Always a low-performing, highly-priced “nice idea” and a gruelling sell, battery-powered electric cars are about to be blown off the road by the latest generation of diesel engines. Continue Reading →
Electric cars are a great idea and they’ll save the earth, right? Well, sorry, but it’s going to be a whole lot harder to handle large numbers of electric cars than we hoped.
The whole point of electric cars is that they’re powered by clean, far-away electricity generators instead of petrol engines putting out that dirty carbon dioxide which dangerously heats our planet.
We would prefer to gently erect some pretty windmills or softly lay delicate and lovely solar panels to generate electricity non-intrusively, without antagonism and free of violence to our beloved Mother Earth.
But no matter what we might prefer, if we eliminate all those wonderful, rumbling newtons (known to Jeremy Clarkson as horsepowers) from petrol we must make them up from somewhere else. Ok. Simple question: can we make it up with electricity?
A New Zealand study
by Gary Kendall, Engineer
This paper examines the practicality of replacing base-load power generation in New Zealand with renewable resources, including hydro, wind, solar, geothermal and tidal. It reveals, surprisingly, that introducing significant numbers of electric cars would seriously strain our present power supply. If you’ve heard about the government’s desire to restrict thermal power generation to mitigate climate change, you should read this paper. pdf (92KB)…