Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Electric Cars Not Less Polluting Than Gas Cars

CBC (amazingly enough) interviews a Green professor who says electric cars often do nothing to reduce CO2 production:
Yet new research suggests that even if every driver in Canada made the switch, from gas to electric, the total emissions might not actually go down. It all has to do with where the power that fuels those electric cars comes from. Depending on where in the country you live, going electric might not be as green as you think. 

The study comes from Chris Kennedy, a professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto.
Coal provides the electricity that charges those cars in much of Canada, and when you consider transmission losses, no surprise!  This study of electric vehicles vs. internal combustion engine cars in France comes to a similar conclusion: the nuclear power plants and hydroelectric power in central France is what makes electrics sensible.   This is no surprise: electric cars, like most other environmental causes, are really a way for those who lack a conventional religion to feel morally superior, and that they are "doing something."


  1. Of course, the greens prevent Ontario from purchasing already available electricity from Quebec, at around $0.03/kwh, so they can have little solar and wind farms making electricity (sometimes) and pay around $0.60.kwh.

    The sun doesn't shine (much) and the wind doesn't blow all the time in Ontario.

    Oh, and just a day or two before the provincial elections, the liberal party cancelled two gas power plants at a cost of over $1-billion. To ensure votes from those near the new plants.

    Not enough graft in it, I guess. But if someone were to drive up from Ottawa to Buckingham, QC (one of Ottawa's suburbs) they would see the power lines marching right down to the provincial border, ready to hook up to the Ontario grid. Just in case Ontarians ever elect an adult.

  2. Electric cars can move the pollution from dense cities to a more-rural setting, and that's not all bad.

    However, I have a Nissan Leaf electric car for two reasons:

    I like all things electric

    and, they're fun to drive.

    Besides, you charge it at home for about $25.00/month so it seems "free" to drive.

    May get a Tesla when my lease runs out at the end of the year.

  3. I like electric c arguments for tax subsidy don't make much sense.ars tpo. But the

  4. I don't agree with the tax subsidy for electric cars, nor wind/solar power generation. But, they are largely responsible for the sales of all 3, like it or not.

    I'm looking for the day when the cars have reverseable chargers that can return power to the grid when needed. This can make some of the alternate energy schemes viable, and there's no technical reason it can't be done right now.