Tag: Electric Cars

Electric Cars, Nuclear Power, and Being Green

 

A bill to extend tax credits for the purchase of electric cars is before the Congress. It has bipartisan support, and supporters specifically cite the threat of global warming as a reason for this measure. It is estimated that this extension will cost $16 billion in lost revenues.

The idea that electric cars are so “green” that tax credits to encourage their sales are warranted lacks foundation. Although they are frequently termed “zero emission”, electric cars are not emissions-free. It’s just that the electric power plants do their emitting for them. Given that the National Energy Institute says that on average 0.95 kg of carbon dioxide is emitted to produce one kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electrical energy, of which the Tesla needs 75 kWh to go about 210 miles (real world estimate), as much carbon dioxide is emitted to power a Tesla Model S as is emitted by a similar sized conventional car given recent improvements in gas mileage.

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The Tragic Downside of Electric Cars: Child Labor

 

Electric vehicles are the wave of the future, according to environmentalists, with individual citizens and governments investing millions of dollars into the concept. Los Angeles Mayor (and presidential hopeful) Eric Garcetti has spent over $330 million to bring electric buses to city streets, despite the fact that the electric buses are plagued with breakdowns and poor performance. In May, the Los Angeles Times reported:

A federal testing center and transit agencies across the country logged driving ranges that were dozens of miles short of company claims, limiting the routes they can handle and requiring passengers to shuffle onto replacement buses when the batteries go low. The first five buses BYD sent to Los Angeles Metro were pulled off the road after less than five months of service. Internal emails and other agency records show that agency staff called them “unsuitable,” poorly made and unreliable for more than 100 miles. Despite strong concerns from its own staff about the quality and reliability of the company’s vehicles, the transit agency awarded [bus manufacturer] BYD tens of millions of dollars more in public contracts.

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Member Post

 

This is fun to read: All fossil-fuel vehicles will vanish in 8 years in twin ‘death spiral’ for big oil and big autos, says study that’s shocking the industries. More

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Member Post

 

Some years ago, I posted here about The End of the Electric Car. February 2012, actually. So I might have jumped the gun a bit, but the fundamentals remain. I wrote: A123 is toast. Fisker is toast. Tesla is done for. All these hyped battery and superduperhypercapacitor companies are running aground, on the hard ground of […]

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Member Post

 

Please take a look at my first post on this last November 13th. More

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Want to Drive an Electric Car? Move to France.

 

Though I gather some of the statistics it cites are disputed, Bjørn Lomborg’s new Prager U video on electric cars is an excellent example of how to think through an issue. In short, don’t be so enamored of first-order benefits that you ignore the second-order costs, and don’t forget to consider whether there might be better uses of one’s resources, even if the net benefits are positive.

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Member Post

 

Well, I couldn’t afford to stay home – it was too expensive to do so. So, I went out and bought a new 2015 Nissan Leaf: Here’s the deal: More

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Member Post

 

Inspired by Brian Watt’s ode to the beauty of the Ford Fusion Hybrid, I offer why my decision to drive an electric car has nothing to do with saving the polar bears, preventing the melting of the ice caps, or ensuring that winters in western New York remain cold and snowy. More

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