Although there is little doubt the future is going electric at a rapid rate, there are still several valid reasons to wait a bit before making the big switch.
Although we also don’t necessarily believe it is the only solution for the environmental crisis, EVs might be leading the way at present, but there are also a few other promising developments in the automotive sector. EVs have actually been around as long as ICE vehicles, but for more than a century, all the research and development funding has gone to pretty much perfecting combustion engines and creating an infrastructure to keep them moving all over the world. With the energy density of gasoline so much greater than any conceivable battery at the time, it seemed like a straightforward decision.
Hindsight is always 20/20 but at least we now know the adverse effect the production, distribution and use of that product has on the environment now. We also have a viable solution to the mess we created, so what exactly is stopping us?
At present, the vast majority of EV makers are very new to the automotive world. Those that are not, are new to making EVs, which obviously have their own unique set of engineering challenges.
So far, EVs are sitting right at the very bottom of the reliability charts. It will get better, theoretically EVs should be far easier to keep running in the long run with far lower maintenance costs. At present, as companies are still figuring out solutions to the various challenges, this is not the case.
All EVs are getting packed with future tech that isn’t necessarily ready for public consumption, as a result, by buying into the trend you are inadvertently signing up as a beta tester.
Much of the technology is still pretty untested, which is a scary thought when you consider how much of it is actually directly related to the safety of the vehicle.
Our consumer mindset will easily convince us that we need that new “thing,” when in fact the old “thing” is still working just fine. One of the most sustainable things we can all do is stop replacing cars as often as we do.
Modern vehicles are generally made to last (with a few notable exceptions), holding onto our current vehicle will do more good for the environment than replacing it with an EV. The amount of energy that goes into manufacturing just one vehicle is a lot more than what it would take to keep your older vehicle on the road for a few more years.
Alternative Fuel Sources
Hydrogen, for one, has emerged as a realistic alternative, it comes with one major caveat though; it needs to be Green Hydrogen. In other words, made with clean energy.
If it isn’t, it is essentially useless, but the benefits over battery powered vehicles are plain to see. For heavy equipment, shipping and aerospace industries are already moving in this direction for practical reasons and there is no reason why cars can’t either.
If you are able to afford an expensive high power EV with that face-melting torque, feel free to ignore this entry, but, sadly, not all of us have $50,000 to spend on a car.
Most affordable EVs struggle to get to 60 in less than 10 seconds and if they do, the driving experience usually suffers as they are devoid of any real driver engagement or feel.
As with most new technology, it is becoming increasingly problematic to integrate it with the existing and in some cases outdated technology that still proliferates modern roads. The vast majority of the world will have pedestrians crossing streets, in most of the developing world this may happen illegally too.
Most people are familiar with the noises cars make and subconsciously rely on this for their safety, but certainly are not used to how silent EVs are. It has become such a big concern that many countries are now mandating EVs to have noise emitting devices to “warn” pedestrians.
Fast chargers are making EV ownership ever more attractive, but at present there are only a handful of manufacturers that are able to offer this kind of technology. Most rely on much slower charging options that usually necessitate careful planning for any out of town trip.
Pretty much all charging infrastructure also relies on a dated grid that still needs to make use of less environmentally friendly energy sources, including coal.
One thing we all know is that batteries do not last forever, after a few years of driving they will degrade significantly.
Replacements are still very expensive, and it should be a cost factored into the purchase price. Much like components on ICE cars need to be replaced over time, the battery pack is also a wear and tear item.
If you think about it, gasoline cars are just as bad, if not worse. Rolling around with tanks full of volatile, flammable liquid, and we managed to effectively deal with that danger (mostly).
So, we can say with some degree of certainty that in time there will be a solution for all these battery fires, which is a pretty good reason to wait just a bit longer before purchasing your first EV.
Arguably, the biggest concern related to EVs circles back to their main purpose; sustainability. At the moment, there is no real solution to this particular concern as we already have several old EVs reaching the end of their service life and nobody really knows what to do with them.
It is costly to recycle the precious metals in their batteries, but the rest of the vehicle is also something of a concern. There is already a robust network of scrap dealers ready to part out ICE vehicles, but almost nothing dedicated to EVs, which can be difficult to disassemble, and without appropriate training, downright dangerous.
For under $20k the Uniti One EV will enter the European market with futuristic looks and an airplane like cockpit.
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