Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Electric Car Chargers Inefficient

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Electric Car Chargers Inefficient

Article excerpt

"Pennsylvanians Push For More Electric Vehicle Charging Stations" cited insufficient public chargers as "the biggest challenge" for electric car buyers and touted regional efforts to roll out more chargers.

This is the wrong strategy for saving gasoline and cutting emissions.

A 2013 Carnegie Mellon study found that public chargers are one of the most expensive ways to save gasoline and reduce air emissions -- especially in Pittsburgh.

Electric vehicles might sound green, but the electricity that charges them in our region comes predominantly from fossil fuels, which generate carbon dioxide and air pollutants. And, the production of electric vehicle batteries adds to emissions.

Public charging saves gasoline only on exceptional trips that are longer than the vehicle's range. If you drive a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), which uses electricity for short trips and switches to gasoline for long trips, those chargers aren't necessary. If you instead drive a battery-only electric vehicle, long trips would be inconvenient anyway -- even if the fastest chargers were in ideal locations, a long-distance trip with a Nissan Leaf would require stopping every hour for an extra half hour. …

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