real world EVs review

turbobrick240

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Yeah, maybe you didn't notice the 'U.S.' in the title of all three links in that post. That's a pretty good clue that I was referring to domestic energy production, lol. China and India are moving to renewables too, it may just take a bit longer there. They were later to the industrialization game. The rate at which China is adding hydro, wind, and solar capacity dwarfs their rate of coal energy growth.
 

turbobrick240

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China will get there, too. Hopefully sooner rather than later. They're already decarbonizing their spy devices, haha. We need to close the balloon gap- or alternatively get those solar powered space lasers up and running. ;)

 

gmenounos

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I have no control over what China and India do, but I do control what kind of cars I buy, how many solar panels to put on my house and what type of heating system to upgrade to when the time comes.
 

Daemon64

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I bet those sheep appreciate it. Can you imagine being covered in thick wool under the baking Oz sun?!

Looks the Vogtle 3 reactor in Georgia has been delayed yet again with more cost over-runs. It never ends.

Apparently the builders/operators failed to install critical pipe supports. Yet they claim there is no safety issue, lol.
You pointing to the failure of large nucleur plants and their building problems is a funny concept. This is exactly what Nuscale SMR aim to fix as an issue. As they are designed in a concept to be a UNIFORM and standardized set of building, and building plants. The actual reactors and modules are meant to be built factory style, and repeatedly so problems like this do not occur. So that cost overruns do not occur. The large scale reactors as they've been stated many times are infact many times 1 off projects, and lead to weird issues like this.

The UAMPS nuscale plant is the very first SMR deployment and will hit many problems, or oddities as it will be the first, but this is meant to work out all those issues and bugs so all the plants that come after do not have these issues. As the designs for these were completely approved by the NRC as now standard building plans and requirements which any power company can now pickup and use, severely diminishing the planning time needed from many years to a few months at best.

As they work on UAMPS the idea is to then standardize that process with a set of teams that already know how to do it since they've done it, and then take the time to market to be a few years instead of a decade. They're literally ironing out the process.
 

turbobrick240

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You pointing to the failure of large nucleur plants and their building problems is a funny concept. This is exactly what Nuscale SMR aim to fix as an issue. As they are designed in a concept to be a UNIFORM and standardized set of building, and building plants. The actual reactors and modules are meant to be built factory style, and repeatedly so problems like this do not occur. So that cost overruns do not occur. The large scale reactors as they've been stated many times are infact many times 1 off projects, and lead to weird issues like this.

The UAMPS nuscale plant is the very first SMR deployment and will hit many problems, or oddities as it will be the first, but this is meant to work out all those issues and bugs so all the plants that come after do not have these issues. As the designs for these were completely approved by the NRC as now standard building plans and requirements which any power company can now pickup and use, severely diminishing the planning time needed from many years to a few months at best.

As they work on UAMPS the idea is to then standardize that process with a set of teams that already know how to do it since they've done it, and then take the time to market to be a few years instead of a decade. They're literally ironing out the process.
That's a fair point. But the Vogtle sideshow is a pretty good demonstration that even established nuclear in this country is a bit of a circus these days. I wouldn't say it's an impossibility that NuScale will be successful in mass producing their reactors, but it will be many years before the pilot plant is/might be pushing out electrons. The energy landscape will probably be much different in a decade.

Some good news for non Tesla EV owners- progress is being made on opening up the Supercharger network to your cars!
 

TomJD

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Pakistan plans to quadruple their coal plants. So it’s not just China and India.

 

gmenounos

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Solar panels made in a dirty Chinese factory and shipped over with bunker fuel?
I'll trade that for 20 years of clean home-generated power. But let me know when you get your solar panel factory up and running and I'll be happy to buy some from you instead.
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
There are a bunch of companies that make them here, but I would imagine they are much more expensive. They may be better quality, too.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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turbobrick240

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A relatively small (30% of their chargers) will be available in a little less than two years from now. Not a short term game changer, I wouldn't say.
We don't know that. The language I saw was at least 3500 fast chargers, and by the end of 2024. It's by far the largest fast charging network in N. America, so even if it is only 30%, that's a massive improvement in availability for non Tesla EVs.
 
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IndigoBlueWagon

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From the article: "Tesla will make 7,500 chargers available for all electric vehicles by the end of 2024."

What I don't fully understand is a quick Google search shows that Tesla at present has about 1,400 charging stations with 7,000 chargers. I heard on CNBC this morning that they intended to make 30% available to other vehicles. So the math isn't working for me, unless they plan to triple the number of chargers in their network in the next two years.
 

turbobrick240

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Yeah, I believe the plan is both to massively expand the network with CCS compatible chargers, and to retrofit some existing Supercharger sites.

 
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P2B

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I saw a video based in Australia. Solar panels were placed in rows over a pasture, one row with panels and a row of pasture in between the next row of panels. They were grazing sheep on it and actually getting higher wool production. The sheep would graze for an hour or two then nap in the shade below the panels.
Our family sheep farm in Australia is half covered in solar panels. Grazing of sheep is written into our land use agreement with the company that owns the panels as it's the best way to keep grass from taking over. They have also been paying us $20k annually for the option to install panels on the rest of the property. Prior to solar you couldn't make a decent living farming sheep, now it's almost worthwhile.
 

Abacus

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Plan…plan…plan… that’s all I ever hear. Let me know when it’s up and running and maybe I’ll consider making the switch when it’s online. Until then it’s yet another niche product that is useful in the right conditions.

As to renewables, the University of Maine installed a windmill and their ‘planned’ output fell well short of their goal, producing only 53% of the projected power. Like everything, planning is fine but physics is physics and not tethered to societal constructs or projections.

oilhammer said:
There are a bunch of companies that make them here, but I would imagine they are much more expensive. They may be better quality, too.
The solar panels we chose were made in California (so pretty much still in a communist country :ROFLMAO:) and weren’t appreciably more than Chinese made ones. The California ones were about $3k-4k more for the project (about $185 per panel) but were slightly smaller at 370w vs 400w for the Chinese ones. Overall we didn’t feel it made an appreciable difference for cost vs output over the lifespan. They are also modular so we can plug-n-play additions as needed.
 

turbobrick240

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Giant commercial solar projects like this one wouldn't be moving forward if renewables were impractical in Maine. Even bigger ones are coming soon to Aroostook County (far northern Maine).

.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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Giant commercial solar projects like this one wouldn't be moving forward if renewables were impractical in Maine. Even bigger ones are coming soon to Aroostook County (far northern Maine).

.
Not sure you can conclude that. There were many Regan era windmill farms (the ones in Palm Springs come to mind) that seemed like a good idea because of subsidies and incentives but were never productive. I'm not saying this is a bad idea necessarily, but if economics make a project work doesn't necessarily mean it's the best option.
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
The windfarms here have been a failure. Failure in the sense that the projected install cost was false, they cost much more. Then another failure when the projected PM costs ended up being more. Third fail when the projected lifespan has already proven to be much shorter in reality. Fourth fail, they decided after they were up and running that they could no longer be operated at night during certain months because of the bat population. THEN, the fifth fail came when the Labadie coal plant (the largest single plant in Missouri... by a wide margin) had to run more to make up the difference when the grid voltage couldn't be kept steady because they refused to put the spot "peaker" plants (typically powered by natural gas) when the windfarms were installed. Then, sixth (but probably not the last) fail came when the rural co-ops had to come grovelling to the gov't to approve an increase in rates to help pay for this pie-in-the-sky nonsense that was supposed to have already been funded by some other source.

Now, they've decided to do some upgrades to the Callaway plant (our only nuclear plant) to possibly help out... but it won't hardly make a dent because it currently only accounts for about 5% total energy production (with 75% still being coal). We at least still enjoy pretty low rates, but the windfarm debacle offset some of the reduction we started to enjoy in 2017.
 

TomJD

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The windfarms here have been a failure. Failure in the sense that the projected install cost was false, they cost much more. Then another failure when the projected PM costs ended up being more. Third fail when the projected lifespan has already proven to be much shorter in reality. Fourth fail, they decided after they were up and running that they could no longer be operated at night during certain months because of the bat population. THEN, the fifth fail came when the Labadie coal plant (the largest single plant in Missouri... by a wide margin) had to run more to make up the difference when the grid voltage couldn't be kept steady because they refused to put the spot "peaker" plants (typically powered by natural gas) when the windfarms were installed. Then, sixth (but probably not the last) fail came when the rural co-ops had to come grovelling to the gov't to approve an increase in rates to help pay for this pie-in-the-sky nonsense that was supposed to have already been funded by some other source.

Now, they've decided to do some upgrades to the Callaway plant (our only nuclear plant) to possibly help out... but it won't hardly make a dent because it currently only accounts for about 5% total energy production (with 75% still being coal). We at least still enjoy pretty low rates, but the windfarm debacle offset some of the reduction we started to enjoy in 2017.
And Ameren had to close the coal powered Meramec plant 12/31 of last year due to age/compliance reason. Oh and it was operating at full capacity during the negative temps we had before Christmas (only a week before!). In fact, Ameren had to buy from those very co-ops at that time because they were at full capacity on all their plants (nat gas, coal, nuclear) and their wind/solar farms.
 

Abacus

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Giant commercial solar projects like this one wouldn't be moving forward if renewables were impractical in Maine. Even bigger ones are coming soon to Aroostook County (far northern Maine).

.
I am very familiar with solar in Maine, which is a seriously bad idea due to the minimal peak sunlight needed to generate power . The only reason companies want to put it there is due to the lack of regulations, meaning more money in their pockets. My hometown of Warren has allowed a solar farm to be put in, adjacent to my 7 acre woodlot there (like literally bordering it). The residents are skeptical but lawyers intervened with the planning board and said since there is no ordinance there is nothing to stop them. It's all about the money. Warren was the site of a previous Nickel mine, which was shot down, and the Rifle Range, on which the previous owner received tons of felt material for backdrops that turned out to be hazardous waste. He skipped town with over $1 million and was never heard from again. They also had an issue with methadone clinics, who wanted to move to the area due to the prime coastal location (junction of 2 major roads) and lower taxes. Hazardous waste sites are common due to businesses not operating properly, one of which also bordered on the brook running past the new Solar Farm. So while these companies tout money and prosperity, the long term effects have been anything but for this small town of 5,000 people with few ordinances to limit such projects. Make no mistake, companies want to build projects in Maine due to its lack of regulation, available forest land, and the larger profits they will make, not because it's a good idea.

For solar to work in Maine it needs to be oversized for capacity to meet demand. I know because I've run a few solar off-grid systems at one of my previous jobs. I had to haul around a generator to recharge the batteries in winter because the solar couldn't keep up. And yes, these were engineered Outback Power Systems, so they were 'sized' accordingly. Maine just has horrible weather for too much of the year to make solar work well. Does it work? Absolutely, but it's not very cost effective or efficient. The climate is one of the reasons we moved to Arizona, where solar does work well and lots of people have it. Unfortunately there are lots of companies that prey on customers and the state certainly gets their 'fair share' so it's not as cost saving as it could be. Look at a map of the desert southwest, with large open tracts of desert perfect for such large solar projects, and coupled with the abundant sun (months on end with no clouds) and longer days, and it's a great mix yet there aren't any planned. I wonder why that is.
 

Daemon64

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I am very familiar with solar in Maine, which is a seriously bad idea due to the minimal peak sunlight needed to generate power . The only reason companies want to put it there is due to the lack of regulations, meaning more money in their pockets. My hometown of Warren has allowed a solar farm to be put in, adjacent to my 7 acre woodlot there (like literally bordering it). The residents are skeptical but lawyers intervened with the planning board and said since there is no ordinance there is nothing to stop them. It's all about the money. Warren was the site of a previous Nickel mine, which was shot down, and the Rifle Range, on which the previous owner received tons of felt material for backdrops that turned out to be hazardous waste. He skipped town with over $1 million and was never heard from again. They also had an issue with methadone clinics, who wanted to move to the area due to the prime coastal location (junction of 2 major roads) and lower taxes. Hazardous waste sites are common due to businesses not operating properly, one of which also bordered on the brook running past the new Solar Farm. So while these companies tout money and prosperity, the long term effects have been anything but for this small town of 5,000 people with few ordinances to limit such projects. Make no mistake, companies want to build projects in Maine due to its lack of regulation, available forest land, and the larger profits they will make, not because it's a good idea.

For solar to work in Maine it needs to be oversized for capacity to meet demand. I know because I've run a few solar off-grid systems at one of my previous jobs. I had to haul around a generator to recharge the batteries in winter because the solar couldn't keep up. And yes, these were engineered Outback Power Systems, so they were 'sized' accordingly. Maine just has horrible weather for too much of the year to make solar work well. Does it work? Absolutely, but it's not very cost effective or efficient. The climate is one of the reasons we moved to Arizona, where solar does work well and lots of people have it. Unfortunately there are lots of companies that prey on customers and the state certainly gets their 'fair share' so it's not as cost saving as it could be. Look at a map of the desert southwest, with large open tracts of desert perfect for such large solar projects, and coupled with the abundant sun (months on end with no clouds) and longer days, and it's a great mix yet there aren't any planned. I wonder why that is.
Abacus yes! This is also what I've been trying to say about Mass but you put it way more focused. If I could give you 1000 likes i would. The weather in Maine, Mass, NH, VT, CT, & RI is not all that different, and the challenges are VERY similar. Here in mass we've failed for multiple decades to bring offshore wind, and things of the like, and even when we have a project approved the time frame set in 2019 was 2028( currently looking like not happening in 2028 either btw ), and the pricing has increased dramatically each time, and the power purchase agreements go way up, making it just as expensive if not more, than an equivalent sized nuclear plant except you need to make the wind or solar project at least 3 times as large, and THEN install batteries to keep up w/ said nuclear plant.
 

turbobrick240

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I am very familiar with solar in Maine, which is a seriously bad idea due to the minimal peak sunlight needed to generate power . The only reason companies want to put it there is due to the lack of regulations, meaning more money in their pockets. My hometown of Warren has allowed a solar farm to be put in, adjacent to my 7 acre woodlot there (like literally bordering it). The residents are skeptical but lawyers intervened with the planning board and said since there is no ordinance there is nothing to stop them. It's all about the money. Warren was the site of a previous Nickel mine, which was shot down, and the Rifle Range, on which the previous owner received tons of felt material for backdrops that turned out to be hazardous waste. He skipped town with over $1 million and was never heard from again. They also had an issue with methadone clinics, who wanted to move to the area due to the prime coastal location (junction of 2 major roads) and lower taxes. Hazardous waste sites are common due to businesses not operating properly, one of which also bordered on the brook running past the new Solar Farm. So while these companies tout money and prosperity, the long term effects have been anything but for this small town of 5,000 people with few ordinances to limit such projects. Make no mistake, companies want to build projects in Maine due to its lack of regulation, available forest land, and the larger profits they will make, not because it's a good idea.

For solar to work in Maine it needs to be oversized for capacity to meet demand. I know because I've run a few solar off-grid systems at one of my previous jobs. I had to haul around a generator to recharge the batteries in winter because the solar couldn't keep up. And yes, these were engineered Outback Power Systems, so they were 'sized' accordingly. Maine just has horrible weather for too much of the year to make solar work well. Does it work? Absolutely, but it's not very cost effective or efficient. The climate is one of the reasons we moved to Arizona, where solar does work well and lots of people have it. Unfortunately there are lots of companies that prey on customers and the state certainly gets their 'fair share' so it's not as cost saving as it could be. Look at a map of the desert southwest, with large open tracts of desert perfect for such large solar projects, and coupled with the abundant sun (months on end with no clouds) and longer days, and it's a great mix yet there aren't any planned. I wonder why that is.
Maine may not have as intense solar exposure as Arizona or New Mexico etc., but it is actually quite good. Extremely good during our long summer days. We wouldn't be famous for our potato farms in the county if sunlight was a problem. My experience with Maine solar is firsthand from installing and using my own ~14 kW ground mount system. And talking to friends of mine with much larger community solar installations on their property. It's a money maker because solar panels have become so cheap over the last decade. Yes, panel production drops in the winter more than it does at more equatorial latitudes, but it gains more in the summer too. Maine gets 30% more insolation than the average in Germany, and they are also installing solar profitably and at breakneck speed. All you have to do is drive around here to see that solar energy is taking off in a big way.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
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outside St Louis, MO
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There are just too many to list....
LOL.... potatoes specifically do NOT grow well in places that have a lot of sunlight. For sure better away from the equator! :D :D :D
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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My town has banned ground mount solar systems because neighbors complained about their appearance.

My solar (6kW, installed nearly 10 years ago) has been a success in my opinion, but only because of net metering. And I wonder how much value that feature is to the utility. It covers about 90% of my electric usage, and I also receive around $2K annually in carbon credit payments. It paid for itself in less than 4 years, based on electric rates back then, and just becomes more valuable as rates rise.

I've considered trying to go off grid, but that would be another story, and isn't cost effective. If our utlility drops net metering the system wouldn't have nearly the value it does now.
 

turbobrick240

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LOL.... potatoes specifically do NOT grow well in places that have a lot of sunlight. For sure better away from the equator! :D :D :D
Ok, tell that to the Peruvians where the potato is native . Then dig out Google maps and see where Peru is located in relation to the equator ;) .

My town has banned ground mount solar systems because neighbors complained about their appearance.

My solar (6kW, installed nearly 10 years ago) has been a success in my opinion, but only because of net metering. And I wonder how much value that feature is to the utility. It covers about 90% of my electric usage, and I also receive around $2K annually in carbon credit payments. It paid for itself in less than 4 years, based on electric rates back then, and just becomes more valuable as rates rise.

I've considered trying to go off grid, but that would be another story, and isn't cost effective. If our utlility drops net metering the system wouldn't have nearly the value it does now.
That's unfortunate. I lived in a town with restrictive ordinances like that for a number of years and hated that aspect. You were supposed to get approval if you so much as wanted to install a new front door or change the paint or shingle color. And there were busybodies who took it upon themselves to act as informers if you didn't bother. It would be much cheaper (incentives aside) to install your array today. At least the equipment cost would be. There's a 1200 acre parcel of timberland adjacent to my property that I dream of someday buying and building an off-grid homestead on. There's a large clearing up on a ridge about 2 miles back in, on extremely well made logging roads. Plowing in the winter would be work, but a guy can dream.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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I want to build a pergola beside the pool and put the translucent panels on it. I might be able to get away with that. Not visible from the street or a neighbors, so probalby no one would ever notice or complain. I believe our utility limits systems with net metering to 10kW, so I could add about 4. That would make sure I am 100% covered, let me convert my dryer and range to electric from propane, and provide a buffer as the array I have now degrades. Given that I'm probably paying less than $250 annually for electricity now, it's hard to make a case for it, however.

I don't mind restrictive zoning. If you don't like the restrictions in a neighborhood or community, don't live there. I do agree, however, that some HOAs are a little crazy about it. My in-laws have a condo in a community that doesn't allow you to leave your car outside in your driveway overnight.
 

turbobrick240

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I want to build a pergola beside the pool and put the translucent panels on it. I might be able to get away with that. Not visible from the street or a neighbors, so probalby no one would ever notice or complain. I believe our utility limits systems with net metering to 10kW, so I could add about 4. That would make sure I am 100% covered, let me convert my dryer and range to electric from propane, and provide a buffer as the array I have now degrades. Given that I'm probably paying less than $250 annually for electricity now, it's hard to make a case for it, however.

I don't mind restrictive zoning. If you don't like the restrictions in a neighborhood or community, don't live there. I do agree, however, that some HOAs are a little crazy about it. My in-laws have a condo in a community that doesn't allow you to leave your car outside in your driveway overnight.
I was a minor at the time, so didn't have a whole lot of say in the matter. It was a great little town actually, other than the ordinance crapola. Having moved from the country my mother was perpetually irritated at the water and sewer bills. She ended up selling that house a few years too early to hit the real estate boom of 2020/21.
 
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