koolbreez wrote:I would just like to ask a couple of questions. One, I know that there is discussion about electric vehicles and charging them. If your electricity is generated from a coal fired plant, it will put more pollution in the air by charging your vehicle. Do you know where your electricity comes from?
Two, since electric vehicles don't use gasoline or diesel and therefore aren't paying taxes on fuel, does California add extra tax to an electric vehicle to compensate?
Koolbreez, this argument has been tried before and the problem is that people using this argument are mixing apples and oranges. If you want to compare the emissions of an EV to an ICE, you have to start at the point where each vehicle actually receives its "fuel" and go forward from their. For an ICE, it's once you pump the gasoline into the fuel tank. For an EV, it's once you charge your batteries. From that point forward, there is no comparison. EV wins hands-down every time!
Now, if, like you are trying to do, you want to argue that EVs are more polluting because of the pollutants emitted during the generation of the electricity that it uses to charge its batteries, then you also have to consider the production of the gasoline the ICE uses.
In 2012, 37% of electricity generation was from coal power plants, 30% was from natural gas, 19% nuclear, 7% hydro, and 5% other renewables. Yes, coal is dirty. But newer, cleaner coal burning technologies are being developed and implemented. Also, nearly one-third of the country's power was from natural gas, which is even cleaner burning than coal. About one-fifth of the power was from nuclear, which has no greenhouse emissions at all. Cleaner and greener ways to produce electricity are being researched and developed every day. The use of wind, solar, geothermal, etc. are increasing all the time and are renewable and non-polluting. Eventually, the EV car COULD be powered 100% by renewable, non-polluting energy. In fact, they are many EV owners whose EVs are TRULY zero-emissions as they have installed solar chargers at their homes! The sun produces the energy in their cases. Absolutely NO pollution at all!
The same cannot be said for ICE vehicles. ICE cars burn fossil fuels and always will. No way around that. Of course, you could make an argument for bio-diesel fuels, but you still have to burn them, which emits pollution of one kind or another. Now, for the comparison of the energy generation for ICE vehicles. ICE cars burn gasoline. That gas has to come from somewhere. Oil companies extract oil from within the Earth's crust. That requires massive amounts of energy to tap into and extract the oil. That oil then has to be transported to a refinery via either ships, pipes, or trucks. All transportation methods to the refineries require huge amounts of energy to get it there. In the case of ships and trucks, you are burning fossil fuels in order to get the freshly-extracted dino gunk to the refineries. Then the refineries use multiple processes (requiring lots of energy) to refine the dino gunk into several different types and grades of fuel products. The gasoline then has to be transported to distribution centers, again via trains or trucks that are burning more fossil fuels. Then fuel trucks fill up at the distribution centers and transport the gasoline, once again burning fossil fuels along the way, to the gas stations. The gas stations use power to stay open, turn on their lights, and pump fuel into ICE vehicles. And of course, those ICE vehicles had to burn even more fossil fuels to get to the gas stations so they could refuel.
Soooooooo... after all that, which mode of transportation (ICE vs. EV) truly creates MORE pollution overall? In THAT contest, ICE definitely wins hands-down!!!
People who are, for some unknown reason, against EVs or developing alternative forms of energy really need to stop making silly arguments such as this. And you have to take into consideration the total chain of energy production on BOTH sides. You can't just simply say that the coal burned to produce electricity that my EV uses is waaaaaay more polluting than the little bit of greenhouse emissions expelled by your ICE. You aren't taking in the whole picture and comparing apples to apples!