More inconvenient truths on banning gas engines

Discussion in 'In the News' started by ALS, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    High-speed EV recharging stations on highways sound great – until you hear how much they would cost

    By David Booth,


    Anyone who tells you that the electric car in your future will be just as convenient as the gasoline-fueled vehicle you’re currently driving is lying. If not overtly, then at least by omission. Nor can they plead ignorance, the calculations required to reach this conclusion hardly the stuff of graduate-level physics. Indeed, judging from the experts I’ve spoken with, plenty have been the warnings proffered to the politicians, policy makers and futurists advocating an all-battery-powered future.

    Now before you go all Tesla on me and start putting angry pen to paper, let me give credit where credit is due. In an emissions-free automotive world, the electric vehicle is king of the inner-city commute: the ability to recharge at home — during off-hours, minimizing the load on our grids — is convenient, their torquey motors perfect for the point and shoot of inner-city traffic, and their range more than what is needed by 90 per cent of commuters. I also trust that battery technology will get lighter and more energy dense so the 100+ kilowatt-hour batteries of the future won’t all weigh a thousand pounds. Nor is the tired old bugbear — “all that electricity is being generated by coal” — likely to be a problem in 20 or 30 years, the cost of renewables hopefully coming down to a manageable level.

    Full Story:
    BillLin likes this.
  2. MPG Mom

    MPG Mom Member

    I don't know about you, but I have to stop every few hours to stretch legs, eat something, and use the restroom. If I can drive 200+ miles, that's long enough to stop for 30-60 minutes for a meal and a break before driving the next 3 hours.

    The bigger problem is that nobody wants to put them in because they're too expensive ($30,000+) and the utilities already charge maddening demand fees for that kind of a kW pull. Hundreds of dollars a month...and that's before anybody plugs in and takes a single electron. So, business owners don't want to spend on such a station because they feel (rightly) that not enough customers will come charge to justify the monthly cost. Customers, OTOH, don't want to buy an EV because there aren't enough CCS/CHAdeMO stations for road trips. It's the perfect Catch 22.

    Instead of cramming in more and more electrons, manufacturers need to focus more on efficiency. If the AeroCIVIC guy can get 95 MPG with an old Civic+aero mods and a smart right foot, there's no reason they can't get better aero on the cars and teach these self-driving cars to hypermile around the driver's chosen average speed. There's no reason they can't get 50-100% better range.
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  3. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    The banning gasoline engines thing is just a political stunt that CA politicians use to fluff their non-math-doing greenie constituents. The polz set the date for this so-called ban way off into the future when they'll all be safely out of office and it will be someone else's job to postpone the ban when the date arrives.
    kbergene and BillLin like this.
  4. S Keith

    S Keith Well-Known Member

    I bolded that statement as an example of unfounded speculation. That's just absurd. You have no substantiation for said claim.

    Your implied cause/effect is not valid. You've seen the aero civic car, right? A claim of Cd=0.17, and it's grossly impractical for many reasons, not the least of which is crashworthiness.

    Here's an example - the EV1 was an actual 0.195, and even with 26.4kWh NiMH battery, it only had 120 mile range. Put the 60kW Bolt Lithium battery in it, and it's still under 300 miles.

    I've given you a 2 seat EV with a Cd of 0.195, which is EXTREMELY aerodynamic, and a representation of a modern battery pack from a 4 door - still falls far short of most gas - only cars.

    Can you imagine a bunch of self-driving cars doing pulse and glide? Can you imagine how this will be soundly rejected by the majority of most riders in said cars and how it just can't be done in many if not most situations?

    Bottom line is there is no simple solution. Every design is a trade-off.
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  5. MPG Mom

    MPG Mom Member

    All good points.
    BillLin likes this.
  6. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I agree with most of what Mom said. Also , I can DEFINITELY see a convoy of self-driving cars doing P & G on the highway. Even if it's steady-speed driving , imagine the benefits of 1.0-1.5 foot interval between the cars.
  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    The issue for auto manufacturers is that China is moving to ban the ICE, and they have to offer some type of plug in or be excluding from that huge market.

    As for the article, it seems to be working on the assumption that the switch over will be sudden, and not a gradual process. One which already under way. then there is already a national network that is still growing; Superchargers. The only thing keeping the other companies from buying into it is greed and pride. Then a DC fast charger network will cost a fraction of what a hydrogen one would cost.

    The other thing the author overlooks, like others dismissing EVs, is that a large part of the plug ins on the road will be hybrids, and using the old fuel pumps on long trips.
  8. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    The thing keeping other companies from "buying into it" is lack of consumer demand. Why the lack of demand? In order for consumers to adopt a new transportation technology it must offer better overall utility or better economy or both. BEVs fail on both counts. Despite massive subsidies to the car companies, the battery companies, and to the consumer directly, BEVs comprise only a tiny market share. Take away the subsidies and the market share goes to practically zero. Hybrids have a future, but CA would be banning hybrids because of the ICEs. This discussion is like debating how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. The ban will never happen. It's just a political stunt.
  9. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    kbergene, ALS and Mendel Leisk like this.
  10. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    ... and if in 22 years time, efficient ice is 'better' than hybrid? WTF is the point?

    /not shooting the messenger here, just saying... I hate the "gub'ment picks the winners" mentality
    Jay likes this.
  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    I keep thinking about the inordinate time required to recharge; how is that going to work for on-the-road recharge stations? Either a massive breakthrough in charging time, or some method of swapping batteries??
  12. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Or the people doing long trips regularly buy a PHEV. The choice isn't BEV or an ICE.
  13. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Another example of how committed CA is to "solving" the air pollution problem: CA's smog laws effectively say "You must keep your car's smog equipment in good working order unless your car is old or unless you are poor." To that end we have expensive bi-annual smog checks. I pull $100+ out of my wallet to prove that my car is clean and head down the road and immediately find myself behind a stinking beater blowing so much smoke I have to turn the wipers on. I notice he has a fresh sticker on his plate indicating his pollutionmobile passes because it's old or he's poor or both. The federal EPA is well aware of the scam and ordered CARB to get the stinking beatermobiles off the road. CARB actually tried to propose legislation to that effect, but there was such an outcry that the polz immediately backed down. If CA doesn't have the political balls to get beatermobiles--that can put out 1000 times the pollution of a newer car--off the roads, they sure aren't going to do anything to get clean newer ICE cars off the roads.
    kbergene and BillLin like this.
  14. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    Exactly. The politicians are picking the technology winners by the subsidies and bans. As usual, their heads are completely buried in the sand. In CA and a few other states, a manufacturer cannot sell the cars people want to buy unless the manufacturer provides a BEV that most people don't want to buy. It costs billions to develop the BEV that nobody wants to buy. And those development costs are born by those of us who don't want a BEV. It's another way of helping rich people buy their BEV luxury cars through the magic of socialism where the rest of us must help pay for them. Small manufacturers, like Mazda, are hurt disproportionately by this policy because they don't sell enough cars in the US to spread the damage out thinly. Ironically, it's Mazda who just developed an ICE so clean that it is cleaner than any BEV (well to wheel) even when the electric source is clean natural gas. When the electric source is dirty coal, all hybrids are cleaner than any BEV.
  15. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jay in Pa. you get 1 give me, on emission test failure.
    The next time your car comes up for emissions inspection (12 months) the problem has to be fixed.

  16. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Looking a little further (if you were a UK politician, worried about UK trade deficits) I guess this might be the point:

    "An Edinburgh University study of output from offshore fields estimated that only around 10 per cent of the UK's original recoverable oil and gas remains untapped.
    It also concluded that fracking will be barely economically feasible in the UK, especially in Scotland,..."

    UK's oil industry 'entering final decade of production'

    /UK's oil production has been in decline, from a peak of 2.8 mbpd in 2000, to about 1 mbpd today. The oil 'new-tech' boom hasn't panned out in Merrie Olde England.

    //Whatever happened to Pax Britannica?
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  17. Elixer

    Elixer Well-Known Member

    Any technology that interrupts or replaces the current status-quo will be very expensive when first implemented in small scale, and people have a tendency to apply today's technology/cost when thinking of scaling it in the future, without including the expected advancements in technology. Therefore I disagree with the author for the most part. There's nothing inherently expensive about an electric car charger; the parts aren't expensive (when scaled to high production quantities), nor is the electricity. You'll need more chargers, and more electricity, but these aren't problems that are that expensive or difficult to solve. What I would expect to see is charging stations placed near power plants and high voltage power lines to reduce costs. It will become the norm to "fill up" on electrons when near your local power plant where it's cheaper than in town. "Gas stations" will instead look more like parking lots filled with charging stations.

    We will never run out of oil; the cost for each barrel will just increase to a point where electricity will make more sense. I don't think we'll see a major shift over to electric cars in the next decade - maybe in the next 2-3 decades will we see this.
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  18. kbergene

    kbergene Active Member

    If the battery has range enough for a full day's drive - say 1000 miles - then some of the most difficult charging issues go away. For that to be practical, they need about a 5x increase in battery energy efficiency. That seems possible over the next 30 years.
  19. I thought i was the only one that would do 1000 or more miles a day
    kbergene likes this.
  20. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    heck , I've done it on a motorcycle.
    kbergene likes this.

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