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Old 05-14-2014, 08:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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EV Zero emmisions? Is electricity a clean energy source: ARTICLE

Is Electricity A Clean Energy Source? - HybridCars.com


Very interesting article about the "wells to wheels" emissions of Electric vehicles. It turns out that if you live in an area with a dirty/dirtier coal plant, you could have less emissions by Eco-driving a gas or hybrid car. 55% of people in America live in area where getting 50mpg, will net you better emissions than an EV. It just so happens Team VW/Metro/Honda/Diesel averages over 50mpg and team Toyota is not too far behind. So not only are you saving gas, you're co2 emissions at least will be among the cleanest on the road!

On the east and west coast however, an EV's emissions will range from the equivalent of 80mpg average to 7,600mpg for geothermal. It looks like even renewable energy will not net you zero emissions, but it's close enough as it doesn't matter.

The major insight is that buying an EV is only half the solution. It really matters where you buy your electricity from. Here in Massachusetts there has been vocal support and success in shutting down some of the coal plants we have around here.

If you have an EV, please look into where your electricity comes from here: http://oaspub.epa.gov/powpro/ept_pack.charts Some options in your area may be cleaner than others.

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Old 05-14-2014, 10:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Forty years ago when I was a young dreamer, you could legally build a hydro plant and generate 5000 kilowatts of electricity and the untility company had to pay you the wholesale price for your excess power. The the EPA bascially regulated small scale hydro out of existence. Nature evaporates trillions (a guess) of cubic yards of water into the atmosphere daily.

In the age of unintended consequences, I wonder how many people have died in the last 4 decades due to atmospheric pollution due to regulatory extremists, who stop development of hydro power generation. Look at the map and see how much of a difference the hydro production from Niagra reduces the effective emissions within the proximity of the Niagra river, the first large scale hydro project.

Wish I could thank you 100 times for that post.

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Old 05-14-2014, 10:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sadly I hear a train passing my house every hour of every day with 168 cars full of coal being shipped overseas. I wish we had spent some of our debt finding a way to make coal much cleaner, especially since the processes could be implemented worldwide.

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Old 05-15-2014, 05:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Are we comparing the carbon footprint of the electricity? To a gallon of gas which is already sitting in the pump? What is the well to wheels carbon cost to get a gallon of gas manufactured and transported into your tank?
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Old 05-15-2014, 05:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
Sadly I hear a train passing my house every hour of every day with 168 cars full of coal being shipped overseas. I wish we had spent some of our debt finding a way to make coal much cleaner, especially since the processes could be implemented worldwide.

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The world wide emphasis on energy growth in China should have been steered toward next gen nuclear a decade ago.
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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The world wide emphasis on energy growth in China should have been steered toward next gen nuclear a decade ago.
China is doing nuclear, too, and solar, and wind, and everything else.
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sendler View Post
Are we comparing the carbon footprint of the electricity? To a gallon of gas which is already sitting in the pump? What is the well to wheels carbon cost to get a gallon of gas manufactured and transported into your tank?
It looks like we are. A footnote says "assuming 11,200grams of global warming pollution per gallon of gasoline." That is 24.69 pounds of co2 per gallon, which matches well to the 24.30 pounds of co2 of "wells to wheels" emissions of a gallon of gas in this source:
http://renewnorthfield.org/wp-conten...0emissions.pdf

From that source transporting and refining gasoline adds 24.2% more co2 from the 19.56 pounds you would get from burning a gallon, to 24.30 pounds total.

This is the source for the article which is more in depth about how much money you will save owning an EV, an even about the varying emissions a grid produces during the day. Its from the "union of concerned scientists." and appears not to have a positive or negative EV bias, though the conclusions is that EVs are better for the environment, but could stand more improvement by cleaning up the grid. It also has some renewable energy goals of the various states.
http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documen...ons-report.pdf
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Old 05-15-2014, 09:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The industrial nations started polluting two centuries ago. China will be the World's largest producer of manufactured goods very soon if not already. India will be a close second while the US ships jobs as well as our national net worth to those countries who
consider pollution secondary to improving their citizens quality of life.

Many cities in China are where London was 75 years ago. Can those same gross polluters of a century ago rationally ask today's gross polluters to cease their growth and development at the cost of their citizens improving their lives?

On the other side of that same coin, those countries can look at OUR history and take steps to avoid our own "mistakes" due to our lack of understanding of the effects of gross pollution for the sake of progress, but don't expect them to just accept our hypocritical judgement of their efforts to join the modern economic and relatively prosperous countries.

While North America may take the path of the tail wagging the dog with regulations that eliminate whoke sectors of electricity generation, the gains we make will only be offset exponentially by emissions from those countries trying to approach our level of personal income.

China has the ability to look ahead in terms of centuries, while the US looks ahead to the next election. Hyperpolitical agenda driven fanatics will bury us just as Kruschev predicted the Soviet Union would in the 1950s.

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Old 05-15-2014, 12:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The electric can and should get cleaner over time, as we make the necessary switch to renewable energy.

For just the refinery stage of making gasoline, typically ~4.5kWh are used per gallon of gasoline. That means that an EV can go ~18 miles just on the electricity "contained" in a gallon of gasoline.

That just for the refining ...
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You can hypermile an electric car as well. I know someone with a Leaf who gets ~200 mpge, about double its EPA rating. He hit 119 on a tank in his Insight before trading it on the Leaf. Kind of turns the whole comparison on its head.

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