I would imagine that owners of a totally electric vehicle feel they are doing a small bit toward helping our country achieve its stated future climate and emissions goals.

But here is a question. When charging your vehicle, does your electricity come from a power plant, which burns fossil fuels and contributes to global warming? Does the electricity come from renewable wind or solar panel farms?

Do we have reason to pause? Should we ensure our electric charges originate at wind or solar sources or is an electric vehicle more a means of saving gas rather than old mother Earth?

James Gallagher

Monrovia

(15) comments

wran

What ever the source of electricity, green or fossil, EVs remain beyond the reach of most Americansfor the foreseeable future. So providing charging stations will be a government service for the upper class. "Electric cars are far too expensive for the middle and working class. The average person cannot afford to buy most electric vehicles for sale in the US today. We need to somehow get the price of EVs down to where the average person can afford to buy." Elon Musk.

DickD

The price of EV's is coming down and the tax incentives will make them significantly lower than a ICE.

wran

I will believe the price of EVs will come down when I see it. A tax incentive does not lower the cost of the vehicle. It just changes who pays the cost. In the meantime the government spending money to build charging stations is subsidizing the wealthy.

mamlukman

It never ceases to amaze me. We have the Internet and Google that allow us to find out virtually anything in less than a minute. But someone takes the time to write a LTE instead of spending a minute to find out the facts. I don't understand.

So I'll help you out: There are many sites and sources, but try https://www.energysage.com/electric-vehicles/101/pros-and-cons-electric-cars/#:~:text=Pro%3A%20Electric%20cars%20are%20energy%20efficient&text=AEVs%20are%20far%20more%20efficient,between%2017%20and%2021%20percent.

"AEVs are far more efficient than conventional gas-powered vehicles: AEV batteries convert 59 to 62 percent of energy into vehicle movement while gas powered vehicles only convert between 17 and 21 percent. This means that charging an AEV’s battery puts more towards actually powering the vehicle than filling up at a gas pump."

In other words, gasoline powered cars use 3 to 3 ½ times the energy an electric car does. And of course as technology advances, this advantage will become greater. And it also depends on what type of electric car you have, etc. etc. And don't forget the savings on refining the gas, transporting it to the gas station, operating the gas station, etc.

But until they work out the kinks in that perpetual motion machine, it's going to take some form of energy to power a car. If you can use 3-4 times less energy to do the same thing, why not do it?

bhall74

mamlukman, so, your response to the LTE's focus on where the electricity used to recharge an EV comes from, is to deflect the focus to the energy efficiency of an EV. Nice try, but you get a failing grade today.

mamlukman

Not trying to deflect anything. Where does the energy to run an electric car come from? Power plants. It has to come from somewhere. But if I told you that you could buy a loaf of bred for $1 or for $6--same loaf mind you--would you get in line to buy the $6 loaf? If so, please explain why you'd be happy spending 6x as much for the same thing.

bhall74

A well reasoned LTE that points out that those who own an EV, the cost of which most likely received some taxpayer subsidy in the way of a rebate, are unaware of where the electricity comes from that charges their EV. While EV owners are primarily virtue signalling their "concern" for the environment, most do not want to know the pesky details regarding how much damage is done to the environment in the manufacture of their EV, especially the mining of the lithium and cobalt required to manufacture their EV's battery, and where those two minerals primarily come from. As to the "cleanliness" of the electricity that is coming out of the nation's overworked and failing electrical intrastructure, well here is the data for 2020 as published by the U.S Energy Information Administration: Renewables (wind and solar) 19.7%; Nuclear 19.7%; Coal 19.3%; Natural Gas 40.3%; Petroleum/other 1%. So, in other words, Almost 60% comes from the hated natural resources, 20% from the hated Nuclear, and only 20% from wind and solar. So, every time you plug in your EV to charge at home, 80% of the electricity is coming from sources that you are trying to get rid of. Of course, as more EVs start being used, the demand on the ailing electrical infrastructure is going to increase the likelihood of grid problems, and it's impossible to recharge an EV during a brownout. In fact, I will not be surprised if the power companies and even government authorities don't mandate that EV's not be recharged during any period in which there is an electrical crisis. Hope you have a bicycle...that's the best way for you to virtue signal.

MD1756

I've already debunked your rhetoric but if you don't believe me, here are more sources (including from the US EPA): https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/a31941944/electric-vehicles-better-carbon-emissions-study/

https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/electric-vehicle-myths

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/26/lifetime-emissions-of-evs-are-lower-than-gasoline-cars-experts-say.html

https://blog.ucsusa.org/rachael-nealer/gasoline-vs-electric-global-warming-emissions-953/

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1134109_co2-footprint-of-ev-better-with-renewable-energy

This last one even gives break even point if charging an electric car with electricity coming 100% from coal fired power plants: https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/lifetime-carbon-emissions-electric-vehicles-vs-gasoline-cars-2021-06-29/

And one shouldn't just look at CO2 emissions since emissions from vehilces (both fueling and combustion from driving) emit several criteria pollutants along with hazardous air pollutants some of which are known carcinogens. You can't just look at the manufacturing of the car but also look at the emissions from the fuel sources over the lifetime of the vehicles. Any study that suggests the standard vehicle is better because of the emissions from battery manufacturing is not looking at the emissions from drilling for oil and converting that oil into gasoline or diesel, so they are leaving out significant emissions to get the answer they want. Finally, let's not forget that emission controls on power plants are better than just catalytic converters on cars. In my case I'm relying on my own energy generation which reduces the need to get electricity from the grid.

shiftless88

Why would Mr. Gallagher write a LTE without looking up the relevant facts? There are many studies done on this topic and we now have a clean enough grid nationwide to make it a benefit to use electricity instead of gasoline. Seriously; you just look stupid.

MD1756

Electric vehicles and plug in hybrid vehicles may get their power from the grid but it is still cleaner than using gasoline or diesel. For example see: https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2021/07/electric-cars-vs-gasoline-cars-which-is-better-for-climate-change/

Additionally some people (like me) have solar for their home energy use. I have a 12.3kW system (for a house that is 1040 sqft above ground). Any excess energy now goes to charging my plugin hybrid and the rest comes from the grid. It is certainly a means of saving mother earth.

gary4books

Good show, MD. Certainly you are doing your part for the environment.

DickD

You don't even have to do it that way, MD, you can put in a solar charger for just an EV, They have had them for years and they have two at Linganore Winery, which allows you to charge for free. For a Nissan Leaf, you could charge for two hours and get a 25 mile equivalent charge. At home, charging on a 110 line it would take about four hours to get that charge. And you can put in a 220 line at home.

MD1756

I did it that way because I am tying to greatly reducing my adverse impact on the planet beyond just what was a good financial decision (the first 10.2 kW of my system provided a financial benefit, the extra 2.1, not so much so but it did help with my goal to try to become closer to carbon neutral). For my plug in I just use a 110 line and low charge and charge it over night. I haven't got gas since July 6 and I still have about 3/8 of a tank left.

gary4books

The Post allows us five minutes to fix our mistakes. I wish FNP could do the same. Ignore my last fragment, please.

gary4books

Where do we get our electricity? Out of a plug?

Or from a small array of solar cells. Many combined with a storge battery can charge a car when parked and make it 100% clean energy. However the profit also come from not paying gasoline taxes.

That can be a significant savings until the taxes are reformed.

But the benefit

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