I have been pondering this thought a lot lately. Videos of Congressional hearings, listening to world leaders pontificate on banning ICE vehicles, and environmentalists claiming the end of the world. For the record, I lived through Y2K when the world was supposed to end, and every subsequent claim the world was ending since. I am starting to think it’s lost a bit of its impact.
I’m not an expert on electric vehicles.
Like I said I am not an electric vehicle expert but I do know a few things. The materials needed to build the batteries are rare, expensive, and toxic. Disposing of worn-out batteries is even more toxic than mining for them in the first place. When an electric vehicle catches fire it’s almost impossible to put out.
Electricity used to charge electric vehicles is generally from fossil fuels. In my home state of Maryland, only 11% of the power consumed is from a renewable resource. California is one of the highest users of renewable energy but still only uses 33% (33.6% to be exact) of renewable energy resources. Can you really say you are Green if your car is charged by coal or natural gas?
I like the potential of electric vehicles.
I really do like the potential of electric vehicles. Linear power delivery and quiet operation are definitely features I enjoy. Certainly in cities or other urban areas where the range is less of an issue and keeping noise down makes city living more bearable. That is unless you live up North where temps drop below freezing or worse, below zero. Just this past winter there were countless videos and stories about electric cars that would not charge and when they did their range was reduced significantly.
The electrical grid in the US isn’t as reliable as it once was. Lack of investment, heavy usage, and age make the electrical grid susceptible to bad weather. Downed power lines, brownouts, and accidents that take out power poles leave millions of people without power every day.
So why does it seem like every country trying to go electric?
It’s a good question and one that is hard to answer without sounding like a conspiracy theorist. Why aren’t we able to choose what we want? It doesn’t have to be ICE or electric. It can be ICE, electric, Hydrogen, Hybrid, Diesel, or some other new source of fuel. Choice brings innovation, lack of choice leaves us stagnant potentially causing more harm than good. I truly believe the right answer is to have all the options and let people decide what works for them.