Electric vehicles expose the myth of ethical oil

Over the past few weeks, I have focused on electric vehicles (EV), examining the fallacies adopted by those who do not believe we can build a cleaner future. This is a key battleground for fossil fuel interests and for people downplaying the severity of the climate emergency. Last week I wrote about how the electric vehicle industry is building a circular economy. This week, I examine Big Oil’s unethical response to the competitive threat from electric vehicles.

Canadian oil executives, politicians and lobbyists like to claim that the world prefers “ethical oil” from Canada because we have excellent environmental standards and a track record of responsible resource extraction. That claim is debatable, but when Big Oil attacks successful climate solutions like electric vehicles, the facade of ethical conduct is shattered.

Electric vehicles have an obvious advantage over gasoline and diesel engines because they generate no emissions while you drive them. Vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICE) have exhaust emissions with health risks due to soot particular matter, volatile organic compounds (toxic air pollutants such as benzene, acetaldehyde and butadiene), nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide when burning diesel. Is it any wonder that oil industry enthusiasts want to talk about something else besides combustion engine emissions?

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a typical ICE passenger car emits several tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) each year, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide. When Americans and Canadians drive the most polluting fleet of vehicles on the planet, every tailpipe removed from the road is a step in the right direction.

Ethically challenged people argue that charging electric vehicles with electricity generated from coal is actually more polluting than burning gasoline. This is especially misleading when only seven percent of Canada’s electricity is generated from coal-fired plants. Eighty percent of electricity in Canada comes from hydroelectric, nuclear and renewable sources. Some provinces still rely on fossil-based electricity, but the vast majority of Canadians can charge their electric vehicles with reasonably clean electricity.

Let’s do some math for an Alberta motorist who drives 1,500 kilometers a month. For urban driving in cold weather, the Tesla Model Y’s battery performance is My dear will be 179 watt-hours per kilometer, or 268.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month. Electricity generated in Alberta produces 0.6 kilograms of CO2 per kWh. With load efficiency losses of 15 percentThe monthly emissions of the electric vehicle are 0.19 tons of CO2.

The fuel consumption of a Honda Accord is 7.5 liters per 100 kilometers and according to Natural Resources Canada“Fire [one litre] of gasoline produces approximately 2.3 [kilograms] of CO2”. The monthly emissions figure of an Agreement is 0.25 tons of CO2. This figure challenges the claim that electric vehicles charged from a fossil-rich power grid are dirtier than old combustion vehicles.

Undaunted, most EV critics beholden to Big Oil will resort to denigrating the CO2 emissions required to produce an EV battery. According to a report According to McKinsey & Company, emissions from mining and battery production amount to 0.1 tons of CO2 per kWhor six tons for a Model Y battery. The report goes on to examine how major battery manufacturers could achieve their goal of reducing CO2 emissions to one-fifth of the current amount, or 0.02 tons of CO2 per kWh.

Gasoline production is a complex process from start to finish. Oil sands crude has almost double emissions from conventional oil production in Canada, but let’s look at the conventional oil scenario. Exploration, including drilling, requires a significant amount of energy, primarily in the form of diesel fuel to power drilling rigs and generators. Once you have tapped a reservoir, a hydraulic jack is needed to extract the oil from the ground, which typically consumes 9,960 kWh per month. By one estimateThe 4.3 terawatts of electricity consumed monthly by all pumps in the United States would be enough to power 15 million electric vehicles.

Many people are unaware of the current manipulation that keeps them buying gas guzzling vehicles, writes Rob Miller @winexus #EVs #cdnpoli

Exporting oil also requires an incredible amount of energy to pump it through pipelines that cross the entire continent and to feed oil tankers with the world’s dirtiest fuel, which emits 200 million tons of CO2 annually.

Refineries are energy consumers and an important source of air and water pollution. The gasoline produced by these refineries must then be delivered to the local gas station in diesel-powered tanker trucks. It is an inefficient system plagued by polluting energy consumption.

The well-to-tank emissions required to continue driving are estimated to be 0.72 kilograms of CO2 per liter. An electric vehicle’s battery can be recharged over the life of the vehicle, while the gas tank continues to accumulate production emissions every time you fill it up. Well-to-tank emissions must be calculated so that the vehicle’s useful life is a fair comparison to an electric vehicle battery.

Since most electric vehicles come with a 100,000-mile battery warranty, we’ll use this as a conservative estimate of a vehicle’s lifespan. (EV batteries will generally last much longer, and a Tesla Model S outperforms 500,000 kilometers in Alberta.) Well-to-tank emissions resulting from the fuel needed to drive the Honda Accord for 160,000 kilometers are 8.6 tonnes, 40 per cent more than the emissions from producing the battery for the Model Y.

Industry experts may question these estimates. However, the EPA is very clear that claims that emissions from electric vehicles are higher than those from ICE vehicles are in fact myths. Even the Alberta Municipal Climate Action Center discredits claims that electric vehicles do not reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Who benefits from perpetuating these falsehoods? The commercial argument of the big oil companies would be paralyzed if more than one billion vehicles It stopped burning gasoline and diesel. The exponential growth in electric vehicle adoption is very bad for businesses, and we should expect a formidable effort to slow or prevent this technological transition from occurring. It’s harder to explain why journalists and people cling to these misleading narratives.

When industry leaders, banks and politicians are fully aware of the environmental and climate consequences associated with any delay in reducing air pollution and GHG emissions, it is irresponsible and unethical to actively undermine a technology that reduces the demand for their dangerous product. However, the big oil companies prioritizing profits and bonuses on the health and well-being of billions of people.

Industry spokesmen maintain that the world still needs fossil energy and it would be detrimental to reduce production while demand continues to rise. This is 100 percent true and is why policies and objectives are needed to manage an orderly transition. However, the subversive attempt to create skepticism around electric vehicles, renewable energy and climate science It is a violation of ethical conduct.

Furthermore, the Canadian Competition Act prohibits false and misleading representations that could negatively affect a competitor’s business. Competition Law is being used against the oil industry’s recent greenwashing campaigns. How difficult would it be to connect industry representatives to the multiple misinformation campaigns against electric vehicles?

In light of the current anti-social behavior of Big Oil, it is abundantly clear that ethical oil is a marketing construct that defies reality. Many people are unaware of the current manipulation that keeps them buying gas guzzling vehicles. Faced with a planet that is slowly overheating, investors in the world’s largest oil companies have rejected requests calling for stronger measures to mitigate climate change. This is exactly the outcome oil executives envisioned when they crafted their unethical answer to the warnings of its own scientists.

Rob Miller is a retired systems engineer, formerly with General Dynamics Canada, who now volunteers at the Calgary Climate Hub and writes on behalf of Eco-Elders for Climate Action, but any opinions expressed in his work are his own.

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