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Old 12-03-2010, 08:56 PM   #21
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Well, proponents of "a bad intention" would not call it that. They would sell to you as "a good intention" too. But I see your point.
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:42 AM   #22
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Here is Nissan's EV... Sales are supposed to begin in the US soon.

IMO - it is a little pricey. Gotta be a diehard greeny to pay up for it now... the TCO seems high. $32k before the tax credit of $7.5k. I think $25k is too much... when the equivalent size small gasoline car can be purchased for half that and apparently the estimated cost for charging it for $15000 miles/yr is about $560/yr. I think the battery has a 10yr/100k warranty... that might help some. The cost of replacing those batteries is probably high.


Nissan Leaf - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:49 AM   #23
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Here is Nissan's EV... Sales are supposed to begin in the US soon.

IMO - it is a little pricey. Gotta be a diehard greeny to pay up for it now...
No you don't. Remember, we are ALL paying for it, whether we want one or not:


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$32k before the tax credit of $7.5k.

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I think $25k is too much...
And I think $32K is too much. But if someone wants an EV, then they ought to fork over the $32K of their own money. That's fine with me.

I'd like to buy a 1959 sunburst Les Paul. I think it would be so 'green' to re-purpose an old guitar, rather than have a new one made. Anybody/Everybody want to subsidize my hobby?

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Old 12-04-2010, 10:07 AM   #24
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The Nissan Leaf is made in Smyrna TN and Cracker Barrel headquarters is in Lebanon TN about 35 miles away. Since the Leaf is made here Cracker Barrel is just one of many locations in the area that are putting in charging stations for the fast charge of the Leaf batteries.

This is TVA country so yes the grid can handle it. That is not to say that the grid at all CB locations can however.

Being a resident of middle TN and Nissan my former employer This is a vehicle I am certainly interested in for local use. The Leaf production added 1000 jobs to the Smyrna plant in the last three years!
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:36 PM   #25
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I don't put much stock in that idea anyhow. Batteries are already the most expensive, limiting part of an EV - why would you want to have any excess capacity? Esp capacity that you have to use energy to move around with you. Doesn't make any sense to me at all.
I don't think anyone is suggesting using bigger batteries for the benefit of the utilities. The idea is that most folks don't use a full tank of gas (or a full charge) every day so they're running around with a bunch of extra storage that they don't always need. I think most people would be willing to sell some of that excess back to the utilities at a premium price, on occasion. And it makes a ton of sense for the utilities to buy it that way too.
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:52 PM   #26
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I don't think anyone is suggesting using bigger batteries for the benefit of the utilities. The idea is that most folks don't use a full tank of gas (or a full charge) every day so they're running around with a bunch of extra storage that they don't always need. I think most people would be willing to sell some of that excess back to the utilities at a premium price, on occasion. And it makes a ton of sense for the utilities to buy it that way too.
Yes, it makes sense on some levels. But since there is so much "range anxiety" regarding EVs, I just don't think a real significant number of people are going to want to have the tank 'run down' while they are at work.

Take the Leaf @ 24kWhrs. So if you used 1/4 of that to get to work, and need 1/4 to get back, and maybe you want to make some stops on the way home, I doubt you'd want to give up more than 1/4 of those kWhrs. So about 6 kWhrs. At ~ $0.10 kWHr average, let's even say a full $0.10 differential from on/off peak rates. So 60 cents a day? It's something, but doesn't sound like you'd want to add infrastructure to a parking lot for such small amounts of energy. And that adds wear/tear on the battery.

I'll still say this could be handled at the infrastructure level much more efficiently.

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Old 12-06-2010, 06:43 AM   #27
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Yes, it makes sense on some levels. But since there is so much "range anxiety" regarding EVs, I just don't think a real significant number of people are going to want to have the tank 'run down' while they are at work.
Agreed. But this sounds more like a symptom of the uncertainties and limitations of new technology rather than a permanent constraint. As range and reliability improves, these concerns melt away.

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I'll still say this could be handled at the infrastructure level much more efficiently.
That is the way it is done now. Utilities build "peaking" power plants to meet high demand times. Some of those plants only run a couple of hours per year. Some run so irregularly that they don't even earn enough from selling power to recover their fixed costs. To ensure reliability, state commissions pay such plants to sit idle just so they're available if needed. Elsewhere, we've even created entire markets (specifically in the NJ, PA, and MD region) where generation "capacity" (not actual power) is auctioned. That is a market where generators get paid for just being around, whether they generate power or not. The 2009/2010 auction cleared at a price that will pay generators $7.5B annually in just that region alone. Sure it works, but it's not terribly efficient.

And even though each individual battery is small, with 125MM cars on the road, that's potential battery capacity equivalent to three quarters of our currently installed generation (even at just 6Kw each). That has huge implications, not only for managing peak power demand, but also for managing intermittent generation sources like wind and solar (once wind power becomes a large enough portion of total supply, like in Texas, you actually need to build back-up gas generation stations to manage the fact that you can't control when the wind blows . . . talk about inefficient).

With respect to adding infrastructure, we'll have to do it anyway if these cars are ever going to become more than just a novelty. They don't charge in a couple of minutes. So it's not like you're going to want to rely on roadside filling stations like you do with gas, except in an emergency or for really long trips. We'll have to add outlets nearly everywhere a car is going to park for an extended amount of time. So the incremental cost to the utility of utilizing that infrastructure is really very small.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:03 PM   #28
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And even though each individual battery is small, with 125MM cars on the road, that's potential battery capacity equivalent to three quarters of our currently installed generation (even at just 6Kw each). . . . We'll have to add outlets nearly everywhere a car is going to park for an extended amount of time. So the incremental cost to the utility of utilizing that infrastructure is really very small.
If I were a Leaf owner, that eventual battery replacement cost would be something I'd be concerned about, and the increased wear/tear of the local power company charging/discharging the car's battery to help with their load buffering would not be something I'd be willing to volunteer to do. That capacity is mine, I paid for it, and I want to be able to use it whenever I choose. OTOH, if I could earn a meaningful amount of cash or credit toward a replacement battery for allowing the utility to do this, and if the utility would guarantee that my car would never be tapped below X% (I always want to be able to use the car to get to the hospital) and that it would be at 100% by 0600 every morning if it had been plugged in for 8 hours, then the deal might be a good one for me. It would still seem like this would be expensive for the utility, especially more expensive than just building extra standby generating capacity. After all, it's got to be cheaper for the power company to buy generating capacity or even batteries in a central location than to distribute them in little 6kW packages throughout neighborhoods and install the smart grid technology to track everything, and then buy the power back at the retail price the customer paid whenever it is needed.
In a nutshell--All that electric storage capacity that will be sitting in garages ain't a common resource that the electric utilities can tap for free. It belongs to individuals, and I'll guess these individuals will demand a price for it that would match or exceed the power company's cost of building their own standby capacity or even bulk storage of some type. When we hear folks talk about the benefits of all this "free" electrical storage capacity, the "TANSTAAFL" alarm should start sounding, as there's usually some serious double-counting going on.
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:31 PM   #29
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It belongs to individuals, and I'll guess these individuals will demand a price for it that would match or exceed the power company's cost of building their own standby capacity or even bulk storage of some type.
Make it a "green" thing. The elec co just needs to hire a creative marketing firm. Buy some print and air time. Put inserts in the monthly statements (or e-statements for the hard core greenies). Play up how you can save the environment and prevent additional "dirty power plants" from being built simply by agreeing to let the power company use your EV's battery to offset peak loads for as few as a couple hours per year.

I'm sure the elec co's could externalize the costs of the battery damage and added infrastructure costs away from themselves and place the burden on unwitting "green" consumers, local, state and fed governments. Sure, it would probably be more environmentally damaging than just building a new small natgas or alt fuel peak generation facility. But hey, it is "green"!
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Old 12-06-2010, 02:49 PM   #30
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+1 to samclem's recent post, also...

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That is the way it is done now. Utilities build "peaking" power plants to meet high demand times. Some of those plants only run a couple of hours per year.
Yes - it's interesting that just having some extra capacity just sitting around unused much of the time is cheaper and/or more reliable than any present storage solutions. I imagine the utilities have some pretty sophisticated algorithms to determine just how much is needed, and whether to use it for routine peaks, or just 'emergency' peaks (balancing against the cost of the 'big' plants).

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And even though each individual battery is small, with 125MM cars on the road, that's potential battery capacity equivalent to three quarters of our currently installed generation (even at just 6Kw each)....
By the time EVs hit even 20% share of the fleet, there will probably be options we can't even imagine today. And how much of that 20% is going to be willing to give up their juice, with a brown-out looming? There may be options we can imagine, like swappable packs, so we just re-fill (swap out actually) as we do with gasoline today. Why carry 'excess', when I can rent more power at the corner e-Swap Station (I better trademark that!)? And any way you look at it, if I'm willing to give up some of my battery capacity, then that is 'excess' - I'm carrying around more battery than I need, and that is a waste.

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Make it a "green" thing. The elec co just needs to hire a creative marketing firm.
And some politician to decide this is a good thing to promote (it will get him votes!) and subsidize it further. Yeah! I can pay for part of their car, and then pay for them to sell electricity to me at inflated rates, and pay, and pay, and pay, and no one gets any benefit because it is all just green talk with no real answers.

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Old 12-06-2010, 03:36 PM   #31
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In a nutshell--All that electric storage capacity that will be sitting in garages ain't a common resource that the electric utilities can tap for free. It belongs to individuals, and I'll guess these individuals will demand a price for it that would match or exceed the power company's cost of building their own standby capacity or even bulk storage of some type. When we hear folks talk about the benefits of all this "free" electrical storage capacity, the "TANSTAAFL" alarm should start sounding, as there's usually some serious double-counting going on.
Um, that was never in doubt. Nobody said it was "free" or that the utilities wouldn't pay for it, or that owners could choose not to participate. I don't know why you'd jump to a conclusion that has never been suggested by anyone (not just here, but anyone anywhere, as far as I know).

These kinds of arrangements already exist with large users of power. It's called "demand side management." Why would it be so different with individuals?

I also don't understand the assumption that it would be more cost effective to build a redundant facility than to buy excess capacity within a network that already exists for another purpose.
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:55 PM   #32
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If the idea floated here and elsewhere of dramatically raising the gas tax takes hold, these vehicles might start making more sense for average Jane and Joe.

One could also argue that the greenies are subsidizing the rest of us for the brazillions of dollars spent on the Crusades keeping the Gulf of Hormuz open...
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:41 PM   #33
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And any way you look at it, if I'm willing to give up some of my battery capacity, then that is 'excess' - I'm carrying around more battery than I need, and that is a waste.
How much gasoline is in your tank right now? Mine's three-quarters full. I'd gladly accept an offer from Exxon to buy 1/4 or 1/2 of my tank at $4 per gallon.

That's all we're talking about. Why is this so contentious? Is it because electric cars are "green"?
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Old 12-06-2010, 04:55 PM   #34
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Um, that was never in doubt. Nobody said it was "free" or that the utilities wouldn't pay for it, or that owners could choose not to participate. I don't know why you'd jump to a conclusion that has never been suggested by anyone (not just here, but anyone anywhere, as far as I know).

These kinds of arrangements already exist with large users of power. It's called "demand side management." Why would it be so different with individuals?

I also don't understand the assumption that it would be more cost effective to build a redundant facility than to buy excess capacity within a network that already exists for another purpose.
Super, I didn't know this had all been noodled out. Do you happen to know what the going market rate is for 1 kWh of nighttime electrical storage purchased from retail owners of electric vehicles? If there's no up-and-running market of this type, what do the proponents of this distributed storage scheme assume the price will be for this capacity? If they think it's practical, then I assume they are working from a position of knowledge.

One point is just how much "excess capacity" there is. Just because Mr Jones didn't use the energy in his battery last night doesn't mean it was excess--he needed it to be there in case he wanted to go out. Deals between various large power companies are easier because, due to the large number of users, things average out and demand is more predictable. When Mr Jones can't go to the movies across town because Duke Energy used his juice, it doesn't matter that he's had plenty of juice 98% of the other nights--right now he's 100% out of luck. It's not like these EV's have tons of extra capacity--at the price of these batteries, we can bet Nissan has carefully studied exactly how big they'll need to be to attract buyers. And the Volt already has a short enough electric-only range that any reduction in the battery charge state at the start of any meaningful journey is going to result in more running of the car's gas engine. That's way less environmentally friendly and "green" than producing the power at a high-efficiency central power plant.

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Why is this so contentious? Is it because electric cars are "green"?
No, it's because these things have a way of being subsidized with tax dollars taken from me. Subsidies for hybrid cars in the past, upcoming subsidies for EVs, the brilliant ongoing ethanol subsidy that most environmentalists now admit is a mistake but seems impossible to kill. At this point, it's fair to come to the table with some skepticism and to ask questions in advance before Dr Gore's Traveling Medicine Show pulls into town with another great idea.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:34 PM   #35
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How much gasoline is in your tank right now? Mine's three-quarters full. I'd gladly accept an offer from Exxon to buy 1/4 or 1/2 of my tank at $4 per gallon.

That's all we're talking about. Why is this so contentious? Is it because electric cars are "green"?
What samclem said, plus:

No, it's because I also would 'gladly accept an offer from Exxon to buy 1/4 or 1/2 of my tank at $4 per gallon', but I wouldn't be very interested if I owned a Leaf. Let's put some numbers to that:

My car gets over 300 miles range on 15 gallons of a 16 gallon tank (leave 1 gallon reserve to not run out), and assume I buy gas @ $3 and hypothetically sell it for $4.

If I'm 3/4 full (12G), they can buy 1/2 tank (8G) from me and that leaves me with 4G, 3G which I can use before refilling. That gets me 60 miles to find a gas station, which is no problem and I'm full again in 10 minutes. And I'd make $8, so refilling everyday might be worth it.

With the Leaf, if I get to work with 3/4 range left, and they take half, that leaves me with 1/4 range - 25 miles before I need a long recharge - something I can't get at every corner. And maybe much less if I get stuck in traffic and need the heat or A/C. And at a $0.10/kWhr differential ( a generous ~ 100% differential, versus your hypothetical 33% differential for gas - do you have a better number?), that's $1.20 compared to $8.00. Though plugging and unplugging could be less effort than pumping gas if it is readily available. Factor in battery degradation of maybe 300 1/2 cycles a year versus $360 electricity credit. I wonder if warranties would cover this use? They might need make even tougher (more $) batteries to support this.

There are better battery technologies for grid storage. They are heavy, so not appropriate for mobile use. Use the right tool for the job, sez I.

So I don't see this as 'contentious' at all - it's merely facts. If you see it as 'contentious', it makes me think that maybe you don't want facts to get in the way of what you might want called 'green'. Why is that, what purpose is served? To me, 'fake green' is the worst kind, as people think it's actually solving a problem, so the problem continues unsolved. Do we want to be 'green', or do we just want the appearance of being 'green'?

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Old 12-06-2010, 06:13 PM   #36
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No, it's because these things have a way of being subsidized with tax dollars taken from me. Subsidies for hybrid cars in the past, upcoming subsidies for EVs, the brilliant ongoing ethanol subsidy that most environmentalists now admit is a mistake but seems impossible to kill. At this point, it's fair to come to the table with some skepticism and to ask questions in advance before Dr Gore's Traveling Medicine Show pulls into town with another great idea.

I see my mistake now. I thought I was joining a conversation about the possibilities and practicalities of incorporating EVs into our electric grid. But the conversation I really joined was one where people wanted to piss and moan about environmental politics. My bad.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:30 PM   #37
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No, it's because I also would 'gladly accept an offer from Exxon to buy 1/4 or 1/2 of my tank at $4 per gallon', but I wouldn't be very interested if I owned a Leaf. Let's put some numbers to that:
And of course for this to be relevant to a conversation of about integrating EVs into our electric grid over the comping decades we'd have to assume that they never get any better than the Leaf.

And BTW. I never made any assertion as to whether Electric Cars were desirable, for "green" reasons or any other. Most of my comments have been about the relative high inefficiency of our existing infrastructure in meeting peak power needs and managing the intermittent power sources increasingly being added to the grid.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:43 PM   #38
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I see my mistake now. I thought I was joining a conversation about the possibilities and practicalities of incorporating EVs into our electric grid. But the conversation I really joined was one where people wanted to piss and moan about environmental politics. My bad.
There's plenty of practical "meat" in the info presented. If someone posits that distributed grid storage across millions of private EVs is a good idea, it would seem that person would welcome the opportunity to address questions about how that could be done in a practical way.
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:43 PM   #39
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No, it's because I also would 'gladly accept an offer from Exxon to buy 1/4 or 1/2 of my tank at $4 per gallon', but I wouldn't be very interested if I owned a Leaf. Let's put some numbers to that:
And of course for this to be relevant to a conversation of about integrating EVs into our electric grid over the comping decades we'd have to assume that they never get any better than the Leaf.


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There are better battery technologies for grid storage. They are heavy, so not appropriate for mobile use. Use the right tool for the job, sez I.
Actually, there are no such technologies in use on any meaningful scale.

It's a shame. This whole topic is one in which I have some professional expertise, but I guess I'm coming to the view that you're just not interested in listening to anything I have to say. So I guess I'll stop talking.
Doesn't your second paragraph contradict your first? You want to look to the hypothetical future Leaf, but the alternatives we are discussing need to be currently in use on a meaningful scale?

As I said before, by the time EVs become a significant % of the fleet, there will be other options. And large non-mobile batteries are being used today. I didn't find a link readily on another article I read a while back, but a wind farm in the US is soaking up juice in a battery and selling it back at peak rates and the other utilities are crying 'foul'. But here's something:


Grid energy storage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
One possible technology for large-scale storage are large-scale flow batteries and liquid metal batteries.[2] Sodium-sulfur batteries could also be inexpensive to implement on a large scale and have been used for grid storage in Japan and in the United States [3]. ...

Rechargeable flow batteries can be used as a rapid-response storage medium.[4] Vanadium redox flow batteries are currently installed at Huxley Hill wind farm (Australia), Tomari Wind Hills at Hokkaidō (Japan), as well as in other non-wind farm applications. A further 12 MWh flow battery is to be installed at the Sorne Hill wind farm (Ireland).[5] These storage systems are designed to smooth out transient fluctuations in wind energy supply. The redox flow battery mentioned in the first article cited above has a capacity of 6 MWh, which represents under an hour of electrical flow from this particular wind farm (at 20% capacity factor on its 30 MW rated capacity).
So continue talking, but it is pretty clear that a lot of the popular green bumper-sticker sayings have ended up in bad legislation (It's from corn!), so it will be critiqued as it applies to ' being green'.

-ERD50
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:48 PM   #40
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Tennessee Will Get Electric Car Chargers at Cracker Barrel Restaurants - Transportation - GOOD

This is part of a Public/Private effort to roll out charging stations in several regions, called the EV Project.

The EV Project Home

Ha

Cool!

Now I can forgo the WalMart parking lot and plug my motorhome in at "The Cracker Barrel"
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