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The Economist: The Coming Revolution in Transport

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Branzo90D, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. Branzo90D

    Branzo90D Salt and Pepper

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  2. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    It starts out with the flat out false assertion that EVs powered by today's power grid pollute more than ICE vehicles, and then talks about how battery prices can't compete with oil without being cut to a third of their current value, while quoting a price 3 times the estimate of what Tesla pays for it's batteries...

    Not impressed.

    The only saving grace is that even this anti-ev hit piece had no choice but to conclude that EVs are inevitable, and if the anti-ev crowd is saying that, I guess EVs have already won.
     
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  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    As stated in that article, those assertions are from a recent paper entitled “Will We Ever Stop Using Fossil Fuels?”, Thomas Covert and Michael Greenstone of the University of Chicago, and Christopher Knittel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    But I think you read the article too quickly. It says, quote:

    "Those estimates may be too conservative, but the high cost of batteries and their short range help explain why EVs still make up only 0.1% of the global car fleet (though getting to 1m of them last year was a milestone). They are still mostly too expensive for all but wealthy clean-energy pioneers. Many experts dismiss the idea that EVs will soon be able seriously to disrupt oil demand. Yet they may be missing something. Battery costs have fallen by 80% since 2008, and though the rate of improvement may be slowing, EV sales last year rose by 70%, to 550,000. They actually fell in America, probably because of low petrol prices, but tripled in China, which became the world’s biggest EV market...Next year Tesla aims to bring out its more affordable Model 3. It hopes that the cost of the batteries mass-produced at its new Gigafactory in Nevada will come down to below $100 per kWh by 2020 (see chart), and that they will offer a range of 215 miles (350km) on a single charge."
     
  4. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Yeah, they spend most of the article saying that EVs are too expensive and too polluting, and then throw that in at the end to try to pretend to be "balanced", sorry, I don't buy it.
     
  5. bkp_duke

    bkp_duke Member

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    Piss poor research done in this article. The key to their decision tree is the cost of production of EV batteries, and they don't even have the correct (publicly reported by Tesla) value of < $190 per kWh as of April 2016.
     
  6. CSFTN

    CSFTN Member

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    #6 CSFTN, Nov 27, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
    The source article, upon which the Economists' article is based, is available at American Economic Association
    It will take some time to study, but the data set used is available: I am very curious as to the age of the data analyzed. I would bet it took a t least 1 year to gather, analyze, write and edit the article, submit for publishing, re-edit, resubmit, and send off to the printer. So, the data likely is at LEAST a year old (although I haven't actually looked yet!). If I find it is, I may email the original authors and see if they have an update ....

    PS Appendix available online shows that the article was last edited January 2016. So, there's absolutely no question that the data is at least 1 year old.
     
  7. CSFTN

    CSFTN Member

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    For the fun of it, I just emailed the source article authors:

    Sirs:
    I recent have read your excellent analysis of our use of fossil fuels. Thank you for this information. It comes to light with the recent article in The Economist, which references your article extensively.
    I note that the last time you edited was January 2016, and I think its fair to state that the field is changing rapidly. As we now are approaching 1 year since you last edited the article, I would like to ask: have any significant details changed? Particularly in light of the radical change in supply mostly via fracking, the much cleaner state of the American electrical supply mostly thru the increasing use of natural gas and the decrease in use of coal, and the tremendous decrease in the cost of batteries (both Tesla and GM quote that their CURRENT cost of batteries is < $200/kWh, which is at least 40% less than in previous analyses. Tesla has stated that once their battery factory is opened that the price will drop at least another 30%.)
    I look forward to your response.
     
  8. S'toon

    S'toon Knows where his towel is

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    #8 S'toon, Nov 27, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
    They didn't note that it takes electricity to refine oil into gasoline. It takes fuel to transport that gasoline to the gas station. They didn't note that gasoline engines are only 20% efficient.

    Hmmm.
    Occo Roelofsen | McKinsey & Company
     
  9. CSFTN

    CSFTN Member

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  10. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Their "dirty electricity" argument is also complete BS, and always has been. In areas that are predominantly coal powered it STILL doesn't quite work out that way, let alone looking at the average grid. This is likely from one of the many flawed studies that assume electricity starts out as un-mined coal, but that gasoline magically appears fully refined in tanks beneath the gas station.
     
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