Electric Vehicles: The White Elephant That Belongs in the Zoo!

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, throw away your driving or motorcycle gloves for the sake of driving an electric vehicle.

Electric vehicles are simply a quick fix to the current system. Yes okay, we are all going to have to use less energy which could also arguably include using less plastic junk and being more rational with our everyday vehicle usage. But, electric vehicles are not the answer! Electric vehicle development still belongs in the laboratory and we need to find better ways to store and refuel electricity.

Most of the latest electric cars can do about 85 miles an hour. But, for a range of only about 90 miles and an eight-hour recharge. One lap at the Isle of Man TT and an electric bike is flat! How could you watch that? How could you even justify the action of pulling on a pair of leather motorcycle gloves to do that? The sight of a racing bike leaning into a sweeper without the characteristic sound of accelerating internal combustion power is completely incomprehensible. Sacrilege even! No, only when something better is invented, is it time to develop serious bikes and cars.

Despite their ‘green’ image, electric vehicles are less efficient and more polluting than petrol ones they want to replace. They are not very ‘green’ at all. They are ‘white’ and they are elephants! The electric vehicle craze is no more than a craze. Let’s be honest, the only race an electric bike will ever win is against another. How dull is that? Forget the protective clothing and motorbike gloves…it’d be slower than watching lawnmowers race, or turtles! Why? Because batteries are heavy and inefficient.

Don’t kid yourself by sitting in the ‘electric bike crowd’ and think that by doing so, you are doing your ecological, environmental and ideological best for society. The planet will still warm! Despite what most people believe, a high percentage of the world’s electricity is produced using ‘dirty fuels’ like oil and coal. And this is NOT going to change anytime soon. In fact, the more electric vehicles that are produced, the more the world will rely on ‘dirty fuels’ to keep up with increasing demand for electricity. And another interesting fact for you to ponder is this. Even with silly government subsidies, electric vehicles are all priced higher than their petrol or diesel equivalents.

Electrics as a first car or bike is useless. Sure, you can commute in or on one, but as soon as the weather drops and you flick on the car heater and your range halves to about 30 miles, your likelihood of being stranded on the freeway during peak hour doubles. The answer, commute in your petrol equivalent and do everything else too, at any time, over any distance. Don’t spend all day getting to work!

Pull on your motorcycle gloves for one reason… common sense.

Electric Vehicle Challenges For Wide Adoption

It is fun to watch a Tesla Car glide down the road and know that it is all-electric, still, the industry has a ways to go before electric cars can compete on price for the consumer – before wide adoption is fully feasible. Trust me when I tell you, I am not against EVs, it’s just I see so many challenges – cost, weight, subsidies, efficiencies, range, charging infrastructure, etc. And, I cringe when I listen to folks explain how to pave that proverbial ‘road to hell’ with the Good Intentions Paving Company LLC. Okay so, let’s talk shall we?

Here are a Five Points on the Future of Electric Vehicles and the Real Challenges Facing the Industry:

1). Current Battery Weight: EV batteries significantly increase the weight of cars – proponents say that’s okay because new lightweight materials will keep weight down. True, but if those lightweight materials can do that, they can do it also for gasoline, diesel, natural gas, hydrogen or steam run cars too. Meaning more competition, A 100 mpg car due to low weight is now a huge selling point.

2). End of Life Battery Disposal: Where do all these batteries go with chemicals that are not so good for environment? Proponents say; it’s not that big of deal. Still, if old cell phones are considered hazardous waste partly due to the batteries inside, then car batteries which are much bigger with huge amounts of material are even more problematic.

3). Slow Growth: Currently electric vehicles make us such a small percentage of the total, that they are not making any real difference in the use of fossil fuels, so if that is the goal, it will take decades to achieve and need massive government intervention – hasn’t government intervened in the free-markets enough lately (Healthcare, Biofuels for instance) and how has that worked out for us?

4). Electric Vehicle Rebates: When government gives rebates we all end up paying for it in higher taxes. If EVs cost on average $10,000 more, and we give rebates, we are subsidizing a sector over another sector, picking and choosing winners. It’s wiser to allow EV industry to pony up and find ways to lower prices to compete.

5). Electric Vehicles Are Quiet: Proponents say that’s a good thing. But, tell that to the kid or cyclist that didn’t hear them coming and got smushed. Some EVs now have “sound” to alert people they are coming, and you can choose the sound you like, several options. That’s nice, but defeats the concept and/or benefits of such serenity associated with EVs. Sound also takes energy to make, ask any audio installer of sound systems for cars, often a second battery or batteries is/are added for larger systems.

The electric vehicle industry will have to solve these challenges before consumers will have full buy-in or before EVs can supplant the cars we drive today. Please consider this.

Electric Vehicle Connectors

Green is no longer just a color; it’s a movement rooted in environmentalism and sustainability. As people around the world have realized that we need to protect the planet if we want it to stay healthy and beautiful for future generations, more and more products have entered the market to push the green movement forward. Electric cars are one of those developments, giving consumers the choice to be more environmentally friendly in their everyday transportation. Although most Americans own and use gas-powered cars, electric vehicles are growing in popularity and as their technology progresses, they will become even more convenient and appreciated. Electric vehicle connectors are an integral part of this new form of transportation; the cars need them to power up. But before we get into specifics, let’s look at the basics of electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles are a type of automobile that uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion. Unlike gas-powered cars, they are fueled by electricity, which can come from a variety of sources (fossil fuels and nuclear power, but also renewable sources like tidal, solar, and wind power). They require less maintenance because they don’t have as many parts as traditional vehicles, and they offer tax benefits. Electric vehicles are also easy to charge at home, run on renewable energy, and emit no pollution from their tailpipes. There are many benefits to owning an electric car, but like most things, they come with disadvantages too. Electric vehicles can take several hours to charge and aren’t able to last on long road trips. They will also increase the demand for electricity and there are very few models currently available.

Charging up an electric vehicle is easy, but it will require some patience. The most convenient (but also expensive) option would be to purchase a charging station for home use. If you charge your car overnight, it will always be ready for the morning commute.

To make the process of charging an electric car more convenient, national societies and commissions work together to establish industry standards for electric vehicle connectors. The common connector for the United States is the J1772 combo plug, which was chosen by the Society of Automotive Engineers. It allows for AC and DC charging, is 43mm in diameter, and contains five pins. Designed for single phase electrical systems with 120 V or 240 V, electric vehicle connectors use a 1 kHz square wave at +/- 12 volts on the pilot pin (to detect the vehicle, communicate the maximum allowable current, and control the charging process). These connectors will often be located outside, so it is important that they are able to withstand environmental concerns like wind, rain, and heat. They are also equipped with many safety features like shock protection, connector pins located on the inside (so humans have no physical access), and pins that have zero voltage when not in use.

Technological advancements and growing popularity are helping consumers see electric vehicles as a viable alternative to their gas-guzzling automobiles, but it will take a while longer for them to truly compete. Right now, electric cars are just a great alternative for environmentally conscious drivers looking to make a change.