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All The Arguments Battery-Electric Vehicle Bashers Make About BEVs Polluting More Are Wrong

Every now and then, we see comments that battery-electric vehicles (BEV) are not as good for the climate as advertised. These are often based on pseudo-scientific articles by serious-sounding institutions. For normal people like you and me, it is hard to debunk those stories. The power of good FUD is that it sounds true.

Luckily, we have a tireless scientist helping us debunk those stories. Now he has collected the most often used false arguments in an article we can reference for the right arguments.

  • Wrong: Battery manufacturing is dirty. Key note: People claiming this are using old and/or inflated numbers.
  • Wrong: Battery lifetime in BEV is like the lifetime in cellphones.
  • Wrong: Electricity from the grid is dirty and stays that way.
  • Some “studies” use dieselgate test methods for ICE cars.
  • Some “studies” compare well-to-wheel emissions of electricity with pump-to-wheel emissions for gasoline.
  • These “studies” don’t account for the influence of the complete system becoming cleaner.

Because of lack of room in the article, he omitted the second life of batteries as stationary storage. Also, the possibility to recycle the raw materials in the battery makes it eight arguments. [Editor’s note: This last one is actually a huge from. From what I’ve seen, most of these “studies” assume the batteries and everything in them are used once, which could hardly be further from the truth. It’s estimated 95%+ of the batteries could be reused after their use in an EV battery is over, or at least 80% if you want to be ridiculously conservative.]

His last argument — seeing a BEV not as an isolated phenomenon but as a part of a larger shift to clean energy — deserves a complete article. I hope he writes about the energy system shifting and the implications for the clean industrial production it brings. Then I can use it as input for something I write. Compared to this professional, I am just a poorly informed amateur.

Please read his article — it is very short (for a scientist) and I don’t want to copy it.

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Written By

Grumpy old man. The best thing I did with my life was raising two kids. Only finished primary education, but when you don’t go to school, you have lots of time to read. I switched from accounting to software development and ended my career as system integrator and architect. My 2007 boss got two electric Lotus Elise cars to show policymakers the future direction of energy and transportation. And I have been looking to replace my diesel cars with electric vehicles ever since. At the end of 2019 I succeeded, I replaced my Twingo diesel for a Zoe fully electric. And putting my money where my mouth is, I have bought Tesla shares. Intend to keep them until I can trade them for a Tesla car. I added some Fastned, because driving without charging is no fun.


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