Early figures from a pilot program at Kennedy Space Center show that electric cars are reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a far greater amount than expected, according to the program’s coordinator.
“The numbers are 10 times better than we thought we’d ever see,” said Frank Kline with Kennedy’s Sustainability office. “No one’s ever done a pilot where you get actual numbers. It’s always been estimates only.”
The results are more than academic since all federal agencies are under a presidential order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For NASA, the goal is a 12.3 percent reduction by 2020. The executive order includes a category that judges how much gas is emitted from sources that are not controlled by the agency, including things ranging from the gases produced by an airliner carrying a NASA employee on assignment to the emissions from an employee’s car during the daily commute.
“The biggest one is federal employee commutes — that’s the easiest target to go after,” Kline said. “If we want to stop you from producing greenhouse gases, electric vehicles don’t produce any greenhouse gases.”
Those executive orders really grease the skids for positive change, don’t they?
But be aware that while these numbers are spectacular, the program itself is tiny, with only ten people participating. It’s going to take a while to bring it up to speed (always assuming that Paul Ryan doesn’t impeach the president because, you know, reasons). Nevertheless, it’s nice to know that by the end of a year, these ten drivers will have kept more than sixty thousand pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere.
There are some other factors at work which are worth taking into consideration. If the electricity comes from burning coal, is it still a net benefit over burning petroleum in an internal combustion engine, and if so, by what margin?
I would be interested to learn what the carbon footprint of automobile manufacturing is, and what it costs in greenhouse emissions to make an electric car as opposed to a fossil-fueled one.
And I would also tend to think that an efficient public transportation system would be far more environmentally sensible, overall. Do we really need to carry a ton and a half of metal around with us all the time?
Here’s another interesting application for electric cars:
New York City is a world-class metropolis with such famous landmarks as Broadway, Times Square, and of course Central Park, where couples can catch a romantic horse-drawn carriage across the city. But those horses and their drivers may soon be out of a job, as newly-elected Mayor Bill de Blasio may replace the carriages with alternatives, like classic electric cars.
This is good news for animal rights activists, who claim that making the horses walk New York’s streets is dangerous and inhumane, as well as electric car advocates who would love to see more EVs in the Big Apple. But for tourists eager for a ride in the famous horse-drawn carriages, it has meant a rush to Central Park before the carriages potentially disappear forever.
But good news is in short supply, so enjoy.
Here’s the obvious song, from my homies: