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Are Electric Vehicles Really Better for the Climate? Yes. Here’s Why

I haven’t heard a reason, but FYI, the easiest modification is to type a character (I use ~, not sure what else works) and put the link right after, e.g. ~https://www.carbonbrief.org/)

Ridiculous. Lithium is quite a bit better than it’s predecessor (NiMH) both in energy density and in self discharge. If you don’t think there are a ton of scientists looking at battery tech trying for something better and have been for some time, you are not paying attention. The Nova show “In Search of the Superbattery” laid out some promising research on safer lithium batteries and alternatives to lithium for stationary applications (e.g., salt water, flywheel), but for car batteries I am not aware of anything that competes with lithium though of course anything that improves on cost, cycle life, energy density or any objective criteria is always of interest. I read they are working on improving the cycle life for lithium car batteries quite a bit and we may get to see that relatively soon (< 10 years). Many years ago I remember people used to talk about sodium sulfur which needed to be way warmer than room temperature to work correctly - but I don’t hear any of that talk anymore since the modern lithium battery started appearing in cars. If you have an actual piece of technical information that backs up your claim, please share it, otherwise I have to conclude you are too easily taken in by false conspiracy theories.

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Unfortunately, David Reichmuth here fails to factor in a major problem. A good deal of the electricity involved is generated by nuclear plants, and if electricity use continues to rise, more likely will be in the future. Nuclear plants are less damaging in terms of global warming, but cause a lot of other problems.

This does not mean that various sorts of alternatives should not be worked with in various ways, including, certainly, renewable generation of electricity. However, it should undercut the sadly common notion that our panoply of ecological problems will resolve in some even modest way without extensive social restructuring, including radically reduced energy use.

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The Romans built ‘excellent’ roads centuries ago, before we got ‘hooked’ on oil. So did the Incas.

But the substantial solution will involve not traveling so much, and accepting that some times of the year roads (and other means) are too muddy, mucky, etc. to be traveled, and we have to stay put.

Wrong verb. People like Henry Ford built cars and offered them to the public, and the public chose to buy them, as better for their lives than what else was available. And note the social good effects. As one example, Rosa Parks’ Birmingham bus boycott in the 1950s succeeded because enough blacks owned cars to set up alternative carpool arrangements.

The article looks at personal vehicles and assesses them solely by the metric of greenhouse gas emissions. (As a subset of broader pollution.)

Most people care more about other assessments of personal vehicles, with cost to purchase and operate ranking very high. Those people might care not-at-all about greenhouse gas emissions, particularly if the cost is too high.

“Right-wing” sources, like the Wall Street Journal, have remarked that the intention of the climate-conscious-alarmists seems to be, in effect, to throw the state of the economy back 120 years or more. In personal transportation that would mean only the very rich could afford “zero-emission” vehicles, and the masses would have to do without any vehicles and have to get around on foot. - That should be something egalitarians like Common Dreamers get very upset about…

Yes, we’ve barely begun to convert existing electricity generation to renewables and these people are talking about adding 200 million electric vehicles to the load.

Indeed they did, but they largely found oil deposits that were “bottom of the barrel” in nature by today’s standards–very gooey stuff.

I was sad to hear recently that Organic Transport - maker of the ELF - has gone into Chapter 7 bankruptcy (h ttps://organictransit.com) and are looking or a buyer. I thought that kind of vehicle could serve a lot of people with a reasonable carbon footprint.

Yes they did.
When petroleum naturally comes to the surface, such as at La Brea southern California, the volatile stuff evaporates, leaving behind tar pits. Such tar was mostly good only for caulking boats to make them leak-proof.