Want to buy or sell something? Check the classifieds

Electric cars: What will happen to all the dead batteries?

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,434
Location
New Forest
Personally, a train ride across the country is three days of pure travel adventure and pleasure.
How about a train ride that's steam hauled with a very interesting mode of internal combustion for company?

MG's & Steam Trains..jpg
 
Messages
17,802
Location
Funkytown, USA
Until the much dreamed about flux capacitor is invented, it's just simple physics that petroleum sources give us the most energy bang for the amount used. Until something else comes along, it's still our best bet, and we are much farther ahead in the pollution prevention game than we are given credit for. Over the last several decades, we have made great engineering strides in fuel efficiency, cleaner burning engines, and cleaner burning fuels. It's unfortunate we don't give ourselves credit for that, instead focusing on the utopianism of the perfectly clean, zero pollution energy source.

Another factor is just the simple availability of materials to supply the energy needs of the world. The materials needed to produce the batteries to power electric vehicles are just not there. The amount of materials that make up the modern battery, such as lithium, cobalt, and other, less available rare earth elements plainly aren't available for the purpose proposed. And the idea of charging the batteries with intermittently available and unreliable power sources such as wind and solar is an exercise in futility.

At some point, you have to come face to face with physics, and physics will stop us short.
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,434
Location
New Forest
Until the much dreamed about flux capacitor is invented, it's just simple physics that petroleum sources give us the most energy bang for the amount used. Until something else comes along, it's still our best bet, and we are much farther ahead in the pollution prevention game than we are given credit for. Over the last several decades, we have made great engineering strides in fuel efficiency, cleaner burning engines, and cleaner burning fuels. It's unfortunate we don't give ourselves credit for that, instead focusing on the utopianism of the perfectly clean, zero pollution energy source.
There's an astute and sensible argument. It's obvious to all that one day the fossil fuels will all be used, but there is still plenty to give us time to replace them. Some years ago I watched a fascinating program on TV about the subterranean heat below the earth's crust. One of the scientists interviewed said that if they had the know how to tap into something like Mount Etna's volatility, they could produce enough electricity to power all of Italy and more besides.

Another valid point raised is that we don't give ourselves enough credit for the engineering strides achieved so far. That is so true, most heavy vehicles as well as some cars, burn diesel. Diesel now has a bad press, or at least in our political circles. Maybe denouncing diesel is a vote winner, but have you heard of AdBlue?

AdBlue is the trade name for a type of diesel exhaust fluid. It's a mixture of urea and de-ionised water that's stored in a separate tank from the vehicle's fuel. When the engine is running, tiny amounts of AdBlue are squirted onto the exhaust gas produced, turning the NOx into nitrogen and water. The public don't get to hear of such advances in pollution control, or if they do they choose to ignore it, or in today's: "Make it up as you go along," society, denounce it as yet another conspiracy theory.
 

vitanola

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,254
Location
Gopher Prairie, MI
C03596A6-6F69-47EA-9BD8-0602567E4C03.jpeg
And just imagine what resources went into producing all those batteries, and the pollution which resulted.



Electric vehicles charge overnight - good ones can get a full charge in about 8 hours. Then they have an operational range of 2 hours or less, and the mileage will vary depending on if lights are on, air conditioning is being used, and other demands on the electrical system.

The real problem is the demand on the power grid. When everyone turns on the air conditioning on a hot day, the power grid shuts down and goes to "brown outs". Homes with 120 volt electricity have to be retrofitted for 240 volt in order to install the electric vehicle charger. No big deal at the moment, as maybe only a few cars on each block are electric. And some homes already have 240 volt for appliances. More to be concerned about if every house on the block with 2 cars, suddenly has 2 electric cars. Then when everyone goes home, they plug in their car, and what would the load be on the system? Today's infrastructure would have to be completely rebuilt, in order to produce and deliver enough power for the increased load demand.



Black smoke billowed out of a factory somewhere, instead of from the tailpipe of the car. I wonder about the efficiency of producing electricity, and delivering the electricity, then converting the electricity from high voltage AC to whatever the car's charging requirements are. No easy answer. Several decades ago, with less technology, cars like the Honda CRX got almost 50 miles to the gallon - which is about what my motorcycle gets. In a large metropolitan area, you can efficiently move a lot of people with mass transit. Not everybody is capable of riding bicycles; small children, the elderly, and the disabled. Motor scooters dominate the streets of some countries, but people in The USA are not giving up SUVs for mopeds.

Maybe we can go back to the horse. We can ride the horse, eat the horse meat, and wear the leather.




China makes money when we pay them to take away our garbage. China takes it to Africa.
View attachment 330780

“Homes with 120 volt have to be retrofitted”

Yes, there are a very few homes left in the country with 120 volt electric service, but their numbers are negligible. At the turn of the last century the standard residential electric service in the United States was a 30 Amp 120 volt service drop with two or three circuits for lighting and the odd convenience outlet. As the ‘Twenties approached, and electric appliances became more common, some homes were wired with 240volt 60 Amp services. The 1924 edition of the National Electrical Code specified that the smallest residential electrical service allowed in new work would be 60amp 240 volt. This allowed for the use of new appliances such as electric ranges and water heaters, and the then-new high wattage indirect lighting. In the 1958 version of the code the minimum service requirements were raised to 100 amps at 240 volts. In the 1970s 150 amp services became standard, and by the 1980s 200 amp services were usual. Are you honestly concerned about the vanishingly small number of homes in the country which have inadequate century old electric services, or were you just repeating a talking point which you had heard?

it is true that a 240 volt 30 amp outlet is necessary, but he installation of one of these is a trivial matter.


Now, a residence with a 1925 electric service will not have sufficient capacity to quick charge an electric vehicle, but it will be able to slow charge one, to top off the tank, as it were. More modern homes will have adequate electric capacity for overnight quick charging. The advantage of electric cars from a grid management standpoint is that they even out the load on the grid, generally drawing their power overnight when demand is at its lowest. Electric cars are not the disaster that their detractors claim, neither are they the panacea which their supporters suggest. They are an interesting technology which has rapidly advanced in recent years which is suited to solve certain thorny problems, and which will create or exacerbate others, as do all new technologies. This does not mean that we should avoid adopting them.

A close friend of mine owns a Tesla. It is truly a delightful car to drive. I myself would someday like an to own an electric; a Waverly, Baker, Rausch & Lang or a Milburn. Until then I’ll happily drive the good old Chrysler.
 

Attachments

  • 7934D3A1-EFDE-4E4E-B861-496712537B1B.jpeg
    7934D3A1-EFDE-4E4E-B861-496712537B1B.jpeg
    141.4 KB · Views: 136
Last edited:
Messages
17,802
Location
Funkytown, USA
There's an astute and sensible argument. It's obvious to all that one day the fossil fuels will all be used, but there is still plenty to give us time to replace them. Some years ago I watched a fascinating program on TV about the subterranean heat below the earth's crust. One of the scientists interviewed said that if they had the know how to tap into something like Mount Etna's volatility, they could produce enough electricity to power all of Italy and more besides.

Another valid point raised is that we don't give ourselves enough credit for the engineering strides achieved so far. That is so true, most heavy vehicles as well as some cars, burn diesel. Diesel now has a bad press, or at least in our political circles. Maybe denouncing diesel is a vote winner, but have you heard of AdBlue?

AdBlue is the trade name for a type of diesel exhaust fluid. It's a mixture of urea and de-ionised water that's stored in a separate tank from the vehicle's fuel. When the engine is running, tiny amounts of AdBlue are squirted onto the exhaust gas produced, turning the NOx into nitrogen and water. The public don't get to hear of such advances in pollution control, or if they do they choose to ignore it, or in today's: "Make it up as you go along," society, denounce it as yet another conspiracy theory.

I often forget you were in the trucking industry - some very real-world experience there, in dealing with the management and logistics of a fleet of vehicles. My real-world experience with electric cars is managing a project to convert a battery-powered aircraft tow vehicle to fuel cell for the USAF as a test case.

I think (hope) that other energy sources will eventually be tapped by those Super Geniuses with the will and wherewithal to solve these problems. Unfortunately, alot of research follows the money, and wind and solar are where the research grants and subsidies for production are right now. Maybe not in our lifetimes, but somebody will have that Eureka moment where a real breakthrough is achieved.

I'm currently reading an historical account of Marconi's development of the wireless. It's been illuminating to read about his development of the technology, the economics of pushing it out to the masses among some cutthroat competition, and the involvement of several governments in getting permissions, cooperation, and support for it.

Currently awaiting from Amazon (literally, it's out for delivery as I type this), "The Knowledge Machine: How Irrationality Created Modern Science." The philospphy of science has always interested me (I minored in philosophy; almost had enough credits for a double-major). This should be a good read.

View attachment 332592

“Homes with 120 volt have to be retrofitted”

Yes, there are a very few homes left in the country with 120 volt electric service, but their numbers are negligible. At the turn of the last century the standard residential electric service in the United States was a 30 Amp 120 volt service drop with two or three circuits for lighting and the odd convenience outlet. As the ‘Twenties approached, and electric appliances became more common, some homes were wired with 240volt 60 Amp services. The 1924 edition of the National Electrical Code specified that the smallest residential electrical service allowed in new work would be 60amp 240 volt. This allowed for the use of new appliances such as electric ranges and water heaters, and the then-new high wattage indirect lighting. In the 1958 version of the code the minimum service requirements were raised to 100 amps at 240 volts. In the 1970s 150 amp services became standard, and by the 1980s 200 amp services were usual. Are you honestly concerned about the vanishingly small number of homes in the country which have inadequate century old electric services, or were you just repeating a talking point which you had heard?

it is true that a 240 volt 30 amp outlet is necessary, but he installation of one of these is a trivial matter.


Now, a residence with a 1925 electric service will not have sufficient capacity to quick charge an electric vehicle, but it will be able to slow charge one, to top off the tank, as it were. More modern homes will have adequate electric capacity for overnight quick charging. The advantage of electric cars from a grid management standpoint is that they even out the load on the grid, generally drawing their power overnight when demand is at its lowest. Electric cars are not the disaster that their detractors claim, neither are they the panacea which their supporters suggest. They are an interesting technology which has rapidly advanced in recent years which is suited to solve certain thorny problems, and which will create or exacerbate others, as do all new technologies. This does not mean that we should avoid adopting them.

A close friend of mine owns a Tesla. It is truly a delightful car to drive. I myself would someday like an to own an electric; a Waverly, Baker, Rausch & Lang or a Milburn. Until then I’ll happily drive the good old Chrysler.

As someone who still has remnants of knob-and-tube in their house, I hear ya. I could still use an upgrade. Maintaining a frame house built in 1896 can be an exercise in chasing your tail, however. Or at least it can seem that way.

I think electric cars, especialy with the advancements made by Musk and his contemporaries, is an exciting development. But I still maintain it can only be one tool in our toolbox. We simply don't have the energy capacity to provide for a complete turnover as some advocate, and I also maintain that chasing that dragon is a fool's errand.

Currently, the "greenest" energy source we have is nuclear. But it's never really received a fair shake from a PR perspective, and there are quite a few misconceptions about it.
 
Last edited:

MikeKardec

One Too Many
Messages
1,147
Location
Los Angeles
I'd submit that learning how to travel with others on a train for an extended period imparted social skills to our grandparents which have been lost in the last 70 years-- to our great detriment.

Sydney to Perth on the Indian Pacific was fascinating. I'd done a bit of train travel prior but that was the longest single ride. I bought a First Class ticket with my high value (at the time) US dollars but enjoyed the amenities in Second better. First was too snooty ... even in Australia!

it's just simple physics that petroleum sources give us the most energy bang for the amount used.

The requirements that internal combustion engines meet are extraordinary if you think of power, range, reliability, temperatures they can operate in, amount of vibration they can take, etc. Electric motors are even better but the batteries are not ... yet. Also the thing most people look right past is that all electricity has to be generated somewhere and somehow and a lot of it still comes from fossil fuels. I think we had an exec from Toyota and Elon Musk both comment recently on our power generation not being anywhere near enough to manage a shift to all electric vehicles.

AdBlue is the trade name for a type of diesel exhaust fluid. It's a mixture of urea and de-ionised water that's stored in a separate tank from the vehicle's fuel. When the engine is running, tiny amounts of AdBlue are squirted onto the exhaust gas produced, turning the NOx into nitrogen and water.

I've had several AdBlue vehicles and while they do run very clean they have, so far, completely circumvented the original benefits of diesel. Diesel, in my opinion, is best when it is primitive technology: slow, super reliable and very flexible in the quality of fuel used. All that tends to mean they are dirty ... except that they use very little fuel. Modern AdBlue engines (and this is not just because of the AdBlue aspect) are tweeky, high tech, computer dependent, exotic, power plants. They miss the original point with diesel ... as long as the engine seals tight it will run. These new engines are very powerful but stupidly complicated. Diesel probably hit it's engineering peak of trade offs with the 1st gen Cummins B, the VW PD, the 5 cylinder Mercedes turbo, and the Land Rover 300 ... basically in the 1990s. Since then it's been down hill. Petrol engines have gotten better, diesels have forgotten their mission. It makes me sad that we've lost the plot ... like assuming that all future consumers live in huge modern cities.
 

MikeKardec

One Too Many
Messages
1,147
Location
Los Angeles
My real-world experience with electric cars is managing a project to convert a battery-powered aircraft tow vehicle to fuel cell for the USAF as a test case.

AWESOME! I have a lot more hope for fuel cells than I do with electrics. At the moment F?C cars take a beating from pure electrics because of the lack of super acceleration aspect, but hopefully not forever!

Currently, the "greenest" energy source we have is nuclear. But it's never really received a fair shake from a PR perspective, and there are quite a few misconceptions about it.

So true. We can do this much better than we did 50 years ago.
 
Messages
17,802
Location
Funkytown, USA
AWESOME! I have a lot more hope for fuel cells than I do with electrics. At the moment F?C cars take a beating from pure electrics because of the lack of super acceleration aspect, but hopefully not forever!



So true. We can do this much better than we did 50 years ago.

The use of hydrogen presents it's own problems, as well (storage, volatility, etc.).

I don't have access to my files and reports anymore, as that was two jobs ago, but I found a picture online yesterday of my "baby" towing an F-16, which was the goal of the test project.

Tow Tug.png
 

vitanola

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,254
Location
Gopher Prairie, MI
I often forget you were in the trucking industry - some very real-world experience there, in dealing with the management and logistics of a fleet of vehicles. My real-world experience with electric cars is managing a project to convert a battery-powered aircraft tow vehicle to fuel cell for the USAF as a test case.

I think (hope) that other energy sources will eventually be tapped by those Super Geniuses with the will and wherewithal to solve these problems. Unfortunately, alot of research follows the money, and wind and solar are where the research grants and subsidies for production are right now. Maybe not in our lifetimes, but somebody will have that Eureka moment where a real breakthrough is achieved.

I'm currently reading an historical account of Marconi's development of the wireless. It's been illuminating to read about his development of the technology, the economics of pushing it out to the masses among some cutthroat competition, and the involvement of several governments in getting permissions, cooperation, and support for it.

Currently awaiting from Amazon (literally, it's out for delivery as I type this), "The Knowledge Machine: How Irrationality Created Modern Science." The philospphy of science has always interested me (I minored in philosophy; almost had enough credits for a double-major). This should be a good read.



As someone who still has remnants of knob-and-tube in their house, I hear ya. I could still use an upgrade. Maintaining a frame house built in 1896 can be an exercise in chasing your tail, however. Or at least it can seem that way.

I think electric cars, especialy with the advancements made by Musk and his contemporaries, is an exciting development. But I still maintain it can only be one tool in our toolbox. We simply don't have the energy capacity to provide for a complete turnover as some advocate, and I also maintain that chasing that dragon is a fool's errand.

Currently, the "greenest" energy source we have is nuclear. But it's never really received a fair shake from a PR perspective, and there are quite a few misconceptions about it.
Absolutely. Nuclear energy can be an important source of energy, and would be were it not for the human propensity to cut corners for personal gain. Just as Communism would bring the millennium were it not for that pesky propensity for people to become free riders if they can.
 

GHT

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,434
Location
New Forest
Electric vehicles charge overnight - good ones can get a full charge in about 8 hours. Then they have an operational range of 2 hours or less, and the mileage will vary depending on if lights are on, air conditioning is being used, and other demands on the electrical system.
Electric car.jpg

Air-con would be my last worry when trying to keep warm in an electric car under these conditions.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
102,390
Messages
2,905,179
Members
49,531
Latest member
Albert Mannocchi
Top