Thursday, June 23, 2011

BMW i3: The Intersection of Policy, Business, & Carbon

I recently came across this interesting report. It's titled "BMW: i3 Electric Vehicle. The Intersection of Policy, Business, & Carbon" and was written by Lauren Blasch, Jeremy Pomp, Marla Stancil, Shyam Vijayaraghavan.

The report focuses on electric vehicles and their carbon footprint in general, as opposed to being i3 specific. It demonstrates that depending on the source of the electricity used for charging the car, EV's can range from better to worse than a Toyota Prius in carbon emissions. It's interesting that they used the most efficient hybrid currently available to compare electric vehicle emissions to. I think it might have been more useful to use the Pruis and also show on the graph the average internal combustion engine cars carbon emissions also. They even go as far as to detail which states are better suited for electric cars based on their electricity generation mix. The good news is that New York and California, the target markets for the i3 since they both have "megacities" were two of the states that were "EV favorable" The report is only 28 pages long and many of the pages are graphs so it doesn't take long to read. There are some interesting fact in there so I recommend reading it if you are interested in electric vehicles and their impact on the environment.

One thing to consider though, the report is strictly focused on the carbon emissions of vehicles and I advocate electric cars for more reasons than just their carbon footprint. Even if you live in a state that produces 100% of it's electricity from burning coal, and by using an EV you are producing more carbon than if you owned a Toyota Prius, you are still spending your energy dollars on a DOMESTIC product. You are not contributing to the crushing trade imbalance, much of which is created from importing foreign oil and you are not sending some your money to radical Middle Eastern regimes, many of which hate us. Electricity is produced and distributed by local and regional companies, and 100% of the money you spend on it stays local. If you ask me, that's reason enough to drive an electric car.

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