Do Electric Vehicles Solve Most or All Motor Vehicle Problems?


By Dom Nozzi

A great many people seem to believe that the widespread use of electric vehicles (EVs) will solve most or all societal problems created by motor vehicles (MVs).

This is not even close to being true.

Air emissions from cars is one of a great many enormous problems motorized vehicles create for society. The excessive reliance on motor vehicles (MVs) — including EV — inevitably consume an enormous amount of space that destroys a sense of place and quality of life, and greatly undermines efforts to promote compact development. MVs also inevitably introduce excessive speeds into our world, which causes a shocking number of travel-related injuries and deaths. MVs inevitably swallow up a massive, financially unsustainable amount of public tax revenue (a massive fraction of that constitute public subsidies). MVs, furthermore, inevitably amplify public health woes (particularly obesity). MVs, in addition, inevitably create a tremendous financial strain for cities and households. MVs establish a downwardly spiraling, self-perpetuating point of no return that nearly all cities have reached. There are a great many other problems that MVs create. In sum, it is time that we stop kidding ourselves that “clean” MV emissions fix most or all societal MV problems.

I believe the “EV Solution” is so commonly expressed because many people seek a “solution” that does not require substantial societal behavior change. Others cannot conceive of a world where they are obligated to drive a car substantially less.

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Filed under Economics, Politics, Sprawl, Suburbia, Transportation, Urban Design

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