Thursday, April 19, 2007

How much cleaner is an electric car?

How much cleaner is it to drive an electric car than a gas powered car? That is an important question to ask, since the main reason I started driving electric was to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas production my commute was responsible for producing. How much cleaner an electric car is than a gasoline powered car is highly dependent on how clean the electricity is to produce. This EPA chart shows that using the average "cleanliness" of electricity in the US, electric powered vehicles are about 47% cleaner than gas powered vehicles. However, the State of Washington (where I live) has some of the cleanest electricity in the country because of our reliance on hydropower. So, plugging in the #'s to this EPA "Electricity Cleanliness Calculator" I found that electricity in the Tacoma area code, 98407, is about 2-3 times cleaner than the national average. This means that overall driving an electric car is somewhere between 90 and 120% cleaner than a gasoline powered car. To put this in perspective I can drive my car roughly 300 miles and pollute less than a gas powered car pollutes in 30 miles. Cool!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Electric Commuting!

Well, I'm happy to report that I've been doing my 30 mile round trip commute for the last two weeks in the electric car, now affectionately known as "Electrc" after the vanity plates that I now have on the vehicle. I'm averaging around 55 amp/hours for the total 30 mile round trip. I think I am pushing the pack pretty hard since by the end I'm sitting at roughly 144 volts with no current being drawn. I'm continually looking for a fast/easy on the pack route home, but getting to our house without going up a hill somewhere is pretty tough since Tacoma is built on a bluff. Here's a picture of the car down on the Ruston Way Waterfront: