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Tesla, EVs, and the auto industry's response

renim

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Apr 6, 2013
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Ariya and ID4 are showing idential WLTP range on UK web sites - 310mile for larger battery single engine option. the nissan has slighlty longer wheelbase and battery. typically VW and Nissans are not cross shopped, but these 2 seem like they could be.

pretty hard to justify either Ariya and ID4 when crossshopping a Tesla M3 at the same price. a lot easier to justify either Ariya and ID4 if wanting a model Y style at model 3 price.
 

wdolson

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One thing to keep in mind, the European range test (WLP) does not match EPA range and is usually more optimistic than EPA results. I've found I can actually achieve EPA range with normal, but careful driving. Inside EVs compared the two among EVs for sale in the US this year
Here Is What A Comparison Of EPA/WLTP Range Ratings Reveal

I checked the EPA site and neither the Ariya nor any Volkswagen ID cars are rated yet. If they are rated 310 on the WLTP, they might test around 280 miles with the EPA if the pattern holds.

The announced changes to the Model Y will likely drop the price a fair bit. The new cast aluminum parts will simplify construction and eliminate production steps. Those will likely come first in the next few months. Later next year will be the new battery pack with longer range.

Manufacturing Model Ys in China and Europe will also drop the prices there. Unfortunately for Australia, there are no home built cars anymore and all cars are more expensive there. Though Chinese built Model Ys might be cheaper than American made ones.
 

ChadS

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I haven't read enough about the Nissan Ariya to feel confident that it is a volume car, but given what Nissan did with the 2nd-gen Leaf, I imagine the Ariya will also follow the volume strategy.

That means that within a few months we could have several volume EVs in the compact SUV space. Y, Mach-E, ID.4, and Arriya. Cool!

I hope that multiple volume entries in the market will result in a serious uptick in sales - as well as general awareness of EVs as a viable option. This is what I have been hoping to see for many years.

Of course we are still dependent on proper marketing and effort by dealers. We aren't out of the woods yet. But the fact that the automakers put so much into offering these cars leads me to assume that they are working hard on the other factors as well.
 
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renim

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Nissan Ariya appears midway in size between Qashqai (Rogue) and X-Trail.

Due to cost pressures, Its going to be very difficult to sell a car with 90kWh battery if people compare it their own brands equivalent ICE cars. But on the bright side for Nissan, people cross shopping a Ariya with whatever other EV(excluding Tesla), will find it a challenging car to beat, particularly if they live in a country that allows 3 phase 22kW phase chargers at home.
 

wdolson

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Nissan Ariya appears midway in size between Qashqai (Rogue) and X-Trail.

Due to cost pressures, Its going to be very difficult to sell a car with 90kWh battery if people compare it their own brands equivalent ICE cars. But on the bright side for Nissan, people cross shopping a Ariya with whatever other EV(excluding Tesla), will find it a challenging car to beat, particularly if they live in a country that allows 3 phase 22kW phase chargers at home.

There are countries that routinely have 3 phase going into people's homes? I didn't know that.

EVs will start to really win out when people are cross shopping EVs with ICE. Tesla was the only brand that was getting any of that. All other EVs were in the EV ghetto. Main stream car makers are beginning to make compelling EVs now, but not all are high volume production cars and the cost is still a fair bit more than equivalent ICE in most cases.
 

Brando

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Sep 27, 2016
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Bainbridge Island, WA
The Porsche Taycan Outsold the 911, 718, and Panamera in the U.S. Last Quarter. Porsche's third-quarter U.S. sales report contained a surprising statistic: For the first time, the all-electric Taycan outsold the 911, 718, and Panamera.
Oct 2, 2020


electrification is starting at Porsche for sure
 

renim

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Apr 6, 2013
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There are countries that routinely have 3 phase going into people's homes? I didn't know that.

It's Europe Spec, for instance France and Germany. I'm in Australia and we don't, but even the smallest business premise will be 3 phase.
 

Webeevdrivers

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Jan 2, 2017
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Canada
One thing to keep in mind, the European range test (WLP) does not match EPA range and is usually more optimistic than EPA results. I've found I can actually achieve EPA range with normal, but careful driving. Inside EVs compared the two among EVs for sale in the US this year
Here Is What A Comparison Of EPA/WLTP Range Ratings Reveal

I checked the EPA site and neither the Ariya nor any Volkswagen ID cars are rated yet. If they are rated 310 on the WLTP, they might test around 280 miles with the EPA if the pattern holds.

The announced changes to the Model Y will likely drop the price a fair bit. The new cast aluminum parts will simplify construction and eliminate production steps. Those will likely come first in the next few months. Later next year will be the new battery pack with longer range.

Manufacturing Model Ys in China and Europe will also drop the prices there. Unfortunately for Australia, there are no home built cars anymore and all cars are more expensive there. Though Chinese built Model Ys might be cheaper than American made ones.


EPA is easy to achieve in our model 3. BUT BUT BUT, we live in the interiour of BC. So max speed limits usually around 90 KMh or occasionally 100 KMh. Many times below 80 as every little town slows you down.

That and I run my tires 10 percent over because they just "feel better". 46 PSI Probably going through them faster as a result. Meh.....
 

wdolson

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It's Europe Spec, for instance France and Germany. I'm in Australia and we don't, but even the smallest business premise will be 3 phase.

I know 220V is common in much of the world. I wasn't aware of 3 phase in homes. Interesting.

I haven't done anything with 3 phase since school (I'm an Electronic Engineer), but I think it's relatively common in industrial applications here.

EPA is easy to achieve in our model 3. BUT BUT BUT, we live in the interiour of BC. So max speed limits usually around 90 KMh or occasionally 100 KMh. Many times below 80 as every little town slows you down.

That and I run my tires 10 percent over because they just "feel better". 46 PSI Probably going through them faster as a result. Meh.....

Driving around the local area I tend to drive on surface streets or low end highway speeds (usually around 100 KM/h). Getting EPA range is fairly common for me too.
 

Brando

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Sep 27, 2016
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Bainbridge Island, WA
EPA is easy to achieve in our model 3. BUT BUT BUT, we live in the interiour of BC. So max speed limits usually around 90 KMh or occasionally 100 KMh. Many times below 80 as every little town slows you down.

That and I run my tires 10 percent over because they just "feel better". 46 PSI Probably going through them faster as a result. Meh.....
Higher tire pressure wears less. Too high a pressure usually causes excess wear in the middle part tread. Too low a tire pressure can cause the outer part of tire tread ware AND can cause rims to get bent more easily. So read your vehicle manual (tire info too) to find proper tire pressure range - single driver is a lower weight and four or five people on a trip you might well want to increase tire pressure to maximum. Keeping track of tire ware is always a good idea. Shows proper if tire pressures too low or high. AND can show when wheel alignment needs adjustment (very rare in modern cars - unless you really bang into something and bend a suspension component.

Yes, I keep my tires inflated to the maximum to keep ware down.
Side note: I realized I have mention fuel economy 23-25 mpg city and 36-7 hyway. What I forgot to mention was that is at 55 mph - President Nixon era trained me when he set max. speed to 55 mph on fire oil embargo. When limits went back up, I realized how much I could save. Used to drive a lot. 10-12 hour days.

enough rambling from me - good luck
 
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dgpcolorado

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Apr 25, 2015
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EPA is easy to achieve in our model 3. BUT BUT BUT, we live in the interiour of BC. So max speed limits usually around 90 KMh or occasionally 100 KMh. Many times below 80 as every little town slows you down...
Much the same for me. I have always exceeded EPA efficiency in local driving, by a lot. Like where you live, the speed limits are lower here, with highways at 60 mph (97 km/h) and everything else much lower. The nearest freeway is 160 km away.

I also benefit from the thinner air and lower drag of altitude; the lowest I get in local driving is about 1740 meters and I live much higher than that.
 
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dgpcolorado

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I am sure they will still be interested, just like they were interested and planning to bring in 10 models and 1 millions EVs on the road by 2020.
Did anyone actually believe that? The auto industry dinosaurs move slowly but are necessary for an eventual transition to EVs, IMO.

GM, at least, seems serious about the EV transition. Whether they can convince their dealers and the car buying public, in the USA, to go along, remains to be seen. Perhaps the rapidly expanding DCFC networks will help with public acceptance.

Europe is is forcing the issue with zero emissions regulations. China, the largest car market, is doing much the same; being a totalitarian state, what the central government wants, it gets. If auto companies want to participate in those markets they will need to make EVs. (I realize that Porsche is a niche player but I read recently that the Taycan has been one of their best sellers.)

Having been driving EVs for nine years, I think the shift to EVs is finally starting to show a bit of momentum. Perhaps you are right and I am wrong about that.
 
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Merrill

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Jan 23, 2013
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I’m hopeful that in the near future EV’s will prevail, several countries around the world are calling for no ICE cars by 2035. The battery technology is advancing and that will mean smaller, cheaper and longer range so once electric cars become affordable people will buy them.
 

wdolson

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I think the balkanization of fast charging networks is one thing that's going to hold back the legacy car makers. There is such a wide variety of DC charging power levels, quality of service, and providers - each with a different way of doing things.

No matter which brand of gasoline you buy, the fueling experience is pretty much the same with only minor variations. Figuring out how to pay and activate the charger can be a different experience at each charger.

The auto makers need to put pressure on the charger companies to standardize their service or the pain of figuring out how to charge away from home is going to be a barrier to purchase.

Charging at home or near home is going to become an issue too. There are experiments in curbside charging and a lot of condo and apartment complexes are putting in a few chargers. Work places are too. However scale up to EVs becoming the majority and every parking spot is going to need an EV charger.

That's going to require running a lot of electrical services where they have never been run before and it will put new strains on the grid. Adding supply is not that tough. Mid-term the problem can be handled with running peaking plants more often and the supply of renewable sources grows every day. The big problem is going to be in the middle of the distribution stream. The existing transformers and distribution stations will have to be beefed up to handle the increased loads. That's going to cost a lot of money and nobody is doing much about it right now.

Down market the poor tend to drive the cast offs other people don't want. As ICE become unpopular lower emission ICE will move into the bottom of the market. But they will still be driving ICE. If autonomous taxis do become a thing, urban poor may be able to ditch their cars, but the suburban and rural poor are not going to have that luxury.

By 2035 sales of new ICE will probably be small, though there will probably be a specialty market for places EVs don't go very well (extreme back country places with no electricity or only minimal electricity available). We still have horses doing jobs for which ICE are not well suited, though again they are niches compared to ICE.

The average car on US roads is 12 years old. That means half the cars on the road are older than 12 years old. As cars got more reliable and prices of new ones got more expensive, the used market continued to grow.

It's going to take a long time to clear the ICE out of that chain. EVs today are a couple percent of the market and we may hit a resource shortage for battery ingredients in the next couple of years. The resource thread had a video with a South African resource expert who pointed out there is a glut of battery ingredients today, but the mines are not able to expend due to the low prices and at the current rate of growth, the glut will be gone by the end of 2021.

The supply situation will get sorted out. There are enough raw materials to ultimately do it, but we may see the growth of the EV sector slow down due to a shortage of raw materials. Tesla will likely be impacted in their ability to expand, but during the shortage the rest of the industry are going to have difficulty building many cars at all. That could become a perilous time for them if consumers are demanding EVs but there is a shortage of raw materials to make the batteries. That's probably when some car makers will go out of business. It will be a form of Osbourning, consumers will want a product they can't deliver enough of rather than what they are delivering.

I don't think it will be 2030 before EVs get to 50% market share, even if demand is there, neither the material to build enough batteries, nor the infrastructure to support them will be there. The US is struggling to keep its bridges from falling down. The investment to support mass EV use is going to be slow in coming.

People draw comparisons between the transition from horses to cars and from ICE to EVs. But horse ownership in 1900 had very different demographics from car ownership today. In 1900 New York city had 130,000 horses and Chicago had 74,000. The US population was around 75 million with 21.5 million horses. The US today has about 320 million people and 287 million vehicles.

Private horse ownership in cities was not common in 1900 because people didn't have the means or space to keep them. Most urban horses were commercial or government owned. Except in New York City, car ownership among city dwellers is very common today.

Horses are slow, require daily maintenance (feeding, healthcare, exercise if not in use, etc.) Horse manure and urine were a major problem in cities at the down of the car age. "Tail pipe emissions" was a euphemism for horse waste. My father was born in 1920 and he remembers talk of how cars were pollution free.

Replacing all the ICE is going to take time. Some European cities are creating ICE free zones in their urban cores that may work during the transition, but getting rid of ICE is going to take more time than people think.
 

BlindPass

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Jul 23, 2020
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I think the balkanization of fast charging networks is one thing that's going to hold back the legacy car makers. There is such a wide variety of DC charging power levels, quality of service, and providers - each with a different way of doing things.

No matter which brand of gasoline you buy, the fueling experience is pretty much the same with only minor variations. Figuring out how to pay and activate the charger can be a different experience at each charger.

The auto makers need to put pressure on the charger companies to standardize their service or the pain of figuring out how to charge away from home is going to be a barrier to purchase.

Charging at home or near home is going to become an issue too. There are experiments in curbside charging and a lot of condo and apartment complexes are putting in a few chargers. Work places are too. However scale up to EVs becoming the majority and every parking spot is going to need an EV charger.

That's going to require running a lot of electrical services where they have never been run before and it will put new strains on the grid. Adding supply is not that tough. Mid-term the problem can be handled with running peaking plants more often and the supply of renewable sources grows every day. The big problem is going to be in the middle of the distribution stream. The existing transformers and distribution stations will have to be beefed up to handle the increased loads. That's going to cost a lot of money and nobody is doing much about it right now.

Down market the poor tend to drive the cast offs other people don't want. As ICE become unpopular lower emission ICE will move into the bottom of the market. But they will still be driving ICE. If autonomous taxis do become a thing, urban poor may be able to ditch their cars, but the suburban and rural poor are not going to have that luxury.

By 2035 sales of new ICE will probably be small, though there will probably be a specialty market for places EVs don't go very well (extreme back country places with no electricity or only minimal electricity available). We still have horses doing jobs for which ICE are not well suited, though again they are niches compared to ICE.

The average car on US roads is 12 years old. That means half the cars on the road are older than 12 years old. As cars got more reliable and prices of new ones got more expensive, the used market continued to grow.

It's going to take a long time to clear the ICE out of that chain. EVs today are a couple percent of the market and we may hit a resource shortage for battery ingredients in the next couple of years. The resource thread had a video with a South African resource expert who pointed out there is a glut of battery ingredients today, but the mines are not able to expend due to the low prices and at the current rate of growth, the glut will be gone by the end of 2021.

The supply situation will get sorted out. There are enough raw materials to ultimately do it, but we may see the growth of the EV sector slow down due to a shortage of raw materials. Tesla will likely be impacted in their ability to expand, but during the shortage the rest of the industry are going to have difficulty building many cars at all. That could become a perilous time for them if consumers are demanding EVs but there is a shortage of raw materials to make the batteries. That's probably when some car makers will go out of business. It will be a form of Osbourning, consumers will want a product they can't deliver enough of rather than what they are delivering.

I don't think it will be 2030 before EVs get to 50% market share, even if demand is there, neither the material to build enough batteries, nor the infrastructure to support them will be there. The US is struggling to keep its bridges from falling down. The investment to support mass EV use is going to be slow in coming.

People draw comparisons between the transition from horses to cars and from ICE to EVs. But horse ownership in 1900 had very different demographics from car ownership today. In 1900 New York city had 130,000 horses and Chicago had 74,000. The US population was around 75 million with 21.5 million horses. The US today has about 320 million people and 287 million vehicles.

Private horse ownership in cities was not common in 1900 because people didn't have the means or space to keep them. Most urban horses were commercial or government owned. Except in New York City, car ownership among city dwellers is very common today.

Horses are slow, require daily maintenance (feeding, healthcare, exercise if not in use, etc.) Horse manure and urine were a major problem in cities at the down of the car age. "Tail pipe emissions" was a euphemism for horse waste. My father was born in 1920 and he remembers talk of how cars were pollution free.

Replacing all the ICE is going to take time. Some European cities are creating ICE free zones in their urban cores that may work during the transition, but getting rid of ICE is going to take more time than people think.
Cars being AI and part of IoT will help with a lot of these “issues”. In high population density areas, car ownership will likely go down as the next generation of EVs disrupt transportation. That’s assuming the industry doesn’t go towards leasing batteries and battery swapping as the dominant business model, particularly in high density areas.

As for the grid, it won’t be as big of issue as you’re alluding too given the ultimate moat of Tesla and EVs is AI energy arbitrage. Most battery packs will have enough capacity and range to allow for the impact on the grid of EV mass adoption to be the modulation of the current diurnal load shape.

In short, the transmission side of the grid is currently setup to be able to handle the peak load, generally AC bases load in the summer for most regions. A vast majority of EVs won’t be charging in the grid’s inherent top load hours.

The distribution side will need less than when a new dwelling goes up in a neighborhood. Again most charging will just fill in when that building’s load is far less than its max distributed capability. In the suburbs, think charging when most home loads are either off or able to be dispatched off/on. In the higher density areas, where total miles driven/daily is lower, there’s less nightly charging needs per person, but where the existing distribution network is setup to handle much larger on-peak demand. The needed “buildout” amounts to mostly washer/drier level installs.
 

wdolson

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Cars being AI and part of IoT will help with a lot of these “issues”. In high population density areas, car ownership will likely go down as the next generation of EVs disrupt transportation. That’s assuming the industry doesn’t go towards leasing batteries and battery swapping as the dominant business model, particularly in high density areas.

As for the grid, it won’t be as big of issue as you’re alluding too given the ultimate moat of Tesla and EVs is AI energy arbitrage. Most battery packs will have enough capacity and range to allow for the impact on the grid of EV mass adoption to be the modulation of the current diurnal load shape.

In short, the transmission side of the grid is currently setup to be able to handle the peak load, generally AC bases load in the summer for most regions. A vast majority of EVs won’t be charging in the grid’s inherent top load hours.

The distribution side will need less than when a new dwelling goes up in a neighborhood. Again most charging will just fill in when that building’s load is far less than its max distributed capability. In the suburbs, think charging when most home loads are either off or able to be dispatched off/on. In the higher density areas, where total miles driven/daily is lower, there’s less nightly charging needs per person, but where the existing distribution network is setup to handle much larger on-peak demand. The needed “buildout” amounts to mostly washer/drier level installs.

That was a long time between post and response. I don't have serious concerns about electricity generation unless some people in a rush to be green force fossil fuel power generation plants to close before there are adequate alternatives. The dirty secret the oil refiners try to keep from the public is that it takes 8-16 KWH of electricity from the grid to refine each gallon of gasoline. Most of the oil we're refining today is on the 16 KWH end of that equation. The extra needed can be made up with peaking units running a bit more until we have enough renewables and enough storage.

The big problem with the grid is distribution. Getting the electricity to the cars is going to involve a lot of infrastructure work. My neighbor is a project planner for a commercial electrical contractor and he recently got transferred to the EV charger group. His company is swamped with EV charger installations at apartment and condo complexes as well as shopping centers. It's a doable thing, but it's going to require a lot of infrastructure build out to support the cars.

I've been seeing experts claiming that car ownership is going to go down as self driving tech rolls out. It assumes people always act rationally, and often people don't. As self driving cars become available there will be some people who embrace cheaper ride sharing if governments approve it without requiring a driver to be able to take over at any time, but I'm not sure how many people will refuse to give up their cars. The further from a city core a person lives, the less likely they are to give up their car.

I recently got the MCU-1 replaced on my car and had to go into the Portland Service Center. Tesla said if a loaner wasn't available, they would give me Uber credits. For me it takes about 45 minutes each way to the Service Center and costs me about $0.80 in electricity each way. I looked up what Uber would cost. $86 each way and a 1 hour plus wait to get picked up at my house. I kept delaying the appointment until they had a loaner available. It will be cheaper and quicker to drive myself into Portland for a very, very long time to come.
 
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BlindPass

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That was a long time between post and response. I don't have serious concerns about electricity generation unless some people in a rush to be green force fossil fuel power generation plants to close before there are adequate alternatives.

The big problem with the grid is distribution. Getting the electricity to the cars is going to involve a lot of infrastructure work. My neighbor is a project planner for a commercial electrical contractor and he recently got transferred to the EV charger group. His company is swamped with EV charger installations at apartment and condo complexes as well as shopping centers. It's a doable thing, but it's going to require a lot of infrastructure build out to support the cars.

I've been seeing experts claiming that car ownership is going to go down as self driving tech rolls out. It assumes people always act rationally, and often people don't. As self driving cars become available there will be some people who embrace cheaper ride sharing if governments approve it without requiring a driver to be able to take over at any time, but I'm not sure how many people will refuse to give up their cars. The further from a city core a person lives, the less likely they are to give up their car.
The gen side won’t be an issue, although capacity factors will increase. And mass EV adoption is an existential threat to peaking units, not a benefit. They’ll ultimately run less and become economically unviable with the advent of AI/IoT based storage and virtual power plants. There’s a reason the turbine business has tanked. Energy storage, IoT, and renewables are going to be the death of peakers relatively soon.


You’re calling EV charger installs distribution infrastructure? It that sense every dwelling requires substantial distribution infrastructure. It’s true local electricians and contractors will be busy. Like if a majority of car owners got new dryers installed in their parking spot But the distribution infrastructure won’t need as big of buildout as you’re alluding unless there’s a fundamental change in how EVs are charged.
The grid has problems without EVs en mass, but EVs being mainstream doesn’t add to that anywhere close to linear.

The further a person lives from a city, the less likely they’ll give up owning a car”.

First you’re assuming car ownership is synonymous with having a car. Car ownership will likely go down regardless of area. Second, the further someone lives from a city the less that demographic is in terms of population. Someone 100 miles from a city may be slow to get an EV, but that demographic is so small it’s irrelevant. The contention was car ownership would go down, not that it would be zero.

If EVs are the primary non-commercial transport, it will flatten the daily load curve, not significantly shift it up. At a certain level, the price of oil is prohibitive to a shift occurring. And because it’s not a shift, distribution and transmission are not as stressed. But many people and businesses will be buying some extra hardware for their parking spots, and the ibew will have an extra revenue stream
 

wdolson

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The gen side won’t be an issue, although capacity factors will increase. And mass EV adoption is an existential threat to peaking units, not a benefit. They’ll ultimately run less and become economically unviable with the advent of AI/IoT based storage and virtual power plants. There’s a reason the turbine business has tanked. Energy storage, IoT, and renewables are going to be the death of peakers relatively soon.


You’re calling EV charger installs distribution infrastructure? It that sense every dwelling requires substantial distribution infrastructure. It’s true local electricians and contractors will be busy. Like if a majority of car owners got new dryers installed in their parking spot But the distribution infrastructure won’t need as big of buildout as you’re alluding unless there’s a fundamental change in how EVs are charged.
The grid has problems without EVs en mass, but EVs being mainstream doesn’t add to that anywhere close to linear.

The further a person lives from a city, the less likely they’ll give up owning a car”.

First you’re assuming car ownership is synonymous with having a car. Car ownership will likely go down regardless of area. Second, the further someone lives from a city the less that demographic is in terms of population. Someone 100 miles from a city may be slow to get an EV, but that demographic is so small it’s irrelevant. The contention was car ownership would go down, not that it would be zero.

If EVs are the primary non-commercial transport, it will flatten the daily load curve, not significantly shift it up. At a certain level, the price of oil is prohibitive to a shift occurring. And because it’s not a shift, distribution and transmission are not as stressed. But many people and businesses will be buying some extra hardware for their parking spots, and the ibew will have an extra revenue stream

I'm not sure you are completely understanding me. A lot of the extra electricity demand will be soaked up by the reduction in gasoline refining. I can't find it now, I think it's a Ted talk by a Physics professor from Oxford or Caimbridge who makes the case that renewables are not going to cover all our needs. We will need something in addition. His conclusion was we would need nuclear power. He points out that all renewable sources generate fairly low amounts or power per acre (or whatever measure of space you want to use).

If people continue to resist nuclear power we will continue to burn natural gas to fill in the gap. Ultimately new renewable sources coming online will likely make up for the extra energy needs for EVs (which will be less than the critics think because of the offset from shutting down oil refineries). But in the short term, running peaking units more will have to be done to make up the gaps. The peaking units will need to run at different times than now to cover when EVs are charging.

As far as charging station installations, there will likely not need to be any major changes to the distribution network to support single family home installations, but larger installations like installing charging in every parking spot in an apartment complex will probably require changes upstream from the complex with larger transformers and possibly added capacity at the nearby substation.

Fast charging networks will require even more upstream infrastructure improvements. Something like a supercharger can change the energy needs of a location quite dramatically. The total electricity used is not going to increase all that much as the electricity footprint of the oil industry declines, but where it's used is going to change a lot. That will require changes to distribution networks.

I do expect we'll see some decrease in car ownership, but nowhere near the decrease predicted by the experts. A lot of experts have made long term predictions based on the behaviors of one generation: the Millennials. On average Millennials had less interest in driving and got drivers licenses much later than Boomers and GenX. Experts thought this was a long term trend, but it appears to be a quirk of youth in one generation.

Polls of GenZ teens find they are just as interested in learning to drive and getting their own car as Boomers and GenX were, though they are much more interested in electric cars than any previous generation. As they get older Millennials are learning to drive and buying cars as they move out of city cores and into suburbs to have families.

The bulk of American middle class people live in suburbs and before the pandemic commuted to work in a city. According to this article from just before lock down (Jan 2020). The average commute was a little more than 27 minutes.
This Is the Average Commute Time in Every U.S. State

In the aftermath of the pandemic we may see a little less commuting, but while getting around Portland was a breeze at 3 PM a year ago, it's now back to pre-pandemic traffic levels and both Oregon and Washington are still taking the pandemic seriously.

I have always hated commuting and the last 20 years have managed to arrange things so I can work from home. But before that it seemed like things were always conspiring to make me stuck in traffic somewhere. When I bought my first house in 1989, I deliberately looked in a radius of 20 minutes drive on surface streets to work. I could get to work via mostly residential streets which were rarely backed up.

Then the company moved me to a different location further away and I was stuck on Seattle's bizarre and poorly designed freeway system. After a couple of years of that I left and started doing contracting. All the gigs ended up being 20-30 miles from home and houses closer to where the work was were only available at nosebleed prices so I joined the throngs commuting on the freeways every day.

One of my gigs was with the King County bus system. I learned a lot about mass transit systems. King County suffers from planners with an antiquated vision of where people commute. They seem to think people live in the suburbs and commute to downtown Seattle every day and the entire system is built on that premise. But over half of commute trips are between Seattle suburbs. Microsoft and later other companies built large work places in the eastern suburbs and now there are people from all over the metro area going to those suburbs every day. There are no viable alternatives but to drive those routes yourself, or at best carpool.

If self driving cars without drivers become a reality (something I'm skeptical about), you will probably see more people opt for ride sharing instead of their own car, but people being people, I expect a lot of people are going to stick to their own cars. If individuals have self driving on their own car, they will appreciate that, but they are not going to be reluctant to go with ride sharing.

Psychologically people tend to be more forgiving of their own mess and intolerant of messes from others, especially if they don't know where it came from. Someone might be tolerant of a fast food wrapper in their own car they put there, but if they saw the same thing in a car they weren't familiar with, they would be creeped out. The pandemic has put that paranoia into overdrive. We're going to see a generation or two of heightened germ phobia because of the pandemic.

There probably will be fewer cars on the roads in the future, but it won't be the decrease the experts think. Most of the people who will embrace ride sharing in the future have already given up their cars.
 

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