The Electric Car Folly
Fred Johnson; Columnist
For some reason, Congress thinks that an electric car is the answer to our energy problems because they produce no pollutants and use no petroleum. GM has been ordered to produce electric cars by their new bosses (Congress).
However, there is one problem with that rosy picture. Electric cars must be recharged and as we put more electric cars on the road, more electric power plants must be built to generate the needed electricity. Currently, coal-fired plants provide close to one-half of our electricity. So we are basically replacing gasoline powered cars with coal powered cars. Hardly a way to reduce emissions. Transportation uses 13 million barrels of petroleum per day.
If we replace gasoline powered vehicles with electric powered vehicles, we must increase our generation capacity by the equivalent of 13 million barrels of petroleum per day.
Note that we have not reduced our energy needs at all. We have replaced a very efficient system with a brand new system requiring the construction of new power plants, new transmission lines and a huge network of recharging stations all over the nation.
Since electric cars get about 200 miles between charges and require many minutes (or hours?) to recharge, our highways will need many more service stations with lots of recharging ports.
And to what end?
Unless we build about 50 percent more nuclear power plants than we currently have, we will have no CO2 reduction and much more expensive cars and inconvenient travel. But we have not built a nuclear power plant for 30 years and environmentalists block every effort to build new ones. You can forget about wind power. It currently produces around 2 percent of our electric power at double or triple the cost and will require thousands of miles of new transmission lines and a million acres of windmills to provide the energy needed.
Sadly, our Congress is showing that they not only don’t know how to run a car company; they don’t know how to solve our energy problem. We can eliminate our dependence on foreign oil by simply drilling for the oil that we have offshore and within our borders at no cost to taxpayers or consumers.
Fred Johnson is a member of the Morgan County Republican Party.