1. The costs of whole-fleet battery electrification cannot be borne by private individuals at this point, nor should they. Privatizing transport created more freedom, but also a moral hazard. Now individuals/families are being asked to pay an unexpected and unfair “tax” for the massive shift from trains and trams to the private vehicle (1850-1950). But system-level problems require system-level solutions, not forcing Joe Lunchbox to buy a Bolt or a Tesla.
2. Jack is right: the horror of lithium and cobalt mining, ramped up to produce the number of EVs necessary to replace the North American and European fleets, is not a bearable prospect — not in humanitarian terms, not in environmental terms, not in political terms. An EV fleet is a mirage, a fata morgana: something that looks much closer than it really is thanks to an odd trick of the light. Everyone thinks it is real — until the light, or your viewing angle, shifts.
3. The real solution probably lies in shifting the mix back to far more public transit, the solid and safe kind that runs on rails in cities and between them. Then instead of spending immense amounts of taxpayer dollars on subsidies for auto manufacturers to make a fantasy EV future happen, we’d be investing in shared public infrastructure that benefits every socio-economic class. ICE vehicles would slowly become less common but would still exist for rural, work, delivery, enthusiast, and cross-country driving. EVs should be cheap, short-range, lower-speed urban delivery vehicles and runabouts, and otherwise remain toys for the rich.