Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Toyota Powering Plug-In Vehicles With French Nuclear Energy


From the IHT:

Would you feel better about the environment by filling up on electricity generated by a nuclear plant than plain, old gasoline?

That’s one of the questions Toyota may face as part of a partnership with Electricite de France announced Wednesday at a glitzy Toyota showroom on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

The companies are setting up a “smart network” of plug-in points and household sockets that would charge users for filling up on French electricity, most of which comes from the country’s dozens of nuclear plants. Unlike coal, gas and oil plants, nuclear emits virtually zero carbon dioxide, although it does leave radioactive waste that troubles many citizens and environmentalists.

By charging cars at night, drivers would emit virtually no CO2 because that’s when nuclear plants are providing almost all the country’s base load of electricity, said Pierre Gadonneix, EDF’s chief executive.
I'd be willing to plug my car in at night? How about you?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

If costs were comparable to gasoline-fueled vehicles, I'd have no problem going with a plug-in. My understanding is that range is limited, so as a family vehicle used for vacations and such, I don't think it's a good choice. But for commuting, it might be viable.

d kosloff said...

When I worked at Priarie Island I saw that they had several outlets in one of the parking lots for plug-in electric engine block heaters. I never did check to see if they were metered (too cheap to meter?). When I lived in Alaska for a year, my apartment building had similar parking lot outlets that were controlled by a timer switch inside each apartment. Owners of nuclear power plants could aid this wise conversion to electric vehicles by installing metered plug-ins in plant parking lots. Of course, plant vehicles like fork lifts, man lifts and utility carts could also be replaced with electric vehicles as the old vehicles wear out.

GRLCowan said...

These plug-in vehicles are gasoline-fueled. They have enough battery for 10 to 20 km -- this takes a battery about as heavy as an extra passenger-- so you can make short trips like that without starting the gasoline engine.

--- G.R.L. Cowan, boron car fan
How shall the car gain nuclear cachet?

Ruth Sponsler said...

The concept could be extended to the parking lots at utility offices or other locations in communities that are close to nuclear plants.

I think it's a good promotional opportunity.

What the utilities could do is to work with small businesses that retrofit hybrid vehicles to plug-in status. As this invalidates the warranty on the vehicle, it's often best to do it with an older hybrid that is out-of-warranty.

This is analogous to something that is happening with CNG. There is a new business in my area run by a fellow who retrofits vehicles to run on CNG. He also owns a station where drivers can buy the CNG.