Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to LA Times, a “disturbing” number of used vehicles are exported to poor countries. To fix climate change, manufacture, sale and export of gas guzzlers should be stopped.
Editorial: To save the planet from climate change, gas guzzlers have to die
By THE TIMES EDITORIAL BOARDMARCH 1, 2021 3 AM PT
The numbers paint a daunting picture. In 2019, consumers worldwide bought 64 million new personal cars and 27 million new commercial motor vehicles, a paltry 2.1 million of which were electric-powered. Climate scientists tell us that we have less than a decade to make meaningful reductions in carbon emissions — including those from internal combustion engines — if we have any hope of staving off the worst effects of global warming.
Yet manufacturers are still making, and consumers are still buying, overwhelming numbers of vehicles that will, on average, continue to spew carbon into the atmosphere for a dozen years after they first leave the lot. That means new cars bought this year will still be on the road well into the 2030s — long after the point when we should have slashed emissions.
Such a switch will have its biggest impacts in the U.S. — particularly car-heavy California, where transportation accounts for 47% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Globally, transportation is responsible for only 15% of overall emissions; the main culprit is energy production, including onsite burning of fossil fuels by industries, which accounts for nearly half. Such disparities in the sources of carbon emissions spotlight why an array of global policies are necessary. No single solution will get us to where we need to be.
Much more needs to be done, though, beginning with policies and programs for getting rid of the gas burners already on the road. A disturbingly high number of used vehicles wind up getting exported from the U.S., Europe and Japan to developing nations, where few regulations may govern safety and emissions. While those countries’ need for transportation is clear, it makes little sense to meet that demand with vehicles that will continue contributing to a global emissions problem, and that in many cases wouldn’t pass safety inspections in their exporting countries.
…Read more: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2021-03-01/editorial-to-save-the-planet-from-climate-change-gas-guzzlers-have-to-die
People in poor countries purchase second hand vehicles because they can’t afford anything else. They certainly cannot afford electric vehicles.
Banning vehicle exports to poor countries would force them to build their own, likely using simple solutions like 1950s technology, whatever they could put together in their workshops. Just like all those old vehicles maintained well past normal end of life by people in Cuba. I doubt this would lead to a reduction in global emissions.
As for say California going all electric, it simply isn’t practical. In 2019 Black Friday there was a half mile queue for an EV recharging station in Kettleman City. Despite Kettleman City at the time having 40 charging stations, the station couldn’t maintain maximum supply to all the charging points.
Tesla’s fast chargers deliver up to a quarter of a megawatt, though this tails off very quickly if you want an 80% charge (45 minutes), because when recharging the battery gets hot, and a quarter megawatt of heat is not easy to dissipate. But think about what this means if you have 40 chargers operating simultaneously :-
0.25MW x 40 = 10 Megawatts of power.
That’s a lot of electricity – enough to power 5000 homes. Just for one charging station, operating at full capacity.
The California electric grid can barely service current requirements – so where will California find 10s of gigawatts of extra power, to recharge a 100% statewide EV fleet?
Compare this to a gasoline filling station, which is essentially just a big underground gasoline tank and a pump. Gasoline pumping stations deliver power to vehicles at an even faster rate, but since the power is conveniently stored in liquid form, its much easier and cheaper to handle and deliver.
My point is, without some major breakthroughs, all electric national vehicle fleets are just as much of a fantasy as the rest of the green package of climate “solutions”.