This article is more of what's needed- a holistic view that looks at tradeoffs. The non-technical public needs to be better informed as well.
Good example is the Nissan Leaf...it claims "Zero Emissions" on an emblem or as a great big decal down each side. All of us know that's blatantly false but I'm sure most owners truly believe they are not creating any emissions anywhere. (I'm surprised some attorney hasn't taken this up as a "hobby case"!)
I've wondered what pollution issues the manufacturing and disposal of photovoltaics create? Something to investigate when I have more time. Hopefully it's minor.
As a long term hybrid driver (Honda Civic Hybrid with over 100,000 miles at 49.2 mpg), I believe that the EV and hybrid vehicles serve as testbeds for many technologies that can benefit us all. I'm still running on my original brakes (50% front and 90% rear still remain) because my braking energy is recovered in the battery rather than being worn off my brake pads. My engine turns off at stop lights whereas the SUVs behind me burn gas even when they're not moving. Early adopters may pay a little more to drive exotic vehicles, but the lessons learned should benefit us all as they are deployed across the next generation of vehicles.
The article doesn't mention the obvious, the most green car is just no car...just walk or bike...although one can argue that you needs to eat more due to extra physical activity and consume some extra calories resulting in extra emissiono of green gas (especially if you are eating meat, see methane release by cows)...I wonder whether has anyone done this type analysis, would love to see you it...Kris
David Ashton wrote: EVs are the answer that Solar power has been waiting for.
Also air conditioning, which is most needed when the sun is blazing away.
A good long-term solution IMO is solar-generated hydrogen for fuel cells. You can make the hydrogen while the sun shines and convert it back to electricity whenever you want. Renting a fuel cell for long trips might be a dandy way to extend EV range.
@GogoGeek - good point. I have never understood this. The big disadvantage of solar is that it is only available during the day. And what are a good percentage of vehicles doing during the day? Sitting in parking lots while their owners work. Ideal marriage - use solar to charge EVs during the day. EVs are the answer that Solar power has been waiting for.
I don't mean to sound fervently anti-nuclear, though. My only point was that JUST BECAUSE some technology might represent a theoretical "zero carbon footprint," it does not mean that there are no big or even huge costs involved. These other costs cannot be ignored either, in the heat of the moment.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.