• Steve Posted: 3/23/2009 4:42pm PDT


    Looks great..... but $109,000? That's really expensive just to be green. Who, beside Ed Begley Jr. can afford one of these?
    And can someone compare the 'green' factor/footprint between an all electric vehicle, a hybrid and a normal internal combustion car. Electric vehicles are coal, nuclear, or hydro-electric powered right? Power plants have emissions don't they?
    Oh I get it. As long as the emissions don't come out of the cars tail-pipe it's ok.

  • John Voelcker Posted: 3/23/2009 5:00pm PDT

    "driving electric is usually greener, but what are you comparing?"

    @Steve: See here for an article that addresses the issue ...

  • Steve Posted: 3/23/2009 7:42pm PDT


    Thanks for the link; excellent post on your site.
    Most disturbing is the map that identifies worldwide emissions from producing electricity.
    BTW -- I'm really happy with my Escape Hybrid and it's up to 48.3 mpg.

  • Jim Posted: 3/23/2009 10:35pm PDT


    They tested 2 Tesla Roadsters on Top Gear, the 1st 1 ran completely out of battery power after just 55 Miles traveled and the 2nd was broke down with brake problems. I am old fashioned anyway and still enjoy a Manual Gearbox in my Sports Cars! The Mainstream Media seems to miss out on the fact that the power has to be generated somewhere for these electric vehicles!

  • Chris Posted: 3/23/2009 10:48pm PDT

    "Top Gear test"

    What Jim "fails" to mention is that in a previous episode TG ran several exotic super cars at full tilt around the same race track and recorded their fuel consumption - it was between 1 and 5 mpg. That means on average these cars would have made it between 15 and 75 miles on a full tank of gas at the track. Claiming that a 55 mile track range is an EV shortcoming is ignorant. Don't even bother with the "long tailpipe" argument; it has been thoroughly and repeatedly disproved.

  • jake Posted: 3/23/2009 11:19pm PDT

    "Efficiency & Top Gear Test"

    I've done those kind of calculations for people so many times it's annoying. I'm sure everyone realizes that there are still the indirect emissions & isn't ignoring it (just by how it is brought up so many times in comments on EVs I know this). I wish there was a widely known website that had all the numbers already.
    By my calculations on 100% coal (worst case obviously, using 2lbsCO2/kWh for coal) a RAV4EV has carbon footprint = 33mpg car, on US avg grid = 49mpg, on my California utility = 99mpg. For reference, the most efficient RAV4 of the same year gets 27mpg combined (pre-2008 rating).
    You can figure this out for your own utility using the EPA kWh/100mile figure (which is around 30 combined for the RAV4-EV, pre-2008 EPA rating, found in fueleconomy.gov) and the below link and some simple math.
    As you can see even in the worst case an EV isn't that bad of a choice, especially considering it also eliminates direct emissions. Depending on your location though, a hybrid might make a lot more sense environmentally (especially factoring the sulfur & mercury emissions of coal for those in coal heavy places) until your utility switches to cleaner sources.
    Top gear was driving the car (track testing) a couple times more aggressively than in this test. If you have ever been to track events, you know you easily get less than half the mileage you normally get in real world everyday driving. On the Top Gear track where they are doing also high speed runs, you can take the mileage down to less than 1/5 of the normal rating. See the Ferrari 599 which only got 1.7mpg on the track while being rated more than 10mpg.
    Besides, Top Gear never ran out of juice, they just "guesstimated" that they would end up with 55 miles if they did.
    The issue with brakes was a brake pump that was fixed immediately but I agree that was a part where it shouldn't have screwed up regardless.

  • jake Posted: 3/23/2009 11:44pm PDT

    "corrections: Efficiency & Top Gear Test"

    Sorry for double posting, but for my utility it's actually 90mpg not 99mpg, I was just saying the numbers from the top of my head. And another number needed for calculations that I forgot to add is the standard 19.6 lbs of CO2 emitted per gallon of gasoline burned (diesel is 22.4 lbs).

  • Used Car Dealers Posted: 3/23/2009 11:46pm PDT

    "Used Car Dealers"

    The Tesla Roadster is an all-electric sports car produced by the electric car firm Tesla Motors and is the first car produced by the company. Its nice electric car.

  • David Neubert Posted: 3/24/2009 10:48am PDT

    "I want one"

    John - Can you say envy? How long until the general public can test drive one?

  • Uely Posted: 3/27/2009 4:57pm PDT

    "Smart Car? "

    Smart car until you get tboned, then..not so smart.