Seeking Alpha

Glenn Doty

 
View as an RSS Feed
View Glenn Doty's Comments BY TICKER:
Latest comments  |  Highest rated
  • Anti-Hype In Lithium-Ion Batteries Foretells Doom For Electric Cars [View article]
    Renim,

    I don't think that you are doing a very impressive job in convincing people that you have mastered basic mathematics:

    In the lease option, if you take it, you can only drive 12,000 miles/year, lest you pay an additional $0.15/mile surcharge.

    So that's ~1000 miles/month (max) for 39 months. For the Leaf, you pay $3000 upfront (and the hapless taxpayer is forced to pay $7500 because you want to buy a toy). Then you pay $289/month for 39 months. At ~35 kWh/100 miles and $0.10/kWh... and assuming exactly 1000 miles/month (the lowest total cost/mile you can achieve), you would pay a total of $0.324/mile to drive a leaf. Including the upfront cost, after 39 months, you'd have paid $15,636 to drive 39,000 miles.

    At that point, you still owe $16,233 on the balance of the car.

    The Versa, on the other hand, would cost $2000 upfront, and then would cost $179/month... again limited to 1000 miles/month.
    Assuming 30 mpg, then that would require 33 gallons of gasoline/month - or $133/month at $4/gallon. So, again assuming 1000 miles/month, the total cost is $312/month, or $.0.312/mile for 39,000 miles over 39 months.

    Including the initial payment, you will have paid $14,168 over 39 months for the Versa... So here you see the consumer would have paid $2,063 less during the terms of the lease, and the hapless taxpayer would have been forced to pay $7500 less!

    But after the lease, if you went with the Leaf, you'd still have to pay $16,523, while with the Versa you'd only have to pay an additional $9,306.

    In short, you merely prove John's point that all EV fanatics are severely mathematically challenged. For those that have mastered high-school level math the calculations above should have taken a matter of ~30 seconds after reading the terms of the competing lease options.
    May 29 10:43 AM | 26 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Anti-Hype In Lithium-Ion Batteries Foretells Doom For Electric Cars [View article]
    Surf Dog,

    The tragedy here is that by supporting EV's, you are significantly increasing pollution and GHG emissions over what would be if you spent less money on an HEV.

    I hate EV's BECAUSE I am an informed environmentalist. You are polluting more because you are an uninformed environmentalist that has been duped by hype.
    May 29 12:12 PM | 22 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Economies Of Scale In Battery And EV Manufacturing [View article]
    manfredthree,

    Please explain to us how the "market" is telling us that EV's are not irrelevant. Last month saw ~7000 plug-in vehicles, of which ~4600 were plug-in hybrids, not full EV's.

    All of the above received $7500/vehicle in federal credits, and as much as $5000 in state credits, and were given a license to ignore HOV lane requirements - insuring in all cases that they would be far worse for the environment than ICE vehicles. In almost all cases the vehicle companies are discounting the vehicles and/or offering steep promotions to try to push them off the lot.

    So with as much as $12,500 in government bribes, an unknown amount of company promotional bribes, and the great bribe of being allowed to break environmentally helpful laws... roughly 0.4% of the vehicles sold are plug-ins.

    I don't see how this is the "market" saying these cars are not irrelevant. It says to me that with a high enough bribe, even the most absurd POS that has ever been imagined can still be sold to a very small percentage of the people.
    Dec 17 10:40 AM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas: Look Out Below [View article]
    Moody,

    This is your third article - that I've noticed - that essentially says the same thing. And you're still wrong.

    As with the previous two entries that I responded to, you fail to engage the market with the assumption that the players are rational. NG producers have no interest in providing you with free methane, nor do they wish to sell methane at a loss. They are taking drastic and rapid steps to reduce the glut that was caused by an unnexpectedly hot winter. By winter, the glut will have been erased, production will be significantly lower than last winter, institutional power demand will be higher, and we will have seen the market overcorrect, with gas comfortably being sold ~$5/mcf.

    Until you assume that the NG players are rational and have a desire to make a profit, you are going to continue to be wrong, and you will continue to completely misunderstand and misrepresent the NG industry:

    http://seekingalpha.co...
    Jul 27 12:03 PM | 21 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Anti-Hype In Lithium-Ion Batteries Foretells Doom For Electric Cars [View article]
    Kershinsky,

    I've gone into greater detail in the past... and I may have time to go back and cut-and-paste some of those analyses... But for now, quickly:

    When you plug in a new electrical demand, ADDITIONAL electricity must be supplied in order to satisfy that demand. There's no new water coming into a river to increase hydroelectricity, no new wind suddenly appears to produce more wind power, they certainly don't ramp up nuclear power plants to follow the load, there's no blanketed solar panels that can have the blankets ripped off to provide more energy (at night...), etc...

    So the new electricity must be from natural gas or coal - in both cases there's plenty of spare capacity and those sources can be ramped up.

    Coal produces ~1 kg of CO2/kWh just at the coal power plant. That doesn't count the energy used to blow up a mountain, mine the coal, collect it, pulverize it, and transport it.

    Natural gas - largely due to methane leaks - is typically rated at ~700 g-CO2e (though only ~350-400 g-CO2) / kWh.

    So if coal is the power source, a Nissan Leaf results in the emission of ~37-45 kg of CO2e/100 miles - before upstream coal emissions are considered.

    A Prius gets 50 mpg. Gasoline has a total life-cycle emission of between 10 and 14 kg-CO2e/gallon. That DOES include drilling, extracting, transporting, refining, and distributing. 14 kg-CO2e/gallon is the life-cycle emissions of gasoline derived from the Athabasca tar sands. ~10 kg is the life-cycle emissions from a Saudi super-oil play. The U.S. average life-cycle emissions from gasoline are ~12.5 kg-CO2/kg.

    So a Prius driven 100 miles has a total emission (INCLUDING upstream resource extraction) of between 20 and 28 kg-CO2e.

    Hence, before considering upstream coal extraction emissions, and before bothering with the much higher sulfur, lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, radioactive isotope, and black carbon emissions resulting from coal... a Prius running on tar sands fuel is already cleaner than a Nissan Leaf that runs on 50% coal.

    We haven't even scratched the surface here... but the deeper you go, the worse EV's are compared to HEV's.
    May 29 02:56 PM | 20 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Anti-Hype In Lithium-Ion Batteries Foretells Doom For Electric Cars [View article]
    Dave_M

    I happen to agree with the President's push to eliminate $4 billion in tax loopholes that are taken by the oil and gas industry by virtue of stretching existing tax law. The $4 billion that the president is targetting does appear to be valid examples of a rule that taken out of context and unfairly used to give subsidies that were not intended nor needed.

    But that $4 billion - total - is from an industry that is currently extracting several hundred billion cubic feet of gas and over 300 million bbls of oil per month from U.S. soil. The total value of the combined product is ~ a half a trillion per year. If you only consider the oil (which is flagrantly disregarding more than half of the product), that works out to less than one dollar/bbl of oil. That oil is used by all of society, and is critical to our national economy and our national security.

    The EV, on the other hand, serves no purpose to society nor the economy... and the current federal subsidies are $7500/vehicle plus several billion dollars/20,000 vehicles. These subsidies stack up to well over $100/bbl of gasoline offset (all of the energy of which must then be replaced by either coal or natural gas).

    So we're complaining about subsidies that goes to individual wealthy people and serves no purpose to society, and you respond by complaining about a subsidy that is less than ONE PERCENT of the subsidies that caught our ire, and goes towards a product that equally helps all of society.
    May 29 11:47 AM | 13 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Anti-Hype In Lithium-Ion Batteries Foretells Doom For Electric Cars [View article]
    mkjaykumar:

    First: http://1.usa.gov/wlmWTa rates the 2012 Leaf at 34 kWh/100 miles. That doesn't factor in charging losses - which are ~10% for slow charging and ~25% for fast charging. So you are correct, I was wrong on this metric.. I was understating it. It should have been either 37 kWh/100 miles or 45 kWh/100 miles depending on charging assumptions. I'm not interested in discussing your manufactured numbers.

    Second: as far as maintenance goes, in this discussion we're talking about the first 39 months of ownership in which a driver would not travel more than 39,000 miles. So the maintenance in question would be 13 oil changes ($390), 2 air filter replacements ($20), and 7 tire rotations ($140).
    The Leaf would also require 7 tire rotations ($140).
    So the total difference in maintenance costs is $410 over the length of time we're talking about.

    Third, if you drive more than 1000 miles/month then you pay a penalty of $0.15/mile... so no, you don't see an advantage by driving more miles. You simply aren't following the discussion.

    Fourth: a really good GPS system costs ~$100. Most people have nav software on their phone, which they are already running hands-free through the speakers to get Pandora or IHEARTRADIO.. Saying a cheap and redundant system justifies a $2000 difference in cost to the consumer and a $7500 difference to the hapless taxpayer doesn't make much sense to me.

    FIFTH: The Leaf has a slower acceleration rate than the Versa, they have similar interior room, and are both hatchbacks.
    May 29 01:37 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Wind And Solar Power Are Polluting The Commons [View article]
    We should outlaw cats... They kill thousands of times as many birds as wind turbines do.

    We should also outlaw buildings, which kill thousands of times as many birds as well.

    Wind turbines kill bats - because they cannot SEE the blades - but I don't think anyone is going to claim that bats are endangered (even if they are quite cool).
    Oct 24 08:05 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Batteries Are Too Valuable To Waste On Solar Power Integration And Electric Cars [View article]
    Oz_Rob,

    Here you seem to be mistaking ICP oil shale for regular oil from shale formations. Oil shale will likely never be widely developed - as GTL (and WindFuels) are more economically viable than the oil shale production.

    But what is happening with the horizontal drilling/fracking is an increase in the production of traditional crude from oil formations. The crude in this case was previously not economically viable because its in numerous small pockets - sort of a honeycomb - throughout the shale. By fracturing the rock strata, a single well can tap hundreds of these pockets, allowing a very large recovery from a single drilling.

    You are talking about the Shell process of actually heating the hydrocarbons within the rock itself until they gradually flow into recovery wells. That's a completely different process for different geology, different crude, and a different economy.
    Mar 11 04:21 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The True Genius Of Tesla [View article]
    MOTS,

    I have no need nor inclination of apologizing to you. I stated you were lying when you had the audacity to claim third party confirmation and then question my own relationship with people who I consider friends in the business world. If you actually did waste a phone call to confirm prices for irrelevant-scale production model equipment, that's your business. I wasn't questioning your prices on small scale devices. Those were valid, they were simply irrelevant. Your claim that my stated business relationships were not as I said due to the fact that you had "placed a phone call" is nothing short of a lie, and that makes you a liar.

    Get over yourself.

    As for your ramblings about prices, I can give you a hint: the sun doesn't shine on a single region of the Earth 8760 hours/day. It doesn't work that way. Solar systems are rated under the assumption of 1kW/m2 insolation (you can feel free to look this up). That is achieved at noon on the equator on a cloudless day. Any other time or latitude is going to have lower insolation.

    Year-round average insolation across the Earth: ~250 W/m2. Average insolation for Southern California in December: ~150 W/m2.

    Assuming you actually wanted to use solar power, using a system which requires 60 kWh/kg of hydrogen, and assuming a usage of 2 kg/day of hydrogen, you would require a 33+ kW system, which means the electrolyzer would have to be 33 kW.

    If you wished to have some buffer against rainy days, you would need even greater power for your electrolyzer, and a larger storage vessel.

    The first time the subject came up. You were assuming first an electrolyzer, then a fuel cell to produce electricity for an EV. If that is the case, then a 5 kW fuel cell would allow you to charge a Tesla-class vehicle in 8-16 hours. Assuming you'd like to achieve faster charging, you'd need a bigger fuel cell as well. But I was merely correcting your disillusions regarding your assumed prices for electrolyzers when I responded.

    It's clear you are out of your depth. Please learn more about the technology that you are advocating, as it makes honest advocacy - like that which I've tried to do for alternative energy my whole life - more difficult.
    Dec 31 09:24 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Economies Of Scale In Battery And EV Manufacturing [View article]
    (I don't know why... but I LIKE feeding trolls... Maybe I just like tweaking them.)

    Teddy,

    Your idealistic notion is not possible. It's like saying "if you were going to design a society, would you choose one that was anchored to the ground or one with buildings floating in midair where people can fly from one building to the other".

    How are you going to move the millions of tons of earth and tens of thousands of tons of steel in order to make the hydroelectric dam? How are you going to spool the thousands of tons of electricity wire out to the homes? Why would there even BE homes, if there's no roads or electricity wire until the slaves get through dragging millions of tons of rock with ropes (the Great Pyramid of Giza took a workforce of 30,000 slaves over 20 years to construct - no fossil fuels required... but the Grand Coulee Dam is a full order of magnitude larger than that, so it would take 300,000 slaves 20 years, or 30,000 slaves over 2 centuries).

    I think if I was "starting over and building a society from scratch", the society would have dragons and a powerful magic system... Clearly our current way of doing things WITHOUT magic is stupid!

    ;)
    Dec 20 09:09 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Understanding Economies Of Scale In Battery And EV Manufacturing [View article]
    Anderlan,

    I don't know who your comment was directed to, but I'll respond:
    http://seekingalpha.co...

    Coal is more than twice as carbon intensive per unit thermal energy as crude oil is, and there is considerably higher upstream emissions in the extraction of coal compared to crude. Refining averages 88-90% efficiency.

    But the kicker is that coal power is generated at an average of 31% efficiency. New ultra-supercritical pulverized coal (U-SCPC) plants might operate at as high as 45% efficiency, but you've probably protested those - preventing them from being built, which means we're still stuck with older plants pumping out an average efficiency of 31%. Then you have a further line loss of 7%, and a charging loss of 8%.

    All told, the final emissions from coal via an EV works out to not less than 1.3 kg-CO2/kWh. The total emissions - including extraction, transportation, filtration, refining, distribution, and of course combustion - of gasoline in the U.S. averages 12.8 kg-CO2/gallon.

    There is absolutely no scenario in which an EV does not vastly exceed the emissions of a similarly sized/similarly powered ICE... In all cases simply NON-PLUG-IN hybrids are the best option.
    Dec 17 04:43 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Anti-Hype In Lithium-Ion Batteries Foretells Doom For Electric Cars [View article]
    mkjayakumar,

    If the Versa owner was faced with a surcharge for driving 11,000 miles beyond the prescribed limit, he could choose to avoid those charges by paying the balance of the vehicle and a purchase fee - totaling $9306.

    If the Leaf owner was faced with the same choice - HIS balance would be $16,523. That's a $7,000 difference in the price of a vehicle with 50,000 miles on it.

    I guess you can pay the balance if you want to. *shrug*. At least THAT - for once - won't require me to pay for your desire to be "cool".
    May 29 03:07 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Confessions Of An EV Pioneer Turned Heretic [View article]
    Gausmus,

    I have no problem with government using subsidies to alter the market. The problem that I have is PRODUCT oriented subsidies rather than GOAL oriented subsidies.

    I think it shows maturity for government to be concerned about some of the problems caused by emissions. These "externalities" are unpriced and cost society fortunes in health, infrastructure, national security, and other costs... But when government says "I'll give you $7500 to buy a Chevy Volt - which you will use to save ~120 gallons of gasoline/year and replace another ~180 gallons of gasoline/year with coal, but I'll give you exactly $0.00 dollars for buying a Prius, which you would use to reduce the consumption of 160 gallons of gasoline per year...
    In cases like that, the government isn't trying to offer subsidies to help offset some of the externalities of other products (which might be more competitive though they result in more cost to society)... They are simply subsidizing a product that some politician decided was "cool".

    THAT is the problem. I doubt anyone here would object if a subsidy was offered for vehicles which had better gas consumption than CAFE standards, and that subsidy was available to all vehicles in direct proportion to the gas savings... There the government would subsidize a GOAL - reducing fuel consumption. But instead if you want to reduce fuel consumption and buy a Prius (50 mpg), you're on your own, while they'd shovel thousands of dollars towards you for buying a Nissan Leaf.... That's subsidizing a product, and reeks of corruption.

    I think that's what we have problems with.
    May 4 09:26 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Lithium-Ion A Borgia Battery? [View article]
    Maxiedog,

    Let's use actual numbers, rather than rant-type assertions.

    Do you know how large the testing chamber that exploded was? That would go a long way towards clearing this up... If the testing chamber was 1000 m3 or so, then you'd clearly be correct. But that's unlikely.

    One mole of gas would require ~25 L of volume at standard temperature and pressure. So in order to achieve ~50,000 ppm (5%), in a 1000 L (1 m3) chamber, you'd need ~2 moles of H2S... That means you'd need 2 moles of sulfur in the battery, or ~64 g. I can easily see sulfur comprising 1/10,000 of the mass of a battery without the battery being a sulfur based battery... So clearly an explosion COULD occur at trace sulfur levels.

    However, you specified MAJOR explosion. H2S has an enthalpy of combustion of ~590 kJ/mole... So in the above explosion there would be only ~1.2 MJ, or about 1/30th the energy from burning a single gallon of gasoline. But gasoline is not explosive. You are essentially not increasing the number of gas molecules, so the only pressure differential comes from the excitation of molecules from added heat... So gasoline isn't a good comparison.

    TNT would tend to exaggerate in the other direction, but at least it explodes. To get the explosive power of a kg of TNT, you would need 7 moles of H2S... and to scale up in explosive power you would obviously need to scale up by factors of 7.

    A major explosion that could harm 5 people might be 10 kg of TNT in a relatively small air-tight space, or 70 moles of H2S, requiring 2.24 kg of sulfur... At this point, we still haven't achieved 0.5% of the mass of the battery, but it's starting to look a little dubious.

    I'd say that the results of this thought experiment are not conclusive.
    Apr 23 09:45 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
1,116 Comments
1,267 Likes