talking about emissions

talking about emissions

I'm sure many of the current owners have heard the line "Yeah, but you burn coal at the power station...". The fact that we use less energy therefore still create less emissions is true, but sometimes hard to get across. Well, a co-worker of mine was an EV1 convert, and way back when, did a study of the efficiency of his EV1 versus ICE, in terms of emissions. Others have done studies and come up with similar numbers. Basically, the ICE generates a stunning 25 times as much emissions as an EV, for the same function. Here are his numbers:

(The EV1 in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC is Phil's old one.)


DanAderhold | August 26, 2010


Alternative energy sources are easiest to convert at the Power Plant level, rather then millions and millions of automobiles and transportation systems. Power Plants use various fuels and sources to produce energy to drive electrical generators and transmit power, the control of fuel burning is easiest to monitor at a central location. And why it necessary to convert vehicles to electrical systems.

An example,
In large cities most taxi cabs use (ICE) technology, and due to quantity you observe low air quality and often smog. Another problem is noise levels, but many people are so adapted to this noise they don’t realize it’s another problem. One way to remedy these problems is to replace existing (ICE) vehicles with (EV) technology. Both air quality and noise create hazardous environments in cities across the globe, and I have traveled to many.

So in example above, fuel burning systems were transferred out of the city and centralized at the power plant. Centralized, so emissions can be controlled and filtered, and alternative fuels or sources applied.

This doesn’t mean eliminating (ICE) vehicles completely, because there are applications where this technology is more feasible, like trucking industries amongst many other. But by reducing the amount of (ICE) vehicles, we can best monitor and control emissions.

KGB | August 26, 2010

Interesting calculations, but that's not how I would have calculated the numbers. My guess is he had to work with the numbers he was able to find.

IMHO, the only way to do a fair comparison is to compare each energy source from extraction from the earth to energy at the wheels.

For gasoline:
For the average oil derrick, how much energy is consumed/pollutants exhausted for each gallon/barrel of oil?
For each barrel of oil, how much energy is consumed/pollutants exhausted to ship it to the refinery an average distance away?
For each barrel of oil, how much energy is consumed/pollutants exhausted to refine it into a gallon of gasoline?
For each gallon of gasoline, how much energy is consumed/pollutants exhausted to deliver it to the gas station?
For each gallon of gas, how many pollutants are exhausted for each mile travelled?

For battery vehicle: (are we considering hydroelectric, solar, wind and nuclear... or just coal?)
For each form of electrical production these calculations would have to be repeated...
For a ton of coal, how much energy is consumed/pollutants exhausted to extract it from the earth?
For each ton of coal, how much energy is consumed/pollutants exhausted to ship it to the power plant?
For each kw at the power plant, how much coal must be burned/pollutants exhausted?
What is the efficiency of power transmission from power plant, over power lines, through transformers, to outlet?
What is the charging efficiency of the battery pack?
How many kw at the power plant would it take to move the vehicle a mile?

Then you could compare exhaust/mile travelled.

DanAderhold | August 27, 2010

That’s an interesting way to calculate power consumption versus emissions, and all based on dependency?

And this assumes the consumer is completely dependent on the power company to provide the energy. Once again by centralizing the source of power and energy, alternatives can be more readily assessed. Such as Solar, Wind, Hydro, and Fuel burning, amongst other, and means of transporting power to consumer. Once consolidated other methods such as superconductivity can be evaluated for higher efficiencies.

It would make more sense for people to start calculating what systems they can purchase to reduce their dependency from the energy grid. Battery technology is just a medium to store energy and use on demand, electro magnetic motors are more efficient then ICE, in many ways. When comparing electro-magnetic versus internal combustion machines, it’s obvious which requires more supporting systems and components? More components translate to higher cost and less reliability, friction produces energy loses, and this requires more energy to produce. To reduce the cost of ICE is simply to manufacture cheaper and less reliable components.

Electro magnetic technology can be improved in the future with superconductive coils, battery technology, and reduced friction with levitated magnetic couplings, amongst many others. Comparing either is simply a waste of time. It’s like comparing dependent to independent thinking, they are completely different.

Brian H | August 27, 2010

Freightliner and others are working with Tesla on trucks; just city delivery trucks so far. LA Port is using and building yard trucks, able to do a full day's work delivering and moving containers within about a 30-mi radius. Immense pollution and cost savings.

When new larger energy-density batteries come online (soon!) even long-distance rigs will start switching. Their need for fuel savings is immense.

DanAderhold | August 27, 2010

That’s good news, but my concern is making certain the electric car industry gets a significant boost. In 2008-09, I prepared several proposals for Senators and Officials in Washington regarding applications for electric vehicles, and regarding the politics between automotive manufacturers. This included implementing electric vehicles as inner city transportation systems, with returns of about several billion per year in tax revenue. I have worked and consulted in the automotive and truck industries for a number of years, and understand the politics. Partnerships are required to leverage opportunity.

Brian H | August 30, 2010

GM has posted stickers proposed by the EPA for various classes of hybrid and EV, asking for comments. I assume TeslaMotors knows about these, too:

They claim that the maximum MPGe is 103. That doesn't sound right.

Timo | August 31, 2010

@BrianH, you are right, max mpge should be based on theoretical kwh of the gasoline which is about 36.6kWh/gallon. In autobloggreen I posted a fast calculation that at 60mph Roadster is getting 150+mpge and at 20mph nearly 300mpge.

(36.6kWh/g /53kWh * 220 miles = 152mpge, at 60mph)

Timo | September 1, 2010

@BrianH (well, you have probably seen this already, so everybody else)

Autobloggreen just released a blog entry about those EPA ratings. Looks like sample EV:s are getting "117mpge and up", so that 103 max mpge was not the max.