There has long been the accusation made by some that electric vehicles are more environmentally damaging than internal combustion vehicles. Those voices have grown quieter over the years as the gaping holes in their arguments become more clear. Even today, though, here are some who hold on to their long disproven notions and find outlets to publish their views. Take John McElroy, for instance. This morning finds him published in the respectable Ward's Auto. First, let me say, from all accounts, Mr. McElroy is a good guy. Never met him, but I know people who know him. Great guy, they say. Here, though, he is being willfully wrong. Yes, electric vehicles can be more carbon intensive to build (something that will improve as battery chemistries improve and more energy is stored using the same amount of material input), but the balance tips in their favor soon into their usage cycle. This from the same Union of Concerned Scientists study that Mr McElroy uses to establish the larger initial environmental footprint of EVs, "Battery electric cars make up for their higher manufacturing emissions within eighteen months of driving—shorter range models can offset the extra emissions within 6 months—and continue to outperform gasoline cars until the end of their lives." Not only this, but as the grid continually improves, carbon-wise, the vehicles that depend on it for energy also improve. Internal combustion vehicles, on the other hand, become more carbon-intensive and produce more particulate pollution as they age. To his point that EVs can only be cleaner than gas-powered vehicles if the energy source is particularly clean, I say hogwash. Just two days ago, yet another study, this one a full life cycle modelling study by VUB University in Belgium concludes that even in coal-dependent Poland, EVs are cleaner than diesel-powered vehicles (which are, in-turn, cleaner in terms of CO2 than gasoline). The argument he makes in the first half of his column is dead. Deceased. It is no more. It's not even pining for the fjords. It has shuffled off this mortal coil. Sure, I'll give him that putting used batteries in landfill would be a problem. Is that happening? Not to any great extent, really. Manufacturers are now reusing at least some of the packs removed from used vehicles for static energy storage. Tesla, the biggest creator of battery packs in terms of kWh, are actively pursuing a recycling strategy, recognizing that recovering cobalt and lithium can be a money saver as well as easier on the environment. A quick internet search will reveal a number of advances in battery recycling, demonstrating that this is an area of keen research, as there is great potential for economic and environmental payback. Finally, to his point about hydrogen. Dude. (Really, this is a discussion for a whole 'nother thread, but this is a quick summation of my thoughts on the matter) In the end, fuel cell cars are natural gas cars (the only way to economically produce hydrogen in quantities needed for wide-spread fuel cell commercialization is from natural gas), only with a bit more in the way of whiz-bang materials and process. On top of any number of problems with hydrogen as energy storage, it's not really much cleaner, if at all, than just using natural gas. It's also a lot more expensive, something that until now has been hidden, as retail owners of fuel cell vehicles get either free or highly subsidized hydrogen. But if you like the idea of $6/gallon equivalent of gasoline, be my guest. So, come on. Battery electric cars still have drawbacks for some potential owners, but claiming that gas-powered cars are more sustainable than electrics is hogwash. The science is in, and Mr. McElroy's talking points are in direct conflict with the facts.