The Motor Law

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

It’s strange to find myself an uncle, with a country place – and an Orange Barchetta out in the garage.

My 1976 Trans-Am.

It is a relic from the ”better, vanished time” Rush sang about in their classic Libertarian rock hit of 1981, which was inspired by a short story written in 1973 by Richard S. Foster for Road & Track magazine, about a future in which saaaaaaaaaaaaafety mandates had turned new cars into – well, what they are today. Big Brothered, homogenized and no fun.

Older cars were banned by The Motor Law.

The Barchetta – redwood and leather, hot metal and oil and not an air bag to be found – is carefully hidden away and kept in full operational readiness by the white-haired uncle, who preserves it for his nephew as a piece of what was.

I’m not yet white-haired – and my niece isn’t quite old enough to appreciate the TA, much less drive it – but the prescience of that song – which I first heard before I learned how to drive – cuts awfully close to the bone.

There are Motor Laws – engine laws, to be technical about it – already on the books. Laws – in Europe, for now – limiting the use of cars powered by internal combustion engines in various areas, such as cities and outright forbidding their sale (as in France) beginning in 2030.

And there are laws here targeting engines in favor of motors. These include directly – such as laws in force in various state requiring the sale and so the manufacture of a certain number of electric cars (*which have motors, not engines) as well as obliquely – for the moment – via the sudden characterization of carbon dioxide as an “emission.”

This bait-and-switch (or shifting of the goal posts, if you prefer) had to happen because actual emissions from car engines – the stuff that created smog and acid rain and made people cough – have been reduced to nearly nil. About a third of all new cars qualify as Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles, meaning they emit almost nothing harmful to the air or the lungs.

This fact becomes increasingly difficult to hide from the public, despite the best efforts of the EPA – and the gross dereliction of the press.

Thus, a new pretext had to be ginned up to justify the strangulation by regulation of engines – which has been the conscious goal now for at least the past 20 years. Because it was 20 years ago – back in the mid-late 1990s – that the exhaust emissions problem was solved.

This – like the collapse of the old Soviet Union – created a new problem, one very different from the air quality problem which had existed back in the ’60s and ’70s but which no longer existed by the ’90s, because internal combustion engines had been dialed in so brilliantly by then that less than 3 percent of their exhaust byproduct was objectionable on air quality or public health grounds.

But the cars (and easy access to personal mobility they endowed the masses with) remained objectionable in certain quarters. The emissions regs were meant to kill them off – and almost did. Some of you reading this may recall what cars were like in the ’70s. But the engineers did the unexpected, the miraculous – and made them emit almost nothing by the ’90s – and did so while making them more powerful, more durable and more reliable.

Their success has been spectacular – and this is extremely unacceptable.

Another, related problem has been the collapse of the Peak Oil fraud – the long con of imminent energy scarcity – which was used to justify energy rationing.

At least for us.

This was done in the form of such things as the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) law – which decrees that new cars must average ever-higher mileage. The government, of course, exempting itself from such hardships.

The public seemed to accept the government doing this because of rising fuel prices, which suggested decreasing supply.

But the carny slipped up; the energy scarcity con collapsed. It became common knowledge that there was much more energy in the ground than the public had been led to believe there was. The price of gas went down, a sure barometer of this increase in supply. People began to question the need for energy rationing given the cost of a gallon of regular unleaded was  just over $2 a gallon, with 50 cents or more of that being just taxes.

No one talks about Peak Oil anymore, which has assumed its place adjacent to phrenology in the Encyclopedia of Silly Ideas.

Instead, they talk about climate change – the replacement con.

This is why, all of a sudden, energy rationing regimes have shifted gears and are justified as “emissions” reduction regimes. The “emissions” being, of course, carbon dioxide. Which cannot be chemically scrubbed or reduced in any way except by the rationing of energy.

This will include electric cars.

Not at first, but inevitably. They are being used as the pretext for the elimination of engines, which are in the process of being anathematized because they produce carbon dioxide “emissions.”

Well, so do electric cars.

Mr. Fusion has not yet been invented and until such a contrivance comes along, the production of electricity will also result in the creation of carbon dioxide “emissions.” These “emissions” are centrally emitted rather than individually emitted – but they are emitted nonetheless and it has been calculated that, on the whole, if all the cars in use powered by engines were replaced by cars with motors, the total volume of carbon dioxide “emissions” from oil/coal/natural gas-burning utilities would actually be higher.

This stands to reason given that none of the EVs currently available emphasize economy. They are all high-performance luxury-sport cars that happen to be powered by motors rather than engines.

You can perhaps see the coming bait-and-switch.

First – and this is in process – we will be pushed out of cars with engines and into cars with motors (electric cars). But as millions of high-demand EVs begin to consume millions of kilowatts of electricity, the carbon dioxide “emissions” problem will remain and may even have become more serious  – assuming one buys the carny con about carbon dioxide “emissions” from human sources causing dangerous and unnatural “climate change.”

This is idiocy, of course – but no less potent on account of that. The idiocy of “all power to the people” and the “dictatorship of the proletariat” was no less effective as the tool used to oppress and slaughter millions, by dint of its fatuity.

Cars with motors will be restricted and banned, in their turn. Once they’ve gotten rid of all the cars with engines.

And make no mistake, these bans will be enforced – as laws inevitably are. Perhaps not by “gleaming alloy air cars,” but nonetheless.

Meanwhile, the Orange Barchetta waits.

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting EPautos. 

We depend on you to keep the wheels turning! 

Our donate button is here.

 If you prefer not to use PayPal, our mailing address is:

721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

PS: Get an EPautos magnet (pictured below) in return for a $20 or more one-time donation or a $5 or more monthly recurring donation. (Please be sure to tell us you want a sticker – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)

My latest eBook is also available for your favorite price – free! Click here.  


Share Button


  1. The Manipulations by the Scaremonger:

    1. Create a false problem;
    2. Come up with a (currently-unworkable) proposed solution;
    3. Scare everyone into believing their solution will work;
    4. When they get the desired result, move the goalposts and say that the “real” problem hasn’t been solved at all.

    The cycle just repeats until all the mere mortals are forced to accept the disaster foisted upon them by the government mullahs and their crony manufacturers.

    And they have the gall to say, “That’s freedom!”

    • Not only goal post moving but then needing to solve a new problem that is real or imaginary caused by their interventions.

      For instance if wind or solar actually worked and would not create an energy shortage the huge environmental damage caused by each would be brought to the forefront to limit and shut them down. Even some zero point energy source will have some issue to exploit and if it didn’t they would make something up. Could be as simple as ‘we can’t have this power in the hands of ordinary people’.

    • Hey Mike, it’s a valid comparison. He’s not equating it to a Ferrari Barchetta in the sense of it’s value or significance as a classic car, but rather as a symbol of a freer, happier age, that is being slowly legislated out of existence by a plethora of “Motor Laws”. Like the red Barchetta in the song, his Trans-Am is a lovingly maintained relic of that soon to be bygone age, that may (God Willing) be driven as an act of rebellion in that probably not-to-distant time when ICE vehicles, or even all non-automated vehicles are banned outside of museums or private tracks.

  2. I keep wondering. Where do the oil companies come down on all this? Where/how do they replace the profit lost on automobile fuel sales?

    • That has been difficult to determine. It seems that big oil plays mostly on the warmist side of ‘climate change’ following their money. There are two ways to basic ways to make a profit. Low volume, high margin business and high volume low margin business. The gasoline business is a high volume low margin business and unlike most the retailer gets the least. Lots of different things are made from hydrocarbons and refining is mostly a separation process to separate hydrocarbons best for various products from each other. If volumes go down but profits per unit go up across the line of hydrocarbon products big oil may actually be better off. Without looking in detail at information that will never be public to tell what their game is. Even without climate change big oil’s desire for decades appears to be one of keeping oil off the market to make prices go higher. They sit on leases of federal government land, wars are waged to destroy/disable foreign oil production capacity, the contracts that come out of such wars allow big oil to throttle production, sanctions are placed on oil producing countries to keep their oil off the market, etc and so on.

      It just seems that big oil wants fewer units of oil at higher prices. Much like government run transit. As many tax dollars as possible for the fewest service offerings as possible.

  3. I love the idea of an electric vehicle. But electrochemical vehicles are another story entirely. Batteries aren’t there, and might never get there. But I also think there are a whole lot of people thinking we’re going have a breakthrough “any day now” that will make them viable.

    The real use for electrochemical vehicles is as a commuter or for local transportation. Bu that means owning multiple vehicles, 2 at a minimum. Use the electric vehicle for the day to day 80% of driving, 20% for the ICE vehicle. Or buy a hybrid… oh but GM is ending the Volt.

    • Thing is, if it wasn’t for the powers that be most people would have been able to do this two vehicle solution by now. But they have to debt slave everyone so….

      viable electric cars as we envision them will never be available to the masses because well they will be less controllable than someone with diesel car making his own fuel from used fry oil.

    • Hi RK,

      Identifying these things as electrochemical is brilliant; hat tip, sir! The proper use of language is important – as every good leftist knows. Never let them get away with using non-specific or inaccurate terms as they will always exploit that window and give “spin” to the thing in question that serves their own purposes.

      • Eric, watching a video of current sources of energy last night was an eye opener. Solar and especially wind have made huge gains and rightly so since their costs to produce has fallen to a huge degree also.

        They make the point I’ve known for over a decade that the largest investors in alternative energy have been oil companies, with Esso being huge and followed closely by XOM.

        A guy big into investing and having the stats to make the right choices said as to wind energy, Texas is the Saudi Arabia of that market.

        I have a friend in a rapidly growing bidness off taking old wind generator blades and recycling them for countless other products.

        Those who think wind generators have a short life would rethink that if they rode with me for a few weeks and saw the moving parts being replaced rapidly in older fields or rather just older units.

        The size of them becomes larger continually as does the cost to produce them.

        Solar is rapidly becoming the new source as panels made in Asia have fallen in price by 95%.

        We now are seeing more companies seeking to go nuclear with small pebble bed reactors that can be installed where they’re needed.

        I believe we’ll see the day when electrical storage will become great enough to give cars and trucks competitive range with petroleum engines and that will be the end of ICE power and the beginning of much more effecient electric powered vehicles.

        I have no problem running a big rig with 3000 lb. ft. Of torque and quiet cabs and quiet externally.

        I don’t know when this will occur since those vehicles are much less complex than ICE vehicles and will be much cheaper to produce.

        And this coming from a guy who thinks one of the prettiest sounds in the world are two-stroke Detroit Diesel engines…..with a Jake Brake.

        I sometimes watch videos of those lovely beasts and a good operator sliding from gear to gear. And I’d buy one in a second if I could.

        • OK, here’s an electric vehicle problem that you probably haven’t thought of – harmful EMF exposure for drivers and passengers! In fact, I’m pretty sure that very few people period have thought of that, and, like with the incoming 5G mobile standard, no one will either.

          Also, both wind and solar still suffer from spotty, location-dependent output and kill birds (quite painfully, in the case of solar). Wind turbines also emit infrasound which weakens people’s heart muscles (to the point where some people have started feeling so sick that they had to abandon their homes) and, when placed offshore, interferes with the ability of whales to navigate.

          Just plain dumb ideas all around, which wouldn’t be getting any attention at all if it weren’t for Uncle’s “green” interference.

          • Roger that Chuck! Although electric cars operate on DC from battery to motor, DC motors have a commutator that sets-up an alternating current in either the stator or rotor, depending on the type, the radiation of which would have a very deleterious effect on a driver/passenger’s voltage gated calcium ion channels upon which the parasympathetic nervous system, and, especially, the heart depend. Worse yet, Porsche has already hyped a “wireless” charger for their planned EVs; can you imagine? A cellular handset, operating on milliamps of current, has been shown to cause glioma and schwannoma in rats. (NIH U.S. National Toxicology Program, 2017) Imagine the alternating field radiated by a “wireless fast-charger” for an EV battery! Madness! Go long hospital shares–the emergency rooms will be packed!

            • When you delve into settings on an Android phone in the list of applications there will be specific information about the phone it’s on and information regarding health hazards of microwave radiation
              I made myself real everything their. The studies done and the perceived risks of using your device go all the way back to 1970.. you’ll find out everything that was known about health risks back to that time.

              Don’t take my word, dig into your phone and read it yourself.

              No doubt this information is there to protect the company selling the device. It’s a long dry read but very enlightening.

    • Like Dr. Ian Malcolm talking in Jurassic Park:
      -GM creates Volt
      -Volt doesn’t sell
      -GM creates more expensive, less range Bolt
      -Bolt sells even less
      -GM kills Volt
      -GM dumps billions into making more cars like Bolt
      -GM files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection….

    • The dismal truth is that cars have been net air purifiers for decades, eg, what comes out of the tailpipe is cleaner than the air being drawn into the engine. This, and The First Law of Bureaucracies is that they can never die an have eternal life

    • The best use for batteries in vehicles currently is as part of a traditional (i.e. Prius) hybrid powertrain.

      The batteries needed are lower in capacity (sand thus MUCH cheaper) than a plug-in or pure EV.

      And they deliver most of the efficiency gain vs. a plug-in or pure EV at a fraction of the cost.

      E.g. want a new 2019 AWD RAV4?

      All of $800 extra gets you the hybrid powertrain where combined mph goes from 29 to 39 (over 40 mpg city)

      And I’d trust that powertrain over any of the new turbocharged designs, which have proved problematic even from those OEMs known for their engines (e.g. Honda’s gas dilution of the engine oil on its new 1.5T)

      • Hi Bill,

        Agreed – the math makes sense to me, too. I’d spend an extra $800 to get the appx. 10 MPG improvement, which will amortize the $800 pretty quickly, even at today’s average $2.25 per gallon.

        But the plug-ins? Now you’re looking at an initial “investment” of (typically) $4,000-plus over the standard hybrid and that math does not make sense.

        And EVs are simply retarded.

  4. One of the absurdities in all of this that over 50% of homes in the U.S. are heated by burning hydrocarbons. Generating CO2. Why should automobiles be held to a higher standard than a house?

    • Pretty much every house in the US is heated by burning hydrocarbons. No way the minuscule amount of renewables would generate enough to run all the electric heaters.

      This afternoon we had a few hours of bright sunlight. But the Sun angle is very low this time of year and unless solar panels are adjusted to maximize the collected sunlight (the majority are fixed because installing panels on movable panels blows out the installation cost) the few hours we got were pretty much wasted. And to make matters worse the wind has been calm for the past few days, as is normal in winter.

      • Hi RK,

        The “solution,” of course, is to force people into small apartments – no more “wasteful” and “bad for the environment” single family houses.


    • There was an article I read recently where natural gas is too cheap to capture so it’s being flared off in volumes that could have heated millions of homes. Fedgov allows it and has allowed for a long time. Again showing that it doesn’t matter what we conserve, some special dispensation will allow government or government friends to just squander far more.

      • Ever seen a 20 foot high natural gas flare? Pipeline companies have to bleed off excessive product from time to time at flare stations. I saw one in Houston a few years back at night that burned for 4 hours, could be seen from 35 miles away. We have a shitttton of natural gas in the US and it is a lot cheaper than gasoline. Wonder why they never wanted us driving lng powered cars….

        • We have CNG stations in Texas and you see more pickups in them all the time as well as big rigs, the very reason they’re always close to a truck stop.
          As far as natgas here as heating homes ,the trend even here where it’s cheap, has been heatpumps for a couple decades at least.

          What is used for home heating is determined by the severity of winters for the most part.

          I grew up in a house built in 1960 using a heat pump.

          Probably in Colorado they’re not the ticket.

    • Hi Anonymous,

      Exactly; only it’s more like 100 percent of the homes. Heat pumps, wood stoves, CNG/propane (even steam boilers) all use forms of energy that release C02.

      But that’s the worry. After they destroy personal mobility (ours, never theirs) in the name of saving the Earth, they will come after our homes for the same reason.

        • Cold, for a few years wind generation companies in Texas have been selling off peak demand electricity for as much/little as -8$/megawatt hour.

          I’m amazed we’re still paying $.11/KWH here in the middle of oil and wind generation country.

          At least we have ERCOT keeping our electricity in the state

          • The reason it is so cheap is because they’re selling into a market that doesn’t want their product. Thanks to Uncle’s subsidy they can still make money by selling at a loss. This is destroying investment dollars in any unsubsidized electricity producer because no one can discover the real price of electricity at any given moment. Not to mention that the so-called base load generating stations, which were designed to cover the load that’s always there, are being taken offline during these off peak times because the ISO is usually (depends on the state) required to buy renewable power over any other. This does even more to screw up the economics of the system because the ISO needs instantly dispatched generation for when the renewables stop generating.

            Again, the answer we hear is batteries. Tesla is building grid-level storage battery systems for testing in Australia and California. And again, the limiting factor is chemistry. Much like electrochemical cars, electrochemical power grids will be expensive, unreliable (how much capacity should they design for?) and going to cause a measurable decrease in our quality of life, especially the poor and vulnerable.

  5. Eric what are your thoughts on motorcycles? I have thought that the gubmint will eventually ban cars too. But I’m pretty sure that banning H/D motorcycles might be as hard or harder than banning guns. And in the end trying to enforce a ban on either might result in AGWs not being able to collect their pension.

    • Hi a,

      I firmly believe motorcycles are only legal now because they existed before the advent of the Safety Cult. Had bikes been a new invention circa 1990 or so, they’d have never been allowed.

      They will be dealt with in the same manner as cars are being dealt with:

      1. Make new models increasingly expensive to buy and to maintain, so as to make them increasingly less and less affordable.
      2. Make them more and more homogenous, via mandates that impose uniformity of design; encrust them with cloying, nanny technology – to make them less and less appealing as well as more and more expensive and DIY-unfriendly.
      3. Pass laws forbidding older models from being used on “public” roads – for “safety” and “emissions” reasons.

      Wait and see.

      • You hit it right on the head, Eric; that’s exactly how it’s being done. New bikes are already unappealing to we serious bikers and dilettante wrenchers. Around here there are several communities that have banned motorcycles completely. And one has to remember that bikers are not only a minority now, but appear to be dwindling in number. Not one of my five nephews rides, and I don’t know a single young ‘un who does!

        I’m seriously considering selling everything I have to buy another sailboat and hit the high seas. Black Flag, bay-bee! (Hat tip to Heinlein)

      • Eric, another thing I’ve learned is what a glut of used cars there are because of leasing. Ford and GM have gone from 2 a 3%leasing to 22 and 23% in the last 5 years.

        While no figure was given for Chrysler, the statement was made all 3 are on the verge of Chapter 11. No wonder they want to push EVs. I looked for another pickup 3 years ago. It was astounding how many like new pickups there were. And it was obvious few had ever been used as anything but a car.

        You’d think they’d have been cheaper and now with zero interest rates they probably are but not being employed and not being able to work on anything later than 2000, I’m only looking for early 90s models.

  6. We need to change the terms of the debate. If Eric, and the rest of his ilk including me, are climate “deniers” let’s call them what THEY are climate “cultists”. Brainwashed, unthinking, zombie-like totalitarians using climate as their false god.

    • Great idea Mark, CO2 has been around forever, and the climate is always changing despite humans. Nobody seems to have done any calculations on how much “greenhouse gases” were added by the California wildfires, bet it was several years worth of worldwide auto “emissions”. One average volcano eruption probably does the same, not to mention the Pentagram’s planes/ships/vehicles burning up fuel daily.
      I’m more concerned about a mini ice age from everything I read about solar cycles, and it’s been record cold up here most days since October. Guess that’s why the narrative went from “global warming” to “climate change”. A cult indeed.

    • One problem with that; they won’t even understand why it’s an insult, because the earth really is their god. They are earth-worshippers and to them there’s no shame in it.

    • I’m gonna start using that one, and while it won’t bother the cultists chuck, it will give pause to the normies who might have otherwise been sucked in by their bs

  7. Climate change – in other words, the “science” of adjusting computer models to account for whatever the weather is already doing, predicting a dire catastrophe based on said models, and then preemptively blaming us little people for it.

    I think a lot of the problem is that for a long time we – freedom lovers of all stripes, hardcore libertarian or not – thought the left were earnest but misguided, and so we tried to get through to them with common sense and logic. Thing is, while there may be plenty of earnest-but-misguided leftists in the lower ranks, the upper ranks know full well what they’re doing and very few of us saw them for the enemies they are. AND they own the media, so if you try to fight back in any way you’re painted as a backwards, troglodyte, science denier (as if 120-some-odd genders ISN’T science denial), Big Oil shill, etc. etc. etc…

  8. The Left as a group would rather reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.

    They’d rather ride herd on an entire planet of poor, filthy, despondent, miserable, unemployed, starving, powerless wretches than be civil servants to prosperous, mobile, well-fed, satisfied, well-off citizens.

    Tell me how that’s not evil.

    I had an idea once: Let’s apply the same philosophy to aspiring lawmakers that we impose on the gun debate.

    Let’s take lawmaking power away from Congress and the various state legislatures, then we go around confiscating every law we can and dispose of them.

    Only those laws which have a “legitimate” purpose should be allowed to exist, such as the Bill of Rights.

    Run comprehensive background checks on potential lawmakers, and subject them to strict licensing requirements (with grave penalties for violations) to ensure they aren’t given to totalitarian urges and fantasies about using Deadly Assault Laws to go on legislative rampages and murder dozens of innocent freedoms without reloading.

    Ban high-capacity subsections so that lawmakers can only prohibit one thing at a time.

    See how they like it.

    Government doesn’t exist to facilitate the blood-soaked daydreams of coercive utopians and Bond villain wannabes.

    Its purpose is to facilitate an orderly environment in which the largest number of people can peacefully better themselves.

    • “Government doesn’t exist to facilitate the blood-soaked daydreams of coercive utopians and Bond villain wannabes.”

      Except for Ocasio-Cortez, who thinks she can use the power of the government to settle petty personal disputes.

  9. Hey Eric,

    I always heard the lyrics as “a better, vanished time”. I just checked and “vanished” is correct. I like this as it’s more poignant than “managed”.

    Also, whenever EV’s come up in casual conversation I suggest they should be called CPV’s (coal powered vehicles) or REV’s (remote emission vehicles).

    Have you heard of “Electrify America”? I’ve been hearing an EV propaganda ad on Pandora. Turns out, VW has been ordered to produce brand neutral propaganda for alternative fuel vehicles.


    • I’ve heard that ad on the radio, and its finger-wagging “get with the times” moralization ticked me off too. Frankly, it should be flatly illegal for the government to make them do that, whatever they did or didn’t do. It’s like, homeboy, stop! They already paid I-don’t-even-know-how-many-billion-dollars in fines all over the world, had to destroy a bunch of perfectly functional automobiles because of your grating “standards must constantly get tougher” mindset, they’ve already more than paid for their non-crime! Lay off already!

      I remember a Volkswagen Super Bowl ad from many years ago where the Jetta TDI was presented as being the perfect vehicle for bypassing the incoming, totalitarian, endlessly busybodying “green police”. It even had a take-off of the song “Dream Police” to go with. Needless to say, that commercial makes a lot more sense to me now.

      • GM and Ford are in a financial bind brought on by government. Vehicles are so expensive leasing vehicles was a significant way of “selling” so now they have 23 % of new vehicles being leased. With zero percent interest buyers are saving around $300 a month on perpetual leases. There is a huge glut of vehicles that are virtually new that compete with new ones.

        The entire fiasco was brought about by government plus gutless corporate bureaucrats who didn’t have the guts or sense to push back so the big 3 are grasping at straws. I didn’t include Chrysler for obvious reasons as it has been hanging on to the financial cliff via fingernails since before GM bailed it out decades ago.

        Now the gutless bureaucrats inside the companies have only the option, as gutless turds often do, of trying to find something new to sell….and the new thing, no matter how financially impossible it is, has become electrics.

        GM is selling literally over 100 times as many vehicles of the ICE variety in China as it sells in the Americas.

        Soon they’ll be looking closely, if anyone can recall 70 year old history, the new day equivalent of Garands, Jeeps, and amphibious vehicles…….but they’ll actually attempt to market autonomous EVs which won’t work for a couple decades.

        And while some of the blame or maybe more, can be attributed to corporate incompetence, the real cause will be government. Bureaucrats don’t build anything but more shit and shit, being a waste, will always best be served by flushing.

        Probably it won’t become an effluent long before the entire country becomes same.

        The great Empire won’t fall or virtually collapse but simply be flushed to its inevitable conclusion….and you can view it as history or prescience and it will once again be termed, Idiocracy.

  10. You’re wrong…again. The amount of coal used to charge an electric car amounts to no more than a handful. Comparing the amount of pollution that handful of coal produces to the total amount of pollution a tank full of gas produces is why electrics will produce less, not more pollution.

    • Hi Anon,

      “…it has been calculated that, on the whole, if all the cars in use powered by engines were replaced by cars with motors, the total volume of carbon dioxide “emissions” from oil/coal/natural gas-burning utilities would actually be higher.”

      This is what Eric wrote and it is a true statement. There is disagreement among scientists and economists about the lifetime impact of an EV vs an ICE. Pro EV groups argue that any analysis that argues Eric’s point is flawed and offer their own analyses. This proves that the statement, “it has been calculated” is true. This observation does not mean that the rest of the above sentence is true. Eric was careful to qualify the statement, something you ignored.

      Determining the lifetime impact of an EV vs an ICE is extremely difficult and, of necessity, includes speculation about future technology, deciding which confounding variables are important, evaluating the impact of regulations, etc… I don’t know which analysis is correct, and neither do you.

      Any fair analysis must include the environmental impact of creating the infrastructure necessary for an EV
      future and speculation about the theoretical efficiencies possible with ICE vs EV absent agenda driven regulation and subsidies (opportunity cost).


    • Hi Anonymous,

      Like many EV touters, you only mention convenient facts (another example being the way best-case range is always touted, without the myriad qualifications, such as the effect of temperature/driving conditions).

      I specifically wrote:

      “…it has been calculated that, on the whole, if all the cars in use powered by engines were replaced by cars with motors, the total volume of carbon dioxide “emissions” from oil/coal/natural gas-burning utilities would actually be higher.”

      In other words, taking into account the C02 created by the manufacturer of the EV, its batteries and the electricity it burns.

      Does it matter where the C02 comes from, assuming the “climate change” idiocy, just for the sake of discussion?

      • It does matter where the co2 is produced for the polical agenda. Obama made this clear with the co2 deal with China. Now if there were co2 induced climate change the deal would be absurd. Even the premise they get make up co2 is absurd if it’s such a dire problem.

    • “The amount of coal used to charge an electric car amounts to no more than a handful”

      Facepalm. Please. If you are going to make a claim, try to back it up with something factual and maybe some real math.

      Are those big handfuls or small handfuls? Tuesday or Thursday? Full moon?

      Meaningless statements about quantities are just that. Meaningless.

      • Um, no. The graphic you link shows the energy in a Uranium fuel pellet equivalent to 1,780 pounds of coal. Since a train car holds @ 100 *tons* of coal (I should know; I dumped literally thousands of them during my time working at a power plant), your statement is off by a couple of orders of magnitude. Just sayin’.

  11. It’s hard for me to understand why these politicians who want to “do something” about climate change are so willfully blind to actual outcomes of their policies. By ratcheting up CAFE standards on cars, they’re making them much more expensive, leaving a lot more old cars on the road; we’re emitting more than we could be if cars were cheaper so the old junkers got replaced. The various safety nonsense makes them doubly expensive.

    In terms of energy usage, you’re completely right, Eric, we’re getting inefficient electrics, and also at the same time, our grid is getting less efficient, at least here in the heavily renewable energy states. In CA, for example, we’re replacing efficient gas generation with solar power, and due to the way this works, you need less efficient, but quickly responding “peaker” plants to fill in solar’s holes, like at night. At night, when cars charge, we’re generating dirtier gas based electricity, and importing power from coal burning states. Our electrics are dirtier now than when we had less solar and more baseline natural gas.

    My home country of Poland went completely nuts in this regard, by mandating that a million electric cars be on the road by 2025. Poland gets almost all of its power from burning bituminous coal. The cleanest electric car in Poland pollutes a lot more than most any gasoline car. People know this, yet they’re pressing ahead.

    I’m still not sure whether politicians are complete idiots who behave this way for show, or whether they’re genuinely trying to sabotage the world. I’m leaning towards idiots electing idiots and getting idiotic laws as a result, more than some conspiracy to take away our mobility.

    • Hi OP,

      I incline toward sabotage; that all of this is deliberate and planned. The end goal is a ban on cars, period. The old ones will be declared impermissible once the EV juggernaut is in full swing. And then the EVs will be restricted. It’s become luminously obvious to me, after years of dissection and trying to find some comfort in it being the result of mere stupidity.

  12. Eric, this speaks exactly to the point your making here.

    “And the tax announced by the government – an additional 6.6 cents per liter for diesel and an additional 2.9 centers per liter of gasoline – are only the first steps in a series of planned increases over the next years. The measures are supposed to incite people to drive less or even better, to scrap their old vehicles and buy nice new electric cars.”

    (Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

    “More and more “governance” is an exercise in social engineering by technocrats who know what is best. This particular exercise goes directly opposite to an earlier government measure of social engineering which used economic incitements to get people to buy cars running on diesel. Now the government has changed its mind. Over half of personal vehicles still run on diesel, although the percentage has been dropping. Now their owners are told to go buy an electric car instead. But people living on the edge simply can’t afford the switch.”

    • You can tell the Watermelons aren’t being honest because if they really wanted zero-emission energy, they’d be the world’s biggest nuclear-power advocates.

      • Hi Ice Age,

        Yes, indeed. And if the sea levels are going to rise catastrophically and inundate the coasts due to “climate change,” how come the big banks are still making loans on coastal real estate?

        • Good point.

          Why IS the most valuable real estate in this country all sidled up to salt water if humans burning coal’s going to swamp it in the next 30 years?

    • Hi Victor,


      I am certain that the assault on diesel is happening precisely because diesel-powered cars had become a threat (on functional and economic grounds) to the EV agenda. Most people outside the car industry don’t know that VW had a 100-plus MPG diesel commuter car in the works… and then the “scandal” broke.

    • This is the thing that really annoys me from thousands of miles away about the whole thing. Paris’s current air quality headache is probably the result of earlier government over-promotion of diesels in the name of fuueeeeellll ecooooooonnooooommmmyyyyy. You know, back when we were running out of oil and stuff?

      In other words, much of the problem could have been avoided if the government had just left well enough alone for once.

      And yet, you will find people even on car-related forums who defend it as simply a government’s job to do “the best they can with the science of the time”.

      On a related note, England is going through a similar issue in London and it’s since come out that one of the politicians responsible for over-promoting diesels in the first place knew full well it would cause a public health issue in the cities and went ahead with it anyway.

      (Unlike Eric, I’m no great fan of diesels.)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here