Saturday, April 16, 2016

Great resources and Links for EV arguments

So what can we say when we are told that EV's are not clean?  That they just extend the coal exhaust. I just read a new article that very simply explains that in the US we power EV's with less than 18% coal:

https://medium.com/@kkchristy/no-evs-are-not-powered-by-coal-b050d4f87136#.uii3vziuc

Since that is the #1 comment I hear I really like the 2 minute refutation of it. In addition the longer study links do a more complete job but that is great. Also in the back and forth one can note the ways power can be improved in your area.  Installing solar locally in you home and neighborhood.  Most easily paying toward the green suppliers in your state usually at a small premium. I'm locked in here in PA to green energy for 24 months at less than 10 cents a kwh for both 100% green supplier (mainly wind) and utility side. Not bad and while all electrons are indistinguishable on the wire, my utility bills go to the renewable build out of wind in my state.  Improving the balance day by day.

Here is a current (2015) in depth clean EV lifecycle study link:

 http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/life-cycle-ev-emissions

Good overall studies of EVs vs. Gas:
http://energy.gov/eere/office-energy-efficiency-renewable-energy
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Subsidies-For-Oil-Gas-Nuclear-vs.-Renewables

Why hydrogen is not the fuel of the future:
http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/02/hydrogen-is-not-the-fuel-of-the-future/
http://www.dvice.com/archives/2008/07/shift_hydrogen.php
http://www.dalefield.com/slspartners/hydrogen_fm.html

Good groups (mostly DC) and clubs for electric reading resources and events:
http://www.sierraclub.org/electric-vehicles
http://www.evadc.org/ 
http://www.meetup.com/MDVolt/

Dispelling EV Myths and many EV facts and resources:
http://aprs.org/EV-misinformation.html

Great video series on clean energy and transport:
https://www.facebook.com/FullyChargedShow

Annual September drive electric events all over the country:
https://driveelectricweek.org/

How gas is subsidized more than EV rebates - $2.00 gal/$12,000 over car life 2008/Bush-GAO
http://www.amazon.com/JOLT-Impending-Dominance-Electric-America/dp/159932220X
Does not include wars in oil-producing countries, 20k annual deaths in the US from health effects, pollution mitigation, the $85B a year to patrol the Straight of Hormuz, etc.

That should you plenty of resources and links for argumentative fossil fuel promoters - go forth and debate!

Friday, April 15, 2016

A plan for credits and Tesla production

A Tesla rebate and production SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess).  Speculation on the federal rebate and production of the Tesla Model 3.  Sources are below but the guesses are pure author speculation. Hang onto to your hats the going gets thick.

Plug-In Electric Drive Vehicle Credit (IRC 30D)

The credit begins to phase out for a manufacturer’s vehicles when at least 200,000 qualifying vehicles have been sold for use in the United States (determined on a cumulative basis for sales after December 31, 2009). 

Ramp up production plan table based on this IRS information and sources below.

 Date     Roadster       Models S  Model 三   Model X   Annual   ~ 55% US cumulative

2015       2000   (0)   107,228                         206        109,434   60,189 thru 12/2015

2016 Q1             (1)    12,420                         2400        14,820    68,340 thru 3/31/16
2016 Q2-4         (2)     ~40K                          ~35K        75,180   109,689 thru12/31/16

2017                   (3)     ~60K        15000        ~60K        135K     184K thru 12/31/17
                                                                                                               
2018              (4)(5)     ~60K          85K          ~60K        205K    Q1-199,999cum /15K
2018                   (6)                                                                          Q2 / Q3 40K  Full Fed
2018                   (7)                                                                          Q4 30K  Half Fed

2019                   (8)     ~60K         190K        ~60K        330K     Q1 40K  Half Fed
2019                                                                                                   Q2/3 100K  Qtr Fed

2020                   (9)     ~65K         330K        ~65K         500K     No Fed Q4 2019 on

(0) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Motors
(1) http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2016/04/08/how-many-model-s-cars-will-tesla-motors-inc-sell-t.aspx estimates, my guess of S to X ratio.
(2) Tesla 2015 Q4 report 80-90k (using 90k) estimate for 2016 production less 1st Q 2016.
(3) SWAG time. Based on target Tesla 500K 2020 met via ~50% ann growth
(4) 2018 -2020 increases shift to the Model  . S & X numbers may flatten some 2018
(5) 2018 Q1 Surges world deliveries of S & X
(6) My estimate for Full rebates on  employee/QA in 2017-Q4, plus 2018 through Q3 = 70K.
(7) Half rebate 2018-Q4 - 2019-Q1 Model  - 70K,  Quarter rebate 2019 Q2/3 Model  100K.
(8) 2019 NUMMI (only) 310K - (Overseas production 20K - S&X growth resume ~10% )
(9) 2020 NUMMI 460K + (Overseas 40K) - Tesla goal of 500K annual production met.

The estimate above of all Tesla vehicles sold 2010-2015 is about 110K and of those a percentage of 55% are estimated to be US sales for a US sale total of 60K.  Using a combination of Q1 reports, high end Tesla production estimates (90K) for the year, and the 55% US estimate I get a cumulative US sales total of 110K through year end 2016. The 55% estimate was in online reading but I'm unsure of the source and willing to look at any more accurate figure out there.

Next for 2017 and on, I start with the announced goal of a half a million annual vehicles for Tesla in 2020 and make some rough ( and optimistic ) guesses on about a 50% growth rate.  I also believe some strategic moves come in here.  Tesla needs testing for the 三 beyond the crash labs and track to assure their concierge level of service is not overwhelmed by problems with the .  I believe they are farther along than we think. They will deliver 2017-Q4 15,000 Model 三 vehicles to employees and a few to press and special friends. They can control feedback as they get fit and finish ironed out for ramp up. My guess is 184K cumulative all model US sales ending 2017.  This will also begin a period of carefully controlling US vs Overseas sales to maximize incentives.

In 2018 this strategic balance will be used in the first quarter to divert anything over 15K of the new Model 三 and 900 or so can't say no US S and X deliveries. This gives a cumulative 199K US at the end of the quarter 1.  2018-Q2 and Q3 will be unconstrained US sales and somewhat constrained overseas. My guess -  Q2 20K and Q3 20K of the Model  and most if not all S & X sales in the states for an additional 100K vehicles eligible for full credit.  A good chance of the total 70K Model 三 sales covering all of employees, Tesla owners, and line standing US public reservations will be eligible for a full US federal rebate.  The awesome part is Tesla could end with a total of 300K cars receiving the full federal credit. Of those in 2018 Q2 & Q3, 60K would still be the high end S & X owners with high end margins. This would also keep S & X rushing to reserve in 2017/2018 for whatever credits remain to counter low end cannibalization.

The next two quarters 2018 Q4 and 2019 Q1 are the 50% Federal $3750 rebate.  With a guess of 70K Model 三 owners and large quantities of S & X (about again 60K). this is extended to additional 130K owners.  It should cover all the pre unveiling reservations left - mainly online.  The faithful are rewarded - grin.

Finally the rebate plan ends with another 100K of Model  in 2019 Q2/Q3, with a total of 160K eligible for the quarter federal rebate of $1750. Total possible US rebates - 590K. Not bad for a 200K program.  A large number of the Model  reservations - 240K,  get some level of rebate.  

I would guess 2019 will also see an overseas plant come online with the three or more of the product lines at 20K initial production to help overseas sales shorted during the rebate production. This could reasonably expand to 40K in 2020 and with NUMMI fulfils the amazing "500,000 in 2020" Tesla target production goal.  Just like Henry Ford but with models S 三 X instead of model T.

Finally Elon Musk is not big on disappointing people. I believe (another SWAG here) he will make lane and parking Autopilot a freebie on his cars during the phase out.  Safety Autopilot is already free. Now he offers value to offset the loss of rebates.  At that time he could offer a paid option for fully autonomous driving Autopilot, with that upgrade discounted for those who already bought lane/parking autopilot.  This makes his discount mostly software and mostly amortized, with a good level of value to drivers. It also doesn't alienate present autopilot owners with a discounted upgrade.

Well that's it. All today's Model  reservations cleared by 2020.  All it takes is insane growth in the world's most competitive business by a little upstart called Tesla.

I wouldn't bet against them.

(Disclaimer - I'm a retiree with a modest amount of Tesla stock I hold for the long term.)


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Strategy for EV Dialog

I feel my last post on types of naysayers was a bit negative. EV owners should be able to talk to most people. In my experience I've found though the naysayer tends to be a bit closed.  Still this is on a range and one should be able to simply talk.

Four general points for discussions:

Stay truthful. EVs like my Leaf are by no means perfect. We have battery ageing, reduced cold range, and used value issues. I think the 'next gen' is well on its way to solving these but it's important to acknowledge issues. Range is good to acknowledge as it formerly was not a showstopper but was inconvenient quite often. Because the 'next gen' and 'high end' solves this issue it's a great one to discuss.

Stay positive - Present EVs are incredible on maintenance and cost to run. Plenty of good studies of well to wheel and complete lifecycle show electrics to be superior both in cost and environmental impact. Fun to drive is a big point too - in person, offer a test drive. I find that is a game changer because of how peppy the Leaf is. I'm sure it's even more exciting in an S or Roadster.

Stay informative - Example - I often hear claims of batteries being toxic. True of older battery chemistry, lithium is easily recycled into new batteries. Even old battery stacks before recycling are generally reusable in home backup systems. Almost all the major objections are similar - an out of date talking point that has been solved or can be clarified as not stopping EVs.

Stay polite - This can be hard when the 'Rolling Coal' bonehead demands his god given right to take a dump on the planet you would like to pass down to your grandkids. Take a breath.  Sometimes when there are multiple parties I'll instead praise the most levelheaded for their ability to argue without name calling.  I may use 'bonehead' above to make clear I have negative feelings about an obstinate opponent but it never is productive in a dialog. I generally keep exchanges short in these cases and provide links to factual data. Pointing out fallacies such as 'ad hominem' may put the debater on an angry defensive posture as they don't understand the point. A more laymen's explanation like this chart may assist:  http://www.relativelyinteresting.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/10-commandments-of-rational-debate.jpg

A tip for each type listed in the prior post:

The Perfectionist - Make a final point that intermediate progress is critical due to cumulative nature of CO2 / CO / Carbon particulate damage.

The Novice - Usually approachable and often interested in a test drive. Keep discussion short and pointed - if interest appears get them in an EV!

The Stakeholder - Stay calm. Point out economic pluses for green industry. Short and Factual.

The Conservative Media Consumer - Stay apolitical and point out economic losses associated with denial of the climate problem. In particular point out that very conservative insurance companies have increased rates for coastal and flood insurance - meaning money is on the side of the facts even if  lobbyists are spouting misinformation. Links to studies when they are skeptical of EVs advantages will help.

The Professional - Expose their sources and sponsors if possible. In my case I submit my motivation - survival and a good life for my children and the world.  Link to factual scientific studies and disengage early - you are not the one being paid here. 


Remember in all these cases the argument may not change the debater, but may expose the fallacies of their side. Our goal is to get the good information out and allow the silent audience out there to make up their minds.


Monday, April 11, 2016

The EV Naysayer

Well it's begun in earnest. Like cigarettes before the oil industry is gearing up the misinformation drive. It was there before but the Koch brothers announcing funds to fight electric vehicles is the tip of a new iceberg. In general I see five sources of bloggers out there running negative EV (Electric Vehicle) commentary:

The Perfectionist. Probably the most difficult to counter as it's true the EV's can't solve every problem despite positive points. On one end of the scale they point to big rigs not currently replaceable by EVs. At the other end they point to mining needed for lithium batteries. Usually a conversation admitting the whole of motoring won't be replaced overnight and that gas cars have plenty of rare earth and metal mining with end with an admission that EV's are an overall positive. Some in this category won't be happy until we all are bicycling again though.

The Novice. Ranging from gas motoring enthusiast to outright luddite. They dislike a change to new electric vehicle technology, either sentimentally for classic cars or due to fear.  Usually not too bad to have an exchange with. They have a point - old motor technology was fun. Sadly it poisons the air and makes large areas prone to being underwater in a couple decades.  

The Stakeholder. These bloggers are the buggy whip makers of yesteryear. Dealers who prefer making money on repairs and oil, not to mention the Tesla no dealer model.  Mechanics that realize a world with EV's needs a lot fewer repairs. Media with big advertising from the same old guard.  Gas and oil workers of all types. Animosity runs high in this crowd and besides giving them links to studies it may not be worth the time to engage here. Fear of job loss is a powerful motivator.

The Conservative Media Consumer.  Often recognisable by similar arguments they parrot from Fox news or Beck / Limbaugh on the radio. When refuted by sound sources they tend to deny or name call. I don't just mean greenie or liberal - some vile stuff. They have been trained by media repetition to consider holders of other views unamerican or immoral. I still find some of the brighter ones worth engaging with, but many just don't have any intent to understand an opposing view. Inability to compromise to get things done is common as well - see government gridlock.

The Professional.  A big area for shadowy money, lots of bloggers are paid to advance the other side.  They promptly pop up in every forum.  Unaccountable but very professional in turning positive online discussion into disinformation and trolling.  I believe this is one way secretive policy organizations get great bang for the buck in these times of hard to find employment.  Best to just provide good sources and links. They simply will engage without end or any positive movement regardless of argument strength.

** Next blog - sources to help counter naysayers.  Here's a first good link below **

 http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/life-cycle-ev-emissions#.VwwicxMrKV4


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Why I'm not feeling fooled this April.

Well Tesla unveiled the Model 3 and I like what I see. My Grand was correctly invested.

*** Warning I own Tesla stock for the long term ***



Musk cautioned that these were his minimum base model specs and could improve:

$35,000 Base model pre incentives.
Range EPA on a charge: 215 miles.
Seating : 5 adults comfortably.
Base model speed : 0-60 in six seconds.
5 Star safety all category rating goal.
Autopilot hardware standard and all safety features active in base model.
15 inch center dash screen.
Supercharger capability built in base model.



Many are debating the styling.  The two biggest exterior points the nose and the passthrough trunk vs a hatchback. I like the nose very much - stingray/shark like. Says I don't need no stinkin radiator. As for the trunk while a hatchback is nice for cramming stuff I really prefer the privacy of a trunk. Either way not a big deal to me.


Now I wait - hopefully being early in line means the full Federal credit will still be available. Musk grins when he says end of 2017 for first deliveries - he knows that will be a challenge.

As of yesterday when they expanded to online reservations 253,000 - a quarter of a million had been reserved for a grand each.... 

More to come...

( All images from Tesla and can be removed if requested. They are just sooo good lookin. )

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Time for Tesla?

Again my post numbers have been light as the Leaf continues to be a good driver but slowly loses range. I'm at 2 bars lost from 12 and rarely drive more then 30 miles from home - especially in winter.  However the Leaf maintenance has been excellent in the first 50k miles. Wiper blades/fluid, and tires.  We also are facing an uncertain future as regards the remote app system. Hacking issues and lost of 2G network is leading to some uncertain change of uncertain cost to restore it. Oddly also we early adopters did not receive any charging incentives when new owners were offered charging benefits. Leaves one a little flat having stood in line and paid 40k in 2011 but I still enjoy electric driving.

Enter Tesla. They offer their original Roadster owners a 400 mile range battery change for 6K.  This is to double the range on a car THEY NO LONGER SELL. Rather than throw away an older Tesla - they make it better for you. The Model S, the new main line, receives online updates activating novel capabilities overnight for owners.  Titanium armor added free to improve already incredible safety levels.  Cars designed, built, and many parts sourced in the U.S.A. Instead of a car that starts ageing off the lot, one that gets better with age. I'm so impressed with their business model I own stock.

So I woke at 5:30 am this morning and went to Montgomery Mall in MD.  I waited from 7am to 10am. By 10:13 I was standing in front of a Tesla rep and plunked down my plastic and drivers license.  A 1000 dollars and 60 seconds later I proudly had a reservation for a Tesla model III (sorry I don't have a sideways font).

I don't know what it will look like (unveiling is an hour away) . I don't know the specs except a 200 mile range and a base price of $35000.

I'm all in.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hydrogen keeps plugging along

Well I just finished a 'Fully Charged' viewing.  Mr. Llewellyn has been looking at hydrogen for some time and he drives a Hyundai IX35 that looks quite a bit more polished then the Honda hydrogen concept car previously driven.

While the drive was impressive it was Robert's assertion that hydrogen could be produced by wind units that were idled by overproduction that was interesting. Electric cracking of water to hydrogen with otherwise wasted energy sounds like a possible answer to the extreme waste of energy for the process. It might take 2-3 times the electric in but if the wind turbine is otherwise idle - why not. I'm curious if this can be done maintain ably with sea water as fresh water at least on the US west coast is problematic.

Still the next questions are has the drive train and hydrogen storage and cell parts improved in long term service life. Hydrogen tends to corrode and make brittle metals that contain it. The Hyundai rep claimed safety with the cell and tank was not a concern.  Finally do the numbers work out for idled green production like the wind towers? If not the oil lobby is waiting to sell hydrogen from their ever carbon intensive resources. I would not like to have clean hydrogen via dirty petrol that has to be extracted offshore with the associated spills and pipeline bursts.

Here's the episode - I agree the technology should at least continue to be researched - just as long as it's not a facade for big oil. Still looks to me like vaporware for quite some time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFrCQE3bEwg

Meanwhile Tesla continues to do well on the stock front.  Sadly I will probably never make enough to buy a Tesla S but maybe a 3 when it appears in 2018 or so...  Also Chevy and Nissan continue to accelerate efforts to bring us a long range economy car ahead of Tesla - cool with me!