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Another Free Lunch We Will Never Get To Eat - Electric Vehicles

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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 08:47 AM
Original message
Another Free Lunch We Will Never Get To Eat - Electric Vehicles
Here is what you are being told: Gasoline powered transportation is inefficient and dirty, we'd be much better off using clean electric vehicles. Electric vehicles, or hybrids, that are touted as our future have a one major drawback that is now being addressed, we are told. Battery development is essential in order for these cars and light trucks to become a reality. Current batteries suffer from excessive weight, expense, and thus far limited ability to hold the large amounts of energy necessary to drive vehicles for extended periods. All of these things are being worked on and with luck and perseverance will be overcome, we are told.

Things at rest tend to stay at rest. It takes large amounts of energy to get a vehicle moving, it takes energy to keep a vehicle moving against the parasitic forces of rolling resistance (caused by friction in in the rolling parts) and wind resistance. Where will that energy come from? The answer to that question is where electric vehicles fail.

The energy to power electric vehicles will come over our power grid. It will be produced in conventional power plants using the preferred fuel of the day and distributed over the existing or an expanded power grid. That means something that must be kept in mind throughout any debate about the future of personal transportation seems to be missing from the discussion. The energy that we are now getting from burning gasoline will have to be replaced by energy liberated at power plants. It will not take any less energy to move electric vehicles, it will require the same amount of energy coming from a sources which are, today, barely able to keep up with current demands. To increase electrical production to an extent necessary to power vehicles would mean many many many more power plants (probably coal fired) and vastly greater transmission capability. Oh, did I mention that 30% or more of the power produced in electrical power generation is lost to heat in the wires between the generator and your house and that little to no research is or has been done to reduce that loss?

Sorry to shit in anyone's berry bowl but there's still no such thing as a free lunch.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
1. Not to mention the energy it takes to make those batteries...
and the toxic materials most of them contain.

Yeah, it sucks. But if battery technology can continue to improve, and we can get more of our power from wind and solar sources, it will get better.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. Bullshit. The batteries already exist. Electric cars were made then recalled due to success.
And they DO SAVE ENERGY.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. The batteries already exist?
Oh, really?

Is that just my limited materialistic biased worldview coming into play, thinking that batteries must be made from raw materials instead of just being wished into existence? :eyes:

Look, I'm not an all-or-none thinker. I'm not saying that electric cars are worse, just that there are tradeoffs with the technology and we shouldn't look at them as the wonder cure for what ails us.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Sources. Goggle the following. #1. Who Killed The Electric Car. #2 Plug In America.com
#3. Sherry Boschert who has done the math. Sherryboshcert.com

You simply haven't done the research and are spewing crap without realising it.
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trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:46 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Who's spewing?
I realize there are batteries left over - but this is about the electric car as a primary means of transportation going forward. You are either being willfully obtuse or just argumentative by not acknowledging that MORE batteries would have to be made. And those take significant resources, dangerous materials, and energy. Just a factor to consider. So sorry to want to cover all sides of an issue.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 10:46 AM
Response to Reply #18
27. Boshcert is not considered a credible source
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Lyric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
2. speaking of powerlines...
(forgive the minor subject change)

Have you been keeping an eye on this ridiculous plot to turn West Virginia into a doormat for Allegheny Power and NoVa? Seriously--most folks up here in my neck of the woods (Morgantown) are PISSED.

http://wvhighlands.org/wv_voice/?p=198
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I'm 20 Minutes Away From Morgantown
Up here on the ridges of Preston country, right where the bird-killing wind mills would be built.

West Virginia is, I am told, already the nations number 1 producer of electricity for sale outside of the state in which it was produced. Where does it go? Due east ....
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Lyric Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #4
12. Wow, didn't realize there was another active DU'er this close
We used to live in Preston Co. when I was growing up--Arthurdale and Bruceton Mills. I still have family in Terra Alta and Kingwood. :)

And yeah, I'm incredibly disappointed in Manchin for offering up our state on a golden platter, to have her natural beauty marred and her flora and fauna maimed just so the folks in NoVa can more cheaply heat their hot tubs and pools. :eyes:
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EnviroBat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #12
29. My Momma was born in Terra Alta...
Visited there many times as a kid, beautiful place...
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oldgrowth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
21. Windows kill more birds than windmills the large new windmills
Turn slow and have no place for the birds to land like older ones !!Maybe it could replace some of the Mountaintop removal??
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hlthe2b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
3. Seems the Europeans have embraced solar & wind
Edited on Wed Jun-06-07 08:53 AM by hlthe2b
to the point that the latest most dramatically efficient solar panels are all being "devoured" from the market by the Germans. Yes, the French have their nuclear, but the bottom line appears to be that WE are stuck in the "but, but, but" mode. I'm not buying it..
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
5. Your solution is what now?
Edited on Wed Jun-06-07 08:59 AM by LuckyTheDog
First off: who ever said that electric cars would run in "free" power?

The fact is that plug-in hybrids would reduce greenhouse emissions (even if most power plants continued to use fossil fuels) and also could vastly decrease our consumption of foreign oil. And, oh yes, new battery technology is in the works that promises to lay waste to the "current battery technology" you mention.

But the real question is this: You hate electric cars .... and ... so ... Your solution is what now?
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Plug In Vehicles Will NOT Reduce Green House Gasses -
They will simply move the source from the tail pipe to the smoke stack.

Even a perfectly efficient battery would not change the power requirement to move an object through air on wheels.

Sometimes I wonder if they teach anything even remotely resembling science in schools anymore.
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. Debunking the Myth of EVs and Smokestacks
http://www.evadc.org/pwrplnt.pdf

Per-mile greenhouse gas emissions by vehicle type (Argonne National laboratory)
-- Internal combustion engine+gasoline shown on far left, electric vehicle far right






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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #6
13. YES THEY DO. You have no idea what you're talking about. Research proves they do save energy
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 10:48 AM
Response to Reply #13
28. CItation please that includes full lifecycle costs in terms of $/mile
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #6
31. You are wrong
And abusive. And you offer no solutions.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. I'm Sorry, I Meant To Answer Your Question - Here's The Solution
In a phrase: Communications will replace transportation.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Hm. I wonder if an information-theoretic analysis of *physical* traffic has been performed?
A la channel capacity, entropy, etc.
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LuckyTheDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #8
32. LOL! We will never ever be a nation of shut-ins!
Even if we were, we'd need somebody to deliver food to the holes we'd be living in!
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
7. No 30% loss in transmission
"Energy losses in the U.S. T&D (transmission and distribution) system were 7.2% in 1995" - http://www.climatetechnology.gov/library/2003/tech-opti...

Maybe you are referring to the losses from incurred during the generation of power?
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
14. In your opinion what is the solution???
beam me up :shrug: that don't work bro'
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Orsino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
15. Yes. Batteries are not an energy source...
...but an energy storage system, with less than one hundred percent return.

They'll work a lot better than internal combustion engines, though, when there's no more gas.
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Matsubara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
16. Clean Cars needn't be electric, or even hydrogen.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
20. They created microchips the size of postage stamps
They can make efficient fuel cells if the profit motive is there. Right now, it's being blocked by the gas and oil industry.

And all that sunshine could be used for something. They make nuclear energy from rocks. Think of what we could do with sunshine if we tried.
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
22. Internal combustion engines are huge energy wasters
It will not take any less energy to move electric vehicles, it will require the same amount of energy coming from a sources which are, today, barely able to keep up with current demands.

Yes and no.

The energy required to move an electric vehicle of the same weight, aerodynamic profile, and rolling resistance would be the same as required by an internal combustion automobile. However, the total energy requirements wind up being much lower for the electric vehicle due to its powertrain efficiency. A 'well-to-wheels' analysis shows that an equivalent amount of BTU's from source fuels (coal, natural gas, etc.), including extraction, refining, transportation/distribution to electrical outlet is indeed less efficient than the well-to-tank efficiency for gasoline. But the efficiency of electric vehicle powertrains, including motors/controllers and battery charging, is much greater than that of internal combustion, more than double that of even a very high mpg one. Most of the energy from burning gasoline in an internal combustion powered car is lost to heat, which makes for great heaters but lousy energy efficiency.

Regular gasoline is assumed to be '1' in the chart below. Electric vehicle shown on right. (Argonne National Laboratory GREET model








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Tyler Durden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
23. NOBODY said it was FREE...but it's efficiency kicks the shit out of internal combustion


Self Explanatory.
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Strelnikov_ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Another Graphic
Edited on Wed Jun-06-07 10:47 AM by loindelrio
Insert ~ 10 kWh (10% efficient) for ICE powered vehicles (correction, 18% per your graphic to be consistent with Bossel's report).



From:
Why A Hydrogen Economy Doesn't Make Sense
http://www.energybulletin.net/24093.html


By the way, do you have a source for that graphic. Trying to find a concise document addressing the efficiency of ICE vehicles has been challenging.
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
25. don't forget the disposal of the (toxic) batteries after they are dead
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jsamuel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
26. I think this is a case of taking a great idea and bashing it over the head with a hammer because it
it has a few flaws even though it is 10 times better than what we have now.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #26
30. I think is more a case of people who do not understand the technology pushing it before it is ready
Electric transportation has some advantages and some drawbacks. They are being worked. People with tinfoil hairdos will tell you that the gas companies have stopped anything that would have reduced the need for oil, but then again, they have the shiny side out...

Batteries/storage is the key. Low cost, low weight, high capacity, long life, and clean to make and recycle, long life are some of the features being worked.

I tend to believe in the free market. Individuals and small companies would love to become bigger companies by inventing things that make this transition possible. We need to invest and nurture it, but the day when we can call go electric is not yet here.

If anyone missed it, Honda is dropping their hybrid Accord model...they are saying the technology is not yet ready for a car of that size. There is a clue there.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-06-07 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
33. I have the best solution to the "car" problem, it's a vehicle powered by...
sweat. A bike.
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