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GM continues to try to stifle competition

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by pedriscoll, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. pedriscoll

    pedriscoll True Blue Tesla Fan

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    As all Indiana Tesla owners should now know, GM is pushing a bill in the state legislature to drive Tesla out. Current Indiana law does allow manufacturers to hold a dealer license, and the Tesla store in Indianapolis has been very successful. The current bill will strip away the ability for manufacturers to sell directly. I have already written to my state legislators and I would urge others to do so. GM can't compete on quality, performance or customer experience so they need to legislate away competition. I have owned 5 GM vehicles in my lifetime, but will never buy another, even if by some chance I do purchase another ICE.
     
  2. araxara

    araxara S-P85#3,218 X-90D#3,299

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  3. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    #3 McRat, Feb 20, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
    So all the big car companies except GM are against the bill?

    I find it hard to believe that a company with 17% of a market can override an entire industry.

    Either that or every bad thing any automaker has ever been accused of is always GM.

    No wonder why everyone who thinks so highly of Toyota doesn't understand why Toyota wants to stop the electric cars far more than GM. Do a little research on the actual quotes by Toyota management concerning EV's. They are way more against EV's than GM will ever be. Specifically Toyota says that BEVs are not practical, but they will build them as necessary to meet their compliance ratios.
     
  4. Drivin

    Drivin Member

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    That is not the whole story.

    Toyota's point is that EV are an interim solution - they are still powered by nuclear, fossil fuel and some renewable and have too low of an energy density to be a long term solution. Toyota is thinking long term.

    Their longer term bet is on hydrogen, not just for cars, but overall. They are raising $4B for that and have freely provided their 5,600 patents in the area. They are not doing that just to meet their compliance ratios since there are way more cheaper ways to do that.

    Now, besides GM, there are some people who try to stifle competition and denigrate alternative approaches to ICE vehicles by referring to them as "fool cells". Go figure.
     
  5. vvanders

    vvanders Member

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    Not to derail this thread but nothing I've seen about Fuel Cells makes them viable:

    1. Hydrogen is *hard* to store, there's a reason most industrial applications have hydrogen sensors inside. The risk of explosion is non-trivial from what I understand.
    2. Fuel cells degrade over time, so instead of less range you get less efficiency.
    3. There's no economical way to extract Hydrogen, solar has really poor efficiency compared to BEV and LNG involves fossil fuels which is a non-starter for many reasons.
     
  6. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Quite true. I attended a Toyota factory tour about a year ago and during the presentation, they just slammed EVs. Said the battery tech wasn't mature and that "their testing" shows they are no good for Canadian winters. The audience just lapped it up.
     
  7. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    #7 stopcrazypp, Feb 20, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
    That doesn't match Toyota's position of EVs. Their analysis of EVs is that they are suitable for nothing but short range city cars (a position proven to be BS by Tesla and upcoming 200 mile EVs). They still absolutely refuse to acknowledge it is a viable long distance solution (actually far more viable than their Mirai given the whole infrastructure boondoggle), temporary or otherwise.

    Hydrogen is primarily made from fossil fuels today and even Japan's long term plan is to make them from fossil fuels (plan is to ship in hydrogen made from coal in Australia or to make from methane hydrates under the ocean).

    Cynics will say Toyota is only pushing hydrogen because the Japanese government needs some PR help to say they are preparing for the future (esp. for Olympics) and giving Toyota a boat load of public money to do it. It allows Toyota to say they are doing something while continuing to naysay about EVs and sell hybrids.

    And about R&D expenditures, Toyota's R&D last year alone was ~$9 billion (1 trillion yen; lowest in recent years is 725 billion yen in 2010).
     
  8. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Commercial H2 is made from natural gas, which is already used as motor fuel. To make 1 lb of H2 creates 10 lb of CO2 in the reaction. CNG or Synthetic Diesel are actually wiser methods of using natural gas as motor fuel.
     
  9. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    GM has been the Evil Empire for ages. Remember, they drove the electric street car industry out of business so they could sell fossil-fuel busses. Since corporations are now people the GM person has been been an SOB for a very long time:).
     
  10. Drivin

    Drivin Member

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    Toyota's fuel cell is warranted for 15 years. After that, you probably would get a new car anyway.
    Using a E-CEM the Navy is extracting hydrogen from seawater, there are alternative approaches that people are looking at and so we will see where this winds up in a couple of years.

    Yes, people also thought that gas stations would be blowing up too. Fortunately, enough people were open minded to continue figuring out ways to safely transport and store gas.

    It is always amusing that some EV supporters accuse ICE-defenders as being close minded, then some turn around and have similar knee-jerk negative reaction to hydrogen, call them "fool cells", not keep up with the tech, etc.. LOL Sure, Toyota is spending $4B for PR benefits...sure, that makes sense. LOL. Double LOL.
     
  11. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    You think it's a 'knee-jerk reaction'? Then you're not paying attention, you're just looking for ways to attack. As you say, 'LOL. Double LOL'.

    Seriously, I don't see the advantage. Here's my 'LOL Double LOL Knee-Jerk Reaction': I can't fuel at home. It's hard to find places to fuel in the wild. It's not getting us away from fossil fuels. Unlike electricity, the source of fuel doesn't get cleaner and cleaner over time. What's to like??

    You say there will potentially be other solutions in a couple of years. Okay. Then let's talk when there are. Right now, LOL, double LOL.
     
  12. Kandiru

    Kandiru Member

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    Never trust a politician or a ho', they both pray to the mighty dollar.
     
  13. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    The old guard trying to prop up their crumbling empire. Never works.
     
  14. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    GM & More Dirty Tricks Again

    So before you think this is just about Indiana and only people in Indiana can do anything to help ... NO! You're wrong. You've got social media accounts and can help blast this around. Super easy. You don't even have to write your own. You can retweet. Or you can do your own thing.

    So first , Tesla sent this letter to Indiana owners:
    So here's the easy part. Got facebook? Log on and tell your friends what GM is up to. They're writing laws to protect their business and shut down competition. twitter? Tweet about it. Blast it out.

    Here's one of my tweets (there are others are there) - feel free to retweet or to just write your own: https://twitter.com/bonnienorman/status/701209438363869184/photo/1

    Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 5.32.55 PM.png


     
  15. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    I agree that emotional reactions and fanboy attitudes have no place in a policy discussion. But you cannot ignore the laws of physics.

    1. Free hydrogen does not exist in nature. You have to make it with some type of process. The laws of thermodynamics dictate that there is no process by which you can take energy of amount A, use that energy to make hydrogen, then use the hydrogen to recover energy A without any losses. Thus, it is never more efficient to use hydrogen instead of using the original energy source that you started with.

    2. With this in mind, you'll see that hydrogen is not an energy source, but is functioning as an energy storage mechanism, just like a battery or a fuel tank. Thus the argument becomes, how good of a storage device is it for energy? And the answer is, a very poor one.

    Hydrogen is the smallest molecule there is, and as such it's very difficult to contain. You cannot transport it by pipeline because it will leak through every seam and joint in the pipe. To get it to an energy density that is practical, you need to store it as either highly compressed gas (10K psi) which requires large tanks with thick walls, or as liquified gas which requires cryogenic equipment. Transporting it means that all trucks that are carrying hydrogen must fall into one of these two categories, and either is far more expensive and more trouble than a gasoline truck.

    Now, before anyone starts quoting specific energies (MJ/kg) or energy densities (MJ/L) of hydrogen, gasoline, or lithium-ion batteries, keep in mind that those values for the fuel itself are academic. Reality dictates that the true comparison has to be made along with the energy conversion device that will be in the car to convert the stored energy into work, and must take into account it's conversion efficiency. Thus, though gasoline is 32 MJ/L, once you have a large drivetrain and transmission, and an average conversion efficiency of 20%, the usable MJ/L is quite low. Compare it to a lithium-ion battery (low energy density of only 2.5 MJ/L), but a 92% efficient small conversion device. Usable MJ/L is now on par with gasoline.

    Hydrogen is in the same ballpark. You have a fuel tank with compressed H2 at 10kpsi, giving you 5.6 MJ/L, but you also have to have a large tank + fuel cell + electric motor + small battery for peak demand and regen capture, and an overall efficiency of 60% at best. Usable MJ/L is now down on par with the other solutions, and you would have been more efficient using the original energy before you used it to make hydrogen.

    3. With any non-gasoline solution, you're looking at having to build new energy distribution infrastructure. With hydrogen, that is starting from scratch. With electrical, you already have a distribution system, you only need endpoints. Public endpoints are only going to be single-digit percentage of the chargers that need to be deployed, the majority will be at people's homes.

    4. Any type of energy can be turned into electricity. Any future breakthrough in solar, wind, or other not-yet-conceived forms of energy can feed the electrical grid, letting a nation and a society have a maximally efficient marketplace for energy. The cheapest form of energy will prevail. Not so with hydrogen -- the only people that is good for would be the corporations who would control the production and distribution.


    Sorry to burst Toyota's bubble, but hydrogen is an impractical solution no matter how you slice it. It doesn't matter if the Navy is creating hydrogen from seawater or not, the energy you're using for that would propel an electric car further under any circumstances. Hydrogen vehicle propulsion will never be practical and will never compete in the marketplace, and the reason is physics, not fanboism.
     
  16. BozieBeMe2

    BozieBeMe2 Member

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    Bonnie thank you for all your help and assistance in helping the Indiana Tesla owners.
    Today it is Indiana, tomorrow it very well could be any state that is standing in the way of the Dealer Franchised network,
    (who contribute millions to political candidates).

    I just finished sending emails to all concerned parties and was wondering what more could be done.
    Your foresight is impeccable! as I over looked the obvious.
     
  17. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    The fuel cell warranty on the Mirai is 8 years / 100k miles (whichever comes first).
    https://ssl.toyota.com/mirai/Mirai_Ownership_Experience.pdf

    You got the expiration date mixed up with the warranty date. The car expires after 14 years (likely because of the tank, as CNG tanks also have similar expiration dates). Meaning you can't legally drive the car at all after 14 years without replacing at least the tank.
    http://insideevs.com/2016-toyota-mirai-refuel-2029/

    Same theme of hydrogen advocates not understanding that hydrogen is an energy carrier (and not an energy source). The E-CEM system gets energy from a nuclear reactor to make hydrogen (seawater is not the source of energy). It is not any more a renewable source than traditional nuclear based energy.

    No offense, but I think I know more about the tech than you do (and most casual hydrogen advocates). I have been following hydrogen since the Hy-wire days (initially I thought it was more viable than EVs back in those days, given EVs were still on lead-acid batteries).

    The dismissal of the technology is not from a knee jerk reaction, but from a rational evaluation of the pros and cons of the technology. Fact of the matter is other than 5 minute refueling, hydrogen provides little advantage over a BEV.

    The fuel costs $13/kg, so even factoring higher efficiency at 67 MPGe, that is like paying $6 per gallon for a 30 MPG car.

    We (California) are subsidizing stations at ~$3 million each: $200 million in grants for 68 stations; and that is only the government share of the costs. These are largely 100kg/day stations that can service ~25 cars a day. Meaning that $200 million in grant spending will only support about 10k-15k vehicles (if you assume a 4kg fill-up roughly every week). $200 million is more than the $140 million book value of the 480 supercharger stations worldwide that Tesla had as of mid-2015.
    And maintenance/operational costs of such stations are likely also astronomical (it was in the news that stations are out of service from months because of maintenance issues).

    In terms of efficiency, it only matches EVs if talking about hydrogen reformed from natural gas. If hydrogen is made from electricity, an EV can go 3x as far from the same amount of electricity. I can show the math if you need me to (based on both ANL and EIA data as I have been doing calculations on this for many years and using as updated numbers as possible).

    Fuel cells are power limited (cost scales by power). For example, Mirai's fuel cell is 112kW, making it have poor acceleration (0-60 in 9 seconds) for a $60k car. Tuscon Fuel Cell is even worse with a 100kW fuel cell and acceleration at 0-60 in 12 seconds.

    The volumetric density of hydrogen tanks are poor and their cylindrical shape makes packaging difficult. The Mirai sacrifices a seat (it is only a 4 seater), doesn't have a trunk pass-through and has subpar trunk space for a car of its size (no official numbers yet, but reviewers say that trunk is smaller than in a Corolla).

    You underestimate the amount of money Toyota spends on advertising and the advantage of having a halo car. Toyota's ad spending in 2013 in US alone was over $2 billion.
    Toyota Motor: ad spend in the U.S. by medium 2013 | Statistic

    That $4 billion will serve multiple purposes. It aids Toyota's political allies (Abe is a good friend of them). It gives them front placement in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (where hydrogen will be focused on, as typical of many Olympic events in the past). It allows them to say they are in the forefront of technology, while ideally they sell you a current profitable vehicle (like the Prius that they recently styled similarly). it allows them to tell customers to wait for the hydrogen future and discourage buyers from looking at EVs.
     
  18. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    Is GM using Tesla patents on the Bolt? They should be thanking Tesla.
     
  19. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Thanks :). Just keep hammering publicly. Letters matter. Being held accountable publicly matters, too. You can be polite the whole time, but politicians hate to be held accountable in public. The press sees stuff in public, while they don't see letters. Maybe contact your local news media about this. And thank you so much for writing letters. Because you're right. If GM is successful there, then they just keep going.
     
  20. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    http://energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/hydrogen-resources

    Hydrogen advocates always talk about getting hydrogen from water, but in the real world that's not what what hydrogen is made from. 95% of hydrogen is made from natural gas, and produces emissions.

    The article mentions carbon capture and storage. Unfortunately, this doesn't work. The Government of Saskatchewan spent $1.5 billion for a carbon capture and storage facility, and it doesn't work. Not only have the emissions on the power plant gone up, the CCS uses 30% of the plant's electricity.
     

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