Coal Powered Cars

The latest green fad is the electric car.

Electricity is not a primary source of energy - it is a way of transmitting energy from primary sources or storages to electric applications and machines. In my country, Australia, 93% of electricity is generated from carbon fuels, 77% from coal. This will not change dramatically in the near future.

Therefore most electric cars in Australia will run on coal. Such vehicles will produce more carbon dioxide per kilometre than the petrol/diesel cars they replace.

All vehicles need a method of storing energy while travelling between resupply stations. For cars and trucks, highly concentrated energy in the form of diesel, petrol or gas can be conveniently stored in simple fuel tanks.

Electric cars need heavy costly batteries which have low energy storage capacity. They are so limited in range that most are supplied as petrol/electric hybrids - these are heavier, more costly and more complex than our current car fleet. And hybrids need two energy storage tanks.

The green fantasy is that electric car batteries can be recharged by solar cells on your house roof. This will work. Yes, after a just few days plugged into the solar panel, the cute green car may be ready for a trip to the local shops.

Electric cars will have no effect on global climate - they are another example of costly green tokenism. They are rich men's toys.

Those who want them, not electricity consumers or tax payers, should pay for them.