states, I suspect that the heavy oil is used for heating. As more PV, and various energy efficiency are implemented, there is a big push for solar water heaters which makes a lot of sense, electricity demand is likely to decrease. However jet fuel demand is likely to remain pretty constant, since there is only so much jet fuel that can be refined from a barrel of oil, the state has has to find something to do with the heavier oil. I suspect that even with efficiency losses from generating electricity, the Tesla still gets a good MPGe rating. Plus there is an added benefit because you have a wider variety of fuel source to generate electricity than moving vehicles.

So the alternative for Hawaii is not refine anything and ship in jet fuel and gasoline, and I guess coal for electricity generation. But I don't think it is particular efficient to ship in coal, gasoline and aviation fuel from the Gulf,which is probably the only place that has a surplus.

BTW, I think clean coal, if clean is defined as reducing CO2 emission as opposed to the nasty sulfur dioxide etc., is basically a joke.

As far as fun stuff, the folks at Tesla pretty consistently under promise and over deliver. The told my car would be in between Wed and Friday this week, they called and said it is here today waiting to be picked up. . Just waiting to hear from my ride.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:57 PM   #208
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Two comments:

1.) IIRC, Coal also puts more radiation in the air than any other source of power, including nuclear. It seems that while coal contains micro amounts of radioactive material, the quantity burned is large enough to perhaps cause some problems?

2.) The main selling point of the Tesla is the fact that it is one great car and one of the best ever tested by Consumer's Union. There is a 'toy' factor in cars that just doesn't exist with say can openers or electric garden shears. I wonder how many Tesla owners would buy a Leaf or plug-in Prius if the Tesla did not exist?
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:23 PM   #209
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First things first...

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Originally Posted by clifp View Post
...they called and said it is here today waiting to be picked up. .
Hah-hah, you must be like a kid on Christmas morning! Have fun! I wish you were close enough to offer me a ride!

That car must really be a chick (electro-)magnet, watch out for the gold-diggers! But take pictures


Quote:
Nope you are right I didn't catch that the efficiency was from the gasoline energy and not the power plant generating the electricity. That will certainly make a significant difference in the MPG/KWH and the report should have been more clear .
See, this is what bothers me. Even a very bright guy like yourself, who is very close to this since you actually bought one, and has been looking at the numbers is drawn into these tilted views that give impressions of things that just are not the case. So what does the average person think when they hear these terms, and 'zero emissions', etc? I feel like they are being played, and then policy is set based on these distorted views.


Quote:
Hawaii is an interesting test case for the energy efficiency. About 88% of electricity in the state is from burning fossil fuels (the goal is 30% by 2030 we will see.) Almost all of that is oil which sounds horrible, and does result in ~$.35/KWH electricity cost. But it isn't quite as dumb as it sounds.

The state imports crude, from a variety of places. The two (probably soon to be one) refineries make Jet fuel which there is obviously a need for and auto gas. The heavy oil is burned for electricity. In most states, I suspect that the heavy oil is used for heating. As more PV, and various energy efficiency are implemented, there is a big push for solar water heaters which makes a lot of sense, electricity demand is likely to decrease. However jet fuel demand is likely to remain pretty constant, since there is only so much jet fuel that can be refined from a barrel of oil, the state has has to find something to do with the heavier oil.
Wow, that's an excellent analysis, and just goes to show how we all need to peel the onion back a few layers to make sense out of this. Stuff that sounds really, really good on the surface, turns into a kind of a shell game. I was also under the impression that refineries have limited flexibility on their mix. Hmmm, what does this mean to gasoline conservation? Interesting! I've heard of some jet bio-fuels being developed, maybe this is one reason?


Quote:
BTW, I think clean coal, if clean is defined as reducing CO2 emission as opposed to the nasty sulfur dioxide etc., is basically a joke.
I think it does both, my problem with it is it takes ~ 20% more coal for the same power out. Mining is a big enviro-hit. Is it another shell game of trading one thing for another? Is it a good trade? I dunno.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
Two comments:

1.) IIRC, Coal also puts more radiation in the air than any other source of power, including nuclear. It seems that while coal contains micro amounts of radioactive material, the quantity burned is large enough to perhaps cause some problems?

2.) The main selling point of the Tesla is the fact that it is one great car and one of the best ever tested by Consumer's Union. There is a 'toy' factor in cars that just doesn't exist with say can openers or electric garden shears. I wonder how many Tesla owners would buy a Leaf or plug-in Prius if the Tesla did not exist?
1) I've heard it expressed that people living with x miles of a coal plant get exposed to more radiation than people living that same distance from a nuke plant. I don't know if there is any measurable added danger from those levels, but yes, it is the addition of a little radiation from a lot of coal.

2) Right. I'm sure some would, but as clifp says, the forums seem to have a lot of comments from proud owners of a performance vehicle. And that's fine, but (insert boring subsidy rant here ).

-ERD50
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:43 PM   #210
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OK, so here's my stab at calculating an 'mpge' number that actually includes the generation of the electricity, with delivery and charging losses.

I got the conversion eff% (kWh of electrical power generated, divided by the kWh content of fuel) for coal & Nat Gas plants from this link, and the current fuel mix from 'State of Charge'. So I weight the mix with the eff% to determine how many units in for units out, and the total gives this as an eff%. Then multiply by distribution eff%, and by charging eff%. All this multiplied by the 'battery draw mpge' figure, gives you the adjusted mpge. As we see, this comes down to ~ 43 mpge of fossil fuel used, right around a good hybrid.

BTW, the 90% charging eff% is generous. From a Nissan Leaf forum, I saw numbers in the 70's reported for 120V charging, and only one reported at 90.1% for a high current charger. The most carefully documented numbers I saw were ~ 81-84% for a 220V charger. An 85% number knocks the 42.8 figure down to 40.4 mpge adjusted.

Code:
			Current		Weighted	
EFF%			Weighting:	Fossil	
			 		Consumption	
N/A	 Non-fossil	31.00%		0.000	
42.00%	 Nat Gas	24.00%		0.571	
33.00%	 Coal		45.00%		1.364	
			100.00%		1.935	 << kWh fossil fuel in to get 1 kWh electricity out
					51.68%	 << Eff% relative to fossil fuel used
					92.00%	 Grid eff%
					90.00%	 Charging Eff%
					42.79%	 Overall Gen, delivery, charge eff% 
					100	 mpge baseline EV
					42.8	 'adjusted' mpge
Next, I plugged in some numbers for assumed 'greening' of the grid. So I moved NG up to 40% from 24%, coal down from 45% to 25%, and non-fossil up 4 points to 35%. All that change gets us to ~ 48 mpge adjusted.I guess we are still right around a good hybrid in terms of fossil fuel use?


Code:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------				
			Future est	Weighted	
EFF%			Weighting:	Fossil	
			 		Consumption	
N/A	 Non-fossil	35.00%		0.000	
42.00%	 Nat Gas	40.00%		0.952	
33.00%	 Coal		25.00%		0.758	
			100.00%		1.710	 << kWh fossil fuel in to get 1 kWh electricity out
					58.48%	 << Eff% relative to fossil fuel used
					92.00%	 Grid eff%
					90.00%	 Charging Eff%
					48.42%	 Overall Gen, delivery, charge eff% 
					100	 mpge baseline EV
					48.4	 'adjusted' mpge

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes, as discussed earlier, there should be some factor for delivery of gasoline to the gas station, and maybe some for refining (coal and NG have to be processed and delivered to power plants also). I'll see if I can find the numbers, but somehow I doubt they would add back the > 2 mpge I 'gave' the EV with the generous charging eff% assumption.

Summary so far - the mpge number is pretty useless. It can be used to compare the efficiency of one EV to another, but only from the battery on. It doesn't tell you anything about the charge efficiency and phantom power. And it really isn't useful to compare to an ICE/hybrid.

So GHG doesn't seem like any great shakes for an EV. Fossil fuel consumption isn't great in comparison. Other pollutants are from several times higher to hundreds of times higher for an EV. Are EVs really something that environmentalists should be rallying around? I honestly think there are better paths to take.

But I bet clifp is having a 'gas' in his Tesla S right about now!

-ERD50
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:41 AM   #211
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But I bet clifp is having a 'gas' in his Tesla S right about now!

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I'll come back to the math stuff at later date.

First day impressions are the Tesla definitely lives up to it is hype. It is just a phenomenally well engineered product. The delivery experience was a joy, the service personal were very friendly. They spent at least 40 minutes going over the car interface, everything from how to close the frunk to the charging procedure. The only issue was pairing my phone with the car. In the quest to save battery life I set my phone to hide bluetooth , even though bluetooth was enabled, but eventually all was resolved.

There were at least a dozen other Tesla waited to be pickup, pretty sure they are all from one ship. Anyway I think there are enough Teslas in Hawaii to support the service center.

But lots of the explanations, were unnecessary, the touch panel is particularly intuitive as are the gauges. Having driven a stick all my life, I kept looking for the stick shift, but other than had no troubles adjusting. I thought the regenerative breaking would be unnatural but it was not at all.

The acceleration, handling, and ride are all just like the reviews say remarkable. But the thing that really struck was how quiet the car is. This is a bit of dangerous thing since I caught myself at 85 quite unintentionally a few times. Several reviewer have said electric cars feel faster than gas, my experience was the opposite, the car just effortless goes fast,and doesn't feel fast because of the lack of of noise.

The mobile app which lets you check charge status, lock or unlock doors, and the very neat, turn on the heater or AC remotely is very slick.

But I have say that eventhough an EV is the perfect car for Hawaii. I am already jealous of Tesla mainland drivers, this car really is a great road trip car, quiet, comfortable, tons of cargo space. Plus having a giant built in iPad on is just so handy. Come into a new city, looking for a lunch. Your passenger types Thai food, not only do the locations pop up on the map. You can see how dense the traffic is to the various locations, and the there is handy link to call the restaurants.

However, it does have to be plugged it. I must say after reducing the rated range from 140 to 70 and driving 59 miles, it was a bit disheartened that it need 18+ hours to recharge with 110V. I'll get my 220 Volt charging done soon.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:25 AM   #212
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I'll come back to the math stuff at later date.

...

However, it does have to be plugged it. I must say after reducing the rated range from 140 to 70 and driving 59 miles, it was a bit disheartened that it need 18+ hours to recharge with 110V. I'll get my 220 Volt charging done soon.
I figured we'd lose you to the new car and the Tesla forums for at least a couple weeks! Enjoy, I could probably use a break from running those numbers anyhow

I meant to look back in the thread to see if you had 220V. Yes, 110V is really limiting and that's not going to change, there just isn't enough efficiency improvements to be had to bring that down to size. It also seems that 110V cuts the charging efficiency quite a bit. Apparently, there is some fixed overhead (not a percentage) during charging (maybe the monitoring circuits?) so if it takes 4x longer to charge, that overhead becomes 4x more significant. On the Leaf forums, I mentioned I saw charging eff% in the 75% range for 110V. Maybe this can be improved in the future.

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Old 06-18-2013, 07:16 PM   #213
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What's applicable is where you drive and where your power is sourced.

For example, through Q1 2013, Tesla has sold about 7500 S cars. California has over 3000 of those. California's fuel mix is about 7% coal and 39% nuke/hydro/renewables. The rest is NG or "unspecified" (12%).

California's Power Content Label

Tesla doesn't release per state sales figures so the other states can only be estimated (the above 3000 is from a Tesla spokesperson).

Inside Tesla 03.21.13 | Blog | Tesla Motors

You can make a WAG and assume that Tesla sales somewhat follow Prius sales. Prius is the #1 car sold in California and so, given the population, most of the Prius' have been sold in CA. The #2 and #3 states are TX and NY. Both have a fuel mix of less than 45% coal (NY being much less).

Or you can not make a WAG and avoid any assumptions about where and how most Tesla are bought and used and how much GHG they push out.

All we can say for certain is that a Tesla driver in MI is producing more GHG than a Tesla driver in California, given the same driving conditions (even ignoring the fact that EV cars do worse in cold climates).


Using averages makes for sketchy conclusions.
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:04 PM   #214
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What's applicable is where you drive and where your power is sourced.

For example, through Q1 2013, Tesla has sold about 7500 S cars. California has over 3000 of those. California's fuel mix is about 7% coal and 39% nuke/hydro/renewables. The rest is NG or "unspecified" (12%).

...

Using averages makes for sketchy conclusions.
OK, but if we are trying to look at a bigger picture, we need to look to having some meaningful number of EVs on the road. That means over 20 million EVs to merely approach 10%. I'd imagine those numbers would need to be pretty well spread out across the country. And if location is important, why are the subsidies location independent?

edit/add: Make that 25 million to approach 10%. See 254.4M vehicles in 2007 here.

And based on the numbers I've been delving into, 10% of vehicles being EVs isn't going to accomplish much of anything. The GHG deltas aren't all that great even in clean grids, and there are still the NOx and SOx issues.

This seems so sad to me. All these people looking to these "Zero Pollution" EVs as our savior, and the numbers just aren't there. I'll post a positive comment a bit later.

-ERD50
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:37 PM   #215
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OK, but if we are trying to look at a bigger picture, we need to look to having some meaningful number of EVs on the road. That means over 20 million EVs to merely approach 10%. I'd imagine those numbers would need to be pretty well spread out across the country.
Well, spread out by population, which would put them by the numbers in CA, TX, NY, FL, and IL. All of those states except IL (and then PA) use less than the average coal fuel mix of 45%. It's still stupid to drive in MI unless the owner is generating/using non-coal energy.

The first 4 states have a combined population of 100M, which is about 30% of the US population. It stands to reason that eventually 30% of the EVs would be in those 4 states (and TX is the #2 Prius owning state, after all).

Quote:
And if location is important, why are the subsidies location independent?
The same reason that solar subsidies are the same in AZ and in WA and drilling subsidies are the same in TX and Vermont.

Quote:
And based on the numbers I've been delving into, 10% of vehicles being EVs isn't going to accomplish much of anything. The GHG deltas aren't all that great even in clean grids, and there are still the NOx and SOx issues.
There used to be only one wind turbine in Texas.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:07 PM   #216
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Well, spread out by population, which would put them by the numbers in CA, TX, NY, FL, and IL. All of those states except IL (and then PA) use less than the average coal fuel mix of 45%. It's still stupid to drive in MI unless the owner is generating/using non-coal energy.

The first 4 states have a combined population of 100M, which is about 30% of the US population. It stands to reason that eventually 30% of the EVs would be in those 4 states (and TX is the #2 Prius owning state, after all).
Figure 1.1 in 'State of Charge' gives the average mix of sources based on total production/consumption. Isn't that consumption going to reflect the total population? So for every 'above average' example you give, there must be a matching 'below average' example. OK, there might be some correlation between the voters in a State pushing for a clean grid and those same voters being more likely to buy an EV - that might shift the numbers a bit, but not turn it around in a major way overall.

I wouldn't say it is stupid to drive an EV in MI, that driver can do as he/she pleases AFAIC. It wouldn't be smart to brag about the enviro-benefit of the EV there, but depending on the effect of that huge SOx number on even the cleanest grid, maybe no one should brag about the EV enviro-benefit?



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The same reason that solar subsidies are the same in AZ and in WA and drilling subsidies are the same in TX and Vermont.
Agreed, they are both stupid implementations, even if you agree with the concept.


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There used to be only one wind turbine in Texas.
But a kWh from a wind turbine, after reclaiming the embodied energy (which is fairly quickly, months IIRC), puts out near zero ghg, SOx, NOx, mercury etc. With EVs we are talking far from zero in ghg, and some of those other numbers are way higher. Not a very good comparison, IMO.

-ERD50
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:11 PM   #217
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Among Tesla's problems are dealers who are fighting Tesla's method of selling direct to the public. Apparently, many states have laws that keep an auto maker from competing directly against its dealers through direct sales to the public. Tesla has no dealers to compete against, so there is a question if these laws should apply to it.

Auto Dealers Aim to Ground Tesla's Direct Sales Pitch - WSJ.com

I hope this article is not behind a pay wall.
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:40 PM   #218
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Figure 1.1 in 'State of Charge' gives the average mix of sources based on total production/consumption. Isn't that consumption going to reflect the total population? So for every 'above average' example you give, there must be a matching 'below average' example.
Yep, but I conflated what is happening now with your conjecture of 10% EVs in the future.

Currently, 40% of Tesla S cars have been sold in CA, which is non-fossil fuel fuel mix heavy. That tilts the Tesla S GHG to more of the "cleaner" side overall compared to an ICE car.

In the future
, presumably, we'll use less coal, as you suggested above. Your numbers need to be run maybe using the Prius sales numbers by state? Or we could use the Leaf sales/state, which I couldn't find in a quick search (though it appears that WA, which is heavy hydro, leads).

Quote:
But a kWh from a wind turbine, after reclaiming the embodied energy (which is fairly quickly, months IIRC), puts out near zero ghg, SOx, NOx, mercury etc. With EVs we are talking far from zero in ghg, and some of those other numbers are way higher. Not a very good comparison, IMO.
We drive cars. An EV is simply a better GHG choice over an ICE for commuters in those states that use little/less coal. If the EV is driven sanely, that is.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:55 PM   #219
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Regarding how much gas equals how much electricity and energy efficiency...

The energy available to us on Earth is available in many forms, oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, solar, wind, wave, and more. ICE engines probably won't be using all of those with a high efficiency. EV's should be able to use more forms of energy with reasonable efficiency. We will eventually want to use all sources available to us.

It's probably not productive to compare efficiencies between different energy sources. We have coal available, at some point, even if it's just because it's the last source of energy on Earth, we'll need to use it. It's not really important if EV's use coal energy more efficiently than ICE's use oil energy. What matters is can EV's use coal energy more efficiently than some other automobile coal-energy engine?

Of course that's just the energy side of things. We might want to delay additional coal energy use until we can clean it up some more.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:25 PM   #220
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OK, for some positive thoughts.

After all these numbers I've run, which seems to show EVs to be rather marginally better by some enviro-measures, and much worse in others, I started to think - OK, is there a path that makes more sense?

All along, I've felt conservation of person-miles is best (car-pooling, tele-commuting, more efficient traffic, etc), but let's stick to just better cars for now. I don't think EVs will be any big part of the answer, esp if hybrids continue to improve (that cleaner grid has a moving goal-post to keep up with). So what about hybrids? Here's what I think:

Consider something like the Chevy Volt - a 'serial hybrid' with ~ 40 mile range, and an ICE engine so no range anxiety issues. More acceptable to the average driver. The engine can provide enough charge to the battery to keep the car moving after it runs out of juice from the wall plug. The battery is big enough to accelerate the car on electric power alone. Take that to the future...

What if we could concentrate improvements in battery tech to a single parameter - max current bursts. Imagine if we had a battery chemistry/design that could put out 10x the burst current (for acceleration), but with no other improvements in cost, size, weight, kWh, etc. You could remove 9/10ths of the battery from the Chevy Volt. It would be lighter (gaining eff%), more cargo space, and a 90% less cost for the battery. The trade off would be a 4 mile range before the ICE kicks in, rather than 40 miles.

But I think a 4 mile battery-only range is fine. Getting power from the wall is no silver bullet, so don't worry about it, focus on overall mpg. So you could charge it with a standard outlet in ~ 1 hour, as the battery is small. No need for access to 240 V outlets. The ICE wouldn't start up until you were out the driveway, and any short drives like stops between stores could be all-electric. The engine would be more eff% with no wasted idling, and could operate in an on/off mode. And if you can't charge it, no biggie, the engine just kicks in a bit sooner to get the batteries back up.

Yes, I'm just describing a plug-in-hybrid, like:

2013 Toyota Prius Plug-in Features & Specs

with 11 mile battery-only range.

But if that single burst current parameter could be improved, that's what would further cut the total amount of battery required, and the associated cost, weight, and size.


Next step would be to find something that is more efficient than an ICE. A series hybrid only requires the engine to run at a single speed, and lots of performance characteristics are unimportant (smooth idle, throttle response, vibration at different speeds, etc), so that opens up options. Six-stroke engines, free-piston engines, turbines, sterling engines, maybe a sterling engine to run on waste heat from the ICE?


All these are being investigated, and I predict that some combination of these, or something not envisioned yet, will serve more people, and do more overall good for the environment than future EV sales. That's what I think.

And flying cars in ten years.

-ERD50
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