an example of my dream truck. I am a rural girl at heart.
(Nissan LEAF)You don't have to give up your car-dependancy lifestyle- just plug 'er in! Guilt and carbon-free!
Except... is it really that simple?
According to Ecoholic, the average car produces between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds of climate-changing carbon dioxide every year. Along with carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and hydrocarbons this toxic mess contribute in a big way to "smog" (which kills thousands a year in large cities).
The Nissan LEAF (recently introduced in Canada) has a grand total of ZERO emissions while operating. If we switched the majority of cars to electric vehicles we'd be saving our lungs from breathing in thousands upon thousands of pounds of toxins.
Beyond all the logistical "arguments" that I've heard (cost and lifespan of lithium battery, charging stations and infrastructure) which all have fabulous answers (at the end of the lifespan of the battery, 8-10 years, batteries will be cheaper, customer demand will result in infrastructure plus you can charge the car in a 120 voltage outlet anyway), there are some pretty serious *big picture* issues that need to be honestly addressed.
We are much too dependant on single occupant vehicle transportation. Despite all the progress with electric vehicles, the industry still needs quite a bit of research (longer lasting, more easily accessible and cheaper batteries, infrastructure etc) and lets be honest; the industry will take a good 10 years to make a significant switch. Do we really have 10 years to keep on our merry, polluting way?
It's concerning that so much energy be placed on the electric car as our climate change saviour- but at some distant future. Instead, our government could be encouraging use and improving public transportation and/or bicycle lanes. If the average driver travels less than 60 km a day, than a public transportation system that was efficient, clean and reliable would do just the trick.
Finally... we do conveniently forget where that electricity comes from. In Nova Scotia, most of the electricity is generated from coal plants. Although other provinces have better track records (New Brunswick actually has a few nuclear, zero emission, plants), we're far from "clean" energy.
(for a fantastic discussion on this topic, head over to radio-canada's Christiane Charette with Pierre Olivier-Pineau, professor at HEC and expert in energy politics as well as co-founder of Quebec's Green Party, Daniel Breton. The catch? It's in French...)
I am not anti-electric car by a long shot. I'm looking forward to the day when Andrew and I will have a single vehicle family electric car. However, the tempting lure of a miracle pill that would allow my lazy bum to continue driving, continue consuming is too misleading. A mirage in our floundering climate desert.
Start bicycling, start walking.
article copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com