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Re: [future-fuels-and-vehicles] How Green Are Electric Cars? Depends on Where You Plug In

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  • MarketMole
    It s taken 20-25 years, a generation, to finally get to the point where electric vehicles are talked about as main stream media topics; where it s normal now
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 18, 2012
      It's taken 20-25 years, a generation, to finally get to the point where
      electric vehicles are talked about as main stream media topics; where it's
      normal now to see EVs and hybrids driving the streets. That's a hell of a
      long development cycle for a technology. But, better than the computer
      (about 35-45 years.) And better than the original ICE motor vehicle (also
      about 35-45 years.) But longer than the WWWeb, about 10 years and solar
      (about 20 years). And longer than the shortest so far, mobile
      communication, which is less than about 10 years. All of these numbers are
      pure estimations of course and roughly range from the beginning of general
      public knowledge and use to near public saturation.

      The timelines are getting shorter which will be good for the next break
      though. So we do have that to look forward to. But what will it be? Perhaps
      easily produced synthetic liquid fuels so we can keep driving our ICE cars?
      Doubtful. Another communication discovery? Health / medical? I'm rather
      hoping its the novel generation of electricity.

      That's the beauty of an electric vehicle. There are so many ways to make
      electricity that all we need to do is get really good at one or two of them
      and we can replace fossil fuels as the dominant transportation fuel. Sure
      ethanol works, kind of, but without continuous availability of crude oil to
      fertilize and power agro-biz that grows the corn, ethanol is doomed. Liquid
      Hydrogen? Maybe. Algae diesel? More likely. LNG is the most likely
      contender with all the frickin fracking going on driving the price of
      nat.gas back into the ground.

      Electrons though, so many ways to get them moving. All we need is a
      breakthrough that produces buckets of megawatts for cheap and we can
      retrofit all the gas and coal plants to use some new energy source and all
      drive EVs. So, eventually, those 340 watt/hours per mile of energy the Leaf
      needs to charge will have the same environmental impact were they produced
      in Denver, L.A. or Wheeling WV.


      Thanks for reading the rave,
      MM

      On Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 1:54 PM, k9zeh <rich@...> wrote:

      > **
      >
      >
      > I hear this silly argument all too often: BEV and PHEV cars just trade one
      > greenhouse gas emission for another. They never quantify much by stating
      > the facts nor state the obvious that emissions from a power plant are from
      > far more efficient energy conversion and exhaust scrubbing than individual
      > cars do.
      >
      > Now we can focus on power plant emissions. We already appreciate electric
      > cars doing their part.
      >
      >
      > http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/automobiles/how-green-are-electric-cars-depends-on-where-you-plug-in.html?hpw
      >
      >
      >


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • murdoch
      I thought this was worth reading. I have often thought that at EV conferences and in EV insight research we should do more to involve business historians so
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 22, 2012
        I thought this was worth reading. I have often thought that at EV
        conferences and in EV insight research we should do more to involve
        business historians so they can help us have perspective both on
        recent technology and business lessons and also on other longer-ago
        lessons.

        One or two thoughts here on your points:

        - Solar I think took 40-50 years, not 20 in my view, to get to "near
        public saturation".
        - It would be interesting to make a table and analyze which of these
        ran up against certain factors and to what extent (habitual
        enforcement or non-enforcement of IP by this or that government,
        concerted lobbying by established industries striving to avoid being
        displaced, etc.).

        One of the top principles I think that is on display in following the
        efforts to make and sell and support and advocate for chargeable
        transportation is that it is wrong (in my view) to assume that under
        whatever system the US has that passes for "capitalism", that
        technological innovation and better technologies will necessarily
        result in business progress. In my fallible view, the best technology
        does not always win in the short, intermediate or even longer-term
        over decades.

        Another nearby (but I think separate) principle is that EV technology
        won't be more widely recognized as superior (by widely-recognized I
        include in terms of revenues increasing to EV businesses) unless and
        until the externalized property-damaging costs of fossil fuels are
        acknowledged, recognized, internalized and finally output directly
        into the price of fossil fuels and fossil-fueled-vehicle operation.
        EVs and chargeable-hybrids (CHEVs?) are definitely competitive with
        and superior to ICVs in some ways (reduction of NVH, elimination or
        reduction of emissions, reduction of wear and tear on breaks, reduced
        fuel costs per mile) but I think a missing element in a "fair fight"
        or "level playing field" competition between EV/CHEV and Gasoline and
        Diesel vehicles, in the marketplace for consumer buying-dollars, is
        that as long as the prices of fuel do not reflect all property damages
        and costs.... as long as governments refuse to perform their
        appropriate functions in a so-called free market system of recognizing
        and addressing property damaging activity where it occurs...., then
        Gasoline and Diesel Conventional IC Vehicles have a totally
        inappropriate and wrong (by free market or level playing field
        definitions) advantage.



        [Default] On Wed, 18 Apr 2012 14:45:52 -0700, MarketMole
        <marketmole@...> wrote:

        >It's taken 20-25 years, a generation, to finally get to the point where
        >electric vehicles are talked about as main stream media topics; where it's
        >normal now to see EVs and hybrids driving the streets. That's a hell of a
        >long development cycle for a technology. But, better than the computer
        >(about 35-45 years.) And better than the original ICE motor vehicle (also
        >about 35-45 years.) But longer than the WWWeb, about 10 years and solar
        >(about 20 years). And longer than the shortest so far, mobile
        >communication, which is less than about 10 years. All of these numbers are
        >pure estimations of course and roughly range from the beginning of general
        >public knowledge and use to near public saturation.

        [...]
      • MarketMole
        Perhaps not all, but perhaps most technologies go through the following stages: • Discovery - the idea is theorized and proven to be true or the realization
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 23, 2012
          Perhaps not all, but perhaps most technologies go through the following
          stages:

          � Discovery - the idea is theorized and proven to be true or the
          realization that the idea is now viable.
          � Confirmation - 3rd party scientific confirmation and general scientific
          community acceptance that the discovery is valid and can be substantiated
          with reproducible results.
          � Funding - investors can be found to support and drive the development
          forward.
          � Commercialization - the technology is salable and can be turned into a
          product or service.
          � Commoditization - the technology becomes manufactured and sold by so many
          businesses that the price is driven down to the point where,
          � Saturation - can occur which allows the mid to lower levels of society to
          be able to afford the technology or service.

          The time between discovery and saturation, I think, is what we are dealing
          with in the prior posts, and you're probably right about PV solar, 40 years
          or more to reach "near" saturation. And the other time frames were probably
          irrationally condensed due to my compressed sense of time (getting old you
          see), what I think of as fairly recent actually happened in the 80's... The
          '00's don't even register as time passed in my head yet.

          With today's politicorps running the show, the reeeeaaalllyy beeeg shoow, I
          have no doubt that your point about "let the best tech win" is spot on. We
          will probably never know what wondrous technologies we've missed out on due
          to political/corporate/conspiratorial suppression. Until a product reaches
          commercialization, it can be killed and buried at any step along those
          early stages above. And even then, there are no promises.

          And your continued thought about societal and environmental costs being
          ignored with regards to fossil fuels, well, corporoticians will never
          rollover on that pork barrel. "End the oil subsidies" Obama cried. Bah!
          That lasted about a day. Without true calamity I'm afraid that first world
          humanity just won't get it. The energy demand cliff is getting closer and
          closer and frankly I think we keep tilting our gaze higher thinking we will
          always have "plenty of time" to find alternatives, ignoring the looming
          abyss just in front of our feet.

          MM






          On Sun, Apr 22, 2012 at 2:16 PM, murdoch <murdoch@...> wrote:

          > **
          >
          >
          > I thought this was worth reading. I have often thought that at EV
          > conferences and in EV insight research we should do more to involve
          > business historians so they can help us have perspective both on
          > recent technology and business lessons and also on other longer-ago
          > lessons.
          >
          > One or two thoughts here on your points:
          >
          > - Solar I think took 40-50 years, not 20 in my view, to get to "near
          > public saturation".
          > - It would be interesting to make a table and analyze which of these
          > ran up against certain factors and to what extent (habitual
          > enforcement or non-enforcement of IP by this or that government,
          > concerted lobbying by established industries striving to avoid being
          > displaced, etc.).
          >
          > One of the top principles I think that is on display in following the
          > efforts to make and sell and support and advocate for chargeable
          > transportation is that it is wrong (in my view) to assume that under
          > whatever system the US has that passes for "capitalism", that
          > technological innovation and better technologies will necessarily
          > result in business progress. In my fallible view, the best technology
          > does not always win in the short, intermediate or even longer-term
          > over decades.
          >
          > Another nearby (but I think separate) principle is that EV technology
          > won't be more widely recognized as superior (by widely-recognized I
          > include in terms of revenues increasing to EV businesses) unless and
          > until the externalized property-damaging costs of fossil fuels are
          > acknowledged, recognized, internalized and finally output directly
          > into the price of fossil fuels and fossil-fueled-vehicle operation.
          > EVs and chargeable-hybrids (CHEVs?) are definitely competitive with
          > and superior to ICVs in some ways (reduction of NVH, elimination or
          > reduction of emissions, reduction of wear and tear on breaks, reduced
          > fuel costs per mile) but I think a missing element in a "fair fight"
          > or "level playing field" competition between EV/CHEV and Gasoline and
          > Diesel vehicles, in the marketplace for consumer buying-dollars, is
          > that as long as the prices of fuel do not reflect all property damages
          > and costs.... as long as governments refuse to perform their
          > appropriate functions in a so-called free market system of recognizing
          > and addressing property damaging activity where it occurs...., then
          > Gasoline and Diesel Conventional IC Vehicles have a totally
          > inappropriate and wrong (by free market or level playing field
          > definitions) advantage.
          >
          > [Default] On Wed, 18 Apr 2012 14:45:52 -0700, MarketMole
          >
          > <marketmole@...> wrote:
          >
          > >It's taken 20-25 years, a generation, to finally get to the point where
          > >electric vehicles are talked about as main stream media topics; where it's
          > >normal now to see EVs and hybrids driving the streets. That's a hell of a
          > >long development cycle for a technology. But, better than the computer
          > >(about 35-45 years.) And better than the original ICE motor vehicle (also
          > >about 35-45 years.) But longer than the WWWeb, about 10 years and solar
          > >(about 20 years). And longer than the shortest so far, mobile
          > >communication, which is less than about 10 years. All of these numbers are
          > >pure estimations of course and roughly range from the beginning of general
          > >public knowledge and use to near public saturation.
          >
          > [...]
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • MarketMole
          Here s another time compression example: To reach an audience of 50 million people, radio took 38 years, television 13 years, the Internet four years,
          Message 4 of 5 , May 4, 2012
            Here's another time compression example:

            "To reach an audience of 50 million people, radio took 38 years, television
            13 years, the Internet four years, Facebook three and a half years.
            Instagram took 1.3 years."

            http://www.technologyreview.com/business/40318/

            Granted, information delivery generally piggybacks on itself, the last
            three items speak to this. While new fuels and energy sources may not be
            able to leverage prior technology as well. Novel energy sources may be so
            outside the box that they take multiple decades just to become provable,
            much less commercially viable. One analogy to remaining within the
            information age is quantum computing. Although it's predicted it is
            possible and experiments have started to show fractional progress, the
            potential for quantcomp to replace our existing silicon transistor
            technology may take decades to realize.

            MM


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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