Battery electric vehicles are the ray of hope for automotive sales during the pandemic, rising to 4.7% of the market within the UK. In Europe, JATO figures put the share of BEVs, Hybrid EVs and Plug-in Hybrid EVs at 18% of total registrations in July. But despite the burgeoning sales, as I discussed a couple of weeks ago, there’s tons of negativity about EVs, fueled by fear of change and possibly by those with vested interests in maintaining the established order. Huge arguments ensue online about EVs, so here are four of the foremost frequent themes, and why they’re missing the mark by an electrical mile.
EVs Are Made with Polluting Minerals Mined by Children
Hearing this argument from anyone proposing that vehicles running on oil-based fuel are more eco-friendly than EVs causes you to ponder whether they ever watch the news. The atrocious spill in Mauritius is simply the newest during a very long list of disasters caused by the refining industry, any of which are far worse than the lithium mine image that’s regularly trotted out because it if proves once and for all that EVs are EV-il. Except that the image isn’t even a lithium mine – it’s a mine.
However, there’s no got to resort to “whataboutery” when addressing this criticism. There are two main sources of lithium, and mines are just one of them. the opposite is brine water. In other words, the sea. The overwhelming majority (87%) of lithium comes from this source, which involves a lengthy evaporation process that doesn’t involve child labour in the least. there’s absolutely a lot of lithium around, with vast reserves in Chile, Australia and China, so we’re unlikely to run out. And you’ll bet none of those people complaining about the lithium in EVs has complained about its use within the over six billion mobile phones in ownership within the world today, nor the over a billion laptops.
Cobalt is that the other rare mineral that gets people aroused about EVs, and there are some valid concerns about its extraction in DR Congo especially. However, Cobalt has been utilized in most lithium-ion batteries for many years, so as argued above, if you’re getting to criticize EVs, stop employing a mobile or a laptop first. However, there’s a solid financial reason why EV makers are reducing and eventually hope to eliminate cobalt from their batteries – it’s hugely expensive, and one among the most contributors to the comparatively high price of EVs (see below). Tesla -1.1%TSLA is already planning a shift faraway from cobalt in batteries, and there are several other no-cobalt or low-cobalt battery designs under development. Cobalt’s days are numbered.
EVs Are a fireplace Hazard
A recent recall of the Ford Kuga PHEV thanks to battery fire risk has really stoked the parable that EVs are too flammable – if you’ll forgive the pun. Another popular follow-up is mentioning the infamous crashing of a Rimac Concept_One electric hypercar by TV presenter Richard Hammond during an episode of The tour. This rather misses the purpose that he didn’t crash because it had been an EV, but because he wasn’t sufficiently good a driver to regulate the vehicle. He was driving again a month later, anyway, but could well are dead if it had been a petroleum vehicle, which might have gone down during a ball of flames instead of the slower burning of an EV.
It is true that lithium-ion batteries have very different fire characteristics to fuel engines. Lithium-ion batteries do produce quite poisonous fluoride gases when ablaze, but they take for much longer to urge going, giving the driving force a considerably better chance of getting clear before the conflagration really gets going. they are doing burn for an extended time, and are hard to place out, requiring special training for firefighters. the important question, however, is how often EVs really erupt. The isolated cases of Teslas burning spontaneously in California bring inflammatory photos, but they prove nothing.
Let’s check out the figures. China has ordered more EV safety checks, but that was after only 40 EV fires in 2018. This was across a fleet of 1.2 million EVs in China in 2018, ie one fire for every 30,000 vehicles. Putting that in perspective, in the US, from 2014 to 2016 there was a mean of 171,500 highway vehicle fires consistent with a report by FEMA. there have been around 269 million cars within the USA in 2016, meaning that one in 1,569 fuel cars caught fire in 2016 – nearly 20x as many as EVs in China in 2018. there have been also 2.9 deaths per 1,000 highway fires, so fuel cars aren’t only much more likely to erupt than EVs, they’re much more likely to kill you as a result too.
EV Batteries Only Last a couple of Years
This is one among the foremost prevalent myths and one among the simplest to debunk. Yes, your smartphone battery degrades considerably after a few of years. But you charge that each day, and therefore the average driver will only charge their EV a couple of times a month. EVs also charge during a much smarter fashion, only replenishing depleted cells, which distributes the load across many thousands of cells that structure the entire pack. Data gleaned from many Tesla owners has shown a mere 10% average battery degradation after over 160,000 miles. Most fossil cars are on the scrap heap long before that sort of mileage.
This is why the bulk of manufacturers now offer A battery warranty that’s usually around 100,000 miles or eight years for 70% capacity. They wouldn’t do this if they seriously thought many batteries wouldn’t last that long – it might cost them a fortune. So, no, an EV that’s a couple of years old will have almost the range it had when new, and there won’t be an enormous problem recycling a load of dead EV batteries either. Most EVs will still be going strong decades from now.
EVs Are Too Expensive
I’ve left this one until last because tons of individuals will come thereto when all else fails. On the one hand, it’s true. With EV batteries still taking over around 30% of the value of an EV, and not being a component that a fuel car even has, EVs are costlier. They’re usually a minimum of £10,000 ($13,000) quite the same fuel car, and it’s even worse within the second-hand market because EVs hold their value far better . this is often a myth for additional time – that EVs are worth nothing used because the batteries are shot when actually the other is that the case. The Tesla Model S has the very best residual value of any used car in Germany, for instance, retaining 9% more value after three years than the other brand, with a whopping 58.5% retention. As a result, since decent EVs have only been around for fewer than a decade, the most cost-effective end of the second-hand market doesn’t even exist yet.
Anyway, back to the subject at hand – the value when new. It’s missing the key factor. EVs are coming down in price as batteries get cheaper, but even before that reduction, you’ve got to require under consideration the much lower running costs. Charged reception, an honest EV will cost 3-4p (4-5c) a mile in electricity, whereas even a very frugal fuel car capable of 60 miles per (British) gallon is going to be more like 10p (13c) a mile, and that we all know that about town the fuel consumption may be a lot worse, where EVs are literally better. Obviously, in some countries just like the US, gasoline may be a lot cheaper, but cars are generally less economical to match. the typical car within the UK does 7,000 miles a year, so you’ll be saving hundreds in fuel alone per annum, and thousands if you drive quite average. Then there are the savings from far simpler or maybe unnecessary servicing, lower company car tax (in the united kingdom, it’s zero for the primary year), lower vehicle tax (again, zero within the UK), and reduced need for restraint and discs due to regenerative braking. So you’ll pay more upfront, but you’ll save loads then, and when it comes time to sell, you’ll get more second-hand value back than a fuel car. In other words, EVs could be costlier to shop for, but they might rather be cheaper over 3-4 years of ownership.
These are just a variety of favourites from a huge list of arguments you’ll be involved in if you get into conversations about EVs on virtually any social media platform – Facebook, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. it might be possible to write down a weekly article on this subject alone. There’s even a satirical bingo card floating around social media sending up the common clichés. So this is often definitely a topic to return to during a future week. Watch this space.