Push for elec­tric ve­hi­cles and a car­bon-free world doesn’t work for the mil­i­tary

Ottawa Sun - - COMMENT - BRUCE FORSYTH fhas­san@post­media.com @FarzanaHas­san1 Forsyth is a free­lance writer and the web­mas­ter for mil­i­tary­bruce.com

Where will our sol­diers plug in their elec­tric tanks?

With the de­ci­sion of Tran­sCanada to can­cel their $15.7 bil­lion En­ergy East Pipe­line, a pipe­line that would have trans­ported Al­berta crude to re­finer­ies in the Mar­itimes and even­tu­ally to mar­kets across the At­lantic, we can say good­bye to the cre­ation of 15,000 construction jobs and a po­ten­tial for 1,000 per­ma­nent jobs, along with bil­lions in tax rev­enue.

Maybe this is just a step to­wards Trudeau ad­vi­sor Gerald Butts’ dream of liv­ing in a world free of car­bon-based fu­els and why there is such a big push on th­ese days to in­crease the sales of elec­tric cars.

The Wynne govern­ment is also work­ing hard to con­vince the lowly min­ions who make up the On­tario pop­u­la­tion that elec­tric cars are the fu­ture of per­sonal trans­porta­tion.

How­ever, in an ex­am­ple of do as I say, not as I do, the On­tario govern­ment’s pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle fleet is cur­rently an in­signif­i­cant 4.16% elec­tric and most of them are hy­brids. That’s hardly lead­ing by ex­am­ple.

De­spite all the virtue-sig­nal­ing by pro­gres­sives, there are some prac­ti­cal problems that need to be ad­dressed.

Firstly, elec­tric cars will need to have the same range as gaspow­ered cars. For those of us who have to go fur­ther than the near­est GO or TTC sta­tion to get to our des­ti­na­tion, the lim­ited range of most elec­tric cars is a se­ri­ous prob­lem.

Se­condly, we’re still wait­ing un­til elec­tric cars can be recharged in the same amount of time as it takes to fill up a gas tank.

When on a long road trip, who wants to spend even 20 min­utes us­ing a quick­recharge sta­tion, as­sum­ing you can find one on your jour­ney.

How­ever, our Cana­dian Armed Forces will face some se­ri­ous ob­sta­cles if they’re to em­brace elec­tric ve­hi­cles. Oh sure, the ve­hi­cle fleet that’s strictly for on-base use could eas­ily be con­verted to elec­tric as a lot of them are only go­ing short dis­tances.

How­ever, what are our troops in the field go­ing to do, whether it’s on a peace­keep­ing mis­sion or a war zone like Afghanistan? You can’t ex­actly plug a tank or troop car­rier into a tree. Our air­craft and ships are go­ing to need pretty big bat­ter­ies to make a transAt­lantic cross­ing.

Will an elec­tric fighter jet have the same power and thrust as a car­bon-based fuel pow­ered jet?

Maybe we should ditch all our tanks and re­turn our Ar­moured Corps to their cav­alry roots, although the in­creased horse flat­u­lence may cre­ate other problems.

At least the Royal Cana­dian Navy and Coast Guard ships could be out­fit­ted with sails.

Un­til we solve problems like th­ese, we will still be pump­ing oil out of the ground for trans­porta­tion needs and for the pro­duc­tion of plas­tics too. Don’t for­get about plas­tics.

Maybe this and any fu­ture govern­ment should ac­knowl­edge that the en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tions we al­ready have in place have al­ready en­cour­aged in­dus­try to be­come more fuel ef­fi­cient and cut the emis­sions from ev­ery­thing that burns car­bon-based fu­els, with new ad­vances con­tin­u­ally be­ing made.

Bot­tom line, if more peo­ple wanted elec­tric ve­hi­cles they would buy them.

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