Battery problems, charging times, and power outages during emergencies are all factors that are not noted in glossy green-energy dialog.
Perhaps there will be a day when civilization will not need fossil fuels as a ready source of energy.
However, today is not that day.
The Ika Rere, a brand new vessel and the first electric powered ferry in the southern hemisphere just had to be rescued after running out of battery in the harbor, leaving the vessel stranded without any power!
Luckily help was on the way, with a fossil fuel powered police boat coming to rescue the stranded passengers.
After successfully rescuing the passengers, the police boat went back out to tug the electric ferry back to port.
In fact, the realities of energy infrastructure are beginning to creep into green energy dreams. In fact, there is a fun term to describe the concern: Range anxiety.
Electric vehicle sales are accelerating, with a big push by California to stop selling new gas cars by 2035. But not all drivers are sold.
“My own concern is the range,” Novia Wong said. “Where do I find a charger? How far can I really go?”
These are questions that dealership owner John Patterson gets from every customer.
“One of the big words that we hear is, ‘range anxiety,'” he said.
How long does it take to fill up your gas tank (assuming you can afford to do so)? It takes me about 15 minutes to fill up my Honda CRV.
Charging times for electric vehicles appear to be a little longer.
You can also find approximate recharge times on some of the EV manufacturers’ web sites. Mini, for instance lists recharge times for its upcoming Mini Cooper Electric several different ways. It claims a 36-minute recharge to 80 percent at a Level 3 DC fast-charging station with up to 50 kW; 20 percent per hour at a home or public Level 2 charging station with up to 7.4 kW; and also 15–25 miles of range per hour at a Level 2 station. But nowhere does it state from what SoC the battery is at when charging begins.
And the inability to fuel up rapidly can lead to serious consequences, especially in an emergency situation like an impending hurricane.
But two years ago, the Florida Department of Agriculture issued a report sounding an alarm about what widespread implementation could mean for a mass evacuation scenario, along the lines of what Florida has seen this week with Hurricane Ian.
Since major hurricanes are often coupled with widespread power outages, the situation could leave electric vehicle drivers “stranded without transportation for days,” the report found.
The report called on the Florida Department of Transportation and the Department of Motor Vehicles to rapidly build up a network of rapid charging stations, along with investing in portable charging stations that can be charged and deployed along major routes to avoid a disaster on top of a disaster.
“One major issue comes from crowding — long queues. I’d expect it to form in gasoline stations and also charging stations,” said University of Illinois researcher Eleftharia Kontou, who co-authored a new study about the issue in South Florida. “What happens with electric vehicles is that charging is more time consuming. So having fast charging infrastructure is very important so that people can quickly charge and go to a shelter during the migrations.”
The lack of rapid charging stations can lead to people fleeing a disaster to take longer and indirect routes to get to storm shelters. That can put them more directly in harm’s way, said Kontou.
Battery problems, charging times, and power outages are all factors that are not noted in the glossy green-energy dialogue.DONATE
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