Unfortunately, any advantages of one approach over the other are subtle enough to be difficult to discern. Add that the issue is highly politicized and it becomes even more difficult to tell.
The real issue, in my opinion, is that gasoline holds quite a lot of potential energy by weight and volume. It's got a very high energy density. It's very easy to extract a significant amount of that energy as well. Until there is some way of collecting, storing and using clean and inexpensive energy with roughly the same potential by weight and volume, the economics will be very difficult to justify.
The problem, of course, is that, while it's easy to extract the energy from gasoline, it's not possible to put it back. It's a one way trip into the atmosphere.
As a society, I think we need to be exploring all electric and hybrid vehicles as well as other types of vehicles, but I don't see a solid answer until we can solve the energy density challenge.
Green sounds compelling. We assimilate green to vegetable, trees and forest. I can understand "Green" is chosen to be one of the market terms in promoting hybrid and EV. IMO, the movement indeed protect the environment regionally. To be precise, it lows the carbon dioxide emission in your neighborhood. You may feel the air around you fresher if there are enough people driving in your community.
Unfortunately, the reality is we have to see a bigger picture when we are trying to tackle a global situation. Just as the article said, we could make a zero emission vehicle; yet, the manufacturing process emits higher amount of CO2. The report even suggests, in some models, the CO2 emission from operation may not offset that from manufacturing.
What's a better measure to the environment friendliess of any vehicle? Carbon footprint has been one of the most talkable measures. How do we quantify it? What can be done to inform consumers how much carbon footprint the vehicle is?
I think many of us might have already known the answer...but Climate Centra's state-by-state analysis gives us a clear picture on the degree of greenenss of your EV depends on the electricity grid in you state -- how the energy is generated...it's all interconnected.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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