• John

    Can we please grow up about “zero emission” electric vehicles?

    Yes, there are no tailpipe emissions. But the electricity doesn’t just come magically from a wall socket. It has to be generated somewhere. And that somewhere is a coal-fired power plant, an oil or natural gas-fired power plant, a nuclear reactor or a salmon-killing dam. The emissions happen, all right: they just happen out of site of the driver. There is not a single environmental problem solved by electric cars, not one. The Financial Times recently reported that the European Union is currently sitting on a report that concludes that a switch to electric vehicles will add significant strain to the power grid and cause zero — yes, zero — reduction on the EU countries’ CO2 emissions. Oops.

    Electric vehicles, like cellulosic ethanol, like biodiesel, etc. are just another wish to sprinkle fairy dust over the unsustainable, another attempt to close our eyes and ears to the obvious, which is that the model of car-based transportation is dead. It doesn’t matter how they are powered or how much we love them; cars are the most energy-inefficient method of transportation. We would be doing ourselves and our children a favor by owning up to this and stop wishing to change the laws of physics. We must begin the very difficult work of creating a transportation system that will work in an environment of very expensive energy.

    Or we can just go drop $40k on a Chevy Volt and pretend we’re doing something.

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