‘Magic math’ misleads readers

| 31 Oct 2022 | 02:50

    Readers have been misled by Mr. Wronka and his magic math. Based on his simple arithmetic, he claims that gas-powered cars are 5X more efficient than electric vehicles (EVs). However, he makes some false assumptions: cars burn gasoline with 100% efficiency (false) and all electricity is generated from coal (false).

    According to Wikipedia (his own chosen source), typical gasoline engines are only 20-35% efficient, not 100%. (This figure doesn’t even include the energy consumed to haul all the oil from Saudi Arabia to his local gas station.) This alone wipes out most of the advantage he claims for gas-powered cars.

    Power plants have shifted away from using coal and more towards cleaner natural gas and renewable energy sources. Currently, only about 22% of electricity in the USA comes from burning coal, while 18% comes from renewable sources. (Right now, in Sussex county, you can choose Clearview Energy as your electricity supplier to provide you with 100% hydroelectric power to charge your EV.) If more people demanded it, these cleaner technologies would become more widely available and cheaper.

    Many scientists and engineers and auto executives (with educations way beyond 6th grade math) have bet their professional lives on the future of EVs, while science denialism has left many Americans skeptical. Meanwhile, as we wait for the politics to play out, ExxonMobil and Chevron just made record profits of $30 billion last quarter, profiteering off of gas-guzzling Americans struggling to pay their high prices at the pump, while also funding terrorist nations who supply the oil to us.

    David Wexler