I am not a fan of electric cars. Why? Because of the masterful, deceptive marketing, The culture has brought into the lie that electric cars are "green" and environment-riendly.
Devonshire Research Group, an investment firm that specializes in valuing tech companies, dug into the data and concluded that Tesla’s environmental benefits may be more hyped than warranted. Their research shows that Teslas (and, by extension, all electric vehicles) create pollution and carbon emissions in other ways. Each stage of an EV’s life has environmental impacts, and while they aren’t as obvious as a tailpipe pumping out fumes, that doesn’t make them any less damaging.
An electric car may not need gas, but it still usually gets its energy from burning carbon; it depends on how the local grid generates electricity. “If you use coal-fired power plants to produce the electricity, then all-electrics don’t even look that much better than a traditional vehicle in terms of greenhouse gases,” says Virginia McConnell, an economist at the environmental research firm Resources for the Future.
The math gets trickier, though, when you include other forms of environmental damage. Electric cars need to be light, which means they include a lot of high-performing metals. The lithium in the batteries, for example, is super light and conductive—that’s how you get a lot of energy without adding a lot of weight. Other, rare metals are sprinkled throughout the car, mostly in the magnets that are in everything from the headlights to the on-board electronics.
But those rare metals come from somewhere—often, from environmentally destructive mines. It’s not just Tesla, of course. All electric vehicles rely on parts with similar environmental issues. Even solar panels depend on rare metals that have to be dug out of the earth and processed in less-than-green ways, says David Abraham, author of the book "The Elements of Power."
Rare metals only exist in tiny quantities and inconvenient places—so you have to move a lot of earth to get just a little bit. In the Jiangxi rare earth mine in China, Abraham writes, workers dig eight-foot holes and pour ammonium sulfate into them to dissolve the sandy clay. Then they haul out bags of muck and pass it through several acid baths; what’s left is baked in a kiln, leaving behind the rare earths required by everything from our phones to our Teslas.
At this mine, those rare earths amounted to 0.2 percent of what gets pulled out of the ground. The other 99.8 percent—now contaminated with toxic chemicals—is dumped back into the environment. That damage is difficult to quantify, just like the impact of oil drilling.
Batteries are some of the most toxic things on the planet that humans produce. Creation of the Tesla's huge, powerful battery pack releases as much CO2 into the atmosphere as an astonishing 8 years of gasoline driving (see here.) Thus, before you even drive 1 mile with your new Tesla, you've already put 8 years of CO2 into the atmosphere that driving a conventional, gasoline vehicle would have. Electric car batteries are eco-villains in the production process of creating them. Several tons of carbon dioxide are necessarily emitted even before the battery is installed in the car. Manufacturing an electric vehicle generates more carbon emissions than building a conventional car, mostly because of its battery, the Union of Concerned Scientists has found.
Of course, recharging the battery pack will release even more CO2 into the atmosphere (unless the power plant providing the electricity is either solely solar or wind powered, which very very few are in the U.S.). Since very few Tesla's owners will still be driving their Tesla after 8 years of ownership, they will never be as "green" as they would have been driving a traditional gasoline engine during the same period. In addition, batteries always decline in efficiency ... meaning if one keeps the car long enough, the highly-toxic (and enormously expensive) battery pack will have to be eventually replaced (releasing another 8 years worth of CO2 into the atmosphere.)
The same thing is true on a smaller-scale for hybrid cars (electric/gasoline). The production of the much smaller battery pack for a Toyota Prius releases 3 years of CO2 that driving a gasoline engine would produce.
In fact, the primary reasons (whether one acknowledges it or not) to buy an electric car are to (1) impress your friends with the powerful acceleration inherent in electric vehicles, and (2) make a statement to all those who have been suckered into the deception that electric vehicles are "green". They are certainly not practical for long-distance travel because of the recharging requirements.
[On a related note, people often desire to install solar panels on their roof for clean electricity. Solar panels will power little more than lightbulbs and radios unless they are the size of an acre. People buy into the deception they will "save money" - i.e., they fool themselves into thinking that solar panels will pay for themselves. (They are not even close to doing so today, though perhaps someday they might.) You can take the money you would have spent in the solar equipment, and put it in other investments and get back more than the panels save in electricity bills. Plus, while the panels sit there losing money, they also depreciate (become less efficient) as they age. Nobody would normally buy an investment that returns 4% and where the principal depreciates to nothing over time.]
Currently it is far easier and cheaper to reduce pollution by cutting output at the big polluting factories and power plants. A dollar spent there does an order of magnitude more to cut pollution than a dollar spent on a personal hybrid or electric car.
The deception concerning electric cars and hybrids is a classic example of how easily an entire culture can be duped. But that deception - as bad as it is - is peanuts compared to the ultimate deception that is being supernaturally unleashed upon the world.
... that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world ... (Rev 12:9, ESV)
Truth renders all deception powerless.