Electric Vehicle Revolution

It's probably less significant than you think, even if you're a skeptic.



james said...

If EV's are 4% of the market today, with naive 10year lifetimes and starting at approximately 0 a decade ago, I'd estimate 2% of the cars are EV. I'm not sure that's what I see around me, but I don't live in California. Anyhow, 2 days is about 0.6% of a year, so they're saying that EVs save 3x less than expected.
OTOH, if I trust their numbers, 100% EV would require about a petawatthour of energy, and since our total generation has been about 4 PW hour/year for a few years, and since charging is apt to be "peak-y", I don't see where we find the capacity to charge all our cars even if we turn everything else off. Maybe if we each buy 2 cars and alternately drive one and charge the other, and have some unicorns create the extra PWhour of energy for us...

Douglas2 said...

In the past 3 years it seems Tesla has been selling as many "Model 3" cars as there were electrics of all makes sold in the period 10 years earlier.

Look at the EV cars available before 2017 -- would you want one of them? If someone gifted me a very high end model I might be pleased, but at the Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf end it is all cars that have big negative appeal for reasons practical as well as aesthetic.

There seems to be a higher than linear increase in growth year-on-year for the new models introduced lately, and used cars of the more recent more appealing models are coming off-lease to be available for those of us who can only afford used cars.

As for the extra petawatt of distribution required, much of that isn't really. Most new EV cars are interconnected to the internet 24/7 already, and most require only an OTA software update to allow them to be "plugged-in" when convenient for the user, but only actually charging at high-current when utility load balancing could use extra demand.

When I lived in the UK we had Economy-7 time-of-use pricing for our household electricity, and knew to set the timers on the laundry and dishwasher so that they would start late after the tariff dropped -- to save 50% on the running cost. Those who used electric "immersion-heater" storage tanks for their hot water often had it on a circuit that was controlled by the meter directly to only switch on during low tariff hours. This was 1970's tech, and such demand-management is high on the priority list for all utilities in places trying to cope with "duck curve" problems in the USA. In the list of things requiring electricity where demand time could be shifted to level the load, EV charging is a no-brainer.

E Hines said...

100% EV with naive 10year lifetimes--what will we do with all of those spent, and for the foreseeable technology future, unrecyclable batteries?

The EV street corner pushers don't talk about that. Or about the ecological destruction from mining enough lithium, cobalt, copper, rare earths, etc to build those EVs. Or about the child slave labor on which so much cobalt mining (among others) already depends.

Leave aside arguments regarding global warming, or atmospheric CO2; these street corner pushers aren't even trying to be serious about EV benefits.

Eric Hines

douglas said...

Given that California can't keep the lights on now, how do they think the infrastructure is going to hold up if even 10% of cars are electric? No way the grid as it is now can handle it, and they aren't doing anything to upgrade the grid for additional load like that.