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Plugged In: WWF's take on the V2G Hybrid [View All]

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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-10-08 12:02 AM
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Plugged In: WWF's take on the V2G Hybrid
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Alex Steffen
April 8, 2008 11:30 AM

When we walk out our doors in 20 years to take a drive, what kind of a vehicle will we get in?

The preferred answer, of course, is a pair of sturdy shoes or a well-maintained bike. But the reality is that at least for next couple decades, personal motorized mobility (a.k.a. cars) will be some part of the mix. So how do we do them right?

We're looking more and more at the combination of electric vehicles, smart grids, product-service systems and good urban development as a means of restructuring our personal transportation options and impacts.

Now, WWF has published a pretty good summary of the case for plug-in vehicles (all-electric or hybrid), from an emissions and energy security stand-point.

Here, essentially, is the main take-away:

Electric vehicles are highly energy efficient Grid-connected vehicle technology enabling all or part of every jour- ney to be powered by electricity taken from the grid is available based on existing infrastructure and current technology. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) which may be sup- plemented by sustainable biofuels for range extension can dramatically reduce the crude oil dependency of automotive transport in a highly ef- ficient and sustainable manner.

Electric vehicles still need energy, and that energy today comes mostly
from fossil fuels. However, the electric powertrain is up to four times more
efficient than its conventional mechanical counterpart. This means electric
vehicles consume far less primary energy per kilometre travelled, so that
even based on todays fossil-rich energy mix, electric vehicles can deliver an
overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, electric vehicles
can contribute to improving urban air quality and reduce noise levels.

For any given resource, electricity beats liquid fuels
Whether the starting point is crude oil, natural gas, coal, or biomass,
electric vehicles will emit fewer GHG emissions per kilometre travelled
than their conventional mechanical rivals. For example, the latest coal-
fired power plants can deliver three times as many automotive kilome-
tres as CTL plants, for the same life-cycle CO2 emissions. Thus there
can be no rational argument for CTL programmes on the grounds of
energy security, nor climate security.

The whole report is worth a read if you're interested in these questions.
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