Guest Commentary / March 16, 2023

China — Xi’s EVs

Electric automobiles and electric bikes have a dark side.

By Laurence F. Sanford, Senior Analyst, American Security Council Foundation

President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China is often photographed with a smirk, a smug smile, and a look of satisfaction that comes with success.

Xi is looking at the United States as it commits societal suicide with climate change hysteria, destructive green energy policies, and divisive Marxist woke culture. All these programs benefit China to the detriment of the United States.

The United States is the greatest nation in history and China’s main adversary for world domination. This position paper will discuss electric vehicles (EVs). Climate change hysteria and divisive Marxist woke culture will be addressed in later writings. Destructive green energy policies include electric vehicles, windmills, and solar panel subsidies.

The purported purpose of EVs is to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide to mitigate climate change. The question humanity should be asking about climate change is, “How much difference does human activity cause, and if so, so what?” Global warming is a good thing. More people die of cold than they do of heat. And global warming will free up vast areas of Siberia and Canada for humanity. Yes, some earth areas will be drier, hotter, wetter, and colder, and the oceans may rise. If the past is any indication, humankind will adjust and find solutions. See how the Netherlands adjusted to rising seas.

The grossly misnamed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed by Congress includes $369 billion for electric vehicles and other green initiatives. Not only does this bill increase inflation, but it also misallocates taxpayer dollars and resources. Since the Wuhan virus hit the world, the U.S. government has allocated $11 trillion in spending.

Why would America hollow out two of its greatest assets (energy independence and economic security) for the benefit of China? By mandating EVs and eliminating carbon-based vehicles, America is weakened and China is strengthened. Carbon-based fuel vehicles emit far less carbon dioxide than just a few years ago and, by some measures, emit less carbon dioxide than EVs.

China is building more coal-powered plants than the rest of the world combined. The greatest factor in carbon dioxide growth is coal power plants. Carbon-based fuel vehicles in America are a minor factor in the growth of carbon dioxide.

EVs require electric batteries, the most common being lithium-ion. China has a near monopoly on rare earth minerals needed to manufacture electric batteries. The mining and processing of rare earth minerals are creating environmental catastrophes.

China imports raw rare earth minerals and then processes them (polluting its own environment) for internal use and foreign export. And by controlling the export, China can withhold the processed minerals from countries that do not bend the knee. In 2010, China shut off rare earth shipments to Japan over a territorial island dispute in the East China Sea. (See “China — Gray Zone.”) The United States depends upon rare earth minerals from China for many high-tech military applications.

“If electric vehicles are so great, why mandate them?” is a quote in The Wall Street Journal from Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus. Yet the U.S. government is spending hundreds of billions of dollars to build an EV infrastructure that will have minimal effect on climate change or the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

EV batteries do not operate well in cold temperatures. What happens when a blizzard hits and EVs are stranded on a highway? How do you recharge a depleted battery on some road or highway in the middle of nowhere?

EV lithium-ion batteries are prone to fires that are extremely difficult to extinguish. For example, a cargo ship carrying luxury automobiles manufactured by Volkswagen from Europe to America caught fire and sank with an estimated loss of $400 million. A number of the cars were EVs with lithium batteries.

EV automobiles and electric bikes have a dark side. They can have uncontrollable and deadly fires caused by lithium-ion battery explosions. New York City alone had over 200 fires and two deaths attributable to electric bike fires. Ford Motor Co. halted production of its F-150 electric truck when a battery caught fire.

General Motors is laying off half of its 167,000 American workforce due to the transformation from internal combustion engines to EVs. How mighty American industries have fallen due to government policies, incompetent management, and unions is sad to behold.

The electric grid will not be able to meet all the electricity demands of modern civilization if the 50 million EVs mandated by President Biden’s executive order are completed by 2030. At least $7.5 billion will be spent on EV charging stations. California doesn’t have enough electricity now. What will it do when millions more EVs are on its roads? More rolling blackouts? Wind and solar power cannot provide the electricity needed.

Action plan:

  • Eliminate government subsidies, fuel mileage, and energy source mandates.
  • Reform and simplify regulations for the construction of nuclear power plants.
  • Strengthen the electric grid to withstand natural disasters, terror attacks, and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks.

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