Who’s going to Tesla after their current TDI?

gulfcoastguy

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No doubt you would make a higher impact by getting fuel oil out of your house. Fuel oil is basically diesel with a higher permitted sulfur content and it is burned with no emissions after treatment. Then you have to decide if you want to go with natural gas or with some form of electric heat pump. Personally if I lived in an area subject to winter power loses I would go for natural gas with at least some fireplaces or wall heaters that work without electricity.
I made essentially the same choice(allowing for different climates) with my house, increased insulation and installed a reflective white metal roof plus a high efficiency air source heat pump. Then came transportation with VW forcing the decision both ways. First they never came up with a promising emissions fix for my manual Sportwagen leading to a 4 year stint in Mazda purgatory then they released an electric vehicle that checked most of my boxes while being cheaper than a Tesla.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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gulfcoastguy, unfortunately there's no natural gas on my street. Regardless, my goal would be to eliminate fossil fuels entirely as a heat source. First would be reducing the heating and cooling demand through better insulation, windows, and reduced air infiltration, and then adding solar generation (windmills are a no-go in my town) and switching to heat pumps. Or going with geothermal. I have a swimming pool I'd like to remove, so I'm thinking I'll already have a hole in the ground when I do that could be used for geothermal.

Of course the easier course of action would be to move to a smaller, tighter house, and I might do that instead.

And VW did have a satisfactory emissions fix for your Sportwagen. There are plenty of them running around with few issues.
 

nwdiver

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. So even if we were able to pull off a worldwide fleet conversion to EVs, and if we were able to power all those vehicles with clean energy, we've only addressed a small percentage of the problem.
Isn't that true of literally every emissions problem we solve?
 

turbobrick240

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My uncle just replaced his 30+ year old heating oil boiler with a new heating oil boiler last fall. I tried like heck to convince him to go with a heat pump system instead. I think the boiler installer even floated the idea past him. But he just hasn't kept up with the advances in heat pumps, and thought they wouldn't be able to meet the demand in the coldest weather. Lord knows his house would benefit from the whole house AC. He even has a woodstove and fireplace as backup heat sources. His wife of 40 years held a senior position at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and I'm sure she would not have let him blunder into spending so much on an obsolete heating system. I think he'll end up adding some heat pumps anyhow, now that heating oil is so costly.
 

nwdiver

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Of course. I would like to see equal attention on other sources of pollution, like manufacturing and shipping.
I think there is. It's just not as visible to most people since choices made in manufacturing and shipping are generally not influenced as much by consumer behavior. In terms of what an individual can do to reduce their contributions not depending on oil for Energy is probably the #1 thing or at least in the top 3. The question is how. Riding a bike or public transportation 99% of the time would be best. Maybe save the ICE for 1%. I agree that is a use case where an EV doesn't make sense. If you're only burning a couple gallons a year since you usually ride a bike.

Also worth noting that the US is adding ~80,000GWh of renewable generation per year. That's enough energy for ~16M EVs. Total vehicle sales in the US averages ~15M/yr.
 

nwdiver

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My uncle just replaced his 30+ year old heating oil boiler with a new heating oil boiler last fall. I tried like heck to convince him to go with a heat pump system instead. I think the boiler installer even floated the idea past him. But he just hasn't kept up with the advances in heat pumps, and thought they wouldn't be able to meet the demand in the coldest weather. Lord knows his house would benefit from the whole house AC. He even has a woodstove and fireplace as backup heat sources. His wife of 40 years held a senior position at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and I'm sure she would not have let him blunder into spending so much on an obsolete heating system. I think he'll end up adding some heat pumps anyhow, now that heating oil is so costly.
Human stubbornness has no limits. If live expectancy was 300 years I have no doubt there would be a line of horses 'parked' outside the general store.
 

Abacus

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Human stubbornness has no limits. If live expectancy was 300 years I have no doubt there would be a line of horses 'parked' outside the general store.
I don’t think it stubbornness so much is it is the unwillingness to jump on every new thing. If his house was not designed for heat pumps then they will be less efficient in his application. If the house is already set up for multiple zones with a boiler then that is the most cost efficient way to go. Heat pumps, while efficient, are only so for their designed uses. Heat pumps would not have been a suitable choice for our last house due to its configuration and size.

As far as horses parked outside the General store, the Amish were prevalent where we lived and that was a common site. There are many things they do that are vastly superior than what we do today for the sake of convenience.
 

nwdiver

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every new thing.
??? How long before it's no longer 'new'? Heat pumps and EVs have both been around for >50 years. I think that's part of the stubbornness. You're looking at what it WAS decades ago not what it IS today. My Dad kept a box of disposable batteries and a volt meter. He would rather spend time checking old disposable batteries than recharging rechargeables because rechargeable batteries 30 years ago sucked.
 

Abacus

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??? How long before it's no longer 'new'? Heat pumps and EVs have both been around for >50 years. I think that's part of the stubbornness. You're looking at what it WAS decades ago not what it IS today. My Dad kept a box of disposable batteries and a volt meter. He would rather spend time checking old disposable batteries than recharging rechargeables because rechargeable batteries 30 years ago sucked.
I dunno, how old is the house and for what heat type was it designed.

There’s your answer.
 

nwdiver

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I dunno, how old is the house and for what heat type was it designed.

There’s your answer.
So houses built before 1950 shouldn't have air conditioning? You don't think modernization up to at least the standard of the 90s would make sense for a house in 2022? It would have been weird for a house built in 1870 to not have electricity in 1950... how is it not equally odd for a house built in 1950 to not have a heat pump in 2022?
 

Abacus

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Now you're being argumentative for the sake of being argumentative, and you're tying to put words into my mouth. You can stop now.

Houses built decades ago did not take into consideration the modern heat pump design, nor A/C systems. As such their layout may not benefit from such modern systems (and by modern, I mean in the last few decades). It's really not a hard concept to grasp since older houses had multiple levels, multiple rooms, and configurations that did not take advantage of single or even double wall mounted HVAC systems. Does that mean they cannot be converted? No, just that it adds a layer of complexity and cost to the equation.

As to your obtuse comment about electricity, remember knob and tube wiring? How about horsehair plaster? Those both added a number of challenges to old houses (such as my 1815 Massachusetts farmhouse) to upgrade, which came at a significant cost. As such many were not upgraded to the 'latest and greatest' romex wiring. Would they benefit? Absolutely, but at a cost, which is what we're talking about here with EV's. Do the benefits (and benefits for whom?) of EV's outweigh the costs? For us at our present time they do not. Maybe at some point in the future when "We" have decided they do, we'll make the switch. Until then, we'll keep the status quo because it works for us.
 

nwdiver

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Now you're being argumentative for the sake of being argumentative, and you're tying to put words into my mouth. You can stop now.
??? How? Your argument is that a house should use the heat source it was designed for. Ok..... why is using electric light when they were built with kerosene lamps in mind any different? No doubt it was costly to wire it for electric light once that was available.... probably even more expensive relative to today than replacing an oil furnace with a heat pump especially if the oil furnace needs to be replaced anyway.

It's silly to not gradually modernize a house as technology improves. Even sillier to replace worn out old equipment with new 'old' equipment. Should that house still be using oil for heat in 2100? 2200?

There are a lot of people in Eastern Europe that would strongly disagree with the assessment that our current choice of energy is 'working'.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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Updating historic houses works to a point, but only to a point. To get an antique home to current standards of efficiency and comfort is prohibitively expensive. I've lived in two pre-1800 houses in my lifetime and it's a different experience than living in a modern home. And most people who love old houses (me included) will not compromise aesthetics for efficiency. For example, I refused to replace the windows in our first house because they were an important part of its historic appearance. In the UK many neighborhoods prohibit window replacements or exterior storm windows for the same reason.

However I try to upgrade the heat in my current 25 year old home, I'll be sticking with hot water/baseboard system for distribution. It works well in the wide temperature ranges we experience here, and it's considered one of, if not the most comfortable heat method. But that doesn't mean I can't get rid of fossil fuels. I just have to figure out how, and figure out how to not have it be ridiculously expensive. I replaced my boiler two years ago, which dropped my oil consumption by nearly 40%. That was a good interim step, I think.
 

nwdiver

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However I try to upgrade the heat in my current 25 year old home, I'll be sticking with hot water/baseboard system for distribution. It works well in the wide temperature ranges we experience here, and it's considered one of, if not the most comfortable heat method. But that doesn't mean I can't get rid of fossil fuels. I just have to figure out how, and figure out how to not have it be ridiculously expensive.

Do you not have air conditioning in the summer?
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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I have A/C.

I like those heaters, but my boiler (which is nearly half the size of the one it replaced) makes 77K BTUs. So that's not going to work.
 

gulfcoastguy

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gulfcoastguy, unfortunately there's no natural gas on my street. Regardless, my goal would be to eliminate fossil fuels entirely as a heat source. First would be reducing the heating and cooling demand through better insulation, windows, and reduced air infiltration, and then adding solar generation (windmills are a no-go in my town) and switching to heat pumps. Or going with geothermal. I have a swimming pool I'd like to remove, so I'm thinking I'll already have a hole in the ground when I do that could be used for geothermal.

Of course the easier course of action would be to move to a smaller, tighter house, and I might do that instead.

And VW did have a satisfactory emissions fix for your Sportwagen. There are plenty of them running around with few issues.
As of 5 years ago I disagree about a satisfactory fix. Plus it had a warning light for a non recall covered part and high pressure fuel pumps were grenading left and right locally. Frankly I was pissed about the cheapo fuel pump and the emissions fraud. Plus my retirement driving patterns made it hard to get good fuel mileage. I took the money and ran just like I took the $7,500 tax credit and the 30% tax credit for installing a 240 volt charger with the current VW.
 

nwdiver

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I have A/C.

I like those heaters, but my boiler (which is nearly half the size of the one it replaced) makes 77K BTUs. So that's not going to work.
Why not use the A/C as a heat pump to supplement? It could probably provide ~70% of the heat. Even if it's only 20% that would reduce your oil consumption by 20%.

It's the height of insanity to have an Air Conditioner that doesn't double as a heat pump anywhere north of Ecuador or South of .... Ecuador. Technology Connections did some great videos. Even in areas that get VERY cold most of the time it's more than warm enough for a heat pump to work effectively. Maybe you'll need to burn oil for 200 hours every winter because it's too cold for the heat pump. Why not use a heat pump the other ~3,000 hours?

 
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IndigoBlueWagon

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Why not use the A/C as a heat pump to supplement? It could probably provide ~70% of the heat. Even if it's only 20% that would reduce your oil consumption by 20%.

It's the height of insanity to have an Air Conditioner that doesn't double as a heat pump anywhere north of Ecuador or South of .... Ecuador. Technology Connections did some great videos. Even in areas that get VERY cold most of the time it's more than warm enough for a heat pump to work effectively. Maybe you'll need to burn oil for 200 hours every winter because it's too cold for the heat pump. Why not use a heat pump the other ~3,000 hours?

Cost, that's why. Using an online calculator (maybe accurate, maybe not) is said that running a heat pump for my house (using the boiler size as a baseline for the size pump(s) I'd need) it would cost about $4,400/year in electricity. This is for heating only. Oil is less than that, even at current prices.
 

vandermic07

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You're assuming EV charging won't be biased to when wind energy is available. Front coming through at 2am? Ok... charging will start at 2am. Front coming through at 11pm? Ok... charging will start at 11pm. No wind tonight? Ok... wait until tomorrow night. Most people won't be troubled if they miss a night of charging.
I didn't realize we when going sailing! LOL

I dont think most EV buyers are going to be this observant.
 

nwdiver

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Cost, that's why. Using an online calculator (maybe accurate, maybe not) is said that running a heat pump for my house (using the boiler size as a baseline for the size pump(s) I'd need) it would cost about $4,400/year in electricity. This is for heating only. Oil is less than that, even at current prices.
That number makes no sense. What do you pay for electricity? There's 37kWh in a gallon of heating oil. Even if your oil furnace is 100% efficient you're paying ~$0.10/kWh at $4 per gallon. The average COP of a heat pump is ~3. So electricity would have to be >$0.30/kWh before oil is cheaper.

Instead of using an online calculator (maybe accurate, maybe not).... divide your $/gallon by 37 vs your $/kWh divided by 3. Compare those two numbers. It's probably something like $4/37 = $0.11 VS $0.15/3 = $0.05. So oil is probably >2x the cost of a heat pump....
 
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nwdiver

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kjclow

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Personally if I lived in an area subject to winter power loses I would go for natural gas with at least some fireplaces or wall heaters that work without electricity.
As IBW pointed out there are lots of areas of the country that do not have natural gas supply to their houses. Where my brother used to live in southern New Hampshire, they had to use dynamite to break up the granite veins just to put a basement in. No way are they running gas lines there.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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I know these last few posts have been a bit of a thread hijack, but they point out some of the challenges we all face in transitioning away from fossil fuels. Some of us have issues with EVs because of range and changes to "refueling," but those changes pale in comparison to the engineering challenge and expense of switching housing away from fossil fuels.

Several municipalities (including New York City) have instituted bans on natural gas hookups in new construction. These regulations have gotten a lot of push back both from developers and residents, and one town near me (Brookline, MA) has backed off the ban more than once. This is just one example of both the complexity of the changes we face, and the resistance that citizens will offer up.
 

nwdiver

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and the resistance that citizens will offer up.
.... which is almost entirely due to people being misinformed. From thinking EVs use 3kWh/mi instead of 3mi/kWh to thinking you 'need' 50A to charge your EV to thinking oil is somehow a cheaper source of heat than a heat pump. It's not a difference of opinion if the facts are wrong.

Somehow being wrong became some kind of warped identity. 2+2 is 5 and gosh darn it that's the hill I'ma gonna die on! ...... how did this happen??
 

IndigoBlueWagon

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Thinking oil is somehow a cheaper source of heat than a heat pump.
I'm open to being shown it's not more expensive, but the calculator I used showed it is. I would need about 6 ton pump to heat my house, converting BTUs to tons. And I'm not even sure how that takes into account how much energy would be required to heat when the outside temp is in the teens or single digits, not an uncommon occurrence here.

Another big issue is that the air handler and ductwork in my house is designed for A/C. That means it's biased towards providing more air (cooled, in this case) to the second floor, as the second floor tends to be hotter in summer, and most people (me included) want sleeping areas cooler than living areas. That's the opposite of what I'd want if I was using that same ductwork for heating. It's one zone, so it can only be re-balanced to a small degree. So more changes would be needed. None of that is free.
 

nwdiver

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I'm open to being shown it's not more expensive, but the calculator I used showed it is. I would need about 6 ton pump to heat my house, converting BTUs to tons.
How much do you pay per gallon of heating oil and what's your electric rate? That will tell you right there.

I'm not suggesting you get rid of the oil furnace... just that whatever Air Conditioner you have can also operate as a heat pump. You only need 6 tons to heat when it's < 5F.... so.... use oil to supplement when it's < 5F. My sister wanted A/C. So I bought her a heat pump. They had propane heat. They still have propane heat. Just instead of using it for 100% of their heating they now use it for ~20%.
 
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