EVs are invading my town!

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varano14

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somewhat related story that I find hilarious:

Had a law professor who went on on about how he got a new tesla and how he was saving the environment etc etc. He was a practicing environmental lawyer who was going after fracking companies in PA so he was all in to some extent. Anyway some kid got sick of listening to him bashing us all for not driving electric cars and the following exchange took place:

Wise guy student: "Professor, how many solar panels are on your house to charge the Tesla?"

Professor: (*somewhat confused*) None, why would I need those?"

Wise guy: "(setting the hook) Well how do you charge it?"

Professor: "I just plug it in in my garage every night, its so easy."

Wise guy: "how does the electricity in the wall get produced?"

Professor: (*starting to see he error*) "idk, same as all the electricity in PA"

Wise guy: " So most likely burning some sort of fossil fuel?

Who class: *roaring laughter*

Professor: ............................

Wise guy: "so at the end of the day you electric car is not better for the environment at all?"


It was incredible to say the least.
 

Jim Welch

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Without a whole lot of nuclear power we will be hard pressed to get away from oil and gas. There are presently serious practical shortcomings with EVs, most notably range and recharge time. Now if one never travels far this is acceptable but many people do travel regularly or semi-regularly long distance, not to mention the shipping industry.
Ive been in conversations on other forums about this and a very common retort to this concern is the belief that there WILL be technological advances to solve this. Maybe, maybe not I believe but one thing for sure is that neither wind nor solar are panacea like many erroneously believe.
 

Johnd

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Yes, and lets not forget the power distribution infrastructure, which does get overloaded and fail at times. Add to that load several cars per household, and youd have a good old fashioned blackout. Can you imagine having nothing but electric cars after the power gets knocked out by a hurricane, or an ice/snow storm, or any other event that knocks out power lines.

Fuel was hard to come by after Ida, but not as scarce as power and air conditioning. Recovery from a hurricane would be impossible without fossil fuels engines, at least for us regular folks.
 

Aiserock

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Without a whole lot of nuclear power we will be hard pressed to get away from oil and gas. There are presently serious practical shortcomings with EVs, most notably range and recharge time. Now if one never travels far this is acceptable but many people do travel regularly or semi-regularly long distance, not to mention the shipping industry.
Ive been in conversations on other forums about this and a very common retort to this concern is the belief that there WILL be technological advances to solve this. Maybe, maybe not I believe but one thing for sure is that neither wind nor solar are panacea like many erroneously believe.
There are some interesting articles on thermal (energy) storage using molten salt, I just heard they're converting an old coal mine for this purpose. This is an example of the tech, heard the coal mine thing on "all things considered" on my local NPR station yesterday.


Also, there have been some real strides made in the Nuclear department as well, making them a lot safer and less likely to melt down. I will look for the article I read, might have been a PBS youtube though and link it here once I find it. IIRC the newer ideas being looked at would prevent a "runaway" reaction that happened in Chernobyl.

Found it:
 
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Aiserock

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Yes, and lets not forget the power distribution infrastructure, which does get overloaded and fail at times. Add to that load several cars per household, and youd have a good old fashioned blackout. Can you imagine having nothing but electric cars after the power gets knocked out by a hurricane, or an ice/snow storm, or any other event that knocks out power lines.

Fuel was hard to come by after Ida, but not as scarce as power and air conditioning. Recovery from a hurricane would be impossible without fossil fuels engines, at least for us regular folks.
Check out this article:
 

Johnd

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Check out this article:
That's a pretty cool technology feature, bit pricey in a car at nearly $5K. Wonder why power companies don't have battery banks in high usage areas to store excess power created in off peak times to supplement those times when power is in high demand and rolling brownouts have to be used...............
 

sour_grapes

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varano14

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Without a whole lot of nuclear power we will be hard pressed to get away from oil and gas. There are presently serious practical shortcomings with EVs, most notably range and recharge time. Now if one never travels far this is acceptable but many people do travel regularly or semi-regularly long distance, not to mention the shipping industry.
Ive been in conversations on other forums about this and a very common retort to this concern is the belief that there WILL be technological advances to solve this. Maybe, maybe not I believe but one thing for sure is that neither wind nor solar are panacea like many erroneously believe.
It's been too long since I read the article but it basically laid out the math on the problem you are pointing to. It was something crazy like at least double or triple the current electricity demand to fuel an EV to replace every single combustion motor in the US. Bottom line is we use a lot of gas which equals a lot of electricity which we currently can not produce or supply.

The other retort to this concern that I have seen is that people will no longer own cars and will use ride share apps and alternative means. In rural US I think this approach has about zero chance of getting off the ground. Its possible in cities but raises a whole host of other issue like what happens when a hurricane is rolling through? Is Uber or whomever sending their fleet into flood waters, risking damage to pull you out.

I don't present those points as an argument against being concerned about the environment but rather a practical problem that the EV enthusiasts often fail or refuse to acknowledge. I personally feel a lot of that comes from the big car companies making wild claims like only having EVs by XYZ date. Its currently trendy to say that and scores lots of points but none of them are offering ways to charge these things.
 

Johnd

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It's been too long since I read the article but it basically laid out the math on the problem you are pointing to. It was something crazy like at least double or triple the current electricity demand to fuel an EV to replace every single combustion motor in the US. Bottom line is we use a lot of gas which equals a lot of electricity which we currently can not produce or supply.

The other retort to this concern that I have seen is that people will no longer own cars and will use ride share apps and alternative means. In rural US I think this approach has about zero chance of getting off the ground. Its possible in cities but raises a whole host of other issue like what happens when a hurricane is rolling through? Is Uber or whomever sending their fleet into flood waters, risking damage to pull you out.

I don't present those points as an argument against being concerned about the environment but rather a practical problem that the EV enthusiasts often fail or refuse to acknowledge. I personally feel a lot of that comes from the big car companies making wild claims like only having EVs by XYZ date. Its currently trendy to say that and scores lots of points but none of them are offering ways to charge these things.
In cities and well populated suburban areas, this all makes plenty of sense during "normal" times. Owning an EV to commute to work daily, ridesharing services, etc. have a solid place in the future of our society. When "normalness" is interrupted, and people do crazy shit, nearly every system we have gets overwhelmed. I may one day have an EV, but I'll always also have a fossil fuel powered vehicle (or a diesel powered generator on a trailer to pull behind the EV...........).
 

sour_grapes

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It's been too long since I read the article but it basically laid out the math on the problem you are pointing to. It was something crazy like at least double or triple the current electricity demand to fuel an EV to replace every single combustion motor in the US. Bottom line is we use a lot of gas which equals a lot of electricity which we currently can not produce or supply. [emphasis added]
I do not believe this is true. A number of years ago, I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation that suggested that we would have to increase the electricity grid capacity by only about 15-20% to move all gasoline cars to all EV. (I realize this ignores trucks.) It would be good if you could find your article to share it.

As of a few years ago (when I did the calculation), we were burning about 140 billion gallons of gasoline per annum. Each gallon has an energy content of 33.4 kWh. So, the gas we burn releases 4.7E12 kWh/yr.

Coincidentally, our electricity consumption happened to be exactly 4.7E12 kWh/yr! Quite the coincidence. Naively, it may seem we need to double the grid to power all the cars.

But that ignores the fact that converting the energy from gasoline into mechanical motion is only about 15-20% efficient. In contrast, converting the energy from electricity to mechanical motion in an EV is ~80% efficient.** So the amount of additional electricity needed to power EVs should be on the order of (0.2/0.8) = 25% more than we now move through the grid.

Naively, one could say we need to increase the grid by 25%. But this ignores the fact that the grid is sized for the peak demand; if EVs mostly charged at nighttime (when current demand is low), they would be using some of the grid's excess capacity that is now "wasted." Wikipedia tells me that nighttime demand is ~25% lower than daytime demand. Therefore, might even be able to get away with increasing the capacity of the grid by just 10 or 15%. (Of course, you would need to run the power plants at full capacity 24/7, that is, you would need to burn a lot more fuel.)

I am dead certain that someone more capable than I has done a better calculation than I have. If anyone has seen it, I wouldn't mind taking a look at your source.


**Note that the process of converting fuel to electricity is ALSO quite inefficient, so ICE and EV consume comparable amounts of raw fuel to move the car; but the electric grid only has to carry the refined energy, after the inefficient conversion to electricity.
 

hounddawg

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Without a whole lot of nuclear power we will be hard pressed to get away from oil and gas. There are presently serious practical shortcomings with EVs, most notably range and recharge time. Now if one never travels far this is acceptable but many people do travel regularly or semi-regularly long distance, not to mention the shipping industry.
Ive been in conversations on other forums about this and a very common retort to this concern is the belief that there WILL be technological advances to solve this. Maybe, maybe not I believe but one thing for sure is that neither wind nor solar are panacea like many erroneously believe.
saddly them spent fuel rods, no to mention fukashema is dumping better then 50,000 of erated water into the ocean daily,
Dawg
 

Jim Welch

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There is a huge amount of outright hysteria and misinformation surrounding "nuclear" power. The fact is nuclear power is both the safest and most efficient method to generate power, period! Not by a small measure by any means but by relatively huge margins.

Practically all the world's reactors are rather old designs and there are newer and much much improved designs that could be utilized if and only if we made rational informed decisions instead of... well knee jerk reactions based on feelings instead of deliberate thought.
Indeed some designs should have NEVER been built, i.e. Chernobyl. Others like Fukushima, while an older design, were acceptable they require backup power in the event of an emergency shutdown to continue cooling the reactor. The reactors survived the 6 minute 9.1 earthquake (a massive extremely long duration earthquake btw) and the resultant tsunami but unfortunately the backup generators were not high enough to continue to run when the 15 meter tsunami hit and the loss of their backup power led to the reactor meltdown.


Gotta follow the science, right?
 

Jim Welch

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Ah, the EPA. created by the trustworthy President Nixon!
I trust no one, but especially NOT government bureaucracies. Their jobs are never finished nor diminish and they always become politicized.
 

Boatboy24

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Agree with all of those points (and, for the record, am very interested in making an EV my next vehicle). But those FAQs only address greenhouse gasses. What I'm still trying to figure out is what are the environmental impacts associated with producing and (probably more importantly) disposing of the batteries? Like everything else coming out of our politicians' mouths, the 'facts' are only those that support the narrative they're selling. I just want the WHOLE truth.
 
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