Electric Motorcycle Armchair Engineers Discussion Thread. Truths, Half-truths, and Myths.

Discussion in 'Electric Motorcycles' started by T.S.Zarathustra, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. ctromley

    ctromley Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    988
    Location:
    PA
    Um, Wow. First off, your basic assertion is a lie. There is no one with half a brain in their head who would assume or state that EVs have no pollution. Where the hell are you getting that? Who is so stupid or ignorant to make such an idiotic assertion?
    Your assumption (which has made an ass of you (American joke)) is utterly baseless. The phrase "Zero Emissions" was not dreamt up by any car company, it came from the California Air Resources Board (CARB). California, particularly southern California, and very specifically Los Angeles (where I'm from originally) is more car- and motorcycle-crazy than just about any other place on the planet. And L.A. has an unfortunate geological structure and location that caused the Native Americans to call it the "Valley of the Smokes" long before civilization arrived. So pack it full of smog-belching cars and throw in a thermal inversion (Google it) and it becomes hell for human habitation. Ask me how I know. (Glad you asked - I spent several years as a messenger, driving 40k miles a year in L.A. traffic.)

    CARB came along in the '60s and started mandating more severe restrictions on pollution from vehicles than other states did. California is such a huge portion of the global automotive market that CARB had the leverage to force compliance with their standards. Later they upped the ante with the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandate, that required a certain proportion of any manufacturer's vehicles sold in the state to be Zero Emission. (Hence the name "compliance car" - a vehicle the manufacturer doesn't want to make, which only exists to allow them to sell gas cars in the state, and which will disappear in a heartbeat if the regulations ever change - which the OEMs are constantly trying to do.) The ZEV mandate was a huge influence in putting modern EVs on the road.

    CARB is all about air quality. For vehicles all they care about is tailpipe emissions. (Power plants are a different division.) CARB and the ZEV mandate have been in the news in California (and the several other US states that have adopted their standards) and among clean vehicle proponents everywhere for decades. So people know what ZEV means.

    As tech evolved the ZEV mandate evolved, grew, and branched out. Now there are different categories with different requirements (BEV, hybrid, etc.), something called ZEV Credits, I've even seen an ICE (not hybrid) with some sort of ZEV badge on it. (Don't even want to know the logic behind that.) The bottom line here was to qualify to get the ZEV badge, which is what the eco-conscious buyers were looking for. (Now EVs have enough of an identity of their own that many don't wear the ZEV badge. But the terminology remains.)

    Marketing rule #1: Don't confuse your customer. If clean vehicles already have a name the customers know and understand, don't try to change it - roll with it. THAT'S what that badge on the Nissan means. It can't mean anything else. There's too much history to unlearn. Even if you're coming to clean vehicles as a complete noob, you learn pretty much on day one that "Zero Emissions" refers to tailpipe emissions.

    That is, unless you're an EV hater, and your goal is to exploit every case of semantic imprecision to the detriment of EVs.
    When liberpolly called you on that statement you gave a snarky response and a table from a Wikipedia entry. If you look up the source of that table you find it's from a study dated 2008. The only EV available in 2008 was the just-released Tesla Roadster. All the numbers in that table were estimates - about an industry that essentially didn't exist yet. How far has that industry advanced and changed in 11 years? Think those estimates might do well with some revisions?

    Try again. Maybe you could cite a source that has some basis in reality.
    Eight years is by far the norm for pack warranties. Mine has a 10 year warranty. No matter, because warranties are not the point you're trying to make them be. You seem to think there's a countdown clock in every pack that goes "Pack death in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Pack is now dead."

    No. Capacity degrades slowly. When it reaches the completely arbitrary 80% (typical) it still has plenty of range for many applications. The warranty period has far more to do with the manufacturer's understanding of their own tech and comfort with warranty risk than when pack capacity becomes an issue for users. There are going to be a very large number of packs that go WAY beyond the warranty period with no perceivable degradation of capacity, with very happy owners. When capacity does degrade too much, even out of warranty, it can easily be nothing more than a single marginal cell or even a corroded connection. Depending on the manufacturer, it can be an easy repair. There are already several companies that do this, and there's a thriving market for Leaf and Volt cells (new or used), the most popular brands. (You could even do cell replacements in a Tesla, which are cemented in place, though I suspect Tesla would detect that and brick the car. Such is life with a high-end EV.)
    If you're going to discuss the lifecycle of power-producing equipment, where did you include the piles of scrap petroleum, coal and gas extraction and processing equipment? Care to guess how that pile would compare to your photo of turbine blades? Before you respond, get a sense of the stupefying variety of equipment involved.
    Seriously? You're worried about connectors? CONNECTORS?? As for the "too many standard layouts," just remove the the whole pack from the car, including bottom shield, and bolt it to a wall. Done. BTW, this is not recycling. It's re-purposing.
    Obviously false, and already covered. 80% of original capacity, or even 50%, is still a lot. Most cells in a pack will likely be stronger than that. You're doing an inspection, status check and at least a light refresh anyway before putting the pack into different service, so stuff like that gets spotted as part of the process. It's very likely there will be automated equipment to measure cell capacity, so the user can put a used/refreshed pack into service knowing exactly what its health and capacity is.
    When a lead acid cell is dead, it's dead. No capacity, won't charge. And almost always, the dead cell is not accessible within a battery made up of several cells. Lithium has a much longer life than lead acid to begin with, so less maintenance for powerwalls. Also keep in mind that EVs haven't been around long enough to generate enough tired packs to feed the re-purposed powerwall industry. So all of this is necessarily speculation on an industry that does not exist because there is no supply yet. There is zero reason to speculate on how impractical it might be, when none of this needs to be hard. It's all actually pretty straightforward.

    When the powerwall market gets some legs, the cost of repairing or replacing an EV pack will be mitigated significantly. There will be demand for used packs, and there will be many companies out there willing to work on your pack. Today even dealers won't touch your pack. That will change - pack repair will be as common as buying a rebuilt alternator or fixing a transmission today.

    There will be failed lithium cells, and I agree that they should be recycled. But there isn't enough of a market for that either yet. Hopefully that market rises with powerwalls.

    To be honest, for someone who is supposedly interested in EMs, it seems you work very hard at pointing out concerns, valid or not, about the viability of EVs in general. Not sure why, but understand that a contrarian necessarily gives up some credibility when their position is predictable going in. Try surprising us. There's a good side to EVs too.
    MJSfoto1956 likes this.
  2. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,910
    Location:
    Seattle
    wheresbaoskee and MJSfoto1956 like this.
  3. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2018
    Oddometer:
    336
    Location:
    Noord Holland
    LOL. That's what I did, so feel free.
    I hope these guys have a nice day, even if they missed the "2015 model vehicle". :D

    Screen Shot 2019-08-12 at 19.42.51b.png
    Mambo Dave likes this.
  4. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave I cannot abide.

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    19,481
    Location:
    11 ft. AMSL
    You got me feeling bad that I just bought a 2019 Prius. But... I'm saving fuel costs (and maintenance costs - it's not only super-economical in one area), so the environment can suck it!

    :D
    T.S.Zarathustra likes this.
  5. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,910
    Location:
    Seattle
    A report published in 2011 about what they think would be a 2015 model vehicle. That's your claim?

    Look, I'llt ry reasoning with you one more time. The only major part that inherently needs emitting carbon in vehicle production is the steel - adding coal to peel oxygen from the iron is an essential part of the technology. Everything else, aluminum, copper, lithium, plastics, etc. can be produced using electricity. Electricity to produce and charge the vehicles can be produced without emitting carbon - by nuclear power stations, solar, etc. So while you're trying to make an impression that electric vehicles *inherently* emit carbon, this is bullshit - the current processes that are emitting carbon exist *because* of historical reliance on fossil fuels, and are being rapidly replaced. Not rapidly enough, but still.
    diffis924 and wheresbaoskee like this.
  6. magnussonh

    magnussonh Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Iceland
    Don't forget that batteries lose more than just capacity when they get older, they also lose the capability to maintain voltage under load. Loss of capacity only means loss of range. Loss of voltage means loss of power.

    PS. I had to look up the word. By the way it has been used here I thought it meant something different. :D
    "Snarky is a witty mannerism, personality, or behavior that is a combination of sarcasm and cynicism. Usually accepted as a complimentary term."
    "Snarky is used to describe speech with a specific emotional tone, typically a form of sarcasm informed by cheekiness and a mild, playful irreverence."
    T.S.Zarathustra likes this.
  7. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2018
    Oddometer:
    336
    Location:
    Noord Holland
    Why would you feel bad about that? By the way, I have never said that electric cars, or hybrids, are bad for the environment. Just that they are not as good as some make them out to be. They pollute more when made, but pollute less while running. If you keep them running long enough, they'll pollute less than similar ICE.

    Here is a Paradox. If you keep one ICE running for much longer than another identical ICE. Then the one that runs longer will pollute more. But it will pollute less per mile than the one that ran shorter.

    Thank you for the praise. I also think they have different meaning in mind for that word. :lol3

    Do you have sources for that claim? Just kidding :jack.
    I had forgotten about that. Not only do your cells lose capacity and therefore range. They also drop the voltage under load, and as you point out, lose power. But it is even worse. The voltage drop is on top of effectively smaller capacity batteries. It's a double punch, your power will drop on top of your range reduction. Of course, if you drive slower your power loss will matter less, and your range will increase again. Maybe you're on to something.
    Mambo Dave likes this.
  8. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2018
    Oddometer:
    336
    Location:
    Noord Holland
    Hmm, these must be wrong then.
    "In 2011 direct (process) emissions of greenhouse gas (PFCs, carbon inputs, fuels) were 1.87 tonnes of CO2-e per tonne of aluminium."
    https://aluminium.org.au/climate-change/aluminium-smelting-greenhouse-performance/
    "Several tonnes of carbon dioxide are being released, even before electric batteries leave the factory."
    https://www.thegwpf.com/new-study-large-co2-emissions-from-batteries-of-electric-cars/
  9. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,910
    Location:
    Seattle
    From your own link:

    over 80 per cent of smelting greenhouse gas emissions are indirect (electricity-related) emissions
    From your second link:

    The calculation is based on the assumption that the electricity mix used by the battery plant is based by more than half by power generated by fossil fuels.
    Clear enough?
  10. magnussonh

    magnussonh Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Iceland
    Basically the only sources are the pile of textbooks I had to plow through to get my degree in electrical engineering. Here are some books that some people would gain something from reading. Some I had to study, other were recommended by my professors and colla as a way of widening my knowledge of the business.

    You are right in that less speed requires less power. So you can have lighter motors and fewer batteries. This leads to lighter vehicle that increase range. Alas, too many people are blinded by "Too much power is not enough" for that to actually work.
    diffis924 and T.S.Zarathustra like this.
  11. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,910
    Location:
    Seattle
    The problem is that if an electric motorcycle is too slow, it becomes a heavy electric bicycle, and its utility becomes severely limited.

    The weight also doesn't matter as much as it may seem to an electrical engineer :) At constant speed on even surface it doesn't matter at all; with the proliferation of smart regenerative braking, whatever you lose on assent and acceleration, you mostly gain on descent and deceleration. In the end, it becomes a rounding error compared to the weight of the rider and luggage.
  12. SteveAZ

    SteveAZ Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,097
    Location:
    AZ
    With the electric bike air resistance is by far the greatest impact on speed vs. efficiency

    I'll be it's pretty much the same with motos
    liberpolly likes this.
  13. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2018
    Oddometer:
    336
    Location:
    Noord Holland
    I've "ploughed through" 4 of those, and many similar. :-)

    You're right. Make the Tesla Model 3 ~ 110 hp instead of ~ 330. That should be enough for at least 80 mph, not much, but enough for all law abiding citizens. Motor and control unit weight could probably be cut in half, batteries probably by maybe 20%, so total weight of the car would drop quite a bit. Since most power is used when accelerating (as can be seen by cars having lower mileage in cities, even if average speed is lower than the highway), dropping the weight would increase the range close to the same as current car. It would also decrease rolling resistance from the tires. And, of course, it would decrease the pollution from building the car. Win, win and win. :D
  14. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,910
    Location:
    Seattle
    Tesla 3 motor weighs less than 100 lbs, battery weight is about 1/4th of the total car weight, so the overall reduction in weight will be what, 5%? Not worth it for Tesla to lose the market share.

    You people are really looking for gains in all the wrong places. The reason the electric motors on EVs are over-powered is to compensate for the missing transmission, which is, overall, a huge improvement in weight, efficiency, and reliability.
    Monkeyshines and MJSfoto1956 like this.
  15. magnussonh

    magnussonh Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 2, 2019
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Iceland
    Zarathustra has said that when you purchase new EV it has caused more pollution than comparable ICE. EV will make up for it by polluting less when being used. You are borrowing pollution against future cleaner EV running. That math works nicely as long as nothing happens.
    T.S.Zarathustra likes this.
  16. T.S.Zarathustra

    T.S.Zarathustra Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2018
    Oddometer:
    336
    Location:
    Noord Holland
    Nice way of putting it. Your return depends on how clean your energy sources are.
  17. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,910
    Location:
    Seattle
    But a lot of things are happening, and have happened since the math he relies on was done. The numbers from 2011 he used are not even nearly correct today, and will be even less relevant in the next 8 years.
    MJSfoto1956 likes this.
  18. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2015
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    California
    Not the case with my Zero SR: I only get back about 10 to 15% with regeneration. I think it's mostly due to the charger not being able to shunt the regen quickly enough due to its limited capacity.
    magnussonh likes this.
  19. WagonWillie

    WagonWillie Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2015
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    California
    Yeah, that's why this looks promising: https://newatlas.com/linear-labs-hunstable-electric-motor/60974/
  20. liberpolly

    liberpolly Nu, shoyn, nudnick!

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    4,910
    Location:
    Seattle
    Yeah, they need to up the ante here.