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Spin off concerning reliability and safety of electric vehicles.


studiot
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A week ago we had a moderately severe storm in the UK which lefts tens of thousans of properties without electricity.
A week on and there are still thousands stranded.

Watching the TV pictures of the emergency vehicles, I wondered what would happen if they were all electric ?

More precisely how would they be recharged if there was no mains power available ?

There are obviously not enough generators available to replace supplies to even the most needy as nursing and care homes went without electricity for nearly a week.

What might happen or be needed if we had another really severe storm of the magnitude of the late 1980s and early 1990s ?

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That's one of the new directions that should be considered. Very seriously.

While a scenario of replacing all emergency vehicles with electric ones, without the infrastructure to keep them running in an emergency, is unlikely (Parliaments  may be that short-sighted; town councils can't afford to be.), extreme weather events do need to be provided-for.

It's not only electric cars that will be immobilized when (not if) the storms become stronger and last longer. Communications, light, even heating of homes will be disabled. It doesn't matter if the fuel is propane; the controls are electric. So are the pumps for drinking water and sewage. It's a good idea, then, if you're going to be that heavily dependent of electricity, to insure your own supply. Every home, office and factory - and most particularly public service buildings: hospital, police station, fire-hall - should have its own solar/wind/tide/hydro generating capability and storage facility.   

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I live in a windy place, and have long thought a home wind generator (plus storage) would be a useful backup when the grid fails.  When it storms, the one thing you can count on is a lot of wind.  Your backup system is operating at its peak when you most need it.  Would be great for public service buildings and emergency vehicle fleets.

If you weren't going anywhere in a storm, and had an EV garaged, it would also, if low on charge, add some overflow capacity to your house batteries.  

 

 

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I've seen a solar panels on police stations and a few churches around here. Also, the works department just added some more. Several other community buildings have had them for years. These might be enough to charge the city's vehicles - except they haven't invested in any electric ones, and have cut back on the plans for the new city hall - just not enough money.  No municipal government ever has the money to carry out its optimistic plans.

 

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It is a common problem in hurricane prone errors to be unable to use home generators that run on gasoline when the electricity is out. This is due to the fact that gasoline is pumped out of gas stations using electricity.

If the electric supply goes out over a wide area, it doesn't matter if your vehicles run on gasoline or electricity. You won't be able to replace either once your personal supply is depleted.

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Unless your supply lasts longer than the emergency - which it usually does. Eventually, the gas stations and everything else will be working again. Generally, when there is a very bad storm people are not  all that eager to be blown off the road or have a tree fall on them. So they stay put, hunker down, conserve energy. And they're sensible enough use power, water, food and gas reserves as little as possible. In most situations, they can hold out longer than the storm.

With climate change, we can't predict how long each inimical event will last; there is no precedent. The pandemic has already prompted many of us to lay in extra supplies in case of scarcity (except microchips - we overlooked that), and with more bad shit coming down the pike, we'll learn to be more provident in general. I hope we also learn to be less wasteful and self-indulgent.

1 hour ago, zapatos said:

Yes, and as I said, you can't replace it once your personal supply is depleted.

That's even more true globally.

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10 hours ago, Peterkin said:

While a scenario of replacing all emergency vehicles with electric ones, without the infrastructure to keep them running in an emergency, is unlikely (Parliaments  may be that short-sighted; town councils can't afford to be.), extreme weather events do need to be provided-for.

Thank you all for your replies.

 

Peterkin's point is sadly demonstrably falsified by the recent events, at least in the UK.

I think that we need a radical socio-political economic change to address the problem.

This is the second once public collective service that has cost people dear in their failure to plan and provision for predictable emergencies that are known to have happened in the past.

Last time was serious flooding and there were not enough pumps (and pump expertise) in the whole country to deal with the situation.

This time it was failed electricity distribution systems and there were (and still are) not enough standby generating capacity.

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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

I'm curious how you know that. Do you have a citation?

Personal experience. I've been living the country for about 30 years; seen my share of bad weather and power outages; have a pretty fair idea of my neighbours' preparedness for emergencies.

Most city people, which is what I was before, don't have that capability - or awareness of the necessity - for self-reliance. Urban and rural are different mindsets.

5 hours ago, studiot said:

Peterkin's point is sadly demonstrably falsified by the recent events, at least in the UK.

You mean, municipalities have been replacing their emergency vehicles with electric ones, before they installed recharge infrastructure? That really is irresponsible! Wasteful, too.

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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

I'm curious how you know that. Do you have a citation?

I doubt such a citation exists; it’s like proving a negative. Emergency backups working as planned isn’t newsworthy. But we hear about such failures when they occur. When hurricane Sandy hit the US east coast some years back, gasoline and diesel supplies were impacted, because the refineries and terminals were without power. So generators couldn’t be replenished once the fuel ran out. No gas/diesel for trucks to move fuel to critical customers. This was news, because it was a failure of unanticipated duration.

I imagine this caused a re-think of emergency procedures, as would the scenario you describe. 

13 hours ago, Peterkin said:

I know we have at least one thread where that idea is shown to fall well short of being self-sustaining (and I notice the article provides no analysis). A few added km of range, yes, but nothing more. 

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19 hours ago, studiot said:

A week ago we had a moderately severe storm in the UK which lefts tens of thousans of properties without electricity.
A week on and there are still thousands stranded.

Watching the TV pictures of the emergency vehicles, I wondered what would happen if they were all electric ?

More precisely how would they be recharged if there was no mains power available ?

There are obviously not enough generators available to replace supplies to even the most needy as nursing and care homes went without electricity for nearly a week.

What might happen or be needed if we had another really severe storm of the magnitude of the late 1980s and early 1990s ?

I think I read recently that fire engines can't be electric, due to the power demand of the pumps. It  may be that emergency vehicles should use whatever system is developed for lorries, for which batteries seem to too heavy. Hydrogen, perhaps, or some kind of renewable biofuel.

But diesel fuel will around for a few decades yet, so exempting emergency vehicles so they can continue to use it would be quite rational.  

 

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44 minutes ago, zapatos said:

You made it sound as if it was true more widely.

Sorry, I didn't realize that a simple observation had to stand up to such rigorous standards.

As I have no wider acquaintance than three counties in a single province, and no direct knowledge that country people elsewhere also keep gasoline reserves for their vehicles, farm equipment and generators,  I withdraw the remark.

48 minutes ago, swansont said:

I know we have at least one thread where that idea is shown to fall well short of being self-sustaining

That doesn't mean I can't think it's what we need.

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2 hours ago, Peterkin said:

Sorry, I didn't realize that a simple observation had to stand up to such rigorous standards.

 

You mean the rigorous standard of expecting people to have some basis for making a claim other than "well, it happened to my cousin Billy Bob so I'm sure it's a global phenomenon"?

Yeah, you should probably get used to that from people.

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Revoking the odious comment was a great move on your part I thought. On the other hand, suggesting that my request for supporting data was an unreasonable request didn't go over so well with me. 

Your assertion that supplies usually last longer than the emergency was not just a throw away comment. It went directly to the issue the OP raised about having energy supplies after a storm. I don't think I was out of line asking for supporting data since you were claiming enough energy is usually available.

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On 12/3/2021 at 9:48 PM, studiot said:

A week ago we had a moderately severe storm in the UK which lefts tens of thousans of properties without electricity.
A week on and there are still thousands stranded.

Watching the TV pictures of the emergency vehicles, I wondered what would happen if they were all electric ?

More precisely how would they be recharged if there was no mains power available ?

There are obviously not enough generators available to replace supplies to even the most needy as nursing and care homes went without electricity for nearly a week.

What might happen or be needed if we had another really severe storm of the magnitude of the late 1980s and early 1990s ?

The capacitance of energy in the battery would be turned into motion work but the motion work will still produce kE (kinetic energy) Av (area times velocity) which is considerably less than heat engines . 

 

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21 minutes ago, zapatos said:

suggesting that my request for supporting data was an unreasonable

I didn't say that. I said I had not expected to have to back up with external corroboration something I offered as an observation from my own perspective.

 

21 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Your assertion that supplies usually last longer than the emergency was not just a throw away comment.

Referring to the weather events to which we had been accustomed. To which I then added:

17 hours ago, Peterkin said:

With climate change, we can't predict how long each inimical event will last; there is no precedent.

And that was the point: What we've been used to, what we had been able to predict and prepare for, no longer holds true, so we'll need to change our attitudes, expectations and habits. This, too, is a mere unsupported opinion. Only this time, following upon expert advice, I expect it to be discounted. 

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1 hour ago, Pbob said:

The capacitance of energy in the battery would be turned into motion work but the motion work will still produce kE (kinetic energy) Av (area times velocity) which is considerably less than heat engines . 

 

I fail to see how this is a reply to my question.

Please explain.

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3 hours ago, studiot said:

I fail to see how this is a reply to my question.

Please explain.

My apologies , my thoughts just saw the bigger picture and global warming . A battery temporal conserves energy but often the energy is transformed into work rather than heat energy . 

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7 hours ago, Pbob said:

My apologies , my thoughts just saw the bigger picture and global warming . A battery temporal conserves energy but often the energy is transformed into work rather than heat energy . 

No problem.

I agree that is likely the case.

:)

But you don't need to quote me or anyone else to post your thoughts in a thread here.

Just post stuff which makes sense like this and you will do well.

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