8/03/2006

08-03-06 - 2

A lot of people who are pro-electric-car don't really understand why it may or may not be good. They think electricity is like this magic juice that doesn't pollute, that it means you have an emission free vehicle. In reality, almost all electricity is made by burning fossil fuels. An electric car simply gets its energy from the fossil fuels that are burned in a power plant and sent over the wires. An efficient gas-burning car such as a "hybrid" gets its energy by burning fossil fuels directly in the car. In both cases you're just cracking carbon to make power. Depending on the details, one or the other may be more efficient; it's not at all clear that the pure-electric car is more efficient. The biggest advantage of the electric car is you can in theory get the energy from natural gas or "clean coal" or nuclear power, which pollute less and cost less than gasoline. In reality, most of our power plants are quite inefficient and pollute much more than they could/should.

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old rants