Cleaner Electric cars

Electric Cars Just Got Cleaner in a Matter of One Year

This is the best car news for those who love the environment: In just a matter of one year, cleaner electric cars are now possible.

Electric cars are not really absolutely clean because their environmental impact has to include the electricity generated to recharge their batteries.

But a recent study from the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that in many states, cleaner electric cars now have lower “wells-to-wheels” emissions per mile, compared to what they have about a one year ago.

There were two factors that made this possible.

The first factor is the sales-weighted mix of electric vehicles sold from December 2010 to June 2014 which has gotten a bit more efficient.

This is attributed to the improvement in the electric car range of the Nissan Leaf from 73 miles for the 2011 to 2012 models to 84 miles for the 2014 to 2015 models.

Equally worthy of credit is the May arrival of more efficient models of electric cars such as the BMW i3. This current BMW electric car has the highest efficiency rating of any car sold in the United States last year.

With these current electric car models, it will take lesser watt-hours to drive 1 mile than before.

The second factor is the updating by the UCS of its “State of Change” study in September. This update uses more recent data on the state-by-state mix of generating sources and the carbon dioxide connected with the production of every kilowatt-hour.

The UCS’s previous edition of the study utilized the data of 2009 plant emissions and generation from the U.S. eGrid report. This current version updates all the data by one year, to 2010 data, each of these data were the most current at that time.

The Union of Concerned Scientists also points out that data from 2011 and 2012 shows a further reduction in coal generation. These data is not yet a part of the eGrid model, though.

The overall effect is that the miles per gallon equivalency figures for electric cars have increased in both their more efficient use of each kilowatt-hour, and their lower carbon emissions connected with every kilowatt-hour they use.

In California, where about one-half of the country’s electric cars are sold, a car that uses gasoline now needs to achieve 95 miles per gallon (up from 78 mpg) to be considered as low-emissions as the average electric car.

The Union also considers that the wells-to-wheels emissions per mile for electric cars have dropped practically in every U.S. region.

Some car news worthy of mention is: there are three more states that have entered the “Best” category. That means the emissions from an electric car in these states are better than the rating of a Toyota Prius which is rated at 50 mpg. This is the most efficient gasoline car without an electric plug.

In a related development, some northern Plains states such as Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska have moved from “Good” (31-40 mpg) to “Better (41-50 mpg).




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