Reality in 3, 2…

And the ‘joys’ of EV ownership…

YouTube personality Steve Hammes leased a Hyundai Kona Electric sport utility vehicle for his 17-year-old daughter Maddie for three reasons: it was affordable, practical and allowed Maddie to put her cash toward college, not fuel. Now, the upstate New York resident has a dilemma many EV owners can relate to: finding available charging stations far away from home.

Full article, HERE from ABC News.

Personally, I think  Subway has the right idea…

But I’ll never own/lease one. My trips are too long and I don’t want to spend as much time charging as I do driving…

Much less what the ‘cost’ of charging stations will be sooner rather than later.

Your thoughts?


Reality in 3, 2… — 33 Comments

  1. Saw an article online yesterday about copper thieves stealing the wiring from charging stations. Those stations are gonna be put out of service just as fast as they are built. Gonna be fun to watch.

  2. Well, something I learned 1st hand many years ago when having a damaged radiator thermostat causing us to stop every couple of hours about 45 minutes to let cool down before we continued.

    We were staying with my cousin in San Diego who had a Datsun pick-up with said tendencies. We wanted to go camping near Mt. Shasta / Mono Lake on opposite state side, about 14 hours driving straight through. But because of radiator, we had to camp out in the desert near Barstow, driving a dirt road about a mile away from 395. Ate a small meal cooked on a single burner Coleman stove among a thousand stars overhead. Slept pretty well. Woke up next day took off until about mid morning for 1st stop. I don’t remember the name of the small town but we had fun. We arrived at the park around mid afternoon. Tied a tarp over the bed that had a plywood covered platform where the three of us slept (way skinnier back then, lol).

    In short, the delays which were annoying actually added a lot of time exploring sights we would have missed if we had just blown through. More thorough experience.

    But in present snowy situation where electricity is intermitent, and snow drifts may cause major delays, an electric vehicle would be more than adventure – it would likely become an ordeal. If you are forced to travel in those conditions, better be prepared to sleep in the cold with a REAL kit made for those conditions.

  3. Hey Old NFO;

    EV’s have a problem charging when it is cold and moving when it is cold. I don’t trust them to get me from point “A” to Point “B” when I need a vehicle to, plus having .gov shutting down the power grid or a natural disaster and you can’t charge the dang thing at all…Nope all the way around…

  4. Not to mention the big problem ALL of the battery powered toys will have…in 6-8 years.
    When the battery pack DIES…
    Then you have the fun of removing the old Environmentally Dangerous battery pack (Big Bucks)
    Dispose of that same environmental disaster (Bigger Bucks)…
    And buying a New battery pack (CA-CHING, that will cost MORE than the car is worth;^)
    All those Green people are going to find out what the term “One born every minute” means…

    • About 6-7 years ago guy from work leased an EV. I asked “Why lease instead of buy?” He said something to the effect of, the technology is only going to get better and he didn’t want to get stuck owning old technology. Made sense to me at the time and now makes even more sense, he won’t have to deal with replacing a battery, leaving it to the shmuck who buy the off lease EV to replace.

  5. saw one study that said in order to make the “green dream” happen world wide copper production will have to increase by 700%…yes seven hundred. is there even that much copper ore in the world??
    might start hoarding old pennies…

  6. Me and the mathiness do not get along, but I can do the simple stuff.

    Across the nation we are using 100% of the electricity we can produce with our current generating plants. The cushion is not deep on this.

    There is more generation scheduled for the junk heap than there is new generation coming online to take up that load, let alone create extra.

    We are already seeing brownouts and blackouts just from generation not matching demand.

    Where are all these EV’s going to get their energy from?

  7. I am not an EV owner but an Electrical Engineer. There are main issues with EVs: 1) a House must be converted by an Electrician to charge the EV overnight and this costs about $2k but if you do not have a house (only an Apt/Condo) then charging is at a charging station at higher cost and the cost is based on who owns the Charging Station. 2) Electric Prices at homes are rising making gas cheaper. 3) There are not enough Charging stations and they are not standard plus they are mostly in urban areas. 4) Charging take a long time no matter if it is fast charging compared to gas or diesel. The stations can be full and people may have to wait. 5)Many Charging stations do not work, get damaged, or have copper and other crime committed against them. 6) Charging requires planning for distance driving and as a EV using features (AC/HEAT/etc) drains the distance. 7) EV batteries are heavy and will cause replacement of tires more often but EVs have less maintenance except when the batteries fail then its total failure. 8)EV batteries will degrade over time so the distance will degrade and then it will be total failure leading to wait until the batteries can be replaced, which can be a few weeks or months. 9) New EVs are much more expensive then fuel cars or trucks. 10)The US Electrical Grid cannot handle a massive growth in EVs especially in certain states like California, which is importing most of it’s energy.

  8. The people pushing EVs as the answer to everything have no idea what they are saying. First they push windmills and solar to replace power plants. First they cannot do away with oil and gas. It takes both to machine and manufacture the windmills and solar equipment. Also EVs pollute more than internal combustion engines. More pollution occurs mining for the materials to manufacture the batteries in EVs. This guy will not purchase or drive an EV as long as there are gas and diesel vehicles around. If the eco-lonnies want to save the planet they would wake up and ditch the EVs!

  9. My old boss has a Volt and my nephew Tesla. Both are peppy little cars and work well for driving around town or city. In both cases they have a gasoline fired vehicle as well. Neither had any issues with charger installation.

    The Volt was so subsidized that the cost off the lot was $22K. It had multiple recalls, several for the charging system. The Tesla has been worry free but needs the warm garage to charge efficiently in Minnesota’s winter.

    As the many disasters have shown, EV make a poor choice as a primary vehicle but made work as secondary commuter car.

  10. When governments pick the winners, citizens lose.

  11. Wife rented and EV while on vacation in Florida last month. In the urban paradise of Tampa-Orlando, she struggled to find any working charging stations and after four days gave up and turned in the turd for an ICE rental. If you can’t find chargers in the urban corridors, what the H*ll do you expect when you head out into the empty places in flyover-country?

  12. I live in Florida and the ICE rules. Better handling of radical weather changes and non-propulsion power draws, better handling of emergency evacuation methods, better able to ‘recharge’ and repair.

    Electric is… well… Okay, how well is your electric vehicle able to handle 100+ degree weather (factor in 10% – 20% hotter on a road than on the tree-covered ground)? Having had a car with variable speed air conditioning (meaning “Open the damned windows and drive”) an ICE car with a working blower fan and windows was still a suckable situation. With a working AC, there are some days where even functioning car AC is a struggle. Especially in heavy slow traffic like you find in my city that purposely screws with the timing of traffic lights in order to try to push people onto public transportation and bicycles (yes, the city leaders actually said that in one commission meeting) or in heavy slow traffic like you find in a hurricane or firestorm evacuation (yes, Floridians remember the summer of 1998 when a significant portion of Florida burned and evacuations were very common. (Florida went back to proper forestry management and has not had huge state-wide fires since, so California, pay attention!))

  13. All- Thanks for the answers/examples! In our little flyover county, we have SIX total charging stations. Three out at the truckstop, and three at a new chain hotel that just opened. And our 30-40 year old subdivisions aren’t able to handle all the power requirements (most houses have 200 amp upgrades), but chargers require 240 amps… So you need 300 amp service (80% rule)!

    • 240 amps? Or 240 volts on a 40 amp circuit? I’m thinking the latter, so a 200 amp panel should be good to go, depending on what else it’s powering.

  14. EVs might make decent commuter cars. Drive to work, drive home, charge overnight IF you have the mods mentioned above. It’s about as viable a product as high speed rail in Cali.

    • Ev’s in arctic condition winters in North Dakota, Montana, Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia, Russia, Korea peninsula, Mongola. Cough, a Yak herder towing his EV truck with his yaks, cause no charger stations. .

  15. 3 comments. 1 Electrical infrastructure. Need more power production. Need more power distribution. Sigh at guarded charging lot. Due to extreme winds, the California Dept of Renewable Energy, has ordered CALGP&E to shut off electrical distribution by above ground pylon tower lines. 2. AAA roadside assistance has added an electrical power generator trailer to their roadside assistance vehicles. 3. All them gosh darn Renewable Energy sources ruining the view with wind generation towers, decommissioned generators with nonrecyle blades and cases. Those nice Seaview cluttered by tidal generator systems, wind turbines. Nuff said. Oh wait, finding rare earth minerals to mine.

  16. After I retired, I sold cars for close to 30 years and we lived in an area that we could see the condensation plumes from a coal fired generating complex of 3 large systems.
    One morning after church I was asked when my dealership was going to get the Electric Focus or Fusion. I told him I hoped we would never go to the expense to become an “electric” dealer. The gent became almost indignant that I would be a “killer of the environment” (his words not mine. I asked him if he was going to plug the car into his nose and sneeze to recharge the battery. The gent was take aback by the question and asked what I meant. I took him around the corner of the church and pointed to those condensation plumes and told him “THERE is where your charges are coming from. I thought the poor fool was going to have an apoplectic seizure his wife was laughing her ass off though.

  17. Hybrid? Maybe, although you still have the cost of replacing the hybrid battery. EV? Oh heck no. Too expensive, no chargers, no cold weather, really bad news in a crash or if it decides to combust for unknown-to-occupant-or-bystanders reasons.

  18. I agree with you. But also I do not want to appear to be a conformist virtue signaling. I’ll stick with my Dodge pickup and Mustang GT.—ken

  19. The energy density of gas/diesel is massively higher than a battery. And it can be moved as easily as water. Thus battery tech will NEVER be as convenient nor as quick as gas/diesel. That is a fundamental reality of physics. All the wishful thinking and misguided agenda drive legislation on the planet can never change that reality. Battery based EVs are a niche market and will ALWAYS be a niche market

  20. Having just taken a 5300 mile lap of the US, from eastern PA to as war west as the Grand Canyon and back, no way I’d attempt that in an EV. While we averaged around 300 miles a day, we had several that topped 500 miles, which isn’t easily doable. As it was in an ICE car with a near 500 mile range, I still fueled up at every opportunity in the West – where distances between service stations are simply longer than on the East Coast.

    EV technology right now reminds me of 2001/2002 when Nikon and Canon released the first truly professional DSLRs in the photography world. I bought a pair of Canon EOS-1D bodies for $5,000 a piece, and became the first photographer at my paper to fully transition to digital. Five years later I got bought out oof that career, and when I eventually moved the cameras on ebay to pay for nursing school, they netted me a grand a piece – in part because there were already two newer versions on the market. TVs remind me of that – let’s look at this again in a decade, and see how battery tech, recharging, and most importantly generation and transmission have improved.

    Now a hybrid? That might be a consideration – the notion that I could run local errands solely on battery power, and replace my worst fuel economy miles with electrons – that’s got some appeal. I’ve got a through the wall air conditioner on a 240V circuit in my driveway wall, that needs to come out, since the house now has central AC – so I’m pretty sure it’s possible to use that dedicated circuit to wire a charge for a plug in hybrid. And there are lots of tax credits available, both for the car and charger – so just maybe the math will work out, in a few years when I’m ready for the next vehicle purchase.

  21. So… did you know that, in addition to the giant future-toxic-waste-problem of a battery that loses capacity every time you fast charge it, most current EVs also have a regular old 12v automotive battery. I didn’t. Neither did my friend, whose 3 y/o Nissan Leaf, on the highway, in rush hour traffic, died and dumped into neutral. When he tried to restart it, it informed him that the accessory battery was non-functional and advised him to find a safe place to park. In the middle of rush hour traffic.

    No limp home mode, nothing. Just “Your humped. Good luck.”

  22. I have thought about getting an EV as a second car for short in town trips. With the right EV (Nissan Leaf for sure, maybe others), you can use the EV’s battery as a honking great UPS/standby power supply for the house for when the power goes out. Obviously this requires that the EV be mostly charged when the power goes out but in my usecase it probably would be.

    I would prefer not to ever charge my car with a public charging point and therefore would prefer not to have to drive far enough that I need to. That’s because my understanding of how they work and bill you suggests strongly that there are any number of potential vulnerabilities that could be taken advantage of by hackers. Whether they could damage the charging part of the system and (for example) damage your vehicle via overcharging I’m not sure, but I am quite sure that they could run various scams based on your payment details (and yes I know gas station card skimmers are a thing too but I know how to watch for those)

  23. When I can recharge an EV as quickly and easily as I can refuel my Diesel…
    When it has the same range as my diesel, whether I’m using the lights, heating or aircon, or not…
    When it is a capable off-road, with a ton-plus of load in the back…
    When it costs the same to buy…
    And when I can expect it to still be reliable after 30 years and 650k…

    THEN, I’ll consider one.

  24. So, tech roll-out because of political force, and some folks conclude ‘this is the future’ and that it will ‘always be the future’.

    The basic and fundamental problem with that thinking is that politics is never truly settled.

    Today’s consensus among politicians is almost always going to be different from tomorrow’s in at least some small way.

    The sycophantic bureaucrats are all talking about these really long term technical strategies. But, the problem there is foreseeable, and runs through the path of probable impacts on future politics.

    There are several mistakes in the strategy.

    One is that the political lunatics were impatient, and ‘rolled’ out the ‘new technology’ before the engineering and before the spendign that could have possibly made for a successful transition. IE, on the one end not enough charging stations, on another not enough practical electric semis and on a third not enough nuke plants. If you had fission or fusion plants producing cheap electricity all over the place, then adoption could have been viable. In conclusion on one, the ordinary person is not a moron, and can evaluate a mistake this serious.

    Two, there is a social consequence of making travel drastically more expensive. US central government works because of cheap travel. Federal bureaucrats move around from posting to posting frequently, and also travel to central meetings while posted somewhere. This allows the sustainment of a bureaucratic culture that identifies strongly with a federal government. With significantly more expensive and rarer travel, you would either get a central government that is still capricious, but does not effectively project power far from the capital, or a bunch of regional governments, that are more responsive to local preferences than to central fiat. So, use of federal force to crush transport would directly weaken federal force.

    Third, they’ve shown too much their real hand. The goal is not some imaginary environmental goal, the goal is hurting people, and making them easier to hurt. Scarcity creates leverage if you have more control over supply, and one of the more fundamental scarcities was and can be food scarcity. Norman Borlaug drastically weakened the utility of food scarcity, by helping to increase volume and decrease price. This of course makes predatory sorts drawn to mass murder unhappy, because populations are much much less desperate on a regular basis. ‘Climate change’ and other environmental things are an answer to Norman Borlaug. The ordinary person understands very well that food supply is not to be screwed with, and that stopping politicians from doing that is more important than anything else that a politician could offer. Therefore, it can be expected that the political consensus will shift to one that is less impressed with environmental reasoning.

    The strategy will backfire, and that will pretty much kill EVs.

  25. All- Thanks for the comments, interesting points raised. And folks that bought an EV, IMHO, bought a pig in a poke. They’ll be footing the bill(s) for those batteries sooner or later.

  26. A friend bought a Tesla suv. Looks like a 4dr car. Took two years to arrive after ordering it. Rides like a truck, very stiff suspension. The lane hold system is a joke. It requires him to be so active in holding the wheel and moving around, that it seems to negate the usefulness. Plus, it actively fights to keep him from steering around potholes.
    The Tesla control panel tells him where charging stations are located, and very closely monitors the charge. Lots of Tesla vehicles in the San Jose area. Not uncommon to see three in sight at a time on the road. (factory is in Fremont area, within ten miles of me)
    His cell phone is his key fob. Sitting in the passenger seat, if he walks away, and you then open the door, the alarm goes off…
    Took a trip to the Sacramento area, and he did an 80% charge at a station, that cost about $17 for a ~220 mile range. He mostly charges at home with a 120v charging cord that comes with it.
    He said that he could have sold it when it arrived, for $20k more than he paid.