Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

> Likewise in spending thousands to upgrade from an average 25 mpg car to a 35+ mpg car

I'm really curious about this as well. I drive an old Honda Accord that gets ~22-26mpg. In Texas I can choose to only purchase renewable energy, but how much environmental impact will be had from my purchase from an electric car compared to keeping this nearly two-decade-old car running? What is the point where this car is better left as recycled metal vs. keeping it running?

This depends on a lot of factors, including:

- How much you have to drive. The more you drive, the more you can offset the embodied carbon footprint of the EV, and the more fossil fuels you offset.

- How fast your decades old ICE car deteriorates, and therefore decreases in efficiency and increases its operational pollution emissions.

- The embodied carbon footprint of the vehicle parts you replace through maintenance of an old vehicle.

High range EVs with large batteries cancel their embodied footprint in 18 months with a typical drive cycle, even lower if you are mostly using renewably sourced electricity. Lower range EVs take even less time [1]

It sounds to me like from your situation (old car, renewable power available) the numbers already suggest you should do it now. From the report linked below, driving an EV in Texas today is like getting 52 mpg with an ICE car. If you're using only renewables it is multiple times more efficient (see equivalents for CA and NY)

1. https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/life...

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact