GRA wrote:You can find similar reality-check quotes about the exorbitant cost per ton of CO2 reduction due to California's promotion of EVs, compared to using the same money for any number of more cost effective measures. Of course, those calcs ignore the effects of reductions due to EVs sold outside California, but the fact remains that subsidizing EVs is far more expensive than reducing Carbon/CO2 through many other methods. If anyone wants to be smug about your transportation GHG emissions, get out of your car and walk, bike or take public transit, and don't fly or drive.
He was responding to a post which said nothing about the dollar cost of CO2 reduction. The post was primarily about the environmental damage caused by producing and fueling the Hyundai Tuscon FCEV compared with producing and fueling the Nissan LEAF considering the very small amount of additional utility provided.
The facts remain:
- Producing each Hyundai Tuscon FCEV does massively more damage to the environment than does producing each Nissan LEAF EV.
- Construction of fueling infrastructure for the Hyundai Tuscon FCEV is massively more damaging to the environment than construction of fast-charge fueling infrastructure to provide the equivalent number of vehicle-miles with the Nissan LEAF.
- Each mile driven in the Hyundai Tuscon FCEV does about 4X the environmental damage that driving the same mile in the Nissan LEAF would do.
Far from being the next progression in environmentally-friendly vehicle technology that Hyundai promotes it to be, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles are a huge step backwards for our environment. You can dance around these unfortunate facts all you want, but that is the reality today.
All of this could be forgiven if there was some future crossover point between the two technologies. It is a real stretch to try to promote that idea.
As has been pointed out in the H2 and FCEV topic, it's entirely possible for FCEVs to beat BEVs as far as GHG emissions, including all externalities. But whether they do or not, and whether they are more energy efficient than BEVs (they're not) isn't the point. The point is that either is better environmentally than ICEs, but unless they provide sufficient perceived capability and value to the general public, they won't be bought. At the moment, neither can do so at a price the general public is willing to pay, with or without subsidies (I assume, Reg, that given the studies I referenced in the other thread you're no longer claiming that the public will buy these cars sans subsidies?).
One or the other tech, or both, will have to succeed if we're going to get off fossil fuels. The only way I believe they can likely do that at current gas prices is by providing capability similar to ICEs, plus something else that the public values. Separate spheres _may_ work this time around, but I have my doubts. And unlike the case one hundred and ten years ago, ICEs aren't just one of three possible technologies all at similar levels of development; they have not only been the dominant technology for a century, but their capabilities and pace have woven themselves into the social fabric, especially in this country.
At the moment, BEVs are further away from matching ICE capabilities and fitting into that social fabric with minimal change than FCEVs are. Maybe BEVs will surge ahead faster in the coming years, or maybe not. Or maybe the social fabric will change significantly away from the one made possible if not essential by ICEs, which would weight things more in favor of BEVs. Although I personally think it's preferable, I'm not counting on the latter. People are much more inclined to continue along the same path even with its limitations, because it's familiar. Or as some wise gentlemen wrote some time ago, albeit on a different subject, "all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."
FCEVs allow people to change to EVs with the minimal disruption in what they're used to, and absent any dramatic change in the situation, IMO are more likely to find favor with mainstream consumers in this country for that reason. Absolute measures of efficiency are nice to have, but are likely to be less relevant to people than other capabilities, just as many people here are driving BEVs instead of riding a bike (even an E-bike) despite the latter's efficiency and environmental advantages. And now back to the Tucson, because we're veering well into the area covered by the general H2/FCEV topic.