In Defense of the Electric Car – part 3

Guest essay by John Hardy

Full disclosure: I own an electric car, and I think they are useful for city transportation. However, having owned one for a decade, I can say that it hasn’t been practical or cost-effective. John Hardy believes they are the future, I’ll let you, the reader, decide. – Anthony Watts

Part 1 of this series expressed the view that regardless of “the environment”, EVs are poised to inflict a massive disruption on the automotive industry, and outlined the strengths of the technology and some of the reasons that it is happening now.

Part 2 discussed the main issues for Western automakers in handling this disruption

Part 3 below is devoted to common misconceptions which cause some to mistakenly conclude that EVs will not be practicable in the foreseeable future.

The demise of the Western auto industry: Part 3 – common misconceptions

Misconception 1: batteries will never get us to acceptable range.

The combination of a 300 mile range and fast charge should be plenty. How many people routinely drive more than 300 miles without stopping for toilet and/or food? For most people, most of the time averaging 20 – 30 miles per day [1], charging could be done once a week. “Fast charge” needs to be fast however: 20 minutes from empty to 80% charge. The batteries are well able to handle this. The infrastructure uses well-understood technology (300+ Kw charging stations already exist in Beijing for buses [2]). Several current production EVs have a range of over 200 miles and some over 300.

Misconception 2: if EVs take off, electrical distribution networks won’t cope.

With an average daily mileage for private cars of 20-30 miles per day and 3-4 miles per kW-hr the average charge needed is 5 to 10 kW-hr a day, equivalent to running a 7 kW electric shower for 40 to 80 minutes or warming up a few storage heaters over 5-6 hours.

Another mistaken assumption is that everyone will come home and charge at peak time in the early evening. Once again this is highly unlikely to become a problem. Incentivising people to charge off peak is trivial, as is the technology. I have my car set to start charging at 1:00 a.m. when my electricity price almost halves.

Misconception 3: EV charging will require rewiring all the houses in the land.

UK standard sockets handle almost 3 kW. Recharging an average day’s driving just from a wall socket might take 2 – 4 hours. Electric showers may run over 10kW, so adding a 10kW EV wall box is no more complex than installing an electric shower and would recharge an exhausted battery in a 300 mile range car in 7-10 hours.

Misconception 4: Generating capacity will be insufficient

It is sometimes said that if EVs take off, a huge increase in generating capacity will be needed. In the UK there were some scary (and ill-informed) press comments on a document published recently by the National Grid entitled Future Energy Scenarios (FES). The National Grid looked at four different scenarios. One of them concluded that additional demand resulting from an all-EV world would be about 5 Gw. On the face of it, this doesn’t seem to compute: to recharge an EV like the Chevy Bolt or the Tesla Model 3 takes about 75 kW-hrs. 5 Gw over 24 hours is 120 Gw hrs or 120 million Kw-hrs, so 5 Gw extra sounds like it would cope with maybe 1 – 2 million EVs rather than the 30 million or so that would be on UK roads today if all our piston-engined cars became EVs overnight.

There are two factors at work here. Firstly as discussed earlier, EVs used as private cars need an average 5-10 Kw-hr per vehicle per day, so 120 Gw-hr would in theory support a population of 12 million vehicles.

There is another critical issue though: exploiting the variability of demand. Let us do some mental experiments:


Figure 1 UK power demand on a Wednesday in January (source

Figure 1 is a graph of UK power requirements on a typical working day in winter. (The pattern and the numerical values will be different in Australia or the USA, but the principle is the same). The area under the line (the blue area in Figure 1) is the total electrical energy required during the 24 hours – 965 Gw-hrs in this example. Note that the power requirement varies greatly from a low around 30000 Mw (30 Gw) in the early hours of the morning to almost 50 Gw at 6:00 in the evening.

If the system was capable of sustaining 50 Gw for 24 hours, an additional 230 Gw-hrs could be generated (Figure 2):


Figure 2 Demand and (theoretical) spare capacity

230 Gw-hrs is 230,000,000 kw-hrs. Recall that to recharge an EV that has covered the UK average daily private car mileage, 5 – 10 Kw-hours are needed. So if we could put all the available 230 Gw-hrs into EV batteries we could, crudely and theoretically, service a population of between 32 million and 46 million EVs without any additional capacity. At the end of March 2017 there were around ~37 million vehicles licensed in Great Britain, of which ~31 million were cars [3]

Of course this analysis is simplified. It ignores a myriad of variables such as pumped storage, power imported from other countries, battery powered trucks, capacity currently used to refine and distribute petrol and so on, but as an order-of magnitude approximation it is useful.

Is it possible to manage demand like this? Certainly it is. All that is required is to give the control of “normal” charge rate to centralised automated processes (with appropriate over rides, agreed contractual arrangements and financial incentives). The technology to achieve this is straightforward.

But there is an even simpler way: between midnight and 7:00 a.m. the cumulative “energy available” is about 133 Gw-hrs: sufficient (theoretically) to do an average day’s charge on between 18 million and 26 million EVs. My electricity almost halves in price during those hours and my EV is capable of starting to charge at any time I wish; so I do most of my charging in those hours (Figure 3).


Figure 3 Overnight charging window midnight to 7:00 a.m.

There is another consideration here. One of the juggling acts that the controllers of any grid system must manage is spikes and troughs in demand. Electricity must in general be consumed as it is generated: so a sudden change in demand may require the start-up of additional generating capacity, the use of pumped storage, reducing supply to a flexible consumer, additional imports etc. If they do it right, voltage and frequency stay steady and nobody notices. If they get it slightly wrong we have temporary brownouts. If they make a complete mess of things, or are hit by too many variables at once the system can collapse as happened recently in South Australia.

Figure 4 is an example of just such a peak. It is half time in a televised football (soccer) match. Within a minute or so the demand goes up by around 1 Gw. This is about the total output of the Sizewell B nuclear power plant, or a quarter of the capacity of the Drax power station – largest in the UK.


Figure 4 Example of spike in demand with a “normal” day for comparison

Wind energy complicates this juggling act because the output of a wind turbine is intrinsically variable and can change extremely rapidly. A sudden storm hitting a wind farm such as the London Array (630 Mw) could take ½ Gw off line in seconds. With the right technology and the right contractual arrangements between householders and the energy companies, 30 million EVs provide a powerful and flexible tool for the unseen (and under-valued) grid jugglers.

Time for another thought experiment.

Suppose our 30 million EVs had a battery capacity of 75 kW-hrs (similar to today’s Chevy Bolt and entry level Tesla Model 3). Suppose the contractual deal was that the grid managers could help themselves to (say) 10% of that capacity any time the vehicle was plugged in, provided that it was fully charged by a specified time. That would theoretically provide a 200+ Gw-hr buffer which could be dialled up and down almost instantly. In practice of course it would be less (not all the EVs would be plugged in and some would be less than 90% charged), but even (say) 50 Gw-hrs would be handy: it far exceeds the UK’s current pumped storage capacity for example.

[As an aside, whilst this sort of buffer would be very helpful in managing short-term peaks and troughs, the idea of 100% wind/solar with battery back-up for days or weeks is infeasible with current technology in the foreseeable future. Vey roughly UK demand in winter is around 1000 Gw-hr/day. If the sun didn’t shine and the wind didn’t blow for ten days, the UK alone would need ~10,000 Gw-hr of battery storage. That is 4-5 times the total battery capacity of a fleet of 30 million electric cars, and more than 300 times the total world output of lithium ion batteries in 2014]

Misconception #5: EVs will be constrained by a shortage of lithium

There is not enough lead around to power a large fleet of EVs, but there is almost certainly enough lithium.

Two factors in particular help

  • Lithium is not like oil. Oil is dug up, refined, distributed and burned. The supply requirements are ongoing. By contrast, lithium is extracted, made into batteries and, er that’s it for ten years or so. It is then (at least partially) recycled. Once lithium is in the system it will (mostly) stay there.
  • Lithium is not like lead. Very roughly, 60% of the weight of a lead acid battery is lead [4] and the energy density of a lead acid battery is about 30 watt-hours per kg; so a 75 Kw-hr lead acid battery (Chevy Bolt size) would weigh about 2,500 kg, of which 1,500 kg would be lead (that explains why lead acid EVs are experiments, not serious transport). Estimates of the amount of lithium used in a lithium ion battery vary greatly from about 80 grams per Kw-hr to 250 grams per Kw-hr [5]. These figures translate to a lithium content of between 6 and 19 kg of lithium for our hypothetical 75 Kw-hr battery. Either way there is about two orders of magnitude difference between the weight of lead and the weight of lithium used to produce a battery of the same capacity.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) suggests that “reserves” of lithium globally are about 14 million tons (this is measured as mass of an equivalent amount of pure lithium), but suggests a “Resources” figure of about 40 million tons [6]. At 13kg per car, 1 million tons of lithium would be sufficient for 76 million cars. One estimate is that global car production in 2016 was ~72 million [7]. If we assume the “worst case” of:

  • No lithium recycling (there are plants already up and running, but let’s be devil’s advocate and assume this)
  • Only 25% of reserves available for cars (the rest going into ceramics, commercial vehicles, grid storage etc)
  • No substitution of lithium by other metals in batteries
  • Only the USGS “reserve” of 14 million turned out to be available (i.e. the 40 million “resources” never materialise)
  • No substantial increase in efficiency of usage (i.e. Kw-hrs per kg of lithium remains unchanged)

If we make all these assumptions we can make the case that there is only enough lithium to support 3 or 4 years of car production in a world where all cars are electric. This is however a false picture for several reasons:

· The price of a finished battery is very insensitive to the price of the lithium raw material. This means that the price for lithium can increase greatly without having a noticeable effect on battery prices. This gives lots of financial headroom for exploiting reserves that are not economic at current prices. If the price goes high enough, it would in theory be possible to extract it from seawater. One estimate put the amount of lithium in the world’s oceans at 230 billion tons [8]

  • Over the years, reserves of oil have gone up very greatly (see for example [9]). It is not unreasonable to expect lithium reserves to increase in a similar way
  • As hinted earlier, lithium is in fact reclaimed from old batteries. Again, if shortages develop there is financial headroom to increase the efficiency of this process
  • Lithium is used in the battery cathode because it is the “best” element electrically. If shortages developed alternatives could be used (see for example [10])

Misconception #6 – No I’ll stop here

There are dozens of arguments fielded against EVs; I have yet to encounter one which stood up under examination. It is going to happen regardless of “the environment”; and if the Western manufacturers can’t or won’t adapt, the economic outlook for the rising generation does not look good.


[1] Average daily private car mileage in the UK is about 21 [ 7,800 miles per year for privately owned cars = 21 m.p.d. [Company cars 18,900 = 51 m.p.d. but they are a small percentage]. In the US it is about 30 [, 11,244 miles per year for cars = 30 miles per day]

[2] “…The new station at the Xiaoying bus terminal in the Chaoyang district is home to 25 electric vehicle (EV) chargers operating at 360kW and five chargers operating at 90kW. Reportedly all 30 chargers can operate at once….” From

[3] See table veh0102 accessed from


[5] Note that this article is old and a bit dated

[6] Note the heading “Data in metric tons of lithium content unless otherwise noted”. This is important as the material mined, and the materials used in battery production are not metallic lithium, but lithium compounds. Lithium carbonate for example is less than a fifth lithium by weight






697 thoughts on “In Defense of the Electric Car – part 3

    • Agreed – and the number of vehicles being charged means BIG ‘gas stations’ will be required. This is a typical motorway service station – sure there are large car parks for folk who want a drink/toilets/etc, but most vehicles simply refuel and head on their way in a few minutes.

    • Also, it’s 20 min to 80% charge, with no mention of how much charge one should have when going to find a charge. Do you drive a gasoline car to empty before refilling? So, range is down at least 20%, probably more like 30–40% as you do not drive until no charge is left. The 300 mile range is now down to 195 miles; you have to recharge every three hours and spend at least 30 min at the stop, assuming you do not have to wait for a charging station opening. Also, assuming that charging stations will make their profits from what people spend while charging is a false hope. I certainly would be more likely take a catnap and not spend any money.

      Also, no mention of the fact that fast charging decreases the life of the battery?

      • Higley7 – You’re partially right based on my experience. When I take a cross-country trip I usually want to pull into the charger with about 50 miles or less left on the battery, because charging rates are higher the lower the existing charge is on the battery. Assuming the next charger is about 150 miles away, I can get that in about 20-25 minutes, although note this article assumes that charging rates can increase from what Tesla supercharging stations now provide. I don’t know whether that’s feasible or not.

        However, you also have to remember that supercharging, or fast charging, is the exception rather than the rule. With gasoline engine cars, no one has the option of charging at home, so every car driven refuels every time at a gas station. With electric cars, only a tiny percentage are fast charging at any given time because for most people’s driving habits, they charge overnight in their garage. Even though I spend a lot of time recharging on road trips, over the course of the year I still save on refueling time because ordinarily the car is refueling while I sleep. Thus, it should be easily feasible to get enough fast chargers on the road to avoid waiting in line for a charge. This also addresses the concern about the effect of fast charging on battery life – it just isn’t significant because almost all of the recharging will be done at home.

        As for TheLastDemocrat’s comment that the 10-year battery life is “mythical,” it is not. My battery in my hybrid lasted 12 years before it went out. After over 60K miles in my Tesla I see no measurable decrease in the 300 mile battery capacity, and data collected since Teslas have been on the road (including the Roadster) indicates that 10 years is a conservative estimate of when the battery would need to be replaced.

      • Kurt, Perhaps you don’t spend much time on the highway. But most everybody on the highway is going distance. So if you count everybody on the highway between cities needs to spend 20 minutes at the service station, that is a lot of parking lot. God help us if we have to wait until a charging station becomes available.

      • “With gasoline engine cars, no one has the option of charging at home, so every car driven refuels every time at a gas station.”

        That would seem to imply that the takings of the “gas” stations will fall dramatically when when we switch to EVs so, presumably, there will be fewer of them in existence which means they will be farther apart.

        I am just thinking aloud here. It would follow that the queues could still be quite long because the number of charging stations had fallen to compensate for the amount of sales. I wonder how many “20 minute” charges would be extended to nearly an hour as you wait for a charging point to come available.

      • I agree with Higley7. Basing calculations on a 300 mile range is entirely too optimistic. 300 miles is a sticker value. What you might get with a new battery pack on a nice Spring or Autumn day with a following wind and when the force is with you. In reality, battery packs lose some capacity over time, and quick charges are only to 80% (240 mile sticker range) and most people want to have a bit of capacity left when they get to their destination. And range is degraded in very hot and especially very cold weather, And people really do make 250 mile plus weekend trips — Los Angeles-Mammoth Mtn Ski area — 309 miles. NYC to the Adirondacks or Green Mountains — 350 miles. NYC to Montreal — a bit over 400 miles. Even London to Paris is around 280 miles by road. And NYC to Boston or Washington DC if a bit over 200 miles. Those with long memories will recall that the New York Times established a few years ago that in practice one can’t get from NYC to Boston on a cold Winter night without a recharge.

        It seems to me that everything in the article is similarly optimistic. Assume sticker values. Ignore queuing issues at charging stations. Overestimate home charging abilities, etc,etc,etc.

        My opinion. Batteries will get better. Ranges will increase. Efficiencies will improve. But as of today EVs aren’t very practical except as local transport and perhaps those seeking an adventure seeking a charging station that may not exist or may be unusable (broken, incompatible connector,…) in the middle of nowhere on a cold Winter night.

      • “Kurt, Perhaps you don’t spend much time on the highway. But most everybody on the highway is going distance.”

        I do spend a lot of time on the Interstate. It’s the vast majority of my 80-mile a day commute so I’m well aware of how much passenger traffic is there. You say that most everyone there is going “distance” but you don’t try to put numbers on that. When I’m driving the 50 miles between Omaha and Lincoln the overwhelming majority of passenger cars are driving just that 50 mile “distance” which is well within the round trip range of a 300 mile battery pack. Same for the “distance” between Portland and Salem, or even Portland and Eugene which could be done round trip in one full charge (about 180 miles). But when I’m driving I-80 in the middle of nowhere through Idaho, or Wyoming etc. where the truly long-distance drivers are, and after subtracting out the semi tractors, there isn’t so much traffic that couldn’t be easily accommodated by a network of fast chargers spaced at say 30-40 mile intervals. Tesla’s superchargers right now are at about 90-150 mile intervals.

        And quibbling about just how far you can get on a 300-mile pack depending on temperature, etc. is pointless. Based on my actual experience, a 300 mile pack is more than enough to get me anywhere I needed to go.

      • oh sure, no problem.. i’ll just drive 90 miles out of my way to find a Tesla “SuperCharger” and then wait at least an hour before the ‘fast’ recharge is complete. That is SO much better than an ICE car where I can ‘recharge’ anywhere, anytime in about 3 minutes.

      • Sam Khoury –

        You do that. In the meantime I’ll drive 90 miles in my electric car, 90 miles back to my house in my electric car, and then just recharge in my garage for my next trip. But if I were you, while you’re wasting all that time on your mythical venture, I’d brush up a little on your reading comprehension skills.

      • Higley7 “as you do not drive until no charge is left”

        A very good point that seems to be glossed over by the greenies. It puts the mileage claims into perspective.

      • The big flaw in this series of arguments is this: it is parochial. Driving conditions in the UK, and much of Europe; do not mirror driving conditions in the US. Especially the non-coastal city US. I drove 30 miles, one way, to work each day. And I knew many others who drove much longer distances, 130 miles each way in one case. Going shopping or out for dinner is at least a 40 mile round trip. My wife’s new car, less than a year old already has 15,000 miles on it. 50 miles a day. Our college aged son also drives it.

        I just a guess but I’d say you need to double or triple your average daily driving in the US. And yes 20 minutes is too long to wait at the service station.

    • Firstly, current CCS fast chargers , such as the 350KW version usable right now by the upcoming Porsche Mission e can recharge to 80% in less than 15 minutes. The CCS protocol also allows for 500KW charging levels, which would cut that time to less than 10 minutes. Anyone who lives in a house or a condo where they have access to Level 2 chargers isn’t going to recharge at any
      public fast charge station unless they are on a trip. And those who can’t recharge at home and claim that spending 15 minutes at a public fast charging station once per week is unacceptable are nuts.

      • Math? The lost art.

        VOLTAGE kills. AMPERAGE requires copper. WATTAGE is Volts times amps. I’m trying to imagine a world where 500 kW can be “pumped” over a 3 meter charging cable that’s long-term safe, using cable that is light enough to be handled by my fiancé, and has an exactly ZERO chance of accidentally electrocuting the operator in the middle of a rainstorm, with wind, in the dark, near the sea.

        There is a reason why 400 volts is considered the top limit to industrial use for staff without special training and permits. It, just like 240, 220,120 and so on can kill you, but with way less ability to percolate thru invisible cracks in insulation, or with the nominal conductivity of flying rain water.

        500 kW at 400 volts (if we stick to the safe voltage) requires 1,200 amps. On 2 wires AC or DC. Or 800 amps on 3 wires, if AC. Power loss (cable heating) is “ohmic”. E=IR … P=IE … P=I²R = E²/R. Cable heating in turn depends on power loss and thermal wicking. If a cable is actively cooled (having either a hollow center or jacket with flowing non-ionic coolant), the power loss can be quite high. High power loss is high resistance, which is minimal copper, which is light weight. But if you want durable, “10 year” outdoor flexible cables, power loss must be low, because insulation is thick, heat conductivity, low.

        My fiancé won’t be able to man-handle a 35 lb, 10 foot power cable. Period. yet, this is exactly what 1,200 amps (x 2) or 800 amps (x 3) conductor cable would require, for passively cooled cable that can work up to Las Vegas ambient heat levels.

        Moreover, tho’ the “easy solution” is just to raise the voltage (to 600 or 800 or 1,000 volts), this in turn puts rather outrageous safety requirements on the whole under-the-hood car battery and energy management subsystem. And it becomes exponentially harder to make a 10-year-safe outdoor power cable.

        While I don’t doubt that there are 300 and 500 kW constant-current-source chargers now envisioned, they’re also in the realm of having 10 gallon-per-minute gasoline pumps. Over-filling becomes a life-and-limb threatening petrol-gusher problem, when ANY component goes awry. Its one of the reasons (at least in USA) why conventional pumps are limited to 4–5 GPM. “Fast enough”. Only the Big Truck diesel stations get away with 10 GPM. And only those on Big Highways.


      • The faster the charge, the hotter the battery is going to get (and everything else in the charging circuit to boot).
        The hotter the batter gets the shorter the batteries life is going to be.
        PS: All that extra heat is also energy that is being loss, which makes the EV even less competitive.

      • Goatguy:ib

        Finally someone with some electric background. The only thing you didn’t cover is the distribution needs to provide for, say, fifty 500kw charging stations in a big parking lot at a roadside station. Remember, there is a reason you don’t find 10 kv (or higher) lines underground serving consumer accessed devices.

        I also need to point out that many, many people will charge multiple times throughout the day. In cold climates where you may commute 50 mi one way at an average speed of 25 mph with the heater, wiper, other electronics, and a battery heater running, you will probably want to charge when you get there, meaning you may charge 3 or 4 times a day vastly increasing the needed generating capacity.

      • access to Level 2 chargers, as long as there enough of them , but they you lost quite a bit of car parking space to . So less ability to find somewhere to park , and EV take up THE SAME SPACE , as other types of cars .

      • GoatGuy: Thank you so very much. I have been trying to say what you said for a long time. But, not being any kind of a engineer I did not have the facts,

        An issue you did not discuss with fast charging is the dissipation of heat from the batteries being fast charged. I assume it will require a fairly intense and and non trivial cooling system.

      • I’m retired now, but given my old commute (25 years of it), I would have to charge my battery every other day, not once a week. No, thanks.

      • These things will “catch on” when they become both profitable to produce and preferable to drive. Right now that looks a long way in the future.

        Side Note: The cultural divide between urban and rural people’s norms in the USA are rapidly diverging. While the embrace of collectivization (mass transit, ride sharing, AI) may work in the city, I don’t see it being adopted by rural people any time soon–for both practical and philosophical reasons.

      • Goatguy, it sounds like it might be better to build inductive charging devices into parking spaces, so everything remains self contained and user friendly.
        Also, if weight is the issue, and not cross sectional area, then it’s probably better to use aluminum than copper.

      • GoatGuy – you just described one of the three shore power cables we would run from our destroyer to the pier. Three phase, 450V, 500Amp. Pretty heavy. My least favorite part of being a Navy Electricians Mate.

    • I think the key to making EVs work would be charging lanes on the highway. They could use the same tech currently being used to charge phones wirelessly.

      • You propose to run high voltage, high current lines in every road in the country to inductance charge moving objects, many moving objects in close proximity all with varying load demands? Damn – I admit, this would be a very exciting engineering project to work on but completely impractical.

      • Yeah, I think I’ll pass on driving through high intensity, rapidly varying magnetic field lines, thank you very much.

      • Washington DC tried that with their electric streetcars. Horses got electrocuted. But details, details. I understand that this concept is being looked at again. Maybe this time will be different.

      • I prefer the Star Trek teleportation machine. Faster, cleaner, cheaper, and equally attainable. We only have to find a source of dilithium.

      • Pete,
        You don’t know what you are talking about. Some things don’t scale up nicely, and this is one of them.

      • Even if that were physically practical (it’s not), electricity costs money. How would you measure use per individual vehicle for billing?

      • Neil Jordan November 9, 2017 at 10:29 am
        “Washington DC tried that with their electric streetcars. Horses got electrocuted. But details, details. I understand that this concept is being looked at again. Maybe this time will be different.”

        Maybe politicians will be electrocuted this time?
        Just saying’ you know. No malice and all that.


      • It’s a little amusing to link to an article that essential says this is being developed in NZ and then to be followed by a string of comments saying it can’t happen. Perhaps it is the folly of doing a link that is nondescript.

        I’ll try another but this time include a few quotes:

        “These WEVC (Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging) systems have been successfully integrated and tested on a number of different vehicle platforms: Renault Fluence; Nissan Leaf; BMWi3; BMWi8 and Honda Accord.

        “Moreover, the technology has been used and tested in the harsh environment of motorsports over the past 3 years. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. was an official technology and founding partner of FIA Formula E Championship and integrated 7.4 kW charging systems into the official FIA Formula E safety cars. ….

        “The number of development contracts and requests for quotation from automotive manufacturers is on the increase and it is expected that production orders will be placed soon and we will start to see WEVC systems on production vehicles in the next 2-3 years.”

        “Today’s wireless charging technologies have efficiencies north of 90 percent, which is just a percent or two less than plug-in systems. The magnetics of the wireless transformer are essentially split (the primary on the ground and the secondary on the vehicle), and power is coupled using fields that are shaped to exist in the gap. The power-transfer efficiency is further improved by turning on only when a vehicle is present and needing power.

        “The wireless architecture is naturally isolated so there’s no risk of shock, and in operation fields are shaped and controlled, to both maximize power transfer efficiency and to minimize fields outside the vehicle footprint to remove potential interference or exposure to humans. Additional safety is incorporated in the ground pad using ancillary systems for foreign object detection (FOD) and living object protection (LOP). Should either FOD or LOP safety system be triggered, power transfer will be suspended. The driver will be notified via a phone or email alert, and charging will restart once the metallic or living object has been removed or moves on. ”

        “The Future

        “Dynamic electric vehicle charging (charging on the move), is a potential future application of this technology. This could be applicable in slow moving traffic, for instance at taxi ranks and also at higher speeds, such as lanes on a highway. As an example, Qualcomm recently showcased such a demonstration that can provide 20 kW to a vehicle for charging while it is travelling at speeds up to and in excess of 100 km/h. The technology is an obvious fit with autonomous vehicles. “

      • mobihci: “you know that moving a mass of steel through a magnetic field generates voltage, right?”

        Yes, and vice versa , and thank goodness for that because if it didn’t none of this would be possible.

      • I wonder if my pace maker will get recharged by moving along such highways? Just think, I might be able to run a 5-minute mile again!

      • wireless power transfer is done inductively. no mystery, just like a big transformer. thing is, moving things inside a transformer completely alter the function. anything moving through the field will generate unwanted voltages and while it may be ok with a very close connection where everything is shielded, on anything that is not, it will be a hazard. this system will never be practical on a road used by any type of car, and without a perfect surface. fine for factory floor or something like that, but useless for anything else.

      • mobihci “this system will never be practical on a road used by any type of car”

        I fear that there are people in this world who understand this area much better than you do. For example you did note the comment re Qualcomm I quoted above?

        So much to learn, so little time.

      • Um. I wonder what the penetration of wireless charging would be, economically? Just motorways/Interstates, or how far down the non-motorway infrastructure does it stretch? Then think of load management, e.g. on the M25 (London circular motorway) in rush hour. All those vehicles would likely get well less than the power it takes to crawl along in the traffic jam.
        The OP also suggests that EVs can act as a peak lopper for short term rapid load changes on the network. I just wonder how this could be managed. Doing it in one dwelling is ‘easy’ – it just needs a smarter load sensor on the charger. However to be at all practical it would have to work at a higher aggregation level (11kV or even 33kV in the UK) as the concentration of EVs, especially in the early days, won’t map on to the distribution of load changes at a low enough level in the network. That’s an interesting signalling problem to control all the chargers, and an even more interesting (as in hard) network stability problem to solve.

      • HAS, in parts 1, 2 and 3 I have included information that it is possible to create onboard charging that would keep the battery charged as power is being used. In part 1 I said that the manufacturers would not do it. Why? Because if there was ever a self sustaining vehicle that did not require other exterior energy, it would put every other form of transportation out of business. The whole economies of countries would be turned upside down. Fossil Fuels prices and production would tank in a proverbial “blink of an eye.” Millions of people would become unemployed that work in FF industries to the delivering it to the public and industries as FF vehicles are discarded as fast as they can get a new EV to replace it. And this technology if done on a mass scale would replace all other forms of generating electricity.

        I feel these manufacturers know they cannot make this simple technology available for those simple reasons. No responsible government would allow it either, on a mass scale.

        Which leaves the technologies as you have presented are being created and have been testing it. As well as Hybrid vehicles.

    • The 300 mile number is the absolute best case number.
      No other drain on the battery and when driving well below highway speeds.
      Drive at highways speeds with the radio, AC, headlights on, and that 300 mile number drops dramatically.

      • Don’t forget cabin heat for half the year in the northern part of the US as well as the effect of cold temps on battery power.

      • Don’t forget that if you live in places like Phoenix you need air conditioning in the car practically 9 months of the year. The wondrous batteries described here are like the wondrous promise of fusion reactors. ALWAYS, 20 years in the future for a commercial model. In the case of fusion power, they have been saying it since around 1960. They still haven’t overcome the main problem they were talking about at the time – containment.

      • Another problem would be with drivers trying to conserve power by not using their spot lights which would be a serious increase in road accidents.

      • Barbara It is not greenhouse gas pollution. Co2 is the building block of life on this planet. More is better

      • “In the case of fusion power, they have been saying it since around 1960.”

        For batteries substitute “1860”.

      • Which has always surprised me. The Chevy Volt seemed the right solution. An ICE to run a generator, almost all else was electric. But having an ICE meant that cabin temperature control was exactly as its’ always been. The best of both worlds.

    • might be a moot issue- i have a feeling that when cars can drive themselves, the bottom drops out of the automobile market – at least in major metropolitan areas which is most of the population. just take the headless bus or headless taxi – why buy? avoid the hassle of parking, maintaining; the insurance cost, grand theft auto, misdemeanor burglaries, keyings, bird droppings, parking lot dings… who needs it?

      • “just take the headless bus or headless taxi – why buy?”

        I’d agree. I’m going to keep my pickup truck and make a killing at Ikea.

      • Imagine the whole of Dallas-FtWorth riding buses everywhere. Ok, wake from the nightmare. An all bus city would demand everyone live close to their work. Any map of the commuting patterns in any large city in the US would demand hours of commuting to work… one way. Just try on Google Maps to go by bus anywhere. And adding more lines doesn’t help, since you still have to switch lines. Who wants to stand waiting for a bus in 100 degree heat, 32 degree sleet, etc. There is a reason that only those who cannot afford/drive cars use busses for all their lives.

      • I don’t see headless taxis being much cheaper or more convenient than the current ones.
        The vast majority of people, when they are able, choose their own car rather than rely on taxis now.
        I see no reason why I should assume that is going to change any time in the near future.

      • Americans really are not fond of mass transit. I cannot see them liking “headless” transport any more than they like it today with actual drivers. The average American outside the big metropolitan areas, and some inside, still love their automobile. That may change as millennials grow older. Of course if they get their way the “the really big head” in Washington will tell us how we will do everything.

      • The “headless taxi” has been a pipe-dream for decades. The main problem with it is that it requires solving one of the classic unsolved problems of mathematics: “the travelling salesman problem”. For a large number of vehicles simultaneously. In real time.

      • Main limitation of any kind of public transport is that you have nowhere to put stuff you’ve bought at one shop while you go to another. That means shopping has to be done in multiple small stages, each requiring a complete journey. If you have to pay for public transport that soon gets to be more expensive than taking a private vehicle. Even if you don’t it’s still an extremely time consuming way to shop.

      • The Traveling Salesman Problem is not an unsolved problem. It just has exponential time solution(s).

      • Uber and Lyft are already doing that for us when we go to the Bay area.
        We park at the AIrB+B, and only use Uber etc to get around, or walk. With parking at some spots over $20, the price of the fare, for 2-3 people, and the convenience of not having to drive in unfamiliar environments makes it all the better. That being said, I am not talking about going to Seattle from SF.

      • @noaa

        that travelling salesman problem assumes only 1 salesman and fixed nodes to travel to

        as such it is not analogous, nor applicable to Uber Lyft or “headless taxis”

        1. There are multiple salesmen (Uber Lyft and headless taxis)
        2. The locations of riders are not fixed in time nor space

        False analogy

    • I agree. It takes 5 mins say to fill a petrol/diesel car including paying for the fuel at which time you can grab a coffee/food and get going again. If you have a companion one can shop and one fill then change over. If you want to stop for a meal you then just park elsewhere and settle in. With EV’s the vehicle has to be at a charging station => re-energising stations need to have 4 times as many outlets. So what is the comparative price of the refill? Where does the charging station make its ?

      Not insurmountable issues and only affecting interstate highway and similar rural/remote areas but journey’s in such areas are a real consideration in vehicle purchase decisions.

      The real issue here is the rate at which the EV takeup can reasonably proceed. Urban transport in medium and high density areas, no problem. Even in low density macburbia with 30-40 km typical journey’s again no real problem – if that is all the travelling you do. The zealots and spruikers are pusing a bit to hard. Their market has a lot of ‘vehicle vegans’ who love to strut their stuff as well as the likes of Anthony who just want to see what the reality is and to whose circumstances an EV may otherwise be quite well suited.

      I drive a 15 yo diesel wagon and get 1000-1200 km per 60 litre tank. I work from home so fill it maybe once a month. An EV with a 480 km range would be acceptable to me since it would be on charge at home most of the time and drawing off my solar panels. That said I paid $4500 for my lovely, middle aged Peugeot so paying say 10 times that for a replacement is a hurdle to be considered.

      • Hadn’t thought of that previously. The idea of eating while your car is charging means where ever you eat has to be within walking distance from the charging station.

      • You got that right MS.

        Imagine a roadside “station” and the associated McD or Burger King or IHOP or….. We can imagine, can’t we?

        So we have 40 or 50 folks inside eating and hitting the john. Their 10 or so autos are on the cosmic chargers for what? 15 to 20 minutes? Where are the other 10 or 15 cars that cannot use a charger? And then they take another 15 minutes to charge while the next dozen cars pull in. I can imagine munching on my BLT at IHOP, “Honey, that Tesla just pulled out and I might be able to get over there to hook up before another car pulls in!”

        Then imagine the 60 foot power tower that has 10,000 volt lines and the down transformer to get that EMF to something practical. Then the100 or 200 foot run of size 1 or bigger copper to the station distribution network for the 10 or 20 charging points you would need considering the average number of folks pulling in to get gas, eat and such. Go to a basic convenience store at rush hour and see how many folks avail themselves and then go on their way. And for a nightmare, look at pictures of Florida’s and Houston’s big highways during a hurricane evacuation. Talk about road rage and upsert folks?

        The same description above applies to most residential areas in the urban environments. There is no way to run the volts and amps using the existing infrastructure for neighborhood charging stations. Ditto for home chargers. Most folks would not like that 100 foot power tower just down the street. I can just “imagine” the electrocutions in my multi-level parking garage, even if we could run the huge copper wires and pay for the individual chargers.

        But we can “imagine”, huh?

        Gums sends…

    • A gas station is a special purpose inventory storage and dispensing system for highly flammable liquids. The fact that it involves a human in the dispensing process is not a necessary constraint. We COULD have cars and gas stations that are hands free if there were a good enough reason.

      It isn’t necessary to fast charge a battery inside an electric car. It is only necessary to remove and replace a discharged battery cartridge with a fully charged battery cartridge. This could be done hands free, or the battery pack could be made up of an assembly of smaller, lighter but identical voltage modules that are more easily handled. The charge in these could be consumed in sequence by the car so you don’t have to drive until they are all empty.

      The gas station becomes the charging station, but the charging is done offline. It could also be just like propane distribution where the filling station is elsewhere and you can buy refilled cannisters at the grocery store. By the way, the propane cannisters for my BBQ weigh 20 lbs and my wife handles them fine.

      That’s how I see fast charging. Fast charge the CAR not the BATTERY.

      • Lee,
        That would require that battery physical size, shape, weight, capacity, mounting points, and electrical/data interconnects are standardized across the entire industry. Not impossible, but not easy, and definitely not something that can be done quickly. That’s my biggest complaint to EV boosters: over hyping the ease and speed at which EVs will replace ICE vehicles.

      • “The charge in these could be consumed in sequence by the car so you don’t have to drive until they are all empty.”

        Very difficult with a Li-ion battery. The cells must be balanced, otherwise you will ruin the battery. Google “battery balancing”.
        And exchanging 1000 lb+ battery pack with tight physical tolerances and heavy duty electrical connections quickly and automatically is not trivial. Particularly not in rain/snow/sleet/icing/muddy conditions.

      • Sigh… I’ve seen this comparison with propane cylinders before. Apples and oranges. Car batteries weigh 540kgs and cost about $10000 new. Nobody is going to exchange a battery of this cost and absorb the additional cost of having to discard the battery if it’s too old. Different for propane cyclinders, where the cost of expired cyclinders can be absorbed in the exchange cost. Now, about that design of the car battery replacement facility…

      • “The fact that it involves a human in the dispensing process”
        That seems to be a peculiarly American approach. Here, you very rarely see a pump attendant. There may be a cashier but that’s all. Sometimes they are completely unmanned, you just pay at a credit card machine.

      • It would have to be an automated system, where no human contact is involved, Pull into a bay, guided into a socket type slot, battery eject switch is engaged, battery is removed, new battery installed, door shuts and off you go.
        Gee..I can’t see anything going wrong there, unless we have Star Trek Bays for pod deployment.

    • The charge station is present technology. Future technology might well deliver re-charge as-you-go. Then you don’t have to stop at all (but it might be a good idea to stop when you get to the sea).

      • We can just go the whole route — just exchange your discharged car for a fully-charged one. :) Rent-AN-EV…

    • Nowhere in this series of articles have you given me a reason to prefer an EV over a conventional engine.
      I think I speak for the vast majority that outside of ride-share fleets, taxis and delivery vehicles in inner city areas, EV’s are going to be a very tough sell. You can’t sell something people won’t buy.

  1. …Once again this is highly unlikely to become a problem. Incentivising people to charge off peak is trivial, as is the technology…

    I don’t want to be ‘incentivised’ to do something I don’t want to do.

    …“Fast charge” needs to be fast however: 20 minutes from empty to 80% charge. …adding a 10kW EV wall box is no more complex than installing an electric shower and would recharge an exhausted battery in a 300 mile range car in 7-10 hours….

    So… when the issue is speed of charge, you say that charge can be done quickly (at a high amp rate), and when the issue is providing power for peaks you say that the charge can be at a low rate.

    You can’t have it both ways….

    • You can have it both ways actually. You can charge batteries cheaply slowly and efficiently on overnight rates or have a 30 minute top up on a motorway and pay double for it.

      • I wonder if the author lives on the East-Coast. The kind of road trips I engage in, a 30-minute stop every 300 miles would be a HUGE inconvenience. That’s two to three times as long as a typical family gas-pee-coffee-go road trip stop.

      • Or the industry will transition to swap in/out battery packs.

        Makes the most sense, would take less than 10 minutes, no charging infrastructure needed at site — simply a robust battery distribution system.

      • If people are hot charging in the middle of the day, then the power companies are going to have to provide new electric generation capacity.

      • Karl, only after the recharge stations buy equipment capable of swapping hundreds of pounds of battery pack at a cost of 10’s to 100’s of thousands of dollars and will take almost as long as a current hot charge.
        You still haven’t resolved the issue of swapping new batteries for old.

      • …You can have it both ways actually….

        NO! The author is arguing that there is no problem with providing the power distribution infrastructure, because ‘slow charge’ does not require new wiring.

        Then, when he considers the issue of ‘waiting for a charge’, he says that it is no problem, because fast charge takes only 20 minutes. But you can’t have a fast charge unless you have the infrastructure, and he has already said that you don’t need it so long as you slow charge….

        Incidentally. how do you get a flat electric car home? With a petrol one you just put a few pints in the tank…

      • It’s a moving target. Overnight rates are low because it is currently the time of low demand. Make it a period of high demand and, hey presto! Overnight rates are suddenly not so low.

      • i live in the uk. i regularly do journeys over 300 miles . i also tend to drive a bit faster than is legal. to date not one single car i have owned has got near the book mpg figures, not even close. i like burning fuel faster than most people. it means i am having fun driving/riding, something that appears to be an alien concept to the op. i know many others that also drive cars and ride motorcycles for fun.

        i have absolutely no doubt i would flatten the battery in the in john hardys car far quicker than he does. not everyone drives or rides the same and no one seems to take this into account.

        the ev debate appears to ignore recreational vehicle users and those that do regular long trips. city based drones tend to assume everyone else is/should be of the same mind as them.

        a lot of this appears to be some wet dream dreamt up by some common purpose drone . by all means push on with electric car development and when they are fit for purpose and competitive with ice vehicles they will stand on their own merits,there will be no need for subsidies or the hard sell. currently they make perfect sense for low mileage commuters and others regularly driving short distances. they do not make sense for many others (far more than john would assume i reckon) ,motoring enthusiast forums will attest to that.

        once real world range (real world being winter time in uk, heating on, heated seats on,wipers on ,4 people in car with some luggage etc) reaches the 350 to 400 mile mark then they will have wider appeal,even then in continental europe, america and australia i think 500 miles plus would be desirable if not necessary in some cases.

      • @ MArk

        Sure I did, you scan them and then measure the charge needed to refill


        People could lease the batteries

        It’s not a hard issue to solve.

        Every single gasoline ICE vehicle has the same interface to the gas pump.

        The only reason EV cars have not adopted a standard is IP and greed

        A generic interface properly designed modular battery pack could be swapped in less than 5 minutes.

      • “The only reason EV cars have not adopted a standard is IP and greed

        When I see that word pop up, I know I am dealing with an ideologue, and further conversation will be pointless.

        “It’s not a hard issue to solve.”

        Famous last words.

      • “equipment capable of swapping hundreds of pounds of battery pack”

        Not hundreds, thousands, a Model S battery pack weighs 1200 lbs and is about 10 feet by 5 feet:

        It will take heavy machinery to handle that.

        “Incidentally. how do you get a flat electric car home?”

        If it has a Li-ion battery and is a few years old you might not want to bother. A flat Li-ion battery is dead. Buy a new car instead.

      • No, you and John are very wrong here. You cannot travel long distances and fast-charge the battery to only 80% – those two requirements are incompatible, especially since you can’t travel until the battery is flat – you have to allow some margin of safety and pull into a charging station earlier. So yes, by all means use your EV for short distance driving with very controlled recharging and you should obtain a good battery lifetime, but for the rest of us, expecting to travel long distances with restricted recharging is simply not possible.

      • “You cannot travel long distances and fast-charge the battery to only 80% – those two requirements are incompatible.”

        I just did it in early October. I drove from Portland to Lincoln, NE and back, and the only times I charged to full capacity was overnight at hotels while I was sleeping. Aside from that I would typically charge from a low of about 20-50,miles up to about 170-210 miles and then move on.

  2. I believe that misconception 1 is not a misconception.

    Batteries will never be really good enough to replace a fuel car.

    The electric car may be suitable for 95% of journeys, but do you want to travel in an airliner safe in 95% of storms? or buy an umbrella that only keeps out the rain 95% of the time?

    Electric cars will work ONLY if they are legislated for. And a total change in our way of life to accommodate them accompanies legislation to outlaw fuel cars.

    If they were all we had they would do, but they are not all we have.

    • @Leo

      Not even with swap in/out modularity? — The cells are in series — here is no reason (other than current design and proprietary IP rights) that a 75kWh battery pack could not be a set of 5, 15 kWh or even 15, 5 kWh modules, that can be swapped out like one swaps out the batteries for Uninterruptable Power Supply Units.

      In, attendant scans modules removed, swaps for full charge, — removed cell packs are recharged (amount charged less full capacity = remaining charge which is credited back to the consumer’s account.

      Less than 5 min — in and out.

      Robots could do it — or we could give people jobs.

      • And, very quickly, the battery supply would be adulterated with batteries that have been abused or damaged. It would be a crap shoot regarding the quality of the battery you sap in. It also assumes the existence of many more batteries than there are EV cars on the highway. This business model is seriously flawed.

      • Battery swap is a dead end business plan. Every con in the country would be setting up swap station, putting in crap battery packs to every sucker that came along and keeping the nice original battery.

      • China uses it for their EV bus fleets — and it works fine.

        I guess you have no QC process engineer where you work? Please explain how the batteries would be abused and damaged when they would only be removed by robots or technicians — and are tracked by UPC/RFID labels to show chain of custody??

        EV are inevitable, as is the demise of the ICE.

      • I said it on the other post, you drive in your nice new shiny £30,000 car with a nice new but depleted battery pack and drive out with a charged 10 year clapped out pack.
        No thanks.

      • frenchie – your battery swap problem is solved if the government owns all the batteries.

        so, we cannot travel unless the government happens to be in the mood to allow us to travel, that day.

      • Karl:

        China uses it for their EV bus fleets — and it works fine.

        Absolutely, and if private owners had a spare battery and they were easy to swap they could ‘work fine’ as well. But it is different if you pull into a battery swap station on a State Road in an area you do not know and have to accept the corroded end of life pack of unknown provenance they want to swap for your nice pristine battery pack.

      • So I buy myself a brand new $100,000 Tesla, (without any more subsidy from my friends and neighbors, even the ones I don’t know.

        Then I drive to see my SIL in Portland OR, needing at least one battery swap stop, and so just before I get to the Siskiyous, I pull into one of these swap meet stations, and my brand new battery gets swapped for one that is ten years old, and it drops dead on my just as I reach the Siskiyou summit.

        No way am I going to let somebody swap my battery for somebody else’s battery.


      • karl certainly has no idea of the size of battery and where it is on the tesla range . it is not a 5 minute job to swap.

      • Someone upthread mentioned that the batteries for a Tesla are about 1000 pounds.
        Now imagine a machine strong enough and dexterous enough to extract one of those from your car, store it somewhere, then put a new one into your car.
        All in 5 minutes.
        That’s going to be a very expensive machine, both to buy and maintain.
        Now imagine what kind of changes are going to be made to your car to allow that battery pack to slide in and out easily.
        Currently, battery compartments are just a bit larger than the size of the battery. Now they are going to have to be several inches taller as well as a bit larger in length and depth.
        All that extra metal is going to make your car larger and heavier, both of which are going to decrease your driving range on a charge.
        Not to mention making the car more expensive to buy and maintain.

      • It takes more than 5 minutes to swap a cell phone battery.

        Another thing, everything that’s electronic in your car is going to need a small battery to maintain data while that battery is being swapped. Otherwise you will have to reprogram everything every time you stop.

        Once again, the car gets more expensive and one more thing to break down and replace.

      • @ Ian

        Gasoline and the pumps are inspected for quality and precision by each State

        Why would it be any different for EV batteries?

      • @ Mark

        Honest Question: are physically disabled?

        I can swap my cell phone battery in 30 seconds — including rebooting — LG G3

      • Karl: Pumps are inspected once a year.
        Each battery would have to be inspected before it could be swapped back out.

        Orders of magnitude difference.

      • It’s not that simple with Li-ion batteries. The cells must be balanced or you will ruin the battery. If it is built from separate modules each must have its own load-balancing and protection electronics, which cuts it out when it reaches minimum acceptable charge. And as you say, they are in series so you will lose voltage when a module cuts out.

      • The batteries are not all in series Karl. If they were, it would be 7100 x 4v = 28,400v, a bit high for a 384volt motor, don’t you agree? It seems that you don’t really know very much about the internal workings of the EVs, do you?

      • To make this work you would need to separate the battery from the car. You purchase the car and then pay a fee for using a battery pack.

        This wouldn’t work for a variety of reasons, standardization being the main one, but it would be the starting point.

    • Agreed. The Chevy Bolt has a range of 238/240 miles
      but in reality no-one is going fit their journey exactly to that, the realistic range is under 200 miles when the battery is new and nothing else is being used.

      Very few ICE cars now have a range as low as 300 miles and 400 – 500 miles is not uncommon. so for it to be the one and only car an EV has to have a range of 300 miles reliably, journey after journey at the bare minimum.

      The only car that has a range like that is a Tesla, and that is priced to compare with cars that have a 400 – 500 range and is outside the affordable range for the vast majority of people.

      For the foreseeable future an EV is only viable as a second car, for use around town.

      • My ordinary Subarus, have a full gas tank range for a long trip of about 700 miles. That is like a round trip from Sunnyvale NOCAL, to Glendale SOCAL mostly on Highway 5 over the grape vine at speeds of 62-65 MPH. with three passengers in the car.
        I know that because I have done that round trip many times, with NO gas fill-up.

        Yes we do make stops where I could gas up; but I don’t bother to do that; way too much of an irritation waiting for a pump on my side of the car.

        No I can’t keep up with the 70 MPH drivers who mostly drive 80-85MPH.

        I don’t have a gas station in my house, so I always fill up at one of the many local and on the road stations.

        With an electric car, you DO have a gas station in your house, but very few out on the road; so at least in the USA, the only place you know for sure there is a gas station, is in your house.

        So that 300 mile range, is actually more like a 100 mile range, unless you don’t plan on doing anything when you get to your destination and aren’t planning on returning home.

        Driving an electric car is like flying off an aircraft carrier on a military mission. Your “combat” range is only about a third of your “no return” range.


      • @ George — what Subaru do you drive? Cause I want the mythical 700 mile per tank one you are driving

        A Forrester will go maybe 400 if you are driving 55 downhill.

        I’ve had mine for 110,000 miles and I get 24 0n the highway going 70.

    • Leo “Electric cars will work ONLY if they are legislated for. ”

      We need to be careful not believe the ways we currently behave (shaped by the peculiarities of current technologies) are necessarily the ways of the future. I can just here people saying to Henry Ford, “it’ll never get me across the river”, and “you expect me to go to a petrol station when I can feed him in the back paddock”.

      Moving along to the 21st century one needs to factor in transport as a service and the use of AI and virtual/augmented reality in mobility. Particularly in urban areas car ownership will decline as people find it cheaper to use fleets for local travel, and the fleets will likely be electric. For occasional longer trips people will hire, just as they take a plane for trips they don’t want to drive. Longer duty cycle transport will remain fueled by high density liquid or gas fuels.

      And for discretionary trips people will substitute various forms of teleprescense, reducing the demand for transport services.

      • HAS – you’ve made me comment on here, which I promised myself I wouldn’t. That is the best piece of common sense writing I’ve seen on this subject. “You expect me to go to a petrol station when I can feed him in the back paddock” hit the nail for me.

        I drive a 10 year old diesel Toyota in the UK, I will probably drive it ’til it dies. I don’t haul hogs from Arkansas to Anchorage three times a week. Most people don’t. A Nissan Leaf would do what I do just fine 99% of the time and might be my next car – or it might be Johnny Cab! At some point my grandfather looked at the dray horse he used to deliver beer with (he did) and said… ‘the futures in coal mining’ (he did) – ah well. But he then took the tram to work. Things change.

      • Your horse analogy is less than accurate in that EVs do not promise the increase in expedient travel that was part of the advent of motor vehicles. There were electric carriages back then and they did not become the status quo, for the same reasons they are not the present standard transport.

        I’m also doubtful that Americans would prefer public to private transportation, even in urban areas. That’s why the US has relatively few users of local or regional mass-transit.

      • Pop Piasa,
        I read John Z. deLorean’s ‘On a Clear Day you can see General Motors’ – might, possibly, still have the book . . . . .
        In it, he noted that in the 1920s (and 1930s??), GM bought up a number of ‘urban rail’ companies, in various parts of the US – and closed the railway/tram down.
        Folks had to change jobs – or, buy – cars!
        And GM, famously, made/makes cars.
        So, according to my memory of that book, “That’s why the US has relatively few users of local or regional mass-transit.”
        IIRC of course.


      • Pop Piasa, I think we are probably entering a time when the light duty cycle transport market starts to become much more diverse. In different regions there will be different drivers, and niches will open up as Kurt has also commented. I do think there will be significant markets for electric vehicles opening up over time.

        I do however think you misunderstand transport as a service. First it is typically private and individualised, quite the reverse from public mass transit. It’s growth is being enabled by improvements in ICT. And the big benefit, regardless of power train, is the much more efficient use of capital. Each year I’d use my car for 250 hours, and even if the service provider could only sell10 hours’ hire a day that’s a big potential gain to share (particularly if I can use my garage for all my junk).

      • HAS, I respect what you say and take note of the cultural differences between our geographic locations.
        I am an hour drive away from St. Louis MO and 30 min away from the nearest place to catch public transport. When I get on the bus I must loiter with the dregs of society, who just might be packing and ready to contribute to STL’s crime statistics.
        Our highways are not overly crowded here, and we have adequate parking when we arrive at a shopping center in 40 minutes by using the interstate highway, instead of 90 minutes transferring from bus to metro-link and back to bus to get to the same venue.

      • I didn’t make myself clear enough. Mass transport like buses and rail aggregate people together to get economies of scale. By transport as a service I was looking forward to the time where you get an individualised service, as you start to see with Uber, but with driverless cars that really starts to become economic (no driver to pay).

        Then I suspect many will review whether they really need the car in the garage.

      • “Trains, Planes, Busses and Automobiles” the hassle of getting from point A to B in an allotted time frame set by availability and jurisdictions. Most Taxi services can only work within the area they are licensed to be in. They can pick you up and take you into another area, but not pick up fares there to return to they area they are licensed to be in…it’s a taxes controlled business. Busses and Planes can only get you to the Hub of point A to the Hub of point B where you need Public Transportation, Taxi or Rentals to travel there place to place.

        None of that appeals to many people whom own their vehicles. To them the freedom of travelling at a moment’s notice and not waiting is part of their lifestyle. Outdoorsmen people that go camping, fishing, hiking, biking and all other forms of recreation that takes them into remote area’s on a regular bases, the “rental” options are not compatible. Especially not for the EV market anytime soon.

        City dwellers tend to never see outside their bubble world lifestyle. Where country people go the cities more often than city folk come to the countrside. We see the world from different perspectives. What is acceptable to you, is not to me and visa versa. Elections are proof of that. City dwellers are primarily Socialist Democrats by majority that feel everyone must conform to sharing everything. Country folk are freedom loving Republican Conservatives by majority that just want to be left alone and not pay for what other people do.

    • “Batteries will never be really good enough to replace a fuel car. . . . Electric cars will work ONLY if they are legislated for. And a total change in our way of life to accommodate them accompanies legislation to outlaw fuel cars.”

      And yet hundreds of thousands of people have indeed found that batteries were good enough to replace a combustion engine car. I for one replaced a gasoline powered car with a purely electric car and found that the electric car is more convenient and far more fun to drive. I am not a low-mileage commuter. I drive 75-100 miles each day round trip to work. I’ve taken it on 3-5k mile road trips and never had to worry about running out of a charge. I spend far less on fuel than with the gasoline engine car, which itself was fuel efficient.

      Do I have to spend a little extra time on road trips? Sure, but the advantages of refueling overnight combined with the low cost of electricity far outweighs the inconvenience of stopping a little longer on the road trips.

      The fallacy you make is presuming that electric cars can only be marketable if they satisfy your individual needs. I see variations of this argument crop up repeatedly on these types of threads (e.g. “I like to drive fast and would never get 300 miles range” or “I live in rural Texas and would have no place to charge” or even “I can’t afford to have an electric car and a gasoline car.”). Well that’s fine. Many people, however, own multiple cars, live in cities, and usually drive less than 40 miles per day, with a garage to recharge overnight and rarely drive distances requiring fast charging. For that cohort of automobile consumers (and I assure you their numbers are legion) the only barrier to buying an electric car is price. If that barrier is overcome you will see sales of electric vehicles skyrocket.

      There’s a lot of reactionary nonsense here where people, who for whatever reason are emotionally invested in seeing electric cars fail, invent reasons as to why they will always be impracticable. But that’s not the attitude I get by most people who see me driving my car. I can’t understate how many ordinary people say that they would love to have my car, or people I talk to who have placed reservations for the Model 3, or ask how I like driving it. These are the types of people who are going to set the market for the electric car.

      • Kurt, you speak the truth. 90% of the comments here are made by people who have never driven an EV. It’s a waste of energy to attempt to educate them with words. Soon someone they know will have a Model 3, Bolt or Leaf. They’ll ask this person whom they trust more than an article/comment on the internet, what’s it REALLY like? Best car ever… They’ll get curious, maybe even ask to drive the car. Wow it drives just like my gas car, but man is it QUICK and so quiet.

        I’m a very cost conscious person. I don’t like subsidies as much as the next person. But I’m no fool, subsidies are available, I was able to lease a Nissan Leaf for 3 years for less than I was paying for gas per month in my previous car. In 3 years the only maintenance was windshield wipers and two free battery inspections.

        The EV may not work for everyone, but it worked for me and thousands of others in the Atlanta suburbs.

        I’m waiting patiently for my Model 3.

      • So Kurt do you want to tell us what the cost of the power.

        “I spend far less on fuel than with the gasoline engine car ….”

        What you are at it maybe you tell us paid for your Tesla. Seems to be a detail BEV leave out when they talking about saving money.

        As far as fun and convenient to drive, try a Corolla. Every time I see some fool in an expensive car I go varoom varoom.

        “I can’t understate how many ordinary people say that they would love to have my car….”

        Let me help you being an just an ‘ordinary’ person. Zero, how is that for an estimate. Kurt is confusing what people say to your face and what they think about public displays of wreath.

        Many years ago when my 3/4 ton Suburban was just a UV good for carrying the family and towing. Back then find it in a parking lot was easy, it was bigger than everything else. I was engaged in conversation at a park by a man about how he wanted one. I was coming out of store another time and asked if it was for sale.

        In the 80s, the 90s was going to be the decade of the green car. Along came SUVs and PUs in two sizes, big and bigger.

        So what are the chances of not being able to find your BEV because of all the other BEV?


        So what are the chances of not being able to find your BEV because you can not see around all the F150s? 100%

      • “What you are at it maybe you tell us paid for your Tesla. Seems to be a detail BEV leave out when they talking about saving money.”

        If you had read my post carefully you would have seen that I didn’t leave that detail out, quite clearly saying that the main impediment to electric cars was their price, and that once that became competitive vast numbers of people would find them practical. The mileage equivalent of an electric car is somewhere between 90-130 mpg depending on which electric car you buy, so at some point drivers may find that the fuel savings justifies a small price premium over a comparable gasoline engine.

        “As far as fun and convenient to drive, try a Corolla. Every time I see some fool in an expensive car I go varoom varoom.”

        Like I said, some people have an irrational emotional investment in wishing that electric cars fail. Thanks for illustrating the point far better than I could have. Oh, and when I referred to “ordinary” people I was referring to non-idealogues who have no axe to grind.

  3. In case anyone missed it there have been large defections in the engineering staff at Tesla’s battery plant. In addition, I’m aware of at least two of Tesla’s “charging stations” that were installed adjacent to Meijer Stores, without anyone having any idea of the power requirements for 24 cars on “quick charge.” For all intents and purposes these are charging stations in name only, since they are in an area where infrastructure for such things is at a premium.

    If anything is going to happen I suspect it will be a gradual transition to gas-plugin hybrids lead by existing auto makers.

    • “I’m aware of at least two of Tesla’s ‘charging stations’ that were installed adjacent to Meijer Stores, without anyone having any idea of the power requirements for 24 cars on ‘quick charge.'”

      I’m calling BS on that. I’ve never seen a Tesla charging station with more than 8 chargers – 24 is ridiculous. Moreover, Tesla’s superchargers are isolated systems. Tesla installs the transformers, takes care of the electricity connections to the power company during the construction process, and pays for the electricity consumed at their supercharger stations. It’s inconceivable that the Tesla station would adversely affect the power supply to someone else, let alone that no one was “aware” of the power requirements.

      • It is often time consuming to back up your claims with credible internet links, something which is usually practiced when calling BS on another’s assertion.

      • I just want to make sure I understand your position here. One “Mark from the Midwest” posted an allegation that “at least two” Tesla charging stations were installed outside of some “Meijer Stores without anyone having any idea of the power requirements for 24 cars on a quick charge” and further indicates that they are “charging stations in name only.” No link or other evidence was given for this silly assertion.

        Someone who actually owns a Tesla, has charged at supercharging stations, and knows first-hand what nonsense this is, rebuts it. After all, I can go down to my car and pull up a map of every supercharger in the country, press on the individual supercharger icon, and it will tell me how many chargers are there and how many are free. I do this, and nothing I press shows more than eight stalls at any supercharger station. I also have routinely checked for updates on construction progress on superchargers near my city and read progress reports like “transformer being installed” or “utility being contacted for hookup” as “permit applied for” well as knowing that Tesla contracts with property owners for space, but otherwise provides for the electricity requirements of the supercharger (and pays for the electricity used) themselves. The permitting process alone would ensure that the electricity needs for the Supercharger station were accounted for.

        On these facts, you want the person who knows what he is talking about to provide links and evidence.

        Oh well – since you’re too lazy to google “Tesla” and “Meijer” yourself, here’s a relevant link.

        You’ll first notice that the Meijer press release, with the supercharger station being unveiled, states that “Supercharger stations feature eight individual units.” Perhaps now you can explain just what the hell the “power requirements for 24 cars on a quick charge” was meant to reference. You’ll also see in the picture at the link, at the left edge, a brown fence. That surrounds the dedicated transformer installed at every supercharger location, there just to service the superchargers

        Happy now?

      • I did more research and it turns out that Tesla has two superchargers in the U.S. with a whopping 20 stalls – one close to its Fremont factory and another along the LA-Vegas corridor, and they are planning a 40-stall location in anticipation of a lot more Model 3’s in California. Neither of these really large supercharger stations are close to Michigan, where the Meijer stores are, and both of them are up and running just fine.

  4. I’m wondering if in your pie-in-the-sky electricity demand calculations you are forgetting about nontrivial transmission losses and battery charge losses, among other factors. It’s rather astounding that you could come up with the conclusion that the grid would not be strained with the influx of a massive number of EVs and not be skeptical of such an outcome.

    • Never mind the fact that adding all these EVs to the road will greatly increase demand at the same time as they’re switching from reliable, always on supply (coal, nuclear) to intermittent supply (wind, solar).

    • Transmission Losses overall are less than 5%

      As far as load — do the math

      2 million EV charging overnight at 2kw is only a 4GW increase in load, that is assuming

      NOBODY has a home PV charging system

      The UK has a generating capacity of 34GW — so 10% EV penetration would be approximately 10% of the generating capacity — when demand drops by 30% overnight.

      In 10 years it would be easy to add 12 GW production capacity which would = ~ 40% EV market penetration

      Remember — EV are 4-5 times more efficient in terms of energy used per mile driven than an ICE

      • Transmission losses may be less than 5%, however the big losses are in the multiple conversions the energy undergoes between power plant and electric motor.

      • “Remember — EV are 4-5 times more efficient in terms of energy used per mile driven than an ICE”
        Rubbish, there are no EVs that are running at the equivelent of 240-280mpg, name one.
        You live in the UK as do I, there are quite a few houses in my street with 2, 3 or 4 cars, how do you expect the household Electrical system to cope with 4x10Kw = 40Kw?
        I know just what you will say “they won’t all need to charge at the same time”, but what if they will.
        When the Government recoup the Taxes lost on dropping FF and slap it on EVs, how do you think the Runnin6 Cost equations will come out when you have to pay the equivelent of 3 times as much for your Electricity?

      • Starting from the power station or refinery backdoor to rubber-on-the road petrol losses are a bit below 80%, electricity around half that (including going in and out of the batteries). If the electricity comes from thermal generation then fuel to road come a lot closer together.

      • A C Osborn

        Don’t forget me. Four car household. No drive.

        What do I do? Along with, I believe, 40% of the UK population.

      • @ C Osborn

        Here is the MATH

        The average vehicle may get 25 mpg — that is 1.344 Kwh per mile (33.6 kWh per gallon of gas)

        EV get 3-4 Miles per kWh

        so 1.344 kWh per mile = .744 miles per Kwh

        now 4 miles per kWh for an EV divided by .744 miles per kWh for ICE = 5.37 times more efficient with respect to kWh used per mile driven

      • The UK with its much vaunted “TV Pickups” that crash the grid just from people turning on electric tea kettles on tv commercial breaks with an estimated 200-400 MW of demand, and you think it can easily absorb a 4 GW increase in demand due to EV’s?

      • That is a correct description. NOBODY has a PV charging system that works at night. Just how stupid can EV fanatics get?

  5. I suggest putting some ultra capacitors in your home charging station and use them as buffers charging your car. Hmm, I think I’ll apply for a patent on this and go to the US Energy Dept to get some funding.

    There are ways to level the load, so to speak.

    But the real issue here is the huge push to renewables as the energy source which by nature is intermittent. I’m certainly not anti-EV and really not anti-renewables where it makes sense. But to me it is all about economics and right now EV’s and renewable energy sources aren’t that economic when you factor in the premium for the EV and the backup’s required for renewable energy.

    • @rbabcock

      Intermittent locally — taken as a whole across the entire US — Solar is always on during the day, and wind is ALWAYS on.

      current wind speed map us (at surface — not 100 meter hub height where it is ~1.9 times faster)

      current cloud cover map of the US

      that’s a whole lot of sun

      There are 2 low tech energy storage media that can be used to load level at the individual generating station as well

      Compressed Air energy storage, and Underground Thermal Energy Storage —

      One would remove the adiabatic heat of compression from stored compressed air when the wind farm is above a certain production capacity and store it in a heat sink, along with storing the compressed air in underground tanks — when extra generation is needed, the heat is used to increase the pressure of the stored air and exhausted through a turbine or piston based driveshaft to generate the needed electricity.

      Solar PV and thermal could do the same thing

      • Karl, I suggest that you educate yourself on Intermittency, when the wind is not blowing it is not blowing over large areas.Are you actually suggesting that the US waste Trillions of dollars carpetting the USA to make sure that they catch the wind “somewhere”.
        If you want learn about Intermittency I can suggest a web site for you.
        Economics seem to mean absolutely nothing to those living the Green Dream.

      • It may be true that sun is always shining on the US, if we stretch from the AVI to Guam, but there is the tiny problem of interconnecting them. Basically, there is CONUS. The sun isn’t always shining on some part of it. And at times, it isn’t shining anywhere in CONUS, especially in the winter.

        Trying to feed the entire US from Maine, or the Left Coast, is a pretty amazing idea with the current infrastructure. We still have problems feeding Northern California from Southern California, and vice-versa.

      • @Karl

        Right now as I write this from beautiful Raleighwood, North Carolina it is heavy overcast, drizzling and no wind. The Sun angle is 35 deg and dropping fairly fast as we are past noon and winter is just around the corner.

        Looking at the weather maps, Almost all of North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina have winds of 5 kts or less and all stations are reporting heavy overcast.

        If it weren’t for the Harris Nuclear plant about 25 miles from my house, we might be in a heap of trouble.

        I might remind you half of the globe is dark 100% of the time and a large percentage of what is lit, is at fairly low Sun angles not counting clouds.

      • Karl, there are a number of practical problems with your concept of intermittency, but I will pick on just one. If the wind is generating power from far away, we do not have the transmission line infrastructure to get it to the places where the wind is not blowing. And if you think you can “just build it” try getting permits for a new transmission line. See how many groups come out of the woodwork looking to stop it. I have seen opposition to even rebuilding power lines on existing right-of-way.

      • “Solar is always on during the day…”

        Nonsense. An East-West electrical grid would cost trillions of dollars. Average summer sunlight hours per day run between 4.0 (Schenectady) and 8.7 (Inyokern). Winter sunlight is much less, ranging from 1.2 (Spokane) to 7.0 (Inyokern, again.) Mounting problems can reduce the effective insolation significantly. Sunlight is too diffuse an energy source to be effective except for a few off-grid applications.

      • As always Karl, you are ignoring transmission losses.
        There is a reason why we place power plants close to where the energy is going to be used, not on the other coast.

      • “at 100 meters (hub height) the wind is 2 times surface speed (1/7th power law)”

        two times zero is still zero (Peano axiom).

      • Karl- electrical engineers use a figure of 22.5% losses in electrical transmission when designing the grid changes. Every junction and inch of wire in the electrical system is a loss, maybe small but still there.

        You’re assumptions about the daily consumption, and that it implies unused power, are laughable. The peak usage, when the load rises in the afternoon into evening is met by peaking power plants with efficiencies maxing out at 40%. The intermediate level base load is met by plants designed for steady power outputs and running between 40-60% efficiency. Sudden loads, like the wind dying down, easily result in brownout- voltages dropping more than half percent or so. When that happens the baseload plants lose a lot of their efficiency because they have to either dump some of their output or waste fuel to catch up if a peaking plant isn’t running and ready to fill the gap. Daily brownouts and black outs are a feature of life in many less developed countries.

        If any system tried to use the “unused power” above the demand curve you show it would either shutdown or cost would skyrocket when the peaking plants were cycling up and down all day and all night.

        The ridiculous feed-in tariffs that require “renewable” energy to go into the grid whenever available and at the highest average prices cause a great deal of harm. That is why in the US the legislature is considering either eliminating above average tariffs for renewables, or adding a “stability” tariff for the baseload and peaking fossil fuel and nuclear plants to pay for the grid stability service they provide.

    • rbabcock

      Therein lies the problem. Our governments (or the UK, at least) see’s the public as a bottomless money pit they can raid at any time, for any reason, especially for the finalgreen solution.

      • Electric cars and all the extra generation and charging capacity only make any sense if you believe that CO2 is the devil incarnate. Since no reputable science has shown that human derived CO2 is actually doing any harm to the environment or people all of this is just pie in the sky nonsense. The ICE combined with the incredible energy density of a gallon of gasoline makes the electric car thing just silly virtue signaling for the rich and scientifically dumb. Drill baby drill! Electric cars are a non solution to a non problem.

  6. “There are dozens of arguments fielded against EVs; I have yet to encounter one which stood up under examination.”

    You apparently haven’t examined that one.

    EVs are massively subsidized. The Tesla would be nothing more than a virtue-signal for a few of the wealthy if not for taxpayer subsidies. They were losing money at $125,000 per car. The same car now sells for under $75,000. Government subsidies make the difference, but Tesla is still losing $millions per year.

    On top of that are the direct subsidies to the buyers. Remove the subsidies and let the consumer make an informed choice.

    • EV’s are not ‘massively subsidized’

      Total Prius sales are 10+ Million — about $200 Billion in cumulative sales — the subsidy was less than .5%

      The maximum EV subsidy is ~ $1.5 Billion per Manufacturer ($2500-$7500 for the first 200k cars produced by the manufacturer)

      The subsidies for one 1000 MWe Nuclear Power station — on loan subsidies for construction alone is ~$2 Billion, not to mention the production tax credit

      • EV’s are not ‘massively subsidized’

        Total Prius sales are 10+ Million — about $200 Billion in cumulative sales — the subsidy was less than .5%

        Priuses aren’t the sort of pure (no-gas-engine) EVs the author of this article, or the commenter above you, is talking about.

      • why the freaking hell should anyone subsidize a $100k car? Total BS.
        I guess I should get my product subsidized, because, well, it would be good for me….

      • Total Prius sales in the US only from 1999 to end of 2016 is 2,091,564. They have yet to exceed 200K sold in a single year. And I think your EV subsidy number doesn’t include state subsidies. Finally, I don’t think there’s a maximum EV subsidy per manufacturer. It’s $7500 per car per manufacturer until 200,000 units are sold, at which point the company has 2 more quarters of $7500 subsidies, and then it then gets cut in half for another 2 quarters, and then half again for 2 more before completely expiring. Source:

      • Tesla has only lost money on Model 3

        The company losses are based on acquisitions and building the Giga Factory

      • While I was reading this discussion, I was thinking we can build nuke plants to provide carbon free power faster than BEV can be built and kept on the road.

        Well except for one thing, the loons that buy BEV are opposed to practical ways of providing power. Then Karl writes, “The subsidies for one 1000 MWe Nuclear Power station.”

    • GM is selling their Bolt at $37,000. And Tesla was NOT losing money selling their Model S and Model X vehicles – their profit margin was 25%, about three times the profit margin of the auto industry. They were making a profit before they began work on their Model 3. They are currently losing money because they designed a new low cost Model 3 ($35,000 base price without incentive) and have built a new robotic assembly line and a battery gigafactory (which they didn’t have to build) and acquired a bankrupt solar roof company, etc etc

    • Art – I am not talking about present cost. We all know that EVs are still more expensive today. The graphs will cross in the next year or two

    • ” I have my car set to start charging at 1:00 a.m. when my electricity price almost halves.”

      Ok. Great. Sounds good, all that saving.

      What happens when everyone else starts doing the same thing?

      “Oooops, there goes my perceived advantage”.

      “Double Ooooops, the sods are charging me more than during the day when I’m NOT home”

    • You have to love a government that robs the poor by means of high electricity prices to feed the rich who buy Tesla cars (and Elon Musk).

      You Brits would probably call that the “Inverse Robin Hood” approach.

  7. With respect to (1), a lack of technical knowledge about LIB is demonstrated. It is possible to design a rapid charge cell (key is a thinner more porous anode), but it’s energy density is lower, so the equivalent energy battery is bigger and heavier. That is why neither Tesla nor Bolt have done so. Charging an energy dense cell design rapidly shortens the battery life by up to half (by accelerating SEI buildup). That part Tesla does not mention to its rapid charge station users.
    You cannot get there from here with LIB, period. The only technically possible solution is LIC, discussed in my vehicular decarbonization post last November at Climate Etc.

    • “Charging an energy dense cell design rapidly shortens the battery life by up to half (by accelerating SEI buildup). That part Tesla does not mention to its rapid charge station users.”

      Nor do the EV fanbois when lauding fast charge for any EV.

    • One has also to be concerned about the battery management system. After two battery fires on Boeing 787s, it was determined that there was a problem with the battery management system I believe that this was also the problem with the cell phones that burned up (not sure). I certainly hope that the battery management systems in EVs with fast charge are up to the task in all possible environments.

      • They will fix the design flaws over time.
        In the meantime, the recommended safety kit for EV owners includes marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate bars and wooden sticks.

  8. In sunny California, with only a small percentage of EVs, we still run into occasional issues where the state issues brown-out and low usage warnings. I can just imagine how bad it would be if a significant number of EVs were deployed in the state under govt mandate, as it appears California is headed.

    • The are on the way to decomissioning our 2 gas power plants, here in Oxnard and Ventura, because the Greenies are “Promising” that the generation can be Totally replaced by renewables, solar and wind, with battery storage.” There is no blueprint, only Enviro and NGO groups , along with Elon Musk, and Tom Steyer showing up at community meetings screaming “Climate Change…Rising oceans, pollution..” and all of the other scare tactics. Again this decision is being made Without a replacement plan in place, only the renewables are “Capable” of replacing the demand. No petroleum backup plants will be allowed..

  9. Hmm, let’s see. I can buy a Kia Rio for about $15,000. It has a range of 330 miles in the city and 440 on the highway. I can fill it up in about 3 minutes.

    As an alternative, I can spend $35,000 on a Chevy Bolt which has a range of 240 miles. I may be able to recharge it in half an hour (once high speed recharging reaches my area). Who knows if GM is making money on the Bolt – we know that Tesla is losing boatloads of money trying to sell Model 3s – so the price is likely to rise in the future rather than to fall.

    Life cycle analysis of emissions are about the same for electric as for gasoline cars under the best of circumstances. In my part of the country, with electricity is generated in coal-fired power plants, I’m faily confident life-cycle emissions are lower for gasoline cars.

    I think I’ll pass for now.

    • I’m pretty sure you don’t drive 300 miles a day (100k a year) — and you could easily charge overnight for the driving you do with standard receptacles (110 or 220)

      • It takes about 14 to 20 hours to charge a Bolt with 120VAC. Not practical for every day, all around use.

      • Karl.

        When I was working I regularly drove 30K miles a year and certainly would want half hour charging (at best) waits added on to my commuting times . But the more import point is living in London I’m lucky to be able to park within 100 yards of my house. How the hell am I’m going to get an extension cable out to the car to “easily charge overnight”. With all my neighbours in the same boat there would be a rat’s nest of cables snaking across the pavements. Imagine the Health and Safety guys allowing that. As usual with greenies, either practical issues haven’t occurred to them or are just ignored as too difficult to deal with.

      • Harrowsceptic

        We are a 4 car family in Kent. No drive, similar to I believe, 40% of the country.

        Other than using lamp post sited charging stations, we have no option to charge near our home. And as the block of 5 cottages we live in (listed, so no chance of alterations) has around 15 cars between them, lamp post charging would pose an immense problem.

        Not to mention the practical issues you mention of public safety, vandalism, maintenance etc. The single lam post outside our building has been inoperable for months now. How about I call my boss and tell him I can’t be at work for the foreseeable future because I’m waiting for the local authority to fix my car charging point, that I can’t get to anyway because 15 other car owners are fighting over it.

        This isn’t fantasy, nor a remote, individual issue, this is 40% of the country.

      • @ Frenchie

        Not for normal everyday driving

        95% of people in the US have a one way commute of less than 30 miles

        60 Miles is about 15 Kwh — which @ a 30 amp draw and 120V — charges in less than 5 hours

      • I am pretty sure your not going to get 30amps continuous, from a 120 volt circuit in any country. ever! this kind of stupidity is ridiculous.

      • The EV proponents keep talking about “average daily commutes”. I don’t have a car just for “average daily commutes”. When the fancy takes me I can get into my six cylinder family size car (Australian made but globilisation has has put an end to that) and drive 800km on the highway on one tank. I don’t need a reason other than “I want to and I can”. Pretty useful in Australia where distances are large and there are long stretches of unpopulated territory. I consider anything less than this a retrograde step. I’m not interested in being assimilated and having no choice but to use public transport or hiring a vehicle to do what my own car should be capable of. We have a highly advanced proven technology that overcomes all the limitations of EV technology and we are moving towards abandoning that for EV technology. If the world it accepts this scam then it is truly mad.

      • Remember kids, EV’s are the super cool wave of the future that will crush the western automotive industry under their inevitable dominance.

        So be prepared to alter your entire lifestyle and civilization to work around their many, many shortcomings and inconveniences.

        That’s how progress works, doncha know.


    • Correction – we know Tesla was making money on the Model S and X before embarking on the Model 3 and all kinds of irrelevant other stuff – solar roofs, battery gigafactories, etc
      Refueling an electric at your residence requires less time than refueling a gas powered vehicle at a gas station, which you have to drive to. The need for public fast charge stations is for travelling or for thoose whose residence has no abiility to recharge an EV. People take few trips and 15 minute fast recharges are just aroud the corner. I reject any claim that 15 minutes per week or for a stop on a trip is unacceptable. And that $15,000 gas burner is NOT equaivalent to any Chevy Bolt, which, amongst other things, is about twice as fast and has a drivetrain that will last at least twice as long (one Tesla Model S vehicle has already logged 350,000 miles without any maintenance).
      SO how much more will that $15,000 vehicle require to refuel it and keep it running for the next 10 years? I’d guess about two to three times more for fuel, also to replace the exhaust system, also to pay for transmission flushes and oil changes and spark plugs and cooling system changes and flushes. What will it cost to rebuild that transmission? Electric cars don’t need transmissions.
      Electric cars can be built for under $25,000, probably for less than $20,000 in a year or so.
      Long term, an electric car is cheaper, with fewer headaches than a gas powered car.

      • Fewer periodic maintenance headaches, maybe, but a huge daily hassle factor for most people. I’d rather pay for the convenience and reliability of an ICE mobile. I don’t need hassles in my life. Also, you forgot to mention the expensive replacement cost of the EV battery. That’s a huge deal breaker.

      • “Refueling an electric at your residence requires less time than refueling a gas powered vehicle at a gas station, which you have to drive to.”

        I am not buying electric until the advocates cease sounding like moron cult members.

        As I drive around town, I get to choose at my leisure when I want to stop for gas, along the way. This gets me maybe ten minutes out of my route. Done.

        If I run out of gas, it is far easier for someone to bring along a gallon of gas than a charge for a humongous battery.

        I have a 34AH SLA battery I keep as a back-up energy source. I know what it is like to keep that at the ready.

      • Aurthur says: “I reject any claim….” You and the other EV enthusiasts like to tell us how most people drive and live in houses (Chris did this, but didn’t cite, so…) so let’s force everybody to drive and live that way. As long as we’re rejecting claims, I reject your claims. Like, all of ’em. For 8 yrs we had an EV enthusiast in chief, yet he was not able to get the post office or defense dep’t (or any fed. agency? name one if you got one) to move toward an EV fleet. As I’ve said before, the post office drives around town, stop n’ start, during day, short trips, never far from its base, returns to where it can be charged overnight. Made to order for an EV fleet, but no EV’s. I call that a “signal”. We’ll know that EV’s are a bit practical when they start to grow in the made-to-order niches out there. Until then, you fellas are pure pie in the sky. Which I reject.

      • Refueling an electric at your residence requires less time than refueling a gas powered vehicle at a gas station, which you have to drive to.

        What world do you live on? I have two gas stations .5 miles from my house. Plus how many people refuel as part of a trip that they would take regardless?? Just swing in on the way home from work and 5 minutes later you are back on the road.

      • “You can’t lump G&A and R&D Non Recurring Engineering Costs into the profit or loss per car.”

        So just where do you lump it instead? In my part of the World non recurring costs have to be paid for out of revenue, which comes from selling the product.

      • arthur4563 November 9, 2017 at 9:19 am

        Refueling an electric at your residence requires less time than refueling a gas powered vehicle at a gas station, which you have to drive to. The need for public fast charge stations is for travelling or for thoose whose residence has no abiility to recharge an EV.

        Arthur. Electric vehicles are ideal for around town – we hear this mantra from you and others allllll the time. Guess which group are in the “those whose residence has no ability to recharge an EV classification? Yes the people that live in and around towns. So the very people that an EV might be useful for are the ones that would not be able to recharge one. BRILLIANT.

        I can also assure you that the glib ‘refueling an electric car at your residence’ is repeatedly trotted out. Having just put in an inline water heater that draws a similar amount of current I can tell you that the rewiring required was quite extensive and expensive. I do not know your domestic circumstances it sounds like you live alone with a computer and an EV but what of a 5 car family? All cars and a work pickup on the drive as the garage is used for storage. These are real problems which you and Karl ignore.

        The entire EV industry has a problem with glossing over very real problems and tries to fit everyone into a single way of life. The ICE vehicles gave people freedom to travel it is becoming apparent that it is that freedom which is threatened by mandated use of EV.

    • You are correct Bill with one minor correction. Unless you are in France and the nuke plants are load following, power for BEV is from coal.

  10. Misconception 1: batteries will never get us to acceptable range.

    Daily commuting aside, shall I buy another car for my weekend jaunts? Or shall I just stay at home and pine about the good ole days of actually enjoying life away from work?

    Misconception 2: if EVs take off, electrical distribution networks won’t cope.

    Have you ever been on UK roads during a bank holiday weekend or start/end of school break. How shall we stagger the demand then? Sorry Hampshire, you all need to wait until 2:00 am to depart on your roadtrip??

    Misconception 3: EV charging will require rewiring all the houses in the land.

    Well, three of my buddies have EV – they are kind of geeks like that. They had the plugs for their teslas wired in, cost them all over 500GBP each. They also spend a lot of time talking about where they can charge on the road to avoid getting stranded, but that is another point. Plus, what happens when idiots start using worn cables or slice them while charging. Given how people already manage to electrocute themselves I am sure that everyone charging high amperage loads at home will be just fine!

    Misconception 4: Generating capacity will be insufficient

    See points 1&2 above. If a system is to work it must work for all cases, otherwise the “upgrade” is in fact a downgrade. Weekends aside, the UK during cold peaks nearly maxes out for electrical production – somehow your analysis doesn’t quite cover that. Last winter in the UK was rather mild, this winter is predicted to be colder. Even without EV the system will have a real challenge coping. Pray the interconnects actually have some electrons to push!!!

    Misconception #5: EVs will be constrained by a shortage of lithium

    2016 worldwide lithium production 35,000 metric tons.

    Geesh, people complain about how nasty fracking is, wait til they get a load of what ramping up lithium production looks like. No worries, I am sure China will do it very nice and green like.

    Just saying, but please go on about misconceptions.

  11. Current battery technology is still inadequate, and there is nothing in the pipeline that would solve that. As there are uses for batteries other than vehicles, like power tools, there is a market for improved product that is not quite ready for large scale uses. A lap-top battery that actually lasts for several days use, or a battery for a 787 that does not have the problems the lithium-ion installation had, would have a market despite being initially too expensive for EV use.

    • “Current battery technology is still inadequate, and there is nothing in the pipeline that would solve that.”

      I read yesterday that Toshiba is working on a solid-state lithium batter, and that another firm that Buffett has invested in is doing the same. (It may all be nonsense—I’m “just saying.”)

      • Everything is nonsense until they figure out a way to make the things in commercial quantities at a competitive price.

      • Roger, you are agreeing with Tom, ‘nothing in the pipeline’.

        A company working on something means that they have not got it working yet. Once they have got it working in the lab then need to try it in the real world, find & fix the problems, rinse & repeat until it is acceptable.

        Then a manufacturing facility needs to be built (from scratch or by modifying an existing one) and there will be problems getting that up and running.

        There may be issues with fitting the new batteries into existing cars (maybe more cooling needed, or different electronic control).

        Add it up and if a new technology is devised today it is unlikely to be in production cars for at least five and more like 10 years.

      • Before EVs can be competitive, we’ll first see phones that have long cycle lives, can hold twice the charge, fully charge in 5 minutes, and can operate in both hot and cold. There are indications that solid state batteries might get us there, but the proof will be in the pudding. My guess is that we’ll see these phones within five years or never.

      • Remember it took 20 years from the first laboratory Li-ion batteries to the first viable production batteries. And another 20 year before they were good enough for EV:s.

  12. I was told that the State of California wanted to force auto dealers to notify the State within 24 hours of an EV being sold. When asked why this was necessary….when one considers that there must be an application to the state for a new registration and license plate to be printed within weeks of the sale, why this was so…..the answer….if there are two electric vehicles on the same street the transformer will blow, a new transformer would need to be installed so this would not happen. Going to mass EVs is more complicated than many think.

    • Yes, if they plugged in simultaneously and depending on other loads on that local line/transformer, it could be a problem. Definitely if 3-4 or more EV’s plugged. First come, first serve? A smart meter to ‘ration’ flexible customers? Program your charger at the rate you want to pay and when you need a fully charged battery? Probably this makes more sense before re-wiring the neighbourhood and installing more transformer capacity.

      • Earthling: “Probably this makes more sense…” No, what makes sense is to halt all sales of EV’s until we can protect the grid from problems that EV folks won’t tell us about until, like here, it’s pried out of you. You do realize that a blown transformer means the two or three EV owners on that block won’t be able to charge their car at home ’til the power comes back on? I’ve been looking at MarkW’s posts over the last few days, they remain solid. You, Chris, Karl…not so much. You make a claim, gets knocked down, your comeback is that the fix is just ahead, gets knocked down, next comeback is to so easily change how we choose to live …. Someone above posted that you folks act just like a cult, but you can’t see it.

      • “No, what makes sense is to halt all sales of EV’s until we can protect the grid from problems that EV folks won’t tell us about until, like here, it’s pried out of you.”

        Real good reply Paul. You didn’t even say anything other than halt all sales of EV’s. You are just a hot head nut bar that don’t know much about anything anyway, as you just proved. If MarkW posts are solid, as he states power line losses are 50%, or cars and coal plants are not air pollution in China, or that exhaust air is cleaner out of a ICE car tail pipe than the local incoming air, then you are indeed a fairly low IQ dimwit too.

      • Personal abuse often indicates the argument is lost.
        Earthling – your – polite – comment, if you would be so kind.



      • Earthing: “Real good reply Paul.” Why, thank you fellow earthing. You agreed plugging in 2 EVs “could be” a problem, “Definitely if 3-4 or more EV’s plugged.” Your solution? “First come first serve? A smart meter…? Program your charger…?” That’s what you said, left unsaid by you is “In the meantime, suffer transformer fires.” At least my suggestion is doable, an immediate step toward prevention of (very easily avoided) burning electric grid infrastructure. Your insult is a bit obvious as deflections go, but what can you say when you’ve lost an argument with a fairly low IQ hot head nut bar dimwit?

      • Paul Courtney November 10, 2017 at 8:43 am

        The cut-out fuse on the primary ahead of the transformer is going to blow before the transformer catches fire if it is seriously overloaded if the draw on that transformer exceeds the amp rating of the fuse. Maybe the fuse on top of the pole will blow shutting the power off, but the transformer and electrical wire and infrastructure will stay intact. Still a nuisance for the fuses to be blowing though. I was only offering some thoughts on how to have 3-4 or more cars on a single transformer with a smart meter, or some other form of a load controller that would sequence the priority demands ahead of the car charger. It is done all the time in stand alone electric systems, including sending surplus electricity to load dumps so as to maintain voltage and frequency. Allowing load priority demand management at a lower electricity price if you know you won’t need a fully charged car until the next morning would assist in all 3-4 cars getting charged by morning. Or a higher price if you want to charge at 5 Pm and go out at 9 Pm etc. This would be preferable to re-wiring the entire neighbourhood, at least to start. It is called Demand Side Load Management.

    • There are 4 million Tonnes of known Cobalt reserves. Cobalt is mainly a byproduct of nickel and copper mining, there is no cobalt cliff coming.

      • Australia has 1,000,000 Tonnes

        As the industry matures — DR Congo will get huge outside investment to mine their 3.4 Million Tonnes

      • Karl, 4 million tonnes is not a lot. For the 20 kg of cobalt in a Tesla model S battery pack, this is only enough for 200 million cars and the global yearly production rate for automobiles is about 73 million cars per year.

        Cobalt is already about 3x the cost of lithium per unit mass and is clearly the more limited resource. Demand for EV’s has been pushing the price up as well. Making this worse is that most of the cobalt (and lithium) comes from areas of the world that don’t have the same strong environmental protections imposed on mining operations found in the US and Europe.

      • Karl, the price of Cobalt has gone from $13/lb to $26/lb in just the last year.
        The more EVs built the more they can charge and they will.
        Supply & Demand cannot be changed.

      • So,

        Cobalt can be recycled.

        And even with the lower specific power Lithium Iron Phosphate may end up penetrating the market

        Or spinel based cathodes (Manganese)

        Argonne Labs has done some great research.

        After all — there was no way we could put a man on the moon

      • Nice one, Karl … I suppose you don’t care about child rights violations so long as you can get your battery charged.

      • “Cobalt is mainly a byproduct of nickel and copper mining, there is no cobalt cliff coming.”

        So where do you think we should do with the copper and nickel surpluses if we increase the cobolt production? Hint: the cobalt will have to absorb the losses on copper and nickel.

        By the way those 7 million tons would be enough to replace about a third of all cars in the World by EV:s. Of course provided that no cars (including trucks and buses) need larger batteries than a Tesla, and that we stop using cobolt for anything except batteries.

    • Cobalt mined in the Congo totals approx. 2/3 ds of the Worlds demand.
      The Congo is also one of the most unstable countries in the world.
      Understand the Chinese are putting their fingers in everything African, including the Congo.
      The critical materials spoken of, are likely to be large Political pawns in the future.

  13. “If the system was capable of sustaining 50 Gw for 24 hours, an additional 230 Gw-hrs could be generated ”

    The UK is already on the path to energy instability, with too high a reliance on unreliable energy sources. Projecting that they will have a stable energy supply that can handle the added demands of hordes of EV cars is unlikely at present. Their current policies appear seriously deficient.

  14. Hydrogen, not Lithium for ZEVs. Either Nat Gas feed-in to H2 production, or an efficient electrolysis? Seems Li based EVs are not “sustainable” as the greenies would like to claim. But,… oh noooo, Hydrogen would emit GHG’s in the form of water vapor!,… much more insulating than C02,… we’d have to stop them too,… the conundrum of a ‘zero sum game’. Glad I’m not playing,..

    • There is no such thing as a ZEV. This concept is nothing by an illusion the left pushes to make them feel better about themselves. Even walking is not ZEV when the insanity surrounding CO2 is considered.

    • You obvioulsy know nothing Hydrogen at all.
      Try reading up on “embrittlement” and Moleculer size causing leaks.
      Add to that the cost of conversion, you have to be joking.

  15. Maybe in England but not Northern New England.

    An 80 mile round trip commute on -20 to 30F winter days. In an ICE vehicle you need to wear cold weather clothing with the heater going full blast. In an EV?

    A grid that goes out every time the wind blows. It took a week to restore power to thousands of customers in parts Maine last week. We were only out for 2 days. In my 80 mile daily round trip commute I would be sitting on the side of the road in the middle of no where.

    The cost of replacement batteries? I keep my vehicles for 10+ years.

    I really want to turn control over my daily transportation to the local utility. The oil companies are bad enough but they compete in a global market and the gas stations compete locally for customers. I have a choice of two dozen gas stations in rural Vermont where prices can vary as much as 20 cents a gallon between stations. Our local utilities here in the United States have no competition and routinely raise prices with no customer recourse to change power companies or go to another station.

    • Batteries last over 10 years — my Li-Ion phone battery has done at least 1500 full charge discharge in the 3 years I have had it — and it still has battery life that is indistinguishable from new

      • I’ve never gotten more than about 5 years out of a lithium battery and this spans many different devices. I’ve also never gotten more than 2 years out of an LED lamp either.

        The manufactures of electronic devices plan for them to fail or become obsolete so that the customer will by another. The theoretical long lifetimes claimed are pure fantasy. Sure, the LED’s themselves have a 50K hour lifetime, but the power supply driving them has less than a 10K hour MTBF. To fix this would increase the manufacturing cost by less than a 25 cents, but they don’t because if they spent the extra quarter, the demand for replacements would drop dramatically.

      • And the one in my phone which is only a year old probably has lost 25-30% of its capacity. Or the Li-ion in my tablet that is 2 years old completely loses charge over a weekend if it is not plugged in. So yeah, not ready for the prime time transportation market

      • Do you really empty your cellphone battery 1.5 times per day? Must have been a rotten battery to start with?

      • No rechargeable lithium battery will last ten years without substantial degradation of it’s capacity. Even if it spent its entire life in a perfect environment with no activity beyond the bare minimum to combat self-discharge to prevent damage from undervolting the cell, it would have very little of its original capacity after ten years, if any at all. And I am absolutely certain that if you did a proper check of your phone battery’s capacity, there would be a substantial loss there as well. I would bet at least 20 percent all day long. In the region of 30 to 40 percent loss would be a fairly safe bet as well. I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be combative, but what you are saying is simply not true.

      • Karl,
        Maybe I’ve missed it, but I haven’t seen your greenie solution to “easily charged overnight” when, given the parking problems, I and most of my neighbours would be very lucky to get their cars to within an extension lead length of their homes. Until that is sussed EVs are a complete no-no in this neighbourhood.

  16. “My electricity almost halves in price during those hours ”

    John, how long do you think that will last? Supply and demand old chap!

    Also I have not seen an insurance cost analysis due to the lighter vehicles being less safe for passengers in an accident, repair costs, replacement parts etc that insurance covers.

    Finally, how much tailgating gear can an EV carry?

      • A C Osborn

        With all that seamless torque available, I imagine pretty well.

        They might not get you to a camp-site, but it’ll be a pleasure trying. :)

      • “How well do they do at towing Caravans and Trailers?”

        Not allowed with a Tesla. Which doesn’t really have anything durable enough to hook up a trailer to. You would rip the car apart.

    • “John, how long do you think that will last? Supply and demand old chap…!”


      “…Also I have not seen an insurance cost analysis due to the lighter vehicles being less safe…”

      Lighter? Who said they were lighter? The Prius weighs 3375 pounds; a Honda Civic weighs 2830 pounds. The Prius may be no less safe to drive, but less safe to be driven into by.

    • I would think just the replacement of the battery pack would send rates through the roof. Forget worrying if you live in a “high crime” area.

  17. Misconception 1: 300 miles is only doable if you crawl along at well below highway speeds. At highway speeds you are going to get well below 300 miles.
    How many people can go more than 4 hours without needing to stop to pee or eat? Just about everyone.

    Misconception 2: Declaring that the electric grid can handle another huge load because it already has other huge loads has got to be the dumbest argument you have put forth to date.

    Misconception 3: Amazing how you prove the point by trying to refute the point.

    Misconception 4: Others have already done a good job of refuting your wishful thinking here.

    • So everyone knows at least in the US that the mpg that automakers claim is wildly inaccurate. The testing is done on a dynometer without wind or weather effects. So wondering if Tesla had their range rated the same way and how wildly different it is in reality.

      • From what I’ve read, it’s driving at a steady 30mph or so, no stopping and starting with the whole room at the optimum temperature for the battery. And nothing else is on in the car.
        Probably on the same dynometer with no wind.

      • The last two trips we took, we rented a Chevy Equinox (fanbois and haters this is not a review of the vehicle) and it had a mpg calculator on it which I used to amuse myself while driving through Oklahoma.(Playing video games was out of the question, something about keeping my attention on the road.) It showed we got about 27mpg, with traction control off. Now I wonder, what factors the programmers used for that calculator?

    • “How many people can go more than 4 hours without needing to stop to pee or eat? Just about everyone.”

      They probably can, but really, why would they?

      and I think of the reminders often seen on UK roads ‘don’t drive tired: take a break’

  18. While I appreciate the capabilities of the EV, one only has to compare ICE to EV to know that ICE is the winner. EV only wins on direct emissions and acceleration.

    EVs will have to the forced to outcompete ICE cars.

    • In many cities, the air coming out of a car is cleaner than the air going in.
      So ICE is not a loser when it comes to direct emissions.

      • False statement! Sort of like saying “In many cities, the water coming out of a toilet is cleaner than the water going in”. By that logic, you should just put a hose up to your house from your tail pipe and fill your house with ‘fresh’ air from your car, or better air than than ambient outdoor air. Of course, you forget to mention the Carbon Monoxide (CO) which will kill you. You have to think just a little harder MarkW before you push that submit button.

      • There you go again, making an idiot of yourself.
        1) With catalytic converters and such, the air out the exhaust pipe is often cleaner.
        2) CO hasn’t been a problem in cars for 20 years or so.

      • Earthling is completely wrong, but you can still get plenty of bad air pollution from the exhaust of an ICE. The air of a city center made up of all EVs would be far more palatable than the same air if all vehicles were ICE. EVs definitely would improve air quality. Modern cars are better than older cars, but ‘pollution free’ they are not. They all leave rubber residue though.

      • Please explain how the air coming directly out of a ICE tail pipe is cleaner than the local atmospheric air? An IC engine has fairly high levels of pollutants in much higher proportion to local atmospheric air. Things like SOX, NOX, CO, VOC’s, and Particulates of various kinds. A whole lot better than it was 40 years ago, but non the less there is still pollution coming out of a ICE tailpipe which mixes in the local atmosphere lowering the pollution count overall, so how is the air directly out out of an ICE tailpipe going to be cleaner than the local air coming into the engine? I will leave it to other readers to draw their own conclusions about this matter, but I think anyone with any common sense is not going to believe exhaust air is cleaner than atmospheric air. I am stunned people on a scientific blog would even say something like this and then chastise someone who disagrees with that statement. Maybe they forgot a sarc tag is all I can think of.

    • I did my first alternative energy vehicle studies in 1963. Not much has changed since then, except, apparently, a drop in the average IQ of consumers. Petroleum products are still the clear winner.

  19. The best way to make EV’s competitive is to include a gas engine and generator to keep a smaller, cheaper battery charged. The motor/generator only needs enough power to sustain freeway speeds while peak demands are supplemented with the battery and small demand (stop and go) is battery only.

    This preserves the only redeeming value of an EV, which is high efficiency in stop and go traffic, without sacrificing the convenience of fast fuel ups, near infinite range and the ability to come and go when you please. Locomotives have been using technology like this for decades.

    Once the foolish fear of CO2 subsides, which will surely happen once the science is actually settled, we might start to see the development of EV’s whose motivation is based on what the customer actually needs and not what they’re ignorantly afraid of.

      • Never driven a prius have you — shifting into battery charge mode when slowing down or coming to a stop at a light, or going down hill — all at under 30 mph — can almost fully recharge a battery if done right.

      • MarkW is correct,at slower speeds there is less regenerative return on the brakes. But it is a good feature for the Hybrid.

        “In a battery-powered electric vehicle, regenerative braking (also called regen) is the conversion of the vehicle’s kinetic energy into chemical energy stored in the battery, where it can be used later to drive the vehicle.”

        It is dependent on Kinetic energy level. It is high when car is fast,zero when it is not moving.

        Here is a simple read,

        How Does the Toyota Prius Charging System Work?

        My Brother owns a Toyota Prius and very happy with it. He is now on the second one.

      • “….can almost fully recharge a battery if done right.”

        Utter garbage. Not unless your “hill” is the size of Mt. Everest, or your battery is so small that it only holds enough charge to get you up a small hill, in which case it would be useless for anything other than going down the road to the chemist.

      • Regenerative breaking is turning your motor into a generator.
        Generators work by rotating a conductor through a magnetic field. The faster the conductor is rotating the more magnetic field lines it is crossing and the more energy it is creating.
        As it slows down, it generates less power, unless you increase the intensity of the magnetic field.

    • Sure if you ignore the weight penalty, a diesel electric car would be a gas to drive on dry roads, might get a touch exciting on icy surfaces.
      Momentum being a real bitch for the average driver.
      I suspect the power to weigh ratio would end up making the pure internal combustion vehicle the winner.
      As for the concept that oil based fuels are not being recycled, introduced by guest author, where did the oil come from?
      So the whole fiasco is about us releasing “ancient carbon dioxide” back into the atmosphere, from whence it came x thousands of years ago?
      Is this not the ultimate recycling?

      Strangely enough we have a pretty good electric vehicle ,perfect for city use, we call it the Golf Cart.
      Yet our government experts refuse to allow them on roads,those same roads they impose bicycle lanes on.
      The electric car, the next big thing for 200 years.

  20. “How many people routinely drive more than 300 miles without stopping for toilet and/or food?” The question is how long does it take when you stop to replenish your fuel supply. In the case of my ic car, it is 5 min. In the case of an electric car, it is much longer. I will drag race my 97 rustbucket from Boston to DC over the newest TSLA and come in first every time.

    If you are charging at home, you will need the complete nighttime to recharge your car for 200 miles of travel during the day. 200 miles is a lot, but there are folks who regularly commute 60 miles plus each way, and some that do over 100.

    Nothing against a NEV, but they are a NEV in the final analysis. I have one in my back yard.

  21. Is there any limited availability of other battery materials such as Cobalt? 200 to 300 miles would be under ideal conditions which most may not get to experience. Capacity will degrade over time, and especially underperform in cold temperatures. You could get 60% of that range in extreme cold.

    • There is a battery temp management system in newer cars (keeps them nice and warm) — cold doesn’t cut the range like you think

      • Tesla has a serious battery temp management problem that they’re not letting out. How do I know? I work at a thermo-electric company and they asked us to bid on a new system just 5 months ago because their current system can’t keep their batteries at the proper temperature (too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer). The batteries have to be kept at the proper temperature even when car is parked (oops is that another fire?). We didn’t get the bid because although we could fix their problem we told them it would cost money, use energy and add weight.

      • I’ve seen a few Tesla forum posts that keeping your battery warm will reduce your range, of course the power draws from the battery. So, it would be dependent on how long your vehicle is sitting in the cold not plugged in I suppose. I’ve also heard a few stories of EVs parked in airport parking lots for a few weeks and on the owners return they can’t get in to their vehicle because the battery is dead. Happened to my work buddy with a hybrid, he went to pick up his new ford hybrid and the dealership shouldn’t get in to the vehicle because the battery was dead. Some kinks to work out perhaps.

      • A Lithium battery loses about 5% per month under ideal circumstances. However the loss is almost always significantly greater because the battery balancing electronics must be active even when the car is switched off.

  22. So, lets be clear. Its not 300 mile range. its 300 mile range, with 4 passengers and luggage, driving in 100 degree weather with the Air conditioner on, or driving in 0 degree weather with the heater on. Simply stating 300 mile range vastly understates the problem.

    • Speed also matters, that 300 mile rating is for a car going more like 30 mph.
      At 70 mph, your total mileage drops dramatically.

      • Karl,
        Realistically, hardly anybody drives 65, even when that is the ‘legal’ speed limit. Many western US states have legal speed limits of 70 and 75 commonly. (70MPH is even common on interstates in the Midwest.) Rolling resistance goes up with the square of the speed, wind resistance is proportional to the cube of the speed, and they are additive. So, that 65MPH rating for range is not realistic.

      • Karl,
        When one drives from the Midwest to to the Mountain States, the drive may take 15 to 20 hours, with a constant uphill drive, gaining perhaps 5,000 or 6,000 feet elevation. You may get the energy back through regenerative braking on the way back. but as a practical consideration, your effective range will be reduced considerably on the west bound leg of the trip. That means, on the interstate from Sioux Falls to Rapid City, recharging stations, in the middle of West Nowhere, will have to be much closer than 200 miles apart (less than 80% of 300), to allow for AC/heating, diminished capacity of older batteries, and turning the radio up loud! Even if you hold the speed to 65 where currently almost everyone blows by you at 75+. If you have ever driven the stretch, there is little incentive to dawdle. Electric cars may be a solution for small island countries, or big sardine cans standing on end on the East Coast, but they don’t address the realities of Big Sky country.

      • Clyde Spencer

        “the drive may take 15 to 20 hours”

        I have to giggle at my fellow Brit. I drive from Kent in England to Ayr in Scotland, roughly 8 hours (400 miles?) with reasonable traffic. It took my wife and I twelve hours on one holiday weekend (we don’t do that now!) and I get gasps of incredulity from friends that we spend that long driving.

        We have no idea in the UK what a long car journey is really like.

      • @HotScot
        Back in 1990 I vacationed in Ireland. Chatting with the locals, they were astounded to find out my daily commute to work was 42 miles, one way, or roughly the distance from Dublin to Wicklow. And I didn’t have the longest commute, by any means.

    • Kerber: “So, let’s be clear.” Sorry, you stumbled onto a post promoting the takeover of the auto industry by EVs, where clarity ruins everything. They do like fake clarity, like just above, where Karl is very clear-“new battery management fixes all”, (by-the-by, Karl, if batteries are 10 yrs old and still going strong, why the need for new management systems?). Brian McCain quickly shows how false his clarity is. When Karl doesn’t like an EV stat, he just fudges hybrids into EVs. He does that over and over in these 3 posts. Clarity is fatal to Karl.

    • Agree, EV is a cult not a religion, just read the lack of logic in this posting.
      The IC engine has given us enormous flexibility in life, I would not give it up with the current EV technology.

  23. Everything you say may be right, however, rather than run the analyses for an island that would just about fit in California, try the analyses for the US west of the Mississippi, or Australia. During my career, I never drove such paltry small mileages per day. Here in Southern California, I doubt the daily mileage figure being quoted are anywhere near correct – my commute was 50 miles each way, and mine was no where near the worst. (And recognize that commuting distances here are defined by where one can afford to live on local salaries, versus where the employers are located.)

    Recently, someone expressed the concern of trying to evacuate the whole of Southern Florida all in EVs, having to stop after 200-300 miles for a recharge.

    And how big would the recharging stations have to be on any interstate in the US west of the Mississippi?

    • I would love to see how practical an EV would be in places like Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado or Montana… especially in the winter. I think that would be quite the education for the urban virtue signalers.

  24. You don’t understand house wiring. The electric shower in your example does not magically turn off just because a car is plugged in. The car is in addition to everything else so that extra current can force a new electrical panel to be installed. Not to mention you can’t use the same breaker or wires those have to be new also.

  25. EV’s are still dixie cups no matter how it is spun.

    I froze my azz off this morning in my EV. Well that’s not entirely true because it does have a heated driver seat. I’m finding at 35-40 degF, using the onboard heater ~25% of the trip back and forth, the range is reduced as much as ~40%. I only use it to defrost the windows (using anti-fog really helps) and thaw my legs if necessary.

    It doesn’t matter if the car had 300 mile range. The depreciation will still be much more rapid because it is known the battery at some point is going to fail. And it matters greatly how the vehicle is driven to determine the life of the battery. Conventional ICE car quality has improved immensely compared to the 1970’s junk in every way.

      • Except that the people living in the apartment blocks and row houses in major cities are the ones that cannot recharge their EV’s at home. Often any car parking is ‘residents only’ parking bays on the street. So the group that might use EVs can’t. The target for EVs is virtue signalling suburbanites with a double garage for the EV and a real car, who do not really do any real driving apart from a short run to the commuter mass transit and back each day. If they want to be green and healthy they should get a bicycle.

  26. As I said after your Article 2, people in the power business would LOVE to sell electricity to millions of EV owners. That said, your idea that we can do this without a major increase in generating capacity looks rather widely off the mark.

    Consider that on peak demand days, the utilities are publicly imploring people to reduce usage, including unplugging their unused cell phone chargers. The utility must be able to feed the peak, however high the peak gets. If you can’t feed it, the power company has no choice but to start opening the breakers and putting people in the dark.

    Also, the utility system is — at least for the present — under tremendous price pressure. This results in building very little new baseload (meaning, reliable) generating capacity while being forced to accommodate intermittent (meaning, unreliable) green-gadget stuff like windmills and solar panels and pig manure gas generators. That means that every utility in the country is getting rid of generating reserves. They’re slimming way down, and reserves formerly considered essential to reliability are now considered too expensive. With the trend toward less reserve capacity, adding EVs into the mix will aggravate the threat of demand peaks which physically cannot be supplied.

    And speaking of peaks, what do you do when highly populated coastal areas need to evacuate for hurricanes while, at the same time, generators and transmission lines are being taken down to prevent damage? At the moment when people most need their cars charged fully to 100%, the power company turns off the switch, and there you are, stranded and cussing your EV. The gargantuan evacuation from Florida for hurricane Maria should be instructive.

    • This is the real frightener EVs becoming bricks at random intervals in traffic jams on interstates as everyone is attempting to evacuate. Power went out in Volusia (along the I-95 where it meets the I-4) and that affected many gas stations. Traffic was bumper to bumper on the I-95 North bound even at 4am, traffic from Miami getting to your amazing 300 mile range would need to ‘charge’ in only 20 minutes but of course there was no power to charge the vehicles that went out early in the storm. Whereas those gas stations with generators had queues of waiting cars at least they could refuel. So now you have an interstate that will be littered with bricked EVs with no way of easily recovering them, their drivers and passengers. The owners cannot be loaned 30 miles worth of charge, in the way you can loan a gallon of gas. Each of those bricks become hazards and slow or stop the evacuation, increasing the chances of even more bricked EVs.
      Your quotes of short drives in UK show that those drivers should really be using public transport – commuting into London for example makes little sense in your own car. You cannot use what might work for someone in a semi in Richmond with their own garage commuting to Staines and rarely doing any distance travel and then say as that works, EVs will be fine for someone living in an apartment block in Lambeth or for someone living in Wyoming or Montana.
      I presume of course that you only drive an EV. It would be nice to know that all the EV proponents and supporting politicians were putting their backsides where their mouths are and were only driving EVs. After all there are absolutely no problems with EVs – only misconceptions – correct?

      • We had friends from the UK who thought a 2 hour one way trip requires an overnight stay. We told them we drove 75 miles one way on a whim just to go to a fast food restaurant we didn’t have locally.

      • One of my kids had an exchange teacher, from Australia.
        We lived in Bristol, then.
        She happily drove from Bristol to Canterbury [Kent] [Michelin says about 175 miles] for a dinner party, and back the same night, and was in school 0830 the next morning.
        About 1993, so largely motorway.

        We went to Australia, about 1996. Hired a car, and in four days drove about 1500 miles. And covered part of the small end of Victoria, the smallest Mainland state.
        Even France took us two days – on holiday – to drive from Calais [NE] to Vannes – far NW. Six or eight hours a day.

        Brits certainly have a problem imagining [let alone appreciating] how big some other parts of the world are.
        London to Liverpool is three to six hours [depending on the traffic].

        Above someone mentioned a climb into the Rockies of 15 hours!
        My lodgers drive back home to Hungary – 1200 miles or so, mainly motorway/autobahn etc., in 20 hours or so.
        Those are longer drives.


      • @Auto November 9, 2017 at 4:38 pm
        I used to regularly drive Amsterdam – Paris and Hannover – Berkshire as an evening drive leaving at 4pm and arriving before midnight. Those journeys would not be possible with an EV, as you would need to stop at least 3 times, even HotScot’s 8 hour drives to Ayr would become the worst day’s 12 hours. I can remember a drive from Speyside to London early morning to late afternoon, again impossible in an EV.
        Someone should put EVs into a ‘London to Monte Carlo’ rally, to show how good they are.

      • auto

        And conversely people in big countries don’t realise the UK is a small, congested place and we drive short distances (21 miles being the average daily UK distance)

        I think EVs will fit a large proportion of driving needs.

        An awful lot of UK housing in suburbs does have a drive/garage and people living in the bigger cities without one are much more likely to use public transport (which in London at least means no need to have a car).

        (amusing to read how our country looks to visitors!)

      • Griff

        “I think EVs will fit a large proportion of driving needs”

        You are right and that is the problem with EVs, they fit a large proportion of needs not all of them. For many people an EV would have to be a second car. If you are worried about CO2 then promoting EVs is exactly the wrong thing to do as it is encouraging there to be more cars built.

        “An awful lot of UK housing in suburbs does have a drive/garage”

        And an awful lot of UK housing in suburbs does not have a drive/garage. Loads of new developments where there are houses do not have garages or drives, they have a parking area nearby.

        “and people living in the bigger cities without one are much more likely to use public transport”

        Says the man who lives in London and know naff all about anywhere else in the country. Public transport in London is very good, most other places in the UK have very patchy services (good on the popular routes, irregular or non-existent elsewhere).

        “(which in London at least means no need to have a car)”

        Tosh. My office is in London, I live in London, I travel to that office by public transport, I have a car. And the same can be said of everyone else I can think of.

        I have a car not just because of the difficulty of bring home, say 100kg of cement on the bus, but to do things like drive to visit my in-laws. Each way that is c. 100 minutes by car and something like six hours by public transport, if all goes well. That includes walking from the neighbouring village as their village does not have any bus service at all.

        BTW, that is a c. 230 mile round trip. I can easily do that on one tank of petrol, but not in an EV. There is no charging point in the village and, to the best of my knowledge, there isn’t one on the way.

    • +1. Power companies are also mandated to have a +15% margin above peak load. But all of this is their problem. We just want our power when we want it.

  27. I found some interesting stats on fuel use by vehicle in UK (in million metric tonnes of oil, Mt) :
    cars: 2003: 20Mt ; 2013: 12 Mt
    trucks: 2003: 17Mt; 2013: 22Mt
    total: 2003 37Mt; 2013: 34 Mt

    And also some energy use:
    oil: 2003: 73Mtoe; 2013: 66Mtoe
    electricity: 2003:21 Mtoe; 2013: 20 Mtoe

    1) cars are not the issue. Trucks are. Average Joe move roughly as much as 10 years before, but in a greater mileage per fuel unit car. The trucks that move things around for him, move much more, and even though they benefited from the same efficiency improvement than cars, they use more fuel. And that’ all economic growth is all about, so this will go on.
    2) Adjusted for efficiency (electric engine use ~90% of electric energy, ICE ~30%), you need ~3X less electricity at home, but well to wheel efficiency is pretty much the same so you need as much as oil (or gas…) anyway. So the 12+22=34 of 2013 turns into 4+7=11 Mtoe electric at consumer door (but still 12+22=34 at powerplant)
    3) can electric system provide +4Mtoe (for cars) from 00:00 to 07:00, without any upgrade ? That’s a +20% on the daily output (Notice that your figure are 133/965 = 14% and 230/965= 24%, not so different). I’ll say: this means it will work at full charge 24/365. I don’t believe in a 24/365 full charge grid. Do you ?
    4) can electric system provide +11Mtoe (for cars+ trucks). that’s + 50%. doable with MASSIVE upgrade. ~15 GW utilities, and grid buildup. cost estimate: ~£30 G to boot, ~£3 G to maintain, 5x if econuts have their way (and i bet they will). Then again, that’s doable

    If you don’t include trucks, the whole thing is vain

  28. I was visiting our local electrical utility yesterday, in the foyer was an immaculate 1919 electric truck, battery powered that was part of the transport fleet servicing the city of Christ Church. They worked well then, and it appears they still work today, and getting better by the month. The oil and internal combustion engine monopoly influence pushed them aside. Now they are reborn.

    They are, or something very like them is the way of the future.

    • Yes. they are great for short journeys which involve lots of stop-starts. The UK has similar vehicles, some still in use as milk-delivery vehicles.

      For typical family use – forget it. There was a reason they were not developed past about 1920, and that reason still applies today. The only reason that there is development in the last few years is that your and my taxes are paying for it…

      • Dodgy
        You will appreciate that the oil producers in Texas were receiving a rebate from taxpayers to compensate them for a reduced residual oil volume in the ground after they had pumped and sold the oil. What a great deal. Kennedy was going to stop that racket, they were none too pleased.

      • “The only reason …”

        Don’t forget about carbon guilt. The constant stream of lies coming from the climate change cabal drives weak minded people to feel guilty about their choices.

      • It’s not a racket it’s standard accounting.
        Everyone else get’s to depreciate the declining value of the property they own, why shouldn’t oil companies?

      • Depreciation allowances were (and are) standard practice in the minerals industry. Singling out the oil companies was strictly for political effect, pandering to people who have no understanding of economics.

    • In 1917 Henry Ford and Thomas Edison ALSO thought EVs were the wave of the future.
      Edison built a very large battery manufacturing complex in Orange NJ that went bankrupt because he couldn’t produce an EV battery that actually delivered what Tom and Henry promised customers. Henry would have loved to build EVs for the mass market.
      (A company named Exide picked up the pieces and very successfully built batteries for ICEs.)
      Maybe by 2117? :)

  29. Hardy,
    You said, “If we make all these assumptions we can make the case that there is only enough lithium to support 3 or 4 years of car production in a world where all cars are electric.” OK, in your worst-case, Devil’s Advocate scenario, you build cars flat out for 3 or 4 years. Then you wait 6 or 7 years for those batteries to fail so that you can re-cycle them and start building more cars. We did without new cars during WWII, so I guess we could do it again.

  30. One important question concerning the replacement of gas and diesel by electricity is this one: how to compensate for the lost taxes on gas and diesel? Who will finance the maintenance and building of roads (a big chunk of the fuel taxes is (or should be) used for these works). In my opinion, the only valid solution will be a tamper proof logger in every EV which collects driven mileage and sends the data ( for instance via GSM) to a global handling center. So the future owner of an EV will first pay his relatively cheap electricity, but on top of that he should be prepared for a monthly bill coming from a state organisation. I can not imagine that our governments will simply say good-bye to the lost liquid fuel taxes…

      • “… who gets the road taxes?”

        It’s generally the states in which you bought gas. Here in Ca, governor moonbeam just introduced an additional 0.15 per gallon tax on gas, presumable to cover road improvements, so those of us who require reliable transportation are now paying about .50 per gallon in taxes alone. The average price is now over $3 per gallon. Another reason to move to Nevada whose gas prices are lower and whose roads tend to be better maintained.


        Note that Federal Taxes are the same and it is the State’s that tax them more. Federal Taxes are for Interstate roads maintenance within the State the fuel is bought. State’s usually break their taxes into the county’s or district for road maintenance where the fuel is bought. Meaning the more roads in a given area and less fuel sold there will suffer with poorer road maintenance. Just as examples.

  31. Misconception 1. That anyone says electric vehicles WILL NEVER be acceptable.

    That is your first problem talking to any of us. You take the most ludicrous argument and start beating it down.


    Electric cars will be great. Eventually. I doubt anyone disagrees with this statement.
    Batteries are not at the point they are economical for it, YET.
    Batteries are not at the point that they are energy dense enough, YET.
    Batteries do not have the life cycle at the point they are appropriate, YET.
    The energy grid currently does not have the capacity for it. YET.

    No matter how ho mix it, the grid has finite capacity, and every single gallon of gasoline has to be replaced with generated electricity. We use a tremendous amount of energy in our cars. It has to come from some where if it is not coming from gasoline in the tank.

    Lithium is going to be a problem, especially when people start looking to get permits to mine the stuff and your “environmentalist” lunatics go to prevent it. Just like everything they do.

    If money is no object, and you can make the car as heavy and big as you like, electric sounds like a great way to go. Electric motors rock! But the batteries make it less ideal. Particularly for small vehicles.

    The real solution to the problem is the hybrid electric which uses fuel in an engine connected to a generator to charge a smaller bank of batteries while powering the motors. Here you get your standard fill up, probably can get 600 to 800 mile range on the same tank that gets 400 miles in some cars today.

    The engine can be small, since it is a generator, it can be fine tuned to be extremely efficient at the one speed it needs to run. This can get most of the benefits of an electric car.

    Anyways, lots of effort you put into this. Too bad you think so lowly of those you think you are going to change the minds of. If you start with a more reasonable position to argue against, I could take more of what you wrote seriously. Since you do not… I do not.

    • Well no, lithium supply will come from all corners of the earth when the price signal and market volume summons it. That can be an inefficient process at times with false impressions of long run versus short run price and competing supply by that’s how it works in all mineral commodity markets including emerging sectors.

  32. LOL, this whole conversation reminds me of Linux fanbois trying to convince Windows users how much better Linux is. They just don’t get it. Windows is fall-off-the-wall easy to use. It doesn’t require a relationship with an O/S to get done what needs to get done.

    • Linux is far more secure, robust and capable than anything Microsoft has ever sold, moreover; it’s free. If not for the sloppy Microsoft code, the multi-billion dollar anti-virus market wouldn’t even exist.

      Apparently, you are not familiar with Ubuntu and other modern variants which are incredibly to install and use. If you want to develop code, Unix is the only way to go. There’s a really good reason why Apple chose Unix as the core of their operating system.

      • co2isnotevil

        For once, I’ll contest you, on your point about Linux, and in particular, Ubuntu.

        I’m not terribly conversant with technology, although I used to build PC’s for family and friends, so I’m not a complete Luddite.

        I tried various flavours of Linux until I discovered Ubuntu, probably 7 or 8 years ago. Looked good until trying to connect it to anything else, then I had to search for days to find solutions that invariably meant I had to code, which I can’t, like most of the world. And I’m sorry, as sloppy as MS may be, I just plug most things in and they work.

        The threats I get are invariably from email spam which is easy to spot. The occasional download of infected software is immediately spotted by Microsoft’s own virus scanner, and had I any sense, I probably wouldn’t download it anyway, but I do like the occasional fiddle.

        I had a look at Ubuntu again recently, still no different. No viruses mind, but I spend my life searching different forums for answers to questions I don’t have with MS.

      • When I perform a forensic analysis of where spam originates, it’s inevitably from a compromised windos (not a typo) machine linked into a spam bot. We can also blame microsoft for the preponderance of spam.

        I’m a very accomplished coder with many 100’s of thousands of lines of code to my credit and I didn’t need to write a single line of code to get Ubuntu up and running all my domains and talking to all of my devices, moreover; I’m running MTA’s, web services, DNS, a firewall, DHCP server and more. Trying to get any of these things up and running on a windos box is a nightmare, especially if you want it to be secure.

        While all of the configuration may not be through a GUI, I would much rather edit a configuration file with Emacs than rely on a GUI that hides important details and limits capabilities. BTW, for a simple desktop application, the GUI’s do offer sufficient capabilities.

        I definitely wouldn’t trust any microsoft code in a heart lung machine, much less a car.

      • I can echo this and say that all our in-house software for running our mechanized tools (“robots”) is developed on Unix machines.

        I used to have a dual-boot (Windows/Linux) laptop for playing around on, but personally never really developed a need/desire to use Linux. But, computers aren’t my world, they’re just a tool in it, so on this I tend towards the path of least resistance. For me, currently, that’s Windows.


      • co2isnotevil

        I think you have illustrated my point.

        I’m not an accomplished coder, and like 90% of the worlds population, you lost me when you mentioned “spam bot”. I have no idea what that is. Nor does 90% of the population of the planet.

        The fact is, you know what your’e doing, the rest of us don’t.

        I tried for about a year to get a Broadcom wireless connection to work on an Ubuntu system. It was a known problem because apparently Broadcom wouldn’t release the necessary code so software vendors could incorporate it. It was, at that time I believe, the most popular wireless hardware on the planet. No one in the Linux community could get it running reliably.

        Times may have changed, I accept that, but when I last sampled Ubuntu, about a year ago, it was barely any more user friendly.

        I buy a car, ICE, EV or otherwise, to enhance my productivity. As soon as I have to raise the bonnet to do anything more than fill the windscreen wiper bottle with water, I’m no longer interested. And I used to be a real petrol head nutter with grease under my for*skin. PC’s are the same. you may have the knowledge to connect an Ubuntu box to anything you want with a few simple keystrokes, I can’t do that. It takes me a week to find a solution.

        Having said all that, I’ll try Ubuntu again, for the third time, just to satisfy my curiosity. But if I load it up without it recognising my broadband connection, my wireless connection, my NAS, and connect easily to my MS One drive account, my BT Cloud, my Amazon cloud account, iTunes, Apple TV, other Windows PC’s on my LAN etc. etc. instantly, then it”s no use to me.

        And if I can’t manage it, I’m damn sure my wife and kids can’t do it either, in which case I’m in for a serious earbashing.

        Nor am I stating these as facts of Ubuntu, just my personal experiences.

      • The fact that 90% of the planet doesn’t know what a spam bot does is why they are such a problem. A spam bot is a collection of compromised machines used as a distributed spam mailer. Most people who’s machines are compromised don’t even know that their machine and their bandwidth is being used to send spam to people all over the world.

        You may have trouble connecting to things served by M$, for example, the M$ One Drive, largely because they prefer proprietary interfaces in order to lock you in to their platform. I should point out that much of their proprietary interfaces were reverse engineered and put into the Wine and Samba applications which you will need to interoperate with windos. Nearly all of the attempted hacks sent to my network (many per second) are trying to exploit vulnerabilities in the M$ file sharing interfaces, which is why you should always block the relevant ports at your firewall.

        If you are connecting over the web, then there shouldn’t be any problems as most of this uses HTTP which is a standard protocol. Migrate to a non M$ browser like Chrome or Firefox first in order to solve any issues with plugins on your windos box first.

        Yes, broadcom devices are a pain to deal with, again owing to proprietary interfaces.
        I had that problem when I was running Solaris (Sun’s version of Unix), where I actually did have to modify a driver to get it to work. It’s my understanding that this is solved in Ubuntu, although I haven’t tried it as the laptop with the broadcom card is still running Solaris.

        Unix can be made easy to use and Apple is the case in point. There are also a lot of apps available to make Linux easier to use, but they generally don’t come with the initial distribution. There are several places on the web that will give you a list of useful packages you should install to make life easier.

        Of course, installing windos is not a picnic either …

      • co2isnotevil

        You have just spent several paragraphs explaining something to me I don’t understand.

        “Unix can be made easy to use and Apple is the case in point.”

        Problem solved then. I can by an Apple laptop running a version of Unix, pay a vast price for it, but be happy in the knowledge it’s more secure than Windoze.

        Not a bad deal really considering I don’t have to go grubbing around finding solutions to Ubuntu problems for days on end.

        And the Broadcom issue was only one of many I found dealing with any Linux distro. But t was an examle that ran for years.

        Bottom line. You’r happy with Linux because you know what you’re doing. Me, and 90% of the world don’t, so it’s really Windoze or Apple.

        And try to get support or apps to work across a Linux, Win, Apple, Android mixed enviroment and you’re on plums, there are almost zero companies who support Windows never mind Linux.

        My kids would be really chuffed with me if I told them to use a dysfunctional Linux music app instead of iTunes, amongst many others.

      • “co2isnotevil November 9, 2017 at 10:45 am

        Linux is far more secure, robust and capable than anything Microsoft has ever sold, moreover; it’s free. If not for the sloppy Microsoft code, the multi-billion dollar anti-virus market wouldn’t even exist.”

        So true!

      • I have been using Linux exclusively since 2007 and haven’t had the need or desire to go back to Windows. The distribution I’m using is Slackware, probably not what the average non-technical user would like but I’m not the average user. I like to program in C and write shell scripts! By all accounts distros such as Ubuntu are pretty easy for the average user to set and run if they accept the defaults and don’t try to meddle with the system. Having said that, if you’re not interested in technicalities then Windows and Mac are probably your best bet.

      • I’ve been using Unix since the mid 80’s when I convinced the company I was working for to purchase a Unix source license from Bell Labs (about $50K at the time) so we could replace VMS on the Vax’s with BSD Unix. The sys admin was not too happy, but eventually came around and was very happy about it when we started acquiring Sun workstations running the same OS.

      • My first encounter with anything Unix like was with Minix around 2000. Installed it on an old ‘486 and actually modified the keyboard driver and made extensive changes to its default text editor, Mined. Minix is what gave Linus Torvalds the inspiration to write the first version of Linux in 1991 and it took off from there.

      • @TheThread – note that we would not need so many auto mechanics if people only knew how to take care of their own cars.

        *nix is secure – when you know how to take care of it. Windows is also secure – when you know how to take care of it.

        The vast majority do not know how to take care of either their cars, or their computers. (The vast majority also do not WANT to know. They work. Or they don’t work, and they start yelling at them.)

      • In 30+ years of running DOS / Windows, I have had exactly two problems. One was when an idiot child hard reset the router (note, NOT running any software from Microsoft) – which still didn’t let them get into my machine, but did let them upload a pirated video to a torrent (the company accepted my heartfelt apology, fortunately).

        Now, I did have a Windows machine (not mine, the wife’s) completely hosed once. The execrable Windows Vista update. That was me being lazy; I hadn’t swapped it out for a proper version.

        I have a friend from college that ran his original VW bug for well over 500K miles. Probably quite a bit more, he still had it years later, and drove twice a year from Oregon to Massachusetts to visit his folks. (I think he did have to stop that a few years ago, as the last time I saw him, he was in the process of acquiring a wife with ready-made kids.) The only other mechanic that ever worked on it, though, was his Dad.

    • co2isnotevil

      PS. I had a couple of late model mid range Windows phones until a year ago. Best phones I ever had including high end iPhone and Androids, by a mile. But no app support, which I was convinced would improve, but it actually fell off. Nor am I a big app user.

    • I run a split system, with “Weenie-DOS” on one side, Ubuntu on the other. There are a few tasks that I prefer to do under Windows, but I usually can’t wait to get back to Ubuntu.

  33. Here is the alt misconception list.
    Alt Misconception 1: EV batteries and EV sales will be independent of consumer budgets and consumer research on battery life and replacement cost

    Alt Misconception 2: The coping cost of electrical distribution will be independent of EVs taking off

    Alt Misconception 3: EV charging will be free on board

    Alt Misconception 4: Generation will maintain redundant capacity in all regulatory schemes

    Alt Misconception 5: Lithium markets will be stable at all times and at all levels of real and induced demand

    Alt Misconception 6: Rational market, technical, and public policy debate will end at misconception 1-5.

  34. Only battery swap tech can beat the 15 minute-to-charge barrier reasonably safely. And only that can be done thru robotics. And “20 minute charge”, is full of a canard’s feathers: 80% of how many kilowatt hours? Oh… it depends. A very light-weight car, getting way better than 1 mile per megajoule (i.e. 5+ mi/kWh) and having “only” a 200 mile range battery will have 40 kWh battery of which 80% is 32 kWh. Divide by ⅓ hour (20 min) and you get 96 kW charge rate.

    See, that’s doable. Already in service, actually, at some specialized SuperCharge Tesla stations. 72 kW is more typical though. (30 min charge). But oh… only Tesla may use Tesla supercharge stations. Monopoly.

    But what of a nice premium car – 400 mi range for non-stop convenience. Necessarily (today at least) heavy due to the extra-large battery. And all the supporting struts and so on to keep everything aloft. A 2,000 kg car, empty. Its mileage is closer to 3 mi/kWh. 400 ÷ 3 = 133 kWh battery. 80% is 106 kWh. This baby requires 1.5 hours of charge at a 70 kW SuperCharge station to fill up.

    Thats not 20 minutes. More like 90.

    Just saying, goats. You can have safe-charging or fast-charging, easily-handled cables or unwieldily ones. Just can’t do all the optimizations in the consumers’ favor.


  35. There are dozens of arguments fielded against for EVs; I have yet to encounter one which stood up under examination.

    FTFY. If those arguments had any merit, subsidies and mandates would be unnecessary. There are two types of people touting the “benefits” of pure electric cars. Useful idiots with a solution in search of a problem, and those using the idiots to further their agenda of totalitarian collectivization, a major impediment to which is the individual autonomy engendered by robust personal vehicles.

    • I know young people who dream talk about Tesla models and then turn around a buy a used boat-sized car for the financial practicality and money savings accomplishment. That sums up the marketplace and consumer/saver preference for me—say one thing and do another.

  36. Perhaps the future of electrical cars is cities – short journeys/ no pollution. I can see a time when the Congestion Charge in London is replaced with an ‘electric cars only’ rule. People living in the country or making long journeys will need to keep a petrol vehicle.

  37. Criteria:

    How about a liquid-fueled vehicle that can be refueled in less than 10 minutes?
    It could have a range of over 400miles before refueling.
    It could be supported by a very large distribution of refueling stations.
    It could be affordable to the average family without government subsidies, which is merely a hidden tax.
    It could be quiet and comfortable to drive.
    It could be large enough to carry all sorts of gear into the mountains for a family weekend camping trip.
    It could perform well in extreme cold (-25C) and extreme heat (+46C).
    It could sit unused, unconnected to anything for long periods, ready to go at an instant.

    So we already have everything in a liquid-fueled auto that an EV offers.

    And then there’s the human element. Get in a rush at home one night and forget to plug in your car. The next morning you are royally screwed. That is no problem for a liquid fueled car.

    Fully EV autos are just expensive virtue signalling that provide zero value added.

    • “It could be affordable to the average family without government subsidies, which is merely a hidden tax.”

      It’s also affordable even with massive unhidden taxes applied to the fuel. In California, there’s about 50 cents of tax per gallon of gasoline.

    • When we had our second child, she came 2 weeks early. And I didn’t fill up the car the night before. So I had to stop on the way to the hospital to put two gallons in otherwise we would have walked. Our daughter was born 9 minutes after we got to the hospital.

      With an EV:

      Me: “Honey can you hold on 20 or 30 minutes while the line at the supercharger clears?”

      Wife: “She’s here…”

      (And no…the EV would not have been charged in time at home because I did a 180 mile business trip that day and she woke me up 3 hours later saying it was time.)

  38. Here in California, many people bought EV’s and hybrids because the state, in its infinite lack of wisdom, allows them to use the HOV lanes for free. This negates the only redeeming value they have, which is economical operation in stop and go traffic.

    • After seeing several cases this year of tiny Smart cars driving in busy interstate corridors among large trucks and other “normal” SUVs away from major cities, I think car buyers need to see photo catalogs of death scenes at wreck sites in place of just occasional statistics. The human trait of “it can’t happen to me” can be deadly especially when the cars are given to teenagers.

      • And in addition, Smart-cars have a petrol engine. Similarly to mopeds they are small, short-lived and polluting.

      • The US idea that small cars are more dangerous in crashes just seems nuts to an European driver.

        anyone got any stats on that?

        All cars these days have crumple zones, airbags etc.

        Oh and near 100% seat belt use in the UK… and no stories in press about people getting trapped by them in wrecks either

  39. I agree with the author that there are a number of misconceptions regarding EVs. There is plenty of lithium and cobalt for these vehicles, for example. To me there is only one real issue – battery power compared to fossil fuel power. Batteries were invented about the same time as the gasoline engine, more than 100 years ago. Both have had many R&D attempts to improve, so I consider both state-of-art. There is no use waiting for a break-through in battery technology any more than waiting for a break-through in the gasoline engine.

    I used to own a VW TDI and regularly went almost 1,000 km on a single tank of fuel with the radio blaring and the heater turned on. EVs aren’t even close. Also note that most EVs are tiny and light. Where is the EV truck that tows 8,000 lb trailers up mountains where the gas stations are more than 100 km apart?

    As an in-city commuter car EVs probably work. But once on the highway where traffic can be unpredictable and charging stations are far apart, I can’t see EVs as an option yet.

    I’ve always seen EV and renewable technology as a scam anyway. It would make more sense to prevent trucks and SUVs from being used as commuter vehicles. This would reduce fossil fuel energy use without any need for new technology. But it would require law changes by politicians who would rather increase taxes to build wind turbines and solar arrays than solve the problem of energy inefficiency from which we suffer and is of our own making

    • But it isn’t battery power vs fossil fuel power. The other end of the EV charging cable connects to a smokestack. Even if it’s on a partially wind-powered grid. Even if every other issue is solved in a rational manner.

  40. No one is asking how much the electricity from charging stations will cost. Will the rate during morning rush hour be higher? Will holiday weekend traffic EVs be gouged for juice that they have to have since the next recharge station is 50 miles further down the turnpike? How long will line ups be for your chance to spent 30 minutes recharging your own vehicle? How will road taxes + our GST + and any other costs be determined? Are oil companies going to make the huge investments into freeway charging stations using multiple charging units that will cost plenty or is the governments job.
    If an entrepreneur decides to build a number of charging stations can he be expected to charge enough for the electricity to pay for the expensive project forgetting about what a homeowner pays for power at home in the middle of the night. Will there be competition among charging stations in close proximity and if so who pays for the extra substations and high energy electrical feeds.
    I think that the electrical recharge market will be one filled with wildly different prices, gouging and ripoffs, just like the gasoline stations are accused of every long weekend.

    • If EV were to become a big thing, the oil companies would be among the first to offer recharging stations. They would most likely be the catalyst in forcing a standardization of plugs and all that. They are first and foremost about making money. And being the oil burning “denier” that I am, would love to see that happen.

  41. John Hardy…After reading all 3 articles, I am disappointed you really had nothing to say about an Micro ICE generator. It is the solution to most of the problems everyone has identified. It should’t be a purist argument that there can be no ICE generator of any kind in an EV, making them effectively independent of the grid. A PHEV is a major solution that has gone unmentioned in any of your otherwise fairly well argued case for EV’s. Why no mention of a simple, small, generator that is ICE or turbine driven from a FF, or even a mini fuel cell? I am not talking about more complex engineering having this micro engine driving the wheels, just a real mini 10-15 Kw back-up generator to supply some electricity for charging when charging isn’t available or you want unlimited range? This is the solution that not many want to discuss. Why?

    • Perhaps a small gas powered engine put into the rear trunk area that drives an alternator which would supply all the electricity the car would need. I’ll bet if they put their minds to it the Germans could come up with such a car. They could call it the “people’s car”.

      • Ah, the VW, my first car. Mine was a semi-automatic – the clutch was in the shifter itself (no clutch pedal). It had a choke knob, for when it was cold and needed an extra rich mixture. Loved that car.

    • “A PHEV is a major solution ”

      What is a P[lugin]H[ybrid]E[lectric]V[ehicle] a solution to? Inquiring minds want to know…

      • So you can charge the battery wherever you are when a grid plug is not available, or have unlimited range while having superior mileage to a pure ICE car. Or have sufficient waste heat for cabin or battery warmth in winter. Or A/C in summer/fall when you escaping the oncoming hurricane. If you are biased against EV or PHEV, just say so. I am biased against large pure EV sedans, because they are a brick when you run low on battery power. So put a micro ICE generator in, and take the equivalent weight of batteries out. Win-win if you like the concept of an electric car. Not sure though, if there are any engineers up to the task of designing a small compact dedicated 10 Kw -15 Kw ICE generator that would be super efficient at just one speed, full output.

      • Superior mileage, yes, but not that superior. My ICE-mobile gets about 43 mpg hwy @ 70 mph. Do hybrids get that much better mpg to warrant their extra cost (over $10k in my case), and replacement battery cost after not that many years? No, they don’t. I just recently considered a hybrid and redid the math @ $5/gallon. The high MPG is seductive, but the cost savings is just not there. If not, then, just what problem do hybrids solve? Better fuel economy? OK. Well that’s for CAFE standards, not for the end user, unless maybe he drives an unusually large amount when gas prices are high.

  42. Astonerii

    And what is the power generation that produces the energy substitution equivalent of each gallon of petrol used?

    I ask again, what is the justification for EVs unless they can compete against ICE’s on an unsubsidised basis? I can see congestion reduction in cities as a good reason but unless the fuel used in the power generation is renewable there is no advantage. Even in this dream world where renewables produce enough power to service all demands there has to be a base load or back up from nuclear or fossil fuel. It seems to me that EV’s are a solution looking for a problem and that the subsidy farmers are milking it.

    • I am on your side of the argument. I do not support current electric vehicles. They are not efficient. They are not ecological. They are not ready. On the other hand, electric vehicles have some compelling qualities, and when technology brings those qualities at a price that is good, I would certainly entertain buying one.

  43. Personally, although I’m not an engineer, I think there are some valid points made here. The calculations seem reasonable.

    My problem is, from a UK perspective, is that the British population is being dictated to by our government.

    Now, whilst I would expect nothing less from a socialist government, I expect an awful lot more from a conservative government which maintains it’s all for freedom of choice, a small government and open market competition.

    EV’s are few and far between because they can’t compete in an open market on either price or performance. If they compete on one, they can’t compete on the other. Which may not always be the case as technology moves on, but that’s the point of an open market. The best products for the consumer evolve over time and are invariably cyclical, they are replaced naturally with newer, better products displace them when consumers recognise the benefits.

    And whilst technology frequently has government subsidies to encourage it’s emergence or continuation (Nissan, Toyota etc.) I suspect that the individual level of subsidy will be well below the level required by EV manufacture to crowbar it into a society at an accelerated pace.

    This blog is well aware CO2 has no meaningful impact on climate, if any. We all know city atmospheric pollution is about as clean as it’s ever going to get in modern westernised cities. We have all watched the vilification of DERV’s, hand waved by our government away as an unfortunate mistake in promoting the technology because of lower CO2 emissions, only then to claim emissions are contaminated with other particulates, which they already knew of. But because of green influence the technology was, incorrectly it seems, encouraged, then because of green influence, discourage, nay, virtually banned.

    So where in this scenario is anyone encouraged that government mandated, wholesale, overnight changes in an incredibly complicated transportation infrastructure, is the right thing to do?

    They twice cocked up on one single element of it within ten years or so. why would anyone believe the UK government, of any flavour, can make a success of a change of this magnitude, in the mandated time frame, without screwing it up.

    The problem here isn’t with EV’s, given enough time, they are the future; it’s incompetent governments.

      • And what would the conservative governments political views be? Admittedly they’re conducting themselves more like socialists, which is at odds with the general expectation of conservatism in the UK. They are, after all, supposed to be ‘right wing’, instead they’ve taken a giant step left.

        So yes, my political views are at variance with theirs, but not of the rest of the conservative voting public.

        We are right wing for a reason, to counter the blight on humanity of socialism.

  44. ‘The combination of a 300 mile range and fast charge should be plenty.’

    Buyers will decide what is ‘plenty.’ Or not.

    ‘How many people routinely drive more than 300 miles without stopping for toilet and/or food?’

    Buyers will decide if it is important to them. Betcha it is.

    ‘For most people, most of the time averaging 20 – 30 miles per day [1], charging could be done once a week.’

    True. PEVs are suitable for some uses. If you ignore cost. You can buy a Honda Civic with the two-year depreciation of a Leaf.

    “Fast charge” needs to be fast however: 20 minutes from empty to 80% charge. The batteries are well able to handle this.

    Listen to you: 20 minutes IS NOT FAST.

    Consumers used to a 3 minute fill-up are not interested in a 20 minute fill-up. Your calling it ‘fast’ is propaganda.

    Consumers are not interested in embarking on a 300 mile journey not knowing if they will find an available charger. 3 times. On their way, at their destination, and during their return.

    Not only is the cost of the vehicles prohibitive, the cost of your imaginary infrastructure is prohibitive.

    PEVs will remain an expensive, niche application.

  45. In order for a recharge station to have the same throughput as a gas station, assuming a 20 minute recharge, would require the recharge station to have about 7 times as many recharge points as an equivalent gas station has pumps (3 minutes to pump your car). So let’s say approximately 100 recharge points for a moderately sized station. That’s several acres of land. Plus it would require its own substation as it would require the electricity supply equivalent to about 1,000 homes (a small town). And that’s just one ‘gas’ station!

  46. Consider that an adequate comparison for the Bolt/Tesla 3 is the Mazda 3. In order to go from 10 to 80% capacity it is 9.24 gallons. At 5 gal/min it takes just under 2 minutes. Say what you want about “fast charge,” gas is still 10x faster. Seriously though, 30 mile battery, phev, home charger. You get all of the benefits of an electric vehicle at 10% of the battery pack. The engine takes a lot less wear and tear, especially since it would never run at low rpm.
    I personally think Mazda will have a killer product when they use their rotary as a range extender for a PHEV. For the average person the engine will likely run 10% of the time, so the reliability issues with seals on a rotary will be completely negated. Range anxiety is a non issue if they put in a 500 mile gas tank. The biggest problem will be with gasoline stability if you don’t empty the tank monthly.

      • All well and good, but you now either have to require that stabilizers be added to every drop of gas in the country, replace one of the octanes at the pump with “stable,” or require owners to keep up with adding stabilizer. None of these seems like a good option to me.

      • chadb

        Sorry, but if that’s not inconsequential nit picking, I don’t know what is.

        If the Mazda concept is as cheap and effective as claimed, and can eliminate the mind boggling task of electrifying the whole world for EV’s, and abandoning every other technology we have relative to ICE vehicles, by adding a drop or two, by whatever means, of stabilizer to fuel, it’s the least of our problems.

      • chadb, out of necessity I’m already conditioned. I add Stabil to all of the gas that I put into canisters for all of my small engine toys. After a couple of months sitting unused it goes into the car. I don’t wait for it to age out, but I put in Stabil just in case I forget.

  47. MISCONCEPTION (Lie) #6 (continued): It is going to happen regardless…

    If it’s going to happen regardless then why put subsidies on the EV side, and the penalties on the IC side of the markets. Why the need to try to manipulate the markets if it’s going to “happen regardless”?

    Sure, it may happen regardless … so, why force it in an inefficient manner then?

  48. Let us assume for a minute that travel distances between cities and desired destinations in the UK are substantially shorter than in the US. So, the estimations provided by John Hardy are on the short side of the requirements of electric car travel distances for the US.

    Let us also assume that there will be times when travel conditions are not ideal, rather: hot requiring air conditioning or cold requiring a heater. For those who travel during the summer, the Orange Barrel scene is familiar with stop and go bumper to bumper traffic and much extended travel times if not added miles. And, for those brave souls who travel during the winter, not only is the drain on batteries greater, there is also “black ice” accidents which are a reminder that travel times are extended as well. Now consider having an electric car and you are living in Key West Florida, a hurricane is coming and the Florida Keys are under a mandatory evacuation order. Everyone and their brother, sister, uncle and aunt is on the only road, a two lane affair, you are going to Miami (110) miles away where the Hurricane is predicted to hit with full force or you have relatives in Ocala (461miles) where your family wants to go. Again, on the Overseas Highway, bumper to bumper travel going at a snail’s pace in the heat of the day, kids are crying, wife is visibly upset talking a mile-a-minute about what might happen, etc. Here you are in your up-to-date electric car you purchased for driving around Key West. There is abundant sun for solar panels to charge your electric vehicle; you are going green; what’s there not to like? Possibly running out of electricity? blocking the highway while joining other electric cars on the side of the road? an inconvenient location where there are no hook-ups? or those facilities that do exist are now oversubscribed? or are no longer connected to juice?

    Electric vehicles work when you know you will not need to safely travel outside the range of its batteries. Otherwise, you need a second non-electric vehicle. Of course, going to Yellowstone Park. Seeing the Grand Canyon. Being a “snowbird” going from Toronto to Tampa Bay (where you will need another vehicle) all are problematic destinations where you can only travel 300 miles at a time.

    Distances really do matter.

  49. I enjoy this auto reviewer, that cannot review a Tesla, because they would have to deliver it by tow truck. I agree with his assessment, the Chevy Volt with an onboard genset makes sense, with the 50 mile battery range. Most commuting is covered, but you can make a regular IC car drip to get out of Florida when the hurricane is approaching. If they would only allow a small diesel instead of gas, it would be even better. Some day the EPA may stop the war on diesel.

    The One Electric Car That Makes Some Sense . . . Chevy Volt

  50. This concept that EV are OK because we mostly travel 50kms is nonsense. I want transport that does what I want when I want it. I don’t want one car for 50km and another for 1200kms. It reminds me of the heat pump vs oil fired boiler. My oil fired is 30yrs old. Costs 5€/week for hot water and ~700€ /yr for all heating and water combined. A heat pump will not supply hot water because, I was told, it’s not practical, and burns electricity at 3200 kwh. Electricity prices keep rising massively because of green crap.

    Give me an electric car that behaves like a petrol and I’ll buy it and drive if the price is right, if the batteries don’t have to be changed every ten years, if I can do 800kms with a 5min charge and not waiting for a charge point to be available.

  51. The focal point of this 3 part series is purebred EV’s. Not Hybrid that combines 2 or more technologies in vehicles.

    EV’s are therefore limited use vehicles when long distance driving is part of a consumer’s daily routine, when on relatively flat roads and stop and go traffic that uses more kWh than is regenerated back to the battery.

    That is where the Hybrid has an advantage to recharge as you drive by switching from ICE to EV on the go or for just charging the battery while the vehicle is in use. Making longer distance driving a better choice.

    In parts 1 & 2 I gave another option that an onboard charging system would eliminate that problem for EV’s that uses only the EV technology and not a Hybrid. Because it only takes adding energy as it is used, a small onboard charging system is required. This could eliminate any outside charging infrastructure or drain on existing grids.

      • Mark W I feel you are fixated on some concept that a flywheel weighing under 100lbs can release enormous amount of energy to upset a vehicle weighing 2 – 3 tons. That is ludicrous. Even if it was a concern – playing along with your fear. There is such a device called a “Brake” that is known to stop things from moving.

      • “The only problem with your on board charging system is that it will kill the occupants of the car.” So now you are just trolling all of WUWT with ludicrous statements so as to stink the place up. You keep getting worse and worse every day MarkW. Yet you have fans…other low IQ information trolls.

      • Jonchi, it’s not the weight of the gyroscope, it’s the amount of energy stored in it that matters.
        And yes a gyroscope of just a few hundred pounds could flip a car of several tons.

        Earthling2, just because you are to stupid know basic facts is not evidence that others are wrong.

      • MarkW, you were saying in Part 2 of this series how a dedicated micro ICE generator in an EV might poison the occupants with carbon monoxide at a red light. As if the auto industry hasn’t already solved the issue of venting an exhaust pipe to the atmosphere without killing anyone. You just make stuff up out of thin air, like power line losses at 50% also in an earlier post or thread. Or exhaust air of an ICE engine is cleaner than atmospheric air just upthread from here. If you were funny or just being sarcastic, that would be one thing, but usually you are just plain stupid. And I don’t think you can fix your kind of stupid.

  52. I believe that if little efficient ICE cars were subsidized like EVs, their popularity would sky rocket, and fuel consumption would dramatically. Most people don’t need the sedan or SUV they drive, and all that extra fuel is simply wasted. Why spend billions to develop and promote a marginal, complex and vulnerable technology, to save on carbon emissions at some vague future time when if you directed the same funds to subsidize the purchase highly fuel efficient ICE’s you could actually meet your goal next year?

    The reason of course is obvious: no one is actually interested in reducing carbon emissions. This is all just a giant pantomime of virtue signalling. There is no substance to any of it. None.

    • Here you go (I’m reposting this from a couple of days ago):
      “F1 designer Gordon Murray unveils lightweight city car”

      Imagine a car so narrow that two can drive next to each other in one lane; a car so small and short that three can park in one parking space.
      Now imagine that the car is built in a shed from glass fibre, recycled plastic bottles and steel tubes, using just a fifth of the material required to build a conventional car.
      Such a vehicle would have the potential to prevent gridlock on the world’s roads as the number of cars quadruples to 2.5 billion by 2020.
      It could also help hundreds of millions of people achieve their dream of owning a car, without depleting scarce resources such as water, energy or steel.
      Well, that car has been made.
      It seats three, weighs just 575kg, has a top speed of almost 100mph and is expected to cost about £6,000 ($9,000).

      Click the link for more detail.

      • Roger Knights

        Gordon’s been flogging this for years now. Sadly, that report is from 2010.

        Great idea, but somehow he’s got lost in the production specifics of his iStream concept instead of the marketing. Take a look at his website the only thing you see is his production methods, not a car. And what’s he promoting now? TVR.

        My old man built and raced cars designed like this in the 1950’s. Whilst Colin Chapman was building monocoque cars with fibreglass bodies (expensive) my old man stuck to tubular steel with fibreglass/aluminium bodies, inspired by the Maserati Birdframe, all built by Chinese ‘coolies’.

        KTM and Ducati are racing cheap tubular framed motor bikes against Japan’s finest cast aluminium, eye wateringly expensive, cast aluminium, ‘monocoque’ frames, and winning.

        I suspect it’s a case of a brilliant engineer finding the solution to a problem, when the problem has moved on, in this case politically.

        I would buy one of Gordon’s small cars tomorrow, but sadly I believe he’s abandoned the concept to concentrate on reviving TVR.

      • I said over 30 years ago that the car of the future would look a lot like a Formula Jr vehicle.

  53. The commenters raise some extra concerns but this whole discussion about the disadvantages and benefits rests on the assumption of individual ownership. Millennials are already moving away from the car ownership model and renting for long distance trips. Let those be done with ICE cars. The rest of our transportation can be done with autonomous EV cars.

  54. I don’t care what you drive.

    Do not raise my electric rates because you insist on using ‘green’ power to fill your I-car.

    Do not engage in subsidies, write offs, tax breaks, etc to push electric cars, let the market actually decide.

    Do not attempt to put a per mile tax on me because your electric car doesn’t use fuel. My fuel tax accounts for all variables inherently and automatically.

    Other than this choose what you want.

  55. Electric motors have many technical and practical advantages over internal combustion engines. Someday EVs may replace ICE vehicles. But right now they are not economically practical or convenient to be the primary vehicle for most people. If they were, there would be no need to defend them. They would replace ICE vehicles as quickly as ICE vehicles replaced horses as the primary transportation option.

  56. I would never buy an electric car on principle, unless there was really no other choice. Hydrogen fuel cell cars look interesting though, and the new Toyota Mirai looks great – over 300 mile range, refill in 3 minutes, etc. Fuel cell technology is starting to look very good – I wouldn’t be surprised if it soon starts to make inroads on EV sales.

  57. In this blog post, John Hardy elevates hand waving and half-truth salesmanship far above his previous 2 efforts. This ‘Part 3’ post raises EV zealotry to an art form.

    If electric vehicles are not subsidized with tax payer dollar$ and are fairly taxed to pay their fair share of road construction and maintenance costs, they will need no dissembling, disingenuous ‘defense’.

    If wind mills and solar panels are not subsidized with taxpayer dollar$ and are fairly priced for their inherent destabilization of the grid and need for conventional backup generation capacity, they will need no dissembling, disingenuous ‘defense’ either.

    Free markets and informed, rational consumer are very good at deciding what provides the greatest utility for dollars expended!

  58. There are 4 things getting in the way of electrics cars replacing petrol powered cars:

    – less energy density, the ‘range’ of electric vehicles is significantly less than petrol (especially given the fact if you want increased range with a petrol car, just bring along a full petrol can..)

    – progressive reduction in useful range – you fill your petrol car up, its good for the same range as before, with electric you might get the same range, you might not – the batteries do degrade over time no matter how careful you are.

    – charging time – as already mentioned the longer the range, the more power needs to be ‘pumped’ into the battery pack in an acceptable time period and in a safe way…

    – if you run out of petrol, you just go get some and put it in; if the same happens with an electric car – the whole car has to bought to the charging point OR you have to take someone else’s charge (and hope they have enough to get home with); note: I haven’t seen any electric vehicle with the ability to transfer charge like this.

    Myself I think its just the wrong solution and actually not that green.

    Now batteries used in static storage, like time shifting power and reducing grid dependency – yes.

  59. Long recharge-time described in this piece would “turn me off” to electric power for a car — assuming I had a choice.

    I don’t believe fossil-fuel vehicles should be “forced off” the road. Rather, as one fuel becomes too expensive let the unsubsidized free-market decide on what replaces it and how that replacement is timed.

  60. I do miss a quite important point: intrinsic losses and energy conversion efficiency.
    The assumption is that a car just needs or consumes 10kWh per day. More than 90% of the electricity generated comes from conventional powerplants: nuclear, gas, oil, coal. A coal fueled powerplant has an efficiency rating of 40%, the loss at 60%. PV systems have an efficiency rating of roughly 15-22%, the loss at 80%. Transportation of energy, grid loss: about 6-8% depending whether over or under ground and upon distance. Charging losses: the heating of cables, charger and battery, plus the inevitable self-drain.
    How much energy in total do you have to put in to get the desired 10kWh out and on the road?

    „Quod rarum carum“ Li, Cu, Ni may be available, but the price is soaring and most probably going through the roof in the near future: the price of Li more than doubled since 2014. Crude oil (Brent) is almost stable with the inevitable ups and downs since the end of 2013.

    It makes absolutely no sense to me to skip a well-oiled, well-running system of refineries to be replaced by a prestigiuous system of electrickery only the well-to-do can afford and the average bloke in the pub can‘t and doesn‘t like.

  61. I don’t understand why people are so negative on the electric car’s future. It is just on its start of evolution. No, I wouldn’t go near one using today’s technology and infrastructure, but in the near future (say 10 years) it will evolve into a practical answer for many people – especially the city dwellers.

    The weight of electric cars continues to drop. This means less mass to move around. This also has some negative side-effects – dangerous at high speeds or significant winds, more vulnerable to heavier cars, etc. But if the speeds are low (as in a city) this weight reduction helps to reduce battery requirements.

    The electric motors that move the vehicle continue to evolve into lighter and more efficient drive systems. Energy recovery braking is also a great idea that extends range. Heating and especially cooling are problems – they consume a large amount of energy. Increasing the car insulation and decreasing the volume to be warmed and cooled seem like straightforward solutions (so tiny cramped quarters that only a kid could like).

    You don’t need to recharge quickly if you can constantly low-rate charge (i.e. using a small gas engine). And you don’t need to only own an electric vehicle, but one for local driving isn’t a ridiculous notion.

    Yes, a break through (or two or three) are certainly needed if the electric car is a pure one, but one can always put in a small gas generator to power the vehicle. It could be left running to recharge batteries so instead of supplying all power requirements, it supplies a steady base-load that supplements batteries when being driven and recharges batteries in-between. This would supply some heat when warming is needed inside the car. By tuning this little engine to a constant speed, you get maximum performance from it. You plug in the car into normal house current (say 220 volts, 20 amps) when convenient to save on gas. Hybrids like these seem to be the most likely successful answer in the near term, not hybrids with mechanical drive trains (which add to much weight and complexity).

    If you have an electric drive system it is much easier to computerize the performance to get maximum benefit. Think more efficient starting and stopping (yes, boring starting and stopping, no race car here).

    I am all FOR canceling the subsidies for electric vehicles – this just moves them into use before they are ready. Make them compete for business. If they can’t compete, they don’t ever move into the field. But I do think they are evolving into useful vehicles given enough time.

    Not that I will ever own one… I like my cars with a roaring powerful gas engine. But young people who never knew muscle cars will likely adopt the electric vehicle – and likely want to buy the latest one every two or three years like a smart phone.

    • “I don’t understand why people are so negative on the electric car’s future. It is just on its start of evolution.”

      If by ‘start’ you mean in its second hundred years of development, yes.

    • RoT,
      You asked “…why people are so negative on the electric car’s future.” One answer is because some are acting like the Messiah has already come and want to ban ICEs and destroy an existing infrastructure in the near future.

    • I tend to agree, the EV has its place, esp as a hybrid. Awesome acceleration. But anything that takes even 20 mins to refuel after 200 miles or so is of limited use. There must be no subsidisation of production vehicles: That will ensure the market comes up with genuine improvements over existing tech.
      What concerns me about large scale EV use is firstly the complication that it places on electricity demand – which is already a problem in Aus at least, secondly the fact this plays straight into the hands of electricity generators who will make money out of people at peak demand. Forecasts based on current demand and price are therefore meaningless. Thirdly, and I think most important and neglected, is the risk of becoming more dependent on the electricity grid. Grids were never designed to be critical infrastructure and are extremely vulnerable. Mass evacuation with EV (eg fire, earthquake, flood) will likely be impossible. Even preparation for disasters like hurricanes will be impossible because it will be impossibly to stockpile or resupply electricity the way you can with fuel.
      We need to be building resiliance and redundancy into our complex systems and I don’t see how we can do that with existing grid tech. I reckon we are 30 to 50 years off mass market EVs or ICE bans (no matter what China says) and need an energy revolution first.

  62. Oddly the authors claim that costs will be reduced by charging off peak , seem to conflict with their idea that majority of people will not try to charge at the same time and therefore spread the demand . In reality of course most will charge a the lowest cost time , as people will often seek out the lowest price for fuel.
    Indeed lowest cost are a bit of myth all around , in reality it is the lack tax which makes EV cheaper not the low cost nature of the actual fuel used . And there is lies the problem , given the tens of billion gained through fuel tax of one type or another and given the way this money is used to cross-subsides many other areas of public spending . There would be simply no choice but to to tax EV in a manner similar to fossil fuel cars , once they reach significant numbers. Indeed this very thing occurred with LPG and it killed that market.
    So you lost the cost advantage what is left , well even the authors ‘ideal ‘ model both refuel time and range , and it is not the ever day range which is the issue but the other day range, are still behind present models. Hence why more often they not in a very ‘ungreen’ way EV’s are merely a second car , not an only one for event those who are advocates of them.
    Although the simpler engine reduces cost , these days 100,000 miles can be racked up on a car engine with little problem. So the difference is not as great has first supposed.
    While running gear , such as tires, breaks , suspension , needs work according to usage, not the means of propulsion. Indeed the killing factors for increasing amounts of cars is the electronics, a dead ECU is a dead car no matter what else is good . And if anything EV have more complex electronics to deal with so may have more of an issue in this area .
    So your left with the same , price , range , charging issue . You still not addressed where the power for all these EV will come from , other than some wishful thinking , and you simply not dealt at all with issues such as people with no access to their own land for parking and therefore charging facility.

    And the greatest irony is even with full EV, congestion and traffic volumes are totally and utterly unaffected by the EV idea, and these are the predominate problems in many cases .

    • Don’t worry, the green fantasy includes parking meters with wireless quick charge capability like your cell phone and a street made of solar cells to power it.
      /is that sarc, or not?

    • 1++++
      The EV is only for niche occupiers, who are wealthy, have their own house with a charging station, which they can use during off-peak hours, and it does not matter if the load capacity after 1000 charging cycles is only 70 percent, because they only 10-20 miles per day drive and leave the rest by train and plane and after 8 years without batting an eyelid make a battery change, which loosely exceeds the residual value of the car. So not for the normal consumer. But who knows, in a dictatorial government, or soon World Government, all this does not matter. However, as you can see from the former Soviet bloc, such an uneconomic way of thinking can not last. That’s the good news on the many bad by EVs.

    • Oddly the authors claim that costs will be reduced by charging off peak

      If everybody or the majority is charging at “off peak”-times, then there will be no “off peak” any longer. Prices go up, then, so, please do a recalculation…

  63. Has anyone totaled up the equivalent KWHs presently produced by ICEs which would need to be generated and distributed to replace them?
    This is not a new breakthrough technology, it is a rehash of old ideas, with attempts to neutralize it’s inherent stumbling blocks. It’s the small thinking that crowds out the real invention.

  64. I have read all three parts. It’s pretty thin gruel. The arguments are sweeping, hand waving rationalizations, with a paucity of quantitative substantiation. And, just as indictments are not valid without exculpatory evidence, this series suffers from an honest take on some huge negatives. First, and perhaps foremost, is that if you support electric cars because you believe carbon dioxide is a problem, you are behaving contrary to your interests; electric vehicles produce more carbon emissions per mile than IC, when you consider the entire energy cycle, from generation to distribution to your auto. You might say that this won’t be so when we are on only solar and wind and nuke, but I would then say we can all live on Mars, so who cares. The more practical problem, though, is that the service time increase, from refueling an IC car to recharging an EV, is large; and the queues for charging will grow quite large, unless the number of GPEs (gas pump equivalents) is increased by at least an order of magnitude. So that service station on the highway will have to now be a parking lot full of charging stations, the corner gas station will have to be the whole block. I’m not sure people want to use real estate this way. I’m certain there isn’t non-subsidized incentive to capitalize this. Not to mention the millions of cars parked on city streets, usually in a different place each day, moved for alternate side of the street parking (for street cleaning), where there are currently no charging stations. If you deploy charging stations ‘statistically,’ people will be shooting each other over them.

    • Good post, JV. I hadn’t thought about the impact of greatly increased residence time at ‘filling’ stations. What a nightmare!

    • Non Nomen
      November 8, 2017 at 2:31 am

      Lets do a calculation on the back of the envelope: a complete refill of Diesel or petrol takes six minutes, from unscrewing the tank cap until leaving. Recharging an empty battery takes up to 30 minutes, five times more. plugs are needed, then. Sixteen nozzles taken as petrol station average multiplied by five equals eighty (80). Quite a lot of space required and quite a lot of people on the lot. Plus the cars in the queue, waiting for the hurricane…

  65. Keep wondering why Electric cars are so important to warmist ecoloonies,when the Battery is VERY toxic,does poorly in cold weather and not economical,requires a large increase in power generation facilities.

    • Yonder ecoloonies seem determined to lead us down a cul-de-sac of unworkable technology in order to conclude, “See? Cars don’t work; we must all go back to horses.”

      • Horses produce greenhouse gasses and must be taxed accordingly (CA).
        There is always a “catch 22”.

  66. Not so long ago, from the WUWT site I read an essay comparing a top of the line BMW versus the Tesla. The BMW produced less CO2 . The math was pretty simple, could not find a flaw in the author’s math.

    Introduction of solar panels on EVs would help. In a sunny clime, drive to work, park in the sun, trickle charge during the day, drive home.

  67. EV’s are essentially rich man toys. They are not something the middle class is going to find handy any time soon. I do over a 70 mile round trip each day with a 1500 foot elevation change. I’m thinking this might be a problem.

  68. If the Eco-nazis ever get their way and impose this useless technology, sure as eggs are eggs, someone will “invent” a much cleaner more energy efficient method burning a fuel that supposedly produces just perfectly clean CO2 and H2O.

    There’s a simple reason that carbohydrate fuels will always be preferrable and it’s this: like a rocket v. jet a battery has to carry to “Oxygen” side of the equation around with it, whereas when burning fuel, you get free oxygen from the air.

  69. The only people interested in electric cars are Warmistas and Alarmistas. Electric cars only move the pollution from one place to another. Electric trains and Electric buses are one thing, but electric cars are quite another. Where are our electric planes? When electric cars have a range of 700-1000 km and charge in 10 minutes, do not cost the Earth, have batteries that are cheap and last over 3 years and electricity prices have fallen because the CAGW scare is over, I will be interested. As they say in the movies “Enough with the Electric Cars!” Wake me up when it’s over.

  70. UK standard sockets handle almost 3 kW. Recharging an average day’s driving just from a wall socket might take 2 – 4 hours. Electric showers may run over 10kW, so adding a 10kW EV wall box is no more complex than installing an electric shower

    This is a little bit of a misconception/

    The standard plug is fitted with a 13 amp fuse and therefore handles 3kW. However, the wall socket is run on a 16 amp cabling on a ring main, and thus the socket can safely handle 32 amps. Most people have a number of double sockets and thus one could theoretically run a wire terminating with two wall plugs(specially designed to be formed into one unit) both of which could be plugged into the double socket, and one could therefore safely deliver 25 amps, equivalent to 6kW without significant re-wiring.

    Electric shows are run on 45 amp cabling, usually single run and not part of a ring main, and are usually fused with either 32 amp or 45 amp fuses. Electric cookers are also usually wired on a separate 45 amp circuit.

    Most fuse boxes will not handle an electric shower, a cooker, domestic hot water tank, fridge, washing machine, miscellaneous items, and a car all being used at the same time, but could, of course, be adapted to do so..

    it is inevitable that these cars will have to be charged at night when there is minimal other household demand, which will cause a change in off peak demand.

    Misconception 3: EV charging will require rewiring all the houses in the land.

    This depends where you live. I have a house on a small estate of around 150 or so houses. My house is fitted at the road with a 40 amp fuse, likewise my neighbours, it use to be fitted with a 25 amp main fuse, and I had to have extra cabling run into the house when I upgraded it to 40 amps. I wanted more power than 40 amps, but the only option was to have triple phase, which I did not go for. I think that there are a few houses on my estate with triple phase,

    My house could not run a 10 kW charger, even at night. Most the houses on my estate cannot, and I suspect that there are tens of thousands of such properties which will require substantial upgrading if EVs are forced upon them.

    • I am reasonably certain your double socket will not feed 32 amps. the wiring is 16 amp, one wire with one neutral. at 13 amps your really at your maximum load and sustained for hours at a time is probably going to start a fire. In most cases electrical devices consume watts of power not kilowatts. This whole Idea that every house in a development could suddenly start charging car batteries at 3kw for 4 to 5 hours and not cause problems is ridiculous. There is a reason your typical charger for a EV is a multi phase box. This is a little easier in the US in areas with modern 200amp mains (the limitations of wiring and circuit load are still a big deal). Even in California if your going to install an EV charger over level 1 (1.4kw @ 120volts) you need to get a permit and have an electrician set up the install. I can’t imagine the havoc that a 3kw charger would have on a house with 40amp mains and 16 amp wiring. (peak vs sustained current is the issue).

      • pop, doesn’t change the fact that circuits are not designed for max continuous loading. 40amp uk service is like a 70 amp US. 13amp ring circuit with 16 amp wire is still 13 amp for the entire circuit. Your 3kw charger plus anything else is going to melt the wire and cause a fire. UK still uses single phase….

      • It is two wires of 16 amps that forms the ring main, and both of these wires run back to the fuse box to a 32 amp fuse. Actually, although the cable is rated 16 amps, it is of a thickness that can carry 22 amps and over a longer distance than is typically used in the ring main of domestic building which usually uses short runs of cable.

        And as Pop noted, the voltage is nominally 240 volts.

        So if you have a double socket in the kitchen, you can run two 3 kW kettles side by side from the same socket, without any problems.

        A typical ring main circuit.

        A picture of the typical socket. The 3 pin plug is separately fused.

        The 3 pin plug is separately fused (in this picture it is fitted with a 3 amp fuse, but could be fitted with a 13 amp fuse). .

        I am suggesting that a special double plug could be manufactured so that it has 6 pins that align precisely with the 6 holes in the wall mounted double socket, and then one could use 32 amp rated cable to deliver say 25 amps of power to the on board car charger, which at 240 volts is nominally 6kW. This would avoid the need for any special rewiring.

        Obviously, one would have to make sure that other equipment on the ring main was not being used at the time of the charging, but that ought not to be a problem if one is charging the car over night when one is in bed.

      • I did require my house, but that was close to 30 years ago so I am not up to date on current regulations. Obviously, anyone carrying out wiring needs to know the current rules and regulations and be guided accordingly. The fundamentals of electricity has not itself changed over the past 30 years.

        If I recall correctly, the standard cable used for a ring main on a power circuit, is 2.5 mm cable, so theoretically it can carry up to 27 amps without undue problems. But there are building/electrical regulations that do not permit you to lawfully use it at such power in consumer settings, and that is why the ring main terminates with a 32 amp mcb fuse.

        I think that if you use this cable as a single spur (not a ring main) it can be used at 20 or 22 amps. That is why I referred to it above as a 22 amp cable, although commonly it will be fused with a 20 amp mcb.

        For lighting circuits, the standard cable is 1.5 mm.

        Obviously, there are a number of installation factors that need to be taken into account when determining safety and power use, but a large safety tolerance is built in.

      • I don’t know where this 3 KW goes from. In the US house wiring is 110 V and it looks as if they are limited to 13 A so that’s 1,300 W [my house is 240 V and 10 A]. And while you can briefly draw over that amount it would be unwise to do so for hours especially if you have an old switchboard.
        If EVs are forced upon us it will cost lives because shoddy operators will flock to the subsidies.

      • Normal breaker rating on wall plugs is 15 A at nominal 110-120 volts in the US. I agree though with your point, trying to use the capacity continuously is not a really good idea.

      • Richard, I only see a hot a neutral and an equipment ground in your ring circuit. I would love to see a photo of the UK fuse box, but I am pretty sure that if your two 3k kettles elements were on at the same time you might be unhappy with the outcome. Also you only showed a 3amp on the one which is more in line with a single circuit feeding the whole house. Other than the kitchen most of your outlets are probably not set up for big current. The reason your wire is not rated for what it could carry is because its in a wall and can build up heat. Electrical codes have reductions for types of wall, insulation and other factors. Most of which has changed over the last 30 years. Every time a house burns to the ground from electrical issues they modify the code based on whatever happened. Although the UK is a bit weak on their safely codes compared to the US. Only one of those wires is carrying anything hot. you may be talking about a 4wire setup where they alternate hots, that usually what is done in the US for convenience but it doesn’t change the rating of the outlets. Finally when was the last time your 3k kettle took 5 hours to heat up the water?

      • @Davis Riser

        You don’t seem to have read Richard’s comment at all closely.

        A 3kW kettle will draw c. 13A (at 230 nominal voltage), so two of them on the same ring (whatever sockets they are plugged in to) will draw 26A which is less than the 32A that Richard said his is fused at. If a 32A fuse (actually an MCB) is fitted then the wiring will take that load.

        However little else could be used on that ring at the same time. Hence in practise a separate circuit would be installed for an EV charging point, the same as there are separate circuits for electric cookers, electric showers and immersion heaters.

        “Also you only showed a 3amp on the one which is more in line with a single circuit feeding the whole house”
        Actually Richard said “The 3 pin plug is separately fused (in this picture it is fitted with a 3 amp fuse, but could be fitted with a 13 amp fuse)”, making it clear that the 3A fuse was purely illustrative. Typical fuse rating in the UK are 3A, 5A & 13A. Thing like electric kettles have 13A fuses in the plug.

        “Although the UK is a bit weak on their safely codes compared to the US”
        And now you are parading your ignorance as knowledge. I have visited the US and I have seen numerous examples of wiring that would not be allowed in the UK.

      • I did read what he wrote, but I am also sure that AC works on a one wire concept, ie there is a reason each outlet is limited to whatever is on their local fuse. If this ring circuit which looks modern is up to current electrical safety ideas plugging a 3kw or 6kw EV charger to it wont happen regardless of the fancy plug idea. Even if you use a two wire in the same jacket concept the limitation with wire involves heat so while theoretically the wire is rated in single sub wire use at 22 amp its not rated that for the use in that ring circuit. If your reading this article I would have a discussion with your electrician before buying an EV as to what is legal and safe. Additionally while 230volts seems like a good idea in single phase, its twin the dual phase is a dangerous beast in the UK. 400v is at that point where any kind of degradation to the wiring will cause a serious hazard to people.

      • David I totally agree. The original house I live in was built prior to 1927 when individual wires were tape wrapped and separated [by] ceramic insulators. That was upgraded in the 1980’s and only part of it was done to the newer parts to the house. That to code we had to rewire everything 5 year’s ago to handle new technologies. You really need to have a professional to look things over before making changes that could burn your place down if you don’t.

      • @ Tom

        Most newer residential construction has 20 amp breakers, My home was built in 1994, and there is not a single breaker in the box that is less than 20 amps.

      • They would all need to have their own circuit back to the switchboard. In the days of wire fuses you could put a heavier fuse wire in it but you can’t fiddle a 10A circuit breaker.
        You may be able to draw heavier current connecting to the stove circuit which has heavier wiring but you would need to remember you can’t use the stove at the same time and I doubt it would be legal. Your insurance company might wipe you if you had a fire too.

    • David, You may have read what Richard wrote but your response was based on you not having done so, e.g. regarding the 3A fuse as normal when it was clearly just illustrative.

      “If this ring circuit which looks modern is up to current electrical safety ideas plugging a 3kw or 6kw EV charger to it wont happen regardless of the fancy plug idea.”
      You don’t say why not so it is not possible to know if your objection is valid. However I very strongly suspect that it is not.

      UK wiring will take 3kW loads with no problems. Pretty much every home has a kettle that is c. 3kW (albeit they are only used for short periods of time) but one can easily buy things that are 3kW and used for long periods of time such as fans heaters, e.g.

      These do not come with a warning that nothing else may be plugged in at the same time. UK circuits can supply a lot more than 13A

      However this whole point is more than a little moot and you seem to be getting worked up about pretty much nothing.

      Richard initially pointed out that whilst charging from a UK domestic socket is possible there are practical limitations because that greatly restricts what else can be used at the same time and I emphasised that in my last post.

      Richard’s main point, at least it seems so to me, is that if the main supply to a house is 25A or 40A then running a 10kW EV charging unit is physically not possible. Hence if EVs are to be commonly charges at home all houses with that sort of main supply can have to be uprated, and this would be a major job.

  71. Can you imagine what would happen during a hurricane that just hit Florida and Texas and then all of the electric cars trying to get out of the way. I’m thinking major disaster, and not just the homes and businesses.

    • Disasters don’t happen often, but it just takes one to kill you if you can’t get out of the way. You can’t build a system that *only* tolerates the average, or it *will* fail.

    • Well, since you get DAYS of warning — anyone that had not fully charged their EV would have been quite stupid or living under a rock.

      Another False and Failed argument

  72. An immediate thought is that all of these ideas and suppositions that current power generation can cope with 34 million EV’s is fundamentally flawed for two reasons:

    The proposed shift to ever-increasing levels of renewables cannot cope with this; and

    It takes no account of the massive energy requirements to manufacture the batteries.

    It is just airy-fairy green delusions

  73. Progressives want lovely clean solar as a primary power source and low-cost night-time charging of their EV’s. What could possibly go wrong?

  74. Too many assumptions made in part 3 of your series. People don’t buy a car for 90% of it’s intended use and forget about the 10%. They may make small considerations in feature trade offs but not with range and fueling availability. Who changes their lifestyle to conform to a product? Clearly you don’t understand the electrical infrastructure required to go from 1% to even 10% much less 100% EV ownership. In SoCal where I live it would have to double just to get to 50% EV usage. All you have to do is witness the daily long mass migration to and from the Inland Empire to understand just a small part of the problem. In Los Angeles County alone there are 8 million registered vehicles. Saying you could manage peoples’ charge times to solve the problem of generation doesn’t answer where the extra energy will come from. There’s a reason we have more generated capacity today than we use and it’s not because we’re wasteful. And you can’t just dial up more sun or wind and put it into alternative storage capacity because you want to. All the EV solutions involve hypothetical (so far) technology at massive cost. The faithful need to stop preaching EV usage based on unsubstantiated beliefs. Buy one if it meets your needs or makes you feel good but stop preaching. I may buy one eventually because my driving is shrinking into the acceptable range of an EV and I prefer the EV driving experience over that of an ICE vehicle. They are smoother, quieter, accelerate better, more roomy on average for the same body style, and handle better with the lower center of gravity. I just hope I can afford to buy and maintain one when I’m, and it’s, ready for my needs.

  75. Average daily private car mileage in the UK is about 21 [ 7,800 miles per year for privately owned cars = 21 m.p.d. [Company cars 18,900 = 51 m.p.d. but they are a small percentage]. In the US it is about 30 [, 11,244 miles per year for cars = 30 miles per day]

    These figures seem very low figures to me. If they are correct, it would appear that mileage rates have obviously dropped dramatically as roads have become clogged up, and motoring has become more expensive. Alternatively it is something to do with the fact that most people have access to more than 1 car. I myself at one time owned 5 cars, so that somewhat reduced the mileage of each.

    When i was young, and I had my first car as a student, for the first 3 years I averaged 30.000 miles per year. One week, I went to watch the tennis at Wimbledon, 4 times. This was in the days that you could get into centre court just by queuing outside, involving a round trip of about 270 miles, so over the week some 1,100 miles, just to watch the tennis. I obviously drove a lot on the other days.

    In those days, typical mileage, as a private person, was considered to be 10,000 to 12,000 miles per year. A typical 5 year old second hand car would have about 50,000 to 60,000 miles on the clock.

    For the US:

    Average Annual Miles per Driver by Age Group

    Age Male Female Total
    16-19 8,206 6,873 7,624
    20-34 17,976 12,004 15,098
    35-54 18,858 11,464 15,291
    55-64 15,859 7,780 11,972
    65+ 10,304 4,785 7,646
    Average 16,550 10,142 13,476

    On that data, and assuming that the mass market is the 20 to 55 age group, it would suggest that annual mileage is closer to 18,000 than 12,000 miles per year.

  76. Thank you John Hardy for your efforts and time hosting this interesting and enjoyable discussion. It will be interesting to see ‘que sera’ in the auto industry.

  77. The OP misses many factors. Some of these are highlighted by other readers.
    1) I get 500 miles per fillup on my Prius. I frequently drive 600-800 miles in a day with my wife when driving cross-country. 300 mile / 80% / 20 minutes doesn’t fit my parameters. I want 500 miles in 5 minutes and then be away from the “pump.”
    2) The ONLY way to get such high power density to “fill” the EV goes far beyond safe power cabling. Can’t ever do it. Thus, we will see this when we switch to a different architecture: cartridge power that is actually recharged somewhere other than in the vehicle.
    3) The issue with a 10kW power source in the home is not rewiring the home. It’s rewiring the neighborhood. Neighborhood transformers can’t handle that kind of power in more than a few homes.

    I believe we WILL get there… with different battery technology. It will be a while.

    • @ MR Pete

      You obviously don’t know the capacity of Residential Service lInes — they are 13,800V @ somewhere between 1000 and 10,000 amps.

      That is stepped down to 240V/400 amps at the home transformer home amperage at the breaker box is usually 200 or 300 amps

      • Karl, you misunderstood, in a number of ways. Yes, the primary side can be as much as13.8kV (although more typically 7.2kV) with rather high power. And yes, I’m sure you have 200A, 240V service. And you probably live in a reasonably recently-built home.

        You ignored quite a lot in your calculations. Just a few examples:

        * NEC (Nat’l Electric Code) allows significant overload in home calculations. They only require the first 10kW to be counted at 100%… then down to 40%, even 25% of potential full load.

        * The same is true for neighborhood step-down transformers. You assumed each home has its own step-down. True in rural areas, YES. Not in urban/suburban. More on that below, because it is crucial.

        Other factors impact your assumptions in larger ways.

        1) Many homes are not “all electric.” Gas heat, gas dryer, gas range, gas water heater, gas oven. They could easily get away with 60A let alone 100A service.

        2) 60A service (24.9kVA) was standard in homes built before 1975. 100A (41.5kVA) since then, unless you have a lot of electric appliances/load. Yes, 150/200A service is more common now but not actually required by NEC. Most homes do NOT have 200A service.

        3) Urban/suburban “neighborhood” distribution transformers typically serve several homes. A typical 50kVA pole/pad transformer may serve a dozen or more homes (on a tesla forum, one guy found out his neighborhood 50kVA was serving 26 homes! That’s right, way less than 20A per home! Why? Because people didn’t all run power-hungry appliances at the same time.

        50kVA, running at 100% (really bad for transformer life) provides 50000/(sqrt(3)*240) = 120 Amps total. 28.8KW of simultaneous load.

        Any neighborhood with such a transformer needs an upgrade if more than 2 of 10 homes wants a 10KW supercharger. Happens all the time.

        BTW, the guy with 26 homes on one 50kVA? His power company would only “upgrade” with a second 50kva. 13 homes per transformer.

        NOW please explain how we all can run 10KW overnight?

        And… do you still believe I’m clueless about residential service?

      • BTW, one other real-world factor. Neighborhood distribution transformers usually *survive* serious overload for quite a while. So yes, we CAN all run our AC for a while without a meltdown. But that degrades the transformer and eventually you’re in trouble.

        Bottom line: our existing grid capacity needs serious upgrades if we’re going to push so much power through residential homes.

    • @ Pete

      After all, a home with 240V and 300 amp service has a max draw of 72 KW

      A home with 200 amp service and 240 volts has 48 KW max draw.

    • @ Pete

      Plus my Dryer is 240V/26 amps = 6.24 KW draw

      I can assure you there have been many times when my dryer and HVAC have been on simultaneous — which equals an almost 14 kilowatt draw — and my 200 amp service handles it just fine — with the dishwasher running, the refrigerator, the televisions, the computers and the lights.

  78. AA very cogent and well reasoned argument. As I posted on your Part 1 article, I would withhold judgment until you had completed your series.

    I feel that you have failed to convince me.

    I’m a motorcyclist and there are truly compelling arguments, for me, to use an electric motorcycle. My daily commute is significantly shorter than your norm. I ride to the train station, then use commuter rail to get to work. Even if the bike sat all day not charging, there would be more than sufficient charge remaining to get me home. There would also be more than sufficient time, from my arrival home, to recharge before having to depart the next day. Sounds good to you, right?

    Except, that this is also a recreational vehicle. I’ve ridden my Yamaha WR-250R into some seriously gnarly back country woodlands. Even with its tiny 6 litre tank, I’m good for 150 miles. In bad terrain, that drops to 90 (in seriously bad, as low as 60). How do I cope? Well, my BMW buddies with giant tanks can bleed off enough petrol to get me to the next filling station. For about the length of time it has taken me to type this sentence. I could spend less than £200 and replace that with a 20 litre tank, nearly tripling my range.

    I’ve ridden through streams and creeks to a depth up to my knees, whilst standing almost upright on the foot pegs. Gave me serious concerns about whether or not I’d engulf the airbox. How would an electric motorcycle deal with that? I’m almost afraid to find out.

    So we’ve made it to the summit, or camp ground, or clearing, or wherever we’ll spend the night. Now I’m screwed. I abhor walking. Can’t stand it. But an electric motorcycle leaves me there to wave goodbye to my friends as they roar off. Nope, not a good plan.

    Which leads me to something of great importance to motorcyclists that some might not consider. Riding! I’ve spent a lifetime learning how to control my speed with throttle and gear selection. Do electric motorcycles have “engine braking”? I don’t know. That’s a vital part of the ~feel~ of riding. Can I ride around it? Sure. But there’s a learning curve. {Although, I must admit, being able to just pin the throttle and go from dead stop to max velocity (without having to shift) very quickly has a certain appeal to me.}

    Which then leads me to the fact that whilst the WR (a motorcycle I’ve grown to love), is expensive. It is far less expensive than its’ electric counterparts. I have zero incentive to replace the love of my life with something less practical.

    • electric motorcycles DO have “engine braking”. Actually, they even have better, as the engine power can be use to brake.
      And you don’t even have to worry about airbox. The thing can probably run fully submerged, with water up to your chin.
      However, 6l of gasoline are ~ 60 kWh; efficiency considered, that’s ~20 kWh electricity, which would require over ~40 l / ~100kg Li-ion battery pack. Electric engine would be smaller and lighter than the current ICE, but all in all you would add ~80 kg to your motorcycle. I say: Meh!

      • Six liters of Gasoline = 53.3 Kilowatt hours — less if it has ethanol in it

        Next you do a false equivalency between kWh efficiency and kWh in lithium batteries.

        If a Car that weighs 3500 lbs gets 4 miles per kWh — a motorcycle will get 10-12 at least

        as evidenced by the Zero S that gets 160 miles on 13 kilowatt-hours of battery — at a total weight of 408 lbs


        FACTS have a way of ruining assumptions

  79. The final question for me is still why? Why a massive switch over to EVs when we have proven technologies that cost less and work better, more people like them, they are accessible to far more people across the spectrum worldwide, and are themselves improving? I just don’t see it happening without insidious government coercion and market manipulations.

    • Why is the thing that most commenters here won’t accept…

      A need to reduce CO2 by reducing fossil fuel use.

      A thought experiment: assuming that CO2 really was a problem and reducing it worthwhile (yes, its a stretch – give it a go) then renewable energy and EVs make sense and government incentives towards them also make sense.

      for people and governments accepting the science of climate change, then of course they are acting responsibly and rationally.

      • Therein Griff, you, other people and governments are basing your opinions that climate changes are caused by Humans and not nature and natural cycles of our solar system. When observed reality over history show natural cycles are the source of climate changes and increasing CO2 has not caused the climate to change as alarmist have been saying it would. Making the demonizing of fossil fuels a fabrication of their imagination, that is only an attack upon “Capitalism” as far left political philosophers from the 19th century have been pushing since Hagel and Marx wrote about inequality. They fail to realize the observations of history that their ideologies are what creates the largest gap of inequality and class separation of the population. There is this ideology that a “One World Government” can fix everything by destroying individual countries independence. That Capitalism is the enemy keeping them from having a “Star Trek” type Utopia where money is eliminated and everyone has equality and are part of “The Greater Good” by being sheep to the “Federation” of chosen diplomats that make all the rules how people must conform to society norms. Ignoring that they created classes of people by rank and abilities that have more power to rule over everyone else and they get the best of everything. That they are not to help new planets population’s and let them evolve naturally – ignoring that is what they did to governments on Earth by making them conform to their ideologies. Depressed countries in the Paris Agreement are examples of this, that are being held back from having low cost energy because of CO2 emissions. The USA is attacked because for 30 years we created the richest country on Earth through “Capitalism” that left other countries far behind…until Global Markets failures caused the Stock Market to collapse and our “Great Depression” that was still better off than those of other countries beset by WWI because Germany though it was superior. Then they didn’t get the hint and started WWII. Now, Germany is who tends to lead the whole of Europe by their ideologies and economy of a “New World Order” and all the other countries just gave up their independence without a fight. If you cannot see how this war on Fossil Fuels is part of that, you are mentally blind.

    • Because they don’t cost less.

      I calculated — ans was corroborated that ALL vehicle miles driven in the US for light duty vehicles could be powered by between 8% and 12% of electrical generation.

      12% is 500 Billion Kwh which costs $75 Billion

      At 35mpg and $3 per gallon of Gas — the cost is $210 billion

      That’s an over-payment of $135 billion a year to use ICE

  80. On China, they may have charging stations all over the place, but they also have ghost cities enough for ~60 million people as I recall.

  81. Buying a car that can meet your AVERAGE demand is hardly more helpful than building an electricity grid that can meet demand ON AVERAGE or a bridge designed to carry average load.

  82. Well, don’t get me wrong, I think electric cars are cooler than the other side of the pillow but the reason why they can never displace fossil fuel powered vehicles on a large scale seems fairly clear to me. Let’s take for example a typical situation down here in Austin, Texas. I’m loading up two kids and the wife along with the dog and luggage, golf clubs, fishing poles and an ice chest heading to beautiful Corpus Christi 250 miles south. It’s summertime and it’s 98F and I’m bucking a typical 15 mph southeast tradewind down I37 to have fun on Padre Island. The AC is on and I’m in competition for a lane on I37 with trucks going 85 while trying to keep with my buddy in his 355 hp Suburban carrying a similar payload expect he’s also pulling his 22 foot Shallow water fishing boat. He’s going 80. Me, I’m going 70 mph fearing for my life looking for a top off of much needed electrons about half way there. Some green bachelor guy in LA might not mind a 3 hour fuel stop in Sweeny Switch but I doubt the wife and kids would enjoy it much.
    Temperature, speed, wind and payload all radically limit range on my EV and when I realize the $60K I spent on a cool lithium powered tin can could have bought the Suburban instead, I’ll probably kick myself real hard in the rear bumper..

  83. There is no mention of the use of an ev outside an urban environment the use seems to be purposely avoided thus has been a bogus discussion.

    Look at the open vastness of north America for one. I take extra gas depending on my route. I guess with an ev I could tow a generator. Hey unless I missed it these articles ignore winter. Powering through snow, heater, wipers, headlights oh ya reduced range grow towing that generator.

  84. How would all of this look in the US? We have much larger distances, routinely longer commutes, extremes of temperature from +100 F to -40 F depending on the season and region, and a serious car culture. Not to mention long standstill creeping along in slow traffic for hours. I’m betting not very well.

    • We have similar distances in Australia. I live in Townsville, the state capital, Brisbane, is 850 m south. There is a stretch, Mackay to Rockhampton that is 450 m. [This is the tropics so aircon is mandated.] It would be hard to put a recharging station halfway because there is no electricity supply. Houston, we have a problem.

      • There is plenty of electricy supply — It’s called Solar Thermal and PV with battery and Underground Thermal Energy Storage.


    • Nope

      90% of all drivers in the US drive less than 30 miles per day

      95% of all US drivers drive less than 50 miles per day

      FACTS that have been posted in this thread multiple times

  85. As an electronic geek of 40+ years, I’d quite fancy the idea of an electric toy.

    As it happens, Renault have made it easy to compare electric vs diesel costs – via their (new) little Zoe car
    See here:

    As I work it out, the most economical way of doing it is to assume 10,500 miles per year – where you pay Renault £89 per month for battery rental. This actually, over the 5 year warranty for the battery, is the same as buying it outright – between £5,000 and £6,000, spec dependant (fast charge versus long range – cannot have both)

    Taking UK electricity at 15 pence per unit, that gives a ‘per mile’ cost of 12.5 pence (assuming *maximum* 250 mile range)

    AS I am constantly checking/aware, my VW diesel costs 9 pence per mile in fuel costs.
    So the Zoe is roughly 40% more in ‘fuel cost’

    So that make it simple to see – and possibly how electric cars are ‘getting close’
    If battery costs were to halve, the electric car has it

    And yes, the Zoe has a smartphone app so you can tell it (remotely) to warm up its battery and interior before you set off and while it’s still plugged into the grid… saving the battery.

    • Will battery costs halve? I doubt it, it is basically a commodity not a technology.
      We have been putting lead/acid batteries in cars for 100 years and been making many millions a year. Have you bought a cheap one lately? The law of diminishing returns applies to everything but computers.

    • Your running cost comparison should be very worrying for any EV owners because it only includes the 5% tax on electricity.
      When there are enough owners for the government to feel the pain of the 60% taxpaid on ff vehicles they will find a means of clawing it back.
      That will decimate the false fuel economy figures that you show are already marginal over the diesel equivelent.

    • Your VW Diesel gets better than 50 miles per gallon?

      Because Diesel in the UK is L4.46/gallon L1.18 per liter

      Which requires 50 mpg to meet your 9 pence per mile claim

    • Purchased new with the 250 mile per 44 kilowatt-hour battery pack (26,000 pounds),

      See here:

      the entire cost of ownership including charging at 15 pence per kilowatt hour for 10,500 miles per year (258.3 pounds per year) is 28,583 Pounds Sterling

      The fuel cost of this 50 mpg diesel is 9300 pounds over the same time frame, leaving the purchase price of the putative 50 mpg diesel at 19,217 Pounds or less — just to meet parity.

      Drive any more (say 12,000 miles) and the diesel can cost no more than 18,250 pounds

      Ooops — forgot to add oil changes, coolant changes, belts and hose changes

      Here is a list of UK cars under 18,000 Pounds Sterling — except when you look at top of the line (like the 26000 pound Zoe — you can’t buy a 50 mpg diesel for 18,000 pounds and get the same amenities

      I suggest you go back and redo the numbers.

  86. It seems to me that, for the foreseeable future, a diesel electric with enough battery for 50 miles, under normal conditions, is the best option.

    For short trips you can run purely on battery and recharging overnight would not be a significant problem. For long trips the diesel would cut in and refuelling would use the existing infrastructure. This would also protect you from problems such as power cuts when you want to recharge or excessive energy use due to problems such as being stuck in snow.

    Under normal circumstances the generator would keep the battery at a healthy charge, say 10-20%; however, it could incorporate overrides so that one could operate on battery in cities and recharge during motorway cruising.

    Granted you would be carrying a diesel generator around but seldom using it, however, the small battery pack would compensate for this.

    Some people could have pure EV as a second car, that and the diesel electric would build up manufacturing and maintenance experience and develop the infrastructure for slow charging. Fast charging and an increase in EV could come later.

    • BillP I think you are largely right for most people. A propane or NG generator would reduce pollution and 150 mile battery range would greatly reduce the size of generator needed. Generator would only be used to charge batteries and could run constantly on long trips, from start, through meal and pee stops, etc. That would work well for me at least. An average trip about 70 miles with occasional long trips would be my usage. The generator would be a range extender only and not capable of sustained operation of the car. little different from a hybrid.

    • I think this line of thinking with a small dedicated power supply of some sort, whether it be a gasoline fuel cell, or a propane/diesel ICE engine, is the bridge that is needed to making this work with current electric infrastructure, at home, work and on the road. This isn’t a pure Hybrid under that definition that has the ICE engine also driving the wheels through more complexity, but just the ability to charge the battery on the fly, or while parked anywhere you like. Or escaping the hurricane for the long drive to safety.

      Smaller battery packs mean a lower range on EV alone, but enough to completely do the entire average commute and practically an unlimited range with the small partial hybrid. Most of the time, one would charge just on a normal drier sized 30 Amp 240 volt charger, or even trickle charge on a 120 VAC 15 amp circuit all night. So no need to re-wire your house even if you only have a 60 Amp breaker panel with the 15 Amp option. Plus it makes it more appealing for the millions of people who currently reside in some housing without a dedicated parking spot or a source to plug into, although they could still get a fast charge at the commercial charging station. This concept is the holy grail for advancing the EV into mainstream convenient use. Why this hasn’t been addressed by Tesla will be in my opinion, the ultimate failure of Tesla. Or a least why they fail in the competitive marketplace of EV’s with hauling around a 3/4 ton of expensive batteries with a limited lifespan.

  87. I think it is completely wrong to think about EVs as “the replacement for ICEs”. They are meant to coexist. EVs are fantastic for some things, which si why I own one. The biggest advantage being the lowered pollution levels in cities if they become more widely adopted, but there is also the fuel savings, the driving comfort… But they are and will always be way less than perfect for others, and far worse than ICEs at them, no matter how much you do to solve the pending issues.

    This is the future I foresee:
    * Around 15-20% pure EVs maximum, posibly doing around 33% of total mileage by all vehicles. Owned mostly by people who also have some other vehicle (without the pure EV limitations) at their disposal, or by people who very rarely need to do long trips (not more than 4-5 times per year) which they cannot / will not do in public transport. Almost all of these EVs would charge almost all the times at home or at work, at a low rate, safe for the battery and for the grid. Occasionally they woud require a fast charge somewhere else.
    * Around 40-45% plug-in hybrids, doing 50% or more of their milleage on electricity most of the times, and again charging at home or at work.
    * The remaining 35-45% of the fleet being normal hybrids or pure ICEs for people who do not have where to recharge their vehicles on a daily basis.

  88. For once, can a EV believer use real actual driving situations involving more than just inner-city driving? The UK is not the US, which is not Canada, which is not Mexico, which is not Russia(almost showed my age by calling it the Soviet Union), etc.

    • 90% of people drive 30 miles or less per day in the US
      95% of people drive less than 50 miles per day in the US

      ANy other questions?

  89. Are those misconceptions the basis of most criticisms of electric cars?

    I did not write something like “never”. Even for the simple case of CA I wrote that the grid and generating capacity have to be upgraded.

  90. This is good: Tesla Approaches Terminal Decline ( link )

    Nov.10.17 | About: Tesla Motors (TSLA)
    Andreas Hopf
    Andreas Hopf
    Special situations, medium-term horizon, event-driven
    Linkedin profile


    Financial performance deteriorates – structural unprofitability likely.

    Most cash raised recently is already burnt – next equity sale looms.

    Institutional ownership declines – distribution continues.

    Management churn accelerates – corporate culture looks damaged.

    Only the story matters – the stock remains a trade vehicle.

    Here we are, seven months later, and Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) financial performance deteriorates at an alarming rate. Bearish macro scenarios, always just around the corner since 2011, refuse to play out and Queen TINA and King FOMO remain enthroned. The much anticipated interest rate assault by central banks is further delayed. And once it arrives, it will do so in rather piecemeal fashion, unlike the infamous macro-scaremongers suspect. No surprise then that the Panglossian valuation of Tesla abides, while journalists and analysts alike continue falling for every new-fangled non-profit idea emerging from Palo Alto.

    And then, as long as 1) wealthy consumers in western nations but also China are eager to seek indulgence by way of green-washing and, 2) are in search of a Steve Jobs replacement persona onto which they can project their hopes for a gleaming future and, 3) are disillusioned with the establishment and its leaders, the company will likely succeed to raise cash again. Some say it might already be too big to fail.

    The Tesla narrative is based on an illusion, a contradictio in adjecto – the promise that humankind can shop and consume itself into a sustainable future. However, even a million Teslas on the world’s roads will not impact the environment for better or worse. It is a systemic issue. The Financial Times agrees. Sustainability and promoting the purchase of raw-material consuming heavyweight products are mutually exclusive. There is no right life in the wrong, to paraphrase Theodor Adorno.

    At the time of writing, the company’s precarious financial position shows that it remains a bottomless pit. Let’s go in.

    1. Stock

    2. Finances

    3. Perspective

    4. Management

    5. Market

    6. Sales

    7. Model 3

    8. Autopilot

    9. Distractions

    Tesla – a bottomless pit

    (Source: Joe Rohde, not Montana Skeptic, abseiling into the cash incinerator)

    1. Stock

    For some early-stage investors and traders, Tesla’s stock has been a solid profit generator, despite the recent descent. After former President Obama’s new energy policy speech in 2013, the stock rose sharply on high volume to then traded mostly sideways with a suitably high volatility for put buyers and short sellers to skim the astute contrarian’s share. Likewise, call buyers and dip buyers used the frequent opportunities to extend their position, hoping to sell at a higher price to a “greater fool” in the future.

    Tesla share price and volume vs equity and debt sales

    (Source: NASDAQ TSLA)

    And that brings me to the point of it all. Neither self-acclamatory anecdotes of having bought the stock in 2013 nor having sold short in 2017 help the retiree or retail investor’s decision-making – right here, right now.

    There are only two plain ways to make money from stocks: 1) buying and holding to then profit from the company’s profit in form of dividends, and 2) buying to sell later to a higher bidder. The question then is: Buy around $300 and hope for enticing regular dividends to emerge soon, or hope to sell in a few years for a good profit after taxes. In any case, no money is made until that sell button is clicked or the dividend announced. With no prospects of profitability for years to come, if ever, current buyers are choosing the second option, hoping to sell to a “greater fool,” a game of musical chairs.

    Shareholders were diluted by a substantial 45% since 2013. Share-based compensation and the highly questionable SolarCity takeover – sold on synergies and profit contributions that never materialized – took their toll. It was a takeover primarily engineered to benefit Elon Musk and his cousins Lyndon and Peter Rive, who not only saw their precarious SolarCity stock options conveniently converted to safer Tesla stock options, but also their SolarCity bonds paid back prematurely with full interest. Several executives converted their stock options over time, particularly hard-working board member Kimbal Musk as soon as his options vest.

    Tesla shareholder dilution

    (Source: Tesla SEC filings)

    Concurrent with dilution, institutional investors have been selling Tesla stock since the Model 3 presentation in March 2017. Institutional ownership declined from 73% in 2013 via 67% in 2016 to now 58%. Notable sellers were T. Rowe Price (NASDAQ:TROW) (-49%), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) (-60%) and Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) (-24%), among many other international banks and funds. The SEC will publish the quarterly tally of all 13F filings this month and it will be exciting to see if distribution to retail investors continued or if Chinese Tencent Holdings (OTCPK:TCTZF) increased its stake from 5%.

    Tesla institutional ownership

    (Source: Tesla SEC filings)

    2. Finances

    Tesla currently derives 89.4% of its total revenue from the automotive business including leasing and selling CPO cars. One can only wonder why, after 14 years have passed in the company’s history, Ben Kallo of Robert W. Baird & Co. or Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley continue claiming Tesla being an “energy,” “mobility,” “ride-sharing” or “software company.” If anything, Model 3 sales will skew the balance further toward automotive, with the SolarCity and Powerwall/Powerpack aspects of the business in a precarious state.

    For three consecutive quarters, automotive sales and automotive leasing revenue have stalled. While total revenue rose slightly from Q2 to Q3, COGS rose more steeply. If it were not for the inclusion of SolarCity (energy generation and storage) and the increasing sale of CPO cars (services and other), YoY revenue growth would look even worse for a company that was to “disrupt” the automotive sector – whatever that’s supposed to mean in concrete terms.

    Tesla revenue segmentation

    (Source: Tesla SEC filings)

    Despite an ASP that held up well (26,137 cars reported as sold in total, with 20,608 cars sold directly and 5,529 cars that consequently must have gone to leasing), the ever soaring operational costs saw the company reporting its largest ever loss in Q3. As in previous quarters, the supposedly formidable cash and profit generators SolarCity (“synergies”) and Powerwall (“off the hook demand”) failed to deliver. It is very doubtful how the latter two product categories, suffering from commoditisation, and exquisite competition, will ever meaningfully contribute to the bottom line.

    Tesla net loss vs net loss without regulatory credit sales

    (Source: Tesla SEC filings)

    Although the company has collected an enormous $982,375,000 in governmentally enforced regulatory credit sales from its automotive peers since 2013, that cash never helped turn the tide, simply helping to somewhat lower the growing quarterly losses. Rising competition will eventually see this source of easy money drying up.

    Tesla ZEV and GHG credit revenue vs car sales

    (Source: Tesla SEC filings)

    The company continues failing to improve its cost structure, engaging in meaningless business efforts, struggling with the SolarCity legacy and a bloated workforce. The more cars it sells the more cash it burns.

    Tesla cost of automotive sales vs cost of revenue vs cars sold

    (Source: Tesla SEC filings)

    While more cars were sold in Q3, Tesla’s cash burn accelerated even more and essential metrics like FCF and OCF worsened considerably. Profitability and dividends remain as elusive as ever, or, in other words, the company generates zero value for shareholders.

    Tesla FCF and OCF and CapEx

    (Source: Tesla SEC filings)

    Besides ever-growing costs of revenue and deficient cash generation ability, Tesla’s current liability position, cash settlements due within next 12 months, and accounts payable, essentially an IOU from Tesla to its suppliers, paint an equally grim picture.

    Tesla current liabilities
    Tesla accounts payable

    (Source: Tesla SEC filings)

    Since 2013, Tesla incessantly sells equity and debt, despite numerous claims it not being necessary, to finance the battery factory and Model 3 production, only to then use the proceeds to plug its cavernous operational holes. The battery factory that was supposed to be completed last month, powered by PV solar panels and wind turbines, is still far from being finished, while the Model 3 remains mainly a hand-built effort in Tesla’s dysfunctional and undersized Freemont facility.

    Contrary to the CEO’s claims, the Model S never financed the Model X and the Model X never financed the Model 3. Consequently, Tesla exists at the mercy of other people’s money and interest expense began to climb more sharply to close in on $500 million per year (enhanced by SolarCity indebtedness, SolarCity interestingly being the behind-the-curtain guarantor for the recent $1.8 billion issue of senior notes). 80% of cash raised this year has already been incinerated. No surprise then that Tesla’s latest 5.30% junk bonds already yield 6.16%. Tesla’s total recourse debt is growing and it will be interesting to see if the company will either sell more stock or issue more junk bonds to finance its insatiable cash burn.

    Tesla indebtedness

    One should remember the beneficiaries from SolarCity bonds, as there were only token takers at the time of issue. From the Q3 10-Q:

    “On March 21, 2017, $90.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 4.40% Solar Bonds held by SpaceX matured and were fully repaid by us. On June 10, 2017, $75.0 million in aggregate principal amount of 4.40% Solar Bonds held by SpaceX matured and were fully repaid by us. On April 11, 2017, our Chief Executive Officer, SolarCity’s former Chief Executive Officer and SolarCity’s former Chief Technology Officer exchanged their $100.0 million (collectively) in aggregate principal amount of 6.50% Solar Bonds due in February 2018 for promissory notes in the same amounts and with substantially the same terms. On April 18, 2017, our Chief Executive Officer converted all of his zero-coupon convertible senior notes due in 2020, which had an aggregate principal amount of $10.0 million (see Note 12, Common Stock).”
    Honi soit qui mal y pense…

    Tesla interest expense

    (Source: Tesla SEC filings)

    As far as warranty costs are concerned, after 14 years of making cars, Tesla having hired production specialists like Peter Hochholdinger from Audi (OTCPK:AUDVF), one would think the car’s reliability ceasing to be a burden on the company’s finances. At the Q3 earnings conference call, Elon Musk seriously claimed “the reliability for Model S and Model X continues to improve…”. Quite the contrary is true. Inundated service centers and an incessant stream of customer complaints reveal the CEO’s debonair disconnect from reality. Due to questionable build quality, actual warranty costs incurred are increasing and it remains to be seen if current warranty provision levels will be sufficient to cover an aging fleet.

    Tesla cars sold vs warranty cost incurred and provision

    (Source: Tesla SEC filings)

    The steep rise in finished goods inventory is remarkable, as Bill Maurer pointed out recently, because the Model 3 is not yet a meaningful contributor, its parts rather attributable to the raw materials and work in progress portions of total inventory. Asked during the Q3 earnings conference call by John Murphy of Bank of America Merrill Lynch how much finished goods inventory can be sold in Q4, Deepak Ahuja tried to avoid the question, instead launching into a CapEx outlook. A supposedly production constrained company that amasses such levels of inventory – despite generating occasional sales peaks via discounting – is obviously demand constrained.

    Tesla finished goods inventory

    (Source: Tesla SEC filings)

    The CFO’s CapEx discussion in the call revealed that previously planned-for spending levels would not be met. Deepak Ahuja suggested that capex related to stores, service centers and charging stations will be cut, which unfortunately coincides with the Model 3 roll-out and an urgent need to build out the service center and charging station network. While the CEO says: “If we were to make those CapEx decisions right now, we’d be making them – we’re kind of shooting in the dark,” the CFO says it how it is: “So all those actions will come through in terms of helping us conserve cash.” In other words: Deepak Ahuja hints that the 10,000 or even the 5,000 Model 3 per week production rate, now supposed to happen in Q1 2018 (so much for “volume production” from July 2017), is in jeopardy, to string out the cash balance. Maybe Jason Wheeler saw it coming and left?

    That said, the core problem regarding the company’s long-term viability remains straightforward: If one assumes that Tesla is able to make and sell 200,000 Model 3s per year (at Elon Musk’s projected ASP of $42,000) and if one then assumes that Tesla will be able to miraculously achieve a 12% net margin per car (more than Audi does for its A4 series or BMW (OTCPK:BMWYY) for its 3er series), only $5,040 per car or around $1 billion would arrive at the bottom line. One only has to look at the company’s precarious financial situation outlined above – primarily operating costs and debt services – to realize that even in such optimistic case, Tesla cannot remain a going concern without further equity and debt sales. It is indeed a bottomless pit.

    3. Perspective

    Investment forums are brimming with comments comparing Tesla to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), trying to re-frame it as a “technology company,” where, as shown just above, it is a niche automaker. Consequently, Tesla must be assessed in comparison to its industry peers – the global market for passenger vehicles in general and plug-in vehicles in particular.

    To put an end to hackneyed mythology, devoid of actionable clues, one only needs to benchmark all three companies’ FCF generation ability over time to see that Apple and Amazon are in a different league.

    Free cash flow generation Apple vs Amazon vs Tesla

    4. Management

    Recently, Tesla suffers from increasing managerial churn. Key employees left or were recycled (Deepak Ahuja) only to leave again (Ricardo Reyes), others are gone so fast after they joined that they can barely update their Linkedin page, while yet others, like high-profile hire Jim Keller, are never heard of again. Is he still there, working?

    Core staff and workers that left or were laid off over the last 12 months:

    2016 – December: 1,541 employees, operations, installations and manufacturing SolarCity
    2016 – December: 1,506 employees, sales and marketing SolarCity
    2016 – Mateo Jaramillo, vice president products and programs – energy (8/2009-12/2016)
    2016 – Sterling Anderson, director of autopilot program (12/2014-12/2016)
    2017 – Ardes Johnson, director of sales – energy (4/2016-1/2017)
    2017 – David Nistér, vice president of autopilot vision (4/2015-3/2017)
    2017 – Satish Jeyachandran, director of hardware engineering (6/2010-3/2017)
    2017 – Jason Wheeler, CFO (11/2015-4/2017)
    2017 – Arnnon Geshuri, vice president of human resources (11/2009-5/2017)
    2017 – Chester Chipperfield, global creative director (5/2016-6/2017)
    2017 – Chris Lattner, vice president of autopilot software (1/2017-6/2017)
    2017 – Lyndon Rive, CEO SolarCity (7/2006-6/2017)
    2017 – Peter Rive, CTO SolarCity (7/2006-6/2017)
    2017 – Kurt Kelty, director of battery technology (3/2006-8/2017)
    2017 – Diarmuid O’ Connell, vice president of business development (7/2006-9/2017)
    2017 – September: 141 SolarCity employees, customer account management and information technology
    2017 – September: 63 Tesla employees, customer account management and information technology
    2017 – Andrea James, investor relations consultant (9/2016 – 9/2017)
    2017 – Jeff Evanson, head of investor relations (1/2011-9/2017)
    2017 – October: 700 Tesla employees, various positions
    2017 – Jon Wagner, director of battery engineering (1/2013-10/2017)
    2017 – William Donnelly, president of Tesla finance (9/2013-10/2017)
    Executive attrition and layoffs to nip worker’s rights representation in the bud leave only one conclusion. Unlike General Clausewitz, who in “On War” wrote about the role of commander: “The higher up the chain of command, the greater the need for boldness to be supported by a reflective mind, so that boldness does not degenerate into purposeless bursts of blind passion.” Tesla’s CEO appears to prefer an altogether different approach: “The beatings will continue until morale improves.”

    5. Market

    For several years, enthusiastic energy and automotive market analysts have proclaimed that a collapse of the ICEV market and, subsequently, the oil and refinery business is imminent. However, investment decisions based on such theses have so far turned out unwise, evidenced by global passenger and commercial vehicle sales that show that EVs in their entirety (HEVs, PHEVs, BEVs and FCEVs) contribute with at best 1.4% in 2017, if the Chinese and European sales scenarios come out positive. Even under intentionally optimistic assumptions, suggested below, EVs would attain only 31% global sales share with nearly 50% of sales occurring in Asia, soon the number one global sales region. Recent record sales and profits reported by Daimler (OTCPK:DDAIF), General Motors (NYSE:GM) or Volvo (OTCPK:VOLVY) show ongoing demand domination of ICEVs.

    Global passenger vehicle sales vs passenger EV sales
    Global passenger EV sales vs Tesla sales

    (Source: OICA, EV Volumes, Tesla, etc.)

    If Tesla continues its unprofitable markdown efforts like in March 2016, September 2016, and September 2017, it could reach this year’s finishing line at 97,000 sales – Elon Musk’s projected 100,000-200,000 Model 3 sales by the end of 2017 remaining entirely elusive. Tesla would thus have attained 0.136% global passenger vehicle sales share with rising unprofitability to boot.

    Global PV and CV sales vs Tesla sales

    (Source: OICA, EV Volumes, Tesla, etc.)

    Global EV sales share is entirely dependent on massive multi-level government interventions by way of subsidies, incentives and perks. To date, Tesla’s cars remain ideologically motivated Veblen goods, financed by the common taxpayer. EV sales drop sharply, once enticements are dialed back or rescinded entirely, evidenced by Tesla’s decline in once formidable sales regions such as Denmark, Hong Kong or Norway, just as I explained in the global subsidies section of my previous article on Tesla.

    In its 2018 budget, Norway is proposing taxation on overweight BEVs, hitting Tesla’s Model S and X hardest, as well as the upcoming heavyweight SUVs from Jaguar and Audi. The U.S. is contemplating a FIT-credit repeal by the end of this year. Those kinds of measures could inspire a last Q4 sales bonanza in those countries, which would be final proof of what really motivates BEV purchases – bargain hunting and the freeloading of benefits.

    Model S registrations when subsidies are dialed back

    (Source: Norwegian, Danish and Hong Kong car registration bodies)

    Soon, over 50% of the global citizenry will live in dense conurbations and cities where potential BEV buyers will find no place to charge or see the very few charging stations blocked or inconveniently located, besides being unable to shoulder the very high cost of purchase. In other places, the constantly rising cost of electricity renders tales of economic advantage moot and eventually, with higher adoption, governments would have to road-tax BEVs so their owners contribute their fair share to the upkeep of traffic infrastructure.

    Having achieved 9.6% global EV sales share this year and possibly 15.4% in 2020 under most positive assumptions – 339,000 total sales with a flawless Model 3 rollout that is already in jeopardy – Tesla never was and will be no market leader, neither in total nor in the EV niche market itself. That honour goes to the EV pioneers Toyota (NYSE:TM), Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) and Renault (OTCPK:RNLSY). Analyst reports that imagine Tesla’s global sales domination are plainly absurd, even more so in the light of existing and imminent competition:

    Chevrolet Bolt EV (on sale since December 2016)
    Renault ZOE new gen. (on sale since September 2017)
    Nissan LEAF new gen. (on sale since October 2017)
    Hyundai Kona (on sale from H1 or H2 2018)
    Jaguar I-Pace (on sale from H2 2018)
    Audi e-tron quattro (on sale from H2 2018)
    Mercedes EQ C (on sale from 2019)
    Audi e-tron sportback (on sale from 2019)
    Porsche Mission E (on sale from 2019)
    BEVs from any vendor are, like their ICEV counterparts, produced, distributed and sold unsustainably with much raw material sourced and then processed unsustainably as well, in case of battery raw materials under excruciating circumstances. Declaring Tesla a “global market share winner” after first innings is, in the light of presented data, premature, if not entirely preposterous.

    6. Sales

    On the previous Q2 earnings conference call, Goldman Sachs analyst David Tamberrino probed Tesla’s CFO regarding Model S and X order rates. Deepak Ahuja’s illuminating answer to this rather material question was “not relevant,” in line with the company’s monthly national sales obfuscation strategy that is in stark contrast with industry peers. Tesla reports revenue for “U.S.,” “China,” “Norway” and “Other,” bizarrely omitting the UK, Germany and other large countries. (Donn Bailey’s recent article provides some color on China, which does not publish official car registrations).

    Looking at the afterglow of what was said to be a disruptive explosion, stunning the global automotive sector with exponential growth, one can glean from Tesla’s automotive revenue and sales that the contrary is the case, no matter what management and supportive analysts try to make investors believe.

    International official car registrations paint a clear picture: Model S sales stalled two years ago and Model X is about to. Even though the company offered enormous discounts and favourable financing terms in September (0.5% interest in Norway for a 10-year loan), Model S sales could not be pushed beyond their 2015 (Europe) and 2016 (U.S.) peaks, even though Tesla’s President of Global Sales and Service Jon McNeill was given a special incentive of $700,000 on 18th August to put quantity over margin. Form 14A from June this year revealed that Jon McNeill is the only executive with a personal cash incentive plan. Can, with the help of more CPOs coming off-lease and the Norway/U.S. “tax scares,” sales be boosted one more time?

    Tesla monthly Model S registrations Europe
    Tesla monthly Model S registrations US and Canada
    Tesla monthly Model X registrations Europe
    Tesla monthly Model X registrations US and Canada

    (Source: National car registration bodies Europe/ U.S.)

    Since January 2013, Tesla produced 271,131 cars but sold only 254,206 – a delta of 16,925 cars or an astonishing 6.24% of total production. What happened to all those cars? Is Tesla building the largest finished goods inventory in the automotive sector? The world’s largest loaner fleet? Will Tesla be able to sell thousands of inventoried cars with the old exterior design without “Autopilot 2.0” or better trim levels, even with a steep markdown? Or will it write them off? A company suffering from unremitting cash burn must convert inventory into sales. If one takes the ASP of around $100,000 from Q3 as a yardstick, Tesla squandered $1.69 billion in unrealised revenue in only four years.

    Tesla production vs sales

    (Source: Tesla SEC filings)

    7. Model 3

    The Model 3 (wheelbase 2,880 mm, 1,610 kg) is essentially a slightly smaller version of the Model S (wheelbase 2,960 mm, 2,200 kg) and features a frugal interior with an unergonomic potentially dangerous central touch screen, away from the driver’s line of sight. Having to navigate touchscreen menus to wind down the windows is taking things too far. No FM radio is available either, and neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto. Steve Jurvetson’s Model 3 pictures show the drabness and non-matching black colors. Elon Musk seems having believed that Level 5 cars are just around the corner.

    Tesla recently recalled 11,000 Model X vehicles for defective seats and not for the first time. Unhappy with its prior suppliers, Tesla had brought production in-house. The company is taking its quest to vertical integration to new levels of absurdity, the NYT reports: “The company had even concocted its own Tesla blend of coffee to serve near its cafeterias. ‘If we cannot get exactly what we want from the world,’ one executive told me, ‘then we have to go do it ourselves.’” The Model X is now among the 10 most unreliable cars.

    Tesla’s rushed and careless Silicon Valley “ship now, fix later” approach to hardware manufacturing that saw the company skipping proper beta testing, which could render it a frequent service centre visitor. The first batches of cars had to be recalled immediately for faulty battery pack welds, leaky light cluster seals and bad paint jobs. Consequently, Tesla did not dare entering the car to the North American Car Of The Year award 2018, claiming instead that it had not a single spare car for submission. This comes from a company that assured investors that as of 1st July 2017 “volume production” had begun. Considering Tesla’s ongoing problems with quality control, the Model 3 is prone to suffer from the same issues that see service centers inundated with repeated Model S and X repairs and customers displeased by long waiting times even for the most mundane of parts.

    During the Q3 earnings conference call, Elon Musk admitted, despite supposedly growing demand (debunked above) that Model S and X production is reduced from 2,000 to 1,800 per week to concentrate on Model 3 production. However, in the Q2 2014 earnings conference call, Elon Musk had assured investors: “In the case of the new S/X Body Line, which is a line that has been designed to be capable of 2,500 units a week, maybe more than that. Conservatively 2,500 units a week. At a lower cost point.” Maybe cost-cutting is why Tesla ships cars without seats and touchscreens?

    Regarding Model 3 production and automation, the recent call illuminated that Tesla’s CEO is fully out of touch with the physical reality of robotics: “And we are pushing robots to the limit in terms of the speed that they can operate at, and asking our suppliers to make robots go way faster, and they are shocked because nobody has ever asked them that question. It’s like if you can see the robot move, it’s too slow. We should be caring about air friction like things moving so fast. You should need a strobe light to see it.” He even went as far to claim: “And obviously we’re going to be designing a lot of the robotic elements and what makes the robots internally. So yes, because current suppliers are just too slow to respond in some cases.”

    As a long-time KUKA and Gildemeister investor (until both companies were sold), I find the underlying insinuation that no automaker and robot vendor ever contemplated higher efficiencies plainly absurd, as did the Financial Times. Automated production lines have been around for decades. Tesla’s CEO seems to be fully unaware of why industrial robots have limits, affecting actuators, speed and precision when handling heavy parts reliably and minimal downtime. Air friction is certainly no constraint, but moments, acceleration and deceleration. One SA author even asserted: “Tesla appears to be innovating in robotics and factory innovation, a potential long-term source of durable competitive advantage.” Will Fanuc, KUKA or ABB bow to the boisterous demands of a niche customer? Certainly not – global automation technology leaders innovate on their own accord.

    Model 3 production is substandard by any means. Deepak Ahuja hints “the goal is now to fix Grohmann,” the automation company Tesla acquired in 2016, misleading its owner and existing customers – an issue still not resolved.

    Justifiably, Tesla fans wonder why the “$35,000 mass-market” car is still a mirage. Will it ever arrive?

    8. Autopilot

    Tesla’s “Autopilot” effort is still in disarray after numerous promises were made that were then not kept. Customers spent $5,000 plus $3,000 for “full self driving” without the chance to ever enjoy Level 5 autonomy, what essentially means a robotic car that can drive itself at any time on any road under any weather conditions and any traffic condition. The managerial churn in Tesla’s autopilot department shows the company has dropped the ball more than once, first osborning AP 1.0 customers that were promised “lifetime upgrades” to then osborn AP 2.0 and later AP 2.5 customers who purchased hardware and software incapable of delivering “full self driving” ever.

    Anyone hoping to join Tesla’s “Mobility” or “Ride-sharing” services, insinuated by Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley on multiple occasions, will be disappointed. The cars are technically incapable to be used in such contexts.

    David Einhorn’s Greenlight Capital in its recent investor letter puts it bluntly:

    “Some of TSLA’s presumed market lead in areas like autonomous driving may more likely reflect TSLA’s willingness to put inadequately tested and dangerous products on the road rather than a true technological advantage.”
    9. Distractions


    Several SA authors already have extensively covered SolarCity’s product deficiencies, shady business practices and financial predicament. Please consult Montana Sceptic’s, Bill Cunningham’s or EnerTuition’s SA articles on the matter.

    Any investor still buying into the “synergy story” or “PV solar dominance story” must read David Robinson’s latest article in The Buffalo News, a local journalist that over time became more critical of how the local community, job seekers and the New York taxpayer are peppered with ever changing messages.

    PV solar tiles

    Since June 2017, the allegedly revolutionary PV solar tiles, a product category that already was commercially unsuccessful in the European and American marketplace, are being installed on customers’ roofs… only they aren’t. To this day, not a single forum post, Instagram picture or YouTube video has surfaced. This is not very surprising, because neither on Tesla’s website, where the configurator provides seemingly random figures, nor elsewhere can potential buyers obtain technical specifications, performance ratings, UL-certification documents, etc.

    The Q3 earnings call revealed that, supposedly, the PV solar tiles are “still being tested” to ensure up to 30 years’ lifetime use (like an asphalt shingle roof), although at launch and for pre-ordering (to collect more customer deposits – interest-free credit), Elon Musk claimed they would be guaranteed for infinity.

    In a nutshell, since its ill-fated birth as project “Steel Pulse,” the PV solar tiles have been vaporware, inherently less efficient than regular PV solar panels, more complex to install and expensive, as I explained at more detail in April. As one astute SA commenter ventured, it was a piece of showmanship to sell investors the SolarCity bailout.


    The $1 billion energy storage business that Elon Musk presented in 2015 – “So, 38,000 reservations is more, like 50,000 or 60,000 actual Powerwalls (…) So, it’s like crazy off the hook. Yeah. And it seems to have gone super viral” – never materialized. The Powerwall 1.0 sank without a trace, Powerwall 2.0 was withdrawn from some markets and turned out to be far more expensive than the bare product price advertised on Tesla’s website.

    Gross margin for energy storage and generation was negative with -1.1% at the end of Q3 2016, before the SolarCity business was included into that business segment. Nearly a year later, the storage part of the business performs far worse at -34% (revenue $317 million – $273 million attributable to SolarCity = $44 million with COGS $237 million – $178 million attributable to SolarCity = $59 million).

    Only a total of around 320MW of storage products have been sold since 2015, including Tesla’s Australian subcontractor effort, itself a peculiarity, because instead of using battery cells from its own heavily promoted battery factory, the company had to turn to Samsung SDI to deliver the goods. Surprisingly shortly after, Tesla was able to send a few Powerpacks to Puerto Rico for one of its several controversial post-hurricane-season PR efforts.

    The energy storage business is, like Tesla’s music streaming service or the more recent inter-city ballistic rocket travel system, a loss-making solution to no problem.


    While Daimler already began testing electric local freight and delivery trucks via its FUSO subsidiary from 2014, expanding its effort with its Urban eTruck from 2016 and commencing in 2017 with its heavy-duty E-FUSO Vision One, Tesla has yet to reveal its effort that was already postponed twice from the 26th October until the 16th November. Daimler claims that over the first decade, urban and regional transportation will make most sense to be electrified, either via battery or fuel-cell powered drive systems.

    In tune with that, Toyota already is running its heavy-duty fuel-cell truck since October 2017 to distribute incoming cargo between the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach and warehouse centers up to 100 miles afar. Haulage and distribution companies operate under extremely tight budgets, aiming to have vehicles operational as close to 24/7 as possible. Therefore, it remains to be seen how this sector will develop over the next two or three decades.

    Deutsche Post DHL already is commercially building and operating urban delivery trucks since 2016, which helps combat the increasing pollution problem in dense cities from equally increasing online shopping delivery traffic. As with many things Tesla, a classic case of Aesop’s fable, with Tesla being the hare and real truck-makers being the tortoise.


    In what – sorry to say it so bluntly – can only be judged a vainglorious display of irrationality, Tesla announced in June 2017 that is developing a music streaming service, at a time when Model 3 volume production was about to commence. Right on cue, business publications came to the fore, suggesting that Tesla was about to “disrupt yet another industry,” opening another formidable income stream for the company by way of vertical integration. Investors should rather ask themselves why Tesla is still not offering its technology savvy customers Apple Music, Spotify (Private:MUSIC) or Pandora (NYSE:P), to name a few established music streaming services, and no radio on the Model 3.


    In 2016, Elon Musk bought a used Herrenknecht TBM and declared that his Boring Company will revolutionize subterranean transportation, as if the New York City Subway and London Underground, or the submarine Channel Tunnel and the Swiss Gotthard Basis Tunnel were nothing but precursory exercises by unskilled engineers to future tunneling proper. As always, Elon Musk claimed that to make his ideas feasible, TBMs simply have to “go faster” and “go 3D”, whatever that means. After obtaining “verbal approval” to build a high-speed “Hyperloop” tunnel connecting NYC with Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. and buying a second used TBM, the company has focused on selling hats.


    An amalgamation of Alfred Ely Beach’s Pneumatic Transit from 1870 or the Swissmetro concept from 2005 and many similar concepts, popularized by Jules Verne and other science fiction authors, the Hyperloop is fully incompatible with existing passenger and freight railway networks, instead relying on an unproven infrastructure – exactly what is not needed to advance affordable and inclusive sustainable transportation worldwide.

    A solution to no problem.

    Missile inter-city travel

    Is there a need for post-Concorde-speed travel, using dangerous ballistic missiles, propelled by huge amounts of toxic rocket-fuel, polluting the atmosphere? It is an idea straight from a 50s’ Popular Mechanics back-issue and highly unsustainable at that. Meanwhile, the last Form D SEC filing for SpaceX shows the company needed another $350 cash infusion.


    This time, the final word consequently belongs to Henry Ford:

    Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.

    • The state of Tesla is much worse than I thought. I knew it was bad when Solar City was bought up by Tesla, which sort of looked bad, but had no idea it was this bad. Burned nearly a Billion dollars in tax payer subsidies since 2013, with a few dilutions and more to come on the stock. Many of it products like solar shingles are just vaporware, or others such as the Boring Machine/Hyperloop just a sci-fi delusion for now.

      It looks like Elon Musk has just taken too much on his plate, and much of it about to spoil. Definitely the moral of the story is to take one thing you are good at, and be very successful. Clearly, he didn’t learn this lesson, whilst day dreaming about going to Mars. I hope it turns out better than this report, but something smells rotten in Denmark.

  91. The rates of transfer of energy from refinery to wholesaler; then from wholesaler to gas station; then from underground storage at the gas station into the gas tank; those rates are considerable, and known. Now imagine (thought experiment!) replacing one of the gas stations in Barstow, CA or Baker, CA to refuel the traffic from LA and SD to Los Vegas. How soon do you think an all-EV charging station of equivalent energy delivery rate can be installed to replace even 1 of the numerous gas stations in those localities?

    Imagine an EV charging station in a metropolitan area with the energy delivery rate to match even one gas station in downtown LA. What exactly, and completely, does it entail?

    Now imagine replacing 1/4 of the gas stations in America’s cities and the Interstate Highway System with EV-charging stations of equivalent energy delivery capacity.

    Your three essays together make a good case that EVs are niche vehicles and that the niche can be slowly expanded, with the investment of large resources of time and money.

    • Yes it is known that it costs about half the useable energy to drill, transport, refine, separate, transport again, and deliver a gallon of gasoline than the 33.6k Wh you get from said gallon. (less because of the 10% ethanol)

      Just to refine the gasoline takes 6kWH per gallon — add that to the wasted 23.5 kWh because of the innate inefficiency of an ICE (they average 30%)

      and you start to get the idea of how absolutely wasteful the ICE economy is

      We have not even added in the energy cost of drilling, pumping, tansport, storage, and delivery to the pump.

      I’d wager that it is almost break even in terms of kWh spent to make a gallon of gas versus amount wasted to thermal and sound loss, and cost of manufacture.

      • karl: Yes it is known that it costs about half the useable energy to drill, transport, refine, separate, transport again, and deliver a gallon of gasoline than the 33.6k Wh you get from said gallon. (less because of the 10% ethanol)

        I was writing about the speed at which the energy could be delivered from source to millions of vehicles on the road. What device can the gas station attendant or user hold to recharge a lithium battery sufficiently to drive another 400 miles? What does the structure look like that can handle vehicles at a high enough rate to keep the recharging station profitable and open? My car gets 400 mi on 11 gal and takes less than 5 min to refill; each gas station in Baker, CA serves hundreds of such vehicles daily, usually several at a time..

        I can see lots of possibilities, but I also see them being built slowly.

      • @matthew


        That depends on how you engineer the charger

        You could use one large wire to carry a huge 600-1000 Volt 400 amp load (240-420 KW) — which is easy but stupid — heavy dangerous, needs cooling

        or, one could design chargers that are modular, say a charger that has 10 discrete plugs each with a 100 amp 240v (24 KW) line which is IIRC 10-12 gauge home wiring, for each line — with less heat and no cooling needed

        Now if you had a panel on an EV with 50 receptacles for 5 sets of the 10 plug charger cable — that would give you a 120KW draw — enough to recharge the average daily use of 15 kWh (60 miles) in 6 minutes

        or 30 kWh in 12

        The rest is engineering how you step down and distribute the draw from each 2.4 KW charger to the individual cells

        Remember — different manufacturer 12 kWh, 30 kWh, 60 kWh and 100 kWh battery packs already all use 20 amp 120/240 volt chargers

        distributing multiple chargers to multiple smaller portions of a large battery pack is a trivial engineering exercise

      • @ matthew

        one overhead local service line is 50,000 V and 10,000 amps

        500 Mega volt amps or 500 MW — enough to allow for simultaneous charging of 700 vehicles @ 500 KW draw (30% losses for transformer step downs at all phases of charging)

        Now I personally have never seen a gas station with more than 36 pumps, most have 12 max

        So an EV charging station with 100 charging stations would be cool

        and one community service line would support 7 of such stations

      • @ matthew

        as far as profitable and open — 2 cents per kWh surcharge vs the 2-3 cents PER GALLON most service stations earn would be a boon for the EV charging station owner

        It’s not unreasonable to assume almost 100% occupancy with smart-self driving cars 24 hours per day

        If the station had an average 10 MW draw ( many office buildings had and have such a draw, considering that is only 10,000 100 watt light bulbs)

        at 20 hours per day that is 200 MWh or 200,000 kWh — 400,000 cents is $4000/day gross profit @ a 2 cent per kWH markup

        that = 1.44 Million a year, not counting the possible candy and soda sales

  92. I think that something many people have missed is the advent of SELF-DRIVING CARS.

    On a trip, you stop for dinner ( at least 45 min -1 hour for a decent restaurant and good digestion)

    While you are eating, your vehicle DERIVES ITSELF to the nearest charging station and charges while you eat.

    This could also happen during the day if your employer doesn’t provide charging.

    Or — it could also happen at night — coordinated with the AI -agents that manage the grid

    I still cannot believe how small minded and short sighted some of the well educated posters are on this board.

    • Karl “small minded and short sighted” goes both ways. What is convenient for some is a time management and constraining inconvenience for others. Many don’t have the time in their lives between their work schedule to spend standing around waiting for enough power to get them from point A to C with B taking more time out of it.

      My wife and I make frequent driving sight seeing trips in one day that can be over 500 miles through mountains that have zero gas stations in stretches of over 100 miles. Some have 30 miles of Grades that would reduce a full EV to Turtle Mode before topping them, and you would have to drive 20 miles first to get there from the last place you could get a full charge and another over 50 miles of mountains to the next gas station and pray they have a charging system. I have seen HEV doing those stretches. Not one EV on any of our outings in the past 10 years on those roads.

      • Never drove a car that can regenerate the energy of momentum as a car goes down grade have you?

        I’ve gotten 93 mpg with a PRIUS because of proper use of regenerative braking. And 100 miles between stations is fine for an EV with a 300 mile range.

        And you may be the .1% of people that go on 500 mile mountain sightseeing trips out of the 300,000,000 people in The US (hint that’)s 300,000 — which is an overstatement

        .1% qualifies as niche — just like I said — do you read — or are you as quick knee-jerk with your responses as you are close minded and short-sighted?

      • Karl you have increasingly become curt, obtuse and insulting. Calling other’s what you are being. In these 3 parts I have pointed out existing technology that would revolutionize the EV by making them self sustainable without any outside charging system or any ICE that would make them HEVs. No infrastructure would be needed to do all the things you like about EVs. At the same time I can see how that would destroy world wide economies and create massive unemployment. Governments depends upon Capitalism and the taxation just as every individual does from Fossil Fuels. Nothing you own would be possible Without Fossil Fuels Carbon in it or used to mine, grow or make it and distribution of it. And that includes everything that is in an EV to the energy they require to make them move and stop, along with every “renewable” energy creation. If anyone is being what you say they are, it is you.

      • And you quite ignored the inevitability of leasing transportation on an as needed basis.

        You want to go on a mountain trip? – a self driving specialty EV with a 500+ mile range will drive to your door within 15 minutes of your call.

        This is the future.

        Why lose $14,000 when you drive a new car off the lot? — or get shafted $3-4k on the trade in — or buy a used vehicle that is more likely to cost just as much in repairs and maintenance as the difference — unless you buy an extended warranty that costs almost as much?

      • karl: I’ve gotten 93 mpg with a PRIUS because of proper use of regenerative braking.

        I have enjoyed driving my son’s Prius. At present prices, a good deal on a Prius is about $7,000 more than the good deal I got on my VW Jetta. It takes a lot of fuel savings to repay that cost. For a while I was driving a Corolla to work and my boss was driving a Prius; I calculated, at that time, that it would take a Prius driver about 120,000 to save on gasoline the extra energy used in making the battery pack of the Prius. I am sure that the costs are different now.

        My other son bought a Leaf. That car cost him about what my Jetta cost me ($1,000 less iirc), but he benefited from about $10,000 in subsidies and tax credits; as I wrote elsewhere, when he goes skiing he drives his SUV.

      • @jo

        I do hope the perpetual motion and free energy posts you posted were satire — otherwise you shouldn’t be on this board

      • There isn’t any “perpetual motion” to it. It is driven by the batery powering a small electric motor that turns a flywheel that multiplies the energy to a generator that would normally require a larger electric motor, therefore generating more electricity than is required to turn it. It is proven to work on any scale from desktop models to many tons. You would only need to generate to scale enough electricity to offset that 1 kWh in 3 to 4 miles used by the normal driving of an EV and the electricity used to power the flywheel. Which in reality would be operating the vehicle by that system itself. Which would sound like a “perpetual motion” if there was not energy being constantly put into it to make it work. Remove that small motor and it would eventually stop working by the pull of the generator. That is demonstrated in some of those videos. I guess you are just not curious enough to learn anything. And would rather be obtuse.

        [???? .mod]

      • johchi7, I implore you, study Newton and his Laws of Motion. I thought perpetual motion machines, along with other stuff and subjects that are really ‘out there’ is not really appreciated on this board? If such a machine actually worked, obviously the Chinese would have ripped it off by now, and they wouldn’t be burning any coal in China. And you propose to put this in an EV? And people think I am nuts for saying that the success of the EV would be greatly enhanced by a Micro fuel cell or ICE generator of some type so it could actually work everywhere traditional cars work now.

      • Even in Newton”s time water wheels were powering grain mill’s. That is a Flywheel that is using the weight of water added constantly to it and gearing to turn heavy stones against eachother to grind grains to flour.

      • johchi7…waterwheels were powering grain mills in Roman times. What’s your point? In a closed energy system, you can’t get more energy out of a system than you put in. The law of conservation of energy is a law of science that states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but only changed from one form into another or transferred from one object to another. Entropy is the limiting factor in your model. I think you know this, since I think I have read other fairly intelligent stuff you wrote. Maybe it was a similarly sounding name..

      • After a few seconds of searching I picked this one…

        After studying it you may see the physics I have been talking about. The other link’s I have provided support this concept. And it is being used in other applications in vehicles. To use a flywheel as a multiplier of energy to increase energy on a smal scale, is not that difficult to understand. Just diverting a portion of the forward motion aleeady being used to flywheel that can maintain the generator running at a higher rate than being discharged is what I’m talking about. Which is why I said newer technologies are already available to do it. Proof already exists that a smaller energy input can create more energy output by using flywheel technology…using the law’s of physics.

        I will say it again. If transportation can be made self sustainable. The effects would cause an affect that would revolutionize the future and cause massive unemployment do to the law’s of economics dependent upon the Fossil fuels industry and therefore economic collapse of countries.

        If some dude can create such a device using a 1 KWH motor to generate 220 Volts that can loop part of that back to the motor to keep it running perpetually, and still have more voltage available to power other divices… Why is that not Free Energy?

    • If the car drives itself the need for breaks is greatly reduced, you can sleep, eat and relax while the car is moving. You will need to stop for toilet breaks, unless the car is equipped for that too, but that only takes a few minutes so provides little opportunity for charging. So you could drive thousands of miles with no more than 15 minutes of halts per thousand miles.

      • @ Bill

        An astonishingly open minded, far sighted and astute observation (compared to the average member of this forum) of the eventuality that EV and self driving cars will provide.

        And if it is an on-demand lease, no insurance, no maintenance, no personal property tax, and no need for a garage.

        And kudos to you Anthony for having this series on your board.

        While I agree with your conclusions regarding AGW, and greenhouse gasses in general; your site has a significant slant toward traditional power generation, and ignores the massive subsidies ( in real dollars) to the COAL, petrochemical and Nuclear Power industries from infancy to current day AROUND THE WORLD , that pale in comparison to subsidies for renewables.

        [???? .mod]

    • On a trip, you stop for dinner ( at least 45 min -1 hour for a decent restaurant and good digestion)

      Huh. I regularly do a Chicago-Denver run, and back again, stopping to gas-up and pee only. 1000 miles/14.5 hours. I eat and drink whatever I packed in the cooler.

      Karl, are you telling me that I’m eating indecently? Is my digestion somehow compromised by not stopping to eat at a restaurant?

  93. Misconception #7 Your perpetual motion machine is more efficient than mine.

    It takes two things to achieve success. It has to comply with the laws of science. You have to do it better.

    Another way of saying this, you need a compelling reason to get people to change. For example, the adoption of electric lights. It is better to burn something at a power plant to make electricity than to burn something in you house to make light.

    As long as we have oil, there is no compelling reason to switch to a BEV.

  94. Misconception #8 Your list is longer than my list.

    It is not the length of the list but the …..!

    People with agendas make longs list without checking to see if the reasons are valid. For example, most daily use of cars within the range that batteries. That is a reason you could use a BEV but not a reason to have a BEV.

    • Most stop and eat — and I notice you didn’t address the other points I made about self driving cars

      The EV is inevitable

      The ICE will become a tiny niche technology only useful in the very few applications a mature and robust EV infrastructure do not address

      • karl: and I notice you didn’t address the other points I made about self driving cars

        not a bad idea. If you stop for a meal in Baker, CA, where does the car drive to for refueling/recharging? How soon can a refueling/recharging station be built there?

        I do not know whether EV cars are inevitable or not. I am not seeing EV long-haul trucks any time soon, perhaps long haul hybrids like diesel trains. Pure EV is going to take a lot of labor and investment. The easiest part to achieve will be high volume manufacture of the EVs.

    • Furthermore, as the high speed rail and commuter rail infrastructure becomes constructed in the US — most will take a train or hyperloop fore trips that would require a more than 300-400 mile battery life.

      I took the train from DC to Boston once, because counting the 2 hours early arrival and DHS security lines the trip time considering Acela was shorter and the cost was less than a one way from Reagan National or Dulles to Logan.

      I had business in Paris and the Hague, did I drive a rental car from Paris to the Hague? — nope I took the Talys and got a full breakfast and lunch with wine service compris, as well as being dropped right at Schipol, in about 3:45 IIRC.

      OPSEC required a rental car for local travel, or I would have been dropped at Centraal Station Den Haag, and taken the tram or taxi to Shcreveningen and then from Schreveningen to work.

      For my Pleasure trips to Amsterdam — 32 Euros for a roundtrip ticket from Den Haag to Amsterdam. No parking, and it took 45 minutes to go 60 km.

      • I took the train from DC to Boston once…

        Try taking a train from Salt Lake City to Phoenix, Karl. Tell us how that works out. And then tell us how much coal you’ll burn when you find out you can’t take a train and decide to take your EV instead.

        Re: your European vacation via train, consider the thoughts of this former administrator of the Urban Mass Transit Administration:

        People who you think are normally rational will come back from visiting Disneyworld or France — look for the little mark on the back of their neck because they have fallen in love with this myth that somehow this rail project is going to get the guy out of the car in front of them and onto a light rail car.
        Ralph Stanley, Vail, Co, 24 August 1996

  95. Oh and self driving cars solves the issue of extension cords on sidewalks for people that don’t have a garage, carport or back pad.

    Your car could just drive itself to the charging station.

  96. Or in an even more logical extension – why OWN a car at all? — leases are cheaper especially if there is no penalty to return

    ,Leased EV car sharing to and from work would always result in a full charge, and you could reduce lease costs by charging overnight.

    For the FEW who need a car to go 500-600 miles, specialty SUV/Minivan type vehicles would be available as needed.

    China has fully electric buses that can carry 60 people and packages for 1100 km. Scaling that technology down to an Expedition sized EV that is only used when needed is honestly a trivial engineering exercise.

    This is the economy of the future, ignore it at your own risk.

    • Karl. You are sounding like a snake oil salesman. Just t like the team that explained the ProPilot system to us about Autonomous Nissans at the test track I have worked at for over 20 year’s.

      Review what has been put out by Nissan in the link. Because I cannot make comments that would go against the secrecy clauses in my contract, to give my reasons against their ideologies without repercussions. What you think you know is not based upon reality at this point and is science fiction today as it will still be well after 2020. The infrastructure is just not available for interstate traveling and cities are even farther away from making this happen. People live in the here and now. That is what fuels the future. Not forcing something on people by government interventions that think they know what’s good for them. We are not children and governments are not our parents. But people run to the government as if they are their parent’s, to get the rest of their siblings to do something or not to do something.

      • Nice way to change the subject — classic deflection

        FACTS say otherwise

        Self driving cars are on the road today all over the US

        Oh, and lets not forget the TESLAs (35,000) that have full autopilot

        2 years ago CRISPR-CAS9 was a new tech, cutting out genes or chromosomes — this year they used it to eradicate HIV from the genome of human cells in transfected mice

        Enter BASE PAIR editing — 2 years later that actually works on live organisms (they cured beta thalessemia in embryos)

        These advancements would have taken a decade or 2, 30 years ago – when you were lucky if you could get reception with a bag cell phone with a 10 inch antenna, much less ATM and debit on demand.

        Progress is exponential as has been the hybrid AND EV penetration to the car market

        — you should read kurzweil

      • Karl your education of Autonomous vehicles is lacking reality. These vehicles can only maintain traffic in the single lane they are in. Thus slowing, stopping and resuming speeds set by the driver. Most of them ping pong within the lane lines, except for the new LEAF that center’s the vehicle in the lane as long as those lane markings are not well defined, and those other vehicles are much worse at staying in between the lines. If you try to change lanes without using the turn signal the steering will fight back to stay in the lane. Because everything relies on sensors to read the road and those microseconds of communications and response of the vehicle to change with conditions. If a lane marker becomes unreadable the car veers and shuts the system off. If you’re busy play with your phone at the time that loud noise that warns you may be seconds too late. Road hazards like tire tread and other things are not detected by these system’s and hitting a queen size bed mattress or 12 foot ladder is pretty damaging to vehicles traveling 60 mph. These systems cannot read through glare and wet roads reflect like mirrors masking lines on the roads. These systems do not work in city traffic and have trouble on freeways with entrance and exit lines requiring the driver to take control at a moment’s notice. They are far from being “Autonomous vehicles” of the fictional I-Robot kind. And any honest manufacturers put that in their website. If your car bops and weaves in a lane, there is no way to create an infrastructure to charge it while driving and only a single lane would ever be dedicated to such a endeavor. Then only if the numbers of EVs becomes a majority of vehicles in a given stretch of roads. Like with Global Alarmists moving the goal post for catastrophic temperature increases and climat change. These EV ideologies are Progressivisms nemesis of wanting to change the world right now and not waiting for it to evolve on its own merits, using its own money gains in a free market…because at this point they would have failed without governments taking from the poor and giving to the pet peaves of their ideologies. You have no concept of the massive price distortions this has caused.

      • Another problem self-driving cars would probably have an issue with locally in Texas, and in much of the semi-rural parts of the US, are deer. Moose in some states would be even worse, and having several hundred pounds of beastie through your windshield is more than a bit of a problem.

      • Tom Halla everything I have read speaks o the future for this issue. These cars are designed with front and back “tunnel vison” that even vehicles that change lanes in front of them are not recognized very well and the driver – if they’re paying attention – would slam on tbe brakes before the vehicle would.

    • karl Or in an even more logical extension – why OWN a car at all? — leases are cheaper especially if there is no penalty to return

      There is a healthy auto leasing business in the US, so it isn’t exactly a new idea.

    • “karl November 10, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      Or in an even more logical extension – why OWN a car at all? — leases are cheaper especially if there is no penalty to return”

      Why own any property? A home, some land? The thin edge of the communist wedge…

      • Wow — such ignorance and purposeful conflation

        in communism the state/society owns everything

        If a PRIVATE company provides a lease that is less expensive and more convenient than OWNING a vehicle — why own one?

        1. vehicles (unless they are quite rare) ALWAYS DEPRECIATE
        2. land and a home — except for short term blips — ALWAYS APPRECIATE
        3. If I could rent my clothing and other depreciating property I would, instead I go to a second hand shop and buy brand-new (with original price tag) “used” polo, ralph lauren, etc for 20 cents on the dollar or less.

        I go to the pawn shop and buy ACER laptops at an 80% discount usually because they have malware or viruses – with ACER you can go online and type in the serial number and it will return whether you can get a factory reset CD they will send you for $20

        In the last 4 decades I have purchased a new vehicle only twice, once because I was a stupid teenager, the other because they gave me $5000 more than I owed on my trade and sold me the car for $4500 under invoice.

        EV/hybrid will be less expensive, more convenient and more ubiquitous than ICE vehicles in less than 20 years worldwide

        In CHINA and INDIA — perhaps within 10 years

      • Is it communism that MANY MAJOR companies lease their computing resources and storage space from GOOGLE and AMAZON, instead of owning the nardware themselves?

    • A Really great idea.
      But, do you really want to sit in this Autonomous EV which has just picked up & dropped off some Drunken Students who have vomitted all over the seats and floor?
      Or someone has used it to take their Ailing pet to the Vets and it has peed & crapped in the car?
      You would have no control over who had used it or what for.
      Do you also think that the companies running these oh so easy to use EVs are not going to exploit them and charge whatever they want for your “Privelege” to use them, because YOU HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE?
      Yep that sounds like Utopia.

      • No more than now that I’m worried about vomit or crap in a Lyft or Uber car. Yes, you got a human driver to monitor that stuff but there’s a few things AV car services can do to mitigate vomit and crap contamination. One, know your customer. How about reduced fares for rated, repeat customers? Potential vomiters and/or dog crap leavers–unrated customers–would pay more. I’d imagine that people will belong to car services and will agree to ride with other people like they agree to “friend” people now on social media. Two, plenty of inspection and cleaning stations scattered throughout an urban area, staffed by part time students and retirees, especially at peak commute times. How long would it take for an AV to pull up to one of those stations so the inspectors could take a peak and take a sniff? How long to do a quick vacuum and window cleaning? Deeper cleaning could be done in the wee hours of the morning.

        Do you also think that the companies running these oh so easy to use EVs are not going to exploit them and charge whatever they want for your “Privelege” to use them, because YOU HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE?

        No more than any other non-monopolistic service provider. AV car services won’t be the DMV.

      • NO EV would go back out to be re-used until it was inspected and certified — duh

        Car sharing is already working fine in Europe Canada and the US

        CAR2GO is also all over Europe, just click the USA tab to see all the other countries

  97. On demand leasing of self-driving EV — the key to third world market penetration (India and Indonesia are included in my definition of Third world).

    Posit you are an entrepreneur that needs to transport goods to the purchaser, or distribution depot.

    The investment in purchasing a vehicle of any kind is prohibitive with respect to profit, and likely credit.

    On demand self-driving EV lease that only charges you for time/mileage and/or cost of joules used is much less prohibitive, and allows for entry of a hugely larger number of prospective entrepreneurs than the traditional purchase.

    And after delivery the vehicle drives back to the EV depot.

      • It absolutely does — self-driving vehicles remove the time and inconvenience argument regarding recharging.

        If your car can drive itself and recharge when you are working or sleeping or partying or whatever,

        then fast recharge isn’t and issue, nor is having a place to charge overnight

      • Sure, but you are paying 4 times as much for your energy — and if cars are self driving — there is no extra convenience for an ICE — simply a waste of hydrocarbons that would be better used as feedstock for polymers and nano-carbon materials

  98. My guess is that the author is a whore for EVs because he’s on the government dole, much like the climate hysterics at NOAA or East Anglia. Private school tuition for the kiddies isn’t cheap. That nice semi-detached, or that great little place up Boulder Canyon, ain’t cheap. To say nothing of that Tesla, jeez, .bumping $900/month.

    Gotta’ keep that grant money rollin’ in…

    Just a guess.

  99. Contrary to what is written in the article, distribution seems a nightmare.
    I wonder why they aren’t considering swappable batteries, so that you can get to a charging station and a battery pack is replaced by a robot arm, perhaps sideways from the bottom of your car. That would be fast. That way you could have half your battery capacity, say, dependent on a pack that is constantly being replaced, with routine safety checks= more reliability, and the extra high voltage lines required are mostly those going to stations. Parking lots near popular vacation spots may become impromptu temporary stations to absorb expected peak demand due to the masses getting back home after a holiday.

  100. Karl writes, “If you had read my post carefully you would seen that I didn’t leave that detail out, quite clearly saying that the main impediment to electric cars was their price….”

    Karl does not understand the difference between a detail, a vague generality, and an opinion. took

    Our 2007 Corolla is convenient and fun to drive. That is an opinion. Before buying the car, we rented one. We drove it on congested freeways. Never fun. Then we took the Blue Ridge Parkway the rest of the way home. Always fun. The Corolla is also a luxury car, it has all the luxuries my wife wants.

    What we paid for the car, $16k, is a detail. Since we rented a car, I could estimate how much fuel we would use if over 300k miles. As an engineer I can also estimate the life cycle cost of maintenance.

    Step 1 is find something you like and meets your needs. Step 2 is to look at all the costs.

    Karl think I have an agenda because I will not buy something that does not meet my needs and is very expensive.

    I do not think being practical is an ideology.

    Not every choice has to be practical. I have owned a sailboat 30 years. I drove the wife’s Corolla to work one day. The German engineer in out group had the hood up on his Ford Mustang and was parked next an older engineer with the hood up on his Chevy Camaro. I pulled in beside them a popped the hood.

    As it turns out, the German Engineer and I had the same criteria. It is what the wife wanted.

    • When gas goes to $6-10 a gallon in less than 10 years, and EV are in parity at purchase in 5 talk to me then.

      FYI — LI-Ion are now down to $145/ kWh to GM and $190 to Tesla

      Ghawar is 70% depleted — regardless of the Saudi lies to the contrary (they pump seawater equivalent to 70% of the oil they pump out because the reservoir of oil is almost gone)

      The easily recoverable (less than $50-60/barrel to extract) US shale oil is almost depleted.

      Mexico and the North Sea are dropping fast. Russia will hit their peak soon too.

      • @7

        None of that contradicts what I said.

        GO to the EIA site and look at trends in wells drilled and barrels per well and overall production.

        Sure there is oil left in Bakken et al — but not at less than $55-60 a barrel to extract.

      • @ Jo7

        Science fact has passed science fiction in many fields already.

        Kirk could’t video chat with his communicator to the others on an away team, but I can — using a satellite interfaced phone in place of the Enterprise

      • You realize that Science Fiction is usually based upon a concept that has already been investigated or being done – like submarines in the Revolutionary War and the book “10,000 Leages Under The Sea” over a century later. Or “I-Robot” self driving transportation. Or Dick Tracy and his wristband communications. Star Trek communications went from a flip phone looking device that automatically translated languages between species to the buttons they wore in later series…now there’s an app for that that is bad at best and is by texting conversions mostly.

        The point I was making is in the new WUWT was there is not enough Lithium known to exist to obtain the level of EV products you are dreaming about. That none of the combination of Renewables can fit across a country to supply the energy to the population. That AGW CO2 has been debunked for any detrimental significant effects on warming or climate change, making the need for EV even less needed…because there is more than enough Fossil Fuels to fuel the needs of population growth for centuries if not longer. By then, maybe, something else will come around. But there is not any immediate need to rush to into the future you are wanting to happen.

        Yes, I have been in traffic with those WAYMO as they are driven to map out area’s. You should notice they will only be used in specific area’s at present and it just started its program on the 5th of November. So we still have to wait to see how they perform and how people respond to them. But these are designed for a specific purpose and not for individual owners like you have been saying, prior to the last few days when you changed your arguments.

        Current infrastructure would have to be drastically changed to meet the needs of what you are wanting. That is not happening anytime soon and is far too costly to even think about. Here in Arizona they created a Light Rail that is limited by the old infrastructure to where it can go. They disrupted many land owners by forcing them to sell and cheated other’s to do it. I have never seen one having more than half full of commuters. Yet, there are stretches between Tucson and Phoenix and the Phoenix metro to California and many other’s that have divided freeways that should have trains. But instead they are adding more lanes. Planners are limited to current infrastructure in most cases. Just as Am Track uses the same tracks as Freight Trains. Air travel is restricted because of dangerous collisions. So future travelling is going to have to change to above or below ground for bigger metropolitan area’s lime in New York. But that was planned long before it grew for Subways.

        No more time now…

      • When gas goes to $6-10 a gallon in less than 10 years, and EV are in parity at purchase in 5 talk to me then.
        Karl, 2017

        By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’
        Kenneth Watt 1970

      • @cap

        WATT was correct “if present trends continued”

        consumption from 1965 to 1970 doubled

        From 30 Million Barrels/day to 45 Million Barrels a day

        Even at a linear growth of 3 Million Barrels a day World consumption would have reached today’s rate by 1985, would have been 135 million barrels a day by 2000, and 180 million per day by now

        luckily the present trend did not continue

        That would have been 1100 Billion Barrels consumed between 1965 and 2000

        Considering total cumulative global production since the first wells were drilled was approximately 1000 Billion Barrels by 2005

        WATT was correct

        BTW — Crude is up 25% since Sept 1

        If present trends continue it will be above $100 by June 2018

      • But don’t your realize, Karl, that your predictions today will likely be every bit as ridiculous as Kenneth Watts’ were in 1970?

        You assume today’s conditions will continue into infinity when in reality humans are inventive, nay devious creatures, ready and willing and able to sew a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

        Always have been. Always will be.

        Don’t be such a curmudgeon. Live life. Celebrate humanity.

    • Never said you had an agenda –

      Never said you MUST buy an EV

      Simply stating the inevitability based on cost and efficiency advancements — EV will supplant the ICE

      except in very very niche applications and for people who want to waste their money for a false sense of convenience

      This is not today of course, but in 20 years you will be hard pressed to find somewhere WITHOUT a charger for an EV

  101. Remember — at CURRENT rates oil will be gone in 42 years – if you believe the inflated reserves of the Saudis — and include the OIL TAR in Venezuela (snicker).

    Oil Futures calls are at $100 for DEC 2018

    Saudi production is now dropping 2017 vs 2016

    Inventories are dropping, and legacy fields are running dry

    I’m Trading my Subie with 120k miles in for A Prius or a leaf plug-in electric

    There is a nice used leaf I’m going to get my son

    My daughter drives a prius

    And I’m looking to get the Audi etron Quattro, or a VW or Volvo EV to replace the wife’s suv by 2020.

    FYI — Volvo is going to an all electric/hybrid product line in 2019

    How can you naysayers not see the writing on the wall?

  102. Firstly, thanks to the OP for his 3 posts which have triggered so much interesting debate.

    I have not had time to read all of the comments so apologise if these points have already been covered:

    Average daily mileage figures are likely to be misleading. It would be very interesting to see some good data on the frequency and distances of journeys. A car which makes numerous, relatively short journeys within cities or between them is probably a good EV candidate (all things being equal, if we ever get there). One that has to do occasional long trips to remote areas or in challenging conditions is better suited to ICE power.

    With regard to range, the need for a reserve has to be taken into account. My old diesel MPV will do around 700 miles on a tank but I try to avoid running it close to empty, preferring to have 100 – 150 miles available for possible emergencies. That is enough to get me to any sudden family drama in the dead of night, for example, without having to find a filling station open. A depleted electric car which has just started its timed overnight charging would be useless.

    Contrary to one of the posts, business users are a large part of the UK driving population. New car sales here are split roughly 50:50 between private buyers and company purchases. Of course the business users tend to do much higher mileages. I have been looking to buy a car which is a typical “repmobile”. The majority for sale have at least 50,000 miles on them at around 3 years old.

    Another problem is what happens when a car is left unused. I have read that EVs drain their batteries at a rate which means they cannot be left unconnected for very long. Sure, an EV can be connected to a trickle charger if it is garaged at home but that could be tricky for one parked in a driveway, let alone in the road. So an owner going away for a long holiday or business trip would have to make arrangements for the EV to be looked after. Long-term parking at airports would have to provide trickle-charging bays.

    As many others have already said, hybrids are the better option for now with the ICE acting as a generator. Over time, if battery technology improves as predicted and the EV infrastructure is built, the hybrids will require less ICE support, evolving towards battery-only vehicles. That should be left to the market.

    • Lithium Ion batteries don’t discharge much when not used or charged, unless you are talking months.

      You are thinking of NiCad. Some Li Ion Polymer batteries exhibit ZERO self discharge

      If I turn off my phone and leave it sit for a few days, the charge is invariably the same as before I turned it off.

    • “Average daily mileage figures are likely to be misleading”

      You can say that again. The UK figures quotes are from the National Travel Survey. This covers (all in the link supplied) just over 7,300 vehicles out of over 35 million. Now surveys can be pretty accurate but I wonder why the government is commissioning and publishing a survey when it has more accurate data on a much larger body of vehicles in the form of the MoT test data

      Also I know several people who use their car little if at all during the week but drive a long distance at the weekend – a couple of them are visiting elderly parents. So their meandaily mileage might be quite low but the mode and the medium will be much higher.

      Your point about a car only doing short journeys (within or between cities) being a potential EV candidate is a very good one, provided the emphasis is on only. IME most people make the occasional longer journey where an EV will not do, hence for a majority (maybe a significant majority) an EV only works as a second car. If a family already has two cars then replacing the city runabout with an EV may make sense. If the family only has one car then adding an EV makes no sense whatsoever.

      In my mind EVs are now (and for the foreseeable future) a very niche product. Expensive to buy, low (and decreasing range), awkward & slow to ‘refuel’. And the cheap to run attribute will disappear if and when they become common as ‘fuel tax’ will be applied in some form in order to make up for the revenue from reduced petrol & diesel sales.

      Please ignore the comment from karl. He is not only an EV obsessive but rather rude, and to top it off typically incorrect and it seems rather untruthful.

      Here he claims to have turned his phone off for days at a time but elsewhere he claimed to have needed to fully charge it 1,500 times in three years (1.5 times per day). Also his comments about Li-ion batteries are simply untrue, see
      which suggest 5-10% per month. And these
      which make it clear that because of the on-board electronics a Tesla will lose power at a faster rate than an ordinary Li-ion battery.

      The figures are not particularly worrying in general but if you drive some distance to an airport, so the battery is already rather depleted, and park there for several weeks then it could well be a problem.

      • It is not the batteries — Tesla’s design uses the batteries to power onboard electronics when the car is turned off.

        Many Lithium Batteries have a zero discharge rate (or as close to zero as matters) when in storage or not in use

      • “It is not the batteries”

        No idea what ‘it’ means here.

        “Tesla’s design uses the batteries to power onboard electronics when the car is turned off”

        Which is what I said and this means that they will run down even faster than the self-discharge rate.

        “Many Lithium Batteries have a zero discharge rate (or as close to zero as matters) when in storage or not in use”

        Any evidence for that (and don’t talk about your mythical mobile phone)? Everyone else thinks that they do self-discharge.

      • “Low Self Discharge – Unlike NiMH and NiCd batteries, Lithium Polymer cells experience a very low rate
        of self-discharge when not in use. Lithium Polymer cells experience a self-discharge rate of approximately
        5% per month”

        That = .16% a day — yup a week to even register a 1% drop in charge

        Cell phones use LI-Ion polymer batteries — hence why my phone shows no discharge after 24 hours being turned off.

        Lithium Ion average about 10% per month with 3% of that being the protection circuit.

        so again 3 days to see a 1% drop

        With all the OH-my OH-my I need to charge my car every day

        LI-Ion discharge rates are a non-issue


      • @ jim

        16% or even 30% of a penny is essentially ZERO — like I said

        Self discharge of Lithium Ion batteries during normal use is essentially ZERO

        Some data shows an initial loss for non-polymer LI-IOn as 5% in 24 hours then 1-2 % per month.

        Which equates to 71-83% charge left after 1 year of sitting –

        Except that discharge rates decrease as a function of current charge versus full charge

        So, it is very likely that after a year of sitting without a protection circuit — you would have 85% charge left

        With a protection circuit on (3% per month), you would have 50% charge after 8-9 months

      • @ The stainless steel rat

        Even assuming a 5% loss the first 24 hours — and a 5% per month with protection circuit — after a year you would still have 35% charge left

      • karl,

        So 5% in the first day and 5%/month is “zero … (or as close to zero as matters)”, so you won’t mind giving me 5% of your wealth now and 5%/month from now on will you.

        “Even assuming a 5% loss the first 24 hours — and a 5% per month with protection circuit — after a year you would still have 35% charge left”

        If and only your battery had 100% of its original capacity and you started at 100% of that capacity. If you are capable of reading and comprehending and had bothered to do so, you would know that:
        1. The battery will not have 100% of its original capacity.
        2. I was very clearly talking about a situation where you were not starting from 100% of capacity, when I said “The figures are not particularly worrying in general but if you drive some distance to an airport, so the battery is already rather depleted, and park there for several weeks then it could well be a problem“.


      “Using data obtained from the Department of Transport’s 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), Garrett Fitzgerald and Rob van Haaren analyzed the travel data of survey participants, concluding that 95 percent of the 748,918 recorded single-trip journeys by car were under 30 miles. ”

      “The average single-trip distance? Just 5.95 miles. And while rural respondents naturally traveled further on average than their urban counterparts, 95 percent of all rural-based trips were still under 50 miles. ”

      “WASHINGTON, D.C., (April 16, 2015) – On average, Americans drive 29.2 miles per day, making two trips with an average total duration of 46 minutes. This and other revealing data are the result of a ground-breaking study currently underway by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the Urban Institute.”

      That is a lot of consistency across multiple studies across multiple years.

  103. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. In response to Mr. Hardy’s “Part 1”, I gave a preliminary overview of the impact on the generating capacity required for 100% EVs. Above, he writes:

    “Misconception 2: if EVs take off, electrical distribution networks won’t cope.

    “With an average daily mileage for private cars of 20-30 miles per day and 3-4 miles per kW-hr the average charge needed is 5 to 10 kW-hr a day, equivalent to running a 7 kW electric shower for 40 to 80 minutes or warming up a few storage heaters over 5-6 hours.

    “Another mistaken assumption is that everyone will come home and charge at peak time in the early evening. Once again this is highly unlikely to become a problem. Incentivising people to charge off peak is trivial, as is the technology. I have my car set to start charging at 1:00 a.m. when my electricity price almost halves.”

    My first analysis simply took the total number of miles driven per day in the United States, and multiplied it by the best demonstrated numbers available for kW-hr/mile. That’s the number of kW-hr capacity required every single day, period, and it’s 20% more than the total electric generating capacity of the United States. Any departure from uniform charging rate increases that number.

    Mr. Hardy’s arm-waving and assertions don’t stand up to any kind of real analysis. By the way, I have run an alternative energy company, developed several “renewable” energy devices, and currently work in an industry where energy management down to the millijoule (out of gigajoules) range is the norm. I abandoned the renewable energy business when I realized that the only way it was profitable was through subsidies. From a total conservation of energy perspective, it was a loser.

    • @Michael

      It seems your analysis is way off

      in 2015 there were 2.1 Trillion light duty vehicle miles driven in the US

      In 2015 US electricity generation was


      or 4 Million Million KILOWATT-HOURS

      or 4 Trillion Kilowatt-hours

      The AVERAGE — MILES per Kilowatt-hour for EV is 4 — yes 4 miles per kilowatt-hour

      So, there would only be needed 500 Billion Kilowatt Hours for the whole year

      Yet the US generates 8 times as much electricity (4 Trillion kWh)

      perhaps your maths were off a bit — or you didn’t realize EV’s get 4 Miles per kilowatt hour

      • SO basically 12% of US electricity generation could power all light duty vehicle miles driven if they were all EV

        wow — thanks for bringing that up

      • We have different data on light-duty miles driven. My original source said slightly more than 4 trillion miles, another indicates roughly 3.8 trillion miles. Your source actually indicates 2.9 trillion miles; you forgot to add long wheel base and other two axle, four tire vehicles. As for the average kW-hr per mile, I was more generous than you. I used data for the 70 kW-hr Tesla, with a range of 265 miles. That’s 0.264 kW-hr/mile.

        So, 0.264 kW-hr/mile x 2.9 trillion miles = 0.77 trillion kW-hr. You indicate that we generate 4 trillion kW-hr per year, and my sources agree. So the total required would be 19% of our current production. If the charging were spread evenly over 365 24 hour days, the fraction of capacity would be 8.7%. That doesn’t account for losses that I accounted for. Any deviation from uniformity will required a greater percentage capacity increase.

        Not WAY off, by any means, but less. Thanks for making me look more closely.

      • @Michael

        Your data includes all highway miles — see my link above — and the notes describe what light duty means

        “Data for 2007-15 were calculated using a new methodology developed by FHWA. Data for these years are based on new categories and are not comparable to previous years. The new category Light duty vehicle, short wheel base includes passenger cars, light trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles with a wheelbase (WB) equal to or less than 121 inches. The new category Light duty vehicle, long wheel base includes large passenger cars, vans, pickup trucks, and sport/utility vehicles with wheelbases (WB) larger than 121 inches. This edition of 1-35 is not comparable to previous editions.”

        That’s 2.147 Trillion

        Thank you for re-evaluating your calculations, but you have to admit

        “more than all the electrical production” vs 19% of electrical production (or 12% as I calculate)

        IS WAY OFF

      • “That’s the number of kW-hr capacity required every single day, period, and it’s 20% more than the total electric generating capacity of the United States. ”

        As written you are stating that the kilowatt-hours needed for just transportation is 120% of total electrical production capacity.

        That is what you said.

        It is now clear that is not what you MEANT.

        “20% of total electrical capacity” — would be correct — based on your calculations

      • The one thing on which you are correct is that I included a category for which no data exist for 2015 (due to an error reading the rows). The actual number is 2.8 trillion miles, with the data from your source (I’ll stipulate that it is better than my source – which was from the same website, btw – and move on).

        I’ll even stipulate your 0.25 kW-hr/mile average (for which you provide no source). The total constant charging rate is then 8% of the total installed capacity, neglecting transmission losses, distribution losses, charger inefficiency, and charging inefficiency. Now that is significantly off from my original 20% (which included some of the losses). Once again, however, that assumes all charging takes place at uniformly distributed times. That’s the poor assumption. People will charge their vehicles when they want to charge them, and when they have to charge them. And that is completely unpredictable.

        But you are correct in that the situation is not as dire as I had originally calculated.

      • @ Michael

        Chevy Bolt – 60kWh — 240 mile range

        Leaf is 107 for 30 kWh (a little low based upon Leaf Forums where people consistently get 4+ miles per kWh)

        Now how to find that 8% (your number)

        1. convert all hot water to NG — hot water uses 9% of residential electricity
        2. Mandate 15+SEER HVAC and provide no-interest loans to upgrade (better for grid stability)
        3. Continue with solar
        4. Continue Wind Installation

        In 2016 14GW of solar was installed — which is about 4 actual GWe due to hours of sunlight

        In 2016 8.2GW of wind was installed — which is closer to 2.5 GWe at the average of 30% nameplate capacity

        So 6.5 GW of actual generating capacity

        Using a conservative year over year growth of 20% for wind and Solar (solar PV installation was 95% up in 2016 vs 2015)

        In 5 more years (2017-2021) you get an additional 58 GW of production = 508 Billion Kilowatt hours — pretty darn close to the net excess required

        And we would still have the efficiency savings

    • Chevy Bolt – 60 kilowatt-hour battery pack — 240 mile range == 4 MILES per kilowatt-hour

      Many Leaf Drivers average between 4 and 5 Miles per kilowatt-hour

  104. Range Range Range – BS BS BS

    In 10 years the number of consumers (not businesses) that will actually use a car or SUV sized vehicle that drive more than 100 miles in a day will be less than today, in 20 years it will be miniscule


    1. Urban Sprawl
    2. Mass Transit
    3. Telecommuting
    4. Tele-education
    5. Communitization (what is that?) — the continuing trend toward urban and suburban planning where everything is withing about 10 miles of the population center

    And that gives you the same reasons why distribution fleets will be the same.

    Distribution between urban hubs will be by rail

  105. Charging stations will be ubiquitous

    And the advent of the EV micro-vehicle (1 or 2 people and a small cargo space) will come to pass —

  106. If you actually need a vehicle to go for a long mountain trip — a specialty vehicle with hugely extended range will be available for lease, purchase would be available — if you wanted to waste your money

  107. “talk to me then”

    Okay Karl but I am sure I will be dead. More than ten years I said BEV were DOA. Still true today.

    We shopped for a new car this summer. Our son one give us our Corolla back. We let him use when we moved to China and he was still in college. His ’93 Camry that he got when he was 16 was older than he was. it made more sense for him to have the newer car and park the older one behind a friends barn,

    What will we do when gas is $6-10/gal? Use the full service pump because it will be too hard to get the walker down the steps of the motor home.