The Electric Car And The Law Of Unintended Consequences

Planet Gore at National Review has a post about the adventures of someone who has driven an electric car.  He points out that once your lithium battery runs down, you have ‘a tiny engine pulling a big car with a dead battery–you’ll be the worst car on the road.’

The friend of the writer recounds his adventures in a Telsa roadster:

“After a few days of motoring around without recharging, I drove to San Francisco to conduct some interviews and suddenly realized that I had only forty miles left on the battery’s original 240-mile charge. So I drove to my sister’s house and plugged the car into a 110-volt outlet in her garage. Two hours later, the car had gained nine miles. On Highway 101 back to Menlo Park, I eyed the gauge the whole way, trying to suss out the optimal energy-conserving speed. . . . When I arrived at my hotel and left the car in its parking lot, which, like almost all the world’s parking lots at the moment, lacks charging equipment, I had nine miles to spare: exactly the amount I’d gained through my sister’s outlet. The next morning, magically, the car’s battery had gained eight more miles. This seemed worrisome, somehow.”

There is an entire infrastructure that we will have to redo in order to move away from the gasoline engine.  Somewhere in the process, we need to realize that electricity is energy too.  Consider the fact that according to Energy Information Administration, in the past two years half of our electricity has come from coal.  With this fact in mind, does an electric car produce any less total pollution that a gasoline-powered car?