A Free-Market Energy Blog

EVs vs. Public Transportation

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 10, 2024

How many problems are emerging from EVs in practice?  Upfront cost; range anxiety; unwanted subsidies from government/taxpayers; tire wear; insurance rates; battery-wear risk; declining performance of batteries; resale value…. And maybe consumers were and are right, after all.

And for the Greens, the problems of battery labor and materials. And fronted CO2 emissions that can be worked off only with years of operation…. None other than Amy Westervelt at DRILLED recently acknowledged:

”To run, EVs require six times the mineral input, by weight, of conventional vehicles, excluding steel and aluminum,” the Washington Post reported in 2023. That’s because each EV has a 900-pound battery block containing roughly 353 pounds of crucial materials or metals including cobalt, nickel, lithium, manganese, aluminum and copper. Gas cars don’t have that, so it’s less emissions-intensive to create a gas car than an electric car.

It is not easy being green! And yet another reason was noted on LinkedIn by Tim Crome, chief engineer at TechnipFMC in Norway.

While going through old newspapers from the last couple of weeks I came across an article about EVs in Norway, where I live.

The government has now discovered that there are too many of them in towns and that it is often cheaper to use an EV than to use public transport! The result, unacceptable increased congestion in towns.

This is a result of all the benefits given to EVs over the last few years (no VAT, no duty, free from road tolls, free parking, even free charging, etc., while ICE cars are hit hard everywhere!). So now they need to cut these benefits to force people onto public transport. The free passage of the toll rings around Oslo vanished a couple of years ago, the toll for EVs has gradually risen and now they are evaluating higher prices during rush-hour periods. As of next year it won’t be possible to by a new car here that isn’t an EV (or hydrogen – but they aren’t popular at all), so it’s not too surprising that most of the benefits used to con the public into buying EVs will go away.

The whole justification for this is to save the climate (quite how that works is very unclear, at least to me), but encouraging EVs is an extremely expensive way of reducing CO2 emissions. At the present time Norway looks like it will be completely alone with this issue, no other country is talking about banning ICE cars before at least 2035, let alone 2025. And this approach is only possible due to the enormous income Norway has from Oil and Gas, which is a bit ironic!

My trip the last couple of weeks was across South America by car, from Buenos Aires to the Pacific coast of Chile. During that 4000km drive I saw only 1 EV, parked outside one of the top hotels in Santiago. Somehow I don’t think the towns in most of the rest of the world have this problem.

Is green virtue signaling against fossil fuels bad for the environment?


  1. Keith Ryder  

    And let us note that the heavier EV passenger vehicles, as compared to ICEs, greatly increase road wear.

    The problem is even more severe when one considers long-haul trucks — immense weight increase, decreased carrying capacity, even more road wear.


  2. Lynne Balzer  

    And this says nothing about the tendency for lithium ion batteries to catch fire and the fact that there is no discussion about how they will be recycled.


  3. Gregg Goodnight  

    What’s the problem? I think riding on exploding busses would be exciting!


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