Electric Dreams

Strange, it seem to me that people have been saying things like this for years:

“If you said, ‘What’s it going to take to produce 30% more energy reliably?’ that is a massive undertaking. That isn’t something we’re going to do by tweaking a power plant here or there,” Sitton told FOX Business, pointing to grid issues California already faces with regular brownouts using its current power systems. “There’s already challenges … so to say in the next 10 to 15 years we’re going to increase our electric demand by 20 to 30%, that’s huge.”

“That will take orders of magnitudes of investment,” Sitton said.

No [excrement] Sherlock.

Anecdote: I work in the transit industry…our company contracts with transit agencies.

One of our customer agencies invited us for a “show and tell” a few years ago because they’d purchased a bunch of brand new Electric buses and had the charging station infrastructure installed to “fuel” them.

There were four charging stations installed and the huge transformers and cables and other very extensive physical infrastructure required to power those stations.

The problem is that the local power grid couldn’t handle it and was going to have to be upgraded so at the time of the “show and tell” only two of the charging stations were activated and only at half capacity.

That was for servicing just 8 buses.

Electric buses have significantly less range than diesel powered buses so to maintain the same level of service (same number of buses on the street at any given time) you would need something like 30% more E-buses than traditional. The agency in question had at the time somewhere around 1,000 traditional buses. So to completely replace their entire fleet and maintain their level of service, they’d need about 1,300 E-buses.

Here’s my math: Let’s say a fully charged bus can get 6 hours out of a charge (probably optimistic). Let’s further say that the bus can be fully charged in 2 hours on one of these charging stations (EXTREMELY optimistic). That’s an entire cycle of run/charge of 8 hours. Let’s further say that they can successfully keep each charging station occupied with a charging bus for the full 24 hours a day.

So, each bus would have to be charged a maximum of 3 times per day Not all buses run the full 24 hour cycle so lets just say an average of 2 charges per vehicle per day for the fleet. That’s 4 hours on the charger per vehicle per day, so each charging station would be able to support 6 buses over the course of 24 hours.

So, for a fleet of 1300 buses, they would need TWO HUNDRED SIXTEEN of these charging stations…of which the installation of four completely overloaded the existing power supply infrastructure.

That’s just the transit agency of one city. Multiply that times every city in the US with a population over, say, 300k, then add the 200 million or so privately owned vehicles and the 100 million or so commercially owned passenger vehicles and small trucks, plus the trucking industry, plus government vehicles including Police and Emergency vehicles.

You would have to be certifiably insane to think that the prospect of going to completely electric vehicles within the next century is remotely plausible.

So, are the people who are advocating these types of things insane? Or are they just lying to us?


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