Switch to Fun and Economical Electric Vehicles

Change over to economical electric vehicles, includes cost savings when owning an electric car, environmental benefits and comparing gas and electric vehicles.


| October/November 2002



An electric vehicle is ideal for in-town commuting and running errands.

An electric vehicle is ideal for in-town commuting and running errands.


MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

Learn about the cost savings and environmental benefits of owning economical electric vehicles.

Learn About Electric Vehicles

Wise Driving Tips for Electric Vehicles
Banking on Electric Car Batteries
Converting a Gas Engine Car to an Electric Powered Car

Economical Electric Vehicles

For cruising or commuting, an electric car or bike is the most energy-efficient, economical, reliable and fun transportation option. Electric vehicles (EVs) also are the cleanest vehicles on the road today: No smog-producing pollution pours from their tailpipes, qualifying them for zero-emission status.

Large auto and oil companies say this claim is just smoke and mirrors, that EVs are just "emission-elsewhere" vehicles, and that pollution from the electric power plants that charge EVs offsets any gain in local air quality. But that's simply not true, say the California Air Quality Management Districts and the California Energy Commission. Their studies find coal-fired electric power plants operate at efficiencies three times that of cars with gasoline engines. Transportation via internal combustion engines that use gas and oil is responsible for more than 17 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions on the planet. In industrialized countries, cars spew 75 percent of carbon monoxide emissions, 48 percent of nitrogen oxide (smog) and 40 percent of hydrocarbon pollutants into the atmosphere. Mile for mile, electric vehicles travel with one-half the resource depletion and one-fifteenth the air pollution.

EVs are easily three to four times more efficient than internal combustion engines. While the major automotive and oil industries point out the limited amount of energy a battery pack contains relative to a tank of gasoline, they fail to address an ugly truth about internal combustion engine technology: The engine itself wastes an average of 60 percent of any fuel's energy, whether it's gasoline, diesel, alcohol, methane, compressed natural gas, propane, bio-fuel or hydrogen. Engines waste this energy as heat, vibration and exhaust. The silence of an electric vehicle is a mute testament to its efficiency.

Electric Vehicle Nuts and Bolts





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