If you really ReallyREALLY want to be ‘WOKE’ and a peer of the In-Crowd in good standing, you drive an electric automobile. Less well off woke in-people would ride electric public transportation, bicycle or just plain old fashioned walk to get where they are going. But to properly virtue signal that you are fully aware of your impact on the planet and aim to please the in-crowd you drive not just an electric car, but an electric Automobile, perhaps even a gigantic electric SUV, the more expensive the better. Remember, image is of primo importance to the in-crowd and some lowly cheap electric car will not do the trick, but an expensive one – well, now we are talking vanity to impress even the neighbor with the diamond in his nose and an apricot colored sweater hung over his shoulders. You know, the very uptown folk that do not even need to pour their own champagne for breakfast, they have ‘people’ to do that for them. Yep, that is the life, to ride in your own electric powered Mercedes or Land Rover to impress the local greens as you head off to the private aerodrome to catch your very thirsty private jet to fly blissfully ‘eco’ (ecologically correct) on your way to the next confab concerning saving the planet and coercing others to ride on electric public transportation and force their low class earth fouling gasoline trucks off of the highways. Ahhh, the ‘beautiful’ people, those of the fabulous class, you are the envy of all the plebes. And you are so earth friendly to boot.
Mercedes - Maybach Electric SUV
The question that I must ask is: Are they really all that “eco” friendly? Let’s take a look at a few items of interest that may help answer that question for us today. The first thing many people ask is if it is any cheaper driving an electric car than driving a gas powered one. Those with very simplistic minds can get an answer easily by watching the video put out by CBS news in San Diego (embedded link) about 3 years ago comparing a basic electric to a similar gas car. They test only the cost of the fuel used for a simple 10 mile drive, and came to the conclusion that the gasoline is more than twice the expense of the electric charge for those ten miles. But the simpletons like so many other shallow reports neglect to factor in the real costs; it is not just the price of the fuel that makes the cost of ownership and driving valid but far more is required that must go into that equation to answer our question.
Although the correct comparison numbers vary depending on where you live, the apparent costs of fuel is less than half the cost using electricity, but the tradeoffs are huge. I used the term “apparent” for a reason; it is not the obvious one of comparing receipts that gives an accurate answer. The average price of electricity in the US is currently 14.12 cents per KiloWatt hour (KWh) while the average price in Utah where I live it is 10.26 cents per KWh. Those prices include the basic taxes already and vary by state. The average price of Regular gasoline in the US as I write this is $3.514 per gallon including federal, state and local taxes which averages about 30 cents per gallon or about 13% of the price of the fuel itself here in Utah. But this is not the total taxes on electric cars. You see, gas (and diesel) powered cars pay a road use tax included on those taxes within the price per gallon, while electric cars do not and must be added to cover the cost of maintaining those highways and not usually added to comparisons. We gas drivers cannot be expected to pay for all the road wear caused by the heavier electrics; more weight more wear and that is the reason why large trucks pay so much more in road taxes than cars do.
The NCSL, the National Conference of State Legislatures, reports that “EV sales represent less than 2% of all light-duty car sales in the United States, but as sales increase, some states are concerned increased EV adoption will lower gasoline tax revenues. The repairs and improvements to the nation’s highways traditionally have been funded primarily through federal and state taxes collected at the pump. Because electric vehicles do not require gasoline to operate, they do not contribute to the upkeep of highways through a gas tax.
Many states face declining gas tax revenue—not only because of electric vehicles—forcing state policymakers to consider other ways to pay for the nation’s transportation infrastructure. One growing policy trend is applying a separate registration fee for certain hybrid or electric vehicles. These fees come in addition to standard motor vehicle registration fees and proponents support the fees to bring equity among drivers by ensuring all drivers pay for using roadways.”
They then add that “The fees range from $50 per year in Colorado, South Dakota and Hawaii to $225 for a plug-in electric vehicle in Washington. Alabama, Arkansas, Ohio and Wyoming all enacted bills in 2019, setting or increasing fees for electric vehicles to $200 annually. Most recently, Oklahoma and South Dakota both enacted legislation in 2021 to impose new EV fees. South Dakota now imposes a flat $50 fee for all PEVs, while Oklahoma has tiered EV fees based on vehicle weight, with a $110 fee for EVs under 6,000 pounds. Idaho introduced legislation in April 2021, currently pending, that would increase the state’s EV registration fee from $140 to $300 annually. If enacted, it would also create an alternative 2.5 cents per mile fee system, which drivers can pay in lieu of the $300 fee.”
In Utah that registration fee is an additional $90 or a total annual fee of $134 per electric car which is more than double that of gasoline cars annual registration fee of $44 and amounts to about a penny per mile calculated average. Now being considered is a bill that will bring that number up to about one and a quarter pennies per mile. Add that extra tax onto the price per mile of the electric cars costs and the difference narrows a fair amount. Many states (including Utah) also have higher fees on hybrid cars because they do not pay as much in gasoline taxes because of their higher mileage ratings and then keep in mind that all states will soon have that extra tax added to electric and hybrid cars and may be based on a tax per mile traveled basis plus whatever the feds do to tax them. So the price per mile compared to gasoline powered cars narrows significantly in the future.
Although electric cars cost more to produce than gas cars, the federal government has a $7,500 tax credit for Electric Vehicles that applies to most of them. Even including that benefit, they are still more expensive because the battery costs are much higher than conventional reciprocating motors. The car enthusiast’s magazine Car and Driver did a comparison of costs involved in ownership between directly comparable models of gas and electric versions of two makes; the BMW owned Mini and the Hyundai Kona for a three year period. Although a fascinating read that covers many aspects of the costs involved, I will keep my remarks to the final tallies of total cost of ownership between gas and electric versions of those cars. Remember that these comparisons include the price new, resale value, cost of fuel, upkeep, taxes and so on to give a realistic cost of ownership and unlike most comparisons, these are between gas and electric versions of the same models so it is actually fair.
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Mini Hardtop: $41,454
Mini Electric: $49,312
Hyundai Kona: $39,817
Hyundai Kona Electric: $55,311
Fascinating result don’t you think? Although most comparisons have the opposite result, this one includes all of the costs and compares directly comparable models; the same car with different power trains for a more honest result. It counters the common claim that electrics are the cheaper way to go nicely. Other comparisons may give different results, and those sponsored by the electric car industry are the most obvious ones to differ but they omit many aspects of the real costs involved and only show a part of the overall picture. In longer term ownership the costs of maintenance and repairs must be taken into account. While it is true that gas cars have more moving parts and require more periodic upkeep, electrics do require some items be maintained as well, like light bulbs and tires, brakes and some fluids etc. Sure, a fuel pump or water pump replacement or spark plugs and tune up are not required with an electric, but to replace the battery pack after it goes flat is dramatically pricier than replacing or repairing a dead engine. Even electric motors are very expensive. Remember the video of that guy in Finland that blew up his Tesla rather than pay the nearly $23,000 replacement battery cost?
Now we move on from the humdrum and get to the good stuff.
“Electric Vehicle Battery Fires Are A Serious Problem” reads the headline in CarBuzz (as did many other headlines on this subject). “All EVs, from the Tesla Model 3 to the Ford Mustang Mach-E, are equipped with lithium-ion batteries that pose safety concerns following high-speed crashes and other types of accidents.”
Motor Biscuit spoke of this in their article this past August and had this to say; “the lithium in an EV like a Tesla reacts violently to air and water. Of course, by violently I mean explosively. Fortunately, this is a pretty rare occurrence. It takes a lot to puncture these cells, and vehicles nowadays often have additional protection to make sure that is never an issue- for you or the fire department.” That is reassuring but it does not eliminate the fires. They then go on to explain about cells rupturing or getting pierced. Hot Cars had a bit more to say. “There are usually three possible reasons why this design could be prone to catching fire. One possibility is that the battery pack was improperly manufactured. Second, the software that manages and operates the functioning of the battery is not designed correctly. The final possibility is that if the battery pack is damaged…. Multiple cases of cars spontaneously combusting while sitting idle or charging in a garage or parking lot have been reported. Even atmospheric conditions could have impacts on the electrodes inside the battery pack if not manufactured correctly. Automakers like Hyundai, General Motors were forced to recall a large number of their electric vehicles when it was found that allegedly a certain LG Chem design battery pack was prone to catching fire and some did.”
Car and battery manufacturers are working on reducing that possibility as fast as they can, they say and it seems that the possibility is reduced but let’s look at a story from ten years ago anyway. “The Chevy Volt fire denials are getting harder and harder to maintain…. Last week, a fire badly damaged the home of a new Fisker Karma owner, and authorities are saying that the electric car was the source of the blaze…. “This looks just like golf cart fires we have down here,” said Baker. The suburban Houston area has approximately 50 golf cart fires a year, he said.,,,,Golf carts use…lithium-ion batteries. Like the Fisker Karma. And the Chevy Volt.” This was pre-Tesla, so the cars involved are different but the fact remains that they are not safe if involved in an accident nor if the charging system is not working properly nor if there is any flaw in the batteries cells nor if so many other problems might occur.
Of course, electric problems can cause fires In any car, and the recent Hyundai fires were from shorts in the anti-lock brake control boards on many different models both gas and electric. Catalytic converters, overheated engines, electrical shorts, fuel system leaks and so forth cause gas engine cars to burn. But putting out a fire in an electric car is a far more difficult task. Car and Driver had an interesting article on just that a couple of years ago and mentioned you need a lot of water – a LOT of water. “Fighting an electric-car fire is a new kind of skill that requires a new kind of thinking…. With an electric-car fire, you need water. That might sound obvious, but in many cases, modern fire departments use foam or dry chemicals that are better than old-fashioned H20 at suppressing fire. While dry chemicals are great at putting down ordinary electrical fires, they may be ineffective with a fire stemming from a car's lithium-ion battery.” The second video below talks about how to put out an electric car fire. The third video shows an electric car exploding while charging at a public charging station. Even FEMA has a say on battery fires and firefighter also have a huge risk with electric car fires.
“Automakers seeking to forge ahead in the electric vehicle market have been hitting a bump in the road recently: batteries keep catching fire” said CNN Business “BMW initiated a recall in the United States of 10 different BMW and Mini plug-in hybrid models because of a risk of fire caused by debris that may have gotten into battery cells during manufacturing. Then, in early October, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened an investigation into reports of apparently spontaneous battery fires in Chevrolet Bolt EVs….. A few days later, Hyundai announced that it was recalling 6,700 Kona Electric SUVs in the United States, among about 75,000 of that model to be recalled worldwide, after it had received numerous reports of vehicles catching fire while parked…. Tesla faced this last year after two highly publicized battery fires, which spurred it to update its vehicle software. Years earlier, after a car fire caused by battery damage from road debris, Tesla added plates underneath its cars to better protect the batteries.”
The US power grid is already at its maximum capacity, yet the current needs for recharging electric cars and other vehicles will only increase very rapidly at the same time the power grid is being degraded by eliminating the massive power generation capabilities of carbon fuel systems like coal and natural gas as well as taking nuclear power stations out of service at the same time that we should be building many more to meet the needs of that increasing demand. But the geniuses at the top seem to think that requirement can be met by solar power farms good only when the sun is shining and wind farms which work best during the day when most wind is usually present. Neither of which meets the need to recharge during the night time when other users are not in such high quantities of those megawatts of electron activity.
“By his Executive Order and an associated Action Plan, Biden’s administration calls for 50% of all new vehicles sold in America by 2030 to be EVs. That means an additional 50 million new EVs on the road in the next nine years, all in an effort to lower Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, namely CO2.
On December 13, 2021, the administration announced its plan to spend $7.5 billion to construct 500,000 EV charging stations throughout the US. The plan’s funding comes from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure & Jobs Act Biden signed on November 15, 2021” is what American Thinker had to say on it, and that increase in charging stations is a moot point if there is no electricity to power them. Here is the kicker, note the highlighted text; “Most major auto manufacturers (and a few trendy new ones) are rushing to market with all-electric vehicles. However, they are not spending billions on EV development because of consumer demand. Instead, onerous CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) and EPA imposed GHG emission standards force them into the EV market.” All without the required improvements in power generation capacities. Very intelligent of the insane idiots infesting our government or so they believe. Even building massive new “clean renewable” power plants cannot come anywhere near filling the need for electric power generation let alone replace retiring carbon powered, hydroelectric and nuclear sources being taken offline. Perhaps they believe the eugenics operations to reduce the population dramatically that are underway will reduced the need sufficiently. No, but they seem to think so.
“Solar farms: A toxic blot on the landscape” reads the headline in an interesting article on the destruction of our natural beauty to fill the needs for higher rates of “natural” power generation, “The Government admits that more than a fifth of our farmland will eventually be lost to ‘green’ initiatives such as these.
Last week, The Mail on Sunday counted 270 solar farms under construction or waiting for planning permission around the country.
Environmental lobbyists argue that solar energy is a crucial part of a sustainable future, but they talk less about the growing doubts raised by scientists and angry groups of residents.
Because, apart from ruining the view, solar panels are also woefully inefficient at their only job – which is to generate electricity amid the cloud and rain of north-west Europe.
Then there is the question of disposal.
The materials the panels are made with have a life expectancy of less than 50 years and are difficult and expensive to recycle, raising the prospect of discarded panel mountains leaking dangerous heavy metals.
And with the majority of panels now made in China, there are fears – all too plausible – that some have been produced in forced labour camps, including those where members of the oppressed Uighur minority are imprisoned.
‘A power supply that is always both unpredictable and intermittent is not sensible,’” and that is just in Britain alone.
And just where are those new solar farms and wind mill forests going? Why, nothing less than the destruction of our natural resources and beauty of course because the ‘greens’ are so kind to our environment, correct?
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