Electric cars aren't even green


A 2012 comprehensive life-cycle analysis in Journal of Industrial Ecology shows that almost half the lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions from an electric car come from the energy used to produce the car, especially the battery. The mining of lithium, for instance, is a less than green activity. By contrast, the manufacture of a gas-powered car accounts for 17% of its lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions. When an electric car rolls off the production line, it has already been responsible for 30,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide emission. The amount for making a conventional car: 14,000 pounds.

While electric-car owners may cruise around feeling virtuous, they still recharge using electricity overwhelmingly produced with fossil fuels. Thus, the life-cycle analysis shows that for every mile driven, the average electric car indirectly emits about six ounces of carbon-dioxide. This is still a lot better than a similar-size conventional car, which emits about 12 ounces per mile. But remember, the production of the electric car has already resulted in sizeable emissions—the equivalent of 80,000 miles of travel in the vehicle.

So unless the electric car is driven a lot, it will never get ahead environmentally.

Bjorn Lomborg: Green Cars Have a Dirty Little Secret - WSJ.com

So electric cars are unprofitable, sucking billions in tax dollars, and hurting the environment. Can we ban them yet, should be a bipartisan slam dunk? :grin:


Current electric cars are a shell game cloaked in a grandiose illusion. That is not likely to change in the next several decades. But the illusion is so enticing … and PC … and hyped by pols, “educators” and MSM …


I have said for years that buying a Hybrid or Electric Car is just announcing to the world that you don’t understand Physics, Economics or the Environment but that you are quite susceptible to propaganda and peer pressure.

For years Mythbusters has refused to “bust this myth” because they are Bay Area Liberals, I still submit it every year (as do many viewers) just so they have to keep ignoring the challenge.


RET, I think it has less to do with Adam and/or Jamie’s putative liberal views and more to do with television being a visual medium. What’s there to show to demonstrate that, compared to conventional-powered vehicles, hybrids and EVs are poor economic choices, their “green” rep is the reverse of reality, EVs have terrible utility, and EVs are an emissions shell game? Stills of a tailpipe and a power plant smoke stack? 4 people sardined into a Prius? Chart after chart after chart after … showing that:

  • the gas and maintenance savings for a hybrid cannot compensate for its premium price within the life of its battery;

  • a tally of the pollution caused by a conventional vehicle, from manufacture through being scrapped vs. the same figures for the conventional vehicle;

  • that scrapped conventional vehicles are mostly recyclable, while hybrids and EVs are much less so;

  • that hybrids and EVs are rolling chemical spills to a greater degree than conventional vehicles;

  • that the high voltage of hybrids’ and EVs’ batteries are a hazard in emergencies (i.e. crashes) people not present in conventional vehicles.

That would be an insomnia cure rather than infotainment people would watch. Besides, there’s no chance of a segment featuring ANFO, C-4 or a .50 caliber gatling gun.


I’m no engineer or scientist but isn’t it a fact that anytime an energy form is transformed to another form some energy is lost do to gravity and friction?
Isn’t this why the old, “perpetual motion” theory was impossible?


It’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics. But the problem with EVs is that current technology batteries (and anything foreseeable) have nowhere near the energy storage capacity necessary for full utility. And then a full recharge of an EV takes hours (compared to 5-20 minutes for a gas fill-up for a conventional car, depending on bathroom breaks and munchie purchases). In plain terms, my Toyota commutermobile could, tomorrow, make a trip from San Jose, CA to Portland, OR (or Phoeniz, AZ) in one long day of driving. A Nissan Leaf pure EV? Maybe in a week, assuming full availability of charging stations. A Chevy Volt? It would be full electric for 50 miles or so, and then would become an under-powered gasoline-powered vehicle (the engine is 1.4 liter, and part of its power is used to keep the battery charged to a certain minimum - “bricking” prevention). I would not want to be driving a Volt under gas power through the Siskyous, Tehachapis or the Grapevine!


Exactly. if transforming power from one source to power another generating source could “gain” energy then this gain would be “Free Energy”, not possible.

Tesla may have been the most brilliant man in the field of electricity that has ever lived and he could not prove the concept of free energy, if Toyota had accomplished this it would have rewritten the laws of physics and been the most significant scientific discovery since we split the Atom.