When The New York Times Decides There’s An Issue an issue, Be prepared to read about it in detail.
Hardly a week goes by these days without a respected news organization examining the realities, myths, and purported benefits and drawbacks of electric vehicles, and sometimes The Atlantic gets involved. That revolution, marked by changes in manufacturing, consumer habits and social “consciousness,” may be truly upon us. Or it may not be.
Nonetheless, the newspaper is committed to presenting these pros and cons to the public. In this recently published article, “Just How Good for the Planet Is That Big Electric Pickup Truck?” – Wow, that’s a mouthful – The Times focuses on the “bigness” of the current and pending crop of EVs, and how it affects or will affect the environment and road safety.
News organizations are not fond of calling themselves “breaking news” these days. In October, we pointed to an essay in The Atlantic that covered roughly the same premise, and focused on Hummer as a particular villain,
In paper and online on February 18, The Times’ Elana Shao looked at how “swapping a gas pickup truck for a similar electric one could produce significant emissions savings.”
She continues: “Take the Ford F-150 pickup truck, compared to the electric F-150 Lightning. The electric versions are responsible for 50 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions per mile.
But she quickly turns the argument around, noting heavy electric pickup trucks “often require larger batteries and more electricity to charge, so they are responsible for more emissions than other smaller EVs. Taking into account life cycle emissions per mile, they are just as polluting as some small gas-burning cars.
Sure, it’s been drilled into our heads that electric cars run not on wind and water but on electricity, which costs money, and that the public is, with some analysts, “thinking about electric SUVs, pickup trucks, and crossover vehicles.” and change”. It is estimated that SUVs, pickup trucks and vans could make up 78 percent of vehicle sales by 2025.
And then there’s the security question, which was cleverly addressed in the Atlantic story. Here Shao recounts data documenting the increased risks of injury and death caused by large, heavy vehicles.
Traffic deaths have increased in recent years, while the death rate has decreased in other equally developed countries. There are many factors to blame, including dangerous road design and high speed limits, but experts and advocates also point to the supersizing of America’s vehicles.
Shao ends the piece not by offering many solutions but by stating bluntly: “American consumers love their big SUVs and pickup trucks.” There is much more to read here.