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What Gavin Newsom Won’t Tell You About EVs

Newsom – and the green movement in general – loves to pitch EV policy as the ultimate no-cost alternative to “dirty” energy sources such as gas. That isn’t reality.

Gavin Newsom
By Gage Skidmore. Governor Gavin Newsom speaking with attendees at the 2019 California Democratic Party State Convention at the George R. Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California.

In 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom dictated that by 2035, all new cars and trucks sold in the state must be fossil-fuel-free. Electric vehicles, or EVs, are to be the new king of the road. 

California already accounts for the majority of the demand for EVs in the country, capturing over 40 percent of the market share. 

Yet despite Californian’s desire to virtue signal, Newsom’s push for zero-emission roadways is hitting some major roadblocks. Mostly because, like many of his policies, they are good in theory, but terrible in practice. 

Like many of his other grand visions, this one will also fall flat. 

The Real Inconvenient Truth

Newsom – and the green movement in general – loves to pitch EV policy as the ultimate no-cost alternative to “dirty” energy sources such as gas. 

Like most progressive policies, the utopian solution without sacrifice is a lie. 

Almost every EV battery requires cobalt, a rare and expensive mineral found mostly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The African country is by far the world’s largest producer accounting for roughly 70 percent of global production with 130,000 metric tons. 

The DRC is also rich in other natural resources such as copper, zinc, coltan, cassiterite, gold, bauxite, diamond, oil, and gas. Yet it is also one of the poorest countries in the world, with a gross national income of approximately $550 per person as measured in U.S. dollars.

The Congolese people have seen little benefit from these immense natural resources, which have been exploited for many decades, particularly by expansionist China, as well as its own government.

Not only are miners, including children, essentially working as slaves, risking their lives. Mining for these natural resources is an extremely dangerous endeavor, one that kills up to 2,000 illegal miners a year according to Siddarth Kara, author of the book Cobalt Red: How the Blood of the Congo Powers Our Lives.

Yet, no one, particularly Governor Gavin Newsom, wants to talk about this. 

The China Problem

Although far behind the Congo, Russia and China are also in the top ten list of producers, raising geopolitical concerns around this valuable mineral. While China is at the bottom of the list, producing only 2,200 MT, the country leads the world in refined cobalt production at 70 percent of the total global supply with most of the raw material coming from the Congo. How’s that for a double human rights whammy?  

China is also the top consumer of cobalt with most of it used to supply the rechargeable battery industry. The push for EVs drives the U.S. increasingly into the arms of the CCP. 

While some companies have created batteries without cobalt, these have not proven to provide the necessary energy to power a car for any significant distance. 

EVs Are Cost – and Distance – Prohibitive

EVs are not exactly the ideal vehicle to hit the open road. Currently, the Lucid Air is the car that can go the farthest on a single charge – 516 miles or approximately the distance from San Diego to San Francisco. The car costs $139,650. The Tesla S Model will take you 405 miles on a single charge, or about the distance from Los Angeles to San Francisco and the vehicle sells to the tune of almost $90,000. 

The most reasonably priced EVs – and by reasonable, I mean the cheapest of the models like the Chevy Bolt (which is set to be discontinued to make room for other electric vehicle models from Chevy) or the Nissan Leaf, which run between $26,000 and $30,000 – have a maximum range closer to 230 miles which, if driving at 65mph is approximately 3.5 hours. 

Who drives at 65mph on an open freeway? The minimum range barely gets you a day in Los Angeles. 

This is before, like any battery, the cells lose their maximum charging capacity, which will decrease maximum driving distances.

Recycling Batteries

Like any battery, EV batteries eventually go kaput. Their average life span is ten years. 

Recycling EV batteries has been explored and companies continue to try to innovate to secure a circular economy around them. This would mean the original resources used to make one EV battery could be reused and recycled to make new ones. 

However, it remains a high-cost, low-benefit endeavor. Not to mention dangerous. Lithium-ion batteries are toxic and can cause destructive fires that spread quickly, particularly when they are stored together. 

No More Roadtrips

Then there’s the issue of charging stations and availability. You can all but forget about cross country – or even interstate – road trips, Chevy Chase style. The classic symbol of American freedom and family-favorite summer pastime is not possible with an EV. 

It typically takes anywhere between 6 to 12 hours to charge an EV using a Level 2 charger. While more convenient, the fastest charger, a Level 3, can put undue stress on the battery pack. 

And while most people who can afford the higher performing EVs can also afford to charge them in their driveway in their gated communities, imagine an apartment building with 500 residents all trying to charge their vehicles overnight. The infrastructure investments would significantly raise the cost of housing in a state already plagued by unaffordable rents. 

EVs are a classic example of NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) thinking. It’s okay to pollute the air, strip the earth of natural resources, and employ slave labor in other countries – as long I am free from the guilt of pollution. Ironic, considering it’s safe to bet over half of California’s Tesla owners also have a “Black Lives Matter” sign in their yard. 

The truth is there is no perfect solution. As long as humans roam the earth, we will be involved in the consumption of natural resources. Our job is not to reverse this natural order but to be responsible for its participation. Not to be environmentalists, but good stewards of our planet. We can’t do that if we don’t know the true consequences of our decisions. 

Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for 19Fortyfive. She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics, and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Written By

Jennifer Galardi is the politics and culture editor for She has a Master’s in Public Policy from Pepperdine University and produces and hosts the podcast Connection with conversations that address health, culture, politics and policy. In a previous life, she wrote for publications in the health, fitness, and nutrition space. In addition, her pieces have been published in the Epoch Times and Pepperdine Policy Review. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.



  1. Christian Bezencon

    May 6, 2023 at 10:25 am

    So you are scared to loose your petrol dollars… I have switched to EV and solar panel 2 years ago and this is the best decision I have made. I am not surprised there so many people scared about this revolution. So much to loose.

  2. Harmen Breedeveld

    May 6, 2023 at 11:50 am

    Dear Ms Galardi,

    If you want to make an argument about the human rights and human poverty aspects of electrical cars (cobalt being mined in Congo and refined in China), then you should also have the intellectual rigor to point out the same problem – on a vastly larger scale – with oil. From Saudi Arabia to Russia and from Angola to Chad, oil production is awash in human rights abuses and human poverty issues.

    Oil is a globally traded commodity, so it doesn’t matter where one consumes it: each use of oil drives up the price of oil globally and fills the coffers of the Saudi monarchs, African strongmen and Vlad the impaler (Putin).

    So that petrol-guzzling car? That too directly helps the dictators and kleptocrats of this world.

  3. Whatwereyouthinking

    May 6, 2023 at 5:22 pm

    This article is full of half truths and debunked lies. As a former automotive engineer and current oil industry engineer I strongly urge you to “stay in your lane” since you have resorted to Facebook information for your hot take on EVs. Time to unsubscribe from 19fortyfive.

  4. Lonewolfz28

    May 6, 2023 at 5:51 pm

    What works for one, doesn’t usually work for all. Not everyone can put up solar panels and are willing to risk a lithium fire in their attached garage while they and their family sleep and their EV recharges. That’s if they even have a garage, or even a driveway. I own my own home, but solar panels are a no-go due to the height and proximity of the trees surrounding the house. Should I cut down dozens of 70+ year old trees just to install solar panels and virtual signal like the other sheep? Should I scrap a perfectly good vehicle just to spend way too much for a vehicle that uses questionable materials and gets it’s power to recharge from energy sources that are just as “dirty” or more so than burning gasoline with the exhaust treated via catalytic converter?

  5. GhostTomahawk

    May 7, 2023 at 12:09 pm

    If you want an EV go for it. Don’t tell me it can do what my Dodge Ran can do. It can’t. Don’t tell me the battery is going to last running the AC or heater because it doesn’t.

    Ev cars are not the future. They are heavily resource dependent. We need to free up the tech that exists that isn’t dependent upon “fill ups”. It does exist. It’s been out there a long time but there is no money to be made.

  6. David Chang

    May 9, 2023 at 12:17 pm

    God bless people in the world.

    Galardi says something wrong.

    Because of sin, China is not wrong, but people who don’t obey ten commandments is wrong.

    The sin of people causes the worship of science, the struggle for power and benefit, and the ruin of environment, so people should not worship science, should not promote socialism and evolution, and should not promote public policies.

    Communist Manifesto is the reason of public policy and public theology, but policy is the moral issue and the private issue for every person, so human rights and environment safety are private policy, not public policy. In other words, every person should confess sin and repent to God, so we will live in the peace on Earth.

    God bless America.

  7. tokyo12

    May 10, 2023 at 10:04 am

    This article is such a joke. Norway has managed to raise their rate of Electric vehicle adoption to 80% of new vehicles this year. And by the time electric vehicles become as widespread as they have become in Norway, they will have improved even more. It’s amazing how idiots like this woman believe that a future in which the fact that were in place five years ago will hold true five years from now. Does she not know that there will be an iPhone 15 and 16?

  8. Johnson

    May 10, 2023 at 11:03 am

    EVs are already superior to gas powered cars on a number of levels. They are less polluting, last longer, cheaper to maintain and have better acceleration. They are also getting better and cheaper every year. Ignorant fools like GhostTomahawk are simply afraid of a future that they cannot understand but mark my words…gas powered cars are going the way of the Dodo. There is no escaping that fundamental reality.

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