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CTO at Efficient Drivetrains Inc and Engineering Professor at University of California, Davis
Interests: PHEV, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
Recent Activity
PHEVs with Long Electric Range (PHEVLERs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) do not have to challenge the electric power grid. Over the coming years we can generate enough additional electricity to power both transportation and domestic needs by gradually adding 6 to 8 Kw of solar or wind electric generators for each PHEVLER or BEV sold. In addition, economical low power EV charging stations should be installed at all the places where EVs are parked for long periods of time (e.g. homes and workplaces). This will allow intelligent nighttime charging when other electric demands are low, and/or daytime charging when electricity from solar PV and wind is plentiful. In the long run, the management of energy by the electric power companies will be needed to manage and coordinate between the renewably generated electricity sources, the batteries for electricity storage and the bidirectional chargers in BEVs and PHEVLERs. See: "PHEVLERs are the Zero CO2 Clean Green Machines of the Future"
STEAG should be making a deal with drivers of all plug-in electric vehicles, both PHEVs and BEVs, to use 10% to 20% of their batteries for grid balance and solar or wind energy storage. Remember that they propose to offer 90 MW-hr of energy storage. If each electric car is willing to offer 4.5 kW-hrs then it would take about 20,000 cars to make up 90MW-hrs of energy. This amount of energy would not be needed quickly and could be managed and controlled by the grid wirelessly with low cost, low powered bi-directional chargers connected to the power grid when the cars are parked (i.e. vehicle grid integration). Such a system would offer the utility companies "essentially free energy storage" to balance intermittent wind and solar energy sources. This would increase the energy transfer capability of the existing grid with essentially no change in power transmission hardware. This is opposed to investing in high power transmission lines, battery storage, pumped hydro, etc. for energy storage to counter the solar and wind variations. This could work especially well with local solar and wind generation maintained and controlled by the utility company with rate adjustments for the PEV battery, land, and roof owners' use of their property. This could be a lot less expensive. The system would work best if all cars were long range plug-in hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt since there would never be range anxiety as with BEVs like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla cars. Also see our white paper "Using the Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle to Transition Society Seamlessly and Profitably From Fossil Fuel to 100% Renewable Energy"
The EREV or BEVx is a PHEV, but it is less efficient since it operates only in series mode and it is flawed in concept to satisfy some not-so-well thought out regulations. The idea of a tiny IC engine that can only maintain a 45 mph speed in the EREV is not a general solution. Why not simply make a proper PHEV with electric, series, and parallel modes of operation? That would be much more efficient and actually simpler when properly integrated. Also, carrying around a small IC engine in a PHEV is much less than carrying around 3 times the weight of batteries as in a Tesla. Tesla's BEVs still suffer range anxiety even though there are a few expensive high power charging stations in high traffic areas. By the way, my Volt PHEV with over 70,000 miles just got its first oil change; this means only one oil change for the life of the car and no brake wear. So maintenance needs for this PHEV have truly been minimal. Another important point is that the electric grid will need to generate more kw-hrs of electricity for these PHEVs, but it can be transferred through the existing wires. In addition, I suggest that the home or work wind and solar systems for generating more electric energy can also be transmitted through the existing electric wires. This should rightfully be managed by the regulated, for-profit utility companies and not by little fly-by-night companies that may provide sub-standard service and may disappear at any time. Hydrogen-fueled vehicles are not needed. Given the same amounts of electric energy, PHEVs can travel three to four times farther than the best hydrogen-fueled vehicle. A little biofuel plus renewable electricity to run a PHEV is a much better solution than any hydrogen-fueled vehicle now and into the future for net ZERO CO2 pollution. We note in the paper that the average driver with a PHEV-60 will use less than 10 percent liquid fuel and over 90% electricity. This is based on data from Idaho National Labs collected on about 40,000 current PHEV-35 Chevy Volts. They also have data on the Prius PHEV-12 and the Ford PHEV-20.
The fundamental definition of the PHEV in this paper has a 60 mile all-electric-range at full performance. This type of PHEV will have about 18 to 20 Kwhr of batteries for a mid size car. Export power is from batteries only and the amount is negotiated with the electric utility companies. The PHEV is a dual fuel vehicle and therefore is adaptable for now and into the future if it has a flexfuel engine designed to use up to E85 and higher biofuel blends. Appendix B above addresses the difference between hydrogen and PHEV's when using renewable energy.
JMartin: The next generation of biofuels coming into the marketplace will be made from wastes and other non-crop materials. See:
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Jul 25, 2015