by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As appearing in the Daily Sentinel
A friend who bought a Tesla electric car was understandably proud, joining the green revolution with such a cool car. For a while I made fun of it, telling him my car ran on oil and his on coal, so we both produced a similar carbon footprint. Then, after a year, he suddenly traded it in, and not for another electric.
I was surprised, knowing his tenacity for the electric vehicle movement, but it seems he was not alone. A new study says roughly 20% of all electric vehicle owners in California have replaced their cars with gas ones, not because they no longer care about clean energy. Most of these switchers simply cited the inconvenience of charging the batteries. Still, it leaves a nagging suspicion that deciding, as a nation, to eliminate the use of fossil fuels may be easier than actually doing so.
The electric vehicle market is still embryonic, to say the most. Scarcely 2% of the cars on America’s roads are electric, and virtually none of the trucks. As my friend Steve Moore, the renowned economist, pointed out in a recent post called “The 100% Electric Car Fantasy,” the simple fact is that “98 percent of all cars on the road would have to be replaced for that goal to become a possibility.”