Originally Posted by Solonng
umm, u guys do know that in order to generate electric, you must use oil right?? so how is driving a volt reduces oil consumption?
I am not a Volt fanboy, but let me correct this:
- Electricity comes from these main sources, and the mix varies by region: coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, other renewables
Essentially zero oil is used for electricity generation. So lighter components of oil may go to make a small amount of natural gas, but that is typically used on-site by refineries and petrochem businesses. Hydrocarbons (coal, nat gas) do make up a large portion of the US energy production. But you are not competing with oil, which is what we are very dependent on from an import basis... we have lots of natural gas and coal in the US.
Centralized production will always be more efficient than an IC engine in a car because it can and is specifically designed to run optimally all the time.
- car engine average efficiency is ~20%
- combined cycle plants are 50-60%
- coal power plants are ~33%
- co-genenation plants have the potential to be up to 80%
On a pure fossil fuel-to-road efficiency, it's hard for engines to compete with grid power, even with transmission losses.
You can certainly debate the benefits when considering a complete life-cycle analysis, but this is really quite difficult to do accurately. From a CO2 perspective, it is not entirely clear either unless you can do CO2 capture at the power plants, then electricity can be much better from a CO2 perspective.