Apr 19

Concerned scientists offer ‘first of its kind’ nationwide power grid analysis to promote electric vehicles

 

On Monday. the Union of Concerned Scientists released a report regarding electric vehicle operating costs and regional power grid emissions intended to enable consumers to more accurately analyze cost-benefit and pollution.

The comprehensive report focused on such vehicles as the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, Mitsubishi i and others, and graded regions by how much greenhouse gas on average is emitted.

The main findings are in line with what EV advocates already know: greenhouse gas emissions are effectively reduced by switching to electric propulsion power. Further, the study estimated average fuel savings per year between $750-1,200.

“This report shows drivers should feel confident that owning an electric vehicle is a good choice for reducing global warming pollution, cutting fuel costs, and slashing oil consumption,” said Don Anair, the report’s author and senior engineer for UCS’s Clean Vehicles Program. “Those in the market for a new car may have been uncertain how the global warming emissions and fuel costs of EVs stack up to gasoline-powered vehicles. Now, drivers can for the first time see just how much driving an electric vehicle in their hometown will lower global warming emissions and save them money on fuel costs.”

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UCSUSA

 

If you surf the Web for other write-ups on the study, you will also see some reports cuing in on the finding that the most efficient gasoline-powered vehicles may be environmentally cleaner than EVs recharging in regions relying on some coal-powered plants. That is, the study found effective emissions needed to recharge vehicles relying on some powerplants makes them little cleaner than some of the cleanest gas cars – but still cleaner than most.

But in any case, the study’s over-riding emphasis did not go in that negative direction, even if it does give potential material for such sound bite journalism, and fodder for critics of EVs.

One assumption the study made was that EV drivers for now are primarily recharging at home, often in the overnight hours. The executive summary noted that for 45 percent of the population, “EVs produce lower global warming emissions than even the most efficient gasoline hybrids.”

And for 37 percent of the population, EVs are on par with the most efficient hybrids such as the Civic Hybrid and Prius.

The Union of Concerned Scientists focused its study on greenhouse gas emissions which it says are responsible for climate change.

It said the expectancy is overall, EVs should become effectively cleaner to operate in years to come as more renewable power sources come online.

Also, it encouraged consumers to shop for the best available power plan for them, be it one focusing on green energy supplementation, or merely a less expensive alternative rate plan.

In California, for instance, consumers can elect a time of use plan that could save an estimated $500-1000 per year, the study says.

 

 

It is equally true that any electricity generated in the United States is energy that need not be imported, which is cannot be said of petroleum dependent vehicles.

Reasons why the Union of Concerned Scientists is thus very much in favor of EVs include reduction of greenhouse gases, net operational savings, as mentioned, but no doubt energy security is also in the reasoning process.

The perceived downside for consumers is most EVs come at a price premium, which we’ve seen all sorts of estimates on with regard to how many years it will take to make a payback.

The short answer is it is a qualified decision. The study’s authors recommend knowing exact cost of electricity, getting the most cost-effective plan possible and taking advantage of any available government subsidies.

If investing in your own renewable energy – such as solar or wind – is an option, this also is recommended to reduce carbon footprint, and save money.

To learn more, visit the organization’s Web site.

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 19th, 2012 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 77


  1. 1
    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (6:44 am)

    Better than the “best” hybrids, and from a group of scientists no less. I guess we’ll need to make a special lane for Ford Synergy hybrids, so they won’t be getting in the way when thay try to stay gas free.


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    The Jacked Lord

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (6:47 am)

    To some of us these findings seem like a given, but this UCS work is important because a formal study more effectively counters the right wing Republican/Fox Media attacks on electric vehicles as nothing more than coal smoke farters.


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    Bonaire

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (7:32 am)

    Interesting aspect of the map and the color charting basically aligns to the gas-prices map from Gasbuddy.com where the mid-west happens to have lower gasoline prices today due to using gas refined from WTI crude (West Texas) at ~$102/bbl today rather than ~$120/bbl Brent crude which the coasts use. Canadian oil coming through existing pipelines from Canada impact this area. Some may say “well, build the Keystone XL and we’ll get more.” It doesn’t work that way as the goal of that pipeline would increase the ability of gulf-zone refiners to refine and export gasoline and other finished products. The excess oil in Cushing, OK that cannot be quickly refined has lead to the reason that fuel in Oklahoma, Kansas and New Mexico is cheaper than some other states. Rising gas prices means rising diesel prices as well.

    There’s a good story at oil-price.net about a pipeline coming online that goes from Cushing, OK to the gulf which may take the gasoline prices higher in the mid-west. The chart above should show “better” benefits in the midwest once that happens. This is the area of food production and pick-up truck owners and as such, WTI oil prices rising should lead to higher food prices. More on that pipeline at: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/03/27/pipeline-partners-to-double-cushing-gulf-oil-conduit

    In terms of emissions – I’ve also read that a typical oceanic cargo ship, with it’s 1-million hp engine(s) uses as much oil as 50 million (does sound high) cars during its trip across the ocean. The reasons for cargo ships range from clothing from Indonesia to supplies to fill new Walmart stores. When the economy dipped in 2008-2009, loaded cargo imports dropped quite a bit. It’s ramping up again this year compared to last year. So, this means “the more you buy that is imported, the more you contribute to greenhouse gasses”. One of the active ports is L.A. http://www.portoflosangeles.org/maritime/stats.asp See the chart by year – quite telling in terms of how “consumerist” we are and also how imports swung over the past couple decades. The swing also is a good visual to compare with the rate of loss of factory jobs here in the USA.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (7:59 am)

    I am in an NG generation area with some wind. At 5.7c/kwh, it is hard to justify personal solar making 20c/kwh electricity. When the abundance of NG was discovered in shale, solar leases dried up.

    Unless the manufacturers build affordable NG vehicles, EREV is looking pretty good.


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    ClarksonCote

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (8:06 am)

    Union of Concerned Scientists: Please put another pie chart next to this one, that shows the locations of the country where national security is strengthened as a result of EV’s. I think you’ll find that pie chart is just a circle with “100%” marked inside of it.

    join thE REVolution


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    Neromanceres

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (8:42 am)

    This is a very good and indepth study. For those interested in the in the power make up in the province of Ontario you can go to http://www.ieso.ca. A very good website.


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    kdawg

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (8:45 am)

    If you surf the Web for other write-ups on the study, you will also see some reports cuing in on the finding that the most efficient gasoline-powered vehicles may be environmentally cleaner than EVs recharging in regions relying on some coal-powered plants.
    ————————

    I would like to know how far down the rabbit hole they went when evaluating gasoline production. Did they just look at the refineries? What about trucking gas to the stations, the oil pumping stations, oil rigs, cargo ships, the spill cleanup efforts, the war efforts to keep oil flowing, etc. ? We pay a lot of taxes to keep gasoline cheap at the pump. I think a lot of the wasted energy for gasoline production is being hidden along with the wasted tax $.


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    ronr64

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (8:53 am)

    “Union of concerned scientists” Doesn’t that sound like something out of a comic book?

    Seriously though, I’ve become so jaded on this sort of stuff that I almost, scratch that, I do immediately become suspicious and don’t trust their numbers and look for how it has been massaged and manipulated! That goes for any and all studies regardless of origin. I just know that the Volt allows most people to use very little gasoline. I know that our electricity is produced from U.S. based sources. That is all I need to know to satisfy my reasons to want one. More importantly I don’t need any study to tell me these things, I already know them.


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    DrInnovaiton

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (9:05 am)

    A fair start, but unfortunately the report still misses some important points.

    1) EVers can buy wind or install solar. Gasses cannot displace their carbon that way.

    2) The model treats all gas the same. But the regions with the dirties eletricty also have the dirtiest gas, with the majority of rockymountain gas coming Canidian tar sands with are 15% higher in GHG.. so a 37mpg car in Cali, emits as much GHG as 33mpg car in Denver, or the EV that is equivalent to 33mpg on their chart in CO is really equivalent to a 37mpg car.

    3) They use GREET 2011 for much of the analysis of upstream which included refining and delivery to stations, but ignores energy used by gas stations, as well as drilling/exploring/mining and cleanups. But they include mining for coal but not mining for tar-sands.


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    ronr64

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (9:14 am)

    Bonaire,

    Your numbers are way off. Most cargo ships have about 100,000 HP engines which is 1/10 the million number you used. Their fuel usage is highly dependent on (surprise!) speed. They can cut their fuel usage by up to 80% by going slower. Of course time is money so that it often not feasible. I don’t know the specs but I would be willing to bet you won’t find a more economical way to transport goods then a cargo ship. 50 million cars? Even if your ship really did have a 1 million HP engine that would equate to cars with 1/50 HP engines – I don’t think so… Now there is no doubt that going 2500 miles is going to use 1/2 the fuel as going 5000 miles and I think that was your main point.


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    Tom W

     

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (9:49 am)

    ClarksonCote: where national security is strengthened as a result of EV’s

    National security isn’t strengthened until we stop importing oil. We have a long way to go.
    I appreciate all the early adopters, but until people have an affordable option we won’t have addressed the national security issue.

    Certainly we are on a good path, but it might be 5 years until EV/EREV cars reach what I think is the magic number.

    When the premium paid for an EREV/EV is less than $8,000, than the average buyer can justify the expense because the payback in fuel savings.

    The comparable car to the Volt is the Cruise, and the premium even with the credit is way more than 8K. I don’t want to hear that the Volt is quiter quicker whatever because those attributes don’t make the car affordable for me.


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    Bonaire

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (10:00 am)

    ronr64: Bonaire, Your numbers are way off. Most cargo ships have about 100,000 HP engines which is 1/10 the million number you used. Their fuel usage is highly dependent on (surprise!) speed. They can cut their fuel usage by up to 80% by going slower. Of course time is money so that it often not feasible. I don’t know the specs but I would be willing to bet you won’t find a more economical way to transport goods then a cargo ship. 50 million cars? Even if your ship really did have a 1 million HP engine that would equate to cars with 1/50 HP engines – I don’t think so… Now there is no doubt that going 2500 miles is going to use 1/2 the fuel as going 5000 miles and I think that was your main point.

    Right – I agree with your feedback. I was going with a few things I read recently and really don’t trust some of those numbers. Going slower should help, absolutely. But when 1 million Apple iPads need to get to market, it’s full speed ahead :) My current boss used to work at Sealand and does have some interesting stories from those years but that goes back to the 80s and 90s.

    I noted 1 million hp – that is wrong but can’t go back to edit the post. 100,000 hp is more like it, you’re right. For some reason, I recalled 1MM hp from looking at engines with my boss and co-workers maybe 5-years ago. It’s amazing to generate 100,000 hp at about 100 rpm.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%A4rtsil%C3%A4-Sulzer_RTA96-C
    http://www.gizmag.com/go/5853/


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    Timaaayyy!!!

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (10:15 am)

    Hey guys,

    Haven’t been here in awhile. Hope all is well.

    I’ve been spending most of my time on the investment blog that covers an American company called Axion Power:

    http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/1631091-axion-power-host/516661-axion-power-concentrator-89-april-17-2012-what-a-300-revenue-increase-really-means-by-futurist?source=kizur#comment_update_link

    I was searching for investment ideas in the “green” space that could actually make some decent money, given how a lot of the early companies have done very badly financially. Had products that simply cost too much. But I found one that now offers an improved battery that seems to have a realistic shot at success, while also having a stock that is dirt cheap, with near and long-term positive catalysts, IMHO.

    But do your own due dilly and decide for yourself. There are some excellent links in the blog that I linked above, that should help in that regard. Really neat to see the community over there–kinda how this one used to be, but with the goal of making money from a product that should help reduce oil consumption and many of the other good things that we desired over here.

    Have a good one!


  14. 14
    Loboc

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (10:24 am)

    For a lot of commuters, it’s a much simpler equation. How much does it cost per month?

    Take my vehicle for example (a typical one in my area) 2005 Hemi Magnum.
    Using 12,000 miles/year for each, the monthly cost for financing is $275 vs $350 for a Volt. The yearly cost for gasoline @ 16mpg is $3000 (premium fuel). The yearly cost for energy for a Volt is highly variable, but, for my commute (43 miles per day) I’d mostly be on electricity @ 5.7c/kwh or about 70c per charge * 280 or so days ~ $200.
    Magnum:
    Vig $275 * 36 = $9900
    Gas 3000 * 3 = $9000
    Total Magnum = $18900
    Volt:
    Vig $350 * 36 = $12600
    Elec $200*3 = $600
    Total Volt = $13200
    Savings over 3 years = $5700
    Even if I used some gas, say a thankful every 1,000 miles you can take off about $1200 from the savings.
    I don’t know about anybody else, but 4 grand plus is a lot of money to me.

    /The lease down payment is pretty much wiped out by the increased maintenance on the Magnum. 7 quarts per oil change. I have that much equity anyway, so, trading in the Magnum would put me at zero.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (10:33 am)

    ronr64: Seriously though, I’ve become so jaded on this sort of stuff that I almost, scratch that, I do immediately become suspicious and don’t trust their numbers and look for how it has been massaged and manipulated! That goes for any and all studies regardless of origin.

    I don’t trust studies very much either, especially since 4 out of 3 people don’t understand fractions.


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    kdawg

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (10:39 am)

    Tom W: When the premium paid for an EREV/EV is less than $8,000, than the average buyer can justify the expense because the payback in fuel savings.
    The comparable car to the Volt is the Cruise, and the premium even with the credit is way more than 8K. I don’t want to hear that the Volt is quiter quicker whatever because those attributes don’t make the car affordable for me.

    This debate has been hashed over 1000 times. If you factor in life cycle costs of the car, a Volt is cheaper than a Cruze. After 5 years it’s only $1500 more than a Cruze.

    Please go back and look at the Kiplinger & Vincentric data


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    DonC

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (10:43 am)

    ronr64: Your numbers are way off.

    It’s pollutants not emissions and it’s not the size of the engine it’s the low grade bunker fuel they burn. But his point is correct. I think it’s something like 16 of the largest cargo ships produce more pollutants than all the cars in the world combined. You can find this fairly easily by doing a search (I’d give you a site but the filter doesn’t like that).


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    DonC

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (10:54 am)

    A Volt is so much fun to drive that even getting close to being “truly green” is good enough! I took a friend who really likes cars — she has a BMW sports car for her fun drive — for an extended drive in the Volt. I had talked to her about how it drove but she was still surprised. It’s hard to explain to people because the Volt doesn’t obey the rules they’re used to. It’s quick but it’s not light as you’d expect. In fact it’s heavier than a MB E class sedan, which gives it a presence you wouldn’t expect, but, since the battery sits low, the car handles much better than you’d expect. The mass also provides a nice ride at high speeds. And it’s quiet, not just at stops but throughout the drive cycle.

    Anyway, at the end she said she was very impressed and could really see herself driving one. Then she said that in her opinion GM had completely missed the positioning for the car, continually emphasizing the green side and the fuel savings while ignoring the fun to drive factor. Her bottom line was: “Fun sells better than Green.”


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    Skotty

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (11:11 am)

    I wouldn’t exactly call it a “first of it’s kind” (at least, not in a general sense).

    For example, Argonne National Laboratory has tons of research studies on this and other related subjects. Here is one such study: http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/TA/559.pdf

    UCS has their hearts in the right place, but I would trust data from most of the U.S. national laboratories more than what comes from UCS. On first pass, I don’t see anything wrong with this particular UCS study; but I wanted to point out there are additional good places to get this kind of information.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (11:20 am)

    kdawg: I don’t trust studies very much either, especially since 4 out of 3 people don’t understand fractions.

    LOL! And 89.3% of statistics are made up on the spot.


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    DonC

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (11:23 am)

    Loboc: For a lot of commuters, it’s a much simpler equation. How much does it cost per month?

    The cost comparison is actually far more favorable to the Volt over a longer period of time. I think of electrics like digital cameras. They cost more upfront but, like the digital camera gives you a lifetime of cheap film (add flash cards), an electric gives you a lifetime of cheap fuel (add electricity). The camera or the car part depreciates like any other car, but the lifetime of cheap fuel is as useful in year four as it was in year one. Much less depreciation on this part of the car (3/15).

    The lease captures this. The Volt may be more expensive than many cars but the lease payments are less because the residual is high, representing the non-depreciating technology that delivers reduced cost driving. If the normal depreciation is 50%, then while an ICE vehicle will depreciate by 50%, only the Volt’s vehicle part, worth say 66% of the cost, will depreciate by 50%. The 33% which represents the electric drive train won’t depreciate at all. Since the vehicle part of both vehicles will have already been depreciated by year four, the next three years will result in even lower depreciation for the Volt — 50% X 33% — than it will for the ICE at 50% X 50%. This means that in year seven the Volt should retain 58% of its value whereas the ICE vehicle will only retain 25%.

    I can see people paying $12K for ten year old Volts just because they know they can get another five years of low cost driving from the thing. A ten year old MB E class or BMW 5 series sedan, which started at thousands more, won’t fetch half as much.


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    DonC

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (11:26 am)

    kdawg: This debate has been hashed over 1000 times. If you factor in life cycle costs of the car, a Volt is cheaper than a Cruze. After 5 years it’s only $1500 more than a Cruze.

    The problem is that most people only look at monthly payments. Stupid yes but that’s the way it works. It’s just irrational. Empirical studies have shown that people want a six month payback on an energy saving refrigerator even though on average they keep it for eight years.

    This is why the Volt lease program is a great idea. It gives buyers that lower price point they’re looking for in the short run. Yes buying would be better for them but they don’t see it that way.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (11:28 am)

    DonC: It’s pollutants not emissions and it’s not the size of the engine it’s the low grade bunker fuel they burn. But his point is correct. I think it’s something like 16 of the largest cargo ships produce more pollutants than all the cars in the world combined. You can find this fairly easily by doing a search (I’d give you a site but the filter doesn’t like that).

    If that is true then why do we bother with cars at all? Seriously. There are only 2 choices here. A. your numbers are wrong. B. We are being unnecessarily bothered with pollution control on our vehicles as there are 10,000′s of container/cargo ships and even bringing the pollution to zero on cars wouldn’t amount to even a rounding error compared to the ships of the world.


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    Tom W

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (11:36 am)

    kdawg: This debate has been hashed over 1000 times. If you factor in life cycle costs of the car, a Volt is cheaper than a Cruze. After 5 years it’s only $1500 more than a Cruze.

    think that is still a little more than $1500, and even at that its shows we still aren’t quite there.
    But it does show what even a $2000 price decrease in the Volt would do to people running the numbers.

    And the importance of yearly price cuts.

    But as I keep saying I don’t believe GM really wants to cut the price 2K and ramp up sales because then they will use up their 200,000 car allotment too soon.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (11:38 am)

    DonC: It gives buyers that lower price point they’re looking for in the short run. Yes buying would be better for them but they don’t see it that way.

    The other reason to lease is the belief that in 3 years there will be better options out there.
    I want to lease, maybe will pull the trigger this summer, but I keep waiting for that 2K price cut.


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    Noel Park

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (11:48 am)

    Bonaire: One of the active ports is L.A.

    #3

    The largest source of toxic diesel particulate pollution in the South Coast Air Basin, which is the dirtiest in the USA, largely for the reasons you cite. Good point. +1


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    MDDave

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (11:53 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (11:55 am)

    ronr64: Your numbers are way off.

    #10

    But they burn Bunker C fuel oil which has ultra high sulfur content, and they have zero pollution controls compared to a modern car. So their output of air pollution per horsepower is MANY times that of an equivalent car engine. And a large percentage of same is toxic, carcinogenic, diesel particulate.

    I have seen satellite photos which clearly show the air pollution plume along the shipping lane from China to SoCal.


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    Noel Park

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (12:06 pm)

    ronr64: We are being unnecessarily bothered with pollution control on our vehicles as there are 10,000′s of container/cargo ships and even bringing the pollution to zero on cars wouldn’t amount to even a rounding error compared to the ships of the world.

    #23

    Ships are filthy. Deal with it! They have gotten away with it this long because they are owned by offshore corporations and sail under flags of convenience. The US EPA, for example, has zero power to regulate them. And they have a LOT more political juice than us individual car owners, even if we were stupid enough to not realize our own enlightened self interests and fight pollution controls.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (12:08 pm)

    Noel Park: #10

    But they burn Bunker C fuel oil which has ultra high sulfur content, and they have zero pollution controls compared to a modern car.So their output of air pollution per horsepower is MANY times that of an equivalent car engine.And a large percentage of same is toxic, carcinogenic, diesel particulate.

    I have seen satellite photos which clearly show the air pollution plume along the shipping lane from China to SoCal.

    I certainly buy the fact that they are polluters based on the crap they burn. Point is if 16 of them pollute as much as all the worlds cars and their are 10,000′s of them then why do we bother with pollution control on cars? Certainly a high density of cars such as in LA could cause pollution but from a world perspective if those numbers are true then it would be like trying to solve the US budget deficit by changing your paper clip supplier – it will have no measurable affect. My guess is those numbers quoted for ships is way way out of whack.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (12:08 pm)

    DonC: It’s pollutants not emissions and it’s not the size of the engine it’s the low grade bunker fuel they burn.

    #17

    Well you beat me to it again, LOL. Amen! +1


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    Loboc

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (12:10 pm)

    MDDave:

    So, if the reason you drive a Volt is because you want to reduce greenhouse gases, you would be better off not charging the Volt and driving on gasoline if you live in the dark blue areas.

    The problem with these studies is they don’t take everything into account.

    Spillage and the massive greenhouse effect of water vapor, for examples. Modern ICE with catalysts are very clean except for the evaporative (fillups, not emission control for evaporative) and water production from the burning process.

    Plus leakage on the roads due to oil seal aging. All this road waste gets washed into the water shed.

    It’s not only air pollution, it’s all pollution.

    /personally, I have a CARB certified lawn mower as well. These small gas engines are terrible for pollution control.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (12:12 pm)

    Noel Park: #23

    Ships are filthy.Deal with it!They have gotten away with it this long because they are owned by offshore corporations and sail under flags of convenience.The US EPA, for example, has zero power to regulate them.And they have a LOT more political juice than us individual car owners, even if we were stupid enough to not realize our own enlightened self interests and fight pollution controls.

    I don’t buy that. I simply don’t. Are you telling me these different U.S. ports have no control over which ships they allow to dock and which ones they don’t? B.S. Are you telling me the U.S. govt cant regulate which ships come into their waters? Again, and for the last time cause I am sure I am boring you all with this, either the 16 ships pollute as much as all the cars in the world is B.S. or we’ve been sold a load of crap with the EPA jumping on our cars. An alternative is that cars are NOW so clean that we need no further EPA progress on car pollution.


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    kForceZero

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (12:13 pm)

    Though the numbers suggested by this study seem decent, I would think they would be even better than that, and I would question how this study was conducted. In particular:

    - As some have pointed out in the forums, it takes electricity to refine gas, was this included in the calculations for the comparison to a gas car? Just by this fact alone it’s possible that gas cars are always dirtier than electric regardless how efficiently they actually burn the gasoline – even if they’re 1000mpg it wouldn’t be able to break even. The only possible way this could be mitigated is if gas is refined in an area with very clean electricity and used in an area with dirty electricity, but then you’d have to factor the costs of transporting it there as well.

    - How were the emmisions associated with charging an EV calculated? Was it done using typical charging scenarios or just blindly divided the amount of carbon emitted by the number of KWHs generated? Since most people would charge only at night they’d be using excess power that emits carbon anyway, so the net effect of charging on emissions would be effectively zero. Maybe once there’s millions of EVs on the road it may start having an effect on emissions as power plants start to ramp up their fuel consumption or more plants would be built. But the already existing capacity for night charging is huge. This fact alone would also make gas cars impossible to compete on the emissions front with EVs, at least for many many years, if not decades. Charging during the day is going to be much less common so that the impact on emissions is likely to be negligible and then there’s the potential of charging from solar power as well.

    The study does at least show that even the dirtiest forms of electricity are still cleaner that most ICEs because it’s much more efficient to burn fuel in a large plants than in the much smaller ICEs (the theoretical Carnot heat engine efficiency goes up a lot with the size of the engine). But the factors I mentioned above can’t be ignored as they make a big difference on the results.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (12:18 pm)

    Go Volt!!

    It’s amazing people have such little common sense that we actually need studies like this. Forget the cost, forget even if it’s a little bit cleaner or a lot cleaner. I would love to jog down a busy street and know every car that passes me isn’t spewing possible cancer into my lungs. Someone on here made a statement once that I’ll never forget. If you don’t think gas powered cars are deadly and toxic stick your kid in one and close the garage door.


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    George

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (12:25 pm)

    The study left out how much emissions are let out to create the gasoline that is used in the cars. Otherwise its an unfair study.

    Someone on another post said it takes 25kW of electrical to create one gallon of gasoline (not sure how true that is). So if that gallon is being produced with coal generated power, it become immensely more polluting than that same amount of energy in an EV.

    Come, lets really level the playing field here!


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (12:41 pm)

    MDDave: So, if the reason you drive a Volt is because you want to reduce greenhouse gases, you would be better off not charging the Volt and driving on gasoline if you live in the dark blue areas.

    If you want to see how clean your power is, put your zip code in here.

    http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-and-you/how-clean.html


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (12:41 pm)

    Let’s focus on the title of the chart: “Nearly half of Americans live in BEST regions where charging an EV on the electricity grid emits LESS global warming pollution than driving even the BEST hybrids.”

    Focus closer: “…than driving even the BEST hybrids.

    Notice that the chart was not comparing “ANY” hybrid… It compares the advantage against “even the BEST hybrids.

    “You know who” claims Toyota has the best hybrids.
    Here is yet another report that supports choosing the Chevrolet VOLT is a better decision.


  39. 39
    James

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (1:17 pm)

    kdawg:
    If you surf the Web for other write-ups on the study, you will also see some reports cuing in on the finding that the most efficient gasoline-powered vehicles may be environmentally cleaner than EVs recharging in regions relying on some coal-powered plants.
    ————————

    I would like to know how far down the rabbit hole they went when evaluating gasoline production.Did they just look at the refineries?What about trucking gas to the stations, the oil pumping stations, oil rigs, cargo ships, the spill cleanup efforts, the war efforts to keep oil flowing, etc. ?We pay a lot of taxes to keep gasoline cheap at the pump.I think a lot of the wasted energy for gasoline production is being hidden along with the wasted tax $.

    Exactly. Give me ONE study that conveys the cost of just ONE wounded or maimed soldier or the loss of just one life.

    Oil is placed in tankers, trucked long distances, transferred to pipelines and storage facilities, stored and redistributed. This is not to mention the price of exploration and digging new wells from hundreds of feet under the ocean to freezing northern locations. How much fuel do the helicopters, personnel transport ships and support vehicles use? Just the sheer cost of fuel spent on military vehicles on land, air and sea in one day in zones crucial to securing shipment of foreign crude would boggle the mind of the most CONCERNED SCIENTIST!

    Electricity, no matter how centrally produced, is cleanly transported through transmission lines and is MADE IN AMERICA / CANADA. Fueling at home is just plain handy and getting handier all the time ( inductive charging, quick charging ). Even my friends who make their own bio-fuel are dependent upon local restaurants for used cooking oil – the supply dries up ( supply/demand ), and they still have to transport it and consume energy producing it from components that also required energy to produce and distribute. Their vehicles are still emitting pollutants. Who calculates THIS?

    So take these studies for what they are – HIGHLY inaccurate mumbo jumbo some analysts need to show other humans they seem to know what they are doing.

    CHEVY RUNS DEEP — GAS AINT CHEAP! ,

    James


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (1:31 pm)

    Loboc:
    /personally, I have a CARB certified lawn mower as well. These small gas engines are terrible for pollution control.

    I don’t have a Volt yet, but I am ahead of you with my lawn mower and trimmer. Both are electric(only a few pennies of electricity per use), generate much less noise, and are much cleaner and cooler when I am done. I plan to add LED headlights to my mower so I can cut the grass at night when it is cooler (the low noise doesn’t bother the neighbors).

    Raymond


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (2:45 pm)

    ronr64: We are being unnecessarily bothered with pollution control on our vehicles as there are 10,000′s of container/cargo ships and even bringing the pollution to zero on cars wouldn’t amount to even a rounding error compared to the ships of the world.

    The numbers aren’t wrong. You can do a search to confirm this. (I’m not exactly sure why you keep arguing with the numbers without doing the search. Again I’d give you a few but then the filter would wipe out my post).

    Two big factors are that people don’t live next to pollution spewing super tankers and maritime shipping generally gets a pass, mostly, as Noel has pointed out, for historical and political reasons.

    But you’re right that something could be done. In fact it’s starting to happen. In ports like Long Beach cargo ships are now being required to run on electricity when within a certain distance of the port.

    You’re also right about pollution from small gas engine used in lawn and garden equipment. Where I live pollution goes up on the weekends as everybody fires these things up.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (2:49 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: “You know who” claims Toyota has the best hybrids.

    Speaking of “you know who,” guess who lives in Minnesota? Guess where that falls on the above map? ;-)

    Seriously, he may actually be right on which car is most green where he lives, but that’s nothing to be proud of. Of course, the Volt’s comparative fun factor is ‘off the map’ altogether. :-)


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    Eisemann-Theater

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (2:50 pm)

    This study is flawed fundamentally.

    The main issue I have is it takes 35KW to make one gallon of gasoline. So this sudy does not even take into account that gas takes electricity to produce, takes gas to move it to location etc.

    It’s called the refining process.

    So they are just taking raw gas coming out of tail pipes not what it takes to produce gas.

    When you make electricity you have a final product.

    So this study I feel is flawed. Even in the coal areas the EV will still do far better. There are new clean coal technologies as well being developed. This study is way too simplistic. The environmental impact of making gas is just as important as burning it.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (2:53 pm)

    Bonaire: In terms of emissions – I’ve also read that a typical oceanic cargo ship, with it’s 1-million hp engine(s) uses as much oil as 50 million (does sound high) cars during its trip across the ocean.

    ronr64: If that is true then why do we bother with cars at all? Seriously. There are only 2 choices here. A. your numbers are wrong. B. We are being unnecessarily bothered with pollution control on our vehicles as there are 10,000′s of container/cargo ships and even bringing the pollution to zero on cars wouldn’t amount to even a rounding error compared to the ships of the world.

    1) Cars drive and idle – where we and our kids stand and breath,

    2) In Southern California the AQMD has done about all it can with vehicle pollution. Cars with advanced cat converters, then trucks at the ports with cleaner diesels, now transporters at the ports running electric and ships in port using electric for housekeeping functions instead of burning bunker fuel, and even cleaner tug boats.

    Ships out to sea beyond the ports are the next frontier, any suggestions?


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (2:54 pm)

    Perspective is a good way to illustrate realities.

    For instance, in the name of perspective I calculate to the nearest feasible amount of energy consumed if I rode my bicycle 7 miles roundtrip to Whole Foods Market powering myself entirely with sustainably produced organic energy bars that were transported by natural gas or biofueled hybrid trucks…If I only purchased foods that were sustainably grown and responsibly transported and stored….I returned home to mow my lawn with a push mower and hand shears – Would I then use more energy than if I drove a Volt 2 miles to my nearest chainstore supershop and bought groceries conventionally processed. then return to mow with my electric mower?

    If a gas car owner consolidates trips, rides a bike or telecommutes they can just use common sense to reduce their carbon footprint and consume far less energy. My Carribbean wife turns the heat up to 85 most days when she could just wear a sweater. Common sense by far trumps expensive, ambiguous studies. In the end, while every little bit helps, sadly all my push mowing and bike riding for one year may possibly offset the pollution and energy waste one oil tanker imposes upon us by travelling ONE FOOT!*

    Global warming studies pile up for years and folks on each side use their “irrefutable results” to batter each other for our indisputable benefit… Perhaps a study should be immediately commenced to calculate the cost of indefinate studies!

    S.O.C.C.C.O.S.O.C.S. : Society Of Concerned Citizens Concerned Over Societies Of Concerned Scientists

    RECHARGE!,

    James

    *or one lawn job by my neighbor’s gas tools


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (2:55 pm)

    Eisemann-Theater:
    This study is flawed fundamentally.

    The main issue I have is it takes 35KW to make one gallon of gasoline.So this sudy does not even take into account that gas takes electricity to produce, takes gas to move it to location etc.

    It’s called the refining process.

    So they are just taking raw gas coming out of tail pipes not what it takes to produce gas.

    When you make electricity you have a final product.

    So this study I feel is flawed.Even in the coal areas the EV will still do far better.

    Seems like if this was not a well to wheels study, one would be necessary.

    Jackson: Seriously, he may actually be right on which car is most green where he lives, but that’s nothing to be proud of. Of course, the Volt’s comparative fun factor is ‘off the map’ altogether.

    …perhaps, if you don’t count the energy of refining and delivering gasoline to retail.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (3:03 pm)

    Engines in ocean-going vessels are inherently more efficient due to their great size. A cylinder you can actually stand up inside of, in a 3-story-high engine, can burn even bunker fuel more completely than any automobile engine. The problem comes with the amount of fuel needed to overcome hydrodynamic friction to move that kind of mass; in the “Captain’s talk” on more than one cruise ship, I’ve heard mileage given as 3 – 5 gallons per foot. This makes any emissions a major problem in ports, where many vessels are operating in relatively close quarters.

    Perhaps the best mitigation would be lowering friction through improvements in hull design.

    Of course, none of this addresses the emissions caused by bunker fuel contaminants, especially sulfur; and an engine which burns the fuel is a decision based mainly on economics; the cheaper the fuel, the less imported items cost.

    Speaking of ocean-going transport, America may actually be on the cusp of becoming an energy exporter again; for good or ill:

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2012/0419/Natural-gas-Should-America-export-its-surplus


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (3:14 pm)

    ronr64,

    A recent online article stated that ships with bottom of the barrel bunker fuel, which has the consistency of asphalt, would be like burning roofing tar for propulsion that equates to the pollutant output of 50 million modern cars.

    DonC: The numbers aren’t wrong. You can do a search to confirm this. (I’m not exactly sure why you keep arguing with the numbers without doing the search. Again I’d give you a few but then the filter would wipe out my post).

    This isn’t correct. The statement was written as; as much fuel was burned as 50 million cars, and it should have been stated as; as much pollutants produced as 50 million cars.


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    flmark

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (3:41 pm)

    I am glad gasoline powered grass servitude equipment was brought up for their emissions. And the awful noise too. Stinky gas in the garage…and then beyond gas…the fertilizer…the watering. We haven’t had decent rain in months in SW FL. But my grass is green and carefree. I will plug (no pun intended) my fake grass every time it strays near topic.
    http://www.foreverlawn.com/select.html
    And speaking of oceans (well ships was as close as we got), don’t forget that it is fertilizer runoff that is creating dead zones in the waters off our coasts…and I have read that for the Chesapeake Bay watershed, it is mostly RESIDENTIAL runoff that they believe is the problem.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (3:55 pm)

    I read that one cruise ship’s exhaust pollution entering Seattle’s Elliott Bay is equal to the toxic emissions of 200.000 cars per day on our major arterial – Interstate 5. No matter the accuracy, it seems ships are extremely dirty.

    Boeing and other aircraft companies are working on hybrid planes which incorporate electric wheel motors for taxiing on the tarmac. Is anyone working on electric harbor motors for entrance to ports?

    The current Secretary of the Navy is pushing for a biofuel class of ships under development and biofuel Hornet fighter planes.

    RECHARGE!,

    James


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (4:07 pm)

    ronr64: I don’t buy that. I simply don’t. Are you telling me these different U.S. ports have no control over which ships they allow to dock and which ones they don’t? B.S. Are you telling me the U.S. govt cant regulate which ships come into their waters?

    #33

    That is exactly what I am telling you. You may debate whether the operative word should be “can’t” or “won’t”, but that is their excuse for letting them continue on their merry way. I lived in San Pedro, CA for almost 40 years. It is one of the most polluted communities in the most polluted air basin in the US. I fought this issue every day for over 10 years, and I know whereof I speak. Run a Google search on me and it will confirm same.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (4:12 pm)

    James: Just the sheer cost of fuel spent on military vehicles on land, air and sea in one day in zones crucial to securing shipment of foreign crude would boggle the mind of the most CONCERNED SCIENTIST!

    #39

    If memory serves, I heard the other day the the US military is the largest consumer of fuel in the US, using $17 BILLION worth last year. +1


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (4:13 pm)

    flmark: I am glad gasoline powered grass servitude equipment was brought up for their emissions. And the awful noise too. Stinky gas in the garage…and then beyond gas…the fertilizer…the watering. We haven’t had decent rain in months in SW FL. But my grass is green and carefree. I will plug (no pun intended) my fake grass every time it strays near topic.
    http://www.foreverlawn.com/select.html

    This stuff probably makes more sense in places that have water-rationing. Not a problem in Michigan. If you replace it every 10 years, seems like it’s not the best solution though, since its not bio-degradeable, correct? What about a rock lawn? I have some relatives in El Paso, and that’s what they do.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (4:17 pm)

    jeffhre: Ships out to sea beyond the ports are the next frontier, any suggestions?

    Giant sails! (j/k, sort of)

    Seriously, what about nuclear power? We already have nuclear subs.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (4:20 pm)

    DonC: But you’re right that something could be done. In fact it’s starting to happen. In ports like Long Beach cargo ships are now being required to run on electricity when within a certain distance of the port.

    #41

    Well to be precise, SOME of them plug into shore side power while at dock instead of running diesel generators. And the trend is slowly going that way. And they are now required by the dreaded CARB to switch to lower sulfur fuel when within 24 miles or so of the coast. Which means that they are a lot cleaner, but still about 1000 times worse than a 2007 diesel truck, let alone a modern car.

    And most of this is a result of successful litigation by the NRDC, the coalition for Clean Air, and my local homeowners coalition.

    But for the rest of their voyages they burn the same old Bunker C. The stuff is so viscous that they have to run oil fired boilers to heat the tanks up enough so that they can pump the fuel into the injectors.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (4:25 pm)

    jeffhre: Ships out to sea beyond the ports are the next frontier, any suggestions?

    #44

    I’ve heard that modern torpedoes are very effective.

    Seriously, eventually they are going to have to be made to go through the same painful process that cars and now diesel trucks have experienced. Although I have yet to see any level of political will which would give me any confidence that such will take place in my arguably shortened lifetime. Plus, the turnover is unlikely to be very rapid any time soon, as there is currently a glut of container ships due to the global recession.

    Or maybe we could just start buying more stuff that is made here. Sorry, “that was just a dream some of us had” – Joni Mitchell


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (4:32 pm)

    kdawg: Giant sails! (j/k, sort of)

    #54

    Don’t laugh, it’s being seriously experimented with.

    kdawg: Seriously, what about nuclear power? We already have nuclear subs.

    And aircraft carriers. Too expensive for poor civilians IMHO. Plus, they don’t have the political juice to get it licensed. Plus, I wouldn’t trust them with it anyway.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (4:34 pm)

    jeffhre: A recent online article stated that ships with bottom of the barrel bunker fuel, which has the consistency of asphalt,

    #50

    You beat me to it too, LOL. +1


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (4:48 pm)

    kdawg,

    RE: Artificial turf.

    No it is not for everyone, everywhere, even on the same lot.

    If you make the jump to turf, you start with figuring out what to do EVERYWHERE there is grass. Most of my yard is NOT turf. It is beds of plants (drought tolerant as much as possible- we have found the following to be great in this regard: mexican petunia, oleander, jatropha, thai). I have made walkways of pavers and crushed shell. I have a circular driveway now, too. The turf is limited to about 1000 sq ft in the city right of way (where I have little choice but to keep grass, as this is also drainage for the neighborhood) and 400+ sq ft adjacent to the seawall.

    Yes, this stuff is expensive, but it makes the grass a HIGHLIGHT, instead of yard dominator, when used judiciously. At my NY home, I have no turf, but have ripped out all grass in front and very little left in back- for which I use a REEL MOWER for. I would agree that turf has its max benefit where maintaining a lawn is a year round endeavor. But the key, as you imply, is noting that grass is not green and if you can replace it with rocks, plastic, shrubs, walkways, whatever, EVERYONE (especially the fish) benefit. Also, once you whittle down to where grass is a minor contributor to your landscape…and then you embrace turf…all those gasoline grass servitude items in the garage can be put on Craigslist.

    And biodegradable- no- it is made of recycled plastic and it will be recycled again at the end of its 12-15 year life. It’s color will remain green; the end of life scenario involves it starting to look shaggy (split ends). In the land of retirees, where most of my neighbors pay for lawn services, there is definitely an economic case to be made, as they will pay more for lawn care than I will for the lawn…(and no water, fertilizer, chinch bugs, mole crickets, grubs…)

    Face it, the only time a lawn looks GOOD, is when it is COMPLETELY UNIFORM. Our society pays through the nose, in water and chemicals, to prevent just PATCHES from being lost to insects, drought, etc from not being that nice UNIFORM green.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (5:15 pm)

    Noel Park,

    What about CNG powered cargo vessels?


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (5:17 pm)

    I happen to live in an area where 85% of the electrical energy comes from coal. I’ve done the math and there are only a handful of super efficient hybrids that would be less polluting than a Nissan Leaf if charged from the grid. I’ve also done the math when it comes to operating costs. Electricity costs $0.08 per kiloWatt-hour in my area and I would save $800 per year driving a Nissan Leaf compared to a Toyota Prius ($4 per gallon gasoline). In four years I would save enough money to purchase about 1.5 kiloWatts of solar modules. This would cut my carbon emissions drastically and provide free fuel for the life of the solar panels.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (5:39 pm)

    Walked into a Chevy dealership …was very impressed by the cars on display …Cruze etc …then way back the Volt. Talked to a salesperson re Volt and says they have 4 on the lot. Asked him about the Volt fine points ..he gave some simple answers but no clue how to sell the Volt to a buyer .. Just blows my mind that dealers just dont train 1-2 salespersons on Volt. he says he cant drive the Volt to evalaute it. So i gave him the link here and told him to visit.. He said yes but not convincingly … GM has a problem that many dealerships dont have trained salesperson on hand to sell Volt…. :(


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (5:58 pm)

    Tom W: The other reason to lease is the belief that in 3 years there will be better options out there.
    I want to lease, maybe will pull the trigger this summer, but I keep waiting for that 2K price cut.

    I’m glad I am leasing. Besides leaving me free to upgrade to the latest technology in 3 years, it also reduces my financial commitment and my risk of a low residual value.

    But don’t wait too long (I sound like a salesman instead of an engineer!). Depending on what you are driving now, you could rapidly burn up an extra $2K in gasoline while waiting for a lower price.

    My Volt is saving me about $230 in net fuel costs each month. YMMV.


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    Apr 19th, 2012 (6:10 pm)

    Loboc:
    For a lot of commuters, it’s a much simpler equation. How much does it cost per month?

    Take my vehicle for example (a typical one in my area) 2005 Hemi Magnum.
    Using 12,000 miles/year for each, the monthly cost for financing is $275 vs $350 for a Volt. The yearly cost for gasoline @ 16mpg is $3000 (premium fuel). The yearly cost for energy for a Volt is highly variable, but, for my commute (43 miles per day) I’d mostly be on electricity @ 5.7c/kwh or about 70c per charge * 280 or so days ~ $200.
    Magnum:
    Vig $275 * 36 = $9900
    Gas 3000 * 3 = $9000
    Total Magnum = $18900
    Volt:
    Vig $350 * 36 = $12600
    Elec $200*3 = $600
    Total Volt = $13200
    Savings over 3 years = $5700
    Even if I used some gas, say a thankful every 1,000 miles you can take off about $1200 from the savings.
    I don’t know about anybody else, but 4 grand plus is a lot of money to me.

    /The lease down payment is pretty much wiped out by the increased maintenance on the Magnum. 7 quarts per oil change. I have that much equity anyway, so, trading in the Magnum would put me at zero.

    Loboc,
    I have been looking at the lease numbers on a spreadsheet. The 350 /mo DOES NOT include title, doc fee, sales tax or any options over the baseline Volt. for me in AZ it results in the 350/mo going to 414 when i put in title, doc fee and sales tax. If you throw in 2485$ for wheels, red color and premium trim the number goes to 458.

    It may be that you could push for a reduction in the price of the car to get the number back down to 414—ie try to get the added options at no extra cost.

    I have never been a proponent of leasing, but in this case it looks like the way to go. Financing is cheap at 1.3%, they throw in a 2375$ cost reduction and when your done you just give them the car back and don’t have to sell it yourself. Also you only pay sales tax on the monthly loan payments not on the whole car. This drops the cost of the sales tax to 1368$ vs around 4000$ if you purchase.


  65. 65
    Noel Park

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (6:18 pm)

    flmark: Our society pays through the nose, in water and chemicals, to prevent just PATCHES from being lost to insects, drought, etc from not being that nice UNIFORM green.

    #59

    Amen to that. +1 Especially here in the “Cadillac Desert”

    I took out most of my grass and planted California Coastal Sage Scrub plants which require almost no supplemental water except maybe to keep them looking decent in a drought year like this one. It’s different, but I really like the look. And we have a lot more birds.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (6:20 pm)

    kdawg:
    Noel Park,

    What about CNG powered cargo vessels?

    #70

    Or maybe LNG? I would love it, but probably not in my lifetime. Note what I said above about the glut of ships. And Bunker C is the cheapest bottom of the barrel fuel out there.


  67. 67
    George S. Bower

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (6:24 pm)

    kdawg:
    Noel Park,

    What about CNG powered cargo vessels?

    Not sure if LNG cargo ships will use NG as the fuel.

    The whole NG thing is pretty fascinating. It provides the US with energy independence in a huge way and at the same time produces a low cost fuel for plastics and other chemical mfgrs (and steel producers).

    What I think is a fascinating question is: Should we be saving this natural abundance for ourselves??? or should we allow the NG producers to start exporting it?


  68. 68
    CorvetteGuy

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (7:17 pm)

    pat: GM has a problem that many dealerships dont have trained salesperson on hand to sell Volt….

    Chevy Dealers that signed up for the VOLT program were required to have 2 Certified Salespersons, 2 Certified Service Writers, 2 Certified Service Technicians, and 1 Certified Parts Manager.

    On the sales side, (and I can vouch for this cuz it happens every day), there are a lot of salemen who dont give a rats about the VOLT. They are supposed to turn it to one of the Certified guys for presentations. They don’t care because there is little to no profit in the car. The salesman gets little commission for a lot of work. I’ve heard many dealers pay a flat $200 or less to the salesman for doing the deal. Combine that with low availability (for the moment) and then you end up with a salesman like your description.

    It is sad, I agree. Not all salesmen are pros. And not all pros are salesmen.


  69. 69
    CorvetteGuy

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (7:21 pm)

    Jackson: the Volt’s comparative fun factor is ‘off the map’ altogether.

    The “Fun Factor” map just has a big X on Southern California !!!! ;)


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    Raymondjram

     

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    Apr 19th, 2012 (8:10 pm)

    flmark,

    I have a lawn that isn’t picture perfect (and kept trim with electric mower and trimmer – see post #40), but it gives me plenty of natural oxygen. I also have four different trees that generate plenty more oxygen. One of the trees is a lemon tree that started from a seed, so I get free refreshment (lemonade)!

    Anyway, my grass and trees will compensate for the carbon dioxide that my family and my two GM vehicles generate every day, and still compensate for a few of my neighbors who have covered most of their lawns with concrete, and have other vehicles that generate more pollutants than my vehicles. This is my present contribution to keep my air clean.

    I will never replace my natural grass and trees for artificial turf to avoid maintenance, which isn’t that bad and which itself is clean (my neighbors still use gas mowers and trimmers). I am still waiting for my Volt to take the next step to keep my air clean.

    Raymond


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    Koz

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    Apr 20th, 2012 (12:54 am)

    CorvetteGuy: Chevy Dealers that signed up for the VOLT program were required to have 2 Certified Salespersons, 2 Certified Service Writers, 2 Certified Service Technicians, and 1 Certified Parts Manager.

    On the sales side, (and I can vouch for this cuz it happens every day), there are a lot of salemen who dont give a rats about the VOLT. They are supposed to turn it to one of the Certified guys for presentations. They don’t care because there is little to no profit in the car. The salesman gets little commission for a lot of work. I’ve heard many dealers pay a flat $200 or less to the salesman for doing the deal. Combine that with low availability (for the moment) and then you end up with a salesman like your description.

    It is sad, I agree. Not all salesmen are pros. And not all pros are salesmen.

    That doesn’t sound like a salesman problem to me. Rather, that is a dealership and GM problem. If either really want to sell Volts then they would support on par compensation for Volt sales. GM could can all of their commercial marketing and redirect those funds to salespeople spiff programs. Dealers and GM could and should realize that 70% of Volt sales are conquest sales which have a value beyond the per car margin. This goodwill benefit should be shared with the floor salespeople in the form of value to them, aka compensation.

    I am sure that selling Volts is far more rewarding than selling traditional Chevies and most salespeople would prefer selling them for the same or similar compensation as other cars but not noticeably less as they have families to feed.


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    Koz

     

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    Apr 20th, 2012 (1:00 am)

    kdawg:
    Noel Park,

    What about CNG powered cargo vessels?

    Would probably need to be LNG for tans oceanic but that’s a wag.


  73. 73
    Koz

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    Apr 20th, 2012 (1:10 am)

    jeffhre:
    ronr64,

    A recent online article stated that ships with bottom of the barrel bunker fuel, which has the consistency of asphalt, would be like burning roofing tar for propulsion that equates to the pollutant output of 50 million modern cars.

    This isn’t correct. The statement was written as; as much fuel was burned as 50 million cars, and it should have been stated as;as much pollutants produced as 50 million cars.

    Those types of statements must come with more detail or be taken with a large grain of salt. No doubt they are very “dirty” but 50 million cars doing what? All pollutants or just sulfur? Gas cars or diesel? Prius or Hummer?


  74. 74
    Truman2012

     

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    May 4th, 2012 (12:52 am)

    testing, testing, 1, 2, 3


  75. 75
    truman2012

     

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    May 4th, 2012 (12:53 am)

    Hmm, is there a cache for Gravatars here ?


  76. 76
    Truman

     

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    May 4th, 2012 (12:54 am)

    This is getting annoying…


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    Truman

     

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    May 4th, 2012 (1:23 am)

    This should do it…