Saturday, March 9, 2013

$40 million Of Green For Gangrene





Folks we are not talking about the pharmaceutical industry doing some ground breaking research on the horrible disease of gangrene.  We are talking about more misguided government policy to coerce people to buy electric plug in vehicles. 

Several states led by the Once Golden State enacted legislation to impose “pollution” penalties on automakers who do not sell “enough” plug in cars.  Those makers that only sell plug in electric cars like Tesla can sell offsets to other manufacturers to avoid the state imposed penalties.  In 2012 Tesla collected $40.5 million in revenues from other auto manufacturers based on these cockamamie state penalties.  This equals approximately 10% of all of Tesla’s revenue.  This is a very sweet deal for Tesla that is teetering on the edge of survival.

Now let’s see if the state enacted legislation does any good for the environment or is simply another boondoggle to screw the poor in favor of the rich.    Tesla sold a total of 2,650 cars in 2012, hence the “pollution” credits equaled over $15,250 per car.  The IRS gave a $7,500 tax credit for the car and the state of California gave owners another $2,500.  Therefore each Tesla has a direct or indirect government subsidy of over $25,250.

These subsidies were all in the name of “green”.  The Consumers Report test drive of the Tesla showed the car needs 0.38 kilowatt hours per mile of battery power.  This equals 0.42 kwh/mile of grid power.  The Royal Society in the UK in a very recent publication calculated that each kwh of battery storage needed as much as 694 kwh of primary power to produce the lithium ion battery (the worst case scenario).  This means that each 85 kwh battery pack required 58,990 kwh of energy for their production.

Let us assume that each Tesla is driven 12,500 miles per year and lasts 8 years for a total of 100,000 miles.  Dividing the 58,990 kwh needed to produce the battery pack by the 100,000 miles we have to add 0.59 kwh/mile to the 0.42 kwh/mile to get the full kwh/mile to drive a Tesla.  This is 1.01 kwh per mile.  

The average emissions for power in the grid in the US is approximately 1.3 pounds of CO2 per kwh.  The tesla therefore emits 1.313 pounds of CO2 per mile.  The pounds of CO2 emissions per gallon of gasoline including oil extraction, transportation and refining, as well as on board combustion is about 25 pounds per gallon.   Therefore the Tesla is no better than a gasoline car that achieves 25 divided by 1.313 or only 19.04 MPG.


The Federal and State governments are transferring over $25,250 of poor people’s money to the super rich for each and every car that only achieves the emissions equivalent of a car that achieves 19.04 miles per gallon.  I was disgusted with the waste of money in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I am not surprised by the utter waste of money in subsidizing the toys the rich buy in the name of green.  We are living aboard a ship of fools with the captain navigating using a moonbeam.

Post Script ----  I did some additional checking and the US DOE Argonne Lab states the primary power as 472 kwh not the high of 694 kwh in the UK report.  Using the 472 kwh we get hte 85 kwh Tesla battery pack will need 40,120 kwh of primary power.  Dividing by the 100,000 miles we have 0.401 kwh per mile for the production of the battery pack.  Add the 0.42 kwh/mile for the charge energy for a total of 0.82 kwh per mile.  Performing the same calculation to get the equivalent mpg for CO2 emissions the result is 23.45 MPG.  Therefore even in the best case using the most optimistic DOE data the policy still makes no sense


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