Arte and France Info recently aired reports questioning once again the environmental impact of the electric car. It didn’t take more to get Marc Muller back in the game, behind the film “A Contresense”.
Case study of analysis
Programmed on Arte on Tuesday, November 24, the first document, entitled “The hidden face of green energies”, quite simply made Swiss ecologist and journalist Marc Muller jump. “This documentary is so manipulated and oriented, that it is truly a textbook case of analysis,” he blurted out in a new 6-minute video posted on the Facebook account of his own film.
The mistake most easily recognized by the public is this statement in the Arte video: “Without neodymium, the electric car simply could not drive.” Marc Muller confirms that this element is indeed a “rare earth which pollutes to extract and transform”.
But above all, he reminds us that the VE is not married to him. “Asynchronous motors are aluminum, copper and steel, which generate a magnet by an induced magnetic field”, he recalls, specifying that “these motors contain absolutely no rare earths “.
Build rather than knock out
The 5 and a half minutes of the additional survey devoted to France Info on the subject “Electric cars not so environmentally friendly” are placed in the same boat by Marc Muller.
“The journalists in these videos take anti-everything positions. We know that there are pollution problems: they have been denounced for years. But to denounce is outdated! Now, what is needed is to stop confusing the issue and making concrete proposals, telling us how we get out of there, “he tells us in a new interview on Monday, November 30, 2020.
“Things are presented as if there is manipulation there, by a hidden society: on the one hand the industrialists who are the bad guys, against the nice people. This is not true, “he deciphers.
“The approach of the journalists of Arte and France Info is clearly technophobic and plays on emotions. Both with the electric car and with wind turbines. The neodymium in the turbines of the latter is outdated “, assures our interlocutor.
“These blades in a field in Germany, it’s a staging. There may be some in a corner waiting to be cleared, but not in the proportions advertised on Arte. Already because it is banned and monitored in Germany, and there is a lot of work on the recycling process now, “he explains.
“This problem reminds me of those photos that run on the Internet and on social media of wind turbine blades buried in the United States. It happened once somewhere in the world and we generalize it. This is the typical case of the creation of a phenomenon that does not exist, “he laments.
Pulling on high-tech
“High-tech is a tough target from an audience standpoint. But the energy transition is not just that. There is also the insulation of buildings, cycle paths, etc. Energy for heating is also very important, ”says Marc Muller.
“Ride less, I’m the first to say and do it, using my bike to go to errands myself. We are victims of hyper mobility. But once we have got rid of the trips that can be made, there is still a lot to do with private motor vehicles. How do we do ? What’s the best tech for that? These 2 reports say nothing about it. And that’s their problem, ”he says.
“By placing themselves in the denunciation, the journalists think to challenge the public, but also and especially the politicians. They did not wait for them to imagine scenarios on the availability of materials, and ways to improve recycling channels and working conditions in mines. Themes that they know very well, “he testifies. With full knowledge of the facts, since he himself was responsible for the solar sector within the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.
In his video on Facebook, Marc Muller corrects certain errors or impressions that may remain after the discovery of the reports broadcast on Arte and France Info. “We play with words between rare earths, rare metals, precious metals etc. : in an electric car lithium battery there are absolutely no rare earths, ”he insists.
On the subject of lithium, he recalls that, in Bolivia, this is a waste product from the extraction of potassium which was previously returned to the ground after exploitation of the brine. He is amused by the footage from Arte’s report which shows the displacement of potassium sacks for intensive agriculture, not lithium.
Regarding the environmental impact of the electric car, compared to thermal models, the Swiss ecologist refers the directors of the 2 films to the most recent eco-assessments. In 10 years, the evolution of traction batteries has been phenomenal, going from 60 to 200-250 Wh per kilo of capacity. “The same battery needs 4 times less mining resources 10 years later, and therefore 4 times less production impact than at that time,” he said, stressing that the batteries can now travel. ‘hui 300,000 km and beyond, against 100,000 in 2010.
Added to this is the growing share of renewable energies in the manufacture of electric cars and their batteries, “the environmental impact of an electric car compared to 2010 is 3 to 10 times less in 2020”, continues -he.
Audience does not move our society forward
Marc Muller denounces a race for sensationalism, clicks, and ratings “which does not advance our society”.
He maintains: “If we want to move forward in the energy transition and the ecological transition, we must base ourselves on facts and science in order to be able to choose the right solutions”.
Our interlocutor would like, for example, to mention the millions placed to solve the cobalt problems: “This is what it is interesting to show”.
Guillaume Pitron and the energy transition
Is Guillaume Pitron against the energy transition? Well no ! In an interview with Thinkerview about “The smoke of the energy transition”, found on Youtube by our Community Manager who does not hesitate to send the editors the requests of our readers (thank you David), the co-director of the documentary broadcast sur Arte recognized him, at 1:13.
“I’m so happy to get rid of the oil and coal, I don’t want to hear about it anymore. And we all agree that if nuclear power can drop in energy mixes, that’s good. I am for this ecological transition. I prefer more wind turbines, and fewer coal plants. I prefer more solar panels, and less petroleum plants. To choose, I take, ”he says.
Evoking “a lesser evil”, he justifies: “I take it for at least one reason, which is that it emits less greenhouse gases. […] There are things to do to limit the perverse effects of this transition, and perhaps if we strictly implement them, we will perhaps get there ”.
This is what is missing, to properly inform the public, in the 2 reports bombarded on television channels at the end of November 2020.
Automobile Propre and I would like to thank Marc Muller once again for devoting some of his time to us.