RegGuheert wrote: It takes MUCH less land area to fuel the BEV than to grow fuel (1/100th according to the link, but I suspect it may be more like 1/10th as much). In many cases, the area used to fuel the BEVs is roof area, so it does not consume ANY additional land.
Let's see, 43560 sq ft per acre... grows... say 180 bushels of corn, which produces roughly 2.5gal of ethanol per bushel (assuming no energy to plow, plant, spray, harvest, transport (grain), dry, process, distill, transport (ethanol), and blend... that's something on the order of 450 gallons per nice farmland acre per year. (But you can put solar panels on crappy farmland too!)
Take my 11,000 mile year example in my LEAF. If you could get 40MPG on pure ethanol, you would need about 0.6 acres per vehicle year. Compare this to the 8 solar panels (see my earlier post) that get me enough electricity to drive 11,000 miles per year (my actual first year's mileage, national avg is closer to 13,000). Each panel is about 77 x 39 inches nearly 21 sq. ft. Add say 30% overhead for square footage needed for access roads etc. 8 panels uses about 220 sq. ft.
So, for a year (at my 11,000mi/yr usage level) of fuel:
solar uses roughly 220 sq. ft.
Ethanol uses roughly 26,000 sq. ft. (more, MUCH MORE, if you add in the other ethanol energy costs I touched on).
Pretty incredible! With an acre of solar, you could fuel 200 cars! Consider how much land is consumed by 200 car owners and the streets to get to their homes etc. I mean each car owner probably has 220 sq. ft. just in parking lot or driveway or garage space.
What's more, if you STOPPED refining gasoline for those cars (each getting about 25MPG, and using 440 gallons per year), you'd save enough energy by NOT distilling the oil, to go another 4,500 miles per car. Even after converting that heat energy into electricity in an inefficient power plant, transmitting it through an inefficient grid, and charging a car with an inefficient inverter. Wonder how many miles you'd get out of STOPPING driving the tractor, and the semi, and running the distillery, and the fuel delivery, ...and all of the fuel for all of the people driving to those workplaces? For the solar side, you'd have to figure some energy costs (pretty high actually) to refine the silicon, process the panels, shipping and installation of the panels, but after that, it's clean and virtually free.