ELECTRIC VEHICLES--HOW DO THEY COMPARE WITH SYNTHETIC LIQUID FUELS?

The method used to compare electric vehicles to vehicles fueled by syntheitc liquids from oil shale or coal has several steps. The first is too stimate costs, industrial and institutional structural shifts, environmental impacts, and energy use of each of the alternative transition paths. The second step compares the alternative papths relying on the data generated in the first step to evaluate the relative benefits and costs of the various options. The electric vehicle path is clearly best from environmental considerations. Also, because of inherent limitations in range and performance, innovation in urban transportation could be contemplated using electric vehicles. Preferential access to congested areas or sections where combustion- engine vehicles were banned, slow-speed zones, and a safer urban eenvironment could all be envisioned. The electric vehicle is, however, the option with the highest risk of mobility loss. The acceptance of a vehicle with limited range iss uncertain. Even if battery technology is greatly improved and life-cycle costs reduced, the electric vehicle would be at a fundamental disadvantage in performance compared to conventional combustion engine vehicles. For example, one could not envision a trip of 1,000 kilometers in twelve hours which could be accomplished with all present vehicles--from subcompact to large truck. In the allocation of major public resources to alternatives to petroleum, however, mobility cannot be the only factor. The difficulties would be enormous in constructing the 200 major coal liquefaction or shale oil plants necessary to supply transportation energy alone. This would be in addition to greatly increased electricity demand in other sectors of the economy. An electric future accomplished in an orderly manner may not be too risky even for transportation. If nuclear energy is our eventual supply, electric transportation would seem more probable. It seems clear that electric vehicle development should be pursued along with alternative fuels so that this option can be evaluated. Aggressive commercial development of a fleet of electric vehicles for special application would require at least ten years for deployment and evaluation. It would be risk not to do so. (Author)

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Presented at the third International Conference of the Electric Vehicle Development Group in London, England.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Purdue University

    Institute for Interdisciplinary Engineering Studies
    West Lafayette, Indiana,   USA  47907
  • Authors:
    • Goodson, R F
  • Publication Date: 1979-11

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 20 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00314659
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 11 1980 12:00AM