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Page added on April 7, 2019

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The Skeleton In The Electric Car Closet

The Skeleton In The Electric Car Closet thumbnail

The number of electric vehicles is increasing rapidly, but at great human cost.

You probably have not heard anything other than praise for electric cars in the mainstream media. They are sexy and environmentally friendly too, we are told. The first may be true, but not the latter.

Batteries are not good for the environment, and their raw materials are mined at the expense of human health.

Rare Earth Metals

Rare earth metals are needed to make efficient batteries. The minerals are found in low densities in the earth’s crust, and tons of rock need to be mined, filtered, and transported in order to find the amount required to make a vehicle battery. Typically, the energy needed to create them exceeds the amount that they store during their lifetime. That is why they are so expensive.

Congo

Cobalt is one of the ingredients needed to make batteries. In 2018, 70% of this mineral came from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa. The metal is mined by poor Congolese people who work under conditions that would have been unthinkable and highly illegal in any Western country. Accidents are common, sometimes killing the miners.

Mining for cobalt in the Congo.

Little attention is given to those who toil to make wealthy Western environmentalists happy. It is not uncommon for green ideals to be at odds with human health. DDT is a miracle chemical that was used to eradicate malaria in America and Europe, but environmentalists were able to de facto ban it in the 1970s, resulting in tens of millions of unnecessary deaths in developing nations.

Similarly, Norman Borlaug initiated what is known as the green revolution in farming. His work earned him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, and he became known as “the man who saved a billion lives.” Everyone loved him, except radical environmentalists. They successfully managed to prevent him from applying his farming techniques in Africa, which resulted in the needless suffering and deaths of millions of Africans.

It should, therefore, come as no surprise that environmentalists have little concern for the lives of miners in Congo.

Hybrids

The rational alternative to electric vehicles, which is both good for the environment and for human health and prosperity, is the chargeable hybrid. An average car owner drives less than 50 miles per day, but electric vehicles strive to give you a range of 300 miles or more per charge. This means that they will be equipped with batteries that are six times larger than is needed for daily usage. Thus, six times more rare earth metals must be mined at a greater human, environmental, and economic cost than is necessary.

The chargeable hybrid solves this problem by having a much smaller battery, but also a small gasoline engine that kicks in on the rare occasions when you need to drive longer.

When you are driving in the city, you will mostly be in electrical mode, thereby not contributing significantly to noise and pollutants from the gasoline. Thus, you are environmentally friendly where it is most needed – in densely populated areas.

When the battery is small, no special high-power charger is needed. Instead, you can just plug the car into an ordinary socket and charge it overnight. In short, you get all the benefits of having an electric vehicle, but none of its downsides.

So why are hybrids not more popular? They are not “pure” enough for environmentalists. They hate fossil fuels and don’t want to sully their green souls. For that reason, hybrids are not the focus of research and development that they deserve. That’s a shame because they genuinely have the potential to be a competitive alternative to the ordinary gasoline car – without nearly as many skeletons in the closet.

Liberty Nation



17 Comments on "The Skeleton In The Electric Car Closet"

  1. Anonymouse on Sun, 7th Apr 2019 4:26 pm 

    ‘Liberty Nation’, ROFL. Now there is a source of dis-information you can rely on.

    Well now you know, batteries are bad for environment, but oil wells, tar-sands, fraking, pipelines, and ocean drilling, not to mention wars for oil$$$$, sorry, I meant spreading democracy and freedom, do not seem to pose any particular problems for the environment. At least none worth mentioning.

    ‘Hybrids’ are just fine though, since they are basically 99% gas and oil powered anyhow, so they get a pass. And they are better for Africans too. Remember Liberty Nation gives a rats ass about Africa, and Africans. Really they do.

    PS: Get yourself checked into the nearest lunatic asylum excpetionalturd. They got a straight-jacket with your name on it.

  2. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 7th Apr 2019 6:25 pm 

    This article looks technically correct.
    It’s better to keep the gasoline engine
    in the car. then the battery can be
    smaller and also, the driver won’t
    get stranded by a flat battery.

    I don’t see any cars being designed
    on that basis. And so, i don’t buy
    any electric car.

  3. Kevin Cobley on Sun, 7th Apr 2019 6:50 pm 

    All cars are environmentally unacceptable, it’s just plain stupid to move people around in a 1500-kilogram box of metal that occupies 160 square meters of a roadway at 60kph when the same person could occupy .5 of a square meter on public transit. A single metro rail line can carry up to 45,000 passengers per hour at an average speed of more than 50kph or 20-30 roadway lanes full of cars travelling at perhaps 20kph.
    It’s a huge waste of valuable resources both in the use and construction of vehicles and infrastructure. People should simply walk up to a couple of kilometres to the subway station. It’s a lot better for the environment and public health. Ban all private cars.

  4. Chrome Mags on Sun, 7th Apr 2019 7:35 pm 

    “People should simply walk up to a couple of kilometres to the subway station.”

    So in this scenario everybody that works lives within a couple of kilometres of a subway?

  5. makati1 on Sun, 7th Apr 2019 8:42 pm 

    Well, here in the Philippines, I can catch a bus to most anywhere. They leave about 1 hour apart. You can board it or leave it anywhere along the route. The cost to ride in an air conditioned bus with the driver doing the work? $5 each way to Manila. $3 if you ride a bus without A/C. About 80 miles for the cost of a gallon of gas. Local trikes take me anywhere within 5 miles of my home for 50 cents to a dollar. We have our own trike and use it to travel locally. Cost? About $800.

    https://www.hobotraveler.com/b-photos01/211-608-trike-philippines.jpg

    Americans are spoiled. But then they are owned by Big Auto and Big Oil. What happens when the price of gas goes to $5? $6? More? Not much here, but in the US…

  6. Goverment Mule on Sun, 7th Apr 2019 11:10 pm 

    Ya, the publisher of the article has a RW agenda, however their point about electric cars is correct. And it’s not just rare earths; lithium extraction is also dirty and unsustainable. Do an image search on ‘lithium evaporatation ponds’ to see what’s being done in the name of “green motoring”.

  7. Davy on Mon, 8th Apr 2019 6:22 am 

    Electric vehicles are Fake Green. People that drive them often have a cult fake green mentality. For some reason they feel special to be driving electric. Driving is the problem and the car culture is what has destroyed the planet and our species. That said we are where we are and that is a car culture necessary for survival. Electric vehicles are part of the solution to lowering our foot print if we are also pushing into renewables with vigor. In many places we are doing this so this makes EV part of the solution. Hybrids are part of the solution too because they fill many applications well. Both EV’s, hybrids, and fuel cell technology need to be pushed and ICE vehicles slowly taken from the road. Most of all our modern consumeristic mobile mentality reshaped instead of adapted with Fake Green fancy shit like EV vehicles. Most EV are sold to the rich who are the biggest consumers of resources by far green or not.

    The Real Green approach is to go local. In all fairness this does not work except for some but it should be an option governments around the world are pushing. Subsidize low footprint lifestyles and green good behavior. Eco communities could be certified and supported with economic protection. Eco communities would voluntarily go low tech and simplify. This means leaving normal life much as monks did in the Middle Ages with the difference being economic and environmental not religious. Monasteries are a blue print for what these communities would resemble. Eco communities engage in permaculture even more so. Many poor in the third world are already there so policies should avoid disrupting what they have and an effort made to keep them from developing into a modern consumer.

    Industrial Ag is something we need to move away from at least partly for a lower foot print and food supply resilience. Electric with renewable power is part of this. Tractors can go electric and the greatly reduced transport these eco communities would engage in also electric. These communities could pack the vehicle with people for multi tasked trips for supplies and sale of goods. This would be a very low foot print compared to normal people who drive single occupancy vehicles EV or not. These communities could be powered by renewables off the grid with a lifestyle adapted to intermittency. Their surplus power if any sold to the grid along with their eco harvested food production.

    EV’s do not make you green. Most EV’s are fossil fuel charged to some extent because the grid is not green. This whole EV thing is in some ways a farce but they are trying and it is better than Trump Orange or Conservative brown that are anti-green and mainly profit oriented. Real Green is planet oriented first. We all know these activities have to make a return. Wolves don’t survive if their rabbit catch was more effort than the meal gives. This is where the certification comes in. An energy audit is needed to allow economic support and protection. The EV cult mentality needs to be taken from Fake Green to Real Green for those who can and who in their heart want to dedicate their lives to the planet and the web of life.

  8. Sissyfuss on Mon, 8th Apr 2019 8:31 am 

    We are in a predicament. Therefore, none of these efforts to mitigate our devastating footprint upon the living Earth are anything more than mental flatulence. Ending GHG emissions immediately and reducing human numbers by 85% still would not stop the climate disruption already baked in. Buckle in tight, we are headed for a bumpy, bone shaking future.

  9. Robert Inget on Mon, 8th Apr 2019 8:50 am 

    Eleven years ago when first plunked forty G’s
    for ‘grid-tie’ solar, everyone thought we were
    just making the entire neighborhood ugly.
    “Doesn’t pencil out” everyone kept saying.

    I’ve discovered folks who SAY they believe in AGW
    think of it as an abstract, ‘not anything I can do about it problem’.

    Ten years ago climate posting would get a person thrown off an investment board faster than an outspoken Democrat.

    Today, pro-FF propaganda tends to just echo the
    mantra “climate is ALWAYS changing”

    From the ‘inside’ I can tell you electric cars scare the shit outta FF guys. Articles like the one
    featured here are typical. First of all, unlike AGW, EV’s are not some abstract that can be argued.
    A person can BUY or lease one at just about any auto dealership, ‘foreign’ or domestic.

    Putting on a green suit doesn’t cover-up the fact that EVERY, that’s every, source of energy effects
    our enviro in some unpleasant way.
    Just go down the list from coal to hydro.

    I dare you to knock EV’s after driving one for a week.
    That $40 grand spent eleven years ago on solar
    was twice what a person would have to pay today
    for the same set-up.
    The same will be said for my first e.Golf or 2018 Nissan Leaf.
    NOW, how many billion tons of CO/2 did we ‘cultists’ save?

    EV’s don’t scare the auto makers any more that
    inventions like the self-starter or front wheel brakes.

    FF Whores publish lines like; “Electric vehicles are Fake Green”.

  10. Davy on Mon, 8th Apr 2019 9:15 am 

    Bob, I have 12 x 300 watt panels feeding a hybrid system where all circuits can be on or off the grid except oven, dryer, and backup electric space/water heat. I raise grass fed animals. I heat with wood. I have greatly reduce when I drive. You and Idaho are a perfect example of fake green rich liberal whiners. The both of you jet set around and consume like rich people do.THEN point fingers THEN act like the sun rises over your shoulder. I am a Real Green wannabee. I am moving in that direction. You two are doubling down on fake green because that is the rich liberal thing to do.

  11. Davy on Mon, 8th Apr 2019 10:44 am 

    None of the stuff I mentioned above is Real Green accept for the heating with wood part. I’m full of shit as usual.

  12. Not Davy on Mon, 8th Apr 2019 10:52 am 

    This is a JuanP post

    Davy on Mon, 8th Apr 2019 10:44 am

  13. Not JuanP on Mon, 8th Apr 2019 11:02 am 

    This is not a JuanP post. Davy is full of shit as usual.

    Davy on Mon, 8th Apr 2019 10:44 am

  14. Real Davy on Mon, 8th Apr 2019 3:09 pm 

    Bob, I have 12 x Bud Light beers feeding my fat face. I have an outhouse, a still, and an I-phone. I spend all my time posting on PO.com. I sock puppet. I steal others handles. I have greatly reduced my time outdoors. The both of you jet set around in Miami like DirtyJuansocks. THEN point fingers. I am a real nutter. I am moving in that direction. I really am. You two are dumbass extremists who are probably both JuanP socks because that is the rich liberal thing to do.

    I also have an italian wife and 500 acres of prime farmland. But you knew that already but no harm in reminding you dumbasses again.

  15. Not Davy on Mon, 8th Apr 2019 3:22 pm 

    This is a JuanP posting

    Real Davy on Mon, 8th Apr 2019 3:09 pm

  16. Antius on Tue, 9th Apr 2019 10:37 am 

    The battery electric car is popular amongst Green tech obsessives not because it is the most practical or appropriate solution to our mobility problems. It appeals to them on an emotional level because it appears to allow a 100% break from the existing fossil based energy system, in a way that avoids making deep changes to our lifestyles, making it an easy sell to the public. An 80 or even 90% reduction in fuel use is not interesting enough for these people, even if it would mitigate the problem at a far more affordable price. Hence, a huge amount of hype and bullshit is being put out that we are about to make a battery electric or hydrogen transition, which, in reality, very few people will be able to afford.

    A hybrid vehicle, storing energy in a much smaller battery, or a hydraulic cylinder, or capacitors, or compressed air, or flywheels, etc. would be a far more affordable solution that would cut fuel consumption by 30-90%, depending upon the options used. Even a very small energy store could achieve some significant reductions in fuel consumption in city driving because it would allow regenerative braking. But simple and practical solutions are never enough for idealists who can only accept ‘perfect’ solutions. It offends their sense of perfection. The more impractical the solution, the more they like it.

  17. Davy on Tue, 9th Apr 2019 11:44 am 

    “The battery electric car is popular amongst Green tech obsessives not because it is the most practical or appropriate solution to our mobility problems. It appeals to them on an emotional level because it appears to allow a 100% break from the existing fossil based energy system, in a way that avoids making deep changes to our lifestyles, making it an easy sell to the public.”

    IOW Fake Green! It allows rich liberals to feel good about themselves and bad about flyover people who drive a pickup. EV’s are part of the solution but definitely not the way they are being marketed now. Total joke as far as Real Green just like AOC platform, who probably has no clue how a home solar system works or what it takes to grow food. Driving is the problem not what we drive.

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