Going electric


As you all know, our old diesel has rather dramatically given up the ghost. Now, we knew the car was old and had thankfully already been looking into a replacement, though we’d hoped to do it by the end of the year after paying off the solar panels. Well, that didn’t quite work out, but it meant that we had already looked into new cars and decided on a model. We wanted an electric one, as it makes no sense to buy a conventional one now that will rapidly lose all resale value once electric cars dominate the market, and we sure as hell didn’t want a used one where you never knew when it would break down. Given that it needs to be able to pull our caravan and that the traditional European car manufacturers have stalled on developing electric cars, this left us either with the premium brands that are well outside of our price range and that use the electricity equivalent of a small town or the Kia EV6 and we were lucky to get one on short notice.

Now I know that cars are bad. Even electric cars. And I wished I lived in a world where I didn’t need one, or where we could get by with one car instead of two, but it’s not this world. I’d love to get there, but until that day, I need to eat and therefore work and that means driving a car. But an electric car is an improvement (especially when powered by renewable energy) and it really drives home the absurdity of conventional fuel powered cars in terms of energy consumption.

One big issue with all energy consumption is energy efficiency: How much of my energy consumption is actually used to produce the desired result. We all remember the old lightbulbs that produced 85% heat and 15% light. Modern petrol powered cars get about 40% movement. The rest is heat. When you apply the breaks, you turn more kinetic energy into heat. An electric car gets that up to 80%. Recuperation means that when you slow down, your battery charges. In case that you need to break (I hardly break anymore), your battery charges. My old car that Mr has now used 6 l /100 km super with my careful driving. My same careful driving now uses 15 kWh/100. This means that my commute already needs more energy than all household appliances together! But it gets worse: 1l super is the equivalent of 8.4 kWh, so the old car needed the equivalent of 50kWh. It gets even worse: Every litre of fuel that you put into your car has already used another litre of fuel in production and transport, so the 50kWh turn into 100kWh. Creating a car centric world was really one of the worst things we could do.


  1. dangerousbeans says

    The amount of energy used for transport is staggering. My house used 320kWh last month (it’s winter and the heating is electric), which is about the same as a week of me commuting based on your numbers above. So if i were to stop working remotely it would be four times my household usage

  2. says

    I looked again into electric car prices and it would still mean I would have to sell a kidney, piece of liver, and arm and a leg to be able to afford one even if I still had my previous, well-paid job.

  3. says

    Yeah, transportation is a huge issue when fighting climate change, and it’s not one with easy answers. Working from home sure plays a role, but honestly, nobody in my family has ever had a job where they could work from home. I mean, my brother in law technically could, but I think we can all agree that therapists shouldn’t invite patients into their home.

    @Charly Yepp. Never thought I’d ever pay that much for a car. Hopefully it will be the last car that size we need, as electric cars are supposedly more durable, since all the things that basically made all our other cars too broken to reasonably repair are not present in an EV.

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