Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Here's an interesting article debating the use of natural gas or electricity for powering state-owned fleet vehicles in Colorado. Even though electric cars are both less polluting AND less expensive to operate, energy-company-backed politicians are planning to purchase 'merican-made CNG vehicles instead.

Colorado officials -- poised to spend $21 million to replace 585 state vehicles — are wedded to cars and trucks that run on made-in-Colorado compressed natural gas. Various electric, hybrid and CNG vehicles -- not including the Chinese-made E6 -- are being reviewed after 271 bids were submitted to supply nongasoline vehicles to the state before an Oct. 1 deadline.

It's a complicated situation because Republican state legislators have intervened and tilted the market away from electricity toward compressed gas. A law that took effect in 2010 restricts state purchases of alternative-fuel vehicles to CNG vehicles -- unless any increased costs are more than 10 percent above costs of gasoline vehicles.

While these pollute less than gasoline counterparts, electric vehicles do not pollute directly at all and are cheaper to operate. A new Southwest Energy Efficiency Project analysis concludes that "EVs provide potentially greater benefits than CNG vehicles after a conversion of the fleet is complete -- if the generation of electric power is converted to non-polluting renewable sources."
Colorado's production of electricity, which would be used to recharge electric vehicle batteries, is shifting from coal to natural gas -- relatively cleaner -- in an effort to cut greenhouse-gas emissions that scientists have linked to climate change.

China-based Build Your Dreams [BYD] -- 10 percent owned by U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett -- has won federal approval to sell its E6. Larger than Nissan's Leaf and the electric Ford Focus, the E6 is being promoted to fleet managers in Denver, on the West Coast and in Florida. State officials say they're aware that industry data show electric vehicles are more cost-effective per mile than vehicles running on compressed gas. But compressed gas is "the most cost-effective fuel," and using it "will save money and increase economic development in the state," said Denise Stepto, spokeswoman for the governor's energy office.

"Electric vehicles are significantly less expensive than any compressed-natural-gas bus or taxi or any gasoline vehicle -- when you look at the total cost of ownership," said [Michael Austin, vice president of BYD America]. "Fleet managers who have any sense are going to convert."

http://www.denverpost.com/environment/ci_21832304/pricey-electric-car-is-draw-but-officials-want-tap -colorados-natural-gas#ixzz2A8W27wSA
by asdf on Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 at 11:40:58 AM EST

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