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Good Analysis of the Carbon Footprint of EVs

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by GlennAlanBerry, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. GlennAlanBerry

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    I realize that many people say that environmental benefits are not one of the primary reasons they bought a Tesla. I am also aware that touting the green benefits of EVs is controversial, because a decent portion of the U.S. public, has been "brainwashed" by the likes of Fox News and the Koch brothers into thinking that green = bad...

    Despite all that, anti-EV people often try to trot out the argument that EVs have a larger carbon footprint than conventional ICE vehicles. As a Tesla driver (even if you could care less about the environment), you will probably be subject to that line of attack at some point.

    This good (but long) diary from Daily Kos does a pretty good job of analyzing the available research on the subject, so I think it is worth a read.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/09/16/1238550/-Dispelling-Electric-Vehicle-Myths-1-About-that-CO2-Footprint
     
  2. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    And I guess the other portion have been 'brainwashed' by CNN and the current White House into thinking green = good.

    I'm one of those that didn't buy the Tesla for green attributes, but rather the technology it contains.

    And good news is I'm not brainwashed by any TV show or owner of a Oil & Gas company.
     
  3. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I was wondering how long that would take. In fact I was tempted to reply with (an attempt at) something more middle of the road.

    Glenn (and everyone), including (IMO) unnecessary jabs like this just makes many (including me) initially just move on without contributing further to the thread. Something to consider in the future.

    If you can't make the argument without injecting a jab, then your argument needs to be strengthened so that it stands on its own.
     
  4. GlennAlanBerry

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    I actually tried not to be too harsh about simply noting that one side of the political spectrum is decidedly more anti-EV than the other side of the political spectrum. Surprisingly, there is also a decent amount of EV skepticism on the left. This is not really a left/right issue.

    I suppose I should not have used the "brainwashing" reference about Fox News and the Koch brothers, since that obviously will upset some people. I apologize for that.

    My main point is that regardless of your political leanings or feelings about the environment, some people are going to attack you (as a Tesla owner/driver) about the supposed larger carbon footprint of EVs compared to ICE vehicles. If you want to have a credible response to those arguments, being aware of the latest research and reading a good analysis of it might not be a bad idea.

    I'm not trying to convert anyone here, and I actually bought my Tesla for the performance and technology. The green benefits are simply a small bonus.
     
  5. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Same here, however I think the advantage Tesla has is that there are a multitude of good reason for buying the car, and if environmental concerns isn't one of them, at the end of the day the car still is a "clean" vehicle whether you or I care or not. Having said that, I find any article touting one of my cars supposed benefits an interesting read.
     
  6. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    #6 texex91, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
    This is a good point and one that I don't look forward to dealing with, nor the people that will key your car because they think it's the 'rich mans' green car. I had no clue how serious some people are about this--just bizarre. I do like the reply that someone else recently posted when a heckler started in on him, he simply stated he didn't buy the car to be green, so don't care about carbon footprint--kinda just shut down the heckler.

    I think the good news is I think there will be many more people ooohing and ahhhhing over it, than reprimanding me for owning one. We'll see...

    Thank you for the read.
     
  7. GlennAlanBerry

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    Well, if it is any consolation, I have gotten nothing but raves and positive comments so far. I live in Parker, which is in Douglas County, which is very heavily red/conservative.

    I think most of the violently anti-EV people are usually braver behind a keyboard than they are in real life, but maybe I have just been lucky... :)
     
  8. evme

    evme Member

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    I think if your going to mention it, just say "mass media" or "lobbies". And don't give any names. Whenever things get political, things get very bad no matter what. Because when you start making things political it becomes more than just a discussion on the Tesla Model S but a discussion on all political views. That is why it is important to stay politically neutral.
     
  9. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    #9 kendallpb, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
    GlennAlanBerry - thanks for the link!

    I read that and grinned . . . and then scowled, because it sidesteps the issue. But then, I hate confrontations, so I did file away this for future reference. (I'm not sure I'd use it, as it's not true for me; this was a contributing factor, though not only in the simplistic way that heckler would've thoguht. "green"[er] tech won't improve if we don't invest in it, etc.)
     
  10. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Whether EVs are green or not is something some people want to debate.

    Whether the Model S is an awesome car or not is not debatable.

    Easy to avoid any confrontations over the first by simply pointing out the second. :)
     
  11. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Did the author cover the energy used to get a gallon of gas to the local pump? A commenter mentioned it but he did not reply.
     
  12. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Good and informative read, Glenn. Thanks!

    I wish the author provided some additional insight (beyond discussing the battery production GHG overhead at a coarse grain) into the raw materials that go into EVs, where in the world they are sourced from and any geopolitical (and the consequent GHG) overhead of the same. With Lithium, Chile/Argentina/China/Australia are not exactly the Middle East, but all the same...

    The "killing babies and destroying pristine forests" metaphor really struck home. If it weren't so sad, it'd be funny.
     
  13. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Yes, the author appeared to discuss that in a wells-to-wheels fashion. On that note, he didn't accommodate for electricity transmission losses?!
     
  14. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    And one more thing that is not taken into account is the entire "gas station" premise. Take a look at an operating gas station and you see enormous amounts of energy used to power the pumps, light up the pumps, power to the gas station store, and all the vast power needed to run the slurpee machine. It adds up to a whole lot more than what is needed to charge up in your unlit garage.
     
  15. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    #15 brianman, Sep 16, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    No need to hate on the Slurpee. I'm sure it's made of arctic-ice-sheet-fed cruelty-raised chickens or something. But let's leave that for another thread.

    Gratuitous video by indirect request:

     
  16. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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  17. hans

    hans P631

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    Bicycles are green, not cars.

    There are shades of green I suppose and an EV is better than an ICE most of the time but we shouldn't fool ourselves that we can spend our way out of a problem that is fundamentally about out of control consumerism.
     
  18. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    Let's hope Tesla doesn't get into the bike business.

    Gotta love capitalism (Elon is one of the best), consumerism, etc--thank goodness it gives us choice to GM, German brands, other Asian EV makers that can't touch Tesla's brand, range or cool designs.

    Never bought my Tesla for GHG reduction or carbon footprint factors, but rather the amazing technology, complete game changer and snubbing the nose at 'traditional car manufacturers'.
     

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