A Free-Market Energy Blog

EV Forcing: 21 Problems

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- May 14, 2024

In conclusion, the article ends, “the journey towards adopting electric vehicles as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel-powered transportation is fraught with complex challenges, particularly concerning the environmental and ethical implications of battery production.”

Thomas Edison strongly advised Henry Ford to go internal combustion engine (ICE), not electric vehicles (EVs) in the late 19th century. EVs dominated the market until the advantages of ICE prevailed more than a century ago. Yet multi-pronged government intervention at the expense of taxpayers and ICE owners is desperately trying to create an industry that consumers do not like.

The economic and environmental problems of EVs are on full display–and the mainstream press is not afraid to report on them (unlike with on-grid wind and solar). A shining example of this was a recent article in Auto Overload (May 11, 2024): “21 Unfortunate Electric Vehicle Flaws That No One Is Discussing.”

Twenty reasons were given, but the 21st pertains to the conclusion that better (“holistic”) public policy is needed. Make that no public policy except government neutrality toward energy technologies, and we are all set. After all, the 20 items to follow are reasons for not promoting EVs.

  1. Limited Range: “Electric cars often face criticism for their limited range compared to gasoline vehicles. This range anxiety significantly affects potential buyers, especially in areas with a sparse charging infrastructure. While technology is improving, most electric vehicles still can’t match the range of gasoline cars, and their efficiency can decrease further in extreme weather conditions.”
  2. Impact on Used Car Market: “The rapid technological advancements in EVs and concerns about battery longevity can affect the resale value of electric cars, impacting the used car market. This makes the purchase of a used electric vehicle potentially riskier than a used gasoline vehicle.”
  3. Mining: “The pursuit of environmentally friendly transportation via electric vehicles (EVs) is not without significant drawbacks, particularly in terms of the socio-environmental impacts associated with mining. The extraction of essential battery components such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel results in various detrimental effects.”
  4. Longer Wait Times for Repairs: “Repairing electric vehicles can require specialized skills and parts, leading to longer wait times compared to gasoline cars. This can be a significant inconvenience for EV owners needing timely maintenance or repairs.”
  5. Longer Charging Times: “Repairing electric vehicles can require specialized skills and parts, leading to longer wait times compared to gasoline cars. This can be a significant inconvenience for EV owners needing timely maintenance or repairs.”
  6. Resource Scarcity for Batteries: “The production of electric car batteries depends on materials like lithium and cobalt, which are finite resources. The growing demand for these materials could lead to shortages and increased costs in the future, impacting the sustainability and affordability of EV battery production.”
  7. Higher Upfront Costs: “Electric vehicles generally have higher initial purchase costs compared to similar gasoline vehicles. Despite potential long-term savings in fuel and maintenance, this upfront investment can be prohibitive for many consumers. Although government incentives can help, the cost disparity remains a significant factor in purchasing decisions.”
  8. Battery Degradation: “The batteries in electric cars gradually lose their capacity to hold a charge, leading to reduced range over time. This degradation raises concerns about long-term reliability and impacts resale value. Additionally, replacing a battery is expensive, adding to the long-term ownership costs.”
  9. Limited Availability of Charging Stations: “The scarcity of public charging stations in many regions, particularly rural or underdeveloped areas, poses a significant challenge. This makes long-distance travel difficult for EV owners without access to home charging, deterring potential buyers.”
  10. Performance in Extreme Weather: “Electric vehicles can underperform in very cold or hot conditions. Batteries are less efficient in the cold, reducing range, while high temperatures can strain battery cooling systems. The use of heating and air conditioning in such weather also consumes significant power, further diminishing range.”
  11. Weight and Handling: “The heavy weight of their batteries makes electric cars heavier than their gasoline counterparts, affecting handling and braking. This added weight can also cause more rapid wear and tear on various components, like tires and brakes.”
  12. Environmental Impact of Battery Production: “The manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries, essential for electric cars, has a considerable environmental footprint. Mining for lithium, cobalt, and other minerals leads to ecological issues like habitat destruction and water pollution. The battery production process also contributes significantly to carbon emissions.”
  13. Recycling Challenges: “Recycling the batteries of electric cars is a complex and costly process. With a low recycling rate for lithium-ion batteries, there are environmental risks and resource wastage, highlighting the need for improved recycling technologies.”
  14. Limited Model Variety: “The current selection of electric vehicle models is relatively limited compared to gasoline vehicles. This lack of variety can deter consumers looking for specific types or features in a vehicle, such as size, style, or functionality.”
  15. Dependence on Electricity Grid: “Electric vehicles rely entirely on the electricity grid, which in many areas is still predominantly powered by fossil fuels. This reliance can diminish some of the environmental benefits of EVs, as their operation may indirectly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.”
  16. Reduced Towing Capacity: “Many electric vehicles offer lower towing capacities than their gasoline or diesel counterparts, which can be a significant disadvantage for users needing to tow trailers, boats, or caravans.”
  17. Technology Obsolescence: “The rapid evolution of technology in the EV sector can render existing models obsolete more quickly than traditional cars. This fast pace of change can negatively affect the resale value and longevity of an electric vehicle as newer, more advanced models enter the market.”
  18. Insurance Costs: “Insurance for electric vehicles can be more expensive due to their higher repair costs and the increased price of battery replacement. This elevates the total cost of EV ownership over time.”
  19. Noiseless Operation Hazards: “The quiet operation of electric cars poses a risk to pedestrians, cyclists, and the visually impaired, who may not hear an approaching vehicle. Regulations are being introduced to require EVs to emit artificial noise at low speeds to mitigate this risk.”
  20. Software Reliability and Security: “The heavy reliance on software for the operation of modern electric vehicles raises concerns about reliability and the risk of hacking. Maintaining the security and integrity of these systems is an ongoing challenge in the EV industry.”

“In conclusion,” the article ends, “the journey towards adopting electric vehicles as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel-powered transportation is fraught with complex challenges, particularly concerning the environmental and ethical implications of battery production.”

What an understatement. But the politically correct article adds:

While legislative measures and research initiatives are making strides in addressing these issues, there is a critical need for ongoing commitment and innovation to ensure that the EV revolution does not compromise human rights or environmental integrity. The future of green transportation depends not only on technological advancements but also on responsible and sustainable practices throughout the EV battery supply chain. It is imperative that stakeholders across industries continue to collaborate and invest in solutions that prioritize ethical sourcing, improved recycling methods, and overall supply chain transparency. This holistic approach will be key to realizing the full potential of electric vehicles in fostering a cleaner, more sustainable future.

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