Debunking 3 doomster stories about energy & climate

Reposted from the Fabius Maximus Website

Larry Kummer, Editor Geopolitical News 1 July 2019

Summary: An oddity of US political debates is that both Left and Right lie like rugs. See three fun but telling falsehoods from a comment yesterday. They express widely held beliefs about energy use in America. They hide some good news.

Clear vision

The first falsehood

“Nonsense. …Your claim – that we are advancing into a low emissions future – is false.”

This is breathtakingly wrong, but easy to believe based on what we read in the news. Let’s look at it in steps, by the numbers.

Energy intensity is energy use per unit of GDP, a measure of the efficiency with which we use energy. It has been improving (decreasing intensity) in the US since 1950 (see the EIA). It has been improving globally since 1990: down 40% in the US, down 1/3 in the world. See this interactive graph showing the trend for nations and the world.

Carbon intensity is the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of energy used. It has been dropping since 1970 (per the EIA). The power sector’s carbon intensity was stable at 60 kg CO2/MMBtu for decades, then began to decline after 2006. By 2016 it had fallen to 48 kg CO2/MMBtu (down 20%). the carbon intensity of transportation has also begun to slowly decline. The electrification of vehicles in the next few decades will accelerate that decline.

US carbon intensity by sector per year

As a result of these two trends, America’s CO2 emissions peaked in 2007, and they have fallen since then (see VOX, and see Wikipedia). The other developed nations are following us at various speeds. For more about these trends, see McKinsey’s April 2019 report: “The decoupling of GDP and energy growth.


A second fun falsehood

“Electric cars are inferior to gasoline cars, and can only be rammed down our throats by force.”

Electricity is a far cheaper source of energy than gasoline. And electric vehicles (EVs) are much more efficient:  combustion-powered motors max out at 40% efficiency while electric motors can run at 90%. As for storage, EVs will work just fine for many people. My wife has never driven 200 miles in a day. Many commercial vehicles that work in urban areas can function with today’s battery loads.

The speed with EVs replace gas/diesel vehicles depends on how quickly they drop in price, which depends on the volume sold (which depends on their price). Most new technology rides down the price-volume curve. Raytheon sold the first commercial microwave oven in 1947; it cost $28 thousand in 2019 dollars. In 1967 Litton sold the first countertop microwave oven; it cost $3800 in 2019 dollars. (See this history.) Now they are $50+ and everybody has them.

EVs will not drop in price as drastically as did microwave ovens. But they could eventually become as cheap to buy as gas/diesel cars, and perhaps cheaper over their full operating lifetime.

A third fun falsehood

“James Hansen said wind and solar are ‘fairy tales and Easter bunnies.’”

This is a popular Right-wing story, a misstatement of what climate scientist Hansen said in a 2011 essay.

“Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needs in the foreseeable future? It is conceivable in a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”

Hansen tells us what should be obvious. Today we rely on a diverse array of energy sources. The components will change over time, but there is no magic bullet existing or under development that will provide “all” or even most of our energy. Certainly not solar and wind.

First, both are in use without subsidies in many areas. We have and always have had diverse systems of energy production. These are just new additions. They are not magic bullets – because there are no magic bullets. Second, Hansen did not say anything like that. He said in his essay that they could not replace fossil fuels.

Be skeptical of forecasts

The energy and climate policy debates are driven by predictions. Sometimes about immensely complex and poorly understood dynamics. Hansen’s essay gives an example of why we should be skeptical of forecasts. Energy use is a relatively simple thing to predict compared to climate change. Yet even top experts have a terrible record at predicting prices and quantities, even over modest time horizons. See Hansen’s update through 2009 of a graph in his entry to the growing genre of climate doomster lit: Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity.

orecasts of US Energy Consumption - Hansen 2011


Despite the screams of climate doomsters, having little basis in science, we are not on the fast track to climate armageddon. We are making progress and will continue to do so. Depending on as yet unknown factors, we may or may not face extreme climate change in the mid- to late 21st C.

Falsehoods by both sides are chaff in the public policy debate, preventing agreement on common-sense measures to accelerate the shift to high efficiency and less pollution energy use, and lower carbon sources of energy. There is insufficient evidence at present for the drastic measure of the Green New Deal, and far better uses for the money. Our schools are a mess, especially where they are most needed (e.g., in inner cities and rural areas). The oceans are being destroyed. You can list other urgent needs for funds.

Clear sight of the facts. Open debate, without the poisonous smears used (successfully) today by climate activists. These tools will work for us, if we have the will and wit to use them.

For More Information

Ideas! See my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information see all posts about doomsters, about The keys to understanding climate change, and especially these…

  1. About RCP8.5: Is our certain fate a coal-burning climate apocalypse? No!
  2. How climate scientists can re-start the public policy debate about climate change – test the models!
  3. Follow-up: more about why scientists should test the models.
  4. Let’s prepare for past climate instead of bickering about predictions of climate change – Doing something is better than nothing.
  5. Focusing on worst case climate futures doesn’t work. It shouldn’t work.
  6. Updating the RCPs: The IPCC gives us good news about climate change, but we don’t listen.
  7. The Extinction Rebellion’s hysteria vs. climate science.
  8. Daily stories of climate death build a Green New Deal!
  9. Why we do nothing to prepare for climate change.
  10. Listening to climate doomsters makes our situation worse.
To help us better understand today’s weather

To learn more about the state of climate change see The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters & Climate Change by Roger Pielke Jr., prof at the U of CO – Boulder Center for Science and Policy Research (2018).

The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change

Available at Amazon.

240 thoughts on “Debunking 3 doomster stories about energy & climate

  1. “EVs will not drop in price as drastically as did microwave ovens. But they could eventually become as cheap to buy as gas/diesel cars, and perhaps cheaper over their full operating lifetime.”

    Still wouldn’t buy one, though I’d love to have one, because even at the same price current EV technology doesn’t provide the same utility that ICE vehicles provide.

    • icisil,

      “current EV technology doesn’t provide the same utility that ICE vehicles provide.”

      Who claims that it does? This post says that for many applications, both household and commerical use, EVs might become cheaper than ICEs if they can be manufactured at roughly equivalent prices (on a whole live basis, capital and operating costs).

      Too often in arguments about energy and transportation, the rebuttal is “it doesn’t do everything.” Nothing does everything. Today we have multiple energy sources, and will in the foreseeable futures. Ditto in transporation – ICEs, electic trollies and subways, and perhaps EVs added to the mix. Specialization is one way that systems become more efficient.

      • Larry,
        Keep on dreaming.
        EV ain’t your microwave; microwave doesn’t incorporate any mass production limiting elements such as Lithium or Rare Earth Elements (for the magnets). Unless there’s a more viable way to store energy (e.g. Aluminum batteries) and to convert it to motion (w/o fancy magnets), there’s no real future for the mass use of EVs in general.
        While Trolley-Bus was very promising a Trolley-Truck is not. Speedy railway (electrified) is the answer for long haul transportation — however, that was abandoned a long time ago in North America… We’ll have to stick with diesel trucks for now…

      • I’m calling “bull” once again on your belief that EVs reduce carbon emissions. You neglect many things in your “analysis”.

        However, your most egregious omission is the fact that EVs ADD DEMAND to the electric grid, a grid which is in the vast majority of places still dependent upon coal and other fossil fuels.

        As long as coal (the worst polluter by far) is still being burned to generate electricity, then adding EV demand to the grid means that EVs are COAL BURNING CARS.

        Get your 100% “clean” energy FIRST., or at the very LEAST, stop burning coal. THEN I will consider your other arguments.

        And I will require that you compare your beloved EVs with diesels and hybrid vehicles, not gas guzzlers.

        • If we have a large percentage of power generation from hydro and/or nuclear, or even nat gas, and this is replacing diesel or gasoline, CO2 production (Carbon is not emitted. CO2 is produced.) will decline.
          How could it not?

          • Because economic growth overwhelms it. A smaller percent of a much larger pie can still be larger in absolute terms. The author unfortunately did not debunk the low emissions myth. What is to be included in emissions. Only human caused emissions? Directly caused only? Only from indistrial/transport sources? Total emissions is the concern isn’t it? Not some arguement about % of GDP. That is different. Then what exactly is low?

          • Personally I was talking about an apples to apples comparison.
            If a person switches from a gasoline powered car to a nuclear supplied EV, CO2 production, for the activity of driving, for that individual, will decline.
            Also true in the aggregate for large numbers of such people.
            Obviously if there are ten times more people and the switch is to EVs powered by gas turbine power, CO2 production will increase overall.
            Here was the assertion I was responding too, which says something very simple and with no qualifications…just a blanket statement:
            “I’m calling “bull” once again on your belief that EVs reduce carbon emissions.”
            If the source of electricity is hydro or nuclear, then CO2 production will decline when a switch from gas or diesel to EV is made.
            The premise of the article is people saying things that are not true.
            Adding in a bunch of stuff that was not part of the original assertion or the response is just sophistry.
            Or something.
            Why bother even talking.

        • However, your most egregious omission is the fact that EVs ADD DEMAND to the electric grid, a grid which is in the vast majority of places still dependent upon coal and other fossil fuels.

          That’s a feature, not a bug. Twenty years from now, when EVs are the majority of new light duty vehicles built, photovoltaics and wind power will also be far more prevalent in the U.S. Therefore, it’s actually *good* to have something that can either add demand to the grid, or to put back energy into the grid when photovoltaic and wind power are low relative to demand.

          As long as coal (the worst polluter by far) is still being burned to generate electricity, then adding EV demand to the grid means that EVs are COAL BURNING CARS.

          Coal is dying in the U.S. Coal demand in the U.S. in 2020 will be down by approximately 45% from the demand in 2007 (essentially the peak demand in the U.S.). By 2050, it will likely be down by more than 80% in the U.S. from the 2007 usage.

          And I will require that you compare your beloved EVs with diesels and hybrid vehicles, not gas guzzlers.

          Neither diesels nor hybrids will ever crack even 10% of the miles traveled by light duty vehicles in the U.S. In fact, even combined they may never crack 10% of the miles traveled by light duty vehicles.

        • When he says, “Electricity is a far cheaper source of energy than gasoline.” that’s an argument stopper for me. As you correctly point out, electricity needs to be generated. Electricity is NOT AN ENERGY SOURCE. Not understanding the difference between an energy source and a mode of distributing energy is mind-boggling in this day and age.

    • He’s comparing the cost of a the first microwave ovens, which were high end, high power, practically hand built, units designed for commercial applications and comparing them to the lowest of low end, low powered, mass produced ovens.

      Then he says that of course EVs won’t come down in price by as much.

      • Mark,

        Let’s replay what I said:

        “Raytheon sold the first commercial microwave oven in 1947; it cost $28 thousand in 2019 dollars. In 1967 Litton sold the first countertop microwave oven; it cost $3800 in 2019 dollars. (See this history.) Now they are $50+ and everybody has them.”

        That was the evolution of that product. A very high-end expensive product sold in small volumes, a high-end mass-produced product, and eventually a product with high market share. The evolution of electric cars so far followed the first two steps of this path (ie, now on step two as more manufacturers roll out EVs). Time will tell if EVs gain large market share.

        The analogy is about market share. It isn’t exact, since EV prices won’t drop that much.

        I don’t see the nature of your objection.

        • Your argument has a flaw and a twist but does highlight what may happen.

          The microwave actually struggled to find there place they first tried to replace the normal stove which they never could and in the end it became just an accessory you have in a kitchen akin to a blender or a mixer. What the microwave was able to do was get cost down to such a point it could become and accessory.

          So the EV may face the same problem because currently it can not directly replace the fossil fuel driven car because it lacks features. So the EV has to be able to directly replace the item or like the microwave become an accessory. To be a direct replacement it must offer the exact same features as the original because it has to capture the market. The alternative is to become an accessory and the trouble it faces becoming an accessory (2nd car) is that there are licensing and registration costs that are imposed on any vehicle using the road. So much of the cost point is not a manufacture issue it is a regulatory issue.

          So I suspect much of the future of EV will really be about regulatory changes and the problem you have with that is voters have a voice in that space and can exert pressure on politicians. I see politicians willing to project policy of what will happen in 2030 but as the date gets closer and if the EV haven’t closed the gap there will be blow back.

          • Not necessarily. Many flats (apartments, if you’re a Yank) in the UK, are no longer built fitted with conventional ovens. Why? Because the ready meal has become the standard for many people. Out of the freezer, into the microwave.
            The “Sunday Roast” isn’t a feature in many people’s lives these days.
            For a urban inhabitant, who commutes to work, an EV is a practical proposition. Few people in the UK, travel routinely, a distance that exceeds a family-type EV’s range. EV prices will drop further, for starters, China’s churning them out at a rate of knots.
            Their servicing costs are low, their fuelling costs are low, they have far fewer moving parts so other than what the batteries cost, they’re cheaper to make.
            In some areas, long distance haulage, maybe excavations (Having said that, when I was a child, there was a sand quarry behind my house & one of the excavators that worked the cliff face, was electric powered, quiet & with a thick cable running from it to the quarry buildings), they’re not a practical proposition, at least currently.

          • in the end who really cares, as long as EVs play in the open market and aren’t shoved down our throats by government mandate, microwaves werent and we all use them, if EVs can then we all may use them, if they cant than we won’t no big deal. But the point is no one forced people to use microwaves and they proved their utility so they are here to stay, for every microwave story the are hundreds of things that bomb and are on the trash heap of history.

          • In some places they make sense for some people, disregarding the price.
            I am sure Ms. Kummer is not the only person in the world who has never driven 200 miles in a day.
            But just as surely, there are places where they will not be practical or even usable for the same purpose and range of utility as liquid fueled vehicles.
            There are lots of places in the US where you have to go over 200 miles to shop.

            But there are other things to keep in mind: How many times in the past few years have snow storms stranded people in cars?
            Sometimes a whole highway full, other times an individual.
            And these people stayed alive only because or until their gas lasted?
            EVs do not do so well for keeping even a moving vehicle heated, let alone a stuck one.
            In a situation where dead battery = You’re dead…this is distinctly unappealing.
            Another common situation where even gas and diesel vehicles and the people relying on them run up against limits with life or death consequences, is evacuations.
            What is the plant for evacuating people quickly from South Florida, coastal Texas, or much of anywhere, ahead of a deadly and rapidly approaching hurricane?
            There have been tragedies and some near calamities due to people running out of gas in such situations…entire populations, highwaysfull of people.
            First time a cat 5 catches up with a few tens or hundreds of thousands of people stuck with a dead battery…

          • Seeking Alpha / Tesla-page commenter Bull-Rider posted this a day ago:

            I’m predicting the introduction of a new term within the next few years – “mega jam”.
            On a holiday weekend when there is a traffic snarl on big city highways, owners of electric cars will run the air conditioning to keep cool right up until the car hasn’t enough power to move off the roadway. The more of these cars die where they sit (and are difficult or worse to push off the road) the more will run out of electricity as the owners try to keep cool and pretend that it’ll be OK. Before very long there will be a massive gridlock, and how do the flatbed trucks required to removed these dead BEV’s even get to them through the mess?

            The pollution caused by this nightmare will dwarf any ‘savings’ by BEVs.

            Thousands and thousands of vehicles jammed in place by a number of BEV’s that died in the traffic lanes. And that doesn’t take into account the possibility of hackers just shutting off a bunch of those vehicles, another route to the mega jam. The more of these cars are on the roads, the sooner it will happen.
            You read it here first.

          • Most people buy cars with the idea that it will be able to handle all of their potential needs, not just the day to day stuff.

        • May I suggest you are cherry picking a useful example.

          Microwave ovens are in reality pretty simple. You have a metal box. A door. Some controls. A turntable (maybe). The bits that emit the actual waves. As systems go your washing machine is more complex. Sure the microwaves sound very impressive but in practical terms they are just another electrical component and mass production of electrical components makes them almost give away. In fact I would almost be confident that the actual sheet metalwork required to make the outer shell is more expensive from a materials and manufacturing process compared to the emitter.

          Microwaves are cheap because they are no longer cutting edge.

          However if we want to compare something electrical that IS still cutting edge, maybe we should look at the evolution of the mobile phone. These puppies have been a constantly evolving product for over 20 years, so we now in a position to compare the mid 90s prices with current.

          So what does this tell us? That while you can buy a basic ‘dumb’ phone for a basic ‘dumb’ phone price, the build quality is what you would expect and the functions are by today’s standards nearly non existent. If you want a cutting edge phone you are still paying the high end prices.

          This is the difference. Microwave ovens are established tech that hasn’t really evolved. There will be no excitement when Mr Microwave Maker releases the new 2020 model. No one is going to walk into your kitchen and sneer in snobbery at your 2016 model oven. They are a metal box that heats food. Hence if you want to force people to keep buying them you need to make them cheap.

          An cutting edge piece of tech – say a phone or an EV – are involving. People don’t want to buy a 2015 if they can get a brand new 2020. Not only do they date from a tech point of view, cars date through physical use. You, as a manufacturer of these cool new toys, are constantly being forced to produce bigger/better/newer and since you are making new items you are also being forced to constantly evolve your method of production. Production wont come down significantly in the same way other evolutionary stable tech can come down because you cannot reuse previously established (and paid for) manufacturing process and manufacturing hardware.

          Market share will have little to do with it. The pragmatic realities of manufacturing will always exist and always have a greater role in driving the price.

          • I rather like cutting-edge technology. But for economy’s sake, I buy last year’s cutting-edge technology. As long as I get constant improvement, I’m happy. (My current smartphone, an LGL52VL, cost me about $20. It does everything I want. If I wanted to do it faster, I might have to pay more.) Likewise automobiles – I drive a 1991 Lexus I was fortunate to find in excellent condition. It cost me $6000. If I live long enough, I might consider buying an electric car, but it will have to live long enough to meet me there.

            Don’t let the perfect be an enemy of the good.

          • Well, to be fair, phones today are not just phones.
            They are HD video and still cameras, hi res TV sets, internet access devices, GPS locators and navigators, you can use one as a decibel meter, light meter, step counter, flashlight, post office, credit card wallet, set of keys, whole home controller, alarm clock, stop watch, personal reminder dealio, secretary, sky map, road map, baby monitor…more functions and applications than can be enumerated, and in one handy package which makes it far more useful than any single one of, or all of the above.
            Plus I think you can still make a call with one…w/ free long distance and no more per minute charges.
            They have become far smaller with better connectivity with far longer battery life than any phone available in the 1990s.

            As for microwave ovens…pizza shops and some other stores now use a high tech and high priced version that is a combo microwave and convection oven.
            That might be worth having, if they can get the price down.

          • Pretty much my point Nicholas.

            Phones today are not just phones.

            Microwave ovens today are still just microwave ovens.

            Stable tech like microwaves can benefit from long term economy of scale because no one really cares if their 2020 microwave is functionally the same as their 2001 microwave. There is no real drive for bigger/better/faster.

            With phones there is a market for bigger/better/faster. (There is also a market share to come in again with a basic ‘dumb’ phone at the bottom end of the market, but that only exists because there is also a top end of the market who are willing to buy bigger/better/faster each year).

            So if you are designing new each year because your market demands it then you are also designing/updating your manufacturing processes each year to cope with the new designs. When you have a low tech and stable tech like a microwave (and as mentioned, in manufacturing terms microwaves are VERY basic assemblies. Honestly your washing machine is more complex because that is required to shift water around and hence has more sub systems), you can reuse the same production line for years because the assembly method is basically the same. Hence long term costs come down. If your product is evolving then your production is evolving and reducing production costs through long term economy of scale is simply not at thing.

            (also, side note. My car is 10 years old. I LOVE driving that car and it is only the fact that maintaining it is starting to cost me more than the resale. Cars date slower than phones, but still date and still evolve. Microwaves don’t 😛 )

        • EV’s are already mass produced in an automated assembly line with technology that is 100 years old and there are only incremental improvements available to bring down the costs.
          Sure for some people EV’s just fine … So do sneakers, skateboards and bikes for some.
          Get out of the city more and you’ll realize that EV’s with current battery technology just can’t begin to replace much of the work ICE vehicles do. I’m not talking about running to the corner store for milk.
          Add to that the fact that many EV’s just fall flat in the looks department. What was BMW thinking ?
          And battery replacement and disposal is an expensive mess …
          Nice try though … and the warmists want a zero emission economy not a reduced one …

          • Exactly. Get out of the city. I live in south Central Iowa on a farm. I work in a town 25 miles from home and often go to see my young son in Des Moines after work, then back home. 170mi round trip not including going out to eat and such. And nary a charging station in site. I doubt the electrical service in our farm home could manage EV charging. Our electricity provider is a rural electrical coop that maintains the local distribution system and provides the electricity that it purchases wholesale from the major electric utility in this area. Bottom line, while we have some of the cheaper gas and diesel fuel prices in the nation, my electricity in the country is somewhat expensive.

            We go camping and fishing in remote places and often in other states. Oh, and it gets really cold in the winter too.

            So, unlike a $100 microwave as a supplement to a $1000 range/oven, at best I would need two vehicles of approximately the same cost to take advantage of the “efficiency” that comes with specialization of use.

            No thanks. As a reliability engineer, I could go into total life cycle costs as well. Another time, perhaps.

          • EV’s are already mass produced in an automated assembly line with technology that is 100 years old and there are only incremental improvements available to bring down the costs.

            Exactly. EVs have as much chance of coming down in cost as ICE automobiles/washers/dryers/standard ovens/refrigerators, etc, have in recent yrs. IOW, they’ll just get more expensive.

          • Exactly right. Where are the future costs savings in the production of EV’s to come from? Not from relatively standard car parts or electric motor parts that are already mass produced, not from a better assembly method, will batteries drop that much in price? doubtful, the batteries are mass produced today. So Larry, where are these magical cost savings going to come from?

          • Yeah, but how about them TVs?
            Maybe we need to make them in TV factories…or make them out of big TVs!
            We can just pretend we are driving somewhere.

          • Get out of the city. I live in south Central Iowa on a farm. I work in a town 25 miles from home and often go to see my young son in Des Moines after work, then back home. 170mi round trip not including going out to eat and such.

            People in the U.S. drive an average of approximately 13,500 miles per year. That’s approximately 37 miles per day. A round trip of 170 miles in a single day is very, very unusual. So maybe you should get into the city. 🙂

          • P.S. In my last comments, I didn’t mean to imply that Des Moines wasn’t a fine and proper city.

            I heard they went and built a skyscraper seven stories high. About as high as a buildin’ orta grow! 😉

          • I still like my “pretend to drive everywhere” idea.
            TVs are amazing realistic, and dirt cheap.
            For far less than a car, we can build a box consisting of 4 large screens, one front, one back, one on each side.
            We walk out to the garage, get in and pretend to drive to work, the store, etc.
            Then get out, go back into the house, and work remotely from home office.
            VR goggles iffen you need that.
            Order whatever you need from the store from Amazon or Walmart same day delivery.
            With the money saved you can get a heap of sand dumped in one room of the house, with the walls covered with TVs to make it seem like you are right on the beach!
            Once they perfect the smellovision, there will be little need for actual travel.

            All because they made them huge TVs so darn cheap!

        • Larry, you’re confusing market share with market penetration. The microwave oven is exceptionally convenient and does several small but essential and otherwise time-consuming jobs very well in the context of many people’s lives.

          The EV does nothing that the 100+ year old motor car does not already do, very well and a lot more efficiently than previous versions. Most importantly I can replenish its fuel supply in a couple of minutes and thereafter not concern myself with it again for 1,000 miles or more.

          And there is nothing particularly efficient in using crude oil or gas to generate electricity to feed a grid system with the inevitable transmission loss that will then power a vehicle when that same crude oil could be processed into a primary power source.

          EVs may have a use in the future — at about the same point in time as fusion power. As transport for the masses they are a non-starter but then that’s the environmentalist aim, isn’t it? The masses won’t be expected to have personal transport!

          • The EV does nothing that the 100+ year old motor car does not already do, very well and a lot more efficiently than previous versions.

            Present day gasoline and diesel engines being used for “powering” vehicle transportation …… have a serious problem ….. but one that is not going to be solved by converting to battery powered electric vehicles or gasoline-electric vehicles. To wit:

            Engine efficiency

            Engine efficiency of thermal engines is the relationship between the total energy contained in the fuel, and the amount of energy used to perform useful work.

            Modern gasoline engines have a maximum thermal efficiency of about 25% to 50% when used to power a car. In other words, even when the engine is operating at its point of maximum thermal efficiency, of the total heat energy released by the gasoline consumed, about 50-75% of total power is emitted as heat without being turned into useful work,

            diesel trucks, buses, and newer diesel cars have a peak efficiencies around 45%

            See the problem?

            The energy contained in 50% to 75% of the gasoline and diesel fuel that is sold/used for transportation purposes is emitted as heat without being turned into useful work.

            Me thinks maybe its time to re-think the “Stanley Steamer Concept” for powering electric drive motors and charging batteries.

            A charged battery would get you going ….. and then the fossil fuel powered “steam compressor” would power the electric generator with little to no loss of “heat energy” ….. and fuel efficiency should increase to >95%.

          • “The energy contained in 50% to 75% of the gasoline and diesel fuel that is sold/used for transportation purposes is emitted as heat without being turned into useful work.”

            Except in the winter. EVs must drain the battery to heat the cabin then.

          • “Me thinks maybe its time to re-think the “Stanley Steamer Concept” for powering electric drive motors and charging batteries. A charged battery would get you going ….. and then the fossil fuel powered “steam compressor” would power the electric generator with little to no loss of “heat energy” ”

            Innovative hybrids are coming ttt approach that concept. Among others, the huge Toyota / Mazda plant being built in Alabama will produce hybrid vans (and likely cars) that will use a highly efficient, tiny rotary engine running constantly in its sweet spot (so no emission leaks at the seal) to keep its battery topped up, so it too will be running at its sweet spot (not overcharged or undercharged).

            So-called “serial-hybrids” (like Nissan’s e-energy series) and “mild hybrids” will cut fuel consumption while providing more bang-for-the-buck than pure EVs. The use of supplementary 48-volt electrical systems in these new hybrids will improve their efficiency as well as providing a better consumer experience.

            And these new hybrid cars won’t cause traffic jams if they run out of juice on a hot or cold day, unlike BEVs, because they can be refilled if need be. (And they can’t drain their battery to heat or cool the car.)

          • hybrid vans (and likely cars) that will use a highly efficient, tiny rotary engine running constantly in its sweet spot

            Is not the “tiny rotary engine” oxidizing fossil fuels and thus only having a maximum thermal efficiency of about 25% to 50%?

            Converting petrol energy ….. to electrical energy …. to kinetic energy …. verses ….. converting petrol energy to kinetic energy?

          • Still waiting to hear what car gets 1000 miles on a tank (or more!)?
            It is funny, that such inanity is voiced in criticism, when the article has, as the headline point, that people tend to say crap that aint true.

            If not for all this other stuff I have been responding too for two days now, after reading the article I was just going to say that is skeptics sometimes exaggerate a little, it is nothing compared to what we are up against…people making stuff up left and right, and not small exaggerations, but literally end of the world biblical proportion big fat whoppers of lies.
            Erasing whole data sets and penciling in a string of made up crap, and passing it off as science!
            And trying to force our entire society to adopt nonsensical expensive crap, scaring our children to the point of suicide and addiction and mental illness, filling textbooks with nonsense and avoiding entire topics of basic knowledge in the education of said children, and now trying to use this entire edifice of lies to shove socialism down our throats, and make actual dumbasses like AOC our elected brain trust and the guiding light and thought leader of our construction, energy production, transportation, and food production industries!
            But that was just me.

        • Time will tell if EVs gain large market share.

          I believe a well-executed “study” of people’s driving habits could determine what the EVs future market share will be.

          People that don’t drive much ….. still want to “get going” when they decide to “go”. And people that “get going” often, several times per day, also want to ………

        • The problem with your analogy Larry is lithium battery technology is already well developed and mature and enjoys economies of scale but like wind and solar that particular electrochemical energy storage faces upper bounds and diminishing returns to even get there as Mark Mills so succinctly points out-

          Really you only have to look at the pitiful history of mankind’s ability to store energy other than in the form of calories or pumping water uphill to work it out. When we discovered how to use Nature’s plentiful battery all that changed and mankind was freed from their short brutal existence but you never want to lose a sense of history and get amnesia about that.

          • Mark Mills has a new piece out with some interesting points:

            33. No digital-like 10x gains exist for batteries: maximum theoretical energy in a pound of oil is 1,500% greater than max theoretical energy in the best pound of battery chemicals.

            34. About 60 pounds of batteries are needed to store the energy equivalent of one pound of hydrocarbons.

            35. At least 100 pounds of materials are mined, moved and processed for every pound of battery fabricated.

            36. Storing the energy equivalent of one barrel of oil, which weighs 300 pounds, requires 20,000 pounds of Tesla batteries ($200,000 worth).

            37. Carrying the energy equivalent of the aviation fuel used by an aircraft flying to Asia would require $60 million worth of Tesla-type batteries weighing five times more than that aircraft.

            38. It takes the energy-equivalent of 100 barrels of oil to fabricate a quantity of batteries that can store the energy equivalent of a single barrel of oil.

            39. A battery-centric grid and car world means mining gigatons more of the earth to access lithium, copper, nickel, graphite, rare earths, cobalt, etc.—and using millions of tons of oil and coal both in mining and to fabricate metals and concrete.

            40. China dominates global battery production with its grid 70% coal-fueled: EVs using Chinese batteries will create more carbon-dioxide than saved by replacing oil-burning engines.

        • Once again, you miss the point.
          The point being that you take a high end product that is just being introduced and compare it to a low end product in a mature market.
          Then you want to compare that to a product that is already low end and mature and want to imply that there will be a similar big drop in price.
          Nonsense and a total lie.

      • This article is nonsense, end to end EVs are less than 14% efficient while turbo diesel tech is around 40%, given the low thermal efficiency of EVs and that the fuel is pure carbon vs Hydrocarbon emissions of C02 (assuming they actually mattered) are 4 times higher. You are also not lugging around a metric Tonne of batteries for no purpose. In an ICE vehicle the energy to haul the fuel mass is mostly variable (a few kg for the tank and the mass of fuel) with stored energy while in the less efficient EV the storage mass is a large constant load. In Australia today, EV running costs are twice that of Turbo Diesel.

        As it is right now EVs to ICE comparisons are apples to oranges. If the same energy saving techniques were used in turbo diesel cars (for example, lighter materials, lower friction designs/tyres, variable volume engines, downhill grade engine shutdowns, braking energy recovery etc as are necessary to make EVs even practical the gap would be even wider in favour of internal combustion engines moreover in ICE s you get free heat, and therefore potentially cooling. Waste heat from ICE can be used for air-con and even cooking your breakfast. With sone molten salt storage you could even recover enough heat from your daily commute to keep the house toasty! 80% energy recovery is probably practical.

        Under 3l per 100 km is easily achievable.

        So sorry to rain on your parade but EVs will probably never be a beat , the physics just make it impossible. ICE economics and potential technology advantage is just too great

        • The thermodynamic efficiency of an ICE relies keeping the temp of the motor low.
          So the waste heat is all at that low temp.
          I would like to see the plan for making use of waste heat from a car to melt salt.
          And regenerative braking is a big reason why EVs are practical, but the motor is already at each wheel.
          There has to be a place to instantly store the energy recovered is another thing.
          Flywheels and compressed fluids can do this task…but these are bulky and cost effectiveness on a car is, IFAIK, not practical with current prices.
          When gas is much more expensive, it might be practical.

          I am not trying to be negative, just realistic.
          We waste a lot of energy in our daily lives.
          Oven heat from cooking is not used to heat hot water or dry clothes.
          Waste heat from air conditioners is vented outside while we heat water and cook and dry clothes inside with other energy.
          If we built our homes and all devices within it with a coordinated plan to save energy, we could do it by having one large cold reservoir, and one large heat reservoir, and using these to efficiently do everything we need to do.
          Vacuum insulation might help with this.

          • “The thermodynamic efficiency of an ICE relies keeping the temp of the motor low.”

            Huh? I thought the higher the temperature, the greater the efficiency.

            “And regenerative braking is a big reason why EVs are practical, but the motor is already at each wheel.”

            Hybrids’ also employ regenerative braking, undercutting the main advantage of BEVs.

          • Roger, you are correct.
            That is the reason why auto manufacturers started pressurizing the cooling system back in the 70’s. So that they can boost the temperature.

          • Perhaps I did not explain what I meant very well.
            You need a cool sink to have high thermodynamic efficiency.
            The difference in temp between the hot part and the cold part.
            Mark, you made my point…high efficiency requires effective cooling.
            If the engine was not cooled, at some point the engine would provide no power.
            Motor oil lubricates the engine, but also helps move heat from the cylinder walls to the cooling system.
            The fuel in modern engines is made to burn hotter, but the engine must be kept cool.
            It is the heating that causes expansion that pushes the piston.
            If the engine gets hotter (the block not the combustion chamber) less work is done.

          • I wasn’t trying to define practical solutions just that if the waste heat was stored in a phase change material, say a molten salt or paraffin, it could be used for heating later.

          • As you say, the work comes from expansion. The hotter the engine, the more the air can expand, since it isn’t losing heat to the engine block.
            It’s true that you have to remove excess heat, but that’s to keep the engine from melting, it isn’t to improve efficiency.
            The reason why pressurized cooling systems were installed was so that the engines could run 10 to 20 degrees hotter, which improved over all efficiency.

          • Roger, hybrids also have them motors attached to the wheels.
            Maybe not all of them.
            You still need actual friction brakes to, you know, stop.
            Which sometimes has to happen right quick or you die.

            The point, in any case, was a response to the “A car can make molten salt while it is driving down the road and heat your home with waste heat” post.
            Are you guys meaning to criticize me for tending to doubt this is possible or will ever…and I mean ever…happen?

          • Doesn’t matter if it’s molten salt or paraffin, any suitable phase change material will do.

          • A lot of changes have improved efficiency, among them are increasing compression ratios, making the motors overall smaller, improved manufacturing/machining tolerances, increasing rpm’s, electronic control of the fuel air mixture, turbocharging and injecting the fuel, instead of simple ambient pressure passive asperation, variable valve timing and lift, and the use of intercoolers to cool the intake flow prior to injection.
            If the intake air is heated prior to injection into the cylinder, power and efficiency is lost. Turbocharging uses exhaust gasses to heat and compress the air fuel mix. Cooling it prior to injection increases the amount of mix that can be introduced into the cylinder during the the intake stroke.
            The power stroke is after ignition, and prior to ignition are the intake and compression strokes. If the air fuel mix heats up during the intake stroke, there will be less power upon ignition. During the compression stroke, if the cylinder walls are too hot, preignition (also called detonation) may occur, robbing the engine of power and possibly causing damage. This is why heat being removed during the exhaust stroke is very important.
            Simply increasing the temperature of the engine does not make them more efficient, per se.
            Burning the fuel hotter results in more complete combustion, and hence less energy lost to unburnt fuel, and increasing compression makes for a larger increase in volume upon ignition, relative to the initial volume. To increase compression, temperature must be controlled to avoid preignition.
            This means keeping the intake flow cool.
            I am not an automotive engineer, but I think that keeping the air fuel mix cool prior to compression and ignition is a larger factor than heat lost to the cylinder during the power stroke.
            Keeping an engine cool is about more than keeping the metal from melting, it is about thermodynamics, and a whole lot of specifics.
            Modern motors run hotter because they can, because sensors and computers keep track of all sorts of parameters and adjust air fuel ratio, timing, etc, to keep the engine within it’s operating range.
            “The theoretical maximum efficiency of a heat engine equals the difference in temperature between the hot and cold reservoir divided by the absolute temperature of the hot reservoir.”

    • Like a locomotive, an EV only makes sense with an on-board fossil fuel driven source of electricity and powerful electric motors. You still have batteries for efficient operation in stop and go traffic and peak power requirements. The motor/generator can be highly optimized for a single RPM and only needs to supply enough power for sustained highway speeds plus some charging power providing the benefits of rapid refueling, significant range and better gas mileage considering the high peak horsepower. It’s too bad people are obsessing about CO2 which blinds them to better solutions, which can still produce significantly less CO2 per mile. This zero tolerance crap for CO2 emissions is stupidly self destructive, even if CO2 emissions were as much of a problem as the alarmists claim.

      • A reasonably priced vehicle built as you describe is one that I would buy. Multiple modes of operation would be possible and there is no reason it could not be plugged in at home without the need for fast chargers or widespread new infrastructure on our road networks.

        • Except that it’s physically impossible to beat ICE with electric designs. The charging problem is enormous. To get 100kWh plus losses out of the wall over 12 hours requires a 10 kW fast charger, there is just no getting around that – it’s just physics , the idea you can do that through an ordinary 10amp GPO is the stuff of fairy dust. Now let’s project that for the general case of a 2 car family and you have a 4 fold increase in energy use and therefore electricity transmission infrastructure in order to to support the EV devolution.

          Pure EVs are a stupid idea, hybrids are less stupid but probably avoidable with better ICE vehicle design.

          • I can think of two ways?
            Battery switch-out stations.
            IOW, pull one out, pop another in.
            But considering this is the most expensive part of such vehicles, I do not see that happening anytime soon.
            Another is some type of electric roadway.

          • For the next-gen’hybrid’, all of the disadvantages of ICE’s, Ev’s and typical hybrids can be solved with multiple on-board 3-d printed micro-turbine driven high frequency poly-phase power plants enabled one at a time as needed with as many available as required for the weight and performance requirements of the vehicle.

            The overall fuel efficiency will be better than ICE with mechanical drive plus it could probably even run on garbage fuel. When operating at highway speeds, no battery is between the generator and drive motors except to smooth out transients further increasing efficiency. While you could charge the battery from the grid, charging it with fuel may be cheaper, especially at the unsubsidized price of ‘green’ energy which is at least $0.30 per KW-h.

            Not accounting for inefficiencies, 1 KW-h is the same amount of energy as about 1.3 horsepower-hour while a gallon of gas contains about 50 horsepower-hours of energy. At 0.30 per KWh, green electricity costs at least $0.23 per horsepower-hour, while gas at $5 per gallon still only costs about $0.10 per horsepower-hour. A lot can be wasted converting gasoline into electricity and it still comes out ahead. It will even emit less CO2 than an equivalent ICE powered car, not that it really matters …

          • I am not an advocate of EVs.
            Just factual analysis.
            I do not see why switching out a battery is inherently expensive.
            If the cars were built with that in mind, a device could be made than did it quickly and easily.
            But as I said, impractical, and besides, the battery is the costly part of EVs and the part that wears out. Making it still more impractical.
            But not insurmountable, from a technical perspective.
            Trolley systems and trains have electric roadways. In Philly there were (maybe still are) busses that used overhead power lines installed for trolleys, but free from the need for tracks.
            Trackless trolley they were called.
            Again, I did not say practical.
            I said possible.
            How is an electric roadway impossible?
            It was being done 100 years ago, albeit not for private passenger cars.

          • Building cars to enable the batteries to be quickly swapped isn’t hideously expensive, however it definitely adds cost and weight.
            The expensive part is the device to do the swapping.
            Think about it. Pulling a 500+ pound battery pack quickly, storing it somewhere then grabbing a new one in and inserting it into a car, in 5 minutes or less.
            That’s expensive, both to build and maintain.

            Now consider recharging all of those battery packs.

            Most gas stations are 12 pump or larger. Let’s assume that a single pump can handle 6 cars an hour. That’s 72 cars per hour.
            If it takes 10 hours to recharge a battery pack, then worst case you are going to be charging 720 battery packs at the same time.

            You are going to need an entire electrical sub-station to handle that kind of load.
            That’s expensive.

    • No mention of the short lifetime of the EV battery, the fact that there are energy losses with every conversion, the materials used include exotic elements, rare, that are unsustainable, and with a lot of EVs we have to expand our energy grid supply. Oh, and range sucks, so you cannot take long trips unless you are fine with spending lots of time at lots of stops—hot charges are quicker but they eat you battery life. For only around town and not used much, EVs might be fine, but they seriously alter how someone who has to drive even 40-50 miles a day plans their day. One cannot always start the day with a full charge and having enough charge becomes an important planning issue for commuters. Of course, those with god complexes assume that all commuters should use public transportation. Suppose your spouse forgets to plug the car in last evening, what’s you back up plan? Beg your boss not to fire you for incompetency?

    • I concur.
      When any type of car becomes as in expensive as power tools I will have one for each particular need, for the same reason I have several types of power saws. However a car’s costs (acquisition and operational) exceed even most peoples ability to own more than one. Therefore most buyers obtain the type of vehicle that suits their needs best.
      Mostly I commute 50 miles day in freeway traffic and an electric vehicle might suit the need quite well, however on weekends I often travel far more than 200 miles to get to a destination where recharging is nonexistent. To meet my needs with electric vehicles I would need more than one with the other half of my needs actually being doubtfully achieved with today’s technology.

    • Look the Left gave up on the working class as means to get a radical change of society. The left then turned to the Western Culture and the Environment, Nature, Climate etc. etc, ..
      The Working class, The Western Culture, Nature, Climate etc… ARE JUST THE MEANS TO GET A RADICAL CHANGE OF WESTERN SOCIETY!
      They dont care about the Western working class, Culture, Nature, Climate etc. etc.. because these are just the useful MEANS to get ABSOLUTE and TOTAL CONTROL over Western society.
      Its just about bitter resentment from people that dont fit in or fall out?
      The idea is to use these as useful idiots to destroy the Western world from within culturally and economically?

    • Still wouldn’t buy one, though I’d love to have one, because even at the same price current EV technology doesn’t provide the same utility that ICE vehicles provide.

      You won’t buy one. Almost nobody will buy one. What you and almost everyone else will do will be to pay for a ride in an autonomous vehicle owned by a fleet owner. The cost per mile will depend on how flexible you are with parameters such as: 1) flexibility in the time you want to start your journey (the more flexible your start time is, the less it will cost), 2) flexibility in travel time (for a given mileage, willingness to tolerate longer travel times will mean less cost), 3) number of passengers you are willing to travel with (more passengers means less cost per mile), and 4) the level of luxury you want in your vehicle.

      The fleet owners will prefer EVs to gasoline vehicles because, among other things, 1) they will have both lower capital and operating costs than gasoline vehicles, and 2) EVs can provide storage for the electrical grid, and also provide flexible load demand for the grid (so that when photovoltaics and wind supplies are not matched well to electrical grid demand, EVs can either provide stored electrical energy to the grid, or take excess electrical energy from the grid).

      • There’s a reason why people stop using cabs as soon as they can afford their own car.
        That won’t change in the future.

      • “There’s a reason why people stop using cabs as soon as they can afford their own car.”

        The cost per mile is dramatically lower for owning a car versus using cabs for everyone who is traveling more than even 10 miles per day…except maybe in Manhattan, which is such a specialized example it’s not even worth discussing.

        I’m talking about autonomous vehicles, which completely remove the expense and need for seating the driver. It’s a completely different situation. Autonomous vehicles operating in transportation-as-a-service mode will be dramatically less expense per mile traveled than private vehicle ownership, whereas cabs driven by humans are dramatically more expensive per mile traveled than private vehicle ownership.

      • EV’s are never going to be used to provide electricity to the grid. They don’t have enough capacity to be worthwhile. That is just a dumb idea.

        • EV’s are never going to be used to provide electricity to the grid. They don’t have enough capacity to be worthwhile. That is just a dumb idea.

          What is the sales-weighted average capacity of an electric vehicle battery pack in the U.S.?

          How many battery electric vehicles will be on the road in the U.S. in 2040? In 2050?

  2. I would disagree on electric cars, given the current performance of batteries. If one is in a Northern state, and require vehicle heat, or anywhere and need AC, the purported range goes way down, as does the performance of batteries in cold weather. Plus, one needs to count the infrastructure needed for a home charging station. One needs a power upgrade at each residence, and if somehow BEVs became common, the whole area’s distribution network would need an upgrade. That assumes a single family residence with a garage, and how one would manage recharge stations in an apartment building is something of a horror show plotline.
    And if one lives in an area where one might have to do an emergency evacuation, just take your gas or diesel car, and leave the virtue signaller at home.

    • Tom,

      Perhaps you are right. But a great many smart people are working to prove you wrong. Big corps are investing vast sums to prove you wrong.

      In all tech matters, belief that change is impossible is commonly and confidently asserted. No matter how many times engineers and scientists prove them wrong.

      Already hybrid and EVs are gaining market share far faster than estimates made 15 – 20 years ago. From memory, the 2009 National Academy of Sciences report on plug in vehicles forecast that commercialization of electric vehicles (not hybrids) was 20 years off.

      “if one lives in an area where one might have to do an emergency evacuation, just take your gas or diesel car, ”

      What percent of Americans in the past 50 years have had to evaculate more than 300 miles? Lots of zeros to the right of that decimal point. Focus on having smoke detectors, watch your weight, don’t smoke – you’ll be far better off than worrying about the range of the car in the garage.

      • There are engineering limits to batteries making any rechargeable battery much less energy dense than hydrocarbon fuel, so there is very nearly no way one could build an aircraft using batteries that matches the performance of a DC-3, so there are rather strict limits.
        People have been playing with various battery technologies in transport for over 120 years, and the most common conclusion has been to abandon the effort as not practical.

      • Bought a new 2008 Prius in Massachusetts in 2008. Usually got around 50 mpg during the mild months. But the cold months of January and February, it bascially became a total ICE-powered car, milege was around 33-35 mpg. There was no way even keeping the inside heater off to change that. The battery just was too cold to deliver amps the motors needed I suppose, so the computer kept the engine running. I got it in the winter, so wifey could drive the AWD Subaru with heated seats. My 20 minute commute then the car never got warm on the inside until the last 5 minutes. The first 15 minutes was just freezing inside the car on those cold winter days.
        In the summer months using the a/c pushed mileage down to the mid-low 40’s mpg range.

        But the cold was killer. I suspect lots of people in New England who have bought Tesla’s now understand that very well.

        • Joel. Many decades ago, I worked for a company based on the West Coast. But we had a small office in Boston. One of the handful of local employees in Boston often picked up visitors from Santa Monica at Logan Airport and drove them out to Lexington — about 20mi(30km). Problem is that he originally bought his car in Hawaii. It had no heater. So to keep the windows from fogging up, he drove with the windows open on cold days (about half the year actually). Visitors with, at best, light California jackets, tended to arrive in Lexington exhibiting various shades of blue skin coloring.

          BTW, I’ve never seen a Tesla in Northern Vermont. There are some Priuses and other hybrids. And one or two Nissan Leafs. But as you suggest, EVs aren’t all that popular up here.

          • AFAIK, It has been illegal for many decades to sell/manufacture a car in the US without a cabin heating system and a windshield (front and back) defrosting system.

        • Joel,

          I had a Corrola for long distance commuting and got 45 MPG in warm weather and down around 38 MPG in cold weather (mostly NE USA travel)…at half the cost of a Prius. Ran it for 300,000 miles on the same (Starter) battery.

      • Larry,

        “Big corps are investing vast sums to prove you wrong.”

        That’s virtue-signaling and being politically correct, but it will be a passing phase when they start having to replace the batteries and have to buy a fleet of tow trucks and chargers to retrieve the cars that cannot make it back to base. A police force in Calif. bought a fleet and no one will use them.

        • Company’s responding to government mandates is hardly evidence that EV’s are about to take over the market.

      • I don’t think big companies are trying to solve the problem they are trying to workout how to make a buck in the industry which may or may not involve solving the problem.

      • “combustion-powered motors max out at 40% efficiency while electric motors can run at 90%”

        So what, Larry! The real issue is the costs throughout the system, not in one aspect taken in isolation. The 90% conversion efficiency needs to be adjusted down by the conversion inefficiencies in producing and distributing the electricity to charge the EVs.

        • Yes, that was one of the sentences that convinced me he has lost the plot. I used to have a lot of respect for him.

        • I agree. The 90% conversion efficiency masks important information. However, in some cases they can be charged with home solar. Which would be in the middle of the day. But we are kind of stretching to make an argument like that.

          • Hard to sell a car that can only be used at night. It has to sit at home during the day in order to charge.

          • “Sorry boss, I will not be in to work until the Sun is out the previous day.”
            Yeah, that’ll fly.

      • In one example I know of (the mass evacuation of Fort McMurray, Alberta) many people did not have sufficient fuel to get safely away and depended on good Samaritans along the highway or gasoline from their lawnmowers etc.. Note that every picture of disasters forcing evacuations there are many cars left behind and destroyed.

      • Larry, not many Americans have to evacuate more than 300 miles, unless you are in Florida… The Keys and Miami areas can easily need to go more than 700. Add in the fact that most evacuations occur during blistering hot weather and massive traffic jams, then endurance with the AC engaged is a very real limitation.

        As opposed to more government regulation as I generally am, I could be convinced that no EV could be sold as a solitary or primary vehicle for a family.

        • Sorry, I forgot to remind you that if Miami and the Keys have to evacuate, then it is very likely that Orlando and Tampa will have to as well, so about 1/2 or more of the state’s population should be on the move.

          • One thing that happens in evacuations is that hotels and motels away from the evacuation zone immediately fill up, all reservations taken, and the people evacuating have to go far further than is strictly required to get out of immediate danger.
            Coastal areas must evacuate inland, as moving laterally is inadvisable due to uncertainties in the pathway of the storm, and by the time it is bearing down, travel restrictions are in place, fuel is unavailable, and most, and often all, businesses are shuttered and closed as well.
            So everyone is going the same place, and fuel supplies are exhausted. And bringing in supplies deliveries with the storm bearing down, roads clogged, and people wanting to, you know, avoid dying or getting stuck in an awful predicament, is at best problematic and more typically simply not happening.
            So, it is one thing when people can gas up quickly and efficiently at any one of numerous gas stations with multiple pumps in operation.
            Until there is something like that for EVs (oh and then there is that whole ‘power is out because…oh crap, hurricane!’… thing going on), then these vehicles will have to be considered worse than useless in such situations.
            Bad enough too, when for people who do not evacuate power is out and fuel is scarce, but this is a priority and gas typically becomes available pretty soon.
            But if your vehicle is electric, and power is out in a wide area, and is being restored but this takes many days to weeks and sometimes over a month to complete, you are not just in a disaster area but stranded in a disaster area.
            This is clearly unacceptable for a lot of people.
            Of course, a generator could charge an EV.
            That is a nice picture…waiting in line for gas to go home and gas up your generator to charge up your EV (which means you are not using it for, oh, IDK, your refrigerator or air conditioner or lights or a fan…) so you can…be able to drive somewhere. As long as it is not too far away, and they have power there and not a thousand people waiting in line for the charging station…
            I do not like this picture.
            As bad as hurricanes are, one source of solace (and there are few) as it approaches is knowing your car is gassed up in the garage and you have a bunch of gas cans full of gas.
            No…I do not think many people who have thought on it long and hard will like this idea, and even less will have NOT thought of it as time passes and we have stories of actual people being actually screwed by this very circumstance they never thought of, when they virtue signaled the world by buying a more expensive and less useful alternative to the excellent mode of transport people have cleverly invented for ourselves.
            Having tax dollars subsidize this folly is even less appealing an idea to me…but I am not a big gubmint nanny state loving cannot wait for some hypocrite with zillions of dollars to tell me what to do kind of person.

      • Lot of zeros to the right of the percentage of Americans who have ever had to evacuate in the past 50 years?
        Where do you live?
        And not having had to evacuate is different than not being ABLE to evacuate.
        Who has evacuated since 1969?
        Pretty much everyone in Florida, multiple times.
        Same for residents of all the Gulf Coast states within 100 miles of the coast.
        Large swathes of the East coast. How many ordered evacuated in Sandy, and did not, and some died or were in a Hellish circumstance as a result.
        The point is, if a significant % of people in any such evacuation zone have EV…they are really screwed…like possibly dead screwed.
        And how are all those people charging their vehicle camped out in motels and wherever?
        At some point I think this growing adoption will slow drastically…but maybe not for a while.
        Lots of people live where evacuations are unheard of. But then there is the snowstorm from hell.
        Such events are random.
        No one plans on them…that is why everyone gets stuck.
        In the early part of the 20th century, a sudden snow storm hit the south, dropping temps sharply and dropping huge amounts of snow in a short time.
        Thousands and thousands of people out driving in shirtsleeves were stranded, and many froze to death.
        Shortly thereafter, congress mandated every new car have a heater in it or it was illegal to be sold.

        • I watched hurricane Harvey closely, even though I live just west of Austin, which is well inland. Harvey traveled as far north as where I live, but off to the east of Austin.
          Being able to boogie if needed is a requirement.

  3. “We are making progress and will continue to do so. ”

    Not exactly how I would describe the last 30 years of “climate” “progress”

    • Jonathan,

      “Not exactly how I would describe the last 30 years of “climate” “progress””

      You are entitled to your own metrics. But this is a sketch debunking the climate hysteria – so it uses the same measures the doomsters use. CO2, decarbonization, etc.

      • “Depending on as yet unknown factors, we may or may not face extreme climate change in the mid- to late 21st C.”

        How do you debunk “as yet unknown factors”? That’s not debunking Larry, its disinforming.
        If we do “face extreme climate change” how do you propose to debunk that? Is that when the narrative becomes: well now its too late, so wtf, business as usual?

        • Well, all the “factors” we have at the moment tell us that “extreme climate change” is a crock of s**t. The models are rubbish and can’t even predict the past. Weather is doing nothing it hasn’t done many times in the past. Extreme events are rarer than they used to be. Temperatures are a degree or so above 100 years ago mainly due to higher minima and mainly in winter which suggests UHI effect (plus increased urbanisation — remember the meteorological stations barely cover a third of the land surface and tend to be relatively close to civilisation.

          Not forgetting that the Little Ice Age was the coldest period since the last Ice Age, that the current warm period, now ending, was no warmer than the MWP and certainly cooler on all the evidence than any that preceded that right back to the Holocene Optimum. And then there is the impossibility of “runaway global warming” anyway and it doesn’t need a scientist to explain why because if, IF, CO2 were the climate control knob then previous high CO2 levels combined with previous higher temperatures would have already sparked a runaway climate many thousands of years ago.

          Unless you know different of course!

          • Every hackneyed talking point rolled into two lean paragraphs, nicely done.
            You seem to ‘know’ all about this; when was the last time atmospheric CO2 levels rose this quickly?

          • Loydo, to suggest the current rate of rising CO2 is quicker than previous rates of increase is to compare the instrumental record with the proxy reconstructions.

            Although an interesting comparison, the mush of the ice core proxy data simply lacks the resolution required for a valid comparison with the instrumental record.

            The uncertainty remains.

          • Apart from which it is irrelevant. It is evidence that CO2 concentration is being driven by human activity. There is an assignable cause for increased CO2, the burning of fossil fuel. Those who argue against that are being a bit obtuse.

            That is only vaguely relevant if ECS is at least four times the best recent evidence. The effect of the rapid rise in CO2 is beneficial, almost wholly beneficial.

            When was the last time that poverty rates worldwide dropped so rapidly Loydo? It’s unprecedented but that does not make it bad.

          • Loydo, read David’s essay on exactly this point.
            We have no idea how fast CO2 may or may not have risen in the past because the proxy record is not capable of measuring fast changes.

            Looks like you will have to find another lie to base your posts on.

        • No, Loydo – passing off 97% consensus as an endorsement of ‘extreme climate change is ‘disinforming’.

          Although, if your generation stands to inherit the Earth – frankly, I’m fine with the world ending.

  4. Build me an electric car with a 350 mile range on one charge, and that I can recharge in 10 minutes, just like I can do with my gasoline fueled truck, and I might be interested in your electric car, as long as it costs the same as a gas or diesel truck. And don’t give any of that LA/NYC nonsense about “nobody drives more than 30 miles a day” or whatever. I’m in Texas, and I need to be able to drive to Phoenix, or to Florida, when I need to.

    there hasn’t been an electric car built yet that can do that.

    • ‘Fuel’ cartridges ( ie easily handled, small,swap out precharged batteries, like bbq propane tanks) will solve that 350 mile range problem. They aren’t owned by you, but you pay for their use and leave them behind at the ‘gas’ station. Now what they refill them with.. that’s another story altogether.

      • The minor little problem with exchangeable batteries is that current design batteries have a limited service life, dependent on how the battery was used rather than age per se. Then one has the major problem of redesigning the vehicle to accept readily removeable batteries, and the issue of handling ton weights of rather fragile batteries.

        • And the materials needed to manufacture batteries can’t be sustainably mined, refined, using just unreliable renewable electricity.

        • The most one can say is that it is possible to design such a system.
          A machine that moves a large heavy thing quickly is built into every garbage truck in the country nowadays, and that is just to make picking up trash and emptying dumpsters easier.
          But EVs are not being built that way.
          And this says nothing about the issue of the battery being the expensive part of these cars…the bulk of the cost I think.
          And it is the part that wears out.
          Propane tanks are a lump of steel.
          EV car batteries are high tech and extremely expensive and wear out…i.e., not a lump of steel.
          But…impractical and never gonna happen anytime soon is not the same thig as impossible.
          Just sayin.
          I believe this was Larry Kummer’s headline point.

          Warmistas are guilty of extreme cases of selective attention, and prone to wild exaggeration.
          This is one of the most galling and tiresome things about trying to have a discussion with them.
          At one level, if one side of a discussion is gonna exaggerate wildly, turnabout is fair play and keeps the playing surface level.
          But on another level, being strictly factual and limiting what one asserts to objective truths has merit.

          • Garbage trucks aren’t precision machines. These battery replacing machines will have to position that heavy battery pack within a few tenths of an inch. They are also going to have to deal with the parking abilities of non-professional drivers, which means they have to locate the battery compartment, align the battery (including dealing with a driver that didn’t park straight) and insert the battery without damaging it or the car.

      • Infrastructure would have to be built to charge and transport these “cartridges” to where consumers need them. That’s not going to be easy and liability costs when a few of these things inevitably burn or explode will make them expensive.

      • While you can say, just swap them out, designing the equipment to swap out battery packs that weigh several hundred pounds in just a couple of minutes, safely and without damaging the car, the battery, or the equipment is a huge and very expensive challenge.

        ‘Fuel’ cartridges solve one problem, but create 2 or 3 much bigger problems.

    • WWS,

      Quite the rant. But not everybody drives long distances. Not every vehicle needs to suit your personal needs.

      “And don’t give any of that LA/NYC nonsense about “nobody drives more than 30 miles a day”

      I suggest you learn about the current generation of electric cars. You appear to be a bit behind the herd.

      • The average American commutes about 27 miles per day. Electric cars are good enough for most urban dwellers, but I’m skeptical that they will be affordable in the near future. Battery life is potentially a major cost that we have not yet experienced. I think auto-drive, ride sharing is going to be the biggest change we see in the next ten years—could also improve fuel efficiency over all.

        It’s refreshing to see WUWT expressing non-alarmist views. Thanks CTM.

        I say the experiment is over. We have dramatically increased CO2 but the world only warmed slightly. There is no credible evidence to suggest that the global warming of the next 100 years will be any greater than the global warming of the past 100 years, and that was so mild that the average human could not have sensed it if it happened all at once. Global greening far outweighs the cost of global warming to the biosphere, which we are (so far) inextricably linked to.

    • I’ve taken numerous trips from Sonoma County to L.A. 436 miles and to my timeshare in Las Vegas 612 miles and to see family in Seattle Wa 738 miles often driving for 7 – 12 – 14 hours straight respectively. Show me an electric car that can do those trips in that time several times per year and not wear out the battery with constant quick charging.

    • WWS – To make your idealized electric car work, you will also need a source of electricity and an adequate power distribution system to feed your charging station as will all who buy such a car. And where is that electricity to come from? Certainly not wind or solar as they are erratic sources, leaving thermal sources. Many thermal generating plants operate at a thermal efficiency of 40%, the same efficiency as Mr. Kummer cites for current car engines. Some are more efficient but not the kind of plants needed to compensate for the erratic nature of wind and solar (so long as wind and solar remain on the grid.)

      So what would be the overall CO2 “efficiency” of an electric ground transportation system be? One can quibble about 40% (or is it 50%) at the hand waving level where we are now. But what is needed to reveal the truth is a careful detailed engineering analysis of such a system. It is not at all clear to me that an effective electric system would decrease CO2 emissions at all. It could even make it worse.

      • Modern gas turbine-combined cycle electric stations achieve efficiencies of 60%. I was involved in the design of one of the first ones, 1981 Gulf States Utilities DOE project.

  5. Well, since some people can’t comment on this “Fabius Maximus” website, here is my rejected reply:

    Very well balanced contribution against the extreme CAGW — no question about that.
    I particularly commend: “Depending on as yet unknown factors, we may or may not face extreme climate change in the mid- to late 21st C.”

    However (you knew it was coming 😉
    I did, some time ago, an evaluation of EV true energy efficiency. However I’d sliced it, EVs are very close to that of ICE, 26% on the motor shaft
    ICE: .75 Ref. & Distrib. * .35 Eng. => 27% same place
    The relative running costs and pollution control are, of course, the EVs’ major advantages; as in noise as well as the exhaust control is much more efficient at the generating station than on the vehicle.
    With the current battery capacity and the initial costs of associated infrastructure, I think the urban transportation will soon become mostly electric (EU cities legislation are already in place), while the longer distances will still (at least in North America) remain mostly ICE powered.

    Well (#2), you can’t please some people some of the time…

    • “Depending on as yet unknown factors, we may or may not face extreme climate change in the mid- to late 21st C.”

      Depending on as yet unknown factors, the sun may go out tomorrow and we’ll all die.

      • Mark W,

        I know many prominent skeptical climate scientists. None agree with your analogy. That is, the odds of extreme climate change might be small (we can’t determine them yet) – but not remotely of the same magnitude as the Sun going nova.

        But you might be right and all of them wrong.

        That’s the kind of exaggeration climate doomsters make. Imitating them doesn’t help.

        • Depending on known factors, we may well face extreme climate change of the cooling kind in the mid to late 21st C.”

        • As usual, Larry works overtime to avoid the point.
          I never said my analogy is accurate, the whole point is that neither is yours.

          Your hiding behind the old “we don’t know everything” dodge is the ultimate in cop outs.

        • His technique appears to be “Reductio ad absurdum”. I doubt that anyone took his comments literally.

        • “That is, the odds of extreme climate change might be small (we can’t determine them yet)”

          But we can and have determined that the earth has never gotten uncontrollably hot, and CO2 has often been far higher. Most of the time it was.
          We have determined that temp has risen far faster than in recent decades, with CO2 lower and barely changing.
          We have determined that in the past, whenever it was warmer, it was better for every life, for people, and for human endeavors.
          Better for everything and everyone, except whatever/whoever depends/depended on having large portions of the planet deadly cold and useless wastelands.
          Cold kills, and warmth is life inducing.
          And CO2 is the raw material of the biosphere, currently in critically short supply.
          One has to deny this, the most basic fact of biology on Earth, to even make a case for the warmista view.

  6. From the article: “A third fun falsehood “James Hansen said wind and solar are ‘fairy tales and Easter bunnies.’”

    This is a popular Right-wing story, a misstatement of what climate scientist Hansen said in a 2011 essay.

    “Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needs in the foreseeable future? It is conceivable in a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”

    Well, it looks to me like the “misstatement” is pretty close to what Hansen said. The only difference is the world “almost”. Btw, I’m a rightwinger and never heard this particular story, so just how popular could it be?

    I wouldn’t describe this as a falsehood. If whoever posted the original had posted Hansen’s direct quote instead, you would have gotten the same meaning out of it, as you would from the “misstatement”.

    I would call this part of the post an unecessary nitpik that was inserted so the article could appear to be bi-partisan in its criticism.

    • Tom,

      No, that’s not what Hansen said. He said that solar and wind would not replace fossil fuels.

      Saying that “solar and wind are fairy tales” – ignoring the rest of what he said – implies that they have no role. That’s obviously false since he mentioned places where they have become the major grid source. So they are feasible.

      That they can be the major source in some areas implies that in many other areas they can make a useful (but smaller) contribution to the mix of sources powering the grid. Experience has show that 5% is easy, perhaps in some very favorable areas up to 20%. That puts them in the same league as hydro, which is a big deal.

      • Let us not fail to take note of the fact that the locations you name as having “renewables” replace FFs, also use a different definition of what a renewable is, and also change what is meant by renewable, sometimes in the same sentence.
        In the example, wind and solar are specified as what is being talked about, but then some examples are given, but these are places that make use of huge resources of hydro power.
        Immense amount of hydro, now a lot of people.
        I think nuclear may count as “renewable in some places” (but less often so).
        Anything that is not a FF, IOW.
        But hydro is specifically not a renewable according to how these are classified in the US and lots of other places, and hydro was not part of the original statement.
        Wind and solar have a EROEI that is barely above break even, and when total life cycle costs are taken into account, including required infrastructure, they are often below break even.
        I will change my mind when someone builds a wind turbine using nothing but wind turbine energy, or builds solar panels in an economy running on solar power alone.
        It is not possible to use wind and solar as the basis of an economy, and certainly not a stable industrial civilization, and most for sure not the one we are used to, with power all the time and only rare brief interruptions.
        People die and the economy grinds to a halt when power goes out even for a matter of days, and even if only very rarely.
        Huge riots have started within minutes of a blackout occurring.
        It is bad enough when power is out because lines are down and transformers damaged, and poles are snapped.
        If the means of power production are also destroyed, like what happens to wind and solar installations in a hurricane, it is not a serious inconvenience, it is an unmitigated disaster…separate from and worse than the storm damage. Even places with generators, like hospitals and such, soon run out of fuel when the roads are out and people are unable to travel freely.

    • Tom Abbot,

      I agree. The quote says pretty much what Hanson said, and what he said is correct. With current technology, solar and wind will never replace fossil fuels, and trying force them on us Californian’s is very expensive. $750 to cool my modest 2,400 ft2 house in July of last year!

  7. ” we may or may not face extreme climate change in the mid- to late 21st C.”

    June 29, 1989
    U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.

    He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control.

    The most conservative scientific estimate that the Earth’s temperature will rise 1 to 7 degrees in the next 30 years, said Brown….

    He said even the most conservative scientists ″already tell us there’s nothing we can do now to stop a … change″ of about 3 degrees.

    • Hey,
      One thing is to cause something (you didn’t create) and completely different thing is to reverse it (regardless who did it) — even if the (for Earth) lint (us) did something stupid, Earth will not need to even shake it of — she will just wait until the dust settle and go on for her next multi-million-year birthday…

  8. Having driven an EV for two years I agree that they are fun to drive. However, they also depend on reliable energy for recharging. I emphasize RELIABLE, even with a turbo charger it takes ~3.5 hrs to recharge. With different, more advanced, batteries in the vehicle, batteries which can deliver energy densities of the same order as ICE propellants, EVs make sense. Without such batteries they are just virtue signaling subsidies for the wealthy.

  9. Having driven an EV for two years I agree that they are fun to drive. However, they also depend on reliable energy for recharging. I emphasize RELIABLE, even with a turbo charger it takes ~3.5 hrs to recharge. With different, more advanced, batteries in the vehicle, batteries which can deliver energy densities of the same order as ICE propellants, EVs make sense. Without such batteries they are just virtue signaling subsidies for the wealthy. Sorry if this is a duplicate post.

    • es briggs,

      Everybody is entitled to their opinion about how a product meets your needs. It is a bit strange to consider your taste to be definitive – the gospel for everybody.

      There are enough EVs out there to show that they work well for many people and businesses. They don’t find the charge time a problem.

      • By the same token the average car owner probably does not care what Larry Kummer thinks they care what does there new car offer that there existing one doesn’t. Probably the market to push EV into is the young first time car buyer because they have nothing to compare with.

  10. Unqualified monotonic change, yes. More like chaos, with a renewable recurrence of diverging special and peculiar interests, left, right, and sometimes center.

  11. “Electricity is a far cheaper source of energy than gasoline. And electric vehicles (EVs) are much more efficient: combustion-powered motors max out at 40% efficiency while electric motors can run at 90%. ”


    A combustion powered car converts chemical energy in the form of gasoline to mechanical energy with some loss of heat into the environment.

    An electric vehicle also begins with chemical energy…one thousand miles away. This chemical energy (coal or natural gas) is converted into mechanical energy (with some loss of heat into the environment) then into electrical energy (again with a loss in the form of heat) then is transmitted on wires (again with a loss of heat) then back into chemical energy in the battery (again with heat loss) and then back into electrical energy (with more losses from heat) and then into mechanical energy (again with losses).

    One stage conversion with a loss of heat is now a five stage conversion with transmission losses.

    There is no way that five stages, with significant losses of energy as heat at each stage, can possibly be as efficient as one stage. The thermodynamic losses in the conversion of chemical to mechanical energy are roughly the same in both the electric car and the electric generator. The additional transmission and storage losses alone make the electric car an energy guzzler.

    So they are far less energy efficient, but are they cheaper?


    Now if you ignore the “down time” while the vehicle is charging at home, the electric car is pretty good for daily commutes and some nearby shopping but if you intend to visit grandma in the next state with two or three kids in tow you’re not going to like the cost or lack of comfort in your Nissan Leaf.

    You will read comparisons of the “average” electric vehicle against the “average” gasoline vehicle. These comparisons are mostly nonsense since they don’t compare vehicles of comparable size. When looking for an electric vehicle, first compare passenger capacity, then initial cost to own, maintenance costs over the lifetime of the vehicle, intended use and finally, the cost of electricity versus that of gasoline.

    If electric vehicles were truly cheaper they wouldn’t need subsidies.

    • Bob,

      “if you intend to visit grandma in the next state with two or three kids in tow you’re not going to like the cost or lack of comfort in your Nissan Leaf.”

      Many people very seldom take long trips in cars. When I lived in NYC and Boston, I didn’t own a car. When I took trips, I rented one. There is no one master solution for everybody. Enough EVs have been sold to show market acceptance.

      “If electric vehicles were truly cheaper they wouldn’t need subsidies.”

      You are confusing capital cost (purchase price) with operating cost. That is discussed in this post.

    • Bob Meyer,
      I made the effort to calculate the relative efficiency of EV vs ICE vehicles:
      EV: .36 Gener. * .9 Transm. * .93 Ch&Disch. .9 Mot. => 26% on the motor shaft
      ICE: .75 Refin. & Distrib. * .35 Eng. => 27% same place
      Where there are advantages of EV — noise and exhaust.
      (exhaust control is much more efficient at the generating station than on the vehicle)
      There’s no easy answer, but for now — EV in metro and ICE on the highway.
      Don’t you agree?

      • You forgot distribution, chemical losses (storage) , and to factor in heating and cooling costs, capacity loss over the battery life and the additional energy cost to haul the batteries.

        Transmission copper loss = -14% (86% efficient) higher for rural , distribution copper loss -20 % (80% efficient) and each transformer (min 3) = 3% loss (91%efficient) . So the network loss factor is around 35% on average. With a generation efficiency average of 36% that gives and overall efficiency scythe battery charger of 23 % using 0.9 for conversion efficiency, .9 for chemical efficiency and power train efficiency of .9 you get 16.7 % with a new battery. Assuming a chemical efficiency loss of 50% over the battery life ( average chemical efficiency of 90+50/2 = 0.7 we get a lifestyle efficiency value of just over 13 % for EVs.

        Now EVs run on carbon while ICE vehicles burn carbon and hydrogen meaning the EV fuel is 60% more carbon intense. So the EVs generate about 4 times the emission kWh for kWh.

    • Ah, the truth is out! Electric vehicles, charged off the grid, are *less* efficient than the fuelled ones! Do hybrids manage to be more efficient, or can completely non-ele tric vehicles beat out the hybrids?

    • I agree with you.

      “Electricity is a far cheaper source of energy than gasoline.”

      Until the government looses tax money because we drive ev’s now. Were I live, fuel is taxed 70%, does the writer of the article really think the government won’t start taxing electricity the same way they tax gas?
      Now thats living on a green dream planet.

  12. In a lie about lies, you sure manage to tell quite a few of your own Larry.

    An oddity of US political debates is that both Left and Right lie like rugs.

    You just can’t admit to any faults from your team without claiming that the other side is just as bad, yet you never manage to actually support that claim.

    Next, a lie of omission rather than a direct one.

    combustion-powered motors max out at 40% efficiency while electric motors can run at 90%.

    First off, 90% only covers from the battery to the motor. It completely ignores getting energy into the battery in the first place.

    Electricity is a far cheaper source of energy than gasoline.

    True, once you factor in both taxes and other costs.

    Next a lie through indirection

    EVs will not drop in price as drastically as did microwave ovens.

    You take the cost of an item from initial introduction as a high end, low volume luxury item, to the price of a mature low end mass production item. Then you try to compare it to a product that is already mature and has been around for well over 100 years. Highly dishonest, but par for the course.

    This is a popular Right-wing story

    Any evidence that it is only right wingers who say this? PS: Any evidence that there is anyone who actually says this. I’ve been heavily involved in this issue for decades, and it’s the first time I’ve ever heard the claim.

    • Mark,

      (1) “First off, 90% only covers from the battery to the motor. It completely ignores getting energy into the battery in the first place.”

      The car owner does not care about the utility cost of producing and distributing electricity – just the price they sell it at.

      The 90% figure was given to explain one of two reasons why EVs had lower operating cost: electricity is usually cheaper than gas/diesel, and the motor operates at higher efficiency.

      (2) “Then you try to compare it to a product that is already mature and has been around for well over 100 years.”

      I compare the 72-year history of the commercial microwave oven with that of EVs – this is a commonplace way of looking at product acceptance curves: a mature product’s history vs. a new product.

      Microwaves ovens were first sold as a very high-end expensive product in small volumes, then a high-end mass-produced product, and eventually a product with high market share. The evolution of electric cars so far has followed the first two steps of this path (ie, now on step two as more manufacturers roll out EVs). Time will tell if EVs gain large market share.

      (3) “Any evidence that there is anyone who actually says this. … it’s the first time I’ve ever heard the claim.”

      There are thousands of entries on Google for combinations of Hanson, fairy/fairies, and Easter Bunny/bunnies”. Not all misrepresent what Hanson said, but lots do.

      • As commented above your microwave oven analogy doesn’t hold up .. the microwave oven is nothing more than an accessory now it doesn’t even compete to be a real oven anymore.

      • No1 response is surely the antithesis of ‘green’ philosophy. We are all supposed to reject the consumer society in support of gaia. Yet you are justifying using a nonsense 90% by ignoring the real upstream losses. The 26% v 27% efficiency numbers are the correct comparators.

        • Larry is here as salesman, hence he will use any argument that supports him. Valid or not.

      • 1) As usual, Larry dodges the point. I wasn’t talking about cost, I was talking about your lies concerning over all efficiency. As per cost, you are comparing EV’s which are heavily subsidized to ICE’s which are heavily taxed.

        2) Microwaves have been cheap for years. EV’s have been around for well over 100 years. Either your idea of what is a “new” technology is badly warped or you just aren’t capable of dealing with reality.

        3) Thousands of entries in Google. If that’s the best you can do, why don’t you just admit that you can’t support the arguments you so desperately want to make.

  13. I would be very surprised if EVs ever became an average person’s primary vehicle. The first emergency, whether it is needing the immediate use of a car that’s lacking a charge, or the distance required to evacuate for a hurricane or other disaster, will result in people returning to ICE powered vehicles. (just a thought, what happens when everyone tries to put a full charge on their vehicles at the same time when a hurricane warning goes into effect? You’ve all seen the long lines of people trying to get gas in such situations, imagine if everyone ‘plugged in’ at the same time.)

    Even without such an emergency, the first time someone is stranded because their car ran out of juice will be sufficient to make the change back to ICE power.

    Finally, I store five gallons of gas for my lawn mower, which I have used to refuel my car during a gas shortage. What do I store to re-charge an EV when there’s a power outage?

    These are not uncommon problems; I have experienced them all. I may one day have an EV for local errands, but never as a primary vehicle.

    • EV’s are, at best, a short-distance commuter car, especially up here in the northern tier of states where it can get damn bloody cold in the winter. And I highly doubt they will get significantly cheaper over time, as the raw materials needed for their construction –especially the batteries– are fairly scarce and getting more expensive to obtain.

  14. I told my brother when he got into solar panels sales, “I’m sure you’ll do well as there’s a solid and growing “green” market for solar for the relative short-term”. That’s all that matters. Voila! For a quick (but temporary) bump in income much like snake oil salesmen and the latest wrinkle removing cream; create a market and milk it for all it’s worth. Now we see climate change has become a trillion dollar industry.

    Long-term viability of renewables is another matter altogether. I’ve learned never to say “never” especially when it comes to technology. Wind and solar will likely settle into their much smaller niches when and if this world becomes sane again.

    But based on what I’ve learned on this and other sites (thank you!), renewables will never be “on demand”, never overcome intermittency, and never be but a fraction of the efficiency of fossil fuels. Not to mention the storage problem, end-of-life salvage or disposal, and the fact that technology is not exclusive to renewables. Fossil fuels will continue to get more competitive as well.

    The problem then with simply viewing wind and solar as just another addition to the energy mix , is the current political environment and the ability to create a market and milk it for all it’s worth. In the age of more information, we’ve seen how we can live together in alternative universes with alternative facts for a very long time.

    Until such time that truth finally catches up to most of us, we have loonies already starting to force renewables down our throats. We don’t yet know the damage that will be done. We have US politicians with zero intellectual curiosity as to how to avoid the problems that Australia and Europe have faced as they proclaim “100% carbon-free by 2040” goals and our energy bills already rising to meet the goal.

    Apparently avoiding problems is not a politicians job anymore because it’s not the point.

  15. I have bought 2 cars in the last 24 years (once I was no longer young and stupid).

    The first was already 10 years old and was previously owned by a little old lady – who had managed a whole 34000 miles in that 10 years.
    It cost me $3500 in 1995 dollars and I kept it for 18 years and before it was sold without any major issues for $700 & 200000 miles on the clock.

    The second was already 13 years old & was previously owned by a little old man – who had managed a more impressive 80000 miles.

    It cost me $2000 & has run issue free since I purchased it.

    I anticipate that I will be keeping this car for another 10 years.

    If these had been EV’s I would have spent between $16000 & $24000 just on replacement batteries.

    Now try and tell me that EV’s are the vehicle of best choice?

  16. It looks to me like hybrids are the way to go, at least in the short-term.

    I’m going to buy the first hybrid I can find that is setup to power my house during a power outage. 🙂

    • That is the way to go. I will do the same. Here in the UK it is estimated 1 imperial gal of petrol (gas) at 40 kWh is sufficient to power the average UK household energy demand, for one week. A hybrid car set up to act as an emergency plug in generator is definitely something we will all need once the Greens have destroyed the stability of our grid by overloading it with wind and solar.
      I estimate that situation being with us in about five years time.

  17. Industrial/grid scale wind and solar have not effective at reducing C02, regardless of the price or subsidies paid. Please read the following report from Ontario Society of Professional Engineers. Please read the article and the comments following.

    Ontario Wasted More Than $1 Billion Worth of Clean Energy in 2016
    STAFF June 29, 2017 Advocacy, Featured 88 Comments

  18. This is based on buying into the CO2 is evil message which has not been proven. Sorry, but I see too many people following the same path because they’ve just given in to the incessant propaganda and hype of AGW. We’ll convert to EVs when practical and economical because they’re a superior mode of transportation in a niche they serve but not before. US CO2 emissions are falling because we are more reliant on natural gas …. not because of renewables. And if you really put a pencil to the facts fossil fuels beat wind and solar energy for practicality, reliability, and economy. Our renewables haven’t kept up with our increase in energy use …. no myth. Are people just giving in to the AGW narrative because of the bombardment of AGW misinformation? I think so.

  19. As far as books go, I would highly recommend Vaclav Smil’s Energy and Civilization – A History.

    After reading that book, anyone who still thinks that humanity can advance onward towards higher living standards and continued technological innovations for all peoples of this planet by using the low energy density wind and solar power scheme is simply to soaked in the climate religion to be reached with reason.

    Nuclear power, as a high energy density power source, is the only logical next step forward. Anything else is backwards, by a lot.

  20. Many of the comments here are similar to those with the introduction of car and airplanes and airplanes and countless other forms of tech. They can’t workthey’ll never catch on, say people with fantastic confidence in their forecasts.

    This is especially odd since there are already enough EVs out there to prove market acceptance.

    Typical of comments here – they focus on the EV section. One of the four sections, 192 words of this thousand-word essay.

    • Larry
      You and I and many on this thread as well as too many politicians and bureaucrats cannot declare a conclusion on the ultimate success of EVs.
      Take the special tax breaks off and let the markets decide.
      At one time in Upper-class Manhattan there were something like 10,000 Baker Electris.
      And the the market decided upon something superior.

      • Not just the tax break, but the many post purchase subsidies, such as being allowed to use High Occupancy Lanes regardless of the number of passengers, or the ability to use toll roads without charge.
        Then there is the biggest subsidy of all, the advantages EV’s are giving in CAFE calculations.

    • I think you misunderstand the issue. The issue is not whether a proof of concept is possible – obviously, the world has come a long way from GM’s EV1. But flying cars has existed for some time and you don’t see them everywhere. And before you claim market acceptance, please remove subsidies that distort this acceptance. The real issue is that the solutions offered does not address conditions of the real world. Please explain how the current EV tech works for people who don’t have an enclosed garage or people who occasionally make 100+ mile trips? When there is a technology that can realistically work for these use cases (and many others), THEN come back advocate for EVs for general use, but to advocate for it before that is just deceitful.

      Of the 4 sections, the EV section is the most off base. The others still have problems, but to a much less objectionable level. In the first falsehood, how one defines “low emissions” would determine whether the statement is false or not. If you apply the “low emission” standard that is applied to automobiles to power plants, you would get a different outcome. Also, energy intensity is NOT a measure of (in)efficiency, but they are loosely related. Let’s make up an example. Let’s say you have 2 solar panels. 1 that has 100% theoretical efficiency that costs $2000 that produces 100W. I have another panel which is 20% efficient that costs $10. Which has the higher energy intensity?

      As for the 3rd one, I never heard of that one either. However, you should point out that anyone who says that wind/solar can supply the majority of the power requirements are even more daffy, plus the environmental damage that even trying is doing already (google “bird streamers” and “windmill bird casualties”).

      As for the forecasts, yes we should be skeptical….. ESPECIALLY of the one that got us into this mess to begin with….

      • Most of the anger regarding EV’s comes from the fact that many of us resent being taxed in order to pay for other people’s virtue signalling.

    • And the same things have been said about flying cars, personal jet back-packs, teleportation, and perpetual motion machines, What has been said about other things doesn’t mean jackall.
      If you can’t refute the objections to 25% of your essay, then you might as well delete that section.

    • Once again, Larry leaps into the fray with a host of invalid arguments.

      1) People said airplanes wouldn’t catch on, yet they did. This therefor proves that EC’s will also catch on.
      2) Nobody is saying that EV’s won’t work, that’s yet another of Larry’s attempts to move the goal posts. What they are doing is pointing out the many problems with EV’s compared to ICE’s. Very big difference, but one that Larry is apparently not capable of dealing with.

      PS: Let’s see how big the EV market share is once government stops subsidizing them. Both before and after sale.

    • Stop the government support at all levels, including mandated purchases by government entities, and most of the hostility to EV’s will go away. I don’t care what my neighbor drives, as long as the government does not force me to help pay for his car. It’s that simple.

    • “This is especially odd since there are already enough EVs out there to prove market acceptance.”

      On the contrary, Tesla’s experience seems to show that early adopters are an unrepresentative, unsustainable niche market.

  21. EVs are certainly not 90% efficient. A natural gas power plant is at best 60% efficient, and then there is perhaps 5% energy loss through power transmission. Another several percent lost in charging the battery, and then several percent more lost in the electric motors.

    Renewable energy? Even the best solar cells are only about 25% efficient, and the very best wind turbines in the best conditions about 40%.

    • Solar panels are NOT 25% efficient because of the nature of the primary energy source , they are 25% efficient 20% of the time so the relationship to peak insolation is around 0.25x .2 (5%) in summer and 0.25x .15 = 3.75% in winter.

  22. So many US states have annual excise taxes on privately owned vehicles, it discourages a person from having 2 vehicles, one ICE and one EV unless they are affluent.

    A $60K EV will cost around $850 in vehicle license tax the first year, decreasing about 5% a year after that in many states. Given that EV are not practical or viable for long drives of over 200 miles (not uncommon out in western US) unless some has a whole day to kil to drive 300 miles, the ICE vehicle will be around a long time.

    If states were actually serious about helping people transition to buying an EV and using it for most of their local commuting needs, then they’d propose getting rid of annual vehicle excise taxes. But they won’t do that, so that gives away their real game.

    For example California:
    California imposes a basic 0.65% annual vehicle license fee on noncommercial vehicles’ fair market value depreciated over 11 years according to a statutory schedule. The state redistributes most of the revenue to cities and towns (Cal. Rev. & Tax Code, §§ 10751 to 10760).

    So a $100K Tesla (sticker price) will cost $650 the first year to license.

    In Arizona, the state levies a motor vehicle license tax and shares the revenue with counties and cities. The tax on most passenger vehicles is 60% of the manufacturer’s base retail price (i.e., the tax base) for the first year after initial registration and is reduced by 16.25% in each succeeding year. The total rate is 2.8%.

    So that $100K Tesla, the first year’s annual license tax in Arizona is $100K x (0.6)x (0.028)= $1,680 !!!! and decreases at 16.25% per year, but the rate also jumps to 2.89% in those subsequent years.

    Arizona’s vehicle tax strongly discourages 2nd cars unless they are old clunkers that have aged out of the high vehicle tax. It was put in-place back during a period when Dumbocrats controlled the legislature and Governor’s office, and now the state’s finances are addicted to the tax revenue.

    • Terrible because second hand electronics is always a dicey matter. Cheap electronics it is designed to be thrown out not repaired just go to a garbage dump and look at the number of microwaves, printers, TV’s etc.

  23. About ev verses ic costs, ever notice those taxes listed on the pump? How and when will those be picked up?

  24. Pretty lame Larry.
    In your opinion these things are true/untrue..
    So some one else is “Lying like a rug”.?
    Of course you are right,just as sure of the future as the fellows who predicted the flying Car and jetpack.
    We already have reliable electric vehicles,Golf Carts.Regulation limits their use,not their practicality.
    There is nothing “revolutionary” about EVs and market forces will rule.
    Cities can mandate EV inside their boundaries, they might be surprised by the results.
    That magic battery has been coming for over 200 years..any day now for sure.
    Carbon intensity? sure it is dropping per litre burnt, but millions more people are about to start enjoying burning those litres.
    End result?
    More emissions.
    As for the Hansen canard?
    Never heard it and hardly significant ,your opinion differs from those you quote, Larry says “They are lying”.
    Hansen has run off at the mouth for decades, sensible people have ignored him ,as the activist he revealed himself to be.
    Where do you dream up this rubbish?
    And how did you become the arbiter of truthiness?
    you are very certain of a future that is yet to unfold.
    A trait you have in common with our comrades from the Cult of Calamitous Climate.

    • Larry seems to me to be an intelligent person who wants to somehow thread the needle between two sides.
      I wonder if the hope is to be seen as a moderate by all, someone who has found a sensible middle ground.
      It seems more like he has decided on a tack which is guaranteed to endear himself to neither side.
      Buying into the climate change malarkey.
      Buying into the warmer world is bad malarkey.
      Picking random facts and trying to use them as indicative of larger truths (Example 1: Wife never drove 200 miles, but I wonder, is that because on longer trips you do the driving? Example 2: Electric motors are more efficient that ICEs, but what amount the efficiency of the power plant, and the transmission, and conversion to stored battery power and then back out again to the electric motor?).
      And ignoring that warmistas are not behaving rationally, not arguing in good faith, not doing proper science, refusing to back ideas that might actually replace FF with abundant, reliable, and inexpensive alternatives, and now transparently trying to piggyback onto the whole CAGW grab bag of wrongness’s a socialist takeover of virtually every aspect of our lives, tack on every SJW wet dream, and roll our industrial society back to the stone age.
      There is no middle ground to walk.
      Warmistas are arguing a bad theory in bad faith.
      Their goals have nothing to do with CO2 or the weather.
      None of the things they predict have come true.
      None of the harms they imagine are realities.
      And their “solutions” are not solving anything.
      They personify the concept of a cure worse than the disease.
      And there aint no disease.
      Meanwhile real and solvable problems go wanting, orphaned by a shocking and widespread case of what can only rightly be called mass hysteria.

      Warmistas reject anyone who attempts a more moderate view of the fears they champion.
      And skeptics have little tolerance for anyone who will not identify, understand, and completely reject warmista shenanigans.

      • He seems to take the position that in order to prove himself a moderate, he has to criticize both sides. Even if he has to invent his criticisms of one side.

        Look at the above article. He starts off with the claim that both left and right lie, but the only “lie” he can come up with from the right, isn’t even an argument that those on the right make. His only defense to the claim that it is a “common” argument is that there are a lot of hits for it in Google.

        With 7 billion people in the world, maybe a third of them self identify as conservative, a few thousand hits from people nobody outside their family and friends have ever heard of, is not “a lot”.

  25. Kilograms per BTU

    Good Lord, what a mishmash of metric/imperial units.

    Why not just stick with metric?

    If we are going to have fun units that require weird conversions to be useful, I vote we go with stones/calorie or drams/horsepower-hour.

    • “Why not just stick with metric?”

      Normally, that’s a fine idea. But Joules are kind of small for most day-to-day engineering calculations. So a lot of folks use BTUs instead for routine calculations. FWIW, a BTU is about 1000 joules (1055 actually).

    • This seems to be an amount of heat generated by burning stuff. It has nothing to do with any efficiency. If it changes at all, it is because coal is being replaced by natural gas and oil.

  26. Once driverless cars are commonplace, we’ll be able to use electric for around town and gas buggies for long distance, and order either by cell phone.

    • I doubt it. People like the convenience of being able to hop into their own car whenever they want, not having to wait 15 to 30 minutes (worse when traffic is heavy) for the cab to arrive. When shopping, they like to be able to leave some of their purchases in the car while they continue to shop.
      Most people shop at several stores. Having to wait 15 to 30 minutes each time they need to change stores will make a one day shopping trip into a multi-day shopping trip.

  27. “Depending on as yet unknown factors, we may or may not face extreme climate change in the mid- to late 21st C.”
    What is extreme climate change?

    Did we have extreme climate change in last 100 years?
    We had the Dust Bowl was that an extreme climate change?

    It seems possible we might get plagues caused by bad public policy.
    Considering incompetence of politicians:
    US is has huge Debt.
    Bad forest management causing massive loss of life and property damage in California
    People defecating on the streets.
    Thugs wearing masks beating up people while police officers do nothing.
    Etc, etc.
    Is possible we get something like dust bowl due incompetent of politicans and unaccountable
    and ignorant bureaucracies, rather due to “climate change”.
    So climate change is a trillion dollar “industry”, the public has been forced to pay trillions dollars
    for this cause.
    And the dollars spent have done nothing in terms having any effect upon “climate change”.
    And I think it’s worsen the environment- the landscapes have cluttered wind mills, and it seems very obvious that only real solution is to use more nuclear power, but climate change policies have been opposed to nuclear power.
    But again the question is what is this extreme climate change, and btw are wind mills and solar farms going to be able to withstand, whatever one is imagining the extreme climate change that is going to be?

  28. All other (multiple and serious) problems with electric vehicles aside, as long as electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels, any question of electric vehicles’ efficiency or “eco-friendliness” is moot.

    When all electricity will be generated by nuclear power, discussion of electric vehicles would make sense. Maybe.

  29. “An oddity of US political debates is that both Left and Right lie like rugs.”

    No, the oddity of US political debates is that both Right and Far Right lie like rugs. There is no Left in the US.

    In the rest of the world, we assume that the Left, the Centre, the Right, the Up, the Down, the Inside-Out, and the Round The Corner At The Back are all lying.

    They are politicians.

    • “In the rest of the world, we assume that the Left, the Centre, the Right, the Up, the Down, the Inside-Out, and the Round The Corner At The Back are all lying.”

      There may be a few honest politicians, but to be prudent we should assume they are all lying until proven otherwise. Same with the Leftwing News Media. 🙂

    • There is no “left” in the US? That has got to be the most ignorant statement that I have read this decade.
      you are apparently one of those people who believes that the political spectrum goes like this
      Communist -> Socialist -> Far right.

      Anyone who believes that there are no leftists in the US is playing so deep in left field that he has to dodge the cars in the parking lot.

  30. Larry Kumar, July 1. Regarding all of the Hun Ha about just how good
    Micro wave ovens were. I can recall all of the numerous cook books
    saying what wonderful meals that could be cooked using them. And I can
    also recall the Horror when surveys came out that 97 % of microwaves were just used to reheat things, or to make a hot drink or cup of soup. So they ended
    up as a very useful addition to the conventiaal cooker.

    In regard to the electric car. Here in Gawler a local taxi company has a few, the drivers seem to like them, saying that fuel consumption is way down. They
    are of course a battery plus a small I/C motor. Now winter in S.A is mild,
    but how they will go in our very hot summers is another story.

    The life time and cost of the batteries will be the key to their acceptance


    • One of my children, an engineer, does not believe that the electricity grid in Ireland would allow for a large number of electric cars to be charging their batteries at the same time. This would require rationing or limiting when the charging was permitted – both would undermine the usefulness of having an electric car. I wonder if hydrogen, if it could be produced efficiently and cheaply, would not offer a far better and more cost effective alternative?

      • Doubtful. Generating hydrogen via electrolysis is 50 percent efficient, and making electricity in a fuel cell costs another 50 percent efficiency. Batteries are better, but of course batteries have their own problems. And hydrogen loves to leak out and explode.

      • My two cents: the hydrogen atom is so small it will gradually leak out of any container. Perhaps some dense material may be created (Buckyballs?), but until then, leakage will be a big problem. Of course, the emission will be a greater GHG than CO2.

        • Containers for Hydrogen aren’t a good solution.

          There are aqueous solutions that can stably bind H2 and readily release it on demand using a catalyst.

          Currently according to my calculations, the amount solution mentioned in this Electriq Global website would have to be over 100 gallons to achieve the mileage ranges claimed. That’s a bit bulky and heavy…but there is no Internal Combustion Engine or Transmission or heavy Drive Train to haul around…so the volume and mass come out about the same.

        • Actually, we have. It called petroleum. One liter of liquid hydrogen contains 71 grams of hydrogen. One liter of gasoline contains 118 grams of hydrogen, and one liter of diesel, 130 grams.

  31. Larry you don’t mention that the reason that the US and many other countries reduced their CO2 per energy unit footprint was because of an increase in natural gas usage versus a decline in coal and oil.

    • And First world countries offshored a lot of their manufacturing and subsequent energy use to Third world countries.

      • An important factor often overlooked.
        It is no coincidence that the destinations of that offshoring are the places seeing explosive growth in CO2 production.

  32. If I am correct the graph fig. 7 “United Stated Energy Consumption” hides some good news. While the total energy consumption for 1975 and 2015 is nearly the same, the US population increased by 50% during these years. This means that the average citizen uses considerably less, despite having more devices using energy, than forty years ago.

    I believe that efficiency will improve through the natural maturing of technology during the next forty years. This will happen without having to spend vast sums of money on the futile exercise of reducing the total carbon dioxide output and hope of significantly reducing the average temperature.

  33. Larry: “An oddity of US political debates is that both Left and Right lie like rugs.”

    Thank you for that. An occasional injection of sanity is refreshing.

    It’s a terrific article.

    But, I do think there is a future for EVs in the US — pure EVs in the South, hybrids in the North where the “waste heat” from the hybrid’s ICE is useful. But I suspect that US EVs will not be high priced luxury vehicles. They’ll likely be slightly glorified Golf Carts purchased as second or third cars for local shopping, commuting, or getting the kids to and from the local college. Since the profit margins on GGCs probably won’t be high and they probably won’t sell with a lot of high margin extras, my guess is that they’ll originate some place where there is a huge demand for wheels, but incomes are not that high — China or India.

  34. I was wondering about the 90% claim. Most electricity is generated by burning fossil fuel which is 40% at best, then there are losses getting it to the recharging point. So for fossil fuel generated electricity used in an EV efficiency can’t be more than 25%, how you measure renewable efficiency I do not know* but whatever it is the ICE will be a better better.

    * As renewable electricity is expensive efficiency can’t be that great.

  35. Larry’s use of the tried-and-true methods of the straw man, coupled with some well-crafted sleight-of-hand is pretty typical of his offerings here along with a sprinkling of lies for good measure, though this particular pile of crap is a bit more obvious than usual. Also typical are his complaints that no one here “gets it”, or that we criticize the wrong thing. The main thing that Larry just doesn’t seem to grasp is that our technological advancements (which do NOT include so-called renewables) are made because of the free market system, and despite government interference, not because of it. Larry here wants MORE government interference, not less. His belief in the value of heavily-subsidized EVs is symptomatic of that, which is why it has been so heavily weighed in on.

  36. Lots of ignorance in this article. “Hansen tells us what should be obvious. Today we rely on a diverse array of energy sources. The components will change over time, but there is no magic bullet existing or under development that will provide “all” or even most of our energy. Certainly not solar and wind.”
    Molten salt small modular reactors are a magic bullet and anyone expert in future energy technologies knows this. They can provide both electrical and thermal energy.
    Electric cars will NOT become significantly cheaper thru mass production – they are already in mass production – the Tesla Model 3 is being produced at over 400,000 per year and yet their “cheaper” models ($35,000 to $42,000) are not making a profit – this with non-union labor and massive robotics.
    It is the BATTERY COSTS that prevent EVs from competing on a cost basis. However, VW will produce a low priced EV around $20,000 over the next several years.

  37. Fabius Maximus; Larry Kummer, Editor Geopolitical News 1 July 2019 promoting religion again.

    e.g.: 11) “Energy intensity is energy use per unit of GDP, a measure of the efficiency with which we use energy.”
    A distraction graph that fails to identify sources and reasons.
    A) it show clearly that natural gas is cleaner and more efficient.
    B) It also shows that Obama drove industry away from America, result; heavy energy production declined.

    e.g.: 2) “Electricity is a far cheaper source of energy than gasoline. And electric vehicles (EVs) are much more efficient: combustion-powered motors max out at 40% efficiency while electric motors can run at 90%. As for storage, EVs will work just fine for many people. My wife has never driven 200 miles in a day.”</b?
    A) Isn't average nonsense wonderful? Especially when coupled with personal analogies?
    On a personal basis, my wife just attended a conference trip, where she drove more than 200 miles, to and from the conference; with several 100 mile plus side excursions daily.
    B) This past 2018-2019 winter's cold generated news stories about how electric cars failed to deal with the cold; performing with abysmal short range capability.
    C) N.B. Fabius' emphasis on efficiency without addressing all of the inefficiencies of generating electricity, charging short lived batteries, draining batteries, etc. etc. etc. This is before identifying generating sources of electricity, including fossil fuels.
    D) Fabius avoids the topic of energy density and all of the convenience that energy dense power sources provide to users; e.g. a simple spare container of a few gallons of gas immediately extends the range of fossil fuel vehicles by most EV's ranges. Battery powered EVs gain additional range by getting towed.
    E) Fabius uses bafflegab to disguise his EV claims. Combustion vehicles are 40% efficiency versus an alleged electric motor's 90%.
    Fabius ignores that electricity generators operate at 90%, Electricity grids reduce that efficiency, charging batteries loses another 25 plus%, before the EV vehicle's motors achieving a maximum 90% efficiency. Unlike large generating plants that gain efficiency through monitoring, maintenance, adjustments, a person's EV motors are subject to drivers and driving conditions including ambient temperature.
    F) EVs are heavily subsidized. EV owners should pay their vehicles full price and all EV subsidies, including additional taxes upon fossil fuels should be cancelled.

    Summary; a classic shell game set of claims where the pea is hidden,while doctrine and beliefs are carefully couched.

    • I love his claim that something bad might happen if we continue using fossil fuels. He seems to feel that what this bad thing is doesn’t have to be spelled out.

  38. Apparantly, making up futures in one’s head and trying to sell it as some kind of realistic future is not just limited to people with taro cards and crystal balls…..

  39. Mr. Kummer, I generally like your articles, but this one not so much. A gallon of gasoline is about 33kWhr of combustion energy (lower heating value). I pay around $2.80 a gallon for it. I also pay something above $0.10 per kWhr for electric energy. They are not much different. The relationship of the two fuel prices varies of course, but electricity is not far cheaper than gasoline. The difficulty with comparing various fuels is that most fuels do very specialized tasks–gasoline for ICE engines and electricity to run the vacuum cleaner. One has to consider that the utility of each fuel, independent of price, makes each fuel cheaper in their relative roles. I can’t even imagine a gasoline powered vacuum cleaner.

    Second, fueling a car with electric charge consists of a loss of energy both in discharging and charging that amounts to perhaps 80% of the fuel availability–an equal spillage of gasoline would be intolerable. The efficiency of the entire supply chain of gasoline from exploring for an oil field to gasoline at the pump is about 80%. The equivalent supply chain from coal mine to electric energy at the wall outlet is far lower, so that by the time one uses a vehicle efficiency of even 25%, the over all effectiveness of the two isn’t much different.

    Now, I will agree that if some technical issues with batteries were overcome, and we would start using nuclear energy for baseload generation, that EVs would be great–but where will the political will (courage) to do this come from?

  40. Larry Kummer ==> Re: EVs . how are we going to adapt rapidly to the need of EV Rapid Chargers (average household will need two) each requiring 60-90 amps of household current. That is an increase per household of 120-180 amp, while most American homes have only 100 amp service drops and distribution boxes. It means upgrading every home (suburban homes, not sure what will be done in urban settings) to at least 200 amp service.

    • Most Americans have 100 amp service?
      I would be surprised if that was true.
      Electric dryer, range, water heater, dishwasher…
      Many people no doubt have 100 amp service.
      But many people have wells. Pools.
      Large AC units, electric heat, all manner of appliances.
      And start up transient loads must be considered.
      100 amps is minimum allowed.
      But considering the difference in cost of installed 200 amps to begin with, versus a retrofit to higher amp service, it would have to be seen as inadvisable.
      Too limiting.
      I doubt any home builders have installed 100 amp service in many, if any, new homes in decades.

      • Nicholas ==> Only homes built since the turn of the century regularly have 200 amp service — and not all of them (townhouses, houses with heating/cooking/water-heating by natural gas). Most US homes are far older than 20 years. Our current house, bought in the 1980s, had 60 amp service, which we upgraded to 100 amps. Our house before that had 60 amp service (which was an upgrade in the 1950s) and still had extensive post-and-tube wiring.

        “For more than 20 years now, 200 Amp/240 Volt service has been standard for the average single family home, although sometimes a 100 Amp/240 Volt service may be adequate for some townhouses or homes with mostly natural gas appliances. Most insurance companies will no longer insure a home with less than 100 Amp/240 Volt service, yet I still occasionally find 60 Amp electrical systems in homes.”

        The US Census Bureau produced a map of how old homes are across the US: see

        The progressive elites live in new homes — with all the mod cons — including 200 to 300 amp electrical service. No so the rest of Americans.

    • Re: EVs . how are we going to adapt rapidly to the need of EV Rapid Chargers (average household will need two) each requiring 60-90 amps of household current.

      It’s very simple, by the time the majority of new cars are EVs, most people won’t own their cars anyway. They’ll order autonomous cars like Uber/Lyft-without-the-driver. So the owners of the EVs will be big fleet owners, who will have charging capabilities for the thousands of vehicles in their fleets.

      It doesn’t make sense for people to own cars if computers are driving the cars. It’s crazy to own a car and have it parked for 20+ hours per day, as most people do. And owning a rapid charger just adds to the craziness.

      • You keep saying this as if it’s a proven fact.
        It goes against human nature and I’ll believe only when I see it happening.

        • “It goes against human nature and I’ll believe only when I see it happening.”

          No, it goes with human nature. If the average vehicle drives 13,500 miles per year, and the average cost is approximately 60 cents per mile, that’s more than $8,000 per year.

          Autonomous EVs operating in transportation-as-a-service mode could easily cut that annual cost in half for the same number of miles traveled. In fact, the Rocky Mountain Institute estimates that the cost will be cut by three-quarters…from 60 cents per mile to 15 cents per mile:

          It’s wasting money that goes against human nature.

          • People do not plan lives around economizing every nickel.
            One thing people do is minimize inconvenience.
            Another is take into account occasional needs and unusual events.
            And still another is preventing Very Bad Things from happening.
            Most people will never have a house fire, or total a car.
            But we still buy insurance.
            But only at a level that makes sense.
            People of limited means do not get $1,000,000 umbrella policies.
            Many people only need the huge capacity of the vans, pickups, and SUVs they drive occasionally.
            People in large metro areas aften pay enough in insurance that they could save money by getting rid of the car, taking cabs and Ubers, and renting a vehicle for road trips.
            But, millions and millions never do this, and never will, even though it is economically and practically irrational, at least from a strict dollars and cents perspective.
            But it is not at all irrational from a real life, we are busy, inconvenience sucks, and we cannot take our money with us when we die, outlook.

          • We know what the real goal, the actual warmista/socialist game plan is though: Make energy so expensive that people will be forced to live the way hypocritical virtue signaling miscreants wish us to, and dictate we should.
            The tide is turning.
            People will not be fooled for long, and will not submit to being controlled by lying liars and their ridiculous lies.

          • Life is about a lot more than just money.
            Convenience is a big deal for most people.

            PS: That study has about as much relevance as do the computer models used to prove global warming. They set out to prove a point, then torture the numbers until they have done so.

          • “Another is take into account occasional needs and unusual events.”

            Yes, and a fleet of autonomous vehicles providing transportation as a service is almost infinitely more able to account for “occasional needs and unusual events.”

            Take, for example, a hurricane that might either hit Manhattan/Brooklyn or Long Island. It’s going to be a monster, and large portions of either Manhattan/Brooklyn or Long Island would ideally be evacuated. Right now, everyone has a car, and try to evacuate as individual families. It’s a mess.

            With a fleet of autonomous vehicles providing transportation as a service, essentially all the movement on main roads headed out of the area (e.g., 495, 295, 95, 87) is with fully loaded buses. Further, the buses may have come from as far as Philadelphia or Boston.

            Let’s take an even more unusual situation. It’s going to be so bad and there’s so little warning, that it’s a “Titanic” situation…women and children are evacuated first. Right now, that’s simply not possible, because men would typically be driving their families out. In a autonomous transportation-as-a-service situation, it’s a piece of cake. The men know where their families are (on what bus, headed where). The women don’t need to worry about driving, and can look after their children.

            P.S. Fleets of autonomous vehicles performing transportation as a service also don’t end up with flooded vehicles after a storm, the way we do now:

            Flooded vehicles will be a thing of the past

    • The mains leading to each subdivision are sized based on the expected draw from that subdivision. If every home has to be upgraded with a larger service drop, then the utility lines running to that subdivision are going to have to be upgraded as well.

      • MarkW ==> Yes, exactly. The energy equivalent of all the gasoline burned by America’s private automobiles will have to be produced and transported and delivered to individual cars in their workplace or home garages. A massive change in our energy system.

  41. If we are lucky, we might eventually win the Climate War simply due to the indifference of the general population…but we WON’T win just by persistant dissemination of the truth. The enemy owns the MSM and BIG DATA and Academia and Entertainment…and thet apparently have millions of ignorant online Climate Trolls. They hold almost all the propaganda guns. We don’t have much propaganda ammunition. And the Climate is too complicated for ANYONE to understand currently…let alone the average Joe. Possessing the truth won’t pay big dividends in the coming Climate battles.

    What I’m proposing below is only for the preservation of Individual freedoms and preservation of the US Constitution. I’m not worried about the Climate. My proposal below is just a gut feeling of the best approach for holding off the Climate Fraudsters long enough to reach the next inevitable cooling trend…which should take most of the wind out of their sails.

    Strategically, the best way to fight this battle is to support TECHNICAL CO2 emission reductions in ways that we should be doing anyway…like actively advancing the next generations of nuclear power (which we will need anyway to power the next US ECONOMIC GOLDEN AGE)…and we need to quit fighting hybrid vehicles.

    My favorite crystal ball scenario prominently features Millions of Hybrid Vehicles and thousands of Thorium MSR’s (Molten Salt Nuclear Reactors). These combine to demonstrate effective ways to reduce emissions (and I am not worried about emissions).

    Long Thesis short:
    • Non-Thorium MSR’s will be more efficient and quicker to get onto the grid.
    •A “Closed-Cycle” Thorium MSR being the ultimate goal down the road (Long story).
    • MSR’s can operate at much higher temperatures than Light Water Reactors (big deal for efficiency and for capabilities).
    •Higher Temperature Large Scale Energy Production make lots of things economically possible like:
    □ Large Scale Desalination
    □ Lower cost synthetic liquid fuels to run Hybrid Vehicles AS WELL AS LEGACY INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINED of which there will still be hundreds of millions well past 2050.
    □ Massively increased Fertilizer Production
    • MSR’s use an nearly inexhaustible fuel source.
    • MSR can’t melt down
    • Thorium MSR’s down the road produce radioactive waste that only lasts 300 years.
    • EV’s are expensive “lithium-battery-resource-hogs” and still have “tank mileage” limitations (I’m not against EV’s…buy one if you want). But Hybrids are a safer bet strategically.

    Long Strategy short:
    • Demonstrate that technical ways to reduce CO2 are far more effective and far less expensive than Renewables.
    • This confuses the issue long enough so that…
    • The Climate will begin a normal cooling phase.
    • Then we prosecute and incarcerate the whole fraudulent Climate Industrial Academia Complex Mob.
    • We celebrate our sacred US Constitution another 100 years…or at least until the next effective Socialist International onslaught.

    Because of the lead times involved, serious MSR development needs to happen now. The most prominent Thorium MSR advocate, Kirk Sorensen, estimates that a demonstration closed cycle Thorium MSR reactor could be developed in 15 years with a $75 Million investment. That is a fraction of the $500+ Million wasted in Obama’s Solyndra fraudulent scheme…where taxpayers got nothing and learned nothing.

  42. Apparently we have been gradually incorporating “green” energy sources here in the US anyway to the point where now they slightly outpace coal based energy sources. everyone talks like America is the big bad in this carbon emission situation but it’s actually Asia. So to the extent there is a debate to be had about behaviors that need to be changed or curtailed, it isn’t about our behavior at all anymore.

  43. It is obvious from the comments here that Mr. Kummer is right about his general observation that people on both sides of such conversations (to put it politely) say stuff which simply is not so.
    Some are wrong, some somewhat irrational, and some seem driven by a sheer hatred of certain things.
    Why be irrational about EVs?
    The actual matter of fact unexaggerated reasons for everyone not being about to run out and get one are numerous.

  44. From the article: “combustion engines max out at 40 percent efficiency.”
    “Mercedes-AMG says that in Dyno testing at its Brixworth, UK engine factory this power unit [AMG’s F1] can achieve over 50-percent thermal efficiency.”

    “If Mazda can increase the thermal efficiency of its third-generation Skyactiv engine by about 27 percent, to 56 percent, it can achieve emissions on a par with an EV, Hitomi said.”
    Automotive News January 28, 2018 12:00 AM

  45. Mr Kumer: Your purported refutation of the second “falsehood” is itself shot through with fallacies. Allow me to explain the problems.

    I will quote your text and I will place my comments under it.

    “Electricity is a far cheaper source of energy than gasoline.”

    First problem: Electricity is not a source of energy. You can’t drill for it or dig it up. You can’t store it either. A battery converts electricity into chemical reactants. Electricity is simply a method of transmitting energy you derived from some other source.

    Second problem: The energy content of a gallon of gasoline is ~132,000 Btu, which is 139 MJ or 38.68 KWh. Where I live in flyover country, electricity costs $0.11/KWh, and that much would cost $4.25. YMMV. Retail gasoline hereabouts cost about $2.75/gal. after a $0.10 tax increase on Monday.

    “And electric vehicles (EVs) are much more efficient: combustion-powered motors max out at 40% efficiency while electric motors can run at 90%.”

    This is a classic comparison of oranges and baboons. Once again we must start with the basic problem that electricity is not a source of energy. An electric motor may convert its direct input into work very efficiently, but the electricity only gets to the motors input leads by a series of steps. Step one is using a source of energy to run a generator. Step 2 is taking the out put of the generator from its location to the user’s location. Step 3 is charging the car batteries. Step 4 is discharging the car batteries. All of the processes are subject to the second law of thermodynamics and create entropy as well as work. Step 1 is most often a heat engine subject, as all heat engines are, to the Carnot limits. In this they are the same as the engine in the gasoline powered vehicle. Steps 2, 3, and 4 may be 90% efficient, but chained together they would be 73% efficient. Add in the losses at step 1, and I doubt that there is much difference.

    “As for storage, EVs will work just fine for many people.”

    That may be true depending on the value of many. I don’t think I would be happy with it. And my attitude is allow me to be the judge of what works for me. I know that leftists like Bernie and AOC don’t agree, but I think most Americans agree with me. In the immortal words of Judge Dredd: “I’ll be the judge of that”.

    “My wife has never driven 200 miles in a day.”

    So what. My daughter who lives in NYC rarely drives at all. But, she is not representative of a large class of Americans. Further, mileage is just one variable. Weather is another. You may live in southern California, but where I live it gets very and very cold. Both extremes affect batteries very strongly, as does the need for heat and cooling inside the car. Load is another factor.

    “Many commercial vehicles that work in urban areas can function with today’s battery loads.”

    Even less persuasive. I haven’t seen UPS, Fed EX, or USPS electrify their fleets, despite, the no doubt, considerable political pressure. My guess is that they are being held back by the capital costs. Delivery Vehicles will need much larger battery packs than compact sedans. I have seen a quote that a regular city bus costs 500K$ and that a battery powered bus costs 300K$ more. Also, down time is a big problem. I doubt that they want to have vehicles sit for the 10 or 12 hours that a full charge would take. Vehicles sitting at a charging station are not producing revenue.

    “The speed with EVs replace gas/diesel vehicles depends on how quickly they drop in price, which depends on the volume sold (which depends on their price).”

    Sorry the price is not that close, even with massive government subsidies.

    Why we should expect the price of BEVs to decline at all is not clear to me.

    An automobile consists of a glider and a drive train. Whatever the drive train is, the gliders are pretty much the same and there is no reason to believe that they will become cheaper in any event. The drive train of a BEV has batteries, control circuits, and electric motors. I suspect the control circuits are already pretty cheap as digital technology is fairly mature. Electric motors have been a staple of industrial production for a century and I doubt that there is much room for their price to decline.

    That leaves batteries. Batteries were invented in 1800 by Volta. They became commercial items early in the last century. The LiIon batteries have been commercially produced for more than 25 years. Might prices go down because of advances in production? Sure. But, were are not at unit one right now. Millions of these things are made every day. Prices could also go up because raw materials producers like Congo and China could decide to squeeze us. What happens to battery prices when Congo decides that only adults with proper safety equipment are allowed to mine cobalt?

    “Most new technology rides down the price-volume curve.”

    This would be more relevant if BEVs were new technology. They aren’t. Before WWI, my great-grandmother drove a Baker Electric. Mrs. Henry Ford I drove a Detroit Electric. Those cars are not that different than the newest Tesla. A glider, control circuits, batteries, and an electric motor. Voilà.

    “Raytheon sold the first commercial microwave oven in 1947”

    Not at all relevant. Item 1 of the BEV was more than a century ago. The latest Tesla has lots of late 20th and early 21st century technology, but the basic block diagram is the same as Grandma’s Baker Electric.

    “EVs will not drop in price as drastically as did microwave ovens.”

    Finally a non-fallacious statement.

    “But they could eventually become as cheap to buy as gas/diesel cars, and perhaps cheaper over their full operating lifetime.”

    I sincerely doubt it. And cheaper operation depends on the price of electricity. If the GND is put into effect, that will soar.

    • While greater volume does impact price, volumes of EV sales is already high enough to capture most of the volume savings.

  46. Re. Charles the moderator, yes if we were to add the CO2 used in making
    all of the goods that the West imports from the likes of China and S/E
    Asian countries, the CO2 figures of these Western countries would
    go through the roof. Its a big fiddle on our part to try and claim that t our
    CO2 figures are going down.


  47. Can you quote double blind peer reviewed scientific publications that support your claims?

    Oh wait, you are just making “smart” guesses.

    There, you are debunked.

  48. Excellent , thoughtful post. Not surprised at some of the replies. People take sides quickly and most of them do not actually know what they are talking about.
    Please post more articles like this one. True independent thinkers are rare these days.

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