WetEV
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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:52 am

GRA wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:27 pm
Where I disagree with him is his conclusion. As long as both techs remain reliant on subsidies and mandates, neither has won in the market. Only when customers don't have to be coerced/bribed to buy the product will one or both win.
Then electric cars have won.

No one buys a Porsche Taycan for a few thousand in subsidies. Or an Audi eTron.
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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:03 pm

GRA wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:27 pm
A negative view, via Forbes:
Why Hydrogen Will Never Be The Future Of Electric Cars

https://www-forbes-com.cdn.ampproject.o ... ic-cars%2F



Where I disagree with him is his conclusion. As long as both techs remain reliant on subsidies and mandates, neither has won in the market. Only when customers don't have to be coerced/bribed to buy the product will one or both win.
GRA;
My relatively uniformed view (not my field of expertise) is that hydrogen as a fuel is a thermodynamic nightmare/impossibility, let alone the actual energy life cycle considering wind/solar are the only realistic energy producers with life cycle issues of their own. My fear is that BEVs have a similar problem with battery recycle/life cycle implications (assuming similar energy production end game). Most studies that I've read don't even understand the basic thermo (h2) and are woefully short on long term environmental affects of millions of tons of recycle batteries (BEVs). Full disclosure, I'm a huge proponent of BEVs, but realize it might be a relatively short term enthusiasm (although grid stabilization via V2X is a huge advantage). As you are obviously an extreme advocate of transportation energy being "transformed" away from hydrocarbon fuels (my expertise actually), what is your "best guess" at this point in time that the next 20 years holds for us?
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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:03 pm

WetEV wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:52 am
GRA wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:27 pm
Where I disagree with him is his conclusion. As long as both techs remain reliant on subsidies and mandates, neither has won in the market. Only when customers don't have to be coerced/bribed to buy the product will one or both win.
Then electric cars have won.

No one buys a Porsche Taycan for a few thousand in subsidies. Or an Audi eTron.

Almost no one buys a Porsche Taycan, period, and the number of e-Trons is in the low thousands, while there are somewhere around 1 billion cars on the road worldwide.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:37 pm

Marktm wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:03 pm
GRA wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:27 pm
A negative view, via Forbes:
Why Hydrogen Will Never Be The Future Of Electric Cars

https://www-forbes-com.cdn.ampproject.o ... ic-cars%2F



Where I disagree with him is his conclusion. As long as both techs remain reliant on subsidies and mandates, neither has won in the market. Only when customers don't have to be coerced/bribed to buy the product will one or both win.
GRA;
My relatively uniformed view (not my field of expertise) is that hydrogen as a fuel is a thermodynamic nightmare/impossibility, let alone the actual energy life cycle considering wind/solar are the only realistic energy producers with life cycle issues of their own. My fear is that BEVs have a similar problem with battery recycle/life cycle implications (assuming similar energy production end game). Most studies that I've read don't even understand the basic thermo (h2) and are woefully short on long term environmental affects of millions of tons of recycle batteries (BEVs). Full disclosure, I'm a huge proponent of BEVs, but realize it might be a relatively short term enthusiasm (although grid stabilization via V2X is a huge advantage). As you are obviously an extreme advocate of transportation energy being "transformed" away from hydrocarbon fuels (my expertise actually), what is your "best guess" at this point in time that the next 20 years holds for us?
As someone who's interest in/knowledge of RE dates back 3 decades plus, I think it's far too early to say which ZEV tech or techs will be the ultimate winners, because we simply don't know what societal changes may also take place.

For example, if MaaS rather than individual ownership becomes the norm, that would seem to advantage BEVs, but what effect will pandemics have on that? Same goes for public transport. Will the U.S. opt for higher-density urban development ala' Europe going forward, as opposed to our existing pattern of car-dependent sprawl? How will the advent of AVs, whenever they're finally available to consumers, affect people's choice. How much will batteries improve, or will we see widespread battery leasing/swapping, etc. etc.?

Beats me, which is why I believe we have to continue along multiple paths, until the picture's a lot clearer than it is now. My main concern is getting off GHG-producing fuels ASAP; I'm far less concerned with how we do that. Using the most energy-efficient tech is obviously desirable, but if consumers value other factors higher, they simply won't buy it.

As I've stated before, my own feeing is that PHFCEVs represent the best all-around compromise in the U.S. given current/near-future tech, assuming that individual ownership and sprawl remain the norm, and also assuming that the cost of RE H2 can be made comparable to gas. The success of BEVs or pure FCEVs is also subject to caveats, dependent on the factors I mentioned above as well as others (e.g. supply reliability and availability).

If I thought we were at the point where it's a done deal I'd say so, but AFAICT we're a minimum of 5, more likely 10 and maybe even 15-20 years from knowing which tech will fill the largest niche, or even what that niche will be.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

WetEV
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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:40 pm

GRA wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:03 pm
WetEV wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:52 am
GRA wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:27 pm
Where I disagree with him is his conclusion. As long as both techs remain reliant on subsidies and mandates, neither has won in the market. Only when customers don't have to be coerced/bribed to buy the product will one or both win.
Then electric cars have won.

No one buys a Porsche Taycan for a few thousand in subsidies. Or an Audi eTron.

Almost no one buys a Porsche Taycan, period, and the number of e-Trons is in the low thousands, while there are somewhere around 1 billion cars on the road worldwide.
Porsche Taycan has low thousands on the road. Past 2000 a quarter ago. Taycan will probably pass the production total of all hydrogen cars ever produced later this year. "Almost no one."

https://insideevs.com/news/410363/porsc ... s-q1-2020/

Audi eTron sales are several thousand a month in just US and Norway. Low 10's of thousands, perhaps.

Hydrogen cost makes hydrogen cars unattractive. Hydrogen car performance makes hydrogen cars unattractive. Hydrogen car cost makes hydrogen cars unattractive. All of these are probably not fixable.
WetEV
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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:42 pm

WetEV wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:40 pm
GRA wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:03 pm
WetEV wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:52 am


Then electric cars have won.

No one buys a Porsche Taycan for a few thousand in subsidies. Or an Audi eTron.

Almost no one buys a Porsche Taycan, period, and the number of e-Trons is in the low thousands, while there are somewhere around 1 billion cars on the road worldwide.
Porsche Taycan has low thousands on the road. Past 2000 a quarter ago. Taycan will probably pass the production total of all hydrogen cars ever produced later this year. "Almost no one."

https://insideevs.com/news/410363/porsc ... s-q1-2020/

Audi eTron sales are several thousand a month in just US and Norway. Low 10's of thousands, perhaps.

Hydrogen cost makes hydrogen cars unattractive. Hydrogen car performance makes hydrogen cars unattractive. Hydrogen car cost makes hydrogen cars unattractive. All of these are probably not fixable.

Most of your bolded assertions are nonsense, unless nothing changes in the future.

Yes, H2 is currently too expensive; I've said numerous times that its price has to be reduced, everyone involved in it agrees, and unlike you the people and governments actually working to achieve that are optimistic that it can be done. Naturally, that is no guarantee that it will happen, anymore than batteries are guaranteed to develop to the point that they can fully replace ICEs.

Hydrogen car performance is quite typical of most cars now, and if anyone wanted to build an ultra high-performance FCEV they could. It's just a matter of providing a powerful enough motor along with a battery pack able to supply enough surge current to handle rapid accel. Someone undoubtedly will build one, eventually.

FCEVs currently available cost considerably less than say a Model S of roughly comparable max. range (practical range is greater for the FCEV), despite their much lower production volumes. How much the manufacturers may be subsidizing their price is unknown. Economies of scale will bring prices down just as they have for BEVs (and every other mass-produced product).

Lowering the cost of sustainable H2 is the key factor in FCEV viability. Everything else is minor.

Re BEV viability, here's something from McKinsey:
Leaving the niche: Seven steps for a successful go-to-market model for electric vehicles

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/aut ... 420ebbf465

To date, electric vehicles (EVs) have been niche products, so many OEMs have focused their go-to-market (GTM) strategies on a small, tech-savvy segment of automobile customers. Then, just as electric mobility was about to take off and sales were accelerating in several markets around the world, COVID-19 struck.

There are many questions about how the coronavirus could affect the global EV market. The answer will vary by region. Regulation and consumer incentives drive China’s EV market, and the central government extended purchase subsidies by two years in March 2020. In Europe, regulators and industry stakeholders lean toward incentives that would favor clean powertrains. EU member states are also expected to maintain the 95-gram CO2 fleet-emission target from 2020 through 2021, though it will affect the number of vehicles sold. The US automotive market—probably the hardest hit—will require some time to recover: EV sales may stagnate for one or two years before consumer confidence recovers and people are willing to pay for EVs. One big factor in the delay is record-low oil prices, which have widely eliminated the advantage EVs had for total costs of ownership.

Now more than ever, a radically new GTM approach is required to win consumer support for EVs, since COVID-19 could fundamentally influence the attitudes of consumers toward mobility. If they have recently experienced clean air in cities, will that make them lean toward EVs? What’s more, a majority of the population is now getting used to online shopping. Will that make consumers more likely to consider buying cars online? And since people now have to avoid crowded spaces, will individual mobility increase after the pandemic ends? Finally, some consumers are avoiding gas stations. Will the ability to charge at home become a purchase consideration for EVs?

Although such questions are difficult to answer, consumers may be more reluctant than ever before to make big purchases, such as cars. Yet the increased public focus on climate change, shifting environmental regulations, and technological advances are making the case for a green-mobility transition and thus for EVs. First, however, the current GTM approach must change, and that will require both OEMs and their partners in the EV ecosystem to change as well. . . .

There's much more after that. I'm in general agreement with them, and believe that the charging infrastrucure along with better batteries are key. But that and $7.50 will get me a latte'; nobody knows how things are going to develop.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:16 pm

All GCC:
thyssenkrupp’s water electrolysis technology qualified as primary control reserve in Germany; hydrogen production for the electricity market

https://www.greencarcongress.com/2020/0 ... krupp.html

. . . In the future thyssenkrupp’s electrolysis plants will be able to act as large-scale buffers to stabilize the power grid and compensate fluctuations quickly and flexibly. Operators can now link their plants to the German electricity market via E.ON’s virtual power plant.

"With this we have achieved a further important goal. Earlier tests already demonstrated that our electrolysis plants can produce green hydrogen highly efficiently and with sufficient response speed and flexibility to participate in the energy balancing market. Our plants are thus making a significant contribution to ensuring both a stable power supply and the cost-effectiveness of green hydrogen."

—Christoph Noeres, Head of the Energy Storage & Hydrogen unit at thyssenkrupp


thyssenkrupp and E.ON conducted the necessary tests jointly in an existing water electrolysis plant operating as part of the Carbon2Chem project (earlier post) in Duisburg. It was shown that thyssenkrupp’s electrolyzers can increase and decrease their production at the speed required to participate in the premium primary reserve market. Prerequisites include being able to provide full supply within max. 30 seconds and maintain it for at least 15 minutes.

In order to bring the fluctuating availability of electricity from renewable sources into line with electricity demand, solutions are needed for the storage and subsequent use of surplus energy. Water electrolysis produces green hydrogen that can be stored for hours, days or months, converted back into electricity or used as a clean, CO2-free starting material in the mobility sector or for the production of sustainable chemicals.

Another central requirement is the need to stabilize the power grid against short-term fluctuations. As a two-in-one solution, thyssenkrupp’s industrial-scale water electrolysis process meets both criteria, allowing operators maximum flexibility and cost-efficiency: Hydrogen production is ramped up within seconds when surplus energy needs to be used and scaled back when output is low. Plant operators can market their willingness to adapt flexibly to general electricity demand and thus generate additional revenues. . . .

The patented design of the electrolysis cells allows system efficiencies of more than 80%. The electrolysis units are supplied as prefabricated 20 MW modules and can be combined easily into hydrogen plants with capacities in the multi-megawatt to gigawatt range.

GlobalData: hydrogen to become game changer as large-scale source of cleaner power

https://www.greencarcongress.com/2020/0 ... ldata.html

In the short- to medium-term, hydrogen technology could be used to replace compressed natural gas (CNG) in some areas with minor changes to the existing infrastructure, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Thematic Research: Hydrogen’, highlights that countries worldwide are striving to accelerate the development and use of hydrogen technology to tackle environmental concerns and enhance energy security. The technology has the capability to serve as a long-term, large-scale clean energy storage medium that aids power generation from renewable sources, however, formulating a cost-effective and well-regulated transition is a complex issue and the cost of producing hydrogen from renewable energy sources is currently expensive. . . .

Direct link to report (pay): https://store.globaldata.com/report/gdp ... -research/


IEA’s Hydrogen TCP undergoes a major revamp to support global implementation of hydrogen and international collaboration

https://www.greencarcongress.com/2020/0 ... 5-iea.html
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

WetEV
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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:41 am

GRA wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:42 pm
WetEV wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:40 pm
Hydrogen cost makes hydrogen cars unattractive. Hydrogen car performance makes hydrogen cars unattractive. Hydrogen car cost makes hydrogen cars unattractive. All of these are probably not fixable.
Most of your bolded assertions are nonsense, unless nothing changes in the future.
That's a very very funny way of saying those assertions are true. You made my morning.

Hydrogen is too expensive, and the cheapest hydrogen comes from fossil fuels. A huge amount of hydrogen is needed for industrial processes, and even if renewable hydrogen from overproduction of solar/wind became as cheap as hydrogen from fossil fuels it would first need to displace industrial uses. However, note that renewable hydrogen from renewable electric power is always going to be three or more times the cost of renewable electric power unless someone repeals the laws of thermodynamics. Or someone develops some radically novel way to produce hydrogen.
GRA wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:42 pm
Hydrogen car performance is quite typical of most cars now, and if anyone wanted to build an ultra high-performance FCEV they could. It's just a matter of providing a powerful enough motor along with a battery pack able to supply enough surge current to handle rapid accel. Someone undoubtedly will build one, eventually.
This "ultra high-performance FCEV" could be made even higher performance by just removing the fuel cells. Hydrogen has a good energy density, but fuel cells don't have a good power density.
GRA wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:42 pm
FCEVs currently available cost considerably less than say a Model S of roughly comparable max. range (practical range is greater for the FCEV), despite their much lower production volumes. How much the manufacturers may be subsidizing their price is unknown. Economies of scale will bring prices down just as they have for BEVs (and every other mass-produced product).
That should be price rather than cost, as you point out the hydrogen cars are subsidized by the manufacturers. Range isn't why people buy a Model S rather than a Honda Civic. The Civic has larger range. So what? Yes, the Civic would fit your (GRA's) needs better than an electric. But you are not in the first half of electric car adopters, due to your wants and needs.
GRA wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:42 pm
Lowering the cost of sustainable H2 is the key factor in FCEV viability. Everything else is minor.
Renewable hydrogen is going to be 3 times the cost of renewable electric power at best due to the laws of thermodynamics. Yes, that is a lot cheaper than today. And yes, hydrogen might gain a niche like electric cars have today... some day in the distant future.
GRA wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:42 pm
There's much more after that. I'm in general agreement with them, and believe that the charging infrastrucure along with better batteries are key. But that and $7.50 will get me a latte'; nobody knows how things are going to develop.
Making my latte at home costs under $2. About 25 cents for the coffee, about 150 cents for the milk, and something for electric power.
WetEV
#49
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GRA
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Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:54 pm

WetEV wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:41 am
GRA wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:42 pm
WetEV wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:40 pm
Hydrogen cost makes hydrogen cars unattractive. Hydrogen car performance makes hydrogen cars unattractive. Hydrogen car cost makes hydrogen cars unattractive. All of these are probably not fixable.
Most of your bolded assertions are nonsense, unless nothing changes in the future.
That's a very very funny way of saying those assertions are true. You made my morning.
It's a way of pointing out that the current situation isn't going to remain static. You seem to believe that only batteries will improve, while everything to do with H2 and fuel cells won't. This is completely unrealistic. The question is HOW MUCH each of them will improve and how much relative to the other, not whether they will.

WetEV wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:41 am
Hydrogen is too expensive, and the cheapest hydrogen comes from fossil fuels. A huge amount of hydrogen is needed for industrial processes, and even if renewable hydrogen from overproduction of solar/wind became as cheap as hydrogen from fossil fuels it would first need to displace industrial uses. However, note that renewable hydrogen from renewable electric power is always going to be three or more times the cost of renewable electric power unless someone repeals the laws of thermodynamics. Or someone develops some radically novel way to produce hydrogen.
As I've pointed out over and over, it doesn't matter how efficient it is compared to directly charging batteries, if it provides capability that batteries lack but customers want. You know, the same way even more energy-inefficient fossil-fueled ICEs do now. And developing a radically new way of producing H2 is exactly what much of the R&D is aimed at. Always assuming the H2 can be produced in the necessary quantity, of course, but that's one reason I'm in favor of PHFCEVs, to use each tech where its advantages are most and its disadvantages least important.


WetEV wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:41 am
GRA wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:42 pm
Hydrogen car performance is quite typical of most cars now, and if anyone wanted to build an ultra high-performance FCEV they could. It's just a matter of providing a powerful enough motor along with a battery pack able to supply enough surge current to handle rapid accel. Someone undoubtedly will build one, eventually.
This "ultra high-performance FCEV" could be made even higher performance by just removing the fuel cells. Hydrogen has a good energy density, but fuel cells don't have a good power density.
Please define "good power density". Current stacks in cars produce around 3kW/L, roughly double the preceding gen. Being conservative, I expect the next gen will probably be 4kW/L if not more. Either way, the power density is ample. The issue with fuel cells isn't power density, it's ramp rate, which is what the battery is there to provide. But a fuel cell and H2 storage gets lighter and smaller than a battery pack as the required range increases, which is why long-haul trucks will be FCEVs (always barring an enormous improvement in battery energy densities, longevity, and recharging times), but local P&D trucks will be BEVs.


WetEV wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:41 am
GRA wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:42 pm
FCEVs currently available cost considerably less than say a Model S of roughly comparable max. range (practical range is greater for the FCEV), despite their much lower production volumes. How much the manufacturers may be subsidizing their price is unknown. Economies of scale will bring prices down just as they have for BEVs (and every other mass-produced product).
That should be price rather than cost, as you point out the hydrogen cars are subsidized by the manufacturers. Range isn't why people buy a Model S rather than a Honda Civic. The Civic has larger range. So what? Yes, the Civic would fit your (GRA's) needs better than an electric. But you are not in the first half of electric car adopters, due to your wants and needs.
The reason people buy a Civic instead of a Model S (or some more expensive ICE) is because they can only afford a Civic.

BTW, it's my needs not wants that hold me back. I want a ZEV, but as none (including the necessary energy replenishment infrastructure) yet exist that meet my needs, I'm forced to wait.

WetEV wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:41 am
GRA wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:42 pm
Lowering the cost of sustainable H2 is the key factor in FCEV viability. Everything else is minor.
Renewable hydrogen is going to be 3 times the cost of renewable electric power at best due to the laws of thermodynamics. Yes, that is a lot cheaper than today. And yes, hydrogen might gain a niche like electric cars have today... some day in the distant future.
Or much sooner, starting in Europe and other high fuel-tax countries, and spreading as the price drops further.

WetEV wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:41 am
GRA wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:42 pm
There's much more after that. I'm in general agreement with them, and believe that the charging infrastrucure along with better batteries are key. But that and $7.50 will get me a latte'; nobody knows how things are going to develop.
Making my latte at home costs under $2. About 25 cents for the coffee, about 150 cents for the milk, and something for electric power.
Which tells us absolutely nothing about your ability, or anyone else's, to accurately forecast the future.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

GRA
Posts: 12056
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Location: East side of San Francisco Bay

Re: Hydrogen and FCEVs discussion thread

Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:18 pm

Speaking of reducing stack costs, via GCC:
Semcon developing new robotic cell with vision technology to streamline fuel cell production

https://www.greencarcongress.com/2020/0 ... emcon.html

. . . This new robotic cell will fully automate part of the production flow, which requires high precision. We will be using advanced vision technology to ensure that the assembly has the accuracy required and to assure the quality of the fuel cell after the assembly process.

—Thomas Lydhig, technical project manager at Semcon

Semcon is part of a comprehensive project that embraces the entire production process for mass-producing fuel cells and which has developed the test concept for the new robotic cell. . . . (Earlier post.)

From reading elsewhere over the years, there's apparently a high scrappage rate using current production methods, so this kind of tech should reduce that and lower cell costs. Edit: Found this old link which talks about how Toyota was working on the same issue to allow them to boost production, at that time, from 3k to 30k annually:
https://insideevs.com/news/325810/toyot ... -per-year/
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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