Electric cars and the impact on the environment


Apollo

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Aug 5, 2006
2,193
Pahrump, NV
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
Looks like pretty solid proof.
Tesla Sales Fall to Zero in Hong Kong After Tax Break Is Slashed
https://www.wsj.com/articles/teslas-hong-kong-sales-gutted-by-tax-change-1499598003
 

DoctorV8

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Feb 28, 2006
1,147
Houston
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. .
Teslas are of course inconvenient for multi day road trips, but the Karma is a hybrid just like your Fusion, albeit one that goes only about 30 miles on battery and then gets about 28 mpg on the gas motor. It also has less trunk space than a Miata. The new incarnation of it (Revero) doesn't advertise any meaningful increase in range, and the Ecotec 4 cyl under the hood sounds worse than an old Pinto when it kicks in.

Getting back into my old Karma after having my Tesla was like stepping back into the stone ages, but is a striking looking car with fragrant leather that can handle road trips if you pack light. Personally, if I still had mine, I'd go full Lutz and swap an LS9 into it.
 

twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
4,880
Las Vegas, NV
Proof you can only overcome physics with LAW. Idiots somehow always trump reality.
I was gong to comment that "the laws of physics have not been repealed" but I like that one so much better :)
 

ChipBeck

GT Owner
Staff member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 13, 2006
5,379
Scottsdale, Arizona
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.
Gentlemen,

The cost per kilowatt hour produced to build a solar power plant or a wind power plant are far higher than the cost per kilowatt produced to build a natural gas powered or coal fired power plant. It's not even close. Renewable energy is far more expensive than conventional energy. If it made any economic sense government wouldn't have to force utilities to build them while providing massive subsidies. Like my solar installation, most wind mills will not generate enough power to pay the cost of putting them up and maintaining them over their entire useful life. No sane person would ever build a wind farm power plant and to the best of my knowledge nobody has UNLESS they were subsidized and forced by law. Cost effective technologies do not require coercion.

Chip
 

twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
4,880
Las Vegas, NV
Gentlemen,

The cost per kilowatt hour produced to build a solar power plant or a wind power plant are far higher than the cost per kilowatt produced to build a natural gas powered or coal fired power plant. It's not even close. Renewable energy is far more expensive than conventional energy. If it made any economic sense government wouldn't have to force utilities to build them while providing massive subsidies. Like my solar installation, most wind mills will not generate enough power to pay the cost of putting them up and maintaining them over their entire useful life. No sane person would ever build a wind farm power plant and to the best of my knowledge nobody has UNLESS they were subsidized and forced by law. Cost effective technologies do not require coercion.

Chip
Way back when I worked for DEC in Phoenix I drove hwy 377 from Heber to Holbrook (and vice versa) where I had a customer. Years and years later it is still my shortcut from coming across I40 to Phoenix. Lo and behold someone dropped some awful wind generator seeds in that beautiful desolate area. Totally ruined it.

It doesn't make economic sense. Obama cut down the coal industry as the first step of increasing utility rates. Why would anyone cut off the supply of our most plentiful resource? OK, fix emissions but it's still the cheapest source of energy we have.
 
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Empty Pockets

ex-GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Oct 18, 2006
1,174
Washington State
No sane person would ever build a wind farm power plant and to the best of my knowledge nobody has UNLESS they were subsidized and forced by law.
Perhaps he may have been/was subsidized (I've never bothered to check), but, I doubt Warren Buffett was "forced by law" or clinically insane when he decided to build a whole forest of wind 'generators a few years back and lost his shirt.

'Cost him a pretty penny to confirm/prove your point.
 
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PeteK

GT Owner
Apr 18, 2014
1,139
Great Falls, VA
Gentlemen,

The cost per kilowatt hour produced to build a solar power plant or a wind power plant are far higher than the cost per kilowatt produced to build a natural gas powered or coal fired power plant. It's not even close. Renewable energy is far more expensive than conventional energy. If it made any economic sense government wouldn't have to force utilities to build them while providing massive subsidies. Like my solar installation, most wind mills will not generate enough power to pay the cost of putting them up and maintaining them over their entire useful life. No sane person would ever build a wind farm power plant and to the best of my knowledge nobody has UNLESS they were subsidized and forced by law. Cost effective technologies do not require coercion.

Chip
I'm 100% with Chip on this one, and I am an engineer, in fact my favorite part of the engineering curriculum was thermodynamics. One of my brothers (also an engineer) was the CEO of the division of EDF (the huge French energy company) that installed the big wind farms in Quebec over the past 7 years. I like one of his quotes about solar energy, but it also applies to other "renewables": "Solar energy is competitive as long as the policy shines." And he's in a position to know that as much as anyone on the planet.

Some people will Google "alternative facts" to support claims that solar, wind, or other supposedly renewable energy sources are actually cheaper than conventional sources. But, as the more skeptical of you have pointed out, if that was so, why would they need heavy government subsidies to get built? It's just plain economic silliness to believe otherwise. Remember, everything you read on the internet is not true. Much of it is crap, especially things with political content.
 

Brombear

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 16, 2013
1,294
Frankfurt Area, Germany
Not an easy discussion. EDF in france runs a lot of nuclear power stations. Nuclear is heavily subsidized and after dozens of years of operations we still have not found out what to do with the waste and what the costs are. Factor in the enormous costs when something goes terribly wrong (Fukushima). Coal or gas burning has also enormous costs on the environment, how do you value lives getting shortened ?

Having these discussions is not easy, there is no simple cheaper or better. If energy is too cheap, people are simply "wasting" it (e.g. running the ac in sommer at max while having open lots of windows).i think we should focus more on trying to avoid energy usage, but that is a huge learning curve for the entire population of our plane. And a lot of them simply has other problems to be solved, e.g. staying alive. Difficult. But we only have one planet and it would not be nice to hand it over to our children and grandchildren in a condition worse than we got it.
 
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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
We were going to to get dinner tonight and there was a Tesla next to us. For our city driving it would truly meet all of our needs, but the reality is I could by somewhewre between two and three of our Honda CRVs for the same price. It's simply not economical. She said it would work for a sales person driving the city daily and is right, but for our "grocery getting" - which is now mostly "doctor appointments" it just doesn't work.
 

PeteK

GT Owner
Apr 18, 2014
1,139
Great Falls, VA
Not an easy discussion. EDF in france runs a lot of nuclear power stations. Nuclear is heavily subsidized and after dozens of years of operations we still have not found out what to do with the waste and what the costs are. Factor in the enormous costs when something goes terribly wrong (Fukushima). Coal or gas burning has also enormous costs on the environment, how do you value lives getting shortened ?

Having these discussions is not easy, there is no simple cheaper or better. If energy is too cheap, people are simply "wasting" it (e.g. running the ac in sommer at max while having open lots of windows).i think we should focus more on trying to avoid energy usage, but that is a huge learning curve for the entire population of our plane. And a lot of them simply has other problems to be solved, e.g. staying alive. Difficult. But we only have one planet and it would not be nice to hand it over to our children and grandchildren in a condition worse than we got it.
You're right--having these discussions is not easy, and they can quickly spiral into politics. So I'll tread carefully. Yes EDF runs nuclear plants in France. Having got part of my engineering education courtesy of the Navy, I spent some time around the nuclear Navy too. In fact, I was finishing my last course in nuclear engineering at the Naval Academy at the time the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania lost its coolant and partially melted. The professor used that event as an opportunity to see how the news reports distorted or just flat-out got wrong important facts about that incident. I became very skeptical of the media thereafter.

In my opinion, the media (aided and used by politicians and interest groups) has also been very wrong in reporting about nuclear waste disposal. IMO, this problem is NOT a technical problem, it is a political problem. It's a NIMBY problem because people have been conditioned by some true information, mixed with some false information, to be unreasonably scared of it. The USA spent $20+ Billion to build a disposal site in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and after the money had been spent to create jobs and build the facility over a couple decades, it got strangled by the politicians who initially lobbied to get it. They then claimed it hadn't been studied enough, or wasn't safe enough, or whatever. But a much more dangerous problem is that there are hundreds of nuclear reactor cores sitting in cooling ponds or out in the open around nuclear power plants, because the plant operators can't send those to the disposal site that the government contracted to provide. Which is potentially more dangerous, all that radioactive stuff being held "temporarily" (really, decades) at nuclear plants, or putting them in a very securely guarded long-term facility out in the desert far away from civilization? But the media never frames it that way.

Sorry to get going here, but the main point I want to make is that the media rarely report on the whole story, rarely give the full picture of risks and tradeoffs, and almost always focus on the emotional rather than the rational. It's what grabs eyeballs, which drives ratings, which determines advertising revenue, which provides quarterly profits. How does that old Eagles song go, "We can do the innuendo, we can dance and sing, and when we're done we haven't told you a thing; we all know that Crap is King, give us dirty laundry." A distraught widow gets eyeballs; whereas an analysis of half-lives of radioisotopes does not.

The amp-hours to charge electric cars has to come from somewhere, and solar and wind power cannot provide anywhere near the required energy. So that leaves coal, natural gas, nuclear, and some hydro.

As I told my kids from when they were young, "Life usually does not allow you to choose what you want. Instead, it allows you to choose the consequences you are willing to take."
 
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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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Kayvan

GT Owner
Jul 13, 2006
4,743
This is going to be a huge hit at $27K...fit / finish / design v. competition leaf, bolt, focus, Kia, Hyundai is like Treo v. iPhone


http://www.teslarati.com
 
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Brombear

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 16, 2013
1,294
Frankfurt Area, Germany
It will not be fully comparable. Model S is the premium version with all gizmos and a high premium quality interior. For 35K the model 3 needs to be of lower quality, but still good enough for the average joe. I think teslas future fully depends on it and Elon Musk knows it.

In the end it's good that there is a new kid in town competing with the old guys, so there is reason for all of them to stay innovativeand offer something that the customer wants/needs.

Time will tell what is right/wrong.
 

Awsum GT

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

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 16, 2013
1,294
Frankfurt Area, Germany
What do you use for heating/cooling ?

Here in Germany heat pumps are being heavily subsidized. Great technology, but requires a little bit more thoughts before installation.
 

Sinovac

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jul 18, 2006
5,319
Largo, Florida
South Miami is now requiring solar panels on all new homes.
 

Xcentric

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jul 9, 2012
5,049
Myakka City, Florida
What do you use for heating/cooling ?

Here in Germany heat pumps are being heavily subsidized. Great technology, but requires a little bit more thoughts before installation.
Heat pumps are long in use here, particularly where cheaper natural gas isn't available. I had a heat pump in 1975 and have one now...although I think I've used heat about once each winter. They are efficient when temps are above freezing. Not good for hard winters. They get very expensive if backup resistance heat is needed in frigid temps. Imagine heating your home with a giant toaster.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 
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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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Sinovac

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jul 18, 2006
5,319
Largo, Florida
Before we even looked at the solar part of the energy package, we worked a very long time with a whole team of energy experts engineers, electrical engineers and also engineers from Tesla/Solar City.

The way to make our homes as energy efficient is to first make the package of the home and attic as sealed as possible but keeping circulation of air through the home. We use a special designed attic called performance sealed. All ductwork and water pipes in the home are inside insulated areas of the attic. The exterior walls and windows are designed to greatly reduce hot and cold air from entering into the living space. Once this is maximized, we selected the most every efficient electric heat pump ac/heat units for the home. The water heaters that we use are very efficient heat pump water heaters with circulation pumps so hot water arrives very quickly almost everywhere in the home and Which eliminates a lot of wasted water.

Once this is done, we determine that amount of solar for each home to get the energy consumption balanced to a net zero. We also use a roofing material called cool roof tile that reduces the amount of heat transferred into the attic area. In the near future we will be using the nes Tesla roof solar tiles. These are very cool becauase they install all the tiles on the roof while some of them are just tile and the others are actually solar tiles. You can't tell the difference between them. This way you don't see the solar on the roof. We are constantly working on new ideas with the three engineers from Tesla, our electric company and outside engineers that work with efficiency designs.

We are also looking at adding battery storage for the homes that can store excess solar power during the day and then use it when the rates are high at a later time.
What is the sq ft price increase on the energy efficient homes you built to date?