TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Horrible Headline at CBC

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Doug_G, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,853
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Electric cars could boost CO2 emissions in some provinces - Technology Science - CBC News

    The angle they're taking with the headline is criminal. Yes you might find it's a wash in Alberta with all their coal production.

    The real news is that, if you live in BC, Ontario, or Quebec, i.e. where most Canadians live by far, you're going to MASSIVELY reduce your carbon footprint by switching to EV. This study shows that very thing!

    Manitoba and Newfoundland too!

    What a bizarre conclusion!!!
     
  2. PoweredByRain

    PoweredByRain Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Messages:
    647
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    I'll bet the comparison did not include all the emissions created in the exploration, extraction, and shipping of crude oil, nor of refining, shipping and distributing the end product.
     
  3. reddy

    reddy Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Messages:
    412
    Location:
    Amarillo, TX
    The U of Toronto prof must have only considered the gasoline itself burning into CO2, and neglected to factor in the energy used to refine crude oil into gasoline, and then transport the gasoline to the gas station.

    The energy input in the refining process is considerable. In fact, on a per gallon basis it is about equal to the energy that an EV would use to travel 25 miles.

    That would essentially wipe out his conclusions.
     
  4. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,372
    Location:
    Kamloops BC Canada
    I remember seeing an article on the tar sands in northern Alberta that went even further than your energy calculation... of course, the tar sands are grossly inefficient! Bottom line, the amount of electricity used to produce a gallon of gasoline would take a typical electric vehicle substantially farther than the gallon of gas would take a typical ICE vehicle.

    I tried to find the article to link here, but failed... I just remember thinking "how could anyone think this is a good idea??"
     
  5. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,570
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    A few years ago, Elon made a blog posting claiming that an EV was still cleaner than a gasoline car even if the electricity came 100% from coal. I believe that posting was pulled down and Elon said something about how he wanted to refine the numbers or something like that. My recollection was that the electric motor is so much more efficient than a gasoline one that the CO2 emissions from the coal fired electricity to drive a specific distance was still less than it would be from gasoline to go just as far.

    I often wonder if researchers are taking electric motor efficiency into account. I do believe that a potential flaw here is that they trace electricity back to it's source, but assume that gasoline just magically appears, and aren't taking into account the CO2 emissions from extraction, processing, transportation and delivery.
     
  6. Beckler

    Beckler Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2012
    Messages:
    367
    Location:
    Canada
    From the reading I've done, that's just one estimate (6KWh) of the electricity used on average to refine 1 gal. But a refinery will use more than just electricity (i.e. they will burn stuff for energy). It doesn't seem to be a straightforward thing to calculate accurately, but I think it's safe to say it's far worse than it seems simplistically.

    Anyway I can't stand the CBC. If you're looking for full scientific illiteracy, while at the same time maximum arrogance and pretentiousness from its hosts and reporters etc., they're your ticket. If you're looking for really boring, useless non-stop coverage of arts and culture trash, while by comparison essentially ignoring science/technology coverage entirely, again, go to the stupid CBC. :D Additionally, they have no credibility because like most news outlets they sensationalize and distort everything, following that ultimate tabloid trash outlet CNN, mimicking it with 'breaking news' and intentionally inflammatory or false headlines designed to attract, like this one. The CBC should be completely wiped out and started anew with all new people and a charter of integrity. :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    That's a good point - I remember that now that you mention it. I don't think he's put that on the blog yet; it would be useful for countering this recurring discussion.
     
  7. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,007
    Location:
    Grimsby, Canada
    ...nor the continued cost (and emissions) of men and military equipment to defend ongoing production...

     
  8. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    2,281
    Location:
    Ancaster, Canada
    Most likely left out. However if you're going to include those you'd have to include the cost of mining coal or uranium or fracking NG. Most likely coal would be the only energy source that would come close to oil/gasoline...
     
  9. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,570
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Good point. There's even some impacts around wind, hydro and solar if you go all the way back to raw materials and manufacturing of the components.
     
  10. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,082
    Location:
    Toronto,Canada
    #10 SmartElectric, Mar 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    A good video that outlines the electricity used to refine gas would power an electric car father than the gas itself could power and ICE car.

     
  11. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,372
    Location:
    Kamloops BC Canada
    #11 beeeerock, Mar 25, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Another one from that series which I thought was also good...:

     
  12. Breezy

    Breezy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2013
    Messages:
    431
    Location:
    SW Ontario
    This is more the media missing the point (as usual) than the content of the study. The researcher himself says: "Electrification," he said, "is the most pivotal strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide."
     
  13. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,007
    Location:
    Grimsby, Canada
    Excellent vid Beeeerock!
     
  14. Peter_M

    Peter_M Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Messages:
    736
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I thought I'd try a few quick calculations. First, for a gas car:
    • A Prius hybrid can go 20km on a Litre (source)
    • A Litre of gas has about 35 MJ of energy (source)
    • A MJ of gas results in about 100g of CO2 emissions, wells to wheels (source)
    • So that one Litre, going 20km, produces 3.5kg of CO2.
    And for electric:
    • A Nissan Leaf uses about 212 Wh/km (source), so that's 4.24 kWh to go that same 20km
    • If that electricity comes from 100% coal, the study CBC is quoting says that produces 1000 tonnes per GWh, which is 1 kg per kWh
    • So the 20km of driving in a Leaf produces 4.24 kg of CO2
    • And the threshold at which the electric car produces the same 3.5kg as the gas car is 3.5/4.24 = 830 tonnes per GWh (vs. the 600 in the study)
    I'm not saying 830 is right and 600 is wrong - I just spent a few minutes at this :smile:. I agree that there's a threshold somewhere around there, but it's worth noting that I used pretty much the most efficient gas car and got a higher threshold. Replace that Prius with a mid-size sedan and replace the Leaf with a Model S or a similar (future) EV, and I bet the threshold goes well above 1000.

    And Canada overall is at about 200 tonnes/GWh according to the study...
     
  15. Duckjybe

    Duckjybe Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Messages:
    690
    Location:
    Oakville, Canada
    According to the interview the Prof considered those things.


    Although the headline is misleading and the radio interview and article start off with a negative tone, they are very positive overall about most of Canada's electrical grid emissions and the benefit of EV's there. I still think the report is good to point out to people and government that a clean electrical grid is very important as we transition to EV's and that we still have work to do in some provinces to reduce emissions.
     
  16. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,853
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Agreed. During the radio interview it was very apparent very quickly that it's a good news story - heck even Anna Maria Tremonte figured that out!

    It's just the headlines are completely at odds with the conclusions. They basically announced "EVs are dirty" in the advertisement for the show (The Current). They repeated it again at the start of the show. Then when they did the interview it was very obvious that the teaser was misleading.

    The problem is... people who weren't paying close attention would naturally believe the headline that EVs are not good for the environment, when in fact they are a huge slam-dunk almost everywhere in Canada.

    At worst (Alberta) they are perhaps no better... but you can still put in solar.

    Total fail IMHO.
     
  17. Duckjybe

    Duckjybe Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Messages:
    690
    Location:
    Oakville, Canada
    It seems that sensational headlines are the norm now in order to grab clicks. I would have expected it from Fox but now we get it from CBC.

    Elon recommended reading "Merchants of Doubt" and I am now even more skeptical about what seemingly educated knowledgable people write. Peer reviewed science is the only science we should almost trust.
     
  18. PoweredByRain

    PoweredByRain Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Messages:
    647
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    I heard that the Nissan LEAF is worse for the environment than a Hummer!

    Ok, ok, maybe the Hummer is dead now, we need a new ridiculous comparison, particularly apt for Alberta... I heard that the Nissan LEAF is worse for the environment than an F-150!
     
  19. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    8,570
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    For anyone interested in Ontario, there is a clever little multi-platform app called Gridwatch. This will show you real-time information on Ontario's supply mix including CO2 emmissions and intensity. For the hours of 7 am to 8 am on March 27th, the C02e intensity is 24g/kWh (very low).
     
  20. Biker

    Biker Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Canada
    MKNOX, I think that you are right on. My understanding is that Electric is about 4 times as efficient as gas in moving a car. 80% of the energy in a gas car is wasted in the form of heat and other forms of energy (sound/noise) that do not move the car forward. Even if the fuel to create electricity was as 'dirty' as gas, it would still be much cleaner and produce much less CO2 than a gas car.

    It is poor 'science' and poor research by the CBC. Especially poor research because there are many rebuttals to this argument. You don't need to look far.
     

Share This Page