GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Not sure if folks around here have heard about this mini controversy that's been brewing: there's a TV show called Adam Ruins Everything, which is a satirical examination and debunking of the many myths we all fail to think critically about.

His episode from two weeks ago, 'Adam Ruins Going Green', included a segment on why (in his opinion) EVs are not the environmental panacea we're led to believe (scroll down a little to get to the video):

https://electrek.co/2016/12/28/adam-ruins-everything-tesla-electric-cars-misinformation/

(I do recommend watching the video, if only for some context if you read my message to Adam below.)

Not surprisingly, this prompted a backlash and several prominent rebukes of his 'facts', including most notably the following from The Verge:

http://www.theverge.com/2016/12/29/14104136/adam-ruins-everything-electric-cars-video-energy-problems

Interestingly, Adam was kind enough to make a public rebuttal:

https://medium.com/@Adam_Ruins/adam-ruins-everything-responds-to-the-verge-389f75057cbb#.bokba2tim

Although I generally enjoy the show, I feel strongly that Adam missed the big picture here. Looking for some way to get these feelings off my chest, I just posted the following on the r/adamruinseverything subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/adamruinseverything/comments/5ng8he/adam_ruins_everything_responds_to_the_verge/), and I felt like sharing since I'm not sure it'll get much exposure there:

"I think the most fundamental point that Adam missed in his episode and rebuttal, is that this is one problem I believe we MUST buy our way out of.

Everybody agrees we need to move towards electrifying transportation, yet nobody seems to realize that EVs are not a sure thing at this point - and in fact their future is far from certain.

All the major automakers who sell vehicles in North America are lobbying very hard to have emissions and fuel economy targets reduced, so they can choose to not be forced (as they currently are) to produce EVs.

With Trump's new pick for EPA chief being an avowed fossil fuel supporter and climate change denier, most in the EV movement believe the regulations that have been forcing companies to produce EVs in order to increase their overall 'fleet' fuel economy, will be abandoned or repealed.

Besides Tesla and a handful of (mostly luxury or performance-oriented) startups, there are no powerful forces lobbying for more electric vehicles to be produced or sold.

So the onus falls on the government, firstly, to support adoption of EVs by offering purchase incentives. To their credit, they've done a decent job of that, thanks to the previous two administrations (yes, Bush supported EVs too). But again, with the new administration there's reason to doubt these initiatives will continue.

But next and most importantly IMO, consumers have to support this EV revolution by voting with their dollars. America is a wealthy country with a large middle class, and every manufacturer now sells EVs that are price-competitive with their ICE vehicles, after incentives are factored in.

EVs are simpler, and will eventually be cheaper to produce (and therefore sell) than gas cars, and they require almost no additional maintenance after purchase (which is why most dealerships aren't inclined to help you buy one). There are many other advantages too, which make them a winning proposition for consumers once they become mainstream.

But we need to show our support for Electric Vehicles now, and force these companies to make the painful changes we all know they need to - otherwise we may wake up one day, look out at the brown skies, and wonder as we have for so many decades, 'weren't we all supposed to be driving electric cars by now?'"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,556 Posts
I do agree with Adam on one point, far too many people buy (or lease) too many new cars. ME? Two drivers, 4 cars, over 22 years of marriage. Who else has purchased fewer? If I were to lease my entire life, we'd be at about 14 cars instead of just 4.

I would put a different twist on this. The goal shouldn't be to be green, but to avoid helping OPEC continue to have a monopolistic stronghold on the pricing of our fuel source.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
I would like to see some definitive numbers on the electrical cost of refining petrol. I've seen people throw figures around, but they are all over the place, albeit the most common number I see is 6kWh for 1 gallon of gasoline, or to do the conversion for us metric types, 1.5kWh/L. However, this seems to come from a US Department of Energy engineer, who is estimating the cost of refining in terms of 'energy lost' from the gasoline, not the amount of energy from the grid to refine. And it further doesn't take into account all the petroleum biproducts.

What I'm most curious is simply what the cost of electricity to run a full Refining plant per month divided by the volume of gasoline that gets loaded into trucks to go to retail gas-stations. And as an aside, how much volume of side products go into other value streams.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
354 Posts
I thought about how I could reduce my car charging from grid power, but I would have to charge at midday when my solar was cranking out good wattage. Since I have a day job, this would mean I would need two plug-in cars to swap every other day.

The other argument from power plant load perspective is that natural gas combined cycle plants need to be running at maximum rating to get their highest efficiency from the second cycle steam recovery. Solar tends to screw that up. Using your surplus solar over the 4 hour midday peak would be a preferred strategy I think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,942 Posts
Adam is an annoying dickface.

I didn't buy my 3 volts for the environment. My reasons were fiscal and to not send money to people who wish me dead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,431 Posts
I do agree with Adam on one point, far too many people buy (or lease) too many new cars. ME? Two drivers, 4 cars, over 22 years of marriage. Who else has purchased fewer? If I were to lease my entire life, we'd be at about 14 cars instead of just 4.
I may be a better car owner, having two drivers and bought only four cars in 41 years of marriage and ownership:
1975 Chevrolet Vega Kammback Wagon
1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera
1995 Buick Regal Limited sedan
2009 Chevrolet Equinox 2LT

The Vega was sold in 1990 to a car racer who installed a Camaro powertrain and won several races with it. The Ciera was sold to a neighbor in 2010. The Regal was sold to a friend in 2016.

So each car had at least 15 years of use before selling them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,003 Posts
I do agree with Adam on one point, far too many people buy (or lease) too many new cars. ME? Two drivers, 4 cars, over 22 years of marriage. Who else has purchased fewer? If I were to lease my entire life, we'd be at about 14 cars instead of just 4.

I would put a different twist on this. The goal shouldn't be to be green, but to avoid helping OPEC continue to have a monopolistic stronghold on the pricing of our fuel source.
I agree with the overall premise of the episode that reducing consumption of consumer goods is the best way to reduce energy consumption... the problem with the episode was that cars are the worst example of this because typically other used consumer goods go to a landfill, but a used car typically goes to a new owner. I'm sorry, but due to the re-sale/re-use ownership model for cars I don't see not purchasing new cars as all that impactful on energy consumption, so I can't get on board with the "I only purchased a few cars so my impact is less" argument. Now, if you are talking about your personal financial situation I am with you 100% Purchasing used is your best financial choice and only doing that after you have run your current car into the ground is the most fiscally responsible path.

If every used car that got traded in on a new car went into a car crusher I would agree with the episode 100%... but when you purchase a new car your used car goes on to be used by a new owner, and the energy used to produce that car in the first place is not wasted.

The "cash for clunkers" scam was just a two pronged phase of the auto maker bail out, from an environmental standpoint it was a complete disaster. It was an auto maker bail out in two ways and was an environmental disaster in at least one way. 1. It encouraged people to purchase a new car. 2. It destroyed the car that was traded in instead of selling it to another consumer... reducing the supply of used cars further increases the demand for new cars. From the environmental disaster standpoint, by destroying these perfectly functional used cars, all of the energy expended in producing them was wasted after only a few years on the road rather than having that energy cost of production spread over decades of use.

My purpose in purchasing a Volt was reduced reliance on foreign energy sources, and the fact that I like the power delivery and efficiency of an electric drivetrain along with the convenience of "fueling" my car at home while I sleep.

Keith

PS: Purchasing any new car, diesel, gasoline, electric, or powered by rainbows is not a green choice... but if you are dead set on purchasing a new car, an EV is less wasteful than the other choices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
776 Posts
Anybody remember at the end of the 19th century when cars were first introduced? Everybody was saying they were dirty, dangerous, inefficient, expensive, etc., etc. Horses are the better choice. You are fooling yourself if you think these contraptions are the way to go.

So if the public agreed and decided not to purchase cars and allowed the infant automobile industry to die, where would we be?

Now just substitute car with EV, and horse with ICE. We need to support the EV industry. It is the way of the future. How can any thinking person not see that? Of course EV's have their issues today. We can work them out. If we let the infant EV die, we'll just be that much further behind from achieving a better world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
Don't let them get away with misdirection..

I agree with the overall premise of the episode that reducing consumption of consumer goods is the best way to reduce energy consumption... the problem with the episode was that cars are the worst example of this because typically other used consumer goods go to a landfill, but a used car typically goes to a new owner.
I am with you except that (reducing overall consumption) wasn't the overall premise expounded by the segment, it was a punch line at the end. :mad: I see it as a bait-n-switch pulled by the show for cheap ratings at the expense of EVs in specific. Since the controversy was driven by what they released on the web (ie: not the whole show) I am limiting my comments to the EV segment that blew up in their faces.

In any event, the family that drives your Volt after you will actually have a *cleaner burning* car than you did! Replacing/Shifting the domestic fleet sooner toward EVs is greener. PERIOD. In mathematical terms, it is a vector (a line with a raising but unknown end point..). EVs are the only auto technology that *trends* cleaner across multiple owners. And then it happens again with the third owner. And since it is cheaper to operate than ICE, the car will stay in service longer with possibly more owners than an ICE. Maintaining old ICE cars is an expensive hobby.

I feel the show let us all down for cheap ratings. Maybe we should petition for a follow-up segment released on the web?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,468 Posts
Was just having a chat with a coworker about this; seems that many aren't actually reading articles or watching Adam's video and jumped to their own conclusions...3 people have thought he said something like "EVs are dirtier than ICE vehicles", he doesn't, he just says "EVs aren't as green as you think"...He does botch a bunch of facts, though...Overall this publicity is probably the best thing to ever happen to him...

I do agree with Adam on one point, far too many people buy (or lease) too many new cars. ME? Two drivers, 4 cars, over 22 years of marriage. Who else has purchased fewer? If I were to lease my entire life, we'd be at about 14 cars instead of just 4.

I would put a different twist on this. The goal shouldn't be to be green, but to avoid helping OPEC continue to have a monopolistic stronghold on the pricing of our fuel source.
With the leasing/ownership, you may get your wish in a different form...Vehicle ownership is projected to go way down; before Uber introduced SURGE pricing, many were selling their cars and no longer paying for fuel, parking, registration or maintenance...But once SURGE pricing appears it was too much of a wild card and in many cases more expensive on a month to month average vs ownership...Yet even the Bolt EV has "key pass", we just need to find a way to make ride sharing affordable and like it or not, autonomous vehicles should eventually get us there...

But to your overall point, the number 1 thing one can do to reduce your carbon footprint is good decisions and choices...If the average Joe wins $100M in the lottery, they're going to immediately buy a Bolt EV and a tiny house, right? Nope! Most would buy a 5000+sq/ft mansion on 10+ acres of land, possibly another a few vacation homes that'll mostly sit vacant and additional homes for their family...Probably will own a dozen supercars as well...

The "cash for clunkers" scam was just a two pronged phase of the auto maker bail out, from an environmental standpoint it was a complete disaster. It was an auto maker bail out in two ways and was an environmental disaster in at least one way. 1. It encouraged people to purchase a new car. 2. It destroyed the car that was traded in instead of selling it to another consumer... reducing the supply of used cars further increases the demand for new cars. From the environmental disaster standpoint, by destroying these perfectly functional used cars, all of the energy expended in producing them was wasted after only a few years on the road rather than having that energy cost of production spread over decades of use.
Number one I agree with, but with number two, they killed the engine but did recycle quite a bit of the vehicles; like anything else they could have done more such as not kill the engines and part it out...Also some cars barely ran along with some rotted/modified emission equipment so there was SOME good to it...
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top