Skip to main content

So I went to an awesome conference in Ann Arbor on Wednesday where I got to hear Obama's Federal Energy Regulatory Commission head nominee, Ron Binz, talk about "disruptive challenges" facing America's utilities (Hint: rooftop solar is one of them).

Anyway, he and others at the presentation (one of them was an executive at the PJM power grid) made statements about electric cars that blew my mind.

Electric car use won't put much of a strain at all on our Nation's power grid.

If we have an "aggressive" transition to electric vehicles, the increased use of electricity will barely make a dent in the Nation's demand for electricity. Barely a dent.

I know, right? It seems pretty counter-intuitive. But there it is.

And it's not because we're seeing astronomical rises in electricity demand either. In fact, the rise in the electricity market has been under 1% for years. And it's projected to stay there if we do NOTHING. Even if we do NOTHING AND we start driving electric cars, we'll STILL see an annual growth rate in the electric market of UNDER 1%.

How is that even POSSIBLE?

In a nutshell, household energy use as a percentage of total energy consumption in the US is around 30%. In the MOST DRAMATIC (and unrealistic) scenario, EVERY HOUSEHOLD IN AMERICA goes out and buys a brand new Electric Vehicle all in one year.

An electric vehicle uses about as much electricity as half a house. So if the whole transition happens in one year.....we'll see electricity demand jump by about 15%.

But that's not going to happen.

The most aggressive projection for electric vehicle growth is 10% of all registered vehicles by 2035. To put that into perspective, there's just 2 million registered gas-electric hybrids on the road today out of 240 million passenger vehicles in the US. So.......10% for EVs is a HUGE goal.

10% of all cars being EVs would weigh in at a whopping 147 terawatt hours per year, or just about 3% of all energy projections for 2035.

So from 2010 to 2035 a 10% growth in electricitc vehicles will be a 3% rise in electricity use. That's 3% spread out over the course of 25 years. What is that? .12% rise each year? I don't even know how that adds up.

We'd have a bigger draw in our power supply if everybody decided to TiVo Dr. Who all at the same time...*cough* I don't know if that's true. It just sounded dramatic. But you get the point.

Meanwhile, as electric cars SLIGHTLY nudge power use up, other forces are driving power use DOWN...we heard the Prez on Tuesday talking about energy efficiency programs....improved codes and standards.....

This chart here is from the Edison Institute, Innovation Electricity Efficiency study:

What we see is that if we do NOTHING, our demand will increase by about 20% over 25 years from 2010 to 2035. Even with electric cars added in. That's less than 1% per year...which utilities HATE. A LESS THAN 1% growth in the use of the product they sell year after year after year going on for decades. It's CRUSHING. It's very small return.

Here's a chart which shows how the US demand increase in energy has actually leveled off to less than 1% per year and even recently went negative....and is projected to stay under 1% going forward......

....that's not a great sign for future profitability in a sector.

And if utilities are hoping that the electric car will suddenly increase demand for more's just not going to happen.

Electricity usage isn't going to surge back up no matter what. Not even from electric cars. Households aren't going back to energy hog fridges. New homes aren't going back to the uninsulated sieve like architecture of the 1920s. People aren't going back to the incandescent light bulbs. The arc of electricity use per household is going DOWN. And businesses are doing it's about saving money.

Anyway...the bottom line is...............Electric cars aren't going to cause a spike in electricity use.  Some critics may try to make that claim...and it SEEMS true. But it's not.

Originally posted to Muskegon Critic on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:08 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kosowatt, SciTech, Climate Change SOS, DK GreenRoots, Climate Hawks, and Michigan, My Michigan.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Well that's somewhat reassuring (34+ / 0-)

    Additionally, much of the additional electricity use will be at night, when demand is currently lowest.  So it's unlikely to strain the system too dramatically.

    “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

    by SolarMom on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:23:32 PM PDT

  •  The beautiful Muskegon River. (11+ / 0-)

    I grew up nearby. Went swimming and canoeing there.

    Consumer's Power owned most of the access.

    I found out one day that voters gave the rights to the river to that company. I asked my Mother why in hell people gave away our river.

    My Mom (born in 1914) told me she voted for this.

    I could not believe my Mother did such a Republican thing. God, I was angry.

    Mom said 'I'm sorry honey, we just wanted electricity so bad'.

    Water powers most of Western Michigan.

    I just wanted to say, the power for electricy is there, let's use it.

  •  Night time charging (12+ / 0-)

    A lot of electric car charging will occur over night, which is off peak in most areas and seasons.  That will further reduce the effects of electric cars on the grid.

    A finer point: "Demand" generally refers to the highest amount of electricity delivered, in kW, in an area of the network or from one customer.   'Usage" or "Energy" is the total amount of kWh used.  

    So I would say that EVs will increase Usage by some amount, and will increase Demand by close to nothing.  There is even some possibility that EVs could reduce peak demand by being available to discharge into the grid during peak hours.

    •  But that reduces the ability for solar (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, flitedocnm

      to be used.

      Wind might be an option, a very good option, because a lot of wind generated electricity is currently being wasted.

      So, if it could be used to charge batteries for automobiles that'd be really great.

      The challenge, of course, is that any individual person might not be able to wait for such "excess" power to come available - but easily interchangeable battery packs that could be switched out at "gas stations" could potentially solve that problem (i.e., they'd be charged en masse by somebody else when the "free" electricity is available).

      •  Here's some numbers (albeit outdated (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher, unfangus, rasfrome

        so they probably should be doubled by now):

        “Approximately 25 TWh (yes, 25 terawatt-hours) of wind energy was curtailed (idled) in the U.S. last year to keep the off-peak grid energy price from frequently going negative.  That is about equal to the energy in 700 million gallons of gasoline just being thrown away. Curtailed wind energy in the U.S. appears likely to exceed 40 TWh in 2011″.
        Read more at this link

        There's a good discussion of the issue at this link

        Wasted Electrical Energy.

         Keep in mind that during these times of high winds and excess power, power companies are losing money hand over fist. Baseload power costs money, and power companies have to pay the ISOs in order to trade energy, which they are often trading at negative value.

         When energy is traded over the ISOs at such times, it is often “purchased” by neighboring municipalities, who now have excess power that they must “sell” at a slightly higher price to their neighbors… in effect a series of fees paid to the ISO to “push” the energy to outlying regions that are not suffering from an energy glut. The transmission may be through lines and transformers that are near capacity, thereby imposing additional costs on the trading.

         But other means of dealing with excess energy abound. It’s fairly easy to imagine that every light in every facility owned by a power company will be shining brightly before excess power gets “sold” for a negative price. The same is undoubtedly true with excess AC/climate control, water heating, and whatever else can be done with the energy, including simply running large amounts of energy through resistor banks and heating the parking lots.

         If the energy is being “sold” at negative pricing, it’s equally easy to imagine the co-ops who “purchase” this energy would also be motivated to use this energy even if they don’t have sufficient demand within their customer base, and they too would use lighting, heating, air conditioning, and any other power draw they could find to utilize or waste this electricity in the middle of the night.

         This is why it is not uncommon to see areas that boast of “green” initiatives end up having tremendous amounts of lights burning in every city building through the night, or large outdoor heating vents operating at odd times throughout the night.

        •  seems cheaper to have energy intensive processes (0+ / 0-)

          i went to school on the canadian border,
          we had lots of aluminum and glass plants nearby.

          they would take cheap hydro from canada at night,
          they'd power up around 10 PM and run till 6 AM
          and cook materials.

        •  Utilities would rather do nothing and waste (0+ / 0-)

          ...this power as a propaganda ploy to call renewable energy useless.  

          This power would be readily salable in heating season even with cheap resistance electric heaters installed in smart-metered homes.  

          While it wouldn't be worth 15 or 20 cents a kWh, it would certainly be worth 5 cents.  

      •  I always saw something like that as a key (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        To getting ev more accepted. Yes, you can charge the batteries overnight, but if you're in a rush and driving a longer distance, you stop at a 'gas' station and just swap them out.

        Yes, I know with the weight and size of today's batteries that's not possible, but it should be a goal.

        •  It's doable, but very expensive (0+ / 0-)

          Those Tesla battery swap stations cost at least $500k a pop, and I don't think that price includes the batteries it would store. Not a lot of gas stations are able and willing to make that kind of investment.

          First they came for the farm workers, and I said nothing.

          by Hannibal on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 07:34:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ever price a gas pump and tanks? (0+ / 0-)

            it's an easy 100 grand.

            new tanks and a dispenser for E85 can run up to 200K.

            with 30K of product in it and a net margin of a couple a pennies a gallon.

            would a service station operator invest $500K, into
            a device with a half million in battery in it?

            I'd guess if they a decent business model there.

            Lets say you have a cool million invested and
            say you finance at 10%.  You need to earn
            say 100K in Depreciation and amortization and 100K
            in interest and 100K in overhead, and 50K in profit.
            So you need to earn $350K/year

            So say a swapout is $100.  you need to swap 3500 batteries
            per year. or about 10 per day.  

            if your dispenser has 10 batteries in it, you cycle the batteries every day, and recharge them.

            could a swap station at say Breezewood PA or the Indiana toll plaza do 10 a day?  I think so.

            I think this sort of thing would be a decent little money maker, and what's nice is it scales up a bit.  you could put
            20 batteries in the unit and still service the users.

            i'd probably want to design the unit so you could hold say
            50 batteries and that way, you could be fast charging some
            and always be able to service a customer but slow charging the rest.

            That's almost $3 million in capital, but, as the business builds up you can get there.

            •  The way they work (0+ / 0-)

              And the massive size of the car batteries would prevent anything on that scale. The batteries weigh in at 1200 lbs on a Model S, and take up essentially all of the car's chassis. The swap system itself is nearly entirely underground, so once the system is in place, it's really difficult to expand capacity.

              First they came for the farm workers, and I said nothing.

              by Hannibal on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 11:30:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. Night time charging will limit solar use (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nchristine, elwior

        but the key is that the base power stations(nuclear, hydro and the like) will be able to keep up with demand.

        The costly(environmentally and price wise) peak stations(coal and gas) will not have to be used.

  •  Most electric car owners ... (11+ / 0-)

    ... will be charging their vehicles overnight, during off-peak usage hours.

  •  actually (25+ / 0-)

    you may not have been far off with your TiVo comment

    A recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) made headlines when it revealed that the biggest energy drain in your house likely isn't the fridge, air conditioner, or heater--it is, unbelievably, the TV set-top box. These ridiculously energy-inefficient boxes, typically provided by your cable company, have received little scrutiny until now, which means the cable companies have had little reason to embrace readily available methods to decrease their energy use.

    The NRDC found that "Today’s set-top boxes operate at near full power even when the consumer is neither watching nor recording a show," and that set-top boxes are only in use about a third of the time they're running.

    Always good to read your posts. MC.

    And remember: if we fail on climate change, nothing else matters. - WarrenS

    by LaughingPlanet on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:53:38 PM PDT

  •  I'm in Texas and we are not ready. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosette, ladybug53, Notreadytobenice

    Given that the Summers are increasingly hotter and longer, the Texas grid can barely meet the demand. There were already some concerns of rolling blackouts-again!

    That said, I would hope we push for a better and smarter grid to meet the demands of increasing reliance on renewables such as solar and wind.

    I think EV's and hybrids are going to be critical to reducing our demand for oil. We really do have the resources to become "energy independent" if we severely cut the demand for oil. I think we have to sell this transition to cleaner energy as "energy independence" rather than focusing on climate change because that tact isn't working as well as it should.

    The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

    by sebastianguy99 on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:03:26 PM PDT

    •  If Texas is having problems with peak demand (7+ / 0-)

      in summer, then there's actually a pretty simple solution for that:

      start installing lots of now inexpensive solar pv, as it primarily cuts into peak demand.

      The solution is simple.  Texas' only problem is that the majority of politicians are too simplistic to implement the right policies to make that happen.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 02:27:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Democrats need to present (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, patbahn, VeggiElaine, BYw, leftykook

        a vision of what Texas would look like with them in charge.

        No more rolling blackouts.  Cheap renewable energy being sent to nearby states.  Good public educational system.  No more 25% of kids uninsured.

        I believe Democrats could win there if there were a 50 state strategy again.

        Republican tax policies have led to financial conditions which have caused Republicans to demand cuts to programs they have always opposed.

        by AppleP on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 04:27:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  100+ today near Fort Worth. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lawrence, patbahn, TheDuckManCometh, BYw

        And I've got a dark roof. Covered with solar panels, that roof would have my electric meter racing. Backwards.  Instead of absorbing all that heat.  If I could afford it, I'd cover the whole top of my house with solar panels.  And I'd stick a windmill on the ridge to the north of my house. To grab that north wind in the winter.

        Another few years....give the technical folks another few years to get those installation prices down....and my local electric cooperative installing smart meters. And I'll be asking for solar panels for Christmas and my birthday.

        Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

        by Sirenus on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 06:16:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Demand not a big deal as far as pollution ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is concerned. The word "blackout" scares the shit out of people. "Planned outage" is better but doesn't (to quote Presidnt Clinton) to talking head "shake your bones"

    •  Texas is on its own grid, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      patbahn, Notreadytobenice

      not connected to the national grid.  I remember reading about this in the wake of the 2003 blackout.

      Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

      by Big River Bandido on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 07:04:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is not unusual. New England has little to do (0+ / 0-)

        with New York/New Jersey. That's what saved us from the blackout. Not connecting with other grids has advantages.

        NE is connected with Hydro-Quebec for the mega-energy supplied by the dams way up North. But if Quebec ever needed juice in an emergency or just from consumption growth - then  forget about it.

        What Texas may be lacking is energy efficiency programs forced upon the utilities by State regulators but they do have a planned outage program. I remember Texas going big time into demand limiting programs 10 years ago after the blackout.
        If there's a shortage coming, Texas power companies call up their big customers and ask them to reduce demand.
        Most of them have giant emergency generators they can turn on. Some of them just shut down for a few hours. They are rewarded hand$omely for being part of the program.
        Very impressive.

        •  Actually, in a US where we could have nice things, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          an upgrade of the power grid should include the entire country.  Most of the problems we have with delivery on the current grid are due to one simple factor:  it's really old.  It was pretty much the first to be constructed, and it was done in sort of a naturally-evolving way.  It was fine for 1910;  but as our power needs have grown exponentially, our ancient power delivery net needs a total overhaul.  Modern, "smart" systems are designed to mitigate power losses and catastrophic failures.

          Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

          by Big River Bandido on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 01:20:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Smart systems don't have anything to do with... (0+ / 0-)

            upgrading the entire country. Nor do they have anything to do with long distance power losses (which is real). Most catastrophic failures due to mgmt failure to maintain equipment and operator error. Chernobyl is the uber-operator error. Nobody can convince me alcohol was not involved.

            The idea of moving electricity from the Southwest to the Northeast is bantered about as the  solution to our energy woes. But then you have the weakest link in the chain syndrome and there are lot of links in a coast-to-coast chain.

            Smart grids control equipment in people's homes and factories so they don't come on at the same time. Smart systems decentralize grids; the opposite of a national grid.

            Energy from wind turbines here off the coast of New England rather than on the plains of Texas and vice versa is better.

          •  Smart systems are "nice things" but have nothing (0+ / 0-)

            to do with a national grid or power line losses or catastrophic failures. Smart systems actually decentralize grids so that equipment in homes and factories can be turned of and on based on grid demand.

            Catastrophic failures are caused by lack of maintenance (trimming trees) and operator error. Both mgmt failures.
            Chernobyl is the uber-failure. Probably due to alcohol.

    •  And Texas is a good place for wind energy... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      patbahn, BYw

      They only out strip Iowa in wind energy only because the state is more than 4 times the size of Iowa.

  •  We need a way more aggressive rooftop solar energy (14+ / 0-)

    rollout, we need to make the utilities accept much higher solar inputs instead of all the tiny ways they have of inhibiting new solar sources from residential, multifamily, and commercial and industrial property.

    We need to make  the rate structures pay and pay well, we need to have the rebates and govt incentives to be real instead of the tax credits structures now in place that exclude some people and limit payback and rollovers like some do, we as ratepayers and taxpayers and electrical users need to make it more likely financially  useful wherever possible instead of letting the utilities BooBug the process thru their spokehole lobbyists/politicians/investors  so their previous investments in gas, coal, and nukes can be paid off with the money stream instead of sharing it with solar generator equipment installation owners. "You have to plan on these things...err...planning, we're all about Planning For The Future.  San Onofre Who?"

    Like the solar installer company said to a customer who asked why he couldn't cover his large flat roof and get paid by the utility at an appropriate rate...

    'What if everybody did that?
    Indeed, what if.

    Fly over your town..see all the rooftop solar, generating electricity near the source? probably not unless you really want here, another there, a store like Target, or maybe then a Walmart...then a government building..but I have looked at block after block while flying or flying with google earth and seen solar installations for blocks and blocks...and these are often photos less than a year old most times in US cities.

    Utility lobbyists and their paid political hacks are not helping us here...I believe them to be actively inhibiting

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:13:53 PM PDT

    •  KenBee - we are seeing in some countries in Europe (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SolarMom, DBunn, mmacdDE

      where there is much larger installation of distributed, alternative energy, that it causes real issues for the utilities and the government agencies that regulate them. If everyone had rooftop solar, but was still connected to the grid for 24/7/365 power for evenings and cloudy days, residents would use much less power. Who pays for high fixed cost generation provided by the utilities that would be used as a backup? It's a real issue and until the existing carbon base load infrastructure is paid off, anyone attached to the grid is going to have to help pay for it.  

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:24:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Accounting problem (8+ / 0-)

        So, who pays for high fixed cost generation provided by the utilities? I dunno, somebody pays for everything. The fact that 'somebody has to pay' for X cannot deter us, if X is what we must have.

        If it messes up our financial accounting, that's bad, but if it messes up our atmospheric chemistry, that's a lot worse. I'm not saying that accounting problems aren't real-- but they're not as real as global warming.

        •  That (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          patbahn, VeggiElaine, BYw, DBunn

          problem is private ownership of a monopoly.  If society wants services like power grids under private control they need to be regulated and that includes the cost of running and maintaining the system.  In the long run, IMHO, I think services like power grids, sewer pipes, highways, bridges and rail lines should  be public property owned and managed by us.  

          "In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism" Marine Corp Brigadier General Smedley D. Butler

          by Kevskos on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 06:52:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  sure, like we are stuck with failed nukes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, Kevskos, VeggiElaine

        not a good argument, sorry, the climate change is real, our pitiful little attempt to fix it with rooftop solar and other alternative sources is probably doomed anyway.
          We need the utilities to stop getting in the way of the attempt tho  ... the utilities..who somehow have managed to overcome their problems enough to keep my calif lights on in spite of the emergency shutdown, 'planning' wise, of San Onofre.

        If nothing else, rooftop solar should be a priority as emergency local/decentralized/distributed power....if for no other reason...and it wouldn't happen overnight either so saying 'no because planning' is just's 'no or really slow' because 1% big investors want their money- their investment money  but also the continuing profits: at anybody and everybody else's expense, and to continue to get paid whatever..and yes the utility investors vary widely nonetheless they are 'owners' in a public utility but I say it's a dam emergency 50 years ago...(and too late now anyway, but shhhh).
           But do you think it's the teachers and firefighters who personally have been well informed and voted on this? oh hell no they surely have not..they get fancy literature in the mail and proxy votes if that, get real, you know how little individual utility share 'owners' can do anything about this...

        Utilities and their larger majority investors are in the way, they have lobbyists  and politicians on call that the smaller investors don't, we all know that.

          All investors getting paid back and continuing to be paid profits and passing on the the expense of their footdragging and ongoing profiteering to be born by the rest of us..and especially the unborn. and Yes, we will all Pay....somehow.

          And I am not worried about their Fiscal Wholeness, I am sure they will make even more money if the utilities...not if, but when the utilities are forced to cut the crap and just deal with the later and even more highly incentivised rooftop solar installations and all the 'problems' that will cause.
            I am not fucking crying for them, neither should you. Their lobbyists and PR people, heh, and paid hack politicians will make that happen, no problemo, we will pay them.

        And I expect you to mention utility owners as including pension funds, therefore we the Rabble would be Taking from  Granny the retired teacher, mean old solar advocates...well Granny would probably make better money investing in rooftop solar anyway..and I bet the pension funds and any other  increment of the Little People utility investors get paid last anyway way after the 1%, so San Onofre 'planning' probably includes screwing their investment class first..

          We need the pension funds invested in rooftop solar as well, so get on that wouldya?

        Ain't convinced, less so in fact: utilities are holding back rooftop solar in any number of ways...but thanks for saying your bit so succinctly...and so quickly :>

        This machine kills Fascists.

        by KenBee on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:28:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ken - I am a big solar fan (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE, Sirenus, patbahn, KenBee

          I was one of the initial investors in 1988 in Sun Power, now the largest US based provider of solar panels. Currently I am an investor in, and adviser to, a startup working on inexpensive storage for clean power like solar and wind. If we had inexpensive power storage people with roof top solar could drop off the grid. I think we need to continue to invest in clean energy. My only point was that we have a huge investment in utility generation and distribution infrastructure and that needs to be part of the conversation going forward.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 05:13:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  small neighborhood coops (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VeggiElaine, KenBee

            may change the conversation.

            if we see developements that create a little micro-grid,
            where everyone in the developement has a solar array,
            and the community has a couple of wind turbines
            say 100 KW and they run their own little micro-grid,
            they may not need to buy power from the primary grid.

            •  pat - microgrids are popping up all over the world (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The challenge is inexpensive storage. If you want cost effective on demand 24/7/365 power you need to have storage in addition to solar and wind. If you live in the third world and currently have no electric power any electricity that can charge your cell phone and charge a battery that provides electric light at night rather than a kerosene lamp is a huge improvement. However, our first world electronics require not only on demand power, but very clean, even power. You can't do that with wind and solar without some type of both storage and energy management technology.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:34:54 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There are several companies making (0+ / 0-)

                battery packs that fill whole semi trailers for relocatable grid-connected storage. They are viable in some parts of the world. Better batteries and other energy-storage technologies are coming, now that a market is known to exist and can reasonably be projected forward.

                Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

                by Mokurai on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 03:01:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am deeply involved in energy storage (0+ / 0-)

                  and we are likely still a decade away from an inexpensive  storage technology that works for most developed world applications. Currently the economics of storage only work in places where you can't hook up to the grid.

                  "let's talk about that"

                  by VClib on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 06:03:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Making decisions on the basis of money profit (7+ / 0-)

      is easy, attractive to the lazy. Fact is, money is only a token and symbol of relative value and, theoretically, available in infinite supply.
      What is scarce is time. Every minute is gone for ever. Using less time to do something is to be able to get more done. Lighting up the home makes it possible to work and learn and eat at night.
      The monster waiting to intercept the more efficient use of our time and energy is MONOPOLY. More than money, I would argue, some people want a monopoly to control what other people do. The power companies are no exceptiong. The people who run them don't want to be utilitarian. They want to be authoritarian.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 11:30:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Decent article on this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lefty Coaster, patbahn

    in Forbes, coverage of the ins and outs of charging topics.  Summary: Not an issue in the aggregate but could cause issues in specific times and places.

  •  the flip side of that, of course, (0+ / 0-)

    is that if the increase in electric power use is trivial then the reduction in CO2 emissions (from switching away from gasoline) is also trivial.  So the "moral imperative" to "go electric" is gone, and the decision to buy an electric car becomes solely economic.  Is the electric car cheaper, and does the (unsubsidized) electricity it uses cost less than the petroleum an ICE car would use costs (for the same passenger miles)?  If not, then why?

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 02:09:30 AM PDT

    •  not sure this makes logical sense. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VeggiElaine, BYw

      Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying?

      It seems you're equating the amount of CO2 produced due to gasoline use to the amount of CO2 produced due to power generation to conclude gas vehicles don't contribute much?

      I wouldn't make that assumption though, because 1) millions of individual gas vehicles are likely less efficient than a smaller number of large power plants using fossil fuels even, and 2) a lot of power production has much lower emission levels than fossil fuel power plants.

      Gasoline vehicles can still contribute a large proportion of the CO2 budget. See here:

      •  yes, you misunderstand . . . (0+ / 0-)

        and your own "point" is confused . . . switching from gasoline to coal (for transportation fuel) is no improvement, although switching to "solar" generally works if you drive at night and charge by day (the reverse not so well).

        But in any case it takes the same amount of energy to push a car down the road wherever it is sourced, and if the diarists contention (that the adoption of a small number of electric cars will have negligible effect on the electric grid) is correct then it will have correspondingly negligible effect on motor fuel consumption and CO2 emissions . . . especially where it simply substitutes coal or fracked gas for gasoline.

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 05:14:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I still don't think you're correct here (0+ / 0-)

          It may take the same amount of energy to push a car down the road, but it does not give off the same amount of CO2 emissions depending on which fuel is used and how efficiently that fuel is used to produce the energy. Gasoline used by millions of cars is not as efficient as gasoline would be at a large power plant. Let alone the other sources of energy, not just solar but also wind and hydroelectric, that make up the total power available on the electrical grid. So you're going to see a drop in emissions, and as far as I can tell, a significant drop, if enough people switch to EV.

          Did you look at the EPA numbers I linked? If switching to EV is just a blip on the electrical power grid as we're assuming here, but transportation currently takes up a over 30% of the emissions, then clearly switching away from gasoline will have a big impact on that 30+% of the emissions. Not sure how else you can make sense of those numbers other than that use of gasoline powered vehicles is a very inefficient process that produces more emissions per energy used than in the process by which EV produce that energy.

          •  it will have an effect (0+ / 0-)

            on that 30% of emissions to the extent that the power source adopted is "cleaner" (not a given) and to the extent of the "switch".  If the switch is little enough to have negligible impact on the grid then it will have negligible impact on CO2 emissions.  

            If all that 30% of transportation energy consumption were to switch to electric not only would the grid collapse but so would the entire electric power production system.  There is no "excess power" available for electric cars.  Hydro is fully committed.  Nuclear is fully committed.  All "clean" sources are fully committed (and in most of the world there are shortages, period).  Solar is intermittent, and not available when you're most likely to want to charge your car.  You can slip in an electric car into the system here and there without too much negative impact, but correspondingly without much benefit either.  A lot of electric cars would produce some benefit if coupled with new carbon neutral power, but not without.

            Where's the new carbon neutral power?  And what's going to displace coal and fracked gas?  Not solar, obviously . . . even if it does displace  some coal in the daytime that coal gets burned that night to charge the car, for no net reduction in coal burning.

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 02:11:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This is simply false. (0+ / 0-)

              And has been studied extensively for many years.  The US on average runs at about 50% capacity factor.  The only region in the US that couldn't handle a switch to electric is the Pacific Northwest, since hydro is more limited by total throughput than instantaneous generation capacity.  

              Why?  Simple.  The grid is designed for far greater usage during the day than at night due to day/night consumption differences.  Most EVs charge at night.

              No, the big challenge if everyone instantly switched to electric would not be generation.  It's not even the long-distance distribution grids - it's the local distribution grids.  A lot of local transformers aren't sized for new home loads that didn't previously exist.  It's not a problem for a few EVs in a neighborhood, but if everyone was using them tomorrow, it would be.

              Of course, EVs aren't going to magically appear overnight, so it's not a problem.  Really, power companies have been some of the biggest advocates of EVs.  It's a new way to sell a lot more electricity using devices that generally consume it off-peak and in a steady, predictable manner.  More sales with little (proportionally) extra cost - what could be more desirable than that?

              And yes, even on the current US grid, EVs are cleaner than gasoline cars - again, there are tons of studies to this effect.  And the grid is getting cleaner (most new capacity being NG and wind; the percentage from coal keeps dwindling) while oil is getting dirtier (most new development being things like syncrude of all stripes including bitumen, deepwater, high sulfur, stranded fields, remote locations, unconventional reservoirs, deep reservoirs, ultra-heavy, etc.)

  •  And with the combination of ever cheaper (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, elwior, VeggiElaine, patbahn, BYw

    charging with rooftop solar pv at home and at work, it's going to have an even smaller effect on grid electricity usage.

    Tipped and recced.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 02:30:57 AM PDT

  •  Maybe you should say "Electric Cars" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, elwior, VeggiElaine

    Electric Vehicles used for mass transit have a much greater positive impact.

    400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 03:03:00 AM PDT

  •  Hello Muskegon (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Muskegon Critic, Kevskos, elwior, patbahn, BYw

    I got me a sweet Chevy Volt!

  •  Used to go... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos, elwior, VeggiElaine, BYw

    ... to the annual "electric car" conference that was held normally at EMU Eagle Crest in Ypsi for years. Never much of a crowd, and in 2005 was at the major SAE Electric Car event at IIT in Chicago - just ONE real automotive industry guy there... Toyota Prius engineer, figuring out if they should go plug-in or not.

    Oil and Auto Industries are on two very SEPARATE trajectories, one''s peaked in decline, the other is the future, or so I used to argue starting in the 2002-03 first major "Oil Shockwave".

    Also work on a speech for the industry in 2006.

    Come a long way, and even though alt energy's major counter lobbyist Neumann (Conico-Phillips) retired, they are still trying to derail electric (pun intended).

    Glad there is a whole new wave of supporters to take us out of the muck that is the oil industry.

    For the occasional reluctant tweet

    by Hector Solon on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 05:25:55 AM PDT

  •  Great diary (3+ / 0-)

    but I found this statement curious:

    New homes aren't going back to the uninsulated sieve like architecture of the 1920s.
    Here in California, many or most 1920s houses are wood-framed stucco. Except the all-redwood 1920s house I grew up in, which was built as a part-time beach home. In other words, 1920s homes hereabouts tend often to be very well-insulated. You want badly insulated? That would be what's been thrown up since WWII...

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 05:54:34 AM PDT

  •  It's little surprise to me that here at Daily... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Kos we have people who believe in perpetual motion machines.

    Since I began writing here, I have been sorely disillusioned with any hope for our country, mostly because it's caused me to see directly into the popular mentality of both of our political parties, and from a scientist's perspective, it's more and more disturbing..

    On the right we have marginally or not sane people; on the left we have people who believe in magic.

    This leaves us, politically, with no one, no one at all who is even remotely reality based.

    •  I got my info from an engineer/exec at the PJM (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Notreadytobenice, BYw

      grid and the Presidential nominee to the Energy Regulatory Commission.


      • places like, for starters,... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        Environ. Sci. Technol., 2008, 42 (12), pp 4305–4311

        It's called "the primary scientific literature."

        I generally spend 20 to 30 hours a week reading this literature, all on my own time, with a reasonable estimate being that 90% of that reading is invested in issues related to energy and the environment.

        I wrote 399 diaries here before I understood the hopeless of that the hand waving and wishful thinking has caused.

        The atmosphere is collapsing at the fastest rate ever in 2013.   February, Marc h, and May of this year have all set records for increases in dangerous fossil fuel waste increases over the previous year, in some cases by a large margin.

        The great and I think disillusioned climate scientist Jim hansen recently smacked down some rote anti-nukes, coincidentally in the same journal I previously cited - where by the way the external costs of electric cars are covered extensively - as much of mocking as you can get away with in a scientific journal with this comment:

        Furthermore, Sovacool et al. provide no references for the “prevailing scientific consensus” they allude to regarding Chernobyl deaths. The only relevant source they cite is a single-authored web posting from the Union of Concerned Scientists, an organization that is well-known for its long-held opposition to nuclear power. By contrast, the 2008 UNSCEAR report that we cite14 represents a rigorous scientific assessment performed by expert scientists from 27 countries (including the countries most affected by the accident).
        Environ. Sci. Technol., 2013, 47 (12), pp 6718–6719

        You have one source, and worse (and more depressing), it's a Presidential Adviser.

        I have the experience of decades of sources throughout the scientific community and world.

        You write in your text:

        In the MOST DRAMATIC (and unrealistic) scenario, EVERY HOUSEHOLD IN AMERICA goes out and buys a brand new Electric Vehicle all in one year.
        As an environmentalist, I can't even begin to express my contempt for the "solution is to buy all new stuff" meme, but I will excuse for including the only realistic word in that sentence, which is, of course, "unrealistic."

        But since you have the Presidential adviser's ear, maybe you can go back and ask him where all the neodymium for this adventure is going to come from.   Would spaceships to mine asteroids be a solution?

        I have a lot of respect, by the way, for the former head of ARPA-E Arun Majumdar, but in some ways, he too can be clueless.   During a lecture I attended by him last year, during Q&A I asked him where the neodymium and other lanthanides were going to come from for his super rosy wind energy predictions.

        The answer I got was, regrettably hand-waving:   He said "if only we could stabilize iron nitride, we might be able to phase out lanthanides."

        It's 2013.   I repeat that the atmosphere is collapsing now, immediately.    If iron nitride isn't stable now, then it's way too late.

        What passes for environmentalism on this website is appalling.

        The car CULTure is not sustainable and there is nothing, no band-aid, no dramatic restructuring that can make it so.

        Have a nice weekend.

        •  Have you driven an S? n/t (0+ / 0-)
        •  demand has a funny way of creating (0+ / 0-)


          I always thought it was stupid to use bulk neodynium
          in electric motors.

          use it in molecular sprays.

        •  lets' look at your article (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          1) it's from 2008, things have changed  a lot in the economics.

          2) it's talking about water cooling for thermal electric.

          Given the massive economic changes in PV and wind,
          we are seeing way more installation there then in

          The world is changing in funny ways unpredictable
          even 5 years ago.

          if houses went to rain barrels and grey water, their consumption would drop a lot.

        •  That's an article about the water-energy (0+ / 0-)


          This is really going to chap your hide....

          .....but wind power is very low water intensive. Same with solar.

          Know what uses a shit ton of water?


          And here I figured you for a pro-nuke guy.

        •  I hate to say it but your choice of articles (0+ / 0-)

          actually dropped my respect for what you say on energy issues quite a bit.

          I'm quite familiar with water-energy nexus issues.

          That you posted THAT specific bit of research underscores that you just went out and found a paper...ANY paper...that talked about electric cars and energy demand, without considering the actual meaning of the paper you cited.

          Forget about the fact that you didn't give thought or consideration to the information in my diary showing the TINY increase in energy use from electric vehicles.

          The WATER issue comes from cooling systems from thermal power plants like nuclear.

          ....if you are HONESTLY concerned about the water-energy wouldn't be advocating making the situation WORSE by moving toward MORE NUKE.

          Don't even bother giving me some high-and-mighty bullshit holier than thou crap about how you know so much and have given up because you're so much fucking smarter than everybody else in the room.

          You're just pulling shit out of your Google Scholar search bar because................................I don't even KNOW why....

          Tell me you give a crap about the Water Energy nexus and then tell me you're all Pro Nuke....

          Load. Of. Crap..

          Have a nice weekend.

          •  One thing that greatly bugs me about (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            alain2112, Muskegon Critic

            the US system is that heat is almost always treated as a waste product rather than a product.  There are tons and tons of industries, etc in the US that need heat.  They build their plant wherever and then make their own heat.  There are also tons of power plants, etc in the US that are making heat.  They build their near a natural source where they can throw away the heat (rivers, etc), and hence cause negative repercussions to ecosystems and have to cut back their operations during drought.

            It's a stupid way to look at the problem.  Here in Iceland heat is treated as a valuable secondary product stream.  Companies that need heat position themselves near heat sources like power plants.  They then buy the waste heat instead of paying to make their own.  It gets used in their systems and eliminates any sort of dumping problems.  

            Someone's waste stream is often someone else's input stream, and you need to connect the two points.  But a lot of US industry is locked into the idea of seeing waste as simply waste, and that people who need it need to make their own.  Another example is CO2 itself.  There are oilfields in Texas that are having supercritical CO2 injected into them to breathe life back into the field (increasing the pressure and decreasing the viscosity of the oil).  So, they're getting it from industry, right, helping eliminate global warming?  Nope!  There are natural CO2 deposits deep in the ground, and they tap them - to reiterate, they're taking CO2 out of the ground - to make the CO2 that they want to use.

            There's just no cooperation, no linking of waste streams with input streams.

      •  A PJM engineer/exec is not the best source.... (0+ / 0-)

        sometimes as may be biased. People that work for power companies come from a culture that perceives change as bad.
        Exec's that work in nuclear industry are the same way.

        You know what they say: 3 strikes and you out.

  •  We need all electic cars in 5 years (3+ / 0-)

    We are in a Planetary Emergency. The built-in changes from 400ppm of CO2 are going to be catastrophic as they play out. We need to get to zero CO2 emissions as quickly as possible.

    This news about generating capacity is one more reason to make it happen. We need to couple this with sustainable energy sources for the grid. Wind turbine technology is up to 7 megawatts, 10 on the design board, and research on 20 megawatts. We need federal backing to make sure that turbine siting is not restricted arbitrarily.

    We also need to get the gas guzzling cars, SUVs and small trucks off of the road. We can do this through expensive subsidies or heavy taxation, take you choice or use both.

    PV installations need to be guaranteed retail price for any energy put into the grid. I am in the process of installing a 50 KW array on my factory. The numbers work our really well for energy cancelled, but not so well for net energy put into the grid. The installer recommended that I do not exceed my average use in PV sizing. Nice for my needs, but a disaster for the goal of sustainability. Where the two diverge, sustainability must win out over economics, or in the end we will have an uninhabitable planet, but will have saved money along the way!

  •  my Napkin calculation was the worst (3+ / 0-)

    case, if every car in america went electric
    we'd see about a 30% increase in grid demand.

    which would be a net wash because the availability of all
    that battery would let you wash away peak demand generators.


    according to the feds the fleet is at about 3 Trillion Vehicle miles.

    typical electric car needs 3-4 KWH per mile, so figure
    worst case 1 trilliion KWH

    Total electrical energy consumption in 2011 was 4,138 Billion kWh (B kWh).
    that's 4 trillion KWH,  figure if Electric cars become 100%
    we end up with a 25% increase in demand.

    that's probably a plus because 80% will charge at night when we have massive electric surpluses.  

    gives us only a 200 Billion KWH demand during the day and
    you have all that rolling battery.  

    current V2G chargers are running $1/watt,  that's very competitive to installing Gas turbine Combined cycle or

    •  nice work, thanks - eo (0+ / 0-)

      what lincoln said

      by rasfrome on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 09:05:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dimensional anlysis required. Demand is not... (0+ / 0-)

      "KWH" -that's energy (kilowatt-hours).
      "Demand" is instantaneous (kW = kilowatts).

      Think of electricity as water. The pipe size is kW. Too much kW and the pipe bursts. The amount of water going through the pipe is kWh.

      •  but you can impute that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the demand has to be in some form of a demand curve.

        if you look at overall energy consumption, you can
        figure out how that gets pulled.

        all my BOTE calculation was to see how cars sized up against
        the consumption as a whole.

        given it's 25-30%, it's a real demand, you will see it,
        but it's not going to break the whole grid, especially
        when the consumption is mostly at night.

        have smart chargers that turn on at 10 PM and have
        some ability to run V2G to require backwards flows.
        and have every car have an inverter to serve as an emergency generator, that would be a giant win.

        •  Demand can be shown over time on a curve but... (0+ / 0-)

          at any given time if it spikes the pipe can burst causing bad things to happen. Smart charges don't turn on at "10 p.m". Rather, they are commanded by the utility to turn off/on based on grid demand. That is very powerful (pardon the pun)

          T'is done now with air conditioning. When it's really hot, turn off half the AC units for 15 minutes and then turn off the other half when the first come back on. Viola, cut AC demand in half. Cheap to do and most people hardly notice (although in U.S. lot of whiners).

          Power companies provide relatively inexpensive juice for folks that are willing to bear the burden of a couple of degrees.

          You have to be careful about an Ecar being a generator. Not good for the lineman fixing the wire in front of your house if done wrong. Done right cost several thousand dollars.

    •  A couple problems (0+ / 0-)

      First, I think you made a typo when you said EVs need about 3-4 Kwh per mile.  Its the other way around, 3-4 miles per Kwh.

      I'm guessing you didn't make that mistake when you actually made your calculation since I get something similar to you.  If you figure roughly 250 million passenger vehicles each using an average of 10 Kwh per day it comes to about 1 Pwh or 1 trillion Kwh.  

      Now for an actual problem, you seem to be under the impression that energy stored in an EV's battery can be discharged back to the grid.  While it is certainly possible to make the batteries do this, I am not aware of any EV's that have batteries that allow this.

      "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

      by Quanta on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:39:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great Diary, thanks, Muskegon! (0+ / 0-)

    There is no way we are going to make it through this transition unless we see many more of these types of analyses and start seriously discussing what our best options are, and as so perfectly put in your sig-line.

    Pessimism of the intellect; optimism of the will. - - Antonio Gramsci

    by lehman scott on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 10:28:52 AM PDT

  •  Local infrastructure may be challenged (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    SoCal Edison says that charging an EV at 240v can be like adding another house to a neighborhood transformer circuit.

    A block-level transformer typically serves 10 to 12 homes. They're usually over-sized because they're built to last decades. The ones installed 30-40 years ago have been able to adapt to new loads like air conditioning, large refrigerators, multiple TV's, home computers, etc.

    Loads can go down as well. Incandescent lighting is giving way to CF and LED, and old appliances are replaced with new Energy-Star models.

    What concerns the engineers at SCE is "clustering" of EVs.

    Studies have shown that in the last decade, purchases of hybrid cars have occurred in geographic clusters. This happens when folks see that their neighbor has a Prius, likes it, and hasn't had any trouble with it.

    SCE expects the adoption of EVs to follow the same pattern. It's not a large problem, but one to keep an eye on.

    The current price of EVs suggest to me that the early adopters probably live in upscale neighborhoods with newer homes and utilities.

    But if you find yourself to be the third or fourth EV owner on a block of fifty-year-old homes, you might want to advise the power company.

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 01:13:49 PM PDT

  •  Ridiculous performance from garage tinkering (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Notreadytobenice about a Datsun 1200 drag car that has done the quarter mile in 10.2 sec and 123.7 mph...

    There are very fast conventional cars that can't catch the White Zombie...

    White Zombie isn't the only EV drag car...there are a number of others including a Beetle and a '72 Pinto!

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 01:48:31 PM PDT

    •  NASCAR for geeks. Nice! n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      •  NHRA for Geeks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Big difference

        If you look around the Youtube area that features these cars you'll a gorgeous '34 Ford Coupe hot rod with a 440 ft/lbs torque electric motor!

        "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

        by leftykook on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 08:26:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oregon Public Broadcasting youtube link: (0+ / 0-)

          9 minute vid is great but especially starting @ minute 5:00.

          Electric Car Drag Racing | Oregon Field Guide | OPB

          Just coming up for air. Stunned at the very well done videos on electrics. Getting "the need for speed" crowd's attention is most excellent. I am impressed.

          •  People in California (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            build hot rods with SMOG CONTROLS, the performance equipment makers have figgered out how to interweave their products with the state's stringent smog laws.

            Late-model Chevy and Ford V-8s from Camaros and Mustangs etc have pretty sophisticated fuel injection and ignition systems that run very cleanly, and there are all sorts of people making wiring harnesses and other parts that make an old flat-fender Jeep or a late 40's round-fender sedan compatible with the modern engine and it's controls.

            SOME of the car nuts are on board with making horsepower AND low emissions, and I expect it won't take long for crazy car-nuts to start building monstrously powerful electric cars to ruin perfectly good rear (or front) tires with...

            I saw a Dodge Challenger Hybrid with a lotta batteries in the trunk, a 250-hp electric motor inserted between the Hemi engine and the automatic transmission with solenoid-operated clutches and a trigger or button on the shifter to add it to the output upon demand, like the ones they use for controlling Nitrous Oxide bottles!

            "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

            by leftykook on Sun Jun 30, 2013 at 06:53:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Even more Garage tinkering... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Not a performance car, this time, it's an Electro-Beetle...

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 02:52:33 PM PDT

  •  How about an electric AIRPLANE? (0+ / 0-)

    These folks from China have been building electric R/C aircraft for years, and they just keep upping the ante to the point where they are now building a full-size aircraft with performance similar to an FAA Light Sport Aircraft (but which doesn't qualify as an LSA because they're required to have piston engines.)

    Sport Aviation hadda whole issue dedicated to electric flight a coupla years ago, the Yuneec was featured.  The aircraft might be very suitable for flight training at local FBOs, the battery allows more than an hour's flight and is rapidly removeable so a flight school could have a bank of batteries sitting and charging and then just switch batteries between sorties.

    Obviously not much chance of flying it to Oshkosh...

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Sat Jun 29, 2013 at 03:03:22 PM PDT

  •  Don't forget lousy employment numbers. (0+ / 0-)

    Surely some of the slow growth in power demand must be due to persistent high unemployment. When you live with your parents, you use less electricity than if you had your own place. When the office you used to work in stands vacant, it's not being heated-cooled-lit, the phones aren't working, the computers aren't running, etc. You're not getting lunch from that cafe near your former office, so it's closed (not using any power), too. Etc.

    Looks like employment is going nowhere fast, so demand is not likely to grow...fortunately/unfortunately.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 09:34:43 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site