Hey guys, so I had a friend of my actually provide some valid points on why an electric car may not be or are equally as efficient as a Gasoline car. I know there are many variations of electric/gasoline cars, but let's keep it general. Here were his main points (please help me if i'm wrong in answer his questions):
Q) Power plants are inefficient at producing electricity in the first place, coal loses over 66% energy while the rest (nuclear, natural gas) are maxed at 30%ish energy efficient.
A) Yes, there is a lot of energy lost, however the fact we can use renewable energy (which accounts for around ~ 6% total energy and growing) makes this a better bet. Even with that much energy lost, the end result is efficiency that's much higher than gasoline.
Q) That's not the only loss, then there is loss accumulating from transferring that electricity from the Grid to your house (or supercharger, etc).
A) Minimal, at most it's 7%. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_power_transmission#Losses)
Q) That's not it though, then there is power loss from transferring the electricity from your house to your car (converting from AC to DC?)
A) At most this loss is around 10-15% (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_energy_is_lost_converting_ac_energy_t...)
Q) Not only that but batteries in general have charging loss, along with 'self discharge' loss?
A) Very minimal for litium ion batteries (2-3%)
Q) And doesn't the electric motor have energy loss as well (drive train?)
A) Yes, but again it's minimal since bigger motors are much more efficient at converting electricity to kinetic energy.
But not only that, some of the energy lost is regenerated via regenerative breaking (up to 5%?)
It would be helpful if you guys can help me fill these in or add anything else i'm missing!