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Topic # 198593 15-Jul-2016 11:11
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There was a comment made in the Nissan Leaf thread yesterday that reminded me to ask this question.  I didn't want to take that thread off topic so here we go with a new topic.  This is a genuine question BTW, I'm not trying to stir any one up or become a conspiracy theorist...

 

Linuxluver:

 

Again...this is a thing you would do now to lower your emissions....and slow down climate change by just that wee, tiny bit. Together, they all add up. Just as failing to do anything also adds up...and that side of the ledger is adding up MUCH faster 

 

As in other comments, the awareness of this reason for going EV now is abysmally low. Yes, it may be a bit different and a few more dollars......but you can virtually eliminate your share of car-produced CO2 emissions immediately.

 

 

I have done zero research and don't even know a lot about electricity generation in NZ, but its often quoted that about 30% of AKL's power comes from fossil fuels then about 40% from Geothermal.  I do know geothermal also contributes to climate change but haven’t seen any good data on how significant that might be. There would also be things like conversion and transmission losses that suggest to me that in AKL an EV might not actually be much better than a modern economical fossil powered vehicle in terms of climate change or CO emissions. Especially if you compared to say something like a diesel turbo hybrid.

 

So do any of the experts here have a better understanding of how it all looks at the bottom line if you consider as many factors as you can. This is purely for my own curiosity, I’m looking for a new car soon and was considering mostly hybrids.


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  Reply # 1592996 15-Jul-2016 11:15
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Have a look at this NZ based study

 

"EECA General Manager Transport Liz Yeaman says that EVs outperform petrol and diesel cars particularly well in regard to carbon emissions. Across the lifecycle, pure EVs have around 60% fewer CO2 emissions than petrol vehicles. When we just look at the CO2 emissions from use, New Zealand’s high proportion of renewable electricity generation means EVs have around 80% fewer CO2 emissions when driven in New Zealand.

 

“As the renewable proportion of New Zealand’s electricity continues to grow, the CO2 emissions from an EV will reduce further.”

 

https://www.eeca.govt.nz/news-and-events/media-releases/research-confirms-environmental-benefits-of-electric-vehicles/

 

https://www.eeca.govt.nz/assets/Resources-EECA/ev-lca-exec-summary-nov-2015.pdf

 

https://www.eeca.govt.nz/assets/Resources-EECA/ev-lca-final-report-nov-2015.pdf

 

 




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  Reply # 1593059 15-Jul-2016 12:20
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Thanks, It looks like I have some heavy reading to do...  I just had a quick look over and see there may be one reason that that report doesn't quite satisfy what I was asking.   It has been based on 80% of the electricity being renewable.  I don't think that reflects AKL well? 

 

I didn't see anything specific to city's in my brief look.


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  Reply # 1593074 15-Jul-2016 12:42
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Have a look at this site: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.php

 

There you can look at US states and how they perform. As you see, even with the national average of more than 33% coal, and about 33% gas (so in total about 66% with fairly high CO2 levels for electricity production), the EVs produce a lot less CO2 than traditional cars.







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  Reply # 1593215 15-Jul-2016 15:24
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jarledb:

 

Have a look at this site: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.php

 

 

Thanks, That's a really good site and I like the way they data is presented on there.  It certainly looks like EV is a good choice for NZ although probably not as green as many make out in AKL.  Interestingly it looks like with a generation mix like we have in AKL the difference in emissions between Hybrid and EV is quite small too.  I think for me it will still be a hybrid of some sort.

 

 


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  Reply # 1593227 15-Jul-2016 15:53
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Adamww:

 

 

 

Thanks, That's a really good site and I like the way they data is presented on there.  It certainly looks like EV is a good choice for NZ although probably not as green as many make out in AKL.  Interestingly it looks like with a generation mix like we have in AKL the difference in emissions between Hybrid and EV is quite small too.  I think for me it will still be a hybrid of some sort.

 

 

If you look at the numbers, you will see that an EV has 24% less CO2 emissions (with a fairly high CO2 level for electricity production) compared to a Hybrid. Look at the numbers and compare them, not just how the graphs. :)

 

At the moment Chargeable Hybrids are probably the way to go in NZ. Especially if you do a lot of commuting in rush traffic.

 

But in a not too distant future you will have EVs with enough range and at fairly affordable prices that you won't need a traditional engine. The distribution of electricity are far superior to dealing with gas powered cars.

 

If NZ had the same incentives for electric cars as Norway, I would have a Tesla already and would not have a problem traveling between Napier where I live and Wellington or Auckland.

 

To me, this is whats keeping me from getting an EV today:

 

1) I have a fairly modern car already that I am happy with, there will be an economical hit by changing to an EV.

 

2) I wouldn't easily travel outside of Napier with an electric car today, because of the lack of a fast charger network.

 

3) Tesla does not currently have a service centre in New Zealand, having a car in NZ that has to be serviced in Australia is not something I am ready to do.

 

4) Compared to Norwegian prices, the Tesla Model S is too expensive in NZ.

 

 

 

I would expect Tesla to establish in New Zealand sometime between 2017 and 2018, coinsiding with the launch of the Model 3, which should retail from around $50,000 NZD and will be a more interesting proposition than the Model S that retails for around $140,000 NZD.





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  Reply # 1593229 15-Jul-2016 15:57
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Adamww:

 

Thanks, It looks like I have some heavy reading to do...  I just had a quick look over and see there may be one reason that that report doesn't quite satisfy what I was asking.   It has been based on 80% of the electricity being renewable.  I don't think that reflects AKL well? 

 

 

Auckland gets its power from the National Grid, its the grid's renewable share that counts not what power stations are close to Auckland.

 

Thats why Meridian energy no longer advertise that they provide their customers with 100% renewable energy, because once the power goes into the grid you cannot track where the specific electrons go....


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  Reply # 1593234 15-Jul-2016 16:19
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jarledb:

 

I would expect Tesla to establish in New Zealand sometime between 2017 and 2018, coinsiding with the launch of the Model 3, which should retail from around $50,000 NZD and will be a more interesting proposition than the Model S that retails for around $140,000 NZD.

 

 

Not trying to rain on your parade, but RHD 3s are not expected until at least 2018,

 

Also I will buy you a beer if you can get a 3 for under 60K in NZ,

 

[Based on other brands EV pricing  in NZ compared to Northern Hemishpere prices,]

 

The New Zoe retails in the UK for around 25K quid with Battery (exc incentives) in NZ Renault want 65K NZD.

 

Nissan's leaf retails for around 28K USD in japan (exc incentives ) Nissan wanted over 60K NZD[ before they imported a big bunch of old gen 1's, dumped the price, and then gave up selling them]

 

I would not expect a Telsa 3 for less than 70K and it will probably turn up in NZ in late 2018/19 at the earliest,


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  Reply # 1593272 15-Jul-2016 17:48
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In assessing how green they are, it's not just a case of weighing up electric cost/emissions against petrol cost/emissions, you also have to consider manufacturing impacts. I don't know much about lithium, but nickel refining for the older style batteries was certainly very non-green.

 

The 30%/40% etc split of where NZ's power comes from on average isn't the right analysis. It is where the marginal unit of power comes from that matters.

 

If for instance, you are charging at peak times when the grid is fully loaded and the coal/gas plants are running, then the correct metric is to treat the entirety of the charge as coming from fossil as, at the margin, that's where it's coming from. If you are charging late at night and the coal/gas plants aren't running because base-loaded hydro/wind/geothermal are entirely meeting load, then the correct metric is to treat the entirety of the charge as coming from renewable sources.


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  Reply # 1593319 15-Jul-2016 19:20
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Adamww:

 

 

 

So do any of the experts here have a better understanding of how it all looks at the bottom line if you consider as many factors as you can. This is purely for my own curiosity, I’m looking for a new car soon and was considering mostly hybrids.

 

 

Others have answered your questions well so I'll just add some additional points to consider. 

 

Diesel vehicles emit a wide variety of carncinogens in their exhaust.  This is one of the reasons it is difficult to 'clean' their emissions and one of the reasons why diesel, though cheaper, is falling out of favour for private cars as a fuel. CO2 aside, it's just too dirty.  

 

Energy efficiency is also relevant. An EV car is roughly 90% efficient in terms of converting energy into forward motion. Some are even higher. Whereas a petrol car is about 30%-45% efficient (kW to kW) in doing the same thing. 

 

Maintenance costs are also a big factor. An EV is basically the batteries, the electric motor, and the controller that sits between the two. There are no explosions, no pistons needing lubricating, no gaskets to be blown, no spark plugs, air filter or oil filter. There is just a lot less that can go wrong in an EV vs an ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle.

 

Cost of "fuel" is also much lower for an EV. Charging at home works out at being equivalent to 30 cents / litre for fuel.  

 

When you add all this up, existing EVs do cost more to purchase, but they cost a lot less to operate and maintain over time. Those EECA links already posted put meat on those bones.

 

The other element to bear in mind is that NZ imports virtually all its automotive fuel.  Driving an EV eradicates your portion of that import cost. You're actually helping to improve the balance of trade...and collectively we are adding strength to our NZ dollar and thus giving ourselves a pay rise when buying imports.

 

Add it all up. The case for going EV is strong.    

 

  

 

 





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  Reply # 1593325 15-Jul-2016 19:30
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JimmyH:

 

In assessing how green they are, it's not just a case of weighing up electric cost/emissions against petrol cost/emissions, you also have to consider manufacturing impacts. I don't know much about lithium, but nickel refining for the older style batteries was certainly very non-green.

 

The 30%/40% etc split of where NZ's power comes from on average isn't the right analysis. It is where the marginal unit of power comes from that matters.

 

If for instance, you are charging at peak times when the grid is fully loaded and the coal/gas plants are running, then the correct metric is to treat the entirety of the charge as coming from fossil as, at the margin, that's where it's coming from. If you are charging late at night and the coal/gas plants aren't running because base-loaded hydro/wind/geothermal are entirely meeting load, then the correct metric is to treat the entirety of the charge as coming from renewable sources.

 

 

We can split those hairs all day long. You're right in saying that charging at night is the best way to ensure ALL the power used is renewable. But I don't buy it that charging any other time means all power comes from fossil fuels. My oil column heater and lights definitely get some of the blame, too. Picking on EVs alone makes no sense.....unless the intention is to pick on EVs alone. 

 

Either way, the figure of 80% renewable electricity is relevant. An ICE (petrol) car produces 2.14kg of CO2 per litre. An EV produces zero.

 

Emissions aside, electricity is intrinsically local to NZ, so we don't waste money importing it, as we do with automotive fuel. This is also a powerful reason to stop using fossil fuels for transportation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





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