EV, PHEV, and Hybrid Vehicles

Toyota, in a rather vague comment, claims to have found a “material” that solves the longevity issue with solid state batteries that will result in a 932 mile range EV, rechargeable in 10 minutes, by -



Maybe they should stop right now and repurpose those same engineers to go back to turning lead into gold…


They discovered Unobtainium?!

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More like dilithium crystals Scotty!


Good. I’ll take an electric F70 Landcruiser with 900 mile range and 10 minute recharge. Order is in. What can Toyota do for my Surface Pro X battery life?


If you thought the Apple Vision Pro was overpriced, wait until you see that 7 figure Landcruiser bill…

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I loved my old FJ40. Stolen from my lawschool parking lot just before I graduated. But, I do digress.


Weighs 6 tons, and you have to plug it into a 440 socket.

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yeah but only one of them is actual fun to use :wink:

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Hi Gang -

Changed this thread’s title to get a more general discussion of the “electrification” of our driving fleet. The reason being, my PHEV (plug-in hybrid vehicle), the 2018 Honda Clarity. TL&DR - it is still the best PHEV sedan out there, even over the newly redesigned Toyota Prius Prime (see Marques Brownlee’s review of the Prius Prime here).

To begin with, the Clarity was a four year experiment by Honda to develop a single platform to publicly test a hydrogen fuel cell car (never got out of California as I recall), an all electric car (89 mile range available only as a leased vehicle in CA and OR - yuck), and the “generally” available PHEV :+1: :+1:

I took delivery of my Clarity PHEV in November 2018. It is basically an Accord with some strange quirks. I still have it (yes, unusual for this tech disposer) and it was a look at the Prius Prime at our local dealer that put my wallet back in my pocket.

Pushing five years old my PHEV performance is still great, even against the newest PHEV technology out there. Fall and Spring it routinely gets 48-52 miles on a battery charge while driving 20-60 mph around town in commuting and errands (you know, like trips to Best Buy). In the heat of summer and when we get true cold in winter (sub-40) it averages 40-42 miles on a charge. When the battery drains, or on the highway, it goes into hybrid mode like the Prius. Gas mileage any season is between 35-40 mpg (I get heavy footed on our 80mph freeways). This is where the Prius Prime does mop the floor with my Clarity, getting 50mpg +/- when hybrid only. Now remember, this is an Accord sedan size vehicle that weighs MORE than an Accord (due to the 600 pound battery pack). It can carry five adults without folding one of them in half.

What are the quirks - some of the “parts” feel like Honda robbed their spare parts bin to make this car - infotainment screen is on the small size with NO volume knob; flying bridge between the front seats is to wide next to your knees, no rear windshield wiper, atrocious backup camera (like a dark 480p 1999 cheap phone camera), only a 7 gallon gas tank (really needed to be 10). I still think, however, there biggest mistake was the “Clarity” badging (the name for its fuel cell experiments in the 2006+ era) - had they called this the Accord PHEV it would have scored with the public.

Why was it discontinued - a lot of rumors still swirl around it, but the most credible I heard was that this $37,490 Touring model (which I ALSO got a fed tax credit of $7500 and Texas EV credit of $2000) cost Honda $45-75k to manufacture!

Why did I not go EV (even with a Tesla) - biggest reason was cost (back then pushing well into $80k+) , but of EQUAL importance (even today) was “range anxiety.” A car rated for 250 miles all electric struggled to 200 miles with a minimum of a couple of hours at the charging station. The nearest “big” city to Midland is 120 miles, so no getting there, driving around shopping or going to a Texas Tech game, and making it back home without a charge. El Paso and DFW are both 325 miles away.

Since my Clarity still goes farther on a battery, with more passenger room, than the Prius Prime, I’m good to go. I DO agree with Marques, however, that a PHEV is still the best solution for most of the country - you can nearly go all electric for daily driving (I’ve gone months without adding gas) and long range drives are without any range anxiety.

Now, for those of you laughing your @$$ off over a oil & gas lawyer driving a PHEV, I have a quote from one of my long term landowner clients who has driven a Prius forever - “I sure enjoy selling them the oil, but I d@mn sure don’t have to pay them to buy it back as gasoline!”

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Think I’ll stick with my Mazda 6*. Where I live, there are very few charging spots for EVs and parking spots are precious enough as it is, let alone if people spent more time in them charging.

*That is until the chassis inevitably corrodes because Mazda cheaped out on the steel.

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This is the BIG fallacy of the green movement -
We do not have the infrastructure to charge what we have, much less what the greenies want us to get. Look at California a few months ago - passed a law banning ICE (internal combustion engine, including hybrids) vehicles sales by 2035, but a few weeks later the governor is begging Californians not to fully charge their EV’s because of the strain on the grid during a heat wave. For those with plenty of time on their hands, and a Level 2 charger at home (10-12 hours for a drained Tesla), all EV’s are good - until you plan that first 300 mile drive, then it’s time to search for a functioning public charger both ways (which I have to admit is generally much more successful with Tesla, you just may have to wait in line for a spot).

The PHEV solves range anxiety for long drives, and can generally handle all local driving EV for better emission control and price at the pump savings…


To @dstrauss point, some numbers.

  • 20 tons of raw lithium ore has to be excavated to produce 1 ton of refined material
  • The mining and earth moving equipment are necessarily diesel
  • Global lithium production in 2022 was 130,000 metric tons
  • approx. 17 million new vehicles are sold in the US each year
  • There are an average of 13 pounds of Lithium in each EV battery
  • The additional Lithium required for the US fleet alone would be approx. 100,000 metric tons annually
  • This doesn’t account for the incremental copper, cobalt, etc. which also requires mining
  • The US rarely issues new mining permits for rare earth metals (e.g. in January, the current administration blocked one of the most promising rare earth deposits in the US (Minnesota) from being mined

If the EU and Asia mandate EVs by 2035, basic supply and demand will wreck the supply chain and drive prices through the roof.

With respect to other infrastructure, EV passenger sedans weigh about 4,000 imperial pounds vs. 3,250 for ICE passenger sedans. I am not aware of any studies that account for a 25% increase in the weight of all traffic on bridges and in tunnels while also increasing the volume of that traffic from a growing population in urban centers.

EVs have a role to play in a complex transportation portfolio. They may not be capable of being a 100% replacement given existing technology.


Much less the environmental cost of all of the rare earth element mining/processing AND the fact we do not have enough “green” energy even to charge those vehicles. We are decades, if not longer, away from an all electric fleet, and all we are doing today is transferring the energy cost/pollution from the ICE motor to the electric grid.

That’s why I am such an advocate for PHEV for the mid-range solution. Convert commuting, which is horrible for the environment (just count how many single passenger vehicles you see on tomorrow’s commute) would be a great step forward to cleaning things up around here…


The most frequently cited use case for EVs is charging at night. This means necessarily that there is no solar energy available. In urban centers, there is also a small percentage of required electricity available from wind (if any) during this time period. Necessarily, that electricity has to come from combustion (coal or nat. gas) or nuclear.

When a major global data company looks to site a new server farm/data centers, it always requires two independent inbound transmission line sources connected to base load (coal, nat. gas or nuclear) generators for the site.

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Even worse - look at Texas and Oklahoma right now, with the power grids begging homeowners to set thermostats at or above 80 because of the record high temps (we are forecast to be over 100 for the next 15 days)…

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Scale is an important concept in this exercise.

Great Britain opened the largest grid connected battery storage system in the EU in November. It stores enough electricity to “back up” 300,000 homes for 2 hours (and there is very little air conditioning load in GB). It cost 13 Billion pounds sterling.

There are roughly 25 million homes in GB. To back up the whole country would require 83 such sites at a total cost of roughly 1 Trillion pounds sterling. GB’s annual gross domestic product is only 2.83 Trillion pounds sterling.

That doesn’t account for batteries for office buildings, factories, hospitals, museums, military bases, etc. or the additional transmission lines to connect it all up.

Even if the economy could bear the cost to pay for all that battery storage, it buys just two hours. Or in the alternative - and more likely case - storage would be allocated to “priority” uses. Meaning electricity haves and have nots enforced by governmental policy.


I didn’t specifically mention electricity generation capacity as I’ve gotten into some rather nasty arguments over them. Glad to see that it might be okay to reasonably discuss it here.

In those arguments, I get accused of, well being everything really. They say we have more than enough capacity, but never manage to point to any study that takes into account substantial increases of EVs. Sure, we have surplus now, but what if, say, being optimistic, 50% of current ICE vehicles are changed for EVs? Our current energy capacity still struggles during ad breaks in soaps when everyone puts their kettles on.

Then there is, as I mentioned, the physical space capacity, as well as the infrastructure to deliver all this extra electricity.

Make no mistake, we absolutely do need to be using less fossil fuel and very quickly, but too many are on either side of the extremes and, frankly, nutty.

On a personal note, I mostly think EVs are fun to drive for people who don’t really like driving much. Sure the acceleration is certainly there, but there’s no ‘soul’. Hopefully some companies start emulating ICE engines for EVs, so you can at least pretend they are one.


Capacity is an interesting concept. Electricity demand is an irregular sine wave moving up and down during the day as people wake up, go about their lives, temperatures rise (or fall) p, return home, and shut things down for the night.

Peak demand is the amount of electricity required if all customers turned most everything on at the same time. At least in the US, the delta between peak demand and maximum capacity (margin) has been shrinking for years.

Those areas losing population and industrial production tend to have higher margin, those growing have less (see @dstrauss comment about Texas). But the transmission lines don’t exist to move that excess margin very far on most days.

Electricity is a function of physics and economics. Get either wrong and prices skyrocket and/or lights go out. Social policy tends to have drivers other than physics or economics.


And while we’re discussing data, I’ll leave this here.

Officials of the US Environmental Protection Agency testified before Congress recently that the agency could not identify what percentage measured of temperature changes were attributable to natural cycles. Given the fact that CO2 and temperatures have been both higher and lower at geologic timescales, the inability to distinguish sources of change is at least problematic for purposes of policy analysis.