Originally Posted by lucid
Electricity has to be produced (which results in pollution) and transferred to the batteries somehow (there are huge losses in the transfer process that people are not aware of. More than 90% I think if you analyze what it takes to produce what you get out of a plug in your home). One can argue an electric car pollutes less overall though. A key attraction of hybrid vehicles is their ability to capture and reuse the energy that would normally be lost during braking. But I doubt this car does that. It should also be noted that this little electric car is really little and stripped. Probably weighs less than 2000lbs. It was going against cars that weighed 3000lb+. The low end torque/power delivery of the electric motor presents a clear advantage though! Wouldn't want to race it!
Yes, you can always go up the chain and find some pollution someplace. That's civilization. There are power sources that you can encapsulate in a 3D space and find no measurable pollution not counting the power collection structure itself as pollution (which some might
Transmission line losses run less than 10% (the miracle of I^2R). Car engines run around 20% energy efficiency. Gas turbines do closer to 40%. I think nuclear plants run >90%. I'm not sure you would get up to 90% lost energy if you follow the energy from the source (chemical, nuclear, solar, wind, whatever it's initial form) to the car. That pessimistic.
I think the car weight 2,600 lbs with the first set of batteries and less than 2,000 with the second set. Here are times from a bunch of Miata's with near the same weight and various internal combustion solutions.
One guy is doing about the same time with a V8 and nitros. Still pretty cool, I think.