Electric Cars May Pollute More Dangerously Than Gas Cars!


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Public release date: 13-Feb-2012

Contact: Whitney Heins

wheins@utk.edu

865-974-5460

University of Tennessee at Knoxville

UT researchers find China's pollution related to E-cars may be more harmful than gasoline cars

Electric cars have been heralded as environmentally friendly, but findings from University of Tennessee researchers show that electric cars in China have an overall impact on pollution that could be more harmful to health than gasoline vehicles

Electric cars have been heralded as environmentally friendly, but findings from University of Tennessee, Knoxville, researchers show that electric cars in China have an overall impact on pollution that could be more harmful to health than gasoline vehicles.

Chris Cherry, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, and graduate student Shuguang Ji, analyzed the emissions and environmental health impacts of five vehicle technologies in 34 major Chinese cities, focusing on dangerous fine particles. What Cherry and his team found defies conventional logic: electric cars cause much more overall harmful particulate matter pollution than gasoline cars.

"An implicit assumption has been that air quality and health impacts are lower for electric vehicles than for conventional vehicles," Cherry said. "Our findings challenge that by comparing what is emitted by vehicle use to what people are actually exposed to. Prior studies have only examined environmental impacts by comparing emission factors or greenhouse gas emissions."

Particulate matter includes acids, organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. It is also generated through the combustion of fossil fuels.

For electric vehicles, combustion emissions occur where electricity is generated rather than where the vehicle is used. In China, 85 percent of electricity production is from fossil fuels, about 90 percent of that is from coal. The authors discovered that the power generated in China to operate electric vehicles emit fine particles at a much higher rate than gasoline vehicles. However, because the emissions related to the electric vehicles often come from power plants located away from population centers, people breathe in the emissions a lower rate than they do emissions from conventional vehicles.

Still, the rate isn't low enough to level the playing field between the vehicles. In terms of air pollution impacts, electric cars are more harmful to public health per kilometer traveled in China than conventional vehicles.

"The study emphasizes that electric vehicles are attractive if they are powered by a clean energy source," Cherry said."In China and elsewhere, it is important to focus on deploying electric vehicles in cities with cleaner electricity generation and focusing on improving emissions controls in higher polluting power sectors."

The researchers estimated health impacts in China using overall emission data and emission rates from literature for five vehicle types—gasoline and diesel cars, diesel buses, e-bikes and e-cars—and then calculated the proportion of emissions inhaled by the population.

E-cars' impact was lower than diesel cars but equal to diesel buses. E-bikes yielded the lowest environmental health impacts per passenger per kilometer.

"Our calculations show that an increase in electric bike usage improves air quality and environmental health by displacing the use of other more polluting modes of transportation," Cherry said. "E-bikes, which are battery-powered, continue to be an environmentally friendly and efficient mode of transportation."

The findings also highlight the importance of considering exposures and the proximity of emissions to people when evaluating environmental health impacts for electric vehicles. They also illuminate the distributional impact of moving pollution out of cities. For electric vehicles, about half of the urban emissions are inhaled by rural populations, who generally have lower incomes.

The findings are published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

Cherry worked with Matthew Bechle and Julian Marshall from the University of Minnesota and Ye Wu from Tsinghua University in Beijing. The scientists conducted their study in China because of the popularity of e-bikes and e-cars and the country's rapid growth. Electric vehicles in China outnumber conventional vehicles 2:1. E-bikes in China are the single largest adoption of alternative fuel vehicles in history, with over 100 million vehicles purchased in the past decade, more than all other countries combined.

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This study is funded by the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. The prestigious CAREER award supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Cherry received his award in 2011.

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Another thing that needs to be considered is the metals used in the batteries of electric cars.

Electric cars are typically what economists like myself call a "social positioning good" (i.e. something you buy to convey something about yourself to other people, i.e. goods for second-handers). This has actually been confirmed in at least one study; people buy X to tell other people how concerned-about-the-planet they are!

Image matters a lot more than actual results, in many cases. For instance, look at the "halo effect" in food; all the fast-food outlets that sell salads (or put salad on their burgers) are implicitly relying on it to make their food look healthier than it actually is.

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Nuclear is the only way to go in order to provide adequate power for electric cars to ever make a dent in usage. There is no effort to speak of in that direction. Even then there is no obvious pathway for them to become economical - the short life and high cost of batteries makes their operational lifetime cost uneconomical except in niche markets.

There are always interesting concepts on the horizon but none seem to be able to compete with liquid or gas chemical energy storage. No harm in doing the R&D [without government help] but essentially no progress has been made since Edison gave it up once Henry Ford showed the way [and Edison enouraged him].

For several years I have supported nuclear power to create chemical energy for ease of storage and transport [Nuclear to alcohol fuels being the short term solution].

Dennis

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Nuclear is the only way to go in order to provide adequate power for electric cars to ever make a dent in usage. There is no effort to speak of in that direction. Even then there is no obvious pathway for them to become economical - the short life and high cost of batteries makes their operational lifetime cost uneconomical except in niche markets.

There are always interesting concepts on the horizon but none seem to be able to compete with liquid or gas chemical energy storage. No harm in doing the R&D [without government help] but essentially no progress has been made since Edison gave it up once Henry Ford showed the way [and Edison enouraged him].

For several years I have supported nuclear power to create chemical energy for ease of storage and transport [Nuclear to alcohol fuels being the short term solution].

Dennis

I absolutely agree. Nuclear Power is monumentally safe these days.

France is mostly Nuclear. So if the kind of Enlightened Social Democracy that the leftists claim to love (in spite of its rampant facistic Romantic Nationalism... oh wait, the left are totally into that too, in spite of their denials) is about 80% nuclear, I don't see why the US shouldn't.

"CHERNOBYL!!!" is not an argument.

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Nuclear is the only way to go in order to provide adequate power for electric cars to ever make a dent in usage. There is no effort to speak of in that direction. Even then there is no obvious pathway for them to become economical - the short life and high cost of batteries makes their operational lifetime cost uneconomical except in niche markets.

There are always interesting concepts on the horizon but none seem to be able to compete with liquid or gas chemical energy storage. No harm in doing the R&D [without government help] but essentially no progress has been made since Edison gave it up once Henry Ford showed the way [and Edison enouraged him].

For several years I have supported nuclear power to create chemical energy for ease of storage and transport [Nuclear to alcohol fuels being the short term solution].

Dennis

I absolutely agree. Nuclear Power is monumentally safe these days.

France is mostly Nuclear. So if the kind of Enlightened Social Democracy that the leftists claim to love (in spite of its rampant facistic Romantic Nationalism... oh wait, the left are totally into that too, in spite of their denials) is about 80% nuclear, I don't see why the US shouldn't.

"CHERNOBYL!!!" is not an argument.

I'm not sure we will get much argument here about the advantages of nuclear and the bad ideas behind government pushing electric green cars.

On another topic - I see you have an interest in music:

Here are a couple that have stuck with me for a long time.

Sour Times - Portishead

Pure Morning - Placebo


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQQmAP9Poo4

I am more a grunge fan than anything but I like a

wide variety of music. Of course "A Forest" by

the Cure is an all time classic.

I saw them in Cleveland during their peak. 30,000

14-15 year old girls all wearing black.

Dennis

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Public release date: 13-Feb-2012

Contact: Whitney Heins

wheins@utk.edu

865-974-5460

University of Tennessee at Knoxville

UT researchers find China's pollution related to E-cars may be more harmful than gasoline cars

...

For electric vehicles, combustion emissions occur where electricity is generated rather than where the vehicle is used. In China, 85 percent of electricity production is from fossil fuels, about 90 percent of that is from coal.

So 90%*85% = 76.5% comes from coal. In the U.S. it was 45% (link) in 2010. Also, the percent from coal is declining and percent from natural gas is rising due to low natural gas prices. The U.S. coal plants likely pollute less.

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Nuclear is the only way to go in order to provide adequate power for electric cars to ever make a dent in usage. There is no effort to speak of in that direction. Even then there is no obvious pathway for them to become economical - the short life and high cost of batteries makes their operational lifetime cost uneconomical except in niche markets.

There are always interesting concepts on the horizon but none seem to be able to compete with liquid or gas chemical energy storage. No harm in doing the R&D [without government help] but essentially no progress has been made since Edison gave it up once Henry Ford showed the way [and Edison enouraged him].

For several years I have supported nuclear power to create chemical energy for ease of storage and transport [Nuclear to alcohol fuels being the short term solution].

Dennis

I absolutely agree. Nuclear Power is monumentally safe these days.

France is mostly Nuclear. So if the kind of Enlightened Social Democracy that the leftists claim to love (in spite of its rampant facistic Romantic Nationalism... oh wait, the left are totally into that too, in spite of their denials) is about 80% nuclear, I don't see why the US shouldn't.

"CHERNOBYL!!!" is not an argument.

I'm not sure we will get much argument here about the advantages of nuclear and the bad ideas behind government pushing electric green cars.

On another topic - I see you have an interest in music:

Here are a couple that have stuck with me for a long time.

Sour Times - Portishead

Pure Morning - Placebo


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQQmAP9Poo4

I am more a grunge fan than anything but I like a

wide variety of music. Of course "A Forest" by

the Cure is an all time classic.

I saw them in Cleveland during their peak. 30,000

14-15 year old girls all wearing black.

Dennis

Dennis,

I've been listening to The Cure from time to time recently :) I'm gothic so that might explain it.

That said, I've actually placed a lot of videos I like on the Youtube thread... see a few here: http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2106&view=findpost&p=136358

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Nuclear is the only way to go in order to provide adequate power for electric cars to ever make a dent in usage. There is no effort to speak of in that direction. Even then there is no obvious pathway for them to become economical - the short life and high cost of batteries makes their operational lifetime cost uneconomical except in niche markets.

There are always interesting concepts on the horizon but none seem to be able to compete with liquid or gas chemical energy storage. No harm in doing the R&D [without government help] but essentially no progress has been made since Edison gave it up once Henry Ford showed the way [and Edison enouraged him].

For several years I have supported nuclear power to create chemical energy for ease of storage and transport [Nuclear to alcohol fuels being the short term solution].

Dennis

I absolutely agree. Nuclear Power is monumentally safe these days.

France is mostly Nuclear. So if the kind of Enlightened Social Democracy that the leftists claim to love (in spite of its rampant facistic Romantic Nationalism... oh wait, the left are totally into that too, in spite of their denials) is about 80% nuclear, I don't see why the US shouldn't.

"CHERNOBYL!!!" is not an argument.

I'm not sure we will get much argument here about the advantages of nuclear and the bad ideas behind government pushing electric green cars.

On another topic - I see you have an interest in music:

Here are a couple that have stuck with me for a long time.

Sour Times - Portishead

Pure Morning - Placebo


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQQmAP9Poo4

I am more a grunge fan than anything but I like a

wide variety of music. Of course "A Forest" by

the Cure is an all time classic.

I saw them in Cleveland during their peak. 30,000

14-15 year old girls all wearing black.

Dennis

Dennis,

I've been listening to The Cure from time to time recently :smile: I'm gothic so that might explain it.

That said, I've actually placed a lot of videos I like on the Youtube thread... see a few here: http://www.objectivi...ndpost&p=136358

My brother and I are big fans of The Cure - I will take a look at the videos in the link.

Dennis

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My brother and I are big fans of The Cure - I will take a look at the videos in the link.

Very cool. I love "Burn," "Fascination Street" and "Cold." That said, I'm more into the Industrial/EBM side of things than the Goth Rock side of things... I don't mind some Darkwave though. But yeah, I love my anger and energy.

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My brother and I are big fans of The Cure - I will take a look at the videos in the link.

Very cool. I love "Burn," "Fascination Street" and "Cold." That said, I'm more into the Industrial/EBM side of things than the Goth Rock side of things... I don't mind some Darkwave though. But yeah, I love my anger and energy.

I watched the videos - Front Line Assembly seemed like 9 Inch Nails meets Depeche Mode [Depeche Mode being by far the loudest concert I've ever heard], Skinny Puppy worked well with the animation - I liked the Helter Skelter bit, Shiv-R would fit right in with the Rave party on Blade, I saw the movie in the background of [sITD] remix of Suicide Command - they went well together. Did 13 Ghosts have any good music with it? - I don't recall. If it didn't it should have.

Dennis

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My brother and I are big fans of The Cure - I will take a look at the videos in the link.

Very cool. I love "Burn," "Fascination Street" and "Cold." That said, I'm more into the Industrial/EBM side of things than the Goth Rock side of things... I don't mind some Darkwave though. But yeah, I love my anger and energy.

I watched the videos - Front Line Assembly seemed like 9 Inch Nails meets Depeche Mode [Depeche Mode being by far the loudest concert I've ever heard], Skinny Puppy worked well with the animation - I liked the Helter Skelter bit, Shiv-R would fit right in with the Rave party on Blade, I saw the movie in the background of [sITD] remix of Suicide Command - they went well together. Did 13 Ghosts have any good music with it? - I don't recall. If it didn't it should have.

Dennis

3-4 years ago I tried to get a local band interested in filming a horror movie with their music for a soundtrack in a local abandoned high school they had access to. Once they figured out it would be a lot of work they lost interest. I wrote an entire screenplay for them to do it but the guy in the band with the right look to be the lead actor was on the outs with the band leader and he didn't want that guy in the movie - so no movie got made. They have since broken up.

Dennis

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My brother and I are big fans of The Cure - I will take a look at the videos in the link.

Very cool. I love "Burn," "Fascination Street" and "Cold." That said, I'm more into the Industrial/EBM side of things than the Goth Rock side of things... I don't mind some Darkwave though. But yeah, I love my anger and energy.

Fascination Street is great - long remixes of it are wonderful as well.

Dennis

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I watched the videos - Front Line Assembly seemed like 9 Inch Nails meets Depeche Mode [Depeche Mode being by far the loudest concert I've ever heard]

A reasonable comparison. FLA always write melodic industrial music. NIN are more on the Pop-Rock side of things while FLA have always been more towards the electronica side. I like early NIN too so I'm not bashing Trent here... I can apparently pull off a brilliant rendition of "Head Like A Hole" at karaoke evenings.

Skinny Puppy worked well with the animation - I liked the Helter Skelter bit

Oh, Worlock is a fantastic song.. ironically, its one of Skuppy's most pop-like songs, and its a fan favorite AND one of the artist's favorites too. Its basically fucked-up-80's-pop with heavy drums. I love Worlock :)

Shiv-R would fit right in with the Rave party on Blade

Possibly. I've seen Shiv-R live, they're fantastic.

I saw the movie in the background of [sITD] remix of Suicide Command - they went well together.

The movie in question, IIRC, is House On Haunted Hill (the Geoffrey Rush remake).

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