Electric Vehicles, Yes or No?

I have very mixed opinions personally. I have battery lawn tools including a chain saw and actually prefer using them compared to gasoline ones unless I need a BIG BOY saw and then a loud smoky gasoline one comes out. I have several batteries but they are EXPENSIVE to replace but I can run on my multiples until I am ready to take a break. I can also have one charging while I am working so basically my 3x batteries for my chainsaw are effectively 4x. By the time my last one is dead, the first one I ran down is charged again.

Batteries are high cost on cars. The last 12.0 AH Milwaukee battery I bought was like $269. A Stihl MS-250 size saw might cost this much. Eventually this stuff will hopefully come down in price like LED light bulbs and the like. It is NEW so there will be growing pains.

I also bought a 120V battery chainsaw. Yes, that is 120V DC, not plug in AC. Actually most of these are inverted to 3 phase so it is technically AC at the motor. This was a startup and I got the saw super cheap. The company is out of business and the batteries are on their last legs but I don’t regret it one bit. If this had been a costly car such as Rivian, I wouldn’t be happy if it lost all support. When the last battery for the saw dies, it will probably get recycled if I don’t have the battery rebuilt but I see other brands like Greenworks selling bigger saws now too.

Range is my big deal with a car. I do a lot of driving with my work so need range. I am in a rural area and currently drive mostly a 3 cylinder Mitsubishi Mirage that gets great mileage. This was also one of the top 5 “greenest” cars for the 2015 model year and the ONLY non-hybrid/non-EV on the list. My other cars are not so green. An F-250 Super Duty isn’t saving the planet but I don’t use it all the time. I really think a series hybrid like the Chevy Volt would work great for me. Plug it in when I need it charged but have a gasoline or diesel generator for longer trips when the battery just isn’t enough. Something like this would be appealing to me for sure but it seems like those have all been skipped for pure EVs which I don’t quite get.

Then there are the concerns about the connectivity and possibly geofencing and other government controls but that could apply to modern gasoline cars as well. It just seems that more high tech features like this are present in EVs at the current time but most modern cars are a rolling computer these days.

I am also unsure how “green” mining lithium and other minerals needed for the batteries and magnets in these actually is. I would like to see how much these would actually cost without subsidies as well. They might release less carbon throughout their life but mining many of these minerals isn’t exactly environmentally friendly or done in countries with good labor standards (think child labor and low safety standards). Many are open pit strip mines.

There was once a plan to reopen an old iron mine in Missouri for rare earth metals but the presence of thorium mixed in with the ore made it impossible. Basically this is a toxic metal and mildly radioactive so the plan was scrapped. It would have cost too much to deal with a material that no one wants for any use such as a nuclear reactor. In other countries, byproducts like this are just dumped into the environment. These cars might be “green” once here but the mining and production of the subcomponents might not be the best for other countries.

There are also issues with fires and cold weather. Apparently EV fires are quite nasty and firemen would much rather deal with a gasoline car fire. You have to fight them a completely different way and not with water but chemicals. This apparently has been a problem in parking garages or after EVs are flooded by storms, etc. I also read some stories about people being stranded because the cars wouldn’t charge or move in extreme cold around Christmas. This is something that might need to be worked out either with heaters powered by the battery or plug in heaters. I am sure these bugs can be worked out. If the car is plugged in and charging in extreme cold the heater could come on and keep the battery at optimum charging temp which I assume is like 50-60 F.

I am not against EVs and think it would be neat to own one but feel they aren’t quite ready for prime time, at least not for me.

1 Like

Yup, people buy what fits their needs. I have battery tools including a pole saw for which I have multiple batteries for. I grab a handful when going out trimming. But I have two gas chain saws. My stihl was close to $500 out the door by the time I got done, but it can work ten hours straight with little more than refills. If you’ve got a little yard, maybe a mower is ok, but don’t even talk about an electric snow blower. Maybe if you only get a couple inches of powder, but when you get six of heavy snow day after day, no way. That’s why I have five gallons of gas on hand.

People only look at the end result and not the mining and child labor or how that power is produced. It really is apples to oranges. Then look at the problems the eu and uk and cali are having meeting current demand. George Orwell burned every stick of furniture he had after the war trying to keep warm, and it is history repeating itself.

1 Like

I think the issue with 30+ year old EVs still being on the road has more to do with intentional design issues, rather than inherent issues of it being an EV. EVs already seem to be designed to have short lives. Tesla is the best example of this. They seem to do everything they can to get a Tesla off the road and in to the junk yard before the battery fails for a reason other than the battery or motor failing. Usually some electric part fails and either isn’t available, or it can’t be taken from a junk yard because it has to be electrically paired with the car and only a Tesla service center can do it.

When the big battery replacement is needed somewhere between 100k and 200k miles, people realize that an EV isn’t very cost effective compared to ICE, and if this happens during a crash in oil prices, people will lose interest in purchasing a new battery for their EV to keep it on the road. Parts suppliers will see this as a reason to discontinue all the replacement parts since hardly anybody drives an EV anymore.

The same issue exists with modern ICE cars that are loaded with electronics, and special flat screen displays. Those electronics cost a lot to replace and are rarely available outside of the dealer. This will send a lot of modern cars to the junk yard when a simpler older car would have been repaired. It seems that EVs contain these same expensive and failure prone electronics.

1 Like

Mechanical devices are several magnitudes more likely to fail before electronics fail.


I have never had a failure of any of the electronic devices on any of my vehicles.

One of my buddies had a NIGHTMARE with the infotainment system on his 2014??? Ford Focus. It was one of the higher trim levels and nothing but a headache for him. Besides this, I think he had THREE transmission replaced under warranty. He traded the car in before the warranty expired, knowing it was just a matter of time until it had another expensive repair.

I does sound like the cost of an EV battery is quite high. Engines seem to last the life of most semi-modern cars these days. Rust or something will do them in first. This is why people have to remind each other that going too overboard with high dollar oil is somewhat pointless, as long as you change the oil on time and do the other maintenance. At this point I don’t see batteries running for 300,000+ miles. Also, what about a truck you don’t drive everyday and the battery sits and discharges? Will that ruin it?

I would agree that once electronics are burned in they are quite reliable. I couldn’t even begin to list though the electronic failures over the years. Often these are expensive and parts unavailable. If you had acces to the schematics and a hack, they might be repairable. Among the failures were two Crt screens, radio, electronic level control, wiper control, hvac controller, etc. etc. on to tvs and coffee pots. People who don’t drive much don’t have many issues.

If a car battery sits for 3+ months it can be enough to discharge it enough to freeze in the winter. Or sulfate from lack of charge in a warm climate. If it frequently sits for more than 1 month without use, a solar charger or 13.3 Volt float charger will keep it in shape if attached after each use.

Yeah, I try to do that or hit it with a charger every couple months. Even better, I just try to make sure and drive them every so often.

I dont know anyone, relatives or friends, that keeps a car for 300 000 miles. My relatives typically lease their cars for three years, my friends usually purchase and keep their cars five years.

one of my relatives is planning on buying Tesla model 3 but will be his first electric car. Any suggestions?

Teslas continue to have failures of the Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) also know as autopilot, that cause phantom braking and a few other issues. This is under investigation by NHTSA and Tesla but isn’t solved yet. It is also possible to play games on the center console while the car is moving. He shouldn’t allow anyone to play games while he is driving as it might distract him.


Be sure that he gives the car a VERY thorough visual inspection before he hands over his money and takes delivery. This is because Tesla is perhaps the last manufacturer that has significant problems with what is known as “fit and finish”.

Tell him to look for mis-aligned interior parts, and even body parts, and tell him to insist that any of those problems are rectified before he takes delivery of the vehicle.

1 Like

That should be a pretty good choice for a first time EV buyer. If used, make sure an EV knowledgeable mechanic gives it a pre-purchase inspection. Inspect weather seal areas for signs of corrosion; make sure when it rains outside, the rain-water stays outside.

Yes, stay out of this decision . Don’t ask how much they paid . When they show it to you just say " Nice car , would you take me for a ride ".


How will they charge it? In their garage? Have the priced out installing a charger?

I’d look at the Bolt, seems like a lot more car for the money.
The Chevrolet Bolt Is Edmunds Top Rated Electric Car for 2023 | Edmunds

Our power co wants to build a big storage battery. Site. For how many homes?

There’s a company in my area that is supposedly building an experimental plant to store surplus electrical power using – believe it or not – compressed air.

At least that will continue to work 20 years from now as well as id did when new.