This Isn’t Good News For Those Pushing Electric Cars

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about emissions testing done on the Tesla Model 3.

The article reports:

A Tesla Model 3 is touted as a zero-emissions car by government regulators, but it actually results in more carbon dioxide than a comparable diesel-powered car, according to a recent study.

When the CO2 emissions from battery production is included, electric cars, like Teslas, are “in the best case, slightly higher than those of a diesel engine, and are otherwise much higher,” reads a release from the German think tank IFO.

…Driving a Tesla Model 3 in Germany, for example, is responsible for 156 to 181 grams of CO2 per kilometer, compared to just 141 grams per kilometer for a diesel-powered Mercedes C220d — that includes emissions from producing diesel fuel.

IFO looked at electric car production in Germany, which is heavily reliant on coal power. Electric car emissions in other countries depend on their energy mix, but Germany is the world’s third-largest electric car maker.

…Federal subsidies for Teslas are set to be phased out since the company, founded by Elon Musk, hit the 200,000-vehicle production cap. However, Congress is debating whether or not to extend electric car subsidies.

It’s not just battery production, but charging vehicles that emit lots of CO2. Germany gets 35 percent of its electricity from coal-fired power plants, so charging a Tesla in, say, Bavaria results in 83 grams of CO2 per kilometer driven.

The article concludes:

IFO isn’t the first research group to conclude electric cars might not reduce carbon dioxide emissions as promised.

A study released in 2018 also found driving electric cars might come with higher emissions than diesel vehicles, largely because of lithium-ion battery production.

Likewise, a Manhattan Institute study from 2018 also found putting more electric cars on the road would likely increase emissions compared to internal combustion engine vehicles.

We may eventually have a clean form of energy powering our cars. However, it is a pretty safe bet that the invention of that clean form of energy will come through the free market–not through government subsidies. Any time the government interferes in the free market, they slow down innovation. If the people who have the knowledge and curiosity to invent the next generation of cars are allowed to reap the rewards of their inventions, we will see those inventions. If the free market is allowed to flourish, innovation will follow.

When Government Interferes In The Free Market

There will probably come a time in the future when we are not driving cars with internal combustion engines. I don’t know when that time will come, but I know it will come when an alternatively-fueled car becomes practical and economical. We are not actually there yet.

On Friday the Washington Examiner posted an article stating that General Motors is temporarily laying off 1300 employees due to lack of sales of the Chevy Volt.

The article reports:

The car company had hoped to sell 45,000 Chevy Volts in America this year, according to the Detroit News, but has only sold about 1,626 over the first two months of 2012.

“GM blamed the lack of sales in January on “exaggerated” media reports and the federal government’s investigation into Volt batteries catching fire, which officially began in November and ended Jan. 21,” the Ann Arbor (Mich.) News reported.

Under President Obama’s proposed budget for next year, the government subsidy for people who purchase a Chevy Volt will be raised to $10,000. I am not sure that will pass or will help if it is passed. I suspect the only way to sell them is to drop the price to about $20,000, which is about what average people actually pay for a car. Meanwhile, I wish the auto bailout money had stayed in the taxpayers’ pockets. 

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