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How Clean is Your Electric Vehicle?

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by torresinc, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. torresinc

    torresinc New Member

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  2. Spyder14

    Spyder14 Member

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    That is interesting. My electricity comes from nuclear and when I plug in my zip code & model, the numbers go from 154 grams to 181 grams of CO2.
     
  3. Branzo90D

    Branzo90D Salt and Pepper

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    "A 2015 Tesla Model S AWD - P85D charged in XXXXX (zip code) produces about as much global warming pollution as a gasoline vehicle getting 81 miles per gallon."

    Mine is a P90D, but that is not an available choice. Not sure it would make a lot of difference anyway.

    These numbers are obviously coming from the source of power in my area. It doesn't include the fact that I use solar PV electric to offset about 90% of my total power use, so actually, my situation is far better.
     
  4. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    #4 techmaven, Feb 4, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
    Interesting... they use the Argonne National Labs GREET model to calculate a CO2e rating. Presumably they then use the MPGe ratings to calculate individual car metrics. It does seem that Model S MPGe ratings factor in a very low efficiency from the plug though, I haven't had a chance to chase that down.

    Regional emissions is still a fuzzy thing as it is hard specifically tell where out of the grid your electrons are really coming from. Then there's the issue of marginal production - as in what power plants have to increase their output at night to handle your new EV. Is that wind? Coal? Natural gas? It also potentially different every night, every hour. It would be very cool to be able to have the grid tell our chargers that there is a lot extra wind, let's charge now. I certainly don't need to charge every night, so a smarter grid could make better choices for lower GHG and PM2.5 emissions.
     
  5. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    #5 AudubonB, Feb 4, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
    That site is SERIOUSLY WRONG!

    I plugged in our Alaska zip code - which is inane because we're 80 miles off grid but I know that for the part of that area that does have electricity, it comes 100% from one of the most CO2-rich possibilities, a small-scale diesel power plant - and the matrix returned 93 g CO2e / mile
    I then plugged in our Arizona winter location - which is as clean as can be possible as 100% of this grid comes out of the Palo Verde nuke (although we charge off our PV panels, but that's irrelevant) - and the matrix returned 197 g CO2e / mile.

    My take from this is that I am a very Concerned Scientist....that they could release such a buggy site.


    On edit: I contacted the U of CS folks and relayed all the above. Will update if I get any response from them.
     
  6. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    They are using eGRID, which means the entire subregion is considered as one. After all, the grid does even things out, you can't really tell if those electrons are coming from Palo Verde.

    http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-10/documents/egrid2012_summarytables_0.pdf
     
  7. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    #7 AudubonB, Feb 4, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
    OK, then they are using a faulty set of data to create that matrix. GIGO at its finest.

    1. For Alaska, it's indefensible. Intertie within the state is minuscule and 100% does not come to this region. So their data are 100% wrong in this example.

    2. For Arizona and the entire lesser-48, the best proxy to use would not be the eGRID "subregion", but the NERC region (for AZ, that would be the WECC - Western Electricity Coordinating Council), as that comes closest to describing the pooling of interties.

    But you are correct in chastising me for claiming the grid electrons that come to the AZ house originate at Palo Verde. I did know of the fungibility of those pesky critters. But up to now I've kept mum whenever I've read the "my state's electricity is cleaner than your state's" inanities that are so pervasive. Guilty as charged :redface:


    On edit: For clarity, I should have written "and 0% comes to this region". I.e., we're off any intertie.
     
  8. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    I believe the methodology is wrong. They are comparing the CO2 out of the tailpipe in ICE cars with the CO2 from electricity production for EV's. A more valid comparison would be to compare the CO2 footprint from the production of the energy source for each type of vehicle - i.e. the footprint of oil refineries versus the footprint if power plants. No contest, I believe.
     
  9. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    They are using the Argonne National Labs GREET model to include upstream processes for gasoline production.
     
  10. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    From the FAQ:

    How do you calculate a gasoline vehicle’s CO2e emissions?


    To calculate CO2e emissions from gas-powered cars, the CO2e of gasoline’s various greenhouse gases is multiplied by the amount of those gases produced every mile by a car getting 28.7 miles per gallon. We use data from the GREET model (Argonne National Laboratory) to calculate the emissions from extracting crude oil, transport to a refinery, conversion to gasoline, delivery to a filling station, and burning in a car engine.
     
  11. MacroP

    MacroP Member

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    I'm lost. I feel this 'Clean' terminology has lost its meaning over the last few years and used inappropriately. I don't remember 'clean' as low CO2 emissions as dictated by that website (and many others). I remember a 'clean' vehicle as having clean emissions (i.e. low NOX) to reduce smog. CO2 is not dirty is the sense of clean vs dirty. It might be a bad greenhouse gas but it's not what I'd call dirty. There's two issues here and we are using the 'clean' buzzword in the wrong context.

    My appreciation of EVs is for them not to kill residents from Smog essentially - which is a serious issue in many places. Having low CO2 emissions certainly doesn't mean a vehicle is clean by any means either. A 2 stoke scooter can certainly have low CO2 emissions but still have disgusting emissions of chemicals that ultimately form smog. The VW diesel scandal shows how bad a marketed 'clean' car can be. Sure the VW does have low CO2 emissions with and without the 'special' programming enabled - it's the other smog generating baddies that change dramatically.

    Let's reduce the smog by driving more EVs regardless of their apparent CO2 emissions compared to fossil fuelled vehicles. IMO, CO2 reduction will be an inherent by-product over time anyway. CO2 reduction regulations (and metering) should be concentrated more on the power generation industry (i.e potential carbon tax) not personal vehicles. Just let EVs do their job in reducing smog first.
     
  12. glenhurst

    glenhurst Member

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    I'm in the midwest where much of the electricity is coal powered. So, the electricity here is relatively dirty. Nevertheless, I was surprised that the UCS site said a plugin hybrid would have fewer emissions than my S85.
     
  13. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Interesting.

    But Where The Heck are they getting the Bolt data?

    Yeah, the Spark EV kicks some booty, but they can't go by that.
     
  14. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    Keep in mind, the grid data is 2012 grid data.
    In the last three years the grid, in most places, has gotten cleaner.

    This also doesn't take into account any individual purchase or installation of renewable energy.

    And, to the OP, most people don't care how clean the car is. They care about how it looks, its performance, ride quality, etc.

    For those who do care how clean the car is, most have options to either install solar or purchase wind power.

    The nice thing is, every single EV will automatically get cleaner as the grid does:cool:

    - - - Updated - - -

    Keep in mind, the grid data is 2012 grid data.
    In the last three years the grid, in most places, has gotten cleaner.

    This also doesn't take into account any individual purchase or installation of renewable energy.

    And, to the OP, most people don't care how clean the car is. They care about how it looks, its performance, ride quality, etc.

    For those who do care how clean the car is, most have options to either install solar or purchase wind power.

    The nice thing is, every single EV will automatically get cleaner as the grid does:cool:
     
  15. jdbob

    jdbob Member

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    Clean? Mine has quite a coating of mud on it.
     
  16. mobe

    mobe Member

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    What about the fuel used to pump the crude? What about the fuel used to transport the crude to the refinery? What about the electricity used to refine the gasoline? What about the fuel used to transport the gasoline? What about the electricity used to pump the gasoline?
     

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