Just Owning an Electric Car May Not Be Enough

Where you charge your electric vehicle matters.

There are two ways electric cars can be powered. The first, stations that use hydroelectric power or solar panels. The second, stations fueled by electricity produced at coal-burning power plants. Clearly, the former provides much cleaner energy that the latter.

According to Ory Zik, head of Energy Points Inc., data indicates that cities that rely on coal for power generation eradicates the benefits of using electric cars. For example, in Kansas City, MO, an electric vehicle can achieve 38 mpg. This figure is only 3 miles more than the average 35 mpg of vehicles with an efficient combustion engine. Compared to electric vehicles in Seattle, WA, where 70% of the city’s power comes from hydro, the same electric vehicle can achieve 195 mg. Mr. Zik states,

Energy productivity is directly correlated to pollution. You have to do the entire life cycle.”

The calculations used in the study took into account how much energy it takes to motorize the vehicle, as well as the energy used to produce its underlying fuel. Essentially, the information suggests that while electric vehicles owners may feel accomplished in their personal efforts to reduce energy usage, the energy cycle is a much larger picture that needs to be examined.


Read more here- “How Green is Your Electric Car?” (Leslie Eaton, The Wall Street Journal)

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Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.


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