Are you Clamoring for an Electric Car? Updated for 2022!

Is a Tesla or a Chevy Bolt, or a Rivian electric truck on your Christmas list this year?  Can you hardly wait to ditch that gas-guzzler in the driveway and replace it with a vehicle that you can “fill up” from an installation in your garage, at a lot less than a tank of Regular? Update for 2022:  Due to the Biden administration’s war on “fossil fuel”, the price of gas has skyrocketed since the day he was inaugurated.  This has motivated more people to seek out electric cars.  However, the information below has not changed.

Well, if that’s what you see in your future, so do most of the world’s car manufacturers.  There probably isn’t a car manufacturer who isn’t working on designing and building an electric car, either purpose-designed or just replacing the internal-combustion engine in a model they already build with a big battery.  General Motors has already announced their coming “All-electric future”.  The European Union is mandating more and more strict emissions rules for vehicles sold there, and their car makers like BMW, Renault, Daimler, Fiat, and Volvo are all touting their electric vehicles.

But you might wish to wait a moment before you go all-in on electric, especially if you live in the United States outside of a central large city.  First, let’s check out the price of that electric car versus its gas-powered brother. The Nissan Leaf retails for about $30,000.  Its near twin, the Nissan Versa, costs about $19,000.  An electric Chevy Bolt will set you back about $36,000.  Its similar brother, the Cruze, is about $17,000.  See a pattern developing here?  In the past, you could rely on a nice Federal tax credit for your electric car, to help mitigate that huge price differential, but not anymore.  Most car makers have sold enough cars that they don’t earn any tax credit now.  So, it looks like GM’s All-Electric Future will be a lot more expensive than its Internal Combustion Present. Update:  For 2023 and beyond, the new Biden spending bill reinstates those electric-car tax credits.  The government is bribing you to buy an electric car.

That nice home charger in the garage will set you back another $700 or so.  However, unlike the five-minute fill-up of your gas-powered ride, it will take you up to 3-4 hours to recharge that electric car.  And the “range” of an electric car is a lot smaller than the range of miles you can get from a tank of gas.  So, you’ll probably want to forget those long road-trips in your new electric car.  And if you get caught in an unexpected traffic jam, that electric car’s range might just shrink.  If you get caught with your battery down in the middle of a busy street or freeway, it might be pretty embarrassing to have AAA send a truck to hoist it up and carry it to the nearest charging station.  And there’s no guarantee that there will even BE a near charging station!  They are still pretty few around the country today.

Also, what about that wildfire in your area, when the police or highway patrol comes to your house and tells you to evacuate?  What? Your electric car is out of charge?  It won’t get you very far when you need to evacuate?  Too bad, it becomes a hunk of junk when the fire reaches your house, and you really can’t carry much on your back.  Then, what about that power failure in the next thunderstorm?  Your car needs a charge?  Impossible with no power!  That’s especially worrying when you are a rural resident, where you are already far from most services.

Now, I’ll bet that new electric car might not seem like such a good investment.  And electric cars are so new, there’s really not much of a market for used ones.  And big Li-ion batteries don’t last forever, and eventually need to be replaced, at a cost far above that of an internal-combustion engine.  So your electric car might not be worth very much when its battery wears out, and you might be out 1/3 the price of the car for a new one.  Oh, and batteries don’t perform very well in the cold, so if you live in Minnesota your car will need to be kept indoors so its battery doesn’t freeze or get drained by the cold weather.

Update:  The paragraph below describes what is involved in the battery in an electric car.  Hat Tip to American Thinker Blog!

A typical E.V. battery weighs one thousand pounds and is about the size of a car trunk.  It contains 25 pounds of lithium; 60 pounds of nickel; 44 pounds of manganese; 30 pounds of cobalt; 200 pounds of copper; and 400 pounds of aluminum, steel, and plastic.  This type of battery contains over 6,000 individual lithium-ion cells.  The majority of these materials are derived from mining operations worldwide.  To manufacture each E.V. auto battery, the following material must be processed:  25,000 pounds of brine for the lithium, 30,000 pounds of ore for the cobalt, 5,000 pounds of ore for the nickel, and 25,000 pounds of ore for copper.  All told, suppliers must dig up 500,000 pounds of the earth’s crust for just one battery.  Sixty-eight percent of the world’s cobalt, a significant part of an E.V. battery, comes from the Congo, where they have no pollution controls and minimal regulation, and they employ children, who die from handling this toxic material.

Addition for 2022: I mentioned this in a more-recent post.  You must take care to remember that the provider of electricity to charge electric cars is the Government.  If you anger your government, or they decide you are using too much power, they can, in an instant, cut off your power.  And we have already seen in past summers how the state of California has told its citizens NOT to charge their electric cars due to wildfires and potential blackouts!

My own viewpoint is that I will never, ever, buy or drive an electric car.  I appreciate being able to get in my gas-powered car, and go wherever I want, whenever I want, with no “range anxiety”.  I like long car trips, without the worry of how long I have left before my car dies.  Gas stations are everywhere, and if you keep a full or close to full tank, you can even drive around during a power outage.  And when you are forced to evacuate, you can fill up the trunk with your goods and just drive away.  I’m betting that most Americans aren’t clamoring for an electric car, and that GM’s future might not be so prosperous if it expects most Americans to want one.

No Electric Car For Me.  Ever.

One thought on “Are you Clamoring for an Electric Car? Updated for 2022!

  1. kayofmt

    I absolutely agree. Thought it was a stupid idea when then first came out and haven’t changed my mind. The recent fires in CA is prof of fact, when they turned off the electrical grids, with all the electric cars waiting for juice. I’ll stick with my combustion engine.

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