The faux emergency of a climate crisis does not lessen the technical issues associated with EVs.
Toyota Motor chief Akio Toyoda recently said that he remains skeptical of moving to only produce electric vehicles (EVs).
Toyoda also indicated that most people who work in the auto industry agree with him.
“People involved in the auto industry are largely a silent majority,” Toyoda said. “That silent majority is wondering whether EVs are really OK to have as a single option. But they think it’s the trend so they can’t speak out loudly.”
“Because the right answer is still unclear, we shouldn’t limit ourselves to just one option,” he added.
The remarks come as supply chain issues that were sparked by the coronavirus pandemic have continued to make it difficult for manufacturers to get the raw materials needed to make new cars, especially electric vehicles.
The Wall Street Journal recently published a detailed piece in support of Toyoda’s assertions. It provided numerous examples of technological problems and weaknesses inherent in EV use, including the fact that cold temperatures drop battery efficiency.
Maine notes in a plan submitted to the Federal Highway Administration this summer that “cold temperatures will remain a top challenge” for adoption, since “cold weather reduces EV range and increases charging times.”
When temperatures drop to 5 degrees Fahrenheit, the cars achieve only 54% of their quoted range. A vehicle that’s supposed to be able to go 250 miles between charges will make it only 135 miles on average. At 32 degrees—a typical winter day in much of the country—a Tesla Model 3 that in ideal conditions can go 282 miles between charges will make it only 173 miles.
Imagine if the 100 million Americans who took to the road over the holidays were driving electric cars. How many would have been stranded as temperatures plunged? There wouldn’t be enough tow trucks—or emergency medics—for people freezing in their cars.
Beyond the technology, there is also a growing realization that EV batteries have special hazards that emergency services need to address. For example, New Jersey legislators proposed requiring firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to undergo EV fire training following the death of a man trapped in his burning Tesla.
S2881 and A4476 seek a training course for firefighters that would cover the risks associated with EVs and how to safely and effectively manage EV fires as well as a course for EMTs about the risks associated with EVs and how to safely and effectively perform their duties when they’re called to the scene of EV fires.
“For the last 20 years, there has been increased interest in and use of electric vehicles,” the bills state. “While the risk of an electric vehicle fire is low, managing an electric vehicle fire requires specialized training since a lithium-ion battery can burn hotter and for a longer period of time than a gasoline engine.”
Climatologist Judith Curry recently published a great analysis of how the faux urgency associated with the climate crisis narrative harms our chances of building a strong and sustainable energy future.
Attributing extreme weather and climate events to global warming can motivate a country to attempt to rapidly transition away from fossil fuels. However, we should not delude ourselves into thinking that eliminating emissions would have a noticeable impact on weather and climate extremes in the 21st century.
It is very difficult to untangle the roles of natural weather and climate variability and land use from the slow creep of global warming. Looking back into the past, including paleoclimatic data, there has been more extreme weather everywhere on the planet. Thinking that we can minimize severe weather through using atmospheric carbon dioxide as a control knob is a fairy tale.
…There is growing realization that these emissions and temperature targets have become detached from the issues of human well-being and development. Yes, we need to reduce CO2 emissions over the course of the 21st century. However once we relax the faux urgency for eliminating CO2 emissions and the stringent time tables, we have time and space to envision new energy systems that can meet the diverse, growing needs of the 21st century.
The faux emergency of a climate crisis does not lessen the technical issues associated with EVs. Toyoda is bravely explaining the realities while countering the trendy narrative.DONATE
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