Reader Question: EV Battery Swap Solution?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

John asks: More on my previous email. You could drive over a pit where your battery pack could be lowered and replaced without you leaving your car. It would always take professionally trained technicians to do the swap.

My reply: I suppose I’m just an old stick in the mud, but I cannot see the advantage of this “solution” over pulling up to a pump and pumping it full of gas in 5 minutes or less. No “professionally trained technician” is necessary. I don’t have to worry about getting a bad battery pack – and even if that worry could be eliminated, there’s no getting around the time/hassle involved.

Which brings me back to the ur question… why?

What is the point of all this Rube Goldberging? Gas is inexpensive and convenient; EVs are expensive and inconvenient. Why then all this chickenheaded running around trying to force the proverbial round peg in the square hole?

I just don’t get it… .

Wait. Actually, I do get it.  The reason for all this EV Kool Aid drinking is because there is an effort afoot to restrict and control mobility without openly acknowledging those motives. Once you understand this, you understand everything else.

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. Eric – Another point you make is that these batteries are often located where there’s space, not necessarily where it’s convenient for maintenance. I imagine dropping a fuel tank would be less cumbersome than dropping the batteries in a lot of these EVs. Making the batteries easily removable by a Quicky-Lube level mechanic (i.e. they’ll need to be idiot proof to prevent customers from dying or frying their car) along with the necessary armor around the batteries will add weight to these fatties.

    • Hi Mike,

      Yes, exactly. In general, you lift the body off the car (or drop the floorpan) to access the battery pack. It’s technically doable, of course – that’s how EVs are assembled – but doing this routinely, to deal with the recharge time issue, would involve even more expensive new infrastructure than all these “fast” charging stations and I doubt the changeout time could be gotten down to par with the time it takes to fill up a gas tank.

      And that’s the rub, ultimately. Even if it could be gotten down to twice as long as it takes to fill up an IC car’s tank – “just” 10 minutes vs. 5 or less – it’s still too damned long. The idea that most people are going to accept waiting even twice as long to “refuel” – unless they are forced to – makes my teeth ache almost as much as the idiocy of suggesting that this is “progress.”

      Wasn’t the whole point of EVs and other “alternatives” to make driving cheaper, simpler and easier?

      And if not, why bother with these “alternatives”?

      Is it not like going back to manually pumping well water from outside rather than having indoor plumbing and a hot shower any time you want one?

  2. Even if the range issue could be solved (unlikely), you still have the weight, size, expense, its toxicity,
    and recharging to figure out. That is a giant list.

    Battery tech hasn’t really come very far, in spite of all the money thrown at it. My iphone still has terrible range, use it a bit, it heats up and its half run down in a short time. I bet apple by itself has thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at battery research. You can go to Jay Leno’s garage and find an electric car a hundred years old with range just as good as the newest electric car today.

    Batteries aren’t the solution. They weren’t a hundred years ago, and they aren’t today either.

    When the electric starter was invented for the gasoline car, the race was over for which power source was king.

    • Hi Rich,

      Also, throughput.

      This EV thing is plausible as a fantasy and when there are only a handful in circulation; but imagine if say a third of the cars on the road are electric … imagine the stacking up and lines at charging places. The time factor multiplies and becomes a nightmare of inconvenience. Even if it only took twice as long to recharge an EV as it takes to refuel a gas-engined car, you’ve still doubled the time hassle and created a throughout bottleneck.

      And EVs take 5-6 times as long to partially charge as a gas car takes to fully refuel.


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