Thursday, December 8, 2016

Electric cars

The need to gird ourselves for a Battle Royale on the environmental front makes me want to hide anything that might possibly be used by the other side, but that's not a useful impulse. As an academic it's my job to continue to evaluate the evidence fairly, and as the Guardian points out today, there are some flaws with the existing infrastructure behind electric cars.

First, they will only be as environmentally friendly as their fuel. If coal is burned to produce energy used to run a Tesla, it might as well be driving on gas (well, almost). Elon Musk's long-term plan for his vehicles includes solar-powered charging for the vehicles, but other electric vehicles aren't taking any such steps.

Second, making batteries can be rather nasty for the environment, imposing an additional burden.

If you start off at a deficit and don't get yourself out, you don't end up ahead. We need to take care that electric cars don't end up in that position!

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