WSJ Promoting BEVs

WSJ Promoting BEVs

The Off Duty section of the Wall Street Journal devoted nearly two pages to the article Should I Buy An EV Now?

It covered topics such as: 

  • Why do I want an electric vehicle?
  • What’s wrong with internal combustion?
  • I do want an EV, but shouldn’t I wait?
  • Are the batteries ready?

If this had been an advertisement in the front section, it could easily have cost $80,000.

Why is the WSJ giving BEVs so much publicity?

And why is some of the information in the article inaccurate?

And why doesn’t the article cover key issues that cast a bad light on BEVs?

Perhaps the most glaring misinformation was the claim that about 25% of our electricity comes from renewables, i.e., solar, wind and water. 

The article goes on to say, 

“At the current pace renewables will provide 38% of the nation’s energy by 2030.” 

This statement smacks of energy illiteracy. He has lumped oil, natural gas, nuclear and coal and renewables into one grand package, including energy used for transportation, heating etc. 

What I think he meant to say, “[Renewables] will provide 38% of the nation’s electricity by 2030.”

But even that would have been misleading.

Here are the facts for electricity generation in 2021:

  • Solar 2.8%
  • Wind 9.2 %
  • Hydro 6.3%

For a total of 18.3%, not 25%.

But this includes hydro which environmentalists have been trying to eliminate. 

Environmentalists are trying to tear down existing dams, and campaign against building any new ones needed for hydro power.

There won’t be much new hydro built in the US by 2030, if any.

So we are left with renewables, i.e., wind and solar, providing 12% of America’s electricity in 2021, not 25%.

How could the WSJ allow such an article to be printed?

The article also completely ignored the problem of who produces the materials used in batteries.

There’s no mention that 80% of the critical materials will come from China, an adversary of the United States. The article ignores that we will be trading energy independence for dependency on other countries for the materials used in BEV batteries.

The article claims that BEVs are more environmentally friendly than ICEs, because they emit fewer greenhouse gasses. Ignored is the huge mining effort and corresponding damage to the environment caused by the removal of tons of dirt in countries that lack strong environmental regulations. China is probably one of the worst in this regard.

Another questionable conclusion in the article is that the cost of batteries will “plummet”. 

Battery costs are increasing now, and will probably increase more if demand for BEVs increases. 

Quoting from an earlier article, Can Battery-Powered Vehicles Compete?

“Goldman Sachs has predicted that, while prices of key material will rise substantially and spike in 2022 due to a lack of supply, they will mostly merely double in 2024 as new mines come into operation.

“But, a doubling of material costs will mean that the cost of lithium-ion batteries will increase … not decrease.

“According to Goldman Sachs, the increased cost of Lithium, Nickel and Cobalt will result in an 18% increase in the cost of lithium-ion batteries. This would increase the cost of batteries from $130, to over $150 per kWh hour.”

There’s only a passing mention of battery fires, and no mention that Lithium-ion battery fires are virtually impossible to extinguish. Fire departments just let them burn out … even if they are in a garage.

And if you try to have Tesla Model 3 pull a trailer, see how far you get before you need to recharge the battery.

There’s more, but it’s clear that the two-page WSJ spread is a one-sided promotion for BEVs.

Why would an unbiased source of news print such a one-sided story?

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4 Replies to “WSJ Promoting BEVs”

  1. And this why the WSJ is best used for purposes other than information gathering — and thanks for the accurate comparisons of 2021 electricity generation sources — something the WSJ should be reporting.

  2. How could the WSJ allow such an article to be printed?

    Other than the editorial pages, the writers at WSJ are drawn from the same awful pool as most of the other reporters at main stream papers. Their reporting on Covid was awful, reporting on climate is terrible, why wouldn’t they engage in deficient reporting on energy topics as well?