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Scientific American on Tesla

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Sandman14, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    Very well written article.
     
  2. patn

    patn Member

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    Some people may read the article as contradicting the letter sent out by Elon Musk regarding how to fight the fire -

    According to Elon:

    "For the Model S lithium-ion battery, it was correct to apply water (vs. dry chemical extinguisher), but not to puncture the metal firewall, as the newly created holes allowed the flames to then vent upwards into the front trunk section of the Model S."

    But I assume what he means is that ideally they should have let the battery pack contain the fire and only applied water to the rest of the car if it were involved.


    Pat
     
  3. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    But they did trot out the old canard of "EVs can be more polluting than gas if the electricity comes from coal".

    Even if we're talking about the dirtiest coal-fired plant on earth that hasn't seen a single emissions update since the 1950's, per vehicle, EV's are still cleaner than ICEs. Fossil fuels, emissions, and mobility don't (and can't) play nice together.
     
  4. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    I wish that were true; it would be easier to argue with some determined cynics. But outside the US, there are some REALLY dirty coal plants. And even inside the US with today's emissions standards, it depends on what you compare it to. The conclusion of studies (and meta-studies, since all studies have slightly different results) that I have read is that an all-coal LEAF might be just slightly worse than a Prius.

    Not much, mind you - and there are lots of other benefits, and the grid can be (and is being!) cleaned up, and the owner can choose another electric source. But it is possible, in an extreme case, for a coal-fired EV to be dirtier than the best hybrid. Which is a meaningless fact that haters cling to.
     
  5. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    Alrighty then, can we at least say that on average EVs are cleaner than ICEs, even when fed from coal plants?
     
  6. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Yeah, definitely. In the US I feel safe saying the average EV that uses grid electricity is only half as dirty as the average ICE - and of course many owners choose cleaner sources. Even in the 100% coal situation in the US, most EVs are cleaner than most gas cars.

    Not sure on the numbers for Canada, though.
     
  7. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    My understanding is that Canada uses almost no coal plants. We are primarily natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear.
     
  8. Zextraterrestrial

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    I think a biggie that is way overlooked, regardless of which is cleaner, is the noise pollution and exhaust fumes from ICEs in cities or where ever people need to be near them(everywhere)
    If both had the same overall pollution, which is impossible because at least the power plants can run at ideal temps an clean better than ICEs, then EVs would still be waaay better than gas cars just because the pollution can be moved away from people and animals and noise too.
     
  9. Sandman14

    Sandman14 Member

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    I particularly enjoyed the first paragraph: "Every hour, there are an average of 17 automobile fires somewhere in the U.S...burning cars filled with gasoline result in more than 200 deaths per year."

    - - - Updated - - -

    On second thought, "enjoyed" was a poorly chosen word. But the article put the recent fire in a more proper perspective.
     
  10. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    Good point, and one I deeply agree with!
     
  11. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    The Canadian grid is actually pretty darn low-carbon. Quebec in particular is almost all hydro power (and they export gobs of it to the USA). Ontario is mostly nuclear, hydro, and wind; only 5% carbon and that's all at peak load (I almost always charge at night and by doing so largely avoid using what little carbon there is).
     

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