Rebuttal Rewrite—imgoingswimming

Electric Vehicle Pollution

Electric Vehicles have taken the market by storm since the early 2000’s. Many large motor companies such as Ford, Chevy, Toyota, and Honda have started incorporating electric or hybrid vehicles in the lineup with the popularity of electric cars increasing. Some car companies have started from the ground up just with an electric line of vehicles such as Tesla Motors. Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 and has become a multi billion dollar company, helping its founder become the second richest man in the world. The market for electric vehicles has boosted thanks to the awareness pollution that is affecting our earth and the misconception that electric vehicles have no negative effect on the earth. This is because of false information that has been spread which has led to many states in the US making electric cars required by 2035.  Information from sources such as Energy.gov’s office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy have made some claims that do not exactly hold up. 

The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Resources starts by talking about the amount of emissions that gasoline and diesel cars emit unlike electric cars saying “Direct emissions are emitted through the tailpipe, through evaporation from the fuel system, and during the fueling process… All- electric vehicles produce zero direct emissions, which specifically helps improve air quality in urban areas.” According to the union of Concerned Scientists, gasoline cars that have direct emissions introduced into the atmosphere such as particle matter such as soot, Volatile organic matter which introduces smog into the atmosphere, Nitrogen oxides, Carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and greenhouse gasses which pollutes the atmosphere and is a large factor in climate change. The article is correct in the downsides in gasoline and diesel vehicles, but provides false logic and even twists its words in order to make electric cars seem better. The article states that there is zero direct emission, which is true, but the indirect emissions from power plants are just as immense. Instead of tailpipes electric cars have smokestacks as exhausts connected to the factories which then power them. 

The office of Energy Efficiency says electric cars “reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and smog, improving public health and reducing ecological damage.” These factories still emit most if not all of the same chemicals that gasoline cars emit. The American Lung Associations has articles that speak on the matter of pollution from coal, natural gas, oil, and biomass powered electric plants such as where they speak about the different kinds of pollution and its health effects. These pollutants include particle pollution like soot, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other pollutants which can cause cancer, harm to the nervous system, birth defects, impaired lung function and many more. These electric vehicles do not help improve air quality whatsoever. 

Electric vehicles do reduce pollution in urban areas as electric cars do not emit any of these pollutants while driving through these dense areas. While this may seem like a good result of electric cars it is in fact not. These electric power plants, especially coal power plants are built outside these urban areas in much less populated areas. In New Jersey there are only two coal power plants. Both power plants are located directly along the Delaware river in South Jersey very close to each other, with another coal power plant up the River in Chesterfield PA. These power plants introduce these chemicals and soot directly along the Delaware wear anything that possibly lands in its water is let out to sea. This does not do as promised by reducing the ecological damage, in fact according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency 28 percent of all emissions are from transportation 59 percent of those emissions are from cars, and 27 percent of all emissions are from electricity production. The difference between Electricity production and Transportation is an only one percent difference and with the increase in electric vehicles overall Electricity production emissions will increase while vehicle emissions decrease. Electric cars will become a tradeoff with gasoline cars. 

An argument provided is that emissions are released in the process of creating gasoline while electric cars do not go through this process. The EERE says “Life cycle emissions include all emissions related to fuel and vehicle production, processing, distribution, use, and recycling/disposal.  For example, for a conventional gasoline vehicle, emissions are produced when petroleum is extracted from the ground, refined to gasoline, distributed to stations, and burned in vehicles. Like direct emissions, life cycle emissions include a variety of harmful pollutants and GHGs.” The production of an electric car is not the cleanest process either. Electric cars need many heavy and toxic metals to produce the batteries, motors, and circuitry in each car. The process of mining and refining these heavy metals also results in emissions, along with this the same process producing coal and fuel is also needed for 60 percent of electricity. 

To counter this point the EERE says “Charging your EV on renewable energy such as solar or wind minimizes these emissions even more.” Solar power is a great work around that would reduce the emissions from electricity production as it is clean in producing power. The downside is that in order for everyone to have an electric car everyone would need to have solar panels on their roof in order to run on clean energy. The power from a solar panel is enough to charge a vehicle, but with everyone in a household using an electric vehicle it is possible that this is still not enough. On top of this, solar panels require the mining of heavy and precious metals along with the usage of toxic substances. In order for everyone to buy an electric car mining would have to largely increase for the demand of these substances which again would result in emissions. The mining of these metals and creation of solar panels can be hazardous for some workers which could possibly breath in silicon dust. A better alternative is to first focus on the industrial market mode of transportation as these trucks take up 23 percent of all emissions created from transportation. Companies such as Amazon and UPS have large warehouses which can accommodate many solar panels which could charge many vehicles in their fleet. 

References
(The urls are good to have, but they’re no substitute for Bibliographic notations. You’ll need both for a compliant References section.)

https://www.energy.gov/eere/electricvehicles/electric-vehicle-benefits

https://www.lung.org/clean-air/outdoors/what-makes-air-unhealthy/electric-utilities

https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/cars-trucks-buses-and-air-pollution#:~:text=Carbon%20monoxide%20(CO).,primarily%20from%20cars%20and%20trucks.

https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/fast-facts-transportation-greenhouse-gas-emissions

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5 Responses to Rebuttal Rewrite—imgoingswimming

  1. davidbdale says:

    You’re on exactly the right track, and you may be working harder than you need to work to find the right sort of rebuttal argument, Swimming.

    You don’t need a source that claims there’s something wrong with your Hypothesis that an increased dependence on electric vehicles will require the generation of A CRAPTON more electricity. That’s the hidden premise you’re bringing to light. Nobody likes to talk about it. The sources you’re finding that promote the “emission-reducing” nature of EVs but ignore the need for massively more power generation, plus the unacknowledged hazards of millions of new batteries, are the right sources to refute. They paint a picture of unalloyed benefit. You counter with the hidden hazards.

    —1. “They can reduce emissions and even save you money.”
    Yes, they save money but they don’t reduce emissions exactly.
    (Just so. They reduce TAILPIPE emissions. A good thing to call them. But they result in additional SMOKESTACK emissions. A good thing to call them. Unless the electricity is green. Which it often isn’t.)

    —2. “EVs can also reduce the [TAILPIPE!] emissions that contribute to climate change and smog, improving public health and reducing ecological damage.”
    Coal usually has more health impacts [Call them HAZARDS or DANGERS. IMPACTS can be positive.] than the burning of gasoline in electric vehicles.

    —3. Regarding China, Beijing, or any city that burns coal for its electricity. You’re right about the distance of generation plants from urban centers, smog, etc. Remember this: The CLOSER the plant, the worse the smog. The FARTHER the plant, the BIGGER THE LOSS of power through the transmission lines. Small, local, green generation is always best. Fewer if any emissions; less loss.

    —4. “Direct emissions are emitted through the tailpipe, through evaporation from the fuel system, and during the fueling process”
    There are SO MANY ways to accentuate the greater threats from fossil fuel extraction and use, but they don’t actually benefit you when they compare car to car. Your primary focus should be the environmental costs of the generation of electricity from fossil fuels, something the electric vehicle DOES NOT REDUCE.

    —5. Electric cars have already emitted their chemicals into the atmosphere from tailpipes that are not connected. Rather the power is just stored instead of immediately given.
    Not sure what you mean by this. Are you referring to SMOKESTACK emissions?

    —6. “Life cycle emissions include all emissions related to fuel and vehicle production, processing, distribution, use, and recycling/disposal. For example, for a conventional gasoline vehicle, emissions are produced when petroleum is extracted from the ground, refined to gasoline, distributed to stations, and burned in vehicles. Like direct emissions, life cycle emissions include a variety of harmful pollutants and GHGs.“
    LIFE CYCLE EMISSIONS is an excellent additional term that applies to BOTH gasoline and electric vehicles. You don’t need to emphasize the BEFORE ACCELERATION costs of gas engines. YOU DO need to emphasize the BEFORE ACCELERATION costs of EVs and the AFTER DISPOSAL costs of those new and numerous batteries that further distinguish the vehicle types.

    Your sources are very valuable. Just be sure to pull from them the details most beneficial to your comparison. The job is to MINIMIZE the comparative benefits of EVs. You don’t have to hate them. But you don’t love them unreservedly. That’s where you differ from your “opponents.”

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  2. davidbdale says:

    I see you’ve worked hard on this post since my feedback from APR 14, Swimming. I’ll respond to your classmates’ Rebuttal arguments first but return here shortly after to give you another work.

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  3. davidbdale says:

    INTRO.
    Your introduction spends a few too many words to explain that electric vehicles are increasingly popular. We probably don’t need that much convincing.

    Then it pivots correctly to a crucial claim that the ENTHUSIASM for EVs is disproportional to their actual benefit. But you tease it. And that’s a flaw. You come close to making your case several times.
    —1. The market for electric vehicles has boosted thanks to the awareness that pollution is affecting our earth and the misconception that electric vehicles have no negative effect on the earth.

    First tease: the misconception that electric vehicles have no negative effect.

    —2. This is because of false information that has been spread which has led to many states in the US making electric cars required by 2035.

    Second tease: False information has been spread.

    —3. Information from sources such as Energy.gov’s office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy have made some claims that do not exactly hold up.

    Third tease: Energy.gov has made claims that don’t hold up.

    That gets very tiring.
    Readers start to wonder if they’re ever going to see the Eiffel Tower with you as their tour guide.

    Surely the second paragraph will start fast by naming some of those false claims . . . ?

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  4. davidbdale says:

    P2.
    Nope.
    You lay out the claims of the OEE without signaling what’s wrong with them. Readers don’t know WHERE TO LOOK for the misinformation while they’re reading. (You’ve posted a SCENIC VIEWS AHEAD sign, but you placed it MILES AHEAD OF THE VIEWS.)

    Flip this script, Swimming. Find a way to say that EV advocates and government agencies like to brag about “Zero Emissions,” but what they mean by that is too narrow. They’re talking about Tailpipe Emissions—what they call DIRECT EMISSIONS— instead of the overall impact of energy production for every mile driven. THEN when you begin to describe “DIRECT EMISSIONS,” your readers will be alerted to be suspicious about the terminology, for example. With that strategy, you can be gracious to your “opponents,” who are quite correct about direct emissions, but also patronize them a bit since they don’t seem to understand that tailpipe emissions are only a fraction of the problem we have to solve.

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  5. davidbdale says:

    P3.
    Something’s missing here. You move without transition from:

    The office of Energy Efficiency says electric cars “reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and smog, improving public health and reducing ecological damage.”

    To this:

    These factories still emit most if not all of the same chemicals that gasoline cars emit.

    with no indication what you mean by “these factories.”

    Again, BEFORE you introduce the long sentences that describe what the American Lung Association has to say about pollution, indicate THEIR SLANT so we know what to look for.

    For example:

    The American Lung Association IS NOT DISTRACTED from the real dangers of producing electricity by the EXAGGERATED CLAIMS of EV ADVOCATES. In several articles, they UNEQUIVOCALLY OBJECT TO pollution from coal, natural gas, oil, and biomass-powered ELECTRIC GENERATION plants. Soot, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other KNOWN CARCINOGENS STILL SPEW FROM THOSE PLANTS, HARMING OUR nervous system, TRIGGERING birth defects, and STRANGLING OUR lung functions. MORE ELECTRIC VEHICLES WILL INCREASE the demand for electricity, not reduce it, at tremendous cost to our health.

    I may be wrong, but I suspect this very advice will help you improve the rest of your paragraphs as well.

    You’re doing very fine work, Swimming. Your argument and evidence are clear to me, but I’m your most affectionate reader. You’ll need to be a much better guide to compel antagonistic readers to adopt your point of view.

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