Author Topic: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?  (Read 162409 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline phil from seattle

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 394
  • Country: us
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #200 on: April 08, 2018, 11:26:56 pm »
I've been driving a Tesla Model S as my primary car since 2013 so I have a little experience with the issues. I went with an EV once the range got above 200 miles (320 km). Long drives might seem like an edge case to some but these are relatively frequent. While most people in the US drive less than 12 miles for their daily commute to work, the real issue for EV range is the longest monthly drive. It's quite common to have to do a lot of driving in a single day once a month or so.  When my kids were in school, they would sometimes have events that required at least an hour of driving, one way. Plenty of other things cause a need for a lot of driving. Total distance in a day of >100 miles is not at all uncommon.  So, that is what defines EV range requirements for consumers. This is why the first gen EVs with 70-80 mile range did not sell that well.

Sure, one could buy a hybrid like a Prius or a Volt though that's still depending on petrol. I personally wanted to cut that cord.

Now, unlike every other EV automaker, Telsa has built a fast DC charging network - SuperChargers. These are 90 to 120 KW units. There are over 1000 sites worldwide, almost 500 in the US. They are positioned on major motorways at about 2-3 hrs driving time apart (a lot closer in California and Florida). I can drive almost anywhere in the contiguous 48 states using the SC network. Recharging is fairly fast, less than an hour at the worst but you only need to charge enough to get to the next SC (the car will tell you when you can continue). Typically, you need to break for bathrooms/food/coffee/stretch every couple of hours anyway so it's not so bad. That 1800 mile trip is still longer in a Tesla than an ICE but it's not dramatically so.  The SC network is a strategic advantage that other automakers have yet to copy. The Tesla model 3 is currently outselling even the Toyota Prius Prime in the US. It may be an edge case but long distance travel is a factor in buying decisions in the US.

One of the things that isn't discussed very much about EVs is that they are much easier to manufacture. The head of the Korean auto workers union was recently quoted as saying something to the effect that EVs are evil. He sees jobs going away. I've seen numbers like 40% less labor to assemble an EV vs an ICE (and even bigger differential when you talk about true hybrids).

And, recently there have been some surprising reports about the amount of electricity needed to extract and refine a gallon of petrol. There is an imputed watt-hours per mile cost for ICE vehicles than can exceed the watt-hours per mile consumption of a pure EV. One of the logical extensions of this is that the carbon footprint of ICE vehicles needs to factor in the CF of electricity generation for extraction/refining.

« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 11:35:44 pm by phil from seattle »
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17862
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #201 on: April 08, 2018, 11:40:12 pm »
Yes that's because many people are dumb, if they want to spend way more money to buy a car for an edge case that's their problem, it's their money. That's kind of my point though, people get hung up on largely irrelevant details and edge cases when there are perfectly sensible ways of working around them.
One car is always cheaper than two. Also take my caravan example again: most people will use it to go on a holiday so demand will be high during very specific periods if people are going to rent a car to tow a caravan. This means that the rental companies will have cars sitting on their lot which they only rent for a few weeks per year. As a consumer you'll pay for that one way or another. Ergo: your reasoning doesn't work on a larger scale.

@phil: now factor in how much electricity is needed to make the battery pack for an EV and how much gas&coalis being burned to make that electricity. In lots of countries they use way more efficient cars compared to the US and electricity production has a very large CO2 footprint. In those cases EVs don't reduce CO2 output but they just move the point of emission.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 11:51:13 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online wraper

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 10333
  • Country: lv
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #202 on: April 09, 2018, 12:20:24 am »
@phil: now factor in how much electricity is needed to make the battery pack for an EV and how much gas&coalis being burned to make that electricity. In lots of countries they use way more efficient cars compared to the US and electricity production has a very large CO2 footprint. In those cases EVs don't reduce CO2 output but they just move the point of emission.
Burning fossil fuel at power station is still around 2-4 times more efficient compared to ICE.
 

Online james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9501
  • Country: us
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #203 on: April 09, 2018, 01:30:14 am »
One car is always cheaper than two. Also take my caravan example again: most people will use it to go on a holiday so demand will be high during very specific periods if people are going to rent a car to tow a caravan. This means that the rental companies will have cars sitting on their lot which they only rent for a few weeks per year. As a consumer you'll pay for that one way or another. Ergo: your reasoning doesn't work on a larger scale.


Doesn't matter, almost every family I know has at least two cars, quite a few with kids of driving age have three cars, some have more. I can't be bothered to look up the numbers but last I heard there are more cars registered than there are licensed drivers in the US. That supports my anecdotal observation that most families have more than one car, so there are clearly millions and millions and millions of households that could easily get by with a pure EV in place of one of their conventional cars. Then there are many, many thousands of people who don't own any car at all, obviously that can't work right? Except that it does because they do it. The caravan/camper example is another edge case, I know a few people who have those and every one of them has a silly big truck to pull it with in addition to at least one regular car. Is it necessary? Well, not to me, if I wanted to take a trip with a trailer I'd either rent an RV or get a small trailer I could pull behind one of my cars but I prefer tent camping and that's beside the point anyway. There is a thriving RV rental industry though so clearly quite a few people have figured out that it's cheaper to rent one for one or two trips a year all the costs of owning, storing and maintaining their own. You're hung up on edge cases that simply don't apply to a majority of people. Clearly they apply to you, that's fine, but recognize that there are *millions* of people for whom it's simply a non issue.
 

Offline Fungus

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 10102
  • Country: 00
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #204 on: April 09, 2018, 08:19:50 am »
Also take my caravan example again...

Owning/towing caravans is a pain in the ass. Much better to occasionally rent a motorhome than to own your own caravan and drive a gas guzzler all year round just so you can take it somewhere.

Plus: Somebody else maintains them, they don't take up any space and they'll be replaced regularly so you'll always have a recent model.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 08:23:46 am by Fungus »
 

Offline paulca

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1973
  • Country: gb
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #205 on: April 09, 2018, 09:45:04 am »
EDIT: On that later point.  I envision "pluggable" batteries.  Standardised packs the size of a suitcase that goes where the spare wheel would have.  Garages can sell these in a swap an empty for a full one in the same way we do gas cylinders.  This would go a long way to easy range anxiety.
Pluggable batteries are technically an easy task, but in opposition to total weight and distribution of mass.
The batteries are placed/distributed now in the most ideal location, making them removable with decent fast trays will surely change that.

My idea is not to make the entire battery pack pluggable.  Just a small reserve pack in the boot.  Something the size of carry on luggage, small suit case, weighing around 10Kg.  With enough juice to get your 30 miles or so, maybe.  A car could have two of them in the boot/trunk.  When the car switches over to using these you get the warning light.  When the first one goes dead, the warning light flashes. 

You can then swap these emergency reserve packs at a filling station to get you an extra few miles and maybe get you home.
"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  3 Channel Audio mixer with DAC, BT, pre-amps and h/phone amp, WS281x LED controller Version 2 5V/5A w/Atmega328, FY6600 Power supply, 5A DC Load (Still!)
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17862
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #206 on: April 09, 2018, 09:59:12 am »
@phil: now factor in how much electricity is needed to make the battery pack for an EV and how much gas&coalis being burned to make that electricity. In lots of countries they use way more efficient cars compared to the US and electricity production has a very large CO2 footprint. In those cases EVs don't reduce CO2 output but they just move the point of emission.
Burning fossil fuel at power station is still around 2-4 times more efficient compared to ICE.
No. Not when compared to a fuel efficient ICE. And then there are distribution and conversion losses which make the EV lose big time. I've posted the calculations before.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 10:03:23 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline SparkyFX

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 524
  • Country: de
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #207 on: April 09, 2018, 10:59:30 am »
Burning fossil fuel at power station is still around 2-4 times more efficient compared to ICE.
No. Not when compared to a fuel efficient ICE. And then there are distribution and conversion losses which make the EV lose big time. I've posted the calculations before.
Take into account that an ICEs efficiency is directly linked to the traffic or to the pedal. Those efficiency figures are measured under ideal conditions (cruising at steady speed and fixed load), which most often don´t apply. It still needs to work outside this band, which requires additional provisions, makes the whole emission regulation more difficult and the whole thing heavier as well. These numbers multiplied by the amount of cars in operation tells you something.

A power station runs under vastly differenct circumstances, it is designed to run in that mode constantly and maybe even unable to run outside it´s band.

EVs sidetrack those problems and are multifuel capable by converting it all to electrical power and then storing it.
Support your local planet.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17862
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #208 on: April 09, 2018, 11:31:47 am »
Burning fossil fuel at power station is still around 2-4 times more efficient compared to ICE.
No. Not when compared to a fuel efficient ICE. And then there are distribution and conversion losses which make the EV lose big time. I've posted the calculations before.
Take into account that an ICEs efficiency is directly linked to the traffic or to the pedal. Those efficiency figures are measured under ideal conditions (cruising at steady speed and fixed load), which most often don´t apply. It still needs to work outside this band, which requires additional provisions, makes the whole emission regulation more difficult and the whole thing heavier as well.
Wrong. The EPA tests cars under real driving circumstances so you can simply check the numbers yourself. Engines with a turbo have a very large RPM range in which they are efficient and they don't have to be slow either. Look at Ford's 1.0 ecoboost engine for example which can produce 93kW over a very wide RPM range. Cars fitted with this type of engine produce less CO2 than comparable diesels and are on the heels of hybrid vehicles. And there is more to come when the EU starts to use better test methods for cars.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Marco

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4408
  • Country: nl
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #209 on: April 09, 2018, 11:56:56 am »
No. Not when compared to a fuel efficient ICE. And then there are distribution and conversion losses which make the EV lose big time. I've posted the calculations before.

Lets do it again, latest Golf GTI has 125+ g/km CO2 WLTP. Latest leaf does 40/270 kwh/km WLTP, latest coal plants have 46+% efficiency, lets do 10% transmission/conversion losses, 340 grams of CO2 per kwh total energy for coal. So 40/270*340*1/(0.46*0.9) is 121+. Pretty much the same ignoring CO2 expenditure for mining/refining.

Can't find WLTP numbers for a Ford Fiesta Ecoboost, but another index promising realistic tests http://equaindex.com gives numbers in the same ballpark.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 12:17:48 pm by Marco »
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17862
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #210 on: April 09, 2018, 12:10:07 pm »
No. Not when compared to a fuel efficient ICE. And then there are distribution and conversion losses which make the EV lose big time. I've posted the calculations before.

Lets do it again, latest Golf GTI has 125+ g/km CO2 WLTP. Latest leaf does 40/270 kwh/km WLTP, latest coal plants have 46+% efficiency, lets do 10% transmission/conversion losses, 340 grams of CO2 per kwh total energy for coal. So 40/270*340*1/(0.46*0.9) is 121+. Pretty much the same ignoring CO2 expenditure for mining/refining.
You are forgetting that (at least) 5% of the fuel is bio-fuel.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Marco

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4408
  • Country: nl
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #211 on: April 09, 2018, 12:24:33 pm »
Nuclear, renewable or even gas can take the CO2 production down too. I'm just doing ballpark figures.
 

Offline coppice

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4702
  • Country: gb
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #212 on: April 09, 2018, 12:26:43 pm »
You are forgetting that (at least) 5% of the fuel is bio-fuel.
You say that like its more ecologically friendly than the rest of the fuel.  ;)
 

Offline NANDBlog

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4462
  • Country: nl
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #213 on: April 09, 2018, 12:39:30 pm »
You are forgetting that (at least) 5% of the fuel is bio-fuel.
You say that like its more ecologically friendly than the rest of the fuel.  ;)
Yeah, I mean, involving the 3 largest polluter industry must reduce the pollution in the first largest industry, right? That is how math works. Also, it is good for us, that farmers are producing now stuff, only to make bioethanol, instead of using the waste as it was planned. (BTW good farmers know, there is no such thing as waste in farming, only you just dont know how to use it).
No. Not when compared to a fuel efficient ICE. And then there are distribution and conversion losses which make the EV lose big time. I've posted the calculations before.

Lets do it again, latest Golf GTI has 125+ g/km CO2 WLTP. Latest leaf does 40/270 kwh/km WLTP, latest coal plants have 46+% efficiency, lets do 10% transmission/conversion losses, 340 grams of CO2 per kwh total energy for coal. So 40/270*340*1/(0.46*0.9) is 121+. Pretty much the same ignoring CO2 expenditure for mining/refining.

Can't find WLTP numbers for a Ford Fiesta Ecoboost, but another index promising realistic tests http://equaindex.com gives numbers in the same ballpark.
Nobody is suggesting that coal powered electric cars are good. You can generate electricity from renewable sources, with almost 0 CO2. You can only generate diesel from dead dinosaurs, and those are not renewable.
 

Offline richard.cs

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 679
  • Country: gb
  • Electronics engineer from Southampton, UK.
    • Random stuff I've built (mostly non-electronic and fairly dated).
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #214 on: April 09, 2018, 12:48:27 pm »
So an EV is on par in CO2 emissions with a modern diesel if all the electricity generation is from coal. The UK average for 2017 was 292 g/kWh which is around a 14% improvement on that, a bit worse than I expected but that's what the data says. What this ignores however are the expected future trends in generation mix (more solar and wind are being built right now and lots of coal plants are scheduled to close within the next decade), and also the air quality benefits (NOx, particulates, etc.) of concentrating emissions in a few stationary (and therefore not weight limited) locations where it's more cost effective to deal with than millions of tail pipes in city centres.

In Europe much of the push for electric vehicles is driven from the latter consideration, air quality in a lot of cities is poor.
 

Offline glarsson

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 807
  • Country: se
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #215 on: April 09, 2018, 01:03:44 pm »
You can only generate diesel from dead dinosaurs, and those are not renewable.
I'm not a fan of diesel, but you certainly can generate diesel from renewable stuff. Search for biodiesel.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiesel
 

Offline coppice

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4702
  • Country: gb
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #216 on: April 09, 2018, 01:26:24 pm »
You can only generate diesel from dead dinosaurs, and those are not renewable.
I'm not a fan of diesel, but you certainly can generate diesel from renewable stuff. Search for biodiesel.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiesel
Try looking for analyses of how many litres of dead dinosaur are used to make each litre of biodiesel.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17862
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #217 on: April 09, 2018, 01:43:15 pm »
You can only generate diesel from dead dinosaurs, and those are not renewable.
I'm not a fan of diesel, but you certainly can generate diesel from renewable stuff. Search for biodiesel.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiesel
Try looking for analyses of how many litres of dead dinosaur are used to make each litre of biodiesel.
The same goes for solar panels. Then again there is also bio-ethanol which can be used in any (relatively) modern petrol engine.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline paulca

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1973
  • Country: gb
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #218 on: April 09, 2018, 02:27:38 pm »
... and how many dead dinosaurs go into making an EV?
"What could possibly go wrong?"
Current Open Projects:  3 Channel Audio mixer with DAC, BT, pre-amps and h/phone amp, WS281x LED controller Version 2 5V/5A w/Atmega328, FY6600 Power supply, 5A DC Load (Still!)
 

Online wraper

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 10333
  • Country: lv
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #219 on: April 09, 2018, 02:59:37 pm »
Then again there is also bio-ethanol which can be used in any (relatively) modern petrol engine.
Which drives the food prices up. You need to grow somewhere the crops required for it's production.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17862
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #220 on: April 09, 2018, 05:22:36 pm »
Then again there is also bio-ethanol which can be used in any (relatively) modern petrol engine.
Which drives the food prices up. You need to grow somewhere the crops required for it's production.
Wrong. New processes (3rd generation bio fuels) use leftovers so bio-fuel drives the food price down because more of the plants is used. Google Poet-DSM . The best thing is that there is a crap load of agricultural leftovers which could supply a significant amount of fuel.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 05:33:19 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online wraper

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 10333
  • Country: lv
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #221 on: April 09, 2018, 05:53:53 pm »
Then again there is also bio-ethanol which can be used in any (relatively) modern petrol engine.
Which drives the food prices up. You need to grow somewhere the crops required for it's production.
Wrong. New processes (3rd generation bio fuels) use leftovers so bio-fuel drives the food price down because more of the plants is used. Google Poet-DSM . The best thing is that there is a crap load of agricultural leftovers which could supply a significant amount of fuel.
It's just non commercialized research so far.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17862
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #222 on: April 09, 2018, 06:27:18 pm »
They got the first factory up & running with tens of millions invested. That isn't research but commercial operation. Over the past few years the amount of ethanol exported by the US has been increasing steadily so there is a growing market.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline SparkyFX

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 524
  • Country: de
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #223 on: April 09, 2018, 06:50:09 pm »
Wrong. The EPA tests cars under real driving circumstances so you can simply check the numbers yourself. Engines with a turbo have a very large RPM range in which they are efficient and they don't have to be slow either. Look at Ford's 1.0 ecoboost engine for example which can produce 93kW over a very wide RPM range. Cars fitted with this type of engine produce less CO2 than comparable diesels and are on the heels of hybrid vehicles. And there is more to come when the EU starts to use better test methods for cars.
We are not talking EPA/NEDC/WLTP/RDE, we are talking BSFC. Whatever number you want to use, it can not exceed that, except for parking.
Support your local planet.
 

Offline nctnico

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 17862
  • Country: nl
    • NCT Developments
Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #224 on: April 09, 2018, 07:39:37 pm »
Wrong. The EPA tests cars under real driving circumstances so you can simply check the numbers yourself. Engines with a turbo have a very large RPM range in which they are efficient and they don't have to be slow either. Look at Ford's 1.0 ecoboost engine for example which can produce 93kW over a very wide RPM range. Cars fitted with this type of engine produce less CO2 than comparable diesels and are on the heels of hybrid vehicles. And there is more to come when the EU starts to use better test methods for cars.
We are not talking EPA/NEDC/WLTP/RDE, we are talking BSFC. Whatever number you want to use, it can not exceed that, except for parking.
If BSFC provided a good number for cars then it would be used for car testing. But it is not so it is not relevant in this discussion. BSFC is about engine efficiency and not CO2 emission of the entire car so the BSFC number is not painting the entire picture. You can put a less efficient engine in a car and still have lower CO2 emissions compared to a similar car with a (on paper) more efficient engine. IOW: you need a test which tests the car as it is in realistic driving circumstances which include the influence of aerodynamics, gearbox ratios, etc, etc.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf