Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pizza night

Once again, I can't sleep due to having eaten pizza for dinner. There's definitely a pattern emerging....

As fuel prices rise, the debate about EVs consumes more and more space in the news. Inevitably, the blogs are containing commonly-held but unsubstantiated opinions (mostly in the negative). For instance:


"ELECTRIC cars are not “zero emissions vehicles”, Stewart Prins. They simply transfer the point of emissions from the tailpipe of the vehicle to the smokestack of the electricity generating plant. In Australia, where most of the electric power is generated by burning dirty coal, that means they put just as much CO2 into the atmosphere as if running on petrol. Electric vehicles are only green if the generating network is nuclear or hydro power. "
Gordon Drennan
Burton, SA

This is a common one, and for once I don't have to provide a response: another citizen has done it for me:

"Though it is true that the emission levels of an electric vehicle depend largely on the source of the electricity, it is dead wrong to claim that electric vehicles produce as much emissions as a regular vehicle.
Fully electric vehicles have an fuel efficiency equivalent of 1.5L/100km, as compared to regular petrol and diesel fueled cars which use between 5-15L/100km-largely due to the greater efficiency of a cyclical motor over a reciprocating engine(about 80% compared to 20%). To put it another way, an electric car consumes about 0.1 to 0.3kw-h/km traveled, wheras the average petrol driven vehicle uses the equivalent of about 1.3kw-h/km.
In short, what this amounts to is a minimum CO2 reduction of 55% compared to regular vehicles, even if the source of power is “dirty coal”. If natural gas, biomass gas or some form of renewable energy is the source, then the reduction in CO2 emissions can run as high as 99%. However, of greater importance is that electric and hybrid electric vehicles also significantly reduce, or totally eliminate, the emission of benzene (a carcinogen), particulate emissions (a cause of lung disease and asthma), MMT (a cumulative neurotoxin), carbon monoxide (a poison) and nitrogen dioxide (a corrosive agent which produces photochemical smog)-plus they reduce your yearly fuel and vehicle maintenance bills.
Surely these are reasons enough for us to encourage a wider distribution of hybrid and fully electric vehicles for both individual and public transportation."

I'm currently in the middle of drawing up plans for the adapter plate and battery racks while I save up for components. I'll post them up here once I'm finished. Also, Gavin from kiwiev.com has kindly advertised my efforts on his website - hopefully some donations will be forthcoming.

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