September 14, 2022

The Left Is Misleading Us on EVs

There are pros and cons to electric vehicles, just as with everything else.

“It was the coolest vehicle I’ve ever experienced.” That was a colleague’s take on the Rivian R1T, a battery-powered truck that he had a chance to drive last weekend. He’s an F-150 guy, but this EV got to him. You could hear it in his voice. He was most impressed with the other-worldly acceleration, which, frankly, can’t be compared to any truck with an internal combustion engine and a transmission and a transfer case. That, in a nutshell, is the allure of an electric vehicle.

Unless, of course, you believe it’s great for the environment and doesn’t cost a thing to drive — both of which are lies.

In fact, there’s plenty of downside to an EV. It’s just that you won’t hear any of it from Pete Buttigieg or Gavin Newsom or any of their leftist fellow-travelers, all of whom behave as if they’ve got stock in all the right car companies. As political analyst Mark Tapscott writes:

There are a host of reasons why the Left is absolutely determined to force Americans out of their privately owned, gasoline-powered cars and trucks and into unreliable public transportation and costly Electric Vehicles (EVs), none of which have to do with “saving the environment.”

The central reason the Left loves EVs is that the process of forcing Americans to convert to electric-powered transportation will destroy forever the incredible freedom and prosperity associated with privately owned gas-powered vehicles. The future will instead be centrally controlled by rich elitists and their corrupt politicians, power-hungry bureaucrats, and ideologically driven “experts.”

Recently, the California Air Resources Board voted to go all in on EVs by phasing out the sales of gas-powered cars in the state by 2035. Knock yourselves out, we say, but good luck getting your state’s already notoriously overburdened electrical grid to accommodate that EV pipe dream. (Buy ‘em, just don’t charge 'em, California authorities say.) Other “green” states, like Washington, have already announced their intention to follow suit, but we suspect that they, too, are in for a rude awakening.

“CA continues to lead the way,” tweeted California Governor Gavin Newsom atop the following quote from The New York Times: “Experts said the new California rule, in both its stringency and reach, could stand alongside the Washington law as one of the world’s most important climate change policies.”

Hyperbole much? The EV manufacturers, though, are no better, no less demagogic when it comes to the climate issue. Get a load of the “About” page on the Rivian website:

Today we’re operating off hundreds of millions of years of accumulated plant- and animal-based carbon. On our current path, we will fully exhaust this stored energy in only a few generations and, in the process, carbonize our atmosphere to such a degree that life as we know it will not be possible. If the planet is to continue to sustain life and enchant future generations, we have to change.

Carbonizing our atmosphere sounds pretty serious. But we wonder: Do those Rivian batteries simply recharge themselves, or do they need an external energy source to do so? And what external energy source might that be? Kilowatts from a coal-fired power plant?

As for enchanting future generations, where do all those materials for an EV battery come from? Last we knew, those lithium batteries were made of aluminum, cobalt, graphite, and nickel — not the easiest materials to mine. As Fox Business’s Charles Payne once noted, “We’re gonna have to strip mine the entire planet to get those materials.” He’s not far off. “A single electric car battery weighing 1,000 pounds,” writes Mark Mills at the Manhattan Institute, “requires extracting and processing some 500,000 pounds of materials. Averaged over a battery’s life, each mile of driving an electric car 'consumes’ five pounds of earth. Using an internal combustion engine consumes about 0.2 pounds of liquids per mile.”

Beyond the environmental costs are the costs to individual liberty. EVs have maddening range limitations, and a government can far more easily control a populace driving only electrics. That’s because the state can restrict the flow of electricity a lot more easily than it can control privately run gas stations.

Ultimately, we don’t have a problem with EVs. But we do have a problem with the government picking winners and losers. The American people deserve to hear the pros and the cons, and they deserve to be able to make a fully informed decision. Otherwise, it’s a rigged game.

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