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View Diary: From Floods to Drought and Back: Global Weirding (78 comments)

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  •  Electric vehicles won't work "out here"... (0+ / 0-)

    They simply don't have the range for the hundred mile and more trips we often have to make, even if we could afford them. And electric tractors and trucks? The duty cycle is just too strenious- a farm tractor or big trucks engine works hard, and would run down the battery in an hour or two at best. We need vehicles we can fuel up and run all day and night.

    •  actually (0+ / 0-)

      electric motors do the heavy lifting better than the other kind.

      Still, there are a few niche areas where fossil fuels could be needed, but those are small compared to the overall economy.

      Those who can use electrics need to do so.

      Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

      by Mindful Nature on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 09:33:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Electrics aren't necessarily any cleaner... (0+ / 0-)

        In most of the U.S. most of the electricity they use is generated with fossil fuels, primarily coal. So all an electric does is move the GHG emissions from a lot of little tailpipes to a few big ones.

        •  No (0+ / 0-)

          But they can be.  (Well even with natural gas behind them they are). Gasoline can't be. Obviously we need to retire that fuel mix too

          Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion

          by Mindful Nature on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 06:40:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  At what cost? (0+ / 0-)

            The only viable options we have for clean electricity out here are wind (got plenty of that) and increased use of hydro. Even those options won't be cheap, as the "low hanging fruit" in clean energy has pretty much already been picked.

            Assuming we can overcome those problems and convert to 100% renewable electricity, the limitations of power density in batteries and their short useful life doom electric vehicles and farm equipment to niche applications. And given that electric vehicles are as mature a technology as internal combustion fueled ones, major improvements in power density are unlikely. Then there's the problem of upscaling Volt technology to trucks and tractors- a car only needs 10 horsepower or so to go 60 MPH, a big truck needs 200 horsepower to do that and needs to be able to do it all day and night. Tractor applications are even worse- even a midsize tractor needs 200 or so horsepower, and given the narrow windows that weather allows us to do field work, needs to be able to put our those 200+ horsepower for sometimes days on end.

            So clearly electrics aren't the solution to GHG for rural folks, and we'll have to reduce GHG by increased efficiency, less tillage, rural transit, etc..

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