Must watch presentation on the replacement of fossil fuels.

KC3KNM

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Oh, and until your electricity is generated from a 'carbon neutral' source you're not really solving any problem: just passing it on.
Well, duh. It’s not like we’re going to flip a switch and go ‘carbon neutral’ worldwide overnight.

For example, up here in VT in 2021 74.5% of our energy generated in state was with hydro, wind or solar power. 25% is biomass (less than ideal, but moving away from it) and the last tiny bit is natural gas, typically used in turbines at peaks but they’ve been running programs to get batteries in people’s houses to help with weather related power outages and peak events. Since they closed the Vermont Yankee Nuclear plant, we’ve imported hydro power from Canada and nuclear power from NH to cover the deficit. So, if you’re driving an EV in VT it’s objectively a hell of a lot cleaner than an ICE car. We’re a small state so updating our grid and making changes for less environmentally crappy power generation is a little easier. Though, we do have a bit further to go before we’re fully ‘carbon neutral’.

(https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_power_stations_in_Vermont)

The challenges vary based on location, but I don’t think it’s impossible to move away from fossil fuels. Sadly, the change is either too slow or too fast depending on who you ask and everything is so politically charged that it doesn’t matter what you do if you’re on the wrong team… so who knows how much will actually change. I lose a little bit of hope every day.
 

Cape Byron

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Well, duh. It’s not like we’re going to flip a switch and go ‘carbon neutral’ worldwide overnight.

Agreed. You may not be aware of it, but most (54%) of Australia's electricity comes from burning coal. We have no nuclear reactors generating electricity (a whole other debate) and sustainable energy sources cannot provide sufficient base load capacity at present. We do have great hydro facilities, but again not enough to dominate the grid.

Moving freight to EV (or rail) makes more sense here in terms of reducing emissions than getting Dan Average to buy an EV. Our interstate rail network was allowed to crumble under political pressure from a large freight service provider (again, another story).

Australia's green credentials are pretty poor atrocious.
 

KC3KNM

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Agreed. You may not be aware of it, but most (54%) of Australia's electricity comes from burning coal. We have no nuclear reactors generating electricity (a whole other debate) and sustainable energy sources cannot provide sufficient base load capacity at present. We do have great hydro facilities, but again not enough to dominate the grid.

Moving freight to EV (or rail) makes more sense here in terms of reducing emissions than getting Dan Average to buy an EV. Our interstate rail network was allowed to crumble under political pressure from a large freight service provider (again, another story).

Australia's green credentials are pretty poor atrocious.
Nope, to be honest I’m more concerned with understanding what’s going on locally and working to improve that. Which makes the most sense for most people, I think. Voting in representation that will support a rational move away from fossil fuels is probably the most impactful thing the average person can do.

Realistically, it comes down to how dire of an issue people find this to be and how much they ultimately give a **** about future generations. Ignoring the “chicken littles”, I don’t think crapping on the planet is a great move long term, but I’m sure plenty of folks will disagree with even that.
 

Cape Byron

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Voting in representation that will support a rational move away from fossil fuels is probably the most impactful thing the average person can do.

No disagreement there.

Realistically, it comes down to how dire of an issue people find this to be and how much they ultimately give a **** about future generations.

Our move to solar power personally has been driven by the dual aspirations of emission reduction and a reliable power source. The power grid here is unreliable at best. batteries are better than firing up a generator every time the power goes out.

We have composting toilets to remove the possibility of groundwater contamination.

We do everything on a personal level we can realistically to reduce our environmental impact. Unfortunately that doesn't include an EV because the vehicle that would meet our needs simply doesn't exist yet.
 

Off Grid Gecko

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No disagreement there.



Our move to solar power personally has been driven by the dual aspirations of emission reduction and a reliable power source. The power grid here is unreliable at best. batteries are better than firing up a generator every time the power goes out.

We have composting toilets to remove the possibility of groundwater contamination.

We do everything on a personal level we can realistically to reduce our environmental impact. Unfortunately that doesn't include an EV because the vehicle that would meet our needs simply doesn't exist yet.
Interesting to read, my aspirations and drive for solar power were more of a desire to not be chained to a local grid and at the whim of whatever problems come to it, so I only have to worry about my own problems with my power generation.
Carbon neutrality was a happy accident in my case. I worked up the numbers for the amount of fuel I burn (car, generator, gas powered chainsaw, mower, etc) vs the carbon sequestration of woods on my property and viola, found out I'm carbon neutral.

The unfortunate thing is that not everyone can live in a shack on a 80acre wilderness plot. There's not enough room and too many people, not to mention the logistical nightmare.

That said, when my power or water systems go wonkey I can't just wait for someone to turn it back on. That's all on me, which is a responsibility not everyone is up for. The water system in particular can be a pain in the butt in the winter time. Hopefully I can afford to upgrade it someday, along with other things around here.

It's funny, the goal of self-sustainability crosses with an evironmentally healthy outcome, even if you didn't intend it that way. And of course that's the current definitions of environmentally healthy, which might change again in 10 years.

Brings to light a lot of other things too. Like plastic. I'm not against plastic in general, but I think the idea of creating garbage ( plastic shopping bags, single use containers, packaging materials, etc ) is silly. A plastic cup or plate that will serve for decades?? That's fantastic, and per the original idea behind using plastics. It's the disposable culture we find ourselves in that causes more problems.

Curious to those of you driving EVs... Has anyone done a comparison of longevity of them versus internal combustion? I would assume they are still changing the lights and other components on every single model year so that we're continually generating more trash production instead of say, having one type of tail light for an entire fleet over the course of decades so parts from wrecks could be reused without scrapping everything.
 

LithosphereRocketry

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I have a reason for you. We're rocket people. Driving hundreds of miles with a car full of stuff to remote locations is something a lot of us do every month.


In fairness, electric heating has gotten a lot better in the past few decades. We just did the opposite over the course of the past couple of years, getting rid of the gas heaters and stove and replacing them with electric equivalents, and we have never looked back.
Unless you're talking about heat pumps, electric heating hasn't gotten better since the 1830s. It's 100% efficient, 1W of electricity = 1W of heat.
 

boatgeek

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Interesting to read, my aspirations and drive for solar power were more of a desire to not be chained to a local grid and at the whim of whatever problems come to it, so I only have to worry about my own problems with my power generation.
Carbon neutrality was a happy accident in my case. I worked up the numbers for the amount of fuel I burn (car, generator, gas powered chainsaw, mower, etc) vs the carbon sequestration of woods on my property and viola, found out I'm carbon neutral.

The unfortunate thing is that not everyone can live in a shack on a 80acre wilderness plot. There's not enough room and too many people, not to mention the logistical nightmare.

That said, when my power or water systems go wonkey I can't just wait for someone to turn it back on. That's all on me, which is a responsibility not everyone is up for. The water system in particular can be a pain in the butt in the winter time. Hopefully I can afford to upgrade it someday, along with other things around here.

It's funny, the goal of self-sustainability crosses with an evironmentally healthy outcome, even if you didn't intend it that way. And of course that's the current definitions of environmentally healthy, which might change again in 10 years.

Brings to light a lot of other things too. Like plastic. I'm not against plastic in general, but I think the idea of creating garbage ( plastic shopping bags, single use containers, packaging materials, etc ) is silly. A plastic cup or plate that will serve for decades?? That's fantastic, and per the original idea behind using plastics. It's the disposable culture we find ourselves in that causes more problems.
It is kind of funny how people can get to the same result (carbon neutrality) from very different starting points. Regardless of the path or reasons, good job!

Curious to those of you driving EVs... Has anyone done a comparison of longevity of them versus internal combustion? I would assume they are still changing the lights and other components on every single model year so that we're continually generating more trash production instead of say, having one type of tail light for an entire fleet over the course of decades so parts from wrecks could be reused without scrapping everything.
I wouldn't say that I've done an analysis, but I've owned an EV for ~7 years, so I can offer some insight. I'm also answering more quesitons than you asked.

Model/styling changes: Unfortunately, I think that's a wash. The market demand for Something New! is probably always going to be with us, so I doubt that EVs will suddenly stop fiddling with the design a bit after 3 years and redesigning it every 6 years. The only good aspect is that EVs tend to be smaller, and they tend to be somewhat more constrained by aerodynamics, so they're less likely to go whole hog with greebles and bits sticking out everywhere. That said, I also drive an early model Leaf with extremely greeble-y headlights.

Trash production: The EV definitely has the advantage here. My sum total maintenance has been replacing tires (once), changing the cabin air filter, changing the wiper blades, and topping up the washer fluid. No belts, no oil, no filters, no clutch, no transmission oil, etc. The brake pads will likely last 80-100K miles. That's a lot of crap not going to the waste stream.

Carbon cost of building the vehicle: The EV is behind here on account of the battery.

Carbon cost of fuel: Hoo boy, this can be legislated to the moon and back. The answer is that it depends, and it depends a lot on your grid. However, even for substantially coal-fired grids, a lot of people sweep under the rug that a large central power plant tends to be more efficient than a distributed network of cars, and that timed EV charging can make the grid more efficient by drawing excess power in the middle of the night. I also don't think that many EV-skeptics account for the costs in carbon and pollution of getting gasoline/diesel from the ground to the gas station. There's a non-trivial amount of energy that goes into this process. That said, I think a lot of EV evangelists ignore the carbon cost of solar panels and wind turbine blades. Part of the reason to ignore this on both sides is that it gets really complicated really quickly and depends heavily on where you've sourced your material from. As a gas station consumer, I don't know if the source petroleum was in Alaska, California, Texas, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, or Russia. It's just gasoline to me.

One underappreciated (IMHO) feature for future EVs is that they may make it easier to set up your lifestyle. In theory at least, you could use your EV's battery to power your home when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing. That could save you a house battery. That doesn't really help if you're away from home during the day and you only have solar power, but it might be useful in other cases.

I hope this helps!
 

Off Grid Gecko

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It is kind of funny how people can get to the same result (carbon neutrality) from very different starting points. Regardless of the path or reasons, good job!


I wouldn't say that I've done an analysis, but I've owned an EV for ~7 years, so I can offer some insight. I'm also answering more quesitons than you asked.

Model/styling changes: Unfortunately, I think that's a wash. The market demand for Something New! is probably always going to be with us, so I doubt that EVs will suddenly stop fiddling with the design a bit after 3 years and redesigning it every 6 years. The only good aspect is that EVs tend to be smaller, and they tend to be somewhat more constrained by aerodynamics, so they're less likely to go whole hog with greebles and bits sticking out everywhere. That said, I also drive an early model Leaf with extremely greeble-y headlights.

Trash production: The EV definitely has the advantage here. My sum total maintenance has been replacing tires (once), changing the cabin air filter, changing the wiper blades, and topping up the washer fluid. No belts, no oil, no filters, no clutch, no transmission oil, etc. The brake pads will likely last 80-100K miles. That's a lot of crap not going to the waste stream.

Carbon cost of building the vehicle: The EV is behind here on account of the battery.

Carbon cost of fuel: Hoo boy, this can be legislated to the moon and back. The answer is that it depends, and it depends a lot on your grid. However, even for substantially coal-fired grids, a lot of people sweep under the rug that a large central power plant tends to be more efficient than a distributed network of cars, and that timed EV charging can make the grid more efficient by drawing excess power in the middle of the night. I also don't think that many EV-skeptics account for the costs in carbon and pollution of getting gasoline/diesel from the ground to the gas station. There's a non-trivial amount of energy that goes into this process. That said, I think a lot of EV evangelists ignore the carbon cost of solar panels and wind turbine blades. Part of the reason to ignore this on both sides is that it gets really complicated really quickly and depends heavily on where you've sourced your material from. As a gas station consumer, I don't know if the source petroleum was in Alaska, California, Texas, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, or Russia. It's just gasoline to me.

One underappreciated (IMHO) feature for future EVs is that they may make it easier to set up your lifestyle. In theory at least, you could use your EV's battery to power your home when the sun isn't shining or the wind isn't blowing. That could save you a house battery. That doesn't really help if you're away from home during the day and you only have solar power, but it might be useful in other cases.

I hope this helps!
I like the idea of a mobile battery bank, anywhere in your car's documentation that lists the total Ah storage and the main system voltage? Or possibly just a number in KWh?
You are definitely right about economies of scale. But it's so easy and fun to point to the coal plant and say "tell me again how you're saving the environment" to a noob that just hooked up an EV. Almost 20 years ago I made that exact argument to a girl that wanted to convert a VW bus to battery power.

That said, burning anything produces a LOT of CO2 mainly because of the O2 part. The weight of biproducts far exceeds the weight of the fuel going in. This kind of shocked me when I was doing my calculations and I don't remember the numbers, but worked out. Added up all the wood that I burn for heat in the winter and the gas for cloudy days and if the A/C is being rambunctious on hot days.

Total maintenance, I guess I consider things like belts and hoses kind of secondary, but over millions of vehicles that would add up to quite a bit.

Someone asked earlier about steps to reduce consumption of fossil fuels and/or minerals. I think custom parts for every vehicle would def be something I would gladly give up. Make like 4-5 sets of headlights and use them cross-company and cross-model. This would have been easier to start in the 80's when cars were more "boxy." MAF sensors? O2 sensors? Headlight bulbs?? for real some of that wanton craziness needs to stop, but as long as we keep paying they're going to keep doing it. It would also mean that salvage yards would have an easy secondary market by parting out old vehicles instead of just scrapping the whole thing.

There's just too many examples from the last 100 years of big companies creating pollution problems and asking their customers to clean up after them. Imagine if we were willing to give up styrofoam cups and just bring our own cup with us to places that serve drinks. There were times and places in history where that idea wasn't unheard of. Soup bowls, silverware (more likely wood-ware), etc. You had one. Maybe funny to some but I eat out of the same bowl with a wooden spoon I carved about 4 years ago for almost anything I scarf down requiring utensils. Saves cabinet space for stuff besides dishes, lol.
 

boatgeek

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I like the idea of a mobile battery bank, anywhere in your car's documentation that lists the total Ah storage and the main system voltage? Or possibly just a number in KWh?
You are definitely right about economies of scale. But it's so easy and fun to point to the coal plant and say "tell me again how you're saving the environment" to a noob that just hooked up an EV. Almost 20 years ago I made that exact argument to a girl that wanted to convert a VW bus to battery power.

That said, burning anything produces a LOT of CO2 mainly because of the O2 part. The weight of biproducts far exceeds the weight of the fuel going in. This kind of shocked me when I was doing my calculations and I don't remember the numbers, but worked out. Added up all the wood that I burn for heat in the winter and the gas for cloudy days and if the A/C is being rambunctious on hot days.

Total maintenance, I guess I consider things like belts and hoses kind of secondary, but over millions of vehicles that would add up to quite a bit.

Someone asked earlier about steps to reduce consumption of fossil fuels and/or minerals. I think custom parts for every vehicle would def be something I would gladly give up. Make like 4-5 sets of headlights and use them cross-company and cross-model. This would have been easier to start in the 80's when cars were more "boxy." MAF sensors? O2 sensors? Headlight bulbs?? for real some of that wanton craziness needs to stop, but as long as we keep paying they're going to keep doing it. It would also mean that salvage yards would have an easy secondary market by parting out old vehicles instead of just scrapping the whole thing.

There's just too many examples from the last 100 years of big companies creating pollution problems and asking their customers to clean up after them. Imagine if we were willing to give up styrofoam cups and just bring our own cup with us to places that serve drinks. There were times and places in history where that idea wasn't unheard of. Soup bowls, silverware (more likely wood-ware), etc. You had one. Maybe funny to some but I eat out of the same bowl with a wooden spoon I carved about 4 years ago for almost anything I scarf down requiring utensils. Saves cabinet space for stuff besides dishes, lol.
My 2013 Leaf has a 24 kWh 360VDC battery pack. The F150 Lightning is probably making the biggest PR push about powering your home from the car. They have a 100-ish or 150-ish kWh battery pack. I don’t know if they bump the volts up or just add more cells in parallel.

I hear you about reducing the numbers of different parts. However, since the trim is a lot of how different manufacturers differentiate themselves, I don’t really see it happening unless there are major systemic economic changes. I think you do see it to some degree with sub-suppliers though. I’d imagine that there are several manufacturers that use the same disc-caliper sets for brakes, for example.
 

Off Grid Gecko

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My 2013 Leaf has a 24 kWh 360VDC battery pack. The F150 Lightning is probably making the biggest PR push about powering your home from the car. They have a 100-ish or 150-ish kWh battery pack. I don’t know if they bump the volts up or just add more cells in parallel.

I hear you about reducing the numbers of different parts. However, since the trim is a lot of how different manufacturers differentiate themselves, I don’t really see it happening unless there are major systemic economic changes. I think you do see it to some degree with sub-suppliers though. I’d imagine that there are several manufacturers that use the same disc-caliper sets for brakes, for example.
lithium cells can be a little fiesty. You need to have balance controllers and stuff for them to work properly. I wonder if they also have some kind of built-in fuses that can automatically disconnect damaged cells. That's pretty solid. My house is tiny and I don't use a lot of power so I have 15kWh bank that keeps up with everything. That's the replacement for almost 20 kWh Pb-acid bank that I replaced. Pb-acid has shortcomings requiring more bulk, but that's a story for another time.
 

bjphoenix

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lithium cells can be a little fiesty. You need to have balance controllers and stuff for them to work properly. I wonder if they also have some kind of built-in fuses that can automatically disconnect damaged cells. That's pretty solid. My house is tiny and I don't use a lot of power so I have 15kWh bank that keeps up with everything. That's the replacement for almost 20 kWh Pb-acid bank that I replaced. Pb-acid has shortcomings requiring more bulk, but that's a story for another time.
There are some companies that specialize in repairing Tesla batteries after they are out of warranty. I've watched their videos and seen a couple of different Tesla battery configurations but they both boiled down to a whole bunch of small cells, and a section of the battery pack could be killed by one cell going bad. These guys had software that would analyze a pack, tell them which cell was bad, and they would replace it. It seems that a system that would self diagnose and isolate cells that were going bad should be a part of the vehicle.
 
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