So, How Much “Evil” Carbon Dioxide Do Electric Vehicles Cause?

| October 4, 2020

In a previous article, I discussed how much fuel is actually “burned” (in terms of gasoline MPG) to support driving a popular and representative electric vehicle, the Chevy Bolt. Bottom line: that “100+ MPG equivalent” claim made by both the manufacturer and the EPA is pure . . . garbage. (smile)

But another thought occurs: just how much of that “evil pollutant” carbon dioxide is produced to support charging such a vehicle? After all, the “mankind is killing the planet through AGW” crowd gets their collective panties/manties in a wad over the production of that horrible, nasty gas.

Sidebar: I guess the “mankind is killing the planet through AGW” crowd must hate plants, too. Because plants produce carbon dioxide 24/7 via respiration in order to stay alive – including when there’s no sun and they therefore can’t use photosynthesis. (smile)

Contrary to what the electric vehicle crowd might claim, the answer isn’t “none”. The electrical energy wasn’t put in the battery pack by faeries or unicorns; it had to be generated, transmitted, converted, and stored there. Those processes incurs losses. And even if your electrical power normally comes from “environmentally friendly” sources, well, sometimes it doesn’t. As California is finding out the hard way, depending on power sources that on average only produce 15% of design capacity on a daily basis – and which can be shut down entirely by extended adverse weather conditions – isn’t a particularly good idea. It’s a good thing that electricity can be transmitted over distance, albeit at a price.

So, let’s “run the numbers”. As before there’s some math involved. But it’s simple math, and this time there’s not much of it.

Introduction

So, just how much carbon dioxide is generated to charge a Chevy Bolt enough to allow the owner to drive one mile? (See author’s note below for the reason the Chevy Bolt was selected.) I’m only going to consider two cases: coal-fired power plants and combined-cycle power plants.

I’m ignoring nuclear because although it generates zero carbon dioxide it only represents about 18-20% of US electrical power production and is used exclusively for base load power anyway. If an EV is charged any time other than between about midnight and 6 AM, it’s getting some or all of it’s charging power from other (peak-load) sources.

I’m ignoring oil-fired plants because, frankly, these are few and far between today. They’re thus a negligible contribution to the current US power grid, and the numbers are only slightly better than coal-fired anyway.

Similarly, I’m ignoring hydro as it’s only a minor contributor. Plus, it’s so heavily regulated today (min/max flow restrictions) it’s getting more and more difficult to use anyway.

Finally, I’m ignoring “renewable sources” because I live in the real world vice Neverland. Fifteen percent average availability (with respect to installed capacity) and occasional mass outages due to weather just ain’t gonna cut it.

Bolt Calculations

From my previous article linked above, on reasonably level roads at a speed of 70 MPH (e.g., normal freeway driving) the Chevy Bolt uses 0.293 kWh of electrical energy stored in its battery pack to drive one mile. But as I explained previously, that’s not the total answer.

For starters: the Bolt’s battery charging circuity dissipates a chunk. Assuming 92% efficiency here (probably a touch high), that means you need (0.293 kWh / 0.92 ) = 0.3185 kWh at the wall socket to put a one-mile highway speed charge into the Chevy Bolt’s battery.

Approximately 5% of US electricity is dissipated via transmission losses. Thus, on average at the generating plant ( 0.3185 kWh / 0.95 ) = 0.3353 kWh must be supplied to produce that one-mile drive charge.

However: we still haven’t generated the power in the first place. When using any thermal source (e.g., fossil fuel, nuclear, or solar thermal), that step is always the “biggie”, efficiency-wise. For fossil fuels, we have two realistic possibilities: combined-cycle natural gas and coal.

Case 1: Combined-cycle natural gas

Here, we have the best case for fossil fuels. Per this source, when burned natural gas (methane) produces 0.18 kg of carbon dioxide per kWh of thermal energy produced. Further, combined-cycle plants fueled by natural gas are very efficient (I used 58%, or just above the midpoint of the typically-quoted 55-60% range for the efficiency of combined-cycle plants, in the previous article). So if a Bolt owner gets their electricity from such a plant, that means the generating plant needs to burn enough methane to produce roughly ( 0.3353 kWh / 0.58 ) = 0.578 kWh of thermal energy in order to generate the electricity needed to charge said vehicle enough to drive one mile at 70 MPH. Since each kWh of thermal energy from burning methane produces 0.18 kg of carbon dioxide, under these conditions the Bolt owner is responsible – indirectly – for producing 0.104 kg of carbon dioxide per mile of highway driving. That’s very good.

Case 2: Coal-fired generation

The situation is very different if the Bolt owner lives in an area where his/her electricity is primarily generated from coal-fired plants, or if they charge during peak hours in an area where single-stage gas turbines are used to satisfy peak load. Here, generating plant efficiency is far lower – roughly 37%. So in either case, the generating plant needs to burn enough fuel to produce roughly ( 0.3353 kWh / 0.37 ) = 0.9062 kWh of thermal energy to charge his/her Bolt enough to drive one mile at 70 MPH.

If the Bolt was charged using peak load power generated by a single-stage gas turbine, calculations using data from the same source as used above in Case 1 show that they’re responsible for 0.163 kg of carbon dioxide per mile driven at 70 MPH. That’s fairly good, but not great.

However, if they charged overnight and their locality’s baseload power is produced by a coal-fired plant fueled by bituminous coal, it’s a different story. When burned, bituminous coal produces 0.28 kg of carbon dioxide per kWh of thermal energy produced. In that case, they’re responsible for 0.2537 kg of carbon dioxide per mile driven at 70 MPH.

For comparison, let’s look at a gasoline vehicle getting 41 MPG at 70MPH on reasonably level highways. Per the same source as above, one gallon of a 90/10 mixture of gasoline/ethanol (E10 gasoline, or “gasohol”) yields approximately 8.851 kg of carbon dioxide when burned. (That number was calculated by adding the carbon dioxide produced by burning 0.9 gal of pure gasoline and 0.1 gal of pure ethanol; both of those fuels are listed in the second source linked above.) So a gasoline powered vehicle – conventional or hybrid – getting 41 MPG at a constant 70 MPG and using normal E10 gasoline produces 0.2159 kg of carbon dioxide per mile driven under those conditions.

Conclusion

Depending on the source of electricity used to charge it, it’s entirely possible that that “environmentally friendly” electric vehicle cruising down the highway at 70 MPH is actually responsible for MORE carbon dioxide being created per mile driven than a reasonably fuel-efficient conventional gasoline-powered vehicle driving next to it. Specifically: if the electric vehicle is a Chevy Bolt and the gasoline-powered vehicle gets 41 MPG or more at 70 MPH, the Bolt is responsible for at least 17.5% MORE carbon dioxide than the gasoline-powered vehicle if it was charged by a coal-fired generating plant.

So, electric vehicle owners: enjoy your vehicles. I hope it serves your needs – both for transportation and any psychological need for “virtue-signaling” you might have.

But don’t wear out your arm patting yourself on the back for “saving the planet”. Because depending on the source of electricity used to charge your electric vehicle, it’s entirely possible that you’re doing more “harm” (in terms of producing carbon dioxide) to the planet while cruising down the freeway at 70 MPH than a fuel-efficient gasoline-powered auto cruising right beside you.

And remember: you probably spent at least $10k more than they did for that privilege.

—–

Author’s Note: No, I’m not picking on Bolt owners. I used the Bolt for comparison because that’s the real-world hard data I had.

If someone can find real-world hard data (as opposed to often-specious “manufacturer’s claims” and blatantly false “EPA fantasies”) regarding another electric vehicle’s documented actual energy consumption per mile under realistic highway driving conditions, I’ll run those numbers too. But don’t bother with EPA or manufacturers’ “MPGe” or range numbers; when compared to real-world hard data, those claims turn out to be somewhere between moderately inflated and ridiculous.

Category: Global Warming Voodoo, Science and Technology

Comments (45)

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  1. 2banana says:

    Keep going.

    Toxic waste for the manufacturing of batteries.

    Rare earth metal toxic processing.

    The inability to recycle batteries.

    Etc.

    • A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

      Not to mention the strip mining for the Rare Earth Metals needed for said batteries!

      • rgr769 says:

        And, fossil fuel operated mining equipment, mostly in not enviro-friendly China, mined most of those rare earth metals. I’d also like to see what the carbon footprint is for Musk’s Tesla battery plant. I’ll bet it uses massive amounts of fossil fuel powered electricity.

    • Hondo says:

      Probably won’t address either toxic waste issue. Addressing those topics quantitatively isn’t within my expertise.

      There are companies that can recycle and/or refurbish LiIon battery packs. Doing that does require special knowledge/skills and a facility set up for same, though.

      Look for more of that (LiIon battery pack recycling/refurbishment) as more EVs get built – if for no reason than to recover the lithium and cobalt used in their construction.

  2. Roh-Dog says:

    Just based on the initial cost of a vehicle, ICE VS EV, the financing, and the long term maintenance costs, in rare and exceptional circumstances are EVs a good investment.
    Caution: slippery slope argument ahead with a generous heap of ‘GFY idiot’ topping!
    If you’re too stupid to do the maths, maybe, just maybe, you should starve to death whilst driving around in that ‘I love me more than I love common sense and this EV proves it!’ death cart.
    Logic and reason are divorced from most decisions in such virtue-signaling morons’ minds.
    Proof you beg?
    Stats of our fellow country-dwellers:
    58% can’t calculate a tip
    71% can’t figure miles per gallon
    78% can’t figure interest (unclear simple or compounding but given the above stats, wtfk)
    In sum, math is; racist, patriarchal, chauvinistic, colonizing and subjectiveish.

    Source: Phillips, G.W. (2007) Expersing international…, American Institutes for Research, National Center of Ed. Stat., https://youtu.be/9ugAdXotqnU @ 11:48. (Unverified)

    • Hondo says:

      If you (a) live in a big city, (b) never travel more than 75 miles from home, (c) never have to tow or haul heavy loads, and (d) have access to a free charging station at work, EVs can be a good deal – for the owner. But in most other cases, IMO they’re not.

      Then again, owning a Porsche, Corvette, or Ferrari doesn’t make economic or practical sense either. But many people buy them anyway (well, a few in the case of a Ferrari).

      I just get tired of hearing those who don’t know squat about the actual science and engineering involved wax ignorant about how electric vehicles will “save the planet”. Even if we could build EVs in sufficient quantity (doubtful, and the subject of a future article), the electricity needed to charge them still has to be generated. And if you want that electricity to be generated reliably, for the most part unless you’re talking nuclear you’re talking burning hydrocarbon fuels to do that.

      I also find it particularly galling that the EPA participates in this charade, spouting “MPGe” numbers that by all appearances simply assume all the electricity needed is generated by unicorn farts and pixie dust. That’s so blatantly dishonest it’s disgusting.

      • Roh-Dog says:

        Also, there is a ‘second kind of cool’ (h/t nutnfancy!) associated with hypermileing and/or EVs. I have to admit that I’m a devotee of the ‘I’m gonna get the most from these recycled dinosaurs’ school of thought on occasion.
        I got 525 miles on a 11.9 gallon tank more than once!
        Take that Big Oil!
        Mostly I do it to remain mindful of driving habits. Slow and steady, enjoy the scenery, getting closer not farther every second mantra.
        But the idea that +/- 1–4 mpg is somehow going to save a polar bear?
        Ludif**kingcrous.

        As I’ve mentioned before, I am not “anti-EV”, just very very very pro free market.
        Remove the subsidies and false figures maybe then this synthetic illusion will fall away.
        -fingers crossed-

        • Hondo says:

          525 mi on 11.9 gallons? Pfft. Child’s play.

          In the 1980s and early/mid 1990s I routinely got around 500 highway miles per tank on vehicle with a 10.6 gallon fuel tank – at 70MPH.

          Of course, that vehicle was a VW Rabbit Diesel . . . . (smile)

          • 11B-Mailclerk says:

            I get 20 city and 25 highway driving a 3.5l V6 like a leadfoot. If I cruise highway smooth and steady at the right speed of 66, that goes to 33mpg. Plenty, and a fun drive. Been looking at something a bit bigger, but at only 300k miles my vehicle is still going strong.

            I see no reason to drive a tiny uncomfortable deathtrap just because of watermelon hysteria.

            • Hondo says:

              To each his own. I absolutely loved hell out of that Rabbit Diesel. It fit my needs perfectly at the time.

              When it died at 260k+ miles (block crack), I was sad as hell. Still had the original clutch/bottom end/rings/pistons and only used a quart of oil in about 800 mi (not bad for a diesel).

              I seriously thought about putting a new engine w/injector pump in it (could have gotten one factory new, crated and ready for bolt-in install – just attach to transaxle, hook up wires/hoses, install filters, and fill fluids) for around $2500 shipped. Still periodically kick myself for not doing that.

      • rgr769 says:

        I have a Corvette. It gets better gas mileage than my wife’s Honda Odyssey van—27 to 28 MPG on level terrain at 70 MPH.

  3. Ex-PH2 says:

    There are EV charging stations all over the map. Some of them are fast-charging stations, and some were installed by government for public use. There are maps that let you find them.

    I have yet to see anything in the news locally that tells me whether or not these vehicles will stand up to some of the very better winters we’ve had, and/or how a stranded vehicle on a side road would be able to keep the heat going in an EV car at night in the dead of winter. There is a lot to be tested out that hasn’t been addressed. While I’m all for clean air and really, really clear blue skies, I have yet to see anything in the way of realtime winter statistics on how well or badly they do.

    Vehicles/products have to be completely reliable. IF they aren’t no one will buy them.

    • Hondo says:

      Vehicles/products have to be completely reliable. IF they aren’t no one will buy them.

      Hardly true. Ferraris have a reputation for being “temperamental”; ditto Corvettes and most other sports cars. But people buy them anyway.

      Why? Because they’re “cool”.

      Another example: 4×4 vehicles in the early 1990s. Many if not most buyers paid hundreds to thousands more for the “pleasure” of owning and maintaining (at extra expense vice a conventional vehicle) a 4WD vehicle that never was operated in 4WD (or was maybe operated in 4WD during the test drive once).

      Stuff that is otherwise useless, impractical, or outright crap can be sold if you can convince enough people they’re “cool”.

      My beef with charging stations is that many are highly subsidized and/or “free”. “Free charging” MY AZZ – all that means is the end user isn’t paying the full cost of charging their vehicle. Someone else is picking up all or part of the tab – and that someone is “the rest of us” through higher taxes and/or utility costs.

      I have zero problem with electric vehicles. I have a big problem with being forced to pay – in full or in part – the cost of someone buying one (via manufacturer subsidies and tax credits) or driving one (through subsidized or “free” charging stations). It’s their car, not mine; the owner should be paying that cost.

      • M. Bibliophile says:

        Couldn’t agree more. Pay for your own damn electricity, no one owes you range because you bought into a political fad. I’ve yet to see a free station in my state, and my favorite charging station setup is putting them at the local PUD stations/offices. The cheapest only required the user to pay for the electricity and most require a small ($5 or so) surcharge on top of that. The worst, ironically, are the “state run” option that are a $20 a month subscription or $7.00 a charge regardless of how much. Thankfully, I only ever need a fast charge if I’m driving to the city or picking up archery supplies…

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      The “free charging” stations may be those installed by the government as “public” stations. Don’t know, haven’t been to one.

      I want to see how they will hold up in a vile, bone-chilling cold winter that starts in the Dakotas and goes all the way east to Maine and south to Georgia. 🙂

      Personally, I think horses are more reliable than a lot of current vehicles. But that’s just me.

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        Since the heater in an EV is electric resistance, not based on pumping hot engine coolant, even if the vehicle is somewhat wrecked it should still heat.

        If the conventional car runs out of gas, the heat fails. Ditto flat battery EVs. “Stupid driver” has negative consequences for both types.

        EV wrecks present interesting challenges for rescuers. Cut the wreck wrong place and zorch yourself.

        Everything is a trade-off. I will stick with IC for now.

    • Anonymous says:

      If we needed a map to find a gas station, we’d be stuck getting towed all the time. Just sayin’.

  4. Anonymous says:

    But the Leftist virtue-signaling of forcing people to use them is all-important– forget facts!

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Well, Newsom, the current Gubberner of California, has proposed legislation that will make EVs mandatory by 2035. Now, it’s unlikely that he’ll be around or in office or even concerning himself about it, so it’s 15 years from now and he doesn’t really care what happens.

      I sincerely hope this kind of thinking and goalpost stuff comes to a screeching halt, based on practical things like weather conditions and cost to the consumer.

      • Anonymous says:

        He’ll have a legacy luxury vehicle or two purchased and stored in climate-controlled plastic wrap for his chauffeur to drive him around when he’s 90.

        • 11B-Mailclerk says:

          Count on clever exemptions for whatever he expects to ride. Like “for hire” limo, or “government/former Gservice” or whatever.

      • rgr769 says:

        He doesn’t even care what it costs or what happens with Gerry Brown’s train to nowhere (Merced to Bakersfield).

  5. 5th/77th FA says:

    Call me when Doc Brown gets the Flux Capacitor perfected, I’ll convert everything over then. At least using stale beer and banana peels for fuel will keep Slow Joe from drinking Bud Lite and we’ll have plenty of pudding.

  6. Honor and Courage says:

    This could be the reasoning behind less math in the Education of America’s youth! Not smart enough to figure out anything. Where are we at with the SemiTruck, and Tractors? Do they plan on scrapping them? Maybe 4 trailers connected 3 with Batteries, and one for Cargo.

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Nah: it’ll be all rail shipping right to the delivery point.
      Your car dealer will take delivery for the short ride to the dealership, and only for cars/trucks that were ordered by clients.
      No more dealer lots full of unsold vehicles uglifying the landscape.
      Of course, they’ll be so expensive that ordinary people like you and me won’t be able to afford them, so we’ll be driving pedicabs or riding Divvybikes.

      • Anonymous says:

        All that European-style light rail and being packed into apartment buildings like the Soviets wanted will take care of it!

    • The Other Whitey says:

      I’ve been hearing rumors for the last few months about LA City’s electric fire engine. They’re calling it the wave of the future, but word floating around is that the testing process has been anything but promising in terms of reliability and capability.

      I have on occasion spent 20 hours straight (or more) pumping a wildland hoselay* at 350 PSI (also been on the hot end of that operation plenty of times). While high GPM flow can be achieved at relatively low RPM (two-stage pumps are cool that way), high pressure requires high RPM. On some occasions, I have run a diesel-powered engine with 150 gallon fuel capacity down to fumes from nearly full. When I was lucky, I had somebody bringing me 5-gallon cans of fuel to dump in as I managed the pump (which is anything but a fire-and-forget evolution). I have also had to switch the pump operation from one piece of apparatus to another due to fuel running out (all kinds of fun when the fire is running and everybody is screaming at you on the Tac frequency that they need water NOW).

      Show me the EV with the necessary internal battery capacity to maintain that high RPM for even half that amount of time. It doesn’t exist. What do they suggest, that we pull a big-ass battery trailer (whose added weight would likely burn more juice than it adds)? Not up the “roads” we have to drive on!

      * Pumping operations in wildland firefighting are all about maintaining pressure and conserving water. The former because of the hydraulic issues involved in maintaining effective flow at the nozzle through an 1-1/2” hoselay that may go for miles (not an exaggeration) over rough topography, fighting friction loss and head pressure (that’s the effect of gravity as you’re pumping uphill or downhill). The latter because such incidents almost never happen where you can hook into a convenient municipal hydrant and access unlimited quantities of water; you get what gets shuttled in by additional engines and/or water tenders, whose turnaround time may be several hours.

      • Hondo says:

        If it’s no better than the EV buses LA tested some time ago (see the article linked at the end of my article on large EVs; it was published about a week after the linked one) . . . well, let’s just say I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting to see them in quantity.

      • Berliner says:

        Jay “Climate Change!” Inslee had a convinced a Washington state school district to buy an electric school bus a year ago. Only $100k. He got the media to televise him at the delivery to the district. It was just a coincidence he was getting his losing (1%) presidential race started.

        No other district was dumb enough to buy another one.

    • rgr769 says:

      My grandson (12) wanted to know what the point of learning math was, since everyone can use the calculator function on their cell phone. I had to break it to him that in the case of an EMP event, we’ll all be using paper and pencils to calculate anything after every electronic device is fried.

  7. Milo Mindbender says:

    “Sidebar: I guess the “mankind is killing the planet through AGW” crowd must hate plants, too. Because plants produce carbon dioxide”
    If I remember correctly plants absorb CO2, and transpire O2, pulling the carbon off as a binding agent for photosynthesis. Plants produce oxygen, and absorb CO2 during their feeding cycle.

    • Hondo says:

      That is only partially correct. Plants engage in both photosynthesis and respiration.

      As you describe, plant photosynthesis uses light as an energy source to synthesize sugars from carbon dioxide and water. Plants then metabolize those sugars as an energy source during growth. Plant metabolism, like animal metabolism, absorbs oxygen from the air and produces carbon dioxide as a by-product.

      https://www.pthorticulture.com/en/training-center/basics-of-plant-respiration/

      Photosynthesis occurs during hours of light. Respiration occurs 24/7/365 – including those periods when a deciduous plant is “dormant” during the winter (though almost certainly at a greatly reduced rate).

      Plants are generally net producers of oxygen. However, they do also produce carbon dioxide. They just generally produce more oxygen (and consume more carbon dioxide) during their hours of photosynthesis than the reverse during their 24/7/365 respiration.

      The “mankind is killing the planet through AGW” crowd apparently believes carbon dioxide produced by man is killing the earth. Therefore, that means they must hate plants too – since plants also produce that notorious and “evil” gas. Get rid of plants and we get rid of their carbon dioxide, right? Verily, we can save the earth by using Roundup! (smile)

      (Yes, I’m being sarcastic – perhaps even sardonic – in that last paragraph.)

      • M. Bibliophile says:

        Wish I’d seen this before I posted. Thanks for pointing that out, Hondo, I admit my mistake below.

        Still love my EV, though.

  8. M. Bibliophile says:

    Milo Mindbender is correct: plants absorb CO2 and create O2. Just being nitpicky.

    On electric vehicles: full disclosure, I own one and I love it; not because I love trees, but because I hate paying for gas. I am also numerate, although my signals professor might dispute that.

    Couple of things. First, if you’re buying an electric vehicle as an investment, you’re doing it wrong. The resale falls off a cliff and as a result you can pick up a short to moderate range EV for a song (comparatively speaking). There are hazards to doing this, of course, battery life being chief among them, but nothing a canny purchaser can’t mitigate.

    Second, you do need a map to find a charging station even in EV friendly states like mine. This is much less of an issue because the vast majority of driving is fairly short ranged and based at home. With an EV, your home is your primary fuel station, though if you want to drive it more than once a day you’ll need to budget for and purchase a level II charger. That can run you in the neighborhood of $500+, but it will pay for itself inside of a year. Obviously, if you are an apartment dweller without a garage this can get dicey.

    Third, they are NOT for everyone. I wouldn’t recommend one as a primary vehicle unless you’re a city dweller with a garage and definitely not in very hot or very cold climates. Our winters live in the 20s-30s F and I lose anywhere from 5-10 miles of range. Thankfully, my commute is short enough that it doesn’t matter.

    However, if you can get past these drawbacks, they are quiet, smooth, have great pickup on the low end, and are cheap to run. No fluid changes, minimal PMCS required, and mine costs $10 a week in electricity vs. $30 in gas. They are specialized tools designed for nothing beyond medium range transportation, but they do that quite well. There is plenty of room in the market for them, and they will only improve as the tech matures and people buy more of them.

    Addendum: anyone dumb enough to think that they are being “green” by buying one of these is an idiot. All it does is transfer the pollution to the power station, not decrease the total. Anyone that stupid and innumerate should frankly not own one and will find themselves paying more than they think because they aren’t bright enough use it correctly.

    • Hondo says:

      FWIW: if you’re only using $10 in electricity a week to charge your EV, I’d guess you’re getting the equivalent of a full charge once a week. (Either that, or you live somewhere where electricity is cheap as hell.) That in turn means you’re almost certainly driving 200 miles or less weekly.

      At today’s gas prices, that’s about 4 gallons of gas weekly for a hybrid getting around 50 MPG city. In most of the US that will cost well under $10/weekly. Hell, there are a number of conventionally-powered gas vehicles that would also be able to do that for $15 weekly (or less) in gas in most of the US.

      Yes, a hybrid or conventional auto needs oil changes (once or twice annually for most people) and other fluid changes – coolant (every 5 years) and (unless the auto has electric brakes) brake fluid every 2-3 years. It will also need an air filer annually and spark plugs every 100k miles. But IMO that additional expense is a very small price to pay to be able to drive a long distance (to include cross country) on extreme short notice if necessary.

      • M. Bibliophile says:

        My commute is 50 miles per day and I charge every night, so more like two and half full charges a week (30 KWH battery, 100 mile range). Electricity is reasonable, but not overly inexpensive. When I was using my standard ICE car, I filled up once a week (~10 gallons, give or take) at an average price of $3.00 a gallon. Oil changes were $30-$50 every 3-4 months plus assorted annual fluid replacements, air filters, the works. Using it for what I do, the EV is indisputably cheaper.

        You aren’t wrong about range, which I addressed above. This is not a long range car and taking it cross country would be nearly if not actually impossible. I can get anywhere in my medium sized state I need to thanks to its generous attitude towards EV’s (insert eye-roll here, but it is nice), but going anywhere else would be dicey. The infrastructure simply does not exist. Yet. Someday we’ll have hydrogen as a standard fuel (decades out, but given the current trajectory nearly inevitable) and it will be less of an issue, but we are emphatically not there yet.

        For the record, my wife drives our ICE powered car and I have no intention of replacing it with an electric or even a hybrid car (don’t get me started on those). However, I maintain that for commuter cars, EV’s have reached the point where they can and do make a lot of sense if you know what you’re doing. And I cannot emphasize enough how nice it is to not be slowly deafened by the engine. Silence like this usually costs north of $50k, and I paid less that $15k. Gotta make that crap resale work for you.

        • Ret_25X says:

          no, we will not have a hydrogen powered transport system. Ever.

          Nor will will EV be the future.

          UNLESS…we get fusion commercially viable.

          There is no hydrogen or EV future without the ability to fuse helium.

          There is no helium fusion in the future without exploitation of the solar system.

          There is no exploitation of the solar system without fusion.

          There is no investment in fusion comparable to even research investment in cosmetic surgery techniques, so I guess that tells you how transport will be fueled, doesn’t it?

          • Ret_25X says:

            if you want to know why this is the case…it is because the “science is real” crowd doesn’t understand scientific method and doesn’t want real research funded.

          • M. Bibliophile says:

            Not necessarily. Hydrogen is just a battery and fission would do the job just as well. There are some plans in the works (MSR among them) that could get things moving in the right direction. The truth of the matter is that electricity is our civilization’s fire and our current methods are either too uncertain or not considered politically palatable. How misguided you or I might believe that to be, it is sadly the truth. If we do not collapse to an earlier technological state, something that is definitely a possibility, we will have to move beyond coal, oil, and gas. “Renewables,” such as they are, are not even worth a mention save as boutique sources for local production and strictly limited distribution.

            Perversely enough, renewables could see a new lease on life as producers of hydrogen for local fuel consumption while more conventional means are employed for grid power. There are lots of possibilities going forward and as much as I like fusion, saying that it is fusion or nothing is binary thinking that does not necessarily bear out.

            Personally, I see a gas/hydrogen hybrid of sorts as a possibility: an electric engine using a hydrogen fuel cell with a small gasoline engine for extending range or limited running in emergencies. Lots of options along this line, so don’t write off hydrogen too quickly.

        • Hondo says:

          30kWh battery pack? OK, given that 2.5 charges per week makes sense. I’d assumed something more like 60kWh (that size range is common on some newer EVs).

          • M. Bibliophile says:

            I wish. The cheap Tesla costs more than twice what I paid and the newer Nissans are only 40 kWH batteries at a similar price point. I’m not rich or foolish enough to pay that much for a glorified runabout. I love my car, but I am not blind to what it is.

            Still, I have a friend who just went to work for Tesla and their newest, still in planning vehicle is SWEET. Maybe someday…

  9. Ex-PH2 says:

    Hondo, just out of curiosity, how many tonnes of CO2 are emitted daily by the Greenbeaners and ecohippie crowds?

    Also, how much twine does it take to sew their mouths shut?

    Just askin’, in case it comes up in conversation some day.