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The environment and our emissions - who cares?

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by timpoo, May 5, 2015.

  1. timpoo

    timpoo Member

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    I do.

    TL;DR version: Choose renewable energy to "fuel" your Tesla. I chose Powershop who have a special deal for EV drivers: Electric Vehicles Special Offer - Powershop, a better power company

    ---

    I know I've raised this before - but now that the Model S has well and truly launched in Australia, it's time to bring it up again.

    We all buy the car for different reasons - power, looks, prestige, tech or environment, it doesn't matter - that's up to you.

    What else is up to you? How environmentally friendly the Model S is.

    In the short/medium term, the dominating pure EV on the road will be the Tesla Model S or X. That means a lot of eyes will be turning towards us, as early adopters, to gauge the environmental impact EVs have in Australia.

    You've heard the criticisms: oh well you're just running on coal so that's bad. Most recently, an article has come out saying that Teslas in Victoria are ABOVE the national average in terms of emissions: Teslas in Victoria arent greener than diesels

    If these criticisms continue unchallenged, and most importantly if we make decisions that substantiate such criticisms, we will delay the mass adoption of EVs in Australia, and provide ammo to entrenched fossil fuel and automotive interests.

    I know many of you have solar, and many of you also source your electricity from renewable sources - and I think that's awesome.

    I, unfortunately, cannot get solar, so the only thing I can do is to ensure that, as much as possible, the money I spend on electricity goes to companies that are dedicated to renewable energy.

    There are a few around, but one has recently come out with a special deal just for EV drivers: Powershop. I'm sure you've seen the offer around, but I'm putting it here just in case you haven't.

    Powershop are offering a free upgrade to 100% GreenPower for all EV drivers for the first year. Link here: Electric Vehicles Special Offer - Powershop, a better power company

    I have no commercial affiliation with Powershop, but I am a Powershop customer. I know many on this forum already are as well.

    Not only do all profits go back into renewable energy projects (mostly windfarms), but using Powershop doesn't actually cost me more, it costs me less. They don't have a separate connection fee, and your consumption charge goes down with higher electricity use. So because we use more electricity than the normal household, our average consumption charge is low, even without off-peak rates.

    EVs will be a major driver of electricity demand going forward - it is in fact one of the saving graces of the large scale utility. Pushing for renewable energy as the only electricity source we use, means more renewable energy investment in the long term, helping to clean up our grid.

    EVs are the only form of automotive transport that get cleaner as we move towards a renewable energy future. Fossil fuels will always be fossil fuels.

    By driving EVs, we have the power to bring the renewable energy future closer, sooner. If there is no economic detriment, I think we have a responsibility to do just that.

    /rant
     
  2. brewster

    brewster Member

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    I'll look into this once I get my Tesla toward the end of the year I guess.
    I do have 5kW PV and export Solar to the grid more than I use in importing coal at off-peak, so I convince myself I'm doing my bit to green the grid.
    I have a Volt so I do use more Electricity than I did prior, but not a great deal as I'm retired now. My daily commute if you could call it that is only about 5-10 km.
    I intend to visit family more often when I get my Model S. Melbourne, Kaniva, Canberra, Bribie Island. As well as frequent holidaying :)
     
  3. meloccom

    meloccom Moderator Aus/NZ

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    The catch is as an existing Power Shop customer I don't qualify. :crying:
     
  4. timpoo

    timpoo Member

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    I would have a chat with Powershop about that! They are pretty nice :)
     
  5. Blue heaven

    Blue heaven Member

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    Timpoo- You gotta love the old " but its a coal powered car" quote from the knockers.
    lets just say I'm no fan of coal, the sooner this planet stops using it the better, but progress takes time.
    I understand a lot of EV owners offset with solar or other cleaner energy but the "coal" quote still gets thrown about, so here are a few things to think about:
    Australia imports most of its Oil, in massive supertankers burning huge quantities of bunker fuel that emits sulpher laced exhaust, it then gets refined using large amounts of energy, followed by transport to servo's using Diesel thats gone through the same process, the old dirty brown coal fired power station doesn't look so bad after all.

    so the next time you get the "coal power" treatment how about returning with:

    I would rather use electricity from Australian coal employing Australians than sending my petrol money overseas.

    Oh, so the refinery that produced your petrol/diesel is solar powered?

    At least the power grid will get cleaner, your ICE car will most lkely get dirtier.
     
  6. Higgy

    Higgy Member

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    In regard to the source I endorse the move to Powershop - not only cheaper but one company that SUPPORTS the RET - even if it was more expensive I would support it on principle.

    I just looked at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQpX-9OyEr4

    Based on the guestimate from this video the electricity used to refine 1 litre of petrol is 1.2 kwh of electricity. This makes petrol extremely dirty - dirty in its own right as well as in electricity used.

    Not sure what the situation is in Singapore where our petrol comes from - but assuming it is coal powered then this makes petrol doubly bad. The refineries in 2015 may be more efficient - but the whole oil production, shipping and distribution system also consumes energy so I would be interested in seeing a production well to refining to car delivery analysis.

    The BMW 7 series V8 travels 11.6 km per litre. The MB S class AMG around 10 km / litre. By my reckoning a litre of petrol consumes enough electricity to drive the Tesla 7.5 km - not quite as far but, if we added in the other energy distribution costs, it may be that the overall electricity used extracting, refining and delivering a litre of petrol is greater than that used to drive the Tesla the equivalent distance.

    Looking at it another way the Tesla uses only 25% more electricity than the electricity used in refining petrol - let alone any energy used in distribution.

    I think I am safe telling people that there is as much electricity used in producing, refining and delivering a litre of fuel that the Tesla uses to drive an equivalent instance.
     
  7. baillies

    baillies Member

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    Interesting video, you may want to check this AU fuel usage calculator http://www.greenvehicleguide.gov.au/GVGPublicUI/Search.aspx it seems to show around a 10% increase in CO2 due to fuel production and transport. Regardless you can never reduce pollution in an ICE car but you can choose to use green power to run an EV.

    <rant
    Regardless to me a major reason for looking at EV's over ICE is the air pollution not just CO2, petrol fumes are toxic and so are the exhaust gases. I have a house with an attached/connected garage and I do not like the fumes from the car coming into the house. I bought a battery lawnmower and will buy an EV to reduce the fumes in my house.

    I think if all vehicles on the roads where electric I would also be much happier catching public transport, last time I caught a bus from Lane Cove Road I really disliked the noise and fumes whilst waiting. I also consider electric buses would be a better long term solution for Sydney than the current push for light rail.
    </rant>
     
  8. timpoo

    timpoo Member

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    That's a really good point baillies.

    For our business, because we drive EVs, our office can actually be located in the same warehouse where we park our cars...because there's no fumes. It's pretty hilarious when I jump out of the car and straight onto my desk :D

    Oh and we also "fuel" up our cars next to our desk.

    It's quite incredible and very exciting :)
     
  9. baillies

    baillies Member

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    Fantastic, my work still has an enclosed warehouse with gas forklifts so you must be from some future utopia!
     
  10. LGGD

    LGGD Active Member

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    View attachment 80389
    Speaking of Singapore. Just spent a week with this as my view. What you can see is the Shell Bukom Island refinery. Most likely the source of a fair percentage of our fuel here in Australia. Beautiful spot (Sentosa Island not Bukom Island) but looking at that refinery day in and day out really drives home the reality of emissions from refining and transporting fuel. It makes it real in a way that we don't usually experience here in Australia. Oh, and Singapore's electricity is 90% LNG and 10% oil apparently.
     
  11. WA-T3sla

    WA-T3sla Member

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    might get a bit slippery in the office when it rains?
     
  12. Higgy

    Higgy Member

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    Hi LGGD, the photo seems to be missing...
     
  13. LGGD

    LGGD Active Member

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    Strange. It was there. I'll try again.

    image.jpg
     
  14. brewster

    brewster Member

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    Looking closer at switching to Powershop now as Model S draws closer.

    Can someone shed some light on the 6c/kWh extra payable to ensure you are using 'renewable energy'.
    I import about 3300 kWh per year so about $200 extra with the 6c premium.

    • Does this go toward renewable energy certificates?
    • Will it always be 6c?
    • How did 'they' determine the 6c extra cost. (why not 7c or 5c)
    • As the grid gets greener will the 6c decrease to eventually 0c or more with Tony and his coal or has that nothing to do with it?
    • When the grid is 50% or more renewables will that extra cost still be warranted?
    As you can tell I'm quite confused on how it all works. :confused:
     
  15. Gabz

    Gabz Member

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  16. MCW

    MCW Member

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    Hi Brewster,

    I just got off the phone from Powershop - even though I joined a couple of months ago when Timpoo gave the link to the free first year upgrade to green power for EV owners, the person who joined me over the phone didn't know about this deal and so I just received the $75 discount.

    I was worried that this would mean I would spend actually quite a bit more even taking into account the $75 discount (although the discount comes to about $140 so not much more than the initial $75) and so asked to have this switched to the "green electric drive" option which they have just done in addition to allowing the $75 discount!

    My understanding is that this extra ~5c I think if one buys online green saver (and no increase cost to standard rate if click on Timpoo's original link) does go toward renewable energy certificates and that I suspect that the cost differential will decrease as more renewable energy is used/technology improves/gets cheaper; I personally think that the extra cost will be warranted until grid is virtually entirely renewable like in NZ but just my opinion...

    In summary, I would highly recommend Powershop and have really enjoyned entering in twice daily meter readings (in preparation of how much home battery storage to get to cover the peak night time use) and seeing where my energy is being used on our 3 phase system. We have already halved our energy use by realising that plug in heaters use a lot more than Air con and teaching the kids to turn off the lights especially those IXL bathroom heating lights.
     
  17. timpoo

    timpoo Member

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    Hi guys just thought I'd add a bit:

    - Powershop is a renewable energy company in the sense that they are owned by Meridian, a large wind farm electricity generation company. All of the money made by Powershop goes into Meridian, which uses it to build more wind power projects. So basically you're supporting renewable energy
    - All of Powershop's electricity supply is offset using a United Nations carbon offset program (that is all power, regardless of which pack you buy)

    Having said that, because of the way the National Electricity Market works, you can't guarantee that your electricity is coming from renewable sources. To combat that, the government introduced what Gabz said above as "Greenpower". This is the extra cost on top of your normal electricity that goes to buying renewable energy certificates, which is then used to buy renewable energy from the generator of renewable energy (whether it be Hydro, Wind, Solar etc). This is a roundabout way of allowing shoppers buy renewable energy, without providing them with a direct mechanism.

    Powershop's offer is to give EV drivers this Greenpower for free for a year (up to a certain usage). But even if you didn't go with that option, you're still buying power that supports renewable energy.

    Powershop also isn't the only company to offer renewable energy - check out Momentum Energy for example as well.
     
  18. paulp

    paulp Member

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    I'm putting some additional solar panels on the roof this Friday, sufficient to charge the tesla based on theoretical annual use. For our use it only needs 10 panels, so not a huge cost, less than a years worth of petrol!
    In SA we dont get off peak power rates if we have solar panels in place (which we do) so the power cost is substantial and the same all day and night, although a lot less than petrol.
     
  19. mhh

    mhh Member

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    I don't particularly care how my electricity gets made. I've got several petrol cars too and I intend to keep using them. I'm attracted to new and cool gadgets. Maybe ownership will change me!
     

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