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The Future for Now for Electric Cars


GDR
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I will be holding off an electric car for some very basic reasons:

1. the initial cost

2. the lack of recharging stations outside of major cities

3. and then ,  my current car has 100,000km on it and still going strong. Electic cars have max warranty of 100,000kms on the batteries and then comes the what if I need to replace the battery.  Here is an article from August of this year that takes a look at that.

The looming problem with old EVs: It’s really hard to change batteries | Driving

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Swiss Slam Brakes On Subsidies For 'Con' Hybrid Cars

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Wed Jan 12, 2022 - Barrons/AFP

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"These vehicles do not permit any environmental improvement... it's a climate target con and it's a consumer con,"

A Swiss region has pulled subsidies for hybrid cars, citing a report which found they offered negligible emissions and fuel consumption advantages when tested on Alpine Switzerland's roads.

The mountainous southern Wallis canton commissioned a study by Impact Living, a project management firm which helps clients transition to more environmentally-friendly solutions.

Their report on fuel consumption by plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) in Wallis found little in the way of benefits -- with one of the authors calling their claimed environmental advantages a "con".

"These vehicles do not permit any environmental improvement... it's a climate target con and it's a consumer con," energy engineer Marc Muller told RTS radio on Wednesday.

Studies have suggested the real-world gains in carbon dioxide emission reductions for PHEVs -- which can switch from battery power to petrol -- are not as high as in manufacturers' tests, Impact Living said.

For example, in 2020, the International Council on Clean Transportation research NGO, studying 100,000 PHEVs in Germany found the real-world fuel consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were more than twice as high as official test results -- four times for company cars.

However, such studies were not based specifically on the mountainous Swiss terrain, which would appear to offer more favourable conditions for battery recharging through the regenerative braking system, due to all the downhills.

Home to the Matterhorn mountain and ski resorts such as Verbier, Crans-Montana and Zermatt, Wallis's Alpine topography is essentially mountains and valleys.

Impact Living recorded data from 20 hybrids and 15 conventional cars driving around Wallis for three months.

Their study, published Tuesday, found that "unfortunately, the quantitative results (measurements of actual fuel consumption) show that PHEVs are far removed from what they promise and only present very slight advantages -- or none -- compared to a conventional car."

From 2021, as in the neighbouring European Union, the average level of emissions from new cars in Switzerland can not exceed 118 grammes of CO2 per kilometre, as measured under globally-harmonised test procedures.

Many European countries offer purchase incentives on hybrid cars, or tax benefits on buying or owning them.

In line with its environmental targets, Wallis had been giving a grant of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,700, 2,380 euros) on the purchase of PHEVs weighing less than 3.5 tonnes, and 5,000 francs for those weighing more.

"The plug-in hybrid does not appear to be a solution given the results," Impact Living concluded.

"In real life, the plug-in hybrid average is slightly above the 118g CO2 per km target value."

Wallis canton has withdrawn PHEV subsidies, given the study's findings.

"The results are catastrophic," Wallis council president Frederic Favre told RTS radio.

"We cannot support tools that do not allow us to achieve the targets we have set for ourselves."

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Electric vehicles will need a lot more range before most Canadians consider one

Tue Jan 25, 2022 - The Globe and Mail
by Matt  Bubbers

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Electric vehicles have come a long way, but they’re going to need to go a lot farther, literally, in order to convince Canadians to ditch their gas guzzlers.

Drivers in Canada say they won’t consider buying an electric vehicle unless it has a driving range of at least 599 kilometres, according to a new survey by consulting firm Deloitte. Today, 300 to 500 kilometres is the norm for most EVs.

If you think 599 kilometres of range is overkill, wait til you hear how much it’s going to take to convince Americans to bite: They want EVs that can cover 834 kilometres before recharging.

As part of its 2022 Global Automotive Consumer survey, Deloitte asked 26,000 people from 25 countries – including roughly 1,000 people from Canada – for their opinions on electric vehicles. The ideal driving-range numbers are an average of responses from people who are not already considering buying an electric vehicle. As it turns out, that’s most of us.

More than half of Canadians said they wanted their next vehicle to have a conventional gas or diesel engine, said Ryan Robinson, automotive research leader at Deloitte. Only 10 per cent of people said they would prefer a fully electric vehicle as their next car; in the United States, it was just 5 per cent.

That leaves a large swath of the population for auto makers and governments to win over if Canada is to hit its ambitious zero-emissions vehicle (ZEV) sales targets.

The Deloitte survey found driving range still ranks as the No. 1 issue keeping people in Canada from considering an EV, followed closely by the higher upfront costs, Robinson said. Concerns about a lack of public charging infrastructure ranked third. In the United States, range was the No. 1 issue by a larger margin.

EV evangelists and superfans will say that people don’t need 600 kilometres of driving range, and that range anxiety fades as you become accustomed to EV ownership. If you can plug in at home, or if you have great public fast-charging infrastructure, they argue, long-range EVs are unnecessary. These are all fine points that have been repeated many times – including in The Globe and Mail – but simply stating them over and over hasn’t been enough to convince more people to make the leap to an EV.

Drivers want cars that meet all of their needs, whether those needs are real or imagined. Take pickup trucks, for example. Do you think all, or even most, of the 380,000 people who bought a new pickup in Canada last year frequently use their trucks to tow heavy loads or haul lumber? Surely not. Drivers choose pickups because they could do those things, should the need ever arise. Pickups cover all the bases.

Why should EVs be any different?

Canada is a big country, sparsely populated, and road trips are part of our culture. If you feel you might occasionally take a 600-kilometre trip – to visit family or go on vacation – then you’ll be shopping for a car that goes the distance. If an electric one doesn’t fit the bill, there are plenty of gas guzzlers to choose from.

“One of the immutable truths that we’ve come to understand about consumers – not necessarily just in Canada, but in the vast majority of geographies around the world – is that people are 100 per cent unwilling to compromise, particularly when you’re asking them to pay the kind of money that is required for new vehicles,” Robinson said.

Walk into a new-car showroom today, and you’ll find a handful of EVs that offer a very respectable 400 kilometres of range for about $45,000, before government incentives.

The Tesla Model S and Lucid Air can cover more than 600 kilometres, but they both carry six-figure price tags. Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz unveiled an EV prototype that the company claims will cover 1,000 kilometres on a charge, but a company executive said that much range is probably unnecessary.

The trouble with adding driving range is that it increases the price of a vehicle. But each model-year brings vehicles that offer more range per dollar. Battery-leasing programs like the one planned by Vietnamese upstart VinFast could also reduce the upfront costs for buyers.

Making vehicles more aerodynamic is another cheap way to boost range, although that path leads away from SUVs and pickups, which cut through the wind about as well as a highway billboard. At the very least, as economies of scale ramp up, prices for longer-range EVs should come down.

If there’s a silver lining here for EV fans, it’s that Canadians are, at least, more willing to adopt electric cars than Americans. “There’s a bit of a gap opening up, on a year-to-year-to-year basis, where Canadian consumers are looking a little bit more like European consumers,” Robinson added. “U.S. consumers are definitely starting to lag behind the more global trend towards vehicle electrification.”

As for the question of how much driving range is enough to make EVs mainstream, the simple answer is “more.”

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This whole EV thing is just a Liberal pipe dream. Unless untold trillions are spent … yesterday…The electrical grid can hardly keep up with air conditioning demand on a hot day… now let’s add 10 million cars needing electricity… yeah right!!

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Towing boats head toward burning cargo ship carrying 4,000 VWs, Porsches, Bentleys, Audis, Lambos

Lithium-ion batteries in the EVs on board the Felicity Ace have caught fire and the blaze requires specialist equipment to extinguish

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Fri Feb 18, 2022 - Reuters

BERLIN/LISBON -- A ship carrying around 4,000 vehicles -- including Volkswagens, Porsches, Audis, Bentleys and Lamborghinis -- that caught fire near the coast of the Azores will be towed to another European country or the Bahamas, the captain of the nearest port told Reuters on Friday.

Lithium-ion batteries in the EVs on board the ship named Felicity Ace have caught fire and the blaze requires specialist equipment to extinguish, captain Joao Mendes Cabecas of the port of Hortas said.

It was not clear whether the batteries first sparked the fire.

"The ship is burning from one end to the other... everything is on fire about five meters above the water line," Cabeças said.

Towing boats were on route from Gibraltar and the Netherlands, with three due to arrive by Wednesday, Cabecas said. He added the vessel could not be towed to the Azores because it was so big it would block trade at the port.

U.S. economist Patrick Anderson estimated the initial loss could be $255 million.

"A quick estimate, assuming that the ship was only partially full (or that a portion of the cargo is salvaged undamaged), is that there is at least $255 million or more in lost vehicles, plus many millions in salvage costs on top of that, and downstream losses in auto dealerships. It could be more," Anderson said in an emailed statement on Friday.

A 16-person salvage team from Smit Salvage, owned by Dutch marine engineer Boskalis, was sent to the ship to help control the flames, Boskalis said.

The Panama-flagged ship, owned by Snowscape Car Carriers SA and managed by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., was travelling from Emden, Germany -- where Volkswagen has a factory -- to Davisville, R.I., based on the Maritime Traffic website. Davisville is a port about 70 miles south of Boston.

The 22 crew members on board were evacuated on Wednesday, when the fire broke out, with no one hurt, Portugal's navy said in a statement.

Around 1,100 Porsches and 189 Bentleys were on board, spokespeople for the car brands said. Audi, another Volkswagen brand, confirmed some of its vehicles were also on the ship but did not state how many.

An internal email from Volkswagen’s U.S. operations revealed there were 3,965 Volkswagen Group vehicles aboard the ship.

More than 100 of those cars were headed for the Port of Houston in Texas, with GTI, Golf R, and ID.4 models deemed to be at risk, according to the email. The auto industry is already struggling with supply issues, including pandemic-related staffing woes and the global chip shortage

A spokesperson for Lamborghini’s U.S. operation declined to comment on the number of cars the company had on board or which models were affected, but said that they are in contact with the shipping company to get more information about the incident.

Felicity Ace is roughly the size of three football fields.

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Surge in Car-Crash Deaths Could Be Magnified by New Breed of EVs

With their greater size and power, several new battery-powered SUVs and trucks are heightening pedestrian and traffic safety concerns

Fri Apr 08, 2022 - Bloomberg News
By Kyle Stock

Quote

'There are about four pedestrians killed by pickup trucks making a left turn for every fatality caused by a conventional car in the same situation.'

All things being equal, choosing an electric vehicle over one with an internal combustion engine is likely to be a better move for the planet, thanks to motors that don’t spew greenhouse gases while underway.

But all things aren’t always equal: Battery-powered cars and trucks tend to be far heavier than their gas-burning counterparts. That extra bulk translates into a mixed bag of benefits and concerns, especially when it comes to safety. The occupants of heavy vehicles tend to fare better in an accident, explained Michael Anderson, the University of California professor who co-wrote the study “Pounds That Kill: The External Costs of Vehicle Weight.”

“Really what it’s doing is essentially pushing the other vehicle that you crash into out of the way and subjecting you to gentler deceleration forces,” he said.

At the time of his study, 2011, Anderson was concerned about what a tide of SUVs and super-sized trucks would mean for road fatalities. And he was prescient; in the years since, U.S. road deaths have surged in step with the average weight of the American vehicle. Anderson was less concerned with electric vehicles, because he figured the batteries would show up first in hatchbacks and sedans like the Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model S, another thesis that panned out. In the next few months, however, the safety landscape will change drastically, as several huge and heavy electric vehicles hit the streets. By the end of the year, about 18 new battery-powered SUVs and pickup trucks will be available for U.S. buyers to choose from.

“What matters is less the average weight than the heterogeneity,” Anderson says. “There could be a window where it’s pretty unsafe to be driving (small, gas-powered vehicles) and getting into multi-vehicle accidents.”

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Consider the GMC Hummer EV, which tips the scales at almost 9,100 pounds, roughly the equivalent of two Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks. It’s hard to imagine any collision it might be involved in as minor. Ironically, as more drivers choose massive trucks over family cars, some consumers who prefer smaller cars are turning to trucks as a form of defense. 

Despite the extra pounds, most of the current crop of electric vehicles decelerate at distances in line with — and sometimes better than — similarly sized gas vehicles, according to data compiled by Consumer Reports. There are a few reasons for this. Carmakers are fitting many of these vehicles with larger brakes, for one. Secondly, electric vehicles have regenerative braking systems in which the electric motors slow the machine slightly while generating power. Brembo, which supplies many of the brakes to carmakers, says the regenerative systems often entirely compensate for the additional weight, which is typically at least 10% more than that of a similar combustion vehicle.

Finally, electric cars tend to have better weight distribution and lower centers of gravity than gas-powered cars, thanks to the ponderous battery sealed under the floor of the machine, so braking power is spread more evenly among the four wheels and the tires have more friction with the road. “It all counteracts the additional momentum,” says Jake Fisher, an engineer who leads auto testing at Consumer Reports. “In a physics equation, it cancels out."

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On Polestar vehicles, regenerative braking via the motor handles much of the deceleration, including in relatively sudden stopping situations, Christian Samson, head of product attributes, said in an e-mail. Even so, its engineers did not factor that into their equations when deciding how big the brake pads should be.

“Friction brakes are dimensioned and capable of handling all of the vehicle’s braking despite having the regen system, which, in reality, handles the bulk of the deceleration,” Samson explained. 

Audi engineers say the regenerative systems on its current electric vehicles handle up to 95% of slowing and stopping, including about 30% of the deceleration in an emergency situation. The Audi e-tron, for example, stops more quickly than the company’s Q7 SUV, according to Consumer Reports, despite being 14% heavier. In fact, the e-tron brakes are used so little that Audi had to design a special protocol to keep the pads from getting corroded. 

Of course, stopping distance is only pertinent when brakes are engaged. If the pilot of a mammoth EV accidentally steps on the accelerator, isn’t paying attention or can’t see the vehicle’s path very well, its full mass will come to bear, situations that may be exacerbated by the violently quick acceleration most electric motors are capable of. There are about four pedestrians killed by pickup trucks making a left turn for every fatality caused by a conventional car in the same situation. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety blames poor visibility and links the decade-long surge in pedestrian fatalities to steadily bulked-up vehicles.

The problem has caught the attention of federal regulators. In March, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed updating its five-star safety ratings program for new cars. If the change is made, automakers, for the first time, would have to build with pedestrians in mind to get high marks.

What’s more, researchers have found a direct correlation between pedestrian fatalities and the weight of the offending vehicle. Equally troubling, the blind spot in front of hulking pickup truck hoods can be up to 11 feet longer than that of sedans, according to a recent Consumer Reports study.

The insurance industry, however, is sanguine about the mass market transition to EVs. Janet Ruiz, director of strategic communications for the Insurance Information Institute, said EV pilots tend to have cleaner driving records than their petrol-powered peers; specifically they speed less and log fewer miles. A 2020 study from the Highway Loss Data Institute found that electric vehicles were tied to roughly 20% fewer claims than similar vehicles running on gas, although the severity of their claims were slightly higher. 

As for the Hummer, its stopping hardware was considered just as carefully as its 0-60 acceleration. General Motors Co. spokesman Chris Bonelli said the truck has an “upsized, robust” brake system, a full suite of active safety features like reverse automatic emergency braking and torque vectoring, a technology developed in sports cars that, at least in some cases. could help the 1,000-horsepower truck steer around potential collisions.

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“Nation-building” investments in electricity grid needed to reach net-zero, experts say

CALGARY -- A price tag in the tens or hundreds of billions of dollars, and a project scope akin to that of the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1800s.

That's the scale of the massive investment in Canada's electricity grid that experts say will be required in the near future, as the phase-out of fossil fuel-fired power generation combined with a rapid increase in demand for electricity puts never-before-seen demands on this country's electrical grid.

"The general consensus is that we will need to double or triple the size of our electricity system between now and 2050," said Bruce Lourie, chair of the non-profit advisory organization The Transition Accelerator.

I don’t think Canadians ... are recognizing or prepared for how monumental a task this is ahead of us.”

The federal government, in its emissions reduction plan released last week, describes the need for "nation building" interprovincial transmission lines if Canada is to have a shot at meeting its climate target of cutting emissions by 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and net-zero emissions by 2050.

Canada already has one of the cleanest electricity grids in the world, with over 80 per cent produced by non-emitting sources. But in order to slow the pace of climate change, electrifying more activities — everything from vehicles to heating and cooling buildings to various industrial processes — will be required. And not only will the country need more electricity, but more of it will need to come from non-emitting sources.

One way to do that would be to build new transmission lines that could move renewable power from jurisdictions like Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia — which have vast supplies of clean hydropower — to jurisdictions like Alberta, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan, which are all still reliant on fossil fuels for electricity generation.

But it's not a straightforward task. In Canada, electricity falls under provincial jurisdiction, and each province's system has developed independently from the rest. Alberta, for example, has a fully deregulated electricity market, while electricity in neighbouring B.C. is produced and sold by a Crown corporation.

"The provinces, Crown corporations, and electric utilities would all have to agree on this," Lourie said. "At the end of the day, politicians are going to have to sit down and sort this stuff out."

The federal government has already pledged $25 million to help proponents begin developing regional net-zero electricity interties. Ottawa has said it wants to "lead engagement" across Atlantic Canada for the proposed Atlantic Loop initiative, which is intended to connect Nova Scotia and New Brunswick with clean hydropower from Quebec and Newfoundland.

But a great deal more work will be required to make the Atlantic Loop, or any other regional intertie project, a reality. Not only are new transmission lines expensive (Lourie estimates creating a true east-west system of regional interties across Canada could cost upwards of $100 billion), they tend to be controversial — often attracting pushback from local residents and other interest groups.

Recently, for example, voters in Maine rejected a planned $1-billion U.S. transmission line that was to carry electricity through their state from Hydro-Québec’s network to Massachusetts.

“It’s a fairly narrow group of people who don’t want a power line running through their state, but what it means is we're going to have greater costs and more difficulty getting to our climate targets because of these campaigns,” Lourie said.

Binnu Jeyakumar, director of clean energy for the environmental think tank The Pembina Institute, said Canada's political leaders must start working to build support for these types of projects now.

"Transmission projects, we look at them as about a decade long time frame. And we definitely don't have that kind of time frame. We need solutions right away," she said.

But Jeyakumar said it is possible for change to happen quickly, if governments send the right market signals. She pointed to what has happened in Alberta, which is expected to be off of coal-fired electricity entirely next year after the provincial government committed in 2015 to a phase-out of coal power by 2030.

She said the federal government's promised Clean Electricity Standard, which aims to support a net-zero electricity grid by 2035, will send another clear signal to investors and will incentivize spending on grid upgrades and intertie projects.

"What this is going to do is put in regulatory carrots and sticks to make sure the grid decarbonizes," Jeyakumar said. "This is how policy can be really impactful."

While electricity infrastructure may not be as headline-grabbing as a shiny new Tesla or a cutting-edge solar farm, Jeyakumar said other efforts at decarbonization will fail if we don't build a grid that can support them.

"It’s one of those basic building blocks that needs to be changed so we can see those types of solar projects and electric vehicles on the road," she said.

 

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Edited by Jaydee
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3 hours ago, Jaydee said:

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Canadians are simply not up to the task.... I'm continually surprised at how easily people think this can all be accomplished with nothing more than magic lightbulbs and the banning of plastic straws. Not a single 70 percenter has ever told me what they're willing to sacrifice to hit accord targets. 

I'll ask again, any takers? Think big now, like entire sectors of the economy.

How can such a sizeable majority of people claim to want something whilst refusing to discuss it at the most basic of levels? 

Edited by Wolfhunter
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Back in 2019, Elon Musk said that replacing battery modules only costs between $5,000 and $7,000. Each Tesla model uses between four and five battery modules per vehicle, meaning a complete replacement will set you back between $20,000 and $35,000.Jan 26, 2022

 

 

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