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3 myths about electric cars

19 Comments
By Roland Lloyd Parry

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Then, people will switch without fuss.

Those who aren't car enthusiasts, that is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

EVs are probably part of the future but not the whole future. Long haul trucking, railroads, ocean going shipping, construction, farming and ranching and people who live in rural areas are not going to find EVs meet their needs. The maritime industry is leading the way developing internal combustion engines very much like those in use today that burn hydrogen, ammonia and mixtures of these gasses. Each gas has good and bad properties. One is very easy to burn but difficult to store while the other burns less readily and has less energy but is more stable and easier to store. Blended together they can make a good motor fuel. Wartsila of Finland has working prototype engines burning these fuels and experimenting with different blends to see which is the most satisfactory in terms of engine performance and ease of storage. While their research is aimed at the big engines that power container ships, tankers and dry bulk carriers, engines that stand five stories tall with pistons 3-4 meters across, the technology will be scalable to smaller engines.

The plan is to produce both hydrogen and ammonia in plants that use only wind and solar power. As such they will be carbon free fuels. Such plants cannot operate 24/7/365. It is more like make hay while the sun shines ( and the wind blows ) but prototype plants in norther Europe are showing this sort of plant can produce enough hydrogen and ammonia to provide the necessary quantities of these fuels and do so profitably. Hydrogen and ammonia will be the primary fuels of the future for commercial transportation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Public transport is the future.

Well, maybe and only if you live in a big and densely populated city. Where I live, 150 km from the nearest small city here is only public transport three days a week from here to that small city and it doesn't go very many places when it does, plus it doubles the time it takes to get where you are going. It leaves here at six in the morning and comes back at six at night, and the few stops are about an hour's walk from my home. You city dwellers don't think about how people outside the big city live when you make your rules.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This article has been brought to you by Toyota!

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

People will learn just how great EV's are when at night everyone plug in to charge their cars and everything goes dark!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The solar panels on our roof generate about 99% as much electricity as we use. We are hooked up to the grid so that we can get electricity when the panels can't do all the work.

Two observations:

if we had an electric car, I would look into adding more solar panels, to offset the electricity needed to charge the car batteries.

when we had the solar system installed, household batteries were not yet practical, but today that reality has changed. If we had a system installed today, we would probably add on batteries, so that we wouldn't need the grid at all.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The perfect is the enemy of the good.

EVs are not perfect, but they are undeniably far better than ICE vehicles. Given that in the States over half of all petroleum is used in transportation, the amount of CO2 that can be kept out of the atmosphere with EVs is of paramount importance.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No need for debate about ICE or EVs, especially in Japan. Japan has shown peak private transport occurred decades ago. Public transport is the future.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Those studies and considerations are all very narrow and limited to certain situations when in operation. But you also have to consider the necessary resources for producing those cars, as well as severe environmental damage after they burn down or are recycled etc. Look, you simply cannot act against the rules of physics and even less when it comes to energy. The many things you need as input and have to transform into the car and the necessary usable energy for its operation are always much bigger than you have as an output you wished for. In theory there would only be one option, that is of course not applicable, and that’s no cars and no moving around at all.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Grasping at straws, lol.

> 99.9% + of car users will never drive in those extreme areas. Fact.

Really!?

In what country?

In Northern Canada carrying extra fuel is standard as it is in many parts of the USA, in Africa, India and many other places it is a near necessity outside any major city to carry spare fuel.

I am never surprised by the fact so many here think the world is USA EU and Japan.

ou will not be buying any new combustion engine cars from many makers after 2025-2030. Hard to accept for some, but they need to deal with it.

Yeah I am waiting for that, and am willing to bet it will be delayed until at least 2050 if not later.

The USA isn't even ready, Canada won't, Russia forget it, Africa India, Most of Asia will not have the infrastructure in place by then.

Oh maybe Japanese, USA and EU makers will stopp but I bet China and India will be supplying ICE still.

I personally am waiting for my plug in hybrid preferably hydrogen fuel cell.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Minus 40C° running out of power in northern Canada, Alaska or Siberian. Is a death sentence.

Same for doing the same in the deserts of The middle East, North Africa even Mongolia.

Grasping at straws, lol.

99.9% + of car users will never drive in those extreme areas. Fact.

Running out of gas and water in those extreme areas is also a death sentence.

EVs are not yet perfect, but are the future. You will not be buying any new combustion engine cars from many makers after 2025-2030. Hard to accept for some, but they need to deal with it.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Make it cheaper than gasoline cars, already!

Then, people will switch without fuss.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Stuck in snow'

I like how they used "British" data and old 2015 data to make their point.

Reality in actually places that have real snow storms and cold in the minus 20~40 C° like Canada have found very different results.

Just in 2019 in Montreal Quebec a major storm took the lives of people stuck on the highway.

Those that were rescued returned later to get their cars.

Many needed to get a boost to start, some needed gasoline as they ran out while waiting for rescue.

But the electric cars that ran out of power had only on choice, to be towed to a charging station.

Unlike hybrids or traditional ICE cars that can just get a few litres of fuel start and drive to the nearest station.

Electric cars need hours of charging and available charging stations.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It calculates that an electric car charged in St Louis, Missouri -– part of the subregion that relies the most on coal –- on average will produce 247 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, lower than the average 381 grams of a gasoline vehicle.

Just from the first part we know this is going to be one joke statement after another

Notice how Hybrid Cars are conveniently left out?

The Prius even older models do 226 gr per mile the latest models are as low as 145 gr per mile. ( Around 89gr per km).

The Nissan leaf on average 120gr per mile ( around 75gr per km ).

Under the best and cleanest electricity production the smallest Nissan leaf is 65gr per mile ( 40gr per Km) this part is totally theoretical.

The Tesla model 3 produces 145 gr per mile (91 gr per Km) this was the result by theTechnical University of Eindhoven on behalf of the Green Party in the German Bundestag,

So under less strick emissions of coal fired USA electric power production we can expect far higher CO2 emissions.

The thing about hybrid cars is they are consistent their emissions remain constant regardless of the local electric power production.

But the number one problem with electric cars is the world isn't the EU or Japan, they will never be practical in Northern Canada, Far east Russia, 90% of Africa unless you can string a load of power lines and carry a large number of spare Batteries.

I lived and worked in the far north of Canada, we had to alway top up the tank and carry spare fuel.

Oh and please no silly stuff about solar panels, at present tech it would take the most efficient solar panels measuring 2metres X 2 metres several hours of full on daylight to charge even the smallest electric car on the market today.

For those of you that don't get it.

Minus 40C° running out of power in northern Canada, Alaska or Siberian. Is a death sentence.

Same for doing the same in the deserts of The middle East, North Africa even Mongolia.

EV is only good for city and very well developed areas.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

A Tesla 3 Long Range uses a 1,060-pound battery that contains 25 pounds of lithium, 60 pounds of nickel, 44 pounds of manganese, 30 pounds cobalt, 200 pounds of copper, and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic. Inside the battery are something like 6,831 individual lithium-ion cells.

 Looking upstream at the ore grades, it's estimated that the typical quantity of rock that must be extracted from the earth and processed to yield the pure minerals needed to make that single battery is:

 • Lithium brines typically contain less than 0.1% lithium, so that requires some 25,000 pounds of brines to get the 25 pounds of pure lithium.

 • Cobalt ore grades average about 0.1%, thus nearly 30,000 pounds of ore.

 • Nickel ore grades average about 1%, thus about 6,000 pounds of ore.

• Graphite ore is typically 10%, thus about 1,000 pounds per battery.

 • Copper at about 0.6% in the ore, thus about 25,000 pounds of ore per battery.

So in total, acquiring just these five elements to produce the 1,000-pound EV battery requires mining about 90,000 pounds of ore. To properly account for all of the "earth" moved though, which is relevant to the overall environmental footprint, and mining equipment energy use - we need to estimate the materials first dug up to get to the ore (overburden). Depending on ore type and location, overburden ranges from about 3 to 20 tons of earth removed to access each ton of ore.

This means that accessing about 90,000 pounds of ore requires digging and hauling between 200,000 and over 1,500,000 pounds of earth , ****a rough average of more than 500,000 pounds per battery. The precise number will vary for different battery chemistry formulations, and because different areas have variable grades of ores. Note that this total footprint doesn't take into account the large quantities of materials and chemicals used to process and refine all those ores. The other materials used when compared with an ICE car, such as replacing steel with aluminum to offset the weight of the battery, or the supply chain for rare earth elements used in electric motors (neodymium, dysprosium) have not been counted. Also excluded is the related, but non-battery, electrical systems in an EV that use some 300% more overall copper compared to an ICE car.

If recovering minerals hidden in worn-out products such as EV batteries were easier, cheaper, and safer than mining new materials, there would more of it, and it would not need subsidies and mandates to put into effect. While technology, especially automation and robotics, will eventually bring more economically viable (and cleaner) ways to recycle, the challenges are many and progress has been slow. That’s why overall global levels of net recycling of most metals (not just e-waste and green waste) are below 20%, and much lower than those for the rare earths.

The challenge with recycling is the same as in mining itself: a lot depends on concentrations. The concentration of useful minerals in e-waste is very low and often lower than the ore grades of those minerals in rocks. In addition, the physical nature of discarded hardware is highly varied (again, unlike rocks), making it difficult to find simple ways to separate out the minerals. **Also, r**ecycling processes are often labor-intensive (thus the pursuit of cheap labor, sometimes child labor) and hazardous because the techniques to strip away unwanted packaging sometimes releases toxic fumes and other waste.

These realities indicate that the efforts expended to recycle minerals can be greater than to get it from nature’s ore.

EV's are not all unicorns and rainbows.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Fully electric vehicles can be a great scource of entertainment--True.

Go look at the electric vehicles on YouTube self combusting. Great scource of pollution as well.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

EVs are getting "popular" by government subsidies say like in NZ recently...

these EVs are not "green" at all as for their production is used technology and electricity produce also from "dirty fuels".

EVs batteries life is another big issue as capacity of EV battery deteriorating rapidly by numerous charging and age,than these batteries need be recycled-another not "green" solution and yes need be replaced by new one/very costly/and yes - these are also produced not by pure "green technology".

all in all-EVs have a long way to go to get mass product and to be popular by buyers without any subsidies from gov by taxpayers money.to be "popular in natural way".once this will happen we can say good buy to fossil fuel cars.

as now there are 3 biggest remaining problems :

low capacity and life of EVs battery plus weight and size/will need new technologies to reduce size,weight of EVs batteries and same time extend their capacity and life/

to change technologies for production to be green and make EVs real "green products"/use electricity produced by wind,solar,ocean waves etc/,use materials easy to recycle and be reused again without harm for nature

to make EVs safer as these are often catching fire/good example burned cars in Atlantic aboard of roro vessel some months ago when many brand new pricey EV were burned to the ground and also vessel was heavily damaged/ so will be safer for user without harming their lives.recently shipping companies have abolished export of used EVs from Japan both by roro and full container loads for same reason.

EVs still have very very long way to go...

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Still very far off from being a decent replacement then. Airships would be great instead of planes though, flying hotels essentially

0 ( +6 / -6 )

I have a small hybrid 660cc vehicle which will take me to the moon and back on a tank of gas.

Solar panels on the roof produce a strong breeze from the in car fan on really hot days too...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

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