Many in the energy industry know and there is a great deal chatter now these days that a replacement transportation fuel is needed, until the electrical vehicle infrastructure can become more fully realized. I think those in charge are solicitous about adopting an unconventional fuel stock, because so many green fashionistas have undermined the science in the biofuels sector for so many years, too. Unfortunately, there is going to be A LOT of pain, soon. The price of gasoline is low for a reason–we have reached the end of growth. If consumers cannot afford to buy goods and services, there will be little demand, so prices have to be kept low. This is the antithesis of the ‘models’ predictions of economists from years gone by.

This past Friday, the DoE rejected my and my co-collaborator’s Concept paper for their Dual Fuel Fleet Demonstration Project, altho they agreed to recognize, consider ethane as a transportation fuel stock now. EV (Electric Vehicle) was featured prominently in the categorical exclusion criteria scope and their scoring. No surprises. Big auto companies who are trying to get more hybrid-EV drivetrains for trucks, and SUVs into the market are trying to squeeze out any competition, so the (mostly) energy illiterate, entitled masses who lifestyles predicated on hyper-consumerism can continue. This hyper-consumerism lifestyle is NOT sustainable.

This is a DAMN pity. Such hubris. Such stupidity and short-sightedness. Any sensible engineer knows, until batteries and electric motors weigh the same/less, a dense, energy-rich, liquid fuel makes the most sense.  At worst, an intermediate, transitional fuel solution, like ethane is needed–that is if the citizenry is hell-bent on maintaining this quality of life to which they have become accustomed. 

I mean, what, we here in the USA are INSTANTLY going to get an EV infrastructure built?! What emulate Europe’s train/locomotive system, because we were short-sighted back in the day to mostly abandon this for the automobile, which is now going to bite us more in the ass? Sure. How long will this take? At least a decade+, at best. So what about the interim?

I bet the handlers of the engineers who have performed calculations how much space carrying today’s batteries on a semi-truck will take up have been excoriated or ignored. What ~½+ the payload?

Siemens is proposing an EV highway, the eHighway in SoCal for semi-trucks/18-wheelers; results to be reported next summer. However, the question that requires answering is how much power these hybrid-EV trucks will need to overcome to compete with 1,500 lb of diesel in a typical semi-/18-wheeler fuel tank. 

Siemen’s EV Truck

I attempted to locate information on Siemen’s web site with road freight challenges metrics that have to be overcome; there was this:

The main obstacle to electrified road freight has been the size and weight required for on-board storage of electrical energy. For example, a road truck weighing 40 tons traveling 1,000 kilometers would need approximately 20 tons of batteries. This problem can be solved by providing power to the truck as it is driving.

So at least my initial W.A.G. (wild ass guess) about batteries taking up ~½ load was correct. NOT even cost effective today. Let alone all the interstate weight restrictions that would be violated hauling around massive battery packs. It’s not as if the roadway infrastructure isn’t already under maintained, tenuous.  And if there’s no gas tax, then where’s the money going to come from to keep this infrastructure viable, working?!! Is anyone talking about this?! No. Ugh.

I mean, at least delivery companies like UPS get that to get to a point where an EV infrastructure makes sense is to have a hybrid solution, first. Crimey, a fully electrical drivetrain, with a simple gearbox, smaller battery, regenerative braking, and an electrical generator optimized for certain speeds and driving behavior, er like a delivery truck driver in a major metro area. Ethane could be the complementary, supplementary fuel stock for these hybrid-EV trucks, in the interim and perhaps well into the future. I’m just sayin’…

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