. . . The electric vehicle flop also illuminates a point about science — or the politics of science.
Democrats and liberals are fond of calling their conservative and Republican adversaries “anti-science.” To the extent that the right espouses “creation science,” or disputes established facts about environmental degradation, it’s an appropriate label.
But progressives’ fascination with electric cars and other alternative-energy schemes reflects their own refusal to face the practical limitations of alternative energy — limitations that themselves reflect stubborn scientific facts.
Stubborn Scientific Fact No. 1: Petroleum packs a lot of energy per unit of volume. (Each liter contains 34 megajoules.) Consequently, gasoline makes a cheap, portable and convenient motor fuel.
By contrast, even state-of-the-art batteries deliver far less energy than gas, in a far bigger package. A Volt can go 35 miles on a single charge of its 435-pound battery. This sounds like a big deal until you realize that a gas-engine Chevy Cruze gets 42 miles per gallon — and costs half as much as a Volt. . . .