Skip to comments.Making Trolleys Out of Trucks: 'Green' Transport Idea Is Expensive Folly
Posted on 07/08/2012 12:25:12 AM PDT by Olog-hai
The German engineering giant Siemens is researching the idea of using overhead electricity lines to power truck traffic. But the state-supported project makes no sense. It would cost billions to implementand only lead to higher fuel consumption and more pollution.
Germany's Ministry for the Environment (BMU) saw enough green potential in this hybrid truck to channel over 2 million ($2.5 million) in federal funding to the project. Siemens used the funds to help set up its first test track at an obsolete military airport north of Berlin.
In any case, electrifying Germany's roads is not going to bring about a green revolution in the transportation field. Since the majority of the electricity used to power trains comes from gas- and coal-fired power plants, the main environmental advantage of rail transport is not its use of electricity. Rather, the real advantages working in its favor are the large number of units that can be moved at once and the minimal amount of friction between steel wheels and steel rails. Together, these features make having even diesel-powered locomotives a comparatively good environmental option.
What's more, providing a truck with overhead lines by no means makes it more eco-friendly. A 40-ton truck uses about 30 liters (7.9 gal) of diesel to travel 100 kilometers (62 miles), emitting less than 80 kg (175 lbs) of CO2. Running on electric power for the same distance, the truck would consume at least 200 kWh of electricity. According to data from Germany's Federal Environment Agency, generating that amount of electricity using Germany's current mix of power sources would create about 112 kg (247 lbs) of CO2. In other words, the German economy would pay tens of billions of euros to squander even more fossil fuels and cause even more environmental damage.
(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...
the Green Movement good idea fairy strikes again.
Fairy or goblin?
I wold imagine the same physics comes into play with an electric vehicle like the Volt. Like a baby, who can be fooled by covering your face in a game of peek-a-boo, the greens can be fooled by electric cars being the solution to "global warming". They seem to forget electric power has to come from somewhere. I guess it is much like "government handouts". They just magically appear. They don't bother themselves which the economics of where the money comes from.
Counting kg of CO2 as a means of determining the best way to power something is so insanely stupid I cannot begin to describe it. It is a plant growth stimulant, people!
As you observe, the economics is what matters.
I agree that counting CO2 is not the best (or necessarily even a useful) way of reckoning the cost of transportation. The point of the article was that the proposal is lose-lose: billions more in cost, for even more CO2.
Of course, the underlying rationale is fiendishly clever: ruin the economy so that there will actually be even less CO2 emissions. It’s working in America.