The Instigator
rtbreeder
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Buddamoose
Pro (for)
Winning
22 Points

Are electric cars good?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Buddamoose
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/16/2012 Category: Technology
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,652 times Debate No: 22068
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (4)

 

rtbreeder

Con

This should be a good one. My argument is no, I'm against it. Electric Cars simply just make the buyer feel 'good' about creating less emmisons. But how did they get the power to charge that car? It was fossil fuels, which were burned. Another con is the fact that they're small. Because of their size, they're not very safe, making them a hazard to drive. There are also limited recharging places on the open road. Because of these reasons, I'm against electric cars.
Buddamoose

Pro

I thank my opponent for starting this debate. I will now present my case for why electric cars are good. First I feel that good should be defined as

Good- something that has economic utility or satisfies an economic want OR something useful or beneficial(to an individual or a society as a whole.) My peer may use whichever definition he wishes, but as no definition was supplied I am able to now use whichever definition I see as best-fitting the context of the debate at hand(I think those definitions are reasonable.)

Next I will point out that as con burden of proof is on myself to prove that electric cars are good. However I do believe we need something to compare electric cars
too, and as such I see the current status quo, Internal Combustion Engines(ICE's) as a
suitable comparison.

Contention 1- Electric car engines are more efficient than Internal Combustion Engines(ICE)

Efficient- (esp. of a system or machine) Achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense

A) Electric engines use 75% of the potential energy stored in
their batteries. While ICE's only use 20% of potential energy in gaoline.
B) Electric Engines require less frequent maintenance than ICE's [http://www.fueleconomy.gov...]
C) The cost of "fueling" an electric vehicle would be 60% lower(from .10 cents a mile down to .04 cents a mile.)
[http://articles.businessinsider.com...]

With this contention we see electric vehicles are indeed something that has economic utility or satisfies an economic want. The utility being higher effiency(lower cost, lower maintenance, higher percentage of potential energy use.)

Before I submit my next contention I will briefly touch upon oil dependancy and why that is a negative to the current ICE filled world.

"The lack of sustained attention to energy issues is undercutting U.S. foreign policy and U.S. national security. Major energy suppliers— from Russia to Iran to Venezuela—have been increasingly able and willing to use their energy resources to pursue their strategic and political objectives. Major energy consumers—notably the United States, but other countries as well—are finding that their growing dependence on imported energy increases their strategic vulnerability and constrains their ability to pursue a broad range of foreign policy and national security objectives. Dependence also puts the United States into increasing competition with other importing countries, notably with today's rapidly growing emerging economies of China and India. At best, these trends will challenge U.S. foreign policy; at worst, they will seriously strain relations between the United States and these countries." [Pg. 3]

So now we see that in the current ICE filled world there is a guarantee that effectiveness of US foreign policy will be reduced, at worst seriously strain relations with foreign countries(resource war anyone?). As such this outcome being avoided would meet one of the two possble parameters of "good", something useful or beneficial(to an individual or a society as a whole).

A) Oil accounts for 96% of transportation energy use.
B) 68% of all total oil that is used in the Unites States is used for transportation.
C) The Unites States has 4.6% of the words population yet uses a quarter of the oil produced yearly.

[http://i.cfr.org...]

Contention Two- Electric Cars will reduce energy dependance upon foreign oil imports

A) By the year 2050 if 30% of all vehicles in the United States are electric. oil consumption would decrease oil usage annually by 2.5 million barrels a day above the projected reduction from increased fuel efficiency standards.
B) Imports would fall to 40 percent of U.S. oil use, down from 60 percent currently
[http://mobile.reuters.com...]

Contention Three: Electric Vehicles would reduce total greenhouse gas emissions.

A) Same 30% by 2050, Expanding electric car use would cut emissions by 7 percent overall. A small benefit, but a benefit nonetheless that would be "good" for society as a whole.
B) Emissions will be even further reduced with implementation of cleaner energy sources(natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar etc.) already occuring.
[http://www.eere.energy.gov...]

For clarity in this last contention, electric vehicles are indeed reliant upon electric grids that burn dirty fuels. However on grids that are run by clean/renewable energy sources the emission level is negligible. Even on these "dirty" power grids, emission levels still would reduce overall though.

In summary I have given three independent contentions as to why Electric Cars are good.

1) Electric Engines are more efficient than Internal Combustion Engines.
2) Electric Vehicles would reduce energy dependance upon foreign oil imports
3) Electric Vehicles would reduce total greenhouse gas emissions.

All three of these contentions independently link Electric Vehicles to being good. To sucessfully refute my argument my peer must negate all three premises individually as each one fits an accepted standard of "good" and thus if one is left unrefuted it will be given strength of weight and act as sufficient offense over any case my peer brings forth.

I now pass the debate over to Con.
Debate Round No. 1
rtbreeder

Con

I'd like to think my opponent for joining this debate, and look forward to writing round 2.

True, electric cars MAY cut emissions by 7%, but that isn't a significant change. Also, electric cars cannot go as fast as ICE cars. (Internal Combustion Engine) My facts came from a quote from how stuff works. It states, that "Generally speaking, the engine in a hybrid car is almost always smaller than the engine in a comparable non-hybrid car. Smaller engines usually equal less horsepower and less torque." Also, "In short, electric cars won't be maxing out at 45 miles per hour on the highway".

Also, since Electric cars are smaller, they typically are not as safe as some ICE cars. In fact, a Chevy Volt caught fire 3 weeks after a crash. There have also been news reports of cars catching fire after charging in residential homes.

The batteries in most electric cars are in the front. If you get into a head on crash, the battery could rip. In Lithium Ion batteries, (the kind used in electric cars) the internal part is toxic and harmful if exposed to skin.

For these reasons, I believe that Electric cars are unsafe.
Buddamoose

Pro

To start this round I will begin with the case as my peer has stated.

" Electric cars are unsafe."

In this argument he uses multiple example of a chevy volt catching fire 3 weeks after an accident.

A) Chevy Volt catching fire.

1) My peer does not use a source for this, but thats ok I'll suppy the source for him.
[http://content.usatoday.com...]

Refutation: A) The fire occured because proper safety procedures were not followed(repair)
B) This was the only recorded case of a Chevy Volt catching fire after an accident
C) Electric Vehicles pose no greater risk of fire then do ICE vehicles.

B) the internal part is toxic and harmful if exposed to skin

Refutation: A) The battery acid in electric vehicles batteries is of no more danger tham gasoline.
B) Serious Harm will only occur if left unwashed for an extended period of time.
[http://www.electroauto.com...]

C) If you get into a head on crash, the battery could rip

Refutation: A) Think for a minute about gas cars. Most of them have a battery up in the front corner under the hood - one of the first places that gets hit in a head-on collision. How often have you heard of one of these batteries exploding, catching fire, or spewing acid in an accident?
B) the battery pack is not a big water balloon full of acid. Each battery has three separate cells with a small amount of acid in each one. You would have to split open all the cells of many batteries at once to get any sizable amount of acid.
[http://www.electroauto.com...]

Next my peer states:

- Generally speaking, the engine in a hybrid car is almost always smaller than the engine in a comparable non-hybrid car. Smaller engines usually equal less horsepower and less torque." Also, "In short, electric cars won't be maxing out at 45 miles per hour on the highway".

Refutation: A) Newer electric car models being invented have up to:
1) 402 HP
2) An acceleration of 0-60mph in four seconds
3) Top speeds up to 130 mph
[http://www.topspeed.com...]

Now for my peers addressing of my case:

- True, electric cars MAY cut emissions by 7%, but that isn't a significant change

This isnt really a refutation at all for these reasons:

A) its not MAY its WILL. 7% is the minimum impact it would have.
B) A change whether significant or not is still a change.

In summary my peer has not adequately addressed the three contentions brought forth by myself:

1) Electric Engines are more efficient than Internal Combustion Engines.
2) Electric Vehicles would reduce energy dependance upon foreign oil imports
3) Electric Vehicles would reduce total greenhouse gas emissions.

I will repeat that each contention independently link electric cars to being good. If each contention is not refuted than any one left will be given strength of weight and will act as sufficient offense upon any case my peer brings forth. Because of this the debate must currently be voted in favor of the affirmative position.
Debate Round No. 2
rtbreeder

Con

1) Electric Engines are more efficient than Internal Combustion Engines.
2) Electric Vehicles would reduce energy dependence upon foreign oil imports
3) Electric Vehicles would reduce total greenhouse gas emissions.


I'm addressing my opponent's questions (listed above)


1) "Typical batteries get 100 miles or less." That's a direct quote from http://techpulse360.com.... In the future, electric cars may get 500 mpc (Miles per Charge). However, that's not currently the case. The average MPG for ICE cars in the US is roughly 20 mpg. (http://wiki.answers.com...) With the average gas tank holding about 20 gallons, the average car has a range of about 400 statue miles. That's 4 times the amount of an electric car.

Now, for number 2.

2) The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that renewable-generated electricity will account for 17% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2035. That's 23 years away, and that will nit even account for 1/4th of the energy used. So far, it looks like electric cars will still rely mostly on nuclear and fossil fuel energy plants, making them not very efficient. The EIA has taken into account electric cars and their energy consumption, but the overall number still looks bleak. So, oil and fossil fuels will have to be imported from other countries.

Number 3.

3) Because of their dependence on fossil fuels to generate the electricity used in the vehicles, it does not look like they will make a somewhat significant change. 7% is a relatively small number, that means that 93% is still unchanged.
Buddamoose

Pro

I would like to start by thanking my peer for such a valiant effort in refuting my contentions. Sadly as I will be pointing out he still did not adequately refute them.

Refuation of Contention One: "Typical batteries get 100 miles or less." That's a direct quote from http://techpulse360.com....... In the future, electric cars may get 500 mpc (Miles per Charge). However, that's not currently the case. The average MPG for ICE cars in the US is roughly 20 mpg. (http://wiki.answers.com......) With the average gas tank holding about 20 gallons, the average car has a range of about 400 statue miles. That's 4 times the amount of an electric car.

Im afraid my peer has misunderstood what effiency means. For clarity before I explain I will repeat the definition.

Efficient- Efficient- (esp. of a system or machine) Achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.

Now comparing the miles per charge of a EV, and the MPG(or even the miles per tank) is not a measuremt of efficiency. To measure efficiency both vehicles must be set on equal footing. For illustrative purposes let us imagine a ICE has a 30 gallon tank and it is able to travel 30 miles per gallon.

30x30= 900 miles total on a full 30 gallon tank.

Now lets keep in mind that the 900 miles in question is just using 20% of the potential energy in that 30 gallons of gasoline. So with that we then will figure the total miles that could be traveled given full(100%) efficiency.

900x5(100% divided by 20%)= 4500 miles. So out of 4500 potential miles, an ICE would manage just 900. But what of an EV? Well just take the 4500 miles of potential travel(energy) and multiply it by 75%(.75) and you get

4500x.75= 3375 miles!(as compared to 900 from an ICE)

Now we see the true efficiency comparison, and the more efficient option is obvious. Also I will point out that points B, and C were left untouched in Contention One as well. As this contention has not been sucessfully refuted, that is one link in place that shows electric cars are good.

2) "The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that renewable-generated electricity will account for 17% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2035. That's 23 years away, and that will nit even account for 1/4th of the energy used. So far, it looks like electric cars will still rely mostly on nuclear and fossil fuel energy plants, making them not very efficient. The EIA has taken into account electric cars and their energy consumption, but the overall number still looks bleak. So, oil and fossil fuels will have to be imported from other countries."

This is an unsucessful refutation for the following reason:

My contention was that Electric Cars would REDUCE not eliminate dependency on foreign oil imports. My peer did not address this contention whatsoever, just stated that it wouldnt fully eliminate dependency. So the reduction of dependency on foreign imports still stands as a valid reason for why Electric Cars are good.

3) "Because of their dependence on fossil fuels to generate the electricity used in the vehicles, it does not look like they will make a somewhat significant change. 7% is a relatively small number, that means that 93% is still unchanged."

This is an unsucessful refutation because:

My peer merely repeats that 7% is not a significant change. As I stated in the previous round, a change, whether significant or insignificant is still a change. As such he has entirely conceded this contention to me.

In summary this debate must be voted in favor of the affirmative because I have sufficiently proven that electric cars are good for the following reasons:

1) Electric Engines are more efficient than Internal Combustion Engines.
2) Electric Vehicles would reduce energy dependance upon foreign oil imports
3) Electric Vehicles would reduce total greenhouse gas emissions.

These three contentions all stand as independent and unrefuted links to electric vehicles and the given definition of good. As my peer has neither refuted these contentions, nor brought up a valid case himself, this debate is clearly an affirmative win. Thank you for reading and thank you rtbreeder for an excellent debate.

VOTE Pro
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Buddamoose 5 years ago
Buddamoose
Lol you too dustpelt?
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
adam, this is fun to read lol
Posted by AdamDeben 5 years ago
AdamDeben
It's bad for the monetary economy, but the monetary economy will be greatly injured once we run out of oil. Resource-Based Economics ftw. It's good for the environment, and it's more sustainable.
Posted by rtbreeder 5 years ago
rtbreeder
On my computer, it looks fine.
Posted by Xerge 5 years ago
Xerge
Ah...its a Wingdings font. I had copy-and-pasted it into Microsoft Word to see what it was.
Posted by Xerge 5 years ago
Xerge
I see symbols in all rounds except the third from con also...
Posted by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
" Con dropped many key points presented by pro and pro cleanly refuted the arguments by con."

Are you serious? All I see are symbols!!! Is it just my computer??
Posted by rtbreeder 5 years ago
rtbreeder
Nice job buddamoose, you've beaten a 12 year old :). This really was a good first debate, and I really enjoyed it. I look foward to debating with you again, possibly.

-rt
Posted by Buddamoose 5 years ago
Buddamoose
Font?
Posted by Buddamoose 5 years ago
Buddamoose
Same to you rt!
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 5 years ago
1dustpelt
rtbreederBuddamooseTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: All I see are symbols.
Vote Placed by Mimshot 5 years ago
Mimshot
rtbreederBuddamooseTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments were more thorough and better thought out.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
rtbreederBuddamooseTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con dropped many key points presented by pro and pro cleanly refuted the arguments by con.
Vote Placed by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
rtbreederBuddamooseTied
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Reasons for voting decision: All I see is symbols...