Nissan Cars No Longer Generate Carbon Emissions

http://www.tonic.com/article/electric-cars-nissan-the-leaf-global-warming-carbon-emissions/

Also, the coal fired power plants which generate the electricity needed by the electric cars, no longer produce any CO2.

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33 Responses to Nissan Cars No Longer Generate Carbon Emissions

  1. L Nettles says:

    Where are the pictures of the clipper ships that will deliver them to the U.S.?

  2. James Sexton says:

    And the steel and plastics? Or the tires? Or the tow trucks when they run out of juice and no recharger available?

    • MikeTheDenier says:

      Or the trucks, trains and ships that will transport them from the manufacturing facility to the dealerships. Or the electricity to burn the lights on the car lot during the all night super duper savings deals.

  3. Sean says:

    But wait, if you are in California, the coal fired generator is in Nevada so that does not count. And you can’t build hydroelectric in California but you can get that from the Columbia and Colorado Rivers in neighbor states. Wind is good except the sea breezes tend to blow mostly in the afternoon rather than at night when you charge. If they can ever get that desert tortoise issue resolved you’d have solar to power your car. (Oh wait, it doesn’t work at night either does it.) Well just solve a couple of those technical issues and you can have a carbon free car.

  4. Norm Milliard says:

    I’m certainly anti-AGW however an all electric vehicle is positive, particularly because eventually it means a car could last a lifetime. If the Leaf could pull our little trailer I’d buy one tomorrow. We RV 7 months of the year and even when we make a loop of the USA we only average 30 miles a day.

  5. Sean says:

    Be careful when you say the car could last a lifetime. The cost of the battery pack alone is $15,500 and the battery will loose its ability to hold charge over its lifetime. (I’ve heard it will have 60-70% of its charge holding capability after 100-150K miles and that is only if you don’t use high speed chargers.) So while I share some of your enthusiasm for the promise of electrics, they are not carbon free solutions nor are they very cost effective over the life cycle of a car yet. However, I look forward to the smart engineers in this country proving me wrong (and they will some day soon) but dread the government having its finger on the balance tilting toward preferred solutions.

    • I gave a $500 electric bicycle as a birthday present this year. The battery is going south and it turns out a new one costs $650.

      • John Silver says:

        I would like to know what plans they have, for infra structure of the recycling of the batteries.
        There is going to be mountains of dead and half dead battery packs.
        They haven’t thought about it, have they?

      • Sean says:

        Recycling won’t be as much of a problem as you think. The reason these batteries cost so much is that they contain some very exspensive metals in high quantity. The battery may be worthless as an energy storage device but the raw materials still have value. Expensive materials are almost alway economic to recycle.

      • John Silver says:

        Sean: What are the plans then?

      • MikeTheDenier says:

        China has cornered the market in rare-earth minerals needed for these batteries. You think they are going to let that stuff go cheap? Enviro-freaks are blocking any attempt in the USA for mining companies to extract rare-earth minerals. Until someone breaks the backs of these nutjobs we are at China’s mercy.

      • Sean says:

        I think the rare earths go in the electric motors for the magnets, not the batteries. Also, while Chinal has 95% of the market, they got that share by selling the materials cheap since the start of the decade. Expensive raw material costs has already started the process of re-opening some mines.

  6. Gavin says:

    From http://www.nissanusa.com:

    “excessive capacity reduction could be attributed to:
    Driving or storing your LEAF in extreme temperatures
    Repeatedly charging your LEAF by quick charge several times a day
    Driving aggressively (up hill driving for a long period of time at a steep incline or grade, high speed constant driving)

    Like all lithium ion batteries, the Nissan LEAF battery will experience a reduction in the amount of electricity or charge it can hold over time, resulting in a reduction in the vehicle’s range. This is normal and expected. The rate of reduction cannot be assured however, the battery is expected to maintain approximately 80% of its initial capacity after 5 years of normal operation and recommended care, but this is not guaranteed. This number may be higher or lower depending upon usage and care.”

    So according to Nissan, as long as you live in an area with year-round mild weather, no hills and you don’t need to drive too far, this is the car for you.

    I’m starting to think that driving my 13 year old / 185000 miles Volvo is so harmful to the environment as to be a crime against humanity.
    So what if it just passed it’s MOT with flying colours and should easily last another 10 years, it should be crushed and replaced with a greener model…….

  7. Airframe Eng says:

    Electric cars are really cool. I love them just for the technology. But they’re completely impractical. And unless you get the high speed charging station, I believe the recharge period on the Leaf is more than 24 hrs.

    If you’re in a mild weather area, I like the GEM a lot better. Not very much money and fast enough for everything but freeway traffic.

  8. MattN says:

    $33K is an awful lot to spend on a golf cart that I cannot realistically drive past the city limits. After the few thousand city dwellers that want one get one, these will rot on the dealer lot.

    Zero emissions? Hardly. What made the electricity that charged it last night? Probably coal or natural gas….

  9. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    A solution: drill for all the oil in Alaska we can. The market will be flooded. The price will come down. After the price comes down add a 0.5% tax to the price of all oil products. That entire tax goes to studying making oil products burn cleaner. That is a lot of money and it will attract good minds to the problem. Quickly oil would be burning cleaner and cleaner. And there would be an alleviating of some economic pressure because of lowered costs.

    Oh well, enough of my fantasies. ;O)

    • MattN says:

      We are already drilling in Alaska. Where are you talking about? ANWAR? Isn’t that stuff low grade? Maybe diesel fuel and plastics is all we can make from it. Flood the market? Really? What are you smoking? We are out of refining capacity. You can have ALL the oil you want, we can’t refine it fast enough because we haven’t built a refinery since the Carter administration…

  10. Myron Mesecke says:

    “I’m certainly anti-AGW however an all electric vehicle is positive, particularly because eventually it means a car could last a lifetime.”

    All of the plastic and rubber parts will degrade over time. Think Nissan is going to stock a plastic dash for this Leaf in 25 years? There are still bearings, bushings and all sorts of parts that are going to war out just like on a car with an internal combustion engine. I’d almost go so far as to say that a car from the mid 1960s and older is more likely to last a lifetime. Very little plastic to age and crack, simpler ignition system, no computers to go out. By the time oil runs out there should be biofuels to run in the engine. I’ve rebuilt an engine, so have lots of people. I wonder how many people have the knowledge and capability to build a replacement battery pack?

  11. Ted A says:

    Hey there!!! How about putting a wind charger unit on the roof? That way all that wasted wind you create wile driving will keep the batteries topped off all the time. Even when parked the normal wind would help out.
    NO??? I thought it sounded too good to be true.

  12. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    attempts to restrict personal choice in energy use will end up killing people.

    In fact, it already has.

    The biggest threat to humanity is poverty. Wealthier is healthier. When governments make energy more expensive, or environmental organizations pressure foreign countries to not build hydroelectric dams, poor people die.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/01/spencer-on-global-warming-elitism-tomorrow%E2%80%99s-election-and-the-future/#more-27283

  13. Al Tekhasski says:

    On a serious note: Do you folks know of serious and honest studies on comparative efficiency of internal combustion engine of a car versus efficiency of the chain from coal to electricity, to electricity transport, to conversion of it into chemical potential, then back from chemistry to electricity, and finally to mechanical rotation? I understand that recuperation during braking is important, but anyway, any good accessible pointers?

    Thanks,
    – Al Tekhasski

    • Zeleni says:

      While electric vehicles are not emission-free, they do dramatically reduce GHG emissions. Here’s a Life Cycle Analysis on several vehicle types, showing electric vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 80% over conventional gasoline vehicles and 60% below hybrid vehicles:

      Click to access Boureima-paper.pdf

      This is a full Life Cycle Analysis, so it includes the production phase and impacts of battery production and disposal as well.

      Electric vehicles (and their production) can also be powered on cleaner, renewable sources to further reduce their carbon impacts. It’s more difficult to do so with the gasoline distribution system.

      I agree that electric vehicles shouldn’t be marketing themselves as zero-emissions (mostly because of these distraction articles), but they do dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.

      • Al Tekhasski says:

        Thanks for the reference.

        However, I found this “study” far from being serious nor honest. This study assumes that all electricity is produced from “renewable” resources, 50% from wind, and 50% hydropower. This is unrealistic assumption at the time by far. It is also highly idiotic to claim 0.012% accuracy in results of this sort, like “78.27% lower”. This seems to be a typical environmental GIGO.

  14. Zeleni says:

    Hi Al,

    You’ve misinterpreted the study. The 80% lower than conventional figure is actually using the existing grid. They did include a renewable scenario (50% hydro, 50% wind) to see what the impacts would be on the electric vehicles. Of course, emissions go down. They also look at impacts of implementing European emissions standards as well. However, the main analysis used the existing fuel mix.

    I agree that the extra significant digits provide too much confidence in the exact result. This is the final number they came up with, but should have done some better rounding. But it’s still a huge number below both conventional and hybrid. If you’re actually concerned, you should look up other life cycle assessments.

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