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  Reply # 1600511 29-Jul-2016 08:34
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MikeB4: We had more stuff disappear in transit with rail than we ever did by road. The goods yards did more sales than Trademe does now.

 

Yeah...the bad old days of NZ Rail. 

 

So no freight service can EVER be any good.....except that isn't true. 

 

Associating a transport mode with past mis-management is fun, but not accurate. Or we'd see FedEx, CourierPost, NZ Couriers and all the rest holding "stuff" sale at their depots.

 

We don't see that. For very good reasons.

 

There is no reason to assume a properly managed set of private transport operators on a public rail system (like truck companies on public roads now) would necessarily be corrupt and theiving.  Scanning and barcodes introduced much tighter accountability. 

 

I appreciate I'm arguing a case against the status quo. That's always going to draw flack from people who just can't see it being any other way.....except the way things are now is a relatively recent development and it will change again...and again...over time. 

 

Each time someone will say it's not realistic....that's old news. Ever thus. 

 

I am fascinated that overriding health issues (for me) are overlooked by most commenters. Doesn't even register.  





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  Reply # 1600514 29-Jul-2016 08:39
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MikeB4: We had more stuff disappear in transit with rail than we ever did by road. The goods yards did more sales than Trademe does now.


You could make the same analogy about the docks. That doesn't happen anymore so why would it happen with rail? Is there something on the rails that is inherently corrupt? Is the solution to crime removing all rails and trains?

Correlation is not causation.

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  Reply # 1600518 29-Jul-2016 08:48
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Linuxluver:

 

MikeB4: We had more stuff disappear in transit with rail than we ever did by road. The goods yards did more sales than Trademe does now.

 

Yeah...the bad old days of NZ Rail. 

 

So no freight service can EVER be any good.....except that isn't true. 

 

Associating a transport mode with past mis-management is fun, but not accurate. Or we'd see FedEx, CourierPost, NZ Couriers and all the rest holding "stuff" sale at their depots.

 

We don't see that. For very good reasons.

 

There is no reason to assume a properly managed set of private transport operators on a public rail system (like truck companies on public roads now) would necessarily be corrupt and theiving.  Scanning and barcodes introduced much tighter accountability. 

 

I appreciate I'm arguing a case against the status quo. That's always going to draw flack from people who just can't see it being any other way.....except the way things are now is a relatively recent development and it will change again...and again...over time. 

 

Each time someone will say it's not realistic....that's old news. Ever thus. 

 

I am fascinated that overriding health issues (for me) are overlooked by most commenters. Doesn't even register.  

 

 

 

 

I absolutely agree that the internal combustion engine is nearing end of life not for only heath reason but for planetary health. However I do not believe plug in EV or Hybrid EV is the answer in the long term. These simply replace where the damaging energy production is done.

 

The long term is HFC vehicles, these have very low impact on the environment mainly from the elephant in the room, batteries, but these impacts are very much a reduced risk and impact, as the technology evolves they will be even better.

 

When it comes to NZ Rail I get vietnam type flash backs of lost stock, lost wagons, lost trains and damaged goods by the wagon load due to stupid shunting practices and of course "shrinkage".





Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 It's our only home, lets clean it up then...

 

Take My Advice, Pull Down Your Pants And Slide On The Ice!

 

 


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  Reply # 1600737 29-Jul-2016 12:00
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Linuxluver:

Once upon a time most freight in NZ moved by rail. Then, in 1983 or 1984 Minister of Transport in Muldoon's last Cabinet, Tony Friedlander (of the Friedlander trucking company) removed the 150km limitation on truck transport.

This unleashed large trucks onto the formerly mainly car bearing highways of New Zealand. The National Party has ever since been the tool of the trucking lobby.

If we were to electrify the main trunk line ( as was the plan until National killed it) we could then very happily operate a more competitive rail system, with the track being used by several freight operators, feeding electric heavy trucks for local distribution. Basically the same model NZ operated on for 50 years, except the state needn't have a monopoly on rail operators on the state-owned electrified rail "highway". Electric trains have been pulling heavy freight across all manner of terrain around the world for ages.

No diesel and no need for diesel.


 

The NZ rail system pre 1983 ran on Diesel.

 

The word range is absent from the article on the merc heavy EV and the merc representative refers to it's use for Urban distribution with a mass of 26 tonnes.  That about half of the larger trucks used on our roads as long distance line haulers.

 

Post diesel how is freight getting into Nelson? Camels or sailing ships?

 

The cables, for the increased electrification of our rail network, how are the ores being mined? 

 

How are the cables being transported? 

 

How are the vehicles that are used in the electrification work being powered?

 

How does freight get across cook straight?  How are sub-sea cables maintained?

 

If you think diesel is bad wait until you meet its uncouth seafaring cousin Heavy Fuel Oil.   Burned 24/7 at an urban port near you ...

 

 

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1600770 29-Jul-2016 13:20
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You can pry my diesel BMW out of my cold dead hands. I love it, and would buy another tomorrow. 

 

Our next purchase will be a Diesel SUV for my wife. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1600772 29-Jul-2016 13:26
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Just to add to the comments on heavy moving options, I guess you have seen WrightSpeed, this is what the Wellington Trolleys are been repowered with obviously its a bit of battery and a bit of landfill gas to spin the gas turbine.

 

Here is a link to the first refit prototype.

 

I think Go Welly are talking about feeding the turbines on Diesel, but they can be fed on a large range of gas supplies including landfill gas which the council currently harvest at Happy Valley and feed a gen set thats sited next to the recycling area.

 

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  Reply # 1600960 29-Jul-2016 18:01
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I'm thinking what it cost to electrify the main trunk rail line from Paraparaumu to Waikanae, that's 7.2 kilometres by road, and how long it took, and the equipment it took.

 

$90million and 3 years... Fair enough, they had to double track for 30 kms...   

 

Add another $135million if they wanted electric trains as far north as Otaki (15.2kms by road). 

 

So, roughly, 10 million per Kilometre... 

 

That was a few years ago.

 

I Imagine it would cost a lot more now.

 

I also wonder how much diesel was used during all these works.

 

 

 

Now think about electrifying from Waikanae to Palmy, New Plymouth, Napier, Welly to Masterton... And that's just the Lower NI. 

 

If the decent, freight-moving locos could use the same power as passenger trains.

 

 

 

The main trunk line is 682kms... All those off-shoots...

 

 

 

Imagine the freight costs to recover all that.

 

Edit: According to wikipedia, there's 4,128 km of rail line in NZ, 2,328 is freight only. And only 589k is electrified, obviously most is for passengers.

 

I'm glad I'm not paying.

 

 


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  Reply # 1601052 29-Jul-2016 21:01
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raytaylor:

MikeB4:


A Tesla has 7,000 batteries how many would be required to power a rig the size of a Freightliner  or Kenworth? Our fleet of cars is around 800,000 now in any ones thinking that is a lot of batteries. Then there is things like tractors, military vehicles, construction vehicles, Aircraft and so on.


the figures required just for our little piece of paradise is staggering. I do not think the current thinking on electric vehicles is the answer.



You have got me thinking


Electricity is the answer. But batteries only get us so far.


There is a company in europe that is testing a road made of solar cells, with a chipseal-like plastic surface over the top. They say they are more durable and designed with better grip than actual sealed roads, and can supply power to the national grid for nearby homes.



https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=obS6TUVSZds

"Solar Roadways Are bull#*#*"

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  Reply # 1601146 30-Jul-2016 00:40
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Linuxluver:

 

All good information, Scott. But the picture is evolving rapidly. 

What you assert isn't feasible today is close to being feasible as heavy truck and bus makers announce new, powerful electric options for moving heavy stuff. 

Think 5 years out. Planning for yesterday is always too little and too late. 

 

 

Poor air quality, and associated health effects are an issue now. Why wait 5 years to do something about it?

 

That said, in Auckland we are sandwiched between two ocean's, and are considered a "windy city" by international standards. Despite fairly high per capital emissions, we don't have air quality issues like say Los Angeles. As such, we don't really need to be a world leader in this area. Following proven overseas air quality improvement policy will give us much clearer air than the cities we use as case studies.

 

 

 

The issue with the diesel / petrol debate is as follows: Diesel engines are much more efficient, and as such emit much less CO2 than petrol engines, however they emit much more other nastier such as fine particulates, and oxides of sulfur and nitrogen. It appears this difference is more dramatic in the real world than in the lab.

 

In regards to light vehicles the late 1990's Europe decided to follow an aggressive pro diesel path, with a view to lowering CO2 emissions. Turns out the expected greenhouse gas savings were overstated, and far outweighed by the issues caused by other pollutants. (source)

 

Essentially Europe unknowingly traded slightly better CO2 emissions for much worse urban air quality. Europe now see's this as a mistake, Paris is considering banning diesel cars by 2020.

 

NZ got kind of lucky that our RUC system unintentionally gave a strong tax advantage for petrol fuel to be used in small cars. Although it favored diesel fuel in the large SUV, ute, and van categories, we have really dodged a bullet here. We should not make Europe's mistake in regards to strong tax incentives to go diesel.

 

 

 

In regards to heavy vehicles we should be cautious that a banning of diesel just cause a shift to less efficient engines burning other fossil fuels. (like for example the box truck below, which runs a 6.8L V10 petrol engine)

 

 

With heavy vehicles there is more space for emissions control systems (such as urea exhaust treatment), and they make up a proportionally smaller cost of the vehicle compared to light vehicles.

 

A strict testing program could yield much improved heavy vehicle emissions, without putting a large extra CO2 load on the environment, by forcing petrol engines into our heavy fleet.

 

 

 

Another complicating factor is that, in the quest for lower fuel use and CO2 emissions, modern petrol engines are becoming more like diesel engines. Some even use diesel style direct injection, to allow higher compression ratios and hence efficiency and performance from the engine. Quite a shock to see a brand new petrol car let out a puff of black smoke as it pulls a trailer out of a steep driveway. Last month VW announced it was going to add particulate filters to some of its petrol models.

 

 

 

In regards to trying too pick technology winners five years in advance, politicians are notorious for getting this wrong. Remember how long hydrogen car's were 3-5 years away... and now that they are available (in California anyway), they are dogs compared to other low emissions options.

 

We should set current policy based on current technology. Future requirements (such as average fleet fuel maximum emissions requirements) should be set on a technology natural basis. In NZ we are so small that vehicle manufactures won't develop special products to meet our needs, we can only pick from what is available.

 

 

 

In regards to electric heavy trucks being 5 years away, it will take a lot longer than five years from announcement to technology going mainstream. Even if the world did ban other trucks, it would take a long time for battery manufacturing companies to build many more new plants to build all the batteries.

 

With the really heavy trucks (i.e. log trucks, concrete mixers, tankers etc), electric is going to be a really hard sell. These trucks operate at maximum weight limits set by road controlling authorities. Batteries are really heavy. The extra weight of the batteries (above that of the diesel version) comes straight off your payload. For the Merc truck you posted, this has 212kWh or around 2 tonne of batteries. This means you would need 7% more trucks on the road to do the same job.

 

One of the main reasons many trucks don't carry spare tires anymore, is so they can sell the weight of the spare tires (and truck size jacks / breaker bars etc) to their customer as increased payload.


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  Reply # 1601148 30-Jul-2016 01:51
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MadEngineer:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=obS6TUVSZds

"Solar Roadways Are bull#*#*"

 

 

 

I was going to say you had to show me that and ruin a good thing.

 

I watched the video and he seems to gloss over a few things.

 

1) Power production would be maintained with road cleaning just like they are now except they could probably just blast the surface with air and clean it effectively.

 

2) LED light wastage. I think practical useage would be to continue painting lines under the surface rather than running LEDs during the day. He also seems to be calculating using a very high wattage LED.

 

3) LED light viewing angle. The surface is 15mm+ thick. There is enough space in there to tilt an LED so it is aimed at oncoming traffic. We have solar powered catseyes in hawkes bay now - just like solar garden lights in a catseye formfactor and they work really really well - and I would assume they consume less than 0.1 watts.

 

4) Grid connection is possible. The number of microinverters wouldnt need to be as many as he says - each micro inverter could do up to 500 watts or more depending upon the design.
Cable efficiency is another concern he seems to have. He mentions that they will run at 110 or 240v when in fact they could connect to a 400v Bus and sync the AC cycles. AC is very easy to raise and lower the voltage for increased efficiency.

 

5) There isnt much networking that really needs to be done. Down that same bus, they can send data which is decoded to switch on and off certain LED signs. Specific tiles can be used - one might be solar only, one might form part of a sign and cost slightly more when needed. If there is a sign that needs to be switched on and off it can be controlled by sending a data signal down the bus just like your hot water control at home.

 

6) Heating is going to be more difficult, and only needed for a few select areas. In those areas, they may want to use a dual bus system so there are increased efficencies (less amps per bus) and power can be bought in from down the road further to heat the units for a few hours each day as required.

 

Networking - I dont think each unit needs to be networked - rather they can be grouped together and save on repeating components on each cell.





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For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here




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  Reply # 1601213 30-Jul-2016 09:39
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its all fun and games until someone drops a ceramic mug on your glass road.

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  Reply # 1601247 30-Jul-2016 10:46
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I'm confused.

 

Diesel is worse than petrol.  Then diesel is better than petrol.  Then other unrelated claims diesel worse.  Electric vehicles are better for the environment, but maybe actually worse based on what goes into making them.  But maybe not because.. you know, they're electric powered not fuel powered I think it went.  The government paid for something, and should handwavingly pay for more.

 

I always get confused in these make the world a better place things.  The facts waved about seem to be loosely alluded to, and when challenged, the challenge is pretty much ignored.  Then claims the government will make it some arbitrary thing happen through more money, without acknowledgement that we are the government's primary stakeholders and fund it.

 

Is diesel worse than petrol?  Are electric cars better or worse for the environment?  Do electric cars contain conflict minerals where the cost has been shifted from "the environment" to naive pygmies in the congo or something?

 

 


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  Reply # 1601465 30-Jul-2016 22:02
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There is an economic principal, called the tragity of the commons. In the context of air quality, the "commons" is the air shed. Basically, as a driver of a car, you are unaffected by your own emissions,  (tailpipe is at the back of the car for a reason), but you do care about the emissions of the other cars on the road.

 

The result of a "Tragity of the commons" is that the "commons" gets thrashed. The role of the government is to step in and tax or regulate the issue to protect the commons for all people.

 

I don't think anything I have proposed places excessive cost on government/taxpayer. For example LA style smog check as part of WOF, would be fairly low cheap in comparison to the costs of running a car, and would be born by the car owners (those who gain benefit from the emissions).

 

 

 

In regards to fuel types:

 

 

 

Electric: Environmentally (and air quality wise) this is hands down the best option, Especially given the NZ power grid is unusually clean. The main headline material in Electric cars is Lithium, as mineral extraction goes, Lithium is common and easy. (any photos of massive open cast "Lithium" mines are mislabeled). Some Electric vehicles (i.e. nissan leaf) have permanent magnets containing rare earth materiel, Others (i.e. Tesla) do not use any. I don't see this as a particular issue. Rare earth magnets are common in things like hard disks, and petrol car's catalytic converters too.

 

 

 

Petrol/Diesel: Petrol is better for local air quality, but diesel is better for minimizing greenhouse gasses.

 

Note that diesel fumes are also classified as carcinogenic by the world health organisation.

 

It's only in the last couple of years the world has come to understand the real world implications on air quality of large numbers of diesel light vehicles.

 

The path forward is cloudy, but to me it seems the european (world leaders in diesel cars) light vehicle fleet will swing away from diesel cars towards petrol, Hybrid, Plug in Hybrid, and pure electric vehicles.

 

For heavy transport I don't really see moving away form diesel as feasible in the next five years. I see diesel fuel with greater emissions controls (i.e. particulate filters, urea exhaust treatment etc) as the most likely outcome here in NZ.


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  Reply # 1601470 30-Jul-2016 22:07
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I just want to add, my god how good is it to come back to NZ after a long stint overseas and breath our sweet sweet air!

 

When you're overseas you notice the poor air quality but you very quickly get over it, adjust and it's forgotten.  That is until you return home.  It is honestly quite an experience.


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  Reply # 1601477 30-Jul-2016 22:55
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Yes, NZ has pretty good air quality compared to many other international cities (especially those in third world countries)

 

I never really get used to it (I spend a bit of time in Manila, although I haven't been for more than a few weeks). The combination of hot weather and fumes, meant I would feel filthy after being out a few hours. If I had the opportunity I would shower and change my clothes more than once a day. (of course the real damage is done via lungs, not via skin.)

 

 

 

It does raise the question of how good, is good enough? Nobody likes undue regulations imposing costs on them or getting in the way of their affairs.

 

 

 

While the impact of air quality in Auckland pales in comparison to say Beijing, or Manila, it is still quite high.

 

Auckland council commissioned research found the following:

 

  •  

    The social cost from air pollution in Auckland is estimated to be $1.07 billion per year

     

  •  

     

     

    Around 300 premature deaths in Auckland occur each year due to air pollution

     

(Link)

 

 

 

 


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