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EVs can charge preferentially using low-CO2/low marginal cost sources (wind, solar and nuclear). Cars these days are computers on wheels, and EVs even more so. They can easily charge when power prices are very low, which is when low-CO2/low marginal cost sources are producing the most. This will both make driving low-CO2, and raise demand and power prices at these times thus helping incentivize low-CO2/low marginal cost sources. EVs and low-CO2 power have a marvelous synergy.
Larzen, Not stupid, just misinformed. But, Climate Change isn't the only reason to move away from oil - I should have mentioned other things which add up to an even greater cost: pollution, the cost of military protection of oil supplies, etc.
E-P (or anyone) Have you seen prices and specs for batteries for portable leaf blowers (or other similar equipment)? How about the fuel consumption and specs of conventional equipment?
Roger, Internal space is inherently better in an EV. The Volt lost a seat simply because GM chose to use an EV-1 battery rather than lose time developing a new one. Battery weight is a feature, not a bug. A well designed EV places the weight low, where it greatly improves handling. Regenerative braking greatly reduces the impact of weight on efficiency. Rail is the best place for freight, though LNG and swappable batteries will work just fine for fleets with fixed routes. Are fuel cells and H2 storage really cheap enough now for portable applications?
Leaf blowers are what, 1/4 HP? 2kW is 3HP, so that would be enough to charge 6 leaf blowers between and during jobs. I suspect electric landscaping devices are underutilized. Anyone seen a real analysis??
Herman, As far as light duty vehicles go: new sales don't seem to have that much to do with price. The minimum cost US vehicle is about $11k, while the average vehicle is more than $30k. Hybrids, EREVs and EVs are already the low cost choice for Total Cost of Ownership, so if cost were the driver....we would have reached the tipping point. There are two big problems: First, the vast majority of people are very slow to move to new things. They have to see people around them using this new thing for quite a while to become comfortable with them. For example, online food ordering has overwhelmingly benefits for parents, but Webvan went bankrupt: they counted on people moving to a new thing too quickly. Second, the primary reason for EVs is Climate Change, and as a society we haven't prioritized dealing with CC. We just haven't. Until we do, with things like carbon taxes and acceptance by Republicans, it's unrealistic to expect fast movement by consumers. As for heavy duty vehicles: the problems of economy of scale and long-lived investments are very large. Large fleet customers have been experimenting with pilot programs, but have been afraid of making first movers. That suggests that the early rate of adoption may be deceptive, as we reach a tipping point of cost and acceptance.
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Jul 11, 2014