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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This morning GoUltraLow tweeted the following. And it somewhat riled me.

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This is from the SMMT PR campaigners "Go Ultra Low"working in partnership with BMW, Nissan, Renault, Toyota, Vauxhall and the Office for Low Emission Vehicles.

But that's slightly beside the point, we see this phrase a lot when talking about EVs "at the tailpipe".

So why when I get information on ICE vehicles (example below from Renault, here) do the emissions figures not say:
  • Fuel economy and emissions improved by almost a quarter. Former up 10.3 mpg to 44.8 mpg (combined) and latter slashed to 144g/km* (down 46g/km*)

    *at tailpipe
They never, ever do. It's as if petrol/diesel springs from the ground ready to go.

It's a small thing, but it's one of little things that chips away at EVs and the fact they're "not as clean as you think" that "that electricity has to come from somewhere" and all that noise we hear.

Well, so does petrol and diesel have to come from somewhere and then it has to be refined, piped, shipped and pumped...

My proposal that nobody will take seriously or implement is either asterisk the lot, or just stop it with the EV *at tailpipe.

Seriously BEVs don't even have a tailpipe!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What is the best data source for the CO2 of 1 litre of gallon or petrol and diesel pre tailpipe?
Good question. The figures, as I understand it, are not easy to get hold of or to grips with.

This is the best summary of things I've seen, from a familiar source.

 

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It's almost as if the powers that be are wanting to 'stem' the appeal of EV's because they afraid that the grid won't be able to support it and the underinvestment in the electricity infrastructure will be exposed. We get power cuts EVERY week in our village, sometimes just momentarily, sometimes for a couple of minutes.

There is a lot of comment about EV's is that they are not as clean as they first appear, which might be the case, but it is far worse for ICE vehicles when everything is taken into consideration. CO2 aside, when you compare the figures for kwh / 100km for my Leaf versus my Audi (assuming 45mpg), the difference is staggering and much better highlights how much more efficient the Leaf is (roughly by a factor of 3).

The point is that if electricity is generated from renewables, suddenly EV's can offer a real step change towards pollution and if we're to believe the recent press regarding how this impacts climate change, they can offer a very real solution towards that small 'problem' too. This is something ICE vehicles really cannot offer a fix for. I love my Audi, it is great to drive and use but since buying the Leaf my whole outlook on motoring has changed, whenever I drive the Audi I can't help but feel guilty that had I done the journey in the Leaf I would be doing a tiny weeny bit towards making the world a better place for my kids and that's because what I have learned since purchasing it would suggest that I actually AM making a tiny weeny bit of difference.

Only by raising awareness of EV's can we hope to magnify this effect and that is what the likes of GoUltraLow should be doing but as you say @Paul they are sending mixed messages to the public that need exactly the opposite in order to be convinced that EV take up is a real alternative and one that has very real benefits to everyone.
 

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Good question. The figures, as I understand it, are not easy to get hold of or to grips with.

This is the best summary of things I've seen, from a familiar source.

If you haven't got time to watch the video at the moment, the bottom line is that it takes about 4.5kWh of electricity to refine a gallon of petrol.

To put that another way: "making a gallon of petrol consumes enough electricity to drive my Leaf about 20 miles." A point we should all make when people comment about how EVs aren't really green because of the dirty power they charge up with.
 

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If you haven't got time to watch the video at the moment, the bottom line is that it takes about 4.5kWh of electricity to refine a gallon of petrol.

To put that another way: "making a gallon of petrol consumes enough electricity to drive my Leaf about 20 miles." A point we should all make when people comment about how EVs aren't really green because of the dirty power they charge up with.
It's a good point, but needs wordsmithing, at the moment it sounds like a Leaf is the equivalent of a 20MPG car.
 

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Can't wait for the Hydrogen debate.
========================================
Today looks like a big day for Coal -- 34%.

Coal plants mostly run in the winter to stretch out their lifespan. They've got a limited number of operating hours left.

Govt. policy is to phase out unabated coal plants within about 10 years. A few have already shut down.



http://www.theguardian.com/environm...-power-plants-david-cameron-un-climate-pledge

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa.../file/249685/3_lcpd_running_hours_2012_13.pdf


http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bes.php?prefix=LCPD
 

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Cars typical get quoted as CO2 grams per Km from the tailpipe. Easy

EVs as we know do not have tailpipes. But but what about the electricity source? So CO2 is grid related. 0 to X? Grams per km of electricity depending on the source of electricity. (Love Norway at this point)

If we extend the same basis to ICE then we need to add the CO2 grams per km for refining and transporting the fuel etc. CO2 grams per KM for the fuel and then add CO2 grams per KM for the tailpipe.

But what should the number be?
 

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That 4.5 kWh of electricity could have come from renewable sources ;)

Tbh, you could replace the word "tailpipe" with "vehicle" and be done.

Not much more you can do unless/until all fuel types are mandated to provide "origin to consumer" CO2 numbers.
 

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One answer is to put a number out there and make it become part of popular media quoting in order to change the conversation from the unbalanced electricity production arguement.

The media love picking up on facts without looking into them in too much detail. Better to be vaguely right than precisely wrong.

Let's let the oil companies argue the number is wrong with some evidence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Not much more you can do unless/until all fuel types are mandated to provide "origin to consumer" CO2 numbers.
The simple and "straight up" solution is to remove such "at tailpipe" disclaimers as they (quite deliberately I'm sure) imply that somehow EVs have much more "beyond the vehicle" to question and ICE cars so not.

ICE doesn't have it, so let's stop putting on EVs / Zero Emissions quotes and level the playing field.
 

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One interesting source is Exeter University

https://people.exeter.ac.uk/TWDavies/energy_conversion/Calculation of CO2 emissions from fuels.htm

2.68 kg of CO2 per litre of diesel.

But no date on the data so can't say what Grid Mix this was based off.
That's simply the amount of CO2 produced by combusting one litre of diesel in air and the resultant chemical reaction. Diesel composition varies, and so the amount of Carbon (by mass) varies slightly, hence the slightly different figures floating around.

This number is exact for any given litre of fuel though, there is no way to get more or less CO2 unless the chemical reaction is changed.
 

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That's simply the amount of CO2 produced by combusting one litre of diesel in air and the resultant chemical reaction. Diesel composition varies, and so the amount of Carbon (by mass) varies slightly, hence the slightly different figures floating around.

This number is exact for any given litre of fuel though, there is no way to get more or less CO2 unless the chemical reaction is changed.
No wonder journalists get confused!
 

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The simple and "straight up" solution is to remove such "at tailpipe" disclaimers as they (quite deliberately I'm sure) imply that somehow EVs have much more "beyond the vehicle" to question and ICE cars so not.

ICE doesn't have it, so let's stop putting on EVs / Zero Emissions quotes and level the playing field.
The Adverising Standards Authority would probably disagree with you - they nixed the zero emissions claims for electric vehicles in the first place which led to the caveats that you dislike so much. http://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2010/3/Renault-UK-Ltd/TF_ADJ_48291.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

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I wish to start this post by saying I have been an industrial and domestic electrician for my whole life.
When I plug my Ampera in for a 10kWh charge I know damn well that the power station at the other end of the wire doesn't even notice it. They do not burn an extra lump of coal for me.
Yes, a large number of vehicles being plugged in at once will require an increase in power generation but not the number on the road at the moment. We are not even a flea on a hypothetical elephants back.

Therefore I do not accept that EV's contribute any CO2 at all, never mind the small amount that the number crunchers come up with.
That cannot be said for the manufacture of oil based products or hydrogen for the fuel cell proponents such as Toyota.

Base load power stations cannot reduce power generation so I argue that as many EV's are charged at night when load is at its lowest, our cars actually improve the efficiency of the network for little or no emitted CO2.

Well that upsets the numbers posted above and I believe it is true.
 
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