Skip to comments.Plug-In Vehicles: The First Great Fraud of the New Millennium
Posted on 03/16/2010 6:16:02 AM PDT by shove_it
PT Barnum would have been proud.
While hype-masters loudly proclaim that plug in cars will save the planet by slashing oil consumption and CO2 emissions, the numbers tell a different story; that plug-ins are all sizzle and no steak. The result is the industrial equivalent of a snipe hunt, a wild goose chase based on flawed assumptions.
Let me explain how I reached this conclusion. On December 31, 2009 Forbes published an opinion piece titled System Overload that questioned whether the battery industry was overbuilding global manufacturing capacity. The third paragraph noted:
By 2015 the new factories will have the global capacity to produce 36 million kilowatt-hours of battery capacity, enough to supply 15 million hybrid vehicles, or 1.5 million fully electric cars, says Deutsche Bank.
While the article went on to question whether there would be buyers for all those batteries, the capacity estimate got me thinking: In a world that wants to save fuel and reduce CO2 emissions, but can only make 36 million kWh of batteries per year, what is the highest and best use for the batteries?
The calculations were simple but the answers were amazing at least to me. The sweet and simple summary is that the venerable Prius-class hybrid is five to six times more effective at reducing global gasoline consumption than its plug-in cousins and, in the US, it's seven to 10 times more effective at reducing CO2 emissions.
In other words, plug-in vehicles are not the effective albeit expensive saviours of the planet that have been sold to credulous reporters and intellectually lazy regulators. They're unconscionable waste masquerading as conservation.
(Excerpt) Read more at seekingalpha.com ...
If there’s one thing this idiocy will beget, it will spur people to install locks on their outside electrical outlets.
Gasoline comes from dirty oil wells and right wing companies. And...and the redneck drillers are social recidivists. The oil engineers and geologists are kind of conservative too.
Electricity on the other hand comes from ...um..er...a wall socket in one’s ‘home’. And windmills.
This even a blind man can see.
What about plug-in hybrids? There are aftermarket plug-in kits for Priuses.
Anyone who looked at this beyond the salivating media hype could see the flaws:
- Battery capacity.
- Battery disposal.
- Pollution generated by battery manufacture.
- Shifting energy use from relatively clean gasoline engines to electricity generating plants, many of which are coal fired.
- Additional load on the electrical grid, which is already taxed.
It’s a crying shame that critical thinking skills are discouraged in public schools.
Electric vehicles are really remote emission vehicles as they may not pollute when they go down the road, but a lot of the electricity in CA comes from coal fired generators in Wyoming.
You forgot to mention the wasted resources to make the batteries. That lead has to be mined! This whole thing is a massive fraud and dilusion.
I would like to know what the life of those batteries are and how much they will actually cost to replace.
I read a few years ago that the batteries are made in Canada and they use more carbon to manufacture than they save the driving public. Also, could it really be true that the replacement battery is purported to be about $25,000? And then how are the old batteries disposed of and who pays for that and if it falls on the consumer again, what is the cost?
And finally, is there anywhere in the United States where the batteries will be manufactured, or will those jobs be outsourced like the little matter of re-supplying American embassies around the world with fine crystal made in Sweden!!
— Jane Reinheimer
“That lead has to be mined!”
They don’t use lead. They use lithium which almost exclusively comes from China...
Cars that run on batteries!
Pssst. Know what runs on batteries?
Depends on your situation. I rarely drive daily more than the range of the average electric car, so one would work for me. This is especially good with me since engines put out more pollutants cold, and my car barely has time to warm up during the short commute.
If that were my only car I'd take a pluggable hybrid that can be set for short city-only driving, telling it not to use the engine for that trip unless the battery is drained. Electricity here is cheaper than gas, and it's mostly NG and nuke. I cut down on pollution (real pollution not CO2) and am more energy efficient. NG is about 60% efficient and electric motors are over 90% giving me somewhere in the 50s vs around 30% even for a diesel. Less energy = less reliance on terror supporting nations.
I'd love to have an electric car for doing around town errands; it would put less pollution into the surrounding air. And I'd also like to have a house with a big enough land area to put in a big solar array to power the house, so when I plugged the car into it, it's essentially free energy for me. Yeah, I know about the costs associated with the collectors, but hubby will be assembling and connecting those, so we wouldn't be paying 'retail' for them, anyway.
I guess you'd call us 'crunchy conservatives', but I don't care what anyone else drives, I'm just looking at what we drive. Of course, hubby will still have his Ford F250 Turbo Diesel, which he calls his F1250 Global Warmer, with the Middle Finger Option, so we DO have a sense of humor about the environment. ;o)
HA, I’m the only one with the real solution; I’m converting a golf cart to run on a steam engine powered by charcoal briquets!
Right now solar is often more expensive over its expected lifetime than your outlet. The only way you save is through subsidies and tax breaks. Not long ago companies started producing solar cells at a cost of 1 cent per watt. Add to that the packaging, etc., for a solar system you might be able to find them in a few years for maybe $2,000 per kilowatt rather than the current $8,000+. Then that'll be cheap electricity.
If there is any future in electric vehicles at all, it will involve super capacitors and not batteries.
MIT has been working on capacitors using nanotube technology. I know that some Australian company was working on super-capacitors.
There’s a Dallas firm called EESTOR which was supposed to be marketing one such by now and all I can find is conspiracy theories as to why we haven’t seen it.