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The Electric Car and Job Creation

April 03, 1993

Hayden's article sounds great unless you are interested in facts. First, the electric car is not an efficient use of energy as long as it is powered by batteries. Its power comes from a power plant with thermodynamic limitations: The conversion to electricity, its transmission, battery charging and discharging all involve significant power losses.

Second, it is not truly a zero emission vehicle; the emissions are shifted to the power plant. In effect, the ROGs and CO are reduced (not to zero) but oxides of nitrogen are increased, and these are the pollutants most critical to control today. Further, ROGs and CO from gasoline-powered cars will be greatly reduced by use of preheated catalysts.

Third, there is no gain in jobs by switching to electric cars, only a job trade-off from gasoline car manufacture.

The practical electric-powered car will be one that carries its power plant on board; namely an air oxidized fuel cell.

LES BERRIMAN

Irvine

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