Right in the centre - Let's evaluate where we are headed


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

We are constantly bombarded with government “commandments” that make little sense. Actually, they aren’t commandments, but they are strong suggestions backed up with a mixture of propaganda and incentives.

Of particular note are electric cars. They sound wonderful, most look pretty and they make so much sense.

No they don’t make sense except for very short-run travel and isolated circumstances. Electric cars or trucks don’t make sense, at least not yet, for long distance travel, for remote locations  and for heavy hauling. Some day, likely yes, but EVs don’t work for our area if you are planning long drives. Some electric cars can make it from Winnipeg to Brandon and back on one charge, but it’s dicey.

I went online and asked how long it take to re-charge an electric vehicle. Here’s the answer I got: “The time it takes to charge an electric car can be as little as 30 minutes or more than 12 hours. This depends on the size of the battery and the speed of the charging point. A typical electric car (60kWh battery) takes just under 8 hours to charge from empty-to-full with a 7kW charging point.”

Then I asked, ‘how much does it cost to re-charge an electric vehicle?’ Here’s that answer: “The cost of fast charging an electric car depends on several factors, including the type of charging station, the cost of electricity in your area, and the capacity of your electric cars battery. On average, fast charging an electric car can cost between $10 and $50, depending on the aforementioned factors.”

Manitobans can get a $5,000 federal rebate when buying an EV. I resent that fact very much. Why should I be forced to pay for a rebate on an EV. In addition, to replace an EV battery costs between $5,000 and $20,000 after 100,000 miles of use.

The government will argue that we are saving the planet with electric cars. I doubt that as it costs valuable money and energy to generate electricity. The extra mining costs for minerals going into batteries is significant and has deep environmental and social effects.

As we have sadly come to realize, governments go off on tangents and when people don’t buy in easily, the government applies incentives, regulations and laws to force the issue. EVs are a classic case of a government tangent that one day may work out but if and when it does, the adoption should make economic sense, not just be badgered by a sense of political destiny.

I have also pondered why countries, especially the USA, are so fixated with landing people on the moon. I didn’t think it was a good idea 50 years ago and I think it’s a worse idea now. We have so many issues begging for solutions in our world, not the least of which is keeping nations from killing each other. Spending time, money, resources and political will on getting people on the moon seems a total waste. Perhaps we should send the politicians on a one way trip to the moon and see how they feel about that.

People will argue that a lot of research has come out of the space program and that is true. We now have better communications and better plastics, but how much has that really benefitted our world? Do we really need to have instant communications anywhere on the planet and every person’s eyes glued to a cell phone? And speaking of better plastics, how much more plastic does the planet need? Oh yes, it’s made from oil, so if we have electric cars, we can have more oil to make more plastics so we can fill more landfills.

Hmm?? How is that working out for us?

Let’s take a break from this foolishness and realize that while we have enough food in the world for now, we can’t always get it to where it’s needed. Distribution may be hampered by price, wars or other issues but we still have hungry people in the world. Hunger still stalks some of our lands.

We can have 100s of different kinds of toothpaste, facial creams and weight loss drugs but no cure yet for cancer and many other diseases. We are Hell-bent to get electric cars and going to the moon but there are much greater needs begging to be addressed. Food distribution, disease control, housing, drug addiction all rank higher in my books than electric cars or going to the moon. Let me know what you think.