Ah, the law of unintended consequences! It always works to bring a good idea back to reality. All we have to do is to make electric cars and the carbon problem and the pollution problem will go away! Well, not exactly.
Batteries are made of hazardous materials and must be disposed of. The electricity to charge and recharge those batteries must be made in coal- or oil- or natural gas- or nuclear-fired power plants. Each of them has wasteproducts and pollutants, although the least polluting obviously is nuclear.
As William Clay Ford Jr. said earlier this week in a speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, the real problem isn't carbon...the real problem is gridlock. He mentioned last year's 10-day traffic jam in China, as he noted that we currently have 2 billion automobiles. By 2020, he said, we will have 8 billion. Where will we put them all? Where will we get the money to upgrade the infrastructure for them? How will we fuel them is less important than what will we do with them.
The law of unintended consequences is coming to roost in the electric car industry, with the industry itself barely out of infancy. Here's a release from ABB talking about the fact that they, and Sumitomo and a couple of other companies are setting up to figure out how to recycle batteries from the Nissan Leaf.
You'da thunk theyda thought that through when they were designing the car, wouldn't you? Apparently, not so much.