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Big changes in the Electric Car industry and your State along with the Federal Government have plans for future owners:

[h=1]States yanking electric-car incentives and slapping on new fees to pay for infrastructure[/h][FONT=&quot]
  • A growing number of states are imposing new fees on electric vehicles as officials scrounge for ways to pay for infrastructure projects they say are long overdue.
  • At least five states, including California, passed bills targeting the cars this year, bringing the total number with fees on the books to 13.
  • The charges generally range from $100 to $200 a year.
  • States yank electric-car aid, add new fees to pay for infrastructure


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States are in a serious bind. On one hand they want the EVs, especially in places like Denver, LA, and NYC for their smog reduction features. On the other hand our roads have traditionally been funded via gas taxes. I haven't bought gas for my Volt since June 13th and probably wont do so again until my next road trip on August 20th. However, I am using the roads. This disconnect between road usage and gas taxes had already started to arise as the overall fleet fuel economy went up and became more obvious with the advent of 40+ MPG cars. With EVs, however, it's insane. The best solution is to track your miles each year or month and send a road use bill for those miles. However, Americans won't tolerate that level of tracking so states have simply been adding a flat fee to EV registration. Personally I have no problem with the fee or even mileage based (read odometer each year) charges so long as that money doesn't end up where most gas taxes do - in the General Fund as opposed to road maintenance and construction.

Colorado charges PHEV (Plug In EV) $50 per year for road usage. I believe they charge BEV (full Battery EV) $100 per year.
 

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One other thought, according to the oil industry's own analysis, governments around the world subsidize the oil industry to the tune of $500 Trillion each year. Let's lift that subsidy and see how renewable energy and EVs can compete on a level playing field. Industrial Scale Solar power is already on par with Coal in some parts of the world and cheaper than Oil in many, even with Oil selling below $40 per barrel.

Battery technology and our infrastructure still have a long ways to go before we can completely wean off dead dinosaurs for fuel.
 

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Ok, the first page of that link says "4.7 billion in annual revenue". This link says the US consumed "143.37 billion gallons" of gasoline in 2016. So, we're talking ($4.7/143.37 =) 3.3¢/gal worth of "subsidy". And that's assuming that all that subsidy only went to gasoline (it doesn't), so the actual value is less than that.

Fossil fuel will survive ending it's subsidies, but do the same to green energy and it will likely collapse.

I see this a lot in politics - find a large number, wrap a narrative around it and you've got a rallying cry. But put the numbers in perspective and a different picture emerges.
 

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The $4.7 Billion number is the United States only. Consider the $4.3 Billion number when remembering conservatives going (rightfully) ape-**** over $500 Million grant to Solyndra. I'm 100% in favor of ending all subsidies for both traditional and renewable energy.

Earlier this year an industrial solar installation contract was signed by Chile. That plant will produce slightly more electricity than the coal plant that it competed with and the construction price alone is lower than the coal plant, even with the high energy capacitors needed to store electricity for night time and bad weather distribution. In addition, the solar plant won't need fuel, further lowering its costs. The site chosen is large enough to double the number of panels as well so should Chile need more power they can simply purchase more panels.

Bottom line, renewables have gotten to a point where the initial R&D costs have been largely recovered and now we're looking at manufacturing scaling and efficiencies to reduce initial costs. They don't need the subsidies anymore. The older oil and gas technologies should have had their subsidies eliminated years ago.

The question Eddy raised in this thread is similar: Have EVs gotten to the same point? I don't think so, and for a few reasons:


  • Battery costs are still too high - but they are coming down
  • Battery energy densities are still too low
  • Recharge time needs to be brought down to ~15 minutes from the current 45 minutes (Tesla only)
  • Recharge infrastructure isn't in place yet. Yes, you can drive a Tesla coast to coast on I-80, but no other EV or route will work.

While the above list is being resolved, we as a society need to deal with the policy questions of how we're going to fund our personal/private transportation infrastructure. BEVs (battery only) don't use gasoline or diesel fuel, so they don't pay fuel taxes. Most drivers of PHEVs (plug in hybrids) treat them as EVs for most of their driving. The most equitable solution would be a per mile road use tax but that would require odometer readings or GPS tracking. Neither of these is politically feasible, so states are starting to charge road use fees as part of registration.

Thus for EVs you get on one hand tax refunds for purchase while on the other hand you get charged a road use fee. Definitely the typical government response to competing policy goals. The Volt is an EV for this purpose with OnStar reporting Volt owners driving an average of slightly over 9,100 miles on electricity out of 12,500 total miles each year. Nissan Leaf owners drive roughly 9,500 miles at year according to Nissan's OnStar equivalent. I don't mind paying the $50 road use fee, especially since it all goes to roads, unlike the gas tax.

The other odd tidbit about EVs is the cleanliness of their power source. The dirtiest fossil fuel plants today are cleaner than the cleanest fossil fuel plants 20 years ago. In addition some parts of the country have added considerable amounts of zero-emissions electrical generation over the same time period. This means total EV emissions, COx, NOx, SOx, etc., have dropped simply because the overall electric generation has gotten cleaner. Also, for PHEVs like the Volt the gas engines have gotten cleaner as well. The Gen 2 Volt uses the 1.5L DI Ecotec engine from the same engine line as the Cruze. The Gen 1 Volt used the same 1.4 Ecotec engine as the Cruze but without the turbo.
 

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One of the things that really irritates me about our current policies is that when I purchased my ECO MT, it got better fuel economy numbers than over half the hybrids on the road, yet the hybrids got subsidies. If we want to improve the overall fuel efficiency of the fleet those subsidies, if given, need to be based on overall fuel efficiency of the vehicle, not the specific technologies used to achieve that fuel economy.
 

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Moved to R&P.
 

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I'm 100% in favor of ending all subsidies for both traditional and renewable energy.
Does that include net metering for solar? (An operational subsidy, since a business model of buying at retail will never work on a larger scale.)


Earlier this year an industrial solar installation contract was signed by Chile.
There seems to be a few of them - mind pointing me to toward the one you have in mind?


even with the high energy capacitors needed to store electricity for night time and bad weather distribution.
I didn't think capacitors where anywhere near far enough along for such a project. Megawatt batteries are just getting there. You sure you're not thinking about solar thermal?


Bottom line, renewables have gotten to a point where the initial R&D costs have been largely recovered and now we're looking at manufacturing scaling and efficiencies to reduce initial costs. They don't need the subsidies anymore.
From what I'm seeing, at least at the consumer level, they still need it. The big problem is energy storage for night and bad weather.
 

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Does that include net metering for solar? (An operational subsidy, since a business model of buying at retail will never work on a larger scale.)
Yes. Utilities shouldn't be required to pay you more for the electricity you generate than they pay their primary suppliers. Done properly rooftop solar can actually eliminate the need for the very expensive surge generators most utilities have.

There seems to be a few of them - mind pointing me to toward the one you have in mind?
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/arti...e-for-cheapest-ever-at-half-the-price-of-coal. The generation facility itself is a 146MW solar plant. (http://solar.cleantechnology-busine...ates-146mw-chilean-solar-plant-051216-5687459)

I didn't think capacitors where anywhere near far enough along for such a project. Megawatt batteries are just getting there. You sure you're not thinking about solar thermal?
You may be correct here. I do know the plant in Chile is supposed to have the ability to provide electricity at night as well as during the day. Obviously it has to store it somehow.

From what I'm seeing, at least at the consumer level, they still need it. The big problem is energy storage for night and bad weather.
The Tesla Powerwall is available. It's expensive but you can hook nine of them together for a total of 45 KWh of AC power. http://www.businessinsider.com/ever...-it-weighs-269-pounds-and-is-61-inches-deep-8
 

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Ha, politicians are not the brightest people in the world, hear our own talking about electrics and hybrids reducing gas tax revenue so want to add a wheel tax as well. Not sure what's going on, but we had much better roads when paying 2 cents per gallon gas tax, then what we have now at 55 cents per gallon. Ike increased the gas tax to a nickel, with this an entire new interstate system. That meant buying homes in cities, tearing them down to build these roads. Other including moving mountains to minimized the grades.

If they hit trucks, the cost of our goods will skyrocket. The only thing electrics are good for is moving the source of pollution to another space. With all of their energy conversion, less efficient than carrying your own fuel. Hybrids are only good if driven like one, idiots that have them around here still fly up to a stop sign and slam on the brakes.

In theory at least with a hybrid, would be far more efficient to wind up a clock spring than going through all these energy conversions. When driving in hilly country, like here, would get far better fuel economy by holding the gas pedal steady to pick up speed when going down a hill, and using that gained inertia to go up the next one.

But a favorite spot for radar is at the bottom of the hill, get a stiff fine, and with double jeopardy, your insurance rates would skyrocket. If you don't downshift, will wear out your brakes.

Give us a worthless compact spare or none at all to save ten pounds, than add a ton of batteries, what are they thinking? Then we have all these idiot green people drastically increasing road construction because they are trying to save some kind of worm or a bug. Complaint about cutting down some trees for a power line, but these idiots never heard of doing this for a fire break.

Major problem today are idiots. Ha, said enough. Trillions of our dollars were sent to the middle east in a worthless attempt to spread democracy that they don't even want. Also skyrocketed are college tuition, least this is what they told us at our university. Even worse, only a small portion of this was tax deductible, so had to pay stiff income tax on top of this.
 

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Former Volt owner here. Most likely next car (very soon) will be a diesel Cruze. I would have considered another Volt but they are very expensive to lease or purchase.

Always point out to those who talk about "weaning off dino juice" I haven't heard anything about how to replace the 2/3 of a barrel of oil that's used to power airplanes, trains, trucks, and ships. My millennial relatives are all about sustainability and green living but they're also all about jumping on airplanes for world travel.
 

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Ha, politicians are not the brightest people in the world, hear our own talking about electrics and hybrids reducing gas tax revenue so want to add a wheel tax as well. Not sure what's going on, but we had much better roads when paying 2 cents per gallon gas tax, then what we have now at 55 cents per gallon. Ike increased the gas tax to a nickel, with this an entire new interstate system. That meant buying homes in cities, tearing them down to build these roads. Other including moving mountains to minimized the grades.
Agreed. Prices have skyrocketed relative to income in the US. The only other thing that's gone up at the rate of prices appears to be government employees - I suspect a connection.

If they hit trucks, the cost of our goods will skyrocket. The only thing electrics are good for is moving the source of pollution to another space. With all of their energy conversion, less efficient than carrying your own fuel. Hybrids are only good if driven like one, idiots that have them around here still fly up to a stop sign and slam on the brakes.
My Volt is roughly 50% more efficient on electricity than gas. I computed my electric to gas price conversion is about $1.15 per gallon. Also, did you read my earlier post - even the worst polluting fossil fuel power plants today are cleaner than the cleanest power plants from 20 years ago. Plus the amount of non-fossil fuel generated electricity has gone up significantly in the same time period. Bottom line is our grid is cleaner than ever when it comes to air pollution. EVs benefit from this.

In theory at least with a hybrid, would be far more efficient to wind up a clock spring than going through all these energy conversions. When driving in hilly country, like here, would get far better fuel economy by holding the gas pedal steady to pick up speed when going down a hill, and using that gained inertia to go up the next one.
Yes and no - the Cruze ECO MT does better just letting the cruise control manage your speed. The Volt, to maintain downhill speed uses an electric generator wrapped around the front axles to turn the axle spin into an electrical generator.

But a favorite spot for radar is at the bottom of the hill, get a stiff fine, and with double jeopardy, your insurance rates would skyrocket. If you don't downshift, will wear out your brakes.
True in any car. The Volt does some interesting things here however. It uses heavy generators on the drive axle to induce negative torque without using the brakes. It's about 70% efficient when recovering kinetic energy into electricity. The brakes aren't used until below 5 KPH or you're emergency braking.

Give us a worthless compact spare or none at all to save ten pounds, than add a ton of batteries, what are they thinking? Then we have all these idiot green people drastically increasing road construction because they are trying to save some kind of worm or a bug. Complaint about cutting down some trees for a power line, but these idiots never heard of doing this for a fire break.
I agree it's stupid to dump the spare tire, but given the idiots I've seen on the road who don't know how to change a tire or, even funnier, drive with the spare on and have another flat, I'm not sure a spare tire is useful to many people. The batteries in the Volt run under the center console (looks like a rear wheel drive car) and "T" under the rear seats. The gas tank is under the trunk. The area you would put a spare tire is the 12V DC battery and a whole bunch of electronics, including the car's main fuse box.

I had never thought about the fire break aspect of cutting down trees for power lines. I think I'll use that the next time someone complains about this.

Major problem today are idiots. Ha, said enough. Trillions of our dollars were sent to the middle east in a worthless attempt to spread democracy that they don't even want. Also skyrocketed are college tuition, least this is what they told us at our university. Even worse, only a small portion of this was tax deductible, so had to pay stiff income tax on top of this.
Major problem is people who think they're owed a life combined with politicians who cater to them for money.
 

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Former Volt owner here. Most likely next car (very soon) will be a diesel Cruze. I would have considered another Volt but they are very expensive to lease or purchase.
Someone on gm-volt was looking to buy a Volt. He said his commute is 100 miles each way on highways. I recommended he look at the Cruze Diesel. He claimed he had but didn't like the smell of diesel so my suspicion is he hadn't done so. Bottom line, the Volt isn't the right car for everyone. The Gen 2 Volt gets 40 MPG when running on it's gas engine, regardless of speed. According to C&D the Cruze Diesel can get up to 60 MPG at 55 MPH.

Jmaj said:
Always point out to those who talk about "weaning off dino juice" I haven't heard anything about how to replace the 2/3 of a barrel of oil that's used to power airplanes, trains, trucks, and ships. My millennial relatives are all about sustainability and green living but they're also all about jumping on airplanes for world travel.
On a per passenger mile aircraft are far more efficient than cars. I used to commute in DC - 20 miles each way. In the ECO MT this would be a gallon of gas for one person. In my minivan I could comfortably load up 5 people and at 20 MPG that would work out to two gallons for the round trip, but only 0.4 gallons per person. Busses and aircraft have similar operational economics and fuel efficiencies.

I know NASA and Austrailia's Quantas Airlines are both flying experimental aircraft that use biodiesel as a fuel source. Quantas is looking to switch to save money but needs the long range capabilities of the 747 and 777 aircraft so this testing is using a Boeing 777.

Even though electric vehicles are very likely here to stay, as I posted earlier there are still a lot of scientific, technical, engineering, infrastructure, and even economic hurdles before they will replace oil. Oil will still b used for transportation for the next several decades. As the hurdles are overcome more people will be able to switch to EVs (partial or pure) and more of the large commercial transportation will also switch. Diesel locomotives are already powered by electricity - the diesel fuel is used to run electric generators that actually drive the train. I suspect we may start seeing hybrid ships using spinning sails to generate the power to turn the screws that drive the ship and the oil burning engines becoming the backup for in-port usage. On a large scale electricity is the most efficient method to move power. What it doesn't have is the energy density or storage capacity of oil.
 

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In Indiana effective July 1 they added 10 cents to gas tax for the roads. The also added $15 for every car registered and $50 for hybrid and $150 for electrics. Plus the numbers will be indexed to inflation. As long as it is used for roads I guess it's ok. The cost of maintenance for roads has to be a lot.
 

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...Personally I have no problem with the fee or even mileage based (read odometer each year) charges so long as that money doesn't end up where most gas taxes do - in the General Fund as opposed to road maintenance and construction.
THIS pi$$es me off...it's THEFT...why can't we fix this?
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey how did my conversation migrate over here to religion & politics? That means instead of the normal 12,000 people logged on reading threads only about 200 can see this? :moved:
 

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Hey how did my conversation migrate over here to religion & politics?
Because for some, green energy is a religion? :1poke:

Actually, I think it's because it started with politics (that's where incentives come from) and went deeper.
 

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Can put 20 people in my motorhome, at 15 mpg, that's 300 mpg per passenger, this is how the airlines think. But with guys like me, need a shoe horn to help me get into that sit. We even had flights cancel if there wasn't even passengers to load that plane.

90 pound neighbor is driving a 4 ton SUV, apparently doesn't care about fuel economy, in a vehicle like the Cruze if carrying five passengers, more like 200 mpg per passenger.

Was driving a motorcycle for awhile, it only weighed twice as much as I did, didn't pay much attention to close calls until one dreadful day. Now prefer driving a Freightliner, but a bit of an overkill.

Gas tax around here is 55 cents a gallon, least for now, driving an electric is one way to get around it. But this sure closes this gap.
 
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