What’s going on with the incorrect ‘electric vehicles are bad for the environment’ message lately?
There seems to be a new wave of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) spreading about EVs these days. And it’s either by “environmental groups” or other groups pushing environmental groups to “lead the charge” against electric vehicles. In Germany you have “environmental groups” not in my backyard that seem to focus solely on preventing Tesla from starting Giga Berlin.
Tesla sells more electric vehicles than any other company on this planet and it would make sense for environmental groups to want more clean electric vehicles on the roads instead of toxic gases and diesel that spew greenhouse gases and air pollution. Yet some minor niche organizations that claim to focus on environmental issues have recently attacked electric vehicles.
In June, a conservative nonprofit, CFACT, which claims to focus on protecting the earth, published an article filled with false information and false claims about electric vehicles. Some of these claims included that electric vehicles can never be produced in the numbers the government wants (think “at scale”), that there will never be enough charging stations, that too many are needed. time to charge an electric vehicle and you’ll have to cancel every road trip you think you can make, that the average consumer will never be able to afford an EV, and much more. Wild stuff in 2021.
A new article – an opinion piece published by The hill – suggests environmentalists should lead the charge versus electric vehicles. The article claims that if you really care about human rights and want to protect the environment, you should stop investing in plug-in electric vehicles. He quoted Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda, who spoke of “brutal realities of SVEs”. Oddly enough, it was written by a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s science advisory board, which also sits on the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission. Well, appointments aside, the writer is a senior member of a conservative think tank.
The article also stated that electric vehicles are no more efficient than gasoline vehicles, which is a shocking claim. Steve Hanley wrote about this in 2018. Here is part of that article:
âAccording to the US Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,â EVs convert approximately 59% to 62% of grid electrical energy into power at the wheels. Conventional gasoline vehicles only convert about 17% to 21% of the energy stored in gasoline into power at the wheels. “
So, yes, no, gasoline and diesel cars are not more efficient.
Curiously, the writing of the play in The hill quoted that CleanTechnica article stating that “all-electric vehicles are no more efficient than gasoline-powered vehicles.”
The author also omitted the part where Steve added:
âAn electric motor is generally between 85% and 90% efficient. This means that it converts this percentage of the electricity supplied to it into useful work. The difference between the efficiency of the engine and the overall efficiency of an electric car is taken into account for the losses attributed to the charging and discharging of the battery and, for some loads (for some cars), to the conversion. from alternating current to direct current and vice versa.
Distorting what Steve was saying, the author of this opinion piece continued:
âThey are greedy on natural resources, exacerbate social injustices and make no sense unless the governors of the blue states stop strangling the United States’ natural gas supply. Investing in SVEs makes no sense in the context of âgreenâ ESG principles. “
The author talks about human rights, and I think that’s important. Human rights are essential and every business, no matter what industry, must do its part to ensure that there are no violations of rights. However, the author does not mention the actual cobalt problem or the responses of the electric vehicle industry to this problem. It vaguely talks about cobalt, nickel and lithium and the fact that countries don’t have the same environmental restrictions as we do. Although he is right, he ignores the fact that Tesla has a human rights protocol that he strictly observes (I mention Tesla because it is the best-selling producer of electric vehicles and the leader of the industry) and other automakers have similar approaches to the problem. . The author spoke of the horrors of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but does not mention the progress that Tesla, Panasonic and others have made in reducing the amount of cobalt used in their batteries and not extracting cobalt from it.
Panasonic’s Shoichiro Watanabe, Head of Energy Technology and Manufacturing at Panasonic, shared a presentation this year that I recently wrote about. He explained how Panasonic’s research and development (R&D) laboratory found that cobalt-free cathodes achieved the same level of service life as Panasonic nickel-cobalt-aluminum battery cells.
While there is a global problem in which not all countries believe human rights should be protected, companies like Tesla have come a long way to use only ethically sourced materials. The message Tesla sends is clear. If you want Tesla to be a customer, don’t use child slaves or unethically mined materials. A quick glance at Tesla’s Conflict Minerals report will show that it only sources responsibly produced materials. In his SEC filing, Tesla said:
âThis means having safe and humane working conditions in our supply chain and ensuring that workers are treated with respect and dignity. “
The author pointed out that a large part of the electricity production in this country comes from natural gas, and it is true. However, wind and solar power are now cheaper and dominate new electric capacity in the United States. Large-scale solar power has the lowest discounted cost of energy (LCOE) in the United States compared to all, according to the Lazards 2021 updated cost of energy analysis. other sources. In any case, even if they are powered by natural gas power plants, electric vehicles are much more environmentally friendly than gasoline / diesel cars.
The author also asserted that the poor will never be able to afford an electric vehicle. The idea that the poor can’t afford an EV is silly. If you can afford a car, then you can afford a car. If you can’t afford it, you can’t afford it. If you can afford a car, the total cost of owning an electric vehicle can be competitive with mainstream cars like the Honda CRV and Toyota Corolla.
Using the poor and poverty to spread FUD is something I am more than happy to talk about. Saying âoh the poor won’t be able to pay their electricity bills if we switch to clean energyâ is silly. The poor will also not be able to pay their hospital costs for cancer. There’s proof of it right here in Louisiana.
The fossil fuel industry is killing people and this planet, and pretending it doesn’t or intentionally not including it while pushing against electric vehicles (which are more environmentally friendly than anyone which ICE vehicle) is an outright lie. So don’t attack us with this âpoor people will be punished if we switch to clean energyâ mess.
There is a lot more to this article that is misleading and even weird, but we won’t even waste time on that.
The question I ask myself is the following:
Who does it benefit from?
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