Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Skeptical EV Driver

Bjorn Lomborg's recent take on EVs and their total impact is somewhat overhyped (befitting the venue) but his basic argument is solid: EVs aren't a panacea and that unless a user makes some very specific decisions about recharging and use, any claims to overall environmental superiority are suspect - especially where carbon footprint is involved.

They do reduce air pollution at the point of use, and that's important.  Lomborg acknowledges this. But that's not the same as making broad claims about overall emissions.  The EV makers are conveniently vague about this. There's a call for transparency about this, which Toyota is just barely starting to address.

The batteries are not benign. Lomborg is fair to call them out, though it's hard to assess his numbers without digging into his sources. That might come later.

EVs are currently a  "statement" like Prii were in 2002. We Prius drivers are over that now, thankfully. One day the EV users will be, too.

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