Speaking Efficiency - How we perceive efficiency in EVs?

ThumprMN

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That's such an important point! I found that a lot of my interviewees didn't understand the metrics in their EVs and how power was being consumed. Further, I think there' is a correlation between an individuals' understanding of energy metrics and range anxiety. I really want to dig further into this topic as well!

Back to your point about adding a monetary value to energy consumption in a vehicle. I feel that this could be a data collaboration opportunity for automotive and charging station manufacturers.
I bought a used 2016 VW eGolf as my first experiment with owning electric cars. I wanted to experience everything about owning, using, driving, and running an EV before I took on the Rivian because of exactly what you're researching. Until recently I had a variety of ICE cars and had instincts about range, fuel economy and how all the factors played into why they changed.

I live in a northern climate (Minnesota) and knew that cold can impact an elections cars range, but I've been surprised just how much temperature fluctuations have changed my range. I've also been surprised how directly running the AC or heater or electric seats has an impact. I always knew running the AC in my ICE car would impact mileage, but seeing it play out with my EV has caused me range anxiety.

I'm open to talking more about my experiences. I bought this short range EV just to find out answers to what you're researching.





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relatable info on BEV can only help to increase BEV adoption.
Travis,

I really appreciate your support and words of encouragement! I'm so glad to see that others see efficiency visualization as a huge issue as well. This may be because I'm so deeply invested in EV efficiency research, but I think the general public's understanding of energy use in EVs is one of the largest barriers to mass adoption!
 
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I bought a used 2016 VW eGolf as my first experiment with owning electric cars. I wanted to experience everything about owning, using, driving, and running an EV before I took on the Rivian because of exactly what you're researching. Until recently I had a variety of ICE cars and had instincts about range, fuel economy and how all the factors played into why they changed.

I live in a northern climate (Minnesota) and knew that cold can impact an elections cars range, but I've been surprised just how much temperature fluctuations have changed my range. I've also been surprised how directly running the AC or heater or electric seats has an impact. I always knew running the AC in my ICE car would impact mileage, but seeing it play out with my EV has caused me range anxiety.

I'm open to talking more about my experiences. I bought this short range EV just to find out answers to what you're researching.
As a Wisconsinite, I totally feel you with that midwest weather. I think it would be really interesting to segment some of my results by those who drive EV trucks or are towing using the ludicrous mode on Tesla.

To your point, this is fascinating and another huge barrier to adoption. I would love to talk to you all about your experience! I'll shoot a DM your way and lets chat!
 

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I have to say... I was expecting more efficiency when comparing to standard mpg. In the red, it looks like only 1/4 of the Tesla's was able to exceed the low 40s when comparing cost. I expected the cost for electricity vs gas to be skewed more in favor of electricity.
A few points:
1 - As others have pointed out, a *performance SUV that weighs almost 3 tons* pulling over 30mpg equivalent is incredible.
2 - It's not 1/4 of Teslas getting over 40mpg... it's 1/4 of *their* Teslas. Model S and Model 3 are way more efficient. (Yes, not directly relevant WRT Rivian...)
3 - If you have solar already paid for, the equivalent MPG via cost skyrockets. Can't produce gasoline on your roof.
 

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Here is how I view efficiency on four of my Teslas:
X P100DL
2016 X P100DL Blue Streak Efficiency.png

X 100D
2018 X 100D Noel Efficiency.png

X P90DL
Red Lighting.png

Y LR
Y Not.png
Great study which brings up the question of EV efficiency and the supposed positive effect on the environment. Your first example shows a phantom loss of 115 Wh/mile and charging inefficiency of 41 for a total of 156 which is 24% loss of the total 646 Wh/mile consumed. Given that the average line loss from electric transmission from the power plant to the end user is 22.5%, the total inefficiency is 46.5% for EVs. This is true for gas, oil or coal fired power plants. So it takes about twice as much of these fossil fuels to power an EV as it does with an ICE using the fuels directly. Hence twice as much green house gass. The exception would be nuclear and hydro, sorry wind and solar will not cut it. So my conclusion if we, the US, are going save the planet we need to build more nuclear powers plants and construct more dams. China, India, Africa, South America, Mexico, etc won't for anything and we will still be breathing their pollution. EV will work in Europe because their power grid is primarily nuclear. Canada had hydro everywhere, the refer to their power companies as Hydro. So this smoke and mirrors about EVs saving the planet is just that. I am buying a Rivian so that I can "blow away" my neighbors Vet and because I can, they are cool. Where am I wrong here?
 

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Great study which brings up the question of EV efficiency and the supposed positive effect on the environment. Your first example shows a phantom loss of 115 Wh/mile and charging inefficiency of 41 for a total of 156 which is 24% loss of the total 646 Wh/mile consumed. Given that the average line loss from electric transmission from the power plant to the end user is 22.5%, the total inefficiency is 46.5% for EVs. This is true for gas, oil or coal fired power plants. So it takes about twice as much of these fossil fuels to power an EV as it does with an ICE using the fuels directly. Hence twice as much green house gass. The exception would be nuclear and hydro, sorry wind and solar will not cut it. So my conclusion if we, the US, are going save the planet we need to build more nuclear powers plants and construct more dams. China, India, Africa, South America, Mexico, etc won't for anything and we will still be breathing their pollution. EV will work in Europe because their power grid is primarily nuclear. Canada had hydro everywhere, the refer to their power companies as Hydro. So this smoke and mirrors about EVs saving the planet is just that. I am buying a Rivian so that I can "blow away" my neighbors Vet and because I can, they are cool. Where am I wrong here?
A couple of points in reply (I am not an environmentalist, I also bought my Teslas for performance and tech, but expected some operating cost benefits):

- With all electricity consumption considered, the X still consumes much less energy than a performance ICE SUV
- You mention the energy loss to deliver electricity to the home, but don't factor in the energy consumed to take oil out of the ground, refine it, deliver it to gas stations and power the gas stations and their pumps.
- Each year, our grid is getting cleaner, so my X is "producing" LESS green house gases each year as it ages, while and ICE SUV becomes less efficient as it ages and produces more.

The difference between my Xs and an ICE SUV (I traded in a Range Rover when I got my first X) was not as great as expected, but it is still better. Plus, the tech and performance!
 
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Great study which brings up the question of EV efficiency and the supposed positive effect on the environment. Your first example shows a phantom loss of 115 Wh/mile and charging inefficiency of 41 for a total of 156 which is 24% loss of the total 646 Wh/mile consumed. Given that the average line loss from electric transmission from the power plant to the end user is 22.5%, the total inefficiency is 46.5% for EVs. This is true for gas, oil or coal fired power plants. So it takes about twice as much of these fossil fuels to power an EV as it does with an ICE using the fuels directly. Hence twice as much green house gass. The exception would be nuclear and hydro, sorry wind and solar will not cut it. So my conclusion if we, the US, are going save the planet we need to build more nuclear powers plants and construct more dams. China, India, Africa, South America, Mexico, etc won't for anything and we will still be breathing their pollution. EV will work in Europe because their power grid is primarily nuclear. Canada had hydro everywhere, the refer to their power companies as Hydro. So this smoke and mirrors about EVs saving the planet is just that. I am buying a Rivian so that I can "blow away" my neighbors Vet and because I can, they are cool. Where am I wrong here?
Don,

Really interesting point! While I totally agree with the current state of EVs being a sub-par substitute in terms of green energy, I think it's important to recognize patterns of innovation. Mass-market EVs are relatively new and have a lot of room for innovation. Just like gas-powered cars, as competition drives innovation, we will likely see more efficient vehicles that are net positive substitutes.

Also, I'm so glad you brought up hydrogen-powered vehicles! Fuel cell is such an interesting topic and one I'm trying to learn more about. If there's a way to integrate this into the automotive world while reducing risks, I would definitely agree with you on it being one of the most efficient sources of energy for transportation.
 

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A couple of points in reply (I am not an environmentalist, I also bought my Teslas for performance and tech, but expected some operating cost benefits):

- With all electricity consumption considered, the X still consumes much less energy than a performance ICE SUV
- You mention the energy loss to deliver electricity to the home, but don't factor in the energy consumed to take oil out of the ground, refine it, deliver it to gas stations and power the gas stations and their pumps.
- Each year, our grid is getting cleaner, so my X is "producing" LESS green house gases each year as it ages, while and ICE SUV becomes less efficient as it ages and produces more.

The difference between my Xs and an ICE SUV (I traded in a Range Rover when I got my first X) was not as great as expected, but it is still better. Plus, the tech and performance!
The energy to take it take to get the oil out of the ground, refine it and deliver it is the same if that oil goes to a power plant to produce electricity or to a gas station, the gas station slightly more. I was only making the point that EVs will not save the planet as advertised as long as there are other countries who continue to pollute. When you look at the entire supply chain to get the electricity to the house for charging the EV with its inefficiencies and then the 24% loss using the EV, it seems to me that EVs total green house gas production is greater that ICEs, unless you have nuclear or hydro electric power plants which produce almost zero green house gasses. My Travers will tow 6,000# and gets 26 mpg and at current gas prices costs a little under .09 per mile vs .078 in the first example, hardly worth the $30,000+ difference purchase price. So I don't believe that EVs are the environmental panacea and surely aren't cost effective especially the Rivian. Don't get me wrong, I am still going to buy a loaded Rivian because they are cool, no other reason.
 

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The energy to take it take to get the oil out of the ground, refine it and deliver it is the same if that oil goes to a power plant to produce electricity or to a gas station, the gas station slightly more.
This has been extensively researched. Here's a tool for looking at the relative "well to wheel" emissions of vehicles on a state by state basis ("Well-to-wheel emissions include all emissions related to fuel production, processing, distribution, and use").

You'll find that in every state, EVs and PHEVs emit less on a well to wheel basis than ICE vehicles. It's definitely a lot closer in states that get a substantial portion of their energy from coal, but even there, the EVs are a clear winner. And coal is dying. So this will only continue to skew further and further toward EVs in the future.

Meanwhile, in Seattle:

power_mix.png
 

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The energy to take it take to get the oil out of the ground, refine it and deliver it is the same if that oil goes to a power plant to produce electricity or to a gas station, the gas station slightly more. I was only making the point that EVs will not save the planet as advertised as long as there are other countries who continue to pollute. When you look at the entire supply chain to get the electricity to the house for charging the EV with its inefficiencies and then the 24% loss using the EV, it seems to me that EVs total green house gas production is greater that ICEs, unless you have nuclear or hydro electric power plants which produce almost zero green house gasses. My Travers will tow 6,000# and gets 26 mpg and at current gas prices costs a little under .09 per mile vs .078 in the first example, hardly worth the $30,000+ difference purchase price. So I don't believe that EVs are the environmental panacea and surely aren't cost effective especially the Rivian. Don't get me wrong, I am still going to buy a loaded Rivian because they are cool, no other reason.
You do realize that 99.9% of ICE cars use a fuel derived from oil, but only 0.4% of the electricity in the US is produced using oil. So the cost to drill, refine, ship and sell are not equal.

I’m sorry, but it is absurd to say that the green house gas emissions are more for the electricity to power EVs than the gas to power ICE vehicles. The US grid in 2019 was 20% nuclear and 18% renewable with trends strongly away from coal and oil towards renewables and natural gas.

The EV example you are using, one of my Xs, is the currently the largest EV available, so it is not representative of the overall EV ecosystem. That car has an average trip of 8.1 miles, so it would need to match up to ICEs at the city mpg and that vehicle has been used for towing 13% of the miles driven. The X will also do 0-60 in 2.8 sec and my driving style takes advantage of that.

Leaving in the towing and aggressive driving style of my X and just using your Traverse standard city mpg of 18mpg and $2.25/gal for gas, you get a cost per mile of $0.1278, which is 64% more than the $0.078 for the X.

So for the $30,000 you mention, you do get a much more efficient vehicle. But, you also get to drive an X with it’s performance and tech rather than a Traverse and it’s 0-60 in 7+ seconds.

One Rivian or Model X is not going to change anything regarding green house gases. But as I have coached my managers over the years, is to avoid the temptation to discard solutions that don’t provide immediate gratification. Complex issues require diverse solutions. Millions of EVs will produce less green house gases than millions of ICE vehicles. Each change to reduce the green house gasses produced by the grid, immediately flows to those EVs, while a change in ICE technology has to wait for the car to finish it’s 10 year lifespan to be replaced by a more efficient version.
 

jjwolf120

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10 year lifespan to be replaced by a more efficient version.
The lifespan of an ICE Vehicle is longer than 10 years. Subaru advertises that 90% of their vehicles are still on the road after 10 years.
 

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The lifespan of an ICE Vehicle is longer than 10 years. Subaru advertises that 90% of their vehicles are still on the road after 10 years.
The lifespan of some ICE vehicles is longer than 10 years. 10 years is a good average though.

My Toyota Tacoma is on 13 years and 222,000 miles and still going strong.

I originally wanted an electric Toyota Tacoma, but it doesn't look like that's happening anytime soon.
 

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I obviously keep cars longer than that, as do you (and subaru owners), but statistically we're outliers.
Just because I'm currently on my third car doesn't make me an outlier. I'm normal, other people are outliers.

I thought to check the actual average life of cars, just after I hit the post button. Note that electric cars are expected to last longer, but they haven't been around long enough to have reliable data.
 

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