Skip to main content
Opinion

Electric vehicle opponents need to check their facts

Oct 09, 2023

Share

Electric vehicles are gaining more political attention. President Joe Biden has said transitioning to electric vehicles will boost domestic manufacturing and enhance supply chains. Republicans like former President Donald Trump have argued that EVs have adverse environmental impacts and could negatively impact the auto industry.

Straight Arrow News contributor David Pakman argues that critics of EVs are mistaken. He contends that electric vehicles are not only environmentally friendly but also predicts that the industry will generate a significant number of new jobs for the American economy.

The public charging infrastructure industry is going to explode and will lead to the people involved in the manufacture of the chargers, the people involved in the installation of the chargers, the people involved in the maintenance of the chargers, the people involved selling and marketing the chargers — it’s going to be an endless, huge new industry in and of itself. More electric vehicles means more public chargers. That’s a new industry as well.

Three — we often hear if everybody got an electric vehicle today, the grid couldn’t handle it. Well, that depends on where you are. But grid upgrades and improvements is [sic] going to also generate a whole bunch of new jobs.

What about some of the materials that are used for electric vehicle batteries? Well, because a lot of those materials are finite and valuable, the recycling and reuse of the materials that go into electric vehicle batteries will in and of itself create jobs as well. And in addition to this, as more people get electric vehicles and they go, “Okay, I’ve got the EV, but I’m still getting my electricity to charge the EV from coal,” people will say, “I’d rather get it from wind, I’d rather get it from solar, I’d rather get it from geothermal.” The demand for wind, solar and geothermal will go up, and that will generate new jobs.

Let’s talk a little bit about the growing battle or war against electric vehicles that many Republicans are now launching Donald Trump is regularly making it a feature of his speeches to talk about, they want to make everybody drive an electric vehicle, which are terrible, and you can’t go far and China and whatever, too expensive, etcetera, etcetera. When interviews were conducted with auto workers, non union auto workers in Michigan surrounding the UAW strike, there, I covered it on my show, there was a guy interviewed who said, you know, electric vehicles are bad for jobs. Because the end there’s really no engine, like the engine is such a simple thing, that it requires 30 to 40% fewer people to make electric vehicles than internal combustion engine vehicles. So it’s bad for jobs and etc. We really need to break this down in a few different ways. Because along all areas of consideration, electric vehicles make more sense. First and foremost, let’s talk about the pollution aspect to it very often, when someone says, Hey, you know what, rather than driving around burning gas, I’ll have an electric vehicle, nothing comes out of the tailpipe, which is true. And then the counterpoint to that is okay, but where does the electricity come from, if you get electricity in your home, from the burning of oil, coal or natural gas or whatever, then when you charge your electric vehicle with electricity, you’re still burning fossil fuels in the sense that that’s what generated the electricity in the first place, even when that’s true, and it isn’t always true, even when that’s true, you’re still better off with an electric vehicle for two reasons. Number one, on a per mile basis, electric vehicles are far more efficient than gas powered vehicles, the rule of thumb is three to six times more efficient, the way to compare it would be kilowatt hours per mile, your average gas vehicle uses 1.3 kilowatt hours of energy per mile to go a mile. And electric vehicles are somewhere between 0.2 and 0.4 kilowatt hours per mile. So even if it were true, okay, it’s burning the gas directly, or it’s burning coal to charge the car to then drive around, you’re still using way less of it with an electric vehicle. In addition to that, if we centralize the emission, so okay, the electrical plant is burning the stuff. But then it’s not coming out of millions of tailpipes around the roads, it’s still better to centralize the emissions, because you can figure out what to do with the emissions if it’s centralized, rather than coming out of the tailpipe of all the cars. So on the pollution and efficiency side, even if the electricity comes from fossil fuels, still better off centralizing the burning of the fossil fuels, and it is more efficient to drive an electric vehicle. Of course, when you start thinking about electricity, you could get the electricity for your vehicle, as I do from solar panels, or you could get it from geothermal, you could get it from wind energy. So you with a gas powered vehicle, you’re burning gas period, with an Eevee, you can get the electricity from renewable sources, then we go to the jobs component, okay, argument is, the engines are so much simpler, there’s really no engine or it’s so much simpler. It’s basically a self contained unit with an Eevee. So it kills jobs, you need 30 to 40% Fewer people working for EVs than to make a similar number of regular gas powered vehicles. What this misses are the entire swaths of jobs that will explode if we have widespread electric vehicle adoption, for example, all of this talk about the batteries aren’t that good yet, for the EVS and for home battery, electrical storage, well, that’s going to be a massive industry, the batteries are going to become dramatically more expensive, a more efficient and less expensive part of energy, there is going to be more and more demand for home batteries to store energy for the case of power outages. So many new jobs will be developed in the battery industry. Secondly, as many people say, if everybody buys an electric vehicle, we’re not going to have enough public chargers. That’s right. The public charging infrastructure industry is going to explode and will lead to the people involved in the manufacture of the Chargers. The people involved in the installation of the chargers, the people involved in the maintenance of the chargers, the people involved, selling and marketing, the chargers, it’s going to be endless, huge new industry in and of itself. More electric vehicles means more public chargers, that’s a new industry as well. Three, we often hear if everybody got an electric vehicle today the grid couldn’t handle it. Well, that depends on where you are. But grid upgrades and improvements is going to also generate a whole bunch of new jobs. What about some of the materials that are used for electric vehicle batteries? Well, because a lot of those materials are finite and valuable. The recycling and reuse of the materials that go into electric vehicle batteries will in and of itself create jobs as well. And in addition to this, as more people get electric vehicles and they go, Okay, I’ve got the Evie, but I’m still getting my electricity to charge the Eevee from coal. People will say I’d rather get it from wind, I’d rather get it from solar, I’d rather get it for geothermal, the demand for wind, solar and geothermal will go up, and that will generate new jobs. Honestly, saying the electric vehicles require fewer people than gas powered vehicles sounds like cars. No way we’re going to put the horse buggy drivers out of business. For mobile smartphones, no way I’ve got a calculator where I can do math. We all now know that never was going to work to resist. So rather than resist, let’s build these industries. They are wrong about their opposition to electric vehicles.

Video Library

Latest Commentary

We know it is important to hear from a diverse range of observers on the complex topics we face and believe our commentary partners will help you reach your own conclusions.

The commentaries published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.


Latest Opinions

In addition to the facts, we believe it’s vital to hear perspectives from all sides of the political spectrum. We hope these different voices will help you reach your own conclusions.

The opinions published in this section are solely those of the contributors and do not reflect the views of Straight Arrow News.

Weekly Voices

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Tuesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Wednesday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Thursday

Left Opinion Right Opinion

Friday

Left Opinion Right Opinion