Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

General Discussion about electric vehicles.
Hillhater   100 GW

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Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by Hillhater » Oct 12 2019 9:53pm

..... China has spent $60 billion cumulatively in domestic subsidies in order to become the dominant global player, but it ended the EV gravy train this year, cutting subsidies by 65 percent, with plans to eliminate them entirely next year. The result? China’s vaunted EV sales growth went negative. Having abandoned direct subsidies, China will now simply require that EVs make up 3 to 4 percent of all domestic car production.....
....
Rarely have so many claims about a product been so wrong. The only unequivocal fact in the EV narrative is that more EVs exist today—approximately 4 million—than ever before. Lithium-battery chemistry—the inventors of which received the 2019 chemistry Nobel Prize—along with advances in power electronics, has made it possible to build practical, if expensive, electric cars. But everything else in the popularized EV storyline is deeply misguided. Advocates claim that EVs are far simpler machines than combustion engines. But the essential “engine” for both is similarly complicated. While the EV’s electric motor is simple, its battery is a half-a-ton electrochemical machine with thousands of parts and welds, along with wiring, electronics, and cooling. It’s every bit as complex as—and far more expensive than—the combustion-mechanical drivetrain that it replaces.
https://www.city-journal.org/electric-vehicle-batteries
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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by Balmorhea » Oct 12 2019 10:51pm

Hillhater wrote:
Oct 12 2019 9:53pm
While the EV’s electric motor is simple, its battery is a half-a-ton electrochemical machine with thousands of parts and welds, along with wiring, electronics, and cooling. It’s every bit as complex as—and far more expensive than—the combustion-mechanical drivetrain that it replaces.
But the battery plus the electricity required to charge it over its lifespan is much cheaper than the stinking toxin motor plus all the stinking toxin it burns over its lifespan.

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by billvon » Oct 12 2019 11:54pm

Hillhater wrote:
Oct 12 2019 9:53pm
Advocates claim that EVs are far simpler machines than combustion engines. But the essential “engine” for both is similarly complicated. While the EV’s electric motor is simple, its battery is a half-a-ton electrochemical machine with thousands of parts and welds, along with wiring, electronics, and cooling.
So in other words, it's like an engine, but with no moving parts, less thermal stress and no reactant flow required.

It would be interesting to see if standard ICE cars could survive without the billions in subsidies for their fuel.
--bill von

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by Dauntless » Oct 13 2019 1:05am

Image

So what make of car did Henry Ford's wife drive? WRONG! For decades she drove Detroit Electric. Using an electric motor from Lincoln Electric Company, now known for their welding equipment but once the most popular motor in electric cars. Before WWI they could build an electric car with a range of 80 miles, but of course it was light and only went 20mph. Yet it was still 3 times the cost of a Model T.

Of course there was no subsidy back then. I would question the need for the subsidy today; what percentage of the electrics were bought by rich people? the real question is if they can survive for under $20,000. That's what it'll take to make sales more common. (Ford's electric Model T was supposed to sell for not much more than a gas T, had the battery problems been resolved.)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features ... sible-cars
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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by Punx0r » Oct 13 2019 5:21am

How much of a direct cash bailout did the big U.S. car companies get from the American government a few years ago to stop them going bust?

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by spinningmagnets » Oct 13 2019 6:01am

When Tesla offered an 8-year warranty on their battery pack (the battery would retain at least 80% of its rated range during the 8 years), Many people expressed scepticism, because we all have used cordless drills and laptops where the battery did not last 8 years.

Because of their battery research, their battery cooling system and their charging profile, it meant that the original 2008 Teslas reached 8 years in 2016, so...now in 2019 they have 3 years of tracking the data from the oldest Teslas.

They just released all the information about their latest battery research, and Jeff Dahn is now claiming their newest optimized chemistry should last 20 years with daily cycling. The original 8 year warranty calmed the early adopter fears, but many car owners trade-in their car after 5-7 years, so the cost of a new battery pack would hurt the secondary "used car" market for electric cars.

This 20-year battery news will help the used Tesla market. for 2019 models...

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by Hillhater » Oct 13 2019 7:19am

I doubt battery life is high on the check list when buying an EV.
Much like concern for the life expectancy of the engine when buying an IC car.
Purchase price and major running costs are much higher up the list.
That is why subsidies, rebates, and tax incentives are critical factors in the success of EVs.
....and Carbon Credits are key to the success of EV manufacturers .
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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by sleepy_tired » Oct 15 2019 2:31pm

Subsidies are not needed, desired, or beneficial.

The desired outcome is that we end up with the companies that produce the best vehicles at a price people are willing to pay.

Unfortunately what happens when you have extensive subsidies is that the companies that become expert at manipulating the governmental bureaucracy for money are the ones that end up on top. In addition to that since they are experts at manipulating the government they use a portion of what they earn to turn around and pay for lobbyists and put their members in committees that end up regulating electric cars (or whatever) in order to exercise regulatory capture to exclude future competition that would otherwise drive the price down.

In addition to that you end up with the people who can actually make cars affordable end up moving into other industries were their skills are more valuable.

So in heavily subsidized industries you end up with the subsidizes actually retarding progress.
I doubt battery life is high on the check list when buying an EV.
You are absolutely wrong about that. After range the primary concern is costs of battery replacement.
Much like concern for the life expectancy of the engine when buying an IC car.
Having a long lasting motor is a primary concern.
Purchase price and major running costs are much higher up the list.
Battery life or motor life are sources of major running costs. If you are considering running costs and are not taking into account the cost of wear items and mechanical repair then you really are doing it very wrong.

That's like claiming people don't care how long their tires last, but only the cost of the tires. It's inherently contradictory statement. The up front purchase price is only half the cost.

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by flat tire » Oct 15 2019 4:36pm

People don't care how long their engine lasts because it's generally understood that unless you buy a total piece of shit hoopty the engine will last longer than you own the car anyway.

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by billvon » Oct 15 2019 5:42pm

sleepy_tired wrote:
Oct 15 2019 2:31pm
The desired outcome is that we end up with the companies that produce the best vehicles at a price people are willing to pay.
That's right. And as long as you capture all the of the actual cost of ownership in the sales price, that works. When you don't, you distort the market. Some examples here are free public roads, damage done by pollution, and costs that come from maintaining oil shipping routes.

EV tax cuts accomplish two basic things. One, they get EV's over the very high barriers to entry in the US. That's been done. Two, they attempt to balance the market so that all the subsidies provided for gas powered cars ('free' pollution, 'free' defense of shipping routes) are equalized.

Now, if you propose eliminating all subsidies for both sorts of vehicles (including defense of oil trade routes, no-cost pollution, overunity depletion allowance, direct subsidies for oil companies etc) I would be all for that.
--bill von

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by Hillhater » Oct 16 2019 2:45am

sleepy_tired wrote:
Oct 15 2019 2:31pm

. After range the primary concern is costs of battery replacement.
Much like concern for the life expectancy of the engine when buying an IC car.
Having a long lasting motor is a primary concern.
Purchase price and major running costs are much higher up the list.
Battery life or motor life are sources of major running costs. If you are considering running costs and are not taking into account the cost of wear items and mechanical repair then you really are doing it very wrong.
You are not thinking like a typical car buyer.
Most buy a compromise between cost and brand..
....Everyone wants a Rolls or Ferrari,...but settle for a Toyota or a Ford.
Many just buy by brand image..one they know and trust, others buy by style appeal/ fashion trend.
Majority of new car buyers will sell/trade again within the warranty period to avoid any issues with wear and repair costs.
Used car buyers are by definition, very “up front”. cost focussed as a priority.
I have helped many people buy their cars ( family, friends, etc) , all had a budget limit, many brand specific, concern over fuel economy, safety, even color preference, but i dont recall any of them asking or being concerned about engine life, tire mileage etc.
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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by jonescg » Oct 16 2019 8:23am

Well Australia would clearly be a great place to assess how EVs go without subsidies, since we have none.
plugin sales Oz.JPG
plugin sales Oz.JPG (29.25 KiB) Viewed 610 times
The answer is slowly.

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by ninepointeight » Oct 22 2019 10:12am

They are pretty much guaranteed to, unless people want to start walking/biking/public transportation. Eventually oil will be too expensive to make gasoline for cars. Subsidies can help get us there sooner. EV's run on LNG, solar, nuclear, hydro etc. Gas cars only run on dinosaur.

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by Hillhater » Oct 22 2019 5:08pm

ninepointeight wrote:
Oct 22 2019 10:12am
..... EV's run on LNG, solar, nuclear, hydro etc. Gas cars only run on dinosaur.
Are you really unaware that “gas” (ICE) cars can ( and do) run on a variety of renewable /synthetic fuels such as Hydrogen, Methanol, Biodiesel, as well as some “future “ fuels ( distilled sunshine ?).
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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by billvon » Oct 22 2019 8:03pm

Hillhater wrote:
Oct 22 2019 5:08pm
Are you really unaware that “gas” (ICE) cars can ( and do) run on a variety of renewable /synthetic fuels such as Hydrogen, Methanol, Biodiesel, as well as some “future “ fuels ( distilled sunshine ?).
No, they don't. Gas cars run on gasoline. You can mix a bit of ethanol in there, but that's it.

Want a methanol car? You can convert one. Maybe they will build one one day. They you will have a car that burns methanol - and that's it.

Want a diesel car? You can buy on. They you will have a car that burns diesel and biodiesel - and that's it.

Want a hydrogen car? You can convert one. Maybe they will build one one day. They you will have a car that burns hydrogen - and that's it.

How about a fuel cell car? Now you have something that can use hydrogen - or methanol (with the right reformer) or maybe even natural gas (again, with the right reformer.) But now you are building something that's basically an electric car, just with a different way to charge it.
--bill von

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by cricketo » Oct 22 2019 9:09pm

billvon wrote:
Oct 22 2019 8:03pm
No, they don't. Gas cars run on gasoline. You can mix a bit of ethanol in there, but that's it.
Supposedly buthanol can directly replace gasoline. There were attempts to produce is biologically just like methanol and ethanol, but for some reason it didn't go anywhere.

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by jonescg » Oct 22 2019 9:47pm

Biofuels are epically inefficient use of resources. Take 10 MJ of energy and productive land to produce 8 MJ of fuel, and proceed to throw 6 MJ away. Not to mention all the otherwise useful food producing land not being used for producing food, as well as the phosphorus and nitrogen inputs which need to come from somewhere.

For large, specific applications biodiesel might be viable but EVs win on almost all counts as being the 'least worst'.

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by Hillhater » Oct 22 2019 11:10pm

The point was not about what is available now....
...though I’m pretty sure there are more ICE cars running on 100% synthetic fuels than there are EVs !.(most of which are still fueled by fossil burning generators !).
As well as many competition car series running on Methanol/Ethanol.
Nor wAs it about efficiency or availability.
It was about what is possible with current technology and resources.
Currently , EVs are impractical for mass car replacement due to their cost.
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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by billvon » Oct 23 2019 12:18am

cricketo wrote:
Oct 22 2019 9:09pm
Supposedly buthanol can directly replace gasoline. There were attempts to produce is biologically just like methanol and ethanol, but for some reason it didn't go anywhere.
Did you mean butanol? Both butanol and ethanol are not very good fuels; they take almost as much energy to make as they yield. (Sugar cane ethanol is an exception due to the very high yield of sugar cane.)
--bill von

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by cricketo » Oct 23 2019 12:38am

billvon wrote:
Oct 23 2019 12:18am
cricketo wrote:
Oct 22 2019 9:09pm
Supposedly buthanol can directly replace gasoline. There were attempts to produce is biologically just like methanol and ethanol, but for some reason it didn't go anywhere.
Did you mean butanol? Both butanol and ethanol are not very good fuels; they take almost as much energy to make as they yield. (Sugar cane ethanol is an exception due to the very high yield of sugar cane.)
Yes, butanol. I don't understand your point about energy to make vs yield. Once you go on the path of synthesizing fuels, the question is really about practicality in relation to the context at the time. For example, in the environment where solar energy may be available with tremendous surplus, even inefficient hydrogen production may be practical.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butanol_fuel

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by billvon » Oct 23 2019 12:48am

cricketo wrote:
Oct 23 2019 12:38am
Yes, butanol. I don't understand your point about energy to make vs yield.
Let's say it takes two gallons of gasoline to make one gallon of butanol. Is it worth it?
Once you go on the path of synthesizing fuels, the question is really about practicality in relation to the context at the time. For example, in the environment where solar energy may be available with tremendous surplus, even inefficient hydrogen production may be practical.
Not if it's competing with batteries, which are quite efficient in terms of end-to-end efficiency.
--bill von

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by cricketo » Oct 23 2019 9:54am

billvon wrote:
Oct 23 2019 12:48am
Let's say it takes two gallons of gasoline to make one gallon of butanol. Is it worth it?
Not worth burning gasoline to make butanol, but that's where I said context is important. Two things can make it practical: excess of whatever goes into making it (of course making an assumption we're talking clean and renewable process) and application. There may still be lots of machinery that hasn't been upgraded or is impractical to upgrade to battery power, so in those applications synthetic fuels may live on quite successfully.

Not if it's competing with batteries, which are quite efficient in terms of end-to-end efficiency.
Batteries are great in many things, but for some things they won't work in foreseeable future. We can't fly to/from Mars on a battery, so we will be synthesizing methane. Likewise battery power isn't (yet?) suitable for airplanes, so we may need to synthesize aviation fuel of sorts.

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by John in CR » Oct 26 2019 8:05pm

"Can EVs survive without subsidies ?"

Of course they can, but that's not the important question. The real question is when will the world stop subsidizing vehicles with ICE's. Then once you cut the subsidies, load them down with all of their true costs.

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by amberwolf » Oct 26 2019 11:45pm

cricketo wrote:
Oct 23 2019 9:54am
We can't fly to/from Mars on a battery.
Well, you could, but it would have to be a fairly large one, to run an ion drive. Would take a while, too, as they're fairly low acceleration rate engines.

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Re: Can EVs survive without subsidies ?

Post by Hillhater » Oct 27 2019 2:27am

John in CR wrote:
Oct 26 2019 8:05pm
...The real question is when will the world stop subsidizing vehicles with ICE's. .....
Probably not until an effective, practical, affordable, alternative , ...is available.
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