"Green" math must be a Common Core product… EV Edition.

Guest post by David Middleton

It seems like a week is incomplete without at least one Real Clear Energy article proclaiming huge gains in EV sales and the impending doom of internal combustion engines and the oil industry . This week was no exception.

Surge In EV Sales Bucks Cheap Gasoline, Broader Auto Industry Trends

by Leslie Hayward | September 14, 2016

In the 2011 State of the Union, President Obama set an ambitious goal to put 1 million electric vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015—a milestone seen as unlikely but technically achievable at the time. As of now, we’re only half-way there. But this year’s sales figures give reason for fresh optimism about the future of EVs in the United States. In 2016, EV sales are surging, even as gasoline prices languish and overall auto sales are down year-over-year. Coinciding with the sales surge, major news outlets that have been skeptical of EVs have been shifting their tone in recent weeks, potentially signaling a greater cultural acceptance of the technology.




[T]he Financial Times has demonstrated less overt vitriol toward EVs over the years, but recently posited that the technology could account for 25 percent of passenger cars by 2040, likely depressing oil prices and creating concern among OPEC members and other large petroleum exporters. “I think they are scared to death,” analyst Vikas Dwivedi told the FT. “Electric vehicles are a massive enemy and I think they are worried to the point that this has been one of the motivations, among others, for the Aramco IPO.” Seeing EVs as a catalyst, much like shale oil production, for the crippling of OPEC and Saudi Arabia is a narrative that has been largely absent from major outlets until recently.

Articles like these appear to be tapping into a greater awareness of and interest in electric vehicles nationwide. The Union of Concerned Scientists recently published research finding that there’s significant unmet demand for EVs. In California, 67 percent of drivers are interested in electric vehicles, with 65 percent wanting more automakers to offer more electric options. And in the Northeast, 55 percent of drivers expressed interest in EVs while 60 percent want automakers to offer more electric options. So, even as 2016 EV sales surge, it’s possible that only a fraction of the true consumer demand is actually being met by the models and vehicles currently available.

The Fuse


Putting EV Sales Into Context

From January through August, EV sales in the U.S. totaled 99,634 vehicles.  Over the same time period, sales of Ford F-Series pickup trucks totaled 527,847 vehicles.  Each of the 20 top-selling models outsold the sum-total of EV models.  Year-to-date EV sales are comparable to about 45 days of Ford F-Series sales.



EV’s have accounted for 0.6% of auto sales this year:

Zero-point-six percent… Very close to zero-point-zero.

These “futurists” really seem to believe that EV’s “could account for 25 percent of passenger cars by 2040, likely depressing oil prices” because EV sales have  increased from zero-point-zero to slightly above zero-point-zero since 2011.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis keeps track of U.S. vehicle sales.  If I plot the EV sales from the article along with total vehicle sales and extrapolate the data out to 2040, I don’t get anything close to 25%.

EV’s are on trend to account for 2% of U.S. vehicle sales in 2040.

Even if I limited it to passenger cars, which account for about 30% of U.S. auto sales I only get to 5%.  The only way this trend could lead to EV’s accounting “for 25 percent of passenger cars by 2040,” would be to assume that EV’s lasted longer than conventional passenger cars and the cumulative sales would eventually bring them up to 25% of passenger cars… AKA imaginary math.

So, “green” math yields a five-fold exaggeration in future EV auto sales… Very consistent with “green” estimates of global warming and climate sensitivity: About five times larger than reality.

Data Sources

Wall Street Journal

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

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Bloke down the pub
September 15, 2016 11:53 am

UK road tax is changing next April so that only fully electric vehicles are zero rated. Time will tell if it makes any impact on car sales, somehow I doubt it.

george e. smith
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
September 15, 2016 12:51 pm

What the hell are EVs ??
I don’t seem to find it anywhere in the article. What are they talking about ??
Izzit extra-vehicular activities or something ??

Martin Moffit
Reply to  george e. smith
September 15, 2016 7:18 pm

What David Middleton said, including terrible battery life. Don’t use the heater!

Paul Westhaver
Reply to  george e. smith
September 15, 2016 8:00 pm


Steven Hales
Reply to  george e. smith
September 16, 2016 1:25 am

Electric Virtue Signaling

Boulder Skeptic
Reply to  Bloke down the pub
September 16, 2016 2:34 pm

Ego Validators

Reply to  Bloke down the pub
September 16, 2016 2:38 pm

According to news reports, Ford is moving all if its small car production to Mexico.
Michigan faces an electricity shortfall by the middle of 2017 or by the beginning of 2018.
Checkout the MISO website for more information on the shortfall.
Doesn’t bode well for the Michigan manufacturing sector.

Reply to  Bloke down the pub
September 16, 2016 6:32 pm

Couldn’t pull up anything net wise that would tell what percentage of batteries are replaced when dead or even how many owners bother to recharge them frequently. Would bet though as “laid back” as most are that the average EV will mostly be driven around on dead batteries, especially after finding out the cost of replacement. These miracles of CO2 reduction will then be just an overweight low powered death box. I also wonder if California has taken this into account with all their CARB rules.

Reply to  BFL
September 18, 2016 12:06 am

The Tesla lives on the charger (aka Life Support) when not in use. I hope they have fixed it, but at minimum, early models “brick” if fully discharged… then you tow to the dealer for a $ tens of thousands battery swap…
You can’t go anywhere on a drained battery.
From what I’ve seen of hybrids (gas motor and battery boost) when the aux battery dies, folks try to sell them, but the $ kilobuck scale battery cost slows sales and drops prices. The good thing is that Honda and Toyota batteries are lasting many years… just not as long as the rest of the car…
Do a web search on “Tesla brick” for a good time…

Tom Halla
September 15, 2016 11:57 am

My new kitten has gained at least 50% in weight in the two weeks I’ve had her. Extrapolate that growth rate out a ways, and the wee beastie will be huge. So if there is a similar growth rate in EVs. . . 🙂

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 15, 2016 12:32 pm

“If your cat were bigger, it would eat you.” – Oliver

Reply to  Gamecock
September 15, 2016 3:08 pm

Tigers do that????????????

DC Cowboy
Reply to  Gamecock
September 16, 2016 3:52 am

I’m told by a Veterinarian that house cats raised from kittens consider us to be big, ugly, kinda slow, socially awkward cats.

September 15, 2016 12:00 pm

The expressions in lines 3 & 4 of the cartoon’s equations are all zeroes. Pretty much junk after that. Much like the GHE perpetual motion loop where 333 W/m^2 upwelling/downwelling/”back” radiation appears out of nowhere. (Trenberth et al 2011jcli24)

Phillip Bratby
Reply to  Nicholas Schroeder
September 15, 2016 12:52 pm

I have asked many times, but nobody has managed to explain to me where the 333 W/m^2 that is absorbed by the earth’s surface has been produced. It is twice that (161 W/m^2) absorbed by the surface from the sun.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
September 15, 2016 3:09 pm

Here’s what they do. Surface temperature of 15 C or 288 K inserted in the S-B BB equation gives about 396 W/m^2. 396 – 63 surface LWIR = 333 recirculating loop. Reference Trenberth et al 2011jcli24.
A number of issues with this.
I don’t believe S-B BB can be applied in this manner:
1) because of the presence and density of molecules at the surface contributing conduction, convection, latent heat S-B ideal BB has to be adjusted to reflect it’s share and/or emissivity.
2) all of the surface power flux is accounted for: 17 + 80 + 63 = 160. So calculating this heat a second time by using 15C is kind of double accounting.
3) since the 160 is already accounted for the 333 appears from nowhere.
4) The GHG in the troposphere are at lower temperatures -20 C, – 40 C, etc. Plus according to some the emissivity of CO2 is low, perhaps .1, because it is a thin gas not a solid surface and produces maybe 10 or 15 W/m^2 S-B radiation in all directions and cannot possibly support a downwelling flow from cold to hot.
GHE is as bogus as cold fusion, phlogiston and luminiferous ether.

Reply to  Nicholas Schroeder
September 15, 2016 2:21 pm

Hey, we all know that in green maths zero = 10^6 !

Lars Silén: Reflex och spegling
Reply to  Greg
September 17, 2016 4:58 am

But this is easy to understand. Zero is nothing and adding a few more zeroes doesn’t change anything very much. The conclusion is then that 10^6 is approximately zero for small values of 1. /sark probably not needed 🙂 .

Philip Peake
September 15, 2016 12:08 pm

There seems to be an implicit assumption that all the electric cars sold over the last few years will still be on the road in 2040. Somehow, I have my doubts about that.

Reply to  Philip Peake
September 15, 2016 12:36 pm

Most of them won’t last past their first battery replacement.

Michael C
September 15, 2016 12:09 pm

With the right technology EV sales could be a bit like a snowball rolling down a hill, at first there’s no infrastructure to support them so it’s growth is largely stagnant, but as more people get them and the infrastructure is built for them you’ll eventually get critical mass and the sales will skyrocket.
Granted that whole theory only works if they can figure out a way to build enough batteries to keep up with the demand and a cheap power source to charge them.
As for this article, saying that we’ll have both of those problems fixed by 2040 is probably nothing more than an uneducated guess or a blatant lie.

Reply to  Michael C
September 15, 2016 12:37 pm

Before you start to worry about being able to build enough batteries, how about worrying about actually inventing that battery first.

Reply to  MarkW
September 15, 2016 2:29 pm

It’s coming …. Maybe not this, but perhaps an even bigger game changer….

Mark T
Reply to  MarkW
September 15, 2016 7:15 pm

History is chock full of similar game changing clains yet battery technology has barely budged since I first started paying attention (read: subscribing to the IEEE Spectrum) over 25 years ago. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Reply to  MarkW
September 15, 2016 9:00 pm

And let’s not talk about what they are made out of ( and the mining of those materials), how much energy it takes to build them and lo and behold the recycling ( and the energy to do that.).

Reply to  MarkW
September 16, 2016 1:56 pm

Oh, I’m sure they’ll be able to invent a working battery. To compete with conventional combustion engines, you’ll need to have a range of something like 250+ miles, plus a recharge/battery-swap time of well less than 10 minutes.
The real problem with EV’s is the power they are required to store… these are very, very big batteries, and big batteries have big safety issues. Ask any old submariner with diesel-electric experience about some of that.
If you damage the fuel tank of a conventional combustion vehicle, you’ll probably get a leak, and just maybe you’ll get a fire. If it does catch fire, a bit of AFFF will quite nicely put the fire out.
With the EV, if you are very, very lucky, a damaged battery will just stop working. More likely, however is that it develops an internal short, quickly becoming a very serious electrical fire. If it’s burning, you might as well stand back and watch the fireworks, because there’s nothing (save perhaps a cryo-dump into liquid nitrogen) that will put that fire out until the battery charge is dissipated.

Bubba Cow
Reply to  Michael C
September 15, 2016 12:38 pm

Over here in greenie Vermont they are installing EV charging stations where the electricity is generated from a wood fired (converted from coal to burn trash and pallets) generating station. Don’t know if there are any EVs and my Tacoma is running great.

Reply to  Bubba Cow
September 15, 2016 2:07 pm

I’d have no problem buying an EV if I could make an economic case for one. Because of our cheap electricity and expensive gasoline here in Quebec, the cost of an e-gallon is 1/5 the cost of a regular gallon of gas, but I still can’t make the economics work. The capital cost of the e-car is too high, notwithstanding the subsidies. And by the way, if EV sales ever took off, you can be sure the owners would have to start paying their fair share of road taxes which they get a free pass on at present.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Bubba Cow
September 15, 2016 2:31 pm

i.e black boxes mandatory in all cars. The better to track you with , my dear.

Reply to  Bubba Cow
September 15, 2016 3:53 pm

My average gas cost is about $2.40/gal and at 120 MJ per gallon, that works out to about 2.0 cents per MJ. My incremental electric rates are about 0.30 per KW hour which works out to about 8.3 cents per MJ. Electric motors are more efficient, but not that much more. Electric rates keep going up due to silly green programs and more electric cars and fewer gas cars would push the price the prices of electricity up higher and gas even lower. It’s basic supply and demand. Gasoline is the most economical and practical choice today and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

Reply to  Bubba Cow
September 15, 2016 5:13 pm

Coal is a concentrated form of wood and other biomass, after enough decomposition, heat, pressure, and time. So going from coal-fired to wood-fired does not actually use a different fuel. It’s using a much less efficient form of the same fuel. It’s a straight-up net energy loss. The lunacy.

Reply to  Bubba Cow
September 16, 2016 3:10 am

“they are installing EV charging stations” I have seen some of those in Canberra too. I have never, ever, seen a car charging at one.

Reply to  Michael C
September 15, 2016 2:51 pm

The State of California is doing its best to help. The Public Utilities Commission is about to approve a plan for our electric company to install 9,000+ electric-car charging stations throughout Southern California. Rather than recapture the cost of building and installing them the PUC is allowing the electric company to charge all rate-payers for this cost of capital.

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
September 15, 2016 10:59 pm

Wind, solar, biomass, electric cars, distributed energy generation, and all other liberal wet dreams can’t function without massive and prolonged subsidies.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
September 16, 2016 6:05 am

And then this labor and investment is counted as a net positive for our economy. Like paying one man to dig a hole that no one wants, and another man to fill it the hole. God save us from economic dolts who think they’re entitled to rule the world (ie. Progressives).

Reply to  Michael C
September 15, 2016 5:21 pm

When the first automobil was built there was no gas station at all and gas had to be bought in a drugstore. BTW electric energy has been produced using gas or coal or nuklear energy. Only if its produced by wind or solar it is green.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  marty
September 15, 2016 6:29 pm

“marty September 15, 2016 at 5:21 pm
Only if its produced by wind or solar it is green.”
Really? You poor delusional fool.

Mark T
Reply to  marty
September 15, 2016 7:22 pm

Cars, and the ability to travel more than a few miles per day, weren’t the same necessity they are now. They were a curiosity at best. The analogy is very weak. And if you really believe that solar and wind power are green, you clearly do not understand the technology required to harness them.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  marty
September 15, 2016 8:29 pm

I’m not sure what ‘marty’ meant but the notion of “only green by solar & wind” may mean that is how some agency or regulation defines it. For example, ‘hydro’ is not considered ‘green’ by definition because, for example in the State of Washington, there would be so much green-power there would never be an incentive to produce any other.
Thus, the definition established what the agency will accept. Turn this idea up-side-down, put an electric engine in a vehicle, and lo!, driving the thing becomes a ‘green’ job.
Note: I am only reporting – don’t blame me.

Reply to  marty
September 16, 2016 1:50 am

To clarify: where does the energy come from for electric cars? If coming from dirty power plants then the finest zero emission car produces dirty exhaust!

Reply to  marty
September 16, 2016 2:16 am

And to further clarify. When you consider the whole production chain for wind and solar, they aren’t green. They are dirty power plants just like coal and oil.

Bubba Cow
Reply to  marty
September 16, 2016 5:30 am
September 15, 2016 12:09 pm

In my world this is what is commonly referred to as a Krock. There is not a single oil investor or oil field employee that is the least bit worried about EVs. A few technical breakthroughs are in order first.

Reply to  Dipchip
September 16, 2016 2:22 am

Also oil is not exclusively a fuel for road vehicles.
Don’t really think electric planes or ships are anywhere close to reality. And oil is also an important feedstock for numerous chemical processes.
If every gas powered road vehicle was replaced with an electric one tomorrow (ignoring the electric grid crashing), oil production would still continue at a lower but still significant rate.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
September 15, 2016 12:11 pm

Did you send this to Leslie Hayward for comment?
It would be interesting to know what adding hybrids to the chart would show. I followed your link to the Fed of St. Louis, but I couldn’t find how to break down sales by vehicle type or model.

September 15, 2016 12:11 pm

About the only reason EV’s and Hybrids are popular is because you get to use the car pool lanes. I find this perk disingenuous since if they really cared about the environmental impact, they would allow SUV’s and small trucks in the car pool lane since the only redeeming value of EV’s and hyvrids is reasonable efficiency in stop and go traffic.

September 15, 2016 12:12 pm

I won’t quibble with your math, but change is a coming.
I hate to say this, but the EV is going to win, and win big. Not because of any dramatic advances in battery technology, but because of the emergence of a complimentary technology that be a game changer: The self driving car.
Once self driving cars hit mainstream, everything changes for the EV. Many of the huge problems with the EV are associated with recharging. If you run low on juice while on the wrong end of your commute (say to downtown) you are screwed. As many have pointed out in other threads, rewiring an entire downtown to accommodate the recharging of cars is impractical, perhaps impossible. It is equally a challenge to deliver that kind of power to residential neighbourhoods when every home has one or more EV’s.
But the self driving car changes all that. The curb lane downtown will no longer be reserved for parking. It will be pick up and drop off only. Your car, having deposited you at the front door where your meeting is, will zoom off to the nearest specially designed parking garage where it will plug itself in. When your meeting is done, your car will sip back out and be there to meet you at the front door. Rewiring an entire downtown is impractical. Rewiring all the parking garages is eminently practical.
The same will go for residential neighbourhoods. No need to wire every single house, just build a special parking garage for every neighbourhood. When you are done with the car for the day, it will zoom off to park itself and recharge. When it is time to take the kids to school in the morning, it will be out front waiting. In fact, once this starts to unfold, houses may well be built without driveways and garages.
Specialized garages for recharging not only solve a downtown parking problem, they can also be built to operate at much higher voltages than would be safe in residential environments, resulting in faster recharge times.
Will it happen over night? No. Will there be a lot of resistance to building out our infrastructure in this manner? Yes. Will it happen anyway? You can’t fight city hall, and there’s a lot of advantages to city hall for infrastructure to be managed this way.
To be sure, gasoline powered self driving cars could also take advantage of some of these concepts. The difference for EV’s is that they go from being a hassle to own to being quite convenient. The only place where they will still struggle from a daily use perspective is long distance trips. But for daily commuter use, the self driving car coupled with dedicated parking garages for intermittent charging will be a game changer for EV versus gasoline.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 15, 2016 1:07 pm

It is those subtle clues that veteran drivers react to, they can’t be taught, they have to be experienced.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 15, 2016 6:01 pm

I drive a motorcycle. I would like to have a dollar for every person that has looked at me in the eye at a four way stop, seen me, knows I am there and when I have the right-of-way pulled out and forced me to stop, rather rapidly, or get hit by the person that did not have the right-of-way. I have no idea how self driving cars are going to compensate for “mental blindness” that is, the person sees your vehicle but it does not register.

Mike McMillan
Reply to  David Middleton
September 15, 2016 8:19 pm

Self-driving cars will be forgotten novelty once they start selling flying cars to the general public. I understand several models are on the drawing boards even as we speak.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 16, 2016 5:19 am

That’s easy enough to figure out though….especially on highways. Make a lane just for self driving cars at very very fast speeds. It would be a start, but people that commute on highways or are stuck in traffic for most of their commute are going to see they could sleep in longer if they bought a self driving car.
My guess is that is where it will start.
I don’t know what the engine technology will be at that time, most likely a hybrid until something better comes along and is invented. If it is electric with some sort of powercell rather than a standard battery—that’s when gas for cars will be in serious trouble. EV needs something that does not require charging in order for it to be accepted by the American public. The freedom of the car is ingrained. Freedom is not having to charge every 10 miles or XX hours of use with XXX hours of downtime….that is inconvenience. But invent a powercell that either charges faster than it take to fill a tank of gas or has an enormous capacity for power….and yea..that’s when the internal combustion engine will go the way of the dodo. Provided that powercell can be installed in all things that require gas…trucks, boats, trains…etc. with limited expense and immense benefits.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  David Middleton
September 16, 2016 6:52 am

I believe that eventually, self-driving algorithms will become reliable enough to be safe. But the wholesale adoption of driverless cars will be slowed by lawsuits brought by the families of people who die in collisions caused by faulty code. We won’t get to the future before we clear this particular hurdle.
I recall Heinlein’s “The Roads Must Roll.” In this future “utopia” where you just step onto the Road (always capitalized) and it carries you where you want to go as you sit in a comfy chair and sip a latte. Ah, but just like all utopia’s there’s trouble brewing. Someone wants a bigger slice of the pie, and union terrorists somehow stop the one of the fastest moving conveyor bands, injuring or killing people. The story is mostly about the military effort to thwart the leader of the union revolution.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 12:32 pm

Ev’s are fine for a second car, but if you actually want to drive anywhere other than the corner store or carry any kind of cargo you need a real car too. Either battery technology must improve by an order of magnitude or technology must go the route of a train with electric drive powered by a fossil fuelled generator.
Having all these Prius’s around in California does make it easier to merge into traffic since there are so many of them going slow, blocking traffic and leaving too much space in front. Unfortunately, it’s really annoying when you get stuck behind one. I suspect their obliviousness is a consequence of the MPG indicator being more prominent than the speedometer.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 12:37 pm

I remember similar SCI-fi fantasies being sold to us back in the 1960s.
We all know what happened to them.
Yet very few anticipated the very real technological developments that have actually occurred

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 12:43 pm

This might work for commuting. But first you have to convince your average family that they need to buy yet another vehicle that they will only use for commuting.
Secondly you are going to have to figure out where to build all those new parking garages for all those cars that used to park on the streets.
Thirdly, between garages and parking lots, the cost of wiring is going to be huge.
Fourthly, You’ve added the load of re-charging millions of cars, precisely during that time of day when electricity usage is already it’s highest. So add in the cost of building thousands of coal fired power plants to provide the extra power for part of the day.
Fifthly, You still haven’t solved the problem for those who work more than 30 miles from home. Less if you want to run the AC/heater/radio.
Sixtly, Replacing those batteries in a couple of years hasn’t gotten any cheaper.
Dream all you want, but EVs will never be more than a play thing.

Reply to  MarkW
September 15, 2016 5:36 pm

Yoy forgot the increase in cars on the road from all those driverless cars nipping alone out for a recharge.

Reply to  MarkW
September 16, 2016 9:02 am

I’m with you, MarkW. I’m 80, driving a 1996 Tahoe about to turn over 200K miles, and will probably be buried in it. Most people have a hard time maintaining their vehicles now. I don’t see how they’ll be able to afford battery replacements or required maintenance on the much ballyhooed self-driving cars. ‘Seems to me the EV boosters are way too optimistic. (Competitive EVs were just around the corner in 1900.)

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 12:57 pm

The same will go for residential neighbourhoods. No need to wire every single house, just build a special parking garage for every neighbourhood. When you are done with the car for the day, it will zoom off to park itself and recharge.

I gather from your above comment that you know very little to nothing about everyday “life” in residential neighborhoods.
And ps, davidmhoffer, will all of those “Blue Sky” dreamed-up EVs you are touting come equipped to respond to a remote “Come-Hither-from-the-parking-garage” panic button which its owner or family member can “press” when in dire need of beer, cigarettes or a loaf of bread …… or if they have fallen on the floor “and can’t get up”?

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 1:16 pm

I figured I would take some heat for that comment. Even got accused of not knowing how neighbourhoods function. LOL. The self driving car is going to transform our economies, our neighbourhoods, our downtowns. Taxi drivers, toast as are many other “drive for work” jobs. EV as a second vehicle because it cannot serve long distance driving? Wrong? The EV is the primary vehicle, the long distance vehicle you only need a few weeks a year is a rental, owning one all year round becomes uneconomical. And yes Samual C Coger, those cars will in fact be equipped with a come hither panic button, most likely integrated into your smart phone. Even cheap cars come with remote starting integrated into smart phones now, small step from there to “come hither” for your self driving car. In fact, if you have fallen and can’t get up, your smart phone’s health app will most likely skip summoning your car and will instead start calling family members and/or 911.
The self driving car will drive the biggest change in our economies since the automobile itself. Prepare for it, or get run over by it. Will it unfold exactly as I think? Most likely not. But a confluence of technologies will change the viability of the EV in ways that the EV standing on its own cannot, which is why a linear extrapolation from current trends simply isn’t valid.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 2:11 pm

…Gotta hand it to ya, your Fairy Dust Dream Fantasies are much more interesting than my down to Earth, reality based, boring dreams…

old engineer
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 2:28 pm

You may be right about self driving cars being the wave of the future. But why own one? Look at Uber. With a self driving car, the Uber “driver” of the future, needs only to own the car, not drive it. So his car makes him money while he sits at home (or somewhere else). For my commute to work, I just summons a driverless Uber car. I imagine it would cost a lot less than a car with a driver. As to what the car is powered by- who knows. EVs certainly have shot, as do fuel cell vehicles, and of course our current gasoline and diesel cars.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 2:39 pm

You mean like this?

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 2:39 pm

so is the self licking ice-cream cone
nobody will buy one.
game change? not without players

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 2:47 pm

old engineer;
With a self driving car, the Uber “driver” of the future, needs only to own the car, not drive it.
I rather imagine that Uber will cut the driver/owner out of it completely.
game change? not without players
Lotsa players. Google, Tesla, Uber, Volvo, Mercedes, GM…. you know, bit players, hardly worth mentioning.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 2:55 pm

can you please tell me what it is about the idea of a self-driving car you find appealing?
i’m seriously interested why somebody would want to buy one.
what makes it worth the tens of thousands of dollars?

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 2:57 pm

ha ha- you totally missed that point.
CUSTOMERS, hoffer- the people who BUY are the players who matter.
it’s such common understanding in business i didn’t even think it would need to be specified.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 3:18 pm

wut? don’t you have a reason? or you do and it’s too embarassing?
you want to load your self-petting dog in the self-driving car and go get a self-licking ice-cream cone?
you want to go to the notell motel for a very special kind of liaison?

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 3:29 pm

can you please tell me what it is about the idea of a self-driving car you find appealing?
What makes you think I find it appealing? I think it is going to be a gut wrenching change that we are ill prepared for. Millions upon millions of people will lose their jobs. Taxi companies are the first and most obvious early adopters, the cost benefits of being able to provide a service without the cost of a driver should be obvious to you. Right behind them will be all sorts of other markets where the driver of the vehicle can be cut out of the cost equation. That’s (depending on whose numbers you want to use) 10% to 20% of all jobs in north america gone.
Who else? Well, once the R&D has been paid off, there probably will be very little in cost difference between manual and self driving cars. You’ll most likely be able to buy cars that can switch between modes. They already have GPS, emergency braking, lane departure warning, shoulder checking and other automation built into them which is exactly the same technology you need to build self-driving into. Not a big leap to build a dual mode car. In fact, at first, most will be because there are enough unusual situations (off road, getting around an unexpected obstacle that the computer doesn’t understand, etc) that a manual mode will be a required option.
But if I HAVE the options at little or no extra cost, why would I not use it? Never circle the block looking for a parking spot again, the car can take care of itself. Never kill 10 minutes in a busy day refueling, the car can do that while I’m in my meeting. Never get charged with a traffic offence again. There’s all sorts of reasons why people will buy self driving cars. You can look down your nose at those who do, but they will be the majority.
One of my kids asked me why I have a standard transmission car. Do I enjoy driving obsolete technology? Yes! I said. Same kid asked me why anyone would want a self driving car. I laughed and told her that her children would want to know why anyone would want one that isn’t. Kinda like she doesn’t understand why I’d want to drive a car that doesn’t shift gears on its own.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 3:30 pm

gnomish September 15, 2016 at 3:18 pm
Now you are just getting abusive which brings no value to the discussion at all.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 5:22 pm

first, thanks for the long attempt at reply
second- congratulations on catching that- but i call it humor, not abuse.
and that’s about it- i wanted to know. you made the effort to tell me.
some places are so densely populated that owning a car isn’t an attractive proposition.
that’s where taxi service has a market.
and i bet the car makers do want to sell cars to everybody- not just taxi cab companies.
we’ll see how this plays out as it does.
might be as big as solar power, who knows?
but at least a few of your assumptions are questionable
having rigged manual machinery for CNC control, i can tell you the cost difference is not just a few dollars.
living in the country where taxi service has neither demand nor supply is not an unusual condition.
owning something that records (or could record) every move you make will not be popular with the paramours and other folks.
we shall see.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 7:06 pm

Let’s make no mistake about it, you were being abusive.
having rigged manual machinery for CNC control, i can tell you the cost difference is not just a few dollars.
I can tell you that there is little comparison between retrofitting gear on an as needed basis and designing something in advance for mass production.

Mark T
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 7:30 pm

I believe you may be correct. I also believe most people posting here will be long dead before this comes to fruition anywhere other than dense population areas. No need for me to prepare for something that won be a reality until my great grandchildren are adults.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 7:33 pm

owning something that records (or could record) every move you make will not be popular with the paramours and other folks.
Yes. So people will be giving up their cell phones in droves then? Have you ANY idea how much information can be gleaned from your phone? Without the vast majority of people even knowing it because they accept the default settings? It makes what could be learned from your car tiddly winks.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 8:03 pm

omg! and so now the topic is your feelings?
sorry snowflake. if you can put the ‘auto’ in the liaison, you can bring it on back to your safe space for the harming as well.
that only takes one willing participant and you won’t have to give up your safe word.
cuz yeah- i totally believe you know all you need to about automation – a self calling phone you can set on vibrate. such advanced! very wow!
i lolled.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 10:14 pm

omg! and so now the topic is your feelings?
Uhm, no… the topic is you becoming abusive and juvenile instead of presenting well thought out and reasoned arguments, a certain sign that you don’t have any. Since your last comment continues on in that vein, I will take the only sensible course of action and withdraw.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 16, 2016 4:53 am

@ davidmhoffer,
This is an aerial photo of the I-85/I-285 intersection in north Atlanta, Georgia, also known as “spaghetti Junction”.comment image
Given the conditions as viewed in the above photo, I have no doubt that 1 or 3 of your cited EVs could navigate thereon, be it from or to, North to South, East to West, or any conjoined direction possible.
But I suggest that you don’t permit any of your cited EVs to have access to most any portion of either I-85 or I-285 in the Atlanta area, ….. and especially “spaghetti Junction”, during the morning and/or evening “rush hours”. And that is because I truly believe that the “life expectancy” of 1 of your cited EVs would be less than one (1) hour before it “crashed n’ burned”.
Cause those Atlanta area “rush hour” commuters will likely run over yer arse iffen you don’t get out of their way.

Bryan A
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 16, 2016 9:26 am

Realistically, the only way that “Self Driving Cars” would function properly and safest would be if ALL cars on the roads were Self Driving. It is when you intorduce the unknown comodity into the equation, the unpredicatable human driver, that incidents will likely occur.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 17, 2016 8:39 am

There have been several financial studies and automobile studies recently that suggest driverless cars are coming along with a change in attitudes. Many people in big cities do not own cars. Driverless cars will provide Uber type service on demand. No parking garages needed as they will head off to the next customer after each drop off. It could well reduce the amount of traffic on the road.
As for navigating a difficult and complex interchange, my wifes Jeep Cherokee does a fair bit of stuff automatically already along with detailed navigation. Even inexpensive low end vehicles have auto braking and lane control. As a test, I have driven miles on the free way without ever touching the steering wheel to see if the lane departure controls would keep me in my lane. It does a pretty good job so I certainly can see commuters in populous areas loving this stuff.
On the other hand, I live out in the country on a remote gravel road and haul things that challenge the load limit on my Dodge 3500 diesel dually so I expect I will continue to drive a vehicle till they take my license away for being too old to drive.

L Leeman
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 2:34 pm

You’re close to being right. But these self driving cars won’t be parking themselves for hours in order to charge up. They’ll instead mimic the same system that gas powered cars use. They’ll just use gas stations ( either new ones or old ones rebuilt to serve the purpose) and will swap out a ‘fuel cartridge’ ( battery ) and just keep on going. These batteries will be transported to the ‘gas stations’ already fully charged and returned later to a charging warehouse. This is kind of like swapping your propane bbq tanks at the local supermarket.
This is also how they will handle the long distance trip.
Hmmm now back to the battery lab.

Reply to  L Leeman
September 15, 2016 2:50 pm

Absolutely an option. My main point is that being self driving, you don’t need to be with them when it happens. They can go do it themselves when your schedule indicates it is convenient.

Reply to  L Leeman
September 15, 2016 4:22 pm

We’ll need a new generation of drivers. 🙂
When the wife and I go from SC to NY to visit grandkids we look for a McDonalds (Or Chik-filet in the south) that is adjacent to a gas station with grass, so we and the car can fill up and the dogs can unload all in one stop.
Waiting in line on Interstate 81 for a battery exchange is NOT in our schedule.
(We don’t fly because of the waits in the Atlanta or Greenville airports).
I didn’t notice my children being more patient.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  L Leeman
September 16, 2016 5:34 am

@ davidmhoffer,
Your displayed “excitement” about the public having a self-driving, self-charging, self-parking EV …………… kinda reminds me of those persons who were touting the “wonders” of owning a self-driving, self-charging, self-parking vacuum cleaner …….. and/or those persons who were touting the “wonders” of owning a self-driving, self-charging, self-parking lawn mower.
Iffen Hillary gets elected POTUS and the ultra-liberal socialist whackos take control of the governments, …. then they could utilize the US military in an attempt to force the citizenry to purchase and use self-driving, self-charging, self-parking “entities” of all kind. (but don’t be holding your breath on that one)

Tom in Florida
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 2:34 pm

Wouldn’t it be easier and less expensive to have neighborhood parking garages and everyone uses golf carts to get from there to home and back. Of course they would have to be manned by security 24/7.

Pat Frank
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 3:44 pm

Self-driving cars can be hacked. They will be hacked. No one will want to consign the safety of their children to hackable cars. Especially as a hacker will probably be able to send your car wherever he likes.

Reply to  Pat Frank
September 15, 2016 7:12 pm

No one will want to consign the safety of their children to hackable cars.
Self driving cars won’t lock kids in the car on a hot day and leave them to die, they won’t drive drunk, they won’t fall asleep at the wheel, and they won’t accidentally go the wrong way on a one way street and wind up in a head on collision. All of which will happen in regular cars with considerably higher frequency than someone hacking your self driving car in order to steal your children.

Mark T
Reply to  Pat Frank
September 15, 2016 7:34 pm

Ever heard of a bug?

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 4:09 pm

great response. History shows most of us don’t anticipates what turn out to be paradigm shifts.
However your reply might make sense to me if the US were totally urban. The residential neighborhood scenario might be a stretch.
It would be interesting to see how many purchasers of EVs were 2nd cars (the only way I’d consider purchase). Saturation of 2nd cars purchases may be a limiting factor in the extrapolations.
Breakthroughs in batteries would be required for most Americans to switch entirely to EVs.
I have mentioned in a separate post how Edison and Ford thought EVs were the wave of the future and the failure of his massive automotive battery plant in West Orange NJ bankrupted Tom. Despite the conspiracy myths, major car companies have been trying since then to develop an EV battery. It is NOT a new technology.
There are very expensive storage technologies on the horizon, but a battery is not a semi conductor, so Moore’s law does not apply.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 6:09 pm

Self driving systems can be installed into any fossil fueled vehicle. There is zero reasons that only EVs can be so driven.
Several manufacturers are touting installation of their ‘charging gear’ systems. which will not be cheap.
And until the cars can plug themselves in, the electric car charging stations will not be completely safe. Six hundred volts of DC charging power will make a very short work day for any EV owner.

Tom Judd
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 6:15 pm

A self driving car will be an absolute nightmare. I know this. I’ve dreamt it. I had a dream, just the other day. A nightmare. A ghastly nightmare. In my dream my self driving car was backing quickly out of the garage when, all of a sudden, from one side my neighbor’s pet hamster dashed out behind it. But, simultaneously, my sister, my older sister, dashed out from the opposite side of the car. The computer made a terrible decision.
It squashed the hamster.

Reply to  Tom Judd
September 15, 2016 7:25 pm


Mark T
Reply to  Tom Judd
September 15, 2016 7:36 pm

You need therapy. And perhaps a new hamster.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 8:18 pm

Interesting idea, but I’m not sure I buy it. However, I am sure you could convince some government agency to fund you for a study and perhaps a demonstration facility.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 15, 2016 9:35 pm

Watch the “Jetsons” a lot?

Jim Reedy
Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 16, 2016 12:03 am

Of course you saw the story where the self driving car could not distinguish between Sky and a truck
and crashed into the truck
“Tesla said in a blog post on Thursday “neither Autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied.”
Wont be trusting that technology any time soon.

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 16, 2016 6:51 am

Yeah, and Rosie the maid will bring George Jetson’s slippers.
What other dreams of the future do you have?

Reply to  davidmhoffer
September 16, 2016 8:34 am

“In fact, once this starts to unfold, houses may well be built without driveways and garages.”

Ridiculous suggestion. Where I live, garages are strictly for storing junk. Cars have to stay outside, even in the winter. People prefer to scratch ice every damn morning over cleaning out the garage once.
Otherwise, good post! I do agree that self-driving technology should give EVs a big boost. Hard so say of course exactly how big.

Stephen Richards
September 15, 2016 12:13 pm

All European towns and cities will be forced to ban FF cars within 10 yrs. That will be the driver for alternative vehicles. I believe the Hydrogen car will be the successor if governments focus subsidies on them in the same way they on EV. EV is useless and will remain useless until someone invents a high capacity, lightening charge storage system.

Reply to  Stephen Richards
September 15, 2016 12:28 pm

All FF cars? I’m aware of nothing that will ban natural gas fueled cars/trucks in the EU.

Reply to  Stephen Richards
September 15, 2016 1:21 pm

I assume you mean Hydrogen from fossil fuels since that is where most of it comes from.

Mark T
Reply to  Stephen Richards
September 15, 2016 7:37 pm

Except in Britain…

Reply to  Stephen Richards
September 17, 2016 12:00 pm

Zermatt, Switzerland banned fossil fueled cars over 50 years ago. I don’t know when, but when I skied there in the 60’s, access was by electric rail, transport in town was electric or horse drawn and still is.

September 15, 2016 12:13 pm

Look at the number of people that put down a deposit for the Tesla Model 3 and it should be obvious that the number of EV cars sold will continue to increase. I have no idea whether they’ll reach 25% of passenger car sales in 2040 but it’s certainly clear that sales will increase and the percentage will increase too.

Reply to  BillJ
September 15, 2016 12:45 pm

Twice nothing is still nothing.

Reply to  BillJ
September 15, 2016 4:28 pm

The number of people that can afford a Tesla will quickly saturate. A Tesla is clearly a status symbol. A rise in sales of Rolexes or Cadillacs can’t be extrapolated to the general population.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  BillJ
September 15, 2016 8:41 pm

The Fisker is a better machine by a large margin.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
September 18, 2016 12:28 am
Patrick MJD
Reply to  Patrick MJD
September 19, 2016 4:42 am

No subsidies like Tesla?

Steve M. from TN
September 15, 2016 12:16 pm

EVs and Hybrids are only popular when gas prices are high. Otherwise they cost too much.

September 15, 2016 12:26 pm

What is very under-reported is the US EPA’s decision in 2014 to categorize landfill gas / biogas as cellulosic renewable fuel. It’s likely to have a major impact going forward.
One sample article from a year ago:
Companies like Clean Energy Fuels are purifying landfill / biogas and pumping it into the US national natural gas pipeline. Then they sell it at truck fuel stations as CNG or LNG. Clean Energy is selling over 200 million DGE (diesel gallon equivalents) of CNG/LNG as transport fuel each year.
If the consumer doesn’t ask for the RIN Credits, Clean Energy keeps them and sells them on the 3rd party market. They sold $10m worth in 2015. I assume that will increase in 2016, although the fuel consumers may be getting smarter about asking for the RIN credits themselves.
Either way, RIN credits is why most of us burn gasoline with 10% ethanol. I strongly believe RIN credits for cellulosic fuel will drive a significant increase in CNG/LNG vehicles in the next decade.
fyi: I read that the US EPA has a goal of getting 15 billion DGEs of cellulosic renewable fuel per year into the transport fuel market by 2025. That is a lot of CNG/LNG and at present I believe over 90% of the cellulosic renewable fuel is biogas, not a liquid fuel.

Reply to  gregfreemyer
September 15, 2016 1:25 pm

It depends on who is the next president. Hopefully the EPA will go back to it’s original charter.

Reply to  Catcracking
September 15, 2016 4:35 pm

RIN credits pre-date Obama. The law was established under Bush.
The 2014 change to allow biogas to qualify is a positive change in my mind. And T. Boone Pickens is one of the founders of Clean Energy Fuels. I don’t expect CNG/LNG or biogas to be dropped as a priority for moving the US away from diesel (and to a lesser extent gasoline).
Interestingly, my understanding is really high-horsepower / high-torque engines can be better designed if designed with LNG as the fuel source than they can be if designed with diesel as the fuel. LNG is becoming an ever more common fuel for high-horsepower needs such as large ship engines. CNG fueled engines were 60% of 2014 garbage truck sales.
Natural Gas (methane) also being able to be producible from farm waste is simply a great thing, independent of all the other great things about NG as transportation fuel.
FYI: Here’s a RIN pricing article:
biogas (renewable natural gas) earns D3 RIN credits.
RIN credits are only good for 2 years, but look at how valuable the D3 RIN credits issued the last couple weeks are: 230. RIN credits are priced in pennies, so that’s $2.30 per RIN. I believe it’s multiple RIN credits per DGE (diesel gallon equivalent) for biofuel. The RIN credits are worth multiple times the price of the fuel, and RNG was price competitive without RIN credits so you’re going to see a huge push from biogas suppliers to get their volume up first, and once there is enough supply, there will be a big push from buyers to buy RNG (renewable natural gas).
Note: on the chart older RIN credits are worth less because they have to be used faster (ie. with 24 months of issue).
From: https://www.americanbiogascouncil.org/pdf/EV-RNG-Facts-and-Case-Studies.pdf
“Through both anaerobic digestion and thermal gasification, renewable natural gas could
displace 45% (17.9 billion gallons) of the 38 billion gallons of diesel fuel used in
transportation annually based on estimates by the American Gas Foundation.
and With federal and state incentives, the contribution of RNG could be even greater.”
The EPA is making that push, so expect major increases in RNG usage in the US over the next decade.
Basically the move from diesel to natural gas is just getting started, but it is going to go fast with the current laws and regulations.

Reply to  gregfreemyer
September 16, 2016 4:18 pm

I did some more research on D3 RIN credits. Every DGE (diesel gallon equivalent) of CNG/LNG used in transportation and sourced from RNG (renewable natural gas) gets 1.8 D3 RIN credits.
As I said, those are worth $2.30 currently, so that’s $4.14 worth of credits for each gallon. That’s a hell of an incentive for both the production and the burning of RNG (as CNG/LNG).
The EPAs goal is to get that to 15 billion DGE in a decade or so. Assuming it is used to replace diesel for on-road usage, that’s about 35% of diesel replaced with natural gas.
That’s a pretty big unreported story.

September 15, 2016 12:35 pm

I wonder how many would sell if the buyers had to pay the full cost, both purchase and ownership.
BTW, if EVs ever reached 25% of all cars on the road, state governments would have to figure out some way to tax them to support road construction and maintenance. Close to half the cost of a gallon of gasoline goes to that.

Bubba Cow
Reply to  MarkW
September 15, 2016 12:45 pm

energy taxes, for sure, or smart meter at the “pump” = they’ll find a way to get our money

September 15, 2016 12:48 pm

Driving across Europe is like driving across Texas. Now how about the other 48 contiguous states?

Bryan A
Reply to  Nicholas Schroeder
September 15, 2016 2:27 pm

Much of Texas is flat other than that Hilly Part around Big Bend. Much of the Great Plains States area is similar until you get to the Black Hills or Blue Ridge Range or Rockies.

Reply to  Nicholas Schroeder
September 15, 2016 6:16 pm

Much of Texas has far longer distances between fuel stops than most EVs can handle.
Driving EVs across Texas would only work within city boundaries.
There are many places in America that cars with fifteen gallon tanks find difficult to travel.
1) All EVs should be required to show they can cross Utah’s salt desert East-West.
2) All EVs must also be able to show ability to park free in New York city overnight.

Reply to  ATheoK
September 15, 2016 7:10 pm

Well, Tesla hasn’t solved the urban parking problems then.
There goes those urbanites needing cars for short trips, let alone EV cars. There also goes, including taxi runs in the short trip calculations.

Reply to  ATheoK
September 18, 2016 12:33 am

It takes careful fuel planning to get from El Paso to Dallas…
Ell EVs ought to post a rescue bond before being allowed on I-10 and I-20 in Texas…

Reply to  ATheoK
September 18, 2016 4:34 pm

I like that one E.M.Smith!
It is a loonng drive, that’s for sure!

Bryan A
September 15, 2016 12:51 pm

Well, If you sold 1 last year and 2 this year, you have a 100% increase
Now with figures like these it’s hard to understand why electric vehicles don’t show a greater potential
Tesla Model S … Range 208-265mi … Price $91,000
Toyota Rav4 … Range 103mi … Price $60,000
Fiat 500E … Range 87mi … Price $35,000
Nissan Leaf … Range 84mi … Price $32,000
Chevy Spark … Range 82mi … Price $28,000
Honda Fit … Range 82mi … Price $38,000
Ford Focus … Range 76mi … Price $36,000
Smart (not very) … Range 68mi … Price $26,000 (2 seat)
Mitsibishi MiEV … Range 62mi … Price $25,000 (now $22,000 to start)
Scion IQ EV … range 48mi … Price (pulled from market, couldn’t energize sales in US)
You would be hard set to drive most of these farther than 35 miles without needing to stop for at least 3 hours and recharge to return home.
Tesla only goes 5 times farther because it’s battery is 5 times the size and 6 – 7 times the cost to replace $44,000

Climate Denier #159009
Reply to  Bryan A
September 15, 2016 1:20 pm

Deny, deny, deny. Thank you for the laugh while reading the comments. I have been driving the first edition Nissan LEAF for 5 years. Now the Chevrolet Bolt EV has a range of 238 miles. Did someone miss the memo? LOL

Bryan A
Reply to  Climate Denier #159009
September 15, 2016 2:44 pm

Not yet available
200+mi Secret … Bigger battery
Time to recharge 9.5 Hours at 240V … OR … 25mi per Hour of charging
Not bad though for $37,500
and the charging station included (provided your house has the 240V circuit) otherwise it is a couple $K additional for the Permit, Electrician, Wiring and Panel upgrade plus professional installation

Bryan A
Reply to  Climate Denier #159009
September 15, 2016 2:55 pm

First edition Leaf??
Not a bad car provided you drive no further than around 65 – 70 Miles round trip
…No road trips
…No 8-10 mile side trips on the 33 mile journey home unless a charger is involved
…and all this inconvenience is economically Base priced at
……Model S $29,010
……Model SV $34,200
……Model SL $36,790
Battery charge time: 21 to 26h at 110V, 4 to 6h at 220V, 0.5h at 440V (but you may have to pay for the 3Ph 440V service)
And remember charge running distance changes with differing ambient temperatures

Reply to  Climate Denier #159009
September 15, 2016 4:38 pm

Here’s a fun fact about the 2011 Nissan LEAF:
MSRP: $32,780
Current value: $6,200
Depreciation: 81%
Virtue signalling has its price.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Climate Denier #159009
September 15, 2016 6:14 pm

You’ll be lucky if a Chev Bolt can go 238 miles without breaking down! Lol!

Bryan A
Reply to  Climate Denier #159009
September 15, 2016 10:53 pm

Well the 238 mile range is an EPA Estimate and we know how accurate they are with MPG ratings.
So far I’ve found 1 test that did run for over 200 miles with the estimated charge remainder making up the 239 difference. The path was pre-chosen though and included a 100 mile straight flat stretch. Normal around town driving will probably yield less than 200 miles on a full charge for the average driver but would still be much better than the 70ish mile limitation of the Leaf and the then 6 hour recharge time.
If you work less than 25 miles from where you live and your grocery store or other shopping is less than 10 miles away, you might be able to drive to work and back home then go to the store and back home before needing to plug in for 6 hours

Bryan A
Reply to  Climate Denier #159009
September 16, 2016 12:32 pm

An interesting Tid Bit about Teslas and “Bricking” from back in 2012

Depleted batteries. Unauthorized GPS tracking. $40,000 service bills. Rejected warranty claims. These are just some of the talking points making the rounds of the internet regarding the alleged “bricking” of Tesla Roadsters.
The story began when Michael DeGusta, who operates The Understatement, a technology blog, reported that 5 Tesla Roadsters have “bricked” – in other words, rendered useless, after their batteries depleted completely. The repair (a brand new battery pack) costs $40,000, and if the battery isn’t replaced, the vehicle is totally immobile. The wheels won’t move, preventing the car from even being pushed.

September 15, 2016 1:26 pm

When Tesla finishes its solar panel plant in Buffalo it will be able to offer building integrated solar structures in order to charge the EV of the rich and power the mansion too…..with your tax credits of course.

September 15, 2016 1:35 pm

Thanks for the data, but the progressive promise of a better life did not include allowing you to go further away from home than 17.5 miles (unless you are one of their elites).

September 15, 2016 1:50 pm

A few random factoids:
* In early 2015, Tesla drove two model S cars from LA to New York in 75 hours or so using the ordinary Supercharger network.
* Most journeys are local, and most charging is done overnight
* The first cheap plastic four-function calculator I saw on sale in this country was £80. The first EVs were always likely to be similarly expensive and will drop in price as calculators did.
* The top-of-the-range Tesla model S out accelerates any current production car, even the most expensive and esoteric two-seater. Even the Model X SUV will flatten most Ferraris, Lambos etc away from the lights.
* The model S has also consistently outsold piston engined models in the same price range from Mercedes, BMW etc.
* The adoption of new technology tends to follow a bell-shaped growth curve so linear extrapolations are worthless and described by Everett Rogers and others.

Bryan A
Reply to  David Middleton
September 15, 2016 11:00 pm

The only time this really matters though is when you are getting on the freeway/expressway or when passing on an undivided road. Otherwise there are speed limits and no matter how fast you get to 55 or 65 or 70 in most of the USA, that’s the limit before you could be stopped and ticketed

Reply to  David Middleton
September 17, 2016 3:28 pm

If you drive a Jeep, you won’t like any of the faster cars or the Tesla.
Too quiet.
They all allow drivers that sing with the radio to clearly hear how far off tune they are…
Plus that Rubicon is no danger that you will lull to sleep. Bounce rattle and roll is the only way to drive!

Reply to  John Hardy
September 15, 2016 4:38 pm

* The first cheap plastic four-function calculator I saw on sale in this country was £80. The first EVs were always likely to be similarly expensive and will drop in price as calculators did.

Moore’s Law applies ONLY to semi-conductors.
Edison went bankrupt trying to manufacture an automobile battery. Major car companies have tried since then to build an affordable storage device. This is NOT a new technology.

Reply to  John Hardy
September 15, 2016 6:51 pm

“* In early 2015, Tesla drove two model S cars from LA to New York in 75 hours or so using the ordinary Supercharger network.”

There is not a ‘super charger network’ between LA and NY, unless you are less than two cars and you don’t mind exiting the highway to find certain hotel chains and where they hid their ‘charging stations’.
I also have my doubts that Tesla drivers made that run in 75 hours, legally, with ‘normal’ charge times’.

* Most journeys are local, and most charging is done overnight”

A nice claim that looks correct on the exterior, but is fallacious underneath.
Most uses of vehicles are not in areas that can support short trip vehicles; nor do they take into account spending all day and well into the evening ‘performing errands’.
There are quite a few times, I arrived home to take over the vehicle and head out for a weekend camping trip chaperoning Boy Scouts. I certainly lost enough sleep that doesn’t recharge in 3-4 hours.

* The first cheap plastic four-function calculator I saw on sale in this country was £80. The first EVs were always likely to be similarly expensive and will drop in price as calculators did.”

Well, those first cheap calculators were sold unsubsidized. EV cars should be sold absolutely subsidized free, i.e. no-one in the manufacturer-seller-owner-charging network receives subsidies.
Then EVs can properly follow the paradigm of new products!

* The top-of-the-range Tesla model S out accelerates any current production car, even the most expensive and esoteric two-seater. Even the Model X SUV will flatten most Ferraris, Lambos etc away from the lights.”

Well, isn’t that just nice; gearing and electric motors in very expensive EVs can rev higher for thirty seconds…
Big Whoop!
Now tell those of us who aren’t born rich and live in expensive urban neighborhoods what EVs can do for us?
How many kids plus spouse can they hold?
What is their gross vehicle weight?
How many sacks of cement, sand, mulch, etc. or blocks of hay will they carry? Or in suburban terms, how much luggage, bags of groceries plus kids, pets will they carry?
Or are the Tesla’s just some more super elite collector/bragging toys? A fad and fashion soon to age and pass away?

* The model S has also consistently outsold piston engined models in the same price range from Mercedes, BMW etc.”

Oh! Same price range?
Only when subsidies are taken into account.
Not that many of us buy $100,000 plus vehicles often.
Yup, more Tesla fairy tales with absurdities.

Dave Ward
Reply to  ATheoK
September 16, 2016 4:28 am

“Well, isn’t that just nice; gearing and electric motors in very expensive EVs can rev higher for thirty seconds”
In the UK, the motoring show “Top Gear” took a smallish performance EV round their usual test track, and after a couple of laps it practically shut down, due to overheating. Not something that’s happened with any conventional car, even the cheapest “hacks” which get seriously abused…

Patrick MJD
Reply to  ATheoK
September 16, 2016 4:31 am

It was the electric equivalent of the Mercedes SLS Black. It was faster in a drag race, but slower on a track with corners. But at GBP320,000 just lottle bit expensive.

Reply to  ATheoK
September 17, 2016 3:35 pm


“Top Gear…
…even the cheapest “hacks” which get seriously abused”

Ain’t that the truth! That may well be the best part of the show.
Waaay out of my price range!
Plus, I’d much rather have the Mercedes.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  ATheoK
September 19, 2016 4:40 am

“ATheoK September 17, 2016 at 3:35 pm”
They both were made by Mercedes, one petrol powered the other electric. Identical chassis, different power plants and transmissions etc.

A. G. Reid
September 15, 2016 2:54 pm

Ah yes- and before these, we had the Tucker and the Bricklin and the De Lorean.

Reply to  A. G. Reid
September 15, 2016 9:51 pm

A. G. Reid. the De Lorean and the Bricklin could have been successful but the “Big Three” put a stop to those projects, sadly.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  asybot
September 16, 2016 4:28 am

Are you talking about *THE* De Lorean, built in Belfast, Ireland? It’s fall was nothing to do with the “Big Three”. The reason for it’s fall was sheer appalling quality of parts and assembly. Under powered, appalling reliability and a front suspension that used to collapse if you tried to drive and steer at the same time.

Bryan A
Reply to  asybot
September 16, 2016 9:30 am

yeah there was only 1 De Lorean that ran well and It was powered by Fusion. just don’t take it over 88MPH or you might wind up somewhen else

Bryan A
Reply to  A. G. Reid
September 15, 2016 11:12 pm

The Tucker was also extremely well built. Of the original 51 models that were built in 1948, 48 (94%) still remain functional after almost 70 years

Big Al
September 15, 2016 2:57 pm

I looked into buying an EV. The ones I could afford were too small, the only comfortable one was too expensive. Also driving in the Colorado mountains, especially in winter, is a killer on your range.

September 15, 2016 2:58 pm

Electric vehicles must be cheaper to run then? What puzzles me is how much the extention cord costs for each trip 😉

Tom Judd
Reply to  rogerthesurf
September 15, 2016 6:03 pm

I’m starting a business to manufacture 300 mile long extension cords. Range problem?…a thing of the past!!
And it’s one DOE grant application away. Any co-investors?

Reply to  Tom Judd
September 15, 2016 6:37 pm

Its picking up the extension cords at the end of the day that worries me. 🙂

Reply to  Tom Judd
September 16, 2016 7:07 am

Silly you.
The retractable extension cords are on a spring loaded drum.

September 15, 2016 3:18 pm

This article lacks a good dose of reality. EV sales are not being hampered by the lack of more models – thay are being hampered by the lack of AFFORDABLE models which can compete with gas powered jobs as a main vehicle. Only the Tesla Model S has a driving range that can , more or less, compete with gas powered vehicles, assuming the person doesn’t do tons of long distance driving. And few can afford the Tesla, practically none of its owners have this as their only vehicle – these are rich folks, deserving of the Fed’s $7500 subsidy for buying an electric vehicle which can achieve practically zilch with respect to lowering carbon emissions. MY ESTIMATE : electric cars will take over for reasons that have nothing to do with emissions, carbon or otherwise. They will do so because, excepting the batteries (currently expensive and slow charging), an electric car is a WHOLE lot simpler and cheaper to build and more reliable. They don’t even require the tons of sensors and engine management software, etc than a gas powered job does. Even Henry Ford understood very well the intrinsic technological advantage of the electric car –
he enlisted his friend Edison in his full blown effort to build a practical electric car. He knew that batteries were the only obstacle. Edison failed to produce a practical battery and that was the end of that. Only braindead greenies believe that automakers could produce an affordable electric car “if they wanted to.” Yeah, right, none of them want to build some that would be in great demand. And, of course, for some unknown, bizarre reason, automakers are in league with the oil companies. Huh? Huh? Exactly why would that be? Most automakers don’t particularly like oil companies – see GM’s decades old pronouncement criticizing oil companies for not putting enough detergents in their gasoline, fouling the automaker’s fuel injectors. Automakers will build electric cars with the greatest of pleasure and are worried that the Feds will not prevent multiple standards for charging systems,etc. SO my estimate – until you know when battery
technology will reach the point whereby an automaker can build the same car, but using an electric drivetrain instead of a gasoline powered one, you cannot and will not, know when the EVs will take over.
It could be tomorrow. It could beten years from now. It could be twenty years from now. But my sense tell me that battery technology is getting close. Right now I believe that an electric three-wheeled Elio is
the only vehicle that would be considered a practical electric car – because it requires so little energy that
its small, cheap battery pack would be practical. . Paul Elio has mentioned such a model for his vehicle down the road. He could do it right now, in my opinion. Almost everything in a gas powered car these days is electrical, except the drive train and AC

Reply to  arthur4563
September 15, 2016 5:20 pm

Some one else remembers 🙂
I’ve mentioned on this thread (and another) the Ford/Edison vision that the future was for EVs resulted in Tom building a massive auto battery plant in West Orange NJ that bankrupted him.
The interesting side story is the only thing that saved Edison was that his Secretary asked for permission to commercially develop Tom’s invention of an office stenographic device that was almost a direct copy of Morse’s telephone discoveries. Tom had put the early “Dictaphone” on the shelf for 10 years because he didn’t see any commercial value. The Secretary used it initially to record symphony orchestras and play back those recordings in theaters, and the income of course came from admissions. Only later did they consider selling the recorded cylinders to homes.
Tom was understandably not interested in any other manufacturing ventures for his inventions, e.g light bulbs or generators. Especially not in the NJ/NYC area. This same secretary convinced him to make a merger (to solve patent problems) and start a plant in Schenectady NY (with the Secretary as GM) to be called Edison General Electric.
And now you know the rest of the story.

Reply to  arthur4563
September 15, 2016 6:48 pm

Maybe this is the answer:)

Reply to  rogerthesurf
September 15, 2016 9:58 pm

A. G. Reid. the De Lorean and the Bricklin could have been successful but the “Big Three” put a stop to those projects, sadly.

Reply to  rogerthesurf
September 15, 2016 10:01 pm

Arghh my comment got jumbled somehow, try again, Roger that video is really well done and I LMAO it is great!

Dan Auton
September 15, 2016 3:27 pm

It appears that we should them “ED” vehicles as their growth curve needs some Viagra!

September 15, 2016 4:03 pm

On the topic of green maths and over enthusiasm (from reneweconomy.com.au)
“According to the latest U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, a quarterly publication from GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association (ESA), the U.S. deployed 41.2 megawatts of energy storage in the second quarter of 2016, an increase of 126 percent over the first quarter of the year.”
41.2 MW gosh! 126% increase !!!

Reply to  yarpos
September 15, 2016 8:30 pm

That can’t be accurate. I hope not anyway.
This was a status update from the start of the year.

Bryan A
Reply to  yarpos
September 16, 2016 12:38 pm

Gee that will officially offset 2% of Daiblo Canyon NPP nameplate production. Better hurry, Diablo closes in 2026

Paul Penrose
September 15, 2016 4:43 pm

EVs have a huge disadvantage in cold climates like where I live: you have to use battery power, and lots of it, to heat the cab in the winter. Also, the batteries have a lower capacity when cold. So these two things really reduce the range, and thus the practicality of EVs for people that live in cold weather states.

Tom in Florida
September 15, 2016 4:59 pm

Folks, way too many people LIKE to drive their vehicle. They LIKE a large, overpowered vehicle. Until you brainwash, I mean re-educate, a large percentage of the population, they are going to continue to do what they LIKE. For several years drove a Mercury Marquis when I was traveling from 100-150 highway miles a day. Big, powerful, heavy and comfortable. And it got me home SAFE every night. When I finally had to let it go it was like losing an trusted friend.

Bryan A
Reply to  Tom in Florida
September 16, 2016 12:41 pm

I would hate to have to make that same trip in a SMART (dumb) car EV or not

September 15, 2016 6:26 pm

Driving a car, particularly on the same route day after day, must be one of the most boring activities on God’s green Earth. I did enough of it for the first ten years after I got my driver’s licence that it put me off forever (going to and from where I was flying). After about one hour in car for me it is “are we there yet”.
I find the thought of self driving cars very attractive. Don’t really care if they are electric or IC cars.
Now, airplanes is another matter but even there I think we are on the verge of another aviation revolution. Distributed electric propulsion will make vertical takeoff and landing of small airplanes totally practical and they will be largely self flying. Easier problem than self driving cars and we have lots of drone experience to draw on. Long range propulsion will likely still use fossil fuels though.
Someone referenced SolidEnergy Systems. Once batteries get to the promised 400watt-hours/kilogram electric cars, VTOL small airplanes get totally practical.
Those who fly gliders will find that that sort of battery technology spells the end of towplanes and winches. Yay!

Mark T
Reply to  Mike Borgelt
September 15, 2016 7:55 pm

Not when you like your car.

Bryan A
Reply to  Mark T
September 16, 2016 12:44 pm

i often find longer trips less boring by driving 10 mph faster than everyone else. Keeps you on your toes.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Mike Borgelt
September 15, 2016 8:07 pm

Methinks that the liability and disability insurance for a battery powered VTOL small plane would make it too expensive except for the elite.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Mike Borgelt
September 16, 2016 4:21 am

Commercial aircraft have had the ability to take-off, fly and land all by themselves since about 1965.

September 15, 2016 7:06 pm

Donna Laframboise has a related article on her “No Frakking Condsensus“, (Now titled “Big Picture News, Informed Analysis”), website!
Obama’s Electric Car Fail”</a"

September 15, 2016 8:28 pm

optimism about the future of EVs
Climate change is about the future and only the future. The great thing about the future is that there is no pesky empirical data that can get in the way of imagination.

September 15, 2016 10:04 pm

You have to fit an exponential for EVs, and assume overall sales are flat. Then see what numbers you get.

September 16, 2016 1:25 am

And if you apply ecofanatic math to Pokemon Go you can prove that by 2040 97% of the galaxy will be playing it.

September 16, 2016 1:34 am

So, say the math magically comes true, and there are 25% EVs on the road some day soon. An elephant in the room is a power source that charges all those, and by simple estimate it must be comparable with the complete grid power so far.
Any contenders? No?

September 16, 2016 4:13 am

For the duration of the Obama regime, I always thought that in order to boost (artificially of course) the sales/use of EV’s, he would mandate that any vehicle used by any part of the federal bureaucracy would have to purchase EV’s.
Thank GOD that hasn’t happened.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 16, 2016 4:47 am

But I was sure he’d go all the way with it.

September 16, 2016 4:57 am

Chevy Bolt – over 200 mile range… new Tesla models launching, Shell UK introducing charging at service stations… UK Met Police using electric vehicles…
Like it or not, EVs are continuing to sell at an increasing rate.

Reply to  David Middleton
September 17, 2016 3:41 pm

Excellent David! I love the Data follow up!
Q’s greatest gift.

September 16, 2016 5:07 am

You are forgetting the ‘s’ curve – linear extrapolation tells you almost nothing. If battery technology moves in the direction Musk would like, there will come a point when electric is economically rational and practical. Then 25% doesn’t seem silly. But saying when that will happen is just a guess.

September 16, 2016 5:10 am

Here in the UK, the LED equivalent of halogen spot-lights are now the most economical and trouble-free purchase choice. No subsidies were required to make that happen. It was simply a matter of technological progress and and the market.
If the UK government had thrown a few billion into subsidizing uptake of these bulbs, then I’m sure that they would now be claiming that the subsidy had successfully steered us all into switching for the energy efficient product. i.e. they would claim that what did happen anyway, was their victory.
The same is true with regard to technologies such as smart phones, solar panels and electric cars. These technologies were coming of age anyway.
I am delighted to see that solar panels, LED lighting, electric cars etc are becoming a cost effective consumer choice.
My only complaint, is that some fools and thieves in government have pretended to aid the “transition” to these technologies by spending hundreds of billions of dollars of other people’s money on their pet projects.
When history is written, it will doubtlessly mistakenly explain to future generations that these technologies were brought into existence through the endeavour of activists, bureaucrats and generous state grants and subsidies.
Technology and the market brought us smart-phones and LED lighting.
And it will bring us electric cars.
With no special government intervention required.
So my only complaint regarding electric vehicles is – why is my government taking money from the poor (such as myself) to help pay for the luxury purchases of the rich?

Reply to  indefatigablefrog
September 16, 2016 4:24 pm

‘electric cars etc are becoming a cost effective consumer choice.’
“Becoming” carries a heavy load there. Electric cars are not cost effective. Not even close.

Reply to  Gamecock
September 18, 2016 4:56 am

Well, there’s only one way to find out.
Take all the subsidies away.
But, that’s not going to happen. And, if Clinton wins, then expect even more market distortion.

Craig Loehle
September 16, 2016 8:07 am

Several states have noticed that their highway funds are paid from gas taxes. Thus Prius and truly electric cars get a free ride (no gas tax). This is where the desire to log your vehicle miles (via intrusive GPS) and charge you for that comes from. This would further hurt electric vehicles who would now have to pay 2 or 3 cents/mile road tax.

September 16, 2016 1:39 pm

A friend of mine told me of the time when travelling on a divided highway, with uncontrolled crossing traffic,
he saw a car pulling out into his path, his decision was to beat the object to the obvious point of impact, so he floored it, made some kind of evasive maneuver, spilled everyone’s coffee and he’s still around to talk about it.

George Steiner
September 17, 2016 9:25 am

By 2030 it is estimated that there will be 2 billion vehicles in the world.
Lots of batteries and lots of electricity to charge them.

Joel Lloyd Bellenson
September 18, 2016 3:46 am

The critique of the “green” EV numbers fails to appreciate the compounded, and thus exponential, nature of hi tech rapid growth rates.
It is actually clear from the EV sales stats that the CAGR is in excess of 40%.
Thus a doubling of sales every two years.
It is also obvious that 2016 sales are likely to reach almost 10x the 2011 sales.
If sales are growing in excess of 30-fold every decade the “green” sales forecasts of EVs are actually conservative.
Meanwhile battery power density and price per power unit stored grows by 11 and 14% annually respectively. This means that the EV power train will likely reach price parity with the ICE power train within 5 years.
The driving forces for battery and hyrogen fuel cell improvement are the mobile consumer electronics and military equipment sectors. These forces have their own historic exponential trackrecords spanning across seven decades. As does the 75 year exponential march of solar cells and modules.
Folks, we are living amidst the Silicon and Material Science Revolutions. These revolutions have already upended the world of information and communication. The worlds that emanate from energy capture and storage are right on schedule to also be upended.
Both the Green Panic Addicts and the Energy Cynics have ideologically obstructed views of the exponential history and dynamics of technology. Especially in the Silicon and Nano tech eras.

September 18, 2016 2:17 pm

Has any government organisation bothered to do a study on what happened to a power supply that has increasing demand due to increasing numbers of EV’s alongside a reduction in reliable output caused by solar and wind power?

September 20, 2016 1:18 pm

Given the mix of fuels and methods used to produce electricity in the US, the Tesla Model S causes the emission of as much carbon dioxide as a gasoline powered car that gets 17 miles to the gallon. The only difference is that the emission occurs at the generating plant, not from the vehicle.

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