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Old 10-30-2011, 10:53 PM   #71 (permalink)
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Patrick, if the overhead of making the electricity is counted for the EV, then it also has to be counted for making the electricity used in making the gasoline.

So, this overhead "cancels out" since it is on both sides of the equation. This is the main point!

If the gasoline has all that electricity (and also a lot of natural gas and a lot of water -- which each have their own embedded electricity use!) embedded in it, then it is the same proportion of overhead for both the gasoline car and the EV.

With today's crude oil getting lower and lower quality (re: the tar sands in particular and heavy sour crude) then the energy used to produce and to transport the makings of gasoline gets higher and higher. Heck, they are using solar heat to loosen really thick crude (see post #63 in this thread) -- and lots and lots of natural gas and lots and lots of water -- just to get the stuff up out of the ground.

Pumping the tar sand goop through many of miles of pipeline takes *lubrication* (!!!) and a lot of pumping energy. Pumps are not particularly efficient. The pumps used to get water that is then heated to wash the sand out of the tar, that is then dumped out into pools, and all the electricity to get the water alone is probably staggering.

And refining this stuff takes more effort and energy -- and it yields less quality fuel.

The best equation I can think of is the 110MPGe Edison2 VLC (which burns E85, so the alcohol has it's own proportion of energy overhead that is probably higher than that of gasoline) compared to the 245MPGe VLCe. I think it works out that the ICE powered VLC uses about ~2/3 as much electricity as the VLCe -- but remember that is only the *electricity* used to make the E85! When you add in the carbon in the fuel itself, and the natural gas used to make it (both fertilizer and at the refinery) and the diesel used to make it (farm equipment and transportation) and the oil used in the crankcase (can't forget about regular maintenance!) -- then the EV looks better and better.

Folks, these are facts, not opinions.

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Last edited by NeilBlanchard; 10-30-2011 at 11:10 PM..
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:56 PM   #72 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Patrick, if the overhead of making the electricity is counted for the EV, then it also has to be counted for making the electricity used in making the gasoline.

So, this overhead "cancels out" since it is on both sides of the equation. This is the main point!

If the gasoline has all that electricity (and also a lot of natural gas and a lot of water -- which each have their own embedded electricity use!) embedded in it, then it is the same proportion of overhead for both the gasoline car and the EV.
Except that his 6 kwh number is an "estimate" based on lost gasoline btus from the refining process, NOT actual electricity used.
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Old 10-31-2011, 10:46 AM   #73 (permalink)
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A lot of electricity is used all through the process of finding oil, producing oil, transporting oil, refining oil, storing and transporting fuel -- all of these steps use electricity. Some of those steps also use a lot of natural gas, too.

And also with various types of crude, the amount of energy input vs the fuel output means that the exact amount of the electricity used is hard to know exactly. The article doesn't use an estimate of the full process -- exploration and unproductive test wells add to the overhead, and extraction energy is a very low number even for fairly average crude. Heavy sour crude uses a lot more energy to extract, and the tar sands use FAR more energy to extract than the "average" crude. The large amount of water used in some crude extraction has to be pumped up from underground, and this energy is not trivial. And the natural gas that is used to heat water to both extract heavy sticky crude out of the ground, and to wash the sand out of the tar sand -- also has to be fracked -- which uses, guess what? Lots more water and lots more energy to just get the natural gas so it can then be used to extract this low quality "oil".

Building pipelines and super tankers takes a lot of energy. Operating pipelines and supertankers takes a lot of energy. And we cannot forget the energy used to provide all the oil and other materials used to maintain the operation of an ICE; that are not required for an EV. Balancing this on an EV is energy to recycle the battery pack.

As time goes on, this equation continues to move in favor of EV's. And we do not have to use our military to defend our sources of renewable energy, used to make electricity.

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