[Oeva-list] Mr. Zehner's article

Hansen, Chris chris.hansen at intel.com
Wed Jul 31 08:36:57 PDT 2013

If you look at the generation side of the EV equation then the article is relatively accurate. Most energy generated today is dirty and based upon fossil fuels. And that energy is being consumed by supposedly clean EVs.

What is not often discussed is the consumption side. There EVs shine compared to ICE vehicles. A common agreed measure of electrical watts in a gallon of gasoline is 34kWhrs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_gallon_equivalent . This means that a good ICE vehicle that gets an average of 30 miles/gallon uses about 1.1Kwhrs to go 1 mile. A typical EV consumes around 0.3 kWhr to go a mile. Allowing 80% loss in grid distribution and 70% in battery conversion still brings EV energy consumption/mile to less than 1/2 the energy consumption of an ICE. 

-----Original Message-----
From: oeva-list-bounces at oeva.org [mailto:oeva-list-bounces at oeva.org] On Behalf Of Steve's Account
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 10:17 AM
To: oeva-list at oeva.org
Subject: [Oeva-list] Mr. Zehner's article

> I hope someone is fashioning a response to the anti-EV interview with 
> Ozzie Zehner on "Here & Now" this morning.  He can no longer call 
> himself a conservationist.  
> http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/07/29/electric-cars-green
> Nick Galaday

Unfortunately, I believe that Mr. Zehner might just be the "conservationist"
in this case. I'm afraid that it's the EV drivers who are the "wastrels" in this case.

It's a position I've held after looking at the issues over a long period of time.

As attractive as EV's appeared to be, the reality is, they just arn't THAT MUCH BETTER than the existing alternatives.

I know it's hard to accept that the technology that you have spent your hard earned money on, hoping that you are doing the right thing, isn't panning out.. And I know that my "position" isn't a popular one in this group.

I do think that all the subsidies that have been spent on EV's to date, were probably a good idea.. because we needed to see, at scale, what EV's can do.

We can't, and won't be able to, in the forseeable future, produce enough clean power to shift the transportation energy expenditures from the existing oil based fuel to the electricity grid.

Photovoltaics aren't living up to their hype. Their cost has been artificially driven down.. but at the same time the pannel reliability and output is actually getting worse!

Environmentally responsible panel manufacture doesn't seem to be possible. And many of the US based panel manufacturers are going out of business.

And photovoltaics generate power when the sun shines, which is exactly out of phase with the transportation power demand.

The power companies have admitted that "clean power" sold to the public is a fraud. They can't get enough clean power to meet the existing demand. (and yes, they claim to be spending the extra money you send them to try to "develop" clean power... so it might help, some time in the future.. but it's not looking
good.) But.. until they ACTUALLY can produce the power, when it's needed, the "green-ness" of EV's is seriously in question.

I realize that, now that commercial EV's are availble, that OEVA's mission has morphed from being a "support group for EV hobbiests"
into a "marketing organization" for EV manufacturers and ancilliary services.. This seems to be a normal progression of things. Most people won't "make" something they can buy.

Many of the EV support businesses have gone bust. This includes the parts suppliers, and the US based battery manufacturers etc.`

(I just recycled a number of lead acid batteries. The price of scrap batteries has dropped by 1/2 in the last year.)

This is not the trajectory you'd expect to see in a "successful"
market segment.

Unless some things change dramatically, and soon, I'm afraid Mr. Zehner might be right on target. We need cleaner batteries, lighter batteries, more efficient motors, more efficient charging systems, faster charging systems. And we need some breakthrus on the generation side.. like really clean, cheap power. Solar (photovoltaic) and wind arn't working well, yet.

It's still interesting to watch and see how it develops. I don't think it's 100% clear whether EVs are the "way of the future" or as Mr. Zehner suggests, a detour.


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