McClaughry: Vermont ‘needs’ 1,150% more electric vehicles by 2025

By John McClaughry

Here’s a quick peek at what the Vermont Climate Council is planning to unload on us in a month, courtesy of Matt Cota of the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association:

“As required by the Vermont Global Warming Solutions Act, [passed over Gov. Scott’s veto] the [Climate Action Plan] must be submitted to lawmakers by December 1 and explain how the state will reduce carbon emissions by 26% by 2025. In order to meet these emission reduction mandates, the number of electric vehicles will have to increase by 1,150% over the next three years. The number of homes with cold climate electric heat pumps will have to increase by 71%.”

“Back in May, Vermont lawmakers set aside $100 million in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to implement the still unwritten “Climate Action Plan.” While the money has been identified, it isn’t clear whether it can be spent on the plan. A review of U.S. Treasury guidance clearly states that American Rescue Plan funds can only be used to address the negative economic impacts of the [COVID] public health emergency. Lawmakers on the budget committee admitted earlier this year that they are not sure whether climate change spending qualifies under ARPA.”

Matt’s organization advocates for reductions in emissions through the installation of more efficient oil and gas fired equipment, but the Climate Council surely won’t settle for that.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

13 thoughts on “McClaughry: Vermont ‘needs’ 1,150% more electric vehicles by 2025

  1. so how many stooges does the state have to find to buy 1150% more EV’s??? I have 2 neighbors and the article has 2, so is this just 4500 vehicles? Will there be a special fund set up to train local volunteer fire departments in how to put out these house and vehicle fires? Lithium burns hot, they tell me! What about the pollution created by these incidences?

    So many questions, so few answers!

  2. Now the info is coming out which points significantly to the references and positions I have been making all along.
    This whole charade is not about climate change and never was.
    The control freaks cannot control the petrol industry so they want it to disappear; same as VT Yankee.
    The petrol money all goes out of state ultimately, and they (c f’s) cannot deal with this.
    So it is control and money being disguised as climate change. Methinks the people are catching on to this bogus exercise. Catching on and rising up will be the cause to stop this monster of a charade.

  3. Did anyone think of the rate of which these electric vehicles battery explodes?
    They can explode while charging, explode when you get into a car accident.
    They can explode while in garages- burning houses down with families in them or an entire complex if it’s a parked in a public garage. The electric Busses can explode with a buss load of people onboard.
    And imagine what would happen to have *more* of these potentially exploding batteries on the road. More of these batteries=More of these Explosions.
    And what do exploding batteries which kill people do for the environment?
    And did anyone ever think of who is making these batteries? where do the raw materials come from?
    Follow the Money People!
    This is not about what is good for the environment, it’s about what is good for certain wallets- and those wallets are not ours!



    RE folks want to “Electrify Everything”; an easily uttered slogan

    It would require:

    – Additional power plants, such as nuclear, wind, solar, hydro, bio
    – Additional grid augmentation/expansion to connect wind and solar systems, and to carry the loads for EVs and heat pumps
    – Additional battery systems to store midday solar output surges for later use, i.e., DUCK-curve management.
    – Additional centralized, command/control/orchestrating (turning off/on appliances, heat pumps, EVs, etc.) by utilities to avoid overloading distribution and high voltage electric grids regarding:

    1) Charging times of EVs and operating times of heat pumps, and major appliances
    2) Demands of commercial/industrial businesses

    RE Folks Want More EVs and Buses Bought With “Free” Money

    RE folks drive the energy priorities of New England governments. RE folks want to use about $40 million of “free” federal COVID money and Volkswagen Settlement money to buy electric transit and school buses to deal with a minor pollution problem in a few urban areas in Vermont. RE folks urge Vermonters to buy:

    Mass Transit Buses
    Electric: $750,000 – $1,000,000 each, plus infrastructures, such as indoor parking, high-speed charging systems.
    Standard Diesel: $380,000 – $420,000; indoor parking and charging systems not required.

    School Buses
    Electric: $330,000 – $375,000, plus infrastructures
    Standard Diesel: about $100,000

    This article shows the 2 Proterra transit buses in Burlington, VT, would reduce CO2 at very high cost per metric ton, and the minor annual operating cost reduction would be overwhelmed by the cost of amortizing $million buses that last about 12 to 15 years.

    The $40 million of “free” money would be far better used to build zero-energy, and energy-surplus houses for suffering households; such housing would last at least 50 to 75 years.

    NOTE: Spending huge amounts of borrowed capital on various projects that 1) have very poor financials, and 2) yield minor reductions in CO2 at high cost, is a recipe for 1) low economic efficiency, and 2) low economic growth, on a state-wide and nation-wide scale, which would 1) adversely affect Vermont and US competitiveness in markets, and 2) adversely affect living standards and 3) inhibit unsubsidized/efficient/profitable job creation.

    Real Costs of Government RE Programs Likely Will Remain Hidden

    Vermont’s government engaging in electric bus demonstration programs, financed with “free” money, likely will prove to be expensive undertakings, requiring hidden subsidies, white-washing and obfuscation.

    Lifetime spreadsheets, with 1) turnkey capital costs, 2) annual cashflows, 3) annual energy cost savings, 4) annual CO2 reductions, and 5) cost of CO2 reduction/metric ton, with all assumptions clearly stated and explained, likely will never see the light of day.

    Including Amortizing Capital Cost for a Rational Approach to Projects

    RE folks do not want to include amortizing costs, because it makes the financial economics of their dubious RE projects appear dismal. This is certainly the case with expensive electric buses. If any private-enterprise business were to ignore amortizing costs, it would be out of business in a short time.

    Capital cost of electric school bus, plus charger, $327,500 + $25,000 = $352,500
    Battery system cost, $100,000, for a 100-mile range.
    Capital cost of diesel school bus, $100,000
    Additional capital cost “to go electric” 352500 – 100000 = $252,500

    Lifetime, A-to-Z Analysis Includes Combustion, Upstream, Embodied and Downstream CO2

    Most CO2 analyses, on an energy use basis, significantly understate CO2 emissions. Much more realistic CO2 analyses would be on a lifetime, A-to-Z basis. Such analyses have been performed for at least 75 years in business. Engineering colleges have standard project economics courses in their curricula. Lifetime, A-to-Z analyses regarding energy projects would include:

    1) Upstream CO2 of energy for extraction, processing and transport to a user
    2) Embodied CO2 of expensive batteries, from extraction of materials to installation in a bus
    3) Embodied CO2 of $352,500 electric buses vs $100,000 diesel buses
    4) Embodied CO2 of balance-of-system components
    5) Embodied CO2 of much more expensive electric bus parking facilities, with a Level 2 or high-speed charger for each bus, than for a diesel bus parking facility with a diesel pump.
    6) Downstream CO2 of disposal of batteries, etc.

    Any CO2 advantage of electric buses vs diesel buses would be less, on a lifetime, A-to-Z basis. The cost of CO2 reduction of electric buses would increase from about $1,700/metric ton (energy only basis) to about $2,000/Mt (lifetime, A-to-Z basis).

    Vehicle-to-Grid Operation, VtG

    Proponents of VtG claim electric school buses could be used by utilities, to have the batteries absorb a fraction of midday solar bulges, and deliver that electricity, minus about 20% losses, to the gid during late afternoon/early evening, when peak demands are occurring, and solar has gone to sleep until mid-morning the next day.

    As part of managing midday-solar DUCK curves, 10 electric school buses, capital cost at least $3.5 million, already partially charged, would absorb 500 kWh during midday and discharge 400 kWh from 5 pm to 8 pm (peak demand hours).

    The $100,000 batteries, part of a $325,000 electric school bus, would have extra wear and tear, which would shorten their 15-year lives. This is like doing yardwork in a tuxedo.

    A utility could purchase a 600-kWh battery system, for a turnkey cost of about $450,000, and achieve the same results.



    Heat Pumps are Money Losers in my Vermont House (as they are in almost all people’s houses)

    I installed three Mitsubishi, 24,000 Btu/h HPs, Model MXZ-2C24NAHZ2, each with 2 heads; 2 in the living room, 1 in the kitchen, and 1 in each of 3 bedrooms. The HPs have DC variable-speed, motor-driven compressors and fans, which improves the efficiency of low-temperature operation.
    The HPs last about 15 years. Turnkey capital cost was $24,000

    Well-Sealed, Well-Insulated House: The HPs are used for heating and cooling my 35-y-old, 3500 sq ft, well-sealed/well-insulated house, except the basement, which has a near-steady temperature throughout the year, because it has 2” of blueboard, R-10, on the outside of the concrete foundation and under the basement slab, which has saved me many thousands of space heating dollars over the 35 years.

    I do not operate my HPs at 10F or below, because HPs would become increasingly less efficient with decreasing temperatures. The HP operating cost per hour would become greater than of my highly efficient propane furnace.

    High Electricity Prices: Vermont forcing, with subsidies and/or GWSA mandates, the build-outs of expensive RE electricity systems, such as wind, solar, batteries, etc., would be counter-productive, because it would: 1) increase electric rates and 2) worsen the already poor economics of HPs (and of EVs)!!

    Energy Reduction and Cost of Energy Reduction

    Before HPs: I used 100 gal for domestic hot water + 250 gal for 2 stoves in basement + 850 gal for Viessmann furnace, for a total propane of 1,200 gal/y

    After HPs: I used 100 gal for domestic hot water + 250 gal for 2 stoves in basement + 550 gal for Viessmann furnace + 2,244 kWh of electricity.

    My propane cost reduction for space heating was 850 – 550 = 300 gallon/y, at a cost of 2.339/gal = $702/y
    My displaced fuel was 100 x (1 – 550/850) = 35%, which is better than the Vermont average of 27.6%
    My electricity cost increase was 2244 kWh x 20 c/kWh = $449/y
    My net cost savings due to the HPs were $253/y, on an investment of $24,000!!

    Amortizing Heat Pumps: Amortizing the $24,000 turnkey capital cost at 3.5%/y for 15 years costs about $2,059/y.
    This is in addition to the amortizing of my existing propane system. I am losing money.

    Other Annual Costs: There likely would be service calls and parts for the HP system, as the years go by.
    This is in addition to the annual service calls and parts for my existing propane system. I am losing more money.

    CO2 Reduction and Cost of CO2 Reduction

    CO2 reduction of the displaced propane would be 300 gal/y x 12.7 lb CO2/gal = 1.728 Mt/y, and the CO2 of the increased electricity would be 2244 x 317 g/kWh = 0.711 Mt/y, for a net reduction of 1.728 – 0.711 = 1.017 Mt/y, if based on the realistic ISO-NE value of 317 g/kWh

    Cost of CO2 Reduction would be (2,059, amortize – 253, energy cost saving + 200, parts and maintenance)/1.017 Mt/y, net CO2 reduction = $1973/Mt, which is similar to money-losing, very expensive, electric school buses. See URL

    Highly Sealed, Highly Insulated Housing

    If I had a highly sealed, highly insulated house, with the same efficient propane heating system, my house, for starters, would use very little energy for space heating, i.e., not much additional energy cost saving and CO2 reduction would be possible using HPs

    If I would install HPs, and would operate the propane system down to 5F (which would involve greater defrost losses), I likely would displace a greater percentage of propane, and might have greater annual energy cost savings; much would depend on: 1) the total energy consumption (which is very little, because of my higher-efficiency house), and 2) the prices of electricity and propane. See Note.

    I likely would need 3 units at 18,000 Btu/h, at a lesser turnkey capital cost. Their output, very-inefficiently produced (low COP), would be about 34,000 Btu/h at -10F, the Vermont HVAC design temperature.

    However, any annual energy cost savings would be overwhelmed by the annual amortizing cost, and parts and service costs. i.e., I would still be losing money, if amortizing were considered.


    1) About 1.0 to 1.5 percent of Vermont houses are highly sealed and highly insulated
    2) Vermont’s weatherizing program, at about $10,000/unit, does next to nothing for making energy-hog houses suitable for HPs; it is a social program for poorer people.

    Heat Pump Evaluation in Vermont

    VT-Department of Public Service found, after a survey of 77 HPs installed in Vermont houses:

    – The annual energy cost savings were, on average, $200, but the maintenance and annual amortizing costs would turn that gain into a loss of at least $200.

    – On average, the HPs provided 27.6% of the annual space heat, and traditional fuels provided 72.4%. These numbers are directly from the survey data.

    – Owners started to turn off their HPs at about 24F, and very few owners were using their HPs at 10F and below, as shown by the decreasing kWh consumption totals on figure 14 of URL

    – On average, an HP consumed 2,085 kWh during the heating season, of which for:

    1) Operation of outdoor unit (compressor, outdoor fan, controls) + indoor air handling unit (fan and supplemental electric heater, if used) to provide space heat 1,880 kWh;
    2) Operation in standby mode 76 kWh, or 100 x 76/2085 = 3.6%;
    3) Operation in defrost mode 129 kWh, or 100 x 129/2085 = 6.2%. Defrost starts at about 37F and ends at about 10F.

    – Turnkey cost for a one-head HP system is about $4,500; almost all houses had just one HP. See URLs.

    On average, these houses were unsuitable for HPs, and the owners were losing money.

    NOTE: Coefficient of Performance, COP = heat delivered to house/electrical energy to HP

    Heat Pump Evaluation in Minnesota

    The image on page 10 of URL shows:

    1) Increasing coefficients of performance, COP, of an HP, versus increasing outdoor temperatures (blue)
    2) The defrost range from 37F down to 10F (yellow)
    3) Operation of the propane back-up system from 20F to -20F (green).

    Such operation would be least costly and would displace propane, that otherwise would be used.
    The image shows, HPs are economical down to about 13F, then propane, etc., becomes more economical; much depends on the prices of electricity and propane.

    BTW, all of the above has been known for many years, and yet, RE folks, in and out of government, keep on hyping air source HPs in cold climates.

    Ground Source HPs

    They are widely used in many different buildings in northern Europe, such as Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

    Their main advantage is the coefficient of performance, COP, does not decrease with temperature, because the ground temperature is constant
    GSHPs can economically displace 100% of fuel.
    ASHPs can economically displace at most 50% of fuel; the percentage depends on how well a building is sealed and insulated.

    The main disadvantage of GSHPs is greater turnkey capital cost, i.e., high amortization cost. See URL



    THETFORD; July 2, 2021 — A fire destroyed a 2019 Chevy Bolt, 66 kWh battery, EPA range 238 miles, owned by state Rep. Tim Briglin, D-Thetford, Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Technology.

    He had been driving back and forth from Thetford, VT, to Montpelier, VT, with his EV, about 100 miles via I-89
    He had parked his 2019 Chevy Bolt on the driveway, throughout the winter, per GM recall of Chevy Bolts
    He had plugged his EV into a 240-volt charger.
    The battery was at about 10% charge at start of charging, at 8 PM, and he had charged it to 100% charge at 4 AM; 8 hours of charging. See Note

    Li-ions (pos.) would plate out on the cathode (neg) each time when charging from 80 to 100%.
    Li-ions would plate out on the anode (pos) each time when charging from 10% to 20%, especially when such charging occurred at battery temperatures of 32F or less.

    EV Fire on Driveway:

    Firefighters were called to Briglin’s Tucker Hill Road home around 9 AM Thursday.
    Investigators from the Vermont Department of Public Safety Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit determined:

    1) The fire started in a compartment in the back of the passenger’s side of the vehicle
    2) It was likely due to an “electrical failure”.

    GM Recall of Chevy Bolts:

    In 2020, GM issued a worldwide recall of 68,667 Chevy Bolts, all 2017, 2018 and 2019 models, plus, in 2021, a recall for another 73,000 Bolts, all 2020, 2021, and 2022 models.
    GM set aside $1.8 BILLION to replace battery modules, or 1.8 BILLION/(68,667 + 73,000) = $12,706/EV.

    Owners were advised not to charge them in a garage, and not to leave them unattended while charging, which may take up to 8 hours; what a nuisance!
    Rep. Briglin heeded the GM recall by not charging in his garage.

    – Cost of replacing the battery packs of 80,000 Hyundai Konas was estimated at $900 million, about $11,000 per vehicle
    – EV batteries should be charged from 20 to 80%, to achieve minimal degradation and long life, plus the charging loss is minimal in that range
    – Charging EVs from 0 to 20% charge, and from 80 to 100% charge, 1) uses more kWh AC from the wall outlet per kWh DC charged into the battery, and 2) is detrimental to the battery. Also, it requires additional kWh for cooling the battery while charging.
    – EV batteries must never be charged, when the battery temperature is less than 32F; if charged anyway, the plating out of Li-ions on the anode would permanently damage the battery.

    See section Charging Electric Vehicles During Freezing Conditions in URL


    RE folks would have everyone driving UNAFFORDABLE EVS, that would reduce very little CO2 compared with EFFICIENT gasoline vehicles., on a lifetime, A-to-Z basis.

    EVs do not have a tail pipe, but they sure as hell “emit” CO2.

    On a lifetime, A-to-Z basis, with travel at 105,600 miles over 10 years, the CO2 emissions, based on the present New England grid CO2/kWh, would be:

    NISSAN Leaf S Plus, EV, compact SUV, no AWD, would emit 25.967 Mt, 246 g/mile
    TOYOTA Prius L Eco, 62 mpg, compact car, no AWD, would emit 26,490 Mt, 251 g/mile
    SUBARU Outback, 30 mpg, medium SUV, with AWD, would emit 43.015 Mt, 407 g/mile
    VT Light Duty Vehicle mix, 22.7 mpg, many with AWD or 4WD, would emit 56,315 Mt, 533 g/mile

    If LDV average would become 40 mpg (by means of carrots and sticks), CO2 would become about 22.7/40 x 56.315 = 32 Mt over 10y, which is not that much more than the 26,490 Mt of a Prius L Eco.
    If the NISSAN Leaf is compared with my 30-mpg Subaru Outback, a vastly more useful vehicle than a NISSAN Leaf, the CO2 reduction would be only 17 metric ton over TEN years.

    “Going EV” to obtain a few more Mt/vehicle would require huge capital investments having a very high cost of CO2 reduction per metric ton.

    RE folks claiming EVs have no CO2 emissions is utter nonsense.

    “Break their will” RE folks want to “Electrify Everything”, but that is an easily uttered slogan
    It would require:

    – Additional electricity generation plants, such as nuclear, wind, solar, and hydro
    – Additional grid augmentation/expansion to carry increased loads for future EVs and heat pumps
    – Additional battery systems to store the midday solar electricity surges for later use, aka, DUCK-curve management.
    – Major command/control-orchestrating to avoid overloading distribution and high voltage electric grids regarding:

    1) Charging times and duration of EVs and heat pumps
    2) Operating times of major appliances
    3) Control of electricity demands of commercial/industrial businesses

  8. Anyone with an electric vehicle will need one of the following: 1) their own fossil fuel powered generator to charge it when the power grid goes into overload, 2) good shoes for walking, or 3) a horse to ride when waiting for a plug in (or to pull the ev to town if you need more groceries than the horse can carry). There are other options, but that is a “good start”… Oh yes, be sure to plan vacations where you can reach and get back in the time allotted. EV’s will still travel somewhat faster than covered wagons. Battery powered bicycles might be a better option. Watch out for what they’re trying to sell you.

  9. Careful study of “Climate Change” reveals two things: 1) As a planet we are cooling overall, and 2) CO2 is not able to produce the effects for which it is being blamed. (If you can prove otherwise, please show me). Regarding #1: We are in a warming “blip” again (it “flip-flops) and will return the long term trend (ice age “stuff”) of declining temps – whenever. As for #2: CO2 is conveniently being blamed (you can’t knock fossil fuels w/o kicking CO2) for another culprit’s effect. CO2 is sequestered in the oceans and released during warming trends. Water vapor is released under the same conditions (the graph: -> temp increases before CO2 increases – temp raises CO2 – not the other way around). Water vapor acts like a blanket (AKA: “green house gas”) CO2 just vibrates in the atmosphere and any energy produced dissipates into space. Check it out for yourself.

  10. State policy should never be left in the hands of religious fanatics. The dogmatic AGW cult hell bent on making sacrifices of the commoners beneath them in the impossible belief that it will improve Vermont’s weather? They are mad. It will just degrade the Vermont standard of living and drive people out. What, incidentally, did they do to put off the impending ice age of the mid seventies?

  11. Back when the putterer was still doing real reporting, they showed us we aren’t producing enough electricity as it is…now GMP wants you to add more electrical demand and we have to be MORE dependent on foreign owned energy oligarchs?
    This is such an energy scam. Its so obvious.
    Its built on a false premise and lies to justify it, just like all the for profit raping of the planet narratives.
    This is such a flatlander approach as well… go into debt to solve a nonexistent problem: Vermonters have never been the problem.
    INDUSTRY and its infrastructure CONTINUE to be the problem
    The rest of this is just a way to enslave us and forget how to make a fire.
    Or feed and care for a horse.
    Vermont unhitched the horse and put an ass facing backwards in its place, telling us to be quiet and and comply, “we know better than you. Obey.”

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