Questions Regarding Electric Vehicles. Stay Focused. Short Takes.

Are We Being Misled By EV Auto Manufactures? As If We Are Not Already Distracted. Eales. Extinction. Overspend.

  • In a previous post I wrote about the fast and furious approach major automobile manufacturers are taking with their electric vehicle strategies. I want to thank JP for inspiring me to once again take a look at electric vehicles. Here is an update:
  • Ford has split into two divisions: Model e, which is responsible for electric vehicles, and Ford Blue, which will maintain focus on producing their legacy internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.
  • Ford will spend $2.3 billion at their Ohio, Michigan, and Missouri manufacturing plants to support the production of electric vehicles (EV).
  • Ford has previously invested $11.4 billion in EV production and batteries.
  • GM has announced that they will spend $35 billion on electric vehicle manufacturing by 2025.
  • GM has forecasted that their electric vehicle sales will reach 400,000 by the end of 2023.
  • Elon Musk has announced that Tesla will sell 1.4 million electric vehicles by year-end 2022.

On the surface, I believe the days of internal combustion engine-powered automobiles are numbered, especially as battery manufactures figure out how lithium-ion batteries and nano-batteries can provide over 600 miles of driving with each charge.

After a bit of digging around, there are some questions and concerns regarding EV’s entering the mainstream so quickly. One of them, of course, is the distance you can drive on one charge. There are other concerns, a few I need some help with – and one of our readers spends her time as a leader with a major utility company in Texas. I ask for TA‘s comments on some bullet points below.

  • Many utility companies have had little to say about alarming cost projections to operate EVs and possible increased rates they will charge their customers. TA, has your company commented on EVs and their impact on the power grid, etc.?
  • Above and beyond the total electricity required, there will be an increase in transmission lines to handle the expected increase in power needed to recharge the millions of EVs, both at home and at gas/charging stations. A home charging system for a Tesla requires a 75-amp service. The average house is equipped with 100-amp service. On most suburban streets the electrical infrastructure would be unable to carry more than three houses with a single Tesla. For half the homes on your block to have electric vehicles, the system would be wildly overloaded. TA, is this correct?
  • Time and expense: Drivers today are accustomed to filling their gas tank in less than five minutes. EVs, depending on the size and specifications of the battery, typically take at least 30 minutes to get 80 percent charged at the fastest charging stations.
  • Charging speed limits: A 350-kilowatt fast charging station—the most powerful public charger available in the U.S. today—might be able to charge an Audi E-Tron SUV’s 95 kilowatt-hour battery in about 16 minutes. But the battery itself can only accept about 150 kilowatts of power at most, placing its actual charging speed limit closer to 40 minutes.
  • Though this analysis may be a bit over the top, it does make you wonder about the future of gas stations, convenience stores, and even fast-food chains who may offer up EV charging stations: “In order to match the 2,000 cars that a typical filling station can service in a busy 12 hours, an EV charging station would require 600, 50-watt chargers at an estimated cost of $24 million and a supply of 30 megawatts of power from the grid. That is enough to power 20,000 homes. No one likely thinks about the fact that it can take 30 minutes to 8 hours to recharge a vehicle between empty or just topping off. What are the drivers doing during that time?” TA, can you shed some light on this? More importantly, what are drivers and their FAMILIES going to do while their EV is charging? I see a big opportunity for fast-food chains, with both their food and playgrounds.
  • Land/real estate requirements: If you have cars coming into a gas station, they would stay for an average of five minutes. If you have EV cars coming into an electric charging station, they would be there for at least 30 minutes, possibly an hour, but let’s say its 30 minutes. So that’s six times the surface area to park the cars while they’re being charged. So, multiply every gas station in a city by six. Where are you going to find the place to put them?”
  • The used EV market. Here is an interesting scenario that no one is talking about: The average used EV will need a new battery before an owner can sell it, pricing them well above used internal combustion cars. The average age of an American car on the road is 12 years. A 12-year-old EV will be on its second or third battery. A Tesla battery typically costs $8,000- $10,000. Good luck trying to sell your used electric car.

Again, I believe that EVs will become the mainstream automobile in the very near future. What I would like to read are a few substantiated facts about EV manufacturers, charging station builders, transmission line contractors, battery producers, and the general strategy and plan to support the onslaught of EVs on our roads. To TA and all my readers: What is your take?

  • Speaking of automobiles, Hyundai is the massive South Korean conglomerate with American auto brands Hyundai, Kia, Genesis, and their new electric vehicle brand, Ioniq. Ioniq has introduced Hyundai Motor Company’s new entry into the EV market with many ‘outstanding features’, including the fold-out workspace. Seriously?
“I think I will generate some pivot tables while I drive to the office…..”

A few short takes for the middle of July:

  • “Doing” a startup in any type of business can be very difficult, especially in the professional sports space, and especially with the sport being soccer. Arthur Blank’s vision and Jim Smith’s planning and implementation of Atlanta’s Major League Soccer franchise is well-documented. Darren Eales was hired to execute the plan, and his efforts have paid off for Atlanta United on and off the field. Eales did many things really well, with Atlanta winning trophies and leading the league in attendance since its inception in the 2017 season. Last week, Eales announced he is leaving Atlanta to join the Premier League’s Newcastle United, a club with a historic past and new ownership with unlimited resources. I really like Darren Eales, and his departure for Newcastle is a fantastic step for his career. To Darren Eales: a job very well done. You helped put Atlanta on the world’s map as a soccer town – all the best for continued success at Newcastle!
  • Dr. Hans Sues is a paleontologist who is Senior Scientist and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Some of his comments in this video are obvious, and with that said some of his comments seem unfortunately true:
Is there any substance to this paleontologist’s comments?
  • Here is more evidence that the privatization of space is warranted: Since 2007 NASA has spent an estimated $420 million on new spacesuit designs without actually fielding any. Finally, after all those unsuccessful attempts, last month NASA announced it has opted to outsource the work and has selected two companies to design the next generation of spacesuits. Let me get this straight – taxpayer dollars in the amount of $420 million on the design of new spacesuits? So much for oversight committees and whistleblowers.
  • The lighter side of things: I have often written about my disdain for anyone who taunts and teases wild animals. Specifically, it makes me angry. If these two bicyclists bothered this ostrich in any manner, I for one am cheering for the animal in this race. By the way, an ostrich has a top speed of 43 miles per hour.
This ostrich maintained its speed during this eighty second video.

Adios, pay it forward, be safe, and have a Funday Sunday!

3 thoughts on “Questions Regarding Electric Vehicles. Stay Focused. Short Takes.”

  1. Well written Gary! The other thing that comes to mind is that as the grid is taxed, and possibility of rolling blackouts occur, then how do you charge an electric vehicle? I can see employees calling their bosses saying they cant come into work because they cant charge their cars! Without a huge capital commitment from the government, I dont see how the grid can be quickly expanded.

  2. All of these are great points and many things not being discussed but rather the focus is on the cars themselves not on what it will take to support them. You’ve highlighted most of the issues at hand. As a power provider in TX my company is actively engaged in the discussion. The most recent discussion I was involved in was regarding federal fund allocation for a EV charging corridor. In TX we think about Buc-ee’s and Love’s having the space and right locations to support the charging stations. And if you haven’t been to a Buc-ee’s, you can definitely spend 30 minutes there!

    This part is my opinion – current administration needs to consider the points you and JP are making. The idea we can have 100% renewable generation AND electric vehicles isn’t feasible. When wind doesn’t blow and sun doesn’t shine, we need traditional power source and yes to charge our homes and vehicles. One other thing I think about is where do all the dead batteries go? In the short term, it seems like we are doing great things for our environment by harnessing the wind and sun and moving was from gas powered vehicles, but batteries die (just like our phone batteries), and maybe parts get recycled but they also get buried and then what?

    I could go on and on here, but end with a couple of positive notes. Power providers are engaged in the discussion. Elon is engaged in the energy discussion and it would help if other EV manufactures would engage too. They may be and I just don’t know it. Its not just as simple as making an EV and making it affordable for more people. There are many down stream impacts for which EV manufacturers, energy companies and our administration are all responsible.

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