Ford’s 11 Billion Dollar Bet on EVs

September 28, 2021

28 Responses to “Ford’s 11 Billion Dollar Bet on EVs”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    “General Motors says it wants to get rid of gasoline engines by 2035.”

    How many people will be buying new ICE vehicles 14 years from now while there will probably be a glut of used ICE vehicles?

    I suppose, like tube-based guitar amps, they’ll be for places where batteries are a problem (like 120-degree heat)…maybe?

    • Daniel Berger Says:

      Yeah, but that’s a red herring for two reasons:

      1. Even an EV that’s charged 100% from coal-burners has lower carbon emissions than a gasoline-powered ICE vehicle, and is competitive with diesel or gas-electric hybrids like the Prius.

      2. The grid is not going to get dirtier, only cleaner. Your ICE isn’t going to improve its emissions profile over its working life.

      • jimbills Says:

        “The grid is not going to get dirtier, only cleaner.”

        We’re talking about doubling the energy needed (roughly) from the electrical grid to accommodate EVs – in what, two decades? I don’t think it’s a given that total carbon emissions from the electrical sector in the U.S. won’t rise from that. We’ll almost certainly have to add NG, maybe even coal, while ramping up cleaner sources, to fill the gap.

        So, take away the emissions from oil, add whatever emissions are increased from the grid, add the life cycle emissions from over 200 million newly built EVs (from mining, construction, sales, etc. – lower than ICE, yes, but not nothing, and we’re talking a replacement of the entire fleet), and it will be a net positive as far as lower emissions, but by how much?

        My point in the above two comments is that it’s not as easy as just add a bunch of EVs (and that’s not easy even with just that), as the Ford announcement is implying. 100% EVs by 2035! The grid needs a ton of work as well in a very short amount of time.

        • Gingerbaker Says:

          “We’re talking about doubling the energy needed (roughly) from the electrical grid to accommodate EVs – in what, two decades?”

          I don’t think that is accurate.

          :Fact: If 80% of all passenger cars become electric, this would lead to a total increase of 10-15% in electricity consumption. :

          Click to access decarbonisation-pathways-all-slideslinks-29112018-h-4484BB0C.pdf

          “The projected growth in e-mobility will not drive an immediate or substantial increase in total electrical-grid power demand, according to a study by McKinsey & Company.”:

          https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/automotive-and-assembly/our-insights/the-potential-impact-of-electric-vehicles-on-global-energy-systems

        • J4Zonian Says:

          Ginger is right about EVs not needing close to a doubling of the grid. But it will need to more than double for almost all of primary energy to be electrified. (Some will be discarded as waste, some gradually turned to clothesline paradox energies.) Simply replacing all the ICEVs with EVs is nuts. So the chances are good that’s what we’ll do if progressives don’t take over very soon. But if they don’t, we have far bigger problems than that.

          Conservatives have delayed rational action for so long it will be impossible to do everything we need without going way over any reasonable carbon budget. No matter what we do now hundreds of millions of people at least will die in suffering and chaos.

          But whatever it takes, we need the president to declare and congress to enthusiastically support a climate and inequality emergency. The only rational answer to the flabbergasting inefficiency of replacing all the ICEVs and long haul ICEV trucks with all new personal and commercial EVs, and carrying on as we are, is to massively shift to public mass transit. ICEVs and continental flights have to be replaced with bicycles and walking, EV buses and jitneys, light rail, regional commuter rail, and a revitalized national long distance rail system for both people and goods, including a national high speed rail system. All of it needs to be priced to be irresistible, and we need to do it as fast and at least as well as China has: 17,000 HSR miles in 10 years (while it was building 98% of the world’s EV buses and most of the world’s Ebikes, scooters and motorcycles and taking over every aspect of global clean safe renewable energy.)

        • J4Zonian Says:

          Why do you assume anyone will “have to” add gas or coal to the grid? Why not build faster, cheaper, cleaner renewable energy instead?

          • jimbills Says:

            The main difference in our approaches is that you are focused on what we ‘should’ do, while I am focused on the trends that point to what we ‘would’ do. Both are valid ways of looking at our environmental and resource issues, but perhaps one is likely to be more accurate than the other in future predictions:
            https://reut.rs/39ZRZWm

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Here we are, doing what I call “navel gazing” as we endlessly analyze and argue about “data”. One thing we’re sure of is that we are not likely to get it done in time.

            How about discussing some of the other things that are going to have impact? Like the hundreds of millions or even billions of air conditioners that people in developing countries will need to avoid becoming heat casualties.

            How about talking about some of the things going on in this country that indicate our society is turning into a cesspool and will not deal with AGW until it’s too late. I speak of things like opioid overdose deaths, suicides, and shootings—all on the rise.

            Or my favorite example of societal decay—–all the betting sites that are popping up—Caesar’s. Fanduel, MGM, Draftkings, BetRivers, and others, some sponsored by states (VA and WV for two) and sports leagues. TV and radio in the DC area are inundated with ads for these sites, more ads than for drugs even. What is wrong with people that they think they can ever come out ahead gambling? I would bet that the percentage of folks patronizing these sites that are deeply concerned about climate change is quite low

        • J4Zonian Says:

          See below for response to last comment.

      • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

        The US grid will have to increase total power provided:
        – transition to EVs
        – conversion of home and commercial from FF appliances (HVAC, water heating, etc.) to electric
        – increase in use of air conditioning to compensate for AGW

        The grid will have to become more resilient (tropical storms, wildfires, freezes) both at the power plant and the consumer transmission level. This includes reliable, hack-resistant monitoring and control software, microgrids, sectorizing to better and more equitably stage blackouts/brownouts, etc.

        Logistically, big transmission lines seem to be the greatest limiting factor in allowing time- and place-shifting of power supplies, for producers, “prosumers” and brokered grid storage across the contiguous 48.

        • J4Zonian Says:

          There must be a switch to heat pumps and other lower-energy zero-carbon tech to replace AC. We have to design buildings better, as people did for thousands of years, though that will obviously take longer. So despite the increase in heat there may actually be a decrease in energy used for cooling. If we’re ruled by sane people at some point, anyway.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Hoping this will get bigger if you click on it….

  2. redskylite Says:

    Sooner the better fossil fuelled ICE’s have had their day, time we all caught up.
    ===============================================

    “This is the case even under the conservative assumption that the additional power demand from EVs is met entirely by fossil fuel power plants.”

    https://www.miragenews.com/an-assessment-of-air-quality-and-health-impacts-641979/

    • jimbills Says:

      That’s air quality (smog, CO, and so on) not carbon emissions. Definitely, air quality would improve with more EVs. If the power demand in India for EVs was entirely met by coal, their carbon emissions would skyrocket. The air along highways and in the cities would be more breathable, however.

      Again, I’m not, at all, saying that we should just stick with ICE vehicles. That’s moronic. I’m just saying it ain’t as easy as all that.

      • J4Zonian Says:

        I don’t see anyone saying it’s easy. It’s just what has to be done. So it doesn’t matter how hard it is, or what it costs. Since we have to do it, including upgrading the grid, we have to come up with the money to do it, and that means increasing taxes on corporations and the rich. Not just Warren’s 2%, but if we want civilization and nature to survive, essentially mbanning mbillionaires through taxation.

        We know doing it will cost far less than not doing it (up to $1240Trillion), and numerous studies have shown that when it’s finished, energy will cost considerably less than it does now, leading to savings in the billions just for that.

        But from my research it seems likely it will cost: (rough estimates)

        Replacing all fossil fuels with clean safe renewable energy: $6-7Trillion;
        Equal to 15 months worth of global fossil fuel externalities

        Upgrading the grid (including burying HVDC lines for protection etc.): $2T?
        The likely cost of the next nuclear disaster.

        Providing free or extremely cheap state-of-the-art HSR, commuter rail, light rail, EV buses & jitneys over the next 9 years: $2T;
        About equal to $228B/yr savings from electrifying the US federal V fleet

        Helping all the countries who need it, to do what’s necessary to avoid global catastrophe, (Green Climate Fund and beyond): $10-15T from the US over 9 years;
        About the cost of US oil wars since 2000, $13.5T incl. committed future costs

        Doing what everyone knows are the hard parts: concrete, steel, plastics, oceanic flying & shipping.
        Steel looks like it won’t be that hard after all; most of the others are likely to be the same, especially if we’re able to give up the idea that the rich have to profit from every transaction. WAG: $2T
        Far less than will be saved in health & environmental costs.

        Doing what will really be the hard part, reversing deforestation: $?

        Transforming chemical-industrial agriculture to small-scale, low-meat organic permaculture: $?
        An investment in more ecologically & economically sustainable ag. plus $1.5T health savings of a plant-based diet between now and 2050.

  3. redskylite Says:

    Just do what we need to do Ford, Insurance companies can help to convince the reluctant companies.

    “Axa, which chairs the Net Zero Insurance alliance, is trying to push the industry’s largest players to exclude polluting companies and focus on those that have clear and credible transition plans, both in their investment and underwriting universes.”

    https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/international/2021/09/29/634207.htm

  4. jimbills Says:

    Saw this today:

    Tesla’s Musk Says U.S. Electricity Production Needs to Double to Power Transition to EV Vehicles
    https://finance.yahoo.com/m/41e00382-2015-30d3-8e7d-723aa8ddbd42/tesla%E2%80%99s-musk-says-u-s-.html

    • J4Zonian Says:

      It would be absolutely insane for us to try to recreate the insane US life”style” with renewable energy and regenerative agriculture. We need to build public mass transit for most movement of goods and people because it’s 80% more efficient and doesn’t encourage the kind of superiority and isolation that’s a major driver of this multifaceted crisis. For all the good he’s doing, Musk is too taken with his own sense of narcissistic entitlement and superiority. I understand the purpose of starting with high performance toys for rich people but now it’s time to concentrate on building high speed rail to replace flying and long distance driving.

  5. J4Zonian Says:

    jimbills, (October 4, 2021 at 10:15 am)

    I make no predictions, and I’m not talking about what we should do; I’m talking what we need to do for civilization to survive.

    The vast majority of people, even many climate activists, have no idea how dire the situation is and how radical the solutions are that are needed to avoid unparalleled destruction.

    Even in Germany, way ahead of the US in decarbonizing despite its huge disadvantages in resources:
    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/03102021/german-election-climate-action-greens-social-democrats/

    The choice being made now is to let global civilization unravel, and to let hundreds of millions die, mostly poor people of color far away, so privileged white people can continue to act as if nothing is happening. Even if this were true and they could continue, it would be unacceptable, for the obvious reason and because it is and will cause irreparable harm to the psyche of humanity, just like we see avulsion, slavery and genocide have continued to reverberate malevolently through the centuries, leading us to our current dilemma over the insane faction in our society. (It’s a faction because of the “division of labor” involved in any psychological system. When either the individual or collective psyche is under extreme pressure it tends to split into opposite qualities, with projection and the accompanying absorption of projections causing polarization, as we see. That will have to be addressed or it too will continue to get worse.)

    But that fantasy of continuing as is is just that; even the richest won’t escape the destruction; everything that makes their lives worth living, whether they know or admit them or not, will be either lost or severely degraded soon. I’m not talking about the likelihood of any sufficient change, or making moral judgments, only saying what needs to happen for survival, which is in the balance with every seemingly insignificant decision now. So the more people aware of the real situation, the more likely something real will be done. Whether it’s a 90% chance of survival or 10%, the only thing I know to do is keep pushing for more awareness and more action.


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