Hey, look at me doing my bit for the environment!

Politicians, greenies and anyone with an image to polish are driving electric cars to show how much they care about our environment.

Prince Harry whisked his new bride away in a classic 1968 E-type Jaguar roadster converted to an electric vehicle (EV).  A classic car enthusiast might have a hernia over such desecration, but how valid is the argument that money was well spent because the electric vehicle is environmentally friendly?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s electric Jaguar turned heads at the Royal Wedding Photo Credit Getty Contributor

In the first instance, it is truly obscene that so few discarded lithium-ion batteries are recycled. Quote.

The number of electric cars in the world passed the 2m mark last year [2016] and the International Energy Agency estimates there will be 140m electric cars globally by 2030 if countries meet Paris climate agreement targets. This electric vehicle boom could leave 11m tonnes of spent lithium-ion batteries in need of recycling between now and 2030, according to Ajay Kochhar, CEO of Canadian battery recycling startup Li-Cycle.

However, in the EU as few as 5% (pdf) of lithium-ion batteries are recycled. This has an environmental cost. Not only do the batteries carry a risk of giving off toxic gases if damaged, but core ingredients such as lithium and cobalt are finite and extraction can lead to water pollution and depletion among other environmental consequences.” End of quote.

The environmental parasites who oppose the mining industry cannot have their cake and eat it too because without cobalt and nickel mining they would not have their lithium-ion batteries.

Then there is the environmental effect of C02 emissions during the production of an electric vehicle which surpasses emissions during production of a petrol powered vehicle. The length of time we keep our cars on the road in New Zealand may make them superior to electric car emissions produced over their lifetime too.  Quote.

“A report by the Ricardo consultancy estimated that production of an average petrol car will involve emissions amounting to the equivalent of 5.6 tonnes of CO2, while for an average electric car, the figure is 8.8 tonnes. Of that, nearly half is incurred in producing the battery. Despite this, the same report estimated that over its whole lifecycle, the electric car would still be responsible for 80% of the emissions of the petrol car. More recently, an FT analysis used lifecycle estimates to question the green credentials of electric cars, especially heavy ones.” End of quote.

Turners Car Auctions believe we don’t buy new EVs because of the outlay of around $60,000 for a brand new EV.  We upgrade our cars every 20 years, most of us spending up to $20,000 and many less than $10,000.  We choose second-hand combustible engine vehicles which is a credit to our recycling habits and our love of older cars.  Quote.

“Car buyers thrifty spending habits are preventing electric vehicles from getting much of a toehold here, a car auction house says.”

“Despite the technology now being firmly established globally, only 7,000 vehicles out of New Zealand’s total fleet of 3.85 million cars are electric.”

“Chief executive Todd Hunter said based on those spending habits and the current cost of an electric vehicle, the internal combustion engine is going to be around for a long time yet. ‘We have still got some way to go around the EV penetration in New Zealand.  It’s a small fragment of the total vehicle population.'”  End of quote.

It’s not a bad thing for the car enthusiasts among us who enjoy the roar of a combustion engine and tinkering under the bonnet at the weekend.  Not to mention that EVs have zero personality and look like something our grandmother would drive, not sporty and not in the least stylish.

There’s also the reality that we would not be able to produce sufficient power to support everyone going totally mad and switching to electric cars.

I also think that we are not so gullible about the EV being environmentally friendly, because it really isn’t.


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The subject evoked in the collage is the debating of political issues with friends in a public place

Pablo Picasso
Glass and bottle of Suze (after 18 November 1912)
pasted paper, gouache and charcoal

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