The Power Suck

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EVs are powerful. Everyone knows about the “instant” acceleration.

Few know about the constant draw.

You can leave a gas or diesel-powered vehicle parked for weeks – months – and it will have the same amount of fuel in the tank you left it with, assuming the tank’s not leaking. EVs don’t leak, per se – but the end result is the same. Left unplugged even just overnight, you will find a noticeable amount of the power stored in the “tank” – i.e., the battery pack – is no longer there.

A loss of about 10-20 miles of the range you had the evening before seems to be common.

This just happened – again – in the ’23 Mercedes EQS I’m test driving this week. It happened – before – when I was test driving other EVs back in December.

But why is it happening?

Well, chiefly because I did not plug the Benz in the evening before. I did this on purpose, in order to demonstrate something about EVs that people aren’t being told about which I think they ought to know about.

That thing being EVs use power even when they are parked.

Their battery packs are like gas tanks in that both store an energy source. One big difference is that the gas or diesel inside a non-electric car’s tank is not burned when the engine isn’t running. But the electricity stored in an EV’s battery pack is being “burned” even when the motor isn’t turning – to power the heating/cooling system that prevents the EV’s battery pack from getting too cold or too hot, either of which can cause problems for the EV and so, for you.

But not leaving it plugged in is kind of like accidentally leaving the map light on all night in a non-EV.

And has a similar effect.

I left the car parked with 239 miles of indicated range remaining. The next morning, the indicator said 225 – 14 miles less than before – even though the car hadn’t moved an inch since the evening before.

It may not sound like much, but in context it is -because EVs don’t have much range to begin with, even when fully charged (e.g., this Mercedes touts a maximum range of 305 miles). If you aren’t starting out with a full charge – as in this case – then the loss of 14 miles is even more proportionately significant, because it takes so long to recover range when you haven’t got enough left. It is an everyday-significant problem that isn’t with other cars. For example, a V8-powered Dodge Charger Hellcat also only has a range of about 300 miles. But it matters less how fast the gas is burned because it takes almost no time to put not just more but all of it (a full tank) back in.

And there’s another problem related to this business of needing to keep an EV plugged in – if you want to avoid the overnight loss of range: It is the fact that EVs are always “burning” power – even when they are parked. This means they are always drawing it. Or will need more of it – if they were left unplugged. To make up for what they “burned” while just sitting.

Aren’t EVs supposed to be all about using less rather than more energy?

Perhaps the per-EV draw isn’t much. But how much is it when hundreds of thousands of EVs are plugged in when they’re not being used, to assure they don’t lose the range they had when they were parked? It adds up to a lot of kilowatt-hours and, probably, a lot of “carbon,” too – as solar panels aren’t what most EVs are plugged into.

But why aren’t people being told about this?

Probably because it might cause questions to be raised about the “sustainability” of EVs.

Here is another thing they’re not being told, also related to range. It is that what’s advertised isn’t always what’s actual.

Often it’s not even close.

I drove the EQS 42 actual road miles the first day I had it. This consumed 52 miles of indicated range. When I left the house, the car said I had 225 miles available. When I got home – 42 miles later – it said 173.

That’s a difference of 10 miles – and about 20 percent.

This seems to be a typical thing, based on my experience so far with about a half-dozen EVs of different makes/models. It is not an insignificant thing, especially in view of the range/recharge issue already discussed that everyone does know about. But many do not know that EVs often do not go as far as advertised – making the range/recharge issues worse.

They are not likely to be happy about it when they find out about it.

EVs are held to a much looser standard in this regard. Gas and diesel-powered cars are expected to deliver almost exactly on the city/highway mileage numbers posted on the window sticker. If they’re off by even a couple of MPGs, it is cause for lawsuits and recalls. Yet being off by 10 or 20 percent (or much more, in the case of EVs like the Ford F-150 pick-up when a trailer is hitched to it) is regarded with a weird indifference. 

Perhaps because EVs are like the government that mandates them, in that they can do no wrong – and are never expected to deliver on the promises they make.

. . .

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  1. An automobile sitting in the garage costs nothing, especially if the garage is paid for too. Oh sure if you want to drive it you need to do all the registration/taxes/insurance stuff, but if you just want to keep a car it only takes up space. This is a problem that can be solved with “technology.” Keeping an electric car means you need to keep the battery topped up, and it will take more than a trickle charger for this battery.

    “Transportation as a service” is the future. ‘Small’ monthly rate paid to GM or Ford and you’ll have a vehicle. But you’ll never own it. Might make some people happy but they’ll never get rich either.

  2. I wonder what weasel words are used on the Monroney for EV mileage…
    MPGe – when fully charged vehicle can go almost…
    (charge time 8.5 hours (240 volts)

    how much is “almost”?

    • Hi Stylin,

      The whole thing is a stupendous fraud – very much of a piece with the “vaccines.” Both preceded by hysteria, organized to justify the end result. In both cases, the truth leaks out. Hopefully, in time.

      • i just want the fraud to be made public in time. before the overlords take over, followed by a punishment to those that perpetrated this great fraud to be so great and to create such fear in others that would think to take their place that us “average folk” never have to deal with this for a hundred generations.

        • Amen, Buster –

          I am doing all I can as a car writer to spread the word, using facts and personal experiences. Stay tuned for some of the latter about the ’23 Genesis G80 electric…

  3. So obviously, just another inefficiency they are hiding. Eric, you are spot on about adding all these ‘losses’ over all EV’s is a major factor not being discussed.
    I would still like to know what happens to an EV battery parked with low charge at 20 degrees F overnight. The battery goes to no charge and can’t keep the battery warm. Does the battery get damaged?

    • Hi Chris,

      Thanks! And – yes, I’ve had the same thought. But I didn’t do the experiment back in December because of a failing of mine as regards trying to avoid damaging property that doesn’t belong to me. I wish I had the budget that Jeremy Clarkson had (before they fired him) to just buy one of these things to have my way with it…

  4. Heres another interesting thing I recently learnt about EVs – my BIL with the Test has recently moved to my area. Kinda semi-rural out here, and grid wiring and transformers are probably not the greatest. But most nobody cares…. UNLESS you need to charge an EV. It turns out – in the UK, the power at the grid while officially 240, it varies by a 10% on the positive and 6% on the negative. Unofficially at times it does move a bit more than that, as my BIL found out. He just got a “fast charger” (ie a day to charge a tesla) put into his house. Ofcourse its “smart” as they are all mandated to be now in the UK (dont even ask about that scam). But because its so “smart” if the voltage goes above 250v, it shuts off for “safety” ofcourse…. Which seems to happen quite a bit in this area, especially on his street! He is having it looked into and about half a dozen companies (power company, grid company, charge point guys, meter guys, etc etc) are involved in figuring out what to do, but the unofficial answer is this is very normal but nobody gives a shit because who wants an electric car anyways….. but his situation is that now he can either charge at via the normal socket (about a week), or go to a public charge point and pay to charge in about an hour (and pay about as much as it costs to fuel a petrol sedan in 5 minutes because its not cheap anymore!).

    The interesting thing is – imagine what will happen to voltage variance on the grid when hundreds of EVs are charged on the street every day, and every street in a small mostly rural town like mine !!! Its almost as if this whole thing is built to fail….

    • Nasir:

      Glad I don’t live in the UK or Commiefornia, or anywhere on the East or West Coasts of the United States. I do live in flyover country. I routinely drive 200 or so miles a day. An EV of any kind would kill that. I also charge by the hour for my time. I can imagine the shit storm when I put in 38 minutes to charge my car. At $300.00 an hour. May have to raise my hourly, I am thinking $400.00. Shit is getting expensive.

      Sanity will prevail after Satan and his minions are defeated. That will happen. It will happen without destroying the planet with nuclear war. That is true as God our Father will not allow it. Keep up the fight, Christ has our backs. As does Allah.

    • This happens in the US too. Maybe less so, I don’t know for sure, but it does happen. And like you said ‘what happens when the draw of more ev’s plug in?’ And it will happen, and the US grid will become less reliable and those ev chargers will have the same problem with mostly under-voltage.
      This will affect all e-devices too. All e-motors in appliances, well pumps, etc…. are designed to run at roughly +/- 10% of nameplate voltage. Almost all of them, residentially, DO NOT have under-over voltage protection. They will ‘burn’ out. The larger e-motors we sell for industry almost all have under-over voltage protection but will interrupt service (shut down). How this will plays out is very interesting but also potentially dangerous and/or affect basic infrastructure systems like water-wastewater, oil-gas plants, etc…. even the little water-WW systems in little towns.
      Certainly a new ‘twist’ on the adaptation of EV’s.

  5. Batteries are finicky creatures. My 2-year-old iPhone says the battery only holds 87% of what it did when it was new. That doesn’t hinder my day-to-day use of the phone. The disposable appliance aka EV battery will also degrade over time. That has real impacts on range. The whole EV thing is farcical and criminal, IMHO.

  6. What Eric has done is proven the fraudulent push for EVs and accelerated the informational flow about the disadvantages of EVs that would have naturally occured in the marketplace from disgruntled owners on internet forums. Basically a brick wall of resistance is forming against the EV industry.

    So what now brown cow? EV manufacturers are facing an existential crisis, having gone all in on a government sponsored agenda and now they are bleeding uncontrollably – which means their stock values will taper, enraging the stock owners, who will take action to remove the woke CEOs who bankrupt the corporation for faggy rainbow unicorn fantasies.

    Heads will roll, factories will be scrapped, fist fights at the stock holder meetings, and Joe Biden proclaiming “I sunk your battleship”. Is there any doubt that Amerika is being scuttled under this pedo perv Biden thing? Anyone in the car industry out there ought to come out of woke syndrome, you are taking advice from a unelected fraud of a president who appointed a drag queen as the deputy assistant secretary of spent fuel and waste disposition in the office of nuclear energy:

    This individual soon was fired for stealing women’s luggage while he jet setted from town to town for hot gay sex. Jeeeeeeeezzzuuuuussss.

  7. The local electric company where I live now sends emails to people listing how much electricity they used in a month and on what, and essentially scolds them if they “Used too much” compared to so-called “efficient” homes. I can only imagine what kind of notices people who own EVs get from them as I don’t own an EV and never will. I assume the electric company gets all that electrical use information from all the smart meters the state of Oregon effectively ORDERED them to install a few years ago. They’ll even email suggestions on how to be more “energy efficient”, such as using SMART POWER STRIPS, getting a SMART THERMOSTAT, or even signing up for their green energy program, which adds a monthly fee to the electric bill of subscribers. We’ve been told endlessly that “green energy” is less expensive than regular fuels, and yet, in my neck of the woods, subscribing to the electric company’s GREEN ENERGY program ADDS to your monthly electric bill. That sounds like a GIANT scam, but there are people out there who’ve subscribed to it to virtue signal about how “GREEN” they are.

    • Ever since the implementation of electrical “smart meters”, I predicted that “time of day” electrical pricing would be next.
      I was correct. DTE (Detroit Edison) has just implemented time of day pricing for its residential electricity customers.
      However, it gets worse.
      DTE is offering residential customers a “free” programmable thermostat. The “hook” is that DTE can remotely control this thermostat and has already done so, shutting off AC units during periods of high electricity usage.
      Wait till electric utilities start shutting off customers’ power for “ecological reasons”.
      It’s coming…

      • Hi Anon,

        I don’t doubt that’s coming also. When the state of Oregon effectively decreed that customers of the local electric company here WILL get smart meters, there was an “Opt-out” option, but it would have come with monthly extortionist fees called “Non standard meter reading” fees, in addition to a one-time fee for the FUTURE installation of a smart meter. Thankfully public pressure resulted in the one-time fee bring dropped and the monthly meter reading fee being lowered from $36 to $10.

        As for smart meters and smart thermostats, customers of one electric company in Colorado already saw their smart thermostats hacked by the electric company and the temperature LOCKED at a certain temperature in the middle of a heat wave. When customers tried to change the temperature, they got a message on their smart thermostat saying ENERGY EMERGENCY.

        And even in Virginia, I read about one electric company that shut off power to customers who REFUSED to have a smart meter installed at their homes. Will Oregon Queen Tina Kotek and/ or the climate change zealots pressure the local electric company in my neck of the woods to do similar stuff? That remains to be seen.

        • Hi John/anarchyst,
          I get those letters all the time from the gas company, scolding me for using more gas than my so-called “efficient” neighbors. Luckily they don’t have smart gas meters yet, but that’s probably because the climate hysterics around here are doing their best to ban natural gas. I did get an offer for free smart thermostats, the condition being that they be connected to the internet so someone else can control my temperature settings. Ef them, I’m old and it gets cold here and I like being warm so tough sh*t.
          The electric company does have time of use pricing but it’s not mandatory…..yet. These virtue signaling aholes can go ahead and freeze in the winter and sweat in the summer if it makes them feel superior and righteous, I prefer comfort.

          • Mike,

            I read once that the smart meters that the local electric company was going to install in my neck of the woods of Oregon were originally going to be MANDATORY until public pressure resulted in the option to Opt-out. However, opting out came with extortionist fees, and as a result, most people DIDN’T opt out. I tried to warn people at the time about the potential for those things to be used for all sorts of sinister purposes, and many of them looked at me like I had three heads. However, shortly after those ugly things were installed, there was someone who wrote a letter to the local newspaper complaining about how her electric bill went from an average of 200 some dollars a month to close to $600 after she got a smart meter. What will people who have a smart meter say if and when the Oregon Public Utility Commission ORDERS the electric company to use the smart meters for implementing TIME OF USE pricing or even shutting off power so as not to “overload the grid” once they go “100% CLEAN” electricity, direct their ire at the electric company, or where it SHOULD be directed, at the state?

      • Hi Anarchyst,

        I am very happy that we have a wood stove – for just this reason. Short of physical confiscation, there is nothing that they can do to prevent me from keeping the house 75 degrees when it’s 20 degrees outside. May they dine on cold and crunchy fish heads, the bastards.

        • In this neck of the woods, the EPA has been trying to get rid of our wood stoves, due to our bad air quality in the Winter. This, due to temperature inversions, being situated in a bowl, and lack of wind to blow out the pollution. There was a wood stove swap out program a few years back, trying to get people to get rid of them, for pellet stoves. Never mind the military bases adding to the issue. On yellow and red days, no one can burn wood, unless it is your sole source of heat. Would the EPA go so far as to confiscate wood burning stoves? Maybe not, but they may enact a hefty fine if they see pollution being emitted from your smoke stack. Up here, freezing to death in the Winter can be a real concern, and chopping wood out in the woods is a helluva lot easier than forking over money for a bag of pellets at an outdoor store. Or, for heating fuel, which-thanks to Joe and the Hoe-have increased exponentially (my bill went $300 bucks this Winter, not including the groceries). At least with my evil, gas guzzling vehicles, I do not have to worry about them burning down the garage-and rest of the house-because I may have overloaded a circuit trying to charge the damned thing….

          • Amen, Shadow –

            Having a wood stove (and wood on one’s land) and a well covers two critical bases – heat and water. If you have food, too, then you can flip the SOBs the bird.

  8. ‘I drove the EQS 42 actual road miles the first day I had it. This consumed 52 miles of indicated range.’ — eric

    For auto makers, billions of dollars hinge on boosting their fleet average of MPG and MPGe to comply with arbitrary, ever-rising diktats from Big Gov.

    As with the ‘95% efficacy’ covid ‘vaccines’, one will not be surprised to learn that triple-digit and high double-digit MPGe figures are laced with fraud and bad faith — starting with the fundamental fact that power plant efficiency is excluded, maliciously warping the MPG analogy and spurring vast malinvestment in EeeVeeee Fever and Battery Baloney.

    Arguably, the US now qualifies as the most corrupt nation on earth: after all, we’re Keeeeeeevs’s big brother, sharing the same tolerant and even celebratory approach toward industrial-scale graft and bureaucratic leeching.

    Headed for extinction, America’s Wokester “mobility companies” have every incentive to cheat like hell on their way to bankruptcy liquidation. Bring it, Lord! Smite yon Ford.

  9. Not only will an EV “tank” leak, the physical structure will deteriorate over time even with maintenance done to the letter by the owner.

    How old is the gas tank on the Orange Barchetta? Factory original?

    • Not only that, but one can change out a gas tank like Eric’s Firebird has in a minimally equipped shop, in a few hours, for a tiny fraction of the money. Or even a later model with an internal fuel pump and filter. Which I think is a REALLY bad idea by the way.

      • Toyota is learning about the internal pump design the hard way. My 2018 Camry was among the hundreds of thousands of vehicles under recall for the possibility that the pump might fail at speed.

        Of course, the design is lucrative for the dealers since changing the fuel filter means swapping out the entire pump assembly.

    • Hi Roscoe,

      I put a stainless steel replacement tank in about ten years ago – to forestall issues (rust) with ethanol-laced gas. It took a couple hours and a couple hundred bucks. Good to go for the next 50 years!

  10. “The next morning, the indicator said 225 – 14 miles less than before”
    Which means that in 17 days it will be stone cold dead, and the battery damaged. Does not compare well with petrol fuel remaining at full capacity until the fuel spoils. Which is a LONG time for gas, and much longer for diesel and two cycle oil mixed gas.
    I can’t fathom the mindset that concludes EVs have any advantage at all. Since what powers most of them is a coal or gas power plant. They may be quick, but I haven’t heard anything about them replacing gas engines on the drag strip. Not that I’m well educated on drag racing. Speaking of drag………….

    • that 14 miles was 5.8% of starting range or 6.25kwh of electricity.
      that could be as much as 2190kwh / year in wasted energy, which in turn is 10 days of average household use out the window.
      if the car was plugged in, it would still use close to that much to prevent battery capacity loss.

      using this car as an estimate, every EV can add 10 days worth of electric use per house per year. how many more solar panels, windmills, or other “green” stuff will be needed just to deal with this consumption? the “green” stuff needing non green mining & unrecyclable materials in their creation.

    • Self discharge is much less than 5.8 % per day. It should be noticeably less than one percent over 24 hours. I think it has to do with a preheating function, that it may or should be possible to turn off, until needed.


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