Sunday, 25 September 2011
"The Electric Car Nightmare"
Welcome to the "all electric" car future - that will not happen.
Al Gore, Richard Branson, Jems Lovelock and many other promoters of the politically correct future never loose a chance to preach about the massive numbers of all electric cars that we can look forward to in Europe and the US in 2020. What they do not tell us, is that it is all an impossible dream, as Andrew McKillop, former chief policy analyst at DG XVII Energy, European Commission, explains:
Our problem is that its Sunday night in winter, in Europe in 2020, and there are 16 million all electric cars out there to charge at 5 kW each.
Its cold, the wind is not blowing so you can forget about windmills (Europe proudly has about 45 percent of the world's entire windfarm capacity, as of early 2011), and its nighttime, so those expensive solar power plants are also off-line. We will however be generous, and imagine that only 80 percent of the European all electric car fleet is going to be on charge at those somber moments. Say 13 million plugged in and needing 5 kW for 5 hours, to charge their big, heavy, low power storage capacity (able to store about the energy equivalent of 1 US gallon of fuel), and very expensive batteries.
Down at Better Place and its highway battery swap station clones, imagine what they are doing on Sunday nights ? Charging batteries.
To be sure, the electric car boomers never get on to how we supply the power, but we will. Charging 13 million cars, some 80 percent of a massive 8 percent of Europe's car fleet number of today, will make it necessary to find 5 x 13 million kilowatts of additional power. That is 65 million kilowatts of power.
In the electricity business they talk megawatts, so the need is 65 000 MW. One way to understand what that means: in Carlos Ghosn's soft touch France of Nicolar Sarkozy, its much vaunted nuclear power programme - supplying the most national nuclear electric power in the world - has a total of 58 nuclear reactors with a combined total capacity of around 63 600 MW. That is if all of them could run at full power simultaneously - which they can't. It took France around 40 years to build up that 63 600 MW of nuclear capacity, we can add.
So one way we could or might charge up a lot less than 8 percent of the European car fleet would be to build 65 000 MW of new electric power capacity. Since that in fact is not going to be possible - electric car owners will need to be told to not use their electric cars and use one or other of their family fleet of good old thermal-type cars, or take a day off, use bicycles or buses, work at home, or give up working entirely - after all, they are saving the planet by preventing global warming catastrophe !
Otherwise, it is easy to forecast what happens when around 13 million all electric cars plug-in simultaneously. We get total system overload, large area power cuts, and possible long term damage to overused power grids, transformer stations, and electrical equipment as power surges and collapses with the onslaught of demand.
AND WHAT WOULD IT COST ?
What would it cost to charge the hoped for mass market electric car fleets of 2020 ? This depends on how you do it. If we choose either offshore windfarms or nuclear power to do it, we have per-kilowatt capital costs of around 6000 euro in Europe. This is based on German, UK, Danish and other offshore windfarm construction and projects, and French EPR nuclear power plants being cumbersomely, slowly and expensively built at two-only locations in Europe (Finland, France).
Each electric car costing the state 7000 euro in government hand-outs, would therefore also need about 30000 euro of investment in new wind or nuclear power plants to handle its 5 kW power demand (and 3 times more if its needs 15 kW high charge boosting). The time limit would also be problem, but because we are discussing pure fantasy schemes and childish daydreams that does not matter.
IT WONT HAPPEN
Welcome to the "all electric" car future - that will not happen. If it did, there would be a permanent threat of total breakdown for national, or even continental power grids in the European case. Anybody who believes in that "ecological" future is just plain stupid or too lazy to work out a few simple numbers.
Read the entire article here
(Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy.)