TO THE EDITOR:
Your Aug. 21 editorial (“Give the Chinese a chance to turn FCA into a leader”) may be accurate but incomplete in describing how Chinese ownership of FCA can “lead 1.5 billion people or more toward a zero-emission future.” Really?
If the automobile is electric, the source of electricity has as great a bearing on emissions as exhaust from a gasoline or diesel automobile. A new coal-fired electric plant begins construction every three days in China.
The intentional conversion from petroleum derivatives to electricity may be a reflection of the government’s desire to convert from petroleum, which must be imported, to coal, which is abundant in China.
China’s domestic coal may not be as clean as that from the Powder River Basin in the United States, and the Chinese power plants may use less emission-cleaning technology than used in the United States. If so, conversion to electric vehicles would result in more air pollution, not less, while the Chinese balance of trade is improved.
A comprehensive life-cycle approach should be considered before reaching any conclusions on air quality.
I’m glad to breathe air in the United States where I can see the horizon every day with the exception of rain, fog or snow.
MARK LAMPE, Towson, Md. The writer is a CPA with auto industry clients.