This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Electric cars, are they a good thing? I ask this question because I just saw in my Google newsfeed that Dodge is discontinuing the Challenger and Charger to transition to electric engines. As a child of the ‘80s this breaks my heart. I grew up with the Dukes of Hazard and the famous General Lee, which was a 1969 Dodge Challenger. It is truly the end of an era. My question is, is this progress?
Electric engines are the wave of the future because they run on this magical fuel called electricity. Not sure if you know this, but we apparently get electricity from lightening. It magically forms out of the atmosphere and all of these electric cars have a big iron hook mounted on top of them like the DeLorean from Back to the Future. When the car is low on power, lightening strikes the hook and fills the car with electricity and then it can drive hundreds of miles before it needs to be struck by lightening again. Honestly, this technology is so amazing, I have no idea why we are even messing with gasoline, something that takes so much work to dig out of the ground, refine and make into fuel.
That may be how it works for the Jetsons, but here in a place I like to call reality, it doesn’t work like that. Cars with electric engines do not propel themselves out of the power of their own virtue. The electricity has to come from somewhere, and without the use of gas-powered engines, we need to ask ourselves where all of this power is going to come from. Contrary to what the movies tell us, it is extraordinarily hard to get lightening to strike when and where you need it.
All of the electricity needed to power these cars has to come from somewhere and I am curious where we will get it. Don’t tell me wind turbines or solar panels because it is obvious now that those sources are hardly making a dent in our current need for electricity, so to have any hope that they will replace gas engines any time soon is a fallacy.
The batteries in electric cars use rare earth metals such as cobalt, lithium, gold and silver. Will there be enough of these rare metals to create the batteries needed to power enough cars for everyone to have one? Where will those metals come from because they will require mining the ground, which is one of the big criticisms of drilling for oil. It upsets the environment and pollutes the atmosphere.
Have you considered the weight of an electric engine vs a gas-powered engine? You will find that electric engines are much lighter than gas-powered engines. This means that the vehicle powered by an electric engine will be far lighter than the current gas engines we drive now. Therefore, they will not be as safe as gas engine vehicles now because they will not survive a crash like the heavier vehicles of today. They will also steer and handle differently than cars of today. I have been around St Marys enough to know that people already struggle mightily to operate vehicles in a safe manor as it is. To change the dynamics of the vehicle and expect people who already have seriously questionable driving skills to relearn to drive is a recipe for disaster.
There are also other questions about what to do with the batteries once they come to the end of their relatively short lifespan. What will we do with those batteries and the parts we can’t recycle? What happens if the battery core is punctured in an accident? Will it continue to be safe? Finally, the cost. Cars are already so expensive that only the top wage earners can afford to purchase a new one. What will happen to the cost of a car when we have to transition them to a new engine, an engine that will not last like current gas-powered engines? I drive a 22-year-old Volkswagen Beetle. Will there ever be a 22-year-old electric car that is still drivable?
Even hybrid cars still use gasoline. Sure, they may use it more efficiently, but they still require gasoline to operate. I am all for new technology to make life better and help the environment, but the idea that we are about to give up gas powered engines is a bit of a pipe dream.