Sustainability of Electric Cars

The cars of the future are here and they are electric . The recent recession has renewed interest in electric cars due to their efficiency. Apart from being cool they are billed as being friendly to the environment. Electric cars are being billed as the panacea that will help us finally get a grip on global warming. After all we will no longer be dependant on petroleum , right ? ….. Wrong ! People tend to forget that the electricity to run these cars has to come from somewhere. Currently a major proportion of electricity is produced from coal and gas. And if this trend remains the same , we will just be shifting the source of pollution from car tail pipes to power station chimneys.

Here is an interesting article from business week addressing this

http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/nov2009/bw20091117_137769.htm

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Posted in climate change, energy, pollution, Uncategorized
4 comments on “Sustainability of Electric Cars
  1. sovington says:

    An oil fuelled power station is far more efficient means of energy production than a car engine not only considering the transportation of bring your petrol to your local station but the actual combustion is more efficient and cleaner in a modern power station and gas is cleaner again so although we would not be getting rid of our dependency on oil by switching to electric car it would much increase the efficiency of our fossil fuel usage.

  2. arturomex says:

    Hydrogen cars are also an alternative. These cars generate its own energy through a chemical process and could be a better solution than simple electric cars. So far the matter with these kind of cars is that Hydrogen is highly explosive and also there is not the required infraestructure, but, this is probably in the long term, the most environmental friendly transport solution.

  3. michf says:

    I agree with Stephen here. Given the technological era that we are in I believe that cars should be much more efficient than they currently are. Module 4 reading 5.2 presents the case of Hypercar which integrated “existing technologies to reduce the consumption of fuel asmuch as 85% and the amount of materials used up to 90% by introducig four main innovations. They did this because of the fact they believed in the whole-systems approach and thus they implemented a whole system design rather than pursuing any of the design objectives individually. “Their improvements did no require compromise in quality or utility. Fuel savings did not come from making the vehicles small, sluggish, unsafe, or unaffordable, nor they depend on government fuel taxes, mandates, or subsidies […] Hypercars will succeed because they are a superior product.”
    You can read more about them at the link below.
    http://move.rmi.org/markets-in-motion/case-studies/automotive/hypercar.html

  4. karelca says:

    The problem with hydrogen cars is the hydrogen. It isn’t a natural resource. Elektrolysis is too costly, so the best way to make hydrogen is out of methane or natural gas. The outcome of methane with water is not only hydrogen, but also carbondioxide. So unless you can capture this carbondioxide, hydrogen cars won’t be much cleaner.

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