By Larry Dignan
Posting in Energy
Before electric vehicles hit any tipping point a lot of collaboration and technology milestones need to be reached.
Ernst & Young recently held various roundtables around the world focused on electric vehicle (EVs) adoption. The takeaway: EVs are ramping, but before any tipping point is reached a lot of collaboration and technology milestones need to be reached.
When will EVs hit the tipping point? Ernst & Young, which is trying to position itself in the clean tech market, reckons 2020 will see EVs hit the mainstream. In a report, Ernst & Young argues that EVs will fulfill their promise, but collaboration between vehicle and battery makers, governments and infrastructure providers is needed. General Electric has also made similar arguments for cleantech in general. The report summarizes roundtables held in Silicon Valley, Munich and Shanghai and features illustrations that sum up the talk. Below is the graphic from the Munich EV discussion.
Each region had a different take. Silicon Valley execs naturally focused more on the tech of smart grids and infrastructure. In Shanghai, the focus was on power generation and battery packaging.
A few highlights from the Ernst & Young report:
Market forces, including government support, the enabling infrastructure, customer attitudes and the EV’s value proposition, will determine the type of customer, as well as the timing and trajectory of EV sales. In Europe, take-up triggers include EV availability, pricing, convenience, safety and a continent-wide focus on sustainability; commercial fleets are likely to be the first adopters. In the U.S., the economics and availability of EVs are key drivers, but with a leading role for early-adopting consumers of new technologies. Winning over a mass market will be more difficult, and commercial applications will lag those in Europe because of lower gas prices and lagging commitment to sustainability. In China, by contrast, the primary driving force is the Government’s desire to reduce oil consumption and curtail pollution and its ability and willingness to mandate EVs for government and many commercial uses.
Coordination between the automobile and utility industries — and their regulators — is crucial to developing an EV ecosystem as these two industries undergo rapid change. The shift will be transformative for both industries and open opportunities to new entrants. Clearly articulated and smoothly executed goals at each consumer interface point will bring faster payback and public acceptance of EVs.
Batteries pose separate business model questions. A number of
factors related to batteries deter the purchase of EVs: their high cost; expectations of their rapid obsolescence due to continuing innovation; safety and performance risks; and the question of what to do with spent batteries. Various business models can shift these technological and financial risks of batteries to manufacturers or insurers. In addition, the residual value of batteries depends on what uses may be available for them at the end of their useful automotive life.
That last item is definitely worth pondering. Batteries are critical to the EV equation. What happens when a battery dies? Will customers fork over high four-figure to five-figure dollar sums to replace batteries? Will batteries lose their staying power over time just like they do in your laptop?
Simply put, Ernst & Young notes that a lot of EV moving parts need to come over. In fact, there are so many moving parts that you wonder how Ernst & Young identified 2020 as a tipping point. These tech turns always take longer than first proposed.
With that in mind, Ernst & Young distilled 10 steps that are needed for broad EV adoption.
- Players need to invest in systems and infrastructure for EVs. Think smart grids. On the consumer front, there may also be some upgrades. Consumer Reports noted that you'll need 220 volt outlets in your home to get a proper charge.
- Avoid showstoppers and make the transition seamless for the consumers. We'll get a feel for this one as all those early adopters get EVs next year.
- Interests must be aligned at all parts of the EV chain.
- Government needs to stay engaged. The government needs to take a roll in development, funding, standards and policies to drive EV adoption.
- Standards are needed to encourage economies of scale.
- Batteries need to improve on the safety, pricing and performance fronts.
- Delight EV owners. Ernst & Young argued that word of mouth will be critical to drive EV adoption.
- Cultivate first movers. That word of mouth marketing will come from business and government fleets as well as early adopter consumers.
- Find new business models. EVs will require a redesign of how vehicles are built, sold and serviced.
- Collaboration is key between government, industry and academia.
At least half of those 10 items will fall in the extremely challenging category. Batteries, the EV buying experience, infrastructure standards and business models are all going to be messy endeavors and could affect EV adoption. The good news is that EVs are moving into the marketplace and ultimately consumers will vote with their dollars.
- Plug-in electric vehicles to hit 3.2 million by 2015
- As the gas pump fades, a new infrastructure emerges for electric vehicles
- Large automakers eye startup collaboration for electric vehicle development
- Electric vehicles are arriving. What about the infrastructure?
Sep 15, 2010
Folks, you need to learn more about the batteries used in electric cars - it takes years of use and thousands of deep-cycle discharges for the capacity to drop to 75% ( at which point they are considered unsuitable for continued use in an automobile ). However, they can then be used as energy storage for utilities, companies, etc as they have considerable capacity left and many advantages over lead-acid and even NiMH. So, the battery that you can no longer use still has years of life, possibly more than its service life in your car. That's what makes the Better Place business model so compelling to me - the battery is not my problem and can be swapped out for a new one or a fully charged one in a couple of minutes.
It seems neither the authors nor most of the readers have done much research on the subject. The most basic check would reveal that 1) The Tesla Roadster routinely gets over 300 miles/charge and goes from 0-60 faster than a Porsche 911 (www.teslamotors.com); 2) BetterPlace already has a sophisticated auto lease/battery recharge/replacement system in operation (www.betterplace.com) all we need to do is get behind it. Many cities around the World have already signed on to the concept. Call your local Rep and lets get this project going. If all vehicles are linked to the grid, Network power management will also be more stable. There are already lots of active solutions and active companies and individuals. This crowd seems to be acting as if the last 10 years of electric car developments never occurred. Please do some reading on the subject and start supporting electric cars. NO, experts haven't been saying we are out of oil for 30 years, they've been saying that we've reached Peak Oil and that the easy oil is gone, new oil is hard oil (New Gulf rigs need to go deeper; Tar Sands development, etc.) and they are right. It will cost more and more and more. Now is the time to convert as oil declines; electric cars become more efficient, less expensive; use oil/gas taxes to promote electric cars; encourage wind/solar, etc; Test drive and electric car -- you will be amazed. Result: cheaper cars; cheaper maintenence; cheaper operations; greener energy; less pollution; better climate; more jobs in a new industry; more $ stay at home; we stop sending $Billions to our Middle Eastern enemies; we stop financing Global Terrorist groups, etc. Why are these things NOT motivating us to act NOW! We CAN make it happen!
The only time government (i.e., you and me) should pay for the development of a new market is when the market is inevitable in less than 15 years and only to help jump-start domestic businesses. "Experts" have been saying we're about out of oil for at least 30 years. With new forms of drilling and new reserviors being discovered all the time, oil will be by far the most economical choice for a very long time. (No, I don't work for an oil or oil-related company.)
Henri Ford said : "If I?d asked my customers what they wanted, they?d asked me a faster horse? " The time has come to apply this way of thinking to the automobile sector itself...
Henri Ford said : "If I?d asked my customers what they wanted, they?d asked me a faster horse? " The time has come to apply this way of thinking to the automobile sector itself...
The utter stupidity of driving a 3500 lb. vehicle a couple of miles to transport a 150 lb. person to a grocery store to pick up 40 lbs. of groceries should be blatenly obvious. We have become so accostomed to inexpensive energy that we squander it faster than a drunken salor on shore leave. I have been driving a hybrid electric vehicle for over 10 years, and I love it! My e-bike has a range of about 5-40 miles, and recharges in a few hours. OK, the paperboy baskets on the back do look dorkey, but I can carry 40 lbs. of groceries home on it. The reason people think that cars are faster is because, unlike most bike computers, they don't easily tell you the average miles per hour for your trip. Otherwise, you would quickly find out that most of the time in the city, you are averaging around 12 mph. 12MPH! That is about the same speed I average on my bike. The biggest reason most people don't ride bikes more should perhapse be called infrastructure. Most of the time you are forced to use streets. Some people tell me the reason they don't want to ride in the streets is because there are too many crazy drivers. Since automobiles are the second largest expense most people will undertake, most people try to use the same vehicle to commute that they use to drive the family cross country. What could be more absurd! What we need is the adoption of medium powered vehicle registration, between the 25 mph maximum low powered neighaborhood vehicles and the open limit highway vehicles that must be crash tested. Something that could get you back and forth to work and get 100 mpg, or run on electric very easily.
Another issue is that current EVs are only in Class 1 (Passenger cars/light pickups/SUVs). How do we get EVs into classes 2-8 (heavy pickups, rental trucks, semis, wreckers, and busses)? Currently, most class 2-8 vehicles (with the exceptions of some rental trucks, some busses and some pickups) are powered by diesel fuel. The other vehicles in these classes are powered by CNG (some Ford F-250s), gasoline (Most class 2 vehicles, such as Chevrolet Silverado HD and most current rental trucks) or are hybrids (as is the case with the Peterbilt 386 Hybrid Class 8 tractor). in some of the applications for class 2-8, such as wreckers, city tractors/daycabs and city busses, an EV would be ideal. In long-distance applications (over the road class 8 trucks, rental trucks, and most pickups) there would have to be something developed that would give it 1200-2400 miles between charges with air conditioning/heat and entertainment/navigation/communication devices running constantly. I hope that can be done in the near future, but in the mean time, most of the class 2-8 vehicle drivers (myself included) are having to make do with power inverters, idle reduction technology, advanced vehicle aerodynamics, hybrid technology and auxilary power units to save as much fuel as we can. I think a certain sportscar-producing silicon-valley startup (such as Tesla or Wrightspeed) would be an ideal candidate to develop an electric-driven semi, since it seems current manufacturers of class 8 vehicles don't want to take the blue pill and determine how well an EV would work in city driving applications.
The battery issue is one that needs to be discussed more, in my opinion and I applaud the authors for bringing it up. Even though the lead-acid battery is too heavy and therefore not suitable to power an electric vehicle, the recycling of lead acid batteries is a mature and well functioning system. We don't have anything close for nickel metal hydride batteries and there are many more cells in an EV than in a gas-powered car where a lead acid battery is used. How green is the EV solution when battery disposal is addressed? Those that are using EVs have a false sense that they are doing something good for the environment and saving the planet, but then there's the truth about that pesky battery getting in the way again.
Thank Nasa to select some idiots in Cleveland to try the technology of the Flying Saucer, which could have been applied to the Shuttles. They messed the experiment up by using the setting of an E-Bomb rather than the one for Gravity Control and Propulsion. The Big Black-out of 2003 was the result. Then the dummies advised Nasa that it was not suitable for Space Travel. Thanks to stupidity all around, the technology of tapping energy out of the aether will not be free anymore. That is one aspect of Flying Saucer Technology. (I will have to get a seperate Patent for it now.) It could have been used to power the Shuttle, homes, cars and any other type of vehicle. It was probably used by Tesla to power his Pierce Arrow car in 1931. Type> One terminal Capacitor< in your search slot and try to find out why the new Nasa Management is making sure that the USA is not interested. Hint: Someone is in the pockets of the Rocket Industry. Does anyone think, that the militairy in Afghanistan should be interested in a floating vehicle that could patrol many square miles in day and night time? The USMC Armchair General was not interested. China loves your IQ.
I think a two-path approach is required. First, they need to develop a set of standard battery specifications as far as voltage, capacity, and package configuration. This would allow for cars designed for a quick change of a pre-charged battery pack at a "service station" much the same way you swap out propane tanks for back yard grills now. This solves several problems. It reduces the requirement to build out the electrical charging station infrastructure in order to sell EVs in chicken and egg game. It also solves the problem of the consumer being stuck with the cost of replacing an aged battery pack. The second path is to then continue with adding charging stations for consumers and building out the charging station infrastructure. This gives the consumer the option of charging the EV at home, at work, or the option of stopping at a service station on a long trip for a quick battery pack swap.
It seems to me that many are thinking "small beans" changes in regard to EV implementation... imagine the combination of the EV technology for moving the vehicle and all these new "smart" and "integrated" vehicle technologies we are seeing. We have cars that can sense where they are, "see" their surroundings and react to them automatically, and with network integration it would be simple to determine alternate routes based on road and traffic conditions. So in 10 years you have a nation of smart cars that can essentially drive themselves, and much more highly developed battery technology and computing power availability. Add in a bit of infrastructure alterations to our highways, and you have an integrated network of vehicles, who can drive us around, and do it on power drawn from the very highways they are driving on. The only power storage requirement is that needed to get to the main roads. This not only helps solve the power storage problem, but will virtually eliminate accidents and traffic jams (as the integrated network could easily analyze and optimize the trips of every vehicle on the road) and could even reduce/eliminate the need to OWN a car. Think Zipcar, but where the car finds you when you need it versus the other way around as it is now. As for dealing with all those "legacy" vehicles on the road lacking the miraculous brains, either they are alone on the highway and the danger is low, or you have a road full of sensors (the newer vehicles) constantly monitoring their movements and ready to react at a moments change. As an aside... this system could also eventually DRASTICALLY reduce travel times; first because of fewer accidents and jams, but also because of the high degree of integration between every vehicle these vehicles could travel at much higher speeds. For those of you who are going to complain about how I've not thought about the cost of all this massive infrastructure alterations (which in truth I think is not relatively large), take into account all of the extra time this will provide. Time spent traveling is less first of all, but also can now be put to good use; a MASSIVE economical benefit.
All this esoteric mumbo jumbo is not getting the job done. Just skimming through these comments shows a severe lack of leadership and little if any ownership experience with electric cars. We have to vote with our dollars people and demand the type of cars we want. This is the type of attitude that promotes status quo thinking, when the best part about electric cars is being in the drivers seat. Where I live in Santa Rosa, California, we have a club of about 50 people that build, own and drive electric cars and we all love them. We have local companies that are helping others go electric. It's people like these that are forcing the issue and yet in the media we see endless debate by people that don' even know what it's like to own an electric car. Puh-lease do some real research and stop sitting around talking about electric cars. Do something, you'll be glad you did.
Dr_Zinj, thanks so much for posting your considered observations. It seems the wholesale adoption of electrics has more hurdles than we've thought. The batteries, for one. No one has spent much press on the reprocessing they will need when they won't hold a charge anymore. They will have to be replaced in service well before the point of outright failure, if the frustration of having a full charge run out after ten miles of driving is not to kill the concept outright. And while I have much less confidence in the "market" as the ultimate referee of what is right to do, than does hiraghm above, he's right that many will resist the change in dire fashion. hiraghm: The "market" will continue to reward actions that kill the environment, unless incentives are adjusted to change that action -- and note that this sort of adjustment, commonly engaged in for profit by big, lobbying corporations, is just the sort of fiddling you despise when WE do it for our own aims. The market is not unfailingly "right" in all respects -- it simply functions as WE have defined it to. This means that in cases where rank profit is NOT a solution -- this case, for example -- the tool of the market is not up to the task of changing what needs to be changed. The market is "free" only because WE define that freedom. As WE define the limits of ALL of our freedoms. Remember that freedom with no limits is simply chaos, and not freedom at all. For example, the freedom to declare for yourself, what the value of your money will be, would suddenly invalidate the principles of market economics entirely. Freedom NEEDS limits, in order to be valuable at all. Arguing from the inviolability of the ideal market as the sole acceptable referee of human needs and desires, is the same as arguing for the inevitability of religion as the sole referee of human ethics and morals. The changes we now need to make show the error of relying on such simple measures.
We are already being encouraged to switch to energy efficient appliances, light bulbs because we are using too much electricity. If you start adding 10s of thousands of EVs to the mix, where is this extra power coming from? The summer is the prime time for travel. It is also the prime time for air conditioners. We are already straining the power grid with what we have now and seeing brown outs as a result. We are being told we should unplug power adapters when not in use, use time controlled power bars on our electronics because the "instant on" draws power even when your TV is off. All this for conservation. As far as I can see, better efficiency and hybrid power are the only real options available at this time.
Your operating cost for recharge is never going to be zero. First, batteries don't last forever, so you have to amortize the total cost per battery over the total number of recharges you can get out of the battery. That total battery cost includes disposal/recycling costs too! Second, the cost of the electrical generators has to be factored in. Solar electric runs about $30,000 to $50,000 for a self-sufficient home setup, depending on location and financial incentives. Windmill generators are cheaper, but fewer places can use them. Hydrothermal is about as expensive as solar for installation. Zero? Not hardly.
I like futuristic thinking of riding Electric cars; but we are in real world with certain limitation. If they are going to produce electricity from fuel (gas, diesel, gasoline, petrol etc) then it is losing battle. - When you convert energy from one format to another (fuel to electricity), it is lost. I believe just above 20% energy is lost in this conversion. - Then there is loss in transmission (approx 10%) from Grid to end user. - Also there is loss when battery is charged. - Loss of recharge if car is left idle for long (i.e. 1 week and beyond) - Loss of electricity when charge from battery converted into physical power using motors. We may have to increase green electricity production significantly if we wanted to sustain this trend then it will be really green solution. Electricity cannot be stored at massive scale; so it requires smart grids to balance power and switch on/off power stations as per requirement. As pointed in the article, storage of electricity is major obstacle. If we able to develop electricity cells which can store electricity of significant power which can last for large trip, then it will take over other fuel sources. But until then current technology of batteries not suitable for this purpose. On a separate point. I think outside US, most of countries in Europe and Asia have 220-230v grid; so at-least recharging should not be issue in those countries. Electric cars can be noise free, can have massive torque, use motors which require less maintenance than auto engine. So there are certainly positive aspects of it.
You don't charge the battery - you exchange it - in a couple of minutes. The battery then gets recharged from the most economical local source during off peak hours - thus solving one of the major problems with wind, solar and other variable rate sources. Or economically recharged using constant rate energy sources, like hydropower, hot springs or waste heat from other processes where the energy is generally wasted during off-peak hours. If you are fortunate enough to have solar, wind or hydrothermal power at home (think farmers with a wind farm, for instance), your operating cost for recharge is ZERO. The government subsidizes the initial development of batteries and cost of recycling until the technology becomes "commodified". Currently, the major cost of electric vehicles is the battery. If the customer leases the battery and pays only the cost of energy to recharge it, the cost of electric vehicles falls to an incredibly low price - not to mention the much lower cost of maintenance compared to a fossil-fueled engine. This is a triple-win technology.
Don't forget that EC's reduce the import of oil which is a big part of the problem, it not all about the "greenness".
And how much of the recharging electricity comes from hydrocarbon powered powerplants? The introduction of the EC at this point in time will only be "Green" in certain parts of the country where Green electricity is generated. Hydrocarbons still make much of our electricity. There is also some debate about the 'Greenness' of the manufacturing of the batteries as well. Let's all do enough homework before rapturously endorsing new technology implementation.
The solution to the battery size and life problem is to add a small efficient turbo diesel generator to the car (turbo diesel electric,TDE? ). This fixes the range problem, if you get a low battery the generator kick in to carry you through the rest of the day with a minimum of bio diesel fuel. And this fixes the battery life problem because as the battery looses range the generator picks up more often and as the battery reaches end of life the TDE car still is useful as a efficient "hybrid" like vehicle using what is left in the battery for start/acceleration and the generator for constant speed driving.
@ hiraghm- I'm conservative on every issue except this one, and the reason is we are dependent on foreign oil to a point that it is a national security and economic security disaster. We cannot rely on market forces because currently the market favors foreign oil, and it will take us a decade or two to switch to an alternate fuel. People drive cars for about 10 years, it will take manufacturers a few years to start production of plug in hybrids or EVs. Yes, we have a few models in production now, but no where near enough to respond to a major global oil shortage. CNG vehicles make sense, but shale oil is never going to happen. The net energy is negative. This means you need more than a barrel of oil to get a barrel of oil. So why would you produce oil if you lose oil producing it? It will never happen. That oil is thousands of feet underground locked up in rock that is harder than glass. You cant pump it, you hard rock mine it then you have to heat it to 400 degrees to extract the oil. The fact is we need to plan on seeing energy prices double every 5 years. This doesn't include the hit we will take if the dollar is devalued. I think $5-10 dollar gas is going to happen in a few years, and our economy will crash spectacularly if we don't start to move before it happens.
What arrogance! Just because *you* want electric peddlecars, doesn't mean you have any right to push them onto *me*! If electric cars are worth having, then let the MARKET decide! Get the government busybodies OUT of it. The market hasn't decided, and is not likely to decide in the foreseeable future, unless a major propaganda campaign succeeds in brainwashing millions of people (as it appears well on its way of doing). Next I'll publish ten steps to push shale-oil drilling and CNG vehicles. (#8 is great... building tankers to bring "fossil" fuels home from Titan...) I'd rather invest in a steam-powered car over an electric one. One advantage of steam power is an abundance of fuel options. Deisel, alcohol, coal, wood, environmentalists... Electric cars are a solution in search of a problem.
Take a look at the poor adoption rate for natural gas powered vehicles as an indicator for the EV industry. Sure, the number of OEM vehicles available in either NG or Propane (generally conversions) is very limited. Yet the fuel is abundant, dirt cheap, burns cleanly, few/no safety issues, no end-of-life dispossal issues, no environmental nightmares associated with the tremendous use of rare earth metals or water in fabrication and yet the NGV is for all intended purposes - dead. Personally in a proper vehicle platform (read not the Honda Civic) I would prefer to drive either 1, a bio-diesel fueled turbo-diesel or 2, a NG powered vehicle.
As muchs as I love my EV, the sad reality is that they will simply not be economically viable (without subsidy) until the cost of Oil is significantly higher. We do need a fundamental shift in transportation mentality, but it's going to take pressure from the supply side to change.
@ wcallahan- Hydrogen is a disaster, It reacts with everything, is hard to store, transport, it is made from fossil fuels (natural gas), and the net energy is negative. Electric cars can be powered by a variety of sources (wind, solar, nuclear), and the grid is largely in place already. Plug in hybrids and EVs are the future. I don't think that we will be able to continue to use cars the way we currently do. It would take 750 full sized nuclear plants to generate an amount of energy equal to the amount of oil we import (not all that we use). This will not work. We need to look at small, light weight, short distance EVs for short distance trips, and using rail-transit for most trips. I think we need to focus on light weight vehicles that look more like a 3 wheel motorcycles than a car. We need a regulatory environment that will permit low cost, lightweight electric vehicles. We can not insist on heavy vehicles that have the crash rating of a large SUV.
Item number 11 should reflect @wcallahan's post. Adoption of EV will only be successful if it can make the case against detractors that favor other alternative fuel technologies. Batteries will have to be accepted by the consumer base that they are as in need of replacement after so many thousands of miles as are fuel pumps, timing belts, tires, etc. The key is that the cost of maintenance cannot be astronomical in carrying out such replacements. The disposal, treatment, and reuse of battery components must also be carefully addressed and properly regulated or EV will be a worse solution than internal combustion engines for keeping the earth clean.
My father was one of the design engineers for the electric tractor produced and marketed by General Electric back in the 1970s. As a side effect, I got to run all of the models on our property in upstate New York, and personally encounter the benefits, and problems with electric vehicles. I was also a vehicle maintenance analyst for the Air Force for many years and got to see similar statistics on electic forklifts, tug/tractors, and commercial elect vehicles (mostly conversions though) that became more prevelant in the 1980s and 1990s. 1. I'm not impressed with Consumer Reports assertion that there may be a need for 220 outlet conversions in homes. While there are advantages in quicker charging capabilities with 220V, normal overnight charging works just fine with standard 110 outlets - no home infrastructure requirement necessary. However, in the community, every parking garage or lot will require a plugin for every parking slot before this will work. Electric vehicles just do not run on the same fill-it-up-and-go fossil fuel paradigm. 2. I wouldn't call it a show stopper; but everyone needs to face the fact that there will be no such thing as a seamless transition for consumers. I've seen it with diesel, propane, methanol, alcohol, and fuel cells. The same thing is/will happen with electric vehicles. Hybridization is probably the best transition technology for this. Expect, and plan on, a 5 to 10 year transition from pure fossil fuels to pure electic vehicles. And keep in mind that electric can and will not replace 100% fossil fueled vehicles. 3. Interest alignment needs to be predicated on that 5 to 10 year transition period. 4. Government needs to maintain safety standards and balance those standards against reasonable use needs. The safest vehicle in the world doesn't have wheels or fuel; but then it won't get you to work in the morning either. 5. Your economy of scale standards apply to interchangeability of parts. Considering that we can't even get two different companies to use the same standard for an electrical device power cords, I hold little hope for standardized electric vehicle parts in the near future. 6. Battery improvement is slow and expensive. And the more efficient, the more expensive and toxic they are. Not exactly environmentally friendly. 7 Delighting and cultivating should have been combined into one step. Here's some of my delights: A. EVs are quiet. You're not going to be awakened early in the morning or late at night as some rude dude revs his engine. And you're not going to hear squealing tires from burnouts either. B. EVs get better traction and power to the wheels than fossil fueled vehicles. Partly as a result of the heavier weight, and partly as a factor of the torque from an electric motor. But even on a pound for pound equal basis, an electric vehicle will out pull any gas vehicle. C. EVs don't require storage of flammable fuels around the home. D. EVs can run other electric tools off their batteries. Things you'll miss or dislike: I. Like I mentioned above, EV's don't instantly fill up. II. If you're out of charge with an EV you've got major problems. Nobody can stop and quickly fill up your charge. EVs will require easily remove and replace battery modules if they want to do a quick full charge system. And transporting all those batteries is going to be an expensive chore for wrecker services. III. EVs will never be winners at drag races. IV. Batteries do blow up. I had a good friend lose an eye to flying plastic and acid when a newly charged battery caught a spark and ignited the hydrogen in the top of the cell. And I've seen similar things happen to half-frozen batteries. V. Battery acid eats everything. At least gasoline and diesel don't corrode things. VI. Say good bye to impulsive driving. You'll need to plan your trips more, and take into account recharging requirements. Back to the Elec-Trac. I found them to be the best lawn and garden tractors you could own. They were quiet, powerful, and in many ways far ahead of their time. (Probably too far.) You could mow on a Sunday morning without disturbing the neighbors. The front mount mower deck was easy to watch where you were mowing and could get under trees and bushes without making you get under them too. You could blow snow, rototill your garden, pull a wagon (or even train cars!), and run electric power tools off it (my favorite was the chain saw). The E20 model could easily mow 5 acres of lawn on a single charge. The design was simple. Fewer moving parts also meant fewer things to break. And the batteries were standard car batteries; easy to maintain and replace. They did cost about 20% more than a similar-sized gasoline tractor, but the simpler design also gave them a longer life expectancy.
"Will customers fork over high four-figure to five-figure dollar sums to replace batteries? Will batteries lose their staying power over time just like they do in your laptop?" Finally!!! That is the first time I've ever seen that published. Every current battery looses capacity every time that it is recharged! The whole EC thing is so whitewashed it's really sickening. Any valid questions are just swept under the rug. Here is a big one: Will ECs be exempt from all crash tests? Or will they just remove the heavy battering ram battery before slamming the car into the stop?
Mass adoption of EV's should not be allowed. EV's are wasteful, expensive, not to mention an environmental hazard. The push should be to hydrogen powered vehicles, clean, efficient and a better bang for the buck.