- Jul 19, 2019
- Tyngsborough, Massachusetts
- 2015 Q5 3.0 TDI - Retired, 2021 Q5 55e PHEV
Wait. How do you figure that EVs do not use energy mix? The power comes from whoever purchases the power at their local utility. If that's your house for example: that's your energy company. If you're using chargepoint for example that's whoever the chargepoint provider is ( whether its a hotel, the town, the local gym ) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charging_station#:~:text= Generally speaking they're coming from the grid, like anyone else. Maybe Tesla has some special setup where they only get it from renewables, but that's not any of the major level 2, or level 3 providers. So yes, it comes from grid mix. You can't look at our grid and say "oh all only comes from wind or solar". I get that in your specific instance you may have charged more on renewables, than someone else who didn't. I also get that the e-golf we use theoretically gets all of its power from 100% renewable( since our city is supposed to be 100% renewable sources only ).The thing most people miss/ignore about the energy use of EVs for charging... and I cannot emphasize this enough;
EVs DO NOT USE GRID MIX
Take SPP for example. Last year my ISO SPP was ~25% wind. Yet if you were to look at the mix at the time I was charging my EV it was closer to 50%. Further... you can use curtailment so that even though the mix was ~50% at the time the dirty fuel was likely a thermal plant at its lowest idle and wind was actually being reduced. Charging off-peak dramatically decreases the emissions of EVs and very soon smart charging will decrease this even more. An aggregator can use 100k EVs as a virtual power plant. Too much wind? Increase charge rate 50MW. Wind output just went down or demand picked up? Instead of increasing the output of a peaker plant by 75MW decrease the charge rate 75MW. Software will always be cheaper than a physical generator or grid storage.
Further... having dispatchable demand (EVs) increases the amount of wind and solar the grid can economically support. So it becomes a synergistic relationship. More EVs => More wind/solar => Cleaner cheaper EVs => More wind/solar => More EVs => More Renewables; Curtailment... not storage will be the first challenge to cleaning up the grid. EVs can be a BIG part of the solution to curtailment.
??? How are EVs not ready? The difference in trip time is now practically non-existent. Towing might still be an issue but for passenger cars EVs are more convenient than ICE most of the time for most people. The investments should be in improving EVs and the infrastructure that supports them not wasting $$$ on obsolete ICE tech.
I also get that if battery based solutions were put into place that, yes there could be more peak availability for solar & wind since the energy will be captured at their peak, stored and used back. But that's just not how it works right now, or in the near future. The state i live in generates 67% of their electricity from natural gas for example. But I only gave you the averages across the country. I get its better in some areas than others. But assuming your efficient in getting your power, others may not be and thats law of averages especially if we're considering 100% adoption. I also get that a ton of different situations and scenarios effect the outcome of an individual EVs efficiency.
I never stated that EVs are bad. I said they have shortcomings at the moment that many smart people are trying to overcome. My point was that in the meantime we could have some solutions today on the short that stop gap us.
As far as EVs not being ready. Tesla as a car manufacturer not withstanding the cybertruck and maybe the rivian. Seem to be on the right track. Infact i think many Tesla's are not bad on range. Except in colder climates where all EVs suffer at the moment. Once density is increased that will be a lot less of an issue. For commuter cars, hell 200 - 250 mile trips, Tesla's are great. Some of the other companies are up there to... the general charging networks are getting better... But keep in mind a few things here:
1.$ 35,000 is a lot for some people for a vehicle and for every new vehicle sold per year in the US 2 people buy a car for 20k or under used. Electrics in general happen to be on the more expensive side, especially Tesla. They're working on that I know but lets be real for a while the model 3 was really 50k.
2. 36.6% of all amercians rent. Which means finding an electric charger is often less convenient than getting a gas vehicle. Not to say you can't do it. We live in an apartment and we use a lvl 2 charger for the e-golf. But we also have 1 diesel, and 1 gas powered vehicle for longer trips, and well some fun. Many people who buy electrics still keep a gas powered vehicle for the same reason. Which shows they're not ready yet.
3. Battery density is not great currently. I've seen some excellent papers, research, up and coming stuff in semi solid, solid, sodium batteries... messing with the anode, etc...etc.. Stuff looks promising. If you can tell someone their electric will have the range of my Q5 - 600+ miles, and that they can charge that to 80% in sub 5 minutes.... the adoption rate will skyrocket. We need a 2x density increase, with weights being equal, more solid materials so that the speed to charge is basically nothing.
4. Given all above the last target is the target you will never hit. The car enthusiast, the classic car person, the big diesel pickup trucks that roll coal, the person he can only afford the sub 10,000 car. ( I get that you found a 6k leaf, but until those become the norm with bigger density and easy charging, forget it ). The trucking industry, planes, trains, ships. Which is why i mention carbon capture synthetic fuels... it solves those two without leaving it on the table.
5. "The investments should be in improving EVs and the infrastructure that supports them not wasting $$$ on obsolete ICE tech." -- Haha love the fight. EVs have their own groups researching, and there are others on gas / diesel powered vehicles. Market economics come into play here where the market dictates what is needed and right now since Climate Change is an Existential crisis... I would like them to do all of it, right now, not just evs, not just synthetic fuels, not just nucleur, everything, solve anywhere there is pollution. A multi-faceted problem, requires a multi-faceted solution.