Monday, March 13, 2017

Clean energy car debate – Petrol vs Electric

Clean energy car debate – Petrol vs Electric
Article on whether electric or petrol is the cleanest energy source for vehicles from My Broadband. They quote Carel Snyman from the South African National Energy Institute.
Speaking on CapeTalk, Snyman said that thanks to the high efficiency of electric vehicles, they only use a fraction of the energy of petrol vehicles. This means electric vehicles are cleaner, and therefore better for the environment, than petrol vehicles – even if electricity from coal power stations is used.
This makes a lot of sense. Electric motors are over 90% efficient while an internal combustion engine is only about 30-45% efficient. Even if the electricity to charge the vehicles battery is being generated by a coal powered generator, in theory it should only be releasing into the atmosphere between a third to half the Co2 that a petrol engine would pump into the air.

I think though, maybe more importantly, is that even if an electric car is being charged from coal fired power stations right now, it is possible for it to get more environmentally friendly. As the energy grid gets greener, with the switch over to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, then electric cars are going to be responsible for less and less emissions. An internal combustion engine will still be pumping out the same amount of carbon dioxide after the whole energy grid has switched to renewable energy sources.

Another thing is where the emissions are coming from. Most coal power plants are usually some distance from urban areas. The emissions from these power plants isn't getting blown directly in somebodies face like the exhaust from a truck or bus. How wonderful would it be to walk down a busy city street without having to breath in diesel and petrol fumes and how much better for our health will it be? Rather get the emissions as far away from where people are living and working as possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment