Last week I wrote an opinion piece where I pointed out a number of environmental problems with EVs (electric vehicles) that aren't being addressed by the Green Party in their almost religious crusade to convert our four million cars to EVs.
The response to my article was overwhelmingly positive. It seems a silent majority of New Zealanders share my concerns and are wary of being lectured by the Green Party about the virtues of EVs.
Yet a minority appear so blinded by their ideological attachment to the idea that EVs are going to save our planet from certain destruction that intelligent debate and facts seem to be replaced by personal attacks, hypocrisy and an irrational adherence to their cause.
One of the most compelling pieces of evidence I cited (with a link to a CNN investigation ) was the use of child labour in supply chain of EVs in the cobalt mines of the Congo.
The fact is that more than 50 per cent of the global production of cobalt comes from the Congo using child labour, and the vast majority of EV batteries are made using cobalt.
These are indisputable facts and widely accepted by international media, other countries and scientists. Almost everyone except Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter, it seems.
When asked this week on radio, Genter tried to say it was "fake news". Only when confronted with the evidence of the CNN footage cited in my article did she then reluctantly accept the problem even existed.
There were a number of hypocritical and rather evasive points raised by Genter this week and I think it's important that the public are fully aware of these so she can be held accountable as a government minister.
Troy Bowker: The dirty secrets about electric vehicles
Presented with facts about the environmental and human rights abuses associated with the production of EVs, Genter's first reaction was to say that I was "scaremongering".
Yet Genter also went on to imply that these issues with EVs are somehow justified to save our planet from what she says is the inevitable destruction of all life on Earth which, in 11 years' time, will be "irreversible".
Let's just consider for a moment who is scaremongering and who isn't here.
Some advice to Genter - implying the world will end if New Zealand doesn't implement your "feebate" policy probably isn't the best political strategy.
2. Fake news by the fuel industry
All too often the Green Party attacks anyone who disagrees with it by claiming they are a mouthpiece for the fossil fuel industry.
Genter didn't disappoint this week. Stealing a line from Donald Trump (rather ironically) she claimed I was "parroting fake news" on behalf of oil exploration companies.
I'm not paid by the fossil fuel industry and the only association I have is an investment in a business which sells petroleum equipment. The business also supports clean energy solutions such as hydrogen technology. I fully disclosed this upfront and my opinions do not amount to fossil-fuel-funding fake news.
The height of the hypocrisy of the Green policy on EVs is that EV batteries inherently rely on mining of metals and chemicals that are non-renewable.
This is a government which has banned offshore oil and gas exploration in New Zealand but is now actively supporting mining of lithium and cobalt in some of the world's poorest countries.
4. False economics
The mining of lithium and cobalt is like a modern-day gold rush.
In years to come, the price of these materials will sky rocket.
Any attempt to put a price on the inevitable replacement of the millions of EV batteries is completely futile. Consumers will be facing massive costs when they upgrade or replace their EV batteries.
To make matters worse, if we move to ethically sourced cobalt and lithium, as we most certainly should, the price of EV batteries will be astronomical.
These facts are so obvious and yet they are again ignored by the Green Party.
5. EV battery life
Another piece of misinformation is the claim by Genter that EV batteries won't be disposed of after they start losing their charge and will be "re-purposed". The reason why EV car manufacturers won't warrant the batteries out after eight years or a few hundred thousand kilometres is that inevitably the EV batteries start to lose their ability to store energy.
Around the eight-year mark, their effectiveness reduces as they need to be charged much more frequently. Some of the more enthusiastic EV supporters may indeed persevere and use them on short trips and then charge them again. So at best they may get 12 years' use out of their EV battery. After that, even the most die-hard EV enthusiasts will surely concede defeat and give up charging their Nissan Leaf for hours for every half an hour of driving.
Genter would have us believe that most people will choose to hoist their 500kg battery out of their EV and "re-purpose" it to be used to power "stationary devices " such as fridges and solar panels.
The claim by Genter that the vast majority of EV batteries won't be disposed of at this point is laughable.
6. Shipping offshore
Yes, there is an industry group looking at solutions for the disposal of millions of EV batteries.
But there is no solution at present other than shipping them offshore to large recycling facilities in Europe.
Shipping millions of dead EV batteries offshore to be somebody else's problem isn't exactly a sustainable solution.
We will have to build our own mass recycling plants.
Before we rush into implementation of the "feebate" scheme, can Labour and the Greens assure us that no new taxes will be raised to pay for these enormously expensive recycling facilities or that millions of dollars of government money won't be used to pay for them?
There are a number of uncomfortable and inconvenient truths about EVs that Genter and her party need to answer and explain. Simply lecturing New Zealanders about the evils of fossil fuel and scaremongering about the planet ending is not going to cut it with the majority of voters.
Troy Bowker is executive chairman of Caniwi Capital Partners, which has a small part of its portfolio invested in Petroleum Equipment Services, a business which supplies infrastructure equipment to the petroleum industry. This business is actively supporting technology for the development of the hydrogen as an energy source.