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Old 06-18-2011, 03:28 PM   #11 (permalink)
The $500 Electric Car
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Originally Posted by actwithclarity View Post
How do you know the electricity you're using isn't generated by burning coal (a fossil fuel) or uranium (another non-renewable resource)?

Do you have a windmill in your back yard and can only drive after a windy day?

Do you ask your electricity provider to only route to your house electricity generated by ruining rivers (dams) or killing birds (windmills)?

Do you pretend like you're drawing from the 5% of energy from hydro plants on the grid, and everyone else is using the dirty stuff?
I try to make sure mine comes straight from the least efficient coal plant in America that is on the verge of being condemned. Sometimes I get even luckier and my city fires up diesel generators from the 1950's: those REALLY put out the pollution!! But even then the efficiency of those things blows the doors off the cleanest burning gas car's 15% efficiency.....

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Old 06-19-2011, 10:14 AM   #12 (permalink)
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LOL. In the next year or so, I'll be using the sun on my roof to recharge the car. Now granted, the sunlight won't be able to hit the moss growing on the roof anymore, which may well contribute to a net carbon increase.
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thank you to the positive responses that EV drivers have given on this topic.

When I first saw the original post for this thread, I had considered deleting it, because is it obviously an intentionally negative, "you just can't win", statement and question.

However, I didn't delete it, because I believe that the underlaying questions of "Are you just moving your pollution somewhere else?", and "Is it really any better than just burning gasoline?", are legitimate questions that we really should ask.

I think most folks on this forum understand that burning fossil fuels is NOT the way to go. (Most members of Ecomodder are actively working to maximize fuel economy, and minimize fossil-fuel use.)

A typical EV usually around 4 times as efficient as its gasoline-burning counterpart. And as VpoppV stated, tongue-in-cheek, even in a worst-case scenario, EVs are STILL cleaner than a gasoline vehicle.

All that said, ANY waste of energy is still a bad thing. Even in electric vehicles, we should still try to minimize number of trips and number of miles we travel and carpool, use mass-transit, bike, and walk as much as possible.

Home-built EVer's realize that electric vehicles are NOT truely "Zero-Emission", but they are one of the best possible options currently available, and a great step in the right direction to reduce carbon footprint and energy use.

PS: I can't say for sure that Actwithclarity was just trying to stir up trouble with his comment. Text on the internet does not have "tone of voice" or body language, which is where most of our communication really happens.
Topics like this one are best debated in person with someone else, preferably over a good beer.

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Last edited by bennelson; 06-20-2011 at 01:02 PM.. Reason: PS
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Old 07-01-2011, 12:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I think you sized up the situation well there Ben.

I'm lucky where I live we have access to the cheapest electricity rates in North America. We have plentiful Hydro electricity that we actually sell to the States. I understand the utility has some messed up arrangement where we actually import 'dirty' electricity at night so we can sell ours during the same time... makes no sense to me. At the same time the utility is constructing two more hydro dams to supply our future needs.

Last month I worked on a farm for a short stint to help out a friend in southern Manitoba. Just across the highway from his Barn stood more giant windmills than I could shake a stick at. Man those are huge! Good place for them as it's always windy there. Now we have wind turbines too.


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