Battery-powered Vehicles Not Ready for Prime Time

Has anyone given any thought to what nonsense battery powered vehicles really are and to why they won’t really save anyone anything for years to come? No, sadly, the hype has overtaken common sense and millions of dollars are going to be wasted chasing this silly dream. Here are some facts that you might want to consider if you are thinking of taking the plunge into electric-powered vehicles.

1. The batteries most likely are not going to last the 10 years currently being promised. Do you own any device with a rechargeable battery that has lasted 10 years? I didn’t think so. Good luck with this one.

2. Are you even aware that most of the battery packs on electric vehicles being sold today can not even store the equivalent power that one gallon of gas can hold?

3. Are you wondering how car companies are going to try to get the 10 years promised life out of the battery packs? You should. They are going to make sure that the packs are never discharged more than 50%, so you are going to pay for twice as many batteries as you really need and you are going to haul around twice the battery weight that you really need. The Chevy Volt’s battery pack is $16,000 and weighs 400 pounds. Half of that is never going to be used by you or the car, but you are going to pay for it and pay to haul it around for 10 years. Make sense?

4. The new Mini E Cooper seems really cute. It only costs $850 a month to lease, will never travel more than 100 miles on a charge, will require a 24 hour charge time on 110 volts, and has a 573 pound, weight-saving battery pack. What fun.

5. The Chevy Volt will only go 40 miles per charge, and each charge will cost $2.00 – $3.00. Is this any different than a Honda Civic getting 40 miles to the gallon? Oh, and I almost forgot, you can buy two Honda Civics for the price of one $40,000 Volt and keep one handy for a spare. And you will have money left over for your first year’s fuel costs.

6. Where will all the new electric power come from to charge these miracle vehicles? From utilities that primarily use fossil fuels for power generation. Nothing has been saved or gained, with the possible exception of our coal vs. someone else’s oil. For many parts of the nation those plug-ins are going to take thousands upon thousands of extra tons of coal burned each and every night. What fun.

One could continue to discuss the liquid cooling systems needed for the batteries and the engines, which further reduce efficiency, the fact that there are no charging stations anywhere when your batteries run down, that you will still be using an evil gas engine most of the time you are driving, that no one has figured out how we are going to recycle all the depleted batteries, that the electric cars are so quiet as to be a safety hazard (some companies are installing all-weather speakers on the outside of the car and playing car sounds through them), that electric vehicles suffer severe performance constraints in very cold weather and very hot weather, etc., etc., but that wouldn’t be fair.