Electric vehicles, a huge topic world wide in society, have created so much discussion. Some people think electric videos are not sustainable, but some believe they are the future of cars and traveling. I love cars, and I love the sounds of engines, and seeing most of the car manufacturers starting to move towards electric vehicles, this made me wonder why we are truly going towards electric. I am not against electric vehicles, but I think there are a couple of problems that we need to solve before it can truly be the megatrend, and to be widely accepted.
First problem is accessibility, meaning how electric cars can be as accessible as cars using gasoline or diesel. I do think electric vehicles are cheaper to maintain than normal vehicles, since the price of electricity is cheaper and more sustainable. But the issue is simple for me, I do not think electric vehicles are capable of going on long ranged trips. Normal cars can stop for gas when out of fuel and keep on going, but charging takes time and its fast charge generates a huge amount of heat that may be a safety concern. According to Kelly Blue Book, the fastest charging EV is the Lucid Air, which could have 20 miles per minute of charging. But compared to normal cars, 10 minutes in the gas station could generate around 400 miles in range, which in comparison, EVs can’t even do half of this. Charging pulls are also not widespread in the United States. People have no issue with electric vehicles in the city, but the number of charging stations in rural areas in the United States is simply not enough. Some may say that instant battery replacements could solve the problem. Yes this could, but this would only be applicable in larger cities because it would require labors, charging hubs, and car lifts. A car brand called NIO in China already introduced such a way of charging their EVs, and they have an average changing time of 15 mins, but the average wait time for the battery change is 3 hours, because of the popularity and the lack of implemented locations.
Second is the functionality of electric vehicles. Including the amount of heat batteries would generate, the functionality in the winter weather, and how electric vehicles function on bad road conditions. Fast charging is a very important development in the industry, but we all know from charging at a fast pace that it will generate a lot of heat. Electric vehicles with a hot battery could be a safety concern, and there have been multiple news of electric vehicles that caught on fire due to battery issues. During Christmas this year, I went on a trip to Colorado, and I encountered some severe winter weather in the mountains. Along with traffic, I saw a lot of Teslas being left at the side of the road either because of low battery or no traction on their tires. One other issue is the compatibility with severe weather, especially in the winter. Unlike engine powered cars, electric vehicles do not have a stable heat source on the car. This means that it will need another form of heat generation, which in winter could take longer and be less user friendly.
The third problem is the amount of power and torque that EVs can obtain sustainably. Electric vehicles are capable of generating a huge amount of power and speed, but cars and vehicles are also widely used in work. For example, agriculture is a huge part of the United States economy, the use of tractors and utility vehicles are widespread. If all vehicles are replaced by electrical power, how long and how sustainable could those electric tractors be?
Coming from a different background, growing up in China, I have seen electric vehicles appearing around me as early as in the early 2000s. During the time of the 2010 world expo, in order to have a clearer environment, the chinese government decided to introduce and enforce a lot of eco friendly decisions, including electrical vehicles and electrical public transportations. And I remember seeing electric buses that have a connector on the roof to provide electricity for them on the streets in Shanghai when I was little. I do not think electric vehicles are ready to be the main way of our daily transportation. But I do think it has a bright future and we should work towards implementing such ideas. I think the existence of engine powered vehicles are also important to have. I think as of right now, hybrid cars could be a great way to transition, and banning gas powered vehicles is not a good idea and is not something that would be accepted by the general public smoothly.
Tucker, S. (2022, March 10). 5 fastest-charging electric cars - kelley blue book. 5 Fastest-Charging Electric Cars. Retrieved January 23, 2023, from 5 Fastest-Charging Electric Cars - Kelley Blue Book
The US doesn’t have enough EV charging stations. BRINK. (2022, July 4). Retrieved January 22, 2023, from The US Doesn’t Have Enough EV Charging Stations – BRINK – Conversations and Insights on Global Business