A bill to extend tax credits for the purchase of electric cars is before the Congress. It has bipartisan support, and supporters specifically cite the threat of global warming as a reason for this measure. It is estimated that this extension will cost $16 billion in lost revenues.
The idea that electric cars are so “green” that tax credits to encourage their sales are warranted lacks foundation. Although they are frequently termed “zero emission”, electric cars are not emissions-free. It’s just that the electric power plants do their emitting for them. Given that the National Energy Institute says that on average 0.95 kg of carbon dioxide is emitted to produce one kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electrical energy, of which the Tesla needs 75 kWh to go about 210 miles (real world estimate), as much carbon dioxide is emitted to power a Tesla Model S as is emitted by a similar sized conventional car given recent improvements in gas mileage.More