Diane Francis: The problem with electric cars
EVs should not be seen as some sort of panacea for dealing with climate change
The hype and mythologizing over electric vehicles (EVs) afflicts policy-making and leads to costly subsidies that produce little environmental benefits, according to Danish climate expert Bjorn Lomborg.
“In Norway, there are more EVs per person than anywhere in the world and studies show that people have two cars — a (subsidized) EV car to go `virtue signalling’ and the real car for use for real stuff,” said Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus think tank and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, in an interview with the Financial Post. “Norwegians use the gasoline car a lot more and drive less in a green car. A new study from a select group showed they only drove 5,000 miles a year, on average. This estimate was based on their electricity usage.”
That’s because, while EVs are fuel efficient, they are not always practical. “The main problem is that they have to pay more to buy it, then sit around and wait 40 minutes when recharging it,” he said. “It’s great if you have a house and can get a high voltage hookup, but 40 per cent or more people live in apartment blocks.”
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Besides that, many countries suffer from brownouts or power disruptions, making EVs untenable. Norway’s power comes solely from hydroelectricity, but the country is wealthy mostly because of its fossil fuel exports.
“Subsidies to make EVs cheaper are not going to cut all that much CO2, according to the IEA,” Lomborg said. “This uses tons of financial resources to allow rich people to virtue signal: 75 per cent of all subsidiaries to green energy are given to the richest quarter of all people for EVs and solar panels.”