Speaking of electric cars powering the grid...

Possible, it’s possible. Worthwhile, is another issue.

Thirteen years ago, while sharing several “thoughts on peer-to-peer production and deployment of physical objects, I criticized an article (now offline) that argued that “when peer-to-peer hits energy, we can be sure it will change life as we know it”.

In 2008, I did not like that article because it:

either refers to really advanced technology so far in the future to not make any difference for anybody living when it was first written, or hopes that the laws of termodynamics will be proven wrong very soon: “this will really take off when we figure out how to produce cars that generate power instead of consume it”

That, in 2008. Today…

Speaking of electric cars powering the grid... /img/cars-not-power-plant.jpg

Today another great critique of the same general idea that “Your Electric Vehicle Could Become a Mini Power Plant” was published, and I really think you should read it too. Because it explains in detail how and why:

  • electric car batteries do not have huge batteries because the drivers want to offer aid to the “smart grid”. Electric car batteries are huge because cars are huge consumers of energy
  • at least the increasingly popular big electric pick-up trucks: “each one, in just a few hours of highway driving, will use as much power as a typical American home uses in three days”
  • If it’s really load-levelling we’re after, for the same money and resources we could build a far greater number of batteries, and skip building expensive casings in the form of cars and pick-ups

Basically, in 2021 the reality is the same of 2008:

  1. “we should be rapidly curtailing both the manufacture and use of cars…"
  2. and the remaining cars surely should be electric, but surely won’t “generate power instead of consume it” to any meaningful level

For more on both points, see here, here and then here.