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Tue, Jun 18, 2024 02:24
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Too soon for electric vehicles

The push for electric vehicles in the US is premature.

According to a recent article from Fortune, 4,700 US auto dealers are urging President Biden to hit the brakes on the EPA push on stricter vehicle pollution standards.

The article states that "In this week's letter, the dealerships asked Biden to "hit the brakes" entirely, citing several factors that they say indicate slowing EV adoption. The signers said the supply of EVs on dealer lots is twice that of internal combustion engine vehicles, and that they won't be able to sell EVs at the rate the regulations would require."

You've undoubtedly heard about numerous electric vehicles stuck in the cold, being unable to charge.

According to a recent article from Fox32, Chicago, it states that "public charging stations have turned into car graveyards over the past couple of days."

According to an article from NBC News, it states that "Fully electric vehicles, which run exclusively on battery packs, typically lose an average of 41% of their range when outdoor temperatures drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit and the heat's cranked on, AAA researchers have found. That's because batteries don't work as efficiently in the cold and regulating cabin temperature can gobble up a significant amount of power, depending on how a car's HVAC system is designed."

While the idea electric vehicles sounds good, there are simply not enough EV charging stations in the US.

In a recent article from The New York Times, it states that truck makers are teaming up to push for electric vehicle chargers.

The article states that "Daimler, Navistar and Volvo have been criticized for not selling many electric heavy trucks, but the companies say the country first needs many more chargers."

The article goes on to state that "only nine fast charging stations in the United States are capable of serving heavy trucks, according to data from the Department of Energy."

In an article from the Washington Post, it states that "Charging and range are the primary reasons some companies are hesitant to go electric -- or have found the transition challenging. Jim Gillis, the president of the Pacific region for IMC, said his team has found that their six EV trucks are best suited for trips less than 25 miles. Coming from the port to our warehouse, generally that driver can enjoy three to four trips before we have to get that charged, Gillis said."

Even though electric vehicles have been around for over one hundred years, the basic limitations have not been overcome. These are density of energy (when a pound of battery holds the same energy equivalent as a pound of gasoline or diesel) and quickness of replenishment. For the second item, think of extremely fast charging stations, much faster than anything that exists today, being as ubiquitous as gas stations (along with the electrical infrastructure being in place to serve these charging stations). And finally, there is the performance at low temperature problem.

Much to overcome. Is it worth it, or should we be pursuing some other path such as hydrogen?

Helen Roush is Executive Vice President of Paperitalo Publications.



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