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Published on April 18th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

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Electric Vehicles Good for the Environment & Save You Money



 

The Union of Concerned Scientists has completed what is the most comprehensive study to date on the financial and environmental costs (or, more appropriately, savings) of electric vehicles.

“No matter where one lives in the United States, electric vehicles (EVs) are a good choice for reducing global warming emissions and saving money on fueling up, according to a new analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS),” the UCS writes.

nissan leaf technological revolutionsFor years, EV critics have claimed that EVs don’t reduce carbon dioxide or other global warming emissions because they burn electricity from coal and natural gas power plants. While drivers in regions with a lot of fossil fuel power will not cut emissions as much as drivers in regions with a lot of clean energy power plants, no matter where someone lives in the US, driving an EV is cleaner than driving a gasoline-powered car, according to the “State of Charge: Electric Vehicles’ Global Warming Emissions and Fuel Cost Savings Across the United States.”

Notably, UCS also calculates how much EV drivers save in “fuel” costs — a lot.

Neither of these findings is at all a surprise to me, as one of our key EV writers has shown in the past that the cost of electric vehicles and their environmental costs are lower than conventional automobiles, but this UCS study is more comprehensive than anything we’ve seen to date.

Saving Money by Driving an EV

Everywhere in the country, an EV driver also saves money every time she or he “refuels” — compared to what they’d spend refueling a gasoline-powered vehicle.

ford focus electric on sale“Based on electricity rates in 50 cities across the United States, the analysis found drivers can save $750 to $1,200 dollars a year compared to operating an average new compact gasoline vehicle (27 mpg) fueled with gasoline at $3.50 per gallon. Higher gas prices would mean even greater EV fuel cost savings. For each 50 cent increase in gas prices, an EV driver can expect save an extra $200 a year.”

Time of Use (TOU) electricity pricing, which many regions have or are implementing, allows a driver to maximize those savings, since they cam access cheaper electricity at night when they are likely charging their vehicles.

Why EVs Are Awesome

Regional Differences for EV Emissions

More good news is that most Americans live in the ‘best’ regions for driving an EV. UCS notes: “nearly half (45 percent) of Americans live in ‘best’ regions where an EV has lower global warming emissions than a 50 mile per gallon (mpg) gasoline-powered vehicle, topping even the best gasoline hybrids on the market. In places like California and most of New York, EV’s environmental performance could be as high as an 80 mpg gasoline-powered vehicle.”

How about the worst region? Well, even in the dirtiest (when it comes to electricity) region of the US — some parts of the Rocky Mountains region — driving an EV is better than driving most other cars. “In parts of the Rocky Mountains region, driving an EV produces global warming emissions equivalent to a gasoline vehicle with a fuel economy rating of 33 mpg, similar to the best non-hybrid compact gasoline vehicles available today — all while cutting our nation’s oil consumption.”

Also, notably, clean energy is increasing while dirty energy is getting shut down, all across the US.

“The good news is that as the nation’s electric grids get cleaner, consumers who buy an EV today can expect to see their car’s emissions go down over the lifetime of the vehicle,” said Don Anair, the report’s author and senior engineer for UCS’s Clean Vehicles Program.

Bottom Line: Driving an EV is Better for the Environment than Driving a Gasoline-Powered Car

That’s the take home message, and if you ever run into a commenter saying otherwise, be sure to direct them to this post or the report linked above.

“This report shows drivers should feel confident that owning an electric vehicle is a good choice for reducing global warming pollution, cutting fuel costs, and slashing oil consumption,” said Anair. “Those in the market for a new car may have been uncertain how the global warming emissions and fuel costs of EVs stack up to gasoline-powered vehicles. Now, drivers can for the first time see just how much driving an electric vehicle in their hometown will lower global warming emissions and save them money on fuel costs.”

back to the future car electric

EVs Getting Popular

10 new EV models are coming to market this year, and many more are on the drawing board. If you’ve been a CleanTechnica reader for a long time, you’ve probably noticed that we’ve increased our EV content a ton in the past year. I used to never write on EVs, and other writers hardly touched them, but with a few pioneering models hitting market, their clear environmental benefits, and a lot more EVs on the way, we have increased our coverage of these clean(er) vehicles considerably (and we’re now a top site for car coverage, according to Technorati).

Of course, EV’s are not as efficient or green as bicycling, walking, taking the train, or riding a motorcycle or scooter (especially an electric motorcycle or scooter) in most places, but for those who are going to stick with an automobile over one of the above options, EVs are the way to go.

Also, while EVs are greener than gasoline-power cars, we certainly need to keep maximizing their green factor by switching our grid over to a clean energy rather than primarily dirty energy grid. And for those of you interesting in doing so, there are a lot of options out there for going EV and going solar at the same time!

Source: UCS
Images: GMNissan Leaf courtesy of shutterstock; Ford; Wikimedia CommonsFisker;DeLorean Motor Company

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy for the past four years or so. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the Network Manager for their parent organization – Important Media – and he's the Owner/Founder of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.



  • Kaiser Ahmed

    whats methodology used to carry out the data

  • vetxcl

    Better for the environment, yes. Total solution? No, not even close.

    • rickster

      For some folk who drive long distances, drive trucks to work or big suv and don’t want to give it up, of course not even close. For folks like me who drive less than 100 mi a day, I am able to cover 98% of the trips on my Leaf. And, I am not going to justify buying a gasoline car for the other 2% of the trips.

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  • Bein Move

    great article about electric vehicles. If you wish to check about PEV’s (Personal Electric Vehicles) please check beinmove.com . Best regards.

    • vetxcl

      Your company appreciates the cheap advertising , I’m sure.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    If the source-to-wheels energy total is going to be applied to electricity, then it also has to be applied to gasoline. Gasoline does not appear out of thin air, right?

    In fact, it takes a lot of electricity (and also a lot of natural gas and a lot of water – each of which add even more energy to the total!) to make gasoline and deliver it to your tank. The best estimate I’ve seen is that it takes about 7.5kWh PER GALLON of gasoline. So, if you just used that amount of electricity to drive a Nissan Leaf almost 26 miles – and none of the carbon in the gasoline (or in the natural gas) gets released into the air.

    So, EV’s are a LOT greener than any fossil fueled cars – and if you use renewable energy to get your electricity, then EV’s are virtually pollution free.

    Neil

    • Bob_Wallace

      Neil, I’ve seen that 7.5 kWh claim but I don’t find a basis for it.

      I’ve attempted to work out a number myself, don’t know how accurate it is, but I found about 3.1 kWh of Energy, not electricity, required to refine a gallon of gas. The amount of purchased electricity is quite low.

      I did not include energy needed to distribute.

      Here’s my spreadsheet. If you see a problem please let me know…

      https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Akc8l3C_MXzwdFBBNlBnNTRHOWhUMkxMRlN4Z3p5TUE&usp=sharing

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        I got the 7.5kWh number from something Nissan put out a few years ago. And that number may be too low – check out Peder Norby’s blog: http://electricmini.blogspot.com/2011/10/it-takes-lot-of-coal-to-make-gasoline.html

        Peder suggests a conservative number is 8kWh/gallon of gasoline.

        With the “easy” oil dwindling, it takes more and more energy to get oil out of the ground. Some wells have to have millions and millions of gallons of water heated (using natural gas or even solar heat collectors!!) which then has to be injected down underground to loosen and flush out the crude. Extraction takes a LOT of electricity, because the wells are so deep.

        Deep water drilling takes the construction and operation of enormous rigs and ships and helicopters, etc. Tankers require huge amounts of fuel, and while refineries do make their own electricity, that should still count toward the carbon total.

        Tar sand bitumen is a whole other ballgame – it takes about 1 barrel of energy to get 2 barrels out of the ground and moved to the refinery, etc. It has to be dissolved in cheap gasoline *just* to be *pumped* through the pipeline! The reason they want to move it to the refinery in Louisiana is that they are spending billions of dollars to add the extra equipment to handle the acidity and the sludge – and the yield of good fuel per barrel is much less than with even just typical heavy sour crude.

        We’ve had THREE pipeline failures carrying the tar sands bitumen already. And the explosion they had at the “special” refinery a few years ago killed 5 people, and it cost them even more to guard against the damage the acidity causes.

        Refining nasty sour heavy crude takes much more energy, to boot. They would not be drilling six miles below the ocean, or bothering with the tar sands, or hazarding the Arctic IF there was enough “easy” oil to cover the demand.

        Neil

        • Bob_Wallace

          Right, my calcs are for refining only.

          But I’m seeing people take “3kWh”/whatever of energy and treat it like 3kWh of electricity.

          A lot of the extracting, refining and transporting energy is fossil fuel – diesel, oil byproducts, coal, coke, NG, etc.- that would have to be turned into electricity with about a 60% energy loss.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            So, that loss needs to be included. Extraction uses a lot of electricity. Even exploration, and all transportation, and all the pumping for pipelines, and to and from ships and tanks and trucks, and even the electricity to pump it into the car’s tank need to be included. And the diesel fuel used in the trucks, and the fuel in the supertankers, etc. – all needs to go all the way back to the well!

            It takes a *serious* amount of energy to get the gasoline into your car!

            Neil

          • Bob_Wallace

            “It takes a *serious* amount of energy to get the gasoline into your car!”

            I’m not disagreeing with that at all.

            What I’m trying to convey is that if it takes “7/kWh” of energy to extract, refine and distribute a gallon of gas you can’t jump to “an EV could drive 21 miles”. Some of that energy is in the form of fossil fuels and a lot will be lost converting it to electricity.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            The electricity used at the refinery *was* made on site – and it comes from burning fossil fuel, so why doesn’t this already cover that loss?

            I think you are missing part of the equation – it takes about 7.5-8kWh of electricity over the entire well-to-tank process – AND it takes a lot of additional natural gas, and often a lot of water IN ADDITION.

            And I think there are many other things that actually need to counted for a true total: the energy it takes to construct and use the *drilling* rig, including all the esoteric materials like drilling mud; which is as I understand it hard to make and therefor quite expensive, too. The bunker oil used to power the supertanker has to come from somewhere – and building the supertanker itself *should* be counted.

            Likewise, constructing a pipeline needs to be counted as well as the energy to pump oil through the pipeline, and any and all trucks used to move oil/gasoline need their diesel fuel added into the equation – and this essentially would have to include the *entire* overhead we are calculating out and split into each gallon the truck carries!

            So, if a tanker carries 11,600 gallons of gasoline 1,000 miles while getting 5MPG means it burns 200 gallons of diesel. That diesel has the same overhead of energy (or possibly even more, since the yield of diesel is lower per barrel of oil?) and this needs to be added into the footprint of the gasoline.

            Neil

          • Bob_Wallace

            ” it takes about 7.5-8kWh of electricity over the entire well-to-tank process”

            No, I’m not missing the point. What I’m missing is the sort of detailed analysis that shows that 7.5-8kWh of grid-supplied electricity goes into getting oil from underground to fuel in the tank.

            I ran the US refinery numbers and found only 0.13 kWh of purchased electricity per gallon. I found 3.1 kWh of energy used per gallon. We don’t know how much of that 3.1 – 0.13 is being used for heat and how much for electricity. If it is all being used for electricity, at a 40% efficiency rate, then about 1.3 kWh of electricity is being used for refining.

            That is refining only.

            The energy used for extracting/transporting, if we weren’t using oil would we turn that energy into electricity? Likely not if we weren’t pumping oil.

            I think what is needed is a good, firm ‘electricity obtained from the grid’ total. A lot of the energy used in the process of getting oil to the tank wouldn’t be used were we not using oil.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Even the electricity they make on site should count. And all the natural gas that is used *also* uses electricity to find and drill and pump and compress it, etc. The total carbon footprint of oil has to also include the gas they have to “flame off”.

            As time goes on, it takes more and more energy to find oil, drill for it, extract it, more energy to refine it, etc. Because all the easy oil is dwindling, and the harder to get oil is often lower grade, and more acidic – and more viscous. The viscosity is what requires the massive quantities of heated water to be injected underground, and then pumping this thicker stuff up from deeper wells, and pumping it onto ships or in a pipeline.

            So, it depends on the “age” of the data you get, and there is almost too much to keep track of. Nissan had the 7.5kWh/gallon number and we don’t know what all it included. Needless to say there is probably many things that people are not adding in – the fact that extraction uses so much electricity is not something one would guess. But in California, extraction is the second largest consumer of electricity overall in the state.

            Neil

          • Bob_Wallace

            I suppose it depends on the statement one wishes to make.

            I got into this issue when I saw someone say that if we could drive X miles on the electricity that goes into a gallon of gas. That if we simply quit using gas we could drive X miles. And X was a significant number.

            That number is lower than if we’re saying “If we took all the energy that goes into a gallon of gas and used it for electricity we could drive XX miles”.

            Have we split this hair about as far as we can?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            The larger point is ALL the carbon that is represented by the gallon of gasoline is FAR greater than what is directly contained in the gasoline itself. That is why we need to switch to EV’s – they use far less carbon. And yes, I think that the electricity *alone* used to make gasoline would take a typical EV at least as far as that gallon of gasoline would take a typical car.

            That means that we don’t have to get into the weeds.

            And we have not even considered the ethanol in the E10 gasoline we use today…

            Neil

          • jfreed27

            Coal based electricity, if used in an EV, has hidden externalities (health related) that stick taxpayers with up to $.18/kwh, from a Harvard Med School study. Sadly that must be counted. Of course, if one has solar roofs charging one’s car, then the pollution falls to near zero, amortized over, say 10 years.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            We are down to an average of about 38% electricity from coal right now, here in the US. And yes, all fossil fuels have major health effects.

            But gasoline doesn’t appear out of thin air – a lot of electricity is used to produce gasoline! And a lot of natural gas as wall is used to produce oil and then the gasoline. In fact, it takes as much *or more* electricity to drive an ICE car than it does to drive an EV.

            So, all the overhead that is correctly applied to an EV that is charged from the grid – also must be applied to an internal combustion engined car.

            Neil

          • jeffhre

            As natural gas prices have risen, we are back to 40% coal.

            IMO (LOL) 7.5 kWh of “energy” to deliver gasoline would be more accurate. And about 3 to 5 kWh of electricity to refine a gallon of gas depending on the efficiency (age) of the refinery.

          • vetxcl

            ‘Sadly’, using electricity HOWEVER it’s produced for an electric vehicle emits LESS greenhouse gases. Not that a vested interest WILL acknowledge it.

          • SteveEV

            Let’s say 6 1/2 years to be fully amortized financially. Currently manufactured solar modules will fully offset their own carbon footprint within the first year of operation, some approaching this in the first quarter of operation.

          • jfreed27

            That sounds about right. I paid $8.5 K for my 18 panels, after rebate and fed tax credit, and they are expected to save about $80K over their lifetime.

          • vetxcl

            It’s as simple as NOT using gas emits LESS green house gases.

            It ONLY needs to be Chinese arithmetic to deniers and fossil or nuke vested interests.

          • vetxcl

            Carreful, or you’ll grow hair on your palms with all that mental ‘exercise.’

          • vetxcl

            Actually, NOT all energy used to produce COAL energy (the MAJOR US source of power/electricity), comes from electricity. Even in mines, energy is dependant on gas or deisel. SOME energy usage, like for miner’s hats or the lighting IS electric. Coal energy is produced by BURNING coal and making steam, converting it through turbines to make electricity. And of course, in it’s transportation (gas deisel or a lower grade fuel) is burned to propel the train, to bring it to the plant – or to propel the ship to bring it other countries. You INFER that ONLY (or the majority of transport energy) is electric.

            Very few, IF any energy used is ALL from one source or another, exclusively.

            I’m sure there IS a finite amount of oil, or natural gas, just like there IS a finite amount of coal.

            But amounts on hand or potentially available is NOT the real problem.

            The real problem is having clean water, earth and air. And coal, gas/oil/deisel or even natural gas is problematic.

          • http://zacharyshahan.com/ Zachary Shahan

            Man, funny you don’t see trolls demanding the things be added when they come demanding that electricity sources be added to the emissions of EVs. :D

          • vetxcl

            Makes good enough sense , yes.

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  • Moto_Electric_Vehicles

    Rising Gas Prices Could Be Good For The Environment

    Do you cringe every time you pull up at the gas pump to fill up? With gasoline prices at record highs, are you considering purchasing an
    electric vehicle to save fuel money?

    Well, if you are, you are not alone. Conservatively, it is estimated that the average cost per mile for a gasoline-powered vehicle is approximately .14 per mile, including oil and other fluids. Conversely, the cost per mile of a plug-in electric vehicle such as ours is about .07 per mile, and this includes the cost of replacement batteries amortized over two years. That’s a savings of over .07 per mile! These figures are based on national averages at the time of writing of: $3.91 per gallon for gasoline, 34 miles per gallon average mileage of a gasoline-powered vehicle, and .12 per kilowatt hour for electricity.

    Aside from the cost of gasoline, there is the environmental impact of operating a gasoline-powered vehicle. Exhaust emissions from these vehicles cause toxic compounds to be released into the air we breathe, while leaking fuel and oil contaminate soil and water. And that doesn’t even take into account the “noise pollution” caused by the sounds of internal combustion engines!

    So maybe it is time to consider going “green.” Our electric vehicles produce no exhaust; therefore no exhaust emissions! There is no fuel to leak into our lakes and rivers, and electric motors operate very quietly, making them an altogether green choice.

    As Carlie Bullock Jones said, “Pursuing green means approaching things different than the norm. I believe green design is a huge opportunity, not an obstacle, to truly make a difference on the environment, economy, and community at large.”

    We at Moto Electric Vehicles have seen the great impact that traditional internal combustion engines have had on the environment and the economy. We believe that it is time to think about driving differently, and we invite you to join us by purchasing an electric vehicle and driving “green”. Your wallet and the environment will thank you for it!

    • vetxcl

      The higher the cost of ANY fossil fuel the BETTER.

    • SteveEV

      And for those who demand EV drivers pay their “fair share” of road taxes; take a look at the damage caused by leaking fluids of non-electric cars.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/user/SirWinstoneChurchill Winston Blake

    batteries = arsine

    • rickster

      What a crude definition for such a beautiful thing!. How about, OIL = pollution, death, disease, toxic, stinky, flammable, etc.

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  • http://www.energypoints.com/ Dr. Ory Zik

    This UCS report makes two true statements: The MPG of an electric vehicle (EV) is better than that of an internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV), and how environmentally friendly an EV is, depends on where it is getting its fuel.

    But, with this in mind, the question becomes, how can we maintain an intuitive understanding of an electric car’s “MPG” rating and yet take that understanding to the next level of accuracy?

    Just as different ICEVs have different MPG ratings, different EVs have different efficiencies ranging from 2.5 to 4 miles per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

    The disconnect comes when you try to ask the average person what it means to use a “mile per kWh” in electric fuel. In the U.S., we’re conditioned to understand what it means to measure miles per gallon, but when it comes to kilowatt hours…we’re far more likely to simply scratch our heads and shrug.

    Different regions have different generation efficiencies. The following map shows those generation efficiencies in a metric of Electricity per Gallon of Gasoline, or EPG, measured in kilowatt hours per gallon of gasoline or Energy Points: http://www.energypoints.com/technology/maps/

    Now we have the whole picture. If we are in California (EPG of 21) have a car running at 3 miles per kWh, our MPG is 3 times 21 or 63. If we drive the same car in Ohio (a coal state with an EPG of 11), our MPG becomes 33. Ultimately, with this equation, we are able to take our evaluations to the next level of accuracy to do an intuitive, side-by-side MPG comparison, to confidently say that the MPG of the EV is superior to that of than an ICEV and confirm that—yes—just how efficient it is depends very much on where you are located.

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Thanks. We’ve written on this before, but happy to have you chime in with such info whenever relevant. :D

    • vetxcl

      “WE” don’t need to reinvent the wheel that’s ALREADY been invented. Empg has ALREADY been calculated. Didn’t get memo? That’s so sad.

      “You’re mileage , of course, will vary.”

  • http://ronaldbrak.blogspot.com.au/ Ronald Brak

    Currently, a person who owns an electric car is also likely to be a person who has solar panels on their roof, so I wonder how that affects the emissions resulting from the use of the average electric car?

    • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

      Yeah, going to come back to that in a future post. Do you have any info (a link) with numbers on that?

    • Ory Zik

      Ronald this is a great point. It depends on the type of panels and local solar radiation.

      Let’s assume that you have average panels and you are in an average location with 5 kWh/m2/day (Boston is 3-4 and South California can by up to 7).

      In this case, your solar panels will have an EPG of about 30[kWh/Energy_Point].

      Please take a look this link for reference: http://www.energypoints.com/technology/maps/

      If your car consumes 3 miles per kWh purely from solar, simply multiply the two numbers and you have mpg of 75.

      If it’s a mix of solar and other sources (such as coal), the numbers will be different (lower). The mix will determine the EPG and thus the mpg. I hope this helps.

    • slave2liberty

      i would just add to, that that same person had their EV and solar panels paid for to a large extent by the taxpayers, for their luxury of living “green”. Subsidies don’t just come from rich folks.

      Everyone will end up paying higher energy costs to the electric company to support the manufactured demand for EV, regardless if they own one or not. Who cares in the end if you’re the fortunate one who can afford to get into one to begin with – let the rest of us eat cake!

      • Bob_Wallace

        Yes, you are correct.

        However you don’t tell the rest of the story.

        Those subsidies help drive down the future cost of EVs and solar panels for all.  Right now only those with a bit of extra money are in a position to buy EVs and install solar. As prices continue to fall, thanks to subsidies, more and more people will find them affordable.

        In a few years you should be able to go to the car showroom and choose between a $20k “Camry” that runs on gas and one that runs on electricity, but costs you only 25% as much to ‘fuel’.

        More,  all who purchase electricity from the grid will benefit from other people’s panels.  Excess power from rooftops flowing to the grid lowers the wholesale cost of power to the grid.  We’re seeing that happen right now in Germany.  Wholesale electricity prices during the ‘solar hours’ have fallen to the level of night time prices.

        Furthermore, a lot of EVs and PHEVs will help those who continue to drive petroleum fueled vehicles.  Each person who moves to the grid is one less person stopping at the pump.

        Very basic economics – lower demand causes prices to drop.  (Or at least rise slower.)

        • jeffhre

          No, slave2liberty is not correct.

          Wind power rates are currently at $.04 kWh v. $.11 per kWh for national retail average electricity price. Solar power is competitive with peak retail electricity prices in many US communities and in wide regions competitive enough with overall retail electricity costs to warrant installation of solar panels. Which broadens the market leading to ongoing reductions in solar costs.

          It has been calculated that a gasoline powered vehicle will trigger over $10,000 in oil and gas company subsidies over it’s operating lifetime. This creates a picture more complicated than “Everyone will end up paying higher energy costs to the electric company to support the manufactured demand for EV,” and it is quite possible that upon a full accounting, gas vehicle drivers will owe EV drivers a substantial debt, on a dollar per dollar tax basis.

          Costs from burning gasoline to taxpayers don’t stop there. “53,000 early deaths per year attributed to exhaust from the tailpipes of cars and trucks.” EV advocates shouldn’t gloat too much, as early deaths from electricity generation came in at 52,000, mostly in the Midwest where coal is still the main source of juice.” http://green.autoblog.com/2013/08/31/mit-vehicle-emissions-cause-53-000-extra-deaths-a-year/

          As the grid gets cleaner, less externalities are created by electricity generation. Coal which had accounted for nearly 60% of generation as recently as 1998, it accounted for 40% in 2012. EVs are concentrated in areas with lower coal use, and in California 30% of EV drivers employ solar panels to power their cars.

          “Everyone will end up paying higher energy costs to the electric company to support the manufactured demand for EV, regardless if they own one or not.

          “Oh, I see you have addressed that below.

          • jeffhre

            I have read of EV drivers seeing their utility companies buying wind power at negative costs during the night in Illinois from wind powers low prices on the spot market when demand is lowest.

      • Bob_Wallace

        You might find this article interesting.  It’s about how rooftop solar is reducing the cost of electricity in Germany.

        http://cleantechnica.com/2012/02/09/solar-pv-reducing-price-of-electricity-in-germany/

      • Bob_Wallace

        “Everyone will end up paying higher energy costs to the electric company to support the manufactured demand for EV, regardless if they own one or not.”

        It may be exactly the opposite.

        The wind generally blows harder at night.  Wind farms find that they make a lot less profit per kWh at night because they are producing more for a less demanding market.

        Bringing a lot of EVs to the grid will create a profitable nighttime market for wind and cause more turbines to be installed.  More turbines means more cheap wind power in the middle of the day to offset more expensive power from peaker plants and cheaper electricity for all.

      • http://cleantechnica.com/ Zachary Shahan

        and the subsidies you seem to overlook:

        soldiers dying on faraway battlefields…
        civilians of other countries dying in their homes and on their streets… US citizens dying from cancers and other illnesses due to pollution… billions lost in droughts…
        billions in extra costs from heat waves…
        billions lost in sever floods…

        looking at one subsidy alone is called cherry-picking.

        • vetxcl

          See also; overinclusiveness. YUP, I’d hate to be in a ‘sever’ flood – might lose an arm or a leg there.

          How about starting with the RELEVANT ones; subsidies to PROFITABLE energy companies: oil, gas, electricity.

          s2l is a good example of what I call an ‘exceptionalist’(makes up excuses/imagined fatal flaws) or a reverse barometer (says the opposite).

          It’s fairly OBVIOUS that using solar DECREASES / does NOT add to emissions/GHGs. And the statement by s2l “Subsidies don’t just come FROM rich folks,” points out muddled thinking.

      • vetxcl

        Blather . You make a great reverse barometer. Have some more tea.Don’t mind the oily sheen on top of it. It’s ‘natural.’

      • rickster

        Just to make you a little bit mad, Just installed a 11kw solar array and bought a Nissan leaf this year. I get back $7500 back and $6600 on the solar array. Taxpayer dollars?, Maybe, perhaps you should take advantage of that too…. instead of talking the bad press. Eventually those subsidies will stop and you will be left on you gas guzzling vehicle. Also, since I am using solar panels I get some money back for producing electricity from renewable every quarter! so it is a WIN WIN situation. Since we reduced considerable the consumption of gas by using a Prius and a Nissan Leaf and solar panels we save over $500 gas a month and $200 of electricity. Zero carbon footprint and more money on my pocket so I can use that money to power up other industries other than oil.

        • Bob_Wallace

          Thanks to people like you Mr. Liberty will be able to put solar panels on his roof and an EV in his garage at a very good price in the near future. And then save himself buckets of money.

          And far less of his precious tax dollars will be going to treat diseases caused by fossil fuel pollution.

          Mr. Liberty should send you a thank you card.

  • wattleberry

    To avoid any ambiguity, of course the tax I’m talking about is that component of the unit price,not things like current incentives which will of course have evaporated well before ‘the dust has settled’!

    • Bill_Woods

      I still don’t understand. The tax on gas, or the sales tax on new vehicles?

      • wattleberry

        The tax on gas.

  • wattleberry

    A word of caution; in all these euphoric comparisons one factor never gets mentioned-TAX. Although you unbelievably fortunate US citizens have much less of it to contend with than, for example, us in the EU, in the interests of objectivity ought not this element be eliminated?
    When the dust has settled, governments are still going to have to raise revenue somehow.

    • vetxcl

      A word of further caution: don’t pontificate on what you KNOW little of. Also there are tax CREDITS and tax INCENTIVES given.

      And you ONLY speak for YOU, not us, anywhere.

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