We hear a lot about electric cars being the future. But we also heard a lot about corn ethanol being the future. Corn ethanol has suffered some public relations backlash and is no longer wholly in favour with the green industry. Most people still take electric cars seriously. However I am skeptical.
Here's why. Wikipedia says:
A 2011 report prepared by Ricardo found that hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars generate more carbon emissions during their production than current conventional vehicles, but still have a lower overall carbon footprint over the full life cycle. The initial higher carbon footprint is due mainly to battery production. As an example, the study estimated that 43 percent of production emissions for a mid-size electric car are generated from the battery production.
But that's not all of the story. There is also the fact that you then have to dispose of or recycle the battery. Also, what are these batteries made of? Can we really sustain switching all vehicles to these batteries? I assume the batteries are also made of non-renewable resources, so aren't we just switching non-renewable resource dependencies from oil to battery materials (whatever they are).
It seems this is just another side-step, not a real solution. Are electric cars really a good idea?