Swiss environment experts get the lowdown on zero-emission
A RECENT investigation carried out by Swiss environmental experts has found that modern diesel engines are actually better for the environment than battery-powered ones.The report, issued by Swiss government research lab EMPA, confirms what most of us have suspected about electric powered vehicles: at present, they rely on electricity often made by carbon-heavy methods, like burning coal or gas. The analysis shows a modern hi-tech internal combustion engine would need to consume less than 3.9 L/100km to cause less environmental impact than a battery-powered motor. The answer is to generate electricity by carbon-free nuclear, solar, wind wave and hydropower plants, however, many of the aformentioned production methods are still not widely used.So, for now, if you want to stay as green as possible, the easiest and most cost-effective way is to plump for a modern turbo-diesel motor.
And that is just what we are doing. Thanks for the study . The main idea of electric is that when fossil fuels run out the, upperclass rulers have a new toy to rule with. That will be the addiction to electric motors and if that is finished after the braking down of nuclear facilities there will be tax on breathing clean air.
We overhere in Holland at " Track Dieselpowered motorcycles " think that optimising fuel consumption will bring mobility more for the long term. And thats with 2 wheels . And its not without fun. We have torque at low rpm. No wrong gear shifting trough CVT. Low maintenance cost. Long service intervals of 15000 to 25000 km . Long engine life span. Travel range 1 liter on 30 to 40km is normal with even better range with more relaxed driving. Ready for the new fuel GTL : Gas To liquid. That is made from natural gas of which there is plenty .. etc. dieselmotorfiets.nl
Erik Track Dieselmotorcycles Holland
Posted: 02/09/2010 at 18:27
? Dieselsgreener than batteries?
Diesels clearly aren't greener than batteries (if you are looking at straight-forward emissions from the vehicle itself). The problem is where the electricity comes from which goes into the battery, and this isn't the choice or responsibility of the rider...
And if you're looking at the carbon footprint (so to speak) of the energy source for the bike itself (plus all the wires, anodes etc.), what about all the energy that goes into finding, extracting, transporting, cracking, refining and delivering fuels? (I don't think this was in the remit of the study to be fair)
AND are any currently common bikes actually run on diesel?????
Posted: 03/09/2010 at 13:52
@ Pie Master
If you look at the destruction to the environment caused by the mining / extraction / purification of the metals needed for the batteries and then the damage done by the manufacturing process to turn them into batteries its quite surprising.
Then add on the highly toxic chemicals contained in modern batteries run by things like the Prius and the fact that currently its so expensive to recycle them because of the chemicals that they are likely to be stockpiled for years.
At the moment Hybrid & Electric cars are marketed based on "being greener because of low emissions" yet the simple fact is that over an average lifespan of a vehicle the overall environmental damage caused from the begining to the end of its life a modern diesel engined car causes significantly less damage than the current generation of electric/hybrid vehicles.
Saying that Motorcycles with either Petrol or Diesel engines are many times less damaging so riding a bike is good for the environment
Posted: 03/09/2010 at 17:01
It's a complex one for sure - and one which I don't know a lot about (hence all the question marks in my post )
It seems that it can be clearly divided though - in terms of the actual machine, electric is blatantly 'greener', but in terms of the lifecycle of the fuel/materials etc. etc. it seems a lot less clear (for me anyway).
Posted: 06/09/2010 at 12:13
Posted: 06/09/2010 at 12:14
@Nigel Aston 2
Your claim about the manufacturing and recycling cost (environmentally) of batteries being the main problem is NOT correct. Please read the study linked by the visor down article; here is the relevant graph: http://bit.ly/c5EnC6
This graph includes in black the relative cost of manufacturing and recycling the Li-Ion battery, including mining the materials (as I understood the article), compared to the other operational costs/ecological impact when running an electric vehicle. The battery is a very small part of the ecological footprint! (This already assumes an average lifespan, so it isn't overly optimistic)
I don't understand why people flock to any statement that electric vehicles are not as green as conventional engines if the research does not even support this -- a cursory reading of the article does NOT suggest that 3.9L/100km is the break-even point for a more eco-friendly diesel engine; the break-even point is 2.6L/100km. Here's the quote:"A break even analysis shows that an ICEV would need to consume less than 3.9 L/100km to cause lower CED than a BEV or less than 2.6 L/100km to cause a lower EI99 H/A score"
The 3.9L/100km point is where the total "cumulative energy demand" is break-even; but because the average electricity mix in Europe is far cleaner than simply burning diesel, the break-even point for "ecological impact" as measured by the EI99 H/A score is only reached at 2.6L/100km.
(I only skimmed parts of the article, if anyone is more familiar with these standards feel free to correct me.)
My motorcycle uses nothing near 2.6L/100km; your claim that petrol or diesel engines are "many times less damaging" is not true for the vast majority of vehicles out there, even small and fuel-efficient cars.
Owners of a Honda Super Cub, however, can sleep at ease.
Posted: 07/09/2010 at 10:00
The other pertinent point here is that internal combustion engines have been around 100+ years, so the many industries that go into the production, care and disposal of their major components is, by now, well established. The same can't be said for electric car & their fuel cell components.
I'd imagine that the environmental impacts surrounding the lifecycle electric fuel cells would be refined and lessened as their usage became more established. Comparisons therefore seem a little unbalanced without bearing this in mind.
Another point to make.... (sorry)... would be that the disposal of fuel cells can, of course, be managed and their future reuse is always a possibility I gues, whereas the 'disposal' of hydrocarbon fuels is, effectively, their combustion within engines with know results to the environment / health etc.
Posted: 08/09/2010 at 13:13
That's all well and good, but diesel motorcycles are not readily available in the US and most parts of the world - but electrics are, and are growing.
Track's motorcycles are cool, but not available outside of Holland. Hayes makes deisel converted KLR650s, but sells them only to the military.
Considering that all countries are moving to lower politing sources of electricity for the long term, electric vehicles will continue to get "cleaner" per mile.
For those of us with home solar arrays to charge our electric motorcycles, we are already far cleaner than diesels or gasoline will ever be.
Posted: 05/10/2010 at 16:42
Did any of the commenters read the study?
The study found that the creation and disposal of the battery powered vehicle did not have a worse environmental impact than an ICE vehicle as many commenters are theorizing.
It also concluded:
"All the facts taken together, the results of the LCA, the various sensitivity analyses, the modeling applied for EOL, the assumption for the used electricity mix, etc., suggest that E-mobility is environmentally beneficial compared to conventional mobility."
Posted: 05/10/2010 at 17:43
Diesel/electric anyone? See the Jaguar Xc75, a hybrid sports car using electric motors, 1 in each wheel, battery pack and 2 small gas turbine generators from Bladon Jets for extended range and performance. Something like 28g/km CO2 and sub 13.5s 1/4 mile at >155mph, 560 miles range...
Turbine can run any hydrocarbon, including chip fat, so on your bike, you could creep around town, down to the chippy, fill the tank then light up when the road opens! I doubt that you'd need an Akrapovich to feel manly, either.
Posted: 05/10/2010 at 18:14
Posted: 07/12/2011 at 11:15
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