German Analysis: Florida Evacuation With E-Vehicles Would Mean “Mass Death On The Highways”

If Florida’s transportation were based mostly on electric vehicles, as activists demand, it would quickly come to a standstill in times of hurricanes and mass evacuations. Charging stations would be overwhelmed and millions of lives put at risk.

Good thing we have fossil fuel powered vehicles, which can run and be refueled whenever the power is out. Army National Guard load trucks as they prepare to hand out supplies to people in need. E-vehicles would sit idle and leave millions abandoned and at risk. (U.S. Navy photo from FEMA site, by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ryan J. Courtade/Released)

E-mobility in times of hurricane would be “a nightmare”

Yesterday Michael Limburg of the Germany-based European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) here posted a brainstorming thought exercise, posing the question of what would the evacuation of Florida look like if most of the cars were electric?

And to take it a step further, what would rescue services today be like if they depended on electric vehicles?

EIKE concludes that it would be “a nightmare!”

“Mass death”

EIKE cites a post by IT expert Hadmut Danisch here, who drove the point home, saying the outcome would be “mass death on the highways“. Though the discussion rages over the degree to which man may be at fault for hurricanes like Irma, one thing is sure: as long as it’s September, the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico will always be in peak hurricane season with or without man. Powerful hurricanes have always been the case, and always will be.

What has emerged, Limburg writes, is: the better the early warning system is, and the more mobile people are, the less victims you are going to see.

Cars would lose their charge, millions stranded on highway

Imagine if the environmentalists had had their way and had managed to force the US into electric cars…something that is underway now in some countries like Norway, the UK and soon France. Germany recently has been discussing in earnest banning by 2030 the internal combustion engine.

And now imagine with Irma approaching if the millions of citizens evacuating populated south Florida had had electric cars instead to make the 400-mile journey to get out of harm’s way. After 100 miles or so these cars would have lost their power, and charging stations quickly would have become overrun with cars waiting to make the one-hour charge-up.

Traffic would have rapidly come to a halt.

These millions of stranded people then would have been sitting ducks waiting to be blown away by nature’s fury.

Fossil fuel vehicles never need a rest

With fossil fuels, the car’s range is far greater, fueling time is just minutes and extra canisters of fuel also can be easily brought along. Power outages would not interrupt petrol stations because the gas pumps can be easily powered by portable fossil fuel-powered generators.

But with electric cars it would be a totally different story. If a hurricane hit, power lines would go down, knock out the power grid and thus would make the charging of electric vehicles impossible. Solar panels would fly off buildings as roofs are torn off. Wind parks would automatically turn off because they are not designed to operate in hurricane force winds. Many wind towers would simply buckle in the 250 km/hr wind gusts, meaning the green power supply infrastructure would of course get destroyed. In summary, solar panels and offshore wind parks in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico make about as much sense as raising sheep on a wolf-farm.

And after the hurricane passes, electric cars would remain immobile because the power grid would be knocked out. Recharging vehicles would be impossible. Emergency vehicles also would quickly lose their power charge and sit idle. Recovery and clean up efforts would take months, if not years. The toll on human life would be unimaginable.

This is the future of electric mobility.

Today, thanks to fossil fuels, energy is always portable, available and reliable. Fossil fueled vehicles are able to travel great distances, be onsite within a minutes notice, and be refueled quickly. Nuclear and coal power plants stand their ground, and so restoring power is easy.

Floridians have shown that even in the aftermath of the most destructive storms, recovery and a speedy return to business is a matter of days or a few weeks, all thanks to the always dependable and available fossil fuels.

 

49 responses to “German Analysis: Florida Evacuation With E-Vehicles Would Mean “Mass Death On The Highways””

  1. Green Sand

    Whilst many via nebulous links are trying to associate the recent US hurricanes with ‘climate change”, one issue is however absolutley clear. Homo sapiens use of fossil fuels prevented the loss of many, many lives.

    Tracking resulting in accurate forecass, allowing timely preperation and/or evacuation. Can’t put satellites up, or fly storm chasing planes without fossil fuels. Concrete buildings provide shelter, can’t make concrete without fossil fuel energy. Need to run the emergency services all the time, they need safe and secure energy sources. Emergency generators are diesel powered.

    And yes, my evacuation vehicle would be tanked up ready to go all through the ‘windy’ season.

    Without the above we can only guess at what the casuality figure would be, but history gives a clue, just look at the toll before we had the above abilities.

  2. yonason

    “Charging stations would be overwhelmed and millions of lives put at risk.”

    Yeah? If gas stations don’t have gas, how will they refuel the rescue vehicles, huh? Answer me that!
    http://animalnewyork.com/2012/heres-how-the-national-guard-refuels-its-relief-vehicles/

    Oh.

    1. TedM

      What a stupid comment/question Yonason. Most car owners will already have some gas in their tanks. You can fill up in a couple of minutes. Even if you car was nearly empty you would only need to fill up once. Try thet in an E vehicle. Also the fact is that millions did safely evacuate in fossil fueled cars.

      1. yonason

        Come on, TedM. OPEN THE LINK!

        Sheesh!

        1. No Patience for the Stupid

          Moron yonason, the military doesn’t run on gasoline. The tanker at your link is filled with JP-8 jet fuel, the NATO standard fuel.

          If it was gasoline the DOT placard on it would be 1203.

          1. yonason

            @No Patience for the Stupid 27. September 2017 at 11:16 PM

            The placard 1993/3, as on the side and back of that truck, is for diesel fuel.
            https://www.hazmattool.com/info.php?language=en&a=Diesel+fuel&b=NA1993&c=3
            (I did NOT say that the NAT GUARD ran on gas. I merely asked how they would fuel themselves without gas. The answer, obviously, is diesel! …that they brought themselves.)

            Here’s a video of a NAT GUARD 1000 gallon capacity vehicle in action, EXACTLY THE SAME AS IN THE PICTURE I LINKED TO ABOVE.
            https://youtu.be/mElcpA9BNIM?t=52

            It would take a special kind of stupid to try to fly a jet with that. And I think you have what it takes.

            How DO you put up with yourself?!

          2. yonason

            FYI

            You are correct that gas would be 1203, but aviation fuel is 1863, not 1993.
            https://www.labelmaster.com/shop/two-sided-4-digit-placard-1203-gasoline-1863-fuel-ztv0363

            (Note to self – apparently I can’t assume that without a //sarc// tag, things I write with that intent will be taken correctly, no matter how obvious I think they are.)

  3. oldbrew

    Bear in mind that fuel dispensers at filling stations need electricity.

    1. Rud Istvan

      After Wilma, every gas station and grocery store in Broward County (includes Fort Lauderdale) has to have a standby generator. The one at our local Publix grocery store here on the barrier island is a big Caterpillar spark ignited diesel (runs on secure natural gas just like the emergency generators in our complex.). Is set atop a concrete anchored steel I beam frame about 8 feet up from the parking lot to avoid storm surge. That way the fresh food doesn’t spoil.
      The one at the local gas station is smaller, but also natural gas fueled and set high. Just enough to power the gas pumps and store systems.

  4. Andy Pattullo

    True that refueling can be impaired by loss of electricity, but gasoline powered vehicles can be refueled in anticipation of an event and be ready to travel 600-1000km on a single tank, not to mention the ability to extend range with additional gas cans. Even more perplexing would be how to evacuate those stranded on Caribbean and Atlantic islands without jet fuel. Should they count on wooden boats with electric motors to appease the CAGW crowd?

    1. yonason

      kayaks and dinghies.

      1. Tiger Tomcat

        Jesus H Christ!! Yonason just wants to kill people doesn’t he or she.

        1. No Patience for the Stupid

          Mass murder is the Marxist way. Green Marxists just want to do it low-tech.

  5. Stuart Lynne

    Not to mention the (possibly??) instant death if you tried to drive an EV through a couple of feet of water.
    What does happen when an EV is submerged?

    1. roger

      This is a question which has been raised many times on many blogs and so far as I can see no one has the answer.
      Can this blog be the first to nail it?

    2. SebastianH

      Electric vehicles have no problem with high water. They can even “swim” in flooded tunnels: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gyk0qq4lReY

      1. yonason

        The aptly named Fisker’s “Karma” says SebH is wrong.
        http://jalopnik.com/5958523/fisker-lost-30-million-worth-of-cars-in-hurricane-sandy

        Who ya gonna believe, SebH, or the company that lost $30,000,000 after leaving their EVs parked in a storm? I repeat, they weren’t being driven, they were PARKED.

        1. SebastianH

          You are linking to an article that says a 12 V battery system short-circuited and caused a fire because it was submerged in sea water.

          Do you want me to link to statistics how often 12 V batteries in regular cars cause the car to burn?

          Stuart Lynne was likely referring to the incompatibility of high voltages and water, don’t you think?

          P.S.: I’d be surprised if anything of the non-US-truck-like cars used to evacuate can drive through “a couple of feet of water”.

  6. Dave Fair

    During the 1970’s gas shortages, I drove a 1968 VW beetle. I carried a couple of full gas cans and could go at least 400 miles (I drove up and down I5 often).

    Part of the gas shortage was due to people filling up earlier than normal. This resulted in gas storage in vehicles, not the gas stations.

  7. Bitter&twisted

    Mass death is not an unfortunate flaw in Green Policies, but the planned result.

    1. yonason
    2. Colorado Wellington

      True, it’s a feature, not a bug. The Greens are reverently looking up to the movement’s founder.

      Genghis Khan the Green: Invader killed so many people that carbon levels plummeted

    3. SebastianH

      And you guys wonder why your opinions are disregarded as those of conspiracy theorists? 😉

      1. Bitter&twisted

        SebastianH I suggest you go and read the genocidical bile of people like Paul Ehrlich (and other “environmentalists”) and you might understand.

        This is a good start too;
        https://www.reddit.com/r/misanthropy/comments/4n1oz0/the_world_would_be_better_off_with_less_people/

      2. Michael Z. Williamson

        Wait, are you looking in a mirror, Mr, “We’ll just build 100 bay charging stations and assume everyone will plan ahead”?

        Or we can just make sure every electric car has its own emergency generator: http://gajitz.com/little-generator-trailer-lets-electric-cars-go-the-distance/

        1. No Patience for the Stupid

          Now there’s a solution to a self-inflicted problem…

  8. John F. Hultquist

    For now, evacuations seem necessary. However, I suggest planning for more near-home-secure sites is necessary. Others have commented on how this can be done.
    The issue is about sending millions of people onto roads and into rural areas with less shelter, food, water, and services. Police and medical staff with facilities do not evacuate with the long distance evacuees.
    Because storm tracks are difficult to predict, some folks go that need not, and others stay (too late), can’t leave, and have no safe place to go.
    Society needs to rethink this issue.

    1. joecrouse

      the hell they dont. Every major storm comming up the east coast The cops and city managment evac with the rest of the town those of us who stay behind tend to be the ones who catch the attempted looters. several usually get found duct taped to large oak trees.

  9. yonason

    E-Vehicles may be as useless during a flood as a solar panel at night. But why not “solve” the problem the greenie way, and adopt the same strategy they do for electric power, and apply it to transportation. For power generation we have to have backup fossil fuel plants for when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. The same could apply to vehicles. We simply require everyone to have TWO cars, one EV for non-emergencies, and one gas powered for emergencies. What could go wrong?!

  10. SebastianH

    And now imagine with Irma approaching if the millions of citizens evacuating populated south Florida had had electric cars instead to make the 400-mile journey to get out of harm’s way. After 100 miles or so these cars would have lost their power, and charging stations quickly would have become overrun with cars waiting to make the one-hour charge-up.

    Oh, the imagination … let’s continue to imagine a possible electric vehicle future without the closed mind of skeptics seeing only doomsday scenarios, shall we?

    How do people evacuate via car? They drive away before the disaster strikes (hopefully). So charging up those cars will be no problem, since electricity is still available. As for the hour long charging to continue your escape with a full battery, just provide enough parking spots with chargers. When you can fill up 100 vehicles with fuel per hour at a gas station you can provide 100 (or make that 200) spots for charging to get the same throughput.

    Also, let’s not assume that cars with only 100 miles of range would be the norm when all vehicles are electric ones. Let’s assume the average would be a 60 kWh battery and that would result in a range of 300-400 km or in the slow traffic conditions of an evacuation probably a bit more (think the hypermiling ranges of those electric vehicles). Charging up 100 60 kWh batteries in an hour would mean a connection to the grid with a capacity of 6 MW … not a serious problem.

    Once the disaster strikes gasoline has its advantages. But what could you possibly do with that advantage? If you are this late, you will be stuck in traffic anyway and/or can’t escape.

    Bottom line: you guys (especially those that regard EIKE as a good source of news) shouldn’t assume that a society with electric only vehicles would have the (amount of) charging stations and battery capacities of today. The failure to extrapolate trends is a big issue in the skeptics community …

    Traffic would have rapidly come to a halt.

    Question: how many vehicles can be filled up on regular gas stations before their gas tanks are empty? They aren’t build to be able to support “all” vehicles going long distance in one direction.

    1. yonason

      Well, at least doubling auto power suppliers would leave the gas stations free to those of us who want to buy gas to power our emergency generators, you know, for when the electric power goes out. (Or is SebH going to try to get us to believe that when the power goes out, some other magical source of power will continue to supply us, thereby obviating the need for gas powered emergency generators? It wouldn’t surprise me if he did.)

      “The failure to extrapolate trends is a big issue in the skeptics community …” – chatbot_SebH

      Wrong, SebH. Apart from failure itself, it is the warmist/greenie failure to extrapolate failure, in order for humanity to avoid it, that is one of their most conspicuous and annoying traits.

      1. SebastianH

        You can have your gas powered emergency generator. I don’t think you live in a permanent state of emergency though, do you?

        And wasn’t this about vehicles?

        1. yonason

          Another observation

          “…I don’t think you live in a permanent state of emergency” – SebH

          That’s hilarious, coming from a warmist who lives in constant fear of the imminent doom caused by an imaginary human caused ever present climate emergency.

          1. SebastianH

            I think you don’t know anything about “the other side”. Calling them “warmists” and them having “constant fear of the imminent doom” and inserting “imaginary” … you are just an ignorant troll who doesn’t even recognize that all his arguments are based on limited understanding of the problem.

          2. yonason

            Warmists call us skeptics “climate criminals,” because we don’t buy their imaginary “runaway global warming,” “exponentially rising oceans” and “climate disruption” panic.
            http://www.express.co.uk/news/science/675474/Stephen-Hawking-climate-change-earth-Good-morning-Britain

            And SebH tells us they never said what they said, and that I’m an Ignoramus for saying they did.

            SebH must be really rattled, because he’s even more irrational than usual.

            Grow up!

          3. yonason
    2. tweell

      Sebastian, how about taking off those rose-colored glasses and working with the facts?
      “How do people evacuate via car? They drive away before the disaster strikes (hopefully). So charging up those cars will be no problem, since electricity is still available. As for the hour long charging to continue your escape with a full battery, just provide enough parking spots with chargers. When you can fill up 100 vehicles with fuel per hour at a gas station you can provide 100 (or make that 200) spots for charging to get the same throughput.”

      Tell you what, we’ll cut the time to 30 minutes. A smart charger will charge those batteries to 85% in that time. The last half hour is spent trickling the 15% in. So, 50 charging stations needed per gas station, doubling the footprint of each station and requiring a high voltage feed from the station. You’d have to mandate this, because most folks would do as they do now – slowly charge their electric vehicle at home at night – so 90% of the stations wouldn’t be used under normal circumstances. Well done, SebH! Way to drive car charging stations out of business in no time! Under your plan, there would be far fewer stations available – it wouldn’t be economically feasible.

      “Also, let’s not assume that cars with only 100 miles of range would be the norm when all vehicles are electric ones. Let’s assume the average would be a 60 kWh battery and that would result in a range of 300-400 km or in the slow traffic conditions of an evacuation probably a bit more (think the hypermiling ranges of those electric vehicles). Charging up 100 60 kWh batteries in an hour would mean a connection to the grid with a capacity of 6 MW … not a serious problem.”

      No handwaving can cause this one to go away. I’ll give you the batteries you assume will be available, but note that the grid connection will now have to support 10MW. At 100kv, that’s 1000amps. Not a serious problem? Talk to the utility company if you think so! Again, the feed would not normally be used like that, but would have to take the strain at odd intervals. Also, the range you quote would be seriously degraded. Hypermiling is largely built-in to the mileage figures of EV’s, and there’s a bit you left out – A/C. That’ll cut down the range by at least 20% in traffic.

      “Bottom line: you guys (especially those that regard EIKE as a good source of news) shouldn’t assume that a society with electric only vehicles would have the (amount of) charging stations and battery capacities of today. The failure to extrapolate trends is a big issue in the skeptics community …”

      And why on earth would you have the same amount of charging stations as gas stations (only with double the footprint)? As I noted, folks with EV’s set them to charge overnight, when the rates are lower. Talk about failure to extrapolate trends…

    3. Michael Z. Williamson

      The mental contortions you’re going through to attempt to make your case are hilarious to behold.

      Let’s just say you have zero clue about disaster response, and leave it at that.

    4. Michael Z. Williamson

      Wait, I was totally unaware that by switching to electric vehicles, every owner would automatically gain the schedule and wisdom by which to leave in an early, orderly fashion, and that there would be no traffic jams or delays. Truly we need this magic. Please proceed.

      The procedure for gas cars that are empty and blocking traffic is to roll them to the side, then fuel them individually with a couple of gallons to get them moving.

      The plan for stranded electric vehicles…well, there’s no easy way to roll a generator up and charge them for 20 minutes each, so the procedure is to bulldoze them off the road, where they either become modern sculpture or an artifical reef for coral.

      Which is about the greenest use one can be put to.

    5. Michael Z. Williamson

      Or we can just make sure every electric car has its own emergency generator: http://gajitz.com/little-generator-trailer-lets-electric-cars-go-the-distance/

  11. yonason

    “You can have your gas powered emergency generator. I don’t think you live in a permanent state of emergency though, do you?

    And wasn’t this about vehicles?” – SebH

    How generous of you to allow us to keep our generators, even though they would be useless without the gas, which would be as impossible to get as an electric charge if all we had were EVs, and hence no gas stations.

    Of course there isn’t a permanent state of emergency. That’s why it’s called an “emergency.” But the ability to deal with it must be in place, otherwise it becomes a disaster.

    While primarily about cars, there are other foreseeable consequences, but only if one is thinking clearly. The fact that you don’t want to is a perfect illustration of your total commitment to a “failure to extrapolate.” You can’t know what is wrong with your world view, because you don’t want to.

    1. SebastianH

      If getting gas for emergency generators is something people need, then there will be means to get it. You don’t have to go to a gas station to fill up your gas tank … besides, when electric vehicles become price competitive and people will begin switching over to these types of vehicles, it will take decades until gas stations would become so rare that it would be a problem to get gas for your generator.

      This talk of yours is pretty hilarious. Why do you skeptics think that greens or AGW proponents want to take something away from you making your life worse? Is that another conspiracy thing?

      1. yonason

        “You don’t have to go to a gas station to fill up your gas tank … ” – Chatbot_SebH, ignoramus at large.

        Yes, chatbot, that is EXACTLY where we have to go to get it. Because that’s where it is.

        And if we didn’t have gas stations, we wouldn’t have it in the quantities we would need in an emergency.

        “Why do you skeptics think that greens or AGW proponents want to take something away from you making your life worse?” – Chatbot_SebH, blind to reality

        Because that is the consequence of all their idiotic schemes.

        =======================================================
        Another e.g., in the “failure to extrapolate failure” department.
        http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/when-the-lights-go-out-in-a-hurricane-blame-climate-change-policies-not-climate-change/article/2634033

        Nothing we can do will alter what climate emergencies come our way. But bad public policy can, and does, make emergencies worse, by making them more costly and preventing us from dealing with them efficiently. And that can cause loss of property, and, G-d forbid, lives.

        Take as an example just the gas vs EV “solution” you are implying could be implemented. When we go to gas up our cars, we also fill our fuel carboys. If they were in different locations, we would have to waste precious time that is not always available in an emergency situation. It would be just one more level of unnecessary burden. Like every faux-greenie scheme, it’s all pain and no gain, always.

  12. Electric vehicle pledge branded 'unaffordable and unachievable' | Newsfeed - Hasslefree allsorts

    […] It will, as Lubos Motl notes, lead to “Mass Death on the Highways.” […]

  13. Disaster Squared – Splendid Isolation

    […] not; in a fine example of synchronicity, Longtime Reader Mike G. sends me this little study which, if you’re too busy to read the whole thing, can be summed up quite simply: everyone […]

  14. Joseph Gerth

    There are only two ways to power an electric car with current technology that can offer equal or greater flexibility compated with IC engines…

    1.Fuel Cells. It’s faster to refuel a fuel cell than it is to charge a battery.

    2. Use a RTG. At that point range is meaningless. You have the ability to drive how so ever many miles you want for approximately 10-20 years. But expect the eco-fundies to want to burn you at the stake for it.

  15. markm

    Joseph: An RTG (Radioisotope thermoelectric generator) is no solution. Wikipedia lists a number of them. All but one produce a fraction of a horsepower – not enough for a small lawnmower, let alone a car. One has an output of 3,000 watts (about 4 HP), but it weighs a ton.