Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Chinese electric cars are worse for the evnvironment, states that electric cars are worse for the environment in China than traditional gasoline cars owing to the way that China generates its electricity.

The question remains, how many pure electric vehicles are there are on Chinese roads in 2012? Our unofficial guesstimate places the no of electric cars – that’s passenger cars at sub 1,000 (that’s probably way over the actual figure) and the no of EV Buses in a similar range. The number of electric bikes on the other hand is likely to be in the millions area.

Electric cars in China are having an impact on pollution more harmful to health than petrol vehicles,  researchers say.

Researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, analyzed the emissions and environmental health impacts of five vehicle technologies in 34 major Chinese cities.

While electric cars have been seen as environmentally friendly, the researchers determined they are in fact responsible for more overall harmful particulate matter pollution than gasoline cars, a university release reported Monday.

The reason, they said, is because for electric vehicles, combustion emissions occur where electricity is generated rather than where the vehicle is used, and in China 85 percent of electricity production is from fossil fuels with about 90 percent of that from coal.

“An implicit assumption has been that air quality and health impacts are lower for electric vehicles than for conventional vehicles,” civil and environmental engineering professor Chris Cherry said. “Our findings challenge that by comparing what is emitted by vehicle use to what people are actually exposed to.”
The researchers say they discovered the power generated in China to operate electric vehicles emits polluting particles at a much higher rate than gasoline vehicles do.

In terms of air pollution impacts, electric cars are more harmful to public health per mile traveled in China than conventional vehicles, they said.

“The study emphasizes that electric vehicles are attractive if they are powered by a clean energy source,” Cherry said. “In China and elsewhere, it is important to focus on deploying electric vehicles in cities with cleaner electricity generation and focusing on improving emissions controls in higher polluting power sectors.”

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