The statement in your editorial that, “… our electricity supply from SDG&E is currently less than 40% renewable, so charging your car with dirty energy defeats the goal of zero emissions”, is misleading in several ways. Of course, 40% renewable is a whole lot better than 0% renewable for gas at the pump, but you miss other advantages that make electric cars much more efficient and environmentally friendly than their gas counterparts.
First, electric cars burn less “fuel” because power plants run at roughly 38 – 60% thermodynamic efficiency versus 20 – 35% percent for cars. Second, electric cars don’t burn gas or emit exhaust when parked in the daily traffic jam on I-5. Third, electric cars use regenerative braking to capture energy that goes completely to waste in gas cars.
Yes, we need cleaner, more renewable energy from SDG&E, but electric cars are a big step in the right direction right now.
Joel F. Martin, Ph.D.
Editors’ note: We agree with all of Dr. Martin’s points. The point we were trying to make is that charging your EV with 100% renewable energy from CEA is an attractive option if you don’t have rooftop solar.