Why electric cars are inefficient polluters

By Seth Grossman, Political Columnist

Nissan Auto is running one of the hottest ads on TV called ?Gas Powered Everything.? In it, every appliance ? the alarm clock, toaster, hair dryer, computer and even the drill used by the dentist is run by a bulky, dirty, noisy, smoke-belching gasoline motor.

When everyone is finally fed up with the noise, dirt and pollution, the announcer asks: ?What if everything ran on gas?? Then the scene shifts to a new electric Nissan Leaf automobile, which is unplugged and driven cleanly and silently away.

The announcer then asks: ?What if everything didn?t??


Almost all of the lies and ignorance of the ?green energy? movement are in this little TV ad. The premise is that clean, ?green? electricity is a better fuel than dirty, polluting gasoline.

But if you have a basic knowledge of science and do some thinking, you know that electricity is not a fuel or source of energy unto itself. You have to burn fuel like nuclear rods, coal, oil or natural gas to make electricity.

According to the latest New Jersey Energy Master Plan, 50 percent of all electricity produced in New Jersey in 2010 came from nuclear fission. Another 49 percent came from burning coal, oil, natural gas or garbage. Only about 1 percent came from waterfalls created by dams, windmills and solar panels put together.

An honest ad would say that an electric car is 98 percent powered by burning coal, oil, gas, garbage or nuclear fuel.

I am no science expert. But I would think that because electric cars are so inefficient and waste so much energy, they probably impact the environment more than gas-powered cars do.

When the sparkplug ignites the gasoline vapor inside a cylinder of a car?s engine, the force of that little explosion or ?internal combustion? directly moves the piston, which turns the wheels. Very little energy is wasted.

But electric-powered cars are not nearly as efficient. Nuclear, coal, oil, gas or garbage fuel must create large amounts of heat energy to turn wheels that convert mechanical energy into electricity at power plants located miles away. Most of that energy is wasted as the heat goes up smokestacks or into cooling towers.

More energy is wasted when electricity passes through ?step-up transformers,? travels over miles of high-voltage transmission lines, and then through ?step-down? transformers to get to your house. More energy is wasted when you transfer that electricity to your car battery. Still more energy is wasted as the electricity is converted back to the mechanical energy needed to move your car.

Electric cars are not new. They, along with electric boats, were the talk of the Chicago World?s Fair of 1893. But people stopped buying them because they were so inefficient and expensive.

And think of how much energy and toxic chemicals are needed to make huge batteries for electric cars ? batteries that must be replaced every two or three years.

Earlier this month, Millville?city government agreed to pay a private company $5 million for 4,800 solar panels. This was done after the Cumberland County Improvement Authority said the project was not ?economically feasible.? Solar panels are so inefficient in converting weak sunlight into strong electrical current that they don?t even pay for themselves in sunny states like Arizona.

If solar panels came close to paying for themselves, you would see them on the roofs of every successful private business like Walmart, Target and ShopRite. But you don?t, not even in Arizona.

Millville officials say they will save $3 million in energy costs by buying all the electricity produced by the solar panels for the next 15 years. How?

Millville city government, which now pays a reduced government rate of 12.16 cents per kilowatt hour for its electricity, will buy from the private company all the electricity produced by the solar panels for the next 15 years at 7 cents per kwh during the first year, with up to 2 percent per year price hikes after that.

How can the private company sell solar energy for so much less that it costs them? Because Atlantic City Electric and every private power company in New Jersey are forced to pay huge additional subsidies to companies that produce wind and solar energy. As a result, New Jersey has the fourth highest electric rates in the country. And since so many people can?t afford these high rates, we now pay even more to give free electricity to anyone who can?t afford their bills.

Americans used to be a smart and practical people. What happened to us?

(Reprinted from December 15, 2011 Current-Gazette Newspapers of Atlantic and Cape May Counties, http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/politics/19232-why-electric-cars-are-inefficient-polluters.html?)


Somers Point attorney Seth Grossman appears on 92.1FM 8-9 a.m. Saturday. For information see www.libertyandprosperity.org, email


or call (609) 927-7333.? Breakfast discussions are held 9:30-10:30 a.m. every Saturday at the Shore Diner on Fire and Tilton roads in Egg Harbor Township.

(Image source – http://www.intoon.com/toons/2010/KeefeM20100814A.jpg )

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