Enough with the 'Actually, Electric Cars Pollute More' Bullshit Already

  
Via:  bob-nelson  •  3 weeks ago  •  39 comments

Enough with the 'Actually, Electric Cars Pollute More' Bullshit Already
Another anti-alternative energy zombie shambles on... and on... and on...

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


originalI know, I know, dunking on the Wall Street Journal editorial board is a bit like smacking your four-year-old nephew’s would-be jumper out of the air before it even leaves his hands. But in an Op-Ed last week it peddled the tired and disingenuous notion that electric cars, by the very virtue of their production, pollute more than fossil fuel cars. This is wrong, and it cannot stand.

Specifically, the Journal cites a German study that says that, over the life of the vehicle, a diesel Mercedes would pollute less than an electric Tesla. (German-made diesel cars are the center of a bit of a culture war in Germany at the moment, but that’s a lot to get into.) From the Journal:

A study this month by the IFO think tank in Munich found that a popular electric car releases more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than a comparable diesel engine. The authors compared CO2 output for a Tesla Model 3 and a Mercedes C220d sedan. They calculated that the diesel Mercedes releases about 141 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer driven, including the carbon emitted to drill, refine and transport its fuel. The Tesla? Between 156 and 181 grams.

The IFO study, bizarrely, seems to advocate for natural gas-powered vehicles as a “transitioning” technology on the way to cars powered by hydrogen, which, sure, I guess, and “‘green’ methane,” a product which does not exist.

The joke of a transitionary technology aside (the time period for a “transitionary” fuel source was probably about 100 years ago, if we don’t switch to a zero-emission economy fast we’re pretty much entirely fucked, if we’re not entirely fucked already), the argument that “well actually, electric cars pollute more” has been thoroughly debunked.

Let’s go to the Union of Concerned Scientists, which looked at this non-issue back in 2015, and found that the whole “batteries produce more carbon dioxide to manufacture” argument goes straight out the window and down into the pit of hell itself as soon as you drive anywhere (emphasis mine):

A full-size long-range (265 miles per charge) BEV, with its larger battery, adds about six tons of emissions, which increases manufacturing emissions by 68 percent over the gasoline version. But this electric vehicle results in 53 percent lower overall emissions compared with a similar gasoline vehicle (see Figure ES-2). In other words, the extra emissions associated with electric vehicle production are rapidly negated by reduced emissions from driving. Comparing an average midsize midrange BEV with an average midsize gasoline-powered car, it takes just 4,900 miles of driving to “pay back”—i.e., offset—the extra global warming emissions from producing the BEV. Similarly, it takes 19,000 miles with the full-size long-range BEV compared with a similar gasoline car. Based on typical usages of these vehicles, this amounts to about six months’ driving for the midsize midrange BEV and 16 months for the full-size long-range BEV.

The UCS goes on to note that advances in battery manufacturing are happening all the time, consistently reducing the emissions associated with assembling electric cars.

This whole concept is so easy to grasp, even for those with brains the size and consistency of a garbanzo bean, that the UCS made a video about it:

The WSJ editorial board, as it tends to do, turned this whole manufactured “controversy” into a pedestal from which to condemn renewable energy sources in general:

The country’s ruinously expensive energy policy has stimulated renewable electricity but also reliance on coal plants to keep the lights on when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. This heavy-emitting fuel mix means that charging a Tesla in Bavaria releases some 83 grams of carbon per kilometer driven.

And while yes of course, Germany’s energy policy is “ruinously” expensive, as anyone who has waded through the decrepit ruins of the once-proud city of Stuttgart can attest, that makes total definite sense and is true, the entire argument falls flat on its face in a bizarre pratfall just as soon as an ounce of thought is put into it. Electrical grids powered by wind and solar do not just completely collapse as soon as the wind stops blowing or the sun stops shining. Not only are there stacks of traditional batteries to store excess energy for those low times, humanity has devised ingenious ways to store massive amounts of power in ways you might not think, just to get around this notion:

And charging a Tesla in Bavaria is one thing, but charge it anywhere else, and you’ll be doing great. I used the handy widget on the UCS website to imagine a world in which I charge a Tesla Model 3 here at the Jalopnik Grand Palace in New York City, and already I’m doing better than any gasoline-powered car on American roads today:

The WSJ goes on to pretend it’s acting with some semblance of rationality, saying that “this isn’t a universal condemnation of electric cars, which may emit less carbon in countries such as France that rely heavily on nuclear power,” which sort of undercuts the entire argument, considering that coal power plants have been declining for years under a collapsing coal economy.

“Recall the false promises about corn and cellulosic ethanol,” it bleats, which my recalling tells me was just promises from politicians trying to win the Iowa primaries that a bunch of corn farmers would get rich.

But, as always, the real purpose of an op-ed like this is always reserved for the kicker:

original
These subsidies and exemptions inevitably divert consumer euros and corporate investment toward electric vehicles no matter their true environmental impact. Better to heed the report’s authors, who suggest allowing room for a range of possible auto technologies to blossom and compete.

Ah, now I see. “Please stop subsidizing electric cars,” in other words, “lest they be able to compete with fossil fuels, which are incredibly, massively, hugely subsidized themselves, to the tune of $20 billion a year.”

No, electric cars aren’t perfect. They demand a massive amount of resources, resources that are finite just like all fleeting ephemera of this universe, and which will surely run out sooner than would be convenient for us to find replacement technology.

But that’s not the argument being made. This particular whole argument is stupid.

Stop it.

Initial image: The Tesla Model Y. Photo: Tesla

Tags

jrDiscussion - desc
Find text within the comments Find 
 
Bob Nelson
1  seeder  Bob Nelson    3 weeks ago
Ah, now I see. “Please stop subsidizing electric cars,” in other words, “lest they be able to compete with fossil fuels, which are incredibly, massively, hugely subsidized themselves, to the tune of $20 billion a year.”
 
 
 
Dean Moriarty
1.1  Dean Moriarty  replied to  Bob Nelson @1    3 weeks ago

I favor ending all the subsidies and returning the money to the taxpayers pocket. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
1.1.1  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Dean Moriarty @1.1    3 weeks ago

That would mean pump prices in the $10 - $15 range.

I'm OK with that. Are you?

 
 
 
evilgenius
1.1.2  evilgenius  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.1    3 weeks ago
That would mean pump prices in the $10 - $15 range.

On NPR yesterday industry experts said electric cars would have price parity with combustion engine cars by 2024. A change that big in gas prices would push auto makers into overdrive getting more electric vehicles into the market.

 
 
 
Dean Moriarty
1.1.3  Dean Moriarty  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.1    3 weeks ago

Yes no subsidies of any kind. That is what I want. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
1.1.4  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  evilgenius @1.1.2    3 weeks ago

I've said for many years that we need a constant 5-cent per gallon price hike every month fot the next ten years. That would bring us up to about where Europe is now.

Such a gradual hike would give everyone time to readjust.

 
 
 
Ronin2
1.1.5  Ronin2  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.1    3 weeks ago

What do think that would do to electricity prices? Or do you think that would be exempt?  Recharging that green electric car would be suddenly cost prohibitive. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
1.1.6  Trout Giggles  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.4    3 weeks ago

Yeah....I don't think so, Bob. I'm not moving closer to work and I don't have readily available public transportation.

People in the big cities won't care because they have buses and trains to get them back and forth but we folks out here in the Heartland don't have those luxuries

 
 
 
βΔĐ₣ƗŞĦ ĦΔŇĐ Ø₣ ĐØØΜ
1.1.7  βΔĐ₣ƗŞĦ ĦΔŇĐ Ø₣ ĐØØΜ  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.4    3 weeks ago
That would bring us up to about where Europe is now.

Oh great and then we can have violent yellow jacket protests over gas taxes. Always trying to stick it to the middle class and poor....tsk tsk.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/12/04/france-yellow-jacket-tax-protests/2200073002/

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
1.1.8  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Ronin2 @1.1.5    3 weeks ago
What do think that would do to electricity prices?

As I said,  "Such a gradual hike would give everyone time to readjust."

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
1.1.9  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.1.6    3 weeks ago

What do you drive? What are the alternatives?

Electric cars now routinely get a couple hundred miles on a charge. With overnight charging, the Heartland is where electric cars are the most worthwhile.

Pickups would take a hit. But frankly... so did the Marlboro man. Misplaced machismo is fine... as long as I don't have to pay for it.

 
 
 
livefreeordie
1.1.10  livefreeordie  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.9    3 weeks ago

Those of us who live west of the Mississippi and not in cities would be devastated by the leftist view that we don’t need to drive long distances. In rural America for many of us, driving 200 miles is routine.  I drive over 500 miles each way several times a month.

the closest charging station is 30 miles a way and the next one is over 100 miles a way.

 
 
 
livefreeordie
1.1.11  livefreeordie  replied to  Dean Moriarty @1.1    3 weeks ago

I don’t believe in subsidies but I also believe in facts over myths.  Most people have no clue where the so-called oil subsidies actually go.   Most of it isn’t subsidy at all

While this article is from 2012, nothing has changed its facts

Tell us all of you who demand the end of oil “subsidies” which Democrat will vote to end the US Strategic Oil Reserve? Which Democrat will vote to end the low income energy assistance program? Which Democrat in a farm state will vote to end the farm fuel exemption?

“The summary of oil-related subsidies in the U.S. for 2010 totals $4.5 billion. That is a number often put forward; $4 billion a year or so in support for those greedy oil companies.

But look at the breakdown. The single largest expenditure is just over $1 billion for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is designed to protect the U.S. from oil shortages. The second largest category is just under $1 billion in tax exemptions for farm fuel. The justification for that tax exemption is that fuel taxes pay for roads, and the farm equipment that benefits from the tax exemption is technically not supposed to be using the roads. The third largest category? $570 million for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. (This program is classified as a petroleum subsidy because it artificially reduces the price of fuel, which helps oil companies sell more of it). Those three programs account for $2.5 billion a year in “oil subsidies.”

So why do we still have fossil fuel subsidies? Because almost nobody — not even Bill McKibben — wants to get rid of all of the programs that are classified as fossil fuel subsidies. I suspect McKibben would not advocate eliminating the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Two of the most outspoken Democratic opponents of oil subsidies have strongly defended this particular program — even though it is classified by the OECD as the 3rd largest petroleum subsidy. When Republicans tried to cut funding for the program, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called the proposal an “extreme idea” that would “ set the country backwards.” Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass, states on his website that he is a “longtime Congressional champion of providing assistance to low-income families to heat and cool their homes.”

In fact, look at the reaction from Democrats when President Obama tried to reduce funding for the program. Rep. Markey’s office said: “If these cuts are real, it would be a very disappointing development for millions of families still struggling through a harsh winter.” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., noted her opposition: “The President’s reported proposal to drastically slash LIHEAP funds by more than half would have a severe impact on many of New Hampshire’s most vulnerable citizens and I strongly oppose it.” Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., wrote a letter to President Obama that stated in part: “We simply cannot afford to cut LIHEAP funding during one of the most brutal winters in history. Families across Massachusetts, and the country, depend on these monies to heat their homes and survive the season.” Yet each one of these Democrats was defending a program that is lumped into that all-encompassing category of “oil subsidies.”

Last year CNN did a story where they put together their own list of the so-called oil subsidies, and in their list the “largest single tax break” — amounting to $1.7 billion per year for the oil industry — is a manufacturer’s tax deduction that is defined in Section 199 of the IRS code. This is a tax credit designed to keep manufacturing in the U.S., but it isn’t specific to oil companies. It is a tax credit enjoyed by highly profitable companies like Microsoft and Apple, and even foreign companies that operate factories in the U.S. Further, the deduction for oil companies is already limited. Apple is able to take a 9% manufacturer’s tax deduction, but ExxonMobil is only allowed to take a 6% deduction.”

http://www.forbes.com/sites/energysource/2012/04/25/the-surprising-reason-that-oil-subsidies-persist-even-liberals-love-them/

 
 
 
Tessylo
1.1.12  Tessylo  replied to  livefreeordie @1.1.11    3 weeks ago

You believe in facts over myths?

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gifjrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gifjrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gifjrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gifjrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
1.1.13  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  livefreeordie @1.1.10    3 weeks ago

Socialism!

You want others to subsidize your expenses!

 
 
 
livefreeordie
1.1.14  livefreeordie  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.13    3 weeks ago

Nope. I don’t want anyone to subsidize my expenses nor did I make any such statement 

i don’t get any of the Strategic Reserve, I don’t get subsidized energy in the winter

i don’t claim any tax exemptions for farm fuel

try again

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
1.1.15  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  livefreeordie @1.1.14    3 weeks ago

Right now, gasoline is subsidized to the tune of seven to twelve dollars (depending on how you define things). You'd be paying 10 or fifteen dollars, otherwise.

Everyone else's taxes subsidize your driving.

 
 
 
epistte
1.1.16  epistte  replied to  livefreeordie @1.1.10    3 weeks ago
Those of us who live west of the Mississippi and not in cities would be devastated by the leftist view that we don’t need to drive long distances. In rural America for many of us, driving 200 miles is routine.  I drive over 500 miles each way several times a month. the closest charging station is 30 miles a way and the next one is over 100 miles a way.

Who is mandate electric-only cars? 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
1.1.17  Trout Giggles  replied to  Bob Nelson @1.1.9    3 weeks ago

I drive a Ford Ecosport which is pretty decent on gas. If I could afford an electric hybrid I would buy one. But right now while I have to drive 30 miles one way every day to work I'm going to stick with some sort of SUV because of other people and their bad driving habits.

I'm not a man so I don't have "machismo".

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
1.1.18  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.1.17    3 weeks ago

Purchase price is a real problem. Something like the Hyundai Kona electric would be perfect... but it costs half again as much as your Ecosport.

 
 
 
Split Personality
2  Split Personality    3 weeks ago

So, I can only own an electric car if I charge it from my own array of solar panels, or else, in theory, I am responsible for the carbon foot print of some coal power plant in TX.

Nice rant Mr. Ballaban, lol.

Jalopnik? jrSmiley_99_smiley_image.jpg

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.1  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Split Personality @2    3 weeks ago
So, I can only own an electric car if I charge it from my own array of solar panels, or else, in theory, I am responsible for the carbon foot print of some coal power plant in TX.

I think you've misunderstood.

 
 
 
epistte
2.2  epistte  replied to  Split Personality @2    3 weeks ago
So, I can only own an electric car if I charge it from my own array of solar panels, or else, in theory, I am responsible for the carbon foot print of some coal power plant in TX. Nice rant Mr. Ballaban, lol.

https://muckrack.com/michael-ballaban

Jalopnik?

Jalopnik is an internet-only car magazine and a leader in the field. They are as good if not better than Road and Track or Car and Driver. 

 
 
 
Split Personality
2.2.1  Split Personality  replied to  epistte @2.2    3 weeks ago

Not a normal source for internet news.

I apologize for not using a (/s)  on my original comment

and stand behind the auther's rant.

Electric is better than diesel...

 
 
 
epistte
2.2.2  epistte  replied to  Split Personality @2.2.1    3 weeks ago

I'd like to see a diesel electric hybrid but the VW emissions scandal ended that possibility because VW was on track to build just that car.  VW was also on track to build a turbo-diesel GTi.

 
 
 
epistte
2.2.3  epistte  replied to  Split Personality @2.2.1    3 weeks ago
I apologize for not using a (/s)  on my original comment

I missed that it was sarcasm. I'm sorry for that mistake.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.2.4  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  epistte @2.2.2    3 weeks ago

Yes... and it's a pity. An efficient diesel, running in series, charging the battery but never driving the wheels, should be excellent.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
2.3  SteevieGee  replied to  Split Personality @2    3 weeks ago
So, I can only own an electric car if I charge it from my own array of solar panels

That sounds like a great idea.  You should do that.  We should all do that.

 
 
 
Split Personality
2.3.1  Split Personality  replied to  SteevieGee @2.3    3 weeks ago

I have the solar panels.

Picking a car from among so many "starter" cars is an issue. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
2.3.2  seeder  Bob Nelson  replied to  Split Personality @2.3.1    3 weeks ago

I think the choice should be driven by your driving pattern: average distance, max distance, how many in the vehicle, need for load capacity, ...

There are a lot of choices now, of all sizes and trim levels.

 
 
 
βΔĐ₣ƗŞĦ ĦΔŇĐ Ø₣ ĐØØΜ
3  βΔĐ₣ƗŞĦ ĦΔŇĐ Ø₣ ĐØØΜ    3 weeks ago

Tesla emits more carbon than Mercedes diesel. The article has a link to the study and group, just allow google to translate from German to English.

https://interestingengineering.com/a-tesla-model-3-produces-more-co2-than-a-diesel-car-says-new-study

 
 
 
tomwcraig
4  tomwcraig    3 weeks ago

I have never said that electric cars cause more pollution.  I have always said that electric cars TRANSFER the pollution from the actual engine to the power plants, unless you use solar panels as the charging method.  I have also said that solar panels are highly toxic and need to have better manufacturing and cleaner processes to make them.  On top of that, wind power is just as bad as solar, again, due to manufacturing processes and then the chemicals used to maintain the wind turbines.  After that, it is all a matter of battery numbers and composition regarding the electric cars.

 
 
 
epistte
4.1  epistte  replied to  tomwcraig @4    3 weeks ago

The electric generation pollution is easier to deal with at a single source such as a power plant.

 Do you think coal is environmentally friendly to mine or to build coal-fired plants?  Do you realize how dirty and toxic it is to drill and frac oil and gas?

What overly toxic chemicals are used to maintain wind farms? 

 There is no absolutely clean energy source but it is a matter of percentage points over the lifespan of the process.

 
 
 
Larry Hampton
5  Larry Hampton    3 weeks ago

I find it uproariously hilarious that we should EVER listen to anything German auto manufacturers have to say about the efficiency of diesel vehicles. They have proven themselves to be swindlers and liars in this regard. 

 
 
 
Split Personality
5.1  Split Personality  replied to  Larry Hampton @5    3 weeks ago

Volkswagen emission standards, hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
 
 
luther28
6  luther28    3 weeks ago

Once the last drop of oil has been squeezed out of the earth, the fossil fuel companies will jump on the alternative band wagon (in truth many have begun to diversify).

In the meantime there is a profit to be made now, worry about later, later how un-American not to.

 
 
 
epistte
6.1  epistte  replied to  luther28 @6    3 weeks ago
Once the last drop of oil has been squeezed out of the earth, the fossil fuel companies will jump on the alternative band wagon (in truth many have begun to diversify). In the meantime there is a profit to be made now, worry about later, later how un-American not to.

BP and Shell are already heavily invested in green energy,

https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/what-we-do/alternative-energy.html

https://www.shell.com/energy-and-innovation/new-energies.html

 
 
 
Greg Jones
7  Greg Jones    3 weeks ago

How much energy does it take to recycle/dispose of, those huge batteries?

 
 
 
Split Personality
7.1  Split Personality  replied to  Greg Jones @7    3 weeks ago

Who cares what it costs?  Very few EV owners get involved as the warranties are for either 250,000 miles or 300,000 miles. 

Teslas batteries contain valuable cobalt as well as lithium, to be recycled into new batteries reducing the need to mine more raw material.

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1054459_life-after-the-road-teslas-european-electric-car-battery-recycling

All North American Toyota & Tesla large electric car batteries go to Kinsburksy Battery Industries in CA.

https://www.kbirecycling.com/

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online


Texan1211
Dulay
Greg Jones
Freefaller
Transyferous Rex
Bob Nelson


42 visitors