That Electric Sports Car

The Electric Lightning GT appears to have everything an eco-conscious lover of British sports cars could want: luxury interior, top speed of 130mph and acceleration to shame a Porsche. And it\’s all generated from 30 onboard rechargeable electric batteries, with no direct greenhouse gas emissions.

Erm, no. The energy is stored in 30 onboard batteries. It\’s generated elsewhere, with significant losses in getting it into those batteries.

7 thoughts on “That Electric Sports Car”

  1. The acceleration and top speed (ie., what the paragraph is describing) are generated from the batteries – the article (as quoted) isn’t claiming the energy is generated on board. And ‘direct’ isn’t, in this case, a weasel word: it’s the simplest description of reality.

  2. Ayyy… no Stuart, with your parsing of the sentence the luxury interior is also generated from the batteries… Tim is right.

  3. Sorry, that’s stretching the meaning of the word direct. Sure emissions don’t come out the back of the car but you ain’t going anywhere without those emissions having already been created.

    Plus there’s the inefficiency of getting the electricity distributed from the power plant to the consumer. Plus the inefficiency of charging the batteries, plus the inefficiency of the batteries themselves, plus the inefficiency of carrying around all those batteries.

    And it’s the exact same story with Hydrogen.

    All any of these technologies do is move the emissions from the cars to a power plant somewhere. And add a whole load of new inefficiencies…

  4. I’m somewhere in between. Tim’s “errm… no”, isn’t strictly correct, because the sentence is true.

    If Tim had said “Weaselly bollocks: the energy is generated elsewhere”, then he would be completely and total correct.

    Stuart’s complaint, though, is not really substantive.

    Mind you, is there something that by charging from mains, the emissions are produced somewhere where you have a better chance of capturing them? (Or wind power or whatever).

    But it’s still weaselly and needs to called as such.

  5. The efficiency of oil transport and the internal combustion engine means that you have to do pretty well at the power stations and the transmission from them to rival it. The problem with transferring the pollution burden onto power stations, rather than keeping it in-car, is that it ends up tied to the technology that turns-over (in implementation at least) at the slowest rate.

    Until we’ve got low-pollution national power generation, I’m sceptical about electric cars.

  6. Criticism is good however its energy that you need to consider:

    Q1. Do gasoline or petrol engine cars recover any energy they create ?
    A1. No only the flywheel recovers some energy, electric cars have the ability to be generators in reverse and recover energy during braking.

    Fact1. Electric motors inherently have maximum torque at zero speed so they accelerate faster than gasoline/diesel engines, note I did say engine not car! however electric cars in theory should accelerate faster at lower speeds.

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