27

This is a really big question, and @EnergyNumbers' answer addresses some of it. I'll try to address some more. Battery End-of-Life Your question is obviously referring to standard car batteries, which are used to power the car's starter motor. These are generally lead-acid batteries. A true Electric Vehicle (EV) may have a small battery just like this ...


24

Electric motors generally: are easier to maintain are very efficient (80-90% compared to 20-30% for ICEs) have a very wide range of operating speed, so need no gears, or fewer gears, to move through their full speed range make it easy to incorporate regenerative braking. can provide full torque from stationary Consequently, heavy-duty applications such as ...


22

EVs offer some definite advantages, and lots of advantages that depend on the specifics. short answer: yes, it's better than driving a fossil-fuel car. Long answer: it may seem to make less sense if you only consider a very small range of impacts, where all of the costs are visible, but only some of the benefits. Only when you zoom out to the long-term ...


17

I agree with everything in EnergyNumbers' answer, but would like to add some more: (Other) Advantages of Electric Motors Along the lines of "easier to maintain", an electric motor is likely to last much longer, for example, in an automotive application, than an internal combustion engine (ICE). An EV traction motor may very well last 1,000,000 miles, ...


9

In Ireland, electricity is equally likely to be from renewable sources during the day as during the night ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, provides a transparency platform where you can see the hourly actual generation per production type for Ireland: It's hard to pick out a trend just by looking at a day ...


7

The optimal temperature for a lithium-ion car battery is 20-25°C. When it's cold the battery can store less energy, so the range will go down. Additionally in winter people turn on the car's heater. In a fossil-fuel powered car this means that heat generated by the engine is diverted to the inside of the car. The engine of an electric car however does not ...


5

In terms of energy for movement, the electric car is more sustainable. There are two main resons for that. Firstly, when hydrocarbons are burnt to provide movement, local pollution is released: NOx, particulates, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide. And secondly, it's much easier to clean electricity, than to clean hydrocarbons. That's because the clean ...


4

short answer: yes, it's better than driving a fossil-fuel car. Long answer: it may seem to make less sense if you only consider a very small range of impacts, where all of the costs are visible, but only some of the benefits. Only when you zoom out to the long-term system level do you capture all of the benefits. And there are even better alternatives. ...


3

Electric is as sustainable as its sources today. Smartville has 80% coal 20% large hydro (which lends itself to pumped storage). They are replacing 5% of their coal with renewables every year, increasing hydro backpumping capacity to allow pumped storage. They buy a bunch of electric buses/trains. Over the 32 year life of the trains and buses, their ...


3

To make a calculation you would need to know the fuel consumption of the current diesel buses and the efficiency of the electric buses that would replace them. That information is probably not available to you, so for my answer I will do a best guess based on data from other studies: This Finnish study done in 2015 claims that "electric buses have potential ...


3

A self-contained solar-powered car is not viable. There simply isn't enough area for the solar panels. Take a Honda Civic as an example: it's got about eight square meters of top surface that solar panels could be installed on, for a peak theoretical generation of 8 kW. That same Honda Civic has a 92-kW engine, meaning that for each second of maximum ...


3

Li-Ion batteries are worth recycling just for the lithium in them. This material can be re-refined, and made into new batteries. In this use they should show similar cost savings to recycled vs new aluminum. There is also the prospect of repurposing a worn battery for stationary use. E.g. It stores 30 kWh in your car for 3 years, then stores 10 kWh in ...


2

The answer to this depends on your assumed alternative. Electric vehicles are better than some traditional gas-fueled cars, but hybrids can have an even larger footprint than efficient combustion engines. But, what if we broaden the possible alternatives? A car in a car-share is likely to be more eco-friendly than otherwise, no matter the fuel source. An ...


2

I've gone through the same dilemma recently, and what made my mind up was the relatively cheap cost of offsetting my emissions from driving - around US$100 for a whole year's worth or 15,000 miles. Of course the drawbacks of carbon offsetting are well known - you're not undoing the damage that you've caused, and you're still burning a non-renewable resource ...


2

Reuse beats recycling. The active duty life span of an EV battery (cells and control electronics both) is hugely longer outside of an EV, so reclaiming lithium from them should be a last resort only at the point where no more economical uses for them exist. Thinking of the huge electric vehicle batteries as resources to recycle, once they no longer serve ...


2

National Grid supplies the energy for the UK, and also manages the high voltage power transmission system. Each year, they prepare a Future Energy Scenarios report looking at energy needs across the UK and the different alternatives for how those needs can be met. The most recent FES was published in July 2018, and is the source for the figures and quotes ...


2

An electric scooter would be ideal. Bicycles suffer from a peculiar characteristic of humans, namely that they produce power at a ridiculously low RPM. Power is force times speed. If speed is low, to get any useful power, you need huge amounts of force. The rotational equivalent is that power is torque times RPM, very similar to the linear equation. Let's ...


2

It depends entirely on where your city is and where it gets its energy. The Electricity Map has live energy data for the Carbon Intensity of the electricity supply. Right now, the CO2 intensity of the electricity supply in grams of CO2 equivalent per kWh (gCO2eq/kWh) across the world is: 319 gCO2eq/kWh in the UK 28 gCO2eq/kWh in Norway 509 gCO2eq/kWh in ...


1

Yes, there is now such a scheme in the city of Utrecht, The Netherlands. This Dutch news article (Google's English translation here) says that Utrecht is the first city in The Netherlands to introduce bi-directional loading. It consists of 145 docking stations that can both charge and discharge an electric car. It's a joint effort of Renault and a non-...


1

This totally depends on several things. Firstly, whether you pre-heat the vehicle. When plugged in, the vehicle may offer the possibility to pre-heat the interior and also the batteries. The interior heating reduces need to convert electricity to heat, and heating the batteries ensures they're at an optimal temperature. Secondly, whether the vehicle has a ...


1

In general, any two or three wheeler with a one-speed transmission and no manual clutch, or with a two-speed automatic transmission, and a ~50cc engine, is a moped. Some states don't require tag and insurance but most states require a driver's license. Also, the top speed of the moped is likely required to be 30 MPH. Note that only "most states" require a ...


1

In the recycling of lithium-ion batteries, cobalt is first in importance while lithium is second: "Rechargeable battery waste, particularly from lithium-ion batteries, will become an increasingly menacing environmental challenge in the future as the demand for these through their usage in electric vehicles and other gadgets increases dramatically," Ajayan ...


1

Specific to electric vehicles in the USA, the Union of Concerned Scientists created a good comparison in 2009. Here's the latest update, from 2018-03-08: https://blog.ucsusa.org/dave-reichmuth/new-data-show-electric-vehicles-continue-to-get-cleaner Based on data on power plant emissions released in February 2018, driving on electricity is cleaner than ...


1

I think you had pretty much of advice pro electrical. I do not preach combustion is better than electrical, but would like to make some side notes in favor of combustion. Energy efficiency: The energy for your electrical engine must come from somewhere. These sources are probably combustion engines, so basically you are adding an extra conversion which ...


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