It is fun to watch a Tesla Car glide down the road and know that it is all-electric, still, the industry has a ways to go before electric cars can compete on price for the consumer – before wide adoption is fully feasible. Trust me when I tell you, I am not against EVs, it’s just I see so many challenges – cost, weight, subsidies, efficiencies, range, charging infrastructure, etc. And, I cringe when I listen to folks explain how to pave that proverbial ‘road to hell’ with the Good Intentions Paving Company LLC. Okay so, let’s talk shall we?
Here are a Five Points on the Future of Electric Vehicles and the Real Challenges Facing the Industry:
1). Current Battery Weight: EV batteries significantly increase the weight of cars – proponents say that’s okay because new lightweight materials will keep weight down. True, but if those lightweight materials can do that, they can do it also for gasoline, diesel, natural gas, hydrogen or steam run cars too. Meaning more competition, A 100 mpg car due to low weight is now a huge selling point.
2). End of Life Battery Disposal: Where do all these batteries go with chemicals that are not so good for environment? Proponents say; it’s not that big of deal. Still, if old cell phones are considered hazardous waste partly due to the batteries inside, then car batteries which are much bigger with huge amounts of material are even more problematic.
3). Slow Growth: Currently electric vehicles make us such a small percentage of the total, that they are not making any real difference in the use of fossil fuels, so if that is the goal, it will take decades to achieve and need massive government intervention – hasn’t government intervened in the free-markets enough lately (Healthcare, Biofuels for instance) and how has that worked out for us?
4). Electric Vehicle Rebates: When government gives rebates we all end up paying for it in higher taxes. If EVs cost on average $10,000 more, and we give rebates, we are subsidizing a sector over another sector, picking and choosing winners. It’s wiser to allow EV industry to pony up and find ways to lower prices to compete.
5). Electric Vehicles Are Quiet: Proponents say that’s a good thing. But, tell that to the kid or cyclist that didn’t hear them coming and got smushed. Some EVs now have “sound” to alert people they are coming, and you can choose the sound you like, several options. That’s nice, but defeats the concept and/or benefits of such serenity associated with EVs. Sound also takes energy to make, ask any audio installer of sound systems for cars, often a second battery or batteries is/are added for larger systems.
The electric vehicle industry will have to solve these challenges before consumers will have full buy-in or before EVs can supplant the cars we drive today. Please consider this.