Author Topic: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?  (Read 217451 times)

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Offline SparkyFX

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #225 on: April 09, 2018, 08:02:54 pm »
Not when comparing against a power station, which was what caused your statement.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #226 on: April 09, 2018, 08:22:53 pm »
Not when comparing against a power station, which was what caused your statement.
Also doesn't matter. CO2 emission is what counts. The CO2 emissions are publicly available for both electricity generation and how much is output by an ICE based car so you can very easely calculate how much grams of CO2 takes you from A to B. There really is no reason to make it any more complicated than that. Don't forget that CO2 emissions include all the losses so they offer a really good comparison of various ways of transportation.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 08:27:55 pm by nctnico »
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Offline NANDBlog

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #227 on: April 09, 2018, 08:58:43 pm »
Not when comparing against a power station, which was what caused your statement.
Also doesn't matter. CO2 emission is what counts. The CO2 emissions are publicly available for both electricity generation and how much is output by an ICE based car so you can very easely calculate how much grams of CO2 takes you from A to B. There really is no reason to make it any more complicated than that. Don't forget that CO2 emissions include all the losses so they offer a really good comparison of various ways of transportation.
CO2 is not everything. In fact, you dont get cancer and die 25 years early because of CO2.
 

Offline phil from seattle

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #228 on: April 10, 2018, 01:15:55 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.
This is oft repeated but based on old data (NiCad manufacturing energy costs from 1990s and ignored battery recycling). The reality is that even using coal fired electricity, there is a break-even point where the EV even with the battery manufacturing factored in is "greener" than a similar sized ICE.  For my power company, it's pretty quick - 32K miles which I have surpassed. Also, that break-even analysis did NOT include the carbon cost of generating the electricity needed to extract, refine and distribute the gasoline the ICE used. So, it's likely that the real break even point for an EV is much sooner. I'm looking for the article that discusses this but am coming up blank.  Here's one that addresses the issue but not the one I'm thinking of. Will keep looking.

Also, consider this - an ICE vehicle will never be more green than the day it is delivered. An EV will never be less green than the day it's delivered (because improvements in the efficiency generating electricity are on-going and wind turbines are coming on line at an accelerating rate). This assumes both vehicles are properly maintained.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 01:18:30 am by phil from seattle »
 
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Online Marco

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #229 on: April 10, 2018, 01:06:26 pm »
Also doesn't matter. CO2 emission is what counts. The CO2 emissions are publicly available for both electricity generation and how much is output by an ICE based car so you can very easely calculate how much grams of CO2 takes you from A to B.

For a significant increase in electric cars, the electricity will be delivered by new generation ... we will need more capacity. Basing their CO2 production on the existing generating mix is as useful as taking the average of the existing diesel/petrol car park to judge their CO2 production. That's why I took the numbers for a recently built (but in production) coal generating plant.

PS. I think CO2 impact on increasing temperatures and rising sea levels is way overhyped and electric cars are impractical except as a second car.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 01:10:20 pm by Marco »
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #230 on: April 10, 2018, 01:40:46 pm »
Also, consider this - an ICE vehicle will never be more green than the day it is delivered. An EV will never be less green than the day it's delivered (because improvements in the efficiency generating electricity are on-going and wind turbines are coming on line at an accelerating rate). This assumes both vehicles are properly maintained.
Now you are assuming that ICE cars will always run on pure fossil fuel. The reality is that every modern petrol car can run on ethanol (which also burns cleaner compared to fossil fuel). It is hard to predict right now but it is possible that bio-fuels will become common sooner than batteries which give EVs a useful range and short charging times.

However the hard fact is that ICE cars allow a gradual transition towards renewable energy without a large investment in the car and infrastructure. That transition is already ongoing. I always fill our cars with the fuel blend which has the most ethanol. If you buy an EV you are stuck to charging from day one.
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Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #231 on: April 10, 2018, 02:57:08 pm »
Define 'burns cleaner'. Ethanol has a lower energy density, releases the same amounts of CO2 per unit energy produced and can cause some issues on vehicles not designed for it.

Also, unless that ethanol came from second-generation sources, it takes away from arable crops. I don't know what the situation is in NL, but in the US this is only sustainable due to the efforts of the corn lobby.

Finally, at least two members of this forum had just posted that we already drive EVs with a net zero carbon footprint due to home solar installations. No need to do any future projections, we're already at 100% renewable transportation even without large scale infrastructure changes. I would expect that especially in NL, with an existing and growing renewable energy grid supply, this would be easier to achieve (for ex. with a smaller solar installation).
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #232 on: April 10, 2018, 03:15:47 pm »
Solar is only viable for the happy few with a large enough roof. In the NL that is rare. Also I'd need to buy an EV but then again on my (average) roof I can only generate half of my annual electricity usage. All in all solar panels on roofs are a pipe dream which is not going to happen on a large enough scale any time soon.

Ofcourse like solar and wind bio-fuels need lots of subsidies as well to develop the technology and create a market.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2018, 03:30:35 pm by nctnico »
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Offline coppice

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #233 on: April 10, 2018, 03:28:57 pm »
Solar is only viable for the happy few with a large enough roof. In the NL that is rare. Also I'd need to buy an EV but then again on my (average) roof I can only generate half of my annual electricity usage.
Ofcourse like solar and wind bio-fuels need lots of subsidies as well to develop the technology and create a market.
You also need storage, since on weekdays most people can only have their car at home for charging when its dark.
 

Offline gertux

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #234 on: April 10, 2018, 04:07:48 pm »
Solar is only viable for the happy few with a large enough roof. In the NL that is rare. Also I'd need to buy an EV but then again on my (average) roof I can only generate half of my annual electricity usage. All in all solar panels on roofs are a pipe dream which is not going to happen on a large enough scale any time soon.

Ofcourse like solar and wind bio-fuels need lots of subsidies as well to develop the technology and create a market.
I’ve got solar panels on half the roof and it generates enough to cover my family’s anual electricity usage, installed 12 years ago, investment broke even 4 years ago. We live in Belgium, so we have about the same shitty weather as Holland ;-)

My next car will be an EV and at that time we’ll increase the solar capacity, we’ve got another half of the roof available. We only have 1 car because we live near our jobs, 11km which are covered by bike 90% of the time. The children go to school and university by train, 10 and 15 minutes ride.

An EV that has an automy of 200km covers all our use cases : commutes to clients not in Brussels, visits to my wifes family ;-( 35km and short trips.

On holidays we don’t bring our house (sleurhut), we rent.
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #235 on: April 10, 2018, 04:18:51 pm »
Large-scale solar on roofs is a pipe dream? Southern California (where they produce *too much* power at some times of the year) would beg to differ. Local storage is not really necessary for grid-tie installations, but would be nice (that's going to be my next project). Grid-level storage would solve California-style problems, among other things (ref: Tesla's Hornsdale battery).

One of the approaches my city takes for people who can't afford PV (either cash or roof space) is community solar. There are two pilot projects currently in operation. For what it's worth, the inspector from my city/power company was quite positive about our solar install, and said it he wished more folks would do the same. I'm speculating, but I expect the extra cost of monitoring and balancing a local grid with local PV production is less than the expense to buy short-term power from the regional grid.

You also need storage, since on weekdays most people can only have their car at home for charging when its dark.
I'm sure I don't represent most people, but I leave home at ~8:30 AM. Since ~March, I have about 1.5-2 hours of sunshine by this time each day. I set up by Bolt EV to charge so that it is ready by 8:30 AM, so it pulls power only in the mornings. I can verify from the solar system monitor that about half the time, my car charges solely from my PV system. It helps that my panels are east-facing (I don't have a south-facing roof). On average, my net usage is negative, even including the EV.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #236 on: April 10, 2018, 04:50:24 pm »
Large-scale solar on roofs is a pipe dream? Southern California (where they produce *too much* power at some times of the year) would beg to differ.
The article title says the grid can't handle it. That is another (universal) problem and also the main reason you will need local storage which ruins the economy of solar panels.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #237 on: April 10, 2018, 05:06:23 pm »
Large-scale solar on roofs is a pipe dream? Southern California (where they produce *too much* power at some times of the year) would beg to differ.
The article title says the grid can't handle it. That is another (universal) problem and also the main reason you will need local storage which ruins the economy of solar panels.
The main problem here is the current grid design. It can't handle power going upstream through sub-stations, so you end up with islands that are trying to produce more than they consume. This is not a fundamental problem, though. It simply reflects the requirements which were in place when then current grid was developed. It can be fixed as the sub-stations are maintained.
 

Offline f4eru

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #238 on: April 10, 2018, 05:24:05 pm »
Quote
The main problem here is the current grid design. It can't handle power going upstream through sub-stations,
say what ?
that's not the case.
Power can and will flow in both directions.

Offline nctnico

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #239 on: April 10, 2018, 05:33:06 pm »
Large-scale solar on roofs is a pipe dream? Southern California (where they produce *too much* power at some times of the year) would beg to differ.
The article title says the grid can't handle it. That is another (universal) problem and also the main reason you will need local storage which ruins the economy of solar panels.
The main problem here is the current grid design. It can't handle power going upstream through sub-stations, so you end up with islands that are trying to produce more than they consume. This is not a fundamental problem, though. It simply reflects the requirements which were in place when then current grid was developed. It can be fixed as the sub-stations are maintained.
It is not just the sub stations but also the wiring in the streets. One way or another (local storage or upgrading) it is going to be expensive and a reason why putting solar panels on roofs on a large scale isn't very economic.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #240 on: April 10, 2018, 05:35:13 pm »
Quote
The main problem here is the current grid design. It can't handle power going upstream through sub-stations,
say what ?
that's not the case.
Power can and will flow in both directions.
Of course it can flow both ways, but all the control and protection mechanisms are designed on the expectation of a one way flow.
 

Offline dr.diesel

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #241 on: April 10, 2018, 05:36:07 pm »
Quote
The main problem here is the current grid design. It can't handle power going upstream through sub-stations,
say what ?
that's not the case.
Power can and will flow in both directions.

Substations with old gen voltage regulation would likely cause issues.

Offline phil from seattle

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #242 on: April 10, 2018, 07:36:05 pm »
Solar is only viable for the happy few with a large enough roof. In the NL that is rare. Also I'd need to buy an EV but then again on my (average) roof I can only generate half of my annual electricity usage. All in all solar panels on roofs are a pipe dream which is not going to happen on a large enough scale any time soon.

Ofcourse like solar and wind bio-fuels need lots of subsidies as well to develop the technology and create a market.

Wind is on track to become cheaper than fossil fuels. Subsidies should be going away.  One article here.
 

Offline paulca

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #243 on: April 10, 2018, 07:46:19 pm »
Solar in the UK, especially were I am in Northern Ireland is a bit pointless.   For half the year it's just fecking dark.  The other half of the year it's still fecking dark with overcast cloud and rain.  But... it's ALWAYS feck'in windy!

If they can master "miserably pissing it down" power it will be best bet.
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Online Marco

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #244 on: April 10, 2018, 08:12:51 pm »
Wind is on track to become cheaper than fossil fuels. Subsidies should be going away.  One article here.

That's nice, but you need the fossil fuel plants any way ... it has to be cheaper than fuel cost for a fossil fuel plant if it's going to supply a significant percentage of the power without subsidy. Has a way to go before that happens.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #245 on: April 10, 2018, 09:06:09 pm »
Wind is on track to become cheaper than fossil fuels. Subsidies should be going away.  One article here.
That's nice, but you need the fossil fuel plants any way ... it has to be cheaper than fuel cost for a fossil fuel plant if it's going to supply a significant percentage of the power without subsidy. Has a way to go before that happens.
True but recently some contracts got signed to built a  large wind farm in the Dutch part of the North sea which doesn't need to be subsidized. Well, allmost. The Dutch government is going to put the power grid in place and did all the research (depth, soil stability, etc) and gave that away so the contractors don't have to do the research for themselves before making a bid.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline SparkyFX

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #246 on: April 10, 2018, 10:46:32 pm »
If they can master "miserably pissing it down" power it will be best bet.
It´s called hydroelectric generator :-)
In the big scale of things, even wind and hydro are solar :-).

Quote
It is not just the sub stations but also the wiring in the streets. One way or another (local storage or upgrading) it is going to be expensive and a reason why putting solar panels on roofs on a large scale isn't very economic.
The wiring in the streets is dimensioned for the power that the home´s distribution box is dimensioned for and i talk about the fuses or breakers. So as long as you are not running extreme loads all concurrently there usually is a lot of unused margin included. To estimate the ballpark check which value the main breaker/fuse the home has.

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Offline phil from seattle

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #247 on: April 11, 2018, 12:13:57 am »
Wind is on track to become cheaper than fossil fuels. Subsidies should be going away.  One article here.

That's nice, but you need the fossil fuel plants any way ... it has to be cheaper than fuel cost for a fossil fuel plant if it's going to supply a significant percentage of the power without subsidy. Has a way to go before that happens.

Did you read the article?  It's on track to do just that. Also, there is a lot of active research on storage. Until storage is mainstream there will be a need for generators, probably carbon fuel based, as backup. But the more power generation we can shift to solar or wind, the better. Interestingly, some places have deliberately chosen to pay higher energy costs to ensure green energy generation. Germany and California are two major examples.
 

Online Marco

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #248 on: April 11, 2018, 12:37:33 am »
Fuel cost for a coal plant is currently 2.5 cents US$ (newer plants probably less). So as I said, ways to go.

I suspect PV will be there quicker. Has to come from further, but I think there is just more room to drive it down.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2018, 12:40:13 am by Marco »
 

Online james_s

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Re: When Will Electric Cars Become Mainstream?
« Reply #249 on: April 11, 2018, 12:46:04 am »
Certainly fossil fuel plants are not going away any time soon, but it's very possible that the cost will rise substantially at some point, certainly the current glut of natural gas cannot last forever. Best to be prepared with alternate technologies ahead of time rather than get caught with our pants down when another energy crisis occurs.
 


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