My cmnt: Electric cars, like every other Green Dream of the Left and democrats, solve nothing. They still require electricity produced by nuclear, coal and natural gas. They require vast amounts of oil to run the machines to produce electric cars and their horribly polluting batteries. They cannot heat the car during winter nor cool the car during summer. Producing batteries is more polluting than pumping and using oil. Carbon dioxide is NOT a pollutant but is in fact plant food and needed to produce the vast amounts of crops we need to feed the world.
My cmnt: Solar panels and windmills require all kinds of mining of rare earth metals to produce. They are eyesores and take up vast amounts of land and kill birds. The truth is the Left hates the middle class and wants to destroy it and return all people to life on the medieval (i.e., democrat run) manor – where the Lib-Elites live high off the hog while the rest of grovel in the mud. No thank you commie bastards.
Politicians praise electric cars. If everyone buys them, they say, solar and wind power will replace our need for oil.
But that’s absurd.
“The future of the auto industry is electric,” says President Joe Biden. He assumes a vast improvement in batteries. Better batteries are crucial because both power plants and cars need to store lots of electric power.
But here’s inconvenient fact 3: Batteries are lousy at storing large amounts of energy.
“Batteries leak, and they don’t hold a lot,” says physicist Mark Mills.
Mills thinks electric cars are great but explains that “oil begins with a huge advantage: 5,000% more energy in it per pound. Electric car batteries weigh 1,000 pounds. Those 1,000 pounds replace just 80 pounds of gasoline.”
But future batteries will be better, I point out.
“Engineers are really good at making things better,” Mills responds, “but they can’t make them better than the laws of physics permit.”
That’s inconvenient fact 4. Miracle batteries powerful enough to replace fossil fuels are a fantasy.
“Because nature is not nice to humans,” explains Mills, “we store energy for when it’s cold or really hot. People who imagine an energy transition want to build windmills and solar panels and store all that energy in batteries. But if you do the arithmetic, you find you’d need to build about a hundred trillion dollars’ worth of batteries to store the same amount of energy that Europe has in storage now for this winter. It would take the world’s battery factories 400 years to manufacture that many batteries.”
Politicians don’t mention that when they promise every car will be electric. They also don’t mention that the electric grid is limited.
This summer, California officials were so worried about blackouts they asked electric vehicle owners to stop charging cars!
Yet today, few of California’s cars are electric. Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered that all new cars must be electric by 2035! Where does he think he’ll get the electricity to power them?
“Roughly speaking, you have to double your electric grid to move the energy out of gasoline into the electric sector,” says Mills. “No one is planning to double the electric grid, so they’ll be rationing.”
Rationing. That means some places will simply turn off some of the power. That’s our final inconvenient fact: We just don’t have enough electricity for all electric cars.
Worse, if (as many activists and politicians propose) we try to get that electricity from 100% renewable sources, the rationing would be deadly.
“Even if you cover the entire continent of the United States with solar panels, you wouldn’t supply half of America’s electricity,” Mills points out.
Even if you added “Washington Monument-sized wind turbines spread over an area six times greater than the state of New York, that wouldn’t be enough.”
This is just math and physics. It’s amazing supposedly responsible people promote impossible fantasies.
“It’s been an extraordinary accomplishment of propaganda,” complains Mills, “almost infantile … distressing because it’s so silly.”
Even if people invent much better cars, wind turbines, solar panels, power lines and batteries, explains Mills, “you’re still drilling things, digging up stuff. You’re still building machines that wear out … It’s not magical transformation.”
Even worse, today politicians make us pay more for energy while forcing us to do things that hurt the environment. Their restrictions on fossil fuels drive people to use fuels that pollute more.
In Europe: “They’re going back to burning coal! What we’ve done is have our energy systems designed by bureaucrats instead of engineers,” complains Mills. “We get worse energy, more expensive energy and higher environmental impacts!”
I like electric cars. But I won’t pretend that driving one makes me some kind of environmental hero.
But when you do the math, to operate a society with 5 or 6 billion people who are living in poverty we can’t imagine, when you want to give them a little of what we have, the energy demands are off the charts big. We’re going to need everything.”
That includes fossil fuels.
Inconvenient Facts – part 1
Electric cars sales are up 66% this year.
President Joe Biden promotes them, saying things like, “The great American road trip is going to be fully electrified” and, “There’s no turning back.”
To make sure we have no choice in the matter, some left-leaning states have moved to ban gas-powered cars altogether.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order banning them by 2035. Oregon, Massachusetts and New York copied California. Washington state’s politicians said they’d make it happen even faster, by 2030.
Thirty countries also say they’ll phase out gas-powered cars.
But this is just dumb. It will not happen. It’s magical thinking.
In my new video, I point out some “inconvenient” facts about electric cars, simple truths that politicians and green activists just don’t seem to understand.
“Electric cars are amazing,” says physicist Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute. “But they won’t change the future in any significant way (as far as) oil use or carbon dioxide emissions.”
Inconvenient fact 1: Selling more electric cars won’t reduce oil use very much.
“The world has 15, 18 million electric vehicles now,” says Mills. “If we (somehow) get to 500 million, that would reduce world oil consumption by about 10%. That’s not nothing, but it doesn’t end the use of oil.”
Most of the world’s oil is used by things like “airplanes, buses, big trucks and the mining equipment that gets the copper to build the electric cars.”
Even if all vehicles somehow did switch to electricity, there’s another problem: Electricity isn’t very green.
I laugh talking to friends who are all excited about their electric car, assuming it doesn’t pollute. They go silent when I ask, “Where does your car’s electricity come from?”
They don’t know. They haven’t even thought about it.
Inconvenient fact 2: Although driving an electric car puts little additional carbon into the air, producing the electricity to charge its battery adds plenty. Most of America’s electricity is produced by burning natural gas and coal. Just 12% comes from wind or solar power.
Auto companies don’t advertise that. “Electric vehicles in general are better and more sustainable for the environment,” says Ford’s Linda Zhang in a BBC interview.
“She’s a Ford engineer,” I say to 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, 500,000 pounds of minerals and rock to make one battery.”
American regulations make mining difficult, so most of it is done elsewhere, polluting those countries. Some mining is done by children. Some is done in places that use slave labor.
Even if those horrors didn’t exist, mining itself adds lots of carbon to the air.
“If you’re worried about carbon dioxide,” says Mills, “the electric vehicle has emitted 10 to 20 tons of carbon dioxide (from the mining, manufacturing and shipping) before it even gets to your driveway.“
“Volkswagen published an honest study (in which they) point out that the first 60,000 miles or so you’re driving an electric vehicle, that electric vehicle will have emitted more carbon dioxide than if you just drove a conventional vehicle.”
You would have to drive an electric car “100,000 miles” to reduce emissions by just “20 or 30%, which is not nothing, but it’s not zero.”
No, it’s not.
If you live in New Zealand, where there’s lots of hydro and geothermal power, electric cars pollute less. But in America, your “zero-emission vehicle” adds lots of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere.
Politicians and electric car sellers don’t mention that. Most probably don’t even know.
John Stossel posts a new video every Tuesday on JohnStossel.com about the battle between government and freedom. He is the author of “Give Me a Break: How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media.”