> I'd like to add my two cents' worth on the new electric cars. While
>I realize they have their faults (limited performance and range being
>the two biggest), they would be ideal for a second or third car, to
>be used as a commuter vehicle.
Well, I don't know about commuter vehicles, but you could use them for
just bopping around. However, can you truly justify the cost of a new
vehicle, plus insurance, plus fuel, just to say you drive a battery
cart? Without doing much thinking, I'm quite certain I will spend less
fueling my gas car then I would to purchase a new second car.
Even though they are not truly "zero
>emissions", it is much more efficient to produce the energy upstream
>at the power plant, than in thousands of individual internal
Not necessarily. First off, there are lots of losses in getting that
energy from the power plant down to the tires of your car. Lots and
lots of losses. So you end up not gaining anywhere near as much as
you'd think. Especially when you include the horrid inefficiencies of
charging a battery.
There is also the issue of pollution types. Namely sulpher. Not a nice
substance to be pumping out into the air. Thats from the coal plants,
our most popular. Others are neat things like dams, oil, and nuclear.
Which all have their own environmental problems, and which are not
There is also quantity. There is enough electrical power to run
electrical cars, as long as they do not catch on. If they were to catch
on, this nation would have to go on a major power plant building binge.
Expensive and dirty.
>Also, where many people are driving around with
>poorly-maintained, gross polluters, this would not be a problem with
>electric cars, because all of the emissions would take place at the power
plant, which would have stricter, more enforceable maintenance rules
than any one
Not really. Emission standards for power plants vary tremendously
depending on the air quality region they are in. Remember, there are no
NSPS standards for power plants. The political clout they throw is
tremendous, and it reflect in their lax regulations.
You also need to keep in mind power plants are the single largest
contributor to air pollution. Especially acid rain. That's there's
As for the gross polluters, they are 10% across the board, regardless of
age. What's more, every one of them can be fixed for far less then the
cost of any electric car or conversion kit.
Electric cars are not zero emission, even though they are tauted as
such. They dump off particulate pollution at nearly the same rate a
gasoline car does (tire wear, belts, etc). They can be strong sources
of ground level ozone from their motors depending on motor design, and
maintenance. And there is the maintenance factor. Electrical cars will
start dumping out interesting sources of pollution, air and otherwise,
without maintenance or repair.
>Someone has made the claim that electric cars will produce MORE
>pollution, at least in the lead department, than a car burning leaded
>fuel. I'd be curious how, since lead-acid batteries don't gas off
>lead, and lead recycling from lead-acid batteries is one of the
>oldest and most successful recycling programs in existence.
It's the manufacturing process of those batteries. Go to the EPA's web
page, download the AP-42 emission factor documents on lead processing
for batteries, and lead processing for fuels. Then use the %lead in
fuel, average fuel mileages and you will start to see the problem. Each
of those steps in refining the lead for a battery, and then making the
battery, releases lead air pollution. A problem that does not exist in
leading gasoline and burning it. While the leaded fuel does cause lead
air pollution, the numbers are actually lower then lead battery usage.
>these cars don't even use lead-acid batteries at all.
No, almost all of them use lead-acid batteries. Dollar for dollar they
are still the best thing out there. Liquid sodium is interesting, but
horribly expensive and dangerous. Nissan and Chrysler both have called
it quits on that because both companies haven't had a vehicle yet that
didn't burn to the ground.
> Lastly, don't forget that there is one case where an electric
>car IS zero-emissions-- Stopped in traffic. No internal combustion
>car can say this.
Sure I can. I just turn the car off.
>but it's time to realize that an alternative is needed, and for the
>commuter, electric cars are the best we have so far.
I don't think I agree with that. This nation is covered with more then
enough various gasses (propane, natural, etc) to power all the cars
quite comfortably. We have a massive farm belt capable of growing many
alcohol producing crops. Hydrogen fuel work is being done wonderfully
in other nations. Most notably Germany by BMW.
Electric (especially battery) cars are an option, and always have been.
But they are far and away not the only option, or somehow the best