"Car Tax" Opinion for "Environmentalist" not negated by "Electric Car Transition"

As with other missing modulation effects of “Electric Car Transition”, its value does not inversely correspond to the “Environmentalist” opinion on “Car Tax”. At a full electric transition, this is just a revenue and traffic congestion policy, not an environmental policy.

fyi) road expansion angers environmentalists even though it’s just a traffic congestion policy.

Let’s be clear, cars and car infraestructure are bad for the enviromment, with EV only being a bit less bad.

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Doesn’t it depend on how they are made?

What figures do you have?

You can see it in here:
A comparative LCA of an electric vehicle and an internal combustion engine vehicle using the appropriate power mix: the Italian case study

While most impacts on EV are half of those os ICEV, some of them are even higher like Eutrophication or human toxicity.


So, it’s important to increase pollution controls and eork safety laws in Congo, China and Russia.

An embargo on REMs from the Congo, would likely lead to the starvation of those workers, so it’s like choosing a lesser evil.

This article only makes the point that charging electric vehicles with electric energy generated through fossil fuel combustion is a silly proposal for reducing fossil fuel consumption.

Somewhere else in this forum, I did make the point that electric cars, and high speed rail, should greatly increase “energy demand” which should in turn potentially increase “CO2 emissions” and decrease “environment” depending on how “energy demand” was being satisfied.

So, this statement

Let’s be clear, cars and car infraestructure are bad for the enviromment, with EV only being a bit less bad.

is simplified to the point that it is not predictive or useful.

Firstly, even while depending on fossil fuel combustion for electricity, this would change significantly the height of emissions and potentially the geography of their location, and so this change could significantly improve urban air pollution, and hence human health, even if it did not do as much to help a country’s contribution to global emissions.

But, secondly and more to the point, this has everything to do with how the electricity used to charge vehicles is generated, not much to do with the vehicles themselves. I wish that the game modeled this issue.

Let’s go to some of the data:
Greenhouse effect (figure6):
Discounting electricity production (blue in the EV section) keeps around 20%impact

Air acidification (figure 7):
Discounting electricity production (blue in the EV section) keeps around 40%impact

Eutrophication (figure 11):
Even discounting electricity production (blue in the EV section) it still has a higher impact.

So, even if we discount all impacts from electricity production (a highly ideal case) my original points still operate, EV are only less bad for the enviromment, not green.


A lot of your manufacturing impact there is also just an impact of the way in which electricity is produced to power the manufacturing. So, you’re still undercountering the impact from electricity production.

After that point, the remainder of environmental impact is already considered, in the game, by pollution controls, “green electronics initiative”, and the “GDP” effect on “Environment” which is assumed to represent manufacturing consumption.

Once those adjustments are considered, this statement

EV are only less bad for the enviromment, not green.

continues to be effectively meaningless. The same statement could be made, for example, with respect to bicycles - these also require manufacturing, which consumes electricity, which is currently not produced in an emissions-neutral manner, and furthermore require operation, which directly creates emissions through human respiration, and the increased need for calorie food consumption due to bicycling energy loss, which is also not carbon-neutral.

When a term x may be used to describe anything, it describes nothing. When a term y does not describe anything, it has no function. By this standard, every mode of transportation is “bad for the environment”, and none of them are “green”, and so these term do not clearly define something to the exclusion of something else. Used in this way, they have no definitional functions within this domain, so they may be called “meaningless”.

Nah you’re not really getting how LCA works. You need to consider every procurement effort from wells & mines to manufacturing & usage. Even if you try real hard to replace all the electricity sources with “clean” one and achieve zero emission at the manufacturing stage, you will still have some polluting processes and need to produce or import raw materials. You can’t just remove environmental impacts at these stages. While LCA results can differ by power mixes, it’s not something you can easily nitpick like that.


Lots of manufacturing processes are highly poluting independent of the enegy source, like steel making or copper mining, you need more than a low polution energy source in order to make it more sustainable.

And I get it, maybe under what I am saing there is no such thing as green transport, but under no circunstance a kind of thansportation that strugle to get half of the impact of conventional vehicles and some of them even higher like human toxicity or eutrophication should be considered green.

Are there any studies which argue against this?

Against what of the points?

Against that EVs are less environmentally harmful than ICEVs?

After a little while in google scholar I’ve found two kinds of papers on the topic from recent years, the “EVs are great” and the “EV are not so great but keep being better than conventional”. In that context people that arge against EVs like Lomborg don’t do it because they are worse than conventional, it’s because they don’t see it as cost efective.

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Oh, okay, I see, thanks for researching this!


Oh - they’re definitely hugely cost-ineffective, and in that sense, a complete waste of money and a performance art, at this time.

I assume that the game model for the cost-effectiveness of electric vehicle transition assumes that, in the game universe, some new battery technology is devised. I do not think that that can be accomplished with the investment and time periods modeled in the game. The game is kind of weirdly obsessed with electric car transitions, in that sense.

Things that are 100x or more cost-effective than electric vehicle transition with current technology, as modeled by game policy:

  • Reforestation diplomacy (bribing and bullying third world countries to reforest / stop deforestation)
  • Reforestation
  • Reforestation

Things that are 10x or most cost-effective, in no particular order:

  • Nuclear energy
  • Pollution controls
  • Eco-home regulations
  • Car emissions limits

There’s probably more to add, to that list.

I guess I could say here, that the game generally suffers from considering fad policies, but not from considering policies that would actually effect the target variable in a cost-effective way. Unfortunately, bribing and bullying central/south Americans, Africans and Indonesians into conserving and/or restoring their natural ecosystems cannot be converted into a status symbol you can drive around the bay area in, to show that you are simultaneously more moral and also richer than everyone else.

I think you’re exaggerating the ineffectiveness of electric cars without any evidence to back it up. If you mentioned figures like 1.15X or 1.25X, or even 2X I would still be more likely to believe it at face value, but if you use terms like 10X or 100X, you need to back it up with data.

Yeah, those numbers seem absurdly high, this is what numbers comparing the impact seem in science:
Probabilistic multicriteria environmental assessment of power plants: A global approach

Environmental impact of diferent electricity sources, with one being quite good and zero being quite bad.

And in the more general case considering all aspects of sustainability.
Assessing the global sustainability of different electricity generation systems

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When you say, “all aspects”, do you mean bird deaths, river damage, etc.?

I wonder if there’s an index for aesthetics too, considering the debate around wind farms. I guess that could be solved with wind offshore).