Updated August 26, 2012

EV Concerns

Almost all new paradigms are met with fervent opposition and hatred. I imagine ill was also said of gasoline cars 114 years ago when they were first trying to make their mark.  

Electric cars are no different and have their own share of opposition. Here is a list of arguments that detractors say about electric cars.  

Naysayer Beliefs:
  • EV's are worse for the environment than traditional gas powered vehicles.  
  • They are a big gimmick. You still have to produce electricity to power these vehicles.
  • They are too expensive.
  • They still contribute to the so called "carbon footprint"
  • Batteries are toxic to the environment.  There is a limited supply to make batteries.  
  • Range is too limited.  
  • Electric cars are slow.  
  • Not enough places to charge up (range anxiety).  
  • Electric cars are too expensive.  

Not only are there naysayers, electric cars have a lot of opposition from other organizations and businesses working hard to make sure they don't succeed.   The opposition is so immense, I am hard pressed to not call it a conspiracy.  

  • The public will buy whatever is placed in front of them in an enticing way.  Car commercials show that gas cars are fast and sexy. Electric vehicle are portrayed in commercials as slow and freaky. I have yet to see an electric car commercial where they say, “Zoom Zoom”.  
  • For decades there has been a demand for electric cars but no automakers have done anything to satisfy that demand.  Unlike every other product on the market, the EV demand is for the most part not being addressed, at least to a point where they are giving the public what they want at a cost effective price.  
  • Car parts are big business.  Auto dealers get a huge portion of their income from servicing the self-destructive components inside the internal combustion engine.  An electric car doesn't have thousands of expensive mechanical parts that need to be continually replaced.  
  • Oil is big business.  Trillions of dollars are at stake.  A massive electric car adoption would cripple the oil industry.  They don't call oil black gold for nothing.  
  • Gasoline/Diesel is an awesomely energy dense fuel.  No other ubiquitous source of energy can come close.  
  • For decades, battery technology development has been neglected and quietly removed from the public view.  Government funding for battery development was put on the back burner in favor of hydrogen research. 

In my enthusiasm for electric cars, I have made a small list showing why the electric motor is the next evolutionary step for transportation, after the internal combustion engine.  

Arguments for Electric Cars:
  • Worst case, pollution is shifted from the tailpipe to the smokestack where emissions can be more strictly monitored and controlled.
  • Worst case, pollution is far away from populated areas. Pollution happens at night when the cars are charging and most people are inside and not breathing outside air.
  • As the electric grid becomes cleaner so do all the cars.  This is an amazing quality.  In Utah, 50% of all air pollution comes from automobiles.  Imagine being able to reduce the emissions of hundreds of thousands of cars just by improving the point source where energy is generated?  Air quality would improve overnight.  
  • Electric cars don’t need to warm up before driving somewhere.  
  • With electric cars, there is no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.  
  • Electric motors don't care if it's summer, winter, sea level or high altitude.  Unlike gasoline which must be adjusted according to the seasons and the local city's altitude, electricity could care less if it is used on the bottom of the ocean or a mountain on the moon.  
  • Pollution from an EV during rush-hour is non-existent. Unlike an ICE, EVs consume virtually no energy when sitting idle at a traffic light. 
  • Maintenance of an EV is almost non-existent.  Water batteries every couple of months (lead acid only), add washer fluid and check your tire pressure.  I do have to caution that you may have to get some dental work done because you will smile a lot more.
  • EV’s with regenerative brakes have virtually no brake wear/tear. EV’s are super quiet and noise pollution is much lower with EVs.  
  • When working on an EV, you don’t become a greasy mess like in an ICE. No oil leaks, no mess.  
  • EV’s are super fun to drive.  There is no comparison.  Once you go EV, you never go back.  
  • The average commute is less than 20-miles, well within the range of electric cars.  
  • It takes 6 - 7.5 kWh of electricity to refine 1 gallon of gasoline. That's the same amount of energy a Nissan Leaf EV takes to drive 20 miles. If we stopped refining gasoline and all drove electric cars instead, our nation would still use the same amount of electricity as before only without needing any oil and gas.