Although electric vehicles are not more energy-efficient than conventional vehicles (of comparable performance), they do offer two substantial possibilities for conserving fossil fuels. First, much of the electricity used for recharging electric cars will be generated from non-petroleum sources. Second, if the tradeoff between using coal to produce synfuels for conventional cars, or using the coal to produce electricity for electric cars is considered there is substantially greater transformation-efficiency in the production of electricity. Regarding the first point, projections of fuel use by U.S. electric utilities indicate that even for total electrification of light-duty vehicles, less than 25% of recharge power would be generated from oil in the 1990's. In many areas of the country, little or no petroleum would be used to generate recharge power. Thus the potential for petroleum conservation through vehicular electrification is immense. Regarding the second point, cars powered by coal-produced electricity would require about 40% less coal than cars powered by coal-produced synfuels, because of the relatively low efficiency with which gasoline can be synthesized from coal. (TRRL)

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Pergamon Press, Incorporated

    Headington Hill Hall
    Oxford OX30BW,    
  • Authors:
    • Hamilton, W F
  • Publication Date: 1980-10-12

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00330873
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-030 961
  • Contract Numbers: DE-AC03-76-CS51180
  • Files: HSL, ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 15 1983 12:00AM