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Can The Electric Grid Handle All Electric Cars?

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  • Can The Electric Grid Handle All Electric Cars?

    Jason Fenske, aka Engineering Explained, is one of the my favorite vehicle and life videographers. He is sensible and sane, and puts out some excellent vehicle vehicle power plant videos — especially about our Corvettes, with our V8 gas-using motors. Here he steps into a field that IMO would be useful for all of us to watch and learn

    Here he attacks a very controversial subject. I hope some will watch this video, Too bad it is only at the end that he makes it clear that he does not endorse going to all electric cars at once — nor does he believe it will happen.

    If you watch this video, you will learn something, And given that it will take decades regarding of social or political or economic policies for our country to move to even to 75% electrical vehicles, let me summarize by saying I learned a hell of lot by watching this video from beginning to end specifically about our U.S.’s power grid to be able to handle that transition over time.

    Do I want to see all electric vehicles smashed into our faces by public policy? NO, I do not. but I did learn a bunch about out countries ability to make a timed transition toward electric vehicles. I hope you choose to watch it.

    Please note that stereotypic posts below about republicans or democrats or past or current presidents and similar comments will be categorically removed.

    GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

  • #2
    Thanks for posting a very thought provoking video on EV’s future. Jason has a common sense approach that I always enjoy listening too. One option I have spent some time researching is a home solar system to power my house. The systems are getting better but are still very pricey and take about 10 years for your ROI. My big dilemma is after 10 years does your lithium batteries need replacement. Only time will tell. But regardless our energy needs will only increase as we go forward and much smarter folks than me will be up to the challenges of the solutions.

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    • #3
      I recently had a representative of a Solar Cell install company at my home discussing my solar options. When I asked him about banking the energy via a battery on my mancave (garage) wall, (to get off the grid) in this way I’d be insulated from power outages, he’d advised that currently, it’s cost prohibitive; unless I were to do so via a bank of car batteries. The Tesla Battery known as the Powerwall, would cost just shy of $10,000; and have to be replaced approximately every 7 - 10 years. Additionally, to “bank” the energy I’ve retrieved from solar and based on my current energy usage, I’d either have to reduce my energy consumption or increase the total # of Tesla Powerwall batteries.

      Thus, an initial investment of approximately $54,000 for the solar panels on the ground, plus an additional $20,000 for two Powerwall Cells installed, even after taking into account the Federal & State energy rebates, since I’d still be required to replace the Powerwall batteries every 10 years, based on today’s costs, I’d never receive a ROI, but at least I’ll be green 🥴

      However, If I built a bank of car batteries and then built a shed around them, I’d still have to replace the car batteries too. Am I missing something here? It simply makes no sense to me from an investment perspective if I’m continuously replacing the solar cells (every 15 - 20 years for Panasonic), the solar banks, having the utility companies buying back my energy and everything in between, while at the same time, if I Invested in all of that and was still “on the grid” without a bank, when my area had power outages, I’d lose my power too but again, at least I can take solace in the fact that I went green. 🤢
      Last edited by hogyld; 02-13-2021, 06:04 AM. Reason: Clarified longevity for certain brand of solar cell
      07/01/20 Deposit @ VanBortels on 2021 C8 Coupe; 08/01/20 Prelim Order Status 1100; 01/21/21 Final Order Status 2000; 01/27/21 Status 3000; 03/06/21 Status 3300 (TPW 03/22/21); 03/16/21 Status 3400; 03/22/21 Status 3800; 03/23/21 Status 4B00; 03/26/21 Status 4D00: Status 4200; 04/02/21; 04/06/21 Status 5000; 2LT Coupe; GMO; DSZ; Q8Q; HTA; AQ9; E60; FE2; NPP; ERI

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      • #4
        THe electric charging happens at night so balancing of power production to power consumption should be easy even on our old outdated power grid...

        although having a gasoline generator wouldnt be the worst backup plan...

        i was a little concerned as I watched california mandate brown outs this past year....which honestly turned me off to electrics for this go round of vehicle purchase this spring.


        i had a reservation on the mach E that I let go. I didnt want to deal with riots, looting, and the inability to travel non stop without long recharging times...plus the GT wasnt available in time and it blew past the state bonus tax benefits of $5000 if the vehicle was priced under 55 grand...(ugh) and no sales tax...plus the federal $7500 looked to have been close to timing out with the 200k units...


        rumor is the 200k unit limit is about to be lifted to 600k units...

        Comment


        • #5
          Norway is a poor example of what can happen in the USA. Hydroelectric produces the bulk of Norway's power. Hydro is very flexible on being able to change electric production by time of day. You just more of the water through the turbines at night. On electric grids powered by nuclear and fossil fuel, nuclear plants by their design can only run flat out, and cannot be throttled. Fossil plants exist of various designs. They run more intensely during high demand periods, and during lower demand, can be taken off line. This is when maintenance is performed. So, running them more intensely eats into the maintenance hours.

          Extensive adoption of electric cars will ultimately require time sensitive retail rates that vary by hour, reflecting real time cost on the grid. Car chargers will have controllers that allow charging when the costs are low, and cut off charging when costs are high.

          I know a science challenged person who thought they could charge their car off of a home solar array, but expects to charge the car at night.

          To do that would require the solar array to charge an enormous home Tesla battery, and then at night, the home Tesla battery would have to transfer its stored energy to the car. Sounds pretty expensive.

          When air conditioning became common in the 1955-1980 time period, electric utilities had fits constructing new plants to meet the demand, and sizeable rate increases occurred annually on the ratepayers. Expect more of the same with mass extensive utilization of electric cars.

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          • #6
            Im under the impression power supply and demand have to be equal?

            i would assume nighttime demand is lower than daytime demand?

            wouldnt an electric vehicle charging time in the middle of the night create greater balance for electric companies ?

            i dont quite understand all the details of electric energy production etc...but am hopeful the move to electric vehicles in the United states makes ecological sense. Id hate to have to hear more whining of environmentalists after shoving electric cars down our throats...lol

            kidding ...the acceleration and low center of gravity are the alluring factors of evs for many of us gear heads.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JB View Post
              Im under the impression power supply and demand have to be equal?

              i would assume nighttime demand is lower than daytime demand?

              wouldnt an electric vehicle charging time in the middle of the night create greater balance for electric companies ?

              i dont quite understand all the details of electric energy production etc...but am hopeful the move to electric vehicles in the United states makes ecological sense. Id hate to have to hear more whining of environmentalists after shoving electric cars down our throats...lol

              kidding ...the acceleration and low center of gravity are the alluring factors of evs for many of us gear heads.
              There is another problem.... what I call: The last mile problem. Residential Elect. Distribution will have to be significantly upgraded to handle a hood like mine with 500 homes.... all with E Cars... coming home from work to charge up... Unless everyone in the community has a battery wall that they can “dump” electric into to offset some of the demand brought on by an all electric transportation system... its pretty simple.... Bigger WIRE... bigger transformers, yadayadayada.... right back to the source. Elon’s working this but its going to take a Village...
              202(1 or 2) Arctic White HTC Z51 with all the Goodies 😎

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              • #8
                Notwithstanding whether "The Electric Grid Handle All Electric Cars", I continue to question universal customer demand/acceptance of electric vehicles. I'm not clamoring for EV and I get the feeling many on this forum are not either at least not for their Corvettes. I would be interested in reviewing market research done on this topic to see exactly what the consumer demand is for EV. While having some public financial incentive to encourage EV is fine in its formative stages, requiring that kinda public assistance on a permanent basis doesn't seem viable to me.

                I see GM has said all electric by 2035. Those are smart folks so they must have done research that shows by 2035 EV is all the customer will want. Show me the data to support that!! I know I haven't been asked. I could see having an EV family sedan so I'm certainly not a detractor. If I was a car company I would make sure the decision going for all EV by a certain time in the future was clearly supported by customer demand and the industry could be successful and profitable without ongoing public assistance. After all, the market place will be the determiner of EV usage.

                A quick look for evidence of current and future demand produced some McKinsey research. Here's one sentence from the research:

                "EV sales rose 65 percent from 2017 to 2018 (Exhibit 1). But in 2019, the number of units sold increased only to 2.3 million, from 2.1 million, for year-on-year growth of just 9 percent. Equally sobering, EV sales declined by 25 percent during the first quarter of 2020. The days of rapid expansion have ceased—or at least paused temporarily."

                Throwing all my eggs in the EV bucket by a set time in the future seems to me to be a very risky decision. Full article:

                https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/...t%20production.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Boomer View Post
                  Notwithstanding whether "The Electric Grid Handle All Electric Cars", I continue to question universal customer demand/acceptance of electric vehicles. I'm not clamoring for EV and I get the feeling many on this forum are not either at least not for their Corvettes. I would be interested in reviewing market research done on this topic to see exactly what the consumer demand is for EV. While having some public financial incentive to encourage EV is fine in its formative stages, requiring that kinda public assistance on a permanent basis doesn't seem viable to me.

                  I see GM has said all electric by 2035. Those are smart folks so they must have done research that shows by 2035 EV is all the customer will want. Show me the data to support that!! I know I haven't been asked. I could see having an EV family sedan so I'm certainly not a detractor. If I was a car company I would make sure the decision going for all EV by a certain time in the future was clearly supported by customer demand and the industry could be successful and profitable without ongoing public assistance. After all, the market place will be the determiner of EV usage.

                  A quick look for evidence of current and future demand produced some McKinsey research. Here's one sentence from the research:

                  "EV sales rose 65 percent from 2017 to 2018 (Exhibit 1). But in 2019, the number of units sold increased only to 2.3 million, from 2.1 million, for year-on-year growth of just 9 percent. Equally sobering, EV sales declined by 25 percent during the first quarter of 2020. The days of rapid expansion have ceased—or at least paused temporarily."

                  Throwing all my eggs in the EV bucket by a set time in the future seems to me to be a very risky decision. Full article:

                  https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/...t%20production.
                  And EXTREMELY costly to build out.... not to mention the constraints associated with where does all the lithium come from and where do I put it when its toast?? GM see’s massive build and maintain savings via all electric transportation... its not that simple and if you take it back to the coal pile the carbon foot print so promoted by the Green’s is a mystery without any clues... I’ll die with C8 keys in my hand (oh wait... maybe?) and 1200 hp strapped to the back of my boat which includes a 600 gallon reservoir for dinosaur juice... 😎🚣‍♂️🏎
                  202(1 or 2) Arctic White HTC Z51 with all the Goodies 😎

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by UCF.Fan48 View Post

                    There is another problem.... what I call: The last mile problem. Residential Elect. Distribution will have to be significantly upgraded to handle a hood like mine with 500 homes.... all with E Cars... coming home from work to charge up... Unless everyone in the community has a battery wall that they can “dump” electric into to offset some of the demand brought on by an all electric transportation system... its pretty simple.... Bigger WIRE... bigger transformers, yadayadayada.... right back to the source. Elon’s working this but its going to take a Village...
                    Maybe. IF, as has been stated, most of the power demand for charging is at night, when other electric use is low, then the existing infrastructure ,may be adequate. Or at least not need as major an upgrade as one might think. And it's not something that has to happen over night. Even if all NEW car sales are electric by 2035, as GM is shooting for, it will take more than a decade after that for all the cars on the road to be electric. The current infrastructure of crude oil pipelines, rail cars, and ships, refineries, gasoline pipelines, local distribution centers, tanker trucks and neighborhood gas stations didn't arise overnight.
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                    • #11
                      The real need is for a new electric infrastructure in this country. If, somehow, a bi-partisan legitimate commission could be instituted to figure this out, there is a very strong chance they will find that NEW, SAFE nuclear power plants built IN THE RIGHT PLACES around the country will be the answer. The first need is the grid to be studied and carefully planned.
                      Ceramic Gray Metallic Z51 w/TT interior Spec Grey Wheels

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                      • #12
                        Where there’s a Will ... there’s a Way!

                        Las Vegas has no problem keeping the lights on in a Deserted
                        [2021 2LT-Z51-HTC-Red Mist-Carbon Flash Nacelles-Mirrors-Spoiler][GT2 Sky Cool Grey 2-Tone Torch Red Belts][E60 - FE4 - RC8]
                        [Current 1999 C5 Z51 Magnetic Red Coupe]


                        Deposit June 18 2020

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                        • #13
                          Great video, good to know the challenges might not be as daunting as most assume they are. Certainly we will need more power production, we will need a better grid for that "last mile", etc. but there is no magical switch. We have a good 20 years or more until it's a full reality, but the reality is we have to start somewhere.

                          This is where we start, let's get going. We need to invest in our infrastructure regardless, might as well start now. With the timeline we have ahead of us we can work towards it and certainly finish in time.

                          I looked into solar on my house in California when I lived in Palm Springs, in the desert sun it made sense even though the ROI was more than 10 years, and like others I was concerned about having to replace it right around the time it had finally paid for itself. Here in New Orleans, in a hurricane prone area, I'm not sure it makes as much sense. We don't get as much sunshine and there are higher risks for damage.

                          Electric cars, fuel cell cars, etc. are coming, time to get on board and start working towards solutions for everyone.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Jason did a great job as usual, I enjoy learning from his videos.

                            I work for a major power company and have participated in numerous briefings on incorporating the eventual influx of EV’s into the electric grid. We are currently planning and updating to include 500,000 EV’s by 2035 to meet demand.

                            A potential synergy between EV’s and solar with technology that would allow the grid to use EV’s that are plugged in as a source of storage for solar and power during peek demand. Nissan has conducted testing in Australia in a micro grid with the Leaf providing energy to the grid when needed and its natural need for a charge can collect access solar production. Imagine an infrastructure where EV’s are plugged in during the day (we have rows of chargers in our parking lots) and used for peak demand.

                            When our sedan is due for replacement in 4 or 5 years we will look at and EV to compliment the C8 and Jeep.
                            ELB (GS7), Natural (HTN), 2LT, Z51, Magnaride (FE4), GT2 Seats (AH2), R8C. Deposit placed with Mike Furman on 9/17/2019. 5/10/2021 TPW.

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                            • #15
                              Not just did I learn from Jason’s video, but I am learning from your posts. Thank you.
                              GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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