19 Sep 2012

electric vehiclesElectric cars need to be supported by the “smart” energy grids to help solve the climate problems of the world, environmentalists warned on Monday. Charging them with energy, generated from coal, could lead to higher emissions than comparable conventional vehicles.

The EU was able to slash the relation between rising carbon emissions and economic growth, however still cannot manage the transportation division, especially since output of carbon dioxide has gone up by 38% over the past 20 years. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called for consideration to “decarbonize” the transport and introduce new rules for cars, vans, trucks and motorcycles.

The energy sources for electric vehicles will be the focus of the agenda in San Sebastian. According to some studies, they can cause more harm than good.

Maybe the provision of electricity will need to be adapted to the habits of the drivers, so as not to cause a new peak electricity demand, as mentioned in one of the documents to discuss the negotiations. For example, it is natural for drivers to be charging cars when they come home at night and be charged for the nighttime electricity rate. In some countries like Poland that will increase the energy demand generated mostly by coal.

Charging the electric vehicles with energy, generated from coal, leads to higher or equal to the emissions of the conventional vehicles, warns the Dutch consultants CE Delft. A substantial amount of carbon dioxide is released on regular basis for every Kilowatt per hour of electricity in Europe, nonetheless it can be even more if coal is used, underlines’ the report. The solution to this would be ti integrate electric cars with “smart” electric grid that will power vehicles only when there is an abundance of green energy from alternative sources such as wind turbines or solar panels.

It is expected that in urban cities, the electric cars will spend 95% of their time in the garage, giving ample opportunity for flexible battery charging and utilization of renewable energy sources. Car batteries can even return energy back to your home network for household needs if and when the demand is high, thus act as a backup generator.

Smart electricity networks are still a concept that is not tested and needs serious research and funding to be put into practice. Government officials of San Sebastian will be reviewing different ideas on how to enhance the current batteries into better and greener product. In addition, it will be researched how to build a national network of charging stations and how to provide the necessary financial support.