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Old 04-07-2015, 09:28 PM   #501
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Well, Europe does not have coal for cheap electricity as we do. Air conditioning is a luxury there. And their electric grid may be too puny to plug EVs into.

Come to think of it, personal vehicles are energy hogs, no matter what fuel you use to propel it. Americans have lots of personal cars, big ones too. And we think it's a birthright.
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:57 PM   #502
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In munich right now, where there are S Bahns, U Bahns, trams and buses.

The smartphone app. calculates best options for any trips but many of them still require walking several hundred meters, which is not a bad thing.

I think there is some kind of environment tax for cars in the city center. But this being the home of BMW, there are still a lot of cars.
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:34 AM   #503
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Well, Europe does not have coal for cheap electricity as we do. Air conditioning is a luxury there. And their electric grid may be too puny to plug EVs into.

Come to think of it, personal vehicles are energy hogs, no matter what fuel you use to propel it. Americans have lots of personal cars, big ones too. And we think it's a birthright.
Cheap or not, they still get ~ 30% of their kWh from coal, at least at this site:

The EU energy mix


If EVs are mostly charging at night, they don't stress the grid as it can already handle the daytime peaks - plenty of headroom at night. I'm sure the electric utilities would like that - more kWh sales with no added infrastructure (one reason TOD metering is much cheaper at night).

I'm not so sure I'd categorize Americans as thinking of personal cars as a 'birthright' (certainly some do, but try taking a Lamborghini away from its Italian owner!), but the nature of population density, and the way we built up our country certainly make them more necessary. I read just the other day that vehicle sales have probably peaked historically in the US - younger people are not into cars as much, and have more options.

-ERD50
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:31 PM   #504
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Setting aside the analysis of EV vehicles for a moment.. my DD just purchased a Tesla. It is wider that their SUV and barely goes through a standard garage door. Grandparent grump, grump.
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:26 AM   #505
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Setting aside the analysis of EV vehicles for a moment.. my DD just purchased a Tesla. It is wider that their SUV and barely goes through a standard garage door. Grandparent grump, grump.
77.3" Tesla S
76.0" Porche Panamera
74.8" Mercedes S Class
74.0" Audi A8

A tad wider than some comparable cars.

The side mirrors fold in right?
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:44 AM   #506
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That 77.3 is with the mirrors folded in.
The Model S is a large car, never pretended to be anything else.
It is far larger than I like, however it is also the only 150+ EV on the market right now. And it is the best car I have ever owned or test driven.

As for environmental issues, while I appreciate ERD's viewpoint, I prefer the analysis done by the Union of Concerned Scientists and others that spell out their methodology and have full references.

How do EVs Compare with Gas-Powered Vehicles? Better Every Year…. - The Equation

Basically, including upstream GHG generation, the average EV is cleaner than the cleanest Hybrid for 60% of the U.S. Population, using 2010 grid data (which has become cleaner since then).

In addition, EVs produce a tiny, tiny fraction of the local pollution tied to asthma and other respiratory ailments in urban and near highway environments.

But besides all that, people buying Teslas (as already mentioned and acknowledged) are not buying Prii. They would more typically be buying luxury, sports, truck or SUVs.

And many of these people don't give a darn about the environment. They are driving cleaner cars even though that plays no role in their purchase.

And, even on a grid that is 100% coal, the average EV is equivalent in GHGs as a 30mpg gas car. Better than the fleet average for light vehicles. Which is what these EVs are replacing.
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Old 05-03-2015, 09:31 PM   #507
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Sorry Zathras, I must have missed this post, I just saw it when looking for Powerwall info, so let me address now:

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Originally Posted by Zathras View Post
...

As for environmental issues, while I appreciate ERD's viewpoint, I prefer the analysis done by the Union of Concerned Scientists and others that spell out their methodology and have full references. ...
No doubt you prefer their analysis, it tells you what you want to hear!

And I do try to provide references and spell out my methodology, there really would be no point in making unsubstantiated claims to some of the EV fans here. So if anything I said sounds fishy to you, go ahead and refute it, and we can have a discussion on it.

I addressed this " Union of Concerned Scientists" paper earlier ("State of Charge") in post #201, so I won't rehash it all again, but to summarize, it isn't 'scientific'. A scientific approach would be to analyze each option and present the results. But that whole paper reads more like a PR release for EVs. Everything is stated in terms that make the EV look as good as they can, moving the goal-posts to match EV highlights, rather than a straightforward analysis of each option under each condition. I know BS when I smell it.

Worse than that, they 'hand-wave' other considerations outside of GHG. Particulates, SOx, NOx, etc:

Quote:
In addition, EVs produce a tiny, tiny fraction of the local pollution tied to asthma and other respiratory ailments in urban and near highway environments.
Hmmm, no reference, no numbers, no explanation of methodology? How about the reference that I provided, that shows that the health effects of that pollution, regardless of how 'local' it is or isn't, is actually very, very significant? See my posts #447 and #442.


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But besides all that, people buying Teslas (as already mentioned and acknowledged) are not buying Prii. They would more typically be buying luxury, sports, truck or SUVs.
Pretty irrelevant. As I said earlier, if EVs are actually going to make a significant impact, they have to make up some significant % of miles driven. So it won't be just sport car buyers, but everyday people. And many of those people don't have garages with 220V power. But I've covered that.

Quote:
And, even on a grid that is 100% coal, the average EV is equivalent in GHGs as a 30mpg gas car. Better than the fleet average for light vehicles. Which is what these EVs are replacing.
OK, now to a really controversial point that I know you won't like. It was actually an edited after-though to my post #457:

Quote:
* (edit/add): So does this means the EVs are in effect drawing completely from the dirty part of the grid? It would seem so. Oh No!
I kept thinking, that can't be right! But I keep thinking it over an over this past month, and I can't shake it. So again:

Quote:
Regardless whether overall demand is shrinking, level, or growing, adding demand from EVs 'waters down' the greening of the grid. Simple numbers to illustrate: Let's say demand dropped 10% and the grid reached 50% renewables. Add back 10% in EV demand, and now those renewables only make up ~ 45% of the grid*. To get back to 50%, you need to add more renewables to compensate for the added EV demand. And to belabor the point, if you added those renewables, but not the EVs, you'd be at ~ 55% renewables on that grid, rather than 50%.
So EVS aren't really taking advantage of a greener grid AT ALL! They are using the non-renewable allocation! To think of it another way, let's say an area grid is 20% renewables, and they plan to get to 30% in the next ten years. Well, why aren't they at 30% now? Obviously, because they have exhausted all the renewables they can, there is no more, 20% is it. The utility would love to draw more power form solar/wind, as they 'fuel' is free. But that's all there is. So when a large group plug in their EVs, there simply is no more renewables available. So they have to get the additional power from non-renewables. Which probably means cranking the coal plants up a bit, as NG is expensive. Same story when they reach 30%...

So are the EVS really burning nearly 100% coal? It seems so. I'll allow that it would not be 100%, wind is stronger at night, and demand is lower, but it is still variable, so the utility is cautious about dropping the coal plants too low, as it takes expensive NG peakers to make up the delta. Bottom line, I really do not think it is scientific to use grid averages to the added demand from EVs. It's similar to marginal versus average tax rate calculations. Gotta use the right number.

OK, refute that! -ERD50
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Old 05-03-2015, 10:14 PM   #508
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Hehe.

This thread is even longer than the TSLA comment threads on Seeking Alpha .

I think one of the most interesting issues is that moving to "electric" to power more of our stuff is a more silent form of pollution. I made a facebook joke a few months ago that I want to buy a Tesla and convert it to take coal power (which people found funny... but is close to what is really going on TODAY).

The one HUGE benefit I can see to moving more electric is that it's far easier to over time alter the SOURCE of electricity than it is to rebuild the entire infrastructure and ecosystem and new technologies arrive (say with Hydrogen or something). Even the shitty/non-smart grid is source agnostic. In THEORY if we had super efficient solar panels, wing power, geothermal or whatever else we could replace coal and fossil fuels iteratively and progressively rather than rebuilding everything. Of course, this isn't true when you talk about "gas stations." But even there I'd rather convert to electric earlier and then figure out the sourcing problems over time.

Of course from that perspective ER is probably right that today a hybrid is probably more energy "green" given the sources of electric power but in the future that may become less and less true.

That said, I think that the primary reason to buy a Tesla is because they are awesome and if I even bought one (tempting) that is my primary motivation though I do enjoy being able to fool myself that it's a smart decision for objectively altruistic reasons
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:09 AM   #509
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These Tesla's remind me of the old Jaguar's.......once the engine/transmission (OE mind you) is crapped out, it's yanked and replaced with a GM engine and transmission since it would be less costly and more maintenance happy.

Oh, and the flatbeds and other tow trucks that haul the dead electric cars off the road are gasoline or diesel powered.

It will be a long time, and I mean a very long time, before fossil fuels are not the main source of energy for transportation in this plant earth.

The Tesla is a nice concept from a technology standpoint, but only for the well heeled consumers. The rest of us are buying more practical, less costly vehicles.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:30 AM   #510
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The Tesla is a nice concept from a technology standpoint, but only for the well heeled consumers. The rest of us are buying more practical, less costly vehicles.
Very true. I have yet to see poor people lining up to buy a Tesla. Generally, they buy older cars, some may even be called gas hogs. Nothing wrong with buying just the transportation one needs and can afford.

Quote:
These Tesla's remind me of the old Jaguar's.......once the engine/transmission (OE mind you) is crapped out, it's yanked and replaced with a GM engine and transmission since it would be less costly and more maintenance happy.
Just how many Tesla's have had their electric motors and batteries yanked out to be replaced by an ICE and a gas tank? The few Tesla owners I have talked to seem to have a much better opinion of their car than the few Jaguar owners I have talked to.

Not that there is not risk in buying an electric vehicle. Pioneers always take a beating so the rest of us have it easier. Thanks Zanthras!

Like TR said,

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Old 05-04-2015, 11:34 AM   #511
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Yet..... If we hesitate to try new things, we would still be going out hunting with our buddy Grok to find the day's food and haul it back to the cave.
What I have seen and witnessed from a personal standpoint is that technology advances tent to provide a trickle down effect to the average population over time. Maybe some of the advances in battery technology being developed through the Tesla experiment will find its way into daily life.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:54 AM   #512
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Well, Europe does not have coal for cheap electricity as we do.
Actually in a Geological Sense Europe does have the coal, but they choose not to use it. Actually it is Europe does not have the cheap natural gas we do, as the shales have not yet delivered over there. (Gas produced power is cheaper than coal in the US now). They get a lot of their gas from Russia with all that implies.
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:58 AM   #513
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Vaguely recall reading somewhere that they do have shale deposits but are very cautious about fracking.
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Old 05-04-2015, 02:14 PM   #514
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Vaguely recall reading somewhere that they do have shale deposits but are very cautious about fracking.
The timber-frame structures prevalent in North America handle frequent minor tremors much better that the masonry construction used in much of Europe.
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More on the Tesla electric car
Old 05-04-2015, 02:23 PM   #515
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More on the Tesla electric car

Here's an interesting test of one of those petrol fueled cars as a comparison with the Tesla:

Test drive of a petrol car - Tesla Club Sweden

Quote:
The petrol engine then uses a tank full of gasoline, a fossil liquid, to propel the car by exploding small drops of it. It is apparently the small explosions that you hear and feel when the engine is running.
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Old 05-04-2015, 03:08 PM   #516
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Here's an interesting tes of one of those petrol fueled cars as a comparison with the Tesla:

Test drive of a petrol car - Tesla Club Sweden
That is a funny writeup.

Mybe if they should brake out the power pack with 3000+ AA batteries, housing etc. and show parts of the inverter charger, motor controller and the few pieces of the AC motor for comparison it would be a tad more interesting.

Not sure about their description of free charge. IIRC the charge stations are credit card operated and converse with the connected car to identify type/model etc.. Unlike the in the US loss leader free charging stations.
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:42 AM   #517
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Here's an interesting test of one of those petrol fueled cars as a comparison with the Tesla:

Test drive of a petrol car - Tesla Club Sweden
I loved it, every time I have to drive some other car I pretty much feel that way. Especially having to travel to some location to put fuel in the vehicle and the having to remember to turn the car off and take the keys out of the ignition.
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:09 AM   #518
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OK, I'm going to quote myself and revisit an earlier post I made. I'm surprised that none of the EV fans have commented on it (or is it too 'inconvenient'?).

I still can't shake this - it really seems that EVs are running on the dirty part of the grid, and the average renewable mix has almost nothing to do with it. If you look back at the graphic in that post, a near 100% coal EV looks very bad (interpolate a bit between 100% coal and the 'average grid'). Far, far worse than even a standard gas engine car.

Should environmentalists be anti-EV?

There's a similar story on Solar PV - since it pretty much coincides with peak demand (a good thing), it would seem that it would mostly be the peaker plants that would be shutting back. In many cases that would be the NG turbines. Clearly, solar is cleaner than NG, but NG is far cleaner than coal. So the solar probably isn't having much effect on the amount of coal we burn? Back to EVs and the grid ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
...
So EVS aren't really taking advantage of a greener grid AT ALL! They are using the non-renewable allocation! To think of it another way, let's say an area grid is 20% renewables, and they plan to get to 30% in the next ten years. Well, why aren't they at 30% now? Obviously, because they have exhausted all the renewables they can, there is no more, 20% is it. The utility would love to draw more power form solar/wind, as they 'fuel' is free. But that's all there is. So when a large group plug in their EVs, there simply is no more renewables available. So they have to get the additional power from non-renewables. Which probably means cranking the coal plants up a bit, as NG is expensive. Same story when they reach 30%...

So are the EVS really burning nearly 100% coal? It seems so. I'll allow that it would not be 100%, wind is stronger at night, and demand is lower, but it is still variable, so the utility is cautious about dropping the coal plants too low, as it takes expensive NG peakers to make up the delta. Bottom line, I really do not think it is scientific to use grid averages to the added demand from EVs. It's similar to marginal versus average tax rate calculations. Gotta use the right number.

-ERD50
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Old 05-21-2015, 10:30 AM   #519
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Not an EV fan per se.

Just this:
  • Electricity is moving towards renewable. Give or take 5 to 10 years and its marginal production cost will be lower than any non-renewable source.
  • EVs have the advantage of being able to use any type of energy, and of placing their emissions virtually anywhere. The energy density and cost (vs. gasoline) is a big no-no as of yet, improving fast nonetheless.
Both together mean that while in transition there may be some nasty unintended effects, the end game is clear. The end game is also enviromentally speaking much better.

In addition I believe the two trends together reinforce each other. So the more of one, the faster the other will go.

Obviously in the US with all that cheap coal there may be several years of a negative delta for every EV car added, that is not true in every country, and probably not even in every region of the US.

In addition, coal isn't as dirty everywhere. Depending on the technology used it can be quite clean (in terms of air quality). Many filters can even be retro-fitted.

[Edit] regarding peaker plants: The new peaker capacity will most likely be needed at night once the daytime gets saturated with wind and solar. At night we'll either have gas, molten salt (solar concentrator) or batteries of some sorts.
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Old 05-21-2015, 11:41 AM   #520
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Is there any evidence that they're burning more coal than they otherwise would have because of EVs?
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