Electric cars and the impact on the environment


Kayvan

GT Owner
Jul 13, 2006
4,759
Back to Electric cars....

I'm still baffled by folks not giving Tesla credit for what they have accomplished. Every argument I hear or "heard" against them is "oh they cant ramp up from 100,000 cars to 1+ million cars like the big 3."

Nearly every technology company failed that paradigm-transition from the transistor, to chips, to IBM's PS 2 being crushed to Motorola and Nokia. All had huge capitve-markets and ability to scale massively but failed to adjust to next generation of products.

Electric cars arent going away AND they are going to be run by software not vacuum tubes.

Anyone who has used a Big 3 Nav system before they gave up and brought in SYNC, Apple, Google, MS can attest how bad OEM software is. M-B COMAND system caused half their E-class fleet to be bought back in 2003.

The GM arms-crossed yoga approval-salute and Big 3 power-point committees made that software.

Tesla Autonomous AI is an operating system (in Model 3, ready for upgrade); battery prices will drop just like chips, RAM, etc. and their over-the-air software updates will make service irrelevant.

Lastly, Musk is a car guy: used a McLaren F1 as a daily driver in SF (beat on it no less); bought the 007 Espirit and even used Lotus in the Roadster over objections of all.

Ill take a visionary over a committee any day.
 
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Brombear

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 16, 2013
1,309
Frankfurt Area, Germany
I see. In Europe they have been popular in denmark and scandinavia for longer. Our installation companies are mostly used to gas/oil driven stuff and have a hard time adapting. Is yours using air or geothermal ? Mine is geothermal using a 200mtr/650ft drill hole. Was quite entertaining getting it drilled. The heat pump/drill hole has been setup for minimum -12C/10F temperatures. That's a temperature we rarely see for 3 days once every 20 years. Our winters have been getting milder, rarely it snows and if it does it lasts only a couple of days. As a child we could do cross country skiing for weeks. Summers are getting longer and warmer too.

Don't know much about energy neutral house building in the US, here in germany it all started end of the eighties by some environmental freaks in the next big town. The whole house building industry belittled what they did, but they proved their point and lots of houses based on their ideas are popping up more and more.
 
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PeteK

GT Owner
Apr 18, 2014
1,173
Great Falls, VA
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.
Awsum, I hope you're coming to the Rally, because I'd like to discuss and benefit from your experience. Last Fall, I had my attic insulated with spray foam on the inside of the roof deck. I had blown-in fiberglass wool that just sat on top of the ceiling of the 2nd floor, and it had packed down in places and wasn't working very well. The spray foam was expensive, but I figured it would seal up the attic out to the eaves, bring the upstairs HVAC unit and ducts inside the insulated space, and stop air infiltration, which was at least as responsible for heat/cooling loss as the poor insulation. It has made a big and immediately noticeable difference in comfort, HVAC cycling, and evenness of temperatures throughout the 2nd floor. I've also chased air leaks in the rest of the house to cut down on air infiltration. I still have plenty left, but they are hard to get to. One other benefit is, I've made it much harder for mice to get into the house too!
 

PeteK

GT Owner
Apr 18, 2014
1,173
Great Falls, VA
Back to Electric cars....

I'm still baffled by folks not giving Tesla credit for what they have accomplished. Every argument I hear or "heard" against them is "oh they cant ramp up from 100,000 cars to 1+ million cars like the big 3."

Nearly every technology company failed that paradigm-transition from the transistor, to chips, to IBM's PS 2 being crushed to Motorola and Nokia. All had huge capitve-markets and ability to scale massively but failed to adjust to next generation of products.

Electric cars arent going away AND they are going to be run by software not vacuum tubes.

Anyone who has used a Big 3 Nav system before they gave up and brought in SYNC, Apple, Google, MS can attest how bad OEM software is. M-B COMAND system caused half their E-class fleet to be bought back in 2003.

The GM arms-crossed yoga approval-salute and Big 3 power-point committees made that software.

Tesla Autonomous AI is an operating system (in Model 3, ready for upgrade); battery prices will drop just like chips, RAM, etc. and their over-the-air software updates will make service irrelevant.

Lastly, Musk is a car guy: used a McLaren F1 as a daily driver in SF (beat on it no less); bought the 007 Espirit and even used Lotus in the Roadster over objections of all.

Ill take a visionary over a committee any day.
Kayvan, I see you've read Clayton Christenson. Tesla has accomplished much in the car game, but it has a long way to go before it deserves a market valuation approaching Ford or GM. I hope Tesla does well, but I'm skeptical of the abundant hype. Visionaries are important to industry, but they also have to deliver what they envision.

Building cars ain't like building computers or software. Cars are under heavy regulations for safety and performance, even if they don't have emissions. Cars are big, heavy things that require lots of "stuff" to manufacture and maintain. Over-the-air software updates instead of regular maintenance service? Fugedaboudit. Electric cars are not "run by software," they are run by batteries. Batteries in particular will not get cheap fast because they depend on advances in materials science and hard engineering, not shrinking circuit elements on semiconductor chips or new software. Moore's Law does not apply in this domain.
 

Brombear

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 16, 2013
1,309
Frankfurt Area, Germany
Same here, but a little bit different since our houses are mostly stone/concrete based. Reducing energy usage is the key and makes sense, simply because we don't know energy prices for the future and we can bet they are not going to decline.

I was very surprised when Tesla showed off the solar tiles. Great idea and I hope they are successful with it. I just wonder about the electrical connectors, it's going to be lots of them. Last week I read an article about printed solar cells. Not as efficient as current solutions, but they might be much cheaper and can be glued nearly everywhere, e.g. walls on skyscrapers. I think there is still a lot of potential, especially when huge parts of the world could be interconnected. The sun lits our planet 24hours, but not all parts the same time. But that will take a lot of time and also has political implications.

Battery storage is still a bit too expensive, but I expect that to change in the next years. Tesla disrupted quite a lot when entering our market, it's going to get interesting once the GigaFactory ramps up production.
 

Brombear

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 16, 2013
1,309
Frankfurt Area, Germany
I am with you, car industry is very slow and invents only if necessary. That kind of thinking nearly destroyed US car industry. Ours did a bit better, but from my personal experience still slow. Currently it looks like there might by evidence that the mangements screwed everyone with cartel tactics, I really hope that isn't true.

Big kudos to Elon Musk for simplying doing what he does. Nobody would seriously talk about electric cars without his achievements. In German we have a saying "all experts agreed that it couldn't be done and then someone came by who didn't know about it and simply did it".
 

Xcentric

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jul 9, 2012
5,099
Myakka City, Florida
Mine is geothermal using a 200mtr/650ft drill hole. Was quite entertaining getting it drilled. The heat pump/drill hole has been setup for minimum -12C/10F temperatures.
If you say "heat pump" here it means air. The US has geothermal but it's as small scale as electric cars. It's expensive with a long term ROI. Federal tax credits for geothermal expired this year making the investment less attractive.
 
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Brombear

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 16, 2013
1,309
Frankfurt Area, Germany
I see, the drilling isn't cheap here either. Sometimes it is the only option, if you have not much space in your garden and don't want to deal with your neighbors, because Air devices might have noise issues, especially when mounted close to a wall or in a corner (in Europe everything is a bit closer). If drilling isn't working due to constraints in soil, you might lay some pe pipes in 1.5 meters/5 feet below surface level in your garden. it's warm enough there, but you need quite some square meter/feet. A newer idea is to use slinkies which optimizes the amount of material to dig out (I heard that is in use in the US for longer). The good thing about it is that you can DIY and only have to rent a digger for a day or more and the pe pipes+accessories.

[video=youtube;ogpmkoooNnw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogpmkoooNnw[/video].
 

twobjshelbys

GT Owner
Jul 26, 2010
4,906
Las Vegas, NV
Awsum, I hope you're coming to the Rally, because I'd like to discuss and benefit from your experience. Last Fall, I had my attic insulated with spray foam on the inside of the roof deck. I had blown-in fiberglass wool that just sat on top of the ceiling of the 2nd floor, and it had packed down in places and wasn't working very well. The spray foam was expensive, but I figured it would seal up the attic out to the eaves, bring the upstairs HVAC unit and ducts inside the insulated space, and stop air infiltration, which was at least as responsible for heat/cooling loss as the poor insulation. It has made a big and immediately noticeable difference in comfort, HVAC cycling, and evenness of temperatures throughout the 2nd floor. I've also chased air leaks in the rest of the house to cut down on air infiltration. I still have plenty left, but they are hard to get to. One other benefit is, I've made it much harder for mice to get into the house too!
Re: Use of spray foam. I built my houses with 2x6 all around and insulated with2-3" of spray foam on all weather exposed surfaces. In our area of Colorado this served two purposes. First was the extra insulation factor over simply using fiberglass bats. But the biggest benefit was that the foam locks the sheathing to the studs, so when we got our high winds there was no racking and creaking. We never had a single drywall crack or nail pop in almost 20 years.
 

2112

Blue/white 06'
Mark II Lifetime
I have built a couple houses. The last one will literally be the last one.

Looked at geothermal. Even with the tax credits, the contractor I talked to regarding the project was honest enough to tell me it would not break even (pay for itself) in my lifetime, or possibly even the children's lifetime.

Insulated well, attic fan, heat pump, care placed in sealing etc. The single biggest energy saver for me? Laminated glass windows. Most effective UV protection possible, nearly zero color change. I did it for the added security, the huge energy savings was a big bonus.
 

Awsum GT

GT Owner '05 & '18
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 17, 2005
3,759
Central California
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598

GT Owner
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Feb 19, 2007
207
Frankfort Ill
Ever notice how all these crazy ideas are floated by people who wont be around when their idea has to be put into effect? 2040?
 

Awsum GT

GT Owner '05 & '18
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 17, 2005
3,759
Central California
Deleted
 
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Awsum GT

GT Owner '05 & '18
Mark IV Lifetime
Sep 17, 2005
3,759
Central California
Deleted
 
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Brombear

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 16, 2013
1,309
Frankfurt Area, Germany
I think this is more of a clear message to automotive companies to innovate. Usually automotive companies aren't among the most innovative, because F&E is expensive and a huge risk. Add big costs for tooling changes and lots of employes dedicated to combustion engines and transmissions that need new knowledge. Not to forget that the main point is battery technology, something that has not been a key technology.

The law does only apply to new cars (registered for the first time), so no direct effect on all registered cars. But it is also clear that the amount of fossil fuel sold from that moment on ist starting to decline sharply over the typical lifespan of a car and that availability of it will start to decline and prices go up.

The common understanding in Europe is that this is more of a lip service, since advancement of electric car technology should have outpaced fossil fuel driven cars already.

In reality things are never as bad as they seem.
 
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PL510*Jeff

Well-known member
Mark IV Lifetime
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Nov 3, 2005
4,585
Renton, Washington
I read an interesting article yesterday regarding batteries of the future. Toyota, Hyundai and others are working on "game changer" technology...solid state batteries.

The idea has been around for a while. Feasibility for automotive use is on track, here is partial quote from that article.

."... U of T were announcing they'd developed a solid-state battery, one that has improved energy density (which means a car so equipped can drive further) and can be recharged more quickly and more often (a.k.a., "long cycle life") than a lithium-ion battery."

The conducting agent is a sodium glass combination. Which has none of the harmful effects associated with the current Lithium batteries.

Time will tell if this will become a commercial product that will be truly a "game changer".
 

Brombear

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
May 16, 2013
1,309
Frankfurt Area, Germany
That's right, not every breakthrough from research that has been announced made it to a commercially viable product.

The thing with the future is - it's soo uncertain ...
 

DBK

FAVOR FACTORY
Staff member
Le Mans 2010 Supporter
Jul 30, 2005
14,544
Metro Detroit
Musk is an amazing salesman.

Imagine if literally anyone else floated this idea: we're going to dig subterranean tunnels. Within those tunnels will be platforms. We will take vehicles from the surface of the earth and transport them down elevators to these platforms, which will then whisk them through these subterranean tunnels to other locations where different elevators will then deliver them back to the surface. It's so stupid it's beyond parody.

But what's even more stupid? Tweeting that you've "received verbal government approval" to begin building a series of underground low-friction tunnels between several major U.S cities. Oh, verbal government approval? Well sign me up!

Electric cars aren't new. People were building then 120 years ago. Anybody today can build super expensive money losing electric cars subsidized by governments and profitable legacy companies. Does anyone really think but for the factor of "hey we're the Apple of cars, look at the cool factor" literally any auto company couldn't do the exact same thing? The technology isn't new, novel or complicated.

I would argue that Tesla's valuation is a joke, but Musk does it frequently himself, which is yet another amazing spectacle. Because they never prototyped the Model 3 tooling, I've got a buddy hot to short TSLA on the assumption things will go wrong. I think he's nuts. Some day Musk will declare "Tesla is about to go bankrupt" and the stock will rise 37% that day as a bunch of analysts blow him over being a visionary. :lol Maybe some day they'll start using GAAP...
 

Cobrar

GT Owner
Mark II Lifetime
Jun 24, 2006
3,821
Metro Detroit
Funny thing about 'tunnels', espically along the Atlantic coast. Seems that there is quite a lot of unmapped and highly secret infrastructure that is buried up and down the coast.

Built a large regional shopping center in major city along the coast. While excavating deep for foundations a subcontractor inadvertently cut into a large black cable. This in spite of exhaustive research, well beyond reaching out to 'Miss Dig.' I'd say about 20 minutes later, the site was surrounded by more unmarked black sport utility vehicles than I've ever seen before in one place - save any GM holding lot (apologize for the disparaging comment about comoetitor inventory mgmt.). Turns out the black cable was a secondary means of private communication between the White House and Camp David.

I'm sure that somewhere in the 'verbal approval' that Musk and Team had fully exhausted the myriad of complexity iin government infrastructure, both known/disclosed and those that are secret. This guy is a latter day PT Barnum with enough following to get all the PR one could want. Just hope you aren't the last man standing when the music stops and there are no chairs remaining for your butt.
 
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KennethClay

GT Owner
Oct 15, 2012
517
New York
Musk is an amazing salesman.

I would argue that Tesla's valuation is a joke, but Musk does it frequently himself, which is yet another amazing spectacle. Because they never prototyped the Model 3 tooling, I've got a buddy hot to short TSLA on the assumption things will go wrong. I think he's nuts. Some day Musk will declare "Tesla is about to go bankrupt" and the stock will rise 37% that day as a bunch of analysts blow him over being a visionary. :lol Maybe some day they'll start using GAAP...
+1. It's ridiculous. Absent massive subsidies, and continuing willingness of investors to fund losses, that company would go "poof". Witness what happened in HK. Subsidies went away, and sales the next month were.....zero. Literally. However, as the old saying goes, the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent!

I'm just glad that our friends at Ford are building things like the NFGT (and that super fast new Mustang). Thanks, guys!

Kenneth