Home » Brazil Has 2.2 Million Big Commercial Trucks And No Clear Way To Electrify Them

Brazil Has 2.2 Million Big Commercial Trucks And No Clear Way To Electrify Them

Brasil Volvo
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When people talk about electrifying the world, there’s a hopefulness that often avoids the harsh reality that “the world” typically doesn’t include most countries south of the equator and the huge difficulties involved in transitioning the infrastructure in those places. One of those places is Brazil, which has a huge truck market and lacks the investment or resources to transition its fleet. Brazil is on the top of my mind this morning, but there’s enough Tesla news to shake an acarajé at, a promise from GM about its future workforce, and a bit of hopefulness about the next Detroit Auto Show.

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Trucking In Santa Maria?

Screen Shot 2023 06 11 At 5.40.25 Pm

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Brazil is a massive country full of resources, exporting more than it imports. The primary way it moves its resources around the country and to ports is via truck because, unlike many other countries, Brazil has yet to develop much of a multi-modal transit system. Instead, heavy duty trucks travel hundreds or thousands of miles directly.

While there are numerous countries and companies attempting to convert large trucks to electric, the ranges involved typically connect transportation nodes (distribution centers to consumers, factories to ships, et cetera). In the near-to-medium term this isn’t a practical option for much of Brazil. There’s a new report from intelligence firm S&P Global that gets into the challenge:

The stimulus for electric vehicles from the Brazilian government is limited, and only large companies with environmentally friendly policies have adopted electric trucks. The forecast take-up of electric or alternative propulsion trucks is meager in the medium-term – with less than 1% of vehicles powered by alternative propulsion, as demonstrated in S&P Global Mobility’s latest commercial powertrain forecast.

Brazil’s road-intensive, diesel-dependent infrastructure has limited the use of electric trucks to short trips and urban deliveries. Standing in the way of further development are an underdeveloped recharging infrastructure, high vehicle prices (electric trucks are nearly four times the diesel truck price), long charging times, and the poorly constructed highway network – only 12% of roads are paved in Brazil.

The environmental impact of this is fairly obvious, and being able to convert a fraction of those trucks into something less polluting would be helpful in the global struggle against climate change. There is hope, however, as Brazil is an ideal place for bio-produced diesel fuels, biomethane, and natural gas. In fact, there’s a $2.44 billion deal to open a bio-diesel plant in the country.

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Still, as with numerous transportation issues, merely changing the fuel source is not sufficient enough in the long-term. Again, from S&P:

The more rational use of transport with integration between modals reduces the costs of operation and improves the well-being of society. Structural change in transport must be the priority together with emissions control. The government might create incentives to boost initiatives for integration.

This is true in Brazil and it’s also true here. While our transportation system is robust, merely shuffling people into electric cars isn’t an entirely viable solution. Reducing the number of vehicle miles traveled is also a worthy goal.

GM Says It Sees EVs Needing Almost As Many Workers As ICE Vehicles

2022 Gmc Hummer Ev Pre Production At Factory Zero Plant In Detroit Michigan 100815678 H

One of the big events on the horizon in the automotive industry are the end of existing labor contracts and the need to negotiate new ones. General Motors, for example, has to simultaneously renegotiate with both the UAW in the United States and Unifor in Canada. One of the biggest issues? A concern that EVs require less labor to build.

So I was intrigued to read, in an interview with Gerald Johnson, GM’s executive vice president of global manufacturing and sustainability in Automotive News, that maybe this isn’t the case? From the interview:

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Have you heard concerns that building EVs may not require as many workers as building an internal combustion vehicle?

Of course, I’ve heard the concern. But as we continue to do our analysis, we see the employee base required to build an EV to be very similar to what it takes to build a comparable ICE product for the same market segment. So we think that we are safe in saying that we want to bring our employees with us and that we’ll be able to do that, because every EV still has doors, a windshield, seats, dash. It just has a battery instead of an engine.

We’ll see if that continues to be the GM trots out when they start negotiations. Reporter Lindsey VanHulle does a good job trying to get Johnson to address the related issues, so definitely give it a read.

Detroit Thinks It’ll Have A Bigger Show For 2023

Detroit Auto Show 2003 Beetle Edited

Man, 2003 was a great year for the Detroit Auto Show (click this link for more photos like the one above), though 2022 was a little less exciting. New York, unfortunately, was the same way. Los Angeles was better, and that’s not just the shrimp-mania talking.

The Detroit Auto Dealers Association, the organization that runs the Detroit show, is upbeat about next year. Here’s another report from Automotive News with DADA’s reasoning:

“This year’s show represents the next step in its evolution and in the evolution of the industry itself,” auto show Chairman Thad Szott said in a statement. “Automotive technology is changing so rapidly; how do we make people comfortable with it? We’re planning for a show that not only embraces and educates about this new technology but offers an immersion into it. And with twice the number of brands participating, there’ll be no shortage of engaging with it.”

This seems hopeful, and it also sounds like a lot of indoor tracks. Wait for it…

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The Detroit Auto Dealers Association, which runs the show, said the 2023 version will include a new indoor track for electric vehicles, more outdoor ride-and-drives and a new mobility forum featuring executives and politicians such as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. They vowed “multiple vehicle debuts” and “double” the brands that participated last year, which was the first Detroit show to attempt an indoor-outdoor format.

Double the brands sounds good, though a large portion is likely to be local dealers. Auto shows are a great time and important for car culture and I’m hopeful there’s a way to keep them exciting and sustainable while also reflecting the reality that they’re expensive for automakers.

The White House Is Open To Giving Tesla Money For Chargers, But…

Large 54062 Hyundaimotorgroupshowsnewlydevelopedautomaticchargingrobotforelectricvehicles

As discussed last week, the quirk in Tesla winning the charging plug war is that the White House and Congress literally earmarked billions of dollars for charging stations that use the CCS charging plug, as opposed to the NACS standard favored by Tesla (and about to be adopted by Ford and GM)

Alas, news on that front, per Reuters:

“Earlier this year, we developed minimum standards to ensure publicly funded EV charging is accessible, reliable, and affordable for all drivers, and we required interoperability to promote competition,” White House spokesperson Robyn Patterson said in statement to Reuters. “Those standards give flexibility for adding both CCS and NACS, as long as drivers can count on a minimum of CCS.”

Ahhh… hmm… oh….

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So. If Tesla allows some minimum number of CCS chargers to its all-NACS superchargers then they get money? Or, maybe, they can just supply adapters? It’s unclear.

In other Tesla news, people who bet against Tesla (i.e. short-sellers) are taking a bath to the tune of $6 billion in 11 weeks. Tesla’s price dropped to the low $113 range earlier this year, but has bounded back lately. The news of Ford and GM getting together on NACS charging certainly helped.

What might not help? From The Washington Post via The Detroit News, is a big investigation showing that the number of Autopilot-related deaths might be much higher than imagined.

The Big Question

What should we prioritize: Alternative fuels, density/urban development, transportation infrastructure?

Photos: Volvo, Hyundai, Thomas Hundal, GMC

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86-GL
86-GL
3 months ago

I spent some time in Peru last year, and it’s pretty much “Autopia” as envisioned by this website’s editorial staff.

No serious public transit infrastructure other than the single line Metropolitano bus-way. Filling the need for the poorest citizens are thousands of aging high-floor diesel buses. These machines are almost all privately owned and compete for passengers. Despite the fun colourful liveries they are poorly maintained and belch noxious clouds of smoke as the drivers aggressively pass other motorists and swerve around pedestrians. Not wheelchair accessible.

Millions and millions of compact and subcompact passenger cars/suvs, many carrying only one occupant. Fun Asian stuff we don’t get here because it doesn’t meet our crash safety regulations.

There were definitely more motorbikes than North America, (cheap, small displacement) but I was taken aback by the sheer number of cars on the road.

Lima is a flat, arid desert city with an incredibly temperate climate. No winter, no monsoons, it doesn’t even get particularly hot. The worst is ‘cloudy and damp’. It’s pretty much the ideal city for year round bicycling, yet there were very few cyclists.

My main takeaways were.

1. Public transit is really important, and leaving it to private companies sees horrible quality of service.

2. If someone could convince Lima residents that cycling is desirable, they could cut their traffic issues in half for basically free overnight. (Regulating the buses to not drive like maniacs would be critical to that, however)

3. Those of us in wealthy countries are truly lucky to have stringent emissions standards for the majority of vehicles, especially heavy diesels. Holy shit it makes a huge difference in a big city. Forget about electric, a bit of DEF would go a long way…

Last edited 3 months ago by 86-GL
Knowonelse
Knowonelse
3 months ago

While the overall number of workers may be the same, the distribution of workers to build EVs will be different than for ICEs. Which components get oursourced from the automakers will change, so both sides are right. It just depends on the details of what you want to argue.

Meet Dave Jensen
Meet Dave Jensen
3 months ago

Hello UAW? Yes we are only going to need half the manpower for EVs and most of them will be new members because we dont need overpaid dead weight employees.
UAW: What we do not want that to happen.
CAR MAN: Well tell that to the senile old goat you got elected who spent billions of dollars forcing everyone to switch to EVs. You know i dont think he really knows what he is doing.
UAW- YEA WE ARE COMING TO THAT VERY SAME CONCLUSION.

Boris Berkovich
Boris Berkovich
3 months ago

You make a compelling case for keeping hallucinogens illegal.

Bork Bork
Bork Bork
3 months ago

People like him need more hallucinogens, not less.

MrLM002
MrLM002
3 months ago

Brazil Has 2.2 Million Big Commercial Trucks And No Clear Way To Electrify Them

There is an easy way to electrify them, overhead electrical lines. Then they can get away with small batteries in most of their commercial Trucks.

SYKO Simmons
SYKO Simmons
3 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Sounds like you need to take a trip to Brazil and show them how it’s done

Meet Dave Jensen
Meet Dave Jensen
3 months ago
Reply to  SYKO Simmons

Send Biden or Harris!!!

MrLM002
MrLM002
3 months ago
Reply to  SYKO Simmons

I should have said simple instead of easy. My bad.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
3 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

We had a work project in Brazil, logistics for delivery & distribution around the whole country was perhaps the most difficult of any country we do business with. Many rural parts with long distance & difficult routes. The rural parts would need massive electrical infrastructure upgrades to support higher demand.

MrLM002
MrLM002
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

With the way things are going everyone is going to need massive electrical infrastructure upgrades to support higher demand, not just Brazil

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
3 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Brasil’s roads are ROUGH and traffic is anarchy at best. I spent some time in Sao Paolo for work and it was wild. They drive like Italians but over roads that are very poorly maintained. If they maintained an overhead electrical system like they do the roads, it would last a year at best. Brasil is a beautiful country with very friendly people and terrible roads.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago

“Brazil Has 2.2 Million Big Commercial Trucks And No Clear Way To Electrify Them”

So don’t. Big trucks can run on ethanol which Brazil has plenty of.

Problem solved.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I should point out with some modifications even diesel trucks can run on straight ethanol:

https://www.fleetequipmentmag.com/clearflame-trucks-ethanol/

Bob Syruncle
Bob Syruncle
3 months ago

Brazil future = China future

China will presumably continue to heavily invest in Brazil for the natural resources. China has enormous power with little restrictions/oversight politically. Brazil is desperate.

Meaning US and Europe may wish they could influence the Brazilian economy and environmental conditions all they want. I believe that Brazil will go which ever way the Chinese winds blow.

Pessimistic: China funds more roads, ports and Infrastructure with loans. Brazil defaults and wrecks environment more and falls into economic shambles.

Optimistic: China expands its vast electrification of vehicles and infrastructure to Brazil. Brazil leapfrogs technology to successfully harvest resources efficiently and becomes a testbed for developing countries in a renewable energy source.

Unclewolverine
Unclewolverine
3 months ago

Anyone who votes for more mass transit infrastructure dosent spend much time in sparsely populated fly over states. For busses or commuter trains to come at usable intervals to travel to nearby stores or places of work would require them to be empty, or less than 2-3 passengers most of the time and a huge waste of resources. We need more people on motorcycles! My huge saddle bags can easily haul a weeks worth of groceries most of the time, along with the running a lot of single person, small volume errands. If half the people who waste an entire car or truck just to drive 30 minutes to work were on motorcycles imagine the fuel saving and reduction of traffic!

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
3 months ago
Reply to  Unclewolverine

Or scooters, so popular in the rest of the world. If they didn’t cut 2 wheel EV options from the IRA I would gladly take a tax credit on a BMW CE04.

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
3 months ago
Reply to  Unclewolverine

I will go you one further than motorcycles and say we need more people on electric bikes. I use a folding electric bike for the last mile from the train station to my office, and my son uses one to go to work and school. I can zip from one end of Downtown Los Angeles to the other in 10 minutes, the same trip would take 30 minutes by car, if you have a place to park!

Greg
Greg
3 months ago
Reply to  MAX FRESH OFF

just got a cargo e-bike for small trips and to take the kids around, its a 23 mile round trip to the grocery store out here in the sticks, but it sure is a pretty ride!!

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago
Reply to  MAX FRESH OFF

Great for LA, not so great for a Minnesota winter.

But yeah, if you can make it work e-bikes (or even regular bikes) are a great solution as a local runabout.

MrLM002
MrLM002
3 months ago
Reply to  Unclewolverine

Do you ride your motorcycle in the snow?

Where do you buy your snow tires for your motorcycle?

I’m all for more motorcycles but they are rarely ever used in winter for good reason. I think we need a new class automobiles like the Daihatsu Midget and such where they’re single seat grocery getters/utility vehicles that you can actually get snow tires for.

Jmfecon
Jmfecon
3 months ago

There are more than 12% of paved roads in Brazil, don’t know where they get this data from.

Anyway, said this other day, will say again: the first problem they need to solve it is infrastructure. You can’t really just force people into eletric cars/truck if they don’t have where to charge.

And it is not every time that expanding it makes sense. Transmission lines are expensive. So, if you have a very small, distant, and mostly rural area that doesn’t require lots of energy, a less powerfull transmission line is enough. Doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money to go there with more energy because “now cars and trucks are eletric”. No one will want to pay this bill.

Then batteries, today’s tecnology is not quick enough. Period. You can’t beat diesel. I am brazilian, not a truck driver but know some. They work on really tight schedules so they crunch a lot, like running a fully loaded semi above speed limit or driving 2 days straight. It is slowly changing, but most drivers earn by delivery, so they just want to do it as fast as they can.

Try to convince one of these guys that they will need to spend hours to recharge and for a smaller range than diesel, in a way more expensive truck, that in case of a failure, no one would be able to quickly fix.

In a huge country like Brazil, it could mean 3/4 more days in a delivery, a time that probably the driver would already leaving for the next one.

It doesn’t make sense. Hybrid technology can work in this scenario, as well something like fuel cell. Would way easier to transition to a fully electric road world if we don’t need to go from 8 to 80 straight.

Thiagohpc
Thiagohpc
3 months ago
Reply to  Jmfecon

I think they are counting rural roads, trails and unofficial pathways made by land owners in that 12% figure. Looking at only officially recognized roads, that paved roads proportion should be more like 50 or 60%

Greg
Greg
3 months ago
Reply to  Jmfecon

shhh, stop speaking sensibly.

Last edited 3 months ago by Greg
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago
Reply to  Jmfecon

Sure you can beat diesel!

Pilot ignition CNG comes to mind. Those come in two flavors:

The simpler systems use a mix of 80% NG with 20% diesel as the energy source. Only minor modifications to the existing engine are needed but the emissions are dramatically cut as are the fuel costs (at least based on US fuel costs). Refueling times are comparable to straight diesel. If NG is unavailable the truck can temporarily be run on straight diesel.

More advanced pilot ignition systems require more modifications and can’t use straight diesel in a pinch but allow a much higher NG to diesel ratio with correspondingly lower emissions.

Then there’s running diesel engines on ethanol which Brazil has plenty of and can make plenty more of.

Save the e-trucks for places that need them.

Jmfecon
Jmfecon
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

NG is not exactly plentiful nor cheap here, but I see your point. There is also bio-diesel, ethanol as you said, lots of options before going to fully electric.

Silent But Deadly
Silent But Deadly
3 months ago
Reply to  Jmfecon

https://www.januselectric.com.au/
These lads might just have the idea…

Electric truck conversion with forklift replaceable batteries. Refuel in five minutes from a depot every three hundred to four hundred kilometres…a bit like a fuel depot.

Matt H
Matt H
3 months ago

I still think about that shrimp barrow. I really hope it makes a return.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt H

Hopefully it’s not the exact same one, if it ever does return.

Lightning
Lightning
3 months ago

The Range Energy electrified trailers that can work with any tractor, diesel or EV, and basically turns trailers into a PHEV (or still beneficial hybrid that can do regen when not plugged in), sounds like something that can work in Brazil (and US). It’s like Toyota’s hybrid strategy in that it looks to get the most decarbonization bang for the battery buck in a package that can be quickly added to even existing trailers. The Smoking Tire Podcast had a nice interview with the founder last month.

Stryker_T
Stryker_T
3 months ago

What I’d like prioritized is just what objects these Temu ads are featuring, I can’t discern any mechanical use for the weird shaped plastics presented.

Unclesam
Unclesam
3 months ago
Reply to  Stryker_T

Always assume they’re covert marital aids

Stryker_T
Stryker_T
3 months ago
Reply to  Unclesam

Oh some of them definitely are, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out how some others would even function as such.

Last edited 3 months ago by Stryker_T
TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago
Reply to  Stryker_T

With you: even my fevered imagination can’t come up with what those two little pink toe-looking thingies are supposed to…do

BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
3 months ago
Reply to  Stryker_T

I usually think of chastity devices.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
3 months ago

Vehicles is a big target and it seems like the only one everyone is focused on, why don’t we focus on everything. Instead of struggling to take down only one of the bigger ones, people should be aware of everything’s impact not just transport & energy production. Sure consumer vehicles are responsible for 1B+ tons of annual pollution but what about the 200M tons annual carbon footprint from stupid dog & cat pets. Vehicles are necessary but our countries excess obsession with pets is useless & wasteful.

Greg
Greg
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

Or, instead, maybe we could look at all the yatchs, private jets and huge fucking shipping container boats that globalization has brought us. If we got rid of that and went local, people could still, I dunno, ENJOY their lives and have pets with no problem. Imagine thinking killing pets is the way to fix the climate, what a absolute maniac.

Last edited 3 months ago by Greg
Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

I try to stay civil on here but this is a really stupid fucking comment.

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
3 months ago

Point is people need to understand their complete carbon footprint. The crazy cat lady in every town is worse than a rolling coal bro. I’m not ashamed to admit I hate how obsessed so many people have become with pets, especially the idiots driving down the road with the dog on their lap, that’s my #2 bad driving habit complaint no one mentioned last week.

Zeppelopod
Zeppelopod
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

“The animal hoarder who likely suffers from mental illness in an underfunded system, is worse than someone who deliberately turns fuel into carcinogenic particulates to blast onto bystanders” is certainly an interesting take, I’ll give you that.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago

It really is.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

Could you point me to the study you are citing, please? In a quick search (discarding anything not citing peer-reviewed studies), I found a 5yo Forbes article, but it cites 2 different studies which differ on the impact of food by an order of magnitude! -One has the impact of food for a Jack Russel at 20kgs CO2, and the other at 600kgs. These were over a lifetime-and just about the food.

I do appreciate that you brought our pets’ impact up: that wasn’t even on my radar

Last edited 3 months ago by TOSSABL
Brian Ash
Brian Ash
3 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

After that private plane CEO made the comment last week it triggered curiosity, he claimed a pet is as bad as private flights, it was fact checked that a pet annual is equivalent to a one way private flight. Sources found say that pet dogs & cats have an annual carbon footprint of .5-1.5 tons, at least about 150M dogs & cats in the US.

Dave Garland
Dave Garland
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

Cats being much smaller (10%?) than dogs, one would expect their footprint too be proportionately smaller. Though being carnivores, their food might be a bit more. But why stop there? What’s the carbon footprint of having a kid?

Last edited 3 months ago by Dave Garland
Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

This might be one:

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0181301

It’s quite flawed. It assumes pet food = human food or that pet food can be processed to be palatable to humans.

Ugh!

If you want to eat euthanized shelter animals, roadkill, eyeballs, guts, bugs, bones and diseased animal carcasses be my guest:

https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-industry-exposed/euthanized-pets-dog-food/

Mantis Toboggan, MD
Mantis Toboggan, MD
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

This person clearly has a lot of hang-ups but the point they were accidentally and gracelessly making, that for climate change to be mitigated all consumption must be brought down, is valid. And will be especially difficult for those of us in high income countries who often do not have any idea of the impact of our lifestyles, even among the working class.

We’ll either reach an equilibrium and find a global standard of living, one which will probably be less comfortable than that which most Americans and Western Europeans enjoy now or the gap will continue to grow until it becomes unsustainable.

I think we’ve painted ourselves into a corner. The economy we worked so hard to achieve has made us collectively wealthy but also poisoned the earth. Now we can spend trillions to wean ourselves off fossil fuels and move to a green future with our luxuries intact but if we do the rest of the human race will keep killing the environment because they have to just to get by in the system we made. And if we move forward together sacrifices will have to be made somewhere.

Performing a pet Holocaust in the name of climate change? Probably not, but something has to give. What in our modern lives doesn’t contribute to CO2 one way or another? The wealthy and the powerful will be the last to let go of their privileges, that’s clear from history. So before they ask us common folk to give something dear to us up for the good of all it might not be a bad idea to wonder what it should be.

LuzifersLicht
LuzifersLicht
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

If you want to eat euthanized shelter animals, roadkill, eyeballs, guts, bugs, bones and diseased animal carcasses be my guest”

Do you live at a McDonalds?
Sorry, couldn’t resist.

SYKO Simmons
SYKO Simmons
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

But you’re a peach to hang around … especially with animals

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian Ash

I feel the same way about people with too many kids.
That’s not a family portrait, it’s an environmental disaster and you framed it.

Last edited 3 months ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
RootWyrm
RootWyrm
3 months ago

Of course, I’ve heard the concern. But as we continue to do our analysis, we see the employee base required to build an EV to be very similar to what it takes to build a comparable ICE product for the same market segment.

I’ll take “NO DUH” for $800, Alex. Oh look! It’s today’s Daily Double.

What should we prioritize: Alternative fuels, density/urban development, transportation infrastructure?

E) None of the above.
We need to prioritize putting an end to the current Gilded Age. Period. It is not my responsibility to save the environment. I have 5 cars, not 50 million. Which is the amount of ‘car equivalent’ CO2 your average container ship spits out, per voyage. That’s not even Suezmax; that’s barely Panamax.
Per ship, per voyage.
So how the fuck is it on me to spend a shitloads of money I don’t have to buy an EV? (All of which are guaranteed destined for the scrapyard due to unrepairability.) Why the fuck are people blaming me, harassing me, even threatening me for my less than 0.000000001% contribution to climate change?

Every time your favorite celebrity takes a trip on their private jet, that’s over 10 tons of emissions. You couldn’t put out that much if you logged 100,000 miles on your car a year and ran the A/C 24×7.
How about charging infrastructure? Well guess what. The giant megacorporations that build power generation? They want profit. And natural gas (one of the worst) is cheap. So guess what gets built? Yep. But somehow it’s on ME to reduce my electricity usage so that FirstEnergy can increase their $406M in profits every quarter?

Yeah. No. Fuck that. I’m beyond tired of people trying to shame and blame the people with the absolute least impact.
If you converted every single car on US roads to a BEV today, ignoring the catastrophic amount of ewaste and absolute lack of necessary materials to do so, it wouldn’t reduce global emissions one bit. You’re talking maybe 1% net reduction. 58% of GHG is light duty vehicles according to the EPA – who doesn’t count non-US flagged maritime. 29% of emissions are transportation. Well guess what? All passenger cars combined total up to 365Tg of CO2. That’s it. 365Tg. Sounds like a big number, doesn’t it? 365 teragrams, so 365 million metric tons.
Per the EIA, the Cherokee coal fired power plant by itself emits over 8 million metric tons of CO2 per year. Per the EPA themselves, power plants are by far and away the largest source of GHG emissions in the US; more than 1600 million metric tons reported in 2021 (so the real number is higher.) You think adding millions of megawatt hours is going to make that number go down? Hell no. Just the existing demand has increased it more than 100 million metric tons in a single year.

Call me when people are actually going to get real about doing something instead of trying to put this shit on the backs of the people least responsible for it.

V10omous
V10omous
3 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Damn, we don’t agree often, but cosign me on this one.

Toecutter
Toecutter
3 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I largely agree as well, and probably have the “greenest” vehicle here.

Unclesam
Unclesam
3 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

I mean, there’s no reason we can’t do both. Decarbonizing shipping and power generation are both important. Bringing corporations to heel definitely has to happen if there’s any hope for the future, but at the same time maybe don’t drive your kid to school every day when they can take a bus, or drive them to the bus stop and let them sit in the idling car because it’s chilly. Also maybe eat fewer hamburgers, that shit’s bad for you anyway.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago
Reply to  Unclesam

“at the same time maybe don’t drive your kid to school every day when they can take a bus”

Nah. Make ’em walk. In the snow, uphill, both ways.

R Rr
R Rr
3 months ago
Reply to  Unclesam

Uhh.. have you ever been stuck behind one of those school buses? If you scale that engine up it would come pretty close to a cargo ship engine running on bunker oil in emissions. They’re rolling coal all day, every day.

Maybe have the same levels of emissions standards for commercial vehicles (and bro-dozers and large SUVs, which are somehow in their own loophole based on “footprint”) as for regular passenger cars, but I guess that won’t happen since the poor saps having to commute to work don’t have the lobby money to buy their own legal & regulatory loopholes.

Unclesam
Unclesam
3 months ago
Reply to  R Rr

You’re not wrong, commercial vehicles should absolutely have tighter emissions standards, but we’ve already got busses running today, more kids should be on them and fewer getting driven in by their parents. It’s absurd.

Dave Garland
Dave Garland
3 months ago
Reply to  R Rr

Quite right. Let the damn kid walk, that’s why they came with feet. It was probably good for me (not that I was given an option), about 1.5 miles each way in a northern rural area, so snow in the winter and no sidewalk. (HS was 10 miles, there was a bus for that.)

Brian Ash
Brian Ash
3 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

In the grand scheme of environmentalism I have recently thought that will more localized production be prioritized. Even if you try to localize manufacturing of imported products you still have possibly similar logistics of materials. Consumption and waste needs to be reduced.

There are initiatives to limit companies and industries carbon footprint, for some reason I don’t think it will be long before someone proposes pollution limits at a personal household level. Imagine being able to buy & sell carbon credits with your neighbor. LOL

Clark B
Clark B
3 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

I was going to post something similar but you seem to have covered the bases here. If serious efforts were made to decarbonize shipping, that would do a lot more for the environment than trying to get everyone buying new EVs by 2030 or 2035. There just isn’t an incentive to do it, because it doesn’t make money, or at least, not enough, and not fast enough. You mentioned private jets, and I’ll add cruise ships to that list as well. Not to say we shouldn’t move to EVs, I think that in time that’s going to be the best move. But rushing into it like this isn’t addressing other issues that impact the environment on a greater scale.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago
Reply to  Clark B

My only use for cruse ships are as a mobile sanctuary in a global thermonuclear war. Just make sure to set sail before the missiles fly.

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
3 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

How Dare You! How Dare You! inject reason into a brainwashed boondoggle. Everyone knows complex problems have simple answers that’ll fit on placards. As having this conversation 10 years ago with an intelligent car enthusiast, that was interested in a Tesla, I argued that I always buy used, and wouldn’t consider a used electric that didn’t have consideration for battery replacement. By far, the best environmentally, is to recycle well built, maintainable vehicles that fit your needs, and will last another 100k.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

The US military is the biggest single consumer of fossil fuels in the world:

https://fossilfuel.com/the-u-s-military-consumes-more-fossil-fuels-than-entire-countries/

Scone Muncher
Scone Muncher
3 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Gonna have to disagree with you on this one. Yes, individual carbon footprints are a scam intended to shift responsibility. Yes, closing a coal-fired power plant and building renenwable generation makes a much bigger difference than any action I can take. Yes, decarbonizing shipping is hugely important. Due respect – if you live in North America you

But I just don’t buy the, “I have a tiny impact so I have no responsibility to act,” argument. I live in Canada, we’ve among *the worst* carbon emissions per capita… just like the USA… and therefore have an enhanced responsibility to act. I sure as hell have a bigger responsibility than some poor fisherman in Vanuatu whose island is going to be underwater because the global North historically spewed CO2 & methane like the atmosphere was infinite.

It’s all-hands-on-deck time. I have three cars & two motorcycles out back, certainly I didn’t buy new… and I also installed a heat pump on my house and walk/bike/bus when it makes sense. More importantly, I regularly harass my politicians and “leaders” to get their dang asses in gear. We all need to be in this together. ❤️

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago
Reply to  Scone Muncher

We all need to be in this together. ❤️

#donthavekids

#toomanyhumans

#overpopulationistheproblem

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I have a terrible idea.

#losing my shit at the human in the car in front of me because I’m now going to miss the light due to the fact that they couldn’t be bothered to pay attention for a second to realize that there are other humans around them that are equally as important as they are

We already have that guy. We don’t need any more of him.

Let’s severely back pedal on vehicle safety standards. I’m talking replacing airbags with large, visible, sharp, steel spikes type of backpedaling.
Let’s take The Peltzman Effect as extreme gospel and design a system around it.

Population control, and a lot less aggression displayed in your commute.
Lanes just opening up on the highway, day by day.

(Don’t worry, I don’t have any kids)

Scone Muncher
Scone Muncher
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

Don’t worry, the global birth rate is already cratering! Current population growth is 2.3 births/woman, which is only a hair above the replacement value of 2.1 The largest 15 countries [by GDP] have rates below replacement, and that includes China & India.

That’s not even considering the potential for a 6-billion-person collapse due to climate destabilization… https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2019/09/18/Climate-Crisis-Wipe-Out/

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
3 months ago
Reply to  Scone Muncher

“walk/bike/bus when it makes sense”
In most major U.S. cities that stopped making sense years ago and it’s getting worse not better.

Toecutter
Toecutter
3 months ago

This is why I built a car that is legally a “bicycle”. It made biking viable. Being able to hold car-like speeds and have car-like operating dynamics is very important when mixing into a road full of cars. No way could I do this on a normal bicycle without getting killed.

Scone Muncher
Scone Muncher
3 months ago

Yeah, the sprawl is real. Hence the harassment of politicians, especially local ones. Make the next smallest improvement in your local environment and build momentum. It’s super easy to get discouraged, I vacillate between gung ho and doomer on a regular basis. Just gotta keep plugging away!

…I also bike when it doesn’t make sense because I’m a sucker for punishment.

Citrus
Citrus
3 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Yeah, I have a one bedroom apartment, a sensible hatchback and walk to work. If I reduce my environmental footprint at this point it would amount to about a minute of travel for a smaller container ship.

Which doesn’t mean I don’t want to be as efficient as possible, just that I, like most people, shouldn’t be the focus because we aren’t actually driving the ship.

Thevenin
Thevenin
3 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

Your conclusions are correct — climate change is a collective problem with collective solutuons, and we must start with those who wield the most power, not the least.

The problem is your numbers are wrong. If you’re going to take a swing at the most powerful people on the planet, you cannot half-ass your homework.

Shipping vessels all together produce around 1Gt/yr, or about 3% of global emissions. According to the EPA, global car emissions cannot be 0.365Gt because light duty vehicles in the US alone produce 1.1Gt/yr at the tailpipe. If your claims about cargo ships were true, then cargo ships would emit at least 1,080Gt of CO2 by taking just one trip per year (which would be more than total global emissions by >27x). You’re off by a factor of over 1,000.

As for private jets, an 18-seat Gulfstream G-5 gets around 1.3mpg (jet fuel) meaning NY to LA costs 23.7 metric tons of CO2. A 25mpg (gasoline) car makes the same CO2 in 67,000 miles. A private jet produces 7.7x as much CO2 per passenger-mile. There is more difference between an electric hatchback and a pickup truck than there is between a pickup truck and a private jet.

Per the EPA, electric generation is not actually the largest source of GHG in the US. The transport sector is. Electricity: 25%, transportation: 28%. Electricity CO2/kWh dropped 40% from 2005 to 2021, and from 2016 to 2021 wind power doubled and solar quadrupled.

Once again, your conclusions are fundamentally correct — the responsibility to fix this problem lies with those who have the power to change. But if you want to make this about facts, you have to get the facts straight.

Zeppelopod
Zeppelopod
3 months ago
Reply to  Thevenin

There is more difference between an electric hatchback and a pickup truck than there is between a pickup truck and a private jet.”

That is a hell of a way to put it. I hadn’t looked at the numbers like that but wow.

Toecutter
Toecutter
3 months ago
Reply to  Thevenin

Do consider how much use that private jet will get. Some rich person flying to see their aunt in Switzerland for the weekend could easily use more fuel for that one trip than a USA McMansion dweller’s Escalade will use all year. And they might do this trip every weekend. Then consider the fuel economy of a megayacht. The very rich waste more resources than any other demographic, yet none of the policy decisions made are going to address that. This consumption is enabled by the massive disparity in income/wealth.

Thevenin
Thevenin
3 months ago
Reply to  Toecutter

> “The very rich waste more resources than any other demographic, yet none of the policy decisions made are going to address that.”

No argument there. According to the IEA, the top 0.1% globally produce 200 metric tons of CO2/yr (around 10t is typical for an American).

To reiterate, I’m not questioning the conclusion, just the numbers. They’re off by several orders of magnitude. The decarbonization movement faces a legitimacy problem (people dismiss us as “emotional” or “not pragmatic enough”), and being haphazard with the facts makes that problem worse.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
3 months ago
Reply to  RootWyrm

(I usually know better than to reply to a scary smart rootwyrm comment with my pea brain but cannot resist here.)
My reply: A simple bravo.

Dsa Lkjh
Dsa Lkjh
3 months ago

I think EVs need about as many workers as ICE vehicles. On the production line the EDU or ICE arrives as a single assembly. You don’t have a fuel and evap system to plumb in but the coolant system gets more complex, so it evens out.

As a sub-assembly an EDU is easier to assemble than an ICE and gearbox, but the battery pack is wildly more complex than a fuel system. So total labour to build all the parts is about the same, ish. But you’ll be moving some of those jobs from the OEM’s ICE plant to whoever owns the battery and EDU plants.

“…every EV still has doors, a windshield, seats, dash. It just has a battery instead of an engine.”

Well, no. It has a battery instead of a fuel tank, and an EDU or two, or three, instead of an engine.
It’s a good job knowing about cars isn’t something you need to be VP of manufacturing at GM.

Citrus
Citrus
3 months ago
Reply to  Dsa Lkjh

Conceptually the battery is a fuel tank. From the perspective of manufacturing, the battery is closer to the engine – not in purpose, but in complexity and difficulty to manufacture.

Now, I am also not a VP of manufacturing but there is a difference between functional purpose and how it’s put together.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
3 months ago

Brazil has lots of sugar, E100 ethanol already widely in use. Doesn’t Brazil already require gasoline engines to be E100 flex fuel?

Why can’t they run trucks on E100? Diesel isn’t necessary for a truck. Gas trucks exist.

Electrification should start with school buses.

3WiperB
3WiperB
3 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

And delivery/mail vehicles.

Frankencamry
Frankencamry
3 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Gas trucks do exist, but a gas truck running E100 faces substantial efficiency disadvantages to a modern diesel in medium duty or larger configurations.

Back of notebook math, you’re probably burning 45% more fuel to do the same work. That’s rough both on cost and the supply chain itself.

As mentioned in the article, a renewable diesel source is a better option, if it can be done economically.

Thiagohpc
Thiagohpc
3 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Problem is that most truck drivers and owners here are conservatives that do not care about the environment. They care about their profits first. Also, there’s the efficiency issue. AFAIK there’s no heavy duty gas vehicles for sale here in Brazil for quite a while now, but we can get an idea by looking at the small/medium pickup market, most of them have diesel and flex fuel variants. Running them on E100 is about 30% less efficient than gas, and even more than diesel. A truck driver will hate to stop twice as often to fill up his very large tanks, unless is financially worth it for them. There’s also the fluctuation on E100 prices due to agricutural seasons for sugar cane. In the off-season months in a bad year, E100 can cost more to run per mile than gas, which makes the whole thing even less appealing.

Also, Brazil doesn’t require gas engines to be flex fuel, in fact, most of the imported vehicles are powered by gas only. There are some fiscal incentives for flex fuel cars, but they’re negligible. The market does have that demand, though, as most brazilians want it, so nearly all of the locally produced cars are flex fuel. Can’t say the same about imported vehicles though, as the cost to make them flex usually isn’t worth it for manufacturers.

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
3 months ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

Electrification will be great for school buses until there’s a major fire. Then it will be about as popular as gasoline powered buses were after that Kentucky fire back in 1988 that killed 27 people.

Unclesam
Unclesam
3 months ago

There are some areas of focus that will have bigger individual impacts than others, but we need to bang the drum loudly and frequently that there is no silver bullet and *any* change/improvement helps. We already have viable solutions today and not every solution needs to work for 100% of use cases to be a solution.

Encouraging fewer vehicle miles traveled is good. Making it easier for people to use public transport is good. Encouraging people to replace short car trips with ebikes is good. Discouraging situations where people have ICE cars idling is good. Etc., and so on.

Drew
Drew
3 months ago

Public transit, mixed use neighborhoods, and better city planning are all points we should be focused on, and we need to improve shipping. Nsane is right about the mass transit and urban housing, so I’ll skip that here.

Some of the shipping improvements can be a focus on how our supply chains work (The cheapest way isn’t necessarily the most efficient, and we currently prioritize cost). Some will be alternative fuels and different shipping methods. Some of it can be improved with different expectations (Do you really need next-day delivery on most products? Can we adjust our diets to reduce the effects of shipping food and produce more locally?). And the hardest part for our capitalist society would be a reduction in consumption. That’s going to take making durable, user-serviceable goods. It’s going to mean that constant sales growth shouldn’t be the goal.

Of course, we also need to reduce the use of private jets and other conspicuous consumption, but the rich are notoriously difficult to regulate, so I don’t see a lot of that happening.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
3 months ago

Better mass transit is almost always the answer…especially considering we’ve had the technology that allows trains to run on electricity for over a century at this point. Better rail infrastructure could solve a lot, and quickly. High speed rail can get people out of planes, which pollute exorbitantly. Improving/diversifying our rail network could increase our shipping and freight options, etc. Repeat ad nauseam.

I love cars and trucks. It’s why I’m on this site. But that doesn’t mean I can’t see the fact that building societies around them is dumb, bad for the environment, and perhaps most of all…inefficient. Trains can handle all of this stuff and I’m not sure why we’re not talking about them more. Massive investments into rail infrastructure would do a whole hell of a lot more to combat climate change than forcing individuals into electric vehicles will.

I also think that increasing density in a lot of urban areas would be extremely helpful. Nearly all of the congestion, and as a result, pollution in and around major cities in the US is due to a shortage of affordable housing. Many people don’t want to live an hour outside of the cities they work in…they’re forced to because the choice is either have a comfy spot way out or live in lousy conditions in the city.

I see a particularly extreme example of this living in DC…where our miserable excuse for a local government is so awash in money from developers that there’s nothing being built but NeW lUxUrY aPaRtMeNtS that’ll be mostly unoccupied and affordable only to the wealthy or the veritable plethora of trust fund kids from neighboring states who want to come to DC to pretend they’re big shots working on Capitol Hill for 3-4 years before their inevitable move back to their hometown to take the nepotism job they’ll hold for the rest of their lives.

Add in our archaic height laws and you have essentially no affordable housing at all, and people commuting as far as RICHMOND (you read that correctly) in order to have a decent place to live. It’s absurd and the entire area is clogged with slow moving, gas chugging traffic 24/7/365. Rush hour literally doesn’t end anymore now that they’ve forced almost everyone back into the office.

This is also an issue with (insert desirable city here). Build dense, affordable housing and watch traffic get halved. Granted…it’ll suck for the economies in the exurbs, but it is what it is. Slowing down the rate at which the planet is burning takes priority. So basically my answer is ALL THE TRAINS and DENSE AFFORDABLE HOUSING!

I’m sure you all are SHOCKED. Anyway I can talk about urbanism/trains/city planning/etc all day every day. I’d love to see some articles on the topics, particularly ones that aren’t just of the HURR DURR CARS BAD HAHA YOU MAD BRO? Rage baiting variety that seems to be prevalent across the internet.

Flat6Fever
Flat6Fever
3 months ago

I am absolutely 100% in favor of mass transit… for other people.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
3 months ago
Reply to  Flat6Fever

Being pro transit and being a car enthusiast are not mutually exclusive, regardless of what the interweb may tell you

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
3 months ago

As someone that worked on a commuter railroad, there is no way we are ever getting high-speed rail in any capacity that would make more sense than flying. It just won’t happen. Even if we stopped giving money to any other country in the world and went into a fiscal budget lockdown, it still wouldn’t be enough money. I’m not gonna get into all the politics of it, because this site isn’t for that.

As far as dense urban housing, not everyone wants to live in a big city, me included. If that’s your bag and you want all the trade-offs then cool, but it’s no longer mine.

Not to poo-poo on your post, it’s just my opinion with a splash of personal experience. 🙂

Unclesam
Unclesam
3 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

But lots of people already do live in dense environments that could benefit from reductions in fossil fuel usage in any number of contexts.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
3 months ago
Reply to  Unclesam

This is very true and the majority of them have some form of “decent” public transit (California excluded). What would be beneficial and totally feasible is a dedicated shuttle line to and from almost every airport to the city center. Sure some places can’t pull that off, but shit, if Cleveland can do it…

Data
Data
3 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

I’ve heard Cleveland rocks.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
3 months ago
Reply to  Data

I’ve heard it’s not Detroit!

Zeppelopod
Zeppelopod
3 months ago

Ah, a man of culture.

Drew
Drew
3 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

Everyone doesn’t have to live in a city for increased affordable housing in that city to be of use. A lot of people work in cities where they can’t afford to live. Having the ability to live closer to work would not only help them, but reduce the traffic for those who commute to the city (and it is likely to reduce housing prices in the suburbs and rural areas, too, since people won’t need to live as far out).

As for rail, it can be used for shipping, too. And there are certainly ways to create high-speed rail for corridors that are well-traveled. It probably reduces driving more than flights in many use cases, and that is still helpful.

...getstoneyII
...getstoneyII
3 months ago
Reply to  Drew

High-speed rail (the actual rails) cannot co-exist on the same tracks as freight as it stands currently, and many places like the NE corridor don’t have the room to build more tracks.

As someone that grew up in Detroit, LOTS of people work in the city and live outside of it out of choice. Same thing in Austin, just to pull a random example. Ask anyone of any meaningful earning age with a family if they wanna live in “The City” rather than out in Oakland County living on or near a lake and send their kids to good schools if they wanna give that up. You aren’t gonna get many people to take that trade.

Last edited 3 months ago by ...getstoneyII
Drew
Drew
3 months ago
Reply to  ...getstoneyII

I happen to know people who choose to live in cities because they want to avoid the commute. And I know others who would, given the opportunity. As to the schools, that’s a problem–but not a city-specific one. The best schools are in rich zip codes, since they have the tax base. If you want to solve that problem, that’s a whole other issue.

As for living where there’s scenery, outdoor activities, etc., sure. Again, not pushing everyone to live in the city. Just trying to give people the option, and I would wager money that affordable quality housing in cities would bring some portion of the people working there into the city.

Personally, my first move would be to ban/regulate AirBnB. Renting residential housing as hotel rooms reduces supply and circumvents zoning regulations.

Drew
Drew
3 months ago

Here in Boise, they want to change zoning to increase urban density, which is great. But the developers are seeing it as their chance to tear down every bit of affordable housing and put in high-priced luxury apartments, which has led to NIMBY folks and affordable housing advocates to land on the same side against the upzone. And the developers pull all sorts of tricks when they build. Promised space for bicycles doesn’t materialize and they say they mean there’s enough room in apartments to store them. Promised space for bus stops ends up reduced/eliminated (not that we have decent public transit, but it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. They’ll say we don’t need more buses without more stops, and we don’t need more stops without enough buses.

Regulation has to be a part of the conversation, and enforcing those regulations against developers is a difficult sell.

(For the record, I agree with you, I just really want to see developers reined in while they build out better density, because otherwise it is just more of the same.)

3WiperB
3WiperB
3 months ago

And this is why it’s good to get involved in your city at the local level if you have the interest. It doesn’t even have to be an elected position. Cities are usually full of committees with openings. I serve on the Planning Commission in my town, and it’s amazing the influence we have as non-elected citizens. We are currently working with a consultant to re-write our zoning ordinances completely, and are adding provisions for ADU’s, mixed use residential, increasing maximum heights of buildings, and really setting ourselves up to allow more residential density, since our city is fully built out. The goal is to allow more that just “single family residential” in our residential districts. This benefits the residents because they can have a tenant unit on their property if they want extra income or have extended family that needs to live someplace, it should increase overall property values, hopefully provide more affordable housing opportunities, and increased tax revenue to the city. There’s big changes happening in commercial districts too. And a move toward requiring much less parking for commercial properties, which is a huge change for a suburban community.

ElmerTheAmish
ElmerTheAmish
3 months ago

You hit the nail on the head for 2 things that have been happening around me lately:

1) I was at a concert a couple weekends ago, and there was a survey to take in order to win a prize (a signed guitar from the band). This survey was about potential ways to make concert going less CO2 intensive, and was asking about not only how patrons felt about tours and their carbon footprint, but how people were making it to the concert. They asked about carpooling and public transit. Thinking of public transit, I was alerted to not only my own choices of where to live, but also how complicated it can be to build out a good public transit system for a metro area.

The closest bus stop to my house is about 2.5 miles away, so call it a 45 minute walk. The busses on that route that far out are on a 15-30 minute arrival schedule, and google tells me it is about an hour and fifteen minute ride. So 2 hours each way to get to the concert, which is only ~25 minutes and 15 miles one way if I drive.

At this point, I’m not honestly sure what those numbers need to look like to entice me to take the bus, but I can at least start with wanting the stop at the main entrance to my neighborhood, or about 1 mile from my house. We absolutely could make public transit better, but it’s going to be a huge investment and undertaking, all while many people will be bitching about tax dollars being spent on public transit…

2) I’m in the Central Ohio area, and we have Intel making a huge investment in our neck of the woods. Seriously, Intel is investing more at their plot of land in Licking County than the entirety of Licking County was worth before Intel got there. Central Ohio was in a housing deficit before last year, and I have read that Intel will demand ~14,500 dwellings to be built each year, just to keep up with Intel’s demand (which includes the various suppliers et. al that the site will bring into the area).

No one is talking about high density housing, even in Columbus proper; too many damned NIMBYs. We’re lucky to even have apartment complexes considered.

Meanwhile, next month they are starting a widening project for the limited-access State Route 161, adding an additional lane to about 5.5 miles of the highway in both directions. There are no plans for added transit routes that have been made public. Just more demand for commutes.

At this point, I haven’t made the best decisions in life to coincide with my current ideals, and I’ve had more than a few people point that out as I advocate for higher density policies. As much sense as some people have made about our personal footprints being put under the microscope while major corporations get away with business as usual, the fact is that we can’t do NOTHING any more. People need to take at least some responsibility for their own footprints, and we as a culture need to demand better from our corporate overlords. I’m tired of hearing the argument come down to “We’ve tried nothing, and we’re all out of ideas!”

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
3 months ago

I love cars but take the train the 55 miles to work whenever I can, which is half the time. I can whip from the train station to my office in 5 minutes on my electric bike and sleep through my commute.

Citrus
Citrus
3 months ago

Here’s the thing a lot of people miss: Mass transit is great for car guys.

I moved to a place where I walk to work. I save a ton of money on gas and parking. But because I don’t have to drive I also have a lot more freedom in what I do drive. I don’t need to worry as much about mileage, or reliability, or practicality, because I don’t actually depend on my car to live.

I can buy a much dumber car, because I don’t NEED a car. I can get something fun and silly, I could get a project car (if I had a real garage). My options open wide up because there isn’t that much need for a sensible commuter. My commuters are shoes!

Also the more people on mass transit the fewer people clogging up the roads at peak hours and less time travelling – even if you still commute by car.

V10omous
V10omous
3 months ago

The populations of Western/high income countries, including our own, are leveling if not outright decreasing in some places.

Given this fact (unlikely to be reversed), and the incredibly long time it takes to actually build anything in this country, the so-called “problem” of density/urban vehicle usage will solve itself before any realistic solution could be implemented.

If the question demands an answer, then a corporate tax credit to incentivize WFH permanently would do more to reduce vehicle miles travelled than than any construction project could ever hope to.

Clark B
Clark B
3 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I used to drive 15k miles a year, now that I work from home that has been reduced to 8k. And I live relatively close to work. When I lived farther out, but well within the range of a “normal” commute, I was driving nearly 20k a year. Most people at my work now operate on a hybrid schedule…so they can all sit at their desks and do exactly what I do from home. Working from home is probably the most beneficial thing I’ve done for the environment in my whole life. If corporations actually cared about reducing emissions, working from home would be a great place to start.

Extremely-Good-Opinions
Extremely-Good-Opinions
3 months ago

Every serious person understands that the only realistic way to electrify inland transportation is railroads with overhead catenary along with the industrial land use reform that this implies. Everything else we’re being sold is a lie

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
3 months ago

Username checks out.

This is a clear instance where “electrify” and “decarbonize” are wrongly being used interchangeably by people who aren’t well-versed in any of this stuff, e.g. most politicians.

Light duty vehicles? Yeah, electrification and decarbonization are pretty much synonymous at this point. If you think the decarbonized future of long-haul trucking is battery-electric, I also have a $16k “full self driving” package to sell you (well I don’t, but Elon does).

Last edited 3 months ago by Sensual Bugling Elk
Drew
Drew
3 months ago

With light duty vehicles, I would also say that reduction in overall vehicles would be part of decarbonization. That’s part of why some who should know better use the terms interchangeably: they don’t want less consumption, so it is in their interests to pretend that decarbonization and electrification are exactly the same. Gotta keep people buying appliance cars.

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