For those of us who follow EV industry closely, the benefits and specifications of the current EV crop is well in hand. But there are journalists out there who paint a very different picture.
http://theweek.com/bullpen/column/21580 ... ric-cars/1
The author begins by showing how dismal sales are. Yeah right, sales are so bad GM is shutting down the plant to make modifications so they can ratchet up production. You don't produce a vehicle that is fundamentally different than what you have been making for decades and make it by the tens of thousands. You go slow and make sure you have it right before ramping up production. The Prius took 10 years to sell a million copies, and it is considered a runaway success, one that all of the OEMs hope to emulate with their EV plans.
Next he moves on to “they make no financial sense” argument. In so doing he refers to them as subcompact, they are not, and says “the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are subcompact vehicles without any extraordinary carrying capacity or high-end luxury appointments.” The Volt and Leaf are very well appointed. Are they expensive. Yes. Are there comparable cars just as expensive? Yes. Go equip a 2011 Prius with all the options on the Volt and you will find the Volt cheaper.
Then he states batteries may last only 3 years, but at most 8 years. Well if they only last 3 years that will be the OEM’s issue because they come with an 8 year warranty. And as some commentators have pointed out batteries in hybrid have lasted well beyond 10 years.
No one who looks seriously at the EV market today would think that batteries will look the same in 10 years. With the path we are starting down today a radical transformation of battery technology is highly likely, which means that in 10 years instead of trashing the EV, and owner could very likely be upgrading its performance for a reasonable price.
Next we move on to the “we will run out of lithium” argument. As they say in court “facts not in evidence.” And besides in 10 years lithium may not even be the battery material of choice. The fuel for electric motors is electrons. Fuel cell proponents like to state that hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, but the amount of hydrogen available is nothing next to the number of electrons available.
The comments are worth the read.
“Gee with that kind of attitude, we would be back in the horse and buggy days. I wonder what would have happened in the federal government did not subsidize the birth of air travel.”
But then we have this comment that shows there is still work to be done on understanding how the Volt operates at least:
“But seriously, never mind the rare earth minerals and the ramifications of all the new cars being on the grid - what about the main flaw? Distance. One charge on a Volt will take you (I think) about 300 miles. Then you're stuck. No instant charge, no battery replacement stations. Whatever happened to the Hydrogen Fuel Cell?”