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Author Topic: Are electric cars better for the environment? Back to Topics
yodudebc

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Vancouver

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 12:11:39 AM

What about the emissions produced when generating the electricity?
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yodudebc
Champion Author Vancouver

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Message Posted: Mar 23, 2013 11:31:33 AM

I keep wondering what will happen if everyone has an electric car and they are all plugged in at once for recharging.
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bluenvoy
Champion Author Nashville

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Message Posted: Mar 23, 2013 10:20:27 AM

No in total they are not. And not good for your wallet either.
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traffic cop
Champion Author Boston

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Message Posted: Mar 22, 2013 11:40:55 PM

The more we learn about the manufacture of these batteries, the more we realize that there's a lot of toxic waste in making them.
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contiki
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Feb 22, 2013 11:25:54 AM

Yes......I think so......
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Vin63
Champion Author San Bernardino

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Message Posted: Feb 22, 2013 11:17:55 AM

Not when you take into account the entire carbon chain.
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signaloilco
Sophomore Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Feb 20, 2013 4:09:37 PM

Alot of truth to the 'rob Peter to pay Paul analogy' as the energy has to come from somewhere - whether it be the burning of fossil fuels or production of nuclear waste, we're impacting the environment in a negative way.

That said, in the big picture of things, electric cars are better for the environment from the standpoint of efficiency - their energy source comes from a single large generator vs. thousands of smaller internal combustion engines (alot like comparing the efficiency of 1 freight train vs. 280 tractor-trailers.

Additionally, like their hybrid counterparts, electric vehicles expend little to no energy when stopped, unlike a traditional gas vehicle which idles, thus wasting energy while accomplishing no work - the cumulative effect of which is surprisingly large.

So from this stand point, YES - electric cars are better for the environment.
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14smoke
Champion Author Birmingham

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Message Posted: Feb 20, 2013 2:52:52 PM

No, you're robbing Peter to pay Paul in this case. You have to get the power from somewhere, and about half the country still gets their electricity generated from a coal plant.

Plus, the price premium for an all-electric car just isn't worth it to my wallet.
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diesel8888
Champion Author Salt Lake City

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Message Posted: Feb 20, 2013 1:05:20 PM

Not yet, but I'm sure those old batteries will hurt something....
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OceanArcher
Champion Author Mississippi

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Message Posted: Feb 20, 2013 12:21:26 PM

Just exchanging one greenhouse footprint for another ----
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Titanic1985
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Feb 20, 2013 11:11:24 AM

Good Morning yodudebc. You may remember my college thesis in 1968 was on the electric car and the negatives were the same then as they are now, cost and batteries. In electronics, there is a law written by a man called Kirchoff. It is called, appropriately so, Kirchoff's law. A law in electronics is something that is reproduceable and provides the same results. A theory, on the other hand, is not reproduceable (e.g. Einstein's Theory of Relativity E=MC2 - we cannot travel the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second to prove it). What Kichoff's law states without all the math is that you cannot produce more than what you start with. Yes, you can change what it is (e.g. fire produces heat).

In the case of electric cars, you are replacing one source of energy to another with a loss factor (now we are talking Ohm's Law). Electricity requires equipment to produce and deliver it. Its byproducts do affect the environment. All of this costs money due to technology & stringent EPA rulings.

Others have mentioned the cost and longevity of batteries. This was one of the points of my 1968 college thesis. The only major change since then has been the change from lead-acid batteries and overall weight.

I didn't mean for this to become a science discussion but Engineering was my career and electronics is a big portion of that. You may wish to see the math involved with Kirchoff's Law -- it is mind boggling. Take care :-). MGY
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psm80134
Champion Author Denver

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Message Posted: Feb 20, 2013 10:34:09 AM

Based upon the process by which the batteries for electric cars are mined, shipped around the world and constructed, I'd say you'd have a smaller carbon footprint to buy a Range Rover.
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yodudebc
Champion Author Vancouver

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Message Posted: Feb 20, 2013 10:14:39 AM

IN BC most of the power is produced by hydroelectric dams, but this is not the case in the rest of Canada.
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BlueberryFocus
All-Star Author Rochester

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2013 1:17:40 PM

Yes, over their lifetime they are less carbon intensive than a gasoline powered vehicle.
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2013 1:01:06 PM

I would think E..cars are cleaner to operate but also could cause a strain on the Hot Summers electric grid, for the recharge-ups.
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kellyoneal
Champion Author Louisville

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2013 11:31:30 AM

No
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yodudebc
Champion Author Vancouver

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Message Posted: Feb 19, 2013 10:17:25 AM

So far it seems like the technology is not sustainable yet.
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d_clark
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 8:27:30 PM

No
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Coco0828
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 4:12:17 PM

I think they are.
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GrumpyCat
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 2:26:28 PM

What what is best for the environment and earth? I say its that which costs the least.

When you have a $20,000 battery, that is something that consumed $20,000 of resources. Consider for a moment the raw material is free and everything is labor: You then have labor spending their $20,000 on stuff you can bet is not "green". If the cost is all materials then you have the same, ultimately everything breaks down to the cost of labor to dig it out of the ground and the energy to transform into something useful.

EV apologists would have you concentrate on electric power generation and ignore the expendable battery's cost of operation. Wear and tear on the battery is greater than the cost of fuel. Lets say you have a $10,000 battery which lasts 100,000 miles. That is $0.10/mile. At $4.00/gallon that is only 40 MPG if electricity was free, and for the battery alone.
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keriazy4
Veteran Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 2:15:05 PM

not sure
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Saab93turbo
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 1:30:47 PM

I am unsure.

The battery is very toxic. Electric cars have lots of batteries and they don't last forever.

Some bureaucrats want lots of electric cars, powered by wind generated electricity but that is hope, not reality.
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yodudebc
Champion Author Vancouver

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 10:21:18 AM

What if everyone plugged their cars in at once?
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bluenvoy
Champion Author Nashville

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 9:47:16 AM

No. The electricity come from power plants. It cost $$$ too. If everyone drove electric cars the whole country would be a giant brown out. And the batteries are an environmental nightmare to dispose of.
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WEPSMAN
Champion Author South Dakota

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Message Posted: Feb 18, 2013 8:58:32 AM

It is just a way to keep the tree huggers happy
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