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Re: Peak Oil has Likely Come and Gone - Now What?

Mon May 17, 2010 7:45 pm

LTLFTcomposite wrote:The invisible hand will wave magic over all of this and make it go away. I just hope I can still get a couple gallons a year for my lawn mower and leaf blower.


I'm disappointed to hear that...do you realize that gas lawn mowers and leaf blowers (not just the 'old' ones either) pollute MORE than autos? It's a fact Jack! So why not trade those polluters in on electrics? Some places actually give you so much for your gas polluter and sell you an electric one. :)
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AndyH
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Re: Peak Oil has Likely Come and Gone - Now What?

Mon May 17, 2010 8:06 pm

I think China understands that they won't survive if they follow the US emissions and efficiency models. They have higher corporate average fuel economy standards than the US and are adopting the stringent Euro emissions specs.

I don't think China will wait to copy the Leaf. They're already building plenty of EVs. One example are all the ebikes and emotorcycles. Other example is the EV work at BYD which is about 10% owned by Berkshire Hathaway. BYD primarily makes batteries and small electronic devices - yet went into hybrid and EV business a few years back - and had a range-extended EV on the road early last year with a 62 mile electric range.

And check out this exchange with the CEO of BYD and his view of the environment:

"When David Sokol toured BYD's operations last summer, Wang took him to a battery factory and explained that BYD wants to make its batteries 100% recyclable. To that end, the company has developed a nontoxic electrolyte fluid. To underscore the point, Wang poured battery fluid into a glass and drank it. "Doesn't taste good," he said, making a face and offering a sip to Sokol.

Sokol declined politely. But he got the message. "His focus there was that if we're going to help solve environmental problems, we can't create new environmental problems with our technology," Sokol says."

mitch672
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Re: Peak Oil has Likely Come and Gone - Now What?

Mon May 17, 2010 8:16 pm

Good to hear Andy, but I think I'd skip sipping the electrolyte as well :)
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AndyH
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Re: Peak Oil has Likely Come and Gone - Now What?

Tue May 18, 2010 10:19 am

mitch672 wrote:Good to hear Andy, but I think I'd skip sipping the electrolyte as well :)


I agree!

And please - I do agree with your view of China's ability to quickly copy anything. And higher mileage standards aren't much help when the number of vehicles on the street is growing so quickly.

BYD's CEO is only one guy - I have no idea how many other Chinese CEOs look at at the environment the same way.

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evnow
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Re: Peak Oil has Likely Come and Gone - Now What?

Tue May 18, 2010 10:27 am

Cost is going to be a big issue with EVs in China, India.

Think about this - Tata Nano @ 2,500 is about the cost of the EVSE+installation !! I know an install there won't cost that much ... still.

Besides, in places like India they have massive electricity shortage - few would want an EV until oil shortages hit them - and then it would be too late.

In anycase, the whole problem with peak oil is not that there are no "solutions" - the problem is the solutions take too long to roll out compared to when we anticipate demand-supply gap.

ps : BYD has been unable to sell more than a handful EVs in China.
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mitch672
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Re: Peak Oil has Likely Come and Gone - Now What?

Tue May 18, 2010 10:41 am

The issue China and India have, is not only a growing middle class population that all want to buy cars, but it needs to be tempered with just how polluted their cities are - many athletes had problems just breathing at the recent Bejiing olympics, never mind competing. I do think the chinese are smart enough to realize more ICE vehicles will just make the problem worse. Yes, cost is an issue, but so is their environment, and when it's bad enough that the people can't breath, the government could impose restrictions on ICE vehicles, and mandate a percentage be "zero emissions", government can ultimatly push this in the direction they want/need to.
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AndyH
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Re: Peak Oil has Likely Come and Gone - Now What?

Tue May 18, 2010 11:50 am

Not many EV sales, true. But they're still wet behind the ears.

Oct 15, 2009
"SHANGHAI, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Chinese electric car and battery maker BYD Co Ltd's (1211.HK) nine-month car sales soared 50 percent over the previous year to almost 300,000 units, the China Securities Journal reported on Friday.

MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N), has a stake in the carmaker, which has plans to sell its all-electric car e6 in the United States starting in 2010.

Sales in September increased 88 percent to 44,000 cars, the newspaper reported, quoting an unnamed company official.

The strong sales come as China's government has been encouraging local automakers to focus on more fuel efficient models and environmentally friendly technologies."

According to a BYD press release from mid-December 2009, they sold 100 of their range extended cars in the first 8 months. They're limited to fleet sales only - the cars are not available to the general public.

How long has GM been making cars, how long have they been working on the Volt, and how many have they shipped? All hat and no cattle. :lol:

The company's core is battery and small electronic device manufacturing. [http://money.cnn.com/2009/04/13/technology/gunther_electric.fortune/]They started making batteries in 1995 and by 2000 they were one of the world's largest cell-phone battery manufacturers. They added cell phone handsets and now make handsets and parts for Motorola, Sony, Nokia, Samsung, and Ericcson.

If BYD keeps to their rapid pace, and if the US auto industry stays on their pace...

(sorry...my 2-link limit is back...)

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Re: Peak Oil has Likely Come and Gone - Now What?

Tue May 18, 2010 1:22 pm

In a NY Times opinion piece from Sep 2006, Thomas Friedman wrote:
"Any time that OPEC got a little too overzealous in pushing up oil prices back in the 1970’s, the legendary Saudi oil minister Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani was fond of telling his colleagues: Remember, the Stone Age didn’t end because we ran out of stones.

What he meant was that the Stone Age ended because people invented alternative tools. The oil age is also not going to end because we run out of oil. It will end because the price of oil goes so high that people invent alternatives. Mr. Yamani was warning his colleagues not to get too greedy and stimulate those alternatives..."


Seems that at least some of the oil industry knows exactly what they have to do to keep us hooked. The good news is that we can make history repeat itself of we care to. This chart is from the Rocky Mountain Institutes's presentation "Winning the Oil Endgame":

Image

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evnow
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Re: Peak Oil has Likely Come and Gone - Now What?

Tue May 18, 2010 1:30 pm

Every time a we changed the energy source in history - we have always gone from lower energy density to higher.

But when we try to move from oil - we would be doing it the otherway. From a very high energy density to a low density energy store (battery) and a very diffuse source of energy (wind/solar etc).
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AndyH
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Re: Peak Oil has Likely Come and Gone - Now What?

Tue May 18, 2010 2:15 pm

evnow wrote:Every time a we changed the energy source in history - we have always gone from lower energy density to higher.

But when we try to move from oil - we would be doing it the otherway. From a very high energy density to a low density energy store (battery) and a very diffuse source of energy (wind/solar etc).


I'm not sure I agree with the comparison between oil and battery. I'll have to think about that a bit more.

Ok... Oil is only an energy carrier, not an energy source - just as hydrogen and batteries are carriers. From that viewpoint, I think looking at energy density with regards to fuel transition is just a distraction. It does apply to range between fillups, though! But even that paradigm can be broken by installing coils in roads to inductively charge EVs while they drive down the interstate - or by using electric trains that carry us long distances while recharging the EV.

We absolutely need energy - and that need will keep growing. But we already know that we can get more than we need from PV and solar/thermal. We can get more from wind, tidal, biomass, and other means. We can store the energy in batteries, underground compressed air storage, by pumping water uphill, and by electrolyzing water to make hydrogen. Other methods will be invented, and current methods will be made more efficient. We can use these today to provide the energy we need even if we stick to our current level of energy use.

We've had class-8 trucks on the road since the late 1970s that cut fuel use 20% thru aerodynamics alone. We have home building methods that cut energy use by over 40%. Our land fills generate millions of cubic feet of methane each year but most of that goes into the atmosphere - that's basically free hydrocarbon energy that we're not only not using, but by allowing it to escape we're adding a green house gas. That methane can be used directly and can be converted to liquid fuel.

Lots-O-Choices!

edit... Just found this...Really Encouraging!

"Over the past few decades, the U.S. and many other countries have shown that the supposedly iron link between energy growth and economic growth can be not just reduced but reversed. In 2006, America’s absolute use of total energy, oil, gas, and coal even went down, because energy intensity fell more (3.32 percent) than the economy grew (2.78 percent).

Today America enjoys more than doubled GDP, but consumes one-half less energy and oil, two-thirds less water and directly used natural gas, and 18 percent less electricity to make a dollar of GDP than in 1975.

While directionally correct, this trend is not yet strong enough. The U.S. is still an incredibly energy-intensive society.

Denmark just grew its economy 56 percent without using more energy. Japan wrings 2–3 times more work from its energy than the U.S. does, yet has shown how to triple energy productivity again.

Reinventing Fire requires unlocking the full potential of energy efficiency."

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