[Sust-mar] Zenn car consumables

Dave Chapman dave.chapman at ns.sympatico.ca
Sun Jan 20 15:34:21 EST 2008

To continue the discussion on running costs and environmental impact  
of the Zenn car, I agree it would be a major undertaking to assess the  
FULL impact. However, it is reasonable to assume that the impact of  
manufacturing and disposing of any car would be about the same, so we  
can remove that from the comparison with other cars. I was trying to  
focus on the CONSUMABLES, that is, the electricity and the batteries,  
which I believe will have to be replaced every three years or so.  
(There is longer-lasting battery technology but the Zenn car uses lead- 
acid batteries.) The average consumer wants to know how much the car  
will cost to run, period. The more enlightened consumer will think  
about the environmental impact of the consumables.

My very rough guesstimate was that if you used the car to its maximum  
range every day (admittedly that is a lot) you would spend $1 for  
electricity and $1.50 for the battery depreciation, not so different  
from running an internal combustion vehicle for the same distance.  
Believe me, I would love it if someone were to prove this wrong!

On-line research found a study on the CO2 emissions of various car  
options, showing that the impact of the electrical car is critically  
dependent on the source of electricity, only improving on that of the  
hybrid car if the electrical source is hydroelectricity. This is what  
many people on this list have been speculating. http://www.ilea.org/lcas/taharaetal2001.html 
  Mind you, that was only one study and the assumptions would have to  
be carefully reviewed.

Dave Chapman

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