A brand new examine on the optimistic sides of hydrogen and diesel was offered by the Fraunhofer ISE Institute on 13-7-2019 and this weblog is my rebuttal to that. Right here I seek advice from a current publication as a way to present the place they’ve gone improper. I maintain them in excessive esteem; but their examine gives a misrepresentation of knowledge which H2 Mobility paid for. Once I’m completed with amending the examine, the graph will illustrate that diesel now not sounds that good and hydrogen is clearly not any higher than electrical anymore both. And it’s not a case of ‘he-said-she-said’; it is best to be capable to observe all of it.
In case you solely wish to know the highlights, simply learn the daring textual content.
The electrical automobile is a risk to the oil and automobile business. Perhaps that’s why H2 Mobility have been completely happy to pay for a examine with a variety of assumptions that are unfavourable in direction of the electrical automobile.
The rise of the electrical automobile is sweet information to some however abhorrent to others, which is why I maintain debunking research (see debunk one], [two], [three] en [my reasons]) that psurport to point out electrical automobiles are usually not higher for the atmosphere. The most recent one I got here throughout was paid for by H2 Mobility – and in case you are questioning who’s paying them: this image reveals their fundamental sponsors.
The examine was achieved underneath the banner of the respected Fraunhofer Institute. Nonetheless, there are as many as 72 largely unbiased consultancy teams named Fraunhofer. Not all Fraunhofer consultants have been proud of the examine, and a few even applauded me on twitter.
The authors confronted my criticism within the German Handelsblatt newspaper. I didn’t get the chance to reply to that within the Handelsblatt, however I do seek advice from their response on this weblog.
As you will notice, we don’t must delve into methodology as that isn’t the place we differ from one another. It’s primarily about assumptions. And these are sometimes crucial. As Ronnie Belmans stated on twitter in response to my thread: “My previous German prof. advised me throughout my PhD: ‘Learn the assumptions earlier than studying conclusions. You keep away from losing time.’ ”
Or as one in all my very own professors used to say: “as-u-me” makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me”.
Therefore, I’ll level out why I feel a few of their assumptions are improper and the way this invalidates their conclusion that hydrogen vehicles are higher for the atmosphere than electrical automobiles.
One phrase upfront: hydrogen is far cleaner than gasoline or diesel and I feel it’s going to be essential as a long-term storage medium. So no, I don’t hate hydrogen! And I’m not proposing that each family on the earth buys a non-public electrical automobile with a big battery. That will trigger huge environmental harm and make cities much less nice than they could in any other case be. I merely don’t approve of spin as a option to create FUD (concern uncertainty and doubt) round electrical automobiles.
First issues first
In a current presentation, I outlined the *High 6 Errors* which make electrical automobiles look unhealthy. Creator André Sternberg et al. of the Fraunhofer ISE examine (abbreviated as Sternberg) handle to make all 6 of these errors and add what I’d name a unclean trick.
The unique Fraunhofer examine will be discovered right here: https://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/de/presse-und-medien/news/2019/fraunhofer-ise-vergleicht-treibhausgas-emissionen-von-batterie-und-brennstoffzellenfahrzeugen.html
In my critique, I’ll usually seek advice from my article on the highest 6 errors titled “The Underestimated Potential of Battery-driven Electric Vehicles to Reduce Emissions” and revealed in Joule, the web open entry science archive. Subsequently, in case you actually wish to verify every thing out it is best to most likely learn that publication too. It’s pretty transient.
As said, Sternberg et al., have made 6 commonplace errors plus used a doubtful strategem. The next chart gives a preview for you and affords an preliminary indication of the alterations that these rectifications obtain. As you may see, the corrections result in a discount in emissions in all instances, though they drop the least for diesel and probably the most for electrical automobiles.
Let me now clarify the rectifications step-by-step.
Fraunhofer proposes making hydrogen from wind and energy batteries with photo voltaic vitality. By assuming photo voltaic emits three.5 instances extra CO2, they masks the vitality losses from hydrogen manufacturing. I tally the identical electrical energy for each.
A ‘soiled trick’ that proponents of hydrogen usually use as a way to make hydrogen sound good, is to imagine the hydrogen is created from the cleanest sources potential after which examine it to BEVs working on a comparatively soiled electrical energy combine. However that’s like evaluating apples with oranges!
On this examine, we uncover that trick together with a intelligent twist. Hydrogen and batteries each use clear vitality: hydrogen is created from wind and batteries use photo voltaic vitality. All good proper?
Unsuitable, as a result of in case you look intently, Sternberg assumes that wind vitality emits solely 14 grams of CO2 equal to each kWh that’s produced. Whereas photo voltaic emits 48 grams, or three.5 instances as a lot. That means they’ll obscure the truth that producing hydrogen prices three instances as a lot vitality as when utilizing a battery instantly. It’s because you lose vitality while you convert electrical energy to hydrogen, you lose vitality while you compress and clear the hydrogen and also you lose vitality while you burn the hydrogen within the gasoline cell.
After my criticism, the authors defended their argument by saying that they assumed ocean winds would make hydrogen at sea instantly, whereas BEVs would be capable to drive utilizing the electrical energy from their photo voltaic rooves. And this ties into the narrative: “however electrical energy transportation is so exhausting whereas hydrogen transportation is very easy”. It’s true that at actually giant volumes, a pipeline with hydrogen transports vitality cheaper than an electrical energy cable does. However to this point, constructing windmills and making hydrogen are rather more costly steps within the course of, and in case you have been to make use of windmills for BEV’s, you could possibly drive 3 times as many vehicles with only one windmill!
Fairly other than the truth that I make vitality fashions – a battery in a automobile is the best option to take up extra wind vitality at night time and extra photo voltaic vitality throughout the day. Consequently, not utilizing the battery to retailer night-time wind is not only arbitrary but in addition costly. On the subject of a system, that is all extremely questionable. In order that’s once I cry foul play, after which make all of them run on the identical sort of renewable vitality. Doesn’t actually matter which one however I’ve opted for photo voltaic vitality.
Though one factor that I’ve let slide is that they take an absurdly economical diesel hybrid engine from a Hyundai Tucson 1.6 CRDi and didn’t add the vitality wanted to supply this engine nor its battery. The automobile is so new that I couldn’t discover a highway check as a way to verify in opposition to the customarily far too ‘carmaker-friendly’ WLTP, and there’s (nonetheless?) not a extra dependable EPA ranking for this automobile.
Two minor tweaks exchange a considerably much less energy-intensive chassis (for all vehicles) and use commonplace IPCC values for diesel emissions. Principally, as a result of I’ve good sources for that (see publication) and since they haven’t talked about theirs. Nonetheless, these two tweaks solely make a modest distinction.
Fraunhofer claims there is no such thing as a information that signifies that batteries last more than 150 thousand km. I present an abundance of sources that present that a battery will simply final 600 thousand km. Even when export and second lives have been ignored, 300 thousand km (just like a diesel) appears a bit conservative.
An assumption that plagues many automobile research is that vehicles are scrapped after 150 thousand kilometres. Perhaps it’s because consultants usually drive new lease automobiles. However it’s not appropriate. Good information on how lengthy vehicles final is difficult to search out, nevertheless, Gneiwomir Flis helped me out tremendously last week and as you may see within the ensuing graph, the common lifespan is round ten years (eight in Germany). Now if gross sales and scrappage have been fixed, the age at which automobiles are scrapped can be double the common age. So, 16 in Germany and 20 in Europe typically. We additionally know vehicles drive round 14 thousand km a yr in Germany which might imply 16 x 14 = 224 thousand km earlier than being scrapped.
Extra analysis achieved by Flis (see aforementioned thread) revealed that vehicles within the UK are scrapped after 15 years of use and in Norway after round 17 years. Accordingly, 15 or 16 years for Germany may not be such an odd assumption. However there are 4 issues that haven’t been taken under consideration right here.
Firstly, vehicles from wealthy nations like Germany usually have a second life in poorer nations like Poland. Which is why the common age is eight years in Germany and 18 years in Poland. One option to make these two numbers work is to imagine that some vehicles in Poland come from Germany after let’s say 10 years and keep on the highway till they’re scrapped at let’s say 25 years. Consequently, in a life cycle evaluation, we must add a few years to the age of the German automobile as a way to get a good suggestion of when the automobile and battery have actually reached the tip of their life.
Secondly, vehicles are principally scrapped when the engine turns into previous and engine repairs turns into too costly. That is one motive diesel vehicles are in style: their engines last more. In line with Buchal et al., (see my publication) a diesel lasts round 300 thousand kilometres. Logically talking, that may imply that electrical vehicles final even longer as a result of in line with current research of present-day batteries, they final wherever between 1300 (most pessimistic) and 10 000 (optimistic) cycles. A battery of 90 kWh has a variety of 450 km, so 1300 cycles is 1300 x 450 = 585 thousand kilometres. And that’s absolutely the worst-case situation. Let’s make that 600 thousand for now.
Thirdly, vehicles which are cheaper per km get pushed extra km. That’s not so unusual after all. It’s the rationale that diesel and LPG (with their decrease taxes) are pushed extra on common than gasoline automobiles. Primarily based on that, we’d count on electrical automobiles to be pushed extra in addition to they’re much cheaper per km than diesel or LPG.
Fourthly, batteries can have a second life or be recycled. After 600 thousand kilometres the battery nonetheless has a capability of 80%.
Co-author Christoph Hank’s defence is that there are solely “incidental reviews” of batteries lasting very lengthy. That’s merely not true. My pal Prof. Steinbuch states in his blogpost that documents these values from hundreds of Tesla drivers gathered by Merijn Couman: “Batteries have on common 91% remaining after 270 000 km. If that linear behaviour have been to proceed, then the ‘lifespan’ (with 80% capability nonetheless left) can be 820 000 km.” Further 2018 sources here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
For all of those causes, I feel that 150 thousand km is unlikely. Sixteen years and 14 thousand kilometres per yr already brings you as much as 224 thousand km for a mean automobile in Germany. Add the truth that the drivetrain, battery and brakes are nonetheless mainly model new at that second, and that the automobile is extraordinarily low-cost to drive per km, then I feel to tally as many km as a diesel is wildly conservative. Which is why I take the determine of 300 thousand kilometres. And that also excludes the second lifetime of the automobile in Poland and the second lifetime of the battery, ideally each of which it is best to embrace within the LCA.
Utilizing current extra detailed information, battery manufacturing emits round 65 kg/kWh, not 133 kg/kWh.
Fraunhofer assumes battery manufacturing to be 133 kg/kWh, primarily based on a really soiled electrical energy combine (805 gr CO2/kWh). Authors Hebling and Hank declare that almost all batteries come from Asia and therefore they need to take that soiled combine under consideration. However the elephant within the room is that Tesla is the large competitor in Germany and their vehicles are usually not made in Asia in any respect. Tesla even claims that its manufacturing facility runs solely on renewable vitality. So, they need to a minimum of have taken a sure weighted common under consideration. Plus, in the event that they discuss German or European vehicles, the common ought to go down due to Tesla.
On the subject of batteries they use their very own remark that a battery pack weighs in at 7.5 kg/kWh (= 135 Wh/kg) whereas a Tesla Mannequin three is already at 6.25 kg/kWh (= 160Wh/kg) and it’s not even 2020 but. Once more, that’s 19% higher.
All this even if that they’ve rolled out their very own calculations primarily based on an outdated scientific publication from 2014. Whereas I exploit scientific publications from 2017 and 2019 aimed particularly at these figures which embrace present manufacturing in Asia (see ref 6 and 7). We particularly see that cell meeting has grow to be rather more vitality environment friendly in bigger factories. Authors Hebling and Hank’s defence is that a part of these references weren’t but obtainable once they wrote the examine.
All in all, battery manufacturing is shortly grow to be extra vitality environment friendly, additionally as a result of batteries require more and more much less materials on a regular basis these days. E.g. new Tesla batteries comprise a 3rd of cobalt in comparison with earlier variations, and no cobalt even appears to be possible. Therefore the info I exploit now will undoubtedly be too pessimistic by the point it’s 2020.
The chart reveals the outcomes after remedying these two assumptions.
The report takes the soiled German combine under consideration but doesn’t discuss hydrogen vs electrical batteries in Germany in any respect. Subsequently, I take the European combine (fairly near the US combine by the way in which) in order to make the examine extra consultant.
Lastly, let’s have a look at the common electrical energy combine that’s assumed for electrical automobiles and emits (you guessed it!) means an excessive amount of CO2. As I stated earlier than it’s a typical trick: proponents of hydrogen by no means make comparisons with nations who use a clear vitality combine, as a result of it makes hydrogen from pure gasoline look particularly unhealthy (at present greater than 90% of hydrogen comes from pure gasoline).
The German combine is properly suited to their wants as it’s at present comparatively soiled (after the ‘Atomausstieg’ – phasing out of nuclear vitality -that made coal dominant). But there are plans and even legal guidelines that stipulate that they need to clear up the combination reasonably shortly (as a part of the ‘Kohlenausstieg’ – phasing out of coal). Nonetheless, this course of is at all times exhausting to foretell for a rustic. It is usually much less related as no person talks about hydrogen vs battery-driven electrical in Germany. It’s not addressed within the report (until you learn the info values within the annexe) and never lined within the press.
In order to make the report extra related I took under consideration the EU electrical energy values over the lifetime of an electrical automobile. Moreover, the development in a CO2 discount of the combination per yr is fairly fixed for the EU as an entire. Which makes it potential, utilizing the common vitality combine, to estimate annually how a lot cleaner e-driving is turning into.
The graph reveals the impact of all of the rectifications which were made.
The tip consequence: even probably the most economical diesel isn’t any match for hydrogen however driving battery-driven electrical automobiles emits even much less CO2.
Some last notes earlier than folks say that I’m pretending that electrical automobiles are unproblematic. I’m saying they’re much higher than diesel and barely higher than hydrogen – however, simply switching over to battery-driven electrical vehicles is solely not sufficient!
In fact, utilizing a bicycle or strolling is healthier to your well being and the planet than driving a automobile is.
We should additionally attempt to make your entire provide chain (together with mining operations) run on renewable electrical energy. And naturally, we should recycle.
Moreover, I imagine that sooner or later we’ll see a lot of shared autonomous automobiles that will probably be optimized for particular person journeys. That will imply two issues: roughly ten instances fewer automobiles on the roads, and – since we make most journeys alone and over quick distances – the automobile measurement would additionally grow to be a lot smaller. That is what I name public transit 2.zero and that, along with a provide chain made up of renewable vitality, would slash automobile manufacturing emissions by an element of ten or extra. Emissions whereas driving can be lowered 2 – four x due to the smaller and lighter automobiles. That’s the future I’m working in direction of. Not one through which all people on the earth has their very own electrical automobile.
On the identical topic:
Here is part 1 of our mini series “Mobility of the Future – Battery or hydrogen or both?”
Here is part 2 of our mini series “Mobility of the Future – Battery or hydrogen or both?”
Here is part 3 of tour mini series “Mobility of the Future – Battery or hydrogen or both?”
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