Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Electric Car Should Be Permanently Parked

Here's a Reuters blogger's view of the electric car and whether it really presages the end of gasoline as a fuel.

No it doesn't, he says. And it's all because of the electric car's battery. It's nowhere near being able to deliver the same amount of power per volume as gasoline or diesel. Plus, it takes too long to get charged.

And then there's the issue of all the rare earth metals in the battery. China produces 93% of all the rare earths in the world, and over 99% of the rare earths dysprosium and terbium. The country recently announced it would tighten its control over exports of these elements.

While the world may not run out of rare earths, Reuters says, it will have to pay more for them. Another strike against the electric car.

I agree with the Reuters post to some extent. I don't think the electric car will displace the gasoline car. For a while we'll have different technologies powering our motors, until one of them proves to be the most efficient and least polluting. Then the market will converge on that technology, as it did on the gasoline-powered engine.

(Photo: An electric police wagon in Switzerland.)

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