Absurdity of Zero-Emission-Vehicles

Previously, it’s been shown that the concept of fuel cell vehicles is fatally flawed.

First: The cost of producing and delivering hydrogen to fueling stations is exorbitant. See, Massive Cost of Fuel Cell Vehicles, Part 1.

Second: The incremental cost, i.e., penalty, for manufacturing FCVs, compared with a car powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE) is substantial, and will probably always remain so. See, Massive Cost of Fuel Cell Vehicles, Part 2.

In another earlier article it was shown that battery electric vehicles, (BEVs) costing around $35,000 and targeting the middle class family will still cost around $7,000 more than a comparable ICE vehicle. See, Is There a Future for Battery Powered Vehicles?

Earlier it was shown that BEVs have hidden costs, such as for upgrading transformers and for building battery-charging stations. For example, 240 volt charging stations that require about 20 minutes to recharge batteries cost around $2,500, while high-speed charging stations can cost $25,000. A nationwide network of high-speed charging stations to replicate the network of 168,000 gasoline stations could cost $4.2 billion. See, Impact of Electric Vehicles on Grid.

Image from CARB Website
Image from CARB Website

In addition to the above costs, there currently are very large subsidies, using tax payer money, to reimburse buyers of FCVs and BEVs for a portion of the substantial premium they must pay when buying these vehicles.

In summary, there are huge costs that Americans must bear for requiring the sale of FCVs and BEVs. They include:

  • The substantial incremental cost for manufacturing FCVs and BEVs
  • The huge investment, amounting to billions of dollars, required to build hydrogen refueling or battery recharging stations to replicate the network of existing 168,000 gasoline stations
  • The huge investment for building new power plants to provide the electricity needed for producing hydrogen with electrolysis, or alternatively, the huge investment in building reforming plants to provide hydrogen for FCVs
  • The huge investment in new power plants for providing the electricity needed to recharge batteries

The primary reason for imposing these huge costs on Americans is to cut CO2 emissions.

If FCVs and BEVs were economically viable, they would be flying out of dealer show rooms without people being forced to buy them.

These huge added costs will have to be absorbed by Americans, including those in the middle and low income groups who can ill afford them. The rich elites won’t mind because they like these toys for the rich and famous.

California regulations already affect all Americans

The California Air Resource Board is, in effect, forcing Americans in other states to subsidize California’s clean car program, by blackmailing automobile manufacturers into providing these clean-cars if they want to sell vehicles in California.

The considerable overhead costs attributable to these so-called clean-cars and the losses incurred by manufacturers for the FCVs and BEVs sold in California are being foisted onto all Americans, in states outside California, such as Florida, Indiana and Iowa.

In accounting for these extra costs and losses, manufacturers spread them across all their product lines sold everywhere, so car buyers are paying for these extra costs when they buy cars anywhere in the United States.

While this is currently more of an academic rather than a real issue, because the number of FCVs and BEVs being sold is very low, it demonstrates the pervasiveness of the effect that California’s actions for cutting CO2 emissions will have across the nation.


The cost of forcing Americans to buy and own FCVs and BEVs rather than traditional gasoline and diesel powered vehicles is immense, and will harm the middle and lower income groups the most.

It goes beyond incurring higher taxes to pay for subsidies, or for having to bear the costs associated with the California Resource Boards regulations to cut CO2 emissions, or paying a premium for FCVs and BEVs, it extends to having to needlessly invest trillions of dollars in new power plants, reforming facilities and fueling or recharging stations.

Zero-emission-vehicles for cutting CO2 emissions are an unnecessary burden on Americans.

Watch for my new book, which will be available in January.


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