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  • Understanding Economies Of Scale In Battery And EV Manufacturing [View article]

    The EPA rates the Tesla S to use 38 kWh/100 miles. So that would be 49.4 kg-CO2 / 100 miles.

    A vehicle that achieved 27 mpg would average a total of 47.4 kg-CO2 / 100 miles.

    If the goal is a reduction of GHG emissions, there are literally hundreds of models that achieve lower emissions than the Tesla S. Yet corruption has lead to a situation in which the Tesla S gets $15,000 in subsidies in order for the driver to select a vehicle which pollutes far more than literally hundreds of other options. The Prius, obviously, emits almost half as much CO2 (and 0.1%-1% of the sulfides, halides, salts, and radioactive compounds) per mile that are emitted when someone takes their 3-ton Tesla S for a spin.

    Why does the horrible environmentally destructive option get the subsidies?

    To make matters worse, when you PARK a Tesla S, it requires yet more fossil power to keep the battery from bricking, so every hour that the vehicle is not moving it is also doing significant damage to the environment, while of course the Prius is not... so the 23 hours/day the car is not driving, it's burning a couple hundred watts (~195 g-CO2/hour) just so the dumb thing can remain parked. If we assume 40 miles/day driven an average of 1 hour/day... then the Tesla S will cause the emission of ~24.2 kg-CO2/day. A similar driving regimen for the Prius would result in an emission of 10.24 kg-CO2/day.

    The Prius has manufacturing carbon load of ~9000 kg-CO2. The Tesla S has a manufacturing carbon load of ~14,000-20,000 kg-CO2 (estimates vary, no solid data has been obtained).

    So, assuming a 10-year ownership then the scrapheap, the Tesla S will result in ~105 tons - CO2. A Prius with similar driving patterns would result in ~46 tons - CO2.

    Not to mention the fact that the Tesla will result in hundreds if not thousandsfold greater emissions of sulfides, toxic halides, and other horrible emissions associated with coal.

    Yet we give bribes specifically to entice people who might be interested in an environmentally sound option to buy horribly polluting nightmares like Tesla S's

    What is WRONG with you that you are not upset about this?
    Dec 19 09:37 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Electric Vehicle Battery Grants, 3 Years Of Disappointment And Failure [View article]

    I think here we'll all find a rare moment of agreement.

    I remember in 2004 the tax code had been favorable enough that a company could get a heavy SUV for free if it was used exclusively for work - hence the popularity of the "Hummer" lines and their equivalent. I was under the impression that those tax advantages were eliminated - I think it was 2007... but I guess they were simply reduced.

    Nonetheless, we can all agree that subsidies which encourage businesses to choose large SUV's rather than small SUV's or smaller cars - is disgusting.

    But that doesn't justify the EV subsidy... it's just pointing to something else that is also disgusting. Just because you can point at someone else who is rolling around in human feces doesn't make it NOT HORRIBLE if you defecate in the middle of a restaurant. If it's indefensible, it doesn't become defensible by you pointing at something that is worse.

    Oct 30 02:05 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How Wind And Solar Power Are Polluting The Commons [View article]

    In 2011 ERCOT hit the $3000/MWh wall on 21 separate days. It's pretty easy to imagine that solar will serve well in TX. During the heat wave/drought for that year, two coal plants had to SHUT DOWN nightly just to allow their lakes to cool! There was talk that as much as 10 GW of additional fossil power might have to start throttling back due to water concerns.

    Solar is a no-brainer in the face of that threat. A single drought/heat-wave of that level once per decade would justify a 10% penetration of solar at current install costs. But ERCOT is kind of unique case in that... and Texas is both red enough and stubborn enough that there's still no significant movement towards solar.

    400 MW of solar would probably work out to ~700 GWh/year, which is ~0.1% of the amount of energy generated/year in TX.

    It's going to be a long time before solar really matters in this country - even in grids like ERCOT where it clearly makes sense.
    Oct 22 06:39 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Knight Capital Group: An Object Lesson In Emergency Financing [View article]

    Thank you... That was the last bit of info that I could find as well. So as of August 2, Tesla was producing 1.4 cars/day.

    I guess I perceived that number as "similar to the 1 car/day that John and Rick were discussing", and you perceived that number as "well beyond" 1 car/day.

    Perception is a funny thing.
    Aug 8 10:24 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Natural Gas Production Could Be Curtailed By Drought [View article]

    We agree that natural gas prices are certainly going to rise - that has to do with rig counts and production rates...

    But while there's been some political nonsense about water used for fracking, 12 million gallons is what an irrigated corn field of ~100 acres consumes in a single day. While the drought is absolutely catastrophic for agriculture, this really doesn't impact fracked gas that much.

    To put it into perspective, they are complaining because they are now forced to pay nearly a dollar per bbl of water, that's only 2.5 cents/gallon. Using the cnn number of 12 Mgal/well, that costs ~$300,000 for water rather than $120,000 for water. They are paying well over a million per day just to rent the drilling rig, plus millions in infrastructure to pipe the well into the gas distribution system. An extra $180,000 per well isn't even enough to notice. It would amortize out to ~a few cents/mcf.

    Right now they're irritated because they are having to secure new sources of water, which is a hassle... but it seems like a tempest in a teapot to me. Last year they faced similar issues in Texas on the Eagle Ford, and they TRUCKED in water to keep drilling.
    Aug 2 08:21 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Winter Is Coming - Natural Gas Prices Must Rise [View article]
    A quick update...

    Titan was right, and I was overconfident: I assumed the much lower storage injection was a temporary thing caused by the extreme heat wave, but this week's report showed only 28 Bcf injected into storage - even lower than the last two weeks.

    During the past 3 weeks, we've seen total injections into storage equal only 100 Bcf - roughly half of what they should have been during that span, and injections are decreasing, not increasing, even though the worst part of the killer heat wave is over.

    So it's worse than I had originally thought when writing this article.

    I'll post updates as more information is available.
    Jul 19 03:05 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Winter Is Coming - Natural Gas Prices Must Rise [View article]

    Thanks for reading carefully, (and a special thanks for adding something to the comment section, my first comment was disheartening).

    I think that you are underestimating the increase in electric power demand year-over-year.

    One year ago we were seeing ~65 Bcf of gas injected into storage every week between the first weekend in June and the last weekend in August.

    This year, the first 4 weeks of summer (the month of June) has seen an average of only 56 Bcf/wk.

    While we don't yet have any data on June electric power demand, the month of April 2012 saw 724 Bcf delivered to power companies, while April 2011 only saw 525 Bcf... A 200 Bcf/month difference in one year is quite a bit... I can certainly believe that we're still seeing near record production while injections into working gas storage are lower if the electric power demand has remained so far above normal - which I suspect given the current price.

    The recent report on July inventory builds shows more reason for concern - 25 Bcf in a week is extremely low, but that falls in conjunction with a record-shattering heat wave. AC usage was through the roof during that time, which means that every gas peaker in America was probably on for most of the day. I'd suspect gas deliveries were breaking records right alongside the temperature for most of that week.

    I think we can both agree that the current power demand cannot sustain itself - something I intend to explore further, but this article was already a bit too long.
    Jul 11 06:34 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Range Anxiety Is The Mortal Enemy Of EV Efficiency [View article]

    The problem with the subsidy is the near certain likelihood that the industry will fall apart without that subsidy. You aren't building a new industry which will take off and never look back, you're just pouring money into something which is certain to fail as soon as you stop pouring money into it...

    To get a good idea of what THAT looks like, look up the corn-to-ethanol industry... or "hydrogen cars" to see what the same type of industry looks like when mandates and subsidies are withdrawn.

    This is a road to nowhere. That would be fine if it were based on market forces, but it's not. It's based on extreme subsidies, grants, mandates, and other incentives... and it doesn't do anything good for society, it just spends money.
    Jun 11 03:42 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Anti-Hype In Lithium-Ion Batteries Foretells Doom For Electric Cars [View article]
    Dave M,

    First, I don't need to "read the newspaper" regarding our oil balance - I read the weekly eia petroluem status report.

    Last week we exported an average of 2.85 million bbl/day (MMbbl/d) of mostly diesel and some gasoline.

    During that same week, we imported 8.54 MMbbl/d of crude and 1.93 MMbbl/d of mostly gasoline and some diesel.

    If you think that our export of 2.85 MMbbl/d somehow means there is no reason for us to continue drilling for oil I can only say that you don't have any idea of what you are talking about... and that you need to read more.

    What I get from the oil and gas industry: modern industrial life, the ability to travel more than 20 miles a day, the ability to receive fresh goods from more than 20 miles away, electricity, the ability to go to work - where our products are exported internationally, metal, plastic, good roads, medical equipment, etc...

    You aren't a slave, you are a fool. You can walk away from using oil anytime you like... you just wouldn't like to.

    Again, that doesn't mean that I don't agree on the measly 4 billion in tax cuts, because I do agree with the president on that matter. But all that would mean is that the price of gasoline would go up about 1 cent/gallon. It's simply not large enough to be a valid discussion point for either side.
    May 30 10:26 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Anti-Hype In Lithium-Ion Batteries Foretells Doom For Electric Cars [View article]

    The goal posts don't shift. We were discussing a lease. The fact of the matter is that a Versa lessee will likely choose to purchase off the balance of the vehicle rather than pay the $1650 difference in the case that you outlined. Meanwhile, the Leaf owner will probably have reservations about paying down $16,500 for a vehicle with an uncertain battery life.

    As far as the remaining $61,000, you are now shifting the discussion to purchase, in which case we need to set up an amortization schedule and discuss the opportunity cost of the greater payments incurred by the Leaf.

    If you assume a 4 year loan at 5% interest, then the Versa will now cost you ~$214/month, while the Leaf will cost ~$380/month. That means that the first ~1750 miles/month will only serve to help increase the pricing advantage of the Versa vs the Leaf... and again, I'll go ahead and mention the fact that this severe cost discrepancy begins with the EV purchaser stealing $7500 from his fellow taxpayers to help him purchase his "cool" car.

    The chances that gasoline averages ~$4.00/gallon is actually quite good for the next several years. The question is: "At what price point is current and near-term extraction profitable?". That number is somewhere between $90 and $150/bbl. As long as the oil price remains below $150/bbl, then the price of gasoline will average below $4/gallon.
    May 29 04:30 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EV Dreams And Industrial Metal Nightmares [View article]

    I just wanted to second John's comment. You really need to get a better grasp of history.

    Aluminum indeed was once more valuable than gold - in the early 16th century... Hundreds of years later - during WWII - we were making tens of thousands of aircraft out of aluminum.

    Your grasp of the rest of history seems similarly limited.

    However, I will note - just because some of the EV fanatics have already "liked" your response - that there is a difference between a new technology that offers something new for your life, vs a new technology that simply does the same thing pre-existing technology does.

    When no-one had a computer, people WANTED a computer - despite the cost - and were willing to pay a premium to get a computer. When everyone has a car, very few people will be willing to pay a severe premium just to get a car that runs on coal rather than oil... There's no improvement in the quality of life here... there's just a different option that costs a lot more.

    Please learn (A LOT) more.
    May 9 03:36 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Confessions Of An EV Pioneer Turned Heretic [View article]

    You have an extraordinarily low reading comprehension for so much vitriol.

    No assumptions were made about driving distances. The base argument was against the "average driver" who consumes ~400 gallons of gasoline a year by traveling ~12,000 miles/year.

    The assumption is an "average driver" is selecting a vehicle for the purpose of displacing his/her gasoline consumption. That assumption is fully disclosed. There was never any assertion that some "unique drivers" didn't exist who would have more or less benefits from specific choices.

    The rest is simply nonsense that was manufactured by your own mind.
    May 3 11:58 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Confessions Of An EV Pioneer Turned Heretic [View article]

    The problem with your assumptions here are as follows:

    1. Renewable energy is already used;
    and 2. The people at Tesla are shameless liars.

    First, if you live in an area that has a hydroelectric dam, the energy that is produced by that dam is currently being used by everything else that is already plugged in. When you plug in something NEW into the grid, then you are demanding more energy... but the amount of energy that is produced by the dam is dependent solely upon rainfall... It won't rain more just so you can plug in an EV. Therefore, either your grid will have to import energy or it will sell less energy to neighboring grids... which will then either have to compensate by ramping up fossil power or they will import energy or sell less to neighbors who must ramp up fossil power...
    At the end, there must be some INCREASE in generation that corresponds to the INCREASE in energy demand from the grid, and the only spare capacity that is available is fossil power. Nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, and geothermal sources are fully utilized, that won't be what powers new demand.

    The second issue is very straightforward: the Model S will not travel 45 miles if you purchase 11 kWh of energy from the grid to charge it. If a fast charger is used (which for that size battery it will be manditory), charging losses are in the neighborhood of ~25% - so you'll have to purchase ~1.25 kWh in order to store 1 kWh in the battery... But beyond that, currently the Nissan Leaf only gets ~3.1 miles/kWh that is stored in the battery when driven at 55 mph without climate control. The Tesla S - a vehicle which weighs a ton more than the Leaf and has far more power/performance... this vehicle WILL NOT achieve 4 miles/kWh. The Tesla people are blatantly and flagrantly LYING about that metric. They'll be lucky if the actual results are better than 2.5 miles/kWh.
    May 3 11:30 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Batteries Are Too Valuable To Waste On Solar Power Integration And Electric Cars [View article]

    Most people have no problem with the idea of you purchasing an EV. At least no more so than if you were to purchase a Hummer or a Porsche or any other overpriced inefficient vanity purchase.

    It's your money.

    The problem with EV's is that the EV advocates have the brazen audacity to take money from all of us to purchase their dumb vanity purchase. It's a bad choice for the environment, it's a foolish waste of money in terms of attempting to adjust trade dynamics... But you want to spend OUR money buying your dumb vanity purchase.

    That's why people get so angry. It disgusts me that my tax dollars are spent so that you someone can make a vanity purchase that pollutes far more than a much lower cost option that has better versatility.
    Mar 13 08:58 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Batteries Are Too Valuable To Waste On Solar Power Integration And Electric Cars [View article]

    Actually, Teddy is right. It's important to maintain discipline in keeping energy and power units distinct. It would require 10 kWh/night, which could be satisfied with ~1.2 kW in a little more than 8 hours.

    That works out to ~120 GW, which is a fair figure overall. We have roughly 320 GW of coal power plants in this country, which are turned down - on average - to ~40% capacity factor at night. So we have an additional 192 GW of spare capacity in our baseload power. The grid could handle that load.

    The problem is, we're talking about coal. Advocates are screaming about sunshine and roses, but the sun doesn't shine at night, when they're plugging in their cars. That's baseload, which means nuclear and coal. There's no spare nuclear capacity, which means it's all coal.

    That's what paid advocates like Teddy don't want to admit, and honest advocates like Benthicity are concerned about.
    Mar 12 10:28 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment