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Are Electric Cars Really Green?

Discussion in 'Hong Kong' started by Vmax, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. Vmax

    Vmax Member

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    #1 Vmax, Nov 30, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
    What is your take on this graphic? Is driving an EV really not better for the environment compared to an ICE car?
    I know a lot depends on how much coal is used to generate the electricity, but how about the increased energy demand for manufacturing an EV compared to an ICE car?

    Infographic: Are Electric Cars Really Green?
     
  2. JIT

    JIT Member

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    [video]http://tv.nrk.no/program/KOID21003214/farvel-til-bilen[/video]

    In this intruiging docu Musk underline the need of sustainable transportion ....raw materials needed for production not the highest priority??
     
  3. GSP

    GSP Member

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    ICEs are not green

    Well, no automobile is ever going to be good for the environment. Better to walk, or better yet to never have been born. So you can't win, and EVs are not green.

    However, EVs do have less impact on the environment than ICE cars.

    The inforgaphic link has several data that look very questionable. Some say "as US study found that..." There have been a few discredited US studies that made very questionable assumptions, like that ICE cars last for two or three times more miles than EVs before they are scrapped.

    They took these questionable data and then skewed the graphics to further mislead the reader. An example is 27% more emissions is displayed as a 200-300% larger cloud coming from the EV.

    This is clearly a hit job, designed not to inform, but to mislead. Haters are just going to hate, I am sorry to say.

    GSP
     
  4. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    #4 DITB, Nov 30, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
    It's definitely produced by the fossil fuel industry. It could also have been supported by the ICE manufacturing industry, but I doubt that.

    You can read a leaked document here

    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1095660_how-oil-companies-fight-cas-clean-energy-playbook-leaked-accidentally

    about how the fossil fuel industry is fighting with arms and legs to misinform, and in any possible way delay the introduction of other ways to propel vehicles other than with THEIR oil. There is such a huge amount of money in this - a little spent on such fake "grass root groups" is infinitely small compared to what is at stake for them.

    Sure there are haters that just follow whichever article ridicules EVs, like EVs on fire (despite 100,000+ ICE cars catching fire yearly). But there are also concerted efforts like this, that tend to convince "normal people" with no further insight that EVs are even more dirty than ICEs.

    Sure, the most green thing you can do is to not be alive. Electric vehicles are so much more efficient than ICE cars, in all ways. Even if you power an EV from the dirties, unfiltered powerplant, it's still several times cleaner than each vehicle having it's own combustion engine powerplant. Even with a few newer diesel cars that are cleaner, how about all those out of alignment? One single truck or bus with bad nozzles spurts out so much pollution it's horrible. And yes, it's not just about CO2, it's also about those micro-particles that the diesels emit. Even the filtered ones. These particles are so small, once they enter your lungs, they aren't coming out again.

    My main concern about my EV is now how the tires wear. Where does the rubber go, the dust from it flows into the air or gets deposited somewhere? That won't be solved until we get levitation solved (which I hope won't be too soon, as that would definitely accelerate the end of civilisation as we know it).

    Anyway. It's fossil fuel propaganda. Period.

    I wish I had the time to debunk it into detail, however I am busy saving the world on my own (whilst taking care of job, family and other responsibilities). For one it says that it takes twice the CO2 to make an EV? Really? Battery - inverter - Motor, compared to fuel tank, injection, pistons, cylinders, valves, gearbox, clutch (as applicable), catalytic converter, exhaust ... and add to that all the parts that need to be produced constantly, for all the things that break down on an ICE car.

    If you buy a brand new ICE car today, whether it's gas, diesel or even a hybrid, you are stuck with oil for the life of that car. Will it last you (or the following owners) 10 years, maybe 20? Well, no matter what advancements in energy comes along, it won't be helped by that car. How many wind turbines are installed, solar panels and other sources - is the next step forward - or rather, another parallel push, to get a more sustainable civilisation. A country like Denmark, with 5.5 million people, has so much installed wind power that one more windy days, the total production exceeds the demand so much that the electricity has to be exported to neighbouring countries. China has had enough smog finally (cough, cough), so now they are putting massive funds and legislation behind a move to make renewable energy stronger. And since China has to import oil, they will benefit also on their imports/exports balance, and politically, become more and more self sufficient with their energy use (maybe that will slow down their ruthless raping of pour third world countries, for their fossil fuels and mining potential).

    We can't just switch from black to green overnight. But we can do our best effort to change it as fast as possible.

    And there are industries that will have to wait for more technology, before they can switch. Like the very industry I am caught up in - airline transport: We won't be able to transport 400 passengers 8000 miles away in 15 hours. Not yet, so let's focus on the lowest hanging fruits first. Let those passengers be transported to and from the airport in electric vehicles. Let their houses be powered by energy sources that doesn't involve burning anything.

    There is a way forward, which is the right way. But there is also a lot of money and power at stake, mainly for a minority of people and companies. Those few rich and powerful people will do all they can, to keep rich and powerful. That includes lying, lobbying, bribing, misleading and any other tactic they can buy with their massive funds.
     
  5. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    Elon Musk has said on more than one occasion that electric commuter jets could be a reality in the next few decades, replacing the least energy-efficient segment of air transport.
     
  6. MDK

    MDK Aussie Member

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    I came across this blog by Julian Cox yesterday, via this site's off-topic forum.

    It looks at and dissects the most common anti-Tesla and anti-EV FUD.

    An excellent read, and being almost a year old shows how the same FUD gets spun over and over again by vested interests.

    He's got another article taking a closer look at hydrogen "fool" cell vehicles
     
  7. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    Environmental arguments against electric vehicles usually focus on two areas:

    • Power plant emissions created by charging electric cars

    • Electric car battery manufacturing

    Numerous studies around the world have determined that even when the electric grid is primarily fueled with coal, electric cars produce less than half as much greenhouse gas (via power plant emissions) as do similar size gasoline powered cars. This is not very difficult to prove. The reason is increased efficiency due to economy of scale: First, a power plant turbine is considerably more efficient than a gasoline car engine in terms of energy produced by a given amount of fuel. Second, EV's use that energy much more efficiently to propel the car; a gasoline engine loses 70% of its energy to heat.

    But electric cars have another advantage that fossil fuel powered cars will never have: they can be powered by sunlight. The combination of solar power and electric vehicles is the best scenario for both transportation and the electric grid. Solar energy allows us to solve the two largest environmental issues at once.

    EV critics also claim that lithium-ion battery manufacturing adds an environmental cost that makes EV's worse for the environment over the lifetime of the vehicle. This Swiss study determined that the operation of an electric car (charging it) creates the greater environmental burden...

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    What EV critics fail to take into account in comparing gasoline to electricity is the environmental cost of drilling, refining and transporting gasoline. No matter where the electricity comes from, electric vehicles are better for the environment.
     
  8. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    A very important discussion, yet as it isn't very Hong Kong specific, how about moving it to the relevant forum?

    A Hong Kong specific view on this could be the lack of wind turbines and solar panels in Hong Kong (hardly existing here), while there is both wind AND sunshine, year round. Lots of hills to put wind turbines, lots of rooftops (and other unused areas), to put solar panels.
     
  9. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

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    #9 bonaire, Nov 30, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
    Air flight is far more energy intensive than driving on a road surface. The savings is in straight-line travel versus very twisty roads. I do not want to be involved in tens of thousands of personal electric airplanes flying around during commute-hours.
     
  10. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    #10 caddieo, Nov 30, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
    THIS!! all the articles I have read criticizing the greeness of EV's focus on the pollution footprint of car and battery production and most specially on the pollution footprint of the EV's power source, namely, the production of electricity. For heaven's sake, if you are going to criticize the production of the EV's power source - electricity - then you should also do a parallel criticism of the pollution footprint due to the production of the ICE's power source - namely- the pollution footprint of the entire oil industry as it drills, transports (spills, anyone?) and refines crude oil into gasoline and diesel. And add to that the pollution from the transport of gasoline and diesel to the end user. And do not limit ICE criticism to car production and tailpipe emissions. Once you take this balanced evaluation - game over. In one report I read, the oil refining industry produces 408 million megatons of CO2 a year. Not a small matter. Plus- refineries use a lot of electricity and some refineries have their own electric power plants which are coal-fed. 'Nuff said.
     
  11. Lee Tsui

    Lee Tsui Member

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    Just walk around Hong Kong in the city areas and imagine a street where all the buses and mini vans were electric, then you'll realise that for Hong Kong it doesn't matter so much as where the pollution is coming from, but how quickly it reaches normal people and kids lungs at ground level.

    Just moving the pollution away from the city streets is already a huge benefit for HK people where we are so overcrowded and cars all over us all day and night. (there I made this post localised) :)

     
  12. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Great post. Moving the source of pollution away from the city is a big Benifit for Hong Kong, and many other cities as well. EV critics always completely ignore this when they whine about power plant emissions. They also seem to have been perfectly OK with their local power plants until someone plugs an EV into them!

    GSP
     
  13. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    It's a problem in Hong Kong, as it is in many other places on Earth, obviously more concentrated in cities. That is why I wrote that this is not just a local Hong Kong issue - it's global.

    And it is not just about moving the pollution out of the city. We need to stop as much of the pollution, period!

    Some of the dirtiest areas in the world survive on winds taking the pollution "away", which is often neighbouring areas/states/countries. Then when there is no wind for a while, they cry out loud that it's oh so bad (because their dirty air isn't shifted to the neighbour area).

    Moving the pollution is not a solution in itself. We need much more renewable energy, and the only thing stopping us is all those people, companies and even states, that are greedy with money and power. Lead by the oil industry, and all the derivatives of same.

    Hong Kong is dependant on (mainly) China for electricity, water and food - while a lot of those ressources could be "produced" locally. And that is also no local issue here, it's the same most places: Get down to business, become independant, renewable and clean, make your own electricity/water/food the best you can.
     
  14. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

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    Most articles like this in the past few years are rooted in that biased Norwegian survey. The one written by the university funded, in part, by the Norwegian oil and gas industry. As Robert Llewellyn (in cooperation with Dan Fichana) put it:

    Here's my write-up on it, from last year:

    EV Myths: #3 EVs are not environmental in the long-run

    My conclusion:

    The truth is that personal transportation (whether fuelled by diesel, gasoline, or electricity) is horrendously polluting, when compared to group transportation. But, people want their own cars - just as they want their own lawnmower - and the fact that those cars sit idle 95% of the time is the single biggest reason why personal transportation is as inefficient and polluting as it is. As Elon Musk puts it, when writing about spaceflight, "can you imagine how expensive commercial air flight would be if they had to discard the airplanes after each flight?". Well, can you imagine how expensive commercial air flight would be if the planes sat idle 95% of the time.
     
  15. pinguhk

    pinguhk Member

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    for me I think EV car are 50% green for now
    If they start making the electricity from wind or sea then 100% green
    The 50% green for the car is no CO2.
    any way we all have to start some were to save the earth.
     

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