Proponents of plug-in electric cars would have you believe they are “green”. I wish it were true.
Forty two percent of the electricity in the US is produced by coal burning power plants, although this is projected to decline in coming years as natural gas and renewables take more share.
However, regardless of the fuel source for producing electricity, there is always a loss in transmission. Some transmission lines are more lossy than others. Transmission and distribution losses in the USA were estimated at 6.6% in 1997 and 6.5% in 2007.
So, now we have the electric car powered by coal and subject to a loss of efficiency of over 6%.