EV Myths and Savings
Joseph Appell, Solar By Jos.
1) More CO2 is put in the atmosphere in the manufacture of an EV.
True, but depending on the size of the battery, the break-even point is 6~18 months (24 months on the “Ludicrous” Tesla model). After that, the EV advantage over the fossil fuel vehicle just keeps getting better.
2) The lithium batteries are major polluters.
Lithium is 99% recyclable, while Lead Acid batteries are 97% recyclable. Plus, lithium will last up to 10 times longer before being recycled, greatly compounding the environmental advantage. Meanwhile, the footprint for the petrol process is far greater. Especially with the tar sands petrol, which has a staggering 40% of the final available energy needed for the processing. This is a return of 60¢ on the dollar. Would you hang on to a stock or bond with that performance?
The “cradle to grave” carbon footprint for electric vehicles is simply smaller than that of fossil fuel vehicles.
3) Lithium is a fire hazard, and should be avoided.
First, get rid of your cell phone if you truly believe that. True, cheap products that do not have a properly designed BMS (Battery Management System) are fire hazards. This applies not only to hover-boards, but to Boeing, who at first did not properly design their BMS.
For fossil fuel vehicles, the NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) report varies from year to year, from a “low” of 17 car fires per hour to 20 car fires per hour, more than 150,000 annually, which kill some 209 civilians every year.
Yet three (that is 3) Tesla fires (NO injuries), and the negative press and opinions quickly spread.* They are actually doing a grave public dis-service by taking the focus off of the real, long term, unsolved problems, of gasoline (and diesel) dangers. (Who has forgotten about the Pinto gas tanks?)
4) EV’s use electricity produced by burning coal, and therefore are no better than, or worse than, fossil fuel vehicles.
True for certain demographics, i.e. West Virginia, but not for the nation as a whole. If a direct comparison were done for all electric vs all fossil fuel vehicles across the lower 48, there would be far less pollution even with the coal fired electrical plants (which are being slowly, but steadily, de-commissioned). For further clarification, and the ability to break this down by State, refer to: https://www.afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/electric_emissions.php
Very critical in understanding why the grid is as it is…even today, with the fossil fuel industries being centuries old, we are paying $4.1B to $4.2B per year to Big Oil in subsidies. That is $4,100,000,000! Big Oil and Big Coal do not want you to change, and so far, their political contributions have worked. However, they are using Big Tobacco’s play book, and we all know how that went.
Bottom line, it is not Tesla’s (or any EV manufacturer’s) fault for the poor state of our dirty grid…it is the fault of Big Oil, Big Coal, and politicians that take massive contributions, and keep voting against clean energy.
Driving an EV can save you money in ways that most do not consider. Plus, the elimination of the parts, fluids, and the transport of the items listed below will serve to greatly reduce the use of fossil fuel.
With an EV, and a fossil fuel vehicle, you will need tires, tire rotation, and wiper blades. Also a cabin air filter. The similarities end there.
There are brakes, but re-generative brakes greatly reduce the need for new pads. I changed mine on my Prius at 160,000, and still had 25% remaining.
You will not need brake fluid, master cylinder, or all the brake lines. The brakes are electrically operated solenoids.
So too is the steering, eliminating the power steering fluid, pump/master cylinder, and lines.
No transmission, transmission fluid, belts or plates, mechanical or electronic linkage.
No exhaust header, exhaust pipe, muffler, catalytic converter, or tail pipe(s).
No radiator, thermostat, water pump or hoses. And, no poisonous Ethylene glycol radiator coolant!
No engine driven air conditioning compressor, condenser, and hoses. It is electric, and away from the engine compartment (and related problems).
No timing chain, individual belts, or a serpentine belt, for all the systems mentioned above.
No oil change, oil filter, or oil pump, and, no engine gaskets.
No air filter, fuel filter, spark plugs, EFI unit, plug wires, or several other very expensive ignition system components. And, no starter motor.
The downside? Industry, trade schools, and people will need to adapt, just as they did when the horseless carriage took over. Career re-training will need to be offered, and hopefully, it will see more than the 10% participation currently seen in West Virginia. The reason cited by coal miners there for not taking advantage of career re-training, is that they think coal jobs are coming back.
- Recent Auto-Pilot data not included, as still under investigation.