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      12-19-2014, 12:43 PM   #1
glennQNYC
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Lightbulb Study: Your All-Electric Car May Not Be So Green

Study: Your All-Electric Car May Not Be So Green

People who own all-electric cars where coal generates the power may think they are helping the environment. But a new study finds their vehicles actually make the air dirtier...

"It's kind of hard to beat gasoline" for public and environmental health, said study co-author Julian Marshall, an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota. "A lot of the technologies that we think of as being clean ... are not better than gasoline."

The study examines environmental costs for cars' entire life cycle, including where power comes from and the environmental effects of building batteries.

The study finds all-electric vehicles cause 86 percent more deaths from air pollution than do cars powered by regular gasoline.
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      12-19-2014, 02:38 PM   #2
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Not surprised! At that just about air pollution. If you add water and soil pollution (lithium mining, making into foam etc.) they are really bad. That may change with super capacitors (hopefully).
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      12-20-2014, 12:42 AM   #3
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Completely depends on the type of power generation used to fuel the car. If you are in a country that mostly use nuclear power, the improvements is tremendous. If running an electric car means churning a coal power plant at higher rates, obviously, there's not much to gain there.
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      12-20-2014, 02:26 PM   #4
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Been saying this for awhile, and not to mention the amount of pollution generated by the cars' entire manufacturing process (making the battery, import/export, etc). A lot of people don't think about that. They just look at the benefits from when the car is in the showroom on.

I'll stick with the "old fashioned" gasoline and internal combustion for awhile. Apparently, I'm saving the environment with my 3.0L Turbo I6, even more so as I live in one of those mentioned coal-burning states.
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      12-20-2014, 05:25 PM   #5
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Though I don't care about this since in my lifetime I won't see much. What about the process that it takes to make gasoline/diesel? Does it not take the same amount of energy and pollution to make it? Plus ALL the components in a vehicles fuel system AND the places where you get fuel AND the distributors to get the fuel to those facilities?

I don't see that mentioned in the article, I guess they left that out for a reason. But there is never nothing 100% "green" because it will always take some type of energy to produce materials. Unless we have solar powered plants, solar powered vehicles....then years down the road, they'll be close to that 100% "green" status.
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      12-20-2014, 06:03 PM   #6
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I think its a fallacy really that electric cars are "better" for the environment. It's somehow overlooked that electricity comes from fossil fuel burning power plants and nuclear. But nuclear aside when you plug in that hybrid vehicle the power is coming from a gas turbine or coal plant that is burning gas and or liquid fuel. They themselves have exhaust stacks and will consume thousands of gallons/min of fuel. Just my honest opinion.
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      12-20-2014, 06:26 PM   #7
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By the way, why do "alternative" fuel vehicles get to have their own parking spot towards the front of the row? Doesn't matter really since I park there anyways. I should start driving a big diesel truck then let some yahoo say "Thats not an electric/hybrid car!". Oh well the sign says "alternative", well diesel is an alternative fuel from gasoline right? Low joes.......don't even get me started about hybrids and all those activists.
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      12-20-2014, 08:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hierlevelz View Post
But nuclear aside when you plug in that hybrid vehicle the power is coming from a gas turbine or coal plant that is burning gas and or liquid fuel.
Just a side note, hybrid cars (not electric plugin car) do not have the problem illustrated by the article. They do consume a whole lot less gas (overall, from factory to graveyard), and they also generate a lot less harmful particles and chemicals when used in city environment, where it matters most.
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      12-21-2014, 09:00 AM   #9
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So taking advantage of electricity that's already there is somehow worse than using gas? I mean your house is already powered and it does not take that much extra for you to charge a car... You guys make it sound as if they have to go throw more coal on the fire because somebody plugged a car in the socket lol
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      12-21-2014, 09:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slops View Post
So taking advantage of electricity that's already there is somehow worse than using gas? I mean your house is already powered and it does not take that much extra for you to charge a car... You guys make it sound as if they have to go throw more coal on the fire because somebody plugged a car in the socket lol
How is the electricity at your "powered" house "already there?"

You plug in a toaster, your usage goes up. You plug in a car, it will go up more. More usage = more production.

Do you think it's magic?
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      12-21-2014, 10:06 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShocknAwe
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slops View Post
So taking advantage of electricity that's already there is somehow worse than using gas? I mean your house is already powered and it does not take that much extra for you to charge a car... You guys make it sound as if they have to go throw more coal on the fire because somebody plugged a car in the socket lol
How is the electricity at your "powered" house "already there?"

You plug in a toaster, your usage goes up. You plug in a car, it will go up more. More usage = more production.

Do you think it's magic?
I'm not an idiot, you guys are complaining about $50 extra a month in electric costs? Really???
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      12-21-2014, 10:33 AM   #12
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The environmental effect of making the batteries is probably where things go awry. Somehow people seem to forget all about that mess.
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      12-21-2014, 10:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennQNYC
The environmental effect of making the batteries is probably where things go awry. Somehow people seem to forget all about that mess.
That would be a better argument, but then again is it worse than oil spills in the gulf etc?
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      12-21-2014, 11:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slops
Quote:
Originally Posted by glennQNYC
The environmental effect of making the batteries is probably where things go awry. Somehow people seem to forget all about that mess.
That would be a better argument, but then again is it worse than oil spills in the gulf etc?
That *is* the argument. Note that the study that inspired this thread accounted for the manufacturing of the batteries.
Equating an accident like an oil spill with the normal production of batteries is ridiculous.
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      12-21-2014, 12:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slops View Post
I'm not an idiot, you guys are complaining about $50 extra a month in electric costs? Really???
Who was referencing cost of electricity? Where do you think electricity comes from? The electric co-op doesn't just wave a magic wand.
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      12-21-2014, 02:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meeni View Post
Just a side note, hybrid cars (not electric plugin car) do not have the problem illustrated by the article. They do consume a whole lot less gas (overall, from factory to graveyard), and they also generate a lot less harmful particles and chemicals when used in city environment, where it matters most.
I used the term hybrid loosely. I meant any of those cars requiring plug in charges.
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      12-21-2014, 02:12 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slops View Post
So taking advantage of electricity that's already there is somehow worse than using gas? I mean your house is already powered and it does not take that much extra for you to charge a car... You guys make it sound as if they have to go throw more coal on the fire because somebody plugged a car in the socket lol
Lol electricity that is always there. Go turn on every appliance in your house and every light and go watch the meter spin out of control as you use up those kilowatts that are "already" there. Do it for a month and let me know how much that free energy cost.

What you're not aware of is how inefficiently that electricity is produced. There hasn't been any nuclear facility installs for quite some time and many a coal plant here in the NE in particular have been decommissioned or used sparingly because of the price of gas. So that leaves gas turbines which are very inefficient even in a combined cycle configuration; relatively speaking. So when more of us jump to electric cars and demand goes up they will have to install more of these turbines. Which produce far more particulates than a single vehicle. And they run 24 hours a day 7 days a week in some instances depending on the market.


And batteries...well don't they have a 10year life span? Where are we going to bury those?

Last edited by Hierlevelz; 12-21-2014 at 02:21 PM.
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      12-21-2014, 02:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShocknAwe View Post
How is the electricity at your "powered" house "already there?"

You plug in a toaster, your usage goes up. You plug in a car, it will go up more. More usage = more production.

Do you think it's magic?
What he is saying, there is little "extra" electricity being diverted to your house since you want to charge your car. And I'm sure that extra bit power being made isn't a dramatic change in the exhaust from the plant to make THAT much of a difference.

Honestly, coal power plants in America are dropping in numbers. Want to know who uses coal the most? China. We might be #2 but they are the primary one uses coal and double our usage.
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      12-21-2014, 05:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vigilante375 View Post
What he is saying, there is little "extra" electricity being diverted to your house since you want to charge your car. And I'm sure that extra bit power being made isn't a dramatic change in the exhaust from the plant to make THAT much of a difference.

Honestly, coal power plants in America are dropping in numbers. Want to know who uses coal the most? China. We might be #2 but they are the primary one uses coal and double our usage.
Fair! China is making a big push on EVs though. Fun thing to think about considering your last point.
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      12-21-2014, 08:42 PM   #20
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And China DGAF about the environment either.
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      12-21-2014, 09:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vigilante375 View Post
By the way, why do "alternative" fuel vehicles get to have their own parking spot towards the front of the row? Doesn't matter really since I park there anyways. I should start driving a big diesel truck then let some yahoo say "Thats not an electric/hybrid car!". Oh well the sign says "alternative", well diesel is an alternative fuel from gasoline right? Low joes.......don't even get me started about hybrids and all those activists.
I actually do park in those parking spots because of the efficiency of the 335d, lol.
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      12-22-2014, 02:27 PM   #22
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I already thought something about these hybrid cars was off overall. It concerns me more with more and more electronics cars have also that come time to scrap them, I hope its done properly (remove battery, other components).
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