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With 85% of Electricity Coming from Coal, Chinese EVs Pollute More Than Gasoline Counterparts

China electric cars fossil fuels 300x156 With 85% of Electricity Coming from Coal, Chinese EVs Pollute More Than Gasoline CounterpartsNow there’s something you would have never thought about: electric cars polluting more than regular gasoline ones (?!). This is not good news, at least not after all this talk about going green and saving the environment with cars running on batteries.

A new study from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville demonstrates how electric cars in China actually damage more by taking their electricity from the grid, electricity that uses 85% fossil fuels to produce (aham… where does the U.S. take 46% of the energy from?).

You’ve got to admit that it makes sense, it’s just that very few people have thought about it: you need to come up with electricity from renewable sources as well if you want to stay “green” all the way. If not, you get what 34 major Chinese cities got when using 5 different vehicle technologies: air and land pollution (with acids, organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles).

So, if anywhere on the planet the situation is similar to China – 85% of the fossil fuel energy coming from coal – then you’ve got a problem. Fine particles (particulate emissions) will be generated at a much higher rate than gasoline cars do (how about diesels?). The good part is that, at least, the power plants are usually located outside of cities and the population is somewhat protected, although not entirely. Still, the pollution doesn’t go away by itself!

Of course, you have to consider the fact that the study is focused on the situation in China and doesn’t reflect the EVs’ impact all around the world. However, it does make a good point. The solution is to fuel cars with electricity from renewable resources (and this is no big news to anyone), like the sun and the wind.

On the other hand, China is making huge progresses in this area by investing in solar power, wind and hydro, so the news might not be news anymore a few years from now. After all, they’re producing electric cars not to increase pollution, but to decrease it, and I’m sure they considered the aspect of the source of their energy, too.

[via Inhabitat]

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Mike is a master student of graphic design and is particularly interested in green designs and green technologies that affect people directly. Besides publishing, he supervises any changes in the site's aesthetics. The current logo is his concept.


Comments

  • Lachy

    The study was on particulates. It completely ignored NOx, CO2 and the others which are lower under a 100% coal scenario.

    It is worth remembering the old adage “lies, damn lies, and statistics”. Stats tell you something if you know what they are actually measuring.

  • Sanat

    Hi,ths is yet another Tesla Model S fan!Its the car which people want,a true car of 21st century!No other electric car did till now 480 Kms. Per charge!Tesla has created history!

    “Model S is a remarkably important car. This car shows that it can be done and it will be done.”

    -Chris Paine | Director, Who Killed the Electric Car

  • Aman shah

    The tesla model S premium electric sedan Impresses allmost every one who heard of its mileage!The Model S has a range of allmost 480 Kms. on one single charge and that’s allmost sufficient!It takes only 45 minutes to charge it full with special charging system.

  • Aman shah

    Hi richard,It’s not that simple!Its tesla motors team that developed or invented technology for a long range electric cars!There was a time when 200 Kms. was maximum range on electric cars which is insufficient for long drives!And solar power also needs lot of research :First of all:you don’t have concentrated radiation and most photonic energy is spent in friction and lifting up the electrons from the orbits of the atoms!Currently marketed solar cells are just 10 to 20 percent efficient!It is not a new thing to use solar cells on a car roof :But the problem is that you need to find good sunlight and can charge only in daylight,you need three to four days to charge a battery of a compact hatchback to power the car for just 80 Kms. With today’s technology!Thats not that practical!

  • Richard Kisling

    In most places it is not realized that putting a solar roof shoud be a electric car accessorie.

  • Aman

    Or look at this…..An artificial leaf from MIT scientists!
    Visit,

    http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/artificial-leaf-0930.html

    This is what I commented on this website:

    I am an mechanical enginiering student in India inventing gravity engine(engine that runs on Gravity),also inventing nuclear battery engine,(eco friendly )The Artificial leaf is an excellent invention.We could have vehicles carrying a water tank which supplies water to this device which then converts water into H2 and O2 which can power a compact fuel cell for vehicle power train.
    I think this device is one of the most promising device.It is even better than having an electric car with expensive batteries such as tesla model S having a range of 480 Kms per charge.

  • Aman

    Meet the Tesla Model S.

    I think it may take only 20-25 INR(max.) to run a sedan tesla car for 15 Kms.instead of more than 50 INR per litre of petrol which may equal 15 Kms. with AC on for efficient small car.
    This is world premiere of advanced technology for future sustainability.No other production car till now is known to me that has an pure electric battery range of 480 Kms. With relatively reasonable safety standards.

    NEXT WORLD:Future is closer than you think:A revolutionary car that that runs 480 Kms on one single charge.Tesla’s advanced electric powertrain delivers exhilarating performance. Unlike the internal combustion engine with hundreds of moving pieces that spark, pump, belch, and groan, the Tesla motor has only one moving piece: the rotor. As a result, Model S acceleration is instantaneous, like flipping a switch. Hit the accelerator. In 5.6 seconds, Model S is traveling 60 miles per hour, without hesitation and without a drop of gasoline.This is not a car like Reva which is unsafe,light weight.The model S is a proper car from every angle with strong body,7 seater sedan,6-8 airbags and European crash standards compatibility..This isn’t an ordinary car!This isn’t a hype,this is not like impractical non revolutionary Nissan leaf or Toyota Prius hybrid or civic hybrid.Even though very expensive ,the cost will come down in Future.

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