With all the talk about moving away from fossil fuel vehicles and going to electric cars, I feel there should be other alternatives for consumers before they are forced into an EV. Right now, if you want to buy a green vehicle there are many more options than just 10 years ago. Worldwide, 6.6 million plug-in electric cars were sold in 2021, more than doubling 2020 sales, and achieving a market share of 9% of the global new car market. At this rate, most everyone will own an EV in the future whether you like it or not. Let’s look at some drawbacks of owning an EV.
Range anxiety is the number-one factor when it comes to EV purchases. Simply, modern electric vehicles are still range-limited due to their small capacity batteries. Most affordable electric cars on the market have a bit more than a 130-mile-range. However, Tesla and some other expensive vehicles offer double that number but at a substantially higher cost. Today’s cars can cover 500 or even more miles on a single tank, so electric cars still have a long way to go before they can fully replace gas-powered vehicles.
Long charging time is another big problem concerning electric cars. To fully charge the batteries you need to connect your vehicle to a power source. This can often take at least several hours. However, Tesla and Porsche advertise their models with supercharging abilities. That means they can recharge their batteries to nearly 80 percent in just 20 to 30 minutes.
Could you imagine trying to plan a trip in an electric car without knowing the location of charging stations? You would have to plan each charging stop along the way to avoid getting stranded in the middle of nowhere. Oh, and by the way, weather conditions and temperature changes affect the electric car’s range significantly. When the temperature dips below freezing outside, electric vehicles are notorious for experiencing specific problems. One of the most common issues owners report is a reduced range and even the failure to operate in especially harsh winter conditions.
Who will repair your electric vehicle? Compared with gas-powered cars, electric cars have far fewer moving parts. Less moving parts mean fewer things that can break and need to be replaced. But when they do you can forget going to your local shop or fixing it inexpensively. Regardless of the type and the model, all-electric vehicles require specific maintenance and service procedures as well as extremely high safety standards. Battery replacement is the most common cost. Don’t be surprised if you need to replace your electric car’s battery pack at least once during its lifetime. Doing so can be expensive, although it’s worth noting that the price has dropped significantly over the past few years at under $6,000. According to Tesla, the Model S and Model X retain 90% capacity for more than 200,000 miles. They should, especially when you are shelling out 100+K.
Electric cars and renewable energy may not be as green as they appear. Lithium is used in electric car batteries because it is lightweight, can store lots of energy, and can be repeatedly recharged. Analysts estimate that lithium demand is going to increase tenfold before the end of this decade as Tesla, Volkswagen, Ford, General Motors, and other automakers introduce dozens of electric models. The production of raw materials like lithium, cobalt, and nickel that are essential to these technologies are often ruinous to land, water, wildlife, and people. Since we charge the batteries with fossil fuel power plants and the batteries are not recyclable, how green are EVs?
The electricity demand to charge all those electric cars will cripple our electric grid. Let’s just say everyone goes out and gets an electric car. Electric vehicles demand more electricity and the fact that many states already have difficulty keeping up with the power needs and routinely have rolling blackouts in the summer spells potential disaster. The only fix for this is more power stations that will likely come from thermoelectric or nuclear power plants. The rising demand for electric power will only raise the level of global pollution. This is far beyond what internal combustion engines are doing now.
Since electric cars feature the latest, most advanced technology, they cost more. For example, Tesla is the king of electric cars and is the most trusted EV maker right now with the top models going for well over $100,000. I can’t imagine making someone that drives a 15-year-old Honda being forced to get a mortgage for an expensive EV. Thankfully some car makers have introduced vehicles that are more reasonably priced. But with cheaper prices, you will get more range anxiety. Some of the more reasonable models include the Volkswagen Golf E, Nissan Leaf, and Chevrolet Bolt EV with an MSRP of $31,500. Electric pickup trucks are now a reality. They’re coming from the largest sellers of mainstream pickups. Ford the makers of the best-selling pickup truck in the country is competing in the full-sized e-truck market with the Ford Lightning. Others include the upstart Rivian and the Chevrolet Silverado EV that features the work-oriented WT trim will come in at just $41,595.
Unfortunately Honda recently announced that they will end production of the FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle. This will leave the Toyota Mirai and the Hyundai Nexo as the remaining hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles on sale in the U.S. The Honda FCX is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that can be refueled just as fast and easy as your car today. With 134 hp, the FCX performs as well as any family sedan on the road, except the only emission that come out of this car is water. The range of the FCX is up to 280 miles on a tank of hydrogen fuel, it’s similar to the range we get on our current family cars burning fossil fuels. Fuel cell technology proves its worth in different climatic regions every day, logging millions of miles in buses and trams around the world. The principle of fuel cell drive systems is simple and efficient: fuel cells produce energy from a reaction of hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen with an efficiency rate of up to 60%. This makes it about twice as high as with diesel engines. So while everyone is pushing for electric cars, we had the car of the future available all along.