If you want to help keep the plug-in hybrid tax credits in the stimulus … is the place to go.

They helped get an 80-16 Senate vote that doubled the number of plug-in tax credits from 250,000 to 500,000. The key is to keep that in the final version.

3 Responses to If you want to help keep the plug-in hybrid tax credits in the stimulus …

  1. Maybe you should look at

    Note that the regular Prius engine delivers 38% average efficiency.

    Then think about the fact that most of the electricity will be coming from coal. And the coal fired power plants deliver 33% efficiency.

    And the plug-in efforts by GM make no mention of efficiency.

    And Ford did not even bother to put regenerative braking into their Fusion Hybrid.

    [JR: I like you, Jim. But I won’t put up with your making stuff up. The Fusion hybrid has regenerative braking. That’s about half the point of the hybrid.

    Half the electricity for a plug in comes from coal. And yes, it has an efficiency of 33%, but a typical gasoline engine has an efficiency of maybe 20%. The 38% figure for the Prius includes an Atkinson engine plus regenerative braking.

    Finally, the whole point of the plug in is that you switch the job of reducing transportation in greenhouse gas emissions from 200 million small sources to a few hundred big ones. Creating zero carbon electricity is a lot easier than zero carbon transportation fuels.]

  2. Thanks Joe,

    Look at pages 16 and 17 of:

    This report dated 2007 was relative to tests on 2004 models Prius and Fusion. (It ain’t made up.) (It is a little obscure that there is no regenerative braking on the Fusion; you have to glean it from the context of the report.)

    [JR: Huh? The 2004 Focus was not a hybrid.]

    Yes it is about half the point of the hybrid. At least there is no argument there.

    As we all know there is no record as to where electricity comes from. However, the incremental response for new loads can, does, and will be additional use of coal. Everything but natural gas facilities is fully loaded with the loads as they are. Heat from coal is about $1 per million BTU (at $20 per ton for Powder River Basin coal.) (See the USGS coal study for heat content of that sub-bituminous coal. You provided the link. It ain’t made up.) (The $20 per ton is roughly the amount that they are now writing contracts for future delivery, as closely as I can tell from the Arch Coal annual report. It ain’t made up.) So when natural gas is running $4 to $12 per million BTU (Look at commodity prices for natural gas at WSJ. I summarize, but it ain’t made up.) do you really think power companies will choose natural gas?

    Look at
    This is the only honest public data record I can find.
    (It ain’t made up.)

    [JR: Sorry, this is making stuff up. First off, I don’t think there’s any evidence that the incremental new load will come from coal. You can make a much better case that the incremental new load for PHEVs will come from wind, since wind is adding generation at an incredible pace, and I take Obama at his word. Once we have a CAP on utility emissions, then PHEVs will actually be ZEVs!]

    The 38% Prius engine efficiency is just that; the engine efficiency. So maybe the first thing should be to fix the deficient efficiency US car engines. How about copying Toyota? How embarrassing is that?

    [JR: Here I believe you are just wrong. The 38% figure is Tank to Wheels, all in. I have discussed this at length with Toyota. BTW, They are only able to use the Atkinson engine because this is a hybrid. According to online articles, the Fusion hybrid uses an Atkinson engine, which is what you would expect given its mileage.]

    The Prius regenerative braking is separate, but it is the reason that urban mileage is so good.

    [JR: Regenerative braking helps in all circumstances, not just urban. I assume you have a Prius and know that.]

    That point about big sources of electric power being easier to fix than small could be valid regarding NOx emissions, but it is not valid regarding CO2. These big sources are stuck out away from anywhere that the heat could be used. Since they are not all that efficient after all, the CO2 they produce is actually about the same, greater if they use coal, so is not the whole point of the “big ones” lost in respect to the CO2 problem?

    [JR: Huh? You are really losing me here, buddy. It is much easier to make the grid entirely zero carbon than to do so for transportation fuels.]

  3. How embarrassing. I stand corrected on the Fusion. The report was on the Ford Focus. As a feeble defense, I jumped to the conclusion based on the report title, “Impact of Drive Cycle Aggressiveness and Speed
    on HEVs Fuel Consumption Sensitivity.”
    And then made the leap to the Fusion since that is a hybrid. I apologize for the confusion.

    It is not making stuff up to have a skeptical opinion that alternative sources will actually be that big a part of the mix. I also think that in the magnitude that they will come to exist, they will be fully used before the additonal load of the electric car. It is also an opinion based on somewhat rational thought that a cap on CO2, if actually implemented, can not be strong enough to actually stop coal fired power plants from being the incremental responders I mention.

    On the 38% figure, it is exactly quoted from the linked reference. I give Toyota good marks for working out a way to use an efficient engine, and I see no merit in the plug-in movement that does not recognize this advantage. If it is wrong, the Argonne measurement is wrong. But I do not argue it is tank to wheels; that does not include the regenerative braking effect; if it did the engine itself would be doing even better. Exchanging kinetic energy with electrical energy, back and forth, is never a positive; it is still a lot better than dumping the heat in brakes. So actually, my 38% figure is not in dispute.

    And really, “ZEVs?” That will be a valid claim only when natural gas and coal are completely displaced as power sources.

    Yes, regenerative braking is good all around. It just gets more use in urban situations.

    We disagree about the likelihood of making the grid zero CO2. And of course transportation fuels, portable that they are, will not ever be zero CO2. However, I see a possibility that transportation could be a “small fraction carbon” of what it is today. And I am inclined to think based on a whole lot of other analysis that this could be a more viable way to make climate progress. Briefly, based on wind tunnel data from long ago, automobile aerodynamic drag can be a small fraction of what it is for cars, even the Prius, today. (That is not made up either. Look at Freeman, NACA, 1933 on the NASA reports server. )

    Thanks for listening, and again, my apolgies for my confusing mistake on the Ford Fusion. Apologies to Ford on that as well, and though Argonne did not help with their report title, I feel I should have been more careful.