Getting the Most Out of Electric Vehicle Subsidies

Discussion in 'Emissions' started by CRT1, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. CRT1

    CRT1 Newbie McNewbster

  2. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    "However, because HEVs and PHEVs with smaller battery packs provide more air-emissions reduction and oil displacement per dollar spent and offer lifetime costs competitive with conventional vehicles, it is not clear that directing near-term subsidies toward vehicles with large battery packs would produce superior results on any of these objectives."

    Makes sense that people just dont drive that much every day, yet everyone wants a bev with 300 miles of range.. similar argument why lots of people buy pickup trucks, the yearly trip to Home Depot
  3. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    I'm not too surprised by this. Although I sure like the idea of not putting gas in a car (not to mention having to deal with exhaust, fuel, ignition and complex cooling systems, oil changes, blah blah blah), some of the resources that go into the batteries are relatively scarce. A full-on BEV has quite a few times the pack size of a hybrid or even a mild PHEV like the Prius plug-in.

    Plus, as mentioned the larger the pack means more extra weight that must be schlepped around even when the capacity isn't being utilized. Advances in battery tech will reduce this problem, but the 200-300 mile BEV that many cleanmpgers seem to be pining for isn't going to make that much sense environmentally even with the NEXT generation of batteries.

    The best use of the earth's scarce resources* is a hybrid or PHEV with a relatively modestly sized pack.

    The size of the PHEV pack that makes the most sense will grow bigger over time as energy density improves, and maybe not too far in the future to the point where a limited range BEV will actually be more benign than a hybrid. But it will always be true that if you need more range than that "sweet spot" then it's better to carry liquid fuel around with you and burn it as efficiently as possible.

    (* for personal automotive transit, that is -- obviously bicycles and mass transit are FAR superior to ANY car!)
  4. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    "some of the resources that go into the batteries are relatively scarce"

    copper is the resource I worry about, everything else lithium-ion batteries use is plentiful.. and there is always recycling.. IIRC 30% of a lithium-ion battery is copper, another 30% is aluminum.

    A Volt using renewable corn ethanol is the answer that many of you dont want to hear. Yes it does cost a bit more.
  5. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    What would the EPA highway number be when running a Volt on E85 or E100 ? Not so good, I'd imagine. 30 ?
  6. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Probably so, but I'm not hung up on MPG numbers.
    How about $ per mile instead?.. or even American soldier lives saved per mile?.. if your personal set of prejudices leans that way.

    My preference would be a Volt on wet ethanol.. starting may be rough but you have "unlimited" starting power. Some of us would prefer an explosive tank of compressed bio-methane.
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi CRT1:

    I have seen these studies at the Toyota Sustainability Seminars each year I have attended and all point to the same conclusions. It is the one reason Toyota does not really embrace the BEV as it is not the "right" solution with crude being pumped and gasoline being refined as well as the method in which we produce electricity today. PHEV's on a life cycle basis are better than BEVs for not just CO2 output but total costs today as well.

  8. CRT1

    CRT1 Newbie McNewbster

    BEVs will get better as our grid power gets cleaner and as battery technology improves.

    For the interim, looks like PHEVs are the way to go.
  9. KennyG

    KennyG LEAF driver


    All I know is that my LEAF costs about a penny a mile to drive, doesn't need oil changes and is charged on electricity generated by nuclear power.
  10. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Kenny, you are getting some good numbers there
  11. CRT1

    CRT1 Newbie McNewbster


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