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Will buying an electric car make an environmental difference?
Mercury News ^ | 4/4/11 | Paul Rogers

Posted on 04/04/2011 3:01:04 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

Sure, you might get a carpool sticker and a tax break. But if you buy an electric car, will it make much environmental difference?

Experts say that depends on three factors: What were you driving before? How is your electricity generated? And how many other electric cars are going to be sold?

In many cases, people who trade gasoline-powered cars for electric ones won't be dramatically lessening the smog they emit. But when it comes to global warming, even when emissions from generating the electricity are taken into account, electric vehicles have a much smaller carbon footprint than gas-powered vehicles because they are much more efficient. However, it will take a decade or more until enough electric vehicles are on the road to make a significant impact.

"If you have a person who is driving a nice, newer car, having them switch to an electric car, there isn't going to be much benefit in reducing smog," said Tom Cahill, a professor emeritus of physics at UC Davis. "But there could be a whole lot of gain in climate change."

Because all-electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf burn no fossil fuels, and plug-in hybrids like the Chevy Volt burn only small amounts of gasoline, tailpipe emissions from electric cars are basically zero. In smoggy cities like Los Angeles, driving one on summer days may actually clean the air because the tailpipe emissions contain less pollution than the air.

Yet most people currently buying electric cars weren't driving old, smog-belching vehicles. They are often affluent motorists who drove newer-model gasoline cars. And because California has for 50 years had the toughest tailpipe standards in the nation, a 2010 gasoline-burning car puts out only 2 percent or less of the pollution spewed by a 1980s model.

(Excerpt) Read more at mercurynews.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Politics/Elections; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: buying; difference; electriccar; environmental; environutzies; golfcart

1 posted on 04/04/2011 3:01:05 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: steelyourfaith

Ping.


2 posted on 04/04/2011 3:02:28 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: NormsRevenge

Odd, I have heard just the opposite.


3 posted on 04/04/2011 3:02:42 PM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: NormsRevenge

Most electric cars will be powered by coal.


4 posted on 04/04/2011 3:02:59 PM PDT by AU72
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To: AU72; All
"Most electric cars will be powered by coal."


5 posted on 04/04/2011 3:05:00 PM PDT by musicman (Until I see the REAL Long Form Vault BC, he's just "PRES__ENT" Obama = Without "ID")
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To: freekitty

But these cars that have a lower carbon footprint are powered by unicorns and good vibes.


6 posted on 04/04/2011 3:05:39 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult
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To: NormsRevenge
In smoggy cities like Los Angeles, driving one on summer days may actually clean the air...

So, the car has an air intake, air filter, and clean air exhaust to help clean the air? Oh, I see, the reporter is an idiot and thinks that somehow producing fewer emissions is the same as removing CO2 from the air.
7 posted on 04/04/2011 3:06:04 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: NormsRevenge
"But there could be a whole lot of gain in climate change."

Points for remembering to say "climate change" in lieu of "global warming", Professor Cahill. But we're still laughing. Another example of bovine flatulence from the hallowed halls of academe, where the buffaloed roam and never is heard a dissenting word.

8 posted on 04/04/2011 3:08:29 PM PDT by DeFault User
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To: Army Air Corps; Normandy; FreedomPoster; Para-Ord.45; Entrepreneur; tubebender; mmanager; ...
Thanx for the ping AAC !

 


Beam me to Planet Gore !

9 posted on 04/04/2011 3:09:08 PM PDT by steelyourfaith ("Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." -- Wendell Phillips)
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To: NormsRevenge

I suppose that the proponents of the electric roller skates “feel” that the electricity that will charge the not-quite-so “eco-friendly” batteries will be delivered by the “Electric Bunny” (or Electric Fairy), right? No “carbon footprint” there if I’m not mistaken.

Idiots!


10 posted on 04/04/2011 3:12:37 PM PDT by Howie66 (I can see November (2012) from my house.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Not burning gasoline here just means someone in China gets to burn it. These guys never do real world economics.


11 posted on 04/04/2011 3:15:33 PM PDT by DaxtonBrown (HARRY: Money Mob & Influence (See my Expose on Reid on amazon.com written by me!))
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To: NormsRevenge

Since AGW is a fraud, the carbon footprint argument is meaningless. Considering cradle to grave environmental impact, the electrics may have more impact due to the creation and ultimate disposal of batteries. Then of course most will be powered by coal anyway so we are back to the drawing board.


12 posted on 04/04/2011 3:16:25 PM PDT by HerrBlucher ("It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged." G.K. Chesterton)
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To: NormsRevenge
Tom Cahill

"Kind of" an intersting name. Tom McCahill used to be an automotive writer back in the Goodle Days.

How far we have fallen! I miss those days!

13 posted on 04/04/2011 3:17:15 PM PDT by prisoner6 (Right Wing Nuts bolt The Constitution together as the loose screws of the Left fall out!)
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To: NormsRevenge
I don't think so. You have to plug it into an electrical socket and that power comes from either nuke, coal, or fossil fuel.

Photobucket

14 posted on 04/04/2011 3:19:00 PM PDT by SkyDancer ("If You Don't Read The News You're Uninformed, If You Do Read The News You're Misinformed")
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To: NormsRevenge

“...even when emissions from generating the electricity are taken into account, electric vehicles have a much smaller carbon footprint than gas-powered vehicles because they are much more efficient.”

Carbon dioxide emissions (not that they really matter) and energy efficiency are two different (if related) things.

Internal combustion engines are (if I remember correctly) about 30% efficient, maybe a bit better if running close to their thermodynamic ideal. Using electric energy to power a drive train is, in fact, a lot more efficient, in terms of the fraction of the total energy that ends up moving the vehicle (somewhere in the neighborhood of 80%, if I remember correctly).

BUT the energy in the battery doesn’t magically appear there - it has to be generated somewhere. If it comes from a coal-fired plant (our most common generation source), you’re talking somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 to 70% energy wasted in generation losses and transmission losses, which wipes out the benefits described above.

Now if you’re getting your electrons from nukes, it’s a different story - no greenhouse gases, little generation loss, mostly just transmission losses.

But I don’t think people pushing electric cars are going to lobby for a whole bunch of new nuclear plants.


15 posted on 04/04/2011 3:19:51 PM PDT by Stosh
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To: NormsRevenge

It’s going to be terrible for the environment, think of all those Energizer Bunnies it will take to run them all!


16 posted on 04/04/2011 3:21:58 PM PDT by bigbob (u)
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To: NormsRevenge

Take your “Carbon Footprint” and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.


17 posted on 04/04/2011 3:25:41 PM PDT by anoldafvet (656 days until we're rid of "The Boy Blunder".)
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To: NormsRevenge

I like electric cars, they let you know who’s not right without having to talk to them. (paraphrase of an old Hank Hill saying regarding piercings.)


18 posted on 04/04/2011 3:46:34 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: Army Air Corps
CO2 isn't the only pollutant in exhaust. One component of LA air is, for example, products of incomplete combustion. If these are taken into a "cleaner" system, then it could be true that the local effect is to "clean" the air.
19 posted on 04/04/2011 3:50:07 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Stosh

I use recycled electrons, regardless.


20 posted on 04/04/2011 3:51:24 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Chevy Volt burn only small amounts of gasoline,
...........................................................
I guess this guy hasn’t been keeping up.

Andrew Farah, said in a briefing yesterday that not only was the 2011 Volt achieving its target of 40 miles of electric range, but it was also meeting the goal of 50 miles per gallon in so-called range-extending mode.

I can get that on a Prius without having to plug it in, and at half the cost to me and no cost of $7500 dollars to the Government.

Of course that is better than the 35 I get on my Camry, but I lose room and when I have to buy a battery it doesn’t cost $4,000 dollars.


21 posted on 04/04/2011 3:56:12 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: Gondring
CO2 isn't the only pollutant in exhaust. One component of LA air is, for example, products of incomplete combustion.

I will argue that CO2 isn't a pollutant, no matter what the Supremes rule.

The major pollutant in auto exhausts is (or are) NOx, Nitrogen Oxides.

22 posted on 04/04/2011 4:00:37 PM PDT by Ole Okie
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To: Gondring

Me too

I am using them now. We have them delived directly to the house. Very convenient!.

Don’t blow a fuse, but here in NY we pay seperate companies for the supply and delivery (transmission) of the recycled electrons, however. Somebody’s brother in law made a fortune on that one. I find it shocking!


23 posted on 04/04/2011 4:09:18 PM PDT by John Galt's cousin (Principled Conservatism NOW! * * * * * * * * * * Repeal the 17th Amendment!)
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To: NormsRevenge
sure... if it can run on static electricity it pulls out of the air
24 posted on 04/04/2011 4:27:19 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: NormsRevenge

Alot of the people who push for electric vehicles don’t understand where or how electricity is generated.


25 posted on 04/04/2011 4:50:27 PM PDT by Darksheare (You will never defeat Bok Choy!)
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To: Darksheare

it comes from the same place all that obama-money comes from...right?


26 posted on 04/04/2011 4:55:37 PM PDT by Magnum44 (Terrorism is a disease, precise application of superior firepower is the cure)
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To: Magnum44

It must, considering how mindlessly it is proposed.


27 posted on 04/04/2011 5:24:45 PM PDT by Darksheare (You will never defeat Bok Choy!)
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To: NormsRevenge

>> “Will buying an electric car make an environmental difference?” <<

.
No.

(until the batteries have to be disposed of)


28 posted on 04/04/2011 5:30:02 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Going 'EGYPT' - 2012!)
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To: Gondring

>> “I use recycled electrons, regardless.” <<

.
But where do you dispose of them when they wear out?


29 posted on 04/04/2011 5:35:07 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Going 'EGYPT' - 2012!)
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To: NormsRevenge
you might get a carpool sticker and a tax break

Up here in the People’s Republic of Oregon, there is a proposal in the legislature to impose a mileage tax on electric vehicles. The intent is to offset the revenue lost from gas taxes!

30 posted on 04/04/2011 5:46:44 PM PDT by Inspectorette
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To: NormsRevenge
you might get a carpool sticker and a tax break

Up here in the People’s Republic of Oregon, there is a proposal in the legislature to impose a mileage tax on electric vehicles. The intent is to offset the revenue lost from gas taxes!

31 posted on 04/04/2011 5:46:44 PM PDT by Inspectorette
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To: editor-surveyor
But where do you dispose of them when they wear out?

Haven't had that problem--currently, I alternate them. ;-)

32 posted on 04/04/2011 6:42:11 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: John Galt's cousin

NY ain’t the only place like that. In fact, delivery is often separate from transmission.


33 posted on 04/04/2011 6:43:39 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: NormsRevenge
"But there could be a whole lot of gain in climate change."

Meaningless sentence of the day award.

34 posted on 04/04/2011 6:47:32 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Gondring
CO2 isn't the only pollutant in exhaust.

Since when is CO2 a pollutant?

Look up "photosynthesis."

35 posted on 04/04/2011 7:46:29 PM PDT by Cobra64 (Common sense isn't common anymore.)
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To: Cobra64
Since when is CO2 a pollutant?

The EPA doesn't say it's necessarily a pollutant. It's the atmospheric concentrations increasing because of human activity.

IANAL, but I believe that legally, it was George H.W. Bush's Clean Air Act that set up the regulation of the six gases, including carbon dioxide.
Scientifically, one might consider it a pollutant if it's added to the system faster than the system can react in quasiequilibrium (or homeostasis).

Look up "photosynthesis."

Okay, I see that in the presence of arsenite, adding carbon dioxide and photons from the sun yields arsenate through photosynthesis. Arsenate can interrupt glycolysis, making 1-arseno-3-phosphoglycerate instead of 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate, losing the energy-carrying adenosine-5'-triphosphate molecule that would have been produced.

Okay, so I guess since that's a natural photosynthetic pathway, arsenic can't be a pollutant even though it is toxic.

And since we're all carbon-based life forms, you wouldn't mind if I dumped soot all over everything. It's natural, after all. Or if I released phosphates and nitrates into the lakes and streams, turning them into stinking messes. Since they're natural and they help the algae grow, they must not be pollutants, right?

And heck, those could come in manure form. It helps plants grow...you wouldn't mind if I spewed it all over everywhere, would you?--it can't be a pollutant, after all.
My, oh, my...what a world that would be.

36 posted on 04/04/2011 9:21:13 PM PDT by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: NormsRevenge

Gee, why don’t you ever see the question of all that mercury held in the spent batteries in these electric cars and hybrids? I guess that mercury is environmentally ok, just like mercuryt in the new light bulbs < /S>.

Isn’t it wonderful that liberals are so smart, especially those in the EPA and in Congress?


37 posted on 04/05/2011 6:51:47 AM PDT by Darnright (There can never be a complete confidence in a power which is excessive. - Tacitus)
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