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Old 03-12-2013, 09:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The carbon footprint of oil is a very complicated thing to know precisely. We do know it takes a lot of electricity, and a lot of natural gas, and in at least two methods in use right now, it also takes an immense amount of water. All of these have their own overhead energy, and natural gas itself uses a lot of water and a lot of energy to frack.

To just get some crude out of the ground, they have to make steam and inject that underground to just soften the crude up enough so they can manage to pump it out of the ground. Tar sands bitumen has to be "washed" out of the sand with millions of gallons of heated water - and *then* it has to be dissolved in cheap gasoline (which had to be made!) so that it has a chance of being pumped through a pipeline. Pumping overcooked oatmeal would be easier...

Nissan said that it takes ~7.5kWh of electricity per gallon of gasoline. Other estimates put it about there or slightly higher. And yes, the carbon footprint of electricity (which is about 38% from coal in the US) has to be done from source to plug. But this same overhead also goes into the gasoline - so when you are comparing electricity to gasoline, it cancels out because it is on both sides of the equation, and you are left with the rest of the embedded carbon in the gasoline.

It takes as much (or more) electricity to drive a gasoline car a mile as it does to drive an EV a mile.

You can drive an EV for 2-3/mile including electricity and regular maintenance. A typical 23MPG car costs ~15/mile for gasoline alone, and another 3-3.5/mile for regular maintenance. So, a ICE car costs about as much to maintain (at typical dealer service charges) as it takes to drive an EV - and you save all of the money you would pay for gasoline.

A 40MPG car with $3.50/gallon gas will cost you $8,750 to drive 100K miles. Drive an EV and none of that 2,500 gallons of gasoline gets burned, and you pay $3,480 (290Wh/mile @ 12/kWh) to your electric company instead of your car dealer. If you ecodrive the EV, you can likely cut that by ~25-30%.

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Old 03-12-2013, 12:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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There is no getting around the law of physics.

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Originally Posted by bennelson View Post
YES! It's completely true. I've seen similar math and conclusions done by other people that seems to support this. Weird but true.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:23 PM   #13 (permalink)
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There is no getting around the law of physics.
Well then I want to pass new laws. I want a fully self powered vehicle that creates more energy than it uses and cleans the air and the streets as it is driven. It should also be able to use carbon dioxide as a fuel if needed and emit only pure oxygen or water as a byproduct.



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Old 03-12-2013, 03:40 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The underlying numbers used in the analysis for the WSJ article may be completely offbase i.e. wrong.

The LlewBlog - Electric Cars - The Truth Will Out.

If the original study based their calculations on a 1,000kg electric motor and a Leaf actually has a 53kg motor - then that pretty much negates the entire article!
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Neil,
I have long since gotten sick over any news report or article that starts out with the words:
"A new study has found that........."
It is always followed by some titillating story that hardly ever mentions the source of the 'study'. And if they do, it is some University somewhere. You know, written by people who need to complete their thesis so they can get the hell out of there. People with absolutely NO real world experience.
I am not surprised about the 'errors' found in their report. Give them a D- and let them study under their slave-driver advisors another semester or two.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Don't bother for the student thesises.
What we see here is involvement from influential players in the power market.
It goes too far to call it a Big Oil Conspiracy by my taste, but sure those companies (like I guess any big company would) do a fair bit of lobbying for their causes, and don't shy from influencing public opinion by supporting publications that may unwittingly or otherwise bend the truth in their favor.
How are we to know what to believe? I fear the only way is to dive in, find contrasting data and opinions and evaluate what's happening there.
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It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:58 PM   #17 (permalink)
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See the second post by Vike in this thread for a levelheaded assessment of the WSJ article:

Mitsubishi I-Miev Forum • View topic - Are Journalists Trying to Kill the Electric Car?

Another dissection of Mr. Lomborg's erroneous article:

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/mb...p-ed_need.html
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Likely written to by someone with no experience with electric vehicles either...
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:41 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Dr. Lomborg's positions are among the most pragmatic and rational that I have heard between the two extreme environmental religions (humans will permanently destroy the environment / humans cause no environmental harm). How can Lomborg be considered biased? He used to be one of the extreme environmentalists, and he is convinced human activity has increased global CO2 emissions and temperatures. What facts in the article are we disagreeing with?

It usually follows that something that costs more also consumes more resources. An electric car costs more money and consumes more resources initially. This most salient point is expressed at the conclusion of Lomborg's article:

Quote:
Yet the U.S. federal government essentially subsidizes electric-car buyers with up to $7,500. In addition, more than $5.5 billion in federal grants and loans go directly to battery and electric-car manufacturers like California-based Fisker Automotive and Tesla Motors TSLA -0.36% . This is a very poor deal for taxpayers.

The electric car might be great in a couple of decades but as a way to tackle global warming now it does virtually nothing. The real challenge is to get green energy that is cheaper than fossil fuels. That requires heavy investment in green research and development. Spending instead on subsidizing electric cars is putting the cart before the horse, and an inconvenient and expensive cart at that.
The thrust of Lomborg's argument is not that electric vehicles are just as bad, or worse than gasoline vehicles, but that we could spend our money more efficiently to improve the welfare of people everywhere. Is anyone bold enough to disagree with this?

What is most appalling is that almost nobody bats an eye at the fact that the US government steals $7,500 from tax payers (that's me and you) every time an electric vehicle is sold. How can a person (Obama) or even a huge group of people justify the forceful redistribution of money from an individual to another individual that happens to want to purchase a particular type of vehicle? I could understand how some might violently oppose this theft.

Cut subsidies for oil companies, agriculture (ethanol), and electric vehicle manufacturers and let the consumer bear the real cost. Electric cars, renewable energy, and "sustainable practices" are an inevitable outcome for a species that looks forward to the future, not the outcome of saviors from Washington DC.

That said, I am seriously considering the purchase of a new Nissan Leaf, assuming the long-term financial math works to its favor. If I could vote against the insane federal subsidy, I would. Since it's already here, I will take advantage of the credit.

Check out the trailer for a favorite documentary of mine called .

If you really want to attack Lomborg's credibility, you will want to learn what his major arguments are.
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:50 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I don't bat an eye at electric subsidy because oil and others have had so much subsidy for so long, the playing field is not even close to being level.

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