Sunday, September 12, 2021

Bill Crawford: If We Plug Them in, Will They Power Up?

 “Many automakers have detailed plans to electrify large portions of their fleets over the next decade, with some announcing goals for fully electrified lineups within five years,” reports Consumer Reports. 

“We’re committed to putting every driver in an electric vehicle on a scale previously unseen and bringing the world to an all-electric future,” General Motors says on its web site.

But if we plug them in will they power up?


Extreme weather conditions that caused power outages and shortages in Louisiana, Texas, and California have exposed major weaknesses in the nation’s power grid. Hurricane Ida has disrupted power in south Louisiana for days – some were still without power last week. Early this year extreme cold disrupted power across Texas for days. Extreme heat and raging fires continue to disrupt power across California. Ida and winter storms disrupted power in Mississippi too. Then there are tornadoes, floods, and other weather events that shutdown power in many states.

What does this portend for a future where more and more Americans will need persistent power for electric vehicles?

“Redundancy and resiliency when it comes to power is something we have long understood will be an issue,” Austin, Texas, Capitol Metro spokeswoman Jenna Maxfield told Reuters, after outages left electric buses inoperable for days. “Reliability keeps you awake,” California Energy Commission member Siva Gunda told Reuters.

Having power generation capacity is one thing. Having continuous access to power is another. As more and more extreme weather events impact communities, concerns about access are growing.

“Among 638 transmission outage events reported from 2014 to 2018, severe weather was cited as the predominant cause,” states the ACSE 2021 Infrastructure Report Card. “Additionally, distribution infrastructure struggles with reliability, with 92% of all outages occurring along these segments.” 

Following hurricane damage in the McComb area, Enterprise-Journal Editor Jack Ryan wrote, “The widespread destruction of utility lines during Hurricane Ida is only the latest in decades worth of such damage…. But as the nation has become more dependent on electricity, it’s likely that the discussion of greater protection of the grid will increase.”

Replacing legacy systems with more resilient power lines, substations, and transformers, building more back-up power stations, and hardening grids and power plants would cost billions if not trillions of dollars nationwide. Then there is the growing need for physical and cyber security. 

Central District Public Service Commissioner Brent Bailey wrote in his August 25 newsletter, “The big questions are can grid infrastructure keep up as it ages and what are the costs to ensure the system can adequately deliver during times of stress?” A Commission ordered comprehensive utility infrastructure review is underway.

Bloomberg projects over $1 trillion needed to fix America’s “aging dinosaur” power grid. The pending (doomed?) infrastructure bill in Congress would provide $73 billion toward improvements. Consumers would have to bear the rest through rate increases, forcing Bailey and his colleagues to balance need versus cost in Mississippi.

Note: Blessings to all utility workers who toil so relentlessly to restore power after disruptions.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” – Philippians 4:6.

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Jackson.


Anonymous said...

After reading the comments from the various experts (cited in this article), my takeaway is simply, "Hey, live with it. When you go 10-7, find something else to do".

Anonymous said...

Let's see, trade in fossil fuel powered vehicles for electric vehicles, that are charged with electricity produced by....wait for it....fossil fuel power plants.

The lithium batteries are are made using fossil fuel power for the mining and manufacturing.

Tell me again how big are the lithium reserves.

Friggin' PC woke fools.

Anonymous said...

Gas pumps don't work without electricity. People are calling in bomb threats against Entergy linemen working in Louisiana right now to repair lines. What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

Electric vehicles come with the same results as wind turbines.

1) High cost.
2) High maintenance.
3) Non- renewable components.
4) Short life span.

This is a foolish pursuit perpetuated by the leftist tree huggers.

Anonymous said...

Never happen Bill. Most of these batteries in your modern marvels are ecological disasters waiting to happen. There are thousands of cars lined up in junkyards in France right now because the batteries are too expensive to replace. Add that to the fact their miles before charge takes to long and the range is pitiful and doesn’t look like the four year plan will work. Maybe in twenty years.

Anonymous said...

My concern is that it will take a lot more electricity to be produced, meaning hundreds of more power plants must be constructed. That is very difficult with the federal permitting process. Also, windmills don’t work when the wind isn’t blowing and solar cells don’t produce electricity at night or on cloudy days. Electricity must be produced on demand unless extensive high cost large battery systems are on place, which they aren’t presently.

Another problem is the distribution system. It will take a major upgrade and expansion of the transmission system to get enough electricity where needed. This means from the energy plant to the retail customer. This would be extremely expensive. As the column says, a trillion dollars just to upgrade the system to meet current demands. Now add a 25% increase in volume. The “infrastructure” bill doesn’t touch it. Lots of welfare in it though and Senator Wicker is on board.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, the new $50k electric Jeep Wrangler has an electric range of... 21 miles. That is not a misprint.

And you thought it was good stuff sold "cheap" said...

It's been years ago, when I noticed something strange in the far corner of a parking lot in Pearl Mississippi. Upon closer inspection, I realized what I was actually looking at were 6 or 8 parking spaces, each with a Tesla charger. It was at that exact moment that I figured out why they call the place
"The Outlets of Mississippi".

Anonymous said...

I remember that everyone drove around in electric golfcarts in that movie Idiocracy. Libtards used to think that movie was about about Fox News loving Bush supporters. Now it more resembles modern democrats and stupid social media addicts.
Obama might have actually been a great president had he been more like President Camacho. Same for Trump.

Terry Crews is doing much right now. We should get him to run in 2024.

Anonymous said...

A lot of old timers have pretty ingrained opinions of electric motors that leads to the type of disbelief and misinformation you see in the comments. Go take a ride in a Tesla and your tune will change quickly. They are faster, with less maintenance and a smoother and quieter ride. Battery tech will only get better and once the range is double or even triple of gas vehicles, there simply wouldn’t be a reason outside of nostalgia to choose a gas vehicle.

Anonymous said...

2:59 wins the week for me. First chuckle I’ve had in days.

Anonymous said...

The days of road trips are ending. You will need to pick a spot you wish to live with no more than a 150 mile radius. What I'm really waiting for are the electric planes. Fly from JXN to Madison, MS that is.

Anonymous said...

It’s real simple- battery tech isnt there yet and something has to generate the power to recharge
Its really that simple

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the arguments I've read explaining why the Model T would never replace horses.

Parnelli Jones said...

@4:34 - I'm all for the electric cars once the problems are all ironed out. I've friends who have owned Tesla's, and to a man, they love them WHEN, not if, they operate as they are supposed to. And every one of them is quick to say that you do not want to drive from Jackson to Memphis in one of them unless you plan on an hour in Grenada to charge the damn things. So until the electric car operates like a gas burner, count me out.

Better Than Ever said...


Yup. 100% There's not a good history of new inventions losing out to old tech.

There's a shit-ton of people working 24x7 on all aspects of this: motors, transmissions, controllers, chargers, cooling, ancillary systems needing power (steering, HVAC, etc), batteries, safety, grid distribution, solar, wind, etc and MASSIVE payouts to get it right. Only a fool would bet against it.

Anonymous said...

Tesla Motors has worse build quality than a Yugo. And you have to be over the age of 30 to know what a Yugo is. I have driven a Tesla and was not that impressed.

I agree, the quick 0 to 60 in straight line is worthy of giggles. However, a Tesla makes a high speed turn like a truck. Add the issues like bumpers falling off, spontaneous combustion, And doors that LOCK when the car catches fire (which they too often do!)

They don't assemble them in any uniform fashion. Nissan builds better cars in Canton.

Elon Musk is a grifter and has proposed more vaporware than actual products.

Anonymous said...

2:32 mines gets closer to 350 miles per charge.

Anonymous said...

There will never be a one-size-fits-all solution to energy needs. If you live in the inner city and never drive more than 20 miles anyway, then an electric vehicle might be perfect for you. If you live in rural America and drive 25+ miles to the grocery store, then a gas vehicle is best for you. If you live in the sunbelt, then solar panels might be a good way to reduce your reliance on the public power grid. If you live where there is nearly constant wind, then wind turbines might be a good way to reduce reliance on the public power grid.

And so it goes. We're going to have to stay flexible until something better is developed. Meanwhile, fossil fuels are finite. It takes billions of years for oil to form from rotted vegetation. When it is gone, it won't come back for eons.

Anonymous said...

Oil and gas is a large industry with lots of employees. It’s easy to see why they feel the need to cast doubts and spread misinformation about electric vehicles. They have already slowed progress on them, but eventually they will have to acknowledge and concede they are simply being replaced by a better product. The electric motors are better in every way than internal combustion even if you don’t care about the environmental impact. They are cheaper, faster, smoother, and far more reliable.

Anonymous said...

The tree huggers don't want you to known that wind turbines kill a lot of birds. Every week crews go out and pick up the carcasses of dead birds below the wind turbines.
AP Press
Wind turbines kill more than 573,000 birds each year in the United States, according to The Associated Press, including federally protected species like bald eagles and golden eagles.

"Don't it always go to show you don't know what you got till its gone. They took paradise and made it a parking lot."

Old Timers He Says.. said...

4:34 is right. A ride in a beautiful Tesla is like a ride in the yellow and red bumble-bee at the state fair. Heavenly take off, wonderful little soft flight, smoothe as silk, apirited on the straight-away...then it's over in eight minutes for a recharge.

"Take A Ride In A Tesla"...he says. Speaking of old timers, I remember this..."Seeeee the USA in a Chev-ROE-Lay"....with Dinah Shore.

Anonymous said...

7:24 - Nobody would ever take seriously somebody who refers to a possession as 'mines'.

Krusatyr said...

A more interesting use of "renewable energy" is a 4-1/2 deck, five mast hybrid sail ship "Golden Horizon" made in Croatia as a luxury cruise ship. What a magnificent beauty, especially compared to the floating 10 deck tenements that despoil each harbor they visit and which are thankfully becoming outlawed in some destinations.

Anonymous said...

@10:19 - Tesla’s are fast, but not that fast. You’d have to be traveling around 1200 miles per hour to deplete the battery in 8 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Lol, some of the "good" batteries are more expensive than the car ! trailer house ain't go no plug for that there contraption.

Anonymous said...

As I see it, future technology will solve all of these problems, the real problem is the politicians putting time constraints that technology can not meet just for politics sake. Like they say, you politicize anything all you get is politics.

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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