April 22nd, 2006, 12:39 PM
A friend pointed this out to me a few years ago and it's always something that stuck with me.
So, we have Hybrids and electric cars, etc. That's great and all, and we don't use gasoline to fuel them, but then think about it. The electricity has got to come from somewhere?? It may be cheaper, but how about the environment?
I forget the actual figure, but something like 40% of ontario's energy still comes from coal fired plants. That just sickens me.
If I won the lottery, I would hire David Suzuki to help me design the worlds most environmentally friendly home. Composting toilets (they do make those), totally solar/wind powered home, all that. They even have water recyclers you can buy that take all your sink water and distill it so it can be re-used, and as long as you use bidegradable soaps, you can put the "left overs" (i.e. if you use a garborator) in your garden. An almost waste free living. THen an electric car would be ok for me.
April 23rd, 2006, 12:42 AM
Not only where does the electricity come from, but where do the batteries go when they die?? That's some crazy sulfuric acid... I'll stick to my 4 cyl super economical small honda for now.:) (Maybe they'll bring the little clean diesels from Europe- yes, I've said it before, but I really wish they would.;) )
April 23rd, 2006, 09:37 AM
You don't have to worry about the using electricity to recharge the battery, no drain on the grid to recharge.
Some people tend to think that since the hybrid car is partially electric, you have to plug it in to charge it. But that's not how it works. The 144-volt battery pack is actually recharged through the energy that is produced when the car's brakes are used. This is referred to as "regenerative braking," because it generates electricity
I'm not sure about the battery itself after it's dead, probably like Prin said. But because they are rechargeable, they will last longer than a conventional battery, so all in all, it's still an environmentally sound choice.
April 23rd, 2006, 10:27 PM
Stacer, I'm not sure, but I think Raingirl was referring to the energy required to make the battery and load the battery initially. I mean the energy in the battery has to come from somewhere before they put it in the car.
April 23rd, 2006, 11:21 PM
I looked into the Civic hybrids about 2 yrs ago.....def'n alot better than a 'conventional'......fantastic gas mileage & driving performance was great, too (in comparison to similar sized cars......def'n doesn't have the pick up of a v6 or v8!). Obviously....no motorized transportation or public transit is the more eco friendly way to go - but it's not always the "better way"......
The only reason I didn't get it was b/c the back seat did not fold down.....and I've been doing alot of home reno's (the wood just wouldn't fit in the hybrid) + I do a lot of camping, etc....so even though the trunk was the same size as a normal civic, I just love my hatch back & couldn't give it up....
As for diesel....it uses less, but it's a dirtier fuel.....I've never been able to find a good study to compare 'pollution amounts' in gas vs diesel....usually b/c of the variation of sulphur, etc btwn different mfg's...
Raingirl....solar panels are starting to become more readily available for the consumer market.....there are a few places that will sell/install panels for homes (I priced a small one out, and it was still a bit expensive)
BUT - the gov't just announced that it will *pay* residents for power supplied back to the grid from individual home owners that have excess energy from solar / wind sources.....might be worth looking into now....
April 23rd, 2006, 11:30 PM
I remember seeing something on Daily Planet some time ago about solar panels that could be made into roof shingles. The material was that strong and flexible. They were supposed to be equivalent to 25 year ashphalt shingles as a roofing material with the added bonus of being solar collectors, too. I think it was a company in Guelph that were manufacturing them, At the time, they were too expensive for residential use so they were testing and aiming for commericial use, with an eye to reducing costs to get them onto homes within 5-10 years.
I say bring 'em on-I'd be willing to pay more for shingles that reduced your electric bill!