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Paul Wolfram

Apr 17, 2016


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Dear hira,

Welcome to the ClimateCoLab and thank you very much for submitting your proposal. I think you propose a great idea and already made a good start with your description. I would propose a bit of sharpening of your ideas. I suggest you comment on the following – among other things:

- It seems to me you propose to convert a conventional gasoline vehicle into a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). This sort of electric vehicle is different from a battery-only electric vehicle (BEV) in that it has a conventional and an electric powertrain. Could you please clarify whether you propose the conversion from a conventional car to a PHEV or to a BEV and provide few more details

- You mention that electric cars are 100% free of emissions. This is only true for BEVs, not for PHEVs and only when talking about direct tailpipe emissions. And even with BEVs you have indirect emissions from the production of electricity among other sources. For instance, the generation of 1 kWh of electricity produces around 600 g of CO2 equivalents. In the US it is even higher.  

Best, Paul

Parag Gupta

Apr 18, 2016


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Hello!  I'm Parag Gupta, an MIT Climate CoLab Catalyst.  I really like where you are heading with this idea, but I think you underestimate the difficulty in the conversion.  A normal American citizen, for example, must have both the motivation for making the change as well as the know-how (or at least some external resources) to implement the change.  Have you any data or policy analysis resources that indicate who would most likely attempt such conversion?  How does it change the available space for storage in the car?  Is that loss of space in itself a deal breaker for the potential end user?  I'm looking at ways in which you could make your arguments a little deeper by using a few examples that came off the top of my head.  As well, you cover the technology and how it works fairly well.  However, all of that is fairly well known in industry.  Your main challenges, I believe, will lie in a comprehensive evaluation on the economics of a conversion and the user profile of those that want to even attempt it.  What they think and how easy it is to do will drive its potential for success.  Good luck!