Saturday, August 15, 2009

Chevy Volt, you are no Prius (or Tesla either)

A while ago I calculated the environmental impact of the Tesla Roadster electric car and found that, depending on the amount of coal used to produce electricity, the Tesla may actually be worse for the environment than the Prius.

The Chevy Volt, as discussed over at TreeHugger, is being marketed as great for the environment. Is it really? Not so much.

For electric cars, watt hour per mile is the determinant of efficiency. The Tesla takes 180 watt hours per mile. The Volt takes 250 (better than the original 400 they had originally stated). Depending on where you live in America, that could be up to 0.5 lbs of CO2 per mile. Compare that to the Prius, which comes in at only 0.4 lbs per mile.

Of course, this is still better than the 0.7 lbs per mile the average American sedan produces.