Someone asked today at The Oil Drum about the primary reasons one would favor electric cars over the internal combustion engine (ICE). I responded
Yes. To me there are two big incentives. One is that electric motors are much more efficient than the ICE. Second is that electricity can come from such a large diversity of sources. Yes, it’s coal now. It can increasingly be solar, biomass gasification, nuclear, wind, geothermal, etc. There just aren’t too many liquid options, and different liquid fuels may require different engines.
But I decided to double-check the efficiency numbers, and came across the following link:
Now you know a love a good debunking, so I had a read. It’s a bit dated, but the information was still worthwhile. I ran across Table 4, shown below, which I thought was quite interesting:
|EVs & Power Plants||ICE & Fuel Refining|
|Processing||39% (Electricity Generation)||92% (Refining)|
Table 4. Operating Efficiency Comparison Between EVs and ICE Vehicles
The bottom line is more or less what I expected, but the vehicle efficiency at 88% is higher than I would have guessed. Anyone with experience in that area? If the efficiency is correct (also note Tables 3 and 5), that provides a compelling argument for electric transport. Now we just need to get those darn batteries sorted. (The plug-in Prius is only going to be able to go 7 miles on battery power).