Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

4 Reasons Why the Electric Car Isn’t Ready for the American Driver

The automobile of the future is not ready for the consumer who demands freedom.

by
Becky Graebner

Bio

April 5, 2013 - 1:30 pm
Page 1 of 5  Next ->   View as Single Page

We are the land of the free, home of the brave, and a country proud of the red, white, and blue. However, the color green also seems to be working its way into the fabric of America in the form of eco-conscious automobiles. Although an increasing number of Americans are buying electric vehicles, I am skeptical that Americans will completely make the switch.  It isn’t America’s own cautious nature delaying the transition into electric cars; we have real reasons to be dubious that electric cars can fully accommodate our needs. In short, electric cars are not ready to meet the needs of American drivers.

1. “Reliability” is not its middle name.

As consumers have sought relief from climbing gas prices, interest in electric vehicles (EVs) has increased. In turn, rising sales have put more pressure on EV-manufacturers and dealers to expand service and offer more reliable cars… creating headaches and growing pains for the fledgling industry. Electric cars are still a new idea; thus, not all the bugs have been worked out. Case in point: Tesla.

Many car companies are adding EVs to their lineups, but only one company can call itself “all electric.”  Tesla, the flagship of high-end electric vehicles, is a rising star in the EV world. Its cars are cool and offer some of the longest-range batteries available. Also, uch to the joy of taxpayers, it is set to repay its Department of Energy loans ($465 million) back five years early.  Cha-ching!  Despite its success, this rising “Michael Jordan” of the automotive world has stumbled. Tesla’s VERY profitable Model S was the unfortunate subject of a negative article that appeared in the New York Times a few weeks ago — the writer’s Model S was plagued by low battery, was described as having to limp from charging station to charging station, and supposedly broke down due to cold-weather effects on the battery. A group of electric car owners, literal Tesla “roadies,” got together and decided to clear the name of the Tesla Model S. Their successful trip mirroring that in the Times article, and a foray into the computer of the journalist’s Model S, cast some major doubt on the authenticity of the article; however, it also cast some serious doubt on the capabilities of the Model S and other electric cars.

If batteries start on fire due to salt-water exposure or are possibly compromised due to more extreme air temperatures, electric cars are going to be fighting an uphill battle to prove their usefulness. In fact, in some areas of the country, they might not be possible to operate. To those who live in hurricane-prone areas, the “mini- arctic” in the north of Wisconsin and Minnesota, and the oven-like states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas — you live in EV nightmare-land. State-by-state analysis of EV viability isn’t going to fly; these cars need to work everywhere — otherwise, why buy them?

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (39)
All Comments   (39)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
The 11 miles quoted for the Prius is by design. The electric motors in the Synergy drivetrain are there primarily to assist during acceleration. Electric only capability was added later with the plug-in models to appeal to those who drove short distances each day. The real costs of an electric or hybrid are hidden as most are sold at a loss or at cost. Batteries simply do not have the energy density of gasoline and will not for decades.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Hooray for an article that gives "just the facts, ma'am." Everything said is right on the money. Another thing struck me as i read it. I am not a scientist, but I recall the law of Conservation of Matter and Energy. Is it, somehow, less polluting to generate the unimaginable amounts of electricity with huge power plants, powered by that "dirty" coal, than it is to produce gasoline that allows us to drive the cars we wish to drive? Electric cars! What a stupid vanity trip for the Liberal Socialist Left!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"When we solve the storage problem the electric car will be the future car" Thomas Edison said something close to that in 1890. 123 years later and we are still not there. Electric cars have been around for that long (the Baker?)I do not mind if they make them just don't charge me for your toy or it's needed charging stations. Can you imagine the size of a station that would remove the bohemoth battery then install a "charged" one. One of those every 100 miles, yea thats "Green" living.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You are right that this is another problem but one that can be solved with underground storage just like gasoline tanks. I am not a fan of EV. Petroleum is a gift from mother nature - highly concentrated energy, easily and safely transportable and and efficiently converted into useful work with technology like the combustion engine. Enviro-wackos do not see the big picture. My point is that if you are going to insist on EVs, at least try to do it in a way that has a chance of succeeding.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The entire EV industry made one big fatal strategic mistake in conceptualizing. They needed to think of the battery pack as part of the fuel delivery system and not as part of the car. Imagine pulling into the next generation "gas" station with your EV, entering the battery exchange lane where an hydraulic apparatus racks out your exhausted pack and racks in a fresh pack and sends you on your way. Just having a prototype of one of these stations in San Luis Obispo would have sold thousands more Teslas and Fiskers in LA and SF.

I mean really, did anyone even do any modelling of how big a charging station would have to be in a heavily traveled corridor like the New Jersey turnpike if had to collect and hold 4 hours of refueling traffic?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't support electric cars at all. I AM all for natural gas cars. The buses in my area all run on this stuff and they're great! The infrastructure is already in place and just needs to be modified - as well as the combustion engine of cars. If they can do it with diesel engines they can with regular autos.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A comment on the subject of the recent battery fires aboard Dreamliner
aircraft changed my mind about pure electric automobiles;
'The more efficient a battery becomes, the more it resembles a bomb.'

The IC engine is hard to beat for most automotive applications, with
one exception, the Big City - Suburb commute, and even there the
alternative solution includes a rental fleet of standardized vehicles
which generate extra revenue during the day, and a large number
of fueling (or charging) stations, powered by a pocket nuke;
Light rail without the rails.


1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The only electric vehicles that appeal to me cost as much as a Corvette or Viper. The only electric cars produced for the masses couldn't get me to my doctor's offices and back on one charge. They are useless.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I find it interesting that most of the places which are most convenient for electric car owners—places with charging stations, stores and entertainment and work all in short driving distances—are also places with LPG or electric mass transit, the greenest of options for travel at this time.
I live in a city now, but have lived where the closest grocery store was nearly an hour away, even with 60+ mph highways. I live in a city now, but my parents live 200 miles away in the country. Do I rent a car every time I see them? Electric cars hold a lot of promise, but for now, it's only promises.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Current electrics are useless in a rural state like mine. One city to the next can be 50 to 100 miles easily.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
$50k golf carts belong on the swanky golf courses and country clubs around the country not on our streets
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 Next View All