Commitment to 50% Electric Vehicles Is Being Discredited
Aug. 23 , 2021 (EIRNS)—The Biden Administration’s demand that 50% of U.S. motor vehicles be fully electric by 2030 is being defied by reality. The rash of reported vehicle fires and losses of power has caused Chevrolet to stop EV production and recall 69,000 Chevy Bolts, following recalls of more than 130,000 EVs by Hyundai, Ford, Volvo and BMW. One well-publicized fire of a Bolt while charging—after it had been serviced in the recall in Spring 2021—was that of Vermont State Senator Timothy Briglin, who had been a strong advocate of the technology. On Aug. 21, General Motors, which made the electric motor for Chevrolet, expanded the Chevrolet recall to include all Bolt EVs.
Recalls with new technologies are common, but the problem of EV fires is a very serious one. They are extremely difficult to put out, repeatedly reigniting for many hours after being extinguished, typically require 10,000 gallons of water to be applied to do so, and have required special training in fire departments across the United States. The car’s cable harness may still be carrying high voltage, much higher than in an internal combustion engine-powered vehicle. If the car is being charged in a garage when the lithium battery ignites, it sets the house on fire.
This is a minor problem, however, compared to the lack of electric power generation or transmission capacity to make mass conversion to EVs possible. The above problems come with 2 million EVs, out of 300 million vehicles, on U.S. roads—less than 1%, ABC News reports on the local Rochester network WHAM on July 22. The EIR Special Report “The Great Leap Backward: LaRouche Exposes the Green New Deal,” published in February, demonstrated that the goal of even 100 million EVs, if accompanied by continued shifting to wind parks and solar power farms in place of baseline plants, would require nominal installed electric capacity to increase by half, and 100,000 new miles of transmission lines be built.
One example is a study just released by the Power Workers Union of Ontario, Canada which finds that the province will have to increase its installed electric power capacity by at least 55 GW by 2050 to pursue electrified vehicles, buildings, etc. and reach the mythical “zero emissions.” That amount is four times Ontario’s current total of nuclear, hydro, and “renewables” capacity. And it is probably an underestimate by as much as 25 GW, the report finds, particularly if the province goes through with the planned closure of the Pickering nuclear power plant in 2025. The report is titled, “Electrification Pathways for Ontario To Reduce Emissions,” and was reported by the World Nuclear News on Aug. 20.