Sunday, December 17, 2017

Been Looking For This To Happen

A minor amount of buzz happened a little over a month ago with headlines around California Assemblymember Phil Ting announcing he'd introduce a bill to ban the sale of new gas engine cars in 2040. China, France, India, Netherlands, and UK have similar plans with varying deadlines. Cal Gov Jerry Brown has asked why China can do this and California hasn't.

So one legislator saying he'll introduce a bill is a far cry from something actually happening. Still, he's on at least one of the relevant legislative committees, Committee on Utilities and Energy. We'll learn more when he actually has a bill. Even if it doesn't succeed, this could be the start.

This Newsweek article says that new gas cars from after 2040 won't be allowed to register in California, so if you buy a new one somewhere else and move here, you'll have to sell your car. That will affect their value outside California. After a few years, it'll be a lot harder to find places selling gas. It wouldn't make much sense to buy a gas car in California a few years before the deadline.

I think this is politically feasible in California, home of Tesla and with an actual acceptance of climate change science. I'm glad to see Phil Ting push this forward, but there are a lot of ambitious Democratic politicians who could show their vision by supporting this. And what about you, Jerry Brown?

What might even be possible is something sooner than 2040. Even 2035 would start to redirect long-term R&D planning by car manufacturers in the near future.

20 comments:

Fernando Leanme said...

I can see this evolving to be like prohibition, with plug in hybrid cars being smuggled across state lines from Arizona in containers labeled "marihuana".

Russell Seitz / Bright Water said...

To realize Brian's dream, California's grid will need 15 million 20 kilowatt cars worth of peak charging capacity.

That's pushing a terawatt of new capacity.

The only dream house 've seen with enough silicon on the roof for off grid Telsla charging belongs to the founder of Wired

Canman said...

This is government deciding at the top what technology will be used. I think electric cars have a bright future, but should all cars be electric? Is it possible to make them all electric? Cal Tech's Nate Lewis has been researching turning sunlight into hydrocarbon fuels for years:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUKqx2uk-Gs

Could Lewis's vision possibly prove to be more practical, economical or even less carbon intensive over all in the long run? What are the unforeseen problems with electric cars? There are almost certainly places where hydrocarbon fueled cars are still better. A complete ban smacks of the kind of central planning where, say, Mao ordered a bunch of useless iron smelters to be built. Look at the mess Venezuela's in.

Canman said...

Here's one of the best posts I've ever seen on banning ICEs:

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/12/china-to-ban-gasoline-powered-passenger-cars-say-goodbye-to-gasoline-in-fantasy-land/

Tom said...

Aside from black markets rejoicing at the prospect, how would California treat cars from other states? Would automotive tourism be forbidden? What would prevent someone from buying and registering their car in Nevada?

I think the idea needs some more thought.

Phil Hays said...

RS: "California's grid will need 15 million 20 kilowatt cars worth of peak charging capacity.

That's pushing a terawatt of new capacity."

Or that's bad math. Which is it?

Let us try to do it better. If every car was charging all the time at 20kW, when would the cars be driving to use all of that energy stored? How far would they drive per day? A real brain boondoggler, eh?

Perhaps we should start with how much driving people do, rather than assuming all cars are charging 100% of the time at the rate of a Tesla on a high end home charging station.

The average driver in California drives 14,435 miles. At 4 miles per kWh, that is 3610kWh per year. Or an average usage of 0.411 kW. Or 6.2 GW for all 15 million of California's cars.


With 25% sun availability, a solar array of 1.7 kW would provide enough energy per day ignoring conversion losses. So envelope assume that to be 30% losses, and we need about 2.5 kW in solar cells. That is about half the size of the average home solar system.

Cars can mostly change when electric power is in oversupply, so new capacity isn't needed until the load is more or less constant. Charge at 11 PM to 5 AM, when little power is used. Or between 9 AM and 4 PM, when there is often too much solar power on California's grid.


Now, I get about 4 miles per kWh with my electric car. But I would get less if I drove more high speed miles, or lived in a colder place, and so on. So maybe a lower number might be justified. Maybe 3 miles per kWh. Really cold places might be even 2 miles per kWh.


Need to account for trucks as well. I didn't do that.

Russell Seitz / Bright Water said...

Phil, an IC ban means replacing all the vehicles people buy and drive, not glorified golf carts.
That means electric SUV's and trucks in the 20 to 200 KW range and the means to recharge the whole vehicle spectrum in a hurry- fast echarging peaks add a zero to a base motor output of some hundreds of gigawatts.

Phil Hays said...


There are about as many light trucks and Suburban assaUlt Vehicles as cars. They use more energy per mile, the Tesla Model X SUV, for example, gets around 3 miles per kWh. At the same 14,435 miles per year, that would be 548 watts average. Would still be covered by the average retail solar install. A local delivery truck or working pickup might be half that M/kWh, assuming the same miles per year might need a 8 kW solar install to cover that usage. Semi trucks would be around 0.5 miles per kWh.

The peak rate that the car can charge at only matters if all cars charge at full rate at the same time. Most of the time (90+%) charging is deferrable: the car can be plugged in for 8 to 14 hours, and in many cases would need an hour or so of charging. So like AC units in some places, giving the utility control over when changing happens could make the load a lot easier to supply.

Notice that as batteries get more energy dense and cheaper, the load becomes even more deferrable. Battery prices have plummeted, and are likely to continue to do so.

DCQC (Direct Current Quick Charge) is usually far more expensive, so drivers tend to use only when needed. As battery prices continue to fall, we might convert these fast peak sources to a deferrable load by adding a battery store as part of the DCQC. At projected 2020 battery prices this would add about $0.06 per kWh to the already expensive DCQC rates, assuming daily cycling of the station's battery.

Hundreds of gigawatts would require vastly more miles per driver. Who is going to drive 3000 miles per day? Or some crazy idea that everyone charges at lunchtime. Not reasonable answers.

Likely answer is that 10% capacity added is probably more than enough.

EliRabett said...

Dano, somewhere back there, pointed out that solar sheds shielding parking spots could be used to charge electric cars.

Russell Seitz / Bright Water said...

Eli:
Roofs are good , especially if you paint them white; OTOH shading asphalt with silicon does no harm.

Phil. , 548 watts x 24 hours is ~ ten HP hours-- the golf cart seems paradigmatic.

Phil Hays said...

https://youtu.be/c4MRydmz86E

Phil Hays said...

Faster than a Aston Martin V12 Vantage S

Phil Hays said...

Faster than a Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4

Phil Hays said...

Faster than a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Phil Hays said...

What do you drive, RS?

Is it slower than a Ferrari 458 Italia?

The NIO EP9 is way faster than a Ferrari 458 Italia.

Brian Schmidt said...

We'll see what's in the eventual legislation, but given that light trucks and heavy trucks are further behind in electrification, I'd expect those to have later deadlines than passenger cars for phaseout.

BTW, let's not forget utility scale renewables, not to mention hydro. I'm not even opposed to nukes if they perform economically, which is doubtful.

Ting is saying new ICE cars from out of state after 2040 won't be allowed to register in California, so you'll have to sell or leave your newer ICE cars behind. I'm not quite sure what forces people to re-register anyway today, maybe just a legal requirement that eventually will get people in trouble if they don't. My guess is the legislation will eventually soften that out-of-state ban to a hefty annual fee, at least for a few years of transition time. Again it won't matter much after 5-10 years, the gas stations will be so sparse that only hobbyists will have vintage ICE cars.

As for hydrogen-powered, I'll guarantee those won't be subject to the ban.

Bernard J. said...

My favourite electric car still has to be the White Zombie from around a decade ago, purely for the incongruence of a Datsun leaving everything else in the dust. The team used to go to drags and pick on unsuspecting muscle car drivers who had no idea of the torque of which an electric motor was capable, and they'd be almost ritually humiliated on the tracks. I seem to remember my first exposure was of a red corvette getting the treatment...

These days Formula E makes electric racing mainstream. Whilst not a rev head myself, Formula E could be good from the perspective of promoting advances in electric motor tech for the street. What I'd really like to see though is something that combines both speed and endurance - some serious torturous hill climbs along a course could really push motors and batteries along.

Phil Hays said...

Oh, and here is a golf cart.

https://youtu.be/W0-vFUdeiDU?t=58

So last century.

Phil Hays said...


White Zombie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apoeGMWF17c

Phil Hays said...

"If every car was charging all the time at 20kW, how far would they drive per day?"

24 hours * 20 kW * 4 miles per kWh is 1920 miles per day.

15 million cars charging at a terrawatt for 24 hours a day * 4 miles per kWh is 6400 miles per day. At 12 hours per day of charging, 3200 miles per day.

Even if EVERY car were replaced with a semi truck at 0.5 miles per kWh, that's 800 miles a day every day. At the allowed 60-hour/7-day FMCSA limit, the trucks would need to average 93 miles per hour. So then replace every car with a semi truck, and have them all driving the freeways at over 93 mile per hour. Somehow I can't see the freeways in California taking this. (OK, semi trucks would probably not get 0.5 miles per kWh at over 93 miles per hour. Answer is closer to 80 MPH).

Or if the cars were all driving at 160 miles per hour, then might average near 0.5 miles per kWh. Again, I've driven in both LA and Bay Area, I don't see this happening all the time. And would still need to drive 800 miles per day. But that would be only five hours of driving...

How could one possibly use a terrawatt for California's cars?

A real brain boondoggler, eh?

Wonder how many times I need to beat this zombie horse to death?