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Old 08-25-2011, 04:19 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: ottawa
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I see you've swalloed the FUD that some "analysts" are spreading about EVs.

1. You don't need rare earths to make an electric car. See my previous post.

2. Internal combustion engines have way more parts - often 1000 moving parts, and many are made of special alloys, etc. The material and energy inputs required to build the mechanically much simpler EVs will be lower, not higher.

3. The lithium in the batteries can and will be fully recycled, like lead in conventional car batteries is now. It's non-toxic (unlike lead or NiMH). Geologically there is a huge supply available, which has barely been tapped now simply because there wasn't the demand.

4. Yes the batteries cost a lot, but the costs are dropping 8% a year. By the time I need to replace my car's battery in 7-10 years it won't be that big a deal.

5. Most EV charging is done overnight, when there is gobs of spare capacity. In fact, base capacity is a problem; you can't throttle nuclear reactors and the wind power comes when it comes. Ontario has to pay other utilities to take excess power on some days. Charging EVs at night will actually help. The time-of-day rates will encourage night time charging. My Tesla is programmed to automatically start charging at 2am every night.

6. Distribution efficiency? Are you kidding? Compared to gasoline that has to be trucked to the distribution points? Total energy efficiency for the Tesla including charging is about 80%. Compare that with ~20% for the typical gas car.

7. Temperature isn't a big deal if the car is designed well. The Tesla battery is liquid cooled and heated. My Tesla works just fine at -26C, even with the battery cold soaked (yes I have done it). In fact it starts up rather more easily than a gas car! For the first 15 minutes or so the battery is less efficient, but once it gets above freezing performance is completely normal. The Tesla "loses" about 10 km range during the warm-up period, which is negligible compared to the 384 km range of the car. Also the cabin heater takes a tiny percentage of the energy required to move the car, its effect on range is insignificant. The car also works very well in hot temperatures; if the battery pack gets too hot it uses the air conditioner to cool it. So the car handles temperature extremes very well, thank you very much!

I don't blame you for not understanding the issues; there are people out there spreading all kinds of misinformation, and people aren't familiar enough with EVs to understand what is truth and what is crap.

Originally Posted by hoffer41 View Post
What about the large energy costs involved in producing the componets for EV? How about the fact that rare earths take enormous amounts of energy to mine and refine? Did you know that rare earth metals are mined pretty much exclusively in China? China has no emissions standards. The various parts of EV are produced all over the world and need to be shipped to one location where they are assembled, giving them a much higher energy cost to produce than a conventional vehicle.

No one knows what to do with the used batteries in an EV. They are toxic and cannot be recycled. The replacements cost so much that by the time you wear the battery out you've only broke even with the gasoline costs of a comparable vehicle.

how about the supply of rare earths. is that supply even large enough to convert a noticable percentage of the vehicles on the road to EV? No one even knows. If there is enough, what will adding car production to the list of uses for rare earths do to the price? keeping in mind most of the things that use rare earths today are small electronic devices using an ounce or so versus a car using several hundred pounds.

our energy grids today are old and running pretty much at capacity, especially in very hot and cold weather, when demand increases. What would everyone plugging in their car at 6 when they come home do to the grid? No one knows for sure about that either.

what about energy loss through transmission? some of the energy from the coal plant is lost stepping up for transmission through the power lines, some is lost travelling through the power lines, some is lost stepping down at the station, some is lost at the power pole transformer, some is lost converting to the charging voltage, and some is lost in the charging process itself. How much?

issues with vehicle range and response to extreme temperature go without saying.

I don't want to start a fight nevyn, and I hope you take this constructively, but these ARE good concerns about EV. And by ignoring these issues you introduce some irony into your calling people who are not on the EV bandwagon "sheep"
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