Are Electric Cars a Do-Good or Just a Feel-Good?

business_ethics_highlightsYour Nissan Leaf is a zero-emission vehicle while you drive it, but when you take account of all the costs, it may even be worse than a gasoline-powered car. Bjorn Lomborg explains. >>>

Electric car benefits? Just myths

In the public conversation, electric cars are seen as the new uber-green. But they’re nothing of the sort. If we had 25 million extra electric cars rather than gasoline cars on the road in 2020, they would over their lifetime avoid 75 million tons of CO2 at a market value of more than half a billion dollars.

However, at present-day subsidies, they would cost a phenomenal $188 billion while creating more pollution than gasoline cars, costing about $35 billion in lives cut short by poor air quality. For every dollar of cost, the electric car does less than half a cent of good.


  1. Doesn’t it all depend on how your local power system is generating electricity?

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