Electric cars

Bjorn Lomborg is Wrong to Dismiss Electric Vehicles

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Bjorn Lomborg at a conference
Credit: Simon Wedege/Wikimedia Commons

When Bjorn Lomborg wrote "Green Cars Have a Dirty Little Secret" for The Wall Street Journal earlier this month, he based his argument—that electric vehicles (EVs) are no better for the environment than internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) due to the manufacturing process—on a 2012 study published by the Journal of Industrial Ecology (JIE). He made a convincing case, and I must admit: I was taken in.

But the convenience and even wide-spread belief of something doesn't necessarily make it true. Spurred on to seek out the truth by a very helpful Reason reader, I took a hard look at the JIE study from Hawkins et al. I wasn't the first to do this, but I hope to be one who cares more about the facts than an agenda.

As it turns out, the JIE study that Lomborg points to contains a number of problems that should raise a quizzical scientific eyebrow. In fact, Hawkins et al. were forced to issue a correction to their report in January.

In the JIE correction, EVs come out much greener than they do in Lomborg's op-ed. While Lomborg states that "unless the electric car is driven a lot, it will never get ahead environmentally," Hawkins et al. come to a different conclusion:

We ?nd that EVs powered by the European electricity mix reduce GWP [global warming potential] by 26% to 30% relative to gasoline (originally 20% to 24%) and 17% to 21% relative to diesel (originally 10% to 14%).

Even in the original study, EVs came out ahead over an estimated lifespan of 90,000 miles, despite being loaded down with lithium-ion batteries that scientific advancements have not yet made kind to Mother Nature. Still, reducing emissions by up to 30% without necessitating any changes to our current energy consumption habits can hardly be called "never getting ahead."

Cutaway view of a Nissan Leaf, showing the batteries
Credit: Tennen-Gas/Wikimedia Commons

And that's assuming that Hawkins et al. have actually reached a reasonable conclusion now that they have corrected their estimates of the required production inputs for a Nissan Leaf—their representative EV for the study. Instead of assuming, however, let's take a look at another study.

This UCLA report prepared for the California Air Resources Board, Lifecycle Analysis Comparison of a Battery Electric Vehicle and a Conventional Gasoline Vehicle, compares EVs (which they refer to as BEVs, or battery electric vehicles) to ICEVs (which they call CVs, or conventional gasoline vehicles). On pages 18 and 19, the authors report average expected CO2 emissions over a lifetime of 180,000 miles for an ICEV to be more than twice those expected for an EV.

In sum: both the JIE and the UCLA studies reach very similar conclusions. Hawkins et al. find EVs to be up to 30 percent cleaner than ICEVs over 90,000 miles and the UCLA study estimates 64 percent lower CO2 emissions over 180,000. (Keep in mind: this is with current battery technology as well as current energy mixes, which rely primarily on fossil fuels.)

And yet Lomborg dismisses this still-fledgling technology as doing "virtually nothing." He's right that EVs are not "zero emissions," of course. But if the chief goal of a buyer is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they are a step in the right direction.

That having said, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions isn't grounds for thousands of dollars in subsidies from Uncle Sam. Let the market decide if it's worth driving an electric car to be green, not the government.

UPDATE (3:00 pm): Bjorn Lomborg reached out to me via email with this response that I think is worth posting:

I do know of the correction to the Hawkins study, but it just changes the outcome about 6% (they're very explicit about it not changing much). However, the US electricity grid is also significantly more co2-intensive than the EU average, which was why I kept their estimate of 24% less emissions if driven 90,000 miles in my WSJ. It is not surprising, that if the car is driven twice that at 180,000 miles, it will emit even less. 

My point with the WSJ article, however, was also to point out that if you can only drive 73 miles at a time (and likely much less, both because you want to avoid being stranded, like NYTimes reporter John Broder, and because the range declines to 55 miles in five years), it is much less likely that you will drive even 90,000 miles and certainly 180,000 miles before you change your battery and hence increase your co2 emissions again.

Moreover, if you buy a car with a longer range (just drove a fantastic Tesla with almost 300 miles range)—its batteries will obviously have emitted so much more co2 in production that it is unlikely the car will ever earn it back.

So, I don't think these points serve to undermine my argument, but rather simply show that the numbers are pretty clear. If you drive little (50,000 miles or less), you'll emit more co2. If you drive rather much (90,000 miles) you'll probably emit 76% of a gasoline car (with average US electricity), and if you drive your electric car exceptionally far (180,000 miles) you might just emit half of a gasoline car.

All that remains to think about is how far will most future purchasers of a Nissan Leaf actually drive their car. Most will buy it as their second car for short, infrequent trips. 

This is an excellent point. In writing this post, I focused solely on rebutting the idea that EVs can't make up for their manufacture with lower greenhouse gas emissions over time (and miles). I stand by what I've written above—they can even with current technology. If you drive them long enough.

However, Lomborg's point that many will buy these as second cars and use them only rarely and for short trips is probably very true. If you're buying one of these cars to reduce your emissions, you better actually drive it a lot (instead of your ICEV) and hold onto it for as long as possible. Otherwise they're just a wasteful fashion statement—like pretty much every other car on the road.

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  1. And yet Lomborg dismisses this still-fledgling technology as doing “virtually nothing”

    And considering that they are a poor solution to a non-existent “problem” he is absolutely correct.

    1. Buying a brand new electric car might make a progressive individual feel better about not harming the environment so much, but just continuing to drive the old jalopy, or buying a high mpg used car would have less impact on the environment.

      1. yeah…often environmentalists push to replace old stuff that works but never look at environmental costs of the manufacture of the new stuff.

        Yes that new washer and dryer use less water and use less electricity but how many years of use will it take to recover the electricity and water used to manufacture the new dryer and washer? 10 years? 20 years?

        With the small gains it is often better to use the old washer and dryer until they break.

    2. Even if you don’t believe in global warming (I don’t) you have to admit that oil resources are limited.

      1. I believe the argument is that it takes more fossil fuels to produce a new electric car than buying a 2000 Honda Civic and driving that. Also, I’m pretty sure the mining and smelting footprints of lithium and copper are high compared to the steel in a traditional engine block.

        1. I believe the argument is that it takes more fossil fuels to produce a new electric car than buying a 2000 Honda Civic and driving that.

          The argument you believe has been disproven.

  2. Practical electric cars have been just over the horizon for over a century, and that is where they will remain.

    1. EVs are practical today as second vehicles.

      1. Jesus christ, shut the fuck up moron.

        1. Thanks anon, I was about to rant all over the obvious shill, but you saved me the trouble.

          In my house, the “second car” is my wife’s car which is really just first car 1A, and there’s no fucking way she’d be ok with the shitty range of EV’s.

      2. EVs are practical today as second vehicles.

        So long as you have a first vehicle to take a charger to it?

      3. As long as you don’t need to travel more than fifteen miles a day.

        1. EV ranges are much longer than 15 miles.

          1. Read my handle. Read it again. Thank you.

            [/sarc off]

            EVs are not practical. At least not at the current cost. If they were then people would buy them.

            Sure you might argue that people don’t buy them because people are stupid, or because they don’t know what’s good for them, or because they’ve been brainwashed by the corporations, or whatever.

            The simple fact is that if they were indeed practical, people would buy them.
            The fact that people are not buying them indicates that they are not practical.
            [sarc on]

            1. And this is with the generous subsidies… imagine if they were marketed at their actual value.

      4. It would be cool to be allowed to drive a golf cart to work….some cities do allow golf carts on the streets.

        1. There are some EVs that are street legal that are pretty much golf carts. There is an enormously fat man near where I live who drives one in the summer.

      5. Yeah, except 2nd vehicles aren’t practical period unless your first is an F250 that gets 12 miles to the gallon. And in that case, EV’s are horribly impractical because their limited range means you’ll be taking the gas-guzzling monster truck on any mildly long trip.

  3. Electric cars are asinine until we have light batteries or super capacitors. It’s really that simple. The electricity still has to come from somewhere. So if you burn some coal to charge my battery, or you burn some gas to power my car, it’s all the same in the end.

    This is a really stupid discussion.

    1. Again, you discount my plan to place all electric cars on rails, with the allowable destinations pre-set by a large government committee, composed of the most venal partisans available.

      1. Will there be jobs for the unions? With lots of featherbedding, maybe some no-shows?

        1. Are you kidding? 100% mandatory unionization, or no electric car service. And if the union has a grievance, better resolve it, or you ain’t going nowhere.

        2. Sure, when your battery dies, a gang of union guys comes out and pushes you home. Plenty of Jobs for everyone! And it’s free, because the evil oil companies and car companies (that still make gas powered cars) will be taxed to pay for it.

          1. Yes, this would be after the flat tax on evil replaces all other taxes. If the Evil Commission designates you as non-evil this year, no taxes at all. Of course, it’s not an either-or proposition, so you’ll be taxed on however much evil you’ve done. For instance, commenting in an unmutual manner here would be evil taxable.

    2. You don’t understand. You should be able to plug your car into renewable sources of electricity. Windmills, geothermal and solar panels. So what if those sources are unpredictable and not available everywhere. The should be. Intentions, dude. Intentions.

      1. Again, why not a gravity-powered car? Make roads downhill in all directions, and our problems will be solved.

        1. As my high school physics teacher demonstrated, if you dig a tube from point to point, pump the air out of it and put a magnetic rail system in it, you can travel from any point on the earth to any other point on the earth in 83 minutes.

          1. I would also like a gigantic intertubial network of, well, pneumatic tubes.

            1. If we were all hamsters, it would work perfectly.

              1. I’m talking about pneumatic tubes. Big ones, that could move cargo and intertubial vehicles designed for human transport.

          2. Wasn’t that in Total Recall The Sequel?

          3. you can travel from any point on the earth to any other point on the earth in 83 minutes.

            If the acceleration does not kill you the breaking will.

            1. Indeed, how does fast movement in the presence of gravity (under the Earth) affect the body? Their must be g-forces. I think the braking is less of a problem: it would be a gradual thing, like acceleration.

              1. Never more than 1 G.

                Link

              2. You’d be in free fall, so no g forces.

                1. There’s still acceleration. But if it’s only a G, I think we can handle that. Gets hot if you dig deep enough, of course.

            2. Oops. 42 Minutes.

              In 1966, mathematician Paul Cooper theorized that the fastest, most efficient way to travel across continents would be to bore a straight hollow tube directly through the Earth, connecting a set of antipodes, remove the air from the tube and fall through.[7] The first half of the journey consists of free-fall acceleration, while the second half consists of an exactly equal deceleration. The time for such a journey works out to be 42 minutes. Even if the tube does not pass through the exact center of the Earth, the time for a journey powered entirely by gravity (known as a gravity train) always works out to be 42 minutes, so long as the tube remains friction-free, as while the force of gravity would be lessened, the distance traveled is reduced at an equal rate.[8][9] (The same idea was proposed, without calculation by Lewis Carroll in 1893 in Sylvie and Bruno Concluded.[10])

              Link

    3. Actually it’s not quite the same.

      In real life, generating the power at the point of consumption will always be more efficient then generating it remotely, transporting it over great distances, and storing it for later use.

      You will have real world loss involved with that transport and storage. The electric battery method will always be more wasteful in terms of efficiency.

      1. I guess the question is whether we can make energy storage systems, kinetic or chemical, that approach or exceed the energy available in gasoline.

        1. Short of splitting atoms, it’s not going to happen.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density

          1. Well, then nuclear (or fusion) it is!

            Maybe what we need to focus on is making ourselves immune to high levels of radiation. Then we could go nuclear like crazy, without any protest.

            1. deinococcus radiodurans, show us the way.

        2. That’s a power density question. It doesn’t change the issue of efficiency.

          I’m sure we can make stuff more energy dense than gasoline. Whether it’s ideal to power a car will include a host of other factors. But with any given form of power generation, generating it on demand will always be more efficient than batteries. You will always lose a portion of your energy trying to store it, or transport it, or convert it.

          1. I’m no expert in any of this, but isn’t that a little apples to oranges? For now, we just have to make a storage system that beats/compare to I/C. It doesn’t have to beat all comers, right?

            1. No, I think that’s incorrect. To simply look at the storage system is to ignore half the neccessary components. You cannot just store energy, you have to generate energy to store. So it’s not “just” a storage system issue.

              Hypothetically we could have a system where charging batteries was cheaper over all than burning gas – if we were charging those batteries with a very cheap nuke source (which currently doesn’t exist) for instance.

              However, it would still be even better to just put a mini nuke reactor under your hood. We might not want to do that for other reasons. But storage and transportation will always come with overhead and be less efficient. It will always be better to burn the gas in the car than charge the batteries with burnt gas. Whatever you’re charging the batteries with, gas, coal, nukes, it would be more efficient to scrap the batteries and apply power directly.

              Point being, a storage system cannot beat I/C. Only another fuel source could beat I/C. It could possibly beat I/C gasoline by so much that it’s still ahead even after accounting for battery losses and energy transport losses, thus making electric cars feasible, but that would be despite the storage system not because of it. The only plausible source of energy I see that being possible with is hypothetical future nuke reactors.

              1. If we had batteries that were good enough to get us 300-400 miles without recharging and which could be recharged quickly, then that’s probably adequate for our needs today. Whether or not the battery would be as efficient as having a reactor in the car.

                That said, I’m all for Mr. Fusion.

                1. PL, you’re not getting it. The energy to charge the batteries has to come from burning something, then it has to be transmitted at a loss. The net result is that more stuff is burned to charge the batteries than if the stuff was burned in a combustion engine, no matter how efficient the batteries are.

                  1. No, no, I understand that part. I guess I sort of assume that we really will move away from fossil fuels at some point in the future, not so much because of environmental issues, though I’m sure they’ll be a factor, but just because of advancing technology. There’s something a little primitive in burning shit to make engines go, it seems to me.

                    1. I guess I sort of assume that we really will move away from fossil fuels … because of advancing technology.

                      It’s basic economics. Right now fossil fuels are cheaper than advancing technology, so we’re using fossil fuels.
                      When the price of fossil fuels rises over that of alternatives, then people will buy the alternatives. Then again, that will make previously untapped fossil fuels more economically viable, encouraging their extraction, raising supply, and driving down the price.

                      Eventually fossil fuels will be more expensive than alternatives, and what’s left in the ground will stay there.

                      Kinda like how people stopped killing whales for oil once cheap kerosene came along.

                    2. Okay, I’m not communicating well today. I agree that electrics don’t solve many problems if they involve pollution at the plant-level, anyway, and don’t perform at all comparably to I/C.

                    3. I agree that electrics don’t solve many problems if they involve pollution at the plant-level, anyway, and don’t perform at all comparably to I/C.

                      EVs involve the same amount of pollution at the manufacturing level. In use, they emit 60% of the carbon that ICEVs do. At an efficiency level, they are two and a half to three times as efficient in the use of the energy contained in the fuel relative to an ICEV.

                  2. PL, you’re not getting it. The energy to charge the batteries has to come from burning something, then it has to be transmitted at a loss. The net result is that more stuff is burned to charge the batteries than if the stuff was burned in a combustion engine, no matter how efficient the batteries are.

                    “More stuff is burned?” Gee, how scientific of you.

              2. If I could wave a magic wand and create the perfect energy system, there would be a self contained water, O2, H system. Electricity comes in from solar cells or windmills and splits the water. The H and O2 produce energy for transportation and the resulting water goes back into the water tank.
                I know that with current technology it’s nothing but a pipe dream, especially since the input from solar/wind would not split enough water to travel more than a couple miles, but ideas have to start somewhere.

              3. What do you mean by “beat?”

          2. We know.

        3. I guess the question is whether we can make energy storage systems, kinetic or chemical, that approach or exceed the energy available in gasoline.

          A gallon of gas contains 33.4 kWh of energy, but an internal combustion engine wastes most of it. The issue isn’t so much exceeding the available energy, but storing enough of it to provide acceptable range, and be rechargeable in an acceptable period of time, at a competitive cost.

          1. A gasoline energy is 30% efficient. A solar panel is 15%. What is your point? Can you extract more than 30% of the energy from gasoline with out wasting it in production?

            1. A gasoline energy is 30% efficient. A solar panel is 15%. What is your point? Can you extract more than 30% of the energy from gasoline with out wasting it in production?

              Apples and oranges. The solar panel’s “efficiency” that you quote refers to the conversion of photons to electrons. It’s not non-comparable efficiency of gasoline burned in an internal combustion engine (“ICE”). The comparables would be “miles per kWh from the plug” vs. “miles per equivalent kWh from the gas tank.”

              That much said, the “efficiency” comparison between electricity and gasoline is of mainly theoretical interest, as far as I’m concerned.

              The point is that burning gasoline in an ICE wastes most of the energy content of the gasoline. Drawing electricity from the plug wastes about 20% of the energy. This varies with different varieties of inverters and between Li-Ion batteries; I’m pretty confident in the 20% loss figure for EV system, but could be persuaded otherwise by detailed, independent citations.

              It would be interesting to know whether the energy in gasoline could be more efficiently converted into motive power through some other means. For example, would running big electric power plant on gasoline, and then paying the 20% plug-to-wheels penalty, be superior? I don’t know enough to say.

              To anticipate an objection: Yes, there’s a 7% electricity transmission penalty, but there’s also a penalty to be paid for shipping gasoline to gas stations.

              1. The comparables would be “miles per kWh from the plug” vs. “miles per equivalent kWh from the gas tank.”

                Boy, I really mangled that. The comparable would be compare miles driven per gallon of gas in an ICE to miles driven on the kWh content of gasoline in an EV, making sure to use gas and electric vehicles of equal weight.

                1. Educating a material scientist on quantum efficiency of the photo electric effect in a PiN diode? Interesting tact. It is a legitimate comparison, because you have to “store” the solar panel the same as the gasoline. The only thing you should be interested in is the energy density of the gasoline vs. the solar panel (not theoretical yields, mind you). I don’t think you need a hint as to which one wins. Solar panels also wear out.

                  1. PS I’m an ECE grad that went to school to build and design solar panels using III-V materials and other alternative energy sources. Obviously that didn’t work out.

      2. In real life, generating the power at the point of consumption will always be more efficient then generating it remotely, transporting it over great distances, and storing it for later use.

        Put the windmills on the cars. Duh.

        1. I love that suggestion.

        2. And tow a giant trailer with solar panels. Duh.

      3. You will have real world loss involved with that transport and storage. The electric battery method will always be more wasteful in terms of efficiency.

        More wasteful than what?

        1. Producing it on site.

        2. More wasteful than what?

          Using whatever power source you’re using to charge the battery to just power the car instead, and scrap the electric battery system.

          Whatever that may be, apples to apples. Whatever you’re using to charge the battery (you gotta use something) it would be more efficient without the battery and it would take less.

          1. Unless we stick power rails on every road, it’s impossible to run cars without an energy storage system, be it an electric battery or a gas tank.

            1. You’re being willfully obtuse.

              1. You’re being willfully obtuse.

                You don’t know even remotely as much as you seem to think you do. You’ve been spouting pure bullshit throughout this thread.

          2. This is true, unless large power plants are much more efficient than what you can fit in a vehicle. I’m not sure about the numbers on this, but it’s not always possible just to scale things down like that.

            1. This is true, unless large power plants are much more efficient than what you can fit in a vehicle. I’m not sure about the numbers on this, but it’s not always possible just to scale things down like that.

              I’m quite certain of the relevant numbers on this, so if you’ll ask a specific question I’ll answer it. Whether “large power plans are more efficient than what you can fit in a vehicle” isn’t specific enough.

    4. It’s not the same. The losses in conversion and transmission make coal-powered cars produce more carbon than my ordinary green gasoline powered car.

      1. You know, if we mandated coal-powered cars, we’d–

        1. Achieve energy independence, with our huge coal reserves.

        2. Create millions of American jobs, as someone has to shovel all of that coal.

        3. Stimulate American industry, as the new cars and supporting infrastructure must be built on a massive scale.

        4. Protect our precious corn and agave supply from the threat of ethanol.

        1. By coal-powered he meant coal power plants charging batteries.

          1. What? That’s stupid. Why would you deny coal-shovelers their right to work?

            1. Well, we could achieve full employment if every car required it’s own coal shoveler.

              1. Isn’t that what I said? Absolutely. Of course, the coal-shovelers union would be profoundly powerful, but what can you do? Someone’s got to shovel the coal.

          2. No, I like his idea better.

            1. Warty’s all about American jobs and dirty, sweaty, buff men. No, wait, that’s Episiarch.

        2. And solve the obesity problem. Shoveling coal is great aerobic exercise.

          1. And solve the obesity problem. Shoveling coal is great aerobic exercise.

            Hunger and exercise are not independent variables. Men in manual labor average heavier than men in desk jobs. Remember that obesity took off in the late 1970s, the same time as the “fitness craze.”

            1. Heavier does not mean more obese necessarily.

        3. You could also generate millions of new green-industry jobs building air scrubbers and changing air filters to get all that coal soot out of the air.

          1. Yes, yes, this idea keeps on giving.

    5. And even if we had perfect batteries and clean electricity sources, the whole power grid woudl have to be rebuilt to allow everyone to charge their car at home every night. Every neighborhood woudl have to be wired like an industrial park.

      1. That’s complete bullshit. Electricity use plummets at night. That’s when most EVs get recharged. There is no grid issue, and there isn’t going to be.

        1. There will be if everything is driven by solar cells.

        2. Distribution transformers rely on the drop off at night for cooling. So yes there is a grid issue.

          1. That’s interesting. Please provide a link to support your assertion.

            1. “Yes, widespread charging at night will change demand on the grid. Many transformers are designed to cool at night, so if you put a significant load on those transformers at night the equipment can’t cool down, which can shorten its useful life. This is another item utilities are looking at.”

              Dr. Russell Lefevre, IEEE Fellow

              1. Interesting about the transformers. I had reason to do a bit of inquiry into transformers for a different purpose, and at the time I understood that, in the U.S., there’s usually one per about every six houses.

                That could be wrong, though. I wonder what the replacement cycle is, and whether they couldn’t just be upgraded through the normal maintenance cycle over time if EVs get really popular.

  4. With the news that CO2 emissions are not driving warming, why is reducing CO2 emissions even a valid concern?
    Due to fuel costs, the EV research money could be funneled into making CVs much more efficient and we’d all come out ahead.
    Just don’t use CO2 as the motivation.

    1. What’s a “CV”?

        1. If that’s what was meant, then “CVs” have a steep road to climb. My EV gets 84 miles on the same energy content contained in the gasoline that will push its “CV” equivalent 31 miles. And, with the current U.S. electricity generation mix, it emits 60% of the carbon as the “CV.”

          1. But as the original article pointed out, it took a lot more carbon to build your EV and will do so again when you replace the battery.

            1. The original article was bullshit. It was based on a sloppy study and has been disproven. EVs and conventional vehicles entail the same carbon emissions output.

              1. Says you, but you have a clear agenda here.

            2. The same carbon output in manufacturing, that is. In use, EVs emit about 60% of the carbon as conventional vehicles, based on the current mix of fuels used to produce electricity in the United States.

              As the mix continues its shift toward natural gas, the EV advantage in use will grow, because natural gas emits half the carbon that coal does.

              1. Then why not just run the internal combustion engine on natural gas? Seems like a much easier transition.

                1. Then why not just run the internal combustion engine on natural gas? Seems like a much easier transition.

                  Interesting idea. Currently, about one-third of electricity generation generates no net carbon emissions. The share is rising, albeit slowly.

  5. That’s all well and good, but reducing CO2 emissions aren’t (or shouldn’t be, but that obsession is religious at this point) the be-all end-all for the environment. The toxicity of the batteries and the difficulty of reuse / disposal are pretty key question here in my estimation.

    EVs came out ahead over an estimated lifespan of 90,000 miles

    Do we know if that’s a realistic assumption? Considering the age of the model, it limited range, and the lack of sales, is there enough data to forecast that the estimated lifespan of a Leaf is 90,000 miles for its original drivetrain (incl. batteries) for a typical driver?

    I should probably just read the study, but I’m oh so lazy.

    1. Just what is the likely lifespan of current electrics? It can’t be as good as I/C, just given the newness of the technology and the integration of it into cars. And if the batteries have to be replaced, that’s almost a new car, for environmental purposes, it would seem.

      1. The batteries last about 7 years, on average, from my experience; this is when I’ll get them in the shop from setting a check engine light. The batteries can cost from $1500 to $7000, plus labor to install. The batteries start degrading after about 2 years of ownership and regular driving… just like every other lithium-ion battery…

        1. That would be about 13k miles per year then, which I just don’t see happening for a Leaf. I’m admittedly ignorant on this and willing to be proven wrong, though.

      2. Typical lifespan of EV batteries is 10 years, but some are lasting longer in use.

        1. Wrong yet again.

            1. You’re using a forum, and Consumer Reports (which doesn’t mention whether the battery was replaced or not), as citations?

              AHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH

              1. And your source is, what, oh yourself?

                AHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH

                I’ll take Consumer Reports and Car Talk over you.

                1. That’s fine, you don’t have to take my anecdotal evidence; however, I’ll take the laws of physics and chemistry every day over Car Talk.

                  1. That’s fine, you don’t have to take my anecdotal evidence; however, I’ll take the laws of physics and chemistry every day over Car Talk.

                    You’ve cited no “laws of physics and chemistry” to support your claims about electric battery life.

                    1. Lithium’s last for around 1000 cycles before severe capacity degradation. Usually 70% max capacity. In real world numbers, that is three to five years in a vehicle with a “200 mile” range (less if you speed and actually use the accelerator). At first I thought you might have a clue, now I realize you are just flapping your trap.

                    2. Oh and PS a Prius isn’t a fucking EV. Capacity doesn’t matter nearly as much. The theory of operation for a hybrid treats the battery like a capacitor and relies on the engine for any extended range operation. Degradation of the cells isn’t such a big deal in that scenario.

                    3. Nissan gives an eight-year, 100,000 warranty on its Leaf battery. We’ll just have to see how things work in practice. I think Li-Ion will wind up being a transitional technology anyway.

                    4. The leaf has a gas generator. Battery capacity over time becomes irrelevant.

                    5. Sorry, it is the Volt that has the generator. The Leaf only has a 72 mile highway range. It also has two modes, “distance” and “battery longevity.” I would bet a schilling the 2nd mode is the one that carries the 8 year warranty. If you bought one, you might be unhappy in five years when your battery is only going 49 miles per charge.

    2. Even if the estimate is correct, have you ever noticed that many of the drivers of “green” cars seem to ignore the smaller wheel base and the heavier weight when racing their cars through traffic? It wouldn’t surprise me if a good percentage of these cars are wrapped around telephone polls before they reach the break even mileage.

      1. And you don’t get 60 MPG when driving like that either.

      2. Even if the estimate is correct, have you ever noticed that many of the drivers of “green” cars seem to ignore the smaller wheel base and the heavier weight when racing their cars through traffic?

        My EV weighs 2,350 lbs, compared to 2,120 lbs for its gas car equivalent. Wheelbases are within 2 inches, and vehicle lengths are within four inches. Mine takes corners like a champ, because the battery is on the floor in the middle of the car.

        1. When I test drove a Leaf the handling was awful. That’s one of the reasons I dropped it and went with the Mini Cooper.

          1. When I test drove a Leaf the handling was awful. That’s one of the reasons I dropped it and went with the Mini Cooper.

            That’s interesting. I’ve never driven either car.

  6. If “environmentalists” cared about making transportation more efficient, they would advocate for free market infrastructure and land use.

  7. Well, until you can get one to go 1000 miles without a charge, or you have a system where you can easily swap out batteries in a time period similar to a fill-up, and the vehicle is powerful enough to tow my 5th wheel I’ll be sticking with my Silverado.

    Technological advances require the new thing have more value than the old thing.

    1. I am swapping out my cars. When it’s all finished, I’ll have my EV to drive around town, and a big-ass diesel pickup truck for long trips.

      1. Two vehicles. Very efficient. Going to buy them both new? What’s the break even point on that one?

        1. Already got the EV. The big ass pickup will be new. And if you think I did any of this for smugness points, you’re completely wrong.

          1. I’ve done it. I bought a used Honda Civic to drive back and forth to work with. It cost $2K. I did the math. The break even point was several years.

            An electric car costs $40K. Do the math.

            1. An electric car costs $40K. Do the math.

              If you’re stupid enough to pay that much.

              1. Good thing you admit yourself that buying a brand new EV is a terrible economic decision.

                1. My EV was brand new. I got a great deal on it. $8,500 net of the tax credit.

                  1. Doubtful. Even if you did receive such a deal, you just shifted the cost from yourself to the rest of the taxpayers.

                    So if we all bought EV’s, we’d all still pay about 40k each.

                    1. Doubtful. Even if you did receive such a deal, you just shifted the cost from yourself to the rest of the taxpayers.

                      It would seem that when it comes to the pursuit of self interest, I’m somewhat better at it than the Randians. If you want to be stupid enough to pay 40 grand for an EV, go for it!

                    2. You do realize the EV still actually -cost- 40k right?

                    3. You do realize the EV still actually -cost- 40k right?

                      A lot more, probably. Like everything else, manufacturing scale is a huge element of cost. My EV was all but custom made. Give it five or 10 years, and EV costs will be the same as ICEVs

                    4. A volt costs $90,000 to produce. They have a loooong way to go.

                    5. “Doubtful. Even if you did receive such a deal, you just shifted the cost from yourself to the rest of the taxpayers.”

                      It was probably the dealership giving it away in a fire sale, trying to clear inventory since there’s no demand for EVs.

                    6. It was probably the dealership giving it away in a fire sale, trying to clear inventory since there’s no demand for EVs.

                      Better yet, it was the manufacturer clearing out inventory at 70% off. I love close-out sales.

  8. Still, reducing emissions by up to 30% without necessitating any changes to our current energy consumption habits can hardly be called “never getting ahead.”

    Especially considering that there’s nothing inconvenient for people about driving around in a glorified golf-cart. All in the name of “reducing emissions.”

    1. 2010 is shaping up to be the year remembered as the launching point for high-volume production of highway-capable electric vehicles (EVs). We can expect to see the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, and Coda sedan enter production, among other vehicles. Other plug-in electric cars from major manufacturers will soon follow.

      This will look even funnier in about 7 years.

      1. I think there’s probably an article about the prius from its launch that conveys the point now; no need to wait 7 years.

      2. I saw a Volt on the road the other day. I think it is the first one I have seen.

  9. “Keep in mind: this is with current battery technology as well as current energy mixes, which rely primarily on fossil fuels.)”

    It should be noted, too, that not everyone relies primarily on fossil fuels.

    One of the problems (on both sides) of any green technology argument is the suggestion either that because the solution will work in certain situations, it will solve all of our problems globally–or the opposite suggestion that if it won’t work for everyone everywhere, then it isn’t really a solution.

    Both are wrong.

    If you happen to live in an area that gets a lot of electricity from hydro or nuclear power, then EVs are a great solution–if you’re worried about global warming. Only 40% of Los Angeles’ power, for instance, comes from coal–and over the next 15 years, they’re replacing coal completely with natural gas, which burns a whole lot cleaner from a CO2 standpoint.

    Point being that if you drive in LA (over the next 15 years), you’re not contributing green house gas to the atmosphere the same as someone from elsewhere in the country who is also driving an EV. Not every solution has to work nationally (or globally) to be a solution.

    Individuals can choose whatever solutions work for them best individually–isn’t that Adam Smith 101?

    1. Re: Ken Shultz,

      Individuals can choose whatever solutions work for them best individually–isn’t that Adam Smith 101?

      Yes, but letting people choose for themselves is icky and pedestrian. The chic and enlightened thing to do is make them choose at gunpoint.

      1. I choose the lead!

        1. It’s certainly true that the solution to our environmental problems has to do with persuading people to care.

          And if there’s anything that makes so many people hate something more–more than using the government to force them to do it–then I don’t know what it is.

      2. That does seem to be the standard thinking these days.

        If it isn’t imposed on us from above, then it isn’t a serious solution.

        1. but we gotta, like, work together, you know dude?

          /sic

  10. The premise that anyone can know what the “solution” is for society at large is flawed. The fact that tax money lines bankrupt companies with subsidies to produce shit nobody wants is the problem; the author has missed the entire premise of the arguments about EV/Hybrid vehicles.

  11. On pages 18 and 19, the authors report average expected CO2 emissions over a lifetime of 180,000 miles for an ICEV to be more than twice those expected for an EV.

    And if people would just ride to work in penny-farthings, just imagine the reductions we could achieve!

  12. But if the chief goal of a buyer is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they are a step in the right direction.

    Well, that and if the other chief goal is to have a vehicle that he or she can only drive in short hops before it starves of energy and then have to keep in a heated garage (if one lives in one of the colder parts of the country) for 10-12 hours while you “juice” it, then sure. It is a step in the right direction.

    It has been for the last 100 years.

    1. A lot of people drive only short hops.

      1. Re: JakeJ,

        A lot of people drive only short hops.

        By looking at the demand for gasoline, I would say your statement is based on your own anecdotes.

        And even so, what I am saying is true: IF you are worried about emissions, are willing to drive just short hops before you have to wait 10 hours to “juice up” your golf-cart, then an EV will be your ideal mode of transportation. The market – that is, people – don’t seem to agree with this, for obvious reasons: They use their cars for not only short hops but to also visit the beach or go to a restaurant or drive to the Electronics Megashow, and they don’t want vehicles that will stall on them at the most inconvenient times.

        1. Acoording to the Dept of Transportation, the average driver drives 13,476 miles a year, or 37 miles a day. That’s well within the range of the EVs on the market now.

          Obviously, the range is an issue. I’d never contend that EVs are current ready for universal adoption. For that to happen, range has to improve, and battery costs have to drop.

          The way most EV owners use them is to drive them around during the day, and recharge them at home at night.

      2. “A lot of people drive only short hops.”

        And those people aren’t spending much on gas or contributing much to carbon emissions, either. So the effect of them switching to EVs would be trivial.

        1. And those people aren’t spending much on gas or contributing much to carbon emissions, either. So the effect of them switching to EVs would be trivial.

          Yes an no. At the individual car level the impact is substantial, but at the aggregate level I agree it’s trivial.

  13. If I could get an EV that could seat four relatively comfortably and got a bulletproof 200 miles on a charge in mixed highway/city driving in Texas heat with the AC cranked, and priced in the ballpark of a comparable gas/diesel vehicle I’d buy for that kind of use, I’d probably do it.

    I have no desire to drop $50K on a Tesla or pay a big premium for an “electric” version of something that goes 20 miles then switches to a gas engine.

  14. As the “very helpful Reason reader” mentioned, I’ve got a few comments. I will split them into three posts for clarity’s sake.

    I’m impressed by John Walters’s willingness to re-examine his original post and let facts be his guide. Lomborg is an ax-grinding ideologue, and the reality is that many “libertarians” share Lomborg’s hostility to the “green” agenda. As such, I started out being skeptical of this site’s integrity, but not now.

    It’s one thing for environmentalists to dispute Lomborg and the crappy JIE study that he used. It’s quite another for Reason to call out Lomborg and the JIE for their major errors. I hope Walters’s followup gets the attention it deserves. The Wall Street Journal should invite him to correct Lomborg’s article, which along with the original JIE “study” has gotten worldwide attention. The lies were told, and now the facts should be told.

    I do own an EV but I am no one’s evangelist. There are definitely issues to examine, but in my world you start and end with the facts. Like any technology fanboys, EV owners tend to go over the top about their toys. Not me. Just tell the truth and see what happens. And if you should happen to be wrong, then correct your mistakes and move on.

    1. “I do own an EV but I am no one’s evangelist.”

      Your evangelizing suggest otherwise.

      1. I’m not “evangelizing” for anything but accuracy.

        1. What’s wrong with evangelizing?

          1. Evangelists tend to argue faith, not facts.

            1. Hey! You’re right about something.

              Your “faith” is merely AGW.

              1. What’s “AGW”?

            2. “Evangelists tend to argue faith, not facts.”

              Do you think people should care more about polar bears than coal miners?

              I do!

              But there’s no rational reason why you should like pistachio ice cream rather than strawberry–so if you need to argue about something like that, you have to appeal to more than just someone’s intellect.

              Even if I thought people should care more about coal miners than polar bears, that’s just a bias, too! When they’re telling you that your AGW is based on faith, a lot of the time it’s because you’re using the wrong tool for the job.

              You can’t persuade people of your personal preferences with just reason. Yet persuading people of our personal preferences is exactly what we need to do.

              You can use reason to convince people that there’s a problem–while recognizing there’s still some uncertainty and all scientific knowledge is revisable given new data–but that’s just step one.

              One of the reasons people are reluctant to embrace solutions to environmental problems is because so many environmentalists have used reason to try to appeal to people’s personal preferences (which is unworkable) or they’ve advocated imposing solutions on people involuntarily (which biases them against the personal preferences of environmentalists).

              So, in short, you need to start evangelizing. There ain’t nothing wrong with faith. Faith is just what you believe to be the truth despite the uncertainty–and there’s always some level of uncertainty.

              1. You seem to think I want to sell people on EVs, when all I want is for Bjorn Lomborg to do his homework and tell the truth.

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  16. In my comments on Walters’s first piece, I made factual errors. The most important was my belief that each gallon of gasoline contains 4.5 kWh of electricity, either in the form of purchased power or that generated from externally-supplied fuels used to run refinery turbines. If true, this would be a very big deal, amounting to 40% of the electricity needed to run my small EV.

    I worked with Walters to thoroughly reinvestigate these issues in all their complexity. I found that each gallon of gasoline actually contains 0.78 kWh of electricity. This is 7% of the juice needed to run my EV. It’s still relevant, but not a huge deal. I can supply the calculations, with sources, for anyone who requests.

    Also, I misstated the percentage of U.S. electricity generated by natural gas. Five years ago, the U.S. used coal to generate half of its electricity. That’s down to about 37%, and continues to drop. Natural gas has gone from 20% to 30%. Nuclear has stayed the same at 20%. The remainder comes from a combination of hydroelectric (7%) and a mixture of geothermal, “biomass,” wind, and solar.

    1. … Finally, I overstated the errors in the JIE study that Lomborg used. Its errors were outrageous, but not as vast as I had thought. The JIE authors assumed an electric motor two and a half times as large as a Nissan LEAF’s; an internal inverter (which converts the battery’s DC to AC for use by the motor) four and a half times as large; and an external charger seven times as large. These are still major errors. JIE’s devious, half-assed correction issued in January (which, by the way, did not show up in my Google searches) was, in my opinion, grossly inadequate to the point of academic malpractice.

      To be certain, I searched for an independent source for the “greenhouse gas” emissions generated by the manufacture of EVs. I found it in a 2009 report from the National Academy of Sciences, “The Hidden Costs of Energy.” It compared a standard gas vehicle to a hybrid and to a fuel-cell vehicle. Pure EVs didn’t exist at the time, but it’s easy to see from the NAS study that manufacturing an EV entails the same (and maybe less) “GHG” emissions than manufacturing a standard gas vehicle ? including the battery.

    2. I worked with Walters to thoroughly reinvestigate these issues in all their complexity. I found that each gallon of gasoline actually contains 0.78 kWh of electricity.

      Nice assertion; too bad “electricity” isn’t a type of unit. Also too bad that your “calculations” are also entirely wrong.

      Please don’t try again, you’re not very good at this.

      1. Electricity isn’t the unit. Kilowatt hours are the unit. And yes, I am good at this.

        1. “In my comments on Walters’s first piece, I made factual errors”

          “And yes, I am good at this.”

          Unless this is making a total ass of yourself shilling for something, then no, you aren’t good at “this”.

        2. Then why would you say (bullshit number) of electricity??

          1. You are wrapping yourself around a tree on the semantics. If that’s what you want to keep doing, knock yerself out.

            1. Because 1: You suggest that the average energy output of a typical gasoline engine in a motor vehicle is about half that of a typical lawnmower, and 2: you’re wrong.

              1. Oh, and then there’s the whole idea of measuring the energy output of a “gallon of gasoline” in kWh, which is the completely wrong unit to measure such energy in. The -potential- energy in a gallon of gasoline cannot be measured in kWh without knowing the conversion method; which, for my above statement, we assume is an internal combustion engine.

                1. Oh, and then there’s the whole idea of measuring the energy output of a “gallon of gasoline” in kWh, which is the completely wrong unit to measure such energy in. The -potential- energy in a gallon of gasoline cannot be measured in kWh without knowing the conversion method; which, for my above statement, we assume is an internal combustion engine.

                  I’m afraid it’s you who’s wrong.

                  http://tinyurl.com/gaskwh

                  http://tinyurl.com/gaskwh

                  1. http://tinyurl.com/gaskwh
                    That’s GGE, not kWh. Arbitrary term made up by our government to compare fuel mileages across different conversion platforms. In no way is this a scientific measurement of the energy potential of a gallon of gasoline. Different powerplants convert energy at a different rate.

  17. Then there is the question of how much greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced if we go to electric motive power. (As an aside, I would note that full conversion would require breakthroughs in battery storage capacity and cost. Even then, the vehicle replacement cycle would take 20 or 25 years.)

    My best estimate (I can supply calculations and sources) is that “GHG” emissions from cars and light trucks would drop at least 40% if we went to electric motive power. This assumes the current mix of fuels used to generate electricity in the United States. As we continue to move toward natural gas, the case for EVs will get better.

    Then there is the impact on the electric grid of widespread EV adoption. Most EVs are recharged at home, at night. Even with wider adoption, I think this will be the typical charging mode. Electricity use drops sharply at night, leaving huge capacity. If grid stress became an issue, I think time of day tariffs and EV submetering could address any problems.

    EVs are no magic bullet, holy grail solution. The automobile fleet is a significant contributor to total GHG emissions, but certainly not the only contributor or even the majority contributor. As such, EV evangelists tend to overstate their impact. But EVs do significantly cut vehicle greenhouse gas emissions over the full life cycle, and that’s a fact.

    1. Then there is the question of how much greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced if we go to electric motive power.

      Here’s a hint:

      Nobody cares.

      1. Obviously you care, or you wouldn’t have commented here.

        1. I read the first sentence thinking it might be an interesting comment, then realized you’re a moron.

    2. But EVs do significantly cut vehicle greenhouse gas emissions over the full life cycle, and that’s a fact.

      ahahahaahahhahahaha

      Please take a logic class.

    3. I’m perfectly fine with electric and with hybrids, but let them achieve success in the marketplace, not through public policy debates, which is a really bad way to advance consumer technology.

      With gas prices being as high as they’ve been and with the concerns about pollution associated with I/C, there’s at least some market pressure now to create alternatives.

      1. Pretty sure that’s all anyone “against” EV’s has ever wanted. The “global warmingz!” arguments just ignore that part though, because you know, I hate Mother Gaia or some bullshit.

        1. Look, I hate to bring this up, but Mother Gaia is who gave us the fossil fuels in the first place.

          1. She brought ’em into the world, she’ll take ’em out!

            1. Yes, or maybe she doesn’t get along with the Sky Father.

      2. I’m perfectly fine with electric and with hybrids,

        I’m not with hybrids. I believe that in 25 years we’ll look back on the hybrid as a strange curiosity that won’t make any sense to future car owners or manufacturers.

        1. Fun fact: Drive behind a Prius long enough, it’ll do something stupid.

          1. This is true. They have replaced Corollas and Camrys as the go-to “I have no idea what I’m doing” car choice for white people. Indians, being of a more frugal constitution, have stuck with the former.

          2. Duh. The longer you follow anyone, the probability of them doing something absolutely retarded will reach 1.

            1. Fair point. Drive behind a Prius for an unusually short amount of time, it’ll do something stupid.

        2. There are different kinds of hybrids. I think the Chevy Volt’s architecture makes more sense than the rest, i.e. the car is electric and the gas engine does nothing but recharge the battery. This is more efficient in terms of materials.

          But I agree that “pure” electric power is most desirable in the long run. It’ll require breakthroughs in storage and cost.

          1. You think that makes sense!? Geez, you do not listen.

            That’s assinine. Every conversion comes with loss.

            Please tell me how you figure converting the thermal energy to kinetic energy to electropotential energy to chemical energy back to electropotential and then back to kinetic, is going to be more efficient than just going from thermal straight to kinetic.

            You figure you’ll get MORE energy out of a gallon of gasoline by running it through the battery???

            1. You figure you’ll get MORE energy out of a gallon of gasoline by running it through the battery?

              I never suggested something so stupid. That idea came from your fevered brain, Poindexter. The “efficiency” I mentioned was in materials. An electric vehicle with a small gas-powered generator doesn’t need as many components as hybrid with two full engines.

              To the extent that hybrids continue to be part of the mix, the Volt’s system architecture looks like the winner to me.

          2. This is more efficient in terms of materials.

            And yet the car costs what, 50k before Government subsidies?

            I think you must possess a complete ignorance of basic economics.

            Let me make this more simple so you can understand:

            You’re stupid.

        3. I believe that in 25 years we’ll look back on the hybrid as a strange curiosity that won’t make any sense to future car owners or manufacturers.

          I agree. I think that, 25 years from now (and probably sooner) the battery cost and range issues will have been solved, and EVs will dominate sales of new cars and light trucks. It’s impossible to say how long a complete turnover will take. It depends on how quickly the technology and manufacturing scale economies kick in.

      3. I kinda-sorta agree about marketplace success. I didn’t get my EV for “public policy” reasons. I got it because I got a great deal on it, and I’m a car nut. It’s the 12th car I’ve owned.

        But I don’t have any problem with the tax credit for them. The U.S. government has subsidized new transportation methods throughout its history.

        1. I got it because I got a great deal on it, and I’m a car nut.

          You’re welcome.

    4. As we continue to move toward natural gas, the case for EVs will get better.

      This hits on the point I was making above.

      Get a natural gas car.

      Burning the natural gas 2000 miles away, pushing that power down the grid, and using it to charge a battery will never ever be more efficient than just burning the gas under your hood. You’re always going to have more greenhouse gas emissions, not less.

      The only way these batteries could possibly make sense is if we were building a bunch of fusion reactors, and we’re not.

      If you think natural gas is better than gasoline, than you can burn natural gas under your hood. You’ll never gain by involving a battery just for the sake of having a battery. If natural gas power plants and batteries would decrease our carbon footprint compared to gasoline I/C, natural gas I/C would be even better still.

      You’ll never take more out of a battery than slightly less what you put in.

      1. Fusion reactors will never work. The issue is containment. The fusion evangelists never want to talk about it.

        1. Since we don’t have a viable fusion technology in place, I’m not sure that statement can be said with any amount of authority. Certainly, it’s not theoretically impossible.

          1. We will never see a fusion reactor of any size. The containment vessel cannot be built. Check it out.

            1. You’ll understand that I’m dubious of such claims, there being an awful lot of physicists and engineers who think it is possible. I suppose they could just be suckering governments into funding a boondoggle, but I don’t think that’s the only force at work here. Clearly, many smart people think it can be done.

              Of course, the proof is in the pudding, and fusion is twenty years away.

              1. Of course, the proof is in the pudding, and fusion is twenty years away.

                So are my peak earnings.

              2. This is exactly what they’re doing. The only fusion reactions being done are tiny. Fusion doesn’t scale because of the unbelievably intense radioactivity — far, far, far more than a fission reactor. In a completely different universe.

                I’ve looked at various technologies, and the best “renewables” are wind and solar. And those only in certain environments. Germany’s solar is a feel-good boondoggle done to placate their Greens.

        2. Oh, I admit that fully, when I mentioned it above I pointed out hypothetical/future/non-existant nuke plants.

          We don’t currently have the nuke tech to even do it. But with nuke tech, it’s at least theoretically possible in the future that charging batteries could wind up cheaper and cleaner all said and done then just burning shit. That would require currently non-existant nuke tech.

          Short of that, if the power plant is burning natural gas, you’d be more genuinely “green” burning your own natural gas than charging batteries with natural gas someone else burnt. It’s since those nuke plants don’t exist that I can say that.

          1. Short of that, if the power plant is burning natural gas, you’d be more genuinely “green” burning your own natural gas than charging batteries with natural gas someone else burnt.

            If you can provide the data on internal combustion engines powered by natural gas, I’m interested in it.

            I can say this much, because I’ve researched it: Electricity transmission loss from the power plant to the plug is 7%. I don’t know what the loss from the refinery to the CNG tank is.

            You can get wrapped around lots of trees with energy calculations. When I reinvestigated, my rule was to be sure to include like terms on both sides of the equation.

    5. The automobile fleet is a significant contributor to total GHG emissions, but certainly not the only contributor or even the majority contributor.

      Then the argument is settled. There is no way the billions of dollars in costs and lost standard of living could in any way be justified for such a reduction. EVs are expensive as hell and generally unusable for long trips. Universal or even significant adoption of EVs are a ticket to poverty. Why spend money on EVs when we have millions of ready made and perfectly usable gasoline powered cars?

      1. There is a replacement cycle. I agree that it’d be crazy to junk the fleet to replace it with EVs. If the technology and cost breakthroughs come, the replacement will happen on its own.

        Liithium ion batteries are already coming down in cost, and there are further advances coming there and elsewhere.

        1. Good so lets end the subsidies and we’ll get our EVs whenever we get ’em.

          1. Good so lets end the subsidies and we’ll get our EVs whenever we get ’em.

            I expect subsidies to end relatively soon. I’d be surprised if they last more than another 15 years or so.

            1. 15 years of relatively poor people subsidizing relatively rich people is 15 years too long.

  18. This study has been pointed out as being flawed before, so this is nothing new.

    I’ve never been comfortable with the study. The problem with electric cars is they are inherently inefficient.

    I generate electricity using, coal or gas or something– at a certain level of loss. Then I charge my electric vehicle and store that electricity in a battery (at a certain level of loss). Then I take that electricity and spin a motor with it– at a certain level of loss.

    It’s more efficient to just burn gas and spin the motor, than to burn gas to produce electricity to spin a motor.

    Dumbest idea on the planet which is a reality: A trailer with a gas generator can be purchased by electric car owners to provide electricity when the battery runs out.

    Yes, that’s a real idea.

    1. Another option is to make us all into nuclear-powered cyborgs, then introduce Flintstones-style cars.

      1. It’ll be a boon to the callus removal industry!

    2. Burning gasoline is far less efficient than using electricity, even with a battery.

      A gallon of gasoline contains 33.41 kWh of energy. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/gaskwh)

      My EV will go 83 miles on 33.41 kWh. The equivalent gas car will go 31 miles. These figures are from direct observation of my EV, and EPA numbers on the equivalent gas car.

      1. Burning gasoline is far less efficient than using electricity, even with a battery.

        No it’s not.

        You don’t understand entropy.

        A gallon of gasoline contains 33.41 kWh of energy

        Yes, 33.41kw is 33.41 kw. It doesn’t matter whether 33.41kw comes from gas or… a container known as a battery. A pound of lead and a pound of feathers weigh the same amount.

        It’s how you get 33.41kw INTO a battery. And you’re going to burn more than 33.41kw of energy to get 33.41kw of energy INTO the battery, because of loss.

        If using batteries was more efficient and cheaper than gas, everyone would be doing it.

        1. You also have to use energy to make the gasoline, genius. If you want to do the comparison, great. Just be sure to include everything onb both sides of the equation, and I’m both happy and completely open minded about the results.

          I don’t own an EV ’cause I’m an evangelist. I have it because I’m a car nut.

          1. You also have to use energy to make the gasoline, genius.

            *sigh*

            Let me try a simpler exercise: Why aren’t there electric semi-trucks?

            I too am a bit of a car nut, which is why I’m not driving an electric powered SUV, because your battery would never get me to the top of a mountain in 4wd. I need all 651kw to do that.

            As a car nut, surely you understand torque, right?

            1. I’m not trying to tell anyone that EVs are the holy grail solution for everyone everywhere, especially at the moment. You seem to feel compelled to cast me as the Pat Robertson of EVs or something.

              I can tell you this much, though: High torque is a characteristic of electric motors. My 65-horsepower EV actually accelerates up a 19% grade street in my neighborhood.

              This was a selling issue for me. They told me I’d be pleasantly surprised, but I didn’t believe it until I tested it.

              1. I can tell you this much, though: High torque is a characteristic of electric motors.

                Absolutely, which is why trains attach humongous diesel generators to them. You gotta generate that high-torque electricity somehow.

          2. Jake, dude, where do you think the electricity gets into the battery?

            Yes, it takes energy to make gas. They still have to make the gas anyway because they make the gas and then burn it to charge the battery.

            Batteries need to be charged. You will always get out less than what you put in. If you put 1kw/h into the battery, you will get out less.

            Where do you get the energy to charge the battery in the first place?

            1. People literally do not comprehend the energy density in a gallon of gas.

              As one person in a previous thread many moons ago noted, that until they find a way for the average person to be able to pump 10 megawatts of electricity into their car in a few seconds without killing themselves or lighting the car on fire, electric car viability is a long way off.

              1. I really think most of the people who like electric cars don’t really understand what batteries are.

                They think the electricity comes from the battery – they think it’s a power source.

                1. They think the electricity comes from the battery – they think it’s a power source.

                  To be fair… so is gasoline. It’s a battery which stored millions of years worth of grinding, pressure, heat and megatons of carbon decay made my Mother Gaia. It too is a battery. A really energy dense one.

                  1. True, but that’s not what they’re arguing.

                2. They think the electricity comes from the battery – they think it’s a power source.

                  So now you’re not just Poindexter, but you’re also Kreskin the Magician and can read minds. I don’t know of any EV owners (and I bet I know more of them than you do) who thinks the battery is a source of power.

                  The battery is an energy storage system, just like a gasoline tank is an energy storage system. The key with EVs is to build a “bigger” “tank” at an acceptable cost.

              2. Not 10 megawatts. To go 500 miles, my EV would need a maximum, in the dead of winter when low temps screw up lithium ion batteries, a battery that could store 250 kWh measured at the plug.

                An aside: In that tiff between Tesla and the N.Y. Times, the N.Y. Times was right. Tesla is a pack of liars. I’d never buy a car from those people.

                1. Sure. If you didn’t use:
                  Radio
                  Heat
                  Windows
                  Wipers
                  Headlights
                  Horn
                  Turn Signals
                  Power Seat
                  Heated Seat
                  Power Mirrors

                  And you’d also have to stop and charge your car 11 times with battery technology that isn’t even available for production yet.

                  Whereas I can gas up the tahoe and be where I’m going before hitting empty.

                  So you go waste … what is it, 4 hrs per charge, 11 charges… 44 hours charging your EV to get where I’ve been sitting for 36 hours.

                  1. Sure. If you didn’t use

                    My figures for my EV include use of accessories.

                    And you’d also have to stop and charge your car 11 times with battery technology that isn’t even available for production yet.

                    You don’t read so well, do you? I wrote about the battery requirement to go 500 miles. I know it doesn’t exist today. I never suggested I did. EVs are a niche product today, but will be mainstream if storage capacity and cost improves.

                    1. Burning gasoline is far less efficient than using electricity, even with a battery.

                      This directly contradicts this:
                      I wrote about the battery requirement to go 500 miles. I know it doesn’t exist today. I never suggested I did. EVs are a niche product today, but will be mainstream if storage capacity and cost improves.

                      So which is it? EV’s might be more efficient in the future? Or they are today and we don’t know it?

                      Cause I know waiting 36 hours for my car to fill up is in absolutely no way efficient.

                      Then again, I’m smarter than you, so there’s that..

                    2. Then again, I’m smarter than you, so there’s that.

                      If you say so! I think just about anyone else reading your incoherent postings might differ.

          3. More fun facts:

            Using the lower estimate of a ten year life gives 3650 cycles over ten years giving 146000 total miles driven. At $500 per kWh an 8 kWh battery costs $4000 resulting in $4000/146000 miles or $0.027 per mile. In reality a larger pack would be used to avoid stressing the battery by avoiding complete discharge or 100% charge. Adding 2 kWh in battery capacity adds $1000 to the cost, resulting in $5000/146000 miles or $0.034/mile.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E…..le_battery

          4. Re: JakeJ,

            You also have to use energy to make the gasoline, genius

            Jake, you only need energy to distil gasoline, not to make it. Instead, you have to produce electricity through an electromechanical process before you can store it in a battery, which means an even further step because a battery stores electricity by conventing it into chemical energy first.

            Gasoline is already an energy source with a great amount of energy density packed in it. Instead, the energy density of a battery is 50 times lower than for gasoline, which means you would need to drag a trailer full of batteries just to have the performance available from gasoline.

            As with everything in this world, the decision to use gasoline vs. electricity is one of trade-offs, and so far, people do not consider the lower carbon emissions of EVs to compensate for their terrible range, inconvenience and cost. And it probably never will unless gasoline becomes less plentiful.

            1. The lower carbon emmisions do not exist. Carbon emmission is necessarily always higher.

              It’s just that the emissions are out of sight, out of mind. So people can pretend like it doesn’t exist.

              Batteries ain’t a power source, just a storage device.

              1. The lower carbon emmisions do not exist. Carbon emmission is necessarily always higher.

                You are spouting such nonsense, Poindexter. John Walters and I used Energy Dept. data to compare carbon emissions from EVs and ICEV (internal combustion engine vehicles).

                Using the current electricity production mix in the United States, EVs emit about 60% of the carbon per mile that an ICEV emits.

              2. “Carbon emmission is necessarily always higher.”

                entropy, that assumes that you can always produce energy from a given source just as efficiently in a small automobile as you can in a large power plant.

            2. Jake, you only need energy to distil gasoline, not to make it.

              A distinction without a difference. But fine, “distill.”

              Instead, the energy density of a battery is 50 times lower than for gasoline

              Leaving aside the impossibility that anything can be “50 times lower” than anything else — yes, I know you meant “one-fiftieth” — yes, with current technology you can store a lot more energy in a gas tank than in an EV battery.

              A 20 gallon gas tank stores 668 kWh of energy. Of course, based on my metering of my EV and comparison to the equivalent gas car, my EV would go 1,670 miles on 668 kWh while the gas car would go 620 miles.

              Most of the energy in gasoline is wasted by an internal combustion engine. It escapes to the air as heat.

              1. It doesn’t “escape,” idiot, it’s converted.

                1. It doesn’t “escape,” idiot, it’s converted.

                  To heat, which escapes into the air. Thanks for having me do the long division, Prof. Poindexter. Happy now?

                  1. To heat, which escapes into the air.

                    What exactly is your point? My car produces 80kWh on one gallon of gasoline. That’s -not- including the 65% of the energy converted to heat. So, I’m producing ~250 kWh including the heat converted. That’s more than 11 charges of your EV in roughly 20 minutes.

                    I can convert that much energy in a fraction of the time your EV can. In no universe would physics consider the battery powered vehicle to be “more efficient.”

                    1. My car produces 80kWh on one gallon of gasoline.

                      Then you either have a Magic Car (TM) or you’ve stashed a suitcase nuclear reactor in the trunk. You really don’t think too clearly, do you?

                    2. What makes you think an audi s6 is magical? Well, I mean, it is, but it’s a 250 kWh powerplant.

                    3. What makes you think an audi s6 is magical? Well, I mean, it is, but it’s a 250 kWh powerplant.

                      No, it’s not. Please, to save yourself further embarrassment, come back when you’re sober.

    3. It’s more efficient to just burn gas and spin the motor, than to burn gas to produce electricity to spin a motor.

      That’s not always a dumb idea.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-3InSFvtKg

      1. I was waiting for someone to mention the diesel electric.

        My first victim. The reason that train engines are diesel electric is because it’s too difficult to build a coupling (clutching) mechanism between the diesel engine and the drive.

        You simply can’t slow start an 11,000,000,000 load on an internal combustion engine. It would stall. The electric part is because they can use direct drive with electricity.

        Again, not doing it for efficiency.

        1. The electric part is because they can use direct drive with electricity.

          Yes, with an electric motor you can precisely control the power delivered to the wheels and use multiple electric motors without having one act as a load on the others. You also don’t need a complicated transmission. The automatic transmission is the most complicated and expensive part in a car, not to mention heavy. There are definite advantages to getting rid of it which have to go into the overall efficiency calculation.

          1. Which is why you use a stickshift, duh.

            On a semi-serious note, I wonder how many gears it would require to get a freight train’s payload in motion.

          2. I don’t think it would be practical to use gears.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluid_coupling

            1. It certainly wouldn’t be practical; if it was somebody might have tried it. I meant theoretically (hence semi-serious, I never expected a real answer).

          3. Don’t get me wrong, I love electric cars. And when they invent one that can drive me 300 miles on a charge, and fully recharg it in 2.5 minutes, I’m 100% on board.

            1. You’ll be waiting a long, long time on the 300-mile charge. But in 20 years, I think there’s a good chance we’ll see EVs with thousand-mile ranges. But they’ll take a long time to recharge.

              1. I meant to write that you’ll be waiting a long, long time on the 2.5 minute charge.

              2. My biggest electric car disappointment was the Aptera. Man, what a concept, and wow did they screw it up.

                1. I remember the Aptera. What a geekmobile that thing was! Do this: Find a pic and notice how close to the ground the fender skirts are. Scrrrrrrrrrape! Not to mention the stability of a trike.

          4. The automatic transmission is the most complicated and expensive part in a car, not to mention heavy. There are definite advantages to getting rid of it which have to go into the overall efficiency calculation.

            Pure EVs are much simpler than ICEVs. Not only no transmission, but no exhaust system. I’ve written elsewhere that emissions associated with EV manufacturing are the same as with ICEVs, but that’s a conservative estimate based on a 2009 report by the National Academy of Sciences (which you Randians will be pleased to know is privately funded).

            The NAS report compared ICEVs, hybrids, and fuel cell vehicles, because at the time there were no pure EVs on the market to speak of. That report found that hybrids were slightly (8%) more emissions-intensive to manufacture than ICEVs.

            However, the hybrids being made in 2009 were dual powered, complete with exhaust systems and transmissions. One of these days there will be an honest comparison of pure EV manufacturing to ICEV, and I expect EV to be lower.

            So, for the time being, I call it equal based on the redundancies in hybrids.

    4. This study has been pointed out as being flawed before, so this is nothing new.

      Apparently neither Lomborg not his propaganda enablers at the Wall Street Journal got the message. Neither he nor they did their homework.

    5. The electric motor is extremely efficient, like 95%+. It’s the storage (energy density) that’s not.

      ICE, especially 4 cycle piston engines (Otto cycle) in comparison are extremely inefficient, like 15% for naturally aspirated, converting fuel into mechanical energy.

      However, a turbine is much much more efficient and using that to generate electrical charge from gas is a much better setup

      1. np, are you confusing inadequate battery storage capacity with battery inefficiency? Isn’t the issue with EV batteries that they don’t store enough energy, as opposed to their inefficiency?

        I do realize that there’s inefficiency in the EV system. About 20% of energy gets lost (to satisfy someone else here: “converted to heat, and dissipated”), but that’s far less than what ICEVs lose.

  19. “Spurred on to seek out the truth by a very helpful Reason reader, ”

    So the intern got trolled by JakeJ/Mary/White Indian.

    Nice job intern.

    1. This was done entirely with verified sources. Mostly Dept. of Energy.

      1. Apparently also the magic belief that electricity comes from batteries and outlets.

        1. I believe that all electricity should come from pedaling stationary bicycles.

          1. But you lose so much energy through sweating!

            I vote hamster wheels.

        2. Poindexter, that’s your statement, not mine.

  20. But if the chief goal of a buyer is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they are a step in the right direction.

    And that is good and great but there are enough self-righteous greenies and anti-market ideologues who argue that people who prefer the convenience of gasoline vehicles do so because they’re callous and selfish and not because of any other very real economic consideration; they will go to lengths to shame people for their economic decisions, with admonitions based entirely on misconceptions that the greenies and ideologues hold as a matter of faith, e.g. the moral choice is to reduce emissions, electrical vehicles are cleaner, gasoline is dirty, people make irrational choices [the preferred perfunctory contradiction by lefties and greenies], etc.

  21. I saw a Tesla Model S on the street yesterday, stopped at the light ahead of me. Pretty sweet.

    1. And just 72 grand for the 300 mile range battery.

      1. A Fisker Karma was at the restaurant I went to yesterday. None of the 7 other people I went there with even knew what the hell it was. Sharp looking car, though. And a steal at only $110k!

      2. I believe you’re supposed to put scare quotes around the “300 mile range battery”.

        1. Yes you should. Tesla’s Model S biggest battery will get 250 miles or so in normal use in mild temperatures, and maybe 175 miles on a cold Midwest or New England Day.

          Anything considering a Tesla vehicle should understand that Tesla is a computer company not a car company, and the way to tell when a computer executive is lying is to check to see when his lips are moving.

          I would never buy anything from Tesla. They are untrustworthy and unethical.

  22. Very rough rule of thumb — the amount of environmental damage something causes is somewhat correlated to price.

    Since EVs cost more to operate over their lifespan than gasoline engine vehicles, I’m guessing there is some environmental damage not accounted for. When a Prius costs more than a Yaris even after gas savings are accounted for, then assume the Prius is less green.

    1. The problem that jumps out at me is that they are only looking at CO2 emissions. I’m more worried about pollutants that are actually toxic than about CO2.

    2. Very rough rule of thumb — the amount of environmental damage something causes is somewhat correlated to price.

      Better not get that diamond ring then. “Honey, I know it’s cubic zirconium, but I’m saving the planet.” See how far that gets you.

  23. It’s more efficient to just burn gas and spin the motor, than to burn gas to produce electricity to spin a motor.

    If you’re burning coal in a power plant to produce the electricity, it may be cheaper than burning gas in the car.

    If you’re burning the waste products from barrels of crude oil in a power plant to produce electricity (i.e. not gasoline), it still could conceivably be cheaper than burning gasoline in the car.

    Finally, even if you’re burning actual gasoline in a power plant, it is theoretically possible for that to be more efficient than burning gas in a car, if the power plant burns fuel more efficiently than the car does, and/or if the electric motor in the car is much lighter than a gasoline engine and thus results in less weight that must be driven around.

    1. Always watch out for people who think they have “proven” something about a matter of fact.

    2. One way to look at it is to compare the energy content in a gallon of gas to the energy content in an EV battery, and then look at how far each vehicle will go on that energy.

      My EV will go 2.5 miles on one kWh. The equivalent gas car will go 31 miles on a gallon of gas that contains 33.4 kWh of energy. That’s 0.93 miles per kWh.

      1. Like I keep saying, you assume a gallon of gas contains 33.4 kWh of energy, which necessarily assumes that I’m driving a car with the fuel efficiency of a Ford Pinto.

        1. So congrats I guess, your EV gets double the fuel mileage of a ford pinto. Of course, so does my F350.

          1. You really don’t think too clearly, do you?

            1. Well, your 33.4kWh bullshit is about the rate and efficiency of a ford pinto. Different powerplants convert energy at different rates. Gasoline does not “create” the energy, it merely converts it.

              1. Err woops, meant to say Gasoline does not “create” the energy, it’s just the storage device and it’s the powerplant that converts it into useful energy.

                1. Err woops, meant to say Gasoline does not “create” the energy, it’s just the storage device and it’s the powerplant that converts it into useful energy.

                  You really need to put down the joint, think about the concepts and the terms, do some homework, and come back when your ready to be anything but a blustering, incoherent fool.

                  1. So, basically, you can’t counter the argument so you resort to name calling?

                    The ford pinto’s engine produces roughly the amount energy on a gallon of gas that you have continuously cited. Are you arguing that a 2012 Toyota Camry doesn’t produce more power consuming less fuel? Because it sure appears that way. And it’s a pretty absurd argument to make.

                    1. The ford pinto’s engine produces roughly the amount energy on a gallon of gas that you have continuously cited.

                      The Pinto’s engine “produces” energy? Really: Ditch the ganja, think it through, and come back when you’re ready to make sense.

                    2. By energy production “from a gallon of gas,” which you’ve cited a hundred times in this thread, infers “useful” energy. That’s not including all the energy that’s converted to heat.

                    3. Also, hey, I’m not the one asserting that “a gallon of gas has 33.4kWh energy.” absurd statement.

      2. One way to look at it is to compare the energy content in a gallon of gas to the energy content in an EV battery, and then look at how far each vehicle will go on that energy.

        You can do this if you pretend the energy just exists inside the battery and didn’t have to be put there.

        1. You’ve written this before, Poindexter. You were wrong about what I “pretend” then, and you’re wrong now.

    3. I mentioned this above:
      ————————————
      The electric motor is extremely efficient, like 95%+. It’s the storage (energy density) that’s not.

      ICE, especially 4 cycle piston engines (Otto cycle) in comparison are extremely inefficient, like 15% for naturally aspirated, converting fuel into mechanical energy.

      However, a turbine is much much more efficient and using that to generate electrical charge from gas is a much better setup
      ————————————

      About 2 years ago Jaguar had a fully working prototype concept EV supercar that produced 700hp and used a pair of small gas turbines the size of thermos to recharge the batteries. It was killed because of startup emissions by the turbines (unburnt fuel when not at peak). Using turbines to power the wheels directly is a terrible idea btw.

      Electric motors are tons smaller and far simpler in construction and maintenance, compared to car ICEs of similar power/torque output.

      Gas has huge energy density that is being completely wasted by otto cycle engines!

      Tailpipe emissions (combustion byproducts), all of the sound, the friction in the many moving parts, tremendous heat not only radiated out the radiator, but absorbed in the block, the headers, etc–all of that represents energy that could’ve be used to move the car!

      1. Don’t be so factual. You’ll disturb the animals.

      2. Electric motors are tons smaller and far simpler in construction and maintenance, compared to car ICEs of similar power/torque output.
        You’re comparing apples to oranges. Your electric motor produces nothing without a power supply, which is the limiting factor in EV’s.

        1. The problem is most people, especially anti-EV folks, are lumping the motor and fuel together, at times conflating energy density with motor efficiency.

          The proper approach is separating the two. What we need are EV motors with varied energy sources including gas. The nice thing about electricity is that you can convert everything to it, as opposed to relying on the extremely wasteful process of current ICEs combusting fuel to convert to mechanical energy.

          Furthermore, the more powerful you try to make your ICEs, the more complex, the more expensive, the more wasteful, the less reliable it becomes.

          Powerful Rimac Automobili already demonstrated a EV with 1,088hp and 2,800 lb-ft. With electric motors it’s very a simple matter of scaling up without any loss in efficiency or increase in complexity.

          1. Re: np,

            The problem is most people, especially anti-EV folks, are lumping the motor and fuel together, at times conflating energy density with motor efficiency.

            “Most people” reads like a clich?, in this case. There’s no question that the energy conversion from electricity to mechanical in an electrical motor is much more efficient (from 85% onwards) than in an internal combustion engine. But that is not what’s being discussed here.

            What some of the EV advocates here are missing is that the electrical motor is useless without a power source that is portable, and the only power source available are batteries, which possess a PUNY energy density compared to gasoline. You can’t hide from this inconvenient fact.

            1. What some of the EV advocates here are missing is that the electrical motor is useless without a power source that is portable, and the only power source available are batteries, which possess a PUNY energy density compared to gasoline. You can’t hide from this inconvenient fact.

              There are two big issues. The biggest is the cost of the batteries. That’s already dropping with manufacturing scale economies and incremental technology advances, an example being Li Ion batteries that use less of the “rare earth” materials.

              Supposedly there’s now (in the laboratory) a Li Ion battery with no rare earths, which would really cut the cost in a big way. But even the interim improvements on that score will enable Ford to cut the price of its forthcoming EV by about $10,000 from the prices we’ve heard about in the first versions. Take another 10 grand out, and you’re going to see a whole lot more EVs on the road.

              The other issue is range. I think that’ll require a move away from Li Ion. I’ve read about “molten metal” batteries with much longer range, but I’m always skeptical of technology press releasemanship, so we’ll see.

              None of the big breakthroughs will be commercial in the next five years at affordable prices. But maybe in 10 or 15 years. EVs aren’t going to be a sudden deal, just like cellphones, personal computers, and solar panels weren’t sudden.

  24. What I know now: Bullshit artist loves his VOLT.

    Yippee.

    1. What I know now: Bullshit artist loves his VOLT.

      Wow, Lomborg drives a Volt? Who knew?!

  25. Gas has huge energy density that is being completely wasted by otto cycle engines!

    Not completely.

  26. Lomborg’s response was dilatory bullshit.

    Everyone knows that today’s EVs have a short range, but that was not the issue in the JIE study nor was it his argument in his WSJ propaganda hit piece. He used a crappy “study” to make a very different argument: that EVs are environmentally “dirtier” than conventional vehicles.

    That was simply a lie, told first by JIE, and repeated by Lomborg.

    Whether or not the current limited range of EVs is a reason not to buy one is a completely separate issue. It can be argued both ways: that no one wants such a short-range car, or that the average driver covers 37 miles a day and therefore there would be a substantial demand for EVs if the price were lower.

    (Source on average driving: http://tinyurl.com/transpodrive)

    Instead of admitting his sloppy lies, Lomborg tries to deflect attention. Typical ax-grinding ideologue.

    1. Something else to say about Lomborg’s evasive reply. It might or might not be true that EVs don’t get driven a lot. Mine doesn’t, but I know other EV drivers who go 15,000 miles a year. Which isn’t hard to do if you drive 40 miles a day.

      Do the math, Bjorn. If you dare.

  27. Anybody who thinks batteries are “green” technology is an idiot.

    1. Anybody who thinks batteries are “green” technology is an idiot.

      What do you mean by “green?” If someone defines “green” to mean that batteries are pollution-free, I agree with you. But it’s a fact that today’s battery-powered EVs are no more pollution intensive to manufacture than a conventional gas vehicle, and generate 60% of the carbon emissions using the overall U.S. mix of fuels used to generate electricity.

      That would mean that, in the conventional understanding of “green,” even today’s first-generation EVs are “greener” than gas-powered vehicles. That’s a fact, even if it conflicts with your religion.

      1. You are a fool.

        Do a Google search for “Canadian copper mining” and look what it does to the immediate environment to make batteries.

        In the aggregate of a straight gas care and a battery car, my hummer is far less of an impact in a 100,000 mile range. That is IF you get 100k from the clown car.

        1. You are quite the environmentalist! You want to ban copper, you say?

  28. Well in one article “reason” just lost its point! I propose a name change to ‘reasoning’ since you’re still trying to reach the goal of reason.

    A whole freaking argument on BS!
    1. The earth is BLUE you morons! And what isn’t blue due to it being 72% WATER is either brown from desert or white from ice! The majority of green we see is from EVIL human population!
    2. Most ppl DON’T WANT TO DRIVE IN A PEZ DISPENSER!
    3. HELLO! MCFLY! THE GW ARGUMENT IS OVER! IT’S BEEN PROVEN A HOAX! And in case you didn’t pay attention to the WikiLeaks proof, did you forget about common sense and “reason” to conclude the hoax!? LOL

    1. Hmm. A Nissan Leaf is 175 inches long and has 4 doors.

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