Friday, 1 July 2016

Charged Hong Kong Members' Stories #001 -- Mr. Michael Chan

Michael Chan


The first of the Charged Hong Kong Members' Stories has been very popular on the Web and our members have been asking for more. Today, we have another Charged Hong Kong member sharing his story with us. His name is Michael Chan, co-founder of G.Guard (Hong Kong).

Here's our interview below:



Locky Law (LL): We are glad to have Michael with us today for the interview today. Michael is well-known in the car coating industry, for he runs G.Guard (Hong Kong) with his partner Kevin in Hong Kong. And then of course, there was also a grand prize G. Guard sponsored to Charged Hong Kong Rally 2015. Welcome Michael! Thank you for your time!



Michael Chan (MC): Thank you very much indeed for the invitation from Locky, the Charged Hong Kong's Tesla owner group representative, for having me here for one of these interview sessions. I am very grateful that there is an EV-dedicated organization in Hong Kong like Charged HK that has contributed to the EV community and EV growth in Hong Kong in many significant ways, and I would love to help out in any way possible!

LL: Thank you for introducing me too, Michael. I have just finished listening to your RTHK 3 interview and your Commercial Radio 903 interview by the famous Hong Kong actress and host “DoDo” Carol Cheng, who happens to be a huge fan of Tesla's Autopilot technology, so I dare say I am quite familiar with what you do, but for the benefits of our viewers, would you please tell us a little about your business?

MC: Long story short, coating is undoubtedly becoming one of the “to-do” things upon purchasing a new car nowadays. There are already many competent car coating companies in Hong Kong before we started so we took our time and did our research thoroughly before entering this market. We feel that most (if not all) of the current car coating companies apply their coating by hand and we wanted to find something else that has an edge over this application method, as there is no point in starting a new company that has the same technology as everyone else. In the end, we chose G.Guard that originated from Japan because of its ground-breaking penetrative coating technique and its unique application by spray guns.

LL: So, how does G.Guard differ from other 9H coatings?

MC: The G.Guard penetrative glass coating provides your car with an in-depth protection, as we do not only take care of the car surface but also the paint layer underneath that is normally neglected. We apply our coating by our specialised spray guns rather than the more traditional hand-application. Our research shows that penetration into the paint surface is vital in order to increase both the strength and substantiality of the top coat. This was exactly the edge and difference that we were looking for from the get-go. DoDo Cheng was actually very impressed with the end-result of our coating as she has previously done similar sort of treatment elsewhere but didn't have the "wow" factor back then when she collected her car.

LL: Well, she will probably visit your shop in the future, hopefully in her new Tesla. Anyway, how did you get into this car coating business in the first place? Because from the two interviews I mentioned, I do know that you actually hold 4 law degrees, in which 3 of them are in LLMs (Master of Laws)! 

MC: Kevin, my business partner, studied Chemistry in Oxford and yes, I have 4 law degrees from the UK, China and Hong Kong respectively. We met when we studied boarding school together in the UK when we were very young. More importantly, we are car lovers and car coating is basically applying chemistry onto a car and that’s why it seems to be a perfect combination of Kevin’s specialty and my interest. Besides, car coating is still a relatively new service here in Hong Kong with growing demand, that’s why we decided to start exploring this industry which has a huge potential market. As Kevin studied Chemistry at Oxford, this gives us an edge on fully understanding the chemistry behind coating and how it works in general.

LL: So why should I have my car coated?

MC: The primary purpose of glass coating is to act as a sacrificial barrier over the surface of your vehicle’s paint, while having its water-repellent properties and maintaining the level of glossiness. When there are contaminants that come into contact with the coating surface, it first has to get past all the layers of our glass coating before reaching the paint surface. It could be said that when your vehicle’s paint is under attack, the layers of glass coating sacrifices itself to protect your car.

LL: And you know this question because I have asked you before on LINE group, but, have you ever tried through a stone at high speed at a coated car body part? Because I have a paint chipped on my frunk cover now simply because a tennis ball-sized rock once hit it at high speed right outside Victoria Park on Island East Corridor.

MC: I get asked this question a lot by many prospective or current customers. Let's put it this way, silicon oxide [SiO2], or more commonly known as glass or glass coating, is not able to 100% deflect or protect from stone chip hits. You have to understand that our top coat will be the first point of contact when the stone chip hits your paint lacquer surface. This means our coating will “sacrifice” itself to protect from the incoming hit in the first place, but if the impact is very significant, say you are driving at 100km/h and a big stone hits your frunk, it is relatively difficult for coating to completely 100% protect your paint from the damage. That being said, a majority of our customers do say our coating does protect against smaller chips as we may simply polish off those small chip areas and the paint will look new again. So there is a yes, and a no in this answer. We always remind our customers that, in all truthful terms, the major purpose of having coating is for the paint to look and REMAIN looking shiny for a significant duration of time, while having its water-repellent properties for the ease of cleaning, washing and maintaining on a daily basis. Protection against stone chips is one of the minor things that our coating may protect against, but that is not 100%. I hope this clears up many of the queries that I know are present out there.

LL: I see. Now let’s say I have enough money to have my Tesla Model S coated, how many days do I have to miss my car before I can pick it up again?

MC: The whole coating process will take a minimum of 12 hours, and this increases by the different layers that our customer chooses, but as a general rule of thumb, we strongly recommend you to leave your car with us for at least 3 days. The reason for the length of time required is for the coating to settle completely under a closed ventilated area without any contaminants from outside air in order to reach the optimum quality.

LL: Right. I would surely miss my car a lot. Okay, let’s get personal. How many cars have you ever owned and how many do you still own now?

MC: My family currently has 3 cars: a Tesla Model S, a Jaguar XJL and a Toyota Alphard. My first car was a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX (Jackie Chan Limited Edition) and I got it when I was 18 in Hong Kong! It was one of my dream cars since young when you play those racing games on TV consoles, one of the main choices is almost definitely Evo. I was still studying in the UK back then so I only get to drive the car during holidays when I come back, but I have owned it for about 9 years until I came back to HK for good. Shortly after selling the Evo, I bought a Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG, which was technically labelled as the European Evo due to its unprecedented 2.0L engine that pushes out relatively big horses coming from Benz.

LL: And does your Tesla Model S mean anything special to you? Like, why this car? What’s so special about it?

MC: This is relatively long story but I will keep it short here. My dad has always been an EV fan as he once had his factory that manufactures EVs for 3rd world countries. He has always wanted to get a Tesla Roadster back in the days but it was relatively difficult to get one and then get it licensed in Hong Kong many, many years ago. When he saw Tesla having their own brand in HK, this goes without saying hyped up his desire to get a Tesla immediately. That was why we got a Model S. I personally think that EVs are definitely the future. Many brands such as Benz, BMW, Porsche are all beginning to make concept EVs which hints towards a cleaner future, and we would like to take part in this future as soon as possible!

LL: Nice! Next question is on EV charging. I doubt you have any problems with charging, since you can install charger at your shop easily, right? Then I believe that parking won’t be a problem for you either? Just park inside your workshop?

MC: When I first purchased the Model S, I was debating whether to install the charger at G.Guard or at my home (both were possible). In the end, I chose to install it at home as that’s where the car will be most of the time!

LL: How long do you think you’ll keep this car before getting a new one, and what will be your next car?

MC: I’m not sure how long I will be keeping this car for at the moment. It is likely that I may go with the RVG if I am able to keep within the mileage limit but we will have to see where this goes in 3 years’ time. Plus I’m sure Tesla will be introducing new models at a more frequent basis and I am looking forward to how the Model 3 will look! My next car that I have currently on order is an ICE from a German brand, so I’d better not mention it here to stir up controversies, haha.

LL: Finally, is there anything else you would like to tell our members and future EV owners?

MC: I know many Charged HK members have already had their cars coated with us during the past few months so a massive "thank you" to those who have shown your support to G.Guard. We appreciate it greatly, which is why we are offering a flat 10% off on all of our coating packages to Charged HK members to show our support to the EV community in Hong Kong. Do visit our Facebook page for more information.

LL: Thank you, on behalf of all Charged Hong Kong members. Well, that’s about all the time we have for the interview today. Thanks Michael, once again for all your support to Charged Hong Kong.

MC: You are welcome. Looking forward to seeing many of you guys very soon!


Thursday, 30 June 2016

Charged Hong Kong Members' Stories #000 -- Mr. Johnny Siu

Johnny Siu
As Charged Hong Kong's Tesla owner group representative, I want to dedicate Charged Hong Kong's 1-year-old birthday to all our members who have contributed to the EV communities and the EV growth in Hong Kong in various ways. Charged Hong Kong Members' Stories is a series which aims to introduce our members and share their valuable experience with the world!

To kick off the series, I am glad to have Mr. Johnny Siu to be #000. He is #000 because he has recently joined the Charged Hong Kong committee and he deserves a number before number 1.

Here's our interview below:



Locky Law(LL): Johnny, thanks for accepting my interview. Some standard questions first: Could you please tell us something about yourself?

Johnny Siu(JS): I am Chartered Surveyor working in the civil services and will retire within a few years.  My entire family (4 members) joined the test drive of Tesla Model S and were all impressed by its performance.  Hence, place my order for 70D in April 2015.

LL: Tell us about your role at Charged Hong Kong.

JS: I am a founder member of Charged HK and also the coordinator of Public Charging Group.

LL: Thanks to you, Charged Hong Kong now has a lot more contact with the Government. Has it been difficult to arrange meetings with government departments, LegCo members and public utility companies?

JS: I have not encountered any difficulties in meeting these parties.  My experience with them, so far, is positive.  Although there have not been any significant improvements in public charging, I believe we are moving in the right direction.

LL: Do you have anyone in mind that Charged Hong Kong will meet in the next 6 months?

JS: I do really want to meet the property managers who are currently dealing with the Incorporated Owners.  EV owners are often facing difficulties in the installation of home charging facilities at their own parking spaces.

LL: Okay, this is a tricky question: what’s the odds of a FRT waiver extension?

JS: Similar to most of the countries in the world, FRT wavier / tax rebates are necessary to promote EV.  However, with the coming of low cost EV, FRT wavier may imply an overall increase in car population unless ICE are replaced by those low cost EV.

LL: Okay, let’s talk about you and your Tesla Model S again. How often to you drive it these days?

JS: I drive my Tesla daily and my mileage is only about 60Km per day.  I am the driver of my boss –wife.  Sometimes, my sons will drive my 70D as well (under my supervision).

LL: And I remember you have had your car coated, do you mind sharing your experience with that particular coating? You can name it if you want.

JS: I did the coating at Crystal Plating Kobo Limited.  It costed me $5,500 and is very nice.  This is the budget which I can afford.

LL: Where do you normally charge your car? How often? Any troubles with charging?

JS: I charged my Tesla daily at nearby Tin Hau Government multi-storey car park.  A 13A outlet will be good for me for overnight charging.  At this moment, I do not have any trouble in getting a 13A charging lot

LL: Is there anything else you would like to tell our members and future EV owners?

JS: EV is good in every aspects and also more environmental friendly.  However, before you make your purchase decision, do think about your driving habit and where will be the possible charging facilities for your EV.

LL: Thank you very much my friend! And congratulations for joining the Charged Hong Kong committee. We’ll see you at Charged Hong Kong meetings very soon!

JS: You are the most welcome.  Hopefully, I can contribute to the Public Charging Group.

Message: Posting a series of old(er) stuff

Mr. Joe Nguyen and his Tesla cap
Photo by Linda Nguyen
Since March 2016, I have been doing so much about electric vehicles, so much that I have pretty much not written about other topics. I do have some other topics lined up and will be writing more in the near future as Summer breaks arrives. More linguistic stuff.

But until then, let's not waste the stuff I have already done. They are all done in English, and they are all very good lessons for everyone -- they are the interviews I have done with EV owners from Hong Kong and Singapore.

Hope you'll like them!


Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Auto & Environment: EV Numbers and Growth in Hong Kong as of April 2015

EV Growth in Hong Kong
Image from Locky's English Playground
First, thanks to all media for using my Tesla Model S estimate in Hong Kong. After 3 months of waiting, it is time for me to offer you another EV growth update in Hong Kong.


Key points:

  • March is a critical month
  • Total number of EVs is now over 5000
  • March 2016 saw another record-breaking EV number of 513
  • 1 in every 4 new cars added in March 2016 is an EV
  • EV now constitute to 0.63% of total number of registered vehicles


As expected, January and February 2016 were the quiet(er) months for the EV market in Hong Kong. 270 in January 2016 and 164 in February are low when compared to the excellent Q4 2015, but March 2016 saw a strong pickup once more, hitting a record high of 513. March 2016 has also yielded a stunning 24.99% of EV purchase per new car, that gives 1 EV in every 4 new cars added. EV now constitute to 0.63% of total number of registered vehicles.

Personally, I hope it will continue to do this well before EV FRT waiver ends/extends in March 2017, because with increasing EV appearances on the roads, I am already witnessing an improvement of roadside air quality. (It is hard not to notice when there are EVs on the road ever minute or so.)

With previously 70% market penetration and ever-increasing road sighting as well as Supercharger waiting time, Tesla is expected to do well in the first quarter.

Tesla Model S estimate
Image from Locky's English Playground

I have added a column (right) calculating the total number of Tesla Model S with the assumption that Tesla sold only half as many Model S as my more accurate estimate (left).

Key points:
  • Accurate estimate shows 72% of EVs in Hong Kong are Tesla Model S.
  • Average of the estimates shows 68.5% of EVs in Hong Kong are Tesla Model S.
  • The above two percentages are close to 70%, which is the percentage I will use for easy referencing.
  • Estimates of Tesla Model S sales numbers in 2014 are having lesser effect on the latest estimate.
  • Latest estimate of Tesla Model S population is expected to improve in accuracy with time and EV growth.

As for our fight for Tesla Calendar and therefore against premature death of EV growth in Hong Kong, we will be meeting LegCo member Hon. Charles Mok and personnel from the Transport Department of Hong Kong. For a summary of the whole incident/incidence, click here.



Resources:
Auto & Environment: EV Numbers and Growth (Estimates) in Hong Kong as of Dec 2015 (Pre-TD Figures) @Locky's English Playground

Auto & Environment: EV Numbers and Growth in Hong Kong as of Dec 2015 @Locky's English Playground

Auto & Technology: Who needs Tesla Calendar when you got this? (Summary) @Locky's English Playground
http://lockyep.blogspot.hk/2016/06/auto-technology-who-needs-tesla.html

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Auto & Technology: Who needs Tesla Calendar when you got this? (Summary)

Image from Locky's English Playground
I couldn't have stopped myself from making this video:




I could have used a more sarcastic tone, but I guess it is best to remain calm and rational.

This week I have really done amazing things.

On 5th June, I tweeted Elon and Electrek,


Then on the next day, 6th June, Electrek wrote an article on it, titled Hong Kong forces Tesla to update its software in order to walk back an innocent feature.

Image from Electrek
On the 7th June, I took a photo of a paper calendar and made the above video, which then Electrek "liked".
Image from Locky's English Playground
I shared my video on several Facebook groups, Tesla Worldwide, Hong Kong and Singapore, LINE, WhatsApp and they are still generating tonnes of discussions as of today.

On 8th June, the Transport Department of Hong Kong released an official response about the removal of Tesla Calendar,

TD's response to media enquiries on removal of Tesla calendar function
*****************************************************
     In response to media enquiries on the removal of calendar function from Tesla vehicles, the Transport Department (TD) said today (June 8):

     Regulation 37 of the Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) Regulations (Cap 374A) prohibits any person from installing a visual display unit on a motor vehicle at any point forward of the driver's seat or where the screen is visible to the driver whilst in the driving seat, unless those visual images are permitted under the law, i.e.

(a) information about the current state of the vehicle or its equipment;
(b) the current closed-circuit view of any part of the vehicle or the area surrounding the vehicle;
(c) information about the current location of the vehicle; or
(d) any other information which is only for the purpose of navigating the vehicle.

     The above requirements were made having regard to driving safety considerations. In processing an application for type approval of a new Tesla model recently, the TD found that the visual display unit on the vehicle has displayed the calendar functional images. The TD then reminded Tesla that the new model must comply with the above legal requirement, otherwise it would not be able to comply with the requirements for type approval. We understand that subsequently, the manufacturer removed the function on its own initiative so as to comply with the legal requirements.

     In fact, the TD clearly conveyed to the Tesla in 2014 the clear requirement that the installation of visual display unit on vehicles must comply with the above requirements under the Hong Kong legislation.

     Hence, the decision made by Tesla this time to remove the calendar app from the new model and Tesla vehicles in use is based on legal requirements, instead of what Tesla told vehicle owners recently that "The calendar app has been removed as the Transport Department determined that the calendar app has no bearing on the drivability of the car".

     If any other vehicle models are found to have contravened the above legal requirements, the TD will also take follow-up actions in accordance with the law.

     For driving safety reasons, many jurisdictions such as some states in the US, Japan, Australia and Singapore impose different levels of restrictions on the use of visual display unit while driving.
Ends/Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Issued at HKT 20:58

NNNN

There are many flaws in the arguments, but top threes are:

  1. TD has type-approved Tesla Model S back in June 2014 and Calendar was already there, they couldn't have not noticed because they banned Browser back then, which is on the same 17" screen.
  2. TD took action towards Tesla Calendar, which is 2 years old in Hong Kong but not this, which has been around since the days of mobile phones,
  3. US, Japan, Australia and Singapore impose different levels of restrictions on the use of VDU while driving, but Hong Kong's level is the highest in the world, selectively highest (see photo in 2).


On the same day, my video caught LegCo member Hon. Charles Mok JP's attention and he shared it on his Facebook page:
Image from Locky's English Playground

On 9th, a fellow Charged Hong Kong member Wilson Chung asked me if I wanted to meet Hon. Charles Mok to talk about the issue and of course I agreed. I gathered comments and information, compiled it into a PowerPoint presentation and emailed it to Charles.

On 10th June, we had that meeting.and we talked about ‎EV‬, First Registration Tax waiver , Tesla‬ Calendar ban, Tesla Summon ban,‬ ‪rear-facing seats ban, BYD‬, BMW‬ ‪, Car park EV charging‬ ‪, roadside meter charging‬, ‪driving assistance system,‬ ‎Environmental Protection Department‬, Transport Department‬ ‪, Kai Tak Cruise Terminal management, ‎EV health benefits,‬ ICE pollutions‬ and emissions‬, innovation‬ in ‎HongKong‬ and ‎Hong Kong Council for Technology & Creation (HKCTC).


After that, Charles' assistant and I had several email exchanges about the issues we have discussed at the meeting.

On 11th June, I shared an article in which Charged Hong Kong chairman Mark Webb-Johnson was asked about his views on the current regulations. As of now, the post has earned over 4800 views!



Let's pay attention to the development of this case. Should be ridiculously fun to follow!


PS: My video is at 1010 views now, let's see how many it can go.

References:
Locky's English Playground Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/LockysEnglishPlayground/

TD's response to media enquiries on removal of Tesla calendar function
http://www.info.gov.hk/gia/general/201606/08/P201606080995.htm

Transport Department forces Tesla to remove Calendar app @HarbourTimes
http://harbourtimes.com/2016/06/07/transport-department-forces-tesla-to-remove-calendar-app/



Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Academic Research: Basic Referencing 101 -- A case study of Bernstein's Beveridge, Zhu & Pun (2016)


Image from virtualhighschool

"If something is difficult but important and necessary for the future, do it now and don't do it later. Down the road, nobody will be sorry that they took early action, most people are sorry that they take late action." -- Elon Musk

Everybody knows that the future is renewable energy because it is sustainable energy production, and everybody knows that the future has no internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles because what we need is sustainable energy consumption. Then why are there still people who want to protect the oil industry? Do they even care about our children, grandchildren and future generations?

***************************************

And I'm not even going to talk about distortion of data and deceptions in argument today. If you are interested in those, please read Letters to the editor, April 26 2016 on SCMP written by Charged Hong Kong chairman, Mark Webb-Johnson.

I'm just going to talk about Referencing 101 for research students.

As a lecturer/tutor at a university, I always use the first lesson of any course to talk about the importance of referencing and citation, no matter it is a Bachelor's or a Master's degree course. Cite clearly and only the creditable and authoritative. It's fine to cite yourself, but only if that has been published and peer reviewed. Most important of all, be aware of what you make reference to at all time, read thoroughly what you cite, ask where the data come from, how it was analysed and how it comes to its conclusion. Why? Because if what you cite is based on outdated data, faulty method of analysis or conclusion, and if you develop your study on it, then your study is pretty much worthless. My students are pretty awesome, they often understand the logic behind, but sometimes, even the professional researchers can go wrong with the basics.

I refer to the Bernstein report titled "Bernstein Energy: Oops - Hong Kong (and China) EV Subsidies Are Leading to More CO2 Emissions, Not Less" by Neil Beveridge, Ph.D., Robin Zhu and Tracy Pun (2016).

Before we even go into the data, let's talk about general referencing issues with this report Beveridge, Zhu & Pun (2016, p.4).

Figure from Beveridge, Zhu & Pun (2016) Exhibit 4
Now, if you pay attention to the 'Source' in the above Exhibit 4, you will see it comes from "Bernstein analysis and estimates". The problem lies in what analysis and estimates they have done. When I do my analysis and estimates, I will publish it, every single step and detail of it, and I will cite myself by offering every bit of detail to readers such that they can find it, and I'll make sure they are publicly available. Now if I want to look for the analysis and estimates performed by Bernstein, where can I find it? Who can I look for? Now, in "Fuel Efficiency of Electric Vehicles (2) 18 kWh per 100km, it is made reference to "Bernstein Technology Team", which means basically, it is either not published or it is published but readers won't be able to find it due to the lack of source in this 'Source'.

Then there are 3 items which are not even cited, they are "CO2 produced per 100km", "Total Lifetime Distance", Total Fuel Related C)2 Emissions". Already, I am getting a feeling of 'Don't ask, just trust me'.

Under "Battery Production CO2 Emissions (3)   5.6 tonnes CO2", we finally get a bit of reference, which goes to McManus (2012) "Environmental Impacts of batteries for low carbon technologies compared" published by Applied Energy, so we take a look at this reference, turns out, it is not even the full report but just a newsletter summary and it is not published by Applied Energy, but by European Commission.

Bernstein Energy: Oops - Bernstein Research Team cited Wrong Reference, Not Correct (Recreativity of their original report title).

So, I went the extra mile and try to find where that McManus (2012) really is, turns out the title is different when it was published, instead it is "Environmental consequences of the use of batteries in low carbon systems: The impact of battery production". The name is different in the journal version, changed from "Impact" to "consequence". Now if I were marking this paper, I would have stopped here and sent it back to my student and asked them to re-do it before resubmission. But, because I'm a nice teacher, I let-it-go for once.

Before we go into looking for the number from McManus, I need to know what number I should be looking for, so I looked at p.4 of the report, an excerpt is shown and highlighted below.

******************************************************************
Excerpt from Beveridge, Zhu & Pun (2016, p.4) 
******************************************************************

So despite lots of assumptions based on no reference other than Bernstein Technology Team ('Don't ask, just trust me') and a comparison of a car which hasn't even in the production stage and has not released details of its battery size, it is this line -- "a typical lithium ion battery produces 12.5kg of CO2 for each kg of battery produced" that I should be looking for. So, I went into the FULL report, which all students should, to search for the quoted figure. And here is Table 2 in McManus (2012, p.293).


McManus (2012, p.293)
Before we go deeper into asking McManus where he got his number from, take a look at the unit "kg CO2 eq". CO2e or carbon dioxide equivalent is not exactly the same as carbon dioxide because the former includes other greenhouse gases such as methane, perfluorocarbons, and nitrous oxide. Okay, but I'll let-it-go again.

Looking at these numbers from McManus (2012, p.293), if I were going to use them, I would first ask myself, how did McManus arrive at these numbers? Did he make reference to each/some of these numbers? No. Could he have calculated these numbers from some raw data? Maybe, because I can't find the exact match for these numbers even going all 31 references cited by McManus (2012). But where do the raw data come from? No idea. What's the formula used in calculating each one of the above item? No idea.

Hey, Locky, maybe you don't know how to calculate because you are not in this field! True, I admit, but back to the basics of referencing, it is clarity that matters most, because any papers published in good journals are supposed to be comprehensible by newbies like me, if I have to go and ask all these questions and do my own calculation of each of the figures, then something has gone very wrong with this paper. Or again, should I 'Don't ask, just trust me'?

Okay, let's assume McManus's figures are brilliant and very much reliable, but how can he get Climate change (kg Co2 eq) right? Because emission of CO2 eq differs from country to country, grid to grid. What fuel mix is used in calculating this? 99% coal or 55% coal for Hong Kong's average? Some might say, hey, what does it matter? They are taking a constant across all battery types. True, but doesn't that affect the Fossil fuel depletion (kg Oil eq) because that is exactly a dependent variable of Climate change (kg CO2 eq)? Okay, say I let it go again! Say I trust McManus (2012) 100%, without knowing the fuel mix used in this paper, do you think Bernstein's calculation will be problematic in their Exhibit 4? Obviously Beveridge, Zhu & Pun (2016, p.4) haven't considered this, otherwise they wouldn't have just done that simple calculation on p.4.

One last point I have to make in terms of good referencing especially when dealing with technology-related numbers: technology advances quickly, numbers go down in reliability with time. For Beveridge, Zhu & Pun (2016) to be citing McManus (2012) who used NMP data from Zackrisson, Avellan, Orlenius (2010) who used numbers from Rydh & Sanden (2005a, 2005b) who used numbers from Almemark, Granath & Setterwall (1999) whose report is available only in Swedish and can no longer be found on the internet.

Now, do you see a problem here?


All in all, when writing an article, one needs to realise the reliability of your calculation if you have based it on certain references and assumptions. For the former, if you don't know how the author arrives at that number and you used it, the reliability of your calculation has just dropped at least 50% and it can go all the way to 0%. For the latter, if your assumption has about 90% reliability, but you make 4 of these in the same calculation, then it only has 66% reliability (=90% x 90% x 90% x 90%). Personally, anything less than 80% reliability is unreliable. Don't agree? Ask people who complain about the weather forecast in Hong Kong.


PS: BTW, Zackrisson, Avellan, Orlenius (2010) actually realised the problem with fuel mix but McManus (2012) didn't. That being said, their paper is actually on plug-in hybrid, and they also took numbers from Saft (2008), a battery making company that does NOT supply batteries to the company Bernstein's report is comparing with, Tesla.

Resources:
Elon Musk talks sustainability with Norway Prime Minister (2016.4.21) @YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pqTHBFDjVc

Letters to the editor, April 26, 2016 @SCMP
http://www.scmp.com/comment/letters/article/1938603/letters-editor-april-26-2016

Beveridge, Zhu & Pun (2016) "Bernstein Energy: Oops - Hong Kong (and China) EV Subsidies Are Leading to More CO2 Emissions, Not Less" published by Bernstein, not freely available to public.

Environmental impacts of batteries for low carbon technologies compared +European Commission
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/303na1_en.pdf

McManus (2012) Environmental consequences of the use of batteries in low carbon systems: The impact of battery production
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306261911008580

Zackrisson M, Avellan L, Orienius J. Life cycle assessment of lithium-ion batteries for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles – critical issues. J Cleaner Prod 2010;18:1519–29
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959652610002167

Rydh CJ, Sanden BA. Energy analysis of batteries in photovoltaic systems. Part 1: Performance and energy requirements. Energy Conserv Manage 2005;46:1957–79.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196890404002407

Rydh CJ, Sanden BA. Energy analysis of batteries in photovoltaic systems. Part 2: Energy return factors and overall battery efficiencies. Energy Conserv Manage 2005;46:1980–2000.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0196890404002419

Saft, 2008. Annual Report, Saft Batteries.
http://www.saftbatteries.com/investor-centre/financial-results/financial-reports

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