Renewable technology is the future, or so we are told. The European Union, and Germany in particular, are discovering that their bets made on green energy are losers in the short term. The conflict in Ukraine has exposed the shortcomings in the existing platforms for alternative energy. Wind and solar have proven to be unreliable, disrupting service and forcing Germany to engage in an emergency energy plan. We should take these lessons to heart when the mainstream media pushes the narrative that the electric car will solve our current gas crisis in the United States.
First, there is the cost. The most inexpensive Tesla currently costs approximately $50,000 with a range of 262 miles with a full charge. If you wear out the battery, at the 200,000-mile mark a replacement will cost you $14,000. You will certainly save money on gas since you won’t be using any, but before you start patting yourself on the back realize that home electricity costs are currently outpacing runaway inflation.
What about the impact on the environment? For starters, the rare earth minerals needed to produce a green future do not exist in the amounts needed. You would have to mine 3 times as much lithium and 4 times as much cobalt as our current amount of known deposits in the world. Half a million pounds of the earth must be dug up to produce the required materials for one battery pack. All the machinery to do that is powered by you guessed it, old-fashioned gas engines. Almost none of this mining is happening in the United States.
Our rising geopolitical adversary China controls a substantial portion of the earth’s rare minerals, and the other location where they are found is in Africa. Africa is one of the driest places on the earth, and this type of mining requires massive amounts of water and produces toxic byproducts that poison the nearby environment.
Although it may make consumers feel good to drive an electric car, most are unaware of the collateral consequences of the current state of the technology. Until big strides are made in the creation and maintenance of these vehicles, they are not the answer they are made out to be.