Electric Vehicle critics

Electric vehicles (EV’s) are becoming more and more common on the roads. Many companies are moving towards an “electric future”, including major US companies like Ford (F150 electric truck anyone?)

Whenever I see a news article that discusses EV’s, the comments section is often full of critics. These critics often trot out the same stuff, over and over and over again. I get sick of the misinformation and logical fallacies.

So here is some of what I see:

  1. A variant on "I need a vehicle to do “X”. EV’s do not do “X”. Therefore EV’s are stupid and will never catch on.
    “X” may be “I commute 350km each and every day to work”
    or “I have to haul 1000kg of hay”

  2. The old “EV’s are like golf carts, and can’t even get up a hill”, or “EV’s can only go 10km between charges” or some other non-factual piece of crap.

  3. “If more than 2 people on a block have EV’s you’ll crash the grid.” Really. My EV charges on a 110V, 15 amp circuit. It draws as much as a toaster.

  4. “Your EV will burst in to flames and kill you”. Ummmm No. Gas cars have more fires per mile driven, and the fires are quicker and more dangerous.

5." EV’s are made with horrible materials that are from open pit mines, and batteries cannot be recycled. " Usually accompanies with pictures of an open pit COPPER mine. And yes, batteries can be recycled, and are being recycled.

  1. EV’s don’t have enough range. (variant on the commuting 350 km/day above). They have enough range for a huge majority of people.
    As I try to say to many of them - "If an EV does not work for your personal situation - fine. But don’t try to tell me what works for MY SITUATION.

Generally, these folks break into two groups:

  • The misinformed or those who don’t know any better
  • Those who are deliberately and knowingly spreading false information

The latter can be seen on Every. Single. Discussion. about EV’s .

They’re just so slow. Especially that Tesla Model S P100D. A real putt-putt that thing.

I had someone tell me in a discussion thread once that those cars do not exist. In all seriousness, he believed that they were just CGI’ed models in youtube videos.

Well there’s your problem. You’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villiany than news website comment sections.

You forgot one: “EVs still generate emissions because the power to charge them is generated by burning fossil fuels.” EVs are way more efficient than ICE powered cars, so even if 100% of your power came from coal you’d be generating fewer emissions than a gas powered car. And really no one’s electricity is 100% from coal, and we’re moving towards more cleaner power sources every day.

Thanks. Yes, I try to point out that an EV is a vehicle that has the potential to get CLEANER over time, as we move the grid to better/greener sources of energy.

I’m just going to stop you right here, and tell you I’ve identified the source of the problem.

Well, just because this is IMHO and I’m feeling snippy, I’m going to push back. An electric vehicle, at least as they (and the infrastructure they require) currently exist is not practical for me.

I live in St. Louis. If I want to visit my kids in Chicago, that drive pushes the battery range of a Tesla to its dregs. If I want to recharge (highly recommended) I pretty much have to pick a station along I-55 in Bloomington, and many of the sites are away from the highway and only open during business hours. I’d have to plan to add an hour to my trip to get off the highway, find an open station, and then take 40 minutes to get the battery powered up. May as well stop for lunch, even though we’ve only been on the road for 2 1/2 hours. It’s even worse with the 500+ mile drive to visit my wife’s family in Cleveland.

I have a small SUV that gets 30-35 mpg on the highway, with a big enough gas tank to go 400+ miles. There are 24/7 gas stations at virtually every exit along the highways, and filling the tank takes 5-10 minutes.

Not to mention my SUV cost a lot less than even the basic Tesla.

If an EV works for your personal situation - fine. But don’t try to tell me what works for MY SITUATION.

Interestingly, I never do. If an EV does not work for you, by all means, avoid getting one. There are great other options for you.

I will ask though… in your personal situation, how often do you make a drive in excess of 500+ miles? Some people do so very regularly, and this may make an EV impractical for them.

I did have an online chat with a friend in Calgary who brought this up. She said she’d have a tough time driving to visit her sister in Winnipeg. I concurred. Asked when she’d last seen her sister. 10 years ago. Does not like her much.

I’m waiting for the Mustang-inspired electric crossover. However, a lot of the concerns are legitimate. I’ll add that I’m responsible in some small part for the manufacturing aspects of the Mustang-inspired electric crossover, and am fully aware of many of the negative environment aspects. Given that I don’t need to write a Masters thesis right now, I can’t say whether the positives outweigh the negatives, only that there are negatives.

Honestly, I’d rather see pebble bed reactors replace other power plants than electric cars, but again, consider I’m not writing a thesis.

Given that I own BOTH an EV and a classic Mustang, I say, BRING IT ON!

Of course there will be negative environmental impacts from manufacturing an EV. It’s a huge piece of metal, plastic and complex components, sourced from lots of exotic materials from all over the globe.

I’d agree with Kent that EVs haven’t been practical unless you are rich enough to own multiple cars. I don’t do a ton of 400+ mile one way trips but I do a ton of 100 mile one way trips. A car with only a 200 mile rage would involve a mid day charge most weeks. I’ve wanted one of the Tesla model S for years but it would only be a fun toy like owning a Dodge Viper. Even if the vehicle was only impracticable for our two family vacations per year where we drive 1,000 to get to our vacation spot it would increase the cost of our vacations by $1,000 at a minimum since we’d need to rent a car which is more than we’d save with the electric car per year.

That being said Rivian is finally producing an EV that will, hopefully, meet the requirements to be a useful car. The 400 mile range is goon enough that we could probably make it as a vacation car though I’d prefer a 500 mile range. The 400 mile range will just shorten our vacations by 20% and would let me drive to my in-laws and back with out charging. The only real problem is the Rivian is still going to be too expensive so maybe in another decade EVs will be a potential family car for normal people.

The concerns of the people the OP is talking about are not legitimate. It ranges from data that’s years out of date to straight-up bullshit. Just an example from our Model 3 thread:

Almost every sentence in that screed is false. But that kind of thing is considered a primary source by these people. It gets forwarded and shared endlessly, and people already inclined to believe that EVs are a scam eat it right up. Some of my own family members fit in this category, unfortunately.

The Tesla Model 3 “Standard Range Plus” has a 250 mile range (and it really gets that except when bitingly cold). Because the car starts on a “full tank” every day (assuming home charging), you never have to go out of your way to charge.

Also, note that nothing obligates you to perform a full charge on the road. I can add 80 miles of range in 10 minutes at a Supercharger. If I’m only just over the car’s range on a particular trip, a small boost like that is all I need. The rest of the charging happens at home while I’m sleeping.

This is an important point. Yes, some situations are not currently well-handled by an EV. However, my observation is that not a lot of people actually have a firm grasp of what their situation actually is. Most are eager to trot out examples that are rare to nonexistent, and fail to think about how an EV would improve matters for the vast majority of their driving.

The average car in the US is driven about 12,000 miles per year, and most of those are for the commute. Obviously, most people are not making 500-mile trips on a regular basis.

Rich enough? Many couples and families own multiple cars.

I have two cars - one EV (LEAF) and one ICE (Matrix). The purchase cost to me for both of these cars was $28,000. I am not poor. Neither am I rich.

Agghhhhh! Now I want to correct all of the obvious lies in that link!

One thing that jumped out at me was how this dude was 'talking to a BC Hydro executive" at a BBQ, but the rest of the post is all in miles and gallons… Obviously US sourced. And I’d love to know where he is that he pays $1.16/KwH for electricity. I guess “ImaginationTown”

(From WorldAtlas: “The Pacific island nation of Solomon Islands has the highest electricity cost in the world, at a staggering 99 US cents per kilowatt hour.”

In my case, multiple times per year. And we get by on a single vehicle that has to handle multiple roles.

Yeah, and I didn’t even bring up the winters in the Midwest and Great Plains.

Look, electric cars are great for city driving, they’re great if your idea of a long drive is 100 miles, and they’re great if you can afford to spend $30,000+ on a car. But for a whole lot of people, their limitations make them impractical.

For my next car, I’ll be looking at something like a RAV-4 hybrid.

Electric vehicles do not currently pay their fair share of road use taxes. Gasoline is taxed to pay for road maintenance. As the market share of electric vehicles increases the state and federal government is going to look around for a way to replace those missing taxes, which probably run around $0.02 per mile.