Electric cars are poor, even counterproductive stand-ins for long term solutions such as public transportation and the elimination of the suburban commuter lifestyle. They hide a multitude of externalities forced on the public and not paid for directly by owners or manufacturers.
Climate change aside, it's not hard to imagine a country as densely populated as Singapore opposing electric cars.
Also, by your qualifying "long term" I assume you think they are fine short and even intermediate term? Given the urgency of the climate crisis, short and intermediate term matters - a lot.
I agree with you that public transportation and the "elimination of the suburban commuter lifestyle" (hard to define, but giving you the most charitable interpretation here) is very important. However, we don't have to choose one or the other, the decision as to which car to buy is typically an individual decision and I would think it correlates well with support for greener public transportation. Additionally, I fine it hard to believe that even in the long term there will be no need electric cars in more distant areas. Finally, development of electric cars and their infrastructure will also support electric public buses used for public transportation.
I'm glad Singapore is pursuing public transportation (a no-brainer in a city state) but the claim that it is not a "proper solution" isn't helpful and worse, it assumes that there is a solution. There isn't. There are MANY solutions which will be implemented at different speeds, with different levels of effectiveness and by many different organizations and individuals.
In general, it is better to encourage any useful efforts on this front rather than arguing that solution X isn't "proper" or less effective than solution Y.
That thing is literally written by Americans who are 95% likely of living in a car suburb. Of course I’d also put electric cars as a necessity if I were them, they don’t want to change their lifestyle (which, you know, is why we’re in this in the first place).
Some solutions come to mind, but they would obviously only work for a fraction of the people currently living in suburbs:
- Work remotely
- Move closer to the city
- Connect suburbs to viable public transportation solutions
This is the thing that can't work. Public transit inherently requires density. Otherwise you have a bus that only comes twice a day and is still mostly empty because there aren't enough people per unit area to fill it.
Expecting commuter rail to eliminate cars in Spokane or Colorado Springs is delusional. It only works at all in major cities and even most of the cities in the US don't have enough density to make it really efficient -- and are prohibited by zoning laws from building at the density necessary to make that happen.
More to the point, even if we fixed the zoning today, it would take many years to actually build the density required to make it work, and until then people are still buying cars. And electric cars are better for the climate than gasoline.
Edit: just adding that any environmentally responsible form of personal transport doubles range, also results in quadratically (so four times) fewer stations and stops to be built, and linearly (so only half) the total length of rail or road to be laid and maintained
That's exactly the problem you're working against. A bicycle doubles the radius from walking, but a car at 70MPH on the highway multiplies it by 20 or more, so you get hundreds of times the area and consequent sprawl. And ebikes at those speeds are fatally dangerous, so they can't be a replacement.
The thing that can actually be competitive is trains that can go as fast as cars, but then you need the density to fill them.
Unless the NIMBY blocks high-rises.
Sure, but that's the solution you get from people who've never really experienced a well designed public transportation system. It's essentially a "faster horse" solution to traffic pollution issue which doesn't address the reasons behind the insane amount of tarmac space in modern US cities.
There are places where a lot of people want to live, but the gov't is actively preventing housing being built there. Instead of allowing the next increment of development (SFH -> missing middle -> mid-rise apartment buildings -> high rise apartment buildings), many US cities do their best to block development wherever possible. The only developments that can make it through the process are 1) huge, 2) well-backed by capital, and 3) hugely profitable.
We need less Hudson Yards, and more of https://twitter.com/mnolangray/status/1163863367439802369
Also in san francisco, many of the ferry lines are or were run by private companies. I dont understand how one can oppose the idea of available transit.
In reality what is needed is for governments to deregulate transportation. It is actually ridiculous that the city originally demanded uber drivers have medallions to pick people up. That should be a basic right so that transit companies can start to provide cheap and reliable transit options for city dwellers. If I recall correctly, Cancun has a mostly privatized bus system that works very well.
Finally, roads are also currently publicly funded and governments already have a huge say in transit that individual citizens cant really affect. Having multiple private transit options would mean larger organizations able to stand up to the authorities.
Were you in debate club in high school? That was impressive.
You deride a lot of public transportation points but don’t offer an alternative. Are we to believe automotives are satisfactory by your own yardstick?
* Automotives have way higher health risks than your pathogen boogeyman. Blaming 100M deaths in 1918 on public transportation is a reach when Germ theory was only really widely accepted a mere 50 years earlier. On the other hand automotive incidents remain the top cause of death for individuals ages 15-34 in the United States
* Goverment incompetency in public works is not anymore unique to public transportation. The government still operates the roads and bridges that the automotives drive. Look no further than Boston’s big dig where a project was overrun by 10 years and several billion dollars.
* Again, government mismanagement is not something unique public transportation. Are we to pretend cronyism didn’t exist before the SJW Boogeyman?
* For your final point, why are the externalities of cars not applicable here. It’s certainly not 0 - without the obvious threat of climate change, I’d rather have alive annoying tourists than dead adults from automotive fatalities.
Your only strong point, to me, is high availability transportation. However is high availability actually needed or is it just the comfort of knowing that is actually desired. How many people actually need to be able to drive anywhere at 3am on a consistent basis - and for those that do why wouldn’t they be able to accept the economic premium of doing so?
Also, you're using the word 'forced' too liberally.
You're making taking public transit sound like the modern equivalent of storming Omaha Beach.
All of the problems you list apply just as well to any department of transportation that is responsible for building and maintaining roads... With taxpayer money, collected not from drivers, but off the backs of working people, regardless of how much they use those roads.
Do you propose that everyone should live in a city in the future? Or that public transit should extend into the suburbs?
Not trying to be thick but in all american cities ive lived in, there was sufficient transit in the urban core. I understand arguments that it doesnt extend satisfactorily to the suburbs but your claim is much more specific
Then more people live in the suburbs, but you need a car to get from the suburbs to the city. Then you get more demand for roads and parking in the city and people stop using the public transit even there.
Your assertion ignores the fact that network coverage means nothing if the time to traverse the network just to get from point A to point B is much more expensive, time-wise and economically, than simply using personal transportation to get to where you want to go.
This I totally agree with
The only Asian cities I've spent any noticeable time in are Bombay and Hong Kong. Bombay -- I guess it's called Mumbai now -- is a shit show, in every sense of the word. It's one of the largest cities in the world. Transit is awful and dangerous. The only reason my parents took it growing up was because when they were young they were too poor to afford anything else. When we go back now, as rich foreigners, we always take a private driver or taxis everywhere. It's just not worth it.
Hong Kong is a different story of course, due to the British influence and the fact that it was Britain when I last visited. Also, its constraints as a small island mean transit is a must have. And I would agree that it's transit system is better than most American cities.
That all being said, the American cities with densities approaching that of London, Hong Kong, etc all do have rather good transit options. As I stated elsewhere, the issue is the US has no large cities in the European and Asian sense. Our cities are sparsely populated. Yes, a lot of that is due to government policy, but it's also due to the fact that America is -- for the most part -- completely empty land.
I am curious if the intent here is that people should not live in the suburbs or the country, just in cities where transportation can be most efficient.
When individualism leads us down a path of bad decision making (building electric cars rather than the far superior collective path of building up mass transit), I'm always reminded of a scene from the Cixin Liu "Rememberance of Earth's Past" books, where an individualist decision is made that ultimately dooms the people of the solar system, and the person who would have been the true hero of the story only gets to tell that decision maker that they are a child before he is sent off to prison.
This is essentially our battle against climate change right now: technologists trying to make enough toys to keep the rabble of toddlers happy so that we can actually fix the problem.
Moreover, ending the reliance on unsustainable fossil fuels is an end in itself. It would reshape global geopolitics and of course there’s a ton of destruction that happens from oil spills and oil extraction. Going full electric has many benefits beyond just reducing greenhouse gases.
Would it be too off-topic to mention the most effective solution: having fewer children?
> a country as densely populated as Singapore
Nope, population control seems on-topic.
How much further do you expect it to fall?
Other than this I agree that for cities public transportation, together with good infrastructure for bicycles is very important, because in most cities driving your car yourself is so bad: it is slow, demands a lot of attention, getting a parking place is often very difficult.
How are the central planners planning that one?
In practical terms, in five years or so it's not going to be hard to get people to buy electric cars instead of gasoline, but it will still be practically impossible to get them to give up their houses, back yards, and cars to go live in the city.
Then they get all the benefits of conservation without being poorer, while particularly punishing those that don’t rearrange their lifestyles.
If the goal is to continue to survive as a species, there are much more effective strategies to implement.
Suburban living on average doubles the climate impact of the same number of people in a city. The OP notes correctly that this externality is not correctly priced in the current market.
You also haven't considered that as you move people into cities you need to scale up infrastructure in the city itself. Living spaces, transportation around the city, supply lines for supermarkets. Everything needs to scale. It's not black and white that moving everyone into a tightly packed city is going to make a meaningful difference to global emissions.
What would make a tremendous difference is turning the entire grid into a green smart grid powered by solar, wind, geothermal, etc. That would change things regardless of where people live, because the sources of energy are decentralized and can exist basically anywhere that natural resources like solar and wind exist.
The common answer is to not calculate it but to add a carbon tax. If you make gas more expensive, road taxes higher and non-renewable energy higher cost, the market actors will change their behavior.
As for the infrastructure cost, you pay that in either case and it’s more efficiently built the denser things are.
Carbon emissions are directly correlated.
> You also haven't considered that as you move people into cities you need to scale up infrastructure in the city itself.
Infrastructure has economies of scale, so environmental costs scale sublinearly with capacity.
from the Global Climate Action Summit 2018, convened by CA Gov Jerry Brown:
Every 5 weeks, China adds a fleet of electric buses equivalent to
the entire London bus fleet – 9500 buses. Technologies are now
market ready, societally acceptable and economically attractive to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 51% by 2030,
through electric vehicles, mass transit and adapting the global
shipping fleet. A complete global and technological shift to electric
vehicles now looks very likely and, given recent announcements from
cities, countries and car manufacturers, is possible between 2020
and 2030. However, the transformation will slow dramatically without
strong national and city policies, for example setting target dates to
ban internal combustion engines.
Simply moving cargo, the lifeblood of our economy, across the oceans burns hundreds of tons of fuel oil - releasing more (and more varied) pollutants into the atmosphere and oceans. One ship, by some reports, emits as many emissions as some 50 million (or more) cars. And there are well over 9,000 on the ocean.
Cargo ships pollute more SO2 and NO2 than personal automobiles. Those two gases cause acid rain. Acid rain is a problem, yes.
They pollute a lot less CO2, though, which is the gas that is actually going to kill us if we don't stop emitting it at the rates we emit it today.
A cargo ship is the most efficient form of transport, in terms of CO2/kg/km.
A personal automobile is the least efficient.
> As proposed in a recent scientific paper, the new airships would be 10 times bigger than the 800-foot Hindenburg — more than five times as long as the Empire State Building is tall
Also Oil and Gas is core industry for Singapore economy. So when anyone fills gas it helps government revenues and generate jobs. Climate is not the primary concern given the small footprint of Singapore.
Also if Tesla comes in Singapore as it is perfect place for its range BMW, Benz which are the primary brands will suffer heavily. Also thousands of jobs repairing gasoline engine, oils, filters will be lost. Since electrical car do not have as many mechanical moving parts as traditional gasoline car it will reduce maintenance costs and car servicing and parts related business.
So Singapore won't let Tesla setup up easily. It will be taxed higher than other electrical car companies which works on fringes and do not threaten the oil and gas related automobile jobs and taxes.
Owning a private vehicle is in fact usually a status symbol there. Source https://edition.cnn.com/2017/10/31/asia/singapore-cars/index...
But focus on public transport is one thing, still there is a large automobile market with related oil and gas related automobile industry. Moving to EV will threaten them and related jobs.
"The Certificate of Entitlement or COE is the quota licence received from a successful winning bid in an open bid uniform price auction which grants the legal right of the holder to register, own and use a vehicle in Singapore for a period of 10 years. When demand is high, the cost of a COE can exceed the value of the car itself."
The government would be much more bothered by the idea their public might expect non-polluting personal vehicles to be made more affordable and available, and the resulting implications for traffic
They don't seem to be in any urge to get electric buses either.
In that very article we are commenting on is a photo of an autonomous electric bus being tested at Nanyang university and as the article points out they're planning to build out an extensive bus and train network throughout the city up until 2040, to shorten any trip from A to b down to 45 minutes.
Singapore is very much in the e-mobility business, they're just not in the habit of encouraging every citizen to carry around two tons of steel wherever they go.
Singapore is also one of the places where paying money isn't enough to buy a car. You have to purchase a license to drive that car, which currently costs about €25000 for a ten-year, one-car license, and you have to show that license when you buy the car.
If we're talking about direct air pollution in cities I agree.
For climate change, I mostly disagree:
With an electrical car you're starting with a CO2 debt for the production of the battery.
Then, if you want to offset this debt, you have to use the car frequently and be in an area where the electricity production does not generate much CO2. There are not many areas like this yet (France, Sweden being the famous examples).
Do you know anything about that? What is the CO₂ cost of producing a typical battery+electric engine compared to that of producing a typical transmission, ICE engine and the minor ICE-related parts that electric cars don't need?
An easily digestable version of this calculation is here:
The problem is that unlike ICE cars Teslas are much less likely to be reused for 12 years, as far as other EVs go it's still an open question.
If the only two options are an ICE or an EV, it's likely better to have an EV despite the likelihood of PCO2E being underestimated in the supply chain especially when it comes to rare earths.
But if the option is to have an EV or no car and use public transportation or communal transport the latter is always better.
I estimate 1000L (264gal) of fuel burned in it per year. That's about 755kg, and 35000 MJ (9800 kWh equivalent). The combustion produces about 2300 kg CO2. That's half the EPA estimate for "a typical passenger vehicle" . An equivalent electric car likely uses less than 35 kWh/100 mi, so an all-electric power budget would be 2300 kWh, which at typical US power production is about 1400 kg CO2, about 60% my current footprint, on a strict operating basis. The battery represents about 5000 kg CO2, so it would be about 5.5 years until my "CO2 investment" pays itself off.
Given the current money-price differentials, and dearth of electrics in the used market where I always buy my cars, it doesn't make sense for me to replace my current car.
I'd also like to see a hybrid with a 20 kW I-2 free-piston linear alternator (probably from Toyota) before committing to battery-electric.
We're just about to crack 100k mi and 5 years on our EV with no sign of stopping. From a power train perspective swapping motors is dead simple and you have no transmission. I still see good capacity at ~91k. There are electronics/accessories that will fail but that's no different on an ICE.
What about PM2.5? Do EVs do not use breaks and tires?
I do agree that point-source emissions of the electricity being generated is a big advantage. Nothing sucks more than being exposed to vehicle emissions in traffic/city/etc.
I am sure that tires (in the city where is majority of cars electric) will not cause PM2.5 mayhem :)
Also VW prepares this technology : https://www.motor1.com/news/346653/brake-dust-particle-filte...
In what way is this bigger than the production of the many components needed in a gasoline car? Internal combustion engine (as an example) is not exactly CO2 natural to manufacture either.
He literally said "for the production of the battery". Don't build a strawman. It's pretty well accepted that batteries are environmentally dirty to make.
An ICE drivetrain and electric drivetrain sans motor are both big lumps of metal. I'm not sure what the difference is between the carbon footprint per pound of copper vs steel (both cars are gonna have a lot of aluminum but I'm assuming they're within an order of magnitude of even). In either case the manufacturing carbon footprint it pennies compared to the energy required to move the damn thing its whole life (except in the obvious case of the electric an in an area where electricity is low/zero cabon).
I suspect the EV is going to be just barely more carbon heavy to manufacture simply because tech is at a point where the EV needs to place a much higher priority on weight (because it has the heavy battery to compensate for by being light everywhere else and reducing weight increases range) and that priority will result in different part choices throughout the car and that is where the extra carbon will come from (e.g. forged aluminum control arms and rims vs stamped steel).
Obviously the EV is far superior to the ICE vehicle in operation so it would make that back quickly.
In any case if there is some comparison made between CO2 footprint of _production_ of an EV vs gasoline car, I would love to read that.
So production CO2 impact is bigger (no only because of the battery) but total lifecycle is somewhat less than gasoline.
Best option is obviously no car produced.
Moreover, production needs energy and the carbon intensity should be mentioned (so we suppose that they used the same value). A battery produced at the Gigafactory is going to have a smaller carbon intensity as most of its power supply is solar...
By the way this study is very pessimistic. For example if I take the efficiency of the Tesla Model 3 (16.4kWh/100km) for the whole 150'000km we get 12.3 metric tons of CO2 (500gCO2/kWh), far from the 19 tons of the figure.
The first line reads: Taking mass transit is a better climate-change solution than tooling around in one of his Tesla vehicles.
I don't know, I can't really see how this can be a conspiracy aganinst Tesla by BMW and others when they argue that it is better to use mass transit that also runs on electricity. How can anybody argue that it is more efficient to transfer people in 2 tons, 3 metres long 2 metres wide boxes with chemical batteries instead of much more denser electric systems like metro trains and no chemical batteries.
I like what Tesla is doing to the car industry, I want dinosaur smoke out of my living space ASAP but please stop gunning towards public transport. Poblic transport is great and it doesn't make any sense whatsoever to replace it with private vehicles no matter how dinosaur free they are.
So yes, electric cars are a lifestyle choice. Maybe a health choice too if we are to ban the fossil fuel from the cities.
I recall Elon Musk bad-mouthing public transport but public transport is great and cannot be replaced by Tesla vehicles. Maybe he will finally come to that realization when Hyperloop's final version inludes ride-sharing :) I cannot wait for fancy looking metro syst... I mean Hyperloop ride sharing.
I would have thought that given its geographical location, climate would in fact be a primary concern of Singapore. So why is it not? One could hardly accuse Singaporean government of short-sightedness.
Literally the second sentence in an article that was submitted:
> The city-state, which has said its efforts to cope with climate change are as crucial as military defense, has prioritized greater use of its trains and buses, Masagos Zulkifli, minister for environment and water resources, said in an interview Wednesday.
And yet, they make statements like this which seem counterproductive. So, why?
And Singapore can't do shit to the way the rest of the world combats climate. It can have an impact within its own borders. It (correctly) identified that the public transport makes more sense in a city-state. It incentivizes public transport while de-incentivizing car ownership in general (electric or not) because there's not enough space for the supporting infrastructure.
You'd learn all of this and more by reading the article before commenting.
One more point is that majority of the cars are discarded when they finish 10 years. So newer car with better technology produce lesser emissions.
Singapore government is far sighted that's the reason they focus more on public transportation.
The market effect on BMW, Mercedes, etc... is probably not much of a concern on them as most car manufacturers are introducing electric models, with BMW having a major share of the electric car market in some places. Tesla currently has a good market share in the prestige range but that is decreasing.
The oil & gas companies are also getting in on the act, so they're reducing the impact on the introduction of electric cars. The first charging station in Singapore is in Shell petrol station. They might prefer hydrogen fuel cell cars as it maintains the need for their distribution network, but they'll adapt either way.
As to maintenance, Tesla's quality issues mean there's no shortage of work. I used to live near a Tesla workshop and it was always overfull with cars needing expensive repairs.
It will have an impact, moreover for BMW and BENZ electrical line up to come close to Tesla in quality, range, reliability might take another decade.
> Oil and gas industry
Singapore oil tax is not same as electricity. Moreover electrical charging station is not a competitive advantage any decent company do it, indeed blueSG and SP Utilities have more charging station than Shell in Singapore. EV and Tesla will affect this industry directly.
In general, AEVs require less maintenance than conventional vehicles because there are usually fewer fluids (like oil and transmission fluid) to change and far fewer moving parts.
Whilst I admire Tesla's ambition, the work they've done to advance electric cars, plus they certainly make nice cars, a lot of people fail to see Tesla's fallibility and the potentially weak position they're actually in.
- BMW plans to have 25 models with some battery capabilities by 2023, at least 4 all electric. Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) are aiming for 10 all-electric models by then.
- On dollar for mile range basis most manufacturers are catching up with Tesla with their new models (or are premium Jaguars, where that's less of a factor). The Chevy Bolt is about equal to the (yet to be released) standard Model 3 in price and range.
- Consumer Reports in the US calls Tesla's reliability "weak" and does not recommend the Model 3.
- Legacy car manufacturers can scale up the bulk of the manufacturing process for an electric car quicker than Tesla, which is still struggling to run a production line that meets expectations.
I like Tesla but it is by no means the clear winner of the electric vehicle race.
I am aware of their plans. But still Tesla has a significant lead as both were still sceptic in full embrace of electric until Tesla outsold them in USA. Also it takes time to master running an electric motor by Software and constantly improve along with battery. Tesla has much longer experience of running a car on electrical motors.
BMW and Benz can sale cars based on strong brand. But to make really good electrical car with a decent range will take some time.
I am pragmatist not a fan of specific brand. More competition the better it is. I will be more than happy to see a real good electric car from established brand. But I don't think BMW i8 and i3 can come close to Tesla's current line up. So is the case with Jaguar and Audi with their new luxury EV. You can't go easy with legs in two boats. So if there is a real evidence of change I will change my views.
> Also if Tesla comes in Singapore as it is perfect place for its range BMW, Benz which are the primary brands will suffer heavily.
Citation needed. Model 3 has performed very poorly beyond initial demand from early adopters/fans.
> Since electrical car do not have as many mechanical moving parts as traditional gasoline car it will reduce maintenance costs and car servicing and parts related business.
And yet Tesla repair and maintenance costs are astronomical.
* A private car is bulky and noisy, bicycles and pedestrians aren't.
* Lazy people drive in cars, healthy people walk or cycle.
* A private car removes you from society, while using public transport/walking puts you with a group of peers, and cycling is a bit more singular but you're still surrounded by your peers with no physical barrier. So using a private car is somewhat disdainful towards the rest of society.
* A car is either a truck for people who need it to move things around, or if its a private car - it's probably some young man wasting his money to feel macho.
Although I much prefer the adaption: "A prosperous country is not a place where everyone has a car, but one where everyone meets in public transit".
After all, prosperity is more than development, and there is something very accurate about meeting in public transit. When your richest person and poorest person are both around each other, it is a huge empathogenic.
(Disclaimer: I’ve drive only 5k miles a year, and actually just sold my car, since I prefer walking & PT... but I live in a giant city where that’s a legit option)
* I have to cross large streets that have been built for cars all the time
* Public transport sucks
* The city is against other modes of transportation like kick scooters and people comolain about how much space they take when you have large cars parked everywhere
* Because people move in cars, no area is really densed. Restaurants and bars are miles apart.
* Because few people take the bus, there are all sorts of crazies there. I took the bus twice when I moved here and almost got beatten up the first time, witnessed someone getting mugged the second time. I'll never take the bus again here.
* When I'm in the shuttle, and the traffic is freaking slow, I look outside the window and see one person per car. Why don't more people take shuttles instead of taking so much space on the road? Well there is no public transport.
* Noise, noise, noise
* The roads are all broken. Shuttle rides are uber bumpy.
And Chicago takes the cake for crazies on buses. Ive never felt so unsafe on a bus as Chicago.
Id rank san Francisco's situation on par with londons core urban areas. Maybe you're also including the surrounding burbs?
Chicago's public transit ranks much, much higher than SF's. The fact that you compared it to London shows just how conceited you are.
I don't think that's quite the word you're looking for.
We took the bus from downtown to UChicago. The express was fine, but on the way back on the regular, going through south side. It was way worse than SF.
That being said, the commuter buses in Chicago and the L were basically as nice as any other respectable public transit option.
> The fact that you compared it to London
In both cities I have lived near the downtown core. In both cities I was able to get mostly where I wanted to go in under an hour, within and immediately surrounding the city. SF is moderately better in that, within an hour and a half on public transit I can not only visit the city, but also wilderness in Marin county.
> Chicago's public transit ranks much, much higher than SF's
I don't buy most 'rankings'. Portland, where I live now, is supposed to have one of the best transit systems on the west coast. We're looking for neighborhoods to live in. From one neighborhood six miles from downtown, it would take me one hour by bus to reach the city. In SF, I have lived in the city, but I've also lived in Silicon Valley (~ 40 miles away, but still only an hour to SF via Caltrain), and in Marin (~15 miles away in San Rafael, but still only an hour to the city). Still, Portland for some reason is ranked higher. Portland is about on par with Los Angeles. The system is slow. Something is wrong with most rankings IMO.
But what would I know, I'm just some guy who's lived in a bunch of cities, and never commuted by car to work, ever.
Within the city though, for everyday tasks, SF is basically on par with most cities in the world. Most cities do not have 24/7 transit.
When I visit U.S. I'm shocked how much of city space is sacrificed to seas of asphalt and mountains of dull concrete. Multiple very wide lanes cutting cities into inaccessible islands, making everything spaced further apart. Where I'd expect to have a 5-minute stroll by a park to a local cafe, it turns out to be a dangerous 30-minute walk through viaducts and parking lots to a mall.
It's quite striking just how compact things are in the first set of cities compared to the automobile-centered places elsewhere in the US. Apple's spaceship campus is about the size of downtown Providence. Or, if you impose it on Midtown Manhattan, it would cover the entire area between Penn Station, Grand Central, Broadway, and the Empire State Building (which incidentally houses more employees by itself than Apple's campus does).
There is also no "back" to it. If you traveled back in time to the 90s with that opinion you'd be lucky to encounter anyone other than the most die hard public transit proponents sharing it even in the aforementioned urban areas.
Just because you and the people around you hold an opinion today does not make it a cultural background.
Edit: Is my opinion wrong or have I just struck a nerve?
So, in the context of Singapore, a Tesla is just about status and luxury.
If you ever have the chance to their their two giant botanical gardens, I highly recommend it. Just one tiny example of their commitment to use as much energy as possible for their size.
You can't start with the environmental benefits as the main selling point, it has to be a good car. Especially when Tesla started, the base cost of EV tech was extremely high, so the only market-competitive 'good' car you could build on top of it was a luxury car focused on optimising performance, comfort, brand, etc, with a very high price tag.
Obviously as the price of the base tech falls, a mass market car will emerge that's actually good, and sells, bringing the environmental benefits along with it not as a primary thing but a secondary one. That's the way it has to work (fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective). Also seems that's exactly what Tesla is doing, I don't see any evidence to the contrary.
Personal transport is best served on something you can actually pick up and carry. Buy an ebike. Lobby your city council for bike lanes. Anything else is opulent and destructive.
Look at today's world vs the world just 3 decades ago. No mass Internet, no WWW, no mobile phones, no eCommerce, much more smoking, much less obesity, a vastly different financial system, ...
Society is apparently extremely plastic in adapting to created changes.
The effects of the internet and social media on political discourse already looks like a disaster, obesity is a result of changing food infrastructure and availability, and our financial system goes through a cataclysmic global hiccup every decade or two.
If this is what adaptation looks like, we're screwed.
If you believe we are highly adaptable and new technologies will 'save us' somehow check this presentation : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkj_91IJVBk
...it's eye opening
This is a common fallacy. If there is already somewhere to park the car, then you already have somewhere to install charging. In a highly developed city like Singapore, the electric grid already extends almost everywhere.
> "hydrogen is a better long-term solution than electric vehicles for decarbonizing transportation, in part because of the carbon footprint from mining the metals needed to produce car batteries and the issues around their eventual disposal."
Batteries aren't free, but neither are electrolizers and fuel cells (limited life span, large quantities of platinum and rare earth metals needed for catalysts, etc). The lifecycle efficiency of battery electric vehicles is much better than for hydrogen fuel cells, and the infrastructure requirements are much more managable.
...in order to build cheap vehicle which will lasts at least 10 years.
I don't think teslas are needed in Singapore, but it doesn't mean they are not needed elsewhere.
I think SGP's PM is a bit too focused on his country to judge that.
Singapore has grown 4x since 1960. A lot of infrastructure and housing got built in that time. American cities in the era built themselves into a corner with auto-sprawl, Singapore didn't.
No. Singapore doesn't have enough land to do anything other than high-density building.
It’s also hard to imagine a place with better public transportation.
Only if they don't want any economic future. You're not thinking long term.
The same could have happened in Singapore, they’d just be a country with a smaller population.
The population of Singapore even 70 years ago was higher than San Francisco county's population is today. San Francisco also has a nation's worth of external support, Singapore only has its trade deals.
I think Singaporeans know how to run Singapore better than you do.
My point was that American cities have generally lacked such foresight.
It would have been a mistake for Singapore to build things around the car, and it has been a mistake for San Francisco to use restrictive zoning and car central planning.
In fairness, SF proper is dense, but it's tiny. The surrounding area is not dense.
>A high population in a small geographic area is what creates the necessity of high-density housing.
American cities pre-car were generally as dense as European cities. They chose the car intensive route post war. Europe initially went down that path, then pulled back. And Singapore was wise enough not to pursue it.
Their geography surely focussed minds a bit, but they could have made bad choices rather than good ones. Many cities have.
Nope. Even after a massive population increase in the last ten years of the 19th century, New York was still only half as populous as London in 1900:
You can see in those charts that both nyc and london had peak density in 1950, as their populations declined after that point, while their area didn't increased. They both reversed that trend around 1990.
NYC has a much higher density than london though: 27,751/sq mi vs. 14,670/sq mi
This was probably roughly accurate in relative terms around 1950 as well, as NYC and London had similar populations in different areas back then.
Singapore increased its density consistently and greatly in the same time period.
So you admit being pro-car or anti-car has nothing to do with it. Good.
Have you been to Singapore? Because if you have and think they are some green wonderland because they require an expensive purchase permit for a car and you need to get rid of it after 5 or 8 years is because they’re “earthy”, you are sadly mistaken.
It’s 99% population control, 1% environment. The city/state is amazing; but not always in the good way. I recommend you visit.
Green is one thing they are not. They talks good game about biomass (burning trash) and solar, but the entire country glows at night, it earns its name as The Air-Conditioned City.
No, it has to do with the fact that Singapore is a small place, which would completely choke if they would not restrict the use of private cars via heavy levies.
And regarding socialist ethos: Singapore is, arguably, the most capitalist and business friendly place in the world.
'Socialism' in the classical sense is definitely business unfriendly. Its foundation is a critique of private ownership of factories, workplaces, and other 'means of production'
Socialism means social management of the economy. That need not involve the state at all. And it may not describe China at all, depending on your definition of 'social', regardless of what the Communist Party says about itself.
"Socialist" certainly does not describe Singapore, which neither calls itself socialist, nor acts socialist.
You don't have to be friends with everyone to have lots of friends.
As of 2000, 95% of hydrogen production is sourced from 'steam reforming', basically breaking off hydrogen gas from fossil fuels: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen#Steam_reforming
Sure, everyone knows you can get hydrogen from nice clean electrolysis but it's not nearly as cheap (energetically) as getting it from fossil fuels.
Anyways, the oil industry would be relatively happy to a move to hydrogen so they could continue being the primary suppler of fuel.
How does something so mild get labeled as criticism?
Certainly we can use fewer, greener parking lots. Certainly we can use better public transport. Certainly the _majority_ of transit in Asian and European metros is public, and should be in America. But a plurality of transit even in the densest hubs is private. There are plenty of cars, and there is plenty of real need for them.
Condemning cars is reductionist and elitist, and at the risk of an ad-hominem attack, usually advocated by those who can afford expensive taxis when they need them, and don't often need them since they are young and single.
Maybe the dynamics will change with self-driving vehicles whose hiring will be more economical than ownership. But that is so far not a practical short- or medium-term reality.
I don't know enough about hfc's to have an opinion but I followed the link they gave and it looks like they could still be a way off in terms of practicality.
Anyone here have an informed opinion they'd be willing to share?
Interesting note, hydrogen motion is governed more by quantum tunneling than by Fickian diffusion which makes it materially challenging to effectively store at high energy densities. From an infrastructure standpoint, it is much lower in costs to store and transmit electrons than it is atoms (which is intuitive from a simple mass balance argument).
- Hyundai Nexo: https://www.hyundaiusa.com/nexo/index.aspx
- Toyota Mirai: https://ssl.toyota.com/mirai/fcv.html
- Honda Clarity: https://automobiles.honda.com/clarity-fuel-cell
- Lexus LS next year: https://www.motor1.com/news/362598/lexus-ls-fuel-cell-spied/
They're practical realities today. They have fast fueling with good range.
- South Korea: http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/index.php/south-korea/
- Japan: http://hydrogen-navi.jp/en/index.html
- China: https://www.caixinglobal.com/2019-06-07/chinas-largest-hydro...
- Europe: https://h2.live/en
The issue is that hydrogen cars are about as expensive as battery electric cars (i.e. twice to tree times the cost of similarly sized and equipped ICE car) but BEV is much cheaper to run, while H2EV costs about as much per km as ICE car, so you get the worse of both world. Also the car is more complex - it also has to have a battery because you can't recuperate into hydrogen cell.
You can create hydrogen using electricity, but a lot of energy is lost, so it will probably always be more expensive than just using electricity.
The tech only makes sense in uses where weight is extremely limiting, like in airplanes or maybe ships? Spaceships?
Singapore itself has huge financial disincentives to car ownership to begin with, they actively discourage it with huge fines. That's for gas using cars, and has been the case since decades.
It's also not that they worried that the insignificant market share of Tesla globally would live them without international buyers for their oil (which is a mere 5% of their much diverse economy). Besides, the dispute with Musk was over domestic use.
They are truly against cars, and in favor of buses and subway (which are both excellent in Singapore, which is also quite bike friendly).
One of my co-workers went out there (on a full ride expat job) and had to give it up as the climate affected his asthma to much.
So, all Tesla really needs to do is make an e-moped. I'd sign up immediately - I love my Unu, but it needs a bit of the Tesla flair...
For other places around the world where electricity is more 'dirty' just drive some small car with combustion engine and maintain it as long as possible. Small car needs less energy for transport then heavy electric vehicles.
It would be more ecological friendly to just use you gasoline car until it die and then only make the switch to electric. And even then, buying a used car and also running it until it dies might still be more ecological.
The technology will get better, on production level and on the car level. But right now, its very far from a clear cut to say if electric car are more 'green' than gazoline car (that are already produced).
Overall, the main issue is personal transportation. If you really want to be ecological, you should use mass transportation (excluding planes for short travel) whenever possible and use car sharing when you really need a personal transportation. The idea of all having a car sitting idle 90% of the time is fundamentally incompatible with ecology and electric car won't solve this.
Full life cycle assessment (well-to-wheels) comparison of four different power train technologies for production and usage. It is unclear if the usage value includes replacements and recycling. Values are in tonnes CO2 equivalent. Sorted from most to least CO2e consumed. Battery is second!
Standard gasoline engine:
5.6 + 24 = 29.6
Battery electric vehicle
8.8 + 19 = 27.8
6,5 + 21 = 27.5
6.7 + 19 = 25.7
Even if US and EU will be fast in adoption there's still a lot of work ahead.
Digging up liquefied dinosaurs, shipping them thousands of kilometers all over the world in huge ships, doing crazy chemical things with them, and then burning them in small batches 2500 times a minute ... how could that ever make more sense than using power grid?