Thursday’s Headlines Are Out of Batteries

An electric car like this Tesla is still a car. Photo: Steve Jurvetson, CC
An electric car like this Tesla is still a car. Photo: Steve Jurvetson, CC
  • Demand for lithium an environmentally devastating mineral to mine that’s essential for electric vehicle batteries is set to explode by 4,000 percent if the number of cars on the road stays the same, highlighting the need for investment in transit, smaller batteries and better recycling. (Grist)
  • The Biden administration’s focus on EVs is frustrating climate change activists who want to see more emphasis on transit and less driving altogether. (City Lab)
  • Tiny low-speed EVs obviously have a much lower environmental impact from mining, and are also more affordable that a Tesla. (Electrek)
  • Congestion pricing doesn’t really seem to change driver behavior, according to one UK study. (City Monitor)
  • McKinsey consultants expect the micromobility industry to grow sevenfold by 2025. (Government Technology)
  • Critics say arguments over new bus routes are overshadowing other problems at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority, like the way it treats workers and a discriminatory fare system. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • People of color and low-income Boston residents have access to fewer destinations by transit than wealthier whites. (Transit Center)
  • A Brightline/SunRail extension between Orlando and Tampa is complicated by the sheer number of companies and government agencies involved. (Mass Transit)
  • Oregon legislators are pushing back against tolling on I-5. (Bike Portland)
  • A number of Sound Transit’s Tacoma projects are proceeding slowly. (The Urbanist)
  • Phoenix has extended its longstanding micromobility pilot program, which Mayor Kate Gallego says will help the city handle Super Bowl visitors next month. (Smart Cities Dive)
  • Chicago has found that installing infrastructure forcing drivers to slow down when making left-hand turns reduces crashes by 25 percent. (Axios)
  • Milwaukee is hiring for the newly created position of Vision Zero policy director. (TMJ 4)
  • Munich will ban most diesel vehicles from a low-emissions zone in the city center next month. (The Mayor)
  • The French city of Lille will pay commuters to stop driving alone during rush hour. (Eltis)


Study: Electric Cars Not So Green Unless Powered by Renewables

A study by the government of the Australian state of Victoria highlights the limits of electric cars, in isolation, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Victorian government’s ongoing “electric vehicle trial” [PDF] found that electric cars powered by coal may actually produce more carbon emissions than petroleum-fueled cars over the lifetime of the vehicle, from manufacturing […]

Guest Column: Electric Cars Won’t Save Us

To meet its climate goals, Massachusetts will need to eliminate gasoline-powered vehicles from the state’s roadways within the next 25 years. But the Commonwealth’s new decarbonization roadmap aims to accomplish this not with improvements to transit and safer streets, but with widespread subsidies for new electric vehicles. Massachusetts is home to many of the world’s […]