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Two readers look to reduce
emissions associated with EVs.
And the ASME President-Elect salutes
our retired Executive Director.
believes electric vehicles
could one day be truly
To the Editor: John Kosowatz's
interesting and informative article,
“Rekindling the Spark” (November
2017), espoused roughly comparable
impacts of conventional and electric
vehicles. But this missed one of two
As noted by Dutch journalist Thalia
Verkade in her de Correspondent
article “Why Electric Cars are
Always...Greener,” while the impact of
manufacturing electric and internal
combustion vehicles is about the
same, only the EV can employ carbon-emission-free energy sources (although
Verkade pointedly ignored the nuclear
option) over its entire life cycle.
According to Verkade’s study, this
latter fact gives electric vehicles roughly
half the cradle-to-grave carbon-emission impact of a conventional
vehicle, provided the EV is powered by
I always chuckle when I see the
“zero-emission” sticker on a hydrogen-powered car. I know full well that its
emissions will be far worse than those
of a conventional car if the hydrogen
is synthesized by a carbon-generating
Of course, full discussion must also
include the adverse impacts on wildlife.
For example, “renewable fuels” are not
so if their cultivation destroys habitat.
And notably thousands of birds are
incinerated mid-air in the light cone of
the Tonopah Solar Plant.
One way to make electric vehicles
truly zero-emissions is to put up
parking-spot-sized solar panels tilted
to the sun in our corporate parking lots,
one for each EV. Each panel would be
sufficient to re-charge a vehicle for the
trip home during the typical eight-hour
work day, at least in the southwest.
J. Philip Barnes, San Pedro, Calif.
To the Editor: I believe the recent article
on the competition between internal
combustion engine vehicles and battery
electric vehicles (“Rekindling the
Spark”) was incomplete and somewhat
The article points out that when the
power to recharge BEVs comes from
coal fired plants it basically moves
the tailpipe emissions from one place
What the author does not account for
is that, as BEVs become more commonplace in years to come, electricity is
going to be generated by means other
than the combustion of coal.
Press reports claim that Canada plans
to build a fleet of small nuclear reactors.
Those same reports state that GE-Hitachi plans to enter Canada's vendor
review process with an SMR technology
it developed in the United States.
So, with wind, solar and SMR's (at
least in enlightened countries like
Canada) replacing coal, the argument
about shifting tailpipe emissions from
one place to another simply goes away.
As for the lithium challenge,
one has to wonder how much of an
environmental issue it will be once most
cars are battery powered and lithium
batteries are recycled instead of being
produced from virgin material.
I feel the author should have
accounted for emerging trends in
electricity production and battery
recycling in order to present a more
fair and realistic picture of the
environmental benefits of BEVs.
Bob Balhiser, Helena, Mont.
To the Editor: Thank you for your
editorial about past ASME Executive
Director Tom Loughlin (January 2018).
It was a very appropriate tribute to an
individual who did a lot of great things
for ASME and who dedicated 25 years of
his career to the profession.
Said Jahanmir, Cambridge, Mass.
Jahanmir is ASME President-Elect.
Technology that moves the world
ENHANCING PIPELINE SAFETY
BROOKLYN'S TROUBLED WATERS
Does the internal combustion engine
have a future in a rapidly