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Not Such a Good Idea

Old 12-30-2009, 03:17 AM
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Default Not Such a Good Idea

How many times have we heard that our Challengers are a bad idea in current times because they contribute to greenhouses gases and our dependence on foreign oil? Instead, critics say that we should be driving "environmentally friendly" cars (i.e., electric or hybrid cars).

This argument is rebutted by a report from the National Research Council. Almost every automaker is researching electric vehicles (EV) and Nissan and Renault have promised mass production in a couple of years. However, electric cars are not what they are cracked up to be. While operating these vehicles produce few or zero emissions, the electricity used to recharge their batteries relies heavily on fossil-fuel power plants that produce about 130 million tons of coal ash, waste, and elevated levels of arsenic, mercury, lead, and other toxic metals.

If EVs catch on, we will need to pump lots more power into the grid to power up millions of E-cars. This will make electricity a greater source of trouble than the internal combustion engine!

Other disadvantages are that they will be small and very expensive because of their batteries and will cost $6,000-$40,000 more than a comparable gasoline-engine car depending on how much mileage and range you want- from 40 miles to 200 mile. Imagine trying to sell a used electric car that is nearing the end of its batteries' life. Also, they take hours to recharge.

So, when you are at the gas pump and a "tree-hugger" makes a smart remark about your Challenger, just educate him!

Last edited by Cuda340; 12-30-2009 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 01-11-2010, 04:03 PM
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Ohh man... I couldn't stop laughing when i was reading this. You sound exactly like my dad! Too funny! (that's a good thing by the way)
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:00 AM
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Yeah, the EV's are not zero emissions because almost all electricity involves some sort of pollution as well. Wind/solar/hydro are not a big enough part of the average american power grid to be relevant for a national discussion. But there are economies of scale in generating electricity in large plants, and the fact that the typical car charge would be done overnight at off-peak hours, helping the overall efficiency of the power grid.

Battery tech is really the key, and it's not yet ready for prime-time. Still expensive, still too short on range, but there have been some dramatic improvements compared to say the EV1 of the late 90's. The long charge time is especially limiting. Until a battery pack can hold enough charge for say 14-18hrs of driving (as much as most people would probably drive in a day without stopping to sleep/charge car) the EV would be unsuitable for the great cross country road trip.

In congested urban areas, say LA, where local emissions are a significant contributor to smog/poor air quality, the fact that the EV moves pollution to a remote location (power plant) has value in itself.

So I give the EV's of today their due as niche-market cars, but they are not suitable for most American drivers in their current form.
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