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  #1  
Old 10-08-2012, 12:25 PM
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New study shows Electric Cars counter productive to environment

New study shows Electric Cars counter productive to environment

In a blow to electric vehicles (EVs) being the solution to global warming a new study shows that EVs might pollute more. The study, by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that green house gases were increased if an EV is charged from electricity produced by burning coal. The study also went on to look at the entire life cycle impact of an electric vehicle. The production of an EV has significantly larger environmental footprint then a conventional vehicle.

"The production phase of electric vehicles proved substantially more environmentally intensive," the report said, comparing it to how petrol and diesel cars are made.

"The global warming potential from electric vehicle production is about twice that of conventional vehicles."

"It is counterproductive to promote electric vehicles in regions where electricity is primarily produced from lignite, coal or even heavy oil combustion."

"A more significant reduction in global warming could potentially be achieved by increasing fuel efficiency or shifting from petrol to diesel," the report said.

Read the complete article at BBC.co.uk

With 44% of the US electricity coming from petroleum or coal does an EV in the US make sense if the goal is a reduction of green house gases?
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2012, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
"It is counterproductive to promote electric vehicles in regions where electricity is primarily produced from lignite, coal or even heavy oil combustion."

With 44% of the US electricity coming from petroleum or coal does an EV in the US make sense if the goal is a reduction of green house gases?
Yes, as long as electricity generation is also switched to non-CO2-producing methods, be it solar, nuclear, wind, whatever. The growth in wind farms is fantastic in the midwest, and battery charging could be set to occur mostly at low use times.

The EV market is still in its infancy, so give it time. Internal combustion has been refined for over 100 years. The simple answer is there is no one right answer. Its like gasoline vs diesel - there was room for both, only now we've also got electric, hydrogen, CNG, LNG and LPG.
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2012, 09:16 AM
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We had studies coming to the same conclusion a long time ago, that using electricity generated from coal instead of using gasoline actually pollute the environment more. The political selling point was that electric cars would pollute (smog) the city environment less than gasoline cars.
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2012, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
In a blow to electric vehicles (EVs) being the solution to global warming a new study shows that EVs might pollute more. The study, by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that green house gases were increased if an EV is charged from electricity produced by burning coal.

...

With 44% of the US electricity coming from petroleum or coal does an EV in the US make sense if the goal is a reduction of green house gases?
This sounds like fairly typical recurring FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) that is dredged up about EVs every 6 months or so.

*Of course* IF you compare the latest and lowest emission gas engine to one of the oldest coal plants in Tennessee (or some-such) many environmental factors are a draw, and some go one way or the other. Especially if you hand pick an electric vehicle and use it as counter to it's design as possible, all highway miles, for example, to use the most electricity as inefficiently as possible.

*Of course* this is leaving out that people aren't buying EVs to drive 100 highway miles each way in Tennessee.

They are using them *in cities*, where the regen greatly heightens mileage, and that is mostly *in states* which due to population density and pollution concerns have long been very tough on electric generation emissions, such as California. And this will improve even more over time as old plants are retired and replaced with new highly efficient Natural Gas based plants or even greener alternatives.

Under those much more reasonable circumstances EVs can look very good. Though I do still have concerns about the battery and electric motor materials, where they have to come from, the damage done by their extraction and use... (then again, the alternative is the middle-east...)

But I don't need some probably petro-chemical funded "study" from some *Norwegian* university to tell me this!

Next can we have a petro-chemical funded red-herring article about how electric is a dead end, that Hydrogen is the magic beans and is just 5-10 years away (same as the last 20-30 years...)? Make sure it mentions that Hydrogen *can* be broken out of water but entirely skips over the fact that the only economical way to make it... is to break it out of petro-chemicals!


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  #5  
Old 10-11-2012, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCritic View Post
This sounds like fairly typical recurring FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) that is dredged up about EVs every 6 months or so.

*Of course* IF you compare the latest and lowest emission gas engine to one of the oldest coal plants in Tennessee (or some-such) many environmental factors are a draw, and some go one way or the other. Especially if you hand pick an electric vehicle and use it as counter to it's design as possible, all highway miles, for example, to use the most electricity as inefficiently as possible.

*Of course* this is leaving out that people aren't buying EVs to drive 100 highway miles each way in Tennessee.

They are using them *in cities*, where the regen greatly heightens mileage, and that is mostly *in states* which due to population density and pollution concerns have long been very tough on electric generation emissions, such as California. And this will improve even more over time as old plants are retired and replaced with new highly efficient Natural Gas based plants or even greener alternatives.

Under those much more reasonable circumstances EVs can look very good. Though I do still have concerns about the battery and electric motor materials, where they have to come from, the damage done by their extraction and use... (then again, the alternative is the middle-east...)

But I don't need some probably petro-chemical funded "study" from some *Norwegian* university to tell me this!

Next can we have a petro-chemical funded red-herring article about how electric is a dead end, that Hydrogen is the magic beans and is just 5-10 years away (same as the last 20-30 years...)? Make sure it mentions that Hydrogen *can* be broken out of water but entirely skips over the fact that the only economical way to make it... is to break it out of petro-chemicals!


-
No one is claiming H2 is the salvation here, so leave it out. Thank you. If you want to drive a golf cart to work and on your next vacation, go ahead. What a great country. We still have choices. I gave my daughter a Razor 300E, a motor scooter to help promote electric vehicle. I also have a 14" electric chain saw (I'm getting too lazy to adjust those 2 cycle engines now). So, I'm doing my share.
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Last edited by Dave 330i; 10-11-2012 at 06:39 AM.
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2012, 05:10 AM
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If we buy an electric car, I'm not the least bit concerned about CO2 output from charging.


Our local power production is Nuclear and Wind with a little hydro electric. North Wales is an exporter of electric power. No coal for us.

We've got 25MW on the island and 150MW of off-shore wind on-line. There is a a huge 576MW off shore wind farm under construction. Several larger wind projects, including an 2.2GW array in the Irish sea are going through planning stages. A few days ago we got an information package in the mail about new transmissions lines. The power from the Celtic Array will come ashore on Anglesey.




http://www.rwe.com/web/cms/en/120290...ynt-y-mr-home/


http://www.centrica.com/index.asp?pa...84#ourProjects
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2012, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave 330i View Post
I also have a 14" electric chain saw (I'm getting too lazy to adjust those 2 cycle engines now).

I hate 2 stoke engines. They are noisy and dirty. The ones in consumer grade outdoor tools are nasty, smokey unreliable things.


For most homeowners, plug-in or battery power is a better option. When batteries or plug ins don't work there are often 4-stroke alternatives. For example, Honda makes a line of 25cc and 35cc 4-stroke engines for string trimmers and leaf blowers.
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  #8  
Old 10-15-2012, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew*Debbie View Post
I hate 2 stoke engines. They are noisy and dirty. The ones in consumer grade outdoor tools are nasty, smokey unreliable things.


For most homeowners, plug-in or battery power is a better option. When batteries or plug ins don't work there are often 4-stroke alternatives. For example, Honda makes a line of 25cc and 35cc 4-stroke engines for string trimmers and leaf blowers.

Yes, we have options in home equipment, but money talks. Typically we do not have both types of power, gas or electric of the same tool/equipment at home. We buy what is available. Screw the world. I won't be around when human kill themselves. And, as far as saving the world, I think it means saving human. The earth will recover when we are gone.
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  #9  
Old 10-15-2012, 07:11 AM
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Edit: Never mind. Too far off topic.
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  #10  
Old 10-15-2012, 07:29 AM
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The Tesla roadster is no longer in production but I can still grab a model S, Nissan Leaf or a Volt.
With political debates in the air, the discussion or spin factor away from or toward electric reminds me of US politics. More theory than plans.

I have a diesel SUV with amazing oil burning mileage.
Choice
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  #11  
Old 10-17-2012, 07:31 AM
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Study flawed

The study, by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, is flawed.


They used a stationary industrial electric motor and associated components for their calculations instead of the motor from a typical modern EV.

They greatly overestimated the extra amount of copper used by an EV.

They analysed a battery chemistry not used by any production EV or plug-in Hybrid.



These errors mean the result is wrong.



source:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RobertL...ts/QcZd7My7tYF


And the original paper:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...2.00532.x/full
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  #12  
Old 10-17-2012, 07:46 AM
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http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...2.00532.x/full

I decided to go check for myself.


The Leaf uses LiMnO2,

Quote:
In the case of the EV, two battery types were investigated (i.e., LiFePO4 and LiNCM)
To be fair, Nissan has said they may use LiNCM in a future battery pack. .




There is a spread sheet attached to the end of the paper and the motor errors are there.


While they didn't put in 1000kg motor mass, they did put in too much copper. For example the authors model the inverter as containing 35.5Kg of copper, when in fact the entire part weighs 5kg.

I suppose the next step would be to rerun the model with updated numbers. -- Anyone want to give it a try?

The paper shouldn't have made it past peer review, but it does happen.
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Old 10-17-2012, 08:16 AM
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I also think the authors overestimated the battery pack life. They used the life of the car, but I doubt the current technology will last that long. From the early reports, I expect the pack in a Leaf to last 5 to 8 years. Oddly Nissan did not design the Leaf with a thought towards replacing the entire pack. Unless Nissan come up with a retrofit, the car's useful life span is greatly shortened. Could be that the cost of a pack is so high that no one will replace them.

Renault has gone a different route with packs that are easily swapped out. Customers lease the battery with Renault swapping the battery back if needed.
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  #14  
Old 10-31-2012, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
New study shows Electric Cars counter productive to environment

In a blow to electric vehicles (EVs) being the solution to global warming a new study shows that EVs might pollute more. The study, by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that green house gases were increased if an EV is charged from electricity produced by burning coal. The study also went on to look at the entire life cycle impact of an electric vehicle. The production of an EV has significantly larger environmental footprint then a conventional vehicle.

"The production phase of electric vehicles proved substantially more environmentally intensive," the report said, comparing it to how petrol and diesel cars are made.

"The global warming potential from electric vehicle production is about twice that of conventional vehicles."

"It is counterproductive to promote electric vehicles in regions where electricity is primarily produced from lignite, coal or even heavy oil combustion."

"A more significant reduction in global warming could potentially be achieved by increasing fuel efficiency or shifting from petrol to diesel," the report said.

Read the complete article at BBC.co.uk

With 44% of the US electricity coming from petroleum or coal does an EV in the US make sense if the goal is a reduction of green house gases?
Due to the reduction in cost of natural gas, more and more U.S. utilities are converting to natural gas for electricity production. Additionally, CA is moving increasing levels of its electricity purchase (internal to CA plus external to CA) to renewable sourcing.

CA is a natural place for EVs.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:51 AM
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To me it's not about the environment. It's about less dependency on oil.

Good to have alternate technologies. Also, like any emerging technology, you can't use current models and infrastructure to fairly compare. The whole thing will quickly develop and improve to address environmental concerns, be it cleaner electric generation, or more enviro-friendly battery technology etc. It's a step in the right direction.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:50 PM
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Wow a floored University paper!! How did that happen?
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
New study shows Electric Cars counter productive to environment

In a blow to electric vehicles (EVs) being the solution to global warming a new study shows that EVs might pollute more. The study, by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that green house gases were increased if an EV is charged from electricity produced by burning coal. The study also went on to look at the entire life cycle impact of an electric vehicle. The production of an EV has significantly larger environmental footprint then a conventional vehicle.

"The production phase of electric vehicles proved substantially more environmentally intensive," the report said, comparing it to how petrol and diesel cars are made.

"The global warming potential from electric vehicle production is about twice that of conventional vehicles."

"It is counterproductive to promote electric vehicles in regions where electricity is primarily produced from lignite, coal or even heavy oil combustion."

"A more significant reduction in global warming could potentially be achieved by increasing fuel efficiency or shifting from petrol to diesel," the report said.

Read the complete article at BBC.co.uk

With 44% of the US electricity coming from petroleum or coal does an EV in the US make sense if the goal is a reduction of green house gases?
Typical "tim" sensational piece. Why is this guy repeatedly given premium space on this forum? It's embarrassing.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:29 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Typical "tim" sensational piece. Why is this guy repeatedly given premium space on this forum? It's embarrassing.
Meh. There are valid points in the article. If your electricity is sourced in coal, then increasing the electricity production is going to result in a higher CO2 burden than if natural gas, nuclear or wind/solar was the source of the electricity. At this point, there is no single answer to the question of what is better - EV or Hybrid.
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Old 01-16-2013, 03:40 PM
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... At this point, there is no single answer to the question of what is better - EV or Hybrid.
It isn't a question of EV or Hybrid. EVs are restrictive and good only in large urban areas that have the recharge infrastructure. Hybrids are good for everyone and everyplace else. If you don't get an EV, you should get a Hybrid.

"Clean Diesels" are a marketing ploy. They still emit particulates that gas engines don't. In fact they are smaller particulates than the old diesels and are more harmful to human lungs. And it doesn't matter how high their MPG. Every gallon of diesel burned is a gallon's worth of particulates that won't be spewed by the slightly more petrol it takes to go the same distance.

The question is EV's and Hybrids or Diesels. Choosing diesel because of a slight MPG rating is a choice that benefits you, not the environment and population. If we moved to a culture of all EVs and Hybrids, everyone and every thing benefits.
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
New study shows Electric Cars counter productive to environment

In a blow to electric vehicles (EVs) being the solution to global warming a new study shows that EVs might pollute more. The study, by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology found that green house gases were increased if an EV is charged from electricity produced by burning coal. The study also went on to look at the entire life cycle impact of an electric vehicle. The production of an EV has significantly larger environmental footprint then a conventional vehicle.

"The production phase of electric vehicles proved substantially more environmentally intensive," the report said, comparing it to how petrol and diesel cars are made.

"The global warming potential from electric vehicle production is about twice that of conventional vehicles."

"It is counterproductive to promote electric vehicles in regions where electricity is primarily produced from lignite, coal or even heavy oil combustion."

"A more significant reduction in global warming could potentially be achieved by increasing fuel efficiency or shifting from petrol to diesel," the report said.

Read the complete article at BBC.co.uk

With 44% of the US electricity coming from petroleum or coal does an EV in the US make sense if the goal is a reduction of green house gases?
When did "counterproductive" become two words?
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:39 PM
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When did "counterproductive" become two words?
Nobody cares.
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:16 PM
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Nobody cares.
To quote Yogi Berra: "Nobody goes here because it's always too crowded."
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Old 01-16-2013, 09:37 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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It isn't a question of EV or Hybrid. EVs are restrictive and good only in large urban areas that have the recharge infrastructure. Hybrids are good for everyone and everyplace else. If you don't get an EV, you should get a Hybrid.

"Clean Diesels" are a marketing ploy. They still emit particulates that gas engines don't. In fact they are smaller particulates than the old diesels and are more harmful to human lungs. And it doesn't matter how high their MPG. Every gallon of diesel burned is a gallon's worth of particulates that won't be spewed by the slightly more petrol it takes to go the same distance.
Ummm. Have you heard about particulate traps that are required on the new diesels (like the 335d and X-5d)?

Quote:
The question is EV's and Hybrids or Diesels. Choosing diesel because of a slight MPG rating is a choice that benefits you, not the environment and population. If we moved to a culture of all EVs and Hybrids, everyone and every thing benefits.
The topic that the OP was attempting to illustrate when they started this thread is that depending on the sourcing of the electricity to power EVs, a wholesale switch to EVs could be counter-productive (because it would increase the CO2 burden from increased generation of electricity from coal).

Things are a bit more nuanced out there in the real world.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anE934fun View Post
The topic that the OP was attempting to illustrate when they started this thread is that depending on the sourcing of the electricity to power EVs, a wholesale switch to EVs could be counter-productive (because it would increase the CO2 burden from increased generation of electricity from coal).

Things are a bit more nuanced out there in the real world.
Yeah. I've seen better papers that say just that.

If you compare the lowest C02 output diesels and the Prius to a Leaf charged from 100% coal, the internal combustion produce less C02. Many of the cars that produce the lowest amounts of C02 aren't sold in the US.


Coal mix varies by state. At the moment just over 60% of Geogia Power's electricity generation is from Coal. However they are shutting down several coal fired plants. In California about 8% of the power used is from coal plants. At 8% Coal, the EVs come out ahead.


Our local electric power is nuclear and wind with a little hydro mixed in. No coal. Currently we've got about 800MW of Nuclear and 176MW of Wind generation. A large 576MW off shore wind farm is almost completed. A huge 2.2GW wind array in the Irish Sea is going through the planning approval processes. A large (2GW?) Advanced Boil Water Reactor is on a fast track to approval. There is a small solar array that just came on-line and another small (15MW) solar park just got planning approval.




Improvements in EVs will change the balance. The 2013 Leaf should go farther per kWh. The Renault Zoe (not sold in the US) uses about 20% less electricity per mile than a 2012 Leaf.


EVs also do not have the other tail pipe emissions. EV emissions of C0, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds are all essentially zero.




Sources:


http://energyalmanac.ca.gov/electric...tem_power.html
http://www.ajc.com/news/business/geo...l-units/nQSMQ/

http://infrastructure.planningportal...rish-sea-zone/

http://www.power-eng.com/news/2013/0...ve-scheme.html
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The models and equipment (standard and optional) illustrated in this post reflect my misunderstanding of vehicles supplied by BMW AG to the German market. In other EU member states, the truthyness of my posts may vary. Please ignore this post. Subject to change.

Last edited by Andrew*Debbie; 01-17-2013 at 05:28 AM.
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  #25  
Old 01-17-2013, 04:40 AM
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ErnestHouse ErnestHouse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anE934fun View Post
Things are a bit more nuanced out there in the real world.
Yes it is nuanced and I understand the balance of environmental impact to create EV and the electric to power them. It isn't a matter of trying to argue which is best EV or Hybrid as you stated. That's a stalling tactic. EVs AND Hybrids are the answer.
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