Should Your New Road Hog Be EV?

The New York Times’ climate crew produced this moral guide for prospective purchasers of Ford’s mainstay F-150 pickup truck–go electric or not? The battery-powered Lightning model, it happens, weighs 6,000 pounds or nearly 50% more than the gasoline counterparts, and that raises various issues explored in the article: Not just whether EV power needs negate the sparing of (direct) carbon emissions, but also the safety implications from when the big boys bash into humans and other objects. (Also, not noted: Heavier vehicles cause more wear and tear on roads and whatever “all terrain” they cross.) The Times gets into the “life-cycle emissions” per mile, and concludes the Lightnings “end up just as polluting as some smaller gas-burning cars.” Whether this calculation takes into account the upgrading of the electricity grid and alt-energy sourcing that will be necessary to accommodate a full fleet of American EVs in the future is not clear. Or, whether such infrastructure is even in the cards. There’s a lot to the all-electric boom that is uncertain, even as many underestimate the efficiency gains that are being made in internal-combustion engines. (Lighter materials on vehicles, such as the aluminum frames on all F-150s now, are another advancement–unless you are bothered by a new Bloomberg investigation into some Brazilian sourcing misery.) Ultimately, the quandary of how paragons of sustainability should transport themselves and their cargo comes down to this, the Times quotes: “Consumers should think about buying the highest-efficiency vehicle that still meets their needs.” At present, alas, they seem to need more and more. Link:

Published by timwferguson

Longtime writer-editor, focusing on topics of business and policy, global and local.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s