Tesla plant [image credit: Steve Jurvetson @ Wikipedia]
But Plan B includes putting heavy batteries in already heavy trucks, making them too heavy for hauling goods — or reducing their payloads. But at least the fact that there aren’t going to be anywhere near enough batteries to replace all fuel-powered vehicles with expensive EVs is out in the open, leaving climate obsessives with yet another headache. Wade through the usual paranoid propaganda to see how big the problem is.
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We need to change our transportation system, and we need to do it quickly, claims The Conversation.
Road transportation is a major consumer of fossil fuels, contributing 16 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, which warm up the Earth’s atmosphere and cause changes to the climate.
It also pollutes the air, threatening health and costing taxpayers billions of dollars annually.
At the same time, electric vehicles are getting cheaper, and vehicle range and the availability of charging stations are improving.
This is exciting for many because it seems to suggest an easy and convenient answer to the problem of transportation emissions: if everyone swapped their fossil-fuelled vehicle for an electric equivalent, we could all keep driving, safe in the knowledge that we are no longer killing the planet by doing so—and all while enjoying a new car that is quiet, cheap to power and fun to drive.
Everybody wins, right? Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to be that simple.
The battery supply crunch
Electric vehicles still produce air pollution and greenhouse gasses from their brakes, tires, the electricity that powers them and the factories that build them.
Even if we can address (or ignore) these problems, there is a much larger stumbling block facing personal electric vehicles as a solution for climate change.
In 2019, the world produced about 160 gigawatt hours (GWh) of lithium-ion batteries. That’s enough for a little more than three million standard-range Tesla Model 3s—and only if we use those batteries for cars, and don’t build any smart-phones, laptops or grid storage facilities.