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Old 07-01-2013, 03:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Electric cars, unclean at any speed

This was written by someone who both designed and championed plug in cars before he looked at the facts.

Unclean at Any Speed - IEEE Spectrum

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Old 07-01-2013, 03:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I do not understand why we cannot find solutions to the issues with manufacturing electric cars instead of making the perfect the enemy of the good, just like every other specious argument used against renewable fuels.

The issue is simple for me. How else are we going to get away from fossil fuels unless we develop electric technologies? What alternatives do we have?
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UFO View Post
I do not understand why we cannot find solutions to the issues with manufacturing electric cars instead of making the perfect the enemy of the good, just like every other specious argument used against renewable fuels.

The issue is simple for me. How else are we going to get away from fossil fuels unless we develop electric technologies? What alternatives do we have?
Ummmm..... until we get away from generating electricity from fossil fuels developing things that use electricity isn't going to do any good.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ummmm..... until we get away from generating electricity from fossil fuels developing things that use electricity isn't going to do any good.
It's a step in the right direction. By converting to the grid, we gain a tremendous efficiency. Turbine generation of electricity on large scales is at least 60% to 70% more efficient than motorized ICEs. And the grid allows us to add in renewable sources as they become available, like wind, hydro and solar.
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree completely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UFO View Post
It's a step in the right direction. By converting to the grid, we gain a tremendous efficiency. Turbine generation of electricity on large scales is at least 60% to 70% more efficient than motorized ICEs. And the grid allows us to add in renewable sources as they become available, like wind, hydro and solar.
Killing ideas because they are imperfect leaves us with few to no alternatives. Electricity is agnostic to it's generation, allowing use to develop and use cleaner and more renewable energy as times goes. Developing the MARKET for these electric vehicles allows alternative electric production to grow and become mainstream.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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It's a step in the right direction. By converting to the grid, we gain a tremendous efficiency. Turbine generation of electricity on large scales is at least 60% to 70% more efficient than motorized ICEs. And the grid allows us to add in renewable sources as they become available, like wind, hydro and solar.
As of 2009 hydro only supplied about 6.9% of the US electrical generating capacity (and that percentage is dropping). All other renewables (Wind, Solar, Geothermal, etc..) composed about 3.6% . Nuclear power supplies about 20% of US needs. When you consider there are no more rivers that can be dammed, people oppose nuke, the fact that wind and solar aren't consistent and cost a lot, and by 2027 we will only have a fusion reactor that will run for 1000 seconds at a time, there isn't anyway we are going to ween ourselves from fossil fuel energy production anytime soon .
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Not many other transportation alternatives allow you the option of generating the "fuel" you need to "fill the tank" right there where you live. Biofuels (esp biodiesel) are close, but you still have to go out & get the ingredients for each gallon you end up needing to put into the tank. But once you have enough solar panels to generate the power needed to fill your electric car, the feedstock (sun) is delivered to you "for free"

Yes, there's the initial cost of the panels, and there are periods of time that the sun doesn't shine, etc, but I can't think of any other transportation option (except human power!) that can make it as easy as the combo of solar plus electric cars for self-sufficiency.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Just like we have to generate electricity, we have to make fuel. Gas has to be refined from crude; it takes a lot of drilling, transportation, management, trade, war, lobbying etc. to make it all happen.
You cannot criticize the pollution from generating electricity (at least in some ways of that) and ignore the pollution generated by making gas.

The Norwegian study the article refers to has fallen under harsh criticism itself, being funded by Statoil (the Follow the money argument backfiring) and making all sorts of false assumptions. The batteries get recycled, not like 70% of them but over 99%. Electric cars are mechanically simple and can do way more than 150.000 km.
They are expensive, that's true. But once the batteries get either twice as cheap, twice as durable or twice as powerful than now there is no holding back the EV's anymore.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It's amazing how people will not look at the forest because they're too drawn into the individual tress.

Sorry, but pound-for-pound, nothing beats the energy density of gasoline or diesel fuel, at the cost of said fuels. Unless and until some way can be found to beat this energy density, electric vehicles are going to continue to be expensive playthings.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Just the energy it takes to produce a gallon of gasoline can power my electric car over 27 miles, so right there I'm displacing the pollution that is often not counted to produce gasoline, then you look at the pollution produced to burn gasoline! but gasoline refineries have huge natural gas pipe lines and high tension power lines going to them to power the refining, so as we demand less gasoline the electrical load is going to shift from powering oil refineries to recharging cars, most cars recharge at night as well so it's going to even out peek electrical loads, something oil refineries don't do.

The other argument in that link is that EV's use large amounts of rare metals... sure, but so do gasoline cars! gasoline cars use about as much aluminum in the engine block as the Leaf has in aluminum body panels, the copper in the motor for the Leaf is about as much copper as a single run of outlets in your house, but you don't have an issue with having outlets in your house, do you??? There is also a few pounds of copper in the starter and alternator of your gasoline car... why is that copper ok but the copper in an electric motor in an EV is bad!
Rare Earth magnets... the 2014 Leaf uses smaller and lighter rare earth magnets in a better designed motor that uses less electricity as well, so not perfect but better! Computer hard drives have rare earth magnets in them as well but no one is up in arms about those going to the landfill.

I knew right off tho that the author was jaded, he started out talking about $100,000+ cars owned by people who want to push a look, you don't buy a $100,000 car to save anything.

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