Don wrote: coal-fired gasoline
A new term . . . at least for me
Google and Wikipedia were no help - Care to explain?
"coal-fired gasoline" is a term I use to reflect the fact that the energy inputs for refining gasoline rarely come from the crude oil itself. (yes, even when you see refineries flaring waste gas, they are drawing from the grid). In most regions, the average 8 kWh of electricity that it takes to refine a gallon of gasoline from light sweet crude (much more for tar sands bitumen) comes from the same grid mix that local communities draw from. For instance, the refineries in Bellingham, WA that turn Alaskan crude into gasoline for the Pacific Northwest don't run on the clean hydropower which surrounds them, but are 59% fossil-fueled, mainly from coal boilers all the way over in Montana!
It is a big issue for EVs and a simple fact that universally advantages EVs. Consider Don on the Gulf Coast, where his Pascagoula-refined gasoline is energized by a dedicated natural gas cogen facility. That plant has flares burning 24/7, but relies on the steady flow of pipeline gas for it's electrical turbines. http://pascagoula.chevron.com/abouttherefinery/default.aspx
This basic claim should hold; "An EV uses less electricity overall than any equivalent fossil-fueled vehicle." Consider that conservative 8 kWH/gallon figure. Our i-MiEV at 258 Watt-hrs per mile can drive 31 miles on the electricity required to refine a single gallon of gas. With the average US vehicle still only getting 24 mpg, that means we've driven circles around the gasser before they even crank it up and start spewing exhaust. I haven't run numbers on an energy hog like Ahnold's Electric Hummer compared to a Gen 1 insight, but that's how extreme it'd have to get for an EV to consume more electricity than a gasser.