MINI E Talk (2010) Discussion of the electric, zero-emissions field trial MINI. Only 500 to be leased by MINIUSA!

Cost of electricity

Old 12-25-2009, 11:13 AM
jrickard is offline
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Originally Posted by MINIdave View Post
Interesting discussion..........

One of the problems I have with the whole electric car idea is range. Here in the midwest, we can easily drive more than 100 miles across town and back (just as you can in LA, I know) and having to stop for 24 hours to "refuel" my car every 100 miles is not a workable arrangement.

And what happens when it's not 500 cars but 5 million that are tapping the grid each night for juice, especially on a very hot summer night when everyone in the country has their A/C set on high?

I think the hybrid or fuel cell idea still makes more sense for most of the country. For those who live in crowded urban core and don't drive that far - mass transit makes even more sense - but since our gummint doesn't think that way, electric is a viable alternative.

I'm glad you MINI E drivers are enjoying the experiment, but I don't find it viable execpt under very limited and consequently limiting circumstances. I also think all electric is an option for rich folks who will always have an extra car or two in the garage, but not viable for Joe 6 pack......

You're also completely ignoring the impact on the environment of coal, gas and oil fired power plants in your calculations - that stuff's not free either.....I'm not saying you're wrong to want and use electric transportation, I'm just saying I don't think it's usefully scalable.....

Just as the folks who tout nuclear plants refuse to count the cost of remediationg the plant and the waste when they calculate the cost of KWH from nuke plants, you can't just ignore the down the road consequences for your choice anymore than we can for using gasoline.

Well, a couple of items or a half dozen. I live in the Midwest and very rarely travel 100 miles per day. I live in Cape Girardeau MO, and the entire town is 4.5 miles across. I doubt I drive 20 miles per day.

Nationally, we have about 255 million licensed cars and 205 million drivers. So we already have more cars than drivers. I see an electric vehicle as being one of them, but not the only car in the family.

Those 205 million drivers average 39.4 miles per day - well within the range of the electric car with LiFePo4 cells.

The MEDIAN daily drive is 26 miles. So half the drivers are actually driving less than 26 miles per day.

As to the electricity usage, this objection by the way is not original. It comes directly in daily press releases from some oil company funded "research groups". They're also the source of the "electricity from coal" red herring.

We could convert ALL the cars in the country to electric, and not change the grid at all - even on hot summer nights. No matter how hot your night, it isn't as hot as it is at 3:00 PM. Our grid is sized right at 16% margin above the HOTTEST day of the year at that time. Our 3:00 AM usage is more like 45% of the daytime usage. So there is a huge overhang of excess capacity at night, because we need it during the day.

If you charge at night, you basically have NO impact on the grid. Actually you have a positive one, the Utility company is gaining revenue from electricity that they actually have to PAY to "offload" to load management companies. That's right, they (you) actually pay as part of your utility bill to GET RID of electricity at night. The reasons for this is that you can't just "switch off" the power generators at night. And it has to go somewhere. They pay BILLIONS for "load management.".

An electric car uses LESS electricity to DRIVE 20.4 miles, than the oil company uses to refine a gallon of gasoline to drive those same miles from gasoline. So it doesn't matter where the electricity comes from, or at what time, or what it's made of. You actually get a net gain in electric energy from NOT refining the gallon of gasoline and using it to drive the car instead.

If you want to be confused by the oil industry "information" output, go for it. But there isn't ANY factual basis to it.

Electric cars are a lot of fun to drive, they solve a lot of problems, and they are much simpler to own and maintain.

Does that mean I'm going to give up my Escalade EXT? Actually not. If I'm towing a boat to the lake or driving to St. Louis to pickup a daughter at the airport, the MiniCooper and the Porsche aren't the ride of choice. But they never were in the ICE version either.

Jack Rickard
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