There is not a day that goes by that I don’t see some Tweet extolling the virtues of electric vehicles.
Proponents tout their lower maintenance costs, their fewer mechanical parts, their greenness.
Electric vehicles are the future, proponents claim.
There is little doubt governments would like us to believe all that is true.
A number of countries, in fact, have already said they plan to legislate the internal combustion engine (ICE) out of existence over the course of the next two decades.
Electric vehicles sales, to be sure, have been increasing. The number of EVs on the road has increased by more than 30 per cent in the past few years. That is a sign of their growing popularity and generous incentives.
More will likely be sold, too, as the cost of batteries falls. In 2010, EV batteries cost about $1,000 per Kw/H. Today, the cost is around $250. By 2028, the cost will be down to around $125.
At that cost, EVs can compete quite nicely with their ICE counterparts.
Proponents are, of course, ecstatic. It means more and more EVs will be sold.
“By 2040,” says the World Economic Forum, “54 per cent of new car sales and 33 per cent of the global car fleet will be electric. Falling battery prices will bring price-competitive electric vehicles to all major light-duty vehicle segments before 2030.”
Praise be to Gaia?
Not so fast. What the EV proponents fail to take into consideration is that EVs are electric and, therefore, require electricity to operate.
Where is all electricity going to come from?
Electric cars often need an entire night to recharge. That recharging can increase a household’s electrical consumption by 50 per cent.
Now, imagine an entire street of houses charging electric cars, an entire neighborhood, an entire city, an entire state or province, an entire country and, finally, an entire world.
All that extra electricity is going to have to come from somewhere.
Mention this need for extra electricity and EV proponents will mumble something about renewables and free energy from the wind and sun.
Those of us who are realists understand that the vast majority of electricity is actually generated by fossil fuels, primarily coal and natural gas.
Even without EVs surging onto the roads, global electrical will increase by three per cent annually for the foreseeable future.
In other words, EVs solve nothing. To meet the demand of electric vehicles, utilities will build more and more coal and gas fired plants.
And don’t even get me started on the woeful state of our electrical grids and the dearth of base-load electricity that leaves us a few megawatts from blackouts.
It’s one thing for proponents to dream about electric vehicles, but it’s quite another when governments take those dreams and turn them into nightmares for the rest of us.