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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Subaru went into a mini-revolution after model year 2004 in transmission technology. In 2005 the Outback and Legacy got Subaru's first 5 speed automatic transmission. The three speed automatic transmission had been terminated in 1995 when the Loyale was retired.

In 2010 the first modern CVT was introduced for the Outback and Legacy (CVT was used on the Justy in model year 1991). By 2014 there were no more 4 speed automatics, and by 2015 every automatic was a CVT (except the BRZ).

This upgrade to more fuel efficient transmission took an entire decade.

The futurologists, who predict an upgrade to fleetwide EV drivetrain in a decade to be optimistic in my opinion.

I find all the EVs released so far this year from all automakers to be priced astronomically compared to their gasoline counterparts. Although the base MSRP sounds reasonable, the actual vehicles delivered to the dealer all have expensive options and in some cases additional dealer markup.
 

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Subaru went into a mini-revolution after model year 2004 in transmission technology. In 2005 the Outback and Legacy got Subaru's first 5 speed automatic transmission. The three speed automatic transmission had been terminated in 1995 when the Loyale was retired.

In 2010 the first modern CVT was introduced for the Outback and Legacy (CVT was used on the Justy in model year 1991). By 2014 there were no more 4 speed automatics, and by 2015 every automatic was a CVT (except the BRZ).

This upgrade to more fuel efficient transmission took an entire decade.

The futurologists, who predict an upgrade to fleetwide EV drivetrain in a decade to be optimistic in my opinion.

I find all the EVs released so far this year from all automakers to be priced astronomically compared to their gasoline counterparts. Although the base MSRP sounds reasonable, the actual vehicles delivered to the dealer all have expensive options and in some cases additional dealer markup.
EV manufacturers will make good inroads with EV enthusiasts and some of those with a lot of disposable income, but to reach the masses the prices are going to have to start heading in the other direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Subaru Impreza AWD (original and before and after transmission mini revolution)
23 mpg 1994 1.8L, 4 cyl, Automatic 4-spd, 110-hp, $12,000 starting MSRP original generation
22 mpg 2004 2.5L, 4 cyl, Automatic 4-spd, 165-hp, $18,020 starting MSRP second generation
30 mpg 2012 2.0L, 4 cyl, Automatic (CVT), 148-hp, $17,495 starting MSRP fourth generation

Subaru's transmission revolution took a decade, and resulted in more fuel efficient vehicles with similar base prices.

There was some speculation in Car and Driver that the 220 mile Solterra would get a bargain price to sell more vehicles, but instead it has an MSRP $2140 higher than the AWD version of the bZ4X (XLE trim). Toyota has twice the dealerships as Subaru in the US. Pricing at parity means that Subaru could argue the Solterra has extra features and sell a lot more units.

It is difficult to imagine EVs as more than 20% of Subaru sales by 2030, let along 50% that is the goal of the California Air Resources Board. In order for Subaru to meet it's CAFE requirements, they will be forced to alter their primary engines.

It seems inevitable that Subaru incorporate Toyota's hybrid technology since battery electric vehicles are not going to sell in large quantities.

  • 132,346 Subaru sales 1st quarter 2022
  • 132,938 Toyota Motors North America electrified vehicle sales 1st quarter 2022.
Toyota's electrified vehicles are primarily full hybrids with a handful of PHEVs (7819) and fuel cell vehicles (715).
 

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but to reach the masses the prices are going to have to start heading in the other direction.
This is the stock opinion from a lot of people, but I predict just the opposite - instead of EVs getting cheaper in order to compete with ICE vehicles, ICE vehicles are going to keep getting more expensive, thus making EVs more competitive.

We already see that happening, with rising gas prices. An ICE vehicle is at least 50% more expensive to operate today than it was last year, and I think that's not going to get better. I think we're at an inflection point where you will see the ownership of EVs skyrocket in the next few years. There are ~50 new EV models being released over the next two years, and even if each of those only captures a small percentage of the new car market that's still 50 vehicles times a small percentage each - that adds up to a large percentage. Charging infrastructure is similarly going to be experiencing rapid growth.

So I think the greatest saving can be realized by buying an EV now. If you can afford the extra cost up front, the savings over the life of the vehicle will more than offset that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I think the greatest saving can be realized by buying an EV now. If you can afford the extra cost up front, the savings over the life of the vehicle will more than offset that.
So the Solterra has a battery that will almost certainly be considered obsolete in five years and dead in 10 years. Operating a Solterra Premium will save you the 500 to 600 gallons of gasoline that it takes to operate a Forester Premium or an Outback Premium, but the gasoline models will have lost a relatively small percentage of their value in five years, and will probably still be functional in 10 years.

But the Solterra premium is $15,000 to $16,000 more than the Forester or Outback premium.


$51,995​
Solterra​
Touring​
$48,495​
Solterra​
Limited​
$45,945​
Ascent​
Touring​
$44,995​
Solterra​
Premium
$42,395​
WRX​
GT​
$40,645​
Outback​
Touring​
XT​
$40,095​
Ascent​
Limited​
$38,695​
Outback​
Limited​
XT​
$38,495​
Ascent​
Onyx​
Edition​
$38,195​
Outback​
Touring​
$37,695​
Outback​
Wilderness​
$36,695​
Legacy​
Touring​
XT​
$36,345​
Crosstrek​
Hybrid​
$35,995​
Forester​
Touring​
$35,845​
Outback​
Onyx​
Edition​
XT​
$35,295​
Ascent​
Premium​
$34,995​
Legacy​
Limited​
XT​
$34,295​
Outback​
Limited​
$33,520​
Forester​
Wilderness​
$32,795​
Ascent​
--------------​
$32,575​
Forester​
Limited​
$32,105​
WRX​
Premium​
$30,495​
BRZ​
Limited​
$30,465​
Forester​
Sport​
$30,445​
Legacy​
Limited​
$29,845​
Outback​
Premium
$29,605​
WRX​
--------------​
$29,290​
Legacy​
Sport​
$28,995​
Crosstrek​
Limited​
$28,895​
Forester​
Premium
$27,995​
BRZ​
Premium​
$27,645​
Outback​
$27,495​
Crosstrek​
Sport​
$26,895​
Impreza​
Limited​
5-door​
$25,895​
Forester​
--------------​
$25,745​
Legacy​
Premium​
$24,295​
Crosstrek​
Premium​
MT​
$24,095​
Impreza​
Sport​
Sedan​
MT​
$23,495​
Impreza​
Sport​
5-door​
MT​
$23,495​
Legacy​
--------------​
$23,195​
Impreza​
Premium​
5-door​
$23,145​
Crosstrek​
--------------​
$22,695​
Impreza​
Premium​
Sedan​
$19,795​
Impreza​
5-door​
--------------​
MT​
$19,295​
Impreza​
Sedan​
--------------​
MT​
 

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the Solterra has a battery that will almost certainly be considered obsolete in five years and dead in 10 years
Obsolete maybe. Just like a cell phone you buy today will be obsolete in a few years. But if you wait for the "next greatest thing" then you will be constantly waiting. The only real question is whether there's something better that you can buy today.

But dead? Highly doubtful, and contraindicated by the millions of electric vehicles currently on the road. I haven't seen any warranty information from Subaru yet for the battery pack, but industry experience says they should easily last 10 years. And most people aren't going to keep their vehicle much longer than that anyway. How old are your vehicles?

Operating a Solterra Premium will save you the 500 to 600 gallons of gasoline
Right. That's currently $5/gallon or $2500/year. Times 10 years, that's $25,000. And since you say
the Solterra premium is $15,000 to $16,000 more than the Forester or Outback premium
then the extra up-front cost of the Solterra should pay for itself in about 6 years. (And that doesn't even account for the cost of oil changes and other maintenance/repairs that are needed for an ICE vehicle but not an EV.)

Bottom line, under all circumstances, EVs save money over the lifetime of the vehicle.
 

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Obsolete maybe. Just like a cell phone you buy today will be obsolete in a few years. But if you wait for the "next greatest thing" then you will be constantly waiting. The only real question is whether there's something better that you can buy today.

But dead? Highly doubtful, and contraindicated by the millions of electric vehicles currently on the road. I haven't seen any warranty information from Subaru yet for the battery pack, but industry experience says they should easily last 10 years. And most people aren't going to keep their vehicle much longer than that anyway. How old are your vehicles?


Right. That's currently $5/gallon or $2500/year. Times 10 years, that's $25,000. And since you say

then the extra up-front cost of the Solterra should pay for itself in about 6 years. (And that doesn't even account for the cost of oil changes and other maintenance/repairs that are needed for an ICE vehicle but not an EV.)

Bottom line, under all circumstances, EVs save money over the lifetime of the vehicle.
Just how much someone saves will largely depend on the price difference between EV and ICE car, as well as miles driven in a year, much as you describe above.

The 6 year break-even period, however, will be longer as operating an EV is rarely free, unless someone just happens to have a large, unused solar array or windmill sitting around that can be used to charge their EV. In other words, most EV owners will have a fuel cost that will offset some of the savings.

In my case, I could break even fairly quickly when I had a pre-COVID 60 mile round trip for work, but during COVID my department went to permanent work-from-home. Now I drive about 1/4th as much as I did before, so a Solterra would save me about $75/month instead of $300/month. Had I been able to pay about $43k out-the-door for a Solterra instead of about $53k (both excluding the $7500 tax credit), then I still would have broken even after a few years. without that long work commute, I would save about $9k in fuel over 10 years instead of $36k. That’s a huge difference.

I’m really disappointed that the Solterra price didn’t work out well for me, because I really wanted a more reliable vehicle, and I strongly believe a well-engineered EV will overall be much cheaper to maintain than a well-engineered ICE vehicle.
 

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Agree. I am also disappointed in the initial price point of the Solterra. That price makes it less competitive than it should be, and lengthens the payback time. I'm still buying it, because it is more affordable and suits me better than other options. Whether or not I buy another Subaru ever again remains a question, though - they have not bought any brand loyalty from me with this pricing. In my case the Solterra will be replacing a 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid, which is rated at 44 mpg. I believe this will be a step up and will save me money in the long term, but I admit the savings will not be very large.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
But dead? Highly doubtful, and contraindicated by the millions of electric vehicles currently on the road. I haven't seen any warranty information from Subaru yet for the battery pack, but industry experience says they should easily last 10 years. And most people aren't going to keep their vehicle much longer than that anyway. How old are your vehicles?
I said "dead" in 10 years. I said "obsolete" in 5 years.

To bolster your argument we had a guy post on this forum that he sold a Tesla Model 3 after 30 months of use for $14,000 less than he paid for it. Factoring in the $8000 he got in incentives ($7500 from federal government and $500 from state government) and the money he saved in gas (this was before the recent upsurge in gasoline prices) he decided the Tesla 3 was the cheapest vehicle he had ever owned.

So if the Solterra Premium costs $16,000 more than the Forester Premium then after 60 months which vehicle will be worth more in 60 months? That is the difficult question to answer. It's been a little more than 38 months since February 28, 2019 when Tesla posted: "We are incredibly excited to announce that the standard Model 3, with 220 miles of range, a top speed of 130 mph and 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.6 seconds is now available at $35,000!"Since that turned out to be mostly blarney, it is not clear what a Solterra will be worth in 60 months.

Right now residential electricity costs an average of $138 per megawatt hour in the United States (with considerable variation from state to state), and an EV needs roughly 5 MWh per year to operate, so you should pay ~$700 per year to charge it plus extra DC fast charging when you are out of your metro area. With gasoline $4.914 per gallon it costs ~$2500 for gasoline (~600 gallons) in a year which is ~$800 more than a year ago when gasoline cost $2.901 per gallon.

Toyota should reach 200,000 threshold and lose the $7,500 federal tax incentive this year. That should help Subaru sales by a lot!
 

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I said "dead" in 10 years. I said "obsolete" in 5 years.

To bolster your argument we had a guy post on this forum that he sold a Tesla Model 3 after 30 months of use for $14,000 less than he paid for it. Factoring in the $8000 he got in incentives ($7500 from federal government and $500 from state government) and the money he saved in gas (this was before the recent upsurge in gasoline prices) he decided the Tesla 3 was the cheapest vehicle he had ever owned.

So if the Solterra Premium costs $16,000 more than the Forester Premium then after 60 months which vehicle will be worth more in 60 months? That is the difficult question to answer. It's been a little more than 38 months since February 28, 2019 when Tesla posted: "We are incredibly excited to announce that the standard Model 3, with 220 miles of range, a top speed of 130 mph and 0-60 mph acceleration of 5.6 seconds is now available at $35,000!"Since that turned out to be mostly blarney, it is not clear what a Solterra will be worth in 60 months.

Right now residential electricity costs an average of $138 per megawatt hour in the United States (with considerable variation from state to state), and an EV needs roughly 5 MWh per year to operate, so you should pay ~$700 per year to charge it plus extra DC fast charging when you are out of your metro area. With gasoline $4.914 per gallon it costs ~$2500 for gasoline (~600 gallons) in a year which is ~$800 more than a year ago when gasoline cost $2.901 per gallon.

Toyota should reach 200,000 threshold and lose the $7,500 federal tax incentive this year. That should help Subaru sales by a lot!
My friend bought his Tesla Model 3 back in 2019, and had he not opted for FSD, his price before taxes, etc. would have been not much more than that $35k number, so it wasn’t smoke and mirrors. Once you start adding options, taxes, etc., the price definitely climbs quickly.

I’m not sure where you live, but I just filled up at a Costco in Centerville, OH on Saturday, and the price was $3.79/gallon, so the savings numbers would be a bit different for me. On the other hand, electricity is pretty cheap here, too. :)

One final comment, my friend took a look at his Model 3’s resale value, and he could sell it for more than what he paid in 2019! Part of that is because he works from home and doesn’t put a lot of miles on it, but a big part is related to how lithium prices are heading into the stratosphere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I’m not sure where you live, but I just filled up at a Costco in Centerville, OH on Saturday, and the price was $3.79/gallon, so the savings numbers would be a bit different for me. On the other hand, electricity is pretty cheap here, too. :)
EVs have different efficiencies, but an average EV will drive for 15,000 miles on 5 megawatt hours. Solterra is rated at 4.87 MWh for 15,000 miles. A polestar 2 single motor can do it with 4.65 MWh while a dual motor takes 5.85 MWh. A Tesla Model 3RWD is ultra-efficient and can drive 15,000 miles on 3.75 MWh. A Porsche Taycan can take as much as 7.2 MWh.

The average price paid for a Megawatt hour(1000 kWh) of residential electricity by state in Feb 2022 is below. Electricity is much higher in New England, New York, Alaska, and California. Hawaii is always the highest because they have no coal, no natural gas and no nuclear. They are heavily dependent on petroleum which is very rare in most of the country outside of Hawaii and Alaska. Petroleum is just as dirty as coal, but costs a lot more expensive. Gas prices around the country can be gathered daily from AA website.
$382​
Hawaii​
$265​
Connecticut​
$257​
Rhode Island​
$256​
Massachusetts​
$256​
California​
$222​
New Hampshire​
$221​
Alaska​
$216​
New York​
$210​
Maine​
$192​
Vermont​
$171​
Michigan​
$158​
New Jersey​
$150​
Wisconsin​
$145​
Pennsylvania
$141​
Maryland​
$141​
Illinois​
$138​
U.S. Total
$137​
Florida​
$136​
Colorado​
$134​
Indiana​
$134​
District of Columbia​
$132​
New Mexico​
$132​
Nevada​
$132​
Minnesota​
$132​
Alabama​
$131​
South Carolina​
$127​
Arizona​
$127​
Kansas​
$127​
Ohio
$123​
Texas​
$122​
Delaware​
$121​
Virginia​
$119​
West Virginia​
$119​
Georgia​
$118​
Mississippi​
$114​
Kentucky​
$113​
Iowa​
$113​
South Dakota​
$112​
North Carolina​
$109​
Oregon​
$109​
Tennessee​
$106​
Utah​
$105​
Louisiana​
$104​
Montana​
$104​
Oklahoma​
$103​
Wyoming​
$102​
Arkansas​
$100​
Washington​
$100​
Missouri​
$98​
Nebraska​
$98​
Idaho​
$96​
North Dakota​

One final comment, my friend took a look at his Model 3’s resale value, and he could sell it for more than what he paid in 2019! Part of that is because he works from home and doesn’t put a lot of miles on it, but a big part is related to how lithium prices are heading into the stratosphere.
That blogger that I mentioned who sold his Model 3 after 30 months only did it so he could buy a Model Y.
 

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EVs have different efficiencies, but an average EV will drive for 15,000 miles on 5 megawatt hours. Solterra is rated at 4.87 MWh for 15,000 miles. A polestar 2 single motor can do it with 4.65 MWh while a dual motor takes 5.85 MWh. A Tesla Model 3RWD is ultra-efficient and can drive 15,000 miles on 3.75 MWh. A Porsche Taycan can take as much as 7.2 MWh.

The average price paid for a Megawatt hour(1000 kWh) of residential electricity by state in Feb 2022 is below. Electricity is much higher in New England, New York, Alaska, and California. Hawaii is always the highest because they have no coal, no natural gas and no nuclear. They are heavily dependent on petroleum which is very rare in most of the country outside of Hawaii and Alaska. Petroleum is just as dirty as coal, but costs a lot more expensive. Gas prices around the country can be gathered daily from AA website.
$382​
Hawaii​
$265​
Connecticut​
$257​
Rhode Island​
$256​
Massachusetts​
$256​
California​
$222​
New Hampshire​
$221​
Alaska​
$216​
New York​
$210​
Maine​
$192​
Vermont​
$171​
Michigan​
$158​
New Jersey​
$150​
Wisconsin​
$145​
Pennsylvania
$141​
Maryland​
$141​
Illinois​
$138​
U.S. Total
$137​
Florida​
$136​
Colorado​
$134​
Indiana​
$134​
District of Columbia​
$132​
New Mexico​
$132​
Nevada​
$132​
Minnesota​
$132​
Alabama​
$131​
South Carolina​
$127​
Arizona​
$127​
Kansas​
$127​
Ohio
$123​
Texas​
$122​
Delaware​
$121​
Virginia​
$119​
West Virginia​
$119​
Georgia​
$118​
Mississippi​
$114​
Kentucky​
$113​
Iowa​
$113​
South Dakota​
$112​
North Carolina​
$109​
Oregon​
$109​
Tennessee​
$106​
Utah​
$105​
Louisiana​
$104​
Montana​
$104​
Oklahoma​
$103​
Wyoming​
$102​
Arkansas​
$100​
Washington​
$100​
Missouri​
$98​
Nebraska​
$98​
Idaho​
$96​
North Dakota​



That blogger that I mentioned who sold his Model 3 after 30 months only did it so he could buy a Model Y.
That’s a useful chart. Ohio is definitely on the right side of electricity costs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
That’s a useful chart. Ohio is definitely on the right side of electricity costs.
States not only differ on their primary power source, but also in how much electricity they generate in state. Wyoming and West Virginia not only export coal to other states for power generation, they use their coal to generate a surplus of electricity and export electricity to other states. Pennsylvania is a major exporter of electricity to New York and New Jersey. Data below is from 2019 and it is kWh per person per month.
  • 6,088 Wyoming
  • 2,970 West Virginia
  • 1,468 Pennsylvania
  • 1,381 Texas
  • 1,041 United States average
  • 843 Ohio
  • 543 New York
  • 425 California
The low amount of electricity generated in New York State per person is not particularly surprising as it has a huge population living in very high density in relatively small homes, but many people don't realize how little electricity is generated in California. Keep in mind that 425 kWh per person per month * 12 = 5.1 Megawatt hours per per person per year. That amount is very similar to the ~5 MWh per year required to power a normal EV.

There is much more attention paid to the primary energy sources used in each state for generating electricity

Ohio
43.0% natural gas
38.7% coal
14.2% nuclear
4.1% other

Pennsylvania
42.8% natural gas
16.6% coal
36.3% nuclear
4.3% other

Wyoming
2.4% natural gas
83.9% coal
0.0% nuclear
13.7% other (primarily wind)

California
42.5% natural gas
0.1% coal
8.0% nuclear
49.4% other

Energy in California is obviously a hot topic, but when the rolling blackouts hit many people talk about the solar and wind generation and what it will mean when the state largely switches to EVs. The pimary energy mix comes up a lot given the high prices of electricity in California, even though the West largely has low electricity prices.

I seldom hear the simple observation the CA produces less than half of the national average measured on a per person basis. Right now nuclear is going to be illegal in 23 years. Not just the closing down of Diablo Canyon (the last nuclear power plant in California), but it will be illegal to import the power from the massive Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (the largest in the nation) between Phoenix and Los Angeles which is partially owned by three California institutions. If the law is not changed then California will not participate in the future use of small nuclear power plants that are under development.
 

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States not only differ on their primary power source, but also in how much electricity they generate in state. Wyoming and West Virginia not only export coal to other states for power generation, they use their coal to generate a surplus of electricity and export electricity to other states. Pennsylvania is a major exporter of electricity to New York and New Jersey. Data below is from 2019 and it is kWh per person per month.
  • 6,088 Wyoming
  • 2,970 West Virginia
  • 1,468 Pennsylvania
  • 1,381 Texas
  • 1,041 United States average
  • 843 Ohio
  • 543 New York
  • 425 California
The low amount of electricity generated in New York State per person is not particularly surprising as it has a huge population living in very high density in relatively small homes, but many people don't realize how little electricity is generated in California. Keep in mind that 425 kWh per person per month * 12 = 5.1 Megawatt hours per per person per year. That amount is very similar to the ~5 MWh per year required to power a normal EV.

There is much more attention paid to the primary energy sources used in each state for generating electricity

Ohio
43.0% natural gas
38.7% coal
14.2% nuclear
4.1% other

Pennsylvania
42.8% natural gas
16.6% coal
36.3% nuclear
4.3% other

Wyoming
2.4% natural gas
83.9% coal
0.0% nuclear
13.7% other (primarily wind)

California
42.5% natural gas
0.1% coal
8.0% nuclear
49.4% other

Energy in California is obviously a hot topic, but when the rolling blackouts hit many people talk about the solar and wind generation and what it will mean when the state largely switches to EVs. The pimary energy mix comes up a lot given the high prices of electricity in California, even though the West largely has low electricity prices.

I seldom hear the simple observation the CA produces less than half of the national average measured on a per person basis. Right now nuclear is going to be illegal in 23 years. Not just the closing down of Diablo Canyon (the last nuclear power plant in California), but it will be illegal to import the power from the massive Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (the largest in the nation) between Phoenix and Los Angeles which is partially owned by three California institutions. If the law is not changed then California will not participate in the future use of small nuclear power plants that are under development.
You might find this interesting: Did California actually hit 97% renewables in April? Yes and no
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You might find this interesting
Did California actually hit 97% renewables in April? Yes and no
Good article. It highlights the issues about short term accomplishments vs short term catastrophe. Looking at one 4 hours period where you achieve 97% makes you feel like an all renewable electric grid is very feasible considering the expected advances in solar generation and battery storage. Then you look at summer of 2020 when widespread rolling blackouts which were the worst in 20 years which brought down Governor Davis's career and you think that California is crazy to try and develop an all renewable/battery grid.

But specifically looking at EV power requirements, this video is very popular.
Engineering explained If Gas Cars Are Banned, Can The Grid Handle Electric Cars?

The narrator makes the comment that production of electricity in the US was increased by 5X from 1960 to 2000 or an average of 4% per year. While that statement is very true, it helps me to look at the increase on a decade by decade basis (I also inluded the 1950s and post 2000 to round out the analysis). We see that the rate of increase was 4% only for the 1970s. It was much higher in the 1960s, so that the average from 1960 to 2000 was 4%.

Change in total electrical power generated in the US
  • +8.5% from 1950 to 1960
  • +7.3% from 1960 to 1970
  • +4.1% from 1970 to 1980
  • +2.9% from 1980 to 1990
  • +2.3% from 1990 to 2000
  • +0.8% from 2000 to 2010
  • -0.3% from 2010 to 2020
The narrator goes on to say that achieving the expected 3% per year increase to meet EV demand should be no problem as electric generation companies are in the business to make money and they will find a way, just like they did in previous decades.

But the single most important production fuel for electricity generation in previous decades was coal. Coal production of electricity peaked in just 2007 and by the year 2020 had been rolled back to production levels of 1972.

Change in electrical power generated from coal in the US
  • 10.0% from 1950 to 1960
  • 5.7% from 1960 to 1970
  • 5.1% from 1970 to 1980
  • 3.2% from 1980 to 1990
  • 2.1% from 1990 to 2000
  • -0.6% from 2000 to 2010
  • -8.3% from 2010 to 2020
But a big part of being able to retire coal generation plants is that US no longer needs to increase the overall electricity supply. That is because of conservation measures and considerably more efficient appliances, light bulbs, etc. In fact the total amount of electricity generated in the US decreased in the decade from 2010 to 2020. Also keep in mind that in the past three decades natural gas has become dominant in most states (including California).

Change in electrical power generated from natural gas in the US
  • 13.4% from 1950 to 1960
  • 9.0% from 1960 to 1970
  • -0.7% from 1970 to 1980
  • 0.8% from 1980 to 1990
  • 4.9% from 1990 to 2000
  • 5.3% from 2000 to 2010
  • 5.0% from 2010 to 2020
So just because power companies could generate a big increase in electricity in previous decades using coal and nuclear does not mean that they will be able to continue to retire coal and nuclear and simultaneously meet a new upsurge in demand via renewables especially if the relatively new natural gas plants are also increasingly retired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
New York could be headed for trouble, too.
Which is why you should look at how much electricity is generated per person in a state. While low population states/distric like Washington DC and Vermont simply import their electricity, if a large population state doesn't generate enough electricity they are increasingly vulnerable. In the case of New York, the governor forced the closing of Indian Point nuclear power plant not because it was dangerous, but primarily because it was so close to New York City. Three natural gas plants were needed to replace the electricity generation from the Indian Point plant being shut down.

Prior to Indian Point being shut down New York's relatively small electric power production per person was generated 36.2% natural gas, 34.1% nuclear, 23.0% hydropower.

Advocates of small modular nuclear reactors that can be built in factories and shipped to site via ships or rail remind us that nuclear can provide reliable carbon emission free power when the sun goes down and it's not a windy day. (1 citizen out of 3 live in TX, CA, NY, FL)

kWh per person per month in 2019​
State​
1,041​
United States
1,381​
Texas
948​
Florida
543​
New York
425​
California
6,088​
Wyoming

4,401​
North Dakota

2,970​
West Virginia

2,366​
Alabama

2,136​
Montana

1,856​
Mississippi

1,794​
Oklahoma

1,780​
Louisiana

1,767​
Arkansas

1,628​
South Carolina

1,585​
Nebraska

1,468​
Pennsylvania

1,443​
Kansas

1,384​
New Mexico

1,363​
South Dakota

1,328​
Kentucky

1,321​
Arizona

1,254​
Indiana

1,232​
Iowa

1,224​
Oregon

1,199​
Illinois

1,151​
Washington

1,091​
New Hampshire

1,071​
Nevada

1,046​
North Carolina

1,046​
Missouri

1,000​
Georgia

996​
Utah

992​
Tennessee

965​
Michigan

935​
Virginia

926​
Connecticut

877​
Wisconsin

867​
Minnesota

843​
Ohio

833​
Idaho

813​
Colorado

690​
Alaska

642​
Maine

637​
New Jersey

579​
Rhode Island

558​
Hawaii

531​
Maryland

443​
Delaware

297​
Vermont

255​
Massachusetts

21​
District of Columbia
 

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Good article. It highlights the issues about short term accomplishments vs short term catastrophe. Looking at one 4 hours period where you achieve 97% makes you feel like an all renewable electric grid is very feasible considering the expected advances in solar generation and battery storage. Then you look at summer of 2020 when widespread rolling blackouts which were the worst in 20 years which brought down Governor Davis's career and you think that California is crazy to try and develop an all renewable/battery grid.

But specifically looking at EV power requirements, this video is very popular.
Engineering explained If Gas Cars Are Banned, Can The Grid Handle Electric Cars?

The narrator makes the comment that production of electricity in the US was increased by 5X from 1960 to 2000 or an average of 4% per year. While that statement is very true, it helps me to look at the increase on a decade by decade basis (I also inluded the 1950s and post 2000 to round out the analysis). We see that the rate of increase was 4% only for the 1970s. It was much higher in the 1960s, so that the average from 1960 to 2000 was 4%.

Change in total electrical power generated in the US
  • +8.5% from 1950 to 1960
  • +7.3% from 1960 to 1970
  • +4.1% from 1970 to 1980
  • +2.9% from 1980 to 1990
  • +2.3% from 1990 to 2000
  • +0.8% from 2000 to 2010
  • -0.3% from 2010 to 2020
The narrator goes on to say that achieving the expected 3% per year increase to meet EV demand should be no problem as electric generation companies are in the business to make money and they will find a way, just like they did in previous decades.

But the single most important production fuel for electricity generation in previous decades was coal. Coal production of electricity peaked in just 2007 and by the year 2020 had been rolled back to production levels of 1972.

Change in electrical power generated from coal in the US
  • 10.0% from 1950 to 1960
  • 5.7% from 1960 to 1970
  • 5.1% from 1970 to 1980
  • 3.2% from 1980 to 1990
  • 2.1% from 1990 to 2000
  • -0.6% from 2000 to 2010
  • -8.3% from 2010 to 2020
But a big part of being able to retire coal generation plants is that US no longer needs to increase the overall electricity supply. That is because of conservation measures and considerably more efficient appliances, light bulbs, etc. In fact the total amount of electricity generated in the US decreased in the decade from 2010 to 2020. Also keep in mind that in the past three decades natural gas has become dominant in most states (including California).

Change in electrical power generated from natural gas in the US
  • 13.4% from 1950 to 1960
  • 9.0% from 1960 to 1970
  • -0.7% from 1970 to 1980
  • 0.8% from 1980 to 1990
  • 4.9% from 1990 to 2000
  • 5.3% from 2000 to 2010
  • 5.0% from 2010 to 2020
So just because power companies could generate a big increase in electricity in previous decades using coal and nuclear does not mean that they will be able to continue to retire coal and nuclear and simultaneously meet a new upsurge in demand via renewables especially if the relatively new natural gas plants are also increasingly retired.
Trend lines can be misleading, as well. Power generation increases in CA from 1950 through 1990 won’t accurately represent the political climate in CA that’s restricting utility expansion other than solar and wind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Trend lines can be misleading, as well.
Of course. Trend lines are always a salesman's greatest pitch. If you are trying to sell someone find a good trend that is based only on time and not on any other analysis.

Subaru US sales passed 700,000 in 2019. The official forecast was 720,000 sales for the year 2020 which seemed like a perfectly modest increase based on historical data. The 2022 projection is based on the first four months
First four months of 2022
-44.2%​
Forester​
-16.7%​
Impreza​
-76.3%​
WRX/STI​
5.6%​
Ascent​
-9.7%​
Legacy​
-13.5%​
Outback​
81.0%​
BRZ​
3.5%​
Crosstrek​
-19.7%​
TOTAL​


Historical US sales of Subaru vehicles
187,699​
2008​
216,652​
2009​
263,820​
2010​
266,989​
2011​
336,441​
2012​
424,683​
2013​
513,693​
2014​
582,675​
2015​
615,132​
2016​
647,956​
2017​
680,135​
2018​
700,117​
2019​
611,942​
2020​
583,810​
2021​
468,700​
2022​
 
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