Global warming. Carbon neutral. Zero emissions.
These have become part of the language in the 21st century. Of late, commercials about electric cars are claiming zero emissions.
Is this really true?
Well, electric cars don’t use gasoline or diesel and their battery bank only needs to be charged to make them run.
Yes, it sounds good.
And, partially, it is a good thing to develop ways of getting around that don’t involve an internal-combustion engine. Carbon dioxide emissions have accelerated global warming.
But consider what zero-emission advertising is trying to tell us.
When the vehicle battery bank is being charged, the electricity is being generated somewhere by some means.
The electricity is actually a conversion of the energy in moving water (hydro electricity) or from a generating source that transforms energy, perhaps from coal, natural gas or radioactive nuclear material.
The latter three are certainly not zero-emissions sources.
Also to be considered is the production and disposal of the batteries used in electric vehicles.
Do those things constitute zero emissions?
What about the toxicity of the materials in the batteries?
I wonder if there is a computer model that could predict the future of hydro electricity (from moving water) in British Columbia, in North America and globally?
What we see in B.C. now for rainfall (which provides water for our rivers and our hydro electricity) might change dramatically over the next 50 or 100 years.
The zero-emissions advertising makes a lot of claims that need scientific support.