Apart from the enviornmental impact of production of NiMIH of Li-Ion batteries, another major problem is the disposal or recycling of these batteries, which also adds to the carbon debt. I am wondering whether the report considered this aspect.
I am very intersted in helping the environment and doing my part to eliminate the myth of global warming. I would like to see the replacement of the batteries as part of the total CO2 cost in this equation. I'm led to believe that the batteries last longer than in gasoline powered cars, but need to be replaced at about 100K miles. This would increase the carbon foot print by quite a bit. The big thing I would look at as a consumer is the overall cost per mile. The difference in a hybrid vs a comparable gasoline vehicle is thousands of dollars. I can purchase a lot of gasoline for that even at today's prices. The last issue I would worry about is the life of the batteries in a warm climate. How long do the batteries last in Phoenix? I know that my car battery does not last as long in 100+ weather.
@Duane: good points you raise... regarding the energy density metric of gasoline against everything else, one thing you may also want to consider is the unitized cost, i.e., cents / energy density. I believe this is skewed in favour of gasoline but I expect the true 'green' energies to cross over as we make more progress.
@Junko: I think folks from EV manufacturing companies will most likely pay close attention to the methodology used in the report: Section 6 onward where computing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were explained.
Unfortunately this report does not factor in other important aspects such as the large pull that the gasoline lobbyist have on our government.
Even in states where electrics appear to have an advantage today, well tomorrow may bring a different story especially when revenues of gas companies may go down in the so called green states.
As an example here in Oregon the talk is on taxing electrics heavily due to the fact that the gas tax money is dwindling and money for road repairs that comes directly from gas taxes and such are no longer there.
One plan is to install sophisticated GPS trackers in EV's which would then record and report the mileage driven via some type of RF link and at the years end the state tax department would then send a tax bill with the dollar amount comparable to what a gas vehicle user would pay at the pump.
As a result even though we may have a distinct electric advantage today, tomorrow due to lobbyist for the gasoline industry and such I'm afraid that this advantage may dissapear very fast.
Never underestimate the grred of a multi billlion, or is it trillion, dollar industrys pull on maintaining profits in double digit numbers.
Chanj0, the easiest way to communicate with consumers about carbon footprint of a car is through the mileage of a car, but naturally, there are other factors, beyond tailpipe CO2, that need to be considered.
As a starter, here's something we can all work with:
I guess EVs are much greener when you charge them with your own solar generated energy such as solar panels. That could be an option to make it greenr. The only problem is that most EV cars or EV hybrid cars offered in the US do not offer the range many people drive.
@pinhead, true. There is no single clear, easy answer. And yet, I was actually pleasantly surprised to see how far we have come, in some states that have electrical grids with substantial amounts of hydro, nuclear, and wind power, essentially producing no carbon emissions.
That is definitely changing the picture in some states.