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Old 09-29-2011, 10:06 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Study says U.S. government incentives for battery-powered cars arenít cost effective

Quote:
The incentives from the U.S. government that boost the market for battery-powered vehicles are not as cost-effective in reducing oil dependency and CO2 emissions as pushing sales of hybrids and plug-in cars that go short distances on electricity, according to a study published recently at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The review was conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, Arizona State University and Rand Corp.

The review stated that battery breakthroughs, more-expensive oil and a more-efficient electric power grid will be required to justify the costs, weight, and assembly-related costs of "large battery pack" cars, says Autonews. The study determined that hybrids comparable to the Toyota Prius and plug-in hybrids that run about 10 miles on battery power provide fuel-use and carbon-exhaust savings similar to more advanced rechargeable models like Nissan Motor Co.'s electric Leaf and General Motors Co.'s Volt.
And best of all, they come at a lower cost. Jeremy Michalek, an engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, led the review, He said that the large battery packs arenít bad but they donít offer ďas many benefits per dollar.Ē No recommendation was given by the study for specific models.
http://www.4wheelsnews.com/study-say...rent-cost-eff/
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:51 AM   #2
shikataganai
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Here's the abstract: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/20...73108.abstract

Anyone with a PNAS subscription care to post up the full PDF?

Their conclusion, which is kind of lost in the summary above, is that efforts should be focused on HEVs (e.g., Prius) and small-battery PHEVs (PHEV Prius) instead of large-battery PHEVs (Volt) and BEVs (Leaf).

Quote:
Current subsidies intended to encourage sales of plug-in vehicles with large capacity battery packs exceed our externality estimates considerably, and taxes that optimally correct for externality damages would not close the gap in ownership cost. In contrast, HEVs and PHEVs with small battery packs reduce externality damages at low (or no) additional cost over their lifetime. Although large battery packs allow vehicles to travel longer distances using electricity instead of gasoline, large packs are more expensive, heavier, and more emissions intensive to produce, with lower utilization factors, greater charging infrastructure requirements, and life-cycle implications that are more sensitive to uncertain, time-sensitive, and location-specific factors. To reduce air emission and oil dependency impacts from passenger vehicles, strategies to promote adoption of HEVs and PHEVs with small battery packs offer more social benefits per dollar spent.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:05 AM   #3
MrSaabaru
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The only part I agree with in S's post is the part about emissions made in production. All the others aren't new, aren't specific to electric veicles, and aren't a reason to stop.

The same argument can be made for anything.

"Hybrid and electric vehicles have long term concerns, are more expensive to develop and build, and taxes that correct for externality changes would not close the gap in ownership cost. We should focus on improving gasoline engines to get better emissions and mileage, because they offer more social benefits per dollar spent."

The idea that we should stop at ANY point in technological improvement because improving what we have seems easier or cheaper than getting something new to market is silly to me. Without this same mindset from the government, nobody on a farm would have internet, nobody in the mountains would have cell phones, and on and on...
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:23 AM   #4
shikataganai
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They're questioning the idea that large-battery PHEVs and BEVs offer enough incremental improvement over small-battery PHEVs and "standard" PHEVs to warrant the subsidies as currently implemented. It's not so clear-cut that having a larger battery equates to being further along the technological improvement scale, if you will.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:28 AM   #5
shikataganai
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The flip side of the argument from the PNAS paper, of course, is that if the individual consumer wants to maximize his return on the tax dollars that he put into the system then he'd choose a large-battery PHEV or BEV.

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Old 09-29-2011, 12:39 PM   #6
MrSaabaru
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I can see that as far as incremental. I just think that, for large battery systems, with the money into the system, both for development and for customer subsidies, leaps would be made, not just incremental increases.

I guess I'm saying that, just given percentages, if you add 5-10% improvement, the higher capacity of the large batteries makes that 5% so much more important.

Think of what happens if batteries become lighter, or cheaper to manufacture...It's the same problem that was put out there for hybrids in the first place a few years ago. "I'm not sure if we can build a battery that works at all. What happens when the battery dies, and will it last long enough? There's no existing battery technology that lets us get any useful distance without a battery system so heavy that the car would be undrivable.
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