Yodrak wrote:Nice try, but your assumption is wishful thinking......
One important environmental aspect not taken into account here. While it's true that for many, the electricity they use to charge their Leafs will come from the grid - and therefore mostly traditional fossil fuel sources, the charging will also take place primarily at night when the demand for power is lowest.
This means that (since electrical power generation is essentially a just-in-time function) that the plants used to produce the power will be those that run 24x7. These plants tend to be the newer power plants and therefore the most efficient at producing power and the least polluting. Oil refineries, on the other hand, tend to run 24*7 and whatever power they draw off the grid during the day time (peak hours) will be supplied partially by less efficient and higher polluting plants that are brought online during the day to meet that peak demand.
An energy supplier will run the most efficient plant (and therefore the most profitable) more then the less efficient plant - overcoming the cost of operating the less efficient plant by charging higher rates during peak periods.
So it is a little more subtle then just "EV's are still powered by fossil fuel". A lot will be, but they will be able to make use of the most efficiently generated power
As these things evolve, the battery packs will be able to hold more and more power. The DOE is projecting that EV's will be able to hold enough power in their battery packs within 10 years to be able to drive 500-1000 miles on a single charge (somewhat the mecca point for EV's as very few people will be driving more then 1000 miles in a day!). As some know - the belief is the highest energy storage density for batteries will come from something called Lithium-Air batteries which the DOE, IBM, GE, and others are investing billions in researching as we type.
However - most people will continue to drive in the 25-50 miles a day range. This means that your EVs will have far more juice in them then you need. As this evolves, so will the charging infrastructure. Your house (which typically has peak power demands at breakfast and dinner times) will at some point be able to draw power from you EVs battery packs instead of (or in addition to) drawing from the grid. This will help to increase efficiency even more - even less carbon emissions as the newest, most efficient power plants are supplying power to your vehicle overnight which you then use during the day.
Going on a trip that day and need a full charge? No problem - just pull your breakfast power from the grid instead of from your car. Stay at home mom with an EV full of juice parked in the garage? Even better! The power company will be looking to purchase some of that power from you to meet higher demand periods so that they don't have to power up another plant to fill the needs. Work at leading edge company? They might just install zero emission power generation capabilities at work and charge you all up for free - in exchange during first and last business hours when the generation capability is lower - your employer might draw power from your car to power of offices until the sun hits peak production hours, at which point you get paid back.
Some here are already way ahead of the curve - as self generation technologies come more and more mature and more and more affordable, many will be generating their own power during the day - storing it in their EV's and using it as needed. The power grid is still there for those times when your needs exceed your generating and storing ability.
A combination of environmentally friendly power generation technologies - many of which are time of day or weather dependent - along with generous storage capacities will allow us to meet most of our power needs with only the most energy efficient and least polluting plants - and the Leaf is step one along that path.