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Author Topic: Might Oil Be In Trouble?  (Read 7870 times)

Bob Wallace

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Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« on: June 08, 2013, 07:36:15 AM »
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On Wednesday this week at the annual conference of Canada’s Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association, GM’s head of global R&D let his guard down slightly in saying prototype electric cars now being evaluated on U.S. test tracks have triple the energy density of a Chevrolet Volt, and close to double that of a Tesla Model S.

A Volt has about 140 watt-hours per kilogram energy density in its LG Chem lithium-ion T-shaped battery pack. Tesla’s “skateboard” chassis now uses Panasonic cells that reportedly deliver as much as 240 Wh/kg, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said to expect more.

And so has GM in so many words.

“Today there are prototypes out there with 400 Watt-hours per kilogram,” said Dr. J. Gary Smyth, executive director of Global Research and Development, General Motors Company.



Smyth added the mystery batteries will cost much less than batteries in today’s electric cars and they’ll have a “big impact” on the auto industry and “it completely changes the equation” on cost, range, and vehicle packaging.


http://www.hybridcars.com/gm-rd-boss-hints-at-tesla-surpassing-batteries/

If they've got high capacity batteries running on test tracks now we could be very short years from an affordable EV one could drive all day with no more than one or two modest breaks to charge.  No different than driving 500+ miles in a gasmobile.

Give drivers the option of purchasing a very functional EV for close to the price of a similar ICEV and the market will flip.  Quickly.


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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2013, 08:53:18 AM »
Give drivers the option of purchasing a very functional EV for close to the price of a similar ICEV and the market will flip.  Quickly.
Quickly as in over the course of at least a decade from reaching that milestone? (realistically more like two or more from now as the technology is still evolving and an awful lot of infrastructure is needed besides the car)

An awful lot of people can't afford to rush out and buy a new car, even if a feasible electric car came on the market literally tomorrow and all the infrastructure with it. Not to mention that the battery technology has to move away from lithium too - there just isn't that much of it.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2013, 09:10:10 AM »
At least 60% of all US drivers already have an outlet available where they park.

We're installing public charge point fairly rapidly, including Level 3 chargers along our major travel routes.

Installing outlets in apartment parking lots and along sidewalks where people park overnight is not exactly major infrastructure creation.  Work and school parking lots are other good places to install charging.  Adding an outside outlet at ones house is minor work.

Roughly 50% of all US driving is done with cars that are five years old or newer.  As/if buyers switch to EVs the impact will be noticeable early on.  New cars pile up the miles.

You're confusing the occurrence of lithium with supplies of processed lithium.  There is far more lithium available in the Earth's crust and in ocean water than we would ever need for batteries.  Lithium is the Earth's 25th most abundant element.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2013, 09:22:23 AM »
In case people don't know, you can buy a Nissan LEAF for $21,300.

That's the cost after the federal subsidy.  If you live in a state which subsidizes EVs the price would be even lower.  Approaching $15k.

Here's a list of countries and US states that subsidize EV purchases.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_incentives_for_plug-in_electric_vehicles


Some of us might be able to give oil a bit of trouble right now.  And save a thousand dollars or so on annual gasoline purchases.

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2013, 05:53:53 PM »
At least 60% of all US drivers already have an outlet available where they park.

We're installing public charge point fairly rapidly, including Level 3 chargers along our major travel routes.

Installing outlets in apartment parking lots and along sidewalks where people park overnight is not exactly major infrastructure creation.  Work and school parking lots are other good places to install charging.  Adding an outside outlet at ones house is minor work.

Roughly 50% of all US driving is done with cars that are five years old or newer.  As/if buyers switch to EVs the impact will be noticeable early on.  New cars pile up the miles.

You're confusing the occurrence of lithium with supplies of processed lithium.  There is far more lithium available in the Earth's crust and in ocean water than we would ever need for batteries.  Lithium is the Earth's 25th most abundant element.

Right now I'm quite sure that:
  • numbers of petrol/diesel vehicles are climbing fast worldworld
  • far more money is being spent on development of petrol/diesel models
  • lots of countries operate a fleet where many vehicles are older than the US average (the world is far bigger than America)
  • additional non fossil fuel electricity generation is required above and beyond for other uses to charge these
  • Your linked article talks about 2016, to introduce that example, manufacturing to meet demand would take time to scale up

All in all, yes - I can see that over a number of decades coal use may peak and start to drop off and oil consumption may do the same. If you live in an IPCC described world, perhaps that's even alright (especially if you don't care too much about the poor, as even in that world there are consequences for some people).

However, as far as I can see - we're going to start losing Arctic ice cover during the summer within a few years, with potential widespread consequences. We're committed to levels of warming from existing atmospheric carbon dioxide alone that look likely to cause significant natural feedbacks (I stress this is a rate of change matter and not just the absolute concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere).

And after all that - all you are really saying is that the emission of carbon dioxide may be reduced somewhat. Emission reductions alone imply that we will still be adding carbon dioxide, just at a slower rate.

While I agree that coal and oil will peak and then decline over some decades (if all else remains constant), I am baffled how one can get from that view to assuming all will be well with the world.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2013, 06:14:08 PM »
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While I agree that coal and oil will peak and then decline over some decades (if all else remains constant), I am baffled how one can get from that view to assuming all will be well with the world.

Please quit being dense.  In no way do I believe that all will be well with the world.  Haven't I stated that often enough and clearly enough for you to get it?

I do not think all will be well.  I'll say it yet one more time.

I think we are already getting hurt by climate change and even if we stared this very second getting off fossil fuels as fast as possible we would still encounter more hurt than we are now receiving.

What I do not buy into is some whacko "We're going back to caveman lives, knapping flint and retaining our knowledge base with 1956 Encyclopedia Britannicas" or whatever wet dreams survivalists currently enjoy.

I believe we have most of the technology we need right now to transition away from fossil fuels and the price of that technology is becoming sufficiently low to allow us to start moving quickly from a carbon based energy system.

I can see the transition underway because I am looking at the data. 

I understand that developing countries are not going to follow the path of developed nations by first burning coal for 100 years and then installing renewables.  They are installing renewables first because that is the cheapest route.  They are leap-frogging coal just like they jumped from almost no telephones to almost universal ownership of cell phones.

I understand that given a choice between two same-priced vehicles that offer the same features and functionality buyers will choose the one that saves them hundreds of dollars per year in fuel costs. 

In less than two decades those new EVs will work their way through the used/older car inventory and ICEVs will be "antiques".  In fact, we'll almost certainly see older gas burning cars disappear at a younger age than in the past.  Fuel savings changes the math.  Very under developed countries which make use of cars for their 20+ year life will be accepting only the most fuel efficient.  The less efficient will take an early trip to the crusher.  Math, once more.




Is that clear enough for you?

Bruce Steele

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2013, 07:53:52 PM »
Bob, I very much hope you're right but just because I think some of us can live a very low carbon lifestyle and enjoy it doesn't exactly make me a wacko but you are entitled to your opinion. I figure if some of us are willing to search for near zero carbon options just makes it easier for the majority who would prefer to live more comfortably. I am trying to find a little resilience in very trying times. I am not trying to drag you down. I have been in the business of feeding people for over 40 years and I am no saint, my carbon footprint is terrible because running boats and tractors is carbon intense. For what ever it's worth I have a goal to see how many tons of produce ( fruits and vegetables ) I can produce while striving for zero fossil fuel use. I am certainly doing better than I did 5 years ago fuel wise,  50 gallons of fuel produces about 3,000 lbs. Tomatoes, a ton of corn , a ton of onions and lots of other things to fill the farm stand. I plan to sell my boat and buy enough solar to run the water pumps and everything else. I produced my own bio-diesel for a couple years but the salt in the used fryer oil killed a couple injector pumps. I have grown a couple oil seed crops but thrashing and oil presses make a one man operation a scale issue.  I will ultimately grow and press my own fuel at which point maybe I'll have accomplished something worth bragging about. One man ,an enormous problem, one step at a time. Only kinda wacko. 

Bob Wallace

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2013, 08:25:29 PM »
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I think some of us can live a very low carbon lifestyle and enjoy it doesn't exactly make me a wacko but you are entitled to your opinion

In no way do I think people who live low carbon lifestyles are whackos.   My carbon use is well below average.  Most of my electricity comes from solar and I drive less than 50% of the US average. I eat very little meat and grow a good portion of my food.  All my gardening and orchard/vinyard stuff uses no fuel except for the lawnmower I use 3-4 times a year to mow the orchard.  Perhaps a gallon of gas per year.

The whackos that I railed against are those who are convinced that civilization is about to disintegrate around them, returning them to a life in the woods, eating berries and wearing squirrel skins.

Obviously if we, in aggregate, do nothing to solve one or more of the problems facing us we could ride this puppy right into the ground.  But why would we ever choose that route?

In fact, all one has to do is to look around to see that we are working on the problems we face.  And we're making progress.

And I guess I need to repeat it again...

I do not think we will escape climate change completely and without a large amount of hurt.  I am no Pollyanna.


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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2013, 11:26:26 PM »
Is that clear enough for you?
Clear enough thanks. I know we've already had the bulk of the discussion on other more appropriate threads, so little more for me to say here - opinions are always bound to vary.

The one minor note I'd make is I notice you are using sexual connotations a lot in your criticisms of "the whackos" as you call them - you talk about "wet dreams" and "doom porn". That strikes me as a very odd sort of thing to label the people you disagree with - not to mention people could choose to take it as being rather insulting (at the very least it is polarising, and I'm not sure that polarisation of this nature can advance debate efficiently).

My perspective is (once again) different and I have found a lot of rational and intelligent debate here on these issues (and greatly appreciate this site and community). I find that using these emotive (and arguably somewhat insulting) labels can make it harder to concentrate on the intelligent part of the argument being presented.

Bob Wallace

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2013, 11:54:41 PM »
I have to say that I've never encountered a female survivalist.  If there are some and I've insulted them by failing to insult them along with the male survivalists, then I apologize.


JimD

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2013, 12:45:01 AM »
I think CCG has a valid point about your language and that you should make an effort to be less insulting to those you disagree with.  Rather than doubling down.  It won't be long before you start getting a lot of it in return and that will hurt the blog.  And people will start ignoring your posts and you will have no one to talk to.
We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable. Alexander Solzhenitsyn

How is it conceivable that all our technological progress - our very civilization - is like the axe in the hand of the pathological criminal? Albert Einstein

Bob Wallace

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2013, 01:38:30 AM »
You win Jim.

We're going to do nothing about climate change and there are no solutions. 

I'll let you folks continue with your discussion of our inevitable failure....




Anne

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2013, 02:30:39 AM »
Surely this discussion isn't about "winning" arguments, but about an exchange of ideas?

Bob Wallace

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2013, 03:17:39 AM »
"Winning" was a bad word choice on my part.

IMHO there is little to no interest in seeking solutions to climate change in this community.  I've tried for several months to present solutions and have been met with what seems to me to be no interest in those solutions.  Most replies seem to be attempts to find reasons/excuses to dismiss them.

I have seen no/almost no discussion on the part of others as to how we get our carbon/GHG problem turned around.

I'm tired of trying to bring solutions.   Those who wish to talk about the certainty of our failure have the floor. 

Artful Dodger

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2013, 07:16:59 AM »
Hi Bob,

Relax and don't hurt yourself, lol! Lot's of us are with you, looking for solutions in our own lives, and spreading the word where we can. Sure, lots of folks don't want to listen but that's the herd mentality for you.  ::)

I like your analysis of the impending EV conversion tipping point. Indeed, practical EVs already exist with the 250+ mile range you desire. The Tesla model S will recharge it's 85 KWhr battery to 80% in half an hour with their 120KW 'Supercharger'. And it free lifetime charging, all for the price of a nice BMW.   :D

Have you followed this record-setting trip? (4300 km X-USA, from San Diego, California to Jacksonville, Florida via I-10). So even if you don't have $80K for a Tesla S, $15K gets you a Zero electric motorcycle with twin-battery packs + 15KW on-board charging, and aero bodywork, and does the same job done all Summer long. 8)

http://craigvetter.com/pages/2013%20Streamliner/2013-vetter-streamliner-Hershner-p63.html

The biggest challenge faced by record-setting rider Terry Hershner was (as folks mention above) finding charging infrastructure. And it's not that it didn't exist, even in barest W. Texas, it's that Terry literally couldn't find it! All the internet guides and other smart phone conveniences still do not beat local knowledge!

Yet, it's getting better. Telsa will add 20 more of their 'Supercharger' stations this year (stations offer between 4-10 120 KW bays, some with solar panels and 500 KWHr of local lithium storage). This Summer, CEO Elon Musk will drive a Tesla Model S across the USA. By 2015 – 98% of the US and Canada will be within range of a Supercharger station. And Tesla is opening their propriety charger to other manufacturers 8)

http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger
« Last Edit: June 10, 2013, 07:29:33 AM by Artful Dodger »
Cheers!
Lodger

ritter

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2013, 08:46:17 PM »
I have to say that I've never encountered a female survivalist.  If there are some and I've insulted them by failing to insult them along with the male survivalists, then I apologize.

 ;D

Question: If all vehicles became EVs, where does the power to charge them come from? In the US, it seems our grid is already rather strained in the summer AC demand season. While I like the concept of EVs, it's difficult to replace the EROEI of oil.

slow wing

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2013, 02:26:55 AM »
I'm a big fan of EVs and follow the topic closely.

They make more sense than ICE vehicles at almost every level. Now the brilliance of Elon Musk - CEO of Tesla Motors - is efficiently bringing about the transition.

With the Tesla Model S, the tipping point has already been reached for luxury sedans in the US market, where the Model S is outselling its rivals from Mercedes, BMW etc.

The third generation Tesla sedan is due out in late 2016 and will be priced at around the average price of today's ICE vehicles. I am confident that it will be so obviously superior that it will induce a tipping point in the mass market.

  Tesla is also following their sedans with SUVs/crossovers built on the same platforms. The SUV corresponding to the Model S is called the Model X and is due out in late 2014.

  Tesla has staked out a commanding lead in both EVs and fast charging infrastructure. Some of the major car companies are already collaborating with Tesla Motors, notably Mercedes (Daimler) and Toyota. This process will likely accelerate as the major car companies see the writing on the wall and realise that they also will need to convert their production over to EVs.

  The Asian and European markets will be not far behind the US market.

  EVs will dominate new car production by the end of this decade imo.

  It is an exciting time for EVs and that is good news for combatting both climate change and air pollution.

« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 05:39:20 AM by slow wing »

Zythryn

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Re: Might Oil Be In Trouble?
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2013, 05:40:19 AM »

Question: If all vehicles became EVs, where does the power to charge them come from? In the US, it seems our grid is already rather strained in the summer AC demand season. While I like the concept of EVs, it's difficult to replace the EROEI of oil.

All vehicles will never become EVs.
EVs have their uses and work great for many people.
But when you need to tow, haul, go long distances, they are not the best solution.
Similar to the 'wedge' solution for AGW, transportation fuels will follow a variety of solutions.

For my wife and I, the best solution currently available for us are EVs.
And as the superchargers are rolled out the long distance travel will become less of an issue for Tesla's and possibly other EVs.
And when the third gen Tesla is available, that will bring more people on board.  But I don't see us ever getting to 100%.

With most charging being done at night, we need no additional electrical generation until EVs reach at least 20% to 50% market share.  That will take quite some time.