Why are people not buying electric cars

161

With climate change coming, why hasn’t electric cars taken up by consumers, especially in the US where electric car sales are woefully low.

In Europe electric cars are still expensive, but charging points are at all motorway stations, for the sake of 30 mins for a 50% charge (time fora coffee) The tax incentives are there. Our obsession with gas guzzling cars is surely acronystic.

Unfortunately electric scooters ( more comfortable and convenient than cycling) are deemed illegal in the UK, so we are losing the opportunity to minimise urban congestion as well as fossil fuel emissions.

Comments (161)

161 responses to “Why are people not buying electric cars”

  1. robinwilson16

    I know someone who purchased one and they have had one issue after another from a long lead time to deliver the vehicle, to the wrong type of charging point being installed in the garage to the fact that the charging point at the service station does not deliver the fast charge voltage so it would take about 2 hours to charge it. Also I believe they had to rent the batteries. Another thing was that the car was supposed to be new but it had been driven to the house then they had to give the man a lift back to the bus stop - this probably isn't standard though!

    It seems what is holding it back is standardisation. Might work well if you live in a city but not so much for longer distances, until at least everything is inter-operable and can be relied upon.

    Maybe hybrid is the best option until everyone gets their acts together?

    • wright_is

      In reply to robinwilson16:

      If they had picked it up from the dealer, it would have been new. That is more their fault than the dealers.

      Charging points are the sticking point at the moment. There should just be one universal standard.

      Our local city is currently replacing all of its bus fleet with electric and hybrid buses. That, I think is a better move. The hundreds of buses and delivery lorries in big cities make more pollution than the cars - they are also a problem, but banning private cars, whilst allowing diesel buses, delivery vehicles and taxis to continue to pollute the city is just silly. You need to start with the big polluters, but they meet the most resistance.

      My 2014 diesel won't be able to enter many cities in Germany in the coming couple of years. That will make me look at the alternatives, I used to take the train into the city, when I worked there. I now work in a small market town about 30KM away and there are no problems with driving there and I travel into the city maybe once every couple of months. Most of our shopping is done in local stores.

  2. Greg Green

    Our obsession with gas guzzling cars is surely acronystic.”


    It’s got nothing to do with obsessions and everything to do with practicality. Electric cars are expensive, limited in size and range, and take too long to refuel. It really is that simple.


    Rather than trying to modify human behavior, adapt your product or obsession to human behavior. When you do that your product will sell. If you can’t sell the product on a large scale, it’s not the customers’ fault. It’s either the product or the sales pitch. What will seldom work is saying Hey stupid and old fashioned person, why aren’t you driving an electric car?

    • wright_is

      In reply to Greg Green:

      For many, the range is bogus, nowadays. Most modern e-autos can achieve a range of 300 miles plus. Given that most cars are used for commuting and probably do less than 100 miles a day, that means recharging every few days.

      Obviously, if you are a long distance driver, regularly travelling several hundred miles a day, electric vehicles aren't for you. If you are, like a majority of people, commuting under 50 miles a day, the range is irrelevant, unless you are planning a longer trip.

      My Qashqai can go up to 1,200 kilometres (745 miles) between tank stops. But I only need to refuel once a month. On the other hand, if I got a car with a 400 kilometre range, I would have to probably plug it in once a week, overnight, to recharge. That is hardly a problem.

      Long distance? I drive maybe once a month or so 100KM away from home. Once a year a trip of over 600KM, when going on holiday. For that, I can plan in a stop of an hour in the middle. Obviously, if I was doing a 600KM trip a couple of times a week, I wouldn't currently look at an electric vehicle.

      • Daekar

        In reply to wright_is:

        Distances between places are larger in areas with varied geography or population density. I know people that drive over 100km each way to work every single day, not including errands and other tasks. These are not rich folks, mind, they're factory workers.

        Given that most people live in urban areas now, I feel like your optimism is justified on the whole - it's just important to remember that everyone has different needs, perspectives, and values different things when we're pushing to radically transform things like transportation.

        My commute is 42 miles a day, and I frequently tack on another 30 miles to that several days a week in other tasks, so I am a prime candidate for BEVs. I'll be picking one up as soon as the used market becomes reasonable and the technology has a longer and more comprehensive track record.

      • minke

        In reply to wright_is:

        Range isn't bogus if you live in a rental and there is no way to install a charging station, and then when you do find one on the interstate there are four cars waiting. I am reminded of the many, many times I have had to wait while five cars filled up with gas at one of 10 or so lanes at huge interstate gas stations. Let's say each fill up takes 5 minutes. If instead, a fill up of electricity takes 30 minutes then I will be waiting an hour and a half to get to the charger, and then another 30 minutes to fill my "tank" with electricity, assuming there are also 10 charging stations! Of course, right now there are very few places, interstate or not, with that many charging stations. There are physical limits to how fast batteries can be recharged. For now, let's say it takes five times longer than filling a gas tank. That means we will need to install five times as many charging stations, just to keep up with the demand of everyone driving the cars.

        • ommoran

          In reply to Minke:


          This. Or in a condo. You're lucky if most condominium buildings have more than 2 charging spaces. Building charging into parking spots is coming, eventually - once the power companies can meter 2 locations and invoice you on one bill. And there's a financial incentive from government for condo corps and building owners to put chargers in.


          Owning an electric vehicle in a major city means you are wealthy, as you have the option to charge it at home. As of July 2019, the average house price in Vancouver where I live was $995,200. That's a lot of money to have the room and authorization to install a charging station for my very expensive electric car, which may or may not have subsidies available depending on make, model, and time of year (the subsidies seem to run out).


          Funny, but we also never talk about other friendly means of transport. It's all about the electric vehicle. I'll proudly say that part of the reason I ride my motorcycle to work about 200 days a year is because it's more environmentally friendly by a long stretch than most cars (north of 50mpg). I get no special treatment, no special parking, no special lane, no lane filtering, no ability to ignore every rule of the road like a bicycle, but it's cheap therapy and it is an environmentally friendly choice. The range of my tank is probably about the range of many electric cars, so I don't have the anxiety - then again, it takes no time to fill my 6 US gallon tank...

  3. harrymyhre

    Part of it is "range anxiety". Acceptance of electric cars will be directly proportional to the availability of charging stations. And charging stations are popping up all over. The other thing that will drive sales of EV is marketing. When EV are perceived as "the only way to go", sales will take off. Range anxiety was holding back acceptance.


    My neighbor has the new Chevy Bolt and he can go about 250 miles on a full charge.

    • hrlngrv

      In reply to Harrymyhre:

      To the extent people with gas-powered autos still run out of gas from time to time, it's a LOT easier to hitchhike to the nearest gas station for 1 or 2 gallons of gas, then hitchhike back. Are there practical mobile chargers for electric cars?

      There are uncomfortably long stretches of interstates in the western US where there's no gas station, e.g., I-80 in the Bonneville Salt Flats in western Utah, where there are no services for 70 miles. Will electric vehicles ever be practical in such regions?

      Tangent: A/C cuts gas-powered mileage by about 3 MPG. What does A/C do to electric vehicle range? OTOH, given the heat generated by internal combustion, heating a car in winter is NBD for mileage. Does heating the cabin consume significant battery life for electric cars?

    • txag

      In reply to Harrymyhre:

      Works great for urban and suburban driving. Not so great for rural areas with long distances between any sort of town. My next vacation trip will be about 550 miles each way through rural (barely populated) parts of West Texas.

      • jules_wombat

        In reply to txag:

        Well I hope you stay awake.

        The falicy of using long distance examples, suggests that sensible drivers don't take rest and comfort breaks. My most tired and tedious journesys in the US, dangerous not to take a break. 30 min break for a coffee to recharge the car, at least for 40% is surely sensible.

        Providing the power companies get their act together to install sufficient charging points obviously.

        • hrlngrv

          In reply to Jules_Wombat:

          Most drivers attend to bodily needs as needed, but for many of us that's maybe every 4 hours, which at 70 MPH (typical speed in most of the rural western US) is more than 250 miles. For that matter, ever driven US-50 between Delta, Utah and Fallon, Nevada? 100+ miles between each town. Even in California, there ain't much on US-101 between Laytonville and Fortuna.

          Besides, whether 30 minute breaks every few hours is sensible or not, it's UNAVOIDABLE with electric cars but not with gas-powered cars.

          I hold out for hydrogen fuel cells. Once they become economical, they should kill off both internal combustion and ecologically problematic batteries. Electric cars are at best a stop-gap.

        • anoldamigauser

          In reply to Jules_Wombat:

          There are places out west where I have driven for hours and, quite literally, did not see a single sign of human existence; we may as well have been travelling in outer space. Please understand, that if anyone needed to heed the call of nature, it would have been by the side of the road. No towns, no houses, no filling stations, nothing...for hours.

          Distance, in the western US, is just another dimension and if you have not experienced it, you cannot comprehend.

        • txag

          In reply to Jules_Wombat:

          I have a lot of long distance driving under my belt. I can do a 4 hour stretch without difficulty. In west Texas, that’s over 300 miles.


          In parts of the western US, I have range anxiety with my gas-powered vehicles. You can easily go 80-100 miles between gas stations. You don’t want to get caught in between those with a low tank level.

  4. red.radar

    Towing.


    Last time I checked the Tesla Model X puked pulling a 5000lb load (that is small btw) up a grade.


    If you have a boat, camper, equipment trailer or any type of towing need the Electric vehicle is not there. ..... yet.


    I need the versatility of a truck because of the Rural/suburban setting I am in. Also I have quite a bit of land I have to manage which means hauling equipment. I am not the typical "commuter" that everyone likes to generalize about. However people have weekend pursuits and those probably involve a recreational vehicle which means towing.




    • Daekar

      In reply to red.radar:

      Just wait until Ford releases a BEV F-150. The normal car manufacturers know the use cases for the vehicles better than the BEV-only startups like Tesla, and won't make the same kind of engineering mistakes.

      • red.radar

        In reply to Daekar:


        I did see Ford's demonstration of an Electric F150 and it does look promising. However I am concerned about range when towing. I fear that the charge stations are not setup for a trucks and their trailers. They seem to be setup around cars at the moment. I can foresee teething issues.


        Keeping an eye on the tech but for $50k+ I don't think I am going to jump in as an early adopter on that one. I will let others find the issues and report back.

  5. jimchamplin

    Why are they overpriced?

    • wright_is

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      New technology, low volumes (plus the manufacturer can add an exclusivity bonus to their price). Once it becomes easier to make them and they are made in large volumes, the prices should start to fall.

      In Germany the government is trying to help by only offering rebates (4,000€, I believe) on "cheap" (under 35,000€) electric vehicles. If you can afford an expensive car, you don't need the rebate...

      • jimchamplin

        In reply to wright_is:

        All valid points. The issue is that right now they are overpriced. At all. Until that changes, there's not much impetus for people to move that direction.


        My worry is that the price delta exists at this point for artificial reasons. Autos are ridiculously priced to start with here in the US, and it's just builders raising rates because they're considered to be a luxury option.


        I really like how that German rebate helps to stimulate low cost options.

        • anoldamigauser

          In reply to jimchamplin:

          There are rebates in the US, ranging from $2500 to $7500 for plug-in EVs, but they end the first quarter after that manufacturer sells its 200,000th unit. I believe that Tesla has now passed that, and GM is getting close.

          Car prices are, indeed, a bit absurd. I do not think I will buy a new car again. No reason to pay for depreciation.

  6. Salvador Jesús Romero Castellano

    "In Europe electric cars are still expensive, but charging points are at all motorway stations"


    I live in western Europe and I have never, ever, ever seen one.

  7. Bob Nelson

    Maybe because electric vehicles are virtue signaling toys for the well to do?

    Do you see a lot of charging stations at apartment/condo complexes?

    A lot of us older farts have been listening to this alarmist nonsense for decades. In college I had to suffer through a class where we were forced to study that ridiculous book “The Population Bomb” by that hack Paul Erlich.

    From Wiki: Early editions of The Population Bomb began with the statement:

    The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate..

    So you’ll have to forgive us if we give out a collective yawn when we hear the latest gloom & doom predictions from people on the left whose real goal is to control every single aspect of our lives.

    After all, it’s for the children.

    • thejoefin

      In reply to Bob Nelson:

      There have been doom and gloom predictions since the dawn of time. That doesn't mean ignore anyone who raises alarms.


      There is a book called "The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World" which is all about scary predictions vs revolutionary inventions.


      However climate change is not a future thing, it is happening now. Animal species are going extinct at high rates. That cannot be reversed. Weather events are getting more intense. Average temperatures around the world are increasing. Also if you read actual scientific reports and not just listen to media coverage of the reports then you will probably have a better understanding of what is being predicted and how that conclusion was reached.


      The Boy Who Cried Wolf has another less childish moral. If you are a towns person you should take every serious claim seriously; do not become complacent; find real solutions to problems without opening yourself and your community up to more risk.

  8. youwerewarned

    I put some Clean Coal in my tank and nothing happened. And my wind turbine keeps hitting the overpasses. I feel betrayed...

  9. paradyne

    Wow, so many people here (for a technology site) that seem to be stuck with a "this is how the technology is, so that's how it will always be" mentality.


    5 years ago you couldn't really buy an electric car, and if you did it then 300 mile range would have seemed wildly futuristic. Most people hadn't heard of Tesla.


    And here we are 5 years in the future and Tesla is a company most people have heard of, 300 mile range seems practical, some regions in the world already have enough charging points to make it quite viable.


    So now just think 5 or even 10 years ahead, one of the lab breakthroughs in battery tech could have made it to production, 1000 mile range might be available, and since 300 miles is already enough for most people most of the time, the batteries can be a fraction of the size and weight.


    What is the point in being here, and interested in technology, if you think it has reached its pinnacle and what we have is all we're ever going to have? We can, and we will, do better at everything. You can be excited to be along for the ride, or you can spend your life posting negative crap online.

    • wright_is

      In reply to paradyne:

      And the costs should start dropping to reasonable levels as well. For me, it is the price plus the problematic of the batteries being a limited resource and hard to dispose of after use that are holding things back, currently.

      If the industry can address those problems, electric vehicles should be a no-brainer.

      Plus delivery times, Kia and Hyundai have 12 - 18 month delivery times on their electric models, Nissan a good 9 months.

      Heck, milkfloats were electrically driven in the UK up until the 90s, because they were quieter than petrol or diesel motors, so didn't disturb residents, when the milkman was delivering milk in the wee small hours.

      Deutsche Post (German Post Service) has a large fleet of electric delivery vehicles and many cities over here are in the process of replacing diesel buses with electric or hybrid models.

      Ban non-electric delivery vehicles and taxis in cities and you have a majority of the pollution problems dealt with. Improve park and ride and make it difficult for cars to get in and out of the city and parking expensive.

      But there is too much vested interest in the status quo. Getting people to change their habits and a little inconvenience for a better quality of life is always hard.

      • Daekar

        In reply to wright_is:

        I don't have anything meaningful to add to this response other than to say that I absolutely love the term "milkfloat." That is such an adorably British word, I deeply regret that I will not have occasion to use it in my daily life.

    • wright_is

      In reply to paradyne:

      Another thing, at the moment there are several different charging standards, plus Tesla. This needs to change, there needs to be a single charging standard that all cars can use.

    • karlinhigh

      In reply to paradyne: Wow, so many people here (for a technology site) that seem to be stuck with a "this is how the technology is, so that's how it will always be" mentality.


      Point taken.


      However, the question was "Why are people not buying electric cars" and answering that must necessarily focus on the negative.

    • Daekar

      In reply to paradyne:

      The OP asked why people aren't buying BEVs now, and they got answers. I don't see why these answers should be interpreted as necessarily applicable in the future regardless of developments. If things change, as they almost certainly will over time, I expect the answers will change until the question no longer needs to be asked.

  10. crp0908

    I owned a hybrid once. Not the best driving experience. I've read that a Tesla is a great driving experience but for the price of a Tesla, there are so many other more compelling choices.


    How do you go about making sure every single hybrid and EV is recycled at the end of its life? In some parts of the US, there are a lot of junked cars in people's yards. Now imagine the future when all those junked cars are hybrids and EVs with Lithium batteries. Sounds good for the environment? If we believe that this would be an easy problem to solve, then why today do we still have problems recycling plastic, glass, television sets, etc.? Charging people $30 - $50 to recycle a TV set is not the answer. In the meantime, people get creative with their disposal schemes.


    For those overly concerned about the environment, time and effort would be better spent elsewhere. For example, better, cheaper, more convenient recycling programs. Or how about planting trees or taking care of trees or learning about trees or teaching others how to care for trees. But there is little to no money to be made in the tree business so no one talks about that. And trees don't grow fast enough to provide that immediate return on investment that everyone seems to require these days.

    • Daekar

      In reply to crp0908:

      One of the most interesting experiences I've had in the last 15 years was helping my wife do a field trip when she was teaching an agricultural education class for high school age kids. We live in a rural area, and despite this the majority of the class didn't know anything about trees, how to care for them, what kinds there were, or literally how to use a shovel when planting them. They knew trees were good because the indoctrination they received in school told them so (I happen to agree, although I would say my perspective is more like Tolkien's), but they lacked basic fundamental knowledge that justified the assertion that trees are good, and they lacked the basic fundamental physical skills to work with the earth. They didn't even know that trees were part of the oxygen/CO2 cycle.

      They sure as heck knew how to use their phones, though.

    • wright_is

      In reply to crp0908:

      Over here, the retailer has to take back old electrical goods for free and dispose of them according to laws regarding the recycling of electronics.

      Our garden is now full of trees, we have a veritable orchard going on. My wife is also very much into making the garden insect (and wildlife in general) friendly.

      We get dozens of birds feeding in our garden and we currently have 4 hedgehogs making themselves winter-ready at the back of the garden, which is driving our dog crazy!

  11. jwpear

    My wife and I were looking at a Tesla Model 3 recently as her next vehicle. We'd love to have an all electric for a few reasons. Presumably, it is more reliable than a gas powered auto, so our expectation is the total cost of ownership is lower. The articles I've read on this are mixed, so I'm not sure this is or isn't true. The acceleration is absolutely better than gas--important for us as we drive on the interstate daily with old, short acceleration ramps. We also liked the idea of plugging in at the end of the day--no trips to the gas station. Lastly, it's certainly a cool car.


    We ultimately decided against it for a few reasons.


    First, the initial cost was just too high. Mid-30's is our limit. We can afford more financially, but we just don't feel like the value is there for any vehicle to justify paying over mid-30s. In the end, it's a utility that gets us around. Yes, there are some incentives there, but it still hits above what we want to pay.


    The range on the Model 3 was too short. We have family that we visit regularly that's about 270 miles away. We'd have to stop at some point to recharge for 30 mins just to make this trip. It feels like using battery capacity as a way to adjust the price of the vehicle is a little shady (kind of how Apple bumps up price of iPhone significantly just for more storage). I know, the batteries have a cost, but does it really cost several thousand to upgrade the capacity? We have a Honda CR-V that gets 34 MPG on the highway, so we could have driven it for those trips. Regardless, the range of the Tesla just felt too limiting for the price. I think 350 miles is a good range that all electric vehicles should be designed to hit at the base price. That's in line with gas powered vehicles.


    It wasn't clear how the vehicle would hold up over time. We keep our vehicles 10 or more years, if they're proving to be reliable. Our goal is to go 20 years with each vehicle we purchase. What would be the cost to replace the battery? What else might need to be replaced along the way?


    The Model 3 is a car and so it sits low. We're getting to the age that we just don't care to fall into a vehicle every time we go to get in. The Model X is more of what we want, but was way outside our price limit. The Model Y seems closer, but still outside and the projected delivery was too far out.


    We hope that in time, the cost will come down and the range will increase. We'll consider again at our next purchase point.


  12. xmodal

    Gas is cheap. Charging stations are taking forever to appear. Tesla produces the vast majority of the electrics - and they just lost their big tax break (plus it seems as though they're on the verge of bankruptcy about every four months). The cars they did make electric are generally ugly. Americans love SUVs, and there are very few electric SUVs available yet. Half of America doesn't think climate change is real.


    And in my case, Volkswagen won't take the ID Buggy to production, even though people go nuts over it at every auto show.

    • jules_wombat

      In reply to xmodal:

      Just about every motor manufacturer has plans to deliver electric vehicles across their range in the next five years. With the most advanced and progressive nations declaring fossil free transport by 2040. Even India has this intention.

      • Greg Green

        In reply to Jules_Wombat:

        Fossil free transport is a pipe dream in this lifetime. Planes, trains, ships and long haul trucks have no substitute for fossil fuel.


        The world is much bigger than you think.

        • jules_wombat

          In reply to Greg Green:

          Well Trains now run on electricity (certainly in advanced nations). More Rail tracks need to be laid, so that more freight can be moved by Train, rather than diesel trucks. And we have the means develop solar and sail based shipping, albeit very slow. The lazy complacency being expressed by some of the comments here is simply staggering for those who should be interested in technological advances being put to good use.

    • wright_is

      In reply to xmodal:

      Gas is not cheap and the government are putting the prices up around 6c a litre this year and another 20c in 2022. That will make unleaded $7.36 a gallon this year and at least $8.27 a gallon in 2022. That isn't cheap. Electricity is cheap in comparison.

      • Daekar

        In reply to wright_is:

        Jesus H. Christ... that's 2.5 to 3 times as much as it costs in the US. That is an absolutely incredible amount of taxes.

        • maethorechannen

          In reply to Daekar:

          What I'm wondering is what are governments that are used to that level of income going to do if EVs take off.

          • jules_wombat

            In reply to maethorechannen:

            Well typically those governments, that take in high fuel duties (e.g. in Europe), also recognise climate change as being a critical world issue, and so the importance on persuading their populations to convert to electric and other very low emissions vehicles, through lower tax rates and duties.

            There is no such thing as 'cheap gas', just because it is a cheap commodity for a few consumers at the pump, does not mean those consumers doing so much environmental damage to the planet. The real costs of burning fossil fuels needs to be recognised by all nations on this fragile earth.

            • Daekar

              In reply to Jules_Wombat:

              Dude, AGW might be real, but you're not going to help it by using the preachy language. As much as the news might tell you that the evil capitalists have escaped from the Captain Planet cartoon to intentionally ruin the world, they're wrong. The establishment and majority of corporate entities all believe and acknowledge climate change, and the momentum of basically the whole of human society is pushing behind efforts to address it. This climate derangement syndrome of passion and fear does not help, it hurts. If you come across as a Greenpeace nutjob, you're making it more likely that people will reject your message.

          • Greg Green

            In reply to maethorechannen:

            Same as always, raise taxes and fees. Governments will never do with less. In Los Angeles there was a big push to use less water. The residents did as requested and the government water utility couldn’t tolerate less revenue, so they raised rates.


            In Washington state they’re looking at a mileage tax. They’d install a device in the car that kept track of how much you drove, and charge you per mile.

  13. Chadwick

    Solid State Batteries = Game Changers

    1. More capacity means more drive time, screen time, power time, for anything using them. Cars, smartphones, smart homes, power tools, toothbrushes.
    2. Faster charging - with the right voltage/charging station they will be able to charge in minutes to 100%. Basically like filling up your tank now
    3. Cheaper than current tech batteries. Electric cars will see the highest advantages, and pricing will come down because of that. They also don't use lithium as a carrier they use sodium so they will be cheaper overall than current li-ion tech.
    4. Don't have the same heat issues as li-ion tech. Can be molded into more shapes as well.


    We'll start seeing them in the latest Teslas and other high-end electrics soon. Within the next couple of years, within 5-10 years they will be cheap.


    Just need to build out the charging stations. (we'll be forced to standardize that, it's already being worked on)

  14. justme

    Its all about the batteries. It isnt just the time required to charge them. The pollution generated to manufacture, transport, recycle/dispose of them is often overlooked.


    I'll stick to my manual gearbox.


    There is simply no real incentive to change at the moment. The number of available models of EV is generally small. EVs are generally more expensive. The support infrastructure is not ubiquitously there. "Range anxiety" is a factor. Not being able to "gas and go" is another. Add the battery factor, and waiting for hydrogen fuel cells to take off seems like a better way to go (IMO).

  15. sekim

    I'm not currently in the position to buy or own an electric vehicle. My job puts me on the road about once a month that would put me firmly into a range anxiety situation, and there isn't recharging infrastructure handy in my area. I recently had to sell my house, which had a garage that would have been perfect to install a charging system. But now, I'm currently living in a place with street parking and no electric.


    In addition, my current car is now 16 years old. If circumstances conspire to make me drive my next car that long as well, I can't risk that the battery life is now lower yet due to the battery charging cycles and the cold winters of SW Pennsylvania.

  16. Daniel7878

    Trucks. There's a lot of hate on my redneck neighbors for driving their big polluting pick ups. But aside from them being rednecks and posting pics of their smoking rust buckets... they 'use' their trucks. And there's no replacement for that right now. Even my brand new F250 gets 14mpg on a good day. But I use it for what it's meant for. When a better pound for pound option exists.. I'm more than happy to explore an alternative. If your argument is about changing activities/lifestyles so we don't 'need' the gas guzzlers... then you've already lost them to the red hat brigade.

    • wright_is

      In reply to Daniel7878:

      I don't think I've ever had a vehicle that gets that bad mileage! My current SUV crossover gets between 65mpg and 88mpg. Even my 1988 BMW M535i would get 40mpg on a run and around 25-30mpg average.

      With unleaded at over $7 a gallon, I would go broke in a few weeks driving your truck! :-O

      • Daekar

        In reply to wright_is:

        I doubt your crossover had a 6.2L engine or could tow 35,000 pounds with a gooseneck trailer. Comparing trucks designed for work to basically anything else is really difficult because the design parameters are so different. What seems insanely bad mileage to you and I for a car is state of the art efficiency for a truck, and given both culture and actual needs based on rural life, a lot of Americans choose to buy and pay to fuel a truck. Hard to haul a trailer full of hay or cattle with something really designed to make folks in the city feel confident as they drive over a pothole.

        All that said, I'm glad I don't have to drive one with regularity. My wife has a 2014 F-150 which is truly huge. It's great for getting things done and it's very nicely appointed, but I hate parking the thing. I'll stick to my 90hp Jetta Wagon as long as practical.

      • karlinhigh

        In reply to wright_is:

        I visited rural Ukraine in 2006. The project leader I was working with related how older local-brand Kamaz dump trucks had maybe 250 hp, and slowed to about half speed when going uphill with a load. Local people were astonished when he described Ford's 7.3L PowerStroke diesel pickups.

  17. Bob Nelson

    Until you can "refuel" an electric vehicle as fast and conveniently as a gas powered vehicle, the internal combustion engine isn't going anywhere.

    That's reality. Americans especially are an impatient bunch. I don't want to sit around a recharging station for a half hour. I can't even imagine the shit show that would turn into.

    Keep trying to saddle up that unicorn, though. Someday you might be able to ride it. But not in my lifetime thankfully.

    • wright_is

      In reply to Bob Nelson:

      I always thought a standardized battery pack would be the answer. You drive onto the forecourt, over a trap door and stop, it opens, up comes a clamp, pulls out the current battery and deposits it in the ground, then it comes back up with a fully charged battery and plugs that in its place.

      Then you don't have to worry about battery wear, you just pay for the charge and drive out again. The network takes care of charging and replacing batteries with low capacity.

      Obviously there are logistical problems with this - out of the way service stations with little business would be sitting on batteries for a while and busy ones might have a problem keeping charged batteries available during "rush hours". And they might have to cope with moving batteries around the network, if they start piling up at one service station, while another is running short.

      But, in general, it would reduce the burden on car owners having to worry about battery failure or, normally, waiting for a recharge.

      I can also see that it could be a goldmine for criminals, stripping out full batteries and going back and getting another full battery and selling off the raw materials...

      It wouldn't be a simple system to create or monitor, but it would be a great solution for waiting and maintenance. It would probably only really work once car ownership disappears and you just have fleets of autonomous vehicles running around.

      • Daekar

        In reply to wright_is:

        I remember hearing about a neat battery technology in development now that would facilitate this model in an interesting way. Basically, they were very cost-efficient and super-recyclable non-rechargeable cells for cars. I believe they were basically a pair of aluminum plates with some stuff between them, but I could be misremembering. You just slip it in and go, and swap it out when you run dry.


        Honestly, I can't see it taking off simply because the idea of using non-rechargeable cells gives me a bad feeling even if they are a easily recycled. Still, it's a sign that folks are working on the concept you described from a bunch of different angles.

      • karlinhigh

        In reply to wright_is: Obviously there are logistical problems with this

        Most of those problem types have been solved in other industries, I think. See bluerhino.com for a USA example of propane cylinder exchanges; there are probably similar brands as well. Theft of exchange items is addressed with a security deposit.


        Also, hasn't Tesla already tried this?

        tesla.com/videos/battery-swap-event

        teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/full-battery-swap-for-quick-charging.150184/


        Only skimmed those pieces, but I gather there were formerly regulatory or tax benefits to the swap stations that got eliminated, and a safety shield beneath the battery to prevent punctures got added. The battery swap stations were no longer attractive to Tesla.

        • Lauren Glenn

          In reply to karlinhigh:

          You know what.... If I could swap out and buy my car's battery from one of these stations and it were affordable, I'd consider it... but even then... to drive from Philly out to Kansas would require about 4 fill-ups of gas with highway miles. I'd have to swap out batteries at least 4 times so unless the road has electricity to charge my car or the kinetic energy from driving charges it up (almost like driving a stick shift does when you roll it down a hill in neutral but to the nth degree), then no.

          • karlinhigh

            In reply to alissa914:  unless the road has electricity to charge my car or the kinetic energy from driving charges it up


            In-road power sounds like a huge infrastructure problem to me.


            I understand that regenerative braking is pretty standard for electric-drive vehicles these days, whether hybrid or battery. The concept can even be a competitive advantage in Formula One racers.

            en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regenerative_brake

    • illuminated

      In reply to Bob Nelson:

      Some owners of electric cars stopped going to the stations after getting electric cars. They charge cars at home at night and fully charged cars have enough range for 2-5 days.

  18. maethorechannen

    Dealers don't help. My Mum is looking to get an EV and you'd be surprised by the amount of dealers who try to push a diesel instead.


    Another problem is that the car manufacturers don't make enough of them. Waiting lists are common.


    charging points are at all motorway stations


    Unfortunately for us in the UK, those charging points are run by Ecotricity (at least the ones that can be used by non-Tesla owners), and they kind of suck. It's always a bit of a lottery if they work, and if you need a CCS charger it's even more of a lottery as not every services has a CCS charger (EcoT are allegedly rolling out newer, more reliable chargers but I've yet to see one).


    I've also got some doubts about how it's supposed to work when EVs aren't a tiny minority of cars. A handful of EcotT chargers isn't going to cut it and even the more plentiful Tesla chargers won't be enough if the Model 3 takes off.




  19. evox81

    I look at the current selection of electric cars like this: There isn't a single electric car on the market that has the range I want/need. If I primarily go places that are 5 to 100 miles away from home, sure... there are options that will get me that far... but how many tens of thousands of dollars am I spending above what I would spend on a gasoline or hybrid car for range I won't likely use?


    Conversely, if I want to go further than that, how much of a premium am I still paying on the vehicle in addition to all of the valuable time (and potentially money) I'll be wasting at charging stations on my trip?

  20. Lauren Glenn

    I don't want to get on a long road trip and find out whether or not there's an EV station in the middle of the night... and then having to sit waiting an hour for a full charge. Once on a road trip in CO at about 2am, there was a gas station in the middle of nowhere where they had a CCTV guarding the station and no help anywhere. Imagine being by yourself for an hour in the middle of nowhere hoping you can charge it.


    I still don't think the ROI on the car is worth it when I can get a new gas car for $15k. Also, I bet the electricity source of my energy isn't from a clean source making it worse than gas, I live in an apartment so I have no ability to add an EV port to the building....


    Basically, it's like hybrid cars.... For the extra $6000 or so it was when I was looking for a car, if I get it to 150k miles, I'd barely break even and I just decided it wasn't worth it.


    Also, I hate automatics so unless it's a stick shift, I'm not buying it.

    • maethorechannen

      In reply to alissa914:


      I don't want to get on a long road trip and find out whether or not there's an EV station in the middle of the night


      With current EVs and charging infrastructure, you don't go on a long road trip without know where the chargers are. That will probably change as batteries get bigger and chargers get faster and more numerous.


      Also, I hate automatics so unless it's a stick shift, I'm not buying it.


      EVs don't normally have gears beyond a single reduction gear between the motor and the wheels. There is nothing there to shift.

    • Daekar

      In reply to alissa914:

      I'm also in the "You can pry my third pedal from my cold dead hands" crowd because I hate automatics so much. If I can possibly avoid it, I'll never have another automatic ICE. However, electric cars are a totally different beast. Not only is the torque instant-on at 0 RPM, but there are usually no gears to shift, so no jerky badly timed nonsense from a computer that shifts at precisely the wrong time, every time.

      Once you drive a decent BEV I think you'll be OK with dropping the stick when the time comes to leave a piston engine behind.

      • wright_is

        In reply to Daekar:

        I agree. I like my manual gearbox, but having driven several electric vehicles, it is a totally different experience and very different to an automatic. I also like the "single pedal" mode on many new generation EVs, where backing off the gas recuperates so much that it acts as a brake (you can generally adjust how agressive it is using the paddles behind the steeringwheel).

        The instant torque is also great. I was in a Kia Nero and had a Golf GTI trying to get past me on a busy road, we came to a set of traffic lights and when they went green, I left him standing there, I had pulled a couple of hundred metres on him by the time I got up to the posted 100km/h. That really upset him and he started tailgating me, once he got up to speed, and as soon as the road was clear, he roared past me in an attempt to get his license revoked for speeding.

        • Daekar

          In reply to wright_is:

          Ha, I bet that was really satisfying. Not even any exhaust for him to suck. :-) I'm looking forward to trying one-pedal driving myself. It sounds like a fun game to play with myself... how little can you use the brakes?

          I used to do that kind of thing routinely when I had a small motorcycle. Little engine for a bike, but even a slow motorcycle stomps the snot out of all but the most expensive cars. I miss how simple those engines were... almost nothing electronic on them. I'll never forget the first "modern" bike I got... it had more power than my current car, but it was fuel injected and had sensors and stuff everywhere. Impossible to enjoy working on by comparison. My first bike didn't even have a fuel gauge, but the toggle switch to the reserve tank always worked perfectly.... the fancy fuel gauge, not so much. It only takes getting stuck once to never trust the gauge again.

          Maybe someday I'll get an electric bike when the prices come down and the ranges go up. Nothing like a drivetrain that defaults to wheelie-popping power delivery.

  21. dicas

    O valor ainda é muito caro

  22. illuminated

    #1 Price. Tesla S is too expensive, Tesla 3 is still expensive and boring. Other alternatives are not there yet.

    #2 Slow charging at EV stations. Having 30 minute coffees is fun only for a few weeks.

    #3 Can't charge at home. Cannot get rid of #2


  23. dstrauss

    From the perspective of an electric car owner (technically a plug in hybrid Honda Clarity - 50 miles EV then hybrid like a Prius beyond that) there is a simple answer in the EV community: Range Anxiety.


    With the best most efficient EV only car, the Tesla, a 300 mile range is still tops. No one wants to map their lives around a charging station, and when the best can do 50% in 30 minutes, you have a 30 minute stop every two hours. The Clarity lets me do my daily commuting and chores on electricity, while still able to go any distance with gasoline refills (5 minute stops). The idea of switching battery packs is a non-starter (that Tesla pack weighs 1200 lbs) and imagine the wait times for a switch, much less the infrastructure to recharge the spent packs. Just look at all those folks waiting in line for a pump at your local Pilot truckstop on the interstate - EV's are going to be commuter/short trip alternatives for a long time to come.

    • illuminated

      In reply to dstrauss:

      I understand range anxiety when your car has only 50 mile range but range anxiety with 300 mile range is BS. By the way the new porsche taycan can charge to 80% in 22 minutes. The car is not affordable but technology is advancing. I would expect charge times to decrease further. I also expect people having range anxiety even when charge times drop to 2 minutes and range increases to 500 miles. Some people are just too lazy with their excuses :)

      • wright_is

        In reply to illuminated:

        I currently have a Nissan Qashqai 1.5L diesel, which gets between 4.4L/100KM (67mpg) average and 3.0L (88mpg) on a long run, which equates to refuelling at around the 1100 kilometer mark.

        Switching to an all electric with a 450KM range, like the Tesla, would mean refuelling/charging 3 times a month instead of once /one and half times a month. But I could do that in my garage at home, overnight.

        The range would cover me for 99.9% of all of my driving, without having to charge during a trip.

  24. wright_is

    You put your finger on it, price. They are too expensive. I even looked at leasing, but Kia wanted 500€ a month for a e-Nero and Nissan 249€ a month for the Leaf, I could get a petrol or diesel Qashqai for 129€ a month... It is a vicious circle at the moment, the volumes are too low to make good prices and without good prices, they won't sell in volume; then you have the problem with the availability of the raw materials for the batteries becoming rarer, which will probably push up the prices as the volumes increase.

    Then there is the range issue, a lot of commuters travel too far for the range of small e-autos. Some of the newer ones are finally clearing the 300-400KM mark. With my current job, I could use one, but would need to charge it every other day - I currently tank my car once a month.

    On the other hand, we have just sold our second car. My wife bought a Lastenrad (cargo bike) this summer, a Tern GSD, which she is very happy with and rides the 25KM miles to work and back on it every day (which means charging it every day, as the range is about 90KM, she has ordered the second battery, which sits in parallel with the first on the bike and doubles the range). It was expensive, for a bike, but it can carry a decent load (up to 170Kg) and has plenty of storage possibilities. It can even take 2 child seats on the back, useful when the grandchildren start arriving...

  25. anoldamigauser

    Why would one buy an expensive vehicle that at best limits your travels to a radius of about 200 miles. In the US, distances are rather larger than they are in Europe. Without the charging infrastructure, planning a trip of more than 250 miles becomes a bit of a chore.

    The batteries do not last forever. In an ideal world, they will be recycled responsibly; in the real world less so. Lithium mining is not environmentally friendly. If the batteries are subject to structural deformation, like the kind that can occur in a collision, and the plates come in contact with each other; then the battery will short and ignite (remember the Note 7.) Those are metal fires which must be fought using foam, which is not something that you want getting in to the drinking water. The electricity used to charge those batteries may or may not be "green".

    As someone else has stated, hydrogen fuel cells are probably the way to go, and then we can complain about increased humidity.

    Until then, internal combustion will remain the most viable engine choice, and we should work on making that more efficient.

  26. navarac

    Main problem with electric cars is range, charging points and time to charge. We are all in a hurry. Anyone in a block of flats or with no private parking is stuffed.


    As for global warming, I think that subject is far too political for a Technology Site and should be left for discussion elsewhere.

    • jules_wombat

      In reply to navarac:

      I thought that only takes 30 min to recover 40% charge., So a necessary coffee trip on 200 mile trips, is not really an issue, if public charging points available.

      As for flats, communal and public charging points, at the parking lots. Simply enter your credentials with a physically lockable cable. None of this is rocket science. Germany is even thinking of cableless inductive charging.

      • Daekar

        In reply to Jules_Wombat:

        30 minutes to recover 40% charge offering what range? That's a LONG time, and 40% is not much.


        My current car gets 700 miles per tank at around 45mpg, I never have to stop for fuel on trips and I certainly wouldn't need to get coffee on something as short as 200 miles if I were driving by myself.


        Germany will be shooting itself in the foot if it pursues inductive charging on vehicles. That's a fantastic way to take a nice efficient setup and absolutely demolish the system-level efficiency in one fell swoop. Induction is BAD for efficiency, you'd be easily doubling the load on your grid for the same distance traveled.

      • Greg Green

        In reply to Jules_Wombat:

        You have more free time on your hands than most people if you think hanging around gas stations for 30 minutes is not too long. And it’s only 40% full!?


        People on daily commutes, shopping runs, school runs, kids schedules, will not want to sit for 30 minutes 2 1/2 times as often with an electric car.


        30 minutes for a 40% fill of electricity vs 3 minutes for a 100% fill of gasoline is a no brainer. That is another reason why electric don’t sell. It’s that simple.

        • wright_is

          In reply to Greg Green:

          But for most people, the school run, the daily commute or going shopping does not exceed 300 - 400 miles... If you are doing a long trip, where you need to charge on the way, that is a different matter, but for the majority of people that would be, maybe a couple of times a year to a couple of times a month.

          Obviously long distance drivers, sales reps travelling long distances etc. are an exception and for them an e-auto doesn't make sense. For a normal commute of 50 miles or less, the refilling is a red-herring. Leaving it plugged in overnight every few days is better than having to make an extra trip to a gas station - assuming you have access to charging at your property or at work.

          • maethorechannen

            In reply to wright_is:

            Leaving it plugged in overnight every few days is better than having to make an extra trip to a gas station


            For me, the need to regularly go out of my way to fuel up a car instead of just plugging it in when I get home is one of the reasons why I would not want to go back to an ICE.

  27. Paul Thurrott

    Price and range are probably the first two reasons.

  28. simard57

    i suspect that the infrastructure roll out will take time to ensure people that they won't get stranded. A couple of articles that appeared in mainstream press seem encouraging. The reduced maintenance tail of a plug in EV seem to be quite appealing to me.


    https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/25/success/tesla-model-s-electric-car-road-trip/index.html


    https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/01/cars/future-of-electric-car-charging/index.html



  29. paradyne

    I think they are being taken up though, no change that big is going to happen overnight. Every mainstream manufacturer is going to have a full range of EV's with the next few years and already a lot of people _want_ to have en electric car. It just needs a few more years for a decent range of products to become available and more charging points to exist. And then you need enough people to have bought them new, and then replaced them after a few years, for there to be many available used as well.


    It's a bit like asking, just 2 years after the IBM PC was launched, "Why doesn't everyone have a PC in every room yet?". Give it another 10 years, the shift is probably inevitable now.

  30. Brad Sams

    I quite like the model 3 but it's expensive for what it is - take a look at a 35k honda accord vs a 40k model 3 - you forgo a lot of creature comforts to run on a battery.

  31. Daekar

    Too expensive, and almost none in the used market which prevents the poorer folks who are interested from jumping in on things. Tesla's $35k Model 3 never really materialized, for instance. Anything cheaper suffers from range issues if you don't live in the city or want to be able to use your car for long trips - the infrastructure isn't there yet.


    I'm keeping my current car as long as possible, and then getting a BEV. I can say that with confidence because my wife will not for a long time, and thus we have a trip car available regardless of how long it takes the useful infrastructure to roll out. BEVs are better in every way except for range and price, so I'm really excited for the time when I get to make the switch.


    You want to know when the US will really make the switch? A few years after Ford releases the first BEV F-150. They've got one in the works, and will absolutely be releasing it in the future.

  32. martinusv2

    Up north where I live, cold temperature influence the autonomy of the batteries. You need a lot of electricity to power the heat needed to be comfortable in some very cold days (-20c to 30c). And now we have a problem finding a free charging stations. And we would also need charging stations provided by companies for their employees.


    We need new type of batteries that is less pollutant than Lithium that would give more range in cold temperatures. And charging stations at apartment complex.

    • wright_is

      In reply to MartinusV2:

      My boss has a Tesla, so we have a charging point at work... But only at HQ, not the other sites, and only the one at the moment.

    • Patrick3D

      In reply to MartinusV2:

      The #1 selling car in Norway is a Tesla Model S. Thanks to the long range you don't need to charge at work, you can charge at home and have enough to get to work and back with ease. For long road trips you just stop at a charging station on the way. The built-in navigation app in the Tesla tablet interface includes charger locations for easy route planning.

  33. Patrick3D

    Checkout Bjorn Nyland's videos on Youtube, he does electric car reviews and takes them on long cross-country road trips. Of course, he's in Norway where Tesla has the #1 selling car and a vast electric charger infrastructure.


    I would love to own an electric car myself but the price is too high. I tend to by used cars for under $1,000. Spending $50,000+ is out of the question. From what I have seen it is mainly people in their 30's that are flush with cash from there first (lasting) career jobs that are foolish enough to spend that kind of money on a car. Tesla's don't have a limited range and could easily handle the daily commute of any driver regardless of distance, the only issue that remains in the US is anxiety over where you can go to charge them.

  34. anderb

    Because they're expensive and not as green as they're made out to be. Lithium doesn't leap out of the ground you know. Nor does it self charge.

    • wright_is

      In reply to anderb:

      And a lot of countries still generate a lot of their electricity using coal, gas, oil or nuclear energy, none of which are clean. You are just shifting the toxicity from the immediate vicinity. Australia is a prime example.

      And Lithium can't just be pushed back into the ground, when the battery dies, it is highly toxic and needs to be disposed of carefully.

      • Patrick3D

        In reply to wright_is:

        I would argue it is better to shift the toxicity to a central location where it is easier to filter or capture the harmful emissions than it is from the exhaust of a car. It takes the burden out of the city and places it in secure/remote locations where the utilities and government can better deal with it.

      • waethorn

        In reply to wright_is:

        Modern nuclear is cleaner than solar and wind. There are even nuclear technologies that consume the radioactive waste of not only itself, but of the older technologies from the 50's.


        Wind turbines need heavy-duty petroleum engines to spin up. In southern states, they run petro pipelines directly to the wind farms. They produce very little electrical energy for the amount of toxic materials they require.


        Solar requires harsh chemicals to manufacture the panels and create heat bubbles that have an extreme adverse effect on the local ecology. Batteries require strip mining for precious minerals too.

        • millerje

          In reply to Waethorn:

          Having been involved in the transportation of all the components of wind turbines and wind farms, I must seriously question your assertion "Wind turbines need heavy-duty petroleum engines to spin up". And having seen the inside of the towers that turbines sit on the one thing absent is any type of piping for fuel. They come with heavy duty electrical cabling to transfer the generated power and some electrical cabling for control and monitoring, but no piping for gas or diesel. So how exactly would these heavy-duty engines get fuel? And if these heavy-duty engines sit at ground level, how do they spin up the turbines? Never mind that there are no heavy-duty petroleum engines located on the ground in a wind farm, much less one for every turbine. My understanding is that any power needs for aircraft lighting, control, monitoring, and startup comes from on-board batteries/supercapacitors. and if the batteries are expended then the turbine leaches a tiny draw from the electrical grid.


          The only examples of wind turbines that require a substantial power source for starting are very old designs with a vertical axis. Current horizontal axis designs used in the vast majority of US wind farms have no need for this.


  35. Tiny

    1. Living in a apartment. Where would you charge?
    2. Takes 5-10 minutes to fill the gas tank, much longer to charge.
    3. Gas tank won't wear out like a battery will.
    4. Lack of places to get repairs if needed.
    5. Gas stations are everywhere, chargers not so much.
    6. Sometimes hard to find a place to buy, cost is usually higher.
    7. Cargo space is usually a lot smaller.
    8. and many other reasons.
  36. sentinel6671

    Simple, I live in an apartment where there will never, ever be the ability to charge my car.

  37. hrlngrv

    Re electric scooters, where I live (exurban Northern California) they're used more on sidewalks than roadways. Safer for the scooter users, much worse for pedestrians. IMO, more harm than good.

    That said, the batteries needed to make electric cars possible may save on carbon emissions, but they're hardly ecologically neutral. Hydrogen fuel cells should be the future, but still too expensive.

    Finally, 90% or more of existing autos run on fossil fuels. How many people what to buy a new car to be carbon-neutral?

    Also, for the US, better by far to forget ANY type of autos and build a lot more public mass transit. Watch traffic news feeds of I-680 in Northern California and I-5 in Los Angeles county in Southern California between 5:00 AM and 9:00 PM most weekdays and ask yourself whether expanded rail service or streetcars wouldn't be far more beneficial than 100% transition from gas to electric autos.

    • wright_is

      In reply to hrlngrv:

      Scooters have to use the roadway or designated cycle paths here. Luckily they are only a thin in the bigger cities at the moment, so I don't have to deal with them, yet.

      • hrlngrv

        In reply to wright_is:

        Scooters have to use the roadway or designated cycle paths here.

        Good for you. Not safe nearish where I live. FWIW, San Francisco is one of the less safe cities in which to be a pedestrian, bike or scooter rider.

      • navarac

        In reply to wright_is:

        Electric scooters (apart from disability scooters) are illegal on roads and pavements (sidewalks) in the UK.

        • jules_wombat

          In reply to navarac:

          Yes it's rather farsical that electric scooters are currently illegal, but cycles and electric bikes are not. If we are to reduce congestion and emmisions surely that will have to change. Scooters are no less safe than cycles, and should be allowed on cycle lanes.

          • wright_is

            In reply to Jules_Wombat:

            The tiny wheels make them much less stable than a bike. After their introduction in Berlin last month, the Charité reported a steep increasing in sprains and scrapes, all related to e-scooter accidents (70 cases within the first 2 months of them being legalised).

            According to reports here, the biggest problems are lack of training and people ignoring the law and mowing down pedestrians, followed by a lack of safety equipment - they were talks of making all scooter riders wear helmets.

            • Daekar

              In reply to wright_is:

              I haven't had a wreck, but my limited experience on one of these scooters agrees with your assessment: the wheels are far too small. I spoke to my wife about it, and because she was in the midst of working through policy on scooters for our local university at the time, she was able to inform me that the reason for the small wheels is to avoid regulation. At least in the US, wheels above a certain size require licencing and interacting with other government apparatus, so the solution was to make them unsafe to prevent limited accessibility.

  38. waethorn

    adam.curry.com/enc/1569180979.288_alanjonesreadsthegorwingupessay.mp3


    Notably applicable to EU and UN mandates.

  39. Thom77

    Because the religion of Climate Change is no different from any other religion: people virtue signal and the more extreme they are, the more hypocritical they are inevitably.


    The most radical believer in God will call an ambulance before they pray for the person hurt.

    And the most radical believer in Climate Change still wants the benefits of fossil fueled vehicles over helping the environment when it comes down to it.


    Notice the believers will lecture you, protest, try to get people with guns (The State) to force you through legislation into their belief system's lifestyle, ignore evidence that is contrary to their paradigm, label you, shame you, harass you.... but they have plenty of excuses ... for themselves of course ... why THEY can't buy an electric car.


    They will say Climate Change is the biggest threat to civilization ............. WE MUST DO SOMETHING NOW ..... bbbuuuut ... electric cars are to expensive, low gas mileage, slow charge times and it is such an ... inconvenience ... to my lifestyle.


    George Carlin called these hypocrites out beautifully a long time ago with his Save The Earth routine. The best part is to listen to the audience start to heckle him, because he was suppose to talk crap about Right Wingers and Organized Religious people's BS and hypocrisy ... NOT THEIRS.


    P.S. Note to OP ... If you really wanted to be trendy ... you should call it "Climate Truth" ... that is the new rebranding lately but its not catching hold as much as the rebranding from "Global Warming" to "Climate Change" did.

  40. skborders

    Not trying to start any arguements here.


    My understanding is the pollution created in the shipping, manufacturing and disposal of the batteries, far exceeds the pollution of a comparable Gasoline engine. Correct me if I am wrong.


    The rest of this is just Personal Opinion


    I understand the need to be conservative with our natural resources, but much could be accomplished by living closer to work and not being on the road all the time. I have known people who burn more gas in a Prius per week/Month than I do in a normal vehicle, just because I have never taken a job with a long commute.


    People living in houses that are 2 or threee times bigger than they need, running 2 or 3 heating cooling units instead of living in a modest sized house keeping the electricity demand down


    The improvement in engine emissions over the last 40 years has been dramatic. From engines that put out 13% CO2 and 2500 PPM in raw HC to less than 1 percent each. (Of course that is cruising under light load not driving it like a race car.)


    People are just as wasteful driving a hybrid or Electric car. Cracks me up to see someone in a Prius leaving a light at Wide Open Throttle and going down the Hwy at 80 MPH.


    A Nissan Altima gets 40MPG Hwy (don't own one but have rented several) and many others get similar, why would I pay the extra for a smaller Hybrid or an Electric car where the difference in cost outweighs the fuel used?


    I don't care how quick it is, an electric car will never make the blood pump like the sound of a High Performance Twin Cam engine. (Yes, I am an old motor head)


    I might consider a Hybrid, but I would have to drive one first. The last one I drove (Honda Civic) was the worst driving experience I ever had.

    • PeterC

      In reply to skborders:

      Hi skborders, yes your right. The batteries are a real toxic problem and the disposal/recycling has not been sorted yet.

    • anoldamigauser

      In reply to skborders:

      Yup, a Corvette will get 30+ mpg on the highway, and that with a 6.2 l V-8.

      Mazda's SkyActiv-X (awful name) looks to be very interesting, and promises some very good mileage numbers.

    • wright_is

      In reply to skborders:

      On a long run, I get around 73mpg (US), 88mpg (imp) out of my Qashqai, normal commuting I get 56mpg (US), 67mpg (imp). I get between 1100KM and 1200KM out of a tank on average. (1.5L diesel)

      I find that is pretty good going, but I'd prefer zero emissions, but you are correct, battery technology is dirtier than traditional fuel in manufacturing, transport and disposal.

    • Chris_Kez

      In reply to skborders:

      If more people lived closer to their work, it would have all kinds of benefits. My commute is one mile each way, my wife's is about seven miles each way. A short commute was one of our top requirements when we were home shopping. It has conserved gasoline, but perhaps the biggest savings have been in our most precious resource-- time!

      • jules_wombat

        In reply to Chris_Kez:

        Yep absolutely, people and companues, should be (tax) encouraged to live closer to their place of work. I moved to within two miles of work, walking distance. Only for my company to send me off 30 miles to another site. Reducing commute would save on emmisions.

        • wright_is

          In reply to Jules_Wombat:

          Yep, been there, done that. I bought a house 10 minutes by bus from the office. 2 months later, I was seconded to another site and had to drive an hour each way.

          In fact, over the next 10 years, I averaged around 60,000 miles a year commuting, I was always moved to different offices, I think I spent a grand total of 4 months, in over 10 years, working at my base office.

          After 6 years, I was promoted to a position where I qualified for a company car. The fleet manager almost had a fit when I told him that I was doing 60K a year. His response was that I couldn't do that! I told that, yes, I could, that I had been doing it for over 6 years with my private car and, unless the company changed its policy, I'd be doing that with the company car as well.

          One benefit of that was that I did get rental cars for a while on one project. Due to the rental company's policy, I got a new car every 3 weeks, because the car I had had reached the re-sale mileage.

      • wright_is

        In reply to Chris_Kez:

        The same when I was looking for a new job. The Job Center (government run agency to find jobs for the unemployed) was sending me to interviews up to about 100KM away! I made myself "unhireable" for those jobs and applied for about 2 dozen jobs within 20KM of where I live.

        I worked for years in a town 40KM away, which was just under 1.5 hours of travel a day and lots of unpaid overtime. I now have 30 minutes of travel and no regular overtime. I'm much happier.

      • minke

        In reply to Chris_Kez:

        Sure, it is great to live close to work, but it just isn't possible or desirable for many people. My wife and I learned long ago that it is far, far better (for us) to live in a great place with great schools for our kids, a safe environment, and things to do after work even if we have to commute a long way. In any case, we aren't going to encourage electric cars by telling people you have to move closer to work. Also, no matter how practical the electric is for the commute, they become impractical for what many of us want to do after work, on weekends, and on vacation, which would necessitate purchasing two vehicles or renting (expensive and a huge pain).

    • illuminated

      In reply to skborders:

      I don't care how quick it is, an electric car will never make the blood pump like the sound of a High Performance Twin Cam engine. (Yes, I am an old motor head)


      I thought that too but smooth acceleration and low end torque of EVs is addictive.

  41. jedwards87

    Maybe it is because we are constantly lied to about how bad the problem is. Remember Gore...."In his 2007 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Al Gore claimed that there is “a 75 percent chance the entire polar ice cap will melt in summer within the next five to seven years.”

    Well, eleven years have gone by, and Arctic ice is doing fine."


    And then he moved into that mansion that used tons of energy which he pays for with the sky is falling money he makes. There is a lot of misinformation out there.

    • BigM72

      In reply to jedwards87:

      This is a mis-quote by you. He quoted one study as saying 22 years from 2007 (2029) and one study from US Navy that said it could be as little as 7.


      and the reality of summer sea ice melt has actually been faster than the models have even predicted.

    • jules_wombat

      In reply to jedwards87:

      And I quote "eleven years have gone by, and Artic ice is doing fine"

      With such stupid statements like that I fear there is little hope for our future generations. Certainly not for any polar bears.

      • Daekar

        In reply to Jules_Wombat:

        There is a big difference between "melting faster than it used to" and "gone," as so many of us were told. Don't waste your breath defending the old predictions when they were obviously gross miscalculations, the accuracy of current predictions is not necessarily predicated on them, despite the fact that they don't help.

      • Energy

        I've seen a lot of information and alleged data/facts on both sides of this issue, but I believe climate change (earth as a whole being much colder and/or warmer) has been proven to happen in cycles over time. We seem to be in one of the warming cycles now.


        For a different perspective on "global warming" or "climate change", I would recommend the following below.


        Global Warming - An Inconvenient Lie – https://redpilluniversity.org/2019/08/22/global-warming-an-inconvenient-lie/


        Climate Hustle – https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Climate+Hustle


        The Great Global Warming Swindle – https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Great+Global+Warming+Swindle


        I've seen all of the presentations that were given as part of the "Global Warming - An Inconvenient Lie" conference. It's been a long time since I've watched Climate Hustle or The Great Global Warming Swindle, but both are worth watching. I have all of these presentations and videos, which I could/should go back and review.


        I don't agree with all of the conclusions or viewpoints in these videos and presentations. However, I do believe that "climate change" as it has and is being used as an alarm for all sorts of actions is a scam and/or intentional misinformation and propaganda with an agenda.


        That said, I still believe that men and women should be good stewards of our planet and its resources. We should not waste or use resources foolishly or operate with disregard for this planet. My plan is to buy a Tesla and/or another electric automobile and will gladly move away from internal combustion engine (ICE) automobiles.


    • wright_is

      In reply to jedwards87:

      The Artic is not doing fine at all! Or is that why all the polar bears are dying off or moving south onto the mainland?

      • Greg Green

        In reply to wright_is:

        Polar bears aren’t dying off, they’re actually thriving and the population is larger than expected.


        You should understand that a lot of pop science is computer modeling. Almost all AGW ‘science’ is computer modeling rather than traditional science of going out and studying nature. Some of the polar bear alarmist studies were not done by actual sampling but by computer modeling the anticipated effects of anticipated global warming on anticipated polar bear populations. Biases piled upon biases to reach the desired conclusion.


        If you want to actually learn something about climate read paleobiological studies or historians, they know more about climatology than the pop climatologists.

    • Thom77

      In reply to jedwards87:

      I was told in in 7th grade (in the early 90s) that New York would be out of water by the year 2000 in a government mandated school video on Global Warming and there was no way for reverse it. I went home and told my parents, worried to death. Literally scared.


      Fool me once .....



      • red.radar

        In reply to Thom77:

        there has been recent publications about how the communication of climate change in schools is scaring children.


        They are calling it eco-anxiety.


        I was subjected to a different form of child fear mongering. I went to a Parochial school and the supporting church would view every world current event as a sign of the end times and the rapture was upon us. Living my grade school years under the constant fear of "end of the world" desensitized me to the point of... I just don't give a S!$t. We all have to die of something. Front row seat to the end of the world sounds kinda of special.


        So enter climate change and its the same trick employed by a new type of religious fanatics. I am going to do me .. you can go do you... leave me alone and don't tell me how to live my life.

  42. Scott Ross

    For me It does not have the long distance range I am looking for. I do like to take long weekend road trips and sometimes that can be 500+ miles. I also dont like to stop, so to stop and then find a charging place, would just seem like a pain. I toyed around with a Volt, plugging it in a home or work but it seems futile now that GM Killed it.


    One other thing is price. Cars are getting better but Electric motorcycles are now outrageous because of the Livewire. I got to test ride one when they were being demoed to the public. At 30k though, I will get a Zero Motorcycle instead.


  43. harmjr

    I agree with most of the posters below. Fully Electric is still too expensive.

    However when I buy my next car it will be a hybrid. Of course that will be about 5 years from now so I am hoping electric and hybrids come down in cost.

  44. StevenLayton

    Just too expensive, and because electric cars are so new, there isn't really the cheaper second hand market for them yet.

  45. Usman

    I am going to say, it depends. Electric cars are expensive, especially when bought new and just not practical if you live in an apartment complex. In London, the public chargers are a rip-off, anywhere between double to triple the price of charging at home.


    The positives are that ranges on model 3 isn't bad, about 200 miles, which is fine for city driving. For long distance you do get routed through the supercharger network. And a 20-40 minute wait at a service station after 2-3 hours driving is normally recommended anyway.


    Full disclosure, I am fortunate enough to have a Model S, I leased it in June and if it were not for the free supercharging, it would be a pain.


    The problem I have with electric cars is power drain, batteries drain all the time when the car is sitting there. Since I live in apartment complex, I can't charge at home. So I do have to charge about once a week, which isn't bad but the cost of wasted electricity would be a problem if I didn't have free supercharging. I go to the nearby westfield, do some shopping for the hour and it's charged.


    The Model 3 on lease isn't bad, it's about £300-400 a month, I wouldn't reccomend the Model S unless you really have money to throw on it.

  46. minke

    The infrastructure just isn't available unless you severely limit where you go and when. I couldn't tell you where there is a charging station within 20 miles of any places I frequent, and I like to do things like hiking where it will be a very long time before we see charging stations at trailheads. Even on the Interstates there are only a limited number of charging locations available, and don't drive on those roads very often. There are vast swaths of North America where you can drive for hours between settlements and any sort of business where there might be a charging station put in. It might be possible to use an electric car for commuting for many people, but then they would need a gas vehicle when taking trips to other locations, without severely restricting where you go.

    • Daekar

      In reply to Minke:

      This. I think people in cities or other parts of the world have a hard time comprehending how BIG the world actually is, and how few people there really are in some places. Despite our best efforts to delude ourselves to the contrary, the majority of the world is not populated, and we don't rule the Earth - the dirt, plants, and animals do.

  47. lvthunder

    What makes you think electric cars are better for the environment then combustion engine cars? The power that charges the cars at least here in the US is most likely either coal or natural gas. Then you have the process to make the batteries. That's not exactly clean. Then you have the problem of disposing of those batteries after they aren't good anymore. I live in Las Vegas where it is very hot in the summer time and I have to change the battery in my car every 2 years. Now I guess EV car batteries are better, but if you have to change them every 6 years that's a lot of waste you have to deal with.


    So tell me how EV's are going to help?


    Also our power grid is not capable of everyone switching right away. That would cause massive blackouts.

    • jules_wombat

      In reply to lvthunder:

      Oh I don't know. How about dumping Oil, Gas and Coal and harvesting all that sunshine as solar energy.

      I have not changed the battery in my petrol car in 15 years. Yes there is serious issue with precious metals used in batteries and their disposal. But this continued burning fossil fuels is not sustainable for the next generations. We need to do something guys. (Posted on World Car Free Day). If the UK can transition from Coal (with coal free days, but still reliant upon gas), towards renewables solar and wind, so can the US and Canada.

      • txag

        In reply to Jules_Wombat:
        Perhaps you have some insight into magic batteries that do not follow the fundamental laws of physics. You should share that knowledge with us.


      • Daekar

        In reply to Jules_Wombat:

        It can be done, but it can't be done quickly. It's going to require many years, or seriously huge advancement in battery technology before the grid can go full renewable. As things stand, California is already almost at peak renewables... they've thrown lots of money at gathering in sunshine, but it's so inconsistent and peaky that they really can't do away with much more of their baseline generation like coal/gas/oil/nuclear... the things that are consistent, with level predictable output.

        It's a problem of storage capacity required to even out the peaks of the renewables... you have to overbuild renewables to produce more at peak than you need, and then build batteries sufficient to store enough energy for worse than your worst-case scenario of low-sunshine days with winds that are too high or too low to run your wind turbines.

        The better our battery tech gets, the better things will be, but the money and time required to do all this is going to be huge.

      • Greg Green

        In reply to Jules_Wombat:

        In California, where the sun shines 363 days a year, less than 1% of the homes have solar panels. If you can’t sell solar in California, where electricity is expensive, you can’t sell it anywhere.


        People go for things that are inexpensive and reliable. Renewables are expensive and unreliable.

    • wright_is

      In reply to lvthunder:

      It is very much reliant on where you live and how the electricity is generated. Over half of our electricity now comes from renewables (wind, sun, water etc.). If you live in an area that still use climate chokers to generate electricity, it doesn't make much sense to use electric - other than that the generation of the dangerous waste gases is generated outside of urban centres and it is easier to make those clean than to clean up millions of individual exhausts. But the will has to be there to do something about it. Given Trumps attitude, that is unlikely to happen in America in the next few years.

      Australia is also similarly afflicted.

    • Salvador Jesús Romero Castellano

      In reply to lvthunder:
      The power that charges the cars at least here in the US is most likely either coal or natural gas.

      Yes, but it is much, much, much efficient, and clean, to burn fossil fuels in an energy central than in a car. Like 80% vs 20%.

      Cheers.

  48. Winner

    1 - Range is limited

    2 - We drive long distances here

    3 - Electricity where I live is quite expensive

  49. txag

    Four reasons off the top of my head: West Texas, Nevada, Utah, Montana; heck, all the western states have places that will never be practical for electric cars.

  50. Daekar

    Crazy thought: what if we stopped obsessing about electric cars and started putting all that time and energy into building solar, wind, and the grid-sized batteries required to make them actually useful?

    • txag

      In reply to Daekar: Because the laws of physics do not support the idea of magical batteries.


      • Daekar

        In reply to txag:

        They're not magical, they already exist in a number of places. Even Lockheed Martin is in on the game, selling large stationary flow batteries that use safe electrolytes and off-the-shelf parts.

        • Greg Green

          In reply to Daekar:

          They’re still big and bulky, dangerous and hard to dispose of. I looked at going solar for our pool pump and it would’ve cost about $20,000 (with labor), required an 8’x4’ or bigger solar panel and enough lead acid batteries to cover two mattresses. And that’s for a 3/4 hp motor.


          Its easier and cheaper and more reliable to use our coal fired plants.


          It’s my belief that if people were given a choice between reliable electricity or cheap electricity they’d choose reliable as long as the cost difference wasn’t too great. This applies especially to businesses and manufacturing.


          The problem with green energy is that for most its expensive and unreliable.

          • Daekar

            In reply to Greg Green:

            They're big and bulky, sure, but they're not necessarily dangerous at all. Some are built with parts you can get at the local hardware store, and use electolytes that can literally be used as fertilizer for plants afterwards.

            The size really isn't an issue when we're talking in-place grid-scale installations with a good cost per KWH and easy decommissioning at the end of a 20 or 25 year life.

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