September 18, 2009

Less Than Zero

"The electric car will account for 10% of the global market in 10 years," predicts Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of alliance partners Renault and Nissan in a BBC interview. "It is time for zero emission motoring."

Indeed. But electric cars don't typically have zero-emissions: the emissions just happen elsewhere, usually at the (massive) power plant that supplies the energy to power the car. That may be a reasonable tradeoff and a real improvement (in the absence of the more useful cutting back on personal mobility and energy consumption in general), but in the usual way of these things, sometime down the line we'll wake up to the fact that all these electric vehicles require more and larger power plants… with more and larger emissions and transmission lines. And more and larger protests at the building of such power plants and transmission lines. All together now: "Not In My Back Yard (or Garage)!".

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