Electric vehicles’ benefits to reducing carbon emission compared to regular gas powered cars are virtually non-existent. A new report in USA Today points out that, contrary to popular views perpetuated by “green” activists, electric cars cost taxpayers a fortune and do little to cut CO2. After all, an electric car “shifts emissions to electricity production, with most coming from fossil fuels (meaning coal).
For example, over a Nissan Leaf’s 90,000-mile lifetime it will emit about 31 metric tons of CO2. That’s based on emissions from its production, electricity consumption at average U.S. fuel mix and its ultimate scrapping. USA Today reports that a comparable diesel Mercedes CDI A160 “over a similar lifetime will emit 3 tons more across its production, diesel consumption and ultimate scrapping.” Similarly, a top-line Tesla car will emit about 44 tons with a similar Audi A7 Quattro coming in at 5 tons less.
The electric car preforms slightly better in both match-ups. However, it’s not enough to make a difference especially when one considers the cost of electric cars (via tax breaks) to taxpayers. USA Today,
Avoiding 3 tons of CO2 would cost less than $27 on Europe’s emissions trading market. The annual benefit is about the cost of a cup of coffee. Yet U.S. taxpayers spend up to $7,500 in tax breaks for less than $27 of climate benefits. That’s a bad deal.
Moreover, according to new research from the National Academy of Science, coal-fired power pollutes a lot more than gasoline cars closer to home. In other words, the idea that electric cars lower air pollution because the coal emissions on which they depend are far away from city centers where most people live and damage from air pollution hits hardest is—simply put—ridiculous in the bigger picture.
Yet, despite the evidence, Jay Inslee still wants to spend a few million taxpayer dollars attempting to get more electric vehicles on the road through a scheme that’s already proven ineffective. Our green governor would like to extend the tax breaks for purchases of electric vehicles, which is set to expire this year. And, he would also like taxpayers to subsidize the installation of rapid-charging stations for private firms to operate and the ferry fares and tolls of electric car drivers.
As Shift reported, the incentives are unnecessary, favor mainly the wealthy, and are costly to the state’s taxpayers. Additionally, many of these incentives have failed in other states. Now we know that not only are the incentives of achieving the goal (more electric cars on the road) detrimental to taxpayers, but the goal itself is useless for reducing carbon emissions.