20 October, 2008

Plugging In, The Dilemma

I know I push electric vehicles (EVs) to what many would consider an unreasonable extent.  But think of it this way - even an EV needs some way to get the "E" into it.  And generally, that means a fossil fuel powered electricity generating station someplace that will now spew the pollution out so that the EV can be charged...

It reminds us that one of the main problems that EV drivers face is the lack of "petrol stations" - which means most would prefer to opt for a hybrid.  But hybrids are the worst of both worlds, not the best.  Far better to lobby and lobby for electric outlets, honestly.  Because, one day those electric outlets won't be supplied from a n oil or coal fired power station, they will be powered by a large grid of wind, solar, wave, and tide power stations, and a few more that have yet to be invented.

But there's one thing EV owners can do right now, which would help.  Put a roof rack on their little EV and install solar panels.  The drag is not going to be significant for EVs at the relatively slow commute speeds, and the range extension may just be all the average commuter needs to avoid the dreaded recharge at work.  Remember, those solar panels will keep topping off the battery all day while you're at work.  And you can leave your EV in the cheaper open parking lots instead of paying for an expensive covered spot.

And for covered car park operators, one thing they can do straight away is to put solar panels on the roof and offer solar charging while you park.

But the important thing is not to go the hybrid route - go direct to the responsible, least polluting, and (importantly) cheap to run option.

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