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The Inconvenient Truth About Electric Vehicles

Electric Car

An electric automobile will convert 5-10 percent of the energy in natural gas into motion. A normal vehicle will convert 20-30 percent of the energy in gasoline into motion. That's 3 or 4 times more energy recovered with an internal combustion vehicle than an electric vehicle.

Electricity is a specialty product. It's not appropriate for transportation. It looks cheap at this time, but that's because it was designed for toasters, not transportation. Increase the amount of wiring and infrastructure by a factor of a thousand, and it's expensive.

Electricity does not scale up properly to the transportation industry due to its miniscule nature. Sure, a whole lot can be used for something, but at extraordinary expense.

Using electricity as an energy source requires two energy transformation steps, while using petroleum requires only one. With electricity, the original energy, usually chemical energy, must be transformed into electrical energy; and then the electrical energy is transformed into the kinetic energy of motion. With an internal combustion engine, the only transformation step is the conversion of chemical energy to kinetic energy in the combustion chamber.

The difference matters, because there is a lot of energy lost every time it is transformed or used. Electrical energy is harder to handle and loses more in its handling.

The use of electrical energy requires it to move into and out of the space medium (aether) through induction. Induction through the aether medium should be referred to as another form of energy, but physicists sandwich it into the category of electrical energy. Going into and out of the aether through induction loses a lot of energy. Related: Oil Prices Fall As Hedge Funds Throw In The Towel

Another problem with electricity is that it loses energy to heat production due to resistance in the wires. A short transmission line will have 20 percent loss built in, and a long line will have 50 percent loss built in. These losses are integrated because reducing the loss by half would require twice as much metal in the wires. Wires have to be optimized for diameter and strength, which means doubling the metal would be doubling the number of transmission lines.

High voltage transformers can achieve 90 percent efficiency with expensive designs, but household level voltages achieve only 50 percent efficiency. Electric motors can get up to 60 percent efficiency, but only at optimum rpms and load. For autos, they average 25 percent efficiency. Gasoline engines get 25 percent efficiency with old-style carburetors and 30 percent with fuel injection, though additional loses can occur.

Applying this brilliant engineering to the problem yields this result: A natural gas electric generating turbine gets 40 percent efficiency. A high voltage transformer gets 90 percent efficiency. A household level transformer gets 50 percent efficiency. A short transmission line gets 20 percent loss, which is 80 percent efficiency. The total is 40 percent x 90 percent x 50 percent x 80 percent = 14.4 percent of the energy recovered before the electrical system does something similar to the gasoline engine in the vehicle. Some say the electricity performs a little better in the vehicle, but it's not much.

Electricity appears to be easy to handle sending it through wires. But it is the small scale that makes it look cheap. Scaling it up takes a pound of metal for so many electron-miles. Twice as much distance means twice as much metal. Twice as many amps means twice as much metal. Converting the transportation system into an electrical based system would require scaling up the amount of metal and electrical infrastructure by factors of hundreds or thousands. Where are all those lines going to go? They destroy environments. Where is that much natural gas going to come from for the electrical generators? There is very little natural gas in existence when using it for a large-scale purpose. Natural gas must be used with solar and wind energy, because only it can be turned on and off easily for backup. Related: Do Saudi Arabia And Russia Really Want Higher Oil Prices?

One of the overwhelming facts about electric transportation is the chicken and egg phenomenon. Supposedly, a lot of electric vehicles will create an incentive to create a lot of expensive infrastructure. There are a lot of reasons why none of the goals can be met for such an infrastructure. The basic problem is that electricity will never be appropriate for such demanding use as general transportation, which means there will never be enough chickens or eggs to balance the demand. It's like trying to improve a backpack to such an extent that it will replace a pickup truck. The limitations of muscle metabolism are like the limitations of electrical energy.

Electrons are not a space-saving form of energy. Electrons have to be surrounded by large amounts of metal. It means electric motors get heavy and large. When cruising around town, the problems are not so noticeable. But the challenges of ruggedness are met far easier with internal combustion engines. Engineers say it is nice to get rid of the drive train with electric vehicles. But in doing so, they add clutter elsewhere, which adds weight, takes up space and messes up the suspension system. Out on the highway, the suspension system is the most critical factor.

These problems will prevent electric vehicles from replacing petroleum vehicles for all but specialty purposes. The infrastructure needed for electric vehicles will never exist when limited to specialty purposes. This would be true even with the perfect battery which takes up no space and holds infinite charge.

By Zerohedge.com

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Leave a comment
  • sleeplessclassics on May 03 2017 said:
    What a blatant propaganda article, trains locomotive can develop as much as 4400 hp from electricity but sure electricity is hard to scale.

    Almost half of the article is devoted to how there are losses while transmitting electricity but what about the energy cost of drilling and transporting not to mention liquefy or compress the natural gas or process crude for gasoline.

    It is people like these who stop us from moving forward with their blatant lies, misinformed opinion and 'alternative facts'.
    I am surprised something like oilprice.com chose to publish such a nincompoop.

    Let's build towards a future of alternative energy and not alternative facts. Peace
  • Tormod on May 03 2017 said:
    Wow, that was a lot of questionable statements to be gentle. But of course, if you say electricity comes from gas, and cars run on liquid gas, you are shifting the reality towards combustion advantages. In Norway they built a liquid gas power station (at Mongstad), but they never used it because the demand decreased as the world come more electrically efficient, and the renewable electric production from waterfalls and such increased, and a car's electric consumtion is only about 0.2 kw/h per 10km, making an EV's consumption of the total household only 20% for a normal family in Norway. And solar systems sales are increasing heavily even in cloudy Norway, as it becomes cheaper every day. So waterfalls create electricity, more than 100.000 cars run on electricity in Norway, which is a tenth of the price of gas...so I am one happy EV owner with 85kWh battery....even though I didn't buy it for the environment.
  • TyFawkes on May 03 2017 said:
    Selective math. You've failed to include all the electricity necessary to make the fuel for equipment used for oil drilling, and extraction. Not to mention the energy necessary for fuel transport?, refining, storage, pumping it into vehicles and the maintenance infrastructure necessary? to keep it all working. Then your extremely 30% efficient internal combustion engine can't hold a candle to 80%-88% efficient electric motor in most EVs.

    Electricity doesn't scale? That's what the whale oil lamp sellers claimed all the way into bankruptcy. Name a industry, any industry, that can function without electricity. The USA has the largest natural gas reserves in the world. Wind and solar prices are falling. Small scale, eco friendly hydro is making a comeback. The there is new nuclear and even coal technology. Electricity will be cheap and plentiful for many generations to come. Or, we can continue buying oil from rag heads who hate U.S.
  • Bill Gates on May 03 2017 said:
    Have these people ever heard of the SUN?
  • Ramon Galvez on May 03 2017 said:
    What a load of crap wow! Even my captcha was oi1 shame shame shame
  • tiredoflieshere on May 03 2017 said:
    Seriously?
    This is so blatantly biased and false that it's hard to believe it was republished.
    Electric motors get 25% efficiency in electric vehicles?
    Transformers at residences reach 50% conversion?
    The sad thing about this is that they are so obviously wrong and demonstrably. We truly are living in a post fact world.
  • Rgb on May 03 2017 said:
    The math in this article is out to lunch when it comes to line lose theory and overall transmission losses of the electrical grid. Not to mention using wind, solar, hydro and nuclear to generate electricity do not rely heavily on the oil industry once operational.
  • Marc on May 03 2017 said:
    +1
    Oilprice.com will often publish politically-motivated propagandists (Alberta's David Yager is another example). There's nothing wrong with right of left leaning point of vues... it's just that I'm turned off by partisan hacks that will consistently denigrate their opposition parties and prop-up their own political party... even if evidence sometimes shows otherwise.

    This website should be about oil... not oil as a tool for a political end.

    The title "Inconvenient Truth" itself suggests a political hack job. Zerohedge is either a political hack, or an industrial one. Until Zerohedge can compare apples to apples, oilprice.com should not give it the mike.
  • Exa on May 03 2017 said:
    Oilprice.com has had a surprisingly high quality of journalism overall and especially on electric vehicles until now, from what I have observed, but this is quite possibly the lowest-quality article on this topic I have ever seen outside of barely-coherent conspiracy sites and the like.

    We do not have to rely on imprecise statements like "electricity is lossy" or "we'd need more infrastructure" to determine how hard it is to use electricity for transportation (which trains and subways have been doing for the better part of a century, by the way), we can look at how much these things, which we are in fact doing, are in fact costing. And how those costs are changing over time. And the actual numbers paint a very different picture than this balderdash.
  • J P DeCaen on May 03 2017 said:
    The inconvenient truth is that this article is full of it. Drive a Tesla and you will understand.
  • Marcus on May 03 2017 said:
    This post is complete garbage, one more of these kind of crap from ZH then I'm gonna come back anymore.
  • george on May 04 2017 said:
    zerohedge=zerovalue

    Is this a joke?
    The author is a nut. If all the electrical machinery had stated efficiencies they would melt.
  • nfgczar on May 04 2017 said:
    combined transmission and distribution losses averaged 6.6% (wiki). Transformer losses are 1-2%, but they are part of the transmission and distribution losses.

    The number of transformations of energy are irrelevant. What counts is the overall efficiency. When gas was $3/gallon, the effective cost of electricity to travel the same distance with electricity was 25 cents. With so many errors (and there are many more), this article isn't worth reading.
  • Annon on May 04 2017 said:
    Wow. That was a poorly researched article. If what the author said was true, we'd all be running our houses from gas powered generators.
  • Durk on May 04 2017 said:
    This article is full of alternative facts. Can you explain which physical law there is to support your fake news? It's true that you need thicker wires and higher voltages to transport bigger amounts of energy. So what?
    You also need a bigger engine if you want more horsepower. I hope noone accepts these falsehoods.

    An Aerospace Engineer
  • Tomas Gajdos on May 04 2017 said:
    Am still surprised somebody can write such a biased article. Breaking down the well to wheel energy efficiency electric cars, but completely neglecting the inneficencies and externalites caused by drilling, refining and distributing oil / gas. How much energy does it take to refine a galon of gas? Electric car can already run on that energy not being lost in the process. Last but not least, energy mix gets cleaner everyday, countries ditching old coal and gas plants in exchange for new cleaner energy sources. If i were you, would serioslu consider spreasing your investment beyond oil, as the latest low oil prices could return sooner than later.... Peak oil awaits.
  • JOhn Scior on May 04 2017 said:
    It sounds much like arguments about ethanol. The oil producers/ environmentalists or we'll just say those opposed to ethanol want to account for every bit of energy going into the production of ethanol but never want to account for the war mechanisms and human cost of wars fought over oil. What if more widescale adoption of solar allows shorter transmission between production and the EV. Aren't you utilizing a transmission system already in place thus negating the argument concerning environmental destruction caused by transmission lines. Oil is a diminishing resource but with Solar, wind and hydroelectric or for that matter geothermal, you have renewable resources of which little goes to fund petrodollar fueled wars or terrorism ? Science is also pushing for more efficient transmission lines and more efficient GEn 4 nuclear reactors ( ie fast breeders ) that could also diminish the arguments favoring oil based fuels. Then there is the prospect of Nuclear fusion reactors ( either the large scale traditional ones such as Germany's or the small scale Bussard inspired LM designs ) that offer the potential of displacing all carbon fuel based electricity generation. The article is good in the sense that for developing nations without a substantial grid, the transmission lines and electrical generation costs would have to be accounted for as well because few articles mention these attributes as this article points out. The question remains for the future to answer what will replace oil as a transportation fuel as it becomes costlier to produce and its sources become deplenished.
  • dandexter on May 04 2017 said:
    @sleeplessclassics

    I think you missed the point of hard to scale, I believe the author was referring to hard to scale for mass use in vehicles, not scale for signal large uses.

    "what about the energy cost of drilling and transporting not to mention liquefy or compress the natural gas or process crude for gasoline"

    What about the energy cost of producing solar panels, wind turbines and batteries?

    The losses in transmitting is relevant regardless of the source of the power (coal, natgas or solar etc.).
  • Luis on May 04 2017 said:
    It's obvious this writer has never driven a electric car.
  • Mark on May 04 2017 said:
    This article is bull crap, electricity is much cheaper and you lose less producing it, also just wait till we lower the price of renewables when there is more demand and companies compete to do so. Gas cars cost 40,000 dollars after 10 years of using 100 dollars a week on gas, not to mention other repairs and all the moving parts, the electric car has like 3 moving parts, gas cars have hundreds that will fail over time costing people money in repairs. Oilprice.com is a load of crap
  • pulkit bansal on May 04 2017 said:
    A good search on google can tell you that nearly all of it is false.
    Electric motors operate at efficiencies between 50% to 60% minimum.

    IC Engine runs at 33% maximum!

    And then the whole point of electric mobility is to eventually start producing clean energy as well.
    I see EVs as a stepping stone to a better world where all energy is clean and vehicles are green.

    This article is not true and the writer seems to be misinformed/biased.
  • Not an engineer on May 04 2017 said:
    ZeroHedge,

    Shame on you. This article is so slanted that it is insane. You forget to mention the carrying, refining, and production costs of crude oil which amounts to efficiency far less than electric.

    Anyone who has owned an electric vehicle for a day can refute everything the writer is saying and I am no engineer.

    It is writers like you that make statements that are blatantly not true and thus make the internet sources less trustworthy.

    If anyone is reading this please check his sources.
  • Sonia Galvan on May 04 2017 said:
    This article makes no sense. Electric already works. I already go everywhere in my Leaf, and I'm no specialty purpose! It's cheap and convenient to charge. No, the real inconvenient truth is that if we don't adopt electric more aggressively and dump fossil fuels, climate change will make life very hard.
  • spinner on May 04 2017 said:
    It's the 1990's calling they want their blatantly nonsense anti EV argument back.

    You realise the idea is that the electricity won't be produced by natural gas as in there's these things called Solar and Wind which we can use to generate electricity and don't release CO2.

    EV's are happening and only getting better. With the new 350 kWh chargers being deployed now they can charge a car at 20 miles per minute. The current issues are the batteries are too expensive but the pack price is projected to be less than $100 p/kWh by 2020. An average car will require 50-60 kWh for a 200+ mile range. These metrics will not suit everyone but even assuming all R&D stops in 2020 this type of vehicle will suit a large portion of the market.
  • Shadowncs on May 04 2017 said:
    Well well ... I'm usually not one to respond to such politically charged articles. But this is too easy to take apart.
    I'm glad to tell you that:
    - electricity can come from other sources than fossil fuels. Yes wind and solar but mostly nuclear. Nuclear is cheap and well understood (but badly percieved) and easily controlled
    - we idle nuclear reactors due to not enough demand. That is expensive and wasteful. At night time electricity consumption goes waay down. Perfect time to charge your vehicle w/o 100x wires!
    - smart grids have already theoretically solved the issue of peak power demand. It will be a LOT easier if many homes have a few GJ stored conveniently in a car battery which is easy to pull from during peak surges.
    - combustion engines require a huge infrastructure: drilling, mega tankers, refineries, gas distribution, gas stations. These are really expensive to build and maintain. Electrical cars - not so much.
    - it is not the energy requirements that make fossil fuels bad. It is the side effects. With electricity even if it is less efficient to convert into motion we have a better control on side effects.
    - electrical vehicles are a LOT more efficient than gas engines in urban settings due to energy recovery and a much better efficiency at low RPMs. It is a no-brainer.
    - electrical vehicles suspention has zero to do with its drive train. That was just whacky. Have you ever driven one? Buy one with the money you got from gas giants for this article. But again, this article is not worth that much anyway. Get your facts straight before pen meets paper.
  • Ty Fawkes on May 04 2017 said:
    Selective stats, fuzzy math and a complete ignorance of how electric vehicles work doesn't alter the 'Truth', inconvenient or otherwise.

    It takes electricity and diesel and gasoline made with electricity to drill for, extract, transport, refine and pump petroleum products into internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Not to mention the electricity necessary to manage and maintain that infrastructure. Seems to me that's hugely in efficient. Some simple Googling finds there are roughly 11 gallons of gasoline refined from a barrel of oil. It takes an average 6.8 kWh of electricity to refine each gallon. 6.8 kWh of electricity will propel a modern Nissan Leaf 23 miles (with air conditioning). That's just on the electricity for refining, nothing else.

    Modern, computer controlled engines are 25%-30% efficient, yet the average American car gets only 26 mpg. The lowly Nissan Leaf electric motor operates at 80+% efficiency with a average mpge (mpg equivalent range) of 95 miles. Most EVs charge at home. Homes that get their electricity from the same source as yours. If EVs weren't better for the environment auto makers would be building ICE vehicles with those 50% efficient engines and 200 mpg carburetors I keep hearing about.

    If you compare apples for apples, the EV driving experience is far superior to ICE vehicles. EVs require less maintenance, are cheaper to operate and even catch fire less often than ICE vehicles. The USA has the world's largest natural gas reserves. Wind and solar generation prices are also falling. Electricity will be plentiful and cheap (cheaper than gasoline) for many generations to come. Most homes and other buildings in the US can support at least one EV charging station. Most homes & commercial buildings don't/can't support fuel pumps.
  • Anders on May 04 2017 said:
    You should stop adding Zerohedge articles. It is pure clickbait with an alternate truth agenda.

    And they should really employ an engineer over at Zerohedge, all the numbers are made up.
  • Coolblue on May 04 2017 said:
    Wow! What a load of utter tripe! It is like the author is entirely uneducated in fact it is amazing they managed to construct enough words to put this article together!

    Electric motors in EVs are around 90% efficient and remain at that efficiency practically their whole life. Combustion engines are around 30% efficient and that drops unless you have a lot of maintenance over its life.

    I used to pay about £230 per month on petrol and now pay about £25 per month for my EV...

    Plus in the years to come all electricity will be from renewables.
  • JoeE on May 04 2017 said:
    Wow, a classic example of talking your book.

    Articles like this downgrade the actual and perceived quality of Oilprice.com.
  • Windham Taylor on May 04 2017 said:
    This is honestly one of the worst articles I've ever read in my life. full of bullshit propaganda and general falsehoods. Who the hell thinks a gas poweres cars drive train is tied to the suspension? And electricity is meant for toasters not transportation? WHY?? I'm pretty sure I lost a an IQ point reading this. Almost seems like a oil company paid for this "ad".
  • Chris on May 04 2017 said:
    Wow, nice propaganda! Not. It completely ignores numerous things like the fact that you can't just suck oil out of the ground and put it in your car. The oil must be drilled, transported, refined, and then transported AGAIN as gasoline... ROFL, nice try guys!
  • Timmie Tee on May 04 2017 said:
    Actually, EV's will be a niche player... it's trading one problem for another... too many downsides from electric generation efficiency to environmental destruction from mining to battery disposal.

    "Well to wheel" efficiency best case: EV/Li-ion: 45% , Oil/Gas: 81.7%
    http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2010/ph240/sun1/

    "EVs exhibit the potential for significant increases in human toxicity, freshwater eco-toxicity, freshwater eutrophication, and metal depletion impacts, largely emanating from the vehicle supply chain."
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00532.x/full
  • Bill Simpson on May 05 2017 said:
    Thing is, sunlight and wind are free fuel. They can generate massive amounts of electricity and soon pay for themselves through the value of the electricity they generate.
    Oh, and both are infinite, unlike all fossil fuels.
  • SIMON LLOYD on May 05 2017 said:
    EV networks do need a filling station network that is relevant to today's EV fleets, eTaxis, eVans or eBus. Charging in 20mins on a break is now normal and today's chargers can flash charge even quicker. Fueling means standing in the cold pumping gas and being next to a liquid that causes cancer. EV charging involved plugging in and going to get a coffee or food, now in under 20mins on a break with 200-300 miles. EV filling stations will also support smart cities, I4.0 and autonomous driving 5G networks. Shell, BP, Total or Chevron to 60 years to develop their filling stations, EV HUB can do this in 10 years. Its alot of work but it can be done #LOLOIL #EVHUB
  • Bob Saget on May 05 2017 said:
    Absolute nonsense from Zerohedge.com, and absolutely pathetic to spread this kind of misinformation. Thank god I have a brain that functions properly.
  • Najeeb Ullah on May 05 2017 said:
    I agree with the writer that it is a stupid idea to convert chemical energy to electricity and use it. It sure is inefficient. I would add that it is more advisable to just use wind or sun to create electricity as these resources have limitless supply. I would help him it is cheaper to drive electric than on gas. I have and plug in hybrid car with only 20 miles of electric range but I try to run the car as much on electricity as possible. guess why because it is cheaper than to run on 2.50 gallon. We run over our car 80% of the time on electricity and pay 30 dollar a month of the electricity.
    Please work on your math. It is terrible to say the least
  • Dennis Deane on May 06 2017 said:
    Any physicists out there that want to comment on the author's use of the concept of the "space medium (aether)?"
  • realFacts on May 06 2017 said:
    > These losses are integrated because reducing the loss by half would require twice as much metal in the wires.
    Yes, that is true, but not as big of a deal when the losses are only about 5% now.

    > Wires have to be optimized for diameter and strength, which means doubling the metal would be doubling the number of transmission lines.
    So what, with what we know now?

    > High voltage transformers can achieve 90 percent efficiency with expensive designs, but household level voltages achieve only 50 percent efficiency.
    As transformers are part of the transmission and distribution network, their losses are included in the [5%](https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=105&t=3). However, for more information, you will find that transformers at many sizes are around [98% efficiency](http://www.csemag.com/single-article/increasing-transformer-efficiency/37c25f0039ccfad0f24b52aa4e906ed8.html).

    > Electric motors can get up to 60 percent efficiency, but only at optimum rpms and load.
    Electric motors can get up to [95 percent efficiency.](https://www.energydepot.com/RPUcom/library/MISC003.asp)

    > For autos, they average 25 percent efficiency.
    ["An electric motor runs somewhere in the low 80’s to high 90% range over its entire RPM band."](https://matter2energy.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/wells-to-wheels-electric-car-efficiency/)

    > Gasoline engines get 25 percent efficiency with old-style carburetors and 30 percent with fuel injection, though additional loses can occur.
    We already found this to be mostly true.

    > Applying this brilliant engineering to the problem yields this result: A natural gas electric generating turbine gets 40 percent efficiency. A high voltage transformer gets 90 percent efficiency. A household level transformer gets 50 percent efficiency. A short transmission line gets 20 percent loss, which is 80 percent efficiency. The total is 40 percent x 90 percent x 50 percent x 80 percent = 14.4 percent of the energy recovered before the electrical system does something similar to the gasoline engine in the vehicle. Some say the electricity performs a little better in the vehicle, but it's not much.
    See first section.

    > Electricity appears to be easy to handle sending it through wires. But it is the small scale that makes it look cheap. Scaling it up takes a pound of metal for so many electron-miles. Twice as much distance means twice as much metal. Twice as many amps means twice as much metal.
    So some of this is correct. But as [/u/Formerly_Guava said, "This is only true if you don't change the voltage. But all long distance transmission lines are all high voltage. Hence why they are called "high voltage transmission lines", and if you double the voltage, you only need half as many amps."](https://www.reddit.com/r/teslamotors/comments/69jg89/would_like_to_hear_opinions_on_this_article/dh75qga/)

    > Converting the transportation system into an electrical based system would require scaling up the amount of metal and electrical infrastructure by factors of hundreds or thousands.
    This is partially true, but as already shown, the electric infrasture already needs to be upgraded.

    > Where are all those lines going to go? They destroy environments.
    As a rebuttal to the oilprice.com article, where is all the oil pipelines going to go?

    > Where is that much natural gas going to come from for the electrical generators? There is very little natural gas in existence when using it for a large-scale purpose.
    tl;dr: There is almost 5 times as much natural gas reserves in the US versus gasoline reserves when measuring after conversion to motion. Also not all electricity is natural gas.
    There is [324,303 Billion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas Reserves in the US](https://www.eia.gov/dnav/ng/ng_enr_sum_a_EPG0_r21_BCF_a.htm). (There are [1032 BTU per cubic ft](https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=45&t=8), other sources used are above) That means there is 32.17 trillion kWh available as measured after conversion to motion. There is [35.2 billion barrels of crude oil reserves in the US](https://www.eia.gov/naturalgas/crudeoilreserves/). ([19 gallons of gasoline in 1 barrel of crude oil](https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=327&t=9), plus other sources already listed above). That means there is 6.7 trillion kWh of gasoline avaliable as measured after conversion to motion. Of course this is not counting international reserves for gasoline or for natural gas.

    > Natural gas must be used with solar and wind energy, because only it can be turned on and off easily for backup.
    Right now yes, but Tesla is working on batteries.

    > One of the overwhelming facts about electric transportation is the chicken and egg phenomenon. Supposedly, a lot of electric vehicles will create an incentive to create a lot of expensive infrastructure. There are a lot of reasons why none of the goals can be met for such an infrastructure. The basic problem is that electricity will never be appropriate for such demanding use as general transportat
  • Jim Gagne on May 06 2017 said:
    This article is obviously biased not to say pure propaganda. The author never mentioned anything about hydroelectricitry, wind turbines and solar energy. The author spoke only of electricity produced from chemical elements. He also forgot to speak about oil sands project which used ±3 gallons of fuel to produce only one on the market! And not to mention environmental dammages. If the intention of this article was to make us change our minds ... mission not accomplished!
  • Michelle on May 07 2017 said:
    Obvious propaganda from big oil lobbiests and/or global warming non-believers
  • Frits van der Holst on May 07 2017 said:
    The statement about high energy loss in transport and transforming to different voltages is total nonsense. The whole reason for high voltage transport is reducing transport loss and it works extremely well. To my knowledge, in the Dutch electricity transport system it's only 4% loss. Statement about electric motor not being rudged enough, also nonsense. Electric trains do very heavy duty work and the electromotors last decades with little or no maintenance on the engine. First hybrid/electric trucks being made now have such a high torque, they climb steep mountain roads with 40 mph instead of 5 mph as dieseltrucks tend to do. I have a 6 year old electric car and have no maintenance on the drive system, only normal wear on tires, wipers and filling wiper fluid. Main battery still fine.... I can continue but I stop here... there is too much nonsense in this article..
  • Gazza Green on May 07 2017 said:
    The whining of a dying industry. Never read so much crap. Well tried to read it, it's just rubbish.
  • Carter Copeland on May 07 2017 said:
    I work in the energy industry and find the article inaccurate, narrow minded and lacking perspective. Fundamentally, the author fails to appreciate the total cost per mile traveled, particularly in the congested urban rush hour traffic. At least the electric car turns off compared with gasoline mileage falling to single digits. Furthermore, even a modest amount of electric car market share will lesson the long term geo-political power of the middle east and all of its associated burdens. Lastly, the author fails to appreciate the potential to concentrate pollution away from urban centers where it might be better addressed from an engineering perspective. The health care aspect alone strongly favors electric vehicles.
  • PR on May 08 2017 said:
    This must be written by some kind of troll. This crap is good example of post fact or post truth era.

    The hell! "long line will have 50 percent loss built in" 300kV lines can carry up to 300MW energy. These wires would evaporate in a second if 150MW of power would absorbed in these lines!
    Energy losses in transmission lines including HV transformes in my country is 2-3%
  • Peep Rada on May 08 2017 said:
    What a crap article! Oilprice should think twice before allowing this guy to publish an article! Otherwise oilprice inevitably looses its credibility!

    50% electricity losses!!! power lines would evaporate in a second if such amount of power is absorbed in them. In my country losses are 2-3% and that includes transformers
  • Rob Levesque on May 08 2017 said:
    I am going to save this article. Can't wait to take it out in 5 years and see who is right.
  • DAS on May 08 2017 said:
    Why does oilprice.com allow people to publish sub par articles under a hidden name? Who is Zerohedge? Why are people or organizations allowed to publish this kind of rubbish? Obviously Zerohedge has a hidden agenda because almost all the 'facts' zero hedge mentions are just made up.

    Very disappointed that Oilprice.com allows this to happen. I am all in favor for debate but facts are facts. Do not mislead.
  • Oilracle on May 08 2017 said:
    DAS on May 08 2017 said: ...Who is Zerohedge?...
    ---

    Zerohedge's business is to predict future for all kinds of investors. If some believe them and they are right, those investors make money (or, at least, not loose)
  • Ross Chandler on May 08 2017 said:
    What space medium (aether)? Not the one shown to not exist by Michelson & Morley in 1887.
  • Lee James on May 09 2017 said:
    Wow! Oil Price sure has a lot of readers, judging by the number of comment for this article. And readers are mostly awake!
  • Dan W on May 10 2017 said:
    Energy conversion, blah, blah, blah. It takes maybe 10 minutes to fill my gas tank, yet 30 minutes or more to partially recharge an all electric vehicle. That's great for putt-putting around town, but very inconvenient on an out-of-town long-distance trip. (Hybrid cars make this better because you never have to plug in, much the same as locomotives do with their diesel-electric motors.) So until electrics become as easy to use as gassers, I'll keep my environmentally unfriendly cars, vans, & trucks.
  • Dude on May 10 2017 said:
    First and foremost I think electric cars ..in fact self driving electric cars are the way of the future for major cities and I'm 100% behind that. My concern is putting all our eggs in the electric basket (no may=tter the source) what happens when the grid goes down or is terrorized. Nothing moves for long ..food ..people..you name it. Smart thing is to have both and use them where they make the most sense. Oh we can go out and repair it ..with what our electric trucks? It doesn't have to be all or nothing either way nor it shouldn't be.
  • Adrian on May 10 2017 said:
    You don't seem to know much about engineering. Let's talk about how many years it took to generate those fuels and natural gas and so... what about refining and transportation to the end user. What if we had to produce ourselfs that fuel without oil sources.
    Then it seems electricity is not that bad... an electric engine has a very high performance compared to a combustion engine which is ridicoulous. You could be losing as much power as the car is putting to the ground, through the radiator.
    If you think of electricity as we know it now, and how we get it now, yes, maybe is not that great. Wait 30 or 40 years and the thing could be totally different.
  • Saddened on May 10 2017 said:
    Ever wonder hot much electricity goes into the creation of gas.
    Remember folks, gas does not just appear in gas pumps, it's drilled, transported, refined, transported, stored and pumped along with all sorts of other processes.

    I'm not saying there is not much in creating electricity but there is a lot of electricity used to make gas and all of the processes along the way.
  • hall monitor on May 16 2017 said:
    sadly...this article was accidentally submitted to oilprice rather than "The Onion"
    much worse...the editors at oilprice published it

    good news...readers recognized it for what it is
    better news...most readers responded appropriately...however...

    @timmie tee...please reconsider your "facts"...e.g. the Stanford reference you provided (thank you for that) specifically states that overall w to w efficiency of ICE vehicles is worse than electric, not better as you interpreted.
  • Paul on May 16 2017 said:
    So glad that the feel-goodery "mathematics" that prevails in this zerohedge article is being ignored by India and China, and to a lessor extent Russia, especially as this all relates to EVs. Not one mentioning of the FACT that we are going to update the electricity infrastructure ANYWAY, and that will include another unmentionalbe, Nuclear power. Bad article, but useful.
  • Barry on May 18 2017 said:
    It makes sense to use gasoline in your car rather than the power company burning fossil fuels to convert it to electricity to power a electric car. Fossil fuels are being burned either way you idiots so why add the power company to the process? It is a waste of resources.
  • GNS on May 19 2017 said:
    The more heated the arguments the more political they are. Why nobody talks about direct conversion of electricity from chemical fuel. Fuel cell was mostly abandoned because idiot taxpayers are financing Tesla, Google and others on SF projects. How many bankrupt solar cell enterprises we have on government dole.If a private enterprise trays a new technology let them fail or succeed, nobody financed Edison, Marconi or Tesla( which without his A/C inventions in generators and transformers will still talking about DC and who knows else).
    We are paying this for that in my taxes everywhere. Why we don't have efficient electrical transmissions in the gasoline cars, you generate electricity only not mechanical power. Volt was a start but an 8000% battery out of warranty is not easy to afford if and is still with tax payer money. Where is the 40 volt initiative in cars? Smaller wires more efficient usage of electricity.
    Put as many efficient solar panel in all the deserts of the world and help those poor guys there but is not the solution here in northern emisphere. Who is making money in the wind turbine business? How much is costing me the tax payer ? I want to here an honest engineer working with electricity and good at math have opinions here.
  • GKAM on May 22 2017 said:
    This is ridiculous, and must be terribly embarrassing to the writer. I have an EV which gets charged by my solar PV on the house.

    EVs have almost no maintenance: No oil changes or filters, no tune-ups, no transmissions, no emissions checks, and unbelievably cheap operation. Because of electricity, they have the performance of a sports car, with 100% torque at zero speed.

    Using regeneration, we can trade momentum for more battery power as the motor turns to generator slowing down the car as we back off on the pedal. One-pedal driving is such a treat in city and commute driving! In the 17 months we have had it we have saved over 800 gallons of expensively-blended California Gasoline at about $2.80/gal. It is over $3 now.

    You will be surprised at how soon you will have one.
  • GKAM on May 22 2017 said:
    My EV gets 4.5 miles/kwh. It costs me nothing because of my PV panels, but at YOUR lowest nighttime rate, how much would it cost you to go 100 miles?

    Crank in the maintenance needs of a toaster (clean it out once in a while), and the result is clear.
  • Frackingsucks on May 24 2017 said:
    Zerohedge.com please stop deceiving people and yourself with this.
    You deserve to be put to shame to even write this.
    Stop lying and deceiving people about what you pretend to know about electricity.
    You are providing Inconvenient Lies for/from people in the oil industry.
    I'm happy to see so many people prove you wrong.
    Just because you work and get paid by them doesn't mean you should purposely pretend you don't have a "FRACKING" conscience because you don't FRACKING care about the FRACKING environment.
  • Lee Hanson on May 24 2017 said:
    Who wrote this article? The figures are absolutely nonsense. The losses are in electrical energy on power lines are not correct also most electrical motors have efficiencies in the 90'% range. Unscientific rubbish!! Please substantiate the figures and provide references also check these figures with a professional scientist or engineer before publishing.
  • Joel Purser on May 24 2017 said:
    In our trip From San Diego to Houston in Our Tesla Model X we discovered that in a 300 miles Plus Trip you have to take the Children to the Bathroom, have a Snack and stretch your legs a little which takes about 40 min to an hour.

    It took 40 min for the super charger to recharge the SUV battery to 80% from 10% to continue the trip. Truth is I could have filled a IC car in ten minutes but have spent the same 40 min in that place anyway!

    For us It made no difference whatsoever.
  • JGH on May 25 2017 said:
    Aether? I think this guy just came from the 19th century.
  • JOhn on May 26 2017 said:
    Wow, someone is living in the past. I had to check the date it was published.
    What the author dosn't seem to grasp is the people living in cities dying from fumes emited by vehicles. The move to electric is a hugh difference and yes it may use energy at a different rate, but look at how much this technology had come on in recent years. I applaud the EV revolution.
  • Rowland Reeves on May 26 2017 said:
    Top energy conversion efficiency of gasoline automobiles is around 20% to 25%.
    Top energy conversion of gas / steam turbine electric generators is 40 %.
    Electric transmissions losses are typically in the 10% range. Net thus equals 30%.
    Lithium-ion battery charging efficiency is 99%. Thus loss of 1% there. Electric motor efficiency is in the 95% + range. (Thus - 5% energy loss there. )
    30% - 5% - 1% = 26% efficiency for electric automobiles.
    When you consider maintenance requirements of gas autos compared to electric the electric auto advantages are huge.
    When you consider hydro or other forms of renewable energy for electric car battery charging the advantages of electric automobiles a far superior to that of gas autos.
  • Bill on May 26 2017 said:
    I owned a fuel efficient gasoline car, 25mpg, and is now a proud owner of a fully electric imiev. What I have learned is that it takes the same amount of electricity to refine one gallon of gas as it takes my electric car to travel 72 miles.
    I would like the maths geniuses to explain why Anybody would need to refine the gallon of gasoline.to drive less mileage?
    Petrolheads will find any excuse to get a gasoline vehicle.
  • David Hrivnak on May 27 2017 said:
    Wow it did my heart good to see so many people realize the article is total garbage. I for one am ditching fossil fuels as electric cars are MUCH better. Both of our cars are plug-ins and we fully power both and the house from rooftop solar. The cost was about 7 years of gasoline costs. We are now 3.5 years into our experiment and it is going very well as we have logged 60,000+ gas free miles.
  • FrPeetsake on June 01 2017 said:
    So many comments about the exaggerated efficiencies in the Zerohedge article by commenters who then go on to state that they power their EV for Free from PV. Can you all understand how ignorant you sound? All primary energy is free. Coal is just sitting there in the ground, nobody has to pay the earth for coal any more than they have to pay the sun for some photons. If it is true that there is a Free PV store with free installation and free batteries out there somewhere let me know! how about free mining and toxic waste management from the fabrication facilities.

    The other thing that makes commenters sound silly is talking about what "we could do" - OK, could you? You also sound like first world spoiled brats talking about your EV's that you love. The only people allowed to be smug are people who walk or pedal or take the subway. You EV owners are not saving the planet with your consumption.

    And the final annoyance - you are so smug about having cheap electricity. Have you ever seen a copper mine or a coal mine or the fracked states in the USA?

    Can we stop talking about what we "believe" and work really hard to get real? What website hosts that kind of reality based discussions?
  • Arne Alligator on June 01 2017 said:
    Maybe we could use some brilliant engineering to capture the natural gas seeping from this enormous pile of bullshit? I assume it would be enough even for all these 5% efficient electric cars.

    Anyway I don't have time for this now, my household transformers are melting again.
  • Gad on June 10 2017 said:
    WOW this is NOT real… No physics rule exists for this guy…

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