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Whats your opinion of the Coda electric car?

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Jags, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. pybyr

    pybyr Minister of Fire

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    With major proportions of the US electric grid supplied by generation sources that give various people serious heartburn (coal, nuclear)(different demographics have different heartburn over each, but there's lots of heartburn to go around), with wind of any scale running into "offended aesthetics" issues... photovoltaic still challenging to implement on a real "major grid source" level... electric cars are really interesting (and I favor innovation and diversification) but far from low impact.

    While the individual car no longer has a tailpipe, on a systems level, you're just "remoting" the tailpipe to a distant smokestack or a spent fuel pile (that has no final resolved destination/ fate). It also can't be ignored that each stage in electric power production, conversion, transmission, etc., adds certain unavoidable losses (the 2nd law of thermodynamics never sleeps), so that if one is going to burn natural gas or coal to spin a turbine, run through transformers and along long wires, then convert to DC to charge batteries... to run an electric motor... to turn wheels... you've stacked some multiplying losses that at least need to be looked at. I am not against production or use of electric power- it's invaluable- just noting that systems-level considerations come into effect.

    Again, I'm not anti-electric-car -- just very ill at ease with the impression/ illusion that they make the byproducts of energy use somehow "go away."

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Very little of modern society is low impact. The goal is to lessen impact and reduce emissions. Take a look at the energy used to extract and make a gallon of gasoline. Refineries use a lot of electricity.
  3. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Im quite sure ill be driving some form of electric within 5 years. You can even buy a hummer thats converted to electric. I need a 5 passenger preferably an SUV or Ex cab pickup. (or an electric hummer)
  4. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I found this (obvously):

    Footnotes:
    [1] Electrical energy is created by burning fossil fuels in a power plant at 40% efficiency, followed by transmitting it to your house at 93% efficiency, and using it in an electric vehicle at 92% efficiency, providing a total efficiency of around 34% for an electric vehicle. Crude oil refineries operate at 75% efficiency, and gasoline distribution might cause another 6% energy loss. Since internal combustion engines are only 20% efficient, total efficiency would be around 14%. Assuming that the natural gas and oil to power our vehicles comes from the same well, we can directly compare these efficiencies, and thus conclude that electric vehicles are significantly more efficient.

    So the same gallon of gas would go 2.5x as far if we burned it at the plant vs in a car. It's also a lot easier to control/monitor emmisions at a single plant than in everyone's cars.
    Dune likes this.
  5. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Thanks BTUser. This issue comes up on a regular basis in these conversations.
    The simple fact (as adeptly illustrated above) is that electric cars use less energy per mile, and therefore contribute less polution, regardless of the source of electricity.

    In the case of cleanly generated electricity, (solar, wind, hydro, nuclear), they contribute zero polution.
    Even in the worst case, coal fired, (declining by percentage every year), at least it can be said that it is a domesticaly produced fuel.
  6. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I'm all for the electric car in the sense I hate waste, but we as a country are built around the auto. No more gas stations, dealerships or repair places is going to be a lot of lost jobs. Think of all those poor unemployed flensers after kerosene displaces whale oil in lamps. If we all agreed to pay $4/gallon for electricity so we can keep the empire going vs paing for social programs maybe they could work for DOD.
    Seasoned Oak likes this.
  7. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    Even if americans were replacing 5% of ICE cars a year with electrics it would take 20 years to complete and so far were not even replacing 1%. Plus electric cars need service too ,just not the same kind. WE will always have gas stations, only they wont be holding us hostage anymore.
    Todays news about $8 gas if IRAN gets frisky should move a few volts.
  8. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    They always make good stuff,how about a truck?

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