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San Diego
Electric Car Insider Magazine
Interests: electric cars
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I applaud the technical accomplishment, but every time I think about the consumer choice of refueling at home or supercharger vs two dozen H2 stations, it's hard to imagine a well-informed person choosing hydrogen. CA utilities are now rolling out charging infrastructure for thousands of multi-tenant dwelling sites, so even apartment residents will have better options for plugging in. With dozens of PHEVs on sale, the Chevy Bolt and soon, Tesla Model 3 and Gen 3 200 mile Nissan Leaf available, it will take some clever marketing for H2 to reach critical mass in CA.
Coincidentally, main San Diego daily newspaper ran a huge front page story on the issue today. Local Fox affiliate picked up the story and ran a segment. Both at link below:
Hawaii and California are poised to run that experiment, 100% of electricity from renewables by 2045. Hawaii has already passed 100% renewables legislation, California appears to have the votes to pass SB100. Both have abundant sun, wind and geothermal resources, so maybe they have a natural advantage over other states but I'm willing to bet if they make good progress on that goal, other southwest states will be pressed to follow suit.
Cleantechnica's editor does have a POV on renewables. But the author of the article, Mike Barnard, makes some very good points on the relative economics of the technologies that are not easily refuted. I can't find it now, but I recently read an article that compared subsidies of NPP and other energy sources and Nuclear was the most heavily subsidized. Personally, I'm willing to pay higher prices for zero-carbon solutions but the real solution is to pour more money into new renewable technology and SMR, which can reduce deployment times by years. Btw, Barnard also writes for Newsweek, Slate, Forbes, Huffington Post, Quartz, and RenewEconomy.
The materials cost quoted for Lithium Ion only holds if the energy density does not increase. But energy density is likely to double, and then quadruple from current levels. I agree that it doesn't seem a near-term cost effective solution for baseload, but power curves have a funny way of making the most unlikely things possible, and affordable. I think it's more likely that some other storage technology wins for stationary applications, but the reality is, *any* storage method that wins on price makes more expensive energy sources less competitive. Bettter grids also help to solve the reduced capacity factor of renewables. (Agree that until cost effective storage arrives, the foundation of the baseload contines to be fossil fuel). Michael Barnard points out some of the challenges facing NPP here: Onshore and offshore wind also continue to drop in price as the industry continues to work down the learning curve:
Yes, Crescent Dunes has been offline to fix a leak in one of its molten salt storage tanks, but that does not mean we should dismiss the entire technology. San Onofre developed a leak in some cooling tubes and has been taken offline permanently, decades ahead of its planned decommissioning. Whether by molten salts or lithium or some other technology, energy storage is on a favorable power curve that large nuclear power plants are not. I believe, and hope, that some of the SMR technologies can solve this problem but until we see the results, its all just speculation. The UK's newest NPP, Hinkley Point, has not made an effective demonstration for lower cost nuclear power. Smaller scale distributed energy and storage may prove to have a resilient advantage. Personally, I'm for an "all of the above" strategy, as long as the "all" is restricted to low carbon and zero emission solutions.
Solar Reserves's Crescent Dunes plant in Nevada uses thermal storage. It's true that most new utility scale projects use PV and battery costs are dropping, but it's probably too soon to write this technology off.
I don't oppose nuclear power, but until SMRs are mainstream, the capital cost, construction time and project risk put NPPs at an economic competitive disadvantage. I agree that they should be classified alongside renewable despite using extractive fuel because they are zero carbon base load. Solar, wind, geothermal, backed up by stationary storage, do not require massive set-asides for decommissioning. Decommissioning San Onofre in SoCal Calif will cost $10.4 billion, 70% of which customers must cover. To put that in perspective, at least five 400MW Ivanpah-size solar electric generating facilities could be built for that cost, with an aggregate output roughly equal to a San Onofre generator. The newer solar-thermal plants, with integrated thermal storage, can produce power 24/7. Utility scale solar prices are continuing to decline.
Kudos to the Rice team for this important breakthrough. The prospect of a 100kg battery (sans bms and pack components) for ~ 250 mile EV is incredibly exciting. These cells could enable ~ 4 hours of 100 kts flight for a small 2 passenger aircraft. Fuel cost for the ~400 mile flight (with reserve) would be only $36 at national average electric cost, and as low as $15 with hangar-roof solar panels. $3.50 per hour of travel at 115mph. That would totally transform the GA industry.
Trees, are you talking about FCVs? EVs are not uniformly small. Plenty of mid-size and large EVs on the road. Range goes from two seat smart to seven seat Tesla Model X and Chrysler Pacifica. They are considerably less complicated mechanically than ICEs, and the lower maintenance costs reflect that. Refueling is not hard to find, electricity is everywhere civilization is present. 80-90% of refueling is done at home, the easiest and most convenient of all refueling. >Maximum concern of range limitations: like the 238 mile Chevy Bolt or the 335 mile Tesla Model S100D? Argue for your limitations, and you have them.
Thanks for the tip, Herman. I review adult stand-up scooters once a year in ECI magazine and did not know about the miniZum. The Rover scooter is a beast, but incredibly rugged and fun:
Whenever anyone says "clean" and "coal" in the same sentence, I wonder what distant future they might be imagining. There is no such thing as clean coal. Not in any competitive economic terms, or scaled deployment terms, or any kind of real world terms. It's just fake news.
Coal extraction is destructive, coal ash is problematic, coal emits mercury and PM2.5 among other health-hazardous pollutants and it is CO2 intensive. H2 for stationary storage may have an economic case, it has not yet been deployed much, so the jury is out. Solar and wind are booming, that's a fact in the economic record. Yes, nat gas is displacing more coal, but there's no indication that renewables are going to slow down other than for temporary regulatory turbulence.
SJC, I'm not assuming smokestack emissions will be eliminated, I am suggesting rhat it should be a priority. Many people can now buy community solar and other sources of clean power. It's a growing trend. You don't have to wait for your vertically integrated utility to make the first move anymore. Rooftop solar, community solar, green power generators are all steadily displacing emitters, with increasingly favorable economics. Unless you think wind, solar, better transmission, smart grids and stationary storage are not going to continue to improve and get cheaper, it's a fait accompli.
Trees> Even carbon black from tires is proving to be a problem. Considering that ICEs, FCVs, PHEVs and BEVs all use rubber tires, I don't understand your point here. Bicycles? Trains? Electric flying cars? What are you proposing as a viable solution? I propose the elimination of tailpipe emissions, followed by the elimination of smokestack emissions. You want progress? Let's start there. Trees> expensive little car that meets all the tail pipe emissions, but goes unsold. Gee. Tesla doesn't seem to have that "goes unsold" problem with their current cars, and appears not to be facing the problem with the upcoming Model 3. GM appears to be selling well with the Volt and Bolt despite very little advertising. Mild hybrids are a good interim step in the right direction but automakers will not recover from their Kodak moment with half-measures. In retrospect, VW's cheating scandal may prove the seed crystal of its salvation. All new automakers are building electric cars. That's not a coincidence.
Yes, the article and chart reference voltage and cycles. You say in your first comment the energy density is too low. So clearly you've made an evaluation about what the energy density indicated by this summary of the research is. You expressed your estimate of required energy density in Wh/kg. Ok, so I'm asking you what you believe the energy density, expressed in Wh/kg, is of the above mentioned chemistry? Maybe you'll be surprised to learn how close this breakthrough is to your own ambitious standard, which would yield the rough equivalent to a 700 mile Chevy Bolt or 945 mile Tesla Model S 100D.
Harvey, how many Wh/kg do you believe this Argonne team has demonstrated with the electrolyte chemistry reported above?
Harvey, can it accurately be said that the cabin heat you speak of is "free"? Surely it is the inefficiency of the powertain that creates excess, or waste, heat that needs to be removed with a radiator and some diverted to the cabin when needed. When that hydrogen from renewable sources is produced and widely sold at retail at competitive prices, I'll be applauding too. But until then, it just a mirage, used as greenwashing by automakers who seek to kick the environmental can down the road. Your health, and the health and well-being of millions in your community, depend on more affordable near term solutions like PHEVs. The Volt starts at $32k. So do most other PHEVs. The Mirai starts at $57k. Kind of puts the install cost of a 12v outlet in your garage complex in perspective.
You are correct, Change. TOU off-peak can be as low as $0.06 kWh. I should have showed my prices. Was using my local utility's $0.16 and a less-than-generous 333 W/mi for the EV, and 60 mi per kg for the FCV, which as you point out, is lower than EPA for Clarity (is EPA for Mirai if memory serves). In any case, even given variances in regional electric prices, huge delta in operating cost over the life of the car - as much or more than the discounted & incented purchase price.
So $0.17 per mile for the Honda Clarity FCV, and $0.05 per mile for the Clarity BEV. A premium of $24,000 over the course of 200,000 mile,15 year life of the car. That puts the $29,500 MSRP, $22k after Federal tax credit, $19-19.5k after some state rebates, of the Hyundai Ioniq in sharp perspective. Will be interesting to see the MSRP of the Clarity BEV. I guess the adage "nearly a free car" still holds for BEVs.
Bravo. I've been waiting for this development. We'll probably look back on this like the original 1947 demonstration of the transistor. Hugely consequential because so many structures can now be optimized for weight and consume less energy per mile, making batteries more practical replacements for fuel storage. As with the transistor, it may be decades before we see enough volume to see mass production prices, but this may be the event that sets off the avalanche.
..."operational failures may be caused by the impact of electrically charged particles generated by cosmic rays that originate outside the solar system." "In 2008, the avionics system of a Qantus passenger jet flying from Singapore to Perth appeared to suffer from a single-event upset that caused the autopilot to disengage. As a result, the aircraft dove 690 feet in only 23 seconds, injuring about a third of the passengers seriously enough to cause the aircraft to divert to the nearest airstrip."
Completely agree with Harvey and SJC. Computers crash. Sometimes networked systems crash in cascades. I wouldn't want to be in a vehicle - in air or on land - that did not have the capability of handing over control to a human who could bring the vehicle to a safe stop. For all their virtues, we're a long way from auto pilot systems who can pull off a "Scully" off field landing - a programmer and pilot
Volt and Leaf appeared in 2010. It's really only been in the last few years that a wide range of models have appeared, and the most popular vehicles in the US, trucks and SUVs are not available to the mainstream public in EV or PHEV form yet (notwithstanding BMW, MB, Porsche, Tesla, very high end Volvo). Lack of availability and advertising have been the big drags. That's about to change, and we'll see growth go from 60% YoY in 2016 to nearly 100% by 2018. We recently added a Volt to the family fleet. There's no downside in operation whatsoever, yet it is truly all-electric in daily driving. The current subsidies of $7.5k in the US $10k total in California and several other states far exceed the incremental cost of the dual drivetrain. This is a successful template for all cars until fast charge infrastructure is available everywhere it's needed and 200-300 mile batteries are cheaper than the Range extending ICE. Well designed 50-80 mile PHEVs like the Volt or BMW i3 make the viability of Hydrogen a real head-scratcher.
You make a good point, SJC, but these perceptions can change over time with education. People who drive a Volt need no convincing; the car simply works. Their friends and neighbors eventually figure it out too. With the Bolt and Model 3, it will be a similar transference. The cars work well enough that the requirements get adjusted. Dr SL, the only people looking for 500 mile all-electric range are Harvey and people who have never driven a PHEV or 200+ mile BEV with fast charging. There's a lot of education to be done, but that is starting to happen now and will scale over the next few years.