Politics /

Electric Vehicle Calculations Don’t Add Up

  |   By Lou Dobbs Staff


Pacific Southwest Region from Sacramento, US, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


According to the Federal Highway Administration, there are over 280 million registered vehicles in the United States, including cars, trucks, and motorcycles. President Biden’s plan aims to replace 67% of these vehicles with electric ones by 2032. While China, which produces 80% of the batteries, would benefit, American consumers and the environment would suffer as a result.

First, purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) is expensive. On average, the purchase price of an EV is currently $26,000 more than a gasoline-powered car. Next, using an EV as a primary vehicle or for long family trips is extremely problematic. They have a short range of only 291 miles on average, compared to 400 miles for gasoline-powered cars. Additionally, they have long charging times and reduced performance at temperatures below 40°F or above 90°F. On extremely cold days, the range of the battery can decrease by as much as 50%. Consequently, EVs may not be suitable for use in most northern states or out west, where temperatures range from very high to very low.

According to the Department of Transportation, depending on the type of EV you buy, recharging to 80% capacity can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 10 hours. The reason why 80% capacity is often cited in literature is that the top 20% and bottom 20% of the EV battery are either unusable or not recommended for use. This fact significantly affects the actual range of an EV compared to the range cited by environmentalists.

They claim that this switch is being done to save the environment, but with charging times of up to 10 hours, every American home would need at least one charger. Since most homes have more than one car, multiple chargers would be necessary. If public recharging stations on highways had fast chargers that only require 20 minutes to fill a battery to 80%, far more of these chargers would be needed than the gas pumps that exist today.

It only takes 3-4 minutes to fill a car with gas, so waiting in a line 5 cars deep would be a 20-minute wait. With EVs, that would be a 100-minute wait, followed by the 20 minutes it takes to charge your EV battery to 80%. Service stations would need to add additional charging stations, or cities would need to install them in parking lots. Either way, there would be a massive construction of new electric charging stations.

Nowadays, you replace a perfectly working phone or computer every two to three years because the technology keeps improving. This will be the case with EVs and charging stations. As new technology emerges, old EVs and charging stations will be disposed of, and new ones will be built in the hundreds of millions, which could be detrimental to the environment.

If all 280 million US vehicles were converted to EVs, the demand for electricity would increase by 25% to 50%. Generating more electricity would necessitate expanding the electric grid and likely burning more fossil fuels. However, the White House has set a goal of reducing emissions by 50% – 52% compared to 2005 levels by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050. To achieve this goal, power generation would need to switch to wind and solar, both of which have significant environmental impacts that proponents often overlook.

Feasibility studies on projected wind and solar power production often compare the power produced to current needs but fail to consider that in just a few years, most cars are expected to be EVs, causing electricity demand to skyrocket.

Aside from the fact that wind and solar farms cannot generate sufficient energy to meet the needs of an entire population driving EVs, they are also environmentally damaging. The establishment of wind or solar farms disrupts local plant and animal habitats, which is a significant concern, especially in areas with sensitive ecosystems or endangered species. Large-scale wind and solar farms require significant land areas, potentially converting natural landscapes or agricultural lands. Additionally, solar production requires a great deal of water—20 gallons per megawatt hour.

The production and decommissioning of wind turbines produce harmful emissions. Manufacturing solar panels involves mining and processing raw materials like silicon, silver, and other metals, which can have significant environmental impacts. Solar panels contain hazardous materials such as cadmium, silicon, and gallium arsenide, which are toxic to humans and animals and can pollute groundwater and air. The disposal and recycling of solar panels at the end of their life cycle pose environmental challenges, as some components can be hazardous. By 2050, estimates suggest there could be as much as 78 million tons of solar panel waste worldwide.

EVs will cost consumers more money, be impractical, and cause an environmental disaster. One way to mitigate the increased demand for electricity could be for the government to ration electricity usage, leading to rolling blackouts and bans on air-conditioning and heating. Alternatively, they could tax the usage of public roads to discourage driving. Either way, quality of life would decrease along with personal freedoms.

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