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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 59160 29-Mar-2010 10:28
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So I was reading of Stuff this morning that an author has published a report that electric cars transfer the pollution to the power station (report written by Clive Matthew-Wilson, entitles 'The Emperors New Car).

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/3519686/Electric-cars-simply-transfer-pollution-to-power-station

Whilst I know this is mostly true, from what I can find out a typical internal combustion engine operates at about 20% average efficiency, and from what I remember reading somewhere else (can't remember where now so numbers have to be taken with a grain of salt) the best that they can hope to get it to is early 30's.

However, even the lowly coal powered station operates at an average efficiency of around 33% and gas-fired around 50%. And considering 2/3 of NZ’s market is made up of renewable energy, surely this is just scare tactics... or have I missed something?

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  Reply # 312318 29-Mar-2010 10:31
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It took them this long to figure it out

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  Reply # 312320 29-Mar-2010 10:32
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What we should be looking at is a "cleaner" nucler energy plant, based on Thorium, an element ten times more abundant than Uranium, with less waste and no weaponised byproduct.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html for some interesting charts of the cost of energy production using gas, coal, and nuclear energy.





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  Reply # 312323 29-Mar-2010 10:41
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Byrned:
However, even the lowly coal powered station operates at an average efficiency of around 33% and gas-fired around 50%. And considering 2/3 of NZ’s market is made up of renewable energy, surely this is just scare tactics... or have I missed something?


The report states that NZ with it's high % of hydro power is the only 1 from 5 countries where electric cars are "greener" than petrol. Also bear in mind the % loss in electricity from transmission.



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  Reply # 312327 29-Mar-2010 10:52
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Cymro:
Byrned:
However, even the lowly coal powered station operates at an average efficiency of around 33% and gas-fired around 50%. And considering 2/3 of NZ’s market is made up of renewable energy, surely this is just scare tactics... or have I missed something?


The report states that NZ with it's high % of hydro power is the only 1 from 5 countries where electric cars are "greener" than petrol. Also bear in mind the % loss in electricity from transmission.


OK, I'll agree with the % lost in transmission, but there isn't that much lost is there? 5-10% max?

Coal accounts for about 50% of the worlds energy generation. Not 100%. So average efficiencies would be much higher right? 

Oh, and as for NZ's nuclear plant, I vote we build it in W(h)anganui... no one will miss that place if something happens Sealed

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  Reply # 312336 29-Mar-2010 11:15
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I think you will find that between the power being generated and it being used by the electric motor there is a lot of loss. For instance charging a battery is not 100% efficient. Then the battery itself is not very efficient either. Add them all up and the picture is not as nice as we would like.
Also keep in mind that as stated if electric cars did start appearing in NZ in greater numbers then new generation plants would be needed. They may well not be as clean as hydro or wind.

Personally I hold more hope for Hydrogen powered cars then electric cars. I still scratch my head as to why electricity is being pushed as the fix for green cars.

IMHO Hydrogen may still have issues to over come but they are less then the issues that electric cars introduce. 

http://www.hydrogencarsnow.com/







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  Reply # 312338 29-Mar-2010 11:18
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OK. Worked out the flaw in my argument for myself, but then successfully won back the argument - its so much easier when you're arguing against yourself!

I need to be looking at CO2 emissions, and not energy efficiencies.

OK, so did some quick research, and the average small car generates about 2 tonnes of CO2 per 1000km of travel (5.9l/100km).

The new Nissan Leaf (still to be tested) is expected to have an approx. range of 160KM, and a 24kw/h battery to power it, so roughly this works out at 1.34 tonnes of CO2 per 1000km of travel (based on average from various countries CO2 emissions per KWh using coal as source).

Other electric vehicles range 0.95 to 2.06 tonnes of CO2 per 1000KM.



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  Reply # 312339 29-Mar-2010 11:23
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From what I understand of Hydrogen the biggest problems are the making of the Hydrogen requiring a lot of energy, and the distribution of it (its bad enough when a petrol tanker has an accident, imagine a hydrogen tanker!)

Of course we can get around the first problem by investing in some fast-breeder reactors as the heats they operate at are ideal for converting water into hydrogen during off peak hours. But I can't see NZ building one here, and then it would be hypocritical to use the hydrogen that comes from one built elsewhere.

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  Reply # 312351 29-Mar-2010 11:41
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It's great to see the media taking such a balanced, unbiased view of this issue since a NZer who has an agenda publishes an article that says X so it must be true.

There are plenty of papers published in the past that form a totally different view, where is any of the debate around this? Our media is now so bad that they don't debate any of the points or issues and simply accept what a guest says..

If you've ever read a Dog & Lemon guide you'd realise the majory of the stuff this guy says is nothing but hot air and rhetoric.

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  Reply # 312374 29-Mar-2010 12:41
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I thought that the object of electric cars was to remove the pollution from the city roads etc. As most of NZ power is hydro what's this guy on about. I suspect he doesn't like electric cars..




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  Reply # 312378 29-Mar-2010 12:51
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It boils simply down to how efficient your power plants are.

n4

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  Reply # 312381 29-Mar-2010 13:00
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Presumably the fact that the pollution is being generated at central points, and can be managed centrally and therefore hopefully more effectively and efficiently, is to be preferred to having pollution generated by private citizens spread out all over the country? Who knows, might even reduce the cost of the WOF Surprised




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  Reply # 312382 29-Mar-2010 13:06
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why can't electric cars charge themselves?

roof: put a huge solar panel on it to charge the electric battery. probably won't be enough to charge whole battery but at least it will charge some.

wheels: the wheels spinning could be connected to something that charges the battery.

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  Reply # 312384 29-Mar-2010 13:10
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yuxek: why can't electric cars charge themselves?

roof: put a huge solar panel on it to charge the electric battery. probably won't be enough to charge whole battery but at least it will charge some.

wheels: the wheels spinning could be connected to something that charges the battery.


Have you ever heard of the Toyota Prius or myriad of other Hybrid cars already in the market?


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  Reply # 312385 29-Mar-2010 13:13
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freitasm: What we should be looking at is a "cleaner" nucler energy plant, based on Thorium, an element ten times more abundant than Uranium, with less waste and no weaponised byproduct.

http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf02.html for some interesting charts of the cost of energy production using gas, coal, and nuclear energy.



I think one of the major challenges with NZ using nuclear power is that, for resilience purposes, you would need two plants. Nuclear plants are, as I understand it, very very expensive to build. Whilst we probably only need the power that one (expensive) nuclear plant could generate, we would have to pay for two for security of supply. And/or continue to maintain an equivalent amount of other types of power generation.




kind regards Andrew TD



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 312388 29-Mar-2010 13:20
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yuxek: why can't electric cars charge themselves?

roof: put a huge solar panel on it to charge the electric battery. probably won't be enough to charge whole battery but at least it will charge some.

wheels: the wheels spinning could be connected to something that charges the battery.


They're already doing things like this with regenerative braking and solar cells to power a/c systems. 

Even a panel that would cover the whole roof would generate at max around 150-200watts so over a typical day if you left the car in the sun the most you could generate would be 1kw (less once you factor that ideally the panel needs to be angeled towards the sun) so is fine for aux systems but not really for powering the car 

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