Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Slate's EV Acid Test: Are electric cars greener?

Every electric car advocate is asked the same question every day: Are EVs really cleaner, greener, better for the environment? The long tailpipe, and all that. Slate, the online magazine, has an enviro Q&A column, The Green Lantern, that asks the question today.
Driving one still has an environmental cost, mostly associated with the use of Santa's most feared stocking-stuffer: 49.7 percent of our nation's electricity is generated by the burning of coal. But if you break down the numbers, EVs still come out ahead of cars featuring internal combustion engines, especially in terms of carbon dioxide emissions.
...The real question, then, isn't whether EVs are environmentally superior to today's gas-powered cars, but how they stack up against another technological rival: plug-in hybrids. The Lantern promises to tackle that question soon.


Hewman1 said...

The Green Lantern acknowledges the well-to-pump energy costs of internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV) driving.

Amazingly, GL then taxes EVs with electrical-generating emissions while ignoring the ICEV fuel-making emissions in this lop-sided "test."

Months ago, I wrote an EVWorld.com guest blog (as EVolution) to answer those who object to power-plant pollution for EV charging while assuming that gasoline magically appears in the pump.

I have emailed a question to the Green Lantern: will GL please count fuel-making emissions (for both vehicle types) or not?

Paul Klint said...

Hybrid are very economical their emissions are very low.