[Oeva-list] 12 EV Myths

patrick0101 at gmail.com patrick0101 at gmail.com
Thu Dec 24 09:38:11 PST 2009


*1. EVs don’t have enough range. You'll be stranded when you run out of
*FACT: Americans drive an average of 40 miles per day, according to the U.S.
Department of Transportation. Most new battery electrics have a range of at
least double that and can be charged at any ordinary electrical outlet
(120V) or publicly accessible station with a faster charger. At present, all
it takes is planning for EV owners, who can travel up to 120 miles on a
single charge, to use their cars on heavy travel days.

*2. EVs are good for short city trips only.
*FACT: Consumers have owned and driven EVs for seven years or more and
regularly use them for trips of up to 120 miles.

*3. EVs just replace the tailpipe with a smokestack.
*FACT: Even today, with 52 percent of U.S. electricity generated by
coal-fired power plants, plug-in cars reduce emissions of greenhouse gases
and most other pollutants compared with conventional gas or hybrid vehicles.
Plug-ins can run on renewable electricity from sources such as the sun or
wind. Plug-in hybrids will reduce greenhouse gases and other emissions, even
if the source of electricity is mostly coal, a 2007 study by the Electric
Power Research Institute (EPRI) and NRDC showed.

*4. The charging stations must be built before people will adopt EVs.
*FACT: Most charging will be done at home, so public charging isn’t a
necessity. And at least seven companies are competing to dominate the
public-charging-station market and a trade group representing the nation’s
electric utilities has pledged to “aggressively” create the infrastructure
to support “full-scale commercialization and deployment” of plug-ins.

*5. The grid will crash if millions of plug-ins charge at once.
*FACT: Off-peak electricity production and transmission capacity could fuel
the daily commutes of 73 percent of all cars, light trucks, SUVs and vans on
the road today if they were plug-in hybrids, a 2007 study by Pacific
Northwest National Laboratory found. Plug-ins, which can be seen as energy
storage devices on wheels, can actually benefit the grid, making green
energies like solar and wind power even more viable.

*6. Battery chemicals are bad for the environment and can't be recycled.
*FACT: Ninety-nine percent of batteries in conventional cars are recycled,
according to the EPA. The metals in newer batteries are more valuable and
recycling programs are already being developed for them. Utilities plan to
use batteries for energy storage once they are no longer viable in a

*7. EVs take too long to charge.
*FACT: The most convenient place and time to charge is at home while you
sleep. Even using the slowest 120-volt outlet, the car can be left to charge
overnight, producing about 40 miles of range. Most new battery cars and
plug-in hybrids will charge from 240-volt outlets providing double or triple
the charge in the same amount of time. Charging stations that reduce
charging time even more are beginning to appear.

*8. Plug-ins are too expensive for market penetration.
*FACT: New technologies are typically costly. Remember when cell phones and
DVDs were introduced? Also, the government stimulus package includes a
$2,500 to $7,500 tax credit for EVs and PHEVs. Some states are considering
additional incentives ($5,000 in California and Texas). And EVs require
almost no maintenance or repair: no oil or filter changes, no tune ups, no
smog checks.

*9. Batteries will cost $15,000 to replace after only a few years.
*FACT: The battery is the priciest part of a plug-in, but costs will drop as
production increases and the auto industry is expected to be purchasing up
to $25 billion in advanced batteries annually by 2015. Some car makers plan
to lease their batteries, so replacement won’t be an issue.

*10. There isn't enough lithium in the world to make all the new batteries.
*FACT: Even in a worst-case scenario of zero battery recycling, aggressive
EV sales, no new mining methods or sites, existing lithium stores will be
sufficient for projected EV production for the next 75 years. See an
analysis at PlugInAmerica.org.

*11. Lithium batteries are dangerous and can explode.
*FACT: Among the many kinds of lithium-ion batteries, lithium-cobalt
batteries found in consumer electronics can pose a fire risk in certain
circumstances. These risks can be mitigated by the use of advanced-battery
management systems and careful design that prevents “thermal runaway.”

*12. Most of us will still be driving gas cars through 2050.
*FACT: Driving us toward EVs are ever-toughening federal fuel economy
standards and state caps on greenhouse gas emissions; projected price hikes
for petroleum products as demand increases and supply flattens or drops;
broad agreement over the need for America to reduce its reliance on
petroleum; and climate change, which is occurring faster than previously
thought, according to the journal Science and many other sources.

Those myths are pernicious.

With Great Power, Comes Great Current and High Voltage   =D~
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