Another Cryptic Thing . . .

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I wrote a column recently about crypto – about being uneasy about it – because it isn’t easy to understand or explain it. 

Similarly, “MPGe.”

Unlike miles-per-gallon, which anyone can understand, MPGe is very hard to understand. Which is why I am uneasy about it. Maybe you ought to be, too. 

What is “MPGe”?

It is – supposedly – the electric car analogy of MPG – sans the “e.”

It is – so we are told – the measure of how far an electric can go on a given quantity of electricity. This is already confusing because while everyone understands what a gallon of gasoline or diesel is and also can readily understand that a gallon of it will take you “x” many miles in a given vehicle and that times however many gallons the tank holds gives you an easy understanding of the vehicle’s range, few non-electricians understand what a kilowatt-hour of electricity is much less the various variables involved as regards how far they can take you.

The EPA – the federal “agency,” as these coercive bureaucratic apparats are styled (so as to make it seem as though we are dealing with something that hasn’t got bayonets behind it) defines the MPG equivalent (hence the “e”) of a gallon of gasoline, in terms of the energy locked up in the latter, as being about 33.7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. 

This figure is then used to gin up numbers that – supposedly – correlate to the easily understood miles-per-gallon (and range) numbers we’re all used to and which we all understand.

And these numbers seem extremely favorable – relative to miles-per-gallon numbers. For instance, the Nissan Leaf rates 111 MPGe, which is to say it goes about 100 miles on the kilowatt-hour equivalent of about a gallon of gasoline. This sounds very appealing – especially now, given the cost of a gallon of gasoline.

But how many kilowatt-hours does it take to go farther than 150 miles – which is the maximum rated range of the Leaf equipped with its standard battery pack? (If you spend another $5,000 over the $27,400 price of the 150-mile range Leaf, you get one that can go supposedly as far as 226 miles, which carries an MPGe rating of 108 MPGe.)

The answer is: More kilowatt-hours than the Leaf’s standard battery pack can store.

And when it comes to storage – EPA is opaque.

With reason.

Even with its $5k extra battery pack, the Leaf can only store the kilowatt-hour equivalent of the energy needed to travel maybe 226 miles, which is equivalent to about five gallons of gasoline, in terms of the energy contained therein – which will take a 40 MPG-capable car about 200 miles.   

But most cars carry around 15 gallons of gas – which stores more energy than any currently available battery pack. Those gallons would take a 40 MPG-capable car about 600 miles, which is a bit shy of twice as far as the highest-range electric cars, such as the Tesla3 with its optional battery pack. EPA says it can store enough energy to theoretically go about 358 miles – and carries a 131 MPGe rating.

But don’t believe it.

Unlike the MPG ratings EPA publishes – which do not vary appreciably according to the weather or the use of accessories such as the AC and heater – the miles-per-gallon-e that your EV will travel will vary, considerably, depending on those factors because use of those accessories uses energy and there’s not very much energy stored in EV battery packs relative to the energy-density stored in 15 or even five gallons of gasoline.

There is nothing analogous – much less equivalent – here.

A Leaf that advertises it can go 150 miles on the kilowatt-hours it can store may only go 100 miles – or 80 – depending on such things as whether it’s freezing cold out and you’re using the heater and the defroster and the lights – and also because it’s cold and battery efficiency goes down, significantly, when it is. Also if it’s very hot – and you’ve got the AC cranked up, to cool you down.

A non-electric car that advertises 40 MPG will not return appreciably less than that. Because if it did – irrespective of the use of accessories – there would be recalls and lawsuits for false advertising. This happened fairly recently to Hyundai, incidentally – and over a relatively slight (less than 5 MPG) difference between the rated (and advertised) mileage and what the cars actually delivered.

With EVs, the range regularly – routinely – varies by 20-40 percent or even more, depending on external factors such as outside temperatures.

There’s something else to understand, too. An EV’s touted maximum range is less than its realistically usable range – because of the necessity of finding a place (and having the time to wait) to instill more kilowatt-hours before the ones remaining in storage in the car’s battery pack are dissipated. It is not the same as running right up to empty in a gas-engined car because of the wait involved in re-instilling even a portion of the kilowatt-hours an EV battery pack can store.

Effectively – as a practical matter – it’s necessary to always keep enough charge in reserve to make it to the next charge. However many miles that is must be deducted from the putative MPGe/range rating.

Well, it ought to be deducted – if the intent were to inform rather than confuse people about how far EVs actually/realistically go on the equivalent of a gallon of gas.

There’s one more thing to understand, too.

The miles-per-gallon achieved by non-electric cars doesn’t go down over time. At least, not for a very long time. Not until the transmission starts slipping – or the engine starts burning oil as well as gas. That usually doesn’t happen for 15-plus years and often for more than 20.

But the advertised range of electric cars decreases as the battery pack’s capacity to store kilowatt-hours reduces as the battery pack is used. Which you have to do, in order to use the electric car.

This will happen faster, the more it is used.

Battery packs age as they are discharged – and then recharged – especially when they are discharged completely, as you’d have to do in order to get the touted maximum range/MPGe’s out of the thing – and regularly “fast” charged with high-voltage kilowatt-hours, which is as hard on battery packs as running a gas engine WOT regularly.

If you’re still not understanding how far an EV can go on so-and-so many kilowatt-hours, it’s because they don’t want you to. If that weren’t true, they’d explain how  far it goes – and doesn’t – in a way that anyone could understand.

But then, too many people might do just that.

. . .

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55 COMMENTS

  1. No amount of rational analysis will have any effect on the people pushing the EV agenda because the basic model supported is use of coercive force to establish their agenda rather than letting individuals’ free choices to reign supreme in the marketplace. Meanwhile, the US and western Europe sink into the miasma of irrelevance because of ignoring this trend. Friends, the West is the third world shithole of the future…..

  2. Taxpayers paying the bill?

    Power plants – coal, natural gas, petroleum or nuclear – work on the same general principle. Energy-dense stuff is burned to release heat, which boils water into steam, which spins a turbine, which generates electricity. The thermodynamic limits of this process (“Damn that rising entropy!”) mean only part of the energy in the raw materials actually make it onto the grid in the form of electricity.

    Thermal efficiency of power plants using coal, petroleum, natural gas or nuclear fuel and converting it to electricity are around 33% efficiency, natural gas is around 40%.

    Energy loss in transmission = around 6% average in the U.S. (some states are 9%). Some countries, like India, have losses pushing 30 percent. Often, this is due to electricity thieves. More of that will be happening soon.

    Fun fact: Transmission and distribution losses tend to be lower in rural states like Wyoming and North Dakota. Why? Less densely populated states have more high-voltage, low-loss transmission lines and fewer lower-voltage, high-loss distribution lines.
    So they are pushing everybody into big cities which have higher energy loss in transmission, which wastes more energy, complete morons.

    https://grid.insideenergy.org/lost-in-transmission

    Thermal efficiency of power plants using coal, petroleum, natural gas or nuclear fuel and converting it to electricity are around 33% efficiency, natural gas is around 40%. Then there is average 6% loss in transmission, then there is a 5% loss in the charger, another 5% loss in the inverter, the electric motor is 90% efficient so another 10% loss before turning the electricity into mechanical power at the wheels.

    33% – 6% – 5% – 5% – 10% = 25% efficiency for EV’s.

    Diesel is best over 50% efficiency, gas now up to 37% or more, a Mercedes Formula 1 gas engine = 50% efficiency . Ev’s 25% efficiency.

    Just convert the fuel to energy in your ice diesel and get 50% efficiency and eliminate the cost of power plants (which costs billions of dollars) converting petroleum to electricity, transmitting it over millions of miles of transmission lines (which costs billions of dollars), then spending many hours storing the electricity in your very expensive EV’s fire bomb lithium batteries and ending up with a net efficiency of 25%.

    So it takes 2 gallons of petroleum converted to electricity at the power plant, then transmitted, then put into the EV batteries (this takes hours), then finally turned into mechanical energy to turn the wheels in an EV to do the same job as converting one gallon of diesel into mechanical energy to turn the wheels in a diesel ice powered vehicle.

    Diesel is 50% efficiency,Ev’s 25% efficiency at turning fuel into mechanical energy to turn the wheels in a vehicle. EV’s are more wasteful and cause more pollution (twice as much fuel was burnt).

    If the net cost of the 2 gallons of petroleum turned into electricity, then transmitted and put through a charger and into the EV batteries, then turned into mechanical energy to move the EV x distance down the road is less then the cost of 1 gallon of diesel to move the ice diesel x distance down the road…….. this means the power station gets it’s petroleum at a low price, which could be subsidized by taxpayer’s money, also the cost of the power station, transmission and distribution lines and chargers are probably subsidized by taxpayer’s money, plus the EV owner pays no road tax, the ice diesel owner is paying for the road tax, in some places the tax is 50% of their fuel cost.
    The purchase of the EV is often subsidized by taxpayers too. EV owners are free loaders.

    • An EV must be the most energy inefficient, wasteful thing that was ever invented.

      A diesel ice vehicle is 50% efficient,Ev’s 25% efficient at turning fuel into mechanical energy to turn the wheels in a vehicle. EV’s are more wasteful and cause more pollution (twice as much fuel was burnt). If all ice vehicles are converted to EV’s total fuel consumption will double.

      Another problem with EV’s is thay have to be driven very slowly or they waste even more energy, a tesla was driven at a race track at 10 tenths it used 80 miles range up in 8 miles. This makes them more useless.

      If it is cold out the EV wastes even more energy, in very cold weather the range drops in half, if you use the rear defroster, wipers or heater more energy is wasted reducing the range by a lot.
      In an ice vehicle using the wiper and defroster won’t reduce it’s range or cause higher energy consumption.

      An ice vehicle has free heat, the engine provides heat, the EV’s free heat was lost back at the power station when the fuel was burnt to produce electricity, now it has to produced a second time, very wasteful.

  3. Jone

    Maximum efficiency haha. A tesla was driven at a race track at 10 tenths it used 80 miles range up in 8 miles. There is a ton of bs numbers thrown around about electric vehicles.

    Diesel is best over 50% efficiency, gas now up to 37% or more, a Mercedes Formula 1 gas engine = 50% efficiency . Ev’s 25% efficiency. There is a new tech steam engine that has up to 60% efficiency.

    Do you work for tesla? sounds like it…..

  4. Build your own electric car, if you really want one, then you would have an electric car that can’t be shutdown (the power supply is another issue, it can be turned off, you would need your own electrical power supply).

    You can build one cheaply using lead acid batteries which are 100% green, and way cheaper to replace. Lithium batteries aren’t only 5% are recycled, why are green morons buying lithium battery abortions? stupid leftists………

    The lithium batteries are also highly dangerous, fire bombs on wheels, their biggest issue, should be banned from the road.

    Why spend $40,000 on an electric car that can be shutdown remotely and can explode on fire?

    DIY electric car runs 200 miles on old lead-acid batteries.

    The rise in demand for clean vehicles has not only tempted automakers to rollout next-gen electric vehicles, but has also encouraged several eco-conscious individuals to use their skills to create low-cost electric rides. David Cloud is one such individual who has spent $3000 in converting a 1997 Geo Metro to run on an electric engine fueled by old lead acid batteries.

    The vehicle is powered by 8” ADC motors that are included on each rear wheel and are powered by old 12V lead-acid batteries. The vehicle has a top speed of 72mph and can hit 60mph in 18 seconds, with a range of about 200 miles.

    https://ecofriend.com/diy-electric-car-runs-200-miles-on-old-lead-acid-batteries.html

    Business opportunity:
    Build these and sell them for $15,000 ? When people figure out that the new cars are a trap, a curse, there might be a market for these.

  5. How expensive does gas have to get to make an EV make sense? Eric can you calculate the break even price? Just a thought.

    • Oscar,

      That question almost doesn’t make any sense at all.

      The main reason why gas is so expensive, is the same reason why everything else is so expensive: inflation. It tends to hit food and energy (necessiii the use with a shortish shelf life) first.

      Secondly, regardless of inflation, it isn’t so easy to calculate that anyway but there isn’t exactly an infinite supply of electricity, so if everyone starts switching over to electric cars I can guarantee you that the price of electricity will rise.

      The calculus you describe only works if gas prices rise faster than electricity rates, and it doesn’t make sense to me that this would actually happen. We aren’t exactly increasing our electric generation capacity right now, either. And to do that would certainly cost money.

  6. EV sales causing more pollution

    Annual data on 2021 emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOX), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2), and mercury from power plants in the lower 48 states. Emissions in 2021 were higher than 2020, reflecting a rebound in coal-fired generation as natural gas prices and energy demand increased, driven by more EV sales.

    The amount of emissions from your EV is increasing. hahaha…

    https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-issues-power-plant-emissions-data-2021

    The emissions from the newest ice powered cars and trucks is like .000001%, but that isn’t zero, it isn’t good enough, so they will be banned.

    Replaced by EV’s that aren’t zero emission:

    Burning fuel at the power plant to boil water to make steam to turn the turbine, to turn the generator to make electricity, then transmitting it over a huge, complex, very expensive, vulnerable power grid, then spending hours and hours charging the batteries, then sending the current to the electric motor making mechanical energy to turn the wheels = 25% efficiency of one unit of fuel burnt to boil water to power the power stations turbine to produce electricity.

    A diesel powered ice vehicle: diesel fuel turned into energy to turn the wheels = 50% efficiency of one unit of fuel used. The diesel is more efficient.

    EV emissions…..Burning fuel at the power plant to boil water to make steam to turn the turbine to make electricity, that power plant has higher emissions then the newest ice powered cars and trucks, which have like .000001% emissions. Lied to again?
    But they will be banned and replaced by higher polluting EV’s. Bloody morons……

  7. Simple to solve how far an ev can go with the kwh rating. Start with the battery charged to 80 percent, drive the EV until the battery is at 20 percent, your distance is going to be sixty percent of the total kwh charged into the lithium battery pack.

    If it is a 50 kwh battery, you use 30 kwh of charge. If you go 100 kph, in three hours, you will be 300 kilometers further, there might be 20 percent of the charge still there, if less, you are using more than 10 kwh per 100 kilometers.

    The battery doesn’t have to be totally discharged to determine how far the 100 percent charge will take you.

    300 kilometers distance traveled will consume probably 30 liters of petrol, 8 gallons, to travel 180 miles, 25 mpg or so.

    Therefore, 30 kwh of battery use is more than likely equal to 8 gallons of petrol or 10 liters of petrol for every 100 kilometers of distance.

    10 liters of petrol then equals 10 kwh of battery charge.

    If it were a fair equivalent, the price of petrol needs to be at or close to 30 cents per liter.

    The solution is to increase the cost of electricity substantially at charging stations. lol

  8. If you can dig up some coal near where you live or barter for it, if there is a collapse and no gas is available here is another solution a coal powered car. To be really prepared you could have a coal powered vehicle, a wood powered vehicle and a diesel which can burn various fuels, if you had a water wheel and a generator in a stream you could charge lead acid batteries for a small vehicle.
    A business opportunity……build and sell these…..

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/coal_powered_car/zrdd8xs

    • There is one more

      There is a modern steam engine to power vehicles that can burn various fuels, it is up to 60% efficient, that is better then any ice or EV vehicle, we have gone backwards from the old days with steam powered vehicles.

      An EV is steam powered (your tesla is steam powered), just in a far more complicated and centralized system where you have no control, that is ten times as expensive. This system is so complex and big it is fragile, subject to disruption and breakdown. It is easier to control you, they turn off your tesla or your electricity and you are screwed.

      How did they ever convince people to buy EV’s? Maybe billions of dollars spent on marketing and government (taxpayer) funded programs to pay for the EV’s, tax credits, EV manufacturers selling EV’s at a loss but making money selling carbon credits, ice car owner paid for roads, etc.

      They are centralizing all power sources (electricity) so they have control of people moving around, they say it is for zero emission, that is a lie, most electricity production is very dirty and wasteful, 33% efficiency, it is for complete control, centralize everything.

      If they don’t like you they turn off your electricity, you are immobilized and freeze in the winter, they turn off your electronic money, you don’t eat, all transportation, heating, communication and soon money is going electric, electronic.

      Power plants – coal, natural gas, petroleum or nuclear – work on the same general principle. Energy-dense stuff is burned to release heat, which boils water into steam, which spins a turbine, which generates electricity. The thermodynamic limits of this process (“Damn that rising entropy!”) mean only part of the energy in the raw materials actually make it onto the grid in the form of electricity.

      Generating electricity, we lost 22 quadrillion Btu from converting coal, natural gas, nuclear and petroleum into electricity in power plants in 2013 in the U.S. – that’s more than the energy in all the gasoline we use in a given year.

      Thermal efficiency of power plants using coal, petroleum, natural gas or nuclear fuel and converting it to electricity are around 33% efficiency, natural gas is around 40%.

      Energy loss in transmission = around 6% average in the U.S. (in some states it is 9%). Some countries, like India, have losses pushing 30 percent. Often, this is due to electricity thieves. More of that will be happening soon.

      Moving electricity from plants to homes and businesses on the transmission and distribution grid, we lost 69 trillion Btu in 2013 – that’s about how much energy Americans use drying our clothes every year.

      Just convert the fuel to energy in your steam powered vehicle and get up to 60% efficiency and eliminate the cost of power plants (which costs billions of dollars) converting petroleum to electricity (creating pollution) , transmitting it over millions of miles of transmission and distribution lines (which costs billions of dollars), then spending many hours storing the electricity in your very expensive EV’s fire bomb lithium batteries and ending up with a net efficiency of 25%.

      Re: power plants: all they are doing is boiling water to make energy, you might as well just get a steam powered car, cut your own wood or use other fuels, to boil water, make your own energy in your steam powered car, you control the power source, steam power was best and we just went backwards since then.

      https://cyclonepower.com/#

  9. MPGe is just nonsense. It’s a calculation with various assumptions as the calculation has changed a couple times I think.

    MPG has always been a government test drive cycle. That cycle has indeed changed but it you can always compare two cars of the same model year to each other. MPGe however doesn’t mean anything to that standard. I am not sure it even means anything for one BEV to another due to design differences messing with the assumptions.

    I’d have to go into the details of it again. I am sure it’s changed since I last learned anything about it.

    • Hi Brent,

      I’ve been test driving new cars for several decades, so I speak from experience few have in that regard. The MPG numbers are pretty accurate; very rarely does a new car I test drive not return within a handful of MPGs the numbers stated and – sometimes, as in the case of VW’s diesels – they exceed them.

      The ratings given electric cars are dodgy because they are not accurate. They don’t take into account temperature extremes/accessory use, which can and do greatly affect “mileage.” With non-electric cars, the only thing that meaningfully affects mileage (and range) is whether you hammer the thing. Temperature/accessory use have negligible effects.

      It’s extremely dishonest of the EPA to not factor in the effect of temperature/accessory use upon EV batteries.

  10. My 25 yo subaru impreza that I paid 1 grand for gives me a solid 31 mpg summer/winter don`t matter …..Suck on that tesla…..oh and I can fill it up in 5 min.

  11. Just convert the fuel to energy in your ice diesel and get 50% efficiency and eliminate the cost of power plants (which costs billions of dollars) converting petroleum to electricity, transmitting it over millions of miles of transmission lines and distribution lines (which costs billions of dollars), then spending many hours storing the electricity in your very expensive EV’s fire bomb lithium batteries and ending up with a net efficiency of 25%.

    EV’s might be less then 28% efficient because batteries are only 90% efficient, between total electricity inputted, stored while charging to total electricity put out when used as a power source there is a net loss, batteries discharge, lose energy just sitting there. 28% – 10% = 25% efficiency, half of what a good diesel engine is.

    Who is paying for this? The cost of power plants (which costs billions of dollars) converting petroleum to electricity, transmitting it over millions of miles of transmission lines and distribution lines (which costs billions of dollars). Are taxpayers paying part of this? That would be another cost paid by non EV owners.

    The electrical grid, power plants, transmission lines and distribution networks have to expanded by about 500% to accommodate going to full EV transportation, probably trillions? of dollars, who will pay for that?

    Ice car owners pay a lot of tax at the pump paying for the roads, EV owners use the road for free, more EV costs paid by someone else.

    • Gasoline engines are about 25% efficient, diesel 30%…but by volume diesel fuel contains 15% more energy than gasoline so a good chunk of the increased mpg is due to the latter.

      Fuel cells (at least the PEM ones in vehicles using hydrogen) are 50% efficient.

      Electric motors are over 90% efficient…and you can get the electricity to power them from solar panels on your property instead of from your local electric utility, which is not possible for refined liquid fuels like gasoline or diesel.

      • RE: “you can get the electricity to power them from solar panels on your property”

        You mean: Except on super cloudy days (which sometimes go for months) or after a hail storm or tornado destroys them, and so long as the solar panels last & don’t need replaced like all crap-plastic-things eventually do (especially in sub-zero climates) that is, IF you even got the space to ugly up with them in the first place, not too mention buying the thing$ …& for those in The City, do they require copper lines, the kind thieves like to grab? Idk.

        Anyway, again, I’m not a big fan of battery powered anything in sub-zero temps. YMMV I suppose?

        • Hi Helot

          With the old technology, like the really old steam engines, they were all mechanical so parts could be fabricated, repairs were easier, low tech, anything new with microchips or high tech like solar panels have a short life span, are very fragile, are near impossible to repair, you are dependent on a very complex, very high tech system with parts coming from china 7000 miles away.
          Some people think putting microchips in cars was partly to give them a shorter life span (=sell more cars) and dependence on a very high tech system for parts, repairs, no more self repairs (on these new cars forget about it), no more independence, more control.

          Re: solar panels….in northern countries it is cloudy 6 months of the year or more, forget about solar panels…..

          • by “short lifespan” you mean several decades.

            solar panels use tempered glass as weather cover, not plastic.

            frame is anodized aluminum, not plastic.

            a standard, asphalt-shingled roof is more likely to damaged by a hailstorm than a solar panel…better save up for a standing-seam metal roof if you live in areas with such frequent hailstorms.

            I do agree ground-mount is the best place for panels, though.

      • The latest numbers for efficiency with the new technology in ice engines:

        Diesel is best over 50% efficiency, gas now up to 37% or more, a Mercedes Formula 1 gas engine = 50% efficiency . Ev’s 25% efficiency.

        Hydrogen fuel cell powered EV’s make more sense then lithium battery EV’s.

        If you put a water wheel with a generator in a stream you could charge lead acid batteries to use in a small EV.
        Solar panels are 10% efficient but could be used to charge batteries, they wouldn’t charge a tesla unless it was a huge area with solar panels.

        There is technology to run an ice powered car on wood, in some areas there is lots of wood available, this a low tech solution instead of high tech, expensive, short life solar panels which might not be available if there is a huge collapse.

        https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2010/01/wood-gas-cars.html

        There is a new technology steam engine for your car or truck, etc., it is 30% to 60% energy efficient which is better then EV’s, gas or diesel engines. It has lower emissions then EV’s gas or diesel engines. If it burned hydrogen for a heat source it would be zero emissions.
        It has full torque at one rpm so requires no transmission, it can run in reverse so no reverse gear required.

        • RE: “There is technology to run an ice powered car on wood”

          That sounds interesting, I’ll have to look at it tomorrow. I wonder how it’s different than a wood gasifier?

          I also wonder if Eric has test driven a wood gasifier, seems like he gets to drive everything😀

          It’s all probably better than a lithium battery. I’ve been told by guys in the trades not to leave my lithium battery powered tools outside if it’s lower than 40 degrees F else they’ll be damaged.
          That’s pretty lame performance when the high temp is zero degrees.

          …I’m keeping my corded power tools.

  12. There is a new technology steam engine for your car or truck, etc., it is 30% to 60% energy efficient which is better then EV’s, gas or diesel engines. It has lower emissions then EV’s gas or diesel engines.

    If it burned hydrogen for a heat source it would be zero emissions.
    It has full torque at one rpm so requires no transmission, it can run in reverse so no reverse gear required.

    https://cyclonepower.com/#

  13. Why are you doing all this math stuff?

    You aren’t supposed to do that.

    You ARE supposed to shut up, buy EV, and feel smug about how you are saving the planet.

    There are certain things that may not be questioned, heretic.

  14. Here’s another false efficiency comparison of IC-engined vs electric vehicles — in this case, for freight railroads:

    ‘Diesel-powered trains transfer about 30-35 percent of the energy generated by combustion to the wheels, while supplying electricity directly from an overhead power line transfers about 95 percent of the energy to the wheels.’

    https://www.eesi.org/articles/view/electrification-of-u.s.-railways-pie-in-the-sky-or-realistic-goal

    Like MPGe, this statement is a partial truth. Electric power at the catenary comes from a thermal power generation plant which produces large efficiency losses (see Anonymous post at 12:55 pm for details).

    Thermal power plants are marginally more efficient than diesel locomotives. Thus electrifying all freight railroads might reduce their energy consumption by 10 percent or so.

    But at what cost? The capital cost of stringing catenary across North America, and replacing diesel-electric with electric locomotives, is enormous.

    Stand on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and watch them big BNSF diesel locomotives huff and chuff by, east coast bound.

    Warren Buffett thinks it don’t pay to electrify BNSF’s long-distance freight lines.

    But some folks — unburdened by any knowledge of either thermodynamics or hurdle rates of return for capital investment — think it does.

    And all too many of them are tax feeders in the bowels of the EPA.

    • Hi Jim

      Powering trains:

      There is a new technology steam engine for your car or truck, (one could be built for a train using the same tech) etc., it is 30% to 60% energy efficient which is better then EV’s, gas or diesel engines. It has lower emissions then EV’s gas or diesel engines. If it burned hydrogen for a heat source it would be zero emissions.

      It has full torque at one rpm so requires no transmission, it can run in reverse so no reverse gear required.

      ‘Diesel-powered trains transfer about 30-35 percent of the energy generated by combustion to the wheels, while supplying electricity directly from an overhead power line transfers about 95 percent of the energy to the wheels.’…a huge lie…….

      Thermal efficiency of power plants using coal, petroleum, natural gas or nuclear fuel and converting it to electricity are around 33% efficiency, natural gas is around 40%.

      Energy loss in transmission = around 6% average in the U.S. (some states are 9%) Some countries, like India, have losses pushing 30 percent. Often, this is due to electricity thieves. More of that will be happening soon.

      A large electric motor is 90% efficient.
      Converting diesel powered trains to electricity, what is the net efficiency? 33% – 6% – 10% = 28% efficient, a diesel powered train is more efficient, they are fine with diesel power, 30 to 35% efficient (some modern diesels are 50% efficient), or with new tech steam engines you get up to 60% efficiency.

      They lie all the time to help their bs agenda, they think we are too stupid to think and do our own research, to analyze their lying data.

  15. So using their own figures of 33.7 kwh=1 gallon of gasoline, up here in Taxachusetts my electric rate of 22 cents/kwh works out to $7.41 a gallon of gas. Wow, super savings 😝. What a crock,

  16. Energy efficiency

    Power plants – coal, natural gas, petroleum or nuclear – work on the same general principle. Energy-dense stuff is burned to release heat, which boils water into steam, which spins a turbine, which generates electricity. The thermodynamic limits of this process (“Damn that rising entropy!”) mean only part of the energy in the raw materials actually make it onto the grid in the form of electricity.

    Thermal efficiency of power plants using coal, petroleum, natural gas or nuclear fuel and converting it to electricity are around 33% efficiency, natural gas is around 40%.

    Re: power plants: all they are doing is boiling water to make energy, you might as well just get a steam powered car, cut your own wood or use other fuels and make your own energy in your steam powered car, steam power was best and we just went backwards since then.

    Generating electricity, we lost 22 quadrillion Btu from converting coal, natural gas, nuclear and petroleum into electricity in power plants in 2013 in the U.S. – that’s more than the energy in all the gasoline we use in a given year.

    Energy loss in transmission = around 6% average in the U.S. Some countries, like India, have losses pushing 30 percent. Often, this is due to electricity thieves. More of that will be happening soon.

    Moving electricity from plants to homes and businesses on the transmission and distribution grid, we lost 69 trillion Btu in 2013 – that’s about how much energy Americans use drying our clothes every year.

    Fun fact: Transmission and distribution losses tend to be lower in rural states like Wyoming and North Dakota. Why? Less densely populated states have more high-voltage, low-loss transmission lines and fewer lower-voltage, high-loss distribution lines.
    So they are pushing everybody into big cities which have higher energy loss in transmission, which wastes more energy, coplete morons.

    https://grid.insideenergy.org/lost-in-transmission

    Thermal efficiency of power plants using coal, petroleum, natural gas or nuclear fuel and converting it to electricity are around 33% efficiency, natural gas is around 40%. Then there is average 6% loss in transmission, then there is a 5% loss in the EV converting the electricity into power at the wheels, 33% – 6% – 5% = 29% efficiency for EV’s. (5% loss in Ev’s, they say they are 95% efficient, the true figure is probably 90%, so they are 28% efficient).

    Diesel is best over 50% efficiency, gas now up to 37% or more, a Mercedes Formula 1 gas engine = 50% efficiency . Ev’s 28% efficiency.

    Just convert the fuel to energy in your ice diesel and get 50% efficiency and eliminate the cost of power plants (which costs billions of dollars) converting petroleum to electricity, transmitting it over millions of miles of transmission lines (which costs billions of dollars), then spending many hours storing the electricity in your very expensive EV’s fire bomb lithium batteries and ending up with a net efficiency of 28%.
    50% is better then 28% but these morons don’t understand math.

    NOTE: Mercedes Formula 1 gas engine = 50% efficiency, same as a diesel.

    Diesel is the best and they are banning them.

    Diesel is best over 50% efficiency, gas now up to 37% or more, a Mercedes Formula 1 gas engine = 50% efficiency . Ev’s 28% efficiency. This push to EV’s is all based on lies (like the other safe and effective narrative), this is all about reducing mobility and controlling people, heading for you will own nothing, be controlled in every way and be happy, if you survive the cull.

    • EV’s might be less then 28% efficient because batteries are only 90% efficient, between total electricity inputted, stored while charging to total electricity put out when used as a power source there is a net loss, batteries discharge, lose energy just sitting there, plus other reasons.

  17. EV range

    How are they calculating that 230 mile range (The new Ford R150 EV truck)? Is it based on theoretically using the full capacity of the battery? You can only use 60% of the battery capacity, between 20% and 80% charge, most of the time. So the real range is 60% of 230 miles? probably. 60% of 230 = 138 miles.

    You can’t use the last bottom 20% because it damages the battery, you can’t use the top 20% in reality because the last 20% between 80% and 100% has to be charged very slowly or it damages the battery, if you are recharging on the road it will take far too long to charge that last 20% from 80% to 100% charge.

    What about power loss? Under 80% charge the battery/electric motor start to lose power, at 20% charge it is quite a drop in power (ice cars don’t have this problem), what if you have a full load and are towing and you come to a big hill with 20% charge left? haha.

    If it is very cold out you can subtract another 50% of the range, if you use the heater and windshield wipers, rear defroster you lose even more range. 60% of 230 = 138 miles, then minus another 50% because it is really cold? 50% of 138 = 69 miles.

    If you drive the EV really hard/fast it uses a lot of energy, a tesla driven 10 tenths on the track used 80 miles of range in 8 miles, you better drive really slow. ice powered cars don’t have this problem.
    This is a big problem, thanks to musk’s marketing campaign people buy EV’s because they are quick 0 to 60 they want to feel the low end torque, but driven at 10 tenths you lose 80% of the range, (ice cars don’t do this).

    So if you drive that EV truck with a full load and towing or drive it 10 tenths in really cold weather with the heater, defroster and wipers going the range is 40 to 60 miles? hahaha. This is a big problem, people quite often buy these trucks to haul stuff and or towing.

    In an ice car you can use more then 60% of the gas in the gas tank and the heat is free, it doesn’t require more energy to keep warm.

    In damp climates you have to drive the car and use the heater to get the condensation out of the car, if people use their electric heater less in their EV because of loss of range the car won’t be dried out properly, this is very bad for electrical connections, with dampness they corrode and lose their connection, then nothing works.

    Over 100 years ago they had the same problem with EV’s, cost, range and charging times, the big killer is range, charging times.

    The first people to buy electric cars were the most sold on the idea, the biggest believers, 20% of them are switching back to ice powered cars because of the inconvenience factor, the charging time hassle.

    There is ice engines being developed that run on hydrogen, they are zero emissions, the only emission is water after combustion, if you want zero emmision instead of .0000001 emissions from a modern ice engine get a hydrogen burner. (Porsche is also developing alternate zero emission fuels).

  18. It takes a given amount of energy to propel a 4000 lb. vehicle at a given speed over a specified distance….regardless of whether that energy is coming from an internal combustion engine, or electrons which are produced elsewhere and stored in an onboard battery……

    All of these fugazy numbers are just more bullshit. The EV isn’t magically more efficient because it’s energy has been generated remotely; in-fact, it is less efficient, because it is heavier than it’s ICE counterpart due to the heavy battery.

    Their BS isn’t hard to understand- it just can’t be understood because it doesn’t make sense, and is a ruse to paint a rosy picture- just like crypto- which is something which has no intrinsic value, and doesn’t actually even “exist”- but is just a string of numbers stored as electrons, whose only value is the value ascribed to it by those who trade in it and who accept the validity of the arbitrary rules made-up by it’s creators. I guess the various complications of those rules and how the currency is stored and traded and accessed, etc. serve to distract from the fact that such a currency still represents nothing of actual value or even a tangible physical asset.

    Tl;dr: Eric, you made a good anal-loggie (analogy) by comparing the MPGe to crypto!

  19. It everyday language it just means that the direct energy costs for driving an electric car are significantly lower than for a fossil fueled car. As a rule of thumb one may say that the required energy for driving an electric car, is about one third of the equivalent required energy for driving for instance a gasoline fueled car. If fossil energy has the same price per energy unit as electricity, then the direct energy costs would also be one third.

    This is not a endorsement from me. Today I drive an electric car, but I am not at all certain what kind of car I am going to buy next time. An electric car definitely is a far less practical car, and you may be in for a really nasty and expensive surprise when (not if) the battery is worn out.

    • As Nunzio said in a comment just after yours,

      ‘It takes a given amount of energy to propel a 4000 lb. vehicle at a given speed over a specified distance….regardless of whether that energy is coming from an internal combustion engine, or electrons which are produced elsewhere and stored in an onboard battery……’

      Thermal efficiency of centralized power plants is somewhat higher than IC engines, thanks to steady loads. Weight is not an issue, so combined-cycle power plants gain efficiencies that would not be feasible in a mobile, IC-engined vehicle.

      Heavier batteries and battery losses in EVs roughly cancel the electric power plant efficiency advantage, though.

      To recap Nunzio, the aerodynamic and rolling resistance of an EV is the same as an IC-engined vehicle — except that if the EV is heavier owing to a thousand-pound battery, then its rolling resistance will be a little higher.

      It ain’t cold fusion in a jar.

    • As a rule of thumb one may say that the required energy for driving an electric car, is about one third of the equivalent required energy for driving for instance a gasoline fueled car……..that is government or musk narrative…………

      Thermal efficiency of power plants using coal, petroleum, natural gas or nuclear fuel and converting it to electricity are around 33% efficiency, natural gas is around 40%. Then there is average 6% loss in transmission, then there is a 5% loss in the EV converting the electricity into power at the wheels, 33% – 6% – 5% = 29% efficiency for EV’s. (5% loss in Ev’s, they say they are 95% efficient, the true figure is probably 90%, so they are 28% efficient).

      Diesel is best over 50% efficiency, gas now up to 37% or more, a Mercedes Formula 1 gas engine = 50% efficiency . Ev’s 28% efficiency.

      50% is greater then 28% hahaha…….

      • I have driven an electric car for more than 5 years and I know how much energy it uses. On average it uses 15 kWh/10 kilometers. A medium sized car with a gasoline engine consumes about 0,6 liters of gasoline per 10 kilometers, which corresponds to about 5,7 kWh. The gasoline fueled car, when driving, thus consumes a little more than three times more energy that the electric one. There is also an additional loss when charging the batteries, so multiplying with three is not too far off the right answer.

        I know that energy consumption at the source is a different issues and I am still not making any endorsement for either concept. (I am used to metric units where I live).

        • Hi Jone,

          The major issue with EVs isn’t so much how much energy they use but how quickly they use it – which manifests in reduced range, which in turn leads to increased frequency of recharging (and time spent doing that).

          The only way an EV makes sense to me is for short-range/low speed driving – i.e., a “city” car – that costs the same or less as a current small IC economy car. Otherwise, it’s an indulgence – which is fine; nothing wrong with buying anything just because you like you it and assuming you can afford the indulgence.

          But otherwise?

        • Jone quote…..The gasoline fueled car, when driving, thus consumes a little more than three times more energy that the electric one….haha…according to the government and musk…..haha

          Energy efficiency

          Power plants – coal, natural gas, petroleum or nuclear – work on the same general principle. Energy-dense stuff is burned to release heat, which boils water into steam, which spins a turbine, which generates electricity. The thermodynamic limits of this process (“Damn that rising entropy!”) mean only part of the energy in the raw materials actually make it onto the grid in the form of electricity.

          Thermal efficiency of power plants using coal, petroleum, natural gas or nuclear fuel and converting it to electricity are around 33% efficiency, natural gas is around 40%.

          Re: power plants: all they are doing is boiling water to make energy, you might as well just get a steam powered car, cut your own wood or use other fuels and make your own energy in your steam powered car, steam power was best and we just went backwards since then.

          Generating electricity, we lost 22 quadrillion Btu from converting coal, natural gas, nuclear and petroleum into electricity in power plants in 2013 in the U.S. – that’s more than the energy in all the gasoline we use in a given year.

          Energy loss in transmission = around 6% average in the U.S. Some countries, like India, have losses pushing 30 percent. Often, this is due to electricity thieves. More of that will be happening soon.

          Moving electricity from plants to homes and businesses on the transmission and distribution grid, we lost 69 trillion Btu in 2013 – that’s about how much energy Americans use drying our clothes every year.

          Fun fact: Transmission and distribution losses tend to be lower in rural states like Wyoming and North Dakota. Why? Less densely populated states have more high-voltage, low-loss transmission lines and fewer lower-voltage, high-loss distribution lines.
          So they are pushing everybody into big cities which have higher energy loss in transmission, which wastes more energy, complete morons.

          https://grid.insideenergy.org/lost-in-transmission

          Thermal efficiency of power plants using coal, petroleum, natural gas or nuclear fuel and converting it to electricity are around 33% efficiency, natural gas is around 40%. Then there is average 6% loss in transmission, then there is a 5% loss in the EV converting the electricity into power at the wheels, 33% – 6% – 5% = 29% efficiency for EV’s. (5% loss in Ev’s, they say they are 95% efficient, the true figure is probably 90%, so they are 28% efficient).

          EV’s might be less then 28% efficient because batteries are only 90% efficient, between total electricity inputted, stored while charging to total electricity put out when used as a power source there is a net loss, batteries discharge, lose energy just sitting there. 28% – 10% = 25% efficient.

          Diesel is best over 50% efficiency, gas now up to 37% or more, a Mercedes Formula 1 gas engine = 50% efficiency . Ev’s 25% efficiency.

          Just convert the fuel to energy in your ice diesel and get 50% efficiency and eliminate the cost of power plants (which costs billions of dollars) converting petroleum to electricity, transmitting it over millions of miles of transmission lines (which costs billions of dollars), then spending many hours storing the electricity in your very expensive EV’s fire bomb lithium batteries and ending up with a net efficiency of 25%.
          50% is better then 25% but these morons don’t understand math.

          Diesel is the best and they are banning them.

          NOTE: Mercedes Formula 1 gas engine = 50% efficiency, same as a diesel.

          There is a new technology steam engine for your car or truck, etc., it is 30% to 60% energy efficient which is better then EV’s, gas or diesel engines. It has lower emissions then EV’s gas or diesel engines. If it burned hydrogen for a heat source it would be zero emissions.
          It has full torque at one rpm so requires no transmission, it can run in reverse so no reverse gear required.

          Diesel is best over 50% efficiency, gas now up to 37% or more, a Mercedes Formula 1 gas engine = 50% efficiency . Ev’s 25% efficiency. This push to EV’s is all based on lies (like the other safe and effective narrative), this is all about reducing mobility and controlling people, heading for you will own nothing, be controlled in every way and be happy, if you survive the cull.

        • Jone

          Burning fuel at the power plant to boil water to make steam to turn the turbine, to turn the generator to make electricity, then transmitting it over a huge, complex, very expensive, vulnerable power grid, then spending hours and hours charging the batteries, then sending the current to the electric motor making mechanical energy to turn the wheels = 25% efficiency of one unit of fuel burnt to boil water to power the power stations turbine to produce electricity.

          A diesel powered ice vehicle: diesel fuel turned into energy to turn the wheels = 50% efficiency of one unit of fuel used.

          The diesel is more efficient.

          • A diesel engine for a car has a maximum efficiency of about 40 % in the “sweet spot”, i.e. at the most optimal combination of RPM and torque. In typical driving conditions, this efficiency is never obtained and the “real life” efficiency is more in the neighborhood of about 20 %. For a typical gasoline engine, this number is about 15 %. Hybrid technology probably has improved these efficiencies somewhat.

            Are you challenging my typical numbers respectively for consumption of electricity and fuel? You should not, because my consumption figures are very compatible with what most people achieve in typical everyday driving.

            I want to emphasize that I have not made any recommendations. My comments are technical.

            • Hi Jone,

              Efficiency isn’t everything; cost is also something. A $20,000 non-hybrid gas-engined car that gets say 40 MPG isn’t as “efficient” as $24,000 hybrid but it’s less expensive and it’s less complex, which make it more likely to last longer without requiring expensive repairs/replacement of components. A $22k diesel-powered car that gets 50 MPG and goes 700 miles on a tank is also more “efficient” in that sense than a $35k electric car that can only go maybe 200 miles…

              • No problem with anything that you write. In fact I am more skeptical towards electric cars after I bought one than before. This is because nobody knows for how long the battery pack is going to last. Electric cars are still too new to have reliable statistics about this.

                On the other hand and for what it is worth, I am an educated engineer. Thus, when I present data and physical information, I am right most of the time. (This may sound a bit arrogant, but it is important to me to get my facts right).

  20. ‘EPA says [the Tesla 3] … carries a 131 MPGe rating.’ — eric

    Since MPGe measures the efficiency of (mainly) the battery and induction motor(s) in converting an arbitrary 33.7 kWh into distance, an MPGe greater than 100 sounds almost magical — like cold fusion in a jar.

    But it’s not.

    The hard part of converting heat energy into shaft horsepower is thermal efficiency. It’s limited by the pitiless equation of Carnot — the difference in temperature between the heat source and the heat rejection reservoirs. Read it and weep:

    ‘A typical gasoline automotive engine operates at around 25% to 30% of thermal efficiency. About 70-75% is rejected as waste heat without being converted into useful work, i.e., work delivered to wheels.’

    https://www.nuclear-power.com/nuclear-engineering/thermodynamics/thermodynamic-cycles/otto-cycle-otto-engine/thermal-efficiency-for-otto-cycle/

    Electrical power plants face Carnot efficiency limits, too. But since the EPA characterizes MPGe as “wall to wheel consumption” for EVs, the efficiency of the power plant (e.g., 35 to 38% for coal-fueled) is rendered invisible.

    EPA tells you that power comes out of the wall outlet, magically, just like eggs come out of the refrigerated case at Walmart.

    Comparing IC-engined vehicles — including their thermal efficiency tax — with EVs, where the thermal efficiency losses are concealed behind the wall, is an apples to oranges comparison.

    How ironic that climate change warriors enthuse over the high MPGe ratings of China’s fleet, where billowing clouds of soot from coal-fueled power plants that energize them can actually make driving u-n-s-a-a-a-a-f-e, not to mention ungreen.

    Buy a Tesla; sink NYC under the waves!

  21. Like nearly everything else in this world, it’s a scam. People must love to be scammed for they choose not to think critically and instead opt for emotion.

    • Remember George Carlin’s line, “Think about how stupid the average person is… and realize half of them are even stupider”

      South Park for example, from the last I’ve seen of it ages ago, basically lampoons that as most of the adults save one or two are dumber than the kids, going along with the latest issue like the sheeple they they.

      That was all part of the plan to dumb down the masses, as an educated population is harder to control

  22. Also makes you wonder how they test for MPG in the first place. No one drives the speed limit, and some states have 75-85mph as their highway speed, so there’s a drastic drop there.

    Think it’s time to include the EPA in the 3 letter agency purge, and also repeal CAFE, it’s no longer the 70s and with the Red Landslide heading our way, deep state’s agenda is dead in the water

    • In my experience people don’t speed nearly as much when the limit is 80-85 (fewer speeders & not as far over), compared to when the limit is 70 or below.

        • If there were no speed limits most Americans would drive around 80-85. A few would push it to 90 and almost no one would go 100 (at least, not on a regular basis).

          In South Dakota, in my experience driving on the highway, when the limit was 80 it was common to see people going ~85 (but it wasn’t like everyone was doing it). After they upped the limit up 85, I saw very few people who were actually speeding.

          YMMV, of course. But that’s what I saw & experienced.

          • I would also add that they upped the max speed limit, but not the minimum. However, in practice anyone actually tooling along at 45-50mph on those roads is asking to get creamed.

  23. Great article as always but unmentioned was that even though people believe EV’s are non polluting they don’t consider the pollution from mining the lithium, cost of battery disposal, the electricity probably comes from burning fossil fuels, line loss in power transmission, longer wait times once more people become EV owners, a lifespan that’s realistically half of an ICE powered vehicle. I’m not afraid to spend more than a cars worth to fix a car but I like what I drive. What would you do when your 10 year old Tesla needs a $22,000 battery and your touchscreen is broken and no longer available? I suspect a beater with a heater will be worth more than a EV with a dead battery. As for the MPGe , maybe their doing this to make people believe EV’s can go further than they think. As you said everyone knows all cars have a bigger than 4 gallon gas tank. Right?

    • Hi Landru

      I just took out of storage and put back on the road a 1980 Porsche 924 turbo, it is almost totally analog, it has cis mechanical fuel injection with one computer running it, manual steering rack, no electronic nanny helpers, if you make a mistake you crash, you drive the car computers don’t.

      It has no rust Porsches were galvanized since 1970, it runs perfectly but it is 42 years old, it is a high quality, well engineered vehicle, built like a tank. it wasn’t a cheap car, in 2022 dollars it cost about $85,000.

      This is better then an EV that could be worthless after 10 years because the battery is dead.

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