Should Americans follow China in a massive commitment to supposedly eco-friendly battery-electric buses (BEBs)? California has mandated a “carbon-free” bus system by 2040 and will buy only battery or fuel cell-powered buses after 2029. Other states and cities are following suit.
Vehicle decisions are typically based on cost and performance. Cost includes selling price plus maintenance, while performance now includes perceived environmental impacts – which for some is the only issue that matters. But that perception ignores some huge ecological (and human rights) issues. Continue reading “Do ‘Green’ Buses Pass the Performance Test?”
Lately, many politicians at the federal, state, and local levels have unthinkingly bought into the talking points of radical environmentalists, pushing policies to require 100 percent of the electricity used in the United States to come from politically favored renewable energy sources, primarily wind and solar power.
They wanted water without building dams, cheap reliable electricity without using coal or gas or nuclear power, transport without using petrol or diesel, food without farmers or fishermen, employment without factories, metals and motor fuels without refineries and bridges and buildings without cement and steel.
Their countryside was uglified by paddocks of magic mirrors, forests of whirling bird-slicers and spider-webs of access tracks and power lines that delivered abundant electricity when it was least needed (and little at peak demand).
But the taps went dry, cattle and crops died, batteries went flat, lights went out, seafood and rice came from Vietnam, metals were smelted and refined in China, trains were built in India, cars and trucks came from Japan, motors fuels were imported from South East Asia, construction slumped and savings fled to Zurich.
The latest announcements from political fairyland came from Bill Shorten with his vision that 50% of all new cars will be “electric” by 2030 and that each one would only take 10 minutes to recharge.
To borrow a phrase from The Castle, somebody should: “Tell him he’s dreaming.”
Better still, tell Bill to do a little homework on so-called electric cars and he will find that they are not electric cars at all.
Well-intentioned environmentalists and a number of politicians such as Bill fail to understand that batteries don’t continually create electricity. Rather they store electricity that has to be generated elsewhere by more often than not abundant, inexpensive, high energy-density, reliable hydrocarbon fuels.
Bill also believes that so-called electric cars don’t emit any carbon dioxide. The vehicles might not emit any when running on battery alone but since that electricity has come from a hydrocarbon-fuelled power plant, the elimination of car tail-pipe emissions is entirely countered by the equivalent carbon dioxide emissions at the power station.
Pollsters stay at home on long weekends, but anyone watching Bill Shorten’s magical mystery tour on the big red diesel bus could be forgiven for thinking he took a turn down the Highway to Hell with his fumbling pit stop interviews during the opening week of the campaign.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison focused attention on the costs of Labor’s tax, energy and climate change policies, and Shorten opened the door wide to accusations he lied about new taxes on superannuation. He repeatedly denied, then finally gave a firm undertaking to a Sky News journalist there would be no new taxes. The next day he claimed he had “misunderstood the question,” admitted he ‘stuffed up’ and he should have chosen his words better.
Labor took down the policy from its website, along with negative gearing details, but has now conceded the impact of its planned crackdown on super tax concessions is $30 billion – substantially higher than the $19 billion it had previously claimed, and slightly less than the $34 billion cited by the PM.
If that wasn’t bad enough, a clearly very frustrated Shorten repeatedly dodged a question from a determined Channel 10 reporter about the cost of its climate change policy, based around 50 per cent renewable energy, 50 per cent new electric vehicle sales and a 45 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030. After waffling on about the government’s failings and ignoring demands to answer the question, he simply moved on to another journalist. Continue reading “Magical Mystery Tour or Highway to Hell for Labor’s Big Red Bus?”