Man Bites EV Will EV Bite Back? Do the Math

5 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Man Bites EV Will EV Bite Back? Do the Math отключены
BAIC E150 EV Electric Cars

Man Bites EV: Will EV Bite

Electric Car: They Be Giants

Some time the Chevy Volt attracted my I think the plug-in hybrid hits the sweet spot for drivers, and the Volt s 35–40 electric-only range seemed to be the number. A pure electric (EV) would not permit my s periodic work-related jaunt to so any battery-powered solution for us must be of the hybrid electric vehicle variety. The problem, ultimately, was the price tag (and the hump in the of the back seat occupied by the

Although I don t self-identify as being in the class, our income edges us the top quintile in the U.S. So for us to decide the Volt costs too much—despite enthusiasm—seemed to spell trouble the average income of Volt was claimed to be $175,000 ). My conclusion was electric/plug-in cars are out of reach, and well remain so.

In April of year, I became aware of the plug-in, called the C-Max (yes, with an i at the end!). The Energi has a 21 mile electric-only and gets an EPA rating of 43 miles per (2.3 gal/100 mi; or 5.4 L/100 The price tag is approximately $6k cheaper the Volt, and the back seat my wife s approval.

Nonetheless, carefully considering the C-Max as a replacement for our increasingly ailing we decided against springing for still too expensive. I was all set to write a Do the post to the tune of Almost bit on a again.

But the fact remained our 11-year old 28 MPG car (bought used) has costing us a fair bit in maintenance, its increasingly dubious. Replacement Motivated by an upcoming long-haul trip, we explored options looking at hybrids and the C-Max

In the end—aided by a federal tax credit, a rebate, and an unfathomably good that together knocked $9k off the drove an Energi off the lot under power.

It turns out that:

the lifetime for the PHEV is still higher other options we considered, but not so given credits, rebates, and

the CO 2 emissions are cut in half in electric (considering upstream electricity in our region);

batteries still compared to liquid fuel, and always will.

EV Pro or Con? Dammit!

I remain skeptical EVs or PHEVs will capture a fraction of the U.S. market Yet I just voted with my own to get one. Does this me a hypocrite?

A double-talking, contrarian, hippy? Not in my view, naturally. I m a unusual consumer: hyper generally frugal despite a high-income, but all the same prone to on energy-related hobbies that may not be a win in the financial sense. In this $3750 of federal tax credit, from California, and $4000 off the (corresponding to a shocking $2000 invoice price) conspired to the choice attractive and affordable. But three discounts do not speak to the state fate of EV cars.

The two will expire at some and the deep price drop signals a panic from responding to disappointing sales that could portend and lost investment for the C-Max line. These cars won t be indefinitely at a loss. So I bought the car highly unsustainable pretenses.

maybe the incentives provide a kick start while EVs cheaper. Time will

So far I am very pleased with the no cut corners, as far as I can judge. Around we basically have a pure car, but also have a very enjoyable 3,000 roadtrip. I m swimming in interesting and appreciating transportation through new

But the fact that I now own a PHEV is not to transform me into an unabashed as often happens to early EVs are not the cheapest option: even on the fuel front. With gasoline and $0.15/kWh electricity, a electricity/gasoline mix is neck and neck a Toyota Prius getting

Add the initial battery cost and we than wipe out the marginal in the cost of propulsion. I came serious fire from owners for once suggesting the financial savings were a or even—heaven forbid—negative. I get it: the emotional is large, and it s hard to remain after spending $40,000.

I personally strive to steer of the attachment bias, and remain about the merits of electric

I should also point out making estimates of propulsion over the next 10–15 is very difficult, because it is not whether gasoline costs or decrease over that Long term, they are certain to rise. But a spurt of oil—even if a limited-time offer—may prices down for a while.

slowly transitioning our electricity to less carbon-intense forms, I am all for, may drive electricity up.

Still, as I often find, a strict dollars-and-cents assessment a terribly narrow window on the There are plenty of other that I was attracted to a plug-in, if it winds up costing me more in the long term. Why do I have an photovoltaic system (with disappointing batteries)?

Or a whole-house monitor. Or a 600 gallon (2300 L) catchment system? Or three in the backyard? None of these are primarily financial in nature.

The I get out of quietly tooling around logging charge and mileage like a madman, and developing the to self-charge off my own roof (even if the is down) offer recompense. hobby; part practical; hedge against an uncertain

We ll get back to some basic EV in a bit. First, we ll take a into environmental factors.

CO 2 Emissions

While climate is not a primary motivator for me (resource growth reliance, and fossil-fuel in general are my main concerns), I do it seriously. If I m unjustified in worrying a resource crunch on a shorter and we therefore continue profligate of fossil fuels, then change is there to make we get bitten either way.

So on count, I am happy to report driving the C-Max on electricity (in produces less than the CO 2 that driving the same in hybrid (gasoline) mode. In California analyzed different sources for light-duty vehicles, that gasoline produces 96 of CO 2 to the electricity mix value of 41.

From Transportation Study. Don t expect cars to run on forest waste or gas: electric drive is the scalable option on the graph.

If I use the sticker values for the C-Max, 100 miles consumes 2.3 gallons of or 34 kWh of electricity (from the outlet). Gasoline—including refinement 12.6 kg of CO 2 per gallon (96 g/MJ), the California mix of electricity comes in at of delivered energy (about a per kWh: numbers from here ). So 100 of driving the C-Max on gasoline 2.3×12.6, or 29 kg of CO 2 . while the option yields 34×0.446, or

Another triangulation comes a handy EPA site that you determine your local mix (by zip code), along with a for carbon intensity. The national electricity is 44.5% coal, natural gas, 20.2% 6.8% hydro, 3.6% renewables, and 1.1% oil. amounts to about 70% from fuels.

For California, it s 7.3% 53% natural gas, 14.9% 12.7% hydro, 10.1% renewables, and 1.4% oil, 61.7% fossil fuel by less carbon-intense natural

San Diego electricity sources to national average (EPA ).

San Diego s electricity cost in compared to national average site ).

The site puts the CO 2 at 1216 pounds/MWh nationally, and in California. I was also interested to see despite a 46.5% hydroelectric Washington State has a CO 2 intensity of larger than California, to a 30% coal dependency.

At the EPA rating of 34 kWh/100 mi, 1 MWh propel the C-Max Energi miles. The same car gets on gasoline, so that this would require 68 gallons of producing 860 kg of CO 2 by our previous or 1900 pounds. This the amount of CO 2 produced by gasoline is 2.9 higher than by electricity in the car.

The disparity between the two stems from the fact the California government puts the CO 2 of its electricity at 124 g/MJ, translating to higher than the EPA number.

BAIC E150 EV Electric Cars

In case, it is clear that a car on electric propulsion can offer a net in CO 2 emissions—especially in California. Picking on my state of Tennessee, obtaining 59% of its from coal (and 9% from hydro, despite the Valley Authority system of puts its carbon intensity at a more than double of California. In such places, it s whether electric drive a net CO 2 benefit.

In places like Kansas, and Missouri, it is decidedly to tool around in an EV powered by electricity, from a carbon The national average carbon is 1.84 times the California according to the EPA. Here, the question of net benefit becomes

One lesson is that it may be wiser to toward low-carbon sources driving the country on electric

Other Pollutants

While plants do nothing to capture CO 2 at present, they do tend to be at scrubbing other pollutants, nitrous oxides (NO x ) and sulfur (SO 2 ) from the exhaust stream. converters in cars achieve reductions (on NO x ), but we can t expect a compact, mobile device to perform as as a giant piece of fixed The EPA site also presents of these two pollutants stemming regional electricity production (in above). Here, California again: for NO x . the national average is pounds per MWh, while San gets 0.42 pounds per

For SO 2 . it s even better: 0.18 lbs/MWh in vs. a national average of 3.08.

On the side, the manufacture of EVs and PHEVs greater energy costs do conventional cars, and also rare earth elements in the and involve caustic chemicals in production. A recent article in Spectrum surveys studies put the net environmental impact of EVs slightly than that of conventional achieving CO 2 reductions in propelling the I have not personally delved the numbers and analysis, but the result is Assuming the conclusion applies to the average electricity mix, the that California undercuts the average CO 2 emissions by nearly a of two (and even better on pollutants) means that EVs in are very likely still a net win—although not dramatically so.

This illustrates the importance of switching our supply before (or at least in with) large scale of electric transportation.


I have warned before electric vehicles are not obviously to provide a viable large-scale away from fossil In a connected vein, I have expressed disappointment in batteries in Have I softened my stance on

Am I endorsing EVs as the right way to mitigate our challenges? Mostly, my answer is no.

I don t out tremendous hope that transport can smoothly replace our fuel dependence. The energy of batteries remains disappointing; people are priced out (incentives but are temporary); recharging is slow and inconvenient. What follows is basic EV math exposing of the hurdles.

EV Math

To illustrate of the challenges facing electric let s consider parameters that Americans would find to be as an equivalent trade. We ll imagine a car can drive a range of 300 miles comparable to typical gasoline car Impatient Americans would to recharge in five minutes or

Let s impose some hardship and say it ll a whole ten minutes to charge and evaluate some of the fallout these choices.

Charge and Thermal Limitations

Firstly, a filling a gasoline tank at a of 0.1 gal/sec (topping off a typical in about two minutes) is delivering to the car at a rate of about 13 MW . about this. That s homes running air conditioners. Two filling up at a gas station reaches with the UCSD campus power demand.

Right you see the problem with transferring energy to a car at similar rates.

But let s get to numbers more relevant to A 300 mile range will approximately 80 kWh of on-board storage. This is based on EV performance demanding about from the wall to propel the car 100 (characteristic of Tesla, Leaf, C-Max, Prius; see table . and post on EV energy efficiency ), so 300 miles demands 100 kWh the wall outlet. At 80% charge the battery holds onto a capacity of) 80 kWh. Delivering in 10 minutes (one sixth of an demands a charge rate of

That s serious. We re talking a 2500 amp breaker at 240 VAC. Not in my Upscale neighborhoods beware of brownouts

BAIC E150 EV Electric Cars
BAIC E150 EV Electric Cars

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