electric cars are plain stupid

They are not clean because it takes electric generating plants to produce the electricity.

They are inefficient users of energy compared to the internal combustion engine. All they do is move pollution from one area to another.

NOT a solution to pollution.

I’m told that generators at Niagara Falls produce electricity - if this is so, what pollution do they produce?

Try telling that to Ed Begley Jr.

Umm… I would like your suggestions on how we provide electricity for the whole country from Niagara Falls. Or from hydro-electric power in general, for that matter.

Clean electricity just doesn’t produce enough. That’s a fact, Jack.

I’m not sure how the Niagara Falls generators work in relation to other hydroelectric plants, but these do have their own way of “polluting” the environment: Destroying large rivers with larger lakes, killing large fish populations by either destroying their environment or denying them access to spawning grounds, and, finally, they do have a limited useful life because of silt buildup caused by one of nature’s friends: Erosion.

Depending on what value system you use to judge, one could argue (perhaps not effectively) that watt per watt a hydroelectric causes as much environmental damage as a coal burning plant.

Now, on the other hand, if all plants were Nuclear then maybe electric cars would drastically reduce pollution . . .

Is suddently we switched to all electric cars, quite a lot of extra generating capacity would be needed and lots of air pollution or nuclear waste would be produced.

If we had enoght of a truly clean source, that would be fine. But electric cars in themselves do not solve a thing.

I vote for nuclear. Environmentalist propaganda aside, I do believe that safe, low-polluting nuclear energy is available. Engineers have been working on reactor designs for decades now, but haven’t had a chance to build them because of enviromentalist-driven protests. I say let the boys build the reactors and work their magic.

Good idea. We’ll route all the nuclear waste carriers through your town. Can we bury the stuff in your back yard?

Environmental propaganda, my ass.

Since this isn’t GD or GQ, I have to disagree, but without hard facts, or the knowledge on where to find them. You suggest that the I.C.E. is efficient. I’ve heard quite the opposite. But then again, I’ve heard nearly nothing about how efficient an electric engine would be.

They may not be clean if you consider the fact that an electric plant is required to recharge them. However, I’d like to see a comparison b/w the pollution of the amount of plants needed (someone said that it would require an enormous amount of new plants - I’d believe it) versus the amount of current polution due to cars.

But even if the amount of pollution would be the same, wouldn’t it be beneficial to spread that pollution out over a huge area (I’m looking at you, Utah), instead of concentrating it in highly populated areas like cities?

I Am Not An Expert, but I would imagine part of the appeal of the electric car is that once you plug it into the socket, it doesn’t matter where the electricity comes from. Sure, maybe right now it comes from something polluting, but maybe down the road it will come from something less polluting than what we are currently doing.

As it is, we’ve got a massive worldwide infrastructure that is very dependant on the distribution of fossil fuels. It’s going to be very difficult, expensive and time-consuming to get everybody to change to something else. It certainly won’t happen ‘suddenly’. But electricity is electricity, no matter where it comes from. If we start converting to electric cars now, and halfway down the process someone invents a real, feasible clean energy source, then we can plug the cars into that without having to go through the whole conversion process again.

But then again, I really know diddily about this subject.

The most efficient machine is, oddly enough, the bicycle. It utilizes the most powerful muscles of the human body, creates no pollution, and gets along at a nice clip… AND using it will make you healthier, t’boot.

So, compared to a good, old-fashioned bike, an Internal Combustion Engine isn’t efficient.

However, compared to the process of burning large amounts of coal or oil in massive refineries for the purpose of boiling water, which in turn causes a turbine to turn, which generates electricity, which sends the power through a massive, multiple-branched system of cables which lose power due to lack of pure conductivity (superconducting cables would improve this, but they’re not feasible yet), and then sending that power down to a little outlet where it slowly, slowly, slowly powers up a not-very-strong engine with maybe an hour of juice, after which it needs to be slowly, slowly, slowly recharged again…

Compared to all that, an Internal Combustion Engine is very efficient.

Do you think the planet can hold out for three more years? 'Cuz that’s when Ford will release it’s Fuel-Cell-powered car. Imagine… 70 mpg, decent horsepower, AND ZERO EMISSIONS.

Sounds MUCH better than the electric car…

Ratzenfratzen Spoofe :slight_smile:

How efficient is driving an SUV to shuttle one lonely person from home to work every day? For about 60 minutes each way (more or less, just using it as an average ballpark figure from most folks I know)?

The average North American citizen doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the “efficiency” of an electric engine vs. a gasoline-burning one. If they did, they’d all be driving Sprints.

Let em see if I get this straight:

Electric cars are better than fuel-burning cars because they don’t add to the pollution problem.

For day-to-day commuting, electric cars would be the smart alernative.

In the meantime, from the 70s onward, we’ve been promoted (although not so heavily in recent years, I’ll admit) to save electricity.

Recent brown-outs in California suggest that there’s way too much electricity being wasted already (probably on air conditioners and neon lights)

California is the primary market for electric cars.

Now…(help me with this) is Califonia up a creek without a paddle on this subject or what?

As usual it is not that simple but:

Power plants can be located away from population centers so reducing smog.

Economies of scale make efective anti-pollution measures more viable for a large, stationary plant than a small, mobile I.C.E (G.W.B. notwithstanding)

A cold I.C.E. is very inefficient whereas a power plant can run at near optimal all the time.

Electric cars can use braking to re-charge cells. In a conventional car the energy is wasted as heat.

IIRC electric motors are more flexible than I.C.E. so can run efficiently at different revs.

A little bit, but not as badly as you’d think. We’ve actually got power - oodles and oodles of it. We jsut don’t have enough peak power production capability - mainly 7am to 7pm, we fall ( from what I’ve heard ) about 7% short. From, say, 9pm to about 5am, when most cars would be expected to charge, we’re filthy with power. Well, not exactly, but I don’t want to bring the cost of natural gas into it…

Anyway, for many of the same reasons we don’t have enough power, we don’t have enough gasoline, either. In much the same way that one cannot build a power plant in CA, one cannot build a refinery here, either. So, to the extent that we are up a creek with electric cars, we’re up a creek with gasoline, so that is not the biggest obstacle.

With all that said, I think electric cars are a bad idea, but for a different set of reasons. This allows us, once again, to pretend that the problem doesn’t exist - that is it normal to spend 2 hours on the freeway each day getting to a job. Comparitively cheap gasoline already hids the costs of the car culture too much; I shudder to think what the electric car will do.

That’s not articulated very well; I can try to expand, if any one is even remotely interested.

Use up the Earth, burn up the resources and let someone else worry about it.

What freakin’ generation worried about the next?

Put all the do-gooders on a treadmill and let them chase pictures of nuclear power plants. We can use all the extra electricity to electrocute them.

Electric Hybrids are an “ok” idea, because they supplement themselves, they don’t use power plants to do it.

Fossil fuels aren’t that bad. I’m living a pretty good life completely surrounded by them. Hey, global warming? OOOHHH! I’m scared. As soon as we raise the levels of CO2, Earth gets around to having those CO2 beneficiary boost O2 levels.

Put me down for Nuclear too.

Heck, we are the best generation at not polluting the enviroment on a per capita basis, and we are making refinements. Don’t sweat it.

Hybrids are interesting. Pure electrics are not suitable for cold climates because of the power loss in batteries at low temperatures.

At least electrics aren’t slowpokes anymore. Though I’ll really believe it when I see it.


May look like its made up but I read about it in LA Times first.

The great value of electric cars is that they move pollution away from the political centers (cities) and into political backwaters (rural areas).