# Electric cars are a pipe dream

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Syzygys, May 20, 2010.

1. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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Yes that is what is needed nation wide but the peak power fee needs to ratchet up every time you go above your peak of a few years ago - that is what is causing power company to buy new generation, not your smaller last month´s peak.

Also it would be fair if the TOD rate goes to pay only for fuel (and tiny fraction of the interest cost of the base load units and allowed profit margin) if you are for example charging you EV´s battery after midnight (or any time when system is not even fully using its "base load" generation capacity of electric energy). Bring on those "smart grids."

3. ### KitemanSARegistered Senior Member

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Maybe you should suggest that to them. They may just listen.

5. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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That's basically what we have here. We set baselines based on climate zone, time of year, type of service, what other services the house has, size of house etc. Power usage up to baseline is charged at the baseline rate, then goes up significantly as you go into higher "tiers." For example:

Up to 100% of baseline: 14 cents/kwhr
100-130% 16 cents/kwhr
130-200% 29 cents/kwhr
above 200% 31 cents/kwhr

We also have an EV-TOU rate that allows you charge at baseline at night without "upping" your total baseline.

7. ### KitemanSARegistered Senior Member

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That doesn't make much sense. If I use 200% more energy on a consistent basis than my neighbor, why should I pay at a higher RATE? I should pay more, but seems reasonable to pay at the same, or lower, rate. Economies of scale don't you know?

8. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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If your goal is making as much money on power sales as possible that would make sense.
If your goal was limiting the amount of new generation/transmission you had to build, or your goal is to apportion a scarce resource so that fewer people are denied power, then incentives to use less power make sense.

9. ### KitemanSARegistered Senior Member

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624
Oh, I see, the "do it my way or I will shoot you" school of business. Not a good thing IMHO.

10. ### mukeshRegistered Member

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2
may be with increasing popularity of EVs in USA and Europe, soon we shall see market full of alternative energy cars that include hydrogen as well.

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I doubt you will *ever* see hydrogen-powered vehicles on any real scale. LNG, yes - in fact there are quite a number of those already. But hydrogen poses far too many technical and safety issues, one major one being that it causes metal to become brittle and subject to breaking/shattering. So storage and transportation becomes difficult and very expensive.

12. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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20,606
?? OK then. Who do you plan to shoot?

13. ### KitemanSARegistered Senior Member

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624
Heck, you proposed it.

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16. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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I never supported EVs but did think natural gas was and alterinative to sugar cane based alcohol, but no longer. The future car fuel is tropical alcohol made by sunlight, especially if cellulosic alcohol can compete with sugar cane based alcohol. To see why this is strongly the case see: http://www.sciforums.com/showthread...er-Yes-or-No&p=3054752&viewfull=1#post3054752

I don´t want to double post but here is part of the reason:

The main graph shows the rapid production decline vs time. 4 to 7 times less in 2 years!
But go to link and read several other reasons why NG for cars will not be economical vs. sugar cane or as environmentally sound.

17. ### KitemanSARegistered Senior Member

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Neither is environmentally sound. Nuclear ammonia for transport fuel is sustainable for megannia, especially if thse nuclear power is provided by Liquid Fluoride Thorium Recyclers.

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Please tell why tropical alcohol is economically unsound. Do you reject as not true the statment that it is slightly "carbon negative." Note every year now BrasKem is tying up caron (from air in CO2) in 400,000 TONS of plastics and doing so with lower cost than if petroleum were the source when oil cost ~$90/barrel or more. I.e. other plastic producers will switch too (Assuming BrasKem does not have patents blocking them from doing so for 17 years.) Post 525 from BRIC + News thread, made more than a year ago. Also note that if cellulosic production of alcohol is economically feasible* the total needs of the entire world for fuel and plastic can come from a sustainable solar powered system without adding a gram of CO2 to the atmospher and without cutting down any large forest! In fact the first cellulosic alcohol (a batch of 20,000 liters) was produced in northern USA from just the needed thinning of a pine forest. It was not economically competitive, but was the first (and only to date) to meet US government certification for the special cellulosic alcohol bonus. I have post about this, that if I stumble on I will add here by edit. Also note, in support of claim "Brazil is leading the way to a green future," that for 35 years an increasing fraction of Brazil´s cars can run on pure alcohol (not an additive to gasoline as in the US). It takes time to convert the entire fleet, but ~80% of all new, Brazilain made cars now can use pure alcohol. * Currently still needs "carbon credits" + a subsidy. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 26, 2013 19. ### KitemanSARegistered Senior Member Messages: 624 Billy T: The subject was the environmental soundness of NG vs bio-Ethanol (sugar cane) for CARS. You then respond with a statement comparing the ECONOMICS of bio-ethanol vs OIL for PLASTIC. Having a little trouble staying on track? 20. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member Messages: 23,198 I don´t think so. I only replied to you and asked why you thought tropical alcohol was environmentally unsound (A claim which you have not supported BTW) I then gave hard data and examples showing tropical alcohol is environmental more sound than natural gas is as a car fuel. I.e. showed it REMOVES CO2 from the air and stores it in tanks and very long term in plastics. (NG does this storage in plastics too. But how the NG or alcohol is used is secondary to the question which is more environmental sound.) Certainly I can question YOUR claim and provide counter evidence without being "off track" can´t I? Yes econmics is part of the defense of tropical ethanol - I can´t claim the benefits it has over NG as car fuel if it is more expensive even than gasoline. It is slightly cheaper* now in Brazil and that is without the carbon credits it deserves. I don´t know how in the long term it will compare to economics of NG, as that is dynamic and varries greatly with time and location (US´s excess production compared to pipelines needed) vs. EU or Japan´s much higher prices, power plants switching to NG form coal, etc. - the economics of NG is not yet clear, but IMO US price will rise more than the global price will fall once the LNG tankers are moving it in huge quanties. * Its price is set my the market and has no subsidies. It competes with PetroBras´s gasoline and to be popular with voters, the left-wing government has not let PetroBras, which it controls, raise gasoline prices in more than 5 years, despite the large increase in global prices. I `m not 100% sure but think petrobras now loses money on every gallon it sells - look what has happen to the stock price! 21. ### joepistoleDeacon BluesValued Senior Member Messages: 22,910 A new startup company is promising to have an electric car on the market in 2017 that will get 1K miles per charge and run on distilled water. The company is Phinergy. It uses aluminum batteries to charge a lithium battery. http://www.phinergy.com/ "Aluminium as a "fuel" for vehicles has been studied by Yang and Knickle.[1] They concluded the following: The Al/air battery system can generate enough energy and power for driving ranges and acceleration similar to gasoline powered cars...the cost of aluminium as an anode can be as low as US$ 1.1/kg as long as the reaction product is recycled. The total fuel efficiency during the cycle process in Al/air electric vehicles (EVs) can be 15% (present stage) or 20% (projected), comparable to that of internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEs) (13%). The design battery energy density is 1300 Wh/kg (present) or 2000 Wh/kg (projected). The cost of battery system chosen to evaluate is US$30/kW (present) or US$ 29/kW (projected). Al/air EVs life-cycle analysis was conducted and compared to lead/acid and nickel metal hydride (NiMH) EVs. Only the Al/air EVs can be projected to have a travel range comparable to ICEs. From this analysis, Al/air EVs are the most promising candidates compared to ICEs in terms of travel range, purchase price, fuel cost, and life-cycle cost." - Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium–air_battery#Issues

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/...00-miles-will-come-to-production-cars-in-2017

http://machinedesign.com/article/goodbye-to-lithium-ion-batteries-0322

Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
22. ### ElectricFetusSanity going, going, goneValued Senior Member

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Metal air batteries are the holy grail. They have incredible energy densities: Lithium-air batteries could compete with diesel in energy density! They could also be refueled as well as recharged, by swapping out the oxidized paste for reduced metallic paste at a "gas station" and have the station do the reduction back. There only weakness is very poor efficiency, in fact only the zinc-air could out do hydrogen in efficiency (and hydrogen is not very efficient, not against lead-acids or Lithium Ions that is) but zinc has an energy density only 2-4 times greater then lithium ion batteries unlike aluminium or magnesium which could achieve energy density beyond 1000 Wh/kg.

23. ### KitemanSARegistered Senior Member

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624
A
umm... seems to say "economically" to me.