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June 15, 2022

Falsely Powering Up the EV Industry

Joe Biden and the Democrats caused $5 gas and are using it to fundamentally transform transportation.

As the price of gas continues what seems to be an inexorable march upward beyond the $5 mark, Joe Biden and his administration are doubling down on their crazy belief that America is ready to scrap the internal combustion engine and the corner gas station for the plug-in inconvenience of $56,000 electric cars.

The editors of National Review put the bad news this way: “Biden’s energy policy [will] have the effect of locking in high gas prices in the future. If he gets his way, get used to $5 per gallon — or more.” It goes with the higher oil prices predicted by Goldman Sachs, with one cause being a lack of refining capacity that the federal government will likely ignore, or possibly encourage — you never know with this bunch.

Since the federal government can’t force us to buy electric cars — at least not quite yet — Team Biden is trying the next best thing and selling it as “relief” from the high gas prices ecofascist policies are helping to create. But scattered across America and their 110,000 or so service stations are a million or more gas pumps ready to dispense several grades of fuel, from economy to premium to ethanol-free to diesel. Most people need only drive a mile or two to see a sign promoting their local station, whether it be an oil company franchise or part of a convenience store. They may not like $5 a gallon, but they’re not really in a position to avoid paying it.

It’s not quite that easy for travelers with electric cars, though. While many have invested the money into upgrading their home electrical system to handle car charging, the story is different once they get out on the highways and byways of America. Some gas stations have embraced the opportunity to install a few chargers, but they’re usually tucked in some unused corner of the parking lot, sitting forlornly waiting for an electric car owner who has a spare half-hour or more to recharge the car for another couple hundred miles of travel.

Naturally, this disparity just can’t stand with Biden, so he and his minions are spending $7.5 billion in borrowed money to “build a convenient and equitable charging network.” According to a White House “fact sheet” from last week, “The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program will provide $5 billion in formula funding to States to build out charging infrastructure along highway corridors — filling gaps in rural, disadvantaged, and hard-to-reach locations while instilling public confidence in charging.” Additionally, “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also provides $2.5 billion in competitive grants to support community and corridor charging, improve local air quality, and increase EV charging access in underserved and overburdened communities.”

What do they define as an “overburdened” community? Thanks to rampant inflation, that would pretty much cover everyone who works for a living or is retired and on a fixed income. And thanks to the stock market collapse, it also covers anyone who thought they were retiring soon and now can’t.

While this began with bad news for drivers forced to endure $5 a gallon gas, there’s also bad news for those who thought they would absolve their environmental guilt by buying an electric vehicle that would be cleaner and greener: we’re literally tearing apart Mother Earth to build these massive car batteries. Engineer and energy expert Ron Stein makes a valid point:

Today, a typical EV battery weighs one thousand pounds. It contains twenty-five pounds of lithium, sixty pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds cobalt, 200 pounds of copper, and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic. Inside are over 6,000 individual lithium-ion cells.

It should concern you that all those toxic components come from mining. For instance, to manufacture each EV auto battery, you must process 25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper. All told, you dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust for just one battery.

Figuring that a cubic foot of soil is about 75 pounds, it means the hole for one battery takes up 6,667 cubic feet — like digging out a small basement. Dig out for two or three batteries and you have a basement suitable for an average-sized house. Now imagine a million Teslas.

Moreover, as Power Line’s John Hinderaker reminds us, much of that material and labor comes from exploited workers in places like China and the Congo. He concludes: “‘Green’ energy is a catastrophically bad idea. I think many people understand that wind and solar power and electric vehicles are economically ruinous, but when we also take into account environmental degradation and child and slave labor, one can seriously question whether it is immoral to buy an electric car.”

Yet to some, it’s better to drive electric vehicles because oil is dirty, doesn’t burn cleanly, and fouls the water supply if spilled. We won’t deny that oil is dirty and can be destructive, but when considered in the overall balance of life, its risks come nowhere close to outweighing the benefits. The same isn’t true yet for EVs.

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