Americans reluctant to join the EV train


By Ronald Stein

Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California

We’re constantly being bombarded with the EV movement, but Americans must have a multitude of subconscious reasons for not buying into one of the major movements to save the world from itself as they are showing their lack of enthusiasm by avoiding the dealerships.

In a recent Los Angeles Times article, citing Edmunds data, The number of battery-electric models available more than doubled from 2018 to 2019, but EV sales budged in the wrong direction. In response to the major efforts by manufacturers, the horrific EV sales data shows that only 325,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles were sold in the U.S. in 2019, down from 349,000 in 2018.

Those dismal numbers represent an embarrassing dismal 2% of the 17 million vehicles of all types sold in the United States in 2019. Are EV carmakers driving off a cliff?”


California remains the primary buyer of EV’s while the rest of America has shown little interest in the incentives and the increasing choices of models.

Let’s look at several of the factors that may be contributing to this lack of enthusiasm, that may be in the subconscious of the prospective EV buyers:

Agreed, there would be no fuel costs and no gas taxes to be paid with an EV owner, BUT, and that’s a big BUT. Beware of the “free” gift! Once fossil fuel cars are off the road, the only ones on the roads will be EV’s. You can easily surmise that it’s going to be the EV owners picking up the costs to maintain the highway infrastructures, probably through some form of vehicle mileage tax (VMT), to let the “users” pay for the roads.

EV’s are hyped as being pollution free. Well, not necessarily so. Its true EV’s have no tailpipes, but the tailpipes are located at the power plants generating the electricity to charge the cars batteries, and at the refineries that provide all the derivatives from petroleum that make all the parts of the EV’s.

Range and charging anxieties remain a constant sub thought for that next trip. To fully charge an EV, even at fast-charging stations, it takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours depending on how much of a charge (empty to full or topping off) your vehicle needs.

Hybrid and electric car owners are a scholarly bunch; over 70 percent of respondents have a four-year college or post-graduate degree, which may explain that the average household income of electric vehicle (EV) purchasers is upwards of $200,000. If you’re not in that higher educated echelon and the high-income range of society, there may not be an appetite for an EV.

The lack of mining standards and environmental regulations to extract the exotic metals used in EV batteries exposes local ecosystems to destruction when the wastewater and other unusable ores are let loose onto the environments. The workers have no choice but to live in horrific conditions because their wages are so infinitesimally small, it causes me the take a step back and examine my moral obligations to humanity. Green technology cannot thrive off human rights abuses.

There are numerous documentaries about the atrocities the workers are put through in the cobalt mines, i.e. actually digging the mines by hand along with the horrendous living conditions. Amnesty International has documented children and adults mining cobalt in narrow man-made tunnels along with the exposure to the dangerous gases emitted during the procurement of these rare minerals.

Governments and manufacturers are “blowing off” the transparency of the child labor atrocities and mining irregularities of where and how those exotic metals are being mined in Africa, China, Argentina, Bolivia and Chile to support the EV battery supply chain. The first transparency law was in California, the largest buyer of EV’s in the country, starting with The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act SB657 and followed by the U.S. with H.R.4842 – Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2014.

The richest most powerful companies in the world, and now the Governor of California are still making excuses for not investigating the supply chains and continue to power manufactured EV’s with “dirty batteries”. Can this be a blatant example of hypocrisy?

With Tesla batteries weighing about 1,000 pounds, slightly more than the C-batteries in your flashlights, proper disposal of the EV batteries will be needed to be addressed in infinite detail by somebody. Another area of concern that keeps coming up in consumer surveys regards an electric car’s battery life. To be sure, replacing an electric vehicle’s battery will be an expensive proposition along with the environmental challenges to dispose of them safely.

Despite the fears, concerns, and environmental questions being evaluated by the public and the potential EV buyers, governments are wishing to counteract the slower than expected transition to EV’s. Governments are starting to make giant steps to accelerate the move away from petroleum vehicles.

Britain announced that they will ban new petrol and hybrid cars from 2035. France is preparing to ban the sale of fossil fuel-powered cars by 2040. The mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens have said they plan to ban diesel vehicles from city centers by 2025. The ban on fossil fueled vehicles is gaining momentum internationally!

Government involvement in our daily lives recalls the most terrifying nine words in the English language:” I’M FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND I’M HERE TO HELP.”

Ronald Stein, P.E.
Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure
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February 11, 2020 10:21 pm

Noite to Europe,
Keep electing dumb-ass politicians to represent you and this is what you get.
When the Socialists want to shut you down, they just turn off the electricity.

Frack’on baby.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 12, 2020 2:07 am

If electric cars become commonplace, we will need to double or triple grid energy capacity – that means new electricity generation, transmission and distribution systems, doesn’t it?

Most politicians can think no further than “energy comes from a plug in the wall.” It’s a bit more complicated than that.

February 12, 2020 6:27 am

In the past, new scientific advances became tidal waves or avalanches by a slow process. Note how slowly the steam engine replaced horses. It took the Federal Government promising land to the railroads to make much of a change.
Factories moved from waterwheels and overhead belt drive shafts to electric motors over a period of 50 years (more in some of the shops I’ve been in…)
We are slowly seeing >undocumented, no peer review< postings on LENR heat-release efforts with COP (coefficient of performance) over 1 (amazing) to 50x or greater. How long will this take to commercialize: Text is provided by some of the derision seen when Edison tried to sell DC electricity. A real long time unless the "hobbyists" combine to share details. Some documented repeats of the Fleischman and Pons successful tests have been seen, but are clouded by the many who tried but only succeeded by chance. Physicists tell me it is because it does not follow the orthodoxy accepted after the early 20th century, and thus cannot get funding. DOE follows orthodoxy quite closely- their conservatism.
Either "free" electricity at charging stations, or on-board EV energy will get it started. 50 years?

Reply to  Enginer01
February 12, 2020 7:14 am

Low Energy Nuclear Reaction

Reply to  Enginer01
February 12, 2020 7:37 am

Early steam engines were expensive, inefficient and dangerous. As time went on, they improved.

As a technology, electric cars are well over 100 years old. There are very few improvements left to make.

Reply to  MarkW
February 12, 2020 9:28 am

Exactly. Really nothing left but tiny incremental improvements possible for electric motors & batteries.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  beng135
February 12, 2020 11:33 am

Yes, as I mentioned up-thread, the idea that the first ICE were only slightly different than a horse-drawn carriage is ridiculous.

A EV beside a current ICE without nameplates would confuse most non-car experts.

Reply to  Enginer01
February 12, 2020 9:40 am

Two weeks ago I could not spell “Engineer,” now I are one.

Worldwide there are 5 million electric vehicles on the road. There are a Billion ICE vehicles! That is right, 0.5%. The batteries take over 8 hours to recharge fully with a charger you could put in your home at 240 volts. Hmm, let’s go to the beach in the next state over, but how will we get home?

You should give up on cold fusion, as everyone else has, nothing there.

February 12, 2020 7:44 am

Doubling or tripling only works if you can somehow find a way for the populace to stagger their charging times evenly throughout the day. If as is more likely, they all decide to charge after they get home from work, then the increase needed in generating capacity is going to be a lot more.

Reply to  MarkW
February 12, 2020 9:25 am

My point is:

The true total cost of EV’s is far too expensive for its marginal improvement in urban air quality – a much better air improvement would be to ban diesels in cities.

Also there will be NO reduction in CO2 emissions from an all-electric fleet – green energy is not green, produces little useful (dispatchable) energy and will not supply the EV fleet – fossil fuels or nuclear will.

February 12, 2020 11:24 am

Here in southeastern Michigan DTE Energy uses roughly double the average US percentage of coal.

So the “fuel” for an electric car here is about 64% coal.

That doesn’t sound ‘green’ to me.

Not to mention no significant charging infrastructure across the US for long trips.

My Dad was an electrician, and talked about electric cars for the last 50 years of
of his 98 year life. He even bought an electric bicycle. I got tired of the subject, but one thing I do remember from our conversations: ‘The batteries were not even close to being good enough / light enough to replace gasoline, and what do you do with the batteries when they are worn out?

February 13, 2020 10:05 am

Mr. Macrae, I personally hate the stench of smudge pots (my personal term for diesel engines), but if diesels are banned in big cities, what is the replacement delivery system? Ban diesel F-250s, sure, but how do we deliver all of the food and Nike shoes everyone needs?

I would absolutely be in favor of a ban on noncommercial diesel vehicles, but I’m not sure it is practical to eliminate, or re-power, the big trucks. Swear I’m not trying to troll here, just curious how the in town delivery gap gets filled after a ban. Thanks.

February 14, 2020 1:55 am

RG wrote:
“I would absolutely be in favor of a ban on noncommercial diesel vehicles, but I’m not sure it is practical to eliminate, or re-power, the big trucks.”

I don’t see this as much of a challenge. For in-city deliveries, we can use gasoline, propane or compressed-natural-gas powered smaller trucks.

We changed the fuel standards for diesel several decades ago, but they still stink – just not as much. I chaired a team that approved the investment of hundreds of millions in a mid-distillate hydrotreater at Syncrude Canada, to improve the cetane index of diesel and the smoke point of jet fuel.

For long haul trucking, it’s hard to beat diesel. LNG has been tried, but my friend who owns a large trucking company says LNG reliability is still an issue. One truck breakdown wastes a lot of money so he doesn’t like LNG heavy haulers.

Robert of Texas
Reply to  MarkW
February 12, 2020 10:33 am

Well, using a crystal ball:

Charging time is only a problem if you assume the battery pack itself is not swapped out. Given the cost of battery pack, that’s a pretty safe bet for home. Maybe you rent battery packs and keep a spare at home? So a new economic model.

What if they start using a liquid battery where you replace the battery liquid(s) and recharge them in mass? So a new engineering model.

The absolute most clever solution would be to somehow combine some common elements (like maybe carbon and hydrogen as a far out example) thus trapping energy in their chemical bonds, and then oxidize this to produce mostly harmless gases that could be expelled into the atmosphere. The smartest path.

As electric motors become more efficient the use of hybrids should become more common (assuming they still make them in 10 years), Design an engine (combustion or turbine) that runs optimally at one speed to produce electric current, and then use this for both driving and charging a small set of batteries. Now you get the best of both worlds – great MPG, great range, and great control over the entire range of speeds and conditions. I honestly believe this will be the next viable step for people needing ranges over 100 miles (and using either a heater or an air conditioner, and not stuffed into a tiny sardine can).

John in Oz
Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 12, 2020 1:42 pm

Renting battery packs and keeping a spare – this doubles the raw materials required. Rare earths from China are not the most environmentally clean source

Liquid battery – still requires recharging energy which requires many more intermittent solar/wind resources

“The absolute most clever solution would be to somehow – are you advising AOC or do you have a unicorn farm? Look up ‘presumptuous’.

Design an engine (combustion or turbine) that runs optimally at one speed to produce electric current, and then use this for both driving and charging a small set of batteries.

Which engineering company do you work for so that I can steer clear of it?

Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 12, 2020 1:56 pm

Robert of Texas,

First time I heard that they were going to come out with a gas/electric hybrid I immediately assumed it would be a gas/diesel powered generator powering an all electric drive system. You know what they say about assumptions… To this day I can’t believe one of the automotive manufacturers hasn’t brought the design to market as a smarter hybrid while advertising it as the answer to EV range anxiety.

In Oregon we have infill policies in place where they try to squeeze as many people as they can into as small of an area as possible. On top of that they would like to force everyone out of a car onto public transportation. Doesn’t exactly leave a lot ways to charge your EV (if you actually have a place to park it) over night. Just one reason amongst many why a “green” state like Oregon hasn’t bought into EV’s.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 12, 2020 2:19 pm

Design an engine (combustion or turbine) that runs optimally at one speed to …

Wouldn’t the leftie Green weenies LOVE to FORCE me to operate my motor vehicle at One “optimal” speed they dictate? Yeah, I meet your type on the roads every day. YOU are the reason I refuse to drive i-5 anymore. You’re the ones who drive ONE speed in the passing lane. The drivers who ignore the signs admonishing “Slower Traffic Keep Right”.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 12, 2020 2:54 pm

Battery packs cost upwards of 10K dollars, they also weigh hundreds of pounds. If you think that a home owner is just going to keep a spare in the corner in order to swap out, the way you do camera batteries, then you just haven’t studies the subject much.

Electric motors are already as efficient as they are going to get.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 12, 2020 4:02 pm

Kenji, calm down there, what he’s talking about is a gas powered generator to run electric motors. The most efficient way to run any ICE is at a constant speed, with constant speed the engine can be optimized for fuel use and emissions. Modern ICE cars have to be able to operate over a wide range of RPM’s so designers have make compromises, they make it as efficient as they can over that range but it’s not as efficient as the motor can be at a set RPM.

Don’t worry, your go pedal will still work but the ICE RPM will not change, the electric motors driving your wheels RPM will go up instead. Fuel use will go up and down depending on how the generator is loaded and that load is what drive the electric motors. Take your typical household Honda generator, you can hear the engine change tones as load changes (fridge kicking on/off, etc.) but if you put a tack on the output shaft you would see it turning the same speed. At the same time that tiny little gas tank can run the generator for hours because it’s been maximized for efficiency.

BTW there’s no way you can call me an tree hugging, Subaru Forester driving, eco warrior nutcase. If I’m driving down I5 in the left hand lane passing a truck while doing 70 and your doing 70+ don’t hold your breath waiting on me to speed up the pass to get out of your way. I’m already doing 5 over the speed limit and have no intention of going any faster just so someone can get to their destination a minute sooner. Even though that cop sitting up there will probably allow me 10 over it’s not worth the higher insurance rates to find out when I know he’ll give me 5 (as I regularly get passed by the guy when I’m doing 5 over). Those higher insurance rates will cost me more than the extra gas I burn going faster. I’ve been there, done that and have no intention of ever going back to those higher rates.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 12, 2020 6:33 pm

“The absolute most clever solution would be to somehow combine some common elements (like maybe carbon and hydrogen as a far out example) thus trapping energy in their chemical bonds, and then oxidize this to produce mostly harmless gases that could be expelled into the atmosphere. The smartest path.”
You just described an ICE powered car. Was that your intention?
Good joke if it was.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 13, 2020 8:17 am

Robert of TX-
I think you hit a nail on the head. Now, and into the forseeeable future hybrid vehicles are the only real alternative. With new engine designs several mfg’ers(Mazda + others) have developed direct injection, ignition controlled gas engines of similar efficiency to diesels- Toyota Prius and similar get just under 60% efficiency. Similar diesels, using more energy dense fuel, get 60%, +/-. That is similar to the best efficiency of large combined cycle gas turbines installations. Barring some theoretical catalyst to recover the energy in NOx we’ve nearlyly hit the thermodynamic limit.

Small gas turbines are inherently inefficient(volume to energy ratio). They lose way to much heat and adequate insulation would be heavy and cost prohibitive.

Typical industrial electric motors run around 85% efficiency. I think the theoretical limit, due to inherent losses, is somewhere above 90%, 5-7% efficiency gains may be possible. It mainly involves how thick the laminations in the coils are, and how well the wire volume is packed into the coils. Many motors already use square or trapezoidal wire for better backing.

Swapping batteries is a huge design and cost problem. At roughly $5,000 each a stockpile of 50 batteries at a charging station would be improbably, even with on the spot recharging.
Sodium Ion batteries are already being sold as a competitor to lithium ion battery. The materials are much more abundant, much cheaper, and safer to use.
Liquid batteries have along way to go but offer a lot of promise for practical grid storage. They all seem to feature an all liquid internal structure with relatively immiscible liquid that separate by density into an anode, electrolyet, and cathode. They all have to operate at high temperatures. MIT rearchers have made prototypes of a calcium-magnesium batter that looks promising but runs at 300°C.

Paul Milenkovic
Reply to  Robert of Texas
February 13, 2020 1:29 pm

Swapping the battery for a quick charge is not going to happen. Swapping the battery as part of a “battery-as-a-service” model might be plausible.

There is the slogan “power by the hour” with respect to jet engines used in commercial air transports. This was explained by a speaker at my engineering college from General Electric. The claim is that the jet engine warranties and finance arrangements are structured in a way that the airlines are effectively paying by the hour of operation.

The speaker also explained that for the warranty to be honored, the pilots couldn’t just “firewall the throttles (i.e. push them all the way forward)” but had to respect the “rating” assigned to a given jet engine in a specific service. Sure, in an emergency, the captain would call for maximum thrust and worry about the finances later, but if crews are trained that if the engines are rated at a maximum RPM, turbine inlet temperature, or fan pressure ratio, they would observe the gauges and operate the throttles to stay within that rating. A crew’s flight planning in terms of how heavily the plane could be loaded and how much runway it would need is based on that rating.

Say you have an electric car and the replacement battery costs almost as much as the original purchase price of the car. That is a mighty big expenditure, especially when the car is older and the owner is not sure if they want to keep the car. On the other hand, the 200,000 mile gasoline expenditure for even a fuel-efficient gasoline car is about the purchase price of the car, only the gasoline purchases are made in small amounts over time.

Now I would not expect an EV owner on a freeway on ramp to monitor a bank of gauges and carefully advance the throttle levers as an airline pilot on takeoff. I actually do such a thing, at least monitoring tach readings and listening for shift points to not burn through more gas than needed for the traffic conditions, but I might be odd in that respect. On the other hand, a modern EV has some manner of computer keeping track of the battery conditions — temperature, state of charge — and calculating estimates of current capacity and so on. That computer could also monitor how hard the battery is being used — is it stored for a long time at its extremes of low or high charge, is the driver making jack-rabbit starts, how many charge cycles have been applied, and so on. The computer can also give the motorist feedback on how hard the battery is being used and what its remaining lifetime is.

So the concept is that you lease the battery in a kind of power-by-the-hour contract, one that also takes into account usage patterns. Part of this contract would be that the computer keeps track of usage patterns according to some agreed-upon standard analogous to pilots not firewalling the jet engine throttles except in an emergence. If you do a lot of quick starts, your warranty wouldn’t be invalidated, but the computer could keep track of that and tell the owner how much they are paying for the level of usage they are demanding from the battery.

If the battery condition deteriorates faster than the algorithm prediction based on use patterns, the warranty provisions ought to kick in, offering the owner a sooner battery replacement. When the battery reaches some level of being used up, according to the lease/warranty contract, the owner should be offered a battery swap with either a new battery or with a used battery with a warranted level of remaining capacity.

My proposal is predicated that maybe a battery swap is not quite as simple as an oil change, but it should certainly not be as costly in labor as swapping an engine in a gas-engine car or even as costly as changing a camshaft timing belt. Maybe the labor should be comparable to changing spark plugs, that is, on a car that you don’t have to take half the engine part to get at them.

So maybe battery swapping is not plausible as a quick-charge option. But it could be part of a battery lease/warranty financial contract. Power-by-the-hour would take the worry out of “will my battery conk out and can I get it replaced affordably.”

Reply to  Paul Milenkovic
February 13, 2020 2:03 pm

That’s why I so love ICE. I don’t need a computer to tell me anything about what I’ve done/am doing. Hoon it, and you’re in the gas station sooner. Drive like grandma, run longer between stops. As long as the thing has oil and coolant, it’ll be happy either way.

Keith Holland
February 12, 2020 10:56 am

Oh how right you are. Our idiot M P’s in Britain think this.
Excellent article, should be compulsory reading by all Government officials.

William Astley
February 12, 2020 4:01 pm

It is not that complicated. Problem is honesty and the scheme being proposed is a scam.

The UK Absolute Zero study states that the UK grid will need to triple its output (it also assumes that someone solves the power storage problem ) and the users must reduce their power consumption by 60%.

A sun and wind gathering scheme fails at the point when power storage is required and at the point when hydrocarbon burning is no longer required.

This is a good study as to what it would take (ignoring costs and practical points such as where will the energy come from to build the green stuff) to get the UK to Absolute Zero CO2 emissions by 2050 …

It is astonishing that no one has until now, started to talk about what it would take to get to Absolute Zero.

UK Absolute Zero also requires no more air travel and shipping by boat is no longer allowed.

Mining is no longer allowed which sort of rules out any manufacturing also.

Cement is not allowed.

The hydrocarbon industry must be shutdown. No more plastics, adhesives, and so on.

John Minich
Reply to  William Astley
February 15, 2020 4:13 pm

William Astley: Thank you for your comment. You addressed my biggest complaint about “greenies”. They will only look at one detail, like no tail pipe or no smoke stack and declare “all is good”. They are incapable of (?) or refuse to (?) look at the whole picture with the attended factors and complications involved with producing the desired finished product. Reductio ad absurdum can be used, as you have, and even going after the pollution caused by making the pencil and paper to use for coming up with an idea. Going so far as to be stupid on my part, absolute zero would include destroying photosynthetic plants, because they produce CO2 and it’s only when there is enough light, sun or artificial, that O2 production exceeds CO2 production.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 14, 2020 3:47 am

What you fail to mention is that electric vehicles are three to four times more efficient than ICE vehicles. Even if the electricity is generated centrally using fossil fuels, a combined cycle power plant is over 60 percent efficient. An ICE 25 is percent efficient. The main problem with EVs is the up front capital cost. Unless you are logging some serious mileage, the savings on fuel don’t make up for the high up front cost. However, it’s just a matter of time.

Zig Zag Wanderer
February 11, 2020 10:28 pm

Another massive problem caused by these EVs in Europe is the huge crowds hanging around at motorway services. I regularly travel across Europe, and I’ve especially learned to avoid any services with charging stations. They are chock-full of people just wandering aimlessly about while their cars charge, and others continually cruising around at slow speeds trying to find a space to charge as soon as it is vacant. The restaurants are also full of people, mostly spending way more time than the meal needs, killing time while their car charges, and hogging tables from those of us who are able to refuel in a timely manner.

I struggle through them all, eventually get to the fuel pumps and fill up in 2 minutes and get on my way fast, finding another service station with no EV charging to have a much more pleasant time over a meal.

I suspect that the hope of more customers will soon change to a realisation that time-killing EV owners are not spending as much as zippy fossil fuel drivers.

Bryan A
February 11, 2020 10:44 pm

Tesla model S $79,990 – $99,990
Tesla model X $84,990 – $104,990
Tesla model 3 $48,990 – $56,990 ($39,990 standard (not being built yet)
Tesla model y $52,990 – $60,990
Tesla Uglitruk $39,990 – $69,990
Tesla Roadster $250,000 once it returns from Mars
Jaguar F pace $52,000 – $92,000
Audi Etron $74,000+
Ford MachE Mustang $44,000 – $60,000+
BMW I3 $44,000 – $48,000

These are just some of the “New” models coming to gather dust at a dealership near you
And they wonder what could be the reason sales are tanking??? Price!!!

Roger Knights
Reply to  Bryan A
February 11, 2020 11:44 pm

Chevy very recently unveiled its 2020 Bolt, with a price (under $30000 after federal tax credit) and features to compete well against Tesla’s Model 3.

Reply to  Roger Knights
February 12, 2020 12:39 am

What Chevrolet and GMC marketing geniuses fail to realize is that in the US market, EVs are the cars of the affluent. So do they really think they are going to drive around in a Chevy Bolt, or a Euro snob Audi/BMW EV? Or a Model X/S Tesla?
We all know the answer to that. The Bolt will fail just like the Volt.
Chevy needs to understand its owners are more likely to shop at WalMart than an AJs upscale grocery store.

John Endicott
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 12, 2020 5:41 am

What Chevrolet and GMC marketing geniuses fail to realize is that in the US market, EVs are the cars of the affluent

Indeed. and a little thought will reveal one of the reasons why that might be (beyond the price point being out of reach for the less well off). Who is likely to own a home with a garage where the EV can easily be charged at home? the more affluent. Who is likely to rent an apartment where there is no place “at home” to charge? The less well affluent. With the long charge times (even the “fast” charge time of half an hour is too long for most people), if you can’t charge at home then you are not likely to want to own one.

Matthew Bergin
Reply to  John Endicott
February 12, 2020 5:59 am

With their propensity to self ignite I would not even consider putting an EV inside any part of my house.

Reply to  John Endicott
February 12, 2020 7:44 am

Not likely to own what? An EV or a home, or both

John Endicott
Reply to  John Endicott
February 12, 2020 11:16 am

Joe, those who don’t live in a home that has easy access to an outlet for an EV are unlikely to want to own an EV.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Roger Knights
February 12, 2020 1:28 am

The Bolt is nasty car when you look at how it is put together. I would not take one if someone gave it to me.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
February 12, 2020 7:40 am

I’d take one if someone gave it to me. Then I would drive it down to the dealer in order to trade it in on a model that I can actually use.

Bryan A
Reply to  Roger Knights
February 12, 2020 5:17 am

You ever try to get in and out if one? For me, highly impractical
The 2020 Bolt is listing at dealerships at $44,340 (don’t consider incentives)

Reply to  Roger Knights
February 12, 2020 8:19 am

So before tax credits, the Bolt starts at $36,500. Every Chevy ICE car model starts well below that, from the Spark at $13,300 to the Impala at $28,000. If you take the mid-range of the models, the Cruze at $18,000, you can buy two of them for the price of 1 Bolt. Another option would be to drive it until I burn the extra $18K in fuel. At $3.00/gal (current price in my area $2.23/gal) I can buy 6,000 gallons of fuel which would be good for about 170K miles at the advertised 28 mpg (city). The average American drives around 15K miles per year, so the break even hits around 11 years. That is before a single mile has been accumulated on the Bolt.
The simple reason that Americans aren’t adopting EVs in large numbers is, first and foremost, because they simply cost too much in comparison to their competition.

Reply to  CptTrips
February 12, 2020 2:21 pm

As I am sure you are aware, your 11 year calculation assumes electricity is free and there is no inflation. Money spent now is worth more than money spent in the future.

Reply to  CptTrips
February 13, 2020 6:50 am

Ummmm, I believe Chevrolet builds a model called Corvette with starting price well above $37k . . .

Reply to  Roger Knights
February 12, 2020 9:29 am

Using Canadian Pricing:
Chevy Bolt (Sub Compact car): $45k (base model)
Chevy Trax (Compact crossover): $22k (base model)

The EV is over twice the price, and a smaller vehicle. People around here spending $45k are looking for either a luxury vehicle or a working pickup truck. No one is paying $45k for a subcompact. Not to mention, in Alberta, 93% of our electricity is from non-renewable fuels. The whole thing is a bad joke.

Roger mentioned the Bolt is under $30k (USD?) $30kUSD is again a huge amount of money for a subcompact.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Bryan A
February 12, 2020 1:48 am

Apparently, the Tesla 3 is a unique 4×4 in the fact it has two motors and two axles and no differentials.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
February 12, 2020 8:54 am

That would seem to have a different definition of what 4X4 means.
I was under the impression the definition 4X4 was 4 wheel drive and 4 wheel independent suspension. That would require at least 4 axels and at least one differential transmission from each motor so as to drive each axel.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 12, 2020 8:58 am

One could integrate a differential transmission into a motor housing and mechanism , but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 13, 2020 12:52 am

The two motors on a model 3 are integrated with the inverter unit and final drive assembly, IIRC, the ration is 9.5:1. That’s one reason acceleration is so good.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 13, 2020 12:53 am

Ration = ratio.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 13, 2020 8:30 am

4X4 is for off-roading. Most Jeeps have it and some other brands also. All four wheels are locked together by the drive train so no wheel spins. Horrible driving behavior on pavement if you don’t drive carefully and lots of tread wear and drive train wear. Your choice is between AWD and rear drive with a locking differential.

On road 4 wheel drive has a self-locking differentials between front/rear wheels and between the front wheels and the rear wheels. Any wheel that spins gets temporarily locked up. I have a Toyo Sienna with all wheel drive. When turning onto wet or snowy roads you can feel and hear the various wheels slip and stop intermittently if you accelerate too hard.

Beware, the front/rear driveshaft is a common, expensive trouble spot.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Philo
February 13, 2020 9:16 am

“4X4 is for off-roading”

I remember when I believe the Sidekick was popular, and how many times we passed them in the ditches up in Northern Ontario when the hipsters came to a sudden, and expensive realization that 4X4 doesn’t mean what they think it means.

Reply to  Philo
February 13, 2020 2:01 pm

I don’t use mine for off-roading at all. I use it to get home in the winter. The grade of the road is at least 13%in multiple places, and if it snows before the ground is frozen, 4WD-Lo and locked in second (maintain steady RPM) is the ONLY way to make it up that final hill. It’s not my driveway – it is the road to three homes, including mine. I’ve tried to help a neighbor get home under those conditions. Even with him chained and me towing him, I couldn’t get him up the lesser of the hills to our homes. You can’t even set the vehicle in park and leave it on that road – that only locks two wheels, and that is insufficient to hold the vehicle in place.

Weather can be real here near Reno, NV.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Philo
February 14, 2020 4:40 pm

What you describe is a part-time 4×4 drivetrain. Full-time 4×4 systems have one differentials, one in the transfer case (Centre) and one in each axle. The one in the transfer case can usually be locked. The two in the axles are usually open. You do get a bit of tyre scrub when driving a part-time 4×4 system in 4×4 mode on pavement and with a full-time system with the centre differential locked.

Subaru 4×4 cars usually have a viscus coupling on the centre differential, some can be adjusted to set a bias to the rear.

Michael Ozanne
Reply to  Bryan A
February 12, 2020 1:55 am

The F-Pace is an internal combustion engine powered vehicle.. The I-Pace is the all electric model…

The I-Pace starts at about 4 grand more than the F-Pace, but otherwise it’s in the same price band…

The decision there isn’t can you afford electric it’s firstly about are you willing to pay for the Jag badge in the first place…

Bryan A
Reply to  Michael Ozanne
February 12, 2020 5:19 am

Point being all the “New Electric Models” are mostly unaffordable to someone making $50,000

Bryan A
Reply to  Bryan A
February 12, 2020 5:20 am

And those that are affordable are small and difficult to get in and out of for older people

Reply to  Bryan A
February 12, 2020 7:42 am

Or people with kids, groceries, etc.

Reply to  Bryan A
February 12, 2020 9:32 am

Tesla model S $79,990 – $99,990
Tesla model X $84,990 – $104,990

Jeesh. A hundred K frac’in bucks for an electric motor & a battery underneath a car body…..

nw sage
Reply to  beng135
February 12, 2020 7:11 pm

Hell of a golf cart though!

Reply to  Bryan A
February 12, 2020 1:26 pm

The BMW Mini electric car is being released in the U.K. later this year with an entry price of £25000 ($32500/ 43000 $Canadian )

Doc Chuck
February 11, 2020 10:52 pm

Not only are EV tailpipes located at an invisible distance in the indispensable electric power plants (some of which are still coal fired) or else according to the idealized distant wind turbines, solar panel farms, and their storage battery reserves; but the steel in these vehicles’ chassis and body panels requires coked coal to produce or alternatively their plastics derive from petroleum. This is such a systematic fool’s errand of denial that high energy density fossil fuels and nuclear energy are required to fashion all the very machinery that is accorded the misnomer of ‘sustainable’ for harvesting a ‘free’ energy resource when they are no such thing, but need conventional generation means to putter along with any continuity. Doesn’t pass the sniff test of anyone with a nose for the truth that ‘steals’ adolescent dreams.

On the other hand if you want to see some ‘stolen dreams’, wait until a subsequent generation hears how their predecessors didn’t labor under the bare subsistence conditions they were deeded by those who had claimed to care so much for them!

Reply to  Doc Chuck
February 12, 2020 10:04 am

The EVs of the future will be constructed of rainbows, butterflies and unicorn horns.

February 11, 2020 10:58 pm

Something is seriously wrong with the sales graph.
It shows “US States with Highest EV Sales” plus a category for the “Rest of US”.
The lowest state shown is Pennsylvania with 1.8%. Presumably every other state, not shown, is less than that.
How is it that the category “Rest of US” is 19%?

Eric H
Reply to  commieBob
February 11, 2020 11:08 pm

Added all together the rest of the states equal
19% of the total amount of EVs sold…

John Endicott
Reply to  commieBob
February 12, 2020 5:46 am

There are 13 states named, meaning “Rest of US” covers 37 states. 19% spread over 37 states means an average of around 0.5% per state. 0.5% is less then 1.8%. The graph looks fine, it’s your understanding of it that apparently was seriously wrong 😉

Reply to  commieBob
February 13, 2020 8:36 am

The graph shows that one state, California, accounts for 46.8% of EV sales. The rest of the country buys the rest at rates down around 4% or less(19 states around .5-.8%).

Chris Hanley
February 11, 2020 11:05 pm

I look forward battery-powered commercial aircraft:
” … The energy equivalent of the aviation fuel actually used by an aircraft flying to Asia would take $60 million worth of Tesla-type batteries weighing five times more than that aircraft …”.
If correct that encapsulates the energy efficiency advantage of light easily transported hydrocarbons over batteries for transport and the folly of state interference in consumers’ free choice.

Flight Level
Reply to  Chris Hanley
February 12, 2020 12:03 am

Once I made that calculation for a 747-8F en-route with a supposed thermal engine efficiency of 35% and electrical engine efficiency of 100%.

In terms of Tesla 100 kWh batteries, the fuel equivalent burn came roughly to 500 batteries flat empty per hour.

Now what ?

01 Cat
Reply to  Flight Level
February 12, 2020 5:39 am

Don’t worry, convection currents from the warming atmosphere will keep it aloft without any need for engine power!

(Do I need the “sarc” tag?)!!!

Scouser in AZ
Reply to  01 Cat
February 12, 2020 9:21 am

Thermalling to gain height will go down well with the passengers and schedules…. :^)

Reply to  Scouser in AZ
February 13, 2020 8:37 am

I don’t think a commercial airliner with a 600ft wingspan will find many place to land.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Philo
February 13, 2020 9:14 am

Oh, it will find a place to land, alright, but much like the difference between, say, modeled performance, wind tunnel performance, test flight performance, there is quite a bit of difference between “optimal place to land” and “place to land that doesn’t kill many people”.

Don’t be a spoilsport with all your real world data and stuff. We’re still talking about kids with mud pies pretending its chocolate cake – but they not only want tax payers to taste the mud, they want us to pretend right along with them that its better than anything Cadbury can produce.

Reply to  Flight Level
February 12, 2020 10:17 am

It can be done. Place nozzles behind the lithium batteries, set the batteries on fire so they’ll explode, and you have a ballistic commercial plane aimed at the destination.

Rick C PE
Reply to  Flight Level
February 12, 2020 11:46 am

Mid-air recharging? Just need some big planes with diesel generators and a large fuel load to drop a power cord to the electric plane.

Reply to  Rick C PE
February 12, 2020 2:58 pm

I can just see the pilot rolling down the side window in order to reach out and grab the cord.

Reply to  Flight Level
February 13, 2020 8:39 am

The plane would carry 3000 batteries and 12 passengers.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Philo
February 13, 2020 9:10 am

…and, I would hope, parachutes…

Reply to  Caligula Jones
February 18, 2020 4:43 pm

Now we are down to 10 passengers. Fewer if any of the passengers want to bring their carry on.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
February 12, 2020 12:45 am

Is it correct to assume that these electric powered aircraft (which our current UK PM believes will be available in just a few years time) will actually be propeller driven . How will the cruising speed and altitude compare to, say , the A380 or a 747? Perhaps the increased weight , and therefore momentum, of the electric aircraft will enable it to shrug off increased turbulence due to lower altitude and the effects of AGW.
Or is the final weight of a electric aircraft the same as a jet of the same size (and same lifting surface area ), just lower payload to compensate for battery weight?
Is there a respected primer on this subject for those of us with such basic ignorance of a rather intriguing topic?

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  mikewaite
February 12, 2020 2:21 am

Batteries are about 50 times heavier than jet fuel, thus electric panes can only do very short distances. – Electric planes are a giant step back to the Wright brothers’ era.

Reply to  mikewaite
February 12, 2020 3:46 am

Mike you would be correct that electric power is limited to propellor driven aircraft. The 747-8F currently runs the GEnX turbofan engines which push out around 296Kn of thrust each. And there are four of them. There is not an electric motor made that can drive a propellor big enough to do that and still fit on the wing pylons. It is not simply a matter of having enough battery capacity to make it work. There has been one aircraft retrofitted with an electric motor – a DHC-2 Beaver floatplane that flew recently. As to it’s performance and range I haven’t seen the figures. I can’t see the idea ‘taking off’ if you’ll excuse the pun. I don’t believe it would even be possible to convert very many types to electric power and retain their utility. Certainly not larger aircraft. They would have to come up with completely new designs of aircraft to use electric power and I can’t see it being cost effective.

Reply to  Pete
February 12, 2020 7:29 am

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed to make Canada carbon-free by 2050. To his credit, he has announced an innovative solution to your problem.

In a recent public statement, Trudeau announced:

“I have conceived a way to make electric airplanes technically and economically viable – I mean, like, y’know, aw, totally! It involves a very long extension cord…”

We rejected another concept for environmental reasons – because large rubber bands are not carbon-neutral.

February 12, 2020 9:36 am

All of these distant commitments are just so much BS. Trudeau will likely not even be alive by 2050. As the time approaches, either the commitments will be pushed off, or more likely, no one in the political arena at the time will even remember the commitment was made, and business will continue as usual.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
February 12, 2020 11:27 am

“All of these distant commitments are just so much BS. Trudeau will likely not even be alive by 2050”

Yeah, that’s the bloody corollary of the “think of the children” and “10-year olds should vote because they’ll spend more time in the future than you do” crap.

Generally, I tell my political opponents that instead of wishing them ill-will, I actually hope they live long and happy lives in the future they’ve created. They can start by moderating a “Trans Rights vs. Feminists vs. Fundamentalist Religion discussion…

February 12, 2020 9:54 am

To make an electric plane feasible will require wireless broadcast of electricity and that’s not going to happen.

Like so many other things, the technological breakthroughs to make an electric powered jumbo jet possible, pretty much, would obviate the need for such a conveyance in the first place.



February 12, 2020 3:39 pm

Even if you could get a transmitter working, the energy density is 3 to 5 orders of magnitude too small to power an airplane.

Reply to  Pete
February 12, 2020 5:29 pm

Yeah that would be the folks up here in the Pacific NW burning thru Singapore’s Clermont Group’s money to built the first commercial Electric Aircraft.
There was the first flight test of the concept last December up in Vancouver B.C.
Here’s the report:
By then, MagniX partnered with Harbour Air to electrify its entire fleet: the first converted aircraft was to be a DHC-2 Beaver serving as the test prototype for the magniX motor, energy storage, and control systems.[5] On December 10, 2019, the eBeaver flew for the first time.[6] Low energy density but proven lithium-ion batteries filled the cabin and took the prototype to its maximum gross weight to provide enough energy for a 15 min flight with a 25 min reserve.
WoW! A great start! those low energy density batteries are a real hang up in this venture, I guess. “filled the cabin” = a battery transportation system.
But the magical batteries will make short hopping a dream come true!
I’ve taken the flight from Victoria to Seattle before – it’s a fun/quick way to go, but they won’t be electrifying their fleet anytime soon.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
February 12, 2020 2:07 am

The BBC website has a piece on various electric plane projects. Its very optimistic.

Reply to  Jock
February 12, 2020 3:37 am



Flight Level
Reply to  Derg
February 12, 2020 4:58 am

And with battery degradation worsened by deep frequent (systematic ?) discharges and evil take-off electron flows, the whole point of prematurely replacing batteries with new ones to comply with “fuel management regulations” would propel maintenance costs to military grade altitudes.

Obviously they would be those attempting refurbished units and their unavoidable consequence on casualties statistics.

Finally hydrogen filled airships would prevail as a significantly safer alternative.

Sounds like a plan ?

Reply to  Jock
February 12, 2020 6:16 am

Thank you for the suggested link Jock. It totally blows away my scepticism with claims such as this:
“Already, Airbus is looking at an electric aircraft that can carry 100 passengers 1,000km by 2030, says Falk-Peterson.”
So perhaps Boris is right to claim UK will shortly have an all electric fleet – or is he being deceived by the BBC? I presume that at some point subsidies will be demanded by BA and Ryanair etc and these will have to be massive to allow an electric short haul aircraft to be able to compete with a fully loaded conventional plane.

Reply to  mikewaite
February 12, 2020 8:25 am

I heard they got a deal on some 737max airframes…

Paul Penrose
Reply to  mikewaite
February 12, 2020 10:10 am

10 years to develop a completely novel type of passenger aircraft and get it into service? Not a chance.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Paul Penrose
February 12, 2020 11:24 am

Would I be mean if I suggested who should be the first testees?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Paul Penrose
February 13, 2020 3:56 am

And not a chance I would ever get on one if they did!

Reply to  mikewaite
February 12, 2020 8:47 pm

“Already, Airbus is looking at an electric aircraft that can carry 100 passengers 1,000km by 2030, says Falk-Peterson.”

An A380 stuffed full of batteries might manage 1000km with only 100 passengers on board (and no luggage).

Caligula Jones
Reply to  MarkG
February 13, 2020 5:59 am

“An A380 stuffed full of batteries might manage 1000km with only 100 passengers on board (and no luggage).”

…and no headwind…and no weather to go around…and no delays in landing…etc.

Reply to  MarkG
February 13, 2020 8:19 am

As long as the passengers were really, really, skinny.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  MarkW
February 13, 2020 9:17 am

So…Hollywood stars and supermodels then?

Kinda like the same virtue signalling crew that is already buying all those EV in California.

February 11, 2020 11:20 pm

If I can corner the market on where to eventually dispose of lapsed EV batteries that will offset my losses as a taxpayer on the disposing of decommissioned windmill blades.

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  gringojay
February 12, 2020 11:06 am

I have a place I already use. It’s a bit difficult to get to, but I know I can dispose of the windmill blades AND batteries without any concern. I can’t give you an address, but the location is 17.75N x 142.5E.

Reply to  Shanghai Dan
February 13, 2020 11:19 am

Ya gotta love the Marianas Trench when you want things out of sight and out of mind.

Reply to  HablaCarnage
February 18, 2020 4:44 pm

Didn’t work for the Decepticons.

February 11, 2020 11:24 pm


Graph has 13 states, so balance of rest of states is 37. 19/37=apx0.5% EV market share avg for these 37 states which is lower than PA 1.8%. I don’t see anything seriously wrong with sales graph.

John Hardy
February 11, 2020 11:35 pm

This article is full of half-truths and should not have beeb published by WUWT. Just for example his reference to mining of rare minerals applies mostly to Cobalt: used in jet engine alloys. Why accuse EVs of abuse and not aircraft? In any case the battery industry are working hard on removing cobalt from cathodes. Lithium iron Phosphate cells are already cobalt free.

And for the record I’m an EV driver and I am a climate change sceptic, more worried about global cooling than global warming

Roger Knights
Reply to  John Hardy
February 11, 2020 11:47 pm

Yes, the real exotic minerals are those for the BEVs’ specialized electric motors, and are the sometimes toxic rare earths mostly mined in China.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Roger Knights
February 12, 2020 2:28 am

@Roger – you have to explain that. I thought it was normal three phase motors thy used nowadays.

John Hardy
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
February 12, 2020 5:59 am

Why do you think that Joel? My brother and his wife just got rid of their last ICE so they are now a 2 EV family.

I agree with what you say about money buying security: what has that to do with EVs? Of course early adopters tend to be slightly wealthier but that was true of cell phones, colour TVs, pocket calculators and PCs.

John Hardy
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
February 12, 2020 6:12 am

Carl – you are right that the Tesla Model S has a pure three phase induction motor with (to my knowledge) no exotics. I believe the Model 3 has a permanent magnet motor (I may be wrong) which uses exotic metals presumably in the same way as any permanent magnet. Not my area though.

I don’t hear any objection to the use of exotics in gas turbines

Reply to  John Hardy
February 12, 2020 9:16 am

JH said: “I don’t hear any objection to the use of exotics in gas turbines” Probably because it’s a matter of quantity. A gas turbine may use more “exotics” but we’re talking replacing millions of ICE engines.

Reply to  John Hardy
February 12, 2020 12:17 am

And your EV car is backed up by 1 or more ICE cars, I have no doubt about that.

Money buys security that most in the middle class can not afford.
The billionaires and elites are banking on that.

John Endicott
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
February 12, 2020 5:57 am

Depends on what you are counting as an EV. the sub-category of EV known as PHEV doesn’t need “1 or more ICE cars” as a backup, as it has it’s own gasoline-powered backup built-in.

Also depends on how and where you use it. For someone who mainly only commutes short distances to and from work, a pure electric EV will get the job done without a need for a back-up. For someone who routinely drives long distances, drives in below freezing temps, or hauls large/heavy loads back and forth (among other situations that EVs are poor at handling) – better have an reliable ICE back-up vehicle handy, you’re gonna need it.

That all said, the pure elective EVs are not practical for the budget, usage and/or living arrangement (IE house with place to charge vs apartment without) of most drivers, which is why they remain a very small niche of total car sales despite all the OPM incentives from the government.

John Hardy
Reply to  John Endicott
February 12, 2020 6:06 am

John – agreed on the commute. Ideal application for an EV. When I first started using an EV it saved me about £140 a month in commuting fuel costs (I’m in the UK)

Reply to  John Hardy
February 12, 2020 7:49 am

In other words, the only half-truth that you can document is actually true, but getting less so over time.

February 11, 2020 11:42 pm

The only reason they will be bought in the main stream is because the politicians will have banned the alternatives.

Go long on companies that repair and restore old vehicles, manufacture parts etc.

But eventually we will be forced to move over

The age of mass ownership of personal vehicles may be coming to an end. Looking around at the number of electric scooters using apps, hire and abandon model, tells me this is where cars are heading.

Reply to  mark
February 12, 2020 4:58 am

… and how much fuel is used by the ICE trucks that drive around the city picking up all those discarded scooters and dropping them back off in high traffic areas? The scooters themselves may be ‘environmentally friendly’, but the infrastructure that supports them is not.

Reply to  mark
February 12, 2020 7:11 am

I like driving my non aerodynamic ICE truck. Being higher up you have much better vision.

Reply to  mark
February 12, 2020 11:18 am

If politicians ban the alternatives, I predict the people will replace the politicians, not their vehicles.

Rodney Everson
Reply to  jtom
February 13, 2020 8:05 am

Maybe the rest of the developed world will take a cue from the U.S. and elect their own Trumps. Great Britain seems to have already done that. Merkel is in trouble. Trudeau seems to be having his share of trouble as well. Aussies seem to be more and more up in arms over their green energy plans, etc.

In other words, you’re right, jtom.

Walter Sobchak
February 12, 2020 12:13 am

The press, which is composed largely of people who know absolutely nothing about anything is hypnoitised with the idea that BEVs are a hyper modern technology.

Nothing could be further from the truth. My Great grandmother, of blessed memory, owned a BEV, a Baker Eelectric, before the Great War. Mrs. Henry Ford, Sr., drove a Detroit Electric around that town. In that era, BEVs were a third of the automobiles on the street.

Then they disappeared from the city streets and became limited to niche jobs — golf carts, warehouse vehicles.

What happened? simple. ICE vehicles got a lot better. The electric starter eliminated the difficult and dangerous task of cranking the motor to a start. Syncromesh transmissions made gear shifting easier, followed by automatics.

The modern ICE vehicle has been the beneficiary of far more technological improvement that the BEV.

John Hardy
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 12, 2020 6:14 am

Walter – you are right on the history. What is new now is lithium-ion batteries with 3x the energy density and far longer lives. Some EVs go over 300 miles on a charge. You can’t do that with lead

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  John Hardy
February 12, 2020 2:29 pm

Yes, but lead does not require the death of African children for its production.

Emrys Jones
February 12, 2020 1:00 am

I have never understood why hybrids have a complete replicated drive train, instead of an engine running on highest efficiency and charging the battery while you drive. I am this is dictated by engineering and the math, but I have never seen an analysis. Any suggestions?

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Emrys Jones
February 12, 2020 1:33 am

David Stone answered you below, and I can add to that, that many have done practical tests and found the consumption tend to be slightly higher for hybrid during mixed driving as most people do. It may make sense in cluttered city traffic though. I could imagine the urban postman would benefit greatly, where his or her route is too long for BEV.

Reply to  Emrys Jones
February 13, 2020 11:25 am

Most hybrids are parallel hybrids with the engine and electric motor working together. Series hybrids, such as the now out of production Chevy Volt, use the battery first and then have engine merely as a generator a except when it is more efficient at which time a planetary gear directly connected to the engine turns thw wheels.

David Stone
February 12, 2020 1:06 am

The reason that most of America don’t want electric vehicles is that people tend to drive much further and there is no infrastructure for charging at convenient intervals. Again the battery is not the answer, but fossil fuel is! Many drive 8 hours on a freeway at weekends, to go somewhere a bit different, and that is about all that they can manage. Try charging in one of the national parks!

February 12, 2020 1:10 am

Imaging the fun to be had in the event of a fire in an EV on a crowded motorway/interstate at holiday time.
Apparently the emergency services won’t touch it until the fire has burnt itself out before loading it into a skip for removal to a disposal utility.
Meanwhile the road surface will be well and truely cooked, and need resurfacing.
The thousands of EVs held up in the traffic jam will have run out of juice, especially in cold weather, and need towing to a recharging station.
The recovery services will make an absolute killing.

Reply to  StephenP
February 12, 2020 7:53 am

“especially in cold weather”

Or in hot weather when the AC is needed to keep the family from toasting.

Reply to  StephenP
February 13, 2020 11:36 am

Most EVs have an easily accessed area that can be used to cut off the high voltage connections to reduce the risk of electrocution. But even then the batteries can be very dangerous if structurally compromised. They can self-combust as long as 24 hours after taking an impact. Lithium is flammable and can be explosive when exposed to air or water.

I pity the poor two truck driver who has to haul them somewhere 50 or more feet from any combustible materials or structures.

David Stone
February 12, 2020 1:11 am

In answer to Emrys
This is because the electric motor in a hybrid is not very powerful to keep the weight down. A full power generator and motor system would probably add at least 100kg to the all up weight, and would spoil the fuel consumption. Hybrids may start off on electric only, but try a hill and the engine must run otherwise you will probably stop dead and the battery go flat very quickly!

Don K
Reply to  David Stone
February 12, 2020 6:34 am

“This is because the electric motor in a hybrid is not very powerful to keep the weight down.”

Why not Wankel engines in hybrids? Wankel’s have their problems, but they can generate an amazing amount of power from a quite small engine. One of the advantages of hybrid should be that the engine can run at constant speed and therefore can be tuned for maximum power and minimum emissions.

Reply to  David Stone
February 12, 2020 2:33 pm

Drove a rented Prius over a short mountain range (pass level about 1500ft), thought I was going to have to get out and push. Neither motor in that thing has much power, add them both together and I don’t think you hit the average power to weight ratio of most 2.0L ICE cars. A little extra weight/power to be able to get over the hills would be just fine if you live in hill country. No it wouldn’t get the mileage but neither do ICE cars when going over hills. According to the computer in my ICE, instantaneous fuel mileage will drop 5- 20 mpg when going uphill depending on steepness but it still pops you right over the top without struggling.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Darrin
February 12, 2020 11:41 pm

50 years ago I owned a Volkswagen Beetle. The thing had a top speed of 65 mph and no ability to maintain speed on a hill. The advertising B$ has changed, but a cheap car with good gas mileage is still a small cheap car with no pick up.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 13, 2020 6:01 am

Our friends had one a very kewl VW van and came to visit in in Cape Breton (that’s on the east coast of Canada, tail end of the Appalachians).

Yeah…it was fun seeing it try to get up some of those hills, that’s for sure.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
February 13, 2020 7:17 am

30+ years ago my sister was riding with friend from college, back before they had raised speed limits from 55 to 65. Her friend had a VW Bug, she sped up to 65 before hitting a hill and a cop lit her up. She refused to pull over and kept her foot buried in the accelerator, if she did stop it would have to crawl over the hill. By the time she crested the Bug was down to 40ish, cop turned off his lights and sped off. Obviously he decided she had a valid reason to speed.

Reply to  David Stone
February 13, 2020 11:37 am

This does not apply to series hybrids.

Carl Friis-Hansen
February 12, 2020 1:20 am

This story is in line with bio-fuel. Novel thoughts to begin with, with no regards to cost and drawback. It is based on the fashion that we have to act now to save something.
If I had money to spare, I would also like a BEV for selfish reasons, but would feel slightly ashamed that it is the petrol/diesels cars paying for the roads and services I am driving my BEV on.
Bio-fuel is similar, but in contrast to BEV, the bio-fuel only has drawbacks, technically, environmentally as wall as socially.

The BEV concept is great in a parallel world, where batteries are about 100 times more energy dense than today (twice the density of diesel), where the electricity is produced from sources at least 10 times more energy dense than fossil-fuel (like nuclear) and where labor in the production and supply are treated and paid reasonable.
In our contemporary world, however, we are going the opposite way. We have historically gone from low energy density to higher and higher energy density. But, the Green concept has driven us to go for lower and lower energy density concerning electricity production. Continuing this trend will eventually end in using more more energy in production than the output – equilibrium.

We are going the wrong way with regards to energy density, but we will recognize this before equilibrium. However, due to fatally wrongly changed infrastructure, we will have a hard time recover, and the human and ecological suffering will be immense. – Western Europe and UN being the worst culprits followed by California.

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
February 12, 2020 6:02 am

Sadly New York is trying hard to catch up to Western Europe and California. Got to do it to be climate leaders don’t you know.

Don K
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
February 12, 2020 6:40 am

Carl — Nothing (well, not much) wrong with biofuel up to a point. Using end of life cooking oil for transportation seems entirely reasonable. What else are you going to do with it? Problem is that the supply is limited. How many french fries can any one person — even an American — eat?

Palm oil and corn ethanol. Not so desirable.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Don K
February 12, 2020 6:57 am

It was palm oil and corn ethanol I was referring to, as you say, waste cooking oil is a small niche.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Don K
February 25, 2020 3:50 am

Don, you’ll have lots of kidz ’round your parking car; eager for French fries and coke – where’s next McDonald’s.

John F. Hultquist
February 12, 2020 1:53 am

“. . . that may be in the subconscious of the prospective EV buyers . . .”

There is nothing “subconscious” about rejecting an expensive purchase that is not fit for purpose.

John Endicott
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
February 12, 2020 6:08 am

Indeed. While EVs are fit for some purposes (those who have short commutes and don’t ever drive long distances, for example), they’re not fit for all the purposes that ICEs currently are.

Add to that the fact that not everyone lives in a house with a garage, making fueling them (IE charging) not so simple for a large percentage of the population (though who live in high-rise apartments for example). Nobody wants to drive to some out of the way location and have to wait half an hour (minimum) to fully charge their vehicle, yet that would be the reality for those who don’t live with an ability to charge at home. That would be a hard pass for such people.

Don K
Reply to  John Endicott
February 12, 2020 6:52 am

“Indeed. While EVs are fit for some purposes …”

Exactly. On top of which the current crop of EVs are far too expensive for most of the rather limited applications where they might otherwise be the vehicle of choice. Hybrids at least make economic sense for many people and come without refueling hassles and cabin heating range limitations. EVs and PHEVs — not so much.

I do expect that at some point in the next decade or three, China or India or someone will come up with a cheap EV suitable for local shopping and the kid commuting to a local community college (Who cares if the kid has to survive without heat on Winter mornings and without air conditioning in Summer)? I imagine that they’ll sell a lot of them.

Reply to  Don K
February 12, 2020 11:34 am

Hard to believe it’s possible to produce an EV much smaller or cheaper than a Smart Car. It hasn’t gone over very well.

Jay Johnson
February 12, 2020 1:56 am

Teslaron and Musk to implode in 3..2.. Unfortunately, taking millions of Americans’ pension savings with them.

Pat from Tyers
February 12, 2020 2:35 am

I’ve always wondered: Do electric cars have heaters and, if so, what does having the heater going do to the range?

Reply to  Pat from Tyers
February 12, 2020 2:56 am

Pat from tyers

The heater, radio, electric seats, etc etc all take charge, thus less range. I remember watching a video on youtube, and the tesla owner had to sit in the bottom lane due to range, then he had to plug in to the hotel plug system, 8 hours over night and still not a full charge.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Pat from Tyers
February 12, 2020 3:02 am

A highly discussed issue:

If you drive north of New Hampshire latitudes in winter, I would suggest a Webasto diesel heater 5kW, a small independent 12V battery and a small diesel tank of 10 liter, which will give you 20 hours of heating at full capacity or 40 hours at half capacity. It may even save your life, in case your batteries run flat or “engine” failure during your trip home in the nightly winter blizzard.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
February 25, 2020 4:05 am

Carl Friis-Hansen,

“a Webasto diesel heater 5kW, a small independent 12V battery and a small diesel tank of 10 liter, which will give you 20 hours of heating at full capacity or 40 hours at half capacity. It may even save your life!”

This will make you pious, patient, and very competent. Keeping a logbook, equipment check before every trip, route planning, ….

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Pat from Tyers
February 12, 2020 10:24 am

The cabin heater isn’t the only issue. In the places where the temperature drops low enough to require heat in the winter, the days are quite a bit shorter too, which means the headlights are used more often. Also, the batteries don’t hold as much of a charge when they get colder, especially below freezing. All together his can reduce the range by 50%.

February 12, 2020 2:46 am

Tesla is clearly a success in the design, manufacture and sales of electric vehicles. Tesla, alone among EV manufacturers, has created, owns and operates a charging network designed to let owners go where they want to go with minimum “friction” and range anxiety.

John Hardy
Reply to  Speed
February 12, 2020 6:19 am

Agreed Speed. It is a whole system problem which Detroit hasn’t grasped (or is grasping a bit too late). Tesla also started by building a cell factory so they have been the only ones able to scale

Reply to  Speed
February 12, 2020 11:42 am

I researched the charging problem if one drove from Atlanta to Orlando (Atlanta sees heavy traffic flowing through the city to Florida destinations, especially Orlando).

Unless you plan your trip really well in advance, you will easily screw up. You can’t wait until you have a range of a hundred miles to start looking for a charging station, unless you want to park overnight at a motel.

You want range anxiety? What will you feel when you head to your intended charging station, knowing you can’t make it to a different one if it has closed or is inoperable?

February 12, 2020 2:59 am

Not to mention the EV is not going to save us from climate change…..the carbon footprint of EVs is larger than gasoline or diesel cars, not just because fossil fuels are the primary source of energy to charge them but the massive energy requirements to make the batteries.

and in another study It found that a mid-size electric car would produce 23.1 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime, compared with 24 tonnes for a similar petrol car. Emissions from manufacturing electric cars are at least 50 per cent higher because batteries are made from materials such as lithium, copper and refined silicon, which require much energy to be processed.

Many electric cars are expected to need a replacement battery after a few years. Once the emissions from producing the second battery are added in, the total CO2 from producing an electric car rises to 12.6 tonnes, compared with 5.6 tonnes for a petrol car. Disposal also produces double the emissions because of the energy consumed in recovering and recycling metals in the battery. The study also took into account carbon emitted to generate the grid electricity consumed.

old white guy
February 12, 2020 3:45 am

They just keep pushing their AGW nonsense. The electric car is no more green than a lump of coal used to generate the power required to charge the foolish machines.

Coach Springer
February 12, 2020 4:21 am

Vehicles so good their competition must be outlawed.

One of several reasons for American resistance is the greater range and mobility of our population. EVs are so much more useful in tiny countries and better yet for urban dwellers in tiny countries. Where people don’t constantly move about so much.

Then there are the taxes.

February 12, 2020 4:55 am

I’m not familiar with vehicle purchase options in the US, but here in the UK most private ‘buyers’ these days seem to opt for the ‘rental’ scheme offered by the manufacturers – that is, for (say) a deposit of £199 and monthly payments of £199, you get (say) a small Kia or Hyundai (obviously for higher payments you get a BMW or similar)… (but of course, you do not ‘own’ the car..)
After three years, the dealer offers you to actually buy the car for a hefty sum, or you can trade it in against a new contract – and so it goes on….
I predict a ‘sub-prime’ balloon eventually happening, as the manufacturers have got so much money out on loan.
In the meantime, I am well pleased with my one-owner, 100000-mile, fully serviced, Volvo V70 bought last year for a shade under £2000 – which I actually OWN..!

Reply to  David
February 12, 2020 3:06 pm


It sounds like your Rental is our Lease, our rental cars are for temporary use, days to weeks. Majority of people in the US buy and not lease as at the end of the lease you have nothing so your money was essentially tossed out the window. There are business reasons to lease instead of buy so you’ll see businesses leasing cars. Some affluent people will also lease a car but those are generally people who like the no hassle new car every couple years and can afford not to build equity in their vehicles.

Oddly enough, popular used cars to buy are previously leased and rental cars. Cars are generally about 2 years old, reasonable amount of miles on them, hopefully reasonably maintained and have already taken that big price hit new cars take as soon as they are driven off the lot. Personally I wouldn’t buy a rental, I know how those things have been driven (harshly). There’s a saying here in the US among people who rent a lot of cars “Don’t worry, it’s a rental!” as you jump curbs, drift corners, etc..

February 12, 2020 5:19 am

“fully charge an EV, even at fast-charging stations, it takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours depending on how much of a charge (empty to full or topping off) your vehicle needs.”
Nobody fully charges aan EV at a public fast charge sttaion. 80% charges are the orm, beyonfd that point recharging rates are much slower. But at the newer fast chargers (Tesla’s 250KW and IONITY’s 350KW) an 80% charge can take as little as 10 to 15 minutes. Charging times are becoming much less of an issue, especially since most EV owners recharge at home except for long trips and the long range of current EV (pushing 300 miles and more) means never worrying about battery charges around town. Right now fast public charging stations like IONITY, which handles every EV except for Tesla’s Supercharger stations are being constructed throughout the world and will become common – oil companies and regional gas stations
are startng to install IONITY chargers in their gas stations. In the fairly near future, people will see the availlability of these fast public chargers and worry less about recharging. Right now people that live in apartments, townhouses, etc often have to use public charge stations. When recharging becomes a breeze, a large segment of the driving public will be able to buy EVs. As for battery lifespan – all are warranteed for at least 8 years and the lifespan of the batteries can exceed 15 years and will likely outlive the car. Battery prices are also much much lower than they were just 5 years ago. Probably cost less than 25% of what they used to cost. VW is going all electric and will introduce low cost EVS – less than $16,000 in the near future.
AS public chargers get faster and are ubiquitous, there is les need for a huge battery, which will reduce prices of the vehicles. And there is a trend towards optioning battery sizes as well All of the major automakers are goimng al in for electric vehicles – by 2030 I guarantee that there will be few (if any) gas powered cars in showrooms. LAws that prohibit gas powered cars by 2030 or 2040 are silly – by then there will be EVs only.
EVs are MUCH more efficient andd reliable and maintenance costs are low. SOme EVs have million mile warrantees on their electric motors and most have no transmission. EVs are simpler to make and have far fewer parts than a gas powered vehicles. They are far easier and cheaper to own and fuel No one in their right mind wouldprefer a gas powered vehicles if they could d buy an EV for roughly the same price. And with batteries costing $100 per kWhr or lless, EVs are price competitive with gas powered cars and will cost far less to operate. EVs are superior for reasons that have nothing to do with emissions

John Endicott
Reply to  ColMosby
February 12, 2020 6:15 am

Charging times are becoming much less of an issue, especially since most EV owners recharge at home except for long trips

That’s because most EV owners are affluent enough to live in houses where they have easy access to an outlet to charge from. The less affluent, who live in apartments that don’t have such access generally don’t own EVs because charge time (even “fast” times of 10 or 15 minutes or more) are very much an issue due to having to go somewhere away from home to charge.

Matthew Bergin
Reply to  ColMosby
February 12, 2020 6:22 am

You are definitely living in LA LA land. It doesn’t matter how fast the charger is, you can only charge a battery so fast without damaging it. Looking at the traffic patterns at most highway rest stops you would need at least 500 chargers at each stop. Each one needing a 40 Kw electrical supply. The sheer scale of the required electrical supply is huge, duplicating it for every rest stop in the United States is impossible. People would also be there for hours mostly waiting for a charger. It takes less than ten minutes to put 60 gallons of gas into my truck and it can go over 1000 miles on that fuel.

Reply to  Matthew Bergin
February 12, 2020 8:55 pm

“Each one needing a 40 Kw electrical supply. ”

So we’re going to stop for five hours to charge our 200kWh battery pack?

It’s going to need a lot more than 40kW to be remotely convenient. You’re talking tens of megawatts total demand for a charging station equivalent to a moderately busy gas station.

Maybe they could have a big gas turbine out the back generating power to run the chargers?

I looked at the specs for one of the new plug-in hybrids a few months back, and it didn’t have enough battery capacity to drive to work and back and would still need all night to recharge on 110V.

Bob Cherba
Reply to  ColMosby
February 12, 2020 7:17 am

EVs are NOT MUCH more efficient than ICE vehicles. Yes, the electric motor is efficient, but when you start with the fuel at the power plant and consider power plant efficiency, transmission losses, battery charging and discharging efficiencies, a modern ICE vehicle of comparable size is about equal to an EV.

Reply to  Bob Cherba
February 12, 2020 7:59 am

At least he’s no longer claiming that the automakers have pledged to stop making ICE cars by 2030.

Reply to  MarkW
February 18, 2020 4:49 pm

Spoke too soon.

Reply to  Bob Cherba
February 13, 2020 9:32 am

Correct — the overall efficiency ends up nearly the same. Any “savings” from EVs comes from goobermint subsidies & highway taxes not yet being applied to EVs.

Reply to  ColMosby
February 12, 2020 11:57 am

Hate to burst your bubble, but you need a few hundred thousand more recharging stations, and about a million and a half more rechargers, to be as convenient as refuling an ICE vehicle.

And if you are only recharging to 80%, then you have a 240 mile effective range, not 300. Worse, when I researched this just before Thanksgiving, the recharging stations were 10 miles off the specific highway I would be traveling, so you lose another 20 miles of your range (and forty-five minutes).

Life is too short to waste iton this nonsense.

Reply to  jtom
February 12, 2020 3:01 pm

More than that, since recharging takes 5 to 10 times as long as refilling.

Reply to  ColMosby
February 12, 2020 2:45 pm

…Americans must have a multitude of subconscious reasons [in the forefront of their thought processes] for not buying into one of the major movements [idiotic pretensions]…

TFIFY. I had to get that out of the way first.

…80% charges are the [n]orm…

Funny thing about LI batteries, I have noticed with my camera… I can fire away for hours and the battery indicator is still above 80%. Then it goes from 80% indicator to dead in about half an hour. So you’re telling me that in 30 min, I can get enough charge that will indicate 80% on the dial on the dash, but will only give me 20% (or so) of the range that a full charge will?

…the long range of current EV (pushing 300 miles and more)…

I don’t know where you come from, buddy, but where I grew up, that ain’t a “long range”. My F-250 pickup gives me 450 miles on a single fill-up, and haul 3,500 lbs while it’s at it. I have said this before, I will say it again, 450 miles (minimum) between fill-ups, and empty to fully refueled in 10 minutes or less. I will not even consider anything less.

Right now fast public charging stations…are being constructed throughout the world and will become common…In the fairly near future, people will see the availability of these fast public chargers and worry less about recharging.

If that were to happen, and if people were actually to use them, you would need much bigger transmission wires, and the power stations to power them. And you would need that “…throughout the world…”, those are your words, not mine, so don’t try to accuse me of constructing a strawman.

As for battery lifespan – all are warranteed for at least 8 years… VW is going all electric and will introduce low cost EVS – less than $16,000 in the near future. Some EVs have million mile warrantees on their electric motors…

In all cases, cite your references, please, I think you’re just making that sh** up.

Battery prices are also much much lower than they were just 5 years ago. Probably cost less than 25% of what they used to cost.

What, so now it costs $5,000 to replace the battery instead of $20,000? Still unacceptable for your average family. Another deal breaker. But you mentioned only the cost of the battery, to actually get it changed, it takes labor, and from what I have been reading that’s taking more labor, not less. What was the EV that had the equivalent of C-cell LI batteries scattered throughout the vehicle? Wherever the designer could find room for a couple more? Still a deal breaker, but you have mentioned only warranties in number of miles, while the life of the battery can be measured in cycles, and I hear crickets about those. And a cycle is a cycle, whether it’s from 100% (new) capacity down to 0% every time, or whether it’s 80% (it’s only at 80% because he didn’t have the money to install a 220V circuit on the front of his rental house without a garage or even carport, he had to plug into the 110V convenience outlet on the front porch) down to 45% as the daily driver drives it into work, where he finds all the charging stations are occupied so he plugs it into 110V (again) on the side of the building. Does the battery have enough cycles to even get the average person through a year? *crickets*

Nobody has taken a crack at the “cheaper” electricity, because employers have/are going to install charging stations at no cost to the employees, and no charge for the energy consumed… that can continue only because of the BEV’s poor market penetration up to now. There will be some point, and it may be just about there, where every charging station will have a credit card reader, just like you find on a parking meter downtown, that will charge your credit card for the energy you have consumed, and you won’t get any charge without a credit card charge (see what I did there?). And you can bet there will be a premium markup on that power, just because they can. In all likelihood, those who maintain roads will begin to eye those charging stations as a revenue stream (that will be a tax added to the already premium price you’re paying) to help repair roads, as well they should, because after all they won’t be collecting the revenues (that are supposed to repair roads) from the current taxes on gasoline that the BEV isn’t buying.

Let me say it again: NO price difference between a BEV and ICE, 450 miles (minimum) between fill-ups, and empty to fully refueled in 10 minutes or less, NO battery replacement cost, ever! There is no reason for me to consider anything less. If a BEV is ever legislated, I will keep all ICE powered vehicles I happen to own at the time, TYVM.

Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
February 12, 2020 3:02 pm

My little Fiat has a 10.5 gallon tank and I routines get well over 50mpg.

Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
February 13, 2020 8:34 am

You caught the eye of every politician reading your post when you wrote: “those who maintain roads will begin to eye those charging stations as a revenue stream…” It’s the perfect place to collect a road tax given that all the usage will be by vehicles.

Has it already happened somewhere? California, maybe? Or are they still in the “Let’s get everyone hooked before we drop the hammer,” mode?

Reply to  ColMosby
February 12, 2020 5:51 pm

You and my brother. He bought an EV and then a plug in hybred due to range problems (can’t remember the rebates he got from the government, bit I think they were in the 8k range), and an electric scooter for around town. He also owns property in Costa Rica which he and the family fly to from Canada. He also complains about how poor he is and wears very old cloths to prove it – and he always has his shopping basket to save packaging – it was imported from Ghana.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  ColMosby
February 13, 2020 8:51 am

“the long range of current EV (pushing 300 miles and more)”

LMFAO. You’ll never see those “calculated” ranges in real world conditions. Someone once pressed a Nissan dealer about the conditions under which the range of a Leaf was “calculated.” The dealer, who surely understood there was something to hide in this respect, refused to provide the information. The buyer then pursued disclosure of the information through a FOIA request, and got it. Here it is:

-Flat dry road
-Zero winds, 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit)
-1 person and no luggage in the car
-All windows closed
-No extra drain such as heating, lights, AC, music
-Steady speed of 23 km/h (about 14mph)


Car & Driver real-world “highway speed” testing of a Tesla with a supposed 300+ mile “range” got more like 2/3 of that. So when you’re dependent on “rapid charging” and only getting 80% “charge,” you can take 80% of the 2/3 of “rated” range you’ll still be lucky to get and you’re just over 50% of the “rated” range.

EV range is still a MAJOR issue, period. And still a (non) “solution” looking for a “problem.”

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
February 13, 2020 12:09 pm

And (EVs are) still a (non) “solution” looking for a “problem.”

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
February 18, 2020 4:54 pm

What kind of mileage would your average ICE get if driven under those conditions? (Maybe a little faster, have to get out of first gear.)

February 12, 2020 5:26 am

The “Battery Problem” with EV’s gets really ugly in the resource consumption department when considering the many hundreds of millions of tons of them, replaced every few decades, that would be required to run an EV economy.

Electric motor driven vehicles do have very significant benefits in efficiency and longevity. The drive train has few moving parts and about the only wearing parts are bearings. A well built EV could last a century and have low maintenance costs.

If we are ever going to wean off ICE’s (unlikely any time soon), the battery will have to be replaced by Fuel Cells in most of the fleet’s vehicles (probably with small battery packs for accelerations and braking regeneration)…and they will have to be fueled with synthetic liquid fuels generated by about a thousand small modular Gen 4 Nuclear Power Plants (short power transmission distances needed). That kind of radical transformation could result in significant cost and efficiency gains over an ICE-backed economy (Engineering/Cost analysis outline is 20 pages long…and hinges on the near zero fuel costs of thorium and uranium and vehicle longevity and the potentially short amortization times of modular nuclear power plant costs).

A Renewable Energy powered battery-driven EV Economy would be an environmental disaster and a resource consumption nightmare that will raise costs at least four-fold.

Market forces alone would never make the correct transformations happen in the face of low fossil fuel costs. And a centralized government trying to orchestrate ICE-to-EV will never take the correct engineering paths to get there.

If the Climate doesn’t cooperate and begin a cooling trend soon, I cannot see this turning out well especially if the Anti-Nuclear factions win.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  DocSiders
February 12, 2020 5:52 am

Thanks DocSiders.

You are on the right track, so nuclear -> grid capacity tripling -> hydrogen production -> electric hydrogen cars.
Thereafter developing methods to decommission industrial wind turbines as economically and environmentally friendly as possible.
Could be a bright perspective to look forward to, and if there is business opportunities in this concept, the political will should follow.

Reply to  DocSiders
February 12, 2020 8:00 am

“replaced every few decades”


Reply to  MarkW
February 12, 2020 3:17 pm

Yeah, my friend’s late model Honda hybrid needed battery replacement at 150,000 mi. At a cost of $4,500. Not very friendly at all.

Reply to  DocSiders
February 18, 2020 5:00 pm

Most cars have to replace wheel bearings at around 80K miles. I can’t imagine the load on those bearings is that much greater than the load on the motor bearings.

htom trites
February 12, 2020 5:52 am

I live in, and mostly visit, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Montana. An EV is a summer car, period, other than in the city. A hybrid is possible, but too expensive in AWD styles (for the unplowed rural roads.)

February 12, 2020 6:37 am

I have thought about the replacement of the ICE for a long time. The piece of the jigsaw puzzle I just can’t fathom is that big oil is just going to roll over and die happily with an “oh well, it was good while it lasted” sort of attitude. I just can’t believe they haven’t been working for many decades on the solution. I don’t think the world is about to run out of oil just yet and nor do I believe there is a need to stop using it but the day will come eventually and there will be a replacement for oil and gas. I firmly believe there will be a fuel cell that can easily be retrofitted to any vehicle including trucks and heavy machinery, even aircraft that will have an energy density similar to hydrocarbons and which can be replenished simply through the existing distribution networks. I think all this EV technology is just a distraction. It may eventually develop further but it is a long, long way from being a feasible replacement for an ICE vehicle for the masses. Vehicle companies that are jumping the gun and going full steam ahead into EV development will lose billions eventually and many will disappear. Not altogether a bad thing. I see a future that all the big oil companies are very much a part of. Who else has the money to do that sort of research in any meaningful way? I may be wrong. To me there is just something very wrong with the picture when all we see is electric power. Truth is, no matter which way to peel it, to do electric energy you have to be doing carbon or nuclear energy to make it work. We can do better than that. I’m sure a bunch of very smart people have been quietly working away somewhere and have the solution ready to roll when it’s needed. I’m tipping that hydrogen features as the main component. Right now, I couldn’t afford to buy an EV even if I thought they were the answer. Perhaps they are the answer but to which question? Actual replacement for all ICE vehicles? Not even close.

Reply to  Pete
February 12, 2020 8:02 am

Paragraphs are your friend.

Reply to  Pete
February 12, 2020 12:04 pm

The future is oil. First, 30% of oil is used for products other than fuel, like plastics. Good luck finding a suitable replacement for insulating all the wiring you need. Secondly, there are no alternatives even being considered for air travel and oceanic shipping. Finally, the military is not going to be powered by solar cells, wind turbines, and batteries, EVER. Nor is hydrogen fuel in their future.

Other tha lip service to the Greens, oil companies aren’t doing much because they know it’s not a threat to their business.

Andy Pattullo
February 12, 2020 6:47 am

Clearly when there is still a choice, consumers will choose not to put their pocket money through the paper shredder. It will obviously require more than just subsidies but rather government mandates to bring compliance.

Caligula Jones
February 12, 2020 7:14 am

Its hilarious to me to read our local FB group: a strongly “progressive” even Green area of Toronto, where every environmental virtue signalling is “for the children”, etc….except that now our electrical bills are going up, up, UP!…and the complaints are starting.

Can’t imagine what will happen if one had to plug in an EV as well as a the typical household of a dozen or so rechargeable. I mean, does anyone EVER factor that in?

I’d ask “what did they think would happen”, but thinking takes more work than emoting and beyond not using plastic straws or bags and turning their lights off for an hour a year is about as “green” as most of these hypocrites get.

February 12, 2020 7:34 am

“only 325,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles were sold in the U.S. in 2019, down from 349,000 in 2018.”

And that is before the subsidies start expiring.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
February 12, 2020 11:32 am

Indeed. Tesla & Chevy began losing the federal tax credit last year with it having completely expired for Tesla at the beginning of the year. it completely expires for Chevy in the spring/summer. Nissan looks to be closest to being next. There’s still state subsidies (I believe NJ recently announced a “rebate” based on the electric range rating, up to a total of $5k)

February 12, 2020 7:34 am

“Green technology cannot thrive off human rights abuses.”

Of course it can, if those abuses are happening somewhere you can ignore.

99.985% of the ‘Green Movement’ is quite happy to ignore conditions elsewhere, because all they’re doing is virtue-signalling to other Greens.

February 12, 2020 7:53 am

The EU made their drivers switch from gas to diesel. Then they noticed increased air pollution. Now, they are forcing their drivers to switch from diesel to electric, while closing down fossil fuel and nuclear power plants.
What am I missing?
BTW, I drive a hybrid Pacifica. Love it. It really reduces how much gasoline you burn (and reduces your gasoline taxes.) Don’t criticize me for not paying my share. I pay as much $$ for tolls as I do for gasoline when I visit the grandkids. It gets excellent mileage. Interestingly, in the winter, when the electrical stuff gets less efficient, I think it is cheaper to burn gasoline than use house current to charge it up. Heating up the car in the winter reduces the electric mileage by about 30% or more. 25 Kw to cruise down the highway. 7 Kw to heat the car. That latter number adds up fast in slow stop and go driving.
BTW, the govt is an important actor in all of this, giving out money. Thanks to Trump’s tax reform, and to the Federal and State tax credits for this car, in the last two years the US govt has pretty much paid this car off for me. Seriously.

February 12, 2020 8:06 am

The great industry cliff dive is just getting started. It will be fun and fascinating to watch until the industry bailouts come along to cost you watchers from the sidelines with no say in the matter. They also won’t listen to you when others get suckered into the used car market for heavily depreciated EVs and hybrids that tend to break with $6,000 repair bills.

Tom Abbott
February 12, 2020 8:18 am

From the article: “Despite the fears, concerns, and environmental questions being evaluated by the public and the potential EV buyers, governments are wishing to counteract the slower than expected transition to EV’s. Governments are starting to make giant steps to accelerate the move away from petroleum vehicles.”

When will the Democrats in the U.S. call for outlawing gasoline-powered cars? If they ever do, I’m betting they get a *lot* of resistance.

I guess the European car companies can move all their ICE vehicle manufacturing to the United States. We won’t be giving up our ICE vehicles anytime soon.

Tom Abbott
February 12, 2020 8:22 am

A hybrid ICE/Electric vehicle would seem to be a good compromise. It lowers fuel consumption and eliminates the charging and range problems of all-electric vehicles.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 12, 2020 10:16 am

I own one. Love it. But, without the govt subsidy (10,000 State and Federal), it would be hard to justify on a purely economic basis given that fact that gasoline is so darn cheap these days.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  joel
February 12, 2020 11:23 am

We bought our Ford C-Max (look it up, its a real car) three years ago.

Wasn’t in the market for a hybrid, but a complete ^#@%# made the decision easier by rear-ending me a month after paying off the previous car’s loan…so test drove one and liked it (well, Mrs. Jones drives it so I liked it too) and haven’t looked back.

This was when our previous Liberal government announced the first of many tax hikes on gas, so it made the decision a little easier.

Reply to  Caligula Jones
February 12, 2020 3:02 pm

Where I live such hikes on gas have real consequences in elections on par with grabbing the third rail.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 12, 2020 5:12 pm

Well, the Liberal government was replaced by a Progressive Conservative one. Seriously, that’s the name of the party, but its led by the Doug Ford, the brother of the former “crack Mayor” of Toronto, Rob.

So its actually pretty conservative, and has cancelled tons of “green” crap the Liberals started, including the subsidy for EV.

Steve Z
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 12, 2020 2:19 pm

I also have a 2008 Prius, which we bought used. It’s has a small internal-combustion engine, and energy from braking is used to charge the battery, which can help drive the car slowly in heavy traffic. It cannot be plugged in, and won’t go very far on an empty gas tank, but at 45 miles per gallon (mixed highway/city) it has a fairly long range on an 8-gallon tank, and it has enough power to drive at highway speeds (70 mph here). The engine turns off when stopped at a traffic light, which probably saves a lot of gasoline from idling, and the battery is used to re-start the engine when the light turns green.

If the car is driven a typical 15,000 miles per year, at 45 mpg it would consume 333 gallons per year. Comparing that to an ICE-only car at 25 mpg, which would consume 600 gallons per year, the hybrid saves 267 gallons of gasoline, or about $667 per year at $2.50 per gallon. One would have to drive the Prius for 15 years to save $10,000 in gasoline, so it may not be worth the price to buy a new Prius, from a strictly financial point of view.

But for those interested in reducing their carbon (dioxide) footprint, a hybrid ICE/electric car does much better than a pure-electric vehicle. A typical ICE engine is about 35% efficient, meaning that 35% of the heating value of the fuel is converted to work performed by the engine. An electric motor is about 80% efficient, but if the power is generated by a coal-fired plant at 35% efficiency, the net energy output is only 0.80 * 0.35 = 28%, so that using an electric vehicle actually INCREASES CO2 emissions.

If the power is generated by a combined-cycle gas-fired power plant at 60% efficiency, the overall efficiency is 0.80 * 0.60 = 48%, which reduces CO2 emissions by 1 – 0.35 / 0.48 = 27% .

But switching from an ICE car at 25 mpg to a hybrid ICE/battery car at 45 mpg (with no electric charging requirement) reduces CO2 emissions by 1 – 25 / 45 = 44%.

If the goal is to reduce CO2 emissions from cars, a hybrid ICE/battery car does much better than an all-electric plug-in, which might end up INCREASING emissions if the electricity is from a coal-fired power plant.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Steve Z
February 12, 2020 4:30 pm

Thanks for that analysis, Steve.

Paul Milenkovic
Reply to  Steve Z
February 13, 2020 1:42 pm

A battery has both a charge-cycle/auto-mileage lifetime and a calendar lifetime from battery “shelf life.” I heard that 10 years is a rough estimate. Your used 2008 Prius is already at the end of its calendar lifetime.

At least if a battery degrades in a Prius, it may be first manifest as a slight reduction in gas mileage — the battery may need to be far gone for the car to quit.

I also heard that there are two options for battery replacement — a new one from the factory for multi-thousands of dollars and a much cheaper reconditioned one. If you are brave (you are working with high voltage DC with the many cells in series — Scotty Kilmer explains the stout rubber gloves that you need to inflate to check for tears a personal protective equipment for this work), you can save money by reconditioning the pack yourself. The reconditioned battery, according to Scotty Kilmer, will not last anywhere as long as the original — you are only replacing cells that have failed, you are not replacing cells with a lot of time/cycles on them that may fail soon.

Scotty Kilmer only recommends a hybrid as a new vehicle purchase for someone who expects their car to serve them for about 10 years because of the battery replacement situation.

Can anyone weigh in with real-world experience if you can run a Prius on an original battery pack for longer than 10 years? Anyone with experience with a reconditioned hybrid battery pack?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Steve Z
February 14, 2020 3:34 am

Good but you forgot the CO2 emissions already “incorporated” into the batteries of both the EV and the hybrid.

Gary Pearse
February 12, 2020 8:37 am

Mr Stein and others here have bought into the “dirty” mining and child labor deception that socialists have sucessfully pounded into our heads over 4 or 5 decades. The large bulk of cobalt (coproduced with copper) is extracted by modern underground and open pit mechanical operations and processed in modern high tech metallurgical plants. Glencore ( and Katanga Mining are large and intermediate sized producers listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Small independent local/family/village production takes place in most mineral rich countries. They are their own bosses. It is a way for otherwise very poor people to obtain an income (gold sluicing is even active in Yukon and Alaska by private individuals and small seasonal groups).

I assisted indigenous tin-tantalum miners in Nigeria with mine design and simple mineral processing in the 1960s as part of my duties as an officer of the Geological Survey of Nigeria. I’ve surveyed and evaluated alluvial gold fields in northern Benin, where I bought a days production from each of a number of scattered individual operators to assist with the valuation calculations. I’ve visited ‘garimpeiros’ small miners in Minas Gerais Brazil where Lithium is mined on a small scale. Local people are going to continue to do this come hell or high water. The implication that big bad whitemen are cracking the whip and paying starvation wages is totally fabricated by the ugly Agendist set.

Hand-picking/ cobbing (using hammers) was practiced right up through the 1930s with copper, lead, zinc, etc. ores in the US and Canada and around the world. My early jobs paid 25 to 50c an hour for labor and as a graduate geological engineer, mapped geology for the government for $100/m.

Ronald Stein, don’t be lazy in your researches! The entire spectrum of human activity has been compromised and nothing should be taken for granted

February 12, 2020 9:09 am

Folks should take a look at what the chargers cost and factor that in as well. Simply “plugging” it in at home isn’t a fast charge, it’s a slow as can be. Overnight might be enough, but also might not be.

The infrastructure costs associated with this shift won’t be negligible either. Once companies start to figure out that the chargers that are provided for free at charging stations are not providing any sort of actual return you’ll start to see fewer and fewer of them. It’s possible that economies of scale should bring the cost down, but it will still be an issue if you’re buying an $8000+ fast charger to draw people to visit your coffee shop and they sit there for an hour plus and have a $6 coffee.

For cities/communities/municipalities the costs of installing charging in parking areas is going to be astronomical. With decreased fuel taxes available with this shift where will that money come from, never mind, as others have pointed out, the money for maintaining roadway infrastructure.

This is far from well thought out. The tech may eventually get there but it’s not going to save anyone any money at all if done hastily.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  buggs
February 12, 2020 9:20 am

“Once companies start to figure out that the chargers that are provided for free at charging stations are not providing any sort of actual return you’ll start to see fewer and fewer of them.”

Yep. Can’t wait for the shareholders’ revolts, especially in areas like Ontario, Canada where electricity prices are going UP.

Unfortunately, as a “shareholder” in Toronto, Ontario and Canada, I don’t hold out hope, just gonna keep my powder dry, so to speak…

February 12, 2020 9:13 am

VLJ – Very Light Jets. 25 years ago VLJ were going to revolutionize general aviation, GA. It was the buzz, the vibe, the investment. It was not going to happen. It was not to be.

For the same reason, EVs will NEVER amount to a sizable portion of the motor vehicle market. EVs are terribly inefficient and complex. They will never compete in the vehicle marketplace – only governments will buy them, i.e. Electric/Hybrid buses, etc. and not for economic reasons. It’s called the law of entropy, 2nd law of thermodynamics. No legislature can repeal THAT law. Entropy makes EVs uncompetitive. Nobody will willingly pay the real costs, in taxes or otherwise.

Gary Pearse
February 12, 2020 10:45 am

William A. EVs may not be needed at present, but eventually they will be. I guess we’ll have to repeal the the second law.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
February 12, 2020 3:03 pm

Spoken like a true liberal! I’m kidding only if you were being sarcastic. 🙂

February 12, 2020 9:25 am

The low hanging EV fruit has been mostly picked. Those that are interested in virtue signaling. Those that can afford it. Those that it meets their range and charging requirements. If range, cost, and refueling ease matched ICE cars EVs would win hands down due to their superior driving characteristics. But we knew that 100 years ago.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  markl
February 12, 2020 11:17 am

“we knew that 100 years ago.”


Like all bad generals, Big Green is fighting this using plans for the last war. “Start with the rich, like they did with ICE”…

Yeah, but the costs of owning a car 100 years ago were only part of why people bought them. Compared to horse and buggy, ICE couldn’t be beat. And that was before they invented stuff like heating…headlights…shocks…etc.

And EV and an current ICE are more or less exactly the same, DNA-wise.

Mark Broderick
February 12, 2020 9:58 am

What about the people living apartments ? Is the landlord going to install a charger in every parking space without doubling the rent ? Not very likely……

William Teach
February 12, 2020 9:59 am

When Honda released the Clarity plugin nationwide, there was an initial burst of excitement and sales, particularly in the NE. That didn’t last long. People would come in here and there to inquire about them, but, sales became so dismal that there are no longer available for sale in most states, because people do not want them. And it was a good vehicle.

Reply to  William Teach
February 12, 2020 10:25 am

Just read the MotorTrend review. That car cost almost as much as my hybrid Pacifica, to which it cannot compare.

CD in Wisconsin
February 12, 2020 10:14 am

Automaker GM is investing $2.2 billion in Detroit and Volkswagen $800 million in Chattanooga, TN, for electric car production. Don’t know how much the other automakers are investing in EV’s, but I have a feeling they may live to regret their decision. That’s what happens when you don’t do your homework and don’t realize you may be listening or pandering to the wrong people…

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
February 12, 2020 10:20 am

I think they all expect Uncle Sam to be there when needed. For right now, they are doing the “right thing.”

Reply to  joel
February 12, 2020 12:15 pm

I think it comes down to meeting fleet mileage goals set by the US Government. Offering an EV boosts the average MPG of your automotive fleet. Doesn’t matter if you sell only One or One million of them or take a loss on every unit produced if it allows you to continue to sell the ICV that the public wants.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
February 12, 2020 3:04 pm

They are pandering to CARB, not you.

While CARB stay safely out of the line of fire on losses and bailouts.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 12, 2020 3:19 pm

A 12 stall (station) fast charging station was recently installed a couple of miles away from me. I forgot to ask the Telsa owner I meet near the station if the charger has been upgraded to the new standards- (which will enable taxing EV owners based on kWh to fill up their battery)-


“Revenge of the regulated

….”When DMS first proposed its rules in 2018, it said it wanted a strict new standard in place by the start of 2020. The pushback from industry was immediate. What the regulators proposed, companies said, was impossible.

They feared the cost of upgrades would be far more than the $7.9 million that DMS estimated for all companies statewide.

EVgo, which has the state’s largest network of fast chargers, said retrofits would cost $13 million, or one and a half times what Californians paid for charging on its network in the entire year of 2018. Electrify America estimated at least $12 million, and Tesla Inc. $24 million.”

My city gets sales tax revenue from FF sales in the city. They would like to keep their coffers full so in the future so they will want a surcharge on the kWh sales too.

February 12, 2020 10:26 am

People will show this article to their grandkids in 30 years and everyone will fall around the floor laughing….. If you don’t think EV’s have a future, then take a look at Teslas share price of late. Here I’ll help you…..

Reply to  Simon
February 12, 2020 1:24 pm

Yeah. Stock price is a good indicator. Not.

I bought Telray Aug. of 2018, for $20-something a share. Sold out at $80-something in September of 2018. In Oct. of that same year, it hit $150. Today it’s at $16.33.

Want an example closer to Tesla? Check out the share-price history of Nio, the Chinese EV company. From fall of 2018 to fall of 2019, it fell from $10 to $1. It has since recovered all the way back to 4.

If you can’t recognize a speculative play or are greedy, it’s best to stick to buying shares in big, dividend paying companies, like XOM.

Reply to  jtom
February 12, 2020 3:05 pm

What Simon doesn’t know about finances and economics is, …, well, …, just about everything.

Reply to  MarkW
February 12, 2020 8:01 pm

I know a lot more than someone who makes stuff up then runs away. But I also know a lot about cars and the Tesla 3 is one hot mobile. Not just because it is soooo much fun and cheap to drive, but because it has been heralded across the planet as a game changer. Keep dragging your knuckles MW.

Reply to  Simon
February 12, 2020 9:28 pm

I can smell the smug from here.

Though I did see a Tesla once. Driving 10km/h under the speed limit, presumably because they were scared the battery would run out before they got to a charger if they drove any faster.

True story.

Reply to  Simon
February 12, 2020 10:38 pm

“Though I did see a Tesla once. Driving 10km/h under the speed limit, presumably because they were scared the battery would run out before they got to a charger if they drove any faster.

True story.”
I once saw a guy walking in the dessert holding a petrol can. True story

Reply to  Simon
February 13, 2020 8:27 am

Once again Simon declares that his fantasies are actually reality.
Whether or not Tesla 3 is a “hot mobile” in your pathetic mind is of no importance. The question is, how many are being sold, and the answer for that is not many.
Beyond that, is your belief that Telsa having a high stock price is proof that the company and electrics in general are succeeding.

BTW, just because something doesn’t agree with your religion, is not proof that it is made up. I’ve provided evidence for my claims. Too bad the best you can do is plug your fingers deep into your ears and scream that you won’t believe it.

Reply to  Simon
February 13, 2020 11:13 am

Make it up run away MarkW
“BTW, just because something doesn’t agree with your religion, is not proof that it is made up. I’ve provided evidence for my claims. Too bad the best you can do is plug your fingers deep into your ears and scream that you won’t believe it.”

Really? Provide evidence for ““Since we are still colder than the average temperature for the last 10,000 years ….””

“Whether or not Tesla 3 is a “hot mobile” in your pathetic mind is of no importance”
Ahh…. ya…. it is. You just can’t stomach that Musk is actually winning. Read the reviews, go for a ride, then you can speak like you are making sense, till then you are blowing hot…. air again.

John Endicott
Reply to  Simon
February 14, 2020 10:35 am

You just can’t stomach that Musk is actually winning.

2015 -888.66M
2016 -674.91M
2017 -1.96B
2018 -976.09M
2019 -862M

That’s a mighty odd definition of winning. All those minus signs look like losing (as in losing hundreds of millions of dollars each and every year for all 17 years they’ve been business).

Reply to  Simon
February 18, 2020 5:04 pm

I’ve provided the evidence that Simon is asking for at least 3 times. However he refuses to look because none of them are team approved sites.

John Endicott
Reply to  Simon
February 13, 2020 5:33 am

Forget share prices, look at profits: Tesla hasn’t made an annual profit, ever! Not once in all the years of it’s existence!! (they’ve managed the occasional profitable quarter, mainly due to accounting gimmicks, but never a profitable year).
2015 -888.66M
2016 -674.91M
2017 -1.96B
2018 -976.09M
2019 -862M

note the minus signs. And with the federal tax credit having ended for Tesla at the beginning of the year, I don’t expect to see those negative numbers disappear when 2020’s annual numbers are available.

Reply to  John Endicott
February 13, 2020 8:28 am

But they’ve got a “hot mobile”, how can they be failing??????

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  MarkW
February 13, 2020 9:24 am

LMAO. Nothing like losing $billions while the deluded continue to bid up your stock.

I guess P.T. Barnum was right!

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
February 13, 2020 2:52 pm

“LMAO. Nothing like losing $billions while the deluded continue to bid up your stock.”
Another “know it all” who has never driven one.

John Endicott
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
February 14, 2020 10:28 am

Simon, driving one or not doesn’t change the fundamentals of a business. Many an excellent product has gone the way of the dodo because the company behind the product couldn’t turn a profit. Superior products have often lost out to inferior ones because the later was profitable and the former was not. Tesla could have invented the most perfect automobile by every measure imaginable, but if they can’t make an annual profit off of it, and instead continues to lose hundreds of millions of dollars each and every year, eventually they’re going to run out of OPM and go bust. accounting gimmicks can only get them so far.

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
February 18, 2020 5:06 pm

Once again Simon demonstrates that he puts loyalty to the cause way, way above personal integrity.

The question here is about how fast Tesla is losing money.
The fact that you like one of the models that they make says nothing regarding that question.

As I said above, Simon goes out of his way to demonstrate his ignorance on any subject other then how best to propagate the lies he’s paid to push.

Reply to  John Endicott
February 13, 2020 2:51 pm

John Endicott
Last two quarters a profit. Get used to it.

John Endicott
Reply to  Simon
February 13, 2020 4:50 pm

Simon, last year, like *all* the years before it, a big fat loss. You should be use to it by now, it happens every year. As I pointed out, Tesla occasionally manages to get a quarter with a profit (usually on the back of accounting gimmicks), even 2 in a row (IIRC it’s the second time they had 2 in a row) but still have a massive loss for the year. Get back to us when they have 4 quarters that add up to a net profit (something they’ve never accomplished to date). Just don’t hold your breathe for it.

Reply to  John Endicott
February 13, 2020 5:50 pm

John Endicott
“Get back to us when they have 4 quarters that add up to a net profit (something they’ve never accomplished to date). Just don’t hold your breathe for it.”
You bet I will. And I will enjoy every minute of it.

John Endicott
Reply to  John Endicott
February 14, 2020 5:27 am

We won’t be holding our breathe, and in the meantime we’ll keep point out the annual losses to you each and every year that passes.

Reply to  John Endicott
February 14, 2020 9:53 am

Please do and if you are right, I will be man enough to admit I was wrong and I hope you do the same

John Endicott
Reply to  John Endicott
February 14, 2020 10:22 am

If Tesla ever manages an annual profit, I’ll be first in line to admit I was wrong. But as the company stands right now, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. accounting gimmicks can only take a company so far, after all.

Reply to  John Endicott
February 18, 2020 5:09 pm

“I will be man enough to admit I was wrong”

I guess there will be a first time for everything.

He’s never managed to “man up before”.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  MarkW
February 19, 2020 6:08 am

Better odds he’ll move the goal posts. Again. Loss will become profit, gross will become net. Etc. Repeat as needed.

Reply to  Simon
February 18, 2020 5:07 pm

Wow, for 2 quarters, using various gimicks, Tesla has managed to just barely squeak out a profit.
And from this Simon concludes that going forward, Tesla will always be profitable, even though they have just lost all of their subsidies.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  MarkW
February 19, 2020 6:07 am

“Although the Yankees lost 14-4, they scored 1 in the 7th, 2 in the 8th and were gaining momentum to score 3 in the ninth when Judge was doubled off to end the game after scoring 1 in the 9th…”

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
February 19, 2020 8:15 am

Well not *all* of their subsidies, just all of the federal credit. There are still many states (California, NJ, etc) as well as other countries (In Europe, mostly) with subsidy/credits that Tesla’s qualify for. Though your point remains, the lost of subsidies/credits invariably cause a loss in sales if history is any guide.

Everywhere where EV subsidies have been lowered/removed, EV sales (in general) have dropped. And it’s not hard to see why, Econ 101 shows that when the effective price goes up, potential sales go down (all else being equal). A 45K car that can effectively be bought for 35K (due to tax credits, rebates, etc.) will sell in greater volume than a 45K car that goes for 45K (due to lack of credits, rebates, etc.).

Desert Skeptic
February 12, 2020 10:30 am

I have known two liberal friends who had their expensive little green cars. Both used their cars for virtue signaling and very short trips. However for their serious longer drives, they used big gas guzzlers. I bet the number of miles driven by EVs, is a much lower percentage of total miles driven, than the percentage of EV cars compared to the total number of vehicles.

John Robertson
February 12, 2020 11:10 am

“We’re constantly being bombarded with the EV movement, but Americans must have a multitude of subconscious reasons for not buying into one of the major movements to save the world from itself as they are showing their lack of enthusiasm by avoiding the dealerships.”
Or a conscious reason.
BS is still BS,whether packaged by add company or government.
The Electric car is a 200 year loser,that “technology” even lost to Steam powered cars and then disappeared as Internal Combustion engines improved.
Now politicians steal from us to bribe wealthy posers to purchase these toys.
And the public lack of buy in is “Subconscious”?

Barring the magic battery break through,electric will remain inferior to IC.
As for Lithion Ion is 30 C below zero outside my house right now.
Go you know what a Li-ion battery is at -30C?
A paper weight.
Not one of my Li Ion toys will work when cold.
And if you puncture a Li Ion battery,you have an arsonists dream.

Sun Spot
February 12, 2020 12:12 pm

“Most people don’t understand electricity. “, electricity is a medium for energy transport. In ignorance we have labelled “Electric Vehicles” EV’s,they are not actual powered by electricity (electricity is only the energy transport mechanism).

• If you plug your “EV” into the wall where the source is a Coal power plant “YOUR CAR IS COAL POWERED” !!
• If you plug your “EV” into the wall where the source is a Nuclear power plant “YOUR CAR IS NUCLEAR POWERED” !!
• If you plug your “EV” into the wall where the source is a Natural-Gas power plant “YOUR CAR IS NATURAL-GAS POWERED” !!
• Manufacturing those huge Batteries emits huge amounts of CO2 & pollutants
o Lugging around a 1200 lb gas tank (aka battery) makes no sense
• Etc. etc. etc.

February 12, 2020 12:42 pm

People need neither any brains nor their “subconscious” to see the price tag.

People stupid enough to think the source of all life–CO2–is a pollutant may be forced into these.

A few are so smart that they can understand the simplest science, Physics, which is mostly math. Chemistry is a lot of math as well, and you have to be well above average to grasp it. And energy is covered under those subjects and engineering.

Whenever energy is transformed from one form to another, there is waste, often as much as half. So going from fossil to electric to battery to car will use a lot more fossil fuel than fossil to car. Some of us do understand that.

Ethan Brand
February 12, 2020 12:59 pm

The whole issue of the acceptability and practicality of EVs has little to do with range,cost or features. Imagine an EV with 600 mile range, seating for 5, useful payload of 1200 lbs or more…ie a decent current ICE SUV sold by the millions today.

Now, the one problem that is really not solvable without some magic (read technology not currently imagined or practical). Charging. Charging. Repeat that. This is the problem:

An EV vehicle as described would need about a 400 kw-hr battery. No way to get around that without some Stark Trek magic technology.

To charge such a battery in about an hour (ignoring efficiency) requires about 400, 000 watts of power for said hour. That’s 400 hundred thousand watts. To charge that battery in 10 minutes requires 6 times that, or 2, 400, 000 watts. About 2.4 megawatts. Now, take say, 10 cars at the “filling” station either going or coming back on a weekend trip to Tahoe or Yellowstone, or Gramma’s house in the “country”. You would need approximately 24 mega watts of power to do what ICE filling stations do every day, 24/7 by the hundreds of thousands (in about 5 minutes…).

I don’t care how you carve this problem up. Wait an hour, wait two, limit the charge rate, limit the charging ports. It all adds up to one thing. You can’t really do it.

EVs are great for short duration trips, long charging time availability and when limited overall vehicle utility is acceptable . Picture an electric forklift. Almost indispensable for certain applications, but rarely used when you don’t need to.

Now, as a fan of nuclear power, I have a nice solution….each filling station is equipped with one of several modular reactors under development. Say 50 megawatts. Plenty of quick charge for lots of EVs. Just need a couple hundred of these in each major city. Truly, I am all for it!

EVs, like Corvettes and Model A’s, have their place. They have their fans. They have their uses.
Just not as a replacement for current ICE vehicles.

Now, the truly delusional EV dreams involves aircraft. It boggles my engineering mind that anyone could conceive of such craft beyond toys, curiosities and extremely short range craft (with extremely low speeds and payload). The technology to even imagine a battery electric equivalent commercial jet is beyond even Star Trek. The most trivial analysis of energy requirements, payload and battery technology…not to mention the charging. A 737 burns approximately 750 gallons of fuel per hour. 1 gallon of fuel delivers approximately 33 kw-hrs. With reserves, you need about 4 hours for a practical flight (say Seattle to San Francisco). Totally ignoring efficiency, etc, that requires a huge battery. Start with a magic 100 mega watt hour battery. Now imagine the weight of said battery. Oh, by the way, it stays the same weight over the flight (you burn fuel, hence you don’t need to fly burnt fuel, you still have to fly your dead battery). This is so far beyond even completely delusional fantasy as to be utterly embarrassing. I absolutely have no doubt that there are millions of people that think the only reason we don’t have such craft is due to the dark web of evil oil company executives conspiring to end all life on Earth.

Aspects of the current EV hype make the Salem Witch trails look very sane.

EVs have their place. They have their limitations. That’s the world we live in. All else is Star Trek.

One final word. I really want a warp drive, a replicator and especially a transporter. I just recognize that it’s not terribly likely in my remaining lifetime….:)

Reply to  Ethan Brand
February 12, 2020 1:37 pm

In reality, your ‘nice solution’ of hundreds of small nukes would become dirty bombs in most major cities very quickly. That’s especially true, today, with the angry Left.

Rudolf Huber
February 12, 2020 2:00 pm

The market for those that can afford a second car and want to show how cool they are is rather limited. There also is a lot of competition by Italian supercars and Porsches. Also, cool is not sustainable as the cool think of today is the sales junk of tomorrow. It’s an unforgivable market and EV’s might be close to the saturation point.

Reply to  Rudolf Huber
February 12, 2020 3:34 pm

I once paid $1,400 for a used Toyota with a “suspect” transmission. I was right about the transmission (although I suckered myself, I thought a transmission overhaul, based on my most recent transmission overhaul, was $300-$600, except this was an electronic controlled transmission and overhaul price was $1,600), it did fail on me, after 3-1/2 years. How long do you think I would get out of a used BEV with a “suspect” battery? But I bet the purchase price would be <$1,400.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
February 13, 2020 12:43 am

If you take the case in Australia last year, an owner of a 10 year old Nissan LEAF worth AU$10,000 if in perfect condition was quoted AU$35,000+ for a replacement battery.

February 12, 2020 6:00 pm

Same deal in Oz-

As for PHEVs they’re frowned upon because the owners are a bit slack plugging them in apparently-

Whilst most urban households could get by with an EV runabout alongside their trusty ICE figures in Oz show 88% of car buyers are doing so on finance so any savings with electricity vs petrol and diesel are swamped by interest and depreciation. The EV fan club’s response is EVs without the complex mechanicals of ICEs will be cheaper to service and last longer so even if you have to plonk in a new battery won’t you please think of their longevity. Problem is with our computers on wheels nowadays it aint all about the drive train as we’re increasingly finding-

These things run on touchscreens and sophisticated computer hardware and software and you show me the serious 10 yr old computer you’re still happily using today? Even Kia in Australia with its 7 year unlimited kms factory warranty only guarantee the AA/AC head unit for 3 years which is what our Tax Office allows for full computer depreciation and carmakers here only have to reasonably guarantee spare parts for 10 years. The EV fans are not really paying attention to the serious lack of KISS principle with technological obsolescence in our modern cars.

Reply to  observa
February 13, 2020 8:30 am

The engine on your ICE will last longer than the EV’s battery and cost less to replace.

February 12, 2020 6:19 pm

That’s not to pick on Tesla specifically in that regard-
and to add to global Takata airbag problems when they’re not going off by themselves ( fancy use by dates anybody?) you want them to go off at the right time-

nw sage
February 12, 2020 7:23 pm

Re: The Brits outlawing diesel and gas powered vehicles in 2035:
Time to invest in horses – and hay – and horse poop disposal systems! And do it NOW because it takes a long time to grow and train horses.

Steven F
February 12, 2020 7:47 pm

Did anyone see the flaw in this report? the 325,000 EVs sold in 2019 were for just the major auto manufactures. It doesn’t include Tesla which by itself sold 367,500. Yes Tesla sold more EVs than all the major auto manufactures combined.

Why, simple the major auto manufactures cannot make a competing produce. NHTSA called the model 3 the safest car ever made. And al Tesla models have sports car handling and and the slowest Tesla will do 0-60 in 5.6 seconds. Tesla offers 220 miles (standard battery) and optional 300 miles batteries. Most of teslas competitors are at 200 miles or less. Also all Teslas come with high speed DC charging standard with access to the Tesla supper charger network which has 1804 carging stations with over 15,911 charging stations. The models 3 will reach 80% charge in 26 minutes which is enough time to get a meal, go to the bathroom. More thanEnough range to get to the next supper charger station. While not as fast as a gas station it is still practicle to drive long distances in a single day.

In comparison the Chev bolt is limited to 259 miles and does 0-60 in 8 seconds. A high speed DC charger is an extra cost item but there are very few comparable DC fast chargers and there is no GM charging network. ThE DC fast charger will fully recharge the bolt in 1 hour and 20 minutes. I you want to take a bolt on a long drive you need to locate usable chargers before you start the trip. Yes the bolt does cost less but it is not selling. Most of the rest of Tesla’s competition is worse. Advertising is not helping to move the cars off of dealers lot. Tesla in comparison doesn’t advertise. It doesn’t have to because the performance of the car is obviously better.

At the start of this year Tesla was expecting to sell 500,000 new cars. However with the Corona virus tesla was forced to temporarily close their second factory in China. So they will probably not reach the sales target. Tesla will start shipping the model Y this year and likely will exceed 500,000 sales in 2021.

Reply to  Steven F
February 13, 2020 1:34 am

Steven F

Yet none of the tesla or bolts are saving the planet, no matter how fast a tesla is, its packed full of plastic as is every other EV.

The cost of batteries and other complex electrical components is a worry for people. I do not want to spend 6/7 thousand dollars every 5 or 6 years on a new batteries, I do not want to loose milage due to cold weather, or to have to turn the radio of to save milage 😐 The EV scam is as bad as the climate scam.

John Endicott
Reply to  Steven F
February 13, 2020 5:50 am

Steven F, did you fail to see the flaw in your post? 367,500 number you cite is world wide, the article you are complaining about was (correctly) giving total numbers for the US only – That *INCLUDE* those sold by Tesla. In the US, for 2019, 325,000 EVs sold (yes, that *INCLUDES* the 192.2k Tesla’s that were sold in the US). which is down from the 349,000 sold in 2018 (which *INCLUDES* the 191.6k Tesla’s that were sold in the US in 2018).

So while Tesla did see a slight increase from 2018 to 2019 in the US (of about 0.6K) the overall market for EVs in the US shrunk by about 24k. With the federal EV tax credit having gone away for Tesla, and will soon be gone for Chevy, I don’t expect those US numbers will see much of an increase in 2020 (and, indeed, may even see another decrease)

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Steven F
February 13, 2020 9:43 am

The quoted ranges are a joke, because they assume completely unrealistic “conditions.” Car & Driver tests of Teslas on highways, at highway speeds, yield a range only about 2/3 of the “rated” range, which when you consider any “away from home” use will involve “quick charging” to only 80% of the “full” charge, means you can pretty much divide by TWO for more realistic “ranges.”

And you can multiply that 26 minutes by the number of Teslas in line in front of you. Got a couple of hours to spare?! LMAO.

EVs will never replace ICE vehicles until they can draw power from the roads, e.g., from overhead wire on electrified rail lines.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  AGW is Not Science
February 13, 2020 10:06 am

Math? Math?!? MATH!!!

You dare bring real-world data to hopes and dreams?

How DARE you!

Reply to  Caligula Jones
February 18, 2020 5:11 pm

“Math is hard”


Caligula Jones
Reply to  MarkW
February 19, 2020 6:03 am

Here in Canada, our former federal minister in charge of climate change and other fantasies was called “Climate Barbie”.

Originally, I agreed that his was a bit sexist, but the more she talked, the more she proved her nickname was well earned.

February 13, 2020 6:08 am

And all this nonsense because of fake global warming. Of course, this is standard operating procedure for government which has a propensity to turn efficiency and productivity into constant morass and improbability.
If EV’s were a worthy replacement for IC’s, the government wouldn’t need to shove them down our throats…the same with global warming…they wouldn’t need to threaten the public or label them as deniers. Glad to be a skeptic and firm global warming denier. The science it purely settled and it isn’t getting warmer…it’s getting colder. Ignore the news and live free and prosperous.