Zero Emission Vehicles
Recharging electric vehicles with photovoltaics (PV) results in a truer “zero-emission” vehicle. Other papers have discussed the complex issue of distributed tailpipe emissions versus displaced emissions from centralized generating stations. The use of PV to recharge electric vehicles avoids the distributed versus centralized emission controversy because PV has minimal environmental impact. Even when considering the total fuel cycle, including fuel extraction and plant construction, PV still retains a significant environmental advantage over conventional electrical generation technologies. This paper reviews total fuel cycle emissions and then addresses the use of PV to recharge electric vehicles. The data presented in this paper applies also to hybrid electric vehicles.