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Discussion Starter #1
So I often hear people discussing the efficiency losses of charging, which is why plug-to-wheel efficiency is different than the battery-to-wheel efficiency.

But what I haven't heard is how much energy gasoline pumps require. I know that you can't pump gas without electricity, and I also know that running a pump can require a lot of power. So I'm curious about all the power that's used to get gas into a car's gas tank:
  • Pumping gas from the refinery into a tanker truck
  • Fuel to drive the tanker truck
  • Pumping gas from the tanker truck into the station's tanks
  • Pumping gas from the station tanks into the car's gas tank

It seems to me that a lot of energy goes into that process.
 

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I'm confused. First you talk about plug to wheel losses (which I take to mean the electrical outlet to the j1772 plug to the battery to the wheels.) Then you go off into refinery to tanker to station to gas tank to engine. If you're going to compare fuel sources, then you have to go from the power company's generators, solar panels, wind farms, nuclear reactors, hydroelectric systems, etc. through the electrical grids and transformers to your house. All just as complex and costly.

Then there are some folks who have their own solar panels with net metering who can put it into the network and take it out later, so it becomes almost like local battery storage. I hope to get there someday, then maybe add a bank of powerwall 2's if the power company successfully lobbies giants net metering.

Still, rather than focusing on exact losses, we really should be looking at the global economy and how the OPEC nations have us by the gonads with their monopolistic price fixing and production controls. If we produce more oil, they can reduce production to drive the price up. If we improve our drilling processes, they can flood the market and make it not cost effective for us to frack. If we improve our nationwide MPG, they can continue to reduce production. Seriously the only way out of this vicious cycle is to use energy sources not controlled by Opec. For less than $100 per car, we could switch to E85 nationwide and dramatically cut our crude oil needs, basically give OPEC the finger. There are many other countries who can produce ethanol or methanol making it a commodity that has competition rather than price fixing. Then the electrification of our transportation system can continue down that route where we use wind, solar, hydro and nuclear instead of burning Dino juice or Dino rocks (coal). So doing those wholesale move away from oil is really good for our country. I am definitely going to get either an e85 vehicle or an EV (avoiding clean, efficient diesel and gas purely to reduce my household's overall oil consumption. Others should consider doing the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I understand that the electrical grid is also more complex, and losses occur at each point. My point is that I haven't heard these other aspects talked about or measured. The refining process has been, but the rest hasn't (especially the pumping.
 

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Don't forget about the energy it takes to walk from your car to your holster, walk back, and plug into your car. Twice a day, or more, that adds up! I had a friend use that argument against my volt a while back. Of course I countered with the fact that I had not driven to a gas station in months. Argument was over at that point.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Don't forget about the energy it takes to walk from your car to your holster, walk back, and plug into your car. Twice a day, or more, that adds up! I had a friend use that argument against my volt a while back. Of course I countered with the fact that I had not driven to a gas station in months. Argument was over at that point.
True, but there are real energy costs with pumping gasoline. I don't think it's much, but I'm guessing the power bill of a gas station is substantial.
 

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You forget that electricity is "piped" (by wire) directly to your home outlets at almost the speed of light. Gasoline has mass, is very volatile, toxic, and explosive as a vapor. So handling gasoline involves much more danger and fire hazards. That alone has a hidden "cost" that we may never see, but is present every time we visit a gas station.

And in a collision, gasoline causes more fires, injuries, and loss of life and property than EVs. Personally, I have seen several cars on fire, seen many on news broadcasts every week, and was present at one (my Dad's 1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme) with little damage and no harm, thanks to a fellow driver who carried an extinguisher.
 

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Well to wheel. For gassers.

Mine to wheel. For some EV's.

In my case, I'm 70.7 % coal in the area. And dropping every time I check!!

Some areas have really clean electrons. Find out your recipe: https://oaspub.epa.gov/powpro/ept_pack.charts

But that is coal that comes from,, where? Montana? Must be local coal, right? And American Made Coal, right?
I see train loads of coal efficiently being transported daily, to where, from where? (I'd like to know)

The rest of my electron recipe is:
7.4%- non-hydro renewables (lots of beautiful wind mills out west of me and there is at least one small hydro plant that I know of)
11.9%- Nuclear
9.8%- Gas (natural)
 

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According to what I've read - not counting for the pumping of gas,a gallon of gas takes around 6 kWh's to produce. So a vehicle that gets around 24 MPG's. uses as much electricity driving the same amount roughly as a Volt does on electricity only, PLUS - it burns the gas and pollutes a lot more than the 6 kWh's used by the Volt purely on electricity. Now there are some losses on charging the Volt from the wall - and that's roughly 10 to 15 percent loss I believe.
 

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Don't neglect all the oil spills. We waste a lot of time and energy dealing with pipeline breaks, tanker truck accidents, oil well leaks, etc.
 

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Don't neglect all the oil spills. We waste a lot of time and energy dealing with pipeline breaks, tanker truck accidents, oil well leaks, etc.
Keeping ocean shipping lanes open and safe, fighting wars for various stated reasons (but we all know the real reason..), etc.
 

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Gasoline 'costs' around 2kWh of electricity and 2kWh of heat to produce each US gal*, which in turn has around 38kWh of chemical energy in it which can be converted to around 10kWh of traction energy by a Volt engine (plus a further 10kWh 'free' of heat energy for the passengers if they need it).

*Depends very heavily on source. Gas from deep reservoirs use more, from tar sands use much much more.

Now, what's your question, exactly?
 

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Keeping ocean shipping lanes open and safe, fighting wars for various stated reasons (but we all know the real reason..), etc.
Great point. Dollars and Sense did a study using 2010 dollars and estimates at least 166 billion per year for U.S. to secure the 15 or 20 million barrells going through the mid east. This doesn't even touch the near trillion dollar cost of Iraq war. Imagine if some of these billions were put into R/D for renewables and tax incentives for energy conservation and alternates. We probably would need no oil from Saudi and no Navy to protect their (our) interests.
http://dollarsandsense.org/archives/2010/0510dancs.html
 

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The quickest path to opec independence is flexfuel and forcing every car to run e85. Ethanol is corrosive to plastics, so the fuel lines will need better connectors. But the infrastructure for storage, transportation, and delivery is already there. But it will take an act of congress as people aren't doing it by themselves.

I was recently looking at a flexfuel suburban. Going from 19 mpg to 12 mpg doesn't sound like fun even though the flex fuel is cheaper. But to make this work we need to tax the heck out of non e85 fuel and require auto manufacturers to make all vehicles e85 compatible. Then switching from 10% ethanol to 85% ethanol will just kick open in the crotch. Meanwhile the EV purists can be 100% free from gasoline while the rest of us wait for battery tech and power tech to catch up, whether it by hydrogen, capacitors, or Mr. Fusion.
 

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I was recently looking at a flexfuel suburban. Going from 19 mpg to 12 mpg doesn't sound like fun even though the flex fuel is cheaper. But to make this work we need to tax the heck out of non e85 fuel and require auto manufacturers to make all vehicles e85 compatible.
I have a flex fuel Silverado. I ran it on E85 for 7 years. Then I stopped. For openers, it runs way better on E10. E10 is more energy efficient. That and making ethanol is alleged to be worse for the environment, not not mention the amount of food products it takes to make it. That corn or whatever can feed people, not fuel tanks.

Don't take that as an environmental debate. My truck runs better and gets more miles per tank on E10 and that's what I'll use from now on. You'll be paying more money for something you may regret having paid for later.

Taxing the heck out of something is rarely the better choice overall. Regressive policies and all that......

Gasoline 'costs' around 2kWh of electricity and 2kWh of heat to produce each US gal*, which in turn has around 38kWh of chemical energy in it which can be converted to around 10kWh of traction energy by a Volt engine (plus a further 10kWh 'free' of heat energy for the passengers if they need it).

*Depends very heavily on source. Gas from deep reservoirs use more, from tar sands use much much more.

Now, what's your question, exactly?
+1
 

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I have a flex fuel Silverado. I ran it on E85 for 7 years. Then I stopped. For openers, it runs way better on E10. E10 is more energy efficient. That and making ethanol is alleged to be worse for the environment, not not mention the amount of food products it takes to make it. That corn or whatever can feed people, not fuel tanks.

Don't take that as an environmental debate. My truck runs better and gets more miles per tank on E10 and that's what I'll use from now on. You'll be paying more money for something you may regret having paid for later.

Taxing the heck out of something is rarely the better choice overall. Regressive policies and all that......



+1
Agreed, the food thing is tricky, but in once sense, growing plants is easily renewable, and we can then grow far more than we need to . we can't very well bury more dinosaurs to make more oil (though with fracking we've found a way to squeeze more oil out of the grownd). I wouldn't be switching to e85 for efficiency, but switching to disrupt OPEC. sadly, in a chat with a Chevy rep, it appears that the new suburban does not have a flex fuel option. Maybe I need to just get a Silverado or go RAM diesel (though the RAM is still burning dino juice, but about half of what I would need with the suburban. I guess I still need to beg for tha Voltec suburban, ad nausium.
 

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Agreed, the food thing is tricky, but in one sense, growing plants is easily renewable, and we can then grow far more than we need to.
The amount of farm land required to fuel America covers...... a lot of acres. Too many.

We can't very well bury more dinosaurs to make more oil (though with fracking we've found a way to squeeze more oil out of the ground).
I think our future will probably have ethanol in it, but I doubt to the same degree we use oil today.

I wouldn't be switching to e85 for efficiency, but switching to disrupt OPEC.
We already did that (fracking). Why do you think we have an oil glut? Funny how whether it's an oil glut, or currency manipulation, our press and pols seldom assign credit for what WE did.

Sadly, in a chat with a Chevy rep, it appears that the new suburban does not have a flex fuel option.
Because it didn't sell. It wasn't the better option, just like the mild hybrid trucks weren't.

Maybe I need to just get a Silverado or go RAM diesel (though the RAM is still burning dino juice, but about half of what I would need with the suburban. I guess I still need to beg for that Voltec Suburban, ad nauseam.
There is that.......
 

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The amount of farm land required to fuel America covers...... a lot of acres. Too many.



I think our future will probably have ethanol in it, but I doubt to the same degree we use oil today.



We already did that (fracking). Why do you think we have an oil glut? Funny how whether it's an oil glut, or currency manipulation, our press and pols seldom assign credit for what WE did.



Because it didn't sell. It wasn't the better option, just like the mild hybrid trucks weren't.



There is that.......
Thanks for all the corrections. Yes, I'm addicted by my ijunk :)
 

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Agreed, the food thing is tricky, but in once sense, growing plants is easily renewable, and we can then grow far more than we need to ...
Sometime when you get a few moments, check out Marc Tarpennings talk about the founding of Tesla. Early on, he and Eberhard studied various alternative ways of powering cars and decided battery EVs made the most sense. In the talk he goes through the reasons ethanol does not make sense right after he goes through the reasons fuel cells don't make sense. Tarpennings talk starts at about the 10 minute mark. The ethanol portion is at about the 16:30 mark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDCYoAQmmAA
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Now, what's your question, exactly?
Specifically the cost of pumping (and for that matter, keeping the pumping stations open).

People do all sorts of calculations about energy requirements for refining. They even calculate costs for distribution. However, keeping gas stations up and running (pumping) requires additional energy that I don't feel most people account for. And, I feel it is most analogous to EV wall-to-battery losses.
 
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