The California warning signs may be verification about the drawbacks of EV’s
By Ronald Stein
Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure, Irvine, California
With a simple stroke of the pen, Governor Newsom believes he has the power to change the lifestyles of all California residents, and control the supply-demand balance for societies and the economy’s’ transportation needs.
Granted, that half the EV’s in the entire country are registered in California, the troubling news is that there may be warning signs about a bust to the EV growth bubble, as the statistics from California demonstrate that:
- The highly educated and financially well off are currently the primary owners of EV’s.
- EV usage being slightly more than 5000 miles a year is a reflection that the EV is a second vehicle and not the family workhorse vehicle.
- The growing percentage of EV owners that are switching back to gasoline cars, is a message that may deflate EV growth projections.
- The larger and heavier gasoline driven SUVs are currently half of the new car sales.
Governor Newsom apparently did not read the required reading for the next EV owner: Drawbacks of EV’s, before he announced on September 23, 2020 an executive order to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035. He is directing the state to require that, by 2035, all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission vehicles.
Maybe the residents of the other 49 states that collectively make up the other 50 percent of EV’s in America (approximately one percent per state) have read what California Governor Newsom has not comprehended from the following 20 drawbacks of EV’s provided by Motor Junkie:
20. Short Range Anxiety. Range anxiety is the number-one factor when it comes to EV downsides. Simply, modern electric vehicles are still range-limited due to their small capacity batteries. Most affordable electric cars on the market have a bit more than a 130-mile-range.
19. Long Charging Times. Even though Tesla and Porsche have made significant improvements, charging is still far from the speed to fill a gas tank. Putting the fuel in your car only takes a couple of minutes compared to charging your vehicle overnight.
18. Trip Planning Problems. Small ranges and long charging times can put a strain on any road trip plans. You cannot plan a fast trip in an electric car without knowing the location of charging stations. You will also need to know the estimated duration of charging or supercharging.
17. Mostly Good for Urban Use. The EV’s range is longer if you drive in the city. Second, there are far more charging stations in metropolitan areas.
16. Not So Environmentally Friendly. Did you ever think about what it takes to make just one electric vehicle? Apparently, the process of making a big chunk of Lithium-Ion batteries from the exotic minerals and metals mined in foreign countries, as well as their disposal is polluting since they are not recyclable. Weakest link to EV growth is the material supply chain. There may not be enough minerals and metals in the world to achieve the planned EV growth.
15. Too Expensive. There is a range of electric cars for sale on the current market, with the top models going for well over $100,000. Although there are affordable models like the Volkswagen Golf E or Nissan Leaf, electric vehicles still cost significantly more than models that run on fossil fuels.
14. Repair Difficulties. If you own an electric car, you can forget going to your local shop or fixing it inexpensively. Regardless of the type and the model, all-electric vehicles require specific maintenance and service procedures as well as extremely high safety standards.
13. Too Heavy. Some of the high-end models like the Tesla Model X, the battery pack weighs in at over 1,000 pounds. Also, the car itself weighs over 2.3 tons. Heavy vehicles mean more tire wear, more energy consumption, and maintenance too.
12. Cold Temperature Issues. Where the winters are cold and snowy, cold weather battery drain can be a big problem for everyday use. Owners report a reduced range and even the failure to operate in especially harsh winter conditions. That could be life-threatening.
11. Low Top Speeds. Most regular everyday EVs are quite slow. The top speed of the Golf E or Kia Soul EV is limited to below 100 mph, for instance.
10. Highway Driving Consumption. The advertised range that many manufacturers brag about is the average or city driving figure. However, the highway range is much smaller, sometimes up to 50 percent less.
9. High Heavy Load Consumption. No matter how strong or big your battery pack is, the energy consumption under a heavy load is excessive.
8. Ease of Tracking Your Movements. Those systems are designed to track your driving habits, locations, charging points, and so on. Are you sure that you want your every move to be recorded on a server?
7. Just Plain Ugly. There are some electric vehicles that are stunning beauties, but most of them are just plain ugly or ordinary at the very least.
6. Threatening Existing Economy Models. Some economic experts fear that the mass production of electric vehicles and focus on this kind of technology will destroy the current economic model. Also, think about the enormous car industry with all the companies that make fuel-related products, such as engine parts, fuel injection systems, transmissions, and drivetrain components. All those companies and millions of people will be out of a job, which would put further strain on the economy and global standards.
5. Major Car Companies Are Not So Sure. Although almost all the major car manufacturers have at least one electric vehicle in their lineup, most of their CEOs are not fully convinced that electric cars are the future of the industry. Their board of directors and marketing people have observed how problematic the EV segment is, so they hesitate to go all-in on electric cars.
4. Practically Unusable in Third World Countries and Markets. The EV craze is limited to just a few first world countries and markets in the world. But other than that, electric vehicles in other areas are nonexistent. Even China, the world’s biggest market, has a hard time implementing any initiatives for electric cars.
3. Buyers Still Consider Them A Gimmick. Most car buyers still consider EVs to be some sort of a sales trick. Their specific operation procedures, limited usability, and different driving dynamics make them cars for tech geeks, but not as regular transport devices.
2. An EV Cannot Be the Only Car in Your Household. Even if you own one or are looking to acquire an EV, you should know that it cannot fulfill all your transportation needs. That is especially true if you have a family and need a dependable vehicle for your family.
1. A Hard Sell. Most drivers lease their electric cars and then return them to the dealer after a few years to get a new model. However, those people who have bought electric vehicles could experience great difficulty selling them on the used car market or trading them in at the dealership.
Time will tell if the California Governor Newsom can inflict with a simple executive order, lifestyle changes to the transportation needs of residents, businesses, and the economy.
Ronald Stein, P.E.
Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure