free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 399. FAST CHARGING

Monday, March 16, 2009

399. FAST CHARGING

Last week, MIT announced the development of a new type of fast-charging lithium battery:

MIT breakthrough promises lighter, fast-charging batteries
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a way to charge lithium ion batteries in seconds, instead of hours, that could open the door to smaller, faster-charging batteries for cell phones and other devices.

[...]

The breakthrough by Cedar and graduate student Byoungwoo Kang is the development of a reengineered surface material for batteries that allows lithium ions to move quickly across the surface of the battery and channels the ions into tunnels. A prototype battery built using this surface material can be charged in 20 seconds or less, compared to 6 minutes for a battery cell that does not use the material, MIT said.

The surface material is not new but is manufactured in a different way. This means batteries that use the faster-charging surface material could be on the market within two to three years, the statement said.
The above is just one approach. A number of fast-charging technologies are already practical and being rolled out. This was also announced last week:

Nissan to trial fast charge electric car network
Pilot project in Arizona promises to charge batteries in less than 15 minutes

The prospect of electric cars that can be recharged within 10 to 15 minutes moved a step closer last week with the announcement of a new pilot project in Arizona.

Car giant Nissan announced that it has signed a partnership with electric vehicle charging technology firm ECOtality and Pima Association of Governments, which represents the Tucson, Arizona region, that will see the three parties work together on rolling out a charging network.

ECOtality said that it would aim to have parts of the public recharging infrastructure rolled out by 2010, in readiness for the US launch of Nissan's zero emission vehicle. Nissan added that under the agreement it would then make a supply of electric vehicles available to the regions public and private fleets.
The Minit Charger fast-charge technology from ECOtality subsidiary eTec was developed in 1996, and 4300 stations are currently in use for fast charging forklift trucks. You can see a video of the Minit Charger in action here.

Toshiba also has an entry in this area, the SCIB (Super Charge Ion Battery):

Toshiba gears up for fast charging battery
Toshiba is to ramp up production of a new type of Lithium Ion battery that can charge to 90 percent of its capacity in a few minutes and is highly-resistant to short circuits.

The Super Charge Ion Battery (SCiB) is a Lithium Ion battery based on proprietary technology developed by the company and is targeted at both industrial and electric vehicle applications and consumer laptop computer use.

Production of the battery, which has been in development for several years, has already begun for the industrial market at the relatively low volume of 150,000 cells per month.

Toshiba will increase that to several tens of millions of cells per month at a new factory it plans to build in Kashiwazaki in Niigata prefecture in north west Japan, it said last week. Construction of the factory will begin in late 2009 and production is scheduled to begin a year later, said Hiroko Mochida, a Toshiba spokeswoman.

Initial production at the factory, which represents an investment of several tens of billions of yen (several hundred million US dollars), will likely be aimed at the industrial and electric vehicle markets although the same lines will be able to make SCIBs for laptop computers, she said.

At September's Ceatec show in Japan Toshiba demonstrated a laptop running on an SCIB. The battery will keep its performance through up to 6,000 recharges -- more than ten times that of typical Lithium Ion batteries -- meaning a laptop should be able to run its lifetime on the SCiB without need to replace the battery. Due to its design it is also much less likely to catch fire or short circuit if crushed or damaged.
Toshiba is collaborating with Schwinn on a fast-charging electric bicycle powered by the SCiB:
New Schwinn fast charging electric bicycle
In September 2008 Schwinn Bicycles announced a strategic collaboration with Toshiba Corporation that they think is going to dramatically improve the uptake of electric bicycles around the world. Schwinn presented the results of this collaboration at the recent Interbike International Bicycle Expo in the form of the Tailwind.

The Tailwind incorporates Toshiba’s new Super Charge ion Battery (SCiB) technology. The SCiB technology will enable Tailwind owners to recharge their battery in 30 minutes through a standard electrical outlet or as little as five to seven minutes through a commercial charger. By comparison, it takes four hours or longer to fully recharge the battery of most other electric bicycles.
Here's a fast charging battery technology for buses:

Proterra claims electric vehicle batteries can recharge in 10 minutes
Battery recharging times remain a major obstacle for electric vehicles. But perhaps not for long. Proterra claims that its new all-electric buses can recharge in as little as ten minutes.

Last week the company demonstrated one of its buses in San Jose (see the video below). Seattle and San Francisco are also considering buying the Proterra's buses.
More info on Proterra here.

Last week, it was also announced that the Tesla will have 440V fast-charge capability, similar to the Minit Charger specs. Apparently Nissan's upcoming TBD all-electric car will also have the ability to fast charge in 26 minutes.

It would seem that fast charging technology is already here.
by JD

47 Comments:

At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 6:31:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on the demands fast charging will place on the grid and local wiring systems? Gasoline contains roughly 37 kWh/US gal. Getting the equivalent of a few gallons of gas into one battery in a few minutes at 100% efficiency is a fairly high-current affair. Multiply that by fleet numbers with average efficiencies and you've got some major issues to deal with.

Karl

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 7:35:00 AM PDT, Blogger Barba Rija said...

That's a good question. Doesn't seem unsurmountable though. I would also like to read some answers on it.

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 7:50:00 AM PDT, Blogger OilIsMastery said...

Spintronics/Spin Batteries: http://oilismastery.blogspot.com/2009/03/electromagnetic-batteries.html

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 7:58:00 AM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

Karl,

Remember that while gasoline contains roughly 37 kWh/US gal, electric motors are orders of magnitude more efficient than gasoline engines. The problem with Li-ion batteries was always that they had "a big auditorium with a small door" design. Most of the energy that is getting pushed into your laptop or other Li-ion powered device is not even getting to the battery when it charges. The voltage is fairly low.

What I think this new research does is allow the auditorium to have "bigger doors," but I sincerely doubt we're approaching anywhere near 37 kWh/US gal in terms of energy being poured into any battery. It's probably a much more manageable amount of energy than that.

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 9:50:00 AM PDT, Anonymous benny "centipede glut" cole said...

Karl-
I look forward to the day when our "problem" is too many people charging up PHEVs. Give unto us such "problems" every day.
That "problem" will mean the USA is saving hundred of billions of dollars annually in reduced oil import bills, that our urban air is much cleaner, and that we do not feel compelled to occupy entire Mideast nations at extraordinary expense.
We may have to build some "peaker" plants. How about mini-nukes? Or some geothermal action? Solar power tends to peak just when people need it.
How about higher energy standards on buildings and lighting, so that we have excess power supply?
Oh, for such a "problem" to solve.

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 10:26:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post JD, I was wondering if you'd notice that. Seems to me the doomers are failing entirely to notice all the frackin breakthroughs taking place almost daily.

Oh yeah, and another thing: some swedish researchers just invented a cheap and easy process to invent carbon nanowires which increase the capacity of lithium ion batteries by a factor of 10.

Doomers: oh yeah so now we should be worrying about peak CARBON.

LOL.


DB

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 10:28:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Karl,

DOE did a study showing that the grid as it stands is capable of charging 84 million PHEVs with a range of 30 miles with the existing off peak power which is currently not being utilized.

That's with no changes.

And bearing in mind that 84 million PHEVs currently DO NOT EXIST.

So to argue that "oh dear the grid would collapse if we connected all these PHEVs" is 1. Wrong and 2. Stupid because the PHEVs haven't been built yet.

In reality, the production capacity to build PHEVs will ramp up alongside the charging capacity.


DB

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 10:31:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah Karl,

And another thing:

Gasoline may indeed have 37 KWH/US Gallon in it but the effiency of a gasoline engine is 16% whereas the efficiency of an electric motor is 80% or greater.

Thus we need 1/5 of 37 KWH which is 7.5 KWH for a gallon.

HARDLY insurmountable.

DB

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 10:33:00 AM PDT, Blogger DB said...

Good post JD, I was wondering if you'd notice that. Seems to me the doomers are failing entirely to notice all the frackin breakthroughs taking place almost daily.

Oh yeah, and another thing: some swedish researchers just invented a cheap and easy process to invent carbon nanowires which increase the capacity of lithium ion batteries by a factor of 10.

Doomers: oh yeah so now we should be worrying about peak CARBON.

LOL.


DB

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 12:05:00 PM PDT, Anonymous HalfEmpty said...

What Ari said.
Also the bike likely weighs in at 50 lbs or less... so it's not gallons.. it's pints or furlongs we're talking about.

But yeah, I see your point as these things scale up.

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 12:22:00 PM PDT, Blogger Bloggin' Brewskie said...

Here comes the nanocapacitor...

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 1:47:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is also a new breakthrough supercapacitor, even better than the ultra capacitor we heard about a couple of years ago.

This new one has been invented at the university of maryland and can store up to 1 MW/H in a single kilogram of material.

I think the only ones who need to worry are the doomers: they spend their whole life worrying and the rest just move along without even noticing.

Story is here:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16768-atomic-construction-yields-punchier-power-store.html

DB

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 2:05:00 PM PDT, Anonymous tukk said...

This article calculates the demand of fast-charging electric cars on the grid:

http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2009/03/fast-charging-electric-cars-off-peak-grid.html

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 3:13:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting blog. Here's a few questions on this post.

1) "that could open the door to smaller, faster-charging batteries for cell phones and other devices."

How does fast charging result in smaller batteries for an equivalent mass/load and energy dense device.?

2) To take advantage of the Tesla Motor's 440V fast charge system one would have install 440-480 VAC service, if available. Aside from the large additional expense, is this not moving away from energy conservation and toward enabling constant or increased energy consumption under the veil of being 'Green'? 440 VAC service is some serious kit!

Fred in Fresno

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 3:26:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

Fred,

The nice thing about electricity as opposed to internal combustion engines is that the source of energy doesn't necessarily have to be fossil fuel.

A gas powered engine has to be powered by some kind of liquid fuel, and dollars to donuts that's gonna be gasoline or some gasahol idiocy.

Electrics can be powered by wind, solar, nuclear, hydro, hamsters, you name it. A France running entirely electric vehicles would be a pretty low-emissions country!

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 3:39:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

tukk,

Your straw man about how we can't charge up hundreds of millions of electric cars is a straw man.

1. Yes the grid as it stands CANNOT charge hundreds of millions of electric cars on peak.
They DONT EXIST. If they did, however, the unchanged grid could charge 84 million single commute vehicles off peak. It would require extra technology to prevent fast charges overloading the grid. The name of this tech?
Circuit Breakers.

2. The Grid is NOT STATIC. It's growing. And the whineing that doomers often give as a reason against building wind is that it's intermittent and only 25-33% of the power generated is used.
What happens to the rest?
It's DUMPED. Just like off peak power from fossil fuel plants right now.
Soooooo. Maybe we could USE some of that renewable power to charge up electric vehicles, don't cha think?

What is the growth rate of renewables?

During the period 2008-2030, the growth rate of non-hydro renewable electricity generation will outpace that of overall U.S. electricity consumption. Between 2008 and 2030, renewable electricity generation is expected to enjoy a 4.4 percent compound annual growth rate, compared to 1.2 percent for overall electricity consumption.

So that's a 3.2% gap.

Using a 3.2% growth rate, how long does it take to get to the 65% extra generating capacity to power all those cars if we plug them all in at once?

16 years.

That's ONLY for renewables and this is to replace the ENTIRE fleet. We're not even counting new coal plants or new nuke plants.

Anyways: How long will it take us to be able to power all of our fleet at current rates of build purely from renewables?

Given that on average it takes 8 years to replace the entire fleet normally it looks like we have an exact match to the build for renewables we're already building.

So how many EXTRA power plants do we need to build?

NONE. We're good with what we're already building.

Next bunch of unsubstantiated doomer whiner please?

DB

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 4:19:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Gasoline may indeed have 37 KWH/US Gallon in it but the effiency of a gasoline engine is 16% whereas the efficiency of an electric motor is 80% or greater."

Folks who work on HVAC and heating systems are quick to tell you that electric heat is more efficient than gas heat "at the point of use."

All the current passed through a heating coil itself is converted to heat. It's the cumulative grid loss, charging loss and battery losses that lower the overall efficiency of electric heat as well as EVs.

I didn't suggest that charging issues were insurmountable or that the grid would collapse. The grid will require some beefing up if the number of EVs were to grow substantially, that's all.

Karl

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 6:46:00 PM PDT, Anonymous stuck in shizuoka said...

Firstly, here in Vancouver (on holiday), a charging station network is way past the drawing board is now in the planning stages and should be implemented in large numbers by 2011. No links, but may find one later. Good news that a major Canadian city is awake to the changes ahead.

Secondly, this is one of your better posts JD...good one. Also, it seems many of the posters on this thread worry about whether or not the US grid will withstand a switch to electrified transportation. Fair enough...but, I'd like to add that countries in Europe and certainly in Japan are seeing less and less ownership of gasoline-powered personal transportation. Should China and India (as well as Japan--which is currently seeing upgrades in its train system, and use of other options such as car-sharing etc), make a switch to very small electric cars/scooters/bicycles AND the urban West does the same, worries/negative ramifications about the impact of peak oil will be greatly reduced. Much of Canada/USA and perhaps Australia--with its distances--will have a bumpy road, but certainly localization and conservation will also come into play, as they are now in many areas.

We are seeing the market responding, technology responding, and invidividuals responding. I just hope that the average American joe gets a little clearer education about PO from the MSM so that this current blip in low gasoline prices does not encourage more of the same wanton gorging on fossil fuel use and purchases of vehicles with poor mileage, with the thinking that low prices are back to where they should be.

Obama needs the cajoles to do it, but a gasoline tax/mileage travelled tax or a floor on the price per barrel needs to be instituted to keep these great developments (and upstream oil developments and alternatives) more than just a choice for the savvy consumer.

For anyone new to this site, please check out greencarcongress.com and keep an eye on the DAILY developments in electric transportation--it's quite reassuring to watch the technology move from research to the street.

 
At Monday, March 16, 2009 at 7:34:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

Karl,

You are of course right, but I only meant to make clear that we can't just use the energy content of a gallon of gas directly to figure out how much grid energy we'll need. You are also right that it's a challenge, but also surmountable.

Stuck,

I think Americans are coming around. I see tons of Smart cars and Minis and smaller cars in NYC these days, and I think if a truly marketable electric came to the showrooms, many Americans would be quick to jump on board. I don't think that Americans are the awful pigs that so many believe, and they can be awfully flexible when market conditions are right.

I think we're also seeing a degree of "demographic inversion" going on here, with increasing movement toward the urban centers again. I suspect that America in 2050 will be as different from today as 1950 America was from 1900 America.

 
At Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 10:09:00 AM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

I think DB's point about the waste of energy by using oil for ICE's is missed by most people. Sure oil has a lot of energy in it, but if the vast majority is just wasted, then you don't have to replace ALL the energy it contains. Only a small portion. Heck, we'd be better off burning oil at power plants and using the electricity to power our cars. LOL!

I think the quick charging thing is great, however, most people will still be doing slow trickle charging at night. The fast charging capability certainly solves one of the "problems" with electric cars. But if you could fill up your car each night at home, how often would you really need to stop at the station and fill up really quick?? Like never. Unless you are traveling beyond the range of your car, like driving cross country.

I think Ari is exactly right about the American consumer. A lot of them were caught with their pants down during the last run up in gas prices. Most have vowed to never let that happen again. I personally know of guys who have parked their trucks and bought hybrids. I'm on the waiting list for the Phoenix car and I email Aptera every month about releasing their car outside of California. As soon as a viable electric car hits the showrooms, there will be a huge switch. That manufacturer won't be able to make enough of them.

DoctorJJ

 
At Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 1:48:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Hothgor said...

Obviously this is slightly off topic from the interesting discussion going on here, but did anyone catch the latest and greatest proclamation from TOD - that Peak Oil officially arrived in 2008?

Just as it officially arrived in 2005...

Just as it officially arrived in 2000...

Just as it officially arrived in 1993...

 
At Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 3:51:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think one way the grid problem could be easily solved is with cutting edge technology known as: small electric timer.

If all cars are assigned ten-minute interval on which they would click on and charge when plugged in overnight, they wouldn't all charge at the same time.

Charging outside your alloted time could maybe be done at a premium to discourage but allow it in emergencies.

Andrew

 
At Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 4:06:00 PM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

Hothgor,
Unfortunately, when the next few years data unfolds, 2008 will definitely be a peak year and they will be rejoicing in their fulfilled prophecies. The thing is though, this peak will have nothing to do with an actual peak of what could be potentially produced, but instead will be because of demand destruction, economic hardship, and voluntary production cuts. The resulting chicken/egg argument will be hard to stomach for me, particularly in light of what I see as overwhelming proof that the financial bubble bursting with the resultant flood of money into commodities and run up of oil prices despite OVERsupply, that had NOTHING to do with physical/geological/economic peaking of oil production. They will of course argue that oil peaking was the catalyst for that entire cascade, which just doesn't add up with the actual facts. The arguments will be most obnoxious.

DoctorJJ

 
At Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 4:22:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hothgor said...

"Obviously this is slightly off topic from the interesting discussion going on here, but did anyone catch the latest and greatest proclamation from TOD - that Peak Oil officially arrived in 2008?

Just as it officially arrived in 2005...

Just as it officially arrived in 2000...

Just as it officially arrived in 1993...

Come on now Hothgar. Belittling geological or geopolitical citations for being off by a year, decade, or century is like blaming Obama for the errors of Andrew Jackson or Benjamin Franklin.

This site is not about denying peak oil theory, it is about debunking peak oil myths.

If anything, the past 3 year ~ flat production curve contrasted against the past 3 year population and demand [last three year aggregated and amortized, please]growth curve suggest a supply shortfall despite the current global economic contractions.

Comments?

Fred in Fresno

 
At Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 6:05:00 PM PDT, Anonymous AndrewRyan said...

Come on now Hothgar. Belittling geological or geopolitical citations for being off by a year, decade, or century is like blaming Obama for the errors of Andrew Jackson or Benjamin Franklin.

Except the more and more calls these geologists/sensationalists blow, the less credible they should be. See JD's recent post on Ken Deffeyes.

If anything, the past 3 year ~ flat production curve contrasted against the past 3 year population and demand [last three year aggregated and amortized, please]growth curve suggest a supply shortfall despite the current global economic contractions.

Please explain your statement here. 2008 set an all time high for global oil production, and that's with the economic crash in the last quarter of the year. This caused a lot of new projects to slow or be put on hold. Instead of doomers latching onto PO/ "no roof" oil prices like they did last July, they have shifted into saying "we're fucked" because production has been slowed due to the economic downturn. They have yet to explain why more oil should be pumped out of the ground when there is currently no demand for it.

http://images.businessweek.com/ss/09/01/0108_numbers/3.htm

 
At Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 6:09:00 PM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

"If anything, the past 3 year ~ flat production curve contrasted against the past 3 year population and demand"

I still don't get how demand outstrips supply? How does that physically work? If there is only so much stuff to go around, you can't have more demand than you have product. The price can go up to the point demand will diminish, but demand cannot outstrip supply. If it truly did, the reserves in places like Cushing, OK would quickly evaporate. Despite this last 3 years you speak of, that didn't happen. Hmmm....

As for the supply side, population and demand DO NOT go hand in hand. Look at many of the developed countries whose demand, despite continued population increases, has gone down. This decline in demand started WAY before the recent run up in prices too.

"This site is not about denying peak oil theory, it is about debunking peak oil myths."

Yeah, and one of the recurring myths of peak oil has been "this is the year". "Repent, ye sinners, for the kingdom is at hand". Yet, year after year those predictions are proven false. After a while, you can't help but wonder why they keep being wrong and if there must be some underlying agenda.

DoctorJJ

 
At Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 6:17:00 PM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

"If anything, the past 3 year ~ flat production curve contrasted against the past 3 year population and demand [last three year aggregated and amortized, please]growth curve suggest a supply shortfall despite the current global economic contractions."

Almost forgot, at best you could say "flattening production curve", but it certainly hasn't been flat as 2008 was once again the highest oil production year of all. Also, are you trying to claim that there is currently a supply shortfall? You said "a supply shortfall despite the current global economic contractions", which would imply that you believe there is still a supply shortfall even after the economies have contracted. I don't think anyone would think that with the current economic contractions that we have a supply shortfall. Have you missed OPEC electively cutting a cumulative 5 million barrels per day of production over the past few months? Despite that, stockpiles have skyrocketed. Both known and unknown (i.e. Cushing, OK and innumerable private stockpiles) due to the current market contango.

DoctorJJ

 
At Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 6:50:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

DoctorJJ,

I've tried to explain this to many people. The only time you can have demand greater than supply is a quota or other form of market interference. Otherwise, the curve naturally shifts, price goes up, and demand goes down. Sure, elasticity plays a role in what happens to demand, but no good is completely inelastic.

But as JD demonstrates, there's a lot of good work being done out there in electric transportation that could quickly cause a reduction in demand for oil just through competition alone. Very interesting times we live in.

 
At Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 9:32:00 AM PDT, Anonymous berniemac said...

Not wanting to rain on the parade, but I for one don't think EVs are ready for prime time yet. There have been some significant improvements made, but the main obstacle, IMHO, is battery life. It is still way too short for practical, massive commercial use.

Many of you had experiences with rechargeable batteries, like those found in portable computers. You know that after a couple of years those batteries don't hold charge anymore. This is true for practically all batteries, they degrade over time. This is particularly true if the battery is kept at full charge in a warm place - hard to avoid in some climates. In such cases a battery may need replacement after as little as a year. I won't post links here but you can research that on the Web, lots of info there.

In the previous post JD mentions a EV scooter that sells for 12K$. You can buy the same scooter, running on gasoline, for less than a couple thousand, and it will take 2 minutes top to 'recharge', and run for years and years without the need to replace any major components.

This blog makes a compelling case that (a) there is a lot of oil left, (b) we are nowhere near peak, (c) there is a lot of spare capacity (glut), therefore the price will remain low, and (d) last year's high price was caused by non-geological factors.

There is no need to go into expensive alternatives to oil yet.

 
At Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 9:38:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Demand being greater than supply.

This can happen, but it usually doesn't cause problems except when the supply is food or water. This is fundamentally what the dieoff doomers rant about: food = oil according to them and since there is apparently no substitute for oil then food supplies diminish thus the population diminishes.

Back in the real world, there ARE substitutes for oil AND oil is not equal to food. The so called 10 oil calories for every one calory of food is debunked by all the doomers with their pumpkin patches. Unless, that is they are using gasoline lawn mowers to seed their ex-lawns since they are congenitally unable to reduce their demand being doomers and all.

In any event, back on topic.
Seems there is now a watershed happening. The dam has burst and there are in addition to think city, now two other european manufacturers bringing high speed 100 mile range electric vehicles online next year for around $20K.

Between think, the two other manufacturers, tesla and the chinese, the world manufacturing capacity is now at around a hundred thousand units a year not including toyota and the vaporware volt.

Optimistically doubling this to a quarter million units per year we might hit a million vehicles on the road by 2015 globally. Assuming they all use 7.5KWH thats 7500MW new capacity if (whine) we have no spare off peak.

Can we do 7500MW additional capacity globally by 2015?

Why yes we can: in 2008 the amount of wind energy added globally was 8300MW. That's ONLY wind energy and ONLY one year.

In addition to wind energy we are also adding solar, new hydro, new coal and new nuclear as well as other assorted power sources.

So to be honest, I think the question of the grid being overloaded is a straw man. Until global production capacity gets up to greater than 20 million units a year I don't see any kind of impact and by then, of course, the grid will be a lot bigger.

Nice try though doomers.
Can you please get started on a peak carbon argument now, since we will be relying on carbon nanowires to make the batteries?

DB

 
At Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 1:19:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Hothgor said...

Fred said...

"Come on now Hothgar. Belittling geological or geopolitical citations for being off by a year, decade, or century is like blaming Obama for the errors of Andrew Jackson or Benjamin Franklin.

This site is not about denying peak oil theory, it is about debunking peak oil myths."


I never thought for a moment that this site was about denying the peak oil theory. I firmly believe that oil production will peak, then decline at some point. My contention has always been that it is impossible to know WHEN the peak will happen until you have years of data to support it after the fact...a point I used to bring up often at my time on TOD.

"If anything, the past 3 year ~ flat production curve contrasted against the past 3 year population and demand [last three year aggregated and amortized, please]growth curve suggest a supply shortfall despite the current global economic contractions.

Comments?"


There is no shortfall at the moment. The price of oil rose in part due to there not being enough supply to meet demand. The exponential increase in prices last year was entirely due to speculation. The collapse of oil prices is due entirely to demand collapseing: the equation is rebalancing itself at the lower equilibrium.

If anything, global economic growth has decoupled from oil consumption, as demonstrated in this graph: http://www.fundmasteryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/itf-interim-rpt-oil-gdp-larger.JPG

I have been watching with some amusement the statements that oil investment can not occur if oil does not remain priced at $75 a barrel or higher. True, as the price of oil went up, the cost of steel, rig rents and labor went up due to the supply constraints. That is to say that the overhead for oil production increased. They will likewise fall over the next year - leading to lower cost for new oil projects to break even and restarting many boxed projects. Haven't tanker rental rates already collapsed???

On a side note, I feel that any time a commodity, stock or growth pattern begins to show a dramatic exponentially increasing curve, it is due for a crash.

 
At Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 1:32:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Hothgor said...

Ari said...

"But as JD demonstrates, there's a lot of good work being done out there in electric transportation that could quickly cause a reduction in demand for oil just through competition alone. Very interesting times we live in."

Personally, I think we will see a massive shift towards serial hybrid vehicles before we see plug-in hybrids - much less full electric cars on the road. With a serial hybrid - like the Volt - you get the vastly improved engine efficiencies coupled with the range and convenience of a traditional ICE vehicle. As a bonus, you don't have to use expensive battery technology that wears out and has to be replaced in 5-7 years and you don't have to mine mass quantities of Lithium from hostile governments intent on ripping the world off.

In fact, if you look at the Volt without a fully charged battery - meaning the small ICE engine is running to provide power to the electric motors - it is expected to get around 150-160 miles per gallon - leaps and bounds better than any hybrid on the market today. Their mistake is that they were TOO ambitious in their all electric range of 40 miles. 10 miles would have been more than enough, and it would still have the performance advantage over every other vehicle on the planet while costing $20k less.

 
At Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 11:12:00 PM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

"Many of you had experiences with rechargeable batteries, like those found in portable computers. You know that after a couple of years those batteries don't hold charge anymore. This is true for practically all batteries, they degrade over time."

Those problems have been solved, to a large degree and the technology is only getting better. It is true that all batteries have a limited number of cycles and performance degrades over time. That being said, Tesla claims their batteries will be good to over 100K miles. Even if they are only good for half of that and I had to replace the battery pack every 50K, it's not that big of a deal. With the decreased maintenance and fuel costs you have with an electric car, you'd still be money ahead.

DoctorJJ

 
At Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 1:52:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Soylent said...

"I still don't get how demand outstrips supply?"

It gets even more mysterious when you know that supply and demand are curves, not quantities.

Supply is the curve of quantity supplied as a function of price and demand is the curve of quantity demanded as a function of price.

 
At Saturday, March 21, 2009 at 9:55:00 PM PDT, Blogger Bloggin' Brewskie said...

This is about the recent discussion of "oil having peaked in 2008."

This is the latest peak trend - much as it was in 2005 and before. I recently did several posts on my blog that slaughteres this myth (here and here). The first idiot postulating this - Oil Drum writer, Ace - completely botched the production statistics... HE USED WIKIPEDIA AS A REFERANCE!!! The second, Dr. Clifford Wirth, accidentally revealed last year’s oil glut could have considerably been larger.

Seriously, when a Drum writer refers to Wikipedia, when you consider the Drum's mangling of information, when you factor in the many failed prophecies by their cherished peak prophets, how can the Oil Drum be taken with any seriousness? It's in the same league as Rush Limbaugh.

 
At Monday, March 23, 2009 at 6:12:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"how can the Oil Drum be taken with any seriousness? It's in the same league as Rush Limbaugh."

And PODites wish they had 1/100 the readership or credibility of TOD. Wonder why the only people who read POD are 20-something techno geeks with no lives outside video games and gadgets?

Harold

 
At Monday, March 23, 2009 at 10:42:00 AM PDT, Blogger Bloggin' Brewskie said...

Anon...

"And PODites wish they had 1/100 the readership or credibility of TOD. Wonder why the only people who read POD are 20-something techno geeks with no lives outside video games and gadgets?"

Debunker sites only want smart people; we don't want unlimited morons, ones who don’t understand technology, who abide by an amateur’s word - especially one who relies on Wikipedia to indicate world peak, and relish his every word with laconic nods like a bunch of Limbaugh listeners.

Our track record speaks for itself. We've indicated:

- Improvements in battery and solar technology;

- large deposits of oil are being discovered;

- America is not going to "fall off of a natural gas cliff;"

- last year's oil price spike was the result of manipulative speculation;

- and I indicated last year's glut could have been bigger.

On the other hand, peakers have a long losing record on peak predictions and technology snubs. As JD pointed out, one of peak's "high priests," Ken Drefus, celebrated his 9th blown peak prediction.

Anybody with at least a fair-double-digit I.Q. understands oil will peak someday; but nobody should take a wannabe seriously, especially when his flubbed production statistics come from Wikipedia.

 
At Monday, March 23, 2009 at 10:52:00 AM PDT, Anonymous DoctorJJ said...

"And PODites wish they had 1/100 the readership or credibility of TOD. Wonder why the only people who read POD are 20-something techno geeks with no lives outside video games and gadgets?

Harold"


Huh, I guess that explains why you're here, dork!

Actually, your comment couldn't be further from the truth regarding most readers/posters here. I, for one, am in my mid 30's, have a great life and a great job. I bought a Wii, but I don't even play it. I'm actually more into cars and guns than video games and gadgets.

DoctorJJ

 
At Monday, March 23, 2009 at 7:18:00 PM PDT, Blogger JD said...

Harold,
TOD has (and had) some excellent posters, many of whom are my friends -- Big Gav, Stuart, Heading Out, Robert Rapier, Rembrandt, Kiashu etc. Unfortunately, TOD is increasingly being driven into irrelevance by a luddite/doomer clique who are more interested in financial moralizing, survival gardening and new age communities than up-to-date commentary on technological trends. That's why people come to sites like this one -- to hear about important real-world topics like fast charging, electric trucks etc.

 
At Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 7:11:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I, for one, am in my mid 30's, have a great life and a great job. I bought a Wii, but I don't even play it. I'm actually more into cars and guns than video games and gadgets."

Yes, my bad. You're obviously a world away from the 20-something technophiles I had in mind.

Harold

 
At Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 7:59:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

Harold,

Being "in the game" doesn't necessarily make one correct-- that's an appeal to authority just like your statement that we're just simply technophiles is an ad hominem.

What makes someone correct is his proving his argument. It's not how many readers a site has, who writes for the site, etc. It's what the person says and how well he argues his point. In other words, while many of the people writing at The Oil Drum are intelligent, qualified people who make excellent arguments, they aren't correct by virtue of being who they are. This is even more true of those who are themselves simply "guest writers" at the site-- they should be considered incorrect until proven otherwise.

While it's true that youth can be a handicap, let's not forget that some of the greatest and most important scientific discoveries were made by scientists in their youth. The willingness to challenge orthodoxy can be as important as experience and expertise.

 
At Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 5:28:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...that's an appeal to authority just like your statement that we're just simply technophiles is an ad hominem."

Ad hominem? I thought you'd take it as a compliment. I'm not sure what you mean by "in the game," but JD himself said "this site is for the unreconstructed technoheads."

Regardless, I'm somewhat encouraged that you apparently have some faint clue that technology will not solve all human problems.

Harold

 
At Wednesday, March 25, 2009 at 10:02:00 AM PDT, Blogger Ari said...

Harold,

Being "in the game," in my context means that someone is an active participant in a particular field. For example, a programmer for Apple might be considered "in the game" as far as software goes. However, just because he's a programmer for Apple doesn't make him necessarily correct about ALL software. He's an authority, but authorities must still argue their points. They don't get "freebies" by virtue of their previous accomplishments. They get credibility, and must maintain it.

I AM an unrepentant technophile. I grew up on Star Trek and Wired Magazine (both of which have come to let me down in recent years, sadly.) But I'm not simply a Slashdotter. I'm also someone who has formal and informal training in a variety of fields, including the arts (some musical acumen... not a whole lot.)

Also, let me note that ad hominem is not an argument based on an insult-- common mistake. It's an argument that states that the other's argument is incorrect by virtue of the other person's character. If I say someone is an idiot, I'm merely insulting him. But if I say that someone is incorrect because he's a brunette, then I'm committing an ad hominem fallacy.

I don't think that technology will solve EVERY problem, either. It certainly can't solve bigotry, closed-mindedness, the belief that ketchup should be spelled "catsup," and the meaning of life. But it can bring us many solutions to many other problems that will give us the time to solve the other, more important things. :-)

 
At Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 6:31:00 AM PDT, Anonymous econogeek said...

Hey JD,

While I haven't posted in awhile, I've been following your blog religiously as the oil price crash has ensued.

I know this may not be the best forum for this, but I wanted to direct your attention to some more tasty nuggets from Matt Simmons, oil industry moron:

http://www.cnbc.com/id/29891917

Some interesting quotes:

" Matt Simmons, founder of Houston-based investment bank Simmons & Co, argues the underlying rate of decline of the world's ageing oilfields is as much as 20 percent a year"

And to boot:

"We are three, six, maybe nine months away from a price shock. We are not talking about three to five years away -- it will be much sooner,"

And to boot:

"When you have an old oilfield whose flow is being maintained by extremely high levels of investment and you reduce production, you rarely if ever get back to where it was."

I find that particularly interesting given that:

A. Not even cantarell (the worst of the worst in terms of oil fields) has declined at 20%/yr

B. 6 million barrels of OPEC spare capacity and the massive inventory overhang of oil.

C. OPEC probably knows the last quote and will shut down its newer fields first and bring them back online once new demand arises.

I can't wait to see another JD post on Matt Simmons' predictions.

 
At Friday, April 3, 2009 at 2:44:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harol,

I'm in my early 40s and work in downstream at one of the super majors. Although I own a Wii to play guitar hero I can hardly be considered a techno-geek.

So your generalization is bogus like the rest of your "analysis" and conclusions.

DB

 
At Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 1:35:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I'll make a generalization about "Peakers" to counter the PODites. Most are baby boomers who are hoping for a way to cope with old age. As I've seen many say: "The youngsters are going to have to pull the hard labor." They see themselves relaxing on some sort of farm utopia with a bunch of young kids doing all the hard work while they sit back barking orders.
-Strangelove

 
At Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 9:04:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back to subject …
Here's a new fast charging method - well, not really charging, but changing, which was presented in Yokohama recently. These people have built an automated battery exchange conveyor belt contraption for e-cars, which they call a battery switch station.

"The Better Place battery switch stations are designed to allow drivers on a long trip to switch a depleted battery for one with a full charge, in less time than it takes to fill a tank with gasoline."
See it here: http://www.betterplace.com/solution/charging/

It has no practical use as yet, because there is no serial e-car or crossover built with the necessary opening in the bottom. I guess it will be like any introduction of a new technology - some options are developed, there are parallel systems for a while, and one finally asserts itself as the new standard (anyone remember the death of the beta video system? Oh, my precious collection of beta movies!).
M.E.A.D.

 

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