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The great green myth about electric cars


BRITISH politicians in thrall to the green lobby have come up with the idea that electric vehicles will ‘save the planet’ but deliberately ignore the huge amounts of CO2 and pollution created in the manufacture of Electric Vehicles (EVs), especially the batteries. 

The batteries require rare metals from foreign lands, where they are often mined by children. In China there is a huge toxic and radioactive lake created from mining these metals.

China has cornered the market in rare metals so prices will go up and politics could see them refused to the West. What then?

Additionally, the steel, plastic, glass and other materials used in construction all create emissions, some in other countries.

EVs can be purchased only by those rich enough. The cheapest will be the Mini at £24,400 after a grant paid by taxpayers of £3,500. Why should people who cannot afford a new car subsidise the rich? The more expensive models of EV range up to at least £90,000.

Subsidy cuts – though subsidies are still significant – are now being blamed for the fall in UK sales of electric cars. Perhaps people simply think they don’t yet make economic or practical sense, unless battery technology undergoes another revolution and the costs come down.

Before the 2015 Paris Conference, countries were asked to submit their ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ (INDCs) up to 2030 to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. However analysis of the INDCs shows that almost all of the high-emitting developing economies expected to raise their CO2 emissions significantly by 2030. China will double its emissions and India will treble them. Russia, the fourth largest emitter, was proposing to increase emissions substantially, whilst Japan, the fifth largest emitter, is planning to build more coal-fired plants.

There are 1.1billion petrol/diesel vehicles in the world and only 34.7million cars in Britain responsible for comparatively tiny carbon emissions, yet UK politicians, especially the SNP, think they can ‘save the planet’ by further curbing these emissions. Reminder: the UK as a whole is responsible for 1.3 per cent of global emissions, Scotland for 0.13 per cent. Only a handful of governments including Westminster and Holyrood – those with the lowest emissions – have legally binding Climate Change Acts. Other countries have made obscure promises which many may have no intention of honouring and seem highly unlikely to do so.

Which all makes you wonder about the brain capacity of our politicians when they are so easily manipulated by the green lobby.

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Clark Cross
Clark Cross
Clark Cross is a retired chartered accountant, finance director and managing director. He lives in Scotland.

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