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Electric cars are great for eliminating oil from transportation, because very little U.S. electricity is generated by burning petroleum. But electric cars may or may not help the country combat climate change—and it all depends on where the electricity comes from.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/why-charging-an-electric-car-at-night-is-worse-for-the-environment/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=pbsofficial&utm_campaign=newshour

Its been discussed already.
Cherry picked data
besides "worse for the environment" than what? Somehow I doubt that charging my Volt at night is worse for the environment than commuting with my Jeep.
 

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As the article mentions, it depends on where you live. In Ontario, for example, we eliminated all coal fired generation years ago and at night time and on weekends ( i.e. Off peak), most of the power comes from base loaded nuclear, run of river hydro and whatever wind/solar/landfill gas/energy from waste etc. is available. I often joke that my lawn mower is nuclear powered. Night time charging makes sense here, beyond the lower cost factor of off peak rates.

During the work day, gas fired generation is added to take the peak loading, as well as any imported power ( which could include coal fired) and definitely not as "clean" as off peak.
 

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The article makes several false assumptions. Others have already identified a couple, but the primary fallacious statement is that charging electric cars at night is somehow worse for the environment. Ever wonder why power produced at night is cheaper? It is because there is less demand, and only the slow-cycle power generation plants are working. Coal and nuclear power plants can't just be cycled on a whim, so they must continue to produce power, regardless of whether there is a demand for that power. Until we have enough EVs charging at night to suck up all of that wasted power, all EVs are doing is scavenging energy that would have been wasted otherwise (i.e., the carbon footprint is a net zero).

The main problem (which has nothing to do with EVs) moving into the future is that we don't have many options to replace the slow-cycle coal plants that run 24 hours a day. PV solar won't do it. Wind isn't consistent enough. Natural gas is just trading one evil for another. Traditional nuclear is fraught with its own issues. Hydroelectric and geothermal aren't available in all regions.

All is not lost, however, because some really cool alternatives are available. Solar collection generators can gather enough heat energy to produce electricity through the night. Great inroads are being made in tidal/wave power generation. And this guy has a real coo vision of the future: https://www.ted.com/talks/taylor_wilson_my_radical_plan_for_small_nuclear_fission_reactors?language=en
 

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I changed it to "watching TV" because it makes just as much (non-)sense. Or using lights.

Besides, electric companies give a discount for night time electrical rates for a reason: they have an excess of "product" they want to sell and are giving you an incentive to help them get rid of it. That's why the price is less. As others pointed out, charging at night is actually better than during the day, it soaks up the excess capacity that is otherwise wasted.
 

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I changed it to "watching TV" because it makes just as much (non-)sense. Or using lights.

Besides, electric companies give a discount for night time electrical rates for a reason: they have an excess of "product" they want to sell and are giving you an incentive to help them get rid of it. That's why the price is less. As others pointed out, charging at night is actually better than during the day, it soaks up the excess capacity that is otherwise wasted.
Though as a moderator you have the power to make changes or delete to people's inappropriate posts, I'm opposed to you changing the title to materially change the original meaning, poke fun at the absurdity, and make the OP look bad. You should do that in your own forum post. There was nothing offensive or demeaning in the original title that warrants this change.
 

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Not sure about your area but other sections of the country have so much excess power at night and other off peak times that the pricing actually goes negative, which forces generators that won't or can't come off line to pay to stay on. A side benefit is during those times large users can actually get paid to take power. Think it may be a potential source of your free power nights. Things may change if and when large storage systems are built to take this cheap/free power and store it for the daytime. Some battery systems are around but presently the only system I know to store large reserves of power are called pump storage hydro systems. They pump water uphill to a reservoir at night, and run it thru the generator during the day to make power.
All my electricity at night comes from wind. That's why my power company has a "Free Nights" program that gives me free electricity from 9PM to 6AM. Hooray for Texas wind power!
 

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I'm opposed to you changing the title to materially change the original meaning, poke fun at the absurdity, and make the OP look bad.
I said nothing about the OP. The absurdity is in the article's assertions and in it's focus on cars to exclusion of all the other night time electricity we consume for lights, TV's, hot tubs, computers, etc. Poking fun at the article is not poking fun at the OP unless they wrote the article.
 

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Well, the Koch brothers have been funding PBS lately.....

(easy Google search)
 

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I said nothing about the OP. The absurdity is in the article's assertions and in it's focus on cars to exclusion of all the other night time electricity we consume for lights, TV's, hot tubs, computers, etc. Poking fun at the article is not poking fun at the OP unless they wrote the article.
I've got your back, Steverino. :cool:

I don't know if I would have taken the same tactic, but the effect would have been the same. We have too many sensational headlines floating around, so perpetuating that is not where we want to be. My preference would have been "Article Claims Power Grid is Dirtier at Night" or something to that effect.
 

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I'm not too concerned about the title change. I've made a similar point many times in the past. Coal is a dirty fuel.
Period. It doesn't matter if electricity generated from it is used to power an electric car or an electric toothbrush. What bothers me about this story is that PBS and Scientific American are promoting it.
 

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.We have too many sensational headlines floating around.....
If not for stupid articles, those linked here would drop by 80-90%. I wouldn't be missing them.

Coal is a dirty fuel.
All "fuel" is "dirty" if you want to be a purist. Does it get cold up there in Albany? How do you stay warm, burn stuff?
 

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I'm not too concerned about the title change. I've made a similar point many times in the past. Coal is a dirty fuel.
Period. It doesn't matter if electricity generated from it is used to power an electric car or an electric toothbrush. What bothers me about this story is that PBS and Scientific American are promoting it.
Other than putting in your own wind farm, solar panels, or building your own nuclear power plant or fusion reactor, most people are stuck with the utility companies available to them. Some offer a higher rate to source their power usage from green sources, but it is more of a feel good/billing thing. The power flowing into your house still has a percentage of dirty sources. There aren't separate clean and dirty power networks. The day they can give us the heating and AC equivalent to the LED bulb compared to the incandescent, I think we're burning Dino juice for quite some time. Until then, we should all be lining our roofs with solar panels when it becomes cost effective to do so. So far, we've had to rely on government subsities, and even then, it is only a fraction of the cost.
 
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