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Old 11-20-2010, 01:14 PM   #1
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Question Are electric cars a scam(or sham)?

I wonder if anyone has ever seen a study comparing the pollution that is avoided by driving an electric car to the pollution that is created in the process of generating the electricity used to charge the cars batteries. Granted, it is great for where the car is being driven, but somewhere else pollution is probably being generated to produce that electricity.

The other thing I find interesting is that electric car drivers that I have run across seem to suffer no guilt from stealing the electricity from any available source. A few days ago, I observed a electric car driver pull up to a federally owned building and promptly plug his car into a outdoor outlet. He was not a government employee nor was it a government vehicle. I must assume that he feels that our taxes should fuel his car. This is just one example. I have seen similar energy theft in action before.

None of this rant is aimed at hybrids, they essentially generate their own electricity.

any other opinions?

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Old 11-20-2010, 01:21 PM   #2
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Old 11-20-2010, 01:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
I wonder if anyone has ever seen a study comparing the pollution that is avoided by driving an electric car to the pollution that is created in the process of generating the electricity used to charge the cars batteries. Granted, it is great for where the car is being driven, but somewhere else pollution is probably being generated to produce that electricity.
Depends entirely on where (and when) it's charged. Hydroelectric, nuclear, and wind power produce no pollution in generating the electricity.

This should not be taken as an endorsement of either electric or hybrid cars; I don't think they make sense for most people.
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Old 11-20-2010, 01:52 PM   #4
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There is a lot of money going into wind and solar power. Some of us Airstreamers have used one or both of these to charge the batteries in our trailers. We have, however, found that the wind and the sun usually go down about the same time.

I contacted "Flex Your Power", an organization in the Bay Area, and asked them the best time to plug in an electric car. They told me that, just like major appliances, the best time is after 7 in the evening.

According to AAA, here in California there are over 30 million autos registered. Let's say 10%, or about 3 million of those are changed for pure electric cars. It would seem to me that the most likely to change would be cars used to commute to work and home. The average commute is about 40 miles. The new pure electrics seem to have a range of just about that distance before recharge.

What do you think will happen to the electric grid if, just as the lights are coming on in the cities and towns in California, 3 million electric cars are plugged in for their nightly charge?

As far as folks steeling electricity, I think there will be a stop put to it as soon as those paying the bill see their meter spin.

Tax payer funded tax credits and rebates for buyers of electric cars is another issue that is starting to show it's ugly face.

The whole thing seems a little half-baked.
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Old 11-20-2010, 02:05 PM   #5
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For us (70-year-olds) it is a bit of a problem for the immediate future. We just purchased a new Escape......no great savings in gas mileage, but it is "flex fuel"...wow.....I just don't wish to be without some HP to get outa the way.

What we have left here....10 years at the most 20 and what do we save? Especially after the modifications to our home 220 service for a plug in here.?

I think that the ideas are good and maybe for the future. I/we are transitioning now.....

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Old 11-20-2010, 03:11 PM   #6
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I consider it to be an emerging technology, there are several things that could put them over the top. One being superconductors the other slow discharge capacitors.

About the only "green" transportation out there is walking, and even then you are producing methane and carbon dioxide

As far as stealing electricity, if the buildings are smart they will start locking outside power sources, just like they do on some with water. I saw a homeless guy one night with an electric blanket plugged in at the local town hall, have to give him a thumbs up for that one.

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Old 11-20-2010, 03:36 PM   #7
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...and even though in many if not most cases, somewhere, somehow, fossil fuel emissions were created in the generation of the electricity, the electricity was created in a manner of peak efficiency...transmitted with minimal loss, and burned in the car at near 100% efficiency, which equates to somewhere in the neighborhood of 150mpg. So, yes there are still some emissions, but way less than if you did the same thing with an internal combustion engine.

may not be practical for many, just yet.

my pellet stove wouldn't be practical for many people, either, but it works in my situation, and saves me lots of $$.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
..the pollution that is avoided by driving an electric car to the pollution that is created in the process of generating the electricity used to charge the cars batteries. Granted, it is great for where the car is being driven, but somewhere else pollution is probably being generated to produce that electricity.

.... feels that our taxes should fuel his car.
Bingo Ken. The power to propel the car has to come from somewhere and it is going to pollute (hydrocarbon or nuclear waste). They are powered by all same the "nasty" stuff the people who drive them eschew (nuclear, hydro electirc dams, oil, gas and coal). But why would you want to go pouring cold water reality on this happy party?

And why shouldn't taxpayers foot the electricity bill for these pioneers of the green revolution? We are footing the purchase price, sending about $10k or so in checks to the happy owners of Volts and Leafs.

The biggest obstacle to electric cars is not technical, and is the same obstacle faced by fuel-at-hone CNG (natural gas) vehicles - FUEL TAX. The State and Fed taxmen cannot figure out how to tax the fuel if you fillup/chargeup at home. Today we pay per gallon at the pump. Until they figure this out, electric cars will continue to be a PR dog and pony show.

Have no fear though - they are working on it:
- First, notice the "cute and hip" little charging pods that GE is now advertising on TV to demonstrate their "commitment to the environment". These are a way to charge the cars but their real value is as tax collecting pods. Have little doubt GE will also get a cut of the tax revenue collected and the contracts for the infrastructure to install them. ("election$ have con$equence$" cha ching)

- Next consider "Smart Meters". Cool stuff, I am sure. Smart meters will be able to communicate (wirelessly or over the power line) with the car and one of the government mandated GE pods bolted to your garage wall, so that you get a "vehicle tax" tacked onto your power bill for the juice used to charge the car.

- Look soon for proprietary/patented power cords or connectors on electric cars legislated by the government to have coded chips that enable the GE charging pods and/or put out a wireless signal so the the smart meter knows your car is sucking power off the grid. (just in case you were thinking about bypassing the taxman and wiring it right up to the 220v yourself. )

Same fuels, same pollution, less range. Easier central government control and taxation via a handful of government regulated utility companies.

Wouldn't this make a bit more sense? 70 mpg, without a Hybrid - Technology Review
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:47 PM   #9
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We'll all pay in higher electricity costs as well as demand for electricy goes up. Try building a power plant here in Michigan. Solution? Raise prices to lower demand. In addition, Michigan has mandated, with the co-operation of the utility companies, a surcharge every month ( $3 residential and $5 businesses - so far) and forces these companies to purchase a certain amount of electricity from solar, wind, etc. Makes no sense economically. I believe in the old adage that necessity is the mother of invention. When there is something better/cheaper that what we now use, someone will develop it. Electric cars are an expensive joke in my opinion.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:51 PM   #10
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But generating electricity on the grid is far more efficient (due to scale) than generating an equal amount of power for a gas powered vehicle. I get 100% wind power through my electric company- it's an option many are offering.
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:14 PM   #11
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I get 100% wind power through my electric company- it's an option many are offering.
Where does your electric company get your electricity when the wind is not blowing?
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:14 PM   #12
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All-electric cars aren't for everyone, but it would fit the bill for us. We live in sunny Arizona with a large solar array on our south-facing roof. We get so much sun that with true net metering with monthly carryover, our array provides (or banks) most of the power we need to run our home and would also charge a car. When the array produces more than we need, the electric company uses it and banks the credit for us for later use like at night. We eventually plan to buy an all-electric car when one finally comes out to our liking and needs.

Just food for thought, a typical fossil-fueled home is far more of a polluter than the daily charging of an electric car.
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:21 PM   #13
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One thing people overlook when they bemoan the surely-impending electric grid apocalypse from charging cars is that the peak charging time for most people's car would be off the peak of current electrical demand, which is mid-afternoon in most markets. It would actually be good for electrical producers to increase off-peak demands, because they waste a lot of potential efficiency by having to idle capacity as demand drops off.

Also, some food for thought for the people who decry the subsidies for early adopters of hybrid, EREV and all-electric cars as something that's pushing demand where the market does not... if our government cut off its direct and indirect subisidies to the oil and gas industry, the cost of gasoline would go up sharply, and more-efficient vehicles that are less dependent on gasoline would make much more economic sense. Be careful what you wish for.
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:28 PM   #14
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I’d rather have my energy produced locally by hydro, nuclear, coal, solar or gerbil than to have it out-sourced. There are tighter controls on stack emissions and waste disposal at any energy generation station here in the USA then there are on the tailpipe of my 1993 Explorer.

As far as energy theft goes, if the recipient of my tax dollars were so inept as to leave gas pumps unlocked in a parking lot, I too, would be tempted to fill up. I think that the main obstacle to electric vehicles is the ability of Uncle S(c)am to collect road use taxes. Once they figure that out, EV prices will come down and incentives will go up.



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