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Electric vehicles are an unfolding environmental disaster – too many policy makers are incapable of understanding economics, maths, the environment and science
Grab a coffee, here is a bit of a rant!
Does the collapse in electric vehicle prices in 2023 signal a growing realization of the environmental catastrophe unfolding from EV’s requiring more road repairs, raping the earth using child labour, forcing higher electricity prices and, to cap it all, the switch from one toxic emission to another
Anyone remember the South Park episode “Smug Alert” about hybrid vehicles? Here’s a short clip: Flaunting Your New Ride - SOUTH PARK - YouTube
That episode was about hybrids rather than all electric cars, but the message applies.
Well, after a record year in 2022, the rubber is hitting the road, literally.
China has withdrawn the subsidies for electric vehicles:
“ As 2022 came to an end, China's subsidy for pure battery EVs had the biggest drop since 2019, declining to nil from Yuan 12,600/unit. This was more than double the reduction of Yuan 5,400/unit in 2022 and Yuan 4,500/unit in 2021.”
Which pulled forward sales into 2022 and helped to cause this:
The manufacture of electric vehicle components is heavily reliant on raw materials produced using slave labour in countries like the Congo.
Got an electric car? 72% of cobalt used in EV’s comes from the Congo – in China the coal power needed to provide electricity for 1 million EV’s produces 3 times the pollution of 1 million ICE cars (substack.com)
Even the left wing rag, the Guardian, back in November 2019, pointed out the costs of the “green” agenda in the EU that seeks to force out the internal combustion engine (ICE) from the EU by 2030.
“But the EU’s formula is nothing but a huge scam. Electric vehicles also emit substantial amounts of CO2, the only difference being that the exhaust is released at a remove – that is, at the power plant. As long as coal- or gas-fired power plants are needed to ensure energy supply during the “dark doldrums” when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining, EVs, like ICE vehicles, run partly on hydrocarbons. And even when they are charged with solar- or wind-generated energy, enormous amounts of fossil fuels are used to produce EV batteries in China and elsewhere, offsetting the supposed emissions reduction. As such, the EU’s intervention is not much better than a cut-off device for an emissions control system.”
Here's one of my favourite articles about the folly of the assumptions behind “going all electric”.
I doubt any “green” eco warrior understands the first thing about “electrification” costs let alone the first thing about the climate.
Here’s a few links to the latest headlines covering the trials and tribulations of the EV market in 2023. There are many more out there for Japanese and EU manufacturers of EV’s in 2023, Second hand EV prices and new EV prices are down by as much as 30-40%
“Toyota launched the bZ4X in China in October 2022 with a starting price of 199,800 yuan (around $19,000). However, after several market leaders, including BYD and Tesla, cut prices, Toyota failed to gain traction. The Japanese automaker sold 3,844 bZ4X models in China through January, representing just 0.26% of China’s EV market.”
“Ford is slated to lose $4.5 billion from its EV segment this year, a $1.5 billion larger loss than the company had expected. “
Here’s a link to the relative weights of different Tesla vehicles – relevant in the wear and tear of highways later in this piece.
Not the case for the non-EV segment of Ford’s business:
“The company also raised its guidance, forecasting adjusted EBIT of $11 billion to $12 billion from $9 billion to $11 billion. “
“.. the growth has been fading for nearly two years now. After Taycan sales fell 16% last year to 34,801 units, Porsche attributed it to “supply chain bottlenecks and limited component availability.”
The trend has continued this year, with Taycan EV sales slipping another 4.7% in the first half of 2023 to 17,991 (compared to 18,777 in H1 2022).”
That’s an illustration of the current state of the EV car market. Electric trucks are a no starter because, with the maximum permitter weight of 80,000 lbs:
“A semi-truck including its cargo can legally weigh a maximum of 80,000 pounds. A battery for an electric truck can be up to 16,000 pounds, according to recent reporting by CNBC. That's nearly a quarter of the total weight of the truck.
4,000 pounds is a lot to make up per journey.
So what else is NOT being factored in to the equation?
Well, how about wear and tear on roads and highways?
“Across the country, one-third of our highways and major streets are in poor condition, according to TRIP, a non-profit transportation research group.”
“Construction Materials and Expected Service Life
First among them: initial construction materials. According to the WisDOT Facilities Development Manual, concrete roads offer an expected service life of roughly 25 years. Asphalt roads are likely to last approximately 18 years. Actual outcomes, however, depend on more than performance characteristics of concrete vs. asphalt. When estimating road life, we need to consider additional factors.”
Concrete roads last 25 years and asphalt roads just 18 years. Anyone seen a report detailing the “expiration dates” of stretches of state highways, or streets?
The link details the many ways in which roads deteriorate. The point is, a switch to much heavier EV’s is going to accelerate the decline in the quality of highways – reducing the life from the 25 and 18 years.
This will require a great deal more planning in the repair of roads AND increased costs for the materials used in road construction – concrete, cement and bitumen. It would be interesting to see an “environmental impact” assessment that includes ALL the impacts of sourcing components of each – like limestone and the oil in bitumen.
Which brings us to another sort of collateral damage – micro-plastics.
From here: (h/t Emily)
“Once again, the quest for a more sustainable future runs smack into capitalism. Manufacturers of next-generation electric vehicles have been tooling up and preparing for an electric future. But the money and the demand is in trucks and SUVs. EVs, heavier by nature due to the battery, are expected to chew through tires at a much higher rate, expelling microplastics that find their way into air, waterways and the food chain.”
This is hobby horse of mine – I regard the explosion in micro- and nano-plastics as an escalating species ending event that is impacting ALL life on earth.
Put all this together and ask “do any politicians have any concept of the big electric green picture?”
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