Ford just announced it will “boost” EV battery capacity and “cut costs” using “new” (battery) chemistry.
Which will solve nothing as regards the most unspoken-of technical problem with EVs – which isn’t their range or even their recharge times, although both of those problems are big ones.
A bigger one is the electricity problem, itself.
Batteries store electricity, just as gas tanks store the chemical energy of gasoline. But this is a deceptive equivalence. Liquid fuels do not have to be piped directly from refinery to gas station. This makes it feasible to locate gas stations practically anywhere there is a need for gasoline, which can be easily and economically transported via truck to the gas station, which might be 100 or more miles away from the refinery/distribution depot.
The gas is then pumped into below-ground storage tanks, from where it is easily and economically – as well as speedily – pumped into cars (as well as fuel jugs, to power lawn mowers and such).
A battery can store electricity – but it is the getting it into the battery wherein lies the rub.
That electricity cannot be easily or conveniently or economically disconnected from its source of its generation – the utility plant – stored in bulk in a tanker truck and transported to a “fast” charging station, far distant, where the electricity isn’t stored in underground battery “tanks” or anywhere else. It is real-time distribution from source to plug, exactly the same as the outlets in your house that you plug your appliances into.
Just scaled up.
But it is one thing to transmit the voltage/amperage required to power household appliances from the generating source – the utility plant – to a neighborhood of private homes via the overhead wires we’re all familiar with – and another thing to transmit the electrical power needed to power up 400-800 volt electric car batteries at home.
At least, in reasonable time.
One of the Great Omissions of the “discussion” about electric vehicles is the lack of discussion about the fact that it is not technically or economically feasible to charge up an electric vehicle at home in less than several hours because private homes don’t have the electrical capacity to do it any faster. Generally, it takes at least eight hours – using the maximum-available household power of 240 volts – to fully recharge an electric car, at home.
So even if Ford – or whomever – develops a new kind of EV battery that could be “fast” charged in let’s say 15 minutes (still at least three or four times as long as it takes to fill up a gas tank) it’s not going to be done at home. That means having to drive to and from the “fast” charger, if you don’t have hours to wait at home. But now you’re spending time driving to and from the “fast” charger.
Even if it “only” takes 10 minutes to drive there and 10 more back, that’s 20 minutes more added to your wait.
Maybe it doesn’t sound like a lot, but add it up. Fifteen minutes (to “fast” charge) plus 20 driving to and from equals 35 minutes to do what it used to take less than five to do. Your time-cost is 30 minutes. Times that twice, which is probably the least often per week the typical EV owner would have to perform this ritual, so an hour per week out of pocket. That’s four hours per month of your time spent doing what it used to cost you less than 30, before.
But it’s even more costly than that, because of the distribution problem. EV “fast” chargers have to be tied into the grid. Which means you are tied to the grid. Now think of the random roadtrips we’ve all taken for granted up to now – and then forget them. The farther away you get from an urban area or major highway, the farther away you are from the grid – and a place to “fast” charge your EV. This makes consideration of range acutely important, assuming you haven’t got hours to wait.
How we’ll miss not having to worry about the tank getting low – because another gas station was just up the road a bit, whatever road we happened to be driving on. Roll in on fumes and back on the road in five minutes.
We’re being “asked” (in air fingers quotes, to emphasize that whenever government uses the word, it means we’re being told) to drive electric cars because they are “clean,” which is of a piece with government telling us that “vaccines” are “safe and effective” – and that “masks” stop the spread.
In fact, we’re being told we must give up being able to drive wherever we needed to go or felt like going to, on the spur of the moment and without planning or waiting . . . all of that spontaneous, heterogenous freedom of movement being the last thing the government wants.
. . .
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