The Environmental Benefits of Electric Hybrids
By EV World
On Wednesday of this week, the National Petroleum Council issues a somber, 442-page report entitled "Facing the Hard Truths about Energy" which in not overly optimistic tones warned that the world faces serious energy challenges costing trillions of dollars. Although they reassured everyone that the world of 2030 would still be largely dependent (addicted?) to oil, gas and coal, the supply of said fossil fuels would become increasingly problematic for many very real reasons. (See: Oil Gap: NPC's 'Hard Truths'.)
Then on Thursday, the Electric Power Research Institute, otherwise known as EPRI and the Natural Resources Defense Council, otherwise known as the NRDC, held their own press conference to announce that plug-in electric hybrids could, by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 82.5 million cars and trucks off the road, while dramatically reducing the need for the oil that NPC says will be harder to get to and more expensive to buy.
The EPRI/NDRC report, entitled Environmental Assessment of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles. The two-part study examines the environmental and air quality impact of various levels of market penetration of electric hybrids in 2030, as well as out to 2050. Since these electric-dominate hybrids would utilize power from a grid that relies strongly on coal fired generation, the question of their overall environmental impact is important since no one want's to trade oil dependence for accelerated global warming and acid rain.
The study found at in 2010, the first year electric hybrids are envisioned entering the marketplace, current coal technologies result in 28% to 34% lower GHG emissions compared to the conventional vehicle and 1% to 11% higher GHG emissions compared to the hybrid electric vehicle.
And while this is encouraging, the shift away from carbon-intensive fuels to carbon neutral, including solar and wind (nuclear isn't entirely carbon neutral because of the amounts of cement need to build plants and the energy expended to refine lower and lower grades of uranium).
EV World was invited to eavesdrop on the press conference and we thought it would be valuable for our "listeners" to hear what was said and by whom. You can listen using either of the two MP3 players above or by downloading the file to your computer for playback on your favorite MP3 device.