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t vago 03-11-2013 01:54 PM

Interesting read about electric cars...
 
Bjorn Lomborg: Green Cars Have a Dirty Little Secret

Quote:

If a typical electric car is driven 50,000 miles over its lifetime, the huge initial emissions from its manufacture means the car will actually have put more carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere than a similar-size gasoline-powered car driven the same number of miles. Similarly, if the energy used to recharge the electric car comes mostly from coal-fired power plants, it will be responsible for the emission of almost 15 ounces of carbon-dioxide for every one of the 50,000 miles it is driven—three ounces more than a similar gas-powered car.

Even if the electric car is driven for 90,000 miles and the owner stays away from coal-powered electricity, the car will cause just 24% less carbon-dioxide emission than its gas-powered cousin. This is a far cry from "zero emissions." Over its entire lifetime, the electric car will be responsible for 8.7 tons of carbon dioxide less than the average conventional car.

Those 8.7 tons may sound like a considerable amount, but it's not. The current best estimate of the global warming damage of an extra ton of carbon-dioxide is about $5. This means an optimistic assessment of the avoided carbon-dioxide associated with an electric car will allow the owner to spare the world about $44 in climate damage. On the European emissions market, credit for 8.7 tons of carbon-dioxide costs $48.

RedDevil 03-11-2013 05:17 PM

Thanks for sharing this.
I have read reports like this before, but I fear they are biased.
What, for instance, makes that the electric car is so energy consuming to make? Not the engine, that's way easier to make. Electronics, then? That would be the BMS boards and some extra computing components. Don't think that tips the scale. The batteries, obviously? Hard to say, so many types. One thing is sure: they will be recycled.

Sure, the electricity has to be produced somehow and if that' s done by burning fossil fuel of any kind that means CO2 is being produced. But power plants are usually around or above 50% effective in generating electricity while the gas burning engine cannot get even half that. Some of the electricity gets lost in transport, conversion and battery storage, but I bet that is way less than half.

But, gas needs to be produced too. It needs to be pumped out of the ground, shipped, refined, shipped again, redistributed, chemically tweaked to the right octane level and doped with all sorts of additives.
The science magazine NWT ( Nature, Science, Technology, aimed at university graduates and the like) estimated that it takes 3 times as much energy to produce gas than can be derived from it.

So there you go. Even if producing electricity produces CO2, producing gas is way more polluting even before it gets burned in the engine.
That's no dirty little secret; it is the elephant in the room mr. Lomborg failed to notice.
Why does he miss that? He is just an unbiased observer, right? All electricity is produced from coal, right? No bias, yeah. Maybe he missed that elephant because it blinded his eyes with a nice paycheck, or vouchers for free gas for life?
Nobody pays me for writing this of course.

NeilBlanchard 03-11-2013 06:30 PM

We are now getting less than 40% of our electricity from coal, and it is going down every year.

Mr. Lomborg is hardly unbiased, so unless he backs up claims (like how an electric car supposedly takes more carbon to build), then he's just talkin'.

Gasoline takes electricity to produce; from discovery of the oil, to drilling to extracting, and transport, storage and/or pipeline pumping, refinement, and even pumping it into your tank - and all that electricity and it's carbon footprint have to be counted in the gasoline. Also, there is a lot of natural gas and a lot of water used to extract oil and to refine it, and the entire energy overhead for the natural gas and water uses electricity, and that has to get added, as well.

The most important point is that electricity *can* come from renewable sources, and over time more and more of it is coming from renewable resources. So, oil gets dirtier and dirtier over time (sour crude and tar sands bitumen and deep water drilling and fracking) - electricity will get cleaner and cleaner over time.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 03-11-2013 06:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RedDevil (Post 360784)
gas needs to be produced too. It needs to be pumped out of the ground, shipped, refined, shipped again, redistributed, chemically tweaked to the right octane level and doped with all sorts of additives.
The science magazine NWT ( Nature, Science, Technology, aimed at university graduates and the like) estimated that it takes 3 times as much energy to produce gas than can be derived from it.

So there you go. Even if producing electricity produces CO2, producing gas is way more polluting even before it gets burned in the engine.

An EV is still not practical for me, so that's why I advocate for biofuels such as ethanol (which can be made out of a wide range of agricultural and food-processing residues), biodiesel, among others. Gasoline doesn't just pollute due to the amount of energy it requires for the petroleum refining, it also discompensates the carbon balance in the atmosphere.

t vago 03-11-2013 06:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RedDevil (Post 360784)
But, gas needs to be produced too. It needs to be pumped out of the ground, shipped, refined, shipped again, redistributed, chemically tweaked to the right octane level and doped with all sorts of additives.
The science magazine NWT ( Nature, Science, Technology, aimed at university graduates and the like) estimated that it takes 3 times as much energy to produce gas than can be derived from it.

Yah... about that...

It currently takes the energy equivalent of 1 barrel of oil to extract 20 barrels of oil from the ground, and deliver it to the refinery. If we assume that a barrel of oil is worth 1.7 MW-h, it would take about 85 kW-h to do that extraction.

At this point, we're assuming that a barrel of oil is worth (1.7 MW-h - 85 kW-h), or about 1.615 MW-h. Okay, so far, so good. Now, let's take refining costs. It Let's say that it takes about 140 kW-h to turn that 42-gallon barrel of crude oil into about 45 gallons of useful things. So, taking 140 kW-h away from out 1.615 MW-h value, and we're left with 1.475 MW-h worth of available energy from that barrel of oil.

Now, gasoline accounts for roughly 47% of that barrel by volume. That means that there is about 21 gallons of gasoline produced (remember, we just spent 140 kW-h refining that barrel of oil). Also, 45 gallons of usable stuff are produced from that barrel. If we divide the remaining available energy content of what we have, by the number of gallons, we come up with about 32.8 kW-h of available energy per gallon. It's weird, I know, but it matches rather well with the fact that gasoline is commonly thought of as being about 33 kW-h of energy per gallon.

Now, let's go nuts, and say that gasoline production accounted for all 140 kW-h of the energy spent refining that barrel of oil, and that all other petroleum products from that barrel came scot-free! Okay, then, it would have taken 6.6 kW-h of energy to produce one gallon of gasoline.

Since, in the absolute (and unrealistic) worst-case scenario, it took about 6.6 kW-h to produce something that has a value of 33 kW-h. Even if we then throw away 80% of the energy value of gasoline, in the form of radiator waste heat, exhaust, mechanical losses, blah-blah-blah, that still leaves 6.7 kW-h left per gallon that actually does something.

Sounds like this "NWT" is a fiction magazine...

Quote:

Originally Posted by RedDevil (Post 360784)
So there you go. Even if producing electricity produces CO2, producing gas is way more polluting even before it gets burned in the engine.
That's no dirty little secret; it is the elephant in the room mr. Lomborg failed to notice.
Why does he miss that? He is just an unbiased observer, right? All electricity is produced from coal, right? No bias, yeah. Maybe he missed that elephant because it blinded his eyes with a nice paycheck, or vouchers for free gas for life?
Nobody pays me for writing this of course.

First, wildly unsupportable suppositions hiding as "facts," then "messenger attacking." Yah, you're really unbiased...

Cobb 03-11-2013 07:02 PM

Just charge an EV owner 45 bucks at registration to cover the offset, problem solved. :thumbup:

NeilBlanchard 03-11-2013 10:05 PM

Right, that 6.6kWh would let a 2013 Leaf drive at least 23 miles, which is the same as an average car goes on a gallon of gasoline. So that means it takes just as much electricity to drive a gasoline car as it does an EV.

And *none* of the other carbon in the gasoline, or in the natural gas, etc. used to get the gasoline would be released into the atmosphere.

bennelson 03-11-2013 10:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 360867)
So that means it takes just as much electricity to drive a gasoline car as it does an EV.

YES! It's completely true. I've seen similar math and conclusions done by other people that seems to support this. Weird but true.

t vago 03-11-2013 10:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 360867)
Right, that 6.6kWh would let a 2013 Leaf drive at least 23 miles, which is the same as an average car goes on a gallon of gasoline. So that means it takes just as much electricity to drive a gasoline car as it does an EV.

That 6.6 kW-h was after accounting for all of the incurred losses (waste heat, friction, etc). Can you say the same thing about the fuel that would have been burned to generate the electricity used to charge the EV? How much would that have been? And how do you address the article mentioning that it takes almost twice as much carbon generation to build a Li-ion battery, as opposed to building an entire conventional gasoline car?

Quote:

Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard (Post 360867)
And *none* of the other carbon in the gasoline, or in the natural gas, etc. used to get the gasoline would be released into the atmosphere.

That last question of mine is still relevant.

RedDevil 03-12-2013 05:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by t vago (Post 360822)
Yah... about that...
Sounds like this "NWT" is a fiction magazine...
First, wildly unsupportable suppositions hiding as "facts," then "messenger attacking." Yah, you're really unbiased...

Hey, I never said I was unbiased :) Nobody's paying me, I'm a fool in my own right. I won't go electric even though I hardly ever drive more that 100 miles a day.

But I strongly disagree about the claim that it takes just one barrel to produce twenty. That's not taking the effort in account to build the installations that get the oil out, fly in the personnel, etc.
Here on the North Sea there are several known oil deposits, but some won't get exploited because the oil price is just too low right now. It is too costly even at current oil prices. It wouldn't be if it took just 1 barrel for 20.

Maths are nice, but you can get any numbers depending on what you count in or out. The NWT's sources had done a full involvement (or whatever it translates to) study, including all activities needed to make the process possible and their support structure. You need to build a refinery, operate it, build roads, supply chains, etc.

Sorry that you don't like NWT's conclusions. I assure you they do a scientifical approach. But I recite from memory. Maybe, I give you that, they meant that it takes 3 times as much power to produce gas than can derived from it by the cars engine meaning that the chemical energy in gas is still somewhat higher than the energy wasted in production.
But even if they meant that it still derails the dirty little secret argument. It is just not true.

NeilBlanchard 03-12-2013 08:39 AM

The carbon footprint of oil is a very complicated thing to know precisely. We do know it takes a lot of electricity, and a lot of natural gas, and in at least two methods in use right now, it also takes an immense amount of water. All of these have their own overhead energy, and natural gas itself uses a lot of water and a lot of energy to frack.

To just get some crude out of the ground, they have to make steam and inject that underground to just soften the crude up enough so they can manage to pump it out of the ground. Tar sands bitumen has to be "washed" out of the sand with millions of gallons of heated water - and *then* it has to be dissolved in cheap gasoline (which had to be made!) so that it has a chance of being pumped through a pipeline. Pumping overcooked oatmeal would be easier...

Nissan said that it takes ~7.5kWh of electricity per gallon of gasoline. Other estimates put it about there or slightly higher. And yes, the carbon footprint of electricity (which is about 38% from coal in the US) has to be done from source to plug. But this same overhead also goes into the gasoline - so when you are comparing electricity to gasoline, it cancels out because it is on both sides of the equation, and you are left with the rest of the embedded carbon in the gasoline.

It takes as much (or more) electricity to drive a gasoline car a mile as it does to drive an EV a mile.

You can drive an EV for 2-3˘/mile including electricity and regular maintenance. A typical 23MPG car costs ~15˘/mile for gasoline alone, and another 3-3.5˘/mile for regular maintenance. So, a ICE car costs about as much to maintain (at typical dealer service charges) as it takes to drive an EV - and you save all of the money you would pay for gasoline.

A 40MPG car with $3.50/gallon gas will cost you $8,750 to drive 100K miles. Drive an EV and none of that 2,500 gallons of gasoline gets burned, and you pay $3,480 (290Wh/mile @ 12˘/kWh) to your electric company instead of your car dealer. If you ecodrive the EV, you can likely cut that by ~25-30%.

Cobb 03-12-2013 11:08 AM

There is no getting around the law of physics. :thumbup:

Quote:

Originally Posted by bennelson (Post 360870)
YES! It's completely true. I've seen similar math and conclusions done by other people that seems to support this. Weird but true.


jjackstone 03-12-2013 11:23 AM

Quote:

There is no getting around the law of physics.
Well then I want to pass new laws. I want a fully self powered vehicle that creates more energy than it uses and cleans the air and the streets as it is driven. It should also be able to use carbon dioxide as a fuel if needed and emit only pure oxygen or water as a byproduct.

:):):)

JJ

NeilBlanchard 03-12-2013 02:40 PM

The underlying numbers used in the analysis for the WSJ article may be completely offbase i.e. wrong.

The LlewBlog - Electric Cars - The Truth Will Out.

If the original study based their calculations on a 1,000kg electric motor and a Leaf actually has a 53kg motor - then that pretty much negates the entire article!

esoneson 03-13-2013 03:32 PM

Neil,
I have long since gotten sick over any news report or article that starts out with the words:
"A new study has found that........."
It is always followed by some titillating story that hardly ever mentions the source of the 'study'. And if they do, it is some University somewhere. You know, written by people who need to complete their thesis so they can get the hell out of there. People with absolutely NO real world experience.
I am not surprised about the 'errors' found in their report. Give them a D- and let them study under their slave-driver advisors another semester or two.
Eric

RedDevil 03-13-2013 04:08 PM

Don't bother for the student thesises.
What we see here is involvement from influential players in the power market.
It goes too far to call it a Big Oil Conspiracy by my taste, but sure those companies (like I guess any big company would) do a fair bit of lobbying for their causes, and don't shy from influencing public opinion by supporting publications that may unwittingly or otherwise bend the truth in their favor.
How are we to know what to believe? I fear the only way is to dive in, find contrasting data and opinions and evaluate what's happening there.

NeilBlanchard 03-13-2013 05:58 PM

See the second post by Vike in this thread for a levelheaded assessment of the WSJ article:

Mitsubishi I-Miev Forum • View topic - Are Journalists Trying to Kill the Electric Car?

Another dissection of Mr. Lomborg's erroneous article:

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/mb...p-ed_need.html

Cobb 03-13-2013 09:17 PM

Likely written to by someone with no experience with electric vehicles either...

redpoint5 03-14-2013 04:41 AM

Dr. Lomborg's positions are among the most pragmatic and rational that I have heard between the two extreme environmental religions (humans will permanently destroy the environment / humans cause no environmental harm). How can Lomborg be considered biased? He used to be one of the extreme environmentalists, and he is convinced human activity has increased global CO2 emissions and temperatures. What facts in the article are we disagreeing with?

It usually follows that something that costs more also consumes more resources. An electric car costs more money and consumes more resources initially. This most salient point is expressed at the conclusion of Lomborg's article:

Quote:

Yet the U.S. federal government essentially subsidizes electric-car buyers with up to $7,500. In addition, more than $5.5 billion in federal grants and loans go directly to battery and electric-car manufacturers like California-based Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors TSLA -0.36% . This is a very poor deal for taxpayers.

The electric car might be great in a couple of decades but as a way to tackle global warming now it does virtually nothing. The real challenge is to get green energy that is cheaper than fossil fuels. That requires heavy investment in green research and development. Spending instead on subsidizing electric cars is putting the cart before the horse, and an inconvenient and expensive cart at that.
The thrust of Lomborg's argument is not that electric vehicles are just as bad, or worse than gasoline vehicles, but that we could spend our money more efficiently to improve the welfare of people everywhere. Is anyone bold enough to disagree with this?

What is most appalling is that almost nobody bats an eye at the fact that the US government steals $7,500 from tax payers (that's me and you) every time an electric vehicle is sold. How can a person (Obama) or even a huge group of people justify the forceful redistribution of money from an individual to another individual that happens to want to purchase a particular type of vehicle? I could understand how some might violently oppose this theft.

Cut subsidies for oil companies, agriculture (ethanol), and electric vehicle manufacturers and let the consumer bear the real cost. Electric cars, renewable energy, and "sustainable practices" are an inevitable outcome for a species that looks forward to the future, not the outcome of saviors from Washington DC.

That said, I am seriously considering the purchase of a new Nissan Leaf, assuming the long-term financial math works to its favor. If I could vote against the insane federal subsidy, I would. Since it's already here, I will take advantage of the credit.

Check out the trailer for a favorite documentary of mine called Cool It.

If you really want to attack Lomborg's credibility, you will want to learn what his major arguments are. Argument

Frank Lee 03-14-2013 05:50 AM

I don't bat an eye at electric subsidy because oil and others have had so much subsidy for so long, the playing field is not even close to being level.

RedDevil 03-14-2013 07:01 AM

The price of oil is subject to demand. EV's reduce that demand and thereby running costs for non-EV's.
Oil is mostly imported, so reducing both quantity and price will have a big effect on the import/export balance. Powerstations usually use local sources.
Who do you like to spend your money on?

wdb 03-14-2013 07:05 AM

The Tesla S may be a flash in the pan, or it may be the signpost showing industry the way forward. But there can be no doubt that it is a brilliant accomplishment and a tremendous piece of automotive engineering and art. I for one have no problems with a couple of my tax dollars going into its creation; in fact I feel a good bit of pride in it, and in the fact that Tesla is a US company. We need more like it.

The problem will be that, should we actually ever stop whining and get back to work in this country, we'll have to very quickly remember the ratio between startup successes and failures. I used to work in R&D and I now work in a highly competitive segment of the communications industry. I can tell you from experience that there are a lot more failures than successes.

In my opinion the federal government should subsidize industries that aren't quite there yet, or that hold great promise but do not attract sufficient private investment to get them moving. If the feds didn't back some losers I'd be astonished. If/when electric cars become ubiquitous, and they all come from, say, Brazil, how many people do you think would be moaning about "the US falling behind once more"?

I'd be okay with the Tesla S being so successful that it spawns a host of would-be imitators. I'd be fine with one of them building a more affordable 200 mile all-electric car. I would not mind seeing my tax dollars go to Wawa (a local convenience store chain) to give them incentive to put in charging stations. In 10 years I could be driving gasoline powered cars just in parades on holidays. That would be fine with me.

redpoint5 03-14-2013 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Frank Lee (Post 361295)
I don't bat an eye at electric subsidy because oil and others have had so much subsidy for so long, the playing field is not even close to being level.

You are right about the playing field not even being close to level, but wrong about which field has historically been favored.

Electrification in the US began in the 1880s, a good 2 decades before the Ford Model T. The first automobiles were electric. The US had many electrification projects and subsidies to grow power production and distribution.

How many people have a gasoline pump at their house? Nearly everyone has an electric outlet.

Electric vehicles have had every opportunity to be the dominant transportation choice in the US, but they simply could not compete with the energy density of petroleum. They still cannot compete with the energy density of petroleum.

Who wants to pay twice as much for a vehicle that travels 1/5 as far and cannot be fueled up in 5min? I do, but I'm a minority, and a multiple vehicle owner.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wdb (Post 361300)
I for one have no problems with a couple of my tax dollars going into its creation; in fact I feel a good bit of pride in it, and in the fact that Tesla is a US company. We need more like it.

Wonderful! You can subsidize any company you want with your own money and convince whomever you like to do the same with their own money. That is called venture capitalism. People and groups do this voluntarily all the time, and they often make a lot of money.

If a person forced me to be a venture capitalist with no direct ownership in a company that would be criminal. For a government to force me to be a venture capitalist with no personal benefit from success is tyrannical.

The government should have no business in venture capitalism because politicians don't have the motivation or expertise to make efficient decisions about how best to allocate R&D funds.

The logic just does not follow. If government is the best way to develop a technology, then they should be called upon to develop the next iPad, or make my TV screen thinner and larger.

Incentives to develop alternative fuels and vehicles already exists because consumers demand better, faster, cheaper, longer, greener.

Quote:

In my opinion the federal government should subsidize industries that aren't quite there yet, or that hold great promise but do not attract sufficient private investment to get them moving.
The government should subsidize very few things. Nearly everything the government touches becomes a colossal mess. Why do college tuition rates far exceed inflation? It's because the government subsidizes "education" and now everyone can and must go to college to obtain even menial jobs requiring no particular specialization.

Why are food prices skyrocketing? The government subsidizes farming, and in particular corn crops. If we weren't forced to burn 10% ethanol in our vehicles the crops could be used to feed people.

A case for subsidy might hold up for really big projects, such as the development of fusion power. There may be a place for government in the sciences, but certainly not in industry and the marketplace. It really cannot help in those areas, and it's unfair.

Frank Lee 03-14-2013 03:08 PM

Quote:

Why are food prices skyrocketing? The government subsidizes farming, and in particular corn crops. If we weren't forced to burn 10% ethanol in our vehicles the crops could be used to feed people.
Come ON! Hasn't this been gone over again and again and again...? :rolleyes:

TheEnemy 03-14-2013 03:22 PM

The Surprising Reason That Oil Subsidies Persist: Even Liberals Love Them - Forbes

Supprising at what counts as a "oil company subsidy" when one wants to throw arround numbers.


from Energy subsidies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:

In the United States, the federal government has paid US$74 billion for energy subsidies to support R&D for nuclear power ($50 billion) and fossil fuels ($24 billion) from 1973 to 2003. During this same timeframe, renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency received a total of US$26 billion. It has been suggested that a subsidy shift would help to level the playing field and support growing energy sectors, namely solar power, wind power, and biofuels.[8] However, many of the "subsidies" available to the oil and gas industries are general business opportunity credits, available to all US businesses (particularly, the foreign tax credit mentioned above). The value of industry-specific subsidies in 2006 was estimated by the Texas State Comptroller to be just $3.06 billion - a fraction of the amount claimed by the Environmental Law Institute.[9] The balance of federal subsides, which the comptroller valued at $7.4 billion, came from shared credits and deductions, and oil defense (spending on the SPR, energy infrastructure security, etc.).
I highlited an important part. I wonder what some of those numbers would look like if they were from 1990 to present?

RedDevil 03-14-2013 04:56 PM

Looking back at the posts you can see a clear distinction between the pro and con posters based on what they drive.
No blame here, cannot expect anyone to preach outside their own church. Like companys we fend our own demands. Nobody's unbiased though.

My stand: I am pro electric but I won't drive an electric car.
Even though the range is ten times better than a century ago, it still falls back to a gas driven car. It should be no problem as I can charge it every night at home or wherever I go. That's not my reason.
The ride quality is superior and fuel price is too, certainly not my reason to not go electric. I'd love that. Just like its reliability; basically it is so much simpler than an ICE.

I simply cannot afford an electric car (*)
The Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi i-Miev are basically subcompact cars, but they are at least twice as expensive as comparable cars with an ICE. I cannot make up for the difference even if electricity were entirely free. As I expect the batterys to expire before I'd driven the same distance that I could on the ICE comparison on the fuel I could buy for the price difference.

So with pain in my heart I have to keep burning gas until the batteries used in EV's get twice as cheap, twice as powerful or twice as long-lived.
The break even point is nearly there. It just isn't yet, or it needs to be subsidized even more than it is today. I don't mind those subsidies; it prevents sending money abroad for oil. And it sure is cleaner; I'm convinced of that even more than before by comparing all the data above.
But I have a mortgage to deal with, growing kids etc.
Scientists and lobbyists and sensation-seeking journalists can argue whatever they want. Wallet wise EVs still are wallet unwise. You need a green heart and a lot of green paper to run them.

I ecomod my car and driving habits and save money instead of spending it.
Driving less and doing so more economically benefits the environment beyond any doubt.

(*) Oh I'd love to aquire a disused forklift or such and experiment away with it in all my free time. If I had that.

While I wrote this the telly aired another Nissan Leaf commercial. Maybe that's the clue. It is cheap to make, but the ads add up. If only they could skip those and make it cheap, and less than plain bone ugly...?

redpoint5 03-14-2013 07:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RedDevil (Post 361388)
The break even point is nearly there. It just isn't yet, or it needs to be subsidized even more than it is today. I don't mind those subsidies

It is very easy to be generous with others money, isn't it? Everyone that "doesn't mind" forking over their own money to subsidize something is free to do so. Is there any reasonable objection to my argument?

RedDevil 03-14-2013 07:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpoint5 (Post 361411)
It is very easy to be generous with others money, isn't it? Everyone that "doesn't mind" forking over their own money to subsidize something is free to do so. Is there any reasonable objection to my argument?

Please don't half-quote, killing the point I make. To elaborate the obvious: Money spent in subsidies on locally produced energy gets in the local economy and is not wasted but put to good use.
You can only make it in the eco market by investing your own money. Subsidies are just additional.

And hey, I pay tax. Lots of it. 21% VAT on anything I buy. 40% additional tax (or abouts) on gas; see my post footer. Over 30% income tax, road tax, insurance tax, home ownership tax, water management tax, something I forgot about tax, you name it. It is my money too. And my planet.
Would you forbid me to say I do not mind subsidies are being given for environmental friendly technology? On this forum? :D

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 03-14-2013 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redpoint5 (Post 361353)
Why are food prices skyrocketing? The government subsidizes farming, and in particular corn crops. If we weren't forced to burn 10% ethanol in our vehicles the crops could be used to feed people.

I'm not unfavorable to biofuels, but instead of corn-based ethanol, why not to use agricultural residues instead?

NeilBlanchard 03-14-2013 10:52 PM

Mr. Lomborg's article is not standing up to scrutiny:

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: Electric Cars Dirtier than Gas Cars | PluginCars.com

Electric cars are cleaner than any other energy source, and they can get cleaner and cleaner over time.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 03-15-2013 12:16 AM

Pure-electric cars are still too expensive for the average Joe, and also their range is a matter of concernment. It's perfectly understandable, since many folks can't afford to buy a pure-electric for city commuting and get a longer-range vehicle for occasional road trips.

Frank Lee 03-15-2013 01:49 AM

Most- by that I mean most every- households are multi-vehicle.

NachtRitter 03-15-2013 02:01 AM

439 passenger cars per 1,000 people in the US, according to this article : It's Official: Western Europeans Have More Cars Per Person Than Americans - Max Fisher - The Atlantic

Frank Lee 03-15-2013 02:16 AM

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehicles...0_fotw618.html

2009: 1.92 vehicles/household; 1.52 vehicles/worker

http://www.autospies.com/news/Study-...usehold-26437/

This one says 2.28 vehicles/household...

NachtRitter 03-15-2013 02:02 PM

Each report slices different data differently;
  • Experian report doesn't include households with no cars (and doesn't include other personal vehicles like motorcycles)
  • NHTS report includes all vehicles, even golf carts and commercial vehicles, but only if the contacted household (which was reachable by land-line; no cell phone survey results were included) agreed to participate in the survey
  • Carnegie report looks at raw numbers of registered passenger cars & light trucks (no commercial vehicles and no other personal vehicles) per capita (rather than per household), thereby including those that cannot drive yet. Using US Census #s of an average of 2.6 people per household, it comes to 1.27 passenger cars per household

How is it relevant? I would say that the (cell phone reachable only) young people will buy cars later (than we did when we were young) and when they do, it will need to meet all their (long or short distance traveling) needs.

redpoint5 03-15-2013 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RedDevil (Post 361416)
Please don't half-quote, killing the point I make. To elaborate the obvious: Money spent in subsidies on locally produced energy gets in the local economy and is not wasted but put to good use.

I didn't intend to change the meaning of your quote when I disagreed with subsidies. Even acknowledging that subsidy money tends to stay in the local economy, I cannot rationalize the forced wealth redistribution from individuals to very specific areas of industry. Also, since we are increasingly living in a global economy, I don't see the point in isolationist practices. If I don't buy cheap oil from Arabs, someone else will and the Arabs will still gain wealth. I might as well be the one to purchase it while it's cheap and put it to work to grow my economy.

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You can only make it in the eco market by investing your own money. Subsidies are just additional.
This supports my argument that subsidies are not generally required to develop a technology and make it viable. Instead, it generally just makes specific businessmen and politicians wealthy at the expense of you and me.

Do you think the Nissan Leaf would not have been developed without the US $7500 subsidy? It likely would still have been developed, and even if it wasn't that just means it doesn't make economic sense at the moment.

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Would you forbid me to say I do not mind subsidies are being given for environmental friendly technology? On this forum? :D
Opinions should never be forbidden. The whole purpose of this forum is to inform and to discuss. Ideas don't get confirmed or rejected without a rational discussion about their pros and cons. It takes a diversity of minds to address problems from multiple angles and hash out ideal solutions.

A major point of disagreement is often a difference in philosophy, which is why politics and philosophy are a natural topic of discussion here. For example, the answer to the question of who owns the fruits of ones labor will shape the answer to the question of what ought to be subsidized and how much.

RedDevil 03-15-2013 06:52 PM

Subsidies for eco-friendly technology - good or bad?
 
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Originally Posted by redpoint5 (Post 361567)
... This supports my argument that subsidies are not generally required to develop a technology and make it viable. Instead, it generally just makes specific businessmen and politicians wealthy at the expense of you and me. ...

I bet you cannot name one that actually got rich from subsidies. I can't for sure. Elon Musk of Tesla, Nissan with their Leaf, even Honda with their hybrids(*) all lose money on every car sold despite the subsidies. Without subsidies those cars would be even more expensive, sell less, suffer from being produced in even lower quantities; not get build or sold at all.

It takes visionaries like Edison to break the cost/profit curfew on new technology. When Edison promoted electricity for home lighting he insisted that the light bulbs he sold should never cost more than 40 cents, even though it cost him $1.20 to make them. Because he knew that at $1.20 per lamp most households would just stick to their trusty oil lamps. He expected, rightly so, that in time with large numbers the cost per lamp would eventually drop below 40 cents. The rest is history; we don't use oil lamps any more. We still use oil cars, though.

Not many entrepreneurs have the balls to take risks like Edison did nowadays I fear, unless they are really rich and determined to do something good with that.
So what should a government do, concerned about pollution and such? Pass a law to forbid or curtail ICE powered cars? Or subsidize cars that don't use ICE's? Or just do nothing, ignoring the problem?
I don't like them sitting around doing nothing. I don't like them putting fences to prohibit people from using their cars in the way that fits them best.
What rests is to stimulate the good cause by putting money in, a fraction of all the taxes we pay.

I think the government cannot function if it cannot exert its power bestowed on it by us though democratic means. Subsidies are a benign way of nudging those involved towards the wanted goal.

(*) Recently Honda came under fire because the batteries in the Honda Civic Hybrid from model year 2009 onwards frequently failed, often just outside the warranty limits. So they extended the warranty limits for both duration and mileage, even though that will just increase their loss.

NeilBlanchard 03-18-2013 02:08 PM

EDTA: Wall Street Journal attacked plug-in vehicles with "fuzzy math"

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The EDTA calls Lomborg's conclusions "tortured."

TheEnemy 03-18-2013 03:09 PM

Passenger vehicles in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Overall, there were an estimated 254.4 million registered passenger vehicles in the United States according to a 2007 DOT study
ACEA - European Automobile Manufacturers' Association

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The European vehicle fleet reached over 256 million units in 2008, an increase of 1.2% compared to the previous year. With 224 million vehicles, passenger cars accounted for the highest share of the vehicle fleet (87%).
It looks like the EU study was for all vehicles, while the US study was just passenger vehicles. So here in the US we still have by far more vehicles per capita than the EU.

wdb 03-18-2013 07:08 PM

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Originally Posted by Frank Lee (Post 361482)
This one says 2.28 vehicles/household...

They must have surveyed my driveway when the Jeep was rusting away.

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Originally Posted by redpoint5 (Post 361567)
[...]I cannot rationalize the forced wealth redistribution from individuals to very specific areas of industry.[...]

I'm trying to ignore you but this one pushes a button. Everybody that pays tax wants to be empowered to say exactly where every penny goes. Good luck with starting the new country you're going to need for that one.
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This supports my argument that subsidies are not generally required to develop a technology and make it viable. Instead, it generally just makes specific businessmen and politicians wealthy at the expense of you and me.
The simple fact that there is a thing called duh intuhnet, with a thing on it called duh intuhweb, the first created with $US and the second with $Swiss, puts the lie to your statement.
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For example, the answer to the question of who owns the fruits of ones labor will shape the answer to the question of what ought to be subsidized and how much.
Wrong question.


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