Great article on electric cars vs hybrids on Salon

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win32forth's picture
Last seen: 11 years 1 month ago
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Great article on electric cars vs hybrids on Salon

Here is an excerpt:

I was excited to hear that Chevy plans to debut an electric car in 2010. But then a discussion with a friend got me thinking: If the electricity used to charge up an electric car is created by burning fossil fuels, is it better to stick with a gas-powered car with good fuel economy?

It's true that most electric cars get their electricity from the grid, which, in many states, is made up mostly of electricity from coal-fired power plants. In areas where the power comes mostly from hydro, wind or solar, your electric car would be virtually emissions-free. (Any electric-car owner can achieve this by installing a solar carport at home.)

Full article here:



Last seen: 11 years 9 months ago
Joined: Wednesday, March 5, 2008 - 15:43
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Re: Great article on electric cars vs hybrids on Salon

It is way easier and cheaper to add emmision controls to a stationary relativly constant source than on a mobile one that has many different running patterns. If for no other reason that you do not have to haul around your emmision system.

reikiman's picture
Last seen: 4 months 22 hours ago
Joined: Sunday, November 19, 2006 - 17:52
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Re: Great article on electric cars vs hybrids on Salon

The EAA has a flyer about this:-

What about pollution from generating the electricity?

An electric car is up to 97% cleaner than a comparable gas car, including the pollution generated by the electric power plant. They are still cleaner than gasoline powered vehicles even if the electricity comes from "dirty" power, such as coal-fired plants. The 97% number applies to states like California that use a lot of "clean" power, including hydro, nuclear, wind, and solar. These estimates are also based upon a new, smog-controlled car in perfect condition and state of tune. In real life, most cars on the road are several years old. Their smog control systems become less effective with age. Also, a gas car gets dirtier as it gets old and worn, or if it is out of tune. EVs don't. In fact, as utilities clean up their power plants to meet increasingly strict federal air quality standards, or owners have access to renewable sources of electricity, EVs will actually get cleaner.

These percentages are also skewed because compare all the fuel production pollution for the EV to the tailpipe emissions for the gas car. What about the pollution generated by extracting and refining the oil, and transporting it to the gas stations?

Is there pollution from the spent batteries?

Lead acid batteries are the most recycled product in this country. Ninety-five percent of all used lead acid batteries are recycled. Ninety-nine percent of the material in each battery can be recycled, or rendered harmless. The process of recycling lead is much cleaner than mining new lead, and the end product is cheaper.

When you go in to buy a new pack of batteries for your car, you will be asked to turn in the old "cores". This is required by law. Then these batteries are recycled into new batteries.

More information about emissions

Argonne National Laboratories, a publicly-funded US Research Lab, has developed a public domain spreadsheet model to profile greenhouse gas emissions and net energy usage for various transportation modes. Download an copy.

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