My annual EV rant

I have an EV (2015 Nissan LEAF). I like it. It works well for me and my use-case scenario. I think it is a good thing that more EV’s (hybrid, plug in hybrid, full electric) are being bought each year in increasing numbers, and many more models are coming out every year. Looking forward to maybe an electric truck in my future.

So I subscribe to feeds and channels that deliver news about EV’s. It’s fun to keep up, as the technologies and new innovations are coming to market.

In every one of these though, the comments fill quickly with people who post outrageous bullshit and lies about EV’s. I have no idea WHY they go to these EV-centric sites in the first place since they appear to hate EV’s with the passion of a thousand exploding suns. I don’t go to muscle car sites and try to tell people who love Dodge Challengers that their cars are pieces of shit. Why the hell should I care?

These folks post the usual bullshit:

  • EV batteries are made of child labor materials that are all running out
  • EV batteries only last 5 years and then are put directly into landfills
  • EV’s only have 70 miles of range and will not work in cold weather
  • There are no charging stations, and if you want to charge at home, you’ll need a $10,000 charger
  • You can’t use an EV to tow a 5th wheel 1000 km in -30 weather, and this is my normal daily commute.
  • The power grid will collapse if we have more EV’s
  • Anyone who likes EV’s is a Marxist Trudeau lover

On this last point - I have noticed a HUGE overlap between the folks who post on these sites and Anti-vax, Anti-mask, Trudeau haters, and a large overlap between folks who post on these sites and Russia apologists.

What I do is logically and reasonably refute their idiotic rants with math, evidence and citations that show they are wrong. (BC Hydro has a great site debunking EV myths, and says the grid is more than ready for many more EV’s)
These posts of mine are usually met with either silence or an explosion of obscenity laden shouting.

I do wonder how many of these folks are real - many do have fake accounts - and how many do this all day for a living with many different accounts.

It’s a virtual certainty that some of the dark money that’s been funding climate change denial is behind some amount of the anti-EV propaganda, and the only question is how much of it is actually being funded and how much is being provided to us by simple ignorant dumbasses and trolls. EVs are a threat to an absolutely enormous industrial complex, primarily but by no means exclusively the oil companies.

I suspect that the majority of folks I encounter are indeed “useful idiots” who are merely repeating the propaganda that they have absorbed from the Anti-EV oil corporations.

As a rule, people are afraid of change, particularly change that will upend entire systems (oil production)

And yes, there is a LOT of money behind the production and consumption of oil products.

(snip)

Supporting petroleum/ICE seems to prop up enemies of freedom and our nation and while our oil reserves are not bad, we are in no way in a position to take a lead role with such big players. Our distribution system also has many points of weakness and very little capacity to adjust for loss of distribution or production, some within our nation, others outside it, some man made reasons some natural.

Supporting EV’s seem to support seems to support made in the USA, American power generation and even home power generation. Have a solar array, one sunny day can net you 200 miles.

It just seems so backwards those touting freedom, shouting MAGA, are really supporting a system that supports those who want to see the USA fail.

Just for clarification, are you talking about the “Government: keep your hands off of my Medicare” cohort ?

Asking for a friend.

That’s one I hear a lot and I usually respond by telling people that it’s not like everyone is suddenly going to have an EV overnight. It’s going to be decades for everyone to get there and I’d guess at least 20 years before we’re even at the 50% mark. That should hopefully be plenty of time to get new power plants (especially wind/solar) up and running.

I think a lot of people also assume an EV is going to handle the same way the same as a sterotypical Prius they see driving down the road. Slow to take off, barely goes the speed limit, drives like there’s a 90 year old behind the wheel. Even when the F150 Lightening was announced, all I heard was ‘it’s not going to have enough torque’. These people are surprised when I put them in my Kia Niro EV, punch the gas and watch them get pushed into their seat. That car takes off like a rocket (at least compared to what they expected). So, yeah, I think the Lightning will do just fine.

Another one I hear a lot is that there’s ‘no infrastructure’, which isn’t really true. The infrastructure is there, the chargers aren’t, but it’s not really a big deal it install them. The power lines are there, the only real infrastructure that needs to be added is something that connects your car to the grid.
I can’t listen to this right now, but I’m fairly certain this is the video I’m looking for. I never really thought about the whole ‘there’s no infrastructure’ argument being wrong until I watched this a while back (PS if you’re not familiar with him, all his videos are really good)

About the only thing I can really get behind is the range. Or, not really the range so much as the charging time/ability. Once a year I make a drive that’s about 400mi, round trip, in one day. With my ICE car, it meant filling up before leaving and then filling up again at some point on my way back. With my Niro, I’ll have to fill up to 100% before leaving and then at some point, I’d have to fill up again. If there’s a quick charger, I believe it would only take something like 20 or 30 minutes, so not a big deal. If it’s an L2, it’s going to take several hours (and an L1/120v wall outlet, it would be days). This will be considerably more of a headache then pulling off the freeway at nearly any exit and finding a gas station within a mile or so.
I know this counts as ‘infrastructure’, but as more and more chargers pop up, it’s going to be less and less of a big deal.
Also, since I’m here, I really think the best places for those expensive DC chargers is going to be fast food places. Being able to get off the freeway and plug the car in while I’m at McDonalds is going to be preferable to starting at the side of a gas station or wandering around a grocery store to kill time.

And, lastly, people forget that technology is constantly changing and improving. I’m not sure how much more energy dense batteries can get, but I’m sure there’s some space. There will no doubt be newer batteries that have a better range or charge faster. I’d love to see some type of swapable battery system (though it might be moot if range increases and/or charging gets faster). And all kinds of other advancements that I couldn’t even guess at.

PS, something else that will really help, I think, is if hotels supply either EVSEs or 240v outlets to plug L2 chargers in. If I was going somewhere for more than one night, being able to charge up overnight would be a big perk.

That’s how I usually respond too, along with a link from a provincial Hydro corp, showing that they are planning for this.
It’s usually met with a comment like “Fuck you, marxist!”

Absolutely. Not only this, but some folks seem to think that battery technology is basically what it was in the 1990’s. I even had one guy who insisted that EV’s need to change their batteries regularly, like in a flashlight. He seriously thought that our cars were powered by something like Duracell D cells. When corrected, he told me that I probably voted for Trudeau. (I replied that no, I was not even in Trudeau’s riding. This went over his head as well.)

PS, something else that will really help, I think, is if hotels supply either EVSEs or 240v outlets to plug L2 chargers in. If I was going somewhere for more than one night, being able to charge up overnight would be a big perk.

Yes, absolutely. I am travelling to a hotel in May, and asked them if I could plug into a 110v outlet in the garage overnight. They were happy to accommodate me, and I will give them a glowing review.

I actually think most, if not all, are Russian and other paid trollers. I don’t think any are useful idiots.

My evidence is that when I engage them (not about EV, but the attitudes are virtually identical in nature) they never change. They post the same exact word-for-word reply months and years apart. They never vary, they never change their opinions by one bit. Not even the staunchest, stupidest, MAGA hat wearing idiot can be that consistent.

There was a copypasta bit I saw several times on Facebook a couple months ago that I’m going to try to find (and probably fail). It repeated a lot of the same busted arguments as in OP, but also included a laughable financial analysis of the cost of charging that used as core principle, a cost per kWh that was probably an order of magnitude too high. So many people responded to the effect of, “Yeah, that makes sense!” that I questioned if anyone had EVER looked at an electric bill at any point in their lives. Silence on that one.

Yes. They’re all captured by a huge echo chamber that feeds them constant outrage and gives them their marching orders. They are essentially now unpaid employees/soldiers for the monied interests that run that echo chamber. They spend a significant amount of their mental and emotional energy on this bullshit, on making the world a worse place, and gain nothing from it. And the best part? They’ll call you (and everyone else) the “sheeple” who can’t think for themselves.

EV adoption is going to go like cell phones. People will complain about carrying a phone around for reasons, but at some point it’s just so useful to have a phone with you all the times that nearly everyone will. Exceptions are exceptional.

Electric cars are so much inherently better, that at some point almost everyone will have one, except for a few exceptional cases.

I’m so confused. :wink:

Good news: the future is already here, at least in SoCal. I think every upscale hotel has L2 chargers and I’m sure lower-price hotels are working on it.

Did it slow down recently? I wasn’t paying any attention, but I saw a lot of comments on imgur/reddit about a month ago saying that they noticed a huge reduction in those types of users (anti-biden/pro-trump, anti-left/pro-right) at the same time that russia cut off it’s internet from the rest of the world.

I don’t know about the EV specific reddits, but this was definitely true in some of the ones I read. The r/Canada reddit was notorious for having been taken over by alt-right posters, but in the aftermath of the sanctions on Russia, the average quality of posts has improved enormously. There are still right-wing posters there, but they tend more towards the reasonable right wing we used to see, and not the reflexive “You’re a libtard marxist Tru-dope lover” trolls.

I found the FB post I was thinking of. It’s long and stupid, so I won’t post all of it. Here’s the math bit…

I pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16 per kwh. 16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery. $18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery. Compare this to a similar size car with a gasoline engine that gets only 32 mpg. $3.19 per gallon divided by 32 Mpg = $0.10 per mile.

A buck sixteen per kWh? Jebus! Here’s the first hit on Google for average electricity cost…

The average residential electricity rate in the U.S. is 13.72 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The average electric price a business customer in the United States pays for electricity is 11.36 cents per kWh. Energy rates vary depending on where you live.

Not quite the order of magnitude off that I thought, but really close!

The rest of the post had some other whoppers, but that was the one that stood out in my memory. There was a brief period where I saw that post again and again, attributed to various people I never heard of.

I’m looking forward to one of these EVentually.

I bought a new car a few years ago, but an EV wasn’t practical because they are still out of my price range (I bought a very affordable compact car with hood gas mileage instead) and there aren’t very many places to charge a car yet.

Fortunately, I live in Washington State and our governor is making it a mission to make it easier to use an EV in our area, so there’s a push to get more charging stations put up everywhere. I expect the next vehicle I buy will be an EV.

Yes, there are still some barriers to EV use, and use-cases where a gas vehicle is preferable. Can you charge at home? I use a regular plug 110 15 amp circuit in my driveway. If you regularly drive more than 60 - 70 miles/day, you’d want a level 2 charger (30 amp dryer circuit, charger is about $500). If you have no ability to charge at home, it can be a challenge relying exclusively on public chargers.

Where I am, new builds for homes and apartments need to have charging infrastructure.

I bought a 2nd hand LEAF - $13000 CAD (about $10,000 USD). It has served me really well. As more new EV’s come off lease, there will be more used ones available. If you go this route, have a knowledgeable EV person check the battery capacity, especially with a LEAF from a hot climate.

Plugshare can show you public charging locations. I find that many people are unaware of how many chargers are now out there, because they tend to be not very obvious (there’s one tucked in a corner of my bank parking lot that is always unoccupied.)

I think there are several valid analogies that can be made between the “power grid collapse” scaremongering and the scaremongering and negativity about global telecommunications.

In the early days of the telephone, it was sagely observed that there was a definite, mathematical limit to how large the telephone network could grow, because as the number of possible interconnections grew exponentially, every woman and child on earth would have to be employed as a switchboard operator.

In more recent times, when the internet was beginning to take shape as the prophesied “information superhighway”, it was equally clear to the sages that such an eventuality was impossible because it would totally overwhelm the limited and precious bandwidth of the long-distance telephone system. (And that was when a 300 bps acoustic modem – 300 bps, no “K” or “M” in front of the “bps” – was considered “fast”.)

The problem is there’s a grain of truth (sometimes a very tiny grain) to each of those. However this is a case where I think whataboutism is completely appropriate. I’d like to see, and it’s probably been done, a similar list, but with cites and stuff that goes something like

  • Oil extraction kills people
  • Oil burning kills people
  • Oil cannot be used again after it is burned
  • If you keep enough gas at home to fill your car regularly, the authorities will get angry at you
  • Oil has to be moved around in pipes, trucks, trains, and ships which sometimes leak and spill it all over the place making a big mess that your tax dollars pay to clean up
  • There are massive government subsidies supporting oil
  • etc.

I’m sure most people think that gas just comes out of a tank in the ground under convenience store parking lots, and there are absolutely no problems or externalities associated with getting the gas into that tank, and once it comes out of the tank it also doesn’t do anything bad; it just burns up and goes away. Sort of like how meat is a thing that comes in nice plastic and foam packages at the grocery store, and was definitely never a living creature with dreams and aspirations all its own.

Lack of vision and poor understanding of technological change is often at the forefront of the fear of change to be sure.

Just saw a couple of amusing posts by two different people on the site I referenced above:

  1. I don’t want a glorified golf cart that has no power. It would be dangerous to drive one of these electric carts on the freeway.

  2. These EV’s have so much power and torque, they’re dangerous. People will have to learn how to drive all over again, and take special courses.