VW: 'Carbon Neutral', It's the Only Way Forward

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Oct 30, 2019.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG][​IMG] “It’s clear the world is getting warmer. It’s time to stop avoiding the question of what to do about it.”

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – June 26, 2019

    VWs I.D. Family in Venice Beach, CA


    VW has collated its I.D. battery electric vehicle push under its “Drive Bigger” brand direction, VW of America is embracing the challenge as a calling for the years ahead. By building a future designed to help tackle the GHG problem, VW plans to drive a big change in American and global transportation.

    As the world’s largest automaker, VW has a global responsibility and one it plans to embrace by committing to making its vehicles and production carbon-neutral by 2050. That includes VWs sold in the United States and manufactured at its LEED Platinum rated factory in Chattanooga. The VW Group’s investment in battery electric vehicles will come to more than $50 billion USD over the next four years, with approximately $10 billion directed into the VW brand by its lonesome.
    Earlier this year, VW committed itself to the goals of the Paris Agreement, the 200-nation agreement that aims to limit global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by cutting emissions of CO2 and other pollutants. That’s not an easy task, since most studies show the Earth has already warmed by half that amount over the past several decades. Meeting that target will require a widespread adoption of zero tailpipe-emission electric vehicles, ones affordable to millions, not just millionaires.

    By 2050, VW is targeting carbon neutral operations and vehicles in the U.S.

    The commitment to carbon neutrality has three key parts.
    1. Reducing CO2 emitted from vehicles and factories

    2. Adopting renewable energy sources, whether at the plant level for VW and its suppliers, or encouraging their use for individual Volkswagen owners

    3. Using carbon offsets to tackle those remaining carbon emissions that can’t be further reduced
    VWs goal is to avoid CO2. If they cannot avoid it, they will reduce it, and if that’s not possible, find a way to offset it.

    The key to affordable battery electric vehicles is the same as the key to affordable everyday vehicles – using basic architectures that can be shared among millions of vehicles. Much as the VW MQB platform underpins models from the Golf to the Atlas, the upcoming MEB all-electric chassis is designed with similar flexibility in size and uses. It is expected to go into production in Europe later this year, and come to America first with the ID.CROZZ SUV in 2020 and plans for the ID.BUZZ thereafter, with more to follow.

    2020 I.D. Crozz SUV

    From the floor of the LAAS in 2017.​

    By 2028, the VW Group expects to have sold approximately 22 million BEVs worldwide across all its brands, with approximately 70 different models available. Some 15 million of those will use the MEB platform.

    While there are concerns about whether building battery electric vehicles creates more CO2 emissions than gas or hybrid cars, outside research suggests that over the lifespan of a vehicle, a battery-electric car typically has the lowest CO2 per mile driven compared to gas- or diesel-powered counterparts. That's based on today's mix of fuel sources for electricity, often a blend of natural gas, coal, nuclear, and renewables such as solar and hydropower.

    As the grid shifts towards CO2-free renewables, the benefits of EVs will grow further.

    While EVs are a major part of the VW plan, they are not the only part. Reducing carbon output from the production process at both VW and its suppliers will be a major focus. The Chattanooga plants solar field provides roughly 10 percent of the plant’s electricity – more than 12 million kWh’s/year.

    VW plans to reduce the carbon output of its traditional gas vehicles, through greater efficiency gains and hybridization.

    2021 VW I.D. Buzz


    Electrification is an important future aspect of VW going forward. By 2040, approximately 60 percent of the vehicles we sell in America would be EVs, and that another 10 to 25 percent would be hybrids.

    With Dieselgate in the rear view, the real question is can VW move electric and electrified vehicles to the consumer marketplace with acceptable range, performance, and affordability. The all-new Audi e-tron is stumbling out of the gate. The VW I.D. Crozz SUV should change that.
  2. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    VW's EV interests lie in China.

    VW will focus on SUVs (not efficient sedans) in China

    China will fuel these electric SUVs with coal. Lots and lots of coal.

    Q. Which way will global corporations try to lead ?
    A. As always, toward the money. Saving carbon based souls has nothing to do with it, ... but it does make a nice sales pitch -- suitable for soap box preaching from all 4 corners of the globe.

    Volkswagen Plans To Dominate Electric Vehicle Manufacturing In China

    China planning 226GW of new coal-fired power projects, environmental groups say
    xcel likes this.
  3. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    VW has started production of their ID.3 in Europe, and they will be shipping early next year. They may also be selling them in Canada - but I really hope they also sell the ID.3 in the US. We will see the ID.4 here first. And the ID Buzz (ID.5/6/7/8/9?) will be a big hit in 2022 or so.

    Even on 100% coal fired electricity, EVs get the equivalent of about 45MPGe. The average MPGe here in the US for EVs is about 84MPGe.
    xcel likes this.
  4. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    "The EPA's methodology is flawed because it assumes perfect conversion of the potential energy in fossil fuels to electricity, an assumption that violates the second law of thermodynamics. The Department of Energy has a better methodology that computes electric vehicle equivalent mileage based on real world power plant efficiencies and fuel mixes, while also taking into account energy used for refining gasoline for traditional cars. Using this better DOE methodology, we get MPGe's for electric cars that are barely 1/3 of the EPA figures."

    The EPA's Electric Vehicle Mileage Fraud

    /EPA mpge numbers never passed the sniff test for me. It's not like coal/cng power plants + transmission lines have ever been THAT efficient.

    xcel likes this.
  5. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    I am referring to the series of studies done by UCS; not the EPA.

    The EPA also does not include the energy overhead for fossil fuels - which do not appear out of thin air.

    Electricity is getting cleaner and cleaner over time (even in China) and fossil fuels are getting dirtier and dirtier.
    xcel likes this.
  6. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    MPGe is from the wall. It is intended to let consumers make a comparison to ICE cars in which the MPG is from the pump. A comparison of the energy that the consumer pays for, and nothing more. Accounting for upstream costs and efficiencies is far outside its scope, just as doing so for MPG would be; getting gasoline from light, sweet crude has different costs than from tar sands.

    The MPG per carbon equivalent for powering a BEV on coal in China is probably higher than in the US, as their plants tend to be more efficient.
    xcel likes this.
  7. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Natural gas fired power plants operate at 32 to 38% efficiency. Modern auto engines will also operate in that region.

    It would seem logical (more efficient) to me to just burn the natural gas in an efficient CNG vehicle without having to do all the conversions to electricity and subsequent transmission line losses, vampire drain losses etc. .. etc.... not to mention the extra weight the BEV will carry.
  8. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Also, ... we know what happens to BEVs when adverse conditions hit (i.e. cold weather, towing). They get the crap kicked out of their efficiency. by up to 1/2. Not so with a CNG vehicle. BSFC shows that the combustion engine actually gets more efficient towards WOT, and the waste heat can be used for cabin heating/ defrost. So a much smaller hit in adverse conditions (not shown in the EPA test cycles).

    Most power plants just shed their excess heat into a cooling pond --- so unless you want a killer fungus ear ache -- keep out of the water.
  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    Solar is more efficient even with all the line losses. CNG leaks like a SOB and because of that, is a far more damaging GHG than even CO2. Having driven the CNG Civic more than a few times, stations are not a working solution. Build one and you may as well pull from a wall outlet on a BEV. A CNG CFR tank weighs a ton, takes a ton of space, and is not free by any stretch either.


  10. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Wayne, I Disagree emphatically with all of that. I'll touch on one.

    A quick google shows a 10.9 gge cng tank weighs 104 lb. How much would the batteries that would supply the same range weigh (about 12x as much)?
    xcel likes this.
  11. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    That's only when the engines are running at their peak efficiency. In the real world, lightly loaded or cold much of the time, overall efficiency is much lower.
    NeilBlanchard, xcel and Carcus like this.
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    How much does a gasoline tank weigh? Moving on, see that 6.1 cu. ft. trunk? What BEV has a 6 cu. ft. trunk? Find a CNG vehicle without the trunk being consumed. There is no way to compress it in a flat layout like all the BEV packs are being constructed today. Fill a CNG and how much range do you receive. CNG leaks are a tragedy as methane is 80 times more harmful than CO2. Scared the hell out of me to get back home from MN in one over a decade ago. CNG sites shut down, not working, taking forever to come up to full pressure... Same problem that is killing the H2 FCVs as well.

    I wish it was a solution but CNG did not take off because it has these huge problems with the general consumer. :(

  13. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Combined cycle turbines are far more efficient than that. They were hitting 50% about three decades ago, and there are models available now at 64%. In a cogen heat plant, the overall efficiency can be over 95%.

    Besides, electricity is the ultimate flex fuel. It can be made other ways than from coal or natural gas.

    The MPGe is high for EVs because electric motors are highly efficient. They don't have tons of waste energy going out the tail pipe or radiator.
    Assuming the CNG car was as efficient as a Camry, and the BEV a Model 3 LR;the battery would be just under 950lbs for 370 miles of range. That is actually lower than the pack in 310 mile range Model 3, but that likely includes the case that is also part of the car's structure. The entire car is 4072lbs. A CNG Camry would be around 3350lbs. The extra battery weight is spread around to improve performance and driving dynamics.
    xcel likes this.
  14. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Audi A4 gtron (purpose built, not a "throw it in the trunk" like the civic) .. so no loss in interior or cargo space:

    Range: 590.3 miles, 310.7 of which are on CNG, AND you can use it all cause you've got another 180 left on gasoline, and you don't have to worry about topping off, letting it sit and ruining your battery (latest software on the Model S won't even let you do this, as it'll start running the A/C compressor to pull the battery down below 90% if you let it sit at 100%)
  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    See a G-Tron of any sort here? 300 miles of range (Euro cycles) CNG tanks are both costly and huge taking up interior volume! The bastard side of any compressed gas (CNG or H2) is those expensive fuel tanks! :(

  16. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    There's cows, deer, dogs, humans etc... leaking methane all over the world. What are we gonna do.... kill em all?
    xcel likes this.
  17. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:
    :D :D :D

  18. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Fair point. Here's another fair point:

    In the real world. CNG fired power plants are often lightly loaded, overall efficiency is much lower.

    /AND, ... if power plants were so much more efficient they should be so much cheaper to use as automotive fuel. But if I were to CNG my way across Oklahoma (where CNG stations are available AND natural gas is used for power generation) vs supercharge my way across Oklahoma, (in similar machines -- say a model 3 vs A4 gtron) I think it's safe to say I would spend less on CNG than at the superchargers. And that's on a nice day. Make it a cold windy day and the CNG is going to win huge. That's just in $, then we can start talking about time wasted refueling.

    // supercharge at .28/kWh, CNG currently about $1.60/gge

    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
  19. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Is that why electricity is so cheap in solar intensive areas, .. like California and Germany ? /sarc

    add -- solar (and wind, for that matter) have a problem that they are not going to scale cheaper. The more that's added, the more expensive it's goint to get because there will need to be systems (i.e. massive battery storage banks) to smooth the peaks and valleys, among others)
    1) Transmission costs are much higher than those of other types of electricity, but they are not charged back to wind and solar in most studies.
    2) With increased long distance electricity transmission, there is a need for increased maintenance of transmission lines. If this is not performed adequately, fires are likely, especially in dry, windy areas.
    3) A huge investment in charging stations will be needed, if anyone other than the very wealthy are to use electric vehicles.
    4) Intermittency adds a very substantial layer of costs.
    .... and 5 and 6 and 7 and a lot more ....

    Renewable Energy's Inconvenient Truth
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
    xcel likes this.
  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    You need to see the massive number of homes that produce their own with Solar panels here. While the vast majority feed the grid, that too is changing as home storage is just becoming a thing.

    Be careful who you believe. Next thing you will have a home solar system installed too.

    A friend has a 6 kW system here and a new Model 3 in the garage. He pays on average $10/month for his electricity including charging his car. $0.40/kWh rates do not mean anything to him.

    NeilBlanchard likes this.

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