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EV or no EV?

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Dakine

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Mod Note: This discussion was moved here from another thread about the Rivian EV truck, to keep this general EV discussion all together.

1. If the USA is to electrify our transportation fleet, US power production will have to double.
2. Electrical distribution infrastructure will require a multi trillion dollar upgrade to charge all the EV's.
3. Charging will always take longer than filling up a tank and charging infrastructure is so sparse that more trillions will be needed to make EV's a reality.
4. Gasoline has 17 times the energy density of current generation Lithium Ion batteries, range anxiety in a big country like the USA will always be a thing unless better battery tech is developed.
5. A fully charged battery is a bomb waiting to happen, all it takes is one defect in the thousands of cells used in EV batteries and your garage is going up in smoke. Battery fires are very hard to extinguish. Take the Bolt problem for example.

But, by all means, get a Tesla or Rivian, somebody has to do the development work these "move fast and break things" guys don't do.
 
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Alexzn

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1. If the USA is to electrify our transportation fleet, US power production will have to double.
2. Electrical distribution infrastructure will require a multi trillion dollar upgrade to charge all the EV's.
3. Charging will always take longer than filling up a tank and charging infrastructure is so sparse that more trillions will be needed to make EV's a reality.
4. Gasoline has 17 times the energy density of current generation Lithium Ion batteries, range anxiety in a big country like the USA will always be a thing unless better battery tech is developed.
5. A fully charged battery is a bomb waiting to happen, all it takes is one defect in the thousands of cells used in EV batteries and your garage is going up in smoke. Battery fires are very hard to extinguish. Take the Bolt problem for example.

But, by all means, get a Tesla or Rivian, somebody has to do the development work these "move fast and break things" guys don't do.
1. "Electric power" production. EVs are more efficient than gas cars, so overall power consumption may even go down when the fleetis electrified.
2-3. Yes, and that's ok. Is not that the current gasoline distribution infrastructure is all that cheap or efficient.
4. That's the only argument I would agree with. Some applications may always rely on chemical fuels (eg. aviation) simply for the superior power to weight radio. You don't need that advantage in 99% of daily driving.
5. A full tank of gas is just as much of a fire hazard, if not more. A burning fuel tank is hard to extinguish- it will bless up your garage before you can do anything. You are carrying a LiIon battery with you every day in your pocket, and yet I don't you are worried about fires and you can take it on an airplane and use it in the air.

There are always risks in any news technology, but the EV tech in not new anymore. Most of that early development work has been done already. We are at the tipping point.
 
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Dakine

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1. "Electric power" production. EVs are more efficient than gas cars, so overall power consumption may even go down when the first is electrified.
Electric power consumption will more than double according to Musk. Where will it come from?
2-3. Yes, and that's ok. Is not that the current gasoline distribution infrastructure is all that cheap or efficient.
Gasoline distribution infrastructure is bought and paid for. Where will the multi trillions needed for an EV charging network come from?
4. That's the only argument I would agree with. Some applications may always rely on chemical fuels (eg. aviation) simply for the superior power to weight radio. You don't need that advantage in 99% of daily driving.
EV's make a lot of sense for urban commuter and grocery getting activities. That doesn't describe the SkiTalk crowd. When I can get an EV that will allow me to visit my kid's house which is 420 miles away I probably still won't get one. My current Subaru does that easily for 2/3's of the capital cost of a heavily subsidized EV.
5. A full tank of gas is just as much of a fire hazard, if not more. A burning fuel tank is hard to extinguish- it will bless up your garage before you can do anything. You are carrying a LiIon battery with you every day in your pocket, and yet I don't you are worried about fires and you can take it on an airplane and use it in the air.
Tell that to the Chevy Bolt owners. I am a RC modeler and take great precautions when charging my LiPOs. I have had two fires during charging. Most lithium battery packs recommend charging in a fireproof charging bag or outside. Gasoline is not flammable without oxygen, Lithium batteries will burn in a vacuum. Firefighting is much harder since depriving the fire of oxygen doesn't work.
There are always risks in any news technology, but the EV tech in not new anymore. Most of that early development work has been done already. We are at the tipping point.
What you call the tipping point, I call a Peak Bullshit moment. EV's will find their place in the transportation fleet based on pure economics and I don't think government mandates will be effective. As a lifelong student of climate science, I do not believe that there is a technological solution to the problem. There are too many humans on the planet and materialism is the universal religion, relax and watch evolution do its thing. Homo Sapiens is an interesting species but it liked shiny things too much to be long term successful.
 

Alexzn

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I have two friends who own Bolt/Volt cars, they are not worried (one is a materials scientist). You don't charge your cell phone outside, do you?
The current gasoline distribution system is quite inefficient, we need to truck fuel around. I'm sure the horse feed storage and distribution network in the early automobile age was also built and paid for.
And, yes, SkiTalk crowd drives EVs. And no, not everyone drives 420 miles one way every day or every week. Another friend loves to take road trips in his Tesla Y, the charging stops don't bother him, he does not like to drive more than 2 hours straight. He also loves camping at campsites with electric hookups, he can sleep in the car and run climate control all night. Can you do that in your Subaru?

And right now a lot of EV purchases are driven by economics or at least a strong perception of self interest. Government mandates have nothing to do with it. Tesla wait is at 7 months, not because government forces people to buy Teslas or because people drink Elon coolaid. The most popular BMW is a plug-in hybrid. Ford sold out of the MustangE crossover and is coming out with an electric F150. Tesla and GM have sold enough cars to stop qualifying for the tax incentive. So right now if you buy a Volt you are not getting anything back from the government.
 
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Dakine

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Enjoy your EV.
At this point they are hugely subsided by taking a free ride off the existing grid and generation infrastructure.
Until the grid and charging infrastructure is built mass adoption cannot happen.
If I was in the market, I would be looking at a good IC primary hybrid.
And we haven't even discussed the raw materials need to convert the fleet to lithium, neodymium, cobalt and copper.
gztr03w6v4621.jpg
 

Alexzn

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Enjoy your EV.
At this point they are hugely subsided by taking a free ride off the existing grid and generation infrastructure.
Until the grid and charging infrastructure is built mass adoption cannot happen.
If I was in the market, I would be looking at a good IC primary hybrid.
And we haven't even discussed the raw materials need to convert the fleet to lithium, neodymium, cobalt and copper.
View attachment 143889
I think you have it backwards. Mass EV adoption will drive the infrastructure investment. It's already happening.

I personally dislike primary IC hybrids, plug in hybrids make a bit more sense. Long term l BEVs will win outright.
 

dovski

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Enjoy your EV.
At this point they are hugely subsided by taking a free ride off the existing grid and generation infrastructure.
Until the grid and charging infrastructure is built mass adoption cannot happen.
If I was in the market, I would be looking at a good IC primary hybrid.
And we haven't even discussed the raw materials need to convert the fleet to lithium, neodymium, cobalt and copper.
View attachment 143889
Umm my utility company charges for the power required to charge my car. At work my company provides charging to me for free, but they pay the power company and any high speed charger I use is owned by a company that pays a power bill for the energy used with the end consumer paying a premium on top of that. Yes some cars come with a limited amount of "free charging" but that is paid for by the manufacturer and factors into the price of the car. So please explain to me how paying the power company for the power you use is a "Free Ride" off the grid ;) Also FYI the US Power grid is super old and in desperate need of an upgrade. With or without EVs we need to invest trillions of $$ in it just meet our existing needs and growing population.

As for charging infrastructure, yes that needs to be further developed as more EVs take to the road, but the last five years has seen exponential growth coupled with range improvements in EVs. My point being is that the massive build out you speak of started over 5 years back with Tesla and in the last 3 years has gone mainstream with Electrify America. You also find an abundance of destination charging, plus the cost to buy and install a level 2 charger at home has greatly decreased. The reality is that the only time I use high speed chargers is on road trips, the majority of my charging is done at home or at work. The real change that needs to happen for mass adoption is a change in mindset from driving an ICE car with a gas station on every corner and only filling up when your tank is on empty, to driving an EV where you top up your car with incremental charges on a regular basis. Simply put you do not drive an EV down to zero range, but rather you top off periodically with smaller slower charges. So changing peoples mindset is the real key to mass EV adoption:doh:

Ok on to batteries. Battery technology is constantly evolving and getting better as is the capacity to produce batteries. Many companies are copying Tesla's Giga factory approach, so we are seeing an exponential increase in both production capacity and battery technology. The real issue is the chip shortage which impacts every vehicle manufacturer as well as battery production. In spite of this Tesla just broke all the production and sales records this quarter so clearly they have found a way of addressing this.

Now I will concede that you do have limitations when it comes to range and performance in cold weather, driving in the mountains and towing trailers. So for active skiers that want an EV to drive to the mountains there is not a great solution yet IMHO but the next generation of EVs with better battery technology and greater range will hopefully address that. That said we have friends who drive their Model X from Seattle to Big Sky every year for ski vacations, and they find a way to make it work, but there are only three of them and they do not travel with multiple pairs of skis :eek:

I will also add that having owned and driven EVs for the last five years I have learned a lot and also seen the technology advance at light speed. Have likely charged my cars hundreds if not thousands of times issue free. And have also taken 1000 mile plus road trips in them all be it in the summer :cool: Reading this thread I am seeing a lot of incorrect statements and assumptions. So @Dakine always happy to debate the finer points of EVs and battery technology with you, but do recommend you actually rent an EV for a couple weeks so you can gain some first hand experiences we can anchor vs. assumptions.
 

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Mod note: This discussion was moved from the Rivian review thread to allow that one to stay on topic.

Please don't turn this one political, and lets keep discussing the facts and trades around EVs and infrastructure.
 
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Dakine

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@dovski
We agree that the existing grid is barely capable of meeting existing demand and trillions in infrastructure spending on a new electrical distribution system will be required if EV's are adopted in mass. As things stand, EV charging takes up capacity that was paid for by ratepayers in the past and a whole bunch of new payers will be needed to build EV charging infrastructure. I don't want my electric power bill to pay for your charging needs so this burden should fall on the EV industry.

The power has to come from somewhere. Since most EV's are charged overnight, this power isn't coming from wind and solar. More trillions will be needed. Where is it going to come from?

Battery technology for lithium ion batteries is quite mature and unless another reliable chemistry can be found the only new economies in lithium battery tech will come from the economies of scale. I like Lithium-Air batteries but they are far from commercialization and it isn't certain they can ever made sufficiently reliable for mass production. Sodium ion batteries have potential but are far away. Incremental charging reduces cell life. I think the industry really missed the boat when they chose to not adopt standardized battery design so packs can be changed out instead of having to wait around for a charge. China is moving towards standardized, swappable battery packs.

I have driven a Tesla S and ridden a Zero electric dirt bike. Both were big fun but the S isn't really a mass production car and the Zero didn't have the range for a good two hour ride. Since I live in Michigan, winter conditions that require heat and defrost make range problems even more acute. Edison had an electric car that could make it from Detroit to Chicago on a couple of charges over 100 years ago, electrics are nothing new.
 

dovski

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@dovski
We agree that the existing grid is barely capable of meeting existing demand and trillions in infrastructure spending on a new electrical distribution system will be required if EV's are adopted in mass. As things stand, EV charging takes up capacity that was paid for by ratepayers in the past and a whole bunch of new payers will be needed to build EV charging infrastructure. I don't want my electric power bill to pay for your charging needs so this burden should fall on the EV industry.

The power has to come from somewhere. Since most EV's are charged overnight, this power isn't coming from wind and solar. More trillions will be needed. Where is it going to come from?

Battery technology for lithium ion batteries is quite mature and unless another reliable chemistry can be found the only new economies in lithium battery tech will come from the economies of scale. I like Lithium-Air batteries but they are far from commercialization and it isn't certain they can ever made sufficiently reliable for mass production. Sodium ion batteries have potential but are far away. Incremental charging reduces cell life. I think the industry really missed the boat when they chose to not adopt standardized battery design so packs can be changed out instead of having to wait around for a charge. China is moving towards standardized, swappable battery packs.

I have driven a Tesla S and ridden a Zero electric dirt bike. Both were big fun but the S isn't really a mass production car and the Zero didn't have the range for a good two hour ride. Since I live in Michigan, winter conditions that require heat and defrost make range problems even more acute. Edison had an electric car that could make it from Detroit to Chicago on a couple of charges over 100 years ago, electrics are nothing new.
We complete agree that our power grid does not meet our existing needs nor has it for the last 25 years. The fact that we need controlled brown outs to keep it from collapsing is a travesty. More importantly our grid has not been maintained and relies on technology that in some cases dates back to the 1950s. What we do not agree on is that EVs are the primary thing driving the need to modernize and expand the power grid. I would argue the real issue we have years of neglected infrastructure, coupled with a growing population and many technologies that need power.

When it comes to modernizing the power grid, which both agree is essential this will not be driven by your tax $$. Thanks to privatization that vast majority of utilities in the US are investor owned for profit corporations. This means that these companies have to pay to upgrade their infrastructure to meet the increasing demand for electricity not tax payers. In my region that is Puget Sound Energy, which is actually by a foreign investment company. Personally I think a big part of the next gen power grid should be end point power production as a lot of power is lost every year as it is transmitted over power lines. With end point production through efficient point of use generators you may actually create a more efficient power system. This could be as simple as added solar panels to the building code for all new construction, or creating standardized generators that utilities can provide to end customers.

As for battery technology, it is constantly evolving. If you even compare say Tesla battery packs to GM battery packs you see significant differences based on the maturity and continual improvement of Tesla's battery technology. Simply put as mature as Lithium ion batteries may be there is still much room for improvement in battery technology and performance. This simple fact makes standardized swappable batteries a challenge as innovation will constantly change these standards and necessitate changes in EV electrical systems too. The swappable approach has been tried and failed several times, but is worth exploring if we can get to a stage where we set national standards for EV systems and batteries, however this may also impede innovation.

I actually owned a model S for about 4 years. Lucked out and found a great deal through Tesla on a certified pre-owned, and it really is an amazing car. The fact that the Tesla Model S has outsold pretty much all luxury sedans (i.e. Mercedes, BMW and Audi combined) makes the highest production luxury car on the market. Not sure where we draw the line at mass production but it clearly is not a niche vehicle any more. I do think there is a difference between driving one once and driving one for an extended period of time. With the current long range model having over 400 miles of range, this is actually a car you can drive in winter, but as I said before towing things and mountains will impact that range in a significant way. Personally I did drive my 2013 Model S to Whistler for end of season skiing and it worked well as there were lots of super chargers along the way and free end point charging at the hotel I stayed at in Whistler. Appreciate that electric cars are not a new thing, but they certainly have come a long long way since Edison built his.
 

James

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Entergy tower in Louisiana. Not like you’d ever have a hurricane there.
 
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Dakine

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Solid state batteries?
There is a lot to be said for hydrogen fuel cell cars.
I spent time working with Ballard on their fuel cell tech that ran on hydrocarbons but it was ultimately not practical.
You can use wind and solar power to make hydrogen at scale while grid scale battery tech is not yet there.
Iron-Air batteries could change that so you could recharge your EV off grid scale storage.
This company is worth watching.
ESS Inc.
It's a fascinating time in the transportation biz but I expect to be hydrocarbon fueled for the near future.
It's all about the money and usability.
Even with gas at $5.00/gallon and a $3750 tax credit for the EV, a guzzler looks good.

Honda-Civic-vs-Tesla-Model-3-High-Gas-Price-High-Electricity-Price-Costs.png

Wind farm power output is greater at night afaik.
Not so.
The diurnal variation of wind speed is well understood.
Most wind comes from temperature differences which are greater during the day.
Even in a windy place like Maui the night time winds are a fraction of the daily max.
Wind speed.png
 

Tom K.

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Wind farm power output is greater at night afaik.

I'd honestly like to see some stats on that because in my old stomping grounds (Columbia Gorge in OR/WA) this is not the case. Also, it blows so hard there, that excess power is often being grounded because it won't "fit" into the grid. The utility still has to pay for it.
 

anders_nor

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honestly most people here only drive EV's because they are tax excempt aka cheap, so if they remove that.. well.. yeah, I dont currently own an EV since they made it more expensive to drive them, so now I'm city driving with my porsche I was very tired with my tesla' horrible range, I couldnt make a round trip to mountains when it was cold.

100% of all our power is hydro, wind or solar. we make more than we can use & export a lot. we could easy double that again if we wanted.
 
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Dakine

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honestly most people here only drive EV's because they are tax excempt aka cheap, so if they remove that.. well.. yeah, I dont currently own an EV since they made it more expensive to drive them, so now I'm city driving with my porsche I was very tired with my tesla' horrible range, I couldnt make a round trip to mountains when it was cold.

100% of all our power is hydro, wind or solar. we make more than we can use & export a lot. we could easy double that again if we wanted.
I just read your reservoirs are low and meeting hydropower production targets may no0t happen...?
 

Lauren

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our gear on hydroplants are 100+ years some places, with new more effficient turbines we could double the output.
Out of curiosity...where are you located geographically? I'm a self-proclaimed nerd with a job in the power industry, and I think it's incredible how hydros built that long ago are still standing and producing power today....the craftsmanship in some of those hydros is astounding.
 
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