Inconvenient Carbon Truth

I am really feeling a lot like Sigourney Weaver in the second of the Alien trilogy where she was found drifting in space and after being brought back to earth to account for her actions attempting to save her crew she is being criticized for destroying an alien lifeform.

If you saw the movie you know the question she asks the review panel: “Did IQs drop sharply while I was away?”  Well, I am feeling the same question when I read all the wondrous praise for electric vehicles.

Don’t get me wrong … I have one and love it!  I am looking forward to the next long range versions too.

But, as with any idea, there are the realities of how fast technology adoption is going to take place.  Here is our government’s prediction for the US and around the world a few years ago.  They forecasted that Norway would have 100% electric vehicle sales by 2027 … a good forecast back in 2019.

So, what is the story today?  The good news is that about 90% of new car sales in Norway are electric.  But, and this is the key point in this blog, how many of all cars in Norway are electric? Remember cars last 15 to 20 years, so the existing inventory is staying on the road and will stay on the road until they are no longer economic or convenient to operate.  Pay special attention to convenient … aka long trips for which gasoline vehicles are preferred.

Statistics are hard to find, but given about 65% of all registered vehicles in Norway are electric, that means that about 35% are still fossil fueled.  And, given that most of them are being driven the longer distances, it would be fair to say that Norway is far from carbon neutral on the cars there, and that assumes the electricity being used came from renewables … which it does not.

The good news is that we are moving in the right direction.  The bad news is that we are far from even seeing the finish line … or the Norwegian line if you prefer.  😊

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