Reply to "Intermeccanica going all electric"

“Gas and oil are just going to get more scarce, dirty and expensive.”

Yeah, about that, and to take that statement point by point:

Obviously, when you use a finite resource, it becomes more scarce— but the world continues to find more and more sources of hydrocarbons, enough so that scarcity is a complete non-issue for the foreseeable future. The same cannot be said for the minerals required to make Lithium Ion batteries.

Burning hydrocarbons has never been cleaner. It might be argued that the process still isn’t clean enough, but it is most certainly not getting “dirtier”. The same argument could be made for the mining of the minerals required to make Lithium Ion batteries or the production of the electricity it takes to recharge them (coal being the predominant means of electric generation).

As for expense— gas has rarely been less expensive (in inflation adjusted dollars) than right now. For my entire life, I’ve been hearing how we are in an energy crisis, etc., and it has just not proven to be true. Gas guzzling SUVs are sold to willing customers at a profit without subsidies. Yes, oil and gas are subsidized for some perverse and political reason, but then the refined fuel is taxed at the pump, which just robs Peter to pay Paul (Paul being poor and destitute Exxon Mobil in this case). 

When I was a kid, LA used be be nearly uninhabitable during an inversion. The Cuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland. Those days are long past. The US has not been this pristine since before white people lived here. The mining of minerals to make batteries is an ecological disaster, and China has the market cornered. The vast majority of electricity generated in the US is done so by burning something less cleanly than a modern IC does.

Electric is fantastic for some stuff. Batteries are the Devil’s own revenge, a necessary evil for lots of stuff, and completely unsuited for others. I would contend that cars and trucks (as most people have come to use them) fall in the latter camp. The only way any of it makes even a little sense is if the electricity generated comes from a clean source, which is presently a pipe dream given the extremely variable nature of wind and sun. The grid depends on being constant and consistent, and would be required to be more so as millions of people recharge their transportation batteries every night.

I’m not afraid of new things. This just doesn’t make sense on a large scale. 

Last edited by Stan Galat
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