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Making Tesla profitable?

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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 11:25:57

baha wrote:early adopters will be happily motoring while you are stuck in line at the gas station.


I hate to break it to you, but EVs must also periodically stop and plug in at a recharge station to keep going just like cars must stop at gas stations for fuel. And since it takes 3-8 hours to charge an EV, the EV line at the gas station moves really slow!

baha wrote:I will charge at home with PV for free!


Really? How do you get free electricity? Do you own your nuclear plant?

Image
EV charge station at your neighborhood gas station. In only three more hours this car will be recharged and the next in line can plug in.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Hawkcreek » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 11:35:51

Plantagenet wrote:I hate to break it to you, but EVs must also periodically stop and plug in at a recharge station to keep going just like cars must stop at gas stations for fuel. And since it takes 3-8 hours to charge an EV, the EV line at the gas station moves really slow!

baha wrote:I will charge at home with PV for free!

Really? How do you get free electricity? Do you own your nuclear plant?

These are becoming more common, and are fairly inexpensive.
http://news.energysage.com/what-is-a-solar-panel-carport/
Better than your own nuke. :)
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 11:38:25

efarmer wrote:You just give the flagship electric car folks some taxpayer money and you put out the press release that when we wean off gasoline, we are going to electric with lithium batteries and here is your proof.

First, I agree that the direct subsidies to EV makers aren't the way to go. A CO2 tax on everyone for FF burning would be a much better way to go, and have a similar effect, but on a much broader basis across the economy.

Second, the direct EV subsidies are temporary. In 5 years or so on average, either the EV's and PHEV's will have to compete economically on their own, or people won't buy them. So it's just a nudge in the right direction (fairly tame behavior, for big government standards).

Third, with all the major car makers that are now in the process of producing pure EV's by 2021, even holdout Toyota, and all the major car makers now making PHEV's and plans for them to make LOTS of PHEV models (based on common documented platforms, etc), why do you assume that EV's aren't viable in scale?

Do you assume your intuition is better than all the collective knowledge of all the engineers, computer science, corporate management, etc. thinking behind all the EV producing effort in the world? Do you assume green energy like solar and wind, etc. can't scale? (They are scaling, by the way, and wind is doing so fairly rapidly). Or that the technologies involved in EV's won't evolve or improve, including battery technology?

I don't get the "it can't happen because it hasn't so far" meme. From the ICE to the computer to many classed of other mainstream products, it's not like we don't have plenty of examples of such scale-up occurring, including the S-curve model of how it tends to proceed.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 11:43:43

Plantagenet, you are such a downer :) I am being facetious.

Current EVs can do 200 miles on a charge. My usual loop on a busy day is less than 150. Since I can fuel at home I never have to visit a charger or stand in line.

I'm sorry you missed my earlier posts but I have bought and paid for a 6.7 kW PV system that will run my house and charge my car for 20 years. You may call it an investment, I call it a cool toy :) that makes free power.

I just need to quit playing in the garden and finish the ground mount...and build the electric VW. I remember you doubting me 10 years ago. How do you like me now?
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby efarmer » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 11:44:27

Spent some of my career working with a manufacturer of grown crystal and poly silicon, with some going to solar cell and some going to conventional semiconductor fabrication. I love PV power and appreciate it in all of it manifestations. As the world went into the great recession, China had tooled up to do massive silicon production, including for solar, this led to PV cells being sold at wholesale for at or less than the production cost. The energy input, (embodied energy) of PV is enormous and is almost entirely obtained from burning fossil fuels up to and including this point in time. So yes Baha, those who have exploited the cheap PV cell bubble can coast on it's 30 year or so cell life to be waving at those of us in line for fossil fuels, or more probably, honking at us on horses and donkeys to clear the road so you can hum past us. The cost of embodied energy long term has to show up in PV cell cost, period.

Bob:
"Hey Jim, that electric car guy honked at me and ran me and my mule "Exxonry" off the road again this morning. Where do you think he was headed?

Jim:
"I imagine it was the same thing as always, he makes a big circle around the county and honks at us, and then goes back home, then gets out his bucket and squeegee to clean bird shit off the solar panels. He's a feisty feller, told Edna he wanted her to put a drive up window on her baked 'tater' stand. I give her $4 a month and she lobs a hot buttered spud right into my ball glove while I go by out on the road."
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 12:02:47

I wish we could pass each other in peace and quiet and tip our hats and say hello.

My VW will be fitted with pull out vegetable racks. Rather than honk I will stop to say hello and offer free samples. As long as the embedded energy in my life holds out, I will use it to make friends :)
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 12:06:20

efarmer, I had a similar missive all penned up and ready to go. But it was a lot nastier. I suspect baha is all ponytailed and believes his green-ness and good intentions will hold off peak oil and population overshoot. So be it.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 12:19:56

Plantagenet wrote:
baha wrote:early adopters will be happily motoring while you are stuck in line at the gas station.

I hate to break it to you, but EVs must also periodically stop and plug in at a recharge station to keep going just like cars must stop at gas stations for fuel. And since it takes 3-8 hours to charge an EV, the EV line at the gas station moves really slow!

1). So you've never heard of Tesla superchargers? The time is more like 20 minutes for a 50% charge. So for folks in town, that's already pretty reasonable.

2). Do you assume that if chargers at gas stations became very common that they wouldn't use superchargers (or something even faster, like a 15 minute charge, in time)? (If so, I think you're delusional).

3). I think as EV's evolve and become far more common over time that having charging slots at gas stations (presumably away from where they're pumping gas, for safety) seems like a logical thing to happen. And when it does, if they want my business, they'll need to be considerably faster than the 240V solution I can have conveniently, and for a reasonable price, at home.

(My electrician assures me that EV charging can be done safely in a wet area with the right equipment, so next time I buy a car, I'll look at the technology, convenience, and price points (like I did this time), and seriously consider an EV. If I can rapidly charge it at a gas station (without meaningfully hurting the battery life), all the better.) Hopefully within the next 10 years or so, this kind of thing will be the status quo.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 12:26:22

Ha Ha...thank you pstarr for holding back :)

My wife and bosses won't let me have a pony tail so I have short hair.
My green-ness doesn't even show in public. And I feel no need to flaunt it.
My good intentions are driven from within and cannot be dissuaded by criticism.
I welcome peak oil...let's get on with it.
As long as my population density stays at 2 per three acres I will be ok.

Your on your own...
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 12:35:08

baha wrote:I welcome peak oil...let's get on with it.
As long as my population density stays at 2 per three acres I will be ok.

Your on your own...

Your population density? How about your neighbors? And their needs? That is what community is all about. You are going to have to share your big house and your pretty EV with EVERYBODY lol
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 12:46:32

Of course I am...my neighbors are the ones with 100 head of cattle and chicken farms. Their population density is even lower than mine, if you only count humans.

You're right...just kidding...you are not on your own. If your hungry and ok with leftovers I will be here :)
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby efarmer » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 12:49:07

O_S,
All of the product evolution scaling you have cited, including wind, solar, and EV have been empowered by relatively inexpensive fossil fuel power and still are.

No I don't underestimate the ability of technology to solve any of the problems faced by green energy, nor the intelligence, skill, and dedication of the disciplines involved in doing so. I do understimate the global will to allocate dwindling fossil fuel energy to empower such a switch and surviving the imposed public austerity and immediate suspension of comfort and traditionally measured social progress it would entail.

CO2 taxation in a world that will be globalized until it can't, will make capitalism seek no CO2 taxation areas with every bit of the vim and vigor that it has sought low wage production locations to date.

It is just my intuition and personal opinion, and should be viewed as one person's take. This forum gives all of us this ability to hang out our notions, and take our broomstick sword and trash can lid shield to defend the same or vanish in anonymity while we are hung in virtual effigy by the enraged mob.

Battery technology needs a breakthrough to yield high energy density at much lower cost than we have in lithium types presently. Like a 5 or 10 to 1 cost ratio reduction from present technology. This is what happened with digital memory and processing to drive the computer industry the last 50 years, and it kept repeating cyclically in what is called Moore's Law (more a thereom) over this period.

Do our S curve miracles extend past the fossil fuel era that produced them and into a new green energy era? We have not conservatively used fossil fuel energy while we didn't have to, will we do so to segway to what follows them in some unified globally cohesive fashion and absorb the immediate hit to BAU?

To me it is the real question here, not the brains or will of our science and industry, or my jaded intuition, or so many of our shared wishes and dreams that we could and should. When we stop fighting over religion and resources, we should focus on that next.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 12:53:43

Can I shoot myself in the foot and mention there are more diesel powered tractors around here than humans :) Oh well. Where is Elon when you need him?
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 13:16:40

efarmer wrote:O_S,
All of the product evolution scaling you have cited, including wind, solar, and EV have been empowered by relatively inexpensive fossil fuel power and still are.

No I don't underestimate the ability of technology to solve any of the problems faced by green energy, nor the intelligence, skill, and dedication of the disciplines involved in doing so. I do understimate the global will to allocate dwindling fossil fuel energy to empower such a switch and surviving the imposed public austerity and immediate suspension of comfort and traditionally measured social progress it would entail.
efarmer I underestimate both our technology and global will

efarmer wrote:CO2 taxation in a world that will be globalized until it can't, will make capitalism seek no CO2 taxation areas with every bit of the vim and vigor that it has sought low wage production locations to date.
Perhaps you understand I have recently stepped back from my fears of GW. I don't consider it in the human survival equation. We will neither act on GW, nor suffer from it.

efarmer wrote:It is just my intuition and personal opinion, and should be viewed as one person's take. This forum gives all of us this ability to hang out our notions, and take our broomstick sword and trash can lid shield to defend the same or vanish in anonymity while we are hung in virtual effigy by the enraged mob.
Nah, I'd rather vanquish the infidels. kidding lol

efarmer wrote:Battery technology needs a breakthrough to yield high energy density at much lower cost than we have in lithium types presently. Like a 5 or 10 to 1 cost ratio reduction from present technology. This is what happened with digital memory and processing to drive the computer industry the last 50 years, and it kept repeating cyclically in what is called Moore's Law (more a thereom) over this period.
It is a mistake to expect battery technology to follow advance curves that solid state and digital technologies have undergone. And even those are coming to an end. (see the demise of Moore's Law). Crystalline solar has barely advanced since its inception, certainly not exponentially like solid-state circuits.

There really is nothing in the near future to replace lithium ion. And the best lithium ion today has an energy density only 8% of petroleum fuels (34.2 MJ/L gasoline, 0.9–2.63 MJ/L lithium). EV's will never compete outside the rarefied world of 1st-world information workers. Jobs that will mostly disappear as the world wide production net disappears.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby efarmer » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 14:57:09

Pstarr, after 11 years of it, we still seem to end up adjacent in our stance on most topics.
Lithography (Moore's Law) size reduction for semiconductor parts per unit area of silicon does not work with solar cells or batteries. I also concur that we are stuck at Lithium right now on batteries and
since Goodenough invented them in 1980 they have had incredible research and development and
investment to get to where they are now. Lithium is one of the lightest elements in the periodic table and it has one of the largest electrochemical potentials, which produces a respectable voltage cell in a very small volume and weight. Most folks do not grasp how hard it is to come up with another element to replace it, and drive a "battery miracle" 37 years into lithium secondary cell evolution.

Of course, such postures and opines take their toll, and one goes from being a pilgrim on the road to
resource limit mitigation and coping, to being a crusty old fart of a troll under the bridge to the future, and barks out epithets like "goes against history and human nature" and "violates the rules of physics". Many times impossible problems are solved by those who do not know they are impossible, which means I am most probably not on the team. Hunkering down for the night under the bridge, the old troll tosses on his pile of gunny sacks when awakened by the sound of a Tesla vaulting over at top speed.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby baha » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 15:16:21

As I've said before, standard size PV panels have gone from 185 watts to 305 watts in the 7 years I have been doing this. It has more to do with the connectivity between the silicon than changes to the silicon itself.

A standard panel is about a square meter in area. The Suns irradiance at sea level is 1000 watts/square meter. So we can increase output three times with better technology. Current panels only absorb a small window of possible wavelengths. There are new multi-layer panels being developed that open that window.

You can assume progress will stop, I don't.

We are against hard limits with Lithium. That is why expectations have to lower. But there are all kinds of new batteries in the works. Metal flow batteries are commercially available that have incredible lifetimes, they're just heavy...Sodium is the next logical choice if we can just solve the explosion problem :)
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby efarmer » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 15:41:32

That'sthe spirit, the Shockley-Queisser limits on single PN junction cells of 32% (for Si) can approach
the 80+% range for multiple junction panels. Yes, the aluminum and magnesium batteries are in R&D
and flow batteries for fixed locations show promise. How is that for Troll free? The trend from 185 to 305 watts from 1KW of solar conversion against the 32% (320 watt) perceived limit show amazing optimizing.
And ferroelectric cells exceed the S-Q limit but use barium-titanate and require UV wavelengths to operate.
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby pstarr » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 15:58:53

efarmer wrote:That'sthe spirit, the Shockley-Queisser limits on single PN junction cells of 32% (for Si) can approach
the 80+% range for multiple junction panels. Yes, the aluminum and magnesium batteries are in R&D
and flow batteries for fixed locations show promise. How is that for Troll free? The trend from 185 to 305 watts from 1KW of solar conversion against the 32% (320 watt) perceived limit show amazing optimizing.
And ferroelectric cells exceed the S-Q limit but use barium-titanate and require UV wavelengths to operate.

It's always a good thing to empower the dreamers :) We might still pull it off . . .
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 17:25:09

Great, productive response above to my earlier post, efarmer. Thanks.
efarmer wrote:Battery technology needs a breakthrough to yield high energy density at much lower cost than we have in lithium types presently. Like a 5 or 10 to 1 cost ratio reduction from present technology.

This point puzzles me though.

1). Why does battery technology "need" a 5 or 10 to 1 cost ratio reduction?

2). Doesn't it depend on application? Tesla and GM already demonstrating EV's that are "good enough" for the middle class, with a lifecycle cost roughly approximating ICE's. (Assuming good battery longevity and moderate gasoline prices.)

Even if we only get, say, a 50% improvement over the next decade due to things like Musk using scale to save on battery cost, and ongoing efforts in many physical aspects of production from the mundane (software, cooling, etc) to the more exotic (like research into printable solid LI batteries) -- that would seem to go FAR beyond what we "need" for EV's, much less PHEV's.

3). So yes, if we want "dirt cheap" Powerwall type solutions or EV's with thousand+ mile ranges, we'd need that. But I'd like the proverbial flying car and a supermodel girlfriend who loves housework -- but I don't need or expect to have that.

Are you saying we "need" this to "save the planet", or that we need this to keep the expected BAU growth intact for another generation or so? (Or something else?)
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Re: Making Tesla profitable?

Unread postby efarmer » Sat 22 Apr 2017, 20:24:25

O_S:
Batteries cost OEM vehicle companies about $145 per kwh right now. Ramp up and advances are slated to decrease this to $100 per kwh by 2022 if all goes well. The battery pack they go into is lavishly equipped with cooling to remove waste heat as well as heating to bring cells up to meet their rated outputs in cold weather conditions, they are chock full of cell monitoring current, voltage, and temperature sensors, switching circuits to isolate bad cell clusters and switch spares, and a lot of smart circuits that end up reporting to a built in battery control module computer. So the battery pack cost 2X to 3X the cell cost.

So lets say $300 pack cost per kwh now and $230 per pack cost in 2022. Let's assume a 60KWH pack and pencil in $18000 OEM cost now, and maybe $14,000 cost after "ramp up" for a $35,000 vehicle but the consumer cost to replace will be this cost marked up by a healthy margin plus installation, including a drive motor and extensive check to insure the vehicle is ready for just a new pack. This is what leads me to believe the cell cost has to drop much further to put profit in the manfucturing, dealer, and dealer service operations and to justify consumers not seeing EV vehicles as an 8 year purchase with no resale value. The present fleet of passengers cars has an 11+ year average life.
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