Margaret Wente of Canada’s Globe And Mail has found out “the shocking truth about electric cars” finding that the whole idea of electric cars being “the future” is a laughable claim. The facts she relays are the sort of truths that should doom electric cars as the harbingers of greenism. After all, the true believers in the religion of green shall not be deterred.
The purpose of Wente’s column is to highlight the silly expenditure of Canada’s treasury on electric cars, but she also went on to point out the many failings of electric cars, failings that wild-eyed proponents of electric cars refuse to notice.
“The fantasy that electric cars are right around the corner doesn’t survive even the most cursory reality check,” Wente writes. “… consumers simply won’t pay a $20,000 premium for a vehicle that doesn’t go very far, isn’t very convenient, and runs out of juice as soon as you turn on the air conditioner.”
Electric cars are said to be perfect for city and suburban life, for instance. But how good is an automobile that might leave a suburban commuter stranded on the side of the road because the short distance that these things can go on a charge don’t include sitting for hours in daily traffic jams?
But even that aside, the claim that electric cars are “greener” than gasoline powered cars is simply untrue. This claim compares the electric car directly to the gas-powered auto as if the electric that is stored in the batteries arrives in them by osmosis. The fact is these electric cars have to be powered up by the electric grid and the grid itself is in no way “green.”
Additionally, as Wente notes, the electric grid cannot standup if everyone went with electric cars.
Here’s another catch: Electric cars aren’t necessarily green at all. Electric vehicles require large amounts of electricity – so much that Toronto Hydro chief Anthony Haines says he doesn’t know how he’d get it. “If you connect about 10 per cent of the homes on any given street with an electric car, the electricity system fails,” he said recently.
And if the extra electricity isn’t generated by renewable energy, then overall carbon dioxide emissions will go up, not down, Prof. Smil says. “The only way electric cars could reduce global carbon emissions would be if all the additional electricity needed to power them came from carbon-free energies.” He also makes the essential point that the world’s energy infrastructure is based on fossil fuels. Changing that will take decades.
I’ll also note a further point that electric car lovers never recognize. The batteries in these cars are expensive as heck. Worse they only last a few years and must be replaced. Last year, for instance, a New York Times contributor noted that battery packs for some of these cars top 412,000 to replace them!
$12,000 is more than the cost of a used car! And this is just the battery pack. It would make these electric cars a one owner car one never going on the used market simply because the upkeep on them would be so enormously expensive that no one will bother with them. Unless battery technology and costs improves dramatically, these cars are doomed to be yet another foolish venture into electric cars.
So, once again we have the panacea of “green electric cars” being chased by fantasists that hold these vehicles up as a matter of faith instead of common sense.