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Old 05-23-2015, 02:07 PM   #561
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Originally Posted by explanade View Post
No my understanding is that if you don't drive enough, you won't be able to recharge the battery enough, no matter how much regenerative breaking there is.

My commute used to be under a mile. Then stores are a mile away or less.

If my commute was more like 5 miles through stop and go, then it would have made sense.
OK, I had not heard that. But at under a mile, why not walk? Seriously.

Cars don't get a chance to warm up in 1 mile, it's really hard on them (OK, EV has an advantage there). But an EV for a less than 1 mile commute would be pretty crazy $$-wise. Sounds like a 'light' plug-in hybrid would be right for you. You could drive the 1 mile under battery power, and just let the engine kick in for the occasional drive to San Francisco.

The Volt does ~ 40 miles on battery, but I think some of the other 'light' plug-ins go something like 5-10 miles. Enough for that use, and with the smaller battery pack, more affordable.

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Old 05-23-2015, 03:11 PM   #562
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Walking is great, wish I'd done more of it.

But rather than 5 minutes, it takes 15-20 minutes at a brisk pace and I used to arrive a bit sweaty.

I heard some communities just use golf carts, during the warmer months, but I don't know if that's on regular streets or just within some development.

I may get a bike but drivers here are crazy, I would not want to be at the mercy of some crazed and reckless person in a hurry or someone who's altered.
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Old 05-23-2015, 05:41 PM   #563
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Originally Posted by dallas27 View Post
I hope that some generation alive today has the opportunity to try to explain to children how our lights and cars used to be powered by dinosaur grease. And I hope those kids look at them as if they are nuts.
I made one reply in post #559 (EVs are still running on fossil fuel), but while doing some yard work, this kept bouncing around my brain.

Seriously, why would a future generation think a past generation was 'nuts' for using what was available to them?

Was an earlier generation 'nuts' to use horses instead of tractors? Stone axes instead of iron? As we advance we move onto the next thing. It would have been nuts to not use fossil fuel.

So I take it you are totally self sufficient? You use solar/wind, and those devices were made in factories powered by solar and wind? How about the internet connection between us - are you 'nuts' to be using it?

I really don't get your point.

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Old 05-23-2015, 08:17 PM   #564
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You made the initial claim that EVs are probably running on coal generated electricity.

I'm asking if there is incrementally greater coal burning to run EVs.
General idea of sales. General idea of where electricity is produced. Some state have harder and harder restrictions on coal pollutants and emissions upgrades (sometimes they even they can't continue -- cost to fix). IL has closed some in recent years, as example.


Drive by Numbers - Tesla in all 50 states (likely proportionally where they have continued to sell)


Fact #753: November 12, 2012 Sources of Electricity by State | Department of Energy
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Old 05-23-2015, 08:56 PM   #565
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General idea of sales. General idea of where electricity is produced. Some state have harder and harder restrictions on coal pollutants and emissions upgrades (sometimes they even they can't continue -- cost to fix). IL has closed some in recent years, as example.

...
It's true that IL has closed some coal plants in the past few years (not sure what affect that had on the total mix is though).

But I don't think (and I'm looking for feedback here) that changes anything with regards to EVs. To my point, there is a limited amount of renewable energy on the IL grid. If we add to the draw with EVs, the additional (marginal) draw, must come from non-renewables, right? So the EVs are running (mainly) on non-renewables, right?

I'm having trouble finding any flaw in that logic. Am I missing something? Where?

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Old 05-23-2015, 09:42 PM   #566
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It's true that IL has closed some coal plants in the past few years (not sure what affect that had on the total mix is though).

But I don't think (and I'm looking for feedback here) that changes anything with regards to EVs. To my point, there is a limited amount of renewable energy on the IL grid. If we add to the draw with EVs, the additional (marginal) draw, must come from non-renewables, right? So the EVs are running (mainly) on non-renewables, right?

I'm having trouble finding any flaw in that logic. Am I missing something? Where?

-ERD50
I don't know about renewables in IL. I was showing some of the most popular places for Tesla Model S's are not primarily using coal. Did you see the maps?

Aside: In parts of IL, ComEd has a hourly rate program (RRTP) so you can charge your EV in the middle of the night so there is limited/no impact on the grid.
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Old 05-23-2015, 10:18 PM   #567
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I don't know about renewables in IL. ...
But you were the one who said (about coal plants): IL has closed some in recent years, as example.

So that is why my response was IL specific (and I live in IL). So what were you trying to say about power in IL?

Quote:
I was showing some of the most popular places for Tesla Model S's are not primarily using coal. Did you see the maps?
Yes, I did. After CA, IL is among the top states. And do you follow my logic - in all these states, renewables are limited, so adding draw from EVs must be drawing from non-renewables. So it doesn't matter much, does it?

And beyond that, I keep saying that if EVs are going to have a real effect, they need to be sold pretty much everywhere. Then what?


Quote:
Aside: In parts of IL, ComEd has a hourly rate program (RRTP) so you can charge your EV in the middle of the night so there is limited/no impact on the grid.
That's good. But it is changing the subject (maybe because my point is an 'inconvenient truth'?).

Sure, the grid has excess transmission capacity at night, so EVs charging at night doesn't create a problem for the transmission lines. But that electricity still needs to be generated. Solar obviously isn't a source at night. Wind is generally stronger at night - but back to my point. Do we have an excess of wind power at night? Would we if 1/3 of the population had EVs charging at night? If so, some of that excess could go to 'clean' recharging, but how much? And how often?

I'm suggesting that if you had enough wind to have excess to power EVs on average, you would have a lot of excess that could not be sold. That makes it tough to meet the economics of being competitive with other fuel sources. If you have to waste half your output, you have to charge 2x your base rate. Are you still competitive? Will you be motivated to install more renewables at that point?

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Old 05-23-2015, 11:57 PM   #568
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Electricity generation keeps getting cleaner and cleaner every year. IL was an example. You are harping on coal so I mentioned IL getting cleaner. The NE is another good example of sales and limited coal. It takes a LOT of energy to get the gas to a gas station from under the ground. Often overlooked.

Renewable keep growing year after year. This is just a matter of time. Think future not yesterday.

IL was pretty attractive EV-wise because of high gas prices (special blends) and good EV incentives that are now gone so may slow down by comparison.

Solar prices continue to be attractive and dropping. Battery storage by utilities and homes is starting to happen so regardless if it is solar or wind it can be used at different times than the optimal generation.

A lot has changed even in the time since this thread was started. There are many other related forums to this stuff where the details are discussed. An ER forum has limited expertise and input by comparison.
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:13 AM   #569
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Electricity generation keeps getting cleaner and cleaner every year. IL was an example. You are harping on coal so I mentioned IL getting cleaner. ...
It does not sound like you have read the points I've been making on this (or chose to ignore them, as they don't fit your view?). See my POST #507 and POST #518 for the full exchange.


Brief summary - Renewables are a limited resource. We don't have an excess on our grids to apply to EVs, and won't for a very, very long time (maybe an extremely long time, depending on the economics regarding handling the excess, cost/safety of storage, etc). EVs are added demand on the grid, so if the renewables are already near 100% fully utilized, there is no renewable power available for those EVs - so the power comes from fossil fuel and/or nukes.

Again, show me any flaw in that thinking.

Quote:
It takes a LOT of energy to get the gas to a gas station from under the ground. Often overlooked.
There are plenty of "wheel-to-well" studies that include that number, and we also need to include any difference between mining the components for those batteries, versus the iron/aluminum they replace compared to other vehicles. And it still doesn't change my point regarding the EVs effectively running on non-renewables.

And lets review the externalizes of those EVs, on an average grid, and using coal (compared to hybrid, and even conventional vehicles) to see that this isn't some minor issue - it's a huge delta. EVs don't appear to help the environment, they hurt it.




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Old 05-24-2015, 09:05 PM   #570
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So I was wondering why I don't see more about this issue of EVs using the marginal electrical production, after all the renewable power has already been used. I Googled some of those terms, and came up with this - published by:

Quote:
Maximilian Auffhammer -
Maximilian Auffhammer is the George Pardee Professor of International Sustainable Development at the University of California Berkeley

https://energyathaas.wordpress.com/2...-electric-car/

He points out that the report by the "Union of Concerned Scientists" (which I picked apart in other ways earlier) makes note of the importance of this marginal production, and then they... completely ignore it and use 'averages' instead! How scientific! [/satire]

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Old 05-27-2015, 12:43 AM   #571
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Early adopters allow for the future changes and evolution. Disregarding everything only using today's perspective is nearsighted. I've followed electric cars for several years. The related industries have changed significantly in a short timeframe.

Thought these were cool examples of how factories will evolve in the future with all that roof space:

1)
Quote:
General Motors Baltimore Operations complex in White Marsh, Maryland, which is producing electric motors and drive units for the Spark EV, recently got a LEED Silver-certificate after installing a lot of solar on its roof.

Quote:
“The greening of the General Motors Baltimore Operations complex included the addition of 580 kilowatts of solar to the roof of its e-Motor building. Together with a 1.23-megawatt solar array on its grounds, 6 percent of the facility’s electricity comes from renewable sources. Maryland-based Empower Energies installed the solar system.


2)
Tesla GigaFactory will be similar with solar panels on it's roof and nearby field of wind power (charge batteries) but produce all it's electricity (net zero).
Construction of Tesla's $5B solar-powered Gigafactory in Nevada is progressing nicely : TreeHugger


3)
Similar for all the Tesla Superchargers which are in early stages of build out. a) build, b) add batteries (giga-factory) to charge during low cost/night, add solar for charging.

Quote:
The SuperCharger Station Has Batteries & Inverters and Can Exchange Power with the Grid for Arbitrage, to Capture Minimum Rates, or to provide Grid Stabilization Service, any of which can offset energy costs for recharging cars.

Some info via: Tesla's Supercharger - The Cost of Giving Away Free Energy - TESLARATI.com
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Old 05-27-2015, 10:25 AM   #572
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Early adopters allow for the future changes and evolution.
That's a common myth that I've dispelled before. Early adopters are simply a natural step in the supply demand curve, and they are looking out for themselves, not trying to change the future. In the early stages of most products, the product has some unique, valuable feature(s). But they typically come at a relatively high price. Early adopters are simply the ones who value those features enough to pay the higher price. If the price doesn't come down, wider adoption does not generally occur.

There's a long list of products that early adopters bought, that failed in the general market place, because the value didn't continue to improve, or better alternatives came along. But they each had early adopters.

Sure, it's true that by getting some product out on the market, and having it proven, producers can invest in more automation, etc to bring prices down. But that doesn't happen 'because of' early adopters, it just happens (or not, as the case may be).

Here's a test - take a lousy product, and pay a bunch of people to buy it so you now have a bunch of early adopters. Will the product succeed long term, just because of early adopters? No, they are a cog in a wheel, along for the ride, not the driving force.


Quote:
Disregarding everything only using today's perspective is nearsighted.
Very true, and that is why I try to avoid that trap in these discussions. Unlike some of those pro-EV reports that seem to pretend that hybrids won't improve in the future!


So let's look to the future: back to my point on the future greening of the grid and EVs - how green does the grid need to become before the added demand from EVs is mostly from renewables?

A slight paraphrase of my earlier post:
I'm suggesting that if you had enough wind/solar to have excess to power EVs on average, you would have a lot of excess that could not be sold (because of the variable nature of W/S). That makes it tough to meet the economics of being competitive with other fuel sources. If you have to waste half your output, you have to charge 2x your base rate. Are you still competitive? Will you be motivated to install more renewables at that point?
I was just reading that on many grids, the coal plants have to be ramped up for the morning rush, and can't ramp down as fast as solar can come up (envisioning a grid with lots of solar), and they can't ramp up fast enough as the sun goes down, so there is a period of time where these coal operators are willing to sell their excess power for near zero - essentially the fuel is 'free' to them, like wind/solar. So even though wind/solar power 'fuel' is free, there are still competitive forces at work.

And if storage is affordable for wind/solar, it will be affordable for coal (maybe more affordable - as the coal excess output is more predictable?). So wind/solar will still need to compete on that level.

Quote:
I've followed electric cars for several years. The related industries have changed significantly in a short timeframe.
And so has the mpg of fuel cars, especially as they move to hybrid mode, and there are other potential advances being worked on, micro-turbine, free-piston, etc. Don't ignore those ( relevant to your own second comment)!

Quote:
Thought these were cool examples of how factories will evolve in the future with all that roof space:

see link to "Empower Energies Media Teaser: GM Baltimore Operations 580kW Solar Installation (White Marsh, MD)"
Interesting how they claim those solar panels will displace X amount of coal. Maybe this should go in the solar power thread, but this is similar to my marginal power observations for EVs, so I'll touch on it here. The peak power of those panels is ~ 500 KW, a typical coal plant is on the order of 1000 MW.

Now, can you imagine the coal operator saying "Sunny day today, those panels might produce near their rated output for a few hours, we better kick back the plant output by 1/2000th! No, wait - they predict there may be some clouds rolling through, which means we will need to kick in the peaker plants which are far more expensive than coal. Never mind!"

Of course, as solar becomes a bigger player, it will start to replace some coal, but it is not the current reality, and it won't be one-for-one, unless there is storage (not even then as you lose energy in the storage process). So they shouldn't be making that claim now.

It's too bad, because I hate the environmental damage of mining and burning coal, but those are the realities (at least as I see it - reasoned counterpoints are welcomed).



Quote:
Tesla GigaFactory will be similar with solar panels on it's roof and nearby field of wind power (charge batteries) but produce all it's electricity (net zero).
So when is the GigaFactory going off grid? Hey, if these Tesla PowerWalls are really a profitable answer to grid storage, shouldn't they be eating their own cooking (and be their own early adopters)?

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Old 05-27-2015, 10:56 AM   #573
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A little back-of-the-envelope data relevant to my earlier statement:

I'm suggesting that if you had enough wind/solar to have excess to power EVs on average, you would have a lot of excess that could not be sold (because of the variable nature of W/S).


So a typical US home uses about 1,000 kWh per month.

An EV driven a typical 1,000 miles per month, would use ~ 320 kWh per month (based on Leaf - 24kWh battery, 75 mile range, does not account for charging losses). So roughly 1/3rd additional power consumption to add an EV.

And let's envision a future with an EV in ~ 1/3 of the homes. So let's round down to 1/10th the power on average ( EVs will improve somewhat, though I still gave them a free pass on charger losses).

So this is why I think it is just not realistic to think of the EVs running mostly on renewables. How can renewables consistently provide a 10% excess, without also having a lot of excess much (most?) of the time? And as I say, if that excess is 'wasted', it factors into the average costs for W/S, making them more expensive. Storage could utilize most of the excess, but that has a price as well.

Averages don't apply. Not now, not for the foreseeable future.

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Old 05-27-2015, 12:26 PM   #574
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A little back-of-the-envelope data relevant to my earlier statement:

I'm suggesting that if you had enough wind/solar to have excess to power EVs on average, you would have a lot of excess that could not be sold (because of the variable nature of W/S).


So a typical US home uses about 1,000 kWh per month.

An EV driven a typical 1,000 miles per month, would use ~ 320 kWh per month (based on Leaf - 24kWh battery, 75 mile range, does not account for charging losses). So roughly 1/3rd additional power consumption to add an EV.

And let's envision a future with an EV in ~ 1/3 of the homes. So let's round down to 1/10th the power on average ( EVs will improve somewhat, though I still gave them a free pass on charger losses).

So this is why I think it is just not realistic to think of the EVs running mostly on renewables. How can renewables consistently provide a 10% excess, without also having a lot of excess much (most?) of the time? And as I say, if that excess is 'wasted', it factors into the average costs for W/S, making them more expensive. Storage could utilize most of the excess, but that has a price as well.

Averages don't apply. Not now, not for the foreseeable future.

-ERD50
The other problem is that solar is generating when people are not normally charging... so that cannot be factored in the greening of the grid by EVs... not now, not later....
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Old 05-27-2015, 12:47 PM   #575
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The other problem is that solar is generating when people are not normally charging... so that cannot be factored in the greening of the grid by EVs... not now, not later....
What makes you say that for the future scenario?

Most cars are parked >90% of the time, plenty of time to charge.

Also, solar concentrators. https://mitei.mit.edu/system/files/C...compressed.pdf
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Old 05-27-2015, 12:50 PM   #576
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The other problem is that solar is generating when people are not normally charging... so that cannot be factored in the greening of the grid by EVs... not now, not later....
Yep. EV proponents keep trying to push the concept of these cars acting as storage during the day, but I just don't see how that can add up on a large scale.

If we were to hit large scale adoption like ~ 1/3rd vehicle miles being EVs, well, I see a lot of cars on the road during the day. So those can't be charging. What % of the remaining are going to have a socket available where they park? What is the environmental impact of installing all these additional sockets if we go that route?

It might be worth it to install all this infrastructure if there was a clear path to an environmental payback on it. But it looks shaky to even count on getting EVs powered by 50% renewables in the future, and the stats show that ain't good for the environment (compared to current hybrids).

edit/add - cross posted with Totoro... Q - What do solar concentrators have to do with anything?

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Old 05-27-2015, 01:11 PM   #577
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You mean bird death-ray power?

California’s new solar power plant is actually a death ray that’s incinerating birds mid-flight | ExtremeTech
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:25 PM   #578
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I live near the Tesla headquarters, with one of the dealerships just blocks away. The Tesla is becoming as common as a Honda on the street around here.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:49 PM   #579
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Yup.

Reports of mass deaths were grossly exaggerated:

For the Birds: How Speculation Trumped Fact at Ivanpah - Renewable Energy World

And the problem is solved anyway:

One Weird Trick Prevents Bird Deaths At Solar Towers | CleanTechnica
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Old 05-27-2015, 02:58 PM   #580
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I live near the Tesla headquarters, with one of the dealerships just blocks away. The Tesla is becoming as common as a Honda on the street around here.
Where I live, you never see any Tesla's, just pickup trucks, BMW's and Mercedes Benz's!
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