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https://www.thedrive.com/news/electric-pickup-trucks-are-dirtier-than-you-think

Reading this article with a critical eye wondering what the opinions of the forum members are. When I read this it seemed biased on the side of internal combustion fans. At least that was the impression I got.

I am looking forward to making a positive change in the environment. I know we have several electric vehicle fans in the forum among them the "petty tyrant" who is responsible for this oasis of the internet, our very own Jess! I think their reason for being EV fans is the positive environmental aspect no?

I am hoping for an enlightening education with the following thread. I think the heaviness of the trucks is a factor in the break even point which should certainly favor scooters. If you are interested in this type of thing please share your thoughts.
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I didn't see a bias towards ICE, but more a suggestion that small is better, whether ICE or EV. I think we've seen in threads before that the break-even point between 'equivalent' ICE and EV vehicles is somewhere between 30,000 and 300,000 miles, depending almost entirely on where in the world you get your fuel, be it gas or electricity.

So all one can really conclude is that it's likely that sometime in the future vehicles will become nearer and nearer to being environmentally neutral - and the current EVs are a small step in that direction.
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As more electricity is produced by renewables I am sure it gets better which coincides with the opinion that it being a step in the right direction.

I re-read and may have been hasty in my judgement of bias, it may have just been the author trying to appear neutral where I read between the lines and saw bias.
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A smarter grid would enable more efficient use of renewable sources of electricity generation, which can be sometimes intermittent. As an electric vehicle driver all you need is for there to be enough kWh in your battery for your next day's travelling, and it makes no difference if you got the required 10kWh within 2 hours of plugging in the night before, or if it came in a steady trickle at a lower rate all night, to make use of the peaks in a variable supply.
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Hey look. This is how much bigger your already ludicrously large 4 wheeled monstrosity could be with the same carbon footprint if you switch to electric.

And they lost me at kg/mile.
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Funny - I just posted about how "progress" isn't always the great thing some think it is… In this case, however, I do think EVs are a positive development over ICE vehicles. Two points I've made before:

1. It's likely EV vehicles in places with relatively developed (i.e. less-polluting) electricity generation capacity will be driven past the emissions "break even" point, either by their original owners or subsequent owners. I am interested in an analysis of the number/percentage of vehicles "removed from service" by mileage as this seems germane to the conversation.

2. Many of the articles I've read focus on comparing the emissions of EVs to those of ICEs. For many people I know, adoption of EVs is more dependent on economic considerations. I live in the US… Some people here don't even believe climate change is real (or that it's caused by humans) - and I'm talking about elected leaders of our country! Lol. For many here in eastern Connecticut, here's the real question - What's the break-even cost for an EV when gas is $4.80 a gallon and electricity costs 24 cents per kWh?
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I haven't bought an EV, but I am going to get an EV truck simply for the towing capacity. There simply are no $40k EV cars with a 400 mile range capable of towing 5000 lbs or hauling a Vespa in it's bed.

The world hasn't even adopted EVs yet, and people are are ready getting into the "you don't need that. Your EV isn't efficient enough". You really think that is the way to win people over?

In the end, this is going to be driven by PRICE. The average guy can't afford the average $66,000 EV price tag, especially for anything with a 400+ mile cruising range. So be glad when they move to an EV. If a Silverado WT with a 400 mile range and 8000lb towing capacity for $40k can lure folks away from their ICE counterparts, I say more power to them. Stop whining about it. Stop expecting the world to conform to your idea of the EV transition. Your Nissan Leaf is not ideal transportation in my reality.
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And they've done it again.
Quote:
These are large, heavy vehicles with massive batteries, and there's still an environmental price to pay even if the costs have been pushed upstream and out of sight. Most electricity generation in the U.S. still produces CO2, though renewables are more in the mix depending on where you are.
"Look everyone! Look at the dirty process of making the electricity to power these electric vehicles! No CO2 at the tailpipe, but they use six year old orphans to shovel coal into huge polluting furnaces to make their electricity!!" (hyperbole mine)

This was interesting, but may be hiding some data :
Quote:
we can estimate a TRX's production to be associated with 26.5 metric tons of CO2, while FuelEconomy.gov rates it at 889 grams of CO2 (and upstream greenhouse gas emissions) per mile driven. Based on the U.S. energy production average 386 g CO2/kWh, the Hummer EV's 1.6 miles per kWh means it's responsible for 241 grams of CO2/mi, or just over a quarter of what the TRX emits.
I'm not sure what they are considering "upstream emissions".

I would love to see the numbers side by side including the CO2 cost of electricity generation as well as the CO2 cost of gasoline manufacture and distribution, because those numbers are appalling.

I've said it before, even on this forum, you have to compare input and output of both vehicles. Many of these studies are quick to point out the environmental impact of vehicle and manufacture and electricity generation, but gloss over how terrible producing gasoline is for the environment.
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A US gallon of gasoline takes about 4kWh to produce, and contains about 38kWh of energy.

38kWh at 24 cents per kWh is just over $9. However, ICE cars are only about 50% efficient (the theoretical limit of a Carnot cycle engine is ~70%) whereas EVs are about 90% efficient. So it takes ($4.80 / 0.5) of gas to be equivalent to ($9 / 0.9) of electricity. That's $9.6 (gas) vs $10 (electric). So very close. Now in California, with gas prices over $7 in places and a pretty equivalent electricity cost (or far lower using a smart meter overnight), the equation looks a bit different.

However, if you use solar on your rooftop or back garden, it can be essentially free to use electricity, with no ongoing CO2 production.
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jimc wrote:
Now in California, with gas prices over $7 in places and a pretty equivalent electricity cost (or far lower using a smart meter overnight), the equation looks a bit different.

However, if you use solar on your rooftop or back garden, it can be essentially free to use electricity, with no ongoing CO2 production.
And up here in OR/WA, electricity for charging is somewhat cheaper (typically about 1/2 of the cost in the SW) and is produced from a mix of hydro, nuclear, wind, and solar with natural gas used for some peaking (our last coal fired generating station has been shut down). Plus, as you say, factor in rooftop solar (which I have), and the balance for my EV looks even more favorable.
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I'm curious about what it takes to make the batteries used in EVs. What is the impact on the environment in procuring and processing the raw materials for the aforementioned batteries? I'd guess it's a nasty little secret, but political biases in reporting (from both sides) make it difficult to sus the truth. If anyone has done balanced research into the subject, I'd be interested in hearing it.

America is huge and worth exploring. Stopping every 200(ish) miles, less if using A/C, for up to eight hours (w/Level 2) is a problem for most drivers. We regularly drive from Phoenix to Dallas, which takes less than a day, gas and food stops included. How long would it take an EV to travel the same distance?

I'd love the idea of EVs if I could pull up to a filling station, swap batteries, and go about my day. Until it's almost as convenient to recharge as fill up, the majority of folks won't be interested enough to make much of an environmental impact.
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The batteries that are most commonly in use are made of some rare earth materials that are hard to find, and costly in many ways to mine and process - cobalt in particular. However coming on stream are Lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries that use only common and far cheaper materials, but are roughly twice the size and weight. These LFP batteries are far safer and self-extinguish, and are the preferred option for household or RV energy storage.

Here's a reasonable article:
https://blog.epectec.com/lithium-iron-phosphate-vs-lithium-ion-differences-and-advantages
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jimc, thank you for posting the above article. I have little doubt that the size/weight issues of LFPs will be reasonably addressed as the technology improves. I'm also glad to hear that they are made of more readily available, non-toxic materials.
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jimc wrote:
A US gallon of gasoline takes about 4kWh to produce, and contains about 38kWh of energy.

38kWh at 24 cents per kWh is just over $9. However, ICE cars are only about 50% efficient (the theoretical limit of a Carnot cycle engine is ~70%) whereas EVs are about 90% efficient. So it takes ($4.80 / 0.5) of gas to be equivalent to ($9 / 0.9) of electricity. That's $9.6 (gas) vs $10 (electric). So very close. Now in California, with gas prices over $7 in places and a pretty equivalent electricity cost (or far lower using a smart meter overnight), the equation looks a bit different.

However, if you use solar on your rooftop or back garden, it can be essentially free to use electricity, with no ongoing CO2 production.
By produce does that mean pump, ship, refine and distribute? And is the CO2 impact of the pumps that pump the crude, the barges that transport the crude, the refineries that refine the gasoline and the semis that carry the final product to the gas station included?

I believe the number you quoted is only the refining process. Making and distributing gasoline involves a lot more energy and produces a lot more CO2 than just the refining bit.

And I think your ICE efficiency numbers are a bit generous. At best they are closer to 30% efficient. Most of the energy is wasted as heat.
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theschuman wrote:
Funny - I just posted about how "progress" isn't always the great thing some think it is…
Well, the definition of progress here is to improve something. If it doesn't get better, that wouldn't be progress, no? This is tied to a goal. If the objective is to develop a cleaner motor vehicle and that objective is fulfilled, progress has been made. If not it's regress.

progress
noun
Development, advancement, or improvement, as toward a goal.
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Yes, I was being generous. I also omitted the background production costs of grid electricity. So very much 'back of the envelope' and open to all sorts of argument.
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Guzzi Gal wrote:
I'm curious about what it takes to make the batteries used in EVs. What is the impact on the environment in procuring and processing the raw materials for the aforementioned batteries? I'd guess it's a nasty little secret, but political biases in reporting (from both sides) make it difficult to sus the truth. If anyone has done balanced research into the subject, I'd be interested in hearing it.

America is huge and worth exploring. Stopping every 200(ish) miles, less if using A/C, for up to eight hours (w/Level 2) is a problem for most drivers. We regularly drive from Phoenix to Dallas, which takes less than a day, gas and food stops included. How long would it take an EV to travel the same distance?
Eventually you will likely be able to charge your EV in the time it takes to gas up your ICE vehicle. The technology is steadily improving. Right now we have a similar situation as it was at the beginning of automobile travel: cars on the road, but little infrastructure to keep them moving. That did not take long to sort itself out. So while as of now the EV trip would take you longer, that difference should shrink rapidly.

https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2021/Q4/electric-vehicles-could-fully-recharge-in-under-5-minutes-with-new-charging-station-cable-design.html
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jimc wrote:
However, if you use solar on your rooftop or back garden, it can be essentially free to use electricity, with no ongoing CO2 production.
what's the cost to install the solar stuff ? need to include that into your numbers.
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old as dirt wrote:
what's the cost to install the solar stuff ? need to include that into your numbers.
DIY about $6k for a 15kW system with battery backup (but off-grid, no permit etc).

Or about $100 a month for a 7.5kW system, no battery backup, but also no more electricity consumption payments to the utility co. by using a solar installation company that does all the work for you. That's what we've just done. Our 'leccy bill will remain substantially the same (~$100 pm) but allow us to use 100-200% more juice than we do (very frugally) at the moment. The extra usage should take care of A/C in the summer and heating in the winter with a mini-split inverter that I installed last year, but have hardly used yet.

Note our newly installed system is not designed to charge an EV - much as we'd love one, there's no way we're forking out the cash for one - all debts are paid and we're not taking out any more loans!
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giallo wrote:
Eventually you will likely be able to charge your EV in the time it takes to gas up your ICE vehicle.

https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2021/Q4/electric-vehicles-could-fully-recharge-in-under-5-minutes-with-new-charging-station-cable-design.html
Now, that's cool! Pun intended. Razz emoticon
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giallo wrote:
Eventually you will likely be able to charge your EV in the time it takes to gas up your ICE vehicle.
Check this out ...
Quote:
The 2022 Ioniq 5 can charge from 10% to 80% in just 18 minutes, at a 350-kw DC fast-charger, and it can recover 68 miles of range in about five minutes. The model can take advantage of 400-volt charging hardware by boosting the voltage to 800 volt "for stable charging compatibility" in a system using the motor and inverter.
LINK

I'm talking to a friend about a small solar grid for the home based on my current EV driving.If I have a system that can give me 10-15kWh/day it would offset my daily driving easily. But I want to crunch the numbers to see how long my ROI would be. If it's 100k miles I'll just buy the electric.

Ok, so if my quick math is correct, here's what I see.

My off peak rate for charging is $.13/kWh. That includes taxes etc. The base rate is $.07.

$5000 would buy me 38461 kWh of electric.

The worst range I've had since I bought the car in December is 3.3 miles/kWh. I'll use that.

That still gives me almost 127K miles before I would see a return on the original setup.

Even at 10K miles per year that's more than 12 years.


I have to decide if I'm all in on this or not.
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Aaaand in talking with said friend he reminded me to factor in the amount I am saving over gas. On average I've saved over $60/month. That brings my return down to under five years.

Lots of wheels turning in my head.
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Re: home solar

In middle TN there have been some local stories about utilities requiring a minimum of $1 million of liability coverage, with the utility being a designated beneficiary of the policy. Many HO insurance policies have liability included, but not sure how much. My regular policy is not $1 million, but I have a separate umbrella.

I don't know more than that - curious if any solar installers have experienced something like this.
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We average three hundred days of sun a year. Rooftop solar could conservatively save three thousand dollars over our six-month summer season. We use so little heating/cooling energy in the cooler months that it might drop our yearly bill to under five hundred. Just like EVs, it comes down to cost. I'm starting to think we can't afford to not install solar.
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Guzzi Gal wrote:
I'm starting to think we can't afford to not install solar.
That was our equation. Energy prices from the grid are going to keep rising way ahead of the background inflation rate - the world's demand for energy and the situation in Europe (which will remain one way or the other for years) makes this a certainty. So fixing the cost, either by going totally off-grid (not possible in some jurisdictions) or going along with an installer who guarantees a fixed monthly cost, with a fixed low (2.9%) annual rise over 25 years. So as we'll be paying ~ $100pm to them to start with, the rate after 25 years will only be around $200pm. I can very confidently predict grid energy prices will rise by more than 100% over the next 25 years - the price of gasoline alone has risen over 100% in just the last six months. The price of electricity in the UK has also doubled in the last year. I doubt it'll ever come down by much.


We couldn't afford NOT to leap on the bandwagon.
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TN_Sooner wrote:
Re: home solar

In middle TN there have been some local stories about utilities requiring a minimum of $1 million of liability coverage, with the utility being a designated beneficiary of the policy. Many HO insurance policies have liability included, but not sure how much. My regular policy is not $1 million, but I have a separate umbrella.

I don't know more than that - curious if any solar installers have experienced something like this.
Another good reason to be off grid entirely with the solar setup. On a previous thread Jimc provided a link to a video about completely off grid payback period being less than 10 years and it depends on the price of electricity where you live.

Regardless of disconnecting from the grid if you just made the home made batteries and used the solar for your electric vehicles and air conditioner, possibly hot water with an electric water heater then you would not need extra insurance.

I have hopes to do my entire house and completely disconnect because here with NV Energy you are only allowed by contract to install as many solar panels as your yearly average usage. Seems to me they are trying to rig the system so they don't get left holding the bag maintaining the grid which I understand but this greatly reduces the savings you would get from the system
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Jimc, not possible in some jurisdictions to be off the grid? I had no idea they could do that. I guess I better look into it here in Northern Nevada with NV Energy as well. I just assumed it wouldn't be an issue.
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skids wrote:
[]
I have hopes to do my entire house and completely disconnect because here with NV Energy you are only allowed by contract to install as many solar panels as your yearly average usage. Seems to me they are trying to rig the system so they don't get left holding the bag maintaining the grid which I understand but this greatly reduces the savings you would get from the system
It's essential the grid is not only maintained but massively improved - if I'm connected to it then I don't mind paying quite a bit towards that as a 'standing charge' or 'connection charge'.

I think they should remove any restrictions on those who not only install solar, but install battery backup as well. That'll help energy security for everyone - and maybe go towards saving the planet. It's not just about the money!
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I wouldn't mind paying a bit either if I were not limited under contract to only install say 10 panels based on my usage.

I would prefer to install 20 panels and sell it back to them, even if I had to sell wholesale and buy retail but that is not allowed here, you are only allowed to make what your average yearly usage is by contract.

Off grid it is, their rules are too restrictive.
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skids wrote:
Off grid it is, their rules are too restrictive.
And counterproductive except perhaps in the very short term. Hey-ho, here's hoping that they'll eventually get the message we're all in it together, it's not just for this year's dividend for the shareholders of their particular company.
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You are preaching to the choir brother...
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jimc wrote:
And counterproductive except perhaps in the very short term. Hey-ho, here's hoping that they'll eventually get the message we're all in it together, it's not just for this year's dividend for the shareholders of their particular company.
<cough>bigoil</cough>
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If more people rode PTW's, less people drove 15 MPH over the limit and we stop racing to a red light. How many EV's would it take to compensate for those common sense savings?
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giallo wrote:
Well, the definition of progress here is to improve something. If it doesn't get better, that wouldn't be progress, no? This is tied to a goal. If the objective is to develop a cleaner motor vehicle and that objective is fulfilled, progress has been made. If not it's regress.

progress
noun
Development, advancement, or improvement, as toward a goal.

Thanks for providing the definition, but the quotation marks around "progress" in my original post denote that what's billed as progress isn't necessarily so. You can read more about quotation marks around words here:
https://www.grammarly.com/blog/quotation-marks-around-a-single-word/

I'm sure the development of dioxin was once hailed as "progress". It's a tremendously effective herbicide. But it's not the most human-friendly chemical. Before we declare a new development and its implementation as progress, we'd be wise to consider the possible outcomes of its adoption. In the case of EVs and their progress (in terms of emissions), it's murky due to the factors many of the posters brought up here. Given all I've read about EVs, I think they represent progress, but I could be convinced otherwise.
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breaknwind wrote:
If more people rode PTW's, less people drove 15 MPH over the limit and we stop racing to a red light. How many EV's would it take to compensate for those common sense savings?
A gagillion.

I love driving the speed limit in town and catching up to the guy in his Hellcat at every red light knowing full well he's burned through a gallon of gas in a five mile stretch.
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giallo wrote:
Well, the definition of progress here is to improve something. If it doesn't get better, that wouldn't be progress, no? This is tied to a goal. If the objective is to develop a cleaner motor vehicle and that objective is fulfilled, progress has been made. If not it's regress.

progress
noun
Development, advancement, or improvement, as toward a goal.

Yep. That was my point. We have started replacing GAS/Diesel Trucks with Electric and that is a good thing. Now, people are ALREADY complaining because this does not match the Nissan Leaf/Chevy Bolt future that they had envisioned, and their whining is already tiresome.
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rdhood wrote:
Yep. That was my point. We have started replacing GAS/Diesel Trucks with Electric and that is a good thing. Now, people are ALREADY complaining because this does not match the Nissan Leaf/Chevy Bolt future that they had envisioned, and their whining is already tiresome.
I think people are whining because what is billed as a clean(er) vehicle isn't necessarily so. Well-intentioned EV buyers in West Virginia or Northeastern China, both areas where a significant amount of electricity is generated by burning coal, could actually be adding to their long run carbon footprint by buying and driving EVs. That's especially true in the States where vehicles are bigger, electricity prices & production methods vary significantly by region, the government subsidizes some EV purchases with a tax credit, and fuel prices have dramatically increased this year. When a soccer mom in Louisville, KY (another state where coal is king) buys an all-electric Chevy Silverado over a Chevy Trailblazer to "help the environment" (or to save money on gas), does she really reduce her carbon footprint over the long haul?
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theschuman wrote:
I think people are whining because what is billed as a clean(er) vehicle isn't necessarily so.

When a soccer mom in Louisville, KY (another state where coal is king) buys an all-electric Chevy Silverado over a Chevy Trailblazer to "help the environment" (or to save money on gas), does she really reduce her carbon footprint over the long haul?
The answer is yes. Especially over the long haul.

I've posted this video before, so apologies to everyone who has already seen it.

The carbon cost of generating electricity is always factored into these discussions without consideration for the carbon cost and pollution of producing the gasoline to power ICE vehicles. This video explains it better than I ever could.
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seamus26 wrote:
The answer is yes. Especially over the long haul.
True that - F150 Lightening emissions in West Virginia are 240 g/mi.
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seamus26 wrote:
The answer is yes. Especially over the long haul.
Trailblazer's emissions (including upstream) are 381 g/mi.
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