Why Choose Electric Vehicles? Use No Gas! No Exhaust! Quiet!|Electric Vehicle Society of Canada

Why Choose an Electric Vehicle? (EV)

The biggest advantages of an EV - at a glance:

  • You can breathe easy beside an EV - no emissions!

  • Greatly reduced greenhouse gas emissions if charged from coal-fired electrical generation--(None if charged by Wind Power, Hydro Power, or Solar PV).

  • No engine or exhaust noise--quieter streets and neighborhoods.

  • Breaks the dependence on oil, foreign or otherwise.

  • Auto maintenance is far simpler, less expensive.

  • 80% of daily commutes in North America would be easily handled by current battery technology.

  • Announced upcoming new battery technologies extend the range to distances nearly equal to a current tank of gas, and charge nearly as fast as filling with gas.

  • North America already has sufficient night-time (off-peak) electrical capacity to charge millions of cars.

  • A gallon of Gasoline uses about 8 kWh just to refine. This same amount of Electric Energy can power an Electric Vehicle from 16-32 miles. This does not count the power to store, ship, transport, secure, discover, or protect, or the overhead of the overall risks associated with Oil.
Far from being a modern conception, electric cars were among the first vehicles on the road. In the formative days of the automobile, a third of cars were electric, and they challenged internal combustion engine-driven vehicles for primacy. It appears that the Electric Vehicle is beginning to show itself again!

We hope you find this text Insightful. Let's all really begin thinking "down the road" and get started envisioning, and planning, beyond the moment!

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Why Electric Vehicles, Part 1

Q. Why all the Fuss over Electric Vehicles?

A. Simply stated - Electric Vehicles are:

  • More Energy Efficient than Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles
  • Can use 'Green' Sourced Fuels like Solar, Wind, Hydro, etc. for charging
  • Solar, Wind or Hydro re-charging will emit no pollutants into the air.
  • Quieter. Noise Pollution is increasing and EV's can help reduce this.

Q. Why Drive an Electric Car?

A. Imagine Crude Oil at $150 a Barrel, or Gasoline at $1.50 a Litre - Just say NO to staying addicted to oil and sending your money to support non-democratic regimes who fund activities aimed at undermining the freedoms we enjoy.

B. Let's put this another way: Electricity is created more locally than Oil, has an established delivery pipeline - the 'Grid' (and the Home, Shop, Store, Mall, etc.) - which when used at night time - is otherwise under utilized and has capacity to charge several millions of Commuter Electric, Plug-In Hybrids, and NEV's.

C. Conveniently use existing resources:
110 volt outlets are everywhere; no new infrastructure is needed to be able to plug into the future, today. EV 110V Chargers can be plugged into 15 Amp Circuits like the normal ones in your Home, and consume about the same power while charging on a 110V Plug as a Hair Dryer uses.

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Why Electric Vehicles, Part 2

Q. Are traditional cars really that bad?

A. The emissions from cars commuting from bedroom communities into centers each and every day of the work week make driving the largest source of air pollution in cities.

Gasoline and diesel powered motor vehicles generate almost 25% of the pollutants responsible for climate change.

Tailpipe exhaust remains a leading source of air pollution and accounts for roughly one-third of the nation's emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), a key contributor to global warming.

In addition to CO2, mobile emissions sources contain:

  • Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH).
  • Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5)
  • Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)

Even though these chemicals remain nearly invisible until they combine to form smog, public health problems from vehicle emissions cost the US approximately $40 to $64 billion per year. Health effects from air pollution can last for a short while (e.g., coughing) or become chronic (e.g., heart and lung disease). Health problems increase when we are exposed to air pollution for a long time (exposure), and when we breathe in a lot of it (concentration). Exposure to emissions may lead to health problems such as:

  • Asthma attacks
  • Hodgkin's disease
  • Lymphoma
  • Lung Cancer

Air pollution from vehicle emissions can also create water quality problems and combine into new chemicals that damage buildings and crops. Air Quality and Your Health.

Q. How does the Existing Fuel Energy Profile fit with Health & Environment?

A. Fossil fuel combustion is a leading cause of air pollution, and eliminating (or vastly reducing) pollution from cars would go a long way to cleaning the air we breathe in most western cities. The negative health impacts of exhaust pollutants are well documented.

The Department of Transport in the U.S.A. has recently acknowledged that Electric vehicles are more environmentally friendly than petrol/diesel cars, even taking into account the CO2 emissions from producing the electricity.

Petrol and diesel vehicles are major contributors to the greenhouse effect. Of course, more use of public transport would reduce the negative impact of cars, but for some of us, using public transport all the time is not always feasible.

Q. Why are we so attached to Oil and Gasoline and find it so easy to use and so hard to stop using it?

A. This is because the government (American, Canadian, and other producers right up to Iran) subsidizes the cost of gasoline at the pump, thus costing each individual user of gasoline less than it actually costs society to have that gasoline available.

For example, the true cost of gasoline that is not fully included in the per gallons price at the pump includes:

  • Extra tax incentives and subsidies other businesses don't receive,
  • Costs related to military protection of our oil supplies,
  • Charges for cleaning up environmental problems after spills,
  • Higher prices triggered by damage to agriculture, due to weakening soil, and
  • Damage to Agriculture food crops due to switching to ethanol purposed crops
  • Payment for health problems such as lung diseases, asthma, caused by our use of oil and it's by-products of combustion.

Estimates have placed the true cost of gasoline around $10 per gallon.

Read More on this subject at:
*The True Cost of Our Oil Addiction ,
*Kicking The North American Energy Habit ,
* Blame High Gas Prices on Laziness and Greed
* Internal Combustion: How Corporations and Governments Addicted to the World of Oil and derailed the Alternatives

Q. What's the cost of running an EV?

A. Electric vehicles typically cost between two and four cents per mile ( around 1.5 cents per Km. ) to operate, while gasoline-powered ICE vehicles currently cost about four to six times as much.

B. Maintenance such as oil changes, smog inspections (and their sometimes expensive repair consequences), cooling fluid replacement, and periodic repair and adjustments are reduced or completely eliminated, significantly reducing the cost of ownership.

C. One of the popular gas-electric hybrids averages around 50 miles to the gallon. At $3.00 per gallon, that comes to $0.06 per mile of fuel costs. (Canadian Prices of $1 per liter = currently about $3.80 per gallon) The all-electric vehicle, by comparison, with Electricity Varying between $0.05 and $0.15 per Kwh - costs somewhere between $0.02 and $0.04 in fuel costs, per mile, depending on the EV Chosen.

D. A full charge of electricity for a modern electric vehicle - the eBox would be 30 kWh, costing between $1.50 and $4.50 for a fulll charge, and deliver 120 to 150 miles (200 - 250 km) range on that charge. The new Tesla Roadster has an EPA tested combined city/highway cycle range of 220 miles (330 kms), yet can achieve a full charge in about 3.5 hours, at a cost of about $2.50 to $3.00 depending on your region where you live and buy electricity. Another modern Electric Vehicle, the Phoenix Sport Utility Truck also has over 100 miles (160 km) range, can recharge in 10 minutes on special equipment, or in about 6 hours on a 220V plug-in, similar to a stove power outlet.

Further Reading on this subject:
*Convert It,
* Electric and Hybrid Cars: A History,
* Complete Idiots Guide To Hybrid And Alternative Fuel Vehicles

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Why Electric Vehicles, Part 3

Q. What about Electric Cars Plugging in to Coal Powered Electricity?

A. Yes, electric cars have no tailpipe emissions. They produce no local pollution or carbon dioxide, but they aren't entirely pollution-free, especially if they are recharged from an electric power grid that burns significant quantities of fossil fuels like coal. So, are they any better than a normal gasoline car?

Absolutely. For starters, in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, they generate a fraction that expelled by a normal gasoline engine car. For every gallon of gasoline burned, approximately 22 pounds of CO2, an important global warming gas, are created. If a car gets 25 miles a gallon it will emit 22 pounds of carbon dioxide over that distance, as well as other pollutants.

By comparison, an electric car may travel the same distance consuming 5 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electric power at a rate of 200 watt hours/mile. Assuming the local grid is 100% coal-fired, roughly 5 lbs of coal would be consumed to create that 5 kWh. Depending on the grade and carbon content of the coal, one kilowatt hour creates approximately 1.4 pounds of CO2.

That's 7 pounds of CO2 vs. 22 pounds to travel the same 25 miles. But recall that the power grid isn't entirely coal-fired; it includes hydroelectric, natural gas, nuclear and a small, but growing segment of renewables. The existing electrical grid's off-peak capacity for power generation is sufficient to power 84% of commutes to and from work by cars, light trucks and SUV's without building a single new power plant according to the Department of Energy.

In addition, the existing nighttime electricity can be stored in plug-in vehicles and retrieved during peak-demand hours through vehicle-to-grid technology for use by the grid, helping to meet society's daytime power needs.
For a more detailed White Paper on V2G Applications, Read A Test of Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) for Energy Storage and Frequency Regulation in the PJM System

Also - As we move more to Large and Small Scale Wind, Solar, Hydro and Micro Hydro - the Grid Becomes 'Cleaner' Each year.

Q. Do electric vehicles (EV's) really provide a cleaner source of transportation?

A. Yes. Electric Motors are so efficient that they produce less than 40% as much greenhouse emissions as gas-powered vehicles produce.

  • EV's reduce carbon emissions by more than 80% per mile.
  • They also reduce the amount of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) by up to 90% per mile.
  • EV's achieve these reductions when charged on the electric power grid.
  • Charging one with a renewable energy system like solar or wind power will make it even cleaner.

B. Also - even as far back as 1991 (When there was less kWh of Wind and Solar Power Mix Installed) - The Institute for Lifecycle Environmental Assesment did a study: Automobiles: Electric vs. Gasoline, where they showed clearly the benefits of pure Electric Vehicles with regard to full lifecycle of the particular vehicle. More Recent Reports: 2014 - Life cycle air quality impacts of conventional and alternative light-duty transportation in the United States

Q. Why is there a lot of resistance to the introduction of the electric vehicle?

A. The Oil companies don't want them because a significant number of electric vehicles would cut gas consumption and thus their profits.

The car dealers don't want them because they have very little maintenance which is going to cut a large source of their profits.

Independent service stations don't want them for the same reason.

Q. So who should want to drive one?

A. The answer is anybody who is concerned about pollution, global warming and the loss of non renewable energy sources. Or, to put this closer to home: Do you want to leave a better world for your children, your retirement, and your grand children? If you said "Yes" - then saying "Yes" to buying and using electric cars will be something you can do to get those results.

Given the air quality problems in our cities, and the current upward trend in world temperatures, we should all be concerned with these issues.

Pollution from ICE vehicles accounts for about 60% of air pollution in large cities. If you don't want to be having Asthma, and paying more in medical bills, taxes, and other health related costs, and contributing to the problems of Air Pollution, then you to should seriosly consider "Driving Electric" whenever you can!

Some Good Books to read on the subject:
* The Electric Vehicle: Technology and Expectations in the Automobile Age,
* The Electric Vehicle and the Burden of History
* Modern Electric Vehicle Technology

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Why Electric Vehicles, Part 4

Q. Should you Dump the pump before the pump dumps you?

A. Full-page ads placed by Chevron in major magazines in 2006 boldly proclaimed that:
"The world consumes Two Nine barrels of oil for every barrel discovered" and "It took us 125 years to use the first trillion barrels of oil. We'll use the next trillion in 30."

Oil production in the US and in many other oil producing countries has peaked. Oil use has continued to grow. Isn't now the time to dump the pump ... and develop a better alternative...before the pump runs dry and dumps you?

For More information on Peak Oil issues - see:
Peak Oil, | The Oil Drum, | Energy and Capital,
(& also a subscription link to Energy and Capital),
and continue your search for information Here!

Q. What can you do to reduce your impact on global warming?

A. Put in use common and valuable Energy Wast Reduction Programs,
- Increase your Homes Insulation Levels,
- Combine Trips so as to reduce excess travel,
- Car-Pool, Ride Bus, Take the Train, on your work Commute,
- Walk, ride a Bike, get an eBike for longer rides,
- Make a plan and follow through with converting one of your cars to Electric,
- Buy a Plug-In Hybrid that meets your daily commute needs all electric,
- change your indicator bulbs to LED's in the Car, Compact Fluorescent in the Home
(Soon LED's for that Lighting too, See LED's for the home - Here, and Here, and Here, and even on eBay.ca!)
There is more - see: Top 10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Global Warming.

B. You could also begin to Generate your own electricity after that, using some of the more modern solar panels that integrate well in building design, as patio covers with their semi-transparent design, and even in building windows.

C. Ten Big Things you can do for the Environment:
- from ILEA - (Institute for Lifecycle Environmental Assessment.)

  1. Purchase a more efficient automobile AND drive less
  2. Increase energy-efficiency in your household
  3. Purchase green electricity and/or generate your own
  4. Include more vegetable protein in your diet
  5. Teach children about the environment
  6. Consider having a small family
  7. Contribute money to an environmental organization
  8. Give time to an organized environmental cause
  9. Live in the city
  10. Vote

Q. How can you spread the word on Electric Vehicles??

  • A. Show people this Flyer
  • A. Learn more about Electric Vehicles - see our Links page
  • A. See More - on our Video Links Page.
  • A. Refer these links to others as often as you can.
  • A. Find, Make, or Buy an EV of your own, and Drive it as Much as you can in your normal activities.

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