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

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nayr

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one thing about PHEV's I hadn't considered until driving one for a while was the benefits of regen braking here in the mountains.. its quite a different strategy going from manually shifting gears to engine brake and keeping your left foot usage to a minimum so your brakes dont turn to a liquid with an ICE.. Versus driving like a dumb flat lander with your foot on the brake pedal all the way down the mountain with regen braking..

I wonder as ICE's on the road become more rare in the coming decades if that manned brake check station half way down pikes peak will go away... speaking of, I saw the IDR run Pikes Peak, and it seems the future of the hill climb is electric because unlike all the ICE race cars the EV's are still outputting the same power at the top as they did at the bottom.
 

AntonLargiader

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There could be, a non-marginal segment of the population, that 95% or more of the time drive less than 75 miles a day and all those miles tend to be short trips in an urban/suburban environment....
For this specific segment of the population...

Could be? The "could" is long since gone from that.



I wonder how long the battery will last when mom or dad is sitting the the carpool lane for 45 min waiting on jr to finally come out of the school building and the temp is 100F or 20F. Have to keep the keep the heat or ac pumping even if the car is not moving. Will the battery have enough life left to get the kiddos home, or to soccer practice and then home.

You make it sound like this isn't already happening every single day.


Guys. Really. EVs are pretty mainstream; there's no need to "what if" most of this stuff. Just go talk to someone who drives one.
 

turbobrick240

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one thing about PHEV's I hadn't considered until driving one for a while was the benefits of regen braking here in the mountains.. its quite a different strategy going from manually shifting gears to engine brake and keeping your left foot usage to a minimum so your brakes dont turn to a liquid with an ICE.. Versus driving like a dumb flat lander with your foot on the brake pedal all the way down the mountain with regen braking..

I wonder as ICE's on the road become more rare in the coming decades if that manned brake check station half way down pikes peak will go away... speaking of, I saw the IDR run Pikes Peak, and it seems the future of the hill climb is electric because unlike all the ICE race cars the EV's are still outputting the same power at the top as they did at the bottom.

The IDR must have had a small amount of power fade as the battery lost some voltage- but nothing like a na ICE experiences gaining that much altitude. Surprisingly, the IDR got/recuperated 20% of the energy on the Pikes Peak run from regenerative braking!
 

Daemon64

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They might be where you are, but here adoption is not the fast by comparison to say California, we have tons of cold weather and all.

But here's what I want to know. Why do we have a bunch of people who are hardcore EV fans posting a bunch of pro EV stuff on a DIESEL forum. It seems like the wrong place for it as we're slowly approaching the 400 page mark in this thread... not counting the other threads. I don't know it just seems inflammatory, for inflammatory reasons... I'm only speaking for myself here but maybe others feel the same.

While EV's are an interesting technology, more energy efficient for sure, they have drawbacks, and issues like any platform and any technology. What's good for you and your situation is not necessarily good for me and my situation.

Drawbacks of EVs:
1. Expensive AF when compared to an equivalent gas model / gas vehicle. Please do not use federal Tax credits in your calculation, that's just proping up an industry where every tax payer pays for it. Keep apples to apples for crying outloud. When EVs are literally the same price with no incentives that makes this a different disucssion. IE - When an E-Golf costs the same as a Golf TSI except options ofcourse. ( Tesla is in its' whole other category of cost - Yes i know you can get a model 3 for supposedly 35k -- But i could get a toyota camry 24.5k, honda accord for 24k, Subaru Legacy for 22.7k. Now you could say the model 3 doesn't compete with those cars but rather an A4, or a BMW 3 series. Well I'd argue they should because that market sells more than any other Please see camry, corolla, civi, and accord on this chart, and note they are all significantly less https://www.statista.com/statistics/276419/best-selling-cars-in-the-united-states/ )

2. EV for most people cause some form of range anxiety, especially a non-tesla version since atleast around here the charging network for non-tesla is not great. I mean listen I know some of them have great range numbers, but really its' a psychological thing, and not everyones gotten over it. This goes away if they get charge times sub 5 minutes, with an ample charging network. Example not one every 50 miles. You know there are literally 10 gas stations / 3 diesel stations in a 3 mile radius of where i live that can each refill 12 cars at a time in sub 5 minutes each. Thats' the level of charging infrastructure I'm talking. Also if you live in an apartment charging is a PIA, ask us how we know with our E-Golf. More than 30% of the us population doesn't own a house.

3. While EV emissions while running are less than most ICE vehicles they are not Zero emissions. That is a farse due to energy grid. Those who think they're not charging off the grid from some normal source are delusional if they're plugged into the grid. Take our city where we live, they say that our power is 100% renewable from New York State ( We live in massachusetts ). That's ridiculous, its just cap and trade credits. Electricity is like water it goes to the path of least resistance, here in our city 2 years ago a Natural Gas Electricity generation plant was built, so guess where our "Clean Energy" really comes from. Also after fact checking Planet of the Humans --- Interesting to see all the natural gas plants popping up in the country as "green energy" to replace coal, but also to supply consistent full spun up power when all the "renewable sources" are not available. This is just cap and trade, they are producing more power, exchanging credits, and not spinning down fossil fuel energy production, they're spinning it up. And biomass is not even better. For EVs to be truly clean, the grid has to be fully clean, or atleast your home solar. The cleanest thing to do is NOT DRIVE. Yes I own a diesel but 3 years ago i figured out how to work permanently from home. My other half, her company after the pandemic is letting them go from working 1 day a week at home like she used to to 3. Between the two of use that removed 15,600 miles a year of driving from the road ( My part of it alone was 2,515,500 annual grams of CO2 ) ... if i switched to a Tesla and continued to drive that distance( Says on fuel economy.gov in my area model 3 is 90 g / mile -- Not that a model 3 would have suited my needs but best case ) I still would have been producing 585,000 annual grams of CO2 ).

4. Battery recycling -- Anyone know yet what's going to happen in 5 - 10 years when all these Tesla's and etc... start coming off of the road where the batteries will end up? Hope this is solved before we need it, or another source of huge pollution is coming.


I will admit that ICE vehicles on any type are far from perfect, they have more maintenance for sure... but EVs are not fully maintenance free... ask the "Electrified Garage". Engines can get choked out by emissions standards which make them less reliable( TDI / Diesel ). CVT's are dying in under 90k miles... etc... Cars are basically planned obsolescence.

I guess what I am saying is this place is literally for people discuss Diesel vehicles, other ICE vehicles, maybe even electrics... but no one needs the "Oh yeah EVs are on a rampage give it 5 years and all your dinosaurs are extinct!", or "EVs are perfect and ICE vehicles suck", or etc... It wouldn't be half bad idea for healthy discussions to take some of the edge out, and make it a discussion based on ideas and logic.
 

Tin Man

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Natural Gas greenhouse emissions are considered a big problem, so EV gas-generated electricity is suspect: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/article/methane-regulations/
Methane emissions from the oil and gas sector are estimated to be equivalent to the pollution from 180 coal-fired power plants, according to studies done by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), an environmental organization. Yet there is a problem: despite that estimate, no one, including EDF, knows for certain how much methane the oil and gas industry actually emits.
 

nayr

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The IDR must have had a small amount of power fade as the battery lost some voltage- but nothing like a na ICE experiences gaining that much altitude. Surprisingly, the IDR got/recuperated 20% of the energy on the Pikes Peak run from regenerative braking!
Lithium packs dont really shed voltage with SOC, they basically hold it til the end then its a rather nasty cliff the voltage falls off of..

My LFP Pack is basically the same resting voltage at 20% soc as it is at 90% SOC.. using the voltage to judge SOC is basically impossible with LFP, gotta actually measure the current coming in/out and calculate state of charge that way.. I've got a Low Voltage Disconnect at its highest setting of 12.4v, and it dont actually cut off til the battery is at like 4% SOC.
 

nayr

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yeah but thats still amazing, from a battery engineering standpoint.. the difference between 50% SOC is ~10% power output with those massive loads.. the sag is more a result of the battery design and its capabilities.. put in more batteries with less load and that sag quickly gets harder to push.. My LFP with the max rated load sags very little, practically none at all compared to any other battery tech.. but its max output rating is super duper conservative for a lithium battery.. the cells could do much more, its just the electronics around it cant.. Those numbers are gonna be dramatically variable for each vehicle, and its pack and motors.. some could see very little losses, some with too much motor and too ilttle battery could see rather significant power loss as the pack looses charge.
 
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turbobrick240

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That balance between battery capacity/weight and performance/output is what makes the IDR such a fantastic piece of engineering. I think they used a 45 KWh pack for Pikes Peak. Regardless if it lost 3% or 15% output by the top, it was still crazy fast.
 

Tin Man

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SOC = State Of Charge
IDR = VW's EV race car
LFP = Lithium iron Phosphate battery tech
SAG = Voltage decrease the last few miles of charge
looses = loses
 

Tin Man

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The arstechnica article makes some interesting assumptions and withholds the elephant in the room: market penetration, along with the assumption subsidies will help lower the cost of batteries. Economics 101 topics that are arguable at best.

I think the biggest problem with BEV's is the charging itself which requires a relative investment if you are lucky enough to own a garage and not much help if you're in an apartment, not to mention lack of quick charging on the road. Battery tech will get better but to what scale? We shall see.
 

ticaf

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What I find blurry is the price parity that is touted.
Depending on the battery size, the EV will be most likely heavier than it's ICE counterpart, sometimes even 1000 lbs heavier.
I don't understand how more weight can cost the same (or be cheaper) in raw material.
 

turbobrick240

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What I find blurry is the price parity that is touted.
Depending on the battery size, the EV will be most likely heavier than it's ICE counterpart, sometimes even 1000 lbs heavier.
I don't understand how more weight can cost the same (or be cheaper) in raw material.
The consumer isn't buying raw materials, they are buying fully manufactured products. A 500 lb lump of iron/aluminum is much cheaper than than a 500 lb lump of iron/aluminum that has been manufactured into an ICE. How much does a brand new ea288 crate engine cost- $5 or $6k? A Lotus Elise weighs half as much as a base F150 yet costs twice as much.
Additionally, the raw materials that go into a 75 kWh Li-ion battery pack and EV powertrain are not identical to those going into an ICEV powertrain. Some are more expensive and some are less expensive. But the manufacturing processes are where EVs will have the biggest advantage.
 
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ticaf

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A 500 lb lump of iron/aluminum is much cheaper than than a 500 lb lump of iron/aluminum that has been manufactured into an ICE. How much does a brand new ea288 crate engine cost- $5 or $6k?
Additionally, the raw materials that go into a 75 kWh Li-ion battery pack and EV powertrain are not identical to those going into an ICEV powertrain. Some are more expensive and some are less expensive. But the manufacturing processes are where EVs have the biggest advantage.
Ok ,then I guess I would rephrase my previous statement, "how manufacturing EV have a significant advantage over ICE" ?

As far as the engine, sure that resell price of an ea288 may be $5 or $6k, but the cost to the manufacturer must be very small, and profit high (for the manufacturer and the reseller/dealer). A cast iron block must be very cheap in material and cheap to machine.

If somebody could explain why manufacturing a battery and electric motor/electronics is significantly less that an engine/radiator/tank/exhaust. If the aftermarket makers can make ICE parts so cheap, it can't cost the original manufacturer that much more to make them too.

On a side note, I can't wait to get $100/kWh battery available to the private user. I need a few batteries, and price is currently more like $1000/kwh give or take.
 

turbobrick240

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EVs basically make ICEVs look like Rube Goldberg devices. All of those precisely machined moving parts in an ICEV drivetrain cost a lot to manufacture. EVs not only have far, far fewer moving parts, but the manufacturing processes for those parts are much more easily automated to to higher degree.
 

Tin Man

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EVs basically make ICEVs look like Rube Goldberg devices. All of those precisely machined moving parts in an ICEV drivetrain cost a lot to manufacture. EVs not only have far, far fewer moving parts, but the manufacturing processes for those parts are much more easily automated to to higher degree.
Energy management engineering of EV battery tech, including heat dissipation, fast charging, rare earth chemistry, etc. can be quite advanced. Certainly we all like simplicity and genius type physics "E=MC2" style....

If it looks simple, maybe it is or it isn't. We'll see what they look like when they catch up in practicality and manufacturing costs.
 

nicklockard

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EVs basically make ICEVs look like Rube Goldberg devices. All of those precisely machined moving parts in an ICEV drivetrain cost a lot to manufacture. EVs not only have far, far fewer moving parts, but the manufacturing processes for those parts are much more easily automated to to higher degree.
Fewer parts = simpler shipping & customs logistics
Fewer parts and simpler assemblies means less skilled assembly labor and flatter BOM's (bill of materials).
All of that should equal (in a well run organization), a shorter cash-on-cash conversion cycle and reduced inventory carry costs, which looks good in the short term (aka: Wall Street loves it; ergo they pump the stock more).
 

GoFaster

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EVs that meet today's consumer expectations are NOT simple. You can cherry-pick certain components that are simpler (the gearbox, for example) but the vehicle as a whole is just as complex and it's more expensive. It may be mechanically simpler but it is electronically more complex and chemically MUCH more complex.

HVAC needs a heat pump if you don't want to kill winter range. The AC or heat pump compressor has to be driven by its own motor (and its own variable-frequency drive) from the high-voltage electrical circuits. Power steering has to be electric. The battery needs thermal management. The power inverters and motors need cooling systems. The coolant loop for the battery operates at a different temperature from the coolant loop for the powertrain and it's not necessarily a convenient temperature for the HVAC. It needs electric coolant pumps. Batteries need charge-monitoring on an individual cell level or at most covering a small group of cells. There's a ton of circuit protection for all of the energy storage and high voltage / high power components. These are not golf carts!
 

turbobrick240

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A finely crafted Swiss watch has beautiful and complex mechanics. A cheap $10 quartz watch has far better precision as a timepiece. Mass production is a big part of the reason why the quartz watches are so cheap. If you could take that $10 watch back to 1950 it would be seen as a technological marvel and could probably fetch many thousands of dollars. Long story short, Elon needs to make a time machine. :D
 

Tin Man

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Yeah, that's right. Tell 'em an EV is like a quartz watch and should cost a pittance. They'll understand!
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
EVs basically make ICEVs look like Rube Goldberg devices. All of those precisely machined moving parts in an ICEV drivetrain cost a lot to manufacture. EVs not only have far, far fewer moving parts, but the manufacturing processes for those parts are much more easily automated to to higher degree.
So that explains why the EVs are so cheap to purchase then? ;)
 

GoFaster

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A finely crafted Swiss watch has beautiful and complex mechanics. A cheap $10 quartz watch has far better precision as a timepiece. Mass production is a big part of the reason why the quartz watches are so cheap. If you could take that $10 watch back to 1950 it would be seen as a technological marvel and could probably fetch many thousands of dollars. Long story short, Elon needs to make a time machine. :D
I'm not sure what your point is. It's relevant for comparing a Bentley to a Lexus, but it's not relevant for comparing major powertrain engineering changes.

I work in auto mfg on the engineering side. Electric cars are built the same way as combustion-engine vehicles. Some of the bits and pieces are different, that's all. There's a few suppliers that will have less (or no) role, there's a few others that have more (or new) roles.

A Tesla Model 3 or Y is most certainly a mass production vehicle. They are insanely complex. It all looks pretty and neat and tidy when you open that "frunk" ... go ahead and take the trim panels off, to see what's underneath all that!
 

turbobrick240

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My point wasn't really that we need time machines to sell cheap timepieces at a huge profit :). But those cheap timepieces would certainly seem insanely complex/perplexing to a master craftsman watchmaker who had only ever seen purely mechanical watch movements. Economies of scale are bringing us cheaper and cheaper EVs. It won't be long before they are cheaper than ICEVs in addition to providing generally superior functionality. But there will always be a place for finely crafted heirlooms.
 
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oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
That is how the Prius is... and they are frighteningly cheap and fragile underneath. The absurd cost to build them makes Toyota have to keep the whole package pretty low cost. And it shows.
 

GoFaster

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Economies of scale are bringing us cheaper and cheaper EVs. It won't be long before they are cheaper than ICEVs in addition to providing generally superior functionality. But there will always be a place for finely crafted heirlooms.
The general point about economies of scale is true. The general point that EVs will soon be close to the pricing of combustion-engine vehicles is expected to be true because of that economy of scale. But don't be deluded into thinking that EVs are "simpler" because you took the covers off a golf cart and saw that there's not much going on.

By 2030, EVs should have significant market share of the run-of-the-mill daily-driver market, and range anxiety will be a thing of the past unless you are going very, very far off the beaten path because there will be charging stations everywhere. I fully expect that my next daily-driver purchase, scheduled to be about 2 or 3 years from now, will be electric.
 

kjclow

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Article from Car & Driver detailing the 100+ year history of EV's: https://www.caranddriver.com/features/g32436586/ev-history/
There is an electric car in the South Bend, IN airport that had a plaque that talked about making a run to and from Chicago on a single charge. It was not a Studabaker. If memory serves me correctly, it was made in Elkhart, In and had switchable battery packs. You pull into the service station and they pull your used pack and replace it with a fully charged pack.
 

tikal

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The smartphone / portable electronics comparison isn't very good because most of the "power" gains in smartphones (and laptops and the like) is due to making more efficient processors.

The electric motor is already extremely efficient, and unfortunately, no amount of engineering on the powertrain will make it require any less energy to drag 1500-2000kg up and over hills at 100+km/h (aerodynamic improvements aside).
Good points Nuje. The laws of physics and the 'the laws of electronic computing power'!
 
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