Electric cars. Not the saviours some people might think they are.
Tesla changed the way the market looks at EVs

Electric cars. Not the saviours some people might think they are

There is no escaping the fact electric cars are the future. The main reason for this is because they will save the environment. I am kidding of course. It’s money. No one cares about the environment. No one in government at least.

I am getting very tired of all the talk around electric cars. Just last week the EU approved the definitive ban on combustion engines from 2035. In the middle of the biggest inflation problem we have ever had and when a war is raging in Europe. It would be funny if it wasn’t tragic.

Why are we banning a technology that can get a lot less pollutant (synthetic fuels anyone?) in order to make way for one that is a disaster, both in environmental and human rights terms?

And why, oh why, are we banning society’s main mean of transportation and encouraging people to keep flying and taking cruises around the world for touristic purposes? Do people really prefer to go to a different country to catch some sun than visit their loved ones 100km away and get back home at the end of the day? Somehow, I doubt it.

The problem is politicians live on borrowed time so it is quite likely that their most important decisions – for good or bad – will only ever be felt when they are no longer in power. The electric car is a point in case. It’s a trend. How many people actually bought one because they felt they were saving the planet?

And where did they get the information that made them decide this was, in fact, the best solution? You know what the best solution is? Everyone keeping the car they have and maintaining it properly – now that would be great for the environment. No more resources used in producing new cars and no need to scrap old ones.

But how would the economy survive? Simple: it wouldn’t. The car industry and everything around it is too big – so big in fact that if it were a country, it would be the sixth-largest economy in the world. So clearly a compromise is needed. New cars must always exist and pollute less than the ones they replace. But this idea that just because an electric car is not emitting any CO2 when it is moving and, therefore, is the saviour we need, is just plain ridiculous.

Electric cars. Not the saviours some people might think they are.
Can synthetic fuels be the better solution for keeping ICE cars on the road?

It uses a lot more resources to be produced in the first place. No one talks about this of course. Second, where are we getting the rare metals needed for the batteries? Oh, that’s right, from mines in Africa where slave labour should be a thing of the past. Absolutely no one talks about this.

You know what else intensive mining does besides destroying the lives of all of those forced to work on them? It pollutes the underground water beds – you know, the water we need to drink and survive. So, to save the atmosphere we give up on water. Good decision.

Put together all the ships sailing on Portuguese waters at any given moment and they pollute 84 times more – yes reader, EIGHTY FOUR – than all the cars on the road in Portugal at that time. But let’s all buy a car that goes 300km and must stop for 30 min to be recharged, shall we? If there is not a line in the only charger available of course.

I read a study that if all cars in Texas were hybrid or electric, the American state would need 30% more electricity than it does today or the same increase as building another 11 million homes. Now extrapolate that to the rest of the world – even adjusting for many differences that will inevitably exist from country to country and does it still seem feasible that we are going to live on electricity alone without starting to build nuclear plants all around the globe? Not likely.

But when that time comes I can see the politicians going: ‘hey, my predecessor banned combustion engines; what can I do but find a way to power electric cars and still keep the TVs and refrigerators on?’

Now I can see the eco-warriors ripping this page and calling me names but why? I am with them. I want my 11-year old daughter and 8-year old son to have a planet they can actually inhabit, but this is clearly not the way forward. If the leaders of the free world would say: we cannot ban the internal combustion engine because we simply don’t know what to do next they would surely not be in power anymore. And they do like their power.

But I do wonder where we would be today if all the money governments and car makers have poured into electric cars had been used to develop synthetic fuels. I am certain we would be in a better place. It’s all about money, all the time. Even Norway, the only country where EVs outsell ICE cars. Why? Because it’s the only country where they are cheaper. Money, money, money.

And, just to add insult to injury, an electric car will rob you of a large part of your freedom. To go anywhere you want whenever you want. To be bold and adventurous. To be spontaneous. Not with an electric car you are not.

Good thing the page is over too. I was going to enter the realm of fun, of sound. The smell of petrol. The pleasure of shifting gears. We have created machines that have become works of art, that have become an enormous part of our culture. And now we drive around in sterile computers because we let the Man convince us we are doing the planet good. It’s a lie, is what it is.

ByGuilherme Marques