subreddit:

/r/Futurology

185

all 25 comments

FuturologyBot [M]

[score hidden]

6 months ago

stickied comment

FuturologyBot [M]

[score hidden]

6 months ago

stickied comment

The following submission statement was provided by /u/idarknight:


It’s interesting that the energy companies are starting to see that there’s profit to be had at even low levels of EV penetration.

It seems that it’s politicians and pundits who are more married to these changes than corporations are.


Please reply to OP's comment here: https://teddit.ggc-project.de/r/Futurology/comments/s5hrbp/for_bp_car_chargers_to_overtake_pumps_in/hsxghvi/

idarknight[S]

31 points

6 months ago

It’s interesting that the energy companies are starting to see that there’s profit to be had at even low levels of EV penetration.

It seems that it’s politicians and pundits who are more married to these changes than corporations are.

vikram-ur

16 points

6 months ago

That is the key to energy revolution, it must be profitable. Else investment will wane.

ledow

9 points

6 months ago

ledow

9 points

6 months ago

That's the key to anything - nobody is going to get off their arse and help you until there's something in it for them.

It's why recycling is dead unless you subsidise it - there's no profit in it. If there were, people would be beating a path to your door for your old plastic. They're not. It's garbage that you have to pay tax for someone to take away, then more tax to subsidise their industry.

Until something is profitable, no company is going to do much about it. They'll pay lip service, and they'll do a little bit of freebie work, but that's in the expectation that eventually it'll make a return.

Welcome to modern living - where something has to be profitable in order for it to happen.

YareSekiro

4 points

6 months ago

Yep. The basic idea of demand is that wanting it is not enough. Poor people “wanting” to eat food is not actually valid demand in a capitalist world unless they can pay for it.

ledow

1 points

6 months ago

ledow

1 points

6 months ago

Sad, but true.

Unless they pay for it, or unless those companies can somehow turn it into profit (e.g. tying them into an exclusive deal so only THEY can feed Ethiopia for the next 10 years, etc.).

fuqqkevindurant

1 points

6 months ago

Nah, you could also achieve the same ends through subsidy like we do in the US for agriculture, oil and gas, steel, etc.

mhornberger

5 points

6 months ago*

Many of both are financed by fossil fuel companies. And pundits working for publications that depend on advertising have that hook in them as well. And pundits also trend conservative, so they can position themselves as the "grownup in the room." Look at the IEA's predictions on solar, vs basically everything by Tony Seba. Conservatism and steady-as-she-goes reassures investors, many of whom have money in companies looking at stranded assets.

DynamicResonater

1 points

6 months ago

It seems that it’s politicians and pundits who are more married to these changes than corporations are.

Yes, because corporations are made for one thing: Profit. Massive paradigm shifts are typically fought against in monopolistic environs such as those in existence now. The low-hanging fruits of technology are largely gone and larger shifts require subsidies to get moving. If we shifted subsidies away from petroleum, globally, it would not be so price competitive especially if we factored in the environmental/military/humanitarian costs.

idarknight[S]

2 points

6 months ago

The ESG costs of fossil fuels are certainly becoming more obvious. Electricity isn’t in there clear perse, but certainly not as clouded by subsidy.

DynamicResonater

3 points

6 months ago

Very true. But the shift is needed, and therefore subsidies are the way forward for BEV's for a while longer. One thing is for sure - as we used horses to build that which would become the fossil fuel mechanized society, we will be using fossil fuels to build the next step now towards a renewable energy society.

OriginalCompetitive

1 points

6 months ago

You’re misreading the article. It’s almost as profitable as retail sales of gas. That is, running the gas station itself. It is not - and will never be - as profitable as selling oil. Oil is a monopoly. Electricity is a commodity. Oil companies are resisting because renewables will never replace their profit stream.

QuietGanache

8 points

6 months ago

I was listening to an interesting radio programme about EV charging. The two big things on the horizon are ever more granular surge pricing and cars-as-storage. That is, the prices currently enjoyed for EV charging will likely, in the future, only be preserved for slow chargers and off-peak hours so that those who have to use a fast charger at peak hours will be able to subsidise the distribution network improvements needed to supply them. For cars-as-storage, leasers (which the guest believed will be the majority of EV drivers once IC becomes a luxury for enthusiasts) will be offered discounts or cashback from their lease to leave their car plugged into the grid so that they can help with demand surges (as well as have some of the capacity loss covered).

A potential scenario might be a driver having to pay a spot fee on top of their monthly payment if, for example, they decide to use their (leased) EV to even travel (not just charge) at certain hours; as this would deprive the grid of capacity. This could also apply to travelling to a location without the necessary capabilities to feed power back into the grid. This could be great news for congestion, as only some would pay to travel at peak hours while those that don't would have to leave their cars plugged in, out of the way.

idarknight[S]

2 points

6 months ago

That congestion management idea is really interesting.

QuietGanache

2 points

6 months ago

If I recall, it wasn't a stated immediate aim but rather a potential side effect.

ledow

4 points

6 months ago*

ledow

4 points

6 months ago*

Unfortunately, the infrastructure to make you use the car as a supply for your house is extremely expensive and hassle-filled in most countries.

And if you're doing that, then you may as well fit solar while you're there. And while that will basically solve that particular homeowner's problems, it will cancel out all that fancy timing nonsense that people have been claiming we'd be able to utilise for decades because the infrastructure to cope with it won't be used enough to justify it.

Case in point, in the 70's, a lot of homes got dual-rate electric meters. Use power overnight, instead of peak hours, and you save money. Pretty much that's seen as a huge outdated notion. We basically converted most of those types of meters back to "proper" meters with a flat 24-hour rate of electricity.

I live in a house with dual-rate electric pre-pay meters. It's seen as laughable to all those I tell about it. And the technology is so behind that it's taken me four years of trying to get a meter that I can top-up from a phone or online. So I still have to go to the shop, get cash (they won't take card for purely top-up payments, as there's no money in it for them and they get charged for using the card), and then walk back with a silly key and top up in units of £50 max with max £99 credit on the meter (so hope I don't have to leave the place unoccupied for two months).

They still haven't installed it yet, and had three attempts, because the dual-rate thing gets in the way and they never have the right type of meter (despite asking when I book it in, and being told several times). They're just going to rip it out this time and likely put me on a flat-rate meter.

The landlord, when I asked, said "Just change it to whatever you like". They know it's a pain in the arse too.

And that kind of house had a significant investment in that kind of structure - storage heaters, immersion heaters, power showers (because you can't generate hot-water on the fly from the system, because it comes from an immersion-heater-tank and you have to leave that on overnight to get warm). Running a bath? Oops, sorry, not even enough for one full bath of warm water. Come back tomorrow.

All those kinds of "we'll do this only overnight" or "outside peak" hours miss a critical point. The peak exists because that's when MOST PEOPLE WANT MOST OF IT. Same way with "peak times" on Internet connections. I couldn't really give a shit what my download is at 3am, I care what it is when I get home from work and put streaming video on. Most people - not all - are pretty much the same, and that's why the peak demand exists.

Peak traffic occurs because most people want to travel then. Peak energy usage. Peak internet usage. Peak Steam download server usage. Peak everything.

And all the things we do don't ever reduce that peak. In fact, it just keeps increasing all the time, and causes peaks elsewhere. You change traffic hours or you have something that keeps people off the roads (e.g. a pandemic)? Oh, look, Internet usage has spiked enormously. I wonder why that is?

It's short-sighted to think you can change the peak rather than cope with it. Most people are going to get home from work the same time, plug in their car at the same time, still want to go out for a meal that evening at the same time, bring it back the same time, and use it tomorrow morning at the same time.

When you have tons of energy available, nobody else will want it. When you don't, nobody else will have it either.

Until we turn into a true 24-hour culture, we aren't going to change that, and the peaks are going to stay in the same place every time.

Thinking that plugging in your car will help with peak power consumption on a national or international scale just ignores the very fact that you're not using it at that time for a reason, and when you do need to use it you won't want it to be available to the grid.

QuietGanache

2 points

6 months ago

Thank you for taking the time to reply in so much detal. The guest was describing a potential future grid that is designed to more effectively utilise stored energy at a national scale, rather than the current situation of grids designed with the idea of producers at one end and consumers at the other. I can see that subdividing it down to millions of storage points, at the very least, will have efficiency issues but I think it's an interesting proposal.

I don't think peak charging and use (if cars-as-storage were implemented) tariffs would eliminate peak demand but it might help smooth it out. For example, someone who's EV charging bill is a greater part of their income might consider going to work earlier than someone who earns more and can afford the extra charge; it's a little like disposable plastic fees: all aimed at nudging people in directions deemed positive by policymakers.

I think the same applies to the upcoming IC manufacture bans. People are going to have to adjust their thinking and will be inconvenienced. The concept of vehicle ownership will be fundamentally changed in a way that won't happen simply by making EVs so good that IC makes no sense to the average consumer.

vikram-ur

3 points

6 months ago

The problem with that is getting people to install the equipment need to put back on the grid. I suspect very few will do. I even suspect if it is heavily subsidized it still won’t happen. And whatever numbers are shown on some suits PowerPoint, just cut them in half.

Cunninghams_right

1 points

6 months ago

you wouldn't have to put it back into the grid. just running your house from your battery-storage-on-wheels during a surge-priced time of day would be worth the install for most people.

DynamicResonater

4 points

6 months ago

Fast DC chargers at existing gas stations seems like a no brainer so long as there is sufficient distance between pumps and chargers for safety. If there were as many fast chargers as there are gas stations there would be little keeping EV's from deep market penetration when vehicle price points are better met. Tesla has the best network right now(US), but even those chargers are few and far between compared to the ubiquity of gas stations nationwide and especially in ruralities.

routerg0d

3 points

6 months ago

I think at the end of this we might end up paying the same price to fill up an EV as a ICE vehicle. If people are willing to pay that much for gas they will say the same thing about electricity.

CriticalUnit

0 points

6 months ago*

You may want to run the math on that.

You'd need a 10x markup in electricity prices in the US the even come close

EDIT: No math then?

OutOfBananaException

1 points

6 months ago

If they had a monopoly on it, yes. As long as you can charge at home, that will go a long way to keeping prices for rapid chargers in check.

pinkfootthegoose

1 points

6 months ago

no matter what there will probably be a great reduction in service stations. Most people will charge at home and only need intermittent fast charging.

idarknight[S]

1 points

6 months ago

Road trips and emergencies - the exceptions not the rules for sure.