I came across this article “Electric cars won’t get us very far. Because they can’t” in the latest edition of the Spectator.
The author (hopefully unwittingly) perpetuates the myth that lifespan of batteries is short. The reality is that the EV batteries last very long and electric cars are much cheaper/easier to maintain than ICE cars. A case of a taxi company in Conwell is a good example. When their Nissan Leaf reached 100 000 miles only one cell in the battery was gone and 99 cells were still alive. I owned Nissan Leaf for 2 years and I didn’t experience any problems with the battery or the car. In fact, it was one of the best cars I’ve ever driven.
According to the article, the technology in EV industry likely will not develop enough quickly to make the transition from ICE vehicles to electric vehicles possible before 2040. As the argument, the author recalls the fact that the electric motors were well known for decades but did not flourish since the 1960s. It’s misleading statement. It’s crucial to remember that until recently any efforts to develop an alternative fuel vehicle on a massive scale faced huge opposition from the oil cartel, their lobbyists and organisations who benefited from the oil industry. Now, when the air pollution is a global issue and fossil fuels will run out earlier than we predicted, technology in the electric vehicle industry is developing as good as never before. The batteries are getting better, cheaper and are more environmentally friendly. There is already wireless charging technology. We will soon charge our EVs much faster than today.
Ross Clark claims that the range of EVs is a problem. It’s another fallacy. The range anxiety seems to be an archaism now as the charging points spring up like mushrooms. 200 miles range seems to be a standard now but only for a moment. The new EV models as Jaguar I Pace or Tesla 3 come with 300-400 miles range. Considering the fact they perform even better than many ICE sports cars, 300 miles of quiet, environmentally friendly, extremely safe drive is a great achievement. Especially if you can drive Tesla from London to Glasgow for £20 (proximately cost of charging).
I agree with the author that there is much to do and a lot to explore. However, it’s the beginning of the journey and so far EV industry is progressing very well. I’m aware that there will be many malcontents, who will not appreciate the change. I can hear sometimes from my friends that the sound of the engine is so precious for them and electric cars will miss something deeply rooted in our culture. There is a good news! Even the throaty roar of a well-tuned engine, which seems to be for some an object of worship, can be present in the electric cars. An internal audio system that simulates the sound of the engine is used already in few ICE cars such BMW 5 or VW GTI.
Let be positive and believe that today's IMPOSSIBLE will be REALITY in the very near future. 2040 is achievable but only if we stop complaining and start working together. It is good to remember that the transition from ICE vehicles to EV is inevitable as we must prevail against the air pollution. I’m sure we will make it, as it’s all about the future of our children and our planet.
Gerard Chaustow - Founder @ Electric Streets