This argument relies on one study conducted at North Carolina State University, which claims that EVs and hybrid vehicles wouldn't reduce America's polluting air emissions even if EVs and hybrids made up 42% of all passenger vehicles in the country.
The study claims that the lack of direct emissions from EVs would be offset by increased emissions from power plants that generate the electricity necessary to power them.
However, this study is countered by another study from the Union of Concerned Scientists showing that even in areas with high-pollution power plants, one mile of driving in a plug-in EV is only marginally worse than one mile of driving a very fuel-efficient gas-burning car.
In most parts of the country, the power-plant infrastructure produces rates of carbon emissions for EV driving far superior to that of any gas-burning car.
This ingenious engineering solution to a long-standing problem shows that EV range issues are far from intractable, and Tesla managed it with nothing more than off-the-shelf parts that have been around for years.
The Model S won't be the only member of the 200-mile club for long.Wind and solar power combined to generate less than a 10th of 1% of America's electricity at the start of the 21st century, and the amount of solar power generated in the United States has been doubling in virtually every month for the past four years.If this trend continues, before the end of the decade solar power will be generating two-thirds as much electricity as nuclear plants do today, and half as much electricity as natural-gas-burning plants.Many pure plug-in electric cars, by contrast, use roughly .85 in electricity (at the average U. utility rate for electricity per k Wh) to drive 100 miles. Electric cars are just as bad for the environment as regular cars.This point tends to come up only after an EV skeptic has exhausted their other arguments.By then, many American EV owners may simply have solar panels installed on their roofs, making their travel time truly emissions-free. Horses were better than the automobile, until they weren't.Look toward the long term Many technologies seemed limited and doomed to fail when they were first developed. Human ingenuity has a way of proving its doubters wrong, and the electric car's problems are by no means permanent.One recent breakthrough out of Singapore's Nanyang Technological University uses improvements on existing lithium-ion battery construction to gain charging speeds 20 times faster than what's currently possible.Another breakthrough from Japan promises similar improvements in charging speed using a different improvement to the same lithium-ion foundation. One of the most common practical complaints about electric cars is that they cost more than a comparable alternative. The cheapest new electric car on the market last year was the goofy-looking Mitsubishi i-Mi EV subcompact, which retailed for about ,000 before any rebates or tax credits.The average car in the United States is on the road for only 40 miles each day, and only 7% of the cars in the country travel more than 100 miles in a given day.Battery technology research has pushed hard toward faster charging times as well as greater storage capacities.