The green movement is pushing electric cars as the key to saving the environment, and they really want to get Americans into these cars. The federal government is offering tax incentives for electric car purchases, two states--California and Washington--are moving to mandate all new cars be electric within 15 years, and the Paris Climate Accords would require 90% of U.S. cars be electric by 2050. Even iconic Matchbox cars are releasing a toy electric car set.
However, this full-court press on electric cars leaves out some inconvenient truths, like what to do with all those dead lithium-ion batteries in 10-15 years. They contain hazardous materials and can't just be thrown away.
Nick Loris, energy and environmental policy expert at the Heritage Foundation, says the battery issue is only one of many questions. "We really need to examine the entire life cycle of the car, from emissions to all the environmental considerations, from making a battery, to how to plug in electric vehicles," he tells KTRH.
"From the mining extraction process (to get the materials for powering the car), all the way to battery disposal and preventing these batteries from leaking into the soil, there are a lot of environmental considerations."
When it comes to the promise of electric vehicles, Loris believes the public is largely being misled. "The implication that (electric cars) are somehow going to be an environmental savior or a climate savior doesn't take into consideration all of those environmental costs," he says. "Thinking that this is going to help get us to a net-zero emissions goal by 2030 is kind of pulling the wool over the American public's eyes."