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Edison2 Wins $5M X Prize

3028 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  david85
Winning car wins on use of lightweight materials, and superior aerodynamics.

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Hi. I read about this earlier today where they said the top prize for most efficient and clean vehicle went to that ICE based one. I searched for 45 minutes to no avail as to how they came up with that.

The ICE engine is cleaner than an electric motor. I suspect some fancy math and chemistry justification for that nonsense. It shows the electric vehicle in 2nd place as having a larger "Greenhouse Gas Emissions" footprint than the vehicle running on gasoline. You can see the stats here, in the "leader board" tab: http://www.progressiveautoxprize.org/team-central

JR
 

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Hi. That's what I suspected. The problem with that logic is that you CAN change your source for electric power but cannot for gasoline. I can have an array of solar panels in my home and be 100% off grid. The power company can, as they do where I live, use nuclear sources to generate their power. And, if the Gov gets their arses in gear, power companies could use nearly all alternative sources to generate their power and have no (or very little) CO2 emissions.

So they're suggesting that the little engine used on that car is cleaner than what electric companies have? Even if they were, at the electric company they can (and some do) trap and dispose of emissions properly. I don't think the X-Prize winner has CO2 processing onboard.

Did they also account for the oil used in the engine? Probably not. How about the materials to make the hoses, belts, etc needed in an ICE? Did they account for the cost of the ICE maintenance as the total cost of ownership? The prize winner said he looked at the total weight for a gallon of gasoline vs the weight for the equivalent in batteries. Did he add the weigh of CO2 emission from that gallon of gasoline? Probably not. Cells are not that bad a choice if you account for gasoline emissions.

This all sounds like a conspiracy theory but it's not, really. They went along with the common thinking to avoid controversy since most people understand ICE technologies better. Too bad because that was a great opportunity to educate some on the topic.

JR
 

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Hi. Great info! From the chart, I see that EVs are cleaner than gasoline vehicles. But you point is that it depends on where you drive it - or where you get your electricity from.

My point earlier is that, unlike the ICE vehicle, you can change the source of your electricity for the EV and that should have been accounted for when determining the winner. Otherwise you can just move the competition next to a PV array generator and EVs would win every time or have it next to a coal power plant and the ICE would win. We know this and can understand why the ICE won but the headlines in this 15 min news cycle world we live in say "ICE is cleaner than EV" and that's not the entire story.

Another point is that a power plant generating electricity keeps the nasties away from people best. ICE cars spread their pollution everywhere and right next to the air you're breathing. I rather be trapped in a tunnel with EVs than with ICE cars any day.

Of course, none of this takes away from the fact that these guys were able to get nearly 100mpg from an ICE and that's very impressive. They need to work on their car naming skills. "Very Light Car" sounds like oil company BP named it with their "top kill", "blowout preventer" and "junk shot" plan names.

JR
 
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