Just Asking: Are electric-vehicles the new ethanol?
Electric-vehicles, like the 2010 Mitsubishi iMiEV I recently drove, are a dream come true for those who don’t want to burn fossil fuels in their cars. But not everybody view EVs as the green motoring panacea that others are making the so-called “electrification of the car” out to be.
Timothy P. Carney, a Washington Examiner columnist, thinks governments are blindly rushing into financially supporting EVs, much as they did with ethanol— a “green” fuel which the writer cites as having created water pollution, soil erosion, deforestation and even air pollution.
And Carney’s biggest worry is the lithium required for EV battery packs.
There are some definite advantages to using lithium. Relative to lead acid (the most common car batteries) and nickel metal hydride (the most common hybrid battery), lithium-ion batteries are less toxic, more powerful and longer lasting. But Carney sees the lithium supply chain offering the kind of political quagmire that has the U.S. at war to secure foreign oil.
Apparently, half of the world’s lithium reserves are in Bolivia. And a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office report warns a "major shift" to lithium-powered cars “could substitute reliance on one foreign resource [oil] for another [lithium."
Carney says, in the name of "clean energy," Washington is subsidizing a switch from gasoline-powered cars to cars powered mostly by coal. And in the pursuit of "energy independence," the feds may foster addiction to a fuel concentrated in a socialist-run South American country.
And although EVs emit and use no gas in operation, harvesting lithium may not be so earth friendly.
“Extracting lithium from locations where it is abundant, such as in South America, could pose environmental challenges that would damage the ecosystems in those areas,” warns Carney.
Hmmm… Is this just the rantings of another paranoid conspiracy theorist?
Or do you think the clean promise of EVs is worth the potential dirty results he brings up?
And, knowing what we now know about ethanol, do you have any confidence that politicians have the capability to properly research lithium’s sustainability before piling on the tax-payer-funded moneys?
[Source: Washington Examiner]