The 10 year target wasn't in my original blog. I only chose it, because that is what Shai Agassi claimed his scheme would provide. He claims it would only need a 6% increase. If you don't think this is realistic, perhaps you need to look into his claims and debunk them.JonSpence wrote:I just don't think that the 10 year target to achieve oil free transport is possible without HUGE changes.
But without understanding all the technical details this doesn't sound implausible. As is the transport sector represents roughly 25% of the energy use. Assuming the same efficiency that would take a 33% increase to accommodate all with electricity. But that's going to include air transport, shipping, and haulage, and public transport, when his plan is only about cars, so it's got to be considerably lower, half maybe? Then combine that with the claim I have heard many times of the increased efficiency of electric cars, and yes, it sounds a bit optimistic, but not totally over the moon.
Applying some of the arguments that environmental groups give for why (at least without EVs) we don't need nuclear, there's CHP (combined heat and power) which Greenpeace claims can double the efficiency of our existing power plants in order to buy time for developing renewables. Changing from coal to natural gas in the short term will also help with greenhouse emissions. It cuts them in half, and Norway has plenty of it. Yes, that too is offshore drilling, but gas is a lot more plentiful than oil. There's also CCS to help clean things up. These are things that should be done regardless of whether we convert transport to electricity or not, so we are not talking about a HUGE change coming from oil free transport alone. And perfection isn't necessary to solve global warming, just gradually substantial improvements. So I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with you, but that HUGE change has to happen anyway.
Of course there is the argument that if you are going to get your electricity from gas, why not just use it in your car. In the short time, this actually seems fairly sensible, now that LPG is readily available. (I'm seriously thinking about a conversion for my petrol car. Any thoughts and advice would be welcome.) The advantage of an EV is that it should be greener in the long term, as the electricity gets greener and greener. On the other hand, for the question of what to do with existing petrol cars, I'm gradually coming around to the idea that the best solution is to convert them to LPG. Any better ideas would be most welcome.
Worst comes to worse, though, I know my FoE friends would kill me for this, but it wouldn't be the end of the world if getting off the oil required a little more nuclear for the short term. Nuclear has its problems, but I just can't see that they are as bad as the problems of burning oil.
There is also the matter that EV batteries can be charged from excess power at off peak times. Denmark claims to be able to get the vast majority of their power for them from excess from their wind generators.
But yes, car use needs to be decreased no matter what we do. Even if cars ran on totally clean power like photosynthesizing plants that would be the case. The traffic problems and accidents, and a multitude of other problems associate with them won't go away. The important thing in supporting EVs is to face the fact that car use isn't totally going to go away, so we need to make it as clean and pedestrian friendly as possible so that cars don't take over and breed themselves.
I'm not the first to suggest that we can and should get off the oil asap. Take a look at David Sandalow's Freedom from oil if you get a chance. He analyzes a good number of options and concludes the PHEV is the best, but if you read the small print you see this is a compromise, and he really prefers EVs.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Freedom-Oil-Pre ... 802&sr=8-2