Some time ago when considering an electric car, I was curious about the cost of using an emergency backup gasoline generator to charge the car.
Taking into account the efficiencies, my calculation resulted in an equivalent mileage of about 25 miles per Imperial gallon, not much different than a typical internal combustion car if it became necessary to use the gasoline generator in case of a power outage.
When I posted this on the smartcar forum, it was brought to my attention that this wouldn't work unless the gasoline generator was physically grounded with a grounding rod connected to its chassis and actually driven into the ground. Although I understand the safety reasoning for doing this, I found it difficult to understand how the electronics could sense that the charger (in this case the gas generator) had been physically grounded.
My question is this. Would not the same result have been achieved by connecting the neutral output of the generator to the chassis (ground lead) of the generator?
Also, why is the possibility of using an inexpensive gasoline generator not mentioned more often as a viable alternative to counter potential range issues when taking longer trips.
I was hoping that anyone with more experience in this matter could comment.