If “Emissions” Actually Mattered . . . by Eric Peters

Hybrid electric-gas cars make some economic and environmental cars sense. Pure electric cars do not. Guess which ones are being phased out? From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

The only electric cars that make sense are being phased out in favor of those that don’t.

Hybrids are electric cars without the electric car’s gimps – or costs. They can run without burning gas – but when you run out of electricity, you don’t have to wait for a charge to get going again  . . . because hybrids carry around their own chargers.

They do have batteries – but they’re smaller and so cost less.

And because they’re used less – hybrids alternate between gas and electric power for propulsion – they last longer. And even if an aging hybrid’s batteries do wear out and won’t hold any charge, you’ll still have more range than a new electric car with a new battery pack.

They also emit less – more on that below.

Naturally, they’ve got to go.

Well, some of them.

GM and VW just announced they are abandoning the practical, functional, economical and environmental in favor of the not. Henceforth, they will “focus” on electric cars exclusively.

“Our strong preference is to go all-in where the market is heading,” VW CEO  Scott Keogh told The Wall Street Journal.

Except the market isn’t heading there. The mandates are – but that’s a very different thing.

Hybrids are falling out of favor because . . . well, because they’re sensible. That’s not said, of course. The stated complaint is that they still burn gas, damn them. But very little gas. And very little in the way of emissions, too – since the gas engine in a hybrid is generally about 30 percent smaller than in an otherwise similar non-hybrid vehicle and so burns significantly less gas even when it is running.

It’s also not running at all much of the time – and burning no gas.

Mix the two and you get almost zero emissions.

But not quite zero – and that isn’t good enough for the zealots in charge of the regulatory apparat which spews the increasingly unhinged mandates that have created the “market” for impractical, expensive, inefficient and environmentally offensive purely electric cars.

Which are the only cars that meet the arbitrary “zero emissions” at the tailpiperegulatory standard – even though they probably produce more of some emissions in the aggregate than hybrids. Carbon dioxide emissions, interestingly enough.

Because electric cars are high-performance cars. They need big, energy-sucking batteries and motors to deliver Ludicrous Speed.

Hybrids, in contrast, are designed for economy. Which is another way of saying efficiency.

High-performance (an indulgence) takes a back seat to high mileage and by dint of that, hybrid emissions are extremely low  . . . because a smaller engine that isn’t designed to produce a lot of power doesn’t burn much gas.

If it doesn’t burn much gas, it doesn’t producemuch gas.

The archetypical hybrid –  Toyota’s Prius –  isn’t quick. It takes about 10 seconds to get from zero to 60 – but it averages 54 MPG. Everything about the car’s design – not just its drivetrain – is focused on maximizing efficiency – which by default reduces the output of all combustion byproducts – including carbon dioxide. The gas which is supposedly (but not actually) going to kill us all within the next 10 years or so.

Or at least, drown some of us.

The Prius doesn’t deliver Ludicrous Speed, so it doesn’t need a high-performance battery pack. Its smaller battery pack and smaller electric motor use less electricity – and most of that is generated “locally” by the highly efficient and nearly “zero emissions” gas engine.

Which only runs some of the time and never burns coal – or fuel oil.

All-electric cars like Teslas burn both – and excessively.

It’s necessary – if you want Ludicrous Speed.

High-performance requires bigger batteries, stronger electric motors – and these require more electricity.

Which is produced largely by coal, oil and natural gas utilities – emitting carbon dioxide in the process . . . more carbon dioxide than if the cars drawing the electricity from the grid weren’t energy hogs.

The typical EV has more in common with a ’60s muscle car than any modern economy car. The main difference is political. It is outre to burn gas – even in very small quantities that results in the production of extremely low – essentially nonexistent – emissions, including carbon dioxide emissions.

But it’s ok to drive a current-sucking EV because it doesn’t emit any gas . . . directly.

Even though more gas (C02) is produced – remotely – by the burning of coal, oil and natural gas to feed the high-performance EV’s high-performance batteries.

EVs are popular with the affluent – who want to signal their virtue – but not if it means driving something like an ungainly and far-from-speedy Prius. A Tesla is sexy and speedy. It blows Corvettes away – and goes over well with their friends who drive BMWs and Porsches, also soon to be electrified.

But their emissions aren’t zero.

And unlike hybrids, they make as much sense for most people – who need to think about things like cost and range and recharge times – as driving around the block to cross the street.

It’d be funny if it weren’t so sad.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.