Electric cars and the impact on the environment


RickH

GT Owner
Mar 5, 2015
418
South Florida
From a friend with a background in Chemistry.

The total environmental impact from exploration, mining of raw materials, clean up from production of precursor materials, energy and pollution caused by production of lithium carbonate, and disposal of millions of huge dead batteries is being avoided by the tree huggers.....and Tesla.

Wait 'till the $hit hits the fan.

Here is a fluffy article that glosses over the impact. Ever see a copper refining facility? Terrible.

http://www.lithiummine.com/lithium-mining-and-environmental-impact
 

BIGFOOT

GT Owner
Jan 18, 2012
669
Northeast
Tesla came to my kids school years ago and my son asked what they did with the batteries and the rep couldn't really respond other than say,...."recycled...?"
Not very convincing.
 

Sinovac

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jul 18, 2006
5,319
Largo, Florida
But it makes people feel good, so it must be ok.
 

KennethClay

GT Owner
Oct 15, 2012
496
New York
A friend who owns multiple car dealerships said he wouldn't even sell anybody he knows (and likes) a Prius. He said that when they get that first bill for a replacement battery, it's "eye watering"!

And then there's the question about what to do with the spent battery.
 

Awsum GT

GT Owner '05 & '18
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 17, 2005
3,708
Central California
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Empty Pockets

ex-GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Oct 18, 2006
1,174
Washington State
Wait 'till the $hit hits the fan.
It will also hit the fan when all-electric car owners start getting hit with, say, $3 - $4 - $5,000 license tabs to make up for the gas taxes they aren't paying now.
 

twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
4,880
Las Vegas, NV
For the most part all electric vehicles does is shift the emissions from the auto tail pipe to a coal or gas fired electric generator smokestack.

The other thing that will happen is that as the energy consumption moves from fossil fuels to electricity, the electricity grid will become overtaxed and require expansion. That means more power lines. Even local, and even your own home, will likely be under-supplied. Imagine what happens when 6 houses served by one transformer on your block all of a sudden start charging two or three cars at a time. The delivery grid and transformers will all need more capacity Electricity rates are going to skyrocket.


It will also hit the fan when all-electric car owners start getting hit with, say, $3 - $4 - $5,000 license tabs to make up for the gas taxes they aren't paying now.
Yes, and this is starting to get some traction in some places now... Trials balloons of mileage based fees have been floated in NV.

And the whole thing only works in metro areas. Rural areas not so much, and a family vacation to visit a national park is a stretch.
 

Brombear

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 16, 2013
1,294
Frankfurt Area, Germany
Clean electric cars depend on clean energy being produced. As long as you rely on old carbon producing technologies it does not make sense with all new technology the first owners are heavily investing and subsidies are necessary so F&E is possible. As soon as enough progress is made and the laws of scale apply it is self running. I have the feeling that in the US the lobby of the oil industry is quite strong, but the success of Elon Musk shows that change is possible. We are going to see those defence battles for quite long time, but I think electric is going to win. It doesn't matter if it takes 10 or 20 years.

And for the automotive industry it also makes sense. Electric motors are not complicated and it doesn't look like there is much continuous F&E needed (efficiency is more than 90% so not much legroom for improvement other than weight/size/reliability). With a combustion engine removed and batteries and electric motors used instead the center of gravity is lower. Electric motors can be controlled much more finegrained, so there will be new ideas/features how to make driving easier. And there is sooo much torque.

What I am going to miss is modifying cars/engines and of course the sound of combustion cars. With those cars the era of closed compartments is approaching fast and new skills are needed (electronic/computer knowledge)and some areas are not accessible. Try to put tesla parts into your old model T and find out how fast Tesla disables the car for charging at the super charging stations or getting spare parts.
 
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Awsum GT

GT Owner '05 & '18
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 17, 2005
3,708
Central California
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Awsum GT

GT Owner '05 & '18
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 17, 2005
3,708
Central California
Deleted
 
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twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
4,880
Las Vegas, NV
Could be but a final accounting in petroleum vs. electirc would also have to account for the energy to produce the batteries themselves, either from scratch or from recycled cells (including the overhead for producing the raw materials for the batteries). As it stands the article is leaving out alot (on both sides).
 

Awsum GT

GT Owner '05 & '18
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Sep 17, 2005
3,708
Central California
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Kayvan

GT Owner
Jul 13, 2006
4,743
 

PeteK

GT Owner
Apr 18, 2014
1,139
Great Falls, VA
EV's and ICE's will "coexist" for a long time. Longer than any of us will live. Both economic and technical reasons will keep them in the market.
 

ChipBeck

GT Owner
Staff member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 13, 2006
5,379
Scottsdale, Arizona
"It takes more electricity to drive the average gasoline car 100 miles, than it does to drive an electric car 100 miles."
Gentlemen,

I'd need to see some pretty astounding evidence to buy that. Here's what I do know for sure. 4 years ago I bought $165.000.00 worth of the best and most efficient solar panels available and completely covered the massive canopy of my Phoenix store. Those panels are producing exactly what they were projected to produce. $400 dollars worth of electricity per month. Less than $150,000 during their entire 30 year useful life. Even after 30 years they won't even return what it cost to install them. But I bought them because I only paid $45,000 and the state, fed, and utility company paid the rest. It's a complete boondoggle and a joke. Without massive subsidies solar and wind wouldn't exist. Tesla wouldn't exist either. The oil lobby isn't stopping electric car development. Far from it. Even with subsidies at obscene levels the states use the force of law to mandate a certain level of zero emission cars.

Solar, wind, and Tesla would all disappear tomorrow without massive subsidies and government mandates. That's not arguable. Until Tesla makes economic sense standing on its own this capitalist thinks it's doing more harm than good. Here we have a company with a higher market cap than GM or Ford that sells a tiny fraction of those other makers volume. I've said it before and I'll repeat it now. Tesla is a fine car but a lousy business and I think Tesla is a dead man walking. Time will tell.

Chip
 
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RickH

GT Owner
Mar 5, 2015
418
South Florida
^^^Bingo. Without massive government help it wouldn't fly until the economics could make them competitive. The government picking winners and losers again.
 

BM SoCal

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jan 2, 2009
164
Orange County, CA
There's something to be said for never stopping for gas, no oil changes etc. Not to mention astounding acceleration. If cost to operate were the only criteria we'd all be driving econoboxes and of course none of us do. I'm happy to be rid of our 750 Li with its constant problems and thirsty engine
 

Beach-GT

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 8, 2006
883
Seminole Florida
Proof you can only overcome physics with LAW. Idiots somehow always trump reality.
 

DoctorV8

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Feb 28, 2006
1,147
Houston
Originally Posted by Awsum GT
"It takes more electricity to drive the average gasoline car 100 miles, than it does to drive an electric car 100 miles."
Gentlemen,

I'd need to see some pretty astounding evidence to buy that.
Chip
Although there are plenty of Google hits to support both sides of this (and most any other) argument, the evidence to support Awsum's claim is quite prevalent. And that's with today's dirty grid, which will only get cleaner with time.

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/life-cycle-ev-emissions#.WXH0aYTyupo
 

PL510*Jeff

Well-known member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Nov 3, 2005
4,577
Renton, Washington
I recently drove my '17 Ford Fusion Hybrid from Palm Springs to Seattle. From the desert and over two mountain ranges, with one road that had more turns than the tail of the dragon, with elevation changes from 2,000' above sea level to a pass that was 9,600'. In 37 miles. Grade ranged from 6% to 26%!

Trip was a total of 1,480 miles. with 485 miles done on electric only. And used approximately 22 gallons of gas for an avg of 44 mpg. I would say that most of the trip was on freeways (45%) and the balance was on 2 lane highway roadway.

I had though about buying a Karma or Tesla. However the limitations of driving 200-300 miles, and then stopping for a couple of hours to re-charge, adds a huge time burden to my travels. All electric/battery driving around town and local travel works well. Not so much for long multi-day trips.

On my travels across the USA, over the last 10 years, I've seen the proliferation of wind turbines and solar farms. Both are less expensive to build, so I've read, than electrical generation from dams, coal and gas fired generation facilities. And are compatible with existing transmission infrastructure. As with all power generation there are limitations in where they can be located and the dependence on Mother Nature to provide wind or sun. Just as the dams, coal and gas plants are dependent on her for water, coal, oil and gas. The same can be said of the nuclear generations facilities.

The future is a balancing act to provide a combination of the various generation systems that will provide electrical needs to meet the usage demands of the world. I would guess the the biggest gains in reducing power demands will be technology based, just as the improvements in gas and diesel vehicles mpg's were technology based.