Electric vehicles – which the Obama administration has made a hefty investment in – are more damaging to the environment than gas-powered vehicles, according to a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The study, done by two University of Minnesota engineering professors, asserts that the electric vehicles produce 3.6 times more soot and smog-related deaths than gasoline.
“It’s kind of hard to beat gasoline,” the study’s co-author Julian Marshall told the Associated Press. “A lot of the technologies that we think of as being clean … are not better than gasoline.”
The study also says that electric vehicles are worse at trapping carbon dioxide, which creates a bigger problem for global warming. The issue is that most of the electricity to power these vehicles comes from burning coal.
If the vehicles got their electric power from natural gas, wind or other alternative energy production methods – some of which are favored by the Obama administration – the cars would not be as harmful, the study’s co-author Jason Hill told the AP. More than a third of the nation’s electricity comes from coal, according to the Department of Energy.
Just last month, the White House announced an international corroboration to promote the use of electric vehicles.
While President Barack Obama was in China for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, the White House announced it was aligning government regulations and economic incentives with other countries for an Electric Vehicle Interoperability and Research Center by the end of 2015.
I notice they didn’t mention nuclear as one of those alternate charging sources….
In any case, it seems to me that it would be easier to keep a lid on real pollutants – not the phony baloney ones like CO2- by having them all in one place like the central power plant not scattered all over in poorly maintained individual cars.
As one commenter over at The Blaze noted, production of one of the battery packs for electric cars is not without it’s own serious environmental impact. And speaking of blazing…. those packs are inclined to do just that. ;-/ What ever happened to fuel cells for cars? I remember about 15 years ago Ballard up in Canada was supposed to be gearing up a plant for volume production… I watched the stock go from $20 to $120 in about a year… (too bad I had no money) and nothing seems to have come of it. Granted, fuel cells depend on a hydrogen infrastructure, which has it’s own problems…
I’m no expert on research and development, but it isn’t called development and research for a good reason: The research should ALWAYS come before DEVELOPMENT. The feasibility of such vehicles had to of been done, and if done properly, the research would have shown that in most of the USA the electric vehicle isn’t practical. The question then arises as to why the vehicles were produced.
If I remember correctly, there were federal financial incentives for the auto manufacturers to make them. Could it be that the electric vehicles are like the “bridge to nowhere”, or the “train to nowhere”, in the sense that the product was never intended to be successful, but those involved would make a lot of money off of it until it failed?
When the Prius came out, a radio talk show host said that the silver for the batteries comes from Canada, then the silver is shipped to England, where it is made into batteries, then the batteries are shipped to Japan, then the cars are shipped to the USA. He then said that it takes more energy to make a Prius than it does to make a Hummer. The car doesn’t seem as green as it used to.
When I had my Toyota Camry, the highest mileage I remember hearing for a hybrid was 40 mpg. It had a 4-cylinder engine, but had more power than I thought it should for a 4-cylinder, and it would get over 39 mpg on the open highway. How many years would it take for me to get the extra money back if I bought a hybrid? I wouldn’t live long enough to see it.
Anyone who wants nuclear energy should have to sign a contract stating that if a nuclear waste dump was planned in their area, they would not object. NOBODY WANTS THEM.
Nobody knows how many years it takes for the radiation to diminish. It will take at least thousands of years, and possibly even millions. In that length of time, what are now mountains could be oceans, and what are oceans could be desert. The changes could burry the stuff deeper, or it could bring it to the surface. An earthquake could crack it wide open. The water table could rise above the stuff, and since we don’t know how to make storage devices that will last thousands of years, the radiation could leak into the water.
I’m all for clean energy, and for forcing people to save energy in SOME WAYS, but nuclear energy is not the way. The other green alternatives are costing more than other forms of energy production, and would be out of business, except that the states and federal government subsidize them, give them tax breaks, or both.
The odd thing is the batteries in cars like a Toyota Prius are Ni-Cad. Nickel Cadmium. Mining for this is a rather eco dirty venture. Once mined it has to be shipped and processed into battery plates then shipped again and installed in the cars and then shipped again to dealers. So when you see one and think the driver cares and are helping to save the planet by driving one instead of a Chevy Suburban, they aren’t. The Suburban is better for the environment considering the life of each vehicle looking at the entire picture.
I don’t care what anyone drives. What I don’t like is to have my tax dollars subsidize some rich person who goes out to buy one the these hybrid vehicles. No one helped pay for my car with a tax incentive.
What happens to the batteries when they are done? Has that been figured out yet?
Unless things have changed, hybrid cars need their batteries replaced at 100,000 miles. This usually costs several thousand dollars (about the price of a good engine rebuild). My current commuter car is a 98 Honda CRV with 193,000 miles and still gets 32 MPG driving to work (4 cylinder, stick shift). I do not see how a hybrid beats the CRV.
If you own a Prius you have to have the old ones replaced at your expense. The old batteries can probably be sent to recycling. A Pruis, if you’ve never been in one, is an appliance. It’s not a machine to drive for driving enjoyment. A good part of the mileage gains come from low rolling resistance tires, which are meant for mileage and not performance either.
Even with major federal subsidies of $7,500 per car fully 1/2 of all electric car sales since Obama took office have been to fleets…..government fleets mostly.
But even at that (remember how Hillary spent Benghazi safety money on electric car fleets for European US Embassies?) we are FAR behind Obama’s ”promise,” to have 1 million electric cars sold by 2015.
This graphic compares the trajectory of Obama’s promise with the harsh reality of sales.
Yes, electric cars are filthy compared with gasoline cars.
Just look at the progress we made in So Cal by taking the lead out, anti-pollution vacuum seals at gas pumps, more efficient engines and so on.
@Mully: It looks like the newer electrics use li-ion or li-poly batteries. I’m sure those can be recycled, just like laptop batteries. Incidentally, while checking into that, I learned that each Prius motor uses 2.2 pounds of the rare earth metal neodymium. I would assume that other EVs are similar. More money to China…. thanks, EPA.
@Smorgasbord: Anybody who uses *any* energy should be forced to live with the consequences. So, no third world peasants drilling for oil or mining rare earths for windmills. Did you know that millions of years ago in Africa, there was a natural nuclear reactor? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_nuclear_fission_reactor
What Fred Lucas is pitching is not what the study says. You can see how he’s spinning the results just by reading the a bit of the abstract. Here’s a paragraph Lucas wrote. I highlighted the relevant part with bold text:
And here’s what the study abstract says, with the relevant part also in bold text:
Lucas has twisted the study’s finding regarding the potential degree of benefit to be had from electric car technology. A 50% or more reduction in negative environmental health impacts is being characterized as not as harmful as electric cars relying on coal-generated electricity.
Lucas’s writing is intentionally deceptive. The point of electric cars has never been to fill America’s highways with what would essentially be coal-powered vehicles. That would be ridiculous. The point of building electric cars is to free motor vehicles from their dependency on fossil fuels.
A battery-powered car recharged with electricity generated by coal-fired power stations, it found, is likely to cause more than three times as many deaths from pollution as a conventional petrol-driven vehicle.
Even a battery car running on the average mix of electrical power generated in America is much more hazardous than the conventional alternative.
Natural gas run electric cars, well, buses, are what LB has.
They won’t let regular folk use their energy, naturally.
Gov’t vehicles only.
Wind is variable and always backed up by dependable coal.
Solar is variable, too and requires coal back-up plants.
We built our last hydroelectric dam in 1985, 30 years ago.
We tear up dams we don’t build them.
France went that clean route but it looks like we have quit.
Our last nuclear power plant was built in 1995, 20 years ago.
It hasn’t been turned on yet.
U.S. commercial nuclear reactors are licensed to operate for only 40 years.
I’ve never been in a Prius, or any other hybrid vehicle, and probably never will be.
Did you know that the Wikipedia sites are submitted by anybody who wants to? I can write an article about something, and they might add it to their list, but that doesn’t make it true. Did you also know that the owner/owners are VERY LIBERAL, and edit the content to favor liberals?
I wouldn’t have a problem with MANDATORY progressive power rates. It could start with residential rates. The rich like to have their mansions, and some rich have several of them, which is the American dream, and I am OK with that. The problem arises when those houses take as much power as they do, and most home owners pay the same rate. The more power people need, the more generating plants are needed. How many extra power plants are needed to supply the rich with the power they use?
The power rates should be on a progressive scale, based on how many are in a family. They would start at a certain rate, for each family, and as they use more, the rates get higher. I have driven past many big houses where it seamed that all of the lights were on. If the rate went up with usage, we all would be more careful with our usage.
Here’s what the Chinese are demonstrating about reliance on coal and air quality:
Inside Beijing’s airpocalypse – a city made ‘almost uninhabitable’ by pollution
Fortunately we’ve had the EPA looking after our air quality for going on 45 years.
@Smorgasbord: Yes, I know that Wikipedia is contaminated by lefty bias. Which is why I never use it for anything other than trivia…. But this particular story has been well covered by the general and scientific media, and wikipedia was a convenient place to find a summary.
“The Rich….. ” now you sound like one of those liberals yourself. 😉 If something costs X, it should cost X for whoever buys it.
I was referring to the rich being able to buy politicians by donating enough money to them to get elected, then the politician has to go along with what the donor/donors want, or the politician doesn’t get money from that individual for their next election.
For most things, they should cost the same for everybody, except for volume discounts if offered, but I personally have a problem with the rich paying the same for energy usage when they usually have several mansions that they seldom visit, and each one could have a fountain, a heated swimming pool, and other things that require energy. The more energy being used, the more plants that are needed to generate the electricity, or pump the gas, thus increasing pollution. I’m all for reducing pollution, and one way to do it is to reduce energy consumption.
One way to do this is to have a basic amount of energy a family can use, based on the family’s size, then when they go over that amount, it starts getting higher priced the more they use. This would make each family more conscious of the energy they are using.
A long time ago I read an article that said that for every 10 gallons of gasoline delivered to a gas station, it took 9 gallons to get it there. This means that a person isn’t just saving the amount of energy they use, they are also saving the amount of energy used to get that energy to them, and it also means that the same amount of energy will last longer.
There have been documented inventions that give vehicles increased mileage, and we hear about them for a while, then we never hear about them again. In some cases the inventor has vanished. Stories say that the oil companies buy off the inventors. I don’t know if that is true or not. We could have much higher mileage vehicles if the inventions would be used.
When I refer to “the rich”, I don’t always mean it in a negative way, since I would love to be one of them. I don’t have a problem with a person getting rich, if it is done legally, and morally.