EV buyer’s beware – fires, scarce charging times, and parking restrictions

The darker sides of EV ownership may not bode well for sales projections.

 
By Ronald Stein

Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure, Irvine, California

In the wake of a series of severe EV battery fires, one of the largest vehicle manufacturers in the world, General Motors has just issued safety recommendations for Bolt EV’s:

  • Not to park your Chevy Bolt within 50 feet of other vehicles in case it catches fire.
  • Highly recommends that Bolt EV owners not to park within 50 feet of anything you care about.
  • Recommends parking on the top floor or on an open-air deck and park 50 feet or more away from another vehicle.
  • Requests Bolt EV owners to not leave their vehicle charging unattended, even if they are using a charging station in a parking deck.

General Motors previously told Bolt owners

  • to only charge the battery to 90 percent,
  • charge more frequently,
  • and avoid depleting the battery below about 70 miles of remaining range.
  • And that they should also park the vehicle outside. 

The recent General Motors safety announcement comes after they recalled all 143,000 of the Bolts for fire risk to replace new battery modules. A major expense to GM as that EV recall could, as Morningstar analyst David Whiston told the Detroit Free Press, cost GM some $1.8 billion.

With product liability attorneys staging on the sidelines, will other EV manufacturers start issuing similar safety recommendations to their potential EV buyers?

Internationally, electrical grid stability has become a concern, as the supply chain of generation of continuous uninterruptable electricity from coal, natural gas, and nuclear plants are being shuttered in favor of intermittent electricity generation from breezes and sunshine.

The UK has concerns about their electrical grid being able to handle intermittent, spiked electricity that comes from breezes and sunshine; or if the grid can handle tens of millions of electric vehicles charging at the same time.  Under current technological, and future scenarios, that type of grid has not even come close to being invented yet. Britain will also need more electricity to make their entire transportation sector electrical. A new electrical grid will need to be built.

Under UK regulations, restricted charging times will come into force in May 2022, as new chargers in the home and workplace are to automatically switch off in peak times to avoid potential blackouts. New chargers will be pre-set to not function from 8am to 11am, and 4pm to 10pm.

In the UK, where there are currently only 300,000 battery electric vehicles (EVs) on the UK’s roads. Electric car charging points in people’s homes will be preset to switch off for nine hours each weekday at times of peak demand because ministers fear blackouts on the National Grid.

Lithium fires are horribly difficult to extinguish, and emit dangerously toxic fumes which can cause long term or even permanent dementia like brain injuries, along with a host of other usually reversible harms. Since lithium-ion fires are a chemical reaction they can only be cooled not extinguished. They end up burning for several days in some cases. To extinguish Lithium automobile battery fires, firefighters cordon off the area and spray a fine mist of water on the fire to try to keep the temperature down, then wait for it to burn itself out. Firefighters may need 30,000 to 40,000 gallons of water to contain a Tesla electric vehicle (EV) blaze than the 500 to 1,000 gallons of water they would normally use for a mainstream gas-powered car that was on fire.

A truly nightmare scenario is one in which an EV fire occurs in an underground parking garage beneath an apartment complex or a crowded office building. With the toxic fumes generated, how would the local fire department be able to respond to a fire that could not be extinguished even if they could get to it?  Germany may be stepping up to the plate with a trend of banning EV’s from parking underground due to potential EV battery fires.

EV’s may be a gift for insurance scammers – just target an EV in the building, and nobody will question the insurance claim when the building burns down. On a serious note, with insufficient street parking available for business buildings and apartment dwellers, a risk of this magnitude is going to start having a real impact, on whether EVs are allowed into parking structures or on ferries, unless the problem is rectified fast.

If parking underground is limited at high rise office buildings and apartment complexes, there may be insufficient street parking available. Street parking will result in a vast amount of extension cords laying on the ground to charge the EV’s, which may be an attractive theft item for those in poverty to redeem the value of the copper.

The many items for potential EV buyer’s to be aware of such as potential fires, reductions in available changing times, and parking restrictions, may not bode well for the optimistic EV sales projections.

Ronald Stein, P.E.

Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure

http://www.energyliteracy.net/

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Simon
October 2, 2021 6:05 pm

Isn’t this an old article? It’s also old news. The latest tech in batteries is so much safer. Google blade batteries.

Ron Long
Reply to  Simon
October 2, 2021 6:14 pm

OK, blade batteries are lithium iron phosphate and appear to be much safer than current EV lithium batteries. While they may become standard in EV in the future, do you think current EV owners are thrilled about paying a fortune for a new battery system? The EV story gets worse and worse.

Simon
Reply to  Ron Long
October 2, 2021 7:24 pm

If you think EV’s need to be all those things then, like this article, you are out of date.
The entry level BYD Dolphin has a 70 kW motor, 180 Nm of torque, and a max speed of 150 km/h. It has a range of 301 km (NEDC). It is equipped with a 30.72 kWh LFP (LiFePO4). Its on-board charger is rated at 7 kW, and it also has fast charging: 40 kW (from 30 to 80% in 30 minutes). All of this for just $15,000. One of the main reasons for this very attractive price is the affordable and ultra-safe LFP “Blade” Battery from BYD.”

https://cleantechnica.com/2021/09/07/chevy-bolts-battery-issues-could-be-a-blessing-in-disguise-for-general-motors/

michel
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 12:12 am

When and if they become available in quantity from the established suppliers, that will make a difference. However right now what is available is the standard lithium batteries, and the result is that the current generation of EVs are not fit for purpose.

We shall have to see, when they start to be used at scale in the West, just how much fitter for purpose ones with the Blade batteries are. Do they spontaneously combust in regular use? If they do, are there the same issues about extinguishing the blaze? What is their longevity when subjected to rapid charging?

But as the current UK proposals show, the vehicles themselves are only one part of the problem. The current UK plan to save the grid from the load is to make all chargers only work during limited hours, off-peak. I can imagine a situation where range limitations and battery life are manageable given unlimited regular slow overnight charging. Plug in when you return from work. Or plug them in at wherever you have driven to.

But the plan is, no charging between 8-11 am, and 4-10 pm.

If you start restricting the hours people can refuel, EVs are a non-starter on those grounds alone.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  michel
October 3, 2021 3:54 am

“However right now what is available is the standard lithium batteries, and the result is that the current generation of EVs are not fit for purpose.”

That’s the bottom line. Lithium-ion batteries are not the way to go.

There do appear to be a couple of viable alternatives, but they are unavailable right now for the most part.

We don’t want millions of lithium-ion vehicles in our society. If we have any sense.

Simon
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 3, 2021 11:09 am

We don’t want millions of lithium-ion vehicles in our society. If we have any sense.”
Better turn your laptop in to the battery police then.

Thorsthimble
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 9:57 pm

“Better turn your laptop in to the battery police then.”

What exactly does that have to do with what he was talking about? He was talking about vehicles, not laptops. You quoted the very line in which he said it. Trying to collate laptop batteries that weigh in at ounces to car batteries that weigh in at hundreds of pounds is really reaching.

StephenP
Reply to  michel
October 3, 2021 4:32 am

To this you need to add the introduction of heat pumps and electricity for cooking and water heating.
Talk about the Great Reset, it will involve the total rebuilding of the UK electricity generating and distribution network from the ground up.
How much will that cost?
Meanwhile as GM have advised attending the Bolt during recharging, if other manufacturers do the same there will be a lot of people hanging around their cars between 10pm and 8am, and I can’t see too many bosses keen to let their employees attend their cars between 11am and 4pm if recharging while at work.

Reply to  StephenP
October 3, 2021 8:32 am

To efficiently use Solar you need a storage system. The way to do this is to take the space under the garage/home and install heavily insulated tanks. Place Thermal Solar panels on the roof, plumb them to the tank(s) to a coil of piping in the bottom of the tank(s). Then, use this tank as the heat sink/source for your heat pump and the heat pump for all domestic hot water. In the winter the tank(s) would have a source of heat much warmer than the air, a nearby stream or river o ground source. This would greatly increase the efficiency of the heat pump in the winter, at least doubling it. In the spring and fall the Tank(s) would act as a sink to keep the house cooled by the HP and then the stored heat would reduce the energy to warm the house at night. Theoretically, some salts or other chemicals could be used to collect and store even more energy, but you would need to consider corrosion, etc.

Reply to  Rich Lentz
October 3, 2021 1:34 pm

Costs?
In Europe, at least, there may be practicality problems, for flat-dwellers.
In an ideal situation, this appears – to an old seafarer – to be a possible solution.
To a problem we don’t actually have.
Given a – hitherto unproven – need to switch from fossil/nuclear power . . . .

Auto

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rich Lentz
October 4, 2021 4:53 am

At first look, that sounds like a pretty good idea to me.

“Place Thermal Solar panels on the roof,”

By this, do you mean stringing black plastic water pipe on the roof to be heated by the Sun?

It’s an interesting idea.

William Astley
Reply to  michel
October 3, 2021 5:44 pm

Links to quantify Michael’s concerning as to what will power the new EV electrical load. The power grid cannot supply the electricity to power the EV vehicles. In the US, the electrical grid output and capacity would be required to double if all autos were EV.
 
The electrical grid at a local level cannot handle the extra power load. The Green scams are scams. Forced EV legislation does not address the engineering problems (a forced change to EVs does not make sense for country infrastructure) of forced EV changes, are going to cause power and grid failures.

 
Wind and sun gathering cannot be used to expand the 24/7 output of a power grid. The only politically available option is single pass natural gas power plants which are inefficient.
 
Tesla Musk Says U.S. Electricity Production Needs to Double to Power Transition to EV Vehicle
 
https://www.barrons.com/articles/tesla-elon-musk-electric-vehicle-production-51633202912
 
Consider how many barrels of oil the U.S. consumes each day: roughly 19 million. That’s 7 billion barrels a year. About 40% or 50% of the barrels are used to power cars, according to BP’s annual energy report. (Planes and homes need their fuel, too.) Cars burn about 3 million barrels of oil each year. 
 
 
A barrel of oil has about 6 million British thermal units, or BTUs, of energy. That’s translates to about 1,700 kilowatt hours of electricity. This means that American cars use about 5,000 terawatt hours of electricity each year. Total U.S. electricity consumption in 2020 was roughly 4,000 terawatt hours, according to the EIA.
 

ATheoK
Reply to  michel
October 4, 2021 10:31 pm

Do they spontaneously combust in regular use? If they do, are there the same issues about extinguishing the blaze?”

Car and house fires quickly reach temperatures that can cause thermal decomposition of lithium battery composition. Once thermal decomposition is reached, lithium is freed to react with pretty much everything.

Notice that alarmists have a terrible habit of declaring untried and beginning technologies as “safe”.
They neither know nor care if they’re truly safe. The cause is all to alarmists, and the monthly trollop fees.

michel
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 12:24 am

And by the way, 30 to 80% in 30 minutes? This effectively means that the current use of cars becomes impossible. In UK rural areas there are typically roadside gas stations with a few pumps and minimal parking and supermarket gas stations with more pumps and also minimal parking in the gas station area.

How is this going to change to accomodate 30 minute refuelling times? No problem, you may say, supermarkets will just tear up their tarmac and install fast charging points at every parking spot. Really? And a substation to go with it, to deliver the current? The roadside charging points vanish, no-one is going to wait around 30+ minutes.

So what happens is, charging at home, in off-peak hours, and then usage adapts accordingly, which means significant changes in lifestyle. Some friends of mine, living in the country, experienced this in the last few days in the UK. They have a car, and its tank is half full. The man, in his seventies, got out his bike and cycled 5 miles to the nearest supermarket over the back roads to shop, so as not to exhaust their car fuel when it was virtually impossible to refill. In case they had an emergency and needed to drive (eg) to hospital.

You can do it legally, you can legislate to make everyone move to EVs. But when you do that, what the lobby and government is refusing to admit is that the consequent lifestyle changes will be huge. And the political costs even greater.

Joao Martins
Reply to  michel
October 3, 2021 2:05 am

In an 8 hours work day, 30 min waiting for a vehicle to charge means a reduction of 6.25 % working time.

StephenP
Reply to  Joao Martins
October 3, 2021 4:57 am

What is the amperage needed if cars are to be recharged in 30 minutes? IIRC the current drawn if recharging in 8 hours at home overnight is 13 amps.
If the same amount of charge is given in 30 minutes, then the amperage would have to be 13 x 16 = 208 amps.
Are my assumptions correst and how big a cable is needed to allow that current without overheating?
If multiple recharging units are provided at a location, then it seems a whole new substation is needed.
That explains why in most locations at present there are only two recharging stations in the car parks.

Martin Pinder
Reply to  StephenP
October 4, 2021 12:06 pm

Hundreds of amps. I heard of a 250kw charger giving 800 volts. This requires over 300 amps. This means thick cables & large plugs & sockets. It doesn’t look to me as if the standard sockets on EV cars are big enough.

Sara
Reply to  Joao Martins
October 3, 2021 6:22 am

You are assuming only one car is charging at a time. That makes no sense. How many cars are there in an underground or topside commercial parking facility? And how many of them will need access to recharging stations at the same time?

And finally, since the number of users determines how much voltage is going to be supplied, how many EV owners will be allowed in that parking facility at the same time?

This is nothing like gas stations where you pull up to the end of the line if the pumps are all busy.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Sara
October 3, 2021 6:32 am

Sorry, I suppose that you missed my point by almost 180 degrees (of circle).

One company has an employee driving a EV. On the road, this EV must be recharged. That means 30 minutes that employee is idle, which correspondes, if hie contract is for working 8 hours per day, to 6.25 % time lost.

This has nothing to do with availability of charging points, voltage, current intensity, etc.: it is pure and simple enterprise economy.

Sara
Reply to  Joao Martins
October 3, 2021 7:29 am

Okay, that makes more sense. Thanks.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Sara
October 3, 2021 11:32 am

You are welcome.

Martin Pinder
Reply to  michel
October 4, 2021 12:01 pm

And forcing people to change is an admission that EVs are inferior.

Ron Long
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 5:31 am

Simon “All of this for just $15,000.” I knew it , these are golf carts.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Ron Long
October 3, 2021 6:35 am

His source is CleanTechnica. Did you expect something real?

Reply to  Ron Long
October 3, 2021 1:41 pm

but Ron,
They may have two hard seats.
And go-faster stripes . . .

Auto

Eric H
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 9:16 am

This seems to be a fairly new article on BYD battery tech July 2021…

Battery catches fire 48 hours after a crash…

https://www.autoevolution.com/news/with-lfp-cells-byd-han-catches-fire-two-days-after-independent-crash-test-166253.html

Meab
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 9:28 am

Simple Simon, You have bought into the hype. While BYD’s blade battery is safer than Li-ion and its lifetime is 3x better its charging rate is slower and its energy density per pound is much less. For the same capacity, Blade batteries will weigh much, much more. They are only suitable for low range EVs. Since the lack of range is a big impediment to EV sales (EVs with high range are extremely expensive) the BYD battery isn’t the holy grail. Charging from 30% to 80% ( a lousy half-charge) in 30 minutes is also quite bad and actually significantly slower than many EVs can do already. The Porche Taycan can charge from 20 to 80% in 20 minutes (and that’s really bad as an ICE car can refuel from 0 to 100% in five minutes).

Last edited 15 days ago by Meab
Simon
Reply to  Meab
October 3, 2021 11:47 am

Simple Simon” says Moron Meab.

Meab
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 12:44 pm

Who was pumping the hype, Simple Simon, you or me?

ATheoK
Reply to  Simon
October 4, 2021 10:43 pm

More projection, as Meab has not demonstrated any signs of moronic symptoms or impulses, indeed Meab clearly demonstrates the opposite condition..

While, silly simon certainly demonstrates it is overly qualified for the term moron.

CapitalistRoader
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 11:10 am

With LFP Cells, BYD Han Catches Fire Two Days After Independent Crash Test
autoevolution | 29 Jul 2021

That’s quite an unexpected thing to happen with the Han and its Blade Battery pack. Composed of LFP (lithium iron phosphate) cells, it was supposed to be very resistant to such events. Yet, the images made by the show prove it is not exempt from these episodes…
In the [crash] test, the ArcFox αS performed slightly better than the Han. The driver’s door could still open, but the front airbags did not deploy. The rear passengers would also suffer severe damages because the seat belts did not hold them in place as they should.

The Han presented a deformed roof and cabin that prevented the driver’s door from opening. That possibly happened because the battery pack partially separated from the body. The cabin deformation would make the driver hurt his head and have severe injuries to his right leg. The rear passenger would be as seriously hurt as the one in the ArcFox αS.

https://www.autoevolution.com/news/with-lfp-cells-byd-han-catches-fire-two-days-after-independent-crash-test-166253.html

Last edited 15 days ago by CapitalistRoader
William Astley
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 1:27 pm

Simon. The Dolphin at $15,000 does not have air conditioning or heat. In the US it is hot in the summer and cold in the winter. People who drive gasoline powered cars have a range of about 600 km (almost all US vehicles have air conditioning and heat) and it takes about five minutes to fill up.

Dennis
Reply to  William Astley
October 3, 2021 8:00 pm

$15,000 is the price in China, for Australia media claim the price is likely to start from $35,000 retail. That is slightly cheaper than the MG EV made in China sold in Australia but nearly twice as much as the MG ICEV in the same body.

As usual theoretical range is listed as “up to” and ignores the charge only to 80% regularly recommendation 20% range loss and the on road variable energy usage factors, realistically I apply a 30% discount to theoretical “up to” range claims.

Dennis
Reply to  Simon
October 2, 2021 6:22 pm

Please let us know when EV technology and convenience of operation, and price, are competitive with ICEV.

Simon
Reply to  Dennis
October 2, 2021 7:20 pm

Please let us know when EV technology and convenience of operation, and price, are competitive with ICEV.”
Wont be long…. Google BYD Dolphin.

Dennis
Reply to  Simon
October 2, 2021 7:54 pm

Like wind and solar renewables (so called) are getting cheaper it is claimed, but not more reliable and electricity prices keep rising.

Simon
Reply to  Dennis
October 2, 2021 8:41 pm

So do gasoline prices.

Dennis
Reply to  Simon
October 2, 2021 10:09 pm

EV drivers will be charged a road user tax to replace the government revenue collected on fuel excise for road maintenance purposes (plus GST) so add that to recharging cost.

And then considering that Australians in the majority keep their vehicles for ten years or more add replacement battery cost to EV expenses and in between time if traded in a price reflecting the estimated battery life remaining and charge level capacity.

By the way, BYD will be assembling EV including buses in Sydney but the estimated local price for BYD Dolphin is A$35,000 and therefore still a lot more than an equivalent ICEV model.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 2:09 am

Gasoline prices, like “renewable” electricity, are manipulated by governments, they do not reflect costs of production. Gasoline prices manipulation makes them increase, manipulation og “green” electricity tries to make them decrease. It is a foul-play induced by the referee…

Last edited 15 days ago by Joao Martins
Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joao Martins
October 3, 2021 4:00 am

Gasoline prices were doing just fine under Trump.

A gallon of gasoline has increased in price by one dollar, here in the U.S., since Biden took office.

Sara
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 3, 2021 6:26 am

Isn’t he the one who shut down pipeline construction to transport crude oil to refineries? How many jobs were lost to that decision?

I’m seeing gas prices holding pretty steady at the pump, not much fluctuation and plenty of commuter traffic by truckers and POV drivers.

Sara
Reply to  Sara
October 3, 2021 6:50 am

Sorry, I meant Biden, not Trump.

Joao Martins
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 3, 2021 6:34 am

We could say that Biden took office long ago in the EU countries…

MAL
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 3, 2021 9:00 am

I wish it was one dollar. It now cost me almost twice as much to fill my ICE vehicle.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MAL
October 4, 2021 5:17 am

Yes, that one-dollar figure was just the average increase.

Derg
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 4:33 am

Russia colluuuusion 😉

MAL
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 8:59 am

Artificially drive by politicization limiting supply. We have no were near the necessary electrical generation to have everyone on EVs even if we had the batteries that could do the job. Will you support one nuclear plant brought online every week for the next 20 years. If not shut up and co to the dunce corner. Do try to tell renewables’ will do the job they can’t and won’t.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MAL
October 4, 2021 5:18 am

“Will you support one nuclear plant brought online every week for the next 20 years. If not shut up and go to the dunce corner.”

Good advice! 🙂

Bill
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 5:45 pm

So do gasoline prices.

What is so absurd about this comment is that prices go up because socialist-thinking persons insist that government do the following: raise taxes on consumers to try to raise the price and raise taxes on producers so they reduce production thus raising the price.

A small amount of reading of economics (e.g. Friedman, Sowell, Smith, etc) would illustrate this truth. I am always surprised people fail to understand that basic economic principles are as inviolable as basic scientific principles (e.g. gravity, chemical reactions, etc).

MARTIN BRUMBY
Reply to  Dennis
October 2, 2021 10:19 pm

Yes, Dennis.
But “Claimed” being the operative word.
Strangely, the published accounts of the fraudsters who own these whirligig farms show no reduction in costs.
And once, with the help of Great Helmsman Boris, they have destroyed gas, as they have done coal, they will be able to charge what they like. Even more than now.
Manufacturers of brown envelopes will have a hayday.

Dennis
Reply to  MARTIN BRUMBY
October 2, 2021 10:38 pm

Yes, investors into wind and solar businesses are still keen to receive government subsidies for profit paid by taxpayer-consumers to make their assets cost effective.

For the critics: specific subsidies and not what leftists try to divert attention with, deductions on company tax for expenses incurred in earning taxable profits available to all businesses. And rebate on fuel tax for fuel used off public roads by mining, farmers, loggers, commercial boat operators and others, generator use.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 6:36 am

As soon as they work out the kinks in cold fusion, we’ll all have free energy.

Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
October 3, 2021 1:57 pm

I’m almost 70.
Fusion was 20 years away when I was a young man, nigh on fifty years ago.
Fusion is still 20 years away.
Hmmmmmmmm.
You hold your breath, if you will.
I suspect you’ll be in a minority, a very small minority.

Auto
Pointedly not holding my breath.
Nor big on the Great Helmsman, Boris Can’t-be-bothered-with-Science.

Scissor
Reply to  Simon
October 2, 2021 6:54 pm

Plus we have electrical distancing and masking rules in place.

Joel
Reply to  Simon
October 2, 2021 8:29 pm

Old news? The article about EV charging restrictions is 3 weeks old.

Simon
Reply to  Joel
October 2, 2021 9:25 pm

Read this article or one very similar here…. old news.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 6:41 am

The problems with EV haven’t changed. And they are not likely to change soon, no matter what your BS websites say. I know a couple who missed the birth of their grandson while they were waiting for their Tesla to recharge trying to get to the hospital where their daughter was. Too bad they couldn’t have stopped at a gas station and filled up in about five minutes.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 1:03 am

Simon,
I read from your comment that the latest battery tech, quote “is so much safer”. Do I take it from your comment you think the current battery tech is unsafe and should be avoided?
What would your considered opinion be? What advice should be given to the few millions of people that are using the current battery technology, that you consider is so much less safe? Would you advise them to park only in the open, maybe avoid multi storey car parks or basement parking at all cost?

MAL
Reply to  Rod Evans
October 3, 2021 9:03 am

The rules for so much safer has change, in the 1970 they shut down the swine flu vaccine for problems that the new COVID dwarfs by a long shot.

M Courtney
Reply to  Simon
October 3, 2021 1:27 am

No, the article is current.
GM issued these safety instruction in the last few weeks.
You seem to be talking about science fiction futures where new technology makes things different.
But this article is talking about the reality we live in.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  M Courtney
October 3, 2021 10:32 am

Simon and Griff don’t do reality.
At least he is now admitting that current battery tech is a disaster.
But when he says the new tech is safer, these same people told us the old tech was safe too.
So there are currently millions of fire hazards on the road, with millions more planned, by government edict.

Just like VFL bulbs.
Getting everything wrong forever, government.

October 2, 2021 6:07 pm

And If one leaves your EV outside to charge, in a snowy area, imagine defrosting that beastie. And if on the street, the power cord will walk with Jesus.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Halla
October 3, 2021 4:06 am

I don’t think this has all been thought out very well. The alarmists only keep the goal in mind (reducing CO2), and don’t think about the path to get there.

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 3, 2021 8:46 am

And the goal is insanity in itself. CO2 is still dangerously low, below 150 ppm the planet dies, including us.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 3, 2021 8:46 am

Tom,
Not to quibble, but using ‘alarmists’ and ‘think’ in the same sentence is not allowed unless you include an odd number of negatives!
Feelings and emotions rule the day for the Climastrologists; deep thought is forbidden unless one is considering one’s own guilt!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Abolition Man
October 4, 2021 5:21 am

You have a point. 🙂

Dennis
October 2, 2021 6:21 pm

All that hassle and anxiety after buying an EV and paying at least twice the retail price the buyer would pay for an ICEV for which the driver can carry spare fuel in cans when travelling in more remote country areas.

And about theoretical range – all those variable energy consumption factors and the manufacturers recommend recharging regularly to not more than eighty per cent of batteries capacity.

In Australia recharge from electricity generated mostly by coal and gas fired power stations, diesel generators in the more remote country areas, some hydro power stations and a very small contribution, unreliably and intermittently, from wind and solar installations.

Len Werner
October 2, 2021 6:25 pm

I’m afraid this article sounds like a lot of climate-disaster fear mongering. Possibly this site might refrain from reproducing that kind of reporting; leave it to the alarmists to hand-wring that the sky is falling whenever some change comes along.

Internal combustion power units (the fossil-fuel ones) caught fire too when they first came out, compared to horses–having to make the distinction because horses too are internal-combustion.

Dennis
Reply to  Len Werner
October 2, 2021 6:52 pm

EV represents a tiny percentage of the global fleet of vehicles, most of course are ICEV and there are ICEV fires from time to time but the huge difference is that unlike ICEV the EV exothermic reaction in Lithium ion batteries is uncontrollable, a very dangerous inferno.

In Australian states EV now must display a blue sticker on the registration plates front and rear to alert road authorities and fire brigade personnel, LPG fuelled ICEV have red stickers, but ICEV using petrol or diesel are not required to display a sticker.

By the way, EV were quite popular in the late 1800s into the early 1900s, in New York USA there were recharging points conveniently located around the city for recharging the lead acid batteries. Until Mr Henry Ford introduced his Model T internal combustion engine motor car and EV sales declined. After all the Model T was reliable, simple and fast to refuel and drivers could carry spare cans of gas/petrol if needed. The Model T was also affordable for the average person.

The modern EV has a long way to go to match the modern ICEV.

Scissor
Reply to  Dennis
October 2, 2021 7:00 pm
Dennis
Reply to  Scissor
October 2, 2021 7:17 pm

In Australia’s “Outback” country areas most electricity is supplied by diesel fuelled generators, the “Roadhouse” service centres.

There are fuel tanker trucks with from two to four trailers (Road Trains) hauling mostly diesel fuel but also petrol to many customers as mines and farm properties also rely on diesel generators.

So recharge an EV with diesel, it’s far more efficient to burn diesel in an ICEV.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Scissor
October 3, 2021 2:19 am

Scissor, at first I thought that your link was a clever spoof. I was amazed that this is a genuine product that you can buy. Some years ago, I remember someone making a joke about this precise development but I never thought that it would come to pass.

Scissor
Reply to  Bill Toland
October 3, 2021 6:00 am

Welcome to dystopia, where scientists are socialists and socialists are engineers.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Dennis
October 3, 2021 4:15 am

My uncle, who was an engineer, built his own electric car back in the early 1960’s using lead-acid batteries. He had a workshop that was a constant delight to me. So many interesting things in there!

For traveling short distances around town, lead-acid batteries work pretty good.

MAL
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 3, 2021 9:09 am

Rather expensive sine I live in an area where golf cart are allowed on the road. The miles per dollar is rather expensive when you have to replace $800 worth of batteries every three years.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MAL
October 4, 2021 5:24 am

Eight hundred dollars every three years isn’t so bad.

John H
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 3, 2021 9:53 am

When milk was delivered daily in the UK electric vans known as floats were used and worked very well. Short distance and charged over night.

Last edited 15 days ago by John H
Tom Abbott
Reply to  John H
October 4, 2021 5:33 am

My local milkman used to let me ride along with him when I was about eight years old, and I would take the milk up and put it on the doorstep of the house, and he would let me drink as much orange drink (he had that too) as I wanted for doing the work. Needless to say, I got a little sick of drinking orange drink after a while.

His vehicle was gasoline powered but your story about the battery-powered vehicle is interesting. Lead-acid batteries work very well in some circumstances. They’ve been doing so for a long time.

Although, don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating everyone use lead-acid batteries. There are much better alternatives to them now, that are not lithium-ion based.

Dennis
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 3, 2021 8:03 pm

Your comment reminded me about the joke, I think it is a joke, that ninety per cent of EV sold remain on the roads, the others made it home.

Jake J
Reply to  Dennis
October 4, 2021 7:42 pm

Not true, but still fun.

H. D. Hoese
Reply to  Len Werner
October 2, 2021 6:52 pm

My grandfather was a car mechanic starting over a century ago. He was a magneto specialist, my father was an airplane mechanic in Hawaii during WWII so I know a little about vehicle motors and their history. Yes, gas is flammable, current technology is now so good leaks and fires are much rarer despite the numbers.

I never heard that people were ever made to buy cars, which is being done now either directly or indirectly for EVs. We have for some time had a government that is forcing those and other things on people that know about them better than they do. Read the US Constitution. 

Dennis
Reply to  H. D. Hoese
October 2, 2021 6:58 pm

The free market system known as free enterprise and on the left side of politics as capitalism has served the developed world very well and has resulted in the prosperity of nations and people today, but the leftist globalists seek to destroy it, as UN Official Christiana Figureres admitted during a speech in Paris France in October 2015 just before the IPCC Paris Conference was held.

The basic rule is that governments should not interfere by picking winners and losers, in this example pushing for EV to replace ICEV using subsidies for buyers incentive and warning that sale of new internal combustion engine vehicle will be banned in future years.

John the Econ
Reply to  Dennis
October 2, 2021 7:11 pm

The problem is that the free market responds to consumer desires, and those desires contradict what our elite ruling class thinks we should be doing with our money, and have no problem with using the apparatus of state to impose their vision of correctness.

Which is no cars at all. (At least for us)

AWG
Reply to  John the Econ
October 2, 2021 7:31 pm

That of course assumes that very many of us are still alive after the mRNA injections finish their mission.

Klem
Reply to  John the Econ
October 2, 2021 10:00 pm

And governments can more easily track and control an e-car and it’s owner than they can an ICE car. And remember, you’ll own nothing and youll be happy.

Sara
Reply to  John the Econ
October 3, 2021 6:49 am

Frankly, I think a horse and buggy combo is a lot safer and less likely to explode into flames than any EV presently in production.

And what happens to those EVs that are returned and traded for gas-powered vehicles? What if no one with any common sense wants one?

Maybe I’d rather just walk the mile to the grocery store or have things delivered instead of taking a very high chance that the confounded thing will (not would) self-destruct before I can even leave the parking lot.

One self-destructing sample is bad enough. Increasing numbers are significant.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Sara
October 3, 2021 8:55 am

Sara,
I often pine for the days of the Pony Express, or maybe the first telegraphs! Humanity started to devolve when we stopped writing letters to each other!
The process has accelerated under the tender ministrations of the High Tech Nazis who, interestingly enough, don’t allow their OWN children to use social media! Why ever not do you think?

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Dennis
October 3, 2021 2:51 am

These people who are so keen to destroy free enterprise all are either very wealthy already or seem to be getting along on public assistance. When/if the current ruling class manages to destroy our very successful economies with what will they replace free enterprise? From where will the tax revenue come from to support the non-producers? Non-producers do not contribute to the tax base so there will be no money to repair/build infrastructure, provide for national defense, or continue with things like a space program.

This all looks like a form or anarchy, tearing down something that has worked for a very long time just to satisfy some envious malcontents.

Abolition Man
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 3, 2021 8:59 am

Pamela,
Dark Ages 2.0 will not need infrastructure, as there will be very few peons left! The number of ways their fantasies can go sideways is too large to enumerate; earning them the title of intellectual morons!

Scissor
Reply to  Len Werner
October 2, 2021 7:07 pm

As a chemist, I wouldn’t say that horses are internal combustion powered. They’re more complicated and combustion usually refers to rapid and direct combination of a fuel with oxygen.

I would agree that there are ICE Mustangs, however.

Dennis
Reply to  Scissor
October 2, 2021 7:19 pm

Horses were banned from cities, I understand, because they created too much poolution.

MAL
Reply to  Dennis
October 3, 2021 9:11 am

Could not get the manure out fast enough.

John H
Reply to  Dennis
October 3, 2021 9:58 am

That was London, predictions had the streets covered by 6ft of horse dung if the rate of horse transport continued its increase. Then came the car and the fight between steam, electric and petrol power. With no subsidy or help from lawmakers petrol won out. Steam car anyone ? seems more sensible than electric.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Scissor
October 3, 2021 2:56 am

But with the horse humans were able to pretty much populate the entire planet. Humans used horses and oxen for thousands of years before the ICE came along. Horses are far superior to EVs too; they don’t explode in their stall and burn for days, they can recharge after a short rest and some food and water, and provide companionship as well.

MAL
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 3, 2021 9:12 am

Horses did have a distance problem also, normally about twenty miles as day, they also had “long recharge times”.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  MAL
October 3, 2021 10:16 am

Properly conditions horses can do 50-100 mile endurance races in a day. They are much more capable of distance than one might think. And recharge is about the same as for the rider.

Darrin
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 4, 2021 9:02 am

You can’t stick your horse in the garage and forget about it (common refrain when debating horses vs. ICE toys). Horses are also expensive and getting more expensive every year (had horses for the last 28 years). Personally I’m thinking I’ll be priced out of horses within 10 years, they are quickly becoming a hobby for the rich.

AWG
Reply to  Len Werner
October 2, 2021 7:28 pm

Can you tell me of any current bans on parking ICEV in garages such as what Germany is considering?

Dennis
Reply to  AWG
October 2, 2021 7:55 pm

It is described in one word – don’t.

Len Werner
Reply to  AWG
October 2, 2021 8:55 pm

I don’t see how that is relevant–the ICEV has been around for over a century. Neither you nor I can predict what restrictions there might remain on electric cars in 100 years, but we can both certainly envisage ‘none’.

There have been restrictions on ICE cars in the past–

“Across Europe and the US, there was a growing appetite for motor cars, and interest had spread to Britain. But at the time, existing restrictions on British roads included speed limits of 2 mph through towns, and the infamous ‘red-flag rule’, which said that a vehicle must be preceded by a person waving a red flag, in order to warn other road users.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/lauriewinkless/2016/05/02/is-tomorrows-car-just-a-case-of-history-repeating-itself/?sh=7815dca25ec7

That was around 1888–seems pretty silly today, doesn’t it? This is a new technology, considering battery advances from early attempts when batteries were dismal–in fact if you read all of the above article it will become apparent that the lead-acid battery we enjoy today evolved to meet the needs of the cars that were being invented back then.

Today’s electric car will succeed or fail on its own merits or lack of them just as Global Warming theories might disappear if the planet goes into a cooling cycle. We don’t need articles that reflect the techniques of alarmism as used by climate extremists applied to electric automobiles; let the data (like Ford’s annual financial reports) speak for itself as the technology evolves.

I don’t know what will happen with battery-electric cars and don’t own one–it’s just my personal analysis that this article dooms the electric car using the same techniques that are used by merchants of climate fear trying to doom the ICE, and reflects the same now-seeming-silly attitude that was applied to the ICE car when it was first invented. We can do better.

(My disclaimer–I own a Dodge Cummins 1-ton to move my farm tractors between two rural properties, a 33,000 lb excavator, a Cat D4, and an airplane; and after my geology career I drove a 6-axle logging truck for 6 years–I’m no enemy of the ICE.)

Klem
Reply to  Len Werner
October 2, 2021 10:43 pm

True but back then governments didn’t ban the purchase of horses after a certain date like they are currently banning the purchase of ICE cars after 2030. If you wanted to continue to buy and ride horses, you could.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Klem
October 3, 2021 2:59 am

And today there are more horses in use for sport and recreation than back when they were our primary form of transportation.

MAL
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 3, 2021 9:15 am

Yes but the are a lot more people today the back then the horse per person ration is way down.

Rusty
Reply to  Len Werner
October 3, 2021 4:23 am

The difference is an ICE fuel fire can be easily extinguished. A lithium battery fire not so.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Len Werner
October 3, 2021 6:00 am

The markets forced the early ICE vehicles to improve their levels of safety – no one is going to buy something that catches on fire. People chose to give up their horse and buy an ICE vehicle as and when they wanted to. They weren’t forced by government mandate to buy those vehicles.
Today, however, laws imposed by government are attempting to force people to buy a product they don’t want. That is the difference between now and the earliest days of ICEs.

Last edited 15 days ago by Andrew Wilkins
MAL
Reply to  Len Werner
October 3, 2021 9:06 am

Horses had bigger pollution problems, large cities had gotten beyond the size that would allow you to remove the horse apples fast enough. Let alone getting the fuel(hay/grain) in.

Len Werner
Reply to  MAL
October 3, 2021 1:49 pm

While all of the comments subsequent to my original post are at least partially true, they have little to do with my original complaint–that the article uses the same emotion-generating tactics as climate alarmist articles, including the photo of electric busses on fire (like climate alarmists use photos of forests on fire), and does not take into consideration that the technology is evolving. No one can predict from today what electric cars will look like in 2030 anymore than they could predict from 1890 what ICE vehicles would look like by the time the Model T came along, much less how clean-burning cars are today compared to the late 60’s when you had to file IFR on a clear day to fly into any destination in the Los Angeles basin–all because of the ICE.

That battery-electric cars are so dangerous is countered by some measurements, although I don’t yet know how to check if something like this is true or not.

https://insideevs.com/news/501729/number-tesla-vehicle-fires-2020/

Even if only partially true, it indicates a fairly large gap between electric and everything else. (Never heard of a horse spontaneously combusting yet though.)

John Endicott
Reply to  Len Werner
October 5, 2021 4:18 am

You do realize EVs pre-date ICE and yet the spontaneous combustion problems are considerably worse with the current generation of EVs whereas, by your own admission, ICVs have greatly improved in that area.

The Indomitable Snowman, Ph.D.
October 2, 2021 6:59 pm

Um… I’m not sure who is responsible for the headline, but please – it should be “EV buyers beware.” The use of apostrophe-s for plural (when it is supposed to be for possessive) has gotten to be a real disease.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  The Indomitable Snowman, Ph.D.
October 2, 2021 7:50 pm

Apostrophes’ were invented to be abused.

Commas were invented, to be misused.

H.R.
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
October 2, 2021 8:12 pm

Period. End.Of.Discussion.

Michael S. Kelly
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
October 2, 2021 11:14 pm

And semicolons were invented along with the colostomy.

Gags like this, though, are really not my bag.

Last edited 15 days ago by Michael S. Kelly
Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
October 3, 2021 6:10 am

Michael, why don’t you just put a sock in it?

Polski
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly
October 3, 2021 7:00 am

When I text my best friend who has a MA in English I often throw in a semicolon. Half the time I am correct but she says using it makes you appear smart since so few people know any better

MAL
Reply to  Polski
October 3, 2021 9:17 am

Even the American and English version of writing cannot agree when to use what.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  The Indomitable Snowman, Ph.D.
October 3, 2021 6:09 am

Many forget to use the Oxford comma that should be placed before the word “and” when listing a group of items:

In town today I saw the Bishop of Rochester, a liar, and a thief.

In town today I saw the Bishop of Rochester, a liar and a thief.

Which of the above would the Bishop be pleased about?

Joao Martins
Reply to  Andrew Wilkins
October 3, 2021 11:54 am

It depends on how much the Bishop is proficient in English…

Dennis
October 2, 2021 7:03 pm

“The UK has concerns about their electrical grid being able to handle intermittent, spiked electricity that comes from breezes and sunshine; or if the grid can handle tens of millions of electric vehicles charging at the same time. Under current technological, and future scenarios, that type of grid has not even come close to being invented yet. Britain will also need more electricity to make their entire transportation sector electrical. A new electrical grid will need to be built.”

The same applies in Australia, the Australian Energy Market Operator has warned that in particular rooftop solar installations are disruptive and accordingly that feed-in tariffs will be stopped and installations confined to supplying only the property where the solar panels are installed.

Wind turbine installation businesses are also being carefully monitored and reviewed.

Ken Irwin
Reply to  Dennis
October 3, 2021 12:49 am

The “Smart Grid”™ is going to save us.

However since the existing grid would have to be expanded by at least 400% to support an all electric private vehicle fleet and dispatchable energy is dwindling with the “fragilization” of the grid by the intrusion of weather dependent energy,

Solution = “Smart Grid”™ You will be coerced to install a Powerwall to support your rooftop solar, your EV battery charger will also be “Smart Grid”™ enabled.
When you plug in to a charger anywhere (and this will be mandatory while you are at work) it will also be “Smart Grid”™ enabled.

The “Smart Grid”™ will not only ration available power to control load, it will also use the process in reverse to use your batteries to support the grid.

Brilliant – but since the grid will never be adequately supplied, the nett result will mostly be a run down to near zero of both your domestic and vehicular power when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

After a bad day at the office you will find your car has been completely depleted by the “Smart Grid”™ to support industry.

I’m guessing is will issue you a voucher for public transport home where your hot water is cold as that was also “Smart Grid”™ disabled.

This is your future – such nonsense is being mooted and it’s not science fiction – it is possible.

This may well be your dystopian future.

Call me a reactionary denialist if you will but this scenario is far more probable than the doomsday scenarios of the climate catastrophists.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Dennis
October 3, 2021 4:30 am

“and installations confined to supplying only the property where the solar panels are installed.”

I haven’t kept up with the home solar panel/home battery technology, so can a person power their own home with solar panels at a reasonable cost? Is the only home battery option lithium-ion? I think I would prefer a different battery.

TonyG
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 3, 2021 5:47 pm

I come across solar for homesteads a lot in some magazines I read. A recent article had a guy powering his home mostly with solar, with a generator for backup for the (expected) problem times. He has several banks of lead-acid batteries that are apparently specifically designed for use with solar installations. So, apparently LI is NOT the only option.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  TonyG
October 4, 2021 7:17 am

People have been powering homes using solar panels and lead-acid batteries for a long time, but in the past, they supplied just a bare amount of electricity. Not enough to run your entire household. These type of installations were more suited to a vacation cabin environment.

I’ve been reading about various lead-acid battery installations to provide personal power for years, and people have been powering vehicles with lead-acid batteries for years.

There are better batteries today, that are not lithium-ion based, such as nickel-metal hydride that no doubt make home solar more feasible.

There seems to be a lot of recent activity in developing new batteries. We will probably have even better battery options in the future.

AWG
October 2, 2021 7:24 pm

EV’s may be a gift for insurance scammers – just target an EV in the building, and nobody will question the insurance claim when the building burns down. 

I think they call this “Jewish Lightning”.

MARTIN BRUMBY
Reply to  AWG
October 2, 2021 10:28 pm

“They” being the antisemites.

Redge
Reply to  AWG
October 3, 2021 12:08 am

Take your antisemitism elsewhere

I believe Jeremy Corbin and the majority of the UK’s Labour Party would be interested in your views.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  AWG
October 3, 2021 3:02 am

Tacky, very tacky. I hope you regretted this slur as soon as the Edit time ran out….

David S
October 2, 2021 8:27 pm
  • “Not to park your Chevy Bolt within 50 feet of other vehicles in case it catches fire.
  • Highly recommends that Bolt EV owners not to park within 50 feet of anything you care about.
  • Recommends parking on the top floor or on an open-air deck and park 50 feet or more away from another vehicle.
  • Requests Bolt EV owners to not leave their vehicle charging unattended, even if they are using a charging station in a parking deck.”

Would anyone in their right mind knowingly buy a vehicle with all those restrictions?

Tom Foley
Reply to  David S
October 2, 2021 11:18 pm

So if you stay with your vehicle while it is being charged, and it catches fire, exactly what are you supposed to do? What can you do, beyond call the fire brigade so they can hose it down for 24 hours? If you weren’t with the vehicle, wouldn’t someone else notice the fire anyway?

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Tom Foley
October 2, 2021 11:54 pm

I believe you’re expected to throw yourself on the vehicle, out of shame, and perish along with the incendiary device, for your folly.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
October 3, 2021 2:58 pm

Rory
Are you thinking of an E-suttee?

Auto

Rory Forbes
Reply to  auto
October 3, 2021 5:44 pm

Just so. It’s the only proper thing to do.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Tom Foley
October 3, 2021 3:06 am

Yes, I wonder about this as well. Maybe the vehicle gives off some pre-incendiary warning signal that a vigilant owner should be able to recognize in time to disconnect from the charging cable, thereby preventing catastrophe failure. Something that would not be possible if said owner were off purchasing groceries or sipping a latte…

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
October 3, 2021 5:43 pm

Something that would not be possible if said owner were off purchasing groceries or sipping a latte…

D’you mean actually using the vehicle for that which it was designed? The very thought …

Jake J
Reply to  David S
October 3, 2021 5:19 pm

You overlook the reality that litigation has resulted in a proliferation of warnings for a very wide variety of products. In the real world, I doubt that EV buyers will take the warnings seriously, unless they start coming true in significant numbers.

Joel
October 2, 2021 8:34 pm

Not mentioned in this tale of woe about Li batteries is the overheating problem at Moss Landing in CA, hailed as the biggest grid battery park in the world. LG made their batteries, and LG also made the batteries for the Bolt.
No sane person can advocate for large scale EV adoption without advocating for:

  1. Massive grid storage. This is likely impossible with current technology.
  2. Nuclear energy. It will take a decade to build the first new plant. Mini-nukes might work, but, nobody has really tried that yet.

But, then, there are many not so sane person out there.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Joel
October 2, 2021 9:03 pm

I can understand how the addled US president might see his energy policy as a good idea but surely there are remaining moderately intelligent technocratic advisers who will kindly point out to the gentleman that those policies are quite literally insane.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Chris Hanley
October 3, 2021 2:25 am

but surely there are remaining moderately intelligent technocratic advisers

Remains to be seen….

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Chris Hanley
October 3, 2021 3:09 am

You are assuming that Biden is directly responsible for any actions he has performed since being inaugurated. More likely it is these technocratic advisors who are calling the shots and by their actions amply demonstrate their lack of sanity and expertise.

Chris Hanley
October 2, 2021 8:42 pm

Battery-powered vehicles have useful applications as forklifts golf carts regular light delivery vans etc. and anyone who wants an electric car is welcome to the inconvenience as long as it’s a free choice.
However the current push to electric vehicles is based on the insane policy of ‘net-zero’ by 2050.
The relevant metric is the total energy consumption:
comment image
It’s obvious that for the US to eliminate all thermal energy by 2050 is impossible, if ever.

Last edited 15 days ago by Chris Hanley
Dennis
Reply to  Chris Hanley
October 2, 2021 10:17 pm

I managed a large manufacturing company and worked there for over twenty years, our warehouses and factories had forklift trucks but when we purchased a couple of electric plug in battery forklift trucks the operators for various good reasons preferred our LPG fuelled internal combustion engine forklifts.

Recharging was an issue and casual drivers often forgot to plug them in after their shift. With LPG this was not a problem, just replace the gas cylinder.

AndyHce
October 2, 2021 9:04 pm

While not exactly on-target, aspects of what I would like to know are mentioned here. In particular, various contributors have stated that optimum battery life depends on maintaining the battery charge within certain limits, 40% to 80% of full charge being most often quoted.

For some months now I have been limited to a laptop by circumstances, although those circumstances also contribute to the fact that I don’t use my laptop in multiple locations at present. I found it essentially impossible to keep the battery charge within any particular range. How fast the battery discharges seems to depend, at least in part, on what the computer is doing at any moment.

Unplug the laptop and my concentration will often be broken by a message that the battery is about to zero out. Plug in the laptop and the next time I remember to look, generally after some hours, the battery is at 100% charged and, I presume, has been for an unknown time.

Having it always plugged in while working is definitely the most convenient. Just leaving it thus means the battery charge is always at 100%. Unplugging the system overnight results, generally, in about a 5% drop in charge, with a greater drop if the idle time is extended.

If the system is always plugged in, the transformer remains rather warm, indicating wasted power but weeks and months can go by with no change in system performance. The battery charge is apparently not going up and down. I don’t know if there is electronic switching, so that most of the current used by the computer does not flow through the battery, or if all used current comes from the battery, while the battery is concurrently being replenished by the mains power connection.

Is there a practical way to maximize battery life (not to be confused with battery charge)?

Last edited 15 days ago by AndyHce
Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  AndyHce
October 3, 2021 3:17 am

Excellent question. I wonder the same about my mobile phone. We are not supposed to leave them on the charger overnight, only until they reach 100% charge. Well, ok then, do we set an alarm to wake up mid-sleep to unplug the phone? Does leaving the phone on the charger for too long after optimum charge is reached really shorten battery life? More importantly, is leaving the device on the charger too long likely to result in a conflagration inside the house?

RLu
Reply to  AndyHce
October 3, 2021 3:18 am

Most operating systems have a setting for desk dwellers, to only charge upto 80%. Its hidden pretty deep in the extra battery settings.
Google a bit for your laptop model’s settings.

AndyHce
Reply to  RLu
October 5, 2021 9:00 pm

I don’t think there is such a thing in the OS. Maybe some computer manufacturers provide an application.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  AndyHce
October 3, 2021 4:59 am

I have an iPhone 12 that signals “low battery” when the battery reaches 20 percent. I then put it on the charger and charge it to 100 percent. When the charging starts out, the electrical plug gets quite warm, but after the charge reaches 100 percent, the electrical plug is cool, so I assume it is no longer drawing power.

The same for the iPad I have, except it complains of low battery when it reaches 10 percent.

I assume if it were bad for a battery to be charged to 100 percent, that Apple would have enough sense to limit the charge to below this amount. But I don’t know that for sure.

I think the thing about charging these batteries is you only get so many recharges before the battery won’t recharge sufficiently. I don’t think it depends on whether it is recharged to 100 percent or not.

I had an iPhone 4 for years that I put on charge every night and I never had to replace the battery. I still have it here, and it will still charge up, although the charge won’t last as long as it used to. I left it sitting in one place for over three weeks once, and when I next used it, it still had an eight percent charge on it, although that was when it was still fairly new.

Last edited 15 days ago by Tom Abbott
Jake J
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 3, 2021 4:46 pm

Lithium batteries do not charge at an even rate. They rate usually starts out high and then diminshes as the battery is more fully charged.

AndyHce
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 4, 2021 2:22 pm

According to information in various places, including a fair number of youtube videos on the subject, the number of charging cycles potentially available will vary by many thousands, depending on how fast the battery is charged, how fully it is charged and discharged, what temperatures it experiences when charging or while charged and maybe other factors.

This is largely controllable but can be complex. In general, fast charging is considerably worse than slow charging unless perhaps there is a way to keep the battery cool enough during the charging. There exist “smart chargers” for which one can set charging rate, depending upon user outlook about what is most important (charging time vs battery life), and these chargers will not allow “overcharging”. They limit charging current to a small trickle once battery charge reaches a preset % limit. These charges can do nothing about how far down the charge is allowed to go but obviously low end warning are built into some devices. Just when that warning is sounded depends on the manufacturer, not on uses consideration about battery life. Also, the ones I looked at are made mainly for “flashlight” type batteries (AAA, AA, C, D).

In addition to videos, I found this site but haven’t yet looked at much on it:
https://batteryuniversity.com/

I do recall that there was a movement in Europe to require such controls to be built into every consumer device (or the charger made for the device). The purpose was not saving batteries but reducing electricity use. It was controversial legislation based on potential cost considerations, with different claims being made on both sides. The technology was not difficult but it required additional electronics, not part of most consumer devices. I don’t know if it went anywhere.

Jake J
Reply to  AndyHce
October 4, 2021 7:40 pm

I am familiar with that site, and give it a big thumbs-up. That said, not everyone wants to wade through that level of detail. We are all at the tail end of many complex processes. One big issue is that lithium-powered EVs are still new, and we’re learning how they perform in the real world.

The article we’re commenting on is alarmist, slanted, and somewhat lazy. Most often these days, the “progressives” are the lazy and stupid ones, but that’s a stick passed in the never-ending relay race. I sit back and laugh or shake my fist, depending on my ethanol consumption.

Reply to  AndyHce
October 3, 2021 5:06 am

Maximize battery life by minimizing its use. Seriously. Current flow in a battery, into while charging or out while supplying, is the same chemistry as corrosion and corrosion is what eventually kills a conventional battery.

That one can leave a battery ‘plugged in’ without killing it is due to the battery management system.

Study at Battery University .com by CADEX.

Jake J
Reply to  AndyHce
October 3, 2021 4:43 pm

I have owned an EV for nine years. I got it at a steep discount, something I mention only by way of saying that I didn’t buy it to “save the planet.” I bought it as a cheap way to satisfy my amateur car nut curiosity.

There is, at least to me, a fair amount of mystery surrounding EV battery life. What I think I know is that battery life is usually a function of charging cycles, which means you want to minimize the number of cycles by not “topping off” from a high state of charge. Ideally, you should discharge to 20% state of charge before plugging it in — but not much lower, because discharging below 20% will also reduce battery life.

I believe, based on my reading, that charging to 100% is okay unless you live in a really hot place, an example being the desert Southwest. EV batteries love ambient heat — my experience is that 90 (F) is optimal for miles per kWh — but when you start going above 100 (F) or so, battery life is reduced. Thus, if you live in Phoenix, charge it to 90%. The newer EVs allow you to specify how full of a charge.

That said, there is a lot of contradictory opinion out there. Thus, I am not at all defensive about being incorrect about what I wrote, as long as a rebuttal is well-documented.

BillJ
October 2, 2021 9:12 pm

“scarce charging times”
Um, what? Makes zero sense.

RLu
Reply to  BillJ
October 3, 2021 4:31 am

Simple. In urban areas, the electrical grid is in trouble. It is not politically feasable to switch heating AND transportation from liquid fuel to electric AND use weather dependent generation. During winter, methane is reserved for electricity production. You can not harm a tree, even if it is a wildfire hazard. The building permits for all the dams needed will be forever stuck in red tape. And just forget about fission.

Eventually, the only remaining option will be demand shaping with ‘smart grids’, You will only be permitted to use luxury items (like hot showers) when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. Other times, the overburdened grid will be needed for essential persons and senior Green Party officials.

When foggy winter weather hits (no wind, no sun), mass transport and office jobs will be suspended for weeks or months. Just look at what happened due to Corona measures.
Without power, you can even forget about garbage collection, food deliveries, running water and sewage treatment.

Vincent
October 2, 2021 10:42 pm

Despite my skepticism about any harmful effects of increasing CO2 levels in the atmosphere, I can appreciate that the ‘religious’ drive towards renewable energy could have some positive effects which will result from scientific research and development that might never have occurred without the promotion of the alarm about the potentially disastrous effects from fossil fuels.

An affordable, safe, and reliable electric vehicle is one such benefit. This Lithium Iron Phosphate battery, or Blade Battery, seems to be a potential game-changer. ICE vehicles without the most stringent emission controls, are definitely polluters. Even with ‘state-of-the-art’ emission controls, they are still noise-polluters.

Of course, a one-solution does not necessarily fit all. If I were thinking of building a new house in Australia, say, in 2030, I would be excited if I could cover an entire, flat, tilted, roof with solar tiles, and build a battery storage room for inexpensive, safe and durable, Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, so I could recharge my new, affordable, EV car which has a 600 km cruising range.

However, if I lived in St Petersburg, Russia, which has on average only 62 sunny days per year, or 1 sunny day every 5 or 6 days, I would not be so excited.

Graeme#4
Reply to  Vincent
October 3, 2021 3:23 am

I doubt that you have done the sums on covering an entire house roof with solar panels Vincent. You certainly wouldn’t pay it off during the system’s lifetime, and anywhere in Aust. wouldn’t provide adequate energy at times to charge your EV. For example, it’s not uncommon to have four days or more in a row where your solar system would be delivering a quarter or less of its maximum output, so you would be struggling to support an average house load, let alone an EV charge.

Last edited 15 days ago by Graeme#4
Vincent
Reply to  Graeme#4
October 3, 2021 6:17 am

I have done the sums. The percentage of Australian homes with roof-top solar panels is greater than most countries. However, the percentage of the roof area that is covered with solar panels is rather small, and is limited by government regulation because of the feed-in tariffs.

If the owners of average sized houses were allowed to cover their entire roof with solar panels, assuming the roof was flat and tilted in the direction of the sun, and assuming they had battery storage, the owners would not only have no electricity bills, they would be in business selling surplus electricity to the grid and making a significant profit because of the subsidized feed-in tariff.

I’d say on average, viewing roof solar panels on houses wherever I travel, that only one third to one quarter of one side of the house-roof is covered with solar panels. In other words, only a sixth to an eighth of the total roof area is covered with solar panels because most house roofs are of the hipped type with one side (or sides) facing away from the sun, as well as the government limits.

Building a house specifically designed to efficiently accommodate solar panels and maximize the amount of solar electricity that can be produced, would definitely provide far more electricity than the normal requirement of the average house owner.

Also, incorporating solar panels into the roof design, using solar tiles during the initial construction, significantly reduces the cost, compared with adding solar panels after the house has been constructed.

Solar tiles are also very durable, and will no doubt become more durable as technology progresses.

atticman
Reply to  Vincent
October 3, 2021 9:44 am

Reply to Vincent

Most of the noise from cars comes from the tyres. A Tesla went past me while I was waiting to cross the road the other day. It was no quiteter than the ICEVs that passed before and after it. The noise-pollution claim is phooey.

Vincent
Reply to  atticman
October 3, 2021 8:23 pm

You have a point, but the noise depends on the circumstances. At relatively high speeds, the noise from the tyres and the wind resistance can dominate, whether it’s an EV or ICE vehicle. However, at slow speeds in urban areas, the EV can be so quiet that it can be a danger to nearby pedestrians who might not be able to hear the approaching EV.

For this reason it seems that many countries are now legislating that EVs are equipped to produce ‘fake noise’ at low speeds. The following article addresses this situation.
https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/1/20676854/electric-cars-artificial-safety-noise-low-speeds-european-union-rules-2019-2021

There is also another issue which I believe is relevant. Whilst the propulsion noise of ICE vehicles is generally greater, it might be greater by only 2 or 3 dB when both vehicles are cruising and not accelerating. This is is too small a difference to be detected by the human ear, which is probably why you didn’t notice a difference between a passing Tesla and ICEV.

However, if we compare two highways, one full of EVs and the other full of ICEVs, each of which produces around 3dB more propulsion noise, which is hardly detectable from a single vehicle, then the accumulation of a hundred or so vehicles within hearing range, each of which produces 3dB more propulsion noise, should be very audible, especially when one includes the continual acceleration when vehicles overtake others.

However, I concede the point that the general reduction of noise pollution from EVs is not as significant as I thought.

Gregory Woods
October 3, 2021 2:11 am

Tunnels, don’t forget the danger in tunnels…

October 3, 2021 2:12 am

Someone got a letter into the Shetland times pointing out the risk of electric car fires on ferries.

Reply to  Mike Haseler (aka Scottish Sceptic)
October 3, 2021 5:09 am

Interesting. I too live on an Island at the end of a ferry line. Only a half hour ride but enough to make the tourists pay. What life might be like with a bridge, I don’t want to imagine. Uggh! 54246

MrV
October 3, 2021 3:40 am

The insurance industry will do the rest.

Speed
October 3, 2021 3:50 am

When the automobile was “invented” it wasn’t for everybody — and we still have a few horses and steam engines today. The same is true for electric cars — they are perfect for some but not yet perfect for the masses. And “we” aren’t yet able to produce electric cars in great enough volume to completely replace the internal combustion engine.

Eventually gasoline powered cars will become as common as horses are today.

Reply to  Speed
October 3, 2021 5:12 am

It is a good time to be old.

I love to whistle at the horses grazing in their roadside fields, inviting them to come run with me as I pass while riding my TAG Inspired Cycle Engineering HPV recumbent trike.

Soon it will be a good day to die.

Grumpy Bill
October 3, 2021 4:41 am

I recently spent a weekend at a hotel that had 4 charging stations in the parking lot. At any given time over the course of three days, there were 2 or 3 vehicles parked in those spots. NOT A SINGLE ONE was an EV…they were just using convenient parking spaces.

Tom Abbott
October 3, 2021 5:19 am

The current lithium batteries appear to be a very good target for terrorists.

If all it takes to start a lithium battery burining is mechanical injury to the battery, then a terrorist can manage that very easily with a small explosive placed underneath the vehicle.

If this is done in an underground parking garage, the whole building could go up in flames. And could happen with just one EV parked in the wrong place. Think if the whole parking garage was filled with EV’s. Instead of flying airplanes into buildings, the terrorists will be setting off grenades in the basement to accomplish the same thing.

Tom Abbott
October 3, 2021 5:23 am

Reducing the size of a gasoline motor in an automobile would increase the gasoline mileage of the car.

Would reducing the size of an electric motor in an electric vehicle increase its range?

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 3, 2021 7:05 am

Smaller gas engines don’t always get better mileage. It depends on the size of the vehicle.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Trying to Play Nice
October 4, 2021 7:43 am

Say I had a classic car like a 1952 Chevy Pickup truck. I could put a 425 horsepower gasoline engine in it that got 10 miles per gallon, or I could put a 200 horsepower gasoline engine in it that got 20 miles per gallon. Both engines would get me from point A to point B just fine, but one would get twice the mileage doing so.

So I guess my real question is why wouldn’t this apply to an electric vehicle also: A less powerful engine equals more range because it uses less electricity? And if that’s the case, why are these EV companies putting engines in their cars that can go from zero to 60mph in three seconds, if they can double their range? by using an engine that goes from zero to 60mph in six seconds? Maybe I’m missing something.

I understand that the EV acceleration is a selling point, but most people look at the range of the vehicle.

Yooper
October 3, 2021 5:46 am

I just blew through this whole thread and no one mentions the insurance liability of the vehicle owner. Once the auto insurance companies refuse to cover battery fires EVs will die.

MARTIN BRUMBY
Reply to  Yooper
October 3, 2021 9:39 am

Of course, one would hope so.

But in the UK the Insurance industry is as woke and virtue signalling as academia, solar farmers or vegan sausage makers.

As a (now retired) Chartered Civil Engineer who spent over 45 years in the coal industry, I set myself us as a Consultant to advise on safe techniques for decommissioning coal mines, sealing the shafts and so on. Went very well at first, until the Insurance industry decided to step up to the plate and refuse to insure anyone working in, on, around or anything to do with coal mines. I only needed Public Liability insurance, but obviously couldn’t accept this exclusion.

Two of my biggest clients tried to get round it, but the only way was for them to employ me on a “zero hours contract”, so I would be covered indirectly.

All this was to ‘save the planet’ of course, although strangely they were happy to keep insuring my clients themselves and large Consulting firms (who generally had little knowledge of this rather specialised field.) After all, you may want to save the planet, but don’t be silly, you don’t want to forfeit any big contracts, do you?!

They did me a favour, in that I packed in work altogether (I was 72 years old, anyway.)
But my former clients had some problems.

Like any number of UK firms, they are more than happy to talk GangGreen nonsense. Hard to see how they can meet their fiduciary duty to shareholders, although I suppose with the Law and HMG on their side, that just gets brushed under the carpet.

AndyHce
Reply to  MARTIN BRUMBY
October 4, 2021 2:45 pm

I just heard (TV news) that in California , where the greens have assured that large wild fires will continue for (at least) decades, most insurance companies are increasing insurance costs by large factors, such as from $900/year to $9000/year, but many companies are refusing to sell fire coverage at any cost. In some cases, retrofitting a large amount of quite expensive “damage control” into the property will influence reluctant company to provide insurance, but that doesn’t always work.

Then there is the very interesting video on youtube, made by the U.S. Geological Service, about the chaparral country of southern California, where landscaping changes to protect homes from fires have actually greatly increased the overall fire danger.

Richard Patton
October 3, 2021 8:28 am

Since lithium-ion fires are a chemical reaction they can only be cooled not extinguished

Really? Are wood fires and gasoline fires mechanical reactions? Maybe they are electrical reactions. According to my teacher in Chem 101 wood fires and gasoline fires are chemical reactions, and fire fighters successfully put them out. A LION fire is a fire that will burn in the absence of air. A huge difference from what the writer said.

atticman
Reply to  Richard Patton
October 3, 2021 9:40 am

Just imagine the chaos if an EV goes up in smoke on a major street in a city like London during the evening rush-hour! The road would have to be closed and the backed-up traffic would be hard to clear – probably be stuck there all night. Oh, what fun!

John H
Reply to  Richard Patton
October 3, 2021 10:21 am

At school the chemistry lab kept its pure lithium in an oil filled jar, as a prank a student removed one of the cork sized pieces of lithium and dropped it down a toilet bowl. The water washed away the remains of the oil and the toilet exploded. ‘Lithium reacts intensely with water, forming lithium hydroxide and highly flammable hydrogen.’ Makes you question why they use water to cool a lithium battery fire. 

TonyG
Reply to  John H
October 3, 2021 5:56 pm

Makes you question why they use water to cool a lithium battery fire.

I doubt they use pure water. Probably water with the appropriate foam additive, which actually CAN help, a little. We use that for magnesium, too.

AndyHce
Reply to  Richard Patton
October 4, 2021 2:47 pm

While I don’t know the chemistry involved, the widely claim would make sense if the reaction only depends on ingredients built into the battery, i.e. the reaction does not depend on atmospheric oxygen.

Pat from kerbob
October 3, 2021 10:35 am

We know the path.

Government edict says you must build EVs

Companies do their best but cannot make it safe.

Government will then turn on companies and rip them for failing to enact the vision, which by the way was perfect.

Watch for claims that evil corporations cut corners to make more profits, that’s why these vehicles are unsafe

IanE
October 3, 2021 11:05 am

‘Since lithium-ion fires are a chemical reaction’

Ummm, so normal fires are not chemical reactions, then? Wow, all chemistry text-books need a re-write!

Jake J
Reply to  IanE
October 3, 2021 4:22 pm

“Normal fires” are routinely extinguished with water (and not all that much) or foam. This article says that lithium battery fires are far more difficult. Perhaps the wording was clunky, but the point remains

Robert of Texas
October 3, 2021 11:40 am

The greens can easily solve the problem with charging cars at home…All you need is a battery pack about 20% bigger than the sum total of all the battery packs you will need to charge installed into your garage. This stationary battery pack is constantly charging at a known rate and so becomes predictable. This is what you plug the EV into for a recharge. You should get an efficiency of around 80% to 90% for the electricity you pay for.

Meanwhile, all wind turbines and solar facilities need battery farms large enough to deliver 100% of the expected electrical output (around 20% nameplate) for 3 days. The wind turbines and solar panels will charge these, and then some average amount of electricity is constantly drawn from the battery farms. You should get an efficiency of 90% or so ignoring transport.

If batteries explode into flames we can just give the EV owner a new EV – after all the government is already paying for a big chunk of them. Same with the garage batteries, or any nearby homes. It’s just government money.

The solution is so obvious…hang on a moment while I invest in battery factories and lithium mining companies…there. Now everyone needs to go out and spend countless trillions of dollars implementing this simple fix. We can mandate this. After all, we can just print the money – it’s all zero dollars!

(Yes, 100% sarcasm)

ResourceGuy
October 3, 2021 12:22 pm

What will happen when they all set their reminders and systems to begin charging all at once at bedtime one minute after the moratorium and with another 500,000 units in the market?

ResourceGuy
October 3, 2021 1:18 pm

A chicken in every pot…….but no electricity and a fire out back that can’t be stopped with a hose or firefighters.

The post apocalypse world is coming from a common consensus that does not understand electricity or the grid.

ResourceGuy
October 3, 2021 1:35 pm

This would be a great time to mortgage your house to buy an EV only to watch it burn your house down. Maybe afterwards you could get a job directing traffic at the local madhouse brewing at the neighborhood gas station. You could also take up weaving to make winter gear. But that might create fights to take it off your back in the coming cold crisis.

Jake J
October 3, 2021 5:09 pm

Some realities.

  1. A typical current-generation EV charges on the same home circuit as an electric clothes dryer. In the U.S., that means 240v/30A. But it won’t actually pull 30A. General Electric dryer will pull 23-25A at 240v. EV charging doesn’t pull at a constant amperage, but diminishes as it charges more fully.
  2. Home EV charging adds an average throughout a charging cycle of about 1 mile of range per minute. Same for most roadside “public chargers.” DC public “fast chargers” add about 2 miles/minute. Tesla’s “superchargers” add about 4 miles/minute.
  3. Public chargers share a trunk line, which means that charge times often lengthen as more EVs use a single public charging facility
  4. The average U.S. compact car gets 28 miles to the gallon, and the average gas pump runs at 5 gallons/minute, so it adds 140 miles of range per minute at the pump. My heavy-duty diesel truck gets 16 mpg, so it adds 80 miles of range per minute at the pump.

A conclusion: If (more likely when) EVs go from the early adopters to the mainstream, we’ll hear a LOT of complaints about slow charge times.

Dennis
Reply to  Jake J
October 3, 2021 8:11 pm

I read an interesting article suggesting that in peak traffic holiday periods if there was a mostly EV car fleet recharging stations the area of a drive-in movie site would be needed with charge points where the speakers are located for movies.

It reminded me about wind and solar installations and vast areas of land required, and then add the feeder transmission line to the main electricity grid.

Imagine the holiday traffic drivers and passengers waiting for an 80 per cent of capacity recharge as recommended by EV manufacturers every few hundred kilometres, and keeping the children amused.

TonyG
Reply to  Dennis
October 4, 2021 7:32 am

“the area of a drive-in movie site”
“wind and solar installations and vast areas of land required”

Have you ever noticed how the “greens” never seem to care about the land wasted or destroyed by their “environmentally friendly” “solutions”?

Jake J
Reply to  Dennis
October 4, 2021 7:25 pm

A drive-in movie site? I’m too old to be that horny. LOL

I will say this much for public chargers: They are much cheaper to construct than petrol stations. If (when) EVs go mass market, it will be a lot easier to proliferate the places where EV drivers can sit there and fume for 45 minutes.

Andy H
October 4, 2021 3:07 am

I am surprised that the e-scooters haven’t been targeted by arsonists. There is a pretty big lithium battery in them and they are left on street corners with no discernible owner.

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