By George Dyke…..
On September 1, 2022 I wrote an editorial piece in our monthly Club newsletter about the push towards electric vehicles.
To stir some interest, I started it half-jokingly saying;
It’s nice to know that I’m as smart as Elon Musk, if not as rich. Elon was in Norway last Monday at an energy conference and profoundly said; “At this time, we actually need more oil and gas, not less. Realistically I think we need to use oil and gas in the short term, because otherwise civilization will crumble.”
I went on to cite that with Russia burning off the gas it would typically be pipelining to Europe, and in North America oil and gas initiatives all but cancelled, perhaps now the world will come to realize that having humans living in a truly green self-sustaining manner on this planet cannot be achieved by over-zealous politicians and the media trying to force EV’s on us.
I pointed out that new internal combustion engine cars can be very fuel efficient. The other day I was driving a brand new gas-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee and got 7.8L/100kms fuel economy. Pretty impressive from a large SUV. My friend has a V6 powered Dodge RAM Pick-up that gets 9.5 L/100kms highway driving and 12.6 in the city. (Kudos to Stellantis.)
Considering the relatively clean emissions emitted from new ICE vehicles these days, one has to wonder why there is a huge push to extract rare earth metals to power new EVs when forecasts predict at best there is a 100 year supply of these metals at projected consumption rates? Factor in the substantive carbon footprint resulting from extracting them and then consider — where do future generations go from there? I’ve maintained all along that fossil fuel still has legs.
In closing I said:
Alas, as classic Citroën owners we are, for better or worse, in the midst of the phase out of ICE vehicles. Probably not completely in my lifetime and if civilization is to survive the transition to ‘green’, keeping a few innovative vehicles from the past operational to educate and inspire future generations may well be a worthwhile objective. As long as there is gas at the pumps, I’ll be doing my part.”
Despite also saying in the editorial that I am all for developing energy alternatives to regular use fossil fuel vehicles, I got a response from a member in California saying:
Your email on climate change was an outrage!
I presume he was rather perturbed by the electricity rationing in the state and is on-board with California’s push to “go green” by banning the sale of internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035. Or maybe he was upset because he couldn’t charge his Tesla…
Other feedback included somewhat more con-curative comments like;
“The reason the government is pushing EVs is money. Imagine the US government is subsidizing the business of the world’s richest individual. Oh, and it will crater the economy in about 5-6 years.”
And there was this thoughtful response from a Citroënvie member in France who is suffering through the heatwave there:
I know your hesitations with electric cars and I share/disagree with some of them.
First off, they should have started slowly.
To me an electric car was to lower pollution. So in cities they make complete sense. No need for long range BUT, here’s the problem:
Where do you plug them in? Great for me living in the country, in a city? What if an entire apartment complex has only electric cars?
Where is the infra structure? They put the horse before the cart. Like I said, they should have started slow.
Replace those machines that do not need infinite range first. So, scooters, mopeds, lawnmowers, motorcycles (just think of their noise pollution! – eliminated!).
And especially of those here no license required French lawnmowers with seats! Most to the afore mentioned would be small enough where you could just replace their battery with a fresh one. (And extend the range if needed).
Delivery trucks, postal trucks, all of these would go back to their garages where they could be plugged in to serve another day.
Now imagine that all those apartment dwellers actually have a place to plug in (and that they actually work!). (and that you don’t trip over them).
Now having a little bit of mischievous bones in my body, what is to prevent some wise guy from unplugging them (or worse cutting them) during the night. Next morning … oops – no range!
What is great is that we are dialoguing, and hopefully will take a balanced course of action to sustain civilization. We’ll see how this plays out for those of us that own classic Citroens and, of course, would like see mankind (oops, not woke — make that personkind) survive.