What REALLY causes more pollution? Gas or Electric?

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by pnwfoodguy, May 27, 2014.

  1. pnwfoodguy

    pnwfoodguy New Member

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    So a few years ago, I was trained on the east coast an an Energy Efficiency expert. I remember reading somewhere that electricity, although 100% efficient at the consumer end, was very inefficient because of the energy it took to produce. Also, that 40% of electricity is still produced by coal!

    I'm no engineer, but maybe someone can definitively answer this:
    Assuming a 100 mile trip, what really pollutes more? a gallon of gasoline or an electric bike?

    Thanks
     
  2. greaser_monkey_87

    greaser_monkey_87 New Member

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    Gasoline also takes a lot of energy to produce, and most places now it also contains ethanol, which takes a lot of energy as well. The amount of electricity used to provide an e-bike with a single charge probably takes as much energy to produce as a gallon of gasoline.
     
  3. turnofftheradio

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    I'd say its 100% dependent on where your plug is. Get all your power from hydro or solar or wind? or coal? Nuke? or trash? backyard generator? or a mix of all of them?
    complicated question. Most our power around my area is nuke/coal/trash. Id say the gas is a better choice, unless my tank leaks again.
     
    #3 turnofftheradio, May 27, 2014
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  4. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    If you get an accurate answer to this question then next you need to ask, why are all electric cars so butt ugly?

    I might be more willing to try one if the designers had some degree of talent but every one I see looks exactly the same and are the most unstylish and unimaginative vehicles ever produced.

    I'm willing to pay a little more for my car and its power source if it at least looks good. :)

    Tom
     
  5. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Active Member

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    I like the looks of the Teslas, Brammos, and Zeros. Thats about it.
     
  6. Venice Motor Bikes

    Venice Motor Bikes Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles

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    A few years ago I read a article telling about all the tons of toxic waste & by-products produced from manufacturing all types of batteries... It really left me with the impression that no matter what we choose (gas or electric), we're equally polluting the environment. :(
     
  7. mew905

    mew905 New Member

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    solar produces some pretty toxic crap too from manufacturing. Nuclear is probably the cleanest option, especially when they have plans to produce plants that will use the waste from the nuclear plants, to produce more electricity, and despite the whole "what if a disaster happens" thing (coal plants are actually a few hundred times more radioactive than nuclear plants are anyway), theyre probably the best option for the future... too bad conspiracists and activists are too caught up in the word "nuclear" to stop holding them back from replacing the other plants.
     
  8. Nashville Kat

    Nashville Kat Active Member

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    You've all ignored several factors that are against burning fossil fuels

    Noise Pollution- Electric motors are much more quiet. In a world that's incredibly more NOISY than it used to be, with less avenue of escape for a larger percentage of people all the time, electric vehicles would not disturb others so frequently, or distract the trains of thought of others around- and the train of thought is important to each individual's intelligence quotient. Higher task thinking can't develope in organisms constantly under the stress and distraction of noise- startling noises especially, which even cause physiological changes by spiking the breathing rate and heart rhythms, and are factors that contribute to paranoid and schzophrenic thought patterns.

    And not just the noise: the VIBRATIONS- which are even harder to escape, and which can really attack the nervous and digestive systems. I live on sandy ground, in Florida, and down the street from a garbage truck facility where hundreds of trucks leave every weeday morning starting at 4 am,- and it sounds like WWIII- and trucks are driving around then all day and into the evening and some trucks are being serviced in the bays with their diesel motors running literally 22 hours a day. I'm waiting for my house to be swallowed by a giant sinkhole because this place is shaking almost the entire work week.

    Then there's the HEAT FACTOR of gasoline motors. Global Warming discussions are typically diverted to focus on the Greenhouse Gas effect of sunlight being magnified by coming through an atmoshere full of cO2 gases. Yet I've always personally believed that DIRECT heat from burning fossil fuels is really more involved in raising temperatures. Most people here have some experience with trying to work on a motor that's hot- some motors run VERY hot, and fossil fuel motors spray out VERY hot exhaust- Billions of automobiles running with the daylight hours around the globe at any time, and an exploding aircraft traffic spewing hot gasses all through the very upper reaches of the earth's thin atmosphere.

    Indoor heating based on fossil fuels has to be then more vented- losing a greater percentage of the heat just to retain breathable air- Personally I'm sickened very easily by propane. So despite whatever coal burning or pollution that it may take to produce electricity- it is at some centralized location, while a home dweller doesn't have to worry about venting electric heat- only about still getting enough oxygen to breathe in a closed environment otherwise.

    I'm not anti- gasoline- I'm just very much about sane uses for it, and cutting back. There's a reason why our cars don't yet have small parking lot and drive up electric hybrid motors, small motors that could give us a half hour at 5 or 10 mph- and the reason is that gasoline sales drive corporate policies and have for too long. It isn't that viable alternatives are impossible- they've been discouraged!
     
  9. massdrive

    massdrive New Member

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    How can you possibly say nuclear power is the cleanest option? We still don't know what to do with the waste, the waste that kills everything it comes in contact with. Reuse it as fuel? That's a pipe dream. Even if it was cleaner it is to dangerous. How much radioactive material is swirling around the Earth in the wind and water and soil. There is virtually no place on Earth that is not polluted with radiation. How is coal more radioactive?
     
  10. mew905

    mew905 New Member

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    Because depleted uranium has uses, coal is far more radioactive ( http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste/ ), there's NOTHING in the universe that isn't radioactive in some way, if an element has a half-life, it's radioactive. In fact the potassium in bananas is 5x more radioactive than the background level (from the earth, sun and stars), and 1/6 that of a chest x-ray. Flying in a plane for 8 hours is the equivalent to 30 chest x-rays. Radioactivity is the least of your worries. As for the waste, it's not a pipe dream, it's very real.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_reprocessing
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/08/100831-can-nuclear-waste-spark-an-energy-solution/

    Google is your friend :)
     
  11. massdrive

    massdrive New Member

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    I understand a lot more than you give me credit for about steam engines and the universe and everything... Nothing you or anyone else can say will ever change my mind about the dangers of nuclear power. Here is a list of vacation sites that I can recommend to you. I'm gonna have a banana now:
    2011 Fukushima
    2001 Instituto Oncologico Nacional#Accident
    1996 San Juan de Dios radiotherapy accident
    1990 Clinic of Zaragoza radiotherapy accident
    1987 GoiĆ¢nia
    1986 Chernobyl
    1979 Three Mile Island
    1969 Lucens reactor
    1962 Thor missile launch failures during nuclear weapons testing at Johnston Atoll under Operation Fishbowl
    1962 Cuban missile crisis
    1961 SL-1 nuclear meltdown
    1961 K-19 nuclear accident
    1957 Kyshtym disaster
    1957 Windscale fire
    1957 Operation Plumbbob
    1954 Totskoye nuclear exercise
    Bikini Atoll
    Hanford Site
    Rocky Flats Plant
    Techa River
    Lake Karachay
     
  12. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Active Member

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    I've seen this argument rage on many forums and a consensus is never reached. My personal opinion is that "clean" energy doesn't really exist. Pick your poison. Do what you can to reduce pollution. You don't have to buy an expensive hybrid car to help keep our air cleaner.
     

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