It is at least indicative of the scale and speed at which we must move, even if ‘green cars’ are something of an oxymoron. This would not reduce the problem pictured below for example if it were simply a matter of swapping one kind of car from another.
More generally, electric cars will still need roads, driveways, parking lots, parking meters, traffic signals, street lighting, wardens, insurance systems, court time, and much more. Then there’s still that little problem of induced demand. Suburban sprawl will still be suburban sprawl with all its costs, even its inhabitants get around by electric cars.
If one of these wonder vehicles were to knock me down, I am not sure that I would feel that much better knowing that it was powered by giant HEP schemes or vast monocultural solar farms. Still, if one were to run over me, I suppose I wouldn’t be lying there worrying about any nickel, cobalt, lithium etc that might be in the battery and how they were mined and processed.
There could be a genuine role for new generations of electric cars but on a comparatively modest scale. Private mass motoring is doomed! Sustainability requires a different vision to reformed ‘business-as-usual’ and different policies. The problem is bigger than just a bit of dirt in an otherwise healthy engine. Revealingly, the Dutch government and most MPs there seem to assume on-going physical growth. The last time I looked, the planet was not getting any bigger.