To encourage electric driving, the country is developing a rapidly expanding national grid of charging stations in cities and along highways; and Amsterdam offers owners of electric vehicles free street parking and charging. With hefty tax breaks, promotional leases and cheaper operating costs, the vehicles offer driving costs no more than those of conventional cars, some analysts say.
I’m willing to believe that once all the costs and benefits are totted up they’re not much greener than conventional technology.
If a large amount of coal is burned there may be no carbon dioxide savings over conventional vehicles.
U.S. coal exports to Europe were up 26 percent in the first nine months of 2012 over the same period in 2011. Exports to China have increased, too. “It’s been very welcome that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have been going down because of the switch to gas,” said David Baldock, executive director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy in London. “But if we’re simply diverting the coal somewhere else, particularly to Europe, a lot of those benefits are draining away.”