Why I will never buy an electric car


Plus, it’s improper to blame the car for the dirty power plant. That power plant is also running your lights and TV. It doesn’t mean we point at GE and say we’ll never buy their products because we can’t power them with clean energy.

Put another way, if the power company were to change over from coal to solar tomorrow, and you were still driving your gas car, then you’re still causing pollution by driving.

If you buy an electric car, and the power company changes over to solar down the road, then at some point you will stop causing pollution by driving.

I try to improve what I can improve. Driving an electric car would mean I wasn’t directly using a limited, polluting fossil fuel. If the power company insists on using old polluting technology, then I find that irritating, but there’s not really anything I can do about it, and they are going to be running that old polluting technology whether I drive a Tesla or a Taurus.


No, if the hydro power is running at full capacity, all pf the power used to charge a car is 100% “dirty” power and the more cars you charge off the grid, the more :dirty power you will need.

If a grid is running with 90$ hydro and 10% coal, you could consider it being charged by 90% clean energy but not if the hydro is not running at full capacity. If the hydro is not running at full capacity, why would you be bringing in any coal power?


Sure, if our power grid had unlimited transmission capability, and if we had unlimited solar power. Don’t forget, battery production and use also pollutes and the weight of battery powered cars adds to power requirements. Battery charging also adds to pollution (acid fumes anyone?)


I realistically don’t have more than 10 years to live and who knows how long to drive. I will only be dealing with the technology we have now and having your only car be an electric would be ludicrous.


Entirely correct. We only have 5 billion years left before the sun switches to burning helium and we can’t use it for solar power anymore because it will have expanded and swallowed the Earth.

But until then!

Look, I appreciate what you’re saying, but the “well the new thing isn’t 100% perfect and therefore we should keep doing this thing that’s 50 times worse” argument is just not convincing to me. If we followed that logic all the time, we’d all still be traveling via horses pulling unsprung buckboards.

I’m not, for the record, suggesting that you’re doing wrong if you don’t run out and buy an electric car right now. But those that can and choose to, are moving us in the direction of a more responsible future, and that’s a good thing even if you have valid and understandable reasons for not participating.


You are acting like we have unlimited land to dedicate to solar power. Solar panel production has dropped by 50% in the last year because the numbers just don’t work even with government subsidies. I understand solar power not working well around where I live because we are a low sunlight area in our long cloud covered winter, but why do you see so little solar activity in Florida?


I know we don’t, but when you put solar panels on your roof, like my mother’s neighbor did, you don’t take up extra square footage with them. Nobody expects us to take up valuable space with solar panels when they can be mounted on rooftops.


You’re describing a hypothetical scenario where the hydroelectric power plant is running at capacity, and one electric vehicle causes a fossil fuel power plant to ramp up. Do you know how unlikely that scenario is?

In reality, each person is already getting power from multiple sources. Mine mostly comes from a natural gas power plant, but a small percentage of it comes from solar. To blame an electric car for one part of the power generation while ignoring the other part would be inaccurate, especially if you have to spin an extremely unlikely hypothetical scenario in the process.

This is where Florida Power and Light gets its power:



One car was given as a thought example, in reality if we are going to change to electric cars it would eventually be millions. If the hydro component of our electrical supply is limited, then adding significant additional loads will be non hydro. You can attribute the additional loads in the same proportions to all users but it does not change the reality that all additional loads beyond the hydro capacity will call for the addition of non hydro power in the exact amount of the additional loads.


Which hydroelectric power plants already operate at peak capacity 24/7?


The Niagara Power Project is only allowed to divert so much water from the falls. It generates electricity for 1 cent a KWH and sells most of it to downstate factories for 2 or 3 cents a KWH. on the way downstate it goes right behind my house. My electric bills with all the taxes fees and surcharges average about 16 cents a KWH.
I don’t know if hydro power plants run at full capacity 24’7, it would make sense for them to barring maintenance requirements because it is far the cheapest electric power.

Are electric vehicles only be charged at off peak hours? That would make for really long trips. We have no peak or non peak pricing here so you might as well plug in your car when it is convenient.


I’m actually not a huge advocate for hydro. I like it better than coal, of course, but it causes its own problems (increasing water temperature which, as I’ve learned from being married to a fish enthusiast, is bad because fish can be hyper-sensitive to environmental changes, etc).

But as @Whitey noted above, we kind of do have virtually unlimited potential for solar, because anywhere we have a building, we have a roof that accommodate solar panels.

While it’s true that there are places where solar is impractical, there are an awful lot of places where it is.

I’d be interested to see your source that solar panel production has dropped 50%. I did find one trade source that said solar tax incentives dropped by 50% concurrent to installations increasing by 300%…


One of the biggest obstacles to hydro, and now increasingly wind power is the political opposition to new dams and wind farms. I don’t foresee any significant hydro expansion in the future.


There is ongoing engineering research being done on underwater tidal turbines.


Quite true. In Canada however, in those provinces with predominantly hydro, they export excess power to the carbon-based generators. In those provinces electric cars are truly green. Politicians and environmentalists conveniently overlook those facts. and promote green cars across the country.

If the entire US car fleet went electric, numerous new coal and gas fired plants would have to be built to supply the electric energy needed. A gas fired plant emits about half the carbon of a coal fired plant for the same amount of energy generated.

I only true benefit I see for electric cars is cleaner urban air since any pollution (not CO2) generated is far from city centers.


One thing about solar is that it doesn’t have to be high tech. Homes can be heated and hot water can be produced without turning that sunlight into electricity first.


The future of course will see a mix of various technologies. Some homes will be completely clad in solar panels and have big batteries in their basements that will charge up the electric vehicles and power the house as well. In areas will lots of sunshine the electric utility will buy back excess power generated by the homeowner.

Before all this happens however, electric cars will put a severe demand on the electric grid throughout the country since governments are over promoting electric cars and not paying enough attention to home generation.




I see the link I posted did not work, Just Google “slump in solar sales” and you will see plenty of articles.

The 50% drop quote came from a long article in the Buffalo News about our local Solar City/Tesla/Panasonic plant and the 50% reference pertained to the industry, not Solar City.


I was able to get your link to work ( https://www.sma-south-africa.com/newsroom/current-news/news-details/news/3600-effects-of-the-market-slump-in-china-negatively-impact-sales-and-results-of-sma-solar-technolog.html ) but it’s not the Buffalo News - it’s a press release from the South African division of a German solar company… I’m guessing that’s not what you wanted me to read. :wink: