A draft of 21.11 to add to the series.
Purpose. To signal the downside of electric vehicles before governments waste taxpayers money to promote them.
Governments around the western world are competing to adopt the most EV-friendly policies and the most aggressive legislation to drive conventional cars off the road.
There is a long list of problems with the rapid introduction of electric vehicles, especially if governments provide subsidies and other incentives, and these issues should be investigated and fully discussed in public to inform policy decisions.
Spare a thought for the road safety aspect of soundless cars that can accelerate like rockets. Consider the situation of pedestrians who are elderly or hard of hearing, and young children who may be careless crossing the street.
People who have experienced collisions and close calls with cyclists will appreciate the danger of missiles that do not make any noise to warn of their approach. This will be aggravated when the ownership of evs extends from the elite who drive them at present to the whole population including “hoons” and people under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Fires in EVs are notoriously difficult to control.
In the event of natural disasters in the country, the power supply is likely to be one of the first casualties, and soon there will be the nightmarish prospect of emergency vehicles disabled by flat batteries, alongside civilian traffic in the same plight.
Like the subsidies and the feedback tariff for rooftop solar, public funding of subsidies for the purchase of evs and providing charging infrastructure is a form of redistribution from people who are often less well off than the beneficiaries who can afford to buy evs.
Major issues including child labour and toxic working conditions have emerged in connection with the mining and processing of minerals in Third World countries.
The additional electricity required
A study of the likely cost of supporting 100% EVs turned up astronomical numbers for the increased demand for electricity and the amount of additional installed capacity of wind and solar power required to provide it. For some ballpark figures.
For example, in Germany, replacing 44 million cars would call for 30% more electric power and 40% more installed capacity at a cost of $US 230 Billion. Replacing 60GW of coal and nuclear power would call for some 140GW of additional wind and solar power at a cost of 650 billion.
In the Netherlands replacing 8 million cars would require 21% more electricity and 24% more installed capacity at a cost of 27 billion.
In the UK, with 26 million cars the numbers are 36%, 50% and 140 billion.
For the US, 260 million cars, 30%, 44% and $1.4 trillion.
China, 154 million cars, $750 billion.
One of the aspirations is to use the cars as mass storage facilities in addition to their transport function. Some arithmetic suggests that all the cars in the UK could store almost 100 x power as the Dinorwig pumped hydro plant but to keep that figure in perspective it is only enough to power the UK for about a day. So after a couple of windless and sunless days the whole fleet would have dead batteries in the absence of conventional power.
In addition to the cost of power, who would dare to estimate the cost of replacing or renovating the current system of service stations to provide charging stations. That would have to include the extra wiring and underground cabling.
There will be major problems of grid disruption in suburban streets when numbers of Teslas start to drain the grid in suburban streets, on top of the increasing problem of grid stability caused by the loss of inertia and the fluctuations of wind and solar input.
Upstream, the impact of mining, process, transport and construction, then downstream the disposal of millions of batteries in addition to the load of waste from windills.
The volume of minerals required
The numbers are staggering. For instance to meet some ambitious targets the Netherlands alone would need to use all the current world supply of rare earths and related minerals.
Check out this 5 minute video for a reminder of the amount of earthmoving (and energy) required, and other insoluble problems.
Dependence on supply chains dominated by a potentially hostile dictatorship.
AND SO ON AND SO FORTH