General, Research, Technology

Is the electric car the car of the future?

Ever since Elon Musk burst onthe car market, interest in electric cars does not cease which year. Automobile concerns spend billions on developments in the field of automobile electrification, and the public often sees them as saving the environment and admires the increased efficiency, but is this really so? Is the electric car a revolution in the automotive industry and a panacea for petroleum products, or is it just a very beautiful marketing with a charismatic leader at the helm? Let's cover all of these points in this article.

Is Tesla really so eco-friendly?

The main advantage of an electric car is considered to beenvironmental friendliness. It is understandable, since there are no exhaust gases, then it is more environmentally friendly. And in each particular case, electric cars are really more environmentally friendly than fellow oil products. Unfortunately, there is one caveat. You connect the car to a power outlet, but it does not generate current itself. Having talked about how electricity appears and gets into your sockets, we came to the conclusion that this electric car is not so environmentally friendly as it is painted.

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  • 1 Main sources of energy
  • 2 engine efficiency
  • 3 Which is better: oil production or hydroelectric power station?
  • 4 Lies, blatant lies and statistics

Main sources of energy

It all starts with an energy source. For internal combustion engines, this is oil. Electric cars receive energy from nuclear power plants, hydroelectric power stations and thermal power plants. Thermal power plants account for over 65% of all generated energy in Russia, and this is very, very much. The main problems of thermal power plants include: soil subsidence, fuel combustion, oxygen burning, air emissions and thermal pollution of water bodies. I will tell you briefly about each problem and their relationship.

The first is subsidence. It occurs due to the pumping of oil (yes, yes, and there hasn’t disappeared from it yet), which causes a violation of the earth's surface and a drawdown of 10 meters or more. Well, let's say they pumped it out, the soil sank, and then what? Further, the fuel obtained after pumping out must be burned to obtain energy, which affects problems number two and three.

Burning fuel leads to carbon dioxide emissions. This in turn leads to the destruction of the atmosphere and The greenhouse effect. It is worth saying that it is impossible to burn fuelspend without oxygen, and it is consumed annually about 10-15 million tons. And snack heat pollution. Any work with constant energy production goes hand in hand with a cooling system in order to prevent overheating and explosions. Water from thermal power plants is discharged into nearby reservoirs, which significantly violates the microclimate and affects the vegetation and living creatures. But I propose to ignore the question of ecology in the near future and talk about three beautiful letters, namely Efficiency.

Efficiency - coefficient of performance. This is a physical quantity that shows the ratio of useful energy to total. Usually measured as a percentage. The higher the efficiency, the more efficient the engine, device, device, production, etc. For example, engines with an efficiency of 100% do not exist, because part of the energy will be consumed in the form of friction of parts, heating of the atmosphere, etc. Efficiency of electric motors is estimated at 70-95%

Engine efficiency

For clarity, I will make a diagram:

The efficiency scheme of the engine and electric motor

So let's go down the stairsfor each item and calculate the total resulting efficiency. We will go along the path of the best result and the least loss, so as not to aggravate the picture. At the source stage, we compare hydroelectric power stations and oil.

Which is better: oil production or hydroelectric power station?

Efficiency of oil production is already 20% inferiorhydroelectric power plants, but will these 20% play a decisive role? Let's get it right. Energy is not enough to receive, it still needs to be delivered, therefore transportation goes further. Undoubtedly an important stage, because how much oil and electricity can not be obtained, if everything is splashed along the way, it turns out, it was in vain extracted. Power lines give 70% efficiency versus 98% of the pipeline. Why such a discrepancy? Everything is simple. Power lines are very long, and part of the energy just does not reach the destination. In addition, there is wear of power lines due to long use, and bottlenecks with low bandwidth appear, which also affects losses. The oil pipeline in this case absolutely dominates, showing extremely insignificant losses that are approaching zero.

Transformer substation and refinery

At the stage of conversion to transformersubstations are increasing or decreasing voltage and distribution across industrial facilities, but the refinery is undergoing total processing in order to obtain all kinds of fuels. Here they get diesel fuel, gasoline, and generally do everything to squeeze the maximum out of oil. And it turns out pretty well, because the ICE is ahead of the electric motor and overtakes it by 10%. Then there is transportation again, but even though the electric networks can boast better efficiency compared to power lines, they still lose in the battle with the internal combustion engine.

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I called the process of accumulation in the diagramdischarging batteries and storing fuel in a tank. Interestingly, if petroleum products do not depend on the time of year, and accordingly on the temperature difference, then electric batteries are heat-loving creatures. With a decrease in temperature and the onset of stable low temperatures, they hold the charge much worse, so the efficiency at this stage could not be unambiguously indicated: in the summer period it is 80%, and in winter it decreases by half. ICE stably holds the bar at 98%.

Lies, blatant lies and statistics

The last item I love the most. This is the efficiency of obtaining kinetic energy of the motor. It is this point, along with environmental friendliness, that haunts the public. In fact, with a private comparison, the efficiency of the electric motor is two times higher than the efficiency of the internal combustion engine, but upon a general review it turns out that there was no and no environmental friendliness or greater efficiency in electric vehicles. Real numbers suggest that the efficiency of the electric motor is not two times higher, but two times lower!

We have prepared for you an excellent selection of cool electric pickups. And there is not only Tesla, of course

I would like to say that I did not pursue a goalto smash electric cars and praise internal combustion engines. I like the way to improve environmental friendliness, but at the moment I consider it more environmentally friendly to drive cars with gasoline and diesel than buy an electric car. What do you think about this? Share your opinion in our telegram chat.