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Old 12-10-2019, 09:01 AM   #361
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Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post

But the math isn't yet compelling.

There's other electric vehicles that are cheaper but have shorter range making them less desirable for long road trips. Especially if they then require overnight hotel stays along the way.

Nonetheless, my wife and I agree we'll closely look at an electric when time comes to replace our small sedan we use for local trips.
Yes and no. If you look at it from just a MPG vs cost of electricity, yea, but, you also don't have a transmission to maintain, a gas engine (oil, plugs, etc) so it's hard to do an exact apples to apples here.

Additionally, even the ecoboost is a heavier polluter than an EV. Yes, it is true that a good portion of the electric grid is coal fired, but those numbers are slowing falling. EVs are the only cars that can actually get cleaner over time. As an example, look at the power grid 20 years ago, today, it is cleaner than it was then. That cannot be said for an ICE (internal combustion engine).

Taking a step further, there still are a few fairly generous federal/state rebates on EVs and other perks that also make an apples to apples comparison not easily determined.

What I like about my current commute Hybrid/EV is that it runs virtually silent. It's a bit jarring to hop into the truck comparatively.

As for the earlier dream of hydrogen fuel cell. It takes far more energy and pollution to create hydrogen, making Hydrogen fuel clean, but with a heavy back end tax. Many countries don't have sufficient hydrogen infrastructure and from the look of what's coming down the pike, at least in the US, the hydrogen fuel cell is all but a California niche or DOA comparatively speaking.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:29 AM   #362
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There are 3 major impediments that serve to keep the hydrogen economy from being realized. Each will require major technology breakthroughs before we get there.

1. Hydrogen is expensive to transport. It costs about 8x per BTU to transport H2 than it does liquid hydrocarbon fuels. This implies the need for local generation of hydrogen gas.

2. The existing infrastructure (e.g. natural gas) is not adequate to use for H2, so piping hydrogen around would require all-new plumbing. Since the H2 molecule is so small, the cost of this infrastructure is much greater than typical piping we have for current natural gas.

3. Today, most of the world’s H2 is created from natural gas. You might have “clean” energy at point-of-use, but there is still a substantial greenhouse gas impact of the CO2 from the overall supply chain.

And I’ll throw in a bonus 4th impediment for fuel cells...

4. If you’re simply burning the hydrogen (i.e. hydrogen internal combustion engine), you can get away with a fair amount of trace contaminants in your fuel. However, electrochemical oxidation of hydrogen (e.g. fuel cells) requires extremely high purity levels. Gas cleanup is quite expensive to reach the required specifications.

In spite of what I’ve just written, I’m truly believe that the “hydrogen economy” can really impact environmental conditions on Mother Earth and I hope we can get there sooner rather than later. I am worried that we are not institutionally (government, corporate, university, etc.) spending enough research dollars on removing these blockers. So until then, let the electric vehicle trend continue to expand!
These are all interesting challenges. I disagree with pteck, above, that a discussion of BEVs (and the Tesla truck in particular) is incompatible with a discussion of FCVs. I think the two technologies will complement each other. One may win out in the end in a specific market, but why not let them each develop and see where it goes? For local and medium range trips a EV will do great. If people value longer range and faster refueling, and are willing to pay more for those features, great. Choice is a good thing.

The supplier of our local hydrogen stations (partnered with Shell) is HTEC. They are in hydrogen production and distribution, not vehicles. They are using steam and natural gas now, but are building electrolysis plants, including in BC and in California. They use prefab modules for quicker deployment, and localized H2 production. Those modules are also being deployed to fleet customers who can have their own for medium and heavy duty trucks. More details on all of this here https://www.htec.ca/

Another thing to consider in this technology race. Fossil fuels as we use them now won’t go on forever. Many jurisdictions have set a sunset date for ICE vehicles for personal use, including where I live. That threatens the business models of a lot of fossil fuel companies. H2 can be seen as a migration path for them. Hence the investment partners. With EV stations, the investors are EV companies and electric utilities. With H2 stations, it includes fuel companies. The Hydrogen Council includes a lot of familiar names from industry, and they are investing in stations.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:40 AM   #363
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I can't speak for other manufacturers, but Tesla has a coast to coast and many points in between charge network. In fact the car (and I would assume the truck will as well) have the smarts built in that show range to next charger, best mph to assure you reach it. Yes, there will be about 30 minutes to get 80% charged, but Tesla's vast supercharger network literally grows by the month.


https://www.tesla.com/en_EU/supercharger

Other car companies don't have anything close to this. On the flip side, the other car companies have a vast service support structure meaning when on the road you are more apt to find a Chevy, Ford, Dodge, Toyota, etc service center on your trip than a Tesla repair shop. That worries me more than finding a place to charge a Tesla. Not even sure a local garage will be able to do much with a Tesla if it gets much beyond tires, maybe brakes....
I give Tesla full points for their progress. But the traditional manufacturers have taken note. Look at the Mustang Mach e web info.
https://www.ford.ca/suvs/mach-e/2021/

Ford is including Ford Pass, and Ford Connect, an app and vehicle software. It knows where the chargers are. It does route planning. Ford is developing a network of fast DC chargers with partners. Software is downloaded direct to the vehicle, not like past Ford updates that required dealer visits. The central display is larger than Tesla’s, plus there is a driver display. Ford is going to take great ideas from Tesla, duplicate them, improve where they can, and add in their dealer support network. In my province, with 9% of all personal vehicles sold this year being EVs, and Tesla having garnered 40% market share of that figure, the competition will heat up next year. Good times, whether one wants a Tesla or an alternative BEV.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:45 AM   #364
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The supplier of our local hydrogen stations (partnered with Shell) is HTEC. They are in hydrogen production and distribution, not vehicles. They are using steam and natural gas now, but are building electrolysis plants, including in BC and in California. They use prefab modules for quicker deployment, and localized H2 production. Those modules are also being deployed to fleet customers who can have their own for medium and heavy duty trucks. More details on all of this here https://www.htec.ca/
I agree that fuel cells are a great technology, but it seems more geared for the truck fleet than consumers, though it can and is applied to consumer vehicles. I also agree that in the no too distant future two things will have happened. We will have virtually destroyed the planet with pollution and/or we will have exhausted the non-renewable resources.

Gonna go off on a slight tangent here...but don't misunderstand that I am no "tree hugger", but even with fuel cells (like their full battery counterparts), there is NO way possible to move forward without some conversation of some sort on what will supply the energy of the future. I think here in the US we missed a great opportunity for the IFR reactors that can produce trillions of gigawatts and have 1/8th of the waste that the current light water reactors produce and would not have had the problems found in Chernobyl, Fukushima and 3 Mile Island. Yes, I firmly believe that wind, solar will play a pivotal role, but if you are not on the nuclear train, you are in the coal and natural gas camp. Yes nuclear fusion is very promising, but don't count on it happening in our life time. So all in all, if you are going to talk EV in any capacity, the grid convo must also be addressed, and probobly at a much faster pace than it has been at the national level here in the US. We are going to put millions of EVs on the road in some capacity and with lightwater reactors being shutdown left and right, what's gonna fill that gap? Unfortunately wind, water and solar will simply be unable to do this alone.

Back on topic, my (personal) biggest problem with fuel cells is that you are consuming enormous resources to produce a resource, when you could simply use the initial resource (electricity) as the primary. Granted this only really makes sense if they battery technology continues to evolve, improve and the cost per watt go down. That to me is one of the largest hurdles because batteries do have a finite life and abuse (too hot/cold) with today's deployed technology will reduce battery life significantly. Fuel cells can make that point moot, but at what cost? At the rate battery prices are going, you could replace your EV battery for far less than the cost of a currently deployed fuel cell stack.

I am far from an authority on this subject, I just have watched EVs evolve since the EV1 came out and was subsequently taken back and crushed. I have had a hybrid EV for nearly 9 years now. I would suggest watching the movie Pandora's Promise. It's free for prime members on Amazon video. It really puts our energy needs and options in perspective in my opinion.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:59 AM   #365
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Great discussion! Lots of good data here! Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2019, 11:49 AM   #366
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~~
Additionally, even the ecoboost is a heavier polluter than an EV. Yes, it is true that a good portion of the electric grid is coal fired, but those numbers are slowing falling. EVs are the only cars that can actually get cleaner over time. As an example, look at the power grid 20 years ago, today, it is cleaner than it was then. That cannot be said for an ICE (internal combustion engine).

~~
Your closing sentence in the quoted paragraph is simply not true. ICE engines are both cleaner and more efficient than they were 20 years ago. If you meant to say that a 20-year-old ICE engine is not cleaner today than it was when it was built, that's misleading since the power grid is not using the same mix of fuels, generating facilities, etc. that it was 20 years ago either. I get the "EVs get cleaner as the power grid is improved" trope but it's simply false to say that modern ICE engines are no better than ICE engines in 1999.
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:17 PM   #367
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What will happen fastest may determine a lot of choices. The climate is changing rapidly, more rapidly than it was believed just a few years ago. Fuel cells are intriguing and may work best for heavy trucks, but for most vehicles, we are going to have to replace the gas/diesel fleet quickly. I think everyone is going to take a hit in one way or another and that is the penalty we pay for not acting sooner. We as a country came close in the late 1980's, but old energy changed the direction we were going. After a successful campaign to close the ozone hole, climate change was next, but was stopped at the highest levels of our government around 1990.

So while we have made progress since, it has been too slow. Predictions have always too optimistic it appears. It may be that within ten years all gas/diesel vehicles will be banned as ocean levels rise faster. It may be the world's nation's impose severe sanctions on countries that don't comply—cut off from all trade, a non-cooperative nation may suffer serious economic consequences. That countries' citizens could not travel outside their country and all communication would be cut off. It could even happen to the US.

Will it get that bad? I don't know, but the risk of severe and rapid change seems to be increasing and the attempts to limit CO2 and methane in the atmosphere are not enough. If all the ice sheets melt, oceans will rise somewhere around 200 feet—these is a risk of that and we can't be sure we are not heading that way. This is like the nuclear risk—Hiroshimas, Fukoshimas and Chernobyl's may not happen often, but the disasters they are are so bad, we have to take extraordinary steps to avoid mistakes and nuclear wars.

So what is the quickest and cheapest way to effect change? Perhaps it is hybrids and full EV's where appropriate. Seems to me research on fuel cells should be put aside and the resources directed towards more promising and quick fixes. Coal power plants are down significantly from a dozen years ago, but that must accelerate. China is a major problem here as they continue to open new coal plants even though other parts of their government are encouraging renewables. Perhaps their government doesn't talk to itself since most of the country's creative energy seems be directed toward repression.

Assuming humanity will screw up the conversion of energy sources fast enough, there will be major disruption. Each of us should do what we can to help. It makes little sense to replace an old truck with a newer one when we don't use it much anymore, but I am wondering what to do with our SUV. It is in great shape, but uses lots of fuel. If I were of infinite wealth I could just park it and buy a hybrid SUV. If I sell it, someone else will use it for years. We switched all our light bulbs to LED's—that helps a little. We recycle. We keep the temps low in the winter in the house. We vastly increased insulation in our house where we could. I am unsure I am doing enough and am sure others are not doing anything but making it worse. While I doubt I'll be around in 2050, I worry about my wife who comes from a very long lived family and what she will face.

The conversation about Tesla and other EV's is informative and interesting, but we need immediate fixes and ten or twenty thousand Tesla as and Rivians in a few years isn't going to make much of a dent in the problem. If all vehicles had to be hybrids or better in a year, that would help. That technology is fairly settled for immediate use. Tooling up would be a challenge, but could be done (look what the auto companies did at the start of WW II to change production immediately). Of course, no where do I see much interest in doing that and the arguing would take so long, that it won't happen or many years. If you have ocean front property, I'd sell it now before a buyer can't get a mortgage or insurance.

At present there are few climate sensitive trucks or SUVs that can tow anything bigger than a utility trailer. In the past few years they have been selling RV's at the rate of a half a million per year. This is not going to be solved easily or quickly. Unfortunately people have been predicting crises for centuries that never happened. It is easy for us to dismiss the danger now as just another prediction that will get solved or isn't real. This predicted crisis looks real to me and Tesla is a help (except as a design statement), but we need to be a lot more proactive. When I look at the problem and the Tesla solution, it just starts to look like wheel spinning while we burn.
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Old 12-10-2019, 01:00 PM   #368
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As individuals there is little or nothing we can actually do. My current diesel truck makes less CO2 than a gas truck with the same loads and miles driven.

My checking on internet sources says that the ocean is currently rising at a rate of 1/10 of an inch a year. The future is hard to predict. Extrapolations, labeled as computer modeling, produce a wide variety of "predictions".
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Old 12-10-2019, 01:14 PM   #369
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Your closing sentence in the quoted paragraph is simply not true. ICE engines are both cleaner and more efficient than they were 20 years ago. If you meant to say that a 20-year-old ICE engine is not cleaner today than it was when it was built, that's misleading since the power grid is not using the same mix of fuels, generating facilities, etc. that it was 20 years ago either. I get the "EVs get cleaner as the power grid is improved" trope but it's simply false to say that modern ICE engines are no better than ICE engines in 1999.
You are right. I was making a generalization of ICE vs EV, not a historical comparison of both around the same time.


Keep in mind as I type this I am the owner of 2 pure ICE (V8s) and one hybrid EV (of about 9 years).


However, the ICE has been taken as far as it can go. Today they add electric motors to increase MPG. ICE has had a good run and there will prob still be many applications for it well past the point when EVs are more commonplace....but ICE has similar components for emissions and fuel/air that they've had for decades and I look at it this way, from the 20s to the 70s, there were fewer emission controls= more pollution. Now we have even more cars out there, maybe dare to say 5x more (including developing economies) and the fact is that at best we perhaps are at the same pollution levels we were at back when there were fewer cars.

Unrelated, the comment that the other vendors are catching up, yes, they are, but Ford doesn't have a pure EV yet and prob won't until late next year at the earliest. If the major manufacturers were smart they would be already building out a good charging network. So far I've only seen VWs, but in all honesty I haven't been keeping up with the charging networks as much as the cars themselves. Tesla has a major lead. Toyota said a few years ago battery power was a farce. Don't know if they changed their tune, but it clearly shows Tesla with a few years lead on the competition.

Keep in mind I type this as an owner of 2 (V8) ICE vehicles I've owned and operated for 15 or so years and 1 hybrid ICE for about 9 years.
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Old 12-10-2019, 01:22 PM   #370
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The climate is changing rapidly, more rapidly than it was believed just a few years ago.

After a successful campaign to close the ozone hole, climate change was next, but was stopped at the highest levels of our government around 1990.
It may be that within ten years all gas/diesel vehicles will be banned as ocean levels rise faster.

If all the ice sheets melt, oceans will rise somewhere around 200 feet—these is a risk of that and we can't be sure we are not heading that way

Each of us should do what we can to help.

I am unsure I am doing enough and am sure others are not doing anything but making it worse.

And maybe an asteroid will hit Grand Junction tomorrow.
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Old 12-10-2019, 04:50 PM   #371
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Good discussion and I think we all agree the winds of change are in the air.

As a successful engineer with a wide grasp on technologies and production, car enthusiast, and Tesla owner... I can't help but be amused by somethings however. With comments about ICE, fuel cells, Mustang Mach E, etc. Many of these things I'll even lump together.

The reality that many don't understand is that Tesla is not just about EVs. That's where so many want to be EV manufacturers are getting it wrong. Tesla's are superlative not just on the EV front, where they are leading by generations in technology. Ask Porsche who is learning that. Musk insists on Tesla's being the best on almost every classic metric, including performance, efficiency, safety, user interface, user experience, price, ownership cost, service etc.

But it goes further than just the end product vehicle. They're changing the game on manufacturing. On development. On design. There's a concept of technology stack. Even if, and that's a big if, that another manufacturer comes out with an EV that's actually competitive with the current generation Tesla (they're barely competitive with a Tesla from 2012), they simply don't have the engineering team structure, chops, competitive technology investment, to out innovate Tesla. Tesla, from the ground floor of design and development, with their technology stack through manufacturing and production, is where they're winning. With the end product reflecting that in spades.

Fuel cells have been in development for decades with barely anything relevant, let alone competitive to show. With still significant technology and other hurdles discussed earlier. They've missed the window period. BEV momentum and technology, especially with Tesla's backing, is accelerating to a point that hydrogen will no longer catch.

Ford Mustang Mach E? Seriously, they're using a legacy non sequitur name plate to sell a future generation of change? One has to wonder if their marketing, or marketing in general as Tesla spends minimal to no dollars on, is even still relevant.

Taking it back to the cybertruck, it should be a big wake up call to every manufacture that's already quickly loosing market share to Tesla's current small product offerings... The tree is getting shook big time. Not just EVs. Mainstream, supercar, truck, etc. The very fundamental architecture of what it means to be a modern competitive vehicle has changed. To be relevant, they can't change quickly enough. Not just catch up. But also to keep up.
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Old 12-10-2019, 04:53 PM   #372
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And maybe an asteroid will hit Grand Junction tomorrow.
Or even today, but that does not advance the discussion at all.

Risk analysis means that for some risks you have to contemplate the worst outcomes because they are so bad. Less dangerous risks don't require that. So far all the predictions for climate have come true, but faster. The possible results are extremely daunting. For that reason you have to act quickly.

As individuals there are things we can do and should do even if we feel helpless, but as a society we have to make big changes happen. Only as a large group can we act in time. So buying an EV of some kind helps, LED's help, and little changes mount up. We are not powerless.

I have to find out if there is a truck based SUV hybrid from a reliable manufacturer. I know there are unibody ones (Toyota's Highlander for example), but truck based 4wd drive SUV's are best for where we live. Teslas may be full of cool stuff, but first of all we need transportation that can cross the state with wipers, heat, lights and go 300+ miles easily. I don't think they are not 4wd and are fine for other climates. And I don't know whether the Tesla truck or Rivian is 4wd, but for us that is important. I am glad companies are experimenting with EV trucks—someone has to start. You will not see contractors, for ex., buying them for quite a while. In 5 years Rivian may be owned by Ford (to pay off the loan), Tesla may be an amazing success story or a total failure (or neither), someone else may have an EV truck that is reasonably priced and can tow a mountain.

If everyone turned down the thermostat one degree in the winter, how much energy would we save? We have ours a different temps for different rooms ranging from 64 to 66. I hope many of you will buy Teslas, Rivians and whatever else shows up—someone has to test them and keep the effort going. Since Toyota is ignoring EVs now, our twenty years of Toyota purchases may be ending.
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:50 PM   #373
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As individuals there is little or nothing we can actually do. My current diesel truck makes less CO2 than a gas truck with the same loads and miles driven.

My checking on internet sources says that the ocean is currently rising at a rate of 1/10 of an inch a year. The future is hard to predict. Extrapolations, labeled as computer modeling, produce a wide variety of "predictions".
I don't think that it's true that there's little or nothing we can do, because if everyone does what they can it will add up to more than nothing. Gene listed a number of things in his recent post that he has done, and we have done similar things in our family. It's not going to be enough on its own, but it's a start.

Sometimes I hear Canadians say that our share of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is only about 1.6 percent of the global total, so it doesn't matter what we do, but we can lead by example, and we can develop technologies to help other nations reduce emissions. It's better to benefit by developing new technologies and selling them than to have to buy them from other nations.

We're seeing this in the dilemma of buying 5G technology from Huawei and risking Chinese interference or buying inferior equipment and risking losing out on the advantages of the economic development that will come from those faster networks.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we can help reduce pollution through personal actions, and we can support public policies that help on a larger scale. Both are necessary to bring about change.
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Old 12-10-2019, 05:56 PM   #374
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I expect the Tesla Truck to be an electron guzzler. Not the right thing as fossil fuel generation and nuclear power plants are being shut off. Hard to imagine how solar and wind will supply this nation's ever increasing appetite for electricity alone.

The environmental advocate lobby sees electric cars as a bridge to a movement to more high density housing, mass transit, and a carless lifestyle.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:49 PM   #375
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Good discussion and I think we all agree the winds of change are in the air.

As a successful engineer with a wide grasp on technologies and production, car enthusiast, and Tesla owner... I can't help but be amused by somethings however. With comments about ICE, fuel cells, Mustang Mach E, etc. Many of these things I'll even lump together.

The reality that many don't understand is that Tesla is not just about EVs. That's where so many want to be EV manufacturers are getting it wrong. Tesla's are superlative not just on the EV front, where they are leading by generations in technology. Ask Porsche who is learning that. Musk insists on Tesla's being the best on almost every classic metric, including performance, efficiency, safety, user interface, user experience, price, ownership cost, service etc.

But it goes further than just the end product vehicle. They're changing the game on manufacturing. On development. On design. There's a concept of technology stack. Even if, and that's a big if, that another manufacturer comes out with an EV that's actually competitive with the current generation Tesla (they're barely competitive with a Tesla from 2012), they simply don't have the engineering team structure, chops, competitive technology investment, to out innovate Tesla. Tesla, from the ground floor of design and development, with their technology stack through manufacturing and production, is where they're winning. With the end product reflecting that in spades.

Fuel cells have been in development for decades with barely anything relevant, let alone competitive to show. With still significant technology and other hurdles discussed earlier. They've missed the window period. BEV momentum and technology, especially with Tesla's backing, is accelerating to a point that hydrogen will no longer catch.

Ford Mustang Mach E? Seriously, they're using a legacy non sequitur name plate to sell a future generation of change? One has to wonder if their marketing, or marketing in general as Tesla spends minimal to no dollars on, is even still relevant.

Taking it back to the cybertruck, it should be a big wake up call to every manufacture that's already quickly loosing market share to Tesla's current small product offerings... The tree is getting shook big time. Not just EVs. Mainstream, supercar, truck, etc. The very fundamental architecture of what it means to be a modern competitive vehicle has changed. To be relevant, they can't change quickly enough. Not just catch up. But also to keep up.
YES! Tesla has changed the equation and forced other lax car companies to react to his success. I met the original founder of Tesla and he said that the original idea of the Tesla was not just to make an electric vehicle, but to make one to which people aspired. Kids putting posters on their walls. Cars like the EV1 were ugly as sin. The whole concept of "aspirational" has continued with Tesla and while who knows the future of the company and this truck, there is no doubt that the world would be different without Musk and Tesla. And I think that is a good thing.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:05 PM   #376
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I just wish we didn't have to wait a year or longer to get a Cybertruck...or a Rivian...or a Model Y...cutting edge waiting is hard...
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Old 12-10-2019, 08:43 PM   #377
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A long and winding post

Some good points all around, here are a few observations and questions.

I think many here in the discussion are focused, for good reason, on long-distance driving and point out the hassle of current charging times that increase time-in-transit significantly for BEV. However, long-distance drives likely represent far <10% of driving done by most people, even us AS owners, except when we're on a road trip.

So you can understand that Tesla and other BEV manufacturers are first concentrating on the vast majority of daily drivers for whom a 300 mile range is more than sufficient, and for whom charging overnight at home is the epitome of convenience and long term cost savings.

But for long hauls, and for segments like the trucking industry, BEVs aren't quite there yet. FCVs for this segment would in theory work better once the infrastructure is in place. So there are really at least two distinct and different markets/needs here: the daily driver and the heavy/long-hauler.

The H suppliers currently produce most H via a carbon-dirty process, but could in theory produce it cleanly by electrolysis via green renewables like wind and solar. I can see in theory where H is produced for long-term storage with virtually no loss whenever the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. Question: can this model produce enough H at scale? or can this model produce enough locally directly at a refueling station to avoid the transportation issues?

On tangent; I am concerned about climate change, but I also believe our society is too late to avoid preventing some major climate catastrophes from happening (and the most damaging of them will happen in slo-motion over decades, spiced with some devastating super storms now and then) and only after 1) some particularly damaging storms that affect the people in positions of power and influence and 2) the current generation of climate deniers age out, will any serious attempt at real change happen. It has always taken a tragedy to spur action, and even then, not without resistance.

But I also believe that a technological solution will be found. Even today, we already have the technology to produce energy cleanly, if not yet as cost-effectively as more carbon-dirty methods. It's not that we lack solutions or know-how, it's that we're too cheap/selfish/short-sighted, and our kids can see it.

While nuclear-fission energy could indeed be a carbon-clean producer that could balance the grid in high-demand periods, I have come to the conclusion that the human race is not yet ready for it. In the space of one life-time we have already witnessed three major accidents, two of which will remain lethally radioactive for untold generations to come. It would be one thing if an accident merely killed life and destroyed property for several square miles, its another when an accident can render an entire region uninhabitable for centuries, while producing radioactive waste that we still have no way of disposing of and which will remain deadly for millennia hence. Whether by natural disaster, human incompetence, negligence, sabotage, war, mistakes, deliberate attacks, cost-cutting, computer hack, system failure, miscommunication, or some other failing, predictable or not so, the likelihood of an unacceptable incident eventually approaches 100% over time and we couldn't be more hubristic than to think we can tame fission safely and responsibly.

As a wise engineer once wryly told me, those who think they have developed a fool-proof system have never met a sufficiently motivated and determined fool. It's not the technology that's at fault, it's us fallible humans.
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Old 12-10-2019, 09:34 PM   #378
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While we are nowhere near electric long-range air travel, one Canadian company is ready to make the switch to electric on their 13 aircraft, all of which travel routes of less than 70 miles. Close to 95% of British Columbia's electricity is generated from renewables. The plane is a retrofitted DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver.

Canadian airline makes history with first flight in the world by all-electric float plane

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Old 12-10-2019, 10:00 PM   #379
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How cool is that!
Take a 80+ year old aircraft design with the help of a Seattle based electric aerospace motor company, and voila, a revolution.
Canuck and Yankee know how, candu anything!
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Originally Posted by DavidsonOverlander View Post
While we are nowhere near electric long-range air travel, one Canadian company is ready to make the switch to electric on their 13 aircraft, all of which travel routes of less than 70 miles. Close to 95% of British Columbia's electricity is generated from renewables. The plane is a retrofitted DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver.

Canadian airline makes history with first flight in the world by all-electric float plane

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Old 12-10-2019, 10:21 PM   #380
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Another interesting data point.... our Model 3 Tesla has 20K miles, and is 16 months old. Maintenance costs so far have been about $40 for new Bosch windshield wipers. I rotated the tires myself. Next year I'll replace the cabin air filters, and in 3 years the battery coolant. I'll have them check the alignment at some point, and at the current rate will likely need new tires also in about 3 years if I get the 60K I expect from the OEM Michelins.


Electric vehicles are surprisingly cheap to run. Friends have related the same experience with other brands of EVs.


I think electric trucks will present an interesting set of trade-offs; I wonder if the long life and low maintenance might make EV trunk rentals attractive for people who need their trucks a few times a year, much as many people no longer buy RVs but rent them instead. This of course would make the capital costs of long range vehicles much easier to amortize.



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