24/11/20

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Electric Mythology

Re-using a 30 Year Old Narrative

Ever since my teens (yes, we’ve known about the climate crisis in the wider population, governments, and media for over 30 years), a belief (amongst some circles large enough even for a 10 year old me) that a new car, with more efficient fuel to mileage ratio, would not compete with an old inefficient vehicle in life-time greenhouse gas emission because of the energy consumed during a new vehicle’s production.  

Now, 30 years later, the very same mythology is applied to electric vehicles (IQ of conspiracy theorists hasn’t improved as much as technological advances in vehicle).

Research from various Universities, including The Netherlands and Cambridge, asserts that driving an electric vehicles in 95% of the world is better for the climate than a petrol car, over the vehicle’s lifetime emissions (including its production). More important to note, in order to debunk this mythology once and for all, greenhouse gas emission during a vehicle’s lifetime far exceed those during a vehicle’s production.

One exceptional analogy i offer is, can you imagine the pain suffered during child birth is more than the accumulative pain dished out by children over our lifetime? If you’re a parent, you know what I’m talking about…

Moving Forward

Now, let’s imagine that governments around the world actually put the ecology and humans ahead of their re-election as a priority, and shift our dependent on coal in energy production to more renewables or Nuclear (not that i’m a fan on the latter). Take Sweden and France for example, emission in electric vehicles is up to 70% lower than petrol vehicles. Putting things into perspective, one typical passenger vehicle emits around 4.6 metric tons of greenhouse gas (85% of which is carbon dioxide) each year. At around 273.6 million vehicles registered in the United States alone in 2018, giving an annual greenhouse gas emission of around 1.82 billion metric tons, or 28% of the annual greenhouse gas emission in the United States. Now imagine, that the United States is only the second largest in the number of registered vehicles, behind China. 

Here’s a myth for you

“Just continue doing what we’ve been doing, we’ll be just fine”

We actually forget, internal combustion engine was invented over 160 years ago, by a French geezer named Etienne Lenior. Ever since, though it has improved somewhat, we’re still simply covering up a 160 year old heart with shiny new clothes. Next time you think about buying a new shiny petrol-driven BMW or Merz, this is the line the sales person is feeding you.

Lets reiterating what all parents have said to their children – “it’s what’s inside that matters”; and in our current climate crisis, what’s inside a vehicle matters A LOT to a lot of people.

So let’s embrace what’s new, daring, and most importantly, factual – that electric vehicles are real, and they’re spectacular!!!