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Inconvenient Bill: Electric cars may lower your fuel bill, but make electricity, jobs, lifestyle, unaffordable

The electric car push is on. Sadly, what people save on petrol bills looks like it’s going to be spent on electricity or tax.
Steve Goreham outlines the international push to get our cars and heaters electrified. But the dark alter-implication of electrification is renewables. (No point in driving a coal driven car.) It follows then, that electrification of everything that isn’t already electrificated, will mean more solar, more wind, and then more decimal places on your electricity bill. Welcome to the Bermuda triangle of cost savings in a subsized-mandated-unfree-market. The more you save, the less you have.
We all know wind power is “free”, but somehow costs seem to keep rising in places with more wind power. It’s so unfair:
Inconvenient Factoid:  Electricity prices in most top “wind” powered US states rose 2 – 7 times faster than in other states
Read and weep Australians. Pedal faster:
“…on average US electricity prices increased less than five percent during the eight years from 2008 to 2016″
Some US consumers are still paying rates in single digits.
For contrast, the Australian situation, is pathos and bathos simultaneously:
Australian households are paying 60 per cent more for their power than those in the US and double their Canadian counterparts after enjoying the third-lowest electricity prices of any OECD nation a decade ago.  — Simon Benson
See the graph. Please someone tell me why Texas prices have fallen. Is that shale oil I see? Wikipedia tells me “Texas produces the most wind electricity in the U.S., but also has the highest Carbon Dioxide Emissions of any state.” Ahhh. — Jo
UPDATE: From comments below and from Goreham — Texas electricity is deregulated, so competition is fierce, and obviously it also has shale.
_________________________________________

Electrification—The Road to Higher Energy Prices

Guest post by Steve Goreham, Climate Science Coalition of America

Originally published in Master Resource.

“Electrification” is the new buzz word touted by climate fighters and environmental groups. Where electrification once meant providing electricity to people, today it often means elimination of traditional fuels. But the only tangible result of green electrification policies will be higher energy prices.

Proponents of electrification intend to force transportation and heating and cooling systems to run on electricity, and eliminate the use of hydrocarbon fuels. Electric cars, electric furnaces and water heaters, and heat pumps must replace gasoline-powered vehicles and gas-fueled appliances. In addition, wind or solar systems must supply the electricity, not power plants using coal or natural gas, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

California’s 2017 Climate Change Scoping Plan calls for a 40-percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and an 80-percent reduction by 2050. Goals call for 4.2 million plug-in electric and plug-in hybrid cars on California roads by 2030, up from about 300,000 today. The plan also calls for electrification of space and water heating.

Utility Southern California Edison (SCE) recommends an even more aggressive plan. The SCE “Clean Power and Electrification Pathway” plan calls for 7 million electric cars on California roads by 2030 and for one-third of state residents to replace their gas-fired furnaces and appliances by 2030.

Nine other states promote adoption of electric cars as part of a broad electrification program. New England states are exploring “strategic electrification” in order to meet tough emissions reduction goals. In most of these efforts, cost to consumers is rarely discussed.

Graph, increase in costs of electricity in wind powered states of the USA.

Graph, increase in costs of electricity in wind powered states of the USA.

Electrification has become a global quest. Germany, Netherlands, Norway, and the United Kingdom propose to ban sales of internal combustion engine cars by 2040. The Dutch government proposes to eliminate gas as a source of heating and cooking from all homes by 2050. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Utrecht announced intentions to become “gas-less neighborhoods.”

Electrification will be expensive. Most Americans don’t want electric cars. Large subsidies from taxpayers and mandates on auto companies and consumers will be required to force adoption. Furnaces and appliances powered by heat pumps, solar, and electricity are almost always more expensive than using natural gas or propane models.

A 2017 study by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority found that only four percent of the state’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning load could cost-effectively switch to heat pumps. The study recommended mandates to place an obligation on businesses and consumers to “source a certain portion of their heating and cooling load from renewable sources.”

According to proponents of electrification, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions the sourced electricity must come from renewables. Therefore, all electrification programs promote wind and solar generation systems, backed up by battery storage.

Today, the US is blessed with very low electricity costs. In 2016, the average wholesale electrical price, which is the price paid to generating facilities, ranged from only 2.3 cents per kilowatt-hour in the Pacific Northwest to 3.6 cents per kW-hr in New England. Coal, natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric, our traditional sources of power, delivered more than 90 percent of this low-cost electricity. Only 6.4 percent of our 2016 electricity came from wind and solar.

Actual costs of wind and solar systems tend to be hidden from the public, but when disclosed, can be hideously expensive. The California Solar Ranch, which began operation in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles in 2014, delivers electricity at over 15─18 cents per kW-hr, more than four times the market price. The 2013 Massachusetts solar build-out was the result of a 25 cents per kW-hr subsidy paid to commercial solar generators, boosting the total solar price to almost 30 cents per kW-hr.

But the Deepwater Wind Block Island project of Rhode Island takes first prize for outrageous renewable electricity cost. The five-turbine offshore system went into operation in 2016 at a contracted price of 23.6 cents per kW-hr, with an annual increase of 3.5 cents, placing the future price at over 40 cents per kW-hr. Who wants to pay ten times the market price for any product?

According to the Energy Information Administration, on average US electricity prices increased less than five percent during the eight years from 2008 to 2016. But over the same period, prices in nine of the twelve top wind states climbed between 13 and 37 percent, significantly higher than the national average increase. Commercial wind and solar systems are typically built far from cities, requiring new transmission lines, with costs passed on to electric rate payers. If electrification is adopted across our nation, look for escalating electricity prices.

Tesla Car at Charging station, California. Photo.

Electrification calls for a massive societal transformation from gasoline to electric vehicles, from traditional power plants to wind and solar generators, and from gas heating to electric and heat pump systems. There is no evidence that this transition will have any measurable effect on global temperatures. But electrification will produce substantially higher energy prices.

Steve Goreham is a speaker on the environment, business, and public policy and author of the new book Outside the Green Box: Rethinking Sustainable Development.

published on January 3 in Master Resource

Electricity Increase Graph 2008-2016.jpg

 

 

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87 comments to Inconvenient Bill: Electric cars may lower your fuel bill, but make electricity, jobs, lifestyle, unaffordable

  • #
    C. Paul Barreira

    ‘Decimal points’? Zeros, more like. The age of green, what a horror it is.

    270

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      I think about the practical aspects of all this….

      What happens, historically, when a gummint takes down the middle class? Wealth and prosperity disappears, people leave the country, the place collapses. A Soviet Union reboot.

      Last time I looked, people used to try and escape Communism because its so awful…..

      230

      • #
        Gerry, England

        The electric fences, angry dogs and gun towers were not to keep you out but to keep you in lest you thought of leaving the socialist nirvana. Ironic is it not that Russia is now one of the sensible countries.

        40

    • #
      Robdel

      Not if you push the decimal point to the right, rather than the left.

      30

    • #
      Geoff

      There is a Canadian state that has windmills connected to nothing and they produce no electricity. They recognize that seeming is more important, (and far less expensive), than doing. This is the right “save the planet” model. Green voters happy, taxpayers moderately happy.

      A propeller that does nothing is cheaper than a green government that does something.

      If they can sell carbon credits to countries that do not “seem” anything, these propellers may even turn a profit.

      121

      • #
        jpm

        Canada does not have states! It has provinces and territories.
        John

        20

        • #
          GAZ

          Talk about Canada – where did you get that we pay 60% more?
          I am just back from visiting my son in British Columbia. Granted, their power is mainly hydro, but:
          They pay around 10c/kwh (it’s a two step, with average 10-11 cents). I pay 25.9 c/kwh (in north QLD).
          They pay 19 c/day service charge. I pay 87 c/day. Applying their rate to my recent bill, they would pay approximately 30% of what I pay. 60%? try 200%.

          20

  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    I am saddened to see the demise of the free market, with willing sellers and willing buyers.

    We now have energy markets driven by edict from on high (or perhaps devised from down below, how would we know?)

    If wind and solar are such a great ideas, that could be productive at a marginal price, then we wouldn’t need Governments to get in the loop to force the situation.

    Fortunately, in New Zealand, we have a lot of hydro power to give us a baseline price to compare other options against.

    But now we have a Government, consisting of a coalition of the losing parties, from the last election, with factions from both sides of the political spectrum. So I am not so sure that virtue signalling will not be the dominant political driver here, as it has become in Australia.

    400

    • #
      Roy Hogue

      It’s beginning everywhere that the two-left-handed have come into power. In California there is a push to make it illegal to sell anything but all electric cars by some future date which date I’m sure they will try to make as early as possible.

      It will be a disaster of course. But that never stopped the self-righteous in the past, did it?

      And now, RW, you may see why I prefer our republic over a parliamentary system. There’s a definite winning point of view out of every election. No coalitions of whatever points of view can be cobbled together with the attendant uncertainty about what will happen. And in spite of the numerous calls for Trumps impeachment, the government is stable. The odds that he’ll be impeached and removed from office are near zero. A president cannot fall the way Tony Abbott did. We may not like the way things go if the wrong president or senator is elected but we know what to expect for the next 4 years.

      200

      • #
        Kinky Keith

        Hi Roy,

        One of the reasons we don’t want A Republic here is because it wont change anything for the better.

        The last Republican push featured our current PM, the member for Golden Sacks.

        Maybe, they will one day get their act together and then maybe we can think about moving to the republic.

        It’s a way off though.

        KK

        150

        • #
          Roy Hogue

          KK,

          I didn’t intend to become Australia’s critic. I was merely hoping to get RW and others to understand why I think a Republic has advantages that are worthwhile.

          Both systems work well when everyone is honest. Neither system works well when there’s dishonesty at play.

          In the end, as Benjamin Franklin remarked upon seeing our final constitution before the Bill of Rights and before it was ratified by the colonies (and I’ll have to paraphrase), no system but a dictatorship will govern a dishonest people. And dictatorships become the worst of all forms of government right out of the starting gate.

          And I surely don’t have to say how rampant dishonesty is in human society. It has become the preferred method of operation and that unfortunately happened millenia ago. I hate to say it but the problem then becomes one of choosing someone who will be dishonest in your favor, does it not?

          80

          • #
            Kinky Keith

            Right now,as RW says, our politicians are pretending that we have a free market and are showing that they just don’t care about the general good.

            They can’t be trusted with any form of government so we wait.

            :-)

            40

          • #
            Annie

            That’s why I end up feeling ‘a pox on both your houses’ or ‘all your houses’ as the case might be. I’m sick of people or politicianns who pretend to care when they want your vote but then just ignore you once they’re in. I’m coming close to ‘spoil the ballot paper time’. It’s not freedom to be forced to vote when lacking the time to investigate all the many candidates, their views and their promised direction of vote allocation if not elected.

            30

          • #
            Rereke Whakaaro

            Benjamin Franklin is purported to have said, “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all others”, Winston Churchill is also credited with a similar statement, so you believe what you believe, depending upon your relationship with the Atlantic.

            20

            • #
              Hanrahan

              Trump has riveted my attention onto US politics and if THAT’s a Republic, I’ll stick with Her Majesty, thank you.

              But Americans say it isn’t a democracy, it is a republic. I have no idea what they mean.

              20

              • #
                Hanrahan

                And Canada calls itself a Dominion. I give up!

                20

              • #
                R2Dtoo

                Canada is rapidly becoming a “domino”.

                20

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                Hanrahan,

                I’ll offer you a little challenge. If you can tell me one illegal or unconstitutional thing Donald Trump has done and substantiate it in any reasnableway I will apologize to you right here publicly.

                Someone’s opinion is not a reasonable substantiation all by itself however. You need some sort of evidence, a law or article of the constitution he violated along with identification of the act he committed that violates said law or article. After all, that is the standard by which we establish probable cause to charge someone with a crime. Hearsay is also not acceptable nor is finger pointing. You need actionable evidence.

                The mere fact that many people don’t like what he’s doing doesn’t mean anything except that they don’t like what he’s doing.

                Roy

                10

              • #
                Roy Hogue

                I can allow you your opinion but I disagree with it. This is a republic.

                10

            • #
              Roy Hogue

              I believe you’re right, RW. However, we’re stuck with some kind of government whether we want it or not. Sir Winston and Ben Franklin were both wise men and I hold to what’s implicit in their views, that government must be watched closely and the reins held tightly lest it get away from the governed.

              Of course, that’s the last thing we’ve been doing. In a way it shows that democratic rule has been too successful in spite of its pitfalls and we have become so fat dumb and happy that we take it for granted that our freedoms will continue endlessly and that they have no price tag attached.

              Nothing could be farther from the truth.

              10

        • #
          Dennis

          “Let me deal first with the ubiquitous issue of definition, on this occasion, of the word “republic”. There is a view among a number of Australian constitutional monarchists, including Tony Abbott, John Howard, former Justice Ken Handley and Professor David Flint, that Australia is already a form of republic, one under the Crown – or a “crowned republic”.

          This is supported by the provision in the preamble to the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900, an Act of the Imperial Parliament, which describes the new entity as an ”indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown”. There were guys wanted to open a solid-ground casino in our city; then they vanished – the local officials prevented them doing it.

          The word “Commonwealth” is of course the more English term for the essentially Latin derived word “republic”. When Australian constitutional monarchists refer to Australia as being a “crowned republic”, they will sometimes contrast this with the republican models proposed in the 1998 Constitutional Convention, describing these as “politicians’ republics”. Indeed, this term was used by the No case campaign in the 1999 referendum. It would of course be tedious to refer repeatedly in this paper to a “politicians’ republic”. Instead I refer to the alternative to our constitutional monarchy as a vague and undefined “republic”, without in any way conceding that Australia is not already a republic, that is a crowned republic.
          Australia’s rich experience in assessing attitudes to the Crown is a direct result of the long campaign for change to a republic, which was such a dominating feature of political life in the country in the last decade of the 20th century.”

          ACM

          30

          • #
            Dennis

            “”Let us declare that our head of state should be one of us”, opposition leader Bill Shorten said today. ”But Governor-General Quentin Bryce was often sent overseas as the Australian head of state by the very government in which he was a minister, ACM’s David Flint reminded the media.”

            The permanent Head Of State for Australia is Governors General who are appointed by the elected government, the position has limited powers and in line with the Constitution.

            20

            • #
              Rereke Whakaaro

              The constitutional head of state for all Commonwealth countries is the reigning British monarch. The monarch delegates responsibility for each Commonwealth country to a Governor General, nominated by the Parliament of each country, by common vote of all the members of Parliament. The role of Governor General is there, to act as the monarch’s representative, to act as the last point of legal redress.

              Bill Shorten, as a socialist, would like to see the independent checks and balances removed from the Australian constitution. I will leave it to your imagination as to why.

              30

  • #
    Richard Ilfeld

    A relatively small number of our states seem determined to drive away their productive middle classes. An interesting feature of the US (and Canada) is considerable state or provincial freedom to structure tax and energy production policies. Much of the push to nationalize these is the realization the the data will demonstrate the failure of the progressive model if diversity remains.
    If electric cars are forced to the roads in some states, while others continue to allow sensible, er, fossil fuel driven vehicles the
    demonstration will become stark.

    Many states are dependent on very narrow taxed populations for large parts of their revenue streams; were they not all in lockstep with media ideals we would be hearing more about them. It looks now like the failure point will be when “leaders” are forced to speak with pensioners about reducing benefits, once conventional tax and spend has passed through the coffin corner and entered the death spiral.

    I once heard something to the effect that a small business runs on the cash drawer and is done when the sheriff puts a lock on the door. The government analogue used to be tar, feathers, and pitchforks in the streets.

    The federal government the US has created, for the moment, a cash flush economy. There will be a few states where this makes the citizens and domestic companies look like piggy banks. They may look to fund some of their more outlandish schemes.

    It might be time for the astute investor to begin reviewing moving company stocks…..it’s time to hit the road before we can’t get more than a couple of hundred miles from home due to vehicle limitations.

    120

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Richard Ifeld:

      What happens if one State mandates electric vehicles, presumably including Tesla trucks if Tesla is still around, and people from neighbouring States wish to drive into the State? Will they be taxed by the mile? Or the emissions? The latter looks like a good chance for more Green jobs inspecting car exhaust pipes. It might make up for the loss of jobs at gas stations, and in the Tourist industry.

      90

      • #
        Geoff

        Best to run the new interstate truck on positron/electron fueled engines. A quick look under the bommet will be the last thing the guv inspectors do. Only needs a half teaspoon of fuel for lifetime operation. No emissions.

        30

      • #
        yarpos

        They will be met at the border by the new autonmous Tesla flat bed ICE haulers, these will then take you to the required location (or Mars, depending on the last update). Fee will be two weeks of your annual income , once paid your first born child will be returned.

        10

      • #
        Richard Ilfeld

        Rather like jurisdictions with different gauges of rail tracks — those who stick with something off the norm pay a prices and are usually backwaters of history; in spite of geography and competition, standard gauge is the norm and narrow has been relegated, where the rails haven’t been pulled up, to tiny tourist trips.
        I do recall a story about a main line in Australia, where the cars swap undercarriages in mid run; this story is not told with admiration but with resignation….and pride of a sort.

        If California could pull this off … and federal funding of highways makes it problematical …. everything in and out would be transhipped. There is delay, cost, and shrink in such a process.
        Of course, as electric trucks would be legal the other way, California produce might travel outbound without transhipping –with the need to charge on electricity metered by competing entities, and pay highway taxes imposed by competing entities.
        We would have a market test of competing philosophies, technologies, and presumptions.

        Electric vehicles might rise to the challenge. That’s why we permit the competition. If they fail, it is more likely the terms of the mandate that will do them in. A State mandate tends to freeze, rather than enhance technology.

        If I were a nascent electric vehicle manufacturer, turning a big fortune into a small one, I’d eschew the green jurisdictions, and locate in an area where hydro is dominant, and there is “excess power” difficult for the grid to absorb. Rather than Bitcoin mining, I’d propose “free” fuel for locals for their local trip vehicles, based on “surplus” power. Making it work somewhere without a mandate would be a big plus….the market for second family vehicles for local trips with free fuel is the kind of incentive that might make a real difference to get something started. Hecks, it might even add something to the town as a tourist attraction, like Sault St Maries and bicycles.

        20

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      “The government analogue used to be tar, feathers, and pitchforks in the streets.”

      I suspect that will happen.

      Is it coincidence Parl House in canberra is “armouring” itself with new security fences etc for what they must likely know will eventually come?

      Its not going to end well, IMHO….and the problem will be that if the draconian electrification laws continue, the govt will have to decide to lock up everyone, or create a war and conscript anyone who protests….

      20

  • #
    Greg

    Wind isn’t an unlimited resource. I went to a professional engineers sponsored information session that was presented by a university professor and wind advocate about 10 years ago. Even at that time the best geographic locations for wind farms were already saturated. Any new installations would have sub par wind speeds and frequencies of adequate wind. The location is Ontario Canada, and all the prime locations are on the shore of the great lakes. Already taken up with turbines, which has ruined the lake shores.

    240

  • #
    Clint

    We’ll be back to horses before we know it. /sarc Yet another transparent ideological watermelon attempt at driving the West onto the reef of economic suicide. And, who in their right mind will risk the loss of independence afforded by energy supplies other than electricity? After all, it then becomes a very simple matter to cull the weak and aged in the winter.

    160

  • #
    Peter Hartley

    The main reason for the fall in Texas electricity prices is shale gas. The original commercial shale gas play (before the techniques were improved to be effective for larger oil molecules) was the Barnett shale in north Texas. However, it is also true that a lot of natural gas is now co-produced with the west Texas “shale oil” (in quotes because it is coming not just shale rocks but other impermeable source rocks too) from the Permian basin. Although Texas has a lot of wind, the natural gas generators tend to supply the marginal power and thus set the wholesale price.

    100

  • #
    Another Ian

    “Making Australia Great Again”

    /s

    60

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    Sad, a very sad situation for any country or state that follows the Pied Piper to so-called renewable electricity generation.

    170

  • #
    Kinky Keith

    It’s amazing that the push to renewables is failing on three fronts but those failures are kept out of public view.

    First, the cost of renewables is far greater than conventional power sources.

    Also, it is much harder to get renewable energy to the point of use, this makes delivery more complex and expensive.

    Last and perhaps most telling, is that there is actually an increase in carbon pollution from these renewable energy sources when the entire production and delivery are considered.

    Are we being had or what?

    KK

    281

  • #
    Leonard Lane

    Incidentally, California is going down the required electric car route with vigor that only a malign leftist government can do.
    They are also deliberately pushing poverty and illegal immigration. California was the best state in most things several decades ago, but they are racing to the bottom. They constitute about 13% of US population and about 1/3 of US poverty now.
    https://pjmedia.com/trending/whats-matter-california/

    110

    • #
      William

      California is prone to natural disasters, floods, bush fires and earthquakes. Have they given any thought to how they will respond to a mass evacuation or how they will react to an crisis relying on electric powered emergency response vehicles? I would be interested to see how electric fire engines cope with one of their bush fires, and what plans they have for recharging electric cars in an evacuation.

      180

      • #
        OriginalSteve

        Ironic isnt it – CA is home to film ( misinformation ) and IT ( survelliance ) industries…coincidence?

        70

      • #
        Hasbeen

        Not just California William, the east coast has some huge evacuations when a cyclone approaches, with 50 mile long traffic jams.

        10

  • #
    J Martin

    Wind power only generates enough power during the course of its life to replace itself, generating no surplus energy for their uses. This 100% waste of money is effectively hidden as new turbines are manufactured in China using fossil fuel. If countries had to manufacture their own turbines from their own wind energy they might finally realise that wind turbines are a complete dead end.
    The GWPF have a link on their website to a report from an economist showing that wind turbines do not reduce co2.

    200

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Well, 27,000+ wind turbines in Germany haven’t made much difference to emissions, but they have forced up the retail eletricity price and made blackouts much more likely.

      130

      • #
        PeterS

        In any other area such a result would have forced the government to conduct a full investigation with the goal to put behind bars those responsible. Of course in this situation it can’t happen because it would mean they would have to put themselves into prison. Such is the extent those in high places have no clue, and the voting public are letting them get away with it.

        120

  • #
    mf

    The sad part is that people who are rational on the issue of global warming become irrational on everything else, just because they want to disagree with their opponents on everything, regardless.

    The US, with ~5% of the world population, is using ~20% of world oil production, 50% of which is imported. Absent fracking, it was supposed to be 80%-90% imported by now, so fracking definitely helps the US. Still, do the math. Do the math and ask yourself a question by how much would the production of oil have to increase, on a sustainable basis, to cover 7+ billion people, going on 9+? Be rational through and through, not rational in just one little place.

    48

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      what is the oil used for? It is a very minor component of electricity generation in the USA so that leaves heating, petrochemicals and transport. Heating could be done by gas or electricity but there are no viable alternatives for the other 2 uses right now. And please don’t blather about biofuel, I’ve just signed an on-line petition against palm oil plantations from RainForest Rescue.

      110

    • #
      Kinky Keith

      The problem is that we will eventually run out of coal and oil.

      The question is, what rational action has been taken by Any politician, anywhere to face this issue?

      Nothing.

      Where is the sensible, measured research to deal with our future needs?

      What’s happening is not about CO2 or electricity, it’s about politics and the guidance of our taxes into the right channels.

      Politics needs fixing.

      KK

      60

    • #
      Lawrie

      That’s why nuclear energy is the way of the future, not renewables.

      50

  • #
    PeterS

    I actually like the idea of fully electric cars. Cleaner, smoother, quieter and better acceleration. To be practical though the charging time has to be much lower, all existing petrol stations would have to offer it, batteries need more advancement, we would need to start building many more coal fired power stations, or better still use nuclear. Since none of these essentials exist today (and the fact is all of them must be satisfied) the major push towards electric cars is a total waste of time and money; like putting the cart before the horse (pun intended). Anyone with the intelligence greater than that of a rock must be able to understand that. I don’t see electric cars becoming mainstream for a very long time, if ever thanks to the large numbers of people in high places who have rocks instead of brains in their heads.

    111

    • #
      Chad

      100% agree PeterS, but with one additional condition…
      The cost has to be at least comparable to ICE cars and the model choices much wider than currently available ..( OK, thats two conditions !)
      I find it strange that Hybrids and Plug in Hybrids are cheaper than full electric vehicles, when they contain all the engineering and components of both technologies as well as the extra complexity of combined control systems and transmissions ?..(EG Outlander PHEV)
      Sure batteries are smaller, but is that really the extra cost ?

      50

      • #
        PeterS

        True, they need to be no more expensive to buy and maintain. Also, the batteries will have to last at least 20 years before needing replacements, which is an extremely tall order, or at least be very affordable to replace every say 10 years of normal operation.

        00

    • #
      Dennis

      I agree with you about fully electric vehicles but cannot accept that there will be a sudden conversion to them until such time that the price is comparable to an internal combustion engine vehicle, recharging time is about the same as liquid refuelling and recharging stations are as available as liquid fuel stations.

      And, having recently read a Tesla EV caravan towing test report EV battery pack capacity will need to take the extra weight into account to provide adequate driving range between recharging.

      In my opinion the Green view is badly flawed as those extremists tend to be more often than not. Australia is a huge country and providing recharging for EV before liquid refuelling stations are abandoned would not be cost effective. For suburban use EV probably could be acceptable.

      00

  • #
    Lionell Griffith

    Comparing two December electricity bills. For 2016 in Lancaster, California, the bill was over $500 for electric everything. For 2017 in Oak Park, Illinois, the bill was $37 for gas heat, gas range, and gas hot water with an assist from an electric heater on the really cold nights. The weather in California was not nearly as cold as the weather in Illinois.

    The cost was somewhat biased against California in that it was for a free standing 1400 sq. ft. ranch style three bedroom house and in Illinois it is a one bedroom basement apartment that is one of six apartments in the building. Yet the difference is over 13 times as much for California as for Illinois. The cost for gas for the whole building is only slightly higher than the cost of electricity for the house. How can this be if solar and wind energy is free?

    Bottom line: everything is free if you neglect what it costs – even coal, gas, oil, and nuclear, More specifically, if you drop context and look at only selected aspects of the point under discussion. The thing is, it something happens, it happens in context. The details of the happening are very dependent upon the context.

    They call us climate deniers. I call them context droppers. I will let you decide which you think is the greater error.

    80

  • #
    Bruce J

    When will the “experts” realise that electrically powered vehicles, as yet, are not practical alternatives to our current IC powered vehicles. Their range is too limited, they take too long to charge, they are too expensive, etc, etc. and all they do is transfer the emissions to another place, which is usually out of sight of the users. While cars are the visible users of petrol and diesel, they are also the minor user, with a far greater volume being used by vehicles transporting goods from source to user. Developing alternative powered delivery vehicles is not on the agenda while people like Tesla can earn kudos and media exposure producing impractical, high performance cars for sale at exorbitant prices. Nobody seems to be interested in producing an electric Transit or Kombi to deliver goods to consumers. Imagine the extra drain on the electricity grid when all the these vans go on charge at the end of the day when everybody else is trying to cook dinner! How are they going to recharge an electric stock transport out back of Bourke? Nobody is going to wait around for the solar panels to produce enough power to drive a B-double or road train for 500km and then take all the meat from an abattoir to the city. Maybe hybrid trucks will work, but if so, why has nobody made them? Perhaps they are just not efficient enough and cannot compete with diesels without government (taxpayer) subsidies.

    If alternatives to IC engines cannot compete on an equal footing, what is the point of legislating their replacement??

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      Chad

      There are Hybrid trucks ..and Hybrid busses, but their real advantage is in urban and city use where the frequent stop starts both regen charge the battery and the electric drive smooths out the accelleration etc
      Garbage trucks and courrier delivery trucks (Fedex, UPS ect) are all ideal applications and in use.
      But long range, outback or interstate type transport is going to be much less practical, unless some form of battery change system can be set up.

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      Another Ian

      Seems it must be pretty soon we have the push for the electric horse

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    John in Oz

    I recently traveled in a Tesla Model X which, the driver stated, took 1 hour to recharge at a high-rate charging station.

    take out shares in any cafe associated with a recharging station as there are going to be a lot of coffees consumed waiting for a recharge.

    Shares in security companies attempting to keep the peace at the same charging stations might also be worthwhile.

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      Yep. Sustainable Development will go hand in hand with the giant food franchises. And no doubt there’ll be plenty of “healthy choices” offered, like filtered tap water in a blue plastic bottle with a picture of a mountain on the label. And you’ll be able to tap your screen to keep amused. And you’ll get a big screen to watch free of charge. And the big screen will tell you how much fun you’re having munching away on your Big Sponge and how much money you’re saving by taking the latest Big Sponge deal and how the planet (this blue one, not the red one yet) is just loving you for recharging your half-tonne lithium battery at McTesla.

      All while you wait! And if you get tired of waiting you might consider the advantages of smart living in a smart space in a smart mini-city where everything is instant. Then Big Sponge can come to you, with plenty of healthy choices.

      This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but with a Would-you-like-fries-with-that?

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    Roy Hogue

    …on average US electricity prices increased less than five percent during the eight years from 2008 to 2016

    But nonetheless they are increasing here too. And there is a big gotcha in the pricing scheme. Above a certain monthly usage penalty pricing kicks in that is way above reasonable pricing for electricity. This high usage kicks in at %400 percent of the baseline allowance, which is too small unless you sit around all day not doing anything that needs power, TV, computer, music system, washing clothes… Right now that’s 2,340 kWh for me and way above anything I can possibly use unless I figure out how to run a short circuit 24/7 all month. Nothing stops this from going down to say, %150 of baseline allowance.

    Tiered pricing is standard practice with, as I just said, a baseline too small for someone with a life.

    There are 23 different rate schedules listed on my last Edison bill. This is outrageous. It costs so much to generate a kWh of electricity, it costs so much to deliver it to the customer, Edison has nearly fixed other costs such as office, maintenance, computer systems and anything else you want to throw into that pot and could deliver power to all customers at the same price/kWh.

    Capital improvements are also piled on the back of the rate payer. What other company can do that? None I know of. Those costs are the responsibility of the owners whether a privately held company or publicly traded. But the utility is protected from significant competition. So they have no trouble getting what they want.

    Historically there were always separate prices for high usage customers and their rates were lower but suppliers made up for the lower price by the larger usage. The bowling ally I went to work in right out of high school had an air conditioning compressor run by a motor that would have easily run everything for all the other buildings around for miles. How much juice does a motor about 2 1/2 feet in diameter use? A lot. But it ran all day and most of the night since so many warm bodies were heating the building all evening. The high pressure liquid line from the condenser was about, at a guess, nearly 2 inches in diameter. Then there was the power to run all the pinspotting machines for 24 lanes. The city (LA) made ist’s discount back in volume easily.

    If they could generate all the power their engineers can predict they will need and were free of state regulation they could do exactly that once again. My conclusion is that Sacramento is imposing punitive pricing along with incentives to knuckle under and adopt renewables (solar) because Sacramento wants it that way. They give certain breaks for medical device usage if a doctor will justify it. And they give certain breaks if you will allow installation of a device on your A/C compressor allowing them to shut it off remotely whenever they want to, never mind that your furnace fan keeps running uselessly because only the compressor is shut off; or you will allow installation of a meter that allows them to cut you off totally whenever they want to.

    We are very effectively buying power from the State of California and at their mercy for how much we can use and when we can use it.

    This system is rigged to force what Sacramento wants. When I first became a customer of an electric power supplier — City of Glendale, CA — the rate went down if you used more than a certain number of KWh, an incentive to buy more of their product, the same thing many retailers will till do to this day. But now all that elegant simplicity has been stood on its head, it’s upside down and hurting Californians more and more as the squeeze is slowly applied.

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      Roy Hogue

      And to add idiocy to foolishness, every quarter my bill includes a “climate change credit” that they encourage me to use to make my house more energy efficient — hint, hint, go with solar, replace windows and doors with double pane stuff that I already did five years ago, install insulation which I already did in the 1970s, walls as well as attic.

      So I pocket the money and use it for things they don’t know about. Nuts to the State of California. I no longer have any pride in it or loyalty to it. And with our son and grandson going to move to Phoenix some time next year I’m seriously considering my options to bail out of this airplane about to run smack dab into a mountain.

      The drop in my heating bill after the insulation job was big, by the way. And it insulates against sound too. It suddenly got quieter inside the house.

      That insulation was worth it’s cost many times over. And yet at R19 it’s not up to the governments’s new standard, R30 to R60 from what I can tell from a quick look at the internet — something not even possible with 2 X 4 framed houses where you have less than 4 inches of insulating material because the standard 2 X 4 is not 4 inches wide, it’s smaller than advertised. I know, I’ve measured them, empirical evidence, no?

      In any case, too bad because there’s no changing it now.

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      Dave in the States

      Roy, you need to escape from the Democratic Republik of Kalifornia. Or you need Gasnost and Perestroika. “Governor Moombeam tear down this wall!”

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        Roy Hogue

        I’m wondering if the next election won’t turn the governor’s office inside out. We shall see. He has a challenger I intend to vote for if for no other reason than that he’s acting like a man who actually want’s to win the election and is wiling to do the work to get there. That he’s a Republican also helps.

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          Roy Hogue

          The U.S. Constitution requires that all the states be republics. But the California constitution has been unwisely fixed and patched so many times by foolish voters that I’m no longer sure it actually describes a republic.

          Well, that’s exaggerated a little for effect. But the constitution has been modified a lot more than has been useful or wise. The citizen initiative process always tries for a constitutional amendment because the legislature is forbidden by the constitution to undo a citizen initiative and being in the constitution the legislature can’t even make an end run around it.

          We have been our own worst enemies.

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    Renewables are an egregious mistake responding to misinformed subsidy. The energy consumed to design, manufacture, install, maintain and administer renewables exceeds the energy they produce in their lifetime.

    It is not simply a matter of increased cost. Without the energy provided by other sources, renewables could not exist. They can only exist now because fossil fuels are still used to power industry, heat our homes, power nearly all vehicles, power farming, etc.

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      Another Ian

      In long range target shooting altering sights on a bad shot is called “error chasing”.

      Perhaps this electricity scene is more akin to a “multiple guess exam” that I heard of.

      The usual “multiple guess” punch card had 5 questions. 3 of which were ridiculous if you knew something of your subject – as was the 4th if you thought about it.

      The exam in question was hierarchical.

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    Jon Reinertsen

    It is a bit like a “Harry Potter” movie, we know what the answer is, we are just not allowed to mention its name! China may be closing a lot of old coal fired plants, but they are actually building new high efficiancy ones at an even greater rate. Ha, ha, tricked you you thought I was going to mention the “n” word? Yes they are building them as well.

    [ “n” word -- nuclear] AZ

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      John in Oz

      I’ll call your Marchionne and raise you:

      1876: “The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys.” — William Preece, British Post Office.

      1876: “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.” — William Orton, President of Western Union.

      1889: “Fooling around with alternating current (AC) is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.” — Thomas Edison

      1903: “The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” — President of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Company.

      1921: “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?”

      1943: “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” — Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM

      1946: “Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” — Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox.

      1949: “Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equipped with 18,000 vacuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers of the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps weigh one and a half tons.” — Popular Mechanics

      1955: “Nuclear powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within 10 years.” — Alex Lewyt, President of the Lewyt Vacuum Cleaner Company.

      1959: “Before man reaches the moon, your mail will be delivered within hours from New York to Australia by guided missiles. We stand on the threshold of rocket mail.” — Arthur Summerfield, U.S. Postmaster General.

      1961: “There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television or radio service inside the United States.” — T.A.M. Craven, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner.

      1966: “Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop.” — Time Magazine.

      1977: “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” — Ken Olsen, founder, Digital Equipment Corp

      1981: “Cellular phones will absolutely not replace local wire systems.” — Marty Cooper, inventor.

      1995: “I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” — Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com.

      2005: “There’s just not that many videos I want to watch.” — Steve Chen, CTO and co-founder of YouTube expressing concerns about his company’s long term viability.

      2006: “Everyone’s always asking me when Apple will come out with a cell phone. My answer is, ‘Probably never.’” — David Pogue, The New York Times.

      2007: “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” — Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.

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      yarpos

      “1876: “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication.” — William Orton, President of Western Union.”

      probably explains why people rarely speak on them these days

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    Tom R Hammer

    The push for electric cars is just more greenwashing. I’m all for electric cars. They are the future, but for the advocates to consider them “green” is a joke. There’s a “Come to Jesus” moment coming soon. The anti-fossil fuel advocates will need to drop their objections to nuclear power if they are to move beyond the inability of wind and solar to be anything more than but players in national energy grids. The problem with nuclear power is that when the political shackles come off, the West will boom with nuclear power and that only promotes capitalism and does nothing for European-based political world government and centralized taxes based on energy use.

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    Michael Spencer

    Folks! Here’s a complete game-changer that is about to become commercially available this year with the first production-line units likely rolling out from – guess where? China! (Surprise! Surprise!) And where did the Chinese get their information to get started? From frustrated Americans, thanks to the greenocracy of the Obama regime.

    So, try this: Completely different nuclear power with several side-benefits, quite apart from clean and cheap electricity. Check it out here: http://galileomovement.com.au/media/ShouldYouReallyBeAlarmed.pdf via links on pages 4 to 6 (I’ve tried to sort these out into a logical order so that people can wrap their minds around the subject without getting their brains blown – most important when trying to communicate with the general public, especially a public exposed to continual propaganda!)

    So, if you look on page 4, one of the links is to a very short little video entitled: “Carbon Neutral Gasoline“. And guess where this stuff comes from? Cracking water (say, sea water – and I don’t think we are likely to run out this very soon!) and harvesting CO2 (that oh-so-evil ‘carbon pollution’ that is destroying the climate, you know!). Now compare what this means with expensive electricity from so-called ‘renewables’. And then there’s the ‘small’ problem of having the electricity to power your electric car when you drive from the Eastern States to Western Australia, or North to South. You get the picture …..

    Unfortunately, we have a large number of propagandised and misinformed people who have been – and are being – ‘conned’ by charlatans waxing fat on the public purse, including from their enjoyment of lovely subsidies provided by the long-suffering taxpayers. (But then, I don’t think I’m telling most of Jo’s readers anything new!)

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    Hanrahan

    Meanwhile in Germany they have knocked down a 19th century Gothic cathedral to open a lignite mine.

    How is it we must STOP burning brown coal but Germany, world’s best practice re renewables, is opening mines?????

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2018/01/14/germany-historic-church-demolished-mosques-multiply-across-country/

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      Dennis

      The German Government now has the experience and angry voters resulting from their failed so called renewable energy policies.

      And the biggest incentive to regain lower cost electricity of all: It’s the economy, Stupid!

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      Pretty grim sight. It was a handsome Gothic revival structure and you would think it safe from most lobbies and interests. The fact that it was chomped for a lignite miner in the home of the Energiewende makes me suspect that it was a deliberate slap in the face.

      Of course, Germany has to mine and use its coal. And it has to preach a lot of green guff at the same time so people don’t notice that the carbon price is deliberately kept in the toilet by the fake-tan brigade in Brussels and Strasbourg.

      But this demolition is some kind of slap in the face. I’ve visited a town in Spain where everything of value was moved stone by stone to higher ground to make way for a hydro project. You can see pics of the project and the higher town at the bottom of this old blog of mine: https://slowcamino.wordpress.com/2011/06/06/galicia-stone-mist-sun-water/

      So…too much trouble for prosperous Germany? Or slap in the face, maybe.

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    Anthony Charletta, Ph.D.

    Jo,

    Here in Texas we have a competitive market for electricity by law. It is called ‘Power to Choose’. Each household in Texas can choose an Electric Utility Company to buy their electricity. One can choose a 3 month, 6 month, 1 year, or 2 year contract at a set rate. This fosters competition and therefore lower rates. As an example, I just signed a contract for two years. My rate is little over 10 cents/kwh. If I use more than 999 kwh, I get a rebate on my monthly bill of $65. My average electric bill is ~ $104/month,and is never over $200/month during the very hot and humid summers here in Houston. Texans that don’t take advantage of ‘Power to Choose’ pay considerably more. During the summer, when I am paying less than $200/month,my neighbors are paying $400 to $500/month. The link to ‘Power to Choose’ http:/www.powertochoose.org/. Put in a zip code (you can use mine:77494) and you will be presented with a miriad of choices. In conclusion, when your contract ends, it is up to you to find another low cost provider or have your rates increase substantially under your current provider. I find that most people are too lazy to take a half an hour to look for a lower rate with incentives. Switching to a new provider takes about ten minutes.

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    neil

    Some truths about electric cars.

    Firstly I worked as a design/development engineer in the Auto Industry for 30 years, I was an employee, contractor, consultant to Toyota, Holden, Ford, Nissan, HSV, FPV and many OE suppliers. I know what I am talking about.

    The electric carriage was invented in 1842, that’s right 176 years ago, by a Scot named Robert Anderson. The problem was rechargeable cells weren’t invented until 1859 by a frog, Gaston Plante, he crated a basic version of the lead acid battery, but it was still rubbish.

    In 1879 Karl Benz created the four stroke engine (Otto refined it latter) and in 1886 he put it in a buggy and created the first petrol car (nine years? I reckon it would have taken me one week!)

    Development of the rechargeable battery continued Morrison 1891, and even Edison 1903 which he offered free to his friend Henry Ford who used it to create the electric starter, but he knew petrol was far superior. The first car a 17 year old Ferdinand Porsche built was a AWD electric, but he turned to petrol because it was better. From here electric cars were just foot notes in history.

    Come the global warming alarmist scare and auto execs started to relook at GM’s excellent Hybrid concept that they visited in the 1960′s but didn’t see the point and eventually sold it to Toyota in the 90′s. but that wasn’t enough for the green monster, they demanded zero emissions.

    And here lies the problems.

    1. Good electric cars require several kg of rare earth magnets. Current known reserves of RE’s can produce about 5 million vehicles pa. compared to the 60 million currently being produced.

    2. China controls 90% of RE’s and they don’t want to share, they are in a virtual trade war with Japan who desperately need more.
    Australia’s geology suggests we should have lots of RE’s but we haven’t found much.

    3. Because Australia is basically dependant on coal for our electricity and will be for at least a century, an electric car (at best) produces 6% more carbon emissions that a typical small car. So what is the point?

    Despite what Elon Musk would have his propaganda make you believe electric cars are going know where fast, just like his satellite launches.

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    rapscallion

    “Large subsidies from taxpayers and mandates on auto companies and consumers will be required to force adoption”

    The moment TPTB use force is the moment they’ve lost the argument.

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    Tom O

    I’ve never been fond of “putting all my eggs in one basket.” That applies to electrification as well. When you have a gas furnace and/or a gas cook stove, and an ice storm takes down the electric lines, if you have a small generator, you can still have warmth in your home until the power is restored.

    If you have only electrical appliances and the ice storm takes down the power lines, you are SOL unless you have a very large generator. Electrification in cold prone climates is not exactly a smart move, especially if you live in a rural area.

    I really don’t understand why the bum’s rush to electrification unless the intent is to at some point in time be able to freeze to death a lot of people. but then again, pushing high cost energy to fight “global warming” in a cooling climate pretty much seems to be right in step with the idea of freezing a lot of people to death, too.

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