Policy

Electric vehicle FUD (and plain ignorance) is alive and well in Queensland

Published by
David Waterworth

A new petition has been lodged with the Queensland Parliament, which seeks to ban electric vehicles in the Sunshine State. It has already been signed by more than 600 people, but it is littered with myths, falsehoods and misunderstanding.

Let’s have a look at the petition first, which is addressed to the “Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland.”

Queensland residents draws to the attention of the House the construction of the batteries for electric vehicles as well as the ultimate disposal of them when they are past their useful life, is a very significant drain on natural resources. The construction of the batteries uses significant heavy metals and acids, and drains natural resources that should be used elsewhere. The disposal of these batteries will contaminate the earth for many years after they cease to be useable. ln addition, studies have confirmed that most electric vehicles are charged at home overnight from electricity generated by coal. This just moves an oil problem to a coal problem with no gain to the environment.

Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to immediately legislate to remove electric vehicles from Queensland roads until manufacturers can demonstrate resource neutral construction and disposal of the batteries. ln addition, the vehicles should be self-generating for their power and not drain external electricity supplies.

I am sure most of this website’s readers could rebut these points above, but here is a brief summary of the issues and the answers.

With respect – there are many recycling projects up and running for EV batteries. This is a genuine issue, and I share the concern of the petitioner, but the problem has been solved. Here is an example from the US. Most EV manufacturers are serious about battery recycling and are building it into their business plans (eg Volkswagen).

I am not aware of any studies that say that most EVs are charged at home from coal. The Queensland grid is rapidly transitioning to renewables and people are able to charge their cars from sunshine during the day. At night we have pumped hydro and a little wind available. Big batteries are on their way.

I am not sure how the petitioner expects EVs to be self-generating. Even Toyota was forced to admit that their self-generating hybrids were actually powered by petrol.

As more and more Battery Electric Vehicles arrive on Queensland roads, light will expel the darkness and knowledge will increase. I wish the petitioner well and hope that he can accommodate the changes that are to come.

David Waterworth is a researcher and writer, a retired school teacher who continues to provoke thought through thedriven. He divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He owns 50 shares of Tesla.

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