Skip to main content

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?

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.

Popular posts from this blog

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

A Billion Miles Under Nuclear Energy (Updated)

And the winner is…Cassini-Huygens, in triple overtime.

The spaceship conceived in 1982 and launched fifteen years later, will crash into Saturn on September 15, after a mission of 19 years and 355 days, powered by the audacity and technical prowess of scientists and engineers from 17 different countries, and 72 pounds of plutonium.

The mission was so successful that it was extended three times; it was intended to last only until 2008.

Since April, the ship has been continuing to orbit Saturn, swinging through the 1,500-mile gap between the planet and its rings, an area not previously explored. This is a good maneuver for a spaceship nearing the end of its mission, since colliding with a rock could end things early.

Cassini will dive a little deeper and plunge toward Saturn’s surface, where it will transmit data until it burns up in the planet’s atmosphere. The radio signal will arrive here early Friday morning, Eastern time. A NASA video explains.

In the years since Cassini has launc…