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Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles have existed for many years in the form of golf carts and small utility vehicles. The development for automobiles(83) has been slow but has progressed due to the development of high capacity battery technology. Two basic types of electric vehicles, the hybrid and the total electric vehicle (EV), encompass more than three percent of the production of automobiles in America. Issues still abound for the EV with the high relative cost, battery limitations and the availability of recharging stations. Although the all-electric version solves the air pollution by eliminating exhaust gases, other issues remain for the future acceptance which are under current exploration. In the interim the hybrid which is a combination of a motor engine and rechargeable battery has been a popular type accepted by the public.

 

Conservatives: The use of the total electric vehicles is favored by conservatives and they praise the development over the past two decades. Conservatives recognize the advantages while realizing their limitations. There are factors that remain which mandate that fossil fueled vehicles (gasoline, diesel and natural gas) are not at a point where they can be eliminated. It is science and engineering that must resolve the issues(84) of high cost, driving range and battery capacity. Action must follow science for the benefit of all entities involved. Currently the hybrid electric vehicle provides the most practical format and is somewhat popular with the American public.

 

  • The Democratic policies of President Obama, Hillary Clinton and president Biden have been directed at the termination of all coal fired power plants. One would question where is the source of electricity for charging EVs if these plants are eliminated. If expectations are that the use of wind and solar would be used, the technology for such energy is not readily available. A conservative viewpoint is that conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles should remain as the main mode of transportation for some time.

 

  • Little has been addressed at other issues as battery overheating and fires(85). There are occasional reports of incidents, the most recent being battery immersion under water during severe weather. Typically, the battery is destroyed and needs replacement. Another factor is EV use in both very high ambient temperatures. When all these factors are adequately addressed the current mode of transportation is favored.

 

  • The conservative approach to battery introduction is current research into the technology. The issue of world lithium availability has been questioned. In America, lithium mining is possible, however, the government has prohibited the practice. Studies are also needed to assess the environmental impact of high-volume battery production. It needs electrical sources (possibly fossil fueled supplied) as part of the production.

 

Progressives: One of the first actions by President Biden upon taking office in 2020 was to oppose oil industry developments which resulted in higher gasoline and diesel fuel prices. The premise was to promote the use of electric vehicles as a mean of reducing automobile carbon emissions claimed to be instrumental in the cause of climate change. The presidents’ promise of no more drilling for oil was done at a time when electric vehicles issues of cost and performance still remain a major problem. Plans were enacted to resolve the associated energy problem with implementation of windmills and solar panels to generate electrical power for all of the country’s’ needs.

 

  • To further escalate the issue of electric vehicles, the governor of California issued a dictate that all gasoline powered vehicles use will be discontinued by the year 2030. This action was done without the consent of the public or any types of hearings. In the year 2021, California had an issue with providing adequate electricity for daily us within the state and at a period of peak power usage advised owners of electric vehicles to refrain from charging their batteries. So much for the wisdom of future electric vehicle use. Unexpectedly, other states have taken interest in the concept to eliminate gasoline powered vehicles.

 

  • A major issue not addressed by the progressives is limitations of distance traveled before the need to charge the battery. Current technology limits travel(86) in the order of four hundred miles. To recharge the battery, fast charging stations will bring an 80% charge within an hour(84). If the fast charge is not available more than three hours is required. Currently, at charging stations there are long waits due to limited availability. Another complicating factor is how to charge EVs for owners residing in large, city complexes. Progressive initiatives have been initiated without considering practical implications.

 

  • To foster EV technology greater enhancement in battery technology is needed in the form of greater capacity for long travel and fast charging. Also, current EV warrantees(87) are approximately eight years meaning battery replacement may be needed at a cost of between $6,000 and $20,000. The main element in the battery is lithium and worldwide sources are limited and mainly controlled by China, our adversary. Significant engineering and product development are necessary before practical EV technology can be widely applied.

 

Commentary: Are you in a position to invest in a total electric vehicle?

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