The Insightful Troll

Rants and ruminations.

EVs Are Better for the Enivronment

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tesla charging

Today most people are hesitant on EV cars for three reasons: initial upfront costs and worry about running out of battery power far from a charging station. In regard to upfront costs, EV vehicles will come down in price as competition increases and range anxiety will diminish as money from the Inflation Reduction Act flows into building more charging stations and making discounts for electric vehicles available right at the dealership.

The third is the campaign by the existing car companies sowing doubt about that such vehicles aren’t really all that much better for the environment than hybrid vehicles that have both gas and electric motors, and might even be worse, because of everything required to manufacture batteries and mine the materials that go into them.

Dr. Stephen Porder in a guest essay for the New York Times:

If you look under the hood, so to speak, these concerns share two fundamental misunderstandings: They assume that the electric vehicle industry is locked in to today’s technology, and they discount the huge environmental drawbacks of gas-powered alternatives. Electric vehicles are like digital cameras in their early iterations. They are already better than the alternative for almost everyone, and improving at a breathtakingly fast clip. And while there are environmental concerns with them, they are dwarfed by the benefit they provide regarding climate change — the biggest environmental threat to human well-being in the 21st century.

But let’s do the math as I’ve done for my family’s two E.V.s. We got the first to replace our 10-year-old, gas-powered Subaru, and after only two years of driving, the E.V. has created fewer emissions over its lifetime than if we had kept the old car. It will take our second E.V. only four years to create fewer emissions over its lifetime than the 2005 hybrid Prius it replaced. That’s counting the production of the batteries and the emissions from charging the E.V.s, and the emissions payback time will only continue to drop as more emissions-free wind and solar power comes onto the grid and battery technology improves.