The Adam Ruins Everything takedown of electric cars is wrong because it’s built on lazy research

If you you’re thinking about buying an electric car, the US Department of Energy has a nifty tool that lets you search by state to see how electric cars stack up emissions-wise against hybrids and gasoline-powered cars, with respect to the local electrical grid.

Either way, how dirty a power plant might be shouldn’t stop car companies from making electric cars, just as much as it shouldn’t stop people from buying one. It’s a problem that the companies that run the power plants need to address. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly how Oremus concluded the piece that Conover cites in his video:

To use the nation’s reliance on dirty coal as an argument against electric cars is to get things backward. Rather, the prospect of making cars far greener than they are today should count as yet another argument against the nation’s continued reliance on dirty coal.

The latter half of Conover’s video is more about how buying lots of new cars, especially when you don’t need to replace your old one, can hurt the environment because of the emissions created by the process required to make cars in the first place. This “carbon footprint” argument is a more salient point than his first one, but it doesn’t just apply to electric cars — it applies to all products.

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