The Issues & Insights editorial board wrote a piece called, “EVs are Evil” in which they summarized their case that “It’s time for those of us who drive gasoline-powered cars to take pride in the fact that our vehicles are safe, efficient, reliable, and don’t require ritual human sacrifices to build.”
- EVs are environmental rapists. According to World Atlas, mining and ore processing is the second most polluting industry in the world. Mining and refining the minerals needed to make EV batteries requires thousands of square miles of land. One EV battery requires that somebody dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust:
- 30 pounds of cobalt, which requires 30,000 pounds of ore.
- 60 pounds of nickel, which requires 5,000 pounds of ore.
- 200 pounds of copper, which requires 25,000 pounds of ore.
- EVs are elitist. The lithium, cobalt, graphite, and rare earth minerals needed to make EV batteries mostly come from places such as China, Congo, Indonesia, Iran, and other countries that are noted for gross human rights violations, and are often mined and produced using forced and child labor. A young widow in D.R. Congo said she had suffered two miscarriages and that her husband, a fellow miner, had died of a respiratory disease. “I thank God for taking my babies. Here it is better not to be born.”
- EVs cause hunger and thirst. In addition, mining and refining the minerals needed to make EV batteries requires massive amounts of water. For example, it takes 25,000 pounds of brine to refine enough lithium for a single battery. “It is hypocritical to say we are here with these electric vehicles to solve our climate problems if, in making them, we contaminate a community’s drinking water or dry up the irrigation wells they rely on.” – Aimee Boulanger, executive director of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance.
- EVs use large amounts of aluminum to reduce weight. A class action lawsuit is currently pending against a bauxite mining company that supplies Ford’s EVs for polluting the water, causing cancer, hair loss, neurological dysfunction, birth defects, and increased mortality. In Indonesia, where nickel for EV batteries is largely produced, the air and water pollution are causing respiratory problems, sickness, and eye injuries and destroying forests and fisheries.
- EVs aren’t “zero emissions” vehicles. Building them requires millions of gallons of oil and fuel, resulting in far more CO2 emissions than in the production of conventional cars. And while operating them seems fume-free, in fact it just moves the emissions elsewhere. One study found that, depending on the fuel used by the power plants in a given area, EVs may result in more CO2 per mile than conventional vehicles.
- EVs aren’t cheaper. They cost a lot more to buy, a lot more to maintain, and they may cost as much or more to operate, depending on the relative costs of electricity and gasoline in a given time and place.
- EVs are creating environmental problems of their own. They have a disturbing tendency to burst into flames and emit toxins while in use and there is a looming problem of what to do with the mountain of used lithium-ion batteries that will soon pile up. According to World Atlas, disposal of used batteries is the number one most polluting industry in the world.