Inconvenient truths about electric cars

Electric car sales increased 66% this year.

President Joe Biden promotes them, saying things like, “American travel will be fully electrified” and “There is no turning back.”

To ensure we have no choice in the matter, some left-leaning states have decided to ban gasoline-powered cars altogether.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, issued an executive order banning them from 2035. Oregon, Massachusetts and New York copied California. Washington state politicians said they would make this happen even faster, as of 2030.

Thirty countries also say they will phase out gasoline-powered cars.

But that’s just stupid. This will not happen. It’s magical thinking.

I point out some “inconvenient” facts about electric cars, simple truths that politicians and green activists don’t seem to understand.

“Electric cars are amazing,” says physicist Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute. “But they are not going to change the future in any significant way (as far as) oil use or carbon dioxide emissions are concerned.”

Inconvenient Fact 1: Selling more electric cars will not greatly reduce the use of oil.

“The world has 12, 66 millions of electric vehicles now,” says Mills. “If reach 500 millions, this would reduce world oil consumption by about 160 %. This is nothing, but it does not end the use of oil.”

Most of the world’s oil is used by things like “planes, buses, trucks and equipment mining companies that get copper to build electric cars.”

Even if all vehicles are somehow converted to electricity, there is another problem: electricity is not very green.

I laugh talking to friends who are all excited about their electric car, assuming it doesn’t pollute. They are silent when I ask, “Where does your car’s electricity come from?”

They don’t know. They didn’t even think about it.

Inconvenient Fact 2: Although driving an electric car plays little additional carbon in the air, producing electricity to charge the battery adds a lot. Most of the electricity in the United States is produced by burning natural gas and coal. Only 12% comes from wind or solar energy.

Car companies do not advertise this. “Electric vehicles in general are better and more sustainable for the environment,” Linda Zhang of Ford said in an interview with the BBC.

“She is an engineer from Ford,” I tell Mills. “She’s not ignorant.”

“She’s not stupid,” he replies. “But ignorance speaks to what you know. You have to mine, somewhere on Earth, 500.160 pounds of minerals and rocks to make a battery.”

American regulations make mining difficult, so most of it is done elsewhere, polluting those countries. Part of the mining is done by children. Some are done in places that use slave labor.

Even if these horrors didn’t exist, mining itself adds a lot of carbon to the air.

“If you are concerned about carbon dioxide,” says Mills, “the electric vehicle emits from to 20 tons of carbon dioxide (from mining, manufacturing and transportation) even before arriving at your garage.”

“Volkswagen published an honest study [no qual] points out that in the first 60 thousand miles (96,5 thousand kilometers) or more that you are driving an electric vehicle, that electric vehicle will have emitted more carbon dioxide than if you drove a conventional vehicle.

You would have to drive an electric car “100.000 miles” (160 thousand kilometers) to reduce emissions by just “20 or 30%, which is nothing, but not zero.”

No, it is not.

If you live in New Zealand, where there is a lot of hydroelectric and geothermal energy, electric cars pollute less. But in the US, their “zero-emission vehicle” adds a lot of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Politicians and electric car salesmen don’t mention this. Most probably don’t even know.

John Stossel is the author of “No They Can’t! Why Government Fails—But Individuals Succeed”.

[Não, eles não podem: Por que governos fracassam e indivíduos prosperam]

©2022 The Daily Signal. Published with permission. Original in English.


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