Friday, 8 February 2013

Electric cars madness


This week the Scottish Government has announced money to install electric charging points beside main roads - in addition to earlier allocations of public money to encourage the uptake of electric cars.   I am sad to report this makes no sense.

In March 2011 I posted about the research of a local firm which measured the emissions attributable to electric cars.  Ecometrica, a company with its European office in Causewayside,  specialises in measuring carbon.   In the report it is noted that electric cars emit practically no emissions onto the street (good) but  emissions associated with the electricity needed to charge them amount to around 75g per km.

In other words, total emissions are similar to the total CO2 of a small modern diesel engined car.  When I'm not on my bike I drive a Kia which has an emissions rating of 85g per km.

Meanwhile, away from CO2 what are the advantages of an electric car.
  • The  range before refuelling is typically less than 100 miles (my car is around 500)
  • It can be fast charged in about 20 minutes (my car takes 5 mins five time less often)
  • Fuel costs are less (but a Nissan Leaf will cost you a cool £25,000 - and that includes a grant of £5,000)
Some day the technology might make battery cars worth while.  But in the meantime it just doesn't add up on pretty well all counts.
  • Convenience - FAIL
  • Emissions - Minimal advantage on conventional technology
  • Cost - FAIL
In a subsequent post I will update you on a recent development at Edinburgh Council on the electric car front.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How long does the battery last and how much does it cost to replace?

How long does the battery last if you routinely "fast charge" it?

How do you stop a random passer-by unplugging the car if plugged in on main road?

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