Until we get significantly greener battery technology, electric vehicles are a con

via RNZ

The government is all giddy about how green it is.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges and Energy and Resources Minister Judith Collins have announced the Government’s 2017 electric vehicle (EV) registrations target has been achieved 5 months early.

“This is great news and a reflection of the work undertaken by the Government and private sector in normalising the purchase and integration of EVs into the New Zealand vehicle fleet,” Mr Bridges says.

“Currently, around 200 EVs are registered monthly with a total of 4,027 EV’s now registered in New Zealand. If registrations continue to increase, as we have seen this year, we will be on track to meet our challenging target of 64,000 EVs registered in New Zealand by the end of 2021.

“The positive acceptance of EVs in New Zealand is having real benefits. The rising uptake has led to increased manufacturer confidence. They are now offering more choice in new EVs than ever before. We are also seeing an increase in the number of used EVs importers are bringing into the country.

“It is great that both private and public sector organisations are helping uptake by choosing EVs over conventional petrol or diesel vehicles for their fleets. Over the past year we’ve also seen an increase in businesses opting for EVs as non-passenger vehicles, including light vans for food delivery, public transport and refuse trucks, all of which are great uses for EVs,” Mr Bridges says.

“Going electric is not only good for business, but makes best use of New Zealand’s plentiful renewable energy supply, improves air quality and minimises greenhouse gas emissions,” Ms Collins says.

“The recent announcement by Volvo, that from 2019 all new models it produces will be fully electric or plug-in hybrid, shows there is a changing global perception of how EVs are perceived. These latest figures show that New Zealand is on the right track.”

In May 2016, the Government announced its Electric Vehicle Programme, a wide ranging package of measures to encourage the uptake of EVs in New Zealand. The target is to double the fleet each year, reaching 64,000 EV registrations by the end of 2021.

I see several of those charging stations in my travels, and I have yet to see one in use.  I guess that with 4000 vehicles, the likelihood of seeing someone tethered to one is rather unlikely.

The whole thing is a statement of intent.  Green virtue signalling.   The cars look to be greener as there are no nasty petro chemical fuels going in and even nastier gasses coming out.

The problem lies with the fact that the production and recycling of these vehicles isn’t very green.  They are a lot less green to produce than petrol vehicles.   All you are doing for the environment by driving them, at best, is to try and break even on your carbon footprint that the whole vehicle has before it is used and after it has been discarded.

I’ll have a more in-depth look into this later, but essentially the battery technology is where the whole “green” credentials comes a cropper.

Like solar, and wind, EVs are the right answer for a small amount of scenarios.   In the mean time, the inefficiencies of scale that exist on existing technologies are going to take quite a lot of beating.

And that’s before the EV vehicles even get parity with respect to range and heavy duty use.



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