The gist is that all things considered, until we learn to teleport ourselves in a Star Trek fashion without using any polluting source of energy, the next best thing is to drive using clean electrons. That is also the last contention point that plagues EVs in general, that of creating clean electricity through renewable, alternative energy. Thankfully, many utilities are hard at work, some currently achieving close to 20% of their overall energy.
Tipping Mass Point. Just last night, our editor was at an old car show and was surprised to hear yet another myth that electric cars will not solve a thing if they use coal fired electricity. Being well versed in that area, he had no problem defusing that old myth and also explained that the other rush behind EVs was for a sustainable clean alternative energy system. Yes, moving away greenhouse gases, GHG from tailpipes to coal powered utilities is a wee tad better than our current situation. Considering car pollution accounts to about 25% of our global problems, even hybrids, HEV pale compared to what pure EVs could do, or even plug-in hybrids, PHEV even if modest.
Even The Press. And yet another naysayer is Tim Carney at the DC Examiner, via BusinessInsider. The points are, according to the The Department Energy, DoE, coal provides over half of the U.S. electricity. Second point is that those concerned with energy independence are concerned that half of the global lithium reserves are in Bolivia, a well know U.S. enemy.
One Point At A Time. The first point needs to go hand in hand with the recent push towards cleaner alternative energy. In this case, the nation can turn its attention to California, as well as some other western states, that already produce 18% of its energy from clean, renewable sources. However, a recent Government Accountability Office, GAO study reported an electric compact car recharging from coal powered electricity would offset a carbon dioxide savings of only 4 to 5% and an electric SUV would be 19 to 23% better. The second point is that lithium accounts for only 4% or so of a lithium battery, 95% of which are made in Asia. So far the direct link to the U.S. is very minimal. Ultimately, the third largest lithium deposit is in the U.S. and lithium is very well recycled these days. The last point for the mass adoption of EVs is a study made by the Electric Power Research Institute, EPRI that found in 2007 operating a plug-in hybrid, PHEV would cost the equivalent of $.75 a gallon $3 gas with a car that get 25 miles per gallon. No matter how you look at it, EV make plenty of sense on many levels.
While sometimes it might be hard keeping your eyes on the essentials, the EV industry will sooner or later create a healthier business model that will involve the entire nation, from manufacturing to developing, to the alternative sector. While the traditional automobile industry model was centered around one or two states, the EV one will have a wider and more spread out job base.