Another electric bus fire

Eicca

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Every lithium battery is just a few misplaced molecules away from an unstoppable fire...
 

knucklegary

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Do these EV ticking time bombs have a battery system malfunction warning?
Hopefully an alert for the operator and passengers giving ample time to stop exit vehicle and run..
Not to mention the infernos during moving accidents.
No thanks!
 

Hooked on Fenix

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The U.S. government is pushing for an all electric fleet in the near future. Where are we supposed to go for help when police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances start bursting into flames like these buses?
 

Alaric Darconville

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The U.S. government is pushing for an all electric fleet in the near future. Where are we supposed to go for help when police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances start bursting into flames like these buses?
"To-day I read in the Gazette that the local constabulary is replacing the very fine horses they've used for years with this new Motor-Car invention; I dare say that 'what shall they do when the gasoline they use catches fire?' Surely they must re-think their ways and continue the use of the horse, which has proved its Safety time and again!"
-- Dullard Q. Simpleton, Lord Buzzkill of Podunk


Seriously. Progress happens. There will be minor mishaps. There may be some bigger mishaps. But it's progress and getting all caught up in the "what if X goes wrong?" mindset to the point where necessary technological advantages are not adopted, and development in those advancements is halted, is not wise or pragmatic or responsible.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Until they develop safer technologies like maybe solid state batteries, they shouldn’t be forcing people into vehicles that may not be safe yet. They are plowing ahead with a zero emissions agenda without a care in the world for the lives of everyday people they are forcing into being crash test dummies. I want electric cars to work, but I want people to have the freedom to have the option of a hybrid or regular I.C.E. vehicle as well. Competition will force manufacturers of electric cars to make better vehicles that will have to compete against other types, rather than make crappy ones everyone has to buy that occasionally explode.
 

jtr1962

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We already have safer battery technologies which can't explode, like LiFePO4. Some buses even use them. The downside is somewhat less range per kg but R&D is helping LiFePO4 catch up to regular li-ion.

It's nice to spread FUD about new technologies but ICE vehicles actually catch fire more often on a percentage basis. Besides, stuff happens whenever you roll out new technologies. The only people who never fail are the ones who never try anything new.

I want electric cars to work, but I want people to have the freedom to have the option of a hybrid or regular I.C.E. vehicle as well.
That option will disappear within I'd say a decade simply because it will no longer be profitable for automakers to make ICE vehicles that fewer and fewer people will want. Also, as EVs make up an ever greater share of vehicles, it will no longer be profitable for gas stations to continue operating. Nobody will force you to get rid of your existing ICE vehicles, but be aware the time will come when it's difficult and very expensive to fuel them. I actually discussed this with my brother. He'll be happy to get an electric for his next daily driver vehicle but he's wondering if he'll still be able to find gas for his "classic" 1960s hobby cars in time. I told him he's probably safe for at least a decade since there will still be a lot of ICE cars on the road but in 15 to 20 years that may not be the case.

The oil companies are always going to get business extracting oil as feedstocks for plastics and other stuff, so long-term they're not going anywhere. They'll probably just have to downsize to meet the smaller demand.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Until we get more nuclear power plants built to power all those electric cars, I don’t see gas powered cars going anywhere. If we can get enough nuclear power plants built to replace the current power plants and take on the extra load from all the electric vehicles, appliances, yard equipment, etc. we may see an end of I.C.E. vehicles around 2050. Maybe 2075 if our supply chain and economy continue to suffer and if there is a World War putting things on hold. Ideally, if our supply chain started working now (no chip shortage, no metals or plastics shortage, no worker shortage, no trucker strikes, no rail worker strikes, no port holdups, and the U.S. producing more oil), we could have enough smaller nuclear plants built to do the job by 2040, and maybe have hydrogen production as a byproduct for fuel cell cars. Right now as it stands, the electric grid is failing, hydropower in the west needs replaced with something now, renewables (wind, solar) are a joke for replacing constant sources of power, and we’re at a tipping point where we might not recover if we keep doubling down on green energy. We need oil as a bridge to the future right now and our leaders are busy burning that bridge.
 

jtr1962

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Until we get more nuclear power plants built to power all those electric cars, I don’t see gas powered cars going anywhere. If we can get enough nuclear power plants built to replace the current power plants and take on the extra load from all the electric vehicles, appliances, yard equipment, etc. we may see an end of I.C.E. vehicles around 2050.
We can get the additional power from lots of sources, not just nuclear. The southwest US is ideal for solar. You just need more grid storage to deal with the fact solar isn't 24/7. That's actually one of the few uses which make sense for hydrogen and fuel cells. Install an excess of solar power. The surplus energy is used for electrolysis to make hydrogen. At night the hydrogen is used in fuel cells to supply electricity.

It's also not as onerous as you're making it out. EVs typically charge at night when utilities even now have surplus power. Also, appliances will continue to get more efficient, leaving more headroom in the grid for EV charging. Look at lighting, for example. LEDs already gave us lots of breathing room in the grid. We can do similar things retrofitting buildings with better insulation, windows, and more efficient heating/cooling systems. Those things all make economic sense, since they pay for themselves over time.

Keep in mind producing gasoline uses electricity. I think the figure is about 6 kW-hr per gallon. Gasoline has about 30 kW-hr per gallon when burned but that only applies if it's used as a heat source. In an ICE you're lucky to get 20% of that at the wheels. So to power vehicles it's more or less neutral in terms of electricity use going from ICEs to EVs. The problem is distribution. Right now the electricity to make gasoline goes to refineries. We need to enhance the grid so that extra power can reach distributed EV chargers.

Maybe 2075 if our supply chain and economy continue to suffer and if there is a World War putting things on hold.
If there's a World War it won't matter. The human race is over and the planet will recover from us in time.

Ideally, if our supply chain started working now (no chip shortage, no metals or plastics shortage, no worker shortage, no trucker strikes, no rail worker strikes, no port holdups, and the U.S. producing more oil), we could have enough smaller nuclear plants built to do the job by 2040, and maybe have hydrogen production as a byproduct for fuel cell cars.
Fuel cells make zero sense in cars. Seriously, they don't. In essence a hydrogen fuel cell is a very inefficient battery. Then you need to transport and store the hydrogen at nearly absolute zero. You need to put in place the infrastructure for all this. Plus when all is said and done hydrogen is the equivalent of $5/gallon gasoline in economic terms. The oil companies are the only ones interested in hydrogen for cars because it lets them continue their monopoly on motor fuels. And you're worried about electric cars exploding? That's nothing compared to hydrogen or other flammable gases under pressure. NYC was considered LNG ferries for a while, until they discovered that an LNG ferry exploding would take out most of lower Manhattan. A hydrogen car obviously won't be that bad, but it can take out a city block easily. No thanks.

Right now as it stands, the electric grid is failing, hydropower in the west needs replaced with something now, renewables (wind, solar) are a joke for replacing constant sources of power, and we’re at a tipping point where we might not recover if we keep doubling down on green energy. We need oil as a bridge to the future right now and our leaders are busy burning that bridge.
I hope you know wind, and especially solar, are the cheapest ways to generate electricity. Solar especially will only get less expensive as cells get more efficient, and cheaper to manufacture. The economics are there. The issue with both is what I mentioned earlier, that they are intermittent sources. So we need massive grid storage. Hydrogen fuel cells might be one way. Another is iron-air batteries.

Here's the rub. The status quo isn't exactly great. Mining fossil fuels is an environmental disaster. I'm tired of air that smells like gasoline, especially in the summers. And cancer is at epidemic proportions. Hospitals are big consumers of energy. Reduce fossil fuel use, you reduce all the illnesses associated with it. That saves energy. In fact, let's reduce energy use, period, regardless of source. That solves a lot of other problems.
 

orbital

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+

There's no free lunch in anything.


If corporations really want to wave the esg flag, put a couple dozen or so large solar panels on their roof.
All the big box stores for starters,, putting money where their mouth is.

Now can genuinely show this; boast the esg definition & stock price.
..also, while their at it, put in rows e-charging stations to boot.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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If you think mining for fossil fuels is a disaster, you should look into how your green technologies come to be. Lithium and cobalt are mined in poor developing nations like places in Africa where children are sent to mine the minerals. Some places even use slave labor. The plastics that make up the wire insulation, solar panels, lithium ion battery casings, and wind turbine blades are made from fossil fuels. Coal is burned to produce the silicon in solar panels. After about 20+ years for good solar panels, they are buried in a landfill. Then you get an electric car which is plugged in at night, using the power of 25-50 refrigerators powered 100% on fossil fuels. Thank you for saving the environment.
 

Olumin

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Id ban nuclear power entirely. Limit the production of enriched radioactive material to an absolute minimum worldwide for scientific research & medical proposes only. People refuse to see the risks & dont look at the bigger picture. When it comes to nuclear power even the smallest risk is still too high since any incident can become a potentially uncontrollable global disaster with effects lasting centuries. No matter how safe the plants themselves will become there will always be factors out of our control such as natural disasters & war which by themselves present too large a risk factor. Thats of cause assuming perfect maintenance & no technical failures of the plants, no slip ups during operation, no outdated equipment or plant kept in operation beyond what is safe, regular & by-the-book safety inspections even in 2nd or 3rd world countries... People will tell you less people have died in nuclear incidents then any other form of power, but in reality the number is incalculable. The number of latent heath problems such as cancer potentially caused by the exposure to increased background radiation or contaminated material is likely in the millions over the course of the decades. The mining of uranium ore is never even talked about & is anything but clean.

Until commercial fusion comes along we will have to find another way. Thats likely 40+ years in the future, 20 if its invented tomorrow. Fossil fuels are a bad option, but fission is no option at all. Until the efficiency of solar panels increases significantly it will remain unviable for large scale energy production is most regions of the world. Most renewables are inefficient, but hydro & thermal are probably our best and most reliable options wherever its available. Most energy shortages & most pollution comes from 2nd & 3rd world countries like China and India, which are continuing to build fossil fuel based powerplants at a rapid pace to support their growing population & industry. These countries are taking no measures of environmental protection and no amount of innovation or green energy in the West will change that for the foreseeable future. The solution is to gradually dial back the wests dependency of 2nd & 3rd world cheap labor and industries to stagger their economic growth & to reduce their global political influence. But the greed of companies & temptation of higher profit margins due to cheap costs in china & the massive profits for western products and media these markets present makes that unlikely.
 

jtr1962

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If you think mining for fossil fuels is a disaster, you should look into how your green technologies come to be. Lithium and cobalt are mined in poor developing nations like places in Africa where children are sent to mine the minerals. Some places even use slave labor.
And we have sodium-ion batteries just reaching commercial production this year. That and iron-air batteries will solve these issues. There's not enough lithium anyway to meet demand if we continue to base our batteries mostly on it.

A secondary issue with fossil fuels is geopolitical. It seems the countries with the largest deposits have psychopaths in charge who use fossil fuels as leverage. Get off fossil fuels, and we'll have a lot fewer wars. Wars are the single biggest environmental disaster going.
The plastics that make up the wire insulation, solar panels, lithium ion battery casings, and wind turbine blades are made from fossil fuels. Coal is burned to produce the silicon in solar panels.
We use far more plastics for cheap Walmart junk than we do for useful things like wire insulation or solar panels. If anyone wants to start pointing fingers, stop using plastics in your life. That especially includes those one-use bottles for bottled water.

Coal isn't burned to make solar panels. Where do you get this stuff from? Solar panels require energy to make, as do most other things, but that energy can come from lots of sources, including existing solar panels.

After about 20+ years for good solar panels, they are buried in a landfill. Then you get an electric car which is plugged in at night, using the power of 25-50 refrigerators powered 100% on fossil fuels. Thank you for saving the environment.
Again, electricity to charge EVs can come from lots of sources, and solar panels aren't scrap after 20 years. Many can generate power for at least 20 more years, perhaps even another century. Give the panels we first world people no longer find useful to those who don't have them. I'll happily take used solar panels and put them on my garage roof.

As for EVs, the situation would be a lot better if we didn't insist on replacing one-for-one comically huge ICE vehicles with comically huge EVs. And we don't even bother to streamline these vehicles, either, which is more waste. Larger battery, more energy to go any given distance. Make EVs highly streamlined. Go back to normal sedans. Now any given size battery takes you 3 to 5 times as far. You save on lithium, you save on energy charging, etc.

Even better, start reducing reliance on automobiles. You talk about waste. Do you know how much embedded energy is in an automobile, whether electric or ICE? That would be fine if it were used 12 to 18 hours a day like a bus but it's not. All that energy to make something which sits unused 90% of the time.

The issue isn't just how we generate energy. It's how much we use per capita. The latter needs to change, and we can do so without negatively impacting things simply by making everything more efficient.
 

idleprocess

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Couldn't find exact details about the bus involved, but a press release from the state indicates that New Flyer is the supplier. The only obvious battery-electric bus I see on New Flyer's webpage is the Xcelsior Charge NG which indicates a roof-mounted battery (similar design to the bus that caught fire in Paris in May, however that was a Bolloré Bluebus 5SE) with a capacity of between 350, 440, or 525kWh. Very expensive embarrassment for the manufacturers for sure.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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A secondary issue with fossil fuels is geopolitical. It seems the countries with the largest deposits have psychopaths in charge who use fossil fuels as leverage. Get off fossil fuels, and we'll have a lot fewer wars. Wars are the single biggest environmental disaster going.
The United States has the largest deposits of fossil fuels including coal, natural gas, and oil. By not tapping into our own resources we have left those psychopaths, as you call them, with a monopoly on energy in the world, giving our enemies leverage over our allies. Just look at Europe. They are held hostage by Russia who is controlling their natural gas supply. We could be lowering our costs here at home, rebounding out of recession, and helping our allies by supplying them needed fuel. Instead, we let Russia, Iran, and Venezuela and others gain power as Western society crumbles. If we produced more in the U.S., fuel prices would drop and those nations would make less per unit of fuel. Your argument is flawed, and by the way, many nations are dealing with riots over food, fuel, energy, and fertilizer shortages due to green policies that deny the people a way to put food on the table, farm, or keep the lights on. Revolutions are starting over those environmental policies. The biggest disaster is giving psychopaths who have nuclear weapons or are close to attaining them and want to kill us with them a monopoly on oil.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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Coal isn't burned to make solar panels. Where do you get this stuff from? Solar panels require energy to make, as do most other things, but that energy can come from lots of sources, including existing solar panels.
Silicon (which is used in solar panels) is refined by burning coal. Want proof? Here you go:
https://www.pveducation.org/pvcdrom...cal,extensively in the metallurgical industry.

Here's the important section:
Silica is the dioxide form of silicon (SiO2​) and occurs naturally in the form of quartz. While beach sand is also largely quartz, the most common raw material for electronic grade is high purity quartz rock. Ideally the silica has low concentrations of iron, aluminum and other metals. The silica is reduced (oxygen removed) through a reaction with carbon in the form of coal, charcoal and heating to 1500-2000 °C in an electrode arc furnace.
 

jtr1962

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The United States has the largest deposits of fossil fuels including coal, natural gas, and oil. By not tapping into our own resources we have left those psychopaths, as you call them, with a monopoly on energy in the world, giving our enemies leverage over our allies.
Let me describe the reality of that to you. Would you be willing to have your drinking water supply poisoned by fracking? Would you want to have a coal mine open up close enough to you to make your home a living hell with noise, fumes, and toxic runoff in groundwater? Ditto for an oil well. Remember any benefits of this policy are temporary, while the damage it causes will take generations to fix. Plus energy companies have shown time and again they're not willing to pay for these damages. If NY had allowed fracking, for example, it would have cost the state several billion to mitigate contamination of the drinking water supply. The oil companies were unwilling to pay for it. They wouldn't even tell us what chemicals they use for fracking so cleanup measures could be targeted better. Hence we told them to take their business elsewhere. Also note the word "mitigate". The water might have been technically drinkable after mitigation, but it still would have caused lots of cancers or other health problems. I don't want that kind of "business" where I live, and you shouldn't either. It's sort of like selling the family jewels for a night on the town.

There's lots of great reasons to keep most of the fossil fuels we have here in the ground. Perhaps in the future we'll have uses for them besides burning them just to make energy. Perhaps when that happens we'll have much more benign mining techniques. Think of it as saving them for a rainy day. These resources have value far beyond their energy content from burning them.

Also, in terms of climate it may already be too late but let's not make things worse by mining and burning more fossil fuels.

Do you know what I think we should mine more of here? Rare earths. Most of those come from China. They could pull a Russia on the world tomorrow. I'd rather we take those cards out of their hands.

Just look at Europe. They are held hostage by Russia who is controlling their natural gas supply. We could be lowering our costs here at home, rebounding out of recession, and helping our allies by supplying them needed fuel. Instead, we let Russia, Iran, and Venezuela and others gain power as Western society crumbles.
Europe made a fatal mistake. That was closing their nuclear plants before they had enough renewables up and running to fully replace them. CA made the same mistake. So did NY when they shuttered Indian Point. Europe had to replace nuclear with gas from Russia in the short term, thinking that Russia wasn't the belligerent trading partner they turned out to be. Big mistake.

I agree with everything Olumin wrote earlier about nuclear power. At best it's a Faustian bargain but fossil fuels are a far worse Faustian bargain. We should still use nuclear, but simply as a bridge to renewables. There's a great chance by the time nuclear serves that purpose for the cost of sending things into space to decrease by several orders of magnitude. So when that happens, shoot the nuclear waste to escape velocity in the direction opposite the Earth's orbit. It'll spiral into the sun. We'll be done with it.

Your argument is flawed, and by the way, many nations are dealing with riots over food, fuel, energy, and fertilizer shortages due to green policies that deny the people a way to put food on the table, farm, or keep the lights on. Revolutions are starting over those environmental policies. The biggest disaster is giving psychopaths who have nuclear weapons or are close to attaining them and want to kill us with them a monopoly on oil.
Most of that is because of the war. Good environmental policy shouldn't cause revolutions. It should result in lower, stable energy prices, along with a cleaner environment. To be sure, mistakes were made. Fix those, but let's not slow down getting off fossil fuels. Europe especially needs to do this yesterday so Russia is out of cards to play. We need to do the same to take Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, etc. out of the picture. If these places want to participate in the world economy, they'll have to offer something besides oil. But in order to do that, they'll need to become stable, non-belligerent countries. So we get off fossil fuels and make the world a safer place at the same time.

Silicon (which is used in solar panels) is refined by burning coal. Want proof? Here you go:
https://www.pveducation.org/pvcdrom...cal,extensively in the metallurgical industry.
That's basically using coal as a reactant. That's a good use for it actually. In the scheme of things only a tiny percentage of coal mined would be needed for that. Anyway, I thought you meant burning it to supply power for the manufacturing process. Oh, and solar panels are another thing we should make here big time, not get them from China.
 

Hooked on Fenix

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There’s a documentary on green energy that goes in depth about the truths of all the different technologies, how things are manufactured, and the history. You should watch it. It’s available on YouTube. It’s called Planet of the Humans by Michael Moore. Fair warning, has some bad language, which is why I won’t post it.
 
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