ICE = Internal Combustion Engine
EV = electric vehicle
Real science is never settled, and anyone who has certainty on such things is not qualified to discuss it.
Funny how stuff bubbles around in my polymath noggin, then boils over…
Why can’t there be a rational conversation about the benefits of EVs (any?) vs the numerous major negative aspects? Quasi-religious dogma with hypnosis of the public gets in the way.
For some time now, I’ve pondered the safety of electric vehicles, along with the impacts on human life and environmental destruction.
It all started with the psychological aspects: as a cyclist, I loathe EVs because they are hard to hear coming, and worse, might be on autopilot. The driver might be messing with the huge playscreen inside—many times I've seen this—it’s terrifying to watch a Tesla blow through a stop light at 50mph while the driver plays Tetris (so to speak) or whatever the fuck s/he is doing in the course of manslaughter. Or wander several feet into the bike lane (often). I suppose there is plenty of that with non-EV cars too, but the stealthy approach makes it a far more serious risk. On the plus side, no exhaust, but modern gas-sipping cars gas emit very clean exhaust.
I am willing to set aside that safety concern, since it might or might not be a real issue, except making me extra cautious out there on my bicycle.
There is a lot more to to consider with EVs, factors that I’d bet that very few EV drivers consider, let alone objectively evaluate. What follows might make you angry one way or another, either from cognitive dissonance, or suddenly realizing that unicorns and rainbows were not the whole story*.
As for EV drivers in my neighborhood, mommies create traffic jams 5 days a week as they drive less than a mile to pick up up kids from school, rather than walking/biking (in a very pleasant tree-shaded neighborhood with trails everywhere and free of crime!). These are not serious people on the mission to “save the world”. EV purchases are mostly about virtue signalling justified by rationalizations stemming from mass hypnosis psyops campaigns*. Lead by example—walk yourself and your carbon emitters to and from school, ladies.
* I expect that anger at that statement will result in citing “studies” purporting to be realistic and/or how we are going to save the world with EVs. But I live in the real world, not the fantasy world of BIBO and GIGO studies.
Goring the sacred cow and teat-attached grifters
What follows is only a partial list of the EV issues that come to mind in just a few minutes. Each of these considerations ought to be weighed against the alternatives with conventional. And BTW, ICE vehicles (internal combusion engine) could be run off other fuels—totally non-polluting eg hydrogen which strangely enough might be there in abundance for thousands of years. Or might not.
Claiming human-caused climate change appears to be at best a dubious if not crackpot, but launching for there to “war” is religiously delusional. You have to argue about provable specifics, not some hysterical generic “threat”. But any weighting always devolves to political follow the money infighting and dogmatic beliefs, so no serious analsysis is possible at this point. All such attempts will be no more than BIBO.
BUT the world absolutely needs cheap energy, and that should push us to nuclear.
The physics of impact
EVs are a growing menace to other drivers, whose non-EV cars have had their weight driven lower and lower for incremental gains in fuel economy. Yes, the government is literally killing people to “save the world”. Luckily, other safety measures have largely mitigated that negative until now, but the growing mass differential is a killer.
You don’t need a video to know that in physics, the greater mass wins. There are some minor safety improvements too (eg specialty structural steel and similar), but when 5000 pounds strikes 3000 pounds, the poor bastard in the 3000 pound rig is going to be crushed like a grape under a rock.
The Ford F150-Lightning weighs 6500 pounds (unladen!), 35% more than its non-EV model. The Tesla Cyber Truck weighs-in at a whopping 6843 pounds—1100 pounds more than my Sprinter high-roof cargo van diesel. The Tesla Model S at 4900 pounds. This is ridiculous. And it beats the crap out of the roadways by a factor of 2X or more.
To hugely increase the odds of maiming or killing the other driver, buy an EV. You are a good person, aren’t you?
I think of my daughters in their gas-sipping cars in the sub-3000 pound range. Any kind of impact with an EV sledgehammer won’t end well for them. It should shock anyone’s conscience to needlessly drive a battering ram. This menace is growing, and now a serious concern in my neighborhood where about 1 in 4 cars is now a Tesla.
As for my Sprinter van, it also presents a danger to small vehicles. But unlike EVs, its weight provides vast utility—it has a legitimate reason to be large and heavy (5600 pounds, unladen). But EVs are large and heavy while existing for dogmatic quasi-religious reasons, offering no additional (and generally far less) functionality than their ICE equivalents, pound for pound.
Road wear and tear
Bad roads equate to safety problems and tens of $billions in vehicle damage every year. Just drive around California, and you’ll see.
EVs cause 2X or more wear on roads, already in terrible shape here in California.
EV drivers are freeloaders, paying no fuel taxes to maintain roads. And grid freeloaders, paying nominal or zero fees to maintain the grid! BTW, how much energy goes into road repair? How do EV “benefits” take these factors into account? I’d bet they don’t.
EV drivers ought to pay at least 20 cents a mile to be allowed to drive (based on equivalence to California fuel taxes). And EV users ought to pay a substantial fee to use the grid. No more grid freeloading—the grid needs huge upgrades to support EV charging, let alone maintenance.
If you buy an EV, you’re a triple freeloader: huge tax credits when purchasing, freeloading the road system (no fuel taxes), freeloading the electric grid system (subsidies and non-charges), all while raising insurance rates for everyone. Actually, there are a lot more freeloader subsides for EVs than that (massive government subsidies in other places), but you get the idea. This is not ethical or reasonable or justifiable except by brute political force engendered by pervasive propaganda. Raw power wielded with the same age-old "argument" of coercion and force. It is a system of the soft violence of government power wielded by special interests. Our only system today.
Faux utility, severe limitations
EVs work in limited and restricted scenarios (some very useful to some to be sure), but they are ridiculous as reliable all-arounders—caricatures of utility—science fair projects.
You are not going to go camping or on any serious trip, not without making it all about fussing over the EV and its needs, like a baby that craps its diaper every few hours. You will shiver in bitter cold because keeping it warm takes too much juice. Consider a vacation camping: worrying about science fair technology while communing with nature? That’s for the mentally defective, for children and idiots pretending to be adults. As for public transportation with electric vehicles, that’s a raging dumpster fire, for example Another Winter of E-Bus Discontent.
Charging mostly with fossil fuels, waste heat
All of this ridiculousness, PLUS the 6.67X cheating on mileage equivalance.
The vast bulk of electricity for charging of EVs is from fossil fuels. Do the “EV benefits” figure that? Does that make it something like 100K or 150K miles just to break-even on the environmental 'hit' of an EV vs ICE? There is no honest analysis of it—BIBO and GIGO.
Meanwhile, see ChatGPT: Calculating EV Charging Power Requirements. How much more fossil fuel would be burned just to charge another 10 million EVs? Technically speaking, a shit-ton. Along with collapse of the grid, if all that juice could even be transmitted where needed. It can’t.
How much more electricity is used to heat the cabin of an EV in cold weather? A great deal on a winter day, reducing range considerably—and then try charging it—oops. What about a larger vehicle, like the Mercedes eSprinter clown-show? Essentially the entire battery pack of the eSprinter just for heating it for one night up in the White Mountains. Does the benefits modeling take that into account at all or in any cold-weather situation? Very funny.
The waste heat from an ICE vehicle is a huge benefit. Dunno about you, but waste heat heats the cabin of my Sprinter in a big way*. Electric vehicles “burn” their batteries just to heat the cabin using electricity generated (mostly) from burning fuels whose waste heat is wasted. This is beyond stupid to the point of lunacy—burn a fuel and throw away a major benefit.
* Based on running dual 1500W space heaters in my Sprinter, I estimate that the waste heat from the engine while driving equates to ~15 kW electric equivalent. Engine heat serves a valuable purpose even on summer days, eg in the mountains it might still be 45°F. Barring an order-of-magnitude improvement in batteries, no eSprinter could ever have enough battery capacity to keep me warm at 10K feet when it’s below freezing, a common situation. I calculate that I’d need a ~3 megawatt battery pack for just 3-4 days in the autumn/winter/spring (about 26X what a 113 kW eSprinter has). And if there were a 3 megawatt battery travel van (25,000 pounds?), it would mean days of charging vs a 10-minute fill-up of my diesel tank.
All of this ridiculousness, PLUS the 6.67X cheating on mileage equivalance.
Building EVs requires massive inputs up to 10X that of ICE vehicles. Over time and in theory that huge environmental impact is made-up as they are driven (allegedly). But the required electricity is largely fueled by burning fossil fuels! Typical estimates range from 50K to 70K miles to “break even” vs some rigged analaysis that left out factors that count.
But it gets better: vast environmental damage is done out-of-sight and out-of-mind overseas eg in China. The damage is hidden from us over here; we get the nice shiny thing, letting us pretend it’s all great. When you buy an EV, you are choosing to export a massive environmental impact to others. And semi slave labor if that bothers you at all All while undermining national security (dependence on the CCP). In what world are any of those a responsible act? Exporting your own mess is like dumping your garbage in the neighborhood ravine—it’s not in your yard but that makes it OK? Oh, it’s also a national security threat since we cannot build most of the stuff we need here in the USA.
BTW, what is the environmental cost of a fleet of $1M buses that is mostly inoperable? Was that factored into the “break even” bullsh*t? Or an entire fleet of EVs that is not economical to operate? Models telling us these “facts” are thinly-disguised propaganda for psyops campaigns targeting the public.
Then there are the extremely expensive and invasive regulations forcing all manner of infrastructure “improvements” for homes and businesses. These are not free and have their own massive environmental costs to replaced existing highly functional stuff that works and works well. Are all these factors counted in the “break even” calculations? Hah!
EVs are almost certainly a net environmental loser, and if not, have at best marginal benefits along with big losers on the other side.
How many miles are EVs actually driven over their lifespan, and how many hugely environmentally damaging battery packs will soon need replacement?
Everyone’s insurance rises
The 2X to 3X higher repairs costs of EVs have ballooned auto insurance rates for everyone. It’s math: when vehicle repair costs double or triple, then your insurance costs necessarily skyrocket, no matter what you drive. Because you might damage one of those EVs. EV owners burden everyone for their own electromagnetic fetish.
Thus, EV drivers take money out of the pockets of those who can least afford it, in addition to all the other parasitical costs discussed above. High-income people buy EVs. Working-class people don’t,but they still need a vehicle, now more and more costly to insure. In what reality is this anything but financial violence against The Many, when far cheaper ICE* cars exist? EVs and the clown show of related dark-alley schemes are all about the privileged few degrading life for the many.
Grid collapse, abuse of the masses
Already in California the grid is near the breaking point, and EV drivers have been asked to not charge their cars on hot days. And when they can be charged, it is all baseline load capacity that is needed at night, not solar or wind or other 'green' gimmicks—that baseline-load generating capacity must exist now and in the future. We are not going to have giant batteries, that idea is for drunken teenagers to masturbate over.
Most people have rudimentary to zero understanding of economics. The drive for 'green' and the strain on the grid also hits everyone in the wallet via electricity prices—hurting the 99%. EVs are abuse by the well-off of the poor and middle class. Like a law of physics.
How soon before you will be told when and how far you can drive, all monitored by the computer in your EV? Rationed charging is coming. California has even proposed requiring EVs to act as batteries for the grid, so you would not even control the charge in your own car!
Uncontrollable burning, natural disasters, etc
Ever drive through a long tunnel? Sooner or later, a burning EV will kill hundreds or at least injure them with highly toxic smoke, maybe up in Loveland pass in Colorado or similar.
Sooner or later, many people will die in a natural disasters via something as simple as stranding due to EV lack of charge, or an out-of-control EV burning and blocking roads in the face of a hurricane. Something like that. Inevitable.
You can bring fuel in a container to get an ICE going again. If you cannot charge your EV (grid down, government edict, etc), you are hosed, stranded, and maybe dead. You can drive a tanker truck of fuel to an emergency zone, but you cannot drive electricity there. So you drive it there, then burn it to create electricity, losing a lot of the energy in the process. It takes a village. Of morons.
BTW, what’s the cost of dealing with an EV battery fire vs a burning ICE? Perhaps 100X that of conventional car? One you let burn a short while and is easily snuffed, the other is a horror movie reigniting itself, like a zombie that cannot be killed. Taking days to deal with, often re-igniting, and producing highly toxic fumes for everyone nearby. Does that get calculated into the “benefits”?
Where is a truly objective benefits analysis on all this? There cannot be one, and even if there could be one, it would have to be suppressed—it would threaten too many interests.
First, you have to accept the human-caused climate change religion. Inherent bias. And then the idea that what we do actually matters, which it doesn’t—just look at what the world is actually doing, namely dozens of gigawatts of coal burning plants.
As for “interests”, what was once weak-sauce “science” is now a multi-trillion dollar grifter industry based on dubious data and computer models (aka propaganda), the worst science ever seen, even worse than the medical field. Who pays for this crap? We all do. For no benefit except to the parasites feeding off government funding (my money, your money).
Even if one stipulates that climate change is a risk, net EV “benefits” would be at best a rounding error in the global scheme of things. And it is very likely that EVs and their massive infrastructure buildout are a house-odds net-browning proposition—the public being the suckers in that casino. It’s plain as day, but no one is allowed to say it.
“Global warming” now rebranded as “climate change” started well before modern times, a trend in progress that is almost certainly more benefit than risk. And it has been a lot warmer not that long ago, which ample evidence proves. We might actually be heading for an ice age in 500 years. No one can agree, but it’s easy to decide: consensus really means follow the money.
The illusion of concensus [sic] in science is created by institutions and governments threatening the livelihood of dissident scientists. Compared to contemporary American science, Lysenko and the Soviet Union were amateurs at this tactic. We don't even need a gulag.
— Jay Bhattacharya
Here in 2024, it is not possible to have an objective analysis, because it’s all about the money, the vast grifting infrastructure now wrapped around “climate science”, like a python around a pig. The “science” means being oblivious to real factors, weighting factors arbitrarily, claiming that guesses/projections are facts, failing to compare properly, and culling anyone from the field that dares to ask hard questions. But worst of all, and deep down, it stems from a sullen hatred for humanity, deeming quality of life for real human beings as a nothing.
EVs and their climate change farce are all part of the civilization-destroying woke religion sweeping this country.