The roadblocks stopping EVs (6 May, 2019)

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The roadblocks stopping EVs (6 May, 2019)

Postby aardvark_admin » Mon May 06, 2019 6:57 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2019/0506.shtml

Within a decade, EVs should be making a big dent in the number of ICE-powered vehicles on our roads... except that...

Why are we still sitting on our thumbs instead of rapidly expanding our electricity generation network to cope with what will be a huge boost in demand?

How long will it take for the supply of essential materials to catch up to demand and will we find major shortages ankle-tapping the transition from dino-juicers to EVs on our roads?

Would now be the perfect time to invest in nickel, lithium, copper and cobalt futures perhaps?

And maybe renewable energy companies will become prime investment targets as the demand for dino-juice starts to falter towards the end of the next decade.
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Re: The roadblocks stopping EVs (6 May, 2019)

Postby namartinnz » Mon May 06, 2019 10:52 am

You'd think with the labour/greenie/NZ first coalition they'd be falling over themselves to offer solar system/battery install subsidies for Jo public/businesses where it makes economic sense for home/biz charging. Maybe it doesn't pay to be fore-armed before the impending EV boom?
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Re: The roadblocks stopping EVs (6 May, 2019)

Postby phill » Mon May 06, 2019 11:04 am

most of the problem could be addressed by using / manufacturing a vehicle for our needs instead of what the dick wants
( more like an FI instead of a hummer )
as for the pollies planning things for what is plainly obvious to all
thats a long past generation of them
that was the days where they spent for the future in the present
nowadays they spend the future for the present
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )

i might live and eat in a sewer .. but hey look how many of these shiny things i have got
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Re: The roadblocks stopping EVs (6 May, 2019)

Postby Kiwiiano » Mon May 06, 2019 3:20 pm

There’s going to be a lot of changes ahead of us, for sure, but doom & gloom isn’t obligatory. Let’s throw in some positives...

NZ still has enormous reserves of generating capacity, Cook Strait tidal in particular that has the energy equivalent of ?10 Waitaki Schemes. Fouveau also has potential although being much shallower would need different turbines from those being tested for Cook Strait. We can certainly chuck up a lot more wind turbines and we haven’t even started exploring solar. Figures are already showing farmers can be up to 80% better off combining agriculture with solar harvesting. Sounds good to me.

The 20th century concept of regarding private vehicles that are 90% under-utilised 90% of the time as ‘normal’ is staring down the muzzle of community accessible, self-driving EVs that appear on request and disappear when not needed. You’ll be able to buy a helluva lot of rides for the $10-20,000 up front, plus fuel, maintenance, taxes etc we accept as the price of the convenience of being able to take a trailer load to the tip 3-4 times a year and or carry 4 adults and their luggage halfway across the country twice a year. Plus avoiding the need and cost of parking when you want to go to town. And probably much the enormous public cost of parking buildings, hospital beds and premature funerals. With less vehicles needed because 90% of them are NOT sitting parked somewhere until their owners return, roads will be less congested. In fact self-driving vehicles constantly aware of the other vehicles are already demonstrating how much efficiency is awaiting us.

Technology is ramping up rapidly. Solar panels costs are plummeting, batteries are getting cheaper and every week sees another announcement of refinement or alternatives. Better cathodes, sodium instead of lithium, charging rates doubling as times halve. The tragedy here is that they could have been achieved decades earlier if vested interests hadn’t put so much effort and $$$ into kneecapping change.
~ Kiwiiano
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Re: The roadblocks stopping EVs (6 May, 2019)

Postby aardvark_admin » Mon May 06, 2019 3:29 pm

Kiwiiano wrote:NZ still has enormous reserves of generating capacity, Cook Strait tidal in particular that has the energy equivalent of ?10 Waitaki Schemes. Fouveau also has potential although being much shallower would need different turbines from those being tested for Cook Strait. We can certainly chuck up a lot more wind turbines and we haven’t even started exploring solar. Figures are already showing farmers can be up to 80% better off combining agriculture with solar harvesting. Sounds good to me.

Yeah... we have the energy but no infrastructure for harnessing it. Tidal generation stations will require a lot of capital and time to build -- and that's after the lengthy consultation, design and consent process. What our pollies seem to be unaware of is that things are changing very rapidly indeed and if we don't act *now* (or sooner) the demand will greatly exceed the available supply.

The 20th century concept of regarding private vehicles that are 90% under-utilised 90% of the time as ‘normal’ is staring down the muzzle of community accessible, self-driving EVs that appear on request and disappear when not needed.

Ah.. the culture-change. Unfortunately, Kiwis are *very* attached to the concept of vehicle ownership. They like preening and polishing -- and showing their new acquisition to their mates. Regardless of the fiscal benefits, this culture of "ownership" will live on long past its best-by date I fear. Mind you, having said that, people have already dropped the culture of "owning" disks, tapes etc and rapidly transitioned to "renting" their entertainment by way of monthly subscriptions to Spotify, Apple Music, Netflix or whatever so I could be very wrong.

Technology is ramping up rapidly. Solar panels costs are plummeting, batteries are getting cheaper and every week sees another announcement of refinement or alternatives.

Periodic renewables (such as solar, wind etc) aren't as valuable as "always available" renewables such as hydro. Sure, lakes can dry up but they don't do so without warning in the way that a month of light winds or heavily overcast skies might appear without prior warning -- and thus affect wind/solar production.

Better cathodes, sodium instead of lithium, charging rates doubling as times halve. The tragedy here is that they could have been achieved decades earlier if vested interests hadn’t put so much effort and $$$ into kneecapping change.

Nailed it! There have been a lot of decision-makers being wooed by those who have vested interests in stalling change. Oil companies etc. We're seeing the same thing with the transition to unmanned aviation -- the manned aviation community carries big clout in the halls of power so people continue to die needlessly and the pace of change is artificially ankle-tapped.
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Re: The roadblocks stopping EVs (6 May, 2019)

Postby paulw » Mon May 06, 2019 4:43 pm

"Seriously people, we need to either get rid of the aluminum smelter down south (and thus free up an enormous amount of electricity which is presently being almost given away)"

Problem is that the power going to the smelter is just that . It doesn't go north to where the EV market will be. It will cost $millions may be a $Bil or two to get it up here plus a new Cook St cable .. Would love an EV that can do the same as my Mazda CX5 but they are double of what the CX5 costs and will stay that way for quite a while.
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Co Mal Go South

Postby Perry » Mon May 06, 2019 5:18 pm

Shut down the smelter cheap watts and the bottom eighth of NZ would become like the top eighth.
That being . . .
A place where the rest of NZ throws money over the fences, with unfettered, reckless and gay abandon.
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Re: The roadblocks stopping EVs (6 May, 2019)

Postby aardvark_admin » Mon May 06, 2019 5:46 pm

In regards to the smelter... this is a drain on our hydro-lakes and next time we have a dry summer down there the whole of NZ would be better off if the smelter wasn't operating because those lakes would last a lot longer without that constant drain on their contents. Remember that it wasn't long ago they were thinking that rolling blackouts might be required after the lake-levels got perilously low and we haven't added much extra generation capacity at all since then so we are at the mercy of the weather. The smelter is like a slow leak that just keeps draining the water from that precious energy resource.
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Re: The roadblocks stopping EVs (6 May, 2019)

Postby roygbiv » Mon May 06, 2019 11:12 pm

Unless the power running the smelter can be economically transported to where most of the EV market is - North Island, it just cannot be used. Great for Dunedin, Christchurch etc, locally generated power. Dare I say it, there is one way to satisfy the demand - build a nuke in upper North Island, that would be more economic, it is green too, no carbon emissions. But, that just is not going to happen.
I put my money on solar generation and power storage at household level. Or, perhaps hybrid will be in vogue again, mmmmm.
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