Monday, July 13, 2009

Plug-in electric cars

HA! I have been saying this for years....what good will it do to move from gasoline powered cars to electric cars? The power to charge the battery has to be generated in some way, so it just shifts the alleged problem somewhere else. Now don't get me wrong, I have no problem with coal-fired power, and more importantly, building new nuclear power plants to power our electrical grids, but this just shows that these grandiose solutions proposed by our politicians have not been thought through to the obvious conclusions. They are just soundbites, designed to support their "environmentally conscious" campaign persona.

Not So Fast With Those Electric Cars

Alternative Energy: A government report says reliance on electric cars will do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and may merely shift our dependence on foreign sources from one set of dictators to another.

It's a beautiful theory — highways full of electric cars emitting no greenhouse gases or pollutants after being plugged into an outlet in our garages overnight. The problem, according to a new Government Accountability Office report, is that the effort may only shift the problem somewhere else.

"If you are using coal-fired power plants, and half the country's electricity comes from coal-powered plants, are you just trading one greenhouse gas emitter for another?" asks Mark Gaffigan, co-author of the GAO report. The report itself notes: "Reductions in CO2 emissions depend on generating electricity used to charge the vehicles from lower-emission sources of energy."

The GAO report says a plug-in compact car, if recharged at an outlet drawing its power from coal, provides a carbon dioxide savings of only 4% to 5%. If the feeling of saving the environment from driving an electric car causes people to drive more, that small amount of savings vanishes entirely.

On top of that, these little cars are deathtraps. I heard a story recently of a 19-year old girl in Houston driving her "Smart-car", who was killed when hit by a pickup. As you can imagine, the little Smart-car did not stand a chance. I'm guessing she would have walked away, had she been driving an SUV, or other vehicle of any substantial weight/size.


No comments: