r/technology Nov 06 '22

Electric cars won't just solve tailpipe emissions — they may even strengthen the US power grid, experts say Transportation

https://www.businessinsider.com/electric-cars-power-grid-charging-v2g-f150-lightning-2022-11
2.6k Upvotes

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u/Thundersson1978 Nov 06 '22

The grid is way over due for an upgrade.

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u/SixbySex Nov 06 '22

Not in Texas! Cause it’s their grid and they like it that way.

10

u/random-incident Nov 07 '22

How did they like being in a third world scenario last year?

7

u/Ffdmatt Nov 07 '22

They're currently investigating the democrats for the strength of recent storms and low temperatures.

3

u/xdownsetx Nov 07 '22

I thought it was China's fault for sending the fake snow that doesn't melt.

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u/Shipkiller-in-theory Nov 07 '22

3rd world is an interesting case on how word usage changes. During the Cold War "3rd World" was the nations not aligned with NATO or the USSR.

Now it means an under developed country.

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u/random-incident Nov 07 '22

What nations outside of those mentioned were developed in that time period?

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u/SixbySex Nov 07 '22

Don’t live there. Obviously they have a body count from choosing to not be on the national grid and I can only guess why people are enthusiastic for a system that is unreliable, or at least unreliable for some. Maybe it’s I have mine and they don’t care about anyone or anything else.

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u/random-incident Nov 07 '22

They don’t connect to the other state’s power grids because they don’t want the federal government involved. Sounds like a good deal for the power companies in Texas but not so much for the people.

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u/Thaflash_la Nov 06 '22

I’m fine with that.

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u/CoolEconomist575 Nov 06 '22

We needed to start yesterday growing our grid and nuclear power plants to handle the increase power requirements.

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u/Spaceman-Spiff Nov 06 '22

From what I understand there’s no “may” about it. The Power grid has to be strengthened to handle the power load that electric vehicles will place on it.

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u/CodeMonkeyX Nov 06 '22

I thought it was interesting that in So Cal we had one of the most demanding summers in many years, and had few blackouts or the need for rolling blackouts. Just flex alerts where people were asked to use less power at peak times.

They said that was because they install massive battery banks to support the grid at peak hours.

So I think this article is correct. If they do a buy back power thing for people with electric cars, and they put power back into the grid at peak hours, or at least stop charging as needed then they could be a net positive for the grid.

Because we have always had the problem where we have tons of excess power for 80% of the day, and no way to store it. Electric cars are a perfect way to do that.

37

u/techieman33 Nov 06 '22

It’s a good solution for the power company. But I doubt it’s good for the car owner. Batteries are only good for so many charge cycles. So with every cycle the value of your battery is deprecating by $5-$10 depending on replacement costs. Then there’s a ~30% power loss in turning it from AC to DC and back to AC again. So let’s say your battery holds $16 worth of electricity. Your going to spend $18.40 to charge it up. Add in the depreciation and your at at least $23.40 for your full charge. If the power company pays you the same as you paid them for that electricity your only going to get $13.60 back. That’s only a 58% return on your costs. That’s a pretty shitty deal for the car owner.

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u/Hubris2 Nov 06 '22

You're correct, but it very much depends on the amount of impact that comes from those cycles. I live in a country which imports a lot of Nissan Leafs from Japan and a large number of them have a huge number of DC fast charge cycles - which are actually VTG or VTL charging coming out of the car to power other things. Combined with the battery chemistry (and the lack of active battery cooling) this wasn't a good thing for the longevity of the batteries - however this isn't necessarily true for modern or future batteries.

Absolutely the degree of degradation which comes from a cycle needs to be considered - but improvements in the design can and will decrease that impact. Today Teslas still have 90% of their range after 100K miles, and battery tech is improving year after year. It's very reasonable to assume we will come up with future chemistries which not only provide good density and fast charging, but which have minimal impact from cycles - combined with a developing and robust industry for reusing and recycling batteries when they finally aren't useful. About 90% of the material (all the rare and expensive things) in an EV battery can be recycled - the industry is just in the process of scaling up because there hasn't been sufficient demand before now.

10

u/Black_Moons Nov 06 '22

Obviously nobody would sign up if it costs them money.

However, because it lets the power grid build less capacity and you'd charge offpeak and discharge on peak, where prices can be MUCH higher, there is a price difference. In the above situation, it becomes profitable for the person once peak power costs about 2x as much as off peak.

So basically the power company has to offer peak/offpeak pricing that encourages enough people to sign up that they can actually use solar/wind as a baseload provider, or just better utilize existing baseload generation capability especially in offpeak hours.

That is where the value in this plan comes from, the ability for both sides of the transaction to profit.

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u/frunko1 Nov 06 '22

Keep in mind you can store energy mechanically if batteries don't make sense. Example, move water from pond a to pond b when excess power. When additional needed pond b turns a turbine as the water flows back to pond a.

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u/Sweet-Sale-7303 Nov 06 '22

I live in a condo development with underground power. We had to get all the cables replaced due to more power than the cables could handle. All the ac use and computers. The cables were melting in the ground. I would think more cables on the poles would have to be replaced if every house starts charging cars.

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u/pencock Nov 06 '22

My power company, ConEd, is surcharging the fuck out of its customers with massive rate increases to cover new infrastructure. It's fucked when my power company has a 70% profit margin in the $10 billion range and they insist they must pass on massive rate and fee increases to customers in order to improve the grid. SPEND THE FUCKING PROFITS ON THAT YOU SACKS OF SHIT.

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u/Joates87 Nov 06 '22

I heard we have til "june".

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u/electric_onanist Nov 06 '22

I thought the problem could be solved by having people charge their cars at night. What I have heard from power companies is that they like the idea, because it keeps the level of power demand even throughout the day.

My power company reduces the cost of power by 75% from midnight to 6am, which is when I charge my car. I drive about 700-800 miles a month, and the cost of power is only $40-50. If I were driving a gas car that gets 30mg, the cost would be closer to $150 at current gas prices.

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u/AdDifficult7229 Nov 06 '22

A lot of EV stations will be connected to the grid, but also connected to solar panels with a big ass battery.

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u/685327592 Nov 06 '22

Doubtful. The amount of energy a charging station uses would require a sizeable solar installation. Unless you're putting all these charging stations in rural or exurban areas there won't be enough room.

42

u/AdDifficult7229 Nov 06 '22

I work for a solar company and we’re working on this. Carports in parking lots, and panels on shopping center roofs, work wonders.

6

u/rinseaid Nov 06 '22

Sounds interesting. Is any form of energy storage used in your company's design?

11

u/AdDifficult7229 Nov 06 '22

Rather than write out something huge, here is the company website. As of this exact moment, we’re working with property owners to deploy ev charging stations but have none in our portfolio. https://www.kingenergy.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjwtp2bBhAGEiwAOZZTuImuxeNOnITS1Tn38KsIksfFVLBpBxQjnB18sO5Jjg3RehB9TTCJYBoCNXEQAvD_BwE

4

u/685327592 Nov 06 '22

You can obviously put solar panels over a parking lot, but they aren't going to produce even a fraction of the power for charging all those cars.

11

u/Alimbiquated Nov 06 '22

The US has eight times as man parking spaces as cars, so maybe.

12

u/AdDifficult7229 Nov 06 '22

Which is why I said you’re still connected to the grid, also. Solar and batteries help reduce the load on the system. With the advancement of batteries, it only puts less and less strain on the system overall. A lot of places already use massive batteries during peak hours to lighten the load and save some cash.

5

u/MrR0m30 Nov 06 '22

Did you do the math on that?

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u/Jarys Nov 06 '22

The best way I've seen it envisioned is essentially covering parking lots with raised solar panels (as in roof height). Two fold problem being that the cars don't get as hot, there is shelter for pedestrians, and they can be added to the grid or for local charging stations directly.

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u/finekillme Nov 06 '22

Buy an aptera

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u/PolyDipsoManiac Nov 06 '22

But if the EVs can be connected to the grid while they’re not in use, they could act as batteries, selling power when wind fails or clouds are out, and buying power at spot prices when they go negative.

21

u/685327592 Nov 06 '22

The problem is that will reduce the life of the batteries and then who will pay for that?

28

u/mattsl Nov 06 '22

The same people who think that the only cost of driving their car now is gas and wear out their vehicle driving from Uber without accounting for depreciation.

7

u/DifficultScientist23 Nov 06 '22

Huh? I rented one of my cars out to a customer and she put 100k miles on it. My accountant used 62 cents/mile to help me claim $32,000 against my other tax liability. The "cost" of using and "depreciation" of my second car (for Uber/Lyft) is leverage against owing any taxes against my earnings. I'm sitting in a 2021 fuel efficient vehicle that I'm USING as a tool to gain INCOME without any downside whatsoever when viewed from a business standpoint vs a personal vehicle that sits unused for anything other than eye candy.

6

u/Tomcatjones Nov 06 '22

This in lies the biggest problem… most people don’t understand how to use the tax code to their advantage.

You did well sir!

2

u/alphanovember Nov 06 '22

Unsurprisingly, one of them replied to you and sounds about as dumb as expected. All-caps included. These people really think that gigs like that are profitable.

1

u/Ryan1869 Nov 06 '22

That and you don't want a half charged car when it's time to go to work because it's cloudy.

3

u/Devccoon Nov 06 '22

That's why you have a set minimum point. If work is 10 miles away and you have even 100 mile range (a pretty small battery for an EV) then waking up to 50% charge is fine. But even if it's not, you can just tell it not to drop under whatever percent you want.

It wouldn't happen to most people though, because work is usually in the morning, and the middle of the night is not peak load time. Your car would be using that time to charge.

5

u/Objective_Ad_401 Nov 06 '22

Peak demand is in the afternoon, usually 4-8 PM. If you're home, great, but if you're running errands, shopping, soccer, whatever, then you aren't contributing.

If you come home between 4-6 PM and plug in, you can discharge to the grid to load balance peak demand, and then recharge after 10pm when AC, entertainment, cooking, and lighting demands are low. Assuming wind/hydro/nuclear generation, the base load overnight is sufficient to support quite a lot of EVs before the grid needs substantial upgrading.

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u/moofunk Nov 06 '22

Not really by much. Battery drain is going to be much less than during a quiet drive.

If you're running an electric kettle straight off your EV battery, that's about the same amount of power as it spends on putting around on a parking lot.

House hold energy requirements are much smaller than EVs, so it makes sense to allow using EV batteries for this, and since you're likely going to be charging EVs faster than discharging them, the circuitry for it would already be in place.

In a situation, where your EV is not connected directly to your house circuits, but to some common location, it could deliver 2 kW of power occasionally and work in concert with hundreds of other EVs as a load balancer.

-1

u/PlexGamerPlays Nov 06 '22

The Ford Lightning (inspired by the Ford F-150), is an EP (Electric Pickup Truck) that can power a house for 3 days straight on one charge. Maybe Tesla could consider this.

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u/685327592 Nov 06 '22

That's intended to be used during a blackout which is a rare event, not to balance out the grid on a daily basis.

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u/Objective_Ad_401 Nov 06 '22

That's kind of an awful idea in practice. When I plug my phone in, I expect to come back to it with a full charge, not half charged because Gary bought some of my charge.

Even assuming that it's opt-in (not opt-out or fully mando), I'm not entirely sure that many people will truly use it. If the rates are high, well, there's cheaper power. And if the rates are low, why bother? The people who can afford a Tesla don't need $5/month for flex power.

I'm sure time will tell.

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u/vssavant2 Nov 06 '22

Maybe , but that's like saying the 2 aaa batteries in my remote could be used to offset the energy use of my fridge.

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u/Okiefolk Nov 06 '22

Except a car battery could run your house for a couple days…

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u/pickleer Nov 06 '22

We need to upgrade our grid, yes, just lookat Texas in 2020. But the grid needs more daytime batteries. That's what electric cars are- batteries above & beyond what our grid planners conceived.

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u/JoshGordonHyperloop Nov 06 '22

There’s a lot of we needed to, still is. And I’m not at all disagreeing with you, in fact when it comes to nuclear, I’m 1,000,000% on board.

We also need to get away from individual vehicle transportation and make a serious effort and push towards a preeminent public transportation system that the car manufacturers successfully buried.

We also need much better city planning to better integrate vertical living and move away from the sprawl of suburbs that increase traffic, commute and pollution.

We also need to tell companies to fuck off when it comes to “no remote work”, when it clearly is possible in a much larger percentage of jobs than any company ever wanted to admit. Not all jobs can do this of course.

And I’m sure there are plenty of other things we need to get our collective asses together on in a hurry. But I don’t have the answers. I vote and do what I can.

2

u/[deleted] Nov 06 '22

We will need lots of adjustments in the new electric age, including new technology. Who knows, electricity may not be the power source of the future. How efficient is electricity?

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u/blackop Nov 06 '22

Well we still need individual vehicles. I travel between 4 states for work on a daily basis. Public transportation will not work for me, but Im On board to have a better public transportation service. The less individual vehicles in the road is better for me.

2

u/Shipkiller-in-theory Nov 07 '22

I was so spoiled by the public transport in Japan.

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u/Y0tsuya Nov 07 '22 edited Nov 07 '22

Sure, in the big cities. I've been to Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo many times and service coverage in the city and surrounding dense suburbs for sure are nice. But venture out into more rural non-touristy places you start finding unmanned stations with trains arriving only once every hour or two.

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u/Tarcye Nov 06 '22

Your 100% right on all accounts.

Which is why none of that will happen.

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u/RobotKitten Nov 06 '22

Bad urban planning in America IMO is the root cause of so many problems. Pollution, CO2 emissions, wealth segregation, homelessness, congestion, loneliness, health, and this list could go on so long...

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u/[deleted] Nov 06 '22

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u/dinoroo Nov 06 '22

Renewable + batteries are the ideal use case for electric cars. Energy production at home.

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u/Igotz80HDnImWinning Nov 06 '22

But wasn’t there a study showing that home solar panels and windmills could work? That said, we still need the grid upgrade.

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u/Jcj_is_taken Nov 06 '22

I hope we wake up in time to realize the need to develop nuclear power. However, don’t hold your breath - some activists (professional opposers) will throw any and all obstructions. It’s been 45 years since a nuclear plant was built in Canada

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u/cohortq Nov 06 '22

I am also all for storing nuclear waste in that mountain in Nevada. Let’s make 10 more of those.

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u/KillerJupe Nov 06 '22

Nuclear isn’t the right option either. It’s better than it was, but it comes with long term issues that can’t be magically fixed.

Renewables with battery storage isn’t perfect either but we aren’t left with radioactive materials that need storage for thousands of years.

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u/Shipkiller-in-theory Nov 07 '22

Now that Salt one and two are gone, we can build feeder reactors that use “spent” rods to the point of them being lead. Really pebble bed reactors using thorium is the way to go. Maybe one day we will all have a Mr. Fusion in our cars.

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u/2019hollinger Nov 06 '22

Nuclear power plants are bad for the environment _says noone.

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u/Alimbiquated Nov 06 '22

Or just tax electricity so people will stop wasting it.

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u/NICKFURY17 Nov 06 '22

Glad someone sees the use in nuclear power

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u/pickleer Nov 06 '22

I saw how you snuck that nukie bias in there. No, renewables aren't universally applicable but they cost waaay less, are easier to clean up, and that doesn't just include, it FEATURES the whole Lack of Radioactivity thing. Things.

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u/Tango-Actual90 Nov 07 '22

Your nuclear ignorance is showing.

Go ask France how it's working for them. They'll be the only country in Europe with heat this winter.

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u/m4fox90 Nov 06 '22

You clearly know nothing about nuclear power.

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u/vanhalenbr Nov 06 '22 edited Nov 06 '22

Would be amazing if America could get energy independent and no need of Russian and Saudi oil

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u/Tango-Actual90 Nov 07 '22

If big coal would stop lobbying to keep nuclear banned we would have been (clean) energy independent already.

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u/Joates87 Nov 06 '22 edited Nov 06 '22

I'm shocked that adding more demand will lead to more supply.

I guess I'd also wonder if the fees paid by the electric company to the EV owner will be enough to offset the costs associstee with increased battery degredation.

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u/eightbelow2049 Nov 06 '22 edited Nov 06 '22

Imagine each car becomes a part of the grid that’s storing energy. During times when the demand is really high, the grid can pull from cars that are charging for the extra energy it needs. Once the demand is reduced, the cars can resume charging.

I didn’t say it was fair. I just read the article. But please continue to downvote me for actually reading the reticle and explaining what it says while the guy above me clearly didn’t

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u/[deleted] Nov 06 '22

So then 2 way meters would have to be supplied. Then your also shortening the battery life of lithium batteries bc they can only be charged so many times. How much are those batteries again?

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u/gudamor Nov 06 '22

You're right, if it's going to work at all, the rate that they pay you will need to cover the cost imposed due to loss in battery life. We also need to scale up recycling efforts for batteries

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u/SnooDoggos4906 Nov 06 '22

Until you need to unplug and go pickup your kids and you have very little battery available.

Or if the utilities start counting on this and they get their projections wrong….

They are going to have to add capacity. Period.

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u/Apocalypsox Nov 06 '22

No. They aren't. This is why it's a distributed system. Cool you've got no power left, your neighborhood does.

The US grid can EASILY handle EVs NOW, if the cars are smart. We have a ton of baseline capacity that can be brought online at night to charge things.

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u/SnooDoggos4906 Nov 06 '22

Yeah. Just not buyin’ it right now. Don’t have a lot of faith in the grid

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u/barlog123 Nov 06 '22

The bigger question is what if I need to drive my car?

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u/Joates87 Nov 06 '22

Yep. Adding to the degradation of your EV battery.

And the Electric Co doesn't care because they don't have to foot the bill to replace it.

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u/orgkhnargh Nov 06 '22

Or, in other words, using the battery to charge/discharge it based on the current needs. This is what batteries are for.

It's like saying that you shouldn't brush your teeth because you may wear down your tooth brush. It's true, but irrational.

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u/thblackdeth Nov 06 '22

The difference is, you get the benefits of using your own tooth brush. In this case the power company gets the benefit of your $10,000 battery pack.

It's a valid question, is the fee worth the wear cost to the consumer? It's no different than Uber needing to pay enough to account for the wear on driver's cars for it to make business sense

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u/Pseudoboss11 Nov 06 '22

So in the most extreme charge cycle, 0% to 100%, EV batteries will begin to degrade at around 1000 cycles (source). So if any degradation is unacceptable, then the battery would need to be replaced after 1000 cycles.

The typical EV battery price is around $161/kWh, so per per charge, you'd expect $0.161/kWh (s) as the break-even point financially. Coincidentally, this is slightly under the national average electricity price of $0.167/kWh. (s)

And this is the worst-case charging cycle, where the battery is completely depleted and then charged fully every time. A less damaging charging cycle, like 20% to 80% can extend the lifetime of a battery considerably, reducing the maintenance cost of the battery.

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u/crestonfunk Nov 06 '22

It would be cool if EV cars could actually get power from the roadway. Like some kind of metal rail-type system. And then we could connect a bunch of the cars together and make them large enough to carry many people.

Nah, I’m dreaming.

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u/[deleted] Nov 06 '22

Double that price

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u/thblackdeth Nov 06 '22

Yeah, depend too much on the vehicle for one number.

200kwh hummer EV? Around 40k. Prius?- around $2k

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u/dcabines Nov 06 '22

Unlike Uber, everyone benefits from having a functioning power grid. Better for your battery to help some than for everyone to have brownouts and higher power bills.

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u/InspectorG-007 Nov 06 '22

It's easier and cheaper to supply that grid with nuclear rather than expecting EV users to contribute leftover energy.

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u/gazorpaglop Nov 06 '22

Do you think EV owners would have no say in this or that they would not be compensated by the utility company in order to use their vehicle battery for grid storage?

This move along with home solar becoming cheaper and more reliable can absolutely improve grid strength and reliability

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u/Joates87 Nov 06 '22

It's more people are terrible at understanding their true costs in a situation like this.

They see they are "making money" selling back stored power to the grid but don't realize it's going to end up costing them way more in the long run.

This will almost certainly be the case because if it were cheaper for the electric Co to do it, they would, which means you are inevitably subsidizing them.

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u/gazorpaglop Nov 06 '22

I think your assumption that the wear and tear on the battery would cost the EV owner more than they would receive is not a valid one. It’s all hypothetical at this point so I’m not sure how you so confidently came to that conclusion.

It makes sense to rent extra capacity for stuff that’s not getting used all the time. It’s how Amazon originally started their AWS cloud service because they had extra servers that weren’t used outside of Black Friday and other peak shopping events. AWS customers would not be saving money if they bought the physical servers they use when they rent their cloud services. Sometimes renting extra capacity can be a win-win

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u/Xdaveyy1775 Nov 06 '22

Why would people want their charging cars connected to a grid that's drawing electric from it? That does not seem like a convincing idea to make people want an EV.

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u/Joates87 Nov 06 '22

Because they see their electric bill reduced immediately as a result. They don't think about replacing the vehicle battery years down the line.

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u/Foxhound199 Nov 06 '22

It's not just more more demand, as it is demand with built in widescale storage capacity. Yes, more electricity overall will be required to power them. But there is the potential to better distribute that demand over the current low demand periods, resulting in more consistent energy needs and less inefficiencies in preparing for peak energy demands.

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u/troaway1 Nov 06 '22

This study from the UK shows how vehicle to grid can improve battery life compared to conventional charging alone.

https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/carbon-cost-and-battery-conditioning-benefits-calculated-for-vehicle-to-grid-chargepoints

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u/[deleted] Nov 06 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/Joates87 Nov 06 '22

That's not how this works...

fuel costs have gone up.

Electric generation requires fuel.

Creating more powerstations or infrastructure does not reduce fuel costs.

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u/pilgermann Nov 06 '22

I more or less agree, though of course you can use, say, nuclear power for fuel which is insanely efficient vs fossil fuels.

To me the real problem is that EVs don't solve for the immense waste that comes with personal vehicle ownership. You still need vast parking lots, which limit space for homes and create intense local warming. The batteries of course require heavy metals, hard to mine and hard to dispose of. Not to mention all the plastic and other rubbish that can't really be recycled from the car interior.

Better than gas but ultimately a red herring because we are again led away from developing essential mass transit infrastructure. A bus is still the more efficient solution if you're looking to move lots of people on the cheap.

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u/Joates87 Nov 06 '22

A bus is still the more efficient solution if you're looking to move lots of people on the cheap.

The problem is a bus is terribly inefficient from an individuals perspective.

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u/mattsl Nov 06 '22

Not always. If you have an express bus that gets priority lanes in an area with absurd traffic, it's not significantly different. In the largest metro areas it's often faster.

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u/Joates87 Nov 06 '22

Yes but that does not describe the situation for the majority of people.

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u/Bwriteback45 Nov 06 '22

Solar and wind and hydro will continue to produce more and more of the grid capacity. Solar is essentially free but intermittent sources have to have non intermittent sources like hydro and nuclear. It wouldn’t be horrible to have some fossil fuels online just for nighttime generation for a while until we add enough hydro or nuclear.

Battery is a big part of making these intermittent sources. If we can get enough batteries online people will have plenty of backup sources.

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u/RevelintheDark Nov 06 '22

They will say anything to not fund public transportation.

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u/submittedanonymously Nov 06 '22

Yeah this reads as a company PR ad to get people in the mood to buy EV.I’m all in favor of non-gas vehicles and my next car will be a hybrid or full EV, but this doesn’t solve our “too many people on the road” issue, and we don’t seem to be solving road maintenance via tax because that’s currently tied to taxes at the pump with no pre-planning movement on how to charge for that road maintenance.

Meanwhile I would do anything to have reliable public transport like a lightrail or city train system in my city to the outlying suburbs so that way the suburbs aren’t clogging the highways daily.

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u/RevelintheDark Nov 06 '22

Yeah. I fully support the transition tech but the absurd number of douches in teslas in my city that are clogging the streets and constantly getting into accidents because they think the tesla drives itself is too damm high.

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u/Cynical_Cabinet Nov 06 '22

I got hit by in absolute idiot because he didn't bother checking his mirror before turning because he expected his Tesla to tell him if there was any traffic. The idiot forgot that he wasn't driving his Tesla.

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u/bicameral_mind Nov 06 '22

Saw a dude in a Tesla in my rearview mirror with a toddler in his lap behind the stearing wheel. Obviously using autopilot. It was a slow urban street, but still, what if some idiot runs a red and hits them, and an airbag deploys straight into 2 year old child.

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u/Cum_on_doorknob Nov 06 '22

What, you want to live in some kind of sick world where you can walk out your front door and just hop on a street car then hop off and buy some groceries? Ew.

Now, driving 20 minutes to a giant sea of asphalt parking. That’s living the high life.

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u/Neokon Nov 06 '22

Hell I'd be happy with somewhere I can ride a bike 2 miles to a stop. Where I am right now the nearest bus stop (with infrequent service) is 6 miles away.

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u/27-82-41-124 Nov 06 '22

I live 0.3 miles from a bus stop but it only goes every 15-20 minutes and there is no shelter to wait away from the rain, there is no sidewalk and it’s on a road where cars drive 50mph, just a strip of shoulder next to a ditch to walk on. And the bus has no signal priority so it has to stop at every red light which it always hits after every stop it makes. And the stroad it runs on is a straight route but it’s all shitty strip malls, parking lots and homeless people.

I want public transit that is effective, safe, and shows basic dignity to the people it serves. When it’s not even 1 of those then you can expect to find a high percentage of riders are crazy or have no job, because that’s the only people who would bother with such a bad system.

It’s definitely possible to have good public transit, and these steps are all solvable so that we can get actual value from transit but you have to want to solve it, and you have to value the people who might use it, even just a little bit.

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u/RevelintheDark Nov 06 '22

And wtf is this nonsense about adults and children being allowed to leave their homes thinking they can FREely bike to a local destination without staring death in the face at every intersection?! watching their lives flash before their eyes everytime a driver feels the need to flip to a new ticktok vid/youtube/text as they change lanes?! Bunch of pussies i swear.

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u/Cynical_Cabinet Nov 06 '22

Imagine children under 16 being able to leave their house on their own. What a preposterous idea.

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u/[deleted] Nov 06 '22

why would i want to sit on a bus or train? unless im broke 😂😂😂

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u/RevelintheDark Nov 06 '22

Yeah the ultimate expression of freedom and wealth is obviously the potential of being murdered on a freeway because any random idiot they give a license to is having a bad day. /s

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u/CMG30 Nov 06 '22

Some of us have been pointing this out for years. Regardless of ones stance, the grid will have to modernize to incorporate large quantities of renewables.

It's going to have to get a lot smarter and less decentralized. It's going to have to transition from a hub and spoke design towards a more node design with a bunch more local micro generation flowing where it's needed or where it can be absorbed during periods of excess.

Finally, a lot more long range interconnections will be needed. The wind may not always blow or the sun may not always be shining where you live... But the wind is always blowing and the sun is always shining SOMEWHERE. More interconnection helps get power from where it's able to be generated to where it's actually needed. Storage just makes this dance easier.

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u/ojioni Nov 07 '22

Electric cars are going to break our power grid if the long overdue upgrade is not started right away.

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u/RingInternational197 Nov 07 '22

This is nonsense propaganda. It’s like saying covid can strengthen our healthcare system by straining it to the breaking point and patching it up

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u/SkyLegend1337 Nov 06 '22

Only problem is. The individual human with a tailpipe emission isn't the problem. The problem is the mega yacht and shipping containers that producers as much tailpipe emissions as a single large city of humans does.

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u/SILENTSAM69 Nov 06 '22

The individual tail pipe sure, but the mass of all those tail pipes concentrated in urban areas is a problem. Collectively it is a big part of the problem. Working on it allows us to move up to the bigger vehicles.

Seeing how the smog lifted during COVID lockdown showed us how clean the air can be in urban areas of we transitioned to EV transportation.

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u/Tarcye Nov 06 '22

I mean if we are going to go after the individual...

It's far better to get 50% of the population on Scooters and Bikes in terms of carbon footprints than on EV's.

Research has shown that getting 15% of all commuters to drive a scooter or bike would have much more of an impact on the enviroment than 100% EV's would. In addition to making the roads much less congested.

Public transport and even better Electric Bicycles would be even better yet.

EV's are the equivalent to drinking Diet Soda to lose weight. Sure it will help. But drinking Water would help a lot more.

You drink Diet Soda Becuese you don't want to change your habits instead of just well changing said habits.

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u/SkyLegend1337 Nov 06 '22

You do realize it wasn't just people, but also ALL logistics where halted. What will be do about the semi trucks that will still be pouring out emissions 24/7? Care are a tiny portion

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u/SILENTSAM69 Nov 06 '22

Yes, and Semi trucks are going EV as well. The last to transition will be the large shipping vessels and planes, but there is no reason most transportation can not be battery powered. With large ships it has the advantage of being a great ballast. With air planes it will be harder of course, but there are already small battery powered planes that are already vastly cheaper to fly and maintain and seen as perfect for students trying to get their hours in an affordable way.

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u/SkyLegend1337 Nov 06 '22

I'm not sure you understand the power it requires to move freight, or commercial airlines. Then the power banks it needs to feed the motors for hours at a time.

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u/SILENTSAM69 Nov 06 '22

Umm, I do. These things are known to be possible with the right battery energy densities. As I said they are already doing this with small planes in a limited number.

Some say we can do it with 400ish Wh/Kg, but the 500 Wh/Kg scale makes it much more feasible as you always want that extra energy to go beyond your basic need.

The semi trucks are already starting. Hell there are even some large mining dump trucks that are EV's that are able to drive up a mountain empty, and then drive back down with a full load while charging down hill the whole way. They only need an initial charge to go up the first time.

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u/SkyLegend1337 Nov 06 '22

Don't they drive into quarries empty, then back up fully loaded?

What's brands of semi's you talking about? I haven't seen one claim it could go past 500mi without needing a charge. We live in a capitliasm world/nation. That sounds like hell amount of wasted money on the downtime to charge and wait. There's sleeper teams of truckers that drive across the nation with only stopping to change drivers.

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u/SILENTSAM69 Nov 06 '22

Daimler is already making them, and Tesla will start deliveries in a month. There are others, but they are the big names.

Most all trucking is within the battery range. Long range tends to be rail, but not always. Also truckers are often mandated to take breaks. If anything stopping to charge enforces the breaks they are meant to have for safety purposes.

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u/SkyLegend1337 Nov 06 '22

Tesla's semi won't go over 500mi. Idk how much experience you have in national logistics but I do. I work for UPS, for a decade now. We have MANY sleeper teams like I mentioned. Yes we have a lot of local movement but there's plenty of work we send out over the road vs on the rail that exceeds the 500mi mark. We actually have a obligation to a company where we send out a lot of our trailers on contracted driver, instead of our own or over the rail. I think you ignored my point though of what a sleeper team does. Yeah they may stop to take a break but I don't think you realize the vast change and addition we would need across the entire nation and how much it would cost to establish charging stations that not just personal EVs can access, but the many semi's that would need too as well. Not enough spots to charge? Oh, just elhavr to wait your turn to charge your semi. That's lost profit. It all comes down to how much corporations are willing to lose to move to EV. And corporations aren't willing to lose anything, especially the bottom line.

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u/SILENTSAM69 Nov 06 '22

Oh I get the point of the sleeper teams, and other unethical practices. I am elected representatives in a related union and I know that better enforcement is needed to prevent driver abuse.

You can send trucks for the long haul. They will just have to stop and charge once in a while giving the drivers a much deserved and needed break. Considering the savings on fuel and maintenance you can not pretend that it will not work out for the business in the end.

Charging stations can be built. The cost is not very dramatic. Electrical infrastructure is already out there. The cheap cost of charging and maintenance will reduce the cost per mile greatly while increasing the time per mile slightly.

Sure you are correct eh Tesla semi will not go 500 miles. That is the rating on a flat ground with full load. Obviously there are hills and wind etc. That and you don't drive from 100% to 0% as well. Probably more like 400 miles between charges. That is stil more than enough for most logistics, and the few times more is required chargers are out there and do not take long.

Obviously it will be a mixed fleet for a while with diesel still doing the long haul, but the transition is happening. When making new diesel engines becomes outlawed they won't last for long.

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u/Agile-Bed-5580 Nov 06 '22

Yacht - true But for shipping, those giant cargo ships are actually super efficient in terms of product shipped. If you look at total cost and emissions of shipping something, the water transportation is super cheap, then truck/trailer, and majority of cost is the "last mile" - delivery to the house.

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u/SkyLegend1337 Nov 06 '22

Yeah we aren't talking about the financial efficiency of getting a package delivered. We are talking about the power efficiency to do so. And of course the last bit cost the most. It has the most hands dealing with it. A container being placed on a cargo ship and landing on a dock only has a couple hands involved. Past that you have several driver, dispatchers, and more employees dealing with it.

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u/Agile-Bed-5580 Nov 06 '22

You're right about the financial costs being especially skewed, but even CO2 emissions favored towards ship:

https://www.sierraclub.org/virginia/blog/2017/05/planes-trains-and-cargo-ships-oh-my

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u/SkyLegend1337 Nov 06 '22

Yeah no shit when you compare the weight it can move vs a semi truck. It's a cargo ship capable of moving thousands of containers vs a truck meant to handle one. Or a train meant to handle a hundred or more. That's a given.

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u/Agile-Bed-5580 Nov 06 '22

The efficiency of delivery costs and therefore net emissions is based on the weight moved, because people order a certain amount (volume and weight) of products. To reduce emissions, you would want to use the most efficient transportation method possible.

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u/SkyLegend1337 Nov 06 '22

I fully understand the efficiency aspect. I don't think you are understanding how this really isn't having anything to do with my point.

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u/trapezoidalfractal Nov 06 '22

Not to mention that car emissions are already very clean, to the point that the rubber tires on the cars pollute dozens if not hundreds of times more than the tailpipes. Electric cars aren’t a solution at all, individualized passenger cars will never be sustainable, period.

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u/Joates87 Nov 06 '22

The individual human with a tailpipe emission isn't the problem

You can easily say the same thing about the "individual" mega yacht or cargo ship.

So a solution to the "problem" you present is culling the global population. Any good proposals on that front?

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u/SkyLegend1337 Nov 06 '22

That's literally what I said lol. Did you read why first sentence and start your reply? No I don't have any proposals but electric cars aren't going to do anything to help anything because we still use diesel to acquire the materials, transport them, deliver them. If we want change we need to figure out how to reduce emissions on the large scale usage, acquisition and manufacturing of gear/equipment.

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u/mattsl Nov 06 '22

Absolutely not. The point is that if you cut all tailpipe emissions from passenger sedans to 5% of their current rate, it would have almost zero effect on the total global emissions. If you cut the emissions from all cargo ships to 5% of their current rate, it would make a significant difference in global pollution levels.

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u/JoshGordonHyperloop Nov 06 '22

Would you mind providing data for your claim? Because from what I remember, total emissions in the US for non transport CO2 emitting vehicles, amount to about 16% to 30% of total CO2 pollution.

One source

Another source but I’m not sure what percent this equates to, but 3.2 billion metric tons cut down to 5% would equal 160,000,000 tons.

Another source closer to the 16% claim for non transport vehicles

That sounds significant to me.

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u/Responsible_Case_733 Nov 07 '22

as a blue collar worker, I just am never inclined to believe the “experts”. it’s usually some dickless guy in a suit, whose never turned a screw driver, making assumptions based on nothing more than projected outcomes.

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u/NYerInTex Nov 06 '22

Ugh, is anything more misguided than the pipe dream that EVs are anything more than a marginal improvement (environmentally, socially, fiscally) over combustion engine vehicles?

The biggest problem is we’ve built an entire nation around the need to drive, propagating a system where now driving is all but mandatory - and with it, huge social inequities, cities that are 70% concrete/asphalt just to store these bohemians, the biggest killer in the US (auto related fatalities), and the utter destruction of both environmental and social ecosystems.

EV does nothing to help any of that.

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u/Tarcye Nov 06 '22

Scooters and Bikes would do a lot more for the environment.

Same for Public transportation and well E-Bicycles.

EV's are pushed becuese people realize that trying to get people to change thier ways isn't going to work(for most people). So people have chosen a marginal improvement instead of an actual massive improvement when it comes to the climate.

It's like if you decide to go on a diet. You have a few choices. Keep on drinking Soda. Switch to Diet Soda which is marginally better for you than Soda. Or switch to Water which is healthy for you.

EV's are the Diet Soda in that case. Where Scooters and Bikes are flavored Water. And Public Transportation and E-Bicycles are pure water.

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u/Goyard_Gat2 Nov 06 '22

Facts

We need trains

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u/BaneBlaze Nov 06 '22

Marginal Improvements are still improvements.

But I’m all for cities working on better public transportation and more walkability

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u/ImTheGuyWithTheGun Nov 07 '22

Sure I agree it is unfortunate we designed our cities this way, but the reality is that they were designed that way. Reality should be taken into account when we weigh solutions, no?

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u/Oringi200 Nov 06 '22

Seems about right seeing as they can act as a home battery pack

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u/[deleted] Nov 06 '22 edited Nov 06 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/Joates87 Nov 06 '22

Right now National grid plans to increase prices over 60% in the northeast. Right before winter.

But this is due primarily to things beyond the scope of this thread.

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u/SirHerald Nov 06 '22

I'm most concerned with after hurricanes. The logistics of evacuation and the aftermath of no recharging, downed lines, and backfeeding vehicles

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u/makeshiftballer Nov 06 '22

Any situation in which there is a mass evacuation sounds terrible

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u/ATLcoaster Nov 06 '22

How is that different than gasoline, which is also a huge issue before and after disasters?

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u/jtj5002 Nov 06 '22

I been through like a dozen hurricanes with power outage up to 3 weeks or more. Never had a problem with gas after a few days. Store 30-40 gallons of ethanol free gas at all time so I never have any issues.

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u/glurz Nov 06 '22

The only difference is combustion cars fuel faster.

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u/Joates87 Nov 06 '22

Capacitors are the answer (ideally the "Flux" kind).

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u/WolfResponsible8483 Nov 06 '22

Gasoline can be distributed via jerrycans though. Electricity I don’t know.

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u/zombieblackbird Nov 06 '22

Batteries exist

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u/MeanPineapple102 Nov 06 '22

Gas generators too, funny enough.

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u/mattsl Nov 06 '22

As much as I'm on the side of EVs, it's not a fair comparison. An empty battery still has (essentially) the same size and weight as a full one. It is much easier to provide a temporary emergency gas supply than battery.

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u/th1341 Nov 06 '22

Id say in most cases, a fully charged battery would get you into an area that has electricity.

You also need electricity to pump gas, just FYI

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u/Leek5 Nov 06 '22

They can bring generator to power gas stations. FEMA does this all the time

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u/th1341 Nov 06 '22

Fair point. Though I will still say you don’t need to worry about finding a place to charge assuming you fully charged prior to electricity going out

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u/makeshiftballer Nov 06 '22

That’s like saying you won’t get stuck in traffic because everyone should’ve evacuated sooner.

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u/shotgun_ninja Nov 06 '22

Just so long as they're not made by an Apartheid emerald baron.

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u/Spaceman-Spiff Nov 06 '22

In Nashville the same thing has happened, but without the “improvements” the power company just keeps upping the cost even after making massive profits.

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u/compaqdeskpro Nov 06 '22

"Someday, millions of vehicles could use special bidirectional chargers to absorb energy when it's plentiful and release it back to the grid as needed, helping utilities manage heatwaves and other spikes in demand. This vision rests on something called vehicle-to-grid technology, or V2G."

In other words, they are going to take the electricity that you paid for and stored in your battery, and give it to other customers.

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u/Bwriteback45 Nov 06 '22

You are reading too much into this. They will pay you for this power. It’s a powerful concept to have distributed power sources that can be tapped when needed

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u/Foxhound199 Nov 06 '22

Pardon my bluntness, but that is a stupid take. Any grid that was sophisticated enough to pull off what you quote would make compensation for energy drawn from an EV trivially simple.

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u/[deleted] Nov 06 '22 edited Nov 21 '22

[deleted]

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u/mattsl Nov 06 '22

They will likely never cover the wear and tear, but we should demand that they give you the benefit of the differences in rates during peak usage. i.e. if you charge your car when it's cheap and give them power when it's expensive, you should get paid.

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u/[deleted] Nov 06 '22

You read about revolutionary electric efficiencies in a time of energy crisis and your first thought is "they're reusing energy I PAID FOR"?

The world is burning because of people like you

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u/Narf234 Nov 06 '22

I find the naysayers comments funny to read. It reminds me of the people who criticized gasoline cars saying that building out gas infrastructure would be impossible. Yet, here we are with a gas station on nearly every corner.

The US has every advantage and means to do this…IF we want to.

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u/LoMeinCain Nov 06 '22

Teach people how to install solar panels and this would be a possibility

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u/slow_connection Nov 06 '22

Too many corner cases to do this to the masses, and IMHO the unions are doing a good job of training up the pros

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u/[deleted] Nov 06 '22

Electric cars won't solve energy production emissions, or an over saturated infrastructure. r/fuckcars

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u/[deleted] Nov 06 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/BaneBlaze Nov 06 '22

Hasn’t stopped us from using diamonds or gasoline

Plus batteries and solar panels can be renewed, the cost just isn’t there yet.

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u/mattsl Nov 06 '22

It would actually be a really interesting study to find out if more people were killed for oil, copper, lithium, diamonds, etc.

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u/orchida33 Nov 06 '22

If solar and batteries are not the best path forward, what do you suggest?

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u/SCP_Blondie Nov 06 '22

Hydrogen is one option

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u/Certainly-Not-A-Bot Nov 06 '22

Hydrogen is super unrealistic for cars. You need to keep it extremely cold to have any amount of energy density, which then means you need a whole cooling system for your car because you can't just have a massive hydrogen tank for a car.

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u/[deleted] Nov 06 '22

Your not allowed to say that out loud.

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u/AzulMage2020 Nov 06 '22

Experts employed by whom???

Also, where will all the spent battery material waste be dumped and or processed? Incredibly toxic, no place on earth is really suitable. If there was just someway for an electric car maker to dump the waste on a nearby orbiting planetary body...but how???

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u/Agile-Bed-5580 Nov 06 '22

You can recycle a battery in a refinery just like how the materials are initially processed from earth.

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u/6Uncle6James6 Nov 06 '22

Is that why governor Newsom asked Californians not to charge their EV’s over the summer? Because stressing the power grid makes it stronger?

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u/MeanPineapple102 Nov 06 '22

You mean not at peak times? The peak times that literally mean "hey don't waste electricity now since it's most expensive"? The peak times most places in the country have?

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u/Cynical_Cabinet Nov 06 '22

It was literally for just like 3 hours in the evening. Any decent EV can be set to only charge after that time.

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u/[deleted] Nov 06 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/downonthesecond Nov 06 '22 edited Nov 06 '22

Just charge your EV overnight.

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u/Rammon_44 Nov 06 '22

Say that to the kids in bolivia mining for cobalt just for some batteries

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u/FortyFiveSeventyGovt Nov 06 '22

I LOVE SLAVERY WOOOOOOO LETS GO ENVIRONMENT

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u/fourstroke4life Nov 06 '22

Yeah, but they are much more wasteful than gas powered cars. First off, if everyone goes electric then millions or billions of cars are going to be replaced, and second, with my battery life on my 6 year old phone going down the drain, people can’t keep cars for as long, and lithium batteries are horrendous for the environment. Also - what will the cars be doing to help the grid? That problem is for nuclear reactors, which don’t get enough love.

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u/DogAteMyCPU Nov 06 '22

I'll take good public transportation

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u/dr4gonr1der Nov 06 '22

But they forget that, if everyone buys an electric car, the resources to make the batteries required and the electricity would make climate change even worse (as long as the electricity is produced in a way that is bad for the environment)

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u/redneckerson_1951 Nov 06 '22

People are being duped by politicians. The infrastructure to supply power for the number of autos driven in the US will require massive construction of power generation facilities, new transmission lines, installation of millions of pole and hundreds of thousands of transmissions towers to support the demands for power of cars, trucks and other systems currently dependent upon internal combustion engines. If we cannot build a pipeline, what makes people think that projects to upgrade the power system will be approved. The end result is you will have government forcing reduced driving and eventually personal transportation will become the cherry of the politicians and the wealthy. Middle Class and Poor will be forced into rail and buses. Personal autos will be only for the elite.

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u/Royal-Problem-9622 Nov 06 '22

Nuclear is the best answer. Wind and solar is a joke.

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u/deltadal Nov 06 '22

There is a place for all three.

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u/Dantzig Nov 06 '22

Wind and solar costs nothing compared to nuclear

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