Electric and Hybrid road vehicles

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Once the charging issues and higher upfront costs are resolved by increased production and sales, the main remaining issue is what to do with all the batteries at the end of their life cycle. Some of the same governments pushing electric vehicles are the same ones that take issue with battery disposal. Battery disposal taxes are only at the minor annoyance level in some jurisdictions, but the future scope of the problem given the size, quantity and construction of EV batteries is not really being addressed. Recycling or reuse efforts are going to have to be dramatically up-scaled so these things don't wind up in landfill.
 
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Once the charging issues and higher upfront costs are resolved by increased production and sales, the main remaining issue is what to do with all the batteries at the end of their life cycle. Some of the same governments pushing electric vehicles are the same ones that take issue with battery disposal. Battery disposal taxes are only at the minor annoyance level in some jurisdictions, but the future scope of the problem given the size, quantity and construction of EV batteries is not really being addressed. Recycling or reuse efforts are going to have to be dramatically up-scaled so these things don't wind up in landfill.
What has not been mentioned is the manufacturing of batteries which uses materials often mined in developing countries in some cases using child labor. There is a question whether enough raw material will be available to meet the anticipated demand if EVs totally replace ICE powered vehicles.
 
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Battery companies are heavily invested in research to find different materials that can match or exceed the energy density of the various Lithium chemistries. Cost, safety, recyclability, and geo-political considerations are all involved. Gov't funded research as well.
 

Rambling Robert

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About three years ago, I considered buying a used Nissan Leaf which had about two years left on its batteries. It was a 2013 model kind of frumpy compared to today’s Leaf and this one cost a mere $13K.

In 1998 I had a cool experience riding in a Honda Insight #1. During the demo, this teeny tiny car bolted up the steepest hill in town with no effort - carrying three passengers.

In and around 1961 I bragged to my friends that I received a Christmas gift which was a solar powered toy car. Eventually, I had to let my friends know it was not an all solar but it had was a light switch that turned the electric motor on and off.

In 1961 somehow copies Mechanics,Illustrated circulated around us neighborhood kids that made us smart. I remember solar was big as well as fuel cells for spacecraft was an awesome thought.

My niece’s husband installs Tesla solar roof systems, including the power wall. He said the people who want the Tesla power wall system have Tesla cars in their garage. By the way, they don’t install theTesla tile solar panels currently - they install the regular solar panels. There are three grades of Tesla solar Roof tiles and I think at least one of them really looks awesome. He drives a truck with a Tesla sign on its side door but it’s a Ford ha ha.

I hope he gets a tesla truck soon so I can get a ride!

By the time I decided to switch from high mileage (low mpg) gas combustion engines they’ll be plenty of used Teslas with aftermarket batteries.

But my first EV dream was 1974 when I wanted a “solar powered EV” car.

Today’s version:
 
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About three years ago, I considered buying a used Nissan Leaf which had about two years left on its batteries. It was a 2013 model kind of frumpy compared to today’s Leaf and this one cost a mere $13K.

Yea, some early Gen models of EV/PHEV can be had for cheap.

I bought a Gen2 Volt years ago for less than any decent sedan. Had 0 issues with it. Sold it to a friend when I needed to upgrade to a truck (went with a diesel truck, so I'm a tree hugger?! Maybe not so much).

Nay-sayers told me all sorts of crap:

  • "your battery will explode" - no, that was the Bolt not the Volt, and besides gas/diesel has been exploding for a century
  • "no tech will work on it" - yes they do, the new kids in the bays work on high voltage because it's HIGH pay (and some don't even like the old tech -- one guy I watch doesn't want to be bothered with things like adjusting carburetors anymore)
  • "it's more expensive mileage than ICE" - no, actually I crunched my #s and broke out even with gas @ 40MPG, but that's because around here electricity is cheap ($0.10-0.12/kwh)

Li batteries are no saint. A problem I had was mileage drops off a cliff in cold winters. My MPGe (a funny unit I really don't like but it's a necessary evil) went from >40MPGe to <20MPGe. It's the Elephant-in-the-Room the few folks talk about. EV/PHEV are great for Texas & Florida but not the Snow Belt.

And cheap electricity will make or break EV/PHEV. Folks in Cali paying high electric bills really can't be breaking even without doing funny math over a couple decades as a ROI (return on investment). If energy prices stay in flux because of world events (*cough*), somebody will have to keep crunching the #s to compare gas/diesel to electricity to see if the average person (*cough* not Tesla incomes *cough*) can really be better off driving EV/PHEV.
 
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jis

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I just charge my Plugin Hybrid using Solar power through net metered setup. In the last two years I have only drawn about 10% of my consumption (domestic, HVAC etc. + car charging) net net from the grid. The rest is from the Sun. That net draw will go to zero when I install the additional bank of panels in the near future. It kind of isolates me from the regular annual rate rises. I just have to pay a net meter connect charge which has a component for supporting the grid infrastructure, and of course any net draw from the grid.

Admittedly for me the battery backed up Solar microgrid setup was more of a geek exercise. I chose an architecture that is not the least expensive but one that is most fascinating from a techno-geek PoV.
 
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I just charge my Plugin Hybrid using Solar power through net metered setup.
Yup, I also did this. 8kw ground mounted solar. I didn't include the offset from net metered because ...

I chose an architecture that is not the least expensive but one that is most fascinating from a techno-geek PoV.
... most folks cannot afford this. Most folks will remain grid connected and constrained by electric bills. Self-installed solar is a large CapEx bill for homeowners. Mine was about $25k for professional install even after tax rebates (because old roofs weren't all designed for panels, pylons aren't cheap, and Midwest high-wind setups drive up costs).

Also, onsite solar is basically a non-starter for renters. Their landlord must put up the cash for the install, trickle down the savings in some way to tenants (is the electric bill included in the rent?!), and come out above water. I've also been a landlord in a Condo building -- anything communal like this is pulling teeth. (My fellow owners couldn't agree on the color of replacment windows ... much less solar panels on the roof.) So on-site really becomes an option for folks who can afford to be homeowners and still have disposable income to spare afterwards. It's a small pot.
 

jis

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I have actually driven a hybrid since 2004. The plugin came in 2017, the Solar setup in 2020. All happened purely for techno geek reasons. Any advantages on the environmental front are purely incidental.

The only practical way in which Apartment dwellers (which I was until 2014) can get dedicated Solar power is by buying into part of a Solar farm. Many In Florida are doing so these days. Many are also having leased Solar installed on their roof with no upfront cost and exclusive access to the generated power as part of the roof lease deal. I just own my entire setup outright, again because it was my techno geek project. Some spend their money on model railroads. I spend mine on Solar microgrid ;)
 
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