Opinion · World

Electric cars: an inconvenient truth

Now in the age of the worldwide fight against global warming, electric cars are being promoted as one of the answers to the emission of carbon dioxide.

Global warming has become for many a new religion and everything must be done to worship the god of global warming, whether it makes sense or not. Let this not be an argument for us as Christians not to care about this creation. We do have a responsibility to be stewards over this creation. We have to do it in a way that is glorifying to God. Part of that is that we have a critical look at all that is happening in the name of global warming. Does it really make sense or is it all driven by a mindless doing whatever looks good for the sake of this religion?

One of the things that are being promoted is the use of electric cars.

It is my nature to try to understand how things work and why things are the way they are. That made me more or less a sceptic if it comes to electric cars: how can you decrease the emission of CO2 if you first are going to generate electricity with plants that run on coal or oil or other fossil fuels, and then use that electricity to charge electric cars? Both in the generation as well as in the transportation of the electricity to the battery of the car, undoubtedly energy is getting lost. To me it only makes sense to use electric cars, if the electricity comes from renewable sources. I always wondered why no one ever mentioned this in the media, or else where my reasoning went wrong. But I felt vindicated when I saw that the National Post (Canada) posted a link to an article questioning this whole practice. However, when I tried to find this article again this morning, it was no longer on the pages of the National Post, or it was moved to a spot where it is hard to find. It probably was too inconvenient, this truth. Nevertheless, the original article which was published at ‘driving.ca’ was still there and, if it is still there when you click on it, it can be found here (click here).

This is a report on a study done at the university of Michigan, which calculated the “wel-to-wheels+ production of automotive greenhouse gases depending on the source of the electricity used to recharge the electric vehicles and the country-by-country breakdown of those resources.

It comes to some interesting conclusions. However, this article calculates the situation as it is now. If all of a sudden everyone changes over to electric cars, then the figures will turn out even worse, because we don’t have the renewable sources available right now to generate that energy. Therefore, before governments are going to encourage their people to buy electric cars, they first should heavily invest in renewable energy sources, or else it doesn’t make sense. But that is a topic for another article: what are the real costs of renewable energy sources?