The United States will begin to look like Cuba, which still boasts legions of classic 1960s and 1970s cars that are lovingly cared for and kept on the road with engines, brakes, and other parts scavenged from wrecks and even Soviet cars. But once the states and feds ban gasoline sales, even that will end.
Perhaps even more ironic and perverse, the “zero-emissions vehicle” moniker refers only to emissions in the USA—and only if the electricity required to charge and operate ZEVs comes from non-fossil-fuel power plants. Texans now know how well wind turbines and solar panels work when “runaway global warming” turns to record cold and snow.
With many politicians and environmentalists equally repulsed by nuclear and hydroelectric power, having any electricity source could soon become a recurrent challenge.
Zero-emission fantasies also ignore the essential role of fossil fuels in manufacturing ZEVs. From mining and processing the myriad metals and minerals for battery modules, wiring, drive trains and bodies, to actually making the components and finished vehicles, every step requires oil, natural gas or coal.
Not in California or America perhaps, but elsewhere on Planet Earth, most often with Chinese companies in leading roles.
From commonplace iron, copper, aluminum, and petroleum-based plastics—to exotics like lithium, cobalt, and multiple rare earth elements—these materials are dug up and turned into “virtuous” EVs, wind turbines, and solar panels with little or no attention to child labor, fair wages, workplace safety, air, and water pollution, toxic and radioactive wastes, endangered species or mined land reclamation.