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Old 25-09-2019, 11:20 AM
glend (Glen)
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Real Change or Fake Change - EV business case

I was just reading that Amazon has ordered 100,000 electric Rivian vans for its US delivery fleet, nice sales commission on that. Of course if they are charged by coal fired plants over night, not sure if there is a net benefit, other than to the manufacturer's bottom line.

As Peter has pointed out, people with home based rooftop solar can charge an EV during the day, assuming the car is there to be charged. For retired folk this can work. Certainly my electric bike is charged that way. But if the car is sitting at your work, there is still a very good chance it is not able to be charged or at best would be grid charged (ie not free). Sure it will not produce greenhouse gases during use, and that is a plus. If you need to charge at night then your grid bound most likely.
Many may not need to be charged every day, or night, if you have sufficient battery capacity say due to short distance driving, so if you can run all week with your weekend solar charge that would be ideal. Buying a Tesla Home battery, just to charge a EV at night is pretty expensive.
I can see a need for Smart charging systems, which monitor usage and top up to meet expected demand based on driving patterns. These could potentially extend battery life as well, as all batteries have a limited number of recharge cycles. Smart systems could also 'under charge' the battery, which can double useful lifespan of Li-ion batteries. The worse thing you can do to a Li-ion battery is to charge it everyday, whether it needs it or not. In electric bike studies a battery pack with a 400 cycle lifespan, can be doubled to 800 charge cycles, simply by holding the charges voltage down slightly.
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Old 25-09-2019, 12:00 PM
N1 (Mirko)
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Hi Glen, to me the main point of difference is that with one, you may burn fossil fuel for propulsion, while with the other you must. That difference is very real. Also, you can choose to purchase home electricity from a renewable source (over here at least), so that charging from the grid doesn't necessarily result in the same CO2 emissions as using power from coal-fired plants. What is more debatable though is how well a given vehicle matches its owners' transport needs - in real terms, how much transport capacity beyond what is actually needed one is willing to purchase and maintain, using money that could otherwise be spent on astronomy.
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Old 25-09-2019, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glend View Post
I was just reading that Amazon has ordered 100,000 electric Rivian vans for its US delivery fleet, nice sales commission on that. Of course if they are charged by coal fired plants over night, not sure if there is a net benefit, other than to the manufacturer's bottom line.

My understanding is that the answer is 'yes'. The efficiency of coal fired power stations is greater than that of an internal combustion engine, so you get more energy from the power station for a given amount of CO2 production, even after transmission losses. It's a step forward but clearly still inferior to using renewable energy. It's also perhaps as much as a company can do by itself - unless they want to also get into electricity production.



As for charging the vehicles with solar power, perhaps Amazon will have to start doing deliveries at night. That way they also beat the traffic.
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Old 25-09-2019, 02:55 PM
glend (Glen)
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Well the company can get into some sort of electricity production, at least on the vehicle option list: which could include regenerative braking and van top solar panels.
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Old 25-09-2019, 03:18 PM
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Amazon has a pretty big investment in rooftop solar on its warehouses:
https://www.popularmechanics.com/tec...lment-centers/

Energy costs will be a big part of their annual operating expenses (both for buildings and delivery fleet, etc), and as renewable energy becomes more widely available, it will simply make economic sense to use it across the whole business.
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Old 25-09-2019, 03:21 PM
julianh72 (Julian)
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... using money that could otherwise be spent on astronomy.
Surely there's an opening for someone to develop a solar-powered tracking mount - at least for a Lunt or Coronado!
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Old 25-09-2019, 03:26 PM
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Until we have environmentally friendly solutions for aircraft, shipping, trains and other form of transport and recreation, EV's are - unfortunately - just a miniscule drop in a bucket with a massive hole in the bottom. Every bit counts, but we are DECADES away from a solution.

Until then, the US will continue to have invasions and wars for oil control...
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Old 25-09-2019, 04:01 PM
glend (Glen)
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Until we have environmentally friendly solutions for aircraft, shipping, trains and other form of transport and recreation, EV's are - unfortunately - just a miniscule drop in a bucket with a massive hole in the bottom. Every bit counts, but we are DECADES away from a solution.

Until then, the US will continue to have invasions and wars for oil control...
Now Lewis, is that really the case going forward? Trump keeps claiming the US is self sufficient in oil production. Perhaps it's the really nasty shale oil process, but maybe they don't need Saudi oil anymore. There is also the big pipeline being built to bring Canadian shale oil down from northern Alberta into the US Midwest. They have enormous strategic reserves stored underground in Texas, I believe, something like 500 million barrels. With his plans to open up the National Parks in Alaska to oil exploration, it seems like they don't need middle East oil. Of course it is terrible envitonmentally, but he doesn't care.
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Old 25-09-2019, 07:10 PM
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I live in a modest suburban home, similar to many I'd guess, but with an observatory in the backyard. As is typical in Sydney, State and local government are happy to take stamp duties fees and taxes and not compel developer mates and utility suppliers to put in essential infrastructure. In our case we were promised a gas main, some 25 years ago. We are still waiting.

So our home is ALL electric. Hot water, cooking, and reverse cycle air conditioning plus running a pool pump saw us get slugged with some pretty large energy bills. One particularly hot humid summer gave us a $1800 quarterly bill.

It was a no-brainer to install a large PV solar array and Tesla II battery. The ROI was under 4 years...even less as energy costs have continued to escalate. Last summer our quarterly energy bill was $13 in credit.

During the summer months, our PV system after charging the battery feeds back to the grid with a miserly 11 cent per Kw/hour credit...and on sunny days that's about 35Kw of surplus power that rather than get paid a pittance for it, could power our EV car. So now rather than pay like a Heroin addict, dealers like British Petroleum, Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron for a weekly hit of fuel, plus government coffers an obscene fuel excise and GST to burn fossil fuels and further bugger up the only planet we have, we pay nothing.

In Australia that's a rare decision, as only 1% or so of new vehicle sales are currently EV's. In Norway it is 60% and climbing. Norway’s 25% sales tax was removed from new EV purchases in 2001, and drivers were permitted to use bus lanes from 2005 and do not have to road pay toll fees. They actually want ICE powered vehicles off their roads as soon a possible.

In Australia as EV buyers we were offered zero incentives, still pay tolls, and had to pay about $7000 luxury car tax to support a car industry that no longer exists. This duplicity and hypocrisy has now pi$$ed me off to such an extent, I will now make it my business to hassle and harangue my State and Federal MP's for being such dicks.

Australia has the potential to be the renewable energy centre of the planet, by use of PV, Thermal solar and Hot Dry Rock technologies. Not in the future, but now, as these are finally cost-competitive with coal fired plants. Rather than ship ore elsewhere, we could smelt our resources here, with zero fuel costs and zero emissions. And add value. What a concept!

Burning coal in the 21st century is just plain dumb, unless of course, that same coal industry contributes many millions of dollars to your campaign funds as long as you keep the status quo and do sweet FA about effecting real change.
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Old 25-09-2019, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Ward View Post
I live in a modest suburban home, similar to many I'd guess, but with an observatory in the backyard. As is typical in Sydney, State and local government are happy to take stamp duties fees and taxes and not compel developer mates and utility suppliers to put in essential infrastructure. In our case we were promised a gas main, some 25 years ago. We are still waiting.

So our home is ALL electric. Hot water, cooking, and reverse cycle air conditioning plus running a pool pump saw us get slugged with some pretty large energy bills. One particularly hot humid summer gave us a $1800 quarterly bill.

It was a no-brainer to install a large PV solar array and Tesla II battery. The ROI was under 4 years...even less as energy costs have continued to escalate. Last summer our quarterly energy bill was $13 in credit.

During the summer months, our PV system after charging the battery feeds back to the grid with a miserly 11 cent per Kw/hour credit...and on sunny days that's about 35Kw of surplus power that rather than get paid a pittance for it, could power our EV car. So now rather than pay like a Heroin addict, dealers like British Petroleum, Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron for a weekly hit of fuel, plus government coffers an obscene fuel excise and GST to burn fossil fuels and further bugger up the only planet we have, we pay nothing.

In Australia that's a rare decision, as only 1% or so of new vehicle sales are currently EV's. In Norway it is 60% and climbing. Norway’s 25% sales tax was removed from new EV purchases in 2001, and drivers were permitted to use bus lanes from 2005 and do not have to road pay toll fees. They actually want ICE powered vehicles off their roads as soon a possible.

In Australia as EV buyers we were offered zero incentives, still pay tolls, and had to pay about $7000 luxury car tax to support a car industry that no longer exists. This duplicity and hypocrisy has now pi$$ed me off to such an extent, I will now make it my business to hassle and harangue my State and Federal MP's for being such dicks.

Australia has the potential to be the renewable energy centre of the planet, by use of PV, Thermal solar and Hot Dry Rock technologies. Not in the future, but now, as these are finally cost-competitive with coal fired plants. Rather than ship ore elsewhere, we could smelt our resources here, with zero fuel costs and zero emissions. And add value. What a concept!

Burning coal in the 21st century is just plain dumb, unless of course, that same coal industry contributes many millions of dollars to your campaign funds as long as you keep the status quo and do sweet FA about effecting real change.
Peter,

I understood you were a pilot and flew planes for a living? Where did their fuel come from?

Keep it real.

Last edited by peter_4059; 26-09-2019 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 25-09-2019, 08:04 PM
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Peter it won’t be long before planes are powered electrically.

Battery technology is within a factor of 3 in terms of energy density of making electric commercial aircraft viable. It will happen.

The UK shut down all it’s coal-fired power stations last year - between renewables and storage systems it has already achieved what our pollies keep promising but not delivering.

In addition we have created a legalised monster in the form of AEMO that has a vested interest in keeping things the way they were for the past 30 years and not making any progress.

The technical challenge is not the domestic car - that’s relatively easy - as Tesla have demonstrated. The big challenges are heavy long-haul transport for freight, long range locomotives for freight trains, and farm machinery - where the energy density of the fuel is paramount and there is still no rival that comes close to diesel.

And yes, aircraft.

Though we could return to large sailing vessels - a boat the size of a 12-metre could make the run to Europe quite quickly and frankly I wouldn’t mind travelling way, either.

Last edited by Wavytone; 25-09-2019 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 25-09-2019, 08:18 PM
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From what I understand, Norway has enjoyed decades of lucrative oil exports (2nd only to Russia apparently). This has allowed them the luxury of establishing these sweeping changes to EV.

I like the idea of electric vehicles, and I understand that technology improvements are fast eroding the arguments of the naysayers.

Unfortunately, the cost of admission is beyond a lot of people, including myself. My AU Falcon and Wife's old Magna wouldn't fetch enough money on Gumtree combined to buy a set of wheels from a Tesla. Heck, I couldn't even afford a replacement genuine ABS unit from a Prius ($7000 a menchanic mate recently told me). Unless there was some kind of interest free loan, with a payback duration in line with the ROI period, I can't play. I doubt I'm alone on this.

Many people, and countries, have made their fortunes by the use of fossil fuels. Now that they're set for life, they can afford to change their tune, and make comment/recommendation to others.


This problem needs to be thought through from top to bottom. It's not simple by any means.
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Old 25-09-2019, 08:22 PM
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Nick,

I agree we need to find a way to look after the health of the planet but criticising energy companies when your livelihood has been built on them seems a bit of a contradiction.

ps. Norway is set to remove the subsidies next year and EV sales are forecast to decline. At the end of the day consumers will need to pay for these decisions if they are to be sustainable.

Norway also enjoys 95% of electricity generated from hydro. I don't think Australia is even in the ballpark and I think coal fired vehicles would be an interesting business case to sell.

Just my 2c worth....
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Old 25-09-2019, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Wavytone View Post
Though we could return to large sailing vessels - a boat the size of a 12-metre could make the run to Europe quite quickly and frankly I wouldn’t mind travelling way, either.

In an old encyclopaedia we've had since I was a kid, it showed a picture of an oil tanker with large fold out sails. The irony of this juxtaposition was lost on me as an 8yr old.


Have they developed this further? I can imagine quite a useful force being harnessed if the wind was behind a container ship, and easily retracted when not. I doubt they'd "tack" with a tanker, but I'm open to education
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Old 25-09-2019, 08:25 PM
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BITRE has published a paper on some recent modelling of EV uptake and factors that influence choice. Worth a read if you want to understand the data.
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Old 25-09-2019, 09:27 PM
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Peter,

I understood you were a pilot and flied planes for a living? Where did their fuel come from?

Keep it real.
Yes, I flew planes for a living. So what? As an employee I had no choice of propulsion fuel.

CO2 going through 450ppm with no slow-down in sight, and now doing my bit is keeping it real.

During the first oil crisis (Oil was apparently running out) Lockheed had plans for liquid hydrogen fueled Tristars. Not being a dense fuel plus the cryogenic handling problems, but they had to have work-arounds...which seemed reasonable. By strangely, oil became plentiful again, and the plans were shelved....

It's all about the $$
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Old 25-09-2019, 10:23 PM
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BITRE has published a paper on some recent modelling of EV uptake and factors that influence choice. Worth a read if you want to understand the data.
I just had a look at the BITRE .pdf

A BMW M5 petrol engine has 1,200+ parts, weighs more than 181 kg . 150 moving parts can get the car from 0-100kph in 3.4 seconds. The engine requires hundreds of suppliers and workers to assemble. Plus another small army to maintain and service the 150 moving bits, and all the secondary systems.

The electric-vehicle motor produced in the same factory has just 24 parts in total, can be lifted by a single person and does not need an exhaust, transmission, or fuel tank. Just battery cells which have a price that is in free-fall at present.

Yet, the battery car can out accelerate BMW's fastest performance car from a traffic light. The business case for EV's is clear. Simpler, cheaper and faster. Making internal combustion cars will soon make as much business sense as making the finest horse and buggy whip.

I would happily bet an excellent bottle of scotch that the BRITE analysis and predictions are flawed (I'd bet the 99.99% of bureaucrats who did all those lovely charts and ANOVA stats have never dropped a gearbox and changed a clutch in their lives) and proven wrong within five years...
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Old 25-09-2019, 10:50 PM
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Long haul trucks are not a problem Wavey; a large U.S. trucking company has
recently started receiving its first 25 interstate electric trucks. They can haul a heavier load up a steeper gradient than any diesel truck in their fleet, and have a range of 1100kms. They are made by the Daimler group.
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Old 25-09-2019, 11:57 PM
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The UK shut down all it’s coal-fired power stations last year -

Yes, but they have 15 Nuclear Power Plants with 6 new Plants coming on line in the next decade or so, this type of clean power was rejected decades ago in Australia.
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Old 26-09-2019, 05:42 AM
glend (Glen)
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The UK shut down all it’s coal-fired power stations last year -

Yes, but they have 15 Nuclear Power Plants with 6 new Plants coming on line in the next decade or so, this type of clean power was rejected decades ago in Australia.
Because it is much more expensive than digging up the coal from our mines and dumping it in a furnace. Look at the conveyor belt transport system that feeds coal from the Hunter Valley mines directly to the two major power stations near Singleton. Cheap because of the mine and power station proximity, and it operates efficiently at low cost.

I am not a fan of coal fired plants, but on any argument they are the cheapest source of power for Australia -because we built infrastructure around them long ago. Startup costs for nuclear will be massive, who pays? It means your electricity cost goes up.
There has been some discussion around putting nuclear power plants near end of life coal generator, like the Eraring coal fired generator on Lake Macquarie; this has big advantages because all the grid connection infrastructure is already there, a is substantial land and buildings: But of course no one wants to live near a nuclear plant, so residents will scream.
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