Monday, June 14, 2021

Kate Hawkesby: Are we going to rush out buying electric vehicles...I don't think so


So we have on the back of the new cycle bridge for bikes, news of discounts for EV cars.

There should be no one in the dark as to where this government's priorities are by now.

But how much of it's actually going to happen?

The activist cyclists were breathless with excitement that their random peddle protest across the bridge had elicited real action. But hopefully they’ve cooled down their lycra enough to know it’ll probably never happen. Likewise I am skeptical about us all running out and snapping up EV's.

But I remember reading the Transport Minister's press release on the new bike bridge and mentioning to you guys the bit that stuck out for me was a little line buried in the midst of all the hoopla.. that the Transport Minister was working on setting up "safe temporary trials using lanes on the existing harbour bridge for cyclists and pedestrians". I expressed my horror at this. How out to lunch do you have to be? How out of touch with Aucklanders do you need to be? The fact they said they’d have to ‘do some modelling’ on whether that would impact traffic or not left me speechless. I mean.. do some modelling? What do you reckon? 

Take a couple of lanes off the cars on the harbour bridge and give them up to the handful of cyclists who may or may not use them.. what do you reckon? Gridlock is the first word that comes to mind. You don’t have to model anything, to know that if you subtract two lanes from cars, all you’re doing is backing up cars for miles more than they already are. Anyway I was pleased to see I was not the only person who picked this up. Former Minster of Economic development Steven Joyce also noticed it and wrote about it in his weekend Herald column. He said, of that line.. “How detached from the daily reality of Auckland commuters would you need to be before thinking that was a good idea?” 

He’s dead right of course. And this is a guy who managed to steer New Zealand’s economy for 9 years. Three terms of what’s been described as a ‘rockstar economy’, so surely we have to take him just a little bit seriously?

So I was pleased to see him point out how nuts this is. Whether anyone’s listening of course remains to be seen. It feels like these days a lot of people can be jumping up and down saying ‘hey guys this is crazy!’.. and the government just resorts to its tried and true line of .. ‘we reject that’. Or there’s no response at all.. as many sectors are finding. Raise an issue with the government.. wait, wait, wait.. crickets chirping. 

So has the backlash to this insanely expensive extra bridge for cyclists had any impact on them at all? Nope, the Minister has in fact doubled down.. there’s only going to be more spending for walkers and cyclists apparently.

So our road user and fuel tax charges are going to keep funding not more roads.. but more bike lanes. Smart? Not in my view no.

Kate Hawkesby is a political broadcaster on Newstalk ZB - her articles can be seen HERE.


Fred H. said...

If there is to be a new bridge it should be for vehicles only and the two clip on lanes of the existing bridge used for pedestrians and cyclists.

D. Seat said...

Has anybody thought about what we will do with the 4 million petrol- and diesel-engine vehicles already in the country.

EVs are more expensive than existing petrol and diesel driven vehicles. Poorer families drive the older and cheaper vehicles. Forcing everyone to buy EVs will affect the poorer sector much harder than the well-off citizens.

Will the tax payer be forced to buy these petrol and diesel driven vehicles so they can be scrapped for their metal ?

DeeM said...

In the old days, about 4 years ago just before the looney-Left got in, governments were supposed to govern FOR the people, NOT FOR themselves. With our current woke lot they are so captivated by their own agenda they cannot conceive of anyone disagreeing with it.
They think that because they build a cripplingly expensive bike bridge, which will somehow save the planet from climate change, everyone will ditch their cars in Auckland harbour and rush out to buy an e-bike. The truth is the emissions created building the bridge will far outweigh those saved from reduced cars, which will be negligible.
As usual, ideology rules the day and practicality gets kicked into touch.
Same applies with their EV policy. Well-off people who can already afford it will be paid tax-payers money to buy a much more expensive vehicle - very socialist, I must say! On top of that, the petrol users will be paying, through their fuel taxes, for road maintenance and building while the heavier EV's, with their environmentally damaging batteries, do more damage to the roads. How fair is that?
Not to mention that a modern petrol car has to do at least 80,000km before it matches the extra CO2 emissions produced in the manufacture of an EV. And then you have the big problem and cost of recycling the batteries at the end of the EVs life.
Yet another half-arsed policy proposed by the woke brigade to "save the planet", when all that is really achieved is making life much more expensive for the average citizen.
Woke policies only work for the rich - that is why the elites proposing them all run mega corporations that pay virtually no tax!

Sven said...

Don't worry the realty is there is not enough rare earth minerals on planet earth to meet the world green energy demand, as stated in an article (The Dirty Secrets Of ? Clean? Electric Vehicles) written by Tilak Doshi," as Tilak has noted there are 7.2 million battery EVs or about 1% of the total vehicle fleet today. To get an idea of the scale of mining for raw materials involved in replacing the world's gasoline and diesel-fueled cars with EVs, we can take the example of the UK as provided by Michael Kelly, the Emeritus Prince Philip Professor of Technology at the University of Cambridge. According to Professor Kelly, if we replace all of the UK vehicle with EVs, assuming they use the most resource-frugal next generation batteries, we would need the following materials: about twice the annual global production of cobalt; three quarters of the world's production lithium carbonate;nearly the entire world production of neodymium; and more than half the world's production of copper in 2018. And this is just for the UK. Professor Kelly estimates that if we want the whole world to be transported by electric vehicles, the vast increases in the supply of the raw materials listed above would go far beyond known reserves. The environmental and social impact of vastly-expanded mining for these materials - some of which are highly toxic when mined, transported and processed- in countries afflicted by corruption and poor human rights records can only be imagined. The clean and green image of EVs stands in stark contrast to the realities of manufacturing batteries."So where do we stand when it comes to the real cost not only to the environment but the peoples living in the third world where nearly all these known rare earth minerals are mined, we already know
that thousands of people have been killed in these countries, in Africa those children who refuse to work in the mines or try to run away have their hands and feet cut off that also applies to the adults, in South America thousands of hectares of rain forest has been destroyed for rare earth mining, vast amounts of water is needed to mine and process these rare earths, once used these waters are either pumped in man made dams where they leach, or the water is pumped straight back into the rivers and streams to poison every thing down stream, once the mining has finished all that is left is a toxic landscape where nothing will grow, how many hands and feet and lives to how many EVs produced, so the third world gets plundered and raped again for the western world indulges, whats the bet that those very peoples who made noise and marches re Black Lives Matter are also the believes in this so called clean green energy, green socialist hippies you should be ashamed of your selves.