LATELY — 22 August 2010

$100,000 electric cars? They're not environmentally friendly

There’s pretty much no way a $100,000 car can be more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly than a $20,000 car. This is true ir­re­spec­tive of the way in which the cars are powered. If you buy a $100,000 car, you put $100,000 into the economy. That is, $100,000 becomes avail­able to the manufacturer’s sup­pli­ers and em­ploy­ees to buy stuff, and there’s no reason that this money will be spent in a more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly way than any other $100,000 that goes into the economy.

I think the only way to make the pur­chase of a $100,000 car en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly is to buy a $20,000 car, and burn $80,000. At least that way you get rid of $80,000 that would oth­er­wise be used to consume stuff.

(If an elec­tric car ends up being cheaper over its life­time (i.e. in­clud­ing fuel/power) then it will be more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly than its gas-powered equivalent. But I don’t think this would ever apply to the Tesla Roadster.)