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Lies, damb lies, and misleading graphs – electric car efficiency in the AAAS February 21, 2015

Posted by Maury Markowitz in balonium, electric cars.
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Map of energy use of electric cars from the AAAS

Shouldn’t they have a caption here?

So someone slashdoted this story in the AAAS. Along with it comes the fancy graphic on the right.

Looking at that graph, it seems that the energy use of electric cars anywhere outside the deep south is terrible! And it looks that way until you read the small-print caption under the graph…

The average energy consumption per mile for an electric vehicle fleet over a full year. South Florida and the Pacific Coast boasted the greenest rates (170 Wh/km), whereas the upper Midwest fared the worst in terms of energy efficiency (196 Wh/km; red).

That’s right, the difference from green-is-good to red-is-bad is 26 Wh/km, or 13%. Wow, nice graph, AAAS. What’s worse, they fail to mention that gas powered cars also suffer from the same sorts of milage degradation in the cold, only worse. My Civic Hybrid gets about 53 mpg (US gallons) in the summer and only 38 in the winter. That’s a 28% drop, over double the amount.

I suggest everyone take a bit of their time and read my previous article on the topic. Running an electric car in the red area is still twice as efficient as a gas car in the same region.

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