Electric Vehicles

Live local, get around without breaking the bank
sky
Posts: 1196
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:20 am

Electric Vehicles

Post by sky »

In the past, an ERE strategy might be to avoid owning a vehicle, but if you must own a vehicle, it should be a used, small, fuel efficient, low cost vehicle. As some of us progress with our philosophy, we also desire an environmentally responsible choice.

Technology of electric vehicles and battery systems is rapidly developing. At what point does an electric vehicle become the preferred solution? When making this decision, what factors does one consider, such as price point, longevity, reliability, operating expenses, environmental impact, maintenance, driving experience, range between charges, ???

Hristo Botev
Posts: 1124
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:42 am

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Hristo Botev »

I don't have any answers to your questions,* but am interested to hear what responses you get. That said, this popped up yesterday which I thought was interesting, as it was an angle of this debate I'd not thought of. Interested also to see what those of you more informed on the issue of oil have to say as to CHS's position: https://www.oftwominds.com/blogdec20/gasoline12-20.html

*After all, we opted to sell our Nissan Leaf and our family-hauling Honda CRV and replace them with a shiny brand new V8 pick-up truck meant to haul our not-yet-in-existence camper around.

ETA: @Alphaville convinced me that if I were to do it over again, in making the switch from 2 cars to 1 car that gets used only for family trips, big grocery trips, and soccer parent responsibilities, the best ERE bang-for-the-buck would have been a used Prius V. And SClass convinced me that I lack the intelligence, skillset, patience, and time to go veggie diesel.

tonyedgecombe
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Oxford, UK Walkscore: 3

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by tonyedgecombe »

I did the maths last year when my wife's car (our only car) needed replacing. I couldn't make it work financially, we don't do much mileage but we do have 200+ mile journeys once or twice a year. In the end we bought a 3 year old hatchback with 13,000 miles for half the new price which in itself was half the price of most of the EV's in the market. The total cost this year has been £2.5K including fuel, insurance, tax, servicing and depreciation.

It didn't help that everything seemed to be in short supply, VW actually removed some vehicles from sale. The only thing readily available on the second hand market was the Leaf but the batteries don't seem to age well on the early models.

I'm hoping this is our last car but that is dependent on us moving, if we don't then I expect we will get a plugin hybrid next time.

User avatar
unemployable
Posts: 623
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:36 am
Location: Homeless

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by unemployable »

I would need a market for used EVs with liquidity comparable to that for ICE cars.

I drive an SUV for several reasons: ability to go off-highway, carry personal effects and sleep in and live out of for long stretches. Separately, a few times a year I have 600-1000 mile days. After I hit an elk this summer it wasn't that big a deal to simply buy the same make, model and trim level as the car I totaled, and the hit to my net worth was on the order of 1%. I don't see any of this happening with Tesla Model X's for quite some time.

Alphaville
Posts: 2467
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Alphaville »

sky wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:25 am
Technology of electric vehicles and battery systems is rapidly developing. At what point does an electric vehicle become the preferred solution? When making this decision, what factors does one consider, such as price point, longevity, reliability, operating expenses, environmental impact, maintenance, driving experience, range between charges, ???
for all-electric viability plus green cred, i would need:

-a place to plug in
-said plug from clean energy (as opposed to dirty coal)
-said clean energy cheap or "free" (eg excess solar from home)
-assurances about the battery supply chain (from lithium mining to disposal)

plus:
-better ranges for long drives
-a wide enough network of charging stations

so for me it's not there yet.if i had to buy today i'd either go gasoline or hybrid or maybe even diesel if i could secure biodiesel supply (maybe).

we're a bit in limbo at the moment.

additionally, hydrogen fuel cell is coming eventually https://www.reuters.com/article/us-toyo ... SKBN28J0CK

white belt
Posts: 299
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by white belt »

Again I find myself agreeing with Alphaville. An electric car is only greener if you know that your electricity is coming from alternative sources. There are still coal plants producing electricity in the US in some places. Additionally, consider the number of rare earth metals that are typically destructively mined to go into an electric vehicle, particularly the batteries.

I think if you have your own solar array that can provide clean juice to an EV then a used Leaf or Prius might make sense. For now I’m sticking with my 15 year old ICE hatchback which I hope will last me another 5 years at least. Even better than that would be a gas or electric scooter/motorcycle, but of course that it not as versatile as a car.

tonyedgecombe
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Oxford, UK Walkscore: 3

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by tonyedgecombe »

white belt wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:33 am
Again I find myself agreeing with Alphaville. An electric car is only greener if you know that your electricity is coming from alternative sources. There are still coal plants producing electricity in the US in some places.
That argument gets debunked all the time. Even burning coal, EV's have lower carbon emissions than ICE cars. Besides which coal use is in free fall in the West (including the US). Also refining gasoline is energy intensive and dirty.

The main issue I see right now is availability, they are in short supply and not surprisingly manufacturers are keeping the prices high.

Alphaville
Posts: 2467
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Alphaville »

tonyedgecombe wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:51 am
That argument gets debunked all the time. Even burning coal, EV's have lower carbon emissions than ICE cars. Besides which coal use is in free fall in the West (including the US). Also refining gasoline is energy intensive and dirty.

The main issue I see right now is availability, they are in short supply and not surprisingly manufacturers are keeping the prices high.
depends on where you live and what distances you get plus the prices.

here in my region we have filthy filthy coal, literally choking people to death https://www.fastcompany.com/3017141/the ... -countries

and our first big solar plant is under construction or planned or something. this is a little one: https://apnews.com/article/86dd21a41ffa ... 2be0a703e0
these are others coming: https://www.daily-times.com/story/news/ ... 503886002/

if i were in france where it's mostly nuclear or canada where it's hydro it would be a different story.

besides fossil fuel price is cheap here where in europe it's €€€.

https://www.globalpetrolprices.com/gasoline_prices/

and distances here are bigger--range matters.

ask me again in 2030 or 2045 when we're done shifting our power plants and we have charging stations in every parking lot.

white belt
Posts: 299
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by white belt »

tonyedgecombe wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:51 am
That argument gets debunked all the time. Even burning coal, EV's have lower carbon emissions than ICE cars. Besides which coal use is in free fall in the West (including the US). Also refining gasoline is energy intensive and dirty.

The main issue I see right now is availability, they are in short supply and not surprisingly manufacturers are keeping the prices high.
So it appears I was mistaken and that some research shows burning coal for electricity in an EV causes half of the emissions of using gasoline in ICE. In the USA, 64% of electricity comes from coal and natural gas, which aren’t exactly green. I believe that in Germany coal consumption increased when they tried to get rid of nuclear power and transition to alternative energies.

However I will point out that things get complicated when calculating the true environmental impact because there is no easy way to measure the impact of rare earth metal mining for the EV batteries; there is a lot of variation depending on where the mining is taking place. My understanding is one of the only rare earth mines in the West is in California, but it does not provide any materials at this time to the major EV makers who have their supply chains in China and elsewhere.

My bigger problem is that buying a new EV just extracts more resources from the ground and encourages conspicuous consumption, so I fail to see how it would be greener than purchasing an older used ICE. Additionally, it is still a metal box weighing 1000s of pounds that encourages more driving which leads to more congestion, the need for roads paved with asphalt, more consumption of energy, and so on. It’s a bandaid solution that requires an extremely specialized supply chain that likely can’t even support widespread adoption of EVs because there just aren’t enough rare earth metals in the world. It gives people a false sense of smugness that they are making a difference, instead of focusing on driving and consuming less.

Alphaville
Posts: 2467
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Alphaville »

btw having said all this, i no longer have a car, which removes the whole decision tree.

(no, it wasn't because of dwi :lol: )

eta:
white belt wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:01 pm
My bigger problem is that buying a new EV just extracts more resources from the ground and encourages […] more driving which leads to more congestion, the need for roads paved with asphalt, more consumption of energy, and so on. It’s a bandaid solution that requires an extremely specialized supply chain that likely can’t even support widespread adoption of EVs because there just aren’t enough rare earth metals in the world.
YES.

(but if you must buy new or newish, e.g. if you're an uber driver, then maybe electric can be better.* )

*eta: but the uber market is still voting for hybrid or gasoline econobox: https://www.consumerreports.org/ride-ha ... t-drivers/ ** ... all-electric requires subsidy currently, at least in the us: https://www.uber.com/us/en/ride/ubergreen/
q.e.d.

** several uber drivers have raved to me about their kia souls. which used to be moustache's preferred ride also. if i needed a suburban car i'd give the soul a serious look, but i find the prius more appealing.

eta2: hybrid gets close on national average: https://afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electr ... sions.html
i'd assume closer in specific coal-powered regions.

tldr hybrid for me has current value sweet spot as we migrate away from gas towards... hydrogen fuel cell maybe?
https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/h ... cell-cars/

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6862
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I think that by the time facilities have switched over to EV charging, personal ownership will also have greatly declined except in rural areas.

Alphaville
Posts: 2467
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Alphaville »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 3:04 pm
I think that by the time facilities have switched over to EV charging, personal ownership will also have greatly declined except in rural areas.
yup.

just yesterday on bloomberg they had...

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/14/amazons ... otaxi.html

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6862
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

The upside is that the improved logistics possible with self-driving EVs, which can also be appropriately cargo-sized and speed sorted, will greatly improve fuel efficiency.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2994
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Riggerjack »

California's rare earth mine isn't being worked currently, because the california labor rates cause operations to be unprofitable.

Australia used to mine nearly all tantalum, but that stopped in 2009.

In other words, harvesting rare earths is cheapest elsewhere, and no luxury market for rare earths that are ecologically harvested exists, yet.

It's worth mentioning that rare earths are NOT rare. They are very common. They are hard to find in concentrations. The ores have very small concentrations of many useful bits among many more difficult to use or remove. Extraction is usually unprofitable, for this reason. Gold is valuable enough to move tons of ore to get grams of gold.

Rare earths are not as easy as gold to refine, though. So even the same value in $/g could make rare earth mining unprofitable.

If we want a luxury coltan, for instance, we need a rich deposit, but also better refining.

Better refining comes with more use, and more recycling. The more money and people are in this economic space, the faster innovation happens.

Currently, coltan is picked up off the floor of the Congo:
"Here lies the vicious circle of the war.
Coltan has permitted the Rwandan army
to sustain its presence in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo. The army has
provided protection and security to the
individuals and companies extracting the
mineral. These have made money which is
shared with the army, which in turn
continues to provide the enabling
environment to continue the
exploitation."
That's what my Prius was made with. And my phone. And my smoke alarm.

If one is looking at buying a multi-ton, powered machine to move oneself and some stuff, it takes a very particular understanding of green to think one's choice is environmentally friendly.

.........

With all that said, if I were looking at buying a car, I would look at Copart, and pull a hybrid or electric car from the waste stream, and fix it. That is what I did for my ridiculously oversized overpowered, and inefficient pickup (nissan Titan). And what I paid someone else to do to buy my old little Prius.

tonyedgecombe
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:11 pm
Location: Oxford, UK Walkscore: 3

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by tonyedgecombe »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Dec 15, 2020 3:04 pm
I think that by the time facilities have switched over to EV charging, personal ownership will also have greatly declined except in rural areas.
Once the battery has degraded enough the car is only good for scrap. If you look at early Nissan Leafs, after ten years the battery is only good for 30 or 40 miles, a replacement is about £5,000.

Right now you could buy a runner for £1K, it wouldn't be anything special but it would get you to and from work. I think you are right, that end of the market is going to disappear over the coming years.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2994
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Riggerjack »

Once the battery has degraded enough the car is only good for scrap.
Scrap.

So after the car is all used up, all those refined rare earths are in concentrated form, and in an established recycling system.

How is this worse than the ICE car that gets scrapped?

Alphaville
Posts: 2467
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Alphaville »

Riggerjack wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 12:22 pm
With all that said, if I were looking at buying a car, I would look at Copart, and pull a hybrid or electric car from the waste stream, and fix it.
oh man im looking at their website rn and wow

maybe that's the solution to my need for a shf/emergency evac vehicle...

thanks for the idea

Riggerjack
Posts: 2994
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Riggerjack »

Auctions every week, and watching how cars are removed from service is an education in itself. Many lenses to look through, to see what is happening.

Papers of Indenture
Posts: 184
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:40 am
Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Papers of Indenture »

I went gas when I bought in 2018 after months of trying to find an EV/hybrid that I could make work with my financial situation. I really wanted a Prius V but they hold their value so tightly used.

Pretty happy with my buy though. I drove this 2018 Honda Civic from Baltimore to Nashville last summer on economy mode and got 52 mpg! I think that's comparable to a hybrid Prius. Of course the Prius kicks my butt for scooting around town but I still get 41mpg in City if I drive carefully while in econ.

Riggerjack
Posts: 2994
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Electric Vehicles

Post by Riggerjack »

@hristo

That was a bizarre analysis. Somehow the lack of demand for gasoline will make industrial lubricants to dry up? And this will make oil prices unstable?

I must have slept through that age of stable oil prices. And I find it to be a bit odd that his analysis finds that dropping price of one finished product would shut down production of all products, rather than prices of each finished product adjusting to a profitable level. If gasoline is less in demand, one would simply adjust the outputs to make less gasoline, and more of whatever is profitable. More paint stripper, etc.

This will cause the output of a barrel of crude to change, and all the finished products will then change prices.

Yeah, this will lead to lots of volatility, but that's hardly what he describes.

Maybe viewing the market from the perspective of financial instruments would look like he is seeing, but from the production end, this should be merely a refractory tower valve adjustment.

Post Reply