How to Promote the Hydrogen Economy Hoax

Discussion in 'General' started by Pushmi-Pullyu, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    How to Promote the Hydrogen Economy Hoax:
    A Guide for Plug-in EV Haters and Big Oil Shills


    We are taking our inspiration here from the more than slightly tongue-in-cheek "The EV-Hater's Guide to Hating Electric Cars", which is an exposé of all the myths, misinformation, and outright deliberate disinformation and FUD that EV haters commonly use in their anti-EV posts.

    Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) are a dismal failure, doomed to be replaced in just few short years by clean, "green" Fuel Cell EVs (FCEVs). Or so we keep getting told by everyone from Toyota to the California Fuel Cell Partnership to the U.S. Government's Fuel Cell Technologies Office.

    None of the claims from those promoting the "hydrogen economy" hoax hold up when exposed to daylight, actual facts, or real science. But that doesn't stop them. No, even when the actual facts, actual science, in short the actual Truth is shown to them, it doesn't even slow them down! So let's look first at the reality, and then at their entirely false claims.

    * * * * *

    Background, Part 1: Why is hydrogen fuel so utterly impractical?

    Let's be clear here: The problem isn't the fuel cell itself, nor the engineering of the fuel cell car; it's the fuel. Specifically, what makes it entirely appropriate to give the label "fool cell car" to FCEVs isn't the fuel cell stack nor the way the cars are built. The problem is that compressed hydrogen gas is a horrendously impractical fuel, and in fact it's very difficult to find another fuel for everyday use which would be as impractical as compressed hydrogen! Let's list a few of the problems:

    1. Hydrogen has very low energy content by volume. That means that it has to be very highly compressed, to 5000 or 10,000 PSI, for use in a FCEV.

    2. Compressing hydrogen to that degree requires special expensive high-pressure pumps, along with high-pressure pipes and storage tanks. Dispensing stations also have to have such pumps, pipes, and tanks, which is one of several reasons why building a hydrogen filling station is so extremely expensive; construction costs are about $1 million for each dozen FCEVs serviced per day! And of course maintenance costs for such fueling stations will also be orders of magnitude higher than costs for a regular gasoline filling station, on a per-car basis.

    3. H2 (the hydrogen molecule, composed of two hydrogen atoms) is so very tiny that ordinary seals won't stop it from leaking pretty rapidly. Special expensive seals are needed for storage of compressed H2, and even then there is some slow leakage past seals. In fact, the H2 molecule is so tiny that it will (very slowly) leak right through the solid metal walls of a storage tank!

    Note this also means the fuel will be constantly, albeit slowly, leaking out of any FCEV which it's stored in.

    4. Because compressed H2 has to be compressed to such a high pressure, existing pipe distribution systems for natural gas and petroleum can't be used to move H2. Generally, hydrogen fuel has to be moved using special (and again, expensive) high-pressure tanker trucks, which of course drives up the expense and the energy cost of distributing the fuel.

    But actually, none of these is the biggest, most important reason why neither you nor any of your family will ever drive a FCEV!

    * * * * *

    Background, Part 2: The real reason why hydrogen is the worst fuel

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics can be expressed, simply, as follows: No reaction is 100% efficient. Or to put it another way: Entropy happens.

    More generally, the Second Law states that as energy is transferred or transformed, more and more of it is wasted. And that's the biggest, most fundamental problem with using compressed hydrogen as a fuel: The long, multi-step, energy-wasting supply chain between generating the gas to dispensing it into a FCEV, or "fool cell" car. That chain has several links, and at every link it's losing energy. In some cases it's losing a lot of energy.

    [​IMG]

    [credit: Phys.org]

    Another way to look at the same problem is the economic view. In economics there is a principle called "Energy Return On Investment", or EROI. Briefly, it's a ratio between the energy invested in making a product vs the amount of energy present in the end product. Ideally that ratio should be very high. For example, currently in gasoline production, the EROI is usually between 10:1 and 20:1, meaning for every 1 unit of energy invested in extracting and refining petroleum, 10 to 20 units of energy are contained in the refined gasoline. That high EROI is one of several reasons why gasoline is so practical and popular as a fuel.

    Hydrogen fuel, on the other hand, requires such a massive investment of energy in several energy-wasting steps in the well-to-wheel supply chain that the EROI is only about 1:4 or 1:5, making it orders of magnitude less economical than gasoline by the time it's dispensed. That is reflected in the pump price, which for non-subsidized H2 is about USD $14-16. (Those promoting the "hydrogen economy" hoax often cite a significantly lower price; either a subsidized price or an outright fictional price.)

    Let's list those energy-wasting steps. Caveat: these numbers are estimates:

    1. Generating hydrogen: electrolysis or reformation

    Hydrogen can be generated either using electricity and electrolysis to split water into oxygen and hydrogen, or it can be generated by taking natural gas and "reforming" it to split off the hydrogen. Reforming hydrogen may actually take a bit more energy than generating it by electrolysis, but here's the important difference: The energy used to reform natural gas is contained in the natural gas itself, so that's energy provided free by nature. Contrariwise, the energy used for electrolysis comes from electricity, and must be paid for. That's why about 95% of commercially produced H2 is reformed from natural gas, even though it may have a higher energy cost.

    1a. Hydrogen from electrolysis: 70% efficient (30% energy loss)[1]

    1b: Hydrogen from reforming natural gas: 65% efficient (35% energy loss)

    2. Compression: 60-70% efficient (30-40% energy loss)

    3. Storage/distribution:

    3a. On-site generation/storage: 90% efficient (10% energy loss)

    3b. Distribution by tanker truck: 70% efficient (30% energy loss)[2]

    4. Fuel cell efficiency: 50% (50% energy loss)

    In general, total supply chain energy losses, depending on the exact source and the exact technology used, are about 2/3 to 3/4 (67-75%) for H2 from reforming natural gas, and about 3/4 to 4/5 (75-80%) for H2 generated by electrolysis.

    [Word count for a single post exceeded; essay continues in post below]
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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  2. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    [essay continues]

    Now that you hopefully understand why it's a hoax to claim that compressed hydrogen could ever be used as a practical, everyday transportation fuel, let's move on to examining the false arguments used by those promoting this hoax.

    Myths and Lies Disinformation to Use When Promoting the "Hydrogen Economy" Hoax

    1. Fuel cell vehicles are "green" and completely non-polluting!

    Always make this claim! Never mention the fact that the well-to-wheels process for generating, compressing, storing, transporting, re-storing, re-compressing, and dispensing compressed hydrogen gas is massively wasteful, profligately sucking up energy and generating massive amounts of greenhouse gasses. If someone starts talking about well-to-wheel efficiency or well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions, change the subject fast!

    2. Electric cars are more polluting than fuel cell vehicles!

    Always use fake comparisons as the basis for your claims when comparing FCEVs to Plug-in EVs (PEVs). For example, cherry-pick the States with the dirtiest grid energy, the ones using the most coal power; never mention that the States with the most PEV sales, such as California, Oregon, and Washington State, also have the cleanest power. Also, when doing your comparison with battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), always cite figures for the biggest, heaviest electric cars, which use the most energy, and compare those to the smallest, most energy-efficient FCEVs. See, it's easy to "prove" that fool cell cars are actually more energy-efficient if you use fake comparisons and extreme outlier, cherry-picked numbers!

    3. You can fill up a fuel cell vehicle in just three or four minutes, far faster than charging an electric car!

    Well actually, real-world reports show that the average fuel cell car filling time is about six minutes, but we're not interested in actual facts, are we? This is the one comparison between FCEVs and PEVs where the fuel cell car really is superior, so get all the mileage out of it that you can! Repeat this as often as possible. Associate the terms "electric car" and "EV" with "waiting on charging". (Never mind that 90-95% of PEV charging is done at home or at work, where the driver spends absolutely zero time on waiting.) Say it again: “waiting”. See how delightfully negative that word makes you feel. And if an EV-lover mentions that a fuel cell car can only be filled up at a very few places in the entire USA, so that you can't drive one more than about 150 miles from the nearest of those few fueling stations, just look at them like they’re crazy, and then change the subject. It doesn’t matter that you can recharge a PEV literally anywhere you can find an electrical outlet; all PEV drivers are poor saps who have to spend hours every day waiting on their cars to charge.

    4. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe!

    You can impress everyone with your awesome scientific knowledge by citing this fact, and it's actually true! Unfortunately, since hydrogen is so reactive, very nearly 100% of the hydrogen on Earth is bound up in compounds (like water) and takes lots of energy to extract, but just ignore that. Only science nerds care about such nit-picky details, and who cares about them?

    5. In the future, electricity from solar and wind power will be almost free, so the price of hydrogen will be too cheap to matter!

    This is always a favorite of "fool cell" fanboys. Only talk about the cost of generating hydrogen, and completely ignore the fact that most of the high cost for non-subsidized H2 fuel comes from costs further along the supply chain. Even more importantly, whatever you do, always, always be sure to ignore the reality that if prices of electricity come down significantly, that makes the pure electric car (BEV) even more competitive against the fool cell car! So if someone points that out, change the subject very fast.

    6. Fuel cell vehicles emit only water, pure enough to drink!

    That's another way to impress people with how "clean" fuel cell vehicles are! Never mention the fact that nobody at Toyota is willing to show how "pure" that water is by drinking it [3].

    7. A new process for making cheap hydrogen will soon bring the price down to $5/kg... or even $2/kg!

    Well this is just a variant on #5, but what the heck, use it anyway. When you're talking about a new technique for generating hydrogen, always talk about it in a wide-eyed, breathless manner, and most importantly, you must ignore the fact that nobody is actually using that technology because it's not practical. Of course if it was used it still wouldn't significantly reduce the at-the-pump price for hydrogen, because of the reasons detailed in #5 above, but hopefully nobody in your audience will know that. After all, your target audience is the uninformed, because those actually informed on the subject will know you're just spouting bull pucky.

    8. Total lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from battery electric cars are greater than those from fuel cell vehicles, as shown by a scientific study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)!

    Of course this is just a variation on #2, but when you can cite a supposedly "real scientific study" then it appears so much more credible!

    There is a paper from NTNU which is widely cited in EV-bashing articles from various right-wing think tanks, especially ones funded by Big Oil. The university in question has a partnership with Statoil, a Norwegian multinational oil and gas company. The "study" used a theoretical model of a small, very fuel-efficient gasoline-powered car, and compared that to a theoretical model of a BEV (Battery Electric Car) powered by a 1000 kg (not a typo -- one thousand kilos) industrial electric motor, and the inverter for that! It also cherry-picked the States in the USA with the most polluting electric power generation for its false comparison. The fake science "paper" concluded that the amount of energy used and pollution generated over the life of such a BEV, including manufacturing figures for the massive amount of copper wiring and other materials used in such an oversized motor, put the car well past the amount of cradle-to-grave greenhouse gases generated by the gas-powered car. There were other gross errors (such as citing battery chemistry for the BEV used in no production BEV anywhere)... but why go on? The point is that this fake study has nothing to do with reality. The conclusion of this fake "study", obviously funded by Big Oil, was that a small fuel-efficient gas-powered car is "greener" than a BEV!

    Okay, those are the facts... but who cares about those? We are here to promote the hydrogen economy hoax, after all; and sticking to the truth just won't work for us! By all means cite this scientificy-sounding study, because it has been frequently cited by think tanks funded by Big Oil, and because it sounds so impressively academic with its title “Comparative Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Conventional and Electric Vehicles". Just hope that nobody in your audience is a fan of Robert Llewellyn and his "Fully Charged" series about electric cars, because they might have read his blog post "The Truth Will Out", exposing the shocking amount of misinformation and outright bull pucky in that fake study.

    Notes

    [1] Finding actual figures for energy efficiency of on-site generation of H2 at H2 fueling stations, using electrolysis, proved impossible. We are using the 70% estimate from the Energy & Capital.com article (see References below), which seems reasonable, as the "DOE Technical Targets for Hydrogen Production from Electrolysis" showed, for system energy efficiency, target figures of 72% for 2015 and 75% for 2020.

    [2] "Energy and the Hydrogen Economy", Ulf Bossel and
    Baldur Eliasson, p. 18

    [3] "Toyota: Don’t Drink The (Fuel Cell) Water", Gas 2.org, December 2014

    References

    "Why a hydrogen economy doesn't make sense", Phys.org, December 2006

    "The Hydrogen Economy -- Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Are No Panacea", Energy & Capital.com, July 2007

    "Time To Come Clean About Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles", Clean Technia.com, June 2014

    "The Hydrogen Economy: Opportunities, Costs, Barriers, and R&D Needs", The National Academies Press, 2004
    -
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 10, 2018
  3. Roy_H

    Roy_H Member

    Just want to applaud your thorough and extensive post on the H2 economy as applied to the auto industry. :)
     
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  4. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Thank you! :)

    I've gotten rather tired of arguing with some persistent FCEV fanboys on the InsideEVs news site, so instead of continuing to fill up pages of posts repeating the same arguments over and over again, I thought it would be better to write a formal and hopefully comprehensive essay on the subject, so in the future I can just cite one of the numbered points and link to the essay above, instead of writing another repetitive post on the subject.

    One of the Usual Suspects* on the news site, Nix -- who I think is more knowledgeable on these subjects than just about anyone else, and whose opinion I respect greatly -- made a disparaging remark in one of those repetitive argument threads following a news article related to FCEVs. He said something to the effect that we were just feeding the trolls by continue to argue with them. It's certainly notable that whenever there's a FCEV-related news story on the site, the same few FCEV fanboys show up and repeat the same arguments; arguments which IMHO are fallacious. So hopefully I can cut down on the proliferation of repetitive arguments there by simply referring to this essay. And I hope others will, too!

    *I use the term "Usual Suspects" to refer to those who frequently post comments there; people like myself. I haven't seen anyone object to the term, but in case anyone was wondering, it's meant to be an amusing term rather than a pejorative.
     
  5. WalksOnDirt

    WalksOnDirt Member

    Nicely done. A couple of minor nits:

    You're changing between an informative post and an example of how to write a screed for hydrogen. It doesn't work and it's mildly confusing. Personally, I think this is too long for the bad example treatment. It may be too much work to fix, though.

    "We are using the 70%..." We? Who is we? A coauthor? This is not the place to use an editorial we.
    (Yes, I am aware that it is too late to change anything here.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  6. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I agree that it's not the best format to switch between informative "just the facts, ma'am" writing and sarcastic "bad examples". Do you think it would be better to rewrite this as two essays, with the first being informative and the second being the "bad examples"?

    As far as using the editorial "We"... WOD, I started using that in the very first sentence! :) I also repeatedly use "let's", which also implies a more personal interaction with the reader than the more distant, more formal third person writing, of the strictly informative text such as is found in textbooks and reference works.

    No, it's not too late to change things. Domenick has been very helpful behind the scenes, and I'd guess that if I ask nicely I could get him to remove this entire thread so I could start over again.

    I do want this to be useful as a reference, so if it needs a major revision, better to do that now than later.

    Your feedback is much appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  7. WalksOnDirt

    WalksOnDirt Member

    The first "we" is also inappropriate. "Let's", when referring to the author and the reader, is appropriate.

    Of course, these are only my opinions. Feel free to ignore them.
     
  8. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    WalksOnDirt, I've created a private conversation for discussion of grammar and style issues in the essay.

    I doubt that most readers are interested in what I'd call a "Grammar Nazi" discussion, and I don't want to fill up the thread with discussion of such issues; hence the private conversation. But if anyone want to join in, just post your request here and I'll add you to the discussion.
     
  9. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Active Member

    I fully endorse everything posted about any form of hydrogen outside of industrial uses. However, ammonia is a reasonable hydrogen carrier:

    Compared to hydrogen as a fuel, ammonia is much more energy efficient, and it would be a much lower cost to produce, store, and deliver hydrogen as ammonia than as compressed and/or cryogenic hydrogen.[60] The conversion of ammonia to hydrogen via the sodium-amide process,[69] either as a catalyst for combustion or as fuel for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell,[60] is another possibility. Conversion to hydrogen would allow the storage of hydrogen at nearly 18 wt% compared to ~5% for gaseous hydrogen under pressure.
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonia

    There are applications where a fuel cell makes sense. For example, where there is limited fresh air, waste heat use, and water. But it doesn't scale well for cars and laptops where batteries rule.

    Bob Wilson
     
  10. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Well, that's one of several reasons why anyone who's scientifically literate can be sure that H2 will never be used as a fuel on a widespread basis: because there are so many much better alternatives. Alternatives which are both more practical and more affordable.

    ...and where the cost of fuel isn't an important factor. For example, fuel cells are used on spacecraft and in underwater unmanned drones.

    Sure, fuel cells have their niche applications. And it may be that someday, we'll see widespread use of FCEVs for passenger vehicles. But if so, they won't be fueled by compressed hydrogen; they'll be fueled by some more practical fuel, such as synthetic methane or even -- as you say -- ammonia.

    There are places in the world where the electric grid isn't dependable, and in such places, it may make sense to move to FCEVs, so long as they have an onboard reformer to produce hydrogen from a more practical, more affordable fuel.
    -
     
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  11. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    So my wife last night was lamenting about having to get gas this morning. Said 'why don't I just get a Tesla and always have a full tank?, or why can't someone just come fill my tank up overnight?'

    So that got me thinking about 2 things.

    First, fill'd. I told her yeah there's like 3 companies who fill your tank on demand. Used it last night, perfect. Only cost $2.99 delivery. She's hooked.

    Second though, I live in a condo. My unit is long front to back. Under half of it is my garage, under the other half is another unit. Above me is the roof, no units. My panel is in the kitchen, beneath which is the other unit, not the garage. So I can't drop a wire down from there.

    Running back to where the garage is requires going through a shower. Not digging out a shower to run a wire.

    Not undoing the roof to run a wire up.

    I could possibly tap into the meter and install a second panel in the garage, however running a wire over to my garage means going through my neighbors garage too. A much easier prospect as these are all just bare drywall, but still requires disrupting someone elses property. And my other neighbor would need to go through both the first garage and also my garage.

    So I can't really get a level 2 charger without considerable work, if at all. And I know I am not alone in this type of situation, where getting level 2 to the garage is not really possible. We also don't have ample non-garage parking to let everyone get an EV and have level 2 outside, and I am not parking outside anyhow when I have a garage for 2 cars.

    Now I know Pu-Pu is going to say that BEV is the only way humanity should possibly move, but that is incredibly short sighted for decades at least, maybe a century even. Not until everyone is living in units which have been modified or built so that level 2 is universally available.

    So what am I supposed to do, burn dead dinos for ever? Well an option is hydrogen. While today it may not be quite as good as BEV on the net energy used spectrum, it's still better than gas. And that's where I think the argument against hydrogen (or anything that isn't 100% BEV) fully falls apart. If you accept BEV and only BEV then you are forcing a set of people into sticking with gas, and that's certainly not the goal.

    Instead of looking at it as some big oil and gas conspiracy, look at it as an alternative that is better than nothing for some. As Dave Chappelle said "everybody ****'s funny to somebody".
     
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  12. WalksOnDirt

    WalksOnDirt Member

    You do have access to 120 volt power though, right? I think you would be better off with a plug in hybrid, like the Volt. Not that the Volt is necessarily the right car for you, that car may not exist yet, but it should be possible.

    There are others with no power to where their cars are parked. I still don't think hydrogen is the best solution, but if it is it will happen.

    The government is interfering with the markets with the $7,500 tax rebate, but that's no reason to compound the error by providing hydrogen to people. What we needs is a fee and dividend, which on average won't cost anything except for administration. We need to stop burning coal, oil and natural gas. The time frame for that is many decades, not years.
     
  13. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    Not doing the hybrid thing, don't like the driving experience of them at all. I'd rather go hydrogen.

    The government is interfering with the markets with the EV rebate, totally agree.
     
  14. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    You write as if homes never had to be rewired; as if no homes or buildings were ever converted from gas lighting to electric.

    As BEVs become more commonplace, so will installing BEV chargers. The idea that it's somehow an insurmountable barrier to run electricity from a house to wherever a car is parked for the night... well, that idea should disappear even faster than the idea back in the horse-and-buggy era that cities couldn't possibly have a lot of cars driving around in them, because there would be no place to park.

    The change to our culture and our daily lives with the conversion from gasmobiles to BEVs will be far, far less and far, far easier than it was in the change from the horse-and-buggy era to the motorcar era.

    Now of course, "Feed the Trees", that doesn't solve your problem. The common-sense solution would be to consult an electrician. If you're in the Kansas City area, I can recommend one who is really expert at his job and doesn't charge a lot. Naturally, though, he's very much in demand and you have to schedule an appointment at least a month in advance. (What's that saying? Better, faster, cheaper: Pick any two, because you'll never get all three.)
    -
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
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  15. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    Oh of course everyone lives in houses where rewiring is readily possible and the costs are not at all prohibitive. And panels are always already in garages with plenty of excess room to add circuits, as everyone knows.

    And because that's patently false, and the costs are going to be huge to many, there should be alternatives available and it's good that there are. I am thinking back to my childhood home, for example. 2 stories with a finished basement. The fuse panel was in the basement on the far east side. The garage was detatched by about 40 feet and on the west side of the property. Running a wire would have necessitated digging through the entire basement, up a floor, out under the ground, and then through the garage slab into the wall. Good times!

    I'm rightly skeptical of anyone who proclaims there is only one acceptable way where there's clearly fine alternatives.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  16. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    There is definitely not anyone who lives in houses with things like asbestos drywall, so any project to tear into and run wires involves abatement costs.

    There's definitely not anyone who lives in apartment complexes where parking is all in parking lots.

    There's definitely not anyone who lives in high rise towers where the owners of the building aren't about to wire an entire parking structure.

    Will these types of things be remedied? Yeah sure given enough time everything will. But it's going to be a very, very long time. Many of these situations are just going to wait until the units are torn down at the end of their useful lives and rebuilt. Providing no alternatives that isn't just keeping on with gasmobiles, as you call them, is foolish. This kinds of research is important, whether you like it or not.
     
  17. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    The tone of your post suggests you're looking for a personal fight. I'll pass.

    If your point is that installing a L2 charger for a PEV isn't going to be easy and cheap for everyone, then point taken. But when I read posts from people (not you, Feed The Trees, but others) complaining that it will cost them thousands of dollars to run a cable out to their apartment building's parking lot, or underneath their driveway, then I have to think that this can only happen only one of two ways:

    1. Because they're getting estimate from a contractor who doesn't do that on a regular basis

    -or-

    2. Because the company in question is engaging in price gouging

    We had Google Fiber installed here at our house for a flat fee of $300. Google didn't send out someone to do an estimate; someone who said "Well, we'll have to use a backhoe to dig a trench up to your house, and run dozens of yards of fiber optic cable; that's going to cost you $1500" or whatever. No, Google was set up to do this all over the neighborhood, and they did it for just $300 per installation. Do you think Google was losing money on the deal? I don't!

    What I would like to see is utilities use their own people and equipment to do installations of these L2 chargers. Obviously they have the people and equipment to dig trenches across concrete and asphalt roads; they rip up streets to install sewers, water lines, buried phone lines, and gas lines all the time. Are their internal costs thousands of dollars just for digging a trench in a concrete or asphalt road? Of course not! It's silly to think it costs them that much.

    It's just my opinion, but I think the high costs quoted for L2 charger installations are mainly due to the fact that contractors and installers aren't in the business of doing that on a daily basis. It's outside their normal business, and they may not have the equipment they need to do it inexpensively. So they charge an arm and a leg.

    As more and more L2 charger installations are done, I think the price is going to come down, both because installers will come to do that on a daily basis, and because they won't be able to price gouge so easily when their competitors are doing it for (like Google did) only $300, plus of course the price of the actual EV charger.

    Of course, Feed The Trees, it's easy for me to sit at my keyboard and minimize the difficulties that you're experiencing, and the expenses you're looking at. That fee isn't going to come out of my wallet, so you have my sympathies for that.

    But as far as the installation fees actually being an insurmountable or long-term barrier to BEV adoption -- no, I don't see that at all. I'm old enough to remember when businesses and homes installed central air conditioning. Nobody was going around complaining about the cost of having to have the main panel in their house or business rewired for more amps; they just accepted the cost as part of upgrading their business or home. Those who couldn't or didn't want to, just continued to live without air conditioning. Maybe if Internet social media had been around in those days, we'd have seen as many complaints about that as we're seeing about the cost of installing L2 chargers today. Or even more, since it was certainly far more than 1-2 percent of the population who was installing central air conditioning, during the 1960s and early 1970s!

    And today, those who don't want to pay the cost of installing a L2 charger, can continue to drive a gasmobile. Or, for those who live in California or Florida, and perhaps at least parts of other coastal States, places where the weather is mild year-round, they may be able to get along with just a L1 charger. But sooner or later, over the next 20 years or so, most people who drive cars are going switch to driving BEVs, and most of them are going to pay to have a L2 charger installed... or the landlord of the apartment where they live will, or the city will if they live where people park overnight on the street.

    It just amazes me that people regard this as such an enormous change to our world. Compared to the switch from the horse-and-buggy era to the motorcar era, the switch from gasmobiles to BEVs will be practically nothing! But we'll all be breathing easier. :)
    -
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
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  18. Feed The Trees

    Feed The Trees Active Member

    20 years is highly optimistic for most people switchng to BEV. I'm not sure if any manufacturer outside of Tesla expects their sales to be mostly BEV in 20 years, let alone all the manufacturers.

    In the meantime my point is that not hedging and ignoring other options as viable, even if they're in some manner inferior, would be foolish. Luckily we're still exploring and expanding our options.
     
  19. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Active Member

    I'm content to wait. In the meanwhile, today, January 26, 2018, we can buy cars that to a greater or lessor extent can drive anywhere in the USA:
    • gas/diesels/start-stop - plateau around 30-35 MPG
    • hybrids - reach 45-55 MPG
    • plug-in hybrids - reach 60-90 MPG
    • BEV - reach 100-130 MPG
    Bob Wilson
     
  20. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Oh, now I understand why you posted this to this "How to Promote the Hydrogen Economy Hoax" thread.

    The problem is that your argument does not account for options which are so impractical that it's not rational to use them. You could make the same argument that we should go back to steam-powered cars, which would be scarcely less inefficient than fool cell cars.

    After all, the Stanley Steamer was once one of the best-selling cars. Should we go back to using those again? If not, why not?
     

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