It’s the Dose . . . Not the Source

Did you happen to see the picture of the electric car “fast” charger being charged by the diesel generator? It’s Kodachrome evidence of the Moon-baying lunacy of this whole Electro-Kool Aid slurping.

Better to forget the EV charger, use the diesel engine to power a car directly – cut out the middleman – and be done with it.

Instead we are hectored about the virtues of the middleman – the EV charger. Which enables the EV owner to pretend – and posture – that his car is “zero emissions.” The picture makes it clear there are emissions – just usually emitted at a distance.

In this case, it’s just a few feet from the EV – which conveys the inconvenient truth pretty succinctly. Amazon.com Gift Card i... Buy New $10.00 (as of 04:10 EDT - Details)

It’s easier to pretend – and posture – when the source of the emissions is farther away (wherever the utility plant is) and engage in magical thinking about the “clean” electricity being piped into one’s EV.

Maybe Elon will figure out a way to harness lightning and transmit it directly to EVs. In which case, hurrah – because electricity obtained that way would be free as well as emissions-free.

But wait a minute. Let’s examine this emissions business.

Anything produced as byproduct of combustion – whether for locomotion or generation – can accurately be described as an “emission.” Something came out of the tailpipe – or the smokestack. The salient question is whether what’s being emitted is harmful.

Certainly, things like unburned hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen and particulates canbe harmful. If emitted in large quantities. But they aren’t being. At least, not from the tailpipe. Emissions of these compounds from modern cars – actually, cars made since the ’90s, which was a long time ago – are a fraction of what they were circa 1970.

Many new IC cars built since the early 2000s qualify as Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (PZEV) notwithstanding that they aren’t electric cars.

But they are very close to being zero emissions – by any meaningful standard.

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