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Archive for January 25th, 2020

Oh no not another electric vehicle post. Sorry, not sorry but with this extreme push for battery electric vehicles or BEVs I have to show the negative sides of them and why its best to wait around for hydrogen fuel cells.

 

1. Limited range

Batteries can only store so much energy and even with the advances the more range you’re looking for the more expensive they’ll be. A Tesla model 3 costs around $40k when you factor taxes, charging equipment and hire an electrician to get the most out of recharging. But let’s face it, for $20k I can get more range out of a muscle car.


2. Recharging time

Even though you may charge at home and ‘wake up every morning with a full tank’ it still takes time to charge and our electric grid is unreliable at best. You will be waking up one day without power and your 220 mile Tesla is now a 50 mile range vehicle with no place to charge because well.. no power. Most gas stations will have a backup generator allowing motorists to continue driving around. But you are stuck with a 50 mile driving range. Doesnt work if you daily drive more than 20 miles, even if you do manage to make it into work you will still need a recharge. Imagine having to wait hours and hours in a public charging station because everyone else who owns a Tesla or other EV will be waiting in line because they lost power. Either that or they traveled too far and need a recharge. A minimum  of 30 minutes for an EV or a 5 minute refueling time for gasoline those who drive gas will not generally be affected by power loss, unless the gas station you went to doesnt have a backup generator… it’s best to ask.

 

3. Range is limited in the cold

My friend had a Tesla with a 300 mile range. When it was 20F he woke up to a half charge with a range of 100 miles. He thought well, I only work 20 miles away it’ll be fine. It was fine driving into work but upon driving home from work he got about 5 miles before the Tesla quit on him. He got rid of it and bought a Honda. 🤣😂

The cold is bad on lithium ion batteries. They don’t like the heat and they certainly dont like the cold. Adverse temperatures is bad for any battery, this is why you need to have your gas vehicle battery checked out every year, especially at winter time they can be an issue, in very cold weather. Stop and go driving is generally harder on them but using a battery electric car on the highway, that range doesnt come back because the car is doing everything it can to generate heat, however driving 60+ mph it takes longer for it to heat up so that heat is often wasted by that cold wind.

Gas cars are not impervious to cold weather either but well maintained gas vehicles will operate better in cold climates. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are the best in cold weather. Another reason why we need more of these vehicles.

 

4. The electric grid won’t handle a BEV takeover

You know I read in the Chicago Tribune that best charging times will be after 2:00A.M. I leave for work by 3:30A.M. there is no way it’ll finish charging by the time I have to leave for work. Even then this is another inconvenience, you gotta charge on their rules, not when it’s convenient for you. Not everyone has the same routines and here again, the recharge time and power reliability. You can gas up your vehicle any time you need to but charging is different. Sure you can charge anytime you want, but you won’t get the best rates. And when this happens rates for electricity will still go up when too many are plugging in. We bought energy efficient appliances because we wanted to save money on electricity but not only that its because the grid is taxed by energy draining devices.

 

5. Lithium ion materials are not easy to get

Even with all these BEVs coming out, there is a lithium ion supply shortage. We dont have a reliable supply, like gas it’s a finite resource. And when resources become scarce the prices go up. If you need a replacement battery and you sold your gas clunker for a shiny EV but the battery died, well who’s to say they’ll have a replacement on standby for you. If all their loaner vehicles are in use, you may be stuck paying for a $35 daily rental for however long. Could be a week or it could be months. In reality, you’re better off sticking to a gas vehicle. You may need a replacement engine or transmission which isnt that common, at least they have the parts needed to get you back on the road as quickly as possible. May take a few days to a week but that’s nothing compared to how long people had to wait for a replacement Tesla part.

 

6. How long will that battery last? The cost of owning a BEV

I don’t know. Often times they’ll say it’ll get 300k easy but when gas vehicles get that much and more you want to think more in terms of, how many years will the batteries last. Currently you can get 30+ years out of a Honda or Toyota.. basically any well built vehicle will last you if you keep up on the preventative maintenance. Regular oil and other fluid changes are needed for your vehicle’s survival. Fresh fluids equals a happy vehicle that will take care of your transportation needs but also regular checkups and taking it easy on the gas when you dont really need all that horsepower going. Leave it for the highway ramps.

Anyways the only real ways to treat a battery right on these EVs is charge it only to 80% and leave 30% left. Not exactly leaving you with much range there, along with the cold you’re just not going anywhere fast. Ideally you want a garage but if you park on the street or in an apartment complex that just isnt possible. The same with being at work, you have to leave the vehicle outside. Adverse weather will degrade the batteries. I can’t even keep all my cars in a garage. Let alone they are parked outside at work for 10 hours. BEVs just wouldn’t work.

But at the most I’ve seen a battery last is 10 years. But most of them last 3-7 years depending on various reasons I wont get into but somehow EVs could top all those batteries? The cost alone wouldn’t be worth it seeing as it would take in my case, 10 years before seeing savings from driving a BEV.

Even if the batteries were to die in 12 years or so, it’s still not worth it. Batteries are another environmental concern and the fact that eventually we will have to dispose of them. Regardless if there was a 2nd application for them. What happens when they are no longer usable?

I dont know either but the oldest BEV battery I know of is at least 8 years old. It’s only a matter of time before we find out the cutoff point and I’m not willing to risk a battery dying 8 years down the road and your warranty has expired. Non Tesla batteries are more prone to failure but eventually even Tesla batteries will drop like an anchor. Right now its the tipping point for these batteries. Will they last longer than 10 years or will they all start to die out after the warranty has ended. This will definitely create major problems for anyone who owns a BEV.

By the time these batteries start to fizzle out, hydrogen should be around the corner. There are hybrids as well but the batteries don’t really last in those vehicles and it’s a gamble whether the vehicle will function adequately when the battery no longer holds a charge. In my opinion buy a Honda or Toyota if you want to spend the least amount of money. Those vehicles last forever and get pretty good gas mileage. Wait for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and ignore the BEV evangelists. They really are not helping and neither is the government that is trying very hard to get people to buy an expensive piece of battery powered machinery with no telling how long they’ll last. They very well could end up being a financial nightmare for the owners if that battery one day will just quit. And that will happen eventually.

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