Electric vehicles not really eco-friendly without clean power

Right when we thought that, the electric vehicle is the answer to cutting our rising fuel costs some new research finds the ultimate flaw in this new power source. There is no doubt that plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs) result in good fuel economy figures — GM is currently touting its PHEV-to be, the Volt, as getting 150MPG over all. However, a study published by Carnegie Mellon University and the Green Car Congress (GGC) suggests that if we do not make our power generation system less carbon intensive, PHEVs could have little benefit over regular hybrids (HEVs). Instead, they achieve these high numbers by supplementing the power produced by their gasoline engines with power taken from the grid. This has caused controversy lately, as hybrid-opponents often claim that battery production and the use of energy from the grid actually makes these cars bigger GHG polluters. If you look at this chart posted by GCC, you can see that both HEVs and PHEVs have a clear advantage over conventional cars, even when battery production is factored in. vehicles all drew power from the grid, making the grid more efficient would both improve standard energy usage as well as make motor vehicles less polluting. As it stands now there is a huge rift, where some are trying to improve the grid by adding things like wind power and others are trying to improve vehicle fuel economy or introduce hydrogen cars. In fact, as noted by GCC, if the grid were low-carbon, PHEVs would reduce lifecycle GHG emissions of 51-63%; something anyone would admit is a huge improvement for motor vehicles.

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