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If car companies can't invent a viable EV solution to compete, what happens to Elon's vison?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by weak_pig, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. Daliman

    Daliman Member

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    One role I see for electric self driving vehicles is a more flexible public transit system. Imagine a fleet of 10 passenger mini buses that you can call on demand which is controlled by a program that can optimize the destinations. Hundreds of people leave an average suburban neighbourhood to commute an hour driving on their own. The infastucture to suuport this is just existing roads. Transit systems or cab companies could provide much more flexible transport and commuters have hours to relax or be productive.
     
  2. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    I can see how it might be a lot to wrap your head around if you only think of your particular situation. Ours is a 4-car family so, I can feel the tension when I think of reducing my stable of vehicles.
    My son is in his 20's, lives in SoCal and has a car. He often chooses to use Uber, especially with friends. He says Uber has expanded his generation's access to Los Angeles because they no longer worry about finding parking, or taking a chance on getting towed or drinking and driving. It's just more convenient. He feels owning / maintaining a car is more hassle than it's worth. If the Uber fleet was all electric, more of his generation's miles would be sustainable miles and cost less than buying an EV which they can't charge in their apt or condo.
    This world is a different place than the one you or I grew up with. My "summon" example was not a "model" for the future, just an "example" of doing things differently to achieve sustainability.
     
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  3. N5329K

    N5329K Active Member

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    I'd invert the OP's question: If traditional car manufacturers can't invent a viable EV to compete with Tesla, what will happen to those traditional car manufacturers?
    The transition from whale oil lamps to electric bulbs- a better, safer, cheaper and more convenient option- took only about a decade. There are very few outlets for whale oil these days.
    Robin
     
  4. SebastianR

    SebastianR Active Member

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    I don't think they are seeing it yet. If you read German newspapers, listen to what the companies say, what people say that work for them - it is very scary! All German car makers had great years. Heck, VW Group is selling more cars then ever - from their perspective there is no rationale for change and the Diesel scandal was just a little hick-up.

    I know it is painfully obvious to us. But it is not at all obvious to them. And on that chart? I heard hours and hours of explanations why it is misleading / wrong / doesn't matter etc. It's quite astounding to me.
     
  5. AUSinator

    AUSinator Member

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    What you dont understand is Hydrogen can never ever be the future as there are so many disadvantages that never can be overcome compared to BEV's. There is actually so many i would have to write a whole page A4 to list them all for you.
     
  6. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    It is true that coal is the most common source of energy for generating electricity today, but the trend in much of the world has been towards renewables and away from coal. Renewables have been becoming cost competitive with older methods of generating electricity and they lend themselves better to micro-installations which allows many smaller players to get into the game rather than requiring large power stations built by large companies with a lot of capital.

    There are many analysis out there that prove that running an EV on coal generated electricity is far more efficient than running a car on gasoline. Current Li-ion batteries only have about 1/30 the energy density of gasoline. Gasoline has about 30-33 KWh/Gal and Li-Ion batteries about 1 KWh/Gal. The volume of the battery pack on the Model S/X is around 96 gallons (US) and currently holds about 90 KWh of energy. But you get just shy of 300 miles real world range from that 90 KWh. 90 KWh of gasoline (about 3 gallons) will get you about 90-100 miles in most small sedans, and only about 60 miles in an SUV. Burning gasoline to run an ICE loses most of the energy to heat, and some to other factors. ICE cars need radiators to deal with all the excess heat.

    Burning coal to generate electricity that in turn goes into an EV you get back 60-70% of the energy released burning the coal, many times more efficient than burning an equivalent amount of gasoline.

    Today almost all hydrogen is made from natural gas because electrolyzing water is very energy inefficient. The article I posted up thread has a chart comparing what you get out of 100 KWh of electricity driving an EV vs a hydrogen car. You utilize 3 times the energy with an EV. 70% of the energy is wasted making, storing, transporting, and burning the hydrogen. The hydrogen reaction is more efficient than burning the gasoline, but the energy trail getting there is a huge loss and you're ultimately down around the efficiency of an ICE.

    The point you made above is propaganda from the industry trying to push hydrogen fuel cells so they can convert natural gas to hydrogen. North America has a natural gas glut right now and wholesale prices are dirt cheap. The producers are looking for new ways to sell it. Hydrogen fuel cells are a great deal for them. If they became popular it would eat up the natural gas glut and there is no way even renewable energy electrolysis of water could compete (the facility to generate renewable energy isn't free). The wholesale price difference is between the two methods is big and unlikely to get much cheaper any time in the near future.
     
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  7. Qball

    Qball Member

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    Tesla price point will not get lower than the Model 3. There will be a sub $30k EV market (i.e. intra-city driving) that very large companies like GM or Toyota will play in.
     
  8. eloder

    eloder Active Member

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    Non-summoning car-sharing systems like car2go work just fine. When I ran the numbers on car2go, I would have to drive something like over 5000 miles a year before owning my own car became worth it. 5000 miles isn't a huge number, but autonomous EVs could easily cost 1/4th as much as a service like car2go.
     
  9. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    Why should I care about abstract efficiency? I care about CO2e per mile or other pollutants.

    If that is the criteria then EVs on coal electricity are worse than gasoline cars that are hybrids like the 53 mpg Toyota Prius or the 46 mpg Chevy Malibu.

    I thought coal electricity plants were typically 30-35% efficient.
     
  10. N5329K

    N5329K Active Member

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    Jeff:
    I don't think you'll find a 100% coal-fired grid anywhere in the US. Nationally, coal provides about 1/3 of the total electric supply. This changes regionally, and even by the hour. The equivalence of an EV running on that mythical 100% coal grid and the Prius is really an illustration of just how superior EV's really are. When all is considered, from well/seam to wheel, the very worst case imaginable (but not found in this country) puts the EV on an equal footing with one of the most (practically) efficient gasoline cars on the market.
    That's a strong vote for getting underway on electric power.
    Robin
     
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  11. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

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    In that case, Tesla stockholders make lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of money. And Elon's mission continues on schedule.

    I assume that the other manufacturers will catch up. Some of them are starting to seriously try. Tesla should have competition in 2019.
     
  12. neroden

    neroden Model S Owner and Frustrated Tesla Fan

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    This is a relatively good analysis, but it doesn't account for the large environmental cleanup costs associated with gas stations. With volume of sales declining, a monopoly gas station owner (who already drives an electric car) may well decide to shut down the gas station to get out from under the environmental liability as soon as possible. If they decide to raise gas prices instead, they would probably raise them as much as they can in order to try to cover those cleanup costs. The raised prices will cause even more drops in gas sales...

    Anyway, I think it's going to be a tipping-point effect where we go from 11 gas stations to none quite quickly.
     
  13. Bangor Bob

    Bangor Bob Member

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  14. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    In BC, 90% of our power comes from hydro-electric, also know as rain (or snow) water....

    Generation System

    That's what powering my Tesla the vast majority of the time.
     
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  15. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    If you are using a less efficient energy source, you need to burn more of it to get the same result. Coal does produce more CO2 per ton than gasoline, but a stationary power plant running at peak efficiency is likely to produce less CO2 over the long run than a car burning fossil fuels.

    I was inaccurate in my explanation. If you look at the graphic in the article I linked to in my first post. It shows the efficiency for getting from 100 KWh of electricity generated in whatever way. If you put that electricity into an EV, you get back about 69 KWh. If you apply the same electricity to making hydrogen for use in a hydrogen car, you only get about 20-23 KWh of energy driving the car. An EV is three times more efficient at electricity usage.

    If the electricity was generated from coal and you are concerned about CO2, the EV consumed a lot less CO2 per mile as the hydrogen car.
     
  16. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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  17. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    There aren't many grid regions that are entirely coal -- there is usually a significant mix of nuclear, hydro or natural gas mixed in. Also, coal-fired plants like other electricity plants, don't always run at their nominal peak efficiency in the real world. But even with some of those other lower-carbon sources mixed in we can look at fueleconomy.gov to see CO2 emissions.

    For example, in the upper mid-west more than usual coal is used in the grid. The most efficient Tesla, the S70D, emits 280 g per mile versus a 2016 Prius which emits 205 g per mile burning gasoline (including refinery emissions etc.). Even the most efficient EV, the BMW i3 BEV, would emit 230 g per mile there.
     
  18. EVie'sDad

    EVie'sDad Member

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    As for California, just 7.82% of the state’s electricity comes from coal sources. So saying there’s a relationship between the electric grid of the South and the charging stations out in the Golden State is purely mythical.

    Myth 3: EV emissions reductions are negligible
    Out in EV country, California’s electric grid uses natural gas (44.31%), renewables (18.77%), large hydroelectric (7.76%) and nuclear power (8.84%) to get its EVs charged. These sources of electric power are the ones University of Minnesota researchers said “reduce environmental health impacts” by at least 50%.

    A Cheat Sheet to Debunking Myths About Electric Vehicles
     
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  19. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Unless it's changed since VW bought it, Porsche's main business has automotive technology, the cars have been primarily to test and showcase the technology.
     
  20. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The big problem here is that CO isn't the only pollutant. EVs don't emit where people live and breath. This makes a big difference to overall health. The ICE numbers also assume that an ICE car never changes it's pollution level from when it was new, but ICE cars always get dirtier with age, while EVs get cleaner as the grid gets cleaner and/or people add solar panels to their houses. And then there's the national security issue where the electricity is produced in-country rather than some of it coming from out-of-country.
     
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