The Electric Car Farce

The Electric Car FarceWith the myth of global warming being seriously questioned, environmentalists can at least take comfort in proclaiming the good they do by promoting electric cars. After all, there are no dirty exhaust pipes emitting noxious fumes because they run on clean electricity, right? There could not possibly be a more pristine form of transportation, save for bicycling or walking.

Let us not jump to the conclusion desired by the left-leaning go-green crowd. Their emotional mantra has all but convinced a few that electric cars equal clean energy transportation. Most, however, do not have the resources to verify this impression. Thus, we are left with only emotional arguments that electric vehicles are a better alternative to conventionally fueled vehicles.

The Journal of Industrial Ecology has published an exhaustive study titled “Comparative Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Conventional and Electric Vehicles.” It concludes that the global warming potential caused by the production, use and disposal of electric vehicles (EVs) causes double the damage when compared to internal combustion engine vehicles. These findings do not help transmit the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from driving a Chevy Volt to help stop the polar ice caps from melting.

As a matter of fact, the Journal’s article points out that any claims of less pollution is really just a shell game of the environmentalist. “Our results clearly indicate that it is counterproductive to promote EVs in areas where electricity is primarily produced from lignite, coal, or even heavy oil combustion. At best, with such electricity mixes, local pollution reductions may be achieved. Thus EVs are a means of moving emissions away from the road rather than reducing them globally.”1

If electric cars only move the problem from one location to another, why are our elected officials and business leaders so insistent on producing them? Why have they not demanded the same environmental viability studies that they demand of others? Why are we are pouring so much money into these government-subsidized green car projects? These projects have cost the taxpayer dearly and do not accomplish their environmental objective. These subsidies make for poor public policy along with subverting the efficient functioning of a market, which is our only effective mechanism for matching supply with demand.

The electric car farce shows how facts can get in the way of an ideological agenda.  This travesty is made yet worse when these subsidized electric vehicles are forced upon society and taxpayer is left with bill.

Footnotes

  1. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00532.x/full

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