The Potential Pitfalls of Electric Cars

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Old Bear, Jan 20, 2018.

  1. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

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    WIRED magazine 1.20.18 published a brief article with about assessing the overall environmental impact of electric vehicles.

    Electric vehicles are part of the future. But that future is not guaranteed to be green. If the power source for your EV is dirty coal, or if the car's supply chain pollutes and plunders the Earth, your eco-friendliness score plummets. So senior transportation reporter Jack Stewart crunched the numbers: How many gasoline-powered cars would electric vehicles replace, how many gigawatt-hours of battery would they need, which energy source would charge such batteries, and what would those batteries even be made of themselves.


    Still, if you ask major automakers (and countries like China), electric vehicles are worth it. “If we’re hoping to put the brakes on climate change, the growing global consensus is that electric cars are crucial,” Stewart writes. “Get the heck out of that Hummer and into something without an exhaust pipe.”

    The article includes five illustrative graphs which provide some sense of the magnitude of the issues discussed.

    You can read the entire article here:
    Ford, GM Go All in on Electric Cars, but How Clean Are They? | WIRED
     
  2. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    Not terrible. Would have been nice if they mentioned the average fuel efficiency of gas cars in each area they mentioned.
     
  3. huskers

    huskers Senior Member

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    Well, we were on our way to ending the use of coal. Then something happened.
     
  4. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    We still are. I expect coal to continue to play a smaller and smaller role in the U.S. and the world as a whole.
     
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  5. Skylis A

    Skylis A Senior Member

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    What is the gas-pollution equivalent of producing the batteries in an electric car these days? Is it, like, 100000 miles?
     
  6. huskers

    huskers Senior Member

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    I guess we could start driving like the Flintstones did.
     
  7. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    Still are. Coal is the brown one on the way down.

    upload_2018-1-21_10-34-53.png
     
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  8. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    "Based on our review greenhouse gas emissions of 150-200 kg CO2-eq/kWh battery looks to correspond to the greenhouse gas burden of current battery production.
    Energy use for battery manufacturing with current technology is about 350 – 650 MJ/kWh battery."

    Link

    A gallon of gasoline burned produces about 9kg of CO2. So the Prime's 8.8kWh battery cost 1,320-1,760kg of CO2 which is 147-195 gallons equivalent.

    Energy wise, a kWh is 3.6MJ so the energy cost of the battery is about 100-180 times the battery capacity.
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it's not about what electric cars are today, it's the potential for what they can be. gasoline has no potential, it is what it is.
     
  10. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Your graph ends at 2016, so doesn't address his 'something happened' comment about 2017.
     
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  11. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    The 2017 numbers aren't yet incorporated since it only ended three weeks ago.

    However, the trend is still down for the latest monthly data we have.

    October 2016: 99,194 GWH
    October 2017: 90,094 GWH
     
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  12. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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  13. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    I support the other side of some of those arguments, since I have taken 7 trip-legs in my Prime since April that you couldn't make in any current Tesla with current charging infrastructure, and am planning another one for next week. Yes, some of them could be made with significant delay but some couldn't be made at all.
     
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  14. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    That point isn’t the one made by the “wireless” dirty EV fluff posted by the op.
    Nor is it the one I put any credence to.

    If you’ve read my other posts you will know I agree that charging infrastructure isn’t even in the infancy stage for long distances.

    Any posts that focus on that as a reason you can’t own an Plugin, however, I disregard, most folks own 2 cars and usually could have 1 car in the stall and the other at least PHEV.
    I’ve owned a pure antique BEVas a daily driver for what seems like decades, but I will always need something else for trips.

    All the arguments with “pollution”, cost, “don’t pay fair share” and other politically motivated EV crapola I throw in the uniformed / click bate category, including the original topic of the ops post.
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    'tesla is building the worlds biggest building'? dang, when is it going to be finished?(n)
     
  16. Lee Jay

    Lee Jay Senior Member

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    No, in the article you linked.

    “I’ve got range anxiety.”
    “EVs take forever to charge.”


    Yeah, that's because you can fuel them up almost anywhere in three minutes if you need to.
     
  17. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    But what does it say about the ops points that EVs are really polluting?


    So...

    My EV has always charged overnight at my apartment, never have run out of charge because
    1. I have a brain
    2. I have always owned two cars
     
  18. Oniki

    Oniki Active Member

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    Like, no
     
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  19. I'mJp

    I'mJp Senior Member

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    IMHO It's all about battery capacity. If you had a light weight battery that had, say 800 mile range and a 10 hour charge time then :

    On everyday driving, as long as you could get a partial charge now and then, you really wouldn't have to worry about it.
    On long trips. you would have to get a full charge over night.

    With a 1600 mile range, you would just get a partial charge whenever convenient.

    Currently today's cars fall way below that, and we have to do more.
     
  20. Zythryn

    Zythryn Senior Member

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    For 100% market penetration, I agree. For 30% market penetration, no, we are there this year (once the Bolt, Model 3 & Leaf 2 are in full production).
     
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