It sounds counterintuitive but until any nation is in a position to generate the bulk of its electricity from solar, wind, nuclear or hydropower, electric cars could cause at least as much harm to the planet as continuing to run gasoline- or diesel-powered cars.
The environmental ramifications of widespread electric-car use are largely unknown. The costs of gasoline consumption, on the other hand, are predictable and can be mitigated by improving efficiency and developing green travel policies, including taxation, car-sharing and the expansion of public transport.
Until our power comes from renewables, this could be the safest road ahead. Embracing electric cars may salve our conscience, but ditching the devil we know for the one we don’t yet understand could be a well-intentioned move that backfires badly.
Speaking of which: “As more than half a million customers in [the California Bay Area] lost power Wednesday amid a series of planned outages aimed at thwarting wildfires, Tesla owners were confronted with another troubling possibility: their cars running out of juice.”