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  • #46
    Yes... hydrogen is more and more being looked into. Die-hard proponents of electric vehicles keep telling that this is because the fuel-lobby pushes it and that it is not efficient, but they are basing that on older data and are not considering the full picture. If a battery is full, it is full - whatever surplus of energy you have afterwards is lost. If on the other hand you create hydrogen and manage to store it or pump it away, you effectively have a much larger storage limit. So the net result is that - even with a lower efficiency, it may still prove to be beneficial. Furthermore, the efficiency of hydrolysis has much improved - in lab-conditions over 95% efficiency was reached.

    I don't think hydrogen will be the save-all solution, but neither will purely electric cars. We need too keep researching different options and not put all our eggs into one basket. It annoys me a bit to see how everything is so geared towards EVs that alternatives are so quickly dismissed. Even EU regulations prohibit the sale of new combustion-engine vehicles after 2035, and that includes hydrogen. I believe at the last moment an amendment was added to open the door for synthetic fuels produced from air (the technology is there but does not scale up well yet).

    edit: there is an article on The Guardian, part of a whole series: https://www.theguardian.com/business...-emission-cars. Personally, I think the series is a bit too much pro-EV and a bit too much ignoring the downsides. I'm not saying they are wrong, but they are making it look very easy and feasible, which it is not.

    Just to add my opinion... For EVs, it is always the same story: an average driver drives x km per year, which translates to y km per day, so a range of several times y suffices for everyone. This is a too simple analysis. And than the success of the transition is described by the number of cars sold... It is not the best measure: consider 3 cars: 2 drive 1000 km per year and one drives 10000 km per year. If those 2 that drive 1000 km per year are changed, the statistic will tell you that 2/3 of cars are now electric. But from an environmental point of view, it would have been much better that then one car that drives 10000 km would have been changed. Statistics are showing that EVs on average are driven less than fuel powered cars, indicating that they are often either used as a second car for local use or by people that do not drive much - of course there are exceptions. A second thing that is often overlooked is that the past and current transition to EVs was mainly by people for who the transition was feasible (type of use, charging possibilities). Now already a slow-down of the EV adoption rate is seen because now it is the time for the ones for who it is more difficult to make the transition (due to infrastructure, cost, whatever). Not much has changed in the last couple of years to address the issues for those groups, but analysts are still extrapolating that past data: this paints too optimistic a picture and reality is already showing that (car manufacturers pausing production, etc).

    Poland is a bit more leaning towards hydrogen (I don't know why, it may have to do with the energy and oil companies here), so this may influence my opinion, but I have the feeling that a lot is happening underground as industries find ways of making it work and that at one point hydrogen may emerge as some surprise alternative that nobody saw coming.
    One thing I've seen in Poland is that the people are very pragmatic: if it makes sense people will go for it. As a result for example, Poland NOW has more photovoltaic panels than it anticipated in 2020 to have by 2030; the growth entirely due to households. I'm somehow anticipating that hydrogen is not pushed, but makes enough sense for companies that they just do it without being too open about it. The Warsaw public transport company already has over 300 purely electric buses, but they are now also testing 2 hydrogen buses. They would not do that if there would be no point: there is no push for PR purpose, there are no financing mechanisms and they already have experience with pure electric and have an infrastructure for it. So I think something is up with hydrogen in the future. Maybe not as the main technology for cars - and it does not have to be - but things are happening and it should not be dismissed.
    Last edited by VJ; 13 February 2024, 03:15.
    pixar
    Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow. (James Dean)

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    • #47
      In its fourth quarter earnings statement on Thursday, Mercedes-Benz said it is backing off its plan to only sell electric vehicles after 2030. Instead, the company said it "only expects 50 percent of its sales to be all-electric -- a significant drop from the once rosier outlook," reports The Verge....

      In its fourth quarter earnings statement on Thursday, Mercedes-Benz said it is backing off its plan to only sell electric vehicles after 2030. Instead, the company said it "only expects 50 percent of its sales to be all-electric -- a significant drop from the once rosier outlook," reports The Verge. "Gas and hybrid vehicles will remain a part of the company's future for years to come." From the report:​

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      • #48
        Lucid and Rivian are lowering their targets for 2024 sales: https://jalopnik.com/lucid-and-rivia...024-1851277732, https://www.theautopian.com/automake...rs-is-limited/

        Especially the second link seems to hint more at the fact that the cars are just too expensive: all of these brands are fishing in the same pool of expensive cars, but there is a limited number of people that can afford them. More such manufacturers => less sales for all of them.

        An article in a Belgian newspaper claimed that some NGO says that car manufacturers do not want to sell cheap electric cars. I think they seem to ignore the difficulties in making an electric car that has good range, decent size and meets all the required safety standards (new EU standards require things such as AEB, recognition of speed limits, ...). Battery prices will have to go down, charging infrastructure will have to improve to accommodate people that cannot charge at home. Without those two changes, many people won't make the transition to EV.

        Tesla seems to manage the prices better, but let's not forget that they earn 1.8 bln dollars on selling carbon credits to other manufacturers ( https://jalopnik.com/tesla-made-1-8-...yea-1851247688 ). As other manufacturers are increasing their share of EVs, it means they will need to buy less carbon credits from Tesla. The Tesla CFO in 2020 said that they expect those credits to dissipate in the future, but so far it has not reduced.
        Last edited by VJ; 24 February 2024, 03:26.
        pixar
        Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow. (James Dean)

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        • #49
          Originally posted by UtwigMU View Post
          Very interesting video on hydrogen.
          In the renewable energy space, a lot of excitement is building up around green hydrogen. This is a clean way of making hydrogen that does not require carbon ...


          Main takeaways: prices are coming down, 50kWh required to make 1kg H2 which is equivalent of a gallon. As prices of renewable energy come down it will become competitive.

          It is already competitive in commercial forklifts - better than batteries. Another area is trains. In North America due to specifics 99% of tracks are not electrified so hydrogen is viable to replace diesel. Hydrogen trains are already a reality. Honda, GM, Cummins are players. Toyota also has new H2 models coming up.
          I'll watch and need to read up a bit. As I understand it, one issue with H2 is that the molecules are so small that it is rather hard to avoid leakage. Meanwhile, I've been a fan of https://www.battolysersystems.com/ for years even when they were still a Uni startup.

          Join MURCs Distributed Computing effort for Rosetta@Home and help fight Alzheimers, Cancer, Mad Cow disease and rising oil prices.
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          • #50
            Originally posted by VJ View Post
            An article in a Belgian newspaper claimed that some NGO says that car manufacturers do not want to sell cheap electric cars. I think they seem to ignore the difficulties in making an electric car that has good range, decent size and meets all the required safety standards (new EU standards require things such as AEB, recognition of speed limits, ...). Battery prices will have to go down, charging infrastructure will have to improve to accommodate people that cannot charge at home. Without those two changes, many people won't make the transition to EV.
            Also, innovation for cars has always gone from premium models to mainstream and it can take a while before they feed down to lower-priced models. I wonder how long it took, for instance, for ABS between introduction in premium models to being default in mainstream models. I think that took well over 10 years. And that was tech that simply got cheaper with mass-production, perfection of tech etc. Batteries? Not sure how much better a battery is today compared to 10 years ago.
            Airbags, another example.
            Last edited by Umfriend; 24 February 2024, 05:58.
            Join MURCs Distributed Computing effort for Rosetta@Home and help fight Alzheimers, Cancer, Mad Cow disease and rising oil prices.
            [...]the pervading principle and abiding test of good breeding is the requirement of a substantial and patent waste of time. - Veblen

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            • #51
              Yes... Well... Battery technology has improved, but still remains costly. The uncertainties on range and perhaps even moreso public charging possibilities are hampering the adoption. Fun anecdote: a Dutch colleague with a Tesla was surprised when he came to Poland by car and noticed that instead of nearly 500 km of range, he had less 200 km.... A combination of -16⁰C and 140 kph highways have that effect on the range: he expected to drive Poznan-Warsaw in one go, but had to stop twice to charge (in Netherlands, he doesn't drive such distances in such conditions). He also was surprised to see that a slow charger in -16⁰C is not capable of charging the car at all: it provides barely enough power to maintain a healthy battery-temperature for charging, but then there is no power left for charging. This also implies that charging times on fast chargers are longer than in warmer temperatures.
              Quite often the comparison with Norway or Finland is made, but there is a difference: people there tend to drive from home to a place and back and usually can charge at home. This is facilitated by the much stronger electricity grid, which is prepared for sauna's, and the much smaller cities and less densely populated areas. Other countries don't have such a capable grid. People tend to overlook such "details", but they make all the difference.
              pixar
              Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow. (James Dean)

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              • #52
                In its fourth quarter earnings statement on Thursday, Mercedes-Benz said it is backing off its plan to only sell electric vehicles after 2030. Instead, the company said it "only expects 50 percent of its sales to be all-electric -- a significant drop from the once rosier outlook," reports The Verge....

                In its fourth quarter earnings statement on Thursday, Mercedes-Benz said it is backing off its plan to only sell electric vehicles after 2030. Instead, the company said it "only expects 50 percent of its sales to be all-electric -- a significant drop from the once rosier outlook," reports The Verge. "Gas and hybrid vehicles will remain a part of the company's future for years to come." From the report:​

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                • #53
                  I think politicians who mandated post 2030 EV only are thinking they will be retired by that time and someone else will deal with the problem. Otherwise we would be upgrading power generation, grids and parking lots. I think charging and range are the main problem for EVs and we will have several technologies coexisting for some time.

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                  • #54
                    I think people tend to underestimate just how much energy is needed for an EV and how energy-dense fuel really is.
                    You read about 11 kW chargers, 50 kW chargers, fast chargers of 225 kW and more. A single phase on a household offers 4-5 kW, in EU the standard household connection with three fases max out at around 12 kW, a high power induction cooking plate takes around 7.5 kW max.
                    Charging at 225 kW equals taking the maximum power of almost 20 households (three phase, 12kW). Our institute's windtunnel takes around 240 kW; when we want to run it full power we have to contact the grid operator to ensure there is no brown-out. We try to limit our impact on the grid by switching of other devices (our 20kW heatpump, ...), use it on a sunny day (to benefit from our 150 kW photovoltaics), etc... And now there are consumer devices that take that much power and we expect to easily plug/unplug whenever/wherever?
                    While we need fast chargers for far travel, the bigger issue is that we need A LOT of slow chargers for overnight charging (they can be slow, but it will require quite an extensive distributed network) before people will feel comfortable enough knowing they can charge. A grid operator in Netherlands doesn't want people to charge between 16.00 and 21.00, as it puts too much strain on the grid ( https://tweakers.net/nieuws/219076/s...r-opladen.html ). That is perhaps doable when you can charge at home, but if you are dependent on a public charging infrastructure, it suddenly becomes much less convenient to find/use a charger if you have such restrictions (not mention that some charging operators start to bill extra if you are using the charging point longer than 2 hours).
                    Last edited by VJ; 28 February 2024, 06:58.
                    pixar
                    Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow. (James Dean)

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                    • #55
                      Here we are building out the charging networks, or I should say Tesla is doing most of it because they have factories they can build their chargers at. Michigan is putting level 2 chargers in state parks, and fast chargers along the peninsula perimeter highways and up the middle of the mitten. Pretty good coverage.

                      The version 4 supercharger can go up to 650 kwh in standard form, but there is a version called the megacharger which can charge at 1000 kwh. For now the Tesla semi and cybertruck will be able to use this. It's up to the automakers to the side what power level they want their vehicle to support.

                      What Tesla is doing is setting up battery farms to help stabilize the grid and to store power for their charging systems, often cosited with their supercharger stations. Each megapack battery holds about 3.9 MWh. This power is usually generated by off peak plants which are generating at night. Also they are using power generated by renewables, which with nuclearare almost 1/2 of US generation now. US generation went up 10% just during 2023

                      Our local utility already has in their pocket a permit to build a new reactor south of Detroit, and the state is talking about bringing a recently retired reactor back into service.

                      In the US coal is now down to under 20% of generation.
                      Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 13 March 2024, 14:54.
                      Dr. Mordrid
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                      An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

                      I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

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                      • #56
                        In Netherlands, now Utrecht is talking of switching off public EV chargers between 16.00 and 21.00 to avoid grid congestion ( https://tweakers.net/nieuws/219804/g...laadpalen.html ). Netherlands has the largest amount of EV chargers of European countries (around 1/3 of public EV chargers in Europe are in Netherlands), but it has problems with the grid not being able to keep up. Many regions do not allow new connections and do not allow increasing the power of existing connections.

                        Of course batteries in chargers to some extent solve the issue of the powerdraw during charging, but the power still has to be generated. We just need a lot generation as everything gets electrified (cars, heating, ...) and stronger grids to move the power, but those things go slow. The issue is that grid problems (and measures such as in Utrecht) will slow down the adoption rate.
                        pixar
                        Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow. (James Dean)

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                        • #57
                          Our utility avoids charging during early evening hours by charging higher rates during that., in charging much lower rates between 2300 and 0600 - what we call off peak charging. Over 80% of our charging.

                          Many homes in the Detroit area also have three phase power. In years past and still today there are what's known as jobbies. Jobbies are small and often home shops that do work for the auto companies as independent contractors. The area was wired to accommodate them. When we bought our house it was from a jobbie, and the garage came with an attached shop, giant air compressor, its own furnace and three phase power
                          Dr. Mordrid
                          ----------------------------
                          An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

                          I carry a gun because I can't throw a rock 1,250 fps

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                          • #58
                            Actually, net congestion is a real issue here. We basically never have brown/black-outs but that is because the grid agency basically tells its customer no to new or upgraded connections. Quite a few companies literally can not grow their business for lack of it. It is the result of the way we privatised the retail energy market where we would have a semi-public grid agency that was to ensure they spent as little as possible on the grid because, you know, cost! So from a over-provisioned net, which surely has its cost, we went to a grid with few reserve capacity. And in a densely populated country where space is hard to come by, expanding the net is not that easy. Technically it is, legally and politically it is a challenge.
                            Join MURCs Distributed Computing effort for Rosetta@Home and help fight Alzheimers, Cancer, Mad Cow disease and rising oil prices.
                            [...]the pervading principle and abiding test of good breeding is the requirement of a substantial and patent waste of time. - Veblen

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