Re: Electric card

Michael Lorrey (
Sun, 14 Dec 1997 00:30:26 -0500

Jim McCoy wrote:
> Michael Lorrey <> wrote
> [regarding factoring in refining costs to the costs of IC engines...]
> >
> >No, what I am saying is that the energy drain to refine the oil that
> >makes the gasoline, transports the gasoline, etc. further reduce the
> >efficiency of an IC car, as a systemic calculation, while electric
> power
> >plants are very efficient at creating the electricity from whatever
> >source
> And where exactly does this "source" come from? It is coal dug up
> and transported in the same inefficient process or else oil or
> natural gas which are refined and transported in the same manner as
> the fuel used to power an IC engine (solar and RE sources being so
> small as to be completely insignificant in any such analysis.)
> Sounds like this back-end cost is a wash as far as efficiency
> calculations go, the electric power plant is more efficient than
> masses of individual engines but that is as far back as you can take
> the calculation. Distribution costs for both forms are equally fuzzy
> (i.e. building and maintaining an electrical distribution network is
> expensive and costs energy, the same distribution network for
> gasoline is expensive but you had to build the roads in the first
> place for the cars which are the subject of this discussion...)

Because electric plants are big, they typically are built on a pipeline
of whatever fuel they are using. Even coal plants are built alongside
railroads, oil and gas on pipelines, hydro on rivers, wind on hilltops,
etc. Because their sites are chosen ahead of time for their ease of
supply of their fuel, they get a boost from inexpensive supply. They
then, because they operate at constant max efficiency RPM, get
efficiency gains from that, which in themselves are a HUGE savings over
an IC vehicle. Gasoline or ethanol operated IC vehicles must depend on a
much less efficient distribution mechanism that requires fleets of
trucks, millions of miles of roads, etc. Such IC vehicles then are
almost never running at their peak efficiency. Because EVs, at their
power source, use less fuel than an IC vehicle does in situ, the energy
costs to refine fuel per vehicle are lower.

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------	Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
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