The first reason originally given for the necessity of force-feeding electric cars to people was the supposedly imminent scarcity (and associated rising cost) of gasoline. This was en vogue back in the ‘90s – when the first electric cars came out – and quickly went away, because back in the ‘90s there were no subsidies to float them and no mandates to force them.
But the whole point of the exercise, we were constantly told, was that we had to find an alternative to fossil fuels right away – because we were on the cusp of running out of them.
Except it turns out we’re not.
Amazon.com Gift Card i... Best Price: null Buy New $15.00 (as of 12:45 EST - Details) There is so much gas, in fact, that a new excuse had to be found – “climate change,” the wonderfully elastic hypothesis that whatever the weather is doing that isn’t 70 degrees, calm and quiet is unnatural, alarming and the fault of man in general and the internal combustion engine specifically.
Actually, not – but something had to be found to make it “necessary” to replace the IC engine.
Which brings up a related thing – the suppression by purposeful omission of any discussion of a fuel that’s even more abundant than the oceans of gasoline we find ourselves swimming in – and so clean it makes the electric car’s “environmental” bona fides seem as shoddy as a mail order divinity degree.
And without any of the electric car’s long list of functional and economic downsides.
That fuel is compressed natural gas (CNG) and the fact that you probably haven’t heard anything about ought to tell you a great deal about it.
CNG is mostly methane – a naturally occurring and renewable gas – stored in liquid form by pressurizing it. The stuff isn’t refined – the way gasoline and diesel must be. It literally comes out of the earth and only needs to be captured (and compressed) and put into storage tanks before it’s ready to be used as a fuel.
That – plus almost limitless abundance – makes CNG a very inexpensive fuel.
The United States is the world’s leading producer of CNG – more than 71 billion cubic feet (which is how the stuff is measured) per day. Which is more than the entire Middle East combined.
Proven reserves are in excess of 309 trillion cubic feet – and that could be just the tip of the proverbial iceberg – as it has proved to be with regard to oil, which suddenly America turns out to have vastly more of than the fear-sayers were telling us lo these past 50 years – until it became embarrassing for them to continue telling us. Amazon.com Gift Card i... Best Price: null Buy New $25.00 (as of 11:14 EST - Details)
Estimated “recoverable” reserves are almost double the proven and it is probable that America’s actual CNG reserves are or triple or even more than the estimated recoverable 500-plus trillion cubic feet – given we don’t really know how much is down there, nor what new methods will become available to get it in the coming years, just as with crude oil (which becomes gasoline and diesel and other things besides).
But even if not, that 309 trillion is still enough to provide for at least the next 100 years of consumption.
By which time a viable (economically sensible, functionally gimp-free) EV might be developed and able to stand on its own four wheels, without subsidies or mandates to keep it rolling.