EVs are here to stay and owners overall seem to love them and report they are quiet and fun to drive. Sales of EVs increased to 5.3 percent of U.S. new car sales in 2022, up considerably from the previous year. The majority of sales are for high cost luxury models. The high cost prohibits most from purchasing one. Yes, costs may come down over time, but not in the near future.
The push to 50% or more electric vehicles by 2030 could be a problem. Our electric grid can’t handle this without decades long upgrades .
- EV DRIVING RANGE - REALLY!
- EV BATTERY REPLACEMENT COSTS
- THERE ARE NO FREE RIDES
- POWER GRID ISSUES
EV DRIVING RANGE - REALLY!
Manufactures of EVs provide a mileage range rating under ideal conditions, typically from the mid-200s to 350 miles per full charge. Those estimates don’t take into account extreme weather, mountainous terrain, etc. Mileage range decreases 40% to 50% if you’re running a heater or the AC, operating the vehicle in bad weather that increases drag, or have many hills to climb during your journey.
EVs with a stated range of 300 miles would realistically be around 150 to 170 miles and require more frequent charging and higher electric bills for owners. Batteries over time lose their full charge capabilities, just check your mobile phone’s battery health, mine is at 80%. For those traveling long distance, charging station availability, and the time to recharge is a concern for many.
EV BATTERY REPLACEMENT COSTS
Replacement batteries are expensive if you can get one. A friend of mine purchased a Chevy Bolt several years ago. The battery died while under warranty and it took over a year for the new battery to arrive; the installation was a nightmare. A Chevy Bolt battery costs over $16,000! Most can't afford the cost of a new battery or wait months or longer to get their car back on the road.
KVUE TV, an ABC affiliate in St Petersburg, Florida, reported that a 17-year-old’s parents spent $11,000 on a used 2014 Ford Focus Electric with 60,000 miles. Six months later the battery died and the replacement cost was $14,000! A Tesla owner in Sweden blew up his car awhile back to protest the $18,000 replacement battery cost!
THERE ARE NO FREE RIDES
Currently, Fuel taxes account for 84 percent of federal and 29 percent of state highway funds. As we transition to a greater percentage of EVs on the road, these funds have to be collected through other methods. Many states have increased electric vehicle (EV) registration fees.
EV owners will eventually pay not only for the electricity used whenever they stop for a recharge, fuel taxes may be applied. Those who charge from home may eventually see an add-on-tax to their monthly electricity bill, especially for those who install fast charging systems in their garage. The good news is that many electric utilities offer discounts for charging your vehicle during "off-peak" hours.
Electricity bills increased dramatically over the past year, in some places doubling. Regardless of whether or not a utility provides discounts for off-peak charging, our electric bills may increase dramatically once the majority of cars power up using our currently stressed electrical grid.
Another factor that EV manufacturers don't mention is that EVs weigh considerably more than the same sized gas powered sedan and the breaks and tires wear out faster. Some EV batteries weigh as much or more than a small compact car with a standard gas engine.
After all is said and done, EVs won’t be less expensive than a typical internal combustion engine vehicle down the road, especially after the generous tax credits expire. You also have to factor in battery deposal fees that could be very high. Batteries are considered hazardous waste and will create disposal problems even if they are able to recycle them with new electrolyte.
There are many things to consider when buying an EV or hybrid car. Most services such as Consumer Reports, Kelly Blue Book, Edmunds, and others offer insight into the new models and discuss their pros and cons. Hybrid models have been on the market for over 20 years now. They too provide a good way to up your mileage, many get 40 or more miles per gallon.
Many manufacturers are offering extended warrantees for EVS including 10 years on their batteries in many cases. If you are seriously considering an EV review Consumer Report's auto issue that's published in April of each year. It provides a wealth of information and will help you find the one that is right for you.
Will an Electric Car Save You Money (Consumer Reports)
- Power Grid Issues