The Exaggerated Benefits of Electric Cars

Just how green are electric vehicles?

Ozzie Zehner, a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, says it’s not as clear-cut as we generally assume. In an article published in Spectrum, the news arm of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Zehner notes that researchers have come to some widely divergent conclusions.

A life cycle analysis by the National Academies found that electric vehicles will impose greater total environmental costs per mile than standard gasoline-powered cars.

Industry-funded research tends to paint a rosy picture of how electric cars, powered by clean fuels, will curb carbon emissions, Zehner writes. He cites electric vehicle research from Stanford University’s Global Climate & Energy Project, which has received $113 million from ExxonMobil, General Electric, Schlumberger, and Toyota.

Once you take into account the full life cycle of the vehicles and environmental costs in addition to carbon emissions, electric cars look a lot less green. Zehner refers to a life cycle analysis by the National Academies that considered the full environment costs of electric cars, including the manufacture and disposal of their batteries, which found no benefit compared to conventional cars.

In addition, Zehner writes, comparing electric cars to gasoline-powered cars gives short shrift to other strategies to reduce the environmental impact of transportation and land use, like transit and walkable communities, which provide additional social benefits:

There’s no doubt that gasoline- and diesel-fueled cars are expensive and dirty. Road accidents kill tens of thousands of people annually in the United States alone and injure countless more. Using these kinds of vehicles as a standard against which to judge another technology sets a remarkably low bar. Even if electric cars someday clear that bar, how will they stack up against other alternatives?

The federal government offers generous tax credits — up to $7,500 — to people who buy an electric vehicle. And a number of states will do you even better; West Virginia offers electric vehicle owners up to $15,000 in tax breaks, the highest in the nation. But tax credits for electric vehicles tend to be regressive, Zehner says. The average Chevy Volt owner makes $170,000 annually.

Rather than using that money to subsidize electric cars, taxpayers would get a better environmental bang for their buck with interventions like transit expansion, more targeted emissions testing policies, and making places more walkable and bikeable.

  • Kelfin Planck

    The Second Law of Thermodynamics rules out strictly ambient heat engines.

    Expecting an ambient heat engine to do any work, with only one heat reservoir, is exactly equivalent to expecting a teapot to boil water by absorbing heat from a block of ice.

    Both processes are ruled out by the very same law – the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    “It is impossible for any device operating on a cycle to produce net work from a single temperature reservoir; the production of net work requires flow of heat from a higher temperature reservoir to a colder reservoir.”

    In a strictly ambient heat engine there are not two heat reservoirs at different temperatures; no reservoir would be available at any temperature other than the ambient temperature. Therefore the engine would have to DECREASE the total entropy – and therefore we know for certain that the engine will disappoint us. It will never be able to do any work.

    Flow of heat from a block of ice to lukewarm water would also result in a DECREASE of the total entropy.

    Once again: Expecting an ambient heat engine to do any work, with only one heat reservoir, is exactly equivalent to expecting a teapot to boil water by absorbing heat from a block of ice. Anyone who claims to be developing a “prototype” of such an engine is only developing a pretense, and nothing more.

  • Kelfin Planck

    Max Planck, in his “Treatise On Thermodynamics,” explains how the Second Law of Thermodynamics “may be deduced from a single simple law of experience about which there is no doubt.” Here is the “single simple law of experience” he proposes:

    “It is impossible to construct an engine which will work in a complete cycle, and produce no effect except the raising of a weight and the cooling of a heat-reservoir.”

    This “law of experience” is very similar to a principle suggested by William Thomson (Lord Kelvin):

    “It is impossible, by means of inanimate material agency, to derive mechanical effect from any portion of matter by cooling it below the temperature of the coldest of the surrounding objects.”

    The “simple law of experience” offered by Planck is therefore commonly known as the “Kelvin-Planck statement” of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. But we see from Planck’s “Treatise” that Planck himself did not quite regard it as a statement of the Second Law, but rather as a “starting point” or postulate from which the Second Law may be deduced.

    Here is Planck’s rendition of the Second Law itself:

    “The second law of thermodynamics states that there exists in nature for each system of bodies a quantity, which by all changes of the system either remains constant (in reversible processes) or increases in value (in irreversible processes). This quantity is called, following Clausius, the entropy of the system.”

  • Kelfin Planck

    The Kelvin-Planck formulation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics may be stated as follows:

    “No cyclic process driven simply by heat can accomplish the absorption of the heat from a reservoir and the conversion of such heat into work – without any other result (such as a transfer of heat to a cooler reservoir).”

    Now, as you will see, the Clausius formulation of the Second Law may be stated with fewer words:

    “No process is possible whose sole result is the transfer of heat from a cooler to a hotter body.”

    In fact, we can show that the Kelvin-Planck formulation may be deduced from that of Clausius. In the words of Enrico Fermi:

    “Suppose that Kelvin’s postulate were not valid. Then we could perform a transformation whose only final result would be to transform completely into work a definite amount of heat taken from a single source at the temperature t1. By means of friction we could then transform this work into heat again and with this heat raise the temperature of a given body, regardless of what its initial temperature, t2, may have been. In particular, we could take t2 to be higher than t1. Thus, the only final result of this process would be the transfer of heat from one body (the source at temperature t1) to another body at a higher temperature, t2. This would be a violation of the Clausius postulate.”

    Can anyone make a teapot that boils water by absorbing heat from blocks of ice?

  • Kelfin Planck

    Mark Goldes’ proofless claims regarding his make-believe strictly ambient heat engine do not represent any new technology, or even a new pretense – they merely represent a rather old pretense.

    “Before the establishment of the Second Law, many people who were interested in inventing a perpetual motion machine had tried to circumvent the restrictions of First Law of Thermodynamics by extracting the massive internal energy of the environment as the power of the machine. Such a machine is called a “perpetual motion machine of the second kind”. The second law declared the impossibility of such machines.”

    “A perpetual motion machine of the second kind is a machine which spontaneously converts thermal energy into mechanical work. When the thermal energy is equivalent to the work done, this does not violate the law of conservation of energy. However it does violate the more subtle second law of thermodynamics (see also entropy). The signature of a perpetual motion machine of the second kind is that there is only one heat reservoir involved… This conversion of heat into useful work, without any side effect, is impossible, according to the second law of thermodynamics.”

    Goldes’ make-believe strictly ambient heat engine would be a perpetual motion machine of the second kind, as defined above. Goldes is not developing any such engine; he is merely developing a pretense – as usual.

  • Kelfin Planck

    In Mark Goldes’ patent application for his ludicrous “POWERGENIE” horn-powered tuning-rod engine, he described the tuning-rod as “an energy transfer and multiplier element.”

    But of course, for the tuning-rod to “multiply” energy, it would need to disprove the law of conservation of energy.

    Goldes’ use of the term “energy multiplier element” reflected his pretense that the “revolutionary breakthrough” of the amazing “POWERGENIE” could disprove the law of conservation of energy, by presenting the world with a working “energy multiplier.”

    Goldes even claimed in 2008 that the POWERGENIE had been demonstrated already in an electric car, driven 4800 miles by his energy-multiplying horn-powered tuning-rod.

    But it seems that most people, for some reason, had difficulty accepting the notion that the law of conservation of energy could be proven false.

    And Goldes no doubt noticed that the Second Law of Thermodynamics – that “the entropy of an isolated system tends to increase with time and can never decrease” – is much less clear to most people than the conservation of energy.

    So now, after leaving aside the pretense that he could somehow “multiply energy” with a magnetized tuning-rod, Goldes has chosen to focus, instead, on the pretense that he can disprove the Second Law with an engine powered only by ambient heat.

    There is no “new science” in any of Goldes’ “revolutionary breakthroughs.” There is only pseudoscience and pretense – and nothing new, at all.

  • Kelfin Planck

    Let’s look at another example of Mark Goldes’ wonderful offerings in “revolutionary new technology:”

    The amazing “POWERGENIE!”

    One of the most laughable of Mark Goldes’ many pseudotypes is his “POWERGENIE” horn-powered generator. The brilliant idea of this revolutionary breakthrough is to blow a horn at a magnetized tuning rod, designed to resonate at the frequency of the horn, and then collect the electromotive energy produced by the vibrations of the rod.

    We’re not making this up.

    POWERGENIE tuning rod engine explained – from the patent:

    [The device incorporates] “an energy transfer and multiplier element being constructed of a ferromagnetic substance… having a natural resonance, due to a physical structure whose dimensions are directly proportional to the wavelength of the resonance frequency…

    “In this resonant condition, the rod material functions as a tuned waveguide, or longitudinal resonator, for acoustic energy…

    “Ferrite rod 800 is driven to acoustic resonance at the second harmonic of its fundamental resonant frequency by acoustic horn 811…”

    – But the patent doesn’t tell us who will volunteer to blow the horn at the rod all day. Perhaps it will come with an elephant.

    Mark Goldes claimed in 2008 that this wonderful triumph of human genius would bring his company, Magnetic Power Inc, one billion dollars in annual revenue by 2012. Magnetic Power is now defunct, having never produced any “Magnetic Power Modules” – just as Goldes’ company called “Room Temperature Superconductors Inc” is also now defunct, having never produced any “room temperature superconductors.”

  • Kelfin Planck

    Mark Goldes’ “Aesop Institute” has engaged for many years in the very dishonest and unscrupulous practice of soliciting loans and donations under an endless series of false pretenses, that it is developing and even “prototyping” various “revolutionary breakthroughs,” such as “NO FUEL ENGINES” that run on ambient heat alone – or run on “Virtual Photon Flux” – or on “Collapsing Hydrogen Orbits” – or even on the acoustic energy of sound from a horn.

    Aesop Institute’s make-believe strictly ambient heat engine is ruled out by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This has been understood by physicists for at least 180 years. There is no “new science” that has ever determined such an engine to be possible.

    Aesop Institute’s make-believe “Virtual Photon Flux” engine is based on the idea that accessible electric power “is everywhere present in unlimited quantities” – which we know to be false.

    Aesop Institute’s make-believe “Collapsing Hydrogen Orbits” engine is based on Randell Mills’ theory of “hydrino” hydrogen, which every scientist knows to be false.

    Aesop Institute’s make-believe horn-powered engine is based on the pretense that a magnetized tuning rod could somehow “multiply energy” – a ludicrous notion, which is obviously ruled out by the law of conservation of energy.

    Aesop Institute’s very latest make-believe engine is a perpetual motion machine in the form of a self-powered air compressor, which proposes to use a turbine to compress air to spin the turbine to compress air to spin the turbine.

    Aesop Institute has never offered the slightest shadow of evidence that it is actually developing or “prototyping” any of these make-believe physics-defying “revolutionary breakthroughs.” All it has ever offered are mere declarations that it is doing so – unsupported by any proof whatever, of any kind whatever.

    There are no “revolutionary breakthroughs” to be found on Goldes’ fraudulent “Aesop Institute” website. There is only pseudoscience, relentless flimflam, and empty claims of engines that are ruled out by the laws of physics.

  • Kelfin Planck

    Mark Goldes, starting in the mid-seventies, engaged for several years in the pretense that his company SunWind Ltd was developing a nearly production-ready, road-worthy, wind-powered “windmobile,” based on the windmobile invented by James Amick; and that therefore SunWind would be a wonderful investment opportunity.

    After SunWind “dried up” in 1983, Goldes embarked on the long-running pretense that his company Room Temperature Superconductors Inc was developing room-temperature superconductors; and that therefore Room Temperature Superconductors Inc would be a wonderful investment opportunity. He continues the pretense that the company developed something useful, even to this day.

    And then Goldes embarked on the pretense that his company Magnetic Power Inc was developing “NO FUEL ENGINES” based on “Virtual Photon Flux;” and then, on the pretense that MPI was developing horn-powered “NO FUEL ENGINES” based on the resonance of magnetized tuning-rods; and then, on the pretense that his company Chava LLC (aka “Chava Energy”) was developing water-fueled engines based on “collapsing hydrogen orbits” (which are ruled out by quantum physics); and then, on the pretense that he was developing strictly-ambient-heat-powered “NO FUEL ENGINES” (which are ruled out by the Second Law of Thermodynamics).

    But of course, the laws of physics always make an exception for the make-believe pretenses of Mark Goldes.

    Goldes’ forty-year career of “revolutionary breakthrough” pretense has nothing to do with science, but only with pseudoscience, pseudophysics, and relentless flimflam, in pursuit of loans and donations from gullible people who never mastered physics very well.

  • WillliamJohnsonn

    After founding Magnetic Power Inc in the mid-eighties, Mark Goldes and MPI proceeded to develop most of the fraudcraftings which would serve as Goldes’ offerings in fraudcraft for the next thirty years, not only at MPI, but also at Chava Energy LLC, and at his so-called “Aesop Institute.” Goldes’ partnership with Hagen Ruff, the other Co-founder (as well as CEO) of Chava Energy LLC, gave the Goldes-MPI fraudcraft a new lease on life, and accordingly it may now be termed most properly the “Goldes-Ruff Fraudcraft.” For the past five years or more, while serving as a Co-founder and a Chief Officer of Chava Energy LLC, Goldes used his mgoldes @ chavaenergy dot com email address as his Aesop Institute email address as well, at least until his very recent ejection from Chava Energy. In practice, Goldes made continual use of Aesop Institute to bring investors to Chava Energy, which for five years has based its pretenses on nearly all the same fraudcraft used by Goldes at Aesop Institute. The common fraudcraft included the fraudcraftings of pretended development of water-fueled “Fractional Hydrogen” engines, of generators supposedly powered by Zero Point Energy, of “Ultraconductor” wire and “Ultraconductor” energy storage systems, and of strictly ambient heat engines – along with endless false claims that these concepts were currently being “prototyped,” and would soon provide wonderful alternatives to fossil fuels.

    For five years, Hagen Ruff allowed Mark Goldes, a Co-founder as well as a Chief Officer of Chava Energy, not only to use his mgoldes @ chavaenergy dot com email address to solicit loans to Goldes’ so-called “Aesop Institute,” but simultaneously to solicit loans to Aesop Institute and investments in Chava Energy in the course of discussions and communications with prospects who had reached Goldes by way of aesopinstitute. In effect, Ruff allowed Aesop Institute to become a fund-raising extension of Chava Energy. Starting in 2009, if not before, Goldes posted thousands of fraudulent comments advertising the aesopinstitute website and promoting the Goldes-Ruff fraudcraftings on dozens of different websites. On Huffington Post alone, as the user “Overtone,” he posted over three thousand such comments. When people contacted Goldes after visiting the aesopinstitute website, they would learn from Goldes not only about Aesop Institute but also about Chava Energy, and Goldes would solicit loans to Aesop Institute or investment in Chava Energy, whichever the prospect preferred, at the same time. This was his standard practice for years. By allowing this entangling of Aesop Institute with Chava Energy LLC, Ruff has incurred responsibility not only for the false and fraudulent pretenses of Chava Energy, but for those of Mark Goldes’ “Aesop Institute” as well. For this reason, although neither the Kenneth Rauen strictly ambient heat engine pretense nor the Boris Kondrashov self-powered turbine pretense have been directly used or presented by Chava Energy, as they have by Aesop Institute, they still deserve full recognition within the ensemble of Goldes-Ruff fraudcraftings.

    For five years since it was founded, Chava Energy LLC tried to promote itself chiefly by means of false and fraudulent claims and pretenses, that it was developing “revolutionary energy breakthroughs,” including “Fractional Hydrogen” engines utilizing nonexistent states of hydrogen, magical Ambient Temperature Thermionic Converters, and magnetic generators supposedly harnessing Zero Point Energy.

    An “MPI Overview And Summary” produced by MPI in late 2008 actually lists Hagen Ruff as the Chief Executive Officer of MPI, as well as a Director of MPI; Mark Goldes, who had been the CEO of MPI for two decades, is listed only as Chairman. This document also shows that a major component 0f the Goldes-Ruff Fraudcraft was already well developed in 2008: namely, the fraudulent pretense that the worthless “revolutionary breakthroughs” claimed by Goldes and Ruff could provide alternatives to fossil fuels and thereby shift the global economy “from one dependent on fossil fuels to one that exists on clean, fuel-free, distributed power” and thereby “help offset the consequences of global warming.” At the time when Hagen Ruff, as CEO of MPI, allowed this and many similar statements to be included in the 2008 “MPI Overview,” MPI was claiming among its “breakthroughs” all but one of the seven fraudcraftings – all but Kondrashov’s self-powered air compressor, which
    Goldes discovered in 2013. Ruff and Goldes knew perfectly well that not one of MPI’s six claimed “breakthroughs” represented anything more than an empty pretense.

    If Chava Energy’s claims regarding their pretended Revolutionary Breakthrough development of “Fractional Hydrogen” “SPICE” engines, Ambient Temperature Thermionic Converters, “Ultraconductor” wire, “Ultraconductor Energy Storage Systems,” and Zero Point Energy harvesting “MagGen” generators were not false and fraudulent, why did Hagen Ruff suddenly remove those claims from Chava’s website?

    In fact, all of those fraudulent claims came originally from the very same source: Chava Energy Co-founder and Chief Market Research Officer Mark Goldes, and Goldes’ previous company, Magnetic Power Inc.

    We do find and state that Hagen Ruff’s Chava Energy LLC has made a great many utterly false and fraudulent claims and statements, showing very unscrupulous dishonesty, on the matters of “Fractional Hydrogen” engines, Ambient Temperature Thermionic Converters, and “MagGen” generators that supposedly harness Zero Point Energy. Chava Energy’s claims and statements regarding “Ultraconductor” wire and “Ultraconductor Energy Storage Systems” were also false and dishonest in various ways.

    The relentless and pervasive dishonesty, fraudulence, and unscrupulousness, that characterized Mark Goldes’ use of his company Magnetic Power Inc for over twenty years prior to the founding of Chava Energy LLC, has also characterized Mark Goldes’ and Hagen Ruff’s use of Chava Energy LLC and Aesop Institute since 2009.

    If there had ever been any chance at all that Chava Energy LLC could be transformed into an honest and honorable company despite its five-year specialization in fraudcraft, that chance was wiped out by Hagen Ruff’s most recent communications, in which he embarked on some brand new pretenses, no less ludicrous than his fraudcraft of “Fractional Hydrogen.” He now wants to pretend that his very active Co-founder, Mark Goldes, the very same person who has been his Chief Liar for five years, was actually never a part of Chava Energy, at all! And he also now wants to pretend that none of Chava Energy’s fraudcraftings came from Mark Goldes or MPI – even though, in fact, they all did – every one of them.

  • Learn the truth about Chava Energy LLC Co-Founder Mark Goldes And His Fraudulent “AESOP Institute”


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