Reality Check On The Electric Car

Guest post by Richard Fowler

First of all, I like the idea of an electric car. I like “all-electric”. I’ve got an electric power washer, an electric weed eater, an electric riding lawnmower, an electric robot lawnmower, an electric toothbrush, and electric air pump just to name a few. I’ve driven an electric car, and it was fun to drive. Now they’ve got the range up to 250 miles, for an extra $9,000 you can get the range up to 300 miles. If you use your car to commute to work you can charge it between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., which is ideal for Howard Electric’s off peak rates. At our current off peak rates you could travel 250 miles for under $2.50.

Believe me, I and most other cooperative managers in the country would love to see an abundance of electric cars. If every member of our cooperative were to go out and buy an electric car tomorrow, slow charge their cars on our off peak hours, we could probably lower our electric rates 15%. Why is that? Because we wouldn’t have to upgrade our power lines. Those power lines have been designed and engineered for peak times (in Howard’s case 6 to 8 a.m. & 4 to 8 p.m.) and by charging your car in off peak hours you would be using those power lines during non-peak times. We would not have to upgrade your transformer because it too was engineered for your peak usage. The same is true for your substation, your transmission lines, and the coal and gas power plants – all designed for your “peak” usage. So using power during off peak times should be the cheapest power there is, and with our demand time of day rates, it is.

So yes, I want electric cars to be successful. But sometimes what we want, requires a reality check. So whether it’s electric cars, which I want, or a carbonless world, which those espousing the green new deal wants, both groups need a reality check. I will write about a reality check for the green new deal later, but today….let’s talk about a reality check for electric cars. I don’t believe, for the most part, that electric cars will be more than commuter cars. Here’s why.

We’ve tried hard to educate you on a KW charge vs. a kWh charge and you now have both on your bills. A car charger that’s a slow trickle charge overnight doesn’t present a problem, but when you’re traveling you’re not going to want to wait 8 hours to get your car charged. You’re going to want a fast charger. Well the fastest charger so far is a 500 KW charger and it will charge a car in 10 minutes. Tesla is working on a 550 KW charger. When you trickle charge an electric car the batteries should last about 10 years, but if you fast charge an electric car the battery life goes down significantly, and at $6,500 a pop, these batteries aren’t cheap.

Imagine a charging station, instead of a gas station, that has eight of these 500 KW chargers. That’s a four megawatt load, which is more than all our large power accounts added together. You’re going to need a substation for this charging station which will cost $1,000,000 not counting the upgrading of the transmission lines to feed the substation. That too will cost hundreds of thousands and this extra load is the equivalent of a new power plant which costs millions – and no – solar and wind for the most part do not provide reliable peak power, they provide unreliable intermittent power.

And it’s even worse for electric 18-wheelers. An ongoing study in California, Oregon, and Washington has projected a 10 MW charging station for electric 18-wheelers. How many gas stations exist across our country now for 18-wheelers? Well convert sixty of those to electric 10 MW loads and you’ve got the equivalent of our biggest coal fired power plant, and this will require more million dollar substations, more transmission line upgrades which will be very, very expensive. Now, on the positive side these 18-wheelers will go 500 miles on a battery pack, but these battery packs do weigh 5 tons which, along with their normal loads could test the highway legal “heavy haul” limits in several states. I really do hope they are successful, but the electric infrastructure to make this happen is a very big hill to climb and will likely require more carbon based coal or natural gas power plants (unless we’re willing to go nuclear).

Some have theoretically argued that by reversing the electricity flow from tens of thousands of cars to the grid at peak times, you could levelize the grid and avoid adding more peak power plants. In other words, the grid would use the charge from the car batteries, leaving the owner needing to recharge before driving. The problem with that theory is people probably aren’t going to spend $40,000 – $80,000 on an electric car so they can levelize the grid. If they spend that kind of money, it will be to drive the car.

System peaks are on the hottest and coldest days of the year. If on those days you’re using your car to drive and using your heater or air conditioner, how much excess battery energy do you expect to have to charge the grid? It is these hottest and coldest days that determine how many power plants we need. I don’t believe reverse flow is a reasonable solution to avoid those higher peaks that will be caused by cross country cars and trucks who will be fast charging their vehicles during peak times.

Unless somebody (either our members or taxpayers) has money to allocate to these fast chargers, substations, transmission upgrades and power plants they’re not likely to become a reality.

So, for discussion sake for cars, let’s tone down the chargers from a 500 KW charger to a more reasonable 50 KW charger (which is 8 times the peak of the average house). These are the fastest chargers Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) is installing in Kansas City.

These 50 KW chargers will charge a car in 93 minutes. So you pull into this charging station and there’s three people ahead of you, each taking 93 minutes. That’s a 4 ½ hour wait plus 1 ½ hours to charge your car. Many of KCP&L’s chargers are level 2 chargers. Those take four hours to add 200 miles of drive time. Not a bad wait if you’re on the golf course.

So how far can I go on a charge? Like I said earlier, these newer electric cars can now go up to 250 miles on a charge…….unless you turn on the heater. Heaven forbid you turn on your heater. The miles go down 25% if you need heat. Northern states may struggle with this issue. Slow charging workplace charging stations could make longer commutes more reliable and would work with existing infrastructure, but if you are going to rely on a slow charger to get home, it would need to be dedicated to you.

Electric cars are estimated to cost six to ten thousand more than a gas car. These cars need 70% less parts than gas engines and need 30% fewer workers to put them together, so lost jobs and a more expensive car. On the positive side, the cost to charge an electric car at home is much cheaper than gas….if….you don’t use a fast charger. Most of the cobalt in lithium batteries comes from the Congo. The Congo continues to raise the price of cobalt and the Congo is considered an unstable country.

In 2012, the CAFÉ standards required cars to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. President Trump has reduced that requirement to 37 miles per gallon. Apparently General Motors and other car manufacturers believe that either by 2020 or by 2024 politics will return that standard to 54.5 miles per gallon, so they are moving forward with that target. The only way to achieve that goal is to blend in a significant amount of electric cars. General Motors expects that 20% of their car sales by 2023 will be electric.

The Green New Deal would make all vehicles electric by 2030 and the proposed “OFF Act” would make all vehicles electric by 2035. If that happens, traveling across the country could be a circus. An electric car makes sense for a commuter car, but for traveling across country, if you don’t want the long charging wait, you’re going to want a gas vehicle, if you can find one.

341 thoughts on “Reality Check On The Electric Car

    • “At our current off peak rates you could travel 250 miles for under $2.50.” I am wondering how the road infrastructure etc will be charged for, as fuel tax on petrol will gradually disappear. How do you charge a tax just on electric vehicle use?

      • Simple, the state would mandate that all cars be tracked and send their mileage traveled to the state revenue agency. You would then be charged based on the miles traveled, though whether this is a flat rate or varies depending on the type of road traveled is to be determined. Given how controlling and intrusive the leftists greenies are inclined to be, far more likely to be the latter.

        • “the state would mandate that all cars be tracked and send their mileage traveled to the state revenue agency.”

          I imagine that many jurisdictions will do exactly that. It will probably turn out to be a Godawful mess because although simple in concept, the number of things that can and will sometimes go wrong is pretty high.

          More pragmatic states will simply tax odometer miles driven and require that mileage be reported and fees paid when registrations are updated. There probably be some provision for dealing with broken/faulty odometers and maybe other special cases.

          • If every member of our cooperative were to go out and buy an electric car tomorrow, slow charge their cars on our off peak hours, we could probably lower our electric rates 15%. Why is that? Because we wouldn’t have to upgrade our power lines.

            If everyone went out and bought a new EV tomorrow guess what…peak would change by necessity to when they were ALL plugged in overnight to recharge. So you would be recharging during the NEW PEAK HOURS at those inflated prices and ALL existing electric facilities WOULD require upgrades. Everything from Transformer (TX) sizes to Service wire sizes to Panel Amperage increases to secondary voltage minimums would need to be upgraded.
            A 25KVA TX can feed 4 houses averaging 7.5kWH usage each. But adding 50A EV recharging facilities adds sufficient load that the TX can only feed 2 houses. So, if every house had 2 charging stations and 2 cars, every house would need it’s own dedicated TX or your Electric Company would need to install 100KVA TXs to serve 3-4 customers and that’s for 240V recharging. EVs recharge better and faster at 480 Volts.

          • Thats exactly what we do with all Diesel vehicles in New Zealand. Works fine – oh, just one difference, mileage is paid for in advance.

          • There is an element that wants not only the total miles but the miles — and route — for each trip. These will, of course be long term records available to all enforcement agencies.

          • Bryan A, yes, I could not comprehend how a massive increase in off hour demand would change the normal peak, except to expand it. The existing peak is still there, as well as all the infrastructure to support it.

            In addition as solar has expanded, the larger longer peak demand would come at a time when solar production is ZERO.

          • Satellite access to your car odometer will make the accounting instantaneous.
            You will have a progressive fee (tax) for energy use. It will mirror how electricity is billed in many states for your home.

        • Which to me suggests that gov’t is not really concerned so much about cleaning up the environment as it is about more control over its citizens, like knowing where you (your car and phone) are at all times,dictating when you can fuel up, where you fuel up, how much you can fuel up, etc., limited only by the imagination. Freedom is becoming less free.

        • It would be far more invasive on privacy than simple odometer readings. The data transmitted would come with GPS coordinates and date/time tags on all travel. That way Cities and Counties could also get their road tax and also peak time usage surcharges and HOV lane usage. They could also send you civil fines for exceeding speed limits and assess points. Failure to pay road tax and toll charges would lead to remote disablement of the vehicle.
          The Borg are coming to take control of your electric vehicle. Resistance is futile.

      • They call it road pricing here, and we are already seeing the policians clamoring to get in on it. My trouble with this is they will undoubtedly want to add it on TOP of the gas tax.

        • Did you know that the Tesla Battery Pack is essentially the same size and interchangeable by design?
          Did you also know that the Tesla Battery Pack is the same one you would get if you pay $9,000 more or not?
          Yep…The only difference is that for the additional $9,000 the onboard computer it instructed to make the additional storage capacity available for use.

          • They are different for different models WRT Model S vs Model E (3) but their capacity is only modulated by the computer system. For example the Model S came in various ranges expressed in kWh:

            75 kWh (270 MJ)
            249–259 mi (401–417 km) (EPA)
            85 kWh (310 MJ)
            253–272 mi (407–438 km) (EPA)
            310 mi (500 km) (NEDC)
            90 kWh (320 MJ)
            270–294 mi (435–473 km) (EPA)
            100 kWh (360 MJ)
            348–402 mi (560–647 km

            It’s all the same battery and interchangeable just coding in the onboard computer restricts how much is usable. This is how Tesla was able to allow their cars in Florida to travel farther on a full charge for a short time to escape the hurricane a few years ago.

            If you pay for the $9,000 upgrade you get the extended range. If you don’t pay the $9,000 upgrade you have the same battery but your range is limited by coding.

          • The extra range was enabled remotely for vehicle owners trying to flee a hurricane a couple of years ago.

      • In Idaho I pay extra on my license fee to offset the gas tax. It cost $200 to license my 500e which is ~ 3X more than it cost to license my Suburban. But I am guessing I still pay more taxes on the gas for my Suburban but with a 40 gallon tank I get a lot more range.

    • We’ve tried hard to educate you on a KW charge vs. a kWh charge and you now have both on your bills. A car charger that’s a slow trickle charge overnight doesn’t present a problem, but when you’re traveling you’re not going to want to wait 8 hours to get your car charged. You’re going to want a fast charger. Well the fastest charger so far is a 500 KW charger and it will charge a car in 10 minutes. Tesla is working on a 550 KW charger.

      I love the bit about “educating you” and just three words later getting the units wrong , then repeating the same error three times in the same paragraph.

      Odd how the author thinks kWh and kW are written differently.

      I love being “educated” by teachers who don’t know the subject they are teaching.

      Also the notion that “off peak” will remain cheap once 90% of the population has been forced to buy an electric car is delusional. Off peak is cheap because it’s off peak: ie there’s not much demand, so you get an attractive price to incite you to use it. Once everyone is charging overnight it will probably be the new PEAK and will cost even more than day time rates.

      Then your supposedly cheap 1 cent/mile transportation costs will go out of the window.

      That’s the staggering number you need to be watching.

      • Greg, that paragraph is correct in its KW vs KWh terms usage. KW rating is the charging rate. KWh is the power stored in the battery. 1 KW (kilowatt) charging rate stores 1 KWh (kilowatt hour) of energy in the battery. Of course, charging efficiency is not going to be 100% so that must be taken into account.

        • KW vs KWh terms usage

          Thanks Gary but BOTH your versions are wrong: K stands for Kelvin ( a unit of temperature ) , kilowatt is has small k like all things kilo.

          It’s ironic that Richard Fowler seems to be an exec of an electricity supply cooperative and is trying to “educate” his customers by putting both terms on their bills. I wonder if he manages to get it right when sending bills to “educate” his customers.

          I see a few people below picked up the blooper too.

          • In North America in the electric power supply & consuming conventions KW, KVA, KVA, KVAR, & KWH is more commonly used than kW, kVA, kVAR or kWH.

        • Gary, I think Greg is referring to the incorrect usage of capitalisation. The convention is for lowercase “k” to be used for both kW and kWh. Hence the “educated” by teachers who don’t know the subject part.

          • Don’t these people who comment have day jobs? Get with the program! I didn’t “dot” my “I”.. I am so sorry!

          • Sorry for the confusion Paul,
            USA power industry standard abbreviations do not use the lower cases ‘k’. Quibbling over that detail is arguing a trivial detail.

          • Perhaps Garu, but the “Off peak is cheap because it’s off peak: ie there’s not much demand, so you get an attractive price to incite you to use it. Once everyone is charging overnight it will probably be the new PEAK and will cost even more than day time rates.” is not trivial. Now add in the fuel tax…

    • Full EV’s are never going to work for the general U.S. use case. Near 0 degrees the battery will only produce half voltage. To make it worse you won’t be able to charge the battery until you warm it up. Calculating EV charges also entails hills and head winds which you generally don’t consider.

      The only way EV’s will work is if they come with a gasoline backup. Oh yeah, that’s a Hybrid.

      • That tell you why there are few charging station in Northern Minnesota or North Dakota. I wound if a EV would even run in a 72 hour period where it neve got warmer than -22, that what I experienced in Fargo in 1997. I have driven thousands of mile in -10 and below weather in the Dakotas and Minnesota in my lifetime. There are time even ICE cars have a hard time warming up in the cold weather. God help you if your in a EV car and get caught in a blizzard.

      • “The only way EV’s will work is if they come with a gasoline backup. Oh yeah, that’s a Hybrid.”

        I believe you are correct. Hybrids can fit right in with the way society is running now. No new changes to the electrical system are necessary with hybrids.

        The obsession among Alarmists with getting rid of fossil fuels is causing a lot of fuzzy thinking. They go around acting like they know what they are doing. More delusional alarmist thinking.

        • Indeed, from what I’ve read on Infiniti’s upcoming plans, they are going all-in on series hybrids.

      • No one wants a “gasoline backup”, we all want gasoline as primary power source, either as existing currently or running an electric generator for motive power. Plugins are toys for children.

        • 2hotel9
          Actually in total agreement with you. My main point (not very clear) was EVs are not going to work. All of this push to manufacture is going to run into the hard reality of “reality”.

          What really annoys me is why and how we seem to convince ourselves (or at least governments) of the not even wrong “solutions”. We may disagree on the effects of CO2 but if your position was, go nuclear, I’d say well ok, no harm, maybe beneficial…

          • Long supported nuclear, stupid movies poisoned that well, we have the opportunity now to advance it since several generations have no clue where the bias came from and those flicks turn younger people off because they are such poorly made pieces of crap.

            This push to replace the World That Works with the leftist fantasy is beginning to unravel, long past time it did.

      • The E-Cat SKL will, for “free” allow a small amount of electricity to be bypasses from the powering the mains to keep the car battery warm. Yes, the E-Cat SKL can power you and your neighbor’s heating systems while the electric car sits idle.

    • “Those take four hours to add 200 miles of drive time. Not a bad wait if you’re on the golf course.”

      Of course, it would be convenient to go golfing while charging your car, but how close is the charging station to your golf course? Rather unlikely. Do you have to Uber there and back? Hauling your clubs with you? It makes the whole thing inconvenient unless all you have is time and have no particular schedule other than to go golfing.

      An EV completely changes the thinking about going places, placing the focus on getting there and back rather than what you are going to do while there. Who with a brain wants their car to be an end in itself rather than a useful and fun tool?

      Sailing is an enjoyable sport in which much of the pleasure is in the traveling under sail. Driving an EV is far from the enjoyable experience of sailing, but they would like to pretend it is and wonder why one would not want to spend loads of free time hanging around while your EV charges. We do not have to recharge sailboats, which is why we have auxiliary engines.

    • Meh, only if you don’t go nuclear, and Lithium-Cobalt isn’t superseded by better.

      The former is just about the only way to top current levels of TDS. The latter is still in very early development, and who knows if it will work.

    • Thanks to Richard Fowler for quantifying these important issues.

      Relevant comments from 2019 and 2017:

      Under current conditions, EV’s will work as long as there are relatively few of them, and huge government subsidies are in place to cushion the high purchase price.

      However, I suggest that few places in the world have an electric grid that can sustain many more EV’s. Where is all this new electricity going to come from? How many more power plants will be needed? Will power transmission systems (high voltage) and local distribution systems (low voltage) need to be increased, or even completely rebuilt? I think the answer is yes.

      Most people think that electricity comes from a plug in the wall – it’s actually more complicated than that. There are generation, transmission, and distribution systems before the power gets to your house.

      Politicians and green activists cannot just wave their magic wands and create energy out of thin air – that only happens in their overheated imaginations.

      “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed.”

      I like electric vehicles because of the simplicity of the drive train – due to the excellent torque-speed characteristic of the electric motor vs the internal combustion engine. But the battery is the weak point – and there is no Moore’s Law for batteries.

      Nevertheless, there are technology breakthroughs from time to time, and we cannot rule them out. For example, fracking of shales, first for natural gas and later for oil, was not foreseen by many energy professionals, and yet it has revolutionized the industry. Maybe someone will make a quantum breakthrough in battery technology – we will see.

      A second weak point of electric vehicles is the electric grid, which is apparently incapable of handling the increased burden of many electric vehicles. Furthermore, the grid is being degraded by imbecilic green energy policies that simply do not work, primarily due to the intermittency of wind and solar power. Exorbitant costs for electrical transmission, distribution and overheads are also causing electricity to be overpriced. Perhaps one solution is for households to get off the grid entirely, and generate their own electricity from natural gas or propane. With suitable backup systems, this could greatly reduce costs and still provide adequate reliability.

      It IS frustrating to see politicians make really foolish decisions about energy. Most politicians are far too uneducated to even opine on the subject, let alone formulate energy policy. For example, it was obvious from the start that hydrogen-as-fuel was a dead end, because of very low energy density. Corn ethanol is also a poor and destructive idea, as are most food-to-fuel schemes, which have contributed to excessive drawdown of the Ogalalla Aquifer in the USA and widespread rainforest clearcutting in the tropics. It was also obvious that grid-connected wind and solar power schemes were costly and ineffective, primarily due to intermittency.

      In general, green energy policies have been a costly disaster for society, causing great environmental damage, increasing energy cost and reducing grid reliability. This damage has been high in the developed world but even higher in the developing world, where green energy nonsense has denied struggling populations access to cheap, abundant energy systems.

      Fossil fuels comprise about 85% of global primary energy, whereas green energy provides less than 2%, despite trillions of dollars in squandered subsidies. Imagine how much better the world’s poor would be if these vast sums had been spent intelligently on clean water, sanitation and efficient energy systems.

      Cheap, abundant reliable energy is the lifeblood of society – it IS that simple. When politicians fool with energy policy, real people suffer and die. That is the tragic legacy of global warming alarmism.

      Regards, Allan MacRae

      • Allan “Perhaps one solution is for households to get off the grid entirely, and generate their own electricity from natural gas or propane.”

        At ~$.37 and evermore punitive prices for higher volume customers (go figure, we privatize/incentivize production here if it’s green, but not if it’s cheap) here in CA.

        I’ve wondered if the ROI on running a house sized NG generator wouldn’t pay off. The pleasure of providing my town’s plants more CO2 has to be offset by the noise. But emergency back up units don’t seem to be designed for continual daily use.
        Load factor sporadically peaky, batteries and inverters, to not waste a lot.
        Anybody run the numbers on how quickly silly it would all get?

        • Zack,

          Starting today (Nov 1, 2020) CASIO’s recommend time of use time periods (and their recommended retail pricing structure) are supposed to have been rolled out by the big three in CA.

          CASIO was aware back in 2015 that the wholesales prices on the grid were going to crash during mid day when all the utility scale PV comes on line (and prices were expected to go negative at times). They recommend charging EV’s during mid day not at night as the grid is not really green at what use to be called off peak or night time.

          Wholesale prices were expected to ramp during the afternoon ramp part of the duck curve. The “super off peak” time was recommended to suck up otherwise curtailed and negative price utility scale PV (and all other generators providing energy due to the bidding -unfair?- process).

          • I’m amused that people believe government market interference in a market destroyed by government interference will “fix” the market. Negative market prices (and other distortions) are induced by governmental interference; mandates, subsidies, whatnot. Market distortions harm the consumer/taxpayer and benefit only politicians, government bureaucracies and crony capitalists.

            Free market capitalism with minimal health and welfare regulations has proven to benefit average people more than any other political system. Concentrations of political and economic power destroy the middle class. Show me where I am wrong.

      • Like where you are going on that comment. I’d summarize to emphasize, essentially burning the candle at both ends. We’re going to increase demand on an increasingly intermittent grid. go team

    • We have known these realities since ~forever, started studying them intently in ~1985 and published the key facts in 2002. There is no real dangerous man-made global warming (aka climate change) crisis. Grid-connected green energy is not green and produces little useful (dispatchable) energy. Basic physics and engineering – the phony CAGW crisis is scary fiction concocted by wolves to stampede the sheep.

      Author Mark Mills is correct: “The Green New Deal Can’t Break The Laws Of Physics”.
      We’ve known this truth since ~forever and published the following FACTS 18 years ago:



      Alleged Catastrophic Manmade Global Warming (aka Climate Change) and grid-connected Green Energy schemes have always been politically-driven scams promoted by phony-green leftist extremists – scary fictions concocted by wolves to stampede the sheep.

      Recently, some prominent Greens have realized the jig is up, and have confessed:

      See Michael Shellenberger’s 2020 confession “On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare”.

      See Michael Moore’s 2020 film “Planet of the Humans”.


      DEBATE ON THE KYOTO ACCORD November 2002
      By Dr Sallie Baliunas, Astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian, Dr Tim Patterson, Paleoclimatologist, Carleton U, Ottawa and Allan MacRae, 2002

      by Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., June 15, 2019

      By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc.(Eng.), M.Eng., January 10, 2020

  1. Your last sentence will resonate with millions of youngsters who will, as right of passage, want their first car as soon as they reach the legal age to drive. It will, more than likely, become in many countries around the World, more like current day Cuba where they keep their ‘old-bangers’ going for year after year, because, in reality, how many parents will be able to afford to purchase their offspring an EV (or even a replacement battery?). Quality second-hand cars will rocket in price. Uhmm – an investment opportunity!!

    • What will most likely happen is something different. Sure, there will be many expensive, high-margin electric vehicles. A wide variety of them. But there will probably also be even more glorified golf-carts. Much smaller batteries — max range maybe 100km (60mi). OK for local shopping, commuting, hanging out. A road trip in those things if doable at all will be a real adventure. They’ll probably come from the Far East or maybe Eastern Europe not the US. They’ll be fairly awful vehicles. But they’ll be cheap.

      Where will the electricity for all these electric vehicles come from? I haven’t a clue. Neither, AFAICS, does anyone else.

      • It will come from a ICE running a generator in the vehicle. I really don’t see why everyone is insisting on this ‘tarded plug in crap.

        • 2hotel9: Insisting on saving the planet from ICE because the world will end on July 7, 2030 (on July 21 if we switch to hybrid) is what our superiors require. Please keep up. Sarc/

        • “It will come from a ICE running a generator in the vehicle.”

          That’d make sense for a medium to high end vehicle. That’s one of the many reasons that I think Tesla’s are rather stupid vehicles and I won’t be at all surprised if people simply quit buying them at some point.

          But at the low end of the market, an ICE with all the associated fuel handling Nitrogen Oxide controls, etc adds considerable cost and complexity. So I’m thinking that’ll all be left out of the very cheapest electric vehicles.

    • How is overnight off peak charging going to go when both mum & dad, & a couple of kids need to do it.

      I have noticed a growing problem in my daughters estate. Now ten years after they built a serious parking problem is developing. Originally most houses had a garage for 1, & off street parking for another. Now many houses have a couple of kids old enough to have cars.

      I wonder if the electrical infrastructure can handle many homes charging 4 cars each over night?

      • Very good point.
        Tonyb has often highlighted that many suburban homes in uk don’t have driveways.
        Probably the same for many inner city suburbs in USA.
        The council can’t put a charging station in every parking bay in the street.

        #My family lives in inner suburbs of Melbourne.
        We have one car space but three cars.
        Every night we fight for the best spot in the street.

      • You mean in rural India, Philippines or similar.
        Cheap reliable transport is an important component for getting rural poor out of poverty.
        But even more important is cheap reliable electricity, to power water and sewer systems.

        I would like to see clean water for all before driverless cars for all.

  2. Here in the UK, about 40% of drivers have no access to offstreet parking. I guess you’ll have the same problem in the big cities.

    Nobody seems to have thought about what they are supposed to do.

    • and yet very many of us park for long enough to charge at supermarkets, commuter rail stations, places of work… there are also already roadside ‘lamp post’ chargers.

      go look at Oslo with its huge number of EVs… they cope.

      • Thank you for the links griff. Always good that you are so considerate as to provide the links.

        BTW: Many of “us”? So this is really a out YOU and what YOU can get the government and OTHER PEOPLES MONEY to pay for, like lamp post chargers.

        So griff is short for grifter?

      • Ha,
        Coping is the British way to inefficiency.
        I lived in UK quite a while back and one had to wait in long lines to get their bread.
        Coping, no thanks in this century.
        Electric cars may suit the elite greenies who have generators for when the electricity is off for a week.
        Diversity of energy is smart, gasoline for cars, natural gas for cooking and heating and AC.
        No coping needed.

        • Not sure what part of Britain you lived in but I’ve never ever had to wait in long lines for bread or any other item for that matter.

          • You may be right today.
            In the early 70’s they were just opening Tesco supermarkets and local merchants were common.
            I lived in Oxshot, Surrey which was a suburban London Upscale town.
            We loved the people and living there on an American Salary, so we had a good life for two years.
            Some coping required since supermarkets were not too close.
            BTW although we rented a nice house, but it had a coal heater which was a nuisance, and advertising to switch to Natural gas was prevalent.
            Strange the crazies now hate clean Natural Gas today.

      • Griff, electric cars made up 9.3% of the cars on the road in Norway at the start of 2020. Hardly “huge”.

      • Oslo, Norway, correct?
        A country with an extremely low people density where 96% of power is hydroelectric, which they can export together with North Sea oil.

        Can be usefully compared to a whole lot of country, can’t it?

      • I use my electric golf cart around the gated golf community. They’re great. I feel I am doing my part, greenly speaking. But I keep the Caddy gassed up in case of a hurricane…..

        • My golf cart is and expensive car based on dollar per miles. $800 for a battery replacement every three years would by far more gas for my pickup and would go a lot further than the few messily miles I drive the cart.

      • Did you not bother to read the article? Most of the chargers at the places you mention will be *slow* chargers, not fast chargers. How long do *you* spend in the supermarket each time you visit? And if you park at a rail station there are likely to be a hundred cars at a time needing a charge. How many slow charging stations in use does it take to cause a significant increase in the transmission infrastructure into that parking area? And I don’t know about where you live but in in the central US there aren’t lamp posts at every house, not even in the large cities. And what do you do when you live in an apartment building with six to ? apartments with on-street parking?

      • The issue is the number of places it’s going to work is very limited in Australia for example probably the centre of 3 east Coast cities. The fact is you could probably save the whole fiasco by simply doing what many have had to do during covid rotate staff between city office and working at home. I like the poster am not against EV’s but currently the numbers don’t work.

      • Yes, the Norwegian capital Oslo is interesting as having the highest BEV percentage of all the vehicles there.

        Forbes explains why:

        Norway started their BEV promotion in the 1990s.
        Norway is virtually 100% hydro and electricity is the only cheap thing there.
        BEVs are exempt bridge and road tolls, and are “supported very heavily from the state.
        Petrol and diesel is heavily taxed.
        Norwegian state began preparing the electric infrastructure almost three decades ago to support a BEV future.
        When you do the calculation, it is cheaper for the individual to drive a BEV than an ICV.
        Norway is, and has always been, a very unique country not comparable to the rest of the industrialized world. But there are also drawbacks. To enjoy a holiday in the amazing Norwegian nature, you best bring your own food, fuel and all other necessities , unless you are wealthy.

        So when our Griff says that Norway copes, then be aware that a similar transition in the US, if at all possible, will come at a high price and huge changes to the whole society, economics and infrastructure.

        • The griffter doesn’t comment on how those in Oslo “cope” during cold winters when they really need to turn on the ELECTRICAL heater in their EV to stay warm while at the same time their EV battery capacity drops due to the cold.

          I’m thinking that all Norwegians driving EVs “cope” by layering on heavy sweaters and overcoats and avoiding the car heater so that they can retain enough battery kWh to drive to the store and back before needing a recharge.

        • “When you do the calculation, it is cheaper for the individual to drive a BEV than an ICV.”

          That’s only true if ignore the cost of road use taxes that currently only ICV’s pay.
          You also have to ignore the cost of replacing the battery, which is many times more expensive than an ICE and won’t last as long to boot.

      • And how many people want to recharge at the same time at the supermarket?

        And where does all that electricity come from.

        You are not thinking at all, griff..

        You have proven you are not capable of it.

        • When we’ve visited London, we’ve always stayed in the same short-term apartment block. The supermarket opposite had ONE (free) BEV charging point, and we never saw it occupied. Mind you, this area of London was EXTREMELY short of houses or apartment blocks with garages, so an unlikely place to find ANY electric cars!

      • “go look at Oslo with its huge number of EVs… they cope.”

        …..but certainly not without it’s problems.

        ” Since 2013 several complaints and criticism have arisen due to the rapid increase in the number of electric vehicles on the roads as a result of the existing incentives to promote EV adoption, and particularly about the non-fiscal incentives.
        1- These include high public subsidies as compared to the value of the reduced carbon footprint of electric vehicles (the annual benefit of owning an electric car in Oslo is estimated at US$8,200 per car, per year).
        2- The travel mode shift by people who buy an electric vehicle as a second car instead of taking buses and trains; the potential traffic congestion in Oslo’s bus lanes due to the increasing number of electric cars (electric cars represent 85% of traffic in the bus lanes during rush hours).
        3- The loss of revenue for some ferry operators due to the large number of electric cars exempted from payment (during the first seven months of 2014 the service Krokeidet-Hufthamar from Hordaland saw a total of 9,226 electric cars not paying the ferry fee).
        4- Shortage of parking spaces for owners of conventional cars due to preference to electric cars and lack of a cap on parking time.”

      • How big will the substation have to be in order to fast charge the 200+ cars in the parking lot?

        Typical griff, blatant assertions, no thought about how to actually do it.

      • Ignorant claim, griff. Every single supermarket I’ve ever seen has no more than 4 chargers per 100 parking spaces. Some of those (few) chargers might even be level 2, capable of adding only 25 miles of range in an hour. If you are unlucky enough to get a level 2 charger, unless you spend 1/2 the day grocery shopping, you’re NOT going to be able to charge your EV at the supermarket. You MIGHT get enough juice to get home, but then you better have a garage with separate chargers for all the cars in your household. A charger at a commuter rail station will charge at most one or two cars per day. You’re not convincing anyone with your completely ridiculous statements.

      • Griff,

        I see the Model S, X and 3 Tesla’s parked at the charging stations at the local malls all the time. Usually, over night. The Tesla owner drives up, parks and plugs in, then gets into the ICE of someone who was following, and drives away. It is SOOOO cheap and accessible to charge overnight, at home (In California at least) that the owners go through the trouble of parking at shopping malls to charge over night.

        Max P

        • Surely the supermarket operators would switch off the charger power when the store closes at night? And if it stays open longer, they would limit the time of use for a single charge? They don’t want to just give away power for which they will be charged! Lots of complications in this scenario, with most of them working against EVs’ adoption. Could somebody please refer this article to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the High Priestess of Socialism in New Zealand?

          • I’ve been curious, and nosey enough, to swing by these charging locations in the wee hours of the morning, after I’m off work, to see if there are vehicles still plugged in and charging at 3AM and, most of the time, every charging station at the mall has a Tesla plugged in even at that late (Or early) hour.

            Don’t know if the charging stations are still powered or not. My guess is that they are still powered. There’s probably a write off, subsidy or tax break at work there.


            Max P

      • Huge???
        Upper middle class family in Oslo had one ice car.
        One family member drove to work. The other caught train.
        Government subsidize electric car and free parking in CBD.
        Upper middle class family buy electric car but keep ice car.
        Don’t catch train anymore.
        The whole deal when including extra non paying cars on the roads and reduced public transport use is not environmentally or financially sustainable.

      • Did a quick tally of cars in parking bays at local supermarket today.

        About 400 cars, average stay 30 minutes – 1 hour

        No explain where the electricity to provide charging for than many cars in that time period is going to come from.

        Or stop your idiotic fantasies.

  3. An interesting read. Thank you!

    I think in reality the charging stations will be kerb side initially and not compressed in a “gas station” model. Over time I think that EVs could use induction charging using power embedded in roads, or (most likely) we will standardize battery design and placement and go with “battery swap” stations. Here in Australia we have trialed battery swap, and now we are seeing kerb side charging rolling out.

    Hence large scale change to local distribution grids and the need for local sub stations can be avoided. Distribution network costs will rise still, but not in large local infrastructure such as local sub stations.

    We should also contemplate why electric charging is cheaper than gas. One reason is because electricity consumption is not taxed as highly as gas. Once government see a base of EVs, you will see a charging tax introduced. In the mean time EVs are a great way for the rich to avoid taxes!

    The impact on car dealerships is large too. Most car dealers do not service tyres and brakes in-house (most of the work to service an EV) – this is why most car dealers will try to talk you out of buying an EV. Tesla dealers are okay as they sell a premium care, but if EVs become common you can expect major disruption to the whole motor vehicle retail and service industry.

    Finally….where will all the cracked, crashed and end-of-life batteries go? What about the plants to extract and recycle the chemicals involved? These are far messier than dealing with the fluids in a conventional vehicle.

    • 1) Induction charging is hugely inefficient.
      2) The problems that need to be solved before you can start swapping batteries are huge, and pretty much unsolvable at current technology levels.

    • Let’s not forget the cost of ripping up every inch of asphault/concrete in a country so that the induction chargers can be installed.

    • Not only is induction charging very inefficient, it’s completely cost prohibitive. It’s far, far too expensive to tear up the pavement, lay miles and miles of induction wires (instead of a few feet of charger cable), and maintain the system from the effects of rain and ice with damaged/degraded pavement. Battery swap doesn’t work – who is going to swap their $10,000 to $15,000 new battery and get an old, worn-out battery with a fraction of the range? It’s simply not going to happen.

      I agree with you that gas station type EV charging stations aren’t going to happen. It takes too long to charge; there would have to be 5 charging stations in the same space as one gas pump. Not possible. If you spread out the chargers on curb side, you’ll still need the exact same electrical infrastructure to handle the same number of chargers.

    • Charging stations will have some way to buffer electricity to trickle charge from the grid, inductive power transfer is not inefficient, and it is only required on a very small percentage of the roadway – remember its charging batteries.

      • Nope, HAS, think again. Even with sophisticated antennas buried in the ground, inductive charging loses 10% or more of the power to heat and electromagnetic emissions (in addition to an extra 5% lost to heat in the battery itself). That’s a horrible waste. Sophisticated induction systems have been shown to be able to transfer about 5 kW – at that slow rate it would take ~600 miles of wired roadway to fully charge an EV traveling at 60 mph. More than one EV traveling at the same time in that lane means more electrical wiring to the induction system and more power needed.

        Don’t be stupid, not every EV is going to travel the same path – vehicles get on and off the road in different places, necessitating the highway to be wired for inductive transfer between every entrance and exit. That’s 100% of the highway. Not going to happen – not in the real world.

        By the way, it’s easy to understand (except for the hard-of-thinking) that to buffer electricity at the charging station to reduce the peak power taken from the grid by a mere 50% would require every charging station to have at least one battery the size of the EV’s battery and to operate at a 50% duty factor (charge EVs only every other hour). Charging and discharging that buffer battery 12 times per day would wear that battery out in months. That’s idiotic. Any other way to buffer power at the charging station is pure fantasy.

        • To get that kind of efficiency, the gap between the two coils has to be a small fraction of an inch. As the gap gets bigger, efficiency goes down. Fast.

      • How are charging stations going to buffer electricity? The only way I can think of is with batteries. They are going to need about 1 car’s worth of battery in order to charge one car, and that’s before you consider the conversion losses into and out of that battery. Hugely expensive and highly stupid.

        It doesn’t matter what you are doing with the power, it’s still inefficient, the gap between the two coils is too large and too variable. If you get 10% of the power from the road into the battery, you’ve had a good day. A very small percentage, then it will have very little impact.

      • Will the inductive coil also induce currents in every other piece of nearby metal (such as a car, motorcycle, bicycle, stroller, etc.) causing it to warm up? Hint – the answer is yes. To be effective, the inductor would have to have 10+kW of power to induce a reasonable charge on the car’s battery. If it takes 15 hp to move the car down the road, then you are using an equivalent of 11kW of electricity, so the inductor would have to be adding that much back all the time to keep the battery from draining. I guess you could just make all cars hook up to an overhead line like trolleys.

      • I think you will be pleasantly surprised when you realise what’s coming down the track with dynamic IPT, and who would use Li-ion to buffer energy at a recharging station?

        Loren, one of the tricks of this trade is focusing the transfer so you don’t waste your energy on stray fields.

        • How do you focus the transfer when the wire is buried in concrete or asphalt that constantly expands and contracts with the temperature? How do you keep the wire from breaking sooner or later because of the contraction and expansion? Utilities do it by burying their cable in conduit. What happens when you bury the charging cable in conduit in the roadway? How do maintain a usable field flux through the conduit? This doesn’t even begin to address what happens when the local government entity paves the road with another inch or more of asphalt to fix the potholes.

          • Has,

            Where are your links? You just indulged in the argumentative fallacy of “Argument by Dismissal”. In that argumentative fallacy you need give no reason for the dismissal, you just dismiss the argument straight away.

            I refuted your argument with facts. You didn’t refute my assertions at all, you just dismissed them!

    • … induction charging using power embedded in roads…

      Why has no one asked: who’s paying for this power? Are you picturing a country so socialized that the government owns the power generation, and just receives operating expenses from the General Fund, and thus everyone pays for it whether they drive battery electric, ICE, or wind-up; and therefore there must be an average taxation rate of 110%? Or is there an onboard meter on each electric vehicle?

  4. Great article Richard,
    I too love electric gadgets. But it will require more fossil fuel plants to charge them, as you pointed out.
    “That too will cost hundreds of thousands and this extra load is the equivalent of a new power plant which costs millions – and no – solar and wind for the most part do not provide reliable peak power, they provide unreliable intermittent power.”

    So, hybrid cars seem to make more sense, if we are going to burn fuel anyway. Distribute the charging task over the entire fleet, so you can charge the battery while you are driving, using the fuel-powered alternator. That also solves the heater problem, the fuel powered engine generates more heat than you need anyway.

    Yes, having two engines will make the cars more expensive. But we already knew that. And maybe someday we will figure out a better way to charge batteries, that does not require fossil fuels.

      • Well smarty pants my Acura RLX Sport Hybrid has three electric motors: one on each rear wheel (supplying the AWD) and one on the motor. Also the transmission is a 7 speed dual clutch automatic …. you appear to be one confused poster.
        However, yes one gasoline engine.

      • Bruce: A diesel-electric locomotive is a hybrid of the type you’re writing about. The diesel engine powers a generator and electric power from the generator drives electric motors that drive the wheels. There is no direct connection between the diesel engine and the wheels.

        A “Hybrid” automobile has both a gasoline engine and electric motor that drive the wheels. The electric motor receives its electric power from small-capacity batteries that are charged by generators which act as brakes (converting momentum into electric power) to slow the car.

        There are also plug-in-hybrids that have a small battery (but larger than that of a pure hybrid) that can be charged from the grid and then drive a few tens of miles on battery power alone.

        Next week we’ll cover fuel injection and turbocharging 🙂

        • Speed, you may also want to look at Series Hybrid. This considerably more rare automobile design, not limited to locomotives, has several mechanical & efficiency issues yet to overcome, but still an idea worth pursuing. Infiniti is tentatively claiming that their entire fleet will be electric drive (series hybrid, based on the existing Nissan design) or fully electric (BEV) in the next few years.

          • RM25483, thanks for the info. Whether because of technical problems or the Corona Virus, neither Infinity nor Nissan are saying much about their Series Hybrid plans. From January 2018 …

            o New INFINITI models will offer electrified powertrains from 2021
            o INFINITI will launch its first pure electric vehicle in the same year
            o Electrified vehicles will comprise more than half of INFINITI global sales by 2025


            I wouldn’t want to be CEO or CFO making product planning decisions with respect to electrification. It’s not $Millions any more, it’s $Billions.

            More interesting to me is electrification of Turbine Otters — something that makes sense (in limited applications) and is now flying.

    • @me
      “” …the fuel powered engine generates more heat than you need anyway.”
      You want to become a billionaire? Then invent a radiator that absorbs the excess (free) heat from the engine and converts it to electricity to charge the battery. But be careful not to violate the 2nd Law. :-]

        • My understanding is that about 70% of the energy created by an internal combustion engine is wasted. If we could just harness 10% of that to charge the battery that would be a good start.

          • At what cost?

            If we could harness that 10% of waste heat as usable electricity, would you be willing to pay, say, $10,000 USD extra on a single EV for that feature?

          • @Gordon Dressler
            “… would you be willing to pay, say, $10,000 USD extra …”

            Is that before or after the thermoelectric properties of the charging system have been optimized?

            First, we have to analyze the possibilities, understanding that internal combustion is extremely inefficient.

            We literally have to blow up the engine, with hundreds of explosions per second within the pistons to make it work at, say 30% efficiency. Gasoline has a chemical energy density of 36 kWh/gallon, so we get about a dozen kW hours of actual useful work, the remaining two dozen kW hours are released as heat. Some of that is very likely recoverable.

            If 10% of that wasted power could be recovered, i.e. about 2kWh, then the wasted portion of a gallon of gas would contain the same energy as an hour of trickle charging. Not much, maybe a few miles of travel, but on a larger scale (“tank, full”) it would definitely be useful.

            So, yes, if I was in charge of a large energy research group, I would certainly pay $10,000 for a “working prototype” of that concept. In fact I would probably pay a lot more than that.

          • Johanus posted: “First, we have to analyze the possibilities, understanding that internal combustion is extremely inefficient. . . . We literally have to blow up the engine, with hundreds of explosions per second within the pistons to make it work at, say 30% efficiency.”

            Sorry, Johanus, but you a bit shy on recognizing the range of internal combustion engines and their potential efficiencies when running fossil fuels. To wit:

            1) “A gas turbine, also called a combustion turbine, is a type of continuous and internal combustion engine ( ). It does NOT “literally have to blow up” (your words) nor does it experience “hundreds of explosions per second”.

            2) The “latest generation gas turbine engines have achieved an efficiency of 46% in simple cycle and 61% when used in combined cycle.”,when%20used%20in%20combined%20cycle. )

            3) If one does accurate end-to-end accounting of the various inefficiencies associated with generating electricity at a remote power plant, transmitting it to a home residence or city Supercharger station, converting it to DC to charge the battery, charging the battery with ohmic heating losses, storing it in the battery with self-discharge rates and parasitic losses (battery monitoring and thermal management losses), withdrawing if from the battery with ohmic heating losses, converting the DC back to AC for use in the EV drive motors, and finally accounting for the inefficiency of the AC drive motors, one finds that EVs are only 10-20% more energy efficient overall (i.e., based on fuel source BTU content) than are modern gasoline piston-powered ICE vehicles that achieve the 30% efficiency number you quoted. That is, from raw energy source to power-at the-wheels, a BEV has an overall efficiency of about 60%, tops.

            Therefore, modern INTERNAL COMBUSTION jet turbines are about as efficient as are EV’s in converting fossil fuel energy to useable power.

          • @MarkW
            “IC’s have been getting a lot better than 30% for decades.”

            Perhaps at the top echelon. Here are some Wikipedia estimates of average efficiency:

            Most iron engines have a thermodynamic limit of 37%. Even when aided with turbochargers and stock efficiency aids, most engines retain an average efficiency of about 18–20%. However, the latest technologies in Formula One engines have seen a boost in thermal efficiency past 50%.


            When expressed as a percentage, the thermal efficiency must be between 0% and 100%. Efficiency is typically less than 100% because there are inefficiencies such as friction and heat loss that convert the energy into alternative forms. For example, a typical gasoline automobile engine operates at around 25% efficiency, and a large coal-fuelled electrical generating plant peaks at about 46%, advances in Formula 1 motorsport regulations have pushed teams to develop highly efficient power units which peak around 45–50% thermal efficiency.


            So my “30%” would be somewhat ‘above average’ in either of these Wikipedia estimates.

          • @G.A.D.
            “Sorry, Johanus, but you a bit shy on recognizing the range of internal combustion engines and their potential efficiencies when running fossil fuels. To wit:”

            Sorry, Gordon, but you a bit shy on recognizing that my idea does not depend on any exact values for inefficiency, but only on the fact that it is way below 100%, which creates an opportunity for exploiting inefficiency and salvaging energy from the ‘wasted’ portion using advanced thermoelectric technology.

          • The problem with recovering energy from the exhaust & cooling is the equipment is heavy & bulky. So, the vehicle would be significantly larger for the same number of passengers as well as a lot heavier which requires more shaft HP to move from one place to another. It would be better to only use turbocharged & after cooled CI engines with DPF & SCR after-treatment; because, CI engines part load efficiency is superior to SI engines. For longer range than an EV a series hybrid. The IC engine drives a generator that charges the battery & drive motors. It runs at rated output until battery is charged & shuts off until battery is discharged. Then starts & runs until battery is charge. Rinse & repeat.

          • Johanus, your train of thought is very confusing in your most recent post stating “. . . my idea does not depend on any exact values for inefficiency . . .”

            I can then only wonder why you earlier bothered to post: “First, we have to analyze the possibilities, understanding that internal combustion is extremely inefficient.”

          • @Gordon
            “… your train of thought is very confusing in your most recent post stating “. . . my idea does not depend on any exact values for inefficiency . . . understanding that internal combustion is extremely inefficient.”

            My ‘train of thought’ is not confusing at all. I think you were the one confusing the issue by quibbling and insisting that I should have said 41%, or 61%, etc etc. None of your comments addressed the actual idea that I proposed.

            I am merely stating that the efficiency of IC is way below 100%. So it really does not make any difference if it is 30%, or 40%, or 50%. Whatever. The ‘wasted’ remainder is 70%, or 60%, or 50%. Whatever. So we are not concerned about the exact value, only that the wasted part might be harnessed for charging an EV battery.

            So I made this comment, which you were the first to respond to. Are saying now that you did not understand this?

            My understanding is that about 70% of the energy created by an internal combustion engine is wasted. If we could just harness 10% of that to charge the battery that would be a good start.

            It would have been just as valid if I said the wasted energy was 60% or 50%. There would still be an opportunity to salvage energy from the wasted part. So, again, the exact value does not matter.

            And, yes, the motive energy of IC engines does come from the explosion of a gas-air mixture. So the gasoline in the engine really does “blow up”, inside a cylinder, confined by a movable piston. Read the original ICE patent, issued in 1854:
            GB 185401072, Barsanti, Eugenio & Matteucci, Felice, “Obtaining motive power by the explosion of gases”

          • “wikipedia? Really? Should have stopped before you started, would have wasted less time.”

            Mosh? Is that you?

          • A lot of the lost heat goes out the tailpipe. Current engine technology captures some of that using something called a turbocharger to compress air for use by the engine to make it more efficient. It is perfectly feasible to use that spinning turbocharger to generate electricity for charging a battery instead of using an alternator connected to the battery which sucks power from the engine.

          • The best thermoelectrics to date were measured at ZT values of around 2.5 to 2.8. Scientists have now developed a completely new material with a ZT value of 5 to 6.

            Very interesting. Thanks for the link.

            It turns out that “ZT value” mentioned above is proportional to the square of the Seebeck coefficient, so doubling the ZT value would increase the voltage potential by 1.4 or so. But that’s only half of the equation. The resulting thermoelectric power is also dependent on the temperature gradient, so novel methods of thermal insolation and conduction can also contribute equally to increasing this power output.

            As always, more research is needed.

          • “We literally have to blow up the engine, with hundreds of explosions per second within the pistons to make it work”

            Someone is talking utter bollox and clearly doesn’t work in the motor industry.
            Nothing BLOWS UP, the fuel burns over a period from roughly -20BTDC to reaching peak pressure at roughly 10-15ATDC. This to me is a darn slow explosion!

            Then some nutter wants to compare an F1 engine, which is one of the worst possible examples to choose (typically lose as much power in piston skirt friction as comes out the flywheel, because of the stratospheric revs used to get horsepower!)

            On top of that the main reason why most ICE engines are relatively inefficient (apart from transmission friction at small throttle openings) is entirely for space reasons.

            If you look at the engine for a large supertanker ( the size of a block of flats), with immense stroke, crank & conrods, you will find those slow moving parts typically generate efficiencies close to 90% from the gungiest type of fuel known..
            ..either raw crude, or a mix of all kinds of rather heavy oils which first have to be heated, to get them injected at immense pressures into the cylinders.

            Best to know what you are on about when criticising the humble bloated family SUV!

          • pigs-in-space posted:
            “If you look at the engine for a large supertanker ( the size of a block of flats), with immense stroke, crank & conrods, you will find those slow moving parts typically generate efficiencies close to 90% from the gungiest type of fuel known..”

            Well, not really. For example, the largest IC engine in the world for ocean-going marine cargo ships as of 2008 (it may still be the largest), is the Wärtsilä RT-flex96C (see ). It burns heavy fuel oil and operates at 15-102 RPM and has a best specific fuel consumption value of 160 g/kWh.

            Heavy fuel oil has a higher heating value of 11.6 kWh/kg (see ). Therefore, 160 grams of diesel could theoretically yield 1.86 kWh with optimum combustion. When compared to the actual delivery of 1 kWh per 160 g diesel consumed (the best SFC value given above), the overall delivered thermodynamic-mechanical efficiency of this large engine is only about 54%, nowhere near 90%.

            Such huge, diesel-mode, two-stroke internal combustion engines are designed to deliver enormous torque and power at low RPM to achieve reliable, long-life service. They are NOT optimized for overall fuel-use efficiency, losing a large amount of heat to the massive pistons and water-cooled engine block comprising the truly massive engine (for the above-mentioned engine, each piston weighs 12,000 pounds . . . and there are 14 cylinders in-line!)

    • Why bother? Now you have the worst of both worlds: and ICE with fuel, lubrication, and lots of moving parts, and batteries with cost, weight, and loss of cargo capacity. I’ll just stick with my ole’ ICE.

      • If you could use that to power the cars accessories, you might be able to get away with a smaller alternator.

  5. Richard Fowler, thanks for post.

    Why is it “KW” instead of “kW” – Is it bigger kilos or something else?

    Another point:
    For the time being only a small percentage of the adult population has an EV. Despite that, those without car at all and those with ICV get to pay for subsidies to EVs, higher road road tax and higher fuel tax. On top of that, we all will have to pay more for our electricity due to grid upgrade, not including the wind and solar extra cost.

    I do not understand the authorities’ drive for EVs, when a much cheaper and practical solution to city pollution would be to run the ICVs on LPG (Liquid Petrol Gas) or NG (Natural Gas). Decades ago this was almost the norm in The Netherlands, in Denmark and many other countries. It was, as far as I remember, also the norm in Moscow at one time.

    • LPG vehicles cars trucks n buses are fairly commonin Aus introduced to save money using “cheap”gas, mileage isnt as good but it evens out
      few yrs on gas is now nearly at petrol costs
      push to get more LPG on rd offering a discount subsidy…saw the installers hike the system costs to the exact amount of said handouts.
      and like EV the fuel supply for LPG cars ends at the nearest middling large town
      so if youre isolated rural or planning a touristy trip? buy a petrol or diesel vehicle or be strnnded

      • The city of Poitiers in France has LPG buses, it has to be said the absence of diesel fumes when eating alfresco does improve things greatly compared with many city centres

      • There are less taxes for lpg.
        There are different taxes/subsidies/excise/whatever for different fuels and use scenarios.
        There is no level playing field.

        Btw taxis in AUS use lpg because the total cost ( installation, fuel, taxes, maintenance) is cheaper when considering they do on average 150,000km per year.

    • I think you nailed one thing no one is talking about – get rid of IC vehicles and what about the massive tax revenue hit? How would governments survive that kind of a hit – more $$ printing?

      • MIFE,

        No, they will just play big brother and put a GPS tracker in all cars and tax you by the meter travelled.

    • Generally only scientists who actually give a rats about SI would care how you write it. To an electrical engineer KWh, KWH, kwh or any other variation are all the same and it falls into the being anal retentive category if you care about it. With so many non speaking english in the electrical engineering field worrying about capitals is the least of your problems.

      • But the truth is, none of these unit abbreviations you cite here are SI—the SI unit for energy is instead megajoules, MJ.

        Using a standard system of units is important (not just to “scientists”) because it reduces confusion, like the confusion caused by mixing kW and kWh.

      • If you are an electrical engineer sending out specs for a cellphone, you might want to ensure the components specified are in units of mW, not MW. Never trust that the next guy has a lick of common sense.

  6. This report, by Richard Fowler, seems to identify the only benefit to electric vehicles, that is, reduction of the combustion products that tend to accumulate in some inner city settings. Point of generation of electricity, mostly by combustion of carbon forms, is just remoted to an area less susceptible to pollution (open country-side with winds?). The entire electric vehicle scheme is not tenable for the average use of motor vehicles and the cost of upgrading the electricity infrastructure is enormous, as he points out. The distance an electric vehicle owner can travel is compromised by many factors, not just heater/air conditioner issues. Climb hills? stop-and-go traffic? Speeding? Charging your laptop and cell phone? Only time for a partial charge? Battery deteoriation? Mandatory headlights? Or headlights at night? Forget about it.

    • I just love how big city liberals love to outsource their resource needs and pollution to rural folk so they can feel “green”…

      Water: Piped in from reservoirs, rivers, or wells – water that is taken from agriculture
      Garbage: Trucked to landfills located in rural areas
      Electricity: Generated in rural areas, pollution occurs away from the city

      There are plenty more examples of how city dwellers love to mandate what happens to the rural population (land use, transit, fuel taxes, etc.), all the while trucking and piping their waste to destinations outside of the city. It’s easy for city folk to feel good about how “green” they are when the rest of the state has to deal with their pollution.

  7. “At our current off peak rates you could travel 250 miles for under $2.50.”
    In the UK it’s similar but the issue is tax mainly.
    Current tax on fuel is around 60p/l with VAT as well.
    Currently no tax is levied on electricity for vehicles – if you charge up at home how could you separate the vehicle electricity use from household use.
    However, the tax take from fossil fuel is obviously huge in total and the government is going to find a way of getting the lost tax back when EVs use over ICE use becomes significant.

    • You get the real money issue, Phaedo. Electric cars are driving on our public roads on the backs of people who use internal combustion engines. It is a sham. Not only do electric cars owners get to cheat on their taxes, but they often get direct subsidies on the purchase of the vehicle. I have nothing against people buying and driving an electric car, but they must pay the cost of using our roads and they must buy their car without getting handouts from the taxpayer.

  8. Question : If lots and lots of people are charging their electric vehicles overnight, will off peak cease to exist?

  9. California is the biggest electric car market in the US. The average daily electric power usage is ~19KWh per day. A based on a Model 3, it will take 12-15 KWh to charge a car overnight just to replace the energy used to drive 50 mikes per day. Double that for 2 car families and woe be to families with teenagers who want drive.

    • My understanding, in California, is that the charging stations at the local shopping areas are provided free of charge. This is also true for local dealerships that are required to have free charging available.
      Doesn’t make a lot of sense when you have to pay to park downtown.

      • Not all charger stations are low cost or free…
        ‘…While the ChargePoint network allows the property owner where the charger is situated to set rates, Blink charges between $0.04-$0.06 per minute or from $0.39 to $0.79 per kWh, in states where that’s permitted. Chevrolet says its Bolt EV will get back an average 25 miles of operating range per hour of Level 2 charging.’

        These rates are 2x to 5x the CA residential EV rate, so a multi-recharge trip will be very expensive, and about 2x, or more, the cost to operate a gas ice car…

  10. There is so much wrong with this post that it is difficult to know where to start .
    I do not know the figures for a lot of the States , but in the UK the total generation capacity is only enough , [ off peak or anytime ] , to allow 5% of the total cars to plug in before the grid goes down .
    They are rolling out ” smart meters ” for EV users so that the chargers can all be shut down to keep the grid going . So , especially in the Winter months when demand is higher , most EVs will only get charged up , [ on average} , once every few weeks .

    It cannot work for large goods vehicles as the total weight for a battery truck would not allow it to carry a full size container , and charging trucks would then need another massive increase in generation capacity .
    Again , in the UK , substation transformers have a max rating of about 150KW , so it would need several extra large [$1,000,000 plus ] substations at each service area for overnight charging at higher rates , even if the grid was upgraded to cope with the huge increase in generation required .

    And then there is the huge cost of EVs .
    In Germany , which because of the push for unreliable generation has the highest cost electricity in the world , it costs more per mile to run an EV than it does for an ICE engine .
    With the Green loonies pushing for zero CO2 everywhere , the price of electricity will rise so that it will cost more in most countries which fall for that idea .

    So the whole idea of EVs is just more Green insanity .

  11. I really don’t understand this post. If everyone charges an electric car overnight, you are probably going to turn off peak demand into more peak demand. So 24/7 peak demand, provided by increasing amounts of non-dispatchable wind power, and zero solar after dark.

    • Randomized charging over the time interval from off peak start (8pm?) to on peak start (6am) will efficiently spread the load just as electric base board heaters do. Simply need an algorithm for the charger to divide the overnight interval into charge segments needed( seldom will full charge be required for daily commuters) and randomize the intervals or even coordinate via internet with utility software. It will be a very good leveler for capacity and make the whole system much more cost efficient and more economic since your annual peak of peaks (for which capacity must be designed) is far, far higher than average usage.

      • It doesn’t matter whether everyones’ cars charge slowly, in parallel, or each is charged rapidly in an allocated time slot. The total charge needed for the total fleet is the same.
        So if you have enough ‘off peak’ capacity, you have no need of ‘randomly allocated’ charge periods.
        If you do not, most people will have insufficient charge next morning to get to work.

        Addition is commutative. Though I’ve met a manager or two who desperately tried to make budgets fit by reordering the sums 🙂

      • That would only be true if you were charging cars 24/7.
        Since that is clearly not going to be the case, your examples are meaningless.

        • There are two peaks daily. System capacity is designed for the annual peak of peaks. All auto charging could be randomized for off-peak charging to level the load curve – not necessarily limited to nights – and useful even on light days since peak shaving keeps more expensive generation off line. It will be a great boon to the electric industry.

  12. When all this fuss started over a decade ago, maybe 1990s – don’t remember the exact start of it – there was an expectation that the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle would be a real change, would be less polluting, would offer recycling for the fuel cells and all that other stuff, and the EV option was less important.

    So what happened to that? I saw city buses that used H2 fuel cells being driven in Chicago, with big magnetic signs on the side that said “hydrogen fuel cell powered – experimental vehicle’ – something like that.

    What happened to all of that?

    • still going… there are many more H2 busses about… also hydrogen powered rail.

      Delivery vans too. Private cars? Not so much

      • The issue is the cost is still more than twice that of a petrol or diesel engine along with the cost and availability of refuel sites. EV’s have got down to similar cost bar replacement batteries but the issues are recharge time and infrastructure. The petrol/diesel engine still have very significant advantages and that is problematic for marketting … who wants to buy inferior.

      • Griff, don’t be a dupe. The vast majority of H2 comes from natural gas. It’s less efficient to run a vehicle on H2 made from natural gas than to just run it on compressed natural gas. Safer too.

    • The price happened.
      Battery technology, reduced the cost, weight & improved the range of batteries.
      Daimler Benz were investigating hydrogen fuel cells cars recently, they discontinued as the cars would cost 8X that of an EV.
      Hydrogen is manufactured in one of two ways, steam reformation of methane, or electrolysis.
      You then have to liquify & store your hydrogen, then transport it to a refuelling station & store it there.
      Then you’ve got to fill the fuel tank in the vehicle.
      Liquid hydrogen is stored at -252.87°C .
      Fancy Joe Public attaching a nozzle to a connector on their vehicle, with liquid hydrogen flowing through it?

      • The connectors can be made in such a way that they are placed on the receiver and given a quarter turn to click in place. The interlocks won’t allow cryogenic transfer unless it is clicked and sealed. It shouldn’t be any harder than gasoline to fuel, just a different process.

        The harder problem is metal embrittlement from the contact with the hydrogen. The fuel system will have to be replaced every 6 months or so. The same for the tanks at the fueling station. Heaven forbid a hydrogen powered car get hit in the fuel tank, the Pinto explosion problem will look like small potatoes. Hydrogen has too many engineering problems to overcome to be useful in consumer vehicles.

          • Oh, I am aware. In order to get one to explode on camera, the news crew planted a small explosive device in the fuel tank and set it off for dramatic effect. Having the fuel tank behind the rear axel was a bit problematic though, as they did tend to leak and catch fire in a rear end collision. They didn’t explode though, which was the “it bleeds, it leads” headlines pushed by the press.

          • Never forget saddle tanks on Chevy trucks. They rigged those to explode, too, in their headlong rush to spread nonsensical hysteria, and it worked.

          • Having the gas tank behind the rear axel is standard in cars. I’ve never seen one that wasn’t arranged that way.

          • VW Beetle? In the front, behind the spare tire.
            And some modern hatchbacks (e.g. Honda Fit) keep the tank under the front seat to leave room for stow-n-go arrangements.

          • My honda civic tank is in front of the rear axle. My CRV tank is in front of the axle . My Ford Ranger tank is in front of the axle. My Toyota Camry tank is in front of the axle. In fact most of the cars I have seen put the spare tire where the Pinto fuel tank was and moved the tank to the other side of the axle. They sit pretty much under the back seat in most sedans these days. To get to the fuel pump on most sedans, you have to remove the back seat, remove the access panel and there it is.

    • I too am wondering what happened to the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. I remember when a Japanese company (I honestly don’t remember which one) unveiled their hydrogen car and it had been tested already as I recall. And then it was gone, never mentioned again.

      What also happened to the movement toward compressed natural gas cars? Or the flex fuel mostly corn oil cars? Or anything BUT gas vs electric?

      Hybrids make the most sense in this economy base with the existing infrastructure in place. But hybrids are just a stepping stone, not a solution. And they are a stepping stone to finding an alternative fuel source to running an engine. For now it’s internal combustion, but what if a hydrogen fuel cell can replace batteries to an electric engine? Sounds like it’s worth investigating vs replacing the entire energy grid for a car that can only go 250 miles in ideal conditions.

      If the goal is a move from internal combustion engines–then you’ve got to find a better replacement for those that will give people more than just a commuter car, otherwise what is the point? Not everyone lives in a city and those that are fortunate enough in the US to live in a city with actual public transport don’t normally even have cars (because they are too expensive to park) so does it really matter to them? Probably not. But for those of us that deal with snow, rain, heat, hills, mountains, traffic…etc on a daily commute? Yea, I don’t want to be navigating my commute through non ideal conditions by worrying if I have enough energy not to be stranded at the same time.

      The article mentioned 18 Wheelers. For reference for those that do not know: a power unit or tractor with a range of 500 miles typically weighs in around 12,500 lbs (more or less depending on day or night cab, fuel, internal controls…etc). DOT max weight in the US is 80,000 lbs for tractor and trailer and it is broken up of max weight distribution on the major elements of the semi truck. So 12.5K for wheels, 33K for the drives, 33K for the tandems (in general here). So if you have a tractor that has a battery pack without the engine that weighs 5 tons or 10,000 lbs, you’ve already lost that weight ratio because the cab of the truck weighs significantly more than 2.5K lbs. Unless you move that battery pack to the drives, but then you are interfering with the kingpin stresses and that means more on the tandems (back wheels) in order to be legal. I’ve yet to see one of Musk’s Cylon Trucks (seriously they look like Cylons) with a load during testing. In fact, I’ve yet to actually see a weight distribution or loading plan for one of his trucks. I’ve seen a lot of flashy marketing material but when it comes to brass tacks….nada. I do know he’ll give you a truck, if you agree to put in a $1M charging station for it. Under load, I suspect that 500 miles is more like 180 or so, which makes each electric truck good for crossdocking at rail yards in a city but probably only for 1/2 of 1 shift. So are electric semi’s the wave of the future? Not at this time. They need to solve the weight distribution problem, range and how that will affect hours of service of the drivers. I can tell you right now, there isn’t a driver in the US that is going to cut their drive hours to charge their truck. Less hours on the road means less money in their pocket and the typical charge time is 12 hours, 2 hours beyond the mandatory 10 hr break.

  13. Buying a.piece of equipment that only makes itself available for use around 50% of the time doesn’t seem very sensible to me,; when you get an equivalent , possibly cheaper, you can use whenever you want.

    • I love the rechargeable vacuum cleaner, 20 minutes cleaning per charge what’s not to like about equipment limiting the duration of a chore?

      • Ben, same thing for my electric leaf blower. I like the convenience of not having an electric cord when I’m blowing the leaves. But the lithium battery (which is relatively new) is only good for about twenty minutes running time and the lithium battery takes about two hours more of less to recharge. That’s fine for an electric leaf blower that I only use in my backyard. But in a car that I might want to drive a few hundred miles in a day … well not so much.

        • And electric motors lose performance as the battery charge wanes and/or if the battery runs hot. The portability and plug-and-play are great for light duty chores, but anything strenuous or time-consuming wants the consistency of a gas motor.

        • Get a Craftzman 20v LI leaf blower, large battery runs 60+ minutes on hi, much longer on lo and it works very well. Smaller battery runs 30-40 mins on high.

          • Like 6 pounds, very light. I use Weedeater brand string trimmers and leaf blowers, well, I did,, bought a combo pack trimmer and blower for $120 and am very impressed(I do a lot of fence line and right of way trimming) and am now switching over all my battery tools to Craftzman. Lowes and ACE Hardware carry them now and it is the same return/replace policy they always had. The leaf blower is quite powerful for its size.

        • Marty
          Use a rake 🙂
          Population growth is not the main issue with energy demand.
          It is the increase in energy from the noble goal of bringing millions of people out of poverty and allowing or selfishly wanting the billions of poorer people having what we have.
          My wife’s house in rural Philippines had a well for water and no refrigerator.
          They now have a a water pump, washing machine and refrigerator, but still no car or leaf blower.
          The whole reduce emissions in the developed world to save the planet from overheating is an absolute joke when it will be totally offset but extra emissions in the developing world.
          Sorry for rant.

  14. In the latest issue of Road & Track Magazine, two writers drive a Taycan coast to coast (US) and charging is possible but not pleasant — not like filling up with gasoline anyway. They point out, however, that Tesla has made their Superchargers part of the company’s strategy.

    If you look at a map of Supercharger locations you can see that for long distance drivers they have been built at 150 to 200 mile intervals along US interstate highways — close enough to eliminate range anxiety while not requiring a full 100% charge to get to the next charging location.

    Love him or hate him, Elon Musk is a pretty smart guy.

    Related to this article … It sounds like the author works for what once was a Rural Electric Cooperative serving a largely agricultural community. It would be interesting to hear a bit about their history. I believe that the Federal Government was a booster of rural electrification but the farmers (or some anyway) were not and a lot of marketing and federal money was needed to get their buy-in.

    • Look at what is happening in France now. Talk about anxiety. An automobile fleet of significant numbers of EVs would be paralyzing.

  15. Once people have encountered the flat battery after their car has levelized the grid in an emergency situation, family member missed last train home for example, how many are going to connect to the charger/discharger during peak hours unless the battery has low charge?

    In my small hatchback I can drive 450+ miles between nearly empty and full tanks. This costs about £0.04 per imperial mile for petrol minus the government taxes. I know that when I got out in the morning the tank will still have as much “charge” in it as it did the night before unless some thieving scoundrel other than the electric company has emptied it. I know that 99% of the time I can refill the tank in a couple of minutes and that will last at least two weeks of normal usage. I know if I maintain the engine it will probably outlast the rest of the car, if it doesn’t I can get another from a salvage yard for a few hundred pounds and have it fitted for a couple more. I know that in hot or cold weather the range of the car will still be round about 450 miles. If I by some miscalculation end up with an empty tank I can push the car into a safe position and walk to a filling station buy a can fill it walk back to the car and drive off.

    I can’t see an electric car offering that security and flexibility without huge investment by battery manufacturers and electricity suppliers without huge investments all of which I will have to pay for. The taxes I pay on fuel, currently over two thirds of the cost, will have to be replaced by something else, a cost per mile driven charge in all likelyhood, making electric cars even less financially attractive.

    • That in a nutshell is the problem in trying to sell it to a customer, the EV is inferior. That is why the only way to force the issue is by draconian law to force people to buy inferior.

  16. Large power customers have always had to pay “demand charges” If the utilities were allowed to do the same thing to the 500 kW charge stations there wouldn’t be any. But regulators and utility companies do the legislative wishes of the politicians who have to cater to the “willfully uninformed” voters to get re-elected.

  17. Or if you live in tower block with limited parking.
    The parking lot will look like an octopus with masses of cables charging cars overnight, assuming the substation supplying the block can provide enough power.

  18. Recall the mass evacuation in Florida a few years ago in order to flee a hurricane. Electric autos would be a death trap.

  19. I think Mr. Fowler has the right idea why electric vehicles are not practical in large numbers, but he makes the mistake of not understanding large numbers. If he would go to an automobile assembly plant and watch vehicles roll off the line every 45 – 50 seconds (from each assembly line at each plant), he would see that real electricity demands would be much higher than his estimates. There were 92 million vehicles built in 2019. How many substations would that require and how quickly can we get them installed?

  20. The actual reality check is if you want electric vehicles they will have to have a gasoline or LPG ICE motor running a generator to power them. Anything else is stupid.

  21. Where’s ColMosby? Obviously we’ll replace every filling station with an MSR dedicated to fast chargers. Since the chargers will be directly above the generator, not much infrastructure needed.

    I assume you can put the whole MSR underground so that you can keep the convenience market. Maybe put the MSR in basement 2, and the substation transformers in basement 1. Easy peasy.

    Do I have that right, Col?

  22. “Because we wouldn’t have to upgrade our power lines. Those power lines have been designed and engineered for peak times (in Howard’s case 6 to 8 a.m. & 4 to 8 p.m.) and by charging your car in off peak hours you would be using those power lines during non-peak times. ”

    I stipulate that if 100% of the cars are electric, and charging at these times, then the current off-peak hours will transition into the Peak hours.

    • I’ll bet that transition would be gradual. Perhaps the off-peak period shrinks by an hour or is replaced by slightly more expensive “mid-peak” period. Or they slowly increase the rates for off-peak.

    • This point has been repeated several times, so permit me to respond. Those of you suggesting charging electric cars on an off peak rate will eventually just result in a new shoulder peak are absolutely correct.

      However, there is a lot of available capacity in our nation’s electric grid between about 10 pm and 4 am. So we can add a considerable amount of “slow trickle charging” electric cars at night without having to add capacity to our electric grid. Fast chargers however would get us to that shoulder peak much much faster.

      • “there is a lot of available capacity in our nation’s electric grid between about 10 pm and 4 am”

        Not really. Especially during the winter.

    • And what kind of service do they require? 480VAC three-phase? Not cheap. Residential service is generally only 208VAC single-phase.

      • Th most common residential electric US meter meter is form 2S. 2 phases plus neutral. It allows 24o for oven and clothes dryer, 12o for everything else.

          • You can recharge on 240V AC but it takes 20 hours for a full charge on a Tesla S
            If you change your service to 480v you can recharge in solitary significantly less time but 480v isn’t generally used for single unit residential service. One way around is to run a second parallel 240v svc

          • Bryan,

            If the primary feed and transformer are typical for a residential setup then running a second service wire won’t get you to 480v. Primary residential feeds usually only provide two two phases on the pole. You can run as many service drops as you want, you won’t get more voltage between them. It would just be like increasing the size of the wire in the service drop – more current capacity, e.g. a 100amp svc to a 200amp svc.

    • Oh…that’s easy. Just buy an electric forklift to haul your 8″ cable around that weighs 600 pounds, filled with pure copper. And another attachment to ensure you can plug it in without busting off the connectors when attaching it to the car. But this is what a EV semi truck will require.

      This thought of fast high capacity chargers for a lot of vehicles doesn’t add up, obviously, and shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to understand this. It’s why it really isn’t happening, except for a smallish trial that is being subsidized to the point of ridiculousness. Many of these fast chargers are just a diesel generator on a trailer they pull in, maybe with another trailer full of charged batteries they haul in daily to make this appear to work. Add all this up, and it doesn’t add up. Not for the pure BEV fast charger. Maybe a PHEV might be a place to start if you needed short range EV capabilities in the city, for all the obvious reasons, but we finally have perfected the ICE auto that is highly efficient, little pollution, reliable and relatively inexpensive. The gist of the post is correct.

    • Keep in mind the current (also remember, we are talking DC, not AC) is not flowing during User interaction; only low voltage contacts to perform a digital handshake are active. Current flow begins / ceases at the press of a physical button or via remote software action (e.g. in-car or phone) by the User. The cables themselves for the fast charging DC are pretty hefty — go to a charging station and check one out. The cables for Level 2 (say, 32A AC) are likely 6 gauge or similar and still only flow when activated. Hope this helps!

    • I ran the numbers a year or so ago. To carry that kind of current you need a bar around 0.4 inches in diameter. Of course you would need two of those for a charging “cable”.

  23. It is said in the article that slow charging is the cost effective way to go. Once there becomes a significant fleet of EV the supply and demand ratio for those cheaper electrons changes, and so do the costs.

  24. And when a huricane takes out the power lines to the charging stations over a large area, what then?

    • Atlanta is about 400 miles from where Zeta made landfall. The storm swept through the city on Thursday, leaving approximately one million people without power. Power may not be fully restored until Sunday. No power, no phone, no internet, no TV. Imagine no transportation, either, since the storm hit in the middle of their precious off-peak charging time period.

      When the power went out here (we were lucky, only a four-hour outage), I announced, “Welcome to the Democrats’ Green New Deal. Enjoy not using fossil fuels.”

      I have always classified EVs as a technology that, when you need it most, will most likely fail.

  25. The solution to all the problems of decarbonization is the realization that decarbonization is not necessary.

    • That sir is the money shot. More CO2 is better. ( On another matter I prefer the 6L6. I know it is generic but it gives a better light show)👍😉 Boogy tubes

  26. I work for a power company. There’s nothing we would like any more than to sell power to squillions of electric vehicles. It would put our CEO in an ecstatic trance of inexpressible joy. Our company, along with every major power company in America, has been throwing money at battery technology for a long time. We do this for cars, and we do it for the much dreamier fantasy of grid level battery storage.

    But nothing’s working out. Storing energy in battery chemistry is fundamentally inadequate. The biggest battery on the planet can replace an average sized power plant for, at most, an hour or so. The biggest one I’ve ever seen planned might last 12 hours. To replace a real power plant, we need 12 days or 12 weeks worth of storage — and a half a continent full of windmills and solar panels to charge it up…. and another squillion miles of transmission lines to plug everything in. Money, money, money, money! Like I said, our CEO would need tranquilizers to restrain the gladness.

    Conclusion: Battery technology is not even within an order of magnitude for the amount of energy storage needed to be a practical solution for cars or the grid.

  27. You will not own a car in the future and you will not be allowed to travel outside your smart city without special permission so the distance is a moot point. Cars will be self driving and will be rented. The freedom to roam is a thing of the past. No longer the freedom of the wide open spaces. You honestly don’t think that all petrol cars are going to be replaced with electric do you? A huge cultural change. Pity teenage boys in the future… Prefab Sprout – Cars and Girls .

    • Close to my conclusions. I believe the intent is to deny citizens the private ownership of vehicles. Their (those in power) personal rationale is: less congestion, less policing, fewer injuries and deaths, less road maintenance, repairs, and construction, all leading to a higher standard of living (in their eyes). The true reason – they are tired of increasing traffic, lack of parking, and having to engage the masses. We are an inconvenience. They will be exempt, because they ‘need’ their vehicles to run government.

      Their method of making this happen is to blame vehicles for climate change, and institute policies that make owning them unaffordable, unless government is picking up the tab for you. They will NEVER say you are banned from owning a vehicle. That would be politically unacceptable. Instead, they will simply price you out of the market.

      That’s the only explanation I can conceive that explains why they are pushing a concept that so clearly could not be implemented. It is not possible to replace the existing number of vehicles with EVs, nor provide them with the electrical energy necessary to drive the existing number of miles driven.

      • So there’s another explanation that I think is more accurate. We don’t need to presume some massive conspiracy to take away our liberties. It’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey. Kind of like going on an all-inclusive cruise paid for with OPM.

        Unicorn fart energy does not need to be the slightest bit practical to be implemented. There does not need to be any practical roadmap to a complete and functional system. The entire objective is to create government spending cash flows that only connected cronies can access.

        Crony capitalists can get ridiculously rich farming subsidies without actually contributing any value to society. The way a crony becomes a crony is by paying a politician for access. The politician passes laws, controls regulations and arranges contracts that enrich the crony.

        As long as the crony keeps paying the politician, the politician makes sure that the government teat is still in the crony’s mouth.

        Eventually the scam has to pack up and move on to a new scam. Think Solyndra. Do you think that the 0bama contributors who ran that scam are living in a refrigerator box under a highway overpass today? Um, no. The company went bankrupt and taxpayers covered the whole cost, except for any unfortunate vendors who failed to demand cash in advance. The cronies are surely either set for life or are running a new scam, or both.

        Another thing to consider is that ridiculously impractical schemes beget new subsidy opportunities. Impractical windmills and solar panels lead to battery scam opportunities, smart meter opportunities, frequency stabilization opportunities. None of it needs to work! Their flaws propagate even more scam opportunities.

        Incidentally this hypothesis works equally well to explain pandemic response “opportunities” like remdesivir that doesn’t work replacing no-profit HCQ that does.

  28. Randomized charging over the time interval from off peak start (8pm?) to on peak start (6am) will efficiently spread the load just as electric base board heaters do. Simply need an algorithm for the charger to divide the overnight interval into charge segments needed( seldom will full charge be required for daily commuters) and randomize the intervals or even coordinate via internet with utility software. It will be a very good leveler for capacity and make the whole system much more cost efficient and more economic since your annual peak of peaks (for which capacity must be designed) is far, far higher than average usage.

    • Since it takes all night to trickly charge a car’s battery, there is no availability time shift some of the demand.
      If you make all chargers the high current type, all you have done is have say 1/8th the number of people charging at any given time, the problem is that each of them is pulling 8 times as much power.
      Your solution doesn’t help in the slightest, just makes the system more complex and expensive.

    • Worse, what about on the way home, when you are pulling your 2000 pound fishing boat and one or two 1 pound bass?

      • You’ll likely be OK so long as your lake is in your backyard towing the boat shouldn’t present a problem. Of course you might have to stop and recharge on the way back to your garage

    • Yup and how about a 6,000lb horse trailer with six 1150lb horses in it. Up and down mountains while running either the heater or the AC, with nothing but a currant bush to plug into when you reach your destination several hours later.

  29. The argument about not having to upgrade power lines is inadequate.
    If electric cars are charged only at night, there will be no change to day-time load, it will increase with population and economic activity.
    But electric cars will be charged during the day as explained in other posts, for example at work and at the shops, as well as at home at night. Some owners will save on upgrading their home electrical facilities and use daytime outlets only. In general, charging electric cars will increase both day and night loads.

  30. I don’t care whether or not electric cars are successful. I do care that they are being given preferential treatment, at everyone else’s expense. That, in a nutshell is the issue, and the same goes for “renewable” or “green energy”. That is all we climate and energy rationalists want – a level playing field. But I guess that is asking too much.

    • Spare nightime capacity exists up to about 10% of the cars being electric. After than we need to upgrade all electrical production by a factor of 10.

      Unless we go nuclear there is no way this can be done, because it takes the energy of 1 solar panel over 20 years to produce a second solar panel. There is no surplus energy to power cars, unless we use fossil fuels to build the panels. Which is no better than simply using fossil fuels in the cars.

      • “it takes the energy of 1 solar panel over 20 years to produce a second solar panel”

        That assumes the solar panel will last for 20 years.
        BTW, does that 20 year calculation include loss of efficiency in the panel as it gets older?

  31. “The Green New Deal would make all vehicles electric by 2030 and the proposed “OFF Act” would make all vehicles electric by 2035.”

    What on earth are you talking about? I don’t know about you but I’ll be buying an EV in Oz at the end of 2023 when I planned to chop in the missus ICE shopping trolley and no more petrol and excise for me at that price-
    Yippee as the federal Gummint charge Ozzie 46.53 cents/litre on fuel now and with EVs at parity with ICEs get out of my way at the showroom and where do I pay brother?

  32. Italian governament earns about 80bln yearly on fuels for automotive. So what will the kwh cost when most cars are electric?

  33. Installed a free at point of use 32A charger at one of our office car parks down in Devon (UK) to start a learning curve . . .
    instant mayhem as soon as a second person wanted to charge, due to the very limited number of car spaces otherwise available and always full
    We now need to install a metering system and a booking system and hope person A shifts his car when person B wants to charge , which means phone calls and leaving the office to swap cars and to talk about cars etc.
    I suggested we supply a long pair of flying leads to stretch across the car park , just waiting for the first person to think its a good idea !

  34. There are many studies which quantify the consequences on the environment of an object from the extraction of the metals necessary for its manufacture, until disposal. Between 2010 and 2019, at least 85 studies of this type have been carried out on electric vehicles by various research institutes.

    Here’s one:

    « Sensitivity Analysis in the Life-Cycle Assessment of Electric vs. Combustion Engine Cars under Approximate Real-World Conditions », Eckard Helmers, Johannes Dietz and Martin Weiss, Sustainability, février 2020

    There is a consensus across all studies that says, producing an electric vehicle requires much more energy, and emits twice as many greenhouse gases as producing a combustion engine vehicle.

    So why are climate alarmists happy about this?

    I’ve got a new slogan for Oslo: “Oslo, producing more CO² than we need to since 2014”

  35. If you go to and read up on the e-cat SKL, you would understand your issue is no issue at all. This would allow electric generation units of 5 , 10, or 15 kW to be incorporated in the automobiles (larger for busses, trucks, etc.). The average power consumption of cars in town driving is about 8 to 10 kW, but has peak power to 100 kW or more for acceleration. The acceleration can be handled by battery, but since each acceleration only lasts for seconds at a time and only uses 0.1 to 0.2 kW-h each time, fairly small batteries can be used (10 or so kW-h would generally do). Trip driving uses 12 to 18 kW average (again with up to 100 kW or so peaks for acceleration), so 10 to 15 kW e-cats and 25 to 50 kW-h of battery would allow 8 hour of high speed driving, and recharge within the auto on stops and meals. Slightly higher e-cat power would allow less battery, and faster turnaround. The e-cats, long life modest sized battery packs, and electric motors capable of 100 or so kW make the whole issue moot.

    • Mr. Weinstein: Which “your issue” do you mean? Thanks for the link, but if e-caworld or anybody else had solved any one of the issues raised in the article, the author would know it and any number of commenters here would know it, so I’ll not spend any of my time visiting some site that is promoting unicorn farts as long life, modest sized battery packs. If it floats your boat to believe it, enjoy. As I’ve said many times, when a business like the post office starts using EVs in the fleet, then I’ll look. Have you ever noticed all those postal trucks parked in the same place in the early morn, and again at night, drive 100 miles stop-n-go, never far from the base? Your e-cat SKL, whatever that is, has very large customers just waiting for it to arrive, but it hasn’t. If only the EV fans could recharge a battery with unwarranted optimism.

  36. We should neither ignore the positive nor the negative aspects of any new technology, but take everything into consideration and balance the pros and cons. For example, Climate Change Alarmists tend to ignore the beneficial aspects of warming and increases in atmospheric CO2, whilst those who disagree with the AGW concept tend to downplay the ‘potential’ benefits of renewable energy supplies.

    The progression of electric vehicle technology has been rather slow because it is understood that a reliable and very large supply of electricity would be required if most people were to use EVs, and that that situation would be in conflict with the political drive to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels.

    Electric vehicles are potentially cheaper to run and less expensive to maintain than diesel and gasoline cars. However, the expense of needing to replace the batteries after a certain mileage, and the slow degradation of the batteries after frequent recharges, is a negative aspect which adds to the over all cost.

    The good news is, this could change as battery technology develops. Tesla seems to be in the process of developing an amazingly durable battery which could outlast the rest of the car.

    “A Tesla battery researcher showed updated test results pointing to batteries lasting over 15,000 cycles or the equivalent of over 2 million miles (3.5 million km) in an electric car.

    Most impressively, the batteries show very little to no capacity degradation when they are discharged between 25% to 50% of their capacity, which is actually how most people use their cars.
    On average, American drivers use their vehicles for less than 30 miles per day.

    For example, with this battery in a Tesla vehicle with over 300 miles of range, you could use it to commute 30 miles a day and by charging, on average, from 70 to 80% every day, it would result in very little to no battery degradation.”

    • Research test results pointing to.

      Get back to us when real and all details worked out. In the meantime, I buy a Tahoe to pull my boat and to travel and the commitment will be for a long, long time. I don’t know any electric enthusiast who doesn’t imagine elimination of the internal combustion engine and is against co-existence.

    • “The good news is, this could change as battery technology develops. Tesla seems to be in the process of developing an amazingly durable battery which could outlast the rest of the car.”

      Tesla has a long history of announcing amazing breakthroughs that never make it out of the lab.

    • That 15K cycles is only possible in a lab, where the battery is both charged and discharged at the perfect rate and to factory specified levels and only at factory specified levels with extra cooling to make sure the battery never heats up.
      Beyond that the battery is never stored for hours at a time with the battery full.

      In other words, it will never happen in the real world.

  37. A reality check on self driving vehicles and electric trucks.

    This truck driver writes up an e-mail and posts a “Trucker Report” on another board every week. This week was quite interesting. Imagine driving an EV of any kind in the conditions we encountered, let alone getting stranded in the middle of nowhere in such conditions.

    Truckers report. (Global warming my ass edition)

    Teamed with Randy to do the Nogales, AZ run. Departed at 02:00 Sunday morning.

    Took the route we prefer across I-70 W to Kansas City and the bypasses south to the US 35 toll road to Wichita, KS where we catch US 54. US 54 across KS and through the panhandles of OK and TX to Tucumcari, NM where we catch I-40 W to Santa Rosa, NM and get off on US 54 again. US 54 to US 70 passing by White Sands to catch I-10 W at Sant Cruz I-10 W to I-19 S to Nogales, AZ on the border with Mexico.

    It took the first shift and got us down to the I-35 service area south of El Dorado a few short miles north of Wichita. Randy took over and started hitting freezing precipitation in SW Kansas. He drove through freezing rain, sleet, and light snow as we skirted the eastern edge of the powerful cold front pushing down through the center of the country. When I woke up the leading edge of our mirrors were covered in ice with icicles hanging down from the lower edges.

    I took over about midnight in a small truck stop south of Vaughn, NM. Randy had gotten down ahead of the leading edge of the cold front. The temp was 45 F when I took over and the wind was howling out of the south east. The ice on the truck starting to melt. Once I had driven 38 miles further SW on US 54 the temp was 70 deg. F! When I yelled back to the sleeper to let Randy know he responded. “I say this with Love! F you!” We both had a good laugh.

    I drove us on to Nogales where I made the delivery at 11:30 and then drove up through Tucson to Oro Valley near and dropped the special refer trailer (having rear and front refer units with a movable insulated divider so that freight requiring two different temps can be carried in one trailer. I this case it was reagents and pre prepared slides in the front and diagnostic medical equipment in the rear bound for the Roche Labs campus in Indianapolis.) at the place where they would load it.

    I then bobtailed to a nearby WalMart and there we waited. As we waited we used his microwave and heated up the two big bowls of homemade vegetable and beef soup my better half had sent with us and topped that off with the brownies she had given me. Both of us got a nice 4 hour nap before they called us to come get the trailer.

    Randy had the first shift. When I woke up we were in snow and far behind where I expected us to be. It was dark and Randy had run into blizzard conditions on I-10 in Arizona before we got to the New Mexico state line that had forced him to slow to 35 mph for some time. I stayed up. Conditions sucked, it was night, and I know the route better than Randy and getting misoriented in those conditions is not a good thing.

    East of Santa Cruz is a long climb over a ridgeline and I suspected we might run into very heavy snow at the crest. Sure enough the wind was howling up there and and if it had been plowed the wind had undone the work. Descending on the east side was treacherous in 6 to 8″ of snow. Randy didn’t get over 15 mph all the way down until it flattened out. Temperatures this whole time were well below freezing and with the wind chill in the open desert land it was damned cold in the single digits at times.

    As it got light the view of the high desert we were passing through was that of a winter wonder land. Never expected I would see snow covered tumble weeks rolling but now I can say I have seen such a thing. The east wind in those wide open spaces interspersed by mountains combined with the road conditions makes driving exhausting.

    We started coming across slide offs and checking to make sure the drivers were ok. Came across a car carrier that was slightly jacked off the road with a 4-wheeler slid off near it. Stopped to check. The truck driver said he had stopped to check on the 4-wheeler and his rig had just slid off the road when he was stopped. He was fine but those folks were going to have a long wait for a tow truck I’m sure because they were out in the middle of nowhere.

    I took over in Vaughn, NM and we had to use an E-tool to clear enough of a run (about 6 feet) for me to get going after we got stuck in the truck stop. I didn’t see a tow truck heading south until I was almost to Santa Rosa. I-40 from Santa Rosa to Tucumcari was a mess with only a single lane open most of the way. As I drove Randy checked his phone to see if we should stay on I-40 to Oklahoma City or get off on US-54 at Tucumcari to go back the way we came. Oklahoma City had a serious ice storm and the reports were not good so we opted to go back the way we came.

    Once I got onto US 54 at Tucumcari road conditions steadily improved. The rest of the trip was routine. I got us to a Flying “J” truck stop on I-35 south of KC. Randy got us back to the terminal.
    So! Blizzard conditions in the high and low desert not far from the Mexican border in OCTOBER! Global warming MY ASS! Never thought I would see snow covered tumble weeds rolling but now I can say I have.

    As soon as we got to the terminal we dropped the trailer we brought and hooked to a standard dry van in a door at the cross dock bound for TENNECO in Seward, NE.

    Route used was I-69 S to I-465 W to I-865 W to I-65 N to IN 32 W to I-74 W to I-72 W to US 36 W to I-29 N to NE 2 W to I-80 W to NE 15 S to Seward.

    I managed to make that 700 mi. plus run in one driving shift since most of my driving was at night during low traffic hours and the load was only 26,000 lb. I had 6 minutes remaining of my 11 hour drive time when I arrived at TENNECO.

    While Randy dropped the trailer we brought I went in and took care of the paperwork. Got the manifest for what we were delivering signed and signed the six bills of lading for the 39,000 lbs of freight on the trailer we would be taking back to the yard in Anderson, IN. After we were hooked I secured the load with two load straps as Randy did a pre-trip inspection on the trailer. Then I entered the bills into the Samsara tablet for transmission to our dispatch.

    Having a heavier load and driving during higher traffic hours Randy couldn’t make it back in his 11 hour shift and I took over and drove us in from the junction of IN 32 and I-74 at Crawfordsville, IN.

    I doubt there will ever be an EV that will deal with that. And as for self driving? The 2019 Volvo we were driving has a radar sensor for distance to the vehicle in front. It also has lane departure warning. Both systems failed because they were frozen over. I would guess there was over 500 lbs, of black nasty ice built up on the trailer landing gear and the DOT bumper.

    That finished my week. I was down on hours remaining to work on my 70 hour duty cycle.

    • Thanks rah for the real view of how your world works.

      I believe that those working to electrify trucks (not just writing about electrifying trucks) are looking at local delivery first — fewer miles and back to the terminal every night. And by charging at night they will be using the grid when it is otherwise underutilized. UPS comes to mind.

      The On Ramp to Fleet Electrification
      At UPS, we’ve learned many lessons on our journey to building the fleet of tomorrow.
      [ … ]
      “The first thing is it just makes an awful lot of sense on paper to do this because it’s a zero-tailpipe-emission solution, which is what cities want. We have very controlled, relatively low-distance routes, which are compatible with electrification technology. We have back-at-base operations, which suit overnight recharging.”
      [ … ]
      There’s an enormous power supply challenge as well, and it’s not really around the availability of the power in terms of the amount that’s generated. It’s a distribution problem.

      It turns out that the network has a series of pinch points – particularly if you’re trying to operate from an older legacy building. You just can’t get enough power into the building without then getting involved in expensive upgrade procedures. And the market for those upgrades is archaic. It doesn’t work effectively for fleets.

      Richard Fowler will appreciate that last part.

      Thanks to wattsupwiththat for the great post.

    • Oh yeah. I have been through a similar experience on the same roads, although not in a 18 wheeler. One time it took me almost 12 hours to make it from Tucumcari westward in a MB 4-matic. I left the road once but managed to drive back on.

      At that gas station east of Santa Rosa, I saw a shell shocked rookie New Mexico state trooper, and told him that he needed to close the roads east to Amarillo and get rescue vehicles going to the stranded cars. It was about 10- degrees F below zero and those people may have been running out of gas and heat. He said : “Are you sure?” “Ah yes.”

    • I know, they’ll make all trucks haul double trailers, with the first trailer hauling the batteries. That way when you come back from a run, you just dump the exhausted trailer and pick up a freshly charged one for the next run. /sarc

  38. The anti-LENR side of the EV issue please ignore (and has ignored) my continual updates on the potential to power electric cars primarily with on-board power supplies.

    As a 79 year old Professional Chemical Engineer, I can clearly remember $0.24/gallon gasoline with “gas wars” down to 19 cents. I remember flatting my (lead-acid) battery in my Chevrolet while Parking with a tube-type radio on. I can remember government fiascoes after fiascoes, such a growing corn to dilute the energy content of my car’s gasoline.

    I’ve rebuilt (and raced) overhead cam engines, used methyl alcohol to remove Castrol R from car chassis, and dreaded the continued expansion of lithium-ion battery use. So believe me when I say that I was disappointed to see Pons and Fleischman’s incompetent attempts to prove their palladium-hydrogen-electrolysis “excess energy” experiments were true. Since then, thousands of man/woman hours have been expended to investigate the potential for lattice confinement to break down the hydrogen atom and release energy. And progress is being made.

    When? In 20 years (ITER?) Focus Fusion? NASA? Mizuno? ? Leonardo/Miami? No, if governments don’t interfere as usual, certainly withing 5 years, maybe sooner.
    Holding my breath…..

  39. So why exactly is driving an electric car fun? For everyone?

    Ideas so good they have to be mandatory aren’t that good.

  40. Richard Fowler is rather ignorant on mant things EV. The most powerful chargers these days are 350KW chargers being installed by IONITY and Electrify America. Not all of their chargers are 350KW jobs, since almost no electric cars on the road today can take that much charging power. There are also many charging stations that don’t even hook up to the grid, but use solar panels – they have plenty of batteries to store power for sunless times.
    But perhaps the silliest argument is that tons of EV drivers will use public, high powered chargers in the first place. Public chargers are used on two occasions : by travelers (who often can charge overnight at motels) or by those who cannot charge their cars at home. Most EVs these days are pushing 350-400 miles, and except when engaged in long range travelling will NEVER use a public charging station – the cost alone will ensure that they will charge at home in practically all cases. And the cost of batteries will, by next year drop below $100 per KWhr, which will make EV prices equivalent to gas powered car prices. The average EV driver logs less than 40 miles per day, which means that even those who cannot charge at home, will require public charging only rarely.

    • Where do you live? A third of the US population do not own homes. Most of those who do, will not want the expense of wiring up a home charger, particularly since you are unlikely to recover the cost when you sell your home, and may face the expense again when you buy a new one.
      Further, landlords (like me), are not going to install equipment for renters, nor allow them to do so unless they cover the added insurance costs on the property. Then there are those without a garage or have multiple cars, and use street parking.

      Add all that to the third of the population who live in apartments and other rentals, and travelers, and there is an absolute need for public fast charging stations.

      I have seen many of your posts. I don’t think you are in any position to call someone else’s contribution, ignorant.

      • My guess is that the Col is hoping to push people into electric cars so that the country will have no choice but to start building the MSR that he’s been investing in.

    • What the Col is ignoring is that many, if not most, people don’t have a place where they can charge up at home.

    • It’s not that ColMosby is ignorant. It’s that he knows so many things that aren’t so. (Apologies to Ronald Reagan)

    • There are also many charging stations that don’t even hook up to the grid, but use solar panels – they have plenty of batteries to store power for sunless times.

      ColMosby, could you please provide the location of at least one these “many” off-grid charging stations?

    • I’m sorry but when we have a major ice storm and electricity is out for three days or more I still need to be able to get around. Solar panels for a residential charging station just aren’t going to cut it when the weather is bad and the panels are covered in two inches of ice.

      It simply doesn’t matter what the “average” driver logs per day. It’s the non-average use that becomes critical. Like someone else pointed out, what do Floridians do when their EV goes flat while trying to get out of the way of a hurricane on a jam-packed interstate? What do those that can’t make it out do when electricity is out for days?

      I don’t know what others do but I keep 15 gallons of gas in an outside shed at all times.

  41. Mods. I posted a long report on conditions I met this week trucking that would have been terrible for an EV or self driving vehicle. It has not appeared. Is there a problem with it?

  42. The price of electricity may be favorable at the moment and as long as the BEV marked is not saturated — but then….

  43. Governments are itching to tax the electrics (road pricing, or whatever term is used in your locale) as soon as people buy into them – surprise!
    What it will do to the electric grid on a large scale is catastrophic.
    It is no illusion to say that once they succeed in popularizing these (electric) machines you will be allotted only approved, government sanctioned times to slow charge your vehicle in order to maintain any stability in the grid.
    The long and useless arm of government will intrude into every single aspect of our lives without a doubt.
    I do not like this future…

  44. Randomized low rate charging and using electric car batteries as leveling supply…. I can see it now…

    “I was late because I lost the charging lotto last night. Plugged in with 35% charge and this morning it was at 25% but I need at least 30% to make the 20 mile commute.”

    Some people want to herd everyone into cities and eliminate private vehicles. Easier to control people if they can’t get out of town except on mass transit that shoots right through all that empty space between cities.

  45. The notion that electric is cheaper than gas ignores the cost of the battery. A $20k battery holds the equivalent of 2 gallons of gasoline and has a 1k cycle life. That means there is a hidden $10 per gallon of gasoline equivalent over rhe battery lifetime.

    This is in addition to the $3-15 per gallon of gasoline equivalent you pay for electricity. As compared to $2-3 per gallon for gasoline.

    Even allowing that electric is twice as efficient as gas, that is still an extra ($6-17)/2 per gallon for electricity. Also the “twice as efficient” notion is wrong because it ignores that the gas engine uses the waste heat to warm the vehicle.

    And what is the value of your time spent sitting waiting for a charge. With a flat battery and sub freezing winter temperatures.

    Plenty of places are bitter cold in winter, even in the south west, as soon as you move away from the coast.

  46. The concept of charging the car in off hours is a sound one and I have long proposed something similar for home electricity. If one’s home ran on battery power or mostly battery power during the peak time of day and if you “recharge your house” during off peak times, we could greatly improve our distribution problems and solve a problem with irregular supplies of renewables such as wind. In this case all that is required is for the power company to transmit the current cost of power down the grid. This would be used to modulate the amount of current drawn from the grid for charging your house. When it is 110 degrees and no wind, the cost of power would go up and the smart charging controller would not draw from the grid. When it is 70 degrees and windy, the price of power might drop to near zero and one might then draw all their household power from the grid and also charge the batteries. In other words, demand would follow supply.

    One of the problems we have now is with static demand and a variable supply. If demand varied with supply, it would help considerably. Instead of slow charging overnight, if suddenly the wind comes up and your local utility has a surplus of power, it drops the price it is announcing on the grid, your charging controller ramps up the draw on the mains and charges your house battery bank faster. You were asleep, you did not have to intervene in any way, it was all done automatically by market forces and a small computer that is looking at the current price of power. One could also program their house to be a constant steady load 24×7 so turning their household from a variable demand load to a constant “base” load.

    You could then charge your car at any time at any rate of charge because it is charging from your household storage which is no longer directly associated with your draw on the grid at that moment.

    • Also, in some areas it is not required to transmit the cost of power as it is available on the Internet. The California ISO, for example, publishes the current 15 minute price of power at hundreds of specific locations on the grid and one can get it electronically. So simply match your draw to the current cost of power at the interconnect that feeds your home and you’re all set.

      • This sort of scheme is available down in Australia. It doesn’t work out to be economically viable because the additional cycling of the battery for the arbitrage degrades it more quickly for internal consumption to the point where the battery replacement costs outweigh the earnings. And the batteries are only economically viable for user storage with large subsidies.

        If batteries were capable of being used in this manner, utilities would install them to reduce peaking costs. There has been some attempts to do this but the costs are too large for really meaningful amounts of power and storage. Frequency support services is where batteries can make money but the market for this is limited.

    • Depends entirely on how much your batteries cost, how long you expect the batteries to last, how much your home insurance goes up due to the increased risk of fire and how much electricity is lost charging and discharging your batteries.

    • Where in Pete’s name do you keep all these batteries in an apartment or slab home? Even with a basement my house is small enough that there is no room left over for an installation of batteries!

      BTW, how do I program my house to do the laundry when I get home? Or to cook a meal and save it for when everyone is home?

  47. “which is ideal for Howard Electric’s off peak rates”

    If we ever get above 1 or 2% of cars being electric, those off peak rates are going to disappear.

    • I can’t speak to other utilities, but for our electric cooperatives the number of electric cars we can handle without setting a new peak even on the coldest or hottest day is 20%. This assumes all cars are charged between 10 pm and 4 am and the big assumption is they all must use a slow trickle chargers. With fast chargers your 2% may not be far off.

  48. Heat and cold also reduce the efficiency of the battery, so that’s going to reduce your range, in addition to the extra draw from the heater/AC.

  49. The main reason why it costs less to charge your car vs gas, is because of road use taxes.
    Don’t expect that to last much longer.

  50. In a Green New Deal world, energy conservation measures will rule every facet of our lives. In such a world, most intercity commerce and most personal long range intercity travel will be handled using electrified rail transport. When you get to your destination, you will either take mass transit to get to your in-city meeting or appointment, or you will rent a local electric vehicle to give yourself more flexibility.

    My grandparents never owned a car and used the local bus service to travel everywhere they needed to go in the city where they lived. They traveled by train or inter-city bus serice if they visited friends and relatives in other localities. Very rarely did they travel by airliner except when they visited another country on the other side of the ocean. If this is what most Americans want for their transportation future, so be it.

    • What makes you think that “most Americans” have the right to determine how everybody lives their lives?

      This was supposed to be a free country.

    • Have you *ever* experienced life in some place other than a large city? And even in a large city where are all these “rented electric cars” going to be housed? At the local airport? You can’t even rent bicycles in a large city in sufficient numbers to do what you propose because there isn’t room for them to be parked!

      Have you *ever* tried to ride a train or bus cross-country today? Take Missouri, they have one train route between St. Louis and Kansas City. Pete forbid you should want to ride a train to Springfield, MO. Those train routs were phased out years ago. Same for buses! Try and catch a bus from Kansas City to Manhattan, KS.

      I just love coastal elites that know little about life outside their urban bubbles.

      • My grandparents were born in the 1880’s. For a good part of their lives, America’s transportation infrastructure included readily available train and bus service in most of the places where it was needed.

        If climate activists take control of America’s energy policies, and if they give more than just lip service to reducing our carbon emissions on a fast track schedule, then we will be seeing a revival of what was once the norm in transportation services eighty and ninety years ago.

        I’ve demonstrated a number of times here on WUWT that a climate activist president now has all the authority he or she would need to push forward with a unilateral fast track Executive Branch program to reduce America’s carbon emissions 80% by 2050.

        But would a climate activist president actually use that power? Sooner or later, a Democrat will be in the Oval Office and so when that day comes, the question will be given an answer one way or the other.

        • Almost *all* of the train tracks that used to serve America have been pulled up, reclaimed, and turned back to the appropriate landowners. Trains no longer provide passenger service or farm-to-market backbones in most of America, trucks and passenger vehicles do. There is simply no way that infrastructure is ever going to be reproduced, I don’t care how much of an environmentalist you are.

          Your push to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050 is a pipe dream, it simply doesn’t matter what your political persuasion is. First, we don’t have the electrical grid to support such a goal and we don’t have the financial resources to build out such a grid in a mere thirty years. For example, every single street and sidewalk in the entire Central West End of St. Louis would have to be dug up and high voltage, high current cable laid in. Where is the cement going to come from to redo all the streets and sidewalks? Second, EV is only feasible in dense, urban areas and then only as a secondary transportation vehicle for most people. For suburban and rural areas, EV’s are not really suitable for much, they are inefficient in cold temps and, because of their battery weight, have a harder time navigating on icy or snowy side roads. And I want to see you tell the people in Miami that they have to walk away from the coast during a hurricane evacuation because EV’s with dead batteries have blocked up all the roads!

  51. In our business, we have some massive diesel/generator rigs that can be positioned around the country during any major grid supply issue at that site. The problem is stopping certain communities from nicking the cables.
    Even live with several megawatts, they just tie a rope around the cable, hook to a truck, and drive. Flash bang, cable put in truck and off. Not found a charred miscreant yet, but its only a matter of time.

    So then, in the EV wet dream, every street and parking lot is filled with vehicles plugged in to charge. It’s a pikey’s dream come true. 5 minutes with a hatchet and that’s several hunddred kilos of scrap copper to flog.

    Anyone thought how to stop this? Legally I mean. And I accept that Texas is different.

  52. In our business, we have some massive diesel/generator rigs that can be positioned around the country during any major grid supply issue at that site. The problem is stopping certain communities from nicking the cables.
    Even live with several megawatts, they just tie a rope around the cable, hook to a truck, and drive. Flash bang, cable put in truck and off. Not found a charred miscreant yet, but its only a matter of time.

    So then, in the EV wet dream, every street and parking lot is filled with vehicles plugged in to charge. It’s a pikey’s wish come true. 5 minutes with a hatchet and that’s several hundred kilos of scrap copper to flog.

    Anyone thought how to stop this? Legally I mean. And I accept that Texas is different.

  53. ” let’s tone down the chargers from a 500 KW charger to a more reasonable 50 KW charger (which is 8 times the peak of the average house) ”
    Really ? We have a 200 amp service .
    Peak load is more than 17 kw…. and with a 27 kw on demand water heater I’m lucky it is not higher !

    Maybe you are talking about Tiny Houses ?

  54. “Now they’ve got the range up to 250 miles, for an extra $9,000 you can get the range up to 300 miles.”

    Not in Texas, where you are either running the air-conditioner or the heater 90% of the time. You can take the published range numbers and divide them by two and get a good estimate of what to really expect from NEW batteries. This number drops over time, especially if you are consuming most of the electrical charge in your drives or using a fast charger.

    A “reasonable” Texas DFW commute is about 30 miles one way. You often sit in traffic for 10 to 15 minutes, both directions. The air-conditioner or heater is running whether or not the car is moving. So a stated range of 250 miles on an EV is approximately using “80 miles” of energy to keep you warm or cool, and then tack on the actual 60 miles you drove. You have used 60+80=140 miles of energy on your “average” daily commute. Need to go to a satellite office, or the grocery store, or appointments? You are soon running near “empty”.

    This means the DFW average commuter needs to plug in their EV every chance they have – in case they get stuck in a one or more hour traffic jam (several times a month). Want to go out of town?…add in multiple 10 minute stops for recharging. And because of all the fast charging you get to:

    Replace the entire battery pack ever 5 or 6 years. There goes any savings you might have had by using an EV.

  55. In previous discussions on EV batteries it was noted that the manufacturer recommends no charging past 90% and not discharging below 20% to maintain the batteries efficiency; effectively derating an EV battery from a 300 mile range to a 210 mile range. If you have the heater on, the effective loss in battery efficiency is an additional 25% or a loss of 75 miles of range. A drop from a 210 mile range to 135 miles. Put a couple of fat guys in the EV, tow a small trailer, drive at night with the lights on and listen to the radio and you are going to find you cannot make it out of the city limits before you have to recharge.

  56. For various technical reasons, such as the Laws of Nature, EVs are not a long-term solution. I’m also convinced they are a poor interim solution as well.

    We have large natural gas reserves and methane hydrate reserves off our coasts. We should use more of these clean-burning fuel reserves. Perhaps we will wise up and start using modern nuclear reactors for power generation.

  57. Please
    Just try to learn what the electrical units represent if you’re going to get into a serious discussion.
    Kilowatts is a measure of Power.
    Kilowatt hours is a measure of Energy.
    In (very) simplistic terms kWh = (kW x time).

  58. To install chargers that can complete a charge at night off-peak time in residential neighborhoods will require replacing all the power distribution system unless every residence has PV w/battery storage (expensive). It will require as a minimum 400A service. The green new deal will require replacing the whole transmission & distribution system. Another issue besides shorter battery life with fast charging is reduced range due to the LI battery capacity decreases with charge rate. A fast charge doesn’t fully charge the battery. So, a 250 mile range EV wo/cabin heating or cooling won’t make 250 miles after a fast charge. Another thing not mentioned is the battery temperature has to be limited otherwise they catch of fire & they loose capacity below 77F. So, EV’s have battery cooling & heating systems. Unless the EV is designed to provide the necessary heating & cooling while parked EV’s would be useless for providing peaking power to the power distribution system.

  59. Technology has reached the point where EVs are a practical choice for some people. It is a not unreasonable expectation that with the vastly reduced maintenance expenses and charging at home in the evenings, you will save money over a 15-20 year lifetime of the vehicle. The major maintenance uncertainty is the battery itself. So one argument for an EV is lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

    Whether that turns out to be true depends on the price: how much is it worth spending today to save $20,000 or so over the next 15 years? Certainly much less than $20,000 – in fact assuming a 5% interest rate it is worth about $10,000. So if you can buy an EV for no more than a $10,000 premium over the equivalent IC vehicle, live in a temperate climate, have a dedicated home charging port and have transportation needs that fit the EVs lower range, the TCO argument is valid. Available subsidies obviously affect this calculation. According to Edmunds, you would expect to pay:

    $35,000 for a 2020 Nissan Leaf base trim vs. $19,925 for a base model Toyota Corolla
    $40,674 for the the Leaf SL PLUS vs. $25,320 for Corolla XLE.

    That’s a premium of roughly $15,000 for the electric vehicle, which isn’t worth the likely savings, especially as the more expensive repairs on the Corolla will come after the first 10 years. Buy the Corolla, bank the extra $15,000 and draw on it for repairs. After 10 years the fund will probably have grown enough to buy a new Corolla rather than make expensive repairs to the old one.

    Another argument for EVs is lower pollution. While they still produce particulates from tire and brake pad wear, they emit no combustion products. Some of that is of course emitted by the powerplants needed to charge the batteries, but pollution controls are more efficient at the larger scale and they are located well outside the densely populated areas where vehicles operate. So taken as a whole, EVs probably produce less pollution than IC vehicles and transfer most of that out of urban areas.

    Unless technology improves significantly, EVs will always have some disadvantages:

    1. lower range and longer recharge times. This hits long-distance driving. Yes, you can learn to live with it but it is still an inconvenience.

    2. lower performance in very cold and very hot conditions. Battery performance drops at lower temperatures and the additional draw to heat the passenger compartment further reduces range.

    3. lack of convenient charging options for apartment dwellers.

    In the US, probably less than 50% of personal vehicles could be sensibly replaced with EVs. Current EV technology is completely inadequate for long-haul heavy transport vehicles.

    But automobile purchases have long been largely emotional decisions and the car makers spend a lot in advertising to create that desire. They vary the pitch for changing tastes and values, but the emotional feeling is seldom connected to reality.

    The reality is you are not going to off-road to the top of a mesa in your new 4WD pickup truck; the blond supermodel is not going to jump into your sexy red convertible sports car, and your new EV is not going to save the planet from climate change. If believing any of those things makes you happy, then be happy. It’s like lottery tickets: you’re not going to win, but for some people the fantasy of winning is worth the price of the ticket.

    Tesla marketing is actually very clever: you get a luxury car with fabulous performance while displaying your deep commitment to fighting climate change, and nobody is going to criticize you for conspicuous consumption. It’s hard to do that buying a super yacht, although you’d have a much better chance on the blond supermodels.

    So of reasons given for owning an EV: Total Cost of Ownership – most likely not at the present prices; lower pollution – probably yes; save the planet – in your dreams.

    • Electrics evading the road use taxes won’t last much longer. Once that goes away, almost all of your cost savings go away. Modern engines require very little maintenance, except for an oil change a couple of times a year. Modern engines will easily last as long as the battery, probably longer, and they cost less to replace.

      • @MarkW:

        Modern engines require very little maintenance, except for an oil change a couple of times a year.

        Quite a bit more than that. Take a look in your owner’s manual at the recommended maintenance schedule. As your car gets older, many of those “inspect” tasks end up being “replace”.

        With an EV you get rid of hundreds of moving parts in the engine and transmission, the fuel system, the exhaust system and the cooling system. All of those will give you trouble in an older car. In exchange you get an electric motor with one moving part and two sets of bearings and seals.

        Why do you think all commercial ships and heavy rail locomotives are electric drive? It’s more reliable and less costly. As I said, the battery is the big unknown; we don’t have enough real-world data to go on.

        Regarding road taxes: most states are moving ahead with various ways to address this. Georgia charges a $213.88 “alternative fuel” fee each year for a personal all-electric vehicle. Given that EVs will likely be driven less than the average 15,000 miles a year, this is more than an equivalent IC passenger vehicle will pay in state fuel taxes. Work out the math and assume 15,000 miles/year and GA is charging EVs the same fuel tax as if they purchased 664 gallons of fuel. EVs do get free use of “Peach Pass” lanes, so there is still an effective state subsidy.

        For comparison, I drive a Toyota Avalon hybrid and in 2019 in a total of 12,840 miles I used 346 gallons of gasoline. The total GA fuel tax is $0.322 / gal., so I paid GA $111.41 — just over half what an EV owner would pay for the alternative fuel surcharge. In effect, the EV owner is subsidizing me and pickup truck owners are subsidizing both of us. So far this year I’ve only driven 2,963 miles and paid taxes on 83 gallons of fuel, so I’m way ahead of EV owners.

        • Alan,

          Those “electric drive” locomotives all have huge diesel generators on board feeding those electric drive motors. They are the same as a hybrid auto with an onboard ICE engine, just like your Toyota. I suspect it is the same for any large ship.

          Any hybrid is going to have similar repair/replace costs as a ICE-only auto.

  60. Interesting article on the range of EV charging issues

    The logic that you can lower rates because you dont have to do something escapes me. If you havent done it , why arent the rates at that level already?

    Feed in fom EVs is a nice theoretical spin, but in reality would be pretty useless unless EV penetation was total and use behaviour uniform, then you get back the same old issues of diffuse, lower powered and inconsistent power sources. Just another nirvana proposal that will never happen at scale.

    I look foward to watching the UKs EV mandates fom afar, and seeing at what stage they finally realise its a nonsense.

  61. EVs will remain niche vehicles until range and charging limitations are solved. Today they are great for urban transportation and offer advantages over ICE cars but their primary claim to fame is virtue signaling.

    • One problem is that urban environments are also where the problem of finding a place to charge are the greatest.

  62. What about a livery model? Instead of keeping a single battery, you could drive into a bay–like for an oil-change–have a robot remove your spent battery and load a full one, and you drive away in minutes. The livery stable then recharges the battery slowly and loads it in a car when its charged. You’d be billed on how much you drained the battery.

    • The problems with the “livery” model are well documented and have been discussed ad infinitum.

      To start with, there’s cost. Those batteries are heavy. Designing a robot to handle one of those easily is difficult and expensive. Moving heavy objects quickly is even more dangerous and difficult.
      An even bigger problem is standardization, especially between vehicles of different size classification. Out in the real world, you’ve got both full sized and stretch passenger vans, mini-vans, SUVs, mini-SUVs, sedans, full-size, compact, micro.
      Each of those is going to require a different size of battery. Your robot will have to be able to handle all those types of batteries, worse, your station is going to have to maintain a supply of all of those in stock.

      Finally, the insurmountable problem is convincing people who just bought a brand new $15K battery to swap it out for a battery of unknown age and reliability.

      Why is it that people who never bother thinking through a problem are so willing to convince themselves that they have come up with a perfect solution that nobody has ever thought of before?

  63. This article seems a little silly since a couple of articles before the headline is:

    Mean and Unclean: Electric Cars Powered by Child Labor in Africa

  64. Richard Fowler, the author, calculates electricity costs just as Socialists, Communists and Progressives calculate the economic impacts of their policy positions. Change one thing, and nothing else in he equation ever changes, do your math, wham, bam, thank you Uncle Sam, you’ve just been … well, it would be a posting policy for me to say exactly what it would be like, but think of a very funny scene in”The Big Lebowsky” with Walter Sobcheck, played brilliantly by John Goodman, and a new Corvette automobile.

    Mr. Fowler, if millions of electric cars are waiting for off-peak hours to begin charging, and that magic moment arrives and then all those cars’ chargers suddenly switch on, do you really not see the potential for the new “PEAK” usage period to shift to 8pm to 6 am? And if it does, your brilliant, money saving scheme has fallen flat on its face, with it’s ass in the air and you’re ….. well, watch the movie.

  65. Have not believed in global warming for 20 years, but I live in downtown 4 blocks from work and no car only bicycle. In a city with an abundance of bicycle routes. Love my life this way, never buying windshield wiper fluid again so help me god!

    • Solving mass human demands does not involve only meeting the ideal situation. Government bureaucrats will never solve our complex energy management problems. Leave humans alone and they will solve their own problems when and as needed.

  66. The best transport is no transport.
    The best electricity is no electricity.

    This is the real green agenda.

    They know that non-fossil alternatives are inadequate and it’s a feature not a bug. There is no intention for non carbon energy to work, at all.

    That’s why nuclear will be shut out as well since it is the one alternative to fossil energy that would actually work as France has shown for more than half a century.

    Get used to the eco lock down that will never end. (Buy warm clothes, and learn to wash them by hand.)

  67. It’s complicated…
    1) Would you want the life of your EV battery reduced?
    2) Would you want the car left with less charge just before a big trip?
    3) Why would we discharge our battery only for someone else to charge theirs?
    4) Need recharging available more often than every 200km because an EV towing a caravan/trailer can use double the kWh/100km and thus half the range. Then the superchargers typically allow upto 80% state of charge and then they want you to move on. So you may start at 10% and recharge to 80% so you effectively use only 70% of the range between stops. You could ideally drive 3hrs and then stop for about 30mins with a car having over nominal 450 km range, YMMV.
    “A 1000kVA transformer designed for 100 average homes would be lucky to keep 8x 100kW EV chargers running (by themselves). So, we’re stuck with 5kW per phase per home if everyone had them. Upsize the transformers in the street then needs wires in the street upgraded, it’s supply from the sub-station upgraded, the sub-station supply upgraded etc. So, charge at your own at home from your own solar PV or at work/shops during the day from their solar PV. It’s still more infrastructure, erratic demand and requires more management of supply-vs-demand than previous. Yes it’s doable but not cheap&easy as they promise.”

    You need 10% more to change AC into the regulated DC required for charging. Whether that’s done in the car from a slow charger or in the DC super/fast charger itself before the car. A small loss while charging depending on charging rates. A bad inductive load or switchmode powersupply might be a 1kVA peak load but only uses an average of 0.7 to 0.9 kW RMS. So the grid transformer etc. have to be designed for the higher current even thou the useful average power per cycle (eg. 1/60th to 1/50th of a second) is lower. A reactive load like a fan heater or filament bulb requires 1kVA for 1kW. It’s the average current that heats wires & transformers not the average RMS power supplied. If you double the load you 4x the losses; small percentages but everything adds ups.

    The simplistic view takes the average 15’000km/year a car travels and around 17kW/100km plus a few losses round that upto 10kWh per car per night/day. It’s doable but harder as more people add Air-conditioners, multiple dwellings on old blocks.
    Some can top it up while shopping, in the office or at home during the day but that’s a lot of extra infrastructure that has to be made & paid for. How much will it cost councils & businesses to offer the charging services? What extra space will be used? Where does the extra power come from?
    You could need the equivalent of 15 to 20 of the 1000kVA transformers, a lot of copper/aluminium wiring and maybe 200m * 500m of solar panels to offset usage for 600 car spots (mix of 5, 20 & 150 kW charging spots). The retail pricing of fast & super chargers is typically over 40c/kWh in Australia. Although some offer this for free when first introduced for 95% from gas & imports; sometimes its >90% of demand met using wind+solar but gas turbines are still run and they export upto 20% (equivalent of the gas being wasted to support grid stability). Famine or feast! But that’s another story..

  68. Re: rapid charging stations – why not standardize the battery?

    Car stops beside a kiosk sitting on a raised island (kinda’ like a gas pump).
    Optical tags on the car and optical sensors in the curb of the island locate the car relative to the island/curb.
    Small door open in the rocker panel of the car and on the side/curb of the island and the cars battery pack slides out and into the island. Battery can be one piece or several smaller pieces.
    Island takes away the spent/low battery to be tested and charged.
    Island loads a new/hot/charged battery into the rocker panel slot in the car.
    Obviously, this requires significant change to chassis design for the car.

    The batteries track the amount of juice between swaps so the consumer pays for the power used.
    The swap could happen as quickly as a liquid fuel tank could be filled.

    I’m generally a small-government conservative. But, this seems like a good use of the Commerce Clause. Standardize the form factor and data reporting functions of the battery packs and the industry could take it from there. Or, just let the industry do it.

    Batteries of different quality/make up/capacity could be sold at different rates. Kinda like the several choices of octane we get in gasoline.

    Standardize the batteries.

    Even with that, I don’t see how we’ll generate and transmit enough electrons to power very many cars. California already has rolling brown-outs. SC tried and failed miserably to build a new nuke plant.

  69. Most of those who dream of a 5 or 10 minute charge for a pure EV car or truck usually think that the main obstacles are defined by the charger size, cost and power infrastructure to support it. Very few ever mention that a more fundamental limitation is the maximum rate at which a lithium battery (or any other, for that matter) can be safely recharged–and I’m not talking here about the BMS/power electronics. In the case of a typical Li-ion cell, charging it at a rate higher than 1.5C-2C (40 to 30 minutes) may result in lithium plating on the negative (carbon) electrode which irreversibly damages the cell, decreases its capacity irreversibly and compromises its safety (internal shorts and fire hazard.) Also, we have thermal management issues due to the internal resistance of the cell–have you ever noticed that even your phone gets quite warm while being charged?

    Of course, you can design a cell with a higher charge capability, but only at a cost of its energy density (thinner electrodes, more metal current collector foils, thinner (and less safe) separators etc etc.

    So, I do not see any chance for a full (95 %) charge of a practical automotive Li-ion battery to go below 1 hour. It might go to 30 min if the range is cut by 30-50 % as well, but who would buy such a car?

Comments are closed.