Sunday March 06, 2016
Electric cars aren't as green as you think they are
more stories from this episode
- Let's talk about pipelines like grown-ups, says industry watcher
- Yes, I'm a millennial. No, I don't want to smoke weed with random strangers.
- Abortion politics loom over proposed amendment to the Criminal Code
- Is the canoe a symbol of Canada, or of colonialism?
- Electric cars aren't as green as you think they are
- Bio-cremation: why burn a body when you can dissolve it?
- Full Episode
The government of British Columbia just announced new incentives for electric car owners, who will now be allowed to use HOV lanes, even with no passengers.
"People in those cars, I think, deserve a little more incentive for what they're doing for our environment," said B.C. premier Christy Clark.
A subsidy to electric cars is ultimately a subsidy to car culture. - Ozzie Zehner
But Ozzie Zehner, author of "Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism," argues subsidies for electric cars are the wrong approach. He says electric cars are a form of denial that encourage everything that's wrong with car culture: urban sprawl, overconsumption, and community division.
Shifting from gasoline or petrol cars to electric cars is like switching a smoking habit from cloves to menthols. It isn't acceptable for doctors to promote menthol cigarettes, so should environmentally-minded people... or politicians promote alternative fuel cars? Of course not. It's ludicrous. -Ozzie Zehner
He encourages governments to focus on creating walkable neighbourhoods and improving bicycle infrastructure instead.