A Word on Pollution and the Electric Vehicle

Michael Grosman

By Michael Grosman, CEO of EVE Motor Group

Eve MotorsThe environmental benefits from using an all Electric car are enormous.

BIG Statement, so how are you going to back that up?

Well let’s see. To quantify some of the benefits, the average internal combustion car puts out  4 to 6 tons of green house gas a year and a lot of smell. But like when I visit my friend who is a panel beater and spends his day in a paint shop when I ask him how he stands the strong smell of thinners in the air, he says “what are you talking about; there’s nothing that smells here.”

It’s the same for all of us, we just don’t know the difference.

So enter the age of ‘upgraded or converted petrol vehicles to all electric’. There’s not one ounce of petrol in an all electric car. Zero tailpipe emissions, too.

Ok, so the story you might hear from uninformed on lookers when you say I am upgrading my smelly petrol vehicle goes something like this:

Aren’t we just giving up one type of pollution for another?
Burning coal is worse than burning petrol!

Well, here is a short outline of some of the facts to help give you weight and validity when you reply.

There is so much excess electricity generated at night by the power companies that we could plug in a million electric cars at night and not bother the grid one little bit.

You see what happens in a coal fired power station is that they can not quickly just turn up or turn down the power out put to satisfy current demand.

A power station takes about 5 days to come on line from dead stop. This time is taken to bring the furnaces up to temperature slowly then the steam turbines, which are huge, have to be very slowly revved up to operating speed and all the other processes that go along with this just to get to a stage where there are ready to start making electricity. Then the coal needs to be stockpiled, brought in and loaded ready to go into the furnace, the switch gear energized and so on and so on. You get the idea though, it’s not like turning on a switch.

Because of this sheer scale of things, it is not easy to quickly change the output or generating capacity.

So what happens at night in our coal fired power stations is that they are bringing up the output to match the expected load or need for electricity during the next day. So they are almost at full output during the night ready for everybody to get up and start turning on lights and computers and machinery, heaters , elevators , trains to get to work,  etc., etc., etc.

This huge amount of excess capacity at night time is lost to the ether. Pity huh! The coal station is burning all that coal whether we use the electricity or not. That’s why we have such low off peak rates, to try and motivate people to switch their usage habits and use this excess capacity at night rather than waste /lose it or add to the usage during the next day.

So you can see now whether we plug our Electric vehicles in or not to re-charge them, all those power stations are still going to be burning all that coal.

So now we have this fantastic opportunity!

To take that spare or excess electricity at night time and store it in our electric vehicles batteries ready to be used the next day to get us about in our daily lives, and all this with out adding one micron of extra greenhouse gas into the air we breathe.

Imagine the quality of air in our local communities if everyone upgraded just one of their cars to electric. Do you think we would be able to smell the difference as well?

There are reports by the department of energy in the US that say that Americans can upgrade 70% of their existing vehicles into all electric and not change the grid at all. No new power stations need to be built; the existing grid infrastructure will cope.  I think we can assume we would be similar in capacity if not better as we have quite good grid infrastructures here in Australia.

70%???  Well that would be utopia if we could get to the stage where we have upgraded 70% of Australian vehicles to all electric. Just close your eyes for a minute and imagine what your part of the world would be like to live in if we made a substantial reduction in exhaust and all that spewing smelly mess that we have been so dependant on was to disappear, without losing our mobility!

Some friends might get really technical on you and ask, well what about if you need to recharge during the day, huh now you’re adding to the electricity usage. Got you there!

Not with a quick reply from you stating that the Car engine in an internal combustion car is about 20 -25% efficient and smells. The motor in an Electric vehicle is 87% -95% efficient with no smell at all.

It means that you need to burn a lot (4 times as much) more petrol to move that old technology, smelly car compared to the little energy needed to silently glide along in your new upgraded fully electric chariot.

 Also a coal fired power station has CO2 as a by-product, a petrol powered car has CO2 and so many other nasties mixed in with the exhaust it just does not compare. Plus a petrol car still smells. 

Then your ‘coup de grace' goes like this. You say,

 “I subscribe to Green power and all my electricity for my vehicle is sourced from renewable energy anyway”!

The Utility companies switch to sourcing green power alternatives will mirror the uptake of electric vehicles.

Are you thinking about your next commute and sitting in smelly traffic? You can almost taste the pollution, can’t you? It’s going to be hard for you now, because you know it does not have to be like this anymore. Who has been through the airport tunnel lately??

There is another form of pollution that we just have learnt to live with as well. Some call it white noise other’s just call it a @#%^& in the backside. They’re the ones who live near busy streets.

It’s noise pollution, yep all those engines revving out up and down the street.

Well guess what, all that noise will pretty much go away, as well. Pretty much means you still hear the tire noise a little but that’s all. Upgraded Electric Vehicles are quiet, in fact  at low speeds the electric car is quite stealthy, to the point where we have to think about playing some sort of music outside the car just so people know where we are. “Make mine Vivaldi for the morning commute and a little Brooks and Dunn for the trip home.”

Headline of the near future:  “Real estate prices on busy roads head north.“

The next amazing environmental benefit for you to know about is that if you upgrade or convert an existing petrol powered vehicle to all electric, you are taking about the best possible course of action to not add any more greenhouse gas and other pollutants to the environment ever from owning a car or van.  (This point is so important that I think it needs repeating. Go on, read it again)

You see there is so much energy and green house gas produced in the manufacturing of our vehicles that it makes so much sense just to not make another car. Just re-power a pre-loved car with brand new all electric.

It is the engine and all the bits that make the petrol powered car go that smell and pollute and breakdown. The engine and extras eventually become obsolete and expensive to maintain over time.

Take a late model car, it depreciated a lot but if it has been looked after, the body looks brand new, the interior is just fine, the radio works and the seats are comfortable. You are happy driving it. You like the look. Then why change? Just repower it.

Running an electric car is cheaper than running a petrol powered car, but that is not your motivation. You want to make the world, especially your little part of it, better.

So now you know the truth about pollution and the electric car, and the truth shall set you free! Free from stopping at petrol stations, free from costly mechanical repair bills, free from regular servicing costs, free to enjoy a cleaner environment, free to breathe fresh air where you smell the roses instead of dusting them off.

This truth is also an obligation for you. It means that you are now charged with spreading the word. Even if you are not in a position to upgrade your car right now, that’s OK. We do what we can do.

However, if you can afford to upgrade or convert at least one of your cars, then show your kids and others some leadership and vision. UPGRADE!

For the others who just want to look cool gliding around town in their new electric car, well that’s fine too.

Whatever you do, just get on with your life with an electric vehicle. Enjoy the independence.

HOW to get my car converted.


If you see any unhelpful comments, please let us know immediately.

These are environment friendly cars because they provides less emission and hence less pollution.

Written in March 2011

Maxy D.

I think an electric car does not pollute, does not use chemicals such as CO2, which contributes to pollution.


Written in September 2011

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