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Old 04-29-2009, 12:33 AM   #51 (permalink)
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I like EVs but


I agree cost is a real world measure

but if gas is over twice as expensive as electricity to fuel with in 2007
why did it take over $4 a gallon spike in 2008 for folks to say - "well maybe I should look at a hybrid"

I agree with Aerohead - we are just now reaching a tipping point for EVs
and if oil stays low and people forget - production EVs will go away - like all those before

calculate how you want
the EVs are not a stellar performers... yet

(that said - the afterlife of my S10 probably involves batteries)

Start where you are - Use what you have - Do what you can.

Last edited by Concrete; 04-29-2009 at 12:37 AM.. Reason: needed addressed to dcb
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:38 AM   #52 (permalink)
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I would agree about the tipping point, except it was an automotive employee (and a lawyer no less) who said it I just checked out a book from 1981 that is filled with EVs, I think "tipping point" is a matter of perspective.

Just to be annoying on the cost some more:
For example:

lets just say that 1 Gallon = 114,264 Btu/gallon
and the conversion factor is 33.487472793 kwh/gallon

and the consumer cost comparison factor is 2.8

So that if you used 10 gallons, thats 335 kWh, with an adjustment *2.8 means that an equivelent EV would be allotted 937 kWh in the rankings, or enough to fully recharge a tesla about 15 times (240V, 70A, 3.5hrs). The tesla has a range of 220 miles so it would go 3300 miles on that 10 gallon equivalent, which would be like 330mpg dollar for dollar.

Last edited by dcb; 04-29-2009 at 07:45 AM..
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:39 AM   #53 (permalink)
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I personally think EV's should just be in a category all there own and we should start to endorse the use of the unit Wh/mile. Any gas lover can learn to respect separate EV numbers. I for one, would love to see the EV cars best Wh/mile efficiency for a single charge.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:34 AM   #54 (permalink)
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There is variation in the actual amount of energy in a gallon of gas, but this amount of variation is unimportant in the bigger picture.

You can use an equal sign in energy conversion when you go from any form into heat. Yes it all gets back to heat in the end. However, the equal sign is invalid going from heat to any other form, whether it be mechanical or electrical or whatever.
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Old 04-29-2009, 03:48 AM   #55 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NachtRitter View Post

Ha ha... Wow!

Nevertheless, it seems like in the tiny slice of the world represented by this forum, it should be possible to agree on one of those conversion standards so that the EV comparison in mpg numbers are at least consistent with each other. Either the forum moderators can "dictate" the conversion to be used, or they could put it up for a vote. The way the current fuel log works, using the agreed-upon conversion would be voluntary, or the fuel log could be modified (says the guy in the peanut gallery) to accomodate electric vehicles with a field for KWh consumed instead of gallons (with the conversion to mpg being done in the code). Or even forget about the conversion, and just record and display the miles/KWh (though I definitely agree with Trebuchet that the fuel-based measure of mpg or L/100km is something the vast majority of folks can grasp).

It is in that sense that I meant "simple"; no need to figure out (or fight about) the correct WTW factor that needs to be applied.

I don't think it really matters which conversion is used for BTU in order to determine the KWh equivelant... after all, gasoline, diesel, and ethanol each have significantly different BTU equivelants yet we still use the same mpg measure for each one. Consistency is really more important.

Gasoline, diesel, and ethanol are heat producing fuels and the comparison can be made fair quite easily. But the difference is small. The whole thing gets important when talking about EVs because electric energy was produced in a heat engine somewhere out of the car. To ignore that gives the EV an advantage of a factor of 2 or 3. Yes, a factor that makes the EV look 100% or 200% better than it is. Not just 10% or 20%.

It is important to make a stink about this since the whole country seems to be getting duped by this confidence game. It gets worse. There are many who are saying the Hummer or Fisker or the Bright van gets 100 MPG where they are simply ignoring the electric energy part. We can not be that easily tricked, can we?

And it is going to end up costing us all huge bucks and derailing any serious effort to reduce CO2.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:11 AM   #56 (permalink)
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Everything we think about the cost of running an EV will be dumped on its head when cap and trade gets in.

Even right now, some people pay $.05 and others pay $.22 per kWhr of electric energy. Try to make sense out of that as a comparison.

Sorry to say, EVs are not better than anything else. They are better than some things. The biggest con I know is the plug-in Prius, where a guy spends $10,000 for extra batteries thinking he is doing a lot to fight CO2 emissions, but in fact the globe would be better off if he had just left the production Prius alone.

As for everything being tied to coal in the end, this is not an assumption. The important thing to try to understand is what happens as a result of something we do. It does not matter what the local power company tells you. That is their accounting. The first thing that happens when you plug in an EV is that the load on the grid is instantly balance, simply by the effect of network impedances and sources. If the sources start to weaken, fuel is added or new stuff is started up. It all follows a law of economics, maybe the most basic one of all, which says the system will select the lowest priced available source to meet any increment in demand. That is coal. Why would anyone turn up the natural gas when it costs 5 to 10 times as much as turning up the coal?

It gets tricky for California where we have restrictions on coal imposed by law. If all the country had the same restrictions this it might mean something, the that is not the case. True, California burns more natural gas than would otherwise make sense, but by doing so we just increase the national demand for natural gas which makes the price go up, though just a little. The rest of the country immediately rebalances all their systems in response to the increase in natural gas price, and the result is they choose more coal.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:24 AM   #57 (permalink)
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It is all about available capacity. The biggest apples and oranges distinction can be kept clear if the heat engine is remembered as an essential thing between burning fuel and either mechanical or electrical energy. That can be the car engine or the central power plant steam turbine, or whatever kind they are using. All of our heat engines discharge a huge amount of wasted heat; some even a lot worse than others.

Surprisingly, the production Prius turns out to get about 38% efficiency out of its specially loaded engine. Good diesels get 35%. Engines in coal fired power plants get about 33% (and that includes the electric generator losses as well.) Some natural gas combined cycle plants get about 50%, and maybe a little more. But in every case all those efficiencies are a lot less than 100% and the difference is the heat wasted.

They locate these central power plants out away from population centers so they can get rid of the heat without bothering people much. This system was dumbed out 100 years ago when fuel was almost free; not so dumb then, but it sure looks dumb now.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:30 AM   #58 (permalink)
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I am almost done. Whew -- sorry.

So now we are going to beef up the national power grid. That will perpetuate the system of wasteful power plants. We can say its about wind power, but that will never amount to much. They cost too much and really the wind rarely comes up to fullfill the "capacity" of these things. ( We played that game in the 1970s and those windmills mostly sit idle today.)

Maybe if we call it a "smart grid" people will not figure out what a dumb system it all is.
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Old 04-29-2009, 07:53 AM   #59 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Jim Bullis View Post
.....about EVs because electric energy was produced in a heat engine somewhere out of the car.
Neither wind generators nor solar panels are heat engines.

To say that electric vehicles are roughly as efficient as internal combustion engines because all electricity is made in a heat engine would be a false assumption.

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Old 04-29-2009, 08:01 AM   #60 (permalink)
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Jim I'm calling you out. . .

The Gasoline is created somewhere outside the car as well. And the processing of gasoline creates more pollution than the US electrical grid does to produce that amount of electricity for refinement.

So seriously if you want to evaluate chain its going to put electric way out in front of gassers of any sort.

You either include the chain or you don't. You can't include the chain in one and not the other. End of argument. In pollution and energy lost EV chain wins out in a big way because the amount of power to make the gas comes out of the electric grid so you have to incorporate that if you want to talk about gas and then you start the gas chain where electric vehicles start using the electricity to move, you still have to refine it transport it and then burn it at 30% efficiency.

I've said it before here but gas gets dominated if you include chain effect.

To the OP I think we should just add in miles/kwhr because I think most people here can quickly evaluate that with respect to cost of gasoline and looking a little harder we could compare it with efficiency. Its also in the same units (distance/power instead of power/distance)

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