A visiting scholar at U.C. Berkeley has published a book that argues that electric vehicles hurt the environment more than they help it and that EVs are more of a marketing symbol than a way to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Wired reported.
Author Ozzie Zehner, who titled his book "Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism," writes that the production of the copper, aluminum and rare-earth metals required to make an EV and its motor's magnets create more pollution than what would be saved after those cars hit the road, according to the publication.
Zehner, a former General Motors employee, also argues that EV prices aren't likely to fall much further because the technological advances related to their production have already been achieved. The book casts a vote for public-transportation improvements as a better way for governments to help the environment than funding electric-drive technology.
Naturally, people such as author Nick Chambers and Green Car Reports editor John Voelcker took issue with Zehner's arguments, Wired reported. Among other points, both Chambers and Voelcker predicted further substantial drops in battery-pack prices, while Voelcker said that much research is being conducted on using non-rare-earth metals in electric motors, which would further cause the environmental impact of making an EV to drop.