AD #3320 – Rolling Blackouts Could Hurt EV Sales; EVs Caught in Culture Wars; Hybrid Battery Offers Spectacular Range

May 9th, 2022 at 11:51am

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Listen to “AD #3320 – Rolling Blackouts Could Hurt EV Sales; EVs Caught in Culture Wars; Hybrid Battery Offers Spectacular Range” on Spreaker.

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Runtime: 11:17

0:07 Rolling Blackouts Could Hurt EV Sales
0:59 EVs Caught in Culture Wars
1:58 Tesla Employee Allegedly Steals Dojo Secrets
3:15 Ford Threatens Dealers with $25,000 Fine
4:09 Ford Intros Another E-Transit Model
4:55 Cadillac Starts Lyriq Production in China
5:14 World’s Biggest Hydrogen Mining Truck
5:53 AeroMobil to Make Passenger Flying Car
7:54 Parts Shortage Hits Trucking Industry
8:34 Schaeffler Bearing Increases EV Range
9:42 Hybrid Battery Offers Spectacular Range

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46 Comments to “AD #3320 – Rolling Blackouts Could Hurt EV Sales; EVs Caught in Culture Wars; Hybrid Battery Offers Spectacular Range”

  1. Lew Says:

    John / Sean
    As a gearhead from my teens and a retiree your show is a pleasure to listen / read.
    The Acronyms used today in the Automotive field is changing rapidly.
    They are rarely defined. Could you please make a list with their definitions?
    Such as:
    Acronym Definitions
    AEB LFP or NCM batteries
    AV miles per kilowatt
    BEV KWH versus HP
    DCT home charging
    E-fuel ETC
    EUV ”
    EV ”
    ICE ”
    IIHS ”
    NEDC ”
    NEV ”
    NHTSA ”
    PHEV ”
    SUV ”
    V2X ”
    ETC ”
    ” ”

    Thanks Lew

  2. Mac Says:

    Regarding the first item, it doesn’t surprise me one bit. As a near 40 year veteran of the electrical industry, my conversations with friends on the generation side of the business have been shaking their heads for several years now wondering where all this [added] capacity needed to support EVs is going to come from. California is the worst offender; even at max generating capacity the generation facilities in the state can only support about 70% of the load. Every MWH after that comes from outside the state. And the problem is only going to get worse as more and more stable generating capacity comes off-line, to be replaced to wind and solar which as has been seen, are considerably less dependable.

  3. Lew Says:

    Sorry for the bad copy and paste.
    It sure looked good when it was sent..

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    2 In the past, there would have been enough generating capacity if the car charging was done at times of low usage, like overnight, but as more power comes from renewables, especially solar, things will be different. If we could store large amounts of power to “use later,” that would be helpful, but using batteries to store huge amounts of power to feed into the grid is not practical, at least not yet.

  5. Jim Haines Says:

    That finding about lefties and loving ev’s is because they think power comes from a socket on a wall and it’s magic just like chocolate milk comes from brown cows

  6. Lambo2015 Says:

    Wait; All we have heard for the last couple years is how little affect EVs would have on the power grid. We been told there is more than enough capacity and now, just as sales are starting to take off the Wall Street Journal discovers that’s not the case.
    Sounds like the secretary of energy Jennifer M. Granholm isn’t the person for the job.
    Everyone knew California already had issues with rolling black-outs on hot days, and no one thought adding a few million EVs would be a problem?
    Either they were just buying time and hoping they could make improvements by the time they were needed and or expected EVs to fail and never be significant enough to make an impact.
    Not really surprising.

  7. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Speculating power brown outs and black outs have been suggested here and other places for years (starting with the introduction of BEV into the general driving arena). While some of the capacity and reserve can be mitigated as the electric demand ramps up, it is good to be vindicated that ‘we’ (some of us commenters) have addressed shortages many years ago, as a possibility.

    And as far as the conservative versus liberal’s debate on BEV evolution, and since the ramp up is going to be a smooth rise and not exponential in my opinion, there shouldn’t be a problem with adaption. If they perform as advertised (which I think they will), adoption of conservatives will change as a matter of cost (and savings) evolve. But it’s going to take some time in any event so I predict no worries; economics will rule the day.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Only in America, are EVs so politicized.

    5 As far as “lefties,” I am one, and have an ICE car with a big engine, and a hybrid. As I’ve often mentioned here, I won’t have an EV until, and in unless home charging becomes available at my condo.

    As far as what powers an EV, it depends on where you charge it. In West Virginia, it’s mostly coal. In Washington, it’s mostly hydro. Whatever the source of electricity, EVs are good in dense urban areas, where tailpipe exhaust can cause problems, even with today’s cleaner running vehicles.

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    4 In the past homes were built with 60 amp main breakers too. I mean we all use more electrical devices each and every year and population is growing. So it seems demand would already have a known steady growth. Also knowing that some of the many nuclear facilities were slated to close or other coal burning facilities decommissioned obviously a replacement is needed. Forecasting demand and making sure we have capacity doesn’t seem like it would be rocket science. It appears a journalist at the WSJ figured it out.

  10. Don Sherman Says:

    The thoughtful BEV owner has roof solar and battery storage to negate the calamity of rolling utility blackouts.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If people would set their AC at 78 instead of 68 when it’s 95 degrees outside, there would be a lot less need for rolling blackouts, and people wouldn’t need to wear a sweater when lounging around the house.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    1 You can google those things.

  13. XA351GT Says:

    Well of course brown outs will give buyers reason to question is this a good move. as long as a family still owns a ICE it shouldn’t be as bad. But when you’re sitting stuck at home with a dead battery and no way to get anywhere of course it will make people think. Look at what happened in Texas a while back when the windmills froze and everyone sat in the dark freezing to death. At least with a ICE vehicle you could go somewhere that has generator power to stay warm and get something to eat. EVs should be looked as a supplement to ICE not it’s replacement it just isn’t ready yet or may ever be.

  14. XA351GT Says:

    EVs also bring up question of road tax generation. Here in PA we have the highest gas tax at .58 a gallon + the federal gas tax which is supposed to go to road repair and construction. If EVs ever were to be the majority of transportation methods the state would have to come up with another way to generate that revenue. My guess would be a per mile tax levied when you renew your registration . Now knowing how the greedy pricks in Harrisburg are they’d probably hammer us even harder than they do now. Currently those that use more fuel pay more , if it goes to a per mile rate it actually would punish those with more efficient vehicles that run on gas .It’s hard to come up with a system that would fairer to all.

  15. merv Says:

    interesting how Schaeffler has found a way to improve the bearing. All these small improvements make for a better planet.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 Florida is full of toll roads, more than any other state, which generates a lot of money. There’s not much “fair” about it, though, as the toll for a 400 pound motorcycle is the same as for a 9000 pound Hummer.

    If nearly all roads were toll roads, with tolls based on the weight of the vehicle, tax for roads could be collected in a “fair” way for all vehicles. Already, most of the toll in FL is collected using transducers stuck to the windshield, and this could be universal. They get a picture of the license plate of vehicles going through the transducer lanes with out a transducer, and sent a bill to the registrant.

  17. merv Says:

    10 a house near by to me has just completed that program. The installer had very catchy graphics on his van so everyone knew what was up.

  18. GM Veteran Says:

    I’ve never understood why there is so much interest in flying cars. I’m not talking about the VTOL octocopters we see so much about recently. I mean like the one in today’s report. Did anyone else notice the extremely looooong wheelbase? It looks like lots of fun to drive. Where you gonna park that? Not in any parking lots I know of. Can’t take it to CostCo! And for that kind of cash, just buy a regular airplane and you won’t have to deal with the headaches of owning a vehicle that isn’t a good car and isn’t a good plane.

    The flying restrictions on these would be the same as small planes. You would have to drive to an airport in order to get airborne. Then land at an airport and drive to where you are going. Seems like an answer to a question no one is asking. How do these guys get funding? Maybe it makes more sense in Europe, but I doubt it.

  19. GM Veteran Says:

    14 – PA tried last year to pass EV registration fees. Looks like it died in the state Senate.
    The fees would have been $75 per year for a hybrid gas-electric vehicle, $175 a year for an electric vehicle and $275 for an electric vehicle with a weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds, such as a city bus.

    Twenty-eight states have laws requiring a special registration fee for electric vehicles while 14 states impose a fee specifically on hybrids, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

  20. Wim van Acker Says:

    @2-14: fifteen years ago the utility companies generated 50% of the electrical power with coal fired power plants, which were back then 70 years old on average. Since then they have retired half o that coal fired capacity, and therefore coal’s share in the fuel mix is 25%, now.

    Coal fired power plants are baseload power and when retiring those you should replace with baseload power (nuclear power plants), not with peak load power like gas fired plants, wind or solar. Just like you do not replace Class 8 trucks with passenger cars.

    The U.S. energy policy has been a failure for decades: 1 the baseload capacity has not been modernized in time; 2 natural gas is used as a stop-gap for that failure; 3 thinking that renewables are a solution for baseload power is erroneous. Just like the earlier mentioned passenger cars replacing heavy trucks.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18 Today’s flying cars aren’t much better than the Aerocar of 1949.

  22. Bob Wilson Says:

    Conservative ICE owners spend a lot of money to operate and maintain their ICE vehicles. Money they can’t contribute to their politicians. In contrast, liberal EV owners spend about 1/3d less to operate and maintain and have money to support their candidates.

    As for rolling blackouts and brownouts, we had over four days of no power when tornadoes ripped down the North Alabama TVA power lines. So we used a Prius with a 1.1 kW, 12 V to 120 VAC to camp out at home. When upgrading from 100 A to 200 A service, we added an automatic, 16 kW, natural gas fueled emergency generator. Our EVs take less than 8 kW to charge.

  23. MJB Says:

    Still not liking the design of that Lyriq at all. The front end is fine, but the rest (especially the rear quarter) just doesn’t work for me. But, maybe once I see it in person I’ll change my mind.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 Most of the state EV surcharges are punitive to EVs, the surcharge being more than the gas tax would be for a gas vehicle driven an average number of miles.

  25. JWH Says:

    #5 – Not sure what rock you’re trying to crawl out from under.

    Being an ideological liberal & fiscal conservative for more years than I care to count, I really don’t believe leftie/rightie comments are appropriate here.

    BTW – Side note is we have 4 vehicles (ICE) with minimum of 300HP (2004 V70R) & a couple with 460 on the upper end (2016 Corvette Z51 & 2012 Backdraft Racing Roadster). I prefer not to seriously look at a BEV until the fuel tqnk can be refilled as quickly as the ICE vehicles. Let the performance facts speak for themselves.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22 Are you saying you connected a 12vdc to 120vac converter to the 12v battery of a Prius, and the car continuously provided ~100 amps current at 12v? I’m surprised that the dc-dc converter in the car would provide that much current to the 12v battery, but that could be useful.

  27. Steven M Slebioda Says:

    @22 What do Liberal ICE and Conservative BEV owners do?

  28. Lambo2015 Says:

    18 I agree the flying car concept is a waste of time. As you mentioned you typically just end up with a plane that is a crappy car, and a car that is a mediocre plane. Go buy a good plane and download Uber or lift for your remaining travel needs.
    Reminds me of the Aqua cars that were capable of road and water travel but did neither very well.

    The major difference with power outages and being able to refuel an ICE vs EV is often times when the power is out I can drive 5 miles away and get gas. I rarely bring my car home empty because I don’t fill up at home. An EV owner will likely also no be coming home on a dead battery and can travel to get a charge too. Just how busy are those limited charging stations going to be with a power outage in the nearby area. Plus I typically have a 5 gallon gas can at home for my lawn equipment that I could put in the tank in a pinch and get 100 miles with just that.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    23 From the pictures, I like the looks of the Lyriq ok, but I’m not crazy about the packaging efficiency. From what I read, it’s significantly bigger and heavier than a Model Y, with about the same cabin space. I’ll probably like the controls and displays of the Cadillac much better, though.

  30. Bob Wilson Says:

    #26 – it drew a maximum of 75 A at ~13.5 V., 1 kW, any more current and the voltage would drop off leaving the same 1 kW draw from the Prius.

    The 1.1 kW was the modified, sine-wave inverter rating. It might have drawn a surge from the 12 V battery. Regardless, it drove either a 750 W furnace fan, for heat, or a bedroom window A/C, for sleeping.

    The Prius burned 2 gallons per day from the 10 gallon tank. The catalytic converter and muffler meant it was very quiet and safe with almost no carbon monoxide.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29 Thanks for info. My current Highlander hybrid has a similar powertrain to a Prius, but scaled up, which should work similarly.

  32. Dave Says:

    Nicholas Tesla’s statue is at Niagara Falls we are moving forward not back to whale oil lamps. Smartmeters for your electric metering means that you’ll pay the most for high demand electricity frugal people will use the computers in their cars to charge when the electricity is most economical. The newest EV’s will be able to feed electricity into their home during brown/black out conditions not to mention having a spare battery for the house. We could go back to measuring fuel mileage rods to the hogshead.Shall I mention we are in the 21st century and I don’t see stone axes making a comeback.

  33. wmb Says:

    #27.) I agree and I’m at a lose as to all the concern with BEVs during ROLLING black and brown outs. The fact that they are rolling, means that they are not everywhere at the same time. It may also suggest that local leaders have some control as to when, who much and at what time these outages take place. I’ve seen leaders do something similar with neighborhood street lights in the urban City that I lived in. To save money, the city would from time to time not turn the street lights on in one neighborhood at night. Then a different neighborhood the next night and so on and so forth! The point that I’m making and as you said, regarding outages and BEVs, I do see every EV suddenly needing to refuel at the same time as the black or brown out takes place! If folks are recharging their vehicle to 80 to 90 percent each night, depending on their commute, errand run and/or pick-up/drop-off duties, shouldn’t most still have power for a couple days without recharging? If it’s a black out and NOBODY HAS POWER, where are we going? Why would we need to go anywhere? Anywhere we’d go, wouldn’t have power too, right? ICE vehicles would be stuck in the same situation, for as Sean mentioned, no power means gas pumps do not work either! That said, I’ve never experienced what many in California go through with their black and brown outs. Whether they have to endure these things for just a few hours, or several days. I am not suggesting that power outages are a walk in the park and that there will not be times when some will find themselves in a bad way. Yet, as uncertain as the electrical grid may at times seem, oil prices and its availability are not much better! The difference is that, a country may not control, or have a choice with oil, if they are not an oil producing country. But they can build as many power plants as they want and they can choose what type of power (wind, solar, water and nuclear) they get from that plant! In the US, like in many other countries, the power infrastructure is old and needs to be updated. That is a fixable problem! As I understand, it may take 5 to 10 years to bring a power plant on line. With politicians and automakers putting the year 2030 as a major date when many would go all electric, shouldn’t some one be breaking ground today, on those much needed new power plants?! It has been said before, automakers/auto industry are the ones that are being pushed and pressured to make the move into electrification. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, but these other industries HAVE GOT RO BE MOTIVATED JUST AS SEVERLY, to support this seismic change that are being required by those in the automotive sector!

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    To much electricity generating capacity?

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    33 Yes, too, not to much…

  36. Jon W Christianson Says:

    A few years ago a poll of EV owners said a lot would not buy another. Has a poll been done lately ?
    Present owners might not be sales people ?

  37. Sean Wagner Says:

    << Sean does not report that having more EVs leads to blackouts. I sometimes wonder if we all watch the same video.
    << What he does say is that some utilities are retiring power plants too early.
    << In my part of the first world, years go by without brownouts or blackouts.
    << And finally, the question of how much more electric power generation would be needed if *all* transportation were switched over has been exhaustively analized, for instance by IBM. It turns out to be about 15%. As it doesn't matter to a battery if it's charged sometime at night.
    << CA for instance has too much solar power at certain times and 'exports' it. Likewise, wind power often peaks at night.

    Lyriq – I think the rear is a bit frumpy too. But it all follows the same design language and at least doesn't look cheap. The side view is utterly conventional. 500hp for the dual motor version.

    Hybrid Battery – Watched Sunday's extended report. I've been wondering about the potential for heterogenous battery packs for a while. Curious about how this develops – I certainly requires a deep knowledge of chemistries and costs.

  38. Lambo2015 Says:

    When you think about energy and cost just ask yourself why people are not going fully electric when building a house. Or better yet why a homes value is less with electric heat vs forced air from Natural gas or Propane. At least in the Midwest.

    You know what is good business practice? Being diversified. I like having at least two sources to heat my home. Ive always has a gas furnace with either a wood burner, solar panels that was able to heat part of the home, even a kerosene heater and lastly a gas insert that didn’t require any electricity to heat the home. Knowing that if I have a problem with one I have a back-up plan in most cases. Ive never been without heat.


    36) I am so surprised at how many people don’t understand that diversity is always the way. Diversity does not apply just to people diversity. Diversity in everything, including energy use, is always the correct choice. I think eventually it will sort out into a diverse array of options which will include all of the above from hydrogen, battery electric, efuels, lpg, and gasoline/diesel. There is just too much of a fever pitch around BEVs right now for anyone to think more rationally.

    The same will be true with power generation in that there needs to be a diverse mix of technology to resolve the power demands. That will include hydro, nuclear, wind, solar, nat gas, and coal. There is a use case for all of the above and needs to be part of a total strategy. Unfortunately I do not believe that there is anyone thinking strategically. I think everyone is chasing the fad of the day for any rational discussion to ever take place on strategy.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    36 My 90 year old house in Indiana has a natural gas fired furnace, without a blower. It’s the original coal convection furnace, converted to gas in 1961. It isn’t very efficient, and if I lived there year round, I might have replaced it with a more efficient forced air furnace, but I heat it to only 45 degrees in the winter, to keep the pipes from freezing.

  41. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m wondering how long the natural gas supply will last. It supplies, by far, the biggest portion of electricity in the US, at 36 percent. Coal is second, with 23.1 percent.

    Gas is currently a cheap fuel for making electricity, and is much cleaner than coal, but gas is used much more efficiently for home heating in a high efficiency furnace, than when used to generate and distribute electricity.

  42. Kit Gerhart Says:

    How electricity is produced, by state:

  43. Lambo2015 Says:

    38 Wow I haven’t been in a house with a gravity heating system in 20 years. The one I was in still used fuel oil. I imagine that’s pretty hard to get and expensive if you could.
    Didn’t know they could be efficiently converted to NG without just replacing the whole thing.

    I guess my point was that electricity is an expensive way to heat a home so when more and more people start using it to power their cars wouldn’t you expect the price to just increase even more? So although the environmental gains may still be a plus I really doubt that EVs will end up being a cheaper alternative. In the end it will be just as expensive if not more.

  44. Lambo2015 Says:

    40 Nice link Kit. Really surprising how many states generate more electricity than California. Wish is gave the usage. Cause Cali must be buying a huge amount of power from out of state. Florida, Illinois, Penn, & Texas all produce more electricity than Cali. Ohio almost produces as much as Cali.
    Doesn’t seem this chart includes what each state gets from other states so also surprising that Cali still uses NG for 48.4% of its electric.

  45. Kit Gerhart Says:

    42 I’ll see if I can find a chart showing usage. I suspect CA uses the most, with its large population, but might use less for A/C than TX or FL.

  46. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like information about electricity usage by state, and type of usage is here:

    Then, select this description to get an Excel chart.

    “Electricity Sales to Ultimate Customers by State by Sector by Provider (EIA-861)5″

    Texas is, by far, the biggest consumer of electricity, with a lot more industrial use than California or Florida, which are distant 2nd and 3rd.