How To Debunk Every Anti-EV Argument

2 weeks ago by Sebastian Blanco 106

You’ll never be caught speechless by naysayers again.

We’re big into electric vehicles; it’s why this site exists. Our partner company, Motorsport Network, is big into them, too. It owns a stake in the quickly growing, all-electric Formula E racing series and covers the sport extensively on our sister-site, Motorsport.com. And for as much as you read about EVs here, we’re also introducing them to the masses over on Motor1.com where we review electric and plug-in vehicles.

Yet while we’re helping people choose between a Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla Model S, others are sharpening their anti-EV arrows. If you’re like us, then you may have taken a few of these slings yourself. We’ve learned the best defense for EV ignorance is knowledge, so we’ve created this comprehensive guide to every anti-electric vehicle argument – and how to respond.

“EVs are too expensive.”

This is an argument made by people who don’t think long-term. While it is true that the up-front purchase cost of a new electric vehicle is higher than your basic gas-powered car, over the life of the vehicle you might pay less when you plug in. While exact rates vary across the country, the average cost of an electric mile is almost always less than the cost of a gas mile. Plus, EVs don’t need oil changes or engine tune ups, so basic maintenance costs are low.

Let’s take another look at the up-front purchase price. While you can find new cars under $20,000,  the average cost of a new car in the U.S. – no matter what kind of powertrain – is around $35,000, which puts the current generation of entry-level EVs right in the sweet spot. The Leaf has always been the affordable EV, but it was joined recently the the Bolt EV, and the Model 3 is just around the corner. Analysts say that the tipping point for EVs to be cheaper than gas cars is not far away, but the reality is that, for the right shopper, an EV makes financial sense today.

“I’ve got range anxiety.”

The best argument against range anxiety is that it’s an old canard. Sure, 70-80 miles of range in the first-gen Leaf meant it wasn’t a car for everyone, but Renault is currently selling a new version of the Zoe that can go 400 kilometers per charge (that’s about 249 miles) and the company is advertising it as a car you only have to charge up once a week. The Bolt and Model 3 are also “forget the battery” kind of EVs, so if you’re in the market for a new electric vehicle, “range anxiety” is a phrase you really don’t need in your vocabulary.

Renault ZOE E-Sport

“The long tailpipe is a dirty one.”

Basically, this argument says that even if your fancy EV has no tailpipe emissions, it doesn’t matter because you’re just driving on dirty coal, and emissions are emissions whether they come from a gas car’s tailpipe or a coal plant’s smokestack. If you’ve got the time, you can read a detailed counter to this argument here and see how Tesla CEO Elon Musk addressed the issue in his “secret plan” for Tesla back in 2006 here. For everyone else, the reality is that this argument that EVs are dirtier than fossil-fuel vehicles is only true in a limited number of cases. The key factors are where you live and the overall efficiency of the EV and the gas car you’re comparing. Of course, with the dramatic increase in renewable energy, the long tailpipe argument loses all of its punch. But even without driving on wind or solar power, for most people, an EV is way, way cleaner than your average gas sedan, to say nothing of popular CUVs.

“EVs aren’t any fun to drive.”

You only need two words to refute this one: Ludicrous Mode.

“EV batteries are dirty, dirty, dirty.”

This seems to be the newest main argument against electric vehicles, so much so that Tesla CEO tweeted out a response to a recent report that claimed that making the batteries for a new Tesla generated the same CO2 as eight years of driving a gas car. Musk said this was, “clueless at best.” The Koch brothers recently put some of their money pile behind a video that makes a similar argument called the “Dirty Secrets Of Electric Cars.” The video is filled with lies, of course, and the Koch brothers are using it to promote fossil fuels, but it’s still out there and any EV driver worth her salt needs to be able to say, calmly and truthfully, that it’s not true.

As Musk himself said, a lot less energy is required to make lithium-ion batteries, and the Tesla Gigafactory is powered by renewable energy anyway. For other companies, who don’t necessarily have big solar panels on their battery plants, the study that “found” batteries equal eight years of driving conveniently forgot to add in the CO2 generated by pumping, refining, and transporting the gasoline. If you need to bias your numbers so much to make a claim, then your numbers aren’t reliable.

“EVs catch fire.”

Fact: some electric vehicles have caught fire. They have all been widely reported in the news, since people respond to these types of stories. Think back to how many EV fire stories you’ve read in the last seven years. Maybe a half dozen? Here’s another fact: there have been around 175,000 vehicle fires in the U.S. each year since the new batch of EVs debuted in 2010, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Granted, there are more gas cars on the road than EVs, but still, no car is immune to the possibility of a fire, and the chance that your EV is at fault (instead of, say, faulty wiring in the charging set-up) remains incredibly low.

Toyota Mirai

Toyota Mirai

“Hydrogen cars are better/will be better.”

Arguing whether battery electric or hydrogen vehicles are best used to be a main point of discussion among EV fans. Public bets were made and strong opinions were voiced. Well, even with three hydrogen vehicles on the market in the U.S., sales are slow and you don’t have to look far to see another news item saying that this won’t change any time soon. But the important thing to note is that the EV-H2 fight was always a silly argument. Instead, as EV advocate Chelsea Sexton has said numerous times, the real competition for hydrogen vehicles is and will be plug-in hybrids, not pure EVs. Besides being zero-emission, the big benefit of hydrogen cars is the quick refueling time and a long range. The problem, of course, is the lack of refueling infrastructure. Now, if you have a PHEV, you get to take advantage of the zero-emission powertrain all around town, you’ve got the same range as you do today, and you get to refuel and recharge with existing infrastructure. So, you get most of the benefits of a hydrogen car without the massive drawbacks.

“EVs take forever to charge.”

People who don’t have home charging options can make a stronger claim to this argument, but this is really one of those “depends on how you measure it” kind of arguments. There’s no question that getting the energy into a battery to go one mile takes longer than it does to put gas in your car to go a mile. Nevertheless, for most EV owners, charging actually takes less time than going to the gas station. Instead of taking 10 minutes out of your week, you simply take a few seconds every night and morning to plug or unplug your EV. Every morning, you’ve got a full battery with plenty of range to get through your day, and you never need to visit a gas station again.

If you do need to recharge while on the go, then an EV with DC fast charging will give you a lot of miles in a short time. Not as many and as fast as gasoline, sure, but respectable for most drivers. The most widespread fast-charging network, CHAdeMO, offers 16,026 outlets around the world. The next-largest is the Tesla Supercharger network, which currently offers 6,118 outlets at 909 stations, can give you, “up to 170 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes.”

“The charging infrastructure isn’t good enough.”

Again, the response to this argument really depends on where you are. In many parts of the U.S. west coast and Norway, for example, EV charging infrastructure is plentiful. In some of the middle of America, not so much. But at the start of the gasoline car era, gas stations were few and far between as well – and today’s EVs can at least take a 110-volt current from any standard outlet, even if that does mean it’ll take quite a while to recharge a 200-mile EV’s battery. Some people also argue that adding a lot of new EVs to the grid will overwhelm utilities, but if you ask any utility representative who’s studied the issue, EVs are just the latest challenge in the vein of air conditioners or the shift from CRT to Plasma TVs. Plus, future EVs can actually strengthen the grid, once vehicle-to-infrastructure communication becomes the norm.

“People don’t want EVs.”

Well, not everyone does, but not everyone wants a motorcycle or a pick-up, either. Anyone who tries to make this argument can gently be shut down with the response that a.) EV sales keep on climbing and b.) just because the numbers aren’t blockbuster record-setters every month doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have them as an option. Oh, and there’s also c.) which is that Tesla got over half a million pre-orders for the Model 3. Governments are requiring cleaner cars, climate change is forcing us to do something, and it turns out that when people try EVs, they often really like them. Plus, if someone uses the “nobody wants one” line on you when you say you’re thinking of taking the plunge, the best answer is: “Well, I do.”

If you’ve got more counter-arguments that will help make this list comprehensive, please add them to the comments.

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107 responses to "How To Debunk Every Anti-EV Argument"

  1. AlphaEdge says:

    For the price of one Bolt, I can buy two Toyota’s Corollas. That’s the definition of expensive, not comparing EV’s to the median car price, because a lot rich people buy expensive SUV’s and luxury cars, which drags the median up.

    1. Big Solar says:

      i wouldnt want to pay for the gas and maintenance on 2 corrolas.

      1. AlphaEdge says:

        How about I buy one, and use the $20,000 saved, and put it into some investments, that help pay for the gas on the first Toyota.

        1. Tommy K says:

          Yeah, but who wants to drive a crappy Corolla that cant get out of its own way! The Bolt is more expensive but it is a lot better car. No cost for gas or oil changes. 2,000 fewer moving parts to break and NO NOISE! The model 3 looks a lot nicer than either one. I’ll stick with the electric car!

          1. Michael Will says:

            Same here. We replaced the VW Jetta in 2015 with a VW eGolf and then in 2016 we replaced our Honda Odyssey with a Tesla Model X. This is so much more fun to drive and better in so many ways, I would never go back.

            Here are the things I enjoy the most about the new generation cars:

            Affordable: tesla model 3, fully electric, base model $25,000 after incentives in california.

            Convenient: No more going to gas stations, oil changes or smog check appointments. Just plug in at night and full in the morning.

            Turn on your AC from your phone before you even walk to your car, never scratch ice again in the winter.

            Clean: No more stink idling when picking up your kids or waiting in the heat. Offsetting all electricity I use for driving with solar panels on the house that covers house and two cars and still pays for itself in 7 years while lasting 25 years.

            Performance: With the immediate full electric torque always first off the line while gas cars are still revving up behind you.

            The only downside is that the few times that we go on road trips, we have to align our lunch with the charging break, i.e. Harris Ranch on the way from SF to LA. So while the charging is free for us, the Steak is not 🙂 Since superchargers add about 300 miles per hour, its ready to go by the time we pay the waiter.

            And autopilot driver assist more than makes up for it, in my experience driving now takes about half the effort, i.e. driving from SF to LA I had refused and insisted on flying up to the point when we got the tesla, now it seems much more easy and safe by taking over micromanaging for hours where it is appropriate and driving ourself not interesting. We use it about 80% of the time.

            The idea of going back is like the idea of handing in your iphone for a cheaper landline. Not going to happen.

        2. Devin Serpa says:

          You going to put some of that money into cleaning up the environment?

          1. AlphaEdge says:

            I’m disputing the whole, it’s not expensive.

            I fully support a year by year tax increase on ICE cars where the money collected goes to EV subsidies.

            Every country should do it, and best thing for the environment.

        3. Rhaman says:

          Why not buy an used Chevy Volt for $14,000 saving more $$$ and with 32-50 mile EV range and save tons of gas $$ and saving pollution? Or ar you just having fun on this site?

      2. menorman says:

        Why do people think that maintenance is so unbelievably high, especially on a vehicle like a Corolla? A new one shouldn’t require the owner to shell out money for maintenance for the first couple dozen thousand miles and the automakers like to advertise promotions that include stuff like oil changes too.

        1. Devin Serpa says:

          There’s nearly no maintenance for EVs aside from breaks.

          1. Mark.ca says:

            If you have a good regen you can forget about replacing your brakes…they will last more than the car.

          2. Larry Harris says:

            Correct, everything that “breaks” will need to get fixed. 🙂

    2. darth says:

      Classic moving goal posts:
      “EVs are more expensive than the average car!”

      EVs now cost less than the average car.

      “EVs are more expensive than the cheapest cars”

      Tesla M3 after tax credit is $27,500 which is cheaper than BMW 3 series.

      AAl trends indicate that EVs will be less expensive than comparable ICE vechicles with zero subsidies within the next 5 to 10 years.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “Classic moving goal posts:”

        Ah, you noticed that too? Yeah, moving goal posts is a favorite tactic of EV bashers. For example, they never admit the sales of EVs are growing year-on-year, and growing by a ratio far more rapid than that of gasmobile sales. They just keep picking larger and larger categories for comparison.

        Have you noticed recent EV-bashing or Tesla-hater assertions that Model 3 sales won’t matter because the top-selling SUVs and pickups outsell top-selling sedans? I see Mr. Google says “light trucks… accounted for nearly 61 percent of new [U.S.] vehicle sales in 2016”, but I doubt light trucks dominate in the international market. And even if they did, sedans still represent a very healthy market segment!

        1. AlphaEdge says:

          > And even if they did, sedans still represent a very healthy market segment!

          You started by disputing their assertion then you agreed with it.

          The solution is not that sedans are a very healthy market segment, but Tesla has to produce an SUV that the mass public can afford.

          SUV’s are dominate here, because people see them as safer (whether it’s true or not), and the convenience of their capacity (even is 99.9% of the time they don’t need that capacity).

          Tesla should focus on basically a “Model 3” priced SUV. They would kill it.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            “You started by disputing their assertion then you agreed with it.”

            Perhaps you need to re-read the post you are replying to?

            A “healthy market segment” isn’t the equivalent of a “majority market segment”. Sedans still have a very healthy market segment — that is, a sizable one — even if it’s smaller than it was a few years ago.

        2. Mr. M says:

          My goalpost is the same since i got interested in EVs, but no BEV is in any way close to my wanted specs.

          I want half the range at double the price compared to my actual car that i bought used. That means a used BEV for 20.000€ with 400-500km range (driving Highway). So 80kWh battery seems to be a minimum. There is no BEV that i know of even close to that requirements.

          1. Jason says:

            Hmm, do you mean double the range for half the price?

            I estimate that if I could do 200mi+ and had access to charging with 80% in 30 minutes, then that would suit me. Sitting in the car for more than 2hrs at a time is really hard for me. Then every 2hrsi usually take a 20 minute break, so if I can charge while taking that break I can do another 2hrs.

            Only time that doesn’t work is if I have 2 drivers and we swap every 2hrs, now the 20min break might not happen.

      2. AlphaEdge says:

        What are you on about?

        What I stated was a fact, that EV’s right now are too expensive, and I say that with regret, cause I support EV’s, but your conspiracy people see a boogie man in everyone.

        Oh no, he’s not singing the praises of EV’s, so he must be anti-EV.

        1. batarnak says:

          While it may cost the same to PURCHASE 2 Corollas vs 1 EV, it will cost you less TCO for an EV than 2 Corollas over the vehicles’ expected useful lives.

          It’s really nice to have two Corollas (I guess?) but operating them will cost more than operating 1 EV.

          Cheers,

    3. Nemo says:

      But then you’d have two Corollas.

      I agree, though — that “average cost” represents a more expensive type of car than the class that a typical EV would belong to, if it weren’t an EV. Or, to put it another way: Where a car model comes in both EV and non-EV varieties, compare the prices. Ouch.

    4. kubel says:

      I agree that median car price is a bad reference designed to obfuscate the truth that base model EVs are way more expensive than similarly equipped gas cars. They should just stick with the lower operating cost argument. It’s just this argument doesn’t necessarily win with all cars.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “…base model EVs are way more expensive than similarly equipped gas cars.”

        Yes, but that’s at least partly due to economy of scale. As the production of plug-in EVs is ramped up, the unit cost will fall and that alone will bring prices closer to parity, even without falling battery prices.

        1. Paul K says:

          BINGO! It is horrendously difficult and expensive to create a new platform from scratch. I’ve heard the figure batted around that Nissan spent around 5B designing, testing & tooling up for the Leaf. Having sold around 275000 that works out to $18,000 per vehicle. And this is before their production overhead. Had they met their target of 500,000 copies that would have dropped to $10,000 per.

          The next gen Leaf should have a much lower upfront cost as some of the technology and expertise developed for gen 1 may carry over.
          If battery costs continue to drop and the number of copies goes up we should see a real drop in prices.

          The elephant in the room for manufacturers is that EVs will probably last twice as long as ICE cars putting a damper on replacement sales. Kudos to Nissan for being the first trad automaker to make EVs in real numbers.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Interesting to see some discussion of Nissan’s cost for producing the Leaf, thanks.

            I recall very early in Leaf production when a Nissan exec said they thought they would start making an overall profit on the model in the 3rd year of production. But then came the Japanese tsunami disaster, seriously sabotaging Leaf production, and Nissan wound up with low Leaf production for years (was it about two years?), until they finally built two new assembly plants and battery factories for the Leaf (but also for a few other models) in Tennessee and the UK.

            I can’t help but think this must have driven up the unit cost of the Leaf quite a bit, and that consequently it was probably more than 3 years later when Nissan started making an overall profit on the Leaf. I’m assuming Nissan is now making at least a modest profit on every Leaf. Altho I can’t be sure, it seems unlikely they would still be selling the car if it’s still unprofitable.

    5. Jon says:

      Again though it’s like you didn’t even read the article the price of quality matters also and really you can buy to Toyota Corollas just about but the thing is you can pay 15 to $20 a month and electricity to drive 1500 miles roughly so you’re literally saving gasoline the whole time compared to your to Toyota Corollas so but by the end of the five-year term you’re actually cheaper in the long run and then 5 years after it is gets cheaper even yet again plus you’re looking at the pollution and all the other things that go into that

      1. AlphaEdge says:

        Yeah right.

        The $20,000 I save by not buying the second Corolla can be invested to help pay for the gas.

        1. Nix says:

          So you save $20,000 for not buying one of the corolla’s. That means 2 Corolla’s is $40,000.

          But a Bolt after federal incentive is $30,000.

          I have only 1 question. Who stole the other $10,000 dollars? $40,000 dollars minus $30,000 dollars equals something shading going on.

          Was it Sven? Is that the real reason he no longer posts here? Is he in jail?

          /sarc (mostly)

          1. AlphaEdge says:

            I’m Canadian, and I’ve included all the province incentives (BC is my province) here in the calculations when I checked online the price difference. The Bolt here is over $40,000 CDN, and a new Corolla is around $20,000 CDN.

            Usually you can much better deals in the US.

            1. Nix says:

              Ah, so it was that darn Justin Trudeau who stole the $10,000 dollars!

              You wouldn’t have that problem if you lived here in the United States.

              Although it could be argued that the $10k “Justin Trudeau” penalty is totally worth it compared to the alternative…

              /sarc

            2. Paul Smith says:

              For the price of a corolla, I can buy 2 Nissan Micras. Why would I when I could have a Tesla 3?

              1. Nix says:

                For the price of a Micra, I could get 2 electric bicycles.

                For the price of 2 electric bikes, I could get 2 nice regular bikes and pedal myself.

                For the price of 2 regular bikes I could buy a few very nice set of hiking boots and just hike everywhere.

                Yes, the endlessly lowered comparisons based on lower and lower standards is a bogus argument.

          2. Well it’s a free country, if you choose to buy an EV, or Nike shoes it’s your choice. Why are we having these discussions about which one is better. If you like EV’s drive one. And if you don’t like EV’s don’t get one, but don’t bad mouth me for my choice to drive what I want to. Some people wear Adidas and some wear Nike, but neither of them are wrong for their choice.

      2. AlphaEdge says:

        Of course other factors, if you can afford it.

    6. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

      Actually, a much better argument isn’t “two Corollas”, but “one Corolla, and a *hell* of a lot of gas”.

      A friend of mine bought a Kia Soul a few months back. When I asked him if he checked out the Soul EV, he said that the extra $10,000 he would have paid over the price he equipped his Soul at, wasn’t worth it. You know, as much as he doesn’t like buying gas.

      And you only have to look at what’s happened in Norway, where the price of gas cars is artificially inflated to the level of EVs rather than the other way around (I might add, in a way that isn’t particularly visible), and you suddenly see a percentage of EV sales that is deep into double digits.

      Automakers should make this their priority, rather than improving range with cheaper batteries. Chevy could likely build a Bolt that has 170+ miles of range for $6-7k less, but they haven’t, and the sales figures reflect that. Perhaps Nissan will go this route, but we’ll have to wait another month to find out.

      1. AlphaEdge says:

        > Actually, a much better argument isn’t “two Corollas”, but “one Corolla, and a *hell* of a lot of gas”.

        That was the whole point!!!

        Surprised I have to explain that.

      2. Mr. M says:

        If they put out 1/4 of the battery they could have saved around 200$/kWh*15kWh = 3000$. How do you come up with Mord than double that?

    7. Nix says:

      A relatively small number of very large dollar purchases would change the AVERAGE price, but they would have little impact (if any) on the MEDIAN price.

      That’s why Medians are used instead of Averages in much of statistics. By nature the Median exclude outlier data that isn’t representative of the group as a whole.

    8. reader says:

      Don’t buy a Bolt then. A Leaf or Ioniq

    9. philip d says:

      For the price of one BMW 3 series I could buy 2 Civics.

      But a BMW 3 series drives much better and has better performance and that is why people pay more for one. The same goes for the comparison between the Bolt and the Corolla.

    10. Carol Brock says:

      If you factor in the cost of maintenance, it works out in favor of the consumer. My EV maintenance required isn’t until 10000 miles. My EV Will never need gas, oil, sparkugs, to pass smog inspection.

    11. Adi says:

      I can buy a civic-si and used MX-5 the price of a single model 3.Now that definition of inexpensive with out compromise, and I seriously don’t understand the fuss of changing brake pads and oil its piety rudimentary and cheap.

    12. abc123 says:

      “For the price of one Bolt, I can buy two Toyota’s Corollas.”

      Well, if you want to compare value, why would I buy a Corolla when I can buy a Nissan Micra? Why would I buy a Micra when I can get a Sonic! Why would I get a Sonic when I can just ride my bike? Why would I get a bike when I can just walk?

      Not everyone is as stingy as you. Not everything is about the value proposition.

  2. SparkEV says:

    SparkEV is the answer to almost all these arguments.

    “EVs are too expensive.”
    At $16K post subsidy, it’s cheaper than comparable gas car that does 0-60 in low/mid 7 seconds, such as Fiesta ST that start at $22K.

    “I’ve got range anxiety.”
    With DCFC, not really. Unfortunately, one has “waiting for free charger” anxiety where you fear that you’d end up waiting for some EV that get free charging who could’ve charged at home instead.

    “The long tailpipe is a dirty one.”
    Since it’s sold primarily in CA where fossil fuel make up less than half of electricity generation, it is not dirty compared to other cars.

    “EVs aren’t any fun to drive.”
    Quicker than any car in the world that cost less than $20K is hella fun. Ease of parking is a lot of fun, too.

    “EV batteries are dirty, dirty, dirty.”
    2014 SparkEV uses no cobalt, instead just Lithium, iron, phosphate, stuff you might find in bathroom.

    “EVs catch fire.”
    No SparkEV caught fire, and unlikely to do so due to electric powertrain.

    “Hydrogen cars are better/will be better.”
    Let’s talk when (if?) H cars ever cost $16K and accelerate to 60 MPH in 7.2 seconds. Then we can talk about fuel cost, currently over 5X to fuel SparkEV.

    “EVs take forever to charge.”
    Average charge time for SparkEV is about 15 minutes (at 2.6C charge rate). Often times, getting fast food took longer, and resulting > 15 minute charge times.

    “The charging infrastructure isn’t good enough.”
    Good enough to get from Mexico border to Canada border, all using fast charge. But then, there’s “waiting for free charger” anxiety.

    “People don’t want EVs.”
    People don’t know about EV. I had no idea EV like SparkEV even existed. All they hear are the anti-EV points made in this article.

    1. Aaron says:

      “I want one.”

      Sorry, you live in a non-CARB state.

      1. John says:

        I asked my GM dealer in KS if they would service a spark since they were a certified Volt dealer…their answer, and I quote exactly “we wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole”

        not even regular maintenance?

        “we’re not authorized to touch it…period”

        1. WadeTyhon says:

          Keep asking around. You never know! I got my Spark EV serviced here in Texas.

          One dealer told me they would not, but two others confirmed they would. And the one I went to backed it up by taking care of the airbag and brake light recalls and doing the tire “rotation” ( really just a mirrored flip) correctly.

    2. Nix says:

      “SparkEV uses no cobalt, instead just Lithium, iron, phosphate, stuff you might find in bathroom.”

      Especially if the bathroom is the bathroom of somebody who is bipolar…

      *laugh*

      (Apologies to anybody taking lithium to treat bipolar disorder…. No offense intended.)

      1. SparkEV says:

        That’s what I meant by bathroom. Outside of Lithium, you find more phosphate in laundry room (unless you live in Washington State).

    3. Nemo says:

      Re: the Long Tailpipe, AFAICT, EVs are a win even under the worst conditions. A 100% coal-powered EV is so efficient that its total emissions only reach levels that are still well below those of the average ICE car. (You could make a case for hybrids, but it’s close.) See: http://www.ucsusa.org/clean-vehicles/electric-vehicles/life-cycle-ev-emissions — the lowest number on the map is 35 MPG.

      Also, the fact that the tailpipe is “long” — that it moves emissions from the site of the car to the site of electricity production — matters, for the local air quality of cities in particular.

      1. Jon says:

        Yeah the number I’ve seen as even pulling off a dirty power plant you’re still only producing 8%of the pollution of a ice

        1. Dean Rojas says:

          Your thermodynamics knowledge is nonexistent. 8% number is wrong by a factor of 5 to 8 times.

      2. SparkEV says:

        You’re talking about average ICE car, but I’m talking about lower than ANY ICE car, even the 60 MPG hybrid like Ioniq. Quite simply, there is no way a production ICE car could match SparkEV driven in CA, no caveats or ambiguity.

  3. FISHEV says:

    It is good to be honest about EV’s otherwise the necessary regulation to get us to 100% EV sustainable emissions vehicle sales by 2035 will not happen.

    1. EV’s will be about $10,000 more than an EQUIVALENT ICE care. Using the average $35K sales price of a car is meaningless vs. a car to car comparison. That $10K difference in cost of battery/motors vs. engine/transmission is likely to remain to 2035.

    2. EV’s will have less range.

    3. EV’s will require longer charge times and basically need home charging ability to work as every day car.

    Those are all real issues but they need to be accepted as necessary compromise to cut emissions. The rebates and tax credits provided by the government need to provided to move EV sales. $15K Federal credit that can be deducted until used would be the key.

    Claiming equivalence will keep that from happening and will keep EV sales too low to meet the goal of 2050 all sustainable transportation.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I see you have really drunk the EV-hater Kool-Aid, FISHEV.

      Most of the deficiencies you talk about in your comment will disappear as the economy of scale begins to be felt in EV manufacturing, and as competition continues to reduce EV charging times; it already has reduced the average quite a bit since 2011.

      I expect that within 10 years — by 2027 — BEVs will be perceived by most people as being at least as good overall as gasmobiles, and likely better.

      1. ffbj says:

        I would qualify that by saying with a modicum of intelligence. There will always be people that can’t tell s*** from Shinola, even if you rub there face in it.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTHL0y6xvLE

    2. Doggydogworld says:

      Your $10,000 cost gap is real, at least for 200+ miles EVs. It’s absurd to say this gap will not change from 2017-2035, however. Battery and cost is steadily improving. Same for inverters and other electronics. See the UBS Chevy Bolt teardown for details.

      That said, the claim that EV upfront cost will be LESS than ICE any time soon is untrue, with the possible exception of niches such as high performance where power train savings can offset the battery cost.

      1. FISHEV says:

        “Your $10,000 cost gap is real, at least for 200+ miles EVs. It’s absurd to say this gap will not change from 2017-2035, however.”

        As the battery mfgs and industry analysts have noted the rate of change in battery cost/kWh has flattened considerably and ICE costs are a moving target also.

        The 300 mile range EV will likely have a $10K price differential for the forceable future to 2035.

        Counting on future changes that may or may not and likely won’t occur is not sound policy.

        In order to start transitioning to EV’s, we need the credits now to match real world conditions which would mean a $15K Federal tax credit to make EV’s attractive to majority of car buyers. If/when changes occur on the price differential, it can be adjusted but right now cost, range and convenience are issues and need to be addressed by incentives.

        1. Nix says:

          “The 300 mile range EV will likely have a $10K price differential for the forceable future to 2035. ”

          That defies every trend in battery price and energy density for the last 20 years.

          For that statement to be true, all advancements in battery density would have to halt for 18 years, and all cell manufacturing costs would have to stay the same for the next 18 years.

          Back here in reality, we’ve seen a very consistent roughly 15% per year improvement in cost per kWh every year for the last 15 years. With the improvement being divided roughly equally between cost reductions and improvement in density.

          Meanwhile, ICE engines aren’t going to stand still either. They are going to continue to rise in price to meet higher emissions standards as EV costs continue to fall.

          What evidence makes you believe that both ICE prices and EV prices will remain the same, when all the evidence points to the contrary?

          1. FISHEV says:

            “That defies every trend in battery price and energy density for the last 20 years.”

            Chuckle…its like looking at the hockey puck curves of the dot.com start ups and thinking they were going to blow past Germany’s GDP given “current trends” of sales doubling from one to two.

            As noted even by Tesla, LG and other battery makers and by the industry analysts, the cost per kWh curve is flattening out and need for larger 300 mile range battery pack as the “base” in EV’s keeps the $10,000 differential safe for the next 10-15 years.

            Action needs to be take now anyway. Can’t wait 10-15 for some break even point that might never show up.

    3. Jon says:

      You don’t always get that full tax credit anyways it’s up to however much you would on your yearly taxes but it’s the same thing you’re saving so much money like my leaf I drive 1500 miles for about 20 bucks a month so that is savings all along the whole term while you’re paying for the vehicle and that has to be taken to a cow cuz it’s huge savings and no they actually do have has long of a range has most gas engines now if you get one that’s 200 miles plus which there’s a few different models out and son coming in 2018 in the generation 2

      1. Mark.ca says:

        You can get the entire credit by leasing and then buying…as simple as that.

    4. SparkEV says:

      “1. EV’s will be about $10,000 more than an EQUIVALENT ICE car”
      What equivalence do you mean? If comparing power and size, SparkEV cost LESS than ICE cars. Upcoming Tesla 3 will cost LESS than equivalent ICE cars of similar performance and size (ie. entry level luxury with moderate “performance” options) even without subsidy.

      “2. EV’s will have less range”
      If you mean driving range where you must wear diapers, that is true. But in the real world, about 2 to 3 hours is about all that most can handle before taking a break (for me, 1.5 hours max). If EV can charge 200 miles in 20 minutes, and it takes 10 minutes to get off/on highway, EV and ICE ranges will be the same. What SparkEV shows is that 20 minutes charge time is indeed possible.

      “3. EV’s will require longer charge times and basically need home charging ability to work as every day car.”
      Home charging is a huge plus that ICE cars will never get to enjoy. Home charging means 2 minute charge time per week, assuming charging every day like SparkEV, compared to 5 to 15 minutes fuel time for ICE cars. If one has 200+ miles range EV, that can shrink to 10 seconds per week.

      1. Mr. M says:

        Na, you can easily drive 6h with two 5 Minutes breaks. It’s also possible to do it with no break, but only if you don’t have kids.

        1. SparkEV says:

          I’m sure some can drive even 16 hours continuously by making “mello yello” bottles while driving. But after 1.5 hours of putting up with idiot drivers and the monotony, I’m about ready to drive off a cliff to end the suffering. Only calming thing is to walk off the anger, which takes about 15 minutes at least.

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    I prefer “The EV-Hater’s Guide to Hating Electric Cars”, published in 2011. That has 10 items (or bullet points) on the list, and it’s far more succinct:

    http://www.plugincars.com/ev-haters-guide-hating-electric-cars-107560.html

    “Now breathe deeply, and feel the hate flowing through you. Ahhh.” 😉

    There is also a follow-up: “EV-Hater’s Guide to Hating Electric Cars: Chapter 2”

    http://www.plugincars.com/ev-haters-guide-chapter-2-107607.html

    Admittedly it says nothing about “fool cell” cars, but… Better to think of claims in favor of the “hydrogen economy” as an intelligence test. If someone actually believes that kind of science-denier B.S., then they have flunked.

    1. FISHEV says:

      Strawmen are a dime a dozen and not even worth that.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Then why do you use them so often in your EV-hater posts?

  5. Paul says:

    I have had people tell me that mining for lithium is no better than coal. What is the reply for that?

    1. EVRider says:

      Lithium,and other battery materials,once mined,can be recycled..Coal and oil,on the other hand,once used,are gone..the whole process needs to be repeated again and again..

    2. vdiv says:

      You don’t burn lithium to run yer car. You don’t strip-mine mountain tops. You don’t poison people. It’s found in salt. It uses very little and it is reusable and recyclable after your car rots apart.

    3. Doggydogworld says:

      Lithium isn’t really mined. It’s evaporated from briny lakes and salt flats (salars).

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        …which is far more environmentally friendly than coal mining.

        1. ffbj says:

          Yeah, it’s in evaporated, in stages, in giant pools in useless infertile land and there is some environmental harm, mainly due to the fact that it requires a lot of water, but to compare that damage to coal mining is ludicrous.
          With coal you must needs be, to be fair, include the human cost: black lung, deaths due to explosion, accidents.
          In the environmental area with coal you have mountaintop removal, which is now the preferred method, (cheapest) which completely destroys the land and pollutes streams, lakes, the watershed. Add in coal ash spills which regions take decades, if ever, to recover from, and you have pretty miserable picture of the cost of mining coal.

          So, no, lithium mining is far, far, less damaging than mining coal.

    4. Russ says:

      Lithium tends to be in sand, not deep in the earth. It’s also in sea water, is only used in small amounts and fully recyclable. Coal isn’t!

  6. DL says:

    problem is, while one certainly can refute the arguments one by one, there’s no single car that has them all.

    Yes one can do interstate travel in Tesla and its supercharger framework, but X/S are not affordable. M3 may be first such car that has it all, but i can’t buy it today if i wanted (and i do). Zoe will not probably ever be available in US, so point is moot for the half of the globe.

    The sad truth is, we need 3-4 M3-like alternatives on the market, then we may start doing any serious market availability comparisons.

    1. ffbj says:

      Good point.

    2. Kikngas says:

      Yes, one must be very careful with non-US cars like Zoe. You have to do more than convert kilometers to miles. Their range test are much much more favorable there. So if you subjected a Zoe to US EPA range testing you would NOT see 400km range.

  7. Jim says:

    Lots of good points.
    1st EVS cost less when you look at life cycle cost. If you lease the savings in gas alone can pay for the lease.
    2nd Range depends on what drive each day. Get rhe right EV for your needs.Spark 80 to 100 miles, Tesla model 3 200+
    3 long tail pipe? How far can a gas car go on solar pv,wind,hydro,etc.
    4- fun to drive. So quiet and smooth you get the EV grin.
    5 lithium batteries last 20 to 30 years. The EPA doesn’t consider them toxic like lead is. They are recycled.
    6- fires, 10x less than gas cars. No oil spills,etc
    7- H2 is always 20 years away. It’s not energy just an energy carrier.
    8- charging only takes 2 minutes. Then you go sleep,work,shop, walk. It’s good to stop and move around. Sitting kills.

    1. Kikngas says:

      With H2, I always like to point out that if that if they do “bring the costs down” (in spite of basic physics and the energy required to produce H2), that my EV can be powered by that just as easily as it can be powered by solar, wind, hydro, gasoline, diesel, coal, nuclear, geothermal, ethanol, bio-diesel, herds of cattle on treadmills, etc.

      But I would be careful claim in general terms that lithium batteries last 20-30 years. They certainly didn’t in AZ on the early LEAFs. And Tesla has more complete thermal management, but I don’t even think Tesla is saying anything about 30 years.

      But, of course, it all depends on how much degradation on your original range you can tolerate as well. But, “spent” EV batteries make great stationary storage for wind and solar, and then you recycle them.

      I guess if you count the use in stationary storage, you get over 20 years. But with statements like that, it sounds like you are saying the car will never need another battery… but it probably will.

      So, I always like to point out that over the lifetime of the battery, I will have been saving $100/month on fuel. And that when I do replace the battery, it will be with one that goes further than ever, and lasts much longer than the first one did.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “I guess if you count the use in stationary storage, you get over 20 years. But with statements like that, it sounds like you are saying the car will never need another battery… but it probably will.”

        It probably won’t, unless it’s a Leaf or an i-MiEV. Cars only last on average about 14-15 years before they’re scrapped. Sure, you can expect the electric motor to last longer, but will the rest of the car? The car body doesn’t last longer just because it has an electric powertrain.

        Will a Tesla car’s aluminum body last 30 years? Maybe, but I think it would be unwise to assume so. Anyway, cars in general just are not built to last that long. Bottom line: For the average plug-in EV driving on the road today, if it’s not a Leaf or an i-MiEV, then the battery pack will probably last the lifetime of the car.

        Nissan Leafs and Mitsubishi i-MiEVs excluded, because they lack an active battery cooling system.

  8. Tom says:

    1. The range citation for the 41 kw Renault Zoe of 249 miles is bogus. Even Renault admits that real-world range is more like 186 miles. No need to pad the score. You could have honestly cited the 60 kw Bolt and its 240+ mile range.

    2. The problem with charging times is very real for long trips. There is no issue with local driving, as you can charge every night in your garage as you point out. But on a long highway trip a pure EV will add hours to the trip time due to long stops required for charging.

  9. Me says:

    Sorry, but this article will do little to convince those against EVs. They don’t even convince me of my concerns about EVs and I consider myself to be pretty bullish on the technology.

    EVs are too expensive right now for the average consumer. It doesn’t matter how big the tax incentives are, how much you’ll save on maintenance, how much cheaper it is in the long run to charge vs pay for gas, etc. None of that matters to the average consumer. The average consumer lives paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford to pay a lot more for something upfront even if they’ll save more in the long run.

    Range is still a very big issue. Not everyone only has to worry about commuting to work. Lots of real people have real needs to drive more than 100 – 200 miles away from their house and can’t afford to wait hours to charge.

    Ludicrous mode… ok, you’ve got me… if you’re talking to someone who’s rich enough to get a Tesla with it. Talk to me when I can have something that’s priced like a Miata and that’s just as fun to drive.

    Charging is still a massive concern. Not everyone only has the luxury of just using their car to commute back and forth to work. As mentioned above, lots of people have to use their cars for long range trips on a regular basis. Plus, Tesla is the only game in town when it comes to somewhat reasonable charge times in the US (chademo and CCS are virtually non-existent here and will be for years) and a lot of people don’t want to buy into a walled garden solution (which it will be until at least some of the other manufacturers agree to use it).

    1. ffbj says:

      Methinks thou dost protest too loudly.

      1. There are 124 million homes in the U.S. almost everyone is electrified.
      2. People drive on average 40 mi/day.
      3. SC availability is increasing and you can charge to 80% in about 1/2 an hour.

      In fact not a single point you make has much of actual facts in it.

    2. CC says:

      It doesnt matter how much the tax incentives are? Really, if it paid for the entire car it wouldnt be worth. I mean that’s what you just claimed.

      In California you get a Tesla Model 3 for $25,000 after fed/state incentives. $26,500 in NY. These prices were not possible even a few years ago. Where do you think the prices will be in a few years? 5 years? 10? The ICE passenger vehicle market is looking death in the face.

      Oh, and who wants to own even one Toyota Corolla? LOL

      1. Mr. M says:

        I like the Corolla, but the skodas are better

    3. menorman says:

      Bingo, you took basically all the words right out of my mouth. The EVs with range are still too expensive and getting them cheaply requires accounting maneuvers that aren’t necessarily available to the masses, especially in regards to the Federal credit. People also continue to discount the time constraint that it takes to travel in an EV, even a Tesla. (And let’s not even bring up situations such as surprise or spur-of-the-moment trips that are embarked on when the battery is already halfway drained.)

      1. Nix says:

        Menorman, “And let’s not even bring up situations such as surprise or spur-of-the-moment trips that are embarked on when the battery is already halfway drained”

        Since you brought up Tesla, let’s do bring it up… Here the the comparison of a 1000 mile trip in a 300 mile range Tesla, starting with 150 mile range vs. 300 miles of range:

        Start trip 150 mile of range:
        At 100 miles, charge 170 miles in ~30 min.
        At 270 miles, charge 170 miles in ~30 min.
        At 440 miles, charge 170 miles in ~30 min.
        At 610 miles, charge 170 miles in ~30 min.
        At 780 miles, charge 170 miles in ~30 min.
        At 950 miles, charge 60 miles in ~10 min.
        Arrive at destination and plug in overnight at destination charger.

        Start trip 300 miles of range.
        At 250 miles, charge 170 miles in ~30 min.
        At 420 miles, charge 170 miles in ~30 min.
        At 590 miles, charge 170 miles in ~30 min.
        At 760 miles, charge 170 miles in ~30 min.
        At 930 miles, charge 85 miles in ~15 min.
        Arrive at destination and plug in overnight at destination charger.

        The difference is only 1 more stop with a total of only 25 minutes of extra charging for a 15-17 hour trip. Is that really a big deal?

        In reality, if you charge at home every night and drive the typical number of miles per day as the typical driver, leaving on a road trip before charging overnight would only cost you maybe another 5 minutes at a Supercharger at the most.

        ________________________________

        Too expensive? Depending on your budget that might be true if you are looking at what you can buy this very second. Many people may need to do what the majority of Americans do, and wait to buy a used car. Like wait 2-3 years and buy a CPO Tesla Model 3 75 that will likely go 300 miles and recharge at that rate, with a price somewhere in the 20’s (depending on mileage).

    4. Nix says:

      Worried about price and range? Get a used Volt for around $10K. Done.

    5. Mark.ca says:

      “EVs are too expensive right now for the average consumer.”

      That’s bull and you know it!
      What ev are you talking about?
      I got a total lease of $7150 for 36 months for my eGolf with a purchase option of $11600 for a total of 18750. I also got $2500 from Cali and $450 from Edison so that brings it down to $15800!!!
      Take a walk to your closet dealer!

  10. Dr. Brunner says:

    Actually, pumping, refining, transporting and distributing gas takes lots of electricity. Refining alone is 4.5 kWh per gallon. All other parts and consequential electricity use are about the same amount. So roughly 9 kWh electricity per gallon. Same electricitt need as a good EV for same distance. So actually driving electric does not use more electricity than gas. And pollutes less since it doesn’t burn the gas.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      What is the source for this “4.5 kWh per gallon”…it seems way to high to me.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I’ve seen such wildly different claims for the amount of energy (not just electricity) used to refine an average gallon of gasoline that I hesitate to even quote a number. Let’s just say I’ve seen apparently authoritative estimates as low as 4.4 kWh per gallon (for newer refineries) and perhaps less credible estimates as high as 12 kWh, or even more. Unfortunately this keeps getting reported as 4.5 kWh or 6 kWh or even 12 kWh (or more) of electricity… which simply isn’t true.

        Most of the energy used to refine crude oil into gasoline and diesel is used in the heating process of actually refining the crude oil, and most of that heat comes from burning waste gasses and petroleum fractions which have little if any commercial value. The amount of electricity used in refining is relatively low by comparison.

        One can argue whether or not burning waste products is actually wasting energy — if it would otherwise be thrown away, is it really wasted? — but what can not be reasonably argued is that burning all that waste in the refining process does create pollution and does emit CO2.

        But oil companies don’t report just how much energy they use to refine the oil. Nor, apparently, do they honestly report how much pollution they emit; environmental activists monitoring gas burn-off from refineries report they regularly burn off waste gases more often than the oil companies report.

        More info here:

        http://www.evnut.com/gasoline_oil.htm

        Scroll down to the section entitled “How Much Electricity (or at least other energy input) is used to run gasoline cars?”

  11. Don Zenga says:

    We have to keep on writing to keep these guys at bay. We should tell the people that only by using more electric vehicles, we can keep the oil consumption and prices low.

    Renault Nissan Mitsu alliance sold 480,000 plugins vehicles Worldwide so far.
    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2017/07/20170727-alliance.html

  12. BillT says:

    I can see a strong case against BEVs as the *only* car for people or for apartment dwellers. But for 2 car households with a place to charge even at L1 a cheap used BEV or Volt seems like a pretty easy sell at least for places where electricity is <$.15 /kWh. That being said a used Prius + sub $2.00 gas is pretty darn cheap too and soon there will be mid-sized sedans (2018 Accord and Camry hybrids) which get Prius-like MPG and offer way more room than any non-Tesla priced EV. But, for me it is no plug no sale.

  13. Greg says:

    Hey when they say the Bolt and Model 3 are the same price as average new cars – does that mean that the cost of a comparable car in size, fit and finish etc is about the same?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      It means it will be time for EV bashers to move the goal posts yet again, and claim plug-in EVs are a failure because they can’t compete on price with the lowest-priced street legal car available in the USA, the Nissan Versa S Sedan, at MSRP $12,780.

      In fact, I think I saw the Nissan Versa mentioned in a comment just the other day, so I guess we’re already there. 🙄

  14. Four Electrics says:

    Ah, look, it’s our monthly dose of propaganda training. I’ll get right to it with this handy prostletizing aid!

  15. Adi says:

    You guys have no clue regarding the term ‘fun to drive’,,and Ludicrous Mode is not a silver bullet solution.

  16. MAF says:

    EVs will be viable for the average customer when they can get 200 miles range in a mid-size sedan or compact SUV for around $25,000. Even then, many people (apartment and condo dwellers, lower income folks) will not be able to charge their cars at home.

    1. Mister G says:

      http://Www.co2.earth…the data is screaming DO SOMETHING NOW

  17. abc123 says:

    NOW THIS IS AN ARTICLE WORTHY OF INSIDE EVS!

    Bravo!

    Now, if we could only convince the others to write more meaningful stuff other than Tesla street race videos.

  18. james3529 says:

    I love the idea of an electric car, basically because I hate stopping for gas. The cost of the gas doesn’t bother me, and I don’t want to save the world, I just hate stopping for any reason when I am on the way to somewhere. My commute to work, when I am not travelling is about 65 miles round trip, so an EV would be a possibility. The problem I have is when I am not commuting, but travelling, which is frequently.
    I regularly drive to South Carolina from Michigan, and I do it in 12 hours flat. I could fly, but I hate airports, and I like driving. I stop usually 3-4 times, each time for less than 15 minutes. (usually 2x for gas, and 2x for a restroom). My lovely wife packs me a lunch so I don’t need to stop to eat. Each and every time I stop, no matter where I stop, I have never seen an electric charging station. Maybe because I am not looking. But no matter where I go, I see gas stations – they’re everywhere!
    I am sure I am not the only person on the earth that gets into a car and just wants to get to my final destination, ASAP.
    So at this stage in the EV game, I just wouldn’t buy one. Can’t justify spending that kind of money on a car that I cannot use every time I need a car. But I really like the EV idea, and hope I live long enough to see the pendulum start to swing that way.

    As a side note, the company I work for supplies Tesla with parts for the model 3, and, no shock to me, demand is not even close to what we were promised, causing some issues with cash flow. There are some folks in our company to which I’ve said ‘I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so’. Still, its fun to be on the leading edge, and we’ll weather this. Maybe payoff will come.

    Regardless, very interesting reading and info on this site.

  19. Earl Blayney says:

    I did not read any opinion on what could well be the killer for the EV car, at least until our production of electric power can be anywhere equal to the power now being consumed by fossil fuelled cars. Without that supply our cars will suck all the kilowatts in a few days. We may suffer more than a few brownouts, then WOW.

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