Road Trip!

The electric vehicle boondoggle rolls on. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm undertook a drive across the Southeastern states to demonstrate the viability of EVs. It didn’t go so well, even in NPR’s account.

Granholm’s trip through the southeast, from Charlotte, N.C., to Memphis, Tenn., was intended to draw attention to the billions of dollars the White House is pouring into green energy and clean cars. The administration’s ambitious energy agenda, if successful, could significantly cut U.S. emissions and reshape Americans’ lives in fundamental ways, including by putting many more people in electric vehicles.

Against their will. The “transition” is not going as planned.

“Things are happening fast. You are in the center of it. Imagine how big clean energy industries will be in 13 years,” she told one audience in South Carolina. “How much stronger our economy is going to grow. How many good-paying jobs we’re going to create — and where we are going to lead the world.”

Granholm’s grasp of economics is impressive. Someone should clue her in to the latest in economic theory, which holds that it would be great to stimulate the economy by hiring people to dig holes and then fill them in again.

Sadly, Granholm’s prolonged photo op ran into snags:

[B]etween stops, Granholm’s entourage at times had to grapple with the limitations of the present. Like when her caravan of EVs — including a luxury Cadillac Lyriq, a hefty Ford F-150 and an affordable Bolt electric utility vehicle — was planning to fast-charge in Grovetown, a suburb of Augusta, Georgia.

Her advance team realized there weren’t going to be enough plugs to go around. One of the station’s four chargers was broken, and others were occupied. So an Energy Department staffer tried parking a nonelectric vehicle by one of those working chargers to reserve a spot for the approaching secretary of energy.

That did not go down well: a regular gas-powered car blocking the only free spot for a charger?

In fact, a family that was boxed out — on a sweltering day, with a baby in the vehicle — was so upset they decided to get the authorities involved: They called the police.

Call me a reactionary, but I would have said that if you are trying to demonstrate the viability of electric vehicles, you probably shouldn’t 1) rely on a gas-powered vehicle, and 2) pull rank as a cabinet secretary to do it.

The availability of charging stations is a problem at which the government is throwing untold billions of dollars. The whole “green” initiative is at bottom an effort to pull off one of the greatest wealth transfers in history: trillions of dollars out of some industries that are not favored by the Democratic Party, into other industries that are favored by, and lavishly support, the Democratic Party. The idea that this has anything to do with the environment is a bad joke.

The government is not promoting EVs because of any advantages to the consumer:

The secretary’s trip had been painstakingly mapped out ahead of time to allow for charging. We stopped at hotels with slower “Level 2” plugs for overnight charging and then paused at superfast chargers between cities.

That required upfront work that a gas-powered road trip simply doesn’t require. My car can hypothetically locate a nearby charger on the road — as with many EVs, that feature is built into an app on the car’s infotainment screen — so I shouldn’t have to plan ahead. But in reality, I use multiple apps to find chargers, read reviews to make sure they work and plot out convenient locations for a 30-minute pit stop (a charger by a restaurant, for instance, instead of one located at a car dealership).

Why bother? Automobiles are better than they have ever been. They last longer, get better mileage, and come with lots of bells and whistles. So why should there be a market for expensive, inconvenient EVs? Electric vehicles are essentially an obsolete technology. They have been around for a long time, but lost out in competition with internal combustion vehicles because gas-powered cars are better.

The case for EVs–that is, the case for mandating and subsidizing them instead of letting people buy the cars they want–is supposedly environmental. But whether an EV reduces CO2 emissions depends entirely on where the electricity comes from. A great many EVs are running on coal. Best case, the EV may run on nuclear energy, but that represents a very small percentage of EVs in use.

In all other respects, EVs are terrible for the environment. They require huge batteries that consume enormous quantities of minerals, with all of the concomitant issues of mining, manufacturing and transportation. With the added benefit that we depend on China for most of them. Goodbye to energy independence! Forever, if pro-China liberals get their way.

We can only hope that the relatively minor problems with EVs, like the difficulty of charging them, will throw a monkey wrench into the government’s plans until sanity can be regained.

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