Are they really better?
Published in the June 2022 issue of “Die Porsche Kassette”
Ⓒ2022 Technolab / PedrosGarage.com
You hear it all the time: “EVs (Electric Vehicles) are significantly better for the environment because they produce zero emissions compared to conventional ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicles and make a lasting positive impact on our planet”.
But are they REALLY better?
As an engineer, I need to analyze the pros and cons to make the determination. Join me on this search and analysis.
Since it's been globally decided that all cars are bad, this is the new thinking and our future: The best car-related innovation we have is not to improve the car, but eliminate the need to drive it everywhere we go.
That's the mantra. Cars are our modern-day dinosaurs; soon to be extinct.
If you have a nice ICE machine, hold on to it!
EV PRO - You can save a lot of money. False claim in my opinion – here's why:
An electric vehicle uses electricity to charge its batteries and power it's electric motor(s). A conservative rule of thumb is that an EV gets 3.5 miles per kWh. The US average cost of a kWh is $0.13. So, driving 10,000 miles per year will need 2,857 kWh which at $0.13 each will come out to $372/year.
Driving a 30 mpg ICE vehicle 10,000 miles per year at $4.00/gallon will cost $1,333 in fuel/year.
The EV owner gets a savings here of $961/year.
Also, the EV owner will save an average of $400/year in maintenance versus the ICE vehicle since EVs do not need oil changes and have far fewer parts than ICE vehicles.
But look closely at the actual cost of the vehicles (ICE vs EV).
The ICE version of the 2021 Toyota Rav4 with the options comparable to the Rav4EV is $27,800.
The 2021 Rav4EV starts at $49,800 to which you need to add $1,300 for the LII home charging station and installation cost of $1,500. So the Rav4EV actually comes to $52,600.
The difference is $24,800 in favor of the ICE vehicle (and that difference exists with all brands offering both versions of a particular model).
There are tax incentives that you get if you pay cash for the vehicle.
Let's say you do and deduct it from the cost: $52,600 - $7,500 = $45,100.
Still a difference of $17,300 in favor of ICE.
Looking at the annual cost of ownership (fuel/electricity and maintenance):
Rav4 (ICE): $1,333 (fuel) + $400 (maintenance) = $1,733.
Rav4 (EV): $372 (electricity) + $0.00 (maintenance) = $372.
The difference is $1361. In order to break even you would have to keep the car almost 13 years ($17,300/year / $1,733 = 12.71 years).
This doesn't take into account that insurance costs for the EV are higher than the ICE version simply because of the replacement value of the car.
The counter is: But they are way better for the environment!
Are they? … Really?
The 1,000 pound batteries that power EVs have a life of 10 years. What happens after those 10 years? They must be replaced – and they're won't be recycled!
The only reason batteries are recycled today is because of the cobalt content. But as batteries convert to non-cobalt content, such as lithium, recycling becomes more expensive than mining and dump sites will be a more economical way to dispose of them. Imagine when millions and millions of batteries run their life and are not recycled, where do they go?
Can you say toxic waste dump? … Better for the environment?
But even worse is the fact that this technology is being touted as renewable energy when in reality no energy system is actually “renewable” since all machines require continual mining and processing of primary materials and the disposal of hardware that eventually wears out.
A 1,000-pound lithium EV battery, for example, contains 25 pounds of lithium, 30 pounds of cobalt, 60 pounds of nickel, 110 pounds of graphite, 90 pounds of copper, and another 400 pounds of steel, aluminum and various plastic components. In order to obtain those quantities of ores, 500,000 pounds earth must be extracted and processed.
Averaged over a battery's life, each mile of driving an EV consumes five (5) pounds of earth. Using an ICE vehicle consumes 0.2 pounds of liquids per mile.
Here's a picture of just one of those open mines to extract rare earths and other necessary materials for EV batteries.
I really do not see the “benefit” of EVs at all.
To me, a much more logical approach to a greener mode of transportation is the Hydrogen Powered Vehicle. It's basic a standard vehicle as we know it which consumes hydrogen (abundant in nature) and produces water vapor as a by-product.
There are several auto manufacturers that have taken a hard second look at hydrogen.
I hope cooler heads prevail for our “collective” own good.
Some of the other PROs of EVs are super acceleration, due to instant torque, low noise from power plant, although a lot more EV owners complain oh higher levels of road and tire noise in their cabins.
I think these are offset by the CONs such as long battery charging time, relatively short autonomy, difficult in finding charging stations, higher costs, etc.
Many of these issues will probably get better as time goes by and technology improves, but still, to me, it's a no-go.
Personally I don't ever foresee purchasing an EV (and I have driven quite a few, including the Taycan Turbo S which is an outstanding piece of machinery).
I am conscious of our environment and really believe that EVs are the bad choice here.
At least I'll be able to drive my old 1998 Boxster even when fossil fuels become outlawed or impossible to buy because of their cost. If you read one of my previous articles, Porsche will be producing their E-Gas (synthetic fuel) that affords old ICE vehicles extremely low levels of pollution, comparable to the net produced by EVs.
We can all do our part to help the environment for future generations, so think this one through before you decide to go all-in.
For more information on EVs, ICE and more, please visit my website: www PedrosGarage.com.