This is the decade when electric cars replace gas cars

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Electric cars will be cheaper to produce than internal combustion engine cars by 2027, according to a study commissioned by Transport & Environment in Brussels. Electric car sales have been booming in Europe. Meanwhile, in North America, Uper and Lyft are acting like electric cars are a futuristic idea that may or may not work out, and lag terribly in their adoption of the only possible future technology. Part of the rising interest in electric cars is the realistic prospect of batteries that will have much longer range, use fewer nasty chemicals, and be cheaper. Buy an electric car with a 300 mile range now, after a quarter million nearly maintenance free miles, you’ll replace the batteries and upgrade your range to 500 miles, perhaps. Why would you not do that?

Electric car hate is a cultural phenomenon restricted to only certain geography and certain subgroups. Mainly, American Republicans. Especially Rural American Republicans, who do actually have a point that their vastly spread out sparsely populated regions are not quite eV ready. But they will be, and there is no reason for them to ruin it for everyone else, other than their own desire to be known as royal pains in the ass. (Not sure how one pluralized that.)

For example, in Minnesota, the adoption of a clean car rule, which would enhance access to more choice at the dealer for electric car buyers, was vehemently opposed by people falsely claiming that more eV cars on the lots would raise ICE car prices (not true, not true) or, in one case, more electric cars would cause the starvation and possible death of their children (not true, not true). Minnesota had to fight hard to get that rule instated by an administrative law judge, but it got approved, so Governor Walz can now move forward with this very important thing despite opposition from state Republicans, who seem to have only one purpose in life: to make Liberals cry.

Meanwhile, even as opposition to electric buses comes from climate deniers and pro-bio-fuel advocates alike, Lion Electric of Canada plans to build an electric bus plant in Illinois. Labor unions take note: It will create 750 actual jobs that won’t go away when we turn the petroleum spigot off. Please try to act like you care, because you should care or you should get out of the way.

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15 thoughts on “This is the decade when electric cars replace gas cars

  1. I read the other day ( where 20% of electric car buyers (not Tesla owners) are going back to gas powered vehicles.

    “Here, on the basis of results from five questionnaire surveys, we find that PEV discontinuance in California occurs at a rate of 20% for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle owners and 18% for battery electric vehicle owners. We show that discontinuance is related to dissatisfaction with the convenience of charging, having other vehicles in the household that are less efficient, not having level 2 (240-volt) charging at home, having fewer household vehicles and not being male.”

    The problem at home might be getting a 240V outlet in a secure place where your vehicle(s) can be charged but no one can sneak in when the charger is not being used and charge up their vehicle at your expense. Not everyone has a garage/carport available only curbside or underground complex parking with too few or no chargers installed.

    Ottawa has promised to install charging stations all across Canada, and I see Petro Canada has started a program to install chargers at all their gas stations (good corporate planning that.)

    1. As noted, not surprising. There will always be flux between technologies. What is not addressed, and probably can’t easily be, is what the expected flux is. For example, although everyone knows that iphones/androids (you pick) are the preferred cell phone, people do in fact switch to the other one now and then.

      In looking at cars now, and if I had to pick a car on the basis of its size, features, etc. etc. there are two electric cars and about 18 non electric cars I’d pick. This is the point of the clean car rule: to give consumers a wider range of choices that are electric (or for now phev). I know the abstract points out the charging issues, but I have a feeling the real reason someone picks any particular car on any particular day is “a) I like that one and b) I can afford it”.

    2. “The problem at home might be getting a 240V outlet in a secure place where your vehicle(s) can be charged but no one can sneak in when the charger is not being used and charge up their vehicle at your expense.”

      This is a valid concern. The solution would be to put a breaker for that outlet inside the house, and turn it on only when you charge the vehicle.

      Of course, for those renting their house this would be difficult.

  2. Not to mention the subtle pressure car sales agents put on buyers. Last week I took my car in to have the tires changed over from winters to summer tires. While waiting I listened to a senior sales person walk a junior through exactly how to sell a truck to someone who had called in earlier. It was quite the lesson in sales tactics.

    I wonder how governments are going to deal with people like me that have no financial resources to ever buy a new car (or even a good used one) but do have a decent ICE vehicle now.

  3. I can quite easily afford any EV currently on the market. That I won’t buy one is related to the inconvenience of charging during traveling and the low range on all available EVs currently marketed. I drive Lexus RX 450h (hybrid). On a full tank of gas, on the highway traveling between Oregon and Minnesota, where my oldest lives, I can drive 450 miles before having to stop, refuel, and be back on the road in less than 10 minutes. There are no EVs with that kind of range, and the charging infrastructure sucks big time along I-90 or I-94 across Montana and the Dakotas. Moreover, I completely lack the patience to sit around or hang out at some of the dismal charging stations for upwards of an hour waiting for a vehicle to charge. For me to move to an EV the range needs to be increased to what a modestly efficient hybrid vehicle can get, and the recharging will have to be as fast as a gas fill up is today. Any person who spends time in his/her car probably wants this too. We recently replaced our older BMW 5 series with an E series Mercedes Benz. We rejected Tesla because they are overpriced and the interiors look like they were designed by a Dollar General interior decorator. We have friends on their third Tesla. They’ve burned through two high end Model S, and still own a Model X. Just hope you never get in an accident. They’ve been involved in several. Average shop time; 5 months.

  4. I wonder how much influence the hacking of the largest US gas pipeline, and the consequent shortage or at least the threat of a shortage, will have on future electric vehicle sales. Car manufacturers would be smart to make this a selling feature.

  5. I have a hybrid (NonPE) and am very happy with it, and largely because of the fact that I don’t have to worry about charging stations. Moving from AZ to MN I ran into very few charging stations in northern AZ, UT, CO and Nebraska. Those are a lot of miles to go without knowing if you will be able to reharge or be stranded. There are features on hybrids that do help reduce emissions, the main being the fact that the gas engine shuts down when it’s not needed. I liked the Kia Soul that I traded for my Niro HEV, but as a commuter in Phoenix, found myself idling in the morning and evenings during my commute (along with the other thousands of cars on the 51 and the 101 and the 202 and the 303 and I-10.) Five days a week, I wonder how much carbon was being pumped into the air above the already polluted Valley of the Sun, while people were checking their Facebook statuses and waiting to drive 10 feet at a time until traffic cleared. At least in a hybrid, the engine shuts down and uses no fuel while waiting for the next chance to move a few feet.

    I don’t understand the mechanics that prevents gas engine cars from doing the same. At least then the guys who need V-10 Trucks to feel good about themselves could save on some fuel, right?

    But, I do understand that with lithium batteries there is an issue with mining and extraction. It’s environmentally very dirty. Is it dirty enough for the environmental cost of lithium extraction to be higher than oil extraction, transportation, refining, and eventual burning in a car? That’s something I don’t even know how to google to find and answer on the relative costs.

    Yeah, we need to move to electric cars. There’s just so many questions to resolve along the way.

    1. Lithium, Cobalt, etc. are elements, thus, recyclable. The bigger mining issue is with Cobalt because of where it is mined. But, you can chose between Cobalt in batteries or Cobalt used in petroleum processing!

      In all cases, though, future batteries will use neither, or very little. A good electric car purchased now will at some long time in the future rewire new batteries. They will be cheaper than the batteries made now, use fewer or none of these minerals, and have perhaps double the range.

      To me the bigger issue is as you mention the chargning. Electric care lovers keep arguing that this is less of a problem than people thing, but it really is a problem. But it is a problem being solved.

      There are two steps to solve this problem. 1) Build out an infrastructure where there are electrical wires in a giant web everywhere and 2) hook chargers up to the web.

      Step 1 is basically done. To see where this is done, look for street lights and traffic signals. Sept 2 is taking too long. To make step 2 go faster, replace most of the existing elected officials at the municipal level, because they are the ones not doing their jobs.

  6. I think that one way to address the recharge issue is to make the batteries modular, so that service stations along the highways and byways could exchange them relatively quickly. You know, pull off, drive into the bay, go to the can and grab a snack and return to a car with a different but fully charged battery, yell at the kids to put on their seatbelts and hit the road. You know, like we do propane tanks. Pay a deposit for the first one (when you buy the car) and then pay for each “refilled” one.

    And yes, I’ve assumed that future batteries will resolve the mining issue, but it’s a problem that those opposed to EV’s often bring up.

    1. That may work with cars, but I think we’ll see that technology deployed with tractors and airplanes.

  7. I still suspect both electric and autonomous vehicles will get there first major use case as fleet cars for businesses in large cities like London, new York, etc.

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