Electric vehicles (EVs), their emissions, and future viability

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jmodge

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Agree. Much better chance for EVs to flourish in the public transportation sector in the US vs private individuals buying electric SUVs and pickup trucks in large numbers for $55,000 a piece or more!

In my opinion the window for electrical trains for city transportation in the US is almost closed or already closed so might as well look at electrical buses and so forth :-(
The roads and highways are already there. The share ride parking lots would make good portages, but no reason for people to give up their vehicles yet. Although next time the auto industry needs to be bailed out, government might say no can do, we took too much cream off the top also.
 

Lightflyer1

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"The Coast Guard is now putting out a "safety alert" due to the fire on the diving vessel Conception, in California. Among other things:

Boat operators also should "reduce potential fire hazards and consider limiting the unsupervised charging of lithium-ion batteries and extensive use of power strips and extension cords," the bulletin said.

The batteries, found in millions of electronic devices around the world, charge and discharge by moving lithium particles between a negative and positive electrode. The particles are suspended in pressurized cells inside the batteries – filled with volatile, flammable chemicals. Incidents of rechargeable battery fires, however, are extremely rare.

"The intensity of the fire surprised people," Peter Goelz, former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board, told USA TODAY. "If it was being fed by lithium batteries, that might explain it.""

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...tteries-amid-california-boat-fire/2297964001/
 

nwdiver

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"The Coast Guard is now putting out a "safety alert" due to the fire on the diving vessel Conception, in California. Among other things:

Boat operators also should "reduce potential fire hazards and consider limiting the unsupervised charging of lithium-ion batteries and extensive use of power strips and extension cords," the bulletin said.

The batteries, found in millions of electronic devices around the world, charge and discharge by moving lithium particles between a negative and positive electrode. The particles are suspended in pressurized cells inside the batteries – filled with volatile, flammable chemicals. Incidents of rechargeable battery fires, however, are extremely rare.

"The intensity of the fire surprised people," Peter Goelz, former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board, told USA TODAY. "If it was being fed by lithium batteries, that might explain it.""

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...tteries-amid-california-boat-fire/2297964001/
Are you giving up your cell phone? Pay phones are rather rare these days.
 

tikal

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The roads and highways are already there. The share ride parking lots would make good portages, but no reason for people to give up their vehicles yet. Although next time the auto industry needs to be bailed out, government might say no can do, we took too much cream off the top also.
Indeed people are not going to give up 'their vehicles'. As long as liquid fuel costs are relatively low (as in less than $3 nationwide average) and public transit non-existent or impractical/inconvenient, then a ~$30,000 gasoline powered passenger vehicle nicely equipped (most likely an SUV than a sedan) will make a lot of American buyers happy (at least for an x amount of time of course).
 

Lightflyer1

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Are you giving up your cell phone? Pay phones are rather rare these days.
No I am not, and I am not taking any sides in the discussion. Just found it interesting that the CG issued this alert and that this had also just been discussed here. The potential fire/exploding issue and the rarity of it happening as well as the intensity with which it burns.

I have plenty of lithium-ion batteries that power things around my house. I will take my chances just as I do when I drive or fly or just live my life.
 

kjclow

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Agree. Much better chance for EVs to flourish in the public transportation sector in the US vs private individuals buying electric SUVs and pickup trucks in large numbers for $55,000 a piece or more!

In my opinion the window for electrical trains for city transportation in the US is almost closed or already closed so might as well look at electrical buses and so forth :-(
Just discussed this with the wife last night. The biggest issue with most North American cities is the layout. It is almost impossible to layout a rail system that offers enough support for the populace to use it. Charlotte is celebrating 250 years as a town and was laid out on the hub and spoke system. However, there are very few spokes that run through the urban sprawl into uptown. It would require purchasing a lot of properties and displacing people to get the rail system close enough to be of use to my family for a daily commute.
 

nicklockard

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Both my Jettas, 2006 and 2009, were purchased new and the A/C sucked from the beginning. When I brought them in for warranty work, I would have the dealer check the A/C and was told "normal". One time, I had a chance to talk to a tech about it and he told me it was a common complaint and then he shrugged his shoulders. It got to the point that when I had passengers, I would use my Buick Century so I wouldn't have to hear the complaints, "Could you turn the A/C on?""It is on". It was that bad.
German cars in general have weak-ass AC's. List of our family's Euro cars with weak AC (bold currently in fleet)

2004 VW Jetta Tdi
2002 VW Jetta Tdi
1997 Mercedes Benz E420
2009 BMW 335d
2016 BMW 228i xDrive


None of these cars' AC could keep up with the AC of my POS college car- a beat up, abused, neglected Chevy Lumina with bad fuel injection that barely ran.

For those with electric vehicles, how do you grade their AC's relative to your other cars?
 

El Dobro

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The A/C in my Volt and Spark EV is excellent. I don't ever recall even having to turn it on full in either car. It also does double duty to keep the batteries in their happy spot when recharging or on hot days.
 

bwilson4web

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Source: https://www.mountainpassperformance.com/mpp-model-3-vs-model-s-plaid-at-laguna-seca-data-comparison/

As everyone that follows Tesla knows, Elon just announced a new “Plaid” version of the Model S to tackle the Nurburgring. That same car also went to have a go at Laguna Seca, and they beat our record by 1 second.

We were curious to find out just how much power this Model S likely has, and without having access to the data from the car itself it’s a little bit difficult to do that.

But, using MoTeC’s i2 data analysis tools and a couple of hours, I manually plotted the speed at various parts on the track estimating the position from the video of both our run and the Tesla lap. It was possible to get the synchronization within a few meters . . .

Good technical data.

Bob Wilson
 

turbobrick240

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The new tri-motor model S will have a go at the Taycans Nurburgring lap record this Thursday. This may be the best racing rivalry since Ford vs. Ferrari.
 

03TDICommuter

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"The intensity of the fire surprised people," Peter Goelz, former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board, told USA TODAY. "If it was being fed by lithium batteries, that might explain it.""
Although spectacular when they fail, they're small. It may have started it but it could not be the cause for it to be intense.

My thoughts anyways having played with lipos and lithium cells.
 

03TDICommuter

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The A/C in my Volt and Spark EV is excellent. I don't ever recall even having to turn it on full in either car. It also does double duty to keep the batteries in their happy spot when recharging or on hot days.
The AC in the eGolf is quite good too. Wish they managed the cooling/heating of the cells though. Hope this car doesn't turn into another example like the Leaf where the batteries degraded quickly from not being managed thermally.
 

Tin Man

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The Limits of Clean Energy

Great article. I would disagree on their statement that shifting to public transportation will save energy, given the extremely poor record and high cost per passenger mile. We could use good public transportation in congested routes perhaps like in the North East United States and Southern California, Chicago, etc., but otherwise small hatchbacks make more sense.
 
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nwdiver

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The Limits of Clean Energy
Great article. I would disagree on their statement that shifting to public transportation will save energy, given the extremely poor record and high cost per passenger mile. We could use good public transportation in congested routes perhaps like in the North East United States and Southern California, Chicago, etc., but otherwise small hatchbacks make more sense.
No energy is innocent but pretty much everything is significantly better than fossil fuel. Walking or biking is best. If you have to drive... drive electric. Using less electricity is best. If you have to use electricity get it from wind or solar.

And context is critical;

'Lithium is another ecological disaster. It takes 500,000 gallons of water to produce a single ton of lithium.'

1 ton of Lithium is enough for ~100 BEVs which will each displace >4,000 gallons of oil. That's ~400,000 gallons of oil. Last I heard here in TX/NM we need ~50 gallons of frack water to extract 1 gallon of oil. So we can use 20,000,000 gallons of water for ICE or ~500,000 gallons of water for EVs.... and we should get that lithium back at EOL... whenever that is.

Material shortages are overblown. Proven reserves of key materials are higher today than they were 20 years ago because we're still finding them faster than they're being mined.

Pretty impressive showing at the Frankfurt Auto show with >10,000 protestors displaying their frustration with the pathetically slow transition away from fools fuel powered cars...
 
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Tin Man

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Material shortages are overblown. Proven reserves of key materials are higher today than they were 20 years ago because we're still finding them faster than they're being mined.
This straw argument does not reflect current thinking where material sourcing for future needs is generally unknown: The Growing Role of Minerals and Metals for a Low Carbon Future
The real perspective will come when market forces dictate the resulting percentages of EV's vs. ICE powered vehicles. An all or nothing approach does nothing for the cause of environmental sustainability since economic consequences are usually ignored .
 

GoFaster

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'Lithium is another ecological disaster. It takes 500,000 gallons of water to produce a single ton of lithium.'

1 ton of Lithium is enough for ~100 BEVs which will each displace >4,000 gallons of oil. That's ~400,000 gallons of oil. Last I heard here in TX/NM we need ~50 gallons of frack water to extract 1 gallon of oil. So we can use 20,000,000 gallons of water for ICE or ~500,000 gallons of water for EVs.... and we should get that lithium back at EOL... whenever that is.

Material shortages are overblown. Proven reserves of key materials are higher today than they were 20 years ago because we're still finding them faster than they're being mined.
Water also doesn't just vanish into nothing when it is used as a part of some process. If the process involves removing lithium salts from seawater, the water is still water after the salts have been removed (and the compounds that you are not interested in can be put back in - sodium chloride, for example).
 

bizzle

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The AC in the eGolf is quite good too. Wish they managed the cooling/heating of the cells though. Hope this car doesn't turn into another example like the Leaf where the batteries degraded quickly from not being managed thermally.
I had a 2016 for three years in all year round desert heat (south of Palm desert area) and didn't notice any degradation by the time I returned it. Maybe a month or two of sub 50 degree weather but the rest of the year temperatures ranged between 80-110.
 

kjclow

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Water also doesn't just vanish into nothing when it is used as a part of some process. If the process involves removing lithium salts from seawater, the water is still water after the salts have been removed (and the compounds that you are not interested in can be put back in - sodium chloride, for example).
Or, you can package the sodium chloride and sell it for high dollars as a "designer" salt.
 

03TDICommuter

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I had a 2016 for three years in all year round desert heat (south of Palm desert area) and didn't notice any degradation by the time I returned it. Maybe a month or two of sub 50 degree weather but the rest of the year temperatures ranged between 80-110.
Good to know, thanks for the feedback. VW did change battery vendors in 2017 and went with higher capacity cells (I think in the same overall space). Hope the current cells are as good as the old ones.
 

Tin Man

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EV's are as sustainable as computers and smart phones?

I’m forever reading about cars and a concept came up of interest: The decision to repair or replace a car should not be only what the car is worth compared to the repair cost. It’s better to base the decision partly on what it costs to replace the car, as you are probably aware by now, especially expensive EV's. This is why I value really nice cars which rarely go below, say, $5000 in resale value and are usually worth putting in a $2,000 repair if they satisfy my needs and desires. If you keep your car up to “new car” standards, it might actually be worth $3000 or maybe more. But the car needs to be useful to me so breaking down every few months or worse, having skimpy repair support (read: Tesla) is a reason for me to replace it with a new one that I can pamper and keep “like new” for a longer time. See: https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2019/09/20/sustainability-considered/
 

Lightflyer1

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There are people who drive fairly decent $1500 cars and when something major goes out they buy another fairly decent $1500 car. I did this for years when I was young. Get used to whatever is available though and usually old dead peoples cars. I have bought many decent low priced cars from family estates.

We also have the issue down here where there are those who buy an inexpensive car that has a relatively fresh registration on it then never registers it or insures it then sells it again before the registration expires. Then buys another one of the same as described.

Part of the issue of whether to fix or not is not having a trustworthy mechanic known to you. Most would rather buy new than chance spending big money on a repair they can't have confidence that the job was done correctly. One of the reasons I sold my 2003 Beetle that I had runonbeer do lots of work on. When he moved away it was better for me to buy the stop sale 2015 Beetle with the long warranty than try and deal with unknown mechanics to get any work done on it.
 
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Tin Man

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Wonder how EV enthusiasts are coping with California fires/blackouts?

Although opined by an oil-industry insider, I wonder what perspective those of us not going head-first into new economies/tech should have:

Commentary: Why banning gas-powered cars could hurt Californians

Complete dependence on electric vehicles would be nothing short of catastrophic when the state’s first responders or its citizens need to react to natural disasters such as wildfires or earthquakes. With limited battery capacity — and therefore mobility — of EVs, it could potentially become a matter of life or death for those in harm’s way. During the recent California fires, many people were forced to flee with little notice, meaning they had no time to think about where to find the nearest charging station. Or even worse, in the event of an earthquake, vehicles may not be able to charge at all, leaving Californians trapped and isolated.
Reminds me of a colleague from California who justified his choice of a 4WD Suburban that could transport his family out of an earthquake zone when the inevitable occurred. Should have also preferred diesel power....
 

turbobrick240

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I would think that they are coping better than most. Mainly because photovoltaic systems dovetail in so nicely with EV's. No need to hear a loud, stinky genset buzzing away if you've got solar with some battery storage.
 

dremd

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In my opinion the answer will lie in the cost / adoption curve of home solar + storage. From a preppier point of view it would be hard to beat a solar array and a battery. Not ideal car charging setup if you have a smaller system, but can certainly be done. We can also charge from crappy air cooled polluting generators without issue especially if that’s the only option.

But yeah, it is another set of challenges.
 

compu_85

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Although opined by an oil-industry insider, I wonder what perspective those of us not going head-first into new economies/tech should have:

I'm reminded of some of the hurricane evacuations in Florida where all the gas stations were out of fuel, but the Supercharger network was working just fine...
 

dremd

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Tesla owning hurricane evacuee here.

Very true, but I will say hurricane evacuation typically occurs BEFORE there’s any danger present and my 2000 mile view of fire evacuation is that it occurs while danger is present.
 
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