Can anyone see an obvious conflict with Electric Cos

Hi All

Only last week there was a prog on BBC about the growing power generation crisis looming and we are not building enough power stations to replace old ones being scrapped - wont dwell on that tedious debate - lets the Greens go sit in the dark and freeze, how many votes will that get.

It showed a control room (I used to design and build these) and how they manage peak energy demands. They mention the TV dinners and “kettle breaks” when everyone rushes out to make a cuppa while the ads are on. This intermittent load peak could be up to 10% of total, needing expensive gas turbines to support. What a waste. Nobody suggest downscaling a kettle from 3kW to 1kW to save generating capacity.

So this brings me to the EV. If 100,000 of these suddenly come on stream what does that do to energy forecasts - in short it aint gonna happen friends. Some serious government hypocrisy here.

Also FYI EV’s are not nearly as energy efficient or carbon neutral overall as the media would have you believe. We have to review the total cost from wellhead to wheel so to speak. Presently EV energy is untaxed. Imagine petroleum untaxed !!!
This gives a reasonable discourse

It concludes that hybrids are the best way forwards, so what about a hybrid Twizy, you need a compact diesel (or gas turbine) running on CNG at constant speed/load.

Another problem thats not going to go away, is the auxilliary power needed for heating/ac - 3kW for a small saloon. Windscreen de-mister/de-icer and so on.

The best way forward has to be hydrogen powered vehicles with the hydrogen extracted from water using nuclear power. This will give the greens and tree huggers apoplexy, but it is the only way forward. The alternative and most likely outcome, due to lack of current political will, to solve any real problems, is counties going to war over the last stocks of oil…

I mean countries not counties, although you never know!

Well an electric car is about 4 times more efficient than a gas powered one. So it all comes down to how the power is generated, and i dont think thats the EV’s fault. It’s the various countries that want to produce cheaper electricity by poluting more. And you can allways produce your own electricity using solar panels. The investment cost will even pay off after a few years. Here in norway where the energy is 99% renewable the pure electric car makes sense.

I agree completely with what you say about electricty generation. Norway is lucky in being able to produce hydro-electricity on the scale it does. However Norway is ranked 30th in the 2008 list of countries by carbon dioxide emissions per capita and 37th in the 2004 list of countries by ratio of
GDP to carbon dioxide emissions.

Owning 2 electric vehicles it was important to our family to fully embrace the ecological benefits and we pay a little more to guarantee that the amount of electricity we purchase is sourced from renewable sources, if everyone did this, it would force the hand of the government and the producers to change production the more renewable sources. That’s my 2 pennies worth!!

Yea norway is a dobble edged sword, with our massive oil production :disappointed: Its about 1/3 of our emissions.

Well up here in Scotland, 96% of our electricity comes from renewables, I.e. Wind and water (hydro electric), so I consider my twizy to be very green!!

As someone pointed out, it could be the tax that kills it. At the moment electric cars are expensive but you can kinda offset that with the near-zero fuel bills.

At the moment you can get charging points put in free or very cheap in the UK because they’re kitted out to apply tax if the government chooses. This doesn’t really affect the Twizy because it uses so little power you can just plug it in to domestics mains. You can’t really cheat like that with a 120kW Tesla…

One of the biggest problems i see is waste of power (i work with smart chargingsystems for EV`s), peaks on the grid (and overstressed phases). We tend to think of powerusage as static, and not taking into account the powerpeaks when starting electric equipment (or in this case, charging batteries). By reducing transportationwaste by increasing the current, use better transformers, balance out the loads between three phases and enable most elecrical gadgets with softstart/ peak shaving there is theoretically enough power without compromising our way of living.

Are you saying that there’s already enough power generation on line to power all cars, if we could optimise the system? It’s an interesting thought.

Some very rough maths:
My Twizy uses 4kWh per day. Even this out over the day, 4000W/24 hours = 166W.

So if averaged out perfectly across infinite time my Twizy is using 166W.

If all 35 million cars in the UK used the same power as mine (which is a bit of a stretch given how low my mileage is and how small the Twizy is but let’s run with it…) this would be 35,000,000 x 166 = 5.81GW

I had previously assumed the grid would need the capacity for worst case scenario, ie. to charge all cars at once, with fast chargers, which would be more like 2000GW at a guess. So ability so smooth out the demand definitely has a massive influence on the generation requirement. Significantly, 6GW sounds like a number within the realms of possibility. Even 10 or 20GW probably isn’t insurmountable given sufficient will. 2000GW really is a long way off…

I am not super familiar with powerprodution, distribution, and userpatterns in the uk. But I would guess that industry and domestic consumption could go down with at least 20-30% based on the static nature of of today’s power grid. Think about the way we distribute power (I base this on numbers from Norway, and we use IT, instead of TN grid) :

  1. In production, on average more than 14% of the potential energy disappears.
  2. 1-3% disappears on the way to the high-current grid.
  3. If the distribution grid is old, the current will often be low (160 000v compared to 360 000 to 500 000) but power companies limit themselves to a loss of 10%.
  4. Next, high current is transformed to low current (400-1000v). Power loss of between 1 and 3%.
  5. Transformation to 220-240v power loss from 1 to 7%.

These are just indicators based of numbers from a coworker, and may be viable only in norway. But still, it is a fact that power companies are conservative investors in technology that would increase efficiency in production and distribution of power. They balance production and demand on a knifes edge😊

And all the time we have an almost infinite source of free power just under our feet in the nice warm earth’s crust. Wonder when we’re going to use that instead of kidding ourselves on that we don’t know how to solve the world’s energy crisis?? We’re pretty thick if you ask me!!