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By 2030, 100% of cars will be electric & 100% of power will be from solar. True or false?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by walker.tv, May 1, 2016.

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By 2030, 100% of cars will be electric & 100% of power will be from solar. True or false?

  1. True

    4.8%
  2. False

    95.2%
  1. walker.tv

    walker.tv New Member

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    Greetings,

    I am a documentary filmmaker based in Portland, Maine. I do not currently own a Tesla, but am planning to buy a used Model 3 after they become available in a couple of years.

    For my first post on this forum, I would like to share this 2-mintue video that I produced about the future of solar power and electric cars. It is seeking an answer to the above question.

    walker.tv/blog/solar-powered-cars

    What do you think? Is it true or false?
     
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  2. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    I believe it is possible that 100% of new light duty automobiles for personal transportation could be electric by 2030. However, there are too many special cases and heavier duty vehicles that are not conducive to all electric operation. In addition, it is impossible to retire all of the existing light ICE vehicles in less than 15 years. Saying 100% is like saying Never. You can do a lot of things to a 90%+ extent but getting all the way to 100% is nearly impossible.

    Electric generation is similar. We will need fossil fueled peaker plants for quite some time. However, I can see how some markets in the United States and other countries could generate all of their electricity for a period of days, weeks or even months from renewable sources by 2030. However, I think it will be 2050 before any major metropolitan area can accurately state that 100% of their electricity came from renewable sources for a whole year. By accurately, I mean that every single fossil powered generator interconnected to the grid must be shut down for the entire year except for maintenance and testing purposes. I don't just mean generators only within a utility's service area, I mean every territory that they import energy from as well.

    Don't take my response as a lack of enthusiasm for the goal because I firmly believe that we are making progress and we can and should get there 'soon'. However, I am being practical in my thinking that people will be slow to abandon the durable assets that are still fully functional and cost effective to operate. In order to accelerate the retirement of functional assets it will take extraordinary political will to create dis-incentives to keeping them in service. Very high carbon taxes or the like would be required.
     
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  3. NeilErdwien

    NeilErdwien Member

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    If I had to guess, I'd guess 40% would be closer to the end result.

    That sounds bad, but really there is a lot of inertia in the whole system, and changes just take a long time. For example, I recently saw a statistic that the median car age in the US is 11.5 years. 2030 is only 14 years away. A good percentage of cars being produced in 2016 will still be on the road in 2030. Personally, I'm driving a 13 year old car, although that is to be replaced Real Soon Now with a new Model S. :)

    If you include other renewable sources in the electricity generation percentage, I'd guess 75%.
     
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  4. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    We won't be 100% renewable in our creation or consumption of electricity by 2030. We WILL be a whole lot closer than the oil & gas industry, or really anybody, is generally thinking we'll be.

    There is a tendency to over estimate how rapidly big changes that are happening fast, will occur in the short term (weeks, quarters, even a small 3 of years). We also tend to badly underestimate how rapidly systems change over a longer term (say a decade or more).

    Many reasons, but one of them is that we can see the forces at work today that we see, but it's hard to see how the system will adapt to the changes. With electric cars as one example, more of them on the road will beget a need to produce and sell more of them, and lead to other changes (cities will start limiting and banning more and more of the hydrocarbon burners for example, gas stations will start going out of business and convenient gas will start becoming more inconvenient, the network of repair shops will see a slow down in their engine repair business and start putting more of their energy into support electric motors, and on and on). I don't know what all the changes will be - only that it'll seem like nothing is changing for the next 3 or 5 years, and in 5 or 8 years it's going to seem like the oil & gas industry businesses are going bankrupt right and left.
     
  5. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    I believe by 2030 100% of new cars could be EVs and 100% of new power generation could be solar (or wind), but it will take a lot longer to retire the existing legacy fleets.​
     
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  6. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    I'd believe >50% for both, but 100% won't happen then - actually probably won't happen ever as phrased. 100% solar electricity implies no wind and no hydro, both of which are already measurable percentages and have no reason to be shut off.
     
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  7. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    Not to burst your bubble, but both of these won't happen. Solar power will never be the sole source of electricity in the world. It's on track to become a major part of the energy picture, but wind is also a growing energy source and there are places in the world where solar power is not very efficient. Try getting all your energy from solar in Alaska in the winter. It will be a long, dark, cold winter. The closer you get to the poles, the shorter the days are during the winter and even on clear days you aren't going to get much sunshine. Then there are places like Seattle that are overcast for months on end (though the summers are usually clear and dry).

    In many places where the sun doesn't shine much in the winter, nature has provided a different renewable energy source: hydroelectric. Washington and Oregon get most of their electricity from hydro. So does Quebec, Newfoundland, and Norway. Glaciers during ice aces carved the landscape in such a way that hydro works quite well. Though there are environmentalists who want to take out dams on the Columbia River for salmon spawning, it will never happen. The dams on the river make it navigable pretty much all the way back to idaho and 40% of all grain exported from the US goes down the Columbia. Moving it by train is impossible because the rail network is at 100% capacity now and there is no room for new tracks in many places.

    Solar and wind with battery backup will put a big dent in fossil fuel usage for stationary power by 2030. Fossil fuels won't be gone, but most of the coal plants will probably be shut down and the coal industry will be headed the way of the horse buggy industry about 1915. Natural gas will still be in use for some power generation as well as running the existing nuclear plants until they are ready to be decommissioned.

    There is a new technology that has been developed by a young nuclear engineer named Taylor Wilson which uses nuclear fuel currently stored in nuclear waste ponds. It consumes most of the remaining fuel to make electricity and then when it runs out of fuel there is only a tiny bit of radioactive waste left that can't be consumed (about 1/100 of what it starts with). If he manages to get any of these plants built, it will pretty much require us to either make electricity from getting rid of the nuclear waste we have now, of just vent the heat to the atmosphere for no benefit.

    I do agree that our electricity generation picture will likely be very different by 2030 and much cleaner overall.

    There are 1 billion cars in the world and 100 million cars and light trucks built per year. To replace all cars in the world with EVs by 2030 would require us to start building 71 million EV cars a year right now. Total production of EVs and PHEVs today was only 1/2 million last year. And that includes the plug in hybrids which were the majority of sales. The pure EVs were only around 100,000 sales and only the Model S and X had a range anything over about 120 miles.

    The Tesla Gigafactory is going to supply enough batteries for 500,000 long range EVs when it is at full capacity. The much touted "giant" LG Chem factory is only supplying about 50,000 smaller battery packs a year. Tesla's 500,000 cars a year from the GF is only about 1/2% of the world's car production. To build all 100 million cars and light trucks as EVs in the world would require 200 GF equivalents and would cost around $1 trillion. Even if there was a will to switch over to EVs right now, and people started building those 200 GF today, they would likely go bankrupt trying to raise the capital and none of those factories will be online until the early 2020s.

    There is no will there from any mainstream auto maker to build a mass market EV. The CAFE requirements will force them to build more hybrids with relatively small batteries, but they won't try to build pure EVs en masse until the Model 3 has been out there for a couple of years and demand is not going down and demand for their ICE cars is going down. Right now some US states like California require auto makers to sell so many pure EVs a year, but they only make enough to meet the minimum requirements and little more. Even the much touted Chevy Bolt is only going to have 30,000 a year built and analysis of LG Chem's idle capacity has projected the max number they can build for the foreseeable future is around 50,000 a year. A pittance compared to the projected sales of the Model 3.

    By 2030 we'll be lucky if there is an equivalent of 10 Gigafactories, maybe as many as 20 world wide. That is enough to build 5-10% of the world's car production as pure EVs, or a much larger percentage of hybrids. I would also expect most of the GFs in the world to be Tesla's. Also take note that if battery storage of solar and wind power becomes a big thing, which it will likely be, that will just increase the overall demand for batteries and further a shortage.

    Tesla is buying every battery Panasonic can make today. They have over 40% of the share of the battery market and one customer. That's the level of demand Tesla puts on the Li-ion battery market, they consume 40% of world production to make 50,000-70,000 cars a year. The rest of the battery industry has excess capacity because EVs and hybrids are in a slump due to low gasoline prices. Tesla is the only brand that is bucking the trend.

    Add on top of the probale battery shortage limiting production for the next few decades, there is also a big need for infrastructure to be built out. Tesla has gone a long ways to show the world how to support EVs on long road trips, and most EV owners today have a garage or some other way to charge at home. Over 50% of Americans rent, and even many US home owners don't have a place where they can plug in their car at night. Apartment complexes and condos will have to invest in charger infrastructure. In places where people park on the street at night, cities will have to build chargers like parking meters all over the cities. Today the supercharger network supports 0.015% of the cars on the road adequately, but we're going to need a heck of a lot more chargers along highways to support that many long range EVs. Tesla may continue to fund their own in house standard to support their cars, but the rest of the world needs to do something and right now car makers are hoping someone else will build the network for them, but nobody is all the interested right now.

    If you want to get a feel for the size of the project, I suggest you watch this documentary:
    [LINK]Pump The Movie | Official Website[/LINK]

    They make the point that EVs are the long range future, but it's going to take a long time to fully make the switch. Too much needs to change and it's going to take a long time for that to happen. The documentary shows how we could use biofuels in the interim and how it fits directly into the supply chain we have today (gas stations can sell it instead of gasoline) and the majority of cars on the road today either are ready for biofuels now, or can be converted very easily. Quite a few cars can be converted by just changing a code in the firmware.

    It's a changeover that is doable in only a few years. EVs are too big a technology change to effect the changeover that quickly.

    Sorry, but it's just not feasible in that timeframe.
     
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  8. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    A voted True since it's more than possible and it would be A LOT easier than some of the other things we've done as a society... Do I expect it to happen? No... because most people are morons... sad but true.

    It's a bit like asking will drunk driving be eliminated...
     
  9. NeilErdwien

    NeilErdwien Member

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    Amen!
     
  10. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    100% solar power just does not make sense.
    Even if solar cells were free, the batteries would be a bottleneck. For an average day in Seattle you would need about 18 hours worth of stored energy to make it through the day. But the average day is not the problem - the several week stretches of overcast skies are the problem. To get through a 3 week stretch you would need 500+ hours of stored energy. 3 week stretches of overcast skies are not uncommon in Seattle.
    Again, even if batteries were free, the volume of batteries for 500+ hours of stored energy would be a problem, it would be a minivan sized object attached to every house.
    And there isn't enough rooftop area for solar panels - even at 100% efficiency - that could fill 500+ hours worth of batteries during the brief sunny spell ( in Seattle in the winter that would be a few days of 5 hours of sun per day, a 10 day stretch of average weather would yield 50 hours of sun and that would need to fill your 500 hours of batteries - meaning you need a 10x oversupply of generation )

    It would make much more sense to build enough solar and batteries so that on any average day 100% of the energy used is from solar.
    On below average days, you augment with something else.
    Most of the time, you prefer to augment with wind. When the skies are overcast, and the wind doesn't blow, you augment with something else.
    If you said "By 2030, solar will provide 100% of the electrical energy for an average day ( in some country )", then I would say that is definitely possible, though I think a combination of solar and wind would be better.

    The only possible way that 100% solar could work would be to have solar satellites or airships, above the clouds and transmitting the energy down somehow.
    Even if that were possible, I bet that its much much cheaper to just use terrestrial solar panels, wind and some other backup source.
     
  11. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    If you really wanted solar above our heads, you could go for the solar satellite idea in geosynchronous orbit with a microwave transmitter down to a receiving station on the ground. I read a few years ago the Chinese were building one, though the US started work on such a thing and abandoned it. A satellite in space can gather gads more power per square meter than a terrestrial installation, but the market is showing a lot of small terrestrial installations can be done inexpensively.

    Here in SW Washington we get a bit more sun than Seattle does, but the days in the winter still are very short and we still have our share of cloudy days in the winter. The Columbia Gorge has great wind for wind mills. In the patches of land that aren't part of the National Forest, there are windmills. The wind operators ran into a problems a few springs back. We had record snow in the mountains and the spring runoff was so heavy, the dams were generating too much electricity. The Bonneville Power Administration forced all the windmill operators to shut down for a few weeks until the runoff slowed down.

    It was the first time since 1947 the Columbia overflowed its banks downstream of the Bonneville Dam. Heavy duty dikes were built after that flood that easily contained the flood, but it was interesting to see the water lapping up against the base of the dike when there is usually about 50 feet from the dike to the water.
     
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  12. timk225

    timk225 Member

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    No way will there be 100% renewable energy and EV's by 2030. A big chunk, maybe, but nowhere near 100%. Leaded gas began phasing out in 1975 and took 20 years.

    Solar is not the cure-all, but it does help, and can help a lot. Wind and hydroelectric can help too.
     
  13. AZ Desert Driver

    AZ Desert Driver Genesis - The Beginning - MS60D in its nest

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    A desirable goal..perhaps. I travel the world and observe how societies behave. Some burn trees in the jungle to make charchol to sell to survive. these folks are not thinking about electric cars and highways to cities. Not all view city life like a desirable thing. Change will occur - but the driving force maybe war/famine/flooding/food/disaster of some type - and not the desire to be green-clean.
     
  14. AZ Desert Driver

    AZ Desert Driver Genesis - The Beginning - MS60D in its nest

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    Your film was nice….but makes assumptions that I can't buy. 1) we have highways and always will. I submit that the civilized folks in north american towns have these, but much of the world does not. As growth occurs, perhaps the design of cities and highways will continue, but perhaps highways will look like landlines vs cell phone towers…leapfrog technologies that make base-case assumptions foolish. 2) we make the assumption that population will continue - and that the water supply, food supply, distribution systems will support continuation of unimpeded growth. Perhaps - but I submit that the Syrian refugee were civilized city dwellers and now don't think about electric cars as much as before. Their paradigm of society has been disrupted by more than solar.

    I agree that electric power will advance, but not in a vacuum ..there must be other vectors of society that are not disturbed to have your forecast reasonable…and the disturbances are more looming than simple car power.
     
  15. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    Concerns about where we get our electricity is, to some degree, a first world problem.

    According to Hans Rosling, the world's population is stabilizing:


    Birthrates in most countries have dropped to replacement levels, even developing countries. But it may be too late. I have felt for a long time we were way above the long term carrying capacity of the planet. We are able to just barely feed the world now, but India and China grow most of their food with ground water and their aquifers are almost exhausted. China is drawing their water from the deepest level they can and only have a few years before that's gone. All surface water in both countries is already over used or too contaminated.

    The world will have a completely different food picture when China and then India is no longer able to grow their own food. In places where we have enough surface water to grow crops without exhausting ground water, the land is getting tired, and there are few places with untapped surface water left. North America and Siberia are about the only places in the world with untapped surface water reserves, though it would likely require destroying more wilderness to tap much of that water.

    It is a good thing to rethink transportation and rethink electricity generation, but the world at large has problems much lower on Maslow's Hierarchy.
    Maslow's hierarchy of needs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  16. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    Isn't going to happen. Just take one aspect... Car collectors and enthusiasts who love to collect and drive older cars. True, it will be a small percentage, but it's never going to be 100%.
     
  17. weak_pig

    weak_pig Member

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    Will a global natural disaster accelerate the adoption of cleaner energy? For example, a large part of Antarctica breaks off and melts causing sea levels to rise 3-4 meters
     
  18. GSP

    GSP Member

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    That is a very nicely written blog and well produced video. Thanks for posting.

    As others have pointed out, even if 100% of car production is electric by 2025, 2030 is not enough time to replace the fleet. That will take about 20 years, up to 2045. Also, I don't think it is possible to ramp up battery production fast enough to get 100% production in 2025, especially if production also needs to be ramped for grid storage as well. Also it never will technically be 100%, people still use horses and draft animals instead of cars and tractors today.

    GSP
     
  19. wdolson

    wdolson Active Member

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    Melting sea ice won't make oceans rise, only ice locked up on land. Though Antarctica has a lot of that. Antarctica itself won't break off though, it is a land mass.

    If there were to be some kind of major planet-wide disaster, it would likely slow down the pace of adoption of cleaner energy. All the effort would go into dealing with the aftermath of the disaster for many years afterwards.

    Rather than a sudden melting of land ice from Antarctica or Greenland, I still think a global food crisis is a more likely scenario and that isn't going to have much affect on cleaner energy sources. There may be droughts in some parts of the world that would contribute to it and there would be people making noises that man-made climate change was to blame, but the ultimate cause is that we have too many mouths to feed and some regions ran out of fossil water.

    It's definitely a man-made disaster, but CO2 would only play a minor role if any.
     
  20. AZ Desert Driver

    AZ Desert Driver Genesis - The Beginning - MS60D in its nest

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    I wish all the doom-and-gloom was not true. Excess population -->food shortage -->water shortage --> society disruption . So electric cars are way down the list. Still, every one of us who intends to buy an electric car help in some small measure.

    I don't see politicians talking about population control (perhaps refugee control, but not population). Limited resources are observed and mentioned…but few serious plans are put forward (not on my watch). I guess I'll just fiddle while Rome burns.
     

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