Thursday, 8 December 2011

Are electric cars that efficient?

Jeff ID has found the work of a scientist re the effectiveness of electric cars:
'The author is a physicist and engineer with additional degree equivalent qualifications in accountancy, economics and management. He worked for the UK government (HMG) and in 1974 was transferred to a newly formed division considering how to mitigate the effects of the oil price shock which included examining all possible alternative sources of energy as to cost and effectiveness. In 1976 he became increasingly involved in the electric car team and was formally seconded to it in 1977 when it became the Electric Car Group, (ECG) which had a brief from HMG to develop and report on the technology of a practical small electric city car and provide technical support to British manufacturers. He retired some years ago. The views expressed below are entirely his own as are any errors.'
It's a good, and long, read; do read it all, here's part of the conclusion:
'... however vilified, as the Infernal combustion engine always has been and still is, it remains along with its liquid hydrocarbon fuel a faithful servant and a very formidable competitor when it comes to propelling motor cars. In the end it is simple, robust, reliable and cheap. It has been around so long that any mechanic from London to Outer Mongolia can twiddle, tweak and fix it. And behind these mechanics is an organised supply chain that can deliver spare parts almost anywhere, even Darkest Peru, within a day or two. And it has seen off its rivals, even those hardy perennials such as steam and electricity many times before and bids fair to do so again.

Do politicians really imagine, for all their delusions of grandeur, that by squandering a few billions of the taxpayer’s money, they can change a great worldwide industry overnight? That is for you, not the author to judge. He has his own view.'

© ajgjones 2009 whose moral right is asserted.

1 comment:

Alex said...

His energy efficiency data is way out of date. Modern gas fired power stations are about 50% efficient,

And electric cars are far simpler than petrol driven cars, so all the arguments about repairs and maintenance apply more to the electric car.

The problem with electric cars is the rate of charging and the capacity of batteries per unit weight, both of which are improving rapidly.

Of course the petrol car can be displaced, just as the european economy can be reduced to serfdom.