A great sport has been overtaken by the environmentalists saying this is the future of clean energy and the usual word salad to prove their point. They have created some of the most cutting edge technology and speed you can possibly do. It was at the cost of fun, enjoyment of the car and the rush you get from all of your senses.
Before I get to the facts below, everyone likes the sound of a screaming V-12,10 or even 8 over a hybrid car. You can hear them before you see them and the noise and smell enhance your senses of excitement.
It’s not going to happen though, but here’s why it should:
The electric car’s biggest disadvantage on greenhouse gas emissions is the production of an EV battery, which requires energy-intensive mining and processing, and generates twice as much carbon emissions as the manufacture of an internal combustion engine. This means that the EV starts off with a bigger carbon footprint than a gasoline-powered car when it rolls off the assembly line and takes time to catch up to a gasoline-powered car.
One of the big unknowns is whether EV batteries will have to be replaced. While the EV industry says battery technology is improving so that degradation is limited, if that assurance proves overly optimistic and auto warranties have to replace expensive battery packs, the new battery would create a second carbon footprint that the EV would have to work off over time, partially erasing the promised greenhouse-gas benefits.
With governments now in the business of mandating electric vehicles, the battery challenge assumes a global scale. The majority of lithium-ion batteries are produced in China, where most electricity comes from coal-burning power plants.
The process of mining critical minerals is sometimes described in language that evokes strip mining and fracking, an inconvenient truth that is beginning to attract notice. “Electric cars and renewable energy may not be as green as they appear,” a 2021 New York Times article noted. “Production of raw materials like lithium, cobalt and nickel that are essential to these technologies are often ruinous to land, water, wildlife and people.” The Times has also warned that with global demand for electric vehicles projected to grow sixfold by 2030, “the dirty origins of this otherwise promising green industry have become a looming crisis.”
All of these CO2 metrics could come into play in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s recently proposed rule that would require publicly traded companies to disclose the greenhouse gas emissions they produce directly, as well emissions produced indirectly through their supply chains around the world. While the implications aren’t clear yet, the new rule could standardize CO2 disclosures and transparency on EV carbon impacts, but some say that such calculations are nearly impossible for global contractors, and automakers would have to rely on the same kinds of estimates and modeling that are used now. Echoing a common concern, EV battery maker Nikola Corp. told the SEC that “some climate data is not readily available, complete, or definitive.”
As a result of these uncertainties, many consumers don’t understand the complexity of these analyses and may assume that their electric cars are literally zero-emissions, or that what matters most is that EVs are better for the environment and the precise degree is not that important.
EV advocates are optimistic that in the coming decades electric cars will become cleaner as power grids are “decarbonized” and the industrialized world reduces its reliance on CO2-spewing fossil fuels, primarily coal and natural gas. Exactly how much cleaner is not easy to pinpoint. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, about 60% of the nation’s electricity was generated from coal and gas in 2021. In its Annual Energy Outlook, the agency projects those two fossil fuels will generate 44% of U.S. electricity by 2050.
But those percentages can be misleading. Even as the relative fuel proportions change over time, overall electricity demand is going up, so the total amount of fossil fuels actually burned in the mid-21st century goes down by only about 5%, according to EIA estimates. Future greenhouse gas emissions will depend on the number of EVs on the road and how electricity is generated, and those forecasts swing wildly. The EIA forecasts a mere 18.9 million EVs on U.S. roads in 2050, which is very conservative compared with advocacy group EVAdoption’s prediction of more than 25 million EVs on U.S. roads by 2030, only eight years away. BloombergNEF forecasts 125 million EVs on U.S. roads in 2040, up from 1.61 million at the end of last year, which would constitute about half the cars in this country.
“They’re making these forecasts that are basically licking your finger and sticking it up in the air,” David Rapson, a professor of energy economics at the University of California, Davis, who analyzes electric vehicle policy, said about California forecasts, which also applies more broadly. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen.”
Back to me.
Don’t try to tell me racing a hybrid is environmentally helpful when you fly around the world in many private and cargo jets each F1 weekend. Hauling the freight to one race is the pollution (carbon is not pollution) of all the cars in every race.
Cut us some slack and put real engines that we can hear coming, building our excitement.
Even the greenie drivers loved it when Fernando Alonso drove his championship winning Renault to some exhibition laps. They miss the sound also.
It’s not a step backwards, rather a step in the right direction.