Friday, June 08, 2012

Electric Cars -What is the future ?

Findings by Transportation Research Board Business Office,Washington (USA) show that
Driven by concerns related to climate change and the depletion of fossil fuels, there is a renewed interest in electric cars. Because electric cars are more expensive than fossil fuel cars, have a limited range and battery charging facilities are still limited, the question is to what extent they will penetrate the market. This paper reports on a state choice experiment conducted in the Netherlands to examine the car drivers’ trade off among purchase price, range, fuel cost reduction and the availability of slow and fast battery charging facilities. The results indicate that especially purchase price, range and the availability of fast charging facilities influence electric car purchase. The results further indicate that market shares for the typical electric cars now available on the market probably will remain low and the target of 200,000 electric cars in the Netherlands in 2020 will likely not be met without policy measures. The analysis suggests that providing a purchase subsidy of 5000 euro and realizing fast battery facilities at all fuel stations both can stimulate electric car purchase to about the same extent. However, providing fast charging facilities is a cheaper option and therefore may be considered the more cost-effective policy measure.

Battery Cars cause higher life cycle emissions than gasoline-powered series hybrid cars

In a  recent finding submitted by Christoph Meinrenken of
Columbia University it is said that ;
Battery cars powered by grid electricity promise reduced life cycle
green house gas (GHG) emissions from the automotive sector. Such scenarios
usually point to the much higher emissions from conventional, internal
combus-tion engine cars. However, today's commercially available
series hybrid technology achieves the well known efficiency gains in
electric drive trains (regenerative breaking, lack of gearbox) even if
the electricity is generated onboard, from conventional fuels.
Here, They analyze life cycle GHG emissions for commercially
available, state-of the-art plug-in battery cars (e.g. Nissan Leaf)
and those of commercially available series hybrid cars
(e.g., GM Volt, at same size and performance). Crucially, they
find that series hybrid cars driven on (fossil) gasoline cause fewer
 emissions (126g CO2eq per km) than battery cars driven on current
US grid electricity (142g CO2eq per km). They attribute this novel
finding to the significant incremental emissions from plug-in battery
cars due to losses during grid transmission and battery dis-/charging,
and manufacturing larger batteries.
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