EV Push is ‘Impossible Dream’ that Won’t Impact Climate or Lower Costs, Comprehensive Study Reveals
Story by Jack Davis
The emissions Nirvana predicted by supporters of electric vehicles is an illusion, according to a new report.
The massive study by the Manhattan Institute notes that multiple levels of government are enacting rules on enshrining goals that would bring about an all-electric vehicle universe, or one in which internal combustion engines are minimally tolerated. The Washington Examiner noted that President Joe Biden wants 50 percent of all vehicles in the U.S. sold to be electric, and he wants that accomplished by 2030.
New Mexico just mandated new rules requiring that by 2027, 43 percent of new vehicles delivered to New Mexico have to be electric. By 2032, that rises to 82 percent, according to KOB-TV.
That did not connect with Albuquerque resident Isaac Romero, who said, “I think electric vehicles are a pipe dream. That’s just my opinion.”
The Manhattan Institute report entitled “Electric Vehicles for Everyone? The Impossible Dream” said that the core argument supporting electric vehicles is that, because they emit no smelly exhaust that leads to air pollution, they will reduce global carbon dioxide emissions as a worthy step on the road to addressing climate change.
The report says there is “a fatal flaw in the core motives for the prohibitions and mandates,” adding that “No one knows how much, if at all, CO2 emissions will decline as EV use rises.”
“Every claim for EVs reducing emissions is a rough estimate or an outright guess based on averages, approximations, or aspirations,” the report said.
A huge uncertainty is whether the emissions from the mining and production of EV battery components will cancel out the lack of fumes, the report noted. As niche products, the impact has been minimal. If EVs become the standard, the picture could very well change, the report noted.
There is also the question of green — as in, the cash to buy an EV. The costs of EV are linked to the costs of its materials, most of which are not found in the U.S.
“The facts also show that, for the majority of drivers, there’s no visibility for when, if ever, EVs will reach parity in cost and fueling convenience, regardless of subsidies,” the report said.
As the Biden administration tries to use various combinations of the carrot-and-stick technique to wean Americans away from gasoline-powered vehicles, the Manhattan Institute report has sent a shot toward the White House.
“Rarely has a government, at least the U.S. government, banned specific products or behaviors that are so widely used or undertaken. Indeed, there have been only two comparably far-reaching bans in U.S. history: the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited the consumption of alcohol (repealed by the Twenty-First Amendment); and the 1974 law prohibiting driving faster than 55 mph. Neither achieved its goals; both were widely flouted, and the first one engendered unintended consequences, not least of which was criminal behavior,” the report said.
The report notes there is a philosophical bias against vehicles at the core of the push for EVs.
“The car culture is viewed in many environmental circles as inherently toxic and unnatural,” the report said, adding that some environmentalists would find “significant ‘progress’ in keeping people out of cars by banning inexpensive ICE [internal combustion engine] vehicles and mandating expensive EVs.
“In the face of all this, it would be reasonable to reach the conclusion that, put simply, they’re coming for your cars,” the report said.
“Imagining a hypothetical all-EV world requires acknowledging the unavoidable fact of a rats’ nest of assumptions, guesses, and ambiguities regarding emissions. Much of the necessary data may never be collectible in any normal regulatory fashion, given the technical uncertainties and the variety and opacity of geographic factors, as well as the proprietary nature of many of the processes,” the report said, adding that “Those uncertainties could lead to havoc.”
The report suggested that if governments want to throw money at the hazy subject of automobile fumes, “It would be easier, cheaper, faster — and transparently verifiable — to incentivize consumers to purchase more efficient internal combustion engines or hybrids.”
The report said governments should allow the EV market to grow, as it will, “even without government programs that favor or mandate them. But the entire edifice of subsidies, prohibitions, and regulations to move most, if not all, citizens from ICE cars into EVs is based on a profoundly weak — or, in some cases, false — foundation of claims about emissions reductions and economic parity.”
In sum, the report argues, the EV push could lead to misallocation of capital as well as “draconian constraints on freedoms and unprecedented impediments to affordable and convenient driving. And it will have little to no impact on global CO2 emissions.”