Ok, James; you win: Let’s do this

Convinced by James’ recent erudite exposition of the benefits of the zero economy and how we should be divesting ourselves of oil and gas and all the petroleum-based products that are holding New Zealand back from being truly Green, I have decided to come over from the dark side.  I have had my renaissance and, as an enlightened citizen, the MG has to go!

With all the zeal of a recent convert to the green faith, I set off to the dealership to buy an electric vehicle.  We all have to do our bit and since I was not going to give up one meat meal per week, the least I could do for the cause was to buy an EV.

It’s a snazzy little beast, wouldn’t you say?

Sitting in the dealership with my pen poised over the purchase papers; I had a thought. Which led to this discussion with the salesperson:

Is the paint made from petroleum-based products?  Yes.

Can I get one unpainted then? Well, I suppose so.

Right, and what about the safety glass in the windscreen and those fabulous bubble doors; is that the triple layer stuff with a polymer inner layer?  Indeed it is, Sir.

OK, so drop the window glass as well – that will save some weight and give me a better range on the battery anyway – double win.  No, triple win – we won’t need the polymer-based seals around the glass either.

And speaking of weight, I understand that quite a few body panels are formed of plastic to save weight, correct?  Yes.

Well, strip those out as well then, thanks.  And the strength and rigidity comes from carbon-fibre sections, doesn’t it?  Indeed – marvellous stuff carbon-fibre.

James would not like the carbon and the hardener used is petroleum based, so all that needs to go.  And we can do away with the plastic discs in the wheels while you are at it.

Oh, those moulded bumpers?  Plastic? Remove them, please.

That seems to have cleared up the outside so, with new eyes, I had a closer look at the interior.

All those plastic knobs, dials and switches – they cannot stay. The seats: Feels like a foam interior under the polyester covering – take them out.  The interior panels, the synthetic carpets, the headlining; all petroleum based; they have to go.

So I asked if the mechanic could pop it up on the hoist so I could have a look underneath:

Disaster!  Petroleum-based lubricants in the wheel bearings, suspension bushes, shock absorber seals, stone chip guards, on and on it went – all petroleum based.

And the batteries!  The batteries!  They were those new modern ones that have polymer exchange membranes in plastic cases for crying out loud; connected with wires sheathed in plastic insulation – oh this is just too much …

Distraught, disappointed and in despair I fled the dealership and called James:  I have no public transport where I live, I need to get from A to B what can I use for transport James?

You idiot, wood is full of carbon!

And for a few facts:

Plastics are in fact solidified oil.  Although different plastics have different recipes, it takes roughly 0.4 gallons of crude oil to make 1 pound of plastic. Globally, around 8 percent of the oil that comes out of the ground is used to make plastic.

Even if cars soon start running entirely on electricity or hydrogen, they’ll still need 100 gallons or more of oil to make their plastic parts, such as seats, dashboards, bumpers, and engine components.


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In solidarity with the those in the world’s most despised demographic, WH has decided to ‘come out’ as an old white male. WH enjoys exercising the white-male privilege that Whaleoil provides for him by writing the occasional post challenging climate change consensus; looking at random tech issues that tweak his interest, as a bit of a tech nerd; or generally poking the borax at anyone in public life who goes on record revealing their stupidity. WH never excelled on the sports field because his coaches never allowed him to play in his preferred position on the right-wing. WH also enjoys his MG.

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

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