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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



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I think I was right (EVs)

21 November 2019

Some time ago I predicted that the shift from dino-juicers (ICEs) to electric vehicles (EVs) would happen at a much faster rate than most people expected.

Recent news from the EV industry seems to increasingly support my position on this.

Whereas, just a few short years ago, the only practical EVs on the market were from Tesla, today we have a rapidly growing array of options, most of which are coming from the established auto makers.

Now we have Hyundai, Nissan, Jaguar, Volvo/Polestar, VW, and even Ford has announced a Mustang EV SUV due to come to market in the very near future.

The future looks bright for EVs... or does it?

The future would be a whole lot brighter if the supporting infrastructure was being grown at a pace to match the rise in EV production.

For the life of me, I can not understand why, even here in New Zealand, we're not already planning and starting development of the hugely expanded electricity generation capacity that will be needed to support our transport fleet as it transitions (very quickly) to electric power.

I have no doubt that in several years time, we'll see power companies and the government issuing statements such as "nobody could have predicted how quickly electric vehicles have grown as a percentage of our vehicle fleet" -- as an excuse for being caught on the back foot.

Nobody except me perhaps?

One only has to look at how quickly, once it was established as a viable "thing", technologies such as the internet, online shopping and smartphones took off. That's how this sort of thing works.

There's always a rather slow gestation period due to skepticism within the ranks of the population but once people see the benefits, growth can often be meteoric. This is something industries and governments should already be very much aware of and thus we ought to be well down the road to creating the essential infrastructure to support the skyrocketing popularity of EVs in a few short years.

If we don't act to anticipate the demand for increased electricity consumption, our very ability to benefit from this technology will be significantly compromised. Instead of slashing carbon emissions from our vehicle fleet, we'll still be reliant on importing huge volumes of petrol at extortionate prices and wasting valuable overseas earnings in the process.

Can politicians and the electricity industries not see that by getting ahead of the curve on this, we stand to deliver a huge economic benefit to the country and its people? Why waste money on imported fossil fuels when we have the ability to create our own transport fuel (electricity) from almost entirely renewable sources? Why feather the nests of Middle-eastern nations and huge oil companies when that money could be kept in New Zealand and spent in the best interests of Kiwis?

Another thing to consider is that NZ's major export earners (tourism and dairy) are both heavy producers of greenhouse gasses. I do not see how we will be able to get even close to our emissions goals without compensating for the outputs of these two industries by way of transitioning our transport fleet to EVs as quickly as possible.

But nobody seems to care!

Bah.. we'll just give the farming sector a "get out of jail free" card and compensate by using taxpayers' money to buy carbon credits (ie: "feel-good certificates") as an offset.

What a bunch of cloth-heads we have running this place.

And is now a good time to invest in cobalt futures perhaps -- given the huge demand that all these EVs will place on this natural resource?

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