Article_Opinion, Energy, Electricity/Gas Utilities, Electric Power Generation, Motor Vehicles, Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Retail/Wholesale, Gasoline/Service Stations, Specialty Retailing, Automotive

Article_Opinion, Energy

Opinion: The unintended harm of subsidizing electric vehicles and charging stations

OPINION: Subsidizing electric vehicles creates unintended consequences that harm the environment.

7/23/2021 1:15:00 PM

OPINION: Subsidizing electric vehicles creates unintended consequences that harm the environment.

Rather than building charging stations or paying people to buy EVs, governments could do more to reduce emissions by just making gasoline cars and trucks...

The Biden-Harris administration is seeking $174 billion in federal government support to build EV charging infrastructure and increase consumer EV adoption. It also seeks to bolster domestic production of inputs along the EV supply chain—particularly advanced batteries. This plan amounts to what may be the largest government intervention in U.S. industrial history.

Early Facebook investor: “What we need are criminal investigations” Olivia Rodrigo Plays Her 'First Show' at 2021 iHeartRadio Music Festival: Watch A plumber sang with the radio as he fixed a bathroom. His client overheard and gave him a record deal.

However, in 2019 only 2% of vehicles sold in the U.S. were electric. We still have a lot to learn about the ability of electric vehicles to meet our transportation and climate needs, and there are risks in moving to artificially inflate EV demand while uncertainties remain about the ultimate climate benefits.

Driving a mile in an electric vehicle can be worse for the climate in cold weather locations where coal is the marginal source of electricity generation.The Facts: The pollution footprint of electric vehicles is determined by how the electricity that powers them is generated. In the U.S., 60% of electricity production is from burning fossil fuels (compared with 58% globally). Moreover, coal and gas generation are likely to be “on the margin” in most of the U.S.—that is, when an electric vehicle is plugged in, coal and gas are the primary fuel sources generating that charge.

This is particularly damaging when it’s coal since the resultant pollutants such as sulfur dioxide seriously impact the health of communities downwind of the power plants. In some cases, the health damages associated with electricity generation far outweigh the health benefits of reducing tailpipe emissions. The grid is getting cleaner, shrinking the pollution gap, but those changes take time. Fortunately, so far, most EV adoption has happened where the grid is relatively clean (e.g., California).

“ In areas where electricity is generated from fossil fuels, EV subsidies send the wrong signal: “Here’s $7,500 to buy a car that you should feel free to charge using cheap coal electricity.” ”Charging an electric vehicle in colder environments can emit more CO2 than driving an equivalent gasoline car. Scientists have known for years that ambient temperature can dramatically affect the battery range of electric vehicles. One main reason is that battery charging is less efficient in cold temperatures, with energy losses between 15% and 20% at 19°F. Furthermore, EV heating and cooling is drawn from the same battery as EV propulsion, so when the temperature is cold, the battery range can be reduced by as much as 25% to 60%. In places such as Minneapolis, where winters are cold and coal is the marginal source of electricity generation, driving a mile in an electric vehicle can be worse for the climate than driving a gasoline car.

The transition to a renewable electricity grid is still in its early stages, and barriers remain. While some consider a transition to 100% renewables within reach, others point to the technological advancements still required. As widespread power outages in California in 2020 and Texas in 2021 demonstrate, maintaining a reliable electricity grid is already a challenge. Making the grid cleaner requires shifting away from coal, but some steady sources of electricity remain necessary since wind and solar power produce electricity only when nature allows.

Achieving 50% or 75% renewables would dramatically improve the emissions footprint of electric vehicles while still allowing natural gas to be used as a steady “bridge” fuel. But under that scenario, electric vehicles still generate emissions. Large-scale electricity storage is necessary to complete the transition to a zero-emissions grid, and it’s not yet economically viable at the required scale.

Rihanna's 'Savage x Fenty Vol. 3' Show Will Feature Nas, Normani, Ricky Martin & More Performers Selma Blair says she might act again after going into 'remission' from multiple sclerosis Haitians on Texas border undeterred by US plan to expel them

“ Climate-motivated governments should give priority to more proven alternatives to addressing carbon abatement—foremost among them, a substantial price on carbon. ”New electric vehicles do not necessarily replace driving in gasoline-powered cars. Electric vehicles offer emissions benefits if (and only if) they reduce driving in dirtier cars. New research by myself and my co-authors shows that electric vehicles in Northern California charge at home less than half as much as regulators anticipated. Those electric vehicles are likely driven substantially less than gasoline cars, but there is room for debate, and more direct measurements of EV odometers and away-from-home charging are needed to be sure.

We also find that, on average, households do not give up their gasoline car when they purchase an electric vehicle—the EV is an “extra” car 98% of the time. In contrast, when households buy a gasoline car, it replaces another car in four out of 10 cases (see chart). If miles driven in electric vehicles are not displacing gasoline miles, that matters for carbon reduction.

Subsidizing electric vehicles creates unintended consequences that harm the environment. An optimal policy would reduce the number of cars on the road; EV subsidies do the opposite by making electric vehicles cheaper while leaving the price of gasoline cars the same. In areas where electricity is generated from fossil fuels, EV subsidies send the wrong signal: “Here’s $7,500 to buy a car that you should feel free to charge using cheap coal electricity.” Drivers respond to these signals, both in terms of the cars they buy and the amount they drive. If the overall goal is to reduce pollution, EV subsidies are not the best way forward.

Subsidizing EV charging infrastructure may or may not encourage EV adoption. EV purchase subsidies are expensive, so policy makers hope that subsidizing charging infrastructure will also accelerate the transition to electric vehicles. While this strategy may work, we have yet to see the evidence. Attempts to estimate the effect of charging infrastructure on EV adoption are fraught with a challenging “chicken and egg” problem. Are charging stations built in areas with lots of electric vehicles? Or do people buy electric vehicles because there’s a dense network of nearby charging stations? Reputable researchers have attempted to answer this question (here and here); however, they are forced to rely on strong assumptions to reach their conclusions. Near-term EV infrastructure investments should be formulated in a way that allows researchers to tease out this causal link.

Increasing the cost of polluting is the best policy for reducing excess emissions. Economists overwhelmingly support putting a price on carbon. When the price of polluting is higher, it pushes consumers and firms to find cleaner alternatives—including alternatives that don’t exist yet in the market. In the context of transportation, a carbon tax would make it more expensive to buy and drive gasoline cars and to charge electric vehicles in cold climates powered by coal. The end result is fewer cars on the road that are powered by polluting energy sources.

In short, the “right” carbon price produces incentives that align private decisions with environmental protection. (And as an added benefit, carbon taxes can be progressive and enhance environmental justice.)Norway offers an example of EV policy that reduces emissions. First, increasing purchases and use of electric vehicles in Norway means reduced emissions because they draw electricity from the country’s grid that is 98% renewable (mostly hydroelectric). Second, the centerpiece of Norwegian policy is to make gasoline cars more expensive. Gasoline cars are subject to a carbon tax, weight tax, and 25% sales tax. These can add up to a roughly 50% tax rate, while EVs are completely exempt. There are plenty of soft incentives as well, from cheaper parking to reduced tolls and access to public transit lanes.

Elon Musk pledges $50 million to Inspiration4 fundraiser for St. Jude, exceeding $200 million goal Photos show North Korea expanding uranium enrichment plant Norway To Create 10 New National Parks

Is this replicable? In some ways, perhaps. But most countries (including the U.S.) lag far behind Norway in their financial disincentives for gasoline cars and do not have the ready access to clean energy that Norway enjoys.What this Means: Electric vehicles will likely be a large part of the transportation future, and to the extent that they produce inexpensive carbon reduction, we should move in their direction.

But the EV transition is far from risk-free, and there are many important and unanswered questions about how hard and how fast to push. How quickly will we transition to clean electricity (and, by extension, reduce the carbon footprint of electric vehicles)? How quickly will batteries improve? How desirable will EVs be to the average consumer? What’s the appropriate number of EV charging stations, and where should they be located? What alternative methods of carbon reduction exist or will exist in the future?

Because there are no clear and decisive answers to most of these questions, climate-motivated governments should give priority to more proven alternatives to addressing carbon abatement—foremost among them, a substantial price on carbon.David Rapson is an associate professor of economics at the University of California Davis. His research focuses on industrial organization, energy, and the environment. Follow him on Twitter @rapsonenergy.

This commentary was originally published by Econofact—Is It Time to Go “All In” on Electric Vehicles?More on climate change Senate Democrats announce $3.5 trillion budget agreementFire crews make progress against some blazes in West as heat wave peaks

Read more: MarketWatch »

Mj Rodriguez Becomes First Trans Woman Up for Major Acting Emmy

The category is: making history. Mj Rodriguez has become the first transgender performer to pick up an Emmy nomination in a major acting category. Rodriguez is nominated in the lead drama actress c…

Society has screwed the pooch in pushing for all electric way before the energy storage problem has been solved. we really should have moved to only hybrids that use FF to generate the vehicles power under the hood not in a coal fired plant. this would have driven better batrys good

Tesla lobbies India for sharply lower import taxes on electric vehicles -sourcesTesla Inc (TSLA.O) has written to Indian ministries seeking a big reduction in import duties on electric vehicles (EVs), a move it says will boost demand and generate revenue for the government, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Tesla plans to open its charging network to other EVs later this yearTesla Inc (TSLA.O) plans to open its network of superchargers to other electric vehicles later this year, Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Twitter. More revenue for $tesla, imagine owning every gas stations for these polluting OEM $ford $GM $VW Remember the VHS versus Betamax video wars? There should be one standard charging station spec for all electric vehicles.

Shares of Australian miner BHP jump 3% after news of nickel supply deal with Tesla'Demand for nickel in batteries is estimated to grow by over 500 per cent over the next decade, in large part to support the world's rising demand for electric vehicles,' BHP said. good luck Elon Musk said in TheBword 'I hold a lot of Doge, BTC; Tesla-SpaceX, Starlink are all big investments, if it drops we lose money, We don't sell and we Pump...'. DogeCoin will increase by $5 in 2021.

Mercedes-Benz Plans to Go All-Electric by End of DecadeMercedes-Benz said it is gearing up to go all-electric by the end of the decade, announcing that it plans to invest more than $47 billion between 2022 and 2030 into battery electric vehicles good luck Wow, we are actually trying to change Good for eco-friendly future.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Says He Personally Owns Bitcoin—and So Does SpaceXElon Musk says he wants to ensure bitcoin mining uses more renewable energy before the electric-vehicle maker resumes accepting the cryptocurrency What type of renewable energy do rockets into space use? nice musk giving that princess diana look

Hitachi ABB Power Grids BrandVoice: The Carbon-Neutral Future Is ElectricThree building blocks are stacking up to deliver the carbon-neutral electric future. HitachiPG Except we don’t want a carbon neutral future. Idiots.