Can Electric Cars Solve Our Emissions Problem? | Consumer Reports

Transportation is the leading cause of climate pollution in America, increasingly costing Americans their health and finances. Consumer Reports hosted a panel at the Washington D.C. Auto Show to talk about how electric cars can help make change.

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41 Comments on "Can Electric Cars Solve Our Emissions Problem? | Consumer Reports"

  1. 🤔Well instead of using bigger batteries how about a whole bunch of smaller like as an example your LED bulbs as a whole bunch of small little bulbs but you’re old-fashioned lights have one big bulb and the LED ones have proven to be cheaper and more energy efficient and can last longer and I’m pretty sure not all batteries are going to go bad at the same time so if you can make it where you can replace one cell that goes bad versus having to replace the whole thing that would be cheaper than replacing the whole thing😉

    • Howard Bampton | February 27, 2020 at 4:03 PM | Reply

      This is what Tesla (and I suspect everyone else) is doing- lots and lots of cells ganged together in parallel and series. The Tesla Model 3 has ~4400, and an S or X has ~7100. One can replace the bad cell in theory. In practice, it is labor intensive as you have to remove the battery pack from the car, and then take the pack apart to find the bad cell(s). A hobbist could certainly do it. The labor charges are high enough that, like just about everything else electronic these days, replacement of the whole pack is cheaper. Put another way- try finding one bad grain of rice in a bag of rice- you could do so, but in practice just about everyone will buy a new bag.

    • 🤔Also solar panels would be a good idea 😉

    • Howard Bampton | February 27, 2020 at 4:31 PM | Reply

      @Chris Flair In a lot of locales it will require clue-by-fouring the local gov’t (even the left types) and HOAs (home owners association). Where I used to live, you had to get HOA buy in to make changes to your home (as in you had to get their blessing to paint a different color, repave the driveway, install hurricane shutters, change the landscaping, put up or take down fencing, …)- solar is going to be just as bad (in DC, they are rejecting solar in historic districts on aesthetic grounds, and DC is most certainly a locale where solar should be politically acceptable to install). Where I live now, to avoid shading, I’d have to chop down my trees (~20), the ones in my neighbor’s yards (~5), and the ones on the other side of the street (~10). You can and should build new homes with solar in mind, but a lot of the housing stock has a roof line that is not well suited to solar even if there isn’t a political roadblock. Industrial level solar is likely to be more feasible in a lot of cases as you can simply replace some marginal fields with solar farms (other than the NIMBY types).

    • @Howard Bampton 🤔good point buddy but they can still equipped vehicles with solar at the same time battery’s so let’s say you go to the grocery store a lot of grocery stores don’t have a lot of trees around them your car can be charging at the same time your shopping and while you’re driving it can charge so that way you have battery’s but at the same time you have an option to also have your solar power and can switch back and forth so say you are wanting to travel you can also use the solar power to travel are things like that 🤔

    • example lithium batteries when you charge them up they will keep their charge until you use them they can equip solar power with something similar to that that way will you’re driving or at a grocery store or something like that keep charging until it has a full charge keep its charge and when you switch to the solar power it will still stay charged until you use it using similar technology to lithium batteries

  2. Only if there was something that humans could actually to stop this “climate” crisis.

  3. I’ve been hearing that personal vehicles actually make a small amount of total CO2…..but it’s heavy industry that does the real polluting. Trucking…shipping….construction…aviation etc.

    • Christopher Peppey | February 27, 2020 at 10:55 PM | Reply

      @Darksyne fox news is bad for you brain

    • @Darksyne The five largest cargo ships in the world carry hundreds of thousands of tons of cargo in one trip. Your car just carries you. If you calculate pollution based on “miles traveled x tons transported”, cruise ships come out way cleaner than your car.

    • @Antenox still doesn’t mean those ships shouldn’t be un-regulated. I’m sure there are ways to have anti-pollution devices on those ships without sacrificing anything.
      That’s like saying it’s ok to burn coal because it provides millions of people with power, despite there are plenty of cleaner options out there.

    • @Darksyne You’re right, but blaming the ships and doing nothing about cars which OBJECTIVELY produce more emissions is dishonest.

      You solve problems fastest by identifying the inefficiencies. Cars are the biggest problem because they are ridiculously inefficient. Not cargo ships. Cargo ships are already relatively efficient.

    • @Antenox don’t worry about the ships, they need to make money, they don’t need regulation to try to be efficient, they have to be as efficient as possible to reduce fuel cost and fuel weight, a weight that they could be using for making money

      the bad news is that they are not regulated for NOx emissions and particulates, those have another impact on top of CO2, they cause cancer … cars have catalytic converters and urea injection (DPF fluid) for that reason

      the reason NOx form is that all chemical bonds break at around 500 to 600°c (around top dead center for a piston engine) and when the mixture starts cooling down what was N2 representing more than 2/3 of the atoms in the mix forms a bond with oxygen because thry both have two available position to become stable

      a good way to avoid it is to have a cold combustion, at around 400-450 degrees, and to do that you need the next gen intercoolers

      what is disappointing thou is that you cant avoid it for turbines, they need to run hot to be efficient, there is no way around it, you can increase their power and efficiency with intercooling, but you can’t avoid the emissions

  4. Robert Montgomery | February 27, 2020 at 3:59 PM | Reply

    The answer is no

  5. The future is electric. Electric vehicles are just better.
    No noise, no emissions, less fuel costs, less maintenance costs.
    Legacy auto makers need to go all in on electric vehicles and stop dragging their feet.
    Every new bus purchased from 2020 forward should be all electric.
    The public should not be paying for old polluting technology diesel buses.

    • gpaull2 Wrong. First of all, batteries don’t have to be replaced for at least two decades. There are 8-year-old Model S’s that have more than 90% of their original range, and there are 25-year-old Priuses with batteries that are still fully functional.

      Second of all, your links don’t support your claim in any way. In fact, your first link specifically says that EVs produce only 3.8 tons more CO2 to manufacture than ICEs. The problem for you is that ICEs emit 4.6 tons of CO2 **per year** (https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/greenhouse-gas-emissions-typical-passenger-vehicle). So you need to redo your calculations or provide new sources.

    • Antenox – The link doesn’t give any details on what they consider a “typical” passenger car to be, or how many miles per year they consider “typical”. There is no way to know if apples to apples are being considered. Anyone can find a random fact somewhere to back up anything they want. Find an article that looks at the whole subject all at once. And good luck with your mass produced 25 year old battery. Anybody who’s worked around any type of battery for any length of time knows that is an anomaly. If you can find a way to do that with any kind of consistency you’ll be rich.

    • gpaull2 Yes it does. The link gives details on average MPG (22mpg) and average miles driven per year (11,500 miles per year), which is all you need to calculate tons of CO2 per year. Thanks for proving that you either didn’t actually read the link, or are too stupid to understand what it said because you need that kind of simple data spoonfed to you.

      And it’s funny how you claim “Anybody who’s worked around any type of battery…” when it’s pretty clear that YOU don’t work with any type of EV battery. Not only do EV batteries last for decades, but they can be recycled for multiple uses, including domestic battery storage, which helps them reduce domestic emissions for decades longer.

      BTW, someone DID find a way to “do that with consistency,” and he IS rich. His name is Elon Musk. Maybe you’ve heard of him?

    • Antenox – Elon has made lots of promises about batteries, nothing concrete about the million mile battery last I checked. At the moment lipos and lithium ion are the best we have…and at the moment they can only be repurposed as there is no way to economical recycle them. That will change everything once that is solved.

      Clearly a nerve has been hit since you’ve resorted to name calling. If you truly care about the environment research the whole big picture instead of cherry picking singled out facts and falsehoods. Take care.

    • gpaull2 Like I said, there are Tesla Model S’s with more than 90% of their original range. That’s an 8-year-old battery. There are Tesla ROADSTERS with that much range left, and that’s a 12-year-old car. So show me a concrete example of an EV whose range has fallen off a cliff, or stop spreading false claims about how they won’t last ten years.

      I haven’t cherry picked OR told any falsehoods. You have. You claimed “It takes 10 years for EVs to balance out the CO2 of their battery,” even though YOUR own evidence combined with the EPA says it’ll take less than one year. How do you reconcile your claim with hard, concrete evidence from third party sources, one of which was your own? The answer is you can’t. So I’m very, very sorry, but evidence says that you’re a liar, or you’re an idiot, or you’re both. Sorry, those are just the only two outcomes if you make incorrect statements based on clear evidence to the contrary. It’s not name-calling when it’s a fact.

  6. So we need more Coal Burners instead of gasoline,I have plenty of Solar on my home and it’s not very efficient.

  7. Benjamin Burkhardt | February 27, 2020 at 7:13 PM | Reply

    We don’t have the infrastructure for everyone to drive an electric vehicle

    • AnalogueKid2112 | February 27, 2020 at 11:35 PM | Reply

      You don’t have electricity at your house?

    • @AnalogueKid2112 Some people live in apartments and others do not have garages, not everyone has access to home charging.

    • @Kamaka Chang You can charge in an apartment if the landlord allows you to install a charger. The ones who use street parking are the only ones who wouldn’t be able to own an EV

  8. Having a 250 year principal engine ( Pistons like James Watt that invented the principal in a Locomotive good example and the the German like Daimler, Benz) our beautiful Gasoline is time for something new even when the principal of electric Cars was invented 1870 and in 1920 we had electric cars already not sophisticated like today but is time to go a new direction the museum is Gasoline engine whatever is the direction Gasoline served use good in the past but is time for Change and yes there will be Challenges but remember in the past same discussion Im actually exited especially like a Engineer especially I’m every time for new progress a part Climate change it is very poor that we are not going in a new direction especially what you like to do in a gasoline engine, more moveable parts, doesn’t make sense just welcome the Battery system and yes in the moment this technology is just 50 % more cleaner then Gasoline ( reason power plant that use Fossil fuel to Material like for Battery’s there is a lot to do before is perfect) but it will be in the future that we can do this in a cleaner way. Yes Battery is a welcome – technology and now that some Government s in the world demanding this it will be definitely done.

  9. emiliorescigno | February 27, 2020 at 9:24 PM | Reply

    I find it interesting that the Advocacy arm of Consumer Reports is pushing for EVs, while in every Talking Cars episode, the presenters gloss over EVs as niche and happily recommend SUVs and other gas guzzlers to those who ask for buying advice.

  10. Christopher Peppey | February 27, 2020 at 11:17 PM | Reply

    Long tail pipe on an electric car, no breathing fumes, less pollution in my lungs (yours too). As the grid gets more renewable (it’s moving that way) EV’s pollute way less. It’s a cleaner way to drive.

  11. 200-300 mile range is still not enough. I can’t go to the international airport and not charge the battery to make it back home. From what I have read, it’s even much less miles if the AC/Heater is running, if the temperatures are low, and just battery losing capacity over time. However, It’s certainly a big improvement thanks to Tesla, but I will still need an ICE vehicle in my house for the actual non commute drives when I buy model 3 used.

  12. Build large Pickups and Vans then I’ll consider buying one.

  13. I am surprised no one ever thinks about electric bicycle… specially if it fits the use case of commuting to work with less than 10 miles which for many in the metro area is.

  14. So long as emissions are not shifted from the tail pipe to smoke stacks of fossil fueled power generation plants. Power generation must be renewable to make the world carbon free.

    • Even fossil fuel power plants are more efficient than ICEs. So even if we all switched to EVs powered with coal, it would still be cleaner than if we kept driving ICEs.

  15. No talk of the electric grid. Electric cars are too expensive for most people. This is where the cost/benefit matters. Until electric cars are cheap and as usable as gas powered cars non of the rest matters.

  16. HEY! Don't Buy That! | February 28, 2020 at 10:41 AM | Reply

    An electric car is not an alternate vehicle. Even low range EVs are ideal daily drivers for the average American. An internal combustion engine vehicle is the alternate, only needed for long trips.

  17. A lot of baby boomer nonsense in such a short video. One example – real car is not the one you use everyday but the one you use from time to time. Still stuck in the 50s thinking.

  18. Older 90s vehicles and even 80s vehicles put alot of pollution in the air. Toyota’s hybrid vehicles…a little bit of both is the way to go. Electric vehicles are gonna get to expensive with all of today’s technology in it. No way.

  19. EVs all the way! Once the public drives an EV they will never go back. No smell, no gas stations, no oil changes, no dealerships (thanks Telsa and Rivian), no fuel bill (10x higher than electricity and 0$ for us solar producers on our roof), no fuel price volatility, soooo quiet, so fast and now sexy designs, SUVs. Affordability, and charging infrastructure are now the remaining challenges for mass adoption.

  20. Bradford Clark | February 29, 2020 at 1:52 AM | Reply

    Quantum entangled DC Batteries is the final stage of battery evolution, battery range is limitless.

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