"If you have a limited amount of land you're working with, and you want to squeeze the most transportation off that limited amount of land, then the electricity route makes the most sense," Campbell told NPR.
No one questions that an electric motor is way more efficient than an ICE for purposes of in-vehicle efficiency comparisons, but this study is not as cut and dried. Campbell and his co-authors did not look at the complete ecosystem (both natural and political) for ethanol and EVs; they simply tried to calculate "miles per area cropland" and greenhouse gas offsets when starting with both corn and switchgrass and ending with vehicles moving down the road. In this calculation, electric vehicles win.
Listen to a two-minute audio clip over on NPR and download the paper in PDF. Thanks to Bryant and Jason for the tips.
[Source: NPR, UC Merced]
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