Friday, September 2, 2011

Canada & Green Cars: Not a Likely Success There Either

As an update to my previous post on (I’m feeling good today, so I’ll just describe it as) the questionable application of electric cars to the ecology and economy of our near future, we have Margaret Wente writing in the Globe and Mail about the electric car experience in Ontario, that greenest of Canada’s provinces.  The subject bodes no better there than what I describe in my submission to the topic.  Some examples from Ms Wente:
The fantasy that electric cars are right around the corner doesn’t survive even the most cursory reality check. . . . [C]onsumers simply won’t pay a $20,000 premium for a vehicle that doesn’t go very far, isn’t very convenient, and runs out of juice as soon as you turn on the air conditioner.

Consider hybrids.  After a decade on the market, they’ve captured only 3 per cent of sales. To get to [Ontario’s] 2020 target [of 5% of all cars being electric], green-minded Ontarians would have to buy at least 100,000 electric cars a year every year, starting right now.  Total U.S. sales of electric vehicles are about 10,000 a year. . . .

Electric cars aren’t necessarily green at all.  Electric vehicles require large amounts of electricity – so much that Toronto Hydro chief Anthony Haines says he doesn’t know how he’d get it.  “If you connect about 10 per cent of the homes on any given street with an electric car, the electricity system fails,” he said recently. 
In order to accommodate all these extra electric cars, we would have to increase our energy output from the only real source that we have – fossil fuelled plants, thus increasing our global carbon emissions.  If the technology exists for carbon-free power-generating technology (other than nuclear), well, “changing that will take decades”.

The Greens don’t like the facts of the matter, but . . .
[J]ust because the facts are unwelcome doesn’t make them untrue.  Time and time again, the greens have harmed their cause with their uninformed fervour and simplistic thinking.
Read the whole thing. 

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