Not So Fast With Those Electric Cars

Discussion in 'BEV or Battery Electric Vehicle' started by ALS, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. jimepting

    jimepting Well-Known Member

    Now here is an interesting link:

    What the pie chart says is that in 2007 2.5+5.8+19.4(other renewables, hydro, nulear)=32.7% of our electrical energy came from sources which did not emit CO2. The rest of the generation did result in CO2 release. The situation is currently somewhat worse than the approx. 1/2 referred to in the subject article.

    This link:

    shows a somewhat deminished reliance on coal by electric utilities over the last 10 years being more than offset by the increasing use of coal by independent electricity producers.

    So, at the bottom line, more than 2/3 of the electricity used to charge the batteries of BEVs results in the emission of CO2. There are still lots of quantative issues to resolve, so don't jump on my case too hard please ;-) Lets stick to the numbers, their validity, their reliability, and their interpretation.
  2. hobbit

    hobbit He who posts articles

    Lithium can be mined from the cell structure of depressed
    housewives. No problem.
  3. jimepting

    jimepting Well-Known Member


    Just what we needed, little humor to lighten up the load:D
  4. jimepting

    jimepting Well-Known Member

    OK. For those wanting to read the GAO report directly, this appears to be the link:

    The subject matter, approximate release date and the author matches.

    I have not yet read the full report, but page 11 has an interesting table. Kinda says that if you get your electricity from coal in your region, EV's won't reduce CO2 emissions very much. Nationwide the picture could be better. It would also get lots better if we had more nuclear and renewable sources. Not much surprise in that last observation.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2009
  5. NiHaoMike

    NiHaoMike Well-Known Member

    And why not go a step further and extract some fuel as well?

    After all, Jean Ma stores the energy equivalent of over 1000 Prius batteries as fat! All we need to efficiently extract that is a fuel cell that is powered by her fat. Which is not very far off - electric eels have cells that convert ATP to electricity and it is possible to convert fat into ATP...
  6. Elixer

    Elixer Well-Known Member

    I just want to point out a few(a lot) things that the article completely misses:

    1. The U.S. has the largest coal reserves in the world. Even if we weren't able to reduce CO2 emissions by switching from oil to coal we would greatly reduce our energy dependence.

    2. The promise of more miles per gallon will not really cause people to drive more. Yes when people have more efficient vehicles they will drive a bit more because it costs them less to do so, however a large impact on people's distance driven is also the amount of time they have to spend driving. The idea that if we all drove more FE vehicles we would just drive more and use the same amount of fuel in nonsense.

    3. The idea that smaller is less-safe isn't really true. The government has crash test ratings for a reason. There are plenty of sedans that score much higher than SUVs (ever heard of a Volvo?). Smart cars meet U.S. crash test ratings and so will electric vehicles.

    4. Solar panels do not require "huge" amounts of water to clean, and especially not compared to the massive amounts of water used to run coal and nuclear power plants. I've never heard of anyone with solar panels complaining about their water bill. This statement is just flat out false

    5. Lithium battery recycling is already taking place and a good example is the batteries in the Tesla: "Tesla Roadster’s battery pack or Energy Storage System (ESS) contains no heavy metals or toxic materials. By law, this means they could technically be disposed of in a landfill with no problems." However there are already many companies and plans in place for recycling of these batteries, which will be in place when electric vehicles take the road.

    6. Wind power does not use huge amounts of land as the land is available for other simultaneous uses. If it did farmers wouldn't be putting them up in large quantities. Solar power does use a lot of land but the ideal places for solar power are on people's rooftops, which uses no additional land, and out in the middle of the desert, where land is cheap and the disturbance to wildlife is minimal. The southwest is chalked full of ideal solar power plant locations.

    7. Electric cars are "great" in that they are expensive to build as large vehicles, and their range is driven by their efficiency. I feel that most electric cars will look something like the Aptera, because its aerodynamic shape greatly increases its electric range. Electronic cars will not look like the current brick-like current cars because their motors are smaller than gasoline motors and the batteries can easily be distributed to different places in the car. Full size electronic SUVs will cost twice what smaller cars cost because they'll need twice the electric engine power and twice the number of batteries.

    8. Electronic cars will help power companies' effeciency by recharging at night, when power draw is low and power plants would otherwise have to cut back their output, which reduces efficiency.

    9. Lithium batteries are not the only kind of batteries out there. The first two generation Priuses used nickel metal hydride batteries. If lithium cannot be found other types of batteries will be developed.
  7. GrendelKhan

    GrendelKhan Well-Known Member

    Hobbit, you owe me a new keyboard. This one has coffee all over it now. :biglol:
  8. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger


    Might want to add - which is easier: controlling 200 million or so tailpipes, or 1000 smokestacks?

Share This Page