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Wheeler: Electric cars are not the solution to climate change


Savannah Zerbel/Daily Emerald Opinion: Electric vehicles are here to save the automobile industry not climate change.


Electric vehicles are all the craze these days , representing a conscious shift in the consumer away from the dirty, polluting, archaic past of gas-driven cars. However, this transition is more lateral than progressive. Electric cars are the automobile industry trying to maintain its dominance by selling an environmentally friendly product. The problem is not what drives on our roads, but the roads themselves.

Don’t get me wrong, relative to traditional combustion engine vehicles, electric cars are almost objectively better –– especially so in Eugene, as 80% of our electricity comes from renewable sources. We’ve all heard the statistics that electric cars in the short term contribute to carbon emissions, which is true. Production of batteries for EVs requires rare Earth metals like cobalt and lithium that are environmentally devastating and dangerous to mine . Not to mention they only last for 10-20 years . Also, barring the Pacific Northwest, the vast majority of EVs will be charged with electricity still being generated by non-renewable means .

Marc Schlossberg, a professor in the school of Planning, Public Policy and Management, is not against EVs but […]

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