Electric and Alternative Vehicle Fuels

It is that or engaging the best engineered .wav and arrays of speakers on the vehicle to perpetuate their aura of excitement. I lost interest years ago when it became a parade of cacophonic noise whereby every car followed the same optimal track and shifted within a few cm of placement. Yonks since it has been ‘racing’ in the classical sense and evolved into the one who got pole and lasted the distance usually won.

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This is very easy to do and has been available for some time. There have been vehicles which have some and gone which can run on up to 100% alcohols or others which can run on 100% non-fossil fuels (such as biodiesel or other synthesized fuels). The downside is the source materials used to create these fuels compete with food for agriculture or result in deforestation (such as in Brazil to meet alcohol production from cane sugar or Borneo for palm oil production).

Any technology has impacts, and as a global community we need to ensure that technologies adopted don’t place us in a worse place in the rush to remove GHG emissions from the transport industry.

By a worse place that would be by not acting now to reduce transport emissions. The costs and consequences of not acting need to be considered. It’s good business practice.

Tasmania has already committed to hit net zero GHG emissions by 2030, the ACT 65-75% below 1990 levels, while NSW, SA and Vic have set targets at or near 50% reductions.

Reducing transport emissions which assumes increasing up take of BEVs is part of getting to these targets. The National Plan includes similar, with increased uptake of renewables for electricity and BEV’s for transport the two most significant areas of change.

Victoria and NSW are targeting 50% of new light passenger vehicle sales to be EV’s by 2030/31. That’s the largest market in Australia.

This isn’t helping.

It’s a view that seeks further support. One NSW insider has said similar.

Mr Kean, who is a high-ranking member of the NSW Liberal Party, said the federal government should be investing far more heavily in electric vehicle charging infrastructure around the country.

He said it could use tax incentives and waivers to make electric vehicles more affordable for families and businesses.

“There are huge advantages to moving towards electric vehicles,” he said.

“They’re fun to drive, they’re cheaper to run and they’re great for the environment. So we should be embracing this new technology and ensuring that everyone who wants one is able to access them at an affordable rate.”

There’s certainly part of a promise pre-election with funding charging infrastructure, which is targeting BEV ahead of FCEV.

Score some more brownie points if you think “they are fun to drive, they’re cheaper to run and ….”.

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There are far more environmental impacts as a consequence of changing technologies. Each technology has similar and differing impacts. Focusing solely to reduce GHG at any cost may have long term unintended consequences if the wrong technology is pursued.

Replacing the existing transport fleet (from cars, to trucks, ships to aircraft) won’t come without significant other environmental impacts.

In a ideal world, private transport would be fully replaced with public, and public changed to the most sustainable and lowest impact forms.

Edit: While not directly on topic, but has a major effect on future transportation, COP 26 missed invaluable opportunities such as pushing for public transport over private, controlling the world population, stopping urban expansion (including unsustainable development such as living on acreage, new housing in urban fringe development or urban expansion into valuable agricultural land) and encouraging population densification, moving back to making decisions in the community interests (rather than what happens today with individual ‘rights’ overriding good decision making) and the list goes on. Some of the planned shift in transport technologies favour developed nations over developing nations. New technology impacts, which have been raised elsewhere, will be irreversible and and consequential impacts. The elephants in the room is being ignored and there was an opportunity to ‘drive’ the world towards holistic, broader and more sustainable outcomes.

An interesting article regarding the future of servos.

It reminded me of an interview with the then Saudi oil minister when the world was obsessed with “peak oil” around 2000.

In response to a question regarding global oil reserves being exhausted, he said one of the wisest things that I have ever heard.

“The stone age did not end because they ran out of rocks and the oil age will not end because we ran out of oil”.

Oil will simply become obsolete, just like the servos that fail to plan for the future.

Meanwhile, back at Big Oil.

It would be more informative if either side to this article had some facts with the news item.
On one side of the line InsideEVs refers to sponsorship of the article by a TESLA supplier.
It’s as much a promotion for Tesla as a lament we still need and use fossil fuels.

Such poorly presented content does little to promote a broader discussion, IMO. We are left the lesser for it. For those in Australia looking to alternate vehicle fuels the local market cannot even meet the current demand for new BEVs. Current forecasts for 2021 are new BEVs might pass 1% of all sales. Certainly the annual growth rate for sales is encouraging. Even the Federal Government is planning on 30% of sales being BEV by 2030. Supply dependent? Hence those users stuck with petrol vehicles and those with the dirtier and more environmentally damaging diesel fueled vehicles will still be depending on Shell and others to be in business.

Does Shell really have a plan and what is it?
The Guardian offered a more informative assessment, independent of any vested interest.

Rather than spay on a few emotive points The Guardian has considered the shareholder relationships and regulatory obligations.

While a big corporate such as Shell may be an easy target, isn’t the real future for alternate fuels going to be determined by Government action or inaction?

Governments control access to all mineral resources. Governments make decisions everyday that influence the decisions consumers and businesses make. The only difference between Governments globally may be how much attention they pay to either cause. A government can favour one form of energy over another.


Totally agree, especially about energy efficiency.

Internal combustion engines have large number of parts and high maintenance compared to electric motors.
EVs reduce the number of parts (and maintenance) even further compared to ICE vehicles because they only need a single ratio ‘gear box’, an open simple differential, and have much less wear’n’tear on brakes.


Lithium Sulphur batteries promise up to 5 times the energy storage capacity compared to current Lithium-ion technology.

All new technology needs to find solutions to make it effective and reliable. It’s not uncommon to see competing alternatives evolve at the same time. Sometimes first to market wins. Sometimes as for the Sony Beta vs VHS video tape saga, first or best does not always succeed.

The following is not the only research claiming to have the answer. It does show just how intense the research is to deliver the next breakthrough in rechargeable battery performance.

Curiosity corner?
The next step is turning that knowledge into manufactured product, at a cost that makes it attractive compared to the alternatives. More than just a $2 ‘Go Fund Me’ project.


What’s the turning point for current BEV technology? It’s often quoted to be a reduction in battery costs to less than US$100 per kWh of storage capacity. Tesla’s latest is not based on break through battery technology. It is simply leveraging improvements in manufacturing to bring down costs.

As an alternative research on improving lithium battery technology has not let up. One more prospect for step change in cost or capacity, and one more possible solution to producing reliable and cost effective higher capacity lithium sulphur batteries.


With lithium battery technology suffering supply chain risks, manufacturers are keen to supply alternatives.

CATL is the worlds largest EV lithium battery manufacturer.


With NASA on the job the probability just stepped up a few notches.

A solid-state sulphur-selenium battery is cool to the touch and doesn’t catch fire. It has a slimmer profile than lithium-ion batteries and has better energy storage. It can take a beating and still operate, often in less than ideal conditions.


Linked from the topic Would you buy an electric vehicle - Why or why not?

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Hi all,

As this thread has become fairly long and varied over time, we’ve decided to close it down. Recent discussions have been moved to new threads, and for discussions regarding electric vehicles, you may want to see this thread.

For anything else related to vehicle fuel, please use the search tool at the top right hand corner to see if your comments fit into an existing discussions. Otherwise feel free to start a new thread.

Thanks for the many contributions here, we’ve enjoyed hearing from everyone and these discussions also help inform CHOICE and the CHOICE Community about the issues we care about.