[Oeva-list] lawsuits to compel behaviour.

Steve's Account stevel at fern.com
Mon Jul 8 12:53:21 PDT 2013

> Question -
> Now that there are over 100,000 EVers, is that a large enough group
> to form a "class", as in "class action suit"?
> Seems as if they should have a case against the harmful effects of
> being exposed to the second hand emissions from all those ICE
> vehicles sharing the road with them (cigarette smoke being the
> precedence).
> Gary M.

I think the risk here is that folks will start looking at the
air pollution profile of EV's and contend that, in an overall
life cycle analysis, very efficient hybrids with ICE's are more
efficient than pure EV's.

This will continue for as long as there is ANY electricity generated
by fossil fuels, which I expect to continue for at least the next
50 years. (Based on known reserves of fossil fuels.)

When you take into account the energy use profile of EV's including
things like waste heat while charging, energy lost to conversion
processes in both the generators, transmission lines, transformers,
switch gear, and in the lost energy while using the EV in heat
from batteries, controls and the motor.

Not to mention the "off route" miles spent finding charging stations,
which cost energy, and time.

You will find that the delta between the EV and the very efficient
hybrids isn't enough to justify your claim of "measurable harm" sufficient
to prevail in a lawsuit.

Add to that the energy "wasted" driving to events to promote EV's! :-)

And.. if you open this pandora's box.. people will start looking at
birds and insects killed by wind turbines, fish harmed (and saved!) by
the use of hydro dams.. and the conclusion would be "ban all forms of
'optional' travel!" if you want to prevent polution.

It's likely that the best solution would be some form of rail mass transit.
(I'd be willing to bet that a massive campeign of "work from home" would
do a better job of saving energy, than all of the options combined!)

Certainly not a "pro-EV" outcome.

I can't imagine that racing of either ICE's or EV's would survive a careful
cost benefit analysis. (Little knowledge is gained by racing vehicles which
are "class limited" such that performance improvements aren't a factor in
the outcome. This is proven by the fact that the high 10 finishers all cross
the line within seconds of each other. The outcome of such "contests" has
more to do with strategy, luck, and a small amount of driver skill.)

Inside the "echo chamber" of the pro EV marketing community, many of whom
make their livings off of peddling/promoting EV's, I think the real 
practicallity of EV's is overstated.

This is bourne out by the "disapointing" sales of EV's in the mass market,
in spite of their putative benefits of being cheaper to operate/cleaner.
(Not to mention the tax payer funded largesse in the form of tax 
incentives for the purchase/use of EV's.)

Let's face it, if this were the panacea that the marketing hype would have
you believe, this discussion wouldn't be happening.. Everybody would already
be driving an EV. (And those that do have EV's wouldn't have a "backup ICE"!)

This is still a "toy" of the idle rich and the folks who have enough time
and motivation on their hands to be willing to put up with the "privations"
imposed by using EV's as a "transportation solution".

Yes, I'm sure you can point to specific cases of folks using only EV's but
they are a vanishinly small percentage of the overall transportation system.
(Arguably, those folks would be well enough served by existing mass transit,
if they didn't choose to use an EV!)

The bicycle riders would have a better case for banning both ICE's and EV's!
(And if there weren't vehicles on the road, bicycles would be safer!)


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