Friday, July 10, 2009

Electric Cars Still Need Energy

In the rush to go green, people have lost sight of common sense. Not So Fast With Those Electric Cars

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
Sorry to spoil the party.


  1. Lets not forget the cost of getting all that lead, needed for the batteries.
    I saw a news clip earlier this year regarding a similar issue. There was local TV news coverage of people turing in their gas lawn mowers at a local Home Depot. They were given a small cash credit towards the purchase, of an electric lawn mower. People were delighted with the idea, that they were now saving the planet from green house gases.These people had no concept, that it takes energy to produce electricity.
    It seems all the save the planet methods are bogus. Wind power and ethanol are two examples of bad policies, and false media coverage.

  2. The same could be said of hybrid cars currently on the market. The energy put into making, shipping and disposing of the batteries in the car largely negate the positive impact on the environment.

  3. Yeah, I find it funny/sad that most people haven't thought about this.

  4. Bang on Strack! The hybrid car is another perfect example, of how bad the Global Warming movement has become. You have to drive the car on average for 15 years before your savings on gas mileage, pays off the increased cost of a hybrid. Oh BTW, the batteries only last eight years of average driving, before they have to be replaced.
    Charles MacKay wrote about the madness of crowds over 150 years ago. The global warming movement is the biggest example of mass stupidity, in modern history.