Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

It's more the hundreds of kilometers of wilderness between many communities in BC.



Today's zero emission Fuel Cell cars already have average range of over 560km. (See the 2019 Honda Clarity, for example). And this law doesn't take effect for another 20 years. We can probably get these communities some hydrogen refueling stations by then.


560km in -20F weather? Not sure about that. Also that Honda wouldn't take a snow drift without falling apart. People who live in cities take their public services fore granted. If you're out in the country you NEED a truck and almost certainly a plow to attach to it.


I live in Michigan, I drive through the upper peninsula every winter. My EV does get reduced range below freezing, but it still works just fine.

And Hydrogen Fuel supposedly works much better than EVs in the extreme cold. https://www.greencarreports.com/pictures/1090078_toyota-tout... (They tested at -22F in Yellowknife, Canada)

--

Slightly off-topic, but I hate that most climate change issues get framed in discussions as "everyone needs to move into cities, where they will instantly be dirt poor and have terrible lives".

There's no reason we can't keep rural/suburban communities quality of life high and still take the tech we already have, and just use it to help our suburban/rural communities reduce their CO2 usage. We have a lot of technology to do this already, but we need to more aggressively deploy it.


> but we need to more aggressively deploy it.

...you mean, more aggressively market it in a way that people won't mind paying out the --- for it, right?

I mean - someone is going to have to pay for it, either now, or later. But people don't want their bills rising crazy high, and they really won't want to pay for their neighbor's solar panels or whatnot (I'm talking the United States right now, where we can't even agree on proper health care coverage - it might be a different case in BC).

I'm not sure how it will be solved. Probably like everything else - in a panic.


> people won't mind paying out the --- for it, right? (snip) But people don't want their bills rising crazy high

So, today in 2019, I can buy 100% clean renewable electricity, from the local heavily-regulated electrical utility. The "market rate" price of this is exactly 1 cent extra, per kilowatt hour. - https://www.consumersenergy.com/-/media/CE/Documents/renewab...

According to the US EIA, the average household uses about 867kwh per month. Most Michigan households could switch to 100% renewable electricity, for a real-world price of $8.67 extra per month. That's it. No fees, no installation, no new equipment. Literally check one box, get 100% renewable energy.

---

I know Michigan is not British Columbia. I am aware these costs vary by region. I know not everyone can afford this, and that it is a position of privilege to be able to spend an extra $9/month on fancier electricity. But the cost here is literally cheaper than Netflix, and it prevents about 1.2 tons of CO2 from hitting the atmosphere (per household, per month).

I don't think I'm exaggerating at all, when I say we really have all the tech we need, and we really just need to deploy it everywhere. Yes, it costs more. But only a little bit more, for such a huge benefit, it seems like an obvious thing we should be doing.


Trucks are the next target for electrification, and the results will certainly be much better all around. Electric motors go hand in hand with endless torque, and four wheel drive (including four full independent drives) is much simpler for an electric vehicle.


They haven't come to market yet but IMO trucks are going to make kickass platforms for fuel cell & electric. Their chassis can handle extra weight for extended range better than passenger vehicles, and the P100D has been dyno'd at more than 900lb-ft of torque. I am also hopeful electric motors will do great things for 4LO.


This might mean that those living less sustainably may have to pay more. From an externalities point of view, this might be a good thing.


> This might mean that those living less sustainably may have to pay more.

I would strongly urge you to be careful with this language. Don't be so quick to assume folks living rural/suburban lifestyles are living any less sustainably.

These folks are what make city living possible in the first place. And city folk have plenty of huge-CO2-footprint problems of their own that everyone conveniently forgets, because it isn't literally dumping gasoline into an automobile.


> I would strongly urge you to be careful with this language. Don't be so quick to assume folks living rural/suburban lifestyles are living any less sustainably.

If they aren't, they don't have anything to worry about when very unsustainable practices are abolished.

> These folks are what make city living possible in the first place.

A minority are, and they'll have to charge more for those services.

> And city folk have plenty of huge-CO2-footprint problems of their own that everyone conveniently forgets, because it isn't literally dumping gasoline into an automobile.

What are some examples of those city-specific CO2 problems?


> Don't be so quick to assume folks living rural/suburban lifestyles are living any less sustainably.

I wasn't thinking only of carbon footprint, but also of things like electricity and water hookups. The cost to provide basic utilities in rural areas has to be a lot higher per capita than in the city.


The vast majority of those living outside of major cities are those growing food or working in key resource industries like lumber and mining. Those that are not in those industries are in supporting industries like grocery stores and barbers.

More and more people are losing farms that have been in their families for generations. The average farmer is a grandfather/grandmother and trends show no sign of shifting towards a younger demographic. Younger people see working on the farm as an economic risk. Increasing taxes on rural folks would be a massive mistake. Mark my words, by 2040 farmers will be rare if nothing changes and the price of food will sky rocket not from climate change but from lack of a labor force.

Or are you saying that the added emissions from living outside of a city are not worth undertaking because we just don't need those resources? That's nonsensical.


"The vast majority of those living outside of major cities are those growing food or working in key resource industries like lumber and mining."

This isn't remotely true. The overwhelming bulk of people living outside of major cities simply live outside of major cities. In the United States some 4 million people own or work on farms. 60 million people live in rural locations. I highly doubt the other 56 million are in forestry and mining.

Some people live in rural places for no particular reason than that's where they like to live. I live in a rural location, and I certainly don't gnash and gnaw about how everyone is going to starve unless I have a black-soot belching F350. I can actually imagine a world where I can live sustainably as well.


The number of farmers is decreasing not because it is harder to be a farmer, but because farming is becoming more efficient and mechanized. Food is not becoming more expensive relative to everything else, it is becoming cheaper.

Rural communities are being hit because the amount of labor in key resource industries keeps going down. So kids move to the city where they can find a future, and so on. It’s been like that for a couple of hundred years.

Cities will continue to subsidize rural areas with their taxes as a result. Less density means infrastructure is used less efficiently, and so need significant transfers of wealth from the cities to keep being viable. That is probably unavoidable, but the cities can also subsidize rural areas in leveraging EVs as well.


> The number of farmers is decreasing not because it is harder to be a farmer, but because farming is becoming more efficient and mechanized.

Yes, but if the children of farmers have left and aren't going to take on their parents' industry, what happens when they truly can't do it anymore? The machines don't run the farm, yet, they only make running it more efficient and easy. You still have to know what to do, and go out and get it done, and this isn't something that people can just pick up in a day.

If the natural apprenticeship mechanism that used to provide for this has been broken, what's going to replace it?


Technology progresses, the amount of labor needed to run a farm decreases. Not all the kids are leaving, just lost of them. Also, the farms are increasingly becoming corporations rather than family affairs anyways, they do find people to hire if they pay enough. Otherwise, they just reduce labor needs by mechanizing.


The real kick in the pants is that when you can get away with half as many farmers, because of improvements in agricultural technology, you can only support half as many grocery stores, doctors, gas stations and the like. The empty spaces get emptier, and less comfortable.


I'm not too worried about farms. Governments haven't had a problem with massive agriculture subsidies and I doubt that will change. Labor costs on farms may skyrocket but that will also throw fuel on the mechanization fire.

Food is cheap right now in part because of exploitation of labor. We probably should be paying more for our food.


I bet you can stick a snow plow on one of these: https://products.rivian.com/


I'm sure you could but this truck seems marketed towards people who haven't owned a truck. "Adventure Vehicle" sounds like its built for those soccer moms who would have otherwise gotten a Ford "Explorer". At best, its unproven. At worst, its every other eco-suv this time with a bed. The video preview doesn't even have a basic hitch ball on the back.


Aren't hitch balls normally optional? (Don't know, never bought a truck, never driven a new truck. Always used—and for those my dad was always having to install hitch balls himself)


I'm sure if you try hard and use all of your creative juices you can imagine that it's just the beginning of a flood of projects that will have completely changed things by 2040.

But even then, that truck you dismiss has an 11,000 lb towing capacity, some 800ft lbs of torque, etc. Sure sounds like a "soccer mom" vehicle...


Just because it can tow 11k per the SAE test (basically a power/brakes test in case anyone was wondering) doesn't mean it's actually good at it for most use cases. The recharge/refuel time hits electrics really hard with current tech. For a fleet vehicle that doesn't hit its range limit ever and can recharge all night it's probably great. For anything where you are pulling enough weight or putting on enough miles to need substantially more than a full charge in a day it's gonna be a massive pain.

"Muh torque" sure is nice but really isn't all that big a deal for rural use cases. Your average HNer's landscaper that drags 10k of truck and trailer through city traffic all day needs torque and power far more.


Don't forget the 4 independent motors!

I predict the term "quad" will have a completely different meaning for off-road enthusiasts in 2040.


You won't find much hydrogen infrastructure in rural BC. Also that range is for flat land, driving in mountainous terrain can take those numbers down dramatically.

That said, there's really only so many main highways in BC, and most of them have pretty decent charging infrastructure (in the Southern and Central bits anyway). The main exception is the route North of Whistler to Kamloops - charge stations in Lillooet would be a nice addition.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: