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By Robert Rapier on Jan 22, 2016 with 144 responses

It Really Was A Trillion Dollar Blunder

A few days after Christmas I appeared on CNBC Asia’s Squawk Box to discuss the volatility in the oil market. Bernie Lo asked a question about OPEC’s strategy, and I characterized their decision to defend market share as “a big, costly mistake” that had already cost the group over $500 billion in 2015 and would likely cost them that much again in 2016.

I followed that appearance up with an article for Forbes called OPEC’s Trillion-Dollar Miscalculation (which went viral and received more than 100 times the traffic of their typical energy article). In that article I detailed the numbers behind my assertion.

Two weeks later, Continental Resources CEO and shale drilling pioneer Harold Hamm went on CNBC and reiterated my argument. He called OPEC’s strategy “a monumental mistake for them, I might add, a trillion-dollar mistake.” While there were a number of responses to Hamm’s comments that displayed varying degrees of schadenfreude over the huge decline in his net worth, I didn’t see much acknowledgement that the point is correct. So let’s review.

By the time of the 1973 OPEC oil embargo, OPEC’s share of global oil production had been rising for years. In 1973 OPEC was producing more than 50% of the world’s oil. But in response to the embargo, countries all over the world implemented a number of changes to gain back some degree of energy security (addressing both supply and demand side), and OPEC’s market share went on a decade-long decline. By 1985, OPEC’s share of global oil production had fallen to 27.6%, but by 1995 it had once again risen to above 40%. In 2008, just as the shale oil boom in the U.S. was beginning, OPEC’s share reached 43.8%.

From 2008 to 2014, the U.S. added nearly 5 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil production to the market. This lessened the U.S. need for OPEC’s oil, and by 2014 OPEC’s share of global oil production had fallen slightly to 41.2% in 2014.

Historically OPEC — and more specifically Saudi Arabia, which is responsible for over 30% of the group’s oil production — has functioned as the world’s swing producer for crude oil. If the world needed more oil production, OPEC could usually bring more barrels online. If the world needed less, some could be idled. The group often stressed the need for a stable oil price to ensure that global supply met global demand.

Because they were losing market share — but perhaps more importantly because they saw that trend continuing — that strategy was abandoned at their November 2014 meeting. It was then that OPEC announced they would defend market share that was being lost due to the rise of non-OPEC production, especially from the United States. Some have argued that OPEC had no choice but to defend market share instead of cutting production to balance the market, but I disagree. I think Saudi Arabia pushed for a strategy that will go down as one of the greatest mistakes in OPEC’s history. It was a decision, I might add, that 9 of the 13 OPEC members reportedly oppose.

To review, crude oil had shown signs of being oversupplied in early 2014, and by summer prices had started to soften. By the time of their November 2014 meeting, the price had dropped from about $100/bbl in mid-summer to ~$75/bbl. In making their decision, I think OPEC believed that oil prices could fall somewhat below $75/bbl for a short period of time, and that would be enough to bankrupt a lot of the shale oil companies and allow OPEC to recapture market share. Instead, the shale oil producers slashed costs, and while some producers have gone bankrupt — and other bankruptcies are undoubtedly on the way — shale oil production has proven to be much more resilient than the Saudis and OPEC expected. It is declining at a much slower rate than they anticipated.

After that November 2014 meeting the Saudis were committed, and they have reiterated their strategy at 2 subsequent meetings. To change strategies now would be to admit they had been wrong. Following that initial meeting and the 2 subsequent meetings, oil prices have dropped to lower and lower support levels. As a result the annual difference in the price OPEC is getting today for their crude, and the price they were getting prior to their November 2014 meeting is over $500 billion per year for the group.

What other choice might they have made?

At the time of their decision, the global markets were probably oversupplied by 1-2 million bpd. If OPEC had merely decided to remove 2 million bpd off the world markets — only 5.5% of the group’s combined 2014 production — the price drop could have easily been arrested and maintained in the $75-$85/bbl range. That would have still given them 38.9% of the global crude oil market. For that matter, a production quota cut of 13% could have removed from the market a volume equivalent to all of the U.S. shale oil production added between 2008 and 2014. (Whether the Saudis could have actually enforced those quotas is another matter).

Why didn’t they opt for that course of action?

I think the single biggest reason is that they were concerned that the shale oil boom would continue to expand, with production not only continuing to grow in the U.S. but in other countries with shale oil resources. It was a legitimate concern, but I think the shale oil boom in the U.S. would have peaked in a few years. With the world’s demand continuing to grow, OPEC could have just tightened up a couple of times to maintain price, and then waited for declining shale production to give them back market share.

OPEC of course reasoned that it didn’t make sense that they, the low cost producer, should cut production which would prop up higher cost producers. After all, that does seem backwards. But there is a risk in that strategy. If the higher cost producers slash costs in an attempt to survive (which they undoubtedly would), OPEC could suffer through a period of much lower prices. That is in fact what has happened.

OPEC has claimed several times that their strategy is working because U.S. shale oil production is falling. But the only way the strategy actually works is for OPEC to get back to the cash flow levels they had prior to 2014. They are a very long way from achieving that.

Should OPEC go on to gain back market share, and should they manage to maintain higher margins as a result, their strategy could pay off in the long run. The one big thing they have going for them is that they still control 72% of the world’s proved crude oil reserves — 1.2 trillion barrels. If they ultimately manage to sell those barrels and earn a few dollars more per barrel as a result of their current strategy, it could amount to trillions of dollars. (Note that because proved reserves are a function of price and available technology, their reserves estimates may plummet back to what can be produced economically at a price of $30/bbl. That will nullify much of Venezuela’s heavy oil reserves).

If OPEC’s strategy does ultimately pay off, it will be many years before it does so. It will require a huge recovery in the price of oil. It won’t be easy for them to earn back the trillion dollars in foregone revenue for 2015 and 2016. At this moment in time, it is hard to conclude that it was anything other than a big, costly miscalculation on their part. I also expect that’s what the history books will eventually say.

Link to Original Article: It Really Was A Trillion Dollar Blunder

Follow Robert Rapier on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or at Forbes.

  1. By Fat Ted on January 22, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    But wouldn’t OPEC eventually be forced to make the move that they did? If the price didn’t go down, there would just continue to be more and more growth in non-OPEC countries, causing OPEC to lose market-share. This way, they can gain back market share and in theory be in a better position when prices begin to rise.

    I actually like your argument, I’m just trying to come to a better understanding about it.

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    • By Robert Rapier on January 22, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      Only if you make that assumption that non-OPEC production would just continue to grow. Prior to the shale oil boom, non-OPEC production was in decline. Shale oil reversed that. It would have made sense to just wait for shale production to peak, which probably would have happened in a few years.

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  2. By jnffarrell1 on January 22, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Saudi market strategy is Shakespearean. “First we kill all the lame lease lawyers” then we take over their leases at $0.15 on the dollar. Buying sour oil at twice what its worth never was a sweet deal. Moreover, redundant/layered distribution networks for all flavors of petroleum products make being here (in America) much more valuable than being elsewhere.

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  3. By Forrest on January 23, 2016 at 6:45 am

    What to make of Davos meeting. They claim 1 MBD oversupply is the problem. Note that U.S. ethanol production is 1 MBD and international total 2 MBD. Also, ethanol production is increasing.

    Iraq claimed during the meeting that they need oil revenue to continue the life and death fight against ISIS. They need IMF money as oil revenue gone. Note that Iraq and Saudi Arabia have opposing religious values and fight to establish leadership within the region. Both struggle for increase influence. SA is enjoying Iraq loss of oil wealth and warfare costs. This may be a large factor of the Trillion Dollar experiment. The regional conflict cost, a win for them if Iraq suffers.

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  4. By JustWantClarity on January 23, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Robert,
    Good analysis. The only problem I see is that at $75 shale activity would continue to grow. At that price the big players in the Marcellus have drilling location inventories that would last decades, not years. Production prior to the price drop was limited by transportation capacity, not drilling activity. So, to maintain the price OPEC would have to continue to sacrifice market share. The Saudis certainly misunderstood the nature of the oil and gas business in the US, but they were caught in a situation for which there was no good response (other to have diversified their economy during good times).

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    • By Robert Rapier on January 23, 2016 at 11:21 am

      “At that price the big players in the Marcellus have drilling location inventories that would last decades, not years.”

      The Marcellus is a gas play though. I think production in the oil plays would have grown for a few more years too, and that’s the gamble OPEC had to make. Either they give up market share (and in truth they had given up very little market share) and wait for production to peak, or they do what they did. If shale oil production continued to grow for another decade, then they probably would have had to go this route at some point in any case.

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      • By JustWantClarity on January 23, 2016 at 11:43 am

        Currently gas dominates in the Marcellus, but SW Pennsylvania and Ohio are very liquids rich. The other potential zones such as the Utica and the Devonian are also. The dry gas pipeline network has limited their development. The Bakken area also has alternate zones with lots of oil. As we have seen, the nature of shale development makes it a “manufacturing” model characterized by repeated and ever more efficient activity. This makes any forecast based on current technology inherently pessimistic. My (somewhat whimsical) prediction is that the last producing oil well in the world will be within shouting distance of the first one.

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  5. By EEStorFanFibb on January 23, 2016 at 11:41 am

    to the author: how does the Saudi strategy look to you if global oil demand (for whatever reason) were expected to fall like a rock between 2020 and 2030?

    Because that’s what’s going to happen.

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    • By Robert Rapier on January 23, 2016 at 11:58 am

      I have actually run some scenarios on that. You have to assume extremely high uptake of EVs — far, far beyond what is taking place now — to really make a dent in global oil demand. EVs are starting from a very low base and the inventory of existing ICEs is very high, so I wouldn’t count on it. I actually addressed that in a Forbes article: recently: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2015/12/22/the-fallacy-of-peak-oil-demand/#417729a5719c

      But, let’s say you are correct. The Saudi strategy looks even worse, because they will never make that trillion dollars up.

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on January 23, 2016 at 12:18 pm

        interesting, thanks for responding. my prediction is by 2025 the majority of the car buying public will be extremely interested in electric cars. said cars will be an extremely good value proposition for consumers: cheap to purchase, much cheaper to fuel and maintain, more reliable, and more fun to drive, all with no compromises. gasmobiles will be the BlackBerry of cars. it will happen relatively quickly. in fact the tide will start turning as early as 2018. add 15 years to turn over much of the fleet and boom oil demand is largely destroyed by 2035 or so. add autonomous driving on top of that for even more oil demand destruction.

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        • By Optimist on January 26, 2016 at 8:36 pm

          Dream on, boys. EVs won’t get a second look until gas goes north of ~$5/gallon. At least not any time soon.

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      • By Jeff Hayward on January 23, 2016 at 4:22 pm

        I recently read Elias Hinckley’s Jan 2015 article that predicts the Saudi strategy is indeed to pump as much of what is becoming a stranded asset as they can while there is still a market. I’m assuming you disagree?

        http://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/01/whats-the-future-of-opec

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        • By Robert Rapier on January 23, 2016 at 4:45 pm

          Yes, I disagree. I don’t think Saudi believes they are at risk of having stranded assets. Things may change in the future, but the outlook for oil isn’t like the outlook for coal. There are good replacements for coal, but not so much for oil with respect to scale and cost.

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          • By Jeff Hayward on January 23, 2016 at 4:58 pm

            I have to say your analysis seems to be the more persuasive of the two.

            Hinckley’s take would be ground-shaking if true, though, and worth considering even if to dismiss. I do wonder what the internal Saudi thinking around stranding is given Yamani’s “30 year” quote.

            Thanks for another good article.

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            • By Forrest on January 24, 2016 at 7:05 am

              Agree with you. The battery car enthusiasts info doesn’t look credible. Way to optimistic to extrapolate such minor trends to predict future. Think of the massive investment to improve grid. This sector is responsible for most of the emissions. Transportation is improving quickly and not that big of a problem either per investment cost or high emissions. Bio fuel is all ready in the mix mitigating emissions upon almost every ICE operating, old or new. When one factors in the evolution time span to cost effectively improve the grid, the tripling of national debt, and huge future cost of gov’t social bill, well, not much left over for overhauling grid. So, grid power should be minimized not maximized. Also, the grid is fragile as compared to natural gas distribution. The grid is inherently inefficient to accomplish energy storage and extremely sensitive to load. Most natural gas transducers are as efficient at point of use as those sitting on grid producing power. Even the geothermal heat pump can be powered with natural gas ICE for better efficiency. CHIP technology at point of use would surpass any power plant generation efficiency.

              Think of all the high torque applications for transportation. No way will battery power this market. Ask yourself why automotive is still investing heavily in H2 fuel cell if battery power has a lock on future?

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          • By EEStorFanFibb on January 23, 2016 at 5:06 pm

            Once lithium ion batteries hit $100/kWh it’s lights out for the ICE. We are at $145 already. see http://insideevs.com/?s=LG+%24145

            And ~$50/kWh is probably coming in less than a decade. So the complex, wasteful, unreliable and dirty ICE drive train won’t have a chance of competing with an efficient and powerful electric motor and cheap battery solution. The end result will be a precipitous global drop in oil demand. Pick your own date when this happens but it will happen. There is no stopping it now. I think the Saudis realize this.

            Increasing electrification is the only way car makers can meet the upcoming emission regulation requirements and they are all significantly ramping up their EV programs and model offerings.

            And once the EVs gets a foothold it will be all over. Unfortunately, as it stand right now dealers don’t promote them because they threaten their number one revenue stream: service and repair.

            And don’t get me started on all the synergies that EVs have with V2G, distributed grids and renewable technologies that are a becoming juggernaut onto themselves.

            Here’s a little backgrounder that is already woefully too conservative in how fast EV battery prices have dropped. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/04/13/3646004/electric-car-batteries-price/

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            • By Robert Rapier on January 23, 2016 at 6:06 pm

              “Once lithium ion batteries hit $100/kWh it’s lights out for the ICE. We are at $145 already.”

              I hope you are right, but 2015′s sales numbers were not encouraging. It will ultimately come down to people choosing EVs. They chose fewer in 2015 than 2014, when growth needs to be exponential for a number of years in order to make a dent in oil consumption. As I noted in my Forbes article, the one-year increase in ICE sales was more than double the total EV sales of the past 5 years. That’s a trend that will have to reverse itself, and fast, for your prediction to have a chance.

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            • By EEStorFanFibb on January 23, 2016 at 7:05 pm

              I can’t argue against your numbers. there is no doubt about it – EV sales are sucking in North America lately… but there were some significant gains in Europe and China in the second half of 2015. Look here: http://insideevs.com/category/sales-2/

              Part of the drop in EV sales in NA is of course due to the (temporary) lower cost of gasoline, the lack of SUV/Truck plug ins on offer (which are popular in NA) and the fact that the sale leading Leaf is over due for an upgrade. As in, “Why not wait a year or two for a 200 mile Leaf or Bolt, rather than pick up a 100 mile Leaf now for the same cost?”

              see http://www.plugincars.com/6-ways-electric-cars-suffered-2015-131264.html

              But in a couple years, when the car makers offer more plug-in hybrid SUVs, and minivans (many have already been announced) with a 30+ mile all electric range, AND when the common pure EV hatchbacks can all do 200+ miles (BMW i3 2.0, Leaf 2.0, Tesla 3 and Chevy Bolt) for under $35k, then we’ll start to see some steady market share gains in NA. Meanwhile keep an eye on China.

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            • By Alex Johnson on January 25, 2016 at 3:25 pm

              But there will still be a sizable demand for chemicals and plastics. Yes the fuel side helps refineries, but the big dollar items they push out are on the chemical and plastic side. Most fuel products they sell are essentially junk. And to make even those electric cars you’ll be using plastic, rubber, synthetic fabrics, etc. There are biobased alternatives, but at lower oil prices they have no chance to compete.

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            • By EEStorFanFibb on January 25, 2016 at 5:58 pm

              Sizable? Hardly.

              http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=34&t=6

              “In the United States, plastics are not made from crude oil. They are manufactured from hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGL) and natural gas. HGL are byproducts of petroleum refining and natural gas processing. These liquids are used as feedstocks by petrochemical manufacturers to make plastic and are used as fuels in the manufacturing process.

              In 20101, about 191 million barrels of HGL were used in the
              United States to make plastic products in the plastic materials and resins industry, which was equal to about 2.7% of total U.S. petroleum consumption.”

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            • By Russ Finley on January 23, 2016 at 9:37 pm

              Here’s a quote from Romm’s article you linked to:

              So the best manufacturers have already reached the battery price needed for cost parity with conventional cars.

              For proof, he compared two $70K cars with each other instead of the best priced electric car to a similar conventional car, which would be a 200 mile range, $37K (sans subsidy) Bolt to something like a 500 mile range, $18K Chevy Cruze. That’s roughly a 100% difference in both price and range.

              …another example of why Think Progress isn’t on my reading list ; )

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            • By EEStorFanFibb on January 24, 2016 at 12:18 am

              uh, where to start. First of all, UBS compared the two cars. Romm just reported on it. Second, an 18k Cruze and a Bolt aren’t similar enough to be compared in this way. 3rd they were comparing total cost of ownership and you’re not. 4th depending on gas prices in 2018 and beyond, a Bolt might still be as cheap or cheaper to own after 7-10 years than that Cruze. 5th Joe Romm is a well respected author and researcher and there is nothing wrong with thinkprogress. 6th with a Bolt, every time you leave your house in the morning you have that 200 miles at your disposal and when you leave town it can quick charge from zero to 90% in half an hour. People don’t usually drive 500 miles at a go without stopping at least half an hour at some point so….

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            • By Russ Finley on January 25, 2016 at 2:45 am

              uh, where to start. First of all, UBS compared the two cars. Romm just reported on it.

              I quoted Romm: “So the best manufacturers have already reached the battery price needed for cost parity with conventional cars.” The Bolt is the best manufacturer (based on price per mile of range) and a Cruze most certainly is a conventional car. Here’s a link to another post where he quoted a study that was complete gibberish:

              The Corrections to Joe Romm’s Corrections–Part I

              You can argue that Romm isn’t responsible for disseminating misinformation, but I would disagree.

              Second, an 18k Cruze and a Bolt aren’t similar enough to be compared in this way.

              Reality check:

              Bolt ~ $37K to $? K (sans subsidy)
              Cruze = $17K to $24K

              They are both mid-sized cars with the Cruze being 11 inches longer and the Bolt 4 inches taller.

              3rd they were comparing total cost of ownership and you’re not.

              And neither are you.

              4th depending on gas prices in 2018 and beyond, a Bolt might still be as cheap or cheaper to own after 7-10 years than that Cruze

              Feel free to post your spreadsheet …and this is the same as #3 ; )

              Joe Romm is a well respected author and researcher and there is nothing wrong with thinkprogress.

              After reading several misleading articles similar to the one I linked to above, I learned not to trust the site’s content, which is why I stopped going there. Romm is a blogger, not a researcher.

              6th with a Bolt, every time you leave your house in the morning you have that 200 miles at your disposal and when you leave town it can quick charge from zero to 90% in half an hour.

              The Bolt is going to be the best electric car on the market. But when it hits the market you will find that sales will be a tiny fraction of the Cruze sales for a combination of reasons: Many people won’t want to spend that kind of money up front on a car (assuming the post-subsidy cost is not much different than it is today, as is the case for the Prius). Others won’t want a car that limits trips > 200 miles to going where they can find properly spaced quick chargers. Others don’t have a place to plug an electric car in. Note that even though the Prius is still the highest mileage ICE car, it comprises a small fraction of total car sales because consumers want all kinds of ways to differentiate themselves. Energy efficiency has a fairly low priority with most drivers.

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            • By EEStorFanFibb on January 25, 2016 at 4:23 pm

              Russ wrote: / I quoted Romm: “So the best manufacturers have already reached the battery price needed for cost parity with conventional cars.” The Bolt is the best manufacturer (based on price per mile of range) and a Cruze most certainly is a conventional car. /

              But in his piece Romm had not yet gotten to the UBS study that compared two high end cars, the Tesla and the Audi. Romm was addressing the issue of battery costs and how quickly they have fallen.

              Let me add a few words to Romm’s sentence so you can parse it PROPERLY.

              “So the best [lithium ion battery] manufacturers have already reached the battery price needed for cost parity with conventional [gasoline] cars.”

              Now that you understand that he wasn’t talking about car manufacturers do you want to come up with some other bad arguments and misinterpretations that I can fix for you?

              Romm was talking about at what price point per kWh is required in order for electric vehicles to be financially competitive with gasmobiles. As Romm quoted in the article, the price was determined to be $300/kWh by the IEA.

              “In a major 2013 analysis, “Global EV Outlook: Understanding the Electric Vehicle Landscape to 2020,” the
              International Energy Agency estimated that electric vehicles would achieve cost parity with internal combustion engine vehicles when battery costs hit $300 per kWh of storage capacity. The analysis projected that would happen by 2020. ”

              Then Romm wrote that the $300 price had already been met, which is correct. As I have shown previously, LG CHEM has achieved a contract price with GM of $145/kWh for cells putting the price of a pack estimated to be around $200-250.

              Here is another report that readers may find interesting. http://tinyurl.com/jeo9g6t

              and specifically look at this graphic.

              https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/65193431/Fuel%20costs%20vs%20Battery%20kWh%20EV%20competitiveness.PNG

              Note how these guys think electric cars are therefore already competitive if gas was $2.50-$3.00 a gallon.

              I wrote: / Second, an 18k Cruze and a Bolt aren’t similar enough to be compared in this way. /

              This is true. A Bolt will have way more features, luxury and
              performance than a 18k Cruze. Just one example: the Cruze has a zero to sixty time of 9 or 10 seconds. The Bolt will be under 7 seconds. Some people don’t car about that but for those that do, they always have to pay for that extra 3 second reduction. You are like those guys in the 2000s that loved to compare a Prius with a base Corolla. Actually, I bet you were one of them. Nice try but that won’t work anymore.

              What EV do you drive BTW?

              And as far as total cost of ownership, even 100 mile EVs are competitive on a financial basis if you drive them enough and hold them long enough. 2-3 cents a mile (EV) versus 12-20 cents a mile (gas car) really adds up. Nevermind the future is very bright for EVs. I bet there will be $20k EVs for sale around 2022 with 150 mile range. That is going to be a really good value for most people.

              Lastly, Joe Romm is a champ. His bio looks pretty good to me. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_J._Romm Lumping him in with wife housewives for this or that cause and fans of Supergirl, i.e. “a blogger”, doesn’t quite capture it.

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            • By Russ Finley on January 26, 2016 at 12:23 am

              Now that you understand that he wasn’t talking about car manufacturers do you want to come up with some other bad arguments and misinterpretations that I can fix for you?

              He most certainly was talking about batteries, which is why I showed you the cost of an electric car with those batteries in it. If those batteries represent the price needed for an electric car to be no more expensive than an equivalent conventional car, you would see the same price for the electric and conventional car:

              Bolt ~ $37K to [37K + ($24 - $17)] = $44K (sans subsidy)
              Cruze ~ $17K to $24K

              So …now that you understand that a cost competitive battery price should equate to a cost competitive car price, do you want to come up with some other bad arguments and misinterpretations that I can fix for you? ; )

              Your argument is that the Bolt will have $20K more bells and whistles than the loaded $24K version of the Cruise. That’s a lot of bells and whistles.

              A Bolt will have way more features, luxury and performance than a 18k Cruze.

              Bolt ~ $37K to [37K + ($24 - $17)] = $44K (sans subsidy)
              Cruze ~ $17K to $24K

              The loaded version of the Bolt will not have $44K – $24K = $20K more bells and whistles than the loaded $24K version of the Cruze.

              Just one example: the Cruze has a zero to sixty time of 9 or 10 seconds. The Bolt will be under 7 seconds. Some people don’t car about that but for those that do, they always have to pay for that extra 3 second reduction.

              It would cost a lot to get those extra seconds in a conventional car but in an electric car with a battery capacity of 200 miles, tuning the controller to prioritize acceleration over efficiency is a freebie marketing decision (and it appears to be working).

              You are like those guys in the 2000s that loved to compare a Prius with a base Corolla. Actually, I bet you were one of them. Nice try but that won’t work anymore.

              Unfortunately for your argument, I own a 2006 Prius and just yesterday bought a 2016 Prius. Obviously, the hybrid drive is going to add to the purchase cost (electric motor plus battery) but note the price difference is $9K, not $20K.

              MSRP base 2016 Corolla = $17,230
              MSRP base 2016 Pirus 2 = $24,200

              If your goal in life is to minimize the cost of car ownership, you buy the cheapest economy car you can find and drive it as long as you can, which was my game plan as an impoverished college student. That obviously isn’t the goal of the vast majority of car owners or we would all be driving the equivalent of Geo Metros.

              Lumping him in with wife housewives for this or that cause and fans of Supergirl, i.e. “a blogger”, doesn’t quite capture it.

              …neither does “researcher.”

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            • By EEStorFanFibb on January 26, 2016 at 1:54 am

              Russ baby. rather than continue this scintillating back and forth discussion, how about we just chillax and agree to have coffee in about 5 years. I’ll pull up in my 2 year old model 3 and you can show up in your gas guzzling prius. Whoever was more prophetic buys.

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            • By Russ Finley on January 28, 2016 at 11:18 pm

              Sounds like a plan. My electric car will be just about ten years old by then. Curios to see what after market battery upgrades will be available. My wife drives the Prius. We take roughly a dozen trips a year that are well beyond the range of the Tesla Model 3 or Bolt.

              http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Nissan-Leaf.jpg?00cfb7

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        • By Russ Finley on January 23, 2016 at 5:17 pm

          I tend to agree with Robert. Elias Hinckley’s article was also posted here on Energy Trends Insider:

          http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/2015/01/20/everything-has-changed-oil-and-the-end-of-opec/

          With expanding population and economies, all I can see standing in the way of oil consumption would be very high prices or a lot of electric cars, which would lower oil prices. Electric cars have a very long way to go, assuming they will ever be able to compete with oil on cost and performance. I own one but I can see why so few are willing to pay so much to get so much less performance.

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          • By EEStorFanFibb on January 23, 2016 at 5:22 pm

            Don’t forget that EVs are a quickly moving target. Cost and performance are changing dramatically and the pace is going to quicken in a couple years. The Chevy Bolt is just the tip of the iceberg.

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            • By Russ Finley on January 23, 2016 at 5:23 pm

              Tend to agree with you.

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    • By Advocatus Diaboli on January 23, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      EESFF:
      Interesting suggestion, but I wonder why that would be so. It makes a difference whether it would be due to a massive economic crisis reducing overall consumption of everything (most likely involving political instability and conflicts), or you assume a controlled transition to other sources of energy. I find the latter more desirable, but much less likely, given that substitutes are not scalable (biofuels), not available (more esoteric solutions like converting CO2 to fuel using solar energy) and, in any event, very expensive. Electricity offers the best alternatives for transport, but I don’t see oil falling like a rock. The stuff is too good to be abandoned.

      If you are referring to Paris, think again. It just kicked the can down the road.

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  6. By Blackbeard on January 23, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Are you sure you shouldn’t consider the geopolitical angle? Lower oil prices hurt Iran and Iran is a threat to Saudi Arabia. They hurt Russia too and an Iranian/Russian alliance seems to have developed in Syria. I would think Russian/Iranian domination in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon would be a nightmare for the Saudis.

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    • By Robert Rapier on January 23, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      A trillion dollar nightmare? I think this aspect is overplayed. It has the impact of hurting them, but it also hurts Saudi’s allies. So I think that’s a consequence, not an intention.

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  7. By Forrest on January 24, 2016 at 6:28 am

    So, why should the lowest cost and largest reserve of oil, supplier be responsible to manipulate supply market? It would seem the highest pump cost supplier would move first. S.A. is tiring of taking it on the chin to cut production and expense the manipulation of markets. They want market to reestablish natural discipline and for the industry to forget OPEC’s cheaters and S.A. sole responsibility to control supply. They think by ushering in market discipline, they can share the cost and implement and more potent industry force to raise purchase price in the future. This is collusion, but apparently a natural force within the corp international world.

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    • By Robert Rapier on January 24, 2016 at 11:19 am

      “So, why should the lowest cost and largest reserve of oil, supplier be responsible to manipulate supply market?”

      Because they have the most to lose. The outcome we see now is why – whether it makes sense or not – it would have probably been better for them to have balanced supply.

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      • By Forrest on January 25, 2016 at 6:11 am

        Wouldn’t it be more correct to state S.A. will lose more income potential, but U.S. will suffer more damages? Our oil companies have high debt load and operate continually within the expensive drilling cycle. We are the largest supplier of gas liquids and oil as well. Excess production could have been easily curtailed by the Saudis, but the benefit of such action helps the competition more as they are fisticuffed to bankers and cannot decrease production, without suffering financial loss. Also, the Saudis have a nasty reputation to bankrupt bio fuel producers at most opportune time. This history and the usual antics of petrol industry to hamstringing the competition per market access, of which they control was the impetus to introduced the Bush RFS regs, thankfully, that hamper such negative actions. I’m sure the Saudis have a good handle on U.S. politics and the petrol priority to usher as much political might and propaganda to influence voting public, political representatives, and judges to gut the RFS. Since the apogee of such forces have just passed, the timing to historical cheap oil would have fit in nicely to once again run over the growing bio fuel competition. Competition that gave choice to consumers at the pump. This choice very beneficial to consuming public, when once again gasoline prices spike. Having no choice per economic terms means the product is inelastic and must be purchased at whatever cost. One can see how easily an inelastic product’s price, such as prescription medication, can be managed. We shouldn’t forget the wild price swings of petrol during the Bush years and the nations outrage. The national priority to produce alternative fuel as a safe guard.

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        • By Optimist on January 26, 2016 at 8:30 pm

          “Also, the Saudis have a nasty reputation to bankrupt bio fuel producers at most opportune time.”
          That reputation mainly exists in your head,Forrest. In the real world large scale bio fuel facilities tend to go bankrupt before even hitting design production in spite of all the subsidies we generous taxpayers shower on them. Maybe next time, eh? But maybe this is a clever plan by Washington to give contractors training in building shiny stainless steel plants and then taking them down again, without even leaving the site. Think of all the shovel-ready jobs!

          The point of the article is that the Saudis made a huge blunder trying to predict where things were going, proving that they do not “have a good handle on U.S. politics…” or anything else. That the nearly non-existent, but expensive, bio fuel industry gets crushed in the process is neither here nor there…

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          • By Forrest on January 27, 2016 at 7:03 am

            We will never know what motivated the Saudis, but the same scenario back with JImmy C’s gasohol production. Many believe the Saudis reacted (in part) to the threat of fuel competition. Also, many believe that this was a huge mistake back then to let ethanol slip, unlike Brazil that kept the domestic fuel supply afloat. Brazil didn’t get hammered with fuel spikes such as our economy suffered during Bush years. Our country pretty much vowed to never be that dependent on oil again. It looks to be a nonpartisan issue.

            Subsidies? You referring to Blender Credit? That expired in ’11 and was directed to oil side pockets that harvested $.45/gal ethanol when mixing. Politicians were afraid the petrol industry wouldn’t support E10 and threw them some free money for reward.

            The cellulosic plants can’t compete with current price of gasoline, but neither can oil. They may be running some volume at loss just to keep up with technology? Corn and sugar cellulosic and some other variants doing well. R&D has very promising pretreatments and conversion adaptations that probably make gen 1 cellulosic plants obsolete without major overhaul. Cost of production estimates continue to decrease. So, the technology is still upon a steep development curve as so much of competing energy technologies.

            What is so interesting with this bio industry is the clever formulations of coproducts. U of N. Carolina discovered the carotenoids from the oil can be used to darken egg yoke color so important in foreign markets. They use expensive Marigold flowers, currently. It’s worth $500k/year for typical ethanol processing plant. While these bio processes are competing with oil per fuel and chemical markets they, also, have the food and feed market and can supply such markets upon a low carbon renewable base. No need to ship feed stock around the world as these process plants obtain renewable feed stock from their own neighborhood. No need to be on a continual drill exploration development cycle.

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  8. By EEStorFanFibb on January 25, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    70% Decrease In Energy Storage Costs By 2030, Says Report http://cleantechnica.com/2016/01/25/70-decrease-energy-storage-costs-2030-says-report/

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  9. By EEStorFanFibb on January 25, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Plug-In Electric Car Sales In UK Set Record Market Share Of 1.7% In December
    http://insideevs.com/plug-in-electric-car-sales-in-uk-sets-record-market-share-of-1-7-in-december/

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    • By Forrest on January 26, 2016 at 7:41 am

      I sure don’t share your enthusiasm for battery transportation. All legit evaluations make no claim that the battery car will bury the competition. In fact most believe the battery will be most useful within mild or micro hybrid cars. The value will be maximized in this class of car. The consumer will easily justify small bump in purchase price and enjoy convenience of traditional car. Transportation may evolve to what Ford is investing in, a low cost, least hassle solution, to replace public transportation. Private auto owners utilize their investment a very small fraction of time. So, the obvious solution is per the Uber, ride share direction that may quickly subvert private ownership of cars. The autonomous technology is quickly developing that will reinvent transportation, traffic control, parking, and auto insurance.

      Battery car hasn’t received high marks within environment improvement. It’s just an extension of the most polluting energy sector aka the grid. The grid is very expensive, polluting, inefficient, and problematic to control, store energy, fragile, and extremely expensive to upgrade non the least extremely slow to improve.

      The lithium from all reports I’ve read is very temperamental to environmental conditions. If one is investing such capital within the lithium battery, it would best to air condition your garage and avoid using but a fraction of the rated battery Kwhs. Also, to avoid operating the car or parking in unfriendly outside temps. I can imagine the ensuing battery vehicle theft and black market sales, such as the catalytic converter is suffering.

      Add in the cost of the extra investment or financial evaluation, the road tax expense, loss of subsidy, and ever higher utility bill, well you would be better off by far with mild hybrid and do much more for environment with the simple act of choosing higher blends of biofuel. Evaluating truck or other high torque transportation needs, the battery will never be an option. Hydrogen may, biofuel, and natural gas already doing the work. Ethanol is already utilized within all U.S. spark ignition engines; old or new. When you add up the environment improvement over the years, it is massive as compared to other alternatives.

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on January 26, 2016 at 11:28 am

        Forest wrote: “I sure don’t share your enthusiasm for battery transportation. All legit evaluations make no claim that the battery car will bury the competition. In fact most believe the battery will be most useful within mild or micro hybrid cars. The value will be maximized in this class of car. The consumer will easily justify small bump in purchase price and enjoy convenience of traditional car.”

        wow it’s like you’re text is right out of the nineties man. are you not aware of what all the car makers are up to these days? lol. I don’t know where you are getting this point of view of yours reinforced but you’re completely missing the current zeitgeist of the automotive industry. I would encourage you to broaden your horizons. electrification is ramping up steadily and non plug-in able hybrids are NOT the story anymore. it is to laugh.

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        • By Forrest on January 26, 2016 at 12:47 pm

          In Michigan we follow the auto industry closely and personally know some who work in the profession. Micro hybrid is already upon production schedule and has a certain popular immediate future. The grand sum total of this technology will do more for environment and pocket book of consumers as compared to battery car. You may need to take your own advice and get out of those echo chamber like mind fan club internet sites.

          Utilizing hybrid technology (in cost efficient manner) the ICE can be engineered to maximize efficiency. Present day top efficiency surpasses that of steam turbine so popular upon grid power vs-a-vi battery power. However, the efficiency of these turbine machines are dropping per the need to be on standby and low efficient use to gain wind turbine utilization when and if ever the wind blows. Solar is just a momentary spike of power, not even daily. The battery car has a very reliable motor but the ICE car is no slouch either. Most conventional vehicles good for 250k miles with very low maintenance. Reports of high mileage drivers, a million miles with original engine. How many lithium batteries would that take? Oh, the ICE doesn’t change much in performance during long history of use, either. Especially in heat or cold. Nice to generate free heat and not to worry of parking in Texas sun for a week long flight.

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          • By EEStorFanFibb on January 26, 2016 at 1:40 pm

            Forest wrote: “in Michigan we follow the auto industry closely and personally know some who work in the profession.”

            Ah, that explains it. Thank you. There are those in the automotive industry that like things the way they are and they are those that embrace the future… or at least realize the full electrification is inevitable given steady improvements in battery cost and performance. Status quo seekers and motivated reasoners won’t win the day. The ICE is doomed.

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  10. By EEStorFanFibb on January 27, 2016 at 6:24 pm
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    • By Forrest on January 28, 2016 at 5:07 am

      Exxon annual report “Outlook for Energy” indicates 2040 sales of plug-in cars about that of natural gas. Both hampered by inconvenience, lack of infrastructure, and high cost. But, the NGV also an ICE engine. Not much competition out their.

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  11. By blueburrito on January 27, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Hi Robert -

    Curious what you think the effect of low prices & the ensuing production shut-in has had on the peak in shale? Is it still a few years out, happening now, pushed out a few additional years? Thanks!

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    • By Robert Rapier on January 27, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      I think it would have peaked in a few years. Now, I think we decline until we get a recovery in oil prices back up to $60 or so. It really just depends on what happens with prices, but if we get a good recovery in a few years then I think it will resume climbing and peak a few years later than it would have.

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  12. By Forrest on January 28, 2016 at 6:04 am

    Was listening to Nightly Business Report, they made a statement that low cost fuel is here to stay and the automotive industry is tooling up SUV production.

    Read the “2016 Outlook for Energy” report per Exxon for years to 2040. As you know a global report on future of energy for the company to base business decision making upon. Not much good news in there for battery car taking over. When one stands back and looks at mega trends and real life needs of growing economies, cost efficiency reins supreme. Manufacturers can’t sell cars that are not cost effective. Average fuel economy will roughly double. Fuel consumption drops as much. Hybrid sales to increase dramatically. I don’t think this is per the current typical Prius suddenly becoming popular. As I mentions below the mild hybrid will become popular. If the Exxon report is close to accurate, the future improvement of light duty fleet will not be because of battery car or expensive lithium batteries that utilize rare earth metals and ensuing environmental problems per mining and recycle. The best technology for real world improvement of environment is apparently the hybrid turbo and the new class of lead acid battery. The 48v “Ultra Battery” very impressive with outstanding attributes to meet demands of the mild hybrid class of vehicle. Engines will downsize and down speed to increase efficiency and rely on the hybrid system to increase acceleration. Note that ethanol additive and ensuing boost in octane is a natural for this class of vehicle. E20 fuel mix improved gasoline combustion attributes so much that the ethanol carbon rating doubled with this use. Now, the problem is, this will probably remain a domestic fuel whereupon the U.S. leads in ethanol production. Car manufactures can’t count on E20 fuel for the rest of the world.

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    • By EEStorFanFibb on January 28, 2016 at 11:36 am

      Forest, what did you expect Exxon to say? LOL

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  13. By takchess on January 28, 2016 at 10:58 am
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  14. By takchess on January 28, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Curious, is there a movement from offshore companies/countries to purchase US Oil/NG leases and companies. ? Is there an endgame that would buy these leases for nickels on the dollar than raise the rates.

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  15. By EEStorFanFibb on January 28, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Forest: Google is a pretty handy tool.

    BMW: All Models Will Be Electrified http://cleantechnica.com/2015/06/28/bmw-all-models-will-be-electrified/

    Volvo To Electrify Every Model By 2019 http://cleantechnica.com/2015/10/15/volvo-to-electrify-every-model-by-2019/

    EVs Inevitable, Resistance Futile, Ghosn Says http://wardsauto.com/engines/evs-inevitable-resistance-futile-ghosn-says

    Former GM Exec Bob Lutz Insists That Electrification Is The Future http://gmauthority.com/blog/2015/01/former-gm-exec-bob-lutz-insists-that-electrification-is-the-future/

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  16. By EEStorFanFibb on January 28, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    Hey Russ, I stumbled on this today. Thought you might like to see some real TCO numbers. The Cruze is even used below. LOL

    “in southern California, Edmunds True Cost to Own calculator
    says a 2014 (latest year available) Chevy Volt bought for $35,063 has a
    five-year total ownership cost of $36,417 – a paltry $1,354 over what
    it cost over five years! Compare that to a Chevy Cruze Eco bought for
    $22,456 and with TCO of $38,090. Considering Volt owners may drive
    80-percent or more in pure EV mode, they may beat this, especially with
    renewable or free charging available, as the case may be.

    http://www.hybridcars.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Volt_TCO.jpg

    A 2016 Volt likely will do better.

    Another EV example is the Nissan Leaf driven 15,000 miles annually. A
    base S model bought in Ohio for $28,832 has a TCO that seriously pays
    back of $25,788 after five years. This too can be beaten under certain
    circumstances by resourceful owners and it is about the same as a Versa
    Note bought for $18,061 with TCO of $25,798.”

    from http://www.hybridcars.com/what-makes-more-sense-all-electric-vehicles-or-plug-in-hybrids/

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    • By Russ Finley on January 29, 2016 at 12:01 am

      Note that the Volt is not an electric car. It’s a hybrid and therefore has no range issues. Using my zip code I find that the Cruze owner spent $5,000 less than the Volt owner after five years, didn’t have to plug their car in every day, and had room for five passengers that whole time, . And if you recall, our debate was about the latest announcement that battery prices now make electric cars as cheap to own as conventional cars. Your example with a 2014 car predates that announcement by two years. You are now arguing that the batteries have always made electric cars cheaper, which, like Romm’s article, also doesn’t pass the common sense test, LOL

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on January 29, 2016 at 12:38 am

        The Volt is a mostly a serial hybrid and in certain rare circumstances can act as a parallel hybrid. GM calls it an extended range EV or EREV. Most people would say it is a plug in electric vehicle or PHEV. with a 40 mile (2015 MY and older) or 53 mile (2016) all electric range it is possible to drive the Volt (depending on how and where it’s used) for 1000s of miles before it burns any gas at all. And most of the time the ICE never directly drives the wheels but simply acts as a generator to provide juice for the electric (dominating) part of the drive train. So to say it is not an electric car and is a hybrid is another classic Russ move that shows how well informed you are.

        Observant readers will see in the two examples from http://www.hybridcars.com/what-makes-more-sense-all-electric-vehicles-or-plug-in-hybrids/ that the more electric a vehicle is or is driven, the lower the true (total) cost of ownership.

        When all costs (price, fuel, maintenance) are totaled, operating an EV or PHEV is the better value proposition at the five year mark. (Even more so at the ten). So yes, I’ve been saying that consistently all along. And the UBS study and Edmunds True Cost Calculator have proven it with hard, real world numbers.

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on January 29, 2016 at 12:48 am

        Plugging in a car in every day is not a hardship. Most people who have tried living with an EV prefer it to going to a gas station once a week.

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on January 29, 2016 at 12:51 am

        What makes Seattle such a expensive place to own am EV anyway? Are your electricity rates higher there than in California. No price breaks for night time electric charging? A swing of about 7 thousand is a lot. Please to be explaining the difference.

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        • By Russ Finley on January 29, 2016 at 10:44 pm

          … the Cruze cost a great deal less to purchase LOL.

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          • By EEStorFanFibb on January 31, 2016 at 2:54 pm

            “the Cruze owner spent $5,000 less than the Volt owner after five years” I’d rather have a volt than a cruze all day and night if the difference was only $5000.

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            • By EEStorFanFibb on January 31, 2016 at 3:13 pm

              i find comparing cars on paper problematic because in the real word they are often different in many important but subtle ways. driving experience and enjoyment for one. instant torque and quietness are valuable features for most people which they’d gladly pay more for. And some hi tech bells and whistles are often included in EV cars that are optional in lower priced gasmobiles. If after 5 years the TCO numbers are within a few thousand all the better. The 5 year TCO gap is only going to get smaller as EVs improve and their initial costs come down. in the meantime a used EV is often a super value for a commuting/errand vehicle.

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    • By EEStorFanFibb on January 29, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      there appears to be something fishy about these numbers. I can’t reproduce them on the calculator.

      “in southern California, Edmunds True Cost to Own calculator says a 2014 (latest year available) Chevy Volt bought for $35,063 has a five-year total ownership cost of $36,417 – a paltry $1,354 over what it cost over five years! Compare that to a Chevy Cruze Eco bought for $22,456 and with TCO of $38,090.

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      • By Forrest on January 29, 2016 at 5:02 pm

        Ya, it was a joke. They changed the verbiage so the causal reader wouldn’t pick up on losing the apples to apples comparison. The cost of the Cruz was about right. Depreciation is a killer.

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  17. By EEStorFanFibb on January 29, 2016 at 1:13 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBkND76J91k

    Keynote – 100% electric transportation and 100% solar by 2030 – AltCars Expo

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    • By Forrest on January 29, 2016 at 9:22 am

      Very interesting video. I’m socked that someone with such credentials as Tony Seba would promote such hype. The video is impressive with stats that sound impressive but…

      1. Autonomous tech is going to be disruptive. No revelation here. You will notice the Exxon report having steep drop off in car sales within the developed nations.

      2. As Tony mentioned his critics will claim that extrapolating improvement trends from such a small base with relative short history to portray the long term future is bunk. I would agree.

      3. The majority of Lithium battery production cost is raw materials. Tesla needn’t build a giga factory, they need to get into rare earth mining to improve costs.

      4. Solar panels cost are already, a fraction of total cost of install, so how would lower cost of solar panels going to dramatically lower their energy production cost? The problem with solar is the momentary 2hr spike in power generation and 4 hr production cycle that relies on quality of sunshine.

      5. By his chart of dropping cost of battery car, by trending out to 2030 the car will cost $5,000. Does anyone believe this? Currently, the typical 2L gas engine is, but a fraction of total production cost of vehicle. The rest of production dost of vehicle is pretty much similar to battery car minus the very expensive and heavy battery. Golf carts will cost more than $5k in 2030.

      6. The quick model T take over from horse and buggy transport a poor analogy. Henry Ford invented modern mass assembly method to radically lower cost of artisan or craft production of a single car. The technology of the ICE and Battery car already existed as did ethanol fuel.

      7. The reliability of ICE is very high as is the motor within battery car. The car body, obsolescence, corrosion, and owner desire limits the life of most well maintained vehicles. So, these factors as much or more potent within battery car.

      8. Maintenance of typical technology auto is not that big of a deal and many diy. However, cost of money or loan is a very big deal. When I calculate the financials of battery car vs traditional, cost of fuel is minor to cost of money.

      9. The comparison of battery car vs ICE is becoming a moot subject. The combination a better car as Chevy Volt owners claim. But, the Volt market is limited as compared to easily cost justifiable mild hybrid market.

      10. This presentation is just an exercise in speculation to dream of how far the solar and battery car could go. The Exxon report has much analysis within credible experts and no it’s not a marketing gimmick. The company will transfer to what ever energy sector they can make money on. Petrol is and has investing in biofuel production as we speak.

      11. The battery technology is just an extension of the grid power. You do know the grid is the biggest polluter upon the planet. The grid does not change quickly, expensive, fragile, hard to maintain, and other countries worse than our grid.

      12. Batteries can only power personal transport light vehicles. No possibility to power distribution system. Not even towing, hauling, pickups. No ships or trains will run on solar panel with batteries. They will utilize hybrid technology for few percentages efficiency improvement. Ethanol can produce more torque than our traditional fuels and bio diesel is a direct substitute.

      13. Hydrogen fuel cell may be the battery that does change or eliminate the ICE. The lithium battery car will probably eliminate public transportation within metro area and fuel cell powers every thing else including point of use power generation. This would eliminate the grid for most applications except for energy park sharing of heat and power. Also, the fuel cell can off heat generation for CHP efficiency for point of use consumers.

      14. Biofuel has the ability to become carbon negative, create and maintain local jobs, improve environment. Solar can’t do these things once installed. Solar just damages the environment less.

      15. Acceleration can be a safety hazard of which we already surpassed the reasonable limit. Gov’t will regulate acceleration back to safe levels now that they can easily tap electronics. Also, speed.

      16. When reviewing developing economies and the international aspects of transportation, such as the Exxon report, the battery car will not take over. In fact coal power by 2030 only drops by 10%. Welcome to the real world.

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on January 29, 2016 at 11:16 am

        Sorry, your wall of text is not very convincing. And in particular, 7 to 12 are really ridiculously wrong. I see why you buried them in the middle. I don’t have the time or the inclination to prove to the readers that they are wrong so this post is not going to be very convincing either. lol. but readers are invited to fact check them themselves. They are very easy to refute with a little google fu and a truly discerning eye for BS.

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        • By Forrest on January 29, 2016 at 4:58 pm

          So, a typical tractor can run a million miles pulling a 20 ton trailer and your battery up to the task? My pickup is 20 years old and 300k miles. A portion of it’s value is to pull a 10,000 pound trailer. Oh, its mileage is 18 on E50 fuel when going down the road on trips. My guess the carbon footprint probably better than a Tesla in Michigan.

          I worked down in South Carolina once and was shocked on how long those boys ran their car. The failure was metal fatigue around doors, not the engine. Up north cars of every variety will usually corrode from road salt and delegated to scrap heap or really ugly operation, like those that operated damaged cars. A local couple made a living towing RVs. They pulled a lot of trailers from Indiana to Katrina. One million miles on the pickup without major overhaul. How many batteries would that take? I don’t think the battery car will improve vehicle lifespan. Especially if they keep promoting the “wee” factor.

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  18. By EEStorFanFibb on January 29, 2016 at 11:29 am

    This is very funny and bang on.

    Note the picture of a dissembled ICE drivetrain. How can that possibly be as reliable as this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaV7V07tEMQ

    Anyway, enjoy this good chuckle at the ICE’s expense…

    “Having heard so much good about petrol cars, we decided to test drive
    one. They are said to combine cheap price with long range and fast
    charging. A winning formula on paper – but how are they in real life?”

    read more at: http://teslaclubsweden.se/test-drive-of-a-petrol-car/

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    • By EEStorFanFibb on January 29, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      Pam Fletcher, GM’s Executive Chief Engineer for Electrified Vehicles said “On why she’s not worried that gas prices have dropped”:

      “You know, what we’ve learned is, we have over 80,000 generation one volt
      owners on the road today. And what we’ve learned from many of them is
      that they really love electric driving and they don’t want to use gasoline at any price, in fact, some of them say, “How much is gas?” So, that’s a great part of our contingent, a great part of our owner base and again, we think the Bolt EV is really a look toward the future.”

      http://www.marketplace.org/2016/01/28/business/gas-prices-are-down-electric-vehicles-are

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      • By Forrest on January 29, 2016 at 4:43 pm

        The marketing to ultra performance thrill seekers is lucrative, since many have money to burn. This is the sweet spot to sell Tesla expensive cars. Most consumers and drivers hate the antics of narcissus drivers that act so aggressive and careless. These owners desire to have envy and jealously, both of which are very negative They usually are dangerous drivers and end up with bad results. What is the insurance rates for these cars? Since the car is so easy to regulate, the thrill seeking will end. By the way electric motor torque is not a recent invention.

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    • By Forrest on January 29, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      You do know the electric motor is old technology? We have a Gilmore car museum that have a nice collection of battery cars with electric motors predating the model T.

      The electric motor is great, that’s why they are so popular for stationary applications that are hard wired to grid. The are cheap. Even at that, the efficiency of natural gas ICE outperforms the grid powered motor. One small company has specializes in natural gas powered A.C. compressor applications. The equipment is expensive, but supposedly has a return. How can this be possible? The equipment utilize waste heat from exhaust and engine to heat hot water. The combined efficiency is above anything possible within power plant operations and non the least adding the transmission losses.

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  19. By takchess on January 29, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    too bad we can’t use EEStorFanFibb and Forrest continual jabbing to power something. 8)

    I can’t see ICE totally being replaced by batteries in the short term but it will be really interesting when a late adopter like myself will save real money by switching to a battery or a battery assist. That day will come but it ain’t now to replace my CRV or Dodge Caravan.

    Regarding Lithium, real change will occur with a breakthrough in chemistry, http://www.greencarcongress.com/batteries/ has always something interesting to say but who knows exactly when.

    Just like few saw the advances in fracking and new oil recovery methods, we may get a significant surprise in batteries. It is just tough to put a time table to it. …..

    Cheers

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    • By Forrest on January 29, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      Agree. But, I read a sobering article that claimed the science to invent an ever more powerful chemical battery is quickly approaching the wall. They had listed all the possible battery chemistry and rated the most promising. The lithium can improve, but past that not much. Actually, the lead acid had a surprising cost effective head room, especially when combined with the capacitor. Car companies are spending resources on development of hydrogen fuel cell for a reason.

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on January 29, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        For a complete transformation of transportation from oil to electrons we don’t need a better battery with more energy density. All we need are cheaper batteries and that brings us back to my first point which is:

        $50 /kWh at the pack level is coming in less than ten years.

        That price drop is inevitable. and yes EV powered everything including heavy duty vehicles are on their way. The era of fossil fuels is ending sooner than you know.

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        • By Forrest on January 31, 2016 at 5:43 am

          Alix Partners, in a recent report, said because of a combination of factors, the forecast for 2020 has been pushed back five years to 2025. Alix Partners now expects global market share of 5.7 per cent – close to 6.5 million vehicles by 2025 – although its conservative forecast is only 3.0 per cent.

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          • By EEStorFanFibb on January 31, 2016 at 4:55 pm

            Severe short sightedness and the professional forecasting of trends go hand in hand. We’ve seen it many times. Even if gasoline was to stay as cheap as it is today (not likely), when battery pack costs fall below $100/kWh by 2020 or so, no ICE drive train solution will be competitive with an electric motor and battery solution. Think photography. EV drive trains are the CCDs of transportation. ICEs are film. The tide will turn soon and there will be no stopping it. Exxon is Kodak in this scenario.

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        • By TimC on February 3, 2016 at 5:17 pm

          I just picked up a new battery for my girlfriend’s watch. It cost $100,461 / kWh*. So, any idea when your $50 / kWh projection will be coming to watch batteries?

          _________________________________________
          *319 button-style AgO battery, 1.55V, 21 mAh capacity, $3.27 each.

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          • By EEStorFanFibb on February 3, 2016 at 9:49 pm

            I’m gonna say never. Just a guess though.

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      • By takchess on February 1, 2016 at 8:24 am

        We are not sure what the future will bring in batteries. I suspect that Lithium Air or other chemistries will come. There is a history of innovation and improvements in commercial batteries and solar of late.
        Improvement is more likely there than in hydrogen cars (NG) or fission.

        I don’t take a lot of stock,in a lot of overly optimistic or pessimistic articles in this area. Especially when it comes to timetables.
        Cheers.

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    • By EEStorFanFibb on January 29, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      jabbing… yes I can go all day long. LOL! ;-)

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    • By Forrest on January 30, 2016 at 5:38 am

      In retrospect, we are upon an energy revolution that was spurred on by the GW fear mongering. We’re under going disruptive technological change. Auto motive is doubling down on all technologies to avoid being left behind. China is betting on sidestepping conventional auto and adapting to alternative power vehicles to gain market share. DOE has a goal of providing 20% of our power by wind. A new offshore 50 mw turbine in the works. Energy storage via hydrogen and fuel cell may be a game changer for either sale of power or hydrogen from wind turbines. Small modular nuclear is expected to double or triple the current nuclear power portion. Autonomous vehicle technology is expected to radically change metro areas and make them more attractive per lifestyle. Cars will become much lighter, probably shedding heavy safety reinforcements. This will make the battery car more attractive within extra light metro zone control.

      Improvement within ICE, low friction lubricants, waste heat utilization for battery recharge via electric turbo and thermal modules, hybrid tech, and biofuel will propel value of conventional vehicles as well. Fuel cell will probably take over the indoor fork lift market this may be a precursor of things to come.

      So, with all the new drilling technology to unlock reserves of natural gas and crude oil. With improvements in detecting or discovering ever more reserves, are we on a trajectory of ample energy resources? Natural gas, extremely useful for power production and heat needs and has high reserve status.

      It looks to me the developed nations on track for efficient and environmental friendly solutions. The real problem is poor nations that get left behind. They have no grid within rural neighborhoods. No expensive power plant. No biofuel process plant. I read that Haiti has no economy, jobs, and women have to walk miles to pickup tree limbs to cook and heat with. The countries lack of good economy has destroyed their forests for energy needs. A NP group has developed an ethanol stove for heating and cooking. The device improves health of household residents per improved air quality. Women using the device have improved their work schedules. Forests can be replanted or self generated back. The fuel can be produced by wide range of feed stocks and processing is simple and low cost. This provides poor nations a source of job creation, revenue, and avoid costly petrol imports. Dramatically improve their quality of life and lesson environmental footprint. Maybe then they can afford a solar panel for led lights?

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on January 31, 2016 at 3:28 pm

        Forest wrote: ” Small modular nuclear is expected to double or triple “the current nuclear power portion.”

        This is never going to happen. Once the powers that be come to their senses nuclear is toast. It is simply not cost effective in any shape or form. Talk about subsidies, the only reason nuclear is alive today at all is because of corruption and/or stupidity. the UK Hinkley example makes this clear.

        “STA points out that Hinkley C was awarded a “strike price” of £92.50
        per megawatt-hour at 2012 prices, under a 35-year contract. The Guardian points out that’s twice the going market rate.

        http://cleantechnica.com/2015/12/28/solar-could-produce-as-much-electricity-as-hinkley-c-for-much-less-money/

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on January 31, 2016 at 3:31 pm

        Forest wrote: “Improvement within ICE, low friction lubricants, waste heat utilization for battery recharge via electric turbo and thermal modules, hybrid tech, and biofuel will propel value of conventional vehicles as well.”

        Why further complicate an already complicated drive train and fuel system when we could adopt the small, simple, reliable and super efficient electric motor drive train powered by ubiquitous electric power?

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        • By Forrest on February 12, 2016 at 7:25 am

          Life cycle analysis by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University claim the BEV will increase emissions 2-3x in high coal power generation parts of country as compared to hybrid car. Consider the coal plants will not be easily displaced since we rely on them for cheap stable power. Coal plants generate a huge portion of our power for most of the country. So, shouldn’t the BEV be downgraded as an environmental wise purchase? Compared to powering hybrid cars on higher blend ethanol fuel. Why are we spending so much taxpayer money on inferior solution? We should decrease use of grid power as this will allow the carbon free and low polluting power plants to claim a larger percentage of generation. Throttle up low polluting power and throttle down consumption is the key to make the grid less polluting. Forget the battery car until the grid is ultra low polluting and has excess power generation.

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          • By Forrest on February 15, 2016 at 6:55 am

            CMU also, did an analysis on AFVs and the emissions regulations. Come to find out the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf are top polluters. First, the general emissions of their fuel supply is the worst within country and secondly their regulations are geared to spur auto companies to make more of them such as generous CAFE credits. Auto companies build Volts and Leafs at a loss to enable the build of luxurious and profit making heavy and polluting gasoline cars and trucks.

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  20. By Forrest on January 31, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Some Engineering points upon battery car takeover jabberwocky. For every 100# weight savings of vehicle Mpg will improve 1-2%. I see the Tesla utilizes a aluminum frame. Why do they use this? Because weight of vehicle is crucial to efficiency. The car starts out with weight penalty of 1,326 # battery vs 30#s gasoline weight for same usable range. For every pound of extra weight the auto must strengthen and add structure weight to increase strength by a multiple factor. The Tesla, Leaf, and Prius are advanced designs that improve efficiency. This comes at a cost, but the improvement per customer appeal goes to the class of vehicle in which marketing desires. If similar improvements made to conventional vehicles, Mpg would improve as well. Auto manufactures are just now attempting to decrease weight of conventional auto. They have a large head room to make improvements to catch up with battery or hybrid cars. Also, one must not assume the motor or drive train train of battery car lighter. I see the Tesla has 350# motor and 175# differential. ICE utilize aluminium and plastic within a ever shrinking engine size. The mild hybrid will maximize efficiency of combining the best of ICE and battery. The combination will be lighter yet.

    Heavy vehicles that utilize advance metals and composites have a large life cycle burden for emissions. Cars the fuel up on mostly coal powered grid suffer high emissions. Conventional vehicles are improving efficiency as compared to battery car standstill. The battery car efficiency is dependent upon the glacial speed of grid improvement. Ethanol fuel for the conventional vehicle will both increase engine efficiency as well as decrease emissions and doing so currently, upon all ICEs either old or new and will contribute more in future per higher blend rates. Easier to cost justify vehicles that become popular with global community and will offer the biggest opportunity to decrease emissions. Battery car is rated at 3% of vehicles by 2020.

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  21. By EEStorFanFibb on February 1, 2016 at 2:01 am

    Half the Oil: Pathways to Reduce Petroleum Use on the West Coast (2016)

    With the right policies and investments, California, Oregon, and Washington can all cut their oil use in half by 2030.

    http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/california-and-western-states/west-coast-oil#.VqrvgVLseJ9

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    • By Forrest on February 1, 2016 at 7:30 am

      California is spending a fortune of tax payer money for the effort. It’s very wasteful for tax payer’s dollars and even more wasteful to utilize future tax dollars to force their entire economy to adapt the bleeding edge of energy change. For example Cal’s LC fuel standard is generating much interest within ethanol industry. Some are investing in extra equipment within the process, such as anaerobic digester to achieve the standard. I think it was $.50/gal more for Calf market. An ethanol plant in Calf is utilizing sugar beet feed stock, since the ethanol receives a price premium. Also, the state is investing heavily in solar that has inferior cost as compared to just about any other power source. This progression is best left to the natural order of change. Good to stabilize markets such as the RFS accomplishes, but to avoid the easy gov’t incentives. The gross sum total of intelligent decision making known as the open market has a better handle on efficient choice. Good to tax pollution or regulate the production there in, but gov’t is wholly inept within intelligent decisions. They base all decisions on perpetuating their power, growth, income, political advantage, etc.

      That area should do well with alternative power as they are blessed with some of the best hydro power on the planet. They should double that power source and start exporting. Also, the geothermal likewise. The solar in California is rated top and wind has very potent locations as well. Iowa out classes them within alternative fuel production and Texas produces over all more energy and power. Iowa is a net exporter of fuel and that fuel is not from oil well pumping and they have incredible wind energy production. If the grid was less expensive to expand the Midwest could power the rest of the nation. However, placing wires hundreds of feet in air with land use change is extremely difficult and expensive. Pipelines are much less destructive, cheaper, less land use change, low maintenance, less unsightly, and more efficient to transport energy nonetheless easier to control. If ever those wind turbines started to produce hydrogen, that would end the oil industry as we know it. Even burning H2 in ICE not that bad with low cost hydrogen. Hydrogen storage is gaining capability. The fuel is being evaluated for rocket boosters. That would indicate the fuel could be utilized within aero tech? The fuel could certainly replace natural gas for home use and double the value with fuel cell power and heat generation.

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  22. By EEStorFanFibb on February 1, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    ““Producing countries understand that oil not produced today may never be
    produced,” Verleger told Quartz. “Saudi Arabia was the first nation to
    come to this understanding. In response, they and other countries have
    acted to make sure their low-cost oil is produced first while the
    high-cost oil in nations such as Venezuela and Canada are left
    permanently in the ground.””

    http://qz.com/604756/the-us-bet-big-on-american-oil-and-now-the-whole-global-economy-is-paying-the-price/

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  23. By EEStorFanFibb on February 1, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Too bad Russ will poo poo this article because he thinks the author is just a ill informed blogger. He’d learn a lot by reading it.

    Why The Renewables Revolution Is Now Unstoppable http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/02/01/3743082/renewables-revolution/

    I especially like this line.

    “Fortunately, the rapid growth of renewables is now occurring in tandem
    with the rapid emergence of EVs — and in the coming decades their
    synergies will benefit both industries. Indeed, as the grid incorporates
    more and more renewables, the net carbon emissions of EVs will drop
    lower and lower, a true win-win outcome.”

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    • By Russ Finley on February 2, 2016 at 12:02 am

      Another example of why I don’t read Romm’s blog. Look at the wind turbines graphic for his article and imagine an eagle trying to fly through them ; )

      http://cdn.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/31122812/shutterstock_259123364.jpg

      The study he’s talking about provides theoretical scenarios. It presents sets of hypothesis which Romm portrays as factual. The factual results of a real word test of that hypothesis was provided by the German Economy and Energy Minister last year. Note also that their emissions reductions have been stalled for the last four or five years:

      Germany Can’t Bear €24 Billion-a-Year Green Costs, Minister Says

      Germany must reduce the cost of its switch from atomic energy toward renewables to protect growth, Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.

      German companies and consumers shoulder as much as 24 billion euros a year for renewables because of subsidy payments, Gabriel told an energy conference in Berlin.

      “I don’t know any other economy that can bear this burden,” Gabriel said today. “We have to make sure that we connect the energy switch to economic success, or at least not endanger it.” Germany must focus on the cheapest clean-energy sources as well as efficient fossil-fuel-fired plants to stop spiraling power prices, he said.

      Chancellor Angela Merkel has made the top priority of her third-term government, which took office last month, reforming clean-energy aid after rising wind and solar costs helped send consumer bills soaring. Germans pay more for power than residents of any European Union nation except Denmark.

      While renewable aid costs are at the “limit” of what the economy can bear, Germany will keep pushing wind and solar power, the most cost-effective renewable sources, Gabriel said. Biomass energy is too expensive and its cost structure hasn’t improved, he said.

      Germany is demonstrating the real world cost of trying to reduce emissions with only renewables; $25 billion a year, according to Germany’s economics ministry. $25 billion a year would pay for 34 AP1000 reactors over ten years. Add those to existing reactors and they could supply about 80% of Germany’s electricity by 2025.

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on February 2, 2016 at 2:09 pm

        Why did you not post a link to the source so people can evaluate it?

        For readers wishing to explore Germany’s Energiewende transition in depth, here’s a good and extensive source of information:

        https://www.cleanenergywire.org/dossiers

        A quick look around that site will show that the transition has been successful on many fronts and a majority of Germans support greater use of renewables and the complete phase out of nuclear power AND coal.

        Nuclear power has no future in Germany and the government and the people are completely committed to renewables. Once the transition to away from nuclear is completed, coal use will also decline slowly. It’s very hard to remove both from the energy mix at the same time. Emission reductions will resume eventually if not soon.

        speaking of Gabriel who you quoted above….

        “Gabriel seeks annual growth rates for both onshore wind and solar power of 2.5 gigawatts from 2017. His plan is to control the targets using auctions, which will pay winning bidders with guaranteed fixed rates for each kilowatt-hour of electricity generated. ”

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-01-22/merkel-allies-call-for-renewable-curbs-as-wind-overwhelms-grid

        Sure renewable growth rates are too fast for some people. Change is always hard and there are a vocal minority who will make a stink.

        It’s the pace of change that is being debated. Not the direction of change.

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        • By Russ Finley on February 5, 2016 at 12:42 am

          Why did you not post a link to the source so people can evaluate it?

          Same source as you, Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-01-21/germany-can-t-bear-32-billion-a-year-green-costs-minister-says

          Nuclear power has no future in Germany and the government and the people are completely committed to renewables. Once the transition to away from nuclear is completed, coal use will also decline slowly. It’s very hard to remove both from the energy mix at the same time.

          Exactly. They continue to kill people with coal, and even with all of those renewables, emissions reductions have stalled because they are fazing out nuclear instead of coal …and then there’s Volkswagen and their emissions scandal. I’m not real impressed with the Germans lately.

          Emission reductions will resume eventually if not soon.

          Climate change has a window of opportunity. We can’t take centuries to fix it. Those five years with no emissions reductions have put five years worth of carbon in the atmosphere. You can’t get them back. The Germans are afraid of one of the safest sources of energy we have.

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          • By EEStorFanFibb on February 5, 2016 at 10:43 am

            nuclear may be safer than coal on many metrics but it’s not as safe or cost effective as renewables. it’s not even close.

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            • By Russ Finley on February 5, 2016 at 11:52 pm

              The Greenpeace graphic below suggests nuclear is safer than wind (they did divide by units of energy produced):

              https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_QdiaBca6Eed1RxOFM2cTRINkE/view?usp=sharing

              As for cost:

              Germany Can’t Bear €24 Billion-a-Year Green Costs, Minister Says

              Germany must reduce the cost of its switch from atomic energy toward renewables to protect growth, Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.

              German companies and consumers shoulder as much as 24 billion euros a year for renewables because of subsidy payments, Gabriel told an energy conference in Berlin.

              “I don’t know any other economy that can bear this burden,” Gabriel said today. “We have to make sure that we connect the energy switch to economic success, or at least not endanger it.” Germany must focus on the cheapest clean-energy sources as well as efficient fossil-fuel-fired plants to stop spiraling power prices, he said.

              Chancellor Angela Merkel has made the top priority of her third-term government, which took office last month, reforming clean-energy aid after rising wind and solar costs helped send consumer bills soaring. Germans pay more for power than residents of any European Union nation except Denmark.

              While renewable aid costs are at the “limit” of what the economy can bear, Germany will keep pushing wind and solar power, the most cost-effective renewable sources, Gabriel said. Biomass energy is too expensive and its cost structure hasn’t improved, he said.

              Germany is demonstrating the real world cost of trying to reduce emissions with only renewables; $25 billion a year, according to Germany’s economics ministry. $25 billion a year would pay for 34 AP1000 reactors over ten years. Add those to existing reactors and they could supply about 80% of Germany’s electricity by 2025.

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            • By EEStorFanFibb on February 6, 2016 at 12:15 am

              you posted that already. it’s just as ridiculous the second time. nuclear is dead, especially in Germany not just because of safety but mostly because of cost. Those Gabriel comments are taken out off context and old. the argument he is making is about the pace of change to renewables and the level of subsidy, not if they will or should transition to renewables. overall he’s consistently called for more renewables not less. sure in retrospect Germany’s feed in tariff rates were too high. who knew they would be so effective? but that was a matter of policy decisions made years ago, and has nothing to do with the fact that renewables are the cheapest thing going today.

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            • By Russ Finley on February 6, 2016 at 12:34 am

              you posted that already. it’s just as ridiculous the second time.

              That was the third time.

              nuclear is dead, especially in Germany not just because of safety but mostly because of cost.

              There are dozens of nuclear power plants being constructed all over the planet.

              The Greenpeace graphic shows it’s safer than wind.

              $25 billion a year would pay for 34 AP1000 reactors over ten years. Add those to existing reactors and they could supply about 80% of Germany’s electricity by 2025 …you can lead a horse to water.

              Those Gabriel comments are taken out off context and old.

              Below I quote the entire article:

              Germany must reduce the cost of its switch from atomic energy toward renewables to protect growth, Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.

              German companies and consumers shoulder as much as 24 billion euros ($32 billion) a year for renewables because of subsidy payments, Gabriel told an energy conference in Berlin.

              “I don’t know any other economy that can bear this burden,” Gabriel said today. “We have to make sure that we connect the energy switch to economic success, or at least not endanger it.” Germany must focus on the cheapest clean-energy sources as well as efficient fossil-fuel-fired plants to stop spiraling power prices, he said.

              Chancellor Angela Merkel has made the top priority of her third-term government, which took office last month, reforming clean-energy aid after rising wind and solar costs helped send consumer bills soaring. Germans pay more for power than residents of any European Union nation except Denmark.

              While renewable aid costs are at the “limit” of what the economy can bear, Germany will keep pushing wind and solar power, the most cost-effective renewable sources, Gabriel said. Biomass energy is too expensive and its cost structure hasn’t improved, he said.

              Gabriel, who last month assumed control of the biggest energy overhaul of any developed country, is overseeing the shuttering of Germany’s atomic fleet by 2022, ordered by Merkel after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

              He will seek to limit subsidies paid to operators of land-based wind turbines to no more than 9 euro cents a kilowatt-hour in 2015 and reduce the expansion to about 2,500 megawatts a year, according to a ministry document prepared for a meeting of Merkel’s coalition on Jan. 22-23. Developers will get paid subsidies at the current rate if their units are authorized before tomorrow and enter operation this year.

              While Germany seeks to limit increases in energy prices, the government can’t promise that bills will decline, Gabriel said.

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on February 2, 2016 at 6:02 pm

        A U.S. News and World Report chart shows estimates of how many birds are killed each year by different fuel sources.

        http://d35brb9zkkbdsd.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/BirdDeaths.jpg
        CREDIT: U.S. News & World Report

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        • By Forrest on February 3, 2016 at 7:27 am

          Well, the coal spec is bunk. They attribute GW deaths to coal. Not much reliable info. Pure guesstimate. The bigger concern is deaths of endangered species as Russ has posted. Raptors get hammered with wind turbine. The death rate should be adjusted per power production. You notice how activist can utilize GW to prove just about any of their heart desires. Assumptions go wild within the GW science and bend to wants and desires of the far left solutions.

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        • By Russ Finley on February 5, 2016 at 12:20 am

          This is my lucky day. You could not have picked a better example of Joe Romm spreading misinformation. That bird death by energy source graphic (which you got from Romm’s blog) was the feature of one of my articles titled The Corrections to Joe Romm’s Corrections. The corrected version of that meaningless graphic is shown below:
          http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/MyBarChart5.jpg?00cfb7

          Although it was created by some idiot at U.S. News & World Report, Romm has used it (twice) and has never posted a retraction.

          The bird deaths are not divided by units of energy produced.

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          • By EEStorFanFibb on February 5, 2016 at 3:46 pm

            Yeah I skimmed over that blog post of yours regurgitating some refutation of the US N&W report data. I don’t buy it. If a number of academic papers come out on one side or the other let me know. In the meantime, if you are really worried about bird deaths you better ban cats. They kill more birds by far.

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            • By Russ Finley on February 5, 2016 at 11:33 pm

              Yeah I skimmed over that blog post of yours regurgitating some refutation of the US N&W report data.

              …no regurgitation involved. The analysis supporting the refutation was original.

              I don’t buy it.

              I see. You don’t buy the idea that to compare gas mileage/bird deaths between car models/power sources that the gallons of gas used/birds killed by each car/power source should be divided by the number of miles driven/units of energy produced.

              If a number of academic papers come out on one side or the other let me know.

              That will never happen. The graphic was created by some innumerate office worker for a lay press news source. The fact that Romm has repeatedly used it speaks volumes.

              if you are really worried about bird deaths you better ban cats. They kill more birds by far.

              I am no more worried about “bird” deaths than I am about “mammal” deaths. I am worried about rhino and elephant deaths, as well as eagle, owl, and condor deaths. Poorly sited wind farms pose no risk to common song bird species just as poachers pose no risk to mice. And if you had read that article, you might not have made another mistake …from the article:

              Using a study suggesting that cats may kill upwards of 3.7 billion birds per year in the United States, the “cats kill more birds than wind” argument says that global warming has 154 times less annual impact (3.7 E+9 / 2.4E+7 = 154) on birds than cats do.

              Part of the effectiveness of the “cats kill more” argument is that everyone assumes cats are not a big deal. But, as it turns out, our pet and feral domestic cats are one of the most environmentally destructive forces (of many thousands) we have unleashed on the planet. They have been implicated in the extinction of roughly 33 animal species around the world. Just today I received a solicitation from the Audubon Society that said “nearly a quarter of the United States bird species are slipping toward extinction.”

              Fortunately, nobody thought to use the “cats kill more birds than DDT” argument against regulations controlling the use of DDT to stop the bald eagle’s slide toward extinction. Because raptors are at the top of the food chain pyramid DDT concentrates in their tissues. Another impact of being at the top of the food chain pyramid is that raptors will be far fewer in number than songbirds. The death of a single raptor will have an impact on their total population that may be an order of magnitude larger than a death of a single bird at the bottom of the pyramid.

              You can see that this DDT analogy is a dead ringer for wind farms. Cats don’t kill large birds like eagles or great horned owls, quite the opposite. Killing an eagle instead of a house sparrow is like killing a lion instead of a house mouse.

              Maybe the “cats kill more” argument has had its day in the sun.

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  24. By EEStorFanFibb on February 1, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    “In total, 2015 ended with some 549,000 sold! Compared to nearly 318,000 in 2014, the market expanded by over 72%.”

    Tesla Model S Was World’s #1 Selling Plug-In Electric Car In December 2015
    http://insideevs.com/tesla-model-s-was-worlds-1-selling-plug-in-electric-car-in-december-2015/

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    • By Russ Finley on February 1, 2016 at 11:34 pm

      Keep in mind, ah, EEStorFanFibb, that I’m a big fan of electric cars, which is why I was glad to be an early adopter, paying cash for my 2011 Leaf. I hoped it would quickly become obsolete and it has. I’m just providing you with some reality checks.

      Plug-in car “market share” grew less than 1/4 of a single percent in 2015.

      Clearly, an electric car that costs over $70,000 will never capture a meaningful amount of the total car sales market share.

      Do you even own an electric car?

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on February 2, 2016 at 4:15 pm

        I do not but I will someday. The first 1 percent is always the hardest. It’s all downhill from here.

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  25. By Forrest on February 2, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Should the oil companies race to dump their oil per the coming disruptive battery car? This is a common myth promoted at left environmental websites. They exercise conspiracy theories, inflate minor trends to extreme, and partake in story telling. I read that a recent sampling of GW concerns; 91% of public not concerned. So, my take on a wide swath of public having such opinions would indicate the GW science is mostly bunk and hype and energized per desires for political gain, wealth, popularity, financial support, and to empower desired solutions. Their appears no way to hold the science accountable to real world results. It’s a beautiful thing if in the business.

    I’ve read no credible analysis of the battery car, solar, wind and the rest of the nuclear and alternative energy markets making much of a difference in disrupting need of oil and natural gas. Exxon’s official analysis is all viable energy suppliers needed to keep the international economies humming along. This statement appears to be the truth. So, the propaganda machines should turn down the rhetoric and start utilizing best in class thinking skills to evaluate competing investments to improve both the environment and economy. Utilizing max political will, and fear mongering to trash the competition not helpful. The regulation industry appears to be the front lines for such shenanigans as the activist courts looking for fame and popularity. Just look at the future of energy report and some things jump out.

    1. Global demand for electricity will increase 65%. We know electricity is not an energy source nor steam. The best in class fuel for electricity considering all aspects is natural gas combined cycle. These machines really have improved. Since natural gas is hard to ship and most producers utilize the fuel locally, this conditions should push U.S. hard for NG power. Other sources can help on the periphery, but come with big disadvantagea. A far second is wind and nuclear. Nuclear could be empowered per will of people if a change of mindset occurred. Since almost all citizens don’t believe GW is much of a concern this probably won’t happen. Many countries left with no other option than coal.

    2. Light duty transportation not much of a problem. Car manufactures solve the problem with every new car. Heavy transportation is a growing and bigger concern as they have no alternative fuel other than diesel. There is hope per ethanol as the fuel easily adapted to diesel high torque engines per port injection. It would seem wise to make military and commercial heavy trucks flex fuel to decrease emissions and offer plan “B” in critical shortage. Also, provide the diesel market some competition and choice at the pump. Note:diesel fuel will always be needed to inject ignition fuel. Natural gas infrastructure is proving to expensive for transportation. Besides the fuel is optimum utilized producing electricity. Low grade heat for space heating needs would ideally be accomplished with CHP devices, biofuel, and at least by geothermal if going electric. Electric water heaters, space heaters, and stoves should be illegal. Forget the lousy choice per incandescent bulbs. I read the CFL will end production very soon, being displaced by LED. So, it probably would have been better to stay with incandescent (especially up north) then go directly to LED and forget the mercury poisoning. This would have been the natural open market progression if not for all the hype, regulation, and government superior thinking skills employed.

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    • By EEStorFanFibb on February 2, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      You wrote: “I read that a recent sampling of GW concerns; 91% of public not
      concerned.”
      “Since almost all citizens don’t believe GW is much of a concern…..”

      Can you provide a link to this “recent sampling” please?

      Here is my link http://www.pewglobal.org/2015/11/05/global-concern-about-climate-change-broad-support-for-limiting-emissions/

      The results are quite different than yours.

      You also wrote: “So, my take on a wide swath of public having such opinions
      would indicate the GW science is mostly bunk and hype and energized per
      desires for political gain, wealth, popularity, financial support, and
      to empower desired solutions.”

      The more you post the more you reveal your purpose here. MY TAKE is we are seeing the propaganda work of a climate change denier/conspiracy theorist AND apologist for the status quo seekers who are willing to hurt countless people with their unsustainable, and soon to be unnecessary, dirty, dirty business.

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      • By Forrest on February 2, 2016 at 5:35 pm

        It was a recent poll of global citizens. It hit the internet news this morning. This is one link I found. I thought you were the Google expert?

        http://www.newsmax.com/US/Poll-Americans-Global-Warming-Issue/2016/02/01/id/712205/

        My opinion on GW science:

        1. It is not science if you have to believe in it. The science is squishy as often new revelations discovered on how environment moderates or how the environment works. No scientist can predict with any accuracy the future change and especially the damages. All such efforts is really just an exercise in speculation such as how the battery car is going to run the ICEs out of town. The science is burdened with real haters or deniers (what ever the politics of the day require). These are the people that are knee jerk activist that have little foundational understanding, they just have marching orders. The insults just another political opportunity to spew malice to political opponents. The science is just a tool or obstacle depending on the merits. So, if indeed if citizens thought the science was genuine, well, for example they would be angry at Al Gore for maximizing the political obstacles to make change possible. If citizens thought GW was a but a political opportunity, they of course would embrace nuclear as the largest tool to deal with the problem.

        I have recently witnessed more back peddling on the damage estimates and urgency from the people within the business, politics and media. Maybe, they worry of overplaying the hype and realize it would be more credible to ease up a bit. That would be bad result for them, as the “science” sure easily exploited and hyped with no ability for anyone to prove the solutions worked. It’s a beautiful thing to energize the activism efforts. Didn’t Obama hint that he saved the planet and we all call feel more confident the rescue is under way.

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        • By EEStorFanFibb on February 2, 2016 at 6:20 pm

          Forest wrote: “If citizens thought GW was a but a political opportunity, they of course would embrace nuclear as the largest tool to deal with the problem.”

          No they wouldn’t because nuclear is useless at fighting climate change. It’s too costly and slow.

          You get way more bang for your buck from scaling up renewables.

          read the following:

          Amory Lovins: Expanding Nuclear Power Makes Climate Change Worse July 16, 2008 – Democracy Now!

          http://www.nukefree.org/news/amorylovinsdemocracynow

          and from here: http://blog.rmi.org/Print.aspx?Id=2712

          a few excerpts:

          “Each dollar spent on a new reactor buys about 2-10 times
          less carbon savings, 20-40 times slower, than spending that dollar on the cheaper, faster, safer solutions that make nuclear power unnecessary and uneconomic: efficient use of electricity, making heat and power together in factories or buildings (“cogeneration”), and renewable energy. The last two made 18% of the world’s 2009 electricity (while nuclear made 13%, reversing their 2000 shares)–and made over 90% of the 2007-08 increase in global electricity production.”

          “…smarter choices are sweeping the global energy market. Half the world’s new generating capacity in 2008 and 2009 was renewable. In 2010, renewables, excluding big hydro
          dams, won $151 billion of private investment and added over 50 billion watts (70% the total capacity of all 23 Fukushima-style U.S. reactors) while nuclear got zero private investment and kept losing capacity. Supposedly unreliable windpower made 43-52% of four German states’ total
          2010 electricity. Non-nuclear Denmark, 21% wind powered, plans to get entirely off fossil fuels. Hawaii plans 70% renewables by 2025.

          In contrast, of the 66 nuclear units worldwide officially listed as “under construction” at the end of 2010, 12 had been so listed for over 20 years, 45 had no official startup date, half were late, all 66 were in centrally planned power systems–50 of those in just four (China, India, Russia, South Korea)–and zero were free-market purchases. Since 2007, nuclear growth has added less annual output than just the
          costliest renewable–solar power –and will probably never catch up. While inherently safe renewable competitors are walloping both nuclear and coal plants in the marketplace and keep getting dramatically cheaper, nuclear costs keep soaring, and with greater safety precautions would go
          even higher. Tokyo Electric Co., just recovering from $10-20 billion in 2007 earthquake costs at its other big nuclear complex, now faces an even more ruinous Fukushima bill.”

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          • By Forrest on February 3, 2016 at 7:12 am

            It is nice to know nuclear is so feckless. I would have sworn to have seen three near by. I just read the Bridgemen plant rated over 2 Gw and has steady produces that power since ’75. The license is good until ’34, but again, it’s usually is renewed. That is quite a bit of carbon free power.
            But, as I posted, if ever GW were indeed a true concern of citizens they would demand nuclear construction. I’ve worked in steam power business and have personally experience the barrage of nuclear regs that are designed not in increase safety, but to gut the industry per cheer leading of Left. This is the true cost of nuclear. Make believe. The media and politics gets about as silly as the Flint Water Crisis, nowadays when doing a story on nuclear. The objective is to misinform the public and to surround the viewership with political propaganda. It’s kind of like your linked articles. The news anchors especially get promoted if they can claim a reputation to gin up as much concern as possible and still be rated legit. This is modern day journalism achievement 101.
            Those that keep abreast of technology such as Russ, have a different opinion. Tremendous advances within safety and cost. My evaluation of the technology. Everything is good to go at this period of history to make a incredible dent upon the most polluting emissions on the planted of electric power. If the regulation industry and politics were bridled and we allowed credible info back into the mainstream it would be a beautiful thing for environment

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  26. By EEStorFanFibb on February 2, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Four reasons electric vehicle sales will surge – Goldman Sachs

    http://reneweconomy.com.au/2016/four-reasons-electric-vehicle-sales-will-surge-goldman-sachs-86958

    “Over the next 10 years, our sector analysts forecast sales to increase by a (compound annual growth rate of 26 per cent, expanding market share from 3 per cent today to 22 per cent in 2025,” the report says.

    “Goldman analysts predict a 60 per cent plunge in battery costs over the next five years – from $14,250 today to $5,250 in 2020 – and a 70 per cent boost to EV performance, including battery range, weight and capacity.

    The graph also shows that analysts believe the range of a low-performance electric car battery – currently around 160km and a key barrier to mass market adoption – will increase to an average of 275km by 2020.”

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    • By Forrest on February 3, 2016 at 6:44 am

      The links you post often a post of an authored news/info story. The problem is the spin put on to juice up the info to entice their fan club of incredible news. My example, “all cars in 2016 will be electric, relying on battery and electric motor technology”. True, without our starter motor and battery our cars would be useless. This linked post of “info” innocuously injects “hybrid with the spin of battery car sales volumes. Better to Goggle the original article to understand authors content. Yes, dramatically lowering batter costs will propel sales and eventually 1/4 sales by 2040 per Exxon report will contain the electric motor and battery. That would be the mild hybrid.

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  27. By Forrest on February 4, 2016 at 7:40 am

    The typical spin we hear so often from BEV enthusiast is just wrong headed, at least from the credible info I’ve vetted. You know the typical Manhattan Project break the bank debt expenditure needed to install wind and solar for grid power and the critical need to change the transportation sector to power up from the grid. While this sounds fanciful and alluring it’s just not a good path forward. Their is so much hype for this solution that the general public is often embracing the fantasy and thinking the energy supply would be free and solve all pollution problems.
    I just read a report from U of Michigan TRI that compared BEV, HFC, and ICE cars attributes and negatives. Cost per mile for BEV is 4 cents/mile and CO2 emission is 214g/mi. The traditional car gets 23 mpg with $2.35/gal gas costs. The fuel costs 10 cents per mile and the car emits 409g/mile. So, BEV rules. Not so fast. The BEV is paying zero road tax. In the future the battery car will improve efficiency hardly at all and the car’s emissions are entirely dependent upon grid improvement of which we know per the tremendous cost will improve glacially. Currently, the grid is the largest source of emissions on the planet by a very high margin. Meanwhile, the typical ICE will double Mpg by 2040. So, the cost and emissions a draw at this point. But, factor in ethanol blended fuel and a increasing production of cellulosic fuel, pretty impressive emissions reductions result. Ethanol has ability to cut the traditional auto emissions in half and do so at a cost reduction. The near future and in many places of the country the now future would rate the battery car the higher polluter. Forget the future cheaper battery argument, it doesn’t matter, at least per the pollution emissions and cost of fuel. Every report I’ve read indicates a future cost of grid power cost to double or triple per the increase cost to accommodate alternative power and the investment dollars required. So, it would appear to me, we are wrong headed in our priorities. The auto industry appears to not be making any mistakes and already investing in the most cost effective solutions. Solutions that will maximize investment dollars to reduce ownership cost and maximize the environment improvement in sum total. The grid sector needs to act responsible as well. Maximize investment dollars return on keeping costs down and environmental improvement up. So, by all indicators the whole country is going about this wrong. We should not be maximizing use of the grid, but minimizing the use. This will magnify the investment dollars to improve the grid. If we continue to demand more power from the grid the coal plants will be needed and the percentage of “green” power will remain ineffective. Natural gas should be utilized to displace as much power as possible.Biomass as well.

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    • By EEStorFanFibb on February 4, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      “Ford spells out the future of electric, autonomous, and smart cars”

      http://venturebeat.com/2016/01/11/ford-spells-out-the-future-of-electric-autonomous-and-smart-cars/

      Don Butler, executive director of Ford’s connected vehicles and services:

      “Electric vehicles, for us, represent a means of attaining some of the efficiency requirements we have. Either fully or partially electrified vehicles will represent up to a quarter of our lineup within the next five or so years.”

      Can you show us a quote from a Auto exec that says mild hybrids are what we are pinning the future on?

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      • By Forrest on February 5, 2016 at 7:30 am

        Your pretty specific with your link demands or quotes.

        http://www.alabc.org/press-releases/48v-mild-hybrids-can-meet-emission-reductions-targets-with-co2-reductions-of-15-20

        Note: The news release is about meeting up coming CO2 emission targets and that the mild hybrid is up to the task (no BEV required). The technology will improve CO2 emissions an additional 15%-20% (above the ever increasing efficiency of ICE). The Ford employee, said the mild hybrid will exceed full hybrid benefits. Also, note this class of hybrid technology will cost but a fraction compared to typical Prius.

        The Ford employee said the focus was on a pathway with this technology ADEPT (diesel mild hybrid) to lower CO2 emissions to 70g/km. Note per the above post the BEV fueling up on typical grid would pollute 2x as much. So, the mild hybrid will not plug into utility and decrease its environmental rating. The kicker in all this is that current corn ethanol is rated to be -60% carbon fuel/gal. That will leverage the carbon rating of mild hybrid vehicle. The grid will never catch up with this combination. Especially if the engine is optimized for E85 or E100 fuel. Cummins built one such engine for heavy duty van market in California. The engine beat gasoline fuel mileage and achieved low fuel cost equivalent to the diesel fueled engine. Oh, the engine was half the size of the diesel, enjoying a much lighter weight penalty. This engine is just plain technology and rated at -85% CO2 emissions on cellulosic fuel. If ever a hybrid this figure would could go to 100% and the technology/science pathway for ethanol indicates an negative rating in the future. Also, we must consider the light vehicle transportation emissions is eclipsed by heavy duty emissions. This is the bigger target to improve. Batteries not applicable and appears natural gas infrastructure solution just to expensive. So, ethanol again can perform a flex fuel benefit or directly fuel this sector at tremendous carbon savings. Again, the country is wrong headed with battery car solutions and attempting to maximize grid demand.

        In the long run I believe the hydrogen solution will truly be disruptive to both transportation and the grid. Hopefully, nuclear will power super efficient high temp hydrolysis generation of hydrogen. Also,coal and biofuel have a natural large hydrogen stream if technology can harvest. Remote wind turbines may become practical per low cost pipe line connection.

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    • By EEStorFanFibb on February 4, 2016 at 12:46 pm

      you wrote: “Meanwhile, the typical ICE will double Mpg by 2040.”

      LOL, no chance.

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  28. By EEStorFanFibb on February 6, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Electric vehicle policy support is surging; now we must build the infrastructure http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-environment/268318-electric-vehicle-policy-support-is-surging-now-we-must

    “On the heels of several successful transportation and clean energy policies in the U.S., the recent Paris Climate Accord upped the global ante for support of electric vehicles (EVs). In parallel to the sweeping accord, the International Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Alliance, which includes eight U.S. states, Quebec, and four European nations, announced that it will strive to make all new vehicles sold in its jurisdictions zero emission by 2050.”

    2050? that is weak. try 2030 guys.

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    • By Forrest on February 6, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      Maybe zero tailpipe emissions, but the emissions of battery car about that of hybrid. But, the hybrid doesn’t cost near as much and doesn’t cost taxpayers as much. Electricity is not an energy source, just like steam is not an energy source. If we were to rate the steam engine like the battery car, that car would have zero emissions. Actually, I bet steam could do pretty good as compared against the battery car. High pressure tanks, currently fairly light weight. Insulation doesn’t weigh that much and very efficient. The steam vehicle probably hundreds of pounds lighter. Steam torque is at maximum at standstill, perfect for transportation needs. Refueling the steam car would be superior to battery car given that natural gas boiler is very efficient and requires no complicated and energy wasting grid. The vehicle would require no precious metals, no advanced material. It would be a piece of cake to recycle. Very green to use water as compared to coal power. Yep, the steam car would give the battery car a good run. Both have zero emissions.

      [link]      
      • By Forrest on February 7, 2016 at 6:41 am

        Reference Terrajoule an Australian company that is building the business upon steam accumulator principle for energy storage. They claim the solution is 1/5th the cost of battery power, requires no rare earth metals, and easily recyclable.

        My guess they would need to generate the steam with electric power as that is almost 100% efficient. I never understood that part. Consider the best in class gas cogen power plants operate at 50% thermal efficiency? But, they are expensive and not as popular as the 40% stand alone generators. And of course they do not operate in the efficient cycle all the time. In fact to synchronize or to support renewable power they drop into low efficient mode more often. Then the grid loss will lower the gas efficiency down another 7% and now the natural gas is setting south of 30% efficient, but the magic of battery car and electricity per EPA calculations brings the efficiency back up to nearly 100%. Go figure? I was thinking of automotive kit to remove tranny and install generator with super efficient motor drive. The electrical magic should boost mileage 3x. Oh, I think the magic only occurs if the power generator is land based. So, a sweat spot may be placing the motor in garage powering a generator and hooking the car up with extension cord. The extremely limited range as I understand not a deterrent to EV owners. Some households only travel daily to the mail box. This car would save a lot of energy as compared to typical auto for the same job and the car would be extremely cheap needing no expensive and heavy battery. Just having fun :) .

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  29. By Russ Finley on February 7, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Oil price crash: Saudis told to embrace austerity as debt defaults loom

    …this would likely not have happened in a two party political system.

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  30. By EEStorFanFibb on February 9, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Analysis: Don’t hold your breath for a Saudi-led OPEC push to cut output

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/saudi-arabia-opec-oil-1.3437997

    “Unlike in the past, if Saudi Arabia were to curtail production, they
    know another country, whether Iran or the US, will step forward to fill
    the gap.”

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  31. By Forrest on February 17, 2016 at 8:52 am

    You need to listen to the keynote speech of the 2016 NEC of John Hofmeister whom was president of Shell Oil Company for three years. OMG, I think this guy nailed the Saudis trillion dollar decision. His speech gives one a lot to chew on. Have we blundered so badly within foreign relations to the extent of placing the world on brink of even more financial hardship per chaos of oil markets at this time in history with frightening thin ice of economies ability to sustain the hit? Appears so! Can anyone answer my question that since SA, Russia, or Iraq can not sustain this ultra low selling price of oil and yet Iraq and Russia have no ability to stop the sale per need of revenue, how will this end? How will world economies suffer when the eventual SA slows a couple mbp production? The cost snap back of oil will be severe as the U.S. for one has lost capability for quick ramp up of production. The snap back may only take months. How can fragile economies sustain this hit? It appear at no time in history have we a greater need for feds to think ahead and cement a plan of action to keep our energy supply capabilities at max potential. Some how we need a crisis plan to stabilize energy production capabilities per national security needs and to assist those of foreign countries to do the same. This would help avoid the domino effect. Maybe loan guarantor of last resort, for our oil infrastructure? Increase biofuel, biomass, natural gas, coal, stores. Emergency forbearance of EPA regulations? This guy was pretty tough on our Washington political class. I think he may have a point.

    http://energy.agwired.com/

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  32. By EEStorFanFibb on February 24, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Bloomberg: “Another Oil Crash Is Coming, and There May Be No Recovery

    Superior electric cars are on their way, and they could begin to wreck oil markets within a decade.”

    And nobody is going to stop it.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-24/another-oil-crash-is-coming-and-there-may-be-no-recovery

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    • By Robert Rapier on February 24, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      For over 30 years, global oil demand has increased by an average of 1 million bpd each year. It’s been a remarkably steady climb. Despite biofuels, conservation, higher fuel standards — demand growth has marched on. At that rate, demand will be 14 million bpd higher in 2030 than it is now. So if electric cars can take 2 million bpd of pressure off of that demand, it would be great news, but certainly wouldn’t be enough to crash the oil market (nor to reduce our actual oil consumption). What crashed it this time was a rapid increase in supply in a few short years. Electric cars can’t under any conceivable scenario accomplish that.

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on February 24, 2016 at 5:03 pm

        Past is NOT prologue in the case of oil demand. Where you do think these 14 more mbpd is going to come from? What oil price is needed to increase production that much? Seems like that kind of demand is not sustainable given the very high prices that would be needed to support all that unconventional oil production. Said prices that would crater the economy just like it did in 2008/9. And with high oil prices, and a political climate very ready to support clean tech, do you really think that EV adoption wouldn’t accelerate even faster? Of course it would. Oil prices are going to be very volatile for the next few decades but demand is going to fall off a cliff relatively soon.

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        • By Robert Rapier on February 24, 2016 at 7:29 pm

          I agree that oil prices are going higher, but higher oil prices haven’t impacted global demand much over the past decade. There was a dip in 2008, but strong growth resumed after that despite $100 oil. My point is that despite many supposed crude oil “killers” over the years, and many periods of economic slowdown, the growth in crude oil demand hasn’t really varied much for over 30 years.

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          • By Forrest on February 25, 2016 at 7:11 am

            It’s not that the event of burning crude is so enjoyable. That crude oil has unstoppable allure. It’s a factor of increase living standard enjoyment that happens to be powered by crude oil. Customers want their toys to go, go fast, faster, and at lower cost so they can have more toys. Bright shiny toys that attract attention and envy. Toys that are reliable and have minimum hassle, cost for maintenance, and easy refuel. China and India want more of these toys, nowadays. Yes, this is your position as well, but we must remember the customer will not be loyal to petrol if a better choice available. They love their toys not the fuel or fuel source. As you know, the market is evolving. Competition is emerging. Much more choice for consumers. Technology is pushing back on all fronts. It really is exciting times and nothing can be taken for granted. History is useless to predict the future. NEC had a presentation (on line) where a speaker was reviewing the changes within recent history that no one could have possibly predicted. It was a long list of radical change. It is a sure bet to bet on change.

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    • By Forrest on February 25, 2016 at 7:29 am

      I like how they take a minor trend or invent a trend and extrapolate the results years down the road. I just read Minnesota experienced a 12x increase in E15 sales last year. By 2030 at that rate of increase, they will power all of transportation in the U.S.. Did you know that ethanol is already achieved 2 Mbd fuel, internationally. That this is more significant to reduce emissions as the most of the international grid is powered by coal (even U.S.) with the typical lousy pollution control and efficiency to power a battery car. What do you do if driving into your garage to recharge with low battery and discover no power. Up north we currently have a ice and wet snow that is breaking branches and shorting power lines. It may take days to get power. It’s not uncommon for some to go a week with no power in emergencies. Can you store a five gallon can of electricity? Or go to the convenience station with a refuel can?

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  33. By EEStorFanFibb on February 24, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    “Set aside all the motivations with climate change, oil dependence—it’s just a better way to do a car. It’s simple,”

    says Google advisor, Lawrence Burns. Burns is General Motors’ former corporate vice president for Research and Development.

    Burns explains:

    “Now I’m not suggesting you run out and invest all
    your money in an electric car company or a company that provides
    materials for electric cars, but I am saying that as we move forward, it
    will become increasingly clear that the major players in the auto
    industry that don’t embrace electric vehicle technology will be on the
    losing end of history. So if you’re looking to invest in a car company,
    you may want to steer clear of any that aren’t actively building out
    their electric vehicle fleets. Because these, dear reader, will be the
    losers over the long-term.”

    from

    Former General Motors Exec Says Electric Is “A Better Way To Do A Car”
    http://insideevs.com/former-general-motors-exec-says-electric-is-a-better-way-to-do-a-car/

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  34. By EEStorFanFibb on February 24, 2016 at 6:52 pm
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    • By Robert Rapier on February 24, 2016 at 7:26 pm

      It’s ironic that you mentioned Norway, because I just wrote about them today. This is why Bloomberg’s analysis is wrong: “Consider the example of Norway, which has the highest penetration of EVs in the world at around 12.5% of all new cars sold. EV sales rose from 133 in 2004 to 39,632 in 2015 — an increase of 300x. How dramatically did this reduce Norway’s oil consumption? In fact Norway’s oil consumption rose by 8% over that time period (a time period in which U.S. oil consumption declined by 8%).”

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on February 25, 2016 at 11:46 am

        Yes, well up til recently economic growth
        has always been coupled with a commensurate increase in oil
        consumption but this relationship is uncoupling relatively
        quickly and will continue to do so a lot more over the next decade or
        two. For some reason you think the historic correlation will go on forever. I don’t think that’s the case. And is an 8 percent increase really all that much given Norway’s GDP growth over that period?

        Norway’s economy grew (or shrank) this much
        in each year:

        2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

        1% 3.9% 2.6% 2.3% 2.7% 0.1% -1.6% 0.5%

        2011 2012 2013 2014* 2015*

        1.3% 2.9% 0.6% 1.8% 1.9%

        * estimated.
        https://www.gfmag.com/global-data/country-data/norway-gdp-country-report

        The total economic growth from 2004 to 2015 is therefore calculated to be 21%

        So there was only an 8% rise (according to you) in oil consumption for a 21% increase in GDP. Is this a lot? Or Is it less than one would expect given historical norms? you tell me. you’re the expert.

        Now more importantly, lets look closely at EV registrations in Norway. I think the way you used the numbers is misleading and you should know better. See the graph below.

        From 2004 to 2011 there were only 4970 EVs registered. In 2012 ALONE almost as many EVs were registered as from 2004 to 2011 COMBINED.

        Then things really take off and by 2015 over 8x more EVs were registered than in 2012, just three years prior.

        For some (suspicious) reason you use the ENTIRE PERIOD from 2004 to 2015 to proclaim that oil still goes up when EVs are purchased.

        You did this even though EV registrations were barely even a blip for NINE of those 12 years!!

        EV sales in Norway is at 25% of all car sales CURRENTLY, but this is a very RECENT result.

        If the growth of EV sales continues on this upward trend do you really think oil consumption is going to continue to climb in Norway? and not descend? Isn’t oil consumption largely tied to transportation?

        Here’s a tip: give this EV trend another 5 years at this and higher market share rates and then you can talk about it’s affect on a Norway’s oil consumption. But don’t use years where EVs weren’t even sold in quadruple digits.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plug-in_electric_vehicles_in_Norway#/media/File:Registrations_EVs_Norway_2004_2013.png

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        • By Forrest on February 25, 2016 at 5:51 pm

          Norway has bountiful energy resources, a few steps above U.S.. Their hydro power is incredible, supplying 98% of the countries needs. So, with a grid power like that, it is a natural match for battery car power.

          If the U.S. could invoke such sensible decision making as Norway, we could do likewise. That is a stretch since the U.S celebrates diversity of inferior thinking. Meaning we get trapped or waylaided by our desire for good intentions, this is our state of political power. We suffer from a contagion of political activist motivated to milk power and wealth from the productive class. Thank you class warfare politics and the easy solutions of socialism. Solutions that are propagated upon “enlightened” college campuses. This is a U.S. phenomenon, generated bye and bye by our own wealth enabling such shenanigans.

          Sensible decision making would maximize our hydro and nuclear power production for environmental benefits and then, yes, the battery car becomes much more attractive!

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        • By Robert Rapier on February 25, 2016 at 8:13 pm

          “For some (suspicious) reason you use the ENTIRE PERIOD from 2004 to 2015 to proclaim that oil still goes up when EVs are purchased.”

          I used that period because 1). That was the period covered by the graph; and 2). Decade long trends are more informative, as year-to-year variations in consumption can mislead.

          I wrote more on this today. Even in the past 5 year period oil consumption in Norway is up, while it declined by 11% in the EU. You hit on the reasons yourself. The economy is growing. This is a reason Bloomberg’s analysis is wrong. What we are likely to see is the same thing we saw with biofuels: Exponential growth, but nevertheless increasing oil consumption.

          I published something on this today at Forbes. I addressed some of your questions/comments above. I reverted to 5-year period because I agreed with you that this is when the major action happened in Norway, but oil consumption didn’t decline: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2016/02/25/is-the-electric-vehicle-a-crude-oil-killer/#62a2f0f236ed

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  35. By EEStorFanFibb on February 24, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Honda CEO Shifts Focus to Electric Vehicles

    Takahiro Hachigo pledges to make partially or fully electric cars account for two-thirds of Honda’s global sales by 2030
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/honda-ceo-shifts-focus-to-electric-vehicles-1456307220

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    • By Forrest on February 24, 2016 at 7:58 pm

      Most car companies are planning the same. Mild hybrid actually a cost effective investment.

      Electric cars are great and probably will supplant ICE, but it won’t be the lithium battery powering the car. Hydrogen fuel cell battery will. Nobody is arguing that an electric motor isn’t more efficient and reliable. That was the case even back in Ford Model T days. Maybe we should use an acronym ITBS? It’s the battery…

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    • By Forrest on February 27, 2016 at 6:03 am

      Let me make your case of battery car. Electrical components become a commodity low margin product in which production is standardized to supply market. There is no benefit for automotive to build the hardware as it’s proven technology, readily available. In other words all electrical vehicles utilize the same supplier. Same for the batteries. Batteries do become markedly cheaper per mass production and recycling precious metal. Battery vehicles fill the metro mass market for shorter trip transportation efficiency and convenience of autonomous vehicle. Vehicles become accident free, extremely light weight, and market forces push vehicle ownership to supply agencies much like current day taxi cabs that offer excellent service whether a utility vehicle need or single passenger transport. During rush hours a micro bus may be in the mix with a efficient path for pickup and drop off. Market penetration for battery car skyrockets per low cost, low maintenance, and the rest. Regulation industry is the primary motivation to battery power as they continue to unleash onerous regs upon the liquid energy source side. Vehicle manufactures tire and lose interest in liquid fuel as EPA can easily waylay the cost effective conversion of the energy source. In other words automotive gives up and delegates the costly regulation burden to the grid. It is proving out that the hidden processes and energy sources are becoming more attractive per loss of ability of government oversight. For example better to produce drugs and body parts within a pig or natures plants as compared to constructing a factory that would allow government union employees to surround. Better to utilize invisible electricity than liquid fuel.

      Heavy duty fleet or long distance travel market migrates to the fuel cell, as it proves to be the most cost effective choice. Same for cellulosic, waste, sugar, and starch ethanol proving a superior choice to run conventional fleet. Traditional oil products lose appeal, cost to much, and utilized mainly for chemical market and to support aging inherited vehicle fleet in areas close to oil supply and remaining refinery.

      All of the above is closing in on oil energy future, so no I don’t believe it is a forgone conclusion that our increased consumption of petrol is here to stay. I just read an article that automation or computer control could cut the energy demands of transportation by half. Examples being trip planing, combining loads, platooning, loss of traffic congestion, no stop traffic control, efficient driving speeds and control, etc. Also, I will add the delivery and distribution system itself could experience upheaval by drone delivery in which is currently designed not to be fossil fuel.

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  36. By EEStorFanFibb on February 28, 2016 at 10:30 am

    “according to ARK’s analysis, the demand for EVs will approach 45 million units in the early 2020s”

    http://cdn.inquisitr.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Gas_Vs_Electric_Vehicles.png

    2022: The Year Electric Vehicles Leave Gas Cars In The Dust

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/3933756-2022-year-electric-vehicles-leave-gas-cars-dust

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    • By Forrest on February 28, 2016 at 11:46 am

      I noticed the ETF ARK is also claims a genomic revolution is underway. I presume your equally enthusiastic with ethanol clean fuel? The fund has a bad investment record with high burden cost. A stock analysis comment “In mathematics, it is not merely sufficient to give the final answer. The math teacher will often insist that we show our work to support the final answer.”

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      • By EEStorFanFibb on February 28, 2016 at 2:57 pm

        I absolutely ZERO “faith” in biofuels of any kind. Electrons ALL the way.

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        • By Forrest on February 28, 2016 at 4:32 pm

          Electrons are not an energy source, they are a energy transmitter analogous to water weight/pressure upon a turbine. The water is not consumed just transmits gravity energy per the hydrologic cycle (solar power). Your battery car isn’t consuming electrons just reacting to electromotive force provided by heat energy of coal vis a vis boiling steam pressure powering a turbine. Conversely, ethanol is mostly new energy or produced energy. In retrospect, since the present day electrons are primary coal power generated and coal power is not green or renewable the battery car choice is an environmental mistake until and if the grid power can be produced from nuclear, hydro, wind, solar, etc, power. Until that time best to minimize the use of elections as natural gas is a magnitude cleaner and more efficient at the point of use. Also, best to fuel transportation upon hybrid vehicle running on plain E10 fuel. Better yet hybrids running on E85 and on top of the heap E85 cellulosic running in optimized hybrid engine in which the grid will probably never best. So, your faith or enthusiasm is misplaced, at least per benefit of society for the here and now. The super light weight autonomous vehicle fleet probably will proceed with tremendous energy savings per efficiency improvements even with coal power. Same for drone delivery. For the rest of transportation that has no efficient mode of operation, best to let hybrid biofuel vehicle provide the energy and leave the grid power alone. This way the green power can achieve higher improvement penetration to power current users with higher percentage of green power.

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          • By Forrest on March 2, 2016 at 6:29 am

            Past that the long term outlook is electric vehicle and loss or greatly diminished ICE power. Lutz may have said it best on Road and Track interview. “The autonomous vehicle will kill the auto industry as we know it”. I will add the EPA will do its’ part as well. He said it wouldn’t be in his life time, but in thirty years the auto market will not be brand loyal. Vehicle market will become generic and brands will lose appeal. Technology and parts will be from suppliers that standardize across entire market. Vehicles operation becomes regulated. Busy roads will look like snakes from the air, with cars zipping along at high speed. Passenger trains and buses obsolete. Air travel may benefit. It will take enormous investment in infrastructure. Roadways will have electric wire induction to power vehicle fleet. So, the battery need only power the vehicle that last few miles if at all. I would think the grid will follow the highway system, but evolve to power transportation and balance load. Point of use power generation will become popular per hydrogen fuel cell CHP systems and solar? Road construction is to expensive to continue expanding. The autonomous vehicle will make roadways very efficient. Lutz made the comment that Uber is autonomous vehicle with human operator. Heritage vehicles utilized much like current horse dude ranches and private hunting clubs. A place for the rich to spin wheels and compete upon dangerous polluting activity. In this scenario heavy duty trucks become electrified as well. Only farm tractors and off road equipment maintain position, probably with ethanol fuel.

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            • By Forest on March 2, 2016 at 7:50 am

              In such a scenario, I would guess the oil business plan for positive revenue would be to manage assets in declining market share. To minimize future investment cost and maintain current investments as productive and as long as possible. Their gold standard of political influence vanishing per change in wealth. Public gains strong mindset to the benefits of ethanol fuel alternative. Cellulosic, sugar, starch, and waste ethanol continue to steadily increase market share per demands of clean fuel and healthy environment. Ethanol becomes the standard for marine and off road use fuel selection as well as racing. Public demands the long time blending with petrol products to cease. Ethanol fuel becomes popular for easy refill and storage requirements. Natural gas and hydrogen can’t compete per such requirements for off road and poor nation infrastructure use. Middle East tensions thrown to waste heap of concern to the level of African nation status. That being human suffrage concerns. Tribal warfare continues per influence and power. The most capable citizens migrate to well behaved Western countries per quality of life desire. Military shrinks footprint to concern itself with efficient pruning of the most vicious tyrannical warriors per demand of its citizens. No Navy warships, piloted fighter planes, and no clumsy tanks. Just a flotilla of very small drones and robots.
              The next thirty years could be interesting indeed.

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