We Need More Power Captain

I've always had my doubts about electric cars being 'greener' than gas cars. To me it seems all you are doing is changing where the dirty work gets done. The power you need to drive to work is the same whether it comes from an internal combustion engine or from a nice compact cord in your garage wall. The electricity flowing from that cord comes from a coal fired power plant, or a nuclear plant, or some other source. You just get to feel better because you can't see the pollution coming out of the tail pipe. You also have all those nasty chemicals in the batteries. Those batteries are going end up leaking in some landfill eventually. (Maybe the battery acids could take care of all that garbage.) Hybrids are probably actually a good compromise because my understanding is that the batteries for the electrical motor get their energy from the gas motor and the turning of the wheels.

This came up because I ran across this opinion piece which mentions the same sort of thing. The writer makes the case that if electric cars become widespread energy demand from the municipal power grid will go up as people quit getting energy from their car's internal combustion engine. The major issue here is that generation at most power plans is pretty water intensive. According to some research done at the University of Texas, electric powered cars would consume approximately three times as much water as gasoline powered vehicles. That's water that is lost for other uses. If you look at the amount of water used and put back, then electric cars will use about 17 times as much. That's not good these days when water is becoming a premium commodity in a lot of places. Georgia may be in a real bind due to their combination of low water supply and high commuter supply.

Of course their is a ray of light in all this. The next article I read brings up the point that clean energy is getting more efficient and, as a consequence, cheaper. (Though the commenters do dispute the numbers used in the article.) So as the energy supply grid gets greener, so will our electric cars.

Personally, I think solar power is on so early 00's. Lunar power is the wave of the future. At least until we discover dilithium crystals.


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