Yes they are
Douglas’s article is so full of the distortions, misrepresentations and falsehoods it must have come directly from Aramco’s conspiracy and hoax playbook.
where to start?
Ok, point by point:
1. the power used is generated from fossil fuels:
1. that is nothing to do with how green EV’s are. They use a fraction of the all electricity generated, and how that is produced is a totally different question.
2. Even if no renewables were used (Portugal is about 80%) diesel generators are an order of magnitude more efficient than automotive engines as they only run at one optimised speed.
3. The fossil fuels have to be delivered to filling stations, causing more pollution and expense, electricity is delivered free.
2. how far to drive before the EV becomes ecological?
1. this answers it’s own question – in norway only 8,500 miles (about 14,00 km for non-brexit/trumpists). If all electricity was generated sustainably, this would be 0km
3. Limited range:
1. sure, this can be a factor, but most vehicles are used for less than 100km per day and recharged overnight – well within virtually all EV’s range.
2. For longer distances, more stops than an ICE car are needed, but balance the time used for that (about 20mins with a fast charger) with the overnight charge which happens unattended
4. More tyre dust created
1. regenerative braking just puts the motor in reverse, using the resistance of the generator to slow the wheels. That does not affect tyre wear in the slightest, and in fact reduces wear and dust from the brakes
2. Even if it did, EVs would only be the cause of a higher percentage of particulate emission, not an increase in it.
3. The weight difference would be about 300Kg for an ICE car vs 600 for EV – about the same as three large passengers
5. batteries are made of rare earths which are produced unethically:
1. again, nothing to do with EVs, everything to do with labour conditions in third world producers. If the labour was properly treated EVs would still be still be ecological, even if very slightly more expensive to buy.
2. EVs are again minority users of l-ion batteries, most go in mobile phones and other battery driven devices. Would you want a diesel-powered ipad?
3. the batteries don’t just disappear like fossil fuels do – they are upcycled to applications that don’t care much about power-to weight ratios such as solar farms etc. Even at the end of life the valuable chemicals can be extracted and recycled, depending on the cost relative to mining
4. batteries evolve: through lead-acid, alkaline, nickel-cadmium, lithium-ion and are continually getting more efficient. In the pipeline are solid-state and super-capacitors which will be game-changers when they are viable to scale up to production levels
5. One canard that is normally trotted out – EVs catch fire a lot:
1. ICE vehicles carry a huge tank of highly-flammable liquid on board, which is drip-fed to a very hot engine. I have personally been in two vehicles that have burned out, the fuel burns, catches the upholstry and then the paint. 15 minutes and you have a charred wreck.
2. EV batteries could very rarely suffer from thermal runaway, which is difficult to extiguish as it happens inside a sealed module. Luckily, advances in battery design have inserted thermal breaks to prevent this happening
Another myth. Pedestrians can’t hear Evs coming
1. at urban speeds ICE cars are nearly as quiet as EVs. EV drivers, like myself become highly aware of whether a pedestrian is aware of us before crossing the road
What can be done re electric vehicles?
1. From the governnet’s point of view, huge amounts of money are leaving portugal and going to saudi arabia, russia, nigeria and china. Not particularly good countries to have to rely on.
With all vehicles being electric from renewable sources, a huge amount of this money would stay in the country, generating taxes every time it moved round and making everybody more wealthy
1. It would be in everybody’s interest to adopt some of the following:
2. Free access to charge points at every solar farm
3. Every filling station required to have at least one working charger
4. EVs to have different colour licence plates, white on green maybe, to build confidence that many drivers are changing
5. Exemption from road tolls
6. Reductions on EV road taxes coupled with increases on ICE road taxes
7. all taxis and busses having unlimited free charge
8. Battery pack replacements supplied at cost for EVs whose batteries are losing capacity
9. Ideally, the batteries owned by distributing companies, and just changed rather than recharged. Quick, and the quality of batteries could be continually monitored.
10. Also, if one did overheat, it could very quickly be removed from the car
Finally, for anyone that can be bothered to google it, all major governments and universities have calculated the whole-life impact of going electric, and have concluded that it is well worth it