Greater Greater Washington

Sustainability


What if gas powered everything?

The disadvantages of relying on a carbon economy for transportation are well known, yet pushes to move to an alternative energy economy often face significant opposition. Nissan has a great ad out wondering what would happen if everything ran on gas.

It's a new take on the argument, and it forces us to think somewhat differently about the debate.

Normally, we talk about reducing the number of things that pollute (or reducing the amount that each pollutes). And while most people agree that a cleaner Earth is a better Earth, not everyone agrees that the cost is worth it.

But if we were suddenly faced with a world where everything had a tailpipe, we might feel differently.

Of course, the point of this ad is actually to make us wonder what would happen if everything didn't run on gas. (And also to sell their new electric car.)

Matt Johnson has lived in the Washington area since 2007. He has a Master's in Planning from the University of Maryland and a BS in Public Policy from Georgia Tech. He lives in Greenbelt. He’s a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He is a contract employee of the Montgomery County Planning Department. His views are his own and do not represent the opinion of his employer. 

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I thought this commercial was really clever when I first saw it, but it prompted me to think about whether or not appliances are running on gas or fossil fuels anyway. I found this nifty site on EPA that will tell you!

http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-and-you/how-clean.html

I felt dumb that I didn't know that so much of my (our?) power comes from nuclear sources. Just over a half comes from fossil fuels.

by Andrew on Nov 29, 2011 2:11 pm • linkreport

I am astounded at the advancement in technology that has allowed most of these vehicles to get to where they have, but on a blog such as this, where a good portion of the readers are renters, I am a little baffled that we haven't broached the topic of how apartments and row-style townhouses inhibit people from buying such a car.

I was in the market for a new car a few months ago, I strongly considered an electric, and unfortunately I was unable to justify it because, without a garage, there is NOWHERE to charge it. All the apartments I have been looking at do not have provisions to charge a vehicle, not to mention that many townhomes do not have a garage, or any other means for a charge...

Cities like Washington are ideal for electric style cars... this is where the vehicles will shine and create the most savings, however, once again it is a commodity suitable for less than half of the population. (it may be more, but i dont want to go google the actual statistics)

by BradK on Nov 29, 2011 2:27 pm • linkreport

@Brad
Because this is an urbanist blog and, in general, cars are anathema to urbanism?
The negative externatlities of an automobile-dependent lifestyle wont just suddenly disappear with the shift to cleaner technologies

by boffin on Nov 29, 2011 2:46 pm • linkreport

@BradK: it is even worse than that. Consider that as the population density of a city is increased, the more apartments and row houses there are, making electric cars even less practicable. Electric cars are only for people with garages.

by goldfish on Nov 29, 2011 2:50 pm • linkreport

What I like about this ad is that it has two very different messages layered on top of one and other. The first is the obvious one: that driving an electric car makes you less dependent on fossil fuels. But there's a subtle secondary message that's easy to miss. The guy at the end is filling up a Volt, i.e. an electric car that has a back up gas engine. So for Volt owners this ad is basically saying, "hey if you're going to go electric, go all the way, otherwise you're really no different than someone using a gas powered hair dryer." Two very different messages contained in the same ad. Subtle.

Now that doesn't mean the ad isn't a bit misleading. When I first saw the ad, I assumed it was trying to demonstrate how much of our power comes from polluting sources. Obviously that's no the point, even though plugging your Leaf in may mean that it's getting powered through the burning of coal or whatever. Still better than gas, but it's not like it's completely emission-free (unless in fact you get your home power from an emission-free source).

by TM on Nov 29, 2011 2:55 pm • linkreport

@boffin First: had to look up anathema ;)
but to you and @goldfish

I still consider myself a newbie to the urbanist lifestyle, and I am rather naive to many things, but it really blows my mind that an urban place such as DC is both the best and worst place to market such a thing...

People here generally 'want' to have things like electric cars (if they need a car,) but the demand for accommodations such as plugs in parking garage is virtually non-existent.

by BradK on Nov 29, 2011 2:57 pm • linkreport

It's not hard to envision a future where you could charge from a parking meter or a standalone charging station (if you've been to alaska you'll notice cars have plug in options to prevent their oil from freezing)but then you still have the design question. People like places that seem to be built for people, not cars.

by Canaan on Nov 29, 2011 3:01 pm • linkreport

I like the Nissan Leaf but I absolutely hate that ad. It's cynical and disingenuous, because even with further development in battery technology it, combined with an electric motor or otherwise, will not always be a suitable substitute for an internal combustion engine.

by Fitz on Nov 29, 2011 3:06 pm • linkreport

1. Many newer townhouses have garages. They arent necessarily the most urbanist townhouses, but its simply not correct that TH = no garage.

2. When there is sufficient penetration of plug in electric vehicles, its likely that apt building parking garages will somehow accommodate them

3. Urbanism in a place like DC includes SFHs on smaller lots with good design - which may well be fine for charging

4. Realistically, not everyone is going to live an urbanist lifestyle. Urbanism is ONE piece of the solution to the GHG problem it cannot realistically be the only one. Plug in electrics (esp when the electric grid becomes less dependent on coal) are a good solution of the GHG issues presented by the inevitably large non urbanist population.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 29, 2011 3:14 pm • linkreport

Range anxiety is a real concern for car buyers, and I'm not just talking about men who like to walk around their kitchen in the buff.

by Crickey7 on Nov 29, 2011 4:44 pm • linkreport

@AWalkerInTheCity
I appreciate each point you have made, but you clearly skimmed what I wrote...

1. MANY townhomes do not have garages, The one I am moving to (newer) does... but there are many that don't. Rowhomes won't have garages (but may have a driveway in which people pay feel comfortable plugging in their cars), some townhomes are built with little road footprint... ie: built sideways with a walk to 6 or so units.

2. the argument of apartment building parking garages offering a means of charging is chicken and egg... the 4 apartment buildings I spoke to when looking for a new car all told me there was no way they could offer me the means to charge my car without significant personal expense. (to provision a metered plug)

3. I agree, but i was pointing to how that doesn't fit a majority of residents in DC, not to mention many that may be interested in an electric vehicle.

4. I agree to this as well..

Once again, my purpose for making the comment wasn't to state that electric cars are terrible, or nobody wants one... I want one, and cannot find a way to make it feasible.
I think this is something that we should focus our efforts on... people aren't as concerned that an electric car is electric... they want to know how the hell they are going to make it work day in and day out. Finding gas stations is relatively simple, finding a rapid charge station or even just finding a place to plug in the car every night is a lot more complicated.

by BradK on Nov 29, 2011 5:09 pm • linkreport

That ad makes sense, since electricity just falls from the sky as opposed to requiring a coal-fired power plant.

by Hoops on Nov 29, 2011 5:35 pm • linkreport

@BradK - you should search a little harder most of the newer apartments and developments are providing electric car charging stations - Rhode Island Row is one example. Also new developments give option to add one to your row house - Chancellors Row for one. There are rapid charge stations popping up all over the city - Union Station for example.

All these examples are just the ones near where I live I am sure there are more around the city.

by Sally on Nov 29, 2011 7:31 pm • linkreport

since electricity just falls from the sky as opposed to requiring a coal-fired power plant.

Actually it does just fall from the sky - that's how we get solar and hydroelectric power. Electricity most certainly does not REQUIRE a coal-fired plant. In fact, most electricity in the US comes from something other than coal.

by David C on Nov 29, 2011 11:04 pm • linkreport

Being able to charge you electric car used to be easier but sill difficult even in city's at the turn of the century.

Doing my own research on early electric cars i found that most people who owned an electric car then (1890-1910) would use it as a "town car" and then use an gasoline powered car when they wanted to travel more then 30-40 miles from the city since they could usually not find electricity since electrical transmission was usually confined to the city.

Also electric trucks were used extensively in NY and NJ to transport good through out the city. this though meant that routes would have to be planned for each truck to make sure the trucks could make it back to the warehouse. Some city's also use electric trucks to haul away garbage.

You can find all this out through the extensive collection of digitized papers in Google books and it will take some time but the way people used electric cars then are not much different then to day nor is the number of people who could benefit from electric cars.

To make it work people need to accept less range and city's need extensive numbers of charging stations.

by JeremyR on Nov 29, 2011 11:06 pm • linkreport

@ David C

In 2010, 46% of US electricity was generated by coal, 70% by fossil fuel. So maybe I should have clarified more. The point is, when you drive your "green" car, odds are it's eating juice that was created by a dead dinosaur (especially if you live in the East of the United States.)

by Hoops on Nov 29, 2011 11:25 pm • linkreport

when you drive your "green" car, odds are it's eating juice that was created by a dead dinosaur

True, but what is the relative pollution and CO2 created per mile? If you're creating half as much pollution as a similar sized sedan, that's pretty green in my book.

Besides, that is more an indictment of electricity generation than of electric cars. That can be fixed by cleaning up our electric grid - which we need to do anyway.
And electric car charging can happen at night, when wind power generation is at it's highest and total electricity use at its lowest, thus using very few dinosaurs to charge.

But no matter how much wind power we generate, an ICE will still run on fossil fuels.

by David C on Nov 29, 2011 11:38 pm • linkreport

Actually [electricity] does just fall from the sky - that's how we get solar and hydroelectric power.

Apples don't just grown on trees, you know!

by oboe on Nov 30, 2011 9:35 am • linkreport

"If you're creating half as much pollution as a similar sized sedan..."

The intent here is correct, but the implementation suffers: problem is, you can never (rarely?) make the comparison between two real vehicles. Generally electric cars are smaller and are slower than gasoline-powered cars. Can you find two cars of similar size and performance, but one is electric and the other gas-powered, to actually demonstrate the electric has lower CO2 per mile? I'd like to see it, because I am not convinced.

Even if you could show that, the added costs of the electric car are big. For example, the need for a charging station -- only if you are rich enough to own a garage. The limited range, meaning that you will need access to another car for longer trips. It may be that if the added costs are included, one would get larger CO2 emission reduction by putting that extra money into other infrastructure improvements. Such as better insulating your house.

by goldfish on Nov 30, 2011 10:01 am • linkreport

Here in suburbia, lots of distinctly non rich folks have garages, and more than one vehicle per family.

Sounds like theres plenty of room for a substantial increase in the plug in electric fleet, which can begin to address the chicken and egg problem, without requiring folks in urban places without garages (and/or with one vehicle per household) to get them. We are still far from reaching saturation on hybrid electrics, for example. And of course conventional powered vehicles are improving in mileage, and has GGW often notes, not auto modes and development patterns that decrease total trip distances can also help. As can reductions in non transport areas. Plug in electrics are ONE piece of the solution - only one piece.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 30, 2011 10:14 am • linkreport

goldfish,

Generally electric cars are smaller and are slower than gasoline-powered cars.

What? The Nissan Leaf is bigger than a Honda Civic. I don't know about slower, but it goes 90mph. How much faster do you need to go? I bet one could find a side-by-side comparison, but they won't be identical and so you'll just pooh pooh it (no that one is 1 inch taller than the other! Apples to Oranges!)

Even if you could show that, the added costs of the electric car are big. For example, the need for a charging station -- only if you are rich enough to own a garage.

I think most car owners in America have a garage - so i don't know if that's rich. Which you actually don't need. You can run a standard extension cord out to it. And for all the costs there is the significant savings in gasoline. As for needed a "2nd car" for longer trips - that is also not true. You may need to rent a car from time to time. But you won't need to own a 2nd car. Some people don't even own one car, as it turns out.

It may be true that better insulation gives a better CO2 reduction per dollar. But that's a whole other issue isn't it? And one that could be addressed better if we taxed or capped GHG emissions.

by David C on Nov 30, 2011 11:19 am • linkreport

@David C: attempting to change my meaning by nit-picking doesn't wash.

I was looking for a comparison between two cars of nearly identical size and performance (0-60 mph, top speed, cornering, etc.), and show that the electric car has lower CO2 per mile. I mention "performance" in a general sense because for example, electric cars often have skinnier tires that improve mileage at the cost of degraded cornering and braking. Do you have such a comparison? It is often implicitly asserted (by you, for example), but I do not think it has been proved.

By "richer people own garages," my meaning is clear when considering the denser residential areas that consist of row-houses and apartments. It is not viable to run an extension cord from your house or apartment to your car parked a block away on the street.

by goldfish on Nov 30, 2011 11:54 am • linkreport

here's a pretty good comparison

"The electric Smart Fortwo creates an ‘equivalent’ of 84 grams of carbon dioxide per km driven, whereas the £9,540 diesel Smart Fortwo emits 103 grams"

So electric is at least 20% cleaner than diesel, using the UK's grid. I have no idea how that grid compares to the one in the US, but we do use nuclear more than them, I think.

Ignore the headline. It is only correct if you thing $84 is almost as much as $103.

http://nissan-leaf.net/2011/02/24/study-says-electric-vehicles-are-almost-as-dirty-as-diesel-cars/

It is not viable to run an extension cord from your house or apartment to your car parked a block away on the street.

True. How many people does that refer to? A tiny minority at best. Most apartment dwellers don't park on the street - for example. Many row house owners have a parking space in the back.

We have two big sources of emissions.

- Transportation
- Power generation

To reduce emissions we need to cut down emissions from both these sources, as well as from other sources. It will take decades to actually do this transition from fossil fueled cars to electric cars and from coal power to nuclear/renewable even if we start the transition in earnest today. That is why we need to start both the transitions now.

There are many ways to produce electricity and many are clean and renewable, you can never say that about gasoline. In fact, every year the grid gets cleaner and will continue to do so, while every year the opposite can be said about the supply chain of gasoline, as it is actually getting dirtier as we need to dig deeper and explore more and more in deep offshore waters just to find the stuff to keep the future supply stable.

by David C on Nov 30, 2011 12:36 pm • linkreport

The electric Smartfortwo has 30 kW (=40 hp; see here) whereas the diesel Smartfortwo has 54 hp (see here). Reducing the CO2 from 103 to 84 g/km (18%) comes with a power reduction of 26%. So it has not been proved that an electric car with equivalent size and performance has lower CO2 emissions than a hydrocarbon-burning car. To the contrary, it is more likely that an equivalently powered electric Smartcar will have greater CO2 emissions than its diesel model.

For a car, even an especially small one, 40 hp is very low. The link says that the electric Smart has a governor to limit its speed to 62 mph -- that is a considerable compromise of performance.

by goldfish on Nov 30, 2011 1:41 pm • linkreport

The horse power you're listing is the maximum hp, but it doesn't compare well because the engines are different. It's like saying that a CFL to incandescent comparison doesn't equate because they're at different wattages. The point is not to use or generate power it is to move at certain speed.

This article explains why that comparing hp is not the same as comparing performance.

"the Tesla Roadster S is about as fast as a Corvette Z06 with almost half its horsepower. So when the Nissan Leaf is said to put out a "mere" 107 horsepower, the same as their efficient (but not exactly racy) Nissan Versa, odds are the Leaf will be quicker in many situations."

by David C on Nov 30, 2011 2:12 pm • linkreport

Right. Electric traction motors also produce a great deal of torque and can do so at a much wider range of RPMs than a gas engine can. That's more or less why freight rail locomotives aren't Diesel, but Diesel-electric. They're basically a big Diesel generator that produces electricity to power the electric traction motors.

by Alex B. on Nov 30, 2011 2:20 pm • linkreport

"To reduce emissions we need to cut down emissions from both these sources, as well as from other sources. It will take decades to actually do this transition from fossil fueled cars to electric cars and from coal power to nuclear/renewable even if we start the transition in earnest today. That is why we need to start both the transitions now."

this is true. The transition to plug in electric cars can start with folks for whom it makes the most sense - folks WITH garages or good alternatives to garages, who already have a second car or who can use a rental for longer trips. No need to guilt some DC apt rowhouse dweller.

"There are many ways to produce electricity and many are clean and renewable, you can never say that about gasoline. "

Possibly some day sustainable biofuels. But in any case, right NOW, someone can make huge improvements to their GHG emissions by switching to high MPG conventional or to hybrid electrics. Depending on timing of charging, they may do as much by doing that as someone buying a plug in electric given our existing power grid.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Nov 30, 2011 4:08 pm • linkreport

Best button I saw at Interbike: "One less Prius"

by Jeff on Nov 30, 2011 4:46 pm • linkreport

David C: The peak torque of the electric motor is at 0 rpm; the electric Smartcar is said to jump off of the line like a gas-powered car. But at regular city speeds (e.g., 30 mph) its got nothing.

This has been discussion about marginal improvements in CO2 emission; the electric Smartcar does not have the performance -- top speed 62 mph -- of the already pretty slow diesel -- top speed 85 mph. To use your analogy, the electric performance below that of the diesel unless you think that $62 equals $85.

Regarding the $109,000 Tesla, do you have a comparison of CO2/mile to a similar car, say the $75000 Lotus Evora? BTW for a high performance car, the Evora has low CO2 emissions, 205 g/km.

There have been a lot of failed ideas to eliminate greenhouse gasses for automobile propulsion: consider the hydrogen car.

This is a blog about improving the urban environment in DC. I do not see how an electric vehicle does that. It is slow and has no range and will requires large investment to provide public charging stations. In LA you see a lot of them, probably because the weather is nicer, and people can justify being a trend vanguard because it is marketable in entertainment. But not here. Maybe with improvements electric cars can become practicable, but not yet.

by goldfish on Dec 1, 2011 8:20 am • linkreport

@Goldfish

I tend to agree about electric cars. Cars cause lots of problems in cities, most of which are due to the nature of the car, not the car's source of power. It's not the most compelling solution to urban issues at all.

That said, the further development of the technology is very promising.

by Alex B. on Dec 1, 2011 9:09 am • linkreport

Like I said, no matter what I find, you're going to find a reason why the two are not exactly comparable. Why is a Corvette not similar to a Tesla, for example?

Regardless, there is a wide range of safety here.

"I’ve looked up the performance figures for lots of electric vehicles – they’re listed in this chapter’s end-notes – and they seem to be consistent with this summary: electric vehicles can deliver transport at an energy cost of roughly 15 kWh per 100 km. That’s five times better than our baseline fossil-car, and significantly better than any hybrid cars."

The fact is we don't make cars that, but for the engine, are identical. But the overwhelming consensus out there is that electric cars use less energy and create fewer emissions. Perhaps you can find someone reputable who says otherwise?

Futhermore, I wouldn't necessarily call the hydrogen car a failure. This is a long race. The hydrogen fuel cell is basically just a battery. So the hydrogen car is just an electric car with a different kind of battery. There has been more movement toward traditional types of batteries and away from fuel cells but batteries have not failed. And it may be that the pendulum will swing back, as it has for electric cars.

I do not see how an electric vehicle [improves the urban environment in DC].

Let me list the ways:

It reduces pollution. Not only does it create less net pollution, but it moves that pollution away from people and from ground level where it causes much of it's health impacts.

It would eventually reduce the need for a redudant energy delivery system. Currently we have a way to distribute electricity and a way to distribute gasoline. What if we only needed a way to distribute electricity. Many of those trucks and ships and pipelines would no longer be needed. Spaces that are now gas stations could be something else. Refineries could be scaled back (we would still drill for and use oil, just not as much) etc...

The electric car creates a sink for wind power. As I mentioned earlier, wind power is strongest at night which is when demand is lowest. But it's somewhat unreliable so it makes it a tough fit for our current energy needs. But if there were millions of batteries to charge overnight, then this problem goes away. Not only is there a place to put all that electricity, but with a smart grid, we could charge cars when the wind is blowing and stop charging when the wind stops (with some logic to ensure the battery is fully charged by some pre-programmed time). By creating a more assured market for wind - and using mostly wind - it cuts pollution even more.

The batteries themselves become part of the network. Again with a smart grid, you could use the millions of car batteries plugged into the system as a peak power source. During the day when cars are parked and plugged in, if there is a peak in power usage, power could be pulled off car batteries for a short time, and then when peak usage is over, the batteries could be recharged. This negates all the expenses and pollution that results from peak usage. This creates more pollution savings and makes electricity cheaper.

They're quieter.

They run on domestic energy.

Some engineers think they will be safer (without gasoline) than ICE cars, but that's not proven yet.

It's possible that electric cars will create a secondary market for used car batteries. Batteries that people can cheaply use in their home to store electricity for power outages or even from solar panels during the day to use at night. When 1 million batteries, that are not suitable for driving but still hold 80% of their charge, hit the market each year, they may become very cheap.

Before you attack these reasons, I only need one of these things to be true to answer your question. So unless you can refute them all, don't waste your time.

It is slow

They're plenty fast enough. Most go well above the speed limit. We overbuild our cars and drive too fast anyway. And I would hardly call the Tesla "slow". Besides, many people get by without a car using the much slower bike for most of their trips. This is only a problem for people who like to drive aggressively. If the cars truly are slower, that is just another reason to add to the list above - they're safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

has no range

Again, it's good enough. 100 miles is more than most people drive in a day. What percentage of car trips are over 100 miles anyway? And this is a solvable problem (The Tesla does more like 250 miles). Replaceable batteries, frequent charging stations, and technological improvements will increase range. And cars like the Volt have solved this problem already.

requires large investment to provide public charging stations.

We're going to invest money in something. We can invest in mitigating the costs of pollution and dealing with peak power. Defending our access to foreign oil and dealing with the health and noise pollution effects of cars. Or we can pay for a few million charging stations. Without doing the math, I'm pretty sure I know which is cheaper.

Cars cause lots of problems in cities, most of which are due to the nature of the car, not the car's source of power

I'm not sure if most of the problems are due to the nature of the car, but the source of power is a big one. And if we can get rid of them, while keeping all of the benefits of the car, that would be a big gain. The car is just a horseless carriage, and the carriage has been around since the wheel. It's not going anywhere until teleportation or jetpacks work out their kinks. Until then, let's make the best cars we can.

by David C on Dec 1, 2011 10:59 am • linkreport

@David C, idealism won't change practical reality. Look at the sales figures: of the 16 millions new vehicles sold yearly in the US, somewhere around 1000 were plug-in electric. That is, 15,999,000 people reviewed their needs and budget for this major purchase and decided against an electric car.

You like the Tesla? You can afford one? Put your money where your keyboard is. You will get much more respect if you are reporting on living with an electric car.

by goldfish on Dec 1, 2011 11:35 am • linkreport

What is the policy issue being debated here?

Should the Fed Govt continue to incentivize the commercialization of Plug in Electrics? Sure.

Should the Fed Govt incentivize higher MPG vehicles, including hybrids and higher MPG conventional vehicles - sure.

Should we continue to pursue strategies that lower total VMT and encourage alternate modes (by which I mean transit, bike, and ped, not jet packs)Sure.

I dont know what you guys are arguing about. How many column inches this blog devotes to plug in electrics?

by AWalkerInTheCity on Dec 1, 2011 11:44 am • linkreport

idealism won't change practical reality

I think that's on the MLK memorial, right?

Your numbers are wrong. GM sold over 1000 Chevy Volts last month alone, and growing.

"GM sold 1,139 Volts, the company said in a statement. That compares with 1,108 units in October"

And what does it matter that few people bought electric cars this year? [The link you used, btw, blames the problem on limited supply, not limited demand, which my link backs up since they're still working down their waiting list. A waiting list usually means demand, no?]

What were iPhone sales like in 2001? The growth in electric cars has been pretty impressive, considering they were near zero 2 years ago.

Put your money where your keyboard is.

I suspect my next car purchase will indeed be an electric car. [I can't afford the Tesla roadster, but I'm not so far from a Model S. I might get a Toyota Rav4 EV, which has a Tesla engine.] Still, that's a pretty lame argument. I support gun safety classes, does that mean I need to buy a gun?

But, I do most of my miles by bike, so I suppose I am a hypocrite.

by David C on Dec 1, 2011 11:49 am • linkreport

We're arguing about whether or not electric cars are good for the urban environment. I say yes. He says no. But he's going on a lot of tangents, like how if I don't own a Tesla roadster I'm a hypocrite.

by David C on Dec 1, 2011 11:52 am • linkreport

@David C.: Good luck with your new car, and when you park your purchase on the street it will bring me that much closer to winning our ice cream bet.

by goldfish on Dec 1, 2011 12:18 pm • linkreport

Living without a car and designing cities and new development in such a way as to reduce auto-dependence simplifies the problem altogether…

by Phil on Dec 1, 2011 1:13 pm • linkreport

The Volt is a joke of an electric car. The problem to day isnt the range as much as the cost of the car. Because we now have to have all of this safety gear in the cars. the Baker Electric went ~20 mph for 50-80 miles of range and it was an in town car. ideally i could use an electric car that did ~35 mph over 80-110 miles and id be fine with that. That and today's electric cars need to recharge over night from a 110 volt socket and be simple to maintain.

by JeremyR on Dec 1, 2011 6:41 pm • linkreport

Charging time is directly proportional to the power (voltage x current) that can be transmitted over a given electrical connection. This has nothing to do with any specific technology in the electric car that is being charged.

There is no way to work around this - you need a high-power connection for shorter charge time. A 110 volt, 15 amp socket is going to take 9.3 times as long to deliver the same charge as a 220 volt, 70 amp socket, no matter what type of technology is in the car you're charging.

by Frank IBC on Dec 1, 2011 7:49 pm • linkreport

Gasoline-powered Maytag washing machine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIWswiLaMbY

by Frank IBC on Dec 1, 2011 7:54 pm • linkreport

THE COMMERCIAL IS A BLATANT RIP-OFF!!!

The Nissan commercial is a blatant rip-off of this spec commercial made by German film students: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzhGvW5OH28 (made in 2010, screened on a number of advertising festivals in Europe from early 2011 on, i.e. long before the Nissan commercial was published).

by THE COMMERCIAL IS A BLATANT RIP-OFF!!! on Dec 2, 2011 5:19 am • linkreport

@THIS COMMERCIAL....
Actually, when I worked at EPA in the 90's on the ENERGY STAR programs, we did a very similar PSA, so they may have both ripped off from that.
I could not find a version on the web. The commercial had actors starting their TVs and other appliances by pulling ripcords.
Same thing.

by Steve O on Dec 3, 2011 1:00 am • linkreport

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