Hybrid Study on Emissions?
Is anyone aware of a comprehensive study on hybrid vehicles including the emissions of the recharging electrical supply? With the poor efficiency of gasoline engines and those of electrical devices how can a vehicle that uses both be better than one that uses only one?
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The last version of the EV-1 built by GM was capable of 180 miles on a single charge. Most people would be charging over night when the lowest usage of the power grid is occurring. I have read several owners reports and they were all sad to give up the car when the lease ended. The fact that they used far less energy in itself would tell you that it was less polluting. For us to think about cutting back on fossil fuel usage, the only alternative for large scale use of electric vehicles is nuclear power. We are still producing 50+% of our electricity with coal. Most new generation coming on line is natural gas. So we are very far from cutting back on fossil fuel usage.
The University of New Hampshire did a study on producing biofuel from algae. They claim it is not out of the realm of feasibility to power our cars and become GHG neutral.
For now oil is king. The current hybrid craze is just a smoke screen that is doing little to alleviate the problem. It is just allowing people to drive twice as far on the same amount of money.
A plugin hybrid such as the Prius would help some. I think it is being held back by some pretty high powered companies. First off they have to get a lot of batteries and who controls that commodity?
And even if they could be plugged in, and that energy comes from power plants that pollute, but so would the energy that is required to refine additional petroleum (besides transportation and delivery at the gas stations).
Now, where electricity generators are fuel-oil fired or even coal fired, it would be obvious to anybody that the comparison of exhaust emissions between such powerplants and the current crop of hybrids is a win for the hybrids.
I suppose that coal-fired plant in the Mojave desert is generating electricity for some other state... nope, actually for Cal-Edison. There is a controversy on right now as to if it will stay open...
As was noted in another response hybrids make most of their power from coasting and regen braking, power lost on regular vehicles.
Hybrids are very clean. Most are also smaller and lighter and more aerodynamic like the Prius at .25 CD.
Unfortunately not true. Hybrids simply recapture energy that was first expended (in one form or another) by the ICE. Either the battery was originally charged by the ICE, or the ICE contributed to the speed being used to be converted to regenerative braking. And of course the ICE created the speed used for "coasting".
No one has yet created the engine that will "make" power, a.k.a. "perpetual motion machine".