tiistai 6. toukokuuta 2014

The long tailpipe... or the lack thereof

You probably have heard the argument that an electric vehicle has what is called a long tailpipe. What that commonly refers to is that electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels and thus the actual carbon dioxide emission of an electric vehicle is not zero. It just gets put out someplace else.

What is also commonly left out is that producing oil and refining it also uses electricity. Apparently they'd rather not let you know how much, but Robert Llewellyn here in the video has worked it out. And it is surprisingly much.

So how much really? It turns out it's around 1.2 kWh per litre. That's like using a microwave oven for an hour or more. It got me thinking. How much is that per kilometer?

Let's take a motorcycle which consumes 6l/100km on average. I think that's a pretty fair guess at a petrol motorcyle fuel consumption. I think my Z500 has a tank of about 14 litres and it can just get me from Helsinki to Pori, which is about 240 km.

So 6l/100km is about 16.7 km per one litre. One litre took 1200 Wh to produce. So 1200 Wh divided by 16.7 km is about 72 Wh/km. Now why does that sound so familiar? Oh, maybe it's because my electric DIY kWsaki motorcycle uses about 70 Wh/km! And not a drop of fuel! That's nothing short of amazing.

1 kommentti:

  1. One litre of gasoline contains 9kwh of energy, so in total 1l consumed equates to 10.2kwh. Therefore 10200 divided by 16.7 gives roughly 611wh/km. Now 70wh/km vs. 611wh/km,thats a remarkable difference!