When it comes to energy policy, pollution, and sustainability, I always find it interesting how people do not always consider exactly what they think that they are measuring. Carbon dioxide is just one example. Some people affirm that electric cars are the best invention for minimizing atmospheric carbon dioxide. However, much depends on the nature of the energy grid. In a recent interview, Bill Gates summarizes this perfectly (James Bennet “Interview [with Bill Gates].” The Atlantic. November 2015, pp. 56–64):
“People think, Oh, well, I’ll just get an electric car. There are places where if you buy an electric car, you’re actually increasing CO2 emissions, because the electricity infrastructure is emitting more CO2 than you would have if you’d had a gasoline-powered car.” (p. 58)
Please do not misinterpret me. I think that electric cars offer an excellent transportation option. However, just don’t try to say that they are the one and only best solution in every context.