BMW i - Coal fired/nuclear BMW - unthrottled

Sad news.

I suppose it was inevitable. BMW have jumped on the bandwagon of electric cars. I'd hoped their excellent range of diesels would preclude them indulging the fad. Still, at least we won't see any of them trundling around until 2013. The smug ownerstalking extolling the merits of 'pollution free' motoring and the zero rated tax discs.

So burning fossil fuels directly in the engine is a climate crime, but creating a wasteful intermediate step to generate electricity makes it quite all right?

BMW i - Coal fired/nuclear BMW - bbc123

My favourite bit is heating the cabin of an electric car...

Step 1: Burn fuel, create heat, 95% - 100% efficiency

Step 2: Use heat to drive turbine, generate electricity, >85% efficiency

Step 3: Send electricity to end user over grid, (variable efficiency dependent on transmission losses...)

Step 4: Use electricity to turn back into heat

Overall efficiency: approx 33%!

Still, we've gotta start somewhere. It's the "holier-than-thou" attitude of some people I know (all with one particular make of hybrid) that I find hardest to deal with. It's educating the general public about the bigger picture when it comes to energy supplies and how we use them to make things and move ourselves about which is a tough nut to crack. Probably almost as hard as the challenges of alternative propulsion systems. I once heard a TV presenter describe carbon as "dangerous". Not carbon dioxide, just plain old carbon. I hoped they realised their bodies contained a pretty hefty proportion of it!


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