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No, the Tesla Model S Doesn't Pollute More Than an SUV

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the also-does-not-consume-live-kittens-or-drive-on-water dept.

Transportation 559

thecarchik writes "In an exhaustive 6,500-word article on the financial website Seeking Alpha, analyst Nathan Weiss lays out a case that the latest Tesla Model S actually has higher effective emissions than most large SUVs of both the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and smog-producing pollutants like sulfur dioxide. This is absolutely false. Virtually all electric car advocates agree that when toting up the environmental pros and cons of electric cars, it's only fair to include powerplant emissions. When this has been done previously, the numbers have still favored electric cars. The Union of Concerned Scientists, for example, concluded in a 2012 report (PDF), 'Electric vehicles charged on the power grid have lower global warming emissions than the average gasoline-based vehicle sold today.' Working through every one of Weiss' conclusions may show a higher emissions rate than Tesla's published numbers, but in no way does a Model S pollute the amounts even close to an SUV."

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559 comments

Same as last time (5, Informative)

RustyTheCat (2937655) | about a year ago | (#43877907)

When the Prius first got popular the same thing was said about it. Was soon proved false.

Re:Same as last time (5, Funny)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43877943)

A Prius is so efficient that you can't even feel yourself pressing the gas pedal, unfortunately the speedometer doesn't either.

Re:Same as last time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878121)

It's not really that slow. I'm used to driving 300hp+ sports cars, but the Prius (the 2012 version, at least) still feels reasonably fast to me once PWR mode is enabled.

Re:Same as last time (1, Insightful)

drcheap (1897540) | about a year ago | (#43878135)

...once PWR mode is enabled.

At which point all efficiency goes out the windo...err...tailpipe.

Re:Same as last time (3, Interesting)

arkane1234 (457605) | about a year ago | (#43878197)

Not true. With a good foot, you can have decent fuel economy in PWR mode.
It takes self-training, though. You obviously can't slam your foot down and expect 50 MPG.
That being said, I use ECO normally and PWR when people get stupid and I need to distance myself from mustangs or ricers.

Re:Same as last time (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43878387)

Not true. With a good foot, you can have decent fuel economy in PWR mode.
It takes self-training, though. You obviously can't slam your foot down and expect 50 MPG.
That being said, I use ECO normally and PWR when people get stupid and I need to distance myself from mustangs or ricers.

Driving with a light foot is the same as keeping ECO on... and as shitty as mustangs are your prius isn't distancing away from them unless you just happen to be speeding and they happen to be driving within limit.

What kind of discussion is this anyway, where people try to argue that a Prius with 134 hp combined feels "reasonably fast" when compared to having 300hp?? what the fuck? 130hp is plenty to move normal sedan in traffic outside of autobahns but what the fuck do you have to be sniffing out of the tailpipes to try to compare the experience as equivalent as having over DOUBLE THE HORSEPOWER ? ? ? that's like some fella coming in with a ps3 and saying that "essentially it's as fast as a 3ghz 8 core intel with 16 gigabytes because it doesn't need to run an OS". you'd fucking get laughed at.

and don't even begin with the "but oooh electric motors have so much torque it goes like the wind"
not that the prius has anything to do with this article anyways since very few people are charging their prius's, coal power or not. it's a fuel efficient car which is just fine since most people use it with gas.

(plug in cars would lose all their appeal if their electricity was taxed at the same level as fuel for cars is by the way).

Re:Same as last time (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | about a year ago | (#43878167)

That would be funny, if it were true...
It's an age old joke, but a Prius is actually pretty speedy.

Re:Same as last time (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43878371)

It's not speedy. Maybe it's not as slow as people like to joke but it is not speedy.

Re:Same as last time (1)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43878469)

Perhaps this determination should be left to owners of Priuses, like myself? A Prius is not a sports car, of course, but it outperforms many family sedans with a slushbox.

Re:Same as last time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878417)

I drove one ('04 model) for 8 years. I certainly wouldn't say it's the slowest car on the road, but "speedy" doesn't come to mind. 0 to 60 was something like 11 seconds. I would consider anything under 6 seconds to be speedy. I don't know about the newer model Prii, but I doubt they perform in that range.

The higher torque of the electric motor (compared to a gasoline engine) certainly helps in the first 20 or 30 MPH accelerating from a stop. And it does climb hills well thanks to that torque (until the battery is depleted, on particularly long hills).

Re:Same as last time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878221)

Ironic that the envirowackos constantly whine that the "external" costs of vehicles are calculated, but when someone does it for their precious EVs, they don't want it to happen either.

External Costs for you, but not for me.

Re:Same as last time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878451)

Somebody's reading comprehension is lacking. FTFS: "Virtually all electric car advocates agree that when toting up the environmental pros and cons of electric cars, it's only fair to include powerplant emissions. When this has been done previously, the numbers have still favored electric cars."

Butthurt much? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43877909)

Wow, the amount of skew in that article is truly amazing. You'd almost think that some people have so much invested in the mainstream automobile industry, that they'd say anything to keep their money from going down the drain.

Tesla shorts, not Ford investors. (5, Insightful)

mbkennel (97636) | about a year ago | (#43878073)

Mainstream automobile industry is considered a long-term dead-money play.

Tesla stock was very heavily shorted by hedge funds. They are hurting now. And yes they'd say anything, and pay anybody to say anything to keep their money from going down the drain.

They were convinced 100% that shorting Tesla was a guaranteed win---in significant measure because they really believed their right-wing ideology. They thought that Tesla was a short-term dead-money play.

Remember the mostly slanted NYT article? Why, when everything else has been very positive? Because NYC's the financial capital. Who might be susceptible to pressure or lucre? People in the financial industry or in New York close to the financial industry.

Re:Tesla shorts, not Ford investors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878259)

I went with the argument right to the point where you wrote "...because they really believed their right-wing ideology." - You see these people do not have any ideology. They go after money. Sometimes they lose (usually your money) sometimes they win (usually their own money). Of course they are biased as everybody else is so what is new there?

Re:Tesla shorts, not Ford investors. (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about a year ago | (#43878423)

That was silly by the hedge funds. Tesla has tripled my money so far, and I expect it to do very very well in the next few years.

Kind of a biased group? (0)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about a year ago | (#43877915)

"Virtually all electric car advocates agree that when toting up the environmental pros and cons of electric cars, it's only fair to include powerplant emissions."

It's like they say... Only Nixon could go to China. Regardless of the merits of their arguments, these guys ain't Nixon. Wake me when the electric car skeptics agree.

Re:Kind of a biased group? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43877965)

The issue is in the manufacturing of the batteries, which is very wasteful. The best estimate for the total emissions from manufacturing is probably as a proportion to the price of the vehicle wholesale and the Tesla is expensive to make. You also have to determine how long the vehicle is expected to last. Tesla's batteries will not last that long, so their replacements will have manufacturing emissions too.

Re:Kind of a biased group? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43877983)

Did you read what you quoted? Do you think skeptics would *disagree* that powerplant emissions should be included?

Re:Kind of a biased group? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878029)

Should you also be woken when pro-life advocates agree that a fetus has DNA, or when anti-gun control folks agree that guns go "pow!"?

Re:Kind of a biased group? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878037)

Wake me when the electric car skeptics agree.

Presumably they already do since NOT including power plant emissions would make electric cars look orders of magnitude better.

Re:Kind of a biased group? (3, Insightful)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about a year ago | (#43878039)

"Virtually all electric car advocates agree that when toting up the environmental pros and cons of electric cars, it's only fair to include powerplant emissions."

It's like they say... Only Nixon could go to China. Regardless of the merits of their arguments, these guys ain't Nixon. Wake me when the electric car skeptics agree.

Why on earth would electric car skeptics object to the inclusion of powerplant emissions in the calculation of the total footprint of electric cars???

- Jesper

Re:Kind of a biased group? (3, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43878053)

Regardless of the merits of their arguments ...

Translation: I don't care if they're right or wrong.

Wake me when the electric car skeptics agree.

Wake me when the Flat Earth Society [theflatearthsociety.org] disbands. You're never going to convince the "skeptics", and if by some miracle you did, they wouldn't be skeptics anymore.

Re:Kind of a biased group? (5, Insightful)

norminator (784674) | about a year ago | (#43878059)

You didn't read the last half of that sentence... It's not saying virtually all advocates agree that electric cars are better. It's saying that they all agree that the powerplant emissions should be included. In other words, the advocates all agree that electric cars need to be measured by the more rigid standard, which the skeptics already agree with.

Tesla advertising site now (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43877933)

Can we go a full day without some Tesla promotion "article"?

No one will buy their cars, they are too dear, they are a fashion statement, EV will not work for the masses while battery tech rots within a few years and takes hours to refuel. Get the fuck over it!

Seeking Alpha is Dogshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43877945)

And that's an insult to dogshit. Seriously, that site will host the shittiest analyses you'll ever read. I carries zero (0) weight with anyone who knows anything in the investment community.

Let's compare the two (5, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#43877953)

* Can you power a Tesla Model S with non-polluting renewable energy?
* Can you power a gasoline SUV with non-polluting renewable energy?

One should think about those two questions for a moment before saying that the Tesla pollutes more than an SUV.

Re:Let's compare the two (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878043)

* Can you power a Tesla without a very polluting nickel mine?
* Can you power a gasoline SUV without a very polluting nickel mine?

There is more than greenhouse gases and propulsion energy to consider.

Re:Let's compare the two (2)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#43878085)

You're comparing apples to oranges here. A nickel mine might not be the most environmentally friendly thing in the world, but what about drilling for oil? Is that giant spill in the gulf a couple years ago really better for the environment than mining for nickel?

Re:Let's compare the two (1)

bancho (621456) | about a year ago | (#43878335)

* Can you power a Tesla without a very polluting nickel mine?

Yes. The Tesla model S doesn't use NiMH batteries, so you could power a Tesla without a very polluting nickel mine.

Re:Let's compare the two (1)

commodore73 (967172) | about a year ago | (#43878087)

What about the environmental costs in the production of the car itself? Mining for special metals, shipping between continents, etc. I don't know details about TSLA, but this was one argument against the Prius.

Re:Let's compare the two (0)

commodore73 (967172) | about a year ago | (#43878097)

Remember that we will eventually we will need to dispose of those vehicles as well, which could have some effect on the environment.

Re:Let's compare the two (1)

fritsd (924429) | about a year ago | (#43878273)

That's a bit of a weak argument.. after those special metals have been mined and refined once, after the 20 years or so useful life of the car, they can just be taken out of the car-cass and maybe resmelted a bit. OK if we talk NdFeB supermagnets then you need to remagnetize them somehow after smelting.. I don't actually know how that's done but it probably costs extra electricity (large electromagnet?) unless they use a Niobium-Tin [wikipedia.org] "electromagnet" of course :-)
Remember the three "R" arrows of the recycling symbol are: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle. In that order. And if the magnets haven't been above the Curie temperature (80C?) then maybe they can just be re-used.

Re:Let's compare the two (1)

heteromonomer (698504) | about a year ago | (#43878101)

The answer to both is yes. At least in a few years, for the gas SUV, economically enough. Speaking as someone in the biorenewables industry. So this is not a particularly strong line of argument. For now, the Tesla wins hands down.

Re:Let's compare the two (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878159)

Speaking as someone in the biorenewables industry.

Why is it that people working in the biofuel industry are the most poorly informed when it comes to biofuels? I suppose you think ethanol production is carbon-neutral.

Re:Let's compare the two (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878339)

As opposed to you? Before deciding that someone else has no clue may be you should do your homework and try to find out enough. Nobody has any illusions about bio-ethanol. It was a product of lobbying. There are far better fuels (alkanes) along the way. The challenge is the feedstock. Once the cellulosic feedstocks become viable it will be a break-through. Even if you discount that it will ever happen, there are companies working on algal technologies that don't even need feedstocks.

Re:Let's compare the two (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43878457)

Speaking as someone in the biorenewables industry.

Why is it that people working in the biofuel industry are the most poorly informed when it comes to biofuels? I suppose you think ethanol production is carbon-neutral.

it makes selling the idea easier. nobody likes to say that their work is government sponsored busywork...

now though I think you can buy 1.5 suv's and lifetime of gas for them for the price of a tesla?

Re:Let's compare the two (1)

fritsd (924429) | about a year ago | (#43878317)

I'd imagine you can make bio-diesel out of chips waste oil but I thought that diesel was a different type of engine from a gasoline engine. Could you tell us more about what renewable gasoline substitutes are on the horizon? Ethanol? I thought methanol was bad for engines (too corrosive).

Re:Let's compare the two (0)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#43878487)

* Can you power a gasoline SUV with non-polluting renewable energy?

Yes, I believe you can... How about hooking-up a hydrogen source to the air intake? Very clean exhaust, and hydrogen is renewable.

Re:Let's compare the two (3, Informative)

cplusplus (782679) | about a year ago | (#43878509)

Good point. In my area, you can pay a small surcharge to ensure that all the electricity the power company purchases on your behalf comes from renewable resources like wind, solar, and hydro. I pay said surcharge, so my Model S will be eco-magically-delicious.

Solar panels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43877963)

Some of us electric drivers also take pleasure in using solar panels to charge our (overly expensive) e-vehicles so we can wallow in the pleasure of driving for free ;) Mostly an illusion of course if you factor in the up front investment, but it definitely doesn't produce CO2 and SO2. (apart from the manufacturing)

Re:Solar panels (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43878295)

Some of us electric drivers also take pleasure in using solar panels to charge our (overly expensive) e-vehicles so we can wallow in the pleasure of driving for free ;)

Yea, about how long does it take for those cheap, chincy Chinese solar panels to charge your batteries? 6 months or so?

OK, weak attempts at comedy aside, I actually like the idea of supplementing electric car charging with renewables like solar and wind. Just wish the tech would hurry up and reach a point where it's feasible to operate our vehicles in such a manner (get on it, science bitches!).

Tesla has most-favored stats on /. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43877969)

It's not hard to see who is popular on Slashdot. Is there anything to discuss in this post? No, it is news that, as usual, any criticism of Tesla or Musk is ipso facto wrong because we think they are really cool.

Cue the lame ass energy independence argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43877977)

Its not about greenhouse gas mmmkay. It's about not having to fight wars for oil mmmkay. Paying extra for a shiny toy makes me a patriot mmmkay.

Facts don't deter FUD (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43877985)

Facts don't deter FUD. Glad somebody has, for the two billionth time, debunked the "electric cars cause more pollution than my 3 ton 5 mpg SUV", but it's not going to stop stop the True Believers (True Disbelievers?) from spreading the same old FUD. You'd think they'd be embarrassed by it, but you'd be wrong. I don't get it either.

Re:Facts don't deter FUD (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43878463)

The whole argument is silly anyway. All that matters to most people is how much it costs to operate and expense to purchase. Once you add it all up it's too expensive to operate EVs. I like the idea but the reality is that EVs are still ahead of their time. The expense of battery replacement is a real deal killer too. The only thing that would make me want one is if I could charge it at work on my employer's dime.

Re:Facts don't deter FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878465)

Does that cover the mining, shipping, processing, shipping of the enormous amount of lithium that goes into the batteries?

what about the batteries? (1, Interesting)

MadCow42 (243108) | about a year ago | (#43877997)

I haven't read TFA of course, but does it include the lifetime environmental impact of the battery packs? (mining through disposal) That's what usually has me skeptical of today's electric vehicles.

MadCow.

Re:what about the batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878057)

This. The car might run on air but the cost of its materials has to be factored into the equation.

Re:what about the batteries? (5, Insightful)

mbkennel (97636) | about a year ago | (#43878119)

Why is this particularly or uniquely bad vs the lifetime environmental impact of steel and mining of metallurgical and power coal and oil? Are we going to count the much lower amount of engine oil used? How about the pollution from the trucks delivering gasoline? And the refineries? And the tanker ships?

Are we going to count the hills removed in West Virginia?

Re:what about the batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878393)

It's not, at least not necessarily. I think GP's point was more that he hasn't seen data comparing those pieces.

Re:what about the batteries? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878145)

maybe we should include oil spills for gasoline powered vehicles etc

What about catalytic converters, oil? (2)

gatfirls (1315141) | about a year ago | (#43878181)

To be completely accurate you'd have to compare the whole cars, not just one item. Electric does away with a lot more than gas. Oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid, etc.

Disclosure at the end (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878011)

Additional disclosure: Both myself and my firm advise clients on Tesla Motors and have recommended that they sell short or avoid shares of TSLA.

Bad comparison anyway (4, Interesting)

BenJeremy (181303) | about a year ago | (#43878015)

Better would be to compare the S model to a typical current-model gas-powered sedan.

True, it likely does not pollute more than an SUV, but what about a Chevy Impala?

Misses material mining. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878017)

This study misses one of the biggest factors to consider, so I say it is wholly flawed. That is, the emissions and environmental impact from nickel mines and other things which need to go into the batteries.

Flawed. Totally biased and flawed, unless it truly accounts for everything, which this study does not.

Assumptions of traditional energy advocates (2, Funny)

fermion (181285) | about a year ago | (#43878031)

  1. RIding your bicycle pollutes more than driving an SUV
  2. Pollution is good because it makes the tree grows and opens up the northwest passage
  3. Nature pollution, so it can't be bad
  4. Nuclear energy exists in nature, so it is good
  5. If you hate pollution, you hate god

Haters gonna hate (5, Insightful)

Ol Olsoc (1175323) | about a year ago | (#43878063)

Question. What is thepaybck period on a Prius?

Question: What is the payback period on a Tesla Roadster?

I've been asked these questions a number of times. The Electrical car hater beams, as he has clearly won the argument.

Fair enough - since the question was asked - "What is the payback period on a Bugatti, or Corvette, or even a Kia Soul or Toyota Corolla? "

Or even my Motorcycle, for that matter. I don't drive my motorcycle because of some great payback, I drive it because I want to.

Efficiency (3, Informative)

redwards (677803) | about a year ago | (#43878067)

Per kwh, a coal-fired powerplant pollutes less than your average Camry. I'm not sure how significant the average transmission loss is, but powerplants obviously have enormous efficiency advantages over a standard internal combustion engine.

Doesn't matter (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43878071)

Assume it is true, that electric cars produce more CO2 than non-electric cars. They are still an improvement, because now our money isn't going over to warlords and dictators in the middle east (it's popular to blame the US government for propping up dictators and bad actors in exchange for oil, but when we fill up our cars, we all do it).

And if you want to reduce CO2 emissions, it's a two-step process. First you have to get electric cars (or other alternative), then you need to get better power plants. If one of these steps happens before the other, it doesn't make it less good.

Re:Doesn't matter (1)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#43878525)

now our money isn't going over to warlords and dictators in the middle east

When we started using oil, we were producing it all domestically as well. So now we're going to convert to coal, because we have enough of it... right now...

We could very well get stuck on coal, then a century from now, we're importing it from China because we don't have enough supply to meet electrical demand. That's more of a worst-case scenario, but it seems too many people are ignorant of the history of oil production.

Why the anti-electric car meme? (1, Insightful)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year ago | (#43878077)

Seriously, what do people have against them?

I think they're the coolest thing out there, and they provide a way to stop importing oil from the Muslims.

It's well known that central electricity production is significantly more efficient that a bunch of separate internal combustion engines.

But why the hate? I know the NYT has a vendetta against the electric car - they're a bunch of scumbags. But why do normal people hate them?

Re:Why the anti-electric car meme? (3, Interesting)

hondo77 (324058) | about a year ago | (#43878163)

<wingnut>Because they're considered to be "green". If something is green, it's supported by hippies. If hippies support something, it must be bad. We must stop the hippies!</wingnut>

Re:Why the anti-electric car meme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878293)

Back in the flower power days they had bad teeth. Now when they came back to reason they have good dentists and this is fixed so all is cool with hippies. To me they are as brainless and dangerous to society at large as the right wing bigots because they use prejudice instead of their little brains.

Associations, tribalism (4, Insightful)

bussdriver (620565) | about a year ago | (#43878189)

There are studies that show "conservatives" here in the USA will buy CFL bulbs on their own (if they think) but as soon as you label them "green" or with other labels and slogans that have been associated as belonging to the enemy tribe, they will fuck themselves just to not have anything to do with the opposing tribe.

If you want things to get better you have to avoid terms associated by propagandists with tribalism and negative emotions. If you want the only have your tribe benefit and feel extra smug - then you continue to use the terms even after they've been ruined by propagandists knowing that the other tribe will harm itself in it's hatred of you. Depends on what kind of person you are. Me, I'm no Christian or Buddhist so I like to load things up knowing the fools will screw themselves.

Re:Associations, tribalism (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43878319)

There are studies that show "conservatives" here in the USA will buy CFL bulbs on their own (if they think) but as soon as you label them "green" or with other labels and slogans that have been associated as belonging to the enemy tribe, they will fuck themselves just to not have anything to do with the opposing tribe.

Ooh, how I would love to see a citation for that one...

Re:Associations, tribalism (4, Informative)

Walter White (1573805) | about a year ago | (#43878437)

There are studies that show "conservatives" here in the USA will buy CFL bulbs on their own (if they think) but as soon as you label them "green" or with other labels and slogans that have been associated as belonging to the enemy tribe, they will fuck themselves just to not have anything to do with the opposing tribe.

Ooh, how I would love to see a citation for that one...

http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/news_events/news-releases/rick-larrick-energy-efficient-products/#.UYARyMqcWUN [duke.edu]

QED

Re:Associations, tribalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878507)

Ooh, how I would love to see a citation for that one...

Here you go:

http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/news_events/news-releases/rick-larrick-energy-efficient-products/#.Uakf-kBzF8G

Brand Association, I think. (1)

gatfirls (1315141) | about a year ago | (#43878227)

If the first hybrids/electrics looked/performed like the Tesla it would have probably been a lot different story. Add in that it's be tied to the "global warming hoax" and you have polarization. ie; if you believe in global warming you should get a Prius, if not f-it.

Re:Why the anti-electric car meme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878239)

Why? Because they're eco-pretentious and have pretty much zero real impact.

  More annoying than actual forward thinkers are people who support fancy tech that few can afford so that they can show off how "green" they are. These people are really just misinformed arrogant assholes.

Walk, take transit, bike, live closer to work, and then you might make a scrap of difference.

Re:Why the anti-electric car meme? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878275)

I think they are cool too!

Lets import rare earth minerals from the Chinese right? I mean Muslims are bad and shit. The majority of them are extemists that blow up our buildings.

I would rather have the people that can afford a $100k car go out a get a Tesla than support high speed rail caus we would have to import those from the Germans. You know what Nazis they can be.

I would freak out if I found out that the body for the Tesla roadster was made by a French company. Caus those guys always drop their guns a run away.

Re:Why the anti-electric car meme? (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43878279)

There are two groups that hate EVs.

First you have the green haters. They love to rage against their favourite straw man, the lunatic raving enviro-mentalist who wants everyone to return to a pre-industrial agrarian lifestyle. Anything which doesn't burn fossil fuel and spew pollution is just a part of their scheme to replace all modern conveniences with inferior "eco" versions.

The second group is the petrol heads. They want a big, powerful and noisy car that makes them feel manly. I understand these guys a bit better because I quite enjoy a manly automobile too, but I enjoy breathing clean air more. They seem to fear their beloved cars being banned or taken away in favour of slow, boring pussy eco-mobiles.

The fact that the Model S shows both these groups that their fears are unfounded doesn't seem to have sunk in for some reason.

Jealousy (2)

phorm (591458) | about a year ago | (#43878301)

Because they can't afford them?

No seriously, envy is quite often a strong source of dislike in such situations.

Re:Why the anti-electric car meme? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43878461)

Seriously, what do people have against them?

Lots of things; kinda depends on who you're talking to/about.

For me, I wasn't a fan at first because, well, let's face it - the early electric(ish) cars of the 21st Century (i.e., original Prius, whatever that Honda abortion was called) sucked, and boy did they suck hard. Lots of weird little electrical demons, crazy high price tags, and really nothing more than a status symbol for self-important douche bags who developed a 'my shit don't stink' attitude because, for some reason, they thought a 30 MPGe hybrid filled with rare earth metals was somehow more "green" than a 50 MPG diesel V-Dub.

Now, as the technology has progressed, the media hype has worn down, and the price point went from "allyourbanksarebelongtous" to something a bit more reasonable, many of the "anti-electric car" folks such as myself have cooled the rhetoric, and are far more accepting than we were when "OMG FUCKING GREEN GREEN GREEEEEN" was being forced down our gullets.

Of course, there will always be A) the special-interest players who have a vested interest in keeping electric cars off the streets, B) the abject morons who oppose an idea just because someone they've been told to dislike said it was a good one, and C) the abject morons who support an idea just because someone they've been told to like said it was a good one.

Oh, yea, one more thing working against the pro-electric crowd: Your poster boy Elon. I know his supporters are convinced that he's the goddamn Second Coming (or at least, that's how they act when you question his 'wisdom'), but to the rest of us he comes off as a spoiled little rich fuck who can't handle any criticism, whatsoever. You don't see Renault or Fiat going after Jeremy Clarkson for saying their cars are shit, and he bags on them waaay worse than he ever did to Tesla.

Put the leashes on that fucker, he's doing more harm than good.

Re:Why the anti-electric car meme? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year ago | (#43878517)

I have no hate for EVs. I don't want one but I don't mind your buying one. I don't think the technology is really there yet. Maybe in a few years when battery tech improves I'll revisit the idea. In the meantime I like the fact that early adopters are paving the way. Thanks.

Quit posting biased summaries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878093)

There is an article in there somewhere, but instead of presenting the actual story, Soulskill posts this stupid rant by some unimportant jackass. There will be plenty of ranting jackasses in the comments, they don't need to be in the summary as well. Cut it out!

Yes, it does. (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43878107)

The problem is that most of our electricity is produced through coal burning plants. That's a very messy form of production, and many of these plants have been grandfathered in and their owners intentionally avoid upgrading them because of the costs of 'greening up' their emissions. Coal plants belch out more radiation every few months than the entire Three Mile Island disaster. They're pumping massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, way more than if the equivalent MW was produced through gas or diesel.

That said, even if we all drove electric cars right now, they'd still only soak up a fraction of the total electricity produced. A single aluminum smelting plant would probably soak as much electricity as a small metropolitan area's rush hour traffic... industrial uses for electricity still far outstrip private use; Even in the transportation industry, more fuel is used for semi trucks, trains, etc., than for your personal car.

And if we really want to talk about the "greenest" form of transportation: Diesel turbine locomotives has every other form of transport beat by a landslide. And they've been "hybrid" since the 70s; Most of them are direct-drive electric motors and use turbines and a large bank of batteries to store juice, yet are big enough to use recombinant turbines, which are very efficient in their own right.

The Tesla car can't compete with the locomotive for environmental friendliness. No car can.

Re:Yes, it does. (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year ago | (#43878177)

Economies of scale. A container ship is even more efficient than a train as far as emissions go.

But only if you are trying to move as much mass as possible. I can guarantee that a car wins if your goal is to move a single person.

Re:Yes, it does. (1)

Cosgrach (1737088) | about a year ago | (#43878261)

Well, to be fair, most Diesel electric locomotives are piston engine, not turbines.

However, they are the greenest for a long fucking way.

Re:Yes, it does. (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43878355)

Bad to use Three Mile Island as a standard for your argument, it produced entirely negligible amounts of contamination outside the plant.

You are somewhat incorrect about transportation, 65% of crude oil consumption by transportation is for personal vehicles in the USA

Same people claiming global warming is false. (3, Funny)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year ago | (#43878123)

But if Global Warming does not exist, why do you care if an electric car pollutes more than a regular one?

Re:Same people claiming global warming is false. (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43878175)

increasing ocean acidity of carbonic acid damages plankton exoskeletons. pollution causes human health problems. acid rain damages infrastructure, eats paint off cars, and harms plants.

Bad FUD is Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878127)

Why does it seem like there might be some kind of concerted effort to denounce Tesla? That New York Times thing a few months back, the TopGear Episode and now this...

Reminds me of "Who Killed the Electric Car?"

Factor in emissions from fossil fuel generation (2)

mr_zorg (259994) | about a year ago | (#43878147)

Do these same analysis factor in the emissions caused by the mining of oil, refining it and trucking it to the gas stations? Not usually... That's not fair to count emissions from electricity generation but then only compare it to tailpipe emissions of gasoline.

Corporate Vendetta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878205)

This seems about established corporate interests trying to drive Tesla and Space X out of business. What garbage... http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1080611_injunction-to-shut-tesla-store-denied-in-ma-dealers-to-fight-on [greencarreports.com] Local selectmen had approved the store's license, but the dealers first claimed that Tesla had no plans for service facilities on site, which is required for dealerships. The Massachusetts dealers are far from giving up, however. Robert O'Koniewski, the state group's executive vice president, told Automotive News that "dropping the lawsuit is not an option at this point." While the group hasn't yet decided how to proceed, he added, it still feels that Tesla is illegally operating a factory store outside the state's franchise and license laws. Tesla CEO Elon Musk weighed in with a conciliatory statement last month. Musk argued that company stores were necessary because existing dealers earn the bulk of their profits from gasoline cars--and hence would not be able to educate consumers on the benefits of electric cars. Boeing, Lockheed http://walmartcommunityvotes.com/news/view/43675 [walmartcom...yvotes.com]

well to wheel (1)

SeanBlader (1354199) | about a year ago | (#43878207)

The typically used comparison between Electric and ICE cars is well to wheel. This means you take into account all the factors from mining the energy to delivering it to the road in the form of torque on a wheel. This includes: drilling, pumping, shipping, refining, shipping, and burning. The efficiency gains between shipping to your gas station vs. generating electricity and delivering it to your home is enough to blow away whatever argument there might be, let alone trying to describe how terribly inefficient the internal combustion engine is. Besides all that, if you get your power from solar, wind, or hydro, then your electric vehicle's emissions are effectively zero. And you can't possibly try and compare electric to corn based ethanol, the amount of water, power, and food used to generate ethanol is absolutely staggering. You'd be better off delivering the corn to your own personal horse to ride on your commute. Nor can you really complain about the cost or effort involved in the batteries or other electric vehicle components either. Those are easily offset by the amount of material involved in making and maintaining a comparable petroleum based car, and the lithium based batteries are just as recyclable as lead acid batteries.

It would be interesting... (1)

Cosgrach (1737088) | about a year ago | (#43878247)

To know what the TOTAL pollution footprint of the car is. That is everything from production of all materials used in the car, the totals for all the power and materials consumed during its useful lifetime and the total cost of recycling the car once it is dead. A lot of the fancy materials used in modern (electric and petrol) cars are expensive and difficult to recycle.

My old land cruiser however, is really pretty much a chunk of steel and some aluminum and a very small amount of rubber, foam padding and cloth for the seats. Pretty much 100% very easy to recycle at a very low cost to do so.

Just a minute.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878269)

Electricity has to come from somewhere. If you're getting your charge from a fucking coal burning power plant then yes, electric cars are still polluting. Especially since the batteries contain chemicals that are processed in factories and create even more byproducts and waste....

Cyclists breath hard and emit more C02 (NOT) (1)

RichMan (8097) | about a year ago | (#43878309)

Some local politician tried to peg cycists as big CO2 emitters compared to cars as cyclists breath hard when cycling.

Is it gasoline people or car worshippers, hard to tell, but somehow they see the current system as optimal and everything else as worse. I don't know why people latch onto the current system as optimal, but they do.

How much better are bikes?
https://www.eta.co.uk/2011/12/13/co2-emissions-from-cycling-revealed/ [eta.co.uk]
According to the report cycling is responsible for CO2 emissions of 21g per km. The report calculated that an average car produced 271g and a bus 101g.

Re:Cyclists breath hard and emit more C02 (NOT) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43878491)

"They acknowledge that the assumptions made about emissions resulting from manufacture and increased intake of calories mean that their figures are conservative and that the true figures for cycling . . .
:
are likely to be far less than 21g per km."

And, in any case, carbon from the actual food eaten by the bicyclist is not carbon that has been sequestered away for millions of years (as is the case with oil). I'd think the biggest actual carbon impact the bicyclist has is that produced by the vehicles delivering the food to the grocery stores.

the typical Tesla driver... (4, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | about a year ago | (#43878343)

The typical person going out of their way to get a Tesla is far more likely to have, such as in my particular case, solar power at home. At the end of the year, I get a little money back from Sempra here in SoCal, because I produced in excess (I don't store for night use, but I produce more excess during the day than what I use at night). The Tesla, in this scenario, is practically zero emissions...one should, for my particular example, only count the fixed CO2-equiv of the solar panel production and the production of the tesla itself...which is combined, most likely, far less than the CO2-equiv of the production of the SUV. That point forward, every mile burned literally does nothing other than increase that gap.

Is it "fair" to include the power plant CO2 emissions? Sure, why not...but understand that such is a worst case scenario, and does not necessarily represent the norm. Also, note there is zero effective method for being clean with an SUV, whereas with an electric you do at least have the option of getting solar, if you don't already have it. At the very least, you can choose to pay higher electric rates by choosing to buy renewable energy (most markets allow for this option).

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