Dedicated to the balanced discussion of global warming
There has been a bit of discussion that a plug in hybrid car is really a coal car. I believe that this true statement is meant to actually scare consumers from buying or hoping to buy an all-electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid.
Let’s do a bit of napkin math and assume that energy transmission losses (and other losses) are negligible or at least cancel each other out.
Some quick math:
This is a virtual tie! Not really of course, a mathmetician will point out that there is a 16% difference. But the mechanical engineer in me calls this a tie. This is because I understand that there are some inherent inefficiencies in both conversion processes. A great deal of the energy of gasoline is used to make the engine warmer and a great deal of the electricity is lost to transmission as well as the inefficiencies of charging batteries.
Of course, the part of this discussion that is lost is the infrastructure that is required to create that much electricity. The Oil Drum has a discussion on this subject that may scare you if you think that we can add a million or two plug-in electric vehicles with our present capacity. Although Autobloggreen suggests that there is no problem as long as the vehicles are plugged in “off-peak” which typically means in the late evening or overnight.Tags: btu, carbon dioxide, CO2, coal, electric, electric vehicle, EPA, gas car, gasoline, hybrid, oil