That is such a good point that keeps getting glossed over in the "but EV's just move the pollution to the power plant" debate - EV's don't idle!Zelandeth wrote: Easy to see where the savings are in city traffic - a pretty typical bus, Volvo B10BLE I'll quote because I know my way around them pretty well - just at idle, not even putting it into drive, you'll be looking at 3-5 gallons of diesel an hour...
How much of the worlds fuel supply is wasted and pollution generated by simply idling or creeping forward so slowly that it might as well be idling ? I bet it is a staggeringly high percentage with city driving. Whilst idling you are getting 0 MPG...
Busses and Taxi's will be guilty of it a lot more than private cars as busses stop a lot more often, and Taxi's spend a lot of time stopped idling. It always makes me a bit angry every time I walk to Glasgow Central station to see a line of about 30 Taxi's sitting there waiting for fares - every single one of them idling their diesel engines (even if they're standing on the pavement gabbing!) for something like 30 minutes plus each time through the queue. (I thought it was illegal to sit parked on the side of the road idling ? Do taxi's have an exemption or do they just routinely flaunt the law ?)
The savings in fuel, pollution and noise from elimination of idling alone must surely be worthwhile. Yes you have ICE cars with auto-start that shut off when you brake for a while, but it's not the same, it's not usable in slowly creeping traffic, and it must be bad for both the engine and battery to be cranking the engine repeatedly. Not really a solution.
Funnily enough I just saw my first Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in Glasgow this morning, it was heading up Bothwell Street, presumably to hog one of the chargers!Mandrake wrote: Next up are PHEV's or Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles. Examples are the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV,
It's not worth plugging in to charge on the road with a PHEV because the battery is so small and they usually don't support rapid charging. In fact its generally frowned upon by BEV owners to find a PHEV plugged into a charging point hogging it for hours when they are still able to get home on petrol while the BEV is stuck waiting to use the charger so it can get home. So generally you would/should only plug in a PHEV at home over night.
Then a few blocks away I walked past a Leaf stopped at a red light so I thought I'd stop and take my earphones out to wait for it to get a green light to see how quiet it was. Complete silence as it crossed the intersection - I couldn't even hear any tyre noise from it. The car behind it, not so much!
That really got me thinking about noise pollution in cities. We talk a lot about emissions pollution from ICE vehicles and we know that EV's are quieter but we never really talk about the "noise pollution" that come from normal ICE vehicles - we just take it for granted that cars are noisy things and that as a result city streets full of cars are noisy stressful (as well as smelly) places to be.
I walk through the middle of Glasgow every day through a particularly busy section full of Taxi's busses and cars, and I actually wear in-ear earphones partly to block out all the noise - it's that bad. I like to listen to podcasts and it is completely impossible on "normal" earphones that just sit loosely in the ears, you need full in-ear-canal earphones to be able to block out enough traffic noise to hear what you're playing at a reasonable volume. Even then I have to turn it up a bit.
As I reach the quieter extremities of the city and the noise drops right down I always feel a sense of relief and calm. Overpowering noise is stressful!
That got me thinking - what would it be like to walk through the centre of a city filled with electric cars ? At modest city acceleration and speed electric motors are completely silent. Below 30mph tyre roar is minimal as well, and doesn't really get loud until motorway speeds. How much more pleasant and less stressful would (will!) city life be once the noise levels drop right back down to pre-car levels ? An electric car is probably quieter than the clop clop and neighing of a horse and carriage that proceeded ICE cars!
A thought - what happens when we get to a point where the majority of cars (say 90%) in a city are electric but there are still a few holdouts driving ICE cars - will even a normal "quiet" ICE car make you seem like an unruly teenager with a no muffler exhaust trying to stand out amongst a sea of silent electric cars ? Will you be shamed off the road and into an EV by being the only noise producing car in a two block radius that gets the stink eye from everyone ?
At the moment electric cars have the problem that they're so quiet that in a busy environment pedestrians will step out in front of you without looking and get run over because they don't hear you coming in amongst all the other noisy ICE cars - however once the majority of cars are electric I don't think this will be a problem any more because a) by then everyone will have learnt to look before crossing the road so they don't get run over (the darwin effect!) and b) with a much lower overall noise level the tyre noise of an approaching EV will be audible but not obnoxious, instead of inaudible as it is now. People will learn to listen for approaching tyre rumble in an otherwise quiet environment, as well as looking!
Will those of us who last long enough to see it look back one day and say that we can't believe we used to live in such noisy cities where you could hardly hear yourself think without plugging your ears ? Will it be a tale to tell our disbelieving Grand kids ?