Category Archives: Electric Vehicles

Moving The Dial Towards A Survivable Future

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Electric Cars are catching on. Survey says, 14% would by an eV right now if they are going to buy any car at all. See: Americans are coming around on electric cars. An additional 22% say they would seriously consider an eV. That adds up to a lot.

Deadline August 19th!!!!: President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is in place “Clean air advocates are trying to get the word out about the U.S. EPA’s 2022 Clean School Bus Program, which offers rebates to help public schools replace up to 25 diesel buses with electric, propane, or compressed natural gas vehicles.” (source) Call your state legislator and see if they are filling out all the forms to get this free money!

The Department of Energy wants to give money to states and tribes to fix up their grids. From Utility Dive:

The Department of Energy on Wednesday started taking applications from states, Native American tribes and U.S. territories to receive federal funding for projects to bolster grid resilience in the face of increasing power outages driven by extreme weather.

The funding, $2.3 billion over five years, can cover a range of projects including hardening the grid, building distributed energy resources and setting up microgrids.

With applications due by Sept. 30, the DOE said it will put a priority on projects that will generate the greatest community benefit in reducing the likelihood and consequences of power outages because of extreme weather or other disruptive events like cyberattacks.

The EPA is pushing TVA to build non-fossil fuel infrastructure instead of methane burning plants, to bolster its output. “EPA’s statements, filed last week, are the latest in a tug of war between the federal government and TVA over carbon-reduction efforts. They also follow comments by leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which pressed TVA in January to realign its trajectory to match the Biden administration’s goal of a decarbonized U.S. power sector by 2035” (source)

Starved of interest, another coal mine dies. Ironically named “Sunrise Coal” will not dig its Bulldog Mine, the permit to do so having expired. “Sunrise Coal did not break ground or request an extension, and the land reclamation bond has been returned, signaling a permanent end to the proposed mine.” (source)

San Luis Obispo City Council adopted the county’s first mandatory all-electric building code on July 5, following cities like Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles in passing near bans on natural gas infrastructure in new buildings.

“Starting in 2023, all new buildings in San Luis Obispo will have to be all-electric, with few exceptions. The policy—which has been under discussion in SLO for more than two years—is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector caused by natural gas appliances and their infrastructure.” (source)

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If all the vehicles are electric, where will the energy come from?

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That is a complicated question I will not answer here. But it also a stupid and misleading question, and that part of it I comment on, in relation to Minnesota specifically:

In Minnesota, between a third and half of the energy we expend is converted into useless heat or work, mainly owing to that fact that converting the source matter into something that produces usable energy has useless heat as a byproduct.

A large (and at this time not accurately accounted for) amount of energy is used moving or refining fossil fuels. Minnesota refines and moves (through pipelines and on trains) more energy-related matter (oil and coal) than any other state that does not also produce such products. We have no oil or gas wells, and no coal, but we are the crossroads for much of that material. If we did none of that, a pretty good amount of energy would be freed up for use elsewhere.

We use energy at an uneven rate throughout the day. If we mostly used electric vehicles, they would be mostly charged at night when demand is currently low.

People sometimes ask: If we stop burning fuel to make things move, and instead use electricity, where are we going to get all that electricity? (When someone asks you that, usually the answer they have in mind and that they are leading yo to, is “nuclear energy! free and clean!” so watch out for that.)

A huge amount of the energy we use now is used to do nothing. It is either turned into heat or it is used to make more of the stuff that we use to use energy. Simplistic questions like “If all the vehicles are electric, where will the energy come from?” this exist outside the actual reality of energy use. Ignore them and learn about energy use and transmission.

Read books like Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. See also: 2030 Report: Powering America’s Clean Economy

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This is the decade when electric cars replace gas cars

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Electric cars will be cheaper to produce than internal combustion engine cars by 2027, according to a study commissioned by Transport & Environment in Brussels. Electric car sales have been booming in Europe. Meanwhile, in North America, Uper and Lyft are acting like electric cars are a futuristic idea that may or may not work out, and lag terribly in their adoption of the only possible future technology. Part of the rising interest in electric cars is the realistic prospect of batteries that will have much longer range, use fewer nasty chemicals, and be cheaper. Buy an electric car with a 300 mile range now, after a quarter million nearly maintenance free miles, you’ll replace the batteries and upgrade your range to 500 miles, perhaps. Why would you not do that?

Electric car hate is a cultural phenomenon restricted to only certain geography and certain subgroups. Mainly, American Republicans. Especially Rural American Republicans, who do actually have a point that their vastly spread out sparsely populated regions are not quite eV ready. But they will be, and there is no reason for them to ruin it for everyone else, other than their own desire to be known as royal pains in the ass. (Not sure how one pluralized that.)

For example, in Minnesota, the adoption of a clean car rule, which would enhance access to more choice at the dealer for electric car buyers, was vehemently opposed by people falsely claiming that more eV cars on the lots would raise ICE car prices (not true, not true) or, in one case, more electric cars would cause the starvation and possible death of their children (not true, not true). Minnesota had to fight hard to get that rule instated by an administrative law judge, but it got approved, so Governor Walz can now move forward with this very important thing despite opposition from state Republicans, who seem to have only one purpose in life: to make Liberals cry.

Meanwhile, even as opposition to electric buses comes from climate deniers and pro-bio-fuel advocates alike, Lion Electric of Canada plans to build an electric bus plant in Illinois. Labor unions take note: It will create 750 actual jobs that won’t go away when we turn the petroleum spigot off. Please try to act like you care, because you should care or you should get out of the way.

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