Electric Vehicles Are Not the Future

The mania for electric vehicles is a fad that is driven 100% by government regulation. The consumer verdict on EVs has been in for a century. Some of the earliest cars were battery-powered, but they lost out to gasoline-powered cars because gasoline-powered vehicles are better.

Those who have been paying attention understand that there is zero chance that our existing motor vehicle fleet will be converted to EVs. Mark Tapscott sums up some of the reasons. I want to focus on just one of his points, the fact that the lithium batteries needed to replace our current vehicle fleet would require ridiculous amounts of mining of minerals, particularly lithium, the price of which is already sky-high. How do liberals intend to accomplish this unprecedented global mining project?

Answer: they don’t. Mark quotes from a report by an environmental organization:

This report finds that the United States can achieve zero emissions transportation while limiting the amount of lithium mining necessary by reducing the car dependence of the transportation system, decreasing the size of electric vehicle batteries, and maximizing lithium recycling.

Reordering the US transportation system through policy and spending shifts to prioritize public and active transit while reducing car dependency can also ensure transit equity, protect ecosystems, respect Indigenous rights, and meet the demands of global justice.

This is what liberal politicians are not telling you–yet. They don’t really plan to replace your car with an EV, they don’t want to replace it at all. They want you to walk, bicycle, and use public transportation. In other words, they want to destroy the traditional American freedom to, as Mark says, go where we please, when we please. That is a radical and unwelcome change in American life, right up there with eating insects instead of meat.

Where I live, we are already seeing this push to take us out of our cars. Highways in the Twin Cities are deliberately under-designed, so that traffic is needlessly congested. Urban planners, not just oblivious but hostile to our basic freedoms, have spent billions of dollars on trains that hardly anyone rides, and have converted traffic lanes to bicycle lanes that are scarcely used–not used at all, this time of year–thus snarling traffic further. Their dream of mass reliance on public transportation is a century out of date; mass transit usage peaked in the Twin Cities in the early 20th Century. But the fun of inconveniencing the rest of us is too good to pass up.

It is notable that during the covid shutdowns, automobile traffic, air traffic, and public transportation all cratered for a while. Automobile miles traveled are now back to pre-covid levels, and air travel exceeds those levels. But public transportation has not rebounded. My organization released a report just a week or two ago that documents these trends and some of the reasons for them. It applies to Minnesota but also includes national data. The phenomena are more or less the same everywhere.

This is one more area where the utopian (in their eyes) visions of liberal planners collide with reality. What they want is the opposite of what you want. You want mobility and, thus, freedom, at reasonable cost. They want less mobility, less freedom, mass transit that forces us into government-decreed paths, the “fifteen minute city” so that we scarcely need to (or are allowed to) leave our homes, and so on.

And here, too, there will be a class divide: just as you and I will eat bugs while those with high social credit scores (as the Chinese do it) or who are Party members (as the USSR did it) continue to eat meat, in the liberals’ immobile new world there will still be people who jump into their cars and go where they want to. That group just won’t include you.

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