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We have seen similar situations with electric power generated from windmills in Denmark and Germany. When the working day is over, the need for electricity falls drastically i Middle Europe, but the windmills spin at the same speed. Nor can other kinds of power plants, like oil and more than any other: coal, easily be cranked up and down to adjust production to needs.
It turns out to be cheaper to pay Norway for accepting the excess electricity than alternative ways to regulate it. Besides, the Norwegian peak consumption is highest in early morning, before business life wakes up, and from late afternoon until midnight. This is because we are much more dependent on electric light and electric home heating that most other countries. Norway's hydroelectric turbines can be turned from zero maximum production (or vice versa) in not that many minutes. (It takes more time to switch the direction of those huge trans-ocean cables than it takes to adjust the production!)
So, during a few periods the last few years, Norway has been paid for covering peak demands mid-day, and been paid for handling the surplus power at night time. That's a fairly good deal. All it takes to copy that for the oil is to have storage space for a few billion barrels of oil. Or an immediate need for a few billion barrels, but that is less likely.
Being fortunate enough to have won the topography lottery and have lots of hydro to buffer renewables peaks refusing to align with human activity (wind peaks overnight, solar at noon). Elsewhere until batteries become a lot cheaper the only reasonable option is to build lots of gas turbine plants that can spin up/down in the course of a few minutes.
In the US cheaply produced domestic gas also has the benefit of costing less to produce power than burning coal (vs places where it's an expensive import and coal is cheaper) meaning that winning marketshare in a shrinking (non-renewable) market means that over the last ~15 years we've largely built up the gas generation we'll need to handle first production/demand mismatches and later weather refusing to cooperate while gutting the most polluting legacy power plants in the process.
Did you ever see history portrayed as an old man with a wise brow and pulseless heart, weighing all things in the balance of reason?
Is not rather the genius of history like an eternal, imploring maiden, full of fire, with a burning heart and flaming soul, humanly warm and humanly beautiful?
Training a telescope on one’s own belly button will only reveal lint. You like that? You go right on staring at it. I prefer looking at galaxies.
-- Sarah Hoyt
Further south in Germany, where it is getting more mountainous, as well as in several other countries (USA included), they have built huge artificial dams in the hills. At nighttime these are being filled from a lower reservoir by electric pumps utilizing the surplus electricity from wind power, nuclear power, coal and oil power plants. At daytime, when all the power is needed, the dams are emptied through water turbines to the the lower reservoir. This is a local/regional alternative to ship electrons back and forth across the North Sea.
If you do the math, you'll see that it takes huge amounts of water to produce a thousand kWh. Or, the water must be lifted to a great height: If you collect it as rain at 1500 meters above sea level, it represent 15 times as much energy per cubic meter as you get by pumping it up to an artificial dam 100 meters up. So those pumped hydro power stations do not have sufficient capacity to save energy from one season to another, only from nighttime to daytime.
(We certainly have huge artificial dams in Norway as well - take a look at Vatnedalsdammen[^], and notice the fellow standing at the foot of the dam. The water surface is roughly 800 m above sea level and dam capacity is 1.15 billion cubic meters.)
I'd slightly disagree with your fear of future higher prices. I can't speak for the rest of the world, but the US fixed this problem by deregulating oil and natural gas production. When prices fall below a certain point, most of the older oil wells are just turned off. When the price starts going up, they're turned back on. It keeps us from having the stupidity that we had back in 1973 "the oil crisis".
Now your concern is valid for many other businesses. I'm glad I don't own stock in cruise ships, hotels and airlines, but that reminds me, might be a good time to buy now.
<italic>Stuck in a dysfunctional matrix from which I must escape...
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country." B. Franklin, 1783
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” BF, 1759
Oil wells, sure. But a lot of shale oil producers are toast unless something changes very quickly. Forget their shareholders; even their bondholders will learn a lesson that they'll not soon forget. Unless, of course, shale oil gets bailed out, which wouldn't surprise me. It would just be another variation on the insane easy money policies that have seen artificially low interest rates encourage the financing of all manner of asinine endeavors, including stock buybacks by zombie companies that would go bankrupt if they couldn't keep rolling over their debt.
Breakthrough Solid State Battery - 900 Wh/L Samsung  - YouTube[^]
If it's not total bull (and if you think I understand all that, you don't know me that well) then that's the kind of breakthrough we need if we are to get electric vehicles out of "niche" and into the mainstream. 1000 Km range, 1000 charge cycles, faster charging, lower manufacturing cost? That's ticking a lot of boxes for those of us who don't live in a city with a private drive to park the car on while it charges.
And ... a phone that lasts more than a day without needing charging?
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This is where you run into other issues. Most people will be try to charge their vehicles at home. To charge a battery of any type to capacity to last 1000km will require a significant amount of electricity from you home supply which will not generally be rated for that capacity. Hence the charging will generally be over many nights with driving during the day. Unless of course you make major change to your power supply. (and the utility company will play a large part in deciding that)
Hence it all depends on how the battery will handle half, quarter charges (or whatever) on a frequent bases.
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A Tax is a Fine for doing something good.
yeah I remember when I got my latest phone,
went for days on each of the first few charges
... few months later already needing daily charging.
same as the phone before, and the one before that ...
oh, and has your phone, (even when new) achieved it's claimed charge lifetime?
"1000km" - IN THE LAB = real-life maybe (being generous) 700km on the first few charges
after 6 months you'll be doing well to get 300km
and 3 2 years, yeah about then: calling AA for a tow home from the shops after all-night charging.
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1. a deadly or virulent epidemic disease. especially bubonic plague.
2. something considered harmful, destructive, or evil Synonyms: pest, plague, CCP
When I go vacationing in North Norway, I have several times been driving 1000+ km a day. I also had a vacation home in South Norway, 900 km driving, and I often did that in one setting.
I guess Norway is the country with the highest electric car density - more than half of all new cars sold are electric. We have been using so much electricity in this country, for heating, hot water, light, cooking, ... everything. Now also for electric cars. My main fuse is 3*63A (although I have never been close to needing that!)
If you buy an electric car, you install a charger with minimum 7 kW charging effect. Most established car models cannot handle more than 11 kW, so many el-car owners stop at that, but a fair share go for 22 kW chargers - they are not that much more expensive, and future-proof even if your current car cannot utilize it. Then you can fully charge a 100 kWh battery in less than a night, even if charging is slower as the battery fills up.
I do not have an electric car yet (but I do have an electric motorcycle). Yet, when I put up a new free-standing garage this summer, I plan to install an 11 kW charger, for future proofing, and for el-car friends visiting me.
(We have a somewhat special approach to electricity in Norway. When I bought a new cooking store, with two gas burners and two electric induction hotplates, everybody laughed at me. Gas? What do you want that for? I even have a couple portable 4.5 kW propane heaters, both because they are great boosters when I come home to an ice cold house, and in case we have a power outage. But Norwegians don't see the point of it. Electricity is everything.)
That's three times the estimated life of a standard lithium battery (something to do with dendrites if I watched that video right) and if you can get 1000Km from a single charge then you can break the cycle of daily charging and nearly eliminate "Range anxiety" which makes you stop and charge far too early.
Look at it this way: my car (a diesel Mercedes) will happily get around 1000Km per tank on a long run - so if I'm going a long way I make sure it's full the previous day. Even the "best" electric cars are touted by their manufacturers as getting 400Km, and once you are out of the big cities the distance between "fast chargers" is still pretty major: only 1,500 of 'em (with space to charge 3,400 vehicles) in the whole of the UK - and they take 1hr to give you another 400 km, so chances are you'll have to wait quite a while for a free one. Compare that to a standard "gas station" where 1000Km will fill in three minutes or less and they are everywhere.
Back in Feb, I had to take Herself to her sister's funeral - and I'd have had to stop for a charge at least twice, probably three times on the round trip. That would have added three hours to the trip, which would have meant leaving an hour earlier, and that would have meant standing traffic for an hour or more as it would have been rush hour. Same on the way back! We didn't have to stop for anything in the current car ...
How often do I "charge" the merc? Once a month - and if for that I had to drive 50Km to the nearest fast charge station and wait around an hour while it charges then yes, I could work round that as they will be more available in future. But when that means taking 100Km out of a 400Km range and doing it three or four extra times a month ... No. Electric isn't ready yet.
That's why this is potentially so exciting - it could bring electric cars up to a "level playing field" with fossil fuels - and if the battery has to be changed every 1,000,000Km then so be it - most fossil fueled cars will need something major done by that point anyway!
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I did some looking into this yesterday.
It's not total bull, but the biggest achievement seems to be that they have managed to squeeze the batteries into using less space.
The energy density seems to be only a bit higher than NCA batteries (what Tesla uses).
The new battery has a capacity of 205 mAh/g while an NCA is up to 200 mAh/g. It's unclear what the nominal voltage is, but I doubt the difference is big.
So to achieve a range of 1000 km the cars might remain the same size but become much heavier. And probably as much more expensive.
And is the battery fully + easily + cheaply recyclable at end-of-life? Is it using quantities of rare minerals? Is the extraction and manufacturing process highly polluting / energy intensive?
These are the considerations that have stopped me switching to electric car so far (that, and the fact that my 14-year old petrol Skoda has done 120,000 miles but is still going strong, performing more efficiently than many new petrol cars, still comfortable, if a little "care-worn"). I don't drive a huge amount; mainly local trips of under 50 miles in total, plus a fortnightly weekend 150 miles away. Many electric cars are now quite capable of meeting that sort of usage, but while driving them may be a cleaner, greener option taking the whole car / battery life cycle into account it's probably not - especially if it means scrapping a perfectly good car.