In Defense of the Electric Car – part 3

Guest essay by John Hardy

Full disclosure: I own an electric car, and I think they are useful for city transportation. However, having owned one for a decade, I can say that it hasn’t been practical or cost-effective. John Hardy believes they are the future, I’ll let you, the reader, decide. – Anthony Watts

Part 1 of this series expressed the view that regardless of “the environment”, EVs are poised to inflict a massive disruption on the automotive industry, and outlined the strengths of the technology and some of the reasons that it is happening now.

Part 2 discussed the main issues for Western automakers in handling this disruption

Part 3 below is devoted to common misconceptions which cause some to mistakenly conclude that EVs will not be practicable in the foreseeable future.

The demise of the Western auto industry: Part 3 – common misconceptions

Misconception 1: batteries will never get us to acceptable range.

The combination of a 300 mile range and fast charge should be plenty. How many people routinely drive more than 300 miles without stopping for toilet and/or food? For most people, most of the time averaging 20 – 30 miles per day [1], charging could be done once a week. “Fast charge” needs to be fast however: 20 minutes from empty to 80% charge. The batteries are well able to handle this. The infrastructure uses well-understood technology (300+ Kw charging stations already exist in Beijing for buses [2]). Several current production EVs have a range of over 200 miles and some over 300.

Misconception 2: if EVs take off, electrical distribution networks won’t cope.

With an average daily mileage for private cars of 20-30 miles per day and 3-4 miles per kW-hr the average charge needed is 5 to 10 kW-hr a day, equivalent to running a 7 kW electric shower for 40 to 80 minutes or warming up a few storage heaters over 5-6 hours.

Another mistaken assumption is that everyone will come home and charge at peak time in the early evening. Once again this is highly unlikely to become a problem. Incentivising people to charge off peak is trivial, as is the technology. I have my car set to start charging at 1:00 a.m. when my electricity price almost halves.

Misconception 3: EV charging will require rewiring all the houses in the land.

UK standard sockets handle almost 3 kW. Recharging an average day’s driving just from a wall socket might take 2 – 4 hours. Electric showers may run over 10kW, so adding a 10kW EV wall box is no more complex than installing an electric shower and would recharge an exhausted battery in a 300 mile range car in 7-10 hours.

Misconception 4: Generating capacity will be insufficient

It is sometimes said that if EVs take off, a huge increase in generating capacity will be needed. In the UK there were some scary (and ill-informed) press comments on a document published recently by the National Grid entitled Future Energy Scenarios (FES). The National Grid looked at four different scenarios. One of them concluded that additional demand resulting from an all-EV world would be about 5 Gw. On the face of it, this doesn’t seem to compute: to recharge an EV like the Chevy Bolt or the Tesla Model 3 takes about 75 kW-hrs. 5 Gw over 24 hours is 120 Gw hrs or 120 million Kw-hrs, so 5 Gw extra sounds like it would cope with maybe 1 – 2 million EVs rather than the 30 million or so that would be on UK roads today if all our piston-engined cars became EVs overnight.

There are two factors at work here. Firstly as discussed earlier, EVs used as private cars need an average 5-10 Kw-hr per vehicle per day, so 120 Gw-hr would in theory support a population of 12 million vehicles.

There is another critical issue though: exploiting the variability of demand. Let us do some mental experiments:


Figure 1 UK power demand on a Wednesday in January (source

Figure 1 is a graph of UK power requirements on a typical working day in winter. (The pattern and the numerical values will be different in Australia or the USA, but the principle is the same). The area under the line (the blue area in Figure 1) is the total electrical energy required during the 24 hours – 965 Gw-hrs in this example. Note that the power requirement varies greatly from a low around 30000 Mw (30 Gw) in the early hours of the morning to almost 50 Gw at 6:00 in the evening.

If the system was capable of sustaining 50 Gw for 24 hours, an additional 230 Gw-hrs could be generated (Figure 2):


Figure 2 Demand and (theoretical) spare capacity

230 Gw-hrs is 230,000,000 kw-hrs. Recall that to recharge an EV that has covered the UK average daily private car mileage, 5 – 10 Kw-hours are needed. So if we could put all the available 230 Gw-hrs into EV batteries we could, crudely and theoretically, service a population of between 32 million and 46 million EVs without any additional capacity. At the end of March 2017 there were around ~37 million vehicles licensed in Great Britain, of which ~31 million were cars [3]

Of course this analysis is simplified. It ignores a myriad of variables such as pumped storage, power imported from other countries, battery powered trucks, capacity currently used to refine and distribute petrol and so on, but as an order-of magnitude approximation it is useful.

Is it possible to manage demand like this? Certainly it is. All that is required is to give the control of “normal” charge rate to centralised automated processes (with appropriate over rides, agreed contractual arrangements and financial incentives). The technology to achieve this is straightforward.

But there is an even simpler way: between midnight and 7:00 a.m. the cumulative “energy available” is about 133 Gw-hrs: sufficient (theoretically) to do an average day’s charge on between 18 million and 26 million EVs. My electricity almost halves in price during those hours and my EV is capable of starting to charge at any time I wish; so I do most of my charging in those hours (Figure 3).


Figure 3 Overnight charging window midnight to 7:00 a.m.

There is another consideration here. One of the juggling acts that the controllers of any grid system must manage is spikes and troughs in demand. Electricity must in general be consumed as it is generated: so a sudden change in demand may require the start-up of additional generating capacity, the use of pumped storage, reducing supply to a flexible consumer, additional imports etc. If they do it right, voltage and frequency stay steady and nobody notices. If they get it slightly wrong we have temporary brownouts. If they make a complete mess of things, or are hit by too many variables at once the system can collapse as happened recently in South Australia.

Figure 4 is an example of just such a peak. It is half time in a televised football (soccer) match. Within a minute or so the demand goes up by around 1 Gw. This is about the total output of the Sizewell B nuclear power plant, or a quarter of the capacity of the Drax power station – largest in the UK.


Figure 4 Example of spike in demand with a “normal” day for comparison

Wind energy complicates this juggling act because the output of a wind turbine is intrinsically variable and can change extremely rapidly. A sudden storm hitting a wind farm such as the London Array (630 Mw) could take ½ Gw off line in seconds. With the right technology and the right contractual arrangements between householders and the energy companies, 30 million EVs provide a powerful and flexible tool for the unseen (and under-valued) grid jugglers.

Time for another thought experiment.

Suppose our 30 million EVs had a battery capacity of 75 kW-hrs (similar to today’s Chevy Bolt and entry level Tesla Model 3). Suppose the contractual deal was that the grid managers could help themselves to (say) 10% of that capacity any time the vehicle was plugged in, provided that it was fully charged by a specified time. That would theoretically provide a 200+ Gw-hr buffer which could be dialled up and down almost instantly. In practice of course it would be less (not all the EVs would be plugged in and some would be less than 90% charged), but even (say) 50 Gw-hrs would be handy: it far exceeds the UK’s current pumped storage capacity for example.

[As an aside, whilst this sort of buffer would be very helpful in managing short-term peaks and troughs, the idea of 100% wind/solar with battery back-up for days or weeks is infeasible with current technology in the foreseeable future. Vey roughly UK demand in winter is around 1000 Gw-hr/day. If the sun didn’t shine and the wind didn’t blow for ten days, the UK alone would need ~10,000 Gw-hr of battery storage. That is 4-5 times the total battery capacity of a fleet of 30 million electric cars, and more than 300 times the total world output of lithium ion batteries in 2014]

Misconception #5: EVs will be constrained by a shortage of lithium

There is not enough lead around to power a large fleet of EVs, but there is almost certainly enough lithium.

Two factors in particular help

  • Lithium is not like oil. Oil is dug up, refined, distributed and burned. The supply requirements are ongoing. By contrast, lithium is extracted, made into batteries and, er that’s it for ten years or so. It is then (at least partially) recycled. Once lithium is in the system it will (mostly) stay there.
  • Lithium is not like lead. Very roughly, 60% of the weight of a lead acid battery is lead [4] and the energy density of a lead acid battery is about 30 watt-hours per kg; so a 75 Kw-hr lead acid battery (Chevy Bolt size) would weigh about 2,500 kg, of which 1,500 kg would be lead (that explains why lead acid EVs are experiments, not serious transport). Estimates of the amount of lithium used in a lithium ion battery vary greatly from about 80 grams per Kw-hr to 250 grams per Kw-hr [5]. These figures translate to a lithium content of between 6 and 19 kg of lithium for our hypothetical 75 Kw-hr battery. Either way there is about two orders of magnitude difference between the weight of lead and the weight of lithium used to produce a battery of the same capacity.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) suggests that “reserves” of lithium globally are about 14 million tons (this is measured as mass of an equivalent amount of pure lithium), but suggests a “Resources” figure of about 40 million tons [6]. At 13kg per car, 1 million tons of lithium would be sufficient for 76 million cars. One estimate is that global car production in 2016 was ~72 million [7]. If we assume the “worst case” of:

  • No lithium recycling (there are plants already up and running, but let’s be devil’s advocate and assume this)
  • Only 25% of reserves available for cars (the rest going into ceramics, commercial vehicles, grid storage etc)
  • No substitution of lithium by other metals in batteries
  • Only the USGS “reserve” of 14 million turned out to be available (i.e. the 40 million “resources” never materialise)
  • No substantial increase in efficiency of usage (i.e. Kw-hrs per kg of lithium remains unchanged)

If we make all these assumptions we can make the case that there is only enough lithium to support 3 or 4 years of car production in a world where all cars are electric. This is however a false picture for several reasons:

· The price of a finished battery is very insensitive to the price of the lithium raw material. This means that the price for lithium can increase greatly without having a noticeable effect on battery prices. This gives lots of financial headroom for exploiting reserves that are not economic at current prices. If the price goes high enough, it would in theory be possible to extract it from seawater. One estimate put the amount of lithium in the world’s oceans at 230 billion tons [8]

  • Over the years, reserves of oil have gone up very greatly (see for example [9]). It is not unreasonable to expect lithium reserves to increase in a similar way
  • As hinted earlier, lithium is in fact reclaimed from old batteries. Again, if shortages develop there is financial headroom to increase the efficiency of this process
  • Lithium is used in the battery cathode because it is the “best” element electrically. If shortages developed alternatives could be used (see for example [10])

Misconception #6 – No I’ll stop here

There are dozens of arguments fielded against EVs; I have yet to encounter one which stood up under examination. It is going to happen regardless of “the environment”; and if the Western manufacturers can’t or won’t adapt, the economic outlook for the rising generation does not look good.


[1] Average daily private car mileage in the UK is about 21 [ 7,800 miles per year for privately owned cars = 21 m.p.d. [Company cars 18,900 = 51 m.p.d. but they are a small percentage]. In the US it is about 30 [, 11,244 miles per year for cars = 30 miles per day]

[2] “…The new station at the Xiaoying bus terminal in the Chaoyang district is home to 25 electric vehicle (EV) chargers operating at 360kW and five chargers operating at 90kW. Reportedly all 30 chargers can operate at once….” From

[3] See table veh0102 accessed from


[5] Note that this article is old and a bit dated

[6] Note the heading “Data in metric tons of lithium content unless otherwise noted”. This is important as the material mined, and the materials used in battery production are not metallic lithium, but lithium compounds. Lithium carbonate for example is less than a fifth lithium by weight






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I don’t want to spend half an hour at a gas station when I need to be somewhere.

Steve Ta

Agreed – and the number of vehicles being charged means BIG ‘gas stations’ will be required. This is a typical motorway service station – sure there are large car parks for folk who want a drink/toilets/etc, but most vehicles simply refuel and head on their way in a few minutes.


Also, it’s 20 min to 80% charge, with no mention of how much charge one should have when going to find a charge. Do you drive a gasoline car to empty before refilling? So, range is down at least 20%, probably more like 30–40% as you do not drive until no charge is left. The 300 mile range is now down to 195 miles; you have to recharge every three hours and spend at least 30 min at the stop, assuming you do not have to wait for a charging station opening. Also, assuming that charging stations will make their profits from what people spend while charging is a false hope. I certainly would be more likely take a catnap and not spend any money.

Also, no mention of the fact that fast charging decreases the life of the battery?


decreasing life of battery – the mythical ten-year battery life.


Higley7 – You’re partially right based on my experience. When I take a cross-country trip I usually want to pull into the charger with about 50 miles or less left on the battery, because charging rates are higher the lower the existing charge is on the battery. Assuming the next charger is about 150 miles away, I can get that in about 20-25 minutes, although note this article assumes that charging rates can increase from what Tesla supercharging stations now provide. I don’t know whether that’s feasible or not.

However, you also have to remember that supercharging, or fast charging, is the exception rather than the rule. With gasoline engine cars, no one has the option of charging at home, so every car driven refuels every time at a gas station. With electric cars, only a tiny percentage are fast charging at any given time because for most people’s driving habits, they charge overnight in their garage. Even though I spend a lot of time recharging on road trips, over the course of the year I still save on refueling time because ordinarily the car is refueling while I sleep. Thus, it should be easily feasible to get enough fast chargers on the road to avoid waiting in line for a charge. This also addresses the concern about the effect of fast charging on battery life – it just isn’t significant because almost all of the recharging will be done at home.

As for TheLastDemocrat’s comment that the 10-year battery life is “mythical,” it is not. My battery in my hybrid lasted 12 years before it went out. After over 60K miles in my Tesla I see no measurable decrease in the 300 mile battery capacity, and data collected since Teslas have been on the road (including the Roadster) indicates that 10 years is a conservative estimate of when the battery would need to be replaced.

Greg Cavanagh

Kurt, Perhaps you don’t spend much time on the highway. But most everybody on the highway is going distance. So if you count everybody on the highway between cities needs to spend 20 minutes at the service station, that is a lot of parking lot. God help us if we have to wait until a charging station becomes available.


“With gasoline engine cars, no one has the option of charging at home, so every car driven refuels every time at a gas station.”

That would seem to imply that the takings of the “gas” stations will fall dramatically when when we switch to EVs so, presumably, there will be fewer of them in existence which means they will be farther apart.

I am just thinking aloud here. It would follow that the queues could still be quite long because the number of charging stations had fallen to compensate for the amount of sales. I wonder how many “20 minute” charges would be extended to nearly an hour as you wait for a charging point to come available.

Don K

I agree with Higley7. Basing calculations on a 300 mile range is entirely too optimistic. 300 miles is a sticker value. What you might get with a new battery pack on a nice Spring or Autumn day with a following wind and when the force is with you. In reality, battery packs lose some capacity over time, and quick charges are only to 80% (240 mile sticker range) and most people want to have a bit of capacity left when they get to their destination. And range is degraded in very hot and especially very cold weather, And people really do make 250 mile plus weekend trips — Los Angeles-Mammoth Mtn Ski area — 309 miles. NYC to the Adirondacks or Green Mountains — 350 miles. NYC to Montreal — a bit over 400 miles. Even London to Paris is around 280 miles by road. And NYC to Boston or Washington DC if a bit over 200 miles. Those with long memories will recall that the New York Times established a few years ago that in practice one can’t get from NYC to Boston on a cold Winter night without a recharge.

It seems to me that everything in the article is similarly optimistic. Assume sticker values. Ignore queuing issues at charging stations. Overestimate home charging abilities, etc,etc,etc.

My opinion. Batteries will get better. Ranges will increase. Efficiencies will improve. But as of today EVs aren’t very practical except as local transport and perhaps those seeking an adventure seeking a charging station that may not exist or may be unusable (broken, incompatible connector,…) in the middle of nowhere on a cold Winter night.


“Kurt, Perhaps you don’t spend much time on the highway. But most everybody on the highway is going distance.”

I do spend a lot of time on the Interstate. It’s the vast majority of my 80-mile a day commute so I’m well aware of how much passenger traffic is there. You say that most everyone there is going “distance” but you don’t try to put numbers on that. When I’m driving the 50 miles between Omaha and Lincoln the overwhelming majority of passenger cars are driving just that 50 mile “distance” which is well within the round trip range of a 300 mile battery pack. Same for the “distance” between Portland and Salem, or even Portland and Eugene which could be done round trip in one full charge (about 180 miles). But when I’m driving I-80 in the middle of nowhere through Idaho, or Wyoming etc. where the truly long-distance drivers are, and after subtracting out the semi tractors, there isn’t so much traffic that couldn’t be easily accommodated by a network of fast chargers spaced at say 30-40 mile intervals. Tesla’s superchargers right now are at about 90-150 mile intervals.

And quibbling about just how far you can get on a 300-mile pack depending on temperature, etc. is pointless. Based on my actual experience, a 300 mile pack is more than enough to get me anywhere I needed to go.

oh sure, no problem.. i’ll just drive 90 miles out of my way to find a Tesla “SuperCharger” and then wait at least an hour before the ‘fast’ recharge is complete. That is SO much better than an ICE car where I can ‘recharge’ anywhere, anytime in about 3 minutes.


Sam Khoury –

You do that. In the meantime I’ll drive 90 miles in my electric car, 90 miles back to my house in my electric car, and then just recharge in my garage for my next trip. But if I were you, while you’re wasting all that time on your mythical venture, I’d brush up a little on your reading comprehension skills.


Higley7 “as you do not drive until no charge is left”

A very good point that seems to be glossed over by the greenies. It puts the mileage claims into perspective.

James Kramer

The big flaw in this series of arguments is this: it is parochial. Driving conditions in the UK, and much of Europe; do not mirror driving conditions in the US. Especially the non-coastal city US. I drove 30 miles, one way, to work each day. And I knew many others who drove much longer distances, 130 miles each way in one case. Going shopping or out for dinner is at least a 40 mile round trip. My wife’s new car, less than a year old already has 15,000 miles on it. 50 miles a day. Our college aged son also drives it.

I just a guess but I’d say you need to double or triple your average daily driving in the US. And yes 20 minutes is too long to wait at the service station.

Firstly, current CCS fast chargers , such as the 350KW version usable right now by the upcoming Porsche Mission e can recharge to 80% in less than 15 minutes. The CCS protocol also allows for 500KW charging levels, which would cut that time to less than 10 minutes. Anyone who lives in a house or a condo where they have access to Level 2 chargers isn’t going to recharge at any
public fast charge station unless they are on a trip. And those who can’t recharge at home and claim that spending 15 minutes at a public fast charging station once per week is unacceptable are nuts.


Math? The lost art.

VOLTAGE kills. AMPERAGE requires copper. WATTAGE is Volts times amps. I’m trying to imagine a world where 500 kW can be “pumped” over a 3 meter charging cable that’s long-term safe, using cable that is light enough to be handled by my fiancé, and has an exactly ZERO chance of accidentally electrocuting the operator in the middle of a rainstorm, with wind, in the dark, near the sea.

There is a reason why 400 volts is considered the top limit to industrial use for staff without special training and permits. It, just like 240, 220,120 and so on can kill you, but with way less ability to percolate thru invisible cracks in insulation, or with the nominal conductivity of flying rain water.

500 kW at 400 volts (if we stick to the safe voltage) requires 1,200 amps. On 2 wires AC or DC. Or 800 amps on 3 wires, if AC. Power loss (cable heating) is “ohmic”. E=IR … P=IE … P=I²R = E²/R. Cable heating in turn depends on power loss and thermal wicking. If a cable is actively cooled (having either a hollow center or jacket with flowing non-ionic coolant), the power loss can be quite high. High power loss is high resistance, which is minimal copper, which is light weight. But if you want durable, “10 year” outdoor flexible cables, power loss must be low, because insulation is thick, heat conductivity, low.

My fiancé won’t be able to man-handle a 35 lb, 10 foot power cable. Period. yet, this is exactly what 1,200 amps (x 2) or 800 amps (x 3) conductor cable would require, for passively cooled cable that can work up to Las Vegas ambient heat levels.

Moreover, tho’ the “easy solution” is just to raise the voltage (to 600 or 800 or 1,000 volts), this in turn puts rather outrageous safety requirements on the whole under-the-hood car battery and energy management subsystem. And it becomes exponentially harder to make a 10-year-safe outdoor power cable.

While I don’t doubt that there are 300 and 500 kW constant-current-source chargers now envisioned, they’re also in the realm of having 10 gallon-per-minute gasoline pumps. Over-filling becomes a life-and-limb threatening petrol-gusher problem, when ANY component goes awry. Its one of the reasons (at least in USA) why conventional pumps are limited to 4–5 GPM. “Fast enough”. Only the Big Truck diesel stations get away with 10 GPM. And only those on Big Highways.



The faster the charge, the hotter the battery is going to get (and everything else in the charging circuit to boot).
The hotter the batter gets the shorter the batteries life is going to be.
PS: All that extra heat is also energy that is being loss, which makes the EV even less competitive.

Jim Gorman


Finally someone with some electric background. The only thing you didn’t cover is the distribution needs to provide for, say, fifty 500kw charging stations in a big parking lot at a roadside station. Remember, there is a reason you don’t find 10 kv (or higher) lines underground serving consumer accessed devices.

I also need to point out that many, many people will charge multiple times throughout the day. In cold climates where you may commute 50 mi one way at an average speed of 25 mph with the heater, wiper, other electronics, and a battery heater running, you will probably want to charge when you get there, meaning you may charge 3 or 4 times a day vastly increasing the needed generating capacity.


access to Level 2 chargers, as long as there enough of them , but they you lost quite a bit of car parking space to . So less ability to find somewhere to park , and EV take up THE SAME SPACE , as other types of cars .

Walter Sobchak

GoatGuy: Thank you so very much. I have been trying to say what you said for a long time. But, not being any kind of a engineer I did not have the facts,

An issue you did not discuss with fast charging is the dissipation of heat from the batteries being fast charged. I assume it will require a fairly intense and and non trivial cooling system.


I’m retired now, but given my old commute (25 years of it), I would have to charge my battery every other day, not once a week. No, thanks.


These things will “catch on” when they become both profitable to produce and preferable to drive. Right now that looks a long way in the future.

Side Note: The cultural divide between urban and rural people’s norms in the USA are rapidly diverging. While the embrace of collectivization (mass transit, ride sharing, AI) may work in the city, I don’t see it being adopted by rural people any time soon–for both practical and philosophical reasons.

Count to 10

Goatguy, it sounds like it might be better to build inductive charging devices into parking spaces, so everything remains self contained and user friendly.
Also, if weight is the issue, and not cross sectional area, then it’s probably better to use aluminum than copper.

Chuck in Houston

GoatGuy – you just described one of the three shore power cables we would run from our destroyer to the pier. Three phase, 450V, 500Amp. Pretty heavy. My least favorite part of being a Navy Electricians Mate.


I think the key to making EVs work would be charging lanes on the highway. They could use the same tech currently being used to charge phones wirelessly.


You propose to run high voltage, high current lines in every road in the country to inductance charge moving objects, many moving objects in close proximity all with varying load demands? Damn – I admit, this would be a very exciting engineering project to work on but completely impractical.


Yeah, I think I’ll pass on driving through high intensity, rapidly varying magnetic field lines, thank you very much.

Neil Jordan

Washington DC tried that with their electric streetcars. Horses got electrocuted. But details, details. I understand that this concept is being looked at again. Maybe this time will be different.


I prefer the Star Trek teleportation machine. Faster, cleaner, cheaper, and equally attainable. We only have to find a source of dilithium.

Paul Penrose

You don’t know what you are talking about. Some things don’t scale up nicely, and this is one of them.

Eustace Cranch

Even if that were physically practical (it’s not), electricity costs money. How would you measure use per individual vehicle for billing?


Neil Jordan November 9, 2017 at 10:29 am
“Washington DC tried that with their electric streetcars. Horses got electrocuted. But details, details. I understand that this concept is being looked at again. Maybe this time will be different.”

Maybe politicians will be electrocuted this time?
Just saying’ you know. No malice and all that.



It’s a little amusing to link to an article that essential says this is being developed in NZ and then to be followed by a string of comments saying it can’t happen. Perhaps it is the folly of doing a link that is nondescript.

I’ll try another but this time include a few quotes:

“These WEVC (Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging) systems have been successfully integrated and tested on a number of different vehicle platforms: Renault Fluence; Nissan Leaf; BMWi3; BMWi8 and Honda Accord.

“Moreover, the technology has been used and tested in the harsh environment of motorsports over the past 3 years. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. was an official technology and founding partner of FIA Formula E Championship and integrated 7.4 kW charging systems into the official FIA Formula E safety cars. ….

“The number of development contracts and requests for quotation from automotive manufacturers is on the increase and it is expected that production orders will be placed soon and we will start to see WEVC systems on production vehicles in the next 2-3 years.”

“Today’s wireless charging technologies have efficiencies north of 90 percent, which is just a percent or two less than plug-in systems. The magnetics of the wireless transformer are essentially split (the primary on the ground and the secondary on the vehicle), and power is coupled using fields that are shaped to exist in the gap. The power-transfer efficiency is further improved by turning on only when a vehicle is present and needing power.

“The wireless architecture is naturally isolated so there’s no risk of shock, and in operation fields are shaped and controlled, to both maximize power transfer efficiency and to minimize fields outside the vehicle footprint to remove potential interference or exposure to humans. Additional safety is incorporated in the ground pad using ancillary systems for foreign object detection (FOD) and living object protection (LOP). Should either FOD or LOP safety system be triggered, power transfer will be suspended. The driver will be notified via a phone or email alert, and charging will restart once the metallic or living object has been removed or moves on. ”

“The Future

“Dynamic electric vehicle charging (charging on the move), is a potential future application of this technology. This could be applicable in slow moving traffic, for instance at taxi ranks and also at higher speeds, such as lanes on a highway. As an example, Qualcomm recently showcased such a demonstration that can provide 20 kW to a vehicle for charging while it is travelling at speeds up to and in excess of 100 km/h. The technology is an obvious fit with autonomous vehicles. “


you know that moving a mass of steel through a magnetic field generates voltage, right?


mobihci: “you know that moving a mass of steel through a magnetic field generates voltage, right?”

Yes, and vice versa , and thank goodness for that because if it didn’t none of this would be possible.


I wonder if my pace maker will get recharged by moving along such highways? Just think, I might be able to run a 5-minute mile again!


wireless power transfer is done inductively. no mystery, just like a big transformer. thing is, moving things inside a transformer completely alter the function. anything moving through the field will generate unwanted voltages and while it may be ok with a very close connection where everything is shielded, on anything that is not, it will be a hazard. this system will never be practical on a road used by any type of car, and without a perfect surface. fine for factory floor or something like that, but useless for anything else.


mobihci “this system will never be practical on a road used by any type of car”

I fear that there are people in this world who understand this area much better than you do. For example you did note the comment re Qualcomm I quoted above?

So much to learn, so little time.

Tractor Gent

Um. I wonder what the penetration of wireless charging would be, economically? Just motorways/Interstates, or how far down the non-motorway infrastructure does it stretch? Then think of load management, e.g. on the M25 (London circular motorway) in rush hour. All those vehicles would likely get well less than the power it takes to crawl along in the traffic jam.
The OP also suggests that EVs can act as a peak lopper for short term rapid load changes on the network. I just wonder how this could be managed. Doing it in one dwelling is ‘easy’ – it just needs a smarter load sensor on the charger. However to be at all practical it would have to work at a higher aggregation level (11kV or even 33kV in the UK) as the concentration of EVs, especially in the early days, won’t map on to the distribution of load changes at a low enough level in the network. That’s an interesting signalling problem to control all the chargers, and an even more interesting (as in hard) network stability problem to solve.


HAS, in parts 1, 2 and 3 I have included information that it is possible to create onboard charging that would keep the battery charged as power is being used. In part 1 I said that the manufacturers would not do it. Why? Because if there was ever a self sustaining vehicle that did not require other exterior energy, it would put every other form of transportation out of business. The whole economies of countries would be turned upside down. Fossil Fuels prices and production would tank in a proverbial “blink of an eye.” Millions of people would become unemployed that work in FF industries to the delivering it to the public and industries as FF vehicles are discarded as fast as they can get a new EV to replace it. And this technology if done on a mass scale would replace all other forms of generating electricity.

I feel these manufacturers know they cannot make this simple technology available for those simple reasons. No responsible government would allow it either, on a mass scale.

Which leaves the technologies as you have presented are being created and have been testing it. As well as Hybrid vehicles.

John Silver

I commute on my rainbow powered unicorn every day to the asylum.


The 300 mile number is the absolute best case number.
No other drain on the battery and when driving well below highway speeds.
Drive at highways speeds with the radio, AC, headlights on, and that 300 mile number drops dramatically.


Don’t forget cabin heat for half the year in the northern part of the US as well as the effect of cold temps on battery power.

Ernest Bush

Don’t forget that if you live in places like Phoenix you need air conditioning in the car practically 9 months of the year. The wondrous batteries described here are like the wondrous promise of fusion reactors. ALWAYS, 20 years in the future for a commercial model. In the case of fusion power, they have been saying it since around 1960. They still haven’t overcome the main problem they were talking about at the time – containment.

George Lawson

Another problem would be with drivers trying to conserve power by not using their spot lights which would be a serious increase in road accidents.


Ontario Newsroom, April 13, 2015

‘Support for Ontario Capping Greenhouse Gas Pollution’


GM Canada
Canadian Fuels Association
Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association


@EB … like the bar with the sign, ” FREE BEER TOMORROW “

Matt Bergin

Barbara It is not greenhouse gas pollution. Co2 is the building block of life on this planet. More is better


“In the case of fusion power, they have been saying it since around 1960.”

For batteries substitute “1860”.

Which has always surprised me. The Chevy Volt seemed the right solution. An ICE to run a generator, almost all else was electric. But having an ICE meant that cabin temperature control was exactly as its’ always been. The best of both worlds.


might be a moot issue- i have a feeling that when cars can drive themselves, the bottom drops out of the automobile market – at least in major metropolitan areas which is most of the population. just take the headless bus or headless taxi – why buy? avoid the hassle of parking, maintaining; the insurance cost, grand theft auto, misdemeanor burglaries, keyings, bird droppings, parking lot dings… who needs it?


“just take the headless bus or headless taxi – why buy?”

I’d agree. I’m going to keep my pickup truck and make a killing at Ikea.

Wayne Townsend

Imagine the whole of Dallas-FtWorth riding buses everywhere. Ok, wake from the nightmare. An all bus city would demand everyone live close to their work. Any map of the commuting patterns in any large city in the US would demand hours of commuting to work… one way. Just try on Google Maps to go by bus anywhere. And adding more lines doesn’t help, since you still have to switch lines. Who wants to stand waiting for a bus in 100 degree heat, 32 degree sleet, etc. There is a reason that only those who cannot afford/drive cars use busses for all their lives.


Self-driving cars are the terrorist’s dream.


I don’t see headless taxis being much cheaper or more convenient than the current ones.
The vast majority of people, when they are able, choose their own car rather than rely on taxis now.
I see no reason why I should assume that is going to change any time in the near future.


Americans really are not fond of mass transit. I cannot see them liking “headless” transport any more than they like it today with actual drivers. The average American outside the big metropolitan areas, and some inside, still love their automobile. That may change as millennials grow older. Of course if they get their way the “the really big head” in Washington will tell us how we will do everything.

Walter Sobchak

I really want to be using a car that the last passenger puked in.


The “headless taxi” has been a pipe-dream for decades. The main problem with it is that it requires solving one of the classic unsolved problems of mathematics: “the travelling salesman problem”. For a large number of vehicles simultaneously. In real time.

Ian Macdonald

Main limitation of any kind of public transport is that you have nowhere to put stuff you’ve bought at one shop while you go to another. That means shopping has to be done in multiple small stages, each requiring a complete journey. If you have to pay for public transport that soon gets to be more expensive than taking a private vehicle. Even if you don’t it’s still an extremely time consuming way to shop.


The Traveling Salesman Problem is not an unsolved problem. It just has exponential time solution(s).

Uber and Lyft are already doing that for us when we go to the Bay area.
We park at the AIrB+B, and only use Uber etc to get around, or walk. With parking at some spots over $20, the price of the fare, for 2-3 people, and the convenience of not having to drive in unfamiliar environments makes it all the better. That being said, I am not talking about going to Seattle from SF.



that travelling salesman problem assumes only 1 salesman and fixed nodes to travel to

as such it is not analogous, nor applicable to Uber Lyft or “headless taxis”

1. There are multiple salesmen (Uber Lyft and headless taxis)
2. The locations of riders are not fixed in time nor space

False analogy

M Seward

I agree. It takes 5 mins say to fill a petrol/diesel car including paying for the fuel at which time you can grab a coffee/food and get going again. If you have a companion one can shop and one fill then change over. If you want to stop for a meal you then just park elsewhere and settle in. With EV’s the vehicle has to be at a charging station => re-energising stations need to have 4 times as many outlets. So what is the comparative price of the refill? Where does the charging station make its ?

Not insurmountable issues and only affecting interstate highway and similar rural/remote areas but journey’s in such areas are a real consideration in vehicle purchase decisions.

The real issue here is the rate at which the EV takeup can reasonably proceed. Urban transport in medium and high density areas, no problem. Even in low density macburbia with 30-40 km typical journey’s again no real problem – if that is all the travelling you do. The zealots and spruikers are pusing a bit to hard. Their market has a lot of ‘vehicle vegans’ who love to strut their stuff as well as the likes of Anthony who just want to see what the reality is and to whose circumstances an EV may otherwise be quite well suited.

I drive a 15 yo diesel wagon and get 1000-1200 km per 60 litre tank. I work from home so fill it maybe once a month. An EV with a 480 km range would be acceptable to me since it would be on charge at home most of the time and drawing off my solar panels. That said I paid $4500 for my lovely, middle aged Peugeot so paying say 10 times that for a replacement is a hurdle to be considered.


Hadn’t thought of that previously. The idea of eating while your car is charging means where ever you eat has to be within walking distance from the charging station.

Pat McAdoo

You got that right MS.

Imagine a roadside “station” and the associated McD or Burger King or IHOP or….. We can imagine, can’t we?

So we have 40 or 50 folks inside eating and hitting the john. Their 10 or so autos are on the cosmic chargers for what? 15 to 20 minutes? Where are the other 10 or 15 cars that cannot use a charger? And then they take another 15 minutes to charge while the next dozen cars pull in. I can imagine munching on my BLT at IHOP, “Honey, that Tesla just pulled out and I might be able to get over there to hook up before another car pulls in!”

Then imagine the 60 foot power tower that has 10,000 volt lines and the down transformer to get that EMF to something practical. Then the100 or 200 foot run of size 1 or bigger copper to the station distribution network for the 10 or 20 charging points you would need considering the average number of folks pulling in to get gas, eat and such. Go to a basic convenience store at rush hour and see how many folks avail themselves and then go on their way. And for a nightmare, look at pictures of Florida’s and Houston’s big highways during a hurricane evacuation. Talk about road rage and upsert folks?

The same description above applies to most residential areas in the urban environments. There is no way to run the volts and amps using the existing infrastructure for neighborhood charging stations. Ditto for home chargers. Most folks would not like that 100 foot power tower just down the street. I can just “imagine” the electrocutions in my multi-level parking garage, even if we could run the huge copper wires and pay for the individual chargers.

But we can “imagine”, huh?

Gums sends…

Lee L

A gas station is a special purpose inventory storage and dispensing system for highly flammable liquids. The fact that it involves a human in the dispensing process is not a necessary constraint. We COULD have cars and gas stations that are hands free if there were a good enough reason.

It isn’t necessary to fast charge a battery inside an electric car. It is only necessary to remove and replace a discharged battery cartridge with a fully charged battery cartridge. This could be done hands free, or the battery pack could be made up of an assembly of smaller, lighter but identical voltage modules that are more easily handled. The charge in these could be consumed in sequence by the car so you don’t have to drive until they are all empty.

The gas station becomes the charging station, but the charging is done offline. It could also be just like propane distribution where the filling station is elsewhere and you can buy refilled cannisters at the grocery store. By the way, the propane cannisters for my BBQ weigh 20 lbs and my wife handles them fine.

That’s how I see fast charging. Fast charge the CAR not the BATTERY.

Paul Penrose

That would require that battery physical size, shape, weight, capacity, mounting points, and electrical/data interconnects are standardized across the entire industry. Not impossible, but not easy, and definitely not something that can be done quickly. That’s my biggest complaint to EV boosters: over hyping the ease and speed at which EVs will replace ICE vehicles.


“The charge in these could be consumed in sequence by the car so you don’t have to drive until they are all empty.”

Very difficult with a Li-ion battery. The cells must be balanced, otherwise you will ruin the battery. Google “battery balancing”.
And exchanging 1000 lb+ battery pack with tight physical tolerances and heavy duty electrical connections quickly and automatically is not trivial. Particularly not in rain/snow/sleet/icing/muddy conditions.


Sigh… I’ve seen this comparison with propane cylinders before. Apples and oranges. Car batteries weigh 540kgs and cost about $10000 new. Nobody is going to exchange a battery of this cost and absorb the additional cost of having to discard the battery if it’s too old. Different for propane cyclinders, where the cost of expired cyclinders can be absorbed in the exchange cost. Now, about that design of the car battery replacement facility…

Ian Macdonald

“The fact that it involves a human in the dispensing process”
That seems to be a peculiarly American approach. Here, you very rarely see a pump attendant. There may be a cashier but that’s all. Sometimes they are completely unmanned, you just pay at a credit card machine.

It would have to be an automated system, where no human contact is involved, Pull into a bay, guided into a socket type slot, battery eject switch is engaged, battery is removed, new battery installed, door shuts and off you go.
Gee..I can’t see anything going wrong there, unless we have Star Trek Bays for pod deployment.

Mike Jonas

The charge station is present technology. Future technology might well deliver re-charge as-you-go. Then you don’t have to stop at all (but it might be a good idea to stop when you get to the sea).


We can just go the whole route — just exchange your discharged car for a fully-charged one. 🙂 Rent-AN-EV…


Nowhere in this series of articles have you given me a reason to prefer an EV over a conventional engine.
I think I speak for the vast majority that outside of ride-share fleets, taxis and delivery vehicles in inner city areas, EV’s are going to be a very tough sell. You can’t sell something people won’t buy.

Dodgy Geezer

…Once again this is highly unlikely to become a problem. Incentivising people to charge off peak is trivial, as is the technology…

I don’t want to be ‘incentivised’ to do something I don’t want to do.

…“Fast charge” needs to be fast however: 20 minutes from empty to 80% charge. …adding a 10kW EV wall box is no more complex than installing an electric shower and would recharge an exhausted battery in a 300 mile range car in 7-10 hours….

So… when the issue is speed of charge, you say that charge can be done quickly (at a high amp rate), and when the issue is providing power for peaks you say that the charge can be at a low rate.

You can’t have it both ways….

Leo Smith

You can have it both ways actually. You can charge batteries cheaply slowly and efficiently on overnight rates or have a 30 minute top up on a motorway and pay double for it.

I wonder if the author lives on the East-Coast. The kind of road trips I engage in, a 30-minute stop every 300 miles would be a HUGE inconvenience. That’s two to three times as long as a typical family gas-pee-coffee-go road trip stop.


I think he lives in the UK.


Or the industry will transition to swap in/out battery packs.

Makes the most sense, would take less than 10 minutes, no charging infrastructure needed at site — simply a robust battery distribution system.


If people are hot charging in the middle of the day, then the power companies are going to have to provide new electric generation capacity.


Karl, only after the recharge stations buy equipment capable of swapping hundreds of pounds of battery pack at a cost of 10’s to 100’s of thousands of dollars and will take almost as long as a current hot charge.
You still haven’t resolved the issue of swapping new batteries for old.

Dodgy Geezer

…You can have it both ways actually….

NO! The author is arguing that there is no problem with providing the power distribution infrastructure, because ‘slow charge’ does not require new wiring.

Then, when he considers the issue of ‘waiting for a charge’, he says that it is no problem, because fast charge takes only 20 minutes. But you can’t have a fast charge unless you have the infrastructure, and he has already said that you don’t need it so long as you slow charge….

Incidentally. how do you get a flat electric car home? With a petrol one you just put a few pints in the tank…

John Hardy

precisely Leo


It’s a moving target. Overnight rates are low because it is currently the time of low demand. Make it a period of high demand and, hey presto! Overnight rates are suddenly not so low.


i live in the uk. i regularly do journeys over 300 miles . i also tend to drive a bit faster than is legal. to date not one single car i have owned has got near the book mpg figures, not even close. i like burning fuel faster than most people. it means i am having fun driving/riding, something that appears to be an alien concept to the op. i know many others that also drive cars and ride motorcycles for fun.

i have absolutely no doubt i would flatten the battery in the in john hardys car far quicker than he does. not everyone drives or rides the same and no one seems to take this into account.

the ev debate appears to ignore recreational vehicle users and those that do regular long trips. city based drones tend to assume everyone else is/should be of the same mind as them.

a lot of this appears to be some wet dream dreamt up by some common purpose drone . by all means push on with electric car development and when they are fit for purpose and competitive with ice vehicles they will stand on their own merits,there will be no need for subsidies or the hard sell. currently they make perfect sense for low mileage commuters and others regularly driving short distances. they do not make sense for many others (far more than john would assume i reckon) ,motoring enthusiast forums will attest to that.

once real world range (real world being winter time in uk, heating on, heated seats on,wipers on ,4 people in car with some luggage etc) reaches the 350 to 400 mile mark then they will have wider appeal,even then in continental europe, america and australia i think 500 miles plus would be desirable if not necessary in some cases.


@ MArk

Sure I did, you scan them and then measure the charge needed to refill


People could lease the batteries

It’s not a hard issue to solve.

Every single gasoline ICE vehicle has the same interface to the gas pump.

The only reason EV cars have not adopted a standard is IP and greed

A generic interface properly designed modular battery pack could be swapped in less than 5 minutes.


“The only reason EV cars have not adopted a standard is IP and greed

When I see that word pop up, I know I am dealing with an ideologue, and further conversation will be pointless.

“It’s not a hard issue to solve.”

Famous last words.


@Karl … Mercedes AA Class …


Lease the batteries? Are you really that desperate to make this dumb idea fly?


“equipment capable of swapping hundreds of pounds of battery pack”

Not hundreds, thousands, a Model S battery pack weighs 1200 lbs and is about 10 feet by 5 feet:
comment image

It will take heavy machinery to handle that.

“Incidentally. how do you get a flat electric car home?”

If it has a Li-ion battery and is a few years old you might not want to bother. A flat Li-ion battery is dead. Buy a new car instead.


No, you and John are very wrong here. You cannot travel long distances and fast-charge the battery to only 80% – those two requirements are incompatible, especially since you can’t travel until the battery is flat – you have to allow some margin of safety and pull into a charging station earlier. So yes, by all means use your EV for short distance driving with very controlled recharging and you should obtain a good battery lifetime, but for the rest of us, expecting to travel long distances with restricted recharging is simply not possible.


“You cannot travel long distances and fast-charge the battery to only 80% – those two requirements are incompatible.”

I just did it in early October. I drove from Portland to Lincoln, NE and back, and the only times I charged to full capacity was overnight at hotels while I was sleeping. Aside from that I would typically charge from a low of about 20-50,miles up to about 170-210 miles and then move on.


The assumption here seems to be that electric showers are a good thing. They’re not.

Just wait until you see the size of your (my money) check every month…You may change your mind.!!

Leo Smith

I believe that misconception 1 is not a misconception.

Batteries will never be really good enough to replace a fuel car.

The electric car may be suitable for 95% of journeys, but do you want to travel in an airliner safe in 95% of storms? or buy an umbrella that only keeps out the rain 95% of the time?

Electric cars will work ONLY if they are legislated for. And a total change in our way of life to accommodate them accompanies legislation to outlaw fuel cars.

If they were all we had they would do, but they are not all we have.



Not even with swap in/out modularity? — The cells are in series — here is no reason (other than current design and proprietary IP rights) that a 75kWh battery pack could not be a set of 5, 15 kWh or even 15, 5 kWh modules, that can be swapped out like one swaps out the batteries for Uninterruptable Power Supply Units.

In, attendant scans modules removed, swaps for full charge, — removed cell packs are recharged (amount charged less full capacity = remaining charge which is credited back to the consumer’s account.

Less than 5 min — in and out.

Robots could do it — or we could give people jobs.


And, very quickly, the battery supply would be adulterated with batteries that have been abused or damaged. It would be a crap shoot regarding the quality of the battery you sap in. It also assumes the existence of many more batteries than there are EV cars on the highway. This business model is seriously flawed.


Battery swap is a dead end business plan. Every con in the country would be setting up swap station, putting in crap battery packs to every sucker that came along and keeping the nice original battery.


China uses it for their EV bus fleets — and it works fine.

I guess you have no QC process engineer where you work? Please explain how the batteries would be abused and damaged when they would only be removed by robots or technicians — and are tracked by UPC/RFID labels to show chain of custody??

EV are inevitable, as is the demise of the ICE.


Karl, keep on dreaming.

I Came I Saw I Left

“Less than 5 min – in and out”

You’re delusional.

A C Osborn

I said it on the other post, you drive in your nice new shiny £30,000 car with a nice new but depleted battery pack and drive out with a charged 10 year clapped out pack.
No thanks.


frenchie – your battery swap problem is solved if the government owns all the batteries.

so, we cannot travel unless the government happens to be in the mood to allow us to travel, that day.

Ian W


China uses it for their EV bus fleets — and it works fine.

Absolutely, and if private owners had a spare battery and they were easy to swap they could ‘work fine’ as well. But it is different if you pull into a battery swap station on a State Road in an area you do not know and have to accept the corroded end of life pack of unknown provenance they want to swap for your nice pristine battery pack.

george e. smith

So I buy myself a brand new $100,000 Tesla, (without any more subsidy from my friends and neighbors, even the ones I don’t know.

Then I drive to see my SIL in Portland OR, needing at least one battery swap stop, and so just before I get to the Siskiyous, I pull into one of these swap meet stations, and my brand new battery gets swapped for one that is ten years old, and it drops dead on my just as I reach the Siskiyou summit.

No way am I going to let somebody swap my battery for somebody else’s battery.



karl certainly has no idea of the size of battery and where it is on the tesla range . it is not a 5 minute job to swap.


Someone upthread mentioned that the batteries for a Tesla are about 1000 pounds.
Now imagine a machine strong enough and dexterous enough to extract one of those from your car, store it somewhere, then put a new one into your car.
All in 5 minutes.
That’s going to be a very expensive machine, both to buy and maintain.
Now imagine what kind of changes are going to be made to your car to allow that battery pack to slide in and out easily.
Currently, battery compartments are just a bit larger than the size of the battery. Now they are going to have to be several inches taller as well as a bit larger in length and depth.
All that extra metal is going to make your car larger and heavier, both of which are going to decrease your driving range on a charge.
Not to mention making the car more expensive to buy and maintain.


It takes more than 5 minutes to swap a cell phone battery.

Another thing, everything that’s electronic in your car is going to need a small battery to maintain data while that battery is being swapped. Otherwise you will have to reprogram everything every time you stop.

Once again, the car gets more expensive and one more thing to break down and replace.


@ Ian

Gasoline and the pumps are inspected for quality and precision by each State

Why would it be any different for EV batteries?


@ Mark

Honest Question: are physically disabled?

I can swap my cell phone battery in 30 seconds — including rebooting — LG G3


Karl: Pumps are inspected once a year.
Each battery would have to be inspected before it could be swapped back out.

Orders of magnitude difference.


It’s not that simple with Li-ion batteries. The cells must be balanced or you will ruin the battery. If it is built from separate modules each must have its own load-balancing and protection electronics, which cuts it out when it reaches minimum acceptable charge. And as you say, they are in series so you will lose voltage when a module cuts out.


The batteries are not all in series Karl. If they were, it would be 7100 x 4v = 28,400v, a bit high for a 384volt motor, don’t you agree? It seems that you don’t really know very much about the internal workings of the EVs, do you?


To make this work you would need to separate the battery from the car. You purchase the car and then pay a fee for using a battery pack.

This wouldn’t work for a variety of reasons, standardization being the main one, but it would be the starting point.

Agreed. The Chevy Bolt has a range of 238/240 miles
but in reality no-one is going fit their journey exactly to that, the realistic range is under 200 miles when the battery is new and nothing else is being used.

Very few ICE cars now have a range as low as 300 miles and 400 – 500 miles is not uncommon. so for it to be the one and only car an EV has to have a range of 300 miles reliably, journey after journey at the bare minimum.

The only car that has a range like that is a Tesla, and that is priced to compare with cars that have a 400 – 500 range and is outside the affordable range for the vast majority of people.

For the foreseeable future an EV is only viable as a second car, for use around town.

george e. smith

My ordinary Subarus, have a full gas tank range for a long trip of about 700 miles. That is like a round trip from Sunnyvale NOCAL, to Glendale SOCAL mostly on Highway 5 over the grape vine at speeds of 62-65 MPH. with three passengers in the car.
I know that because I have done that round trip many times, with NO gas fill-up.

Yes we do make stops where I could gas up; but I don’t bother to do that; way too much of an irritation waiting for a pump on my side of the car.

No I can’t keep up with the 70 MPH drivers who mostly drive 80-85MPH.

I don’t have a gas station in my house, so I always fill up at one of the many local and on the road stations.

With an electric car, you DO have a gas station in your house, but very few out on the road; so at least in the USA, the only place you know for sure there is a gas station, is in your house.

So that 300 mile range, is actually more like a 100 mile range, unless you don’t plan on doing anything when you get to your destination and aren’t planning on returning home.

Driving an electric car is like flying off an aircraft carrier on a military mission. Your “combat” range is only about a third of your “no return” range.



@ George — what Subaru do you drive? Cause I want the mythical 700 mile per tank one you are driving

A Forrester will go maybe 400 if you are driving 55 downhill.

I’ve had mine for 110,000 miles and I get 24 0n the highway going 70.


Leo “Electric cars will work ONLY if they are legislated for. ”

We need to be careful not believe the ways we currently behave (shaped by the peculiarities of current technologies) are necessarily the ways of the future. I can just here people saying to Henry Ford, “it’ll never get me across the river”, and “you expect me to go to a petrol station when I can feed him in the back paddock”.

Moving along to the 21st century one needs to factor in transport as a service and the use of AI and virtual/augmented reality in mobility. Particularly in urban areas car ownership will decline as people find it cheaper to use fleets for local travel, and the fleets will likely be electric. For occasional longer trips people will hire, just as they take a plane for trips they don’t want to drive. Longer duty cycle transport will remain fueled by high density liquid or gas fuels.

And for discretionary trips people will substitute various forms of teleprescense, reducing the demand for transport services.

Stuart Brown

HAS – you’ve made me comment on here, which I promised myself I wouldn’t. That is the best piece of common sense writing I’ve seen on this subject. “You expect me to go to a petrol station when I can feed him in the back paddock” hit the nail for me.

I drive a 10 year old diesel Toyota in the UK, I will probably drive it ’til it dies. I don’t haul hogs from Arkansas to Anchorage three times a week. Most people don’t. A Nissan Leaf would do what I do just fine 99% of the time and might be my next car – or it might be Johnny Cab! At some point my grandfather looked at the dray horse he used to deliver beer with (he did) and said… ‘the futures in coal mining’ (he did) – ah well. But he then took the tram to work. Things change.

Pop Piasa

Your horse analogy is less than accurate in that EVs do not promise the increase in expedient travel that was part of the advent of motor vehicles. There were electric carriages back then and they did not become the status quo, for the same reasons they are not the present standard transport.

I’m also doubtful that Americans would prefer public to private transportation, even in urban areas. That’s why the US has relatively few users of local or regional mass-transit.


Pop Piasa,
I read John Z. deLorean’s ‘On a Clear Day you can see General Motors’ – might, possibly, still have the book . . . . .
In it, he noted that in the 1920s (and 1930s??), GM bought up a number of ‘urban rail’ companies, in various parts of the US – and closed the railway/tram down.
Folks had to change jobs – or, buy – cars!
And GM, famously, made/makes cars.
So, according to my memory of that book, “That’s why the US has relatively few users of local or regional mass-transit.”
IIRC of course.



Pop Piasa, I think we are probably entering a time when the light duty cycle transport market starts to become much more diverse. In different regions there will be different drivers, and niches will open up as Kurt has also commented. I do think there will be significant markets for electric vehicles opening up over time.

I do however think you misunderstand transport as a service. First it is typically private and individualised, quite the reverse from public mass transit. It’s growth is being enabled by improvements in ICT. And the big benefit, regardless of power train, is the much more efficient use of capital. Each year I’d use my car for 250 hours, and even if the service provider could only sell10 hours’ hire a day that’s a big potential gain to share (particularly if I can use my garage for all my junk).

Pop Piasa

HAS, I respect what you say and take note of the cultural differences between our geographic locations.
I am an hour drive away from St. Louis MO and 30 min away from the nearest place to catch public transport. When I get on the bus I must loiter with the dregs of society, who just might be packing and ready to contribute to STL’s crime statistics.
Our highways are not overly crowded here, and we have adequate parking when we arrive at a shopping center in 40 minutes by using the interstate highway, instead of 90 minutes transferring from bus to metro-link and back to bus to get to the same venue.


I didn’t make myself clear enough. Mass transport like buses and rail aggregate people together to get economies of scale. By transport as a service I was looking forward to the time where you get an individualised service, as you start to see with Uber, but with driverless cars that really starts to become economic (no driver to pay).

Then I suspect many will review whether they really need the car in the garage.


“Trains, Planes, Busses and Automobiles” the hassle of getting from point A to B in an allotted time frame set by availability and jurisdictions. Most Taxi services can only work within the area they are licensed to be in. They can pick you up and take you into another area, but not pick up fares there to return to they area they are licensed to be in…it’s a taxes controlled business. Busses and Planes can only get you to the Hub of point A to the Hub of point B where you need Public Transportation, Taxi or Rentals to travel there place to place.

None of that appeals to many people whom own their vehicles. To them the freedom of travelling at a moment’s notice and not waiting is part of their lifestyle. Outdoorsmen people that go camping, fishing, hiking, biking and all other forms of recreation that takes them into remote area’s on a regular bases, the “rental” options are not compatible. Especially not for the EV market anytime soon.

City dwellers tend to never see outside their bubble world lifestyle. Where country people go the cities more often than city folk come to the countrside. We see the world from different perspectives. What is acceptable to you, is not to me and visa versa. Elections are proof of that. City dwellers are primarily Socialist Democrats by majority that feel everyone must conform to sharing everything. Country folk are freedom loving Republican Conservatives by majority that just want to be left alone and not pay for what other people do.


In other words, incentivization will be performed at gunpoint.


“Batteries will never be really good enough to replace a fuel car. . . . Electric cars will work ONLY if they are legislated for. And a total change in our way of life to accommodate them accompanies legislation to outlaw fuel cars.”

And yet hundreds of thousands of people have indeed found that batteries were good enough to replace a combustion engine car. I for one replaced a gasoline powered car with a purely electric car and found that the electric car is more convenient and far more fun to drive. I am not a low-mileage commuter. I drive 75-100 miles each day round trip to work. I’ve taken it on 3-5k mile road trips and never had to worry about running out of a charge. I spend far less on fuel than with the gasoline engine car, which itself was fuel efficient.

Do I have to spend a little extra time on road trips? Sure, but the advantages of refueling overnight combined with the low cost of electricity far outweighs the inconvenience of stopping a little longer on the road trips.

The fallacy you make is presuming that electric cars can only be marketable if they satisfy your individual needs. I see variations of this argument crop up repeatedly on these types of threads (e.g. “I like to drive fast and would never get 300 miles range” or “I live in rural Texas and would have no place to charge” or even “I can’t afford to have an electric car and a gasoline car.”). Well that’s fine. Many people, however, own multiple cars, live in cities, and usually drive less than 40 miles per day, with a garage to recharge overnight and rarely drive distances requiring fast charging. For that cohort of automobile consumers (and I assure you their numbers are legion) the only barrier to buying an electric car is price. If that barrier is overcome you will see sales of electric vehicles skyrocket.

There’s a lot of reactionary nonsense here where people, who for whatever reason are emotionally invested in seeing electric cars fail, invent reasons as to why they will always be impracticable. But that’s not the attitude I get by most people who see me driving my car. I can’t understate how many ordinary people say that they would love to have my car, or people I talk to who have placed reservations for the Model 3, or ask how I like driving it. These are the types of people who are going to set the market for the electric car.

Todd Dickerson

Kurt, you speak the truth. 90% of the comments here are made by people who have never driven an EV. It’s a waste of energy to attempt to educate them with words. Soon someone they know will have a Model 3, Bolt or Leaf. They’ll ask this person whom they trust more than an article/comment on the internet, what’s it REALLY like? Best car ever… They’ll get curious, maybe even ask to drive the car. Wow it drives just like my gas car, but man is it QUICK and so quiet.

I’m a very cost conscious person. I don’t like subsidies as much as the next person. But I’m no fool, subsidies are available, I was able to lease a Nissan Leaf for 3 years for less than I was paying for gas per month in my previous car. In 3 years the only maintenance was windshield wipers and two free battery inspections.

The EV may not work for everyone, but it worked for me and thousands of others in the Atlanta suburbs.

I’m waiting patiently for my Model 3.

Retired Kit P

So Kurt do you want to tell us what the cost of the power.

“I spend far less on fuel than with the gasoline engine car ….”

What you are at it maybe you tell us paid for your Tesla. Seems to be a detail BEV leave out when they talking about saving money.

As far as fun and convenient to drive, try a Corolla. Every time I see some fool in an expensive car I go varoom varoom.

“I can’t understate how many ordinary people say that they would love to have my car….”

Let me help you being an just an ‘ordinary’ person. Zero, how is that for an estimate. Kurt is confusing what people say to your face and what they think about public displays of wreath.

Many years ago when my 3/4 ton Suburban was just a UV good for carrying the family and towing. Back then find it in a parking lot was easy, it was bigger than everything else. I was engaged in conversation at a park by a man about how he wanted one. I was coming out of store another time and asked if it was for sale.

In the 80s, the 90s was going to be the decade of the green car. Along came SUVs and PUs in two sizes, big and bigger.

So what are the chances of not being able to find your BEV because of all the other BEV?


So what are the chances of not being able to find your BEV because you can not see around all the F150s? 100%


“What you are at it maybe you tell us paid for your Tesla. Seems to be a detail BEV leave out when they talking about saving money.”

If you had read my post carefully you would have seen that I didn’t leave that detail out, quite clearly saying that the main impediment to electric cars was their price, and that once that became competitive vast numbers of people would find them practical. The mileage equivalent of an electric car is somewhere between 90-130 mpg depending on which electric car you buy, so at some point drivers may find that the fuel savings justifies a small price premium over a comparable gasoline engine.

“As far as fun and convenient to drive, try a Corolla. Every time I see some fool in an expensive car I go varoom varoom.”

Like I said, some people have an irrational emotional investment in wishing that electric cars fail. Thanks for illustrating the point far better than I could have. Oh, and when I referred to “ordinary” people I was referring to non-idealogues who have no axe to grind.

Mark from the Midwest

In case anyone missed it there have been large defections in the engineering staff at Tesla’s battery plant. In addition, I’m aware of at least two of Tesla’s “charging stations” that were installed adjacent to Meijer Stores, without anyone having any idea of the power requirements for 24 cars on “quick charge.” For all intents and purposes these are charging stations in name only, since they are in an area where infrastructure for such things is at a premium.

If anything is going to happen I suspect it will be a gradual transition to gas-plugin hybrids lead by existing auto makers.


“I’m aware of at least two of Tesla’s ‘charging stations’ that were installed adjacent to Meijer Stores, without anyone having any idea of the power requirements for 24 cars on ‘quick charge.'”

I’m calling BS on that. I’ve never seen a Tesla charging station with more than 8 chargers – 24 is ridiculous. Moreover, Tesla’s superchargers are isolated systems. Tesla installs the transformers, takes care of the electricity connections to the power company during the construction process, and pays for the electricity consumed at their supercharger stations. It’s inconceivable that the Tesla station would adversely affect the power supply to someone else, let alone that no one was “aware” of the power requirements.

Pop Piasa

It is often time consuming to back up your claims with credible internet links, something which is usually practiced when calling BS on another’s assertion.


I just want to make sure I understand your position here. One “Mark from the Midwest” posted an allegation that “at least two” Tesla charging stations were installed outside of some “Meijer Stores without anyone having any idea of the power requirements for 24 cars on a quick charge” and further indicates that they are “charging stations in name only.” No link or other evidence was given for this silly assertion.

Someone who actually owns a Tesla, has charged at supercharging stations, and knows first-hand what nonsense this is, rebuts it. After all, I can go down to my car and pull up a map of every supercharger in the country, press on the individual supercharger icon, and it will tell me how many chargers are there and how many are free. I do this, and nothing I press shows more than eight stalls at any supercharger station. I also have routinely checked for updates on construction progress on superchargers near my city and read progress reports like “transformer being installed” or “utility being contacted for hookup” as “permit applied for” well as knowing that Tesla contracts with property owners for space, but otherwise provides for the electricity requirements of the supercharger (and pays for the electricity used) themselves. The permitting process alone would ensure that the electricity needs for the Supercharger station were accounted for.

On these facts, you want the person who knows what he is talking about to provide links and evidence.

Oh well – since you’re too lazy to google “Tesla” and “Meijer” yourself, here’s a relevant link.

You’ll first notice that the Meijer press release, with the supercharger station being unveiled, states that “Supercharger stations feature eight individual units.” Perhaps now you can explain just what the hell the “power requirements for 24 cars on a quick charge” was meant to reference. You’ll also see in the picture at the link, at the left edge, a brown fence. That surrounds the dedicated transformer installed at every supercharger location, there just to service the superchargers

Happy now?


I did more research and it turns out that Tesla has two superchargers in the U.S. with a whopping 20 stalls – one close to its Fremont factory and another along the LA-Vegas corridor, and they are planning a 40-stall location in anticipation of a lot more Model 3’s in California. Neither of these really large supercharger stations are close to Michigan, where the Meijer stores are, and both of them are up and running just fine.


I’m wondering if in your pie-in-the-sky electricity demand calculations you are forgetting about nontrivial transmission losses and battery charge losses, among other factors. It’s rather astounding that you could come up with the conclusion that the grid would not be strained with the influx of a massive number of EVs and not be skeptical of such an outcome.


Never mind the fact that adding all these EVs to the road will greatly increase demand at the same time as they’re switching from reliable, always on supply (coal, nuclear) to intermittent supply (wind, solar).

Pop Piasa

We’ll need to charge them at night, when the solar panels have a reduced load on them. /sarc


Transmission Losses overall are less than 5%

As far as load — do the math

2 million EV charging overnight at 2kw is only a 4GW increase in load, that is assuming

NOBODY has a home PV charging system

The UK has a generating capacity of 34GW — so 10% EV penetration would be approximately 10% of the generating capacity — when demand drops by 30% overnight.

In 10 years it would be easy to add 12 GW production capacity which would = ~ 40% EV market penetration

Remember — EV are 4-5 times more efficient in terms of energy used per mile driven than an ICE


Transmission losses may be less than 5%, however the big losses are in the multiple conversions the energy undergoes between power plant and electric motor.

A C Osborn

“Remember — EV are 4-5 times more efficient in terms of energy used per mile driven than an ICE”
Rubbish, there are no EVs that are running at the equivelent of 240-280mpg, name one.
You live in the UK as do I, there are quite a few houses in my street with 2, 3 or 4 cars, how do you expect the household Electrical system to cope with 4x10Kw = 40Kw?
I know just what you will say “they won’t all need to charge at the same time”, but what if they will.
When the Government recoup the Taxes lost on dropping FF and slap it on EVs, how do you think the Runnin6 Cost equations will come out when you have to pay the equivelent of 3 times as much for your Electricity?


Starting from the power station or refinery backdoor to rubber-on-the road petrol losses are a bit below 80%, electricity around half that (including going in and out of the batteries). If the electricity comes from thermal generation then fuel to road come a lot closer together.


karl, how many gw production of reliable power has the uk added in the last ten years ?

A C Osborn

Don’t forget me. Four car household. No drive.

What do I do? Along with, I believe, 40% of the UK population.


@ Mark

less than the 70% loss of energy in an ICE, plus the 10% loss for an average transmission


@ C Osborn

Here is the MATH

The average vehicle may get 25 mpg — that is 1.344 Kwh per mile (33.6 kWh per gallon of gas)

EV get 3-4 Miles per kWh

so 1.344 kWh per mile = .744 miles per Kwh

now 4 miles per kWh for an EV divided by .744 miles per kWh for ICE = 5.37 times more efficient with respect to kWh used per mile driven


The UK with its much vaunted “TV Pickups” that crash the grid just from people turning on electric tea kettles on tv commercial breaks with an estimated 200-400 MW of demand, and you think it can easily absorb a 4 GW increase in demand due to EV’s?


Karl, you are still ignoring the elephant in the room. The many conversion losses.


That is a correct description. NOBODY has a PV charging system that works at night. Just how stupid can EV fanatics get?

In the UK transmission losses are less than 5%. In the US they are 22.5% minimum. I have two hybrids, one with a continuously variable transmission. I did an analysis of the Carbon footprint of a Tesla vs my hybrid below.

Tesla wins, but not by much. Carbon is a good proxy for energy…until everyone has Tesla shingles on their roofs.

John Hardy

WR – the extra power is a National Grid number. I was attempting to explain why it makes sense


I suggest putting some ultra capacitors in your home charging station and use them as buffers charging your car. Hmm, I think I’ll apply for a patent on this and go to the US Energy Dept to get some funding.

There are ways to level the load, so to speak.

But the real issue here is the huge push to renewables as the energy source which by nature is intermittent. I’m certainly not anti-EV and really not anti-renewables where it makes sense. But to me it is all about economics and right now EV’s and renewable energy sources aren’t that economic when you factor in the premium for the EV and the backup’s required for renewable energy.



Intermittent locally — taken as a whole across the entire US — Solar is always on during the day, and wind is ALWAYS on.

current wind speed map us (at surface — not 100 meter hub height where it is ~1.9 times faster)

current cloud cover map of the US

that’s a whole lot of sun

There are 2 low tech energy storage media that can be used to load level at the individual generating station as well

Compressed Air energy storage, and Underground Thermal Energy Storage —

One would remove the adiabatic heat of compression from stored compressed air when the wind farm is above a certain production capacity and store it in a heat sink, along with storing the compressed air in underground tanks — when extra generation is needed, the heat is used to increase the pressure of the stored air and exhausted through a turbine or piston based driveshaft to generate the needed electricity.

Solar PV and thermal could do the same thing

A C Osborn

Karl, I suggest that you educate yourself on Intermittency, when the wind is not blowing it is not blowing over large areas.Are you actually suggesting that the US waste Trillions of dollars carpetting the USA to make sure that they catch the wind “somewhere”.
If you want learn about Intermittency I can suggest a web site for you.
Economics seem to mean absolutely nothing to those living the Green Dream.


It may be true that sun is always shining on the US, if we stretch from the AVI to Guam, but there is the tiny problem of interconnecting them. Basically, there is CONUS. The sun isn’t always shining on some part of it. And at times, it isn’t shining anywhere in CONUS, especially in the winter.

Trying to feed the entire US from Maine, or the Left Coast, is a pretty amazing idea with the current infrastructure. We still have problems feeding Northern California from Southern California, and vice-versa.



Right now as I write this from beautiful Raleighwood, North Carolina it is heavy overcast, drizzling and no wind. The Sun angle is 35 deg and dropping fairly fast as we are past noon and winter is just around the corner.

Looking at the weather maps, Almost all of North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina have winds of 5 kts or less and all stations are reporting heavy overcast.

If it weren’t for the Harris Nuclear plant about 25 miles from my house, we might be in a heap of trouble.

I might remind you half of the globe is dark 100% of the time and a large percentage of what is lit, is at fairly low Sun angles not counting clouds.


Karl, there are a number of practical problems with your concept of intermittency, but I will pick on just one. If the wind is generating power from far away, we do not have the transmission line infrastructure to get it to the places where the wind is not blowing. And if you think you can “just build it” try getting permits for a new transmission line. See how many groups come out of the woodwork looking to stop it. I have seen opposition to even rebuilding power lines on existing right-of-way.

Another Doug

Sure…at what cost?


“Solar is always on during the day…”

Nonsense. An East-West electrical grid would cost trillions of dollars. Average summer sunlight hours per day run between 4.0 (Schenectady) and 8.7 (Inyokern). Winter sunlight is much less, ranging from 1.2 (Spokane) to 7.0 (Inyokern, again.) Mounting problems can reduce the effective insolation significantly. Sunlight is too diffuse an energy source to be effective except for a few off-grid applications.


As always Karl, you are ignoring transmission losses.
There is a reason why we place power plants close to where the energy is going to be used, not on the other coast.

I Came I Saw I Left

Real world just seems to fly over their head. – “B-but we’ve got to do SOMETHING!”


@ R babcock

at 100 meters (hub height) the wind is 2 times surface speed (1/7th power law)


“at 100 meters (hub height) the wind is 2 times surface speed (1/7th power law)”

two times zero is still zero (Peano axiom).


Karl- electrical engineers use a figure of 22.5% losses in electrical transmission when designing the grid changes. Every junction and inch of wire in the electrical system is a loss, maybe small but still there.

You’re assumptions about the daily consumption, and that it implies unused power, are laughable. The peak usage, when the load rises in the afternoon into evening is met by peaking power plants with efficiencies maxing out at 40%. The intermediate level base load is met by plants designed for steady power outputs and running between 40-60% efficiency. Sudden loads, like the wind dying down, easily result in brownout- voltages dropping more than half percent or so. When that happens the baseload plants lose a lot of their efficiency because they have to either dump some of their output or waste fuel to catch up if a peaking plant isn’t running and ready to fill the gap. Daily brownouts and black outs are a feature of life in many less developed countries.

If any system tried to use the “unused power” above the demand curve you show it would either shutdown or cost would skyrocket when the peaking plants were cycling up and down all day and all night.

The ridiculous feed-in tariffs that require “renewable” energy to go into the grid whenever available and at the highest average prices cause a great deal of harm. That is why in the US the legislature is considering either eliminating above average tariffs for renewables, or adding a “stability” tariff for the baseload and peaking fossil fuel and nuclear plants to pay for the grid stability service they provide.


Therein lies the problem. Our governments (or the UK, at least) see’s the public as a bottomless money pit they can raid at any time, for any reason, especially for the finalgreen solution.


Electric cars and all the extra generation and charging capacity only make any sense if you believe that CO2 is the devil incarnate. Since no reputable science has shown that human derived CO2 is actually doing any harm to the environment or people all of this is just pie in the sky nonsense. The ICE combined with the incredible energy density of a gallon of gasoline makes the electric car thing just silly virtue signaling for the rich and scientifically dumb. Drill baby drill! Electric cars are a non solution to a non problem.


“There are dozens of arguments fielded against EVs; I have yet to encounter one which stood up under examination.”

You apparently haven’t examined that one.

EVs are massively subsidized. The Tesla would be nothing more than a virtue-signal for a few of the wealthy if not for taxpayer subsidies. They were losing money at $125,000 per car. The same car now sells for under $75,000. Government subsidies make the difference, but Tesla is still losing $millions per year.

On top of that are the direct subsidies to the buyers. Remove the subsidies and let the consumer make an informed choice.


EV’s are not ‘massively subsidized’

Total Prius sales are 10+ Million — about $200 Billion in cumulative sales — the subsidy was less than .5%

The maximum EV subsidy is ~ $1.5 Billion per Manufacturer ($2500-$7500 for the first 200k cars produced by the manufacturer)

The subsidies for one 1000 MWe Nuclear Power station — on loan subsidies for construction alone is ~$2 Billion, not to mention the production tax credit

Roger Knights

EV’s are not ‘massively subsidized’

Total Prius sales are 10+ Million — about $200 Billion in cumulative sales — the subsidy was less than .5%

Priuses aren’t the sort of pure (no-gas-engine) EVs the author of this article, or the commenter above you, is talking about.


@ Roger — the subsidy is the same — once Nissan sells 200,000 leafs — no more Nissan EV subsidies, Tesla is fast approaching that.

It’s not per car it’s per manufacturer

this explains it


why the freaking hell should anyone subsidize a $100k car? Total BS.
I guess I should get my product subsidized, because, well, it would be good for me….

The Prius is NOT an EV. It is a hybrid!


Total Prius sales in the US only from 1999 to end of 2016 is 2,091,564. They have yet to exceed 200K sold in a single year. And I think your EV subsidy number doesn’t include state subsidies. Finally, I don’t think there’s a maximum EV subsidy per manufacturer. It’s $7500 per car per manufacturer until 200,000 units are sold, at which point the company has 2 more quarters of $7500 subsidies, and then it then gets cut in half for another 2 quarters, and then half again for 2 more before completely expiring. Source:

A C Osborn

Yes and Tesla is still loosing money on every single one of them.


Tesla has only lost money on Model 3

The company losses are based on acquisitions and building the Giga Factory

Retired Kit P

While I was reading this discussion, I was thinking we can build nuke plants to provide carbon free power faster than BEV can be built and kept on the road.

Well except for one thing, the loons that buy BEV are opposed to practical ways of providing power. Then Karl writes, “The subsidies for one 1000 MWe Nuclear Power station.”

GM is selling their Bolt at $37,000. And Tesla was NOT losing money selling their Model S and Model X vehicles – their profit margin was 25%, about three times the profit margin of the auto industry. They were making a profit before they began work on their Model 3. They are currently losing money because they designed a new low cost Model 3 ($35,000 base price without incentive) and have built a new robotic assembly line and a battery gigafactory (which they didn’t have to build) and acquired a bankrupt solar roof company, etc etc

A C Osborn

Not True.

A C Osborn

Show us the actual production costs v the sales price.

John Hardy

Art – I am not talking about present cost. We all know that EVs are still more expensive today. The graphs will cross in the next year or two

Paul Penrose

Wanna bet?


” I have my car set to start charging at 1:00 a.m. when my electricity price almost halves.”

Ok. Great. Sounds good, all that saving.

What happens when everyone else starts doing the same thing?

“Oooops, there goes my perceived advantage”.

“Double Ooooops, the sods are charging me more than during the day when I’m NOT home”


@Karl … Tesla HAS NEVER MADE MONEY … it existing on ‘virtual’ subsidies in one form or another.



You have to love a government that robs the poor by means of high electricity prices to feed the rich who buy Tesla cars (and Elon Musk).

You Brits would probably call that the “Inverse Robin Hood” approach.

I wish this guy would express the units correctly.

John Hardy

Phillip – did you want them in SI or Imperial?

With respect to (1), a lack of technical knowledge about LIB is demonstrated. It is possible to design a rapid charge cell (key is a thinner more porous anode), but it’s energy density is lower, so the equivalent energy battery is bigger and heavier. That is why neither Tesla nor Bolt have done so. Charging an energy dense cell design rapidly shortens the battery life by up to half (by accelerating SEI buildup). That part Tesla does not mention to its rapid charge station users.
You cannot get there from here with LIB, period. The only technically possible solution is LIC, discussed in my vehicular decarbonization post last November at Climate Etc.

I Came I Saw I Left

“Charging an energy dense cell design rapidly shortens the battery life by up to half (by accelerating SEI buildup). That part Tesla does not mention to its rapid charge station users.”

Nor do the EV fanbois when lauding fast charge for any EV.

John Hardy

ristvan – re LIB; you were right a few years back but not now


One has also to be concerned about the battery management system. After two battery fires on Boeing 787s, it was determined that there was a problem with the battery management system I believe that this was also the problem with the cell phones that burned up (not sure). I certainly hope that the battery management systems in EVs with fast charge are up to the task in all possible environments.


They will fix the design flaws over time.
In the meantime, the recommended safety kit for EV owners includes marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate bars and wooden sticks.


In sunny California, with only a small percentage of EVs, we still run into occasional issues where the state issues brown-out and low usage warnings. I can just imagine how bad it would be if a significant number of EVs were deployed in the state under govt mandate, as it appears California is headed.

The are on the way to decomissioning our 2 gas power plants, here in Oxnard and Ventura, because the Greenies are “Promising” that the generation can be Totally replaced by renewables, solar and wind, with battery storage.” There is no blueprint, only Enviro and NGO groups , along with Elon Musk, and Tom Steyer showing up at community meetings screaming “Climate Change…Rising oceans, pollution..” and all of the other scare tactics. Again this decision is being made Without a replacement plan in place, only the renewables are “Capable” of replacing the demand. No petroleum backup plants will be allowed..


Hmm, let’s see. I can buy a Kia Rio for about $15,000. It has a range of 330 miles in the city and 440 on the highway. I can fill it up in about 3 minutes.

As an alternative, I can spend $35,000 on a Chevy Bolt which has a range of 240 miles. I may be able to recharge it in half an hour (once high speed recharging reaches my area). Who knows if GM is making money on the Bolt – we know that Tesla is losing boatloads of money trying to sell Model 3s – so the price is likely to rise in the future rather than to fall.

Life cycle analysis of emissions are about the same for electric as for gasoline cars under the best of circumstances. In my part of the country, with electricity is generated in coal-fired power plants, I’m faily confident life-cycle emissions are lower for gasoline cars.

I think I’ll pass for now.


I’m pretty sure you don’t drive 300 miles a day (100k a year) — and you could easily charge overnight for the driving you do with standard receptacles (110 or 220)


Let me rephrase that for you “I’m pretty sure you won’t drive 300 miles a day “

I Came I Saw I Left

It takes about 14 to 20 hours to charge a Bolt with 120VAC. Not practical for every day, all around use.



When I was working I regularly drove 30K miles a year and certainly would want half hour charging (at best) waits added on to my commuting times . But the more import point is living in London I’m lucky to be able to park within 100 yards of my house. How the hell am I’m going to get an extension cable out to the car to “easily charge overnight”. With all my neighbours in the same boat there would be a rat’s nest of cables snaking across the pavements. Imagine the Health and Safety guys allowing that. As usual with greenies, either practical issues haven’t occurred to them or are just ignored as too difficult to deal with.


We are a 4 car family in Kent. No drive, similar to I believe, 40% of the country.

Other than using lamp post sited charging stations, we have no option to charge near our home. And as the block of 5 cottages we live in (listed, so no chance of alterations) has around 15 cars between them, lamp post charging would pose an immense problem.

Not to mention the practical issues you mention of public safety, vandalism, maintenance etc. The single lam post outside our building has been inoperable for months now. How about I call my boss and tell him I can’t be at work for the foreseeable future because I’m waiting for the local authority to fix my car charging point, that I can’t get to anyway because 15 other car owners are fighting over it.

This isn’t fantasy, nor a remote, individual issue, this is 40% of the country.


@ Frenchie

Not for normal everyday driving

95% of people in the US have a one way commute of less than 30 miles

60 Miles is about 15 Kwh — which @ a 30 amp draw and 120V — charges in less than 5 hours

David Riser

I am pretty sure your not going to get 30amps continuous, from a 120 volt circuit in any country. ever! this kind of stupidity is ridiculous.


The EV proponents keep talking about “average daily commutes”. I don’t have a car just for “average daily commutes”. When the fancy takes me I can get into my six cylinder family size car (Australian made but globilisation has has put an end to that) and drive 800km on the highway on one tank. I don’t need a reason other than “I want to and I can”. Pretty useful in Australia where distances are large and there are long stretches of unpopulated territory. I consider anything less than this a retrograde step. I’m not interested in being assimilated and having no choice but to use public transport or hiring a vehicle to do what my own car should be capable of. We have a highly advanced proven technology that overcomes all the limitations of EV technology and we are moving towards abandoning that for EV technology. If the world it accepts this scam then it is truly mad.


Remember kids, EV’s are the super cool wave of the future that will crush the western automotive industry under their inevitable dominance.

So be prepared to alter your entire lifestyle and civilization to work around their many, many shortcomings and inconveniences.

That’s how progress works, doncha know.


Correction – we know Tesla was making money on the Model S and X before embarking on the Model 3 and all kinds of irrelevant other stuff – solar roofs, battery gigafactories, etc
Refueling an electric at your residence requires less time than refueling a gas powered vehicle at a gas station, which you have to drive to. The need for public fast charge stations is for travelling or for thoose whose residence has no abiility to recharge an EV. People take few trips and 15 minute fast recharges are just aroud the corner. I reject any claim that 15 minutes per week or for a stop on a trip is unacceptable. And that $15,000 gas burner is NOT equaivalent to any Chevy Bolt, which, amongst other things, is about twice as fast and has a drivetrain that will last at least twice as long (one Tesla Model S vehicle has already logged 350,000 miles without any maintenance).
SO how much more will that $15,000 vehicle require to refuel it and keep it running for the next 10 years? I’d guess about two to three times more for fuel, also to replace the exhaust system, also to pay for transmission flushes and oil changes and spark plugs and cooling system changes and flushes. What will it cost to rebuild that transmission? Electric cars don’t need transmissions.
Electric cars can be built for under $25,000, probably for less than $20,000 in a year or so.
Long term, an electric car is cheaper, with fewer headaches than a gas powered car.

I Came I Saw I Left

Fewer periodic maintenance headaches, maybe, but a huge daily hassle factor for most people. I’d rather pay for the convenience and reliability of an ICE mobile. I don’t need hassles in my life. Also, you forgot to mention the expensive replacement cost of the EV battery. That’s a huge deal breaker.

A C Osborn

You keep saying they make a profit, show us the data, Production costs v sales price before taxes.


ac osborn ,he won’t show you the data because there is no data that will support his assertion.


“Refueling an electric at your residence requires less time than refueling a gas powered vehicle at a gas station, which you have to drive to.”

I am not buying electric until the advocates cease sounding like moron cult members.

As I drive around town, I get to choose at my leisure when I want to stop for gas, along the way. This gets me maybe ten minutes out of my route. Done.

If I run out of gas, it is far easier for someone to bring along a gallon of gas than a charge for a humongous battery.

I have a 34AH SLA battery I keep as a back-up energy source. I know what it is like to keep that at the ready.

paul courtney

Aurthur says: “I reject any claim….” You and the other EV enthusiasts like to tell us how most people drive and live in houses (Chris did this, but didn’t cite, so…) so let’s force everybody to drive and live that way. As long as we’re rejecting claims, I reject your claims. Like, all of ’em. For 8 yrs we had an EV enthusiast in chief, yet he was not able to get the post office or defense dep’t (or any fed. agency? name one if you got one) to move toward an EV fleet. As I’ve said before, the post office drives around town, stop n’ start, during day, short trips, never far from its base, returns to where it can be charged overnight. Made to order for an EV fleet, but no EV’s. I call that a “signal”. We’ll know that EV’s are a bit practical when they start to grow in the made-to-order niches out there. Until then, you fellas are pure pie in the sky. Which I reject.


You can’t lump G&A and R&D Non Recurring Engineering Costs into the profit or loss per car.

Some companies do, many do not.

Based on Gross Margin — tesla made 24% over the last 4 years

Gross margin is on average 24% over the last four years.


Refueling an electric at your residence requires less time than refueling a gas powered vehicle at a gas station, which you have to drive to.

What world do you live on? I have two gas stations .5 miles from my house. Plus how many people refuel as part of a trip that they would take regardless?? Just swing in on the way home from work and 5 minutes later you are back on the road.


“You can’t lump G&A and R&D Non Recurring Engineering Costs into the profit or loss per car.”

So just where do you lump it instead? In my part of the World non recurring costs have to be paid for out of revenue, which comes from selling the product.

Ian W

arthur4563 November 9, 2017 at 9:19 am

Refueling an electric at your residence requires less time than refueling a gas powered vehicle at a gas station, which you have to drive to. The need for public fast charge stations is for travelling or for thoose whose residence has no abiility to recharge an EV.

Arthur. Electric vehicles are ideal for around town – we hear this mantra from you and others allllll the time. Guess which group are in the “those whose residence has no ability to recharge an EV classification? Yes the people that live in and around towns. So the very people that an EV might be useful for are the ones that would not be able to recharge one. BRILLIANT.

I can also assure you that the glib ‘refueling an electric car at your residence’ is repeatedly trotted out. Having just put in an inline water heater that draws a similar amount of current I can tell you that the rewiring required was quite extensive and expensive. I do not know your domestic circumstances it sounds like you live alone with a computer and an EV but what of a 5 car family? All cars and a work pickup on the drive as the garage is used for storage. These are real problems which you and Karl ignore.

The entire EV industry has a problem with glossing over very real problems and tries to fit everyone into a single way of life. The ICE vehicles gave people freedom to travel it is becoming apparent that it is that freedom which is threatened by mandated use of EV.

Retired Kit P

You are correct Bill with one minor correction. Unless you are in France and the nuke plants are load following, power for BEV is from coal.


Misconception 1: batteries will never get us to acceptable range.

Daily commuting aside, shall I buy another car for my weekend jaunts? Or shall I just stay at home and pine about the good ole days of actually enjoying life away from work?

Misconception 2: if EVs take off, electrical distribution networks won’t cope.

Have you ever been on UK roads during a bank holiday weekend or start/end of school break. How shall we stagger the demand then? Sorry Hampshire, you all need to wait until 2:00 am to depart on your roadtrip??

Misconception 3: EV charging will require rewiring all the houses in the land.

Well, three of my buddies have EV – they are kind of geeks like that. They had the plugs for their teslas wired in, cost them all over 500GBP each. They also spend a lot of time talking about where they can charge on the road to avoid getting stranded, but that is another point. Plus, what happens when idiots start using worn cables or slice them while charging. Given how people already manage to electrocute themselves I am sure that everyone charging high amperage loads at home will be just fine!

Misconception 4: Generating capacity will be insufficient

See points 1&2 above. If a system is to work it must work for all cases, otherwise the “upgrade” is in fact a downgrade. Weekends aside, the UK during cold peaks nearly maxes out for electrical production – somehow your analysis doesn’t quite cover that. Last winter in the UK was rather mild, this winter is predicted to be colder. Even without EV the system will have a real challenge coping. Pray the interconnects actually have some electrons to push!!!

Misconception #5: EVs will be constrained by a shortage of lithium

2016 worldwide lithium production 35,000 metric tons.

Geesh, people complain about how nasty fracking is, wait til they get a load of what ramping up lithium production looks like. No worries, I am sure China will do it very nice and green like.

Just saying, but please go on about misconceptions.

Matt Bergin

Lithium is not the problem but cobalt is.


“Lithium is not the problem but cobalt is.”

Quite correct. These batteries should be called Cobalt-Lithium batteries.

Half the world’s supply of cobalt comes from the Congo (DRC). Most of it is extracted by kids by hand. Good luck with trying to increase this supply. 🙂

“Everyone wants cobalt, but few want to get tangled up in the world’s largest producing nation”


Increasin lithium production is fairly simple. Increasing cobolt production isn’t.

Tom Halla

Current battery technology is still inadequate, and there is nothing in the pipeline that would solve that. As there are uses for batteries other than vehicles, like power tools, there is a market for improved product that is not quite ready for large scale uses. A lap-top battery that actually lasts for several days use, or a battery for a 787 that does not have the problems the lithium-ion installation had, would have a market despite being initially too expensive for EV use.

Roger Knights

“Current battery technology is still inadequate, and there is nothing in the pipeline that would solve that.”

I read yesterday that Toshiba is working on a solid-state lithium batter, and that another firm that Buffett has invested in is doing the same. (It may all be nonsense—I’m “just saying.”)


Everything is nonsense until they figure out a way to make the things in commercial quantities at a competitive price.

Roger, you are agreeing with Tom, ‘nothing in the pipeline’.

A company working on something means that they have not got it working yet. Once they have got it working in the lab then need to try it in the real world, find & fix the problems, rinse & repeat until it is acceptable.

Then a manufacturing facility needs to be built (from scratch or by modifying an existing one) and there will be problems getting that up and running.

There may be issues with fitting the new batteries into existing cars (maybe more cooling needed, or different electronic control).

Add it up and if a new technology is devised today it is unlikely to be in production cars for at least five and more like 10 years.

Before EVs can be competitive, we’ll first see phones that have long cycle lives, can hold twice the charge, fully charge in 5 minutes, and can operate in both hot and cold. There are indications that solid state batteries might get us there, but the proof will be in the pudding. My guess is that we’ll see these phones within five years or never.


I’m also working on a lithuim batter, and, so far, the pancakes taste terrible.


Remember it took 20 years from the first laboratory Li-ion batteries to the first viable production batteries. And another 20 year before they were good enough for EV:s.

Kevin Schurig

Well, hopefully they won’t cause thing to catch fire.

Geoff Pohanka

I was told that the State of California wanted to force auto dealers to notify the State within 24 hours of an EV being sold. When asked why this was necessary….when one considers that there must be an application to the state for a new registration and license plate to be printed within weeks of the sale, why this was so…..the answer….if there are two electric vehicles on the same street the transformer will blow, a new transformer would need to be installed so this would not happen. Going to mass EVs is more complicated than many think.


Yes, if they plugged in simultaneously and depending on other loads on that local line/transformer, it could be a problem. Definitely if 3-4 or more EV’s plugged. First come, first serve? A smart meter to ‘ration’ flexible customers? Program your charger at the rate you want to pay and when you need a fully charged battery? Probably this makes more sense before re-wiring the neighbourhood and installing more transformer capacity.

paul courtney

Earthling: “Probably this makes more sense…” No, what makes sense is to halt all sales of EV’s until we can protect the grid from problems that EV folks won’t tell us about until, like here, it’s pried out of you. You do realize that a blown transformer means the two or three EV owners on that block won’t be able to charge their car at home ’til the power comes back on? I’ve been looking at MarkW’s posts over the last few days, they remain solid. You, Chris, Karl…not so much. You make a claim, gets knocked down, your comeback is that the fix is just ahead, gets knocked down, next comeback is to so easily change how we choose to live …. Someone above posted that you folks act just like a cult, but you can’t see it.


“No, what makes sense is to halt all sales of EV’s until we can protect the grid from problems that EV folks won’t tell us about until, like here, it’s pried out of you.”

Real good reply Paul. You didn’t even say anything other than halt all sales of EV’s. You are just a hot head nut bar that don’t know much about anything anyway, as you just proved. If MarkW posts are solid, as he states power line losses are 50%, or cars and coal plants are not air pollution in China, or that exhaust air is cleaner out of a ICE car tail pipe than the local incoming air, then you are indeed a fairly low IQ dimwit too.


Personal abuse often indicates the argument is lost.
Earthling – your – polite – comment, if you would be so kind.



Paul Courtney

Earthing: “Real good reply Paul.” Why, thank you fellow earthing. You agreed plugging in 2 EVs “could be” a problem, “Definitely if 3-4 or more EV’s plugged.” Your solution? “First come first serve? A smart meter…? Program your charger…?” That’s what you said, left unsaid by you is “In the meantime, suffer transformer fires.” At least my suggestion is doable, an immediate step toward prevention of (very easily avoided) burning electric grid infrastructure. Your insult is a bit obvious as deflections go, but what can you say when you’ve lost an argument with a fairly low IQ hot head nut bar dimwit?


Paul Courtney November 10, 2017 at 8:43 am

The cut-out fuse on the primary ahead of the transformer is going to blow before the transformer catches fire if it is seriously overloaded if the draw on that transformer exceeds the amp rating of the fuse. Maybe the fuse on top of the pole will blow shutting the power off, but the transformer and electrical wire and infrastructure will stay intact. Still a nuisance for the fuses to be blowing though. I was only offering some thoughts on how to have 3-4 or more cars on a single transformer with a smart meter, or some other form of a load controller that would sequence the priority demands ahead of the car charger. It is done all the time in stand alone electric systems, including sending surplus electricity to load dumps so as to maintain voltage and frequency. Allowing load priority demand management at a lower electricity price if you know you won’t need a fully charged car until the next morning would assist in all 3-4 cars getting charged by morning. Or a higher price if you want to charge at 5 Pm and go out at 9 Pm etc. This would be preferable to re-wiring the entire neighbourhood, at least to start. It is called Demand Side Load Management.

Earthling2: ” smart meter, or some other form of a load controller”
Smart meters do not control load(s).

Smart meters do not control load(s).


Todd Dickerson

I live on a street with 4 Nissan Leafs. 3 years on, transformer has yet to blow.

“EVs will be constrained by a shortage of lithium”

Not really much lithium in a lithium battery. The cobalt in them is more likely to be the critical resource.


There are 4 million Tonnes of known Cobalt reserves. Cobalt is mainly a byproduct of nickel and copper mining, there is no cobalt cliff coming.


As long as African children continue to agree to mine it, you mean.


Australia has 1,000,000 Tonnes

As the industry matures — DR Congo will get huge outside investment to mine their 3.4 Million Tonnes

Karl, 4 million tonnes is not a lot. For the 20 kg of cobalt in a Tesla model S battery pack, this is only enough for 200 million cars and the global yearly production rate for automobiles is about 73 million cars per year.

Cobalt is already about 3x the cost of lithium per unit mass and is clearly the more limited resource. Demand for EV’s has been pushing the price up as well. Making this worse is that most of the cobalt (and lithium) comes from areas of the world that don’t have the same strong environmental protections imposed on mining operations found in the US and Europe.

A C Osborn

Karl, the price of Cobalt has gone from $13/lb to $26/lb in just the last year.
The more EVs built the more they can charge and they will.
Supply & Demand cannot be changed.


We are now at peak cobalt. Time to panic!!



Cobalt can be recycled.

And even with the lower specific power Lithium Iron Phosphate may end up penetrating the market

Or spinel based cathodes (Manganese)

Argonne Labs has done some great research.

After all — there was no way we could put a man on the moon


Nice one, Karl … I suppose you don’t care about child rights violations so long as you can get your battery charged.


“Cobalt is mainly a byproduct of nickel and copper mining, there is no cobalt cliff coming.”

So where do you think we should do with the copper and nickel surpluses if we increase the cobolt production? Hint: the cobalt will have to absorb the losses on copper and nickel.

By the way those 7 million tons would be enough to replace about a third of all cars in the World by EV:s. Of course provided that no cars (including trucks and buses) need larger batteries than a Tesla, and that we stop using cobolt for anything except batteries.

Cobalt mined in the Congo totals approx. 2/3 ds of the Worlds demand.
The Congo is also one of the most unstable countries in the world.
Understand the Chinese are putting their fingers in everything African, including the Congo.
The critical materials spoken of, are likely to be large Political pawns in the future.


“If the system was capable of sustaining 50 Gw for 24 hours, an additional 230 Gw-hrs could be generated ”

The UK is already on the path to energy instability, with too high a reliance on unreliable energy sources. Projecting that they will have a stable energy supply that can handle the added demands of hordes of EV cars is unlikely at present. Their current policies appear seriously deficient.


“Their current policies appear seriously deficient.”

Deficient? Is that another word for maliciously destructive?


In the UK I suspect it is not real malice.
I think it is ignorance. Blinkered ignorance [although if LibDems are/were involved, perhaps a special sort of almost Nelsonian ignorance. “I WON’T see those facts!”]

See – for example – today’s D. Telegraph: –
[It is a ‘premium’ page [so I guess has to be paid for], although it is printed in full in the hard copy newspaper.
Guess who won’t be going soft copy?]

Always think cock-up, rather than conspiracy – at least in the UK.
It may be different in Chicago, or some parts of Nigeria, even.


Kevin Schurig

It’s polite speech for “FUBAR”.


Hydrogen, not Lithium for ZEVs. Either Nat Gas feed-in to H2 production, or an efficient electrolysis? Seems Li based EVs are not “sustainable” as the greenies would like to claim. But,… oh noooo, Hydrogen would emit GHG’s in the form of water vapor!,… much more insulating than C02,… we’d have to stop them too,… the conundrum of a ‘zero sum game’. Glad I’m not playing,..

There is no such thing as a ZEV. This concept is nothing by an illusion the left pushes to make them feel better about themselves. Even walking is not ZEV when the insanity surrounding CO2 is considered.

Retired Kit P

BEV = EEV (elsewhere emissions )

A C Osborn

You obvioulsy know nothing Hydrogen at all.
Try reading up on “embrittlement” and Moleculer size causing leaks.
Add to that the cost of conversion, you have to be joking.

Keith in Vermont

Maybe in England but not Northern New England.

An 80 mile round trip commute on -20 to 30F winter days. In an ICE vehicle you need to wear cold weather clothing with the heater going full blast. In an EV?

A grid that goes out every time the wind blows. It took a week to restore power to thousands of customers in parts Maine last week. We were only out for 2 days. In my 80 mile daily round trip commute I would be sitting on the side of the road in the middle of no where.

The cost of replacement batteries? I keep my vehicles for 10+ years.

I really want to turn control over my daily transportation to the local utility. The oil companies are bad enough but they compete in a global market and the gas stations compete locally for customers. I have a choice of two dozen gas stations in rural Vermont where prices can vary as much as 20 cents a gallon between stations. Our local utilities here in the United States have no competition and routinely raise prices with no customer recourse to change power companies or go to another station.


Batteries last over 10 years — my Li-Ion phone battery has done at least 1500 full charge discharge in the 3 years I have had it — and it still has battery life that is indistinguishable from new

One Li-Ion battery lasts three years therefore all such batteries last 10 years.

Where exactly did you study logic?

I’ve never gotten more than about 5 years out of a lithium battery and this spans many different devices. I’ve also never gotten more than 2 years out of an LED lamp either.

The manufactures of electronic devices plan for them to fail or become obsolete so that the customer will by another. The theoretical long lifetimes claimed are pure fantasy. Sure, the LED’s themselves have a 50K hour lifetime, but the power supply driving them has less than a 10K hour MTBF. To fix this would increase the manufacturing cost by less than a 25 cents, but they don’t because if they spent the extra quarter, the demand for replacements would drop dramatically.

A C Osborn

At the school of “Green Logic”.

Brian McCain

And the one in my phone which is only a year old probably has lost 25-30% of its capacity. Or the Li-ion in my tablet that is 2 years old completely loses charge over a weekend if it is not plugged in. So yeah, not ready for the prime time transportation market


I’ve been buying LEDs exclusively for about 5 years now, and I’ve only had one fail.


“Green logic” is an oxymoron.


Do you really empty your cellphone battery 1.5 times per day? Must have been a rotten battery to start with?


No rechargeable lithium battery will last ten years without substantial degradation of it’s capacity. Even if it spent its entire life in a perfect environment with no activity beyond the bare minimum to combat self-discharge to prevent damage from undervolting the cell, it would have very little of its original capacity after ten years, if any at all. And I am absolutely certain that if you did a proper check of your phone battery’s capacity, there would be a substantial loss there as well. I would bet at least 20 percent all day long. In the region of 30 to 40 percent loss would be a fairly safe bet as well. I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be combative, but what you are saying is simply not true.


Maybe I’ve missed it, but I haven’t seen your greenie solution to “easily charged overnight” when, given the parking problems, I and most of my neighbours would be very lucky to get their cars to within an extension lead length of their homes. Until that is sussed EVs are a complete no-no in this neighbourhood.

Tom in Florida

“My electricity almost halves in price during those hours ”

John, how long do you think that will last? Supply and demand old chap!

Also I have not seen an insurance cost analysis due to the lighter vehicles being less safe for passengers in an accident, repair costs, replacement parts etc that insurance covers.

Finally, how much tailgating gear can an EV carry?

A C Osborn

How well do they do at towing Caravans and Trailers?

A C Osborn

With all that seamless torque available, I imagine pretty well.

They might not get you to a camp-site, but it’ll be a pleasure trying. 🙂

Pop Piasa

I’d still go with a Chevy 3500 Duramax, crossing Death valley


“How well do they do at towing Caravans and Trailers?”

Not allowed with a Tesla. Which doesn’t really have anything durable enough to hook up a trailer to. You would rip the car apart.


“John, how long do you think that will last? Supply and demand old chap…!”


“…Also I have not seen an insurance cost analysis due to the lighter vehicles being less safe…”

Lighter? Who said they were lighter? The Prius weighs 3375 pounds; a Honda Civic weighs 2830 pounds. The Prius may be no less safe to drive, but less safe to be driven into by.

Tom in Florida

The Prius is a hybrid not a fully EV. Let’s try to stay on the same page OK?

Kevin Schurig

I would think just the replacement of the battery pack would send rates through the roof. Forget worrying if you live in a “high crime” area.


Short answer……one solar storm and the game is over.


Misconception 1: 300 miles is only doable if you crawl along at well below highway speeds. At highway speeds you are going to get well below 300 miles.
How many people can go more than 4 hours without needing to stop to pee or eat? Just about everyone.

Misconception 2: Declaring that the electric grid can handle another huge load because it already has other huge loads has got to be the dumbest argument you have put forth to date.

Misconception 3: Amazing how you prove the point by trying to refute the point.

Misconception 4: Others have already done a good job of refuting your wishful thinking here.

And if you use the electric heater or AC in an EV, your range will be significantly reduced.

Brian McCain

So everyone knows at least in the US that the mpg that automakers claim is wildly inaccurate. The testing is done on a dynometer without wind or weather effects. So wondering if Tesla had their range rated the same way and how wildly different it is in reality.


From what I’ve read, it’s driving at a steady 30mph or so, no stopping and starting with the whole room at the optimum temperature for the battery. And nothing else is on in the car.
Probably on the same dynometer with no wind.

Kevin Schurig

The last two trips we took, we rented a Chevy Equinox (fanbois and haters this is not a review of the vehicle) and it had a mpg calculator on it which I used to amuse myself while driving through Oklahoma.(Playing video games was out of the question, something about keeping my attention on the road.) It showed we got about 27mpg, with traction control off. Now I wonder, what factors the programmers used for that calculator?


“How many people can go more than 4 hours without needing to stop to pee or eat? Just about everyone.”

They probably can, but really, why would they?

and I think of the reminders often seen on UK roads ‘don’t drive tired: take a break’

Martin Mason

The burning question though is why?

I Came I Saw I Left

Exactly. I even pose that question about hybrids.

Reasonable Skeptic

While I appreciate the capabilities of the EV, one only has to compare ICE to EV to know that ICE is the winner. EV only wins on direct emissions and acceleration.

EVs will have to the forced to outcompete ICE cars.


In many cities, the air coming out of a car is cleaner than the air going in.
So ICE is not a loser when it comes to direct emissions.


False statement! Sort of like saying “In many cities, the water coming out of a toilet is cleaner than the water going in”. By that logic, you should just put a hose up to your house from your tail pipe and fill your house with ‘fresh’ air from your car, or better air than than ambient outdoor air. Of course, you forget to mention the Carbon Monoxide (CO) which will kill you. You have to think just a little harder MarkW before you push that submit button.


There you go again, making an idiot of yourself.
1) With catalytic converters and such, the air out the exhaust pipe is often cleaner.
2) CO hasn’t been a problem in cars for 20 years or so.


Earthling is completely wrong, but you can still get plenty of bad air pollution from the exhaust of an ICE. The air of a city center made up of all EVs would be far more palatable than the same air if all vehicles were ICE. EVs definitely would improve air quality. Modern cars are better than older cars, but ‘pollution free’ they are not. They all leave rubber residue though.


Please explain how the air coming directly out of a ICE tail pipe is cleaner than the local atmospheric air? An IC engine has fairly high levels of pollutants in much higher proportion to local atmospheric air. Things like SOX, NOX, CO, VOC’s, and Particulates of various kinds. A whole lot better than it was 40 years ago, but non the less there is still pollution coming out of a ICE tailpipe which mixes in the local atmosphere lowering the pollution count overall, so how is the air directly out out of an ICE tailpipe going to be cleaner than the local air coming into the engine? I will leave it to other readers to draw their own conclusions about this matter, but I think anyone with any common sense is not going to believe exhaust air is cleaner than atmospheric air. I am stunned people on a scientific blog would even say something like this and then chastise someone who disagrees with that statement. Maybe they forgot a sarc tag is all I can think of.


I did my first alternative energy vehicle studies in 1963. Not much has changed since then, except, apparently, a drop in the average IQ of consumers. Petroleum products are still the clear winner.

The best way to make EV’s competitive is to include a gas engine and generator to keep a smaller, cheaper battery charged. The motor/generator only needs enough power to sustain freeway speeds while peak demands are supplemented with the battery and small demand (stop and go) is battery only.

This preserves the only redeeming value of an EV, which is high efficiency in stop and go traffic, without sacrificing the convenience of fast fuel ups, near infinite range and the ability to come and go when you please. Locomotives have been using technology like this for decades.

Once the foolish fear of CO2 subsides, which will surely happen once the science is actually settled, we might start to see the development of EV’s whose motivation is based on what the customer actually needs and not what they’re ignorantly afraid of.


Regenerative breaks work best at high speed and become useless as your speed approaches zero.


Never driven a prius have you — shifting into battery charge mode when slowing down or coming to a stop at a light, or going down hill — all at under 30 mph — can almost fully recharge a battery if done right.


MarkW is correct,at slower speeds there is less regenerative return on the brakes. But it is a good feature for the Hybrid.

“In a battery-powered electric vehicle, regenerative braking (also called regen) is the conversion of the vehicle’s kinetic energy into chemical energy stored in the battery, where it can be used later to drive the vehicle.”

It is dependent on Kinetic energy level. It is high when car is fast,zero when it is not moving.

Here is a simple read,

How Does the Toyota Prius Charging System Work?

My Brother owns a Toyota Prius and very happy with it. He is now on the second one.

michael hart

“….can almost fully recharge a battery if done right.”

Utter garbage. Not unless your “hill” is the size of Mt. Everest, or your battery is so small that it only holds enough charge to get you up a small hill, in which case it would be useless for anything other than going down the road to the chemist.


Regenerative breaking is turning your motor into a generator.
Generators work by rotating a conductor through a magnetic field. The faster the conductor is rotating the more magnetic field lines it is crossing and the more energy it is creating.
As it slows down, it generates less power, unless you increase the intensity of the magnetic field.

John Robertson

Sure if you ignore the weight penalty, a diesel electric car would be a gas to drive on dry roads, might get a touch exciting on icy surfaces.
Momentum being a real bitch for the average driver.
I suspect the power to weigh ratio would end up making the pure internal combustion vehicle the winner.
As for the concept that oil based fuels are not being recycled, introduced by guest author, where did the oil come from?
So the whole fiasco is about us releasing “ancient carbon dioxide” back into the atmosphere, from whence it came x thousands of years ago?
Is this not the ultimate recycling?

Strangely enough we have a pretty good electric vehicle ,perfect for city use, we call it the Golf Cart.
Yet our government experts refuse to allow them on roads,those same roads they impose bicycle lanes on.
The electric car, the next big thing for 200 years.

Fred of Greenslopes

You have just described the Nissan Note e-Power.


“How many people routinely drive more than 300 miles without stopping for toilet and/or food?” The question is how long does it take when you stop to replenish your fuel supply. In the case of my ic car, it is 5 min. In the case of an electric car, it is much longer. I will drag race my 97 rustbucket from Boston to DC over the newest TSLA and come in first every time.

If you are charging at home, you will need the complete nighttime to recharge your car for 200 miles of travel during the day. 200 miles is a lot, but there are folks who regularly commute 60 miles plus each way, and some that do over 100.

Nothing against a NEV, but they are a NEV in the final analysis. I have one in my back yard.

Jeff Labute

Is there any limited availability of other battery materials such as Cobalt? 200 to 300 miles would be under ideal conditions which most may not get to experience. Capacity will degrade over time, and especially underperform in cold temperatures. You could get 60% of that range in extreme cold.


There is a battery temp management system in newer cars (keeps them nice and warm) — cold doesn’t cut the range like you think

And that warmth comes from where? The heat fairies?

And what is the source of power for the battery temp management? Does that affect the range?


Karl, you need to expand on your statement about battery temp management. Got a source on it?

Brian McCain

Tesla has a serious battery temp management problem that they’re not letting out. How do I know? I work at a thermo-electric company and they asked us to bid on a new system just 5 months ago because their current system can’t keep their batteries at the proper temperature (too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer). The batteries have to be kept at the proper temperature even when car is parked (oops is that another fire?). We didn’t get the bid because although we could fix their problem we told them it would cost money, use energy and add weight.

Jeff Labute

I’ve seen a few Tesla forum posts that keeping your battery warm will reduce your range, of course the power draws from the battery. So, it would be dependent on how long your vehicle is sitting in the cold not plugged in I suppose. I’ve also heard a few stories of EVs parked in airport parking lots for a few weeks and on the owners return they can’t get in to their vehicle because the battery is dead. Happened to my work buddy with a hybrid, he went to pick up his new ford hybrid and the dealership shouldn’t get in to the vehicle because the battery was dead. Some kinks to work out perhaps.


A Lithium battery loses about 5% per month under ideal circumstances. However the loss is almost always significantly greater because the battery balancing electronics must be active even when the car is switched off.

So, lets be clear. Its not 300 mile range. its 300 mile range, with 4 passengers and luggage, driving in 100 degree weather with the Air conditioner on, or driving in 0 degree weather with the heater on. Simply stating 300 mile range vastly understates the problem.


Speed also matters, that 300 mile rating is for a car going more like 30 mph.
At 70 mph, your total mileage drops dramatically.


The 300 mile rating is based on 65 mph highway driving

The 300 mile rating is based on 65 mph highway driving

Not according to this
it isn’t. That shows a range of driving, teh vast majority of which is less than 80km/h, 50mi/h.

Clyde Spencer

Realistically, hardly anybody drives 65, even when that is the ‘legal’ speed limit. Many western US states have legal speed limits of 70 and 75 commonly. (70MPH is even common on interstates in the Midwest.) Rolling resistance goes up with the square of the speed, wind resistance is proportional to the cube of the speed, and they are additive. So, that 65MPH rating for range is not realistic.

Clyde Spencer

When one drives from the Midwest to to the Mountain States, the drive may take 15 to 20 hours, with a constant uphill drive, gaining perhaps 5,000 or 6,000 feet elevation. You may get the energy back through regenerative braking on the way back. but as a practical consideration, your effective range will be reduced considerably on the west bound leg of the trip. That means, on the interstate from Sioux Falls to Rapid City, recharging stations, in the middle of West Nowhere, will have to be much closer than 200 miles apart (less than 80% of 300), to allow for AC/heating, diminished capacity of older batteries, and turning the radio up loud! Even if you hold the speed to 65 where currently almost everyone blows by you at 75+. If you have ever driven the stretch, there is little incentive to dawdle. Electric cars may be a solution for small island countries, or big sardine cans standing on end on the East Coast, but they don’t address the realities of Big Sky country.

Clyde Spencer

“the drive may take 15 to 20 hours”

I have to giggle at my fellow Brit. I drive from Kent in England to Ayr in Scotland, roughly 8 hours (400 miles?) with reasonable traffic. It took my wife and I twelve hours on one holiday weekend (we don’t do that now!) and I get gasps of incredulity from friends that we spend that long driving.

We have no idea in the UK what a long car journey is really like.

D. J. Hawkins

Back in 1990 I vacationed in Ireland. Chatting with the locals, they were astounded to find out my daily commute to work was 42 miles, one way, or roughly the distance from Dublin to Wicklow. And I didn’t have the longest commute, by any means.

paul courtney

Kerber: “So, let’s be clear.” Sorry, you stumbled onto a post promoting the takeover of the auto industry by EVs, where clarity ruins everything. They do like fake clarity, like just above, where Karl is very clear-“new battery management fixes all”, (by-the-by, Karl, if batteries are 10 yrs old and still going strong, why the need for new management systems?). Brian McCain quickly shows how false his clarity is. When Karl doesn’t like an EV stat, he just fudges hybrids into EVs. He does that over and over in these 3 posts. Clarity is fatal to Karl.

Dodgy Geezer

I just want my car to be a utility.

I don’t want it to be a religion….


Agree, EV is a cult not a religion, just read the lack of logic in this posting.
The IC engine has given us enormous flexibility in life, I would not give it up with the current EV technology.


Everything you say may be right, however, rather than run the analyses for an island that would just about fit in California, try the analyses for the US west of the Mississippi, or Australia. During my career, I never drove such paltry small mileages per day. Here in Southern California, I doubt the daily mileage figure being quoted are anywhere near correct – my commute was 50 miles each way, and mine was no where near the worst. (And recognize that commuting distances here are defined by where one can afford to live on local salaries, versus where the employers are located.)

Recently, someone expressed the concern of trying to evacuate the whole of Southern Florida all in EVs, having to stop after 200-300 miles for a recharge.

And how big would the recharging stations have to be on any interstate in the US west of the Mississippi?


I would love to see how practical an EV would be in places like Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado or Montana… especially in the winter. I think that would be quite the education for the urban virtue signalers.

Kevin Schurig

A whole new industry would evolve to clean up all the blown minds.

And how long a wait for your turn at the charging station? I sometimes have to wait for 2 or 3 cars to refuel with gasoline if I shop for the lowest cost.


You don’t understand house wiring. The electric shower in your example does not magically turn off just because a car is plugged in. The car is in addition to everything else so that extra current can force a new electrical panel to be installed. Not to mention you can’t use the same breaker or wires those have to be new also.


EV’s are still dixie cups no matter how it is spun.

I froze my azz off this morning in my EV. Well that’s not entirely true because it does have a heated driver seat. I’m finding at 35-40 degF, using the onboard heater ~25% of the trip back and forth, the range is reduced as much as ~40%. I only use it to defrost the windows (using anti-fog really helps) and thaw my legs if necessary.

It doesn’t matter if the car had 300 mile range. The depreciation will still be much more rapid because it is known the battery at some point is going to fail. And it matters greatly how the vehicle is driven to determine the life of the battery. Conventional ICE car quality has improved immensely compared to the 1970’s junk in every way.


EVs are more likely to compete with mass transit and car bans in major cities with over crowding.

Ian W

Except that the people living in the apartment blocks and row houses in major cities are the ones that cannot recharge their EV’s at home. Often any car parking is ‘residents only’ parking bays on the street. So the group that might use EVs can’t. The target for EVs is virtue signalling suburbanites with a double garage for the EV and a real car, who do not really do any real driving apart from a short run to the commuter mass transit and back each day. If they want to be green and healthy they should get a bicycle.

Bro. Steve

As I said after your Article 2, people in the power business would LOVE to sell electricity to millions of EV owners. That said, your idea that we can do this without a major increase in generating capacity looks rather widely off the mark.

Consider that on peak demand days, the utilities are publicly imploring people to reduce usage, including unplugging their unused cell phone chargers. The utility must be able to feed the peak, however high the peak gets. If you can’t feed it, the power company has no choice but to start opening the breakers and putting people in the dark.

Also, the utility system is — at least for the present — under tremendous price pressure. This results in building very little new baseload (meaning, reliable) generating capacity while being forced to accommodate intermittent (meaning, unreliable) green-gadget stuff like windmills and solar panels and pig manure gas generators. That means that every utility in the country is getting rid of generating reserves. They’re slimming way down, and reserves formerly considered essential to reliability are now considered too expensive. With the trend toward less reserve capacity, adding EVs into the mix will aggravate the threat of demand peaks which physically cannot be supplied.

And speaking of peaks, what do you do when highly populated coastal areas need to evacuate for hurricanes while, at the same time, generators and transmission lines are being taken down to prevent damage? At the moment when people most need their cars charged fully to 100%, the power company turns off the switch, and there you are, stranded and cussing your EV. The gargantuan evacuation from Florida for hurricane Maria should be instructive.

Ian W

This is the real frightener EVs becoming bricks at random intervals in traffic jams on interstates as everyone is attempting to evacuate. Power went out in Volusia (along the I-95 where it meets the I-4) and that affected many gas stations. Traffic was bumper to bumper on the I-95 North bound even at 4am, traffic from Miami getting to your amazing 300 mile range would need to ‘charge’ in only 20 minutes but of course there was no power to charge the vehicles that went out early in the storm. Whereas those gas stations with generators had queues of waiting cars at least they could refuel. So now you have an interstate that will be littered with bricked EVs with no way of easily recovering them, their drivers and passengers. The owners cannot be loaned 30 miles worth of charge, in the way you can loan a gallon of gas. Each of those bricks become hazards and slow or stop the evacuation, increasing the chances of even more bricked EVs.
Your quotes of short drives in UK show that those drivers should really be using public transport – commuting into London for example makes little sense in your own car. You cannot use what might work for someone in a semi in Richmond with their own garage commuting to Staines and rarely doing any distance travel and then say as that works, EVs will be fine for someone living in an apartment block in Lambeth or for someone living in Wyoming or Montana.
I presume of course that you only drive an EV. It would be nice to know that all the EV proponents and supporting politicians were putting their backsides where their mouths are and were only driving EVs. After all there are absolutely no problems with EVs – only misconceptions – correct?

Brian McCain

We had friends from the UK who thought a 2 hour one way trip requires an overnight stay. We told them we drove 75 miles one way on a whim just to go to a fast food restaurant we didn’t have locally.


One of my kids had an exchange teacher, from Australia.
We lived in Bristol, then.
She happily drove from Bristol to Canterbury [Kent] [Michelin says about 175 miles] for a dinner party, and back the same night, and was in school 0830 the next morning.
About 1993, so largely motorway.

We went to Australia, about 1996. Hired a car, and in four days drove about 1500 miles. And covered part of the small end of Victoria, the smallest Mainland state.
Even France took us two days – on holiday – to drive from Calais [NE] to Vannes – far NW. Six or eight hours a day.

Brits certainly have a problem imagining [let alone appreciating] how big some other parts of the world are.
London to Liverpool is three to six hours [depending on the traffic].

Above someone mentioned a climb into the Rockies of 15 hours!
My lodgers drive back home to Hungary – 1200 miles or so, mainly motorway/autobahn etc., in 20 hours or so.
Those are longer drives.


Ian W

@Auto November 9, 2017 at 4:38 pm
I used to regularly drive Amsterdam – Paris and Hannover – Berkshire as an evening drive leaving at 4pm and arriving before midnight. Those journeys would not be possible with an EV, as you would need to stop at least 3 times, even HotScot’s 8 hour drives to Ayr would become the worst day’s 12 hours. I can remember a drive from Speyside to London early morning to late afternoon, again impossible in an EV.
Someone should put EVs into a ‘London to Monte Carlo’ rally, to show how good they are.



And conversely people in big countries don’t realise the UK is a small, congested place and we drive short distances (21 miles being the average daily UK distance)

I think EVs will fit a large proportion of driving needs.

An awful lot of UK housing in suburbs does have a drive/garage and people living in the bigger cities without one are much more likely to use public transport (which in London at least means no need to have a car).

(amusing to read how our country looks to visitors!)


“I think EVs will fit a large proportion of driving needs”

You are right and that is the problem with EVs, they fit a large proportion of needs not all of them. For many people an EV would have to be a second car. If you are worried about CO2 then promoting EVs is exactly the wrong thing to do as it is encouraging there to be more cars built.

“An awful lot of UK housing in suburbs does have a drive/garage”

And an awful lot of UK housing in suburbs does not have a drive/garage. Loads of new developments where there are houses do not have garages or drives, they have a parking area nearby.

“and people living in the bigger cities without one are much more likely to use public transport”

Says the man who lives in London and know naff all about anywhere else in the country. Public transport in London is very good, most other places in the UK have very patchy services (good on the popular routes, irregular or non-existent elsewhere).

“(which in London at least means no need to have a car)”

Tosh. My office is in London, I live in London, I travel to that office by public transport, I have a car. And the same can be said of everyone else I can think of.

I have a car not just because of the difficulty of bring home, say 100kg of cement on the bus, but to do things like drive to visit my in-laws. Each way that is c. 100 minutes by car and something like six hours by public transport, if all goes well. That includes walking from the neighbouring village as their village does not have any bus service at all.

BTW, that is a c. 230 mile round trip. I can easily do that on one tank of petrol, but not in an EV. There is no charging point in the village and, to the best of my knowledge, there isn’t one on the way.


+1. Power companies are also mandated to have a +15% margin above peak load. But all of this is their problem. We just want our power when we want it.


I found some interesting stats on fuel use by vehicle in UK (in million metric tonnes of oil, Mt) :
cars: 2003: 20Mt ; 2013: 12 Mt
trucks: 2003: 17Mt; 2013: 22Mt
total: 2003 37Mt; 2013: 34 Mt

And also some energy use:
oil: 2003: 73Mtoe; 2013: 66Mtoe
electricity: 2003:21 Mtoe; 2013: 20 Mtoe

1) cars are not the issue. Trucks are. Average Joe move roughly as much as 10 years before, but in a greater mileage per fuel unit car. The trucks that move things around for him, move much more, and even though they benefited from the same efficiency improvement than cars, they use more fuel. And that’ all economic growth is all about, so this will go on.
2) Adjusted for efficiency (electric engine use ~90% of electric energy, ICE ~30%), you need ~3X less electricity at home, but well to wheel efficiency is pretty much the same so you need as much as oil (or gas…) anyway. So the 12+22=34 of 2013 turns into 4+7=11 Mtoe electric at consumer door (but still 12+22=34 at powerplant)
3) can electric system provide +4Mtoe (for cars) from 00:00 to 07:00, without any upgrade ? That’s a +20% on the daily output (Notice that your figure are 133/965 = 14% and 230/965= 24%, not so different). I’ll say: this means it will work at full charge 24/365. I don’t believe in a 24/365 full charge grid. Do you ?
4) can electric system provide +11Mtoe (for cars+ trucks). that’s + 50%. doable with MASSIVE upgrade. ~15 GW utilities, and grid buildup. cost estimate: ~£30 G to boot, ~£3 G to maintain, 5x if econuts have their way (and i bet they will). Then again, that’s doable

If you don’t include trucks, the whole thing is vain

I was visiting our local electrical utility yesterday, in the foyer was an immaculate 1919 electric truck, battery powered that was part of the transport fleet servicing the city of Christ Church. They worked well then, and it appears they still work today, and getting better by the month. The oil and internal combustion engine monopoly influence pushed them aside. Now they are reborn.

They are, or something very like them is the way of the future.
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Dodgy Geezer

Yes. they are great for short journeys which involve lots of stop-starts. The UK has similar vehicles, some still in use as milk-delivery vehicles.

For typical family use – forget it. There was a reason they were not developed past about 1920, and that reason still applies today. The only reason that there is development in the last few years is that your and my taxes are paying for it…

You will appreciate that the oil producers in Texas were receiving a rebate from taxpayers to compensate them for a reduced residual oil volume in the ground after they had pumped and sold the oil. What a great deal. Kennedy was going to stop that racket, they were none too pleased.

“The only reason …”

Don’t forget about carbon guilt. The constant stream of lies coming from the climate change cabal drives weak minded people to feel guilty about their choices.


It’s not a racket it’s standard accounting.
Everyone else get’s to depreciate the declining value of the property they own, why shouldn’t oil companies?


Depreciation allowances were (and are) standard practice in the minerals industry. Singling out the oil companies was strictly for political effect, pandering to people who have no understanding of economics.

In 1917 Henry Ford and Thomas Edison ALSO thought EVs were the wave of the future.
Edison built a very large battery manufacturing complex in Orange NJ that went bankrupt because he couldn’t produce an EV battery that actually delivered what Tom and Henry promised customers. Henry would have loved to build EVs for the mass market.
(A company named Exide picked up the pieces and very successfully built batteries for ICEs.)
Maybe by 2117? 🙂

J Mac

“They are, or something very like them is the way of the future.”
That’s what they were saying in 1919 also….


Electric vehicles are the wave of the future…and always will be.


coal enthusiasts here might like to buy a restored coal powered steam lorry!

Clyde Spencer

You said, “If we make all these assumptions we can make the case that there is only enough lithium to support 3 or 4 years of car production in a world where all cars are electric.” OK, in your worst-case, Devil’s Advocate scenario, you build cars flat out for 3 or 4 years. Then you wait 6 or 7 years for those batteries to fail so that you can re-cycle them and start building more cars. We did without new cars during WWII, so I guess we could do it again.