Plug-in Hybrids no image

Published on April 8th, 2008 | by Benjamin Jones

37

Without Clean Electricity, Plug-In Vehicles aren’t So Hot

This is something I (and a lot of other people) have been wondering about for a while in regards to plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs, like the Chevy Volt) and pure electric vehicles (EVs, like the Lightning GT and Subaru R1e). PHEVs are not a new thing, and they have been discussed on Gas2.0 before, but there is some interesting news that recently came out of Carnegie Mellon University suggesting that if we don’t make our power generation system less carbon intensive, PHEVs could have little benefit over regular hybrids (HEVs).

Unfortunately, if you want to see the original article, you’ll have to buy it, but for the rest of us, Green Car Congress has written a good article about the findings and the implications of this study.

There is no doubt that PHEVs result in good fuel economy figures — GM is currently touting its PHEV-to be, the Volt, as getting 150MPG over all. However, they aren’t necessarily super efficient. Instead, they achieve these high numbers by supplementing the power produced by their gasoline engines with power taken from the grid. This has caused controversy lately, as hybrid-opponents often claim that battery production and the use of energy from the grid actually makes these cars bigger GHG polluters. However, if you look at this chart posted by GCC, you can see that both HEVs and PHEVs have a clear advantage over conventional cars, even when battery production is factored in:

This chart assumes the national mix of power from the grid, and as I said, shows pretty clearly the advantage of HEVs over conventional vehicles (CVs), but also shows that with the current mix of power sources on the grid, PHEVs aren’t that much better than your standard HEVs. I don’t say this to suggest that we should be shutting down PHEV research or production, but rather I think we should embrace the ability to consolidate our efforts in “greening” only one particular industry rather than trying to attack every one separately.

What I mean by this is that if our vehicles all drew power from the grid, making the grid more efficient would both improve standard energy usage as well as make motor vehicles less polluting. As it stands now there is a huge rift, where some are trying to improve the grid by adding things like wind power and others are trying to improve vehicle fuel economy or introduce hydrogen cars.

In fact, as noted by GCC, if the grid were low-carbon, PHEVs would reduce lifecycle GHG emissions of 51-63%, something anyone would admit is a huge improvement for motor vehicles.

You can check out this chart (if you can read it, click for a bigger version) to see how the different vehicles compare under different scenarios:

How do you all feel about PHEVs? Are they the new thing of the future or just another set-back on the way to pure EVs? Or is a hydrogen economy in store for us in the future?

Related Posts:

How Solar Panels Could Power 90% of US Transportation

Algae Could Be Major Hydrogen Fuel Source

Toyota to Pioneer Hybrid Racing Technology?

Google To Spend $10 Million on Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Project

Subaru Unleashes R1e Electric Car on New York

Plug-In Hybrids Could Require 160 New Power Plants By 2030 (Or None At All)

100 MPG+ Plug-In Hybrids Already Available (Check ‘em Out)

Plug-In Hybrids Use Over 17 Times More Water Than Regular Cars, Researchers Say



MAKE SOLAR WORK FOR YOU!





Next, use your Solar Report to get the best quote!

Tags: , , , , , ,


About the Author

Benjamin Jones is a student of Dartmouth College and co-founder of EcoModder.com and writer at CollegeVegan.com. He is double majoring in Japanese and Linguistics, and is most interested in Sociolinguistics and Anthropology in Japan.



  • EverydayEconomist

    If plug-in hybrid technology and EV technology takes hold, then we don’t need to regulate every automotive driver (difficult) but one centralized industry (power generation).

    Asking all coal plants to adopt a CO2 storage fascility, or switching the whole west to Solar power plants via legislation would be far easier than fighting each and every automotive driver in each state.

    Push to bring in the clean car technology, and centralize the pollution sources, then deal with those sources.

  • EverydayEconomist

    If plug-in hybrid technology and EV technology takes hold, then we don’t need to regulate every automotive driver (difficult) but one centralized industry (power generation).

    Asking all coal plants to adopt a CO2 storage fascility, or switching the whole west to Solar power plants via legislation would be far easier than fighting each and every automotive driver in each state.

    Push to bring in the clean car technology, and centralize the pollution sources, then deal with those sources.

  • Adam

    Here is my concern.

    What are you going to do with all the toxic chemicals in these batteries? They need to go somewhere, and the batteries don’t last forever. Doesn’t ANYONE care about this? Batteries are HORRIBLE for the environment. How much energy does it take to disassemble the battery system and safely dispose of it?

    What about the fact that you’re moving around all of this extra weight. If you just put in a smaller engine, you get better mileage, no batteries, and no extra weight. You’ll be a little slower than the regular hybrids, but not by much. Of course, no one wants light cars these days… they’re unsafe because of all the trucks…

    The main problem is that the battery technologies we currently have, for lack of a better word, suck. We need better batteries, but we need the ones of today to be used so that future development can be funded… ba.

  • Adam

    Here is my concern.

    What are you going to do with all the toxic chemicals in these batteries? They need to go somewhere, and the batteries don’t last forever. Doesn’t ANYONE care about this? Batteries are HORRIBLE for the environment. How much energy does it take to disassemble the battery system and safely dispose of it?

    What about the fact that you’re moving around all of this extra weight. If you just put in a smaller engine, you get better mileage, no batteries, and no extra weight. You’ll be a little slower than the regular hybrids, but not by much. Of course, no one wants light cars these days… they’re unsafe because of all the trucks…

    The main problem is that the battery technologies we currently have, for lack of a better word, suck. We need better batteries, but we need the ones of today to be used so that future development can be funded… ba.

  • Josh

    This analysis ignores the fact that people are motivated by cost as well as GHG emissions, the PHEV allows it’s owner to use liquid fuel or grid power, whichever is cheaper, and at the moment grid power is FAR cheaper. Whereas a HEV can reduce fuel costs by about 1/3, a PHEV can reduce them by 90%. That stands a much better chance at making it’s life cycle cost comparable to a standard car – which is key to getting massive adoption in the market.

  • Josh

    This analysis ignores the fact that people are motivated by cost as well as GHG emissions, the PHEV allows it’s owner to use liquid fuel or grid power, whichever is cheaper, and at the moment grid power is FAR cheaper. Whereas a HEV can reduce fuel costs by about 1/3, a PHEV can reduce them by 90%. That stands a much better chance at making it’s life cycle cost comparable to a standard car – which is key to getting massive adoption in the market.

  • ramie

    I’ve always thought, and told others that electric cars are the path we both need to and will take. Any argument about the plants producing electricity being just as bad, I always point out that Electric cars have the most potential to be clean in the future as we can always make the fuel source (electricity) cleaner. Burning gasoline, even from hybrids, will never be able to be made as clean or renewable as electricity.

    I do not deny that we should continue the pursuit of hybrid technology, but hybrid will be applied more to more commercial fields than the cars the general public ride around in. Tesla Motors shows us that you can have cool/fast electric cars, they don’t all look lame, it’s a manufacturer choice to use ugly designs for electric cars and it is changing quick.

  • ramie

    I’ve always thought, and told others that electric cars are the path we both need to and will take. Any argument about the plants producing electricity being just as bad, I always point out that Electric cars have the most potential to be clean in the future as we can always make the fuel source (electricity) cleaner. Burning gasoline, even from hybrids, will never be able to be made as clean or renewable as electricity.

    I do not deny that we should continue the pursuit of hybrid technology, but hybrid will be applied more to more commercial fields than the cars the general public ride around in. Tesla Motors shows us that you can have cool/fast electric cars, they don’t all look lame, it’s a manufacturer choice to use ugly designs for electric cars and it is changing quick.

  • grandjunction

    All of the alternative transportation blogs seem to be avoiding the mundane reality of conservation as the primary strategy necessary to survive oil shock/carbon overload.

    Before we put down our deposits on those 3,000 lb., 5-passenger Honda EV’s, how about rethinking some assumptions about what is needed to manage our personal transport needs?

  • grandjunction

    All of the alternative transportation blogs seem to be avoiding the mundane reality of conservation as the primary strategy necessary to survive oil shock/carbon overload.

    Before we put down our deposits on those 3,000 lb., 5-passenger Honda EV’s, how about rethinking some assumptions about what is needed to manage our personal transport needs?

  • jg

    I have little confidence in any of these studies. It is very difficult to compute real numbers. What about all the transmission losses for electricity? And wouldn’t then be much greater in rural areas? And doesn’t a cab in NYC sit around most of the time in traffic and save a ton by not having a gasoline engine running. The point being there may be some specific areas and applications that are energy winners and other that are losers. Most of the published information comes from some interest group that has some agenda that will make their sponsors a buck. You can’t do studies and generate reports like this without someone paying you to do it. Like most things, the masses of companies and products will continue to muddle along until some really obvious improvements appears. In the mean time, why drive a truck or an SUV? Why allow gas hogging airplanes? The answer to these questions is obvious, the cost of fuel is factored into all these, as well as the cost of damaging the environment. And plenty are willing to pay that cost and someone is profiting from all this.

  • jg

    I have little confidence in any of these studies. It is very difficult to compute real numbers. What about all the transmission losses for electricity? And wouldn’t then be much greater in rural areas? And doesn’t a cab in NYC sit around most of the time in traffic and save a ton by not having a gasoline engine running. The point being there may be some specific areas and applications that are energy winners and other that are losers. Most of the published information comes from some interest group that has some agenda that will make their sponsors a buck. You can’t do studies and generate reports like this without someone paying you to do it. Like most things, the masses of companies and products will continue to muddle along until some really obvious improvements appears. In the mean time, why drive a truck or an SUV? Why allow gas hogging airplanes? The answer to these questions is obvious, the cost of fuel is factored into all these, as well as the cost of damaging the environment. And plenty are willing to pay that cost and someone is profiting from all this.

  • http://www.nerys.com/ Nerys

    Reply to Adam:

    Instead of answering what are we going to do with all those toxic chemicals I want to ask YOU would are you going to do with all that oil tranny fluid grease power steering fluid radiator fluid over the lifespan of the car? These chemicals alone account for FAR more damage to the environment than EV batteries would if I just THREW THEM into the nearest conservatory lake.

    We have not even gotten into the ENGINES and Transmissions themselves or the rest of the car and its many many need to be replaced parts.

    Let me describe to you the WORLD of FULLY electric cars (which are NOT in this list BTW)

    Even if we were to use 100% coal power and told our citizens to just CHUCK the old batteries into your nearest lake or pond our environment would be better off.

    BUT besides that lets look deeper at what Automakers do NOT want you to realize.

    First all the current battery tech sucks. What we need is OLD battery tech IE Large Format NIMH batteries that were developed FOR Electric Cars over 10 years ago.

    They are lightweight. Long Lasting (250,000 mile expected lifespan and the few that still exist in consumer hands are perfectly on track to EXCEED that figure) and are both 100% recyclable and CHEAP to build and purchase.

    Next to make electric cars effective they need to be made LIGHTER. This means Aluminum Frames Plastic Bodies etc.. In the end they will end up equal or lighter in mass than the car you currently drive. YOU DO realize that the gasoline in that tank masses out at what 6 pounds per gallon? thats 120 pounds for a 20 gallon tank NOT counting the tank itself. Wow what do you know weighs more than a battery pack does :-) so the weight argument is PURE bogus propaganda talk :-)

    Then how much does that ENGINE and TRANNY mass out at? My jeep engine 6 cylinder masses over 500 pounds about 5 times more than the electric motor I could replace it with. The tranny easily masses more than the Controller and Charger Components.

    SO WHERE DOES this MYTH that an electric car is HEAVY come from? the ONLY electric car that is HEAVY is one powered by LEAD ACID batteries a very NON ideal EV battery (heavy low power short lifespan) the reason home mades use it is its the ONLY battery that you can legally use and afford for most people. (more on that later)

    You see in a properly designed electric car you do not even need a transmission its DIRECT DRIVE.

    Other Consequences. That Aluminum Frame and Plastic body. There is an interesting combination. Short of an Accident they are virtually maintenance free and virtually ever lasting. They will never Rust Degrade or degrade for all intents and purposes.

    That Electric motor should outlast you by 2 generations.

    You see electric cars are extraordinarily SIMPLE machines. There is just not that much too them. Goto a hobby shop and look inside a regular Electric RC car. you going to see 5 primary components.

    Motor – Battery – Speed Controller – Charger – Reciever

    In an electric car its EXACTLY the same JUST as simple except replace Receiver with DRIVER.

    They really are JUST that simple. Add in the never rust frame and body etc.. and you now know why GM is so fraking afraid of them and CRUSHED every single one of them and WHY there is no Battery Only VOLT and its limited to a 40 mile range intentionally.

    Its not a conspiracy These people are just not stupid they know EV’s are going to DESTROY the cash cow they are not enjoying.

    UPS paid $1,000,000 thats MILLION to a software engineering firm to design a program to help them plan there driver routes to eliminate Left turns as much as possible. They take longer are more dangerous and … Use more gasoline.

    In the first YEAR of operation with the new program in place they saved, get this, over $3,000,000 (YES still talking MILLIONS here) in gasoline!!!!!

    3 MILLION dollars in gasoline JUST by reducing LEFT TURNS. !!

    Does this even BEGIN to clue you in as to how much of UPS’s BUDGET is for GASOLINE if JUST reducing left turns can save them over $3 million dollars!!

    IMAGINE for a moment if they had to use NO gasoline at all!!!

    The possibilities are STAGGERING!

    Now some people say (more auto maker propaganda) you going to increase the load on the electric grid. This is also poppycock. The grid load will actually GO DOWN not up.

    For the average family sedan it takes about $1 in electricity to go 100 miles on a pure battery car. Maybe as high as $1.50 tops.

    Do the math. thats what roughly 8000watts of electricity?

    How much you want to bet it takes MORE than 8000watts of Electricity to GET those gallons of gasoline (3-5 gallons depending on your car to go 100 miles) into your fuel tank. Most people I guess think it gets there via fairies :-)

    TOTAL E usage from Refinery to Gas tank. I would LOVE to find out what those numbers are. I am betting I am way off and its MANY MANY TIMES more than 8000 watts.

    Once we are ALL EV we can even eliminate some of the power used for advertising the gasoline etc..

    PURE EV’s will REDUCE our electrical demand NOT INCREASE IT which FURTHER reduces there environmental foot print and we have not even spoken about alternative power yet!!

    Get this. $1600 will buy me a GRID TIE IN to put in my garage. This allows me to feed my OWN power back into the electrical grid and SELL IT back to the utility company.

    Once Nano Solar ramps up production about $1000 will buy a solar panel large enough to put on your roof that will generate MORE power each month than your Electric Car will consume from the grid. Remember that panel will generate power from morning to night.

    No you wont charge your car off the solar that would take a $15,000 panel. Just sell it back to the utility the cummulative power generated just needs to be greater than what you CONSUME in a month.

    It only needs to generate 16,000 watts a week to be OVER what you would use on average.

    Now get this. After an initial $2600 investment your car is now 100% pollution free NO MATTER WHAT your power plant runs on AND get this. its now also 100% FREE TO DRIVE!!!

    Is that not interesting.

    Just stop for a moment and CONSIDER the implications of this to our ENTIRE economy. Sure it would DESTROY the economy of the top 2% of us but consider what this would do to the other 90% of us!

    A new GOLDEN AGE comes to mind. Once proliferation reaches critical mass I need unemployment approaching ZERO.

    Think about it. If UPS could save $3 million dollars JUST avoiding left turns how much could they save ELIMINATING ALL GASOLINE Imagine the trickle down effect this would have on ALL aspects of our economy. Most people have no real clue how MUCH of our economy is entirely controlled by gasoline. anything that requires shipping or driving which is pretty much everything.

    Imagine of all those big rig trucks were ELECTRIC (plenty of room for batteries) range is now an issue. I can just see TRUCK stops every 1,000 miles they pull in for there “fuel up” and instead while there getting coffee there battery packs are swapped and the giagantic solar panels at the truck stop recharge there old battery as they drive off with a fresh fully charge battery. a few hours later someone else would get that battery you just dropped off.

    3 stops and you could cross the nation and be 100% clean and nearly 100% free.

    How much Diesel do those things use? Do the math!

    Figure 10mpg average for a big rig (I think many get worse than this but lets be generous)

    Every thousand miles they would consume 100 gallons of diesel. thats over $400 in fuel per $1000 miles. oh and its almost 700 pounds of fuel (Diesel is close to 7 pounds per gallon IIRC)

    Do the math there is simply NO DOWNSIDE to an electric vehicle infrastructure if you are NOT in the top 2% that milks the current infrastructure.

    Range is not an issue. Not even slightly. First consider electric cars are CHEAP. I mean your throwing out almost all of the expensive components and replacing them with CHEAP components.

    There is NO reason for your average mass produced 120mile range electric car to cost more than $10k

    I mean they are making cars for $8k or lower today! and here I am saying take out the expensive engine tranny and support equipment and replace it with a cheap electric drive system.

    Before you say why does this or that cost so much. This or that are hand made prototypes or Legally limited tech. For example. Why does the Tesla Roadster cost $100grand? well its illegal for them to use the right batteries so they are forced to use VERY expensive Lithium cells and GET THIS. 6,831 of them.

    If you know anything about batteries I do not even need to say more as to why this car costs so much.

    Why is it this way? thats simple. When GM realized that 54% of there profit comes from AFTER the sale of the car in parts and labor and that almost 100% of this would go POOF with nearly maintenance free electric cars they CRUSHED them (literally with car crushers No joke)

    They then sold the battery patent to Texaco and a week later waiting for this to occur Chevron bought Texaco and promptly buried the batteries via veto privileges and REFUSE to allow anyone to license to license the technology for ANY purpose for EV usage or any purpose that MIGHT be EV usable.

    This patent sadly does not expire till 2015 or until our government uses eminent domain for what it was intended for to TAKE the patent from them (YEAH right)

    Go Figure.

    There is simply NO downside to an electric car. Range WILL COME as R&D dollars get spent on it. For now I would GLADLY take a sub $10k electric car even if it could only go 80 miles as my work is 54 miles away and I can recharge at work. If I have to go further I will use the gad car. THIS ALONE would save me over $3500 a year making the car FREE in 3 years time.

    Do the math.

  • http://www.nerys.com/ Nerys

    Reply to Adam:

    Instead of answering what are we going to do with all those toxic chemicals I want to ask YOU would are you going to do with all that oil tranny fluid grease power steering fluid radiator fluid over the lifespan of the car? These chemicals alone account for FAR more damage to the environment than EV batteries would if I just THREW THEM into the nearest conservatory lake.

    We have not even gotten into the ENGINES and Transmissions themselves or the rest of the car and its many many need to be replaced parts.

    Let me describe to you the WORLD of FULLY electric cars (which are NOT in this list BTW)

    Even if we were to use 100% coal power and told our citizens to just CHUCK the old batteries into your nearest lake or pond our environment would be better off.

    BUT besides that lets look deeper at what Automakers do NOT want you to realize.

    First all the current battery tech sucks. What we need is OLD battery tech IE Large Format NIMH batteries that were developed FOR Electric Cars over 10 years ago.

    They are lightweight. Long Lasting (250,000 mile expected lifespan and the few that still exist in consumer hands are perfectly on track to EXCEED that figure) and are both 100% recyclable and CHEAP to build and purchase.

    Next to make electric cars effective they need to be made LIGHTER. This means Aluminum Frames Plastic Bodies etc.. In the end they will end up equal or lighter in mass than the car you currently drive. YOU DO realize that the gasoline in that tank masses out at what 6 pounds per gallon? thats 120 pounds for a 20 gallon tank NOT counting the tank itself. Wow what do you know weighs more than a battery pack does :-) so the weight argument is PURE bogus propaganda talk :-)

    Then how much does that ENGINE and TRANNY mass out at? My jeep engine 6 cylinder masses over 500 pounds about 5 times more than the electric motor I could replace it with. The tranny easily masses more than the Controller and Charger Components.

    SO WHERE DOES this MYTH that an electric car is HEAVY come from? the ONLY electric car that is HEAVY is one powered by LEAD ACID batteries a very NON ideal EV battery (heavy low power short lifespan) the reason home mades use it is its the ONLY battery that you can legally use and afford for most people. (more on that later)

    You see in a properly designed electric car you do not even need a transmission its DIRECT DRIVE.

    Other Consequences. That Aluminum Frame and Plastic body. There is an interesting combination. Short of an Accident they are virtually maintenance free and virtually ever lasting. They will never Rust Degrade or degrade for all intents and purposes.

    That Electric motor should outlast you by 2 generations.

    You see electric cars are extraordinarily SIMPLE machines. There is just not that much too them. Goto a hobby shop and look inside a regular Electric RC car. you going to see 5 primary components.

    Motor – Battery – Speed Controller – Charger – Reciever

    In an electric car its EXACTLY the same JUST as simple except replace Receiver with DRIVER.

    They really are JUST that simple. Add in the never rust frame and body etc.. and you now know why GM is so fraking afraid of them and CRUSHED every single one of them and WHY there is no Battery Only VOLT and its limited to a 40 mile range intentionally.

    Its not a conspiracy These people are just not stupid they know EV’s are going to DESTROY the cash cow they are not enjoying.

    UPS paid $1,000,000 thats MILLION to a software engineering firm to design a program to help them plan there driver routes to eliminate Left turns as much as possible. They take longer are more dangerous and … Use more gasoline.

    In the first YEAR of operation with the new program in place they saved, get this, over $3,000,000 (YES still talking MILLIONS here) in gasoline!!!!!

    3 MILLION dollars in gasoline JUST by reducing LEFT TURNS. !!

    Does this even BEGIN to clue you in as to how much of UPS’s BUDGET is for GASOLINE if JUST reducing left turns can save them over $3 million dollars!!

    IMAGINE for a moment if they had to use NO gasoline at all!!!

    The possibilities are STAGGERING!

    Now some people say (more auto maker propaganda) you going to increase the load on the electric grid. This is also poppycock. The grid load will actually GO DOWN not up.

    For the average family sedan it takes about $1 in electricity to go 100 miles on a pure battery car. Maybe as high as $1.50 tops.

    Do the math. thats what roughly 8000watts of electricity?

    How much you want to bet it takes MORE than 8000watts of Electricity to GET those gallons of gasoline (3-5 gallons depending on your car to go 100 miles) into your fuel tank. Most people I guess think it gets there via fairies :-)

    TOTAL E usage from Refinery to Gas tank. I would LOVE to find out what those numbers are. I am betting I am way off and its MANY MANY TIMES more than 8000 watts.

    Once we are ALL EV we can even eliminate some of the power used for advertising the gasoline etc..

    PURE EV’s will REDUCE our electrical demand NOT INCREASE IT which FURTHER reduces there environmental foot print and we have not even spoken about alternative power yet!!

    Get this. $1600 will buy me a GRID TIE IN to put in my garage. This allows me to feed my OWN power back into the electrical grid and SELL IT back to the utility company.

    Once Nano Solar ramps up production about $1000 will buy a solar panel large enough to put on your roof that will generate MORE power each month than your Electric Car will consume from the grid. Remember that panel will generate power from morning to night.

    No you wont charge your car off the solar that would take a $15,000 panel. Just sell it back to the utility the cummulative power generated just needs to be greater than what you CONSUME in a month.

    It only needs to generate 16,000 watts a week to be OVER what you would use on average.

    Now get this. After an initial $2600 investment your car is now 100% pollution free NO MATTER WHAT your power plant runs on AND get this. its now also 100% FREE TO DRIVE!!!

    Is that not interesting.

    Just stop for a moment and CONSIDER the implications of this to our ENTIRE economy. Sure it would DESTROY the economy of the top 2% of us but consider what this would do to the other 90% of us!

    A new GOLDEN AGE comes to mind. Once proliferation reaches critical mass I need unemployment approaching ZERO.

    Think about it. If UPS could save $3 million dollars JUST avoiding left turns how much could they save ELIMINATING ALL GASOLINE Imagine the trickle down effect this would have on ALL aspects of our economy. Most people have no real clue how MUCH of our economy is entirely controlled by gasoline. anything that requires shipping or driving which is pretty much everything.

    Imagine of all those big rig trucks were ELECTRIC (plenty of room for batteries) range is now an issue. I can just see TRUCK stops every 1,000 miles they pull in for there “fuel up” and instead while there getting coffee there battery packs are swapped and the giagantic solar panels at the truck stop recharge there old battery as they drive off with a fresh fully charge battery. a few hours later someone else would get that battery you just dropped off.

    3 stops and you could cross the nation and be 100% clean and nearly 100% free.

    How much Diesel do those things use? Do the math!

    Figure 10mpg average for a big rig (I think many get worse than this but lets be generous)

    Every thousand miles they would consume 100 gallons of diesel. thats over $400 in fuel per $1000 miles. oh and its almost 700 pounds of fuel (Diesel is close to 7 pounds per gallon IIRC)

    Do the math there is simply NO DOWNSIDE to an electric vehicle infrastructure if you are NOT in the top 2% that milks the current infrastructure.

    Range is not an issue. Not even slightly. First consider electric cars are CHEAP. I mean your throwing out almost all of the expensive components and replacing them with CHEAP components.

    There is NO reason for your average mass produced 120mile range electric car to cost more than $10k

    I mean they are making cars for $8k or lower today! and here I am saying take out the expensive engine tranny and support equipment and replace it with a cheap electric drive system.

    Before you say why does this or that cost so much. This or that are hand made prototypes or Legally limited tech. For example. Why does the Tesla Roadster cost $100grand? well its illegal for them to use the right batteries so they are forced to use VERY expensive Lithium cells and GET THIS. 6,831 of them.

    If you know anything about batteries I do not even need to say more as to why this car costs so much.

    Why is it this way? thats simple. When GM realized that 54% of there profit comes from AFTER the sale of the car in parts and labor and that almost 100% of this would go POOF with nearly maintenance free electric cars they CRUSHED them (literally with car crushers No joke)

    They then sold the battery patent to Texaco and a week later waiting for this to occur Chevron bought Texaco and promptly buried the batteries via veto privileges and REFUSE to allow anyone to license to license the technology for ANY purpose for EV usage or any purpose that MIGHT be EV usable.

    This patent sadly does not expire till 2015 or until our government uses eminent domain for what it was intended for to TAKE the patent from them (YEAH right)

    Go Figure.

    There is simply NO downside to an electric car. Range WILL COME as R&D dollars get spent on it. For now I would GLADLY take a sub $10k electric car even if it could only go 80 miles as my work is 54 miles away and I can recharge at work. If I have to go further I will use the gad car. THIS ALONE would save me over $3500 a year making the car FREE in 3 years time.

    Do the math.

  • Patrick

    There are only two ways to avoid global warming:

    1. Move into the building where you work;

    2. Don’t have children.

    Everything else is useless talk.

  • Patrick

    There are only two ways to avoid global warming:

    1. Move into the building where you work;

    2. Don’t have children.

    Everything else is useless talk.

  • http://www.nerys.com/ Nerys

    Thats just silly global warming is already occuring so the only way to avoid it is time travel. The question is how do we first REDUCE the damage and second begin the process of accelerating the reversal of the damage. The planet will reverse it itself most likely but thats on a geological time scale. We need to speed things up a bit :-)

    Electric Cars is a good start.

  • http://www.nerys.com/ Nerys

    Thats just silly global warming is already occuring so the only way to avoid it is time travel. The question is how do we first REDUCE the damage and second begin the process of accelerating the reversal of the damage. The planet will reverse it itself most likely but thats on a geological time scale. We need to speed things up a bit :-)

    Electric Cars is a good start.

  • http://www.boredquiz.com Fuel Quiz

    Im looking to sell my hydro electic because of the crummy electricity

  • http://www.boredquiz.com Fuel Quiz

    Im looking to sell my hydro electic because of the crummy electricity

  • spuffler

    In central NH, one power plant (Bow Power, we call it) burns wood products for steam energy which turns turbines. One has to admit that electrons that were locally nudged into conduction could have been so motivated by alternating current generated at this powerplant and could have reached their Prius. Ah, but electricity is ‘clean’, you say? Well, yeah, but if nothing moves a stream of electrons, zero volts of electricity has zero power to deliver. One could argue that zero volts is still electricity, but we all know that zero volts won’t spin a motor. The cleanest electricity I know of is from non-combustion, non-chemical, non-nuclear sources. Sources like hydro.

  • spuffler

    In central NH, one power plant (Bow Power, we call it) burns wood products for steam energy which turns turbines. One has to admit that electrons that were locally nudged into conduction could have been so motivated by alternating current generated at this powerplant and could have reached their Prius. Ah, but electricity is ‘clean’, you say? Well, yeah, but if nothing moves a stream of electrons, zero volts of electricity has zero power to deliver. One could argue that zero volts is still electricity, but we all know that zero volts won’t spin a motor. The cleanest electricity I know of is from non-combustion, non-chemical, non-nuclear sources. Sources like hydro.

  • Greg

    First off, I think PHEVs are the way out of our current mess. They have the capability to perform like conventional cars (the technology will likely rapidly expand across platforms to full-sized cars and light trucks) while at the same time providing an avenue to make truly sizable reductions in our oil imports, or to possibly end them entirely. This would not be simple (we’ll still need large amounts of liquid fuel for long haul driving- perhaps a combination of ethanol, domestic oil, and coal-to-liquid fuels could accommodate this), but if it could be done, it would have absolutely profound impacts on our economy, trade deficit, and national security.

    While the electricity replacing oil would still need to come from somewhere, increased generating capacity from wind, solar, biomass, and nuclear (sure it produces waste… it’s also the only one of these four that actually produces meaningful amounts of power)could reduce greenhouse emissions at the same time. Nothing is ever perfect, but this technology has enough societal benefits that it should have been pursued aggressively even before the current oil price squeeze… in some ways we are fortunate that economics is bludgeoning us into doing what should have been done out of foresight, anyway.

    PS: Spuffler- If you are getting your electricity from biomass burning, congratulations. You are one of the fortunate few who actually does have “clean” electricity, at least in terms of carbon emissions. Burning wood is a net zero emitter of carbon- the wood of the tree is composed of carbon recently fixed from the atmosphere, virtually all of which would be released during decay after death regardless. The thing that is different about fossil fuel burning is that the carbon sequestered there has been out of the atmosphere millions of years, and is therefore additive to the current total supply in circulation.

  • Greg

    First off, I think PHEVs are the way out of our current mess. They have the capability to perform like conventional cars (the technology will likely rapidly expand across platforms to full-sized cars and light trucks) while at the same time providing an avenue to make truly sizable reductions in our oil imports, or to possibly end them entirely. This would not be simple (we’ll still need large amounts of liquid fuel for long haul driving- perhaps a combination of ethanol, domestic oil, and coal-to-liquid fuels could accommodate this), but if it could be done, it would have absolutely profound impacts on our economy, trade deficit, and national security.

    While the electricity replacing oil would still need to come from somewhere, increased generating capacity from wind, solar, biomass, and nuclear (sure it produces waste… it’s also the only one of these four that actually produces meaningful amounts of power)could reduce greenhouse emissions at the same time. Nothing is ever perfect, but this technology has enough societal benefits that it should have been pursued aggressively even before the current oil price squeeze… in some ways we are fortunate that economics is bludgeoning us into doing what should have been done out of foresight, anyway.

    PS: Spuffler- If you are getting your electricity from biomass burning, congratulations. You are one of the fortunate few who actually does have “clean” electricity, at least in terms of carbon emissions. Burning wood is a net zero emitter of carbon- the wood of the tree is composed of carbon recently fixed from the atmosphere, virtually all of which would be released during decay after death regardless. The thing that is different about fossil fuel burning is that the carbon sequestered there has been out of the atmosphere millions of years, and is therefore additive to the current total supply in circulation.

  • Steve

    I don’t give a rat’s butt about the carbon footprint since human activity has very little impact global warming.

    This is about decreasing the need for oil. PERIOD.

    Actually, the oil companies can kiss my shiny metal behind every time I drive by one of their stations.

  • Steve

    I don’t give a rat’s butt about the carbon footprint since human activity has very little impact global warming.

    This is about decreasing the need for oil. PERIOD.

    Actually, the oil companies can kiss my shiny metal behind every time I drive by one of their stations.

  • Uncle B

    If the U.S. had decided to be a moral people, and leaving Iraqi oil alone, decided to develop the South Western deserts, with the technology of the times, solar/thermal installations, for the same amount of money as that war cost, today, we would be tapping into the largest, renewable, sustainable, energy source the world has ever known. It would have paid every energy bill in the U.S.A. for maintenance fees only – FOREVER! It is an oil well that can NEVER run dry! After the millions of murders, and billions of dollars, borrowed from our children’s futures and spent, with thousands of our own and others maimed and disfigured for life, millions of families utterly destroyed, ours and theirs, we are no closer to Iraqi oil production than the Iraqis are!

    The next time you hear a blithering idiot spoiled brat, drunken, drug addicted, sociopathic, rich daddie’s boy, stand at a microphone and threaten YOUR safety with someone else’s weapons, remember what you lost America, remember, and weep!

  • Uncle B

    If the U.S. had decided to be a moral people, and leaving Iraqi oil alone, decided to develop the South Western deserts, with the technology of the times, solar/thermal installations, for the same amount of money as that war cost, today, we would be tapping into the largest, renewable, sustainable, energy source the world has ever known. It would have paid every energy bill in the U.S.A. for maintenance fees only – FOREVER! It is an oil well that can NEVER run dry! After the millions of murders, and billions of dollars, borrowed from our children’s futures and spent, with thousands of our own and others maimed and disfigured for life, millions of families utterly destroyed, ours and theirs, we are no closer to Iraqi oil production than the Iraqis are!

    The next time you hear a blithering idiot spoiled brat, drunken, drug addicted, sociopathic, rich daddie’s boy, stand at a microphone and threaten YOUR safety with someone else’s weapons, remember what you lost America, remember, and weep!

  • Henry Gibson

    The article forgot to mention that much power in CA is hydro. Fully 18% of power is nuclear. It also forgot to mention that much power is shipped into CA and does not cause PhotoChemical smog in LA. The grams of carbon per-mile can also be disputed. As another pointed out the big advantage is cost. Crude oil costs about ten times as much as does coal delivered at the powerplant. The C02 per mile for gasoline does not include the CO2 produced at the well by flaring gas or perhaps the CO2 produced in refining or perhaps the CO2 produced in pumping or perhaps the CO2 produced by tankers or the CO2 produced by trucking to the service station. Statistics show that 123 gallons of crude are required at the refinery for 100 gallons of refined fuel. The electric grid loses less than %10 power on the average… ..HG..

  • Henry Gibson

    The article forgot to mention that much power in CA is hydro. Fully 18% of power is nuclear. It also forgot to mention that much power is shipped into CA and does not cause PhotoChemical smog in LA. The grams of carbon per-mile can also be disputed. As another pointed out the big advantage is cost. Crude oil costs about ten times as much as does coal delivered at the powerplant. The C02 per mile for gasoline does not include the CO2 produced at the well by flaring gas or perhaps the CO2 produced in refining or perhaps the CO2 produced in pumping or perhaps the CO2 produced by tankers or the CO2 produced by trucking to the service station. Statistics show that 123 gallons of crude are required at the refinery for 100 gallons of refined fuel. The electric grid loses less than %10 power on the average… ..HG..

  • http://stitchshoppe.com mike

    Why not just use good old reliable time tested lead acid batteries in electric cars?

    Check out this site: http://www.fireflyenergy.com

    This guy is teaching an old dog new tricks.

  • http://stitchshoppe.com mike

    Why not just use good old reliable time tested lead acid batteries in electric cars?

    Check out this site: http://www.fireflyenergy.com

    This guy is teaching an old dog new tricks.

  • Henry Gibson

    Yes! electric cars powered from the coal powered grid release carbon; this is the first law of themodynamics, but it can be less than that released in a traffic jam where cars are idling at zero efficiency, and the carbon is not at ground level and mixed with other smog chemicals. The installation of nuclear power plants eliminate this CO2 release, in large measure.

    All production cars could be modified to use a larger standard battery to run all brakes, fans, pumps, ac, stereo and lights and have an integrated starter-altenator for no-idle operation. Electric powered creeping in traffic jams is posssible and engine overheating in such conditions is eliminated. Every California car should have electric creeping. Air and fuel injection or electric heat can keep the catalysts ready for the start. The battery is usually charged at home and by regeneration when braking or slowing, but the alternator can be turned on for very low battery conditions. Very high current alternators are available for high regeneration energy.

    ZEBRA batteries can be used and are simpler to build and maintain than lithium. They need to be kept hot but lithium batteries need to be kept cool which is harder. Failed ZEBRA cells can be ignored. Failed lithium cells can burn up and even ignite other cells.

    Except for cost (but this applies to litium batteries too), ZEBRA batteries are the best batteries to use with the Prius and its original battery for plug-in-hybrid operation for long electric distances. Small, derated for safety and cost, flywheels could eliminate the need for the original hybrid battery and have infinite life. ..HG..

  • Henry Gibson

    Yes! electric cars powered from the coal powered grid release carbon; this is the first law of themodynamics, but it can be less than that released in a traffic jam where cars are idling at zero efficiency, and the carbon is not at ground level and mixed with other smog chemicals. The installation of nuclear power plants eliminate this CO2 release, in large measure.

    All production cars could be modified to use a larger standard battery to run all brakes, fans, pumps, ac, stereo and lights and have an integrated starter-altenator for no-idle operation. Electric powered creeping in traffic jams is posssible and engine overheating in such conditions is eliminated. Every California car should have electric creeping. Air and fuel injection or electric heat can keep the catalysts ready for the start. The battery is usually charged at home and by regeneration when braking or slowing, but the alternator can be turned on for very low battery conditions. Very high current alternators are available for high regeneration energy.

    ZEBRA batteries can be used and are simpler to build and maintain than lithium. They need to be kept hot but lithium batteries need to be kept cool which is harder. Failed ZEBRA cells can be ignored. Failed lithium cells can burn up and even ignite other cells.

    Except for cost (but this applies to litium batteries too), ZEBRA batteries are the best batteries to use with the Prius and its original battery for plug-in-hybrid operation for long electric distances. Small, derated for safety and cost, flywheels could eliminate the need for the original hybrid battery and have infinite life. ..HG..

  • Henry Gibson

    The purpose of plug-in-hybids is to reduce the cost of operation and the use of imported expensive crude not to lower green house gases, but the plug-in-hybrids do this as well compared to non hybrids. Grid energy from coal costs about one fifth that of gasoline and can be much less.

    Large users of electricity may pay less than half of what home users pay per kilowatt hour, and home owners can get much cheaper night rates in some places. This also lowers CO2 because natural gas plants are idled in favor of hydro or nuclear at night. Nuclear is never shut off because the fuel costs are far lower than any other fuel and water can be usually stored for periods of higher use.

  • Henry Gibson

    The purpose of plug-in-hybids is to reduce the cost of operation and the use of imported expensive crude not to lower green house gases, but the plug-in-hybrids do this as well compared to non hybrids. Grid energy from coal costs about one fifth that of gasoline and can be much less.

    Large users of electricity may pay less than half of what home users pay per kilowatt hour, and home owners can get much cheaper night rates in some places. This also lowers CO2 because natural gas plants are idled in favor of hydro or nuclear at night. Nuclear is never shut off because the fuel costs are far lower than any other fuel and water can be usually stored for periods of higher use.

  • Pingback: Electric vehicles not really eco-friendly without clean power()

Back to Top ↑