Clean green batteries?

Greens and technically challenged scribes apparently believe that battery-powered cars and planes are exciting new clean “zero-emissions” vehicles.

There is little new about batteries – battery-powered cars were running on British roads over a century ago.  They were pushed out of the market by internal combustion engines.

Batteries just store energy made elsewhere, and all have a finite life.  Every battery needs primary energy and resources for production, recharging, replacing, and recycling, and every step produces its own emissions.

Batteries require lots of expensive raw materials – lead, calcium, nickel, cadmium, lithium, hydrogen, plus ancillary copper, steel, zinc, aluminium, and plastic.  All need primary energy like coal or gas for mining, manufacture, construction, recharging, and recycling plus coking coal for smelting metals.  Even wind and solar are not emissions-free once construction, maintenance, and life-cycle replacement are fully accounted for.

All cars, even green ones, need road maintenance using bitumen, concrete, and diesel-powered machinery, all costing money and producing emissions.  Green cars also need recharging stations, demanding more metals.

Batteries have an important place in our lives.  But they are not “emissions free.”