Electric Vehicles: Improved Air Quality AND Lower Energy Costs

(Joseph Gottlieb, CTO, Tuesday April 13, 2021)

Everyone knows (at least hopefully) that electric vehicles (EVs) significantly reduce air pollution when compared to gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles. The operation of electric motors obviously does not create any greenhouse gases. Moreover, the use of regenerative braking in electric vehicles significantly cuts down on the creation of brake dust, a big contributor to particulates. Finally, electric motors utilize very little in the way of lubricants compared to gasoline and diesel vehicles. All of these reductions make a huge improvement in air quality, especially in cities where most vehicles operate.

This difference also extends to energy efficiency. The transportation sector represents over one-quarter of the energy usage in the US. EVs convert over 77% of their energy into drive power, compared to 12%-30% for gasoline vehicles, a roughly 3X improvement. Even when considering the losses of efficiency for electric utility power generation (about 45% for natural gas), electric vehicles still come out way ahead. But perhaps the greatest value of EVs is that their electrical power can come from renewables (photovoltaic solar, wind, etc.), while internal combustion engines will always be powered by burning fuels that pollute, with engines that are relatively inefficient at creating the power that drives the vehicles. In essence, EVs provide the capability to both improve the air quality for our environment and reduce overall energy usage, both of which save money.

Rhombus has built high-power DC fast charging systems and smart inverters for renewable energy such as “behind the meter” grid energy storage systems for several years. We have applied that expertise to the design of our latest-generation bi-directional EV charging systems (which are designed from the start for the needs of fleet operators) and bi-directional smart inverter systems for microgrids. Rhombus expertise in energy management system (EMS) software is also embedded in our VectorStat EMS controller and software which is embedded in our EV charging systems and smart inverters. Rhombus also excels in the design and testing of high-power electrical equipment to meet the requirements of UL and other certification organizations. We have built hundreds of V2G-capable high-power, high-reliability chargers and bi-directional smart inverters for a variety of different sizes and classes of EVs. Find out how we can help you by contacting us at news@rhombusenergy.com, or by reading our Vehicle to Grid Solution Brief.