A Dose of Reality

Mark Wainwright

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AMERICAN perspective on the evolution of EV’s (Electric Vehicles. I thought you might find this of interest. You may have seen this before, but with all the hoopla about EVs these days, it might be a great time to re-read it!!


Depending how and when you count, Japan's Toyota is the world's largest automaker. According to Wheels, Toyota and Volkswagen vie for the title of the world's largest, with each taking the crown from the other as the market moves. That's including Volkswagen's inherent advantage of sporting 12 brands versus Toyota's four. Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche, Bugatti, and Bentley are included in the Volkswagen brand family.


GM, America's largest automaker, is about half Toyota's size thanks to its 2009 bankruptcy and restructuring. Toyota is actually a major car manufacturer in the United States; in 2016 it made about 81% of the cars it sold in the U.S. right here in its nearly half a dozen American plants. If you're driving a Tundra, RAV4, Camry, or Corolla it was probably American-made in a red state. Toyota was among the first to introduce gas-electric hybrid cars into the market, with the Prius twenty years ago. It hasn't been afraid to change the car game.


All of this is to point out that Toyota understands both the car market and the infrastructure that supports it perhaps better than any other manufacturer on the planet. It hasn't grown its footprint through acquisitions, as Volkswagen has, and it hasn't undergone bankruptcy and bailout as GM has. Toyota has grown by building reliable cars for decades.


When Toyota offers an opinion on the car market, it's probably worth listening to. This week, Toyota reiterated an opinion it has offered before. That opinion is straightforward: The world is not yet ready to support a fully electric auto fleet.


Toyota's head of energy and environmental research Robert Wimmer testified before the Senate this week, and said: "If we are to make dramatic progress in electrification, it will require overcoming tremendous challenges, including refueling infrastructure, battery availability, consumer acceptance, and affordability.”


Wimmer's remarks come on the heels of GM's announcement that it will phase out all gas internal combustion engines (ICE) by 2035. Other manufacturers, including Mini, have followed suit with similar announcements.


Tellingly, both Toyota and Honda have so far declined to make any such promises. Honda is the world's largest engine manufacturer when you take its boat, motorcycle, lawnmower, and other engines it makes outside the auto market into account. Honda competes in those markets with Briggs & Stratton and the increased electrification of lawnmowers, weed trimmers, and the like.

Wimmer noted that while manufacturers have announced ambitious goals, just 2% of the world's cars are electric at this point. For price, range, infrastructure, affordability, and other reasons, buyers continue to choose ICE over electric, and that's even when electric engines are often subsidized with tax breaks to bring price tags down.


The scale of the switch hasn't even been introduced into the conversation in any systematic way yet. According to Finances Online, there are 289.5 million cars just on U.S. roads as of 2021. About 98 percent of them are gas-powered. Toyota's RAV4 took the top spot for purchases in the U.S. market in 2019, with Honda's CR-V in second. GM's top seller, the Chevy Equinox, comes in at #4 behind the Nissan Rogue. This is in the U.S. market, mind. GM only has one entry in the top 15 in the U.S. Toyota and Honda dominate, with a handful each in the top 15.


Toyota warns that the grid and infrastructure simply aren't there to support the electrification of the private car fleet. A 2017 U.S. government study found that we would need about 8,500 strategically-placed charge stations to support a fleet of just 7 million electric cars. That's about six times the current number of electric cars but no one is talking about supporting just 7 million cars. We should be talking about powering about 300 million within the next 20 years, if all manufacturers follow GM and stop making ICE cars.


Simply put, we are gonna need a bigger energy boat to deal with connecting all those cars to the power grids, a WHOLE LOT bigger.


But instead of building a bigger boat, we may be shrinking the boat we have now. The power outages in California and Texas — the largest U.S. states by population and by car ownership — exposed issues with powering needs even at current usage levels. Increasing usage of wind and solar, neither of which can be throttled to meet demand, and both of which prove unreliable in crisis, has driven some coal and natural gas generators offline Wind simply runs counter to needs — it generates too much power when we tend not to need it, and generates too little when we need more. The storage capacity to account for this doesn't exist yet.


We will need much more generation capacity to power about 300 million cars if we're all going to be forced to drive electric cars. Whether we're charging them at home or charging them on the road, we will be charging them frequently. Every gas station you see on the roadside today will have to be wired to charge electric cars, and charge speeds will have to be greatly increased. Current technology enables charges in "as little as 30 minutes," according to Kelly Blue Book. That best-case-scenario fast charging cannot be done on home power. It uses direct current and specialized systems. Charging at home on alternating current can take a few hours to overnight to fill the battery, and will increase the home power bill. That power, like all electricity in the United States, comes from generators using natural gas, petroleum, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, or hydroelectric power according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. I left out biomass because, despite Austin, Texas' experiment with purchasing a biomass plant to help power the city, biomass is proving to be irrelevant in the grand energy scheme thus far. Austin didn't even turn on its biomass plant during the recent freeze.


Half an hour is an unacceptably long time to spend at an electron pump. It's about 5 to 10 times longer than a current trip to the gas pump tends to take when pumps can push 4 to 5 gallons into your tank per minute. That's for consumer cars, not big rigs that have much larger tanks. Imagine the lines that would form at the pump, every day, all the time, if a single charge time isn't reduced by 70 to 80 percent. We can expect improvements, but those won't come without cost. Nothing does. There is no free lunch. Electrifying the auto fleet will require a massive overhaul of the power grid and an enormous increase in power generation. Elon Musk recently said we might need double the amount of power we're currently generating if we go electric. He's not saying this from a position of opposing electric cars. His Tesla dominates that market and he presumably wants to sell even more of them.


Toyota has publicly warned about this twice, while its smaller rival GM is pushing to go electric. GM may be virtue signaling to win favor with those in power in California and Washington and in the media. Toyota's addressing reality and its record is evidence that it deserves to be heard.


Toyota isn't saying none of this can be done, by the way. It's just saying that so far, the conversation isn't anywhere near serious enough to get things done.


YOU CAN IGNORE REALITY, BUT YOU CANNOT IGNORE THE CONSEQUENCES OF IGNORING REALITY


You know if the current power grid cannot handle a night of -20 degrees without rolling blackouts. How in the hell are we ever going to plug 25 million electric cars in over-night without causing the grid to crash.

You know there are three kinds of men in this world: There are the ones that learn by reading. There is the few who learn by observation, and then the rest of them who have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves.
 

mpgmike

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What an extremely well thought out discourse! Thank you!

The one critical element I see missing from all the rhetoric is the "almost always plugged in" concept. There are wireless game controllers that recharge when you set them on a charge pad. They don't need to actually plug in. Similarly, EVs can recharge inductively when parked above an inductive charge antenna pad in the parking spot.

With the grid, peak hour demand overwhelms the supply. Yet during off-peak hours, the power companies are forced to simply throw away excess generated energy. The subject of storing the excess becomes expensive, as it requires batteries (DC) to store the energy, then an inverter (AC) to put that energy back into the grid. A small upgrade to the standard EV charger can push energy either way -- from the grid to the vehicle, and from the vehicle to the grid. Ponder that for a moment.

If every EV is connected to the grid -- either through a plug or inductively -- when not being driven, then it becomes a ballast battery for the Grid! During peak hours most folks are at work; their vehicle sits in a parking spot. At night when the power companies are throwing energy away, most folks are home with their car in the garage (or other parking spot).

Using a clever accounting system, power companies can "borrow" energy from the millions of EVs parked & connected during peak usage hours, then pay it back at night when they would otherwise be throwing the electricity away. Furthermore, with carefully crafted marketing, the public would buy into the concept of getting their "fuel" at night when rates are lower, and always being connected.

I believe California can solve their grid issues without building even 1 more power plant by promoting EVs, but with the "almost always plugged in" concept. If you're not driving, you're connected to the grid. Of course the OEM EV manufacturers would need to be able to provide state-of-charge information through a standard communications protocol for the grid to query. In other words, it would have to be a concerted effort between OEMs and power companies (and probably legislators) to implement, but more EVs mean more back-up batteries for the grid.
 

Treblig

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I'm too drunk to read all that crap (stuff)??? sorry............still looking for the "magic *****" post!!!!:mad::mob::poke::realcrazy::soapbox::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
 

tinman2

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What an extremely well thought out discourse! Thank you!

The one critical element I see missing from all the rhetoric is the "almost always plugged in" concept. There are wireless game controllers that recharge when you set them on a charge pad. They don't need to actually plug in. Similarly, EVs can recharge inductively when parked above an inductive charge antenna pad in the parking spot.

With the grid, peak hour demand overwhelms the supply. Yet during off-peak hours, the power companies are forced to simply throw away excess generated energy. The subject of storing the excess becomes expensive, as it requires batteries (DC) to store the energy, then an inverter (AC) to put that energy back into the grid. A small upgrade to the standard EV charger can push energy either way -- from the grid to the vehicle, and from the vehicle to the grid. Ponder that for a moment.

If every EV is connected to the grid -- either through a plug or inductively -- when not being driven, then it becomes a ballast battery for the Grid! During peak hours most folks are at work; their vehicle sits in a parking spot. At night when the power companies are throwing energy away, most folks are home with their car in the garage (or other parking spot).

Using a clever accounting system, power companies can "borrow" energy from the millions of EVs parked & connected during peak usage hours, then pay it back at night when they would otherwise be throwing the electricity away. Furthermore, with carefully crafted marketing, the public would buy into the concept of getting their "fuel" at night when rates are lower, and always being connected.

I believe California can solve their grid issues without building even 1 more power plant by promoting EVs, but with the "almost always plugged in" concept. If you're not driving, you're connected to the grid. Of course the OEM EV manufacturers would need to be able to provide state-of-charge information through a standard communications protocol for the grid to query. In other words, it would have to be a concerted effort between OEMs and power companies (and probably legislators) to implement, but more EVs mean more back-up batteries for the grid.
Cool idea, but can you imagine what it would take to put in charging stations in every parking spot in the United States.
I have a neighbor that works for a major electrical contractor. We have underground wiring in our neighborhood with some transformers in locked boxes spaced around. He recently told me that if he and his immediate neighbors all had EVs, those transformers and all the underground wiring would not be able to handle the load, and would have to be replaced.
 

Treblig

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I don't mind EVs too much....but my problem is when you take a vacation and you drive a long distance. You're on a schedule, and you're low on fuel (energy) so you stop to charge the batteries........it takes hours!!!! You can't just refuel and go like with a regular car?? I don't want to waist hours waiting for the batteries to recharge to continue on my vacation. I don't even like stopping to put gas in my car when I'm driving cross country!!!!:mad::mob::realcrazy::soapbox:
 
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I don't mind EVs too much....but my problem is when you take a vacation and you drive a long distance. You're on a schedule, and you're low on fuel (energy) so you stop to charge the batteries........it takes hours!!!! You can't just refuel and go like with a regular car?? I don't want to waist hours waiting for the batteries to recharge to continue on my vacation. I don't even like stopping to put gas in my car when I'm driving cross country!!!!:mad::mob::realcrazy::soapbox:
The thing that gets me is in the 4 minutes it takes me to fuel up, the wife and kids will spend 30 bucks on snacks at that gas station

I can't imagine the damage if they stay there 2 hours
 

tinman2

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The thing that gets me is in the 4 minutes it takes me to fuel up, the wife and kids will spend 30 bucks on snacks at that gas station

I can't imagine the damage if they stay there 2 hours
Maybe they should put charging stations at restaurants and hotels. You could plug in and go inside for a good meal and plug in where you are staying and maybe avoid more convenience stops along the way.
 

toolmanmike

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The thing that gets me is in the 4 minutes it takes me to fuel up, the wife and kids will spend 30 bucks on snacks at that gas station

I can't imagine the damage if they stay there 2 hours
:lol::lol: We have a couple "Convenience Plazas" on our route west. It's the craft and gift items they sell that will get ya. Usually those purchases are more than what I pay to fill up at the pump. Never mind the store items, snacks Arby's, and hot pizza to go.
 
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tinman2

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And, something I have thought about for my use, I don't need 300 or 400 mile range. I probably haven't driven 100 miles in a day for years. So I don't need the expense or extra weight of that much battery capacity.
Also, I have wondered about replaceable batteries where you could just pull in to a station and slide out your depleted batteries and slide in fresh ones and be on your way.
I have EGO brand lawnmower and other tools. I like them even more than I expected. If my mower battery runs out, I just pop in a fresh one and keep going. All EGO tool batteries will interchange.
If I don't let my grass get too deep, one 7.5 amp/hour battery will just get it done.
 
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And, something I have thought about for my use, I don't need 300 or 400 mile range. I probably haven't driven 100 miles in a day for years. So I don't need the expense or extra weight of that much battery capacity.
Also, I have wondered about replaceable batteries where you could just pull in to a station and slide out your depleted batteries and slide in fresh ones and be on your way.
I have EGO brand lawnmower and other tools. I like them even more than I expected. If my mower battery runs out, I just pop in a fresh one and keep going. All EGO tool batteries will interchange.
If I don't let my grass get too deep, one 7.5 amp/hour battery will just get it done.

i've worked in warehouse setting before where we had a electric forklifts, and an extra bank of batteries on the charger

it would take half a day to get a full charge on a battery, but if the forklift ran out, it would take 7 minutes to swap out the empty on and swap in a full one

and you could cut that time down to 2 minutes if you ignored ASHO and PPOE requirements
 

Mark Wainwright

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And, something I have thought about for my use, I don't need 300 or 400 mile range. I probably haven't driven 100 miles in a day for years. So I don't need the expense or extra weight of that much battery capacity.
Also, I have wondered about replaceable batteries where you could just pull in to a station and slide out your depleted batteries and slide in fresh ones and be on your way.
I have EGO brand lawnmower and other tools. I like them even more than I expected. If my mower battery runs out, I just pop in a fresh one and keep going. All EGO tool batteries will interchange.
If I don't let my grass get too deep, one 7.5 amp/hour battery will just get it done.
I just bought a Toro 60 volt self propelled. It takes 2.5 hrs to recharge and has a 1 hr run time.
I've got rid of all my Gas powered yard equip except my 10 hp snow blower. I don't think a battery powered snowblower will go through packing snow. My 10hp walks right through it.
 

DionR

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What an extremely well thought out discourse! Thank you!

The one critical element I see missing from all the rhetoric is the "almost always plugged in" concept. There are wireless game controllers that recharge when you set them on a charge pad. They don't need to actually plug in. Similarly, EVs can recharge inductively when parked above an inductive charge antenna pad in the parking spot.

With the grid, peak hour demand overwhelms the supply. Yet during off-peak hours, the power companies are forced to simply throw away excess generated energy. The subject of storing the excess becomes expensive, as it requires batteries (DC) to store the energy, then an inverter (AC) to put that energy back into the grid. A small upgrade to the standard EV charger can push energy either way -- from the grid to the vehicle, and from the vehicle to the grid. Ponder that for a moment.

If every EV is connected to the grid -- either through a plug or inductively -- when not being driven, then it becomes a ballast battery for the Grid! During peak hours most folks are at work; their vehicle sits in a parking spot. At night when the power companies are throwing energy away, most folks are home with their car in the garage (or other parking spot).

Using a clever accounting system, power companies can "borrow" energy from the millions of EVs parked & connected during peak usage hours, then pay it back at night when they would otherwise be throwing the electricity away. Furthermore, with carefully crafted marketing, the public would buy into the concept of getting their "fuel" at night when rates are lower, and always being connected.

I believe California can solve their grid issues without building even 1 more power plant by promoting EVs, but with the "almost always plugged in" concept. If you're not driving, you're connected to the grid. Of course the OEM EV manufacturers would need to be able to provide state-of-charge information through a standard communications protocol for the grid to query. In other words, it would have to be a concerted effort between OEMs and power companies (and probably legislators) to implement, but more EVs mean more back-up batteries for the grid.

Nice job thinking outside the box, but I for one would hate to come out to my car and find that the charge was at 50% because they "borrowed" some and I need 60% to get home.
 

JDMopar

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I work for the largest electric utility in the USA (well, for 12 more weeks anyway) and if all of our customers suddenly had one or two electric vehicles to charge every day......we'd have more wire laying on the ground than we would in the air! We have very good infrastructure compared to other electric utilities, but that much added load would not be able to be met. Not by generation, maybe not by transmission and certainly not by distribution. We're spending billions of dollars, and everyone is working like mad to get upgrades made but it can't happen overnight. We suffer from supply chain issues just like every other industry. Right now, transformer manufacturing cannot keep up with demand because all utilities are upgrading just like we are, which exacerbates that problem. We aren't to the point of having to tell new customers we have no transformers to hook them up with, but that time could come! :(
 

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Nice job thinking outside the box, but I for one would hate to come out to my car and find that the charge was at 50% because they "borrowed" some and I need 60% to get home.
And there is the problem with and I use the term loosely communal power. Everybody’s battery is part of a whole. No individualism you get what everyone else gets no matter how hard you work.
 

Daves69

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Maybe they should put charging stations at restaurants and hotels....

Seems to me a restaurant might not like that if people are camped out at a table for a couple hours.
Hotel overnight I could see.


If one is charging their EV off an electric grid that is generated by 85-90% coal, shouldn't that car be considered a :eek:coal car
upload_2022-9-16_7-33-47.png
?
 

Ahoey

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Not if a Dam or wind turbines are producing the power??
True, here in manisnowba I think almost a100% of our power comes from hydro electric and we sell vast amounts to the northern states and Ontario. But it doesn’t matter how you generate it, it still leaves a footprint. Hydro electric greener than fossil fuels?
Flooded land, methane produced and a host of other problems. So six of one half a dozen of the other.
 

Treblig

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True, here in manisnowba I think almost a100% of our power comes from hydro electric and we sell vast amounts to the northern states and Ontario. But it doesn’t matter how you generate it, it still leaves a footprint. Hydro electric greener than fossil fuels?
Flooded land, methane produced and a host of other problems. So six of one half a dozen of the other.
it probaby took some fossil fuels to make thr EV car???
 

Mark Wainwright

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True, here in manisnowba I think almost a100% of our power comes from hydro electric and we sell vast amounts to the northern states and Ontario. But it doesn’t matter how you generate it, it still leaves a footprint. Hydro electric greener than fossil fuels?
Flooded land, methane produced and a host of other problems. So six of one half a dozen of the other.
Here in Ontario it costs 8.5 cents a kWh for windpower, 6 cents for solar and 3 cents for nuclear
If the wind is too strong they have to shut the windmills down and approx a lifetime of 8 years or so.
 
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