Electric Vehicless – CO2 from Electricity vs Gasoline
If I drive a plug-in electric vehicle, am I not just changing greenhouse gas made from fossil fuel, for greenhouse gas made during electricity production?
The simple answer is yes, but a whole lot LESS greenhouse gas. And if you use a local renewable source for your electricity, such as solar PV panels on the garage roof, then the greenhouse gas production virtually disappears.
But, let’s say you plug-in your vehicle to the local utility grid. What’s the difference in GHG production? We can start with the production of carbon dioxide from gasoline. One gallon of gasoline produces 18 pounds of carbon dioxide when consumed in your vehicle.
Electric Plug-in Vehicles such as the Oscar will use 6 kwh of electricity per 100 km (60 miles) of travel. In the USA, the average pounds of carbon dioxide produced per kwh of power is 1.34 pounds. In Canada, which has access to much more hyrdo (water) power, the average is 0.099 pounds per kwh.
Thus using the USA average, driving the Oscar electric plugin car for 60 miles, would produce 8 pounds of carbon dioxide.
If your car were to get 30 miles to the gallon, it would produce 2 x 18 = 36 pounds of CO2. Even if your fuel efficient Hybrid gets 60 miles to the gallon, you are still producing 18 pounds of CO2 versus 8 pounds for the plug-in vehicle. In Canada, the plug-in vehicle would produce only 0.6 pounds of CO2.
Want to know how each state compares in their production of carbon dioxide per kwh? Here’s a PDF document produced by the US Government, Energy Information Administration – Greenhouse Gas Program.
Here’s a TABLE of GHG produced per kwh for each State and Province
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